HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
FEBRUARY 2016 | SH’VAT/ADAR 1 5776
Lehigh Valley synagogues to celebrate Shabbat as one By Rabbi David Wilensky Congregation Sons of Israel
HAMENTASHEN MAKE & TAKE Women’s Division event to use special recipe. See page 5.
MACCABI GAMES Local teens represent the U.S. See page 12.
On Feb. 12 and 13, our community will experience a celebration of unity that is infrequently experienced today in Jewish communities throughout the world. All of the Lehigh Valley synagogues-- Temple Beth El, Congregation Keneseth Israel, Temple Shirat Shalom, Chabad, Congregation Brith Sholom, Bnai Abraham Synagogue, Congregation Am Haskalah, Temple Covenant of Peace, and Congregation Sons of Israel-- will celebrate Shabbat together. Featured as part of this event are two world renowned Chazanim, Yanky and Shulem Lemmer. Yanky is the cantor at the Lincoln Square Synagogue and Shulem is a lead member of the Shira Choir. Both have performed separately at Congregation Sons of Israel during the past year, and are brought back by strong demand. They are a well-known part of the international music and Jewish community scene. From concerts in the United States to events and performances throughout Europe and Israel, including performances at the White House, the War-
saw Ghetto 70th Anniversary Commemoration and the Barclay center in Brooklyn, the Lemmers are known as two of the greatest up-andcoming young chazzanim in the Jewish world. There will be a community–wide Friday Night Shabbat dinner on Feb. 12 held at Congregation Sons of Israel at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be preceded by Friday night services led by the Lemmer brothers at 5:15 p.m. Exciting youth programming for children of all ages will entertain our children throughout the evening. Shabbat morning services (again led by the Lemmer brothers) will take place Saturday morning Feb. 13, beginning at 9 a.m., and a Seudah Shlishit and Havdallah service will take place at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday. The entire weekend program is held in memory of Dr. Steven Weiner and graciously funded in part by the Dr. Steven Weiner Memorial Fund. Growing up in New York and enjoying the myriad benefits and luxuries that Jewish life in the New York metropolitan area had to offer, the thought of any substantive aspect of Jewish life that had escaped my Jewish experiences seemed entirely absurd.
Yanky and Shulem Lemmer are coming to the Lehigh Valley for a special community Shabbat. However, in the relatively short amount of time that I have spent in the Lehigh Valley, I have experienced something that often proves elusive to even the greatest of Jewish communities. The Jewish quality to which I refer is achdut, or Jewish unity. Frankly, while both a congregant and as a rabbi in the New York area, I encountered the Jewish world outside my own religious environment as
Community Shabbat Continues on page 22
COMMUNITY SHABBAT Congregation Sons of Israel February 12 & 13
The cost is $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12, with a family maximum of $108. If you desire, you can just come for services. Please call April Daugherty at the Sons of Israel office at 610-433-6089 for dinner reservations for you and your family, or if you are in need of Shabbat accommodations.
Stanley Wax remembered as pillar of Lehigh Valley Jewish community By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor
GETTING READY FOR CAMP Get ready for a summer of fun. See pages 15-18.
No. 384 com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2 Women’s Division
Jewish Family Service 14 Jewish Day School
Jewish Community Center 20-21 Community Calendar
It is with great sadness that we mourn the recent passing of Stanley H. Wax, a distinguished Lehigh Valley Jewish community leader and honorary vice president and past president of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Wax had a long and impressive career in the apparel industry starting in 1966 when he joined Country Miss, Inc., the first women’s apparel company in America to be publicly held, which was
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located in Forks Township. He eventually became its President and CEO, establishing it as a force in the apparel industry and growing the company to 2,500 employees. After leaving Country Miss in 1989, he served as president of the Leslie Fay Retail division from 1993 to 1995, and he was responsible for the most outlet centers in the country. His remarkable professional achievements were honored by the outlet industry when he received its Founders Award in 1990. Wax was a pillar of the Jewish community in the Lehigh Valley. As a president of the Federation, he believed strongly in creating and maintaining a united community. “Stan’s longstanding involvement as a leader in the Jewish community was staggering,” said Rabbi Moshe Re’em. “He was a member and supporter of TBE, KI, Sons of Israel, and the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas. It didn’t matter your denomination – community and unity of community were important values for both Stan and Vicki. One of the aspects that Stan loved about this community was the lack of infighting and the way in which the various denominations all got along and
Stan and Vicki Wax in Israel during the Wax Family Fellows Mission in July. were united.” His other Jewish Federation leadership included past chairman of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation and, for over 20 years, he served as chairman of the Foundation's Investment Committee. In 1992, he received the Endowment Achievement Award from the Council of Jewish Federations for establishing supporting foundations of the Federation's constituent agencies. Fellow Foundation Board member Sandra Goldfarb remembered Wax as “a huge force and wonderful influence on the community. He gave a lot to our whole community, and he will be missed by everyone,” she said. He
also served on the boards of directors of Congregation Keneseth Israel and the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. He held leadership roles at the Jewish Day School, the Jewish Day School Endowment Foundations, and the local chapters for State of Israel Bonds and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Eva Levitt, who served with Wax on the board of the Jewish Day School, also organized missions to Israel alongside him for many years. “He was so enthusiastic about going to Israel that it was really
Stanley Wax Continues on page 22
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re going to need big feet to fill these shoes A few weeks ago our Jewish community was rocked by several notable deaths. This column is neither a eulogy nor obituary, but an attempt to sort out two lives of incredible merit and inspiration. I am still thinking through what it is like without Stan Wax and Regina Brenner. They were both, in their respective ways, giants in our community. Their lives were dedicated to strengthening Jewish life in the Lehigh Valley. They were staunch Zionists. They were active in several synagogues. They were giving of their time and resources, and they were uniquely focused on the future. Regina was an early supporter of our Partnership2Gether relationship with Yoav, Israel. She joined the steering committee, visited Yoav on a “volun-tour” program and returned to Yoav on a leadership mission tasked to define a partnership program which would transcend time. She helped us focus on children and youth and made sure the program always included Israeli teens who would visit the Lehigh Valley each year and work in our day camp and develop friends with their peers. Get the kids involved, she knew, and the parents will connect. Regina was a Holocaust survivor and a frequent speaker in our Holocaust Resource Center’s outreach program to
middle and high schools. She was a regular visitor to these schools and spoke about her and her family’s experiences during some difficult times. She was motivated to remember the past and honor those who perished through educating a future generation on the perils of evil unchecked. She was a powerful public speaker and cherished the interaction with these youth so they would make the right decisions when faced with bigotry, racism, or intolerance. She knew the importance of education and that investing in the youth was the only way to insure a future free from hatred. Stan Wax never asked anyone to do anything that he was not prepared to do himself. Among his numerous leadership positions he was Jewish Federation past president and lifetime honorary officer. His efforts helped solidify our Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the Federation’s community endowment program. He created the first family supporting foundation, the Wax Family Fund, and was a financial whiz who helped many agencies maintain policies of fiscal transparency and accountability. He reminded board members that we can do whatever we want with our own money, but when we become the custodians of communal charitable funds, we have a higher level of fiduciary
responsibility. I travelled to Israel with Stan on seven or eight trips. While he loved touring, nice hotels and a really good shawarma, he was in another world when visiting with children, teens and young IDF soldiers. His philanthropy was varied: he supported youth Aliyah villages, college students, programs at the Murray Goodman-Allentown ORT Maalot High School and lone soldiers in the IDF, among many others. He was motivated by supporting programs that impacted children because that impacted the future. In the Lehigh Valley those priorities materialized in his support for the JCC, the Jewish Day School and as a co-founder and co-funder of the Lehigh Valley’s PJ Library program. Prior to his death, the PJ Library program had been responsible for distributing over 15,700 free Jewish books and CDs to children in the Lehigh Valley. Stan’s love for Israel, his commitment to fierce pro-Israel advocacy and his commitment to the future manifested itself in the Wax Family Fellows program. Stan and his wife Vicki crafted a program of high level speaker experiences, the AIPAC Policy Conference, and a special mission to Israel for selected young leaders. The goal of the program was high-
JFLV receives Community Partnership Award from Meals on Wheels
IN HONOR RENEE AND ANDRAS BOGI Birth of their daughter, Riley Julia SHALOM BABY
BLAKE GOLDING (Husband of Amy Eichenwald Golding) Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel Vicki and Stan Wax
JEN AND ZACK EINSTEIN Birth of their daughter, Ellery Anne SHALOM BABY
RUTH GREENBLAT (Mother of Alix Greenblat and Barbara Luber) Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel PAUL SCHIFFMAN (Father of Michael Schiffman) Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel STANLEY WAX (Husband of Vicki Wax) Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel (Father of Robby Wax) Rob Pinel
TO ORDER TREES, call the JFLV at 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org. 2 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
HAKOL is published 11 times per year for the Jewish communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and vicinity by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.
built our community and are essential for its future. And perhaps because we understand that they are no longer among us and our memories of them obligate us to continue the higher purposes which defined their lives. It is for us to fill their shoes, just as they did for those who preceded them. We’re going to need big feet.
HAKOL STAFF Laura Rigge
JFLV Director of Marketing
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JFLV EXECUTIVE STAFF Mark L. Goldstein Executive Director
Director of Finance & Administration
Director of Planned Giving & Endowments
Director of Outreach & Community Relations
Mark H. Scoblionko JFLV President
Monica Friess, Acting Chair Barbara Reisner Judith Rodwin Sara Vigneri
Member American Jewish Press Association
We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship by requesting that trees be planted in the Yoav--Lehigh Valley Partnership Park.
IN MEMORY REGINA BRENNER (Mother of Scott Brenner) Judy and Marc Diamondstein Jan and Glenn Ehrich and Family Lisa and Barnet Fraenkel
Phone: (610) 821-5500 Fax: (610) 821-8946 E-mail: email@example.com
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
RABBI DANIEL AND DENA STEIN Birth of their son, Judah Aryeh SHALOM BABY
Mail, fax, or e-mail to: JFLV ATTN: HAKOL 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104
The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley was honored with Meals on Wheels of the Lehigh County’s Community Partnership Award on Jan. 22. The award recognizes the Federations for its contributions to Meals on Wheels, starting in December of 1974. Since that time, volunteers from the Federation have accumulated 3,712 hours, made 9,280 visits, and delivered 18,560 meals. Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County Executive Director Pamela S. Bechtel praised the dedication of Federation volunteers. “As the years went by, your commitment grew along with our program,” Bechtel said. “We wouldn’t have been able to meet the needs of our homebound clients without the participation of your volunteers. We will be forever grateful.”
