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Table of Contents FEATURED 4 Local Hero Awarded Top IDF Honors for Op. Protective Edge 6 Israelâ€™s Chief Rabbi David Lau Visits Various Venues in Orange County 8 Cantorial Soloist Jenna Sagan Returns to Her Musical and Family Roots in Orange County
21 TVT Launches Transitional Kindergarten 22 Irvine Hebrew Day School Makes Jewish Education Personal 23 February Community Events
STUDENT VOICE 24 The Pros and Cons of Attending a Small Jewish Day School 28 What to Look Forward to in Senior Year
ISRAEL 30 On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Survivors and Leaders Mark 70 Years since Auschwitz Liberation 31 Israeli Bus Driver Who Fought off Palestinian Terrorist Regains Consciousness 32 Anti-Semitism Rises on U.S. College Campuses, Report Says 33 Getting Anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations
10 Spending Shabbat in Paris after a Day of Infamy
12 Tu Bâ€™Shevat Is a Time to Rejoice in the Land
35 The Closest We Can Come to Perfection Is to Take the Journey
13 There Are Many Chances to Do a Mitzvah
36 Noam Chomsky Is Not My Kind of Authority 38 World War III?
40 Looking for a Role Model
14 Temple Judea Celebrates 50 Years 15 Chabad of Tustin Dedicates a Sefer Torah to the Soldiers of the IDF 18 Beth Jacob to Honor Three Outstanding Women at Its Annual Gala 19 TVT Gets High Marks for Academics
How to Reach Us
20 Olam Montessori Offers Hands-on Approach to Jewish and Secular Learning
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TVT in the IDF
Local Hero Awarded Top IDF Honors for Op. Protective Edge By Robin Silver-Zwiren make a big deal. Sahar may be taking it all in stride believing that all he did was the job he has been trained for but he is certainly our hero. Shalom Shalev agrees that Sahar’s deeds are great and similar to a US soldier receiving a Distinguished Service Award or maybe even a Silver Star. When others hear about the award, the comments have been “WOW”, “cool,” so we should expect nothing less from someone who has always put others safety before his own. From a young age Sahar’s leadership skills and large personality were apparent. The TVT community is certainly proud of its native son. The announcement that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz will award 25 accommodations for distinctive service during the recent Operation Protective Edge has the Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) pride flowing. Sgt. Sahar Elbaz (TVT class of 2012) has earned a Chief of Staff Decoration for outstanding courage and heroism. Sahar is in the Rimon Unit of the Givati Brigade. On July 29 the unit was under intense enemy attack, and although the unit commander instructed the group to take cover in a mosque, Sahar remained in position. With live grenades and guns firing directly at him, Sahar killed four terrorists, even though at one point his own weapon nearly failed. This was no video game;
this was reality, and Sahar saved the lives of everyone in his unit. For this we are all thankful. Sahar’s proud parents Ilana (kindergarten assistant) and Shimon will travel to Israel for the February 2 ceremony. Sisters Sgt. Rotem (TVT ’09), who lives in Israel, and Zohar (TVT ’15) have yet another reason to look up to the brother who towers over them. Sahar told his family a simplified version of what occurred in Gaza but until reading news articles, the family had no idea exactly how brave Sahar was. One thing for sure is that their lives will never be the same. Already the phone calls for interviews have kept Sahar so busy that he has not even spoken to his parents since the announcement was made. On hearing the news, I sent a note to my own children Atara (TVT ’12) and Ari (TVT ’14) who live in Israel and asked if they had heard. I must admit that I even checked Sahar’s Facebook page, but there was no mention of this honor. He did send a private note to some people, but, as my daughter commented, Sahar is too humble to
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Irving Gelman founded the school and named it Tarbut v’Torah after the school he attended as a child in Poland. Tarbut was a Zionist network of Hebrew-language educational institutions founded in 1922. The network operated kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, teachers’ seminaries, adult education courses, lending libraries and a publishing house. Tarbut schools had 5,000 students enrolled in some 270 institutions by 1939, the beginning of World War II. The Tarbut network no longer exists today, but Jewish schools that share the values of the original Tarbut network have adopted the word as a part of their names, including Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, California. Sahar Elbaz and heroes like him
Sahar Elbaz (TVT ’12)
Zev Friedman (TVT ’11)
Yuval Gur (TVT ’12)
Tom Paz (TVT ’12)
Amit Silverstein (TVT ‘12)
Sharon Amor (CDM ’12)
Blake Zeve (CDM ’11)
Daniel Narvy (UCI)
Ari Friedman (UCI)
Dan Lazarescu (Irvine ‘14)
continue to make “Papa” Gelman’s dream a reality. Sahar is not the only TVT graduate and OC native serving in the IDF, and we should be impressed with each and every one of them. “Lone Soldiers” who serve in the IDF are either not Israeli citizens, or at least do not live there. Sahar was born in the US of Israeli parents who also served in the IDF. He has a lot of family living in Israel, as do several of the others. Some lone soldiers do not. I know from my experiences, and
those of my children, that there is often a call to the Land that is hard to explain to some. It is a true feeling of being home even with the turbulence. Jews have always had to fight to survive in foreign lands. There is nowhere that is truly peaceful, as the recent attacks in Canada and France have proven, and the memory of 9-11 lingers. However, in Israel I know that I don’t fear walking the streets, and a big part of it is knowing that there are always well trained personnel protecting the land and people. There is no lone soldier when you are part of
the landscape. To Sahar, and all of our children serving in the IDF, I say thanks for your service and know you are forever in my prayers.
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Making the Circuit
Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau Visits Various Venues in Orange County By Ilene Schneider all Jews in all places in the world, to sign a list that everyone can receive without argument.” When asked whether a non-Orthodox Jew is a Jew, he replied, “Of course.” The chief rabbi also discussed the Supreme Rabbinical Court, which, among other things, handles divorce cases. He acknowledged the problem with agunot, women who have not been given a get (Jewish divorce decree) by their ex-husbands, and are shunned by society. Part of the problem, he said, is that there are only 99 judges in the rabbinical court for 6.5 million people, the same as when there were only 1 million. Marking only the second time the chief Ashkenazic rabbi of Israel has visited Orange County, Rabbi David Lau managed to go from north to south and east to west with amazing speed, thoughtful answers and good humor. The big event was a conversation with Rabbi David Eliezrie at Chabad of North Orange County, Congregation Beth Meir haCohen, in Yorba Linda, on January 12. More than 200 people heard Rabbi Lau address topics from the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora to some of the specific matters that the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Israel adjudicates. When asked whether he thinks Jews should leave France, Rabbi Lau said, “The ideal is to see all Jewish people in Israel, but people have to live wherever they are because of what they are doing with their lives. Not everyone can find himself in Israel. I would be happy to see French people in Israel, but I can’t say all of them must come. We will do all we can do if they come.”
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As to why he went into the army when many yeshiva students do not, Rabbi Lau said that he went to the yeshiva to be able to share Jewish knowledge with others, then went into the army – in the intelligence force — because it was important for the nation. Now that the draft law has changed forcing yeshiva students to go to the army, Rabbi Lau believes that the government needs to educate people and explain the decision.
Rabbi Lau candidly addressed “Who is a Jews?” questions as well. He said that efforts were being made to help Russian Jews to find their roots. As to conversions, he wants “to be sure that everyone is Jewish, received by
When asked about building a stronger relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, Rabbi Lau said, “We need your support, because this is a very hard time, because Islam is all around us, because Israel is the best friend of the United States and because Israel is a Jewish state – therefore your state. We need to help each other and think about the next generation.”
He added, “I want my grandfather to be proud of me, and I want my grandchildren to be proud about me. We’re a link in a long chain of Jewish tradition.” Chief Rabbi Lau joined Congregation Beth Jacob of Irvine for a mincha
service and shared some thoughts with congregants afterwards, according to Rabbi Yisroel Ciner. As he explained, the parsha, Va’era, continues with the saga of Moshe approaching the Children of Israel and subsequently approaching Pharoah to serve as the redeemer. How did the Children of Israel know that he was legitimate? How did they know that G-d had actually sent him? Hashem told Moshe: “Go and gather the elders of Israel and tell them that G-d, the G-d of their fathers has appeared to me and said: Pakod pakadtee I haveremembered you and that which has been done to you in Egypt.[3:16]” “Rashi [3:18] explains that these words: Pakod pakadtee were actually secret key words,” Rabbi Ciner said. “They had a tradition that the one who would describe Hashem’s redemption using the words pakod pakadtee was the true redeemer. Moshe, having fled Egypt at a young age, was not privy to this teaching. His use of this exact term showed the elders that he was the true redeemer. Why was the term pakod pakadtee written in that double, repetitive form?” Rabbi Lau explained that there actually were two redemptions. Hashem told Moshe that when we left Egypt, it would be to serve Hashem on that very mountain (Mount Sinai) where He was now speaking to him at the burning bush. There was the physical redemption from Egypt and there was the spiritual redemption that took place by our receiving the Torah. Pakod pakadtee. Remembered and remembered. Physical redemption and spiritual redemption. If anyone would come and say just pakadtee, that there will be a singular, nonmultifaceted redemption, he would not be believed. He could not be the true redeemer. That could not be the true redemption. We didn’t experience the
furnace of Egyptian slavery to simply physically exit from it. There was that much more to be gained. The spiritual redemption and transformation was the purpose of the Egyptian slavery.
vocabulary to thank Rabbi Lau for coming. The Chief Rabbi led an early morning prayer service and enjoyed a study session with Rabbi Elimelech Goorevitch.
Pakod pakadtee. That was our destiny. Those are the words that the true redeemer would say.
