HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY The Voice of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Community
NOVEMBER 2013 | CHESHVAN/KISLEV 5774
Bloomberg awarded ‘Jewish Nobel Prize’
Comedian rabbi promises wide appeal
MATTHEW STOCKMAN/GETTY IMAGES
KRISTALLNACHT 75 years since tragic Night of Broken Glass. See page 13.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shown here at the National Tennis Center on Aug. 26, 2013, was named the first winner of the Genesis Prize. By Julie Wiener Jewish Telegraphic Agency WHAT ‘WE’ CAN DO Major donors get inspired at annual reception. See pages 16-17.
LEO FRANK WAS LYNCHED One hundred years later, the case that launched the ADL. See page 23.
No. 361 com.UNITY with Mark Goldstein 2 Women’s Division
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Community Center
Jewish Day School 20 Community Calendar
In August, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told New York magazine, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all the Russian billionaires to move here?” Two months later, the Russian billionaires -- or at least some Jewish ones -- returned the compliment, naming Bloomberg the first winner of the Genesis Prize. The new $1 million prize, administered by a partnership that includes the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Israeli government, is intended to show “the importance of Jewish values to the fulfillment of human potential and to the betterment of the world,” and to highlight that importance to strengthen Jewish identity and combat assimilation. At a news conference scheduled to announce the consolidation of New York City vehicles, Bloomberg said he was “flattered” to have received what is being called the “Jewish Nobel Prize” but acknowledged, “I don’t need the money.” Bloomberg, who reportedly is worth $31 billion, said he would probably donate the money to a cause in the Middle East. Non-Profit Organization
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“I want it to go for something unconventional that my foundation hasn’t supported in the past,” he said. Bloomberg has supported Jewish causes in the past, including the dedication of a women and child center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem in honor of his late mother, and Magen David Adom, the emergency medical service. But the bulk of his philanthropy has been to non-Jewish causes, most notably his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to which he has donated more than $1 billion. Wayne Firestone, the former Hillel International president who now runs the Genesis Prize Foundation, told JTA that Bloomberg is a “very sophisticated philanthropist who has made a huge impact globally and an outspoken friend of Israel.” Asked how the 71-year-old outgoing mayor will inspire young Jews, Firestone said Genesis will be embarking on a “process to introduce him to younger Jews” and arrange forums for him to interact with young Jews, although he acknowledged Bloomberg
Rabbi Bob Alper is putting his Jewish upbringing and 14 years on the pulpit to good use: His experiences make great fodder for the stand-up comedy act that he performs across the country and on SiriusXM satellite radio daily. People really connect with his material, said Alper, who will perform his act at the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s campaign event on Nov. 9. “My great good fortune is I have so much material that’s unique. I don’t have to worry about doing the same material that every other comedian is doing because my life has been different,” Alper said. Growing up a Jew in Vermont in the ‘50s, one of Alper’s favorite pastimes was memorizing the lines of comedians like Bob Newhart and reciting them to his youth groups. After a brief tour in Bethlehem, where he graduated from Lehigh University in 1966, he went on to receive a doctorate from the Princeton Theological Seminary. But being a comedian is very much “a continuation of my rabbinate,” he said. “There [are] all kinds of ways to be a rabbi,” said Alper. “For me, making people laugh is one of the ways that I function -- I think very effectively -- as a rabbi because it brings healing, it brings good health, it displays rabbis as being affable and warm, which is important. The bottom line is humor is not just a distraction, it’s a very important element of good health.” From jokes about his cat, Dracula, who he instructs to “fane indifference” before the cat looks away, to bits about making his way in Israel, performing weddings and bouncing from
Bloomberg Continues on page 5
Rabbi Bob Alper Continues on page 25
Thanksgivukah See the Chanukah Special Section for thoughts, craft ideas, recipes and more. Special thanks to the JCC’s ECE kindergarten class for coloring the turkey and the chanukkiah!
FROM THE DESK OF MARK L. GOLDSTEIN
Executive Director | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley firstname.lastname@example.org
The Birthright Bump, confirmed If you don’t know about Birthright Israel then chances are you don’t have a child or grandchild who was between the ages of 18 and 26 during the past decade or so. Birthright Israel was founded as a creative partnership between the Government of Israel, Jewish philanthropists, and the Jewish Federation system, including the Jewish Agency for Israel. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, through its community endowment program, the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, has been funding Birthright Israel since the beginning. In its simplest form, Birthright Israel is a free 10day trip to Israel for 18- to 26-year-old Jews. During their trip, participants, most of whom are visiting Israel for the first time, are encouraged to discover new meaning in their personal Jewish identity, connection to Jewish history and culture and connection to Israel. Since its first trip in 1999, over 350,000 young Jewish adults, nearly 300,000 of whom are from the United States, have participated on Birthright trips. That’s nearly five percent of the total U.S. Jewish population and nearly 25 percent of the entire young adult age cohort! There have been a number of studies on the impact of the Birthright trip (and teen
trips to Israel) on participants. And it’s largely what we would expect. The trips are successful at strengthening Jewish identity. Participants report a stronger attachment to Israel than their Jewish (and non-Jewish) peers. And participants are far more likely to marry within the faith; the findings also show that one in four Birthright participants end up marrying another Birthright participant! But there have been few national Jewish surveys in the last decade illuminating how programs such as Birthright Israel are impacting the Jewish community, as opposed to just the participants. Last year, noted researcher Dr. Steven Cohen released one such survey. The Cohen data shows that young Jews in the United States (in his study under 35) support the State of Israel in higher numbers than some of their elders. This reverses a trend that had been outlined in previous national studies; those studies reported that attachment and connection to Israel was lower among younger participants. Cohen termed his finding the “Birthright Bump” but cautioned that the conclusion will be proven or disproven in future national studies. In October, while most of the world was consumed by Washington’s debt limit and government closure
negotiations, the Pew Research Center released a landmark, comprehensive survey on American Jews. Analyses of the Pew survey are wide ranging. Future issues of HAKOL will look at various aspects of the study. There are some reassuring data relating to American Jews and Israel. American Jews remain uniquely attached and connected to Israel. As to younger adults, the Pew study confirms the trend reversal Cohen outlined: the youngest cohort does not show a declining trend in connection to Israel. Unlike in the past, the youngest adults show a commitment to Israel comparable to that of the next older age group – which is actually a reversal of the previously-seen “step down” in commitment that, in the past, paralleled steps down in age. In addition, the overall level of commitment to Israel is maintained. This resilience of American Jews’ emotional attachment to Israel is remarkable in light of other trends identified in the Pew report. Perhaps driving this data is that the proportion of American Jews who have visited Israel has increased to 43 percent. More importantly, the 18- to 29-year-old cohort is more likely to have visited Israel than any cohort other than the 65-and-older group.
About a year ago, I learned that an attitude of gratefulness -- let’s call it thankfulness, in honor of the upcoming national holiday -- does wonders for one’s happiness. Intrigued, I decided to each day write down one thing (or person, event or blessing) for which I was grateful, beginning last Jan. 1. Do you know it’s not easy to do? There are blank places in my journal, although not because I’m not grateful. Like exercise and healthy
eating, taking the extra step of documenting these thoughts felt like a chore, all-too-easily put off “until tomorrow.” I likewise found it very much worth doing. This month in HAKOL, we commemorate several important anniversaries in the main section. We encourage you in the special section to look forward to the once-in-a-lifetime alignment of Chanukah and Thanksgiving. There are so many temptations to think of yesterday and of tomorrow. However, there is one thing I must do first and that is to
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say that, today and every day, dear readers, I am thankful for you. Shalom, Jennifer Lader
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likelihood of marrying inside the faith and connection to Israel. Might they also be contributing to the data on connection to Israel? I am sure they are. Without a doubt the Pew Study offers some sobering numbers. But it may also offer some confirmation that we can address and even reverse trends.
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers,
We’ve never seen numbers like that in previous national studies. And the Birthright Bump? Nearly half of the 18 to 29 cohort (48 percent) visited Israel as part of Birthright Israel! We may also be feeling a compounding effect. In the past decade or so, we have seen a rise in Jewish resident camping. We have seen a rise in national Jewish day school enrollment (at least until the 2008 financial crisis). We have seen a rise in teen visits to Israel, like those funded through our Federation’s VISIT Israel Savings Partnership. Similar studies tell us that these are highly effective methods to increase Jewish identity, Jewish religious observance,
In order to unite, sustain, and enhance the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, and support Jewish communities in Israel and around the world, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is dedicated to the following core values:
• Supporting Jews in need wherever they may be. • Supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland. • Supporting and encouraging Jewish education in the Lehigh Valley as a means of strengthening Jewish life for individuals and families. • Supporting programs and services of organizations whose values and mission meet local Jewish needs. To accomplish this mission the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is committed to the following operating guidelines: • Raising and distributing funds to support the core values. • Developing Jewish leaders. • Building endowments to support implementation of core values. • Committing to ongoing Jewish community strategic planning. • Fostering cooperation among organizations and community building. • Evaluating all decisions with respect to fiscal responsibility. • Identifying unmet needs and investing in community initiatives to help get them started. • Coordinating and convening a community response as an issue or need arises. • Setting priorities for allocation and distribution of funds. • Acting as a central address for communication about events, programs and services of the Jewish community as a whole. Approved by the JFLV Board of Directors on November 15, 2000
Federation explores new fundraising avenues By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing and Jennifer Lader Editor, HAKOL When Matt Freedman says we’re in a competitive marketplace, he isn’t talking about merchandise. He’s talking volunteer hours and charitable donation dollars. He’s talking about the strength of organizations and the commitment of individuals. The Jewish Federations of North America consultant has only begun his year-long series of visits to the Lehigh Valley, but he already has an idea who we are. “The Lehigh Valley is a very strong, connected Jewish community. Federation matters to being Jewish here … and for the most part, being Jewish in [the Lehigh Valley] is about being in community,” Freedman said. “And those are two statements that you can’t necessarily make everywhere in North America.” Now, Freedman will start to look at where we need to go. Freedman has been retained by the Jewish Federation’s strategic planning subcommittee that is focused on improving how the Federation fundraises. He will meet with community members at varying levels of involvement and provide feedback to the committee to help develop an updated approach to donor relations and philanthropy. Examining fundraising practices is one of six goals laid out in the Jewish Community Strategic Plan. Other goals include providing enhanced services for seniors and more opportunities for Jewish education, goals which will likely require funding, at least in part, from the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign. The campaign likewise raises funds to meet compelling and ever-growing needs of Jews in the Valley and around the world. Yet, while the Lehigh Valley Federation’s campaign weathered the recession better than most of its contemporaries, its numbers have remained relatively stagnant for many years. As the cost of living continues to rise, and needs remain everlasting here and around the globe, finding a way to boost campaign dollars is one of several priorities for the Federation, professional and volunteer leaders said. But there are two significant inhibitors, said Eileen Fischmann, co-chair of the strategic planning subcommittee: There are “the changing demographics of our community [and] the lack of urgency in Israel’s situation that leads to complacency on all our parts. “We don’t see a crisis in Israel so we aren’t worried, which translates into fewer dollars,” Fischmann said. It’s true, there is nothing like an emergency to spur people to action, and it’s good that there isn’t one every day. But in a way, there is a crisis every day and it is a quiet crisis. “In the past 10 years, the campaign numbers have been relatively flat,” said Federation President Barry
Members of the Next dor Leadership Development Program attend a Federation Major Donor Reception. Programs like Next dor engage young adults, and the Federation leadership is looking to reach out in more ways that resonate. J. Halper. Federation leaders largely attribute this to the decline of the entrepreneurial class that carried our community so generously for decades. “We’re not raising more money … yet our needs and our desires are growing,” said Wendy Born, past president and member of the fundraising committee. “We need to go from good to great.” There is still a large contingent of “baby boomers” in this community that have significant philanthropic capabilities, said Judy Diamondstein, assistant executive director of the Federation and overseer of the campaign. “We need to figure out how to maintain our relationships with them or we need to reconnect them to the organization as something that is relevant and meaningful in their lives,” she said. Additional fundraising efforts also need to focus on the next generation of Jewish leaders and philanthropists, staff and volunteers agreed. “Young donors today want to feel that we are part of the change and that we are getting a return on our investment of time and money,” said Iris Epstein, who is co-chairing the subcommittee with Fischmann. Epstein is part of that young adult group, and explained, “To be successful with this group, we will need to have compelling programs that engage and at the same time educate about what we do at Federation, who we help and how.” Making the case for the Jewish community gets
even tougher when it comes to the technology-centered “millennials” -- anyone born between the early ‘80s and the early 2000s (think age 30 and younger). “We need to find out what is buzzing about Federation today and use marketing and technology to increase the visibility and image of the JFLV,” Fischmann said, “... to have direct contact several times a year, and not necessarily just to fundraise. We need to find new, different methods of engaging younger donors. What we have done in the past isn’t relevant to their lives as much as it used to be to us and our parents.” The Federation system is built on “umbrella” giving -- so that a donor’s one gift will be spread far and wide across all of the recipients in the Jewish world. It’s a concept that more easily resonates with the “older generation,” but the millennials understand “community” in a different context and our engagement with them must reflect their reality, Diamondstein said. Fundraising in the future will have to be more relationship-based, she added. “What we think we do well in our community is that we have strong, interpersonal relationships with our donors,” Diamondstein said. “What is necessary for the future is to increase the number of those relationships so that more people feel connected to the work of the Federation and our mission. We need to do a better job of engaging more people.”
American Jewish population 6.7-6.8 million, new reports say Jewish News Service New reports from the Pew Research Center and Brandeis University’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) peg the Jewish population of the United States at 6.7 million and 6.8 million, respectively. In October, Pew’s Religion and Public Life Project released “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” based on a survey of 3,475 Jews from Feb. 20 to June 13, 2013. The report estimated that there are 6.7 million Jews in the U.S., and that 78 percent of that population identifies as Jewish “by religion,” as opposed to “by background” or other criteria. A day earlier, SSRI released “American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012,” which concluded that there are 6.8 million American Jews, with about 81 percent identifying as Jewish by religion. Prof. Leonard Saxe, SSRI’s director and the new report’s co-author, had estimated in December 2011 that the U.S. Jewish population was 6.4 million. Amid the release of the new figures, Saxe said the population increase as well as the stabilization of the number of those
identifying as Jewish by religion (1.8 percent of the total American population, according to SSRI) could be interpreted as either a positive or negative narrative, being that synagogue membership and engagement with other Jewish institutions have not risen at the same rate as the Jewish population. “You can either say, ‘Wow, this is a problem,’ or you can say, ‘This is an opportunity for the Jewish community,’” Saxe told JNS.org. SSRI’s new data said that 24 percent of American Jews are 65 or older. More than 20 percent live in the state of New York, followed by 14 percent in California, 12 percent in Florida, 8 percent in New Jersey, and 5 percent each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Editor’s Note: The Pew Study can be accessed at www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-americanbeliefs-attitudes-culture-survey. The survey was extensive and, as HAKOL goes to print, Lehigh Valley Jewish religious and lay leaders continue to examine the data and seek potential applications. Look for additional coverage in the December edition of HAKOL.
There are more than 6 million Jews in the United States, according to two recent studies, and an estimated 5 percent live in Pennsyvlania.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 3
WOMEN’S DIVISION OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
Women’s Division, JFS focus on feeding hungry Lion of Judah Chanukah party Save the Date DECEMBER 4, 2013
Lunch & Learn CHERISHING THE DAY YOU WERE BORN:
Creating Meaningful Jewish Birthday Rituals with Rabbi Melissa Klein THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., JCC of Allentown
Our birthdays come every year, and they offer a precious opportunity to reflect, to mark the passage of time and to bring together community. Rabbi Klein will share examples of Jewish birthday rituals at different life stages and will offer guidance on how to craft a meaningful and transformative ritual. Rabbi Melissa Klein served Congregation Am Haskalah from 2002-2009. She was also the chair of the Lehigh Valley Clergy Group and a visionary leader who helped to deepen connections both within the Jewish community and with the broader, interfaith community. She is the author of a chapter on Jewish ritual in the forthcoming book, “A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volume III.” She is a highly respected spiritual guide, teacher of spiritual writing and group facilitator. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner Neysa and their 6-year-old son Tani, who was born in Allentown. Program is $12, including lunch. Men and women are welcome. Sponsored by the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Lehigh Valley To RSVP, please call 610-821-5500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becky Goldenberg teaches JCC kindergarteners about the importance of the food pantry at Jewish Family Service. The students chose food items from each “category” and helped to pack a bag like one that would be given to a food pantry client.
