The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
Issue No. 423
AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION EST. 1977
Read our exclusive intereview with Omri Glikman, singer for Hatikva 6 p7
Prepare for the High Holidays with this month’s special section
WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY p4 LVJF TRIBUTES p8 JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE p11 JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER p14-15 JEWISH DAY SCHOOL p16 COMMUNITY CALENDAR p23
Israeli elections 2019: Round 2 By Rotem Bar Community Shlicha It might be getting cooler, but the temperatures in Israel are high! It’s election season again, and things are getting hot. In the 71 years of our independence, we have witnessed a lot of political drama, “Israeli style.” Drama that is caused by issues from within and without by having such a diverse population culturally, ideologically and religiously, and as a result of the many security issues, state and religious issues, political scandals, powerful personalities, the economy and tensions between left and right, orthodox and secular, Arab parties and right-wing parties and many, many more. Setting aside the drama of the past, it feels like this year really has outdone itself. In all my almost 27 years in this world, I don’t remember such a heated round of elections that is keeping us all at the edge of our seats, frustrated and confused. These past few months, I find myself having trouble keeping up with the quick changes that have been happening in Israeli politics this past year. I read the news when I wake up, and by the time I go to sleep,
what I read in the morning is already irrelevant. New parties are forming, parties are merging with one another, other parties are falling apart. New personalities have joined the political game, as well as old ones returning to Israeli politics, while other longtime established politicians resign. It truly is very dynamic. So, what exactly is going on? Why are we going to another round of elections this September, just five months after the previous one? Well, exactly one month after the 21st Knesset was sworn in, on May 30, 2019, 74 out of 120 Knesset members determined that Israel will go to re-elections on Sept. 17. That is because the MK (Benjamin Netanyahu) who was given the mandate to form a government failed in his task. In early April, Netanyahu got 35 Knesset seats from the elections that were supposed to send him to an unprecedented 11th consecutive year as Israel’s prime minister. Netanyahu, or as we Israelis call him, “Bibi,” got 42 days to form a government, and he was hoping to include all the Right-Block parties. All the Right-Block parties agreed to join his government except for the “Israel Beitinu” party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, who used to be the
Minster of Defense in the previous government. Liberman refused to join the government as he claimed that “Netanyahu is surrendering to the Ultra-Orthodox parties.” The main issue was a piece of legislation that would draft the Ultra-Orthodox into the IDF. Both Liberman and the Ultra-Orthodox were not willing to find a compromise. An UltraOrthodox draft was always a “hot issue” in Israeli politics. And with
having traditions pushed aside, such as not passing the task on to a next candidate to form a government, a majority of the Knesset voted to disperse and initiate an unprecedented re-election. Israelis are going back to the polls on Sept. 17. It is the first time in Israel’s history that there will be two elections in one year. No one Israeli elections Continues on page 2
Federation launches new leadership development program By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development & Operations The Jewish Federation of
the Lehigh Valley is helping community members to take their Jewish leadership to the next level. This fall, the Federation Non-Profit Organization
702 North 22nd Street Allentown, PA 18104
U.S. POSTAGE PAID Lehigh Valley, PA Permit No. 64
will bring Yesod, a program of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, to the Lehigh Valley. The Yesod program merges Judaic text studies, business skills, leadership theory and experiential applications to enable participants to become more informed leaders in their community. The program, which is being funded in large part by the Sylvia Perkin Perpetual Charitable Trust, will run over eight sessions from October to February and will be facilitated by a pro-
fessional Jewish educator. Synagogues and agencies will have the opportunity to nominate participants to fill the available slots. The goal: to engage and empower the next generation of leaders, said Jeri Zimmerman, Federation’s executive director. “Bringing this program to our community is an investment in the development of individuals with leadership potential in order to build sustainable volunteer leadership as well as cultivating solid volunteer succession plans,” Zimmerman said. “The Yesod program will not only educate and create
a pipeline of leadership for the Jewish community, but it will also have a multiplier effect on the greater Lehigh Valley community.” To learn more, contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at 610821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q&A with new Campaign Co-chairs Robby and Vicki Wax Editor’s Note: As this dynamic mother-and-son duo embark on a new year of leading the Federation’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs, we asked them a few questions about their new roles.
Q: When did you first get involved with Federation and why? Robby: My parents were involved in Federation from the time I was a small child. They seemed to have meetings nearly every night. I learned about the importance of Federation from watching them and their friends. They were leaders in Federation when I was still at the JDS, and they continued their support when I was in middle school and high school. I attended countless Federation activities with them, including the 1987 March on Washington in solidarity for Soviet Jewry, a JFLV Family Mission to Israel in 1989 and the annual Major Gifts event when I returned from college. When Laurie and I moved to Allentown with our children, we wanted to get involved in our synagogue, the JDS, JFLV and other local organizations to do our part to help improve Jewish life locally and across the globe. Vicki: I’m so proud of Robby and his continued involvement with our entire Jewish community. I’m grateful that he didn’t run away from home since we dragged him to almost every Jewish event in the Lehigh Valley when he was growing up.
Q: What does the Lehigh Valley Jewish community mean to you? Robby: I’m proud to tell people that I’m from Al-
lentown. It’s amazing how many connections our community has made across the world. Allentown was a wonderful place to grow up, and it’s been a wonderful place for Laurie and me to raise our boys. I want to ensure that it continues to be a great place for Jewish families to consider as their home. Vicki: When Stan and I moved here in 1968, we had no knowledge of how an engaged Jewish community works. Coming from Brooklyn, we actually thought that the whole world was comfortably Jewish. Neither of us had ever experienced anti-Semitism, except that Stan knew that the major accounting firms didn’t hire Jews. Our mentors in this community explained the importance of our involvement here. I think of Mort and Myra Levy many times. At my first Federation board meeting, Mort welcomed me and then informed me about generations before us building this incredible community. His charge to me was the responsibility to nurture it for the next generation.
Q: Why did you want to help lead the Federation’s Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs together? And why now? Robby: Gary Fromer told me that I needed to do it! Okay, that’s only partially true. I believe in Gary as our next president, and I want to help make his tenure successful. I told Gary that I would support him in whatever capacity he suggested. When Gary asked me to consider this role, I told him that I would need a superstar co-chair who could help bridge my generation with other
generations. He suggested my mom, and we both recognized that nobody can say no to her! So watch out, here we come! Vicki: I love the concept of a multigenerational campaign. Gary, Robby and many of their generation have accepted the torch of leadership that we have handed them. Now it’s our job to support them.
Q: What do you have in store for this year? Robby: We’re just getting started with our plans, so we will be announcing a number of events shortly.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 3
WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Lehigh Valley and Yoav moms forge deep connections During the recent Momentum trip, 10 Lehigh Valley moms traveled to Israel. What they were seeking was a closer connection to Israel, one that they could share with their children upon returning. All came away with that and so much more. The group flew in a day early in order to spend time in Yoav. One of the highlights of the trip was that four women from the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership2Gether region of Yoav traveled with the group. In Part 1, below, a Yoav representative shares her insider view of the visit. Part 2 is a glimpse of what our travelers found in Yoav.
That’s what she said, part 1 By Annette Mashi Partnership2Gether, Yoav Our partners are coming, and we are busy preparing and planning. We can hardly wait to invite them into our homes, our community and our shared country. They arrive with greetings and smiles, tired from the flight, but wide-eyed with wonderment, filled with anticipation. We take them through Yoav—to Al-Azi (the Arab Village), to plant trees in the Lehigh Valley-Yoav Partnership Park in blessed memory of Mark Goldstein, to Kibbutz Gat and Primor juice factory. We listen to beautiful singing accompanied by the guitar echoing through the Bell Cave of Beit Guvrin. We share tears at the hill of Tom and Tomer—two of
our region’s finest soldiers tragically killed in a helicopter accident. Our guests begin to understand how we feel when we lose a soldier, crying as only a mother can from the loss of a child. We are excited to show our new friends Tel Aviv—helping them haggle in the shuk (market)—and are proud to take them to the Innovation Center, with examples of the Startup Nation, including Waze. We explore Tsfat, the mystical city, and spontaneously join a bar mitzvah. This is Israel, we explain. Our new friends are given Hebrew names, and we realize the significance of something we have always taken for granted. In Jerusalem, we experience the Western Wall through their eyes—remembering our first time, touching the ancient stones and placing notes in the cracks. We light Shabbat candles together, a tradition uniting women through the ages. We cry together at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, and we reflect on our shared tragic history. We visit the military cemetery at Har Herzl, hearing about the bravery of the soldiers who died protecting our homeland, the land of Israel. We tour Masada and float together in the Dead Sea, as we share our slice of paradise with our friends. They hear stories from soldiers and begin to understand what we have always known—18-year-old children are protecting our country. It could be their sons and daughters contributing to
SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY’S WOMEN’S DIVISION
welcoming new babies to the Lehigh Valley If you’re expecting, know someone who is, or have a new baby, PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact Abby Trachtman, 610-821-5500 | email@example.com SPONSORED BY
The Lehigh Valley and Yoav women, joined by Israeli shlicha Rotem Bar, enjoy dinner together at Ima in Jerusalem. Ima, appropriately, means mom in Hebrew. the safety of the state of Israel. The trip is over; our partners leave. Now, however, they are not strangers, but family; we vow to stay connected. Yoav and Lehigh Valley Women—stronger together.
