June 2016

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Table of Contents Features

News & Politics

2. Reaching the Readers

20. An Inconvenient Truth

3. Welcome to Jewish Orange County 4. Re: Protest at Israel Event 6. One Giant Mishpachah

Orange County 8. Bullets & Bagels

Life & Religion 24. All About Shavuot 26. Yom HaShoah Remembered

Opinion + More

10. Son of Hamas, Child of G-d

28. How Real Is It?

12. From Holocaust to Hope

30. Are You Safe?

14. Smiling Faces 16. Jewish Events in Orange County

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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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Hello Readers

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 // June 2016



Re: Protest at Israel Event

Rabbi Zevi Tenenbaum of The Rohr Chabad at UC Irvine recounts and responds to the events that transpired at UC Irvine. By Rabbi Zevi Tenenbaum

This past Wednesday night, May 18th, Students Supporting Israel (SSI) hosted a screening of the film “Beneath the Helmet.” The event was met by protests from Students for Justice in Palestine and other students, who attempted to enter the room where the event was taking place. Aggressive and threatening remarks were shouted at participants. One student was physically intimidated and threatened attempting to join the screening. In the 36 hours since the event, Miriam and I have spoken oneon-one with students who were at the event to provide support and guidance. We also met with Vice Chancellor, Dr. Thomas Parham, his chief of staff, and Lisa Armony of Hillel and the JFFS. Miriam and I have served the Jewish Community at UCI for over seven years. Our commitment to the safety and well-being of the students is unwavering. Our experiences over the years, has provided us with a good understanding of the nature of the UCI campus and the needs of the 4

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Jewish Students. Here is excerpt of a statement released by Chancellor Howard Gillman:

“While this university will protect freedom of speech, that right is not absolute. As I mentioned in a campus message at the beginning of the academic year ( freespeech. uci.edu ), threats, harassment, incitement and defamatory speech are not protected. We must shelter everyone’s right to speak freely – without fear or intimidation – and allow events to proceed without disruption and potential danger… We are thoroughly analyzing all reports and information regarding this incident and investigating whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.” We appreciate the UCI Administration’s commitment to thoroughly investigating the

incident and we intend to stay in direct communication with the Administration as we learn of the results to their inquiry. We express our gratitude to the UCI Police Department who reacted swiftly and effectively to ensure the students’ safety. It should be noted that this event occurred during a pro-Israel week at the UCI campus. Thanks to the communication between the UCI Administration, the UCIPD and the pro-Israel Community on campus, all other events were successfully implemented with no disturbances. Although incidents like this are never acceptable; the day-to-day experience for Jewish Students at UCI continues to thrive. Thanks to supporters like you, Chabad at UCI is able to host weekly Shabbat dinners, educational classes and social events. With your help, we are able to provide a ‘home away from home’ for Jewish Students at UCI throughout the year. 

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One Giant Mishpachah

TVT’s 16th high school graduation stresses school values, family atmosphere. By Ilene Schneider

At a joyful and emotional ceremony, forty-seven students graduated from Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School on Tuesday, May 31. The students of the class of 2016, along with the teachers and staff members who mentored them along the day, shared their recollections of the past and hopes for the future. Rabbi Stuart Light, director of Jewish studies, blessed the graduates, “so they never forget the need to give

when there is a hand stretched out wanting, the restraint and humility to experience magical moments of holiness and the knowledge of who they are.” He implored God to “help the graduates find patience and passion to help others along the way and help them understand that their life-giving spark is why you created them.” Dr. Jeffrey Davis, head of school, reminded the students that they were

“here today because of the wisdom and love of their parents.” He added, “You have great test scores, but they do not measure the values you have learned.” “We’re all one giant mishpachah,” said graduate Daniel Ahdoot. “Today we run the gamut of emotions. We’ve shared all these moments and come together as one, as a community and family. Per Tom Brokaw, our degree is a ticket to change the world.” Sarina Shohet, who gave her speech in Hebrew, said, “We have grown up together. Whether we’re lifers or we came in the 11th grade, we’ve grown with this class, and this class has grown with us.” Student Body President Jeremy Neutel, added, “Standing here with my classmates brings fear and excitement. As a song says, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.’ The seeds for camaraderie were planted early. Friends are family you don’t get to choose, but we’re all family.” This group of Tarbut V’ Torah


