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COVER PHOTO BY HEATHER GOGAL Pictured: Dr. Hartley Lachter and daughter Mollie at the Malcolm W. Gross Rose Garden in Allentown




Discover. Explore. Connect.

WHAT’S NEW? YOU. Whether you have recently joined a synagogue, accepted a board position or signed up for PJ Library, you are doing something essential to the future of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community. The most noteworthy piece of news is you. Because of your continued support and involvement, our Jewish institutions are continuing to strengthen themselves and plan for the future. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s recently released Strategic Plan articulates our collective priorities to make our community that much stronger. Areas of focus include caring for our growing senior population and making sure our Jewish Community Center and Jewish Day School remain vibrant and strong. With increasingly bustling hallways, classrooms and gymnasiums, the JCC is planning for a new building to meet the community’s future needs. The Jewish Day School has further developed its technological infrastructure with the addition of a new science lab. The school has earned Blue Ribbon status and affiliation with the National Association of Independent Schools. The past two years have also seen a growing intensity in the programming at our synagogues. Congregation Keneseth Israel has appointed a new religious school director and installed Rabbi Seth Phillips. Congregation Brith Sholom likewise welcomes Rabbi Michael Singer and his family. Temple Beth El hosts teens from across the Lehigh Valley through its Shelshelet group. Chabad of the Lehigh Valley has added Friendship Circle, a program that matches teen volunteers with children with special needs. Bnai Abraham Synagogue has established new modes of prayer including a “Java and Jeans” service each month.

Jewish studies programs and Hillel societies at local colleges not only focus on Jewish life on campus, but also off. With new Jewish studies leadership in place, Muhlenberg and Lehigh will be ramping up their efforts to provide quality educational programs for adults. And throughout the Lehigh Valley, subject to little acclaim, people are dedicated to continuing the essential elements of Jewish life: Attending daily evening services at Congregation Sons of Israel. Taking part in social action projects at Congregation Am Haskalah. Celebrating life through music and prayer at Temple Shirat Shalom and Temple Covenant of Peace. Torah study at Congregation Beth Avraham. And then there are the activities that you and others in the Jewish community provide, perhaps just as if it's routine. But it all matters. Re-stocking the food pantry. Supporting the kosher bakeries at Weis and Giant supermarkets, as well as other kosher establishments. Making and answering the call for Federation's Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. Establishing your legacy through the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, which brought in more than $1 million in new commitments in the past year alone. We are fortunate that in a world where we may or may not live close to one another, there are lots of great ways to stay in touch. To connect, stay up-to-date or feel even more of a sense of belonging and involvement in the community, sign up for our weekly events e-mail, request a free subscription to our community newspaper, HAKOL, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or – hey! – come out to the next community event. You'll find everything you need to know at www.jewishlehighvalley.org. See you there!

When the Pew Research Center published the survey, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” the findings created a stir among Jewish leaders because the outlook for the future appeared so cloudy. As the months have passed, however, and we’ve reviewed the MARK H. SCOBLIONKO President results coupled with our own Community Study, we’ve begun to see these findings not as challenges, but as a starting place. Having greater insight about Jewish society in general and our community in particular makes our planning efforts that much MARK L. GOLDSTEIN more effective. Executive Director The Jewish community of the Lehigh Valley is made up of every “flavor” of Judaism. We have 10 unique synagogues. We have multi-generational families, a dynamic spectrum of Shabbat observers, singles, intermarried couples and Jews by choice. All connect in the way that they feel comfortable. If you are thinking about moving to the Lehigh Valley, or looking to get more involved, now is the time and this is the place. Join the JCC. Explore a synagogue. Take a tour of the Jewish Day School. Volunteer through Jewish Family Service. Come to a Federation event. We welcome you to come see what we are all about. Shalom.

PRODUCTION TEAM JENNIFER LADER Editor STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN Director of Marketing ALLISON MEYERS Graphic Designer DIANE McKEE Advertising Representative ANNABEL WILLIAMS Intern EDITORIAL BOARD Monica Friess, Acting Chair Barbara Reisner Judith Rodwin Sara Vigneri JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY MARK H. SCOBLIONKO President MARK L. GOLDSTEIN Executive Director JUDY DIAMONDSTEIN Assistant Executive Director

702 North 22nd Street | Allentown, PA 18104 610.821.5500 | www.jewishlehighvalley.org

Shalom Lehigh Valley is a biennial publication of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.





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Today, approximately 2,000 women are connected to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community through their synagogues, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Day School, Jewish Family Service, many other Jewish women’s organizations and the Jewish Federation, which maintains a vibrant and motivated Women’s Division. Collectively, these women contribute to a wide variety of causes that help both Jews and non-Jews at home and around the world. They give of their time and of themselves to make the world a better place.


LIKE SO MANY WOMEN, it was a desire to connect and meet people that drew these three women to the Jewish community. But more than that, it was a sense of purpose.


When Carlis moved to the Lehigh Valley, joining Congregation Keneseth Israel in Allentown allowed her to build friendships and put her background in theatre to good use through her teaching at the religious school. Later, Carlis became president of a local nonprofit theatre company that was performing “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Students came to see the play, then met with local Holocaust survivors. It was the impetus for Muhlenberg College’s Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding’s Youth and Prejudice Conference, which she coordinated until 2005 and that still endures today.


“People who want to give back, who are volunteering in some way, are people that I gravitate toward,” said Cooper, who lives in Easton and is active in the Jewish community through the Federation’s Women’s Division. Having been involved in Federations in Seattle and New York both as a professional and a volunteer, the Women’s Division was a “natural door” to enter the community. It led her to further involvement, as a member of Congregation Sons of Israel, an associate member of two other synagogues, vice president of the Federation and, most recently, president of the Jewish Day School.


After visits with her husband’s family in the Lehigh Valley, Wax decided it was time to move here. Friendships quickly formed through the Early Childhood Education program at the JCC, and as her children grew, her involvement at Temple Beth El in Allentown increased. She is a member of the synagogue board and copresident of its Sisterhood four years running. “All of my friends are involved somewhere,” Wax said. “We all support each other wherever we’re involved.”

Left to right: Laurie Wax, Karen Cooper, Patty Carlis





The face of imagination. Securing a safe and green future takes imagination. And imagination is abundant at the Technion, one of the world’s preeminent science and technology universities. You can see it in the face of Technion graduate student Shani Elitzur. A captain in the Israeli Air Force working in aeronautical design, Shani is also pursuing her doctoral degree in renewable green energy and studying new ways to generate hydrogen. The goal: achieve a breakthrough in efficient energy production and storage. Shani is just one of many Technion students, faculty members and graduates who are committed to a better future, creating everything from new tumor-shrinking treatments to zero-emission vehicles. All born of imagination at the Technion —a hotbed of discovery that’s contributing to Israel’s leadership in science, technology and medicine.

Technion: The Imagination of Israel.

Shani Elitzur, Graduate Student Technion Faculty of Aerospace Engineering

1 2014 8 3943_ATS_Shani_7.indd Shalom Lehigh Valley

American Technion Society 100 Four Falls Corporate Center, Suite 211, West Conshohocken, PA 19428 610.940.3800 | www.ats.org Join us in our efforts or request more information by contacting ivan@ats.org

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Dr. Frank Tamarkin

When Tama and I were looking to move our family after finishing my residency in 2007, we had a few simple requirements beyond my new job: A community with a strong JCC, an excellent Jewish Day School and a thriving conservative synagogue. We were excited to find all three legs of our Jewish foundation here in Allentown. In life, you want to give your children the things you never had, and I never had a day school education. Sending my children to both JDS and Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy has laid the foundation for them to develop and thrive as active and productive scholars, citizens and leaders for the Jewish community. It has also provided my children a foundation of Jewish knowledge that far exceeds my own. Without a JDS or JCC, I would not be here today, because I would have never chosen to come to Allentown.

Jewish life

Rabbi Daniel Stein

When Dena and I moved to Easton from New York City, we worried that we wouldn’t find the same cultural opportunities, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the diversity. Easton has an exciting downtown. We love going to the farmers’ market on Wednesday afternoons and seeing performances at the State Theatre. The local colleges are another great way to see nationally known performers at great prices. At Lafayette College, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra rehearses its concerts before they debut in New York. As a person interested in Judaic studies, I’ve been particularly impressed by the offerings within the local Jewish community. Of course I’m proud that my synagogue brings in nationally known speakers, but we are far from the only ones. One never feels out of touch. Daniel Stein is rabbi of Bnai Abraham Synagogue in Easton.