JFLV Staff Hunger and the need for stocking the shelves of the Lehigh Valley’s food pantries have been in the spotlight for several years now, and the Women’s Division of the Lehigh Valley has gotten involved, collecting food at all of its events over the past two years for Jewish Family Service. The women will continue that effort at the Federation’s Annual Campaign event with comedian Rabbi Bob Alper on November 9, asking the entire community to bring nonperishable food items. Protein items such as peanut butter and tuna fish are the most in need. “We’re proud to continue the tradition that Eva Levitt initiated with the focus on hunger while she was president of Federation’s Women’s Division,” said Carol Wilson, the current president. “What I would like to see is more hands-on kinds of projects, like the mini-mitzvah day we did in the past. “It means more women have exposure to projects they might not otherwise have an opportunity to learn about and it’s sometimes a first opportunity to work in our community.” Because of the importance of feeding the hungry, Jewish Family Service Board Member Becky Goldenberg recently became coordinator of the food pantry. She has already implemented several changes and needs volunteers to do more. “We changed the pantry from food ‘lots’ available every day to a ‘choice pantry’ open on Tuesdays from 10 to 1 and on Fridays from 11 to 2,” Goldenberg said. With the
choice pantry, people can choose foods that they like or need, although they still take home the same amount overall. “We need people to assist with the choice pantry,” she said. “The volunteers will come in and get some training on how to talk to the people, help them choose and find out if they need other services.” She said that signing up for one shift per month – equivalent to three hours – would be a tremendous help. The food pantry needs food drive coordinators as well. There again, Goldenberg is looking to divide the work, perhaps with each congregation being responsible for one month per year. There is also the need to spread the word that the food pantry is available, because some people may not realize they are eligible. “Most one- and two-person households with at least one person disabled or over 60 are eligible if their monthly income falls below $1,862 for one person or $2,522 for two people,” said Debbie Zoller, executive director of JFS. JFS serves clients in the general population in the 18104 zip code through its association with Second Harvest, “and eligible Jewish clients from anywhere in the Lehigh Valley,” Goldenberg said. Like Wilson, she envisions expanded services, such as delivering food to Jewish seniors. “We’re going to continue to support the drive for food, being collected at all of our events,” said Judy Diamondstein, assistant executive director of the Federation, “and continue to shine a light on hunger in the Jewish community and beyond.”
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 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Handmade Afghans BY EVA LEVITT
All proceeds benefit projects in Israel:
Food Banks in Israel Neve Michael Youth Village
For prices or to place an order, call Eva 610-398-1376. All payments are made payable to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
Bloomberg Continues from page 1
“hasn’t planned his post-mayoral schedule.” Bloomberg will complete his third term as New York mayor at the end of the year. The awarding of $1 million to a well-known public figure with a huge personal fortune spurred some head scratching and ridicule in the Jewish communal world. One foundation leader who asked not to be identified said in an email that the reaction in her office has been “one of some surprise.” Most had expected the prize “would bring into the light someone doing amazingly deep unknown work, someone who needs the prize to advance that work and perhaps someone better to relate to the very demographic the prize seeks to attract,” she said. Writing in The New Republic, Marc Tracy noted that awarding Bloomberg $1 million “is like giving the average U.S. household $1.56.” “The soon-to-be-ex-mayor is a great philanthropist,” Tracy wrote. “Which begs the question of whether the Genesis Philanthropy Group’s $100 million endowment couldn’t be put to wiser use.” But Ilia Salita, executive director of Genesis Philanthropy Group North America, said younger generations are inspired by innovation. “There is hardly a better example of innovators than Bloomberg,” Salita said.
Federation welcomes new executive assistant By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing There’s a new voice at the other end of the line at the Federation office. Marlene K. Ozark has joined the staff as executive assistant. Ozark spent more than a decade working for Rodale, Inc., before coming to the Federation. With a background in graphic design, she has held a variety of positions throughout her career, from advertising agencies to corporate offices. Before coming to the Federation, Marlene was employed at several other businesses in an administrative capacity, including a few local accounting firms. Most recently, she was the office assistant in the Public Information Department at Northampton Community College. Born and raised in the WilkesBarre/Scranton area, she has lived in
the Lehigh Valley for about 30 years. Her role includes coordinating the community calendar, managing board meetings and fielding inquiries from the community at large. “When I’m on the phone with people, I approach things this way - I consider how would I like to be treated, how would I like to be spoken to, and that’s how I treat people,” Ozark said. “They have questions, they have a problem, all they know is that they want answers, and I do what I can to get the answers for them.” Asked why she will be the best executive assistant, Ozark said: “Because I want to be.” “I come to work every day with the attitude that I’m going do the best I can every day,” she said. Ozark takes over for long-time Federation employee Joan Brody, who retired this year. Additionally
Wendy Edwards, who has worked as an administrative assistant at the Federation since 2004, has stepped up to fill the role of office manager.
Cory Booker, close to N.J. and national Jewish communities, wins Senate seat Jewish Telegraphic Agency Cory Booker, the Newark mayor who headed two Jewish student societies while in university, has been elected to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate. Booker, a Democrat, coasted to a win in a special election in October to succeed the late Frank Lautenberg,
defeating Republican Steve Lonegan with 55 percent to 44 percent of the vote, according to unofficial counts. Booker, who becomes the only African-American senator, retains strong ties with the New Jersey and national Jewish communities, and also is close to pro-Israel groups.
He is not Jewish, but immersed himself in Jewish learning in his university days, heading Jewish student societies at Oxford and Yale universities. Booker will serve out the term of his fellow Democrat, Lautenberg, who died in June, through 2014. Booker has indicated he will run for a full term next year.
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RABBI BOB ALPER The world's only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy... intentionally
2014 CAMPAIGN FOR JEWISH NEEDS
Reservations $10 | Minimum $18 pledge required 610.821.5500 | www.jewishlehighvalley.org/comedy.aspx
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 5
Medicine and community make impact Dr. Offir Paz
By Offir Paz, M.D. JFLV Maimonides Society Visiting Physician Editor’s Note: Dr. Paz and his wife recently visited the Lehigh Valley, meeting with doctors, visiting hospitals and spending time in the community. Upon his return, he had this to say about his visit. From the very beginning, we felt that we were in a good Jewish family. All the people we met there were exceptionally kind and pleasant. Professionally, during that period of time, I visited the two main hospitals (Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network) and attended many procedures, especially in electrophysiology, but in other sub-specialties as well. I enjoyed seeing good medical facilities and excellent patient care. It was important for me, years after fellowship, especially from a mediumsized hospital in Israel, to see what is done in other EP
Maimonides Society BAGEL BRUNCH Sunday, December 15
10:15 a.m., JCC of Allentown
Join Maimonides Society physicians for a discussion on a universal ailment --
laboratories. The take home message for me was that we should learn and upgrade our mapping system in order to perform complex cases. In addition, I watched pacemaker leads extraction. We just purchased the laser system and, upon my return, the procedure will be done in our hospital. While in the Lehigh Valley, I also attended two impressive, new and sophisticated procedures here: robotic hysterectomy and percutaneous, minimally-invasive abdominal aortic aneurism repair. The former is above our budgets, but the latter should be done in our hospital and I will push forward to start doing it. Socially, I enjoyed meeting many interesting and charm-
ing people every day, not to mention the delicious dinners. You have been granted a unique and vibrant community and I wish you will maintain it forever. Coming from the Yoav area, I feel that we should strengthen the bonds between our communities, especially those of the young generation. In Yoav, we have an active and innovative partnership team in addition to our supportive and appreciative mayor and we look forward to additional exchanges. Thank you for the warm welcome and generous hospitality during my stay. I look forward to meeting you soon in Israel. Dr. Paz can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maimonides members host Dr. Paz Dr. Bill and Jane Markson hosted a special reception on October 1 for members of the Maimonides Society and their spouses in honor of Dr. Offir Paz, a cardiologist who visited the Lehigh Valley as part of the Maimonides Society Visiting Physician program. Dr. Paz gave a presentation which compared and contrasted health care in Israel with American health care and that of other countries worldwide. Dr. Paz also provided insight into the Yoav Regional Council, the Jewish Federation’s Partnership2Gether sister community, where he resides with his wife and children.
BACK PAIN. Brunch is free for Maimonides Society members and spouses, $10 for community members. Contact Judy Diamondstein at 610-821-5500 or email@example.com to RSVP or for more information.
The 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht
Dr. Jeffery Gevirtz speaks with Dr. Harvey Hakim and Jane Markson.
BRUNCH & PRESENTATION BY SHARI SPARK
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Temple Covenant of Peace
See the Holocaust Resource Center’s Legacy Exhibit, enhancing Holocaust education at schools across the region.
Visiting physician Dr. Offir Paz.
President of the Maimonides Society Dr. Frank Tamarkin welcomes guests.
Free and open to the community. RSVP required by Monday, November 4, 610-253-2031, firstname.lastname@example.org. Co-sponsored by Temple Covenant of Peace and the Holocaust Resource Center of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Area clergy will be offering remembrances of Kristallnacht during Shabbat services. To find a synagogue near you, visit www.shalomlehighvalley.org. Founding member Dr. Gene Ginsburg greets Robbie Wax and Dr. Mike Zager. 6 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
‘It was like pulling teeth ...’ Oral surgeon a fundraising natural
Left, This year marks 30 years since Stuart Schwartz moved to the Lehigh Valley. Center, The Schwartz Family in 2012: Philip Schwartz (seated), daughter Carole Kraus (left), son Stuart Schwartz and his wife Janice. Right, Blanche and Philip Schwartz, z”l, whose charitable gift annuity created a legacy that will benefit the Lehigh Valley Jewish community in perpetuity.
By Jennifer Lader Editor, HAKOL This year marks an anniversary for Stuart Schwartz: It’s been 40 years since the retired Allentown oral surgeon and fundraiser extraordinaire arrived in the Lehigh Valley. Though the move signified the launch of his career, in some ways Stuart just kept doing what he’d already been doing before. Stuart hails from Elmont, Long Island, “home of Belmont Racetrack,” he said. His parents, Philip and Blanche, had a card store when Stuart was growing up. Although they were involved in community, Stuart said, they “didn’t have money to give.” Instead, they found other ways to support the community. Philip served as president of the brotherhood and Blanche as president of the sisterhood in their synagogue. For the rummage sale, Blanche filled the family home with goods she collected in order to accumulate the “points” the couple needed to attend the donor dance. The couple also gave their son and daughter an upbringing in which the priority was clear: Support the Jewish community. Stuart attended Queens College in New York, graduating after three years, then completed dental school at the University of Maryland. He went into the Public Health Service, with which he served on Indian reservations in the Western United States. He worked one year among the Navajo at Fort Defiance, Az., and two years among the Pima and Papago at Sacaton, Az. Upon completing his service, Stuart served a residency in Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. One day, he noticed an advertisement in a professional journal: Dr. Edward Weiner was looking for an oral surgeon to join his Allentown practice. Stuart got the job and came to town on July 1, 1973. He became a business
partner with Ed and joined Congregation Keneseth Israel. In 1975, Stuart attended an Allentown Federation brunch where he made his first Federation pledge. He also volunteered to help out -- and that was the beginning. It was Bernie Kobrovsky (see story page 1, September edition) who said, “If you’re looking to volunteer, let’s get you on the board.” Early on, Stuart and thenexecutive director of the Federation, Ivan Schonfeld, saw the Precious Legacy exhibit about the Eastern European Jewish aid societies and said, “Let’s do something like that for physicians who want to help people here.” Such was the beginning of the Maimonides Society, which “went national” through federations across the country. Stuart was awarded the George Feldman Achievement Award for Young Leadership and, with the Glassmans and Ufbergs, started the Young Leadership Division, with which he continued to work until he became president of the Federation, serving from 1991-93. He also served as chair of the endowment fund and as cochair, with Vera Schiff, of the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. However, Stuart points to mission trips as highlights of his experiences with Federation. He served as bus captain on all four of his trips. Most memorable was the one on which he and Schonfeld led a mission to Israel with 10 businessmen who wanted to increase their giving. At that time, Russian Jews were not allowed to fly directly to Israel. The mission group flew to Budapest to pick them up and, from there, on to Tel Aviv. What is now called the major donor reception (see story, page 16) was at the time the “greater gifts dinner,” for men only. Of one of the people he brought into Federation through these
dinners, Stuart said, “He had a great heart, he just had to be pushed. I said to him, ‘What if you go and see what it’s about?’” There is another person, though, who Stuart is most proud of bringing into the Federation: his dad. “When my grandfather passed away,” Stuart said, “my dad got an inheritance, including stocks [that had really appreciated]. He couldn’t sell them because the capital gains would kill him.” Stuart had an idea: “‘Dad,’ I said, ‘the Federation has got a program for you.’” In 1992, at the age of 72, Philip Schwartz set up a charitable gift annuity with the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, which guar-
anteed a set quarterly payment for the rest of his and Blanche’s lives. With a charitable gift annuity through the Federation, any assets remaining after the donors’ lifetimes can be used to create a fund that would be named in honor of the donors or in accordance with their wishes. Because of appreciation, the amount received in distributions prior to that time can be much higher than the initial gift and still allow for a generous legacy. In 1997, Philip created a second charitable gift annuity. Philip therefore received distributions at a level that “made things much easier for him,” Stuart said. “This is such a great program for people who have [low basis]
stocks.” Blanche and Philip were able to retire to Florida. “My mom catered to him, picked out his clothes -- keeping the two of them color-coordinated -- cooked, everything,” Stuart said. After his mother began kidney dialysis, Stuart – who with his wife Janice divides his time between Pennsylvania and Florida and among their 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren -- helped his parents move to an independent living facility that provided companionship, activities and all of their meals. Sadly, Stuart’s mother passed away two and a half Stuart Schwartz Continues on page 26
January 26, 2014 at the JCC of Allentown
9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Make the call or answer the call VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Contact Aaron Gorodzinsky, 610-821-5500, email@example.com
Together, we do extraordinary things. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 7
TribeFest takes on The Big Easy By Aaron Gorodzinsky JFLV Director of Outreach & Community Relations Online registration is now officially open for the Jewish Federations of North America’s 2014 TribeFest in New Orleans. Now in its third year, TribeFest attracts 1,500 young Jews ages 22 to 45 from all different backgrounds for a three-day entertaining, interactive and educational celebration. Attendees can connect with local, national and international Jewish organizations, network, explore their passions and interests and discover new avenues for action. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Young Adult Division, in its quest to find innovative ways to inspire our members to engage Jewishly, sees TribeFest as an ideal setting to engage with other young adult communities, participate in different forums with interesting guest speakers and learn new ways to participate here at home. All of this is in a fun setting that is attractive for all regardless of age, marital status, or community involvement. In fact, some of the people who benefit the most from this experience are those who have never been in touch with the Federation and are looking for a fun way to get involved. To enable our young adults to participate in this unique experience, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is offering subsidies to participants that cover the full cost of registration – a $499 value. Additionally, the Sheraton New Orleans is offering attendees a very special rate, with prices starting at $199 per night for single or double occupancy. TribeFest offers meaningful, fun and top-quality content for young adults through presentations that include dynamic leaders in politics, entertainment, music, art, food, religion and other aspects of Jewish life. Beyond that, TribeFest offers attendees many ways to connect to their own Judaism and how they see themselves as part of the community. For our local leaders who have already gotten their feet wet, either by attending previous TribeFests or by serving on a committee or on our Board of Directors, TribeFest is offering a redesigned Leadership Development Institute that is integrated with the main program on Sunday with a keynote speaker and breakout sessions, where leaders from around the nation will have an opportunity to share ideas and programs with their peers. TribeFest will be held March 16-18, 2014, in New Orleans. For more information about the event, please contact Aaron Gorodzinsky, JFLV Director of Outreach and Community Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-821-5500 or go to www.tribefest.org to learn more.
