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ISRAEL RON KAMPEAS | JTA
WASHINGTON â€” An in-depth study of Palestinian and Israeli school textbooks has been vehemently rejected by Israeli government officials. The major finding that has so agitated them: Palestinian textbooks do not have as much anti-Israel incitement as often portrayed. The three-year Yale University study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks is titled â€œVictims of our own narratives?â€? Israeli ministries, in rejecting the study, said what they called its bias validated Israelâ€™s refusal to work with the authors throughout the studyâ€™s threeyear period. â€œIt omits important examples of incitement and delegitimization of Israelis and Jews in official P.A. textbooks, whether in an intentional attempt to blur the differences between the two educational systems or due to poor research,â€? said a statement from Israelâ€™s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The study, led by Bruce Wexler, a Yale University professor of psychiatry and the author of an acclaimed book on neurobiology and culture, was initiated by the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, which is comprised of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the Palestinian Islamic Waqf, and the heads of Christian churches in Israel and the Palestinian areas. The rabbinate and the coun-
cil each issued statements noting that although the council initiated the study, its conclusions are more properly ascribed to Wexler and Yale. The studyâ€™s main finding threatens to undercut one of the central elements of the official Israeli narrative. For years, the charge that Palestinians â€œeducate to hateâ€? has been an Israeli trump card in undermining claims that Palestinian statehood is overdue, and it is an article of faith among many lawmakers in Congress. â€œThis obviously cuts down one of the pegs and a linchpin in the argument that the Israel government makes, that the Palestinian Authority is teaching hatred to their kids,â€? said an official who works closely with mainstream Jewish organizations in the United States. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. Funded by the U.S. State Department, the study finds both Israel and the Palestinians lacking in making the case for the other sideâ€™s presence in the Holy Land. It also scores Israeli books as better than Palestinian ones at preparing schoolchildren for peace. But in the same pages it praises both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for publishing textbooks virtually free of â€œdehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other.â€? â€œBoth the Israeli and Palestinian communities should be IRIN/Creative Commons
Palestinian schoolchildren studying at the UNRWA Gaza Elementary School in Gaza City, in 2010
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
HEADLINES Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash 90
overwhelmingly negative in their depiction of “the other.” Critics, including some of the Israelis on the advisory panel, said this equivalence fails to take into account how each culture responds to such depictions. “The problem is, he makes comparisons between promotion of education for peace on the one side and education that calls for the annihilation of the other side,” said Yossi Kuperwasser, the director of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, referring to Wexler. “It’s like comparing apples and giraffes.” A statement from the Ministry of Strategic Affairs picks
out passages in Palestinian textbooks it says the study ignores; many of them negate Israel by referring or depicting the entire territory as “Palestine.” The study, however, addresses that issue at length and finds that maps on both sides tend either to depict the entire area as “Israel” or “Palestine.” Detractors of the study say its rigorous analytical methodology rips biased and sometimes inflammatory passages from each cultural context. They contend that triumphalism is more incendiary in a Palestinian society that they say is more forgiving of terrorism.
Israeli schoolchildren studying at a Tel Aviv elementary school, in 2010
Kuperwasser has been leading the charge against the study. “It omits important examples of incitement and delegitimization of Israelis and Jews
in official P.A. textbooks,” he said, “whether in an intentional attempt to blur the differences between the two educational systems or due to poor research.” ●
Ask me why I chose Perelman. At first, I didn’t want Perelman for my kids. Frankly, I was worried about what they’d learn. Then I visited… just once. And here’s what they’ve learned: to listen to their hearts and see both sides of an issue. To question and make good choices. To treat others with kindness and understanding. Perelman teaches what the rest of the world is missing – and the journey is remarkable.
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commended for this important positive aspect of their books,” the study says. While the Israeli government did not formally cooperate with the study, Palestinian Authority officials did. Yale University psychiatry professor Bruce Wexler convened the study team, which was headed by Daniel Bar Tal of Tel Aviv University and Sami Adwan of the University of Bethlehem. They assigned HebrewArabic bilingual research assistants to plow through more than 3,000 passages from textbooks — 74 from the Israeli side and 96 from the Palestinian side. The assistants assessed the passages based on criteria developed in part by an advisory panel that included Palestinian and Israel academics and outside experts, including those who have critiqued Palestinian books. Most of the advisory panel, including several Israelis, signed onto a statement Sunday endorsing its findings. “We agreed that the methods of the study were of the highest scientific standards and agreed on the main study findings,” the statement said. At least one Israeli member, Arnon Groiss, said he has reservations about the methodology and could not attach his name to the final report, which he said he has not seen. It’s not clear whether the study will alter fundamentally the standard Israeli narrative about Palestinian schools laying the groundwork for future conflict with Israel, and the study does not absolve either side. Wexler said the goal of the study was to test according to rigorous statistical standards allegations that each side has made about the other’s texts. “The type of testimony that’s been presented to Congress and to our national leaders has been one person reading selected passages from the books,” said Wexler. “As a medical doctor, I don't make decisions based on that type of information.” The study found that textbooks in Israel’s state schools were likelier to depict Palestinians in a positive light and to include criticism of Israeli actions, while books in Palestinian and haredi Orthodox schools were
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FEBRUARY 7, 2013
To merchants who have accepted Visa and MasterCard at any time since January 1, 2004: Notice of a 6+ billion dollar class action settlement. Si desea leer este aviso en español, llámenos o visite nuestro sitio web. Notice of a class action settlement authorized by the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. This notice is authorized by the Court to inform you about an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit that may affect you. The lawsuit claims that Visa and MasterCard, separately, and together with banks, violated antitrust laws and caused merchants to pay excessive fees for accepting Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, including by: Agreeing to set, apply, and enforce rules about merchant fees (called default interchange fees); Limiting what merchants could do to encourage their customers to use other forms of payment through, for example, charging customers an extra fee or offering discounts; and Continuing that conduct after Visa and MasterCard changed their corporate structures. The defendants say they have done nothing wrong. They say that their business practices are legal and the result of competition, and have beneﬁtted merchants and consumers. The Court has not decided who is right because the parties agreed to a settlement. On November 27, 2012, the Court gave preliminary approval to this settlement.