SIRI AND JACOB EISEN Birth of their daughter, Adelise Simone Day SHALOM BABY
lighted from its beginning: get involved; if involved, get more involved; advocate for Israel; advocate for overseas needs; and don’t just be donors who give money, but be philanthropists who give money and work toward insuring our Jewish community’s and Israel’s future. Regina and Stan never forgot their personal and Jewish pasts. But they were focused on the future, focused on educating and engaging younger people to be involved and to insure a stronger and better future. Their lives were lived with purpose and with merit. We often lament the passing of those whose involvement and philanthropy were exemplary, perhaps because they were, in fact, so exemplary. Perhaps because it seems harder today to find enough people to carry on those values that
All advertising is subject to review and approval by The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley (JFLV). JFLV reserves the right to decline, withdraw and/ or edit any ad. The appearance of any advertising in HAKOL does not represent an endorsement or kashrut certification. Paid political advertisements that appear in HAKOL do not represent an endorsement of any candidate by the JFLV.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT In order to unite, sustain, and enhance the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and support Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to the following core values:
• Supporting Jews in need wherever they may be. • Supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland. • Supporting and encouraging Jewish education in the Lehigh Valley as a means of strengthening Jewish life for individuals and families. • Supporting programs and services of organizations whose values and mission meet local Jewish needs. To accomplish this mission the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is committed to the following operating guidelines: • Raising and distributing funds to support the core values. • Developing Jewish leaders. • Building endowments to support implementation of core values. • Committing to ongoing Jewish community strategic planning. • Fostering cooperation among organizations and community building. • Evaluating all decisions with respect to fiscal responsibility. • Identifying unmet needs and investing in community initiatives to help get them started. • Coordinating and convening a community response as an issue or need arises. • Setting priorities for allocation and distribution of funds. • Acting as a central address for communication about events, programs and services of the Jewish community as a whole. Approved by the JFLV Board of Directors on November 15, 2000
Ira Forman to speak on combating anti-Semitism
By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor As anti-Semitic attacks continue across the United States and around the world, learning how to combat anti-Semitism is more important than ever. Ira Forman, special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism for the U.S. Department of State, will provide an in-depth look into anti-Semitism around the world and what is being done at a federal level to combat it. Forman will be speaking on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. The program is sponsored by the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and is free and open to the community. Forman was sworn in as special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism in 2013. As the special envoy, he develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism. Inspired by his parents’ values, Forman has accumulated 30 years of experience in Jewish communal work and public service. Most recently Forman served as the Jewish outreach director for the Obama for America campaign. He served for nearly 15 years as the executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council and spent four years with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee where he worked as political director and legislative liaison. He has also served on the boards of a number of Jewish non-profits. In the Clinton Administration Forman was the director of Congressional relations for the Office of Personnel Management. Earlier in his career, he worked as professional staff of the Public Works and Transportation Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout his career, he has spoken and written extensively on Jewish history and public policy. Forman co-edited and wrote for the reference book “Jews In American Politics.” He has written articles on these topics for the Encyclopedia Judaica. He also staffed and helped edit the volume, “Democrats and the American Idea” in his role as a fellow in American politics and the economy at the Center for National Policy. Forman received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in government. He received his master’s from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “We’re very excited to be hosting Mr. Forman in the Lehigh Valley,” said JFLV Director of Outreach and Community Relations Aaron Gorodzinsky. “It’s such an important topic, and we are fortunate to be able to learn from someone of his background and experience.”
Jeri Zimmerman announced as new JFLV assistant executive director By JFLV Staff Jeri Zimmerman will join the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley staff in late February as the new assistant executive director. In this position, Zimmerman will assume primary professional leadership over the Annual Campaign. Zimmerman comes to the Lehigh Valley with significant Jewish Federation and Jewish communal professional experience. For the past 12 years, Zimmerman was the director of the Center for Israel and Overseas at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, where she provided coordination and leadership for funding and fundraising related to that Federation’s Israel and overseas agenda. As the founding director of that department, she led efforts to develop initiatives to strengthen relationships between synagogues, schools and agencies with the Federation’s overseas projects. She provided liaison services for donors interested in funding specific overseas projects and was instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Jewish Federation’s initiative Israel360, an intensive program
linking young adults to Israel. Her extensive Jewish communal experience also includes seven years as the Philadelphia regional director of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, and 10 years as the executive director of the UJA/Federation of Princeton, New Jersey. In both those positions she directed fundraising efforts, missions to Israel, and special event programming. At the Princeton UJA/ Federation, Zimmerman was instrumental in growing the annual campaign, strengthening the local agency service delivery system, and leading the strategic efforts to merge two Jewish federations, creating the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks in 1996. A graduate of Temple University, Zimmerman also holds a master of education in community counseling from Lehigh University. Zimmerman and her husband Len, director of development at Gratz College, have another local connection: Lehigh Valley is also the home to their grandson, Liav, and his parents Dr. Elliot and Chelsea Busch. Zimmerman and her husband are also the parents of Michael, and his wife Carly,
Zach, Shai and Gadi. Zimmerman succeeds Judy Diamondstein who resigned to become the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. Zimmerman is excited to get to work. “I am delighted to be joining the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and to be part of the dedicated staff team,” she said. “I'm also excited to meet and work with the community members to strengthen and support the local community, Israel and overseas Jewish communities. It is a privilege to be able to share my passion for Jewish communal life with such a vibrant community as the Lehigh Valley.”
To learn more about this event, contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/crc. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 3
WOMEN’S DIVISION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Pomegranates and Lions of Judah hear stories from Holocaust survivors On Jan. 17, members of the Women’s Division gathered to hear the stories of Holocaust survivors at the Pomegranate and Lion of Judah Afternoon Tea. Eva Levitt, Eva Derby and Libby Golomb shared their stories of surviving the Holocuast. Both Levitt and Derby were hidden by their mothers as babies in Czechoslovakia, while Golomb spent several years in Dachau. The crowd was enraptured by their stories. “It’s so important that we come together to share these stories,” said event organizer Rena Fraade. “When we hear these stories, we can better understand each other and apply the lessons to our own lives.” Special thanks to Sheila Berg, who hosted the event, and to Levitt, Derby and Golomb for sharing their stories.
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 4 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Update from Moran Alem Editor’s Note: This year, the Women’s Division committed to sponsor Moran Alem at the Alma Preparatory School, a premilitary academy that helps young women from the perfirary of Israel prepare for greater success in the IDF. Four months is not a long time to undergo such a change and process. I am happy. Every day I discover new things about myself, and every day I am so happy that I met amazing girls who came to Alma in order to make a change in our world. These girls, who four months ago were strangers to me, today are my sisters, my family, girls who no matter what happens I can count on for anything. This month was filled with action and fun. I would be happy to experience this month all over again. The Alma pre-army academy went on an expedition to the Negev, which was supposed to be eight days but was shortened due to weather. But because our motto is “the Alma pre-army academy stops at nothing,” we will make up those days later, and hike the paths that we didn’t get to complete this time. During our expedition, we saw beautiful sights of the Negev desert and slept in a tent outside. We learned about the people of Mitzpe Ramon (a town in the Negev) and stayed with locals for Shabbat dinner, which was certainly an experience.
This month, we also enjoyed “knowledge week,” during which we learned so much and attended a demonstration in Tel Aviv protesting violence against women. We spoke out and demonstrated female power. We also took two days in which, in pairs and triads, we shadowed Israeli women of all walks of life, attending work with them and learning from them. I shadowed a lawyer who is the head of a team of lawyers in the state attorney’s office in Jerusalem. She sent us to a number of court deliberations, which were very interesting. We learned a lot of legal terms and sat with her at a meeting with another lawyer, where we witnessed her ability to make important decisions. She showed us what patience and understanding of the other means. She told us “When you grow up and are looking for a job, do something that feels like your mission,” and reassured us that “you will be able to combine work and family and love what you do.” This was a very satisfying month. I can’t wait for what’s next.
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
Community favorite hamentashen Women’s Division holds recipe to be featured at Make and Take first newcomer’s event one of the first things we made together,” she said. Not a baker? Not to worry. “It’s one of those recipes and one of those things that everybody can make and have a good time making,” Rabbi Barbara said. They can “pick their different fillings and it always comes out good.” Though, she said, “It’s the kind you can’t just eat one of, for better or for worse.”
Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell demonstrates proper hamentashenmaking technique for Ilene Ringold and her son Sammy, now 16. By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing There are two things that make Ilene Ringold’s favorite hamentashen recipe extra special – the orange juice and the memories. Ringold vividly remembers helping her young children roll out the dough and pinch the corners during Purim activity classes with Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell at the JCC. “It’s just a warm feeling it brings back,” Ringold said. Though Rabbi Barbara, as she is universally known, has since moved out of town, Ringold and the Shalom Lehigh Valley committee of the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Division will share her recipe with a new group of Lehigh Valley women on Wednesday, March 9. The committee will host a Hamentashen Make & Take and
Recipe Swap for all members of the Women’s Division, though newcomers are especially encouraged to attend. Attendees will have the opportunity to make new memories together as they roll and pinch and pour in their favorite fillings. Baking will take place at home. Registration is a must by March 2 to ensure that enough supplies will be on hand. Women are encouraged to send in their own favorite hamentashen recipes upon registration to be shared at the event. Though Rabbi Barbara will not be able to attend the event, she said she is flattered that her recipe was chosen. The rabbi said she first got the recipe from one of her sisters and remembers making it with her own daughter, now almost 30. “When she was little, it was
On Jan. 12, the Shalom Lehigh Valley Committee held the first Women’s Division newcomer’s event. Nearly 30 people gathered to share in good company and good food. Thank you to Beth Kushnick and our wonderful committee for making everyone feel welcome and to Rachel Wilensky for an inspiring presentation on the impact of a new environment.
The Women’s Division Hamentashen Make & Take and Recipe Swap will be held on Wednesday, March 9, at 10 a.m. at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley. Cost is $10 at the door, including all supplies. Registration is required by March 2 to 610-821-5500, mailbox@jflv. org, or online at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/women.
Rabbi Barbara’s Hamentashen MIX: ½ lb. soft butter ½ cup sugar 1 egg 3 tsp vanilla 3 tbsp water or orange juice ADD: 3 cups flour ½ tsp baking powder Mix well with hands. Wrap dough in wax paper and chill. Divide the dough in flour sections, roll it out and cut circles with a glass. Then fill with your choice of filling (preserves, chocolate chips, peanut butter). Pinch corners tightly. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. (Makes about 40 cookies).
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 5
WHAT’S UP, DOC?