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graduates has “set impressive standards, not only academically, but also with its commitment to excellence in service, global education and political participation,” according to the school. Awardees included: Joshua Joseph Gelman Leadership Award, Sarina Shohet; National Merit Scholar Jacob Kuppermann, Arts, Solomon “Koby” Taswell and Tyler Berman; Athletics Carly Malatskey and Brandon Averitt; English, Chana Kaufman and Sarina Shohet; Hebrew, Ariel Hirschberg and Romi Ferder; History, Robert Theisen and Adam Jacobs; Jewish Studies, Simon Drakeford and Matana Zwiren; Mathematics, Robert Theisen and Ariel Hirschberg; Science, Jacob Kuppermann and Libby Jubas; Spanish, Jasmine Ahdout and Raymond Parejo; Achiever and Lifelong Learner, Jacob Kuppermann; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Robert Theisen; Effective Communicator and Listener, Adam Jacobs; Leader and Team Player, Sarina Shohet; Moral and Ethical Adult, Andrew Rosenblatt; and Strongly Identified Jew, Ariel Hirschberg.  Kosher oc Magazine // June 2016


Orange County

Bullets & Bagels

Group educates people about weapons, laws and more. By Robin Silver-Zwiren

Bullets & Bagels continues to be a social gathering for like-minded people. It is not just about sharing views on Constitutional Rights but sharing the belief that education is the key. Fred Kogen, president and founder, not only supplies a kosher breakfast spread but the opportunity to hear from many engaging speakers. These are all major reasons why the club now has about 150 members and continues to grow every time there is a SoCal event. Felix Rabinovich has graciously offered to help make the new LA-Valley Chapter as popular as the original Orange County one.

and support a local company.

On Sunday May 15 Bullets & Bagels attendees heard from the Cannae Progear founder and CEO, Robert Hollander. Their “battle ready professional gear” is not just for warriors and tactile operators but anyone looking for sturdy, rugged equipment. Cannae products include outerwear, hats, shirts as well as backpacks and duffel bags. Their challenge is to make top quality items at comparatively reasonable prices and they seem to have succeeded. Check out www.cannaeprogear.com

Stephen Fredrick filled us in on a very important ballot initiative. Gavin Newsom’s “Safety for All” bill is an attack on an individual’s Right to Bear Arms. Newsom claims the law will keep citizens safe from terrorist attacks. Newsom believes that by forcing individuals to surrender their legally owned weapons and by limiting the purchase of ammunition, our streets will be safer. Will any law actually keep weapons out of terrorists’ hands? Would Newsom’s Bill stop another San Bernardino


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Bullets & Bagels is not just for the “middle-aged,” as it can be a wonderful family outing. Twelve-yearold Ross Yesharim has been attending with his father Ronin. Ross enjoys the father-son time a lot but does admit he is hoping to get his own weapon for his Bar Mitzvah. At another event 100-year-old Shirley Groner joined her son and daughter-in-law and said she had never even held a gun before, but it was an amazing experience. Talk about checking off items on the To-Do Bucket List.

type attack? Newsom’s Nonsense will only limit law-abiding citizens from protecting what is rightfully theirs. Join the Coalition for Civil Liberties, local peace officers, the NRA and clubs like Bullets & Bagels and sign the petition @ www. stoptheammograb.com We know that smoking causes cancer, that even second-hand smoke is dangerous, but tobacco is not outlawed. California may have more non-smoking areas than other states, but individuals are still permitted to smoke. In fact, marijuana is now legal as well and even if only for medical purposes, it is not too difficult to get a supply. So why are so many against those who legally possess weapons and ammunition? Instructors like Carla show Bullets & Bagels attendees how to properly handle weapons. Instructors are in the range showing everyone proper etiquette. Who teaches teens how to smoke a cigarette? (Of course we know our politicians “never inhale.”) What about alcohol and other drugs? How many people die yearly