Dr. Karen Dacey

I moved to the Lehigh Valley three years ago from San Antonio, Texas, to take a job. I was a military ophthalmologist in the United States Air Force before I made the transition to civilian life in San Antonio. The Lehigh Valley has been a positive and welcoming community that was easy to integrate into. On my first High Holidays, I was invited to break the fast and this year I was invited to two different homes for a seder. Since moving here, I’ve joined Temple Beth El and my daughter was among the first to participate in the “Under the Same Moon” reading project in partnership with the Lehigh Valley’s sister region of Yoav in Israel. I’m almost sad that we didn’t move here sooner for my kids to start growing up in such a warm and welcoming community. To learn more about the “Under the Same Moon” partnership project, see page 27.




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Israel Experience Programs

Jewish Education Shelter for the Poor Community Food Banks

Care for the Sick + Hungry

Psychological Counseling Services


Synagogue Programming Social Services in Israel

Jewish Identity Building Overseas Employment Counseling + Vocational Training

Jewish Summer Camps Disaster Relief


Federation nourishes the

Root of Jewish life

Do you receive HAKOL in the mail? Read PJ Library books with your children before bed time? Attend a family life education program at your synagogue? If you are connected to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community in any way, you are touched by the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The money that Federation donors contribute every year through the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs supports the JCC, the Jewish Day School and Jewish Family Service. The Federation also provides grants to the Bethlehem and Easton Jewish communities, funds Hillel societies at local colleges and cares for “orphaned” cemeteries. Our $23 million endowment fund – including investments from most local agencies and synagogues – safeguards our community and provides for its future.

Besides raising and distributing money, the Federation draws the community together for social action, celebration and observance. We keep you informed through the Community Relations Council and advocate for Jewish causes. Through the Holocaust Resource Center, we provide a museum-quality exhibit free to local schools and organize the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration and other community rallies and celebrations. We maintain a close relationship with our sister region in Israel, providing opportunities for people-to-people connections. Travelers on our missions get behind-the-scenes access like no other. The Lehigh Valley Jewish community thrives because of all of its institutions and the people who support them. But because of the Federation, they do it together. jewishlehighvalley.org



Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY Located on Allen Street in Allentown, the Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley food pantry is a certified partner of the Second Harvest Food Bank. It helps nearly 100 families a month, serving Jews across the Lehigh Valley and

anyone residing in the 18104 ZIP code. Instead of receiving pre-packed bags of food items, clients of the food pantry are able to “order” off a nutritionfocused menu of carbohydrates, protein and more. “It empowers

people to feel like they have control over what they’re selecting,” JFS Executive Director Debbie Zoller said. To learn more or donate food or grocery store cards, visit www.jfslv.org.

Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley provides help to clients, regardless of religion. Other services include counseling, adoption assistance and help for seniors.

DO I REALLY DO ALL THAT? Your donation to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley – no matter how big or small – helps Jews at home, in Israel and around the world. You provide nourishment for impoverished seniors in the former Soviet Union, help new immigrants adjust to life in Israel and respond to crises in the world, wherever they occur, all while maintaining a strong community in the Lehigh Valley.

HOW MANY JEWS LIVE HERE? The U.S. Jewish population is 6.7 million, or 2.1 percent of the total population, according to Pew. In the Lehigh Valley, the Jewish population is 8,000, or 1.2 percent of the population, according to the Jewish Federation’s Community Study.

WHAT’S NEW(S)? HAKOL is the only Jewish newspaper in the Lehigh Valley. It is published monthly by the Jewish Federation. To join the mailing list and receive this publication for free, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org.

KNOW SOMEONE LOOKING TO RELOCATE? Send us their name and address and we’ll send them a free copy of this publication. Call the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley at 610-821-5500 or e-mail mailbox@jflv.org. jewishlehighvalley.org



SHEILA BERG JOINED the United States Air Force Reserve because she wanted to serve our country and sought a challenge. She found it. “I was older than everybody else at basic training, but still had to keep up with everyone else,” said Berg, who recently became Commander of the local Jewish War Veterans group and is president of the United Veterans of Wars of Lehigh County. Turned out, she had nothing to worry about; she easily outran some of the 18-year-olds. To become a mechanic, one of the requirements was to be able, in one motion, to lift 60 pounds over her head and carry her own 40-to-50-pound toolbox. Did we mention that she was the only female in the post-basic training Jet Engine Mechanic Class?


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“I didn’t fit the mold,” Berg said. However, “by the end, we were all friends. We helped one another so everyone in our class graduated.” Already a social worker, after 14 years as a reserve jet engine mechanic, Berg became 1st Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of Family Readiness for the Reserves at Dover Air Force Base and went on to other responsibilities as well. She was called up for active duty twice, including during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The respect for religious freedom and other freedoms we hold dear in our country motivated Berg throughout her 29½ years of service. “Veterans from all campaigns share a common bond that should be supported and [their] benefits protected,” Berg said.


DO YOU HAVE A WAR STORY? Join the Jewish War Veterans, Post 239, for their next meeting. The Jewish War Veterans meet on the second Sunday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Allentown. A brunch follows each meeting – bagels, cream cheese, lox, herring, coffee and more.

Creating dialogue TRAVELING HOLOCAUST EXHIBIT EDUCATES HIGH SCHOOLERS BY JENNIFER LADER It is some 70 years now since the end of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died during World War II, but Donald Burdick remembers it like it was yesterday. On April 29, 1945, the Forks Township resident was a U.S. Army private first class at the time his unit headed into the concentration camp, Dachau. Twenty years old, he had already survived the Battle of Bastogne and witnessed atrocities, but, he said, “I had never seen anything like this.” Although not Jewish, Burdick joins with Holocaust educators who visit Lehigh Valley schools with the Holocaust Legacy Exhibit, a free resource for public and private school teachers to teach about this tragic time in world history and about prejudice reduction and why it is important to show tolerance today. Shari Spark, coordinator of the Holocaust Resource Center of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, helps collect and preserve the stories of Holocaust survivors and, with the HRC’s volunteer curator, Marylou Lordi – a Catholic – developed the exhibit. “The kids are able to connect the dots between what they see in the Holocaust exhibit and what happens in their own lives,” in terms of racism, prejudice and bullying, Spark said. Bring the Legacy Exhibit to your school. Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/legacy.

JEWISH ADULTS LEARN, GROW BY BARBARA REISNER Synagogues, universities, the JCC and other Jewish organizations host book clubs, movie festivals, classes and more, offering the chance to learn about and connect to Jewish philosophy, history and liturgy and to grow spiritually and intellectually. Yachad University courses, offered by the Jewish Federation, cover a range of topics, using textual sources from the Bible to modern commentaries. Jeanette Eichenwald has taught these courses since Yachad’s inception and, along with fellow instructors Barbara Sussman and Rabbi David Wilensky, brings her gift of storytelling, intellectual curiosity and ability to generate engaging dialogues among the class participants. “Who is wise? One who learns from everyone,” says Ben Zoma in “Ethics of Our Fathers.” Come. Learn. The water is warm. For more information, contact local synagogues and colleges or the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500 or www.jewishlehighvalley.org.





Elements of Jewish life



An eruv is a primary factor for observant Jews wanting to move into a community, and Allentown has one. As interpreted by the Talmud, the Torah forbids Jews from carrying from the private domain into the public domain on the Sabbath. In this regard, Jews may not carry books, keys or other objects outside of their homes and yards. Parents may not carry children outside or push them in strollers. The Rabbis of the Talmud described a way to ameliorate these prohibitions through the construction of a cordon around communities. The eruv (pronounced A-roov), combines the included houses into one private domain under Jewish law. The prohibition of carrying outside the home becomes a non-issue, as the community is considered to be one large home. “It allows you to take kids on Shabbat afternoons to friends,” said Rabbi Jonathan Powers, president of the organization that oversees the eruv. “It’s easier to eat at other people’s houses because you can bring food.” Allentown’s eruv consists of wires and strings that encircle a large portion of Allentown, from 15th Street to Route 309. For a map and the current status of the eruv, visit www.sonsofisrael.net.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014


At one time kosher questions were exclusive to the Jewish marketplace and home, but not anymore. That the first question posed to me as rav hamachshir, rabbinic consultant, of the Lehigh Valley Kashrut Commission (LVKC) was whether a kosher Easter bunny “eye” could be located for Lang Chocolates bespeaks the breadth of the kosher market in general, as well as the fascinating work of the LVKC. The kosher retail market has annual sales estimated at $13 billion for many thousands of companies worldwide.

Although the kosher market is booming, we at the LVKC realize that our work is modest by comparison. Having previously lived in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, however, which despite its significant number of kosher establishments, was in fact home to not even one kosher bakery, I take pride in the fact that our local Jewish population can enjoy the baked goods of not one, but two kosher bakeries in the Lehigh Valley, helping ensure that our community never has to compromise on either kashrut or taste.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HEBREW FAMILY LEAGUE There are certain facilities and institutions that are essential for a vibrant Jewish community. While synagogues and a school are of the utmost importance, they alone are not enough. The Hebrew Family League has established and maintains the other required institutions: mikvah, kashruth supervision and chevra kadisha.

