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Photos From Israel top stories

hats off TVT Graduation

June 2014 Sivan-Tamuz 5774


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Community Scholar Program Retreat celebrates Judaism in a beautiful environment Tarbut V’ Torah graduation offers personal touch to Class of 2014 Rabbi Haim Asa z”l Remembering a friend, father figure, and mentor Israel Up Close accentuates the positive

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Israel Expo 2014 highlights: Technology & Togetherness Maccabi Tel Aviv wins Euroleague championship Israel celebrates Maccabi victory The Genesis Prize Comedian Jay Leno is a hit in Israel Armed Forces of the US New military siddur

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War of Independence Israel to rebuild historic synagogue

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Tnuva selling 56% to Chinese company Travel to Israel for free! Birthright. Photos from Israel See stunning photos taken in Israel Jewish Holidays Shavuot: The giving of the Torah. Kosher Food Wake up and smell the coffee Know Your Food Battle of the breads Opinion Etymology of “Zionism” Opinion What does “Inclusive” mean? Jewish Education, public vs. private school Community Calendar June happenings in Orange County


KOSHER ORANGE COUNTY Real News for Real Jews We’ve got you covered 24/6

10 Class of 2014 Forty-one students graduated from Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) Community Day School on Tuesday, May 27, at 4:30 P.M. Each one got special words of recognition and encouragement from a member of the faculty.

KosherOC is here to give the Orange County Jewish community news when it happens, here and around the world. We combine the best of modern media and dedicated journalism to give you timely and interesting stories about the movers and shakers of the community and the great events they hold. We also talk about Jewish trends and trendmakers in Israel and throughout the globe with interesting ideas about celebrating holidays and celebrating each other. Join us for a window into the world of Judaism, and let us have your insight and input.

18 MACCABI TEL-AVIV Maccabi Tel Aviv upset favored Real Madrid to win the Euroleague basketball. Maccabi defeated the Spanish squad, 98-86, in overtime on Sunday night in Milan in the title game. Tyrese Rice led the Israeli club with 26 points, including 14 in overtime. The game was tied at 73 following regulation.

Please send news releases, photos, videos, ideas and thoughts to info@kosheroc.com. It is our pleasure to serve this wonderful community. --   

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Rebuilding Israel

Free Trips Birthright

The Israeli government has made plans for the reconstruction of the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Arab Legion during the War of Independence.

Been to Israel? What! Why not— it’s FREE (knew that’d get your attention) all thanks to Birthright. Taglit, or “discovery” in Hebrew, is the goal of these Birthright trips.


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Holidays Shavuot

Kosher Coffee

Calendar June

Shavuot is the holiday following seven weeks after Passover that celebrates the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai during biblical times.

Coffee Bean has become the go-to spot for kosher foods and drinks here in Southern California. But is it all hype? Luckily for us, all their locations in SoCal are kosher.


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WELCOME TO ORANGE COUNTY Sunset ocean view from Corona Del Mar


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CSP Retreat

celebrates judaism

in A beautiful environment The Community Scholar Program (CSP) works with synagogues, universities and other organizations to create a community of learners and to celebrate Judaism.

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ne hundred people enjoyed the 11th Annual CSP Memorial Day Weekend Retreat at the Brandeis Bardin Institute. It featured interactive learning sessions with Rabbi Shawn FieldsMeyer, Tribal Art, Israeli line dancing and lots of music and singing. Here are the reactions of some of the participants in their own words: “Our family’s favorite weekend of the year is the CSP Family Retreat,” said Wendy Chase Arenson, J.D., CSPG, director of legacy planning at

the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County. “The kids enjoy modern Israeli dancing, braiding challah with chocolate chips, Hebrew-tribal body art, the rock climbing wall and bunking with their friends. My husband and I always learn something new and meaningful from the speaker (this time Rabbi Fields-Meyer). We love the beautiful, musical services and the communal feeling of coming together with friends – old and new – to celebrate living as Jews in a remarkable environment.”


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Uplifting According to Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society of Jewish Federation Orange County, “This year’s CSP retreat, as always, was warm and welcoming. My husband and I enjoyed the uplifting and participatory davening, learning with Rabbi Shawn FieldsMeyer, hanging out with good friends and having a wonderful Jewish experience. We look forward to this weekend every year and are never disappointed. Kudos to Arie (Katz) for contributing so much to a meaningful and relevant Judaism.”

SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE As Diana Velasquez summarized, “This year’s CSP retreat was a perfect blend of teaching, music, davening, art and dancing, which created a beautiful spiritual experience for our entire family! Rabbi Shawn brought us so much insight not only through her teaching but through example as well. The musical talent was simply out of this world!!! We all had so much FUN! CSP is an organization that truly values Jewish tradition and encourages a strong vision for our next generations.”

Interactive April Booker Osborn, a teacher who attended the retreat for the first time with her husband and one-year-old son, said, “We loved the CSP Jewish family retreat! There were meaningful and interactive discussion sessions and lots of fun with new friends: amazing dining, awesome Israeli dancing, a beautiful havdalah, s’mores around the campfire and a chocolate fondue “date night” after hours. We’ll be back! The retreat helped us to celebrate our Jewish identity communally. Everyone is incredibly warm and welcoming, and it is great to be a part of the CSP family.”


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TVT Graduation offers Personal touch

Forty-one students graduated from Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) Community Day School on Tuesday, May 27, at 4:30 P.M.

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ach one got special words of recognition and encouragement from a member of the faculty.

