Volume XX, Issue XXXIII | www.thejewishvoice.org Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts
22 Sivan 5774 | June 20, 2014
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Le’hitraot, Rhode Island! Since September 2012, I have had the privilege and honor to serve as the Jewish Alliance’s community shaliach (emissary) here in the Jewish community of greater Rhode Island. Leaving my home in Israel, my family and friends, was not an easy thing to do. Not every day do you pack your life into a suitcase and few boxes and fly 6,000 miles away. However, all my worries faded the minute I arrived in the community. I MATAN | 16
Sharon Gaines and Jeﬀrey Savit
PHOTOS | FRAN OSTENDORF
Alan Litwin with his children David and Madison
ALLIANCE ANNUAL MEETING RECOGNIZES PROGRESS, HONORS JDC PARTNERSHIP BY FRAN OSTENDORF email@example.com
Sharon Gaines welcomed the crowd June 16 to the third annual meeting of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
by taking a moment to recognize the plight of the three kidnapped teenagers in Israel. At the entrance to the Dwares JCC Social Hall was a table with iPads so that the audience could sign a virtual message to
the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). “We hope this will offer some comfort that we are supporting these efforts,” Gaines said.
As a prelude to the annual awards presentation, members of Pastrami on RI blended their voices for “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Hatikvah” as well as “Bilvavi.” Pastrami on ALLIANCE | 17
Summer sun and pool safety tips BY IRINA MISSIURO firstname.lastname@example.org Ah, summer! The beach, the sun, the water! Yes, these all sound wonderful if you are a child. For adults, outdoorsy fun can lead to comforting crying kids … and that’s the best-case scenario. Precisely because lying by the pool or swimming in the ocean are such enjoyable activities, adults tend to dismiss thoughts of possible disasters or unfortunate outcomes.
If you are a parent, however, you know that you can never fully relax – your job is to ensure that your child is safe at all times. Concerned more about your family’s well-being than about being perceived as a pest by your children? Read on.
“Here comes the sun…”
Can you, too, say, “It’s all right”? Maybe after checking out our tips, you’ll feel more confident regarding your ability to wage a battle against
those damaging UVA and UVB rays. If your kids start complaining about your constant reapplying of sunscreen, do you have a snappy response? Warning: It can’t be “because I said so!” Try to fi nd a really wrinkly person and tell your child that this is how he will look soon if he keeps resisting sunscreen. If your kids are old enough, explain the dangers of skin cancer, cataracts and skin damage. Want to sound SAFETY | 18
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2 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
INSIDE Arts 29 Business 22-23 Calendar 10 Classiﬁed 23 Community 2-7, 11, 13, 15-17, 21 25, 29, 30 D’var Torah 7 Food 12 Health & Wellness 20, 28 Obituaries 26-27 Opinion 8-9 Seniors 24 Simchas 30 Summer 18-19 We Are Read 30 World 25
THIS ISSUE’S QUOTABLE QUOTE “Jews are responsible for one another.”
The Mitzvah Garden at Temple Torat Yisrael BY IRINA MISSIURO email@example.com Rabbi Aaron Philmus, who is succeeding Rabbi Amy Levin at Temple Torat Yisrael on July 8, is excited about the synagogue’s new Mitzvah Garden. As someone who used to work as Jewish nature educator and wildlife ecologist, he is looking forward to being involved in what he considers to be a spiritual endeavor. Philmus believes that gardening is the origin of our religion. According to the Jewish laws of tzedakah, we are required to lend a hand to those in need. The Mitzvah Garden’s donations to Rhode Island Family Shelter in Warwick and the Edgewood Food Closet will fulfi ll the Jewish tradition of helping the less fortunate. Moreover, the rabbi hopes that the venture will lead the way in helping people return to local food sources, a shift he considers crucial to spiritual health. He emphasizes the need to interact with the earth and to know the origin of our provisions. Philmus explains that
PHOTOS | BEVERLY GONCALVES
This was taken April 27, the day the fence was built and some vegetables were planted. From left to right: Andy Sholes, Josh Ritz, Roberta Arsac, Lucien Arsac, Joseph Shapiro, Susan Smoller, Harvey Silverman Judy Silverman, Jeﬀ Salk, David Wasser and Brenda Wasser. people who have fi nancial difficulties usually don’t have access to fare that’s healthy. He says, “It doesn’t make sense that we have all this land, and yet people are hungry. We want to be able to have local food, too. We are building a relationship with the source of life.” The garden is a brainchild of Rabbi Levin, who’s been planning it ever since she fi rst saw the site in East Greenwich, which has since become the location of the congregation’s new synagogue. Levin’s vision
and dedication to the project are evident in the garden labels she created. They display pictures of the vegetables and their names in Hebrew letters and transliteration. With the help of eight teams of volunteers, guided by experienced gardeners, Harvey and Judy Silverman, and organized by the temple’s Social Action Chair, Bev Goncalves, the project is progressing swiftly. Beverly and Carlos Goncalves, Beth and Jeff Salk, Judy Finkle and Sue Sidel, Elaine and
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One of the garden labels created by Rabbi Levin. Steve Shapiro, Sue Abbottson and David Wasser, Judy Silverman and Lorraine Rappoport, Barbara Karetny and Rabbi GARDEN | 7
June 20, 2014 |
JCDSRI honors volunteers and educators at annual meeting
Head of School Adam Tilove accepts a check from Marisa Garber Gamm, co-president of the Parent Association, from Parent Association events. BY KAROLYN WHITE On the evening of June 9, parents, faculty and friends came together for the annual meeting of the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island (JCDSRI) at Temple EmanuEl. Gloria Feibish, secretary of the JCDSRI Board of Trustees and also Governance Committee chair, announced the incoming board officers and trustees: Laurence KotlerBerkowitz, as president, Deborah Skolnick Einhorn as vice president, Rachel Friedberg as treasurer and Gloria Feibish as secretary. Directors were appointed to terms as follows: Hope Hirsch, Jay Rosenstein and Sally Rotenberg through June 2015; Ian Gonsher, Lizzie Pollock and Roii Raz through June 2016; Sheila Alexander and Stephen Gamm through June 2017; Dan Gamm, Robert Landau and David Rosler, completing
terms in 2015; Rabbi Barry Dolinger, completing his term in 2016; and Marisa Garber, parent-appointed representative though 2015. Adam Tilove, head of school at JCDSRI, recognized the following volunteers for their service: Pninit Balzar, Alan Brenman, Cliff Bromberg, Howie Bromberg, Gabby Rothman, Marisa Garber Gamm, Lisa Greenberg, Kristen Rosler, Sharon Sock, Cheryl Teverow, Marilyn Katz, Rashmi Licht, Barbara Sheer, Steven Stein, Marni Thompson Tilove and Laura Mernoff. Marisa Garber Gamm, co-president of the Parent Association, presented Adam Tilove with a check for $4,000 from two major Parent Association events. Every year, the Charles Samdperil Award is awarded at the JCDSRI annual meeting. The Charles Samdperil Endowment Fund and the Charles Samdperil Award Dedication to Jewish Educa-
Members of the Samdperil family with the Samdperil award winners (left to right) Jana Brenman, Daniel Katz (Larry Katz’s son who accepted the award in Larry’s absence) Ruth Samdperil and Terry Schuster. tion were established in 2007 by the Samdperil family in memory of Charles Samdperil. This year, Ruth Samdperil, Charles Samdperil’s wife, and Terry Schuster, Charles Samdperil’s daughter, presented the award. Ruth noted, “He
“My husband was very aware early on as to the importance of technology and saw its value in all areas of education.” devoted so much of himself to our Jewish community, to strengthening and preserving Jewish education.” The endowment fund supports the growth of technology at JCDSRI. “My husband was
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very aware early on as to the importance of technology and saw its value in all areas of education,” Ruth said. This past year the endowment money was used to purchase 30 iPad Minis for the faculty. JCDSRI teachers are very grateful for the iPads and use them to supplement teaching and to work with Evernote for faculty communication and collaboration. Terry Schuster noted that the Charles Samdperil Award for Dedication to Jewish Education was established to recognize an individual or individuals for leadership in the arena of Jewish Educa-
tion. This year’s recipients are Jana Brenman, Director of Teen Engagement for the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, and Larry Katz, Director of Jewish Education for the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. With warm applause, the audience honored their remarkable work. The meeting concluded with a rendition of “Hatikvah” and a reception. KAROLYN WHITE is Communications Manager of the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.
4 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
Dishing ice cream style with the Queen herself
Susan Jane Gilman fictional opus. For some time, I had been yearning to create a modern female anti-hero – a sort of combination of Scarlett O’Hara and Leona Helmsley – who was supremely difficult, amoral and conniving (yet not a murderer or mentally ill). My two ideas fused. Why not write about a businesswoman who sells ice cream to the public in the guise of a sweet, motherly ice cream lady – but who, in real life, is a mean-spirited, difficult, kleptomaniacal drunk? That tension and contradiction appealed to me immensely. Yet, at the same time, I knew, such a protagonist had to be compelling, if not sympathetic. What would make someone behave that way? Again, I looked
t s b J
to the story of the American immigrant for answers. Instead of a one-liner, I developed an epic – especially as I began to research the history of ice cream. ROBIN: Speaking of research, painful as it must have been, you talk about The Susan Jane Gilman Institute of Advanced Gelato Studies. Tell us about this institute and is it open to the public? SUSAN: The Susan Jane Gilman Institute of Advanced Gelato Studies was founded – by me, of course – to elevate my obsession with ice cream into something more official. However, at this stage, alas, “Research” largely consists of sampling as many different kinds of ice cream as possible without bothering to take notes beyond the occasional “selfie.” But I do truly understand that ice cream is, in fact, both an art form and a chemical process – a marriage of art and science – and so I can only hope that, one day, the National Science Foundation will award me a grant anyway. ROBIN: Did I hear correctly that you were out on Long Island at a Carvel learning the tricks of the trade? SUSAN: For “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street,” I realized I needed to understand the nuts-and-bolts of ice cream making. I contacted my inspiration – the Carvel Ice Cream Company itself – and arranged to work at a Carvel ice cream franchise in Massapequa, Long Island. The guy who owns that
revie P r e Summ
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I’m amazed he didn’t throw me out of his shop. I kept running over to the freezers and pointing ecstatically at the ice cream cakes I had loved as a child shouting, “Look! It’s Cookiepuss!” ROBIN: As a Brown University graduate, what are you most looking forward to when coming to Rhode Island for the RI Food Fights Ice Cream Throw-
down? SUSAN: Each time I return to Providence, the city appears more and more lovely, yet I also feel 18 again – in the best of ways. If I have the time, I’d love to wander around the campus and surrounding area. But mostly, who are we kidding? I cannot wait to sample all that ice cream. Twenty-four vendors? And then, I get to read from my novel and share my other passion with the world! Oh, it is almost too fabulous to contemplate! It will be better than working at CARVEL! FOR MORE INFORMATION on RI Food Fights and to purchase tickets to the event please visit rifoodfights.com. Tickets are $15 each. Susan will be at the Books on the Square booth from 1 p.m. - 4p.m. signing copies of “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street.” You can also check out her Facebook page, facebook.com/susanjaneg ilman, for more information. For all book-related events, please visit facebook.com/readingwithrobin. ROBIN KALL HOMONOFF is Rhode Island’s own book maven. From author interviews to events with New York Times best-selling authors, Robin shares her love of books wherever and whenever possible. You can connect with Robin on Facebook.com/readingwithrobin and follow her on Twitter @robinkall.
Jboost.org—the crowdfunding website for Greater Rhode Island’s Jewish community. Crowdfunding /kroud•f ndING/: The collective effort of a group of people who pool their resources, networks, and ideas to benefit the greater good. Coming together to raise the community by growing safety net services, promoting self-sufficiency, and increasing access to Jewish life in Greater Rhode Island.
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franchise, Zaya Givaragidze, had inherited the store from his parents, who were Greek immigrants themselves. They had known Tom Carvel personally! Zaya knew all the history, all the ins-and-outs of the business. It was like hitting the mother lode. It was like a visit to Lourdes. I was beside myself.
BY ROBIN KALL HOMONOFF Spending too much time on Facebook does have its advantages. One such example would be fi nding out about an exciting event happening on Sunday, June 22, on the East Side of Providence from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s the 3rd Annual Incredible Ice Cream Throwdown! The illustration was of a tall cone of ice cream with many different scoops of flavors and sitting on top a crown! It seemed natural to check in with my friend, Susan Jane Gilman, whose novel, “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street,” is being published just weeks before this event. She slightly altered her book tour schedule to squeeze in a visit to Providence, and I’m so excited to share a little of her story here. ROBIN: After three nonfiction titles (“Kiss My Tiara,” “Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress” and “Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven”), now your fi rst novel. How long had “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street” been in that head of yours? SUSAN: It’s always been my plan to write a novel, actually – ever since I was 8 years old, when I fell in love with reading and started to write my own short stories in little notebooks I bought from Woolworth’s, illustrating them with magic markers. From then on, I always assumed that, one day, I’d write some sort of wonderful,
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June 20, 2014 |
Rhode Island Hadassah’s fourth annual Books on the Beach is a winner! BY TOBY ROSSNER The Rhode Island Chapter of Hadassah celebrates its fourth annual Books on the Beach Author Luncheon on Aug. 12 in the ballroom of the Atlantic Beach Club, 55 Purgatory Rd., Newport from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Parking is free. Three local guest authors – Jon Land, Tova Mirvis and Adam Braver – will mingle with guests, give a presentation about their most recent books and sign books afterward. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support the work of Hadassah. A prolific writer of more than 30 international thrillers and heart-stopping intrigue novels, Jon Land will introduce us to Caitlin Strong, his adventurous Texas Ranger heroine, and provide hints about her adventures in his two most recent Caitlin Strong
novels, including “Strong Rain Falling” and “Strong Darkness.” In “Visible City,” Tova Mirvis introduces us to Nina, a lonely New Yorker who uses her son’s toy binoculars to view the activity of three couples whose apartment windows are visible from hers. She craves their intimacy but soon discovers that the “more closely inter woven their lives become, t h e more their relationships threaten to fracture.” Adam Braver melds fact with fiction as he selects moments throughout
Marilyn Monroe’s life in “Misfit.” Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic figures in the history of Hollywood. Her legendary work on the big screen is, perhaps, only eclipsed by the legend of her off-screen life. Braver looks at her childhood, her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, her studies at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, and her role in “The Misfits,” the fi lm Miller wrote for her – and explores how they contributed to her tragic end. Please mail the completed registration form in your 2014 Books on the Beach Invitation along with a check that includes
Giggles in the Garden What: A Weekly Outdoor Preschool Story Time When: Thursdays: June 26, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. CANCELLED IF THERE IS RAIN For: Preschoolers, ages 0-4, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends of diﬀerent ages are also welcome. About: Each program will feature stories, songs, a snack, garden adventures and playground time. Story time is under the shade of a pergola. Cost: No Fee – Open to the Public
FUN IN JUNE
EDITOR Fran Ostendorf CONTRIBUTING WRITER Irina Missiuro EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS Irina Missiuro | Judith Romney Wegner DESIGN & LAYOUT` Leah Camara
Karen Borger firstname.lastname@example.org 401-529-2538 COLUMNISTS Dr. Stanley Aronson, Michael Fink, Rabbi James Rosenberg and Daniel Stieglitz MEMBER of the Rhode Island Press Association
zip code. An invitation will be promptly mailed to you. TOBY ROSSNER was the Director of Media Services at the Bureau of Jewish Education from 1978-2002. She is a life member of Hadassah.
Welcome to The Voice Dana Cohen is The Jewish Voice’s summer communications intern. She has just completed her fi rst year at Goucher College in Maryland. Though undecided in her major, Dana is considering Creative Writing, Peace Studies and Psychology. Dana is the secretary of Goucher’s Feminist Collective. As a native Rhode Islander, she is excited to join our community.
Sharon and Maurice Dudek and their granddaughter Lily enjoy a Giggles in the Garden program at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.
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Due to an editing error, the story about the JSA annual meeting in the June 6 edition incorrectly reported that The Kosher Food Pantry made 2,197 visits to nursing homes and held 217 Jewish programs, 118 Shabbat services, 25 Seders and 25 Rosh Hashanah services. That sentence should have read: The Jewish Eldercare of Rhode Island (JERI) program made 2,197 visits to nursing homes and held 217 Jewish programs, 118 Shabbat services, 25 Seders and 25 Rosh Hashanah services.
