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Spinning Wheels Ezekiel’s Wheels, one of the Boston area’s leading klezmer bands, has been keeping busy lately with live performances and a new album. See Page 4

Established 1902 Vol. 207 No. 24 Q 6 Tammuz 5773 — June 14, 2013 Q Q $1.50

Journalist gives take on Israel

Same old story Steven Stotsky writes that a recent batch of current instructional material offers new evidence of an old problem in the Newton public schools. See Page 9

Former Reuters scribe offers analysis June 19

Comic relief

By Alexandra Lapkin

Daniel M. Kimmel says the new book “Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman” is a great read for anyone interested in the late comic. See Page 13

Advocate Staff

Fit for a King The musical “King Matiusz I,” based on the novel “King Matt the First,” will make its premiere at Brighton’s Center Makor next week. See Page 14

Prized memory The memory of the late Nora Ephron is being kept alive through an annual $25,000 prize presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. See Page 15

Armchair art A new Israeli art kit for home use, “In the Armchair with Picasso,” can help those whose loved ones are suffering from dementia. See Page 17

JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellows spray paint new handicap-parking logos in the lot at Newton’s Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center on a recent Sunday as part of the Accessibility Icon Project. The teens worked with Triangle, an organization that serves people with special needs in southern New England. The new logo, which is gaining in popularity across the country, is a more active and engaged image of the disabled. Visit for more information.

Author took comfort in camp, reading Local novelist discusses her childhood and its impact on her writing By Alexandra Lapkin


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A Kennedy comes to breakfast

Advocate Staff Growing up, Randy Susan Meyers’ favorite book was “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” a 1943 novel by Betty Smith. Meyers drew many similarities between Francie, the story’s main character, and herself. They both lived in Brooklyn, N.Y.; they both loved reading. But most of all, “I identified with Francie very strongly because I also had a father who had a lot of problems,” Meyers said, “both with alcohol and drugs, and yet who was charming. …I felt he was the person who noticed me.” Meyers, now an author herself and a resident of Jamaica Plain, published her first novel in 2010, “The Murderer’s Daughters,” about a man who killed his wife and the impact this tragedy had on his two young daughters, who had witnessed the murder. “My books are all a big ‘what if?’ Meyers said. “My father tried to kill my mother; he hadn’t succeeded, but it was a huge ‘what if,’ combined with the fact that I worked with men who were batterers.” In her 10 years of social work with violent men, Meyers began to understand her own father, and the

Alan Elsner’s relationship with Israel is multifaceted. Elsner first came to the country when he was 19, during the Yom Kippur War, to live and work on a kibbutz. When he became a journalist, one of the first events he reported on was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977, a moment of great promise for Israel. “I’ve seen and covered both times of war and times of peace,” Elsner, who will present a talk titled “Making Sense of the Middle East: A Reporter Examines Reality and Becomes an Activist” at Newton’s Leventhal-Sidman JCC on June 19, said in a phone interview with The Advocate. By 1982, during the first war with Lebanon, Elsner was fighting in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a unique position that allowed him the dual role of defending his country, while trying to make sense of those events through his reporting. “I covered the [First] Intifada; I

Congressman discusses peace process and more By Ian Thal Advocate Staff

Randy Susan Meyers recently released the novel “The Comfort of Lies.” baffling dichotomy in his personality: his kindness, taken over with bursts of anger. “I never experienced my father as abusive,” she said. “I remember my father as being funny and warm, which is not an unusual thing, because batterers are not necessarily walking around holding bloody knives all the time.”

Meyers coped with the issues in her family by losing herself in books. “Reading probably saved my life,” Meyers said. “I spent every day as a child going back and forth to the library and I told myself stories all the time from when I was very little.” In

Continued on Page 5

U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III visited Temple Shalom in Newton on Sunday for a Brotherhood Breakfast. Over coffee, bagels, rugelach and madelines, the freshman congressman – son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy – answered questions on issues that concerned voters in his district. Kennedy sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East & North Africa and Terrorism, Nonproliferation & Trade subcommittees, and the Technology Committee’s Space and Energy subcommittees. He agreed to sit down for a brief interview with The Advocate afterward in one of Temple Shalom’s smaller meeting rooms.

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Jewish groups have praised the recent appointment of outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice as National Security Adviser. Rice will replace Tom Donilon. “Without question, Susan Rice has served the Obama Susan Rice administration well in the United Nations and has made combatting anti-Israel bias a top priority for the U.S. delegation,” National Jewish Democratic Council Chair Marc Stanley said in a prepared statement. American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said in a separate statement, “With regard to the Middle East, Ambassador Rice has strenuously opposed Iran’s nuclear ambitions and human rights transgressions.” B’nai B’rith International and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, also lauded the appointment. (

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Online debate June poll question: The group Women of the Wall has been in the news a lot lately. What are your thoughts? A. Its members should be allowed to worship at the Western Wall however they choose. B. They should allowed to worship there, but only if they follow traditional customs. C. Any nontraditional worship should be in the less-public area of the Wall offered them. D. I’m not sure. Tell us what you think at

May Poll Results Do you think Islam bears any responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombings, or is it completely unjustified and baseless to think so? 55% 29% 14% 2% Yes

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The Jewish World Assad could prevail in civil war There is a “real possibility” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “could survive Syria’s civil war and even prevail in it” against the rebels trying to topple him, Israeli International Relations and Strategic Affairs Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz told a group of foreign journalists in Jerusalem on Monday. Steinitz’s comments reflect the recent turnaround in Assad’s fortunes, with success on the battlefield thanks to immense military aid from Hezbollah, financial aid by Iran, and diplomatic cover by Russia. The assessment also underscores the changing nature of the Syrian conflict and Israel’s views on it. Israeli security officials were initially convinced that Assad’s demise was only a matter of time. Last July, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the Assad regime was “at the beginning of its end.”

Cyber-attacks against Israel rising Cyber-attacks against Israel perpetrated “directly by Iran and its proxies – Hezbollah and Hamas” are on the rise, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the annual international cyber-security conference at Tel Aviv University. Meanwhile, Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau, said his bureau is “spearheading extensive work on advancing national cybernetic defense and suitable national preparation, which will soon be submitted to the cabinet for approval.” The cyber-attacks have targeted Israel’s water system, electric grid, and trains and banks, according to Netanyahu, who said, “Every sphere of civilian economic life, let’s not even talk about our security, is a potential or actual target for a cyber-attack.”

Wilders backs Zionism model Europeans “need to follow the example of the Jewish people and re-establish their nation-state” to counter the growing Islamization of their countries, Dutch politician Geert Wilders said Sunday in Los Angeles. “My friends, what we need today is Zionism for the nations of Europe,” Wilders, founder and Geert leader of the Party for Freedom in Wilders the Netherlands, said at the “Europe’s Last Stand?” conference, organized by the American Freedom Alliance. Elan Journo, Fellow and Director of Policy Research at The Ayn Rand Institute of Irvine, Calif., said Europe’s history – including “real applications of communism and socialism,” feudalism, and the French Revolution – has led many Europeans to accept a collectivist mentality that closely resembles militant Islamic ideology and currently works in harmony with it. That collectivist mentality has also spurred antiSemitism, Journo explained.

Museum depicts bombers as ‘martyrs’ A Paris museum has drawn outrage from France’s Jewish community over a display depicting photos of Palestinian suicide bombers as martyrs. The exhibit titled “Death” by Palestinian photographer Ahlam Shibli at the taxpayer-subsidized Jeu De Paume Museum is described on the museum’s website as showing “how Palestinian society preserves the presence of the ‘martyrs.’” According to CRIF, the representative council of Jewish institutions in France, the display features what it calls “martyrs” from Palestinian terror groups including

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the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In a letter written on June 5 to France’s Culture and Communications Minister Aurelie Filipetti, CRIF President Roger Cukierman called on the French government to intervene.

Google to buy Waze for $1.3B Internet giant Google is set to acquire the Israeli navigation and traffic app Waze for $1.3 billion after Apple and Facebook were also reportedly interested in buying the company. Waze, based in the Israeli city of Ra’anana, is one of the most popular navigation apps in the world, with 50 million users. The Waze app provides drivers with information on traffic conditions, including police presence, accidents and roadwork, by collecting crowd-sourced information on its social network. According to a report in the Israeli financial daily Globes, Waze resisted efforts by Facebook to buy the company because Waze “insisted that its Israeli employees should continue working in Israel, which Facebook did not accept.”

JNF pulls from gala with Clinton The Jewish National Fund ( JNF) has announced that it is withdrawing from the upcoming gala honoring Israeli President Shimon Peres, where former U.S. President Bill Clinton will earn a $500,000 fee to speak. An Israel Hayom investigation had revealed that JNF gave the Peres Academic Center, which is hosting the event to celebrate Peres’ 90th birthday, part of the money to cover Clinton’s fee, with the academic center covering the rest. The report sparked outrage in the Jewish community over the large sum for Clinton. But in a letter sent to JNF board members on June 6, JNF CEO Eli Spiegler wrote, “In order to remove any doubt, neither the JNF nor any of its members have ever had any contact with Clinton or his representatives” regarding the speaking fee, Israel National News reported. Spiegler also wrote there were several inaccuracies in media reports about the Clinton fee, and that JNF has decided to pull out of the event out of respect for Clinton and Peres.

Kerry authorizes aid to Egypt U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry authorized $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt last month despite writing in a memo that the United States is “not satisfied with the extent of Egypt’s progress” on its democracy, Reuters reported June 6. The Secretary of State, according to U.S. law, needs to confirm that Egypt John “is supporting the transition to Kerry civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law” prior to transferring the military aid. But Kerry’s May 9 memo stated that waiving the restrictions on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) was necessary to ensure “a strong U.S. security partnership with Egypt” that “maintains a channel to Egyptian military leadership, who are key opinion makers in the country.” PHOTO/STATE DEPARTMENT

Susan Rice appointment praised by Jewish groups



San Francisco hosts Israeli event Fifteen-thousand people, including Israelis, Americans and Russians, recently celebrated Israel’s 65 years in the San Francisco Bay Area

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with a showcase of Israeli innovation through the 13th annual Israel in the Garden. Organizers say the event was the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. At the event sponsored earlier this month by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, San Francisco, “Young Israeli entrepreneurs showcased their new technologies, drew hundreds of young adults for whom this was their first Israel in the Gardens,” said the fund’s CEO Jennifer Gorovitz, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israeli musician Mosh Ben-Ari headed the daylong event, which also included performances by local entertainers and the Israeli scouts (Tsofim).

Rebels briefly seize border crossing Syrian rebels fighting the regime of alAssad briefly took control of the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights on June 6, forcing the Austrian U.N. peacekeepers stationed there to flee. As a result of the incident, Austria has decided to pull its 380 peacekeepers following the battle there, Reuters reported. The 1,000-strong United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has been monitoring the Quneitra crossing since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israeli International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz issued a statement expressing regret over the Austrian withdrawal, while also extrapolating a lesson for Israel.

Divestment resolution defeated An Israel divestment resolution was defeated June 4 at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) with 19 votes against, 17 votes in favor, and three abstentions. The defeat followed a 45-minute debate in the student senate. “We are pleased that a divestment resolution was once again defeated, this time at UC Santa Cruz. We applaud UCSC’s student senate for recognizing the complexity of the conflict and the bigotry in this resolution. …Hopefully, next year, students who are obsessed with condemning Israel while they cover up the terrorism of Palestinian groups like Hamas, will consider more constructive actions and resolutions,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs. In May, an Israel divestment resolution was also defeated at the University of California, Davis.

Burgas attack origin questioned The socialist party at the head of Bulgaria’s new government has backed away from the country’s previous claim that Hezbollah was responsible for the deadly bombing of an Israeli tourist bus in Burgas last July. There is only an “indication” that Hezbollah was behind the attack that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver, and the European Union should not take the incident as a definite reason for branding Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, the government of Bulgaria has now said. “There is an indication that it is possible [that Hezbollah was behind the attack], but we cannot take decisions with important consequences for the EU based on indirect data,” said new Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, according to Reuters. Just a month ago, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the country’s investigation had determined that two of those involved in the attack “were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah.”

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Amid focus on Jewish building, NGO eyes illegal Arab work

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Sun. 7am-4pm • Mon. & Tues. 7am-6pm • Wed. & Thurs. 7am-8pm • Fri. 7am-4pm While the international community often focuses on the legal status of Jewish construction in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, two Israeli government initiatives – a proposed transfer of Israeli land near Jericho to Palestinians, and a law that would retroactively legalize tens of thousands of Bedouin structures in the south – are highlighting the issue of illegal Arab building across Israel. At the forefront of tackling this issue is Regavim, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that tracks illegal Arab building and prosecutes it in Israeli courts. A Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria proposal to transfer 2,000 dunams (500 acres) of Israeli land to Palestinians near Jericho, in the Jewish-controlled Jordan Valley, represents the continuation of a pattern in which Arabs living in Areas A and B, which are under Palestinian municipal authority, are being legally permitted to relocate to large tracts of land in Area C, areas designated for Jewish residence under full Israeli control. The move is being criticized by Jewish regional councils for being conducted at a time when Arabs can build almost at will in Areas A and B, while permits for Jewish building in Area C are being severely restricted as a result of what many believe to be the Israeli government’s efforts to pacify the international community. “If a Jewish family puts up a patio on a house – anywhere in Israel – without a permit, municipal authorities can come into your house and get you to tear it down,” said Ari Briggs, the director of Regavim. “Jews are forced to adhere to a very strict building framework, while Arabs in many parts of the country are given a free hand. And this is exactly the opposite view that the international community has of Israel,” Briggs said. Regavim – whose name comes from the Hebrew word “regev,” meaning a small patch of land, originating from a Zionist poem about reclaiming the land of Israel “dunam by dunam, regev by regev” – works to track illegal Arab building across Israel, with a particular focus on the Negev in the south of the country, the Galil in the north, and in Judea and Samaria. While dozens of NGOs focus on relatively limited incidents of illegal Jewish building, Regavim is the only NGO focusing its energies on the rampant pattern of illegal Arab building taking place across the country. Currently, Regavim has 30 cases being tried in Israeli courts, with up to 140 investigations being conducted at any time. Many of Regavim’s current efforts are focusing on the south, where the largest numbers of illegal structures

exist. The government is currently attempting to put a stop to illegal building, but those efforts give rise to controversy. A new law known as the Prawer Law, which would retroactively legalize tens of thousands of Bedouin structures, is drawing ire from the anti-settlement NGOs, but not because the Prawer Plan – if passed – will seemingly reward decades of illegal construction on state lands and nature reserves. Rather, the plan has angered the NGOs because it stipulates that several thousand Bedouin must relocate from positions in close proximity to the Ramat Hovav industrial zone, a site that has been deemed unsuitable for residential zoning due to the pollutants emitted from the factories. Bedouin have been actively opposing the law in recent weeks. At a recent protest, Atiya al-Aassm, head of the Regional Committee for unrecognized villages in the Negev, is reported to have said in an address, “We want to tell Prawer, [ Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni and all decision-makers that we have endured 65 years of water scarcity and all forms of torture, and we will continue to endure and will not give up one inch of our land.”