Rabbi Lau explained further that the Four Cups we drink at the Pesach Seder correspond to the four terms of redemption that Hashem told Moshe: 1. I will take you out, 2. I will save you, 3. I will redeem you, and 4. I will take you as a nation and be your G-d. The Halacha (Jewish law) is that we are not allowed to drink between the 3rd and 4th cup. We can’t separate the redemption and the spiritual connection we had and have with Hashem. Pakod pakadtee. We are a physical and spiritual people with a physical and spiritual destiny.
In addition, Rabbi Lau visited the children at the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach. He answered a question from each class in depth:
“I will add that with all that is going on in the world, we certainly must acknowledge, appreciate and fulfill this dual destiny of ours,” Rabbi Ciner concluded. Rabbi Lau surprised some of the Chabad Laguna Beach Hebrew school students with an impromptu visit and Torah lesson, according to Rebbitzen Perel Goorevitch. He gave the students a blessing and asked for a blessing from them. Noah blessed the Rabbi with health and wisdom, and Shai used his Hebrew
K – When did you become Chief Rabbi? 1 – Why did you come to the United States? 2 – Are you afraid to live in Israel? 3 – What is your schedule like? 4 – Did you want to become a Rabbi or were you pressured? 5 – How do you balance having a family and being a Chief Rabbi?
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Finding Her Voice
Cantorial Soloist Jenna Sagan Returns to Her Musical and Family Roots in Orange County By Ilene Schneider County, because I’m deeply rooted here,” she said. “All of my family is in a 40-mile radius, and I’m blessed to have the family for holidays.”
Jenna Sagan has been singing for her whole life. Sagan, who became the cantorial soloist at Congregation B’nai Tzedek (CBT) in Fountain Valley in July, describes Jewish music as “my passion and my outlet.” Born Jenna Pinkham, she spent her formative years at Temple Beth David in Westminster. Mentored by Cantors Harry Newman, Lisa Sharlin and Nancy Linder, she was an active member of the TBD junior and senior choir, a featured soloist at many High Holy Day services and the leader of the children’s service. Jenna grew up in Huntington Beach, where she attended the Academy of the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School, graduating with a double major in songwriting/recording and musical theater. In her spare time, she held leadership roles in Orange County’s L’chaim BBG, and the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Adat Noar and TALIT programs. “If you’re not busy, you’re not trying hard enough,” she said. 8
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After high school, Jenna attended the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, focusing on acting and theatrical education. She helped to create and co-lead UCLA Hillel’s Reform minyan and was a featured soloist in UCLA’s Jewish A Capella group Shir Bruin, traveling throughout Los Angeles and the United States performing at a variety of Jewish communities and special events. After graduation, Sagan focused her energy on her theatrical work, and developed a “One Woman Cabaret” featuring pop standards from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. After a stint as a production assistant on a reality television show, Sagan began her graduate education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s DeLeT program. She received her Judaic Studies and General Studies teaching credential through the Rhea Hirsch School of Education. She worked in LA as a teacher at a charter school, but she was still not singing. “I decided to move back to Orange
She found her voice again by joining Shir Energy, a young professional chorale group that performs at the Nefesh Minyan and other venues. Before joining Congregation B’nai Tzedek, she served as the guest cantor at Temple Isaiah of Newport Beach and Surf City Synagogue, and in 2013-2014, she was the resident Cantorial Soloist for Friends Exploring Judaism in Irvine, where she led High Holy Day services alongside Rabbi Robin Hoffman. When not leading services or performing, she uses her theatrical talents as a fully credentialed K-8 teacher in the greater Orange County area, both at the CBT religious school and in the Fountain Valley School District. “Teaching people how to love music is like kindergartners to love to read,” she said.
Simchat Torah at B’nai Tzedek, Cantorial Soloist Sagan with Rabbi David Young and some young congregants
Jenna currently lives in South Coast Metro with her husband Sean, and their Pekingese mix, Hobbes. Sean is getting his doctorate in religious studies. Sagan thinks CBT “is warm and welcoming and has really embraced
us.” Her philosophy matches the congregation’s focus on family and community. She is grateful that CBT is “not just a synagogue, but a community” and one that is willing to try new things. Recently, the congregation embarked on a Brit Kehilla, an open dues structure. There was also a second day of Rosh Hashanah service at the beach with CBT and Temple Beth David, where there was “holiness completely without walls,” Sagan said.
Joint Congregation B’nai Tzedek and Temple Beth David Rosh Hashanah Day 2 service at the Huntington Beach Pier, with Cantorial Soloists Jenna Sagan and Nancy Linder
“On an ordinary Shabbat we like to bring the pulpit down to where the congregation is and share it,” she explained. She feels “heard and respected” by Rabbi David Young, who “has helped me grow.” Sagan believes that “ancestral transcendence” is important in Judaism. “The new is good, but the old is good too,” she said. “We want to combine old and new music. “Where you came from is beautiful, and where you’re going is beautiful.” She also believes that one’s teachers are important and feels grateful to have “so many incredible voices in our backyard.” Trained as an operatic singer, she loves to bring that into the mix, while, at the same time, she wants to encourage a strong, participatory musical community. She looks forward to the Purimspiel written by Rabbi Young, where congregants who have been spielers for many years will participate. “There’s something beautiful about everybody’s voice connecting to God,” she said. “I want to see people come in and be in the same space and let me help them get there. I don’t see my role as a performance. I share my voice with the community, and the congregants share their voices with me.” Sagan believes that Jewish composers create music that reflects what prayers mean. “They get you into the space where you need to be,” she said. She quipped, “After all, nobody leaves the synagogue humming the sermon.”
Spending Shabbat in Paris after a Day of Infamy By Boaz Bismuth, JNS because they represent some of the values terrorists want to destroy.” Cukierman added, “I believe we are in the midst of a Third World War. The spillover from the battles in Syria, Iraq, and Mali has reached France. The Jewish community, which had already been nervous prior to the attacks, is now even more concerned. The situation is dire. What we have seen is jihad being waged against journalists, free speech, against symbols of the republic, like the security forces, and against us, the Jews.”
On Sunday, Jan. 11, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony for the victims of last week’s Islamist terror attacks in France at Paris’s Grand Synagogue.
The last time I saw a Jewish minyan relocate from a synagogue to a private residence for security reasons was in 2010. I was in Rayda, Yemen, where the Jews were still reeling from the assassination of Moshe Nahari, the brother of a prominent rabbi. I never thought I would find myself at the same exact same setting in Paris, only four years later. On Friday night, Jan. 9, I attended Shabbat services just off Place de la Republique in Paris. The services were supposed to be held in a synagogue, but the ongoing crisis made that impossible and they were moved to a private residence. Just hours earlier, French security forces had freed 15 Jewish hostages from a kosher supermarket. Four other hostages had been killed. As a precaution, authorities urged Jewish merchants to close for the day. They also approached Jewish leaders and asked them not to hold Shabbat services at the city’s synagogues.
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Shabbat is supposed to be a festive occasion. But the atmosphere in the makeshift prayer house was anything but celebratory. The gatherers had that same look I see anytime I travel to Jewish communities in Arab states: a worried look. Jan. 9, 2015 will go down as a day of infamy in France. French President Francois Hollande called the attack on Hyper Cacher (the kosher supermarket) an “appalling antiSemitic act.” Roger Cukierman, head of France’s Jewish umbrella organization, CRIF, told me he was not surprised by the attack on the Jewish shoppers. “After French Jew Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured to death in 2006, I said the Jews of France were all in danger,” Cukierman said. “In 2012, when three children and one man were killed by a gunmen at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, I doubled down on that statement. We must realize that there is a fullfledged war between two civilizations in France. Our democracy and our values are in the jihadists’ crosshairs, and the Jews are on the frontline
I was walking the streets of Paris on Friday. Much like Cukierman, none of the Jews I met told me that they were surprised by what happened. In my many visits to France, my Jewish acquaintances had told me that rising anti-Semitism would ultimately result in violence. It was just a matter of time, they warned. Friday’s attack did not jolt the already-nervous community, but it did result in real concern and grief. The Jewish businesses in the historically Jewish Marais district began to close as a precaution shortly after Muslim terrorist Amedy Coulibaly launched his attack on the supermarket. Jewish establishments in the Sentier district, formerly the epicenter of Paris’s garment industry, were also advised to close ahead of schedule. During evening services at the end of Shabbat, I met Joseph (Joe) Marciano, who has run a shop in the Sentier district for many years. He told me he complied with the authorities request to close his business for the day. “Why take the risk?” he told me. “My 17-year-old son won the national Krav Maga (an Israeli form of martial arts) championship in France. He will soon make aliyah. The number of
people who make aliyah will increase even further in the wake of Friday’s attack. It is sad. We have no reason to stay here.” Michel Edry, 60, stood next to Marciano. He also runs as business at the Sentier. “I want to make aliyah too—but only when I feel it is right, not when the jihadists decide for me,” he told me. “This is just outrageous—I love France, and so do my children. What have I done to deserve this constant worry about the lives of my kids to the point that I have to relocate?” Raymond Haddad, owner of the famous Jewish restaurant La Boule Restaraunt, did not heed the security warning and remained open for business. I dined there on Saturday and spoke to him. He explained that his restaurant serves kosher food but never closes on Shabbat, especially since some of his workers are of Arab descent. He insists that his restaurant caters to all French people. Jewish landmarks such as the Grand Synagogue of Paris on Rue de la Victoire (in the 9th arrondissement) and the synagogue on Copernic Street (in the 16th arrondissement) closed their doors on Friday for security reasons. But on Saturday, worshippers came back and tried to move on. On Saturday morning I made my way to Agoudas Hakehilos Synagogue, situated in the Marais district on Rue Pavee. The morning services were led by Rabbi Mordechai Rottenberg. “I know you want me to provide you with an answer on whether you should leave or stay,” Rottenberg told the crowd. “But frankly, I am at a loss for words.” One worshipper told me that at no other time since World War II did synagogues across Paris suspend
their Friday services. “Just look at how much of an impact the jihadist have, and this is all because the French Republic let them,” Emil, an eye doctor, told me. “I hope [the authorities] wake up, but I am not sure this would happen. Last summer, the Muslim radicals joined forces with the extreme right and marched in the streets of Paris. This was a demonstration against us. The Jews are the easiest target, and most importantly, they are the first target. Of course, the French media is partially responsible for this because it has demonized Israel, and of course the Muslims here believe the Jews should be held accountable for all of Israel’s actions. I am a big boy but on Friday I cried. I am already 60. Of course, I am planning to make aliyah, but I never thought I would ever leave France like this.” Meyer Habib, who was elected to the French National Assembly, was also at the synagogue on Rue Pavee. He told me he hoped the French people will now realize that Israel is part of the solution, not the problem, and that “the war against Hamas is part of the fight against jihadists in France and beyond.” “But our parliament was too busy endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state, and this only made the antiJew sentiment on the street more pronounced,” Habib said.