because of an overdose? How many car accidents occur because a driver is intoxicated? Over the past few years more than 20 people have died and nearly 500 were injured in DUI collisions in Orange County alone. Every year more than 10,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives because someone inebriated gets behind the wheel. Although there are laws against it how often do you drive after having a few drinks? Then there are the Bruce-Caitlyn Jenners of society that have not one but several car accidents, injure individuals, and have no conviction record! On the other hand, how many have lost their lives to a private citizen who legally owns a firearm? We allow our children to ride bicycles and skateboards without a helmet, thereby violating the law. We allow our children to learn martial arts which are supposed to teach safe practices but can be deadly. We take up kickboxing which can also easily harm an assailant. So instead of outlawing guns, why not do more to enforce tactical training? That is the best way to protect our civil liberties and ensure a safer society. ď ?

Orange County

Son of Hamas, Child of G-d Yousef relates fascinating life story to Heritage Pointe supporters. By Ilene Schneider

Mosab Hassan Yousef has spent his life “transcending cultural barriers and seeing through the walls of ignorance.” Yousef, the speaker at the Heritage Pointe Annual Luncheon and Boutique on May 2 at the Irvine Marriott, was born in Ramallah, a city 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem. He is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the top Hamas official in the West Bank who spent many years in Israeli prisons. While in an Israeli prison, Mosab’s father disowned his son for spying for Israel. “It’s hard to believe I was born in the house of Hamas,” said Yousef, a Palestinian who worked undercover for Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet from 1997 to 2007 after being captured by the Israelis. He provided information that prevented dozens of suicide attacks and assassinations of Israelis, exposed numerous Hamas cells and helped Israel to hunt down many militants, including his own father. As he explained to the 420 attendees, “My birth may have been accidental, but I am here by choice. Sometimes our mind tells us to do something, but our heart tells us to do something else. 10

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I was simply trying to save human lives.” Yousef grew up wanting to be a fighter, because he thought it was expected of him. He was arrested at age ten, during the First Intifada, for throwing rocks at Israeli settlers. Many more arrests followed. As the oldest son, he assumed a greater role in the Hamas organization, but he began to have doubts about Islam and Hamas when he realized Hamas’ brutality and its use of suffering civilians and children to achieve its goals. When Yousef was held in prison in 1996, he was surprised by Shin Bet’s interrogation methods, which he considered humane, as compared to those of Hamas. He decided to accept a Shin Bet offer to become an informant, and Shin Bet considered him its most valuable source within the Hamas leadership. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of Hamas cells as well as the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Jews.

He explained that he did it because he saw “torture, injustice, killing, brutality and corruption.” Instead of thinking that being a terrorist was a “heroic thing,” he began to understand that Palestinian leaders did not care about their people. “Islamic terrorism is threatening the entire family of humanity,” he said. “Jihad is a reality.” In 1999, Yousef converted to Christianity. In 2007 he moved to the United States, gaining political asylum in 2010. In March 2010, he published his autobiography Son of Hamas. He concluded, “You can’t destroy an idea with a bomb. You have to counter an idea with a better idea. The majority of people in the Middle East live in fear. We have to change their minds and break through the factors that challenge the human condition.” 

Pride for the tribe.

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Orange County

From Holocaust to Hope

Cypress College presents evening of remembrance for Yom HaShoah. By Ilene Schneider

May 4 was a very cold night, but the thousand or so people who gathered at Cypress College to commemorate Yom HaShoah were so mesmerized by the 90-minute program that it hardly mattered. Chilling tales of survival gave way to inspiring messages of hope, as the theme, “Out of Darkness, We Can All Create Light” played out in speeches, songs, interpretive dance and candle lighting. David Halahmy, professor of history at Cypress College, related that, “Six million Jews were murdered along with millions of others during World War II. That generation is all but gone, and people tend to forget. We’re here today to be sure we don’t forget.”


