HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY 40th ANNIVERSARY
The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
JUNE 2017 | SIVAN/TAMUZ 5777
Jewish Federation to honor award winners, elect new president
Learn about antiques and artifacts from local women on pages 4-5. Beth Kushnick, George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership
Iris Epstein, Kobrovsky Chairman’s Award for Campaign Excellence
By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will honor two amazing community leaders, bid farewell to a sitting president and elect a new one at its Community Celebration & Annual Meeting on June 14. The event will also celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and look ahead to the local Jewish community’s future, and include Chinese hors d’oeuvres, drinks and dessert. All are welcome. Chosen by a committee of her peers, Beth Kushnick will receive the George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership this year. A visible and strong leader in the community, Kushnick serves on the Federation board, recently became a Pomegranate, chairs the Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee and has single-handedly spearheaded an effort to bring the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project to the Lehigh Valley. A group of 18 local women are currently participating in the project and will
Join Camp JCC and JFS to help the community. Read more on page 12.
Join HAKOL in celebrating the high school class of 2017 on pages 16-18.
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Community Center
Jewish Day School
travel to Israel at the end of June. At Temple Beth El, Kushnick was a board member for many years, including serving as treasurer. She was also the Sisterhood co-president for six years. She has served on many committees at the Jewish Community Center and Jewish Day School, and recently helped Jewish Family Service to redesign their Centerpieces for Tzedakah. “She is an extremely hard worker, a team player and someone who rarely says ‘no’ when asked to contribute,” read one of the nominations for Kushnick that the Federation received. The Federation is also proud to honor Iris Epstein with the Kobrovsky Chairman’s Award for Campaign Leadership for her role as campaign chair the past three years. Under Epstein’s leadership, the campaign was reinvigorated with creative challenges and a March Madness-style competition. She served as a source of motivation for campaign volunteers, frequently
Wendy Born, new honorary vice president
sharing the stories of people the Federation helps around the world – people she met first-hand through her travels with the National Young Leadership Cabinet. “Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of our Annual Campaign,” said Jeri Zimmerman, assistant executive director of the Federation. “As campaign chair, Iris has reached out into the community, made connections and built relationships while successfully raising the funds that allow us to enrich the lives of those who count on our support. She is dedicated and committed to our campaign efforts and her diligence is to be applauded.” Epstein also served, and will continue to serve, as the Federation’s treasurer and is a Lion of Judah. She is also very involved with Congregation Keneseth Israel. Next year, she will be leading the Federation’s Women’s Division. “Being our community’s campaign Award winners Continues on page 13
How the Six-Day War changed American Jews By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency On the morning of June 5, 1967, as Arab armies and Israel clashed following weeks of tension, Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg sat anxious amid his congregants at daily prayers — fearful that the Jewish people would face
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Mark H. Scoblionko, outgoing president
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extinction for the second time in 25 years. “One of the people said, ‘They’re going to wipe out Israel. What’s going to be?’” recalled Greenberg, then the spiritual leader of a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. “I said, ‘They’re not going to wipe out Israel, and if they do, there’s going to be a sign up: The shul is closed.’ Faith could not go on with an unmitigated catastrophe of that size happening again.” The fear felt by Greenberg pervaded the air in American Jewish communities that week. Two decades after the world learned the full extent of the Holocaust, Americans looked on from afar as Egypt and Syria threatened the young Jewish state. Jonathan Sarna, then 12, remembers watching on TV as Israelis dug mass graves to prepare for potential slaughter.
ROGER VIOLLET COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES
com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2
Eva Levitt, incoming president
Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War energized the movement to free Soviet Jewry, leading to pro-Israel and anti-USSR demonstrations like this one in New York City in June 1967. A teenage Yossi Klein Halevi remembers the broadcasts of mass rallies in Cairo calling for Israel’s death. But many American Jews, haunted by their failure to act during the Holocaust, didn’t just passively watch events unfold — they decided to mobilize. They raised tens of millions of dollars. They held rallies. They lobbied President Lyndon Johnson. Within days, however, the
fear turned to relief. The relief turned to pride when Israel won the war in six days, tripling its territory and taking control of Judaism’s holiest sites. The Six-Day War, as it quickly became known, intensified American Jews’ love for Israel and imbued them with a new confidence to advocate for their Six-Day War Continues on page 20
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley firstname.lastname@example.org
Describing the elephant is not the challenge You may know the story of the six blindfolded people who are asked to touch different parts of an elephant. The one who touches the leg declares it a pillar, the one who touches the tail calls it a rope, the one who touches the trunk thinks it’s a snake and so on. For most people, the part of Jewish Federation that’s most visible is fundraising. True, Federation is an extremely efficient and effective fundraising organization - mobilizing more than $3 million annually for Jewish needs, with about $2.25 million coming from our annual campaign alone. But fundraising isn’t our sole mission, and that’s not all we do. And focusing on our fundraising loses sight of the programs we fund. Federation is committed to the ongoing development and enhancement of a thriving Jewish community, locally and abroad. We achieve that in many ways – primarily through the funding of high quality services provided by an international network of Jewish organizations. So, if you’re a JCC member and send a child to day camp or day care, or if your child is enrolled at the JDS, or if you seek counseling and case management at JFS, you are a beneficiary of Federation funds. Even if you pay membership dues, activity fees, and tuition, your participation is made more affordable because of unrestricted funds Federation grants to these agencies. Frankly, even reading this column in HAKOL is made possible for you by the Federation and its annual campaign. Most people will acknowledge that Federation does “good
work.” Yet many still have trouble answering the question, “What’s in it for me? Why should I care?” If your child or grandchild participates at a synagogue family life education program in the Lehigh Valley, we’ll take some credit. If your teen seeks a scholarship to go to a Jewish youth group leadership program or to compete in the Maccabi “Jewish Olympics” program, they come to us. If your granddaughter, nephew, or son traveled to Israel on Birthright Israel, Federation funds played a big part. If you just moved to the Lehigh Valley and you attended a Young Adult Division mixer, you’ve met the Federation. If you’re a young parent and a volunteer stopped by with a wonderful “Shalom Baby” gift bag, Federation funds are at work. If you’re deepening your own Jewish knowledge through the Yachad University adult education programs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the JCC, we’re helping you learn. If you want to send your child to a Jewish resident camp but find the costs prohibitive, chances are you encountered a Federation camp scholarship program. If you found yourself in a precarious financial situation and visited Jewish Family Service for emergency financial assistance and help from the food pantry, that’s also Federation dollars at work. If your child faced antiSemitism in their public school and you sought out assistance to work with the school and the
school district, we were able to assist because of our annual campaign. But the Jewish world doesn’t end at the Lehigh or Delaware rivers. Federation is your agent – meeting Jewish needs in Israel and around the world. We are bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel, feeding destitute seniors in Belarus and Lithuania and getting Jews out of Tunisia and Yemen. For the past few years our system, made possible by this and other Jewish Federations, has devoted millions of dollars of services to aid Jews in war-torn Ukraine. And as you read this, our system is partnering with the Israeli government to insure that Ethiopian Israelis receive necessary educational support services to enable the educational success of their children. And through our Community Relations Council, and partners like ADL, we are advocating for Israel, fighting boycotts and de-legitimization and countering bias. We are lobbying in Harrisburg and Washington for stronger senior services funding and the protection of the tax-favored status of charitable donations and nonprofit organizations. Nor do we serve only Jews. Most Federation-funded agencies are open to all. The Holocaust Resource Center helps public and private school teachers develop curricula on the Holocaust and delivers custom programs which, this past year, engaged over 2,000 students at their schools. And the IJCU’s Prejudice Reduction Workshop uses lessons of the Shoah to promote tolerance and fight racism to nearly 1,200 middle and high school students each year.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers, At first glance, this issue’s stories seem to focus on endings. Some teens in our community have finished one stage of their schooling and are moving on to another, as others celebrate their confirmation of their Jewish faith. Local youth groups elect their new boards as local agencies do the same at their annual meetings. Photos and stories are all that remain from a variety of events that have come and gone. At a time like this, it can be all too easy to feel wistful. It might feel like yesterday that a retiring board member was elected or a graduating high school senior was starting preschool. And yet, this issue also fea-
tures a great number of beginnings. Our high school seniors are moving onto an exciting new stage of life. Camp JCC is beginning a partnership with JFS to teach childen about volunteering. And what may seem like an end of a celebration – like Israel’s 69th birthday – can also be the beginning of a new cause to celebrate. As I reflect back on my first year here, it’s hard for me to believe how many people I’ve met, how many stories I’ve told and how much I have learned about this vibrant Jewish community. And even though my first year is coming to an end, I can’t help but see it as the beginning of something new. There will be more opportunities to meet new people, more community events
deciding what we do without. Please call us at 610-821-5500 or go to www.jewishlehighvalley.org and make your increased commitment to our annual campaign. Our need at this time is a pledge, a commitment to make a contribution. Your contribution is not due for some time. But we need your pledge by the close of our fiscal year to count in our allocations process.
HAKOL STAFF Stephanie Smartschan
JFLV Director of Marketing
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.