That’s what she said, part 2 By Jennifer Lader Lehigh Valley Momentum Participant Annette has shared a lovely “tour of a tour” … what’s left to talk about? The “small moments”: My trip roommate and I stayed with host family Asi and David and their children. So we came to learn of Asi’s 10 years as a field soldier and what she did after that in the military. We enjoyed a delicious dinner that David prepared, and we toured the kibbutz’s farm. That evening was our introduction to the Israeli love of fresh vegetables at every meal. How many ways can eggplant, cabbage and beets be prepared? Lots, all deli-
cious! Our partner region is a beautiful, arid and (it appears) challenging place to live, at least in July. (They say it’s green in other seasons.) Yet the prickly pears that sprout from the tips of cacti that grow in masses the size of rooms are in season. Yael from Yoav brought some that her son had scavenged. “We are like these fruits,” our four new friends who toured with us said, “prickly on the outside and sweet on the inside.” Sweet indeed! Our group was treated to a chocolate workshop followed by a wine tasting. This afternoon was a cool, fun and refreshing treat for us, plus a chance to meet more wonderful people. Another special “small moment” from this life-changing adventure: As Annette said, we visited Al-Azi, with whom the Israelis of Yoav have been actively strengthening ties. The women of this familybased village had prepared a delicious and extensive breakfast for us—pastries, some sweet, some savory; fruits; and colorful vegetables, of course. Some of the women shared that they are teach-
ers in the schools while their husbands farm. Many of the children were still asleep at mid-morning: “They stay up late in the summer!” the women said. The patriarch of the family described living in this place many years, even caring for the homes of their Jewish neighbors during past wartimes. Throughout the region of Yoav during this time, watermelons lay ripening on dry fields; the roots must run deep to make the fruits so juicy. One of the things I learned in our too-short visit to Yoav and traveling with the four women from there was that it isn’t enough to see what’s on the surface. Our ancestors lowered themselves into the massive “bell caves,” carved out of the chalk-like ground of our partner region in order to produce cheeses, wines and other items requiring a cool environment. Going into these spaces, gathering around the lunch tables of Lahat Maayan of Hummus Eliyahu with our new friends, hearing the stories of the women of Yoav, we began to know and to understand the nature of our connection with Ha’aretz.
BY EVA LEVITT
All proceeds benefit projects in Israel:
Food Banks in Israel Neve Michael Youth Village
For prices or to place an order, call Eva 610-398-1376.
All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley 4 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
A tour of Israel ... and ourselves
By Jennifer Lader Lehigh Valley Momentum Participant
The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley sent a group of moms on a very special trip to Israel this July with Momentum. The mission: to empower women to change the world through Jewish values. The flagship program that this group participated in is geared toward moms raising Jewish children who are under 18. Other Momentum groups went in each of the prior two years, and it’s likely the Lehigh Valley will participate in this program in the future, starting as soon as next summer. Some of the most moving moments of this journey: Being party to a spontaneous bar mitz-
vah parade in Tsfat, touching the smooth warm stones of the Western Wall and floating in the Dead Sea after a (very warm) morning spent at the top of Masada. This year’s participants came from a wide range of backgrounds and Jewish experiences. All were seeking a closer connection to Israel, either to share with their children or to better understand the Jewish State and Judaism for themselves. Stephanie Smartschan, the Federation’s director of community development and operations, led this year’s group. “What was most special to me was watching this group of women who barely knew each other before bond and grow, both individually and as a unit,” Smartschan said.
The trip madricha was Naomi Schachter, who participated in the 2018 trip and returned this year to help guide the 2019 group. The highlight for her was “building relationships and deepening friendships.” She points out that there are almost no other opportunities to spend so much time with women after college and camp. The women will continue to build on their newfound connections through the program’s “Year-Long Journey,” meeting each month for workshops, fun activities and deepening friendships. Program leaders pointed out, “This is not a tour of Israel, it’s a tour of yourself.” The itinerary for each of the program’s eight days started
with a learning session; topics ranged from relationships to finding courage to implementing game-changing big ideas. The group then toured sites and met people who were fueled by courage and a dream, starting with Ha’aretz itself and including United Hatzalah, the startup network of rescuers with the goal to reach those in need in under three minutes. Because each day’s tour enlarged upon the daily learning, it made for a powerful experience. At the end of the whirlwind eight days, though, this program was also about connecting a group of moms who mostly didn’t know each other before and maybe didn’t feel as connected as they wanted
to the land of Israel. Now they do. That happened in a lot of ways. For Amy Sams, it was person-to-person connection with our partners from Yoav, moms who traveled with the group (see article, page 4): “It had a tremendous impact on my relationship to Israel.” “I went from 0 to 60 in my understanding and feeling of connection to the State of Israel,” said another participant, “and can hardly wait to see Jerusalem again.” Plans are already in the works for a Momentum trip in the summer of 2020. If you or someone you know might be a good fit for this program or for more information, contact Stepahnie Smartschan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-821-5500.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 5
PARTNERSHIP2GETHER UPDATE FROM YOAV
Celebrating summer in Yoav with our Lehigh Valley family
By Nurit Galon Special to HAKOL
kacper abolik: year of the dog
September 19–October 18, 2019 Artist Reception: Third Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:00–8:00pm The David E. Rodale & Family Galleries Presenting Sponsors: City Center Allentown & J.B. and Kathleen Reilly The Baum School of Art 510 W. Linden St. www.baumschool.org 610-433-0032
6 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
As we know, nothing is as effective for making and cementing friendships as personal contact. Though the Lehigh Valley and Yoav have established a strong bond between us over the years, every joint project which brings people from our two communities together only increases our delight at discovering kindred spirits and interesting and exciting new friends. Imagine then the delight at having 11 terrific ladies from Lehigh Valley who came to Yoav in the framework of the Momentum program. They first spent two days with
the four women from Yoav who would accompany them throughout the tour of Israel and other residents of Yoav, including the chairperson and members of the Yoav Partnership2Gether Steering Committee and parents of the youth counselors from Yoav who were at Camp JCC in the Lehigh Valley. Apart from the obviously delicious chocolate seminar, our Lehigh Valley ladies were hosted in Yoav homes, and truly, a good time was had by all! Many of you may remember Ayelet and Michael from our musical trio, who once took part in the Mayfair Festival in Allentown. Well, they sang for our group in the magical Bell Caves at Beit Guvrin—a surprise treat. Then it was on to tree planting in the Lehigh Valley-Yoav Partnership Park in Blessed Memory of Mark L. Goldstein (and how thrilled Mark would be that, after quite a difficult birth, the park is now a fact, and flourishing!). Next was a tour of the Tom and Tomer Hill in Kibbutz Negba, guided by the Mayor of Yoav, Dr. Matti Sarfatti Harcavi, and then it was time to join the Momentum bus for the next few days of touring. We have no doubts that the shared memories and experiences have brought at least 11 more families joining hands over the LehighValley-Yoav Bridge. Who's next? In other Yoav news, July saw the 80th Anniversary of Kibbutz Negba in Yoav. Negba, with its heroic history of resisting and defense in the area, is a symbol for all Israelis and a source of great pride for Yoav. The guest of honor was the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, who told everyone how as a child he was really in awe of Negba and how meaningful it was for him to be there for its 80th Anniversary. Even though the summer holidays are only half way through as I write this, the educational authorities in Yoav are already busy planning the coming school year, and plans are already going ahead for the building of our third elementary
school in Kibbutz Negba – a sign of the population explosion in the municipality! Perhaps the biggest cultural event in Yoav is the Beit Guvrin Festival or "Nights of Love" from Aug. 15-24, held in the Roman amphitheatre and hosting the best of Israeli musicians. The festival, which began quite a few years ago as the Bible Festival, attracts an audience from all over Israel and is quite an experience—music under the stars with the backdrop of the excavations. Make sure you don't miss next year's festival! Recently, the International Physics Olympics, with delegations from 78 countries, was held here in Israel, and the Israeli delegation included five students. We know you will be as proud as we are that two silver medals were won by 12th grade students from our Tzafit High School. In the wider scope of the country of Israel as a whole, election fever continues to mount with the usual establishment of new parties, candidates switching from one party to another, and of course, this being Israel, everyone is an expert! On a very serious note, we wish to send our sincere condolences for the two terrible shootings in the U.S. which took place on Aug. 3 and our prayers for a calmer and saner future. To our friends and partners in the Lehigh Valley, may the rest of your summer be filled with positive and joyful happenings, and may our Partnership continue to flourish!