“Arabs in many parts of [Israel] are given a free hand.” Ari Briggs

“I urge the Ministers not to pass their discriminatory law; do not drive us to violence,” al-Assam said. While the NGOs are accusing Israel of enforcing discriminatory policies against a minority population, Bedouin have for many years been building with no municipal planning, permits, or compliance with modern building standards on land that they never formally owned. As a result, the structures are not legally connected to Israel’s electricity grid or national water carrier. According to Regavim, more than 90,000 of 210,000 Bedouin live in more than 2,000 separate unauthorized encampments, covering 800,000 dunams (200,000 acres) in the northern Negev among Beersheba, Dimona and Arad. “Ninety percent of these structures are built on public lands, owned by either the state or the Jewish National Fund. And they have become much more brazen in their land grabs over last 10 years,” Briggs said. “Everybody understands that because Israel is such a small country, land is one of the most critical resources to safeguard,” he said. “Bedouin are claiming ownership of a parcel

of land more than double the size of the Gaza Strip.” The new law would recognize more than half of the Bedouin homes in their current locations and transfer additional large tracts of land in strategically planned areas to the nomadic Bedouin to build formal communities. According to the Prawer Plan, more than half of the land that Bedouin currently reside on would be legally transferred and formally established as Bedouin communities. Bedouin would then be compensated for the remaining lands they currently claim and receive tracts of other land for the establishment of permanent communities. The plan calls for investment of 9.5 billion NIS into Bedouin communities in the next five years. Development of Bedouin infrastructure will reportedly be administered with coordination from 16 government ministries and agencies. The need for clamping down on illegal Bedouin building is obvious. Bedouin are known for having among the fastest population growth rates in the world. According to Briggs, Bedouin sport a growth rate 5.6 percent and double their population every 15 years. “Polygamy is a common practice among Bedouin, with each male averaging three to four wives, and an astounding 20 to 30 children per male,” Briggs said. Bedouin live in the Negev in areas of the country that are not considered by any authority to be disputed territories – meaning Bedouin live under full Israeli sovereignty and must adhere fully to Israeli law, which they currently do not. “Living in illegal structures keeps Bedouin off the legal grid, so to speak, so they can’t be tracked,” Briggs explained. “They are untraceable. They don’t have a legal address and don’t pay any forms of taxes. This is despite the fact that they have full Israeli citizenship, with formal identity cards, and the right to vote in Israeli elections.” Furthermore, Bedouin are well known for criminal activity, including running Mafia-style protection rackets, forcing landowners and even government-owned companies including Israel’s National Road Authority to pay fees to guarantee the protection of their infrastructure and equipment. According to Briggs, the situation is beyond unlawful. “The Bedouin are running major crime and smuggling rings. They are responsible for the smuggling of everything from drugs to women to weapons,” he said. Israeli farms “need to be protected with prison-like fences to protect crops, animals and equipment,” Briggs asserts. “The government needs to do a better job protecting the land in the Jewish state,” he said.

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Looking lively at Limmud

Joyce Miriam Friedman, right, weaved story, song and puppetry into her one-woman show, “Finding Miriam.” In the show, Friedman explores her relationship with her great-grandmother, CREDIT: ROBERT RUSCANSKY PHOTOGRAPHY Miriam, and the Biblical prophetess.

Jewish learning festival draws 850 curious minds By Elise Kigner

A presenter flexes her body in the shape of a Hebrew letter.

Advocate Staff LimmudBoston drew 850 people for a day of music, dance and learning at Congregation Mishkan Tefila. The beauty of Limmud, though, was not in its size. Instead, it was in the reversal of roles, where rabbis and other professional Jews not only taught classes, but also squeezed into the

kid-size desks of the shul’s religious school – and became the students. In one session, a text study, my fellow students included several rabbis. In another, two young women gave a lesson on the structure and elements of a good story to a class that included professional storytellers who may Continued on Page 5

The latest in Jewish lit: the New T Brandeis Bible scholar co-edits annotated version By David Goldberg

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Ezekiel’s Wheels roll back from Amsterdam to Coolidge Corner Klezmer band keeps busy with live shows, new album


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Klezmer band Ezekiel’s Wheels is in the processing of recording a new album, Transported.

By Ian Thal Advocate Staff Boston’s klezmer scene is an exceptionally vibrant one, in part due to the influence of New England Conservatory’s Conservatory Klezmer Band, which has attracted high-caliber players to the area even if they never enroll at the school. Among the rising stars in the area are Ezekiel’s Wheels. The quintet, founded by two Brown University graduates, violinist Jonathan Cannon and clarinetist Nathaniel Seelen, drew honors for Best Klezmer Band and Audience Favorite at the 2012 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this past October. It is playing a concert at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline on June 24 and is in the process of recording a new album, Transported. Several tracks of the upcoming album have been released on a limited edition CD. The band, whose current lineup also includes Abigale Reisman on second violin, Kirsten Lamb on upright bass and Peter Fanelli on trombone, began by playing at local farmer’s markets and on subway platforms (the cover of Transported pictures them playing at the Porter Square Station in Cambridge), establishing a dedicated following before making it to Amsterdam. Klezmer’s origins are complex, drawing upon many influences. Some melodies seem to be drawn from Ashkenazi religious services, while the rhythms and song structures are often shared with the Romanian, Moldavian and Bulgarian neighbors of the first klezmer musicians. Other early influences come from the Roma (or Gypsy) musicians with whom the Jewish musicians sometimes played, since they were often seen as being of similar social status, or from the Turks who ruled much of the region. “If you’re composing in a tradition that already exists, you either have to really push to do something brand new and risk making something that’s not very good and not very loyal to the klezmer tradition, or you end up stealing – and I choose to steal stuff,” said Cannon. He made this comment when discussing his composition “Di Veels Shplit” (“The Wheels Play”), which

opens Transported and pays tribute to the band’s experience playing in Amsterdam. The song is also a tribute to a composition by legendary clarinetist Naftule Brandwein. In contrast to the original compositions, the album also includes traditional repertoire such as “Balkan Freilachs.” Cannon explained, “I originally learned it off an Amsterdam Klezmer Band album. Nat [Seelen] and I played it with Yarmulkazi, the Brown [University] klezmer band.” Over the years, the arrangements became increasingly complex. Between the original compositions and traditional melodies, the most unusual inclusion on the album is “La Rosa Enflorece” (“The Rose Blooms”), which – as the title might indicate – is not of Ashkenazi origin, but a Sephardic song that is typically performed in Ladino. How did a medieval Sephardic melody end up on a klezmer album? “We had tried playing a Sephardic tune once or twice before and it never quite worked for us,” explained Cannon. It had been a condition of playing at the International Jewish Music Festival; each year the festival picks a piece and asks that each invited artist perform an arrangement of it: “They try to draw upon different Jewish traditions because it’s a pan-Jewish festival. …They send you an email telling you the required piece this year is ‘La Rosa Enflorece,’ [and] they give you sheet music and lyrics.” On alternate years, the Amsterdam festival is organized as a competition. The selected song must be played in the first 15-minute set of every participating band. “They required one song to be learned by everyone to have an equal playing field at least for one song, to judge for arrangement and performance of the same melody,” said Lamb, who joined Ezekiel’s Wheels about three-and-a-half years ago. She added, “The Sephardic Jews had their own musical traditions and you almost have a flamenco influence on Ladino music. The actual scale that is used is very similar to what you’ll find in klezmer.” “Jewish music has that flavor to is

whether it’s Sephardic or Ashkenazi,” said Cannon. Because of that similarity, Lamb said, “The actual melody wasn’t so much a challenge. It’s a simple melody; it’s a pretty melody. …The challenge was how do we take this very short melody and how do we elongate it into an actual arrangement. “The other challenge was that there were actual words that go with the melody.” In vocal music, even when the melody remains the same, each additional verse provides enough variation to maintain the listener’s interest. But as Lamb noted, “We do everything instrumentally … how do we repeat the melody multiple times without it sounding dull?” “We spent a couple of rehearsals just brainstorming away, trying different things,” recounted Cannon. “We did it in [a seven-beat rhythm]; we abandoned that.” Lamb provided the answer. “We came up with the idea of having the statements of the melody be interspersed with these interludes where there is a trade between the trombone or violin or trombone and clarinet,” she said. In the end, Lamb noted, “We’re very happy with how it turned out, so now it’s one of our staples in our repertoire.” Only half the 20 or more bands that performed in the first round move on to the second round, and only six bands make it to the final concert. Ezekiel’s Wheels had to make it to the final concert of the festival in order to earn the accolades that it brought home. “We were delighted and shocked, and then they gave out prizes at the end,” enthused Cannon. “Once we got the International Jewish Music Festival on our résumé, we started getting the gigs we wanted.” Local fans, however, can rest assured that despite concerts in large theaters such as the Coolidge, they still play farmers’ markets from time to time. Ezekiel’s Wheels play at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline June 24 at 7 p.m. Visit or call 617734-2501 for tickets. For more information about concerts and their upcoming album, visit




Local novelist discusses childhood’s impact on her work Continued from Page 1 addition to telling stories, she became an adept liar: “My sister and I were great liars and we had to lie, to keep ourselves above water. Growing up in an odd family, you learn to lie and how to hide yourself. …What happened in my family, it was one of those open secrets; everyone knows, but nobody does anything about it.” Meyers thinks that even though there are more resources for domestic violence prevention today, there is still a stigma surrounding it, especially among Jews. “I’ve done a lot of work in the Jewish community, speaking to many groups about this,” Meyers said. “I think, like many groups that strive to only put the best face forward, we like to keep secrets of bad things. …This provision of us as the perfect minority … also keeps people from getting help.” Meyers’ most recent book, “The Comfort of Lies,” which was published in February, is in part inspired by the ease with which she told lies as a child. Meyers took that idea a step further to ask herself about what happens when adults lie to each other, specifically “the lies we use to hide ourselves from ourselves and the lies we use to hide ourselves from others,” Meyers said. “I think everybody lies, and the amount we lie will really portend how authentic we can be in this world.” In “The Comfort of Lies,” a married

man has an affair, which results in a child who is given up for adoption. As Meyers’ characters are forced to confront the truth, she explores the emotions that rise to the surface when lies are no longer there to comfort them. Many of the characters in her books are Jewish and, in her recent novel, Meyers weaves in cultural differences into the complexities of interfaith relationships. “I really like to explore how cultures and religions interact,” she said, “what it means when you’re not part of the mainstream of that religion and yet you totally are that religion. I don’t think that our religion and culture are defined by how much we go to temple, but by how much it means as our identity. “I grew up in a … very Jewish community. When I left New York, I was shocked to find out I was a minority … and yet, I did not grow up going to temple … because my family was less than normal.” Feeling like an outsider despite the fact that most of her neighbors were Jewish, Meyers grew up wishing her family was more traditional and easily accepted in the enclave of Jewish Brooklynites. It was not until Meyers had children of her own, and began to celebrate Passover, Chanukah and other holidays, that she realized that even though she was not observant as a child, “I’ve learned that culturally, I am so totally Jewish,” Meyers said. “And not having grown up traditional doesn’t mean anything.

Behind closed doors, everyone has their own oddities, so I love exploring: What does that mean, to be Jewish?” With the help of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Meyers’ mother sent her to a Jewish camp every summer, in an effort to provide her with a respite from the troubled atmosphere at home. From the time she was 6 years old and up to her college years when she worked as a counselor, Meyers spent her summers at Camp Mikan, which was located in Harriman State Park in New York. “If I didn’t have that camp … I can’t imagine what would have become of me,” Meyers said. “There are two things that saved me as a child … [one was] the Kensington Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library; the other was the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies sending me to Camp Mikan.” Reliving her troubled childhood is all part of a healing process for Meyers. “I write from the inside out,” she said. “My books all turn out to be multi-characters, multiple points of view, and whichever point of view I am in at that moment, I am there … and so when I write that character, I need to be in that character’s belief system and that is both therapeutic and fascinating and I lose myself in it.” Meyers will speak at Temple Beth Abraham in Canton on June 19, at 8 p.m. Visit for more information.

David Begelfer (left) receives the AJC Boston 2013 Community Leadership award from 2012 AJC Boston Honoree Robert L. Beal.

On May 30, David Begelfer, CEO of NAIOP Massachusetts, received the AJC Boston 2013 Community Leadership Award for his exceptional leadership and dedication to the Boston community. 617.457.8700 AJC Mission: To enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel; To advance democratic values around the world. From l. to r.: Sindy Wayne, AJC Boston Director of Development; Michael Tichnor, current AJC Boston President; Mel Shuman, incoming AJC Boston President; Larry Curtis, Dinner Co-Chair; Robert L. Beal, Dinner Co-Chair; David Begelfer, AJC Boston 2013 Honoree; Ted Tye, Dinner Co-Chair; and Rob Leikind, AJC Boston Director.




Congressman Joseph Kennedy speaks at Temple Shalom breakfast in Newton


U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III speaks at Newton’s Temple Shalom on Sunday. Continued from Page 1 Q: Can you explain the role that the Foreign Affairs Committee has in overseeing U.S. foreign policy in contrast to the State Department and other agencies of the Executive Branch? A: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives basically carries out a review of the foreign policy decisions of the President, provides oversight, [and] also conducts its own policy missions around the world. So there are several different subcommittees broken up geographically: Western Hemisphere, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East [& North Africa], Asia and the Pacific, I believe, and some global ones, as well – Terrorism, Nonproliferation & Trade is one of the ones I sit on. And so, much of that is done somewhat in parallel, and somewhat inde-

pendently of the President’s foreign policy and foreign policy initiatives. The members of the committee travel quite frequently all over the world to various other places to try to ascertain, oftentimes on fact-finding missions, if you will, conditions that are on the ground, try to increase and build relationships with foreign leaders and business leaders as well, and overall try to increase and support U.S. interests around the world. Q: During your campaign for Congress, you affirmed the shared values and strategic interests of the United States and Israel, a position you reaffirmed when you spoke at the Yom Ha’Aztmaut event at Congregational Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill the day after the Boston Marathon bombings. What do the bombings tell us about the nature of terrorism today? A: I think that the Marathon attacks are clearly a tragedy and devastating event for Massachusetts and the Greater Boston community, but was something clearly felt around the country. I had numerous lawmakers come up to me in the hours after the attacks, when I was still in Washington, that just said that in their view, “The response made us all proud and let us know how we can help.” I think that the United States has, in the wake of 9/11, done so far a good job of ensuring that our country and our people are not subjected to some mass-catastrophic event. That dynamic, though, leads to an almost increased

challenge as to how you confront the reality of smaller-scale attacks that can be harder to detect through conventional means. That is certainly something that our government and defense system has to focus on. I think you’ll see what is starting to play out now: a lively debate between civil liberties, and civil liberties protections, and the policies and programs that might be necessary to try to continue to crack down on, to try to get to the information you need in order to prevent some type of attack. Q: Such as the recent discussion about the National Security Agency. A: NSA, and various other programs, and I think that’s the debate our country needs to have. And quite frankly, this is something where we can learn quite a bit from our Israeli counterparts where Israel has lived with this tradeoff and this reality for a very long time. This attack in Boston marks the transition where we’re going to have to confront this reality, and as we do so, I think it’s right for us to look at other societies that are trying to strike this balance as well, and once more, they have done so successfully. This is a process, there is no final right answer to it. It’s a balance that is going to continue to need to be tweaked over time. Q: There’s a new ruling coalition in Israel, as well as a new Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in Rami Hamdallah, even as Fatah and Hamas are negotiating reconciliation after their bloody split. What are the hopes that the peace process can be restarted?