KOSHER ESTABLISHMENTS* A-Treat Bottling Company 2001 Union Blvd., Allentown Carvel Ice Cream 2364 Catasaqua Rd., Bethlehem GIANT Supermarket Bakery 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown GIANT Supermarket Fresh Fish (only those marked with an LVKC sticker) 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown GIANT Supermarket Produce Platters (only by pre-order) 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown Lang’s Chocolates 350 Pine St., Williamsport Manhattan Bagel 3100 W. Tilghman St., Allentown Menchies Frozen Yogurt 353 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown The Noshery North (Star-D – Not Cholov Yisroel) Muhlenberg College, Allentown The Noshery South (Star-K Glatt) Muhlenberg College, Allentown Rita’s Italian Ices 1908 Tilghman St., Allentown Weis Markets Bakery 1500 Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown

For an updated list and for kosher alerts, visit lvkosher.org. *LVKC-CERTIFIED UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED



BY RACHEL WILENSKY Recently, a woman from the nearby tri-state area was traveling through the Lehigh Valley on her way back home from a vacation and asked to use our mikvah. When she entered the mikvah building, she immediately commented with surprise how “gorgeous and spa-like” the mikvah is, in her words, “even more spa-like” than the mikvah in her very large Jewish community. The Lehigh Valley mikvah truly is a beautiful facility, one in which the community takes great pride. It houses two mikvaot, or ritual baths, as well as spa-like amenities for preparation, including two jacuzzis. The mikvah building also houses a kelim mikvah, a smaller bath used exclusively for the mitzvah of immersing metal or glass utensils.

However, the beautiful exterior of the mikvah only mirrors the internal, deeply personal and spiritual nature of the mikvah’s uses. The Rabbis teach us that the mikvah is the cornerstone of any Jewish community and that building a mikvah takes precedence even over building a synagogue. While this important mitzvah connects the Jew to Jewish ritual dating back thousands of years, the relevance and spiritual opportunities speak profoundly to the modern Jew. The primary uses of a mikvah are for a woman to use monthly before resuming intimacy with her husband, as well as for conversions. The mikvah waters have been compared to the womb. When a woman dips into the


mikvah each month, she has the spiritual opportunity for rebirth, to shed the spiritual blocks and challenges of the previous month and to emerge from the mikvah waters anew and ready for increased connection and intimacy. Similarly, when one converts, he or she emerges from the waters in a new status, ready to start his or her new life as a Jew. The mikvah is open to the entire Jewish community, and more information about scheduling a visit can be found at www.lehighvalleymikvah.org.

Through Allentown’s Chevra Kadisha, Jewish Burial Society, local volunteers care for the deceased in a respectful, proper manner in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. Those who engage in the process of watching over and cleansing the body have a chance to do a very special kind of mitzvah because it is for someone who will never be able to reciprocate in kind. Volunteering with the Chevra Kadisha “gives you tremendous appreciation for people’s lives. It affects you very deeply. It adds dignity and respect for other people,” said Alan Wiener, a member of the group that helped formalize the society in Allentown in the early 1970s. He aided the society in finalizing the protocols and procedures by writing an educational pamphlet. “We have had excellent cooperation by John Kulik [president and owner of Bachman, Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Homes],” Wiener explained. “Most of the taharos [ritual cleansings] are done at Kulik’s funeral home.” “Any Jewish person who requests a burial according to Jewish law can have it,” said Mark Notis, current head of the Allentown Chevra Kadisha. jewishlehighvalley.org


For the younger set WELCOMING OUR LITTLE ONES BY STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN Do you have a young child at home or are you expecting a new addition to the family? Know someone who is? Let us say “Shalom!” Since 2005, the Shalom Baby program of the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Division has welcomed more than 150 babies. A reunion is held each year. A trained volunteer visits the family at their convenience, bringing a bag full of gifts from our synagogues, agencies and local businesses. And no visit would be complete without a photo shoot with the famous Shalom Baby bib. To learn more, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ shalom-baby.

VISITING ISRAEL: A DREAM COME TRUE BY ABBY TRACHTMAN Do you dream of having your child visit Israel? Are you worried it will be too expensive? The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley can help. A trip to Israel is not only a fun and exciting experience for your child; it is also a unique way to get him or her connected with our Jewish heritage and foundation. Young people who have participated in an Israel experience tend to regard their time in Israel as one of the most positive Jewish moments of their lives. The Jewish Federation’s VISIT Israel Savings Partnership helps diffuse the cost of your child’s trip to Israel, with up to a 40 percent return on your investment. The best part is, it’s a no-risk way to save: If your child doesn’t take a trip, the money you invest is returned to you. To learn more, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/visit.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

PUTTING THE ‘MITZVAH’ BACK IN BAR MITZVAH BY ABBY TRACHTMAN Josh Lemberg’s bar mitzvah was a cause for celebration. It was also an opportunity to perform one of his first obligations of adulthood – to give back. Like many Jewish teens in the Lehigh Valley, Josh chose to participate in the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Give a Mitzvah, Do a Mitzvah program in the months leading up to his 13th year. With the help of a Federation mitzvah coordinator, teens choose a service project that interests them. Alexander Garber harnessed his love for reading to collect books to donate to Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program. Sam Cho, an avid soccer player who also loves baseball and practices kung fu, collected used sports equipment for children at the Valley Youth House. Elana Valladares, who was treated for a Chiari I Malformation as a kid, helped to organize a walk to raise awareness about this condition with which many doctors are unfamiliar. Josh decided to volunteer at The Caring Place, a development center that reaches out to youths in the inner city. “Josh really enjoyed working at The Caring Place and is struck by the difficult situation from which these children are coming,” his mom, Diane, said. Josh has learned how fulfilling doing for others can be, and it’s a life lesson that his parents know he will keep close to his big heart. For more information, contact the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley at 610-821-5500 or mailbox@jflv.org or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/mitzvah. jewishlehighvalley.org


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Youth groups bring teens together BY SARA VIGNERI Navigating social groups and developing a life outside the nuclear family is a vital part of a teen’s life. The Lehigh Valley is home to many youth groups that cater to the needs of Jewish teens. The Allentown chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY) meets through Temple Beth El and includes lots of social activities, including the Fall Regional Convention and tikkun olam (repair the world) projects. Congregation Sons of Israel hosts a chapter of the Orthodox youth group NCSY and offers monthly activities such as bowling, ice skating, movie nights and Bnei Akiva, which meets Saturday afternoons in the synagogue for socializing and discussions. The youth group BBYO gets involved in social justice and lots of fun activities throughout the year, including their annual Up All Night event at the JCC. The JCC also hosts a teen basketball league under the guidance of Coach Terrence Baker. Tenth, 11th and 12th graders can keep up their connections with other Jewish teens through the Shalshelet program for high schoolers, held at Temple Beth El but open to teens from throughout the Lehigh Valley. Chabad of the Lehigh Valley has met with great success with the Friendship Circle, a program that unites teenage volunteers and special needs children in a friendship that deeply enriches both lives. Congregation Am Haskalah offers a teen program called TEL (Teen: Experience and Learning), based on a Jewish Reconstructionist Communities program. It includes two retreats per year and a monthly two-hour experiental learning activity. Congregation Keneseth Israel offers a social outlet for teens through their ever-expanding Keneseth Israel Temple Youth (KITY), which is a lot of fun and easy to join. In the Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of opportunities to provide your teen with a robust Jewish social life. To learn more about these organizations, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ community-directory.

We carry many of your favorite Kosher deli, dairy, frozen, grocery and poultry products.

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MUSIC AND MORE FOR KIDS AT THE J BY SANDY NEWMAN There’s nothing like children singing. Complimentary music classes through Music Together® are part of the weekly curriculum for infants and toddlers at the Jewish Community Center of Allentown. Classrooms, playgrounds, a pool, a gym, a library, multipurpose areas and child-sized kitchens are all part of the experience for children in the Early Childhood Education program at the J. Educational options for infants through full-day kindergarten and afterschool are plentiful. The JCC is open to the entire community where children of all faiths are embraced. Call 610-435-3571 or visit www.allentownjcc.org.

GRADES Pre-K to 8 VISIT THE JDS. Call to schedule your tour today.