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JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF Mark L. Goldstein Executive Director
Assistant Executive Director
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Mark H. Scoblionko JFLV President
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I’ll be excited to attend and more stories to tell. I can’t wait to see what we can do together in the coming year! Shalom, Michelle Cohen
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park. IN HONOR CAROL BUB FROMER Thank You Charlotte Orenstein
IN MEMORY HOWARD FINK (Father of John Fink) Robie and Don Barga and Family
TAMAR AND NATE WIENER Birth of their son, Raphael Aryeh Wiener SHALOM BABY
JASON WEINSTEIN (Husband of Elana Weinstein) Neil and Linda Dicker (Son of Elaine and Jeremy Weinstein) Neil and Linda Dicker
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Federation does this and more by bringing people together, shaping a communal vision, assessing needs, devising programs to meet those needs and raising the funds to implement them. Whether it’s services to seniors or Jewish education, Federation’s leadership and collaborative approach makes us more effective by working together. So, like an elephant – it may be hard to get your arms around Federation. And describing just the piece that you might come across simply does not do justice to the totality of your Jewish Federation. But accurately describing the elephant is not the challenge. We will be closing our current annual campaign in about 30 days. However, we can’t accomplish the items listed, and more that are not listed, unless we raise sufficient funds. Without sufficient funds, the challenge is not describing what we do, but
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
Community comes together to remember the Jews lost in the Holocaust By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor The Lehigh Valley Jewish community came together on April 23 to remember the 6 million Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust in a meaningful ceremony sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and held at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. The program began with a solemn reading of names courtesy of local children and teenagers, including JDS students. They read aloud the names, birth and death years, and the way each victim died for an hour. This was followed by a reading from “Night” by Elie Wiesel, z”l, led by Federation President Mark H. Scoblionko, who posed the age-old Passover question of “why is this night different from other nights?” to explain why we choose this night to remember the Jews whose lives were taken away. The main program focused on Cologne, Germany, the oldest Jewish community in the country with a presence recorded in 321 BCE. Out of 15,000 Jews who lived in Cologne in 1939, only about 600 survived the Holocaust. One of these 600 was Rudolf Romberg, z”l, who fled with his mother to the United States when he was 16. During the ceremony, Rudolf’s son Len shared his story, and Agnes Steffens, who grew up Roman Catholic in Cologne during the Holocaust, shared another perspective of the events. Steffens, who recorded her interview ahead of time, is a 90-year-old Catholic woman living in Allentown whose father, Julius Scheuer, was a Righteous Gentile who helped Jews escape from Cologne during the Holocaust. Only six years old at the beginning of the war, Steffens recalled how her father lost his construction business because he wouldn’t join the Nazi Party, and taught his seven
children that their religion meant to care for all people. “They feel like we do,” she recalled her father saying, adding that she learned of his heroic actions after the war. After she spoke, Len Romberg, the son of Rudolf Romberg, shared his father’s story. He shared his father’s memories of hiding in a Christian neighbor’s house during Kristallnacht, when his family’s business and home were destroyed, and planning to leave for the United States after. Rudolf and his mother were scheduled to take the USS Manhattan from Hamburg in August 1939, but thanks to his foresight about the impending war, they went to France instead to take the boat a few days earlier. They found out in Paris that the USS Manhattan was no longer going to stop in Hamburg. "Had [Rudolf] listened to his mom, they would have gotten to Hamburg and waited for a ship that did not come and I probably wouldn't be here today,” Len said. World War II broke out the day after the ship set sail, and six days later, Rudolf and his mother reunited with their family in the United States, where he eventually made a living as a furniture maker. Rudolf and his family lived in Allentown for 25 years. The two speakers’ stories were followed with a community memorial candle lighting where Allentown residents honored their family and friends lost in the Holocaust. Six tall candles were lit in the presence of a Torah from a small town in Czechoslovakia with no Jewish survivors. The ceremony concluded with the "El Maley Rachamim" prayer from Cantor Ellen Sussman of Temple Shirat Shalom, the Mourner’s Kaddish led by Rabbi Seth Phillips of Congregation Keneseth Israel and the singing of Hatikvah by the Temple Beth El junior choir.
Above, a student reads names of Holocaust victims prior to the ceremony. Above right, a local family lights a candle for deceased family members in the memorial candelabra. Right, Agnes Steffens, the daughter of a Righteous Gentile, receives a standing ovation after her interview. Below, Hadar and Jali Gavish light memorial lamps.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 3
WOMEN’S DIVISION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Community heirlooms on display at Spring Event From a 14k gold pocket watch handed down through the generations to a mounted vase buried during WWII and later retrieved, Jewish Federation women learned the stories behind some of our community's most treasured possessions at the Women’s Division Spring Event on May 4. Each of the items was evaluated and presented on by special guest speaker Stacey Winnick, an appraiser, vintage fashion stylist and blogger, and her assistant Joanne Moroney. The event was co-chaired by Chelsea Karp, Amy Fels and Beth Kozinn.
This pocket watch originally belonged to Chelsea Karp’s great-grandfather, David Meyer Jordanski. David was born in Lomza, Poland, in 1885. He immigrated to the United States and during the immigration process, his name was changed from Jordanski to Harris. He lived in Chicago, worked hard and saved enough money to bring his wife, Fanny, over to this country. Together they raised eight children until David died from an inner ear infection at the age of 54. David’s son Marvin, Chelsea’s grandfather, now 93 years old and living in Chicago, gave Chelsea’s son, David, the pocket watch when he became a Bar Mitzvah. The chain and watch are both marked 14k gold. The watch was made in 1909 by American Waltham.
Carole Langsam’s candelabra was brought to the U.S. from Russia by her grandparents. It was taken apart and carried in a pillowcase. The family uses it on the High Holidays and Passover.
This menorah sits in the conference room at Jewish Family Service. It is one of a pair, but the other is missing a piece. The menorah was donated to Jewish Family Service, but by whom is a mystery. It is made of brass, circa 1900 probably in Germany, and its dolphin feet make it unusual.
Jeanette Eichenwald’s Shabbat lamp originated in Germany, where it hung in the home of her husband Eduardo’s grandparents. It was lit with oil and a wick on erev Shabbat. When Eduardo’s grandparents fled Germany to travel to their new home in Colombia, the lamp was brought with them. After Eduardo’s grandparents passed away, his father gave him the lamp. He passed it on to his daughter Amy to preserve it for another generation.
Beth Kozinn’s sterling silver tea service (coffee pot, teapot, creamer and sugar bowl) was purchased in England around the 1950s by Kozinn’s mother-in-law, Mildred Kozinn, z”l, an elegant entertainer who enjoyed the set and passed it onto her granddaughter. The pieces were not all made as a set, however. The teapot was made in 1877, but two of the other pieces were made by someone else in 1894. SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION
WELCOMING NEW BABIES
to the Lehigh Valley RAPHAEL ARYEH WIENER
son of Tamar and Nate Wiener If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | firstname.lastname@example.org
4 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Handmade Afghans BY EVA LEVITT
All proceeds benefit projects in Israel: Food Banks in Israel Neve Michael Youth Village For prices or to place an order, call Eva 610-398-1376.
All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
This Lipton Tea tin box and the tin tobacco container were given to Marilyn Claire’s late husband in 1985 as part of his departure gift from the Thomas J Lipton Company. The large antique Lipton’s Tea tin features a plantation scene, Ceylonese workers and water buffalo along with advertising graphics. It was created circa 1910. The Half and Buckingham tobacco tin was very popular in 1936. It was innovative, as a can within a can.
Rachel Shurman with her sterling silver ladle. Shurman’s husband Andy’s Aunt Alice gave this ladle to the couple as a wedding present. It’s a Reed & Barton Francis I pattern.
Debbie Zoller’s copper jug was brought to America from Bialystok before World War II by her great grandmother. It was passed down through the generations and Zoller’s mother turned it into a lamp. Though the jug was believed to be a traditional Russian samovar, a metal container used to heat and boil water, the appraisers determined it is in fact not a samovar.
This vase belonged to Eva Levitt’s family. It is an art deco Czechoslovakian vase that was buried in their backyard during World War II. It had been buried so that the Nazis wouldn’t confiscate it. After the war, Levitt’s father returned to Czechoslovakia to have the vase dug up and it was brought to the U.S. in 1950 by her grandmother. The vase had special meaning to the family because of its unique design. Some think it’s Loetz, but it has a raised surface which is not typical of Loetz, according to the appraisers. It was created in between periods from the Art Nouveau to the deco.
Mark L. Goldstein and Shari Spark’s pop-up Jewish New Year card from the turn of the century, circa 1910.
A box and old suitcase filled with fabric samples of the finest silk and wool along with a ratty folder with two Marc Chagall prints were given to Pam Lott and her husband about 25 years ago. The packages came from Claire Rooz after her sister Frances died. Both women were Lott’s father-in-law’s first cousins on his maternal side, who had fled to the United States during the war. Francis owned the Seven Arts Store near the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The black and white print is from a small edition, number 21 out of 33, and is signed on the plate, but not on the paper.
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Community celebrates Israelâ€™s 69th birthday Families from across the Lehigh Valley came together on May 2 to celebrate Israelâ€™s 69th birthday at the Jewish Community Center. Students from the Jewish Day School, with their faces painted from a school-wide celebration earlier in the day, marched through the streets to the JCC to join the community bash. Religious school students from Temple Beth El and Congregation Keneseth Israel joined the crowd. The children enjoyed gaga, a moon bounce and activities and crafts. Families enjoyed free falafel and hummus and cupcakes for dessert. The event was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group, the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley in partnership with congregations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
SPECIAL SECTION July/August 2017 HAKOL For advertising, contact Diane McKee 610-821-5500 | email@example.com
6 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Shalom from your Yoav shlichim
Every summer, four teens from Yoav, the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether community in Israel, spend time here working at Camp JCC. They are accompanied by a young shlicha who also works at camp. We are excited to welcome this year’s group.
siblings. My older sister’s name is Shani, and she serves in the army now. Four years ago, she went to this delegation, she told me about the amazing experience she had and since then, I wanted to go as well. I have a twin sister named Dikla and she is my opposite, she goes to a boarding school of arts and science and she comes home every two weeks. And last but not least I have a younger brother named Raz. He is 9 years old and he looks like me, he loves to play chess and he enjoys watching TV shows about science. My mom's name is Irit, she works as a tomato breeder and she always brings a lot of yummy cherry tomatoes home. My dad's name is Ziv, he works as a device development engineer and he is our private chef. I live in a moshav named Kfar Harif. I have two dogs that I love running with, one is a male named Sherman, and a female named Nala. I also have a cat named Milky. l love baking for my friends and family and dancing to "Just Dance," I love watching interesting YouTube videos, l'm a vegan, I enjoy hanging with my friends and going on hikes with my family. My majors in school are biology and art and l attend a special program of computational biology at the Weizmann Institute. I'm looking forward to meeting the community and to having the best summer I could ever wish for!