Meet Omri Glikman, singer for Hatikva 6 Editor’s note: To get geared up for the Lehigh Valley Community Concert featuring Israeli band Hatikva 6 on Nov. 21 at ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Café (tickets available now at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/hatikva6), we interviewed singer Omri Glikman to get to know him and the band a little better.
Q: What was the idea behind the forming of Hatikva 6? A: There wasn’t a real idea behind it. Just the pure love for music, especially reggae music, and the need to find a good name for the band to put on the poster, ha ha. It started as a hobby, little shows for our hometown friends, and grew beyond our plans and dreams.
is a huge part of what we write and sing about.
Q: What is the dynamic like between so many group members? A: It’s a big family. We all spend lots of time together. On the road, in the studio, at rehearsals and on stages. We’ve been doing it for years, and we know each other very well. We believe that the energy behind the scenes is being transferred to the crowds on stage. So good vibes only!
Q: How do you feel to be playing for the Diaspora in America? A: We love it. The crowd is great. Always a high energy and a great welcoming. We are very excited!
Q: What's next for Hatikva 6? A: New album is on the way. Number seven. Working hard at the studio and performing in between. Planning to enjoy what we do, create and connect.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from as a group? A: Inspiration is everywhere and everything. Just need to be focused and capture the right ideas. Our lifestyle, routine, environment and, of course, our country
Families of the textile industry to be featured at Lunch & Learn By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Community Development & Operations Muhlenberg professors Gail Eisenberg and Susan Clemens are returning to the JCC for the third installment in their ongoing series on families in the textile industry. This time, the focus will be on family stories through the lens of the American dream at a Lunch & Learn sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley on Sept. 13. Many local families will be featured in the presentation. Lenny Abrams, Irwin Schneider, Marty Krasnov, Tama Fogelman and Maxine Klein will be seen in video interviews talking about their fathers. “These were immigrants or children of immigrants who were ambitious, persevered and, ultimately, were successful,” Eisenberg said. Marshall Silverstein, z”l, Lenny Bloch and Nate Braunstein, z”l, will be heard talking about how they continued on in their fathers’ businesses, or even built their own during the 1950s through 1970s.
Mark Fogelman, Mark Stutz and Marc Malkovsky will discuss how they later had to reinvent themselves as the textile production industry in the U.S. shrunk. The interviews are the culmination of an oral history project that Eisenberg and Clemens began in 2011. “There’s a Jewish story that’s never been told and I would really love to tell that story,” Eisenberg said of starting the project. In 2013, Eisenberg and Clemens presented their initial findings at a Federation lunch and learn. In 2016, they returned to share the stories of the wives and mothers behind the textile industry. The project, when completed, will be permanently archived at Muhlenberg College. The Lunch & Learn, “The American Dream: Lehigh Valley Jewish Families and the Textile Industry,” will take place on Friday, Sept. 13, at 12 p.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. $12 for lunch and program. To register, contact the Federation at 610-821-5500 or email@example.com or visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 7
6 stunning finds from the Met’s exhibit on medieval Jewish treasure
COURTESY OF MUSÉE DE CLUNY – MUSÉE NATIONAL DU MOYEN ÂGE, RMN-GRAND PALAISART RESOURCE, NY VIA METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
Left, A Jewish ceremonial wedding ring, inscribed “mazel tov,” made of gold and enamel, from the Colmar Treasure, circa 1300-1347. Center, A sapphire gold ring from the second quarter of the 14th century, from the Colmar Treasure. Right, a gold coin of Louis of Hungary, 1342-53, from the Colmar Treasure.
Left, A silver key from the first half of the 14th century, from the Colmar Treasure. Center, a jeweled silver brooch, second quarter of 14th century, from the Colmar Treasure. Right, A star and crescent gold ring, 13th-first half of 14th century, from the Colmar Treasure.
By Josefin Dolstein Jewish Telegraphic Agency There are few remnants of the once flourishing Jewish community of the town of Colmar, in France. Jews were blamed for the outbreak of the Black Death plague there in 1348-49, and many were burned to death. A Roman emperor who then controlled the area later seized their assets. But a few pieces of jewelry that testify to Jewish life in the town miraculously survived after being hidden in the walls of a house during the 14th century and remaining stashed
there for more than 500 years. The items, which were discovered in 1863, all belonged to an unknown family. Some are now on view at the Met Cloisters museum, part of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. As part of the exhibit, the items will be displayed alongside related artifacts from the Cloisters Collection, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Colmar’s public library. The exhibit opened July 22 and will run through Jan. 12. Pictured above are a few of the items from the exhibit that hold more than a little history.
IN HONOR JUDY AND ARNIE COHEN With gratitude for your gracious hospitality Elaine and Leon Papir JEFF GEVIRTZ In honor of your engagement to Amira Vicki Wax BONNIE AND BOBBY HAMMEL In honor of the birth of your grandson Louis Wells Hammel Vicki Wax JANE AND ARTHUR KAPLAN In honor of your 50th Anniversary Jennifer Kaplan and Family Elaine and Leon Papir ROBERTA AND ROBERT KRITZER In honor of your granddaughter Sarah’s bat mitzvah Elaine and Leon Papir JANE AND BILL MARKSON In honor of your son Jon’s marriage to Julia Vicki Wax JANE AND BILL MARKSON In honor of your daughter Rebecca’s graduation from Medical School Vicki Wax GAIL AND EDWARD SCHWARTZ In honor of Sarah’s bat mitzvah Elaine and Leon Papir BARBARA KOBROVSKY SUSSMAN In honor of your special birthday Sybil and Barry Baiman STEFFIE SZILAGYI Best wishes for continued good health Elaine and Leon Papir IN MEMORY SHIRLEY BERMAN
(Sister of Bob Malenovsky, Aunt of Ellis Block) Wendy and Ross Born Selma Roth LINDA CHMIELEWSKI (Mother of Danielle Silverman) Wendy and Ross Born Randi and Donald Senderowitz PEARL GLATT (Mother of Rabbi Melody Davis) Wendy and Ross Born Randi and Donald Senderowitz MAURICE GROB (Father of Robert Grob) Sybil and Barry Baiman Jennifer and Gary Oxfeld EUGENE KLEIN (Father of Amy Silverman) Randi and Donald Senderowitz GAIL LEVINE (Mother of Michael Levine and Beth Ain) Shelia Berg Elaine and Leon Papir Randi and Donald Senderowitz HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN HONOR RITA BLOOM In honor of your milestone birthday Laura and Bob Black 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.
We have lively happy hours filled with laughter, chef-prepared meals including regional favorites, and even trips to the theater. Our campuses are filled with lavender from aromatherapy classes, cheers of friendly competitions and residents’ dogs that do tricks. We’re even family owned and involved. It’s all part of what makes life here a little better. We offer a full range of services from independent living to personal care and memory care. But we also do a lot of things a little differently.
410 N. Krocks Road, Allentown (minutes from Rte 22 & I-78) | 610-395-7160 4035 Green Pond, Bethlehem (close to Routes 22 & 33) | 610-865-5580 175 Newlins Road West, Easton (in Forks Township) | 484-544-3880
Learn 10 ways our retirement communities are a little different (and a little better).
une xpe c te
ways w retiremen e make t living b etter
Pets are welcom e.
Download today at CountryMeadows.com/Unexpected.
Independent Living | Assisted Living & Personal Care* | Memory Care | Restorative Care* | Skilled Nursing** *ForkscampusoffersIndependentLiving,AssistedLiving&MemoryCare.**Nursing&RehabilitationCenterservesGreaterLehighValley.
