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Table of Contents Features
News & Politics
2. Reaching the Readers
18. Marathon Runners
3. Welcome to Jewish Orange County
20. Israel: Human Rights & UN Wrongs
4. Of Kirk and Spock 6. E. L. Tenenbaum & My Akiva
Orange County 8. Sanctuary Shelves
Life & Religion 24. Pesach Wanderings
Opinion + More
10. Raising Awareness
26. Terror Road
12. Day to Remember
28. Bringing Jews Together
13. Light out of Darkness 14. Jewish Events in Orange County
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Schneider the Writer Seforim Center Steven’s Pharmacy Temple Beth El Wholesome Treasures
How to Reach Us
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Kosher OC Magazine PO Box 7054 Newport Beach, CA 92658 Email: email@example.com Web: www.kosheroc.com Shop: shop.kosheroc.com Facebook.com/kosheroc Twitter: @kosheroc YouTube.com/kosheroc
Reaching the Readers Kosher OC Magazine is a combined website, digital publication, and Facebook page designed to cover Jewish news as it occurs in Orange County, Israel, and all over the world. We combine modern technology with dedicated reporting to be timely, accurate, and responsive to global and local happenings. Kosher OC Magazine previews and reviews the key events in the community and profiles the people who make them possible. We provide and share the opinions of people about Jewish news, Jewish customs and observance, and features on food, fashion, literature, music, and sports. With daily postings of news and insight and periodic listings of special events, we keep the community informed about where to worship, where to learn, where to buy, where to socialize, and where to make a difference. We reach all ages and stages of Jewish people living in Orange County. Visit us at kosheroc.com and ask to be put on our mailing list. Like us on Facebook. Then be prepared for a stimulating Jewish journey. Learn more about advertising with Kosher OC Magazine, including media kit download and the latest rates, visit us online at kosheroc. com/advertising Kosher OC Staff
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Welcome to Jewish Orange County Kosher OC Magazine is here to give the Orange County Jewish community news when it happens, here and around the world. We combine the best of modern media and dedicated journalism to give you timely and interesting stories about the movers and shakers of the community and the great events they hold. We also talk about Jewish trends and trendmakers in Israel and throughout the globe with interesting ideas about celebrating holidays and celebrating each other. Join us for a window into the world of Judaism, and let us have your insight and input. It is our pleasure to serve this wonderful community. Zach Miller
Kosher oc Magazine // April 2016
Of Kirk and Spock
William Shatner discusses his Judaism and friendship with co-star Leonard Nimoy. By Liora Schneider
Two Jewish actors crossed paths as members of the cast of Star Trek. The rest is history for several generations, and the personal side of it has come to light in a new book. On March 6, as part of Temple Bat Yahm’s Distinguished Speaker Series, William Shatner spoke about his relationship with Judaism and Leonard Nimoy. Christine Devine, Fox newscaster, moderated the evening. Shatner, who grew up in Montreal Canada in the 30s and 40s, described his Jewishness as incoherent. During those years, he experienced mainstream anti-Semitism, saw signs that said “No Jews Allowed” and felt that he had to fight every day with kids when they found out he was Jewish to the point that he was beaten into being embarrassed to be Jewish. Shatner was called a “dirty Jew” as a child. At age 16-17 Shatner worked as a camp counselor for the B’nai Brith Camp in Northern Montreal where he was the storyteller.
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When asked how his Judaism shaped him as an actor, Shatner responded that it influences him more now than before. When he first went to casting directors who happened to be Jewish, and the fact that he was Jewish came up, he was always questioned about it.
word? “Tuckus.” What turns Shatner on Jewishly? “Moyel.” What turns Shatner off Jewishly? “Moyel.” What Jewish profession would Shatner like to attempt? “Rabbi, at this stage of the game?” What Jewish profession would Shatner not like to attempt? “Jeweler.”
The conversation shifted to his relationship with Nimoy and why he decided to write his book, Leonard: My Fifty-Year Relationship with a Remarkable Man. As Shatner explained, writing his experiences down solidified them. His deepest memory of Nimoy is the laughter they shared. Nimoy brought his Jewishness to Spock.
The last question was, “When you arrive at the gates, what do you want said to you?” “Go back my son”
Shatner says that after Nimoy passed, he was asked why he didn’t attend the funeral, instead attending a Red Cross fundraiser event. He said it was more important to attend the fundraiser and do a good deed as it goes on forever. To end the night Rabbi Gersh Zylberman, rabbi at Temple Bat Yahm, asked a few more questions in rapid fire. What is Shatner’s favorite Jewish
Rabbi Zylberman summarized, “Shatner’s relationship to Judaism is one that I encounter not infrequently, particularly in those who grew up in the 30s and 40s. The overt and widespread anti-Semitism of his youth in Montreal, Canada, created an intense ambivalence in his Jewish identity. I believe that after decades removed from active Jewish life, Shatner is now boldly exploring the wisdom and importance of his heritage.”