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He added, “We’ve seen much genocide since then, and we’re all in this together. It is our moral duty to pass on the stories of the survivors, so that the stories will live on.” “The Shoah was a catastrophe in which the forces of power and hate tried to burn the Jews out of existence,” said Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom. “Seventyone years later, we are standing here holding onto our obligation to never forget. We have to build and sustain justice and maintain equality for all. We have to turn the flame of destruction into a light of peace.” The event was inspired by Cypress College Photography Professor Clifford Lester’s unique portraits taken of survivors, on display during the event, with the students of Maha Afra doing an interpretive dance to the photos displayed on a large screen

with accompaniment from faculty members Gary Gopar and Marcus McMillan. When Lester’s mother, a Holocaust survivor who knew Anne Frank, died 12 years ago, he knew he had to do something to carry on her message. He learned to talk to survivors before photographing them and to “capture their souls to enable to people to understand their experience.” According to Lester, “We have to insure that this horrible tragedy will never happen again. As Elie Wiesel said, ‘When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.’” An amazing witness was keynote speaker Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, a 93-year-old dentist who just retired last year. The sole survivor of a family of 100, Dr. Eisenbach has lived by the advice of his parents: “to never lose hope for a better tomorrow.” As he said, “We cannot lose faith in humanity. It is our mission to eliminate all genocide from the human race.” Another survivor, Sarah Schweitz, lost

Orange County

50 members of her family in Greece. Hiding in the hills with her parents and surviving on the goodwill of several righteous gentiles, she brought the message of educating people about the Holocaust. Ariella Winder, an 18-year-old singer/ songwriter, performed Matisyahu’s “One Day.” The dancers performed a second number, “Shalom Salaam.” Dr. Robert Simpson, the president of Cypress College, said that the event was a reflection of the college’s commitment to inclusiveness, diversity, tolerance and respect. He quoted the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who said, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, it sends up a tiny ripple of hope. We can stand up for our ideals and reject hatred.”

Guests listen intently to Dr. Jacob Eisenbach as the Holocaust survivor delivers a message of peace, hope, and inclusiveness at Cypress College at part of a Yom HaShoah remembrance on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (Raul James Gonzales.)

Christina Wurth, the Vice Consul of the German Consulate in Los Angeles, said that all people “must not and will not abdicate our historic responsibility. We will not sit idly by.” During a touching candle lighting ceremony in which survivors and children of survivors participated, Rabbi Cohen said, “Yahrzeit candles are a beacon of the past and light into the future. Tonight we remember Jewish cultures that were extinguished. The Jewish people lives on as we honor the past and have hope for the future.” 

Dance students, under the direction of Professor Maha Afra, perform to the portraits of Holocaust survivors photographed by Photography Department Chair Clifford Lester. (Cypress College student Oscar Diaz.)

Rick Van Beynen, a Cypress College employee, lights a candle in memory of his late mother, who survived the Holocaust. (Cypress College student Oscar Diaz.)

Kosher oc Magazine // June 2016


Orange County

Smiling Faces

Founders and many volunteers are honored at 10th Annual Friendship Circle Evening of Recognition. By Ilene Schneider

“Seeing the smiling faces says it all,” said Chani Mintz, who along with her husband, Rabbi Reuven Mintz of Chabad Jewish Center of Newport Beach, runs the Friendship Circle. The mission of the organization, which honored about 250 volunteers on May 11 at the Beckman Center in Irvine, is to build awareness and sensitivity to children with special needs by pairing teenagers with children in need of a friend. “There is a big shift in how young people view those who are different,” the rebbitzen continued. “Bullying and social snubbing are a thing of the past. A lot has changed in 10 years. We’ve helped to cast out isolation and improve the quality of life for God’s vulnerable.” The Friendship Circle will open a new center in the fall. Those who have given their time and effort to provide friendship and activities to those with special needs always say that they have gotten back so much more than they have given. According to Mike Frank, the parent of autistic twins, “It’s easy to talk 14