8 SEPTEMBER 2019Hakol | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY CM Ret Living - Allentown September 10x8 R1.indd 1
7/22/19 5:51 PM
Rebuilding the temple of my heart
RABBI SETH PHILLIPS Congregation Keneseth Israel
“So Rabbi, what’s with the beard?” While the lack of one would be memorable at some shuls, as Desi Arnaz used to say, I had some ’splainin’ to do. This was the year that I chose to grow a beard for the Three Weeks as preparation for Tisha b’Av. Many people asked what holiday was coming up. A few asked who I was in mourning for. “The Jewish People” did produce one “Oh, I thought it was for a relative.”
It has been quite a journey from growing up in a house where “I’ll do it next Tisha b’Av” was a synonym for “never” to trying on one of the traditional observances. Though the Ninth of Av is a barely a blip on the summertime calendar for many and has a different resonance than Yom HaShoah, I felt the need to do more than fasting this year. The daily scruffiness was a reminder that Jerusalem did not fall once. The calamities that have befallen Israel “the ever-dying people” (Simon Rawidowicz) may cluster on one calendar day (Tisha b’Av), but as the Haggadah tells us, “In each and every generation, they rise up against us to destroy us.” And quite frankly, I wanted to see what I would do with the five minutes I saved each day by not shaving. Would I kill time, or could I follow the Psalmist’s advice: “So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12)? This was the year that I quit social media and unsubscribed to everything I could that clogged my inbox, so I had some little reason to hope. In the end, I finally read a book that had sat on my shelf for the last two years.
When back pain makes life feel like this, think St. Luke’s. St. Luke’s Comprehensive Spine’s approach to treating back and neck pain will put life back into perspective. When pain makes small tasks feel overwhelming, call St. Luke’s. We can begin your evaluation over the phone and get you on a course to healing.
We’ve got your back. And neck. And spine.
BACK OR NECK PAIN? Think St. Luke’s Comprehensive Spine. 1-866-STLUKES (Option 6) • sluhn.org/spine
10 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
“In the Narrow Places” by Dr. Erica Brown provided daily inspiration for the Three Weeks in the form of short themed readings and an exercise, or kavana, for each day. Twenty one days is too short a period of time to learn a skill or form a habit, so some days I had to make up for the previous day’s unread meditation. I only realized on Day 19 that if I had read the book at the time when I was used to shaving, I would have had no excuse for getting too busy and then not reading the daily selection. The five minutes redirected from shaving to reading was only the beginning, as I discovered. The exercises or kavanot were not any sort of “one and done.” “Who in your life needs consolation?” “What relationships need repairing?” “How can you strengthen your connection with Israel?” On no one day could I see my beard grow, but it did and changed my mental selfimage as a clean cut Navy guy. What else changed was the realization that Tisha b’Av was not exclusively about how hard it is to be a Jew and how many enemies we have. None of Dr. Brown’s daily prescriptions were about combatting white nationalism
or giving to the ADL. They were all about changing me. In the words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Babylonians and Romans can be explained— and the Jews have survived, not they! But how to explain the loss of faith by those who saw the splitting of the Red Sea and heard the voice of HaShem at Sinai and yet built the golden calf and believed the spies evil reports about the land of Israel? How to explain the lack of hospitality shown to Bar Kamtza by the heirs of Abraham’s examples of audacious hospitality? Or the sinat chinam, the baseless hatred of one Jew for another? I had given myself three weeks in five-minute increments not to come up with the answer, but to focus on my own lack of faith and fear. Tradition says that Moshiach (the Messiah) will be born on Tisha b’Av and will rebuild the Temple. When Aug. 11, the Tenth of Av rolled around, the Temple was not rebuilt, but tradition said that I no longer needed the external signs of mourning for the martyrs of our people. Rebuilding the temple of my heart remains a work in progress, but I had made a start in the land of the living.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 11
Schuylkill County Entrepreneur of the Year Lisa Scheller reflects on philanthropy By Stephanie Bolmer HAKOL Editor Lisa Scheller doesn’t think of herself as an extraordinary person. But, the fact that she was leaving a few days after being interviewed about being named “Schuylkill County Entrepreneur of the Year” to go on a survivalist vacation all by herself for several weeks in locales remote and undisclosed to herself begs to differ. The mother of two grown children and two beagles loves cycling, hiking, skiing and other outdoorsy activities. Also, photography. A camera was the one piece of technology she was sure to pack for her impending “Get Lost” trip. The extreme nature of the trip complements Scheller’s love for adventure, but she was also looking forward to the peace and clarity that being alone in nature provides. Scheller has spent the past 22 years in leadership at her family’s manufacturing company, Silberline (a certified woman-owned business). But, the venture for which she was recently awarded the title of Entrepreneur of the Year is Hope & Coffee, which just celebrated its first anniversary. Hope & Coffee is a coffeehouse in Tamaqua, Scheller’s hometown, with a mission of changing the conversation and removing the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery. “We’ve become a focal point of the entire community, creating a safe, friendly, warm environment with great food and great coffee,” said Scheller. “Our employees are addicts in early recovery, and everything we do is themed around recovery. By employing addicts in early recovery, we do a number of things: we provide a bridge for that person to get back into the community, we give them a sense of purpose and value, and we provide a line item on their resume.” In addition to the coffeehouse, Hope & Coffee also has a meeting room upstairs, where any kind of meeting, community or recovery, can take place. Scheller personally has a connection with the cause, being in recovery from heroin addiction herself with 37 years clean and sober. “I have tremendous empathy for what people are going through,” she said, “because I’ve been there. I remained anonymous for 35 years because of the stigma associated with addiction and finally came to the conclusion that in 12 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
breaking my own anonymity, I could help others by showing that addiction crosses all segments of society, and recovery is possible.” Putting many years’ aspirations into action, Hope & Coffee currently has approximately 10 employees. The goal is for them to not stay at Hope & Coffee forever, but for it to be a launching pad for them into a new life. To that end, Scheller has also set up a program that offers them additional job training at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), so that hopefully they can find gainful employment beyond Hope & Coffee with a certified skillset. “We’re having a lot of success,” said Scheller, mentioning that other communities across the country are interested in the possibilities of replicating the Hope & Coffee model. “I would hope that anyone who reads this article would take the time to drive up to Tamaqua to see what we’ve done there and to see how the community has just come together around this coffee shop,” she added. When asked about how it felt to be named Entrepreneur of the Year, Scheller described the emotions she felt as surprise and humility. The passion she exudes talking about her projects makes it clear that she means it when she says she would do all of this without the recognition. It’s just part of who she is. “The thing about being an entrepreneur is that I like to think creatively and out of the box,” said Scheller. “I
like to try to come up with unique approaches or solutions to problems. The opioid crisis affects every one of us deeply. In my own recovery, I was able to get some very necessary support to get me back into the community, but I don’t see that happening in a big way. That’s why I decided to get involved in that area of the crisis, in supporting those who really want to embrace their recovery and try to re-enter society without that stigma.” A large part of Scheller’s focus of late has, of course, been on Hope & Coffee. But her philanthropy goes beyond this business. A long-time member of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, member of Temple Beth El and former Jewish Day School parent, Scheller emphasized her Jewish values when it comes to her giving. “Growing up in Tamaqua, I was part of one of two Jewish families in our community, and it made me very aware of what it meant to be Jewish,” said Scheller. “Today, that feeling of community, the feeling of belonging, is very important to me and very important when it comes to my view on both Jewish philanthropy and my love of Israel.” Scheller credits her family for instilling these values in her. “My parents taught me that it’s really important to give back, pay it forward, understand the meaning of Lisa Scheller Continues on page 13
Ross and Wendy Born to be honored with Lifetime Achievement Award Ross and Wendy Born will be honored with the Eastern PA Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the chapter’s National Philanthropy Day breakfast in November. Presented by the chapter’s Board of Directors, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the extraordinary lifetime achievement of individual philanthropists whose impact upon the greater Lehigh Valley community has been profound, inspiring and sustained. “We are truly honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eastern PA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” Wendy and Ross Born said. “We have worked to exemplify a passion and concern for others because we believe that it’s important to have a strong caring community in which people look after each other. We are delighted to work alongside
community members in this wonderful Lehigh Valley to enhance the lives of others.” Part of the National Philanthropy Day event produced by AFP, the Eastern PA Chapter’s annual awards breakfast is held to increase awareness of fundraising professionals, individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations who are responsible for millions of dollars in community investment each year. The 2019 National Philanthropy Day breakfast will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at DeSales University. Ross Born, a Lehigh Valley native, and Wendy Born, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, met at Tufts University 46 years ago. The couple moved to Allentown after a brief time living on Long Island while Ross received his law degree and Wendy obtained a master of education. They have called the Lehigh Valley their home for 41 years. Ross
and Wendy are very proud of their family members, who include daughters Lisa and Amy, sons-in-law Andy and Alex, and four grandchildren, Abby, Ben, Lilah and Jacob, who range in age from 2 to 11. Wendy was a consultant at Head Start for family day care teachers and then a preschool teacher and parenting activities coordinator at the Jewish Community Center. After earning a master of social work, Wendy worked as a staff member of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley in the areas of allocations and program evaluation. She has served on the boards of United Way and Congregation Keneseth Israel and has been board president of the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation, and Jewish Family Service. Ross has been associ-
ated with Just Born Quality Confections in Bethlehem for over 41 years, and currently serves as co-CEO alongside his cousin, David Shaffer, chair of the board. Ross and Wendy consider David and his wife Sue to be role models for philanthropy in the Lehigh Valley. Ross has been involved in a wide range of community and industry activities— among them the National Confectioners Association,
for which he is a past chair, and the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, for which he is a past president. Editor’s note: This article is re-printed with permission from the Eastern PA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Sponsorship and ticket information for the event is available at www.npdeasternpa.org.