E. L. Tenenbaum & My Akiva Local playwright’s work performed in Irvine. By Robin Silver-Zwiren
Author, playwright, producer extraordinaire is our very own E. L. Tenenbaum. Esther Leah has been creating amazing plays for Chabad Women’s performances since she was just a young teen. My Akiva is the fourth she has brought to life. Esther Leah’s abilities are reaching a larger audience with the publication of her first two The Sapphire Legend novels. The character, Sapere, is a young girl born with a gift that should only be passed from father to son. Her abilities scare off many who don’t understand. This can open the eyes of young readers to all possibilities. We need not be kept in neat little boxes as others expect. Everyone, if given the opportunity, can soar, much as Rabbi Akiva did so long ago and Esther Leah is doing today. My Akiva, She Believed in All He Could Be brings the Biblical tale into the lives of everyone who had the opportunity to see the story come alive on stage. Akiva, the poor illiterate shepherd marries Rachel. Her affluent father disowns her for not marrying a man he believes to 6
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be more suitable. Seeing that Rabbi Akiva lived in Israel at the end of the 1st to the early 2nd century it is surprising that a woman like Rachel would stand up to her father. Thankfully, she did and the story is part of our unique history.
others) of Orange County!
The sets were truly remarkable and ideal — from Kalba Savua’s elegantly decorated home to the destitutelooking neighborhood where Rachel lived surrounded by poverty. The stage crew flipped those sets around Esther Leah’s words and music accordingly like true professionals. brought us the story, but without The amazing make-up artists aged the assistance from many extremely their characters so unbelievably well talented people, it could not have been that the audience members believed so inspiring. Of course, thanks go to what they were seeing was true to life. Binie and Rabbi Alter Tenenbaum for Those beards not only made those putting these shows on the calendars playing male roles look like men but every other year. This production were also apropos of the time period. had a unique blend of participants, The choreography from the malewhich shows how unique the Orange female mixed dancing to rapping to County community is. Where else the beat (would Gabbi leave that out?) could a Chabad put on a show where only made the show that much more a local Conservative Rabbi Cantor, entertaining. namely Marcia Tilchin, stars? Add the daughter of a local Reform Rabbi Miki Silverstein, those costumes to the mix with Neely Miller, plus deserve some extra attention for all members of Beth Jacob and Young the time you put into making them. Israel. The fact that some performers Each detail, not only in the clothes are still in middle school while others but in the jewelery, was just perfect, probably have grandchildren near that so like you. Miki has been creating age is also a rarity. Yet together their uniquely beautiful items for Chabad voices meshed, and music was made. shows as well as Tarbut V’Torah This is the Real Housewives (and drama productions, Israeli dance
Seniors Living in the Jewish Tradition Independent Living, Assisted Living & Memory Care 949.364.9685 • www.heritagepointe.org • Lic. #300607488 teams and galas for so many years. Seeing Einav on stage again after so many years brought it all back. The golden shades of her outfit were so much like the sounds of her golden voice. What an artistically talented family! Thanks also for making all the outfits so bright that they lightened up the stage, allowing photos to come out clearly. The entire cast deserves another round of applause, because this show was such an unbelievably amazing production. Each and every one of you was remarkable, and never doubt your ability to curtail your fears and go onstage. If you decide to add this to your resume, there are dozens and dozens of women willing to write you a reference letter. Continue to take the time to belt out a song, do a little jig and enjoy every moment.
Kosher oc Magazine // April 2016
Chabad of San Clemente receives new 8-foot-tall bookshelves as result of teen’s Boy Scouts project. By Sara Gold
“It just seemed right,” said 16-yearold Sam Hasson of his decision to dedicate his Boy Scouts Eagle project to Chabad of San Clemente.
stained. He was able to raise an additional $3,000 from his relatives and Chabad donors in order to hire a local stainer.
In order to be eligible to receive his Eagle badge this summer, Sam was required to complete an Eagle project benefiting a charity or nonprofit organization of his choice. His dad suggested replacing the dilapidated bookshelves in the sanctuary at Chabad of San Clemente, where the Hassons have been active congregants for the past six years.