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about what the Friendship Circle means to a family: respite. Children need time away too. The Friendship Circle has the kindest, most caring people.” Aria Goldstein, a teenage Friendship Circle volunteer for 5 years, added, “The Friendship Circle has helped me to learn about the special needs community and meet special people. My buddies have been full of life and hope. All of our supporters help to bring about tikkun olam.” Chani Mintz presented the Joann Krupp Friendship Award to “an extraordinary couple, who are visionaries, founders and pioneers, Stan and Audrey Silverman.” Silverman related that his wife “starts every day by trying to bring sunshine into the world.” The couple had read the book, The Rebbe’s Army, describing among other things how Chabad centers run Friendship Clubs in many cities. They saw a Friendship Club operating in Michigan and wondered if they could help to make it a reality here. The Mintzes were up to the challenge.

“At the beginning, half of the volunteers were our kids, and the other half were Chani’s,” Silverman said. “Now we look at the volunteer hours over 10 years, and the million smiles make everything worthwhile.” Keynote speaker Ariana Berlin, a gymnast, professional dancer and television producer known for her comeback story after an automobile accident, said that she was “beyond flattered” to speak at the event. “I was three when I fell in love with gymnastics, and I thought my journey was over after the accident – after 10 years of sacrifice. But I wasn’t going to sit on the sidelines for the rest of my life.” Berlin started break dance and then met the coach of the UCLA gymnastics team. She got back into gymnastics and got a full scholarship to UCLA. “Never be afraid to ask for or give help,” Berlin said. “Nothing is ever achieved alone. Overcoming life’s challenges requires sacrifice. You have to be resilient, you have to be tough and you have to believe.” 

Pride for the tribe.

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Orange County

Jewish Events in OC June 2016

Plan your month with our June 2016 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite picks. Submit your events: http://my.kosheroc.com


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News & Politics

An Inconvenient Truth

U.S. State Department: Deleting inconvenient words, from Arafat to Iran. By Stephen Flatow

The U.S. State Department’s admission that it altered an embarrassing video exchange about its nuclear negotiations with Iran is disturbing— but it’s not the first time that the Obama administration, or some of its predecessors, have tampered with words that it deemed politically inconvenient. State Department spokesman John Kirby confessed this week that part of a 2013 video recording in its archive had been deliberately removed. In that portion of the video, thenState Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed to a reporter that the department had sometimes lied to the press in order to hide information about its dealings with Iran. For the past three weeks, the State Department had claimed the deletion of Pskai’s statement had been caused by a technical “glitch.” Kirby, however, in admitting this week that the deletion was deliberate, claimed that the person involved “could not remember” which government official had ordered him to delete it. The claim of a faulty memory was 20

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reminiscent of a May 2014 exchange between the Obama administration’s former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor and Bret Baier of Fox News. The subject was the talking points that were prepared for then-ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice when she appeared on talk shows following the Benghazi attacks. The original draft of the talking points called the violence “attacks,” but someone changed it to “demonstrations” before the document was given to Rice. When Vietor was asked by Baier if he was the one who changed it, Baeir said, “I don’t remember.” When Baier pressed him, Vietor replied, “Dude, this was like two years ago.” Another apparently politically inspired editing took place just two months ago, but it has not received much attention. During a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on March 31, French president Francois Hollande used the term “Islamist terrorism” when referring to the recent Islamic State terrorist attacks in Europe. Consistent with the administration’s

opposition to that term, somebody at the White House apparently decided to retroactively revise Hollande’s language: The official White House video of the Obama-Hollande meeting contained a momentary gap in the audio at the point when Hollande uttered his politically inconvenient words. After a watchdog group called the Media Research Center called reporters’ attention to the deletion, the Obama administration backtracked. A White House official claimed there had been a “technical issue” that “led to a brief drop in the audio.” He could not explain how it was that the alleged technical problem occurred at the precise moment that the words “Islamist terror” were spoken, or how the glitch managed to correct itself in time for Hollande’s next words. The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was another beneficiary of political editing. It happened in September 1995, when Arafat traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with president Bill Clinton. The Israeli government had just agreed to