Nineteen of the graduates have been at the school for their entire academic lives. Many of the speakers referred to TVT as a family. In blessing the graduates, Rabbi Stuart Light, director of Jewish Studies, implored them to “take the rocky road of upstanders, give voice to the voiceless and find the patience and passion to help others.” Dr. Jeffrey Davis, head of school, told the parents, “It seems like only yesterday that you were taking your child to kindergarten, and you probably have the same emotions.”

Noah Shohet, one of the graduates, advised the class, “If you’re going into class every day prepared for the best and the worst, you will succeed.” He added, “Life is a journey that we’re all taking, and life better watch out, because here we come.” Madison Kasoff, who gave her speech in Hebrew, said, “I have faith in the perseverance and memory of our class, that we will never forget what we have experienced.” Class president Jenna Neutel said, “The best part of this experience is that I had incredible friends and remarkable mentors all along the way.” Laura Roth, Upper School Principal, described the class as “remarkable.”

She related that this graduating class, with an average SAT score of 1910 and an average ACT score of 29, is one of the highest scoring classes in TVT history. She noted that these scores are higher than all of Orange County public school averages and most private school averages. The class has two National Merit Scholars – Jordan Berman and Roy Elzur – as well as 71 acceptances to the top 50 universities in the United States and merit scholatships totaling $3.5 million dollars. In addition, Roth added, “It is worth noting that the faculty met not once, but twice to deliberate over the recipients of our character awards because the decision was so difficult.”


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TVT CLASS OF 2014

GRAD AWARDS

Special Awards Jenna Neutel Kylie Gayer Noah Shohet

Joshua Joseph Gelman Leadership Award Principal’s Award Principal’s Award

Academic Awards

Hannah Reinhard, Lahna Sheron, Zachary Lehrich Arts Kylie Gayer, Jacob Steinberg Athletics Rebekah Sherman, Tristan Levinson-Hayes English Madison Kasoff, Ronnie Hecht Hebrew Matthew Cohen, Caymian Gordon History Matthew Cohen, Veronica Veksler Jewish Studies Nicholas Lurie, Madison Kasoff Mathematics Russell Littman, Orr Meltzer Science Roy Elzur, Nicholas Lurie Spanish

Character Awards

Roy Elzur Achiever & Life-Long Learner Russell Littman Critical Thinker & Problem Solver Leya Aronoff Effective Communicator & Listener Jenna Neutel Leader & Team Player Tristan Levinson-Hayes Moral & Ethical Adult Jacob Steinberg Strongly Identified Jew

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Leya Aronoff Tal Aronoff Jessica Babaknia Ian Batstone Michael Ben-Menahem Jordan Berman Ethan Bogart Griffith Clawson Matthew Cohen Samuel Cohen Jared Dror Alexis Elfend Roy Elzur Avery Emond Kylie Gayer Caymian Gordon Ronnie Hecht Alyssa Hess Madison Kasoff Benjamin Keiles Rayan Keypour Zachary Lehrich Tristan Levinson-Hayes Russell Littman Nicholas Lurie Emma Madorsky Shaina Maginot Orr Meltzer Jenna Neutel Nathan Price Hannah Reinhard Matthew Riese Leora Samson Rebekah Sherman Lahna Sheron Noah Shohet Jacob Steinberg Tali Student Veronica Veksler Melissa Zagnoev Ari Zwiren


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Rabbi Haim Asa z�l The Orange County Jewish community mourns the loss of Rabbi Haim Asa, the senior rabbi of Orange County. As rabbi and then rabbi emeritus at Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton, as a chaplain and as a human being who was deeply involved in his congregation and his community, Rabbi Asa touched many lives.


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Rabbi Haim Asa z”l friend, father figure, and mentor

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orn in Bulgaria to a family with Sephardic origins, Rabbi Asa made Aliyah in 1944. In Palestine, he was educated in Aliyat Hanoar Schools and the Mikve Israel Agricultural School. At 15, he was admitted to the Gadna-Youth division of the underground Haganah, and he was sent to Platoon Commanders School in the summer of 1947. He enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces and graduated from the Israel Officers Academy. In 1950 he was one of the founders of the “NACHAL” division of the Israeli Defense Force, and in 1952 he was the first “NACHAL” officer to graduate from the paratroopers academy. He served in the “MOSSAD’ before coming to the United States in 1954.

Rabbi Asa served as president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the Orange County Board of Rabbis and the Fullerton Interfaith Ministerial Association. He chaired the North Orange County United Jewish Welfare (JFFS) while Elaine chaired the Women’s Division Campaign for the Orange County United Jewish Fund in 1980. He served as a member of the Jewish Federation Board of Directors and was influential in the development of Federation in its early years. During the early 70’s, Rabbi Asa was a member of the Department of Religious Studies at California State University, Fullerton, and was the spiritual leader of the Jewish students.

After ordination from Hebrew Union College in 1963 and until 1966, Rabbi Asa was the Latin American Director of the World Union

Rabbi Asa was instrumental in the efforts to acknowledge the role of the Bulgarian people and nation in the saving of the entire Jewish population of Bulgaria during the Second World War. He was part of an As rabbi and then rabbi emeritus at international committee that honored Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton, as a the state and people of Bulgaria as part of the 50th anniversary celebrating the chaplain and as a human being who was saving of the only Jewish community in deeply involved in his congregation and his Nazi Europe.

community, Rabbi Asa touched many lives. for Progressive Judaism with headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1966, Rabbi Asa and his wife, Elaine, returned to California, where he became the rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah until his retirement in 1996. He also worked as a senior chaplain with the State of California Department of Mental Health.

The Asas have four children and 14 grandchildren. Aviva and her husband, Daniel, and their three children live in Efrat, Israel. Ariel is married to Michele and they live in Atlanta, Georgia, with their four children. Liora and her husband, Michael, and their three children live in Har Halutz, Israel. Eliana and her husband, Jeff, live in the Los Angeles area with their four children.