THE SETTLEMENT Under the settlement, Visa, MasterCard, and the bank defendants have agreed to make payments to two settlement funds: The ﬁrst is a “Cash Fund” – a $6.05 billion fund that will pay valid claims of merchants that accepted Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012. The second is an “Interchange Fund” – estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion – that will be based on a portion
of the interchange fees attributable to certain merchants that accept Visa or MasterCard credit cards for an eightmonth “Interchange Period.” Additionally, the settlement changes some of the Visa and MasterCard rules applicable to merchants who accept their cards. This settlement creates two classes: A Cash Settlement Class (Rule 23(b) (3) Settlement Class), which includes all persons, businesses, and other entities that accepted any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S. at any time from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012, and A Rule Changes Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class), which includes all persons, businesses, and entities that as of November 28, 2012 or in the future accept any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S.
WHAT MERCHANTS WILL GET FROM THE SETTLEMENT Every merchant in the Cash Settlement Class that ﬁles a valid claim will get money from the $6.05 billion Cash Fund, subject to a deduction (not to exceed 25% of the fund) to account for merchants who exclude themselves from the Cash Settlement Class. The value of each claim, where possible, will be based on the actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to the merchant’s MasterCard and Visa payment card transactions from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012. Payments to merchants who ﬁle valid claims for a portion of the Cash Fund will be based on: The money available to pay all claims, The total dollar value of all valid claims ﬁled, The deduction described above not to exceed 25% of the Cash Settlement Fund, and
The cost of settlement administration and notice, money awarded to the class representatives, and attorneys’ fees and expenses all as approved by the Court. In addition, merchants in the Cash Settlement Class that accept Visa and MasterCard during the eight-month Interchange Period and ﬁle a valid claim will get money from the separate Interchange Fund, estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion. The value of each claim, where possible, will be based on an estimate of one-tenth of 1% of the merchant’s Visa and MasterCard credit card dollar sales volume during that period. Payments to merchants who ﬁle valid claims for a portion of the Interchange Fund will be based on: The money available to pay all claims, The total dollar value of all valid claims ﬁled, and The cost of settlement administration and notice, and any attorneys’ fees and expenses that may be approved by the Court. Attorneys’ fees and expenses and money awarded to the class representatives: For work done through ﬁnal approval of the settlement by the district court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees in an amount that is a reasonable proportion of the Cash Settlement Fund, not to exceed 11.5% of the Cash Settlement Fund of $6.05 billion and 11.5% of the Interchange Fund estimated to be $1.2 billion to compensate all of the lawyers and their law ﬁrms that have worked on the class case. For additional work to administer the settlement, distribute both funds, and through any appeals, Class Counsel may seek reimbursement at their normal hourly rates, not to exceed an additional 1% of the Cash Settlement Fund of $6.05 billion and an additional 1% of the Interchange Fund estimated to be $1.2 billion. Class Counsel will also request reimbursement of their expenses (not including the administrative costs of settlement or notice), not to exceed $40 million
w w w. P a y m e n t C a r d S e t t l e m e n t . c o m 14
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
and up to $200,000 per Class Plaintiff in service awards for their efforts on behalf of the classes.
To receive payment, merchants must ďŹ ll out a claim form. If the Court ďŹ nally approves the settlement, and you do not exclude yourself from the Cash Settlement Class, you will receive a claim form in the mail or by email. Or you may ask for one at: www. PaymentCardSettlement.com, or call: 1-800625-6440.
OTHER BENEFITS MERCHANTS
Merchants will beneďŹ t from changes to certain MasterCard and Visa rules, which will allow merchants to, among other things: Â™ Charge customers an extra fee if they pay with Visa or MasterCard credit cards, Â™ Offer discounts to customers who do not pay with Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards, and Â™ Form buying groups that meet certain criteria to negotiate with Visa and MasterCard. Merchants that operate multiple businesses under different trade names or banners will also be able to accept Visa or MasterCard at fewer than all of the merchantâ€™s trade names and banners.
LEGAL RIGHTS OPTIONS
Merchants who are included in this lawsuit have the legal rights and options explained below. You may: Âš <_b[ W YbW_c je Wia \eh fWoc[dj$ You will receive a claim form in the mail or email or ďŹ le online at: www.PaymentCardSettlement.com. Âš ;nYbkZ[ oekhi[b\ from the Cash Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class). If you exclude yourself, you can sue the Defendants for damages based on alleged conduct occurring on or before November 27, 2012 on your own at your own expense, if you want to. If you exclude yourself, you will not get any money from this
settlement. If you are a merchant and wish to exclude yourself, you must make a written request, place it in an envelope, and mail it with postage prepaid and postmarked no later than CWo(."(&') to Class Administrator, Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement, P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530. The written request must be signed by a person authorized to do so and provide all of the following information: (1) the words â€œIn re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation,â€? (2) your full name, address, telephone number, and taxpayer identiďŹ cation number, (3) the merchant that wishes to be excluded from the Cash Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class), and what position or authority you have to exclude the merchant, and (4) the business names, brand names, and addresses of any stores or sales locations whose sales the merchant desires to be excluded. Note: OekYWddejX[[nYbkZ[Z\hecj^[ Hkb[ 9^Wd][i I[jjb[c[dj 9bWii (Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class). Âš EX`[Yj je j^[ i[jjb[c[dj. The deadline to object is: CWo (." (&'). To learn how to object, see: www.PaymentCardSettlement.com or call 1-800-625-6440. Note: If you exclude yourself from the Cash Settlement Class you cannot object to the terms of that portion of the settlement. For more information these rights and options, www.PaymentCardSettlement.com.