Valls, who is married to a Jew, conceded that the authorities could of have taken more meaningful steps after Toulouse attack in 2012. “Today, we are all Charlie (referring to the attacked Charlie Hebdo magazine), we are all police officers, we are all Jews of France,” Valls told the media. Before Friday’s supermarket attack, Valls had said in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that “if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, on Saturday encouraged French Jews to make aliyah. “Israel is not only the place to which you turn in prayer, Israel is also your home,” Netanyahu said, addressing his comments to French Jewry. “Any Jew who wants to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed here warmly and with open arms. We will help you in your absorption here in our state, which is also your state.” On Sunday, Hollande, Netanyahu, and other world leaders marched in the streets of Paris in what was dubbed the “Unity Rally.” But after the dust settles, we can safely assume that the divide in French society will once again be on full display. The events of Jan. 9, 2015 will linger as open wounds that will fester for some time. They will be noticeable everywhere you look in France.
Thousands of Jews and non-Jews gathered near the Hyper Cacher supermarket as soon as Shabbat ended, holding a makeshift rally in solidarity with the victims. They sang “La Marseillaise” and some, the Jews, recited the Kaddish mourner’s prayer. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls made an unusual gesture by joining the demonstrators, along with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Arbors and Hope
Tu B’Shevat Is a Time to Rejoice in the Land By Robin Silver-Zwiren landlords were taken over by the JNF; however, according to laws of Biblical times, if land is deserted, anyone can settle it.
Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat is the Jewish Arbor Day in the land of Israel. This year the holiday begins at sundown on Tuesday, February 3, and lasts through Wednesday, February 4. Celebrate like those in Israel with a Seder. It is customary to eat figs, raisins, dates, almonds, olives, bokser-carob and pomegranates and drink grape juice. Reciting Biblical passages where the Seven Species of ancient Israel are mentioned and saying the appropriate brachot, prayers, makes the Tu B’Shevat Seder even more meaningful. This is one of the four new years mentioned in the Talmud. The school of Shammai believed that the agricultural New Year should begin on the 1st of Shevat, but the school of Hillel said on the 15th of Shevat. The other rabbis ruled in favor of Hillel, and this date became the one used to calculate tithes for the agricultural cycle. In the Middle Ages Rabbi Yitzchak Luria and his disciples began to celebrate this New Year with a Seder filled with fruits grown in the Holy Land. In Israel today schools move out of the classroom and into the fields to plant, to clean up roads 12
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and forests and to rejoice in the land we have made our own The planting season is a time for all Jews to do their part to make sure that the nation blooms. At some point probably every Jew has bought, or received, a Tree Certificate from Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael, (KKL), Jewish National Fund (JNF). Finding the forest you thought was planted on the passing of your late grandfather may not be easy, but be assured that the funds from these donations have been put to great use over the past decades. The JNF was founded in 1901 as a means to purchase land in Palestine. The earliest land purchases were in lands of ancient Judea, although at that time the country was ruled by the Ottomans. Under the British Mandate, more land parcels were purchased. Several wealthy Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian families owned land in Palestine, which they allowed Arab families to work and live on. The JNF paid more than market value for these barren wastelands, which now so many say Israel took illegally. Yes, some lands owned by absentee
The little blue tin can “pushkes” are now made of paper, but the cause is still the same. In order for the desert land of Israel to thrive, there must be an excellent irrigation system first. Then add the fruit trees and vegetable plants, so that the nation can have what it needs to sustain the population. Add some Jaffa oranges, which will then be shipped elsewhere, and there is a reason why Israel is prospering. Take pride in knowing that generations of Jews worldwide have played a role in creating the land of Israel, and pray that the next generations will get to share in peace.
Paying it Forward
There Are Many Chances to Do a Mitzvah By Robin Silver-Zwiren prayers, are the ones we first think of, whether it be attending synagogue service or blessing our food. It also means giving up a seat on the bus to an elderly person, stopping your car so someone can cross the street, sharing lunch with a friend who does not have one or simply being kind to a stranger.
The other day a close friend posted a note on Facebook asking for five friends to volunteer in “Pay It Forward,” and I immediately volunteered. Who knew that the next day I would be able to fulfill my pledge –with my husband Alan’s aid? He had a doctor’s appointment, and I decided to go to it. On the way out we held up the elevator so an elderly woman could get on it. It was easy to see that she was in immense pain and discomfort. However, her main concern was that while she was waiting for a prescription to be filled in the building pharmacy, the bus driver picking her up would be inconvenienced. Alan and I both assured her that it would not be a problem for us to take her home. Somehow we both got the yiddisher instinct that she would be a Heritage Pointe resident, and, no surprise, it is so. When the driver arrived, the prescription was not yet filled, so I told the driver that we were going there anyway and promised to get Claire home safely, which we did. When we got back to Heritage Pointe, Claire stopped at the front desk to
tell them she was back and what the doctor said. At first they were furious. How could she get into a car with strangers? When I told them who I was, who Alan was, they calmed down. I was not upset. In fact I am thrilled to know that our elderly residents are so well taken care of, that places like Heritage Pointe really care about every one of them. I spent some more time with Claire and even walked her back to her apartment to make sure she was settled. I have never seen that side of the facility. From the personalized entryways, some with little tchotchkes, to signs welcoming visitors to the apartments themselves, Heritage Pointe is welcoming. I have been in many hospitals and elder care facilities, but none gives the warm feeling of home as much as Heritage Pointe. My good deed was done for my “Pay It Forward,” but I do hope to get more opportunities to spend with my new friend, Claire.
Karen Sadeh-Orkavi was on her way to work the other day when a terrorist attacked a bus in Tel Aviv. Twelve years ago her sister, Mazi, was killed in a terrorist attack in the same area. The memories of that must haunt her — that she was not there for her sister. Karen did not turn and run away. She got out of her car and approached one of the injured men. She held Daniel Pelah’s hand until the ambulance came to take him to the hospital. Yet that was not enough for her. She found out which hospital he was in and went to visit. She told his family members what she had witnessed. Although injured and in pain, he remembered Karen and what she did for him. His family is just happy to know that someone was there when he needed it most. I think Mazi played a role in bringing them together. How else could Karen have been in that exact spot, so near to where Mazi took her last breath, when Daniel needed his hand held? I also have a feeling that Daniel will one day do a “Pay It Forward” mitzvah for someone else. How will you “Pay It Forward”?
We are supposed to do 100 mitzvot a day, but, truthfully, it is not so difficult when you think of what that encompasses. Of course, Tefilot, KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Temple Judea Celebrates 50 Years By Sara Gold Parkway on the temple grounds. Still thriving 40 years after its establishment, the temple decided to make a few changes to bring the synagogue into the 21st century. These included the hiring of full-time clergy. In 2006, Linson, who had just been ordained by American Jewish University’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, became Temple Judea’s first full-time rabbi, followed by the hiring of Cantor Josef Chazan.
In 1965, 40 people founded Temple Judea on two acres of land donated by the original developer of Leisure World (now Laguna Woods Village), using prayer books borrowed from a Los Angeles congregation. Fifty years later, nearly 200 community members were in attendance as Temple Judea received congratulatory documents from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives – as well as from the cities of Irvine, Mission Viejo, Dana Point and Laguna Woods – at its anniversary gala January 11. Past Temple Judea presidents Julius Schwartz, Ed Fleishman, Paul Feigenbaum, Seymour Wellikson, Richard Weitzman and Morty Braver also were recognized at the event. “[It is wonderful] being part of this caring community…and being privileged to share the lives of so many people on both happy and sad occasions and all the times in between,” said Rabbi Dennis Linson, who has served as the congregation’s spiritual leader for the past eight years. Temple Judea, located at 24512 Moulton Parkway in Laguna Woods, 14
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serves about 300 congregants from the retirement community and throughout Orange County, as far south as San Clemente and as far north as Anaheim. Although Temple Judea has a 50-year legacy, Linson is the congregation’s first-ever professional rabbi. When Temple Judea first began, the founding members decided that the congregation, consisting primarily of senior citizens, would be entirely lay-led instead of employing a full-time rabbi. Instead, services and events were led by congregant volunteers, demonstrating the strong lay leadership that has been central to Temple Judea’s vitality over the past five decades, Linson said. The synagogue held its first community Passover seder in 1967 and made the decision to become fully egalitarian – including women in religious rituals – in 1974. The year 1985 saw the dedication of Temple Judea’s Holocaust memorial, which still stands beside Moulton
“As the first full-time rabbi, it was exciting to be in my first full-time pulpit after ordination without the constraints of anyone’s footsteps to follow in,” said Linson. “Yet at the same time it was a tremendous challenge – to be a rabbi and spiritual leader in a community where there were no footsteps to follow in. For the previous 40 years, every rabbinic role had been filled with volunteer lay leadership. It was a steep learning curve both for the community and for me to find a path to partnership and collaboration. While the temple has affiliated as independent Conservative since 2009, Temple Judea welcomes members of all Jewish denominations. Along with weekly services, Temple Judea also offers social and educational programming for all ages, including Men’s Club, Sisterhood and Hebrew school. “I am in awe of the volunteer tradition that has nurtured Temple Judea for over 50 years…and pray that for the next 50 years, may Temple Judea continue to serve as a place to participate in Jewish life, as a truly warm gathering place where we can take pride in our Judaism,” said Linson.