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ISRAEL UP CLOSE Accentuates the positive+ When Newport Beach resident Harvey Karp visited Israel for the first time in 2003, he noticed that the only two English-language television stations (CNN and IBA News) there were only talking about conflicts between Israel and her neighbors. He became keenly aware of the pervasiveness of negative news about Israel in the media worldwide. Karp wanted to get beyond the controversy and change perceptions of Israel. He imagined a global audience watching and acquiring a sympathetic portrayal of Israel that has nothing to do with war, terror and the never-ending conflicts of the Middle East. He wanted to see Israel depicted as a global center of innovation, academic excellence, heading the global efforts towards renewable energy and water preservation. He decided to do something about it. Karp founded Israel Up Close (IUC), a production company dedicated to finding the stories behind the headlines and finding space in the bad-news cycle for some positive news. Its videos reflect real life in Israel, Israel’s humanitarian initiatives around the globe and Israel’s positive impact in health, education, technology, agriculture and ecology that benefit people everywhere, opening up opportunities for Israel’s diverse population and its Arab neighbors. One report talks about how Sudanese refugees trying to escape brutality in their own country sometimes cross the border into Israel where they feel safe and how Israel takes care of these people at its own expense. Another talks about the SodaStream factory where all employees are treated equally and well.

Other stories discuss technological advances. People need to hear these stories. Israel Up Close is here to tell them. Israel Up Close is a non-profit organization that produces professional-quality news segments that cover Israel beyond the headlines and political issues. Working with professional writers and filmmakers in Israel, IUC looks beyond the politics and talks about the way Israelis travel the world engaging in humanitarian endeavors. Each 3- to 6-minute news segment reports on Israel’s


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ingenuity and compassion impacting people all over the globe. IUC’s 180 films to date provide an objective look at Israel’s richness, diversity and contributions to humanity, enabling a global audience to be informed about how Israel and Israelis benefit the world. These reports range from Israel’s medical and ecological advances to its role in responding to crises around the world. The stories are used by media such as CNN, the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, LeSea Christian Broadcasting, Israel Broadcast Network in English, Middle East Television and others.

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IUC’s 180 films to date provide an objective look at Israel’s richness, diversity and contributions to humanity, enabling a global audience to appreciate how Israel and Israelis benefit the world.

Millions of viewers around the world are getting a better understanding of Israel. Karp may not be changing minds, but he is certainly opening them to all the greatness that Israel embodies. IUC is building a bridge to understanding, one news report at a time.


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ISRAEL EXPO 2014 HIGHLIGHTS:

TECHNOLOGY & TOGETHERNESS The Orange County Jewish community came together to celebrate the culture and technology of Israel at Israel Expo 2014. Photo by Charles Harris

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t was the most exciting day of the year for Jewish residents of Orange County. Sunday, May 18, marked the 41st time the community celebrated Israel together as more than 10,000 people gathered at the Samueli Jewish Campus in Irvine for Israel Expo 2014 With the theme of “Israel: Higher…

Stronger… Faster,” the event brought people of all ages together to commemorate Israel’s 66th birthday with entertainment, exhibits, vendors and food. Sponsored by Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), Israel Expo gave Jewish organizations a chance to interact with the community and the community a chance to learn more about the “start-up


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nation.” An exhibit from Madatech, the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology & Space, gave children hands-on experience with discovery of 3D printers; robot shows; physics experiments and other scientific demonstrations; and arts and crafts involving scientific concepts while their parents learned more about how technology is building Israel’s future. The museum, which is based in Haifa, was established in 1983 to cultivate Israel’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Tapuz, the Israeli Scouts program, was the first place winner, garnering a $3,600 prize for her organization. She said that Israeli Scouts was “a really strong group effort of so many people,” and added that 100 kids come every week to speak Hebrew and learn about Judaism and Israel.

Israel Expo 2014 also featured a tent from the original Israeli field hospital used by the Israel Defense Forces to

Gene Alterman won second place and $1,800 for his

Sunday, May 18, marked the 41st time the community celebrated Israel together as more than 10,000 people gathered at the Samueli Jewish Campus in Irvine for Israel Expo 2014. provide humanitarian aid during the 2010 Haiti earthquake crisis when Israelis arrived with a full medical unit only 36 hours after the disaster. IsraAID, an Israeli humanitarian aid agency, provided medical care, medical rehabilitation, non-formal education, food and aid distributions. One highlight of the day was the second annual IsraeLeader Award given by JFFS for outstanding commitment to Israel. Nominees were selected by synagogues and other Jewish organizations. Last year’s winners, Shalom Shalev of Tarbut V’Torah and Gordon Fishman of University Synagogue, were on hand to greet this year’s winners, along with Cindy Furst, who chaired the program Sabrina Hinkis, who chairs Shevet

organization. He was nominated by University Synagogue for his outstanding commitment to Israeli culture, bringing the finest in Israeli film to Orange County year after year, and for his decades of commitment and work with the Anti-Defamation League. He thanked all of the nominees, as well as University Synagogue and Rabbi Arnold Rachlis. At the end of the presentation, Fishman, a past chairperson of the Israel Expo and the creator of the unity parade that brings children from all synagogues together to march in celebration of Israel and Lag B’Omer, said, “It’s fun to be a winner, and even more fun to attend Israel Expo. Israel is the bedrock of medical innovation and the creator of real solutions to the world’s problems.”

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History at the Expo An Israel Expo visitor looks at the timeline.