RIVKA ELBERT Young Shlicha I’m Rivka Elbert, 21 years old, from Ramat Gan, Israel. Ramat Gan is a small city next to Tel Aviv. Last year, I finished my army service as a search and rescue instructor and Training Development Division head. During my time in the army, I started to privately tutor children in different subjects and I do it now as well. I work with kids from the age of 5 – 17. My favorite thing in my job is seeing how a kid gains self-confidence and is able to do things he couldn’t before. This year, I also worked at the Jewish Agency. In my free time I love to read and do sports such as: running and hiking. This summer will be my second summer as a shlicha. Last year I was an Israeli culture counselor in Camp Ramah New England. I’m very excited to meet the campers and the community and teach them a lot of fun things about Israel as well as bringing the community closer to the Yoav teens. I can’t wait to meet the campers and explore Israel with them!! ELA GILAN Hi! My name is Ela Gilan. I'm 16 years old and I have three
SHANI KALMANOVICH My name is Shani Kalmanovich and I am 17 years old. I was born on Kibbutz Sde Yoav. My
Shani Kalmanovich parents, Michael and Debora, met in the kibbutz. I have a twin sister, Michal. She and I love each other, although we do have some disagreements. We love to spend time together, shopping and watching movies. The last and the most important member of my family is my dog, Bambina. She is very lazy and her prefered activity is lying down all day long. My favorite hobby is dancing and for seven years, I studied different kinds of dance like ballet and hip hop. Another hobby of mine is exercising, and I try to train at least three times a week. My favorite sports activities are jogging, swimming and cycling. My sports partner is my dad, who always motivates me to improve. Last year, I started to guide some young kids in the youth movement “hashomer hazahir.” I enjoy it, even its challenges. I heard about your community and I’m looking forward to the summer and meeting you all! OHAD KATZ My name is Ohad Katz, and I was born on March 7, 2001, in Ashkelon. I am the eldest son and I have two brothers. Yoav is 14 years old and Aylon is 6 years old. I live in Kibbutz Sde Yoav, which is a 15-minute drive from the beach in Ashkelon, where I love to spend time with friends. I really like the peaceful life in my beautiful kibbutz. I study at Tzafit High School in Kibbutz Kfar Menachem. I love sports and playing volleyball, football and basketball. IDAN NAHUM I am Idan Nahum, almost 16. I have a sister named Maayan, who is 13. My father’s name is Yossi and my mother’s name is Talia. I live in Moshav Verdon, which is located in the Yoav Regional Council. I study at Tsafit High School and my majors are social sciences and theater. I love writing, computers and theater. I guide a group in the Ihud Hahakali movement.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 7
Ross and Wendy Born Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark VICKI WAX Bar Mitzvah of her grandson, Danny Ross and Wendy Born
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Nominees for the 2017-18 Board of Directors
The Federation’s Board consists of thirty-three (33) elected directors serving staggered three (3) year terms. Each year, therefore, the Nominating Committee nominates eleven (11) directors for three-year terms. The nominated directors will be presented for election at the:
Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley ANNUAL MEETING Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at 6:30 PM at the Jewish Community Center The Board Nominating Committee recommendations are: DIRECTORS, 3-YEAR TERMS (ENDING IN 2020) Dr. Jeffrey Blinder Richard Bub Ellen Hof Stuart Krawitz Dr. Michael Notis
Nan Ronis Dr. Frank Tamarkin Robert Wax Dr. Israel Zighelboim
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS, 1-YEAR TERMS (ENDING IN 2018) Rita Scheller Mayor Matti Sarfatti Harcavi, Ronnie Sheftel Yoav Israel Jean Weiner
The Officers Nominating Committee recommendations are: President Eva Levitt
Secretary Lawrence Center
Vice Presidents Karen Cooper Dr. Eric Fels Dr. Carol Bub Fromer Sandra Goldfarb Nan Ronis Dr. Robert Wilson
Treasurer Iris Epstein HONORARY Treasurer Roberto Fischmann
HONORARY Vice Presidents Leonard Abrams Bob Born Wendy Born Nathan Braunstein Daniel Cohen Barnet Fraenkel Murray Goodman Robert Hammel Martin Zippel
Pursuant to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley by-laws, “any twenty (20) members of the Federation may, by petition, present to the Secretary the name of any one qualified member for nomination. No member may sign more than one such petition. No person shall be eligible for election as a member of the Board of Directors unless his or her name shall thus have been submitted to the Secretary or nominated by said Nominating Committee.”
IN MEMORY IN HONOR PEGGY AND BILL BERGER Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Benjamin Roberta and Jeff Epstein Audrey and Arthur Sosis Carol and Perry Zirkel WENDY AND ROSS BORN Birth of their granddaughter, Abigail Karen Kuhn GINNY AND ZACH COHEN Brendan’s Bar Mitzvah Roberta and Jeff Epstein JEANETTE AND EDUARDO EICHENWALD Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter Vicki Wax Birth of their granddaughter, Avery Dylan Gerald and Ethel Melamut IRIS EPSTEIN Congratulations on becoming Women’s Division President Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald MARK GOLDSTEIN Speedy Recovery Aliette and Marc Abo Jan and Glenn Ehrich and Family Barry and Carol Halper Karen Kuhn Gerald and Ethel Melamut Linda and Mike Miller Mike and Cooky Notis Elaine and Leon Papir Selma Roth Arthur and Barbara Weinrach KAREN KUHN Birth of her granddaughter, Avery Dylan Suzanne Lapiduss and Family Elaine and Leon Papir
BETH KUSHNICK George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Vicki Wax MICHAEL AND CAROLE LANGSAM Happy 55th Wedding Anniversary Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald EVA LEVITT Congratulations on becoming JFLV President Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Selma Roth TAFFI NEY Speedy Recovery Selma Roth LEON PAPIR Speedy Recovery Rita and Mike Bloom ALLISON POST AND MORGAN GODOROV Congratulations on their marriage Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald CHARLIE RICHTER AND LYNDA POLLACK Birth of their grandson, Isaac Ross and Wendy Born ADAM ROTH Happy Birthday Audrey and Jerome Cylinder ANDY AND RACHEL SHURMAN Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Roberta and Jeff Epstein ARTHUR SOSIS Congratulations on being named Dermatologist of the Year Vicki Wax MICKEY AND EILEEN UFBERG Wishing Bonnie a Refuah Shleimah Suzanne Lapiduss ROBBY AND LAURIE WAX Bar Mitzvah of their son, Danny
EDGAR EDELSACK (Father of Leon Edelsack) Selma Roth JERRY FRIEDENHEIM (Husband of Bette Friedenheim) Karen Kuhn MILDRED KOZINN (Mother of Wes Kozinn) Leonard Abrams Sybil and Barry Baiman Ross and Wendy Born Sylvia and Sam Bub and Family Marilyn Claire Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald Amy and Eric Fels Gary and Carol Bub Fromer Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark Roberta and Robert Kritzer Karen Kuhn Suzanne Lapiduss and Family Elaine and Leon Papir Audrey and Arthur Sosis Frank and Tama Tamarkin Vicki Wax JENNIE ROSANSKY (Mother of Lota Post) Lenore Stecher JONATHAN WEISS (Son of Marjorie Weiss) Sylvia and Sam Bub and Family We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.
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8 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Honoring the fallen on Yom Hazikaron
Celebrating high school graduates
Arnon Gavish, Liron Daniel, the Israel fellow at Muhlenberg College Hillel, Carmit Bach, Yaron Wax, a diplomat for the mission of Israel at the UN, and Ofer Shimoni, who all helped with the ceremony.
Above left, members of the Jewish Day School choir. Above right, lighting candles to remember the fallen.
This is the 38th year that HAKOL has celebrated high school graduates from around the Lehigh Valley. Beginning in 1980, the center spread of each June issue has been dedicated to showing off our graduating seniors. Each spread features a photo collage of all the seniors as well as biographical information, both Jewish and secular, relating to their four years in high school. As we congratulate the high school class of 2017, let’s look back at HAKOL’s first senior spread from 1980.
A somber ceremony was held on April 30 at the JCC to mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day. This year's program featured the project "Soon We Will Become a Song," which turns the poems and letters of fallen soldiers and victims of terror into lyrics. Yaron Wax, a diplomat for the mission of Israel to the UN, spoke to those in attendance and the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley choir performed.
JACK M. BARRACK HEBREW ACADEMY CONGRATULATES THE CLASS OF 2017 Andrew Axelrod Mattan Yacov Ben-Abou Ivy Bernstein Elise Lauren Black Tamar Cahana Rebecca Abigail Civan Lev Friendly Cohen Ari Benjamin Axelrod Cooper Liat Dorani Sarah Melanie Drapkin Rebecca Dubovsky Allison Rose Einhorn Allyson Brynn Fels Jacob Alexander Ferman Solomon Noah Friedman Noam Gavriel Glanzberg-Krainin Mackenzie Nicole Glassner Sarah Goldfarb Simon Harris Gordon
Allison Rachel Graub Emily Hope Greenspan Avrum Samuel Ford Grossman Yonah Meira Hamermesh Ari Hirsch Benjamin Max Jacobson Zoe Kastenberg Klein
Jenna Isabel Levin Zachary Scott Lipstein Natalie Luftman Noah Maltzman Mattan Bree Manstein Gabriella Marie Meltzer Adam Gregory Mermelstein
Sarah Jacqueline Nelson Zoe Brett Patent Nathan Asher Pitock Gabrielle Simone Posner Jacob Hartstein Prince Jacob Harry Prusky Talia Esther Raikin Emiliya Reinhold Yarin Yosef Shmilovitch Deborah Spivak Ethan Paul Stein Hannah Alexa Tamarkin Eliza Walker Gavriela Rebecca Weitzman Micah Joshua Weitzman Tamar Jo Wohlberg Alexander Eli Woods
272 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 610-922-2350 I firstname.lastname@example.org I jbha.org © 2017 JBHA
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 9
KI hosts adult b’not mitzvah for four local Jewish women By Aaron Berger Special to HAKOL A girl’s bat mitzvah traditionally occurs at age 12-13, but on May 5 at Congregation Keneseth Israel, Nina Pinsley, Barbara Garrison, Lisa Tumbleson and Lisa’s daughter Aviv had a joint adult b’not mitzvah. Together, they committed to the Torah and Jewish life. “These ladies are terrific people,” said Alan Salinger, KI’s adult religion teacher. He taught the women Hebrew, and with help from Rabbi Seth Phillips, prepared them for their bat mitzvahs. “Adult women who have not been bat mitzvahed can do it any time. Through the classes, Nina, Barbara, Lisa and Aviv started from scratch learning the Hebrew alphabet. I enjoyed teaching them because they had a strong passion to do this, and to do it well.” “It was an emotional moment for them, and for everyone who attended,” Salinger added. “They
beautifully conducted the service together and read from the Torah. And Aviv elegantly designed the ceremony’s program.” Pinsley’s parents did not have a good experience at religious school when they were children, so she never went when she was growing up. Her parents came to the ceremony though, and were excited for her. “My children currently attend religious school at KI, and my daughter was recently batmitzvahed. This inspired me to start learning,” she said. “My husband Mark previously had taken Hebrew with Alan,” Pinsley said of her journey to become a bat mitzvah. “I started in September of last year and had to learn quickly. My 11-year-old son was jealous because of how fast my education went, but he still helped me study. And Mark accommodated the family schedule for me. I am relieved the experience is over, but also proud I was able to share the moment with my family.”
“The Torah portion was challenging,” she added. “We were given recordings to listen to at home. My classmate Aviv also suggested an app called Pocket Torah, that I would listen to while driving to and from work. Being a parent and working full-time challenged finding time to study. But the fact that my class and my kids’ religious school classes coincided once a week did help.” As for her classmates, Pinsley said, “It was interesting to have four different personalities in the class brought together by one common goal. I appreciated having a joint bat mitzvah with them.” Garrison truly had an amazing experience. “The bond among my classmates and I cannot be broken," she said. "Having a joint bat mitzvah with them made it bittersweet. The mutual encouragement and joyous times we spent together makes it hard to realize we will no longer be crossing paths every week.”