By the end of February, the staining process had been completed, and the bookshelves were ready to be transported by truck to Chabad of San Clemente. Of the five shelves, two are engraved with a Tree of Life, and one of them is inscribed with the Hebrew words “Ma Tovu” (“Oh, How Good”).
Gabriel McKeagney, right, donated three weeks of his time to lead the construction of Chabad of San Clemente’s new bookshelves, aided by 16-year-old Sam Hasson.
Once the shelves themselves were completed, Sam realized that they would need to be professionally 8
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“At first, it was a jaw-dropper to see the shelves standing in the sanctuary,” said Sam, who spent more than 400 hours on the project over a fivemonth period between fundraising, coordinating volunteers and helping with the construction. “They really fill up the space, giving the sanctuary a warm atmosphere, and the two Trees of Life are just perfect.” “Jewish books and scripture play such a significant part in our lives and traditions,” said Tzippy Slavin, cofounder of Chabad of San Clemente. “We are grateful and appreciative to Sammy, the team of volunteers and
the generous donors for enhancing our beautiful sanctuary with these bookshelves.” Sam says that in addition to helping the congregation, he was able to develop valuable leadership skills from the challenge of finding volunteers and coordinating everyone’s schedules.
The five new bookshelves, representing the culmination of Sam Hasson’s 400 hours of volunteer work, were installed at Chabad of San Clemente on February 29.
“From the experience, I became a better leader and team-builder,” Sam said. “I am so thankful for everyone’s help, and I am grateful that I could contribute something to Chabad of San Clemente while growing as a person at the same time.”
Pride for the tribe.
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Hadassah and Hillel team up to present program on human trafficking. By Ilene Schneider
According to the website a21.org, “Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sex trafficking. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.”
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The website continues, “There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will. Only two percent are ever rescued.”
the chairs of an event called, I Am Not For Sale: Human Trafficking – Modern Day Slavery, presented by Hadassah Southern California Long Beach/Orange County Area Kesher Group and Beach Hillel. “It’s very common, it happens everywhere and it’s ugly. It involves brainwashing and threats.”
In September 2014, nine girls, ages 13 to 17 were rescued in Long Beach by local and federal authorities following an eight-month effort to target human sex traffickers in the Long Beach area. These girls, who had been recruited by a gang promising them luxurious lifestyles, were treated as victims rather than being arrested for prostitution.
The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for this terrible scourge, particularly in a port city such as Long Beach. Hillel students are in the primary demographic targeted by sex traffickers. The organizers of the program want to alert students that they may be unwitting targets to men who are practiced in luring women, to educate students and attendees on the tangible steps they can take to advocate for change and to expose a new audience of women to the Hadassah organization and its advocacy work in the United States.
“It can happen to educated Jewish girls in their 20s as well as to teenage runaways with no place to go,” said Nicole Levy Gray, one of
The program will begin with the showing of Tricked, which portrays modern-day slavery as a thriving business that is alive and well in the United States as thousands of
Music Brings Us Together With IDF Chief Cantor & IDF Choir along with the Tarbut V’Torah Children’s Choir
FIDF CONCERT | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | 6:45 p.m. Irvine Barclay Theatre | 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
For tickets & sponsorship opportunities: visit us online at www.fidfsd.org Irvine Barclay Theatre (949) 854-4646 www.thebarclay.org
Their Job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them. victims are trafficked throughout the country to satisfy America’s $3 billion-a-year sex trafficking industry. The comprehensive documentary introduces pimps, johns, police, parents and victims of America’s thriving sex trade by uncovering an industry that is fueled by greed, fantasy and the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and girls. This will be followed by a presentation and question-andanswer session given by Susan Patterson, author, speaker and advocate in the fight against human trafficking. Her book, How You Can Fight Human Trafficking: Over 50 Ways to Join the Fight, inspires action with the goal of empowering individuals and groups to join the fight against human trafficking in their own communities. I Am Not For Sale: Human Trafficking
– Modern Day Slavery will culminate with information on how to have a conversation with our legislative representatives, and specifically to participate with our local Advocacy Chair in a Day in the District event. Hadassah members will meet with a local federally elected official and share Hadassah’s position on Human Trafficking and the No Such Thing Campaign while advocating for policy change on this important topic. Attendees will also be educated about and invited to join other Hadassah members who will be participating in JPAC’s Advocacy Day, May 9 to May 10, 2016, with a visit to the California State Capital in Sacramento to meet with elected officials and engage in meaningful conversations with them. Through Hadassah’s advocacy efforts, the organization can educate attendees about matters of importance
to women, specifically on the topic of Human Trafficking. Through the, I Am Not For Sale: Human Trafficking – Modern Day Slavery event, the organization will raise awareness about Hadassah and encourage attendees to take a stand in urging policy makers to take action. “We will also highlight Hadassah’s work at the Bat Ami Center for Victims of Sexual Abuse at Hadassah Hospital – the only place in Jerusalem where victims of rape receive comprehensive treatment,” according to Michelle Shahon, Long Beach/Orange County Area Director, Hadassah Southern California. “The center, which is known for its sensitivity to rape victims, treats approximately 16 victims each month, ranging in age from 2 to 75, twelve percent of which are under the age of twelve.” Kosher oc Magazine // April 2016
Day to Remember
Heritage Pointe’s 26th annual luncheon and boutique to feature Son of Hamas. By Kosher OC Staff
Code-named ‘The Green Prince,’ Mosab Hassan Yousef betrayed his father and passed intel from the highest echelons of Hamas to Israel’s internal intelligence agency.