LEHIGH VALLEY JEWISH FOUNDATION THE JEWISH COMMUNITY’S ENDOWMENT FUND | Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
IN MEMORY SUSIE AUFRECHT (Mother of Nancy Cohen) Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald JESSIE BERNSTEIN (Mother of Joseph Bernstein) Wendy and Ross Born Barnet and Lisa Fraenkel LEAH BUB (Mother of Sam Bub, Grandmother of Carol, David and Richard Bub) Robby, Laurie Ben and Danny Wax (Grandmother of Carol Bub-Fromer, David Bub, and Richard Bub) Robby, Laurie, Ben and Danny Wax BERNIE COHEN (Father of Abby Trachtman) Wendy and Ross Born Judy and Marc Diamondstein Friess, Gevirtz and Ticho Families Sandra and Harold Goldfarb Vicki and Stan Wax HERBERT HYMAN (Husband of Mina Hyman and father of Nat and Michael Hyman) Suzanne Lapiduss LARRY SMALL (Brother of Gloria Rothstein) Shirley and Lou Furmansky BLESSED MEMORY OF SOL AND BEA TAFFET Edward Taffet STUART MAISEL (Father of Kimmie Sokol) Sybil and Barry Baiman Evelyn Holtz Richard & Vicki Schiff HAROLD WEINSTEIN (Husband of Louise Weinstein) Betty Greenberg Vera and Irving Mandell Barnet & Lisa Fraenkel Selma Roth Ruth Sheftel
Judith Plavner IN HONOR ALAN BLACK Hafan B’reishit recipient Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald TAMA FOGELMAN Special Birthday Helene and Leno Scarcia Vicki and Stan Wax BETTE AND JERRY FRIEDENHEIM Purchase of New Home Roberta and Jeff Epstein SIMON’S GLATT KOSHER MEAT PRODUCTS Birth of grandchild Sylvia and Sam Bub and Family LINDA GLICKMAN Speedy Recovery Roberta and Robert Kritzer EYDIE AND NEIL GLICKSTEIN B’nai Mitzvah of grandchildren Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald LILLIAN HOFFMAN 95th Birthday Barbara and Fred Sussman HOWARD AND SUSAN ISRAEL Bar Mitzvah of grand daughter Francie Eiskowitz KATHI AND SETH KATZMAN Birth of grandson, Brice Mosely Katzman Roberta and Robert Kritzer SUE AND KEN KIRSHNER Birth of grandson, Charlie Isaac Kirshner Roberta and Robert Kritzer CAROLE AND MICHAEL LANGSAM Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald PENNY ROTH Happy Birthday Jerome and Audrey Cylinder MARTHA AND RON SEGEL Marriage of daughter, Julie to Gary Mendelson
Wendy and Ross Born Roberta and Jeff Epstein Roberta and Robert Kritzer Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald DIANE SILVERMAN Special Birthday Jeanette and Eduardo Eichenwald FLOSSIE ZALES Special Birthday Barbara and Arthur Weinrach BOB WOOD STOP HUNGER PROJECT IN MEMORY BERNIE COHEN (Father of Abby Trachtman) Larrie & Judy Sheftel ILENE WOOD (Husband Bob’s Memory) Judy & Larrie Sheftel IN HONOR ILENE WOOD Receiving the Wallenberg Honors Award Judy & Larrie Sheftel HELEN AND SOL KRAWITZ HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND IN MEMORY DOROTHY COHODAS (Mother of Jayne Cohodas-Cooney) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz HERBERT HYMAN (Husband of Mina Hyman and father of Nat and Michael Hyman) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz LESLIE LERNER (Husband of Elaine Lerner) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz HAROLD WEINSTEIN (Husband of Louise Weinstein) Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg HOWARD WIENER (Husband of Bobbie Wiener and father of Joel and Stephen Wiener and Suzanne Diamond) Lynda and Stuart Krawitz IN HONOR DIANE AND MARVIN SANDLER 60th Wedding Anniversary Joani Lesavoy and Sid Greenberg 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.
TOGETHER, WE DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.
Make your pledge payment by December 31 and receive charitable giving benefits on your 2013 taxes. This is your year. Make it count. www.jewishlehighvalley.org
8 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
By Cnaan Liphshiz Jewish Telegraphic Agency When Rina Attias phoned to say that she was trapped with terrorists inside Nairobi’s Westgate mall, her husband Albert replied with a short instruction: Hang up right now. Albert Attias, the head of the Jewish community in the Kenyan capital and an Israeli military veteran, wanted to communicate with his wife by text message so she wouldn’t be overheard speaking Hebrew. Their Israeli connections were not something the couple were eager to advertise, even in normal circumstances. “I was gravely concerned,” Albert Attias told JTA, recalling the first hours of the deadly attack and two-day siege carried out by Islamic militants at the upscale shopping plaza that began on Sept. 21. “I prayed she’d get out before dark because at night anything could happen.” Rina Attias was trapped for six hours before escaping. But her ordeal at what was considered a safe area in Nairobi has shaken the brittle sense of security for the approximately 600 members of the Jewish community of Kenya, a country that has strived, not always successfully, to escape the violence raging just beyond its borders. “We were already careful, but this attack reinforces in us the need to be vigilant,” Attias said. Along with Attias, several hundred bystanders fled the mall after a dozen or so armed terrorists stormed the five-story building and holed up there with hostages. The death toll included
61 civilians, six security officers and five suspected terrorists. No Jews were among the victims of the attack, according to Attias, which occurred as many community members attended the bar mitzvah celebration of an Israeli diplomat’s son. Opened in 2007, Westgate was a “place of comfort, upscale luxury, a feeling of something foreign that doesn’t exist in too many places here,” the Kenyan journalist Jeff Omondi said. Beyond the air-conditioned walls of Westgate lies a crime-infested metropolis of 3.1 million where vultures circle over vast slums and potholed roads in search of a meal in one of the many garbage heaps festering in the tropical sun. The mall is a foreign novelty to Kenyans, but for the tens of thousands of Western Nairobians, Westgate -- with its Israeli-owned brasserie, sushi restaurant and upscale clothing stores -- offered access to familiar amenities that are hard to find in this eastern African republic. It was the first place that Rebecca, the wife of Nairobi’s newly-arrived rabbi, was taken to in Nairobi. On her blog, she described it as a pleasant spot to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee. But in an interview with JTA, she requested that her last name be withheld. “I’m sorry, this whole business has made me a bit paranoid,” she acknowledged. Charles Szlapak, a longtime member of the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation, told JTA he believed Westgate was targeted “because it represents the West and the Kenyan government’s pro-Western attitudes,” and that he had “no reason to believe it was struck because of anything
KENYAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/VIA GETTY IMAGES
For Nairobi Jews, mall attack undermines already fragile sense of security
The remains of cars and other debris at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, following an attack by Islamic militants, Sept. 26. connected specifically to Jews.” Szlapak, a Poland native born in the 1930s, says Jews have lived in Kenya for well over a century. Nowadays, most Jews living in Nairobi are Israeli businessmen and their families, according to Attias. Al-Shebab is presumed to have staged the attack as revenge for the involvement of Kenyan troops in the quelling of an Islamist insurgency in Somalia. It made no reference to Israel in its statements on the attack. Alex Trachtenberg, an Israeli businessman whom media reports have identified as Westgate’s owner, did not respond to requests for comment from JTA. Westgate was among several business ventures launched by Trachtenberg in Kenya, where a growing middle class, relative stability and government incentives have attracted many foreign
investors, Israelis among them. Before Westgate, Trachtenberg started a fishery, among other businesses. While it is still not known whether the mall was selected for its Israeli connection, Islamist militants have targeted Israelis in Kenya in the past. In 2002, al-Qaida affiliates blew up the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in the southern coastal city of Mombasa and fired two missiles at a chartered Boeing 757 belonging to Arkia, an Israeli airline. Three Israelis and 10 Kenyans died in the hotel attack. “The Mombasa attacks were clearly targeting Israelis, but according to what is known thus far, the Westgate action was not,” said Zvi Mazel, an expert on militant Islam in Africa and former head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department. “The Westgate attack was part of an internal African conflict, which the terrorists tried to globalize by selecting a Western symbol as their target.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 9
Veterans team up to help the wounded By Jerry Farris Jewish War Veterans Jewish War Veterans Post 239 and Raymour & Flanigan teamed up for a “Salute to the Troops” fundraising event on Labor Day Weekend. The result: JWV collected $692 to support wounded veterans, plus Raymour & Flanigan gave an additional $1,000. The checks were presented to Lehigh Valley Veterans Affairs Council President, Maj. Gen. Jerry Stills, USAF(ret.). The LVMAC will distribute the funds. Three stores in Eastern Pennsylvania -- Whitehall, Quakertown and Scranton -- participated. In the Whitehall store, a tablecloth and a large light-colored tarp were made available for customers to write notes to the returning wounded soldiers in the area. These will be presented to the Wilkes-Barre Medical Center.
All money raised will stay in the area and the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Commission will assist in its disbursement to our veterans. Why, you might ask, would JWV team up with this retailer to raise money for our wounded? Let me tell you a little about Raymour & Flanigan that you might not know: Raymour Furniture Company was established by two brothers, Bernard and Arnold Goldberg, in 1947, in Syracuse, N.Y. It expanded over the years with the purchase of 14 Flanigan Furniture stores, and later, of the Furniture Unlimited stores. Another brother, Neil, joined the business in 1972. From conversations with Whitehall store manager, Michael Wheat and his District Manager, Dan Harring, it became clear that at least one of the brothers served in the Armed Forces and it is
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believed he may have been a member of JWV. So who better to team with than our own local JWV Post 239? One of the most unforgettable moments during this event happened when a young man and his two sons approached. The father told the boys they needed to write a message to the soldiers. They wanted to know why they should. The father stood tall, took in a breath and proudly stated: “This is our new country. We must show these brave men and women we, too, care about them and wish them a speedy recovery. People who are proud of their country do this!” And so, all three wrote messages. Raymour & Flanigan wants to repeat this event twice a year. The next event will be Memorial Day Weekend, followed by Veterans Day in 2014. It is our hope that all local veteran orga-
nizations will take time to participate in this event, showing unity in our common goal to help our fellow veterans. May all who have pride in this great country of ours find the time to come and give so that our men and women who have returned
needing physical and psychological help can also find the resources for what they need once home. Remember to express your appreciation to a veteran this Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.
Friendship Circle hosts candidate debate By Steecia Kofsky Friendship Circle Program Chair On October 7, Friendship Circle, a program of the JCC for those 50 and over, hosted a political debate for Lehigh County executive candidates Democrat Tom Muller and Republican Scott Ott. Aside from the import of its content, its significance was twofold. First, it awakened many to the possibility that Friendship Circle can affect on our community; second, it introduced some to our very existence. Instead of the expected and usual attendance of about 34 seniors at our weekly Monday meeting, some 60 people swept into the auditorium like a breath of fresh air, eager to hear what the candidates had to say and anxious to pose questions of their own. Many of us, not quite cognizant of the duties of the Lehigh County executive, were given an informative orientation by Carol Kranitz, JCC executive director and event moderator.
10 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Three Raymour & Flanigan stores raise funds with Jewish War Veterans Post 239 in a Labor Day event to help wounded soldiers.
Although the general consensus seemed to be that the debate was a "tie," I respectfully submit that there was a winner --- Friendship Circle. How pleased was I, indeed, when relaxing in front of the television that evening to view these same candidates on Channel 69 and listen again to some of the remarks they made that day in our own Kline Auditorium. Do come and join us at Friendship Circle for a light luncheon and a provocative and informative program to heighten your spirits and stimulate your minds. Here, you can share with us your talents, your hopes and your aspirations – just as the candidates did that day. Friendship Circle meets on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. at Kline Auditorium in the JCC. Membership is $25 per year and your first meeting is free. Thereafter, the fee for the luncheon is $6. You can contact Betty Mendelson at 610-3956282 to make the necessary reservations.
First Presbyterian Church of Allentown –
Medical Mission to Honduras 2014 Honduras Team
By Gillian Pidcock Special to HAKOL Editor’s Note: A cpecial grant from the Jewish Federation's Maimonides Society helped make this mission possible. A 14-member medical mission team has returned from Honduras after a week-long adventure bringing medical services to people in the Copan region. Our call came through Serving at the Crossroads (SATC), a mission of Westminster Presbyterian Church of West
Chester, Pa., where Tony Sundermeier (Lead Pastor) worked prior to coming to First Presbyterian Church in 2009. This was the church’s first medical mission and the team was the first to treat patients in Trinidad, a rural community of 8,000 people nestled in lush green mountains. The team’s daily journey from its modest but comfortable hotel in La Entrada began with a scary yet fun drive by minivan on a two-lane highway bordered by fields and market stalls. Many people live on the shoulder of
this road, where children, chickens and stray dogs are only feet away from speeding motorbikes, trucks and tour buses. The learning curve was as steep as the winding roads the team travelled each day. The medical providers had planned as carefully as they could, estimating the medications that might be needed, but there was still an element of the unknown. A huge throng of patients, schoolchildren and local officials greeted the team on its first day, waiting in eager anticipation for the clinic to open. With the help of the mayor and SATC hosts, the team transformed its new building into a temporary health clinic with reception, consulting rooms and pharmacy. Rural Honduran health care is rudimentary and there is a shortage of medication and specialists. The mayor had advertised the services, including oral surgery, which took place at SATC’s permanent clinic, Manos Amigas, in La Entrada. Audiologist Elizabeth Meenan, the only bilingual member of the team, was kept busy seeing her own patients as well as acting as a vital cross-cultural link. A highlight of the week occurred when she fitted a young woman with a new hearing aid and witnessed her joy as she heard her mother’s voice for the first time in many years. The team relied heavily on our local interpreters, some of them high school
students, who became our ears and voices for five days. A 12-year-old, already wise beyond her years, served as assistant to the gynecologist and nurse practitioner as they examined women grateful for their expertise and reassurance. The team determined they would see everyone in line and address their concerns, mindful of their cultural preference to be seen together as a family. Each child got a toy on arrival, and everyone left with medication, even if it was nothing more than vitamins. Six hundred patients were greeted, touched and healed in some way in the five days the team spent in Honduras. This was a wonderful experience that enriched all of the team members and allowed them to use their skills and resources to the fullest degree. They said their goodbyes with mixed feelings of joy, sadness and desire: Joy for the week spent in communion; sadness at the inequity and suffering witnessed, and the desire to stay connected to each other and to their church. It was a trip the team will never forget and it could only have happened through prayers and support of so many, including the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. Gillian Pidcock traveled to Honduras with the team; she is a graduate student in the narrative medicine program at Columbia University.