Celebrating 30 years
DR. PAUL LEMBERG COLUMN EDITOR
Being in the moment can improve your health, relationships BY RAYMOND SINGER, M.D. Every year I have trouble keeping my New Year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. What can I do to be more successful at improving my health this year? It’s that time of year when we are either still making resolutions or have already begun breaking them. Gym memberships will come and go. Diets will forever be a challenge in a world full of fast food. Even being a “better person” has its limits as soon as we find ourselves caught in traffic and late for work. But there is one thing that we can do that will truly make a difference in our lives. That one thing is simply being in the moment. It will make a difference in our health as
well as in our relationships. Moreover, it will enhance our success at home, at work, or at school. Are you in the moment right now? Are you completely focused on these words or is your mind distracted, thinking of ten different things that you need to do today? Have you recently read a paragraph in a book and realized that you can’t recall a single sentence or thought? Do you find yourself drifting off when people are talking to you? Most of all, do you find yourself consumed by worry and guilt? Worry and guilt. Most of us spend a lot of time worrying about the future. Perhaps we are concerned about an important upcoming event or a challenging time ahead at work, a possible promotion,
or perhaps the consequences of an illness or death in the family. We also spend a lot of time regretting the past, feeling guilty for our mistakes and missed opportunities, saddened by the words we said, or didn’t say. While life is full of challenges and demands, the question is whether we are consumed by these distractions and fears, or are we able to focus on the immediate important tasks at hand. Ironically, worrying about the future and feeling guilty about the past are the only two things that we can do absolutely nothing about. It is truly a waste of precious energy. For all of the useless anxiety that we invest in tomorrow and yesterday, there is no way of changing either. No matter how much we worry
about tomorrow, it will come. And no matter how much we fret about the past, we cannot undo what is done. Further, excessive worrying and feelings of extreme guilt can directly harm our health. Both can impact our sleep and our ability to focus. Over-eating is commonly associated with chronic stress, as is smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Studies have shown that a state of constant vigilance leads the body to produce excessive amounts of adrenalin which can directly damage heart muscle, leading to arrhythmias and heart failure. There is even a condition known as “stressinduced cardiomyopathy” for which the heart balloons out and can no longer function, giving credence to the notion of “being scared to death.” Our success in our families, at work, or in school, also depends on our ability to be in the moment. As a heart surgeon, every moment of every operation counts. There can be no exceptions. To save a person’s life, it is imperative to block out all distractions and to always have one’s head in the game. Most of all, being in the moment can improve our relationships, be it with our spouse, our kids or coworkers. A modern day
disturbing phenomenon is having someone looking at his or her cell phone while you are trying to have a face-to-face conversation. At meetings we are all miffed by colleagues who check their email and Facebook instead of paying attention to the work that needs to get done. Trust me, people notice. Wouldn’t we all be actually much better off putting down our phones and taking the time to look and listen? Making people feel like they are the most important individuals in the room will increase the chance of them feeling the same about us. Being in the moment is often referred to as mindfulness, being mindfully aware of what is going on right here and now. No doubt, we must always reflect on our past and prepare thoughtfully for the future. But imagine what a difference we could make in our lives right now if we simply let go of fear, worry, and guilt, and immerse ourselves in the moment and enjoy being present to those who we encounter. Now that’s a resolution worth keeping! Dr. Singer is the chief of cardiothoracic surgery and vicechair of quality and patient safety for the Department of Surgery at Lehigh Valley Health Network. He lives in South Whitehall Township.
MAIMONIDES 30 YEARS:
Dr. Lawrence Levitt
By Laura Rigge HAKOL Editor Editor’s Note: This is part of a series commemorating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Maimonides Society. Each month, we will profile one of the founding members. Dr. Lawrence Levitt can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a doctor. “When I was 10 years old, I was interviewed by a radio station in New York, and they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told them I wanted to be a doctor and a good Jew,” Levitt said. “I guess at least half of it came true!” 6 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Levitt was encouraged to become a doctor by his mother, Esther. “When I was six years old, I would go with her when she fed patients with chronic illness at the Beth Abraham Home and Hospital a few blocks from our home in the Bronx,” Levitt said. “I remember quite vividly, years later, her telling me that if I were ever to become a physician, she wanted me to become like ‘Kreisky, Navitzky and Machelefsky,’ family physicians in Ukraine who came by horse and buggy to visit her ailing grandfather and were paid in potatoes.”
Levitt Continues on page 13
It’s about the people, not the programs!
Amy Golding joins JDS as interim head of school
By Michele Salomon Congregation Keneseth Israel
By Sara Vigneri Jewish Day School
“How do we identify and attract non-affiliated Jews?” “How do we get Millennial Jews to join a synagogue?” These are top issues for Jewish organizations. A variety of sociological and demographic trends are at play with fewer people being affiliated with religion at all and the fast growth of the “just Jewish” variety of Judaism. What if there was an answer to these questions? What if religious and lay leaders of Jewish institutions could do something to change the direction of these trends and engage, re-engage and reinvigorate Jews about their Judaism? It’s within our grasp, according to Dr. Ron Wolfson, professor of education at American Jewish University and author of “Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationship to Transform the Jewish Community,” but it will take new approaches and new thinking. It will take a change in perspective, away from programs and toward people, and a new meaning of success, away from the number of people who attend programs and toward newly formed relationships. It will also take new meanings and understanding about Judaism: away from Jewish identification and toward a full and varied Jewish identity; away from a transactional approach and toward a relational approach, one built on connection and relationships with ourselves, with our families, with our communities and with God. Dr. Wolfson will be coming to our community the weekend of April 1 through 3 with a program titled, “Envisioning the Relational Synagogue of the 21st Century.” His visit is being sponsored by Congregational Keneseth Israel, Temple Beth El and Muhlenberg College Hillel. Wolfson will participate in services at both temples and work with religious and lay leaders from all the sponsoring institutions to help bring the principles outlined in his book to the Lehigh Valley and to give our community the tools to become “Relational Jews,” Jews who view their Judaism as impacting virtually all of their relationships. In the introduction of the book Dr. Wolfson reminds us, “What really matters is that we care about the people we seek to engage. When we genuinely care about people, we will not only welcome them; we will listen to their stories, we will share ours, and we will join together to build a Jewish commu-
When Jewish Day School students returned to school from their winter break, they were greeted by Amy Golding, the interim head of school who replaced Al Goren following his departure this past December. “We are excited to work with Mrs. Golding and appreciate her help during the transition,” said Tama Tamarkin, JDS school board president. During her first few days at JDS, Golding observed classrooms, played icebreaker games to get to know the students and met with parents. One morning, as the middle school students assembled in the second floor library for prayers, Golding joined the students and ended the service by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish to commemorate the recent passing of her husband. The students were engaged and respectful as Golding shared her thoughts of the day and thanked them for their encouraging responses of “Amen” during her recitation of Kaddish. Golding recently lived in New York City where she served as the managing director for an elite private school and managed to turn around its enrollment from 65 percent capacity to overflowing with a waiting list. Prior to working at the school, she was the inaugural education director at the New Shul, serving a pluralistic Jewish community, before eventually serving as executive director. She is currently residing in Allentown
Dr. Ron Wolfson, who will visit the Lehigh Valley in April. nity that enriches our lives.” Throughout the book, he presents practical strategies and case studies to transform the old model of Jewish institutions into relational communities. He sets out 12 principles of relational engagement to guide Jewish lay leaders, professionals and community members in transforming institutions into inspiring communities whose value-proposition is to engage people and connect them to Judaism and community in meaningful and lasting ways. To learn more join with Congregation Keneseth Israel, Temple Beth El and Muhlenberg College Hillel at Friday night Shabbat services (KI), Saturday Shabbat services (Beth El) and for a Saturday evening event at Beth El. Two of Dr. Wolfson’s books, those used as the framework for the weekend programs, “Relationship Judaism” and his recent memoir “The Best Boy in the United States of America: A Memoir of Blessings and Kisses,” are available at discounted rates at KI (610-435-9074) or Beth El (610-435-3521). You can learn more about Dr. Wolfson at drronwolfson.com.
Amy Golding, interim head of school, joins the JDS middle school students for morning tefillah. with her daughter Lyla and son Jackson, who joins the Pre-K class at JDS. JDS is a familiar place for Golding, both because she attended the school as a child and is the daughter of a former board member, Eduardo Eichenwald. Her first week at JDS was filled with plenty of challenges, including a pipe
that burst during dismissal, but Golding seems poised to provide educational support and Jewish leadership at the JDS. “I feel like the challenges are all things we can work on,”says Golding. “My focus right now is on bringing the larger community together to get them invested in building up the school.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 7
IRA charitable rollover provision now permanent By Jim Mueth JFLV Director of Planned Giving & Endowments On Dec. 18, 2015, Congress passed the PATH Act, an omnibus bill that among other provisions contained a permanent extension of the IRA charitable rollover, which is great news for charitably minded people in our community and the charities they support. The IRA charitable rollover provision was created in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Although it was enacted as a temporary charitable giving measure, set to expire on Dec. 31, 2007, it was extended each year. In some years it was extended for two years; in others only for one. In 2014 and 2015 the extensions were particularly nerve-wracking. In 2014, the IRA charitable rollover was extended on Dec. 19, but just for the 2014 calendar tax year. Last year it was approved one day earlier, but the great news is that it was made permanent. No more waiting and wondering if it would be extended and then rushing to complete it after approval. Other than the fact that it is now permanent, the rules for the IRA charitable rollover are the same. You must be 70 1/2 or older to qualify. It is a great way for you to make a gift to support the causes you care about while meeting your required minimum distribution (RMD). An IRA rollover gift is a taxexempt distribution made directly from your IRA to the Federation or other charity of your choice. Qualifying individuals can make charitable gifts using pre-tax IRA assets rather than taking a distribution, paying income taxes
and using after-tax assets to make a charitable gift. The gift can be up to $100,000 and does not show up on your tax return as income. This helps higher-income donors avoid other tax consequences while also benefitting lower -income individuals who use the standard deduction because they choose not to itemize deductions. To make an IRA charitable rollover gift, simply advise your IRA plan administrator that you intend to make one. Ask them to send you the proper forms. Your IRA plan administrator will need you to send these forms back to them so they can complete the transfer from your IRA to the charity. It has been estimated that Americans have $5.3 trillion currently invested in IRAs. Thanks to decades of deliberate saving, many retirees have more money in their IRAs than they need for daily living expenses and long-term care. When these assets are passed on to their children, they will be taxed as ordinary income. Through the IRA charitable rollover, individuals and couples can make generous tax-free gifts to their favorite charities directly from their IRA for the foreseeable future. If you want to make a gift through your IRA, you can make a gift to the Federation’s Annual Campaign or a designated fund that targets your support to your favorite causes or charities. Under current law, however, distributions cannot be directed to a donor advised fund, supporting foundation or private foundation, nor can they establish charitable gift annuities or fund charitable remainder trusts. For more information, contact Jim Mueth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-821-5500.