What would it be like to abandon everything you’ve ever known and become a spy for the other side? Find out at Heritage Pointe’s 26th Annual Luncheon and Boutique, on Monday, May 2. The guest speaker, Mosab Hassan Yousef, is a former high-ranking member of the Hamas terrorist organization who became an undercover agent for Israel. Yousef, the son of the Hamas founder, spied on his own nation and family in an effort to save lives. “As the top operative for Israeli Intelligence, he prevented dozens of suicide bombings, exposed numerous Hamas cells and helped Israel to hunt down Hamas militants, including his own father,” according to publicity from Heritage Pointe. Yousef, who wrote an autobiography, Son of Hamas, and starred as himself in a film, The Green Prince, has toured the world speaking to audiences of all types, including colleges, businesses, religious groups 12
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and community leaders about Hamas, Islamic extremism and terrorism in the Middle East. He hopes that his message will inspire people to create positive change in the region. Co-Chairs of the event are Jacquee Lipson and Donna Markovitz. The boutique, which is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., features a large selection of vendors selling handbags, clothing, jewelry, hand painted silk scarves and “fun” gifts. The event will be held at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Von Karman Ave., Irvine. Ballroom doors open at 11:45 a.m. for the luncheon. Self parking is included in the ticket price. Event proceeds support the Heritage Fund, which offers financial aid to 20 percent of Heritage Pointe’s population who no longer have personal funds nor family available to help. Ticket prices are: $1,000 Gold Patron (includes luncheon attendance and $100 in boutique shopping bucks); $360 Purple Patron (includes luncheon attendance and $50 in boutique shopping bucks; $236 Ruby Patron (includes luncheon attendance and on book of opportunity tickets);
$118 Sapphire Patron (includes luncheon attendance and one opportunity ticket; and $90 general admission (includes luncheon). For more information, contact Pamela Davis, director of special events, at 949.364.0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Light out of Darkness
Cypress College will hold innovative Holocaust program. By Ilene Schneider
“Out of the Darkness, We Can All Create Light” is the theme of a Yom HaShoah Program that will take place at Cypress College on May 4 from 7 to 8:50 p.m. The program, which is open to the community, will commemorate the lives of those lost in the Holocaust while creating light with photography, music, dance and speakers.
speakers are anticipated. For more information, contact Lester at email@example.com
The program, sponsored by the Cypress College Diversity Committee, was created by Clifford Lester, chair of the Cypress College photo department. Lester is dedicated to photographing survivors and telling their stories. One of those survivors, Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, 93, is still a practicing dentist. Despite his experiences, he never lost hope for a better tomorrow, and he continues to believe in the basic goodness of people. Other speakers will be Dr. Bob Simpson, Cypress College president; Professor David Halahmy, Cypress College history professor; and Rabbi Heidi Cohen, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Sholom. Additional Kosher oc Magazine // April 2016
Jewish Events in OC April 2016
Plan your month with our April 2016 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite picks. Ongoing Jewish Learning Institute Torah Studies –through April 19. A weekly journey into the soul of the Torah happens on Tuesday evenings, 7:30 – 8:30 Chabad NB, 2240 University Drive, Newport Beach; (949) 721-9800 / www.jewishnewport.com Thursday, April 7, 11 am Ezra Center: Rabbi Joel Berman will talk about the beginnings of Judaism Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim. (714) 772-4720 Thursday, April 7, 11 am Jewish Women’s Circle: Torah and Tea with Loaves of Love: Add a dash of insight, a heaping spoonful of inspiration, and a generous sprinkling of fun and laughter. (949) 721-9800 / Chani@jewishnewport.com Thursday, April 7, 7:30 pm Cigars, Scotch & Kabbalah: Enjoy fine scotch and cigars at a private home (outdoors) in Corona del Mar, and learn about the mystical side of Judaism with a shot of Kabbalah. $18 per person or $180 to sponsor. (949) 721-9800 / firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, April 10, 11 am Friendship Circle Basketball Buddies: Volunteers and kids with special needs can be with each other while playing a sport that they love. This program allows for the kids to be part of a team. (949) 721-9800 / email@example.com Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m Friendship Circle Sunday Circle: Children, volunteers and staff of The Friendship Circle come together for a wide array of entertaining, recreational and enriching activities. Bonita Creek Park, 3010 La Vida, Newport Beach (949) 721-9800 / firstname.lastname@example.org 14
