JFOC Jewish Journal July 2024

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July 4, 1776 - July 4, 2024

The United States of America Celebrates its 248th Birthday!

In Congress, July 4, 1776 - The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America ... We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...

July 2024 Sivan – Tammuz 5784 Jewish Journal 732.534.5959 www.ocjj.net Jewish Federation  732-363-0530  www.ocjf.org PRSRT STD US Postage PAID W Caldwell, NJ Permit #1052 A Musical Hug from Israel - Page 3 Local News – Pages 6-9 Jewish Federation Film Festival - Pages 16-17
Photo by Element5 Digital:

Don’t be a Freier

Jewish Federation of Ocean County




What does it mean to be an Israeli?

Many things, for sure, but there is one phrase that comes to mind especially of late: “Don’t be a freier.”

Originally, the word comes from Yiddish, but what does it mean in English? Don’t be a wimp, someone who gets taken advantage of or walked all over. In other words…don’t be a victim.

This became the image of the Jew in the Diaspora. Being an Israeli has meant rejecting this idea of being a victim – and leaving that baggage behind.

This helps explain the aggressiveness, sometimes rudeness, of Israelis. The mopeds who can’t wait in line like the rest of the cars but have to swarm, crossing lines and lanes, to get ahead and be first when a light turns green. It also explains the Israelis who don’t seem to believe in lines or queuing up – they just push their way to the front. And the honking. And the kvetching – I was in an airport immigration line and an Israeli behind me started yelling at a customs officer for wasting time by being friendly with a child whose

family was up for examination.

I don’t think this really has to do with impatience or actually being first. This has to do with not wanting to be taken advantage of.

For those of us who care about Israel, this also means some additional challenges.

We see this more broadly in Israeli political culture. The reverence for the military. The pledges that Masada shall not fall again. The connections to the Hashmonaim (Hasmoneans), the last Jewish kingdom in the region. The nationwide shutdown on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day), which features a siren where everyone stops and respects, and where there are memorial ceremonies in a wide range of venues – as well as a flooding of their airwaves with appropriate commemoration programming. Those channels that aren’t showing one war or Shoah documentary or another, or airing interviews with those who survived a war or terror, go dark and broadcast a candle image on the screen saying they will return to normal after the commemoration.

All of this reinforces a central message: We have a state now. We are strong. The essence of being an Israeli is overcoming that fear and weakness – and affirming to be a victim no more.

Then, October 7th happened. Today, Israelis are again afraid of being the victim – again.

Israeli friends of mine recently sent a video in our WhatsApp group put out by a noted comedy show, The Jews Are

Coming, and called: “The Testimony,” or witnessing. It featured these comic actors seriously portraying victims of attacks on Jews through the ages, from the destruction of the Second Temple to pogroms throughout Jewish history, including Kishinev and Hebron, and the Holocaust in Germany and the expulsion of Jews after the founding of the state of Israel. The message: We are perpetual victims…but we will endure.

Not that October 7 wasn’t horrific enough, part of the reason why this attack was so shattering to Israelis is that Hamas punctured this country’s projected bravado. Perhaps more than any longterm security concerns, the fear that metastasized was about being a nation of victims again. And that is not tenable; it goes against the image Israelis have of themselves.

That fundamental fear and insecurity has shaped sentiment in Israel and response to October 7.

Yes…Hamas is evil and should be destroyed. Yes, this is the Middle East… where any perceived weakness gets exploited – and so we need a strong response as a deterrent. I think most rational people can and should agree upon that. But that doesn’t fully explain Israel’s response.

From an Israeli perspective, establishing deterrence and doing all it can to destroy Hamas is necessary – but it isn’t sufficient. That’s one reason why many in Israel, leadership included, don’t care about public opinion or what the rest of the world thinks. Israel doesn’t need to prove anything to the world; Israel needs to prove to itself that it is not a victim.

The challenge is October 7 did happen. Israel was again a victim. Israelis again felt threatened by events – and by others – beyond their control…even if one re-

Even Without the Annual Holy Days, Our Judaism Goes On

We just concluded the Pesach-Omer Counting-Shavuot holiday package. We recently observed Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). We recently commemorated U.S. Memorial Day.

Even though there are no more annual holy days until the fall, our Judaism goes on!

Of course, we have Shabbat – our wee-

cognizes that this horrific attack didn’t happen in a vacuum. And, so, it is almost impossible to put this genie back in the bottle.

That’s the psychological context to what is happening right now in Israel. Israel is a nation of people suffering PTSD, exacerbated by the awareness of past victimhood.

The result is a drive to overcome victimhood in all the ways that Israelis normally display…surging forward, ignoring protocol or niceties, focused on getting ahead to achieve a goal – in this case, one on a world stage with lots of guns and other people in the way.

Yet, there is still no clear answer how to solve the fundamental issue: enabling Israelis to feel safe in their own home. And until we solve for that, I am not sure Israelis see an alternative other than pressing forward, despite the cost in lives, the diminishing returns, and the increasing certainty that almost everyone involved is a victim.

For those of us who care about Israel, this also means some additional challenges. Showing empathy to our friends and family suffering from PTSD. Pushing back against the ill-informed and ill-intentioned in our community who look to bash Israel, delegitimize a Jewish state, and show bigotry to Jews. And it means that our grants and philanthropy in Israel will likely need to pivot in the future to help a nation of victims.

That’s why our Federation is here. Thanks for your ongoing partnership and support.

Please consider supporting our new Israel Defense Fund: www.jewishoceancounty.org/israeldefense.

kly holy day, and we have Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) – our monthly holy day. However, now we have a break from the annual holy days. *

Let us take advantage of this time between the major annual holy days.

What shall we do?

This break gives us an opportunity to re-

flect on the EVERYDAY as a holy day (even if not in the same way). We can thank God for each and every day granted to us (Hodaah). We can thank God every morning for restoring our soul to us so that we can start a new day (Modeh Ani). We can thank God throughout the day through prayer, thoughtful reflection and the doing of good deeds (Gemilut Chasadim). We can appreciate and take the opportunity in the new day to improve the world around us (Tikkun Olam). We can improve ourselves, our behavior and our relationships with others after self-reflection (Cheshbon Hanefesh).

Continued on page 4

The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 2 www.ocjj.net

Israel Solidarity

A Thank You to Our Israel Campaign Donors

Thursday, July 18th 6:30PM

Israeli music expert and radio personality Josh Shron takes you on a deep dive into the songs released in the weeks after October 7, helping us connect to the vibe of Israel in one of its darkest hours. How is music helping Israelis heal from this unspeakable tragedy? Hear the songs, watch the videos, and be inspired by the remarkable spirit of Israel in this 90-minute program!

Capacity 100. Toms River event location sent after registration. Register early: www.JewishOceanCounty.org/IsraelSolidarity

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 3

How the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) is Amplifying Teen Jewish Perspectives

As the Israel-Hamas war continues to unfold with widespread reverberations, the need for JTA’s rigorous, insightful coverage has never been more critical. Our mission goes beyond only reporting the news. We're committed to amplifying the voices directly impacted by these events and fostering the next generation of journalists who will continue this essential work.

In 2022, JTA launched the JTA Teen Journalism Fellowship to mentor young talents. Since then, 57 fellows have participated in our Jewish journalism training program, and JTA has published their reporting on the Jewish teenage experience during these volatile times. Our teen writers' news coverage and opinion pieces offer unique perspectives on the issues that are affecting Jewish teens today, from how Holocaust education standards

actually play out in high school classrooms to how campus unrest is changing how they approach college decisions.

Our teen journalists highlight perspectives that might otherwise go unreported and significantly enrich our community dialogue. Producing this kind of journalism – stories that delve deep and illuminate the broader implications for Jewish communities worldwide – requires substantial resources.

JTA’s commitment to in-depth journalism and unbiased reporting has made us the go-to source of news and information about Jewish communities worldwide. We have a long history of covering Jewish news, wherever it happens, dating back to 1917. Today, we continue our commitment to offering Jewish perspectives that are not typically found in other mainstream news outlets. Together, we can keep vital journalism alive and ensure a well-informed community.

Temple Beth Or

Holocaust Survivor Spotlight

From our Jewish Family and Children’s Service

Reb Esther Paler has lived in Lakewood for the past three years. She is 97 years old and was born in Austria. Her Words of Wisdom are: “Complaining doesn’t help. I don’t complain. I look for joy.”

Judaism Goes On

Continued from page 2

Let us take advantage of this time between the major annual holy days to do all of the above!

(* Note: The summer does include two annual fast days – the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av – both part of the mourning for the loss of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.)

The Jewish Journal is pleased to host a monthly Rabbi Column, rotating among our community’s pulpit rabbis. The views and opinions expressed are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jewish Journal, the Jewish Federation of Ocean County or the author’s Congregation.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 4 NEW GOAL $200,000 Israel Emergency Campaign (including a matching amount of $50,000 from the Jewish Federation of Ocean County)
Call us at 732-458-4700 or email us at templebethorbrick@gmail.com. Robert Rubin, Rabbi Dr. Sharon Monter, President
Contact us about our upcoming services, programs, events and adult learning opportunitiesin-person and on Zoom. May all of the hostages being held in Gaza come home safely and soon. w ishes e ver yone a he althy and enjoyable summer.

Initiating the Israel Defense Fund

When Israel was attacked on October 7 and afterwards, our community stepped up. Yet, we now know the struggle faced by Israel and the Jewish community is even greater.

• So many hostages are still missing.

• The suffering of those who were captured is indescribable. (And one of our grantees was instrumental in bringing the evidence of sexual abuse to light.)

• The trauma and PTSD faced by those who fought back and who have lost loved ones is and will be significant.

• Tens of thousands are still internal refugees in Israel and unable to return home due to rockets and mortar attacks in the North and the South.

• The struggle does not just affect those in Israel – antisemitism is rampant;

university leaders have lost their way and any pretense of moral clarity; and so many have lost any sense of context and balance when it comes to Israel and Palestine.

We need to do more. And, together, we can make a significant difference.