COURT APPROVES FINAL SETTLEMENT
Members of the Rule Changes Settlement Class are bound by the terms of this settlement. Members of the Cash Settlement Class, who do not exclude themselves by the deadline, are bound by the terms of this settlement whether or not they ďŹ le a claim for payment. Members of both classes release all claims against all released parties listed in the Settlement Agreement. The settlement will resolve and release any claims by merchants against Visa, MasterCard or other defendants that were or could have been alleged in the lawsuit, including any claims based on interchange
s INFO JEWISHEXPONENT.COM
or other fees, no-surcharge rules, nodiscounting rules, honor-all-cards rules and other rules. The settlement will also resolve any merchant claims based upon the future effect of any Visa or MasterCard rules, as of November 27, 2012 and not to be modiďŹ ed pursuant to the settlement, the modiďŹ ed rules provided for in the settlement, or any other rules substantially similar to any such rules. The releases will not bar claims involving certain speciďŹ ed standard commercial disputes arising in the ordinary course of business. For more information on the release, see the settlement agreement at: www.PaymentCardSettlement.com.
THE COURT HEARING ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT On September 12, 2013, there will be a Court hearing to decide whether to approve the proposed settlement, class counselsâ€™ requests for attorneysâ€™ fees and expenses, and awards for the class representatives. The hearing will take place at: United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York 225 Cadman Plaza Brooklyn, NY 11201 You do not have to go to the court hearing or hire an attorney. But you can if you want to, at your own cost. The Court has appointed the law ďŹ rms of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, Berger & Montague, PC, and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP to represent the Class (â€œClass Counselâ€?).
QUESTIONS? For more information about this case (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720), you may: Call toll-free: 1-800-625-6440 Visit: www.PaymentCardSettlement.com Write to the Class Administrator: Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement P.O. Box 2530 Portland, OR 97208-2530 Email: info@PaymentCardSettlement.com Please check www.PaymentCardSettlement.com for any updates relating to the settlement or the settlement approval process.
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Ultranationalism a Rising A Very Super Sunday Threat in Russia and Ukraine FOR THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF and lay leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, fundraising is a yearround endeavor. But just once a year, on Super Sunday, that effort turns into an intense, very concentrated community-wide project. Volunteers of all ages and from every corner of Jewish life come together for a giant phonathon that has a single goal: raising dollars for the many worthy causes that depend on Federation funds to survive and thrive. Federation continues to be the central fundraising body for our community and, as such, it deserves your support. Super Sunday, happening this year on Feb. 10 starting at 9 a.m. at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, comes as our state and federal governments prepare for their budget and spending battles. Dollars for social safety net programs that support our seniors and disadvantaged populations are likely to continue to shrink, even as the needs continue to rise. Once again, it will be private philanthropies like the Jewish Federation that will be needed to step in to fill that considerable void. Beyond the much-needed safety-net assistance, Federation supports Israel programming, distressed Jews in the former Soviet Union and a wide array of Jewish communal, educational and identity-building programs. These include the PJ Library program, which provides Jewish books and outreach to young children and their families, Jewish camp scholarships, Birthright Israel, college Hillels and much more. The fundraising numbers last year were encouraging. The regular campaign, including restricted and unrestricted gifts, totaled $24.8 million, a 12 percent increase from 2011. Federation raised an additional $33.3 million in new endowment contributions, from some 200 individual donors. The funds raised on Super Sunday may be just a fraction of the total dollars raised each year — usually between $1 million and $1.2 million — but clearly all monies raised are important. Of course no one should feel confined to limit their giving to Super Sunday, but that day is special because it becomes clear that no matter your giving level, it does indeed take a village to accomplish our goals. So whether you’re on the dialing end or the receiving end of the phone, Sunday will serve as an important opportunity to stand up and be counted. That’s one call you won’t want to miss. ●
JEWISH EXPONENT FEDERATION
Sherrie R. Savett, President Ira M. Schwartz, CEO Alex Stroker, Publisher’s Representative JEWISH PUBLISHING GROUP
Daniel E. Bacine, Chairman Jay Minkoff, Vice Chairman Raymond Shapiro, Immediate Past Chairman Hilary Bayer Judge Harold Berger Bryna Berman Gwen Borowsky Andrew Cherry Neil Cooper Harris Devor Bernard Dishler Daniel Eisenstadt
Joel Freedman Shira Goodman Matthew Handel Adam Laver Michele Levin Shari Odenheimer Russell Paul Jon Stevens
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
MARK LEVIN AND ANNA CHUKHNO
FRIENDS OF RUSSIA and Ukraine are worried. The Russian government’s recurring rhetoric about foreign meddling and fundamental differences between Russian and Western values is spurring nationalism. With Ukraine divided along linguistic and religious lines, many Ukrainians disillusioned by pervasive corruption and government ineptness are turning to nationalist ideology. The Ukrainian right-wing Svoboda party has found fertile ground campaigning on a platform that combines xenophobic, anti-Russian and anti-Semitic elements. On many occasions, Svoboda has called Jews and Russians enemies of the Ukrainian nation, opposed the annual pilgrimage of Breslov Chasidim to the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman and sought commemoration of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought alongside the Nazis. When Igor Miroshnichensko, a member of the Ukrainian Legislature, publicly used the word “zhyd,” a derogatory term for a Jew, he sparked a wave of rightwing nationalism and anti-Semitism in the Ukrainian social media. Beset by increasing authoritarianism, widespread corruption, nepotism and disrespect for the rule of law, many Ukrainians find in such ideology an appealing alternative to the