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Sunday, April 10, 5 pm Young Adult Circle: This program is designed to integrate special needs secondary school students with life skills they can use on a daily basis. Chabad NB, 2240 University Drive, Newport Beach (949) 721-9800 / email@example.com Sunday, April 10, 7 pm The Atid Group of Hadassah presents “An evening with Author Maggie Anton Discussing Her New Book: Fifty Shades of Talmud” Temple Bat Yahm, 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach Couvert $18, and men are welcome. (949) 870-5779 / firstname.lastname@example.org Monday April 11, 11 am Ezra Center: Cantor Zev Brooks will get participants into the Passover spirit. Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim (714) 772-4720 Tuesday, April 12, 11:30 am The Santa Ana-Tustin Hadassah Group will offer “Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the Rabbis Had to Say about YouKnow-What Featuring Author/Speaker, Maggie Anton” Temple Beth Sholom 2625 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana (714) 974-8598 Tuesday, April 12, 9:30 am SCORT (South County ORT) will hold its 20th Annual Benefit Boutique Luncheon at the Mission Viejo Country Club. The DANI Award recipient will be Elly Rosen. email@example.com Tuesday, April 12, TBA Bashert Group of Hadassah hosts Kreinie Paltiel from Chabad of Laguna Niguel, who will demonstrate some delicious Passover recipes and answer questions you have about Passover but were afraid to ask! At the home of Goly Kohanteb Members: $18; non-members: $20 (949) 830-9993
Thursday, April 14, 10:30 am Ezra Center: Yedidya Harush will discuss current and future projects in the Negev Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim (714) 772-4720 Monday, April 18, 9:30 am Friendship Circle Support Group provides a support network for other special needs families working together on mainstreaming and other common challenges. (949) 721-9800 / firstname.lastname@example.org Monday, April 18 Ezra Center: Jerry Silverman will present “Charles Darwin Takes an Ocean Voyage” Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim (714) 772-4720 Thursday, April 21, 11 am Ezra Center: Participants will watch A Gentleman’s Agreement, a 1947 movie dealing with anti-Semitism. Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim (714) 772-4720 Friday, April 22, 7:30 pm Chabad Jewish Community Center of Newport Beach Community Seder: This is an inspirational Passover Seder in a warm environment, complete with the delicious traditional Kosher Seder dinner, insights, melodies, four cups of wine and matzah galore! Whether you are a Seder veteran or a curious explorer, the Community Passover Seder offers a stimulating and satisfying experience. Experience The Exodus Like Never Before! (949) 721-9800 / email@example.com Friday, April 22, 7 pm Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo Passover Seder: Highlights include a 3-hour seder, food served right away, family-like atmosphere, Bassie’s special Passover recipes, rabbi’s relevant insights, many parts of the Haggadah read in English. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., and first course is served. Cost: $44 per adult, $29 per child in advance. After April 12, $54 per adult, $38 per child RabbiM@chabadofmv.com
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News & Politics
SHALVA race in Jerusalem Marathon makes participants feel like champions. By Rachel Gross
Having a child with disabilities can seem like a marathon, a wonderful exhilarating accomplishment that requires perseverance and constant hard work. For the children themselves, meeting their challenges is a feat of endurance and tenacity. Last week these marathon runners took to the streets of Jerusalem to show the whole city how awesome they could be. Thanks to SHALVA, a Jerusalem charity for children with special needs, an 800-meter community race is now part of the official lineup for the Jerusalem Marathon. The short track gives everyone the chance to take part in the day, not just the competitive runners tackling the 26 miles of the full marathon track. Together with their families and supporters with wheelchairs and walkers, the children of SHALVA joined runners from around the city and the world to prove that they too can be champions. Avi Samuels, co-director of SHALVA, explained, “The inclusion on display at the Community Run draws people 18
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from all over Jerusalem and around the world… and for good reason! The energy and unity found in that short run is awe-inspiring. Countless runners come to this stretch of the marathon to declare that they stand behind the values of hope, love and acceptance.” SHALVA is an integral part of Jerusalem community life. For 25 years, SHALVA has been helping children with special needs move beyond their limitations. SHALVA programs and services are designed to provide individual treatment for the child while also strengthening the fabric of the family. Providing services for more than 500 infants, children and young adults, SHALVA accompanies each child from birth to adulthood. Individual tailored programs are designed to help participants reach their full potential and integrate into the community. For the families helped by SHALVA, the warmth and acceptance they experience is uplifting. Mira Kedem, mother of Tal, was overjoyed to be part of the SHALVA family and the