The aim of Israel Defense Fund is simple - to help counter antisemitism and counter efforts to delegitimize and castigate Israel unfairly. This will build on our Israel Emergency Campaign and programs to counter hate in Ocean County, on campus, and in the broader community.

Give to the Israel Defense Fund online at www.jewishoceancounty.org/IsraelDefense or send a check to JFOC, 1235a Route 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701.

We know from our long history that hate snowballs. And what makes a difference in countering this trend is standing up, pushing back, and defending our rights.

JFed Security Held a “Stop the Bleed –Save a Life” Community Training

Hosted on June 5 at Chabad of Toms River, JFed Security presented a comprehensive overview of techniques to help save a person’s life when bleeding is occurring. Participants had the opportunity to participate in the discussion and have some hands-on simulated situations. JFed Security services are provided to Ocean County partners by the Jewish Federation of Ocean County and their supporters.

Secure Community Network Monthly Report – May 2024

This past month, we commemorated Yom HaShoah. We remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. We recognize those who survived. We honor those who stood with us, and against the Nazis.

The commemoration of Yom HaShoah provides an opportunity to pay tribute to those who came before. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the world that we are imparting to those who come after us.

In Israel, during Yom HaShoah, a siren rang out. Unlike so many sirens of the last days, weeks, and months, it was not the signaling of incoming rockets from our collective enemies. It was signaling for silence. And, as it has every year since 1959, for two minutes the entire country stood still.

It should not be lost on anyone that as we stood silent in honor of those taken from us, as a Jewish people, it was amidst broader chants and screams. In our cities. On our campuses. To globalize the intifada. To kill Jews. We stood to commemorate those killed while others shouted for it to happen again.

So, I ask you, as we honor those who came before us, what world will we impart to those who come after us? What will be our legacy? Will we be silent? Will we choose to live in fear? Will we take the mezuzot off our homes? Will we tear the Stars of David from around our necks?

This is our choice to make. It is critical we make the right one.

We continue to see a sustained effort to harass, intimidate, and threaten our community. Last month, SCN tracked over 540 threat incident and suspicious activity reports; we referred dozens to law enforcement. At the same time, our law enforcement partners continue to interdict and arrest individuals who are threatening our community, from the Carolinas to California.

Amidst the efforts to disrupt Jewish life, we are also seeing something else: members of our community proudly proclaiming and displaying their Jewishness, young and old alike. We see them standing up to threats and hate.

Working to ensure Jewish life can exist stands our team at SCN, composed of professionals from intelligence, law enforcement, and the military – a team of individuals from across the country, and around the world, including, notably, Israel.

These professionals, working with community members and partner organizations, from those fighting antisemitism to those running community centers and temples, are overseeing the most sophisticated security apparatus to protect any Jewish community outside of the State of Israel right here, in the United States.

Working together, we will continue this work to keep Jewish life safe, secure, open, and active. Together we will continue to say, “Never Again,” during Yom HaShoah and in the weeks and months afterward. In doing so, we will show those who would seek to quiet and destroy us that we mean it.

Stay safe.

Ocean County Library Upcoming Program on the Holocaust

The Ocean County Library in Toms River is following up on their previous programs.

July 23, 6:30 PM – Combatting Hate Program #3 with Holocaust Survivors Gela Buchbinder of Toms River, Mona Ginsberg of Toms River and Albert Hapner of Monmouth County

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 5


Family Shabbat Service held at Beth Am Shalom, Lakewood

During the Family Shabbat Service on May 10, led by the entire religious school, Dylan Hyman and Noah Krasner were called to the bima a`nd presented a $1,642 check which was the proceeds from selling American/ Israeli flag pins.

Both Dylan and Noah, former students of the religious school, wanted to do something special to support Israel after the horrific massacre on October 7, 2023. They researched and found American/Israeli pins which they sold to temple members, family, and friends. All the proceeds were presented to the Jewish Federation of Ocean County. Everyone is so proud of these two outstanding young men.

Pocketbook Bingo at Beth Am Shalom, Lakewood: A Stylish Success for Religious School Kids’ Education

Beth Am Shalom, a vibrant Reform Jewish Temple located in Lakewood, recently hosted a delightful and stylish event to raise funds for the education of their Religious School students. The Pocketbook Bingo fundraiser was a resounding success, bringing together members of the community for an evening of fun, games, and generosity.

The event, which took place in the elegant social hall of the temple, was a unique twist on the traditional "bingo night." Instead of traditional bingo prizes, participants had the chance to win a variety of stylish and trendy pocketbooks! The atmosphere was lively with laughter as attendees focused intently on each round of bingo, and the opportunity to go home with a new accessory to add to their collection!

The fundraiser was not only a fun-filled evening but also a meaningful one, as all the proceeds from the event went directly towards supporting the education


Oof the Religious School students at Beth Am Shalom. The funds raised, totaling approximately $1300, will help provide resources, materials, and programming for the children to engage with their faith, heritage, and community in a meaningful and enriching way.

The BAS Religious School introduced unique and exciting programming this year that included two higher profile events opened to the public – "Chanukah in Candyland" and "Purim in China" –both previously reported on this school year. The principal, Mrs. Devorah Malamud, works closely beside Religious School Co-Chairs Sasha Goldfarb and Jessica Eisenberg in their commitment to community outreach for unaffiliated Jewish families..

The need for unaffiliated Jews to be grounded in a spiritual home is greater than ever. And their children need a safe and welcoming environment to explore Judaism in an engaging and age-appro-

priate way found amongst their peers.

The Religious School Co-Chairs also wish to thank its committee members, volunteers, donors, and Board members. The success of the Pocketbook Bingo

of Sisterhood Officers of Temple Beth Or, Brick

n Sunday, June 2, the Temple

Beth Or Sisterhood held its annual Shalom Party and Installation. The installation was conducted by Susan Rubin who gave each officer a certificate with their name and a photo of a flower starting with same letter as their first name: Anne Katz – Azalea, Johanna Hann - Jasmine, Joy Witt – Jonquil, Marlene Vogel – Marigold, Peggy Ostrove

– Petunia, Rachel Zycband – Rhododendron and Susan Marrone – Sunflower.

President Marlene Vogel presented each officer with a live plant. As the program year concludes with this Shalom (Goodbye) Party, it also looks forward through the Installation to the coming year’s activities with this same Shalom (Hello) Party.

Pictured (l-r) are Recording Secretary Susan Marrone, President Marlene Vogel, Corresponding Secretary Peggy Ostrove, Treasurer Rachel Zycband, Financial Secretary Anne Katz and First Vice-President Johanna Hann. Not pictured is Second Vice-President Joy Witt. Also pictured is the group enjoying socializing, refreshments and games.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 6
Yasher Koach! fundraiser is a testament to the strong sense of community and commitment to education that exists within Beth Am Shalom.

Local News

Julia Child Comes to Westlake

Last fall I saw the very talented Linda Kenyon take on the role of Eleanor Roosevelt. The audience was mesmerized as if the real Eleanor had been present. When I listened to the intonations and heard that Ms. Kenyon also “did” Julia Child, I said, we must bring her to Westlake and let’s have pastries too! So I contacted her and learned that she would travel to New Jersey from Pennsylvania just for us. On May 21, that event finally happened in the ballroom. “Julia Child” arrived, in a red apron with a striped towel, carrying a copper bowl, a large whisk, and a copy of Mastering French Cooking.

Linda Kenyon is a veteran actress, appearing in Chris Rock’s “Head of State.” She has appeared in productions of the Venus Theatre and the Virginia Shakespeare Company. Her voice can be heard at the Postal Museum, the Memphis Civil Rights Museum, and at the United States Holocaust Museum. Among her other roles, she is the Dark Elf in the Morrowind Video Game series.

It is indeed her voice, as well as her general demeanor, that made us think we were in the presence of Julia. Completely

in character, Ms. Kenyon described meeting her (Julia’s) husband Paul, while displaying his photo, how the couple began their gastronomic life together, both in the United States and Paris. She recalled using The Joy of Cooking, the kitchen mainstay at the time but wanting more. She tried taking cooking classes and was ultimately approached to help write a book for Americans who wanted to try French culinary delights. She told us of the failures: the burnt food, the chicken dropped on the floor, all the errors made before perfection was achieved. She spoke as Julia for almost an hour, with the audience laughing and sympathizing with her tales.

I had asked that Hadassah ladies bake. I carefully kept track of the twenty plus la-

Brick Clergy Association and Congregations Engaged in “Rise Against Hunger”

The community, including one synagogue and seven churches, came and volunteered to help pack over 10,000 meals which are to be sent to people in need around the world. This event was held on June 9 at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Brick.

This community effort was sponsored by the Brick Clergy Association, an interfaith group of local clergy, and is administered by Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit world hunger relief organization. Every year, Rise Against Hunger ships more than 40 million meals to more than 30 countries all over the world. The meals are sent to schools, orphanages and community development programs. For example, one partner agency in Nicaragua was able to serve over 15,000 children daily. Some people also brought nonperishable food items for a local Brick food pantry.

This event was cosponsored by Brick Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of Laurelton, Living Faith Bible Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, St. Raphael's Episcopal Church, St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Temple Beth Or and Visitation Roman Catholic Church.

For general information about Rise Against Hunger, visit their website at www.riseagainsthunger.org.

dies who brought their delicious desserts to the ballroom, where four long tables, clad in red, white, and blue for Memorial Day (and France), were laden with goodies. Unfortunately, I left that list on the podium, so I must just say thank you, thank you to all who baked those delectable desserts. We had several types of cupcakes, mandelbread, banana bread, cheesecake tarts, cookies…the list goes on. It truly takes a village. It was a diabetic’s worst nightmare, but everybody’s greatest pleasure! Everyone said that the Viennese table could have been used for an elaborate wedding.

Thanks to my Hadassah setup crew who came to put everything in its place. A special shout-out goes to Joe McCloskey for the lovely video slides of Julia Child

that he prepared for our enjoyment; he and the Westlake staff always aim to please. Thanks to the 100 plus people who came to this event. We were able to raise almost $1400 for Hadassah Hospital which is working so very hard during these trying times. I am so grateful that this dream became a successful reality thanks to so many of you.

Many congregations are conducting prayer services and classes online which may be accessible from a computer or a telephone. Contact each congregation for further information to access these events. See page 29 for contact information.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 7

New Cantor at Congregation B’nai Israel, Toms River

On July 1, Congregation B’nai Israel will welcome its new Hazzan, Cantor Vadim Yucht, whose long journey to the Jersey Shore began in Ukraine and included Russia, Israel, New York and North Jersey.

Cantor Yucht was selected by a committee, co-chaired by Ruth Kerr and Janet Miller, to lead the congregation at 1488 Old Freehold Road in Toms River in prayer and song on three Shabbats a month and on holidays and at holiday events. He will work closely with Rabbi William Gershon, whose contract was renewed for an additional three years earlier this year.

"CBI welcomes Cantor Yucht to our community and looks forward to many services and events together," said Dr.

Glenn Jacobs, CBI's president. "Working with Rabbi Gershon, we are sure his love of music and singing skills will deepen our congregants' ability to fully experience the power of worship on Shabbat and holidays throughout the year." Cantor Yucht’s selection followed the departure of Cantor Jacob Greenberg last year.

“We felt the warmth of his personality would be a great fit for the congregation,” Ruth Kerr said. She noted that he had told the selection committee that, once he realized his vocal gift could be used as a Hazzan, he knew it was what he wanted to do with his life. “We are looking forward to joining with him in prayer and song.”

Cantor Yucht’s long route to Toms River started with his birth in Nikolayev, Ukraine. At the age of 8, he won a place in a government-sponsored Boys Choir School and left home for Moscow.

At the time, Ukraine was under Soviet rule and Jews throughout the U.S.S.R. were targeted and discriminated against. He was advised by his grandmother to hide his Jewish identity, which had been

constrained by Russia’s ban on Hebrew books and the lack of synagogues and clergy.

He went on to receive a bachelor's degree as a choir conductor and music teacher and earn a master's degree from the Moscow Academy of Music and Culture. Eventually he was called to serve in the Soviet Army and was accepted to its distinguished Red Army Chorus, which had, since the early years of the Soviet Union, been recognized for its elite group of musicians and powerful performances.

Cantor Yucht credits his wife, Dina, with igniting his “Jewish roots” and encouraging him to embrace its customs and traditions. In 1991, they and their two young children, Angelina (Gila) and Gregory (Tzika), emigrated to Israel, where the dream of becoming a Cantor took hold.

While singing with the Great Jerusalem Synagogue Choir, Cantor Yucht was deeply moved when he heard the Hazzan for the first time. Without understanding a single word of Hebrew,” his bio said, “he knew at that moment that he wanted to

be a Hazzan.”

He attended the Tel-Aviv Cantorial Institute, where he studied with the Chief Cantor of the Great Jerusalem Synagogue, Naftali Herstik. He also became a member of the New Israeli Opera and performed with world-famous conductors like Zubin Mehta.

In 1998, he accepted a cantorial position in Rockland County, New York, and moved to the United States. After studying English with Dina, he entered the Jewish Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Education. “He

Continued on page 9

Deuteronomy/Devarim 8:7-8

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 8 Local News
Jewish Federation helped to build Israel. Today, we help keep it strong.
"For the Lord thy God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and grapevines, figs and pomegranates; a land of oil olives and date honey."
Am Yisrael Chai - The people of Israel lives!

Temple Beth Or, Brick, Men’s Club Brunch and Discussion

Alively discussion on the current situation in Israel-Gaza was held by the Men’s Club of Temple Beth Or at an in-person bagels brunch meeting on Monday, June 17. The participants were given two articles ahead of the event to help spark the conversation

New Cantor

Continued from page 8

then became a member of the Cantors' Assembly of America, through which Vadim earned his title of ‘Hazzan – Minister’,” his bio said.

He has served as Cantor at multiple congregations, including the Orangetown Jewish Center; Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael; Temple Sholom

– “Let’s Be Clear on what these Campus Protests Are” by Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press and “The War Against the Jewish Story” by Yossi Klein Halevi appearing in The Times of Israel blogs. Plans for future Men’s Club events were also discussed.


Community Calendar – July 2024

Compiled by the Jewish Federation of Ocean County based on submissions from the event hosts – Events can be submitted at www.jewishoceancounty.org/calendar

Monday, July 1, 11:00 AM (and every day, Sunday-Thursday) – JVU: The Jewish People Policy Institute Daily Webinar; Jewish Federations and the Jewish Agency; https://www.jewishoceancounty.org/jvu

Monday, July 1, 1:00 PM (and every week on Monday) – Grief After Loss Group led by Rita Sason, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, virtual online, 732-363-8010

Thursday, July 4 – United States Independence Day

Thursday, July 4, 7:30 PM (and the first Thursday of every month) – Caregivers Group led by Rita Sason, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, virtual online, 732-363-8010

Thursday, July 11, 7:05 PM – Baseball Night at the BlueClaws; with Congregation Ahavat Shalom, Howell; email michelleaguilaraasted@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 18, 6:30 PM – A Musical Hug from Israel; see page 3

Tuesday, July 23 – Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 PM – Combatting Hate Program #3; Ocean County Library, Toms River; https://theoceancountylibrary.libnet.info/event/10485325

of Bridgewater; Temple Beth Rishon of Wyckoff; and Temple Beth Israel of Port Washington, NY.

Besides his beautiful voice, Cantor Yucht brings to CBI his proficiency at multiple musical instruments, including guitar and accordion.

Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 PM – Trevor’s Banned Book Club; the book: “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell; Ocean County Library, Toms River; https://theoceancountylibrary.libnet.info/event/10481362

For information, contact the event host or see related publicity in this issue of the Jewish Journal.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 9 Local News 732-363-2800 1235 Route 70 • Lakewood, NJ 08701 www.BethAmShalom.org BethAmShalomLakewood JOIN US BethAmShalom, A Reform Congregation! • Men’s & Women’s Clubs • Toddler Programs • Adult Education Classes • Friendly Family Atmosphere • Religious School • All-inclusive Congregation Services - Fri. 7 pm Erev Shabbat

YOU Made an Impact through the Jewish Federation of Ocean County – The Counseling Center for Women in Israel

The Counseling Center for Women is one of our new grantees and we appreciate the donation from the Beth Am Shalom Women's Group made to help this organization. The Counseling Center shared this story of the impact we've helped make happen:

The Story of R.

R., in her 30s, grew up on one of the kibbutzim in the Gaza envelope. Although she has left her home and currently resides in central Israel, she still feels very connected to the place. All her family, including her parents, her grandmother, her brother and her cousins, used to live on the kibbutz.

She learned of the October 7th incursion from the messages she received that morning. Her parents and grandparents hid in their bomb shelter for hours. She was in touch with them initially, but long periods passed without any contact. After the attack, her family was evacuated to Eilat. Her two cousins were abducted by Hamas and are still held hostage in Gaza.

Her male cousin's wife gave birth to their son on her own after her husband was abducted.

The attack and abductions brought back many difficult memories from the 2014 war when she lived on the kibbutz. The family is not sure if they will return to their home. She feels that everything she knows, her home and her childhood, fell apart and is lost. She is extremely anxious about her cousins' well-being in Gaza, especially her female cousin.

R.'s daily life was directly impacted by October 7 and she was unable to work. The subsidy from The Counseling Center for Women allowed her to get support when she needed it the most. The psychotherapy that she receives at the Center helps her cope with her strong feelings of helplessness and anxiety, strengthening her emotional resilience. Through this support, she returned to work and gradually went back to her everyday life.

Shutaf Inclusion Programs for Children, Teens

and Young Adults



in Israel - Says Thank You to the Jewish Federation of Ocean County

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 10 Master Jeweler - Work done on premises The Jewelry Link Family Owned and Operated. Friendship Mall 502 New Friendship Rd., Howell, NJ 07731 We buy Gold, Silver & Platinum including Flatware, Coins & Dental Gold. www.jewelrylinknj.com � Custom Designs � Insurance Appraisals � Insurance Replacements � Expert Watch Repair � Jewelry Restoration � Mined & Lab Diamonds 732-370-4840 Valid for most watches. Cannot be combined with other o ers. You must present the coupon. Limit 2 coupons expires7/30/24 Watch Batteries $699 Turn your old jewelry into CASH! www.goodfriendelectric.com Toms River 265 Route 37 East 732.349.4100 Lakewood 121 E. County Line Rd. 732.942.3100 Brick 534 Brick Boulevard 732.920.7100 Wall 1245 18th Avenue 732.456.5100 Lacey 403 Route 9 609.693.8100 Manahawkin 325 Route 72 East 609.978.9100 UEZ 1/2 Sales Tax NEW LOCATION 0724
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Support all the eff orts of Jewish Federation of Ocean County and Jewish Family and Children’s Service:

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The Man in the Window

There was a man I used to know

Who spent all day looking out of the window

I’m not sure what he was trying to see

To me it was a mystery

He sat there on his seat

Watching the people on the street

He was an observer, a witness

Looking at lives that were not his

It seemed like he was wasting life

Missing out on tasting life

Life goes by quickly, it’s much too short

Life shouldn’t be a spectator sport

If all the world is a stage, I want a role in the show

Instead of just watching from the window

Too bad I never understood I would have acted differently if I could He must have stayed at the window out of fear In Vienna, checking if the Nazis were near I should have taken his hand and said, “Dad don’t worry You’re safe in America, this wonderful country”

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 12
very Month

Comedy Musical “Less than Kosher” A Surprising Take on Jewish Identity

Afunny new film focuses on that pivotal time as a young person making a way in the world when you rediscover or finally find your voice.

Shaina Silver-Baird, whose comic sensibility evokes a wry, mischievous love child of Aubrey Plaza and Kate McKinnon, is the co-creator/co-writer, executive producer and star of director Daniel AM Rosenberg’s comic musical Less Than Kosher (B+).

She plays Viv, a washed-up thirtysomething ex-pop star and self-proclaimed “bad Jew” who reluctantly lands an unlikely job as the music leader at her family’s synagogue. Familial sassiness, a “meet not so cute” with the rabbi’s son, a memorable mushroom drug trip and a TikTok trending montage of “Judeo-Pop” remixes are among the funny episodes punctuated with devilish Tarantino yellow font chapter headings.

The film is a joyous roundabout story of modern young Jewish life approaching its characters with no judgment as they maneuver the trappings of adulting. Viv’s sequences as cantor quickly become out-of-body spiritual experiences, one of which feels ripped out of a Disney Broadway showstopper.

Silver-Baird proves she’s a gregarious comedienne as well as a lovely songs-

tress, and she is matched in goofy temperament and tone opposite funnymen David Eisner and David Reale as rabbi and son, respectively. Rosenberg holds it all together with fun physical comedy and lots of original zingers. He leaves you wanting more as it’s not entirely clear what comes next for the comic characters, but it’s a berserk and buoyant work with lots of laughs and heart.

Editor’s Note: Less than Kosher is part of the upcoming Film Festival of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County and is being shown on Sunday, September 8. See pages 15-17 for venue and ticket information.

Jewish Federation of Ocean County, a non-profit corporation, publishes The Jewish Journal 12 times a year. Views expressed by columnists, in readers’ letters and in reprinted opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Journal, the Jewish Federation of Ocean County or any agency of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County. Submissions of copy and .jpeg photos may be sent to Editor (jfoceditor@ocjf.org) or mailed to the known office of publication. All copy or photos submitted to The Jewish Journal shall become the property of The Jewish Journal and the Jewish Federation of Ocean County. All submissions of text or photography may be changed and printed at the discretion of the editor without notice to the submitter. The Jewish Journal reserves full discretion to decide what will be published. No material will be accepted which is considered against the best interest of the Jewish community. Acceptance of advertising neither endorses advertisers nor guarantees kashrut.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 13
CALL ANDREW Don’t Let JUNK Stress You Out Call Now! JUNK REMOVAL GOT RUBBISH 848-240-7091 Fully insured

May those who are still captive as hostages

who are

Jewish Holiday Family Photos

We invite our community members to submit a few photographs of their family’s recent holiday celebrations. Include a one-line caption describing the activity in the photo. You may include everyone’s name or just your family’s name or without any names at all. All submissions are subject to our editorial review, and we do not promise that all submitted photos will be published.

Email your submission to jfoceditor@ocjf.org.

We invite our community members to submit original poetry or short essays (500 words or less) to the Jewish Journal. All submissions are subject to our editorial review, and we do not promise that all will be published.

Email your submission to jfoceditor@ocjf.org.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 14 THREE WAYS TO DONATE Help support our local Holocaust Survivors in Ocean County live at home with dignity.
matching grants that provide over 4 million dollars in home health care services, glasses, dental care, hearing aids...
a monthly gift to support these critical services. Call the Federation office at 732-363-0530
talk with our staff
OUR MATCH REQUIREMENT $135,000 We continue
prayers for the situation in Israel:
released soon
have two
Donate online at www.jewishoceancounty.org Make
May those
wounded have a complete recovery. May the memories of those who died be forever a blessing. May all have
www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 15 Become an Annual Sponsor or Film Festival Sponsor at www.jewishoceancounty.org/filmfestival. This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. TICKET PRICES: $12 IN ADVANCE/$13 AT THE DOOR (IF NOT AT FULL CAPACITY)/$72 FULL PACKAGE PASS ALL THEATER FILMS ARE IN ENGLISH. Sunday, September 8 • 5:00pm & *7:00pm Less Than Kosher MARQUEE THEATER·ROUTE 37 TOMS RIVER *7:00PM SCREENING AT THE JCC OF LBI Sunday, September 15 • 5:00pm The Boy in the Woods MARQUEE THEATER·ROUTE 37 TOMS RIVER Sunday, September 22 • 12:00pm Here Lived with Guest Speaker: Sharon Hammerman MARQUEE THEATER·ROUTE 37 TOMS RIVER Sunday, September 29 • 5:00pm & *7:00pm No Name Restaurant MARQUEE THEATER·ROUTE 37 TOMS RIVER *7:00PM SCREENING AT THE JCC OF LBI Monday–Thursday, September 9–12 Xueta Island VIRTUAL SHOWING Monday–Thursday, September 16–19 The Monkey House VIRTUAL SHOWING Visit www.jewishoceancounty.org/ filmfestival and catch a free classic film: Crown Heights Wed–Thu, September 25–26 • 5:00–7:00pm Two Day Shorts Program IN PARTNERSHIP WITH A WIDER BRIDGE SEE YOU ‘ROUND THE BLOCK ARAVA DIVING IN I MISSED YOU AT SYNAGOGUE

2024 Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits


Silver Sponsor: $2,750 – Includes tickets for events and a half page ad in Ocean JPages

Bronze Sponsor: $1,500 – Includes tickets for events and a quarter page ad in Ocean JPages



www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 16
Full Series Discount Sponsor Level:    Gold@$5000   Silver@$2750   Bronze@$1500   Patron@$1000
camera-ready logo
sharron@ocjf.org) Send form to: Jewish Federation of Ocean County · 1235A Route 70 · Lakewood, NJ 08701 · 732-363-0530
Sponsor Level:    Gold@$1800   Silver@$1000   Bronze@$540   Patron@$360 (Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsors, please email camera-ready logo to sharron@ocjf.org)
(Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsors, please email
Sponsor: $5,000 – Includes tickets for events and a full page ad in Ocean JPages
Sponsor: $1,000 – Includes tickets for events and name listing in Ocean
All sponsorship levels are listed in multiple issues of Jewish Journal and featured on our website, in community emails and social media
Single Event - Fill in Coming in November Coming in September Coming in December

Film Festival Ticket Ordering


Sponsor online and catch a free classic film at www.jewishoceancounty.org/filmfestival.

Individual Film Screenings

(1) Less Than Kosher

(2) The Boy in the Woods

(3) Here Lived

(4) No Name Restaurant

(5) Xueta Island

(6) The Monkey House

(7) Two Day Shorts Program

Sunday, September 8 – 5:00pm


Sunday, September 8 – 7:00pm JCC OF LBI

Sunday, September 15 – 5:00pm


Sunday, September 22 – 12:00pm


Sunday, September 29 – 5:00pm


Sunday, September 29 – 7:00pm JCC OF LBI

Monday–Thursday, September 9–12 VIRTUAL SHOWING

Monday–Thursday, September 16–19 VIRTUAL SHOWING

Wed–Thu, September 25–26 – 5:00pm IN PARTNERSHIP WITH A WIDER BRIDGE

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 17 Sponsor
#Tickets Total ($12 each)
& Time
Full Film Package – $72 Total Amount Enclosed: $ Name Address Phone Email Credit Card Number CVV Expiration Date Signature My check in the amount of $ is enclosed. Please make checks payable to the Jewish Federation of Ocean County. Mail with order form to: Jewish Federation of Ocean County, 1235A Route 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701 Questions? Call the Jewish Federation of Ocean County at 732-363-0530 or email Sharron@ocjf.org.

Remains of Jewish-American Soldier Missing for nearly 80 Years Recovered from Mass Grave where he was Buried with Nazis

A Jewish-American World War II hero who stormed Utah beach on D-Day and went missing after being ambushed in the Battle of Cherbourg has finally been found – in a German mass grave where he was buried with Nazis.

Eight decades after his death on June 23, 1944, Lt. Nathan Baskind will finally receive a proper burial. (operationbenjamin.org)

June 1, 2024 nypost.com

Now, eight decades after his death on June 23, 1944, Lt. Nathan Baskind will finally receive a proper burial. Baskind, the son of Lithuanian and Russian immigrants who settled in Pittsburgh and owned a wallpaper business, was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 at the age of 26, according to Raugh Jewish Archives.

A Jewish-American World War II hero who stormed Utah beach on D-Day and went missing after being ambushed in the Battle of Cherbourg has finally been found. (Anibas Photography)

“He came from a successful family, he could have gotten out of [the war] if he wanted to,” said Shalom Lamm, co-founder of Operation Benjamin, a non-profit that identifies Jewish U.S. war veterans buried under mistaken religious designations at American military cemeteries.

Baskind commanded four M-10 tank destroyers – modified Sherman tanks –in the US Army’s 899th Tank Destroyer battalion during the bloody D-Day invasion. After taking the beachhead, Allied

forces set their sights on the port city of Cherbourg, France.

As US troops engaged in fierce battles with Nazi soldiers, who were ordered by Adolf Hitler to hold the city at all costs, Baskind went behind enemy lines accompanied only by his driver on a reconnaissance mission. They were ambushed. The driver managed to get back to Allied lines despite being “seriously wounded,” and told how Baskind had been hit by machine-gun and rifle fire and was presumed dead, according to Baskind’s personnel file at the National Archives.

US troops conducted a thorough search but found “no trace of Lt. Baskind or his vehicle,” the file says. He was listed as Missing in Action and on July 13, 1944, and was promoted posthumously from second to first lieutenant. He was also awarded a Purple Heart. Baskind’s name was added to the Wall of the Missing at the American Cemetery at Normandy, and what exactly happened to him would remain a mystery for eight decades.

In 2022, a US genealogist touring the German Marigny cemetery happened to notice that among the names of 17 German soldiers on a plaque at a burial mound was one name that didn’t seem to belong – Baskind’s. He tipped off Operation Benjamin, and Lamm and his partner Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter began to investigate. The sleuths determined it could be the long-missing lieutenant, and their senior genealogist, Rachel Silverman, got in touch with the German War Graves Commission, called the Volksbund.

They dug deep into their archives and unearthed detailed documents that finally shed light on Baskind’s fate. He was captured after getting shot and brought to a squalid Luftwaffe hospital in Cherbourg known for its “cesspool” conditions. He died the night of his capture. His remains were dumped in a mass grave with 24 German soldiers in the hospital’s courtyard. Then, in 1957, the mass grave was excavated and remains combined with another mass grave 50 miles away at the German Marigny cemetery.

It is there, beneath three gothic crosses, that Baskind’s remains were interred with 52 Nazi soldiers.

German officials discovered Baskind’s dog tag, a patch from the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and lieutenants’ bars. They notified the US Army, which made two unsuccessful attempts to identify the remains.

In 2022, a US genealogist touring the German Marigny cemetery happened to notice that among the names of 17 German soldiers on a plaque at a burial mound was one name that didn’t seem to belong – Baskind’s. (Anibas Photography)

Baskind’s family was informed his body was “unrecoverable” – but they were never told about the Nazi grave. “You have a Jewish kid from Pittsburgh buried with these enemy soldiers,” Lamm told The Post, choking back tears. Lamm and Rabbi Schacter, who teaches at Yeshiva University in NYC, became determined to recover Baskind’s remains and bring him home to his “family, his people, and his country.”

Their mission was personal. Rabbi Schacter’s father, Rabbi Herschel Schacter, was a battlefield chaplain in World War II and the first American rabbi to enter a concentration camp during the liberation of Buchenwald. “The narrative of my childhood was helping soldiers and helping Jews,” Rabbi Schacter said. “I want to show – especially in today’s climate – that Jews played a role in fighting for America and are prepared to

give our lives fighting for America.” For Lamm, he felt he couldn’t have peace until Baskind could. “I had tremendous existential angst, that this kid was not at rest, and was mixed up with the enemy,” Lamm said. “I just couldn’t stop until we finished . . . It just tore at my soul. We had to bring him home, that was it.”

They had to navigate many obstacles over the next year. The two had a cordial meeting with the German ambassador to Israel, Steffan Seibert, to seek permission to exhume the mass grave. But not only did Germany decline to grant permission, one of Jerusalem’s top clerics, Rabbi Osher Weiss, also would not sign off on the plan because there was no known precedent in Jewish law regarding exhuming and reburying partial remains.

Lamm and Schacter knew that they would only be able to positively identify a fraction of Baskind’s bones, due to their advanced state of decomposition, and would have to leave the rest behind, posing a problem for Jewish law.

“It was just devastating,” Lamm said. But soon they caught a lucky break. Two researchers at Yeshiva University uncovered an obscure opinion published in 1908 by a Hungarian rabbi that said it was permissible to exhume the foot of an amputee buried in a non-Jewish cemetery to rebury in a Jewish one.

Lamm and Rabbi Schacter brought the opinion to Rabbi Weiss to see if it applied to Baskind. They were stunned to learn that the author of the ancient opinion, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Glick, was Rabbi Weiss’ great-great-grandfather. Rabbi Weiss declared what Lamm and Rabbi Schacter had in mind for Baskind was, in fact, kosher.

On Memorial Day 2023, on an unrelated trip to the Normandy and Brittany to install three Jewish headstones at American

Continued on page 19

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 18
The exhumation took place over the course of three days. (Anibas Photography) Operation Benjamin organized a visit to the mass grave where Baskind was buried –they were the first Jews to visit in 79 years. (Sabina Lorkin)

cemeteries, Lamm and Schacter led a delegation of 60 US Jews – 20 of whom were the children of Holocaust survivors – on a secret mission to the German war cemetery to visit Baskind’s grave. They were the first Jews ever to visit Baskind in 79 years. At his grave, they said the mourner’s kaddish and other traditional Jewish prayers and songs. “We are family, we are brothers, we are sisters,” Rabbi Schacter said in an emotional graveside eulogy. “We will never forget you.”

“Everybody cried, everybody,” Lamm said. “It was a magical, very sad, very emotional moment.”

Prior to the trip, Lamm sought the blessing of Lt. Baskind’s great-niece, Samantha Baskind, a professor of art history and Holocaust studies at Cleveland University. She had one request: “Would you put a stone there for me?” she asked. That small, traditional gesture of placing a stone at a Jewish grave – which the Talmud says helps “keep a soul down in this world” – had great repercussions.

In a meeting with German Brigadier Gen. Dirk Backen, Lamm played a video of Baskind’s great-niece imploring him to allow Operation Benjamin to exhume his body. “Knowing that he’s been buried in a German cemetery, so far from home and under a cross is a jagged scar for my family,” Professor Baskind said.

Since the Germans wanted to identify the remains of a different soldier in the same mass grave, permission to exhume was finally granted. The coincidence “was amazing,” Lamm said. The exhumation “had to be carried out under great time pressure,” German Director for International Relationships Arne Schrader said.

“One of the Volksbund’s main tasks is to fulfill the wishes of families, whether German or American, in order to heal the scars of war – even after 80 years.” Over the course of three days, December 18-20, a team of 17, including French and German anthropologists and experts from the University of Wisconsin, worked to dig up the gravesite at Marigny.

“I felt terrified,” Lamm said. “It’s great to talk about it in theory but what if we’re wrong? What if we can’t find him? This is our one and only shot.” The chances of finding Baskind’s remains were slim.

There were 10,000 bones buried in the mass grave and it was unknown how many would be viable for DNA testing. “We were exhausted, out of our minds,” Lamm said. “The grave itself was soaked in water, the dirt was the worst soil condition you could have. The anthropolo-

gists were saying you’re not gonna find anything. At every stage our chances of success get lower and lower and lower. It was looking very bleak, very depressing.”

After extracting an “enormous amount of bones” and separating the potential matches for Baskind for DNA testing, the rest of the remains had to be re-buried.

A German official enlisted Lamm, an orthodox Jew, to lead the service for the 52 German soldiers. “I had a moment of panic,” Lamm confessed. “You can’t make up a more surreal . . . circumstance.”

In his speech at the grave, Lamm recounted the Jewish practice of spilling out drops of wine on Passover as a symbol that they do not exalt in the demise of their enemies. “You are those drops of wine,” Lamm said of the fallen Germans.

Four weeks later, the moment of truth arrived. DNA lab results came back and revealed the bones were a 99.989% match with DNA samples provided by Baskind’s surviving family members.

After 79 years missing, Lt. Baskind was finally found. “The match was spectacular – that was the hand of God,” Lamm said.

“The recovery of my great uncle… is almost surreal… it brings a measure of long-awaited solace to my family,” Professor Baskind said. Professor Baskind formally received her great-uncle’s Purple Heart from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on May 22. The German Army formally handed over the remains of Lt. Baskind to the US Army in a ceremony at Ramstein Airforce Base on May 28.

On June 23, the 80th anniversary of his death, the American hero will be buried at the American cemetery in Normandy with full military honors in a Jewish ceremony presided over by Rabbi Schacter. At the Wall of the Missing, to signify he is the 25th soldier to be recovered out of 1,551, Professor Baskind will insert a gold rosette with a red stone next to her uncle’s name.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 19
Shalom Lamm (left) said Baskind’s story “tore at my soul.” (Anibas Photography) A team of 17 anthropologists and experts from France Germany and the US were at the exhumation. (Anibas Photography) Baskind was the son of Lithuanian and Russian immigrants who settled in Poland. On June 23, the 80th anniversary of his death, the American hero will be buried at the American cemetery in Normandy with full military honors in a Jewish ceremony presided over by Rabbi Schacter. (Anibas Photography) Baskind was captured in the battle of Cherbourg. (AP) Baskind’s remains were officially handed off to the US Army in a ceremony at Ramstein Airforce Base. The bones found in the grave were a nearly perfect match with DNA from Baskind’s surviving family members. (Anibas Photography) Rabbi Schacter declared “we won’t forget you” at an emotional speech at Baskind’s grave. (Anibas Photography) Baskind’s remains were dumped in a mass grave with 24 German soldiers in the hospital’s courtyard. (Anibas Photography)
Baskind was taken prisoner along this road.
from page 18

Jewish War Veterans of the United States – Recent Activities

May was a very busy month for the Jewish War Veterans Department of New Jersey.

On May 5, the Jewish War Veterans held their annual Yom Hashoah Program. This year the program was held at the Jewish Home in Freehold. The guest speaker was Marvin Raab who spoke about his mother’s experiences during the Holocaust at the Sobibor Death Camp. Thanks go out to the committee chairmen Jack Small and Rick Kline and the staff of the Jewish Home for this very interesting program.

The Jewish War Veterans Post 178 and the Ladies Auxiliary also attended the Community Yom Hashoah Program held this year at Congregation B’nai Israel in Toms River. Post Commander Dave Kessler spoke at that program.

On Sunday, May 19, members of JWV Post 178 and members of Beth Am Shalom’s Religious School placed flags on the graves of Jewish Veterans. Thanks go out to JWV Post 178 Senior Vice Commander Dorit Attias and Past State Commanders Bob Jacobs and Al Adler for assisting in this project. Post Commander Dave Kessler spoke to the Religious School prior to the flag placing.

On May 24, members of JWV Post 178 and the Ladies Auxiliary solicited donations for the Veterans Homes and Hospitals in front of the ShopRite in Howell. Special thanks go out to PDC Bob Jacobs, Post Commander Dave Kessler, Past National Commander Mike Berman, JWV Post 178 Senior Vice Commander Dorit Attias, and PDC Al Adler. Ladies Auxiliary members included Department President Carol Adler, Department Conductress Susan Karsh, Aux 178 Junior Vice President Bonnie Stein, Judy Kessler, Tammy Gincel, Nancy Weinberger and Lorraine McKeown.

On Memorial Day, PDC Al Adler, JWV Senior Vice Commander Selina Kanowitz, JWV Department Quartermaster Michael Shinehorn, Department President Carol Adler and Merci Silverman attended Memorial Day services at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Museum in Holmdel. The guest speaker was General Martin Schwartz. The group also placed a wreath in honor of those men and women who gave their lives for our country.

If you are interested in becoming a member or patron member of the Jewish War Veterans, please contact Al Adler at ama1308701@yahoo.com. If you are interested in joining the JWV Ladies Auxiliary, please contact Carol Adler at brownie08701@ yahoo.com.

Memorial to a Brave Soldier

ttle near Anzio, that the Germans nicknamed them “the Devils in Baggy Pants.”

David Rosenkrantz is one of the many unsung heroes whose lives, cut short by the horrors of war, are honored on Memorial Day. Born in 1916, Staff Sergeant Rosenkrantz joined the army in January 1942. Volunteering for the Airborne, he was part of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and trained at Fort Benning and Fort Bragg.

Sergeant Rosenkrantz first experienced major action in the capture of Sicily from the Italian armed forces. Actually, in what could have been a major tragedy, he became a hero. During their parachute jump onto the island, Sergeant Rosenkrantz and Corporal Lee Black were separated from their company. They landed in a remote area and came upon 200 Italian soldiers who immediately surrendered. The prisoners were brought to camp and, after Sicily was secured, the 504th PIR went on to fight in Italy. There they played such a significant role in ba-

After recuperating in England from heavy losses in Italy, the 504th PIR was assigned to “Operation Market Garden,” which sent them into Holland. Their mission was to capture bridges near the towns of Grave and Nijmegen.

On September 28, 1944, Rosenkrantz’s H Company arrived at a farmhouse called Den Heuvel. Noticing enemy troops in the distance, Sergeant Rosenkrantz stood up to fire, but he had not realized that there were enemies behind as well. He was hit by machine gun fire. Although the fatal encounter was witnessed by other soldiers, Sergeant Rosenkrantz’s remains were lost in the heat of the battle, and he was officially listed as “Missing in Action.”

While Sergeant Rosenkrantz’s body was not initially recovered, and after being lost for over 68 years, Sergeant Rosenkrantz’s dog tags were returned

to his family in 2011. It is interesting to note that the tags are marked with a “J” for Jewish, emphasizing how frightful it must have been to a young Jewish soldier to put himself in Nazi territory.

Miraculously, after 73 years of being “Missing in Action,” the Army identified the remains of Sergeant Rosenkrantz, and returned them to his family. His remains arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with an honor guard on July 17, 2018, and his funeral was held on July 20, 2018.

On Memorial Day (and every day), take a moment to recognize the heroic actions of American soldiers and the Jewish soldiers among them who have valiantly and heroically fought on our behalf to protect the freedoms that we hold near and dear.

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 20 Jewish Federation of Ocean County is now on Facebook Like us at: www.facebook.com/jewishocean
Pictured (l-r): Chairman of the JWV Yom Hashoah Committee Jack Small, guest speaker Marvin Raab, Department President Carol Adler, Department Commander Charles Greenberg and Department Senior Vice Commander Selina Kanowitz at Yom Hashoah program at the Jewish Home in Freehold Pictured (l-r): JWV Past National Commander Mike Berman, PDC Bob Jacobs and Post 178 Senior Vice Commander Dorit Attias at the shake a can at ShopRite in Howell Pictured (l-r): Auxiliary 178 Junior Vice President Bonnie Stein, Nancy Weinberger and Department President Carol Adler at the Shake a Can at the ShopRite in Howell Pictured (l-r): PDC Al Adler, Department President Carol Adler, Department Senior Vice Commander Selina Kanowitz and Merci Silverman at the Memorial Day Program at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Museum in Holmdel Jewish Treats by NJOP njop.org

The Golden Age of American Jews is Ending

Anti-Semitism on the right and the left threatens to bring to a close an unprecedented period of safety and prosperity for Jewish Americans –and demolish the liberal order they helped establish.


theatlantic.com (excerpt)

… in the death spiral of liberalism, extremism on the right begets extremism on the left, which begets further extremism on the right. To protest the censoriousness of the new progressives, right-wing edgelords and trolls attempted to seize the mantle of liberty.

The most powerful of the edgelords was Elon Musk, who purchased Twitter ostensibly to save discourse from the woke mob. To make good on his noble aims, he reversed bans that the platform’s previous regime had imposed on the most vile anti-Semites, including the white nationalist Patrick Howley, the comic Sam Hyde, and the Daily Stormer’s founder, Andrew Anglin. By restoring them to the site, Musk was, in essence, conceding that their words shouldn’t have been considered taboo in the first place. He legitimized their claims of victimhood, the sense that they had been excluded only because they’d offended the wrong people.

In fact, Musk hinted that he shared this conspiratorial view of censorship. In May 2023, he retweeted an aphorism that he attributed to Voltaire: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Those words were actually uttered by a neo-Nazi named Kevin Alfred Strom, not the French philosopher. It shouldn’t have been hard to imagine that the words had dubious origins, because they captured a view of the world in which shadowy forces furtively censor their enemies.

Nor was it hard to imagine that those shadowy forces might include the Anti-Defamation League, which relentlessly called attention to the proliferation of Jew hatred on Twitter under Musk’s ownership. Musk threatened to sue the group, accusing it of trying to “kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic.” The Jews, he all but spelled out, were those who couldn’t be criticized—which, by the logic of the Strom quote, made them society’s secret masters.

Musk wasn’t alone in this argument. In 2022, Dave Chappelle used the opening

monologue of Saturday Night Live to muse about the cancellation of the hiphop artist Ye (formerly Kanye West), who had lost a deal with Adidas after he promised, among other things, to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

Chappelle exuded empathy for Ye. “I don’t want a sneaker deal, because the minute I say something that makes those people mad, they’re going to take my sneakers away … I hope they don’t take anything away from me,” he said, adding with a smile and a conspiratorial whisper: “Whoever they are.” There was no mystery about his use of pronouns: “I’ve been to Hollywood … It’s a lot of Jews. Like, a lot.” He went on, “You could maybe adopt the delusion that the Jews run show business.”

Attention: Need a Notary?

Chappelle practices shock comedy as a form of shock therapy: The authoritarian impositions of the left justify offensive comments, which are a form of defiance. He has taken a genuine problem—anti-liberalism on the left—and used it as a pretext for smuggling anti-Semitism into acceptable discourse.

That Chappelle and Musk see fit to indulge anti-Semitism in order to protect freedom of speech contains a dark irony. In the 20th century, starting with Louis Brandeis’s dissents on the Supreme Court, Jews stood at the vanguard of the movement to protect “subversive advocacy,” even when it came at their own expense. This could be understood as a defense of the Talmudic tradition of disagreement, what Rabbi David Wolpe calls the “Jewish sacrament” of debate. The movement culminated in Skokie, Illinois, in 1977, when the ACLU deployed the lawyer David Goldberger to sue to allow neo-Nazis to march through the Continued on page 30

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Dave Chappelle opens Saturday Night Live, November 2022. (Will Heath / NBC / Getty)



Jewish Federation of Ocean County accepts a minimum donation of $18 and sends a Tribute card as well as lists your tribute in the Jewish Journal to anyone you may want to acknowledge; a simcha, graduation, an award, new grandchild, starting a new adventure, get well, loss of a loved one, or any other life-altering event. Call the Jewish Federation of Ocean County at 732-363-0530, email sharron@ocjf.org or visit our website www.jewishoceancounty.org/tribute.

A Tribute Card Pack

You can purchase a dozen blank assorted tribute cards to send on your own for a $36 contribution to the Jewish Federation. Contact Sharron at the Jewish Federation of Ocean County at 732-363- 0530.

JFOC Tributes

May 7 – June 17

In Honor of

Gabrielle & Hailey Bernstein by Susanne Mars

Helen Epstein’s 90th by Pearl Dearman

The Glassman Family by Iris Glassman

In Memory of

Carla Crohn Friedman by Anise Singer

Carla Crohn Friedman

Carla Crohn Friedman

Ann Gravitch by Dorothy Rosenblum

Rita & Ellia Hellerstein by Alan Margolias

Jim Morbit

Here is How You Can Support Our Holocaust Survivors and Seniors Please contribute to:

• Friends of JFCS

• The Holocaust Survivors’ Special Fund

• The Seniors Lunch Program Special Fund

It is easy to donate a little each month, to make a big impact!

• Go online to www. jewishoceancounty.org

• Send a check, use your credit card, transfer stock.

• Call the office and talk with our staff.

PJ Library Photos with Children

Do you have a photo of your child reading or holding a PJ Library book? We would like to publish some of them. We omit the names of children. The names of any adults in the photos could be included or omitted based on the guidance of the adult submitting the photo(s). Email them to JFOCeditor@ocjf.org

• Bring in your Tzedakah box. We will count it for you.

• Consider making a monthly gift to support your community.

Jewish Federation of Ocean County 1235A Route 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701 732-363-0530

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 22

Federations, Other Jewish


Meet with U.S. Education Secretary

From JFNA May 3, 2024 jewishfederations.org

Out of concern for the growing tension on college campuses across the country, Jewish Federations of North America, along with six other major Jewish organizations, recently requested a meeting with the U.S Secretary of Education. Below is a joint statement issued on May 3 from Jewish Federations, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), Orthodox Union, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Hillel International, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and NCJW (National Council of Jewish Women):

“Our organizations met today with Secretary of Education Cardona, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Tanden, Deputy Secretary of Education Marten, and other senior officials – as we had requested last week. It was a positive and productive meeting. We apprecia-

te the Secretary rapidly making himself available to us at this critical moment.

As organizations who have been dedicated to defending and supporting Jewish students experiencing harassment and violence on college campuses around the country, we thank the Secretary of Education for the opportunity this afternoon to share our urgent concerns.

We directly raised our urgent concerns surrounding the current climate of antisemitism on campus and the lack thus far of effective response. In this moment of crisis, we asked the Department to be specific in their follow up and implementation of this week’s clear statement made by President Biden and to provide universities with a clear path to effective enforcement of that statement. By sharing specific recommendations, we urged the Administration to do more to protect Jewish students and the broader student community from intimidation, harassment, and violence.”

NAJL to Join Jewish Federations Family

From JFNA May 21, 2024 jewishfederations.org

Jewish Federations of North America are proud to announce that the National Association of Jewish Legislators (NAJL) will join the Federations system as part of the Public Affairs team.

Jewish Federations are the backbones of our Jewish communities and have advocated on behalf of the community’s interests on the local, state, and federal level for decades. As the threats of antisemitism and anti-Zionism have continued to surge, these relationships and connections have only grown more important.

“More and more, we see the fight to protect Jewish communities and the policy actions needed to make them flourish take place on the local and state level, which is why we are so excited to welcome NAJL into the Jewish Federations fold,” said Karen Paikin Barall, Vice President, Government Relations, for Jewish Federations. “NAJL has an excellent reputation and track record at engaging and organizing Jewish legislators to represent our community’s perspectives.”

Founded in 1977, NAJL is a national, nonpartisan network and forum for Jewish state legislators, representing over 240 Jewish state legislators from across the country in nearly 40 states. With NAJL’s support, Jewish legislators across the nation have been an active force in fighting anti-Semitism and serving as Jewish voices in our state capitols.

NAJL also promotes support for Israel, promotes Jewish values of civility, inclusiveness and tolerance, and encourages a new generation of Jewish Americans to run for public office and engage in electoral campaigns.

"When legislators need to act on issues of importance to the American Jewish community, Jewish Federations are always ready to assist them. That’s why we are so excited to join efforts and forces,” said NAJL Executive Director Jeffrey M. Wice. “The infrastructure we have built over the years to boost Jewish legislators at every level of government will be an extraordinary tool in the Jewish Federations’ growing advocacy arsenal, and we look forward to fully integrating our efforts.”

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 23 FedBeat from JFNA – Jewish Federations of North America jewishfederations.org
www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 24 www.grunincenter.org go.ocean.edu/planetarium go.ocean.edu/wpe COLLEGE DRIVE TOMS RIVER, NJ WORKFORCE & PROFESSIONAL One of the largest planetariums in New Jersey! Visit our website for complete details & showtimes Get information about our programs and view the catalog online! Check out our new season online!  Career & Job Training  Certificate Programs  Business  Computers  Healthcare  Early Childhood Education  Personal Enrichment Classes  Languages

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www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 25

“I feel guilty because I’m so irritable.”

“How come nobody asks how I am doing?”

“I’m so distracted at work, worrying about Mom.”

"I’m tired of relatives and friends criticizing me.


changing lives...

Summertime Blues

It’s summertime. Life is easy, less stressful. At least that is what is expected. Beautiful pictures on Facebook, summer is a fun filled time. In fact, it turns out that plenty of people don’t find summer so great. The long, hot, humid days can turn some people into grumpy, depressed individuals or can even make them sick. From vacation envy and body image anxiety to actual summer on-set seasonal effective disorder, the long dog days of summer may actually be dragging you down.

Anne Krueger, from Health.com lists seven symptoms of summer depression. Norman Rosenthal, MD, at the National Institute for Mental Health, discovered that sleep patterns can be disturbed by even a few less or more hours of sun each day. He realized that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) had a summer version. Summer SAD shows up as agitation rather than winter’s lethargy.

1. “Screwed up Sleep” – Long sunlit days can result in staying up later and getting up earlier. This results in sleep deprivation. Dr. Breus, PhD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4 Week Program to Better Sleep and Health writes: “Your body releases more of the stress hormone, cortisol, when you’re sleep deprived. This can contribute to depression and increased emotional sensitivity.” A solution is to keep normal sleep hours even in the summer. Use heavy black out curtains if necessary. When you get up, get a depression-fighting boost of sunlight in the morning.

2. “The Expectation Gap” – Building up the summer vacation, beach holidays or family functions can great a disconnect between expectation and reality. The gap can cause disappointment, stress and even depression. A solution is to remember that summer is no different. Be ready for rain on a picnic, a long line at Disney.

Your attitude when things are not “perfect” can ensure the ability to enjoy life.

3. “Facebook Envy” – Everybody on Facebook appears to be having the best barbeque, backyard, marriage and dog photos. They appear to be having a better vacation than yours. This can be depressing. A solution is to remember that what is posted on Facebook isn’t necessarily the real version. People don’t post on Facebook when the beach day got rained out.

4. “Body Image Blues” – If you are already uncomfortable with your body, skimpy, warm weather fashions may send you running for cover. A solution is to find the clothing that allows you to be the best you.

5. “Money is Tight” – Camp, vacations, summer can be pricey. Worrying about finances can just be one more thing to add to summer anxiety or depression. A solution is to focus on activities and events that are “meaningful.” Spending more money doesn’t ensure a good time.

6. “All Those Slackers” – Your surrounded by them, right? If you are doing more at work while others are on vacation, that is the way it may appear. Nothing gets done if you don’t do it. A solution is to remember that it will be your turn, then they will be working while you are on vacation. Be sure to take a vacation.

7. “Winter SAD in the Summer” – If the weather has been particularly gloomy, rainy or so hot that you have closed the curtains and remained indoors that may cause winter-onset SAD. This is particularly true if you are prone to winter SAD. A solution is to open the blinds and or get light therapy.

If you are experiencing Summer SAD, try the solutions suggested. If there continues to be a struggle, speak to your physician and seek mental health assistance. It is possible to enjoy the summer.

Together with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and a grant from the State of New Jersey, the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County has been providing the sacred obligation of pikuach nefesh (saving a life in jeopardy) to Holocaust Survivors for many years. We realize that unless you are impacted directly, you may not fully appreciate how important this work is. Every dollar you contribute will be matched 25 times!

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 26
For more information, or to register, contact: JFCS at 732-363-8010 Grief After Loss You Don't Have to Face it Alone & Meetings are virtual on the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm. For more information call 732-363-8010. Group Facilitator: Rita Sason, LCSW ARE YOU CARING FOR A LOVED ONE?
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Not-So-Loud Things to Do on the 4th of July

Like lots of holidays, Independence Day in the United States is better with friends. From corn on the cob on the grill to a game of cornhole in the backyard, the Fourth of July is meant to be celebrated together, welcoming guests (hachnasat orchim) for outdoor food and fun.

With annual events that include fireworks, parades, and large crowds, the Fourth of July also tends to be a high-decibel holiday, and loud celebrations can be challenging for families, especially if your kids experience sensory issues. And let’s face it, the last thing parents need is competition to be heard.

If you’re looking to avoid the noise and make everyone feel welcome, there are lots of quieter and more accessible ways to enjoy America’s birthday.

Homemade “Fire” Works

You can make virtual fireworks from just about anything, including cupcake liners or a dinner fork. For younger kids, you can also show them how food coloring “explodes” when you drop it in water until the color completely disperses. Or if you’re looking for something that still makes a little noise, use some bubble wrap as muted fireworks. Projects like these are also great ways to repurpose materials and practice bal tashchit, not wasting.

Make Healthy Patriotic Popsicles

Those recognizable red, white, and blue frozen treats you know and love are actually super simple to make and even relatively healthy with the right ingredients. Mix each color in the blender

using fruit, yogurt, and a liquid (milk or a milk substitute) to help the mixture blend. For the red, try strawberries or raspberries. For the white, bananas work great. For the blue, blueberries or blackberries. Then spoon a little of each color, one at a time, into a mold or paper cups and let it harden in the freezer. For a completely non-dairy version, you can make coconut milk popsicles with a variety of berries for a treat that’s both colorful and incredibly refreshing.

And of course, summer reading suggestions:

Noah's Swim-a-Thon

Written by Ann D. Koffsky

Illustrated by Ann D. Koffsky

Ages: 5 to 6 Years

Synopsis: Noah loves everything about summer camp – except swimming. Nothing can get Noah into the pool until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon that will help give other children a chance to attend the camp he loves.

Picnic at Camp Shalom

Written by Jacqueline Jules

Illustrated by Deborah Melmon

Ages: 6 to 7 Years

Synopsis: When Carly laughs at Sara’s last name, her bunkmate at Camp Shalom refuses to be consoled. Little does Sara know that Carly has a reason for her outburst. When their mutual love of music brings harmony to Shabbat dinner as well as to their friendship, Carly finally gets the chance to reveal her secret.

Sami's Sleepaway Summer

Written by Jenny Meyerhoff

Illustrated by Cathi Mingus

Ages: 7 to 8 Years

Synopsis: Though her family doesn’t seem to see it, Sami is absolutely certain she’s not a “sleepaway camp kind of kid.”

Will a four-day, three-night mini session at Camp Cedar Lake change her mind?

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 27

The War Against the Jewish Story

The ease with which anti-Zionists have managed to portray the Jewish state as genocidal marks a historic failure of Holocaust education. that made it possible – was often lost.

May 5, 2024


Astudent protester waves a Palestinian flag above Hamilton Hall on the campus of Columbia University, Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in New York. (Pool Photo/Mary Altaffer)

How has it come to this? How is it possible that Israel, rather than radical Islamism, would become the villain on liberal campuses? That thousands of students would be chanting “from the river to the sea” even as the Hamas massacre revealed that slogan’s genocidal implications? That the most passionate outbreak of student activism since the 1960s would be devoted to delegitimizing the Jewish people’s story of triumph over annihilation?

This moment didn’t happen in a vacuum. The anti-Zionist forces in academia have been preparing the ground for decades, systematically dismantling the moral basis of each stage of Zionist and Israeli history.

The attack began on the very origins of Zionism, which was transformed from a story of a dispossessed people re-indigenizing in its ancient homeland into one more sordid expression of European colonialism. (Europe’s post-Holocaust gift to the Jews: leaving us with the bill for its sins.)

Next, the birth of Israel in 1948 was reduced to the Nakba, or catastrophe, a Palestinian narrative of total innocence that ignores the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every place where Arab armies were victorious and the subsequent uprooting of the entire Jewish population of the Muslim world. Post-1967 Israel was cast as an apartheid state – turning Zionism, a multi-faceted movement representing Jews across the political and religious spectrum into a racist ideology and reducing an agonizingly complex national conflict into a medieval passion play about Jewish perfidy.

And now, with the Gaza War, we have come to the genocide canard, the endpoint in the process of delegitimization.

To turn Israel into the world’s arch-criminal requires three forms of erasure. The first is of the connection between the land of Israel and the people of Israel. In the anti-Zionist telling of the conflict, a 4,000-year connection that has been the

We are losing a generation, but we haven’t yet lost.

heart of Jewish identity and faith is irrelevant, if not contrived outright by Zionists.

The second is the erasure of the relentless war against Israel, placing its actions under a microscope while downplaying or entirely ignoring the aggression of its enemies. There is never any context to Israel’s actions. Only by erasing Hamas’s atrocities can Israel be turned into the villain of this war.

In focusing on Israel’s actions and dismissing those of Hamas, campus protesters are providing cover for October 7 denialism. This is a new version of the Holocaust denialism prevalent in parts of the Muslim world: The atrocities didn’t happen, you deserved them and we’re going to do it again (and again).

On a recent trip to New York, walking along Broadway on the Upper West Side, I saw dozens of defaced posters of kidnapped Israelis. Rather than tear down the posters, the vandals had blacked out the Israeli faces – a literal defacement. And a useful metaphor for the anti-Zionist assault on our being.

The third form of erasure is dismissing the history of peace offers presented or accepted by Israel and uniformly rejected by the Palestinian side. No offer – an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, the re-division of Jerusalem, the uprooting of dozens of settlements – was ever sufficient. It is hard to think of another national movement representing a stateless people that rejected more offers of self-determination than the Palestinian leadership.

The ease with which anti-Zionists have managed to portray the Jewish state as genocidal, a successor to Nazi Germany, marks a historic failure of Holocaust education in the West.

This moment requires a fundamental rethinking of the goals and methodology of Holocaust education. By over-emphasizing the necessary universal lessons of the Holocaust, many educators too easily equated antisemitism with generic racism. The intention was noble: to render the Holocaust relevant to a new generation. But in the process, the essential lesson of the Holocaust – the uniqueness not only of the event itself but of the hatred

Antisemitism is not merely the hatred of Jews as other but the symbolization of The Jew – that is, turning the Jews into the symbol for whatever a given civilization defines as its most loathsome qualities. For Christianity until the Holocaust, The Jew was Christ-killer; for Marxism, the ultimate capitalist; for Nazism, the defiler of race. And now, in the era of anti-racism, the Jewish state is the embodiment of racism.

Holocaust education was intended, in large part, to protect the Jewish people from a recurrence of the antisemitism that reduces Jews to symbols. Yet the movement to turn Israel into the world’s criminal nation emerges from a generation that was raised with Holocaust consciousness, both in formal education and the arts. And this latest expression of the antisemitism of symbols is justified by some anti-Zionists as honoring “the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Unlike the Iranian regime, which clumsily tries to deny the historicity of the Holocaust, anti-Zionists in the West intuitively understand that coopting and inverting the Holocaust is a far more effective way of neutralizing its impact.

Many, perhaps most, of the campus protesters are likely not antisemitic. They may have Jewish friends or be Jewish themselves. But that is irrelevant: They are enabling an antisemitic moment. What is under assault is the integrity of the mid-20th century Jewish story, of a people rejecting the self-pity of victimhood and fulfilling its most improbable dream: renewing itself, in its broken old age, in the land of its youth. The shift from the lowest point Jews have known to the reclamation of power and self-confidence is one of the most astonishing feats of survival not only in Jewish but world history. It is that story that is being distorted and trivialized and demonized on liberal campuses.

I recently completed a lecture tour of some of the most Jewishly problematic campuses, from Columbia to Berkeley. In meetings with Jewish students, I was repeatedly told about a pervasive atmosphere of hostility toward Israel, even among many otherwise apolitical students. While the protests are an immediate threat to Jewish well-being on campus, the far deeper problem is the impact of the anti-Zionist campaign, linking the name “Israel” with racism and genocide. The vulgar protesters are a small minori-

ty, but they are shaping the attitudes of a whole generation.

By focusing only on the immediate threat of the protests, we risk repeating the mistake we’ve made over the last decades of failing to adequately confront the systematic assault on our story.

We are losing a generation, but we haven’t yet lost. Like other radical movements, anti-Zionism could go too far in its righteous rage, potentially alienating the majority. Perhaps that process has already begun.

The challenge of our generation is to defend the story we inherited from the survivor generation. We need to tell that story with moral credibility, in all its complexity, frankly owning our flaws even as we celebrate our successes, acknowledging the Palestinian narrative even as we insist on the integrity of our own.

We desperately need new strategies to counter the anti-Zionist assault. A good beginning would be the creation of a brain trust, composed of community activists, rabbis, journalists, historians, public relations experts, that would devise both immediate responses to the current crisis and a long-term strategy, emulating the decades-long patient work of the anti-Zionists.

The Jews are a story we tell ourselves about who we think we are; without our story, there is no Judaism. It is long past time to mount a credible defense of our mid-20th century story, which continues to sustain us as a people.

Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, where he is co-director, together Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University and Maital Friedman, of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), and a member of the Institute's iEngage Project. His latest book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, is a New York Times bestseller. His previous book, Like Dreamers, was named the 2013 National Jewish Book Council Book of the Year.

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www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 28




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Rabbi Moshe Gourarie


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email: CAOReceptionist@cao-nj.org www.cao-nj.org

CONGREGATION B'NAI ISRAEL 1488 Old Freehold Road Toms River, NJ 08753

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Rabbi Robert B. Rubin

Rabbi Emeritus Dr. Robert E. Fierstien 732-458-4700

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CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL 590 Madison Avenue Lakewood, NJ 08701

Rabbi Shmuel Tendler


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Rabbi Michael Jay 609-492-4090

Email: jccoflbi@gmail.com www.jccoflbi.org

For Shabbat:

Blessed are You, Ad-nai our G-d, Sovereign of the universe, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the light of Shabbat.

Here is How You Can Support Our Holocaust Survivors and Seniors

Please contribute to:

• Friends of JFCS

• The Holocaust Survivors’ Special Fund

• The Seniors Lunch Program Special Fund

It is easy to donate a little each month, to make a big impact!

• Go online to www. jewishoceancounty.org.

• Send a check, use your credit card, transfer stock.

• Call the office and talk with our staff.

• Bring in your Tzedakah box. We will count it for you.

• Consider making a monthly gift to support your community.

Jewish Federation of Ocean County 1235A Route 70, Lakewood, NJ 08701 732-363-0530

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 29
Nesanel “Nate” M. Rabenstein, Senior Director N.J. Lic. NO 4621 • 313 2nd St, Lakewood, NJ 08701 • (732) 364 - 0900 • belkoffgoldsteinfuneralchapel.com PROUD TO BE JEWISH OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1977 םוני אל הנה לארשי רמוש ןשיי אלו Behold the Gaurdian of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (Tehillim 121) We Stand with Israel

American Jews

Continued from page 21

Chicago suburb, which was filled with Holocaust survivors. The Jewish community was hardly unanimous on the Skokie question—unanimity would have been inconsistent with the tradition—but the ACLU position reflected a commitment to free speech officially espoused by major Jewish communal institutions in the postwar years.

In the Jewish vision of free speech, open interpretation and endless debate mark the path to knowledge; the proliferation of discourse is the antidote to bad ideas. But in the reality of social media, free speech also consists of Jew hatred that masquerades as comic entertainment, a way to capture the attention of young men eager to rebel against the strictures of what they decry as wokeness.

When I asked Oren Segal, who runs the ADL’s Center on Extremism, to point me to a state-of-the-art anti-Semitic hate group, he cited the Goyim Defense Lea-

gue. The spitefully silly name reflects its methods, which include pranks and stunts broadcast on its website, Goyim TV. Its leader sometimes dresses as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, calling himself the “Honest Rabbi.” In one demented piece of guerrilla theater, he apologizes on behalf of the Jewish people for fabricating stories about the Holocaust. The group has attempted to popularize the slogan “Kanye is right about the Jews,” hanging a banner proclaiming it on a freeway overpass in Los Angeles and projecting it on the side of a football stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, as 75,000 fans filed out. GDL hecklers have stood in front of Florida synagogues and Holocaust museums, shouting, “Leave our country. Go back to Israel” and “Heil Hitler.”

In a short span, as the edgelords successfully pushed the limits, American culture became permissive regarding what could be said about Jews. Anti-Semitism crept back into the realm of the acceptable.

Jewish Federation of Ocean County is now on Facebook

Like us at: www.facebook.com/jewishocean

The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 30 732-534-5959 Advertise in The Jewish Journal ד“סב Funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act through a grant by the County of Ocean Office of Senior Services KOSHER MEALS on WHEELS PROGRAM 732-901-6001 ext 1 Delicious Home Delivered Meals For more information, please call For individuals who are 60+ Experiencing life’s challenges MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY SERVICINGLAKEWOOD ANDSELECTAREASINTOMSRIVER Jewish Journal Editorial Committee of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County Anise Singer, Chairperson Annabel Lindenbaum Phone: 732-363-0530. Jorge A Rod Publisher Betty Rod Managing Editor Gildardo Cruz Production Manager Our Mission: The Jewish Journal of Ocean County is dedicated to the dissemination of information concerning significant events; social, cultural, and educational, that impact upon the Jewish community of Ocean County For advertising, call: P: (732) 534-5959 F: (732) 987-4677 Write: P.O. Box 1082 Jackson, NJ 08527 Views and opinions expressed are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jewish Journal. The Jewish Journal does not endorse the goods and services advertised in its pages and makes no representation as to the products and services in such advertising. Published Monthly In Cooperation With The Jewish Federation Of Ocean County Email us: lunj@optonline.net Visit us: www.ocjj.net Email: jfoceditor@ocjf.org Shelly Newman Rabbi Robert Rubin

We continue our prayers for the situation in Israel:

May those who are still captive as hostages be released soon and safely. May those who are wounded have a complete recovery. May the memories of those who died be forever a blessing. May all have peace.

Holocaust Survivors Alert

If you are a Holocaust Survivor who has never applied for compensation, or was turned down previously, there are new funds and guidelines. For more information, you may call the Claims Conference in NY at 646-536-9100 or go to their website: www.claimscon.org. Click on survivor resources, then click on compensation programs. They have a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section which should be read prior to applying.

Israel Solidarity

A Thank You to Our Israel Campaign Donors Thursday, July 18th 6:30PM

Israeli music expert and radio personality Josh Shron takes you on a deep dive into the songs released in the weeks after October 7, helping us connect to the vibe of Israel in one of its darkest hours. How is music helping Israelis heal from this unspeakable tragedy? Hear the songs, watch the videos, and be inspired by the remarkable spirit of Israel in this 90-minute program! Capacity 100 Toms River event location sent after registration Register early: www JewishOceanCounty org/IsraelSolidarity

www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 31
www.ocjj.net The Jewish Journal - July 2024 / Sivan – Tammuz 5784 32

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.