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A: Well, I think everybody’s hoping that the peace process can be restarted. The challenge is going to be creating conditions by which the peace process can, in fact, be restarted. I think Secretary [ John] Kerry has done an admirable job trying to create that space for it to happen. It’s ultimately going to be up to Israeli and Palestinian leadership to say, “OK, we’re willing to sit down at the table and start this process,” and I think we’ve seen from the Israelis a willingness to do so. We had, just in this past week, down in Washington, meetings with former Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert – was in town and also the EU [European Union] Parliamentary Designee for the Peace Process. Both came to speak to my subgroup of the Foreign Affairs Committee. It is certainly a challenging time and the political situations in the West Bank and the PA [Palestinian Authority] don’t make it any easier, but I do believe that all sides, the United States and Israel are right to try and continue to try. Q: Most of our allies in Europe are still reluctant to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. How important is it that we convince our allies to change position? A: I think that it’s extremely important. I think that Hezbollah’s recent support for [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s] regime certainly makes that case. The conflict in Syria is getting, the scenario obviously, the situation is getting, at this point, worse by the day. Having an influx of Hezbollah fighters across the border has strengthened Assad’s hand. Secretary Kerry has been working diligently trying to get everybody to the same negotiating table and is now seeing Syrian rebel leaders say that they’re not willing to even come to Geneva unless there’s increased arms supplied to the rebels. The increase of Russian support and missile sales to Assad and the influx of Hezbollah fighters has helped strengthen his hand remarkably. I think anybody who is actually taking an objective view of this situation can’t see the reality of what Hezbollah has said, and what they’re doing, and not come to the conclusion that they are a terrorist organization. So the United States needs to stay active, to continue to pressure our allies, but I think their recent actions paint a pretty good picture of the true intent of the organization. Q: Even now, because of Hezbollah’s involvement, the fight is beginning to spill into Lebanon, which is further destabilizing the region. A: The situation in Syria is getting more challenging by the day, increasing the prospects for a proxy war, increasing for greater destabilization throughout the region. This is going to be resolved ultimately by a political solution, and again I applaud Secretary Kerry and the [Obama] administration for trying to bring all of the parties, not just parties to the conflict, but the powers in the region together at one table. The continued support from Iran, the increased support from Russia, the influx of Hezbollah fighters has certainly strengthened Assad’s hand and the message that the international community needs to send to Assad is that his days are numbered and to the Russians as well. We have to say engaged and let that coalition under-

stand that the international community is not going to tolerate a regime that has killed 80,000 of its own people. Q: What are some of the options we need to keep on the table? A: At this point, the options on the table include supplying various targeted rebel groups specific types of arms. That has to be carefully vetted with who gets those arms and what arms are actually given to them. The rebel groups obviously are – certainly “rebels” –that’s a blanket term that’s been thrown around to include a number of coalitions whose only shared interest is that Assad has to go. That’s a good shared interest but AlNusrah [an al-Qaida associate] is a very different story and what could happen if they get hold of advanced weapons and they could be turned on Israel, they could be turned on the United States and that certainly isn’t in our best interests either. So we have to be very careful about who – as the debate on arming the rebels continues in Congress – who gets what and how do we ensure that those weapons don’t spread. The use of chemical weapons certainly … still has to be investigated, but if it turns out that there is conclusive proof that chemical weapons have been used, then that has to be taken into account. Certainly the United States is going to need to build an international coalition to make sure, if the regime does fall, that a vacuum is not created, that these weapon sites do not go unprotected, that the weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands. So it’s a complex situation, but the only way this is going to get solved in the long run is with the broad-based support of the international community and the United States is going to need partners; it can’t just be the U.S., Israel and a couple of other Gulf states – this has to be a broad-based coalition. Qatar and Turkey are going to play an important role in this, and we’re going to make sure everyone’s speaking with a consistent voice. Q: Immediately after 9/11, there was much discussion about how our dependence on foreign petroleum was in some ways helping finance terror networks that opposed us. Do you see these innovations as undermining the funding for these groups? A: Innovation obviously takes a number of forms. The innovations that have led to hydraulic fracturing that create an enormous reservoir of natural gas that can be harvested here in the United States shifts us off of our dependence on foreign oil, and onto opportunities to harvest natural gas now that on the one hand is a great thing, on the other hand it keeps solar, wind and other renewables at an economic disadvantage on a cost basis. So we need to keep pushing innovation across all forms because all of that is good and if you take a marketplace approach, which I do think we do have to take, that is going to be a good thing as well, but it means we have to continue to invest in innovation and continue to make the research and development aspect of it, to keep that robust, because we need to hopefully find a way and make this as quickly as possible where solar, and wind, and hydro, and bio-fuels, and bio-mass and others, are – if you can get that to a point where it’s cost-competitive, our world’s going to be in much better shape.



Journalist’s analysis Continued from Page 1 covered the peace conference[s],” Elsner said. “I’ve always felt that it’s important, that Israel’s struggle, which began in war, would eventually have to be resolved through peace.” Elsner began his career in journalism at The Jerusalem Post, followed by a 30-year stint with Reuters News Service, where he filed stories from Israel, London, and Stockholm, Sweden, and eventually as the State Department and White House correspondent in the United States. Over the course of his career, Elsner has written about the end of the Cold War, the first Gulf War, interviewed presidential candidates for the 1996 and 2000 elections in the United States, and reported on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath in Iraq and Afghanistan. Six months ago, Elsner stepped into a new role at J Street, a family of organizations that includes a nonprofit corporation and registered lobby, and a political action committee, which endorses federal candidates. A national organization based in Washington, D.C., J Street has offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other major U.S. cities. Elsner now serves as its Vice President of Communications.

solution is based on what he’s experienced during his many years of living in Israel, coming from the vantage point of a Jewish American journalist. “We [at J Street] believe that there are two aspects of Israel that are absolutely crucial,” Elsner said. While one of the aspects presents Israel as a Jewish state and homeland, which entails having a Jewish majority, the other indelible characteristic of Israel is democracy, and “is absolutely fundamental to the kind of country that [we] want Israel to be, in fact, Israel must be,” he added. According to demographic trends, Elsner said, Israel may no longer have a Jewish majority in the future and “Israel will face a choice of whether it remains Jewish or whether it remains democratic. [ J Street doesn’t] want to have to come to that moment of choice; we want both.” Elsner explained that “most Israelis do not want to be in permanent control of another people … that so many Israelis, including me actually, have observed on the West Bank and find it to be a dehumanizing situation. We don’t want to be in the position of occupiers,” he added. Elsner is of the opinion that any withdrawal from the territory would have to be based on an agreement with security guarantees and would have to

“In history, no conflict has ever lasted forever … You can’t live in a state of war indefinitely.” Alan Elsner

“What I think we’re trying to do, J Street, is give expression to the majority opinion in American Jewry,” Elsner said, “which is in favor of the two-state solution. Polling shows that consistently, but it’s not really fully recognized or reflected in the way that our community speaks.” While J Street builds support for American leadership to work for a peaceful solution between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, according to Elsner, “We need to recognize as American Jews that Israel is a democracy and that Israelis get to choose their own government and make their own decisions. We’re not in the business of trying to intervene with those internal political disputes.” As a dual citizen of Israel and the United States, Elsner said he understands the different pressures that Israelis are subjected to by people who are living several thousand miles away. “My sister, for example lives in the south of Israel … she just sent four sons to the Israeli army,” Elsner said. “I recognize that we don’t make their decisions; they do.” However, he said that because of the intrinsic bond between Israeli Jews and the Jewish Diaspora, “[American Jews] do have a stake in what happens there. [They] care about it very profoundly.” He said polling data show that Israelis recognize that American Jews should share their opinions and while they are not obligated to take this advice, “I think they want to hear it,” Elsner said. Elsner’s advantage, which he offers J Street, is that his belief in the two-state

be approved by the majority of the Israeli people. “But we think that the time is running out,” he said. “The number of people living in settlements continues to grow; settlements continue to grow in size and number. And eventually … the possibility of having a realistic Palestinian state will disappear. I think it’s so important to do everything that we can to reach peace now before that happens.” But despite the seemingly neverending conflict, Elsner remains optimistic: “In history, no conflict has ever lasted forever,” he said. “I think that ultimately, there’s no choice. You can’t live in a state of war indefinitely.” Elsner went on to say that Mahmoud Abbas, the current President of the Palestinian Authority, is a potential partner for peace, as long as he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overcome the “deep well of mutual distrust” between them. Elsner believes that right now is the time to seize an opportunity of peace, especially with the Secretary of State John Kerry’s contribution of new leadership and energy. “I think that the [Obama] administration realizes that it can’t force anything down Israel’s throat, or Palestinians’ throat, for that matter, either,” Elsner said. “[Kerry’s address to the American Jewish Committee last week] was really an attempt to persuade the American Jewish community to get behind this peace effort. There was an explicit appeal to us, as American Jews, to make our voices heard.” Visit for more information about Elsner’s June 19 talk.


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Write to: The Editor, The Jewish Advocate, 15 School St., Boston, MA 02108 E-mail: • Fax: 617-367-9310

The Israelis truly want a peace settlement Both Ben Cohen and Michael Felsen, from opposite sides of the political spectrum (The Jewish Advocate, June 7), seemed to agree on one thing when discussing Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy to the Middle East: They both used the term “déjà vu.” There have been 11 U.S. Presidents since Harry Truman. Each one – some more and some less – sent his Secretary of State to basically do the same thing, with less than spectacular results. What amazing hubris. Why do they do that? Is it because each wishes to go down in history as the great one who finally got results? Don’t they know that doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result is a sign of insanity? I give credit to George W. Bush who, after quickly recognizing the mendacity of Yasser Arafat, refused to deal with him any further and shunned him for the remainder of his administration. Mr. Obama’s recent visit to the area seemed to show that he had learned a lesson since his badly flubbed first term. Evidently he hasn’t learned the larger lesson, which seemed to evade his predecessors as well: The Israelis are reliable peace partners and truly want a settlement, but the Palestinians do not. If they did, they would have grabbed one of the several generous opportunities offered over the past years. SUMNER WEISMAN Framingham

John Kerry’s initiative deserves support Secretary of State John Kerry, in his recent address to the American Jewish Committee asking for support for his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, made some important points. The Arab Spring creates peacemaking opportunities with the Palestinians because the chaos in Arab states makes them less of a military threat to Israel. Israel has more room to maneuver. He also reminds us that the status quo cannot last because continuing Palestinian frustration will lead eventually to developments unfavorable to Israel such as increased international isolation or war crimes proceedings. I was most impressed with his third point: We need to support his push for a twostate solution not only to keep Israel Jewish and democratic, but for our children’s sake. We want our children attached to, not alienated from, Israel – and enjoying the benefits that a widely admired, internationally accepted Jewish State will confer on them. Let us vocally and politically get behind the Kerry initiative. EDWARD GOLDSTEIN Newton Centre

Church is guilty of ‘criminal hypocrisy’ While reading The Jewish World recently, I saw the news that Pope Francis I announced the canonization of 813 inhabitants of the southern Italian city of Otranto who were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam in 1480. Yet about 600 miles away, in Spain, the Catholic Church condemned the murder of thousands of Jews for not converting from Judaism to Catholicism in about the same era. Such criminal hypocrisy, once again showing how sick humans are in their religion’s superiority. HENRY R. BASCH Peabody

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he day before music star Alicia Keys rebuffed the appeals of author Alice Walker and former Pink Floyd band member Rogers Waters to cancel her upcoming performance in Israel, Walker herself benefited from the Jewish community, which gave her a platform to promote her work. On May 30, the 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City hosted Walker – an activist for the antiIsrael boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – for a book-signing for her new collection of poetry “The World Will Maxine Follow Joy” and Dovere her new book of meditations “The Cushion in the Road.” Before the book signing, the 92Y stage was the setting for a dialogue between Walker and “The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler for a dialogue that was adoring – each singing the other’s praises. Outside the event on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, the response of the Jewish community to the use of the 92Y as a venue for an anti-Zionist proved pale. A small, noisy group of perhaps 20 people – mostly elderly – demonstrated against the appearance of Walker. Lannie Grauman, one of the few younger protesters, said she was raising her voice to make clear that a Jewish organization should not provide a venue for an avowed hater of Israel. “Walker spreads lies about Israel,” she said. A police presence would arrive when a confrontation between a screaming protestor and a Walker supporter threatened to erupt into physical conflict. Security was not only tight; it was adamant. Even people coming into the 92Y lobby were interrogated. Della Johnson awaited a friend on the landing outside the entry doors. Johnson said she “simply wanted to see [Walker] in person,” and was not keeping up with Walker’s political opinions. Those opinions – including Walker’s positions concerning Israel, her support of the BDS movement, or her participation in the attempts to break Israel’s legal blockage of Gaza – found no expression during her time on stage. The love-fest began with Ensler’s pronouncement that “it feels right,” as the two clasped hands. “I honor this woman,” Ensler said. Walker and Ensler conducted a polite, philosophical dialogue about “humanity,” with frequent expressions of high regard for each other’s work. The few questions allowed from the audience were submitted in writing, on cards supplied and collected by ushers. The questions were thoroughly filtered—any possibility of Walker being chal-

Alice Walker should heed her own advice the money that we have been giving to Israel all these years. It’s not right. There’s no way you can make it right.” As Walker continued to express her views, the 92Y’s Greenfeld, who monitored the entire interview, again interrupted. “This is not the place for this,” she said, before shutting down the PHOTO/MAXINE DOVERE interview. Author Alice Walker and playwright Eve If the 92Y believed Ensler clasp hands at the 92nd Street Y in in an open dialogue New York City on May 30. on stage, why should lenged on Israel was eliminated. its communications officer forbid When the staged segment was the continuation of that dialogue finished, the two authors sat to- off stage? Alice Walker is a public gether. “This is a book signing,” figure, and she has made her antiannounced the 92Y’s Director of Israel position clear. Why, then, Security. was she stopped while stating her “If you don’t have a book, you views in a one-on-one interview at have to leave,” he added. a premier institution of the Jewish There were no exceptions. Lorri community such as the 92Y? Why Schwartz, who had been invited to is the 92Y afraid to have her state attend by an Ensler associate, is a her position? therapist who spends her profesJonathan Tobin, Senior Online sional life treating victims of rape, Editor of Commentary magazine, abuse and suffering. She was sum- wrote that by “inviting Walker, marily escorted out of the book- whose opinions and actions about signing line – forced to purchase a Israel are not exactly a secret, the book in order to have a moment of Y is signaling that it and its memconversation with Ensler. bers do not consider advocacy for After each purchaser of an En- the anti-Israel BDS movement to sler or Walker book had received a be a disqualifying factor when it signature, Walker agreed to answer comes to the people they invite to several questions from their hall.” Asked why she refused to allow Concerning Walker’s comIsraeli publisher Yediot Books to ments before the interview was translate “The Color Purple” into shut down, one might wonder Hebrew last year, Walker respond- whether her knowledge of foreign ed, “It was translated [into He- military aid spending policy is so brew] before there was a boycott minimal that she does not know [of Israel]. So it’s already there.” that the majority of such funds are, Explaining her rationale behind by mandate, spent in the United boycotting Israel, Walker said that States, providing jobs and revenue in her experience, “Boycotts are for Americans. Walker should also ideal for such situations in which be aware that school funding genyou refuse to employ violence.” erally comes from local or state She added, “You know, we went sources. through this in the [American] When an assumed intellectual, South. We went through this in a so-called humanistic thinker like South Africa and it’s the only op- Walker, eliminates facts as a bation … because Israel has been sis for her positions, a dangerous very brutal in occupying Palestin- precedent is set. ian land and its mistreatment of Keys, upon rejecting Walker’s Palestinian people. Have you been calls to cancel her July 4 concert in to Gaza? You see what has been Israel, told The New York Times, done to the people?” “I look forward to my first visit Before Walker could respond to Israel. Music is a universal lanto the point that Gaza City is guage that is meant to unify audihighly developed and residents ences in peace and love, and that is there enjoy a comfortable life- the spirit of our show.” style, Beverly Greenfield, DirecWalker herself said on stage at tor of Public and Media Relations the 92Y, “You have to want to be for the 92Y, attempted to inter- free – it’s hard work. You have to rupt the conversation. love people.” But Walker continued. Heed your own advice, Ms. “I would stop my government Walker. ( from giving the Israeli government so much money,” she said. “We Maxine Dovere is a veteran news need the money here. Our schools writer, newscaster and radio perare a mess – they’re closing them sonality. She is the founder of Maxdown. Our hospitals are terri- MediaMarketing, a boutique agency ble. You know, the poor communi- that develops public relations and ties are in such suffering. We need advertising campaigns.




ast November, the Vice Chairman of the Newton School Committee reassured the public that there was no reason to believe that anti-Israel materials were used in Newton schools to teach about the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. He rhetorically asked, “Does it really sound plausible that for years virtually everyone has unknowingly been the victim of the teaching of such horrible material?” Sadly, the most recent batch of current instructional material offers new evidence of the problem. Two weeks ago, copies of handouts used in the 10th-grade honors class in the Newton Steven Stotsky schools to teach about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were forwarded to me for review by concerned residents. Included was a timeline titled “POV: History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that purports to cover both “An Israeli Perspective” and “A Palestinian Perspective.” It was compiled in 2001 by Negar Katirai, during a two-year post-undergraduate internship. Nothing in Katirai’s experience as a legal-aid advocate or her educational background indicates expertise on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Katirai thanked Professor Mark LeVine of UC Irvine for reviewing the document. LeVine is an outspoken critic of Israel whose columns regularly appear on Al Jazeera’s English website. In a guest column in The Huffington Post on Jan. 13, 2009, he compared Hamas’ fight against Israel in Gaza to “the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.” LeVine contended that Israelis have an “addiction” to violence and suffer