IN MEMORY MOTHER (of Richard Albert) Jill and Hank Narrow REGINA BRENNER (Mother of Scott Brenner) Laurie and Marc Berson Tracey and Jason Billig Ross and Wendy Born Iris and Jonathan Epstein Suzanne Lapiduss Elaine and Leon Papir Martha and Ron Segel Donald and Randi Senderowitz Ryan and Carah Tenzer HERMAN BRUCH (Brother of Izzy Bruch) Jerry and Flossie Zales PETER CHARON (Husband of Muriel Charon) Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein Stuart and Janice Schwartz ALBERT FINESTONE (Father of Audrey Kanoff) Ross and Wendy Born BLAKE GOLDING (Husband of Amy Eichenwald Golding) Leonard Abrams Steven Bergstein and Nanci Goldman Susan, Larry, and Lindsay Berman Tracey and Jason Billig Ross and Wendy Born Joan Brody Sam and Sylvia Bub and Family Barbara S. Cohen Iris and Jonathan Epstein Roberta and Jeff Epstein Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Beth and Wesley Kozinn Roberta and Robert Kritzer Suzanne Lapiduss Richard and Roberta London Robin and Alex Rosenau Martha and Ron Segel Donald and Randi Senderowitz Stuart and Janice Schwartz Judy and Larrie Sheftel Shay and Ali Shimon Bill and Pauline Trachtenberg Syril and Martin Weinberg
Linda and Jim Wimmer Carol and Perry Zirkel EDITH MILGROM (Mother of Jill Blinder) Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein ETHEL MINKER (Mother of Linda Abramson) Serita Silberg KENNETH SANDLER Taffi Ney ANNA SHERMAN (Mother of Marilyn Lehman) Stan and Vicki Wax SIDNEY STECHER (Husband of Lenore Stecher) Don and Lois Lipson SHEILA VINIKOOR (Sister of Linda Krisch) Francie Eiskowitz Carol and Stewart Furmansky Marla Strahl STANLEY WAX (Husband of Vicki Wax, father of Robby Wax and Nancy Wax Goldman) Anthony and Sandra Abdalla Leonard Abrams His “AIPAC Family”—Tara, Kelly, Jon and Michael Marylee and Stuart Alperin Kelly Banach and Richard Mongilutz Laurie and Kevin Bass Laurie and Marc Berson Tracey and Jason Billig Alan and Donna Black Ross and Wendy Born Joan Brody Nancy and Danny Cohen Scott and Debby Cohen and Family The Dacey Family Irwin S. and Ilene Davison Leah Devine Francie Eiskowitz Iris, Jon, Harry, and Charlie Epstein The Friess Family Carol and Stewart Furmansky Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Mark Goldstein and Shari Spark Allan and Mary Goodman The Grob Family Aren and Andre Gustavus David and Debbi Judd Audrey and Steven Kanoff Roberta and Robert Kritzer
Suzanne Lapiduss and Family The Lemberg Family Elaine Lerner Gail Levine Roberta and Richard London Barbara Mallach The Merson Family Diane and Gary Miller and Family Rabbi Alan and Patti Mittleman Judy and Alan Morrison Andy and Maegan Rigberg Judi and Ianto Roberts Robin and Alex Rosenau Adam and Penny Roth Selma Roth Judy and Larrie Sheftel Audrey, Art, and Ellen Sosis Amy Benowitz Striem Barbara and Fred Sussman Ryan and Carah Tenzer Arthur and Barbara Weinrach David and Deborah Wiener Mark Young Perry and Carol Zirkel RUTH WILF (Mother of Eileen Ufberg) Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein IN HONOR PAT AND SANDY BELDON Best wishes on new home Roberta and Jeff Epstein SAM BUB Happy ‘Special’ Birthday Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein MR. AND MRS. DAVID COLEMAN In honor of their marriage Arthur and Audrey Sosis JEANETTE EICHENWALD In recognition of her many years of tireless efforts on behalf of the City’s children Adam and Penny Roth HOWARD EPSTEIN Best Wishes Roberta and Jeff Epstein RABBI SETH PHILLIPS AND MARGE KRAMER Marriage of their son Stan and Vicki Wax MICKEY UFBERG Happy Retirement Marlene and Arnan Finkelstein
Martha and Ron Segel JOEL AND LORI WIENER Engagement of Jessica to Zach Judy and Larrie Sheftel JOEL AND SUSAN WEINER Happy New Year Selma Roth HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND HONOR HOWARD EPSTEIN Speedy Recovery Lynda and Stuart Krawitz TAMA PASTERNAK Speedy Recovery Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg ELLEN AND IRWIN SCHNEIDER Mazel Tov on their Special Occasions Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg JUDY AND LARRIE SHEFTEL Jonathan’s College Graduation Lynda and Stuart Krawitz MEMORY MOTHER and FATHER (of Jamie Kline) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz REGINA BRENNER (Mother of Scott Brenner) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz SAM LAUTER (Husband of Selma Lauter) Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg SIDNEY STECHER (Husband of Lenore Stecher) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz STANLEY WAX (Husband of Vicki Wax) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz
We gratefully acknowledge those individuals who have offered expressions of friendship through recent gifts to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation. The minimum contribution for an Endowment Card is $10. Call 610-821-5500 or visit www. jewishlehighvalley.org to place your card requests. Thank you for your continued support.
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8 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Kindergartners get visit from executive director at JCC
JCC of the Lehigh Valley Executive Director Jeff Rembrandt reads to kindergartners at the Early Childhood Education Program. He was reading to to them as part of the Jewish Journeys program.
With multiple ways of giving, Allentown couple keeps eyes on future By Jennifer Lader Special to HAKOL Jewish giving has always been important to the Goldfarbs. Sandra credits her parents for setting an example. A certified public accountant, she served as Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley treasurer for six years and chaired the Lion of Judah campaign; she is now a vice president and chairs the Jewish Foundation’s Endowment Committee. Harold became a bar mitzvah on May 15, 1948, the very same day the State of Israel was born. When his parents offered in advance that he could have a party or give the money to the as yet unnamed state, he said, “Give the money and have no party.” The first day Israel bonds were sold, in 1951, Harold pounded Boston’s pavement, selling four $50 bonds. In 1967, while in the U.S. Army, during Israel's Six Day War, an anxious Harold raised $3,000 from among his fellow American Jewish officers. An ophthalmologist, Harold
Harold and Sandra Goldfarb was one of the first to join Federation's professional division, a precursor of today's Maimonides Society, and for some 25 years was Lehigh Valley’s Israel Bonds chairman. Harold and Sandra, who married in 1992 and between them have six children and 14 grandchildren, have established the Goldfarb Family Fund. This is a Legacy Philanthropic Fund at the Federation that enables them to make annual contributions to their favorite charities. The two are members of Congregation Keneseth Israel and Temple Shirat Shalom, Temple Beth El
and the Jewish Community Center, and actively support the Jewish Day School. A few years ago Sandra used her IRA Charitable Rollover to endow her Lion of Judah-level Annual Campaign gift. “It's my legacy to the future,” she explains. Likewise, Harold inserted a bequest into his will that, upon his passing, is to distribute assets into a Federation fund to be known as the Harold J. Goldfarb, MD, Memorial Fund. This fund will support Harold's favorite organizations in the manner he has prescribed, far into the future.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 9
Muhlenberg College Hillel ends 2015 in Israel
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10 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Muhlenberg College Hillel closed off 2015 with a Birthright trip to Israel. A group of 21 students spent 10 days exploring the sites of Israel. We started our first full day at Kibbutz Hokuk and traveled up to the Golan Heights with our Israeli friends. We spent the next two days in Jerusalem, visiting the Davidson Center, Ezrat Israel and the egalitarian prayer space, the Kotel plaza,
the Jewish Quarter and the Malka Mall on our first day. Then, after a relaxing day with Torah study and a visit to the Israel Museum, we participated in a Jewish identity program, Havdalah and The Amazing Race (created by the Israeli members of our Mifgash). The next morning, we left our hostel in Jerusalem and headed to Gilo to talk about the security situation at an overlook where you can see the separation barrier, at a bus stop where a suicide bombing took place in 2002
and a park where we discussed complexities within Israeli society. We finished the day by visiting Har Herzl, the National Cemetery of Israel. Other highlights of the trip included visiting the Knesset to learn about the political structure in Israel and touring Yad L'Kashish: Lifeline for the Elderly, the studios that elderly Jerusalemites work in as they gain self-esteem and earn money. Overall, it was a wonderful trip full of good company and unforgettable sights.
How come Jews know so little?
RABBI MELODY DAVIS Temple Covenant of Peace Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists and 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction. Most Jews are college graduates, including 28 percent who say they have earned a post-graduate degree. By comparison, 29 percent of U.S. adults say they graduated from college, including 10 percent who have a post-graduate degree. If this is the case, how come
Jews know so little about Judaism? When I look back on my own Jewish education, which by today’s standards was quite substantial, I am appalled. I attended religious school four days a week at a Conservative synagogue and went to services weekly. Shouldn’t I have learned more than speed–reading the Shema? At age 11, I continued at a Jewish Day School where half the day was devoted to Hebrew subjects. I left after ninth grade with my hunger for learning unsatisfied. The words midrash, Talmud and Mishnah were not a part of my vocabulary. Commentary, alternative opinions and practices were absent from my education – in a Day School setting! We have a word for this in Yiddish: shanda, a shame or a scandal. How did this happen? Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg theorizes that during the massive waves of immigration from 1881 to 1924, the millions of Jews who came to America from eastern and central Europe were mainly the ambitious, young, unmarried people with little money. The scholars, wealthy storeowners and landowners stayed behind. Most perished in the
Holocaust. This left a gaping hole in the pool of educated Jews. Those who came to America were folks with a sense of Jewish identity but little Jewish knowledge. The American Jewish community in the early part of the 20th century was large in numbers but mostly uneducated. Their Jewishness was an undifferentiated blend of Judaism, folk wisdom and superstition – and nobody knew which was which. The focus of Jewish education became the bar mitzvah ceremony. Following the American trend of “bigger is better,” the bar mitzvah grew in size and grandeur. Like weddings, themes, colors, favors, personalized kippot, special cakes, bands, etc. became de rigueur. Not surprisingly, these uneducated but relatively successful Jews focused on what they saw, since they had been given no basis in fact. You had to have a bar mitzvah. Didn’t you? By the 1950s, children of uneducated parents became uneducated parents themselves. I was conversing with NPR columnist David Green at a Hillel function last spring,
when he said “Rabbi, I’ve never had a bar mitzvah.” His implication was clear: “Since I did not have a bar mitzvah, I’m not sure I’m Jewish.” “David, let me be the first to wish you a mazal tov,” I answered. He looked at me questioningly. “Whether or not you had a ceremony, you are a Jewish male who has attained the age of 13. You are now obligated to the mitzvot (commandments) and your parents are no longer responsible for your sins.” This coming from a man who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard! We fail to attract or hold high school students in significant numbers because we are not teaching them the brilliance, the joy and the spirituality of Judaism. The effect has become lopsided and deeply disturbing: while Jewish youth are receiving advanced higher education in secular studies, by and large they are limping along on a religious training that has been called “juvenile Judaism.” Rabbi Edward Feinstein has suggested that American Jews “don’t ask enough of our Judaism. Since World War II, the reasons for being Jewish have narrowed to ‘don’t offer
Hitler a posthumous victory’ (making anti-Semitism a basic foundation of Jewish life) or pride at our ethnic heritage.” Feinstein sees this as a great mistake and feels Judaism has much to offer us in creating more meaningful lives and making the world a better place. I agree completely. There are many opportunities to engage with Judaism on an adult level in the Lehigh Valley. We are adding two more classes this winter at TCP, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Judaism But Didn’t Even Know to Ask on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. and an adult Hebrew decoding class on Sundays at 11:15 a.m. The former class will be based on Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s book “What is a Jew”and will discuss Judaism from a spiritual, historical and cultural perspective. The Hebrew class is geared to those with no previous knowledge of Hebrew at all and will include relating words to our liturgy. If you want to get something out of Judaism, you've got to make the effort to learn about it. As our ancestors said in the Talmud: Ta Sh’ma --come and listen.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 11
Teens find a spiritual home with Allentown AZA By Ben Wiener Allentown AZA Many Jewish teens find it hard to hold on to their Jewish identity in high school. High school presents teens with tremendous amounts of schoolwork, as well as countless extracurricular opportunities, whether it be sports, clubs or activities. With all these added responsibilities and options, it can be difficult to make time to connect to Judaism. That's why countless Jewish young men have been blessed to call Allentown Aleph Zadik Aleph home. Allentown AZA has provided Jewish teens with a place to make Jewish friends their age, leadership opportunities, and overall enjoyment for over 80 years. From biweekly meetings on Tuesday nights, local overnight events, regional conventions with over 300 Jewish teens, and international conventions with over 2,000 Jewish teens, Allentown AZA is a fun filled experience! Many former members cite AZA as one of their favorite parts of their high school years. Furthermore, many teens take advantage of the opportunity to forge lasting friendships, not only with our fellow chapter members but also at a regional and international level. B’nai B’rith Youth Organization operates as a one of a kind pluralistic youth group. Members come from all sects of Judaism whether it be Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed or Reconstructionist.