Garrison has 11 grandchildren. The oldest is 21 and the youngest is 6 months. “I was inspired by other women at KI that had their adult bat mitzvah, such as Vikki Dunn and Bunny Filler. The congregation is incredible, loving and warm. I am eternally grateful to them.” Garrison converted to Judaism about 11 years ago. “My husband was raised Jewish and shared with me the joys of Jewish life. But after hearing the prayers and trying to follow Hebrew for as long as I did, I did not feel complete without having had a bat mitzvah. I now feel more formally connected.” Garrison started classes last August. “Alan had great resources for us. He was always so genuine and patient. When there was no religious school at KI, Alan hosted all four of us at his house.” In addition to Salinger, Garrison acknowledges the support of several other people: “My family, especially my husband who would listen to me rehearse the chants. KI’s religious school director Rena Fraade gave us recorded Torah portions for us to listen to at home. And Marcia Berkow, who originally started the KI Adult Hebrew classes, would substitute when Alan was not available.” “Overcoming my emotions to become a daughter of the Torah was challenging,” Garrison concluded, “but being able to touch the Torah as it was opened for my first time was a remarkable experience. I feel calm now that the ceremony is over, and also love and joy.” As for the motherdaughter duo, “I wanted
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a bat mitzvah because my daughter Aviv wanted one,” Lisa Tumbleson said. “My mom is Jewish, but my dad is Irish Catholic. Growing up my father did not want any religious affiliation in our family,” but she decided to join her daughter in celebrating their b’not mitzvah together. “First, we went to Temple Covenant of Peace, receiving good information from Rabbi Melody Davis,” Tumbleson said, “but we live in Kutztown and wanted a place closer to home. We discovered KI and fell in love. Aviv and I started classes together last fall. Alan was so patient, kind and encouraging.” Similar to Pinsley, Tumbleson listened to the Pocket Torah app in her car to help learn her Torah portion. Outside of the recordings KI provided, Tumbleson also watched videos online of people chanting Torah. “My family regularly listened to me rehearse, too,” she added. “It was special, the four of us did it together,” Tumbleson concluded. “I was nervous and overwhelmed, but with the other women’s encouragement I felt supported. Plus, it was very special to be bat mitzvahed with my daughter; learning, watching and helping each other. Aviv kept me calm, reminding me to breathe. I feel more fulfilled as a Jew now that I have been bat mitzvahed.” “I was not bat mitzvahed at 13 because my family was not practicing religion,” said Tumbleson’s daughter Aviv, who is now 16. “With no synagogue in Kutztown, it is difficult to get involved with Jewish life.” “I enjoyed being bat mitzvahed with my mom,” Aviv said. “And I liked the class, we had good camaraderie. Nina and Barbara were like my second moms. Everyone supported each other, and I did not feel excluded being younger than everyone else. I really appreciated the support from my two closest high school friends Nat Kenyon and Daniel Smith, too. They came to the ceremony and had a good time at their first Jewish service.” “Being raised secular, I felt pressure as a diet Jew,” she concluded. “But I worked hard to prove to myself I could do the bat mitzvah. I feel more at peace with recognizing I am Jewish.” Anyone interested in furthering their adult Jewish education can contact any of our local synagogues. Find contact information on page 31.
10 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Words of farewell and gratitude
RABBI MELISSA B. SIMON Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain at Muhlenberg College Hillel Our Torah portions during the month of June winds through the Book of BeMidbar (Numbers). While the Hebrew name for the Biblical book refers to the desert wilderness, the English name refers to the census taken among the Israelite people during their desert sojourn. This census reflects an emerging community trying to figure out who they are and who matters. As a Hillel rabbi working with college-aged students, I don’t think it is an accident that the age identified in the
text denoting an Israelite adult is 20 years old. While the text uses this age to help ascertain who will be able to fight for the Israelites when they enter the Promised Land, the age 20 years reflects a significant point in the lives of the young people in our community as well. It is estimated that 85 percent of collegeage Jews, approximately 400,000 individuals, attend an institution of higher education. This makes attending college or university the most universal experience for Jewish youth, surpassing observing Shabbat and celebrating Passover or a b’nei mitzvah. The college years offer a critical opportunity to provide Jewish content to young people as they prepare to enter the “real” world. Hillel, which is on 550 campuses around the world, provides a connection to Judaism at a time when young people are searching for meaning and are trying to decide what being Jewish will look like in their life. I chose to work for Hillel because the organizational vision inspired me: We envision a world where
every student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. In my three years working as the Hillel director and Jewish Chaplain at Muhlenberg College, my students and the work we have done together on campus have motivated me. I am proud of my student leaders and my coworkers. Together we have made Muhlenberg College Hillel an excellent Hillel. In 2016, Muhlenberg College Hillel was recognized by Hillel International as an "Excellent Hillel" in the category of “Breadth” for our success in having at least 1 point of contact with 77 percent of Jewish students (the industry goal is 70 percent). This past school year, we exceeded our past successes and interacted with 93.63 percent of Jewish students! Muhlenberg College Hillel has been participating in an endowment campaign and thanks to the generosity of student and alumni families, in partnership with a match through the college, we have doubled the
Muhlenberg College Hillel Endowment. In the past three years, we piloted the Ezra Fellowship, connecting Jewish education and engagement, and hosted two year-long Israel fellows who focused their work on Israel engagement, Israel experiences and Israel education. We trained our first cohort of campus engagement interns to provide peer-engagement and have expanded the program for the coming year to include more interns and students. On a personal level, my time at Muhlenberg College has given me the opportunity to be a part of the Jewish journey of hundreds of inspiring Jewish young people. We have learned together, laughed together and cried together. We have lit candles for holidays, debated difficult topics and collaborated to support Jewish life on campus. So often, people speak with a doomsday perspective on what is happening on college campuses and amongst young people, but I am consistently inspired by our young people between 18 and 22 years of age, the
same general age as those highlighted in the Book of Numbers. I’ve had the opportunity to teach and preach at synagogues in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and to teach at the Jewish Day School and JCC. I have been inspired by the leaders in our local Jewish community working to build the longterm future of Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley. As I prepare to leave Allentown to serve as the senior Jewish educator and rabbi at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as part of North Carolina Hillel, I am grateful for the opportunity to work and learn with so many wonderful people during my time in the Lehigh Valley. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Muhlenberg College Hillel, or the Hillel at your alma mater, or your child’s school, I encourage you to experience the beauty of a Shabbat dinner, studentled t’filah, or an Israel celebration. These are the moments that drive me to love what I do – but are also the moments that build the next generation of Jews for our census.
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JCC campers team up with JFS to make a difference
By Chelsea Karp Jewish Family Service Summer is coming and Camp JCC and Jewish Family Service have partnered together to increase awareness and participation in supporting the JFS Food Pantry and the older adult community of the Lehigh Valley. Brenda Finberg, director of camp and children’s services, and Mike Smith, program director, have a jam-packed calendar of fun along with mitzvah projects and pantry collections for the campers. Each of the eight weeks of summer camp will highlight a different Jewish value that is reflected in the mitzvah projects the campers, ages 4-14, spend their days creating. For instance, week two of
camp will focus on the Jewish value of kehillah (community) as the campers assemble and decorate Shabbat boxes that will hold all the necessary ritual pieces for a JFS volunteer to lead a Shabbat program at one of our affiliated older adult assisted living facilities. Week four will focus on the Jewish value of tikkun olam (healing the world) as the campers and their families are requested to send in first aid products which will be donated to the JFS Community Food Pantry. Other highlighted projects include making door decorations for older adults and birthday boxes. “Our goal,” Finberg and Smith said, “is to give our campers and their families an opportunity to give back to their community
in a very special way that can only be done through a partnership such as this. At Camp JCC, we teach Jewish values every day, and we wanted to expand upon that and show the campers that they can make a difference outside of our beautiful 55-acre property in Center Valley. Our goal for the end of the summer is for our campers and their families to know that they have made a difference in their community. We are looking forward to this amazing partnership with Jewish Family Service as well as a fantastic summer." Debbie Zoller, executive director of Jewish Family Service, said, “One of the JFS goals is to create intergenerational programming. The partnership of Camp
JCC and JFS is making that possible, as children will have the opportunity to learn about others and gain awareness of people in need.” For people who are interested in donating to the Community Food Pantry in conjunction with Camp JCC, please note the following dates: June 26-30 is sunscreen
week, July 3-7 is jelly, July 10-14 is first aid products, July 17-21 is soap and body wash and July 24-28 is paper towels and toilet paper. All donations can be brought to the lobby of the JCC. Both Camp JCC and JFS thank you for your participation and we look forward to a successful summer!
Celebrate the past year at the JCC Annual Meeting The Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley will be celebrating community at its annual meeting on Sunday, June 11, at 10 a.m. The event will include the state of the J and vision for the future, with remarks by President Andy Kahn and Executive Director Jeff Rembrandt. A slate of directors will be presented and voted upon. Staff will be acknowledged for their years of service to the J. Returning nominees who have agreed to serve a three-year term ending in 2020 include Lisa Lindauer, Houman Ahdieh and Israel Zighelboim. New nominees who have agreed to serve a three-year term ending 2020 are Jay Fisher, Steve Mittman, Susan Kolpon, Ali Visram, Joe Facchiano and Jonathan Schultz. Ron Ticho has agreed to serve a one-year term. The nominees are respectfully submitted by the nominating committee of the J, composed of three board members, Bill Markson, Israel Zighelboim and Lisa Ellis, and two non-board members, Andy Block and Kira Bub. Brunch and our "Bid It To Win" online auction will follow the Annual Meeting and presentations. Please RSVP your attendance to email@example.com by June 5.
12 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
High schoolers celebrate confirmation at KI and Beth El
From left to right, Ben Taylor, Aaron Fraley, Theo Shurman, Ethan Kushnick, Rafi Ettinger-Finley and Andy Ringold, Temple Beth El’s confirmation students.