Community race. She said, “Tal waits for this every year. He’s focused on the run and makes sure to train accordingly. His dream is to be a famous sports player and with the Jerusalem marathon, he feels like he’s coming close. Our family comes out to run with him and the energy of this one morning glues everyone together.” It is not only the community track of the marathon that brings people together. As well as helping to organize the Community Race, Team SHALVA also included a sponsored team who ran to raise money for the charity. Of the more than 2,000 runners from outside Israel who flew in to take part in the marathon, the SHALVA team was the largest group of international runners, with more than 200 coming to run with SHALVA. Much of the money raised by Team SHALVA 2016 will go toward the new SHALVA building due to open in September. The children of SHALVA are an example to us all that whatever length our personal marathons, we can meet the challenge with hope & courage.
Pride for the tribe.
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News & Politics
Israel: Human Rights & UN Wrongs
She asked why UK did not bomb Israel - ideal candidate to head UN probe into the conflict. By Tim Marshall
Imagine: You’re on trial and you discover the judge appointed to hear the case has already decided you are guilty and has a long history of publicly saying so. That appears to be the UN Human Rights Council approach to justice when it comes to one particularly country. The council’s first choice to become the new Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories is criminologist Penny Green. She is a professor of law and globalisation at Queen Mary University of London. Professor Green’s views on Israel are not unique. She is on record as saying that Israel has a “criminal government”, and she believes it is “time to stand up against Israeli state violence”. She supports the total boycott of Israel, wants Hamas delisted as a terrorist organisation, and has wondered why the British and Americans have not begun “bombing Israel for its massacres”. So far, so routine in the extremistmainstream. To her credit, Ms Green, unlike so many “human rights activists”, stands up against abuses 20
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around the world and not just in one small part of it. She does, however, display an unhealthy obsession with the same place that others obsess over – Israel. She is entitled to her opinion. However, surely anyone, even if they supported these views, might understand that holding them disqualifies you from impartially judging the behavior of one of many parties involved in the situation.
A Green tweet: “Israeli extra-judicial killing in Palestinian hospital”. It may or may not have been an extrajudicial killing, but the tweet, after the event, but before an investigation, is not that of a sober, fair-minded legal representative of the UN acting on our behalf. It is closer to a student activist unaware, and possibly uncaring, of the complexities of a conflict.
The Rapporteurs job as mandated by a 1993 resolution is not to investigate all human rights abuses in Palestine, but only “Israel’s violations”. However, the UN told the JC that subsequent procedural changes do not make this stipulation and therefore “it would be perfectly conceivable for a mandate holder to interpret the mandate in a proactive manner… In short, this does not restrict the mandate holder from investigating Palestinian violations as well”. In the past eight years of 36 statements and reports by the Rapporteur, all 36 have only criticised Israel. No other conflict is investigated by the UN in this twisted manner. Even if you left that ludicrous prejudice to one side, there would still be a problem. The UNHCR’s own rules state that when selecting a candidate, impartiality and objectivity is of “paramount importance”. The council’s first choice should not be a surprise. The incumbent in the job is from Indonesia, a country
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that does not accept the right of one side in the conflict to exist. His predecessor was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. The council’s chair normally accepts the candidate recommendation. This is planned to happen on March 24. If a fuss is made, perhaps the compromise could be the second choice, a Canadian lawyer called Michael Lynk, whose views on Israel are… embarrassingly similar to those of Prof Green.
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It is possible the council’s due diligence staff do not have access to the internet or a telephone and so are unaware of the candidate’s views and cannot see a problem. The only other explanation is that they do not care. Professor Green did not return a request for comment; for its part the UNHCR would only discuss the appointment process, not the individuals concerned.