So whether your son is from Am Haskalah, Brith Sholom, Keneseth Israel, Temple Shirat Shalom, Temple Beth El, Sons of Israel, Covenant of Peace, the Jewish Day School, the Jewish Community Center, any other synagogue, or no affiliation, encourage them to give Allentown AZA a try. Recruitment has been off the charts as Allentown AZA, along with its sister chapter Allentown B’nai Brith Girls, are two of the largest chapters
in all of Pennsylvania. All are invited to chapter meetings, which take place every other Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. at the JCC. Chapter inductions are on Feb. 20, and the first regional convention new members will be able to attend is March 11 to 13. Allentown AZA hopes to see even more Jewish teens from the Lehigh Valley there. To learn more, contact us at email@example.com.
PLAN YOUR PERSONAL VISIT TODAY! Lower School 422 Heckewelder Place Bethlehem, PA 18018 610-868-8571 Middle School 11 W. Market Street Bethlehem, PA 18018 610-866-6677 Upper School 4313 Green Pond Road Bethlehem, PA 18020 610-691-1600
P R I M E R (AG E 3) T H RO U G H G R A D E 12 W W W. M O R AV I A N A C A D E M Y. O R G 12 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Top, the U.S. Men's Indoor Volleyball Team with their Silver Medals in Chile. Bottom left, Jason and Andrew Fine partcipated in the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games. Bottom right, the brothers together on the beach volleyball court in Santiago. By Jason and Andrew Fine Special to HAKOL
I G N I T E A love of learning T H AT W I L L L A S T A L I F E T I M E WHEN YOU VISIT MORAVIAN ACADEMY, a respectful community of people will welcome you. On our two beautiful campuses, we offer day students an education that develops the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. We seek to educate by inspiring and supporting our students, building a solid foundation for them, rich in hands-on experiences, innovation, and global perspective upon which a lifelong love of learning can grow.
Our experience at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games
The 13th Pan American Maccabi Games were held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Santiago, Chile. Over 3,000 athletes from all around the world, including 400 from the U.S., headed to Santiago to participate in 17 different sports. We were among those athletes traveling to Chile. Both of us play volleyball and were very proud to represent the USA Men’s Beach Volleyball Team. We were also members of the USA Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team, which took the silver medal at the games. We got our start with Maccabi playing in the Jr. Maccabi Games for the Allentown JCC while in middle school. We played on both soccer and basketball teams. It was a lot of fun back then, and when we had an opportunity to participate in Maccabi again, we jumped at the chance. We met the chairman of Maccabi Volleyball, Sam Moyerman, at the Junior National Championship in Columbus, Ohio, and he recommended that we try out for the Maccabi team. We went to the tryouts and were both offered a position on the team. It was very exciting. Our team had members from Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and California. We spent our 10 days at the games competing and meeting other Jewish athletes from around the world. There were so many memorable moments, but one of the highlights was the opening ceremonies. Walking into a filled stadium with the rest of the USA delegation representing the United States, standing among athletes from all over the world singing Hatikvah was so moving. There we joined the rest of the athletes and celebrated the spirit of Maccabi, joining together Jewish community, sports and friendship. Other memorable moments were the community service projects that we participated in while in Chile. Athletes helped with a food drive, made hospital visits and helped give free eye exams that fitted Chilean children with glasses. The entire Maccabi experience is one that we will always remember. We made so many friends from other countries, bonded with our teammates and left with a great feeling of Jewish Community and Pride.
Golfing for a cause
Gary Fromer and his father-in-law Dr. Sam Bub play a round of golf at the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Fromer placed the winning bid during the Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament in June, which gave him the opportunity to compete for the Federation in Lexus’s Champions for Charity golf tournament from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13. The experience will again be up for auction at this year's tournament on June 20. Visit jewishlehighvalley.org/golf to learn more.
New $41M Jaffa penthouse said to be priciest in Israel By Lisa Keys Jewish Telegraphic Agency Are your many millions burning a hole in your pocket? Here’s a new place to park it: a $41 million top-floor apartment is now up for grabs in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. It’s allegedly the most expensive penthouse currently on the market in Israel. The penthouse at the W Tel Aviv Hotel, as the pad is called, boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space. It has a 786-square-foot terrace and expansive views of the city, the ancient Jaffa Port and the Mediterranean Sea. It sits atop the W Tel Aviv, a conversion of 19th-century buildings that were once home to Jaffa’s French
Hospital. In recent years, Tel Aviv has experienced an unprecedented real estate boom. Housing prices in Tel Aviv have increased by 84 percent since 2008 — rising more than 10 percent over the past year, according to a September story from the Wall Street Journal that cited Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. The project is designed by British architect John Pawson, who has merged his “minimalist style” with the building’s “incredible heritage” to create “an exceptionally atmospheric space.” The unit is expected to be delivered in the fall of 2016 and can be customized to the lucky buyer’s taste.
Levitt Continues from page 6 A graduate of Weill Cornell Medical College, Levitt went on to found the neurology division at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He is also the co-author of several books, including “ Uncommon Wisdom: What Our Patients Have Taught Us about Love, Faith, and Healing.” Levitt was also one of the founders of the Maimonides Society. His goals for the society were three-fold: form an organization that would provide medical assistance to those in need, establish a relationship with a hospital in Israel and encourage other physicians to take part by emphasizing programs. “Eventually, we hoped that by attending programs and becoming part of this group, people would be encouraged to contribute to Jewish needs locally, nationally and in Israel. Levitt fondly recalled the early days of the society, when meetings alternated between his basement and Mickey Ufberg’s, another founding member. “It was usually standingroom only,” he said. Now, he is proud to note that a new generation is stepping up to the plate. “I’m pleased that younger people have come to the fore to play leadership roles. It’s very important to have the next generation take over the reins of the Maimonides Society,” Levitt said. Levitt is most proud of the fact that the society has spread across the country. “We had this crazy idea here to have a society, and now it’s been duplicated in dozens of cities in the U.S.,” he said. He hopes that not only will Maimonides Societies continue to spread throughout the country, but also that our own chapter will continue to grow. “We can always do better,” he said. “Every year, I love to see it grow bit by bit.” Levitt and his wife of 54 years, Eva, have three children. A member of Congregation Sons of Israel, Levitt enjoys playing racquetball, cycling, reading and walking with friends.
the best part of my day.” It’s just a cup of coffee… but it means a lot to both of us.
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 13 PMS 118
14 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Camp a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Israeli shlichim
Left, Smith meets with school children in Israel. Center, Smith with the shlichim in Yoav. Right, The shlichim spent a summer working at Camp JCC. By Mike Smith Camp JCC This past month, I spent two weeks in Israel on a JCC Camps Birthright trip. I was fortunate enough to be able to extend my trip an extra two days to reconnect with old camp friends and tour schools in Israel. These camp friends were participants in our Partnership2Gether Program with the Yoav region in Israel. Each summer our camp hosts teenagers from Yoav who become part of our camp and our community. The partnership has been an important part of Camp JCC since it was founded in 2003. But the program doesn’t just benefit Camp JCC, it benefits our entire Jewish community. The teens go through an intense interview process to make sure that they each have something unique to bring to our camp. There are an average of 20 applicants from Yoav to be a part of our program and only four are chosen. The teens stay with families in our community for about eight weeks during the summer and they run “Israeli Fun” at
Camp JCC. At Israeli Fun, campers play traditional Israeli games, learn Hebrew words, sing songs, and share stories of life in Israel. I was happy to share my last dinner in Israel with five former participants, Noa Peleg, Noa Slama, Itay Eshel, Or-El Marom-Shemesh and Aviv Kottler. We talked a lot about how school was, and who from camp they still keep in contact with. I was very happy to hear that many of them are still in touch with counselors and their host families. I asked each one about their camp experience and what advice they would give future participants. ITAY ESHEL It was the best experience of my life. Absolutely the best. I felt like I was home right away and that I was part of something special. It wasn’t like studying in school, I felt connected to everyone I worked with. I would tell (future participants) don’t be shy. Talk to everyone and try to meet a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to speak English!
NOA SLAMA I still talk about America every day and it helped me to speak better English. I play the games with the children (in Israel) that I learned at camp. It taught me how to meet new people and talk to them. I would say to make friends, because they will become your friends for life. Try to do something every second and don’t waste time worrying. It will feel like it wasn’t enough time. AVIV KOTTLER The biggest thing that has influenced my life was camp. It showed me how much I can connect with children and adults. I have pictures of campers and staff next to pictures of my best friends. I would tell the new teens to be open to new things and never say no. NOA PELEG Camp was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I still talk to my friends about it and wish that I could do it again. I would tell next year’s teens to stay in touch with their host families and campers. They should never take this trip for granted and
do as much as they possibly can. OR-EL MAROM-SHEMESH Camp made me very happy. I saw everything differently when I got back (to Israel). It changed my perspective of Jewish people abroad. I miss hearing American people talk! I would tell future teens not to waste any minute no matter how tired you are because it is the best experience ever. Remember to talk to everyone. Be as creative as you can be. My new catchphrase after this trip is “make memories you won’t want to forget.” The Partnership Program is always one of the highlights of Camp JCC for many of our campers and staff. Our campers are always enamored with the Israeli teens and end up talking about them way past their summer stay. Our camp staff immediately takes them in and shows them around the Valley and they quickly become a part of our community. If you or anyone you know is interested in hosting teens this summer, please contact Aaron Gorodzinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Pinemere Family and have your best summer, every summer! Limited $1000 First time camper grants available! www.pinemere.com 16 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
JCC turns camp into a circus Camp Gan Israel back and better than ever!
By Sara Bressler-Rutz Chabad of the Lehigh Valley
By Sandy Newman Assistant Executive Director, JCC of the Lehigh Valley Get ready for the greatest show on earth! This summer, campers at the JCC will spend a week at the circus. From July 3 to 8, the campers will come together to learn a circus act from Circus of the Kids, a program teaching circus arts to children of all ages. JCC Executive Director Jeff Rembrandt has firsthand experience with Circus of Kids, since his children went through the program through their camp in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rembrandt was so impressed by the experience that he’s bringing the program to the Lehigh Valley. “When you asked the parents about what they thought, they would all say it was the most incredible thing they’d ever seen their kid do,” Rembrandt said.
During the week of circus training, the campers will come together at the JCC. Campers over the age of six will earn how to do a variety of circus tricks, including trapeze routines, acrobatics, tightrope walking and tumbling, while campers under six will learn routines from JCC staff members. Circus of the Kids travels across the country teaching circus acts to campers and schoolchildren. The program prides itself on not only having fun teaching kids across the country circus arts, but also injecting healthy doses of self-reliance and esteem building into their students. While most circus training for children is limited to specialty camps, the opportunity to be part of the show will be open to all JCC campers. The week will culminate in three performances that will be open to the public on July 7 and 8. Stay tuned for more information!
Camp Gan Israel is looking forward to this coming summer more than ever. In addition to our usual camp days, where our campers socialize with other Jewish children in a safe and warm environment, we are also adding special clubs where campers will be able to train in the things that interest them most. Each session, campers will have the option to choose from two specialty clubs, basketball and theatre. We are expanding our trips as well. Instead of only taking small trips around the Lehigh Valley, we are now going even further every session on full day trips, from aquariums to water parks. What really makes our camp so special is our campers, Jewish pride and our staff. We recruit experienced Jewish counselors who are committed and devoted to ensuring your child will have the best summer experience. Our staff members are trained in CPR and First Aid. The counselors’ energy, excitement and care is what makes the camp so special and gives the campers a feeling of belonging and a friendship that lasts a lifetime! For more information about Camp Gan Israel or to sign up, contact Chabad of the Lehigh Valley at 484-351-6511, or visit us online at www. ganisraelpa.com.