Award winners Continues from page 1
chair has meant everything to me. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role and to work with a marvelous team of professionals and volunteers in order to raise the much-needed funds to ensure our Jewish future,” Epstein said. “I have a much better understanding of the needs of our community and just how far each dollar raised can impact our world, here in the Lehigh Valley, around the world and in Israel.” Wendy Born, who previously served as president of the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation and is just finishing her term as president of Jewish Family Service, will be named a new honorary vice president at the meeting "We have a distinguished cadre of honorary officers and our Federation is honored to welcome Wendy Born as our newest honorary officer," said Mark L. Goldstein, Federation executive director. "She has a quiet determination that inspires others to action and she in not deterred by the complexity of issues we grapple in the Jewish community." The Federation will also bid a fond farewell to Mark H. Scoblionko, who served as president through challenging times for the Jewish world, beginning with a conflict in Israel and culminating in an increase in anti-Semitism in the U.S. “I’ve gained a much better understanding – even though I was on the board for many, many years – of all the things that our professionals have to deal with,” Scoblionko said. “And I think that it has enhanced my Jewish identity and given me a greater apprecia-
tion for our Jewish community.” Scoblionko will be passing the gavel to his good friend Eva Levitt, who, after decades of involvement with the Jewish community in the Lehigh Valley, will take on the role of president. “It’s going to give me an opportunity to carry forth my ideas of what we can do to further help Jews in this community and around the world,” said Levitt, who has previously served as campaign chair and currently serves as Women’s Division president for the Federation. Namely, she would like to see the engagement of younger
people in the community grow significantly, she said. “I always knew and believed in what Federation does for Jews in need and what Federation stands for, and I want to pass that on to the younger generation,” she said. The Jewish Federation’s Community Celebration & Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. It is free and open to the community, including Chinese food, an open bar and dessert. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to 610-8215500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eleven high school students will affirm their commitment to the Jewish faith this Shavuot as they lead services for their confirmations at Congregation Keneseth Israel and Temple Beth El. Confirmation, according to Rabbi Seth Phillips of KI, is “a new Jewish ceremony that comes from the 19th Century Reformers who thought that at 13 (the age of Bar Mitzvah), modern children were too young to appreciate their Jewish status and responsibilities. Also, Confirmation was a ceremony that included girls, who even in the Reform movement were not eligible to have a bat mitzvah until the 20th century.” At KI, Alex Becker, Benjamin Lenett, Caleb Levinson, Elyse Hortner and Gabe Ytkin will lead a service on Erev Shavuot, on Tuesday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m. “As the students take a next step in solidifying their Jewish experience, we link them with their ancestors who stood at Sinai to receive the Torah” during the service, Phillips added. At Beth El, Raphael Ettinger-Finley, Aaron Fraley, Ethan Kushnick, Andrew Ringold, Theodore Shurman and Benjamin Taylor will help lead the Shavuot service on Wednesday, May 31, at 9 a.m. “They will lead different parts of the Shavuot service – some of them will chant Torah and some of them will lead other prayers. They each decided how they wanted to contribute,” said Alicia Zahn, religious school director at Temple Beth El. “This year the kids studied the Book of Ruth with Rabbi and explored different social action projects with Cantor,” Zahn said. “One of the highlights of their experiences was cooking a meal for 70 people and serving the meal at the Allentown Rescue Mission.” As for continuing their Jewish journeys, “Shalshelet, our community high school program, is ready to welcome each of them next year,” Zahn said. “The Shalshelet program is for all Jewish teens in the Lehigh Valley and focuses on topics that teens choose to explore from multiple viewpoints.”
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Recollections from liberating the Western Wall
MOSHE AMIRAV, PARATROOPER: “We ran there, a group of panting soldiers, lost on the plaza of the Temple Mount, searching for a giant stone wall. Forward! Forward! Hurriedly, we pushed our way through the Magreb Gate and suddenly we stopped, thunderstruck. There it was before our eyes! Gray and massive, silent and restrained. The Western Wall! Slowly, slowly I began to approach the Wall in fear and trembling like a pious cantor going to the lectern to lead the
prayers. I approached it as the messenger of my father and my grandfather, of my great-grandfather and of all the generations in all the exiles who had never merited seeing it – and so they had sent me to represent them. Somebody recited the festive blessing: “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has kept us alive, and maintained us and brought us to this time.” But I could not answer “Amen.” I put my hand on the stones and the tears that started to flow were not my tears. They were the tears of all Israel.”
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20 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
ABRAHAM DUVDEVANI: “There was the Wall in all its grandeur and glory! I had never seen it before, but it was an old friend, impossible to mistake. Then I thought that I should not be there because the Wall belongs in the world of dreams and legends and I am real. Reality and legend, dream and deed, all unite here. I went down and approached the Wall and stretched out my hand towards the stones. But my hand was afraid to touch. I closed my eyes, took a small, hesitant step forward, and brought my lips to the Wall. The touch of my lips opened the gates of my emotions and the tears burst forth. A Jewish soldier in the State of Israel is kissing history. Past, present and future all in one kiss. There will be no more destruction and the Wall will never again be deserted. It was taken with young Jewish blood and the worth of that blood is eternity. A soldier near me mumbles in disbelief, ‘We are at the Wall, at the Wall…’ “ Courtesy of www.honestreporting.com
Six-Day War Continues from page 1
interests at home and abroad. And the terror that consumed the community in the run-up to the war led to an increased emphasis on Holocaust remembrance. The shift from terror to power experienced by the Jewish community in June 1967 set up Holocaust memory and support of Israel as the twin poles of American Jewish identity. At the same time, however, it sparked debates on territory, history, identity and occupation — issues that continue to consume American Jews 50 years later. “There was an emotional trajectory that united Jewish people in a way I don’t think we’ve ever seen since the revelation at Mount Sinai 3,500 years ago,” said Klein Halevi, author of “Like Dreamers,” a chronicle of Israel’s Six-Day War generation. American Jews poured their money into supporting the embattled state — creating a precedent (and expectations) for Jewish philanthropy for decades to come, historians say. In the New York City area alone, the United Jewish Appeal raised more than $20 million during the week of the war, nearly $150 million in today’s dollars. “The unbelievable amounts of money that were collected before and during the war, nobody had ever seen anything like it,” said Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University. “American Jews didn’t want people to say we did nothing. There wasn’t much they could do, but they knew they could give of their wealth.” Jews also took to the streets to support Israel. On June 8, the third day of the war, 50,000 Jews rallied outside the White House, already demanding that Israel be allowed to keep its battlefield gains. The day after the war, 20,000 Jews filled New York’s Madison Square Garden to cheer the victory. While Jews had protested en
masse before, the war showed Jewish leaders how powerful demonstrations could be, said Jack Wertheimer, a Jewish history professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The victory also gave American Jews an increased assertiveness to advocate for their own interests. American Jews also became far more comfortable displaying their love for Israel. Jews also began traveling more to Israel, which experienced a period of euphoria following the war. Immigration rose steadily in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and American Jews would have a disproportionate presence in the settlement movement. While American Jews make up about 5 percent of Israelis overall, they comprise 15 percent of West Bank settlers, according to Oxford professor Sara Yael Hirschhorn. “There was just this spontaneous need on the part of Jews and the world to physically connect to Israel because of this feeling that we almost lost Israel,” said Klein Halevi. An Israeli since 1982, he recalled the post-war euphoria spoken about in Israel, where “there was this feeling that Jewish history is over, and we won. Certainly the wars were over. The Arabs would never be foolish enough to attack us again.” Even amid the celebration, discord began to appear. Jewish leaders bristled at criticism from liberal Americans who had allied with Jews on domestic policy fights like civil rights. “In the liberal camp, there’s a hostility directed at Israel” following the war, Wertheimer said. “American Jews looked upon these individuals as their allies, as their colleagues in some of the great battles. They could not begin to understand why, when it came to this matter, these allies turned on Israel.” Half a century after the victory, organized American Jewry wrestles with its legacy. Fundraisers and activists lament that there isn’t the same kind of unifying cause around which Jews can rally. Committed activists are split among a right wing that feels God delivered into Jewish hands a land that can never again be divided, and a left wing that sees the war and the decisions made in its aftermath as the start of what has become Israel’s most intractable problem: control of millions of Arabs living on lands seized during the victory. Five decades later, says Hirschhorn, the joy felt in 1967 has faded for many American Jews. They don’t remember the Six-Day War as a massacre averted or a near miraculous victory of David over Goliath. For Jews with memories of 1967, Hirschhorn said, feeling strong was an exhilarating experience. Now American Jews are still grappling with the meaning of Jewish power. “The pride they felt in that moment has changed for our generation, who look at it in a different way and have seen the outcome of the war,” said Hirschhorn. “Now the question of our generation is, how do you manage Jewish power responsibly, whether that’s in the State of Israel or outside of it?”
Israeli paratroopers re-create iconic photo on 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War By Andrew Tobin Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Remembering Danny Vardon Editor’s Note: Danny Vardon, an Israeli soldier who bravely sacrificed himself in the Six-Day War, lived in Kibbutz Bet Guvrin in Yoav, the Lehigh Valley’s sister region in Israel. Danny Vardon was born on Kibbutz Brenner in 1939 and grew up there. Danny joined the Golani Commando Unit of the IDF and received two citations during his regular army service. After completing his service, he moved to Kibbutz Bet Guvrin with his wife Dalia and their 3-year-old daughter Nitzan. His son Eran was born in the kibbutz. Danny was very involved in the kibbutz. He was a member of an ensemble of instrumentalists and singers that played at the kibbutz. He was also part of the IDF reserves, where he served as deputy commander of the Negev Brigade commando. On the third day of the Six-Day War, the brigade commander on his unit led a group to a narrow alleyway, blocked to the right and left of the houses. While crossing the alleyway, the soldiers came under fire. Several rescue attempts were made but failed. A few soldiers leaped into the alley and immediately turned back when thick fire blocked the passageway. When the unit was losing hope, Danny stood up and volunteered to kill the enemy, to
rescue the wounded and evacuate them even though he knew that he was endangering his life. Danny knew that his chances of getting through the alleyway were very slim, but he was not willing to abandon the wounded. Danny was killed during the rescue attempt but because of his heroism, the rest of the soldiers were able to escape. Danny was awarded a posthumous decoration for valor in recognition of his actions. Since Danny’s death, his family has held a memorial evening of music on the anniversary of his passing. The event takes place in Danny’s Cave, at Kibbutz Bet Guvrin.