Instilling a love of learning in every child Teaching students to think critically and creatively An inclusive approach to Judaism JEWISH DAY SCHOOL BLUE 2013 RIBBON



Member of RAVSAK: Jewish Community Day Schools


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014


610-437-0721 www.JDSLV.org

Jennifer and Steve Mittman have an interfaith marriage, but they keep a Jewish home and are raising their children as members of the Jewish community. Through the PJ Library program, daughters Isabella and Giuliana receive free Jewish values-based books in the mail every month. By attending PJ events for families at area synagogues and the JCC, the Mittmans have also connected with other Jewish families of all backgrounds. All Jewish children in the Lehigh Valley ages 6 months through 8 years are eligible for the PJ Library program. Just go to www.jewishlehighvalley.org/pj to register your children or grandchildren today.

CRITICAL THINKING, CREATIVITY HALLMARK OF DAY SCHOOL BY BEN NOTIS At the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley, students obtain an exceptional education, from pre-K through 8th grade. “We take advantage of our smallness, with opportunities for differentiated learning,” said Carolyn Katwan, marketing/admissions director. In math, history and English classes, and in the topnotch science lab, teachers use technology to enhance learning and respond to individualized learning styles. Students come from “every corner of the Jewish community,” Katwan said. All the students are welcomed, respected and set on life’s journey with a joy of Judaism and a love of learning. Call 610-437-0721 or visit www.jdslv.org.

CARING OUR KIDS From day school to day camp, from kids-only experiences to family-friendly programs, the Jewish community of the Lehigh Valley offers a world of options for enrichment and connection.



BY BARRIE SAIAS AND SARA BRESSLER Jewish day camps provide enriching experiences for children of all faiths. At JCC Camp Kochavim, children and teens enjoy athletics, arts, aquatics and adventure while taking in the rich outdoors of the 55-acre campsite in Center Valley. Children of all backgrounds are welcomed as the JCC celebrates Jewish culture in a fun, inclusive way. Camp Gan Israel is part of one of the world’s largest Jewish camping networks. Offered by Chabad of the Lehigh Valley, it includes swimming and field trips in a friendly, warm and safe atmosphere. Camp JCC: www.allentown.jcc.org/610-435-3571 Camp Gan Israel: www.ganisraelpa.com/610-351-6511



Get in the groove BACK TO (RELIGIOUS) SCHOOL BY STEPHANIE BOLMER If you’ve been thinking about incorporating afterschool religious education into your family’s schedule, this could be the year to do it. Two of the largest programs are at synagogues in Allentown. Congregation Keneseth Israel, a Reform temple, serves students in pre-K through 10th grade. “Our goal is to create memorable moments and build strong Jewish identities,” said Religious School Director Stacey Delcau. Temple Beth El in Allentown offers a full array of religious school classes for the active younger set and teens. Religious School Director Alicia Zahn describes their pluralistic teen program, open to the entire Jewish community, as “striving to introduce topics from many different viewpoints.” Among others, at the east end of the Valley, the religious schools of Temple Covenant of Peace and Bnai Abraham Synagogue, in partnership with Congregation Brith Sholom, are also going strong. See the directory on page 45 to contact any of the eight Lehigh Valley Jewish religious schools.

NETWORKING, SOCIALIZING FOR YOUNG ADULTS BY STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN After eight years in Philadelphia, Aaron Alkasov, 26, was looking to meet new people when he moved home to Allentown. With its social events and networking opportunities geared toward Jews ages 22 to 45, the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley offered him a great avenue to quickly make friends. “It was just a cool group,” he said of the crowd at his first event, a bowling night at Revolutions in Bethlehem. “Everyone was kind of unique, but I think the Jewishness makes it a little easier to socialize because at least you have a common denominator.” He has since attended other events, including a private tasting at a meadery and Jewish Heritage Night at the IronPigs. “The Lehigh Valley Jewish community is smaller than the bigger cities … but I think it’s still a vibrant community,” Alkasov said. “We’re pretty lucky to have that.” Looking to make new friends? The Young Adult Division offers many exciting events throughout the year. To learn more, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/yad.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

Dr. Marc Berson on a medical mission to Haiti.

PHYSICIANS COME TOGETHER BY JUDY DIAMONDSTEIN From facilitating emergency preparedness workshops by Israeli experts at Lehigh Valley hospitals to supporting a medical mission to Honduras by Allentown’s First Presbyterian Church, Jewish healthcare professionals are bettering the lives of those around them through the Maimonides Society. The society, a division of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, was founded in the Lehigh Valley 30 years ago and has since become a model for similar organizations across North America. More than anything, it is a place for Jewish physicians to form relationships with each other and do collective good. Once or twice a year, the Maimonides Society hosts visiting healthcare providers, usually from Israel, for academic and social exchange programs. It also provides equipment to overseas hospitals from Israel to Ukraine. When a young Muslim Ethiopian boy was viciously attacked by a wild hyena in his home village, the Maimonides Society quickly stepped up to support Western Galilee Hospital in Israel so it could provide his treatment. “When we found out about the opportunity to help, it was really a no-brainer,” said Dr. Frank Tamarkin, Maimonides Society President. “We did whatever we could.” To learn more about joining or for a directory of Maimonides Society professionals, call 610-821-5500 or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/maimonides. jewishlehighvalley.org


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Connecting with Israel




One moon that looks the same to people all over the globe has become the basis of a project shared between the Lehigh Valley and Yoav, Israel. Religious school students at Temple Beth El, Congregation Keneseth Israel and Bnai Abraham Synagogue write letters to students in Yoav and receive letters in return, allowing them to forge personal relationships with their pen pals. Meanwhile, students on both sides of the ocean are reading “The Same Moon,” a book by Adi


Shacham and Patti Freeman Dorson. The colorful book provides information and commentary to assist the families in preparing their letters and in appreciating the concept of being apart, yet similar. “The Same Moon” is a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether program, which bridges regions in Israel with cities in the Diaspora. Yoav is the Lehigh Valley’s Partnership region.

CONSULATE OPENS DOORS TO RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL The Lehigh Valley and Israel enjoy a rich and vibrant relationship. Supporting this is the Consul General’s office in Philadelphia, the liason between Israel and the mid-Atlantic region. Consul generals make frequent trips to the Lehigh Valley because of the strong Jewish community here. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley works closely with the consulate, scheduling meetings with politicians and business leaders. Many opportunities for partnership exist, including in

the field of security, especially emergency preparedness, unfortunately an area where Israel has much experience. U.S. first responders have visited Israel to glean its practical knowledge on the subject. Strong economic ties continue to evolve between Israel and our region; Pennsylvania has a trade office in Israel. The PhiladelphiaIsrael Chamber of Commerce, established in 1987, connects companies in Israel and the U.S., cultivating trade and investment opportunities. In 1997, then-Governor Tom

Ridge signed Pennsylvania’s first cooperative agreement with Israel. There are three major binational foundation grants shared by Pennsylvania and Israel, and dozens of companies – several in the Lehigh Valley region – have benefited. In 2011, Pennsylvania exports to Israel totaled nearly $210 million - a 7.33 percent increase from 2010. Overall, the total value of exports since 1996 has exceeded $2.2 billion, making Israel the state’s 22nd leading trade partner.

WHERE IS YOAV? The Yoav Regional Council was established in 1952. It contains 14 communities, primarily kibbutzim and moshavim, and has around 7,000 residents. Yoav is the YOAV Lehigh Valley’s sister community in Israel through Partnership2Gether.

TRAVELING TO ISRAEL? Lehigh Valley residents are treated like family when they visit Yoav. Contact the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley at 610-821-5500 or mailbox@jflv.org to find out more about home hospitality and tourism opportunities.



Why the extra plus? Heritage Village is an innovative active residential community for adults age 60+. But that’s not all…life at Heritage Village comes maintenance-free. Community programs, amenities and services provide abundant lifestyle choices.

But the best news of all? Residents at Heritage Village have care for life.

Call today... 610.746.1000




Innovative Active Adult Living



VOLUNTEERS PROVIDE NEEDED RIDES Seniors, get ready, get set! The GO Program, a division of Jewish Senior Life Connection, offers Jewish seniors and adults with disabilities friendly, door-to-door rides – up to three round-trips per month – with trained volunteers doing the driving. The program is a collaboration between Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley and ShareCare Faith in Action, a Bethlehem-based nonprofit. A call to Jewish Family Service will begin

the process of enrollment. A professional staff member will then conduct a transportation needs assessment. Once JFS enrolls the client, ShareCare will coordinate rides. If you need a ride or would like to drive, call Jewish Family Service at 610-821-8722 or visit www.jfslv.org.

GROUP TRANSPORTATION FUNDING MAKES EVENTS INCLUSIVE In addition to providing private rides for seniors, Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley also administers Groups on the GO. This program is designed to offset the cost of group transportation for seniors at Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, allowing seniors



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Contact Jewish Family Service at 610-821-8722 or visit www.jfslv.org to learn more about Groups on the GO.

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to participate in the community events they enjoy. Groups are able to apply for grants that cover a minimum of 50 percent of the transportation cost. With a secure ride in place, seniors are able to be active and visible in the community, while

Our diversity is our strength.