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MACCABI TEL AVIV WINS EUROLEAGUE Maccabi Tel Aviv upset favored Real Madrid to win the Euroleague basketball championship.

Euroleague 2014 Maccabi Tel Aviv players celebrate their 98-86 victory, May 18, 2014.

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accabi defeated the Spanish squad, 98-86, in overtime on Sunday night in Milan in the title game. Tyrese Rice led the Israeli club with 26 points, including 14 in overtime. The game was tied at 73 following regulation. A huge contingent of Israelis traveled to Italy for the game — some estimates said at least 10,000. Many of the Maccabi fans

dressed in the team’s yellow and waved yellow-and-blue banners and the team’s flag, a yellow-and-blue version of the Israeli flag, with the star of David in the center. Manuel Berti on the Italian Basketinside blog called the victory a “masterpiece” that was “incredible, crazy, surreal.” He added, “It is the triumph of an entire people, who arrived en masse to fill and


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color the streets of Milan.” Maccabi had reached the finals with another upset victory, over CSKA Moscow, in the semifinals on Friday. The Israeli club rallied from a 15-point deficit to win. President Shimon Peres phoned Coach David Blatt

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Israel Celebrates

MACCABI

VICTORY

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efying the odds, Israeli underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv won its sixth European basketball title on Sunday, with a 98-86 victory over Real Madrid at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan. After the final buzzer sounded, Maccabi players and coaches celebrated on the court while the more than 9,000 Maccabi fans who made the trip to Milan cheered on ecstatically in the stands. Back in Tel Aviv, the victory set off

such an impressive way.” Peres, who is Israel overjoyed 90, joked that Thousands of the game had Maccabi Tel Aviv almost given supporters celebrate in Rabin Square. him a heart attack. “The whole country is yellow tonight,” Peres said. “The team fought like lions and won. It was amazing. Congratulations Maccabi—Israel is proud of you.”

The team fought like lions and won. It was amazing. Congratulations Maccabi—Israel is proud of you.

after the finals victory to congratulate him — and said the dramatic game had almost given him a heart attack, The Jerusalem Post reported It was the sixth Euroleague title for Maccabi Tel Aviv and its first since 2005.

festive revelry in the streets, with thousands of people filling Rabin Square. During the game, bars throughout the city were packed with fans watching the action on large screens. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres called Maccabi coach David Blatt on Sunday night to congratulate him on the win. “You did it big time,” Netanyahu told Blatt. “We have always been on the map, but you kept us on the map in

Guard Tyrese Rice led Maccabi with 26 points, 21 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Rice, who hit the game-winning shot in Maccabi’s semifinal victory over CSKA Moscow on Friday, was named the MVP of the 2014 Euroleague Final Four.

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Jay Leno is a hit in Israel Recently retired late-night talk show host Jay Leno made his first trip to Israel to present the Genesis Prize to business magnate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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he ceremony for the award, referred to as Israel’s Nobel Prize, took place in Jerusalem on Thursday, May

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Bloomberg is going to use the $1 million prize to establish a fellowship. Meanwhile, Leno wasted no time getting in jabs about politicians, both American and Israeli. He reminded the audience that May is Jewish American Heritage Month in the U.S., with President Obama saying it was “an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’” He added, “He knows it’s unbreakable, because he’s been trying to break it for the last

five years.” In another quip, he said, “According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boy’s name is Noam. The least popular boy’s name? John Kerry.” Referring to the seven-year sentence being served by former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Leno said, “Israel had some great leaders: David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin. People were really touched by them. Well, of course, not as many people as were touched by former President Katsav.”

Jay Leno hosts event in Jerusalem While the Genesis Prize ceremony was serious, Jay Leno added some levity.

On the subject of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Leno said, “You sentenced your former prime minister to six years in prison — did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews.”

In Israel, the most popular boy’s name is Noam. The least popular boy’s name? John Kerry. On a serious note, Leno said of Israel, “It’s a great honor. It’s a great country. It’s a great people. It’s the only democracy in the Middle East.”


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NEW MILITARY SIDDUR A new camouflage-covered Siddur for Jewish soldiers and sailors was unveiled during services in three New York City Orthodox, Conservative and Reform synagogues Memorial Day weekend.

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e have done some historical research, and there has never been a time that three such disparate synagogues have used the same prayer book,” said Rabbi Harold L. Robinson, a retired rear admiral who is director of the Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council There are 29 Jewish military chaplains in the U.S. Army that could use the new prayer book, titled “Siddur: Prayer Book for Jewish Personnel in the Armed Forces of the United States.”

“We wanted a book that was small enough for them to own personally, and complete enough so that rabbis of every perspective would use it,” Robinson said. Although not all Jewish chaplains are expected to use the Siddur, “the idea is to work out the best prayer book we can” that “almost everybody will be able to use,” said Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, an Orthodox rabbi with the 395th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

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ISRAEL TO REBUILD HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE The Israeli government has made plans to allocate 50 million shekels ($14.3 million) for the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Arab Legion during the War of Independence in 1948.

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uring the 1948 battle over the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jordanians were determined to prevent Jewish organizations from returning to areas that had been conquered, and made the decision to destroy Jewish sites such as synagogues. Two synagogues that defined the Jerusalem skyline at the time were blown

up: the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue and the Hurva Synagogue. The Hurva Synagogue was rebuilt in 2010, but the Tiferet Yisrael ruins were left as they were. The destroyed synagogue serves as a reminder that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter was not in Jewish hands between 1948 and 1967.