COPY DEADLINES All news releases, THE JEWISH VOICE (ISSN number 1539- photographs, etc., must be received 2104, USPS #465-710) is published bi-week- on the Wednesday two weeks prior to ly, except in July, when it does not publish. publication. Submissions may be sent to: email@example.com. PERIODICALS Postage paid at Providence, R.I. ADVERTISING We do not accept advertisements for pork or shellfish. We do POSTMASTER Send address changes to: not attest to the kashrut of any product The Jewish Voice, 401 Elmgrove Ave., or the legitimacy of our advertisers’ Providence, RI 02906. claims. All submitted content becomes the PUBLISHER The Jewish Alliance of property of The Voice. Announcements Greater Rhode Island, Chair Sharon and opinions contained in these pages Gaines, President/CEO Jeffrey K. Savit, are published as a service to the com401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906. munity and do not necessarily reprePhone: 401-421-4111 • Fax 401-331-7961 sent the views of The Voice or its publisher, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.
6 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
Gender and the Holocaust
Jane Lunin Perel on women, survival and teaching BY IRINA MISSIURO firstname.lastname@example.org True to her poetic nature, Jane Lunin Perel – author of five books of poetry and retiring professor of English and women’s studies at Providence College – began our interview with a lyrical tale of an epiphany she experienced in 2008. While on sabbatical, she was recuperating from surgery in Cairo. One day, she found herself on a hotel terrace at the start of prayers. Seeing some beautiful white birds, she realized that she had been delivered from her ailment. The birds made her forget the sarcoma ordeal, putting her in a peaceful frame of mind: Lunin Perel understood then that we all worship the same God, despite religious differences. Discussing her roots, Lunin Perel shares that her parents weren’t too observant. They did respect the Jewish idea of tikun olam – working together with God to make the world a better place. Lunin Perel recalls her mother’s glorious Passover meals and her father’s custom of briefly offering thanks in lieu of prayer, a habit he developed out of his belief that God already knows He’s praiseworthy. She has an anti-scriptural view on the subject – God has no gender; instead, God is the “burning energy of creation in all of us.” Personifying the concept automatically reduces it. In “Red Radio Heart,” a collection of prose poems she worked on for 10 years and published in 2012, Lunin Perel writes about her alter ego, “Carnelia wanted God, but not an old man with a white beard, not a Grandfather who would not let women read
Jane Lunin Perel from the Torah because they might be bleeding secret blood.” A feminist who helped found the Women’s Studies Program at PC 20 years ago, Lunin Perel takes a great interest in the topic. Her poems reveal conflicting feelings about the disparity between the type of woman Carnelia professes to admire and her own behavior, contradictory to that ideal. When I met Lunin Perel, she looked as if she’d just stepped out of a photo shoot. Beautifully dressed, colorfully made up, sporting bright nails and dangly bracelets, among other jewelry, she beamed with positive energy, despite having endured her third surgery less than a year ago. In “Carnelia Interrogates Sex and Gender,” the poet elaborates on the dichotomy between attractiveness and feminist movement. “Still after menopause, she paints her fingernails and colors her hair, though she’s always railing against a misplaced emphasis on youth and physical beauty.”
Lunin Perel combined her interest in the plight of women with that in her heritage in “Gender and Genocide,” a class she began teaching 20 years ago. She relishes the fact that teaching at PC has allowed her the opportunity to rediscover and rethink her Jewish identity in the context of a Catholic one. In “Carnelia Interrogates Religion,” the poet writes, “Carnelia’s a big hit at the Catholic College. She’s an accommodating Jew.” When I brought up “The Shawl” by Cynthia Ozick, Lunin Perel revealed that the book was a catalyst for the class. She talked about a student who read “The Shawl” and was so stunned by what she learned that she requested an independent study with Lunin Perel on Holocaust literature. Feeling morally obligated, the professor acquiesced. Later, when other students expressed interest, Lunin Perel put together a proposal to offer a class on the topic. In the second part of the same poem, she writes, “Someone has to teach the students about the Holocaust because the first one to ask Carnelia for an independent study said she’d never heard of it.” She was amazed when 32 students signed up that first semester. The poem continues, “Now they are all reaching for God, for sanity and for each other. It changes how they see themselves.” Lunin Perel taught the class by breaking it up into collaborative groups of three to four people – she was concerned that the students wouldn’t be able to withstand the horrors they studied unless they worked together. In “just,” a hauntingly powerful poem written in a
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stream-of-consciousness style, with uncontrollable language that enacts carnage, she lets the reader in on the fraction of the pain her students were learning about, “…what is that stench another lice-raging one dreaming of soap and water meat and vegetables of clean sheets and underwear now frozen stacked thawed burned disgorged into the belching soot that cannot be washed off scoured out revised now reconstituted as fertilizer…” Lunin Perel says that not too many students were interested in the theological aspect of the Holocaust. Instead, they were fascinated by historical texts. After reading the accounts and memoirs, the students would often need to find a whole new way of relating to God. In “Carnelia Interrogates Religion,” the poet touches on the intricacy of belief in the face of devastation. She writes, “No God would design a gas chamber or conveyer belts for burning corpses. So God must have been away, suffering.” Lunin Perel tried to devise inventive exercises to stimulate the students’ emotional involvement. Often, she asked them to present material to the rest of the class or start a discussion on various topics. For instance, they had to assume different identities – Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses – and explain why they had to die. Once, Lunin Perel shocked the students by bringing unwashed radishes to class and instructing them to eat the vegetables, which the starving prisoners would have deemed as jewels. When she said to a hesitant girl that her resistance to eat showed her fear, the students quickly gobbled up the radishes. Elaborating on the lesson, Lunin Perel said, “You get to the macrocosm through the microcosm.” Whether entering – imaginatively and emotionally – into the vulnerability of a camp inmate, reading scholarly and creative writing or working on reflective pieces, the students fully engaged with the material. One student recognized that her grandfather bore the symptoms of a survivor. After confronting him, she learned that he had been in a camp. Gradually, he
opened up to share his memories. His ability to process the terrifying experience changed their lives. Lunin Perel wanted to expose her students to as many forms of expression as possible. They studied history, looked at art, read poetry and examined memoirs. In one assignment, Lunin Perel asked the students to compare and contrast the survival strategies found in “Night” by Elie Wiesel and “All But My Life” by Gerda Weissmann Klein. She wanted them to figure out if any of the methods were based on gender. Once, Alice Eichenbaum visited the class, sharing her tale of Holocaust survival. She talked of the vulnerabilities inherent to a woman in hiding. The students grappled with some ethical questions and considered strategies that women devised to cope with their fate. These incorporated creating communities, finding sister figures and sharing recipes. They learned that Holocaust affected not only the survivors, but also their families. Students examined the topic from multiple perspectives such as that of the German soldiers who were faced with exterminating at close range and that of a doctor in Auschwitz. Other discussion subjects included the concept Lawrence L. Langer classified as “choiceless choice;” for instance, they debated whether it was reasonable for starving individuals to trade sex for food. While the students knew to refrain from judgment, Lunin Perel had to discourage them from oversimplification, emphasizing that not all Jews were martyrs. Even though Lunin Perel is retiring, her students can continue to enjoy her wit and wisdom through Carnelia, Lunin Perel’s invention and mirror. She is passionate, complex and expressive, a fascinating woman with a strong voice. “Red Radio Heart” is published by White Pine Press. IRINA MISSIURO is a reporter and editorial consultant at The Jewish Voice.
D’VAR TORAH | COMMUNITY
June 20, 2014 |
The potential in our community Parashat Korach 5774 Parashat Korach opens with one of the most dramatic scenes in the Torah: Korach, of the tribe of Levi … the same tribe as Miriam, Aaron and Moses, has orchestrated a rebellion against Moses’ authority: “You take too much upon you, seeing all the community are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you lift up yourselves above the community of the Lord?” We know that there were dire consequences for those who pushed back against Moses’ unsought eminence, and there are many edifying midrashim and sermons unpacking the faults in Korach’s rebellion. But Korach was not 100 percent wrong, you know: The latter chapters of the book of Vayikra/Leviticus are devoted to establishing the imperative that Israel conduct itself as an “am kadosh” as a holy people and providing the parameters of behavior and principles of a holy people. So, when Korach and his followers crowd up into Moses’ face and challenge “all the community are holy,” they aren’t wrong. We are a holy community. The secular among us are not going to be comfortable with this notion, and I apologize if they feel co-opted. But each and every generation of Jews in every place in the world has sustained, and revised, the con-
cept of “am kadosh”/a holy people and “kehillah k’doshah”/a holy community. This is a very broad, inclusive, encompassing notion that has, by the nature of inherent human frailties, been more aspirational than descriptive. So let us not get too impressed with ourselves for bearing the mantle of “holy community.” The mantle is often slipping from our shoulders. Rather, let the honorific “kehillah k’doshah”/holy community serve as inspiration: Let the honorific “kehillah k’doshah” instill some humility in us and some mutual appreciation for our wise and loving tradition that can lead us to be the best version of ourselves if we only let it. As president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island for the last two years, I have had the opportunity to learn much about our extended Jewish community. I have watched as our region’s communal leaders, lay and professional, have coped with an incomprehensible array of challenges with humility and integrity. Not every decision has been a good one. Not every conversation has gone the way it “should” have. That is the nature of any human enterprise. Only God gets it right every single time. The 25 colleagues comprising the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island are an extraordinary group of men and women
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Greater Rhode Island June 20......................8:06 June 27......................8:07 July 3..........................8:06 July 11.......................8:04 July 18.......................7:59 July 25.......................7:54
and an infinitely rich resource for our community. A rare and real expression of “klal yisrael”/the collective of Israel coming together as Renewal, Reconstructionist, Orthodox, Reform and Conservative colleagues come together with mutual respect and genuine friendship. Perhaps Korach’s greatest error was one of tense: not that “all the community are holy” in the present tense … That smacks of hubris at least if not self-delusion. But if Korach had
FROM PAGE 2
said: “all the community has the potential for holiness,” I’d agree. Right here in Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts, we, too, have the potential for holiness. I’ve seen it myself a number of times in the past decade as lay and professional and rabbinic leaders come together with humility and aspiration. Ken y’hi ratzon.
RABBI AMY LEVIN (rabbiamylevin.net) has served Temple Torat Yisrael of East Greenwich for the last 10 years and has also served as president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island for the last two years. Rabbi Levin is leaving Rhode Island to serve a Conservative congregation in Pittsburgh over the summer.
Philmus follow a schedule for weeding, watering and harvesting the organically planted produce. In April, they cleared and tilled the garden bed, laid down loam and soil, built a fence and planted vegetables, including, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers. The first radishes were ready for picking right after Memorial Day weekend. Philmus is eagerly anticipating adding fall crops, such as pumpkins, to the garden’s bounty. He plans to hold the Sukkot celebration there – after all, the holiday honors the harvest and acknowledges that we are dependent on land and God for our source of life. Having recently moved to East Greenwich, with his wife, two children and seven chickens, Philmus is looking forward to living on the property of the synagogue. He feels that, by taking care of plants and animals, his children learn a lot about empathy and responsibility. The Mitzvah Garden is another opportunity to observe our role in creation. Through
its harvest, the garden will inspire children to treat others well by fulfilling a mitzvah, according to the Torah. Leviticus 19:9 says that “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge; neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest,” suggesting that the harvest is to be shared with the poor. Philmus elaborates, “We are told to emulate the ways of God. The first thing God starts doing is planting a garden. We are partners with God in the act of creation.” Philmus sees the Mitzvah Garden as a way for the community to come together, be among nature and grow food for the needy. In addition to bringing food to shelters, he envisions asking people to celebrate the bounty with the temple’s members, enjoying the feast even more through inclusion. By doing so, the congregants will be living virtuously, as Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widows, loves the foreigner, and
gives them food and clothing.” While the rabbi is proud of the garden, he wants to take the endeavor even further – to grow food on a larger scale. Currently, the garden provides sustenance for a few families. Since the site boasts much more land than the temple is presently using, it can support many additional people. The rabbi explains that this year is a sabbatical one in the agricultural calendar. A Shabbat for the land, the seventh year does not involve any major harvest. In the interim, he plans to plant some perennials, which won’t have to be managed heavily. The rabbi foresees emulating the Garden of Eden in the future. He’d like to plant apple trees and other fruit trees before Rosh Hashanah. The garden will be a great place to celebrate holidays, educate children and come together as a community, bridging generational gaps. IRINA MISSIURO is a writer and editorial consultant for The Jewish Voice.
8 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
“I look, you look, he looks…”
FROM THE EDITOR
It’s summertime, and we’re slowing down When I was a kid, summer meant going to camp. First, there was day camp. Then, a short sleepaway experience in the Berkshires. And, fi nally, I graduated to overnight camp in Maine. At the EDITOR time, I grumbled about FRAN being “sent OSTENDORF away.” Now, I realize that the summer trip to the woods and the lake was a gift. And, truth be told, I got my start in journalism there, working on the camp paper. By my last year, three of us were chosen to be editors. Next, I went to a summer journalism program with one of my summer friends. I no longer complain about being sent away when someone who didn’t get to experience camp offers sympathy for what I missed in those summers. Did I have a choice? No. But now I realize that camp was an important part of my early years. I have many memories from those years, and I learned a lot about living with others and taking care of myself. And, of course there’s that journalism career choice that’s stuck with me. If you ever went to sleep-away camp, know someone who did, or are thinking about sending your child to camp, take a look at a book called “Sleepaway: The Girls of Summer and the Camps They Love” by Laurie Kahn (Workman Publishing, 2003). It’s been in print for a while, but you can still fi nd it. It has the feel of a scrapbook and offers a great look at the camp experience, complete with camp photos, instructions for playing jacks and a recipe for bug juice. The photos are wonderful.
My kids did not experience camp in the same way that I did. One wanted nothing to do with going away. The other went for a week or two. But summer still meant new experiences and new friends – helping others, learning new skills and, sometimes, just doing nothing. And they had plenty of time to get caught up on reading, including the dreaded required school summer reading. Just doing nothing holds a lot of appeal for us grownups, doesn’t it? Taking the summer and going to the beach… or the Cape… or the Islands… or wherever. At The Voice, we’re taking a little publishing break for a few weeks. This is our last issue until Aug. 1. But I won’t be going anywhere, at least not during the week. We’ll be working on stories for upcoming issues and getting organized, so feel free to keep sending us information and story ideas. And let me mention again that to have a community newspaper, we need the community to participate. We are small; we don’t have the luxury to pay for a staff to cover all types of local news from a Jewish angle or otherwise. In fact, one of my many summer projects this year is to put together a team of volunteers to help us better cover and reflect the Jewish community here. If you would like to do some writing, photography, editing or help in other ways, I’d love to hear from you and meet you. There is no better summer activity than making plans or improvements, and we’re hoping to do just that this summer.
At fi rst reading, Pip, a young black man from Tolland County in Connecticut who comes to be Captain Ahab’s cabin boy, seems only a minor character in Herman Melville’s massive “Moby Dick” (1851). During the course IT SEEMS of this huge TO ME American classic, Melville explores RABBI JIM in depth the ROSENBERG complex personalities of the mad and melancholy Ahab, captain of the whale ship The Pequod, along with the mostly calm and collected narrator, Ishmael. In addition, the author draws convincing portraits of the fi rst mate Starbuck, second mate Stubb, third mate Flask, and their exotic harpooners – Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo. The enigmatic and satanic Fedallah also looms large in the narrative. In a certain sense, Moby Dick, the White Whale, is the most richly conceived character of all in the novel. It would be easy for Pip to be lost among such a large and individuated cast. He is, after all, a mere “ship-keeper” – as Melville puts it, one “whose province is to work the vessel while the boats are pursuing the whale … if there happened to be an unduly slender, clumsy, or timorous “wight” (person) in the ship, that “wight” was certain to be made a shipkeeper.” The reader fi rst meets Pip playing the tambourine for his shipmates in the forecastle of The Pequod. In a later chapter, Melville comments, “Pip, though over tender-hearted, … at bottom very bright with that pleasant, genial, jolly brightness…” Nevertheless, despite his many positive traits, the young man, just five feet tall, most certainly does not belong in a small whale boat that holds a crew of six. In an ironic turn of events, even though as ship-keeper Pip is supposed to remain onboard The Pequod, he winds up taking the place of a sick oarsman in the whaleboat under second-mate Stubb’s command. When the harpooner strikes fast to a whale, Pip panics and jumps overboard. In the confusion of the chase, he
fi nds himself abandoned in the “heartless immensity” of the sea. Though, within an hour or so, the mother ship The Pequod rescues him. This experience leaves Pip forever “mad” and yet somehow blessed with heavenly perception: “He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.”