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 11
Muhlenberg Hillel welcomes a dynamic duo
Jeremy Brochin and Jaimie Krass are working hard to ensure that Muhlenberg College’s Hillel feels like a welcoming place for all Jewish students. By Ethan Weg Special to HAKOL Over the summer, Muhlenberg’s Hillel got a huge makeover. Come the beginning of the fall semester, the Hillel had a new director and new program engagement associate. Jeremy Brochin, a Hillel professional for over 37 years,
is Muhlenberg’s new interim Hillel director and Jewish chaplain. Brochin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and his master’s degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After spending 23 years as director at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel, he came out of retirement to be the interim
director at the University of Washington. Thus, it is no surprise that he was coerced out of his second retirement by the possibility of yet again influencing and guiding young Jewish leaders. Brochin is glad to be back at work with Jewish young adults and said that, “Jewish life [at Muhlenberg] is at a place where it is ready to take
off.” Muhlenberg junior, Ilana Blumsohn, added that Brochin “brightens Hillel with his smile and contagious laughter.” He can often be found at Hillel smiling, joking and wearing sandals, his favorite form of footwear. The other part of Muhlenberg’s new Hillel team is Jaimie Krass, the program engagement associate. Krass is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned degrees in political science and Jewish studies. She never intended to be a Hillel professional, but when the chance presented itself she jumped at it, because she wanted, she said, “to give back to the organization” that impacted her in her college years. Krass has indicated that she would like to be available as a resource to the Muhlenberg community, whether that be academic, religious or otherwise. One of Krass’s more prevalent traits is her enthusiasm. As Brochin explained, “Jaimie has a huge amount of energy.” Students also have noticed Krass’s fervor for Jewish learning and programming. “Jaimie’s energy is infectious and she brings innovative and
new ideas to any situation,” said Muhlenberg junior Caroline Dorn. The dynamic duo of Brochin and Krass has already become a great team, and their work within Muhlenberg’s Jewish community reflects that. For example, they are taking tangible steps to ensure that Hillel feels like a welcoming place for all Jewish students. Brochin said his guiding principle is “[Muhlenberg’s] not my community, it’s the students’ community.” Krass echoes this idea that, “Hillel is for the students.” That said, Muhlenberg College’s Hillel has been granted an enormous gift: the leadership of two new and amazing individuals. They will continue to do remarkable things for Muhlenberg’s Jewish community, and the students know that the future will bring even more exciting opportunities through Hillel. “We want to create a place for students to find their Judaism,” Brochin said. This is the present and the future of Muhlenberg Hillel, a place where Muhlenberg’s Jewish population can feel comfortable, grow and just be Jewish.
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“Tom Muller is the right choice for Lehigh County. His experience in the business world and working in local government along side Don Cunningham for eight years makes him the only choice for good, sensible, and practical government for Lehigh County.” ~ Major Nathan Kline USAF -Ret.
A successful businessman and longtime Lehigh County resident, Tom Muller has dedicated his life to community service. As our County Administrator, Tom reduced county spending and made government more effective and efficient. H Tom has made our communities safer by working with District Attorney, Jim Martin, to establish the regional crime center H Tom believes in funding for vital senior services such as Cedarbrook and Meals-On-Wheels. H Tom will foster Economic Development and Job Creation through economic incentives such as TIFs H Tom believes in funding our parks, libraries, the Lehigh Valley Zoo and other quality of life venues
For The Right Experience to Lead… Vote Tom Muller for County Executive Tuesday, November 5 www.Muller4Exec.com | f Tom Muller Paid for by Muller4Exec.
12 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS:
a cry for action from across the decades
Glass shattered. Fires burned. German soldiers yelled “Juden sind hier unerwünscht” (“Jews are not wanted here!”) throughout German cities on November 9-10, 1938. This November marks the 75th anniversary of that devastating time, which many associate with the beginning of the Holocaust. One 13-year-old boy, Sigi Hart, witnessed the Germans destroying Jewish businesses. He said they were “breaking all the windows of the Jewish stores and taking the merchandise.” The scene was repeated 10,000-fold, hence the name Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass.” This huge pogrom destroyed the hubs of German Jewish life by burning 900 synagogues. It also basically wiped out the nation’s Jewish business communities by destroying 7,000 businesses. Nor was it limited to Germany. Jews in Austria and elsewhere suffered the same atrocities. At the end of the second day, 91 Jews were dead and 30,000 Jewish men had been deported to concentration camps. Two days before, on November 7, 1938, in an attempt to show the world the horrors of the anti-Semitism already occurring in Germany, a 17-year-old Polish Jew named Herschel Grynszpan shot and killed Ernst vom Rath, a secretary of the German Embassy. Grynspan apparently took this dramatic step to get media attention to Germany’s early actions against the Jews. Grynszpan was angry because his Jewish parents had been deported from Germany where they had lived for 24 years. In Grunszpan’s eyes, his parents had become expatriated. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, used vom Rath’s death as the excuse he was seeking to accelerate a response to what the Nazis dubbed “the Jewish question.” Taking it to the streets, Goebbels stoked the German public’s anger and hatred of the Jews, which exploded into Kristallnacht. “We shed not a tear for them,” Goebbels announced, referring of course to the Jewish victims. Commenting on the destruction of the synagogues, he said, “They stood in the way long
H. FREDERICK, HANOVER. COURTESY JTA
By Josh Goldin Teen Correspondent
A destroyed Jewish clothing store in Magdeburg, Germany, after Kristallnacht, Nov. 11, 1938. enough. We can use the space made free more usefully than as Jewish fortresses.” Although the deadly sounds and horrible sights of Kristallnacht made their way around the world, world leaders did not respond in a way that stopped or even slowed the violence. The only response from the United States was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement, “I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a 20th century civilization.” Words, however, were not enough to help the Jews of Europe. Today, the phrase “we should never forget” has become a common response to the horrors of the Holocaust and to the memories of Kristallnacht. Yet the Holocaust is proof that, 75 years ago, words
were not enough to end the bloodshed. One of the saddest reactions to the Holocaust was the lack of action by the rest of the world. Today the world witnesses and discusses chemical weapon attacks in Asia and genocide in Africa. During Kristallnacht and the Holocaust, no one acted effectively on behalf of the victims. The loss of so many innocent lives begs the question, as yet unanswered, of how the people of today’s world should and could act constructively on behalf of all victims of genocide. To commemorate Kristallnacht, Lehigh Valley clergy will be speaking and offering prayers on Nov. 8 and 9. For a complete listing of synagogues and service times, see page 31.
connect explore celebrate Join over 1,500 Jewish young adults (ages 22-45) from across North America for an entertaining, interactive and educational celebration.
march 16-18, 2014
The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is offering subsidies that COVER THE COST OF ADMISSION - a $500 value! Contact Aaron Gorodzinsky, 610-821-5500 or email@example.com, to learn more.
new orleans, louisiana
Young Adult Division
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 13
Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley 2014 Campaign for Jewish Needs
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT $717,573 (as of 10/18/13): Together, we do extraordinary things
Because of your support of the 2014 campaign, we are able to help when help is needed, provide a safety net for those who must rely upon it, and nurture the core institutions that are the fabric of a rich and dynamic Jewish community.
THANK YOU. PRIME MINISTERS CIRCLE $100,000+ Ross Born Wendy Born* Robert and Bonnie* Hammel KING DAVID SOCIETY $25,000 - $49,999 Tama* Fogelman and Family Fischmann Family Fund* Roberto and Eileen* Fischmann The Fraenkel Family Dr. Harold and Sandra* Goldfarb KING SOLOMON CIRCLE $10,000 - $17,999 Nathan and Marilyn* Braunstein Charles Cohen and Rebecca Binder* Seidel Cohen Hof and Reid Daniel and Nancy* Cohen Phillip and Ellen* Hof Chris and Tara Reid Norman Seidel Robert J. and Susan* Grey Elaine Lerner* BUILDERS OF ISRAEL $5,000 - $9,999 Dr. Arthur and Phoebe* Altman Sadie Berman Lion of Judah Endowment Fund* Ellis and Lisa* Block Marc and Judy* Diamondstein Iris Epstein* Mark L. Goldstein and Shari Spark* Bernard and Florence Kobrovsky Special Fund Dr. Lawrence and Eva* Levitt Michael and Linda* Miller Daniel Poresky Dr. Alex and Robin* Rosenau Shaoli Rosenberg* Irwin and Ellen* Schneider Larrie and Judy* Sheftel
Dr. Frank and Tama* Tamarkin Dr. William and Pauline* Trachtenberg Dr. Michael and Eileen* Ufberg Dr. Israel and Valeska* Zighelboim SABRA CIRCLE $2,500 - $4,999 Dr. Marc and Aliette* Abo Andrew and Dr. Lisa* Ellis Dr. Moshe and Lisa* Markowitz Taffi Ney*
GATES OF JAFFA $1,500 - $2,499 Morris & Dyna Gorfinkel Memorial Fund Kenneth and Ellen* Greene Dr. Gerald and Ethel* Melamut Dr. Holmes and Jeannie* Miller Dr. Ronald and Melissa Stein and Family Dr. David and Barbara* Sussman Dr. Andrew Wakstein Anonymous (2) CHAVERIM $500 - $1,499 Steven Bergstein and Nanci Goldman Bergstein Gerson Lazar Family Fund Martha B. Lebovitz* Edith Miller* Alan and Roberta* Penn Drs. Andrew and Flora* Pestcoe Lillian Schwab Memorial Fund SHORASHIM $250 - $499 Randy and Jodi* Barson Dr. Sherri Bassner* Patricia Beldon* Jack and Shirley* Engelson Samuel and Lynn* Feldman Charles Fletcher Memorial Fund Dr. Eric and Debbie* Gertner and Family Dr. Lisa Lindauer* David Reiff Peter and Sheila* Sokalsky KEHILLAH $100 - $249 Isabella Alkasov* Florence Applebaum* Pnina Avitzur* Elaine Berk* Scott Berman Dr. Joan Bischoff* Robert and Gail* Burger Allen and Marjorie Carroll Leah Devine*
Dr. George and Roberta* Diamond Dr. Wayne and Heather Dubov Jerome and Gloria* Ginsburg Susan Goldman* Arlene Gorchov* and Mark Kennedy Donald Greenberg Ruth Gross* Marjorie Hertz* Dr. Neil and Janet* Hogan Dr. Lewis and Joan* Katz Daniel and Anne* Kaye Lillian Kobrovsky* Mary Laronge* Joan Lichtenstein* Eugene Meyer and Dr. Lisa Jean Todes* Jill Stewart Narrow* Debbie Ovitz* Dr. Peter Pettit Leonard and Arlene* Samuelson Leon Schneider Barry Siegel Dr. Roger and Marna* Simon Rabbi Aryeh Spero Alla Toff* Gary and Sharon Trinker Philmore and Rose* Tucker Drs. David and Leslie Ufberg Lynn Waite* David Weiner Dr. Steven Weintraub Anonymous (8) GENESIS $1 - $99 Linda Adler* Marvin and Sylvia* Adler Leon (z”l) and Jewel* Baringoldz Jerome and Loretta Block Ivan Buyum Dena Cedor* Marilyn Doluisio* Vicki Duerr* Helen Ebert* Emily Eider* Michael Finley and Audrey Ettinger* Fredda Fischman* Lewis and Roberta* Gaines Linda Garber* Pearl Glatt* Dr. Malvin and Lillian* Goldner Nissa Gossom* Betty Greenberg* Harry Grines Ervin Gross Shirley F. Gross* Henry and Ruth* Grossbard Philip Heyman Syman and Anita* Hirsch
LARISA IN ODESSA. Larry and Eva Levitt of Allentown traveled earlier this year to Ukraine, where they met Larisa Rakovskaya, an 87-year-old Jewish woman. Larisa is able to survive with the help of stipends from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which you, the donors to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, help to fund. Dr. Donald and Carol Jaffe Sidney and Helene* Kaplan Stephanie Katz* Lionel and Ellen* Kier Nathan Kline Rosine Knafo* Doris Lifland* Rebecca Lovingood* Rochelle Lower* Sylvia Mandel* David and Susan* Manela Mindy Manhoff* Ryan Mattison Betty Mikofsky* David and Jane* Much Ellen Osher* and Robert Prichard Lena Packer* Howard and A. Jane* Pitkoff Mildred Poliner* Adina Preis Robert Rockmaker Barbara Rudolph* Helene Rae Scarcia* Mary Lou Scarf* Lewis Schor
Carolyn Shapir* Norman and Susan Tahler David Teumim Glenn Theodore Earl and Sondra* Toland Alice Ward* Anne M. Warschauer* Gershen and Faith Weiner Barbara Wolfgang* Gladys Yass* Anonymous (7)
The donors noted above represent gifts to the JFLV 2014 Campaign for Jewish Needs. Every effort is made to correctly recognize all of our generous donors and honor their listing requests. If there are any inaccuracies or omissions, please call the Federation office at 610-821-5500. * Indicates an individual woman’s gift to the 2014 Campaign for Jewish Needs
Israeli groups bringing new ideas to ‘brain drain’ battle By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency The son of a Jewish philosophy lecturer, Menahem Ben-Sasson has had an academic’s dream career. After earning his doctorate in Jewish history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ben-Sasson completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge. He then returned to Hebrew University as a professor, eventually becoming its rector and in 2009 its president. In between, he held a decidedly less glamorous position -- as a teacher at Jerusalem’s Himmelfarb High School. “If someone says why study to be a doctor, there won’t be a position available, I say I want to be a doctor because I want to finish my studies,” Ben-Sasson told JTA. “I got a doctorate and I was a high school teacher. I was happy.” Ben-Sasson sees his story as one way to combat Israel’s so-called “brain drain,” in which talented academics leave the country to work in the United States or Europe. According to a recent report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, for every 100 Israeli 14 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
scholars who stayed in Israel, 29 left for positions abroad in 2008, the most recent year for which data was available. The problem gained new urgency earlier this month when Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt, two Israeli professors working in the United States, won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Several Israeli organizations are working to bring academics back to Israel, offering them incentives, professional guidance and a range of job opportunities. Last year, Hebrew University attracted far more applicants for academic positions than it had openings, prompting Ben-Sasson to suggest that Israeli academics should consider positions outside of higher education, including in Israel’s vaunted high-tech industry. “There are high schools, there is industry, there are educational programs, there are positions in the Education Ministry,” he said. “There are government positions that need academics.” A new governmental organization founded this year aims to match Israelis living abroad with job opportunities back home. The
Israel Brain Gain Program -- a joint venture of Israel’s Chief Scientist, the Council for Higher Education and the Absorption and Finance ministries -- aims to obtain a precise count of Israeli academics living abroad and to ensure that those who want to come back can find work. Brain Gain hopes to act as a sort of headhunter, matching academics abroad with a personal liaison who can find them a job that suits their needs. The liaisons also will help the academics navigate the often complicated process of moving back to Israel after a stay in the United States or Europe. A nongovernmental organization, Gvahim, does similar work, and has connections with 300 Israeli companies. “To bring academics with international experience is great, but if they don’t succeed in Israel, you haven’t done a lot,” said Michael Alvarez-Pereyre, Gvahim’s marketing and communications director. “You can’t talk about brain gain if someone with a Ph.D. isn’t working. He’s not using his brain.” Israel’s Council for Higher Education also instituted a set of reforms several years ago that by 2015 will add 2 billion shekels (about
$570 million) to the government’s annual budget for higher education. Part of that money has gone to opening up 16 “centers of research excellence” in partnership with Israeli universities in fields as varied as solar energy and Abrahamic religions. Each center will employ 15-30 researchers -- though not all will be new hires -- and encourage collaboration with universities abroad. A portion of the government higher education budget will go to upgrading Israel’s scientific research facilities, which Ben-Sasson says is a must. At present, he says, Israel’s universities do not offer the same research opportunities as institutions abroad because the research infrastructure is often lacking. Government spending on infrastructure, Ben-Sasson said, will bring a renewed flow of innovation back to Israel. “We educate thousands of students, they educate thousands of students and they come up with medical patents, they obtain agricultural patents,” he said. “The best investment in the world is in higher education.”
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 15
‘part of something
Major donors feel the power
Above, Marc Diamondstein and Jonathan Epstein with Federation Director of Planned Giving and Endowments Jim Mueth.
Above, Danny Cohen and Stan Wax. Left top, Federation President Barry Dr. Bob Wilson.