We are a welcoming community of people with diverse backgrounds, identities, family structures, sexual orientations, political and religious perspectives. We equally value our Jewish and non-Jewish members.

Our children enjoy learning. You can afford us. We take pride in our values-based dues structure.

You can come home again.

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Lehigh Valley’s Reconstructionist Congregation amha skalah.org



We are a small, warm, non-judgmental, supportive community. Experience Judaism in a way that makes sense, adds meaning to your life, and feels good.

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Our progressive religious school offers small class sizes and hands-on fun. Feeling envious? We also offer creative adult education.




The right doctor is just a phone call away. 610-250-4242.

Choosing the right doctor is a big decision. But it just got a lot easier. Our free 24-hour Find-a-Physician line helps you find primary care physicians and specialists close to home. So whether you need a physician close to your home or work, or one who accepts walk-ins or same-day appointments, give us a call and we’ll help you find the doctor who’s just right for you. To find the right doctor for you, call 610-250-4242. Easton Hospital • 250 South 21st Street • Easton, PA


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

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5/16/14 12:31 PM


Seniors together FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE OPEN TO YOUNG AT HEART BY STEECIA KOFSKY For half a century, Friendship Circle has hosted weekly luncheon meetings at the Jewish Community Center followed by a variety of programs for a few relaxing and enjoyable hours. This is the place where those 50 and older have the opportunity to greet old friends and make new ones. If you are new to the group and

would like to see for yourself what it’s all about, Friendship Circle cordially invites you to come as a guest for a Monday luncheon followed by a delightful program. Dues are only $25 for the year if you decide to become a member. To learn more, call Martin Weinberg at 610-965-5045 or the JCC at 610-435-3571.


BY JENNIFER LADER On a recent Monday morning, 20 seniors gathered in the gym at the Jewish Community Center of Allentown with handheld weights, exercise balls and water bottles. Their reason for gathering: Silver Sneakers, a fitness program designed to help seniors with a range of physical abilities. Their guide: JCC fitness instructor/personal trainer, Clarence Cook. Cook leads the group in a workout that could hardly be more full of encouragement and

socializing. Yet there is a serious purpose -- staying fit throughout the senior years. He encourages the class to “hold to where you feel comfortable … You want to feel it, then improve from there.” The JCC offers three land-based classes and two aqua classes. For information on the benefits of Silver Sneakers and on qualifying for the program, call the JCC at 610-435-3571.

BY JENNIFER LADER Simcha is a Hebrew word referring to happiness, and Simcha Club brings just that to those 70 and above. “The [club] meets the social and cultural needs” of its Jewish participants, said Rabbi Allen Juda, who recently retired from Congregation Brith Sholom in Bethlehem, where the club meets quarterly. Included are a

kosher deli lunch and a presenter. Past presenters have included the multi-talented Rabbi Daniel Stein of Bnai Abraham Synagogue, Cantor Ellen Sussman of Temple Shirat Shalom and Cantor Jennifer Duretz Peled of Congregation Keneseth Israel. Call 610-866-8009 for information.



Excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. Plan your visit today!

Global Languages, fine and performing arts, technology, athletics, and so much more; because bright young minds deserve a feast of opportunities. Dedicated and caring teachers inspire our students to discover their passions and achieve their potential through project-based learning, one-to-one technology, and co-curricular offerings. The Academy is proud to offer Spanish Immersion in the fall of 2014 beginning in kindergarten.

MORAVIAN ACADEMY Ignite a love of learning that will last a lifetime. BETHLEHEM, PA | PRE-K THROUGH GRADE 12 | 610-691-1600 | WWW.MORAVIANACADEMY.ORG


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014


WHAT IF THERE WAS A WAY to support the causes you believe in into perpetuity? A gift to the Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the community endowment program of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, can do just that. A gift to the Foundation can be made at any level, at any time and in a variety of ways. It can be directed to a particular cause – Jewish or otherwise – or made available for the pressing needs of the future. Do you want to be remembered as someone who came to the aid of

people who could no longer drive? Your perpetual gift could provide funds for their transportation, thus helping them to remain vital to themselves and our community. Or would you rather be known as a benefactor of children? Your perpetual fund could help pave the future for them with scholarships so they can become artists, nurses, teachers, business owners, rabbis or any other calling that speaks to them. Or would you prefer to provide for the most basic of human needs? Food.

Perhaps you want to help feed the world or maybe our little corner of it. Your perpetual fund could feed the hungry in Israel, Easton or anywhere in between. The possibilities are endless, and the way in which your gift is made is up to you. From bequests to IRA transfers, charitable gift annuities to gifts of appreciated stock, there are many vehicles available to help you leave your legacy. To learn more, visit www.lvjfgiving.org or contact the Jewish Federation at 610-821-5500.

ANYONE CAN BE A PHILANTHROPIST There are many ways to support your favorite cause and create your legacy. The Lehigh Valley Jewish Foundation, the community’s endowment fund, can get you there. To learn more, visit www.lvjfgiving.org.





Music can be an intimate place of peace or a means of connection. As with many religions, music is an essential part of Jewish religious and spiritual life. From choirs to religious services, Rabbi Melody Davis of Temple Covenant of Peace in Easton loves to share the joy of music. “We’re all seeking to connect in some way and if you have the blessing of being able to sing,” she said, “it opens you up.” Cantor Ellen Sussman of Temple Shirat Shalom in Allentown also leads her congregation in music-filled spiritual life, providing song as an expression for praise. Every month, Shirat Shalom hosts a Temple band, singing lively familiar folk tunes, both modern and traditional. “Music has the power that can heal a broken soul,” said Cantor Kevin Wartell of Temple Beth El in Allentown, which organizes youth and adult choirs and musical services throughout the year. Music plays an integral part at Allentown’s Congregation Keneseth Israel’s services as well, with Cantor Jennifer Duretz Peled filling the sanctuary with song.

WEAVE A PRAYER SHAWL, MAKE SOME MEMORIES BY ALICE LEVEL A tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl, is a special part of ritual life and can become even more so when it is homemade. Since 1975, Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown has made it possible for people to weave their own prayer shawls. Elaine Atlas and Helen Besen oversee the weaving process. They are able to fix any broken yarn, knots, mistakes or anything else that might happen along the way. More than 800 prayer shawls have already been woven on the loom. Bar or bat mitzvah students have woven tallitot with their parents to mark the occasion. Couples have woven their own wedding canopies. Weavers are drawn to the loom for many reasons; all leave with a beautiful tallit and wonderful memories.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014





THE HIGH HOLY DAYS are a great time to re-connect, but sometimes it’s difficult. You’re not sure where to go, or where you would fit in. You’re concerned about cost or it’s just been a long time. Traditionally, the sound of the shofar brought people back and maybe the longing to hear that sound once again still does. “Given the easy and almost total acceptance of Jews everywhere in America [society-wide], how ironic is it that sometimes Jews do not feel at home in their religion, synagogues, communities,” said Rabbi Seth Phillips of Congregation Keneseth Israel.

At Hanukkah, fifth graders at Temple Beth El have the opportunity to create their very own menorahs. This past year, Sam created his menorah to remember his favorite summer camp, Camp Nock-A-Mixon, while Sydney and Jordan based their lamps on famous Jewish athletes. Eliza used her experience in Israel to create a menorah, complete with sand. Corey depicted a scene from a battle of the Maccabees using Legos and birthday candles. These Beth El students were able to form a personal relationship with their very own menorahs, ones that will light the holidays for years to come.

Yet the Lehigh Valley Jewish congregations encompass an amazingly broad range of people, sentiments and approaches to Jewish life. So do their clergy (see page 4).

The resources in this publication, including the directory in the back, can help you find a place that’s right for you. Come, hear the sound of the shofar once again.

There’s a place at the table for you! The Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group sponsors a community seder at the JCC that is open to everyone. Many congregations host seders as well, or they can pair you up with a congregant to have an at-home meal. See the listings on page 45 to contact a synagogue or visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org for seder information.




Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

Get out, get fit JCC FITNESS INSTRUCTOR WANTS FIVE MINUTES BY BEN NOTIS Clarence Cook, a professional trainer at the JCC of Allentown, exudes positive energy, which he says is all about determination. He offers that energy to anyone working out at the JCC. “I had an injury in ninth grade playing football. I had surgery and the doctor told me that I wouldn’t be able to lift anything heavy ever again,” he explained in a low tone. “I was determined to change all that. I started working out when I was 15. Determination is an amazing component of all this. I’m all self-taught.” Cook draws on this background to teach others how to get and stay fit. “I enjoy helping people,” he explained. “I know how it changed my life; it allowed me to become healthy at a high level.” Facing an obstacle to getting fit, whether physical or otherwise? “When I was in high school, working out wasn’t in vogue. By the time I was a senior, I had rocketed past everyone,” he said.