Though encountered only infrequently within the vastness of “Moby Dick,” Pip – like the Fool in Shakespeare’s “King Lear” – assumes a significance far greater than his relatively brief time upon the stage. It is not until chapter 93 in a book that totals 135 chapters that Pip jumps overboard and is transfigured into the “mad genius” who comes to have such a profound influence upon his crazy, monomaniacal captain. The captain and the cabin boy are fi nally united by their quasi-visionary insanity. Indeed, toward the end of the epic, Ahab chastises the Manxman crew member for grabbing Pip by the arm: “Hands off from that holiness!” Turning to Pip, who is babbling utter nonsense, Ahab says, “Thou touchest my inmost centre, boy; thou are tied to me by cords wound of my heart-strings.” After his near-death experience, Pip most often speaks gibberish; but at times, his “gibberish” masks a profound truth. At the end of Chapter 99, “The Doubloon,” Pip overhears various members of the crew soliloquizing about the Ecuadorean gold piece affi xed to the main mast. Much earlier in the voyage, Ahab summoned the entire crew to
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The Jewish Voice publishes thoughtful and informative contributors’ columns (op-eds of 500 – 800 words) and letters to the editor (250 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,
the quarter deck to witness his nailing the doubloon to the main mast and promising the gold coin to the man who fi rst sighted Moby Dick, the White Whale. Ever since that fateful moment at which Ahab revealed the true object of their hunt, the doubloon had remained a silent, somewhat malevolent, but tangible presence aboard The Pequod. Having heard other members of the crew express their personal views about the coin stamped REPUBLICA DEL ECUADOR: QUITO, Pip babbles, “I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look.” He repeats this “grammar lesson” twice more; but Pip’s words are no mere grammar lesson; in his madness, he manages to express the principle that meaning is in the mind of the beholder. Each crew member sees something different in the doubloon – each according to his needs, each according to his personality. The doubloon remains as it is – meaningless – until those who perceive it supply it with their own meanings. Meaning, then, is by and large a subjective perception. Often, subjective perception is transformed into an artist’s creativity. There is a fi ne line, however, a razor’s edge, that separates artistic insight from madness. The radical independence of an artist can free us from the shackles of rationalist, conformist thinking; but carried too far, this very freedom can plunge us into the maelstrom of dissociation, the tearing apart of a coherent, stable worldview. To carry this line of thinking even further, there is a fi ne line, a razor’s edge, that separates religious insight, religious experience from madness. In Pip’s case, his “insanity” is, at the same time, “heaven’s sense.” Is there not a touch of madness in our deepest, most fervent religious reveries, those all too few occasions in which we feel ourselves to be in the presence of God? JAMES B. ROSENBERG, rabbi emeritus at Temple Habonim in Barrington, can be contacted at rabbiemeritus@ templehabonim.org.
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 email@example.com. Include name, city of residence and a contact phone number or email (not for publication).
Search for abducted teens faces complicated political landscape
BY BEN SALES TEL AVIV (JTA) – Since the three teenagers were abducted last week, Israel’s goals have been simple: Find them and punish their kidnappers. Realizing those goals, though, is far from a simple task. The international community has condemned the kidnappings, and Israel has spread its forces across the West Bank to search for the teens. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to stop at nothing to find Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach. But the effort is taking place amid an increasingly complicated period in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Israel is holding the Palestinian Authority responsible for the incident, but also is working with it to find the teens. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the kidnapping but now shares a government with Hamas, which has hailed the abduction. And while Israel has promised to do everything it can to bring the boys back, there are efforts in the Knesset to prevent prisoner swaps of the sort that freed hostages in the past. The teens were captured on June 12, and in his first public statement on the incident, Netanyahu two nights later wasted no time blaming the kidnapping on the new Palestinian unity government formed as a result of an agreement between Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas. “We hold Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority responsible for all attacks against Israel that originate from their territory, whether this is Judea and Samaria or the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said, using Abbas’ nom de guerre. On June 15, Netanyahu said he knew “for a fact” that Hamas perpetrated the attack and again pledged to hold the P.A. to account. But Israel’s coordination with the Palestinian Authority on West Bank security has continued unabated. P.A. security forces are helping Israel comb
the areas under P.A. control for the teens. On June 16, Abbas and Netanyahu spoke for the first time in more than a year. Shlomo Brom, head of the program for Israeli-Palestinian Relations at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, said it was a mistake for Netanyahu to try to pin the blame on Abbas. “That’s the last thing he should do because now we need the Palestinians,” Brom said. “The last thing we should do is weaken them.” Netanyahu’s accusation that Hamas was behind the abduction was denied by Hamas leaders, though they also praised the kidnapping. On June 15, the prime minister received support from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said “many indications point to Hamas’ involvement.” Some experts suggested that Hamas was the only organization in the West Bank sophisticated enough to carry out the kidnapping but that it had nothing to gain from confirming Israeli claims. Taking responsibility for kidnapping children, they said, would not gain Hamas international sympathy and would encourage Israel to expand its military operation. On June 17, Israel arrested 41 Hamas officials and placed additional restrictions on Hamas prisoners in Israel. “It would have been easier had they kidnapped soldiers,” said Jonathan Fine, a counterterrorism expert at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. “That they kidnapped teens is not going to work in the international arena. They’re very quiet now because of tactical reasons, but also because of an escalating amount of fear over what Israel will do. If these kids are executed, Hamas will pay a very, very high price.” While Hamas may be behind the kidnappings, it has been particularly uncomfortable politically for Abbas. He has forsworn violence but signed a unity deal with Hamas. He has condemned the kidnap-
ping, but official organs of his Fatah party have published cartoons praising the kidnappers. And Abbas opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank but is aiding the Israeli army in its search efforts there. In the wake of the kidnapping, the Palestinian Authority froze ongoing reconciliation talks with Hamas. But Fine said Abbas is “walking a very thin line,” unable to publicly support the Israeli military efforts or Hamas. “There’s no doubt he’s in a catastrophic situation,” Fine said. “He was working on the political level cornering Israel [diplomatically], and now Hamas comes up and screws up everything. Hamas backstabbed them.” In the past, when military operations have failed to rescue hostages, Israel has turned to releasing Palestinian prisoners in return for captured Israeli soldiers or civilians. In October 2011, Israel released more than 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in 2006. Last year, Israel agreed to release more than 100 Palestinian prisoners as a precondition to entering peace talks with the Palestinians. But opposition to such exchanges has intensified among right-wing Knesset members who view prisoner exchanges as fundamentally unjust and strategically misguided. Days before the kidnapping, a bill proposed by Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party that would make it more difficult to release terrorists as part of such exchanges passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset. Following the kidnapping, Jewish Home’s chairman, Naftali Bennett, doubled down on his party’s opposition to prisoner exchanges, telling Israeli Channel 2 that “over the past 30 years, the fact that we’ve freed about 10,000 terrorists over the years got the other side used to the idea that if you kidnap, it’s worth it because you receive 1,000 terrorists, 200 terrorists.”
Re: Story of the Doll (May 23)
The story with reference to Post 23 of the Jewish War Veterans brought back memories of my teenage years and World War II. My father, Charles Koffler, of blessed memory, who served in World War I, was a member of Post 23. With his encouragement during the years 1942-44, I became active in Post 23 and initiated, with a group of members’ daughters and other young girls, a club which we named “the dug out.” We held our parties in the lower floor of the post on Niagara Street, and we ran a monthly supper party for servicemen. We did the shopping for the food, prepared it in the kitchen of the post – hot dogs, potato salad, cole slaw – all the fixings of a Sunday
supper. To advertise these events, I prepared posters which we delivered to areas in the downtown and mailed notices to Quonset where Seabees were posted and to sailors stationed in Newport. Since we needed funds to keep this project alive, I mailed requests to various Jewish organizations soliciting donations. One donation stands out in my memory – Walter Sundlun sent us a check. At that time, his son, Bruce, was missing in action and Walter sent a contribution in the hope that he would be found and asked for our prayers. As is evident, Bruce did come home and a few decades later was inaugurated as governor. The chaplain of Post 23 was a
recently discharged young serviceman, Rabbi Abraham Chill, and shortly thereafter became the rabbi of Congregation Sons of Abraham, a newly built Modern Orthodox synagogue on Prairie Avenue. We could not afford professional entertainers for the servicemen, but to keep the affairs lively, as the record machine played, we would form a conga line and snake through to the upper floor of the building and down again to the dug out area. I left Providence in October 1945 after I married Rabbi Philip Kaplan, brother-in-law of Chaplain Abraham Chill. Esther Koffler Kaplan Commack, N.Y.
June 20, 2014 |
LETTERS Re: Panel offers American Jewish perspective (June 6) During the May 21 debate on American/Jewish Perspectives on Achieving Peace in Israel, all parties agreed that peace should be the main goal However, the three nationally recognized Jewish leaders expressed varied opinions on how it can best be achieved. David Bernstein, executive director, The David Project, believes that peace is not possible in the short term, and that a crucial part of achieving peace is other countries recognizing Israel as a dynamic, cultural nation rather than a constant war zone. According to Rachel Lerner, senior VP community relations, J Street, “Peace is like
pizza. It’s really, really good. There are not a lot of reasons to oppose it.” She believes that we should not even entertain the thought of conflict, lest it plant a seed in people’s minds. Martin Raffle, senior VP, Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), believes that a two-state solution would be ideal. He fears that other nations are comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. The takeaway from this event should be that peace in Israel is necessary not just for Israelis, but for the global Jewish community. EJ Mercure Cranston, R.I.
Re: B’nai Israel (May 9) I greatly enjoyed reading the article “Woonsocket’s B’nai Israel.” I recall as a child visiting with my grandfather, Israel Medoff, and attending various services and events at B’nai Israel in the 1970s and 1980s. I was always in awe of the entire synagogue building – the sanctuary, the windows and the front entrance – and seeing plaques throughout the building with names of my family members. Indeed, the entire synagogue building is beautifully designed and architecturally significant. The windows, as mentioned in the article, are outstanding examples of modern art. They are truly magnificent. However, I feel the photo shown on
Page 2 does not adequately reflect their beauty. I hope you can reprint the photo of the windows with more attention to the true colors. Arthur Darman, Israel Medoff and my great uncle, Samuel Medoff, were pillars in Woonsocket and beyond. Decades later, I appreciate even more the immense impact they had on B’nai Israel and aiding future generations. Thank you to George Goodwin for sharing this story with your readers. David Kelman West Hartford, Conn. EDITOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately, newsprint does not do justice to the colors of the windows.
Re: J Street Challenge
As an active and committed Zionist for most of my life I found it highly disconcerting to read the front page Associated Press release in the Providence Journal “Jews in US divided over Israel’s role in seeking peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA)”. Sadly, this condition is developing in RI as a potential to bitterly divide the Jewish community regarding how best to continue to maintain support for Israel’s security. Substantial differences of opinion with the established Jewish community with respect to whether Israel should capitulate and agree to pre-negotiating conditions demanded by the PA are being recommended in RI by a small, recently organized PAC known as J Street. This is a group which claims to know what is best for Israel better than the Knesset or the IDF. This activity has the potential to severely weaken the relationship between the
American Jewish community and Israel. What is unacceptable is that commitment to a philosophy precludes concern for the security of the Jewish State and its people. Thru the years leading up to Israel’s independence and from there forward, while the Zionist movement was made up of groups with wide ranging disciplines resulting in hot discussion and disagreement, there was never a hesitation in difficult and threatening times to unite behind the key decisions made by Israel. Convinced that it is time for a wakeup call and a response to J Street, RI Friends of Israel have scheduled a showing of “The J Street Challenge” on June 25 at 7 pm at Cable Car Cinema. A discussion with Avi Goldwasser, executive producer, follows. Sanford Lupovitz East Greenwich, R.I.
10 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
CALENDAR Ongoing Alliance Kosher Senior Café. Kosher lunch and program every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dwares JCC, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence. Noon lunch; 1 p.m. program. Know Your Candidates program through July: June 25, Daniel J. McKee, candidate for lieutenant governor; June 27, Ernie Almonte, candidate for treasurer; July 11, Clay Pell candidate for governor; July 25 Angel Taveras candidate for governor; Aug. 1 Seth Magaziner, candidate for treasurer. $3 lunch donation from individuals 60+ or under 60 with disabilities. Neal or Elaine, 401-4214111, ext. 107. Am David Kosher Senior Café. Kosher lunch and program every weekday. Temple Am David, 40 Gardiner St., Warwick. 11:15 a.m. program; noon lunch. $3 lunch donation from individuals 60+ or under 60 with disabilities. Elaine or Steve 401-732-0047.
Continuing through June Three area artists in three media. Temple Habonim, 165 New Meadow Road, Barrington. Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and by appointment. For information, 401-245-6536, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing through July 18
Capturing Bialik’s Butterﬂies: Poet’s Voice Meets Camera’s Eye. Curator and photographer Henry J. Spencer. An interpretive art project by JCDSRI students accompanies the exhibit. Brown RISD Hillel Gallery, 80 Brown St. Providence Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Opening reception June 12, 4-8 p.m. with remarks by Rabbi Dr. Marc Mandel of Touro Synagogue. www.brownhillel.org.
Friday | June 20
Temple Beth-El Shabbat Under The Stars. 7 p.m. Gather on the Julie Claire Gutterman Biblical Garden patio to welcome Shabbat with song and stories. Celebrate summer birthdays and enjoy special summer treats following the service.
Sunday| June 22
Retirement Luncheon for Cantor Remmie Brown. Noon. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick. Adults, $36, children 12 and under, $18. R.S.V.P. by June 5 to Dottie at Temple Sinai, 401-9428350 or email@example.com.
Tuesday | June 24
American Friends of Magen David Adom Reception. 7:30 p.m. Learn how MDA, Israel’s emergency medical and blood services saves lives in Israel. Free. No solicitation. Seating is limited; reservations required; dietary laws observed. Narragnsett. For information/reservations, contact Burton Klein, New England representative for AFMDA, 617-916-1827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday | June 25
“J Street Challenge” Film Showing and Discussion. 7 p.m. The R.I. Friends of Israel, a branch of The Americans for Peace and Tolerance ( peaceandtolerance.org ) will be hosting the showing of the film, “The J Street Challenge: The Seductive Allure of Peace in our Time.” Avi Goldwasser, the co-founder of The David Project and executive producer of this and other films, including the award winner, “The Forgotten Refugees and “Columbia Unbecoming” be at the event to answer questions. “The J Street Challenge” is providing a vehicle for discussion regarding the American Jewish community and its relationship with Israel. The Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main St. in Providence. Seating is limited. Tickets are $5. Register at: http://tjschallengeprovidence.eventbrite. com. More information can be found at: www.thejstreetchallenge.com or contact email@example.com or call 401-369-0045.
Friday | June 27 Shabbat Services at Barrington Beach. 6:15 p.m. One Friday night each month during the summer, hosted by Temple Habonim. In case of rain, outdoor services will be canceled. Please check www.templehabonim.org as well as the Temple Habonim facebook page for cancelation information.
Wednesday | July 9
The Cranston Senior Guild bus trip to Foxwoods. 9 a.m. $21 per person, which includes roundtrip motor coach bus, free buﬀet or $10 food coupon to any restaurant at the casino, and $15 of bonus slot play. Bus makes two pickups: from the Dwares JCC, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, and 9:15 a.m. from the R.I. Mall near Sears Auto Center. Bus departs Foxwoods at 3:15 p.m. Payment must be received by June 24. For more information call Sunny at 401-785-0748.
Celebrate summer birthdays and enjoy special summer treats following the service.
Sunday | July 20
Annual Sunday-Night Summer Film Series at Temple Habonim. 7:30 p.m. Join us for “The Book Thief.” The films will be shown at the Temple, 165 New Meadow Road in Barrington. The showings, which include popcorn, are free and open to the community. For information, call Temple Habonim at 401-245-6536 or email oﬃce@ templehabonim.org.