Camp Galil www.campgalil.org (215) 832-0677 email@example.com Israel Education Sports Communal Living Ropes Course Swimming Gardening
Shabbat Arts & Crafts Leadership Israeli Dancing Farming Singing
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 17
Adding up the lessons from Jewish-Russian math camp By Diana Burmistrovich JNS.org Camp is not unlike a cult. The same songs are sung every year almost religiously, traditions are obeyed almost ritualistically, and previous generations are responsible for passing down myths of years past. I have yet to meet someone who has gone to the same sleep-away camp for multiple years in a row that would disagree. Here's the thing: I went to math camp. Russian math camp. Run by Jews. Whenever American friends mocked me for subjecting myself to rigorous math in the summertime, I found myself explaining that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere or doing anything else. An extension of Boston’s Russian School of Mathematics, this camp was filled by students who had realized the war against parental will and math lessons was best fought together. We were told that knowing math prepared us for the future. At some point, we bit the bullet. We wanted to spend more time with our peers than the time we got during breaks in math class. Because discovering our individual genius took up a lot of time, we decided to kill two birds with one stone and all go to math camp during the summer. At the time, most campers were first or second generation Jewish immigrants from the for-
mer Soviet Union. No, we didn’t don fur hats and chug vodka every evening, but we were taught that the cooks deserved a loud spasibo after every meal. No one cleaned the bathrooms and showers unless we did it ourselves. When we had evening activities, we impersonated KVN with our own skits and songs. When weather was particularly horrible, we’d watch a movie exploring our Jewish identities. I will never forget the room full of sobbing campers during our viewing and discussion of “Everything is Illuminated.” Otherwise, the camp looked like any other. Up a dirt road and through thick brush sat a brickcolored garage. What might otherwise have looked like a decrepit abandon was saved by a massive garage door, almost always open, revealing a well-stocked arts and crafts area teeming with children. Some sat on a wooden bench braiding what would eventually become friendship bracelets. Others sat by the clay spinning wheel, others were guided by pottery teachers in molding intricate figurines. Camp Sunapee was very much like any other camp, but it was served with a side of mental butt-kicking and community building. This is where I tell you about the lessons I learned throughout the years. Not only did I learn that the proper attire for Shabbat dinner was not a tube top and jeans, that every day should
Sat., Feb. 13 - 7 PM - $40/$35/$15 (Student) Sponsored by Allentown Art Museum
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18 FEBRUARY 2016 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
start with a workout comparable to jazzercising or that mice are extremely attracted to contraband raspberry Milano cookies, but I kind of learned some math as well. (Granted, anyone who knows me knows my mathematical prowess was only mildly honed after years of diligent instruction from expert mathematicians—I went to journalism school for a reason.) What’s most important is not the stories themselves, but what we did with the knowledge afterwards. Camp director Inessa Rifkin and her husband Victor provided the outlet, but we ourselves built the experience. In turn, we were creating our own place among the greater Russian Jewish community of Boston. Our roles evolved from camper to adult. Most of us remained friends after the session finished, and we became involved in activities that strengthened the Russian Jewish identity. Some used the knowledge they gained to become lawyers, doctors, financiers, and even journalists. Others strengthened their connection to Jewish culture on a larger scale: Camp Sunapee became a sister camp to the Children of Sderot program, allowing campers in the war-torn region next to Gaza to have a few weeks of solace every summer. Surely, each vignette from camp was memorable. But looking back, it is clear that my identity correlates to the sum of those stories from Camp Sunapee. The fact that I had to do math during the summer was well worth it, in exchange for being surrounded by such an amazing, smart, and supportive community—and I wasn’t just brainwashed to say that.
At Szarvas Summer Camp, finding my own Jewish identity
By Gabriella Kula American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Editor’s note: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is an overseas partner of the Federation whose mission is to support Jews throughout the world. It sponsors Jewish summer camps throughout the world, including Camp Szarvas in Hungary. Szarvas gave me an understanding of how precious Judaism is, what an asset it is to my identity. Until I went to Szarvas, Judaism had always been a part of my life that I took for granted, something I loved about my upbringing, but nothing I actively cultivated. I went to a Jewish school, to synagogue each week, kept kosher, etc., but I never thought about these choices; they were just facts of my life. After Szarvas I understood that many Jews around the world long for the luxury of experiencing Jewish rituals and expressing their Judaism freely. Through Szarvas I gained perspective on my responsibility as an American Jew — responsibility which I have made part of my career. At Szarvas, I also met Jews from around the United States who influenced my passions. In fact, I met the first love of my life at Szarvas. We dated for four and a half years — 11 years later, he remains one of my best friends. It was because of him that I participated in many of the art-oriented projects at Szarvas: designing the set of a mock Indian wedding, creating a whole instillation on famous American artist Jackson Pollock, even just learning to make bubble letters because it was camp! I now devote my entire career to a combination of making Judaism and art accessible. I run an alternative Jewish education program called Havurah at The JCC of Manhattan, which provides hands-on experiences with Jewish stories, customs, and values for families that aren't comfortable in synagogue communities and for children whose parents themselves are seekers. I also develop and lead tours and workshops at The Jewish Museum for Jewish and non-Jewish students and families to expose people to the multiplicity of ways Jews live their lives and express themselves. And through my other museum work at the Noguchi Museum and The Cooper Hewitt, I help people use their creativity and imagination to bridge boundaries and cultivate community and inspire dreams of new possibilities for the world, as Szarvas did for me.
Come Together for PJ Library at the JDS to create and craft a generation paper quilt
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21
1:30 to 3 p.m. Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley 2313 Pennsylvania St., Allentown Parents and grandparents are invited to join their children for this inter-generational activity. Snacks will be provided after story time and activity. Please RSVP to Sara Schonbach at 610-437-0721 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that craft materials will be available. PJ Library is brought to you by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, the Jewish Community Center of Allentown and the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
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Stanley Wax Continues from page 1
easy to get people to go,” Levitt said. She, like so many others, was inspired by his boundless energy for the community. “Stan was a contributor, an encourager, a very not just financially but also with his time. He served on many committees and boards. It always impressed me how he found the time to do all that he did. He will be sorely missed,” she said. Wax’s philanthropy was noteworthy and far reaching, and recently included the development of young Jewish leadersby sponsoring efforts at Muhlenberg College Hillel and creating the Wax Family Fellows. “Stan Wax holds a special place in the heart of the Muhlenberg College Hillel community,” said Muhlenberg Hillel Director Rabbi Melissa Simon. “Stan was a tireless supporter of a voice for Israel on campus and the Wax Family's support of Jewish life at Muhlenberg College has enabled us to build one of the strongest Hillels in the country.“ The Wax Family Fellows had the opportunity to spend a year learning about Israel advocacy, a subject that was of the utmost
Community Shabbat Continues from page 1
infrequently as the Philadelphia Eagles win a Super bowl. (Sorry, the sports affiliations of my New York upbringing will probably never be forgotten.) Arriving in the Lehigh Valley where all of the local Jewish clergy, no matter affiliation, got together to discuss communal issues each and every month was a refreshing experience that underscored the mutual friendship
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Stan Wax with the Wax Family Fellows during their mission to Israel in July 2015. importance to Wax. The year culminated in a mission to Israel in the summer. Wax Fellow Israel Zighelboim came away from the experience with a renewed commitment to Israel and the Jewish community here in the Lehigh Valley. “Our Jewish community lost a pillar of cloud and fire,” Zighelboim said. “Stan Wax was a man of strong values, unbendable principles and never ending commitment to our Jewish community. He taught me and so many others a thing or two about ethics before politics, about always doing the right thing and leaving a mark.” Beth Kushnick, another Wax Fellow, echoed
and respect all Jews, regardless of affiliation, have for each other here in our Lehigh Valley. The reason is simple and beautiful and something which sadly falls under the radar screen in the hustle bustle of larger communities – the appellations of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and the like, are all inconsequential – we are all Jews and that is what truly matters. The clergy who meet monthly certainly have profound ideological differences that are in no way insignificant; however, that does not put a damper on the love we feel toward one
Zighelboim. “We hope we will inspire others to give as Stan did and when think you have given enough, dig a little deeper and give more,” Kushnick said. Stan and Vicki were also instrumental to bringing PJ Library to the Lehigh Valley in 2011, through which 400 Jewish children receive free books every month. Wax is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Vicki Wax, his children, Nancy and Steve Goldman and Robby and Laurie Wax, his five grandchildren Alexander, Samantha and Zachary Goldman and Benjamin and Daniel Wax, and many other relatives.
another as though we were brothers. There is a joke told of a Jewish child who comes home from Hebrew school confused about his family’s religious denomination. He asks his mother, “Mom, which abomination do we belong to?” And that is exactly the point. The Talmud states that Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh, meaning “all of Israel are responsible for each other.” We are all brothers and sisters. As Cantor Kevin Wartell, chair of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group has said, “As a member of this diamond of a
community, I am excited to invite you to a Shabbat experience not to be missed.” Please mark your calendars as all Jews of the Lehigh Valley come together as one. We can’t wait to see you. Please note that in addition to Shabbat morning services at Sons of Israel, Temple Beth El, Chabad, and Brith Sholom will be holding regularly scheduled Saturday morning services for those who wish to hold services in the familiarity of their regular synagogue. In addition, following Friday night services, Keneseth Israel will hold their regularly scheduled service.
Terror strikes our family
French PM joins Jewish community in remembering Hyper Cacher victims
Danielle’s Safta (grandma) Turan – left side, wrapped in a scarf sitting next to a paramedic, crying at the funeral of Alon Bakal – her grandson.
By Danielle Mor Jewish Agency for Israel Editor’s Note: The Jewish Agency for Israel is an overseas partner of the Federation. Danielle Mor is an employee of the JAI who works with the Fund for the Victims of Terror, which provides Israel’s terror victims with direct, immediate financial assistance after an attack. I want to share with you a terrible tragedy that happened to my family last month. My amazing cousin Alon Bakal, 26 years old, was shot dead by a terrorist on a Friday afternoon while working as a shift manager at a Tel Aviv café. Out of nowhere, without warning, and in one second, Alon is gone. Alon was about to graduate from law school and start interning at a prestigious Tel Aviv law firm. He was the best young man you could imagine, the kind you would want to be friends with – served in the Golani combat brigade, volunteered in a poverty prevention organization, cheered his favorite Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team and called his mother every morning. Though I have been working closely with The Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror for years, I never really thought my family would be one of those it gave assistance to. The news stories speak a lot about Alon, show images and recordings of his grieving mother Nitza. I want to tell you about my Safta, Alon’s grandmother. My Safta (grandma) Turan came to Israel from Iran at age 18 with my late grandfather and my father who was an infant at the time. It was 1949, they left everything, and arrived with nothing to the Maabara (tent town) The Jewish Agency built for olim like them. My Zionist grandfather made the decision for the three of them – as she told me “I
couldn’t say a word, he told me - after 2,000 years Am Israel Chai, we are going!”. She became the mother of 12 children, the Safta of 50 grandchildren and she doesn’t want to count the great grandchildren for fear of the evil eye. Though to this day, at 84 years of age, she cannot truly read or write, she is the strongest most courageous and smart woman I know. Safta has a nickname for many of her grandchildren – Alon was “the model” due to his good looks but more so, for his good heart and ambition. Our family is strong; we get our strength from my Safta. We are here to keep Alon’s memory alive, to try and strengthen his mother, father and siblings, although we all know the wound will never heal and that the personal road and the road for us all as a people, as a society, is long. But we are here to stay. As my Safta quotes my late grandfather – “Am Israel Chai.”