Lisa Scheller Continues from page 12 gratitude and create opportunities for people who may not otherwise have them. That’s really what I’ve tried to do in my life through volunteerism or philanthropy or activism.” Scheller said she also gets a lot of satisfaction out of seeing young people succeed, which is why in addition to supporting the Hope & Coffee employees’ education at LCCC, she’s also created scholarships for other students with financial need there who finish with an associates degree and go on to a fouryear school, to help them to graduate debt-free. Another project which combines her passion for youth with her love of and connection to Israel is her relationship with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Not only was she intimately involved in the creation of the Woodman-Scheller Graduate School for Israel studies there, but she also was recently nominated to the board of governors for the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Scheller isn’t sure exactly what her next project will be after returning from her hybrid adventure/sabbatical, but there’s no doubt that she will do something extraordinary.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 13
14 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 15
16 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
A letter from (the mom of) a lone soldier
Helaina greeting her dad, Bruce, at the airport. By Alicia Zahn Special to HAKOL Are you worried? Are you proud? Are you missing her terribly? These are the most common questions I get about having a daughter in the IDF. I say yes to all of them. Worried, proud, missing her every day are all true, but mostly I am happy because I know Helaina is happy. We have nurtured a special connection to Israel with all our children, and Helaina has always been drawn to her homeland. It is definitely her "happy place," and we all want to see our children happy. My husband, Bruce, and I visited in July hoping to
get to spend at least a week with our daughter, but were very grateful when we got to spend almost two weeks. We glimpsed her life on Kibbutz Afikim, had an emotional meeting with her host family and traveled the country with Helaina as our tour guide. We did not get to see her base (as we wouldn't be allowed inside), but we felt like we could now imagine how and where she spends her off-time. We met many young people, both Israeli and American, who are serving Israel. This gives me so much hope for our future. They were all humble and yet know that collectively their work is essential. Everyone we met
was friendly, welcoming and eager to show us the beauty of all that is Israel. On Helaina's last day with us before returning to base, we were in the Yoav region. Hanna Bachar, the Partnership2Gether Committee chair, invited many people from the committee and a former teen Israeli delegation to gather at her home. The atmosphere was like a family reunion. Many had met Helaina before, and some had only seen her in my photos. Every single person there extended a Shabbat invitation to her and then insisted on getting her WhatsApp number so they could follow up. It warmed my heart to know she had so much "family" to support her. So in response to the common questions: I am not too worried; I am very proud; and when it was time to say goodbye, I knew I would miss her more than ever. But it was a blessing seeing her in her happy place. In the blink of an eye, she was all dressed in her uniform and ready to take the train to her base. After hugs and tears, our visit was over, and we have some incredible memories that will have to tide us over until we see her again. Editor’s note: Helaina Zahn, an Allentown native, has been writing an ongoing column about her experience as a lone soldier in the IDF. This month, we gave her a break, and asked her mother, Alicia, to write instead, giving us her perspective on her recent visit to Israel to see Helaina.
Community Impact Grants bring Israel to the Lehigh Valley The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is excited to announce the allocation of many new Israel-themed Community Impact Grants (I-CIGs) for the new year. Through this funding, the Federation will be bringing Israel to our community through programming with various agencies and organizations. These events are designed to enrich Jewish life here in the Lehigh Valley by connecting it to the spirit and culture of the land of Israel. At the Jewish Day School, there are four projects planned. The Israel Film Festival, Jr. is a five-part Jewish/Israeli Film series for 5th through 8th graders. Partial funding will also go to “A Taste Around the World,” hosting themed dinners to showcase the diversity of the Jewish peoplehood, and to conducting a pilot 10-week online learning session live from Israel called IsraEdOnline. The fourth project is a joint one with the JCC. “Chagigat b’Shavuot b’Kibbutz” will be a 10week program led by community shlicha Rotem Bar on the history, symbols and tradition of how a Moshav celebrates Shavuot, culminating in an all day celebration with hayrides, food tasting and music. Also at the JCC will be two other events. One is the ongo-
ing Jewish/Israeli Film Series, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, featuring Israel-themed films and bringing a keynote speaker. The other is a 10-week Israeli cooking class series that will allow participants to explore the historical traditions of what we consider to be Jewish food while sharing their backgrounds. It aims to give participants a chance to build a stronger and deeper connection to worldwide Jewry. I-CIGs will also be used elsewhere in the Valley. At Temple Beth El, “A Walk of the Land: The Israel National Trail” will take place in Nov. 14. The program will consist of a talk accompanied with slide photographs by Udi Goren, a travel photographer, speaker, teacher and artist. And Chabad of the Lehigh Valley will run a six-week course for adults to educate them on our ancestral homeland, which will culminate in a Shabbaton with a scholar and food. Funding from I-CIGS will also enable Federation to grant subsidies to local women from the community to attend next year’s Momentum mission. These meaningful experiences of Israel are made possible by a grant from Lewis and Roberta Gaines. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 17
Connecting with her Jewish heritage at summer camp Until age 17, Uliana had no real connection to her Jewish identity, only a desire to explore and learn more about it. The Jewish Agency for Israel During the Soviet era, Jews were subjected to state-sponsored discrimination—in education, in the workplace and in other areas of civil society—with their passports and official documents marked with the nationality of JEW. As a result, Jews were forced to disregard their heritage or practice it in secret. Most Jews living in the Soviet Union have little knowledge of what it means to be Jewish, and no understanding of what it means to have a positive Jewish identity. Such was the case with
Uliana. Growing up in Velikiy Novgorod, Uliana never knew her father, who was Jewish. Yet she wanted to connect with her heritage and felt that going to Jewish summer camp was the way to do so. Jewish overnight camps have long been known for strengthening campers’ ties to their Jewish roots—and that’s especially important in the FSU. The Jewish Agency’s summer camps offer intensive five- to 14-day immersive Jewish experiences, in a fun, interactive Jewish learning environment that provides a gateway to a lifetime of involvement with Judaism and Israel. For the majority of participants, camp is their first introduction to Jewish history, culture and Israel as the heart of the Jewish people. “The most amazing experience for me at camp was Shabbat at sunset. I felt myself becoming a full-fledged part of a big community that accepted me as I was,” recalled Uliana. ”In the summer camp, the counselors were not overseers, but friends that care about me and my life.” In 2017-18, 8,112 camp-
ers and counselors ages 6-27 took part in almost 130 educational overnight summer and seasonal camps held in 25 locations throughout the FSU. Because of Uliana’s experience at the FSU camp, she’s considering joining The Jewish Agency’ Educational Leadership Institute
(ELI) counselor training program, as she doesn’t want to let go of her connection to the camp and the people she met there. “I'm generally a closedoff person, but I was able to open up at camp, and now I want to positively influence someone else who needs it like I did,” said Uliana. “My
heart is filled with joy and new emotions because of my time at camp. I feel that I belong to something big and special —to the Jewish world.” Editor’s Note: The Jewish Agency for Israel is an overseas partner of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah! SteelStacks is the perfect venue for your next event. The ArtsQuest Center and the surrounding campus is an ideal location to host a spectacular social or corporate experience your guests will be talking about for years. From the first hello to the final farewell – every detail is handled by ArtsQuest’s courteous hospitality professionals.