From his experiences, Cook learned an important lesson: “You can do anything you want to do, educationally or vocationally. People will always tell you that you can’t. I don’t believe in the words ‘I can’t.’ They don’t exist for me.” Remarking on the importance of staying healthy, Cook said, “I truly believe that everyone has the ability to do this. You can do something for five to 10 minutes a day.” Getting fit may not be easy, he acknowledged. However, for him, “Giving up is not an option. If you do nothing, you will never improve. It’s not ‘fun out.’ It’s work out.”

Clarence's Top 10 health tips 1 Being strong

is not measured in how much you can lift. It’s how you feel.

2 Think of yourself

as a good person. This creates positive influences in living your life.

3 You always have to believe in yourself; everybody goes through adversity.

4 The rewards outweigh the efforts you put into getting fit.

5 Use motivation from within Don’t care what anyone else thinks.

6 You can’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself.

7 The words ‘I can’t’ do not exist in my vocabulary and they shouldn’t in yours.

8 Everyone has time There are 168 hours in a week.

9 The bottom line

is how we take care of ourselves. How we feel about ourselves is how we live our lives.

10 How many of us

watch 1-2 hours of TV a day? You have to put the time into getting fit.

SOCIALIZING, NIGHT LIFE FOR ‘ADULTS AT THE J’ BY AMY J. SAMS Adults of all ages in the Lehigh Valley have been happily connecting (and re-connecting) with other adults through a variety of programs and events offered by the Jewish Community Center of Allentown. Over 250 individuals have sampled a wide range of social, educational and "off-site" programs

since “Adults at the J” launched in 2013. JCC members and community members have enjoyed special dining experiences at Lehigh Valley restaurants in addition to several food-and-spirit-themed social events at the JCC. Many participants have experienced the arts in their own backyard with private showings

at local museums, art studios and galleries. Music and theatre performances also give Jewish adults an opportunity to socialize and experience our community's local gems together. Interested adults in the Lehigh Valley can pick and choose which programs and events they would

like to attend. All programs are advertised on the JCC website, www.allentownjcc.org, and require advance registration.

Contact the JCC at 610-435-3571 or visit www.allentownjcc.org to learn more about Adults at the J.



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JEWISH OVERNIGHT CAMPS ABOUND WHAT’S ON YOUR family’s sleep-away camp wish list? Your kids may want adventure and fun with friends. Maybe you want close to home and Jewish. Lehigh Valley favorites include Pinemere, Camp Ramah and Camp Harlam, plus there are lots of choices to meet all your needs. Camp websites are quick to tout summer camp’s positive impact on kids, but there is research to back it up. A 2006 study surveyed 3,395 families who sent a child to overnight camp and found that kids showed post-camp growth in the following areas:

self-esteem, independence, leadership, friendship skills, exploration and spirituality. And this growth was maintained for six months after camp was over. The study authors concluded that spending at least one week at an accredited summer camp provides “the essential ingredients for positive youth development.” And when it comes to spiritual growth, a Jewish summer camp adds something a little extra. The Foundation for Jewish Camp surveyed adults who went to a Jewish camp and the

lifelong impact is fascinating. They found that adults who went to summer camp as kids were: • 21 percent more likely to feel that being Jewish is very important; • 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month; • and 37 percent more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat. The Jewish Federation offers needs-based camp scholarships. Visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ scholarships to learn more.

Below are some of the many Jewish summer camp options popular with Lehigh Valley campers: CAMP GALIL campgalil.org Non-denominational: “Providing campers with a unique, fun kibbutz-style summer experience with an emphasis on community and Jewish values.” CAMP HARLAM harlam.urjcamps.org Reform: “… a vibrant, fun and caring camp community which enriches and strengthens Reform Jewish identity and values while cultivating lifelong friendships.” CAMP JRF campjrf.org Reconstructionist: “So many friendships made and strengthened.” CAMP MOSHAVA moshava.org Orthodox: “An adventure in religious Zionism.”

PINEMERE CAMP pinemere.com Pluralistic: “Providing quality Jewish overnight camping for over 70 summers.” CAMP RAMAH IN THE POCONOS .ramahpoconos.org Conservative: “Creating life-long Jewish connections, one happy camper at a time.” CAMP YOUNG JUDAEA - SPROUT LAKE Verbank, New York cyjsproutlake.org Non-denominational: “ … a supportive and dynamic environment in which Jewish youth can explore, grow, and mature.” CAMP TEL YEHUDA Barryville, New York telyehudah.wordpress.com “Young Judaea’s national teen leadership camp.”




Campus life

HILLEL NURTURES STUDENTS ON LOCAL CAMPUSES BY ANNABEL WILLIAMS As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. Four Lehigh Valley campuses support Jewish students in doing just that. At Muhlenberg College, one third of the student body is Jewish. Over 500 students are active in Hillel, making it the largest student organization of any kind on campus. Two kosher kitchens under the supervision of Star-K are a part of the College’s Wood Dining Commons. Muhlenberg is closed for Yom Kippur. Hillels at Lafayette College, Lehigh University and Moravian College regularly hold Friday night Shabbat dinners and host numerous speakers and awareness-raising events.

JEWISH LIFE ON CAMPUS: NOT JUST FOR STUDENTS BY ANNABEL WILLIAMS The Jewish studies departments and Hillel Societies at local colleges frequently offer programs that are open to the public. Topics range from politics in the Middle East to the portrayal of Jews in film. Free lecture series at Muhlenberg have touched on the topics of Jews, money and capitalism, and artistic portrayals of Jews. The Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg offers programs of interest to the community at large. The Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies at Lehigh also offers a wide variety of programs open to the public. Lehigh recently hosted Anat Hoffman, founder of a group fighting for equal rights at the Western Wall in Israel; cookbook writer Joan Nathan and comics artist Art Spiegelman. Lafayette and Moravian also host public programs.


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

MUHLENBERG INSTITUTE BUILDS BRIDGES BY ANNABEL WILLIAMS What did the Jew say to the Christian? The answer might be different than you think. If you have ever considered deepening your understanding of how to engage in an interfaith dialogue, the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College is one place for Jews and Christians to start this type of exploration and conversation. The IJCU is led under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Peter A. Pettit, Lutheran pastor and founding chairman of the Council of Centers on JewishChristian Relations. The IJCU offers classes, seminars, workshops and public forums as an educational venture in the interfaith journey. A key event each year is the Day of Dialogue. Call 484-664-3470, e-mail ijcu@muhlenberg.edu or visit www.ijcu.org for more information.

BY STEPHANIE SMARTSCHAN THEIR OLDEST DAUGHTER, Zoe, was only six weeks old when a job at Muhlenberg College brought Hartley Lachter and Jessica Cooperman to Allentown in 2005. Today, they are working together to make the Lehigh Valley a destination for Jewish studies both on campus and off. Lachter is now heading up Jewish studies at Lehigh University through the Philip and Muriel Berman Center. Cooperman is the director of Jewish studies at Muhlenberg, where one third of the student population is Jewish and a Jewish studies major was recently added. Both have doctorates from New York University – where they met. He studies classical Judaism and Jewish history, while her focus is more modern. “We are a good complement to each other,” Cooperman said. Together, they have brought two year-long series of free lectures to the community on

topics of Jewish interest. Further collaboration between the two universities and the many Jewish organizations the pair is involved in will only be natural. Lachter said the duo wants “to bring a new era of collaboration to produce high-quality and accessible public programming.” This would include holding more programs at Muhlenberg and the Jewish Community Center of Allentown, where parking and communityfriendly spaces are more readily available. Best of all, they get to continue raising Zoe and her little sister Mollie in the Lehigh Valley. “We are unbelievably lucky,” Lachter said. “Many academics live in different states from each other when they make the poor choice to marry a fellow PhD.” “We really just feel incredibly fortunate,” Cooperman added.


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WHETHER FOR ITS HEALING and comforting properties, its symbolic meaning or its ability to unite friends and family, food has always played a prominent role in Jewish tradition.


Jane Levine of New Tripoli, a member of Congregation Am Haskalah, has made it a Passover tradition to celebrate foods of Jews living outside of Israel. The Passover seder, a meal rich in its religious and symbolic significance, commemorates the end of Jewish slavery in Egypt and the beginning of freedom as a nation. Matzah and other symbolic foods vary little from home to home. The meal, however, is open to interpretation and cooks can be very creative in its preparation. It usually reflects the flavors of the larger cultures in which Jews live. Often, a news item inspires Levine. Her “Southern Fried Seder” was in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and featured pickled okra, Mississippi-style tilapia and bourbon barbeque chicken. News from Haiti moved her to create a Caribbean menu including fried plantains, jerk chicken and Haitian sweet potato cake. Finding recipes is easier than one would think. “Wherever you go, there’s someone Jewish,” said Levine whose cookbook collection includes titles such as “Matzoh Ball Gumbo” and “Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews.” “Every time I think I’ll run out of ideas, something pops up,” Levine said. “It’s a big world.”