Members of France’s Jewish community wave Israeli and French flags at a ceremony outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris a year after four Jewish shoppers were killed in a terror attack on the store, Jan. 9, 2015. Jewish Telegraphic Agency The prime minister of France, speaking at a ceremony to remember four Jewish victims of terror at a kosher supermarket in Paris, said he regrets that large numbers of his country's Jews have left for Israel. “France would not be France” without its Jews, Manuel Valls said Jan. 9 at the commemoration held outside the Hyper Cacher on the first anniversary of a hostage siege there by an Islamist who was killed that day in a police raid. Families of the victims and survivors, along with French Jewish leaders, were on hand for the ceremony arranged by the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF. Valls acknowledged the "immense anguish" of the Jewish community and scolded those who attack it. “For these enemies who attack their compatriots, who tear apart the contract that unites us, there can be no worthy explanation,” he said. French immigration to Israel, or aliyah, has rocketed to record levels over the past three years as the country has confronted rising anti-Semitism and a series of attacks that claimed nearly 150 lives in Paris in 2015.
Nearly 8,000 French Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015. "Despite continuing traumatic feelings, life has returned to normal with a renewed sense of fraternity," Rabbi Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France, said at the ceremony. Also Jan. 9, French President François Hollande unveiled a plaque in memory of Clarissa Jean-Philippe, a 26-year-old policewoman who was killed by the Hyper Cacher terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, a day before the supermarket attack in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge. On Jan. 5, Hollande unveiled a memorial plaque outside the Hyper Cacher listing the names of those killed at the market on Jan. 9, 2015. He also unveiled a plaque at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine with the names of the 12 victims of the terrorist attack there two days earlier. Two brothers who were associates of Coulibaly perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo attack. A public ceremony was also held Jan. 10 at the Place de la Republique in Paris to remember the attacks as well as the unity march in the city a year ago that drew 1.6 million people along with French and international leaders. An oak tree was planted during the ceremony.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 23
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Why US lawmakers want Germany to take another look in its museums
Above, Visitors viewing Max Beckmann's "Portrait Quappi Beckmann," from 1925, at the Hypo-Kunsthalle in Munich, Germany. Left, Michael Hulton, right, with attorney Mel Urbach in New York, has gone to Congress in his bid for the restitution of Nazi-looted art.
By Jas Chana Jewish Telegraphic Agency In a letter emblazoned with the insignia of the U.S. House of Representatives, 29 members of Congress reprimanded the German state of Bavaria for neglecting its historical responsibility to victims of the Nazis. “The Free State of Bavaria has yet to fully honor its pledge regarding restitution or compensation for Holocaust-related confiscations of property, including artwork, made under duress,” read the Nov. 9 letter addressed to Bavaria’s governor, Horst Seehofer. “The importance of these issues to Holocaust survivors and their families cannot be overstated.” Why would members of Congress send such a sharply worded – if diplomatic – missive to the largest state in Germany, a major U.S. ally, some 70 years after the end of World War II? In the preceding months, retired American-British physician Michael Hulton, 69, had met with Congress members throughout the United States to deliver an impassioned presentation about his great-uncle Alfred Flechtheim, a flamboyant German Jewish art dealer destroyed by the rise of the Nazis. German institutions, Hulton told the lawmakers, are failing in their responsibility to secure justice for Flechtheim and other early victims of the Nazis. He asked for their help. In an interview at his lawyer’s Manhattan law firm, Hulton said he was heartened by how receptive the lawmakers were to his message. “And not the obvious ones,” he said. “Not the Jewish ones.” Germany is widely acknowledged to be a leader in Holocaust restitution. The state has paid nearly $70 billion to Nazi victims since 1953, according to Wesley Fisher, director of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. And although any statutes of limitation long ago expired on cases of Nazi-looted art, Ger-
many is among 44 nations that voluntarily committed in the Washington Principles of 1998 to restitution of art stolen by the Nazis or sold under duress they caused. But Hulton said Germany has not fulfilled its commitments under the agreement, not to mention its historical obligations. He noted that state authorities set the bar very high for claimants of restitution -- requiring them to prove that Nazi oppression directly contributed to the loss of the art in question. That can be difficult, especially where records are lacking. For example, early in 2015, the Limbach Commission – a state-established panel that advises on requests for restitution for art lost due to Nazi oppression -- rejected a claim on "A Weekday in Paris,” a painting by German artist Adolph von Menzel. The heirs of the artwork's one-time owner, George Behrens, argued that the Jewish banker sold the work to the city of Dusseldorf in 1935 because of Nazi persecution. The commission pointed out that Behrens was paid 30,000 Reichmarks for the painting, which was in line with the market price of the day. Further, the commission said, the bank Behrens owned was still in good economic order in 1935, suggesting he was not in financial duress. But it's worth remembering the pervasiveness of Nazi influence, even when it cannot be pinpointed. “One should ask: Why did Behrens sell?” said Marc Masurovsky, an art historian and co-founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project. “If it was to finance his exit from Germany, then we are within the reach of a forced sale. If it was to pay for lunches and dinner, clearly not.” Flechtheim probably wasn’t eating out much by 1932, when he is said to have sold the most valuable works in his collection: six paintings by the famed German Expressionist Max Beckmann. After a roaring 1920s spent
hobnobbing with artistic elites from Paris to Berlin, Flechtheim that year became the literal cover boy for the "Jewish problem." A sketch of his face in profile was published on the cover of the Nazi magazine Illustrierter Beobachter alongside the headline “The Race Question is the Key to World History.” The persecution worsened from there, with the Nazis breaking up a 1933 auction he was participating in. Later that year, Flechtheim fled Germany. He died in London in 1937, destitute and miserable. In 2008, using photographs of the art in Flechtheim’s Berlin apartment, Hulton began claiming as his inheritance 17 paintings and other works that were once in Flechtheim’s collection – including pieces by Beckmann, Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. German museums now own the works. Hulton and his lawyers value the estate at some $124 million. Since then, Hulton has settled claims with only two museums regarding eight of the works. On the Beckmann paintings held by Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne, the state-owned museum has been uncooperative and will no longer even discuss the matter, he said. Pinakothek der Moderne did not respond to requests for comment. It was frustration with the museum that led Hulton to seek help from Congress members. But another letter may turn out to be more decisive in his campaign for justice. Pinakothek der Moderne contends that Flechtheim sold the Beckmann paintings to an art dealer in New York in 1932. When Flechtheim was later offered a fraction of the agreed sum, he responded with a letter protesting in French: “Tant pis!” Whether Flechtheim was turning down a sale that had not yet happened or regretting a sale he had already agreed on is up for debate. But the meaning of his protest is not: “The situation is regrettable!”
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Ben & Jerry's Israel launches new flavor, with proceeds to benefit the Ethiopian National Project
BY SANDI TEPLITZ I first tasted this in Paris, made with croissants, then in New York, made with brioche. After some experimentation, I discovered that challah is the best choice. It is delicious served warm with hot cocoa or vanilla flavored coffee, with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Alternatively, you can top with crème fraiche. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 c. whole milk 1 7/8 c. heavy cream 7 T. sugar 1 1/2 c. Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cocoa) dash of salt 3 extra large eggs, beaten well
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By Grace Rodnitzki Ethiopian National Project
3 1/4 c. 1" cubes of challah, preferably day-old, placed in a mixing bowl TECHNIQUE: Heat together the first 5 ingredients on very low heat over direct heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat, and add the eggs. Add to Challah. Toss well. Refrigerate for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Grease an oblong Pyrex pan. Scoop in the well-soaked mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, then cover with tented foil and bake 1/2 hour longer.
Ben & Jerry's Israel is commemorating Bob Marley's "Legend" album with a special edition tribute flavor, the proceeds of which will empower young EthiopianIsraelis through the Ethiopian National Project’s SPACE program, continuing Bob Marley’s legacy of using music to change the world. The launch of Bob Marley’s Legend album in 1984 coincided with the modernday exodus of Ethiopian Jews during Operation Moses. Ethiopian-Israelis have great potential to play an active role in a thriving, multicultural Israeli society: today numbering 136,000, these immigrants or children of immigrants from an agrarian society face challenges which can be overcome if effectively addressed. The Ethiopian National Project (ENP) works toward ensuring the full and successful integration of Ethiopian-Israelis through holistic programs that lessen scholastic gaps and empower participants, with Ethiopian-Israelis taking a leadership role, in partnership with global supporters, including the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, the Government of Israel and local
municipalities. ENP’s SPACE (School Performance and Community Empowerment) Programs offer a holistic, cityfocused response that address the greatest needs of the community through provensuccessful programs: SPACE Scholastic Assistance provides intensive, holistic after-school scholastic assistance; SPACE Youth Outreach Centers offer a plethora of activities and inspirational staff; and SPACE Empowerment Programs provide tools and knowledge that enable community members to take an active role in bettering their family’s and community’s futures. Over the past 10 years, ENP's SPACE Scholastic Assistance program has provided support to approximately 15 percent of all Ethiopian-Israelis in 12th grade and has played a key role in improving matriculation scores. ENP participants have nearly reached the same matriculation rate as the general Jewish population in Israel. Ben & Jerry’s Israel has partnered with ENP to support ENP SPACE, including in the city of Kiryat Malachi, adjacent to Ben & Jerry’s factory store in Israel. ENP SPACE Scholastic Assistance, launched in 2004, provides intensive, holistic after-school assistance, scholastic, emotional, social and nutritional, to improve Ethiopian-Israeli schoolchildren’s performance, assist in the acquisition of a matriculation certificate that will lead to quality army service and university acceptance while increasing self-confidence and vision of their future roles in Israeli society. Small study groups of no more than eight children per group obtain four weekly study hours in core subject areas of mathematics, English, and Hebrew composition. Additional subjects are offered in accordance with the special request of the schools and the students themselves. Children also receive extracurricular activities, including trips to academic institutions to encourage aspirations of reaching university. Volunteering is a key part of ENP’s work: participants give back through volunteer activities, while parents and community leaders become involved in ENP so the community itself plays an active role in bettering Israel, together.
GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH
The Mezuzah Campaign, yet so much more!