Sunday | July 27
Annual Sunday-Night Summer Film Series at Temple Habonim. 7:30 p.m. Join us for “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” at the Temple, 165 New Meadow Road in Barrington. The showings, which include popcorn, are free and open to the community. For information, call Temple Habonim at 401-245-6536 or email oﬃce@ templehabonim.org.
Friday | August 1
Temple Beth-El Shabbat Under The Stars. 7 p.m. Gather on the Julie Claire Gutterman Biblical Garden patio to welcome Shabbat with song and stories. Celebrate summer birthdays and enjoy special summer treats following the service.
Sunday | August 3
Annual Sunday-Night Summer Film Series at Temple Habonim. 7:30 p.m. Join us for “Promises.” The films will be shown at the Temple, 165 New Meadow Road in Barrington. The showings,
which include popcorn, are free and open to the community. For information, call Temple Habonim at 401-245-6536 or email oﬃce@templehabonim.or
Tuesday | Aug. 12
Books on the Beach – an author luncheon. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Sponsored by The Rhode Island Chapter of Hadassah. The books for discussion and attending authors are, Visible City by Tova Mirvis (a lonely New York woman focuses her binoculars on windows in the next building, following the complexity of their tenants intersecting lives), Misfit by Adam Braver (melding fact with fiction, Braver uses moments from Marilyn Monroe’s invented image as Norma Jean and her later re-imagined self as Marilyn Monroe and explores how these moments contributed to her tragic end) and Strong Rain Falling by Jon Land (Strong Rain Falling moves from past to present with cinematic ease. Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong pursues Mexican drug cartels of 1910 and drug traﬃckers of today). This event will be held in The Ballroom of the Atlantic Beach Club, 55 Purgatory Rd, Newport, R.I. Free parking. The cost is $50. Reserve by July 30, 2014. The registration form is in the invitation. If you have not received an invitation, call (401) 463-3636 or email rhodeislandchapter@hadassah. org. Leave your name, phone number, street address, city and zip code. An invitation will be mailed to you.
Friday | Aug. 15 Shabbat Services at Barrington Beach. 6:15 p.m. One Friday night each month during the summer hosted by Temple Habonim. In case of rain, outdoor
services will be canceled. Please check www.templehabonim.org as well as the Temple Habonim facebook page for cancelation information.
Sunday | Aug. 24 JCC Summer Canteen Reunion. 7-10 p.m. Everyone who attended JCC Summer Canteen dances in the fifties and sixties is invited. Entertainment by the Ghost Riders (Roy Cohen, Richie Cohen and David Katz) and our DJ (Jerry Chorney). Wine, cheese and fruit will be served. Dress is summer casual. $20 per person. Send checks payable to “Summer Canteen Reunion” to Summer Canteen Reunion, Box JJ, Chepachet, R.I. 02814. The Dwares JCC, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence. Contact Mark Rechter at mrech48@cox. net for more information and check out the East Side JCC Facebook page.
Tuesday | Sept. 9
Annual Statewide Mah Jongg Tournament. 11:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Win a trophy for your Center as well as individual prizes. Requirements: You must be able to complete a game in 20 minutes. You may be asked to bring a set of Mah Jongg tiles. Those who don’t play, come join the fun. Be a needed volunteer. You must RSVP by Aug. 26 to register for this event. Contact Carol Desforges at 401-942-9877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Entrance Fee $10 per person. Hosted at the Dwares JCC 401 Elmgrove Avenue Providence, R.I. 02906.
The RI Friends of Israel invites the Rhode Island Community to the premiere screening of the provocative documentary
Friday | July 11
Temple Sinai Shabbat services with Special Guest Toots Zynsky. 6:00 p.m. Toots is a world-renowned artist and an important benefactor to Temple Sinai. This will also be the first service conducted by the temple’s new rabbi and cantor, Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser and Cantor Wendy Siegel. An Oneg Shabbat will follow.
Friday | July 18 Shabbat Services at Barrington Beach. 6:15 p.m. One Friday night each month during the summer, hosted by Temple Habonim. In case of rain, outdoor services will be canceled. Please check www.templehabonim.org as well as the Temple Habonim facebook page for cancelation information. Temple Beth-El Shabbat Under The Stars. 7 p.m. Gather on the Julie Claire Gutterman Biblical Garden patio to welcome Shabbat with song and stories.
Calendar Submissions Aug. 1 issue, BACK TO SCHOOL – must be received by July 16 Aug. 15 issue, FASHION | JEWISH WOMEN IN BUSINESS – must be received by Aug. 4
Send all calendar items to: email@example.com with the subject line “CALENDAR.”
a film about the American Jewish community and its relationship with Israel. Screened to sold out audiences in Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville and Boston. Featuring:
Alan Dershowitz & Ruth Wisse Harvard Professors
Rabbi Daniel Gordis of the Shalem College in Jerusalem
of The Jerusalem Post
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, June 25, 7:00 pm Cable Car Cinema, Providence
Admission $5 - Seats are Limited for information firstname.lastname@example.org RSVP: http://tjschallengeprovidence.eventbrite.com
June 20, 2014 |
REMEMBER THE PAST From the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association
The Boys of Spring
BY GERALDINE S. FOSTER AH! Spring has sprung, to quote the poet. The flowering trees and shrubs have blossomed. Tight little buds have unfurled into bright green leaves. The hint of neatsfoot oil scents the air as baseball gloves of all sizes and shapes are removed from their winter quarters to be massaged, pummeled, punched and shaped. April is here, and the
“I am still friendly with many of those I played with or against. We share a bond of friendship and respect. We were all part of a team” COURTESY | R.I. JEWISH HISTORICAL ASSN.
new baseball season has begun. When the Jewish Community Center moved in 1952 from its original cramped location on Benefit Street to the site of the former police station on Sessions Street, the basketball teams fell victim to the change. The Benefit Street JCC had a gym, which the Sessions Street JCC lacked. While the former had some green space, the latter had a field of its own plus the use of another owned by the City of Providence. Baseball now reigned. Opening Day was celebrated with a parade of the teams. A baseball committee lined up sponsors and coaches and
Opening day parade on Elmgrove Avenue — 1956 held tryouts. Those boys who did not pass muster could not play. Elliott Goldstein, who became athletic director in 1964, changed that policy. Any boy who wanted to play could participate; membership in the JCC was not required. Harold Foster, who played first or third base, recalled the teams were all comprised of some excellent players, some good and some with little or no talent. It did not matter, he said, if you were one of the weaker players or one of the best. Of course, we wanted to win, he said, but there was no undue pressure from the coach-
es or the other players, just the fun of the sport. Goldstein also stated there was T-ball for the little ones and softball for the next age group, who played in the lot next to Brown University’s stadium. The oldest group used the city field and also traveled to play against outside teams. Basketball was now dependent on the time available to the JCC after school hours at Nathan Bishop Junior High School (now Nathan Bishop Middle School). In speaking of his experience playing for one of the teams, Foster recalled, “I was 10 years
old when I started playing baseball at the JCC. It was an in-house league of four teams. We played on the smaller field near the JCC nursery school. I remember that the good players could hit Marvel gym with home run balls knocked over the fence. An occasional window would break; Scott Silverman was notorious for breaking those windows. Facing pitchers David Goldstein or David Meyerson was difficult because they were so good. “I played for Feinberg & Co. for two years. We had blue and white jerseys imprinted with
the sponsor’s name and JCC. The third year, I had a red jersey, but I do not remember the name of the company. Sadly, I can’t remember the names of my coaches – I know David and Alan Hochman coached teams and Elliott Goldstein was athletics director – but I do remember just about everyone I played with and against. Not everyone was Jewish, but it made no difference. “The friendships I made at that time of my life I made through playing ball. I went to Hebrew Day School, but most of the kids in the neighborhood went to Summit Ave. When I transferred to Nathan Bishop in seventh grade, the transition was easier because I knew so many of my new classmates from playing ball. I am still friendly with many of those I played with or against. We share a bond of friendship and respect. We were all part of a team.” The end of the school year meant the end of the organized ball games for another year but not the end of baseball. There was always the summons by phone to a pick-up game, unorganized but fun. GERALDINE FOSTER is a past president of the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association. TO COMMENT about this or any Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association article, email email@example.com.
New rabbi for Torat Israel Rabbi Aaron Philmus will become the next rabbi of Temple Torat Yisrael of East Greenwich, in July. “We are excited to have Rabbi Philmus as our next spiritual leader,” said Susan Smoller, president of Temple Torat Yisrael, “He brings with him a passion for Judaism.” “His experience as an educator and fresh outlook will tend to the changing needs of today’s Jewish community. He has the ability to engage all ages, be inclusive of interfaith families, and attend to their lifecycle needs,” said Andrew Sholes, chair of Torat Yisrael’s Rabbinic Search Committee. Philmus draws much inspiration from his previous work as a wildlife ecologist and Jewish nature educator in various settings including the Teva Learning Center in Connecticut and Camp Ramah in the Colorado Rockies. After many years of studying native cultures in America and Australia, he went to Israel and discovered that Judaism also has deep roots in the earth. Philmus teaches that, “Our
religion in the first place.” He loves to play guitar and sing with others. He believes that music has the power to revive Jewish ritual and bring people together. The rabbi’s wife, Valerie, is a professional chef and they have two young children. Both the rabbi and his
wife are alumni of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Philmus received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and has worked for Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco and Congregation Brothers of Israel in Bucks County Pennsylvania.
Chased Schel Amess Association annual meeting
COURTESY | TEMPLE TORAT YISRAEL
Rabbi Aaron Philmus ancestors were holy farmers and shepherds in the wilderness. This enabled them to have a direct and intimate connection with the “Source of Life.” Jewish holidays, prayers, and ethical teachings all grew organically out of our ongoing relationship with creation.” He
wants to help people find a Judaism that, in his words, “expresses something real for them. You can’t do this by simply reading about someone else’s experiences. My mission as a rabbi is to help people cultivate that genuine sense of wonder and gratitude that inspired
Chased Schel Amess Association, Lincoln Park Cemetery, held their 102nd Annual Meeting on June 8 at Tamarisk in Warwick. Past president Murray Gereboff was the installing officer. Installed as officers were President Barry Rose, First Vice President Alan Bergel, Second Vice President David Weiss, Financial Secretary Susan Vederman and Treasurer Ross Feinberg. Newly installed Board of Directors for a three-year term are Charles Blackman, Norman Elman, Sanford Fink, Andrew
Gilstein, Rabbi Richard Perlman and Mona Scheraga. Newly installed for a one-year term is Fred Raisner. Continuing Board Members are Cantor Remmie Brown, Harry Katzman, Michael Weiner, Michael Penn, Gerald Sherman, Lee Lerner, Sam Mendelowitz, Barry Forman, David Bojar, Sanford Fink, David Churnick and Harvey Michaels. President Barry Rose recounted his first year in office, his hopes for his second year and he extended thanks to the entire cemetery staff.
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The Jewish Voice
No couch potato: Knish expert takes global journey for ‘Jewish soul food’ book BY ROBERT GLUCK JNS.ORG – The history of the knish represents more than just the lineage of a fried, dumpling-like food. It demonstrates the often-central role of food in communities and cultural legacies. Laura Silver knows that all too well. She has consumed knishes on three different continents, and her exhaustive research on the iconic potato treat has resulted in her new book, “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food,” which was released in early May. When she started her knish book project, Silver had no plans for an intercontinental journey, though she did plan to go to Vineland, New Jersey, home of the Pasta Factory, the company that purchased the famous knish recipes of Mrs. Stahl’s bakery. As a young girl from the New York borough of Queens, Silver vividly remembers heading to Mrs. Stahl’s in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn for knishes. “Mrs. Stahl’s was our go-to place, but there were certainly knishes in other places,” she told JNS.org. “When I grew up in Queens there were many Jewish delis around. Mrs. Fanny Stahl was born with the Yiddish name of Feige. She was an immigrant who supported her five children by doing many jobs, including cooking. She started the knish shop and ran it until her death. She was very active in the Brooklyn chapter of Hadassah (the women’s Zionist organization) and she knitted sweaters for the people of Palestine before Israel was a state. She was an entrepreneur par excellence. She worked very hard.” Silver is considered the world’s foremost expert on the knish. But can she defi nitively say where the fi rst knish came from? “I don’t think it’s possible to know exactly who made the fi rst knish,” she said. “It certainly happened in a different
Knish expert Laura Silver time, but it was before 1614, the fi rst recorded history of the knish, which is in a poem in the Polish language. It comes from a town called Krakowiec, which is in modern-day Ukraine in what would be the Pale of Settlement.” The knish undoubtedly has links to the Polish town of Knyszyn, where Silver’s own family originated, she said. But before setting out on her quest, she had no idea that she might be related to direct descendants of the knish’s pioneers from that very town. “I didn’t realize I was on a quest until I was in Poland with my family and we learned that our great aunt was from Knyszyn,” she said. “That’s what tipped me off that I might be a direct descendant of the knish, which I am in fact. It was bashert (meant to be).” According to David Sax, author of “Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen,” Silver’s knish book is a lovingly researched volume that elevates the knish—arguably the humblest of Jewish foods—into a weighty symbol of history, identity and family. “Knishes haven’t met anything this good for them since the invention of mustard,” Sax told JNS.org, referring to Silver’s book. “The knish is ripe for the spotlight Laura has shone upon it. Just look at the lineup for Black Seed, the new
One of the bakers in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child. Montreal bagel place in New York, and you’ll see that the revived interest in Jewish soul food is only growing. I bet we’ll see some amazing knishes in the years to come.” A r t h u r Schwartz, author of “Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited,” said that the knish “has never been put to better use” than it is in Silver’s book. “Laura Silver’s at-times poetic meditation on knishes is not only a cultural history of this fi lled lump of dough, as meticulously researched as any doctoral thesis, but also a Proustian personal memoir that hints of James Joyce, no less, in the way Silver intones and uses the rhythms of Aramaic Jewish liturgy, Yiddishkeit, and Yiddish humor to tell her story,” Schwartz said on the book’s website. During her research, Silver discovered that the knish has connections to sources as surprising as Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music. One of her favorite stories in the book is about Gussie Schwebel, a former knish maker on Houston Street in New York. Schwebel wrote to Roosevelt to ask her to sample her knishes. “They turned her away because there was too much press,” Silver told JNS.org.
“Mrs. Roosevelt’s secretary thought it was a public relations stunt. I say hats off to Mrs. Schwebel, because she had the chutzpah to write to Roo-
sevelt. She wanted to help her adopted country so she asked to cook knishes for the armed forces. She used what she had, a knish, a food, and she ramped it up. That was in the 1940s. Later on she was quoted again in the Washington Post saying that knishes are going to bring about world peace and put an end to the Cold War. She saw food as an instrument for political maneuvering. Good for her.” Where are Silver’s favorite places to buy a knish?
“The best knish you can get is one you make yourself,” she said. “Barring that, I like the one at Gottlieb’s in [the Brooklyn neighborhood of] Williamsburg because they speak Yiddish behind the counter. I also like the ones at Pastrami Queen uptown [in Manhattan], and if you have a hankering walking down the street there’s Gabila’s. Knish Nosh also has some good knish shops in Queens, and there’s Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery on Houston Street.” Every culture does seem to have its wrapped pastries, and Silver calls them “knishin’ cousins.” “Food is never just about food,” she said. “It was about identity, otherness, sameness. I never thought of the knish as anything unusual. The more I talk about it the more I realize everyone doesn’t know what a knish is. It’s a great moment for knish literacy.” Silver was recently hired to teach a course at the Brooklyn Greenery, “Improve Your Knish IQ,” to give people a chance to expand their knowledge of the food. “The knish is a simple food and it is accessible,” Silver said. “It is one that people yearn for even when they don’t need to eat simple food because it reminds them of connections that may be difficult to maintain, or obtain.” “Never before has the potato pocket had such a devoted champion,” Sanders said.
"Helping to better the lives of others is the greatest of all achievements" – Alan Shawn Feinstein
Ruth Handler, Mattel co-founder and inventor of the Barbie Doll, displays the special 40th Anniversary Barbie.