sounds of Jordanian shells hitting Jewish neighborhoods. He, Karasenti and Oshri were reservists in their early 20s and had never seen serious combat. Soon after they arrived, Jews came into the streets to greet them, offering coffee and sandwiches and welcoming them into their homes. “It was amazing to see how everyone embraced us,” Karasenti told JTA. “All the sectors of Israeli society came together, it didn’t matter if you were Ashkenazi, Sephardi, religious, haredi, a kibbutznik, whatever.” Following some hurried planning, the paratroopers crossed into no-man’s land after midnight. Dozens were wounded by Jordanian fire before they even entered eastern Jerusalem. Through the night and the next day, the paratroopers fought their way toward Mount Scopus, the only Jewish enclave in eastern Jerusalem, and to the outskirts of the Old City. The 66th division — to which Karasenti, Yifat and Oshri were assigned – faced the hardest fighting, hand-to-hand combat against elite Jordanian troops in the trenches at Ammunition Hill, which overlooked the road to Mount Scopus. Yifat narrowly avoided being impaled by a Jordanian bayonet – and still has a scar on his face to show for it. Nearly 100 of the paratroopers were killed and 400 wounded before they paused for the night. The next morning, June 7, the paratroopers found that most of
ANDREW TOBIN/DAVID RUBINGER/GPO
David Rubinger’s iconic photograph of three paratroopers at the Western Wall is the defining image of the 1967 Six-Day War. The men in the photo — Dr. Yitzhak Yifat, Tzion Karasenti and Chaim Oshri — have proudly served as symbols of the historic Israeli victory for the past five decades. But they said the war for them was just as much about loss. “To liberate the Kotel was
something amazing,” Yifat told JTA. “But we never celebrated. What was there to celebrate? We had lost many of our friends.” Between June 5 and 15, in honor of the Six-Day War’s 50th anniversary, the three former paratroopers, now in their 70s, will re-create Rubinger’s photo in their first-ever tour of the United States. They will also recount some of the sacrifices that were made in the battle for Jerusalem. As they approached the divided city, Yifat recalled being surprised by how loud were the
In top photo, from left: Tzion Karasenti, Yitzhak Yifat and Chaim Oshri standing on the Tel Aviv University campus in Ramat Aviv, Israel, May 7, 2017. They were featured in the iconic photo by David Rubinger after the Six-Day War in 1967. the Jordanian troops had retreated from Jerusalem. Motta Gur, the paratroopers’ famed commander, delivered the news over the radio, saying: “We are sitting on the ride overlooking the Old City, and we shall soon enter it — the Old City of Jerusalem, which generations have dreamed of and longed for. We will be the first to enter.” The paratroopers rushed forward amid sniper fire from remaining Jordanian soldiers and rammed their way through the Lions’ Gate of the Old City. From there they made their way up to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. “I didn’t realize where I was until I saw the Israeli flag flying above the stones,” said Karasenti, an observant Jew. “I started to cry. Everyone was emotional. The whole nation of Israel was in ecstasy, euphoria. You can’t even imagine what it was like.” While Yifat, Karasenti and
Oshri were walking along the wall, Rubinger, who died in March at 92, lay on the ground and snapped the photo that would make them — and him — famous. Within days, the image had appeared in newspapers around the world. After the war, Oshri became a chemist whose research was key in dairy production. Karasenti, a director and choreographer, went on to a found a dance troupe and performed all over Israel. Itzhak earned his medical degree from the Technion in Haifa in 1974 and specialized in gynecology. While Yifat has publicly expressed some ambivalence about Israel’s rule over Palestinians who live in the territories it took in 1967, he said he had no doubt that Israel must retain all of Jerusalem. “We fought and lost so many friends to unite Jerusalem for the Jewish world,” he said. “There’s no going backwards.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 21
Students explore Jerusalem from ancient to modern times in Beth El class By Michelle Cohen HAKOL Editor Every participant in Rabbi Moshe Re’em’s class arrived with the 40 pages of assigned reading annotated, with extra materials pulled up on phones and tablets, and with excitement to learn. But this was no college class – instead, the participants in this weekday class come from around the community to engage in an academic and spiritual journey to the Holy Land. “[The class] is a literary examination of Jerusalem,” said participant Michael Langsam, adding that he attended the sessions to learn about the “place that Jerusalem had in thoughts and prayers in 2,000 years of Jewish culture.” On May 9, the fourth week of the Jerusalembased class series taking place at Temple Beth El offered in honor of the 50th anniversary since Israel gained the territory of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, participants read and discussed Shmuel Yosef Agnon’s “Tehilah,” a poignant story in which the 104-year-old titular character can be interpreted as a metaphor for the “female Jewish divine dwelling in the city of Jerusalem, the Shechinah,” Re’em said. The class began with a biographical discussion of Agnon, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 50 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar. A summer class beginning after the Jerusalem classes are finished will focus on his short stories. “I was born in one of the cities of exile, but all the time I imagine myself as having been born in Jerusa-
lem,” Agnon wrote once, a sentiment which carries throughout his works, including “Tehilah.” The unnamed narrator of the piece is a representation of Agnon himself as he shared his experience of returning to Israel from exile during these turbulent times. As for why this particular text was selected, Re’em cited the text’s production date in the 1950s, when Jews did not have access to the Old City of Jerusalem. At this point in the course, after discussing Biblical, rabbinic and medieval texts as well as travelogues and reports from pilgrimages, Re’em wanted to focus on the transition period with British occupation and a lack of certainty of what the future would bring. At one point in the story, British soldiers take an old woman’s stool as she tries to sit by the Western Wall, only to be stopped by a single look from Tehilah. The group then turned to discussion, particularly focusing on Tehilah’s ideas of sin and redemption. Toward the end of the story, she asks the narrator to write a letter for her in formal script to bring to Heaven when she dies. In the letter, she apologizes for her father breaking a betrothal, an event that she believes led to the deaths of her two sons. Believing that language is infused with holiness, and that a person has a limited amount of words to speak during a lifetime, she spends her near-final words on telling her story and dictating the letter. Agnon’s centrality of Jerusalem, the group came to realize, is not political – it’s religious, and it’s filled with magical, mystical meaning. The story is built upon central Jewish principles of mitzvot and the ancient idea of coming back to exile after the 79
C.E. expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem. Tehilah herself speaks of Jerusalem as an inherently special place, responding to an addition of “Holy City” to Jerusalem’s name by saying that “when I say ‘Jerusalem,’ I add nothing more, since the holiness is contained in the name yes, in the very name itself.” Re’em hopes insights like these will “give the students a portal into these time periods” in Israeli history, he said. “For me, Jerusalem has always held a special place, a religious and a mystical feeling. If I can give people a sense of that through other people’s writings, I can hopefully bring them closer and help them experience it.”
The Royal Scam
part of RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller
June 9 | 8 pm
Lake Street Dive June 13 | 7:30 pm
Brian Posehn June 10 | 9 pm
part of RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller
June 16 | 8 pm
Val Kilmer Live presents: CINEMA TWAIN June 12 | 8 pm
Musikfest Café™ at SteelStacks™ Tune in to Service Electric TV2 Sundays at 8 pm for Musikfest Café Live.
steelstacks.org | 610-332-3378 22 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
yuengling summer concert series:
Robert Glasper Experiment
June 19 | 7:30 pm
June 21 | 7:30 pm
part of RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller
The Six-Day War: A day-by-day chronology June 7
War broke out when Israel responded to the Egyptian military build-up by launching a surprise attack on Egypt’s air force, destroying most of it on the ground within a matter of hours. That morning, King Hussein received false information from Egypt denying Egyptian losses and claiming a massive and successful Egyptian attack against Israel. Emboldened by this information, Jordan launched immediate multiple attacks on Israel.
Artillery fire begins in Syria and Israel successfully fights back, capturing Gaza, North East Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Ammunition Hill. Abba Eban, Israel’s Foreign Minister, addresses UN Security Council: “I have just come from Jerusalem to tell the Security Council that Israel, by its independent effort and sacrifice, has passed from serious danger to successful resistance.”
The UN Security Council proposes a ceasefire, but Egypt turns it down. Israel’s prime minister proposes the beginning of peace talks with Jordan, but never gets a response. Israel takes the Old City of Jerusalem.
Egypt accepts a ceasefire as Israeli forces take Hebron.
Fighting continues in the Golan Heights.
Syria accepts a ceasefire as Israeli forces take Masada. As the war ends, Israel is in possession of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula to the Suez Canal.
Courtesy of www.honestreporting.com
Reservists in the field
MOSHE MILNER, ISRAELI NATIONAL PHOTO COLLECTION
MOSHE MILNER, ISRAELI NATIONAL PHOTO COLLECTION
June 5, 1967
Tanks in the Negev Desert
Dr. Israel Zighelboim Leads OB/GYN Growth, Vision at St. Luke’s Israel Zighelboim, MD, FACOG, FACS, is focused on the future of St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. As its newly named Chair, he has a deep appreciation for the generations of babies who were born at St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Bethlehem and Allentown campuses and now are coming back to have their babies there.
His strategy is working: Year-over-year new patient numbers have increased more than 100 percent.
He wants today’s new parents to have the same good experience their parents had and his plan is to have the Network continue to distinguish itself by continuing to focus on its small, user-friendly practices.
Additionally, to keep up with the growth spurred by two new hospitals, St. Luke’s will continue to recruit physicians who are interested, experienced and who have a track record of success in academic endeavors as well as in patient care.
“We will maintain this model because it allows a woman to know all the names and faces of the people who are taking care of her. Women who are patients in much larger network practices often feel they’re being cared for by strangers,” Zighelboim said.
“We’re lucky to be positioned between New York and Philadelphia,” Dr. Zighelboim said, “And there are specialties we have not yet tapped.”
“For the past 100 years, our department has been women’s preferred care provider and we are going to build on that by making access to great care very easy no matter where a woman finds herself on the age spectrum. Whether she’s a teen, a new mom, premenopausal, menopausal or beyond, every woman will find her best patient care experience here at St. Luke’s,” he said.
Moving forward, Dr. Zighelboim’s vision is to grow St. Luke’s already burgeoning OB/GYN Department by getting more national visibility. To do that, the Network will be taking its excellent medical education and clinical research into its main areas of focus.
Five years from now, he said, “We’ll be twice the size we are now, and the Network that is already the Lehigh Valley’s preferred care provider will be nationally positioned at an academic level in a very competitive way.”
www.sluhn.org • 1-866-STLUKES
Israel Zighelboim, MD, FACOG, FACS Dr. Zighelboim is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Surgeons. He is an ad hoc reviewer for the journals Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Oncology and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is Editorial Board Member of Gynecologic Oncology Case Reports. He is experienced in minimally invasive surgery and managing cancerous and noncancerous diseases of the female reproductive system. His special interest and expertise is in cancer genetics. His research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute and private foundations.