A Day of Torah Dedications
Chabad of Tustin Dedicates a Sefer Torah to the Soldiers of the IDF By Ilene Schneider – who was honored by the IDF for his actions in Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014 – was on hand for the ceremony. “He represents all the parents who send their kids off to war,” Rabbi Eliezrie said. He then led a prayer for their safety.
Live music, a Torah parade and a beautiful buffet dinner were some of the highlights of Chabad of Tustin’s celebration of the dedication of a special Torah on January 25. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the congregation was able to commission the creation of its second Torah scroll, this one in honor of the soldiers of the IDF. “Our Torah symbolizes the great affection and respect that we have for the soldiers of The IDF,” said Rabbi Shuey Eliezrie, the rabbi of the congregation. “It is through their tireless bravery and G-d’s blessing that Jews are able to live in Israel. From the southern tip of the Negev, through the beautiful landscape of the Galilee, to the Golan Heights, these young men and women are vigilantly protecting our holy land. This Torah will be a permanent reminder of their determination and sacrifice and our gratitude.” He added, “The Jewish people, our sages teach us, are compared to the letters of the Torah. In our tradition, no
letter is more important than any other. All the letters of the Holy Torah are interdependent, for without even one letter, the Torah remains incomplete. Similarly, each Jew, no matter his or her affiliation or deeds, remains linked with all other Jews in an unbreakable chain.”
Rabbi Yitzchok Newman, dean of the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach and a sofer, worked with several families to complete the Torah, writing the last three lines during the ceremony. “This is a happy occasion, completing the Sefer Torah, as the holiness of the Almighty comes down,” he said. Shimon Elbaz, father of Sahar Elbaz
Rabbi Yitzchok Newman and Shimon Elbaz (left) Shimon Elbaz, father of Sahar Elbaz, dancing with the Sefer Torah (right)
Finally, Rabbi Eliezrie called upon his father, Rabbi David Eliezrie of Chabad of North Orange County, to do a Dvar Torah. He commented on the Jewish communities growing and nurturing all over Orange County, as witnessed by the fact that his own congregation had dedicated a Torah of its own that morning (see photos below) and told a story about the heroism of the IDF soldiers in Entebbe in 1976. “There is tremendous merit to being in the IDF and tremendous excitement to defend Israel,” Rabbi David Eliezrie said. “These people sacrifice themselves for Israel. Let us hope the soldiers of Israel can defend themselves and eventually have peace.” Torah dedicated at Chabad of North Orange County The Markovich family commissioned a Torah scroll for the community.
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
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Women of Valor
Beth Jacob to Honor Three Outstanding Women at Its Annual Gala By Ilene Schneider “We’ve grown from there, and we appreciate how our friends and family have reached out to us.” Desiree Probolsky will receive the Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award. The daughter of an Iranian Jewish father and Mexican Catholic mother, Desiree’s first conversion was through a Conservative beit din with a Reform rabbi as her sponsor, before her marriage to Adam. When the couple went to Israel and decided to become observant, she decided to have an Orthodox conversion.
Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine will hold its annual gala, “A Woman of Valor,” at the shul, 3900 Michelson Drive in Irvine, on Sunday, February 22, at 5:30 p.m. This year, the focus will be on outstanding women who have Reega Neutel will be the honoree of the year. Although she says she prefers to be “under the radar,” Reega managed to get 800 women together for the OC Challah Bake, which she chaired in October. She will do it again in 2015 with the hope of getting 2,000 women together for the occasion. “”Everybody can get together to bake a challah,” she said. “It’s empowering for all Jewish women.” Beth Jacob was the Neutels’ first stop when they came to Irvine from South Africa 25 years ago. Their family grew and got involved with the congregation, where Reega helped in the kitchen and served as president of Bwth Jacob Women, and in the community, where she has been involved with the Jewish Community Center, Tarbut V’Torah and Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). 18
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Currently, she a social worker for the Mandel House, a residential facility for the Jewish developmentally disabled, and is working on integrating special needs families into the Orange County Jewish community. Reega, who says that Irving Gelman is her mentor, is “very honored and pleased by this touching and special tribute.” The wife of Dr. Joel Neutel, a cardiologist, and the mother of Bradley, Jenna and Jeremy, enjoys having her immediate and extended family in the area for Shabbat and holidays.
From left to right, Reega Neutel, Desiree Probolsky, Roberta Carasso
“We came here with little more than the shirts on our backs and sat on cardboard boxes for our first Shabbat in Orange County,” Reega said.
Now the mother of two children, Desiree has built a strong relationship with Beth Jacob and developed a strong commitment to Orthodox Judaism. She believes that Jews are optimistic about everything, celebrate life, are thankful for it, always have hope and enjoy bonding with one another. Roberta Carasso will receive the Community Service Award. Regardless of her own situation, Roberta is always ready to lend a sympathetic ear, offer a piece of advice or engage in some other kind of mitzvah. Her deep Jewish knowledge and upbeat attitude make her a community treasure. She has been the president of Beth Jacob Women and a mentor to many. Roberta is also an esteemed professional. Before getting her PhD from NYU she took multiple drawing classes from Mark Rothko, painting classes from Robert Motherwell and was accepted into the advanced class with Willem de Kooning. She has been writing about art for many years.
No. 1 Jewish School
TVT Gets High Marks for Academics By Kosher OC Staff Best Academics ranks 1,993 private high schools based on achievement statistics and more than 57,000 opinions on academics from 15,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the school has diverse, high-achieving students who are very happy with the quality of education, the teachers are intelligent and engaging and the students go on to great colleges.
Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) Community Day School in Irvine received dual honors for its academic programs.
TVT recently earned the rank of #1 Orange County private school for academics from niche.com. The same study also ranked TVT the #1 Jewish school in the nation for academics. Then the County of Orange presented a certificate of recognition to TVT for achieving these honors.
Data for college admissions tests, AP Scholar Awards and National Merit Scholars were equally favorable for TVT. SAT total scores for TVT exceeded the national average by more than 400 points, and ACT composite scores outranked the national average 29 to 21. National Merit finalists at TVT were five times the national average.
The success of TVT graduates in their admission to top universities and the exceptionally high student standardized test scores speak volumes to the quality of the faculty, curriculum and governance of the school. For instance, the acceptance rate of TVT students to Stanford University is 12.1 percent vs. the national average of 5.1 percent. For other top universities, the corresponding ratios are: Northwestern University, 40 vs. 12.9 percent; Cornell University, 44.4 vs. 14 percent; UC Berkeley, 41.7 vs. 17 percent; Tufts University, 41.4 vs. 17.4 percent; USC, 53 vs. 17.8 percent; UCLA, 31 vs. 18.2 percent; and University of Michigan, 44 vs. 32.2
“TVT is one of the finest independent, pluralistic K-12 schools,” said Dr. Jeffrey Davis, head of school. “We provide an individualized college preparatory environment that challenges students to work creatively, think critically and realize their fullest potential. TVT students take advantage of our dual curriculum of college preparatory and Jewish studies, which leads to extremely high acceptance rates to some of the top universities in the nation.” KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
World of Nurturing
Olam Montessori Offers Hands-on Approach to Jewish and Secular Learning By Ilene Schneider program and a simulated trip around the world with the children.
The Olam Jewish Montessori at Beth Jacob certainly lives up to its name. “Olam” means world in Hebrew, and the families at the preschool come from six continents. Ahavat Olam (love for the world) and Ahavat Yisrael (love for the Jewish community and Israel) are integral to the learning process. The Irvine preschool, which is in its fourth year, uses the Montessori curriculum of hands-on learning and integrates Jewish values, customs, culture and Hebrew language throughout the program, according to its new director, Symone Sass. Also a co-founder of Olam, who has taught there for three years, Sass believes that learning through doing is important for experiencing both the Jewish and the secular curriculum — whether it involves a mitzvah such as lighting candles or planting something and watching it grow. Students will do just that by growing vegetables and other plants that have a blessing attached to them in a “Bracha Garden.” The garden will be 20
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a special feature of an open house on Sunday, February 1, at 10 a.m., just in time for Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees. “It’s important to teach the kids the brachas and where the food comes from,” said Sass, who has a BA in psychology from UCLA and a Masters in Social Work specializing in children, youth, and families from Cal State Long Beach. After working as a Children’s Social Worker in the adoptions division of LA County Department of Children’s Services and in a variety of elementary school settings, she completed an internship at the Monarch Bay Montessori Academy from 2009-10 and graduated from the Montessori Teacher Academy as a fully certified Montessori Teacher in 2011. The school is also planning Olam Gadol, a series of Shabbat lectures and activities for adults and families, made possible in part by a grant from Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County. Emphasizing diversity, it will include a leadership
On a daily basis, the students are in a nurturing environment envisioned by Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori, who believed that learning should occur naturally and joyfully for each child. There are stations where young children can have self-paced, hands-on experiences with childsized learning materials that become progressively more sophisticated. The teacher is a link between the child and the prepared environment, the child is free to fulfill his potential and children of different ages can work together. Dr. Montessori developed most of the tools found in the classroom more than 100 years ago. Jewish learning is integrated everywhere as the children engage in creative learning as well as stimulate mental and manual agility. “This is an amazing learning model where half of the kids who graduated last year were reading, teachers nurture students and younger children look up to older children,” Sass said. “Even when we have kids who only speak Hebrew or Russian, the other kids help them out.”
