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Winter 2013/2014

Sarah Leavitt

features Magazine of Na’amat USA Winter 2013/2014 Vol. XXVIX No. 1

Jewish, Female and Funny........................................................................ 4 Jewish women comedians offer up their personal lives to the gods of` laughter, breaking taboos and entertaining in their own styles. By Rahel Musleah

Editor Judith A. Sokoloff

An Israeli Flair for Fashion........................................................................8

Assistant Editor Gloria Gross

Israel’s talented clothing designers gain acclaim in the world of international fashion. By Michele Chabin

Art Director Marilyn Rose

Proud to Stand With You!....................................................................... 12

Editorial Committee Harriet Green Sylvia Lewis Elizabeth Raider Edythe Rosenfield Lynn Wax Marcia J. Weiss

Florida’s first Jewish Congresswoman speaks about the shared struggle of Jewish women in the United States and Israel. By Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Na’amat News......................................................................................... 18 Israeli women receive scholarships, Na’amat USA member visits Gilo Day Care Center, volunteers are honored, health care center opens in Carmiel.

Na’amat usa Officers

Courtesy, Esther Goodhart

PRESIDENT Elizabeth Raider VICE PRESIDENTS Jan Gurvitch Ivy Liebross Gail Simpson Marcia J. Weiss TREASURER/FINANCIAL SECRETARY Debbie Kohn

departments President’s Message


by Marcia J. Weiss....................................................... 19

Around the Country................................................................... 28

Na’amat Woman (ISSN 0888-191X) is published quarterly: fall, winter, spring, summer by Na’amat USA, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018 (212) 563-5222. $5.00 of the membership dues is for one year’s subscription. Nonmember subscriptions: $10.00. Signed articles represent the opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of Na’amat USA or its editors. Periodicals class postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster, please send address changes to Na’amat Woman, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018.

Na’amat Woman


Book Reviews........................................................................... 21

Na’amat usa Chair Harriet Green National Funds, Gifts, Bequests


by Elizabeth Raider...........................................

Heart to Heart: Keeping the Circle Whole by Jeanette Friedman......... 14 Take Action!


E-mail: naamat@naamat.org Web site: www.naamat.org


Our cover: Israel’s fashion designers exhibit a great breadth of creativity and originality. From top left, clockwise, fashions by Tamar Primak, Ronen Chen, Naama Bezalel and Naomi Maaravi; background garments by Maaravi. Photos, courtesy of the designers.

Mission Statement The mission of Na’amat USA is to enhance the status of women and children in Israel and the United States as part of a worldwide progressive Jewish women’s organization. Its purpose is to help Na’amat Israel provide educational and social services, including day care, vocational training, legal aid for women, absorption of new

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immigrants, community centers, and centers for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence. Na’amat USA advocates on issues relating to women’s rights, the welfare of children, education and the United States-Israel relationship. Na’amat USA also helps strengthen Jewish and Zionist life in communities throughout the United States.

Na’amat Usa Area Offices Eastern Area 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 2302 New York, NY 10018 212-563-4962 eastern area@naamat.org Southeast Area 4400 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 50 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-368-8898 jacqueyoster@yahoo.com Midwest Area 10024 N. Skokie Blvd., Suite 226 Skokie, IL 60077 847-329-7172 naamatmdw@aol.com Western Area 16161 Ventura Blvd., #101 Encino, CA 91436 818-981-1298 wanaamat@sbcglobal.net