New evidence of the same old problem for schools from “collective mental illness.” The POV timeline presents a biased history that ignores the religious and ideological component of Arab rejection of the Jewish State. For example, the only reason given for the Arab rejection of the U.N. partition resolution in November 1947 is that the Arabs “considered the proposal unrepresentative of the demographic distribution of Jews and Arabs living in Palestine.” There is no discussion of the religion-sanctioned rejection of Jewish sovereignty on any portion of the land, or of Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin Al Husseini’s use of religious and racial bigotry to inflame Arab sentiment against the Jews. An accompanying handout for guiding class discussion called “Class notes for Israel Palistine (sic) (Student & Teacher Discussion)” dismisses the religious and ideological component of the conflict as unimportant, stating that “This is a conflict over land.” What lies behind the downplaying of the religious component is an apparent attempt to cast Israel as a neocolonial state usurping the land of the indigenous population. This narrative, fashionable among anti-Israel academics, designates the Arabs as indigenous people, while denying that status to the Jews whose continuous history on the land goes much further back. The dean of America’s Middle East historians, Bernard Lewis, exposed the historical fallacy behind this dogma in his seminal work “Semites & Anti-Semites.” Lewis reminds us that the Arabs arrived as conquerors and later as economic migrants. In response to Zionism, they reformulated

their history to depict themselves as indigenous liberators. The class discussion guide asserts “Jewish nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism seek essentially the same goal: a state that can provide security, economic opportunity, and a connection to a land.” This attempt at evenhandedness promulgates a falsehood; for in both the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas covenants, the fulfill-

A complete and accurate account should not be sacrificed on the altar of evenhandedness and not taking sides. ment of nationalist goals requires the dismantling of the Jewish State. In fact, an accurate account of the genesis of Palestinian nationalism shows that opposition to the Jewish State came first, while the demand for a Palestinian Arab State emerged only later as part of the “Phased Plan” for destroying Israel. Newton students deserve to benefit from the wisdom of distinguished scholars such as Lewis, Efraim Karsh, Michael Curtis and Barry Rubin. Instead, students are exposed to the dogma peddled by Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) activist Paul Beran, formerly of Harvard University Extension’s outreach program, to the partisan accounts of anti-Israel academics such as UCLA’s James Gelvin or to error-riddled pages pulled from the Internet. One such handout from a website called

“Flashpoints” identified Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine (a non-existent state) and incorrectly labeled Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel (it’s actually Jerusalem). The POV timeline typifies this agenda-driven approach. Students are told that in 1948, “Fighting breaks out between the newly declared State of Israel and its Arab neighbors,” leaving it unclear who was the aggressor. In fact, the surrounding Arab states attacked the Jewish State on the day after it was formally recognized by a resolution of the United Nations. U.N. resolutions that form the basis for resolving the conflict are misrepresented. The careful wording of Resolution 242 to not require Israel to withdraw from all of the territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War is portrayed as only the English-language version of the resolution. The handout contends that altered versions in other languages are equally valid. Students are told that “rightwing Israelis” call the West Bank “Judea and Samaria” – without being informed that the label “West Bank” originated with the Jordanian occupation from 1949 to 1967. There is a persistent failure to straightforwardly discuss Palestinian extremism and terrorism. The first terrorist act inside Israel and the West Bank to garner specific mention is the 1994 attack on Palestinian worshipers by Baruch Goldstein. Prior terrorist attacks by Palestinian Arabs, such as the murder of 37 Israelis in the coastal road massacre on March 11,1978, or the slaughter of 22 Israeli schoolchildren and four teachers in Ma’alot in May, 1974, are not mentioned. Students are not told that while Goldstein is reviled in Israel for his heinous act, Palestinian Arab perpetrators of mass terror attacks, like Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mugrabi, are held


up as role models to be emulated by Palestinian children. The word terrorism first appears in the timeline under the year 1988, when “Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemns all forms of terrorism and recognizes the state of Israel.” The perpetrators of the Munich massacre are “Palestinian gunmen” and those who carried out the Entebbe hijacking are just “Palestinians.” The Oslo Accords, students are told, meant that “the two sides were no longer claiming that the other did not have the right to exist as a state of peoples on that land.” Yet students are not informed about the Fatah Party Congress in 2009 where participants cheered as Palestinian Authority officials vowed to never recognize the Jewish State and reaffirmed their commitment to armed struggle. In addition, the messages emanating from Palestinian media, mosques and officials exhorting the public to oppose coexistence and to destroy Israel are ignored. A complete and accurate account should not be sacrificed on the altar of evenhandedness and not taking sides. In light of the current challenges we face from upheaval in the Middle East, parents should object to their children being fed Pollyannaish revisions of reality. The Newton School Committee needs to stop circling the wagons, admit there is a problem and start to address it with school administrators. Most of all, parents whose children attend the Newton public schools need to awaken to the seriousness of the problem and start demanding accountability. Steven Stotsky is Senior Research Analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

A pivotal moment for Turkish democracy


stanbul’s Taksim Square is quite simply the beating heart of a nation – a place where old parks and new hotels, flower vendors and designer shops, newsstands, trolley lines, major roads, shills and “suits” meld Charles into a uniquely Radin Turkish essence. There are fervent Muslims and complete secularists, drinkers and teetotalers, flashy folk and modest ones too. It is neither tidy nor sanitary – no more so than Times Square or Shanghai’s Bund or Tokyo’s Ueno Park. Such places cannot be tidy or sanitary, for they have grown up not as expressions of some urban planner’s or politician’s vision at a moment in time, but as agglomerations of the visions of hundreds of

thousands of dreamers that stretch over decades. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a planner/ politician of the first order, right up there in the hubris rankings with Robert Moses and with the federal officials who, heedless of the cost to communities in their paths, tried to cut expressways through Boston and many other American cities in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of these authoritarian officials lost, some won; none succeeded in the long run at improving urban life. This is what the demonstrators who have created the most sustained protests against central authority in recent Turkish history understand – and what Erdogan apparently does not. The protests rocking Turkey for the past two weeks started off as efforts to block Erdogan’s plans to level lovely, frumpy old Gezi Park – a central element in the


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seen here in 2006, is facing the most sustained protests against central authority in his country’s recent history. Taksim tableau – and put in its place a re-creation of an Ottoman army barracks filled with high-end shops. But the responses that the protests have engendered, both in other cities across the country and from Erdogan’s government and supporters, show that far more is going on here than the fight over the park. Erdogan’s plans for the park

were advancing outside any sort of meaningful democratic process, much like his government’s attempts to crack down on alcohol consumption, limit abortion, encourage larger families and increase Erdogan’s executive authority. Some Turks, at least, are trying to say: “Enough!” I sat with Erdogan for a while in November 2002 as the ballots were being counted in the first of his three consecutive national electoral victories, and I asked him about fears that his Islamist background was a threat to the secular Turkish state. He replied: “There is no such thing as an Islamist or non-Islamist party. Islam is not an adjective to any party. Parties may make mistakes, but Islam cannot be said to make mistakes. It is a faith. Faiths are not faulty; parties can be faulty.” He went on to say, “The previous parties in which I worked were

all democratic parties that favored a secular state. AKP [Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party] is a conservative, democratic party – conservative because of our ethical, moral values, our historical experience, and the common values of the different groups that form Turkish society. We aim to conserve the health of the family. …We deny regional nationalism; we deny nationalism based on race. We also deny nationalism based on religion.” It would be difficult not to guffaw if he said that again today. Turkish democracy, and with it the whole issue of whether it is possible to have a democratic state that adheres to fundamental religious values, is approaching a critical, pivotal moment. Charles Radin is Director of News and Communications at Brandeis University and a former Boston Globe correspondent.




PARSHAT HUKAT (Numbers 19:1-21:35)



Shlomo Riskin

“Take the staff ... and speak to the rock.” – Numbers 20:8


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One of the most important aspects of Jewish life which characterizes our generation is the empowerment of women, in political, social and even religious spheres. Many years ago, in a lengthy private meeting (yehidut), the revered Lubavitcher Rebbe, told me that the greatest challenge facing Orthodox Jewry was the position of women in society – and our halachic response to what was then a newly found acceptance of female “equality” within Western culture. The question remains whether women’s greater involvement in Torah learning and teaching will produce a different dimension, or at least a different emphasis, to the quality of Torah which is emerging. I believe the answer to this query may be found in this week’s portion of Hukat. I would like to begin this commentary with a different but connected issue in our portion: the sin and punishment of Moses. The children of Israel arrive at the wilderness of Zin and settle in Kadesh; Miriam dies and the people complain bitterly over the lack of water. (Numbers 20:1-2) Rashi immediately notes the connection: So long as Miriam was alive, a special well accompanied the Israelites on their journey. With her



The Rebbetzin KORFF

All are Welcome Temple Emanuel Wesley Gardenswartz, Senior Rabbi • Samuel Chiel, Rabbi Emeritus • Michelle Robinson, Rabbi • Elias Rosemberg, Hazzan • Daniel Nesson, Hazzan Sheini 385 Ward Street, Newton, MA 02459 617-558-8100 •

Keeping kosher is easier than ever Dear Rebbetzin, I was born to a secular Jewish family and recently became an observant Jew as an adult. With the summer approaching, I am planning to take a weeklong vacation in the United Kingdom. I would like to adhere to my observance while I am on the road, and am somewhat concerned about whether I will be able to keep kosher. I will be

Women’s effect on Torah learning death, the well – and its water – were sorely missed. G-d instructs Moses to “take the staff ... and speak to the rock.” The staff could symbolize Moses’ brand of leadership, it may even have been the staff he used earlier to smite the Egyptian taskmaster. The rock may symbolize the Jewish people, a stiff-necked nation, hard and stubborn as a rock, quick to “kvetch” and ripe for rebellion (so explains Rabbenu Tzadok in his Pri Tzadik commentary). Moses, however, strikes the rock, as G-d had bidden him to do in similar circumstances a year before. (Exodus 17:1-7) In this instance, however, he is excluded from entering the Land of Israel because he strikes the rock rather than speaking to it. (Numbers 20:7-13) Why the distinction, and why such a harsh punishment? The use of a rod, or a scepter, implies regal authority, domination and control. By the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites had suffered 210 years of subjugation at the hands of Pharaoh, a totalitarian tyrant. What they required was a leader who was benevolent and ethical, but strong. After so many years of slavery, a lack of leadership would send them into the kind of panic that had pushed them into the orgies of the golden calf. Hence, just following the splitting of the Red Sea, G-d instructs Moses to use his leadership staff and strike the rock. Now, however, after a full year of freedom, G-d would have expected Moses to have rejected the power of the staff to gain the obedience of the Israelites, and to have utilized instead

the persuasiveness of the word to win their fealty and faithfulness. Hence G-d instructs Moses to speak to the rock – the stubborn Israelites – rather than to strike it. Moreover, Moses has by now received the second Tablets, which included the Oral Law (Exodus 34:28), the hermeneutic principles which empowered the people to become G-d’s partners in interpreting His words in every generation. Speech invites dialogue. G-d wants Moses to realize that as the Israelites matured, they required a different brand of leadership. Instead of the scepter of authority and control, they required the speech of the Oral Law. Then, the Torah, which is always compared to water, will come forth from them, from that very stubborn “rock” of a nation. After all, it’s that same stubbornness which energizes commitment, enduring commitment, even unto death, the commitment of the Israelites to the Torah in which they have become invested by means of the Oral Law. This incident of Moses’ sin and punishment is sandwiched between Miriam’s death and an account of a well that Yonatan Ben-Uziel identifies as the return of the well of Miriam: “And from there [the Israelites traveled] to the well; this is the well regarding which the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather the nation and I shall give them water.’ Then all of Israel sang this song; concerning the well, they sang to it.” (Numbers 21:16, 17) I believe the Bible is here presenting an alternative to Moses’ brand of “scepter” or “striking” leadership; it is Miriam’s brand

of “singing” leadership. Words enter the mind of the other and hopefully lead to dialogue and debates; songs enter the heart and soul, leading to spirited and spiritual uplifting. The Torah, the Oral Law that includes input from Israel, is referred to as a book, but also as a “song.” (Deuteronomy 31:19) A book educates the mind; a song inspires the heart. A book speaks to individuals; a song moves the masses. We met Miriam before at the splitting of the Red Sea. After Moses sang his song to G-d and the Israelites repeated

staying in hotels and eating out, so I will not be able to cook my own food and there will not be kosher restaurants in the small countryside towns I plan on visiting. How do I keep kosher while traveling? KOSHER TRAVELER

Besides the option of prepared foods with proper rabbinic supervision, in a pinch you can also fall back on fresh fruits and other raw, uncooked foods, such as bananas, apples, oranges and other items. Safe travels.

you’ll answer in your column, I’m wondering: Do you have any thoughts on the Maccabiah Games? Do you believe that there are any important Jewish ideals that we can learn from them? MACCABIAH MAN

Dear Kosher Traveler, Keeping kosher is easier than ever. Kosher meals are available in hotels, airlines, cruise ships, and just about anywhere in the world. You simply need to plan in advance – further in advance for outof-the-way places, and less so in major cities. Just ask. Kosher food is also generally available in most supermarkets, particularly in major metropolitan areas, and you can also bring kosher food and packaged meals with you, some of which do not need refrigeration.

Games represent wholesome activity

Dear Maccabiah Man, I think that all kinds of healthy, wholesome Jewish activity and interchange between Jews are good, encouraging relationships and developing bonds between Jews and Jewish communities around the world. I don’t really think there are any particular Jewish ideals or lessons to be learned from the Maccabiah Games, other than the unity and common interests that Jews around the world share.

Dear Rebbetzin, Although I won’t be attending, I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, which open July 18 at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. The Games are the third-largest international sporting event in the world, after the Summer Olympics and the Pan Am Games. They are open to athletes of the Jewish faith from all nations. While this might not be the most important question


The sound of the bride shall be the sound of a Torah that includes everyone.

his words (Exodus 15:1), Miriam took a drum and inspired the other women to also take drums and initiate dancing (ibid 20). Moreover, Miriam rouses them all to sing together. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains the prophetic verse, “Then [in the Messianic Age] there shall be heard ... the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride.” The sound of the bride (the woman) shall be the sound of Torah, but it will be different from the men’s Torah; it will be a Torah of song, a Torah of heart, and a Torah that includes everyone. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is Chancellor Ohr Torah Stone and Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel.