Contact us today! call Chelsea at 610-297-7116
18 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
By Sean Boyle JDS Librarian Dara Horn’s novel “Eternal Life” is set-in modern-day New York, where we meet Rachel reflecting on her and her children’s lives. Rachel provides anecdotes regarding her 63rd son and his rowdy brothers, and how they compare with her latest children and grandchildren. Rachel is over 2,000 years old and unable to die. Rachel is born the daughter of a Jewish scribe during the Second Temple period and helps delivers her father’s works in ancient Jerusalem. It is then that she meets and has a child with the high priest’s son, Elazar. In order to save the young child’s life during a deadly illness, both parents make a vow at the Temple. They trade their ability to die for their son’s recovery. When Rachel and Elazar regenerate, they begin life anew at the age at which they made their vow. They can grow old, but not die. “Eternal Life” is a firstperson narrative told
through Rachel’s perspective, set in the present. Rachel focuses on ways to finally die and reminisces upon her long life. Through these memories, we learn about some of the hundreds of children she has given birth to, the many achievements of Jewish scholars over the past 2,000 years and how the Jewish people have been mistreated through the centuries. In addition, she contemplates her long and complicated relationship with Elazar and her desire to finally escape him. Horn explores what it would be like to be a woman who must repeat the experiences of motherhood with new partners century after century. Horn chooses not to focus on an immortal who attempts to achieve great endeavors or amend past mistakes that will set the characters free. Instead, she focuses on what it would be like to live as a fertile woman who has given birth to hundreds of children, raised them to adulthood, and must continuously start over again as a young woman. Rachel continuously fulfills the traditional role of women as a supportive partner that submits to familial obligations and, despite her desire to change, chooses in the end to start new families with each regeneration. Highly recommended for ages 16-120. A copy of “Eternal Life” is available at the Jewish Day School Library.
Gal Gadot to play Jewish actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr in Showtime series By Josefin Dolstein Jewish Telegraphic Agency It’s official: Gal Gadot will portray Jewish actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr in a Showtime limited series. The cable network made the announcement on Aug. 2. Gadot had been rumored as the leading candidate for the role for about a year. The Israeli actress and her husband, Yaron Varsano, will also serve as executive producers of the still-untitled series alongside a team including Sarah Treem, Warren Littlefield and Katie Robbins. “The life of Hedy Lamarr was a truly fascinating one. She stood at the forefront of many issues that challenge women and our society today,” Showtime’s president of entertainment, Jana Winograde, said in a state-
ment. “In Gal Gadot, we have found the transcendent actress to portray the deeply complex Lamarr.” Lamarr is best known as a beautiful Hollywood star, having acted in films such as “Algiers” (1938), “Boom Town” (1940), “I Take This Woman” (1940), “Come Live With Me” (1941) and “Samson and Delilah” (1949). But she was also credited with creating a prototype for a frequency-hopping
signal during World War II that could help the Allies disrupt radio-controlled torpedoes. Later versions of the system were used in the creation of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Austria, the daughter of a Ukrainian Jewish father and a mother from an upper-class Jewish family in Budapest, though her mother converted to Catholicism.
Eternal Life (Horn, Dara, New York, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2018, 256p.)
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 19
It’s never too late: Eight celebrate b’nai mitzvah rite of passage at Brith Sholom By Lora Geftic Congregation Brith Sholom Traditionally, a bar or bat mitzvah takes place when a boy is 13 years old or a girl is 12 years old plus one day. But this group of eight b’nai mitzvah at Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem range from young adults to senior citizens. They undertook this task with a strong sense of dedication to completing their personal rite of passage. “Having a b’nai mitzvah was something I always longed to earn. I recall attending a bat mitzvah sometime when I was in eighth grade at King Junior High School in Los Angeles. I asked my parents if I could have one, and they thought that was ridiculous for a girl,” Helen Appel, one of the eight members of this group, said. Stephanie Berman, one of the six women in the group, echoed Appel’s words. “Becoming a bat mitzvah was something I never consid-
ered. I come from a very secular family. My dad, who was from a Frum home, had an incident that turned him off to ritual Judaism. My mother, the product of an observant mother and a father who was an Ethical Culturist, had no religious education. My parents never belonged to a shul and never sent me to Hebrew School,” Berman said. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1960s that this practice became more common in Reform and Conservative synagogues. According to myJewishlearning. com, “Because women were not required to perform any overt or visible mitzvot as were men, a ceremony made little sense.” But that did not stop Rabbi Michael Singer of Congregation Brith Sholom. He started this class because times have changed. Brith Sholom encourages everyone in the congregation to become active participants in the service, including being called to the Torah for an Aliyah, reciting the Haftorah or Torah portion or simply follow-
ing along as an active participant during the service. These activities all involve a basic ability to read Hebrew. “Teaching this class is one of the most rewarding things I get to do,” Singer said. “Many of the students never really learned Hebrew or the meaning of the sections of the prayer book, even though they had a bar or bat mitzvah. In this class, we started by learning the Aleph-Bet, and now each student will be reading from the Torah. I love looking at all the photos of the students I have helped accomplish this over the years, as it brings me great joy.” Becoming a B’nai Mitzvah takes dedication and a desire to do more than just attend services on Shabbat. Every Wednesday afternoon for two years, Maria Ain, Helen Appel, Harris Apsell, Stephanie Berman, David Boyd, Marla Freedman, Laura Sakasitz and Barbara Shapiro have been attending class with Rabbi Singer, learning Hebrew, practicing
Happy New Year! Allentown & Lebanon Allentown & Wilkes-Barre
20 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
reading passages in the Torah, recognizing and singing the Trope (the ritual chanting of text) and studying and discussing the entire Torah. “The decision to take the b'nai mitzvah class had little to do with my becoming a b'nai mitzvah. My aunts, uncles and cousins were all observant, and I was at a loss if I went to their house for Shabbat or holidays as to what the Hebrew was all about,” Berman said. “Many years later, when I met my second husband, I found myself attending shul fairly regularly, and I could not keep up with the service. He helped me with my Hebrew, and I did improve. When the opportunity came up to really learn from someone who knew how to teach Hebrew, I thought, why not.” Freedman always wanted to be a Bat Mitzvah. “When my son was studying to be a Bar Mitzvah, I thought I would become a Bat Mitzvah before he did. But that never happened. In college, even though I was
a Judaic major, this still did not happen,” Freedman said. “This class has given me more confidence. After all, the more knowledge you have, the better off you are.” Although the process has been difficult, they all feel quite rewarded by their accomplishments. For Appel, the b’nai mitzvah gives her a “major sense of accomplishing a lifelong goal.” For Berman, even though she still does not understand all the Hebrew words, she is “quite pleased with herself” being able to read from the Torah correctly and follow the service with ease. For Apsell, who had a bar mitzvah years ago, learning the Trope was his goal, something that he says he is still struggling to get right. And he is not alone. Boyd, who taught himself to speak Hebrew with the help of his Israeli friends, also is concentrating on learning the Trope. He hopes one day to chant from the Torah regularly. To Ain, becoming a B’nai Mitzvah “is thanks to the passion and patience of our teacher, Rabbi Singer, and the energy and enthusiasm of my classmates that, much to my astonishment, I have arrived at this day. This is another step in my growing in the Jewish faith." Shapiro echoed these same sentiments. “I am proud of myself. I set out to achieve something that is so much a part of my history. It wasn’t easy, but we did it together,” Shapiro said. “Becoming a B'nai Mitzvah means that I now have the knowledge to continue to chant the Torah and Haftarah when called upon to do so. It means that as I live a life of devotion to my faith, I can finally celebrate this milestone (albeit 21 years later) with my family, friends and my incredibly amazing Brith Sholom community,” Sakasitz said. Rabbi Singer and the members of this class couldn’t agree more. It is a new start on their Jewish journey, proving that “it’s never too late.”