Dear Haverot,


s I begin my second term as Na’amat USA national president, I thank you all for your continuing support on the local and national levels. Without your commitment to Na’amat USA, we would not be able to maintain and increase the vital programs and services that we provide in cooperation with Na’amat Israel. Although Israel is coping with great stresses from within the country and continuing threats from its Middle East neighbors, Na’amat Israel is making significant strides in many areas that affect Israeli women: equal pay and equal employment opportunities, preventive health care, legal counseling, scholarships for advanced degrees, extended child care services, and programs for advancing women to management positions. Women in the United States face many of the same challenges, and I encourage you to continue to support our advocacy programs here. Na’amat USA has always been at the forefront of women’s rights struggles, working in cooperation with local and national organizations to improve the lives of American women. It seems incredible that women in the United States are currently facing the most serious attempts in many years to rescind our right to make decisions about our own bodies. One example among many: Just recently, a case in Nebraska dealt with a 16-yearold who had been abused by her

parents (who subsequently lost their parental rights) and sought protection from the court to grant her the right to an abortion. The judge, an anti-choice advocate, deemed her too immature to make a decision — despite the fact that she testified that she effectively raised her younger siblings, was planning to graduate high school early, and had undergone extensive counseling related to her decision to terminate her pregnancy — and informed her that she would be “killing her baby.” Who would have envisioned women in 2013 facing these obstacles in making life choices? This is the beginning of our 88th year as a national organization. The enthusiasm of our newly installed national board at the convention in Cleveland this past July has been an impetus for events, meetings and plans in many parts of the country. We can be proud of our achievements and support of Na’amat Israel as we are literally a partner in improving the lives of Israelis on a daily basis. Just this past week, Na’amat Israel held a grand opening ceremony for the Communal Health Center in Carmiel in the northern part of Israel. In conjunction with the adjacent Na’amat community center, it serves more than 600 women per month from the surrounding area. Among the many programs and services for women

We begin our 88th year with enthusiasm! are workshops and lectures on the prevention of breast cancer and osteoporosis, yoga and nutrition, as well as legal counseling. On the day care scene, where we provide more than 18,000 children with top-notch services, Na’amat recently opened new day care centers in Yavneh and Nes Tziona. Over the next few years, nine more facilities will be built in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Carmiel and other places. Among the many innovations at Na’amat ’s alternative high schools, a “computer college” has been established at our technological high school in Rishon LeZion. I’ll find out more about this new program when I visit the school during my trip to Israel for the Na’amat international meetings and the World Zionist Organization conference. To continue ensuring our progress, Na’amat USA must reinforce our efforts in the areas of membership and fund-raising, which are fundamental to maintaining a vibrant and successful organization. The national board members will be concentrating on providing new ideas and assistance for your clubs and councils, and we look forward to working with you.

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Na’amat Woman


Female Jewish comics offer up their personal lives to the gods of laughter, breaking taboos and entertaining in their own styles. by RAHEL MUSLEAH

ike many comedians, Judy Gold mines her family for her material. “My life,” she says, “really is a sitcom. I’m a 6'3" Jewish lesbian comedian bringing up two kids on the Upper West Side with my ex [who lives

16 blocks away] in a 950-square-foot apartment with one bathroom. What more can you ask for?” Her 91-year-old mother — that’s what. “My mother says she is going to write a book about her home health aides and how they annoy her,” Gold announces in one of her current stand-up routines. “She’d call it something like ‘My Life with AIDS.’ ” Gold is one of several successful Jewish female stand-up comics who proudly riff off their Jewish identity in their acts. “I am one of the ‘Jewiest’ of them all,” says Gold, 51, whose Twitter address is @JewdyGold and who featured a family Shabbat dinner in a

pitch for a reality show. “My Jewish identity is the biggest part of who I am as a human being and a major part of my act. You can’t be a good comic without being 100-percent true to yourself. Jewish culture permeates everything I do.” Contemporary female Jewish comics offer up their personal lives to the gods of laughter, breaking taboos and entertaining in their own styles, from “shock-comic” Sarah Silverman’s provocative parodies on political incorrectness delivered in her sweetly disconnected style to gutsy blonde party-girl Chelsea Handler’s late-night mash-up of sex, booze and gossip. “Everybody blames the Jews for killing Christ, and then the Jews try to pass it off on the Romans,” quips Silverman. “I’m one of the few people who believe it was the blacks.” While the most visible comics are heavy on the expletives, others pride themselves on clean, edgy comedy that often puts Judaism front and center. “I do a Korean banquet for Friday