TVT Launches Transitional Kindergarten By Kosher OC Staff Transitional kindergarten gives students an extra benefit on how to perform in school. It gives children the advantage of a whole year to learn how to be a student and how to learn. Students in TVT’s transitional kindergarten get the benefit of exceptional TVT faculty and magnificent facilities. TVT’s transitional kindergarten program is offered from 8:00 AM to 3:15 PM, Monday to Thursday, with an option to continue after school in the TVT enrichment program until 4:30 PM, at no additional cost. Friday features early dismissal (8:00 AM – 2:30 PM). TVT will begin a transitional kindergarten (TK) program in fall 2015 (2015-2016 school year). The TVT TK program is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for children who are not quite ready for kindergarten, yet need more academic rigor than a preschool setting can provide. The program places a strong emphasis on developmental skills.
ready for a more academically challenging program than preschool and would benefit from an inspiring and stimulating year of preparation for kindergarten,” said Jeffrey Davis, Ed.D., Head of School. “As students complete the TK program and move on to kindergarten, they are poised for success and can be distinguished by their ability to think independently and creatively.”
“TK is ideal for the child who is
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Irvine Hebrew Day School Makes Jewish Education Personal By Robin Silver-Zwiren The approach is so positive that children constantly yearn for more. IHDS teachers are dedicated and truly believe in the school’s philosophy. Their enthusiasm is apparent whether reading a story, singing a song or baking. A pat on the back, a gentle hug or a “job well done” goes a long way. Even young children know when they are safe and loved, and there is no doubt that IHDS students know that they are. I look forward to seeing the responsible adults they become, knowing that they had such a positive learning experience — that their love for Israel and their Jewish traditions continues because of the positive experience an IHDS education gives. The mission of Irvine Hebrew Day School is to “cultivate active and creative minds, to foster a community of belonging, create compassionate and respectful citizens and nurture a thoughtful and personal relationship with Torah, the State of Israel and Jewish Life.” What is truly amazing is that halfway into the school year, the students have grasped the message. At IHDS Torah values are enmeshed into the entire curriculum, no matter what the subject — positive middot like caring how your classmates and teachers feel, where bullying is shunned and where children are taught right from wrong. Even young children have the capacity to learn proper values. and IHDS ensures that these principles are part of everyday life. That the youngsters can greet a stranger (like me) kindly says a lot. Every parsha teaches a valuable lesson about how our ancestors lived. Every Tefillah prayer teaches us that Hashem is above us, watching over us, and that all our actions are judged. Positive discipline reinforces these lessons. As in most elementary 22
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school classrooms, there is a special chair set aside for students who need it. However, at IHDS, it is not a “time out” chair for children who need a punishment. The chair at IHDS is for the child who feels he needs a break, a time to relax before acting out as young children so often do. This allows the child time to reflect and think about his behavior, thereby teaching important social and life skills. We all need a moment to ourselves at times so think of the valuable lesson these young children learn, knowing that at times it is much better to think before you act. Learning positive middot is ingrained while learning core subjects too. In science the students have been learning lessons about Tu B’Shvat and how trees help our environment. They will plant trees of their own and learn how important it is to care for them, to water them. A math lesson may include counting how many trees have been planted while a writing lesson will include words like “tree,” “plant” and “flower,” At every moment the children are taught to care about their fellow classmates and to behave respectfully.
Visit IHDS on: – Wednesday Feb. 4 from 3:30-4:30 Tu b’Shvat Story Hour with Shalom Family PJ Library – Open House Thursday Feb 5th & 12th
February Community Events Tuesday, February 3
Thursday, February 5
Feb 19–March 12
7:30 pm Art & Soul: Yitzchok Moully Chabad of Los Alamitos (714) 828-1851 Wednesday, February 4
10:30 am Tu B’Shvat Program: Cantor Zev Brooks Ezra Center Temple Beth Emet, 1770 Cerritos Avenue, Anaheim (714) 776-1103
Thursdays, 10:30 am 4 classes Wise Living & Aging Workshops: Living with Joy, Resilience and Jewish Spirituality JCC Member $100; Public: $115 Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303
10:30 am Embracing Health & Wellness JCC Members: Free. Public: $15 Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303
7 pm Pump, the movie $8 members, $10 public Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303
11:30 am Tu B’Shvat Seder & Lunch JCC Members $18, Public $25 Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303
Saturday, February 7
3:30 pm Tu B’Shvat Story Hour Irvine Hebrew Day School 3900 Michelson Drive, Irvine RSVP: Stephanie Epstein (949) 435-3484 Thursday, February 5 9:30 am Mah Jongg Tournament & Luncheon JCC Members $36, Public $42 Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303 3:30 pm Irvine Hebrew Day School Open House 3900 Michelson Drive, Irvine RSVP: (949) 478-6818
7 pm Jewish Art Show at Chemers Gallery: Yitzchok Moully Chabad of Tustin (714) 508-2150 Monday, February 9 11 am Hidden Meaning of the Ten Commandments: Rabbi Yisroel Ciner Ezra Center Temple Beth Emet, 1770 Cerritos Avenue, Anaheim (714) 776-1103 Thursday, February 12 10:30 am President’s Day: Peter Small, Historical Impressionist Ezra Center Temple Beth Emet, 1770 Cerritos Avenue, Anaheim (714) 776-1103 3:30 pm Irvine Hebrew Day School Open House 3900 Michelson Drive, Irvine RSVP: (949) 478-6818
Saturday, February 21 6:30 pm Cosmic Havdalah Blowout Congregation B’nai Israel 2111 Bryan Avenue, Tustin (714) 730-9693 7 pm An Evening with Molly Ringwald $30 members, $35 public, $35 at the door Merage Jewish Community Center (949) 435-3400 x 303 Sunday, February 22 1:30 pm An Introduction to Eastern European Genealogy Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society Temple Bat Yahm, 1011 Camelback, Newport Beach RSVP: (714) 891-0788 5:30 pm Congregation Beth Jacob Gala 3900 Michelson Drive, Irvine (949) 786-5230 7 pm Uprisings in the Arab World with Congressman Ed Royce, Professor Scott Spitzer, Professor Mohammed Wattad Temple Beth Tikvah, 1600 N. Acacia Avenue, Fullerton $20; $50 for VIP reception (714) 871-3535
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Trans-Fats Should Be Banned By Ari Heller twenty-five percent of Americans eat fast foods every day. A third reason that it is difficult to prevent the intake of trans-fats is because the “Nutrition Facts” label on the boxes of products does not actually tell the truth. In fact, companies are not required to state that their products contain trans-fats if there is less than one half of a gram of trans-fats per serving. This makes no difference at first, but in the long term, so much “hidden” trans-fat is being accumulated that it all clogs someone’s arteries one day and the person ends up with heart disease. The consumer did not even know that he had trans-fats in his body! It is that devastating! Trans-fats should be banned across the United States of America. Transfats are vegetable oil with extra hydrogen added. These are used to help foods stay fresh longer and to give them a less oily feeling. While trans-fats were invented to substitute the infamous saturated fat, they eventually became notorious themselves for being unbearably unhealthy. There are three main reasons as to why trans-fats should be banned in the US. First, trans-fats raise the levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol in people’s bodies and lower the levels of “good” HDL-cholesterol. Cholesterol, a waxy fat-like material, strengthens cell membranes. The liver produces cholesterol, but foods themselves can have it. The problem with cholesterol is that it can clog arteries. LDL moves cholesterol away from the liver while HDL moves excess cholesterol back to the liver, unclogging arteries. Therefore, HDL dramatically decreases the risk of heart disease which would commonly lead to heart attacks and strokes. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, women who consume the greatest amounts of trans-fats are actually fifty percent 24
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more likely to develop heart disease than those who consume the least amount of trans-fats. The nurses’ Health Study also discovered that by just consuming four grams of transfats per day, the risk of developing heart disease is doubled! For these reasons, trans-fats are also conceived to be one of the causes of obesity. Additionally, it is very difficult to prevent the intake of trans-fats. One reason is that so many products contain trans-fats. For instance, frozen foods have high levels of these fats. These products include Mrs. Smith’s Apple Pie, which has four grams of trans-fats per slice. Swanson Potato Topped Chicken Pot Pie contains one gram of trans-fat. A widely known food that has trans-fats is Gardetto’s, with a whopping three grams of transfats in its low-fat version. A second reason is that many fattening foods look so delicious and people cannot overpower their urge to eat these foods. Fast food restaurants are home to these fattening foods and are one of the largest sources of trans-fats. For example, a KFC Original Recipe has seven grams of trans-fat. An average order of fries contains 14.5 grams of trans-fats. Nonetheless, over
Many people think that restaurants, specifically fast-food ones, would go out of business due to a ban of trans-fats. Their reason is that there is simply no substitute for trans-fats. Little do they know that cottonseed oil could act as a perfect substitute for trans-fats. Cottonseed oil is one of the most abundant oils in the U.S.A. Thus, it would be inexpensive to use it across the nation. Also, cottonseed oil, similar to trans-fats, has a very long shelf life and can stay fresh for quite a long time. The most important part, though, is that cottonseed oil is healthy! About seventy percent of it is made up of unsaturated fats, where more than half is poly-unsaturated fats and about a fifth of it is monounsaturated fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are claimed to be “good” fats. They are somewhat the opposite of trans-fats. Instead of raising LDL-cholesterol and lowering HDL-cholesterol, they lower LDL and raise HDL. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats also lower the risk of heart disease. Mono-unsaturated fats are found in canola, peanut and olive oils. Poly-unsaturated fats are found in sunflower, corn and soybean oils. They are also found in fish and fish oil. Trans-fat free foods include
Wheat Thins, Shredded Wheat cereal and Kashi products. All fruits and vegetables do not have trans-fats. After all, trans-fats are both sickening and fatal. To begin, they are unbelievably unhealthy and significantly increase the risk for heart disease which leads to heart attacks and strokes. Next, it is also challenging to prevent the consumption of trans-fats due to their abundance, the appeal of fattening foods and uncertainty of whether or not a product does have trans-fats. Finally, cottonseed oil, comprising mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, could act as a perfect substitute for trans-fats. For these reasons, transfats should be banned across the United States of America.