Celebrating Shabbat out of the box By Ann Friedenheim Congregation Keneseth Israel From the time we are children and learning the Ten Commandments, we are taught to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. But what does this mean, and how do we make this commandment come alive? Keeping the Sabbath can range from the most Orthodox observances to the most secular. No matter what the specific congregational or family traditions, in order to keep the Sabbath, it is most important to pause and make the day different and more special than the other days of the week. By honoring the Sabbath, we have the opportunity to connect
with each other in a different way and connect with that which is greater than ourselves, the Divine Presence. It is a time to stop doing and pay attention to being. At Congregation Keneseth Israel, we have always welcomed the Sabbath through Friday night services, followed by a time of fellowship at the Oneg Shabbat. However, only on those Saturdays when there is a bar or bat mitzvah is there a second chance to give Shabbat the special attention it deserves. This is about to change. Last Spring, the Women of KI’s Shabbat Yoga program was a huge success, appealing to people in addition to our Friday night
regular attendees. Clearly, there is community interest for Saturday morning activities. Welcome to “Shabbat Out of the Box,” a celebration of Shabbat on the second Saturday of each month. Beginning in September, KI will be offering opportunities to honor the Sabbath and explore its holiness with special events. These events will allow people to gather together and explore various and new ways to bring Shabbat alive in a way that is outside of the sanctuary service. “Shabbat Outside of the Box” will include meditation, creative writing, hiking, dancing, sharing a special meal, biking and art journaling. When discussing the range
Shabbat Out of the Box: Inspiring energy for keeping the Sabbath alive SEPT. 14, 2019, 10 to 11:30 a.m.,
MARCH 14, 2020, 10 to 11:30 a.m.,
OCT. 12, 2019, 10 to 11:30 a.m.,
APRIL 11, 2020, 6 to 8 p.m.,
NOV. 9, 2019, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
MAY 9, 2020, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.,
DEC. 14, 2019, 12 to 3 p.m.,
Please Join Us:
“Meditations on Loving Kindness, Joy and Forgiveness” with Ann Friedenheim “6 Word Memoirs” with Michele Salomon “Hiking: Celebrating Nature” with Melissa & Harvey Hakim. Meet at Geiger’s Covered Bridge, Old Packhouse Road, Orefield, PA 18069 “Art Journaling” with Betsy Harting ($18 in advance by Dec. 1)
JAN. 11, 2020, 10 to 11:30 a.m., “Share Your Inspiring Literature”
FEB. 8, 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., “Israeli Dancing” with Don Shillinger
of Shabbat-friendly programs to be held on Saturdays, Rabbi Seth Phillips pointed to the Hassidic story “The Boy and the Flute,” by the great teacher and scholar, Baal Shem Tov. In this Yom Kippur story, there is a father and his son. The father tries, rather desperately and repeatedly, to prevent his unruly son from playing his flute on the holiest of days. The father believes that his son is not religious, does not understand the readings, cannot follow the services and judges his son in this way. He sees this desire to break the rules and play the flute as an example of his son’s religious lacking. In the end of the story, to the father’s great embarrassment, the persistent son does find a way to play his flute. And the rabbi ends up cutting the service short. But why? The rabbi states that the boy’s naïve and pure heart and expression had lifted everyone’s prayers directly to the Divine and eased the rabbi’s need to carry on the service.
This story opens the door to our considering the possibilities of how we can honor religious and spiritual traditions. We welcome the community to explore these possibilities with us. On Shabbat, we are encouraged to move from the world of routine and to the world of slowing down and making time for tuning in. At KI, we hope to use experiences with nature, the arts and community to help us on this path.
“Shabbat Poetry Writing Workshop” with Audrey Nolte “Pesach Matzo Pot Luck and Havdalah”
“Bicycling” with Marty Katz at Upper Saucon Township Community Park, 3231 Preston Lane, Bethlehem, PA
All events are at Congregation Keneseth Israel, 2227 Chew Street, Allentown, unless otherwise specified. All events are free except the “Art Journaling” in December. We are requesting that interested individuals RSVP via the website www.kilv.org or by calling the office at 610-435-9074.
Regency Real Estate Contact Larry Ginsburg Cell: 610-393-0892 Office: 610-432-5252 Larry.Ginsburg@BHHSRegency.com
Local Ownership. Local Commitment. Good to know.TM
610-628-2355 | valleyinjury.com
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Happy Rosh Hashanah! Provident Bank wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year.
From Ari Forgosh, D.M.D., Sharon, Ashley, Shannon, & Melissa
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 21
Americans don’t know much about Judaism but love the Jews, survey says By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Wed., Oct. 23
7:30 PM - $95 VIP Meet & Greet/$36 Sponsored by B104 and lehighvalleylive.com + The Express-Times
453 Northampton St., Easton, PA 610-252-3132 1-800-999-STATE www.statetheatre.org
U.S. Jews know more about religion in general than their non-Jewish neighbors, a new survey shows. Americans who are not Jewish, meanwhile, don’t know a lot about Judaism. But they like Jews more than any other religious group. And they think there are more Jews in the country than there actually are. The more non-Jews know about Jews, the more they like them. The data comes out of a new survey on what Americans know about religion published in July by the Pew Research Center. The survey asked a group of diverse Americans a set of 32 questions about religion, ranging from knowledge of the Bible and Christianity to knowledge of Judaism and other religions. Ten of the questions related to Judaism in some way: four asked directly about Jewish history, practice and texts; five were about the Hebrew Bible; and one was about the size of America’s Jewish population. The survey was conducted Feb. 4-19 and included a total of nearly 11,000 respondents. The margin of error for the whole group was 1.5 percent. The margin of error for the Jewish sample was 8.6 percent. Here are three takeaways from the survey. Americans don’t know a lot
PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT
CONGRESSWOMAN CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN SUSAN WILD WILD
wishes wishes you you aa happy happy new new year year
Over the last year, I’ve worked hard in Congress to protect your right to quality, affordable healthcare. This includes leading important bills & amendments that passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. In an effort to make the year ahead a little sweeter for everyone, I’ll be fighting to lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, protect Social Security & Medicare, and bring good jobs to the district.
PAID FOR BY SUSAN WILD FOR CONGRESS
22 SEPTEMBER 2019 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
about Judaism. Out of four questions on Judaism, non-Jewish Americans got a dismal score: They averaged less than one out of four correct. Besides Jews themselves, atheists did the best on the Jewish questions, averaging 1.3 correct answers. None of the questions on Judaism received a majority of correct answers: • 29 percent of respondents knew that the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) begins on Friday night. • 27 percent knew Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) was associated with Judaism. • 24 percent knew that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. • 13 percent knew Maimonides was a Jewish scholar. Older Americans did better on all of these questions than the youth. Forty percent of those 65 and older, for example, knew that the Jewish Sabbath begins on Friday night, compared to 18 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29. Jews did much better on these questions than non-Jews, averaging 3.1 correct out of four. Nearly 90 percent knew that Shabbat begins on Friday night, almost 80 percent knew Kabbalah is Jewish, 82 percent knew Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and 58 percent knew that Maimonides was Jewish. Americans as a whole also
didn’t know how many Jews live in the country. Fewer than one in five knew that Jews are less than 5 percent of Americans. A quarter thought Jews were more than 5 percent of Americans, and the rest of the respondents didn’t know. But Jews know a lot about religion. Jews didn’t only outscore their non-Jewish counterparts when it came to Jewish knowledge. They outscored everyone when it came to general religious knowledge, too. Besides the questions on Jewish practice, history and text, seven questions were about Christianity, nine were about the Bible, including the New Testament, nine were about “world religions,” two were about atheism and agnosticism, and two were about religion in the United States. Jews were the only religiously affiliated group to get a majority of the questions right. On average, Jews got 18.7 questions right out of 32, as opposed to a national average of 14.2. Atheists and agnostics also got a majority of questions right, but the closest religiously affiliated group was evangelical Christians, who got an average of 15.5 correct. Jews scored highest, the survey said, “even after controlling for levels of education and other key demographic characteristics such as race, age and gender.” Jews also scored high on world religions and on knowledge of atheism and agnosticism. Ninety percent, for example, knew that atheists don’t believe in God. More than 85 percent knew that Ramadan is an Islamic holy month and that Mecca is an Islamic holy city. They were above average when it came to knowledge of the Bible (including the New Testament) and knowledge of Christianity. On the question of who saved the Jews from murder by appealing to the king (an occasion marked by the Jewish holiday of Purim), 66 percent of Jews correctly responded “Esther,” as opposed to 28 percent of Americans as a whole. The more Americans know Jews, the more they like them. As other surveys have shown, Americans tend to have warm feelings toward Jews. Asked to rate religious groups on a thermometer scale, from 1 to 100, Jews got an average rating of 63, the highest of any group. Forty-one percent rated Jews at 67 or higher, while 8 percent rated Jews 33 or lower. Atheists and Muslims scored lowest, both with an average thermometer score of 49. The more Americans knew about religion in general, and Judaism in particular, the more they liked Jews. Those who answered 25 or more questions correctly, for example, gave Jews an average rating of 70. And those who know Jews personally also rated them higher. The respondents who know Jews gave Jews an average rating of 66, versus 56 from those who do not know any Jews.