News & Politics

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withdraw from significant portions of the disputed territories, and many Israelis were nervous about the possibility that the concessions could lead to a Palestinian state. When Arafat arrived at the White House, reporters asked him if he expected the latest developments would lead to a Palestinian state. According to Reuters, “Arafat was quite emphatic…Reporters clearly heard Arafat say ‘definitely’…A tape recording of the exchange shows that Arafat said ‘definitely’ twice.” The official White House transcript, however, omitted Arafat’s “definitely” reply. The gap in the transcript “raises the possibility that some diplomatic editing had taken place,” Reuters noted at the time. In another instance, it was a president himself who benefitted from the State Department’s protective editing. At the 1945 Yalta conference, president Franklin D. Roosevelt mentioned to Joseph Stalin that he would soon be seeing Saudi Arabian leader Ibn Saud. The Soviet leader asked FDR if he intended to make any concessions

to the king. Roosevelt replied— according to the official American note-taker—“that there was only one concession he thought he might offer and that was to give him the 6 million Jews in the United States.” But when the Yalta transcripts were published by the State Department in 1955, Roosevelt’s remark about the Jews was replaced by a line of asterisks. Eventually, in 2011, a State Department researcher revealed that then-assistant secretary of state Walter Bedell Smith had instructed the typesetter, “Delete this— it is not pertinent history.” Translation: Smith, who worked closely with the FDR’s inner circle and frequently briefed Roosevelt during World War II, likely wanted to protect the president’s reputation by hiding his unpleasant “joke” about Jews.

some government officials that they have a right to alter the historical record in order to advance some political goal. One can only hope that the latest exposes will make other government officials think twice before engaging in such troubling behavior in the future. 

What all of these incidents have in common is a certain arrogance—an attitude by Kosher oc Magazine // June 2016


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Life & Religion

All About Shavuot Shavuot and the giving of the Torah. By Zach Miller

It’s said that on our Exodus out of bondage in slavery from Egypt all thanks to the mighty hand of Hashem towards the Promised Land, we ate bugs in the dessert. Treif! Well, almost, but no… not at all. One explanation is that there was a type of kosher bug that no longer exists, and that’s that. Yeah, maybe. Regardless, a more consistent reason is that the laws of kashrut, of what was and was not kosher, was not given to us at Mount Sinai just yet. In other words, there was nothing treif or not kosher, because there wasn’t anything that was kosher—yet. Shavuot is the festival of weeks that celebrates the giving of the Torah. It’s

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what we’re counting up to during the Omer with crazy anticipation! In fact, we’re not completely out of bondage until Shavuot, because Passover is the time of our physical release from bondage, but Shavuot is the spiritual release, all thanks to the giving of the Torah. Now, because we didn’t have laws of kashrut just yet, we traditionally eat lots of dairy products—from ice cream to cheesecake—as a way to showcase the non-meat foods of kashrut that we are permitted to eat. Then, after Shavuot, after the giving of the Torah, as a way to show how we have received the laws of kashrut, we go back to eating meat…lots of meat. Yeah, no room for vegans here, I’m

afraid. All the dairy is also to parallel the whole milk and honey concept of Israel. Fun fact, the honey in that phrase does not refer to bees—there are no bees native to Israel. Instead, the “honey” refers to the syrup of dates. Today, we call that silan, and Sephardic families often use silan during Passover for charoset. Another custom is to study Torah ALL NIGHT. Yup, it’s going to be an all nighter… 

Life & Religion

Yom HaShoah Remembered Teach your children well about the Holocaust. By Robin Silver-Zwiren

Hitler and his vast number of supporters so strongly believed in their goal that they kept scrupulous records. They were like scientists keeping journals on every step of an experiment, so that their studies could be duplicated, even maybe earning them a Nobel Prize. Hitler, Goebbels, Rommel and Mengele have left behind signed testaments to their various actions perpetrated on Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and anyone who stood in their way. Their signatures have been authorized by experts. The loads of paper have been verified to come from that time period. Fountain pen ink and typewriters date from that era. There can be no doubt to the authenticity of the libraries filled with vivid accounts. So how can there be Holocaust deniers? Worse yet, these people are not only found in the uneducated realms but teaching in worldclass universities. Deniers exist in governments across the globe and in United Nations councils. So much for believing that we will leave our children a better life than we had, 26