EDITORIAL Lisa Hostein, Executive Editor 215-832-0744, email@example.com Robert Leiter, Senior Editor 215-832-0726, firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Elkin, Features Editor 215-832-0735, email@example.com Greg Salisbury, Arts/Culture Editor 215-832-0797, firstname.lastname@example.org Deborah Hirsch, Director of Digital Media 215-832-0737, email@example.com Bryan Schwartzman, Staff Writer 215-832-0743, firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Berger, Staff Writer 215-832-0742, email@example.com Julia V. Elkin, Graphics Editor 215-832-0747, firstname.lastname@example.org Grace Jones, Assistant Graphics Editor 215-832-0729, email@example.com Delores Michaels, Editorial Assistant, Life Cycles 215-832-0740, firstname.lastname@example.org
government’s status quo. In Ukraine’s last parliamentary elections, Svoboda received more than 10 percent of the vote, up from less than 1 percent four years ago.
Inventing internal and external enemies for the sake of national unity has a notorious history.” In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s administration has turned to nationalism and anti-Americanism to curtail domestic opposition. On Dec. 28, Putin approved a controversial law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans. Severe laws criminalizing libel have been reinstated. Restrictive laws aimed at international NGOs label them agents of foreign governments. Last September, the U.S. Agency for International Development was forced out of the country. We find the recent developments alarming. Already the growing authoritarianism has sparked a new wave of potential emigration among the intelligentsia and business community. If this wave continues, it would be a sad loss to both countries, as these are the populations that also represent the countries’ greatest resource for economic growth, social stability and a democratic future.
Faced with economic uncertainties, the search for national identity and fragile civil institutions, the popular anti-Semitism that is always latent in these societies is now more visible and suddenly a possible threat to its Jewish populations. To counter this, the governments of Russia and Ukraine need to address real issues such as corruption, the weak rule of law and economic instability. Better mechanisms to confront extremists’ political messages need to be developed, and the governments’ condemnation of anti-Semitic sentiments and incitement to ethnic or racial hatred needs to be consistent and timely. Russia and Ukraine must embrace a nationalistic ideal that encourages inclusiveness and mutual respect, foster education about xenophobia and anti-Semitism, and improve mechanisms of enforcing hate crime legislation. Inventing internal and external enemies for the sake of national unity has a notorious history and no place in a democratic society. Xenophobia, radical nationalism and anti-Semitism have never been the road to a stable, peaceful and legitimate society. They are the errors of the past. ● Mark Levin is the executive director and Anna Chukhno is a program assistant at the NCSJ: National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia.
BUSINESS David A. Alpher, Vice President, General Manager 215-832-0720 Joshua Hersz, Marketing Director 215-832-0794 Cheryl Lutts, Accounting Manager 215-832-0727 Marie Malvoso, Finance Assistant 215-832-0770 Leon Kellerman, Credit Manager 215-832-0762 PRODUCTION
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INCLUSION FOR ALL Must Be a Philosophy Our Community Embraces GABRIELLE KAPLAN-MAYER
WHEN MY SON was diagnosed with autism at age 3, I was plunged into an alternative universe. His childhood became a therapeutic environment in which my husband and I struggled to find the best professionals who could help him learn to communicate and modulate his heightened reactions to his environment. Juggling speech, occupational and physical therapies with a cognitive-behavior system, a special diet and a supplement regimen, we became — as most parents do who are thrust into this role — experts and advocates, determined to help our child in every possible way. My beautiful son recently celebrated his 10th birthday and, in the seven years since his diagnosis, I’ve learned more about compassion, love, grief, patience and joy than I could have imagined possible. I’ve also learned that the system that parents enter when a child is diagnosed is immensely flawed. This is Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month, which provides a distinct opportunity for families, educators, clergy and everyone in our Jewish community to shine a light on the challenges faced by the special needs community. Since living with my son’s disability, my personal and professional life has been transformed, and I now focus on education centered on special
needs and inclusion. How I wish that I had stretched to learn about the experience of people with different abilities before discovering that my child was in need. When each of us learns about the experience of a life spent with disability — from a friend, community member or by watching documentaries or attending conferences — we begin to remove the unconscious fears around disability that so many of us carry, and we begin to see the human lives that shine through the diagnosis. Therapy for a child cannot work in isolation. Parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins all need resources and supports to help them process the challenges of supporting a child with special needs. Important resources for us were two Jewish preschool programs for children with special
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needs — Bright Horizons at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood and Sinai at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park. In these programs, we discovered teachers who loved and understood my son and offered ongoing support to us as parents. (One of the most beloved of these teachers, who embodied the true spirit of Sinai, Barbara Greenberg, died suddenly last week; she will be greatly missed). At sessions run by these programs, I connected deeply with other parents who shared my struggles, which was a very important step in moving out of my sense of shock and despair. This personal development gave me the strength and motivation to create Celebrations!, a Shabbat program in which children of all abilities could experience a developmentally appropriate family worship service. Celebrations! became a way for us all to experience Jewish holidays together. Our program has since been replicated in three other local synagogues. This is the sort of program that can help all of us better understand the special needs community and provide us with the insight and compassion to help those most in need of guidance. ● Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is program director for special needs at Jewish Learning Venture, which is hosting three seminars this month for parents and educators on topics related to special needs. In April, the agency will host its annual “Opening the Gates of the Torah” inclusion conference.