Left bottom, Dr. Frank and Tama Tam
Right, Speaker Miri Eisin, retired colo
By Stephanie Smartschan JFLV Director of Marketing For Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, the “we” started with a chance encounter at the King David Hotel in Israel at 11 years old. Always getting into trouble, young Jerry busted into a hotel room while on a family trip after spotting a concierge cart full of bagels and croissants. When the man with the eye patch spoke to him, he took it in stride, calmly greeting Gen. Moshe Dayan before being on his way. “I felt like this man was family,” said Silverman, speaking to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s major donors at a reception on Oct. 6. “As a young kid, I was part of something so much bigger.” A year and a half later, circumstances changed in his family and Silverman moved with his mother and three siblings to Cleveland, where the family could only afford to rent a two-bedroom house and his mother couldn’t find work. With little experience or education, she was
16 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
dejected, he said. But one interview turned that around. When the Jewish Federation of Cleveland offered her a job, she asked, why me? The interviewers told her she had spunk, and after hearing her story, knew she would make a great contribution to the community. “That’s the beauty of what Federation does, you reach out to people in the community,” Silverman said. “You are the ‘we’ and for that I say thank you so much for everything you have done and everything you will do.” With Silverman’s story in mind, much of the evening focused on the power of the collective, what we can do, together, to help Jews at home and around the world. Many of those in attendance took the opportunity to speak from the heart, to express their reasons for giving and why continued, increased support is so vital year after year. They spoke of the elderly woman in Kiev in the sixth-floor walk-up who we are keeping alive by providing food and medication. Of the vitality of our local Jewish institutions. Of the need to provide Jewish
g so much bigger’
r of ‘we’ at annual reception
bove, JFLV Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein with eaker Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of JFNA.
Above, Iris Epstein.
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onel in the Israel Defense Forces.
education and experiences for the next generation. With all the unpredictability in the world, “I think there is something we can predict and that is that we’re going to be needed more and more and more,” Bobby Hammel said. Hammel sees the immense benefit that Federation provides at home, from the family life educator at Temple Beth El, where he and his wife, Bonnie, are members, to the JCC, where his grandson is in kindergarten and takes a “mom and me” swim class, to the PJ Library books his grandson receives at home. “This is strengthening our lives,” he said. “I’m not just a donor, I’m a recipient, and our Jewish life would not be anywhere near as vibrant as it is if not for the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.” The occasion of the Oct. 6 meeting was not lost on the speakers or the attendees. Miri Eisin, a retired colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, first noted the 40th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War and how much Israel has changed in the years since. Its population has more than doubled. With an intense focus on education, more than 80 private colleges have been built. The economy has completely
453 Northampton St., Easton, PA w 610-252-3132 w 1-800-999-STATE Order online at www.statetheatre.org transitioned from social welfare to liberal capitalist, she said. “We’re not what we were on Oct. 6, 1973, when Syria and Egypt attacked,” Eisin said, but also noted how the internal strife in countries like Syria and Egypt still directly affects Israel every day. Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Executive Director Mark L. Goldstein spoke of another Oct. 6 anniversary – one in which, in the ‘40s, a group of rabbis held a march in New York to protest the treatment of Jews in Europe. It barely made a blip in the newspaper and did nothing, he said. But the continued growth of the Federation movement since has allowed us the influence and power we didn’t have then -- to rescue Jews all over the world, from the former Soviet Union to Ethiopia to Yemen. Dr. Mickey Ufberg, in fact, had watched a video of one of those rescues -- of the last flight of Ethiopians landing in Israel -- on YouTube before coming to the event that night. It only served to solidify his desire to increase his gift. “It’s all part of a big ‘we’ that I am very happy and proud to be a part of and support,” Ufberg said.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 17
Beneficiary Agency of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
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Having a book fair supports a school’s reading efforts and Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Reading opens doors and it’s an important skill to develop at the preschool age. Reading helps children develop vital language skills, and can open up new worlds and enrich their lives. Enjoying books at an early age gives children a start on the road to view reading as a lifelong source of pleasure. JCC of Allentown 702 N. 22nd St. Allentown, PA 18104 610.435.3571 www.allentownjcc.org
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Beneficiary Agency of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
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Kickboxing w/ Melissa 9:15-10:15
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8:45-9:30 Bars w/Jenn 9:30-10:15 Cycling w/Tracy
Silver Sneakers Classic w/Kinga 10:00-10:45 (MSROM)
8:45-9:30 Cycling with Amy 9:30-10:15 Bars with Jenn
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Zumba w/Rachel 1:30-2:30
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Rollers & Stretching w/Kinga 6:00-6:45
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Butts & Guts w/Kinga 6:15-7:00
Fitness Ball w/Clarence 7:00-8:00
Kickboxing w/Kinga 7:00-8:00
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Israeli Dancing 7:30-9:30
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 19
20 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Anglo Israelis aiming to make mark in municipal politics
The top members of the Ometz Lev slate, which features several American and Canadian candidates. By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency BEIT SHEMESH, Israel – In the eight years since Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal moved from Baltimore to this central Israeli city of 80,000, he has trained as a technical writer, taken over a local charity and become president of his synagogue. Now Leventhal is hoping to add city councilman to his resume. Leventhal loves Beit Shemesh, but none of his children want to stay here -- not because of the conflict between haredi and Modern Orthodox Jews that has plagued the city since 2010, he says, but because the city feels like it’s falling apart. A local community center lacks a bathroom. Street cleaning is spotty. At a neighborhood school, children sit all day in converted trailers. “I want to do whatever I can to make a Beit Shemesh that my children and everyone else’s children would want to live in,” Leventhal said. “It’s not a citizen-friendly city. There’s not a lot for youth, no cultural activities. It should have a whole menu of different activities and events.” Leventhal is among a handful of English-speaking immigrants making firsttime bids for public office in municipal elections scheduled for October 22, as HAKOL prepared to go to press. A few English speakers, known here as Anglos, already serve on city councils. But following a national election in January that saw the first American-born Knesset member in 25 years and increased political outreach to native English speakers, Anglos are now stepping up their activism in local campaigns. One party in Jerusalem, Ometz Lev, features five Anglos in its top 11 spots. A native of Manchester, England, is expected to win a council seat in the central city of Modiin. And a Londoner is running on the mayor’s slate in Tel Aviv. “There’s always going to be this way that I look at the world that will be different from someone who grew up here,” said Jonny Cline,
a professional fundraiser who moved to Modiin from Manchester 20 years ago and is third on the Jewish Home party slate. “The municipal level in Israel is something that is crucial.” Some candidates say their top priorities are things many Anglos consider a given -- transparent governing and competent city services among them. Candidates have made campaign issues out of crowded schools, insufficient police patrols and inefficient public transit. Laura Wharton, a New Jersey native and Jerusalem city councilor with the leftwing Meretz party, said it’s hard to be satisfied with the capital’s public buses after growing up with New York City’s subways. “I think the awareness that American citizens have for proper government and tolerance and openness are things the city really needs,” Wharton said. “They have high expectations, and that’s a good thing.” Several Anglo candidates have promised that if elected, they will fight for the English-speaking community’s parochial issues. Cline wants Modiin to fund workspaces for immigrants who work long-distance for U.S. companies. Jon Javor, running on the slate of center-left Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, wants to create a central hub where English speakers can pay city taxes, consult an accountant and receive help signing an apartment lease. Maya Tapiero, running with Jerusalem’s Ometz Lev, wants the city to publicize more cultural events in English. “If you have a language barrier, how do you know what’s going on?” Javor asked. “I want to do my part in making sure everyone has the necessary tools so they can succeed here.” Like most of the Anglo candidates, Javor came to
politics through social action. He’s a lead organizer of the Tel Aviv International Salon, an English-language speaker series that has featured public figures from Finance Minister Yair Lapid to famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. He also helps run the Israeli Cinema Series, which shows famous Israeli films with English subtitles. Javor’s social entrepreneurship, he says, has made him a welcome guest in the mayor’s office. “But that doesn’t mean that in City Hall we shouldn’t have representation,” he added. Parallel to Javor’s
campaign, a Tel Aviv movement called Kol Oleh -- which means both “rising voice” and “immigrant’s voice” -- aims to get out the vote among the city’s Anglos. The group is hosting candidates’ forums in English leading up to Election Day, and over the summer hosted parlor meetings to discuss municipal issues with local Anglos. “Decisions were being made and it seemed like the population had no connection to things going on around them,” said Guy Seemann, the head of Kol Oleh. “Kol Oleh wanted to start with the elections as a benchmark to get involved in civil society.” But Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tzur, a native of England whose slate boasts a handful of Anglos, says English-speaking immigrants must learn Hebrew rather than relying on English-language services.
“Wherever they go in the world, they’re so confident that their language is known by everybody,” said Tzur, who moved to Israel in 1966. “They remain in a colony of their own and there are very few who break out of that cocoon. “You can’t have just enough Hebrew to go shopping or talk to your neighbor about a leak in the roof. You need to be really fluent.” As newcomers to their slates, many of the Anglo candidates have a slim chance of winning seats in their respective councils. But Leventhal says that any Anglo political activism will help advance the community no matter the result. “Americans come from a culture of community, concern and respect,” he said. “They’re not going to want to come to a city that doesn’t provide quality of life.”
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JFS supporters turn out for gala evening By Jennifer Lader Editor, HAKOL Jewish Family Service held its annual gala event on October 19, featuring a one-act play by Libby Skala. Through her performance, Skala introduced the audience to her grandmother, Lilia Skala, best known for her role as Mother Superior in “Lilies of the Field.” It turns out they both had something in common with the evening’s many attendees. Libby has performed her play more than 250 times to audiences across the country and in lands as far-flung as the Republic of Georgia. “They translated the show into their own language,” Libby said with wonder in her voice. She explained that she began her acting career in New York City. There, she faced “cattle calls with 500 people showing up,” followed inevitably by stern reminders from her grandmother to send thank you letters. In response, Libby moved to the West Coast. “I thought I was leaving all that behind,” she said, referring to her grandmother every bit as much as to the cattle calls. Instead, her experiences in the West brought her closer to her grandmother because they led her to write the play about her that became, in effect, a tribute. At one point in the performance, Libby, in her heavily-accented portrayal of Lilia, says, “Whatever will be in my power to do I will do to express my gratitude to the United States.” This feeling of giving back is a tremendous motivator and it’s something that inspires many who are involved with JFS. This much was clear from the high attendance that evening, which included a tribute to Jay Scherline, z”l, who was an ardent supporter. “Tama Lee Barsky and her committee did a beautiful job planning the evening,” said Debbie Zoller, executive director of JFS. “The support from the various organizations was outstanding. We’re a community and it was clear to me that JFS is an important part of it.” JFS supporters are a group with staying power, looking forward to the future with new ideas. For an understanding of what creates this staying power, one can look to Sidney Poitier, the actor who won an Academy Award for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.” In preparation for an historic marker unveiling that Libby was to attend the week following her visit to the Lehigh Valley, Poitier wrote a personal letter to her. In the letter, Poitier calls Lilia Skala’s work “a gift.” Such is the work of all those who support JFS and benefit those in need. And as it is said, “may they go from strength to strength.”
Libby Skala with JFS Executive Director Debbie Zoller.
Phil Hof, Howard & Susan Sherer, and Ellen Hof.
Above, Carah & Ryan Tenzer with Pat Glascom. Below, members of the Scherline family, shown here with Devorah Halperin (right), enjoy the evening.
Allentown • Bethlehem • Coaldale • Easton • Phillipsburg • Quakertown www.sluhn.org • 1-866-STLUKES 22 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Becky Goldenberg, shown here with her husband Hans Luten, recently became coordinator of the JFS Food Pantry.
Dr. Arnie and Barbara Kritz.
Anti-Defamation League at 100:
Leo Frank case launches ADL … and more
By Aaron Gorodzinsky JFLV Director of Outreach & Community Relations It was like a scene written and directed by a famous Hollywood director: In the middle of a summer night -- August 16, 1915 -- a group of approximately 25 men described by their peers as “sober, intelligent, of established good name and character” and including police officers, sheriffs, electricians, car mechanics, doctors, the former governor of Georgia and the former and at-that-time current mayor of Marietta, Ga., broke into a prison hospital and kidnapped an inmate who was recovering from a throat-slashing attack that had happened a week earlier. The kidnapping, achieved without even having to fire a single shot, went exactly as planned. The men drove over 100 miles back to Marietta, where they lynched the prisoner for his alleged crime. Although the story may have resonated with that faced by many African Americans of the early 20th century, it began 100 years ago, in 1913, and refers to the only known case of a Jewish person being lynched in the United States. His name was Leo Frank. Frank, who was born in Texas and moved to New York with his family at an early age, was working as a superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Ga., a company that belonged to his uncle, prior to the events leading up to the lynching. Aside from his work, Frank was an active member of Atlanta’s thriving Jewish community, in which he also served as the president of the local chapter at B’nai B’rith. Things were looking very promising for Frank and his wife until the morning of April 27, 1913, when Frank was visited by the police after the body of Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old factory worker, was discovered in the factory cellar by Newt Lee, the night watchman. Frank, the last person seen with Phagan when she came the day before to collect her salary from him, was taken by the police without explanation. He was said to have behaved very nervously during the police questioning. The police later revoked their claim that Lee had tried for eight minutes to call Frank at 4 a.m. to inform him of the discovery, but to no avail. During the early stages of the investigation, the police, who were apparently not prepared for such a case, mishandled evidence and ignored certain key elements of the investigation. For several days, the police could not find any other suspect until a factory day watchman reported that he saw Jim Conley, an African American factory
janitor washing a bloody shirt. After several interrogations and four different affidavits in which he radically changed his story, Conley said he wrote two notes that had been found with Phagan’s body. Conley, who had served a prison sentence before for violent behavior, also said that Frank was the one who dictated the notes. Racial discrimination played an essential role here in that the police and the jury believed that an African American man was not intelligent enough to recant his story several times, and that he was just following Frank’s instructions. The police then arrested Leo Frank and charged him with the murder of Mary Phagan. From the start, the police built he case on circumstantial evidence and completely ignored hard evidence. When the police questioned Frank, he appeared extremely nervous and did not present an adequate alibi. In fact, he had had dinner with friends who might have immediately backed him. The problem was that Frank was socially awkward and gave the appearance of guilt. Thus, the authorities pursued the case against him. While the trial was taking place, another battle began to brew at the center of the investigation that involved The Jeffersonian, a local newspaper owned by local politician Tom Watson, and The New York Times, which was covering the story. Watson decided to use his newspaper to disseminate his anti-Semitic views. He said Frank was a “lascivious pervert, guilty of the crime” and accused the Times of being a newspaper owned by the Jews in the North that had no call to get involved in issues of the South. After all, the Civil War was still fresh in the memories of the residents of Georgia. In the end, The Jeffersonian succeeded in its anti-Semitic campaign, and the public bought into Watson’s portrayal of Frank as a corrupt Jew who had violated the sanctity of a Christian girl. Frank was found guilty and sentenced to death. But after the verdict, the prosecutor and the governor found problems with the evidence. Frank’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. The government of Georgia later gave Frank a posthumous pardon because the lynching deprived him of his right to appeal the judgment. The case remains the subject of debate. The trial and lynching that followed signified milestones for two very different organizations. The group that kidnapped and lynched Frank called itself “The Knights of Mary Phagan.” This was a resurgent off-shoot of the infamous Ku Klux Klan. This “second wave” of what was essentially the KKK formed in 1915 after Frank’s sentence was commuted. The Frank case validated the need for another organization, one that had formed in 1913 as a branch of B’nai B’rith: The AntiDefamation League, which is currently celebrating its centennial year. The ADL specifies in its charter its mission “to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The ADL went on to become one of the premier organizations fighting bigotry in the United States. Evidence of the ADL’s reach shows up in many Eastern Pennsylvania schools that have lobbies plastered with the ADL’s No Place for Hate posters and that have students working on special awareness-raising projects. The Leo Frank case serves as a reminder of the important role that we play in fighting for justice and equality for all. Although we have come a long way as a nation since those days, the hate that is sometimes seen in social networks and the media is a grim reminder of the work that is still needed to achieve a safer society and that, in the centennial year of the Leo Frank trial, we still have a long way to go as a nation. HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 23
Is a common fear of Iran driving Israel and Saudi Arabia together?
Former Saudi ambassador Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud confers with Israeli strategic affairs analyst Yossi Alpher at the National Iranian American Council conference in Washington, Oct. 15, 2013. By Ron Kampeas Jewish Telegraphic Agency WASHINGTON -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the enemy of one’s enemy truly does become a friend. In recent years, Netanyahu has said the enmity for Iran shared by Israel and the Arab states could become a spur to regional reconciliation. In a speech to the Knesset, he noted the “many issues” on which Israel and the Arabs have shared interests could open up “new possibilities,” including a peace accord with the Palestinians.