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Life & Religion
Pesach Wanderings The Haggadah recalls our being chosen. By Robin Silver-Zwiren
Moses, the Hebrew, was born at a time of slavery in Biblical Egypt. The story recalls how his mother, Yocheved, wrapped her newborn son and placed him in a basket in the reeds of the Nile River. His sister, Miriam, watched as he was saved by the Egyptian princess. Moshe was raised in Pharaoh’s palaces, along with other princes. Decades passed when he witnessed a Hebrew slave being beaten by an Egyptian and killed him. He escaped to Midian, where he married Zipporah and had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. Hashem spoke to Moshe and told him to return to Mizraim (Egypt) to save the Hebrews from slavery. After many trials and 10 plagues, the Hebrews cross the Reed Sea, receive the 10 Commandments and enter the Promised Land of Israel. This is the story we recall during the Passover Seder. Jews from every land recite the same story of our redemption from slavery and abuse. While it is written in Hebrew, we are supposed to understand every word. That means reciting it in the language we best understand. If that is Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Italian or Russian, the story is the same. One thing Jews from all corners of the world share is our common history. Although some of us are Sephardic, 24
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from Spanish and Arabic lands, and others Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe, it is said that we all stood at Sinai. Egypt is where the people worshipped gods and goddesses, sun and moon. Pithom and Ramses, the store cities said to be built by Hebrew slaves, were located in Lower Egypt between the Mediterranean Sea and fertile Nile Crescent. Memphis was the capital, and Cairo and Heliopolis other “cities.” Brother fought against brother, so their dynasty could rule, but all seemed to agree that Hebrews and others from conquered lands should be enslaved. Hashem asked Moshe to free our ancestors from this corrupt land with loose morals. Sinai is the vast desert Moshe and his followers traversed. The circuitous route leads many to say, “if only he asked directions.” However, others say the 40 years allowed time for a new generation to be born. Har Sinai, also referred to as Mt. Horeb, could well be “Jebel Musa,” which the Bedouins and some Christian scholars strongly believe was in the south. Although we can’t be certain exactly where the Stone Tablets were given, we know that our ancestors walked across vast, deserted lands from Egypt to what is now likely modern day Jordan to enter Israel.
Moses is considered a prophet by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Druze believe his wife Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, is one of them. The prophets Abraham and Moses came long before Jesus and Muhammed. The laws given to Moses, the Jewish religion given to the ancient Hebrews, came long before the other monotheistic religions of Christianity and Islam. Those ancient pharaohs who ruled the lands of Egypt are long gone with so many other nations from that time period. We, the tribe of ancient Hebrews, survive. The Haggadah, the story of our people being set free, is one to be remembered and to pass on to future generations. It is often difficult during these harsh times to believe we are truly free. As wars continue to plague the land that Hashem promised Moshe, it is sometimes difficult to believe that we are the chosen people. As innocent Jews are being knifed on Israeli streets and kosher supermarkets being bombed, it is hard to believe we are Hashem’s chosen people. However if we continue to act as the chosen people should, by honoring Hashem and remembering the Ten Commandments and Torah, our next redemption can become a reality.
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Terror Road Who’s attacking the attackers? By Robin Silver-Zwiren
Purim, a festive time celebrated throughout the Jewish world, is not a day off for the dedicated soldiers of the IDF. On Thursday, March 24, two Palestinian Arab terrorists stabbed a soldier in Hebron. While several soldiers rushed to neutralize the terrorists, others rushed to get the injured party to the hospital. Suddenly, one of the terrorists was seen moving. He was wearing a bulky coat in warm weather and believed by some to be wearing a suicide vest. A soldier took immediate action and shot the terrorist in the head. True, if the terrorist was wearing a bomb, shooting him may well have set it off. Maybe that is why the soldier aimed for his head, not chest. None of us can know exactly what the soldier was thinking, except that he was certainly thinking of securing the area. In the democratic nation of Israel, even the civil forces are subject to scrutiny. This is not the first time a soldier has been arrested and his actions investigated. However, should this particular soldier be found guilty because of the pressure PM Netanyahu is under from outside 26
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sources? The United Nations and Palestinian Authority call the actions of the soldier a “war crime.” Of course, the left-wing B’tselem is once again taking an anti-Israel-anti-IDF stance. Has everyone forgotten why this incident occurred in the first place? Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known as Haji Imam, was killed in a US airstrike. He was IS Finance Minister and possibly second in command. Initially, the US was planning to capture him but then decided to “shoot to kill.” There is no doubt that Haji Imam was a horrific individual. He terrorized many innocents, but what gives the United States the right to murder someone who lives thousands of miles away when an Israeli soldier can not take action against a terrorist a few feet away? Keep in mind that President Obama promised to keep the US out of war zones. Still, it has nearly 35,000 troops in the Middle-East-Central Command region alone. It was US troops that killed Osama bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein as well. No,