KVETCH ’N KVELL Letter Condemns Whole Part of the Community I was deeply disappointed to see a letter published in the Jewish Exponent taking Orthodox Jews in Israel to task for not “doing their fair share” and insisting that they “must participate in serving their country” (“The Orthodox in Israel Must Do Their Fair Share,” Jan. 31). Obviously, it is the decision of the citizens of the State of Israel — not of those of us in America — as to who, when and how its citizens must serve. But even more concerning is the writer’s sweeping condemnation of part of the Jewish community. The Orthodox community in Israel is quite diverse. A great many Orthodox Jews have served with distinction in the Israeli Defense Forces and many have died for the State of Israel. This includes a great many soldiers who prior to or during their time in the IDF learned Torah in yeshivot. A great many Orthodox Jews have served Israel in all manner of National Service areas. And the upcoming Israeli Knesset has more Orthodox Jews serving the country than ever before. Rabbi Shmuel Jablon | Menahel (Principal) Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia
What About the Weapons Going to Middle East? Your coverage of the gun control controversy in two cover stories in the Jan 31 issue implies that the Obama administration intends to ban “assault weapons” (defined as any guns politicians do not want citizens to possess). But in “Operation Fast and Furious,” many such weapons were sold by this administration to Mexican drug cartels, leading to the murders of over 300 Mexicans. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is about to receive (gratis) a large shipment of F-16 fighter bombers and Abrams tanks, any of which has far more firepower than can be found in any gun shop. Likewise, the Lebanese army, dominated by Hezbollah, is about to receive a large shipment of armored personnel carriers. The quantity of weaponry shipped by this administration to Islamic fanatics in Libya and Syria is unknown, but is undoubtedly substantial. It appears that the loathing and contempt demonstrated by President Obama for the bitter clingers to guns and religion applies only to law-abiding American Christians and Jews, who are to be totally disarmed, but not to genocidal jihadis, who are to be armed to the teeth. Nahum J. Duker | Melrose Park
This Has Nothing to Do With ‘Due Diligence’ I have read everything about the signing and “due diligence” by the Phillies, their communication with some Jewish leaders in Detroit and Philadelphia and the fact that Rubén Amaro is partly Jewish and has a Jewish girlfriend. And I still strongly object to their signing of Delmon Young (“On Penance and Pennants: New Phillie Homes in On Bias Rap,” Jan. 31). Would Mr. Amaro have signed a player who uttered anti-black, anti-Hispanic or anti-white slurs and then attacked someone from that group. I doubt it very much, but it is OK to sign a player who uttered anti-Semitic slurs and attacked someone. The Phillies players or the fan base would not tolerate it. Being drunk is not an excuse. It just shows the individual’s true feelings. Although I agree with second chances, Mr. Young has had more than his share. This is a classless signing, an insult to the Jewish fan base and shows that the general manager is desperate. Jerry Polakoff | Philadelphia
Statement From the Publisher We are a diverse community. The views expressed in the opinion columns and letters published in the Jewish Exponent are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reﬂect the views of the ofﬁcers and boards of the Jewish Publishing Group and/or the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Send letters to email@example.com or fax to 215-569-3389. Letters should be a maximum of 200 words and may be edited for clarity and brevity. Unsigned letters will not be published.
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
AL N FI
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
! UE N VE S. U.
Recording with Liturgical Precision MUSIC GREG SALISBURY | JE STAFF
On exhibition February 10 through May 19, 2013 Discovered in 1996 in Lod, Israel, this ancient Roman ﬂoor mosaic is one of the world’s largest and best preserved. Learn about the mosaic’s discovery, history, and conservation in this limited-time exhibition. The Lod Mosaic is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center.
OPENING DAY: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10! Images © Israel Antiquities Authority
1:00 pm Exhibition Opening & Ribbon Cutting Yaron Sideman, Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, joins guests from the Italian Embassy and Consul to ofﬁcially open the exhibition 1:00–4:00 pm Family Workshop 2:00 pm Lecture
All FREE with Museum admission! 3260 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.penn.museum
From the Matzo to the Seder Plates to Elijah’s Cup, Passover is … Traditions, Families, Jewish! And no medium delivers this region’s Jewish market like the Jewish Exponent’s Passover Palate. A special supplement devoted to the history, the food and the customs of this uniquely Jewish holiday.