But while experts say that intelligence sharing between Israel and the Persian Gulf states has grown in recent years, thanks in large part to the facilitation of the United States, the possibility of a breakthrough appears to be overstated. “There may be some common interest on Iran and how to reply to Muslim Brotherhood groups,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress. “That doesn’t mean these countries are going to play ball with Israel. It’s quite a stretch to imply that this means these
countries will coordinate” on defense issues with Israel. Israel has long maintained low-level representations in a few of the smaller Arab Gulf states. But any serious breakthrough would likely hinge on Saudi Arabia, which enjoys outsized influence in the Arab world because of its unparalleled oil wealth and curatorship of the holiest Islamic sites. Simon Henderson, the director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said there had been increased rapprochement in recent
years among Israel, the Saudis and the Gulf states because of shared concerns over Iran and the Arab Spring. “For many years, the Israeli Mossad and the Saudi General Intelligence directorate have maintained a backchannel communications link,” Henderson said. Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Washington from 2005 to 2007, acknowledged his country’s interest in preventing a nuclear Iran and tamping down extreme forms of Islamism, but blamed Israeli recalcitrance for the failure to achieve a breakthrough in relations. “Israel is kept out particularly as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned because it’s keeping itself out,” Turki said at the annual conference of the National Iranian American Council. Turki noted that the 2002 Arab League peace offer, which proposed comprehensive peace in
exchange for an Israeli return to the 1967 lines, was unrequited. “No one has come forward and said let’s sit down and talk about it,” Turki said. “If Israel is isolated in the area, it is because it chooses to be isolated.” The sticking point is not only Israeli-Palestinian issues, Katulis said, but Israel’s insistence on keeping alive the possibility of a military strike on Iran. He said the Arabs are deeply divided on the issue. In his Knesset speech, which marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Netanyahu said a main takeaway of the war was that preemption was a valuable tool and should not be ruled out. Such talk spooked Turki. “A preemptive strike would be catastrophic for the area and completely within the purview of a personality like Mr. Netanyahu,” Turki said.
Peace talks have ‘intensified,’ Kerry says Jewish Telegraphic Agency U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said “all the core issues are on the table” in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that have intensified. A meeting October 21 in Jerusalem centered on the issue of sharing water resources, an unnamed Palestinian official told the French news agency AFP. Kerry confirmed that negotiators have met 13 times since the end of July, when U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were restarted after a hiatus of several years. “The pace has intensified, all the core issues are on the table and they have been meeting with increased intensity,” said Kerry. He also announced that Qatar would provide $150 million in debt relief to the Palestinian Authority, saying that “for everybody to live up to the challenges of making peace, we have to support them.”
24 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
GIVE A MITZVAH, DO A MITZVAH
Bar Mitzvah runs sports equipment drive Sam Cho became a Bar Mitzvah on Nov. 2, 2013, at Congregation Keneseth Israel. The Lower Macungie Middle School honors student is an avid soccer player who also plays baseball, practices kung fu and enjoys just about every sport he tries. So when Sam began preparing for his bar mitzvah, he knew that he wanted to do a mitzvah project and he knew that it would involve sports. After some initial brainstorming with his mom, Pam, and with Give a Mitzvah/Do a Mitzvah Coordinator Abby Trachtman, Sam decided to collect used sports equipment for children who didn’t have what they needed. However, he also wanted to help local children, rather than send the equipment far away. Pam was the one to find Valley Youth
Rabbi Bob Alper Continues from page 1
pulpit to pulpit, Alper relies on real life inspiration to produce his intelligent, clean material. And of course there’s the influence of Mel Brooks. Over his 20-year comedy career, Alper has performed at diverse venues such as the Hollywood Improv and London
House. The mission of Valley Youth House is to provide prevention and intervention services, counseling, life skills and behavioral health services to abused, neglected and homeless youth and their families. Their programs foster positive growth, enabling at-risk youths and their families to become healthy, productive, responsible members of the community. “I am collecting new and gently used sports equipment to donate to children in need,” Sam said. “I think all children should have the opportunity to try to find a sport that they love.” Donated items can be new or used footballs, soccer balls, baseball mitts and balls, basketballs or anything related to sports. Even gently used cleats are acceptable. Sam has placed donation collection boxes at Congregation Keneseth Israel and at the JCC. Sam’s parents, Pam and Bill Cho, are very proud of Sam’s desire to help other children. He enjoys teaching younger children kung fu and helping his little brother develop his soccer and baseball skills as well. His parents believe his choice of mitzvah projects is very fitting and a great way for Sam to make a positive contribution to the community. If you would like to make a monetary donation or would like to contact Sam directly, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org In addition to his mitzvah project Sam has made his first adult gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.
theatres. Audiences adore him, from a standing-room only crowd at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival to a standing ovation before 2,700 people at New York’s famed Chautauqua Institution. Alper still leads High Holiday services every year at the independent congregation he formed in Philadelphia, and officiates at a wedding every couple of years. But he doesn’t see himself ever returning to the pulpit full time. ”I think I found the outlet for my rabbinate that enables me to do the part of it
Bat Mitzvah food pantry project feeds hungry Julia Young became a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Temple Beth El in Allentown. The Springhouse Middle School student had been busy studying her Torah portion and planning her bat mitzvah when she and her parents, Eric and Helaine Young, began discussing possible mitzvah projects. “I like helping underprivileged people,” Julia said. “My parents and I decided to have food basket centerpieces for the tables at my bat mitzvah luncheon as my mitzvah project. The centerpieces [served] a dual purpose: They [decorated] the tables and the food in the baskets [was] donated to the kosher food pantry at Jewish Family Service.” Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley was founded in 1972 and has been an independent agency since 1984. JFS is a full-service social service agency in the Lehigh Valley open to all members of the community. It helps meet the needs of children, adults and families of all ages and from all walks of life who are trying to cope with life stress. It provides benefit assistance and help through a wide range of high-quality counseling and support services. And it runs both the kosher and non-kosher food pantries. JFS can make these centerpieces available for any simcha. The family donates
that I love,” he said. Rabbi Bob Alper will perform his stand-up comedy act on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Allentown. Reservations are $10 and must be made in advance at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ comedy.aspx or by calling the Federation at 610-821-5500. Attendees must have made, or plan to make, a minimum $18 contribution to the 2014 Campaign for Jewish Needs. Attendees will have the opportunity to pledge at the event.
a fee to have the baskets put together and then the fee and the food are used to support the kosher food pantry. “There [was] a food basket on the bima instead of flowers,” Helaine said. “Flowers, while beautiful, are so temporary. I thought, why not continue the food basket theme everywhere?” “It ties into my Torah portion too,” Julia said. “In the portion, Abraham is having a discussion with God. Three men arrive and Abraham feeds them and cares for them. So I feel like I’m doing that with the food.” “We are so proud of Julia because she is very socially aware,” Eric and Helaine said. “Julia really wants to make a difference in the world. She believes in tikkun olam -- repairing the world. Julia truly believes that if everyone who is able were to do just a little bit of donating or volunteering, we would all have a huge impact on repairing the
Julia Young world.” In addition to her mitzvah project, Julia has made her 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 610-821-5500.
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Stuart Schwartz Continues from page 7
years ago. After that, Stuart got into the habit of having breakfast with his father three days a week, to the point that the other residents were jealous of Philip “that he had a child who would do this.” Both for the Federation and for his father, Stuart could be seen as a motivator for taking daring financial steps to make a better life. “I enjoyed the camaraderie,” he said in reference to co-chairing the campaign, and soliciting “committed people for whom it’s not a question of if, but of how much.” It’s a question that, earlier on, Philip may well have thought he would never be able to answer. Over the years, Stuart had been the business partner in his dental practice and enjoyed looking over each day’s accounts, “I always found it interesting,” he said. He helped his father do the same despite initial resistance to concepts like direct deposit. “It was like pulling teeth,” Stuart said, “but I was good at that. “He was very happy with the charitable gift annuity program,” Stuart said of Philip. He shakes his head, apparently awed at the results, which he called “a win-win-win situation.” That’s because, eventually, Stuart’s awareness of the annuity program and Philip’s well-placed trust in him and confidence in the Federation would allow Philip to help the Jewish community in a way he never could have imagined. Philip passed away this summer. He and his son were very close, and Stuart misses his father greatly. He is justly proud of all that his father accomplished, not the least of which was to benefit the Lehigh Valley Jewish community in perpetuity through the Philip and Blanche Schwartz Memorial Fund. It is a great comfort to Stuart that his father’s legacy includes helping the Jewish community because this was something so very important to both his parents.
Lew: Sanctions relief may be 'proportionate' Jewish Telegraphic Agency U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew suggested that sanctions relief could come before Iran fully suspends its suspected nuclear weapons program -- a tactic rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lew, speaking October 20 on NBC’s "Meet the Press," said the United States would not ease sanctions until Iran took tangible steps to suspend its nuclear program, but said sanctions could be “proportionate,” suggesting that interim steps might occasion partial sanctions relief. “We need to see what they're going to actually do,” Lew said just days after talks renewed between major powers and Iran over its nuclear program, which Iran insists is peaceful. “We need to see [them] rolling back their nuclear program," he said. "And I can tell you that when the time comes, when those movements come, any changes will have to be proportionate.” In any case, talk of sanctions easing at this stage was “premature,” Lew said. Netanyahu, appearing on the same show, rejected any partial repeal of sanctions, saying
Gov’t shutdown over, Iran sanctions force back at full strength
WHAT DOES A ROBOT LOOK LIKE?
Jewish Telegraphic Agency After more than a two-week shutdown in October, U.S.
Nearly microscopic medical robots? That’s what scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are working on. These tiny constructions could travel within the human body to places that are difficult or impossible to reach with conventional instruments. This could mean quicker and more accurate diagnosis and surgery with smaller incisions, leading to faster recovery. This could even save lives. n And there are many more breakthroughs at the Technion. As one of the world’s leading universities in science, technology and medicine, the Technion is the major source of innovation that drives the Israeli economy and contributes to the health and wellbeing of people around the world. n The American Technion Society consists of thousands of people in the United States who support the Technion. Please join our Innovation for a Better World campaign and help make the next generation of Technion breakthroughs possible. Visit www.atscampaign.org or call 610.940.3800.
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26 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY 3588_Robot_4x10.indd 1
it would signal to other countries that they also could ease sanctions. “There are a lot of countries that are waiting for a signal, just waiting for a signal, to get rid of their sanctions regime,” he said. “And I think you don't want to go through halfway measures.” Netanyahu also rejected as an interim measure unfreezing Iranian assets in the United States, a tactic mooted by anonymous U.S. officials who spoke to The New York Times. He continued to insist on Iran fully dismantling its centrifuges and suspending enrichment before any sanctions relief kicks in. “The international community adopted very firm resolutions by the [U.N.] Security Council,” he said. “And here's what those resolutions said: They said Iran should basically dismantle its centrifuges for enrichment. That's one path to get a nuclear weapon. And stop work on its plutonium heavy water reactor. That's the other path for nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu, along with some leading congressional lawmakers, has called for intensified sanctions until Iran meets its Security Council obligations.
7/25/13 9:39 AM
government employees returned to work, and officials who track Iran sanctions compliance were among them. Hundreds of thousands of government employees who had been furloughed since October 1 returned to work October 17 after Republicans in the House of Representatives agreed to pass a funding bill advanced by the Democratic-led Senate the previous night. A spokesman at the U.S. Treasury confirmed that the employees included officials of its Office of Foreign Assets Control, the office responsible for monitoring international compliance with U.S. sanc-
tions targeting Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program. Obama administration officials had said the shutdown was having an impact on sanctions compliance, and suggested that it could cost the United States leverage as it leads negotiations renewed between the major powers and Iran on its nuclear program. The deal ratified in the Senate and House did not meet demands by House Republicans that any extension on funding government spending should be tied to undoing parts or all of President Obama’s 2010 health care reforms.
JFK holds place in hearts … and forest In the Aminadav Forest region outside Jerusalem atop one of its highest hills sits a memorial to the 35th president of the United States. Yad Kennedy and the surrounding John F. Kennedy Peace Forest are fitting tributes to this friend of Israel -- a man who, as a junior senator of Massachusetts in 1958, addressed a Jewish National Fund meeting saying, “What work could be more heartwarming or more enduring than the great forest at Jerusalem. Your children and grandchildren when they visit Israel will find your monument.” This November marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. Our stunned and saddened nation did not grieve alone, for the Jewish homeland also lost a true friend and supporter. Creation of the AmericaIsrael Friendship Forest was already underway in 1960. After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, the project was renamed The John F. Kennedy Peace Forest. Max Bressler, thenpresident of the JNF, proposed the idea for an accompanying memorial. Standing 60 feet high, it is shaped like the stump of a tree, symbolizing a life felled in its prime. Fifty-one slender columns form its distinct shape, one for each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. In the center of the monument
stands a bronze bust of Kennedy; overhead, an eternal light burns. At its dedication on July 4, 1966, then-Chief Justice Earl Warren noted that this “living memorial” would have “greatly pleased” Kennedy for two reasons. The first, as mentioned above, was that Kennedy himself had spoken about the importance of planting trees in Israel. The second recalled Kennedy’s visits to Israel in 1939 and 1951 and his reflections in 1951 on the great difference he encountered in the Israelis he met on this visit, “… for unlike the discouraged settlers of 1939, they looked to the future with hope. I found a revival of an ancient spirit.” As president, Kennedy worked toward strengthening and supporting the young nation, which he called a “child of hope and home of the brave.” He is credited as the founder of the U.S.-Israeli military alliance. Citing the protection of Israel as a “moral and national commitment,” he assured thenMinister of Foreign Affairs Golda Meir that a “special relationship” existed between the countries. It was under Kennedy that the U.S. first allowed the sale of advanced weaponry to Israel. The provision of HAWK antiaircraft missiles was in response to Russian, French and British arms sales to the Arabs, but Kennedy feared an exacerbation of the arms race and nuclear proliferation. In his book “John F. Kennedy and Israel,” Herbert Druks calls Kennedy a loyal
friend to Israel albeit one who also looked to bolster ties with the surrounding Arab countries. Druks asserts it was this somewhat precarious diplomatic situation that prompted Israel to develop its own defense industries, including nuclear systems. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion insisted the nuclear materials produced at the Dimona plant were for “desalinization and other peaceful purposes.” Kennedy doubted this but, although a proponent of non-proliferation, he accepted the rather “whitewashed” inspectors’ reports as satisfactory evidence of Israel’s compliance with the Unites States’ non-proliferation policy. John F. Kennedy entered the White House striving to make the United States and the world a safer and better place. He hoped to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict and also recognized Israel’s unique position in the region. “Let us make it clear that we will never turn our backs on our steadfast friends in Israel,” he said in a 1959 college address, “whose adherence to the democratic way must be admired by all friends of freedom.” Through his words and his actions, John F. Kennedy earned a special place both in the hearts and minds of Israelis and in the hills near Jerusalem where a monument and a peace forest bear his name.
The 1966 dedication ceremony of the John F. Kennedy Memorial, near Jerusalem. Prime Minister Levy Eshkol addressed the crowd at the ceremony.
PHOTOS BY MOSHE PRIDAN & COURTESY OF THE GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE OF ISRAEL
By Monica Friess Special to HAKOL
Sen. Edward Kennedy plants a tree near the John F. Kennedy Memorial in the Jerusalem hills, in the presence of, among others, Jewish National Fund Chairman Yaakov Tzur.