When Ori Bach was born, his parents, David and Carmit Bach, chose to establish dual citizenship for him. As a son to an Israeli mother and American father, his dual identity has afforded him a love and appreciation for both his home country in the U.S. and his homeland in Israel. In fact, much of Ori’s extended family today lives in Israel, and like most Israelis, most of them have served or continue to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). So it’s only natural that Ori has an extra special affiliation to Israel and thus has chosen for his mitzvah project The Mezuzah Campaign, which is an initiative geared to helping protect the soldiers of Israel’s army. “For my mitzvah project, in light of the constant tension in Israel, I wanted to help,” Ori said. “When I learned about this initiative, I felt an immediate connection.” The Mezuzah Campaign was established by the IDF Rabbinate and is being advanced by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). At its root is the Jewish concept that affixing a mezuzah on a doorpost provides protection for the members of the household both when they are home, as well as when they go out of the house. As such, the program’s aim is to provide mezuzot to every IDF base, every entryway and every soldier. “For me and my parents, those who serve in the IDF aren’t unknown soldiers to us. They’re friends and family. So wanting to support The Mezuzah Campaign was an obvious choice. It hits close to home.” Ori’s decision to support this type of campaign evolved over time. “I think I first became aware of the need to support the army when my parents talked to me about Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. They started the ceremony here
in the Lehigh Valley, and I quickly saw that no matter where I am in the world, even here in Allentown, PA, we as a Jewish community must stand together and support Israel, and especially those charged with its protection.” Ori’s parents are very proud of their son’s choice for this project. Ori’s mother, Carmit, explained: ”Ori chose this project because he understands that, with the current circumstances, the future of Israel depends on our ability to continue defending and protecting our homeland, and that ability depends largely on the IDF.” His father, David, echoed this sentiment. “For all of us, this project is about investing in protecting Israel and its soldiers. It’s about enabling a more secure future for the Jewish people. Ori has a personal connection to this so it’s very real. It’s a great way for him to make a real impact in a very meaningful way.” He added that on a spiritual level, this specific Mezuzah Campaign is a good fit because it’s also a reaffirmation of a basic Jewish idea of trusting Hashem. Ori is currently a seventh grade student at the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley and will celebrate his bar mitzvah on April 9 at Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown. Ori has always felt the importance of living a life of Jewish values. He feels incredibly fortunate to be able to study regularly with Rabbi David Wilensky and Rabbi Yehoshua Mizrachi. He visits seniors in the community each week just before Shabbat through his participation in the weekly Kinderlights program. He has attended Camp Moshava which is a camp built upon the ideology of Torah Va’Avodah and Religious Zionism. Beyond these, his day-to-day passions are basketball, Star Trek and cooking. He even won first place in his Cub Scout bake-off competition two years in a row. He also enjoys reading, baseball, movies, playing the saxophone and hanging out with friends. For the sake of the young men and women who put their lives on the line each day to protect Eretz Yisrael, Ori is actively working diligently on their behalf by speaking, writing and fundraising. He is asking the extended community to give due consideration to contributing to this simple, yet most important cause. Every gift of $40 will fund one kosher mezuzah, but any amount counts. To donate, please visit Ori’s FIDF website at www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ OriMitzvahProject, or you can send a check payable to “FIDF” and mail to FIDF Mezuzah Campaign, c/o Ori Bach, 1431 North 40th Street, Allentown, PA 18104. In addition to his mitzvah project, Ori has made his first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. For help developing your mitzvah project, contact Abby Trachtman, program coordinator, at abbyt@jflv. org or call her at the Federation office at 610-821-5500.
PJ Library Family of the Month:
Thalia loves getting mail that is just for her every month and finding a book inside! Here she is opening her latest delivery: “Netta’s Plant”, which celebrates Tu B’shvat. She said her favorite thing about this story was “when she talks to the plant because that’s funny.” She is also a big fan of The Shabbat Box. We like how the books are age appropriate and a lot of fun, with an emphasis on culture and folklore.
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.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 27
As Turkey reaches out to Israel, Jewish groups move to embrace rival
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency Less than a month after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled a readiness to mend ties with Israel after years of antipathy, a delegation of American Jewish leaders embarked on a trip to embrace Turkey's longtime rival Greece. Members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations went on a weeklong trip to Israel, Greece and Cyprus, the disputed Mediterranean island that has been a source of Greek-Turkish contention for decades. The trip, which includes leaders of the Greek-American community, will meet with political and religious leaders in all three countries. Malcolm Hoenlein, the Presidents Conference's executive vice chairman, said
the trip was planned six months ago -- well before Erdogan told a Turkish newspaper on Dec. 13 that he hoped to reestablish ties with Israel, which have deteriorated badly over the past decade. Within days of the interview, reports said Israel and Turkey had already struck a preliminary agreement to normalize relations. A news release announcing the trip indicated it would address the “strategic relationship” between Israel and the two Mediterranean nations and include visits to military facilities. But Hoenlein dismissed suggestions that trip indicated a rebuff of Turkey. “Having relations with one country does not diminish anyone else,” Hoenlein said. “We want Israel to have as many relationships as possible.” Israel and Turkey shared a
close alliance in the 1990s, when trade, tourism and military cooperation increased. But relations began to cool with Erdogan's rise to power in 2002, and broke dramatically after Israel’s deadly 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged ship aiming to break Israel’s Gaza blockade, in which 10 Turks, including an American citizen, were killed. In 2011, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador. At the same time, ties between Israel and Greece were warming. The two countries carried out joint military exercises and launched efforts to boost cooperation in various areas. But it was the discovery of natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that gave major impetus to the relationship. In November, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Prime Minister Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Netanyahu is scheduled to meet both leaders again in Cyprus later this month to advance agreement on a natural gas deal. Meanwhile, shared concern over Erdogan's rise has led to more frequent official outings to Greece by American Jewish groups, which have begun to pivot away from decades of defending Turkey’s interests in Washington. Last year, several Jewish groups backed off their longstanding reluctance to call the World War I-era massacre of Armenians a genocide, a position they had adopted largely to
avoid offending Turkey. In 2013, a congressional caucus was launched to further cooperation among Israel, Greece and Cyprus. “There already has been a lot of local work between organizations,” said Daniel Mariaschin, the executive vice president of B’nai B’rith, referring to the new closeness with American Greeks. The inclusion of Cyprus in the tour itinerary is sure to be noticed in Turkey, which has occupied the northern third of the island since 1974, an action condemned by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Jewish delegation will not be visiting northern Cyprus, which declared itself independent of the Cypriot republic in 1983, a declaration recognized only by Turkey. “The strategic relationship between Greece, Cyprus and Israel has evolved, helping to lend stability to the region with broader implications,” the Presidents Conference said in a statement. “The delegation of American Hellenic and American Jewish community leaders plans to explore the major policy issues and concerns as well as ways to foster ties between the people of the three countries. They will also visit military installations to study the security challenges in the area.” Whether the embrace of Greece and Cyprus will complicate Turkey’s overtures to Israel has yet to be seen. Developments in Syria, which have empowered enemies of both Turkey (the PYD Kurdish militia)
Who says you’re too old
and Israel (Hezbollah), have created a convergence of interests between the countries. The Obama administration has also pushed hard for reconciliation, preferring that its two closest military allies in the Middle East get along. And Israel’s security establishment misses its close cooperation with the region’s other major military. "Turkish-Greek ties have come a long way," said Soner Cagaptay, a Turkey expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "But once ties between Israel and Turkey are normalized, eventually Greece's utility as an ally to Israel will be overshadowed by Turkey's economic and military might." Hoenlein said it was too early to determine whether Turkey’s pivot would be long lasting. “It’s a mercurial situation,” he said. Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee’s director of policy, said Erdogan should still be viewed with caution, not only because of his past hostility to Israel, but because of rhetoric blaming Turkey’s woes on outside interests that has veered close to anti-Semitism. “Given the proclivities of the president of Turkey, given actions and statements regarding Israel as well as regarding the connection he has alleged between the Jewish people and unrelated political issues in Turkey, [restoring ties with Turkey] cannot substitute for the relationship Israel enjoys with Cyprus and Greece,” Isaacson said.
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The Jerusalem Post Crossword Puzzle By David Benkof Special to HAKOL Designing puzzles with the knowledgeable but not necessarily bilingual Jew in mind, David Benkof says, “No more than a very few clues per puzzle expect the solver to simply translate between Hebrew and English.” Note that some answers may actually be two words written as one, without a space between them. For answers to the crossword puzzle, visit the Federation website at www.jewishleighvalley.org/hakol. HEROES & VILLAINS By: Yoni Glatt email@example.com Difficulty Level: Manageable ACROSS 1. Amt. of cinnamon in charoset, perhaps 4. Heavenly plane? 10. Moroccan appetizers 16. Evil 17. Having to pay an eye for an eye 18. Like a waxless havdalah candle 19. Batgirl (1997) 22. Seder matzo on Pesach Sheni, probably 23. Tref sushi choice 24. Goldman who wrote “Being Jewish” and “The Search for God at Harvard” 25. Supergirl (1984) 30. Emergency button on a kfir plane 31. 1776 and 1948: Abbr. 32. 1976 Kiss hit 33. Call from a korban 34. Lex Luthor (2016) 41. Technically his presidency ended in 2009, but...... 44. “I concur!” 45. IDF woe 46. Wonder Woman (2016) 50. Ant-Man (2015) 53. “Yalla!” 54. Cookie the OU says is dairy....but it really isn’t 56. Kfar Hanokdim and Ein Gedi 57. Spider-Man (2012) 63. Read V’Zot Habracha, say 64. Paul Newman’s “Nobody’s ___” 65. Conservative youth org. 68. Patriots owner 71. The Green Goblin (2002) 75. Joshua or Elisha, e.g. 76. David Bryan (Rashbaum) of ___ Jovi 77. Go through Golani training 78. Black Widow (2010) 84. “But ___ our little village of Anatevka...” 85. Security checkpoint request 86. Samuel priest 87. Israel bonds, e.g. 88. Gable in a Selznick classic, and
others 89. Lists avoided by Braun and Davis: Abbr. DOWN 1. Schmutzy 2. One involved in making meat kosher 3. Small bottles (Rambam might have had) 4. Sci-fi classic with Yaphet Kotto 5. She sang “Titanium” for David Guetta 6. Pas, in Yiddish 7. Greenberg would often produce one 8. “___ My Sons”: Arthur Miller play 9. The Jordan River in Tasmania has one, but Israel’s doesn’t 10. Lock from Rogen 11. Output of this paper: Abbr. 12. Objective for olim 13. Be meshuga for 14. Similar to ancient Hebrew 15. Matzo alternative ingredient 20. Dan Gilbert’s OH team, on the board 21. Always, to Lazarus 26. Stat. Ian Kinsler leads all Jews in 27. Moonves of CBS 28. Ended a fast 29. ___ List (Zuckerberg and Bloomberg might be on) 30. It’s more than 5776 years 33. Burger Ranch listing 34. Car featured on Weiner’s “Mad Men”, for short 35. Zeh, in Mexico 36. Child who provides tsuris 37. Black or Red 38. Tref birds in Oceania 39. Lift (for an on leave IDF soldier) 40. Roams, like the Jews for 40 years 41. Ottoman who ruled the Holy Land in the 19th century 42. Barbara of “Mission: Impossible” 43. What the Nile once did 47. (Jimmy) Stewart’s role in Henry Koster’s “Harvey” 48. The OU is one 49. Common offering at the end of a Shabbat meal 51. Response to a Billy Eichner tweet 52. “Sababa” 55. Was Howard Stern on AM ___?
58. Figure at a Hapoel Holon game 59. Creature on the side of Bloom’s Legolas 60. Syria, in 1948 61. Letters needed to use the Siddur app on an iPhone 62. PG James Caan movie 65. Like a new pair of tefillin 66. Torah, e.g. 67. Cespedis who powered Wilpon’s team into the playoffs 68. ___ varnishkes 69. Options for sephardim on Passover 70. Some months 71. Make a note in a talmud 72. Shtick 73. Etrog covers
74. 1 of 100 in this puzz.. 76. Stiller and Savage 79. Started Shabbat 80. Their logo has a fist in it: Abbr.
81. Andean cholent ingredient, perhaps 82. Hamor or Nevo 83. It split the Jordan long ago
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | FEBRUARY 2016 29