Passover Palate publishes March 14. Space closes on February 22. Call your sales representative or 215 832 0720 for more information. 18
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
HE MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN it at the time, but Hillel Tigay’s future came calling in the early fall of 1987. It was then that a 17year-old Tigay performed as cantor for the High Holidays services at Congregation Kesher Israel in Society Hill. “My friend’s father was a Hillel rabbi,” Tigay, now the cantor at IKAR Congregation in Los Angeles, recalls. The congregation couldn’t afford a real cantor, so his friend’s father offered the job to Tigay and his son. Tigay figured he could use the money to buy a new electric guitar, not to mention that “It was a bonding experience with my friend. We got to hang out in Philly, which was like a vacation for suburban kids,” even though, he says, “the congregation was filled with alte kockers who would stand up and shout at us when we would skip over stuff.” Today, when people stand up and shout during his services, it’s from the joy inspired by his musical interpretations of prayers. Tigay’s cantorial work at IKAR has been called “the best free Friday night concert in Los Angeles” by the Huffington Post, and has led to the creation of IKAR Music Labs, which has produced three CDs of his work; the most recent, Judeo, was released in December 2012. Tigay certainly had the background to run services as a teenager. Growing up in Wynnewood as a student at Akiba (now Barrack) and a member of Temple Beth Hillel (now Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El), he learned to speak Hebrew fluently and knew the five tropes by his early teens. And it didn’t hurt that he was the son of Jeffrey Tigay, the retired Emeritus A.M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at the University of Pennsylvania and the co-author of the five-volume JPS Torah Commentary, and Helene Tigay, who spent 20
Hillel Tigay is going way back for the future of congregational music. years leading the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education (now part of the Jewish Learning Venture). She was also behind the creation of the NESS program (Nurturing Education in Synagogue Schools), which was seen as revolutionizing the field of supplementary Jewish education, But it would be another 18 years before Tigay returned to the bimah to seriously follow up on his debut performance. After leaving Penn’s musicology program in his senior year to seek his musical fortune in Los Angeles — “a producer heard my demo tapes, and told me he thought I had what it took to make it out there” — he got a recording deal from A&M Records. Although his career ultimately foundered at A&M, Tigay regrouped to form one of the world’s first “Hebe-hop” bands, MOT (“Members of the Tribe”), with Tigay performing as Dr. Dreidel and his partner, Andrew Todd Rosenthal, performing as Ice Berg. Tigay explains that MOT allowed him to “exercise the comedic side of my brain” with songs like “Kosher Nostra,” “Oh God, Get a Job” and “Havana Negillah.” While he enjoyed a modicum
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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Continued from previous page of success with MOT, Tigay couldnâ€™t escape the feeling that it was time to do something different. â€œI got to a certain age where I realized, I couldnâ€™t make a career out of this. I needed to look at other alternatives. Then I got a call from Rabbi Brous saying, â€˜Letâ€™s meet.â€™ â€? The 2005 meeting between Tigay and IKAR founder, Rabbi Sharon Brous, that led to his becoming cantor was a pivotal one. She gave Tigay the latitude to change the liturgy as he saw fit, and he responded by shifting the congregation away from its established Carlebach-inspired experience and toward a mash-up that included the Mizrahi and Ladino music Tigay had collected from other countries. Even though Brous had reached out to offer him the role of cantor at almost the exact moment that he was ready to make a life change, Tigay flatly denies that the meeting was destiny. He says that came later, when the changes he implemented proved so popular so quickly, and so many people were requesting CDs of the services that IKAR Music Labs was created in order to record his music. â€œThe beshert moment was not getting hired,â€? he says. â€œIt was the process of JEWISHEXPONENT.COM
the instantly recognizable words are soundscapes influenced by Ladino standards, Peter Gabriel, The Smiths â€” even traditional Sufi music, which Tigay likes to use because â€œtheir big, heavy, slow beats have a meditativeness that helps create a spirituality.â€? The result is a collection that engrosses far beyond the confines of the synagogue â€” for fans of world music, Judeo will be a welcome addition to their collection. The initial success of the album has accelerated the number of requests he receives from other congregations interested in playing his arrangements. â€œItâ€™s a high compliment,â€? he acknowledges. Accordingly, he freely provides the arrangements to anyone who requests them. â€œI just want to spread the love. What happens at IKAR every week is just magical. Itâ€™s an outpouring of love, emotion and depth. I would love to see that spread.â€? While he wonâ€™t be spreading
the magic through concert performances anytime soon â€” a full live production would be prohibitively expensive at this point â€” Tigay has one performance circled in ink on his calendar: the Conservative Movementâ€™s Centennial in Baltimore this fall. In the meantime, he continues to explore ways to raise funds to put on live shows, promote Judeo and to record his next album. â€œPeople are funding schools and programs, saying that they are really important â€” well, this can help synagogue life, and it can help unaffiliated Jews feel a connection to their heritage.â€?â—? Contact: gsalisbury@jewishexponent. com (215-832-0797) Judeo is available at www. Judeorecord.com
Correction In the Jan. 31 issue, the article, â€œStrings Theory,â€? states that Felix Mendelssohn was a German Jewish composer. While he was born to Jewish parents, he was baptized and practiced as a Lutheran.