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HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 27
Schusterman to award microgrants to 50 Jewish projects
Jewish Telegraphic Agency and JFLV staff A new micro-grants initiative will award funding of up to $1,000 each for 50 different project ideas. The #MakeItHappen micro-grants initiative, for creating Jewish experiences in communities around the world, was announced Oct. 21 by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network. The submission deadline is Dec. 6 and the ideas will be selected on a rolling basis. Anyone 18 and older can submit a project idea. The project must occur before May 31. Five of the ideas could receive funding of up to $5,000. “#MakeItHappen is designed to empower young people to take that initial or next step on a leadership journey,” said Lynn Schusterman, chair of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “For many young Jews, these small grants embody a ‘first yes’ and a realization that the Jewish community values and is willing to invest in what they have to contribute to ensuring a vibrant Jewish future.” Among the first to submit an idea during the campaign’s initial launch was entrepreneur Adam Braun, who founded the nonprofit Pencils of Promise. “#MakeItHappen is a great concept,” Braun told eJewish Philanthropy. “Much like Pencils of Promise, it is built on a core belief that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things when given the opportunity. I’ve personally witnessed the power of small investments to create catalytic change, and the #MakeItHappen model has enormous potential to help people benefit their own communities and beyond.” The online application process can be completed in 10 minutes. Eligible ideas will be posted on the #MakeItHappen website where viewers can search by topic and location, “like” their favorites and even contact the creators directly to volunteer to help make their favorite ideas happen. To learn more, visit www.makeithappen.schusterman.org.
PAY YOUR AGE Membership Special Now that summer is over, get back to the JCC! Come workout, schmooze with friends, enjoy film festivals, adult programs, shows and so much more. For the month of November, the JCC is offering a special rate. Monthly cost: PAY YOUR AGE! Join between November 1-December 31, 2013 and your first month of membership fees will equal your age. Are you 29 years old? Pay $29 for your first month. And only a $29 enrollment fee. If joining as a couple or family, pay the price of the youngest joining member; maximum cost $49 for first month.
YOU BELONG HERE TM Please contact the membership department for more information at 610.435.3571 or Tracy Sussman, Membership Director at firstname.lastname@example.org Jewish Community Center of Allentown 702 N. 22nd Street Allentown, PA 18104 www.allentownjcc.org 28 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
Editor’s note: Sami Meir-Levi graduated from high school in the Lehigh Valley in the spring of 2012, then headed for Israel. She writes to us each month of her experiences as a lone soldier -- an Israeli soldier without family living in Israel. Shalom HAKOL readers,
Looking back at my past letters, I realize I have yet to tell you about the 25 incredible people with whom I am living and going through this army experience. They are my “garin.” After a long week on base, regardless of whatever jobs we have, it’s the best feeling to know I am coming home to this family of 25. Weekends are the best of all. The weekend in Israel is Friday to Saturday instead of Saturday to Sunday. That brings us to one particular Saturday at Kibbutz Maoz Chaim with my Garin. Even at midnight, we’re still dancing at our kibbutz pub. After all the stress and hard work we had throughout the week, it feels great to finally be together having a good time. Eventually we go back to our moadon -- our lounge/kitchen/everything else area, maybe talk for a little bit and then off to bed. My favorite part of Saturdays is the morning. I am up at 6 a.m. and run from my kibbutz to another kibbutz nearby along the border of Israel and Jordan. Here I find by far the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen, which is especially important because I have something on my mind. Back at the moadon, I drink a lot of water and look on our couches to see who decided to sleep there. Sometimes I find my friends, sometimes friends of friends and, rarely, it’s a complete stranger (just kidding). If
you haven’t guessed already our “mo” is a crazy mess. Fast forward the day to a moment when Laura comes in the moadon in a very giddy mood. She makes the best cakes ever and this time it has pecans and honey. I sit with her and Rachel and Yael, who are eating breakfast – Yael with cornflakes and Rachel with gluten-free bread. They say they need to clean their rooms. Meanwhile, Bar is trying to get all of us to go hiking; only the girls are happy to go since the boys do that all week and they want to rest for the day. We have no cars or way of transportation on Shabbos so it doesn’t work out. At 1 p.m. I go to my adopted family’s home for lunch. The whole family comes, including the parents, two brothers, grandparents, three cousins, two aunts and an uncle. We all sit around the table talking and laughing. Saba Yaakov (the grandpa) always points out each and every salad to me because he knows how much I love salad. My adopted mom Sarit cuts the lasagna into big pieces that my adopted dad, Ron, and I ask her to cut in half. After our big delicious meal, we sit outside, play, digest. 3:30 p.m. I ride my bike back to the moadon, curious to see what my friends are doing. It’s lunchtime for them and Mika is warming up her quinoa. Oneg and Dean are making shakshuka, and Adam is eating … everything. So I join in on the fun and sit with them while they eat. Later, I call Mom and Dad. I love catching up with them, talking about their week and my week, what’s new and … stuff. Rachel, Mika and Bar decide to go for a run; it’s the perfect time of day, the sun is starting to set and the air is cool so I go
Sami Meir-Levi and some of her garin. running with them. After getting all squeaky clean, we are ready to make some stir fry and salad. Shay is the master of stir fry. Now everyone is setting the table for our family dinner, cutting veggies, cooking pasta. We sit down as a big, happy, hungry family and start eating. At last, I bring up the thing that’s been lurking all day long: the officers course that I’ve been invited to join. Some of my friends say they would never do it, some say they would consider it. For me, they say if I like my unit and I want to do another year then I should go for it. I do like my unit and it would be an interesting experience (and here it comes) but ... in the end I decided not to do it. Miss you all,
Sami Meir-Levi The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and other Federations in North America fund the Lone Soldier program.
By Ben Sales Jewish Telegraphic Agency The purple plastic sacks fill two rooms in the otherwise sparsely furnished headquarters of a Jordanian NGO, awaiting distribution to Syrian refugees already lined up on the sidewalk. They contain an array of staple dry goods -- lentils, pasta, powdered milk, tea -- as well as a range of hygiene products like soap and detergent, enough for 250 refugee families. But before the goods were handed out, one thing will be removed -- the word “Jewish.” Going sack by sack with a pair of scissors, an aid worker begins to cut. “We don’t announce with trumpets that we’re Israeli,” the worker said. “There’s no need for that. Once you let that cat out of the bag, everything starts to blow up.” The sacks are paid for by IsraAid, an Israeli nonprofit that provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid across the world. The group has provided medical care and psychological services following earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, and supplies food and other materials to refugees at two camps in Kenya. IsraAid began working in Jordan early this year. Since then, the organization said it has provided approximately $100,000 worth of supplies to refugees who have escaped Syria’s brutal civil war. But because Syria and Israel technically have been at war for four decades, discretion and security are paramount in IsraAid’s Jordanian operation. Most aid workers interviewed requested anonymity, as did the Jordanian nongovernmental organization that is IsraAid’s partner on the ground. Working with Israelis, they say, could endanger their work and the lives of the refugees they help. Israelis may travel freely to Jordan, but when the IsraAid delegation crossed the border recently, it brought a letter from the Jordanian NGO that would facilitate the distribution as well as a list of individuals in its party. A police escort joined the group’s bumpy ride through northern Jordan, past small villages of flat-roofed houses, lemon groves and vegetable fields. In the distance were the mountains of southern Syria. “We try to work by the book and not go under the radar,” said Shachar Zahavi, IsraAid’s founding director, who explains that other countries also require extended security checks. “The Jordanians are open to it.” After 90 minutes, the
delegation arrives at the Jordanian NGO’s headquarters, next to an empty lot filled with trash on a side street in this city. The capital city of a region of the same name, half of Mafraq’s 100,000 residents are refugees from the conflict next door. In total, half a million Syrians have taken refuge in Jordan. Most of them are here, in the border region, and most arrived this year. Directed by a soft-spoken, gray-haired retiree working without pay, the Jordanian NGO focuses on aiding the 200,000 local refugees not living in Zaatri, the massive United Nations refugee camp nearby. The director keeps meticulous records of the constantly growing number of aid recipients, registering every new arrival, noting the size of their family and when they last received aid. Seventy volunteers help purchase and package supplies with funds from groups like IsraAid. With the word “Jewish” removed, the purple bags begin to travel in a human chain down a tight stairwell to the refugees below, almost all of them women wearing long black dresses and matching hijabs. Bags are loaded onto trucks or carried in hand back to wherever they are staying. One woman approaches a volunteer to explain, through basic Arabic and hand motions, that a relative has cancer. Where, she asks, can she find medicine? “We’re still at this beginning stage,” the aid worker later
! W E N
tells JTA. “You’re still being inundated with refugees. They’re always going to need food until the situation is stable.” The next stop for the IsraAid workers is Hamra, an impromptu refugee camp set up 20 minutes outside Mafraq. Situated under power lines, surrounded by desert and about to be clouded by a suffocating sandstorm, the camp is home to 25 families from a Damascus suburb who had walked 60 miles to the Jordanian border to escape the fighting. Now they share space in 10 tents with dirty, beige flaps featuring the block letters U.N.H.C.R. -- for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -- in faded blue. Inside one, seven thin mattresses sit in a square on a tattered rug. A second room, with a small burner and piles of pots and pans, serves as the tent kitchen. Although they eagerly crowd the distribution truck, most refugees appear healthy, if needy. While the distribution goes on, one resident insists that the workers sit for some coffee. But an elderly woman shakes as she pulls a deformed hand out of her robe, her two fingers wrapped backwards and melded into what was left of her palm. After the bombing that caused her injury, she joined her children and grandchildren on the 60-mile trek. Now she said nothing, her wrinkled face and sunken eyes conveying a resigned helplessness. Zahavi hopes that within a month, IsraAid can bring
Israeli group quietly feeding Syrian refugees in Jordan
A Syrian refugee in a small refugee camp outside the Jordanian city of Mafraq collect supplies funded by IsraAid, an Israeli humanitarian aid organization. social workers to Mafraq to help refugees cope with the psychological trauma. Israelis, Zahavi said, are experts in trauma care after decades of dealing with terror attacks. “My main agenda is to put Israelis on the ground around the world and show the world that Israel cares about them,” he said. IsraAid receives support from several foundations, but the organization said some of its donors initially were reluctant to
fund its work in Jordan for fear of becoming involved in the SyriaIsrael conflict. But the aid worker said that when refugees discover the Israeli connection, they are still grateful for the help -- no matter its political implications. “You’re talking about hungry people,” she said. “These people are in a dire situation. If I hand someone a can of tuna, do they really care where it’s coming from?”
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Phoebe Allentown, located in Allentown’s residential west end, provides a rich legacy of caring for older adults. As a not-for-profit community that is open to all, we truly put people before profits. This is why older adults and their family members put their faith in us.
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Community Calendar To list an event in the Community Calendar, submit your information on our website, www.jewishlehighvalley.org, under the “Upcoming Events” menu.
7:30 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Congregation Keneseth Israel invites you to join us for a meaningful evening including Shabbat services and the commemoration of Kristallnacht. All are welcome. Call the temple office at 610-435-9074 for more information.
All events listed in the Community Calendar are open to the public and free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Programs listed in HAKOL are provided as a service to the community. They do not necessarily reflect the endorsement of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The JFLV reserves the right to accept, reject or modify listings.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Jewish Federation Campaign Event: Comedy Night with Rabbi Bob Alper
MONDAYS, OCTOBER 28, NOVEMBER 4, 11, & 18 Readers Theater Series at the J: When Everything Changed for Women
7 to 9 p.m., JCC of Allentown. Join us for a unique readers theater experience ... When Everything Changed for Women, as seen through the eyes of playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Patty Carlis, will facilitate this integrated group experience through acting activities and exercises. Participants will explore themes and bring the text alive using selected scripts. Open to all adults in the community. Limited spaces. Register Early. $36 for JCC members, $48 for non-members. Stop by or call the JCC Welcome Center at 610-435-3571.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4 TSS Adult Education - Transforming your Hobby into a Business
7 p.m., Location to be determined - call or check TSS website www.templeshiratshalom.org. The very creative Idea Lady, TSS member Rita Guthrie of Open Door Communications will offer tips on how to make money from your hobby. Rita is full of creative ideas and she will share her secrets with TSS members and friends. Event is free to the community. Contact Judy Belmont, JABelmont3@gmail.com.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 Temple Beth El Healing Service
1 p.m., Temple Beth El. We will be creating a safe space to bring our pain, our questions and our yearning. This onehour service will be held in the Hammel Family Chapel. The service will include music, silent meditation, traditional prayers, and Torah study. The entire community is invited to participate.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 Am Haskalah Prospective & New Member Shabbat
6:30 p.m., at Congregation Brith Sholom, 1190 W. Macada Road, Bethlehem. Good people, good food, good values, good vibes. Open house, vegetarian/dairy dinner, Friday night service led by Rabbi Tamara Cohen. Come meet us and enjoy a relaxed, informal evening including a Friday night service with lots of music! Contact email@example.com or 610-435-3775 to learn more.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 Erev Shabbat & Kristallnacht Commemoration
Honorable MENSCHens Carly Lenett
7:30 p.m., JCC of Allentown. Don’t miss the event of the season! Rabbi Bob Alper, the world’s only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy … intentionally … will bring his musings on everything from seminary to seeing eye dogs to the Lehigh Valley. Rabbi Alper has performed everywhere from the Hollywood Improv to London Theatres. He has made appearances on Comedy Central, Good Morning America, Showtime and EXTRA, and his bits can be heard daily on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Reservations are $10 and must be made in advance at www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ comedy.aspx or by calling 610-821-5500. Seating is limited and event may sell out. Attendees will have an opportunity to make their pledge to the 2014 Campaign for Jewish Needs. A minimum $18 pledge is required.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 KI Library Fundraiser at Barnes & Noble
All Day, Barnes & Noble @ The Promenade. KI is delighted to host our annual library fundraiser at Barnes & Noble at the Promenade. Please join us and help us support our love of Jewish learning. It’s as easy as coming out to shop and with Chanukah right around the corner, the timing is perfect. Please mention Keneseth Israel at checkout. For more information call the temple office at 610-435-9074.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Holocaust Resource Center: 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht
9:30 to 11 a.m., Temple Covenant of Peace. See the Holocaust Resource Center’s Legacy Exhibit and hear from coordinator Shari Spark on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The exhibit features a chronological history of the Holocaust, authentic American and Nazi uniforms, photographs of the Dachau concentration camp taken by the first GI’s entering the camp, vintage radio broadcasts and reproductions of artwork and samples of poems providing a view of the Holocaust through the eyes of children. It includes a newly expanded Kristallnacht presentation. The event is free and open to the public. Brunch will be provided. RSVP required by Monday, November 4, 2013, to Temple Covenant of Peace, 610-253-2031,firstname.lastname@example.org. On Saturday, November 9, area clergy will be offering remembrances of Kristallnacht during Shabbat services. To find a synagogue near you, visit www.shalomlehighvalley.org.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Bethlehem-Easton Hadassah Film and Book Club 1:30 p.m., Amy Cohen’s House, 1804 Sycamore St., Bethlehem. Film: “Fill the Void” A graceful, complex and beautifully layered film about a young Hasidic woman who is forced into an arranged levirate marriage to an older widower.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Howard Marblestone Memorial Lecture: What Have We Learned from the Dead Sea Scrolls?
7:30 p.m., Lafayette College, Kirby Hall, Auditorium 104. A lecture by Dr. John Collins, Holmes professor of Old Testament criticism and interpretation, Yale University. The Dead Sea Scrolls have provided us with a trove of primary sources for a crucial period in the history of Judaism and Christianity. Some of the claims made about them have been sensational, but they shed important light on the nature of Judaism and on the origins of Christianity, as well as on the history of the Bible. A native of Ireland, Professor Collins has taught at Yale Divinity School since 2000. He has published widely on the subjects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, apocalypticism, wisdom and Hellenistic Judaism.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Matilda the Musical
Departure time: 9:15 a.m., from Bnai Abraham Synagogue, curtain time: 3 p.m. Bnai Abraham Synagogue celebrates our 75th Broadway Extravaganza! Price: $170 per ticket. Please make checks payable to Bnai Abraham Synagogue.