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Your smile is our passion (949) 248-2525 www.myscdental.com
What to Look Forward to in Senior Year By Kayla Taft The next senior perk is the obvious one—graduation! Although a bittersweet milestone, graduation is extremely exciting for the seniors. They are committed to their colleges, year-abroad programs, and/or army enlistments, they are entering their first summer in years in which they literally don’t have any homework for the next school year, and they have just completed high school. While nostalgic and emotional, graduation is most certainly the most notable senior perk. Following graduation, the seniors embark on grad night, which, for TVT graduates, is spent all night at Disneyland.
Senior year of high school is widely regarded as the “best” year due to the many perks that are granted to seniors at TVT as well as most other schools. While every grade has several exciting aspects throughout the year (for example, the junior Poland/Israel trip), senior year seems to have the most “extras” that students look forward to eventually attaining. One significant perk of senior year is the privilege to go off-campus. This year-round ability to leave campus includes not only lunch, but also extends to study block and free period. These off-campus privileges provide a feeling of freedom for the seniors, and are used to grab some lunch at a restaurant or even go home for a little while during their free period(s). These privileges not only give us a break from school that we didn’t have access to in our previous high school years, but also give us a taste of the independence we will surely experience in college. Every other senior perk I personally have yet to experience, but I along with all my fellow seniors are excitedly anticipating each one of the senior treats. The first perk we are awaiting is 28
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the long lasting tradition of the senior prank. This school-wide prank usually occurs towards the end of second semester, and is stationed throughout the upper school. Some past pranks have included red Solo cups filled with water covering the entire hallway, tinfoil and zip ties wrapped around every chair and desk, a golf cart in the middle of the hallway wrapped in cellophane, and much more. This particular aspect is not only fun for the seniors to execute (they often stay at school all night to orchestrate the elaborate prank), but it is also amusing for the other grades and faculty. Not to mention that cleaning up the prank usually takes up a solid 45 minutes of class time. The next senior perk is Senior Ditch Day, a scheduled day (ironic, I know) on which the seniors don’t show up to school and usually do something all together as a grade. Some senior classes have done pool parties while others have gone to amusement parks. This day is a much-needed respite from high school for the fastapproaching high school graduates, and also allows for bonding time among the seniors.
Senior year is difficult in many different regards, but these perks help liven up the school year. The perks also give younger grades something to look forward to in their last year of high school. Oh, and get ready TVT… the 2015 Senior Prank is going to be legendary.
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Survivors and Leaders Mark 70 Years since Auschwitz Liberation By JNS terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of our obligation to condemn and combat rising antiSemitism in all its forms, including the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust.”
More than 300 Holocaust survivors along with world leaders gathered at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on Tuesday to commemorate the 1.1 million people killed there, as well as the millions of other victims killed during the Holocaust, as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
to wear yarmulkes on the streets of Paris and Budapest and London. Once again, Jewish businesses are targeted. And once again, Jewish families are fleeing Europe.”
Halina Birenbaum, an 85-year-old Polish-Jewish survivor of the camp, said at the ceremony that Auschwitz was “like nothing similar to anything in human experience.” “Cursing, beatings, sophisticated torture, corporal punishment for petty offenses or for nothing at all. Columns of people being led to gas chambers. A pillar of fire straight to the sky. Trains and trains full of new victims,” she said, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a speech, president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder warned that “slowly the demonization of Jews started to come back. Once again, young Jewish boys are afraid 30
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Numerous global leaders attended the commemoration of Auschwitz’s liberation from Poland, France, Germany, and several other European countries. Absent from the commemoration was also Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov attended the event instead, as did U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who is Jewish. Putin was present at a separate Holocaust commemoration at Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Center for Tolerance on Tuesday.
In addition the “vilification of Israel, the only Jewish state on earth, quickly became an opportunity to attack Jews. Much of this came from the Middle East, but it has found fertile ground throughout the world,” Lauder added, the Associated Press reported. In an official statement, President Barack Obama, who was not present at the ceremony, said that “the recent
At a reception in Krakow with 100 Auschwitz survivors on the eve of the gathering on Monday, American-Jewish film director Steven Spielberg—director of the famed Holocaust motion picture “Schindler’s List”— also said “we need to be preserving places like Auschwitz so people can see for themselves how evil ideologies can become tangible acts of murder.”
Israeli Bus Driver Who Fought off Palestinian Terrorist Regains Consciousness By JNS sure he was okay, but the call was disconnected and I rushed to the scene.” “He behaved the way you would expect. He fought off the terrorist to protect his passengers,” Matzliach added.
Thanks to the efforts of a bus driver who fought off a Palestinian terrorist, the stabbing attack that injured 12 people aboard Dan Bus No. 40 in Tel Aviv on Wednesday did not end in a single death. Israeli police officials praised the actions of Herzl Biton, the 55-year-old bus driver who was the first person to get stabbed by terrorist Hamza Muhammed Hassan Matrouk. Despite being seriously wounded, Biton managed to use pepper spray on the assailant and fight him off while simultaneously opening the bus doors to allow passengers to flee. Biton, who slipped into a coma as a result of his injuries, regained consciousness on Thursday and his condition dramatically improved. His family urged the people of Israel to pray for his health, while many of his relatives spent the night at the hospital around his bed. “He motions to us with his fingers,” said Eli Biton, the driver’s brother. “It is obvious that he is in pain. But he was God’s messenger, in the right place
at the right time. Several days before the attack, he told his son that he was worried about possible attacks. He had a feeling that he would be next.”
Immediately after he was stabbed, Biton managed to call his supervisor, Kazis Matzliach, and said, “A terrorist has gotten on my bus. Save me. … He hurt me bad all over my body. He stabbed my passengers. I am next to Beit Maariv. … I am dripping blood. … I am going to die. If anything happens to me, watch over my children.” “He started yelling, and I was in pain because I didn’t know how to help him,” said Matzliach. “I told him to save himself and not to worry, that I would get help. At the same time I tried to keep him on the line to make
The terrorist attack ended relatively quickly, mainly due to the response of the members of the Nachshon Unit (the security branch of the Israel Prison Service), who happened to be in a vehicle behind the bus. Benny Boterashvili, the commander of the unit, said Wednesday, “We were on a routine mission, transporting suspects to the courthouse. Under the Maariv bridge, I saw a bus shaking from side to side. Within half a minute, I saw the bus stop at a green light and immediately knew that something was wrong. Seconds later I saw people rushing out so I understood that it was a terrorist attack. I told my team to grab their weapons, get out of the car and pursue the terrorist.” Boterashvili and three other security officers pursued the terrorist while two other remained behind to look after the victims. “We flanked the terrorist from the right and the left,” he said. “The fighters fired in the air to warn him and when he didn’t stop they shot him in the legs. We subdued him and bound him and then the police came.” Tel Aviv District Police Commander Bentzi Sau praised the prison service officers, saying that thanks to their rapid action, a far greater tragedy was averted. The Israel Police raised its alert level in the wake of the Tel Aviv attack. Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino emphasized that the police would continue to operate on
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high alert in order to ensure the safety of the citizens of Israel. Danino and Sau both visited the scene of the attack to assess the situation. Following the visit, Danino raised the alert level and instructed officers to maintain operational preparedness in all Israeli districts. He also praised the heroism of the officers involved in neutralizing the attack.
Anti-Semitism Rises on U.S. College Campuses, Report Says By JNS
The terrorist, Matrouk, admitted to the Shin Bet security agency that his motivation for the attack was revenge for Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer as well as the recent tension over the Temple Mount. Matrouk, a 23-year-old resident of the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, also attributed his attack to Islamic programming that taught him about the “path to heaven” through “martyrdom.” Matrouk entered Israel illegally on the morning of the attack.
The Israeli government on Sunday was presented with a report about global anti-Semitism showing that anti-Israel activity increased on college campuses across the U.S. in 2014. The report, composed with the cooperation of the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, was presented by Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. The report found that during July and August 2014, amid Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, a 400-percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses was registered from the same period during the previous year. For the majority of the violent cases recorded, the perpetrators were of Arab or Muslim descent. According to the report, France— where four Jewish shoppers were recently killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket—is “the toughest place in Europe for Jews to live in.” “Over the recent year, we have witnessed a rise in anti-Semitic incidents and a wave of anti-Semitism
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across large parts of the world, first and foremost in Europe,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “World governments should be more vigilant in their approach to these incidents.”
Getting Anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations By Ben Cohen, JNS right of national self-determination to the Jewish people, is the principal pillar upon which today’s anti-Semitism rests—get through?
On Jan. 22, French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy addresses the U.N. General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism. Levy’s message—essentially, that anti-Zionism, the denial of the right of national self-determination to the Jewish people, is the principal pillar upon which today’s anti-Semitism rests—did not get through to the crowd, writes columnist Ben Cohen.