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THE JEWISH ADVOCATE JUNE 14, 2013 If you were growing up in the 1960s or 1970s, it seemed like there was a spaceship launch every week. A rocket was followed by a Judy Boltonplume of smoke, Fasman and off the brave astronauts would go into the unknown, possibly bumping into G-d. Launching a spacecraft is one thing. Bringing it safely back to earth is another kind of business. Launch and re-entry have been on my mind quite a bit this past month when Anna returned from her first year of college. As Ken and I launched our girl into higher education last August, the venture made nervous astronauts out of the three of us. It was a bit of a bumpy start, but that did not last too long and soon enough, Anna was orbiting her new world 300 miles away. She had a successful launch and last month, we all had to reverse course for her to re-enter our atmosphere. Depending on your perspective, this return was either a setback or a simple change of venue. I’d say it was a little of both. Just as spacecraft re-entry can be a very tricky business, so is getting your college freshman acclimated to home life again. Note that when an object enters the earth’s atmosphere it experiences a few forces, including gravity and drag. Gravity has a natural pull on an object and will cause the object to fall dangerously fast. Think of this as your college freshman reluctantly comes back to home life, reacting to the natural yet disturbing force of your parental gravity. The earth’s atmosphere contains particles of air that a falling object hits and rubs against as it descends to the earth, causing friction. The object experiences drag or air resistance, which slows it down to a safer entry speed. You and your returning freshman will have your own version of Parenting

The perils of re-entry friction. True enough, your child will experience drag and air resistance, but in the end will not be happy to adjust her life to a safer entry speed. Again, take a lesson from physics in understanding that friction in relationships is, at best, a mixed blessing. In addition to causing drag, it also causes intense heat. In researching the particulars of space-shuttle descents, I came upon some physical realities that make re-entry safer, and in the case of a college student returning home for the summer, a bit smoother. Any astronaut will tell you that re-entering earth is about attitude control. In the case of space flight, this is not a psychological term, but instead refers to the angle at which the spacecraft flies. I submit that

Just as spacecraft reentry can be a very tricky business, so is getting your college freshman acclimated to home life again.

similarly adjusting one’s view of welcoming your college student back home also has to do with attitude control. You and your child are in your own private descent back to family life, and how you adjust the angle of your relationship is the key to success. Don’t make a rookie mistake and think that loving phone calls and happy Skype sessions while your child is at school will translate into a seamless transition back home. In reality, we parents are the ground crew to our children’s ongoing launches. You and I both know that she’s still under heavy parental support, but it

doesn’t feel that way to a daughter who has been in charge of her own schedule for the past nine months. Your child believes she is a high-flying adult living on her own. We can cull further lessons on our kids’ return to home life by understanding the descent of a space shuttle. In order to leave its orbit, a spacecraft must begin the process of slowing down from its extreme speed. The parties, the 2 a.m. pizza call, the constant flow of company, all of that comes to a screeching halt back at the ancestral home. Just as a spacecraft flips around and flies backward for a period of time to slow down, your college student will need to thrust her life out of orbit to return back to your home base. The descent through the atmosphere can be a bumpy ride. Once a spacecraft is safely out of orbit, it turns nose-first again and enters the atmosphere in a position akin to a belly flop. The nose is pulled up to what is called an angle of attack, which stabilizes the descent. The lesson to learn here is that friction is inevitable and even necessary to guarantee a safe landing. Landing a space shuttle today is a lot different from landing one of the Apollo missions, of my childhood. In those days, the astronauts returned to earth in their command module and made a dramatic splash in the ocean. Today’s shuttle lands more like an airplane and glides into a landing strip, deploying a parachute to slow it down. In the end, does the re-entry of your college student look like the big splashdown of one of the Apollo missions or is it the smooth computer-assisted glide of a shuttle landing? We’re still working it out at our house, and the return back from dorm living vacillates between the two, feeling as mysterious as the heavens.


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Baseball: Is it good for the Jews?

an afternoon of discussion, hot dogs, soda and beer

Leading the discussion: Larry Ruttman, author of the newly published American Jews and America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy In Baseball, and senior Boston Red Sox adviser Dr. Charles Steinberg FREE - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:00 P.M. Congregation Kehillath Israel, 384 Harvard Street, Brookline

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A lovely, serious look at life inside a Hasidic community Rama Burshtein’s remarkable ‘Fill the Void’ examines one family’s post-tragedy choices By Daniel M. Kimmel “Fill the Void” is a remarkable film that depicts life within a Hasidic community in Israel from the perspective of the people living that life. Like “Ushpizin,” the movie about Sukkot guests who turn out to be on the lam from the police, it is an interior view – but unlike that film, it is serious and focuses primarily on its female characters. This is by design, as writer/director Rama Burshtein is herself part of that community and has made a film that takes place primarily among the conversations between women. Shira (Hadas Yaron) is the lovely 18-year-old daughter of a devout family. Her father is a successful businessman and a benefactor to the community. Her older sister Esther (Renana Raz) is pregnant with her first child and has a devoted husband in Yochay (Yiftach Klein). We get a sense of their marriage when he takes her aside at a Purim party to tell her how much he loves her and she wryly notes that he only says that once a year when he’s had a bit too much to drink celebrating the holiday. Still, they seem happy together.


Rama Burshtein’s “Fill the Void” focuses primarily on its female characters, including Shira (Hadas Yaron), Esther (Renana Raz), Rivka (Irit Sheleg) and Aunt Hanna (Razia Israeli). Tragedy strikes early when Esther dies in childbirth and, after a period of time passes, the question becomes what will Yochay do? Shira and her mother help take care of the baby, although her mother fears that if Yochay remarries – and possibly leaves Israel – she will be cut off from her grandson. The solution is obvious: Shira should marry her brother-in-law. It’s not all that obvious to Shira, who was already eyeing a po-




tential husband the matchmaker had picked out for her. Nor is it all that obvious to Yochay, who sees Shira as Esther’s kid sister. What’s interesting is that while Shira’s parents would like to see the match, the pressure they exert is subtle and restrained. It is her choice, they insist. She is much more than the stereotypical obedient daughter, and Burshtein depicts the conflicted emotions involved for each of the characters.

Her special concern is the women – not simply Shira and her mother, but also an unmarried and disabled aunt who reveals she wears the head covering of a married woman simply because she was tired of having to deal with her single status. Another woman suffers as she is told at every wedding that she will be next, but she never is. Marriage is part of the self-definition for most of the women, but the movie wants us to understand that’s because the family is the building block for this Orthodox society. A woman without a man is as much in need of a partner as a man without a woman. As Shira and Yochay wrestle with their choices, we also get the sense of what she would be sacrificing. Late in the film she explains that when Yochay and Esther married, they were two young people discovering life together. If Shira agrees to the marriage, she will never know what that is like. Those few years of experience that separate them will make a difference. “Fill the Void” is a lovely, thoughtful film where much of the story is told on the faces of

the characters. They don’t always say what they think, but their faces reveal much more. Burshtein has done a nice job revealing a side of the fervently Orthodox community rarely depicted in film: women who are

Movie Maven “Fill the Void” is slated to open Friday, June 21, at Kendall Square Cinemas in Cambridge. It has been rescheduled twice, so double-check the date with the theater. secure in the religious world in which they live, and don’t see it as the source for whatever personal crises they face. Daniel M. Kimmel lectures widely on a variety of film-related topics and can be reached at danielmkimmel@




A pop-culture figure who’s worthy of close attention ‘Overweight Sensation’ recalls the originality and outspoken Jewishness of Allen Sherman By Daniel M. Kimmel

the Folk Singer.” It was a smash Pop culture is obviously not hit beyond anything that had ever important as, say, nuclear physics, been seen for a comedy recording. cancer research, or the study of His follow-up albums – “My Son, Talmud. So, what does that make the Celebrity” and “My Son, the Nut” – were also huge hits. Sherparodies of pop culture? When you have measured the man’s success was being comvalue of that, ask yourself what the pared to recording artists such as value of a study of those parodies Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Sherman wrote song paromight be. If it’s Mark Cohen’s masdies – he was a major influence terful, critical biography, “Overon present-day parodist “Weird weight Sensation: The Life and Al” Yankovic – with many havComedy of Allan Sherman,” it turns ing a distinctly Jewish flavor. This out to be very valuable indeed. was at a time when mainstream Those of a certain age will immediately remember what a phe- entertainment played down ethnomenon Sherman was in the nic identity in general and Jew1960s. He had been a writer/ ish identity in particular. Sherman producer on television (he was embraced his Jewish ethnicity co-creator of the game show “I’ve partly in rebellion against a mother Got a Secret”) when, in 1962, who spent most of her life running Warner Bros. Records released a away from it, which made the alcomedy album called “My Son, bum titles poignantly ironic. On the first album, the French ditty “Frere Jacques” became “Sarah Jackman” where a young Jewish man and woman get caught up on mutual friends and family. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was turned into “The Ballad of Harry Lewis,” where a union tailor died in a warehouse fire “where the drapes of Roth are stored.” Unlike earlier Jewish parodists such as Mickey Katz, who performed for Jewish audiences imAllen Sherman’s comedy record- mersed in Jewish life, Sherman ing “My Son, the Folk Singer” wrote about modern-day Jews who was a smash hit. had moved to the suburbs and as-

similated but weren’t ashamed of their roots. In his takeoff on “Hava Nagila,” Sherman sang of “Harvey and Sheila” who “on Election

Las Vegas was among the places that hosted Allan Sherman’s comedy act.

“Overweight Sensation” by Mark Cohen. Brandeis University Press, 2013. Day/worked for JFK” but a verse later, enjoying material success and a relocation to California, had “switched to the GOP/that’s the way things go!” Cohen’s meticulously researched biography delves into

Allen Sherman and friends look over a copy of his autobiography “A Gift of Laughter.” aspects of Sherman’s life that his fans may find surprising, including promiscuity and drugs, but also measures the impact Sherman had on American culture. His openness about his Jewish identity, at a time when there were numerous songwriters and comedians who were Jewish and never mentioned it in their work, was a revelation. Whether cause or effect, Sherman became a big hit at the moment when being Jewish in American suddenly became cool. Cohen’s


Meet eli kamtza, the kosher grasshopper. See page 79 to learn about its connection to the Temple!

Mark Cohen’s new book tells the story of legendary Jewish comic Allen Sherman.

book explores that moment with wit and insight. If all you know of Allan Sherman is his most enduring creation – the song “Hello Muddah Hello Faddah (A Letter from Camp Granada)” – then “Overweight Sensation” will introduce you to a Jewish pop-culture figure worthy of close attention. And if you’re a fan who hasn’t listened to those albums in years, this is a book that will make you want to dig them out and renew the acquaintance.





Center Makor prepares for arrival of ‘King Matiusz I’ Local theater company brings popular Polish novel to the stage in Brighton beginning June 16 By Ian Thal Advocate Staff Writer Mariya Deykute and composer Leo Loginov-Katz had been looking to work together on a project when they discovered that they had a favorite novel from childhood in common: “King Matt the First.” The resulting collaboration, a musical titled “King Matiusz I” premieres at Center Makor, a cultural center for the Massachusetts Russian-Jewish immigrant community based at Temple Bnai Moshe in Brighton. The play includes both adult and child performers and is appropriate for all ages. “King Matt the First” was first published in Poland in 1922. Its author, Janusz Korczak (the penname of Henryk Goldszmit), was a well-known Polish-Jewish pediatrician, educator, and children’s rights advocate. The book was also popular in the Soviet Union of Deykute’s and Loginov-Katz’s birth due to a 1924 Russian translation. It only appeared in English in 1986. The musical, like the novel on which it’s based, tells the story of a boy ascending to the crown of a besieged kingdom after the death of his parents. Matt struggles with not just the isolation of his position, but with the agendas of his government ministers, and sometimes with the problems created by his own idealistic solutions to his nation’s problems. “When I was a child,” said Deykute, “it was really compelling to [ask], ‘Oh, what if I was king, what would I do?’” But she found, when adapting the material as an adult reader and becoming aware of the political themes, “It’s a far scarier book in some ways than I

Composer Leo Loginov-Katz’ ambition to base a musical on Janusz Korczak’s novel dates back to perestroika. realized.” In 1911, Korczak had become Director of Dom Sierot, a Jewish orphanage on Krochmalna Street in Warsaw designed in accordance with his pedagogical views. Korczak encouraged the children under his care to form their own republic, with a parliament and a court. In 1926, that self-governance would extend to the orphans also having their own newspaper, the “Maly Przeglad” or “The Little Review” which was published as a weekly supplement to the Polish-Jewish daily, “Nasz Przeglad” or “Our Review.” Korczak’s observations of his children’s self governance found their way into the story of King Matt. “Matiusz is really his fictionalized way of bringing those ideas out,” noted Deykute. “But I think his ideas are in everything he did.” The child-monarch often discovers that his policies are mistaken, and is forced to improvise so-

lutions to problems he might have created. Deykute observed that the world in Korczak’s novel is “not a utopia.” Another theme woven into the novel is Poland’s independence. Korczak, though a Zionist who visited kibbutzim in British Mandate Palestine on multiple occasions, was also a patriotic Pole. The Second Polish Republic had only come into existence in 1918, the same year that Korczak began work on “King Matt the First.” In the years between the 1795 partitioning of the Commonwealth of Poland among Prussia, Imperial Russia and the Habsburgs, and its reestablishment in the aftermath of World War I, Poland had been a nation without a state. The Poles were only just learning to govern themselves again, and many of the challenges King Matt faced in the novel are analogous to those that Poles would be reading about in their newspapers or hear discussed on the radio.

In 1940, German occupiers forced Korczak and his orphans into the Warsaw Ghetto. There are reports that he had repeatedly been offered opportunities to escape the ghetto and live in hiding in the so-called “Aryan-side” of Warsaw, but that he refused to abandon the more than 190 children estimated to have been in his care. On Aug. 5, 1942, German soldiers rounded up Korczak, the orphans, and his staff, and placed them on the train heading to Treblinka, where they were murdered soon after arrival. The capture of Korczak and the orphans is memorialized in sculpture both in Warsaw and at Yad Vashem in Israel, and is recounted in a number of published first-hand accounts of the era, including Wladyslaw Szpilman’s memoir “The Pianist.” The Provisional Council to Aid Jews, the Polish Government in Exile’s first organized effort to smuggle Jews out of the ghettos and concentration camps, and set them up in hiding places, would not come into existence until Sept. 27, 1942. Katz had wanted to adapt “King Matt The First” as a children’s musical for decades, since the latter days of the Soviet Union: “A friend of mine and I created the first children’s theater that allowed children to speak their own minds in Russia; it was still very controversial; it was the beginning of perestroika.” However, Katz noted, “Perestroika was not happening everywhere at once – people would exercise totalitarian mentality and they would rather tell children what to do, what to say, than [to] encourage them to ask questions and think on their own … this actually is what turned me to Korczak.” Katz saw parallels between his

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Writer and lyricist Mariya Deykute also teaches memoir writing and creative writing at UMass Boston.

students and his own youth. Coming from a family of musicians, he had been educated in conservatories from an early age: “I wanted to learn jazz [but] jazz was not allowed [at] the time.” “When I finished my high school, I had to go to theater because I like to improvise,” said Katz. “I started to work on the music [for “King Matiusz I”] then, 25 years ago. Then for many reasons it was put on hold: I moved to the United States; I have had political asylum in this country.” In Deykute, a native speaker of Russian, as well as a teacher of creative and memoir writing at UMass Boston, Katz had found an ideal collaborator. Adapting the story to the stage as well as to a new audience was daunting: “We had to simplify the plot,” said Deykute, adding, “It is a book written in the ’20s; some of the issues, such as race, as gender, were not treated as we would like them to be treated now. A lot of it had to do with digging down to see what the essential message and the ideas … were.” The political themes also had to find expression in the music. Katz noted that there were opportuni-

“When I was a child, it was really compelling to [ask] ‘Oh, what if I was king, what would I do?’” Mariya Deykute

ties for satire by alluding to, “official composers writing for Russia … [in scenes] like the trial, especially in … the march representing the army … the bureaucracy.” Rather than condemning those composers, Katz explained, “that’s part of normal music business.” Deykute and Katz have formed a theater company, Jewish Musical & Theater Enterprise, to carry “King Matiusz I” forward. “Part of our aim,” said Deykute, “[is] trying to get more figures that aren’t that well known in the Jewish community here, but [better known] in Europe. …It’s part of our culture.” Performances of “King Matiusz I” are scheduled for June 16 at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m., June 20 at 7 p.m., and June 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Center Makor, 1845 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton. The play is appropriate for all ages. Tickets and information are available at and




Nora Ephron remembered through Film Festival prize Annual $25,000 award will keep writer’s name alive


Nora Ephron is joined by husband and fellow screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010. The Nora Ephron Prize was awarded for the first time at this year’s festival.