JEWISH WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
Barbie’s introduction impressed little girls everywhere Ruth Handler, 1916-2002 BY TOBY ROSSNER The concept of a high-fashion, full-figured doll seemed to be popping up all over the world in the early 1950s. Beatrice Alexander introduced “Crissy” in 1955. There was a German version named “Lilli”; she was the inspiration for Ruth Handler’s Barbie Doll. When Barbie was introduced by Mattel (Ruth’s family company) at the American Toy Fair in 1959, the trade was not impressed, but little girls certainly were. The first year, 351,000 dolls were sold at $3 each. Mattel was so swamped with orders that it took several years for supply to catch up with demand. The “Barbie Doll” was introduced as a teenage fashion model but in the years that followed, she has tackled almost every profession including dentist, doctor, firefighter, astronaut, paleontologist – even a Presidential candidate. Today the “Barbie Doll” is keeping in step with the cyber age with Barbie software for personalized design and play. TOBY ROSSNER (firstname.lastname@example.org) was the Director of Media Services at the Bureau of Jewish Education from 1978 to 2002. EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the ninth in a series on the history of Jewish women entrepreneurs.
Barbie Quick Facts Barbie: The first Barbie doll was unveiled at a toy fair in New York City. It was developed by Ruth Handler in 1959. How many?: Since 1959 more than 800 million dolls have been sold. Sales in Barbie paraphernalia now exceed $1 billion a year. Barbie has had more than 500 professions and can be found in more than 140 countries in various ethnic costumes. Concept: Barbie is modeled after a German comic strip character named Lilli. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli to manufacture Barbie.
Barbie 1959 from Mattel.
June 20, 2014 |
14 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
June 20, 2014 |
PHOTOS | BETH SHOLOM
Rep. David Cicilline, Joe Triangelo, Adam Bush, Sam Seidel and Barbara Sokoloﬀ with citations from the U.S. House of Representatives
Rabbi Barry Dolinger with Adam Bush (left) and Sam Seidel (right), two of the honorees.
Beth Sholom gala honors Broad Street Synagogue project On June 1, more than 100 people attended Congregation Beth Sholom’s gala. They hope to make it an annual event. The event included an outdoor reception and a dinner in the Modern Orthodox synagogue’s social hall on the East Side. The event honored those responsible for the project to redevelop the former Broad Street Synagogue in South Providence. Recognized for their hard work, dedication and devotion were Adam Bush, Sam Seidel, Barbara Sokoloff, and Sister Ann Keefe. Both Bush and Seidel have been working on a
way to utilize the registered National Historic Site for the local community. They have met with city planners, students of architecture and community leaders to discuss viable alternatives to revive the facility without completely taking away the rich history of this once magnificent structure. Sister Ann Keefe of St. Michael Archangel Church in South Providence and Barbara Sokoloff, president of Barbara Sokoloff Associates, a development and community planning fi rm in Providence, have provided their commitment
to redevelopment of the South Providence area. Keefe is a community activist with a cando attitude. Sokoloff, in addition to being an authority on community development and planning is a community activist and leader. Working with Keefe and Sokoloff, Seidel and Bush have been able to strategize and develop a realistic vision to improve and sustain not only the local community, but also the Jewish heritage and culture of the building. Their vision for the facility is a community center for the diverse Elmwood
neighborhood. Speakers included congregation president Dr. Farrel Klein; Rabbi Barry Dolinger, congregation rabbi; Dr. Jonah Licht; Alan Krinsky; Marty Cooper of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island; Joe Triangelo, developer and contractor; and Rep. David Cicilline, who presented the honorees with a citation from the U.S. House of Representatives. He spoke of the need to redevelop the Broad Street Synagogue and congratulated Seidel and Bush for the work they have
done to make their vision come to fruition. All the speakers congratulated the honorees for helping to create a renaissance not only in Elmwood but in the Jewish community. Marty Cooper, on behalf of the Jewish Alliance, thanked Seidel and Bush for taking the initiative and moving forward with their community dream, despite the rough road. He also spoke of Sokoloff and Keefe’s dedication to help make the program a reality. Cooper presented the honorees with citations from the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island.
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16 | June 20, 2014 FROM PAGE 1
The Jewish Voice
couldn’t ask for a better way to start my two years. I felt so welcomed, and haven’t stopped feeling welcomed since. I came to R.I. to teach, educate and share my Israel with all of you: To help community members connect to Israel and experience the cultural and social aspects of Israel that you can only feel when you go there. I also learned. I learned how important Israel is to so many people here, how Israel plays a major part in people’s lives, not only in Israel but all over the world. Working at the schools, synagogues, JCC, universities and other Jewish organizations across the community was a pleasure. When we think about a good job or profession, we often forget to think about the enjoyment and the fulfillment we might get doing that specific job. I experienced both to the fullest. I woke up every day knowing that I was doing something that I love. Something important. Something that is meaningful to me and to others. Living outside Israel helped me appreciate it even more. I have lived in Israel all my life, on a beautiful moshav (which can be a bubble sometimes). After living in Providence for two years, I now see things differently, and I know that I want to go back to Israel not only to live, but also to change it and be a big part of my community. Living in America was a great experience for me, and I’m going to miss it. What I’m will miss most is the sense of community that the Jewish community in R.I. made me feel throughout my stay here. In the past two years, I was often asked: “What are you? What
does the word “shaliach” mean in Hebrew? Are you an ambassador? Do you work for the government? Well, sometimes it was hard to explain. I won’t get into the Hebrew part at the moment, but I will say that my answer was that I’m here representing the people of Israel, and I’m here to share the Israel I know with you. I know Israel is not perfect. I also know that I’m still young, and I still have a lot to learn. I did my best and I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me. I want to thank all of you who hosted me for Shabbat and holidays, all of you who opened your houses and hearts to me and my family, those of you who listened, talked and participated in my classes and events. I want to thank all my friends and colleagues who helped me turn these two years into an amazing experience. I want to thank my Camp JORI family. I want everyone to know that had I not come to camp as a staff member, I wouldn’t necessarily have decided to come and be a long-term emissary in the U.S. I would like especially to thank the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island for believing in the Israeli emissary program and supporting it. Toda Raba! Le’hitraot. Not goodbye. In Hebrew, Le’hitraot means “Goodbye for now, see you again soon.” I plan on coming to visit my Rhode Island family as much as I can. I hope to see you all soon, in Rhode Island or in Israel. MATAN GRAFF is the Israeli Shaliach (Emissary) for the Jewish Alliance.
A busy two years BY LARRY KATZ firstname.lastname@example.org Following two years as the Israeli Shaliach (emissary) for the Alliance and four summers as part of the Israeli Mishlacht (emissary crew) at Camp JORI, Matan Graff is returning to Israel. Matan comes from a farming village outside of Afula, where his family raises spices on 35 acres. The teens on the 2014 March of the Living had a chance to work alongside Matan in his family’s fields. Besides farming, working cotton gins and serving in intelligence for his air force squadron, Matan brought with him experience serving as a counselor in his youth movement for three years. Matan’s Rhode Island experience started with three summers at Camp JORI, where he was a cabin counselor and also ran activities about Israel, nature and camping. “After working in summer camp, I wanted to do more. It was hard coming to camp, working so hard starting something and going back home in the end of the summer.” So he applied to be the shaliach. During his time in Rhode Island, Matan has taught at most of the area’s Jewish schools, worked at URI Hillel with the Israel Culture Club and conducted Hebrew lunches at Brown University. The seniors at the Leisure Club and the Kosher Senior Cafes have heard him speak. He hosted monthly fi lm presentations at the Dwares JCC and instituted Shirah BeTzibur (communal
get healthy | stay fit | live better
PHOTOS | FRAN OSTENDORF
At a reception on June 16, Matan Graﬀ, above, thanks the community as Larry Katz looks on. Top, he talks with Ronnie Ben-Zion of Providence. singing) programs. He helped plan the Israel@65 program last year and the Israel Memorial and Independence Day programs this year. He staffed Birthright trips and the March of the Living. The emissary program, which strengthens bonds be-
tween Israel and Rhode Island, is funded through a partnership of the Jewish Alliance and the Jewish Agency of Israel. LARRY KATZ is the Director of Jewish learning for the Jewish Alliance.
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Rabbi Barry Dolinger
June 20, 2014 |
Richard Glucksman Dov Ben-Shimon and Marilyn Kaplan
Pastrami on RI FROM PAGE 1
RI, a post-collegiate coed Jewish a capella group, is a (401)j cluster that performs locally.
The Jenny Klein Memorial Teacher Award, established by the Alperin-Hirsch Family Foundation to recognize outstanding teachers who have excelled in teaching and demonstrated a commitment to Jewish education in a synagogue religious school was presented to Nitza Attali. Attali, who teaches second-, third-, fifth- and sixthgrade students at Temple BethEl in Providence, transmits her love of her homeland of Israel to her students. “In Israel, our national treasure is our children. Keep on loving our nation,” she said. The Riesman Leadership Development Award, created by Robert and Marcia Reisman to inspire and encourage emerging leadership, is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment through significant service with the Alliance. Recipients attend the General Assembly of the JFNA. Rabbi Barry Dolinger, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom, is this year’s recipient. A member of the board of directors of the Alliance, he served as lead educator for the New England Region of the March of the Living and is a founding member of (401)j. “Outside of your congregation,” presenter Doris Feinberg said, “you have embraced our community. You are already on a path that will cement your leadership in our community.” Dolinger had particularly kind words for the Rhode Is-
land community where, he said, “Everyone gets along and cooperates … more than anywhere.” The Norma D. & Flo Tilles Community Relations Council Award was established to stimulate and encourage leaders and emerging leaders who have performed significant service to the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Alliance. Sharon Gaines, a previous recipient, presented this award to Richard Glucksman, chair of the Government Relations Council of the CRC and a senior staff attorney at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. As the Government Relations Council chair, Glucksman reaches out to government officials at the federal, state and local levels to raise awareness of Alliance priorities and goals. Glucksman thanked his high school teacher for inspiring him and his mentors at the CRC for providing an unparalleled model of service. The final award of the evening, the Joseph W. Ress Community Service Award, recognized an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership at the Alliance, local or national Jewish agencies and the general Rhode Island community. Joan Ress Reeves presented the award to Alan Litwin, whom she deemed “a regular Joe Ress Junior,” referring to her father, after whom the award was named. As she listed Litwin’s many contributions to the community at large, she mentioned the similarities to her father’s activities. Litwin, managing partner of Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. Ltd., has served on the boards of the
Nitza Attali Jewish Seniors Agency, Jewish Home Corp., Jewish Family Service, Brown RISD Hillel, Temple Emanu-El, Miriam Hospital and The Miriam Hospital Foundation. He is a past president of the JCC and served on the board of the Alliance. In accepting the award, Litwin said, “It’s such an honor to be named in the same sentence as Joe Ress, let alone get this award.” He said that the real reward is to be able to instill the same values of service in his children.
Jeffrey Savit, president and CEO of the Alliance, offered an encouraging report of growth and renewal at the Alliance, highlighting several initiatives underway. “I hope, a year from now, we’ll be sitting in our renovated social hall,” he said, referring to the ongoing renovations to the Dwares JCC. He said that fundraising has resulted in more than $2 million so far, and that the result will be a “lovely inclusive user-friendly community center.” Savit also told the meeting about the Living on the Edge Initiative, explaining that almost one-half of our community is living on the edge of financial insecurity. “We are committed to helping those in need in our community, “he said. Fundraising has reached $1.4 million of the initial goal of $1.8 million for this initiative. “We are beginning to raise an army of people to help,” he said. Commitment to community was the theme of the evening as the meeting celebrated the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s 100 years of service and its impact around the world.
“It’s wonderful to share in this anniversary with Alan Gill and Dov Ben-Shimon,” Savit said. “For 100 years, there’s been one worldwide address for Jews in need. We cherish our relationship.” “I’ve seen the depth of commitment you have in this community,” the JDC’s Ben-Shimon responded. “I’m proud of the partnership we have.” In an earlier conversation, Ben-Shimon said that he and Gill value the deep and meaningful tie that the JDC has with the Jewish community of Rhode Island. “We see the impact that Jewish philanthropy has around the world.” Gill, CEO of the JDC, and Ben-Shimon, executive director-Strategic Partnerships, are well-known to members of the Rhode Island Jewish community, where support has been high for the work of the JDC around the world. Ben-Shimon has accompanied many Rhode Islanders on missions around the world.
From the JDC
Gill delivered a brief history of the JDC, from its beginnings in 1914, and a “brief snapshot of the Jewish world through the JDC lens. “Here we sit as brother and sister. We, as a Jewish people, will be there to help. The 100th anniversary is a time to consider where every dollar you give us is spent,” he said. He explained that the JDC’s mission hasn’t changed though the years. He stressed that all Jews are responsible for one another. “We are the only Jewish organization that holds itself accountable.” The JDC is active throughout the world – in Russia, in Hungary and Ukraine, in Greece, in Germany, and in
PHOTOS | FRAN OSTENDORF
Israel and in many other countries. Wherever there are Jews who need food, medicine, financial help or help staying safe, the JDC is there. Israel is one example. Gill said that 36.5 percent of Israeli children are living below the poverty line. “We’re fighting poverty. We can’t afford a social fabric that’s frayed.” Ukraine is another example. Gill mentioned the work that the JDC is doing there to make sure that Ukraine’s Jewish population, which numbers more than 300,000, is getting the help it needs. “I talk about the history to remind us of what happens when we stay focused on our mission,” Gill said. “Our mission is our business plan.” His compelling stories of housebound elderly in communities under stress, worldwide, held the attention of the crowd. They were meant to illustrate the work done by the JDC, said Gill, so “am Israel chai” … the Jewish people shall live. Following Gill’s speech, Edward Feldstein installed the newly elected boards of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, the Federation Foundation and the Alliance Realty. Gaines ended the evening with remarks echoing those of Savit. “Change is never easy,” she said. But, showing what Feldstein had termed her positive outlook, she said, “We will continue to move forward.” She cited the Living on the Edge Initiative as a defining moment and said that the Alliance is positioning itself for a great future. FRAN OSTENDORF is the Editor of The Jewish Voice.
18 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
FROM PAGE 1
SAFETY sophisticated? Share the following facts with them: • Melanin, a chemical found in skin, defends bodies by absorbing dangerous rays. • The more melanin you have, the tanner you look. • The most vulnerable people are those who have moles, fair skin and a family history of skin cancer. • The three factors that determine the intensity of the sun are altitude, latitude and time of year. When they hear how informed you are, they will want to learn more from the vast well of knowledge that is your mind. That’s when you give them your suggestions on how to behave in the sun: • Avoid being in the sun from late morning until late afternoon (until about the time they’d arrive home from school) because that’s when the rays are the most severe. • If you are at the beach during the time frame above, make sure to enjoy the shade of an umbrella. • Wear protective clothing (the kind that’s not see-through) to shield your skin from harmful rays. • Choose sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Make sure it’s broad-spectrum (one that protects against both UVB and UVA rays). • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or right after swimming/sweating. ¶ Don’t forget to protect eyes by wearing “100 percent UV protection” sunglasses. So you’ve given your child
PHOTOS | DWARES JCC
Children enjoy their time in the Dwares JCC pool. all of these useful pieces of advice, and you still haven’t managed to impress. That’s what our next section is all about. Share one of these tidbits with your troublemakers to get them thinking. • Certain medications cause your skin to be more sensitive to UV rays. • You shouldn’t peel off burned skin because you might develop an infection. • Water enhances the intensity of the harmful rays. • The majority of sun damage happens away from the beach – incidentally. • Since clouds don’t fi lter out UV rays, you can get sunburned on a gloomy or a windy day. • Infants under six months of age (who cannot wear sunscreen) have thinner skin and burn easily. They must be kept out of the sun. • People with allergies should avoid sunscreens with PABA (a type of acid). • When burned, anti-in-
flammatory medication and topical moisturizing creams lessen the pain and itching.
on seeing who could stay underwater the longest. Leavitt intervened immediately, stopping the game and explaining that the exercise can cause swimmers to faint due to a lack of oxygen. We are confident that you will not only teach your kids the safety tips, but also act as a role model by practicing them yourself. Don’t forget to relax and have some fun. Just don’t get carried away – you’re the parent! IRINA MISSIURO is a writer and editorial consultant at The Jewish Voice.