You have to hand it to the United Nations, I guess. It’s hard to think of another body that would organize a special meeting on the subject of rising anti-Semitism with anti-Semites not just in attendance, but making speeches as well. The Jan. 22 meeting on the subject at the U.N. General Assembly, organized in the run-up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, started well enough. The keynote speaker was French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy, who used the occasion to mount a forthright denunciation of what he called “the delirium of anti-Zionism.” That he did so from the same podium where the infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution in 1975 was first moved was deliciously ironic, though I can’t say for sure whether anyone else in
attendance made that connection, and Levy didn’t point it out. Levy explained that there were three key aspects to the current upsurge of anti-Semitism: the demonization of Israel as an illegitimate state, the denial of the Holocaust, and what he described as “the modern scourge of competitive victimhood,” whereby Jewish efforts to commemorate the Holocaust are scorned as an attempt to belittle the sufferings of other nations. For good measure, Levy also expertly dispensed with some of the myths that surround the current debate on antiSemitism, notably the contention that Jew-hatred would go away if only the Palestinians had a state of their own. “Even if the Palestinians had a state, as is their right—even then, alas, this enigmatic and old hatred would not dissipate one iota,” Levy declared, as the assembled delegates scratched their heads in puzzlement and, one might add, a degree of nervousness. But did Levy’s message—essentially, that anti-Zionism, the denial of the
Sadly, it didn’t. After Levy left the podium, we were treated to a seemingly endless stream of anodyne statements from the various delegations, with a couple of noble exceptions—Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor, who had the guts to say that anti-Semitism “can even be found in the halls of U.N., disguised as humanitarian concern,” and American Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, who reminded those delegates sitting in the General Assembly that Holocaust denial remains a staple of official media across the Middle East and North Africa. The lasting impression, however, was left by Arab and Muslim delegates, most of whom pushed the insidious— and deeply stupid—myth that because the Palestinians are “Semites,” they cannot be anti-Semitic. As far as I’m aware, no one countered these remarks by pointing out that first, there is no such nationality or ethnicity as a “Semite,” and second, that the term “anti-Semitism” was devised by antiSemites to give their loathing of the Jews scientific respectability. It got worse, though—much worse. Imagine a meeting about segregation in the Deep South, with one speaker paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and another pointing out that these uncivilized descendants of African slaves bore the lion’s share of the blame for the racism heaped upon them, and you’ll have some idea of what the delegate from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah Al-Moualimi—had to say on the topic of anti-Semitism.
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“Occupation itself is an anti-Semitic act, because it threatens humankind and human rights,” he said. “The persecution of the Palestinian people and the denial of their human rights—this is also an example of antiSemitism.” In other words, the man from the OIC was saying, why are we talking about hatred directed towards Jews when the real issue is the “anti-Semitic”—his word, definitely not mine—treatment of the Palestinians by Israel? In listening to the denial of the historical nature of anti-Semitism as a form of prejudice targeting Jews, I and everyone else in that room witnessed an act of, well, anti-Semitism. Nobody walked out or protested (although when I muttered my own disgust, a few people turned around and gave me glaring looks). And this seemed to me to underline Prosor’s point: that not only does anti-Semitism stalk the halls of the U.N., but that we expect nothing else. Why, then, bother trying to engage the U.N. as a partner in the fight against anti-Semitism? Why agree to meetings in which the imperative of protecting Jews is compromised by the presence of those determined to insult them? Why put up with obligatory mentions of “Islamophobia”—a term that doesn’t refer to bigotry against Muslims, but seeks to silence those who offer theological critiques of Islam as a faith—in order to balance out all these references to anti-Semitism?
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Therefore, I want to suggest an alternative tack. While it would be churlish to demean the efforts of Jewish advocacy organizations and the Israeli U.N. delegation in helping to pull off the meeting, it’s important to recognize that our side of the debate doesn’t have full control of the proceedings, and never will. As long as we fail to control the substance of the debate, and as long as we are powerless to weed out anti-Semites like the OIC delegate from these deliberations, we will never properly explain to the world what antiSemitism involves. Ultimately, it’s not about trading in discredited stereotypes or being nasty to individual Jews—these are just expressions of a more complex underlying phenomenon. In the era of the Jewish state, anti-Semitism has transformed itself into a reactionary movement in the literal sense of that word. It seeks the restoration of the status quo that prevailed before the Second World War, when there was no Jewish state, and when Jews were by definition a minority at the mercy of others. That is what we have to oppose. And so, if there is a future meeting about anti-Semitism at the U.N., or at a national parliament, or any similar body, let’s state at the beginning that the movement to destroy Israel—which spans Middle Eastern governments, Middle Eastern terrorist groups, and assorted Western activists brandishing signs in favor of anti-Israel
boycotts—is the greatest concern and the greatest threat. If we can’t say any of those things, then it’s probably not worth holding the meeting to begin with.
Fries with That?
The Closest We Can Come to Perfection Is to Take the Journey By Ilene Schneider the holidays and the Sabbath. The 21st-century version of Yiddishkeit… has been evolving and surviving for centuries, boils down to core values of decency and civility. Jews and Yiddishkeit are not disappearing.”
Any rabbi will tell you the same thing: nobody is perfect. Whether your name for the Almighty is G-d, HaShem or something else, you can never understand G-d or approach the perfection of G-d. While we treat the patriarchs, matriarchs, prophets and other Biblical people as heroes and heroines, we learn in the adult version of Torah Study that all of them – including Moses – have their flaws. The most observant Jew cannot fulfill every single one of the 613 mitzvot without having a Temple in Jerusalem and living there to do those mitzvot. If the Temple were to be rebuilt, would the 21st-century Jew want to engage in animal sacrifice? In the Diaspora, it is simply easier to fit in with everyone else. Not everyone sees that as a problem. Some people actually see it as a way to avoid antiSemitism, but – judging from some of the recent events in Europe – that may not be the case. “Cheeseburger Judaism” might be easier, but other people might actually respect us more for acting on our convictions. To other
non-Jews, we are still seen as Jews, no matter how observant we are or are not. An article in the January 29 Ottawa (Canada) Tribune (“Is the Jewish culture slipping away?” by Karen Turner) offers a point-counterpoint about secular versus observant Judaism. It describes secular Jews as “Jews in blood and heritage and memory, but not in practice or language.”
On the other hand, Rabbi Michael Goldstein of the orthodox Glebe Shul in Ottawa believes that the future of the totally secular Jew does not have staying power on a communal level. While “the pattern of assimilation and persecution has existed for a long time and will continue,” Jews who assimilate to avoid persecution will still have problems. While some Jews who are persecuted might find comfort in becoming observant, he believes that “It’s not good enough of a reason to stay Jewish out of fear that Jews will disappear. Fear-mongering should not be a reason.” So what should we do? While we may have the outward trappings of the 21st-century person, we can still observe Judaism as fully as possible, bearing in mind that it is the journey — not the perfection — that matters most.
Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton of Ottawa’s Reconstructionist synagogue Or Haneshamah says that today’s Judaism “may or may not include traditional observance or language, and cuts across a large swath of ethnic, racial and religious lines,” but “Yiddishkeit definitely includes ‘menschlikeit as a core value.’ Being a mensch means, simply ‘doing the right thing,’ or being a good person.” According to that logic, “you can pass on wearing the prayer shawl and skip KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
Noam Chomsky Is Not My Kind of Authority By Robin Silver-Zwiren
“There is nothing worse than a Jewish anti-Semite” and Noam Chomsky is one disgustingly verbal example. One would expect an MIT Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy of being capable to know fact from fiction, reality from fantasy but unfortunately he does not. His support of the BDS Movement is only one of his misguided leanings. This past summer he accused Israel of viciously attacking Gaza. He seems to ignore the fact that three Jewish teens were kidnapped and murdered by radical Muslims. Chomsky seems to think that it is okay for people to build tunnels under people’s homes so that they can attack Jewish families. I guess he did not hear the voices a woman in an Israeli settlement near Gaza heard: the one who was hearing voices so much that her neighbors and police thought her crazy until they discovered a tunnel under her home filled. Too bad Chomsky doesn’t hear more rational voices over his own rants and raves. The news media believes someone as brilliant as Chomsky must be credible so they listen when he says how the 36
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recent attacks in Paris are no different than Western attacks in Serbia and Iraq. Yup, it is Western democracies who are kidnapping women in Nigeria, encouraging sex slavery, beheading journalists, acting as suicide bombers and using airplanes to blow up buildings. Of course no groups like Hamas would dare post the likeness of large nosed Jews or Bibi and Israel leading the US and other nations. Of course because those that do portray an infallible prophet like Mohammed negatively deserve to be slaughtered. Yup, Chomsky’s opinion is the one to quote. NOT!!!! It is somewhat ironic that Chomsky teaches at a university like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where male and female students learn side-by-side while he speaks so loudly against the one Middle East nation that is much the same. It is only in Israel on campuses like the Technion, and Hebrew University where the multi-culturism resembles MIT. Certainly the University of Tehran, which 30 years ago looked the same no longer does since radical Islam has taken over. Western democracies like the US and
Canada are based on Judeo-Christian values. This does not mean that there is no place for Muslims, Buddhists, and others. What it does mean is that we all hope to live in a progressive civilization not the middle ages. Women here are allowed to drive cars and walk outdoors without an escort. We don’t marry our daughters off at 12 years old in fact there are laws prohibiting this. Polygamy is also against the law so if you want to live in North America follow the laws. In fact in Judaism we learn that “the law of the land” supersedes. Yes, we expect to be able to keep Shabbat, kashrut and circumcise our infant sons. However it means that if the state says that teens can’t marry even though halachically it is not an issue the government law must be followed. Radical Islam is getting out of hand so it is time for the BBC and others to stop quoting Chomsky. It is time to stop worrying about the feelings of radical Muslims. Freedom of religion gives us the right to pray but, to Duke University I say, announcing a prayer call for Muslims is unfair unless you do the same for Jews and Christians. Whether these students are born here or came here to get an education the school does not have to adapt to them they must adapt to the school. When I attended McGill University I had winter finals on a Friday afternoon. Obviously I could not be downtown until after 3 PM and make it back to my parents’ home by Shabbat at 4 and I was not the only one. The group of us got letters from our Rabbis stating the issue and were allowed to start our exams earlier in a separate room. We never resorted to riots and violence just peaceful dialogue. I know that the same holds true in many universities today. We
don’t demand that the school cancel Friday exams just that we get some accommodation. No different than getting some SAT’s and ACT exams on Sundays because we can’t take them on Saturday. In fact 7th day Adventists join the Orthodox Jews as well. Please don’t ever believe that Noam Chomsky represents my Judaism. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am Modern Orthodox and he is not. It has more to do that I am a Zionist and he is clearly not. That instead of standing up for his ancestors who lived, or maybe died, during the Crusades, Russian pogroms and Nazi horrors he does just the opposite. So what makes Noam Chomsky such a Jew/Israel basher? With a name like Avram Noam one would think he has some regard for his Jewish roots. In fact his father was the principal at a Jewish school in Philadelphia where his mother also taught Hebrew. Zionism was a part of their existence as was living with Anti-Semitism. Many from Russian backgrounds were left wing liberal-Democrats, maybe even Communist, but Chomsky has leaned a bit too far and I have a feeling his parents would not be as pleased with him as he thinks they might be. Yes, he may be world renowned and seemingly brilliant but there is certainly something lacking. He seems best to represent the fine line between brilliance and insanity and that is often just as dangerous as the other extremists he seems so tolerant of.