Devorah Halperin of Allentown typically hosts 20 to 25 people at the Sabbath meal. “Often, we invite travelers who are in the area and need a place to stay for the Sabbath,” said Halperin, whose husband is the rabbi at Chabad of the Lehigh Valley. Observant Jews adhere to strict dietary laws and only eat foods prepared in a kosher kitchen, and they are prohibited from traveling between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday. The Sabbath meal is a true festive experience – a time to transition from the work week and everyday life and welcome a day of rest devoted to enjoying simple pleasures. At the Halperin table, that means prayers, singing and lively discussion. “I always bake a challah (braided egg bread),” Halperin said, “and I prepare fish, Mediterranean and Israeli salads, chicken soup ...” Recipes matter, but the key ingredients are the warm, spiritual atmosphere and the joy of one another’s company.



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Jewish Holidays* HOLIDAY




Sep 25-26

Sep 14-15


Oct 4

Sep 23


Oct 9-15

Sep 28 -Oct 4


Oct 16

Oct 5


Oct 17

Oct 6


Dec 17-24

Dec 7-14


Mar 5

Mar 24


Apr 4-11

Apr 23-30


May 24-25

Jun 12-13


Jul 26

Aug 14



Candle lighting times HEBREW YEAR 5775 (2014 - 2015) Sep 24 Sep 26 Oct 3 Oct 8 Oct 10 Oct 15 Oct 17 Oct 24 Oct 31 Nov 7 Nov 14 Nov 21 Nov 28 Dec 5 Dec 12 Dec 19 Dec 26 Jan 2 Jan 9 Jan 16 Jan 23 Jan 30 Feb 6 Feb 13 Feb 20 Feb 27 Mar 6 Mar 13 Mar 20 Mar 27 Apr 3 Apr 9 Apr 10 Apr 17 Apr 24 May 1 May 8 May 15 May 22

ROSH HASHANA 6:37 Ha'Azinu 6:33 YOM KIPPUR 6:22 SUKKOT 6:14 Sukkot 6:11 SHMINI ATZERET 6:03 Bereshit 6:00 Noach 5:50 Lech-Lecha 5:41 Vayera 4:33 Chayei Sara 4:26 Toldot 4:21 Vayetzei 4:18 Vayishlach 4:17 Vayeshev 4:17 Miketz 4:19 Vayigash 4:23 Vayechi 4:28 Shemot 4:35 Vaera 4:43 Bo 4:51 Beshalach 4:59 Yitro 5:08 Mishpatim 5:17 Terumah 5:25 Tetzaveh 5:33 Ki Tisa 5:41 Vayakhel-Pekudei 6:49 Vayikra 6:56 Tzav 7:03 PESACH 7:11 PESACH 7:17 PESACH 7:18 Shmini 7:25 Tazria-Metzora 7:33 Achrei Mot-Kedoshim 7:40 Emor 7:47 Behar-Bechukotai 7:54 Bamidbar 8:00

May 29 Jun 5 Jun 12 Jun 19 Jun 26 Jul 3 Jul 10 Jul 17 Jul 24 Jul 31 Aug 7 Aug 14 Aug 21 Aug 28 Sep 4 Sep 11

Nasso Beha'alotcha Sh'lach Korach Chukat Balak Pinchas Matot-Masei Devarim Vaetchanan Eikev Re'eh Shoftim Ki Teitzei Ki Tavo Nitzavim

8:06 8:11 8:15 8:18 8:19 8:18 8:16 8:12 8:07 8:00 7:52 7:43 7:33 7:22 7:11 6:59

HEBREW YEAR 5776 (2015 - 2016) Sep 13 Sep 18 Sep 22 Sep 25 Sep 27 Oct 2 Oct 4 Oct 9 Oct 16 Oct 23 Oct 30 Nov 6 Nov 13 Nov 20 Nov 27 Dec 4 Dec 11 Dec 18 Dec 25 Jan 1 Jan 8 Jan 15

ROSH HASHANA 6:56 Vayeilech 6:47 YOM KIPPUR 6:41 Ha'Azinu 6:36 SUKKOT 6:32 Sukkot 6:24 SHMINI ATZERET 6:21 Bereshit 6:13 Noach 6:02 Lech-Lecha 5:52 Vayera 5:42 Chayei Sara 4:34 Toldot 4:27 Vayetzei 4:22 Vayishlach 4:18 Vayeshev 4:17 Miketz 4:17 Vayigash 4:19 Vayechi 4:22 Shemot 4:27 Vaera 4:34 Bo 4:41

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Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

Jan 22 Jan 29 Feb 5 Feb 12 Feb 19 Feb 26 Mar 4 Mar 11 Mar 18 Mar 25 Apr 1 Apr 8 Apr 15 Apr 22 Apr 28 Apr 29 May 6 May 13 May 20 May 27 Jun 3 Jun 10 Jun 17 Jun 24 Jul 1 Jul 8 Jul 15 Jul 22 Jul 29 Aug 5 Aug 12 Aug 19 Aug 26 Sep 2 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 2

Beshalach 4:49 Yitro 4:58 Mishpatim 5:07 Terumah 5:15 Tetzaveh 5:23 Ki Tisa 5:32 Vayakhel 5:40 Pekudei 5:47 Vayikra 6:55 Tzav 7:02 Shmini 7:09 Tazria 7:17 Metzora 7:24 PESACH 7:31 PESACH 7:37 PESACH 7:39 Achrei Mot 7:46 Kedoshim 7:53 Emor 7:59 Behar 8:05 Bechukotai 8:10 Bamidbar 8:14 Nasso 8:17 Beha'alotcha 8:19 Sh'lach 8:18 Korach 8:16 Chukat 8:13 Balak 8:08 Pinchas 8:01 Matot-Masei 7:53 Devarim 7:44 Vaetchanan 7:34 Eikev 7:24 Re'eh 7:13 Shoftim 7:01 Ki Teitzei 6:49 Ki Tavo 6:38 Nitzavim 6:26 ROSH HASHANA 6:23

*Source: Hebcal.com. Consult your congregation for more detailed holiday candle lighting times.

Directory of Jewish Organizations SYNAGOGUES

JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 702 N. 22nd Street, Allentown 610.821.5500 www.jewishlehighvalley.org By working with a broad cross-section of community members to raise and distribute funds, we ensure that the programs, institutions and values that enrich our Jewish community remain vibrant and strong. From feeding the hungry to helping the unemployed, from supporting families with special needs to funding Jewish education and Israel experiences, the Jewish Federation is focused on addressing the most pressing issues facing our community every day. AE, SA, T


JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF ALLENTOWN 702 N. 22nd Street, Allentown 610.435.3571 www.allentownjcc.org The JCC of Allentown sharpens the mind, strengthens the body and inspires the spirit of the entire community through social, educational, recreational and wellness programs instilled with Jewish values, culture and traditions. Membership at the JCC is open to all. Educational programs, eight weeks through full-day kindergarten. Membership includes access to fitness center, gymnasium, indoor pool, outdoor pool in Center Valley. Programs for adults and seniors. P, AE, S, C JEWISH DAY SCHOOL OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 2313 W. Pennsylvania Street, Allentown 610.437.0721 www.jdslv.org The Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley is a community school. Here, learning is a life-long journey embarked upon in partnership with family, school and community in a caring environment with a challenging curriculum and a customized learning plan to help each student reach his or her potential. A life filled with Jewish values, pride in both Jewish and American identity, and a love of learning all take root here. Pre-K to 8th grade. P JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 2004 Allen Street, Allentown 610.821.8722 www.jfslv.org Helping individuals and families live healthier and more stable lives by providing social services, professional counseling, education and community programs. Our vision: That no one in our community will suffer from hunger, isolation, abandonment, emotional or physical distress or lack of community support and caring. AE, S, SA, T

KEY FOR OFFERINGS: P - Pre-School R - Religious School AE - Adult Education T - Teens

S - Senior Programs C - Summer Camp SA - Social Action

chesed committee. Our mission is to invite every Jewish person to worship, study and participate in our community. AE, SA, T