TNUVA SELLING 56% TO CHINESE COMPANY

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he Chinese governmentowned Bright Food Group will buy 56 percent of the Israeli dairy firm Tnuva, the Jewish state’s largest food company. According to the deal, Bright Food will make the purchase via British private equity house Apax Partners. Although the agreed-upon price is undisclosed, Tnuva is reportedly valued at 8.6 billion shekels, or $2.5 billion.

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billion shekels, or $2.05 billion, in 2013. “Israel is a country with highly developed agriculture and animal husbandry techniques. Tnuva, as Israel’s largest food company, has a long history and various products and large market share,” a Bright Food spokesman told Reuters.

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The deal, one of the largest in the

“China is still a history of the Israeli market, will niche market, but there’s lots of allow Bright Food access to Israel’s room for growth. technologically advanced dairy We’re getting increasing interest production. from international clients who are interested in China,” said Matthieu DavidExperton, Shanghai-based CEO at Daxue Consulting, reported Israel Hayom. The deal, one of the largest in the history of the Israeli market, will allow Bright Food access to Israel’s technologically advanced dairy production. Tnuva earned more 7.17


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TRAVEL TO ISRAEL FOR FREE! BIRTHRIGHT. Been to Israel? What! Why not—it’s FREE (knew that’d get your attention) all thanks to Birthright.

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ince 1991, with the help of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Israeli government, private philanthropists, Jewish communities around the world and founders Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, Israel has welcomed back Jewish souls who have not yet been to Israel in their young lifetimes thanks to Birthright. For young adults up until the age of twenty-six, Birthright, a free ten-day trip to Israel, is meant to rekindle a sense of

heritage that Western society doesn’t really encourage, as foreign diplomacy sadly parallels. Taglit, or “discovery” in Hebrew, is the goal of these Birthright trips designed by educators, historians and tourism professionals. Most participants have never been to Israel. Although the trip is not meant to be political, it’s hard to separate the concept of heritage from independence and thus foreign diplomacy.


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Go sign up now, because there are always more participants than spots available. That’s because Birthright is a not-for-profit organization, so support the cause, support Israel, and support yourself with a spiritual reconnection to your heritage—Israel.

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Taglit, or “discovery” in Hebrew, is the goal of these Birthright trips designed by educators, historians and tourism professionals.

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WELCOME TO ISRAEL


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Rosh HaNikra

Western Wall Jerusalem

Dan Hotel Tel Aviv


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Shavuot

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THE GIVING OF THE TORAH

It’s said that on our exodus out of bondage in slavery from Egypt all thanks to the mighty hand of Hashem towards the promised land, we ate bugs in the dessert. Treif! Save the date! Shavuot this year begins in the evening of Tuesday, June 3 and ends in the evening of Thursday, June 5.

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ell, almost, but no… not at all. One explanation is that there was a type of kosher bug that no longer exists, and that’s that. Yeah, maybe. Regardless, a more consistent reason

is that the laws of kashrut, of what was and was not kosher, was not given to us at Mount Sainai just yet. In other words, there was nothing treif or not kosher, because there wasn’t anything that was kosher— yet.

Shavuot is the festival of weeks that celebrates the giving of the Torah. It’s what we’re counting up to during the Omer with crazy anticipation! In fact, we’re not completely out of bondage until Shavuot, because Passover is the


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Shavuot is the festival of weeks that celebrates the giving of the Torah.

time of our physical release from bondage, but Shavuot is the spiritual release, all thanks to the giving of the Torah. Now, because we didn’t have laws of kashrut just yet, we traditionally eat lots of dairy products—from ice cream to cheesecake—as a way to showcase the non-meat foods of kashrut that we are permitted

to eat. Then, after Shavuot, after the giving of the Torah, as a way to show how we have received the laws of kashrut, we go back to eating meat… lots of meat. Yeah, no room for vegans here, I’m afraid. All the dairy is also to parallel the whole milk and honey concept of Israel. Fun fact, the honey in that phrase does not refer to bees—

there are no bees native to Israel. Instead, the “honey” refers to the syrup of dates. Today, we call that silan, and Sephardic families often use silan during Passover for charoset. Another custom is to study Torah ALL NIGHT. Yup, it’s going to be an all nighter…


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WHAT IS SHAVUOT? Shavuot is the holiday following seven weeks after Passover that celebrates the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai during biblical times.

HOW DO WE CELEBRATE? Shavuot is one of the pilgrimage holidays, with a custom to eat diary products. In synogogue, there is a custom to read medieval poems and the Book of Ruth, as well as staying up all night during the first night of Shavuot to learn Torah.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN? The holiday is associated with the grain harvest, and also depicts the covenant to keep the Torah the Jews made with G-d on Mount Sinai.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY? The holiday of Shavuot fulfills the the religious observance of the grain harvest of early summer as well as the ritual to appear before G-d in Jerusalem three times a year with the first fruits from their harvest.


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WAKE UP & SMELL THE COFFEE Coffee Bean has become the go-to spot for kosher foods and drinks here in Southern California. But is it all hype?

Ode to Coffee The aroma of black coffee wafted heavily through the store, piercing through the foggy veil of sleep with the smooth, rich scent of roasted beans.

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uckily for us, all the Coffee Beans in Southern California are kosher on location.

“On location” is a rare phrase to hear for chain stores that offer kosher foods, because often there are specialty goods, such

as kosher foods, which are simply shipped to the location there, handled by someone who can barely spell kosher let alone know its complex needs. Instead, “on location” makes it official—Coffee Bean is kosher, because there’s nothing nonkosher threatening cross-

contamination, such as kosher foods warmed in an oven or microwave shared by other non-kosher, or treif, foods. So, all the baked goods are kosher, and you don’t have to pass up on warming that scone, brownie, or muffin with your iced coffee or


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hot tea. Moreover, not only are all the teas and coffees kosher, but so are all the powders used to make Coffee Bean’s signature drinks—there’s really no need to worry when you enter the doors of Coffee Bean.