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than our grandparents had. Instead, we leave our descendants photo albums and family histories that many claim to be fiction. It is up to each of us to make sure that our young are taught the truth. As the numbers of Holocaust survivors dwindle, we need our impressionable young to hear their stories. We need our young to see the tattooed numbers on survivors’ arms, so that it makes an imprint on their souls. Not all survivors of Nazi horror have a number on their arm, but all can count the numbers of family members lost. Every US or Canadian WWII vet can recount what was seen when liberating death camps, when walking skeletons emerged from hiding. We can’t let this time in history to be erased from our memories nor should we stand idly by as others try to do that. Family outings to the beach and amusement parks are always loads of fun. However, why not dedicate a few Sundays to going to area museums? Don’t only look at a painting but at the artist’s name and when the work was done. Go to one

of the many Holocaust museums and memorials and talk about family members you may have lost, stories you heard growing up or listen to what a docent has to share. Many Shoah survivors may not have spoken to their children, because they did not want to relive horrors, because they wanted to protect them. Elderly people are much more likely to share with their grandchildren and other teens. Encourage your children and grandchildren to listen, to collect what they hear and maybe even to keep their own journal. Many oral histories are now available online. A worthwhile family activity is to have your children study someone their age who suffered a very different fate than their own. Your children can then share their lesson with other family members and even classmates. Parents are teachers long before we first send our children off to preschool. Continue to make your shared experiences memorable, life-changing ones. In order for our children to become productive adults, they need to learn that the horrors of the past should not be repeated. 

Life & Religion

Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles www.museumoftolerance.com Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust www.lamoth.org USC Shoah Foundation www.sfi.usc.edu Anti Defamation League www.adl.org

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Opinon + More

How Real Is It?

Administration needs to deal with anti-Semitism at UCI. By Ilene Schneider

Most people probably figure that anti-Semitic acts at UCI are no worse than they are anywhere else. College students often get involved in demonstrations. Free speech is a basic American right. Media outlets and certain politicians harp on the plight of the “poor Palestinians.” Are Jewish students being overly sensitive, because the “other side” is making a point? What is the real story? Given UCI’s history of “hate week” programming and demonstrations against Jewish speakers on campus, one might think that the media were primed to look for stories at UCI and that members of the local Jewish community had some questions about how incidents are handled. Certainly there has been progress in UCI-Israel relations – speakers, exchange programs and other learning opportunities. These are commendable. Still, the very existence of menacing acts by certain groups when Israeli speakers are on campus, the alleged 28

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failure of the administration to treat these acts in the same manner as they would if they happened to other “politically correct” groups and the denial that there is a problem by many people are disturbing. Many Jews may not consider themselves a minority on campus or anywhere else, but for some students the threat is very real.

UC chancellors “to address them just as they would any other act of discrimination.”

In fact, in a letter organized by AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating, monitoring and documenting anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America, 36 Jewish groups demanded that UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman disclose how he plans to implement the recently passed UC Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance in order to “combat the rampant anti-Semitism on his campus.” In March, the UC Regents unanimously approved a policy to address the growing anti-Semitism on many of UC’s 10 campuses. They said that “anti-Semitism and antiSemitic forms of anti-Zionism are no less discriminatory than racism, homophobia or sexism” and asked

“How do you plan to implement the Regents statement in addressing the alarming problem of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that has created an intolerable campus climate for Jewish students at UC Irvine? Specifically, what rules, policies and procedures will you invoke or enact, and what educational initiatives will you establish, to ensure that anti-Jewish bigotry will be treated as promptly and vigorously as all other racial, ethnic or gender bigotry, and to guarantee the safety and well-being of Jewish students, and all students, at UC Irvine?”