“Being a comic is really who I am as a person. I always wonder where the joke is no matter what the situation. I’m fearless.” — Judy Gold

Courtesy, Judy Gold


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night Shabbat dinner. What is it? It’s Kahaney and three other Jewish female flanken. I add soy sauce and everybody stand-ups (it’s now Kahaney alone). thinks I’m a genius,” says Esther Paik “Those women were gutsy. They were Goodhart, 58, a Texas-born, Korean- totally open on stage about their sexuAmerican Jew by Choice who now ality a decade before the Sexual Revolives in New Jersey and calls herself the lution,” says Kahaney. “That was not “Oriental Beauty.” “For me, the best happening anywhere else. It gave me a humor is Jewish humor. It’s clever; it’s sense of pride. The fact that they were witty; it comes from sadness and from all Jewish women made it even sweeter.” growing up where people are not for The Jewish Women’s Archive in you. You can’t fight them so you have Boston created the 2007 documentary to be clever — and clever stops people Making Trouble, which focuses its lens in their tracks.” even further back, tracing the pioneer“I have a strong Jewish identity,” ing influence of Molly Picon, Fanny says Cory Kahaney, 50, who has had her Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilown specials on Comedy Central and da Radner and Wendy Wasserstein. The HBO, has appeared on Late Show With film is hosted by Gold, Kahaney, comDavid Letterman, and was a grand final- ics Jackie Hoffman and Jessica Kirson. ist on Last Comic Standing. “As soon as I “What Jewish women have brought to open my mouth, everyone knows.” Jew- comedy is a way to think of women’s exish humor has “something to do with perience — and Jewish women’s expericadence and rhythm. The knee-jerk re- ence — that doesn’t put down women action of turning tzuris into naches is a in order to get a laugh,” says Gail ReJewish tradition.” imer, JWA director. “It was a subverThe recent Pew Research Center’s sive act to say that the things women “Portrait of Jewish Americans” found care about are not trivial or silly. These that 42 percent of its participants consider “having a good sense of humor” an essential part of Jewish identity — just a single percentage point behind “caring about Israel.” So it should not be a surprise that Jewish women have long stood out in the field of comedy. Yet their triumphs have often been overshadowed by those of their male peers who achieved unprecedented acceptance in American culture. Mesmerized by her comic foremothers, Kahaney developed an offBroadway production in 2000: “The JAP Show” was later renamed “The PrinCourtesy, Cory Kahaney cesses of Comedy” (Jewish audiences didn’t relish the “JAP” in the title). It pays homage to five Jewish “Queens of Comedy” from the 1950s and ’60s: Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Pearl Williams, Betty Walker and Belle Barth. The show in— Cory Kahaney terspersed film footage with live stand-up routines by

women elevated comedy and brought it up a notch. It’s often intelligent, sophisticated and nuanced.” The ascent of female Jewish comics follows the broader trend of Jewish women as pioneers in many fields, says Yael Kohen, author of We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy. “Since the 1950s, female comics have fought to express, through humor, the variety of frustrations that come with womanhood. But just as important as

“Judaism helped me find my voice, helped me get out of my wheelchair, to do stand-up, local community service and raise awareness of mental illness and physical disabilities. My Korean family told me to sit down and shut up.” — Esther Goodhart

“Jewish humor has something to do with cadence and rhythm. The kneejerk reaction of turning tzuris into naches is a Jewish tradition.”

Courtesy, Esther Goodhart

Na’amat Woman


what they say is how they say it, which changes from era to era,” writes Kohen, adding that “there isn’t one kind of ‘female humor.’ ” Though the book does not highlight Jewish women per se, many women whose groundbreaking influence she explores are, in fact, Jewish: Elaine May, who introduced sketch comedy; Joan Rivers, who originated the talk style; Elayne Boosler, who trained her comedy on religion, sex and politics; Roseanne Barr, the first female stand-up to have her own show, and more. Female Jewish stand-up comics today are a diverse group with varying religious backgrounds. Many were raised and still live on the East Coast. Most aspired to be comics from an early age, inspired by funny family members, by smart sassy women, by Borscht Belt and television comedians both male