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KOSHER OC

Kosher on location is a rare phrase to hear for chain stores that offer kosher foods, especially here in Orange County.


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 kosheroc.com/go/imple

BATTLE OF THE BREADS It can be hard to find kosher breads these days. So why try?

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hy try you ask? Well, a popular ingredient in non-kosher breads is, well, hair.

Yep, from human hair to horse hair (or duck feathers) and even hog hair in China (and you know how many imports are from China here in the US of A). The technical name is L-cysteine, a flavor enhancer—yum.

There are three great options for traditional kosher breads—sangak, pitah, and lavash. At the local Wholesome Choice, which is popular with Persians both Jewish and goy, there are three great options for traditional kosher breads—sangak, pitah, and lavash.

PITA

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slightly leavened wheat bread, flat, either round or oval, and variable in size. Flatbread in general, whether leavened or not, is among the most ancient of bread. Pitah is well known, especially with Israelis. Round in shape, it can be used as a pocket for fillings, from Nutella to falafel.


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SANGAK

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s a plain, rectangular, or triangular Iranian whole wheat sourdough flatbread firstly.

Sangak literally meaning pebble or little stone, this bread is often cooked on top of river stones in an oven. This bread is so Persian in origin that Persian soldiers would each bring with them a few stones in their pockets, pool together all the pebbles, and use them in cooking this staple.

LAVASH

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avash is eaten in Persia, as well as Armenians and the Turkish. The main difference between these breads is that lavash can be thicker and a bit fluffier. However, lavash dries up somewhat quickly to a very hard, brittle, cracker like bread. So, sangak is a much better choice for wraps. When hardened, though, lavash can last for about a year, and is thus a symbol of plenty and food, for it can last seemingly forever.


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June 2014

 kosheroc.com/go/p6u2f

ETYMOLOGY OF “ZIONISM” Israel has been a focal point on campus for the past two weeks. The past two weeks have painted two visions of Israel, two different perspectives on the Middle East, and two very different interpretations on the Israeli-Arab conflict. I think this issue on campus boils down to a very simple question: do the Jewish people have a right to a state in their ancestral homeland?

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ne very bigoted side says no, and the other side says the Jewish people have the right to self-determination, the same way any other people have the right to self-determination.

Last week on campus the MSU sponsored an event which they call “Anti-Zionism Week.” What is antiZionism? At its very simplest definition, Zionism is the national liberation movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland, the land of Israel. Basically, it is the belief that the Jewish people have a right to their own nation-state like every other peoplehood. It is the movement for the Jews to regain sovereignty over their indigenous homeland, the homeland they have maintained a continuous presence in for 3300 years.

have the common religion of Judaism. A Jew is not a Jew because he practices Judaism, rather, he is a Jew because his ancestors are Jewish. The origin of the word Jew (ye-hu-dee in Hebrew) comes from the Judea (Ye-hu-dah). Where exactly is Judea/ Yehuda? The hills south of Jerusalem, part of the West Bank of the Jordan River, one of the areas antiIsrael activists are trying to claim never had a Jewish presence. Only one period in the past 3000 years have the Jews not lived in Judea; the period from 1949-1967 when the land was illegally occupied by the Jordanians and Jews were removed from the area.

Where does the word Palestinian come from? The Jews had sovereignty over the borders of modern day Israel from 1000-586 B.C.E with the first Jewish kingdom. The second Jewish Kingdom was Anti-Zionism is going against this movement, 538-63 B.C.E. Upon the destruction of the Jewish using a double standard to deprive the Jews of a Kingdom by the Romans in the year 70 A.D, the homeland. As Martin Luther King Jr. once famously Romans named Judea said, “When people “Palaestina” to erase I think this issue on campus boils criticize Zionists, the Jewish connection they mean Jews. down to a very simple question: do the to the land. Palaestina You are talking Jewish people have a right to a state in was named after the anti-Semitism.” ancient Philistines, the their ancestral homeland? Why do many want enemy of the Jewish to deprive the nation thousands of Jewish nation of a years ago. The Philistines are an extinct nation and homeland? have zero connection to the modern Palestinian I think this question can be traced back to the origins people. of the words “Jew” and “Palestinian.” Where does the word Jew come from? It is fundamental to note that the Jewish people are a nation who happen to

Now this is not the rhetoric told at UC Irvine, so let me use a modern linguistic example to illustrate


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my point. There is a city in Hebrew called Schem, in Arabic it is called Nabulus. Israelis refer to it as Schem because that was the original name used in the Jewish Bible and has been used for over 3500 years. Palestinians call the city Nabulus. The Jewish origin traces back to the Bible, the Arabic origin traces back to the Roman conquest of Israel. The Romans renamed the city after the famous city of Naples. In Arabic, the “b” sound is a “p”, thus Naples evolved into Nabulus. Another great example in the question of who is indigenous is the evidence left around the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount, a fundamental place in the 3 Abrahamic religions, was built by the Jews. Two Temples, Jewish holy sites were build there by the Jews. Only after the second Jewish exile by the Romans did Christian holy sites start appearing, and well after that did Islamic holy sites exist. This is not a religious proof for the Jews, rather, it is a historic fact at the most basic level that the Jews were in Israel long before other nations.