By Robert Gluck For filmmaker Meera Menon, no honor could have been more fitting than winning the inaugural award named after famed Jewish screenwriter and novelist Nora Ephron, the woman whose work inspired her. At the recent 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, Menon was named the first recipient of the $25,000 Nora Ephron Prize, given to a writer or director whose work embodies that of the late Ephron, who wrote the scripts for a number of hit films, including “When Harry Met Sally,� “Heartburn� and “Sleepless In Seattle.� Menon said Ephron’s work has inspired her because it epitomizes “how to take pain and suffering and turn them into laughter and joy.� “Those qualities inspired me and my co-filmmakers,� Menon, 28, said. “Receiving this incredible honor in her name means more than I could ever articulate.� June 26 will mark one year since Ephron’s death from complications from acute myeloid leukemia. Her work will now live on through the annual prize given

at the Tribeca Film Festival. Menon received the prize April 25 for her film “Farah Goes Bang,� which follows a woman in her 20s who tries to lose her virginity while campaigning across America for presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004. A writer, director, and producer of narrative and documentary films, Menon’s short film “The Seduction of Shaitan� secured online distribution through the South Asian culture and fashion magazine EGO, and her short film “Mark in Argentina� was an official selection of the 2010 Hollyshorts Film Festival. She has worked for documentary filmmakers on the PBS series “Destination America,� and she produced the documentary short “Polar Opposites,� recently purchased for broadcasting by The Documentary Channel. Menon explained that Ephron through her scripts “recounts a particular female experience that is sometimes painful or shameful, but she finds the humor, the heart and the levity in those subject matters,� Menon said. “In her iconic film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and in ‘You’ve Got

Mail,’ Meg Ryan’s characters, and her interpretation of Nora’s words, presented a new modern woman that we hadn’t seen before, one that was smart, funny and complicated, and she did all of the things that women aren’t allowed to do onscreen,� she added. Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival with Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, said the festival organizers were impressed with Menon’s “fresh, witty, and smart take on a coming-of-age story about girlfriends, passions and politics.� “Her film captures the spirit and themes of Nora’s work,� Rosenthal said. “I’m proud to continue Nora’s legacy through this award and encourage women filmmakers to create the work that inspires them.� The Tribeca Film Festival emerged in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, with the goal of spurring the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. Since its first edition in 2002, the festival has screened more than 1,400 films from more than 80 countries, attracted an international audience of more than 4 million, and generated $750 million in economic activity for New York City. Rosenthal said Ephron “was a great friend to the festival since its inception, and I had the privilege to know her and be in absolute awe of her.� “She did it all brilliantly, with wit and wisdom that went straight to the heart, and she cooked, too,� Rosenthal said. “I am proud to honor her memory and continue her legacy with this award, which I hope will inspire a new generation of women filmmakers and writers.� Before she became one of the most influential women in the film industry, Ephron worked briefly as a White House intern for President John F. Kennedy and as a reporter for The New York Post.

The late Nora Ephron wrote the script for the hit film “Heartburn,� starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nich“When Harry Met Sally.� olson, is based on Nora Ephron’s own life.


Meera Menon won the Tribeca Film Festival’s first Nora Ephron Prize for her film “Farah Goes Bang.� Although Jewish by birth, Ephron was not observant. “You can never have too much butter – that is my belief. If I have a religion, that’s it,� she quipped in an NPR interview about her 2009 movie “Julie & Julia.� Ephron’s son Jacob Bernstein, a reporter for the New York Times, will direct an HBO movie on her life called “Everything Is Copy.� In 1976, Ephron married journalist Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward broke the story of the Watergate scandal. Three years later, after she had Jacob and was pregnant with her second son Max, she discovered her husband was having an affair with their mutual friend, married British politician Margaret Jay. Coping with this situation, Ephron wrote the novel “Heartburn,� which was made into the 1986 film by Mike Nichols starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Menon said “Heartburn� represents the idea of taking an experience that was difficult and turning it into a great film. “It is a tremendous act of bravery to do that, to put your personal life into your storytelling,� Me-

non said. “Nora did it with more class than anyone has ever done.� Menon, following in Ephron’s footsteps, used her own experiences, as the daughter of an immigrant from India, to help shape her storytelling. “Farah Goes Bang� was the culmination of her work to make a film about the issues that mattered most to her: race, politics, sex, and youth. “In order to create an honest dialogue about those things, we needed to determine the course of our young protagonist’s life, and how, through her relationships and her actions, she is able to stumble toward those moments of self-discovery,� she said. Menon – much like her film’s protagonist, Farah – said she has learned much along her road of self-discovery. “I grew up in a household that was the constant host of actors, directors, artists, musicians, comedians and dancers,� she said. “Through this, I learned the most sacred lesson that I carry with me today: Communities need their films, objects of their collective storytelling, to keep themselves together.�

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Aging Well Routines that will help regulate your sleeping patterns Here is health advice from experts at Hebrew SeniorLife:

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Q: Between the heat and extra hours of sun, I’m having trouble regulating my sleeping patterns. What can I do to get my sleep habits back on track? A: If you find yourself counting sheep at night, you’re not alone: Nearly 70 percent of American adults report frequent Dr. Eran sleep problems. Metzger Sleep is an essential component of good health, including mental and emotional functioning, productivity and safety. However, summertime disturbances such as temperature, light and allergies commonly disrupt restful sleep. Eran Metzger, M.D., director of psychiatry at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, says the following steps can help regain better rest: • Go to bed at the same time every night, preferably not too early. • Bed is for sleeping, so read or watch television in bed only if it helps you relax and go to sleep. • Take a 10-minute break during the day for relaxation exercises or meditation. If a nap is a necessity, try to do so at the same time every day for the same length of time. • Exercise in the morning or early afternoon. • Spend 20 minutes in a warm bath before going to bed. • Ensure that the bedroom environment is conducive to sleeping, with room temperature, darkness, and noise control adjusted for comfort. • Eat a light dinner at least three hours before bedtime. A banana or glass of warm milk as a snack might have a sleep-inducing effect. • Avoid all caffeinated foods and beverages, even in the morning. Remember, it is normal for older people to take longer to fall asleep and to wake up briefly one to three times during the night. In addition, Dr. Metzger says certain medications sometimes cause daytime sleepiness, insomnia, or restlessness. Speak with a physician or pharmacist if you think this is the case. Q: I’m reasonably confident in my driving ability, but want to make sure I’m being as safe as possible. How can I make sure I’m sticking to the rules of the road? A: Throughout aging, a number of common factors – visual acuity, diminished hearing, changes in physical strength, possible cognitive problems, and slower reaction times – affect the ability to drive.

Nearly 70 percent of American adults report frequent sleep problems. Dr. Metzger frequently deals with older-driver issues, and recommends the following tips for safe driving as one ages: • Have vision and hearing checked regularly. • Wear a seat belt at all times, as a driver and as a passenger. • Plan your driving route and allow additional time to arrive safely. • Travel on familiar roads, avoiding rush-hour traffic and inclement weather. • Avoid driving at night if you have vision difficulties. • Understand the effects medication may have on your driving. • Increase your following distance to improve your reaction time. • Reduce distractions such as the car radio or cell phone. Enroll in a driver-safety program offered by organizations such as AARP, AAA and the National Safety Council. With proper planning, alternative methods of transportation can prevent seniors from having to forfeit most of their usual activities. *** Q: I want to enjoy the outdoors this summer, but the threat of ticks and mosquitoes keeps me inside. How can I avoid being bitten this summer? A. Summer is in the air, and so are ticks, mosquitoes, and other outdoor pests. Believe it or Dr. Jennifer not, it is possible to stay active and Rhodesenjoy the great Kropf outdoors without unwanted pests taking a bite out of summer fun. Jennifer RhodesKropf, M.D., geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, offers the following tips:

• Wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when you go outside. Keep ticks away from skin by tucking pants into socks. • Wear light colors to make it easier to spot any ticks that get on clothing. • Use bug spray to keep ticks away. Ask your doctor about best products for each pest type. • Stay inside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. • Drain areas of standing water near your home. • Keep foods and drinks covered when outside. • If you see a stinging insect, stay calm and slowly back away. • Do a full-body check for ticks after being outdoors. Be sure to check the scalp, waist, armpits, groin, and backs of your knees. New England has a high prevalence of Lyme disease, but it is less likely to be transmitted if the tick has been on the person for fewer than 72 hours. Tick checks should be conducted after every outdoor venture. If you should get bitten by a tick, Dr. Rhodes-Kropf recommends doing the following: • Use tweezers to grab the head of the tick and pull straight up with even pressure, slowly and gently. Do not try to burn it off or apply Vaseline. • Wash the area gently with soap and water afterward. • Watch the area for any rash and contact your primary care provider if one should occur. • When needed, apply anti-itch cream such as an over-the counter hydrocortisone cream. In the event of a severe reaction, such as difficulty breathing, swelling, cramps, nausea, or dizziness, Dr. Rhodes-Kropf recommends dialing 911. Visit for more information.



Virtual museum tours perk up people afflicted with dementia ‘In the Armchair with Picasso’ developed by EMDA professionals By Karin Kloosterman Sad, forlorn, desperate and depressed – these are some of the feelings that devoted family members face when caring for loved ones with dementia. A new Israeli art kit for home use, “In the Armchair with Picasso,” can help. “In the Armchair with Picasso,” which comes with a CD, was developed by a team of professionals associated with EMDA, the Alzheimer’s Association of Israel. One of the co-developers is Michal Herz, who works in project development from EMDA, the country’s only nationwide support system for people with dementia. “We try to develop projects based on what the relatives say they want,” Herz said. “Often we hear from them that life feels so narrow, that they can’t do so many things with their parents that they could in the past, before the illness. They don’t have an outlet to do stimulating things with their loved ones anymore. “We were looking for a concept that would change this scenario,” said Herz. And so the take-home art kit was born, inspired by successful museum tours for Alzheimer’s patients in Israel. “Dementia” is a general term for people with deteriorating memory loss, caused by one or more diseases. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause in people over 65, and Israel has been at the forefront of research into diagnosing and treating this devastating disease. According to experts at EMDA, people with dementia retain the ability to enjoy art even into late stages of their disease. Art can therefore be a window into the otherwise closed world of a person lost

“In the Armchair with Picasso” comes with a CD. to dementia. Art can help improve cognitive skills, communication skills and emotional expression. “After buying the kit, people are sending me emails saying they are learning new things about their mom – things they never knew before,” said Herz. “Or that their mom is remembering new things from her youth. Communication otherwise had been poor and without depth.” The art kit story started at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the institution that conceived the idea of catering museum tours to people with dementia: “Meet Me At MOMA” began about five years ago, and Israel was one of the first to pick up the program. The aim is to get people with dementia out of the house along with their family members, who cope with the energydraining task of communicating with their loved ones. Herz started MOMA-style tours at 12 museums in Israel, and participants were eager for more. So she and her partners at EMDA decided to make an art “tour” that

can be used therapeutically at home. EMDA gained copyrights to about 50 prints by famous painters, and printed them on large cardboard posters. On the back are questions and tips for communicating with those suffering from dementia. An EMDA-endorsed user booklet is also enclosed. The images were chosen to reflect a “normative” life, said Herz. “Prints are of everyday scenes so that people with dementia see themselves or their lives in the art,” she said. Francis Bacon would be a nogo, as his images are violent. Pictures that are too surreal wouldn’t make the cut, nor would burlesque dancers, for example. The kits are available in Hebrew and English, sent anywhere by mail order for about $50. They have been a big hit in day centers especially, said Herz, who has presented the art kit in conferences abroad. Colleagues have expressed an interest in making their own version based on the Israeli model, and MOMA may work toward this goal. There is no clinical data in yet on how well the kits work, but the response by those using it has been encouraging, said Herz. “This art kit has an emotional impact for both sides. It enhances the patient’s sense of well-being and affects the caretaker by charging them up with energy,” she said. EMDA, which serves as a support and umbrella organization for about 50 Alzheimer’s and dementia nonprofits in Israel, also is participating in New York University’s Caregiver Intervention, a program intended to improve the well-being of spouse caregivers and delay the nursing home placement of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bursts of electricity may slow down Alzheimer’s Israeli study shows how to restore key proteins in brains affected by disease By Karin Kloosterman Simple, everyday activities such as crossword puzzles or reading books may stave off the mind-robbing Alzheimer’s disease. Those studying and working with Alzheimer’s patients generally accept this as fact. When the mind processes challenging puzzles or new information, it makes links in the brain, possibly exercising brain synapses, the neural networks that power our brains. Looking deeper into the brain as to what controls these synapses is a new study from Tel Aviv University. Based on the long-suspected evidence that a buildup of amyloid-beta protein in the brain causes Alzheimer’s, which affects 5.4 million people in the United States alone, Israeli researcher Inna Slutsky has found an important missing link. It’s not just the amount of amyloid that can create the onset of Alzheimer’s, she said, but the specific kind of amyloid protein found in the brain. An imbalance of amyloid-beta 40, compared to its counterpart amyloid-beta 42, is found in those suffering the effects of the disease. In her research, Slutsky wanted to see if she could restore the balance between the two amyloids. She and her research associate Iftach Dolev, with student Hilla Fogel, stimulated hippocampus regions of the brain in mice with Alzheimer’s – an important area of the brain for memory and learning.

The scientists found that distinct patterns of electrical pulses, known as spikes, and the way the brain synapses filter high-frequency bursts of electricity, help regulate a healthy amyloid-beta 40/42 ratio. Using electrical spikes, they were able to restore the balance of amyloid-beta 40 and 42 in the mice so that the proportions resembled the makeup of a healthy brain. These artificial bursts of electricity in the brain may form the basis of a future therapy in human sufferers, the researchers theorize in an article published in Nature Neuroscience earlier this spring. This is a huge advance in understanding how brain circuitry and chemistry – apart from known genetic mutations, which make up a small percentage of cases – lead to Alzheimer’s. Connecting the whole picture of how amyloid is balanced points to a brain protein called presenilin, the researchers explained. “We hypothesize that changes in the temporal patterns of spikes in the hippocampus may trigger structural changes in the presenilin, leading to early memory impairments in people with sporadic Alzheimer’s,” said Slutsky. Over time, environmental effects and human experiences may be affecting the spiking patterns in the brain, which is in line with theories that stimulating environments could prevent the onset of this debilitating disease. According to the researchers, sensory experiences alone could also increase amyloid-beta 40 in the brain.

World-leading Alzheimer’s researcher Professor Amos Korczyn, a neurologist also from Tel Aviv University, said Slutsky’s study is of great significance. “Beta amyloid is a key molecule in Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. “All the big drug companies are now trying to invent agents that will reduce the load of this substance in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.”


Slutsky showed how electric stimulation can manipulate the synthesis rate of this molecule, by stimulating the neurons that make this substance. “Theoretically we could develop drugs that would mimic the effects of the electrical stimulations. This is far in the future, though,” said Korczyn. “For now, this study has been done on animals, and it’s been done over a short term. So we

would need to see what extent this effect would have when it’s applied to humans and treatments over several months. “Unlike crude electroshock treatments used in schizophrenia, we are talking about a very delicate, gentle and highly focused electrical stimulation.” In the future, Slutsky and her team hope to be able to apply the firing patterns found in healthy hippocampus brain pathways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. That, they say, would be a step in monitoring and diagnosing the disease as it progresses.





y father loved food with a passion others reserve for sports or music. He waxed poetic about fresh sweet corn and good brisket, apple pie in the fall or small-farm ice cream in the summer. Homemade lemonade was worth a detailed critique on a hot summer’s day, as was a tomato from his garden in late July. He taught me to taste the different flavors in spaghetti sauce, his famous barbecue sauce or even a warm, ripe blueberry from the car-sized bush he planted right next to Joni our garage. Schockett Dad loved food in all seasons, but summer was his favorite. Whether it meant swimming and picnicking at his beloved Nantasket Beach or grilling for a crowd of our huge extended family and close friends, food was front and center, and he relished those times with the excitement of a kid at Disney World. It was also the time for growing his lush vegetable garden, which meant he could go pick sweet corn and tomatoes, peppers, carrots, radishes, beans and more right in our backyard. He also grew asparagus, rhubarb and blueberries in the side yard, where he spent hours caring for and pruning the apple trees that produced bushels of big, juicy, sweet apples every fall just as summer was winding down. If you have a dad like I had, then you know that nothing will make him happier on Father’s Day than a great barbecue dinner. Fire up the grill, make some fresh lemonade and lots of homemade cards (because they are the best kind) and show Dad how much you love him. And, of course, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! * * *

South Carolina Yellow Mustard Grilled Chicken (Meat) Not all barbecue sauces are red. This is for true yellow mustard lovers; a favorite in South Carolina. • 1/2 to 2/3 cup yellow mustard (not Dijon – just inexpensive yellow) • 1/2 onion, finely grated • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar • 1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar or half and half, to taste • 1/4 cup honey, to taste • 1 tbsp. dry mustard powder • 1/2 -2 tsp. tabasco or hot sauce, to taste • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce • 3 tablespoons Canola oil • 8-10 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds) • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper • Canola oil for brushing the grates of the grill

Preparation: Whisk the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Remove 2/3 of the sauce to another container and place the chicken pieces in the larger bowl with the remaining third of the mustard sauce. Toss to coat and let sit for about 15 minutes. Heat the barbecue to medium and generously brush the grates with canola oil. Take about 1/4 cup of the reserved sauce for basting the chicken and refrigerate the rest. Grill the chicken, skin side down, until the chicken moves easily and there are well-defined grill marks. Turn the chicken and baste the skin side several times while cooking. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees, it is done. Place the chicken on a platter and serve with the remaining sauce. Makes 8-10 pieces. * * *

Brown Mustard Grilled Chicken (Meat) A heaven for brown mustard lovers. • 2-3 pounds chicken pieces

Grilled to perfection

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the remaining olive oil, minced sugar, salt, and celery seed. Add the wine vinegar and whisk to emulsify. Slice the onion and place in a large bowl. Add the cooked potatoes to the bowl and toss to mix. Pour the dressing over. * * *

Cabernet Sauvignon Burgers with Shallots and Mushrooms (Meat) This is a fantastic burger for adult family members. Kids will like their burgers plain.