Community Calendar To list an event in the Community Calendar, submit your information on our website, www.jewishlehighvalley.org, under the “Upcoming Events” menu. All events listed in the Community Calendar are open to the public and free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Programs listed in HAKOL are provided as a service to the community. They do not necessarily reflect the endorsement of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The JFLV reserves the right to accept, reject or modify listings.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
7 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel Call KI at 610-435-9074 for more information. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
LUNCH & LEARN The American Dream: Lehigh Valley Jewish Families and the Textile Industry
12 to 1:30 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Hear from the male members of the Jewish community who built successful textile production businesses and made their living in the Greater Lehigh Valley. Muhlenberg Professors Gail Eisenberg and Susan Clemens return to share even more of the oral history they’ve collected. Many local community members will be featured. $12 for lunch and program. RSVP to 610-821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
The Israeli Elections: What’s Next?
10 to 11:30 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley With no government formed after the election this spring, Israel has taken the unusual step to call new elections for Sept. 17. Come find out what makes this election different from all other elections with featured speaker Rotem Bar, the Lehigh Valley’s Israeli shlicha. $10 for brunch and program. RSVP to the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or email@example.com. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
Stressed About College? A Program for Parents and High School Students 2 to 4 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley If you have more questions than answers, please join Jewish Family Service and the Jewish Community Center in navigating how to minimize and manage the stress that goes with the college application process. Guest speakers: Melissa Falk, dean of admissions and financial aid at Muhlenberg College, and Lisa Dubreuil, director of college counseling at Moravian Academy. Free. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
PJ Celebrates Rosh Hashanah
3 to 5 p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Take a “ride” through Israel with Engineer Ari on a Rosh Hashanah Story walk. Visit different “stations” as you enjoy Rosh Hashanah activities, crafts, snacks and, of course, a PJ Library story. Stations designed by our Israeli shlicha Rotem Bar. Free. RSVP to Abby Trachtman at 610-821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7th - 9th graders meets every Monday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to explore the history of Israel, lessons from the Holocaust and electives based on the students’ interest, along with snacks and social time. TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 17
LIFE & LEGACY Year 2 Celebration
6:30p.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley To recognize and celebrate our community’s generosity and the wonderful success of the LIFE & LEGACY program in the Lehigh Valley. Contact Jim Mueth at 610-821-5500 or jim@jflv. org to learn more. THROUGH WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Temple Beth El Sisterhood’s Annual High Holiday Challah, Babka & Honey Cake Sale
Temple Beth El Baked in NY, Bagels ‘N More’s challahs, babkas and honey cakes are made fresh daily, freeze beautifully and are baked in a nut-free environment. Orders and payments are due by Wednesday, Sept. 18. Orders can be picked up at Temple Beth El on Friday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. To place an order, call Temple Beth El at 610-435-3521 or email jmoxfeld@ gmail.com. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Harvest 5K Run/Walk
1:30 p.m. registration, 3;30 p.m. race, Cedar Beach Park, Allentown Also includes a 1 mile fun run and virtual race. Proceeds benefit Central Elementary School. Enjoy big discounts on team registration. Pay $25 for first four members and $10 for each additional member up to 15 members per team. Register by Aug. 31 and get a free shirt. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Try-It Night: Temple Beth El Monday Night Teen Education Program for 10th - 12th Graders
6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Temple Beth El Open to the community. Dinner for teens followed by opening Shalshelet session. Q&A for parents with the school director from 6:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by Sept. 9 to email@example.com. Shalshelet for 10th - 12th graders meets twice a month on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and includes dinner and icebreakers, community facilitators and hot teen topics looking at real-world issues through multiple Jewish perspectives. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3
Jewish Federation Major Donor Reception
6:30 p.m., private residence The Jewish Federation will inaugurate its 2020 Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs with a reception for major donors featuring a story of activism and hope. Featured speaker Rudy Rochman was born in France and has lived all around the world. At the age of 17, he voluntarily enlisted in the IDF Paratroopers and served as a sniper in the 101st Airborne Brigade. Now, he is revolutionizing campus discourse through ground-
breaking Zionist activism. Rudy enrolled at Columbia University because it was listed as the #1 most anti-Semitic school in North America. There, he founded a grassroots pro-Israel movement on campus called Students Supporting Israel, which became the strongest university activist group in the world with over 800 members. In 2018, he graduated from Columbia and was named one of the 36 Under 36 most influential Jews in the world. Attendance requires a $5,000 minimum family commitment to the campaign. Adult children of major donors are encouraged to attend. RSVP by Sept. 27 to 610-821-5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6
Maimonides Society Brunch: How May I Be of Service?
10:15 to 11:45 a.m., JCC of the Lehigh Valley Hear how the area’s major health networks are providing care and service to those in need in our community. Free for Maimonides members and spouses, $10 for community members. To register, contact the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or mailbox@jflv. org or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6
NYC Bus Trip: Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
8:30 a.m. departs from the JCC of the Lehigh Valley This 90-minute guided tour of the Auschwitz Exhibit features over 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world. Price includes round-trip transportation, light breakfast, and entrance to the exhibit with guided tour. Limited spots available. Itinerary: 8:30 a.m. bagel and coffee breakfast/bus departs JCC; 11:30 a.m. arrive in NYC; 3 p.m. depart NYC; 6 p.m. arrive back at JCC. Price: $95; JCC Members $80. To register or for more information, please call the JCC Welcome Desk at 610-435-3571 or go online at lvjcc.org/bustrip. This program was made possible in part by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
CommUNITY Concert: Hatikva 6 LIVE at ArtsQuest
Doors open at 7 p.m., concert begins at 7:30 p.m., Musikfest Cafe at SteelStacks Bring the unity to community as we come together for a ONE-NIGHT-ONLY, all-the-wayfrom-Israel performance by Hatikva 6! With 40 million YouTube views and countless hits at the top of the Israeli charts, Hatikva 6 is renowned for its global and roots style with Hebrew, English and French lyrics. General admission tickets are $100 and include wine, dessert and valet parking. Sponsorship opportunities starting at $500. This event WILL SELL OUT so get your tickets now. Presented by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Contact the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or email@example.com or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/hatikva6 to learn more.
Celebrate the beauty of Shabbat
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Try-It Night: Temple Beth El Monday Night Teen Education Program for 7th - 9th Graders 6:30 p.m., Temple Beth El Open to the community. Welcome dinner for families of 7th - 9th graders followed by an introduction to core classes and choosing electives. Students stay for their first core class until 8:30 p.m. RSVP by Sept. 9 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Midrasha for
with Cantor Wartell
FRIDAYS 8-9:30 AM WMUH 91.7 muhlenberg.edu/wmuh 484.664.3456
Shabbat & Yom Tov Candlelighting Times Friday, Sept. 6
Friday, Sept. 27
Friday, Sept. 13
Friday, Oct. 4
Friday, Sept. 20
Friday, Oct. 11
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | SEPTEMBER 2019 23
L’Shana Tova! Weis Markets extends to you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!
Fresh Kosher Whole Chicken
Fresh Kosher Cut-up Chicken
Fresh Kosher Chicken Leg Quarters
KOSHER PAREVE PAS YISRAEL
0 5 $
9 9 $ Gala or Granny Smith Apples - per pound
Selected Gunter’s Honey 12 ounce
Kedem Sparkling Grape Juice 25.4 ounce
$ 99 Gold’s Borscht
Manischewitz Matzo Ball or Matzo Ball Soup Mix - 4.5 or 5 oz
Rokeach Shabbos Candles 72 count
Rokeach Memorial Candles each
Plain or w/ raisins - each
Kedem Concord Grape Juice - 64 ounce
Osem Consomme Soup Mix 14.1 ounce
Lipton Onion soup Mix - 1.9 ounce; Manischewitz Medium Selected Lipton Kosher Recipe Noodles - 14.1 ounce Secrets - 4.09 ounce
Kedem Tea Biscuits 4.2 ounce
Selected Manischewitz Gefilte - 24 ounce
visit us at www.weismarkets.com or connect with us on Prices through September 30, 2019.
We also carry many of your favorite Kosher deli, dairy, frozen and grocery products.
We reserve the right to limit quantities. Not responsible for typographical or pictorial errors.
EAT BETTER, SPEND LESS.
The Jewish newspaper of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.