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View from above Getting back to the original The Temple Mount, question, do the Jewish people a fundamental place have a right to their homeland? in the 3 Abrahamic religions, was built by I would argue the following the Jews. points: the Jewish people have maintained a continuous presence in their indigenous homeland of Israel for over 3300 years. The Jews revived a dead language, wear some of the same cultural clothing, and celebrate the same holidays. Walking down the streets of Israel, I could see Jewish history from every period for well over the past 3000 years. The Jews are indigenous, are an organic and authentic part of the Middle East, and the recreation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948 was not an act of colonization or imperialism, but rather the rightful owners of the area returning home.


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38 J Street, according to some of the organizations opposing its admission into the umbrella organization, is too eager to accept a Palestinian state with no guarantee of Israel’s security.


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 kosheroc.com/go/9e3je

WHAT DOES “INCLUSIVE” MEAN? On April 30 the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations voted to reject the membership application of J Street, the self-labeled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby. Since that time there has been much debate in the Jewish world about what some believe is a slight and others consider the right decision.

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t depends which person named Jacobs you agree with, how willing you are to see Israel make concessions and how you think the democratic process should work.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said that organizations representing “the overwhelming majority of American Jews” voted to support J Street’s admission to the group but were “outvoted” by “those that constitute the right wing of the North American Jewish community.” He added, “To be sure, there is room for those at the table, but they should not be allowed to keep others from participating.” He objected to having an “ideological litmus test” for joining the Conference of Presidents. Jacobs and others called for the organization to accept the diverse views that characterize the American Jewish community. They said that J Street has captured the imagination of college students and other professionals, that its membership is growing and that there is more than one way to demonstrate pro-Israel activism.

Meanwhile, Dr. Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, the group behind the new documentary The J Street Challenge, said that American Jews can criticize Israeli leaders, “but we who do not live there or have our children on the front lines do not have the right to use our American power to circumvent Israeli democracy, and to try to lobby to get an American administration to impose our views and policies on the Israelis.” He believes that J Street’s agenda goes too far in those areas. J Street, according to some of the organizations opposing its admission into the umbrella organization, is too eager to accept a Palestinian state with no guarantee of Israel’s security. Others say it mischaracterizes AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, which lobbies for support of Israel. More recently, J Street was criticized for allegedly siding with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when he warned that Israel could become an apartheid state. Should Israel make concessions to a so-called peace partner bent on Israel’s destruction? The alliance

of Fatah with Hamas changes the scope of the peace process that would create a Palestinian state. How can Israel trust a negotiating partner that does not recognize its very right to exist and that has bombarded its southern border with rockets for many years? The American government can broker the talks, but it may not be able to grasp Israel’s reservations about the situation. Finally, the refusal to accept the vote of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations or the vote of the Israeli people calls into question the respect of various people for the ideals of democracy. Both of these votes were taken according to the rules. Sometime in the future, the views of J Street and the member organizations of the conference may be more closely allied with one another, just as another Israeli government may have a different take on the peace process. For the moment, why not let Israel and the conference keep their own houses in order?


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IN THEIR WORDS

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May G-d bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our G-d, from the border of Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea to the Aravah, on land, in the air, and on the sea...

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Choosing whether public or private Jewish schooling isn’t just a financial decision— but let’s face it, that’s a huge part of it.  kosheroc.com/go/m153a

JEWISH EDUCATION PUBLIC vs. Private SCHOOL


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JUNE 2014

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ublic schools are not enough to encourage a Jewish education, and it can be socially taxing— you’re the only child who has to explain trees don’t belong inside homes during winters, you’re eating foods that not everyone eats (like pepperoni-less pizza—what a FREAK), you’re freaking out about the pledge of allegiance (is saying G-d here in vain or do I just go with the flow?), and don’t get me started on dating a shiksa…

Social assimilation An important aspect in today’s globalized world

But public schools do provide social assimilation, an important aspect in today’s globalized world if your family instills a Jewish focus at home. In which case, Hebrew school, such as Chabad’s Preschool and Hebrew Academy or Tarbut V’ Torah, is a great way to have your cake and eat it too by having both Jewish learning and social assimilation. But then there’s Jewish school—Judaism and Jewish culture 24/7, er, except Shabbat when you get your fix at shul, temple, synagogue, or whatever

If you worry for your child’s Jewish identity being at risk, especially if you do not have the confidence or ability to teach your child in the ways of Judaism (at least to some extent), then private school can be the answer.

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you call it… If you worry for your child’s Jewish identity being at risk, especially if you do not have the confidence or ability to teach your child in the ways of Judaism (at least to some extent), then private school can be the answer. Be aware, however, that private schools can, at the same time, impede education—ironic, I know. Private schools are just that, private, and out of the general education system, which can make a mishmash when applying to college or comparing local awards (such as honors) to national awards.


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June 2014

Brussels Jewish museum shooter arrested in france Police in Marseille arrested a man whom Belgian police suspect killed four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium.

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he man, aged 29 and identified as Mehdi Nemmouche, was arrested at Marseille’s main train and bus station, Saint-Charles, on May 29 and is currently being held on suspicion of terrorist activity, the news agency AFP reported. He lives in Roubaix, which is located on the border between France and Belgium, 55 miles south of Brussels. He arrived in Marseille aboard a bus that left from Amsterdam via Brussels. The report did not say where he boarded the bus. The weapons found in the man’s luggage “were arms of the same type used on May 24 in Brussels,” an unnamed source told AFP. A spokesperson for the Belgian federal police said the man is suspected of killing four people on May 24 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in central Brussels. Nemmouche also carried a small, portable video camera and a baseball cap similar to the one that is believed to have been worn by the perpetrator of the Brussels Jewish museum shooting, according to AFP.