“Swimming, swimming in a swimming pool…”
Pool safety is just as essential as sun safety. Every pool should have a flotation device, a fi rst aid kit and a fence (around a backyard pool). Even more important is instilling safety etiquette – children should learn how to behave in the water. You already know that they need to be taught how to swim, kept away from pool drains and supervised by a lifeguard. To learn some insider secrets, we asked the head lifeguard at the Dwares JCC pool for her top three safety tips. In addition to reminding children that they should always obey and respect lifeguards on duty, Julia Leavitt advised the following: • A child should always swim with a buddy. The system is especially important in crowded pools. When a friend is in danger, the buddy calls for help from a lifeguard.
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• A child should never swim unsupervised. Kids must check that a lifeguard is on duty. It’s also a good idea for a child to introduce him/herself to the lifeguard. • A child should take the deep end test. A lifeguard will determine a child’s swimming ability before s/he jumps into the water. To pass, kids should be able to swim 25 yards without stopping to rest, tread water and float on their backs for 30 seconds. Leavitt also shared a valuable lesson she once taught a group of young swimmers who were participating in breath-holding competitions. They were intent
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Summer safety tips for your canine friends too Taking your dog to the beach can be a great way to spend a beautiful summer day. However, as a responsible dog owner, there are certain precautions you should take: Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your dog. Dogs can get sunburn, especially short-haired dogs and ones with pink skin and white hair. Limit your dog’s exposure when the sun is unusually strong, and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside. Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions – dogs are easy targets for jellyfish and sea lice.
If your dog is out of shape, don’t encourage him to run on the sand. Running on a beach is strenuous exercise, and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament. Cool ocean water is tempting to your dog. Do not allow him to drink too much seawater. The salt in the water will make him sick. Salt and other minerals found in the ocean can damage your dog’s coat. So, when you are ready to leave for the day, rinse him off with fresh water. Not all beaches permit dogs. Check local ordinances before you begin your excursion to the beach.
June 20, 2014 |
Sending kids oﬀ to camp for the ﬁrst time A mother’s perspective
BY IRINA MISSIURO email@example.com My children, ages 10 and 11, are about to spend a month at a sleep-away camp for the fi rst time, and the anticipation of their leaving brought back some memories of my own experience. Despite having been much younger than they when I was confronted with the impending trip, my memory of the preparations is extremely vivid. An open suitcase rests on my bed, next to the clothes wardrobe. My mother, a kerchief on her head, is neatly folding all the items, pausing to consider whether the clothes still fit me and to explain when to wear what and how to take care of my things. I can’t grasp what she is saying because I’m not really listening. I’m too busy being terrified by the prospect of going away on my own. I nod a lot and try not to cry. I can’t understand why she is acting excited and presenting the idea of camp as if it’s a positive one. Doesn’t she know that I’d rather not go? Hoping to avoid the uncertainty and the surprise aspect, I have been attempting to educate my kids on the kind of camp experience they will have. First, I made sure to have a chat with Ronnie Guttin, the director of JORI, the camp they will be attending. Ronnie, who
COURTESY | IRINA MISSIURO
The writer with a camper at Camp JORI in 1995. The writer with her children. hired me as a counselor in the mid-’90s, briefly considered my hesitation to part with kids for a whole month, then nodded knowingly, “It’s time!” To start the conversation with the future campers, I took out my numerous JORI photo albums. Describing what’s going on in every picture, I presented the camp in all its glory. By the end of our talk, my children grew from answering the camp inquiry with a defi nite “no” to ex-
citedly asking questions using fi rst-person pronouns, “Will I get to play baseball?” To give them a better picture of the camp, my husband and I brought the kids to JORI’s orientation, where we listened to the director describe the dayto-day activities and address any concerns parents and kids might have. Then, we took in an informative tour, led by the counselors, around the camp’s grounds. I was amazed at how
far we’ve come. Every cabin had a bathroom and multiple shower stalls. This was nothing like the old JORI, where planning a shower schedule for the entire camp was akin to expecting to retrieve all the socks you had put into the dryer an hour before. While inside one of the cabins, I thought back to the many camps I had attended in the former Soviet Union and wondered how my camp mates would have reacted, back in 1984, to seeing such accommodations. Recalling the
overnight bucket by the door – walking to the outdoor bathroom across camp was forbidden during the night – I shuddered at the memory. Glad that my children will enjoy comfort and choice, I felt more at ease with the prospect of sending them away. The notoriously picky eaters will be fi ne, I realized. If not, there’s always peanut butter and jelly, as well as a salad bar for those meals when nothing on the menu is to your likCAMP | 25
A Rich Inheritance Our community keeps reinventing itself, finding new ways to engage young people and adults, families and singles, in the rich fabric of Jewish life. But some things never change. Like the way each generation plans and builds for the next, making sure the foundations of Jewish life are strong and can respond to evolving needs. When you leave a Jewish legacy, you join this chain of builders. You leave your children and grandchildren a precious inheritance, and a lasting testimony to your values.
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Milton Stanzler, an avid swimmer and past president of the JCC, circa 1961. Archival image courtesy of Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association.
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
20 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
The Pink Ribbon Program at Providence Pilates Center Breast cancer survivors thrive with Cheryl Turnquist’s help Doreen Puglisi, exercise physiologist and educator, was working as a Pilates instructor in 2002 when she discovered that breast cancer patients were discharged after surgeries with no physical therapy plans. Inspired to create a course that would allow women a full range of motion and a retreat from negativity, she founded The Pink Ribbon Program, PostOperative Workout Enhancing Recovery, a national program based in New Jersey. Busy establishing a way to rehabilitate survivors, little did Puglisi know that she would benefit from the effort. In 2004, after she had a mastectomy, Puglisi healed with the help of the regimen she instituted. From personal experience, Puglisi knew that women who would gain the most from the program don’t usually have exercise on their minds. Having just experienced a horrifying ordeal, including not only surgery, but also reconstruction and radiation, they’re exhausted and would probably prefer rest to exertion. However, after a brief recuperation of about a month and a half, many refuse to leave their health to chance, taking matters into their own hands. Up until that moment, they were robbed of a choice. Finding themselves in a scary predicament, they couldn’t control
much of what was happening to them. Participating in the program offers them a chance to regain a modicum of control over their unpredictable lives. The Pink Ribbon Program’s psychological component presents an effective means toward recovery. In addition to healing the mind, the regimen greatly benefits the body. A 2005 Harvarddirected study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that survivors who exercised moderately for three to five hours per week were 50 percent less likely to die from breast cancer than sedentary women. The program’s routine offers relief from the ailments breast cancer survivors often experience. The exercises are customized to address neck pain and muscle tightness in the chest, as well as prevent poor posture development and improve breathing – two possible causes of further pain and loss of mobility. By engaging in subtle movements, such as side bends and arm circles, the patients gradually restore their energy. Unlike more strenuous and less controlled exercise routines, Pilates is a suitable choice for survivors, whose scapular stability is undermined. In layman’s terms, their nerves often debilitate during surgery, restricting movement. Focusing on teaching women how to move again, the program now includes more than 800 instruc-
Teacher Trainer for the Power Pilates Program at 5 Lincoln Ave. in Providence. There, she teaches with six other instructors. A busy mom of a 5-year-old son, she doesn’t have much spare time due to a full schedule consisting of responsibilities that include T h e Pink tors in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Even women whose surgeries are a couple of years behind them can benefit. The exercises accommodate all fitness levels, and the instructors adapt the routine to each survivor, encouraging them when exercise seems counterintuitive. One of these instructors is Cheryl Turnquist, the owner of Providence Pilates Center, who has been hooked on Pilates since 1999. Boasting degrees in psychology and social work, she tried her hand as a therapist. Later, working as a fitness director at a gym, Turnquist fell in love with the philosophy of Pilates. The mind-body movement appealed to her so much that she started her business in 2001. Since 2012, she has been a
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able to exercise without feeling too fatigued. Besides providing a safe workout for patients, the program allows them to feel successful and strong. Just coming out of treatment, the women usually start with a 30-minute beginner segment. Cautious not to strain survivors’ weak muscles, the instructors incorporate stretching and fundamental movements into the regimen. After the patients progress to the second level, they spend 45 minutes working on their upper bodies, trying out an increased range of motion. The third level involves an hour-long workout that’s more challenging. Currently, the center has offered only private sessions, but Turnquist would like to start offering classes comprised of four to five students in the center’s new group studio space. The instructors are trained to work with all kinds of patients – from the most de-conditioned ones to elite athletes. Understanding and compassionate, the teachers customize the exercise to the survivor’s capacity. Turnquist feels that the program is preferable to other forms of exercise for breast cancer survivors because the instructors have been trained to understand the disease “from the point of diagnosis, treatment decisions, treatment differences, recovery issues, and exercise abilities after treatment.” IRINA MISSIURO is a writer and editorial consultant for The Jewish Voice.
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Ribbon Program classes, which she and Abbi Seward teach. Turnquist shares that the two of them decided to become certified in April of 2013 because they “knew that it was a disease that strikes a number of people, including [those in their] family, friends and clients.” They “wanted to understand how to support and help those [they] care so much about.” Since September 2013, they have been assisting patients in their healing process. Turnquist says that every client who has come to the center for post-treatment recovery reported feeling happier and physically more capable. Women are thrilled to be
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June 20, 2014 |
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Art and Science
The art above was created by 3- and 4-year olds under the supervision of teachers Judy, Karen and Elysa at the Alliance JCC Early Childhood Center. In “Crayon-Wax Melt” (top) crayons were hot-glued onto canvas. The children then took turns heating the crayons with a blow-dryer. This project taught the kids about metamorphosis. For the second piece, “Up, Up and Away,” the children dipped yarn in a mixture of glue and water before draping the wet yarn onto a blown-up balloon. By popping the balloon, the kids learned about expansion and contraction.
PHOTO | GABRIELA GOLDBERG
Temple Sinai Conﬁrmation Confi rmation was held on erev Shavuot, June 3. The confi rmands, from left to right, are Madison Evans, Mitchell Blustein and Martin Goldberg, all of Cranston.
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22 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
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June 20, 2014 |
Bitcoin makes aliyah : Cryptocurrency ﬁnds Israeli fans BY BEN SALES TEL AVIV (JTA) – Blocks away from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the headquarters of two major banks, in the corner of the lobby of a boutique hotel, Nimrod Gruber sticks his hand into an ATM. A few seconds later, a QR code prints out. Gruber takes the slip of paper and walks away, no cash in hand. He’s not worried. He owns the ATM, and there’s nothing like it in the Middle East. It identifies users by scanning their palms, and instead of dispensing dollars, euros or shekels, it dispenses bitcoin. “It shows up in your account in 30 seconds, a minute,” he said. Bitcoin, a digital currency invented in 2008, has spread across the world, and made a hefty profit for its holders, without printing a single bill. As bitcoin has gained value over the years, an ecosystem of startups and organizations has taken shape in Tel Aviv to promote its use in Israel’s tech scene. “Here we adopt new technology earlier than other places,” said Gruber, 28, a former model who became involved in bitcoin technology during a stint living in New York City. “It makes sense that this would be a bitcoin center. We’re at the heart of the high-tech area and the Tel Aviv fi nancial district.” Called a “cryptocurrency” because it is secured by encrypted data, bitcoin itself could be best described as cryptic. Its reputed inventor, who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, has communicated only by email. Unlike mainstream currencies, bitcoin isn’t backed by a government or
central bank and has no physical form. Instead, it exists in computer code, and its value is determined purely through supply and demand in online exchanges where bitcoin holders buy and sell it for other currencies. People can “mine” new bitcoins by performing complex calculations on their computers. Bitcoin has encountered a host of issues in its development, from the question of government regulation to use for illegal activities to a volatile growth pattern. According to a digital currency tracker, one bitcoin was worth about $100 a year ago and had spiked to nearly $1,000 by last November. Three weeks later, though, its value dropped to about $600 after China banned its use. It’s worth roughly $630 now, with $8 billion of total bitcoins on the market. The ups and downs haven’t deterred Israeli bitcoin believers, who expect growth ahead and say the currency will stabilize as more people adopt it. Dozens of startups have proliferated around bitcoin use in Israel, and more than 120 Israeli businesses, from restaurants to real estate fi rms, accept bitcoin as payment. “I hope we can make Israel a lab for bitcoin,” said Ayal Yona Segev, an “ambassador” at Bitcoin Embassy, which provides guidance and acts as a meeting spot for Israeli bitcoin entrepreneurs a few blocks from Gruber’s ATM. “We have the flexibility to become a place where we test and develop everything.” The ATM in the hotel hooks up to an online exchange. Users can log in to their accounts and
either deposit cash to buy bitcoin or sell bitcoin and receive cash. Similar ATMs already exist in the United States, Canada and Europe. Gruber hopes the ATM will be one of many in Israel. He jokes about placing one in the middle of the divider between men and women at the Western Wall. Another Israeli startup, Colored Coins, allows users the opportunity to trade other currencies online using the bitcoin code. BitcoinBox offers bitcoin holders insurance for their “digital wallets.” Coin Commerce offers businesses a service to accept bitcoin as payment. “We have a good community here,” said Aaron Aguillard, founder and CEO of Coin Commerce. “What Coin Commerce is trying to do is set up Tel Aviv for the tourist season so people can buy bitcoin and travel around Israel, and book hotels and use bitcoin on the beach.” Israeli bitcoin entrepreneurs see the currency as a practical tool as well as an ideological dimension to their work. Segev’s office sells bitcoin-themed Tshirts and bumper stickers, one of which writes out Nakamoto’s name in a style of chant traditionally used to celebrate the Hasidic sage Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Segev says that in addition to bitcoin’s startup nature, it appeals to Israelis who took to the streets three years ago in massive numbers to protest income inequality. He calls it an alternative for people who are mistrustful of their banks and tired of high credit card fees. “It will make people aware of the current situation” in Israeli banking, Segev said. “This is
an alternative that will make service providers – banks, the state, insurance companies – compete for customers.” Bitcoin’s regulatory status remains unclear. The Internal Revenue Service in the United States taxes bitcoin profits as a capital gain, but Israel only taxes income made from bitcoin once it is transferred into shekels. In February, the Bank of Israel issued a warning regarding bitcoin, noting that it isn’t
backed by any state, is unsupervised, and could be susceptible to manipulation and criminal use. But Avi Nov, an Israeli international tax law expert, says the legal concerns will fade as bitcoin expands and that regular currencies also carry risk. “The risks are greater in the regular world than in the digital world,” he said, adding that “nobody knows if tomorrow a state or a bank will fail.”
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24 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
Go gently into that good night The hospice concept of care is now a widely accepted mode of rational management for the terminally ill. It entered Rhode I sl a nd , h o w e v e r, through the vestries of the clergy rather than by way of convent iona l medical channels. OF SCIENCE The word hospice – as & SOCIETY a place of shelter for STANLEY M. the weary pilgrim – ARONSON, M.D. is old. But the application of hospice – as a facility expressly for the compassionate management of the dying – is relatively new. The design and logistics of a patientcentered facility for those without reasonable hope of cure originated in England when Dr. Cicely Saunders established her unique inpatient program at St. Christopher’s Hospice in June of 1967. It evolved because standard hospital facilities, designed solely to sustain life, were ill-equipped to confront the emotional, social and biophysical needs of the dying patient. Saunders never doubted the earnest and caring qualities of her medical colleagues, but she contended that their agenda – and the mission of the institutions under their management – was directed to the fighting
of death and was not, therefore, designed to acknowledge that there are times when conventional therapies are no longer effective and, indeed, may even be transformed into inhumane interventions. A group of concerned Rhode Islanders – clergy, physicians, nurses and University of Rhode Island faculty – convened in 1974 to explore ways of easing the terminal weeks of dying patients. Still another cluster of concerned people was meeting on the campus of Brown University to explore the merit and feasibility of introducing hospice concepts within the standard curriculum of Brown’s medical school. A series of seminars called “Death and Dying” was then assembled as an evening elective. Rev. Charles Baldwin, a moral leader on Brown’s campus since his appointment as university chaplain in 1958 and a prominent participant in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, had actively participated in all of these various formative hospice groups and assumed its leadership as the independent study groups coalesced to create a single entity. By 1975, there was a consensus that Rhode Island was now ready to accept a functioning hospice program. On March 27, 1976, Hospice Care of Rhode Island was formally established with many of the incorporators from the Jewish community (e.g., Irving Kronenberg, Marilyn Schlossberg, Bruno Bornstein, M.D. and Rabbi Leslie Gutterman).