Israel Zighelboim, MD, FACOG, FACS
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 23
New faces, new perspectives, new music
By Michele Salomon KI Chair of Clergy Search Committee The Keneseth Israel family is once again evolving and we are delighted to announce that Cantor Jeff Warschauer will be joining Congregation Keneseth Israel in July, serving as a cantor and clergy partner with Rabbi Seth Phillips. One of the primary goals in the search process was to find someone who will work closely with Rabbi Seth on behalf of our congregants at KI. Equally important was to find someone who will continue to expand our efforts to be a good neighbor and friend to
the Jewish community and to the broader Allentown community. Our search committee felt Cantor Jeff was the right person! Come meet him at KI or look for him around town and there is little doubt you will find yourself in a conversation that matters. Cantor Jeff is personable, interesting and clearly interested in others. Search committee members and congregants who met Cantor Jeff liked him from the start. Our “getting to know you” process included phone calls, video calls, two in-person visits that included a service experience, a learning experience, and any number of meals, cof-
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fees and “meet and greets” with congregants and members of the larger community. At every point in the process, the universal feedback was that Cantor Jeff is kind, personable, interesting and interested in others, easy to talk to and knowledgeable about a wide array of topics, Jewish and otherwise. It’s no wonder given the range of professional, musical and education experiences he has had. Cantor Jeff is somewhat new to the cantorate, having graduated from the H.L Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2015, representing a slow and steady drumbeat that drew him closer and closer to the fullest expression of his many talents and love of Judaism. He has been serving other Reform congregations since his ordination and welcomes the opportunity to be part of a congregational family, an
opportunity that KI will provide. Of particular note is Jeff’s long career as a professional musician and educator. In the Yiddish and klezmer scene, Jeff is internationally renowned as a mandolinist, guitarist, singer and teacher. He is on the faculty of Columbia University, and is a founding artistic director and senior artistic advisor of the KlezKanada Institute for Yiddish/Jewish Culture. One half of the Strauss/Warschauer duo, Jeff was a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. And there is more. Jeff speaks Yiddish, and has researched and collected Yiddish and Hebrew songs and instrumental melodies since the mid-1980s. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and has studied Jewish culture, languages and religion at the Conservative Yeshiva, Oxford University, Co-
lumbia University, the University of Haifa and Tufts University. He has received numerous awards in music, community activities, Judaica and musicology, as well as the Amalgamated Bank Prize in Yiddish, a Massachusetts Folk Arts Fellowship and the KlezKanada Distinguished Service Award. He looks forward to coming to Allentown and joining the KI community. KI is looking forward to welcoming Jeff and his wife Deborah Strauss, herself an accomplished musician, performer and educator to KI. We are hopeful that the rest of the Jewish community will also extend them a warm welcome as they relocate from Brooklyn. If you see them at Wegmans, at the JCC or at other events around town, please do say ‘hello!” Or come see them at KI during summer services which are held every Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
TSS brings two rabbis to Lehigh Valley for inspirational talks By David Vaida, Esq. Temple Shirat Shalom Last month Temple Shirat Shalom was privileged to have Rabbis Sally Priesand and Martin Biefield as speakers in its scholarsin-residence series. These two extraordinary teachers of Judaism came to the Lehigh Valley thanks to a grant from the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Rabbi Priesand is America's first female rabbi ordained by a rabbinical seminary, and the second formally ordained female rabbi in Jewish history, after Regina Jonas of Berlin in 1935. Priesand was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on June 3, 1972, at the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati. After her ordination, she served first as assistant and then as associate rabbi at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, and later led Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, from
TSS President Elliot Gluskin, Rabbi Sally Priesand, Cantor Ellen Sussman and Neil Hogan. 1981 until her retirement in 2006. After that she has, along with our Cantor Ellen Sussman, led High Holy Day services at TSS. Rabbi Priesand emphasized during her talk that she did not become a rabbi out of feminist inclinations, or desire to make any kind of political or sociological point. She simply wanted to be
a teacher of Judaism and it was only later, in the hindsight of history, that she became aware of her contribution to the women’s movement. Rabbi Biefield, lovingly called “Buzzy” by all who know him, brought a warning about the current political climate. Pointing out that up until now all American citizens have been considered members of the American nation, the America First movement flirts with the idea of separating these two. This way not all citizens, depending on their ethnicity or race, are real Americans and should be treated accordingly. This scary prospect provoked great discussion and stimulating comment. He also spoke of the fact that Judaism is not only a religion, but a culture and a civilization as well. Rabbi Beifield has deep ties with the Valley to which he had not returned in 19 years. He served the community for 11 years and was beloved by his congregants. It was wonderful for all those in attendance to hear him speak again. Rabbi Priesand has chosen to share her wealth of wisdom in retirement by serving Temple Shirat Shalom as their High Holy Days rabbi. The scholar in residence venue gave her the opportunity to share her fascinating personal history with those in attendance. We encourage all members of the Jewish community to attend our future programs and join in the lively conversation.
TCP hosts concert featuring jazz pianist Jon Simon Cantor Jill Pakman of Temple Covenant of Peace sings with Jon Simon, a world-famous jazz pianist, during a concert at TCP on May 6.
Muhlenberg Hillel celebrates Yom HaAtzmaut
R E G I S T E R T O D AY !
June 19 - August 11, 2017
510 W. Linden Street Allentown, PA 18101
610.433.0032 By Liron Daniel Jewish Agency for Israel and Hillel International Israel Fellow at Muhlenberg College Hillel Muhlenberg College Hillel celebrated Israel's birthday, Yom Ha'atzmaut, at a huge party in the center of campus with Israeli music and games, dancing, delicious food, photo exhibition with photos taken by ‘Berg students (!), makeup and tattoos and writing letters to Israeli soldiers. Is there a better way to celebrate Israel Independence Day than with delicious Israeli food? The festivities included falafel, kabab, shawarma, Israeli salad, tahini and more. Located in Parents Plaza, in the heart of the Muhlenberg Campus, Hillel hosted all kinds of activities – Israeli games such as Matkot and Frisbee on the Tel Aviv Beach (with a huge Tel Aviv Beach backdrop), face paint, Henna tattoos, write a letter to an IDF soldier, photo gallery and more. We also had an Israel trivia with spin-a-prize wheel and eight different questions about Israel. Each participant had three chances to win a prize – a tasty bag of Bamba! There was even a raffle with a huge basket of Israeli snacks and goodies as the prize. Over 200 students and faculty members joined us to celebrate Israel's 69 birthday. People are still talking about it as “one of the biggest (and the best) events of the semester!”
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From left to right, Ben Wilson, Steven Lipson and David Karp at the WOW convention.
AZA elects a new board By Steve Lipson AZA On April 30, Allentown AZA elected a new board. This is considered our 90th chapter board. The new board will begin their responsibilities in September. For now, the 89th board will finish their term heading into the summer. Brayden Koch was elected our 90th aleph godol (president). He is the first person without the last name of Zahn to hold the position in the past three years. Koch is a junior at Parkland High School. He plays volleyball on the high school team. In addition, his father is the director for all of Liberty Region. “I am very pleased with how our board turned out. We have so many passionate members ready to take on leadership roles. Let’s make it a great year,” said Koch.
BBGs at their Paint and Party event with their fabulous works of art.
Our new s’gan (vice president of programming) is Seth Fine. He is also a member of the Parkland High School volleyball team. He is passionate about Judaism and creating valuable relationships with chapter members. Robert Shaff was elected our chapter moreh (vice president of recruitment). He is extremely outgoing and loves teaching new members about AZA. He attends Moravian Academy and plays varsity tennis. He is looking forward to meeting the upcoming 8th grade class and continuing the traditions of Allentown AZA. Brendan Fraley is our shliach (vice president of Judaism). This is his first year serving on the board. He is a sophomore at Parkland High School. BBYO summer programs and meeting new people in the organization take up most of his summer. Also, he is looking forward to improving Havdallah services and teaching members about Judaism in their own lives. Jacob Sussman will be writing HAKOL articles next year as our chapter mazkir (secretary). He is a freshman at Parkland High School and loves playing basketball
for the JCC. Jacob is passionate about the Philadelphia Eagles. He also wants to ensure communication stays a top priority for next year. Finally, Alex Valuntas will serve as chapter 3rd s’gan (treasurer). Alex is looking forward to planning new and exciting fundraisers to help our community. He is a freshman at Parkland High School and also enjoys playing basketball for the JCC. Overall, our board for next year is extremely hard working and professional. Each chapter member has placed their confidence in these fine young gentlemen. There is no doubt they will perform well in the upcoming year.
BBG hosts events, elections By Sophia McWilliams BBG Over the past month, Allentown BBG has
PJ LIBRARY Family of the Month: THE ROSENBLUMS We love PJ Library because like most kids- Ellie loves getting mail! As a parent I appreciate PJ Library because the materials being sent are educational, and we’re being exposed to new characters, themes, and content. By sending books in combination with activities for families; PJ Library has allowed for increased interest in Jewish activities in the Lehigh Valley, and the in person activities allow my daughter and I to meet Jewish families from diverse backgrounds across the Lehigh Valley area. - JODIE ROSENBLUM To learn more about PJ Library and register to receive free Jewish-themed books for children from 6 months through 8 years, visit www.pjlibrary.org.
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had many major events, such as an event at Paint and Party in Allentown and the election of our 2017-18 Allentown BBG board. We are also looking forward to planning many events and meetings to wrap up our year. At our Paint and Party, we welcomed new and prospective members, as well as many current members. BBGs were assigned the task of painting a hamsa, as shown in the picture above. This brought many girls together, as they worked together and inspired each other to make the best painting that they could. Every girl had a lot of fun. Additionally, BBG elected their new chapter board on May 7. There are six positions on board: n’siah (president), s’ganit (vice president of programming), morah (vice president of membership), sh’licha (vice president of Judaism and social action), mazkirah (secretary), and gizborit (treasurer). In order to run for board, each candidate has to write a four-minute speech (except the candidates running for n’siah have five minutes) and prepare and present a platform; it is a fun way to list your qualities, qualifications, ideas and goals for board. Girls are usually very creative with their agendas. This year, some ideas were Netflix, a stage/audition, bright colors and Elle Woods’s pink and scented resume! Furthermore, BBG had many members come out and vote for the future of Allentown BBG. Elections went very well and BBG has a full and promising new board for 2017-18! The new board is: Sophie Valuntas (n’siah), Sophia McWilliams (s’ganit), Molly Coleman (morah), Sabrina Toland (sh’licha), Fana Schoen (mazkirah), and Bayley Ahdieh (gizborit). With these girls leading the chapter, Allentown BBG is looking towards a bright future! We attended our last convention of the year on May 19 and sadly said goodbye to our devout seniors. They will be missed! BBG is also planning an end-of-the-year event with AZA in June.
GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH
CARDUKAH: Greeting cards to benefit the Federation
Collecting stuffed animals for medical mission Talia Vaknin will become a Bat Mitzvah on June 3 at Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown. The daughter of Lora and Sharone Vaknin, Talia is a 6th grade student at the Jewish Day School who plays piano and loves to bike and hang out with her friends. When it came time to plan a mitzvah project, Talia didn’t have to look any further than her bubbe’s basement. Talia’s bubbe is Eva Levitt, the new president of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. “My bubbe and my uncle go on these trips a lot,” Talia explained. “I saw all the stuffed animals in the basement and they told me that these were for kids who don’t have a lot. I just want to help them and make them happy.” The trips of which Talia speaks are medical missions. Talia’s uncle, Dr. Marc Levitt, a native of the Lehigh Valley and an internationally known colorectal surgeon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, provides care to children with complex conditions of the colon and rectum. He and his team have traveled to many countries around the world to care for children with complex
colorectal and pelvic abnormalities who otherwise have only limited access to surgical services. The goal of these missions is not to simply treat children but also to train local physicians and nurses to care for their own patients in the future. Eva Levitt has accompanied Marc on most missions, providing a little love and a lot of stuffed animals for the children who are undergoing these procedures. The next mission will be to Russia this June. Talia will be collecting new or very gently used stuffed animals to be handed out on the mission. These donations allow sick children who do not have a lot know that other people care about them. Donations may be dropped off in the JDS foyer until May 31. Boxes for donation drop offs will also be available at the Jewish Community Center and Congregation Sons of Israel. Talia’s parents are very proud of her accomplishments and her willingness to help those less fortunate. Not only is she collecting stuffed animals as part of her bat mitzvah project, she also participates in Kinderlights with other students from the Jewish Day School every Friday. She participated in the Lehigh Valley Autism Walk on April 29. In addition to her mitzvah project, Talia has made her first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.