they are not missed except by their multitudes of supporters, but showing Palestinian Arab terrorists there is a consequence to their actions is equally fair. What would US peace officers do if they witnessed a stabbing? On secondcalldefense.org, cases when it is permissible to use lethal force are cited: Does your attacker have the ability to cause grievous bodily harm by having a weapon? Does your attacker have the opportunity at the exact moment to harm you? Thirdly, could your life be in jeopardy, because your attacker is set to harm you? Put the Hebron knifing incident into perspective: another soldier the attackers have already acted giving them opportunity. Lives are in jeopardy daily from these terrorists who continue to act with little regard for their loss of life. IDF soldiers not only protect Jews but Christians and Muslims, men as well as women, no matter their age or race. Arab Palestinian terrorists are like hoodlums on inner city streets who fight just because they can, who
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carry weapons because they want while they terrorize all those around. They don’t care if they knock over an elderly person as they rush to knife a soldier. When the opportunity arises, they are armed, ready and deserve to be stopped. Sadly, these hoodlums get more respect dead than alive. Tamir Rice was holding a pellet gun when he was fatally shot by a Cleveland policeman. Less question why a 12-year-old was playing with a pellet gun than why an officer felt he was in danger. Eighteenyear-old Michael Brown was fatally shot after an altercation with a police officer. That the officer feared for his life when a hulking brute walked towards him is no different than what Israelis fear daily. Brown, who looked a lot like a photo of someone wanted for committing a robbery, added to the officer’s need for recourse. Palestinians honor terrorists with massive funerals and promises of martyrdom while the US gets the like of Al Sharpton organizing marches.
the terrorists who commit the worst crimes? Palestinian Arabs don’t want peace any more than the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaeda or IS. These militant, racist murderers will continue to brutalize innocents, because so called world leaders are so busy condemning those doing the most to end these actions. Let the IDF soldiers do the job they have been trained for. Let Israel put an end to the depravity and occupation of its rightful lands.
When will we begin to care for those really being oppressed more than Kosher oc Magazine // April 2016
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Bringing Jews Together Group seeks common ground in Orthodoxy. By Ilene Schneider
Who is a Jew? Do divergent viewpoints matter, and can different streams of Judaism – or different interpretations within the same stream – find common ground? How can we close gaps or at least have dialogues between sectors of the Jewish population with vastly different ideas? What does it take to build bridges? Is it time to stop labeling and start understanding? Demographic analyses like the Pew Study have shown the gaps between Orthodoxy, other branches of Judaism and “none of the above.” Various people were born Jewish, but some express it differently from others. Sometimes, Orthodox Jews will engage with members of other streams in Jewish community activities, but “none of the above” Jews are just as likely to encounter other Jews in a supermarket, a health club or a political organization. According to some demographers, Orthodox Jews and non-Orthodox Jews are living in a parallel universe. Furthermore, there are various opinions within Orthodoxy. 28
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According to Steven Bayme, American Jewish Committee’s director of contemporary Jewish life, writing in JTA, questions such as whether women can enter the rabbinate, whether conversions to Judaism can be left to the discretion of a local or communal rabbi, how concerns for peoplehood reflect on who is a Jew and whether Jewish tradition and liberal democracy intersect in positive ways “have divided the world of contemporary Orthodoxy,” which is itself “divided among its haredi, centrist and modern wings.” Bayme noted that Orthodox thought leaders, rabbis, communal professionals and lay leaders have formed PORAT – People for Orthodox Renaissance and Torah – to “reclaim the mantle of modern Orthodoxy and provide a distinctive counter voice to those advocating greater isolationism and rejection of modern currents.” The grassroots movement and support group, which includes founders such as Victoria Lindenbaum Feder, Michael Fishbane, Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, Rabbi
Yehuda Sarna, Rabbi Dan Smokler, Sivya Twersky and Rabbi Avi Weiss, is “committed to tolerance and an inclusive community.” According to Bayme, a founding member of the organization, PORAT “brings together lay and religious leaders to advocate for thoughtful observance of halachah, or Jewish law, and progressive education.” PORAT’s idea is a good one for Orthodox Jews. Rich traditions can exist alongside progressive ideas if handled properly. Still, inclusiveness and tolerance need to go a step further, and they need to go both ways. What has to happen now – and PORAT is working on it for its conference in May – is to build bridges between Orthodoxy and the rest of the Jewish world. As we sit down at the seder table, let’s see how we can close the gaps between us and make Judaism stronger. Chag sameach!
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