BNAI ABRAHAM SYNAGOGUE 1545 Bushkill Street, Easton 610.258.5343 www.bnaiabraham.org Bnai Abraham is an inclusive Conservative synagogue with a history of over 100 years. Led today by Rabbi Daniel Stein and Cantor Robert Weiner, Bnai Abraham is committed to egalitarian Judaism and engaged religious practice. Our innovative approach features dynamic worship, compelling educational programming and exciting social events, including our popular theatre trips to New York. Our unique religious school features an experiential curriculum focused on diverse learning styles. Bnai Abraham strives to be a home for spiritually motivated, warm and welcoming Judaism. R, AE, SA, T CONGREGATION BRITH SHOLOM 1190 W. Macada Road, Bethlehem 610.866.8009 www.brithsholom.net The Conservative synagogue in the heart of the Lehigh Valley that celebrates our beautiful traditional practices with a contemporary awareness. We are an inter-generational community where newcomers become friends and friends become family. From seniors to children, couples to singles, everyone is encouraged to share their talents and viewpoint. Providing opportunities to be involved, lead, socialize and learn together. Home to Chai Life Kosher Bakers and some of the best cooks in the Valley! R, AE, S, SA TEMPLE BETH EL 1305 Springhouse Road, Allentown 610.435.3521 www.bethelallentown.org We are a warm, welcoming, egalitarian congregation, offering educational, spiritual and social opportunities for members of all ages and walks of life. Providing a nurturing environment in which all generations feel at home, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. In the spirit of repairing the world, we embrace the larger community. R, AE, SA, T ORTHODOX: CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL 2715 W. Tilghman Street, Allentown 610.433.6089 www.sonsofisrael.net Congregation Sons of Israel is a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Allentown that serves the entire Lehigh Valley community. We foster an atmosphere of spirituality, observance and individual growth. We are the only synagogue in the region to offer daily morning and evening minyans. A broad spectrum of educational programs appears on our calendar. We have a welcoming social atmosphere, and support a strong volunteer/

CONGREGATION BETH AVRAHAM Palmer Township 610.905.2166 www.bethavraham.org A place of learning, growing and camaraderie to enhance the Jewish experience. Offering courses online and in the classroom, holiday and special event get-togethers and a children’s program that meets monthly. AE CHABAD LUBAVITCH: CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 4457 Crackersport Road, Allentown 610.351.6511 www.chabadlehighvalley.com Based in Allentown, our focus is on the spiritual and social needs of local Jews of all ages. We are dedicated to the furtherance of Jewish education at all levels in the hope that it will inspire you to explore your heritage and strengthen your Jewish connection. Acceptance of every Jew regardless of background or prior experience is the hallmark of Chabad’s philosophy. P, R, AE, C, T REFORM: TEMPLE COVENANT OF PEACE 1451 Northampton Street, Easton 610.253.2031 www.tcopeace.org We are a community of seekers, looking for connection through creativity, which is what we share most intimately with God. We are a growing, vibrant open community of people of diverse backgrounds. R, AE, SA, T CONGREGATION KENESETH ISRAEL 2227 Chew Street, Allentown 610.435.9074 www.kiallentown.org Our members make us who we are – a caring community committed to worship, wellness, education and mitzvot. Worship is meaningful and participatory, and people support each other during times of celebration and sadness. Through educational, worship and social opportunities designed to meet the needs of a diverse community, KI members enjoy an environment where the exchange of ideas is encouraged. If you want a close-knit community and to play a part in shaping how a temple can help change the world, please join us. R, AE, SA, T



TEMPLE SHIRAT SHALOM PMB #278, 3140 W. Tilghman Street, Allentown 610.730.6272 www.templeshiratshalom.org We are a Reform-based congregation, guided by tradition, but not bound by it. What we do best is offer our members a strong sense of community, in which everyone feels valued and respected. We welcome Jews of all

backgrounds, including Jews-by-choice, and reach out to unaffiliated and interfaith families. Have you ever gone to services and felt alone in the congregation? That won’t happen at TSS! R, AE, SA RECONSTRUCTIONIST: CONGREGATION AM HASKALAH 1190 W. Macada Road, Bethlehem 610.435.3775 www.amhaskalah.org Join our warm, inclusive community! We are a welcoming congregation of people with diverse backgrounds including young families, mature couples, singles, LGBT families, interfaith and interracial couples. We gather as a supportive community to connect with our Jewish heritage and one another. Small, progressive, hands-on religious school with personalized instruction. Meaningful services that blend traditional melodies with modern values. All are welcome: our values-based dues structure never excludes anyone. R, AE, T, SA

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS SERVING THE JEWISH COMMUNITY B’NAI B’RITH CHARLES KLINE LODGE 512 Walnut Street, Allentown 610.437.1100 scherlaw@enter.net EMUNAH WOMEN OF AMERICA 610.435.4198 HADASSAH: ALLENTOWN 610.433.6930 langsam@enter.net

HADASSAH: BETHLEHEM-EASTON 610.867.7624 www.philly.hadassah.org HEBREW FAMILY LEAGUE 3050 College Heights Boulevard., Allentown 610.435.4871 INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH-CHRISTIAN UNDERSTANDING 2400 Chew Street, Allentown 484.664.3470 www.ijcu.org

JEWISH WAR VETERANS POST 239 OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 610.285.2729 sh-berg1@hotmail.com LAFAYETTE COLLEGE HILLEL 524 Clinton Terrace, Easton 610.330.5176 sites.lafayette.edu/hillel LEHIGH UNIVERSITY HILLEL 216 Summit Street, Bethlehem 610.758.4896 hillel.lehigh.edu

LEHIGH VALLEY COMMUNITY MIKVAH 610.776.7948 www.lehighvalleymikvah.org LEHIGH VALLEY KASHRUT COMMISSION 888.207.6426 www.lvkosher.org MORAVIAN COLLEGE HILLEL Bethlehem 610. 861.1314 stsrk03@moravian.edu

MUHLENBERG COLLEGE HILLEL 2238 Chew Street, Allentown 484.664.3270 www.muhlenberg.edu/hillel PHILIP AND MURIEL BERMAN CENTER FOR JEWISH STUDIES 9 West Packer Avenue, Bethlehem 610.758.4869 www.cjs.cas2.lehigh.edu/content/home For more information and additional listings, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/ community-directory.



Resource Directory of Advertisers ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, & MUSEUMS Allentown Art Museum Allentown Symphony Association America On Wheels Kol Ha Emek, Jewish Music Radio Muhlenberg College Department of Theatre & Dance National Museum of American Jewish History ATTORNEY Stuart T. Shmookler, Esq., Gross McGinley, LLP Susan Ellis Wild, Esq., Gross McGinley, LLP AUTOMOTIVE Bennett Automotive Group Daniels BMW Freedom Auto Group Lexus of Lehigh Valley BANK Embassy Bank CABLE/TV/INTERNET Service Electric Cable TV & Communications CAMPING – Jewish Camp Galil Pinemere Camp URJ Camp Harlam CATERING - Kosher Boscov’s Ala Carte Catering Muhlenberg College Dining


Shalom Lehigh Valley 2014

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CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES BOUTIQUETOGO FUNERAL HOME Bachman, Kulik, & Reinsmith Funeral Homes, PC GROCERY STORE Giant Food Stores Weis Markets HEALTHCARE SERVICES & PROVIDERS Easton Hospital Marsha Adler Gordon D.D.S. / Wanda Janik D.M.D., Pediatric Dentistry Gwen S. Greenberg, D.P.M. Khubchandani, Stasik and Bub, Colon & Rectal Specialists Lehigh Valley Pediatric Associates, Inc. Mark Notis, D.M.D., P.C. That Foot Doctor, LLC, Michelle McCarroll, D.P.M.

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JEWELER Lehigh Valley Jewelry & Exchange JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS American Technion Society Berman Center for Jewish Studies Bnai Abraham Synagogue Congregation Am Haskalah Congregation Brith Sholom

NAIL SALON Red Rose Nail Spa

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PET CARE Happy Paws

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RESTAURANT Hunan Springs Yianni’s Taverna

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SCHOOL Moravian Academy

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page 37 page 19 page 10

page 20 HOME Bender’s Home Maintenance Plus Creative Closets Neighbors Home & Garden Center Painting & Decorating by Shane

Congregation Keneseth Israel page 25 Congregation Sons of Israel page 10 Development Corp. for Israel page 41 Institute for Jewish-Christian page 42 Understanding Jewish Community Center page 34 & 36 of Allentown Jewish Day School page 22 of the Lehigh Valley Jewish Family Service page 8 of the Lehigh Valley Lehigh Valley Jewish Clergy Group page 4 Temple Beth El page 13 Temple Covenant of Peace page 9 Temple Shirat Shalom page 35

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SENIOR LIVING & SERVICES Country Meadows Retirement Community Heritage Village Phoebe Ministries Sacred Heart Senior Living Senior Solutions WELLNESS & RECREATION Aerial Mind

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Profile for Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

Shalom Lehigh Valley  

Your guide to Jewish life in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pa.

Shalom Lehigh Valley  

Your guide to Jewish life in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pa.