For as long as he can remember, Danny Wax and his brother, Ben, have been saving money all year long to donate to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. “The Federation supports many of the organizations that I care about, including the Jewish Day School, the Jewish Community Center and Pinemere Camp. It also supports Jews living in the State of Israel and across the globe,” Danny said when discussing his mitzvah project. “I have always enjoyed drawing,” he added. “I have attended the Baum School of Art in Allentown, as well as other art schools, and I have been sketching for some time. Several years ago, I decided to combine my drawing skills with my desire to support the Federation. I created a number of greeting cards, which I sell for $1 through a website I created at www.cardukah. weebly.com. All proceeds from the sales of the cards go to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.” “I decided to expand the number of greeting cards available for my bar mitzvah project, with the hope that I can increase the proceeds for the Federation,” he continued. Danny has already donated more than $50 from his mitzvah project to the Federation. Danny will become a Bar Mitzvah on June 17 at Temple Beth El in Allentown. A 7th grade student at the Jewish Day School, Danny enjoys spending time at the beach, from Ocean City, New Jersey, to South Beach, Florida, to St. Thomas. He is an avid swimmer and skim boarder and loves to ride the waves and snorkel. He also plays basketball and squash for the JCC. All cards available for purchase can be viewed at
For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, program coordinator at email@example.com or call her at the Federation office at 610-821-5500.
www.cardukah.weebly. com. If you would like to help Danny with his mitzvah project and purchase some wonderful cards, please send your order and payment to the Jewish Federation office at 702 N 22nd St., Allentown, PA 18104. Please note: “Attention Danny Wax Mitzvah Project” on the envelope. Checks can be made out to “JFLV” and again write “Danny Wax Mitzvah Project” in the note on the check. Be sure to include all of your contact information. Danny will print your order and get it to you. Danny’s parents, Laurie and Robby Wax, are so proud of him. According to Robby, “Danny and Ben began donating to the Federation before they could even walk. My parents would bring them to the Federation office in strollers to deliver their collections. It’s great to see Danny’s entrepreneurial spirit shine in such a generous way.”
Danny Wax Laurie added, “Danny loves pursuing business ideas, and he enjoys art, so this was a perfect combination.” In addition to his mitzvah project, Danny has made his first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.
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On Shavuot, who (or what) will get the first fruits? By Edmon J. Rodman Jewish Telegraphic Agency
28 JUNE 2017 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
As we approached Shavuot, there was a battle going on in our garden over who — or what — would get our first fruits. In ancient days in Israel, beginning at Shavuot — the holiday that marked the wheat harvest as well as the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai — people brought to the Temple in Jerusalem an offering from their first harvest. The practice is reflected in one of the holiday’s alternate names, Yom Habikkurim, the Day of the First Fruits. In Deuteronomy, there is an entire ceremony for offering these first fruits. Farmers are required to say a prayer as a reminder that God “brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Though intended for an ancient audience in Israel, this idea of gratitude still resonates today. Though synagogues today more commonly celebrate Shavuot with confirmations, all-night study sessions and services in which the Ten Commandments are read, many Jews keep in touch with the holiday’s harvest side (Shavuot is also known as Chag Hakatzir, Festival of Harvest). At Shavuot last year in Israel, President Reuven Rivlin and his wife were presented with two baskets of fruit and vegetables from the nation’s farmers. In the U.S., organizations such as Adamah have held bikkurim parades, and this year, Congregation Kesser Israel in Portland, Oregon, had a Bikkurim Parade and Fruit Drive for schoolchildren. My wife and I like to embrace the harvest theme, too. But this year we kept putting off planting day, so unfortunately our first fruits — cucumbers, squash, eggplants and several tomato varieties — weren’t to be ready by Shavuot. Still, we were looking forward to sharing the bounty of our garden with members of our minyan at our Shabbat potluck lunches. That is until a raccoon began digging up our garden beds every night searching for grubs. One morning, as we sorted through havoc in the garden — some plants were uprooted, others were buried — I began to wonder if this was all worth it. After all, there is a huge supermarket five minutes away from my home. We also subscribe to a farm service that delivers a box of organic veggies twice a month. With so many convenient
The bounty of the first harvest is something to be celebrated and shared on Shavuot. ways to get fresh food — and so many other things to worry about — did we really need to be at war with nature over cukes? Couldn’t we offer a different kind of first fruit for Shavuot? If the modern interpretation of bikkurim includes sharing and showing gratitude, couldn’t we transpose that idea to another medium of the non-garden variety? For the past several years, our minyan celebrated a unique night of first fruits. Though decidedly non-agricultural, it was an evening where people could offer up something new: a book they had read, music they recently found, a project they were undertaking at work. One woman even showed clips from a film she was working on. It was an enjoyable tradition, one that connected us to the holiday’s roots. But I’ve found there is something about growing living things that makes you particularly grateful and mindful of the potential and fragility of life. As a journalist, I am always grateful to cultivate a thoughtful phrase. But when it comes to both immediate and lasting gratification, that can’t compete with growing a tasty tomato or sharing those tomatoes with a friend. Shavuot, with its harvest ritual, seems to tell us to be not just consumers but conscious consumers and producers. Growing edible crops makes us aware of the conditions that put food on the table: There are the things over which we have control, like the spacing between plants or how much fertilizer and water to use, and those that are out of our hands, like the weather. Sometimes I’ve found that the insects, viruses and animals that also want our first fruits are things I can control. Last year, white flies attacked the leaves
of the eggplants, so we sprayed the hibiscus plant where they lived with a mixture of rubbing alcohol, liquid soap and water. To scare off the birds that were pecking the tomatoes, we strung up old CDs. Their glint did the job perfectly. But this year, what to do about the raccoon? First, we tried protecting many of the plants in tomato cages, only to see them pushed aside the next morning. Then, looking for advice on the Humane Society’s website — a few inhumane solutions had crossed my mind as well — I read that turning on a transistor radio in the garden overnight might scare them off. So, one night, I took a radio out to the garden. I tuned it to an all-night call-in show about health and hoped for a garden miracle. Growing and harvesting crops is something of a miracle. My wife and I have worked hard to bring in those $10 tomatoes — but we also understand that without a little help, everything can wither on the vine. Some might call a successful harvest the result of luck or great planning, or credit it to that most intangible of human qualities: a green thumb. But for me, by the time Shavuot rolls around, I’m ready to give some thanks. After months of carefully watching, tending and coaxing, when your labor does bear fruit, you want to acknowledge where your mazel comes from. It’s time to celebrate and show gratitude for another season. That, to me, is the meaning of Shavuot: giving thanks for being able to fill our baskets once again and sharing the bounty. Edmon J. Rodman is a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A unicorn challah straight out of your fantasies By Shannon Sarna The Nosher If a rainbow challah and a funfetti challah had a little love child, it would be this whimsical and delicious unicorn challah. I don’t know when the craze over “unicorn foods” became the trend, but it’s hard to scroll through Facebook or visit a Starbucks without seeing an explosion of pastel colors and sweet flavors. My colleague Rachel Edelman created some eye-catching unicorn hamantaschen for Purim this year and another colleague, Naomi Elberg of TGIS challah (check out her crazy challahs on Instagram!), has been cranking out some gorgeous, unicorn-inspired challahs just in the past few weeks. So it was time: Here is the unicorn challah you have been dreaming about. Get crazy with your sprinkles, fillings or whatever decorations you want. With unicorn foods, there are no rules because, let’s be honest (earmuffs): There is no such thing as a unicorn food. Ingredients: 1 batch challah (can use any recipe you prefer) 1 egg, beaten for glaze Food coloring such as pink, purple, teal, yellow, baby blue Marshmallow fluff Sprinkles, colored candies, shredded coconut or other edible decorations 1 cup powdered sugar 2 T. milk or almond milk 1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Directions: Prepare challah dough, but before adding all flour, divide liquidy dough into 3 even portions in bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring (different colors) to each bowl. Add remaining flour (divide into 3 parts) to each portion of dough. Knead until dough comes together. Dough should be slightly firm and bounce back when touched. Cover each bowl with a warm, damp towel and allow to rise 2-3 hours. Divide each piece of dough into 2 equal parts. (You are creating 2 medium-size loaves of challah, each with 3 colors.) Roll out each piece of dough and press down to flatten slightly. Add around 1/4 cup of marshmallow fluff inside dough. Pinch up, closing fluff inside dough and roll each piece gently into a rope. Repeat with all dough.
Create two 3-braid challah loaves, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Allow to rise another 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush each challah with beaten egg. Bake for 23-26 minutes, until challah is golden on top. Allow to cool completely, at least 1 hour. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk (or almond milk) and lemon juice. Whisk until a thick frosting forms. Spread frosting on top of each challah. Top with sprinkles, colored chocolate chips or candies, coconut or other decorations. The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www. TheNosher.com.
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4 OF JULY PICNIC Potato Chip Chicken INGREDIENTS: A bag of potato chips, preferably rippled, coarsely crushed by hand, with added ground flaxseed, wheat bran and wheat germ (mix in) Beaten eggs Chicken pieces, without skin Pyrex or Corning pan, greased with Earth Balance solid sticks TECHNIQUE: Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten eggs, then into the chips. Place into prepared pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees until done, (about 45 minutes), turning once to brown evenly.
Tri-color Ice Cubes Fill an ice cube tray 1/3 of the way with your favorite flavor of red POM, such as cherry. Freeze thoroughly. Repeat with a layer of water, then a layer of blue Gatorade. Serve with 7:UP, or another clear beverage.
Macaroni Salad Cook a pound of your favorite macaroni (I like whole wheat). Drain and cool. Add 1 1/2 c of finely diced celery, 2 carrots, finely grated, 1/4 c. finely grated red or Vidalia onion, and 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped. Over the top pour 2 c. Hellmann's mayonnaise mixed with 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 c. sugar and 2 T. brown mustard, mixed together. Toss gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with paprika.
Dessert Place scoops of vanilla Tofutti in individual red disposable cups. Sprinkle assorted summer berries over.
By sandi teplitz HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | JUNE 2017 29
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The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania