Volume XXIII, Issue XXIIV | www.jvhri.org Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts
4 Tevet 5778| December 22, 2017
The Reform movement is alive with the sound of music BY PENNY SCHWARTZ BOSTON (JTA) – Emily Katz and Liora Hyman arrived early enough to snag front row seats for a concert with some of their favorite performers. But this show wasn’t at one of Boston’s storied nightclubs. Rather, it was the fi rst-ever music lab at last week’s biennial convention of the Union for Reform Judaism, where 6,000 delegates gathered at the Hynes Convention Center for the movement’s largest ever gathering. When popular Jewish singer-songwriter Peri Smilow led off the set with her new song, “One,” the excited teens, who are youth song leaders, could hardly sit still. The friends – who met last summer at a program for youth leaders at URJ Kutz Camp in Orange County, New York – were on their feet, singing, jumping and bounc-
ing with the beats that constitute the Jewish soundtrack of their lives. “One” is heard in “Together As One,” a newly released CD compilation of eight songs about social justice, written by some of the Reform movement’s all-star musicians. The project, which benefits the movement’s Religious Action Center, was funded by Isabel Dunst, chair of RAC’s commission on social action. While songs and melodies are integral to worship in all the major Jewish denominations, the Reform movement has been the boldest in experimenting with genres and reshaping traditional liturgy in song. It’s an emphasis reflected in synagogue services, religious schools and summer camps. The Hava Nashira Institute, an annual five-day summer program in Wiscon-
First place winner Moshe Zimmerman, grade 2, Category K-2
Artwork shines in 2017 Hanukkah contest
BY FRAN OSTENDORF What does Hanukkah mean to you? This year, we asked that question of our youngest readers,
MUSIC | 10
and they responded with their artistic creativity. The re-envisioned Jewish Voice Hanukkah Art Contest challenged artists in kinder-
garten through Grade 8 to illustrate “What Hanukkah Means to Me.” Fifty-two youngsters in kindergarten to grade 5 reCONTEST | 16
Vigil to mark 10 years of fighting poverty with faith
PHOTO: JEWISH VOICE JAN. 2017.
BY FRAN OSTENDORF Ten years ago, a group of 29 faith leaders and advocacy organizations in Rhode Island got together and formed the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty. The coalition, part of a national movement, grew from an idea presented at a national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) in the summer of 2008, according to Maxine Rich-
man, one of the original Rhode Island members. The coalition is committed to the belief that every Rhode Islander deserves to have the basics, including affordable housing, nutritious food, accessible health care, an equitable education and livable wages. To achieve this goal, the R.I. group joined together with the JCPA, the National Council of Churches, Catholic Charities
USA and other groups across the U.S. in an initiative called “Fighting Poverty with Faith.” The goal was to cut poverty in the U.S. in half by 2020. Through the years, the coalition has advocated for legislation that helps the poor, including laws that reduce homelessness and increase affordable housing, raise the minSTANDING | 11
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2 | December 22, 2017
INSIDE Business 22-23 Calendar 10 Community 2-4, 6, 11, 15, 18-19, 24-26 D’Var Torah 7 Food 12-13 Hanukkah Contest 16-17 Nation 10, 19 Obituaries 20-21 Opinion 8-9 Seniors 23 Simchas 27 Winter 14
THIS ISSUE’S QUOTABLE QUOTE “Who we are and what we have inside us is not a simple or obvious thing.”
The Jewish Voice
Habonim’s Annual Plein Air Exhibit Plein Air artists take center stage at the Bunny Fain Gallery at Temple Habonim in January and February. These members of the summer Lifelong Learning Collaborative Plein Air class meet Wednesday mornings throughout the summer to “put paint on canvas.” Artists from the most accomplished to beginners explore all styles and mediums in a bucolic setting on Adams Point in Barrington. Instructors Bunny Fain, Roberta Segal and Mary Snowden offer instruction and encourage a variety of styles and voices. The show, which exhibits the work from the summer of 2017, includes oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, pencil and ink. It opens with a wine and cheese reception on Sunday, Jan. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. and continues through March 8. The Bunny Fain Gallery at Temple Habonim is at 165 New Meadow Road in Barrington. Gallery hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointment. For information, call 401-245-6536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Althaea Officinalis,” Anneliese Williams, acrylic Above, “Yellow Path,” Deborah DeCouteau, acrylic
“Life,” Judy Ortman, pencil and charcoal
“The Pond,” Wendy Ingram, acrylic
ESTABLISH YOUR LEGACY TODAY.
Invest in our Jewish community tomorrow.
Creating your legacy shows the ones you love most just how important they are to you because you are committing to their future. A legacy gift—such as an endowment—promises that your generosity and vision will have an impact far beyond your lifetime. With a Jewish Foundation Federation legacy, you guarantee that the most vulnerable among us know they are not alone. You support community programs and services that welcome everyone. You show your children and grandchildren how precious they are to you. Through your Jewish Federation Foundation legacy, you have the power to ensure Jewish families will not just survive—they will thrive. And that is timeless.
Your investments should grow with you—and for you. For more information on ways to leave your Jewish legacy, please contact Trine Lustig, Vice President of Philanthropy, at email@example.com or 401.421.4111 ext. 223.
Let’s grow together.
Dreidels were fun.
Toss the latke was a hit.
December 22, 2017 |
Pin the flame on the candle was a winner.
Hanging out on the sixth night
n Monday, Dec. 18, children in Alliance’s Eides Family J-Space After School Program and David C. Isenberg Family Early Childhood Center, as well as community families, gathered at the Dwares JCC in Providence for a Hanukkah Hangout. After lighting the
Hanukkiah and singing songs, children of all ages enjoyed various games, crafts, stories and music throughout the afternoon, allowing for a fun community celebration. No Hanukkah get-together is complete without tasty latkes and applesauce, which were devoured by the dozens! Come
and hangout with friends at the Dwares JCC for future holidays. A Taste of Tu’bShevat is Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. Sample some of the traditional foods of the holiday, and enjoy stories and crafts, and the opportunity to just “hangout” with other members of the community.
A morning of family fun JSVEKIWX[SXSƤZI and an accompanying adult. Younger siblings also welcome.
Nobody could get enough of delicious latkes.
Free! Saturday, January 6th, 9-11am RSVP at gordonschool.org/comeplay
Nursery through eighth grade East Providence, RI 401-434-3833
PHOTOS | LEAH CAMARA
Israeli emissary Tslil’s activity was popular.
4 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
R.I. news leaders check and double-check their sources in this era of ‘fake news’ BY FRAN OSTENDORF PROVIDENCE – Leaders of two of the largest news organizations in Rhode Island shared some insights about what goes into reporting the news at the first Tribe Talk, held Dec. 10 at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center. Alan Rosenberg, executive editor of The Providence Journal, and Elisabeth Harrison, news director of Rhode Island Public Radio (WRNI), offered their views on covering the news in Rhode Island and ongoing issues such as anti-Semitism, bias and racism. The conversation was moderated by Adam Greenman, president and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and sponsored by The Jewish Voice and the Alliance. Rosenberg, who has been executive editor since May, has worked in a variety of positions at The Journal, from reporter to managing editor. He’s also well known to members of Providence’s Temple Beth-El, where he was a longtime religious school teacher. Harrison, who
came to WRNI as a producer in 2007, steadily rose through the ranks to news director. Greenman asked both how their Judaism and their roles as journalists intersect. Rosenberg said, “there is a Jewish lens that I see things through and at the same time I try to be careful not to let that lens overwhelm. I try to be careful to also keep an objective lens.” Harrison added, “We all come to our jobs as journalists with a personal lens and we strive to put that aside to be as objective as we can to represent all perspectives.” She said her desire to embrace so many different perspectives had its roots in how she grew up, and informed her career choice and the way she now reports. Tribe Talk came at the end of a week that included President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as the bombing of a synagogue in Sweden. Harrison and Rosenberg discussed coverage in these times of fast-moving, fast-changing news. They also touched on the differences be-
Alan Rosenberg, Elisabeth Harrison and Adam Greenman. tween WRNI and The Journal. WRNI has a much smaller newsroom than The Journal but it has the benefit of a national network of reporters via National Public Radio. And there was a conversation about what makes news. Geography is a big factor, says Rosenberg: the closer the news event is to your coverage area, the bigger the play it gets. But there are other factors. “What makes something news is, in part, its unusualness,” he said.
Both Harrison and Rosenberg said they were disturbed by the term “fake news.” Both emphasized that it’s more important than ever to make sure the stories they are telling have been double-checked for accuracy. “It’s our job to verify everyone who speaks to us,” said Harrison. “People appreciate that.” “It all comes back to ‘who says?’” said Rosenberg. “How do we know that the people we are talking to are who they say they
are? Until we can confirm who they are, we can’t use their information. We can’t be in a position to be exposed as fake news.” A variety of other topics included newspaper consolidation, how the different news organizations tell the same story and helping non-Jews understand the multiple points of view within the Jewish community. The need for a free press was an ongoing topic. A lively question-and-answer session followed the presentation. Tribe Talk is a series of presentations that will be held at locations around Rhode Island. It’s meant to be an edgy and lively conversation between panelists and the audience about current events and issues. The next program is Jan. 28, at Temple Sinai, in Cranston, where Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser will moderate a conversation on civil rights and social justice. More details will be available in the next Jewish Voice. FRAN OSTENDORF is the editor of The Jewish Voice.
Major gift supports library resources at Bornstein Holocaust Center BY LEV POPLOW The Fred, Gertrude and Henry Regensteiner Family Trust recently awarded a $350,000 grant to the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center to be used exclusively for the growth and maintenance of SBHEC’s library resources. In recognition of the gift, the SBHEC has renamed its library The Fred, Gertrude and Henry Regensteiner Library. Fred and Gertrude Regensteiner, of Providence, lived modestly and saved throughout their lives before they created two trusts for their son Henry, who died in 2015. Norman Bolotow, administrator of the Regensteiner Family Trust, said the funds in Gertrude’s trust “were used to create a foundation called The Fred, Gertrude and Henry Regensteiner Family Trust to
distribute the funds to organizations that she supported.” Gertrude’s parents were murdered in Auschwitz, so Bolotow said he thought it appropriate to give SBHEC “the most substantial gift from the trust.” He c ont i nue d, “G er t r ude and Fred would be very happy with this choice of SBHEC to receive the proceeds of their trust. As I recall, Gertrude, before this trust was created, had made contributions to the Bornstein Holocaust Center and the Holocaust museum in D.C. Holocaust remembrance is something they felt was of considerable importance.” The primary mission of the Bornstein Holocaust Center, in Providence, is to be an educational resource for teachers, students and anyone in the community who wants to learn about the Holocaust and its im-
CONTRIBUTORS Cynthia Benjamin Seth Chitwood Stephanie Ross Sam Serby EDITOR Fran Ostendorf DESIGN & LAYOUT Leah Camara ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT Chris Westerkamp firstname.lastname@example.org 401-421-4111, ext. 160 Karen Borger email@example.com 401-529-2538
COLUMNISTS Michael Fink Rabbi James Rosenberg Daniel Stieglitz THE JEWISH VOICE (ISSN number 1539-2104, USPS #465-710) is published biweekly, except in July, when it does not publish.
ing books, images, videos and artifacts. “It’s not every day that someone steps forward to make this size contribution to support Holocaust education,” SBHEC Executive Director May-Ronny Zeidman said in November, “and we are grateful that Mr. Bolotow, in the name of the Regensteiner family, has chosen our organization as the place to honor the memory of Fred, Gertrude and Henry. “Gifts like this will help SBHEC to educate about the Holocaust, genocide, hate and discrimination for many years into the future.”
Norman Bolotow in the newly-named library. pact on our world. A significant portion of its budget is used to support the acquisition, cata-
loging and preservation of a wide range of Holocaust education resource materials, includ-
PERIODICALS Postage paid at Providence, R.I. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: The Jewish Voice, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906. PUBLISHER The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, President/CEO Adam Greenman, Chair Mitzi Berkelhammer, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906. Phone: 401-421-4111 • Fax 401-331-7961
MEMBER of the Rhode Island Press Association and the American Jewish Press Association
LEV POPLOW is a communications and development consultant writing on behalf of the Bornstein Holocaust Center. He can be reached at levpoplow@ gmail.com.
COPY DEADLINES: All news releases, photographs, etc., must be received on the Wednesday 10 days prior to publication. Submissions may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. ADVERTISING: We do not accept advertisements for pork or shellfish. We do not attest to the kashrut of any product or the legitimacy of our advertisers’ claims. All submitted content becomes the property of The Voice. Announcements and opinions contained in these pages are published as a service to the community and do not necessarily represent the views of The Voice or its publisher, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
December 22, 2017â€‚|
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401 Elmgrove Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | 401.421.4111 | jewishallianceri.org
6 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
BBYO trip to Ukraine a life-changing experience
Julia, front second from left, with other members of the Ambassadors to Ukraine program.
Option 1: Saturdays 9:00–1:00 pm Jan. 20, 27; Feb. 3, 10, 24 Option 2: Sundays Noon–4:00 pm Jan. 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, 25
SAT WORKSHOP (5 w
to be held at: 1845 Post Road, Warwick, RI
est rep uccess
To register call: 401-921-5860 or visit academicadvantageri.com
a division of Academic Advantage
Limited Space Register Early
Five 4-hour workshop sessions prepare High School Juniors for the March SAT Qualiﬁed Test Prep Success instructors will provide test strategies, individualized instructions, and an introduction to SAT topics Students will be given an SAT practice test along with scoring and individual analysis Many recent Test Prep Success students improved their scores by more than 200 points.
Empower students to be more comfortable with the SAT to help relieve stress and pressures of the SAT Tuition for this workshop is $450 if registered BEFORE December 31, 2017. After
December 31, 2017, tuition is $500. A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to secure a place.
Julia at the Halom JCC early childhood program. BY JULIA KEIZLER Two weeks ago, I traveled, with 13 other BBYO members from across the United States, to Ukraine. We joined Active Jewish Teens (AJT), BBYO’s partner in the former Soviet Union, at its fourth international conference. For the fi rst time ever, as part of the Joint Distribution Committee and BBYO’s global partnership focused on building a worldwide movement of Jewish young people, BBYO members spent a week traveling in Ukraine alongside hundreds of Jewish teens from such countries as Georgia, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. Along the way, we learned new skills, met the community, celebrated Shabbat – and had one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. When I fi rst saw the advertisement for the Ambassadors to Ukraine trip, I was instantly intrigued. After begging my parents to let me miss school for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, they fi nally let me sign up. I knew that BBYO trips were nothing but the best, and this trip would be no exception. Describing my trip to Ukraine as life-changing would be an understatement. It’s hard to articulate just how impactful this trip was for me. Our fi rst day in Kiev was a full day of learning. The group’s curiosity and thirst for adventure helped us overcome our jet lag pretty quickly. Then, we were off on our travels. I immediately felt a connection to the Ukrainian Jewish community at the beautiful Halom Jewish Community Center, where we met school-aged children and did an art project together. Back home in Rhode Island, I work at the after-school program at the Alliance’s Dwares JCC, in Providence. I spend 20 hours a week with kids ages 5 to 10 doing almost identi-
cal things to what the children were doing at the Halom JCC, across the world in Ukraine. Not only is the program the same, but the children of Kiev couldn’t be more similar to those in Rhode Island. While playing with a girl named Dasha, who was probably no older than 4, I was reminded of the little girls I often play with at home. This small activity opened my eyes to a much bigger truth: for every difference that my culture has from the culture of the former Soviet Union, there are just as many si m i la r it ies. T h is message stuck with me throughout the rest of my trip, and especially while I connected with many other teens at the AJT conference a few days later. My co-travelers also made the trip special. As is always the case with BBYO, no matter how different a group of teenagers may be, they come together over their love of Judaism and shared passions. This group of fabulous young leaders was no exception. From the moment we took off from New York to the moment we returned, I was surrounded by a group of hilarious, passionate and insightful Jewish leaders. These 13 individuals, along with our three incredible staff members, made the adventure more than worthwhile. I pledge to share the impact of my incredible experience through actions. These include strengthening my BBYO New England Region’s partnership with the AJT chapter in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and continuing to use my role as an ambassador to educate my peers about the former Soviet Union. JULIA KEIZLER lives in Barrington and is a member of BBYO’s New England Region. Learn more about BBYO at http://bbyo.org.
December 22, 2017 |
Lessons learned from this band of brothers My first four years in Israel were spent in Jerusalem in the first half of the 1970s. Whenever I see the name of the portion, Vayigash, my memory takes me back to standing in line in t he Supersol when the person at the cash register says: “lageshet lakupa” (approach the cash register) to the people in the line. (Lageshet RABBI and Vayigash MARK are two difELBER ferent forms of the same word meaning “to approach” whose root is nun, gimmel, shin). In a supermarket line or almost anywhere in Jerusalem in those days, one would be confronted with Jews from so many different countries that questions of identity were inevitable. It felt like living in a true kibbutz galuyot (an ingathering of the exiles). Parashat Vayigash contains both issues of identity and the beginning of a long exile in Egypt. Two elements that I love in the Tanakh that are so prominent in this portion are the economy and drama in the language – so much said so power-
fully in so few words – and the humanity of the portraits conveyed. We witness a dramatic growth in the personality of Yehuda, and we see Yosef reveal his true identity to his brothers after keeping it hidden for so long. We also see the maturing of Yosef over the course of the chapters of Genesis. If we go back to Yehuda’s birth, in Genesis 29:35, his mother Leah gives him a name that indicates her simple gratitude to the Eternal One for the birth of this fourth son. The first three sons’ names all reflect some hope that Leah may attain the love of her husband, Ya’akov, via the birth of those sons. With Yehuda’s birth, however, Leah just expresses gratitude. Rather than getting too psychoanalytical and conjecturing about Yehuda’s home life and the relationship between his parents, let’s just note that Yehuda does not demonstrate sterling qualities in his earlier appearances in Genesis. Though he did oppose his brothers when they wanted to kill Yosef back in chapter 37, he does suggest that they sell Yosef to the Ishmaelites. We see his ability to acknowledge that his daughter-in-law, Tamar, was more righteous than he was (in chapter 38) when, having taken
her as a prostitute and slept with her (not knowing the woman was Tamar), he’s told that she is pregnant through “prostitution” and says she should be burned. Tamar shows him the seal, cord and staff that he had left with the “prostitute” as a pledge for future payment and recognizes that she was more righteous than he. Now when Parashat Miketz concludes with the cliff-hanger that Yosef wants Binyamin to be his slave and the rest of the brothers can return to their father back in Canaan, Vayigash opens with Yehuda displaying a sensitivity beyond anything we’ve seen before. Yehuda approaches Yosef and pleads to be the slave in place of Binyamin. He cannot bear the thought of causing his father, Ya’akov, the kind of pain that the loss of Binyamin would entail. It’s clear that Ya’akov has favored the sons he had with Rachel (Yosef and Binyamin) above the others. Instead of displaying jealousy over that favoritism, Yehuda is filled with compassion for his father. In seeing Yehuda’s love for their father and his willingness to replace Binyamin as Yosef’s slave, Yosef is no longer able to control himself and reveals his identity to his brothers.
He speaks to them in Hebrew which he hitherto had pretended he didn’t understand (having an interpreter translate their words to him) and cries openly before his brothers. Yosef does not feel resentment for his brothers despite all the difficulties he has endured, beginning with being sold to the Ishmaelites. He sees it all as God’s work behind the scenes. Yehuda and Yosef have both grown and evolved a great deal. This story brings to mind one of my favorite Hassidic anecdotes. It is the well-known expression of Reb Zusya who said that when it was time for him to meet his maker at the end of his life, he wasn’t worried that the Master of the Universe would ask him why he wasn’t Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our Rabbi), rather he was concerned that the Ribbono Shel Olam (the Master of the Universe) would ask him why he wasn’t Zusya. Who we are and what we have inside us is not a simple or an obvious thing. How do we discover our own depths unless we give ourselves up to that exploration? The challenges of life can be moments of growth. We may surprise ourselves by how we respond. The entire story of the interaction between Yosef and his
brothers can be perceived differently from the perspective of each of the individuals involved. Probably too often, we view events from our own angle without sufficiently looking considering the perspective of the other people involved. Part of the impact and power of the confrontation between Yehuda and Yosef comes from Yehuda’s ability to see what will transpire from the way it will impact their father. Yosef also looks beyond himself and is concerned about how his brothers will feel after they leave his presence; he does not want them to be angry with each other for what they did to Yosef years earlier. As my wife, Shoshana, reminds me, quoting Karen Armstrong, so much of the book of Genesis from the incident with Cain and Abel to the end involves learning that we are our “brother’s” keepers. Shabbat Shalom! RABBI MARK ELBER is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Fall River. He is the author of the recently-published “The Sacred Now: Cultivating Jewish Spiritual Consciousness” and “The Everything Kabbalah Book.”
Hanukkah with the governor of Rhode Island BY RABBI ELAN ADLER Growing up as an observant Jew in Providence, I attended the Providence Hebrew Day School, where my father, of blessed memory, taught in the lower grades. I had him as my teacher in fourth grade, and to be honest, I hated it. Because I was his son, I thought I could get away with all kinds of nonsense; little did I realize that he was harder on me than many others. One Hanukkah years ago, my father announced to one of his grades that we would be lighting Hanukkah candles in an unusually special place – the State House of Rhode Island.And not just anywhere in the State House, but in the office of the governor. Kids and their parents were invited. We prepared Hanukkah songs to teach and transportation arrangements were made. Eventually, the big morning came. While Rhode Island had a Jewish governor, who, when his mother passed away, went to afternoon services every day to say Kaddish, the governor we would meet was not Jewish. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure how many students knew the name of the governor or what he looked like.
I was a news-a-holic from a young age, and I knew exactly who he was and felt excited to see him and meet him. I’m sure I nudged him for an autograph. The big day came, and we boarded the bus, and made our way to the magnificent Rhode Island State House. It was quite palatial from the outside, with freedom of religion crusader Roger Williams’ statue atop the dome. That dome, incidentally, was always referred to as the second largest unsupported dome in the world, with the first being in Rome. Funny, when I mention that to people, they oooh and ahhh, but frankly I still don’t know what it means. I can still feel the excitement of climbing the long steps into the building, and making the long hike to the Executive Offices, where the governor’s secretary showed us a place to hang our coats and be seated until the governor was ready. I remember my father also being excited, as though this was a moment in time he would surely treasure, though I wasn’t sure why. In the midst of our plotzing to get in the office, out came the governor of Rhode Island and with a huge smile,
asked “Which one of you is Mr. Adler?” and invited us all into his ample and impressive executive suite. My father brought the Hanukkiah, candles, matches and song sheets. Parents brought refreshments, and the 50 or so people in the room were silent. This was a very privileged place to be. The governor broke the silence, and while I recall that he welcomed everyone, I can’t remember anything he said. My father explained the ritual of the candle lighting. We children sang the blessings, Hanukkah songs were sung and refreshments were put out. There was chatter and picture taking. But it was the next few moments that were going to stay with me for the rest of my life. My father, a Holocaust survivor with a Hungarian-accented English, asked for everyone’s attention. This was highly unusual. The room became quiet, and all turned toward my father. He explained why he made the arrangements to come to this place at this time. He grew up in Hungary (as did my mother, of blessed memory), and was in his teens when the Holocaust began. He remembered the worst of times – the
murder of his father and brother, may they rest in peace, and the inability to walk in the street without stepping over bodies. He remembered how there was no one to protect them and how the powers that be in the government couldn’t preserve, protect or defend the Jews. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were murdered in infamous camps. My father continued emotionally, “And here we are in America, where there is freedom of religion, where not only is the government not against the Jews, but to the contrary, we can come in to the State House, with heads held high, and light the Hanukkah candles with the governor of the state. Decades ago, we had no access to power, being the most powerless. Today, we stand be-
side the most powerful man in all of Rhode Island.” We clapped, parents and teachers wiped their eyes, the governor embraced my father for those powerful words and images and off we went to the bus. Years later, in my rabbinic capacity at a synagogue in Connecticut, I made arrangements for our Hebrew School to light candles with our mayor. Many asked, “Why? It’s a nice idea, but why specifically there?” “You’ll find out when we get there,” I answered, “You’ll find out when we get there.” RABBI ELAN ADLER lives in Maaleh Adumim Israel. This was originally published at Jewishvaluesonline.com
Candle Lighting Times Greater Rhode Island December 22 December 29 January 5, 2018 January 12
4:00 4:05 4:10 4:18
8 | December 22, 2017
The many benefits of lifelong learning I’m a lifelong learner. I really hope that this will keep my mind sharp for many years to come. And it doesn’t hurt my ability to do my job as editor, either. I don’t think you can be a journalist – or do many other jobs, for that matter – without having a certain EDITOR amount of cur i o s it y. A n d FRAN curiosity leads OSTENDORF to learning. This curiosity took me to Boston for the Union for Reform Judaism’s 2017 Biennial, which was held Dec. 6-10 at the Hynes Convention Center. I don’t have many opportunities for professional development. Journalism conferences, for the most part, are too far away and expensive for a small newspaper like ours. So this was a treat: A conference that was reachable by train, on topics relevant to our readership. Plus, members of the Reform congregations in Rhode Island participated in the biennial by attending, by serving on the local program advisory committee and by speaking. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Reform, Conservative or Orthodox Jew, when you attend a gathering as large as this one, it’s inspirational. Registration for the conference closed at 6,000 attendees. That’s a lot of people, all concentrated in the Hynes Center. The buzz, conversations, workshops, forums and plenaries were fascinating. The program was packed (the program booklet itself was 235 pages). Between my personal schedule and commitments for the paper, I was only able to attend one full day on-site. Key parts of the conference were live-streamed, so I tuned into
several of those. This is where technology really serves us well – I listened to the Friday morning keynote address after attending during the day on Thursday. So I knew the crowd size and the venue. The livestream included the crowd noise, and the camera panned the crowd. I could get an idea of the energy, and was able to hear the speaker well. On the day I attended, I sat in on a session about Jewish teens, “Yes, Teens Still Love Going to Temple: A Deep Dive into Post B’nai Mitzvah Engagement.” Speakers included Temple Beth-El’s Rabbi Sarah Mack, Joie Magnone and Rachel Mersky Woda, along with representatives from Temple Sinai near Atlanta and Temple Chayai Shalom, in South Easton, Massachusetts. The room, which held about 100 people, was full for the 75-minute session about how to engage and keep teens coming back after B’nai Mitzvah. The three congregations are considered innovators in this area and those attending this session were there to learn. The other highlight of my day was a much larger session featuring a conversation with social action innovator Al Vorspan and Rabbi David Saperstein. These men have been leaders in the Reform movement’s social justice efforts for decades. Vorspan is 94. Their reflections on the past 50 years, including the civil rights movement, and the world today were fascinating. You can read more about the conference, written by the JTA news service, on page 1. My takeaway from all this? Never miss an opportunity to dive into an event such as this one. A lot of learning came out of those few days, and I’m sure that many of those attending left reenergized and inspired, as I did. Every mind needs some of that every so often.
The Jewish Voice
Our common vulnerability as mortal beings On Nov. 14, Dr. Alan Daniels operated on several vertebrae in my neck to relieve severe compression on my spinal cord – a compression that had caused extreme weakness in my left forearm, wrist and all five fingers. At some point dur ing my two-and-ahalf-day stay IT SEEMS at The Miriam Hospital, Dr. TO ME Daniels was at my bedRABBI JIM side, tellin me that he had ROSENBERG relieved the c ompr e s s ion and that it was now up to my spinal cord to do its job. Fortunately, within two weeks of my surgery, I had regained much, though by no means all, of my lost function. I came home from The Miriam relieved that the surgery was behind me, but filled with the sense of vulnerability that comes from feeling physically and emotionally threatened. Upon my return, I found that my brother Bill and sister-inlaw Pat had sent me a book that spoke directly and forcefully to my sense of vulnerability: “Lincoln in the Bardo” (Random House, 2017) by George Saunders. Saunders’ work is a wonder of historical fiction, which focuses on the night of Feb. 25, 1862. President Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, had died five days earlier of typhoid fever. The funeral was held in the White House on Feb. 24, followed by a procession to Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery, where the boy’s body was placed in a crypt. Multiple historical records attest to Lincoln returning to the crypt on the night of Feb. 25 to spend several hours with his dead son. Drawing on his depth of human empathy, Saunders imagines his way into Lincoln’s soul
LETTER Re: Blue Crinkle Cookies (Dec. 8)
My son and I recently attempted to make the Blue Crinkle Cookies. What a disaster! We measured the ingredients carefully and followed the directions as stated; however the step that indicated “add the blue food coloring, until the desired color is achieved” was rather ambiguous. The dough turned out very sticky before being chilled so much so that I looked up the recipe on the developer’s blog and saw other reviewers had similar problems. In fact there was not one posi-
tive review! Ms. Kor, herself, indicated that “liquid food coloring will change the consistency of the dough.” She went on to say that she recommended using gel instead. Well that certainly would have been nice to know before making the recipe! Not only that but as we were adding the blue, liquid food coloring to the yellow egg yolks, the batter was turning green. I found out after the fact that using the gel would have provided a brighter, more intense color cookie since it is more concen-
trated than liquid food coloring. In addition, it would have been nice to know how many cookies the recipe was expected to yield. If that was not enough, the cookies were rather bland. What a waste of time and ingredients! Lynda Golditch Cranston, R.I. We apologize for the problems with this recipe which was provided to The Voice by the JTA. We have contacted them and asked for clarification.
during his night of darkest despair. What makes Saunders’ novel unique is that he relies on dozens of voices – mostly fictional, a few known to history – to propel his story forward; moreover, almost all of these voices are ghosts! To be more specific, the voices are those of the ghosts who inhabit the “bardo” of the Oak Hill Cemetery – “bardo” being a Buddhist term for an inbetween state of existence separating the end of life from the beginning of a new life. In the context of this novel, the bardo is somewhat akin to the Catholic notion of purgatory, a transitional period between this life and the afterlife. A feeling of vulnerability permeates Saunders’ novel. Early on, one of the ghosts describes Willie’s corpse in his crypt as “[r]esembling a fish who, having washed ashore, lies immobile and alert, acutely aware of its vulnerability.” In describing Willie’s bereaved father, President Lincoln, one of the ghosts comments, “As we approached, he lifted head from hands and heaved a great sigh. He might have been, in that moment, a sculpture on the theme of Loss.” In addition to being consumed by the death of his son, Lincoln is at the same time being torn apart by news of massive death and destruction during the early stages of the Civil War. Despite the recent Union victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, the cost of the battle was thousands of dead young men. A ghost in the bardo imagines Lincoln’s double torment as both private citizen and commander in chief of the Union forces: “Have exported this grief. Some three thousand times. So far. To date. A mountain. Of boys. Someone’s boys. Must keep on with it. May not have the heart for it. One thing to pull the lever when blind to the result. But here lies one dear example of what I accomplish by the orders I – .”
Though for a time “a sculpture on the theme of Loss,” Lincoln refuses to remain frozen like a statue, immobile in thought and deed. Rather, an overwhelming sense of the vulnerability of every man, woman and child reaches his very core, inspiring a renewed sense of duty and loyalty – to Willie and to the nation he has sworn to serve. Yet another ghost intuits Lincoln’s resolve not to remain “stuck” but to move forward: “Free myself of this darkness as I can, remain useful, not go mad. Think of him, when I do, as being in some bright place, free of suffering, resplendent in a new mode of being.” For the rest of his life, cut short by an assassin’s bullet, President Lincoln does “remain useful,” signing the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, and bringing the bloody war to a conclusion, for all practical purposes, on April 9, 1865, in the stillness of Appomattox, Virginia. It seems to me that it is no accident that the testimony of the ghost of a black slave fills the last page of “Lincoln in the Bardo.” This ghost confesses his spiritual identity with Abraham Lincoln, although the president is a white man: “And then I roused myself, and sat up straight, and fully rejoined the gentleman. “And we rode forward into the night, past the sleeping houses of our countrymen.” In these final words of the novel, there is a suggestion of reconciliation between the races, a reconciliation born of an awareness of our common vulnerability as mortal beings – a suggestion of a healing of our divided nation that is yet to come. JAMES B. ROSENBERG is rabbi emeritus of Temple Habonim in Barrington. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLUMNS | LETTERS POLICY The Jewish Voice publishes thoughtful and informative contributors’ columns (opeds of 500 – 800 words) and letters to the editor (300 words, maximum) on issues of interest to our Jewish community. At our discretion, we may edit pieces for publication or refuse publication. Letters and columns, whether from our regular contributors or from guest columnists, represent
the views of the authors; they do not represent the views of The Jewish Voice or the Alliance. Send letters and op-eds to: The Jewish Voice, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906 or editor@ jewishallianceri.org. Include name, city of residence and a contact phone number or email (not for publication).
The mission of The Jewish Voice is to communicate Jewish news, ideas and ideals by connecting and giving voice to the diverse views of the Jewish community in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, while adhering to Jewish values and the professional standards of journalism.
December 22, 2017 |
There’s more to the Western Wall than you think There is a place called the Seventh Step, and it was once one of the most coveted prayer spots in the Jewish world. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. Praying at that spot fell out of practice several decades ago.
LETTERS HOME DANIEL STIEGLITZ Situated in Hebron, next to Maarat Hamachpela (The Tomb of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs), the Seventh Step was the closest Jews could get to the tombs of their forebears Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah because for 700 years, non-Muslims were banned from entering. Now the ban is over and Jews are permitted to visit these tombs. There is no more need to limit ourselves to a single step. Now let’s zoom in on a section of the Western Wall known as the Western Wall plaza. (It is also known as the Kotel, or “wall,” and can refer to all four sides of the retaining walls that surround the Temple Mount.) It has been the primary site of Jewish worship for many years. Notice how I didn’t refer to it as Judaism’s holiest site, because it isn’t. That distinction goes to the Temple Mount, on the other side of the Western Wall. It was here that Jews believe the Holy Temple stood on the holiest spot on the planet – the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was housed. It’s this place that Jews around the world pray toward, not the Western Wall plaza. This plaza is like the Seventh Step – we only need it until we can pray freely on the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, it is at the Western Wall plaza where clashes sometimes erupt between those wishing to maintain the status quo of Orthodoxstyle prayer and structure at the plaza (with a separation of men and women) and those who want to have an egalitarian section. As a result of this discord, the
Though it would seem to have little real practical effect, since President Donald Trump announced moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem my inbox has had many passionate messages either celebrating or condemning the move. Missing, as usual, were more balanced, moderate views.
Israeli government constructed an egalitarian section at the wall a few meters south of the Western Wall plaza, along the continuation of the wall near Robinson’s Arch. For those who claim that this section isn’t as good because the Western Wall plaza has always been regarded as the “main” section of the wall, there are two facts to keep in mind: 1) As mentioned above, the Western Wall plaza is not Judaism’s holiest site. 2) The Western Wall plaza is not the entire Western Wall, but rather just a small portion of a much larger wall that goes all the way along the western side of the Temple Mount. So what makes this small section of the Western Wall so important that people argue and fight over it? The same thing that made the Seventh Step so important until a few decades ago – the people who popularized it. I went to the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on two separate occasions. The experiences were so similar that I will only share one of them here. This took place during the intermediate days of Sukkot. That evening, the men’s and women’s sections of the Western Wall plaza were packed. With a female friend, I walked to the egalitarian section. It was spacious and had several bimahs (altars) for people to congregate around. There was one thing missing from this area, however: People. At the exact same moment that thousands upon thousands of people were gathered at the Western Wall plaza, the egalitarian section of the Western Wall was almost devoid of life. The only other people there were an Ultra-Orthodox family. They stood together, mother next to sons, as they prayed and danced near this part of the Western Wall that they had virtually all to themselves. While the space along the actual wall was very small, there were so few of us in the egalitarian section that we had plenty of room compared to the people trying to squeeze into a spot along the wall in the Western Wall plaza. The egalitarian section was so nice that we decided to say our prayers there and not even
Western Wall plaza.
The egalitarian section. deal with the frenzy of people at the Western Wall plaza. We understood that a wall is just a wall, and this section was no less important to us than the Western Wall plaza. On our way out, we noticed that there was no security guard on watch at the egalitarian section. We asked a nearby guard why. His response: “Because no one ever goes there.” The bottom line is that the only reason why the Western Wall plaza is such an important site is because devoted Jews worship there day after day, not just on Sabbath or Rosh
Hodesh. They are there, praying, every hour of every day, 24/7. And those who are happy to maintain the status quo of men and women praying separately at the Western Wall plaza make up a clear majority in the plaza. My own bottom line is this: Whoever wants the Jewish world to believe that the Western Wall plaza is just as important to them as it is to those who pray there regularly must come and prove it, like the groups that are represented 24/7 in the plaza. If it’s not about politics, then those who want to use the
LETTER Trump’s Jerusalem announcement
Though critics complained the initiative destroyed the “peace process,” in reality there was no such process as neither Israelis nor Palestinians seem truly ready to compromise. Israel should be able to choose its capital as all other countries do, and Palestinians, and their allies, must face the reality that
Jerusalem is effectively already Israel’s capital and there is no way to peace without recognizing that. They gain nothing from their strategy of rejectionism and rage. That said, it is hard to see how the U.S. benefits from Trump’s actions. We become more isolated from allies, haters on all
sides get more motivated, including anti-American (and anti-Semitic) hatred. With this timing, resulting violence may harm all interests by hurting holiday tourism. The U.S. and Israel also need to face reality. There is no way to make the Palestinians surrender and no way to peace
egalitarian section should show the world that they care and are committed to maintaining this area of the Western Wall. Like the Seventh Step in Hebron and the Western Wall plaza, we can make the egalitarian section of the Western Wall a sacred place by simply being there and using it regularly. DANIEL STIEGLITZ (email@example.com) is a certified Life Coach and a freelance writer who lives in Jerusalem. His new collection of short stories, “Tavern of the Mind,” is available for purchase at Amazon. com.
without Jerusalem, at least East Jerusalem, also being the Palestinian capital. The only way forward is compromise, compromise, on all sides. But Trump’s action, so hostile to Palestinians, makes that even harder to achieve. Barry Schiller North Providence R.I.
10 | December 22, 2017
CALENDAR | NATION
Saturday | December 23
Alliance Kosher Senior Café. Kosher lunch and program every weekday. Dwares JCC, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence. Noon lunch; 1 p.m. program. $3 lunch donation from individuals 60+ or under 60 with disabilities. Neal or Elaine, 401-338-3189.
Taste of Shabbat Service. 9-11 a.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. 9 a.m. Torah discussion and 9:45 a.m. Shabbat service followed by a light Kiddush. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at stephanie@ toratyisrael.org or 401-885-6600.
West Bay Kosher Senior Café. Kosher lunch and program every weekday. Temple Sinai, 30 Hagen Ave., Cranston. 11:15 a.m. program; noon lunch. $3 lunch donation from individuals 60+ or under 60 with disabilities. Steve, 401743-0009.
Children’s Shabbat Program and Jr. Kiddush Club. 9:30-11:15 a.m. Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp St., Providence. Weekly program and Jr. Kiddush Club for children. Activities include prayer, parashah, play time and a special Kiddush. Three age groups: Tots, Pre-K thru 1st grade and 2nd grade & up. Located in Kids Room, Social Hall and Chapel on the lower level. Big kids of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to join prayer services in the main sanctuary. Information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through January 4 World Views. Bunny Fain Gallery at Temple Habonim, 165 New Meadow Road, Barrington. Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and by appointment. Three artists and their views of the world around them are featured: Anne Kelsey Thacher mixed media; Susan Gallagher photographs; and Carol Beagan oils and pastels. Information, 401-245-6536 or email@example.com.
Friday | December 22 Kabbalat Shabbat Service. 7:30-9 p.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by an Oneg. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401885-6600.
FROM PAGE 1
sin, serves as a unifying training ground for synagogue and camp song leaders and cantors, and attracts people from outside the Reform movement. Katz, a high school junior who helps lead religious services at Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, New Hampshire, said being a Jewish song leader is emotionally fulfilling. “The music completes me,” she said. “We are all singing the same song. We all know the words. It is so much fun singing the music we love.” But in the sounds and lyrics of this contemporary Jewish music, Katz and Hyman, a high school senior from Long Island, New York, find more than social engagement and entertainment – it is a source of inspiration for their faith, they both told JTA. The biennial’s schedule demonstrated the centrality of music in the Reform movement: There were three dozen musicians, a choir, late-night concerts, multiple workshops on worship music and musical approaches for congregations. There were more than 30 performances staged in partnership with Jewish Rock Radio, part of a nonprofit founded by musician Rick Recht, who grew up in Reform’s NFTY youth group. There was a coming-out party for PJ Library Radio, a streaming music service from PJ Library, the popular Jewish children’s book giveaway organization.
Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat. 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp St., Providence. Professor Jeremy England discusses issues at the nexus of science and religion in his talk “Vayehi Orev, Vayehi Boker: Creation, Combination and The Tree of Life.” Followed by Kiddush luncheon. Danielle Bessler Foundation also a sponsor. Information, email@example.com or 401-621-9393.
Monday | December 25 (401)j Night Out: Dinner at Apsara Palace. 7:30 p.m. 783 Hope St., Providence. Join fellow (401)j-ers for a fun night out with friends and have “Music plays one of the key roles in how our services continue to transform our movement,” said Rosalie Boxt, director of worship for the URJ. The music of the Reform movement is attuned to the world around it, Boxt said. It’s an ethos that dates back to the late 19th century in Germany, when Reform synagogue music was influenced by church music, she noted. While the more traditional movements eschewed instruments during Shabbat and holy days, Reform temples welcomed pipe organs, strings and, later, guitars and percussion. Nineteenth-century composers like Solomon Sulzer and Louis Lewendowski set prayers in styles that borrowed from the contemporary genres of their day, a practice that continued into the next century. Starting in the 1960s, the folk music revival was introduced to the Reform movement – a transition most associated with Debbie Friedman, a prolific singer-songwriter who died in 2011 at age 59. Beginning in the late 1960s, she helped move the Reform movement away from the organ, choir and a cantorial soloist to the guitar-plucking, participatory style of the American folk scene. “We embraced the idea that American folk music could tell our stories … and we shaped that into something Jewish,” said Jeff Klepper, a contemporary of Friedman and cocomposer, with Rabbi Daniel
The Jewish Voice the American Jewish experience of eating Chinese food on Christmas. Free admission. Food and drink not included. Ages 21+. Information, Dayna Bailen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401421-4111, ext. 108.
Tuesday | December 26 Yoga. 6-7 p.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. Cost: $30 for 3 sessions paid in advance; $12 per session at the door. Open to all. Bring a mat. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at email@example.com or 401-885-6600.
Wednesday | December 27 Mah Jongg. 7-8:30 p.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. Open to members and nonmembers. Bring your 2017 Mah Jongg card. Free. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-885-6600.
Friday | December 29 Kabbalat Shabbat Service. 7:30-9 p.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by an Oneg. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at email@example.com or 401885-6600.
Saturday | December 30 Taste of Shabbat Service. 9-11 a.m. Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Road, East Greenwich. 9 a.m. Torah discussion and 9:45 a.m. Shabbat service
followed by a light Kiddush. Information, Stephanie Reinsant at stephanie@ toratyisrael.org or 401-885-6600. Children’s Shabbat Program and Jr. Kiddush Club. 9:30-11:15 a.m. Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp St., Providence. Weekly program and Jr. Kiddush Club for children. Activities include prayer, parashah, play time and a special Kiddush. Three age groups: Tots, Pre-K thru 1st grade and 2nd grade & up. Located in Kids Room, Social Hall and Chapel on the lower level. Big kids of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to join prayer services in the main sanctuary. Information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday | January 3 Fighting Poverty with Faith Vigil. 3-4 p.m. RI State House Rotunda, 82 Smith St., Providence. RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty’s 10th Annual Vigil. See story page 1. Limited street and lot parking available near the State House. Parking available for a fee at the Providence Mall parking lot. Clergy will meet at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church by 2 p.m. for a pre-event program to learn more about advocacy issues and prepare for the vigil, then they will march together to the State House. Clergy interested in participating in the annual reading of names or information, contact Victoria at email@example.com or 401-421-4111, ext. 161. Israel at 70: Serving Up Israel. 7 p.m. Dwares JCC, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence. Israeli cuisine is a
combination of foods from different cultures. Who was Levi Eshkol? What dish represents Ben Gurion? What did Golda Meir prepare in her kitchen during important meetings? And what do all these dishes have to do with the establishment and independence of the state of Israel? Travel through history to learn about important Israeli dishes. Get a chance to discuss, cook, bake and taste classic dishes at a tasty evening. Free. To ensure all participants have the ingredients and supplies they need for this culinary event, RSVP by Dec. 27. Information or to RSVP, Tslil Reichman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-421-4111, ext. 121.
Friday | January 5 Family First Fridays: Cozy Shabbat. 5:30-8 p.m. Bohnen Vestry, Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence. Join Temple Emanu-El for an early Shabbat service and dinner. This month, come in your PJs. Hot chocolate bar in addition to a free dinner after services. Information, Shoshana Jacob at shosh@ teprov.org or 401-331-1616.
Sunday | January 7 Kadima and Jr. USY Israel Event. 12:30-2 p.m. Goldberg Center, Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence. Join Israeli Emissary Tslil for IDF boot camp exercises, Israeli food and Israeli games. Bring a bagged dairy lunch. Cost: $5 per person. Information, Shoshana Jacob at email@example.com or 401-331-1616.
PHOTO | JTA, UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM
Musicians Josh Goldberg, Rick Recht, Mikey Pauker, Doni Zasloff and Josh Warshawsky perform at the biennial convention of the Union for Reform Judaism, in Boston. Recht will perform at the Alliance’s Dwares JCC on April 19, 2018 in the evening. Freelander, of the popular song “Shalom Rav.” Klepper, a cantor at Temple Sinai in Sharon, Massachusetts, said he and his colleagues, who began performing the early 1970s, saw music as a way to bring people together and affirm Jewish beliefs and values. The URJ biennial featured the North American premiere of the “Debbie Friedman Suite,” arranged and conducted for a full orchestra by Or Oren, a 24-year-old Israeli composer who is a film-scoring student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The suite includes nine of Friedman’s songs, including “L’Chi Lach,” her genderneutral interpretation of Genesis 12. “They are the symbol of her music and mean a lot to Jewish communities here and other places in the world,” Oren
wrote in an email. Klepper, Boxt and others noted that there’s an explosion of music being written and incorporated into the Reform movement. The music is more varied than three and four decades ago, and brings in broader musical influences. Klepper pointed to Joe Buchanan, who celebrates his decision to become a Jew-by-choice in Texas-style country blues. According to Boxt, the array of music influences, from bluegrass to gospel to traditional Ladino songs, resonates with congregants, many of whom are interfaith families and Jewsby-choice. A new trend Boxt has observed is a mashup, where kids and teens pair a popular contemporary secular song about love or justice with a Jewish
prayer with a similar theme. One such teen is Alexander Nadelberg, a song leader at Temple Isaiah, in Lexington, Massachusetts. Nadelberg, who is an eighth-grader, got hooked on playing Jewish music at URJ Camp Eisner in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. “I feel the music is my connection with God,” he told JTA. He enjoys teaching music to younger kids, which he does regularly at Temple Isaiah. As for Hyman, the New York teen who’s the daughter of two Reform cantors, said as a child she was lulled to sleep to the music of Debbie Friedman. She envisions a future in Jewish education and music. “I want to help people through music and create change through music,” she said. “I build my life on Jewish music.
December 22, 2017 |
PHDS Students learn lessons at the food pantry On Dec. 7 and 8, students from Providence Hebrew Day School (PHDS) visited the Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry in Providence. The pantry’s dedicated staff and volunteer members warmly welcomed the students and eagerly shared their experiences and knowledge about combating hunger in Rhode Island. Students toured the facilities, helped unload a delivery,
stocked items on shelves, and listened attentively to explanations about the inner workings of the pantry. The first and most impactful question posed to our students: What is your idea of someone who comes to a food pantry? The anecdotes of their experiences with those in need, relayed by volunteers and staff, greatly contributed to deeper reflection of students’ initial answers to
that question. Math skills were also at work during this outing thanks to our guide’s fantastic idea to provide students with a budgeting activity. Students were given a hypothetical situation (single and homeless/family of four/ couple with student loan debt, etc.), and a food stamp budget befitting their family size. Using a food cost distribution list, and their allotted food stamp allow-
ance, students calculated the cost of food for their family over a two-week period. This handson learning generated awareness that, often, supplemental food stamps are not enough to feed a household. On behalf of PHDS students and faculty, we want to thank the Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry for inviting us to see the facilities and share their experienc-
David C. Isenberg Family
Early Childhood Center
es. Most importantly, thank you for demonstrating to students that giving is not always about monetary donations. Offering our time, our kindness and our compassion is a necessary and deeply beautiful gift. Submitted by Providence Hebrew Day School
OPEN HOUSE Sunday, January 7 9:00 - 11:00am
PHOTO: JEWISH VOICE PHOTOS JAN. 2017.
Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser speaks at the Annual Fighting Poverty with Faith vigil held in the Rhode Island State House Rotunda. FROM PAGE 1
imum wage and earned income tax credits, and increase the number of low-income children in Head Start, pre-kindergarten and child-care programs. A key recent issue was advocating for no-fare bus passes for the elderly, low-income and those with disabilities. On Jan. 3, from 3 to 4 p.m., the group will hold its 10th annual Fighting Poverty with Faith Vigil at the Rhode Island State House. Clergy and faith leaders from across Rhode Island will gather in the State House Rotunda to call on elected leaders
to “govern with care, compassion and wisdom.” And, as they do each year, they will propose legislative action to reduce poverty in Rhode Island. Students from the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island will blow shofars to call together the gathering. In addition to the vigil and legislative advocacy, the group sponsors a conference each May that addresses poverty issues. FRAN OSTENDORF (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the editor of The Jewish Voice.
A beautiful place to learn, play and grow. Children ages 3 months - 5 years. Early arrival and extended day options available. Tuition includes: Meals & snacks, swim lessons, art, music, creative curriculum infused with Judaic values and so much more!
All are welcome!
For more information contact Erin Barry at email@example.com 401 Elmgrove Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | 401.421.4111 | jewishallianceri.org
12 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
PHOTO | JTA
Russian Cabbage Soup (From “Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking”)
PHOTO | JTA
Perfect soup for a cold winter’s day BY PAOLA GAVIN (The Nosher via JTA) – Shchi, or Russian cabbage soup, is among the more well-known soups in Russia. It is usually made with white or green cabbage, but some versions are made with other green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, sorrel or nettles. Shchi is usually served with sour cream and some black bread on the side. Unlike borscht, there are no beets in this soup. The following recipe was excerpted with permission from “Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking,” by Paola Gavin, published by Quadrille in October.
Russian Cabbage Soup Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, fi nely chopped 2 garlic cloves, fi nely chopped 1 green or white cabbage, about 1 pound, fi nely shredded 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated 2 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and diced 4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped 2 bay leaves 4 cups vegetable stock or water Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons fi nely chopped dill or parsley Sour cream for serving
Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a moderate
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heat until the onion is translucent. Add the cabbage and carrots, and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time so the vegetables cook evenly. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaves and stock; bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for another 20-25 minutes, adding a little water if the soup seems too thick. Serve hot in individual bowls garnished with dill or parsley and a dollop of sour cream. Serves 4. Editor’s Note: Acclaimed food writer Paola Gavin has previously published three books: “Mediterranean Vegetarian Cooking,” “Italian Vegetarian Cooking” and “French Vegetarian Cooking.” The Nosher food blog offers new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at TheNosher.com.
Slow cooker speeds up pot roast dinner BY JENNIFER STEMPEL (The Nosher via JTA) – As someone who runs her life a million miles per minute, but still values the fruits of a homecooked meal, the slow cooker is certainly a mainstay in my kitchen. Because of this favorite small appliance, my family gets to enjoy rich, hearty meals that taste like they’ve been simmering all day, even on those days when I’ve got just a few minutes to get dinner on the table. I especially love making this savory slow cooker pot roast for a festive Shabbat meal. Any good starchy side like rice, potatoes or noodles will sop up the juices in a fabulous way. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll have leftovers, which I have been known to turn into pot roast tacos the next day. Do the prep work the night before and set the slow cooker in the morning. By the time dinner rolls around, your neighbors will be knocking on your door to join your Shabbat table. I use a slow cooker liner to make cleanup easier.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast Ingredients
1 5-pound boneless beef
chuck roast 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 large sweet onions, diced 2 large carrots , diced 4 cloves garlic, fi nely minced 1 large sprig rosemary 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped 1 (15-ounce) can low sodium beef broth 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 dried bay leaf
Pat the beef chuck roast dry, and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil, and brown the beef on all sides (about 3 minutes per side). While the beef is browning, layer the onions, carrots, garlic, rosemary and mushrooms in the bowl of a slow cooker. Once the beef is browned on all sides, place the beef on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Deglaze the saute pan with the beef broth, making sure to scrape up any dark spots from the pan. Pour the broth in the slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes over the beef and tuck in a dried bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Remove the beef from the slow cooker using kitchen tongs, and set on a carving board. Shred or slice, and serve with a starchy side dish. Or, you can remove the sprig of rosemary and the bay leaf and blend the vegetables into a thick sauce that can be used as a gravy. NOTE: Steps 1-4 can be done the night before. Store the bowl of the slow cooker in the refrigerator overnight, and continue from step 5 in the morning JENNIFER STEMPEL is a TV development executive who lives in Los Angeles. She blogs about her experiments in the kitchen at TheCubanReuben. com.
December 22, 2017 |
Why 30,000 Orthodox women belong to this recipe-sharing Facebook group BY YVETTE ALT MILLER JTA – Getting dinner on the table is a challenge for any busy, modern family. Wit h la rger-t ha n-average family sizes and religiously mandated dietary restrictions, mealtimes can be even more complex at Orthodox Jewish homes. On the one hand, there’s a limited number of Kosher restaurants in any given area. On the other, home-cooked Shabbat meals are often considered the highlight of the week. Take the financial burden of Kosher dining with large families, combine that with the demand for weekly delicious meals for a crowd, and the pressures feeding an observant family can become rather intense. But what if there was a way to trade time- and family-tested meals with a like-minded bunch of people? Thus the Facebook page I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes was born in 2007. It’s the brainchild of two Brooklyn sisters – Goldie Adler Nathan, 35, and Esty Adler Wolbe, 29 – who created a forum to allow Kosher cooks from across the globe to trade recipes, swapping information about everything from chicken soup and cholent to Italian desserts and kung pao tofu. I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes quickly became more than just a recipe swap site. It has evolved into a full-fledged community of mostly-Orthodox women who discuss everything from health issues to the division of labor in families. Today, its 30,000 members swap tips on marriage, child rearing, holidays and, of course, cooking. “It’s a support group,” said Wolbe, a mother of four, of the page’s success. “Friday afternoon, when you’re busy cooking [for Shabbat], you know you’re not alone.” Kosher cooks, she points out, face burdens above and beyond most home cooks, including meeting dietary restrictions and the high cost of Kosher meat. “We’re overcooking, not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Wolbe said. “We overcook once a week on average.” The size and the commitment of the page’s members is particularly impressive considering that the site began as something of a joke: As a 19-year-old newlywed who lived in a cramped basement apartment, Wolbe “hated her kitchen,” as Nathan described. Instead of cooking for herself and her husband, Yitzy, a loan officer at a car dealership, the couple would go out to eat or visit relatives for meals. So Nathan created I Don’t Cook but I Give Out Recipes to tease Wolbe, who loved dishing out recipes and advice despite
PHOTO | JTA, COURTESY OF WOLBE
Sisters Esty Wolbe, left, and Goldie Adler Nathan are the founders of the I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes Facebook page. never actually using her kitchen. “My mother is always saying ‘How can you make fun of your sister like that?’” Nathan said with a chuckle. At first, the page was simply a forum for family and friends to share recipes or post a photo of a particularly pictureperfect meal. Soon, though, word spread among members’ extended networks, and more people began using the page to post recipes and talk about food on a regular basis. As it happens, Wolbe was just beginning a cooking odyssey of her own. When she had her first baby in 2007, eating out wasn’t so easy anymore. “It was born out of necessity,” she said of her cooking, “and soon it became love.” Their family, Wolbe explains, moved to the United States from the Ukraine, where their grandmother was known for her cooking prowess, which she passed on. “I come from a long line of amazing cooks,” she said. “I grew up in the kitchen.” Fast forward to 2015, when Wolbe – a full-time foodie by then, with a popular Kosher food blog, Cooking with Tantrums, as well as an online cooking show – was shocked to discover the page had 8,000 members. That year, Wolbe became administrator of I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes. She switched it to a closed group – vetting new members to make sure they actually exist – keeping it focused on Kosher food and insisting on a high level of courtesy from users. “Esty does a fabulous job of setting and keeping the tone friendly, fun and helpful,” said member Vichna Belsky, 35, of New York. “Plus, it’s fun to sometimes bump into a random person someplace and discover
you’re both in this group.” While the focus is on Jewish cooking, its emphasis is the unique needs of religiously observant Jews. “Fake shrimp ideas needed!” read one recent post. Another declared: “Hosting a bunch of teenagers next Shabbos lunch. Need ideas for a menu that will go down well with them.” Given that Jewish cooking – along with home cooking, in general – has become decidedly more gourmet in recent years, not all of the group’s members enjoy putting meals on the table. “The foodie world has explod-
ed,” said Wolbe, pointing to the proliferation of cooking shows, magazines and blogs, hers included. “Everyone has the ability to be a top chef.” For some Orthodox Jewish women, who typically entertain on a weekly basis, it can be stressful to keep up. “Just wanna say, no other group has made me feel quite this inadequate,” read one recent I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes post. “It makes me want to cry,” declared another. “I look at all these masterpieces and feel like a complete failure.” These and similar posts garner hundreds of responses – with some users sharing tips (such as “start simple” or choose just one standout dish) and others providing reassurance that not everyone was busy producing restaurant-quality meals. “I remember one post by a mother saying ‘I just had a baby and I don’t know how people do it, I’m so exhausted,’” Wolbe said. “And within a few minutes, she had three weeks worth of meals. These [the people who responded] were total strangers.” Over the years, users have asked for help finding Kosher accommodations while traveling or posted pictures from the supermarket inquiring about unfamiliar Kosher symbols on packaged foods. Some have also tried to find jobs for members. One common post on I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes: “Taking challah in an hour,
please send names.” That’s a reference to the mitzvah of separating a piece of dough as one makes challah, in remembrance of the portion of dough that used to be given to the Temple priests in Jerusalem during ancient times. It’s one of the key mitzvot with which observant Jewish women traditionally identify. Many women pray for others before taking challah, and the requests for names can generate up to a hundred requests for prayers. The requests from page members include those for recovery from illness, for children and fertility, for young women to speedily find a marriage match. “It can take 20 minutes or more” to recite all the names, Wolbe said, “which is a long time when you’re trying to make dinner for your kids.” Yet week after week, members continue to ask their fellow Kosher cooks around the world for the names of loved ones for whom to pray. It’s that community-minded spirit that keeps I Don’t Cook But I Give Out Recipes alive. “It’s like being friends with a huge bunch of really savvy, smart and experienced cooks who are available 24/6 to help you,” said member Nechama Samuels, 42, who lives in Israel. “In return, we try to chip in and do our part to help others.” She adds: “All in all it’s a wonderful resource and even – dare I say it? – family.”
14 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
In retrospect, snow is fun! A few weeks ago, I awoke to see large, graceful snowflakes floating down from the sky. The scene launched a cascade of cherished memories of snow as seen through a child’s eyes. In the fi rst frame of my time machine, my mom and my preschool self are cutting doilies into various SUSAN snowf lake BAZAR shapes, attaching yarn, and hanging them from our kitchen window. Their pristine whiteness mirrors the scene on the other side of the frosted pane. In another frame, with the din of the black-and-white TV in the background, my sibs and I are eager to laser in on Salty Brine’s pronouncement of “No School Foster-Glocester,”
knowing it could be a harbinger of good news about the Cranston Public Schools. For the Sigal children, all-day pajamas and lunches of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches dipped in Campbell’s tomato soup was a fi ne way to spend the day. In junior high, my memory shifts to thoughts of my dad and how he loved the fi rst snow of the season. Overcoming the elements was his ultimate competitive sport – and what better way to assert himself than behind the wheel of a car! Could there really have been a correlation between reports of parking bans and his sudden craving for a pizza or hot fudge sundae from the Newport Creamery in Garden City? That era also recalls long afternoons in Roger Williams Park. With the ice on the pond several feet thick, we skated and sledded and played hideand-seek among the tall, icy
reeds. We were joined by every other family in Rhode Island, or so it seemed. You took your turn on the slope and then cleared the landing to make way for the next toboggan. Numb fi ngers and toes were the cue for a hot cocoa break. In high school, daytime sledding gave way to night skiing at Yawgoo Valley. It was fun, decidedly more daring than sledding, and very grown up! Little did I know at the time that these experiences would prepare me for my freshman year in college – and the Blizzard of ’78. Challenging for so many, what unanticipated fun it turned out to be for me! The quad was at once pure, from the fresh snow, and so alive. Dining hall trays became flying saucers as friends from the south played like children in their fi rst live snow. With all of this going on in my new, independent world, I didn’t
know that my most cherished memory would be unfolding in my childhood home. Three or four days into the storm and its snow-clogged aftermath, hospitals began running out of food. Our family business is wholesale produce and what follows is among our proudest lore. Under circumstances that are still unclear, phone service was restored to our home. The voice of Rhode Island National Guard Maj. Gen. Leonard Holland was heard on the line. (Full disclosure: although I never met General Holland, I knew the Jewish community was proud to have him as the state’s top soldier!) The conversation went something like this: “Irving, we need to get food to the hospitals and oranges to the diabetics. Time is running short. We need what’s in your warehouse. A tank will be by to pick you up within the hour.” In hindsight, it was more of an order than a conversation,
but my dad was only too happy to help. This time, instead of dashing off for a pizza or hot fudge sundae, my dad climbed into the hatch of the tank in our suburban driveway. Off he went, heading north to the produce terminal building on Harris Avenue. A convoy of tanks greeted his arrival, and the tanks were loaded and deployed to Rhode Island Hospital with military precision. With no Instagram or social media to bear witness, the story, like in a game of “Telephone,” has morphed harmlessly over the years. I can’t wait to pass it on to my two young grandchildren when we are fortunate enough to share a fi rst snow together. SUSAN BAZAR (firstname.lastname@example.org) is executive director of the Jewish Seniors Agency of Rhode Island.
Seeing the light in the winter For those of us who stay in New England in the winter, the cold weather can become an emotional challenge, pa r t icu la rly for those of us who thrive on outdoor warm weather activities. The cold, staying indoors PATRICIA and less expoRASKIN sure to sunlight can develop into a real problem: Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD) commonly known as winter depression. According to the National Mental Health Association,
“SAD is a mood disorder associated with depression episodes and related to seasonal variations of light. January and February are the most difficult months for those affected by SAD and younger persons and women are at higher risk. Symptoms include excessive eating and sleeping and weight gain.” In addition to the NMHA’s recommendations of phototherapy or bright light therapy, I have some of my own ideas on how to combat the winter blues: • Bundle up and walk on the beach. • Drink hot cocoa, tea, cider or a hot toddy. • Light your fi replace and sit near it.
• Write notes to friends and tell them you are thinking of them • Clean a drawer, shelf or closet. • Sort through your things and pack up what you’re not using to give to friends, a consignment shop, a shelter, etc. • Exercise at a gym or at home. • Spend time on the internet looking up something that really interests you. • Speak with an old friend • Dance to music or along with an exercise video. Sometimes during a snowstorm, I go outside and clean off my car several times as the snow falls. It gets me out in the fresh air, and the snow is pretty
to watch. I really relate to this beautiful quote in an article by Shimona Tzukernik, “The Month of Kislev – Concealment and Revelation,” posted at Chabad. org. She writes, “Kislev is the month that begins the winter season, when the light of the summer becomes hidden and we enter into a place of spiritual concealment. But it is through our surrender to the darkness that we can reveal and manifest the greatness of who we are.” And here’s some ancient wisdom from Ecclesiastes 3:18: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven A time to be born, and a time to die A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted A time to kill and a time to heal A time to break down, and a time to build up A time to weep, and a time to laugh A time to mourn, and a time
to dance A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing A time to get, and a time to lose A time to keep, and a time to cast away A time to rend, and a time to sew A time to keep silence, and a time to speak A time to love, and a time to hate A time of war, and a time of peace.” May we all bring light to the long dark periods of winter. PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an awardwinning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin” show, a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.
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December 22, 2017 |
A ‘Woman of the Wall’ speaks at Temple Beth-El BY AARON GINSBURG Lesley Sachs, executive director of Women of the Wall, spoke about her group’s three-decade struggle to pray aloud and with Torahs at the Western Wall during a visit to Temple Beth-El on Dec. 2. Sachs was in the area to attend the Union of Reform Judaism Biennial 2017, in Boston. She spoke at Beth-El, in Providence, as a guest of the temple and the Sisterhood. “Women of the Wall,” Sachs told the 100 people in the audience, “is a group of modernOrthodox, Conservative and Reform women demanding our right to pray in the women’s section of the Western Wall with what we call the Four Ts: tefi la, to pray aloud and not in silence; tefi llin – some of our women lay tefi llin; tallit;” and to bring in a Torah. “Two years ago, we thought we had made history,” Sachs continued. “Following three years of negotiation with us, the government of Israel voted 15 to 5 to create a third pluralistic plaza in the southern part of the Western Wall.” Sachs said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked for three years with the Women of the Wall, the Reform and Conservative movements, the Jewish Federation of North America, and The Jewish Agency to reach the January 2016 “Kotel Agreement,” which turned “an underused archeological site in the southern part of the Western Wall into a new worshipping space for liberal Jews and Women of the Wall.” After a political storm, the government failed to implement the agreement. “In a country where there is
PHOTO | LISA BROSOFSKY
Vivian Gealer, supporter of WOW, Elaine Sandy, president of Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El, Lesley Sachs, executive director of Women of the Wall, Barbara Horovitz Brown, past president of Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El Cheryl Greenfield, past president of Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El. no formal separation between religion and state, the government pays the salaries of rabbis. And where the government pays salaries, the question of who is a rabbi and related pluralism issues are inherently political,” Sachs said. “That means the Orthodox political parties that usually hold the balance of power in the Knesset can impose their will on any government. “It’s important to know that the Western Wall is not a synagogue, it is defi ned by law as a holy national site. Unfortunately, after the 1967 war, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi was appointed as administrator, so it is no wonder that over the years he turned it into something that resembles ‘his synagogue,’ a synagogue where women should not be seen and their
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Male supporters, including Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, have tried to provide Torahs for the women, but have been physically accosted by security guards at the Kotel. Right now, she continued, “Women of the Wall are in the front line every Rosh Hodesh, suffering verbal, and many times physical, abuse [while] exercising spiritual disobedience.” Sachs urged the audience to show their support by lobbying the Israeli government, both in Israel and through its embassies and consulates, to join
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voices not heard,” she said. Currently, women are restricted to a small section of the Kotel, where they must pray individually and silently, and are banned from bringing in Torahs; there are 200 Torahs in the men’s section, none in the women’s section. Sachs told stories of being shoved, shouted at and arrested many times for trying to bring Torahs into the Kotel. She said when women attempted to pray aloud, groups of young women and girls who oppose Women of the Wall blew whistles and bullhorns to drown out their prayers.
Women of the Wall in praying aloud at the Kotel; to gather in support on Rosh Hodesh; and to wear the Women of the World Tallit. Some members of the audience later said they were upset by the way the non-Orthodox are treated in Israel. Rabbi Jacobs addressed this issue with a cautionary message during his d’var Torah a week later at the URJ 2017 Biennial. “Let’s speak honestly,” he said. “There are … forces pulling our communities apart: the frustration, even anger, that the non-Orthodox Jewish majority feels as our religious rights in Israel are denied; the alienation many, especially among our youth, feel over Israeli policies toward the Palestinians; the attentiveness of Israel’s government to Christian Evangelicals, while turning a cold shoulder to the concerns of progressive Jews. “We should never shirk our obligation to raise objections to policies that weaken Israel’s Jewish democratic core and undermine prospects for IsraeliPalestinian peace. But we must simultaneously help our people fall in love with Israel, with her diverse and remarkable people, her founding vision, her creativity in its scientific, business and cultural achievements, and so much more.”
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16 |â€‚December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
Second place winner, Shoshana Pompili, grade 3, category: grades 3-5
First place winner, Vivienne Brods
Third place winner, Chana Miriam Karp, grade 4, category: grades 3-5
FROM PAGE 1
sponded with illustrations of family, hanukkiyot, latkes and even music. The judges were impressed that family figured so prominently in so much of the artwork, from the youngest to the oldest. Judges included Fran Ostendorf, editor of The Voice, Leah Camara, layout designer of The Voice, Chris Westerkamp, advertising sales representative for The Voice, Seth Finkle, director of teen programming and Camp Haverim for the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and Tslil Reichman, Israeli shlichah (emissary).
Here are the winners: Grades K-2
Pompili, Grade 3, Providence Hebrew Day School
First Place: Moshe Zimmerman, Grade 2, Providence Hebrew Day School
Third Place: Chana Miriam Karp, Grade 4, Providence Hebrew Day School
Second Place: Moshe Daniel Haldorsen, Grade 2, Providence Hebrew Day School
Honorable Mention: Chaim Berlin, Grade 4 and Shifra Nechama Karp, Grade 4, Providence Hebrew Day School
Third Place: Ryan Benjamin Golditch, Grade 2, Temple BethEl. Honorable Mention: Alice Olson, Kindergarten, J-Space, and Shmuel Bielory, Grade 1, Providence Hebrew Day School.
First Place: Vivienne Brodsky, Grade 4, Congregation Agudas Achim, Attleboro Second
Mazal Tov to all! And thanks to our advertiser Rock Spot Climbing for funding the firstand second-place prizes. Those winners will receive an introductory session at the gym. Third-place winners will receive a VISA Gift Card. FRAN OSTENDORF (email@example.com) is the editor of The Jewish Voice.
Honorable Mention, Shifra Nechama Karp grade 4, category: grades 3-5
Thank you to all who entered this yearâ€™s Hanukkah Art Contest
December 22, 2017â€‚|
of the 2017
Second place winner, Moshe Daniel Haldorsen, grade 2, category: grades K-2
sky, grade 4, category: grades 3-5
Third place winner, Ryan Golditch grade 2, category: grades K-2
Honorable Mention, Chaim Berlin grade 4, category: grades 3-5
Honorable Mention, Alice Olson Kindergarten, category: grades K-2
Honorable Mention, Schmuel Bielory, grade 1, category: grades K-2
18 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
Providence couple honored at Siyum Hashas celebration BY RUCHAMA SZENDRO After Shabbat on Dec. 2, the auditorium at Congregation Shaarei Tefilla was teeming with excitement as 160 members of the Kollel community from across New England gathered to celebrate a very special achievement by a Providence couple: After 25 years of perseverance, Anschel Strauss, aided and inspired by his wife Deborah, had completed his study of the entire Babylonian Talmud. To provide a frame of reference for his accomplishment: The Talmud Bavli is comprised of 37 “tractates,” or books; in all, there are 5,422 pages of Aramaic text and commentaries. Over the years, Strauss worked with many chavrutas (study partners) and celebrated his completion (siyum) of one book of Talmud after the other. The crowd gathered on Dec. 2 was hushed as Strauss read and explained the very last paragraph of the 37th tractate. Then everyone rose from their seats as he recited a special Kaddish – after which the room exploded in shouts of mazal tov, live music and dancing. During dinner, Strauss spoke emotionally about his parents and their influence on him. He recounted how his study of Talmud began in memory of his father. And he gave credit to his wife, Deborah, saying she was instrumental in bringing them
to this point in their religious life. The event was the culmination of an inspiring weekend at Shaarei Tefilla, in Providence, which hosted world-renowned Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein as its scholar-in-residence. On Saturday, Rabbi Rubinstein honored Anschel and Deborah Strauss and helped everyone in attendance recognize the message of the evening: Do not let limitations prevent you from working toward your dream. Solid change does not happen all at once. Steady effort and slow, imperceptible change yields great results. Comparisons were made between Strauss and Rabbi Akiva, who was born in Israel around the year 50 and, inspired by his wife, began religious study at the age of 40. Rabbi Akiva became the greatest rabbi of his time and is one of the most important influences on Judaism as we know it today. Rabbi Akiva publicly declared to his students that credit for his Torah scholarship belonged to his wife, Rachel. Although a Siyum Hashas celebration, which marks one’s study of the entire Talmud Bavli, is the event of a lifetime, Strauss pointed out that Torah study is a lifelong obligation. Just as each year on Simchat Torah we complete the annual cycle of reading the Five Books of Moses and conclude the cel-
Rabbi Naftoly Bier, Anschel Strauss and Rabbi Raphie Schochet. ebration by reading the first chapter of Genesis, so too the text of the Siyum celebration includes the following: “May
it be Your will that just as You helped me to complete this course of study, You will help me to begin the study of other
texts and to complete them … .” RUCHAMA SZENDRO lives in Providence.
Preschool pilot program planned at Temple Emanu-El The religious school at Temple Emanuel-El plans an early childhood pilot program beginning in January 2018. The program will take place on Sundays, beginning on Jan. 7, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Families are welcome to register their 3- and 4-yearold children for the program, which runs through May 20. Children who are enrolled in the class will have the opportunity to celebrate Jewish holidays and have a multisensory introduction to Jewish topics through music, dramatic play, arts and crafts, and other opportunities in the synagogue building. They will hear the sounds of noisemakers and mu-
sic while celebrating Purim, appreciate the bounty of nature at a Tu B’Shevat seder, sing songs and crunch matzah during the Pesach observance and enjoy the glow of Shabbat candles and taste traditional Shabbat foods. A tour of the sanctuary with its colorful Torah Scrolls, the opportunity to play detective and locate Jewish objects around the building, music-making in the chapel, and reading books in the well-stocked library are all part of the program. This program is open to the public. For information or to register contact Ronni Saltzman Guttin at 401-331-1616 or via email at ronni@teprov. org.
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December 22, 2017 |
Memories and awe at the R.I. Jewish Museum’s open house BY SHELLEY PARNESS The Rhode Island Jewish Museum, in collaboration with West Bay Chabad, hosted a two-day Hanukkah Pop Up Store and Open House during the last week of November. Volunteers diligently converted the book-laden Talmud study room into a freshly-painted, spacious, all-purpose gallery. The room was then fi lled with tables holding unique creations by local artists, including Naomi Geller Lipsky, Joe Shansky, Ely Greenhut, Aaron Rubenstein, and Roberta Schneider of the Women’s Association of the Jewish Seniors Agency. Also displayed for sale were a variety of Hanukkah-related items. In addition, guided tours of the museum, at 24 Douglas Ave., Providence, were provided by volunteers from the community and by Providence College stu-
dents who were taking a course about nonprofit organizations. While the store was popular, it was the historically preserved building that left the visitors awestruck. Many had memories of the Sons of Jacob Synagogue, which now houses the museum. Two people discovered that each had grandparents who had lived in the same two-family house across the street from the synagogue more than 60 years ago. While they didn’t know each other, they did know the grandparents! An uncle riding in a car being driven by his nephew abruptly told him to stop because he saw from the street that the building was open. His nephew said, “Another day,” as they had missed the turn, but the uncle insisted, “Oh no, I need to go into that building now!” Having lived in the neighborhood as a
child, he recalled the building from years ago. Another visitor, Glen McCauley, related that when he was 10 years old, though he was not Jewish, he had a dear friend, Harvey Minkin, who invited him to the synagogue, and he had never forgotten the visit. Steve Blazar proudly proclaimed that a table cover on the bimah in the downstairs sanctuary was monogrammed with his grandparents’ names. Teo Sonmemschein, who now lives in Colorado, came in with his buddy, who still lives in the neighborhood. With a wide grin, Sonmemschein reminisced about becoming a Bar Mitzvah at Sons of Jacob over 60 years ago. He and his friend walked around the entire building, inspecting all the memorials, furnishings and murals, and marveling that it was all still there.
Another guest could not stop talking about the floor tiles in the bathrooms, insisting they needed to “stay where it laid” to maintain the integrity of the historical building. Others were stunned by the ceiling and wall murals, painted and facilitated by Samuel Shore, as well as the sparkling chandelier and countless memorial plaques on walls throughout the halls. Each person reiterated that “without a doubt,” the building had to be protected, preserved and renovated. When Deb Kaplan entered with her husband, son and daughter-in-law, she literally gasped at her time travel-experience; her parents, Anna and Albert Yuloff, were married in the shul. She went on to say, “this was the shtetl shul for all the Russian immigrants who settled in the Douglas Avenue/
Smith Hill neighborhood.” These are just a fraction of the memories that were related at the event, which was attended by about 60 people, and the Rhode Island Jewish Museum invites others to share their memories by sending an email to rhodeislandjewishmuseum@ gmail.com. The museum, founded in 2016, is on the register of National Historic Places and the Providence Preservation Society’s 2016 Most Endangered Properties List. The museum will be open to the public on Dec. 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. Guided tours will be available. For more information, go to www.rhodeislandjewishmuseum.org. SHELLEY PARNESS is vice president of the Rhode Island Jewish Museum, a tax exempt 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization.
The laws of employment at Touro Synagogue BY AARON GINSBURG We were a merry, well-heated band at Touro Synagogue on Dec. 2. Our minyan arrived early with its core of regulars, supplemented by Navy personnel and visitors from New York and Newton, Massachusetts. In the parashah, one of the dramatic events was when Yaakov’s name was changed to Israel … actually, it wasn’t changed, it was just an additional name. Yaakov’s name was changed twice, fi rst after a wrestling match (Rabbi Mandel said it was not clear who he was wrestling with), and once by the Almighty. One might wonder if this was an editing mistake. I think the explanation might be that since Yaakov did not know who he wrestled with, it was better to make clear the source, and the higher the better. Rabbi Marc Mandel spoke
about employee-employer relations. He made clear that the obligations run both ways: “Yaakov’s father-in-law, Lavan, was chasing after him and caught up with him, and Yaakov says to him, ‘What do you want from me? I worked for you for 20 years. I barely slept – and I helped your estate make great profits.’ “The Rambam, Maimonides, learns from this that just as there are laws as to how an employer should treat an employee, there are also laws about how an employee should treat an employer. “In the laws of employment, (Maimonides, Mishnah Torah, Laws of Employment, Chapter 13, Law #7), a worker can’t waste time and must work as much as he can. The Rambam says, ‘If you are working you can leave out the 4th Bracha of
Portman’s Genesis prize money doubled
JTA – Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn has made a $1 million gift to the Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of 2018 laureate Natalie Portman. Kahn’s gift doubles the award for the so-called “Jewish Nobel” to $2 million. Last month, Portman was named the fi fth recipient of the Genesis Prize, which honors professional achievement in service of Jewish values and the Jewish people. The Israeli-born actress announced that she would grant the prize money to programs focusing on advancing women’s equality, including NGOs working in the field of women’s rights in Israel.
“Morris’ generosity once again reinforces how relevant and important the issue of women’s equality is today – in Israel, in the U.S. and beyond,” Portman said in a statement. Kahn is a South African-born businessman whose companies include the Amdocs telecom software fi rm and the Coral World Underwater Observatory in Eilat. The Genesis Prize was established by Mikhail Fridman and other wealthy Russian-Jewish businessmen and operates in a partnership with Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
the Benching because it is only a Rabbinic Bracha.’ The Rambam called Yaakov a Tzadik for working so hard. “What was Lavan’s reaction? Lavan says, ‘Everything you have is mine. You own nothing.’ “How do you think Yaakov felt when Lavan treated him this way “We see in today’s working world, very often, the workers are not appreciated. They work hard but they’re not appreciated. So it goes both ways – in today’s world – the workers must work honestly and diligently and the employers must recognize and honor the workers for their efforts. “Shabbat Shalom!” After services we adjourned to the Kiddish. There was more than enough food for all, which
stimulated the conversation. I got a chance to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Lake, of Newton. Mrs. Lake is a member of a renowned rabbinical family, the Soloveitchiks. Mr. Lake told me he was an immigrant. He came with his family from Plissa in 1938. Plissa is now in Belarus, but at the time it was in Poland. It is 12 miles from Glubokie. On June 1, 1942, the 412 Jews in Plissa were murdered during the Holocaust. Two survived the massacre, but one was subsequently murdered. “During the 1950s,” Mr. Lake said, “I was in the army, stationed in Germany. I brought my wife, and we rented an apartment on the fi rst floor of a house. Fluent in Yiddish, I was able to understand German,
and make myself understood. Invited to church, I explained to the landlady, ‘Ich bin Jude.’ “Coming home one Friday, I saw that the landlady was on her hands and knees washing my floor. I asked, ‘Why?’ She replied, ‘It’s your sabbath.’” The Lakes were invited to a party at the landlord’s apartment. The other guests were the landlord’s friends. Not knowing anyone, Mr. Lake started thumbing through a photo album, and discovered the landlord has been a Gestapo officer. It was a subject Mr. Lake and the landlord never discussed. AARON GINSBURG, a native of Newport, attends Shabbat services at Touro Synagogue. He can be reached at aaron. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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20 | December 22, 2017
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The Jewish Voice
Esther Adelman, 100
BOCA RATON, FLA. – After more than 100 fully-lived years, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Esther Adelman on Dec. 19. The oldest of nine children, Esther was born on June 7, 1917, in Boston, Massachusetts to the late Harry Malnikow and Annie Goldberg. She was married to the late Samuel Adelman for 55 years, and she helped run their family business, Adelman Live Poultry in Providence. Together Sam and Esther had two children whom they adored. Esther was a proud member of Temple Torat Yisrael and Hadassah, was an avid bowler, loved to play mahjongg and bridge, and enjoyed volunteering at the voting polls. She loved traveling the world with her husband, raising her children, visiting family, and spending time with her best friend, the late Silvia Kafrissen. She especially took pleasure in caring for her grandchildren. After the death of her husband in 2002, Esther moved to Florida where she enjoyed time with her daughters and sisters, and developed a deep friendship with Helen Zweig. She prided herself on living independently until 100 years old. Her sharp mind and sheer determination enabled her to fully enjoy so many family milestones, including her grandchildren’s weddings and college and graduate school graduations, and the births of three greatgrandchildren. She was a proud grandmother and even prouder g reat-g ra nd mot her, a lways ready with her iPhone or iPad to FaceTime or to request updates to the family photo stream. She adored frequent visits from her great-grandchildren and eagerly bought them ice cream, took them on special adventures, watched them swim,
taught them math and Sudoku, and played games with them. Esther was a skilled and prolific knitter, and she took great pleasure in creating treasured afghans and sweaters for each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a wonderful mother and strong role model to her daughters, Karen Wier and Sharlene Adelman. She was the world’s best grandmother to Lauren Wier Guilhardi (Paulo) and Michael Wier (Kyleen). She was the cherished greatgrandmother of Xander and Samantha Guilhardi and Madison Wier. She is survived by three beloved sisters (Sylvia Malnikow, Frieda Gordon and Phyllis Steede) and is preceded in death by four adored brothers (Morris, Israel, Isidor, and Samuel Malnikow) and a beloved sister (Betty Geller). Memorial contributions may be made in Esther’s honor to Temple Torat Yisrael, 1251 Middle Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818.
Libby Arron, 90
CRANSTON, R.I. – Libby Arron died Dec. 6 in Providence with family at her bedside. She was born in Middletow n, Connecticut, to Samuel and Minnie Rosema n. L ibby was a longtime resident of Cranston. She loved her family, pups and Rhode Island. She was Chief of Protocol for Gov. Bruce Sundlun, a leader in the Rhode Island Silver Haired Legislature and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Aging, a producer of the award-winning cable TV program “Senior Journal” and a passionate advocate for children and seniors. She received the State of Rhode Island’s 2008 Patriot Award for her contributions to the WWII Memorial Commission. Libby is survived by her children, Brett (fiancé Julia Jano-
wicz) Arron, M.D., of Wakefield, Byrna (David) Bornstein of Westwood, Massachusetts, Martin (Lori) Arron, M.D. of New York, New York; her grandchildren Sheera, Elana, Jaclyn, Louis and Gabrielle. She was predeceased by her brothers Sidney and Bernard Roseman. Donations may be made to either: The Phyllis Siperstein Tamarisk Assisted Living Residence (Attention: Support Corporation), The Alzheimers Fund at The Miriam Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box H, Providence, RI 02901, RI or Westwood Community Chest, Box 250, Westwood, MA 02090.
Stanley Bernstein, 93
Stanley Bernstein was born on Jan. 13, 1924, the son of Rose (Lipsky) Bernstein and Joseph Bernstein (Russian immigrant). He was reunited with his beloved parents and brother Allan on Dec. 6. He was a decorated World II Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He received a business degree from Bryant College in Smithfield. His rich, respected and impactful professional career was noteworthy, not only by his significant contributions to the revitalization and revival of downtown Providence, but also by his integrity. His service was recognized by proclamations of honor from three different mayors (Doorley, Cianci, Paolino), as well as numerous governors and other local and state officials. He was a modest man, and did not speak about his accomplishments. However, he earned the respect of everyone with proof that old-fashioned hard work, dedication, and the highest degree of ethical professionalism can get the job done to enact positive change. Bernstein served for 36 years at the Providence Redevelopment Agency with his last 11 OBITUARIES | 21
FROM PAGE 20
years as its executive director. He quickly rose through the ranks there from accountant to office manager in 1950 to deputy director of the Department of Planning and Urban Development and secretary of the Providence Redevelopment Agency in 1967. In 1975, he was appointed executive director of the PRA as well as director of the Department of Planning and Urban Development. He was also director of the City Plan Commission, general manager of the Providence Off-Street Parking Authority, and executive director of the Capital Center Commission (1986-1994). He helped transform downtown Providence from a virtual ghost town to a thriving economic metropolis. He was executive director of the largest development project ever undertaken in Rhode Island, which transformed acres of downtown Providence. Bernstein was responsible for relocating two rivers with plans for the Riverwalk, renovating the old train station complex, and constructing a new Amtrak station including retail and restaurants. He made the Providence Place Mall possible, which was the first major shopping mall in the downtown area, as well as ushering in major hotels, office and residential buildings. Bernstein also served more than five years as an adjunct instructor of urban studies at Brown University, as well as on the Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council. After 45 years of public service, Bernstein semi-retired to Brevard County Florida in 1994 where he was the president of the Suntree Master Association. Even as late as several months ago, Bernstein was actively assisting with his wife’s long-term care management business, while also finding time for family and friends. He enjoyed his favorite weekly bowling group, along with its dinner outings. Bernstein had the unique gift of raising everyone’s spirit. His example will be missed by the many he touched and influenced. Through his last days, he was truly the Superman that everyone revered. He is survived by his wife Catherine, his son Gary, his daughter Amy, his stepson Matthew, and five beloved grandchildren, Joshua, Ryan, Jessica, MacKenzie and Jack, and the new light of his life, greatgranddaughter Rose. There will be a celebration of life ceremony in Melbourne, Florida, on Jan. 13, which would have been his 94th birthday.
Florence M. Brynes, 65
WARWICK, R.I. – Florence M. Brynes died Dec. 2 at Rhode Island Hospital. She was the beloved wife of Michael Brynes for 43 years. Born in Providence, a daughter of Burton
Kaufman and the late Rosella (Langberg), she was a longtime resident of Warwick. She was a certified nursing assistant at Sunny View Nursing home in Warwick for five years, retiring in 2014. Florence was a graduate of Pilgrim High School, Class of ’70. She was the devoted mother of Michael Brynes Jr. and his wife, Lori, of Cranston, Keith Brynes and his wife, Judi, of Warwick and Derek Brynes of Warwick. She was the loving grandmother of Justin, Victoria, Marissa, Lindsay, Joshua, Emily and Abigail. Contributions in her memory may be made to The Trudeau Center, 3445 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886.
WARWICK, R.I. – Miriam “Mimi” Feinstein died Dec. 8, at the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center. She was the beloved wife of Albert Feinstein of Warwick for 73 years. Born in Providence, a daughter of the late Nathan and Rebecca (Goldsmith) Davis, she had lived in Warwick for 10 years, previously living in Cranston for 55 years. She was a member of the Miriam Hospital, Hadassah and the former Jewish Home for the Aged. She was the devoted mother of Dr. Bernard Feinstein and his wife, Judith, of Vineland, New Jersey, and Roberta Gilstein and her husband, Barry, of Warwick. She was the dear sister of Ruth Gershman of Warwick and the late Judge Louis Davis, Sylvia Kirshenbaum, Dinah Sholovitz, and Gladyce Davis. She was the loving grandmother of David (Debbie), Stephanie (Jeff), Michael (Joy) and Robert (Maya). She was the cherished great-grandmother of Adam, Alex, Jake, Elana, Ari and Kyle. Contributions in her memory may be made to Tamarisk, 3 Shalom Dr., Warwick, RI 02886 or Hope Hospice, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.
George Graboys, 85
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – George Graboys, 85, died Dec. 16. He was the husband of Lois ( Wolper t) Graboys. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, a son of the late Lewis and Rebecca (Sobiloff) Graboys. He graduated from Tabor Academy in 1950, Dartmouth College in 1954, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1957. George was the president, chief executive officer, and chairman of Citizens Financial
Group (Citizens Bank) from 1969-1992, and an executive in residence and adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island School of Business from 1993-1995. George cared deeply about his community, improving society, and helping vulnerable populations. He sought to uplift all through his compassion, open heartedness, and actions. George worked tirelessly on behalf of all Rhode Islanders in a variety of capacities. He was the chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, the University of Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the Rhode Island Urban Project; and was a founding member and chairman of The Rhode Island Children’s Crusade. George was awarded the Anti-Defamation League Torch of Liberty Award; Rhode Island Business Person of the Year; and New England Business Magazine Business Person of the Year. Besides his wife, he is survived by his sons Ken Graboys and his wife Sharon Graboys of Glencoe, Illinois, and James Graboys of Prattville, Alabama; daughter Angela Graboys Rudner and her husband Lewis Rudner of Providence; and grandchildren Noah, Sam, Jed, and Rebecca Graboys, and Julianne Rudner. He was the brother of the late Dr. Thomas Barr Graboys, Marilyn Graboys Wool, and Helen Sue Graboys. Contributions in his memory may be made to The George and Lois Graboys Minority Student Endowment, c/o The URI Foundation, 79 Upper College Rd, Kingston, RI, 02881, Attn: Lil O’Rourke.
Marvin Lax, 70
PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Marvin William Lax died Dec. 17 at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Rhonda (Matzner) Lax for 47 years. Born in Newark, New Jersey, a son of the late Frank and Florence (Jacobs) Lax, he was a longtime resident of Pawtucket. He was in the financial planning industry for more than 45 years, retiring in 2015. Marvin was a member of Temple BethEl, its brotherhood, and its bowling league. He was a member of Touro Fraternal Association, Redwood Lodge of the Masons and its softball league, and B’nai Brith, in which he was very active. He was an avid tennis and golf player. He earned a BA from Roger Williams College. He was the devoted father of Ryan Alan Lax and his wife, Margaret, of Hope. He was the dear brother of Reneé Phon and her husband, Thomas, of West Orange, New Jersey and Hinda Berger and her husband, Joel, of Lake Worth, Florida. He was the loving grandfather of Noah, Jacob, Jamison and Harrison. Contributions in his memory
may be made to American Diabetes Association, 260 Cochituate Road, #200, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701.
Dr. Robert S. Luber
DELRAY BEACH, FLA. –Dr. Robert S. Luber, died Dec. 12. He was a resident of Cranston for most of his life before moving to Delray Beach in 2004. He was the son of the late David and Gertrude (Seidman) Luber. Born in Providence, he graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1947 and went on to earn a Doctor of Podiatry degree from the New York College of Pediatric Medicine in 1950. Bob spent his working career as a podiatrist in Providence in private practice. He was a veteran of the Army serving in a medical unit in the United States and Europe from 1950 through 1953, and Army Reserves until 1960. Bob enjoyed playing golf, tennis, playing duplicate bridge, watching sports, photography, reading books, and good food with his friends. He was a fan of the philharmonic and stage theater arts. Bob was a longtime member of Temple Beth-El and Crestwood Country Club. He is survived by his son Martin Luber of Santa Monica, California; daughters Mindy Redlich and her husband, Ried, of Cumberland, Judy Rzucidlo and her husband, David, of Dayville, Connecticut; grandchildren Trevor Rzucidlo, Devon Rzucidlo, Sarah Redlich, and Alysa Redlich. He is also survived by his sister Nancy Rosenbaum of Cranston. Contribution in Bob’s memory may be made to Temple BethEl or a charity of your choice.
Freda Shapiro, 91
PEABODY, MASS. – Freda (Feinstein) Shapiro passed away peacefully on Dec. 18 at
December 22, 2017 |
Brudnick Center for the Living, surrounded by her loving family. She was the devoted wife of the late Sheldon Shapiro, with whom she had shared just shy of 55 years of marriage. Freda is survived by her three adoring sons, Stuart Shapiro of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thomas Shapiro of Peabody and Jeffrey Shapiro of Danvers, Massachusetts; daughters-inlaw Mim Shapiro, Lillian Shapiro, and Lynn Shapiro; six grandchildren, Serena Molk and her husband Matt, Melissa Shapiro, Ariana Tivnan and her husband Ryan, Shauna Shapiro, David Shapiro and Josh Shapiro; and one greatgrandson, Theo Molk. Born in Providence on Sept. 13, 1926, to the late Max and Tillie (Ladd) Feinstein, she was predeceased by her brothers, Peter and Danny Feinstein, and her sister, Goldie Berlin. Alongside her husband, Freda lovingly raised her sons in Cranston, before moving to Delray Beach, Florida. She would later move to North Andover, Massachusetts and most recently, Peabody. Freda was truly beloved by all who knew her. Always complimented on her beautiful red hair and her enduring sense of style, she had a true zest for life. She enjoyed canasta and playing endless rounds of “nickels” with her girlfriends, but most of all, she savored her time with her grandchildren and great-grandson. Freda will be remembered for her loving spirit and kind heart and will be missed by those who were lucky enough to have known her. Donations in Freda’s memory may be made to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923 or The Brudnick Center for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody, MA 01960.
Poland pledges $28M to Warsaw Jewish cemetery JTA – Poland’s government pledged $28 million to restore the Warsaw Jewish cemetery, making the preservation project one of the largest of its kind in European history. Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski told World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer about the funding on Monday [Dec. 18] following a Dec. 8 vote in the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, WJC wrote in a statement. More than 400 lawmakers voted in favor and only four opposed, with six abstaining, TVN reported. Singer and several others from the WJC delegation to the country this week were joined in its visit to the Jewish cemetery on Monday by Anna Chipczynska, the president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw.
The government is expected to transfer the funds to Poland’s Cultural Heritage Foundation, which will implement the restoration in cooperation with the Warsaw Jewish community. The ruling Law and Justice party, which initiated the legislation, wrote in the law’s introduction that the absence of “systematic maintenance” at the cemetery and overgrown vegetation are causing “a gradual degradation of one of the most important historical complexes in Warsaw,” in reference to the cemetery, which has a surface area of 33 hectares. Poland and Slovakia alone have approximately more than 2,000 Jewish cemeteries between them, many of them in disrepair.
22 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
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REMEMBER THE PAST From the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association
A notable gentleman
BY GERALDINE S. FOSTER David Charak Adelman was a well-known Providence lawyer. The law was his vocation, the history of the Jews in Rhode Island his avocation. It was his dream to found an organization for the proper study of this history and to collect relevant material. This would also necessitate obtaining a proper place to store the material, a place more suitable for an archive than the trunk of his car. Adelman found six kindred spirits. Together they applied for a charter from the state of Rhode Island, and, on Nov. 20, 1951, in temporary quarters, the incorporators held the first official meeting of the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association. For years, Adelman had been collecting material germane to our history from numerous sources: official records, printed items and original documents. He scoured early court documents and city directories from several parts of Rhode Island for possible Jewish names. He accumulated references in books and articles, and would later refer to them – or refute them, if need be. But how to disseminate all this data, all this information, for the current and future generations? The answer appeared in No-
vember 1954 as the first issue of Rhode Island Jewish Historical Notes, edited by David Adelman. Notes continues Adelman’s mission to this day. Vol.1, No. 1 was completely Adelman’s handiwork. The issue contains a list of Jewish family names found in the Providence and Pawtucket directories of 1877, Jews in the Court Records of Providence 1739-1860, and Jewish names in naturalization records through 1906. Through 1906, applicants for citizenship needed two witnesses (American citizens) to attest to their fitness and moral character. Some witnesses seem to have appeared repeatedly and frequently in the rolls. We may assume that most acted out of the goodness of their hearts on behalf of friends or “landsleit,” but at least one man was known to have charged for his services. When U.S. immigration laws were revised in 1907, procedures changed. Numbers 2 and 3 were devoted to reprinted speeches and programs from important events, as well as articles by Adelman and Beryl Segal (my father). Number 4 contained the kind of notes, short articles and excerpts Adelman particularly enjoyed and envisioned as integral to the publication. They were
gleanings from early sources and, taken together, show the serious, ironic and lighter side of history. Here, in condensed form, are some of my favorites. • When searching for the earliest newcomers to an area, historians caution that there is always someone who came earlier but left little trace save, often, a name. I am intrigued by two items in the Notes. In several sources, Adelman found the name of Jacob Judah, from Rhode Island, on a list of prisoners taken during the French and Indian Wars and released in Boston in August 1747. Adelman also noted the name of Henry Cohen, who served with Lt. Richard Hoyle in the same war and was killed in action. Where did they live? What brought them to Rhode Island? Were they conscripted or did they volunteer? No further mention of either has been found. Questions (mine), but no answers. • Between 1892 and 1905, Adelman noted, very few (24) voluntary name changes were made by Jews in Rhode Island, and none seems to have been made, he stated, to escape identity with the Jewish community. Two caught my eye. In 1895, Richard Krasnetzky became Richard Cross. One year later, Richard Cross was one of the incorpora-
tors of Linnath Hazedeck Congregation, known in South Providence for its strict adherence to Orthodox tenets. Morris Brown, in 1904, changed his name to Moritz Braum, something of a reverse to the pattern of “Americanizing” difficult names. • Adelman also included this story of a change of name told to him by the person involved. In the heat of summer, a young man named Mark Yahrashevsky went from drug store to drug store in search of employment, with no success, until finally in the late afternoon he found a job. His ordeal convinced him that his name was a liability. Upon leaving the store, he glanced up at a street sign. Plainfield, it read, and he immediately adopted that name. The late Dr. Mark Plainfield was a well-known physician and respected mem-
ber of the Jewish community. • And did you know that the newspaper publisher Adolph Ochs lived for a while in Providence, where he worked as a cash boy in a grocery owned by a relative, Augustus Rodenberg, and attended business college at night? It’s in the Notes. Now, 63 years after the appearance of Vol. 1, No. 1, Rhode Island Jewish Historical Notes, Dr. George M. Goodwin, editor, continues to document the serious, the ironic, the human sides of our history in Rhode Island. Join our association and read for yourself. It’s a good read! GERALDINE S. FOSTER is a past president of the R.I. Jewish Historical Association. To comment about this or any RIJHA article, contact the RIJHA office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-331-1360.
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The Jewish Voice
Highlands’ seniors benefit from Right at Home event
BY MERISA FINK What started as a humble Jewish ritual for a small group of senior residents turned into a party – one that tugged at the heartstrings in surprising ways. When Naomi Fink Cotrone at Right at Home of Warwick began planning a Dec. 12 Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony for the Jewish residents of The Highlands on the East Side, she couldn’t have anticipated the emotional impact the event would have on everyone involved. When a senior moves into an assisted living community, they often downsize in more ways than just eliminating their possessions. Although never by intention, sometimes lifelong traditions fall by the wayside. What was once a hallowed ritual can begin to feel like just a memory of another lifetime. On the first night of Hanukkah this year, Cotrone and her Right at Home team organized a “light-up-the-evening” event for the community. The senior care franchise partnered with The Highlands and invited residents and their families to join the celebration. They set up a dreidelspinning station complete with chocolate gelt, a photo booth with Hanukkah-themed props, a three-foot-tall millennial pink menorah, traditional doughnuts for Hanukkah, and traditional latkes that were generously donated by the East Side Marketplace.
“Laurie from our office is married to the chef at East Side Marketplace, and our entire office team prepared for this event with incredible enthusiasm, adopting it as their own holiday for the day,” said Cotrone. “What started as a community-builder really turned into a labor of love, and for that, I’m so proud of the staff.” During the event, Eddie Fink, Cotrone’s father, led the group in Hanukkah storytelling, and Cotrone chanted the melodic traditional Hebrew prayers over the candles. As she chanted, Cotrone noticed one senior in particular who was transfixed by the flames. Cotrone invited her to light a second menorah, and as the flame touched the wicks, the senior’s eyes welled up, beaming. She quietly held Cotrone’s hand throughout the rest of the ceremony.
“This was very special for me, because I no longer have grandparents,” Cotrone said. “I felt like I needed her as much as she needed me.” Mary Ellen Lehman, The Highlands’ director of Memory Care and Community Engagement, was overjoyed by the program. “The residents were made to feel so special,” Lehman said. “The feedback since the event has been incredible. The seniors loved the food, enjoyed the games, and had fun getting their pictures taken. I know it particularly meant a lot to one resident, Janet, whose daughter also joined. This event allowed them to celebrate the holiday in a real way, together.” The event was such a success that The Highlands and Right at Home are already discussing partnering for Passover 2018.
MERISA FINK is a marketer at Right at Home of Warwick.
Scenes from the celebration at The Highlands.
The wonders of growing up in Pawtucket Growing up in Pawtucket near Blackstone Boulevard and Hope Street was wonderful. We would ride our bicycles down “the boulevard,” turn onto Elmgrove Avenue and continue to Wayland S qu a r e. We wou ld go into Newport Creamery for ice cream or a snack. We MAY-RONNY could ride our ZEIDMAN bikes around the Butler Hospital campus and no one cared. The hospital was not open during this time of my life. I do not wish to forget the two cemeteries, one at the end of Alfred Stone Road, and Swan Point. These were great places to ride and no one ever bothered a group of laughing and happy pre-teens. Entertainment was plentiful. There was the Hope Street Theater, Sullivan’s Bowling Alley, Howard Johnson’s restaurant, the Providence Arena on North Main Street for ice skating and let us not forget Sears, Roebuck. Young women could entertain themselves for quite a while rid-
ing up and down the escalator. At the Hope Street end of the boulevard was a gift shop called Plum Nelly’s. The woman who owned this shop was patient and gentle. She was eager to help whether you had $10 or $3 to spend. She made a young shopper feel that she was the most important customer to ever enter her store. My mom had an art show for her students in our backyard each summer. One year when I was in my 30s, I was walking around viewing the paintings and talking to people, when I bumped into a woman. I looked at her face and said, “Plum Nelly.” We both laughed. At least 20 years had passed, she still had that warm and beautiful face. I never knew her real name. I have shared with you the things my friends and I did as young teens. I would enjoy hearing how you and your friends entertained yourself wherever you grew up. Don’t forget making calls to strangers asking them “if they had Prince Albert in a can.” Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. MAY-RONNY ZEIDMAN is the executive director of the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center.
December 22, 2017 |
World AIDS Day speaker urges URI students to uncover their magnificence BY IAN WEINER Scott Fried, an award-winning speaker, author and health educator, spoke at the University of Rhode Island on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, at three events sponsored by URI Hillel and the URI Gender and Sexuality Center. Fried’s topics ranged from social media to intimacy, sexual health, safer sex and moving from “scared to sacred.” His visit coincided with the 30th anniversary of the day he learned he was HIV positive. Fried has lectured to over a million teenagers and adults in nearly every U.S. state. His goal is to inspire his audiences with messages of love, responsibility, sacredness and self-respect. Fried’s realization of the impact he could make on teens came to him after his friend Richie passed away – he was Fried’s 73rd friend to die of AIDS. Excerpts from Richie’s journal were read at his funeral, and started Fried thinking about his own legacy. Fried decided that he did not want to be remembered through written words, and did not want to be just another statistic in the AIDS epidemic. “I believe that my real job is to uncover people’s magnificence so that they can see it in others,” he says. Amy Olson, director of URI Hillel, fi rst met Fried in the late
1980s at a Hillel conference. “At that time, we were in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, and he had not all that long ago been diagnosed with HIV. He was beginning his educational mission to talk to young adults, particularly Jewish young adults, about AIDS education and issues of self-esteem and loving oneself,” said Olson. She continued, “A year ago, I went to the Hillel professional conference, and lo and behold, Scott Fried was there again. We renewed our friendship and I subsequently reached out to the staff of the Gender and Sexuality Center to work together to bring Scott to URI for World AIDS Day.” Fried’s fi rst presentation at URI, “Social Media and True Intimacy,” focused on the ways social networking allows people to broadcast a fi ltered image. “There’s the truth, and then there’s the whole truth,” Fried said. “True intimacy is fi nding something out about yourself in the presence of another.” Fried addressed numerous ways in which social media allows users to engage in openended exchanges, leading to a type of “fake” intimacy. He ment ione d “g ho st i n g ” a nd “bailing” – two acts of suddenly ceasing all communication – as ways in which people avoid engaging in honest conversation.
Scott Fried Leah Kaplan, a senior at URI, said she could relate. “People in my generation sometimes take the easy way out, and ghost someone without reason, which is unfair. Scott also helped me see that I don’t need the validation of others to understand that I am enough.” Fried’s second presentation, which was supplemented by an information table staffed by URI Health Services, was about
the transmission and prevention of sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs and STDs), including HIV/AIDS. After describing the bodily fluids that transmit STDs through mucous membranes, Fried provided a detailed description of how to properly store, tear open a package, put on and remove a condom. Fried emphasized that “protected sex” – sex with a condom – does not necessar-
SodaStream enters Latin American market through Argentina (J TA) BU E NO S A I R E S , Argentina – The Israeli company SodaStream will begin operating in Argentina as a fi rst step toward selling its products throughout Latin America. The sparkling water brand will invest approximately $36 million in its fi rst industrial plant in Argentina. “Here is the fi rst country where we are going to settle with an office, then we will go to Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia,” CEO Daniel Birnbaum announced last week in Buenos Aires. “For us, Argentina is the capital of Latin America.” The Argentina factory will manufacture the soda-making equipment for the country’s market, as well as some merchandise to be shipped to the region. The factory will employ
approximately 100 people. SodaStream, which is well known for its home carbonation machines of the same name, also launched a website in Spanish and sells its products in major cities throughout the country. Among the factors triggering the decision to establish the plant in Argentina is the large consumption of soda and recent agreements signed between Argentina and Israel. Argentina is the second-largest consumer of soda in the world, with 80 liters per capita annually, behind Germany, with a soda consumption of 160 liters. In September, during the fi rst visit of a sitting Israeli prime minister to Argentina and the region, Benjamin Netanyahu and Argentine President Mauricio Macri signed a coopera-
tion agreement between the countries to promote investment and trade. In September 2011, Argentina signed a free trade agreement with Israel. Israel’s trade agreement with countries that belong to the South American joint market known as Mercosur – namely Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay – went into effect in June 2010, and in September 2011 with Argentina. In October 2014, SodaStream announced it would close its factory in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim and move to southern Israel in the
face of pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, against Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians. The movement claimed that SodaStream discriminated against Palestinian workers and paid some less than Israeli workers. Some 500 Palestinian employees lost their jobs at that time. The company now has more than 1,400 employees in the Idan Hanegev industrial park near Rahat, one-third of them Bedouin Arabs from the surrounding area.
ily mean “safe sex.” He defi ned “safe sex ” as sex where all parties are enthusiastic, unimpaired and willing participants. In the evening, Fried participated in an Interfaith Healing Service and Shabbat Dinner at Hillel, which was co-sponsored by (401)j, a young adult group affiliated with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. In moving words to introduce the Mourners’ Kaddish, Fried said that the “amens” uttered in response by the non-mourners are as significant as the prayer itself, since they let the mourners know “the congregation has your back.” After dinner, Fried’s talk, “From Scared to Sacred,” expounded on the themes of selflove and self-respect. “The intersection of vulnerability and authenticity is powerful. If you don’t see the magnificence in others, you will not be able to see it in yourself. Talk to people with the same tenderness and radical acceptance that you would want them to talk to you, until love stumbles into the conversation,” he urged. “Remain teachable. When life hurts, let it. We must give ourselves permission to lament the absence of a perfect life.” IAN WIENER is a freshman majoring in journalism at the University of Rhode Island.
26 |â€‚December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
Hanukkah around town
Old and new friends got a change to sit and schmooze while listening to Stanley Freedman and Friends. Rabbi Yossi Laufer lights a menorah made of Legos during a menorah-making workshop at Home Depot.
Some attended dressed for the holiday.
Everyone had fun making their own wooden menorahs.
PHOTOS | FRAN OSTENDORF
About 75 seniors enjoyed latkes Dec. 15 at the annual Kosher Senior CafĂŠ Hanukkah Party.
jvhri.org ENGAGEMENT – Gail and Morris Bochner of Cranston, proudly announce the engagement of their son, Dr. Marc Michael Bochner to Stacey Marie Ferranti of Cranston. Marc is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He is employed by Liberty Physical Therapy. Marc is also the owner of Bochner’s Realistic Self Defense Training and Fitness Center in Cranston and the author of several self-defense books for adults and children. He is the grandson of Evelyn Palazzo of Cranston and the late Cagney Palazzo and the late Celia and Samuel Bochner. Stacey is the daughter of Kathleen and Michael Ferranti of Cranston. She is employed by Coast to Coast Promotional Products of Greenville and the Pure Barre Fitness Studios of Rhode Island. Stacey is the granddaughter of Marie Ferranti and the late Nicholas Ferranti and the late Rita Wilson. They plan a summer 2018 wedding.
December 22, 2017 |
Some of the Temple Torat Yisrael delegation at the awards dinner (left to right): Steve Shapiro, Harvey Rappoport, David Talan, Marc Gertsacov and Michael Field.
Talan named ‘Keeper of the Flame’
Paul and Sylvia Sapir, of Providence, announce the birth of their grandson Evan Russell Sapir, born June 2.
David Talan from Temple Torat Yisrael (East Greenwich) recently received the “Keeper of the Flame” award, from the New England Federation Of Jewish Men’s Clubs. The award, given to outstanding leaders of Temple Men’s Clubs, was presented at a dinner attended by 320 people, from 13 temples in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, at Temple Emunah in Lexington Massachusetts. Talan, of Providence, is in charge of programming for Torat Yisrael’s Men’s Club. He arranges speaking programs for monthly breakfasts. He also is on the temple’s Board of Trustees and the Membership Committee.
Active in the Jewish community, Talan is on the board of Hillel at the University of Rhode Island, on the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and on the Board of the R.I. Coalition for Israel (RICI) – a group of Christians and Jews who support Israel and oppose BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). A community activist, Talan is also president of the Reservoir Triangle Neighborhood Association in Providence; past-President of the Elmwood Little League; and is administrative assistant to State Rep. Ramon Perez (DDist. 13).
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28 | December 22, 2017
The Jewish Voice
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The Jewish Voice