Acceptance by the medical profession was slow. To some, hospice represented a pseudoreligious enterprise without real substance or mission.
“Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island began its life as a volunteer enterprise. Volunteers continue to fulfill a crucial role in the hospice program.” The early years of Hospice Care of Rhode Island, when HCRI was initially administered solely by volunteers, were marked by more setbacks than successes as the institution struggled through a succession of temporary offices, financial crises, interpersonal travails, interagency disputes, contradictory regulations and bureaucratic reversals. There were times, in these early years, when the agency survived solely through the benefaction of such philanthropic individuals as Bernard Bell, Rosalie Fain and Adelaide Nicholson. In November of 1982, HCRI was licensed as a Home Health Agency, and in February of 1983, both Medicaid and Medicare began to reimburse it, thus providing the agency with a measure of financial security. The agency has grown steadi-
ly in its four decades as a health care facility. In the early years, only patients with advanced cancer were accepted; but by 1997, patients with stroke, dementia and other organic disorders, no longer amenable to therapy, began to be accepted. In 2001, the agency’s name was expanded to Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, HHCRI, to better reflect this diversity of patients receiving palliative, as well as traditional, hospice care.
Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island began its life as a volunteer enterprise. Volunteers continue to fulfill a crucial role in the hospice program. These willing Rhode Islanders have undergone extensive training, learning that patient care is no
longer the sole responsibility of physicians, but may involve numerous other health workers, clergy, the patient’s family and earnest volunteers. The hospice medical staff, headed by Ed Martin, M.D., now supervises Brown medical students in learning the rudiments of palliative care, and HHCRI has been designated recently as one of Brown’s principal teaching facilities. HHCRI, under the able management of Diana Franchitto, maintains contracts with six hospitals and 75 nursing homes within Rhode Island. On an average day, it provides comprehensive care for about 500 terminally ill persons, whether in the hospitals, the nursing homes, the patient’s private residence or at HHCRI’s magnificent new inpatient facility at 1085 North Main St., Providence. Since its inception in 1978, the agency has provided hospice care to more than 60,000 terminally ill Rhode Islanders. STANLEY M. ARONSON, M.D. (email@example.com) is dean of medicine emeritus at Brown University.
COMMUNITY | WORLD
June 20, 2014 |
Lifelong learning Jewish educators from Jewish Community Centers across the U.S. and Canada met in June at the offices of the JCC Association in New York City for professional development and to discuss new approaches to programming. They stopped for a group photo at Washington Square Park where they tried out a game for
middle-schoolers, using iPhones to learn about working conditions and union organizing in the Jewish Lower East Side prior to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire a century ago. Larry Katz, director of Jewish learning for the Jewish Alliance of Great Rhode Island, is in the back, center.
Tel Aviv Shabbat dinner sets Guinness mark JTA – More than 2,000 people in Tel Aviv set the Guinness World Record for largest Shabbat dinner. At an event June 13 hosted by White City Shabbat, a Tel Aviv organization that hosts and coordinates Shabbat meals, and co-sponsored by ChabadLubavitch, 2,226 people gathered for what was billed as the largest Shabbat dinner ever. An official representative of Guinness World Records present at
FROM PAGE 19
the event certified that the dinner had set the mark. The organizers for the dinner – held in a large atrium at the Tel Aviv Port – purchased 800 bottles of wine, 80 bottles of vodka, 50 bottles of whiskey, 2,000 challah rolls, 1,800 pieces of chicken, 1,000 pieces of beef and 250 vegetarian meals. Attendees also ate rice, peas, a range of Israeli appetizers and cake. Chabad representatives led
ing. I recalled how, during my days as counselor, I sat next to a camper from the former Soviet Union. In the middle of the meal, the plump girl turned to me in despair, her plate halffull. “I can’t eat anymore,” she sighed, imploring me with her eyes. I realized that she must be used to the finish-what’son-your-plate mentality and,
“Right now, my main concern is not letting them in on the fact that I’m more nervous than they about their impending camp stay.” engaging my inner Winston Smith, assured her that she could just leave the rest. Relieved, the girl exhaled and smiled. While I have yet to open the packing list JORI emailed me, I already bought the plastic drawers – recommended by the counselors who gave us the tour – that are awaiting their turn in our basement. Another purchase I made was greeted less enthusiastically by my kids. I recently picked up two cute journals at a trendy
store on Thayer Street. Showing them to the children, I explained that they are to record their camp memories and impressions in these journals. Going on about the value of such writing and the extent of their appreciation of these artifacts later on in life, I noticed they were discreetly rolling their eyes and tactfully attempting to impress upon me that journal writing will not project the image they’re aiming for. Well, I thought, there are always the letters home – I guess I can just save those and maybe use one or two as blackmail if needed. Right now, my main concern is not letting them in on the fact that I’m more nervous than they about their impending camp stay. Thoughts, such as, “Who will help Sasha wash her long hair?” and “How will Andrew get by, considering his attachment to electronics?” run through my mind. Then, I put my reflections in perspective and remember that this is not 1984. Words, including love, truth and plenty, signify what they claim, and there’s not a ministry in sight. The kids will be fine, but what about me? IRINA MISSIURO is a writer and editorial consultant for The Jewish Voice.
Orthodox services before the dinner, which was dedicated to the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher rebbe who died in 1994. Among those on hand were Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren and former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. “The jubilation in the room when Guinness World Records announced the official results was palpable,” White City Shabbat co-director Deborah Danan said in a statement. “We are witnessing the transition of Tel Aviv as being the new capital for Jews – not just for those with professional impetuses but also for those who want to see the revival in Jewish life continue.”
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Israel to host ATP men’s tennis tournament JTA – The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel. It is the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization. The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place Sept. 15-21 at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Hasharon. “After 19 memorable years in St. Petersburg, the time has come for us to take the tournament in a new direction,” said Ruslan Linkov, tournament representative. “We are very excited about the opportunities that lie in Tel Aviv and look forward to holding a successful event in September.” The ATP World Tour is the major international tennis tour for men.
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26 | June 20, 2014 Wilfred Gerstenblatt, 80 NEW YORK, N.Y. – Wilfred Gerstenblatt, of East 74th St., died June 12 at Cornell Medical Center. He was the husband of Judith (Furedi) Gerstenblatt for 31 years and the late Roberta (Rosenberg) Gerstenblatt. Born in Providence, R.I., a son of the late Harry and Bessie (Brill) Gerstenblatt, he had lived in New York City and Wakefield, R.I. Wilfred was a comedian with his partner, Jim Gannon, entertaining in the Catskills, and in comedy clubs in New York City from the ‘50s to the ‘80s he also appeared on the “Johnny Carson Show”. He was a middle school teacher in South Bronx for 30 years. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army serving in France. Wilfred was a member of S.A.G. Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Robin Gerstenblatt and her husband Dietmar Cziborra of Tappan, N.Y., a son, Randy Gerstenblatt and his wife Jill of Roslyn, N.Y. and four grandchildren, Rebecca, Ashley, Ross and Brett. He was predeceased by three brothers, Sidney, Victor and James Gerstenblatt. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Pearl Hanzel, 100
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Pearl (Garfinkel) Hanzel died on June 5. She was the wife of the late Albert “Arby” Hanzel. A daughter of the late Charles and Rose (Vinek) Garfinkel, she was a lifelong resident of Rhode Island. Pearl worked for many years at Gladdings’ Children’s Store, Shepard’s and The Outlet Company; however the most important thing to her was her
OBITUARIES family. Her best friend was her sister Beatrice (“Beattie”). She was fortunate to see her two oldest grandchildren get married, all of her grandchildren graduate college, and to meet – and sing to – her four greatgrandchildren. Before she died, she looked forward each year to that first spring day when they took their folding chairs to Narragansett, sat by the sea wall at the Pier, and breathed in the fresh sea air. After her husband’s death, she lived for several years at Epoch on the East Side. After her recent hospitalizations, moved into the Hattie Ida Chaffee Nursing Home, where she lived until her death. She is survived by her daughters Harriet Cole (Alan) and Barbara Marks (Alan); her grandchildren Lisa, Rebecca, Harrison and Eleanor; her great-grandchildren Talia, Sophia, Max and Sam; and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late David, Samuel, Louis, Joseph, William, Beatrice and Etta. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Hattie Ida Chaffee Nursing Home, Home and Hospice Care of R.I., the Jewish Family Services of R.I. or the charity of your choice.
Celia Krieger, 93
GREENLAND, N.H. – Celia Krieger died June 7. She was the beloved wife of the late Seymour Krieger. Born in New York City, N.Y., a daughter of the late Abaham and Leah (Gzebnarz) Stupsky, she had lived in Providence since 1953, previously living in Brooklyn, NY. She was a Hebrew teacher at Temple Sinai for 10 years and Temple Beth-El for 25 years, retiring in 1986. She was a member of Temple Emanu-El, Havurah Kulanu Hadar and the former Pioneer Women, now
The Jewish Voice
called Na’Amat. She was the devoted mother of Les Krieger of Jerusalem, Israel, Cantor Wayne Krieger of Freehold, N.J., Rabbi Barry Krieger and the late Dr. Dennis Krieger; sister of the late Sam and Jack Stone; loving grandmother of 10; cherished great-grandmother of 19. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Na’Amat, 505 8th Avenue, Suite 12A 04, New York, N.Y. 10018-4511 or Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Avenue, Providence, R.I. 02906.
Samuel Mednick, 80
FALL RIVER, Mass. – Samuel Mednick passed away June 9. He was a son of the late Harry and Rebecca (Meyerson) Mednick and had been a lifelong resident of Fall River. He was the brother of the late Herbert Mednick. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Fall River Jewish Home, 538 Robeson St. Fall River, Mass. 02720.
Reva Borenstein Metzger, 76
SONOMA, Calif. – Reva Borenstein Metzger died on July 16 in Sonoma, California. There will be an unveiling of her stone on July 13 at Lincoln Park Cemetery in Warwick, R.I., at 10 a.m. She was the daughter of Dora (Gold) and Leo Borenstein. She grew up in Providence, then Pawtucket, and graduated from Classical High School. Through these years she worked at the extended family business – Miller’s Delicatessen. There she learned many significant life lessons from her father, uncles, aunts and cousins, which she took with her to continue her education at Antioch College. In college, she met and married Sam Metzger, her partner for 50 years. Trained as a teacher, Reva became involved in programs for developmentally disabled people and was a pioneer in creating a therapeutic environment as well as innovative
educational interventions. In addition, she was active in community projects that improved the quality of life for many. She was often described as the “heart” of these projects. While living in California she maintained consistent connections with family and friends. She is survived by her husband Sam, her sisters Elinor Rosenberg and Ruth Maass, cousins Richard Resnick, Richard Bornstein, Stanley Bornstein Norma Kaufman, nieces and nephews Peter Rosenberg, Sarah Rosenberg, Annie Halpin Kern Maass, Lea Borenstein and Lou Borenstein as well as great nieces and nephews. Her parents and brother Bill Borenstein predeceased her. It was her wish to be remembered here in Rhode Island.
Sidney P. Rollins, 93
ATLANTA – Sidney P. Rollins, previously of Providence, R.I., died June 6. He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years Ellen Rollins and by his brother Sanford Goldstein. He is survived by his children; Ann Rollins of Atlanta, Jonathan Rollins of Dallas, Lisa Rollins of Charlottesville, Va.; grandchildren Daniel Jose, Alex Jose and Michaela Rollins; and nieces Debby Oatman and Nancy Klasson. He grew up in St. Louis as part of a close extended family. Upon completing a bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis, he enlisted in the Army, serving in the infantry as a staff sergeant and earning five bronze stars. He took part in many of the major battles of WWII, including the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. After his discharge from the service, he returned to Washington Uni-
versity, earning a master’s degree and Ph.D. He moved to Providence with his wife to accept a faculty position at Rhode Island College. His nearly 30-year tenure included teaching at the graduate level and serving as Dean of Graduate Studies. While at RIC, he authored several books on individualized instruction, published articles on educating the gifted, and consulted with school systems across New England on curriculum development. After retiring from RIC he accepted a position as Acting Assistant Commissioner for Higher Education for the State of Rhode Island. After retirement number two, he joined the faculty at Bryant College (now Bryant University), where he established and directed for 10 years a program in instructional development. He was a loving and devoted husband and father. He was known for his sense of humor and his penchant for breaking into song. His consistent response to the question “How are you?” was “never better.” Donations may be made in Sidney Rollins’ memory to Helen Forman Endowment for the Performing Arts, Rhode Island College Foundation, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Providence, R.I. 02908.
Harris P. Sederholm, 89
SANDWICH, Mass. – Harris P. Sederholm died peacefully on June 15 at McCarthy Care C e n t e r . W e will miss his sweetness, gentleness and sense of humor. Born in New Bedford, Mass., on Jan. 9, 1925 to Morris and Molly (Horvitz) Sederholm, he lived in the area his entire life. He was a graduate of New Bedford High School. A proud veteran of World War II, he served as a OBITUARIES | 27
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jeep driver with Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in the South Pacific. He once exchanged a salute with the General in Tokyo. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Harris attended Boston University after the war, earning his B.A. in Business Administration. It was in college that he met his future wife, Eunice Cohen. They were married in 1950 and settled in Dartmouth, Mass., in 1956, where he lived the rest of his life. He worked as a manager in the garment industry in New Bedford until 1979, when he opened his own printing business. He retired in the mid-‘90s He was a lifelong Red Sox fan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice, in 2010. He is survived by his daughter, Vicki Sederholm, of South Dartmouth; his son, Jed Sederholm, and daughter-in-law, Judy, of Katy, Texas; his brothers, Burt Sederholm of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Don Sederholm of Kingston, Wash.; Max Hayslette of Kingston, Wash; and his adored granddaughter, Maya, of Tucson, Ariz; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home, 200 Hawthorn St, New Bedford, Mass. 02740.
William Solinger, 91
CRANSTON, R.I. – William Solinger died June 5 at Rhode Island Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Miriam (Ka-
plan) Solinger. Born in Providence, a son of the late Morris and Eva (Pockar) Solinger, he had lived in Cranston for 57 years, previously living in Providence. He was the owner of Leslie Jewelry Company for many years. He was a WW-II Navy veteran, serving as a radar man aboard the USS Ellison during the DDay invasion. He also served aboard the USS Mona Island. He was former president of R.I. Jewish Fraternal and a former member of Temple Torat Yisrael. He was a devoted father of Rosalind Noble and her husband, Bill, of West Greenwich and Beverly Solinger and her husband, Laurence McKenzie, of London, England; dear brother of Ruth Goldman and Miriam Gauthier, both of Cranston; loving grandfather of Janine, Evan, Lauren and Alex; cherished uncle of several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Jewish War Veterans of R.I., P.O. Box 100064, Cranston, R.I. 02910 or Make-A-Wish Foundation, 20 Hemingway Dr., Riverside, R.I. 02915.
Murray Stoloff, 83,
WEST FALMOUTH, Mass. – Murray Stoloff passed away at home on May 21 after a sudden illness. He was the beloved husband of Molly (Buchan) Stoloff for 29 years. He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., the son of the late Benjamin and Florence
(Segerman) Stoloff. He was a graduate of City College in N.Y. He was an adjunct professor at BU, Suffolk and Framingham State University. He also worked as a meteorologist for the U.S. Army while serving in the Korean War. He worked as a social worker for Polaroid and a therapist at the Brockton Multi Service Center. He was an active member of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation and enjoyed umpiring softball games. He also loved to play handball and poker. In addition to his wife, Molly, Murray is survived by his children Ron of Needham, Jeffrey of Cranston, R.I., Deborah of Plainville, and Glenn of Glastonbury, Conn.; his stepchildren Briana Osborn of Burlington, Melissa Osborn of Sunnyside, N.Y., Hillary Osborn of Pocasset, and Rachel Osborn of Franklin; his grandchildren Leah, Jonathan, Ben, Emma, Sarah, and Andrew; his stepgrandchildren Tim, Zachary, Carissa, Madalyn, Livia, and Anais; a great grandchild, Connor; his brother Al Stoloff of N.J.; and his first wife, Harriet Stoloff of Norwood, Mass. Memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, PO Box 4072, Pittsfield Mass. 01202.