Carly Lenett, daughter of Mitch and Colleen Lenett and a third grader in the East Penn School District, got the opportunity of a lifetime when Olympic silver medalist Kristy Kowal joined her for a 110-lap swim in the Emmaus High School pool recently. The duo’s effort raised nearly $11,000 for the American Diabetes Association and served as a lead-up to the Bethlehem ADA Step Out Walk at SteelStacks on October 13. Want to see your accomplishments in the pages of HAKOL? E-mail them to email@example.com. 30 NOVEMBER 2013 | HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY
FRIDAYS 8 - 9:30 AM WMUH 91.7 Featuring Cantor Wartell muhlenberg.edu/wmuh
Mail checks to: “MATILDA”, Dr. Marc and Aliette Abo, 936 Wedgewood Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Jews Between Race and Anti-Racism: A Lecture by Dr. Elliot Ratzman
7 p.m., Moravian College, Haupert Union, UBC Room Sponsored by Moravian College Hillel. In the modern period, perceptions of Jews have changed from that of a minority religion to that of a race apart. Not quite white, never at home in the nation-states of Europe, uncertain about their relationship to the Middle East, Jews have been vexed by being perpetual outsiders. In the 20th century, the Jewish people were the victims of Nazi racism in Europe and, later, accused of being racist victimizers in the Middle East as they established the State of Israel. Yet in America, Jews have flourished as part of anti-racist coalitions, movements and commitments … to a point. In this talk, Dr. Ratzman explores the challenges Jews and Christians face in formulating antiracist practices that honor the best of our ethics while facing up to the exclusionary elements within the Jewish and Christian traditions. Jewish history is a case for reflection on the meaning of race, the abuse of religion and the prospects for a just anti-racist politics. Elliot Ratzman is an assistant professor of religion and Jewish studies at Temple University. He has studied with ethicist Peter Singer, philosopher Cornel West and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19 College Bound and Confused?: Top Ten Things You Should Know About The College Admissions Process
8 to 9:30 p.m., JCC of Allentown. Attention Parents: We invite you (and your high school-aged children) to learn about the top ten things you should know about the college admissions process. Joan DeSalvatore, owner of College Bound Advising Today, will present and include time for a question and answer session. Light refreshments included. BBYO participants are invited to join their parents after the BBYO meeting. $5 per registered adult. Stop by or call the JCC Welcome Center at 610-435-3571 to register.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Brunch & Learn: Menorahs and Memories
9:45 a.m., Jewish Family Service. Come share your menorahs and memories at Jewish Family Service. Enter your menorah into a contest. Share family stories about Hanukkah. $3 per person. Make reservations by November 18. Call 610-821-8722.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Temple Beth El Sisterhood Giftique
10 a.m., Temple Beth El. Stock up an all of your Chanukah needs! Large selection of candles, dreidles, gelt, menorahs, toys and decorations. Great gift selection too! Jewelry, mezuzzot books, giftwear, platters and so much more!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24 KI Adult Education: The Real Story of Chanukah
9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel. Join us for an adult education program to learn the REAL story of Chanukah. Come for breakfast and learn things about Chanukah you never knew. Breakfast will be provided; donations welcome. RSVP to the temple office at 610-435-9074.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29 Temple Beth El Shira Chadasha
7:30 p.m., Temple Beth El. Temple Beth El invites you to share in our Shira Chadasha Service. Come celebrate a musical Shabbat Service with contemporary American and Israeli music.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1 A Magical Hanukkah
JCC of Allentown. Please join us for a fun-filled afternoon! 3:30 p.m.: Build a Lego menorah or dreidel with Bricks for Kids (additional cost); 4:30 p.m.: Candle lighting; 5 p.m.: Latke bar, doughnut bar and refreshments; 6 p.m.: Magic show. Register by Monday, November 18 (space is limited), at the JCC Welcome Center or call 610-4353571. $40 per family of 4 (does not include Bricks for Kids) $9 per child (2 – 12 years), $13 per adult. Bricks for Kids Lego building $10 per child additional.
Celebrate the beauty of Shabbat
Shabbat & Yom Tov Candlelighting Times Friday, Nov. 1
Friday, Nov. 22
Friday, Nov. 8
Friday, Nov. 29
Friday, Nov. 15
Friday, Dec. 6
Community Calendar Ongoing Events SUNDAY to FRIDAY DAF YOMI 7:30 a.m., Congregation Sons of Israel Are you intrigued by thought-provoking, stimulating and provocative religious discussion? Are you enamored by the depth and scope of the Jewish legal system? Are you curious about Judaism’s perspective on marriage, tort law, Jewish burial, holiday observance, prayer, blessings and, for that matter, nearly any Jewish topic? Then Sons of Israel’s daily “Daf Yomi” class is for you. Meeting all year long, this class covers the gamut of Talmudic law, studying one page of the talmud each day, and completing the talmud over the course of seven and a half years. Basic Jewish background is recommended. SUNDAYS JEWISH WAR VETERANS POST 239 2nd Sunday of the month, 10 a.m., JCC of Allentown A brunch follows each meeting – bagels, cream cheese, lox, herring, pastry and coffee. The veteran and significant other are invited as the guest of the Ladies Auxiliary. Come and enjoy camaraderie and we will even listen to your “war story.” Questions? Call David Weiner at 484-764-7466 or 610-739-2755. TEFILLIN CLUB & ADULT HEBREW SCHOOL 9:30 a.m. Tefillin; 10 to 11 a.m. Adult Hebrew, Chabad Tefillin is for Jewish men and boys over the age of Bar Mitzvah, to learn about, and gain appreciation for, the rich and enriching Jewish practice - the mitzvah - of donning Tefillin. Adult Hebrew is an opportunity for you to learn about your heritage and expand your Jewish knowledge so that you can keep up with your child. Contact 610-351-6511. TSS HEBREW & ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES 10 a.m., JCC of Allentown Interested in learning Hebrew for the first time or brushing up your skills? Marcia Berkow teaches adult Hebrew beginning at 10 a.m., followed at 11 a.m. by David Vaida, who will you take you through the great moments across all 5,774 years of Jewish history. Free and open to all. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-820-7666. TALMUD CLASS FOR BEGINNERS! 10 to 11 a.m., Congregation Beth Avraham of Bethlehem-Easton For information,contact Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod at 207-217-1094. MONDAYS FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., JCC of Allentown Friendship Circle is a place for people to meet, make new friends and enjoy each other’s company. We welcome all adults over 50. Friendship Circle meets weekly on Mondays at the JCC of Allentown from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lively and enjoyable programs and a delicious lunch. Annual dues - $25. Regular weekly meetings and lunch - $6. First visit - NO CHARGE. THE RHYTHM OF JEWISH LIVING 8 to 9 p.m., Temple Beth El Taught by: Rabbi Moshe Re’em. This course will examine the ideas, beliefs and practices that define and shape Jewish life through daily, weekly, annual and life-cycle observances. The course is designed as a year-long course for those wishing to learn more about the religious observances of Judaism, theology of the holidays and ritual practices. The course is organized around the Jewish calendar, but includes other daily Jewish rituals. TUESDAYS YACHAD TORAH STUDY GROUP 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., JCC of Allentown
It doesn’t matter how much you know, it matters how much you want to know. Bring your curiosity to thet Yachad Torah study group and discover the wonders, adventures and meaning of the Torah. Each FREE session is taught by one of our dedicated clergy members or a respected Jewish educator. Held in the Teachers’ Learning Center/Holocaust Resource Room (lower level, JCC). Call 610-435-3571 for information about individual sessions. JFS-LV’S YIDDISH CLUB 1:30 p.m., Jewish Family Service Kibbitz in the mama loshen! You don’t need to be fluent — just come and enjoy! Call 610-821-8722 for more information. THE ESSENCE OF A GREAT JEWISH STORY Oct. 1 – Nov. 26, 7 to 7:50 p.m., Temple Beth El Taught by: Cantor Kevin Wartell. We will read and experience both ancient and more current Jewish stories and delve into their message and the sacred stories that they tell. A fun and spiritually uplifting way to spend an evening together! Contact Temple Beth El at 610-435-3521 to register and for exact dates of course. THE DAVEN-CI CODE: UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF JEWISH PRAYER 8 p.m., Congregation Beth Avraham Weekly discussion group focusing on the structure, nuance and poetry of Jewish prayer. (Hebrew competence is not required.) Free and open to all. LATTE & LEARN 8 to 9 p.m., Starbucks, Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem Come help us figure out the weekly Torah portion! Laid back, lots of fun, no Hebrew required. This event is sponsored by Congregation Beth Avraham. This event is free and open to the public. For information, Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod at 207-217-1094. WEDNESDAYS THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY FROM JESUS TO CONSTANTINE Oct. 9 – Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Brith Sholom library A study of the birth of Christianity through a Jewish lens. Taught by Rabbi Jonathan Gerard To register, contact Rabbi Gerard at email@example.com or 610-2481588 or register at Brith Sholom. Tuition: $18. HADASSAH STUDY GROUP Every other Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Temple Beth El Allentown Hadassah presents a stimulating series of short story seminars. All are welcome to attend these free sessions in the Temple Beth El library. The group will be reading selections from anthologies available from Amazon.com. For dates and stories, e-mail Lolly Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-4391851. BETH AVRAHAM TORAH STUDY 7 p.m., Congregation Beth Avraham Torah: It is the common heritage that binds all Jews together. Explore the ancient healing wisdom of Torah together. All are welcome. Who knows? It might even be fun! RSVP: Rabbi Yitzchok I. Yagod, 207-217-1094, rabbiyagod@ yahoo.com. IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JOSHUA 7 p.m., Sons of Israel On Wednesday nights at Congregation Sons of Israel Judy Slyper teaches an in-depth study of the book of Joshua. We are currently learning the book of Joshua with commentaries and other resources to give us a feel of the time, the people and the lessons in the story. We are a friendly group who have been studying different books of the Prophets almost every Wednesday night for four years, but we’d love you to join and add your thoughts and knowledge to the discussions. TORAH STUDIES: A WEEKLY JOURNEY INTO THE SOUL OF TORAH
7:30 p.m., Chabad Torah Studies by JLI presents: Season One: A 12-part series. Cost is $36 for the complete 12-week series (textbook included). For more information contact 610-351-6511 or email@example.com. THURSDAYS MOMMY & ME 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., Chabad Led by Morah Devorah Halperin and Mrs. Alli Lipson, Mommy & Me is an innovative program for babies and toddlers to experience Jewish traditions in a stimulating, fun and creative atmosphere. Cost is $10 per class, $40 for full session. For information and to register, firstname.lastname@example.org. SEALED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Congregation Keneseth Israel Join Rabbi Seth and a friendly group of seekers who are exploring the proposed new Reform High Holy Day Machzor to discover its ancient wisdom and modern sensibilities. Newcomers always welcome. Knowledge of Hebrew not required. Come with an open heart and do your part to improve your High Holy Day experience. Contact Ms. Sandra Hari, 610-435-9074,for information. Free and open to the community. TORAH ON TILGHMAN 12:15 p.m., Allentown Wegmans Cantor Ellen Sussman of Temple Shirat Shalom leads a lunch and learn on the Torah. Shopping is optional. RSVP to email@example.com or 610-820-7666. ENGAGING ISRAEL: FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW RELATIONSHIP Oct. 3 – Dec. 19, 7 to 9 p.m., Temple Beth El A new and exciting course straight from the Hartman Institute. Taught by Rabbi Moshe Re’em. Why is the State of Israel important for my Jewish identity? The goal of “i ENGAGE” is to respond to growing feelings of disenchantment and disinterest toward Israel among an everincreasing number of Jews. Through video lectures by Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and his dialogues with other top scholars and experts, text study and lively group discussions led by Rabbi Re’em, we will elevate conversation about Israel by rooting it in Jewish values and ideas rather than in response to a crisis. Cost: $36. Contact Temple Beth El at 610-435-3521 to register and for exact dates of course. FRIDAYS TCP TOT SHABBAT SERVICE 4th Friday of the month, 5 p.m., Temple Covenant of Peace This wonderful program introduces children to Shabbat ritual and songs with activities designed especially for our youngest congregants and their families. Arts and crafts, stories and prayer round out the children’s activities. SHABBAT INTRODUCTION TO TALMUD 8:15 a.m., Sons of Israel On Shabbat mornings, come to an Introduction to Talmud class with Dr. Henry Grossbard. This class is free and open to the public. CHAVURAT TORAH STUDY Each Shabbat following kiddush lunch, Temple Beth El No sign-up needed for this class. Taught by Shari Spark. Enrich your Shabbat experience by studying the parashat hashavua, the weekly Torah portion, with other congregants, each Shabbat in the library at approximately 12:45 p.m. No previous knowledge or long-term commitments are required to participate as we discuss Torah together. This is an ongoing class. BNEI AKIVA 5:45 p.m., Congregation Sons of Israel On Shabbat afternoons, SOI holds Bnei Akiva, an Israel-centered fun program for kids ages eight to 14. This program is free and open to the public. For information and to RSVP, call 610-433-6089.
Congregations BNAI ABRAHAM SYNAGOGUE
1545 Bushkill St., Easton – 610.258.5343 Rabbi Daniel Stein, Conservative MORNING MINYAN services are Thursday mornings at 7:25 a.m., SHABBAT EVENING services are Fridays at 8 p.m., SHABBAT MORNING services are Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m..
CHABAD OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY
4457 Crackersport Rd., Allentown – 610.336.6603 Rabbi Yaacov Halperin, Chabad Lubavitch SHABBAT EVENING services are held once a month seasonally, SHABBAT MORNING services are held Saturdays at 10 a.m., RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are held Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.
CONGREGATION AM HASKALAH
1190 W. Macada Rd., Bethlehem – 610.435.3775 Student Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Reconstructionist Weekly Shabbat services and a monthly family service with potluck dinner. Religious school meets Sunday mornings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
CONGREGATION BETH AVRAHAM
439 South Nulton Ave., Palmer Township – 610.905.2166 | Rabbi Yitzchok Yagod, Orthodox SHABBAT EVENING starts half an hour after candle lighting. SHABBAT MORNING starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by a hot kiddish.
CONGREGATION BRITH SHOLOM
1190 W. Macada Rd., Bethlehem – 610.866.8009 Rabbi Allen Juda, Conservative MINYAN is at 7:45 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes every Tuesday/Thursday at 4:15 p.m.
CONGREGATION KENESETH ISRAEL
2227 Chew St., Allentown – 610.435.9074 Rabbi Seth D. Phillips | Cantor Jennifer Duretz Peled, Reform Services begin at 7:30 p.m. every Friday night. The first Friday of the month is a FAMILY SERVICE and celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. RELIGIOUS SCHOOL classes are held Wednesdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL
2715 Tilghman St., Allentown – 610.433.6089 Rabbi David Wilensky, Orthodox SHACHARIT: Sundays at 8:30 a.m., Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:45 a.m. For MINCHA, MAARIV.
TEMPLE BETH EL
1305 Springhouse Rd., Allentown – 610.435.3521 Rabbi Moshe Re’em | Cantor Kevin Wartell Conservative Weekday morning minyan services at 7:45 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. Shabbat evening services at 7:30 p.m. with the last Friday evening of the month featuring our Shira Chadasha Service . Shabbat morning services at 9 a.m. followed by Kiddush. Religious school classes every Tuesday/ Thursday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Midrasha school classes Monday at 7 p.m. Shalshelet — Temple Beth El’s new innovative high school program — meets bi-monthly on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. Shalshelet (the chain) is open to ALL 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students in the Lehigh Valley. For more information contact Alicia Zahn, religlious school director, at school at bethelallentown.org.
TEMPLE COVENANT OF PEACE
1451 Northampton St., Easton – 610.253.2031 Tcp@rcn.com; tcopeace.org Rabbi Melody Davis | Cantor Jill Pakman Reform TCP holds Shabbat evening services every Friday night at 7:30 p.m., and a Renewal Shabbat morning service on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. A Family Shabbat Service is held on the second Friday night of each month. Our services reflect a diverse culture of traditional, innovative and musical experiences with a Reform Jewish context. Religious School meets on Sunday mornings from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. We have family potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Friday of the month. For more information about our temple and activities, see our website at www. tcopeace.org or look us up on Facebook.
TEMPLE SHIRAT SHALOM
Cantor Ellen Sussman Friday night SHABBAT WORSHIP SERVICES held at 7 p.m. at The Swain School, 1100 South 24th St., Allentown. For more information, Contact Us at templeshiratshalom.org or 610-820-7666.
HAKOL LEHIGH VALLEY | NOVEMBER 2013 31
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