Music by KEVIN PUTS Libretto by MARK CAMPBELL Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music
SILENT NIGHT February 8, 10m, 13, 15 & 17m, 2013 !CADEMY OF -USIC s %AST #OAST 0REMIERE
Performed in English, German, French, Italian, and Latin with English supertitles
â€œa triumph of contemporary stagecraftâ€? â€”Opera News
.EW CO PRODUCTION WITH 4HE -INNESOTA /PERA 0HOTO -ICHAL $ANIEL
making Judeo.â€? The idea for Judeo, though, originated in Philadelphia, with Tigayâ€™s brother Israel, who owned Shouk Restaurant in Queen Village. â€œHe said to me, â€˜I would love to hear Jewish music from the Temple era. I could play it in my restaurant.â€™ I didnâ€™t think much of it until I realized that a lot of the songs I had been composing were from the Temple era, and they had been done in the Temple.â€? His plans for a Temple-era album quickly hit a roadblock: Since the playing of instruments had been forbidden during services since the Templeâ€™s destruction, there was precious little to go on for the typical researcher. Luckily for Tigay, he could draw on the expertise of one of the foremost biblical historians in the United States â€” his father. With the elder Tigayâ€™s assistance, he was eventually able to create a 10-song playlist that included his interpretations of prayers like Mah Toh Vu, Shema and Hallelujah. The next challenge: trying to find the modern-day equivalent of reed flutes and lyres â€” and musicians who could play them. Situated as he was in the music recording capital of the United States, this turned out to be no big deal. Tigay was even able to find people who could play the santur, a steel-stringed harp, and the ney, the aforementioned
flute. And in a bit of ecumenical dovetailing for Tigay, who felt strongly from the beginning that Judeo could hold appeal for an audience beyond the Jewish community, the only musicians who could play the instruments turned out to be Muslims and Christians. Despite the fact that his album was composed of 2,000year-old songs, Tigay was adamant that it not sound dated, but, rather, timeless. â€œI didnâ€™t want this to be one of those records in the library at Penn, where my professors would tell me to go listen to what Renaissance music sounded like. You listen to it, and you say, â€˜OK â€” boring.â€™ I wanted to make something that people would love, where they would feel the presence of something greater and, most importantly, that they could use to reanimate and reinvigorate the joy of the service.â€? And indeed, the music of Judeo is intoxicating in an exotic yet familiar way. Tethered to
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operaphila.org | 215-893-1018 JEWISH EXPONENT
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
FIFTY YEARS to Life IF YOU GO An Infinite Ache Theatre Horizon 402 DeKalb St., Norristown www.theatrehorizon.org
◀ Bi Jean Ngo, left, and Grifﬁn Stanton-Ameisen, the actors in An Inﬁnite Ache
February at NMAJH White: A Memoir in Color
(USA, 2012, 59 minutes)
WED Feb. 13 at 6:30 pm $8/ $5 Members
A personal exploration of how the filmmaker Joel Katz’s upbringing and relationship with his father shaped his own identity and decisions about race and adoption. Discussion with Joel Katz to follow, moderated by Louis Massiah, Executive Director, Scribe Video Center.
The Hampton Years - A play reading with Theatre Ariel $5/ Free for Members
SUN Feb. 17 at 2:00 pm
This powerful new work set in the segregated South explores the development of prominent African American artist John Biggers under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and professor, Viktor Lowenfeld. Discussion with playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton to follow.
Dialogues & Divergences: The Ongoing Evolution of Black-Jewish Relations in America WED Feb. 20 at 7:00 pm
$8/ Free for Members
Sara Lomax-Reese, President and General Manager of WURD Radio, moderates a conversation between author Cheryl Lynn Greenberg and Penn professor John L. Jackson, Jr.
Rage is Back TUE Feb. 26 at 7:00 pm
$10/ $5 Members
Adam Mansbach, author of Go the F--- to Sleep, returns to the Museum to discuss his new novel. Rage is Back is a love letter to the heart of New York, and the graffiti artists, small-time gangsters, and neighborhoods unknown to those outside the five boroughs.
Corner of 5th & Market Streets 20
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
www.NMAJH.org JEWISH EXPONENT
GREG SALISBURY | JE STAFF
FOR SOMEONE WHO doesn’t live in Philadelphia, David Schulner certainly has made his presence felt here. He is the executive producer of the new NBC medical thriller, Do No Harm, which is set in and around Philadelphia. He is also the playwright of An Infinite Ache, which will be performed by Norristown’s Theatre Horizon from Feb. 8-17. The idea for the play, which traces the interfaith relationship of Charles (who is Jewish) and Hope (who is Chinese/FilipinoAmerican) from their first date through their next 50 years together and apart, first came to Schulner on a 17-hour road trip from Seattle to Minneapolis. He says that on the trip, “I became acutely aware of time — it struck me just how malleable it was, and I knew I wanted to capture that for the stage.” Despite his extensive television pedigree — he has written and produced for over a dozen different series, including The Event, Kings and Desperate Housewives — he is no stranger to theater. “I started as a playwright before transitioning into TV,” he says. And An Infinite Ache is just part of his Jewishthemed body of work. He is also the author of Isaac, a dramatic retelling of the story of Abraham and Isaac; and Ishmael, a sequel to Isaac that delves into what happened to Abraham’s other son. Schulner drew upon that production experience to create a highly theatrical solution that would convey a sense of fluidity to An Infinite Ache: The play would take place in the couple’s bedroom, without intermission or blackouts. The passage of time would be indicated by what he calls a live version of “jump cuts” — Bryn Mawr native Griffin Stanton-Ameisen, who plays Charles, and Actors Studio graduate Bi Jean Ngo, who plays Hope, convey their aging process through movement and vocal changes, as well as assisting in scenery changes that illustrate the different phases of their lives. One of the most critical of these phases is the transforma-
tion experienced by Charles once the couple’s daughter is born. “He is not deeply connected to his faith as a young man,” explains Erin Reilly, the artistic director of Theatre Horizon. “But once he has children, he starts thinking about the faith and traditions he is going to pass down to his daughter.” As a result, Reilly says, he pushes Hope to allow their daughter to become a Bat Mitzvah, which strengthens his connection to his heritage, “while his wife feels that her own culture is slowly being erased as their daughter grows up.” Schulner made Hope Asian because he wanted to work with one of Los Angeles’ many Asian actresses. But, he, says, that decision also dictated that he draw from personal experience when determining the background of his male lead. “Once I determined that Hope would be Asian-
This piece is a beautiful look at the minutiae of living with and loving another person for a long period of time.” American, I knew I would have to do a lot of research for that role. So I thought, let’s just make Charles Jewish — it would still give them the conflict I needed in their relationship — kids, inlaws, religion and ethnicity.” Conflicts are a part of the play, but there is no better indicator of just where the heart of An Infinite Ache lies than its position in Theatre Horizon’s season — the middle of February. “This piece is a beautiful look at the minutiae of living with and loving another person for a long period of time,” Reilly says. “A lot of times we think of love as these grand gestures, but the benefits of giving yourself over to another person are found in the daily ups and downs of a relationship.” And for those couples looking to do something different on the Feb. 14, Reilly has arranged for a special evening at the cafe in the theater’s brand-new facility, complete with a “bottle check” for those who wish to take advantage of the cafe’s BYOB status during the performance. ● JEWISHEXPONENT.COM
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE ONE BOWL PECAN CRUSTED KUGEL
1 large egg 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted 1 tsp. vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350˚. Place the tartlets on a baking sheet. Set aside. Prepare filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Spoon the mixture, dividing equally, into the tartlets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until filling is almost set, but still wet in center. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 15 tartlets.