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World War III? By Robin Silver-Zwiren protest. So if an innocent child died while attacking an IDF soldier, whose fault is it?
In July 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were murdered by Gavrilo Princip. An ethnic Serb and Yugoslav nationalist, Princip was a member of a nationalist organization called the “Black Hand.” Of course, there were other political and economic issues happening in Europe at the time, but the assassination plot is what we first learn about as the catalyst for beginning World War I. World War II was filled with the horrors of Italian fascism, Japan’s invasion of China and, of course, Nazi terrors. Hitler broke promises to other nations when he said he would not invade and then did. He wanted to conquer the world and murder every Jew, Gypsy, homosexual and disabled person along the way. In 1948 after the UN Partition proclaimed that a State of Israel, a Jewish homeland, would become reality, the country was attacked. The Arab League and Palestinian Arabs descended on the newborn nation and attacked across every border and sea. Why? Because the Arab world, who had sided with Adolf 38
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Hitler, felt that Israel had no right to exist. Even though the Partition Plan gave the Palestinian Arabs their own territory, they wanted more. In fact, until Yasser Arafat called out on behalf of “Palestinian Arabs,” they were not a distinct group. The land that the British Mandate had ruled was “Palestine” to Jews, Christians, Bedouins and Muslims. Anyone born in this land before 1948 had a Palestinian passport. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that wars between Arab Muslims and Jews would occur. This past summer there was yet another conflict. Three innocent teenage boys were kidnapped and murdered by extremists. Hamas built tunnels into Israel and planned a Rosh Hashanah attack. It was discovered in advance and Israel did whatever needed to destroy these tunnels. Maybe Israel should not have destroyed so many homes, but the fact is that tunnels were found underneath more than one. That more citizens from Gaza were murdered is a fact, but the “why” is another story. While Jews ran to their bomb shelters, Hamas told Arabs to stay outside to
The UN, European Union and nations like the US put most of the blame on Israel (as always). The claims against Israel are heard worldwide, but few condemn the Arab league. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is not a terrorist organization. Young men and women of these forces defend Israel. Many officers are called upon to train military and police forces worldwide. No army anywhere is as well trained and able to protect its borders. The fact that in the years since it has been founded, Israel has beaten forces much greater in numbers but not in intelligence. Yet, so many continue to criticize and denounce our little haven, the few miles filled with our ancient history. Ancient Hebrews lived in the area long before Christians and Muslims. A Philistine people did live in the area of Gaza, and modern Israel would grant those people the right to control it themselves. However if they continue to build tunnels, kidnap our children and force their way across our borders so they can slaughter our people, should they be allowed to run free? What nation would permit terrorists into their lands? We now have that answer… For decades, countries like France have permitted Arab Muslims from places like Algeria, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia to live there. There has always been some discord between the new immigrants and the natives, but now things have reached new heights. More and more are becoming more radicalized. For years, the Muslim population has upset the balance of the native Christian population. Jews have never had an easy time in France, although now
there are laws against hate crimes — not that a huge part of the Muslim population cares. This group believes it has the right to stop traffic in the middle of a busy street to spread prayer mats and hold a service. These people believe they have a right to post photos of Jews with big noses pushing world leaders, but heaven forbid a French magazine to post anything against Muhammad. Je suis Charlie…has become the slogan of the week. Charlie Hebdo magazine and then a kosher market on Friday claimed 17 lives. Now I am reading that a German paper in Hamburg that published the Charlie Hebdo caricature of Muhammad was firebombed. This is what happens whenever anyone says something against Islam. While there are those who claim these attacks are not what their peaceful religion believes, then why are so many Imams preaching it? France has learned the hard way that it must do more to protect its civilians, to make sure its emigres are not linked to terrorist groups, that Frenchmen must take their country back. Canada, unfortunately, got its own taste of this recently when the Ottawa Parliament was attacked by so-called Muslim believers. It is time for civilized countries to take back their lands. Extremist groups who believe that Islam should be practiced by everyone are not rational. It is not a time to move backwards in time to those who did not believe that other nations had a right to exist as well. When will the European nations who judge Israel so harshly realize that these radicals could take over the world? If only President Obama would realize that his laissez-faire attitude on radical Islam is a major problem. His weakness has helped put us where we are. It is not a movie that caused an attack on a US Consulate and loss of
lives. It was radicals doing what they know best — terrorizing. Hopefully, when he meets with British Prime Minister Cameron in a few days, he will use the brain he told us all he actually has. Read the news and know that it is not Israel and Jews causing mayhem. Every attack seems to be linked to believers in Muslim fanaticism and terror: Sudan: a suicide bomber, linked to Al Quada, kills 9 and injures 37 others. Saudi Arabia: Raif Badawi, who openly discusses Islam and Arabian is imprisoned, fined and also lashed in public in front of a mosque. Freedom of speech must be condoned. Boko Harem: any group named “Western Education is forbidden” should give the hint that it is against democracy, equality for women, freedom of speech and religion. This fundamental Islamic group that kills citizens of Nigeria daily without remorse is one that must be stopped. May 2014, Brussels attack at Jewish Museum by a French national who had fought with Islamists in Syria and Iraq kills four. 9-11: a day no US citizen will forget. Our Armageddon and beginning of the War on Terror against al-Quada forces worldwide began; yet the fight is not over. April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon attacks yet another done by Muslim extremists. WWWIII must be stopped or these terrorists will finish not only what the Nazis and Inquisition did not but every civil war, armed attack and riot in history combined.
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Pay it Forward
Looking for a Role Model By Robin Silver-Zwiren as well as certain wives. Yet we continue to admire them and to look up to them.
Martin Luther King Jr. was very possibly the greatest Civil Rights leader the US has ever known. He was the voice for Blacks, the voice against Jim Crow laws, the voice for people like Rosa Parks. He was brought up in a strict religious home. His maternal grandfather was a Baptist Minister whose son-in-law took over his thriving church upon his death. MLK Sr. admired Protestant Martin Luther King so much that he adopted the Luther middle name for him and his son did the same. MLK Jr. was extremely bright and excelled academically, but women were always his weakness. He was married to Coretta Scott and they had four children, but he continued to have affairs even though he was a minister. He spoke out for peaceful protest, yet the walk in Selma turned out to be violent. Should we erase all the good he did because his character was flawed? Avraham Avinu, the father of the Jewish people, or at least a monotheistic religion, had two sons. Yet he turned Ishmael, the son of his servant, away and favored Yitzchak (Isaac), the son from his beloved Sarah. Should we stop thinking of him as our Patriarch? After all his son Yitzchak and grandson Yaacov (Jacob) were not the best parents either. They favored certain children 40
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David haMelech, King of Judah and Israel, was loved by many. As a youngster he slew the mighty Goliath – even the Koran mentions how David slew the evil Philistine! As an adult he wrote heartwarming psalms that are repeated by millions daily. He is important to Jews, Christians and Muslims. His bloodline is said to go from Ruth to the Messiah we are still waiting for. David was also a fierce warrior who killed anyone who stood in his way, whether it be another soldier or the spouse of the women he desired. For all his faults, should we ignore how he made Jerusalem our capital (if only it still indisputably was)? What is a role model anyway? A person who inspires, who has the same interests and set of values, who believes in tikkun olam and helps not only his community but others, someone who accepts people for who they are no matter their race or religion? Or is a role model the person you see on some reality TV show or on the cover of the most popular magazines? My first book report, way back in elementary school, needed to be about a role model. I wrote about Bob Hope, who was a first rate actor and comedian, but it was his humanitarian efforts that impressed me most. During WWII, he would take the time out from his busy career to entertain the troops. Not only did he go to bases
in California but to Europe as well. During the time of the Vietnam War, he often organized USO troops to go overseas. Like everyone, he had his faults, but his good deeds certainly gained him his place in heaven. The fact is that any of us can be a role model. We don’t have to be world famous or excessively wealthy. By doing a small mitzvah that means a lot to one person, we can change a life, and in the Torah we learn that if we save one life we have saved many. I just read about a teenage girl in Fullerton who lost her father several years ago. Every year on January 6, his birthday, she sends up a balloon on which she writes a message. This year part of the balloon was found by someone in Auburn, California, 400 miles away in a restaurant parking lot. The owner read the balloon note and was so touched that she started a FB “Pay it forward” page telling the story. People have sent gifts and notes to this teen who now knows that her beloved dad in heaven got her message and sent a response in the way of a helpful stranger that is a true hero and role model. In the aftermath of MLK Jr. Day, the recognized Day of Service, let us all “pay it forward” in some way by doing something special for someone else. Call a friend you have not spoken to in a long time, visit someone sick in a hospital or nursing home, work in a food bank or soup kitchen, or clean out your closets and bring some items to a homeless shelter. If you want, post your good day on the KosherOC Facebook page so you can inspire others and we can thank you.
KOSHER OC MAGAZINE // DECEMBER 2014 |
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