South Carolina Yellow Mustard Grilled Chicken • • • • • • • • • • • •

1/4 cup whole-grain or brown mustard 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar 1 tbsp. tamari sauce or low-sodium soy sauce 1-2 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. light brown sugar 2 tsp. canola oil 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 2 tsp. Spanish paprika (scant) 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Cover and let sit for about 1 hour or up to 4 hours for flavors to meld. Makes about 3/4 cup. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Brush chicken pieces with canola oil. Place in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 the marinade and toss to coat. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Place on a medium-hot grill. Grill until internal temperature is 165 degrees for white meat and 170 degrees for dark meat. * * *

Salsa Verde for Grilled Steak (Pareve) • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 4-6 garlic cloves, finely minced • 1 tbsp. (generous) finely grated lemon zest • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste • 2 cups fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme, finely minced • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely minced • 1/2 cup fresh chives, finely minced

Place oil, garlic and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mix and let marinate for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. While the lemon and garlic are marinating, remove any stems from the fresh herbs and discard. Finely chop the herbs and add them, including the parsley and chives, to the bowl. Mix well. Add a bit more oil if needed. Set aside to marinate another 30 minutes, mixing frequently. Serve over grilled steak, burgers, turkey burgers or chicken. Makes about 3 cups. * * *

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir often. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat. Add the oil and whisk to blend. Let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made several days ahead. Makes about 3 cups. * * *

Kansas City Chili Grilling Rub (Pareve) This is all about tasting and adjusting ingredients as you go along to get the mix you like. • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, firmly packed • 1/4 cup paprika (a small part of this can be smoked or hot Hungarian paprika) • 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper, to taste • 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. kosher salt, to taste • 1 tbsp. chili powder, to taste • 1 tbsp. garlic powder, to taste • 1 tbsp. onion powder, to taste

Optional: 1 tsp. cayenne, or to taste Combine all ingredients together and transfer to an airtight container. To use: Take a small spoonful of the rub and place on the meat. Rub it gently and quickly into each side of the meat. Let meat rest for about 10 minutes before grilling. May be stored up to six months in a cool, dark place. * * *

Warm Grilled Potato Salad (Pareve) This no-mayo potato salad is delicious, with lots of added veggies such as fresh green beans and roasted asparagus.

This is a great barbecue sauce for ribs, chicken or even hamburgers. I love it on skin-on thighs. Make as hot or mild as you like.

• 5-6 large California long white or Yukon gold potatoes • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided • 1 tbsp. garlic powder • 1 tbsp. onion powder • 1-2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper • 1/2 tsp. paprika • 1 Vidalia or red onion, thinly sliced, slices cut into quarters or eighths • 5-6 cups mixed baby field greens • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced • 1/2 tsp. sugar • 1/2 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. celery seed • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar • Salt and pepper, to taste

• 2 cups ketchup • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses (more to taste) • 1/4 to 1/3 cup bourbon • 3 (or more) tbsp. hot pepper sauce • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce • 1 tsp. paprika • 2-4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press • 1 tsp. onion powder • 2 heaping tbsp. dark brown sugar (more to taste) • 3 tbsp. canola oil

Slice the potatoes (peel, if you like; if not, scrub them) and slice into 1/4-thick slices. Place in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and paprika and toss to coat. Place the potatoes in a grill basket over a hot grill and grill for about 10 minutes, tossing or flipping the potatoes to cook on both sides. Potatoes should be a bit browned, and are done when they are cooked through.

Simple Hot and Sweet Bourbon Barbecue Sauce (Pareve)

• 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon wine • 1/2 cup shallots, minced • 9 tbsp. trans-fat-free pareve margarine • 2 tsp. brown sugar • 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds extra-lean ground beef • 1 tsp. salt • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs • 1-3 cloves garlic, finely minced • 1/2 small red onion finely minced, about 1/4 cup • 1 egg • Canola oil • Focaccia rolls or good quality bulky rolls

Place the wine and shallots in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until the wine is reduced to about 3/4 cup. Add one tablespoon margarine and stir until melted. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar is melted. Set aside. Mix the rest of the melted margarine with the rosemary and set aside. Place the meat, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion and egg in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add about 1/4 of the shallot wine mixture to the meat and mix well. Cover the meat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Heat a skillet and add about 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they turn golden. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Form the meat into 6-8 patties and brush each with canola oil. Place over mediumhigh heat and grill, basting with the remaining wine until desired doneness. Place burgers on a platter. Set aside. Brush the cut halves of rolls or focaccia bread with the margarine rosemary mixture and grill until golden. Serve burgers with mushrooms, any remaining shallot wine sauce, sliced tomatoes, sweet onion or red onion slices and baby field greens. Makes 6-8 patties. * * *

Sweet and Sour Glazed Hot Dogs (Meat) • • • • • • •

2 tbsp. ketchup 1 tbsp. tamari sauce 1 tsp. canola oil 1 large garlic clove, finely minced 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar (more to taste) 1/2 tsp. vinegar 1 tsp. molasses, to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly, about 3-4 minutes. Stir almost continuously. Let cool. Take 4-8 large hot dogs and score them on three sides. Make a shallow cut lengthwise through the middle of each line of scores. Place the hot dogs on a hot grill and baste continuously with the glaze until the hot dogs are cooked through and deep golden brown. Makes 4-8.



ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ASSAF KEHATI TRIO 6/14: 12:30 p.m. With Ehud Ettun and Ronen Itzik. Part of the “Concerts in the Courtyard” series. At Boston Public Library in Copley Square, Boston. Visit www. ‘KING MATIUSZ I’ 6/16, 20 & 30: Original musical by Leo Loginov Katz and Mariya Devkute. Based on Janusz Korczak’s novel “King Matt the First.” Presented by Center Makor and Jewish Music & Theater Enterprise. At Center Makor in Brighton. Visit www. for tickets and show times. PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER 6/20: 7 p.m. Singer Basya Schechter’s musical blend of the Middle East and Hassidic Brooklyn. At Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester. Call 978-2810739 or visit EZEKIEL’S WHEELS 6/24: 7 p.m. Award-winning klezmer band. At Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. Visit YIDDISH SING 6/27: 7:30 p.m. Informal gathering to sing Yiddish folk songs. Songbooks provided. Instruments welcome. At The Workmen’s Circle Center in Brookline. Call 617776-0448. THORWALD JØREGENSEN 6/30: 3 p.m. Thereminist Jørgensen plays music of Lithuanian Jewish composer Joseph Achron and others. At the Vilna Shul in Boston. Contact or 617-523-2324. ‘BEYOND GENOCIDE’ Through 8/17: Illuminated manuscripts by Amy Fagin. At Old Academy Building Museum and Cultural Center in New Salem. Visit www.20thcenturyilluminations. com.

Laufer named Harvard Professor

JNF holds charitable-giving luncheon

BOSTON - Dr. Marc R. Laufer has been appointed Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Laufer came to Boston in 1986 as an intern/resident in OB/ GYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital after completing his undergraduate studies as a University Scholar and his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Afterward he completed specialty training in fertility and pediatric and adolescent gynecology. He became Chief of Gynecology at Children’s Hospital Boston in 1994 and is a gynecologic specialist in the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laufer is a co-author of “Emans, Laufer, Goldstein’s Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology,” now in its 6th Edition, and considered a leading expert in the field. His areas of clinical expertise include adolescent and adult endometriosis, and reconstructive surgery for congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract. He is the Co-Director of the Center for Young Women’s Health [www.], which was established in 1997 to provide resources for girls and young women on hundreds of health topics and receives more than 1 million visitors per month. With a generous gift and support from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Dr. Laufer established the Boston Center for Endometriosis [] in 2012. Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects approximately 10 percent of women and, if undiagnosed and untreated, can cause pain and infertility. The Center provides long-term clinical care for girls, teens and adult women with endometriosis at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laufer also oversees research for the development of a nonsurgical diagnostic test and new treatments, to facilitate early diagnosis and a cure. Dr. Laufer lives in Weston with his wife Susan Rosenfeld-Laufer, DMD, and his daughters Isabella and Alexandra.

BOSTON - JNF’s Sapphire Society held a luncheon hosted by financial advisor Richard Noone, the Senior Vice President at BNY Wealth Management and a JNF New England board member. Featured speaker Aviva Sapers, CEO of Sapers & Wallack, and Noone discussed charitable giving. From left are Sapers, Noone, JNF New England Executive Board member and Sapphire Society President Emeritus Karen Ferber, Janet Baum, and Sapphire Society members Joyce Guior Wolf and Bunny Aronson.

OPEN HOUSE 6/14: 6 p.m. Cookout followed by Shabbat services. At Temple Beth David of the South Shore in Canton. Visit www. or call 781-8282275.

SHABBAT AFTERNOON MEDITATION RETREAT 6/15: 1:30-5:30 p.m. With Bobbi Isberg and Yoheved Sheila Katz. Light kosher snacks provided. At Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. Email MAIMONIDES SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT 6/16: 10:30 a.m. Rabbi Mordechai Soskil and Judith Boroschek will speak. In the Fox Gymnasium at the school in Brookline. MINDFUL MORNINGS 6/20: 8:30-9:15 a.m. At Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton. Weekly meditation. Meets most Thursdays. Visit or call 617-965-0330. SOUTH AREA SHABBAT MEGAPLEX 6/21 & 6/22: Starts Friday, 6 p.m. with gourmet barbecue. Traditional and alternative morning Shabbat services Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Luncheon and learning sessions. At Temple Beth Emunah in Brockton. Co-sponsored by Ahavath Torah Congregation, Temple Beth Abraham, and Temple Beth Am. Contact or 508-583-5810.

FAMILY P.J. LIBRARY SPLASH PARTY 6/14: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. For families with children ages 2-6. Dessert pro-

NEWTON – Alan Elsner, former Reuters correspondent and Executive Director of The Israel Project, and current J Street Vice President of Communications, will speak about “Making Sense of the Middle East: A Reporter Examines Reality and Becomes an Activist” at the JCC, 333 Nahanton St., Newton, on Wednesday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. The event will be sponsored by J Street Boston. For information, contact

NEWTON CENTRE - Distinguished Technion Professor and Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman spoke at Congregation Sha’arei Tefillah during his recent visit to Boston. Rabbi Benjamin Samuels and Gene Fax hosted the program. Shechtman spoke about the path that led to his 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals and his current interest in making STEM subjects interesting for elementary school children. Pictured from left are Shechtman, Samuels, and Ruth and Gene Fax.


GRADUATION SHABBAT 6/15: 9:30 a.m. At Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. Call 617-332-7770.

Elsner will speak at JCC

Technion Professor speaks at Congregation Sha’arei Tefillah

‘DEAD SEA SCROLLS: LIFE IN ANCIENT TIMES’ Through 10/20: At the Museum of Science in Boston. Visit

SHABBAT SERVICE WITH BRYNA TABASKY & TEMPLE CHOIR 6/14: 7:30 p.m. At Temple Tifereh Israel in Malden. Visit www.


vided. At Outdoor Pool at LeventhalSidman JCC. Contact pjlibrary@jccgb. org or 617-558-6587. JCC MINI-SPORTS CAMP 6/1721: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. For grades pre-K through 1. At Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton. Contact 617-558-6456 or JCC TENNIS CAMP 6/17-8/30: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For grades 3-8. Led by Doug Maynard. At Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton. Contact sports@ or 617-558-6456. JCC BASKETBALL CAMP 6/2428: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For grades K-5. Led by Peter Sylvester. At LeventhalSidman JCC. Visit sportscamps or call 617-558-6456.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR JEWISH ARTIFACTS 6/19: Noon. With certified Judaica appraiser Elizabeth Berman. At the Vilna Shul in Boston. Contact or 617523-2324.

RANDY SUSAN MEYERS 6/19: 8 p.m. Bestselling author of the novels “The Murderer’s Daughters” and “The Comfort of Lies” speaks. At Temple Beth Abraham in Canton. Call 781828-5250.

‘MAKING SENSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST: A REPORTER EXAMINES REALITY AND BECOMES AN ACTIVIST’ 6/19: 7:30 p.m. Lecture by J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner, former Reuters correspondent and Executive Director of the Israel Project. At Leventhal-Sidman JCC. Contact

MEREDITH GOLDSTEIN 6/21: 7 p.m. Boston Globe “Love Letters” columnist speaks. Kabbalat Shabbat service and community dinner. At the Vilna Shul in Boston. Contact or 617523-2324. KOFFEE WITH KUDAN 6/27: 11 a.m. Coffee hour and discussion of ethics with Rabbi David Kudan.

Theme: Gossip and lashon hara, or truth and consequences. At Temple Tiffereth Israel in Malden. Visit www. HOW CAN THE U.S. AND ISRAEL WORK TOGETHER? 6/27 2-4 p.m. Panel discussion with Rabbi Dr. Gershon Gewirtz of Young Israel of Brookline, Rabbi William Hamilton of Kehillath Israel, and Rabbi Sonia Saltzman of Ohabei Shalom. Moderated by CJP President Barry Shrage. Presented by JCC Without Walls. At Young Israel of Brookline. RSVP: 617558-6443 or

JCC SWIM/TENNIS CAMP 6/248/23: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For children in grades K-2. At Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton. Visit sportscamps or call 617-558-6456

LECTURES & READINGS SHABBAT MORNING TORAH STUDY 6/15: 8:45-9:40 a.m. With Rabbi Toba Spitzer. At Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton. Contact or 617-965-0330. ‘SEEING THE INVISIBLE’ 6/17: 7:30 p.m. Artist Michele Gutlove presents her heliozephyr glasswork at event for women. Part of the “Judaism through the Senses” series. At Chabad Center in Natick. Contact

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Dedication held for athletic complex at Solomon Schechter School will share facility with youth soccer organization By Shira Garber Strosberg Special to The Advocate


oston Red Sox partners Frank Resnek and Mike Gordon made a generous gift to the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston for the development of a state-of-the art athletic complex housed at the school’s Shoolman Campus at 125 Wells Ave., Newton. Resnek is a grandparent of a Schechter student. The improvements to Schechter’s facilities provide the school with a regulation-sized outdoor synthetic turf field, improved outdoor lighting and significant upgrades to its indoor athletic facility. The gifts come with a new strategic partnership for the school, and

a long-term lease agreement with Valeo Futbol Club, a premier youth soccer organization that will use both the outdoor and indoor facilities when they’re not being used by Schechter students. “The development of Schechter’s Resnek-Gordon Athletic Complex is a true win-win opportunity for the school. Our students will have access to a top-of-the-line, four-season outdoor facility and the school will have a steady, continuing source of income,” said Schechter Board of Trustees President Andria Weil. “The overall capital improvement puts our facility and our program on par with the best independent schools in the area. “The synergy of this partnership between Valeo’s youth-focused, nonprofit premier soccer club, and

Schechter’s commitment to the whole child – mind, body and soul – is groundbreaking. We are grateful for the vision and drive of Frank Resnek and Mike Gordon.” The Resnek-Gordon Athletic Complex dedication was held on May 31. The program included remarks from Charles Steinberg, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox; Gil Preuss, Executive Vice President of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP); and Arnold ZarKessler, Head of School at Solomon Schechter. Shira Garber Strosberg is Director of Communications at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.