Questioned by French police about the content of the digital camera after his arrest in Marseille, Nemmouche is reported to have said, “It’s a shame my camera didn’t work when all the action happened,” according to BFMTV, a Belgian broadcaster. The Brussels Jewish museum shooter used what looked like an assault rifle to kill two tourists, Emanuel and Mira Riva, a man and his wife from Israel, and a handgun to kill two staffers, Alexandre Strens and Dominique Sabrier. He then fled the scene on foot. According to some reports, he wore a video camera. French President Francois Hollande congratulated law enforcement officers for the capture. “I wish to salute the customs officers, the police officers, for performing the arrest,” French media quoted Hollande as saying in a statement Sunday. “We are determined to follow those jihadists and prevent them from causing harm upon returning from a battle that is neither theirs nor ours. We have fought them, we

are fighting them and we will fight them.” “We are very satisfied with the work of the French authorities in finding the perpetrator of the cold-blooded murders last week,” European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement Sunday. “However, for too long authorities in Europe have acted speedily after the fact, it is now time for all to turn attention and set as the highest priority the prevention of these vicious crimes.” The man arrested in Marseille, one of the sources told AFP, is believed to have participated in the civil war in Syria in 2013 as a jihadist. He is being held on suspicion of

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Rolling stones’ israel concert time changed for religious attendees The Rolling Stones have pushed back the start time of their Tel Aviv show to enable religiously observant concert goers to attend.

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he Stones are scheduled to perform at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv on June 4, which is the holiday of Shavuot. The concert originally was scheduled to begin at 8:30

p.m., minutes after the end of the holiday. The band announced over the weekend that it would push the beginning of its concert to 9:15, after the Tel Aviv Municipality agreed to The Tongue has Landed Rolling Stones land in Israel ahead of gig

extend the 11 p.m. curfew on public performances. “Following many requests from the public,

* murder and attempted murder, AFP reported.

Belgian police had briefly detained at least two men whom media reported had been interrogated about the shooting and released as part of a massive manhunt launched in Belgium. According to TF1, a French television broadcaster, Nemmouche was stopped by customs officers performing routine checks. He declined to

open his bag, leading the customs officers to evacuate the bus and check the contents of every bag aboard. It was during that inspection that the customs officers found the weapons and the camera. Nemmouche may have traveled to Marseille with the intention of boarding a boat to North Africa, TF1 reported. Nemmouche became a radical

particularly the observant public, to delay the starting hour for the performance, the City of Tel Aviv, together with the production team, decided to change the starting time,” event promoter Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production said in a news release. Some fans from outside of Jerusalem reportedly have rented apartments in Tel Aviv for Shavuot in order to make it to the concert on time, Ticket sales for the concert reportedly have been sluggish; it is the Rolling Stones’ first-ever concert in Israel.

jihadist while serving a sentence in France in 2009 for armed robbery, TF1 reported. He left France for Belgium in 2012 and from there traveled to Syria. Nemmouche had spent a total of five years in prison from late 2007 to December of 2012, and had visited the United Kingdom; Lebanon; Turkey and Syria after his release. He returned to Europe in March 2014, BFMTV reported Sunday.


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June 2014

JUNE 2014 Sunday, June 1 at 10AM

Tuesday, June 17 at 10PM

Congregation B’nai Israel Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer. $20. (714) 730-9693

UCIrvine Recreation Center From hand rolls to cut rolls organized by the Atid Hadassah Group. $50+. labow@sbcglobal.net

Shellfish-less Sushi and Sake

Bad Girls in the Bible

Wednesday, June 11 at 6PM

Sunday, June 1 at 5:30PM

The Network

Celebration Ball

Jewish Federation & family services Networking group with panel discussion. $45+. (949) 435-3484

Merage jcc Honoring Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), JCC Preschool expansion (co-chairs Jay Witzling and Scott Cross) and Lynne Kaplan, artist extraordinaire. (949) 435-3400 Sundown Tuesday, June 2 - 5

Shavuot

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Sunday, June 15 at 9AM

Tzofim Friendship Caravan Lakeview senior center The Israel Scouts present a summer family concert. tzofim@shevettapuz.org

Tuesday, June 3 at 10PM

NCSY Shavuos Trivia Night

Beth jacob congregation irvine Midnight BBQ, prizes, new NCSY advisors. (949) 786-5230

Tuesday, June 10 at 11AM

South County ORT

irvine museum Docent-led tour of Irvine Museum. loisweiss6279@gmail.com

Sunday, June 8 at 7PM

Tribute to Naomi Shemer

Temple bat yahm One of Israel’s Musical Legends Cantor Jonathan Grant with Israeli Jazz Ensemble, Seeds of Sun. (949) 644-1999

Thursday, June 12 at 10AM

Board Installation

Laguna woods JFFS installs Laguna Woods region officers for 2014-15. Free with refreshments. (949) 435-3484


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Dates & Times Tuesday, June 24 - 29

Jersey Boys

SHABBAT

Segerstrom center They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. (714) 556-2787

Candle Lighing

June 6 June 13 June 20 June 27

Sunday, June 22 at 1:30PM

Beginners Workshop in Jewish Genealogy

Shabbat Ends

Temple bat yahm Led by the Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society. Free, RSVP required. (949) 854-8854

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7:41pm 7:44pm 7:46pm 7:47pm

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Friday, June 27 - August 3

Sawdust Art Festival

Laguna beach Spend time admiring the many talented local artists. Shopping, food, music, drinks, sawdust! (949) 494-3030

8:43pm 8:46pm 8:48pm 8:49pm

Shavuot Candle Lighing

June 3 June 4

7:39pm 8:41pm

Shavuot Ends

June 5

8:41pm


Kosher

Orange County KosherOC is here to give the Orange County Jewish community news when it happens, here and around the world.


June 2014