⁄2 lb. medium noodles, cooked and drained 1 cup nondairy creamer 3 eggs, lightly beaten 1 ⁄3 cup sugar 3 ⁄4 cup raisins 2 Tbsps. chopped crystallized ginger
Nuts About FOOD
ETHEL HOFMAN | JE FEATURE
I’VE ALWAYS ASSOCIATED the state of Georgia with the best peaches — sweet and juicy, fresh picked from local orchards. On our annual trip to South Florida, we decided to break the 1,000-mile trip at a hotel south of Savannah, Georgia, to check out the crop. But at this time of year, it turns out, it’s not peaches but pecans that are the star harvest. Georgia is the leading pecan producing state in the country with the nut harvest coming in around mid-October. Billboards along the roadside advertised pecans in all their glory. In stores, gas stations and roadside stands, packages of pecans were sold. Candied, chocolate covered, peppered with a bite, pecans were found in everything from baked goods (the famous pecan pie), candy and ice cream to a host of other treats. Wild pecans were a delicacy to the Colonists, but the nut was not commercially grown in the United States until the 1880s. Today the country produces between 80 percent to 95 percent of the world’s pecans from more than 10 million trees. Modern orchards with plantings of scientifically improved pecan varieties now yield what are called “paper shell” pecans, so called JEWISHEXPONENT.COM
ZESTY CHILI PECANS
PECANS because the nuts are easy to crack and shell. Pecan trees may live and produce edible seeds for more than 300 years. Pecan producing companies use the latest technology to shell, sort and perform laboratory tests to ensure quality before the nuts are distributed to food manufacturers. The South Georgia Pecan Company, alleged to be the only pecan grinding plant in the world, grinds the shells and sells them to plywood and furniture manufacturers. The manufacturers mix the pecan shell flour with resin to create a product that looks like real wood. I didn’t succumb to buying a pecan pie. Instead, we bought several pounds of nuts that I’ve already transformed into pies, crunchy toffee and chocolatedipped pecans. The rest I packed into sturdy plastic bags and are now in my freezer (as with most
other nuts, pecans freeze well). Below are some of my favorite recipes. Use a frozen pie shell, and the Citrus Scented Pecan Pie is ready for the oven in minutes. It, too, freezes well, if you want to make it ahead of time.
CITRUS SCENTED PECAN PIE
(Dairy) 1 cup light corn syrup ⁄4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed 4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted 3 large eggs 2 Tbsps. orange juice 2 tsps. fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 tsps. grated orange peel 2 cups pecan halves 1 ⁄3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust Preheat oven to 350˚. In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, eggs, orange and lemon juices and peel. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into the pie crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is still wobbly. Cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10. 3
2 Tbsps. fresh squeezed lemon juice 6 Tbsps. margarine, melted, divided 1 ⁄3 cup chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick vegetable spray. In a large bowl, mix the noodles, nondairy creamer, eggs, sugar, raisins, ginger, lemon juice and about 4 tablespoons melted margarine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the pecans over and drizzle with remaining margarine. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden, crusty and almost firm in center. Serve warm. Serves 8 to 10.
EASIEST PECAN TASSIES
(Dairy or Pareve) Miniature filo tartlets (found in supermarket freezer cases) make this quick and easy. Just mix a filling, spoon into the tartlets and bake.
1 package (15 each) filo tartlet shells 3 ⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed 3 ⁄4 cup chopped pecans
11⁄2 Tbsps. chili powder 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper 11⁄2 tsps. paprika 11⁄2 tsps. brown sugar 1 ⁄2 tsp. garlic powder 2 cups pecan halves 11⁄2 Tbsps. hot sauce 1 tsp. kosher salt Preheat oven to 275˚. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, pepper, paprika, brown sugar and garlic powder. Place the pecans in a larger bowl and toss with the hot sauce to coat. Sprinkle the spice mixture over and toss. Spread the tossed nuts on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake, tossing every 10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the salt and toss. Remove to a shallow dish to cool completely at room temperature. Store and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups. ● Ethel G. Hofman is a past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FEBRUARY 7, 2013