In response to a recent incident in which demonstrators massively disrupted the showing of an Israeli movie and speech, the 36 groups asked Chancellor Gillman:

An AMCHA study reported widespread anti-Semitism in 2015 among the top 100 schools for Jewish students, showing that the presence

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of anti-Zionist groups such as SJP and MSU increased the likelihood of antiSemitic incidents on U.S. campuses. According to the study, 57 percent of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist student groups had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, whereas only 8 percent of schools with no active anti-Zionist student groups had such incidents.


For students who were shut out of the event featuring the IDF movie – and for community members who want to support them – there is an event called “UCI Stands for Free Speech” at the UCI Student Center, Crystal Cove, Auditorium A, 311 W. Peltason Drive, on Wednesday, June 8, at 7 PM. The re-screening of Beneath the Helmet will feature guest speakers Eden Adler, star of Beneath the Helmet, and Elan Carr, US Military officer, Iraq veteran and Los Angeles County criminal gang prosecutor. By then, we hope that there will be at least a promise of a clear plan to address the issues of anti-Semitism on campus. UCI needs to let all students know that they are free to engage in dialogue but not free to impinge on the rights of other students. 

Kosher oc Magazine // June 2016


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Are You Safe?

The truth about the S-word in Israel. By Ilene Schneider

“I’m sure you get this question a lot, but….” It always starts with those words. What follows is the predictable, frequently asked question on the minds of friends, family, and Jewish mothers when I get back to the U.S. “Is it safe?”, “Do you feel safe?”, “So, how’s the security in Israel?” It’s not that I blame people for asking. I’m sure that I asked my Israeli friends the same question before some of my trips to Israel. But every time I get asked this question (which is usually a knee-jerk reaction to telling people I live in Israel), I can’t help but chuckle to myself. I chuckle not because it’s a silly question, but because safety (or lack thereof) is so clearly the first thing people associate with Israel, and so clearly not my first association. I also chuckle because it reminds me of the crude yet ingenious condom giveaways at pro-Israel events that say “Israel: It’s Safe to Come.” I expect their questions to be about eating salad for breakfast, about the crazy-hot weather, about the friends I’ve made from nearly ever continent, my job, progress in learning Hebrew, cultural differences, or the Israeli 30

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people. But it’s usually about security. So I’d like to answer this question once and for all for my curious compadres.

I often start my answer with a simple “Yes. I do think Israel is safe, I feel safe, and safety is toppriority in Israel.” And then, of course, come the explanations, which may include the following: • I can count the number of times I was scared on one finger. • Different areas of Israel come with different safety concerns. In the south, it’s rockets. In Tel Aviv, non-terrorism related violence. In Jerusalem, it’s not being run over by Bibi’s motorcade on the way home from work. • If you are going to be scared anywhere in Israel, be scared in a car! There are more car-related deaths than warrelated deaths in Israel’s history. • If it bleeds, it leads. The media totally exaggerate the danger in Israel. • From a statistical point of view, you’re more likely to be hurt driving to JFK Airport from New York City than during a three-week stay in Israel. • Just like in any city, you have to know where it is safe to go and where you

should not go alone. • I feel safer walking alone in downtown Jerusalem than I do in downtown Seattle. • Having guns around you all the time in Israel actually make you feel safer because you know exactly what they are for. Nearly everywhere else, they seem excessive, unpredictable, and scary.

Honestly, you’re more likely to choke on a carrot dipped in hummus than be involved in a terrorist attack in Israel. And no, that has never happened to me…the carrot was dipped in tahini. But in all seriousness, there is an element of risk in everything, including living in Jerusalem. Heck, there’s even risk living in a padded cell—just ask The Lonely Island and their YOLO music video. But I, along with most Israelis, don’t see risk as any reason not to be in Israel, not to travel there for vacation, or to do anything except live life to the fullest, spending our lives in the place that calls to us. After all, if we made all of our decisions based on risk, we probably would be pretty boring and miserable. And the Israeli people are a lot of things, but boring and miserable, we are not.. 

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