Moise Safra, billionaire philanthropist, dies at 79
(JTA) – Moise Safra, a billionaire banker and philanthropist, died at 79 in Brazil. Safra died June 15 at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in Sao Paulo two days after suffering a heart attack, according to Reuters. He reportedly had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for several years. Safra and his brothers, Joseph and Edmond, were scions of a Syrian Jewish banking family with roots in Aleppo, where Safra was born in 1935. In the mid-1950s, Safra settled in Brazil and co-founded the Safra Group of Banks with his brothers. In 2006, Safra sold his portion of the family business to brother Joseph for a reported $2 billion, according to Forbes. Bloomberg News reported that at the time of his death, Safra’s net worth was an estimated $3.4 billion.
Safra also was a major donor to international Jewish charities, including the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital. His wife, Chella, is the treasurer of the World Jewish Congress.
Rabbi Nachman Sudak, head of Chabad U.K., dies
(JTA) – Rabbi Nachman Sudak, the chief emissary for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in the United Kingdom, has died. Sudak died June 15 in London; he was 78. Directed p e r s o n ally by the Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to move to London in 1959, Sudak lived there for the rest of his life, according to Chabad.org, developing and overseeing a network of Chabad-led institutions throughout the country that now includes 11 campus centers, 25 Chabad houses and 14 schools. “Rabbi Nachman Sudak guided the destiny of Chabad
in Britain for more than 50 years, turning it from a marginal presence to one that affected tens of thousands of lives and changed the entire tone of Anglo-Jewry,” said Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, according to the Jewish Chronicle. Sudak was born in the USSR band before immigrating with his family to British Mandate Palestine and then in 1954 to Brooklyn, according to Chabad. In 1959, he was married in London to Fradel Shemtov, whose father oversaw the Chabad network in the United Kingdom at the time. In 2001, Queen Elizabeth conferred on Sudak the Order of the British Empire. Sudak, in turn, presented the queen with a mezuzah. Sudak also served on the boards of several major governing bodies of Chabad, including its umbrella organization, Agudas Chassidei Chabad, and its educational arm. Sudak is survived by his wife and nine children, including his son Rabbi Bentzi Suda, the chief executive of Chabad Lubavitch U.K.
June 20, 2014 |
Massachusetts man among dead on Mount Rainier JTA – Eitan Green, a Solomon Schechter day school alumnus from Needham, Massachusetts, was among six hikers killed on Mount Rainier. Green, an experienced mountain guide for Alpine Ascents International who had made more than 40 ascents up Mount Rainier, was ascending the north face of the mountain with one other guide and four climbers when the group went missing last week. The last communication from the hikers came May 28 at night; a search began when they failed to return May 30 as planned. Rescue crews found camping and hiking gear in snow, ice and rock debris more than 3,000 feet below the group’s last known position and picked up signals from the hikers’ avalanche beacons, Reuters reported. The six are believed to have fallen more
than 3,000 feet to their deaths or been buried by an avalanche. Officials said there was no way the group could have survived, making it the deadliest accident on the mountain since 11 people were killed on Rainier in 1981. More than 400 people have died on Mount Rainier since 1897. Park officials said the bodies of the six may take weeks to recover – if they are ever found. Green, the son of Jeffrey and Beth Green of Somerville, Massachusetts, attended the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston in Newton through the eighth grade. A graduate of Colby College in Maine, Green has been a guide since 2009 at the Seattle-based Alpine Ascents – the same company that lost five sherpas in an accident several weeks ago on Mount Everest.
Alan Gross’ mother dies as he remains in Cuban prison JNS.ORG – The mother of Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 after he was sentenced to a 15-year term for bringing communications devices to the country’s Jewish community, died June 18. Gross was working for a U.S. firm called Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) to promote democracy, but Cuba convicted him of “crimes against the state.”
Evelyn Gross, 92, died in Plano, Texas, from lung cancer. The Gross family said in a statement that she was diagnosed four years ago and that her “last wish was to see her son before she died.” “Cuban officials refused to give Alan a humanitarian furlough to visit his mother, despite repeated pleas and the certainty that she was dying,” the family said.
28 | June 20, 2014
HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Jewish Voice
Still working after all these years BY FRAN OSTENDORF email@example.com
Hazel Vengerow believes in living life to its fullest. And her schedule is pretty exhausting. She works three days a week for Reliable Gold in Wayland Square on the East Side. And one day each week she goes to Warwick where she keeps the customers happy at RGE. No rest for the weary, she’s up at 5 a.m. each morning. That’s a pretty good pace at any age. But Hazel recently turned 95. She insists that she’s not special. She really doesn’t like to put attention on herself. You can tell that from talking with her. She doesn’t like talking about herself. Well, maybe the
Hazel Vengerow fact that she’s still working is different, she admits. But “what’s the point of getting older if you aren’t going to
As a Rhode Island taxpayer for over twenty-five years, I understand the challenges facing many Rhode Islanders. I believe with new vision and leadership we can once again become a competitive state with a growing, expanding and vibrant economy. As your representative, I will create economic opportunity, improve public schools and bring jobs back to Rhode Island. I will be a bold, fresh leader in the assembly who will work as hard as I can every single day to make Rhode Island great again - but I need your help to do it. Please join me.
MIRIAM ROSS RI HOUSE DISTRICT 4 DEMOCRAT
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enjoy it,” says Hazel. She’s always been an early riser, another trait that sets her apart. And she’s raring to go at that early hour. You can usually find her eating breakfast at the Wayland Diner before her day begins at Reliable Gold jewelers, where she works in the office. She’s been working at Reliable Gold since the ’70s. Her day at RGE puts her behind a desk on Saturday, in this case greeting customers, helping with mailings and answering the phone. RGE is a boutique, salon and café on Bald Hill Road in Warwick.
“It’s fun,” she says. “And it’s so lovely there.” Ronnie Golden Engle, the owner of RGE, has known her for years and calls Hazel a “great gal to know. She’s a quiet person. Very independent.” According to Engle, Hazel is “fashion forward” with a great sense of style – perfect at the salon. Engle says it is pretty special just to still be working at her age. We all wish to be happy and healthy at Hazel’s age. Hazel admits to a love of travel. She used to travel a lot with a friend but says she doesn’t like to do it alone. And she also
loved to knit. Years ago, she even did a little community theater when the JCC was on Benefit Street. Are there any secrets to living a long life? Hazel really doesn’t have any to tell. She walks; she doesn’t eat too much and what she eats is pretty healthy; she likes to be home; she follows politics. Living in Providence is just busy enough for this lifelong Rhode Islander who has a daughter and grandson in California. And apparently getting up and out is a good lesson to remember for us all.
Leisure Club activities for the summer The Leisure Club at Temple Emanu-El continues to meet during the summer, except on July 3. Activities take place at 99 Taft Ave., Providence. Programs are free and open to the public. On June 26, at 10 a.m., Helen Kagen, retired high school teacher and lecturer, will present “Monuments Men: Stolen and Looted Art by the Nazis in World War II,” At 11:10 a.m., Jacob Sydney will present “Part 2: The Jewish Presence in Morocco,” a historical look at the roles of Jews in the country. On July 10, from 10 a.m. to noon, the movie “Orchestra of the Exiles” will be shown. This is the story of the creation of the Israel Philharmonic.
On July 17, at 10 a.m., Cathy Santaniello from the East Side YMCA will present “Exercise for Better Health.” At 11:10 a.m., Lev Poplow will present “Jewish Art,” how Judaism is portrayed in various pieces of visual art. On July 24, at 10 a.m., Kara Marziali, director of communications at the Jewish Alliance, will present “Chill with Will,” Shakespeare Part I: The Man and the Bard, a brief bio and historical background of William Shakespeare. At 11:10 a.m., Lev Poplow will present “Jewish Artists and their Works.” On July 31, at 10 a.m., Kara Marziali, director of communications at the Jewish Alliance, will present “Chill with Will,” Shakespeare Part II: The Love of Language, a look at some of
Shakespeare’s work, including sonnets, plays and idioms. At 11:10 a.m., Gayle Golden, senator, district 3, R.I. Senate, will present “Legislation Currently Being Discussed in the General Assembly that Affects Seniors.” On Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, the movie “The Other Son” will be shown. This is the tale of two young men, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who discover they were accidentally switched at birth. On Aug. 14, at 10 a.m., Cathy Santaniello from the East Side YMCA will present “Exercise for Better Health.” At 11:10 a.m., Miriam AbramsStark will present “My Recent Trip to Camp Ramah in the Rockies/Jewish Experiential Education.”
COMMUNITY | ARTS
From left to right: Ruth (Jaﬀa) Albert, Edith Grant, Shirley Davis, Jean Siegel, (in back) Rabbi Peter Stein and Helen Abrams.
June 20, 2014 |
RI Hadassah presents a book and author luncheon BOOKS ON THE BEACH
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Atlantic Beach Club
55 Purgatory Road, Newport From left to right: Cantor Remmie Brown, Max Fertik, Evan Deluty, Isaac Davis, Eliana Stein, Rabbi Peter Stein.
HONORING RABBI STEIN On June 13, Temple Sinai had a special service and Oneg Shabbat honoring Rabbi Peter Stein as he leaves Temple Sinai and moves to Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester, New York, as their senior rabbi.
Boychik to Monocular Man A week after his bar mitzvah party some 45 years ago, Providence businessman and playwright R. Jim Stahl decided he wanted his own bomb. “I was a curious kid,” he explains. “It was 1969. Everybody was making bombs. The P.L.O., the S.D.S., the I.R.A. – if you had initials, you had a bomb! I wanted one!” He taped a powerful (and illegal) M-80 fi recracker to a scale model of the Saturn V Rocket. “That was the equivalent of taping a quarter-stick of dynamite to the inside of a toy.” What happened next is the subject of Stahl’s one-man play, “Monocular Man.” He’ll perform it July 24-26 as part of Providence’s fi rst “Fringe Festival.” The play, simply staged in the style of Spalding Gray’s monologues, mixes humor and pathos. What are its themes? Stahl sums them up this way: “I was very well-off, very white, one-eyed, two-fisted, bar-mitzvahed, with loving black parents, living in a racially polarized Miami, Florida. So the play takes on race, class, privilege and a boy’s identity. All against a backdrop of Vietnam, Woodstock and dot matrix! Remember dot matrix?” Stahl smiles as he explains that his loving parents, Sam and Judith, were actually white, but he was deeply influenced by a caring black housekeeper and her husband. Both figure importantly in the 70-minute dramatic comedy.
Though the script is his fi rst attempt at playwriting, it’s managed to catch the eye of several regional theaters. The Jewish Ensemble Theatre, in Detroit, the oldest continually operated theater of its kind in the U.S., just picked it to showcase in its prestigious Festival of New Plays. And Stahl was invited to perform “Monocular Man” at The New York International Fringe Festival. “That festival attracts 90,000 ticket buyers every August. I was nauseous with fear for a whole month!” he admits. “I chewed matzo in rehearsals to fight it.” He says his understanding director, Kate Lohman, the actor and former artistic director of the Gamm Theatre, drew the line at allowing matzo on stage during the actual the performances. Stahl says that the new Providence Fringe Festival, while certainly not as large as New York’s, will prove just as exciting for Providence. The Providence Fringe Festival is presented by the Wilbury Theater Group with participating partners AS220, Aurora Providence and Trinity Repertory Company. MonocularMan.com offers more information about R. Jim Stahl and the “Monocular Man.” DETAILS ABOUT the July 24-26 performances are found at FRINGEPVD.ORG.
$50 includes lunch and author talks Tova Mirvis: Visible City
In a plot made famous by the 1954 film Rear Window, Tova Mirvis expands the range of the “peeping Tom” from one neighbor’s window to three. The larger mix of tenants give Mirvis plenty of room for plot twists and, of course, more configurations for partnering.
Adam Braver: Misfit
Melding fact with fiction, Braver explores the moments in Marilyn Monroe’s past that shaped her and that ultimately destroyed her. His rewind of the cliches that had become her story reveals Marilyn’s newly empathetic character.
Jon Land: Strong Rain Falling and Strong Darkness
Caitlin Strong novels move from past to present with cinematic ease. In Strong Rain Falling Texas Ranger Caitlin pursues Mexico’s drug cartels of 1910 and drug traffickers of today.
To receive an invitation call (401) 463-3636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave your name, phone number, street address, city, and zip code. An invitation will be mailed to you.
30 | June 20, 2014
SIMCHAS | WE ARE READ | COMMUNITY
The Jewish Voice
ON VACATION – Gloria Sontz, from Cumberland, holds The Voice at the shoe exhibit by the Danube River. She and her mother Ann Segal, from Salem, Massachusetts, recently took a two-week vacation that included a riverboat cruise on the Danube and visits to Prague, Budapest and Munich.
PHOTOS | CHABAD OF RI
Community members young and old enjoyed the festivities in May at the Lag Ba’Omer parade and community picnic sponsored by Chabad of Rhode Island and Congregation Beth Sholom. The day started out overcast. But the sun made an appearance eventually. MUSIC HONOR – Jacob Katzman, 15, a dedicated violinist, was accepted into the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Symphony, in East Providence. He is a graduate of the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island and currently a ninth grader at the Wheeler School. String players at this level demonstrate understanding of musical styles, including Baroque, Classical and Romantic. Students provide correct expression with broad dynamic range and perform at the highest musical and
technical standard. Jacob has played in the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for the past two years. He has been taking lessons for the past six years with Lois Finkel, the assistant principal second violin at the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the chairperson of the chamber music department at the R.I. Philharmonic Music School. In addition to playing violin, Jacob dabbles in classical guitar, hikes and enjoys spending time with his family.
R.I. Foundation oﬀers $60,000 to local organizations
TOUR OF MAINE – Ida and Tom Brown, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, (Ida is formerly of Rhode Island), recently returned from a four-day trip to Maine where they visited Portland, Booth Bay Harbor, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. Here they are by the Kennebunkport Inn with The Voice.
Jewish community, religious and educational organizations have until June 27 to apply for $60,000 in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation through the Bliss, Gross, Horowitz Fund. “This assistance can be the springboard to expanding or improving your services to the community. We’ve made it easy for you to bring us your priorities,” said Daniel Kertzner, the Foundation’s vice president for grant programs. Applicants must serve the greater Providence area. The proposals must facilitate community engagement and foster, strengthen or expand community connections or provide for
basic human needs. In addition, organizations that offer those services can apply for funding to support capacity-building activities such as board development, strategic planning, nonprofit business development, fundraising or program evaluation. The Foundation will give priority to proposals that have clearly stated goals, objectives and measurable outcomes and a clear sustainability plan. The maximum grant is $25,000. Applicants must submit a description of the proposal, a pro forma and an audited fi nancial report for requests over $10,000. Last year’s recipients included the Jewish Seniors Agency of
Rhode Island for the Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry, which feeds more than 100 area households a month; the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association for preserving hundreds of audio tapes documenting Jewish history in the Ocean State; and the Jewish Alliance of Greater Providence for convening a community effort to re-vitalize an historic synagogue at 688 Broad St., Providence. FOR MORE INFORMATION about applying for the Bliss, Gross, Horowitz grants, contact Kertzner at (401) 427-4014 or email@example.com.
June 20, 2014â€‚|
Jewish Life & Learning: Experiencing Judaism for Life
with your help, we can do more. Camp JORI Summer 2013
Our children are growing up in a world in which Jewish values compete with millions of other influences. Our Jewish Life & Learning initiative offers scores of programs that help people of all ages to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity and find their place in our community. Through the Annual Campaign, the Jewish Alliance supports early childhood education, summer camp, teen engagement, adult programming and more. These are just some of the many ways in which the Alliance fosters community and Jewish continuity within the next generation.
Please support our 2014 Annual Campaign.
THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE. THE POWER OF COMMUNITY. 401 Elmgrove Avenue Providence, RI 02906 401.421.4111 jewishallianceri.org
Last yearâ€™s Annual Campaign $1,065,056 donor dollars helped support experiencing Judaism including Capacity-building programs for 200 educators in 16 schools 25 Incentive grants for first-time campers
fostering a long-term connection to Jewish life more than 1,500 Brown RISD Hillel & URI Hillel students experienced Shabbat programs, arts & culture, and community
with your help, we can do more.
32 | June 20, 2014
The Jewish Voice
wishing our star employee
a Happy Birthday. She is a living fashion doll, an inspiration to all of us at RGE!
1775 Bald Hill Road • Warwick, RI 02886 www.shoprge.com • 401.821.5273