Anita Diamant addresses Hebrew College graduates.

Best-selling author urges Hebrew College grads to be inclusive Anita Diamant receives honorary doctorate before addressing students By Kenneth Gornstein Special to The Advocate


Charles Steinberg, Frank Resnek, Barbara Resnek, Arnold Zar-Kessler and Gil Preuss are on hand for the Resnek-Gordon Athletic Complex dedication at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.

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Yosef Schaffel graduates from Brandeis Yosef G. Schaffel of Sharon received Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and business during Brandeis University’s 62th commencement ceremonies on May 19 in Waltham. Schaffel graduated summa cum laude with highest honors in economics, and was also admitted to the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. A 2009 graduate of Maimonides School in Brookline, he plans to enter the field of economic consulting after graduation.

MIXERS 40+ SINGLES TRIP TO MYSTIC 8/10: Chartered bus to Mystic and “Legends in Concert” at Foxwoods. Buffet included. Couples welcome. RSVP by July 1: or 508-333-1466.

rawing on the words of the great Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, best-selling author Anita Diamant urged Hebrew College graduates to take a “fearlessly inclusive” approach to teaching fellow Jews the words and meaning of Torah. “Rabbi Hillel said, ‘Teach everyone,’” Diamant told a crowd of about 250 graduates and their guests at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. “Teach everyone, because there were many sinners of Israel who were brought nearer to G-d by studying Torah and from whom descended righteous, pious and honorable people. “I would add, ‘Teach for the beginner – and teach with a beginner’s mind,’” she said. “This does not mean dumbing anything down; it means staying in touch with the amazement and awe of learning Torah for the first time. It means thinking outside the “bimah” (platform), thinking outside the comfort zone of the yeshiva.” Diamant, a resident of Newton, rose to national prominence with the publication of her first novel, “The Red Tent,” in 1997. She is also the founding President of Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh, in Newton. Prior to her June 2 address to the graduates, Diamant received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the college. She was

hooded by her daughter, Emilia, Director of Programming and Initiatives for the Prozdor supplementary Hebrew high-school program at Hebrew College. Honorary doctorates were also awarded to business leader and philanthropist Morton L. Mandel, Hebrew College Provost Barry Mesch and, posthumously, to Rabbi David Hartman, the renowned Jewish philosopher who died in February at the age of 81. In addition, the college recognized two accomplished educators for distinguished achievement in Jewish educational leadership. Dr. Naomi Stillman, Associate Director of Hebrew College’s NETA Hebrew-language program, received the Sidney Hillson/Rose Bronstein Memorial Award for distinguished leadership and commitment to the centrality of the Hebrew language in Jewish education, and the advancement of Jewish culture and civilization; and Charlotte Katz Abramson received the Dr. Benjaman J. Shevach Award for distinguished achievement in Jewish educational leadership. Hebrew College granted rabbinical and cantorial ordinations, master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees and certificates to 67 students at morning exercises. During afternoon ceremonies, the college awarded degrees to 66 Prozdor graduates. Ken Gornstein is Director of Marketing and Communications at Hebrew College.




Irma F. Etscovitz of Dedham Irma F. (Hoffman) Etscovitz, 88, of Dedham, formerly of Newton, died June 3 at home with her family by her side. Mrs. Etscovitz was a talented poet, accomplished pianist and painter. She attended Boston University College of Music. Beloved wife of Dr. Eli A. Etscovitz, with whom she shared 69 years of marriage, she was the devoted mother of Larry Etscovitz of Kittery, Maine, Jacob A. Esher, Esq., of Beverly, and Diane Dolin and her husband Dr. Scott L. Dolin of West Hartford, Conn.; loving

sister of Robert J. Hoffman, Esq., and his wife Phyllis of Cambridge, and Arlene Hecht of Newton and Falmouth and her late husband Dr. Sanford D. Hecht; cherished

grandmother of Benjamin Etscovitz and his wife Alexandra, Joel and Samantha Esher, Rachel and Adam Dolin, and great-grandchild Bella Etscovitz; and loving aunt of several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held June 9 at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, Brookline. Interment followed in Sharon Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in her memory may be made to the Brandeis University National Committee, Hospice of the Good Shepherd or Hebrew SeniorLife.

Isadore Halzel, Naval Reserve Captain Isadore Halzel, 89, of Canton, formerly of Milton, died June 8. Mr. Halzel was a graduate of Brown University and Boston University Graduate School of Management. He spent four years in active service in the Navy during World War II, followed by 37 years in the Naval Reserve, where he rose proudly from Ensign to the rank of Captain. He worked for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory developing the Polaris missile guidance system, and as Project Manager at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory on the guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo lunar landing and Trident missile guidance systems. He was a senior lecturer at Northeastern University for 25 years. An active member of Temple Shalom of Milton, he served on its board of directors and as PTA

President. He was a member of the Jewish War Veterans, a supporter of many charities, and tutor and mentor to young people. Mr. Halzel was the beloved husband of 58 years of the late Barbara (Goldstein) Halzel. He was the son of the late Louis Halzel and the late Sarah (Bass) Halzel Feingold; lov-

ing father of Lois and Arnie Freedman of Sharon, Cindy and Dr. Joseph Levy of Sharon, and Amy and Kenneth Willis of Needham; and cherished grandfather of Scott and Becky, Melissa and Michael, Allison, Jennifer, Juliana and Daniel. He was predeceased by his brothers Lawrence, George and Jack Halzel. Services were held in Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, Canton, on Monday, June 10. Interment was in Baker Street Cemetery, West Roxbury. Shiva continued until June 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., and June 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the home of Amy and Kenneth Willis. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Hadassah, 200 Reservoir St., Suite 103, Needham, MA 02494 or Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 126 High St., Boston, MA 02110.

Irma Bennett Mednicoff Irma Bennett Mednicoff, 88, of Amherst, formerly of South Hadley, Natick and Boston, died peacefully June 7 of natural causes. Mrs. Mednicoff worked from the 1940s through the 1980s as a lab technician at Boston-area medical research laboratories at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Medfield State Hospital and Tufts-New England Medical School. She was a gifted and methodical worker. In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world, she likely would have received the encouragement and support to become a top medical researcher in her own right. She and her late husband shared a passion for travel and visited much of the United States, Europe and the Middle East together. She was a gourmet cook and a founding member of Temple Israel of Natick. She had a lifelong love of classical music, which she kindled in her husband and son; her presence at Boston Symphony concerts at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood were important to her throughout her life. Mrs. Mednicoff will be missed deeply by her family, who had the

privilege of her loving presence for many years. She was the wife of the late Melvin Mednicoff, with whom she shared a loving and rich life until his death in 1986; the daughter of the late Simon Bennett and Rebecca nĂŠe Segel, both of Russian Jewish heritage; and the loving sister of Barbara Schwartz of Kalamazoo, Mich., and the late Dr. Warren Bennett. She is survived by her son, David Mednicoff, a Professor of Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst, her daughterin-law, Professor Joya Misra, and her very beloved grandchildren, Amina and Rabi MednicoffMisra, all of Amherst. She also leaves behind her sister Barbaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children, Professor Julie Schwartz and the late Carol Schwartz, and their children, Matthew and Victoria Evans of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Adam Fudala of New York City; and Hana Fudala of Washington, D.C. Also surviving are her brother Warrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children, Professor Susan Bennett of Baltimore and Laurie Bennett of New York City, along with Laurieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children

Rebecca Bennett Clark of Berkeley, Calif., and Samuel Clark of Cambridge. Several years after her husbandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death, Mrs. Mednicoff met the late George Brass, of Natick and Brockton, who proved a caring and jovial companion for many years. She leaves behind the children and grandchildren of George Brass in Brockton and Israel. All of these loved ones will continue to remember Irmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy of elegance, erudition, politeness, and deep loyalty. A memorial service was held in the Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, Brookline, on June 10. Interment followed at Children of Israel Cemetery in Haverhill. Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family is sitting shiva at their home in Amherst in the week following the funeral. Donations can be made to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115 ( or the Association for Women in Science, 1321 Duke St., Suite 210, Alexandria, VA 22314 Online condolences may be left at

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an Kraus Staff gants Rabbi Jonath Advocate years ago,about the congre servSeveral at shiva something parents noticed mourn their shul in a while. to Kraus to coming hadn’t been after services, them ices: They with them could see inIn talking he wished he to be more El that Beth realized that they wanted synagogue, more and the Belmont volved with . Center Temple sense “In some more no it was than profoundwe were feeling each g missin the rabbi other,” a said. Following focus of series the cogregroups, launched gation rs: a so- ‘We were Beth Middlefor memin cial group children missing a camel n, rides r.’ bers whose out of of Newto each othe e Shalom had moved , “no rn Wall. than at Templ the Weste the house ing a Rabbi Jona preschool n Cores at provid for Kraus ed the Sharo r longer attend or way who ool teache reason be involved Logan Long,Below: presch them to temple,” Jerusalem. recogwith the Judaism Outreach for Reform Kraus said. its Belin The Union m with to 10 synagogues progra and nized the$1,000 prize giventive outreach a Award, y for innova Kigner er for such Isin the countrprograms. hikBy EliseStaff get togeth a trip to membership Middlers Jewish holidays, the planningh of her son Advocate was Beth ing The ating Long mitzva and attend as celebr When Kymate the b’nai rned about what activities to the beach l. Some 50 people conce celebr of it. began rael to ing, going Film Festiva w, she waswould get out surprised program the Jewish nephe and so Boston 5-year-old little Logan pated since ir of Beth her then turned out, n Wall, he prayed his have particiago. of 14 a co-cha group in time As it ool is one Childthree yearsRobinson-Weiner, gant the At the Westerlong, that congre ’s presch Early Myrna them all. and for so the Shalom -Haifa rtable typifies 4 Temple in the Boston (Shagirot) seriously, to pry him away. was so comfo preMiddlers, on Page sadors in serve. area predad had said that Logan he learned participating ction’s Ambas Continued aims to program, Conne Mom of what e Shalom. 6 the se gh hood becau on Page said. “They ive. Throu in Israel Newton’s Templ Continued – that Initiat es,” Long at school seen picturpeople do therepray in “He had about what Wall, and they had talkedprayers in the to pray.” they put way they want whatever

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Action for Post-Soviet Jewry 24 Crescent St., Suite 306, Waltham, MA 02453 (781)893-2331 AIPAC - The American Israel Public Affairs Committee 126 High Street Boston, MA 02110 617-399-2562 American Friends of Magen David Adom, New England 29 Gray Birch Terrace, Newton, MA 02460 617-916-1827 AMIT New England 7 Brady Rd., Westborough, MA 01581 508-870-1571 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England Region 40 Court St., Boston, MA 02108 617-406-6300 BaDaTz Boston Rabbinical Court 15 School St., Boston, MA 02108 617-227-8200


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Combined Jewish Philanthropies 126 High Street, Boston, MA 02108 617-457-8500 Hebrew SeniorLife 1200 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131 617-363-8000 Hebrew Rehabilitation Center 1200 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131 617-363-8000 Center Communities of Brookline 100 Centre Street (Main Office) 1550 Beacon Street 112 Centre Street Brookline, MA 02446 (617) 363-8100 Jack Satter House 420 Revere Beach Boulevard Revere, MA 02151 (781) 289-4505 Orchard Cove One Del Pond Drive Canton, MA 02021 (781) 821-0820 Simon C. Fireman Community 640 North Main Street Randolph, MA 02368 (781) 986-8880 Temple Beth Shalom (U) 8 Tremont Street 617-864-6388

CAPE COD Anshei Chesed Synagogue (C) The Conservative Synagogue of Cape Cod P.O. Box 587 Marston Mills, MA 02648 508-428-0015

CHESTNUT HILL Cong. Mishkan Tefila (C) 300 Hammond Pond Parkway 617-332-7770 Temple Emeth (C) 194 Grove Street 617-469-9400


NewBridge on the Charles 5000 Great Meadow Road Dedham, MA 02026 617-363-8773 Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly Ulin House, Leventhal House, Genesis House: located in Brighton Golda Meir House, Coleman House: located in Newton Shillman House: located in Framingham 617-912-8400 Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) Headquarters-1430 Main St., Waltham, MA 02451 781-647-JFCS (5327) 617-224-4137-VNA Intake Jewish National Fund 77 Franklin St., #514, Boston, MA 02110 617-423-0999 • Jewish Vocational Service Career Moves 29 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108 617-451-8147 61 Chapel St., Newton, MA 02458 617-795-1964 The David Project P.O. Box 52390, Boston, MA 02205 617-428-0012

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NEWTON Cong. Bnai Jacob Zvhil-Mezbuz Beis Medrash (O) 955 Beacon Street 617-227-8200 Cong. Dorshei Tzedek (REC) 60 Highland Street 617-965-0330

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Cong. Tifereth Israel (C) 34 Malden Street 617-387-0200

FRAMINGHAM Temple Beth Sholom (C) 50 Pamela Road 508-877-2540

HINGHAM Cong. Sha’aray Shalom (R) 1112 Main Street 781-749-8103

LEXINGTON Temple Emunah (C) 9 Piper Road 781-861-0300

MALDEN Cong. Beth Israel (O) 10 Dexter Street 781-322-5686

MILTON Temple Shalom of Milton (I) 495 Canton Avenue 617-698-3394

Temple Reyim (C) 1860 Washington Street 617-527-2410 Temple Shalom of Newton (R) 175 Temple Street 617-332-9550

WAKEFIELD Temple Emmanuel (I) 120 Chestnut Street 781-245-1886

WALTHAM Temple Beth Israel (I) 25 Harvard Street, PO Box 540182 781-894-5146

WESTWOOD Temple Beth David 7 Clapboardtree Street 781-769-5270



1. Wedding casualty 6. Plague? 10. First murder victim 14. Kishon or Jordan 15. “__ Dome”, Israeli defense 16. Pierced as sign of bondsman 17. Isaac’s parents 20. Monty Hall specialty 21. Miss America 22. Son of Gad 23. Tu B’Shevat need? 24. Capp and Jolson 25. Lulav part 27. Gaza to Beer Sheva (dir) 28. Afikoman action 29. Erase button 32. Bath-sheba’s husband 35. Jacob after the angel 36. Sandal base 37. Graphic artist 40. First Swedish Jew _ Aron 41. Listen 42. City of Dan 43. “Sea” to Marceau 44. Post 45. Elijah’s __ 46. “_ Man”, Hoffman film 47. Used his tuches 48. Last degree 51. Joseph’s coat feature 54. Does biblically 56. Bissel (Eng) 57. Advice lady 60. Make aliyah 61. Keeping Kosher 62. Below 63. Jazzman __ Getz 64. Diarist 65. Leah to Rachel?

1. “The Yeshiva”, writer 2. Blood __ 3. First monotheist 4. Crest 5. Hirsch initially 6. Etrog cousins 7. Gershwin and Levin 8. Acted like the Rosenbergs? 9. Amen 10. Shofar blast 11. Drill 12. Israeli mountain 13. Samson’s triumphant site 18. Competent 19. Macy’s event 24. Babylonian Talmud editor 26. Magic Carpet base 27. Dr. Jonas 28. King David e.g. 29. Macher 30. Rabbi __ Bloch, of Metz 31. Equipment for Avedon 32. “A priest with __ and Thummim” 33. “The __”, Midler’s movie 34. Lag B’Omer month 35. Judge Judy __ 36. Gait 38. Eighteen 39. Close 44. Naomi at times 45. Broadway lyricist 46. “Green Hornet” actor 47. Israel in 1948 48. Nebbishes (Eng) 49. Life and Knowledge 50. Kissinger or Winkler 51. Newman’s hobby 52. Levayeh notice 53. Friend _ Kudrow 55. Challah maker’s equipment 56. “Scarface”, star 58. Kaminska, Yiddish actress 59. Terrorist target






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