and female, and by difficult personal circumstances that humor helped them to overcome. “Chances are if you weren’t the pretty one or academically inclined you used humor to get attention,” says Kahaney. The freedom to talk about almost anything today has fired up an even earthier boldness. Still, the content varies, simply because men and women are different. “I won’t talk about my prostate, but I will talk about my wife,” says Gold. Like their male counterparts, female comics joke about their loud, nagging, guilt-inducing mothers, but they do it in a loving way. “My mother provides comic gold just by being herself,” says Jackie Hoffman, who grew up in an Orthodox home in Queens and Great Neck and attended yeshiva for nine years. At the age of 21, she played her first professional gig six times a day

at Hershey Park, and went on to Chicago’s Second City, where she started writing cabaret-style songs à la Belle Barth and Sophie Tucker.   Her irreverent, one-woman shows of Jewish-themed original songs and monologues include “The Kvetching Continues,” “A Chanukah Charol,” “Jackie’s Kosher Khristmas,” and “Old Woman, New Material.” In December, she will unveil a new show at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan called “Heeb for the Holidays.” “Good comedy sticks to the truth of who I am,” says Hoffman, adding that her audiences are usually more gay than Jewish. “I talk about things that are identifiably Jewish, and there’s a certain kind of angst that doesn’t exist in comedians who are not Jewish. It’s more misery oriented, more ready for the other shoe to drop.”   On the other end of the spectrum, Kahaney had a Christmas tree in her Westchester home until the age of 12, when her father remarried and her stepmother, appalled, got rid of it and introduced her to “crunchy, earthy, postkibbutz Judaism.” Kahaney became a comic because, she says, she wasn’t very good at dancing. “Comedy finds you. I was always funny. I came to New York to be an actress and I was an amazing waitress. It’s not an easy life. If you’re in this business you’re doing it because it’s a calling.” She differentiates between comedic actresses and stand-ups, who write, act, produce and direct their own material. She treasures that freedom. Kahaney bases her autobiographical act on her parents, her husbands (both ex and current) and her children, ages 29 and 9.  “It’s all stuff the average American woman, and especially the — Jackie Hoffman average American Jewish woman, will relate to,” says Kahaney, estimating that she earns 50 percent of her income from Jewish venues. She talks about how her first

“I talk about things that are identifiably Jewish, and there’s a certain kind of angst that doesn’t exist in comedians who are not Jewish. It’s more misery oriented, more ready for the other shoe to drop.”

Courtesy, Jackie Hoffman


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husband’s family kept kosher. “If I’d make a mistake with the silverware, they would bury it outside. If the greatgrandmother made a mistake, they’d put it in the dishwasher.” She says she didn’t know anything about kashrut. “I once asked [my mother-in-law] where I could buy kosher-for-Passover breadcrumbs.” She points out that balancing work and family is not much different for female comics than for any other working woman. “If your priorities are kids and comedy you can make it work. If there’s anything else — like being in shape — forget it.” Kahaney networks with other Jewish comics, both male and female. She produces the annual “Moo Shu Jew Show” (in Boston and Philadelphia), a “meshuggene show for Jews to enjoy at Christmas time, where Jews feel most at home, in a Chinese restaurant!” (Another Christmas Eve show, “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy,” is organized in San Francisco by Jewish comic Lisa Geduldig.) Though Kahaney does not discuss the childhood pain that comedy helped her to deflect (“if we talk about it, it stops being funny”), Gold is not reticent. “I was 6 feet at age 13. I grew up in a cliquey, small-town-thinking New Jersey suburb and I was a complete outcast. I had older parents and didn’t fit in. I was harassed in the halls — what would be called bullying today. Humor helped me to laugh at myself. As my mother says, if we weren’t laughing we would be crying. For my family, humor was the most comfortable form of communication.” As a child, Gold’s mother, Ruth, voluntarily participated in the Hebrew school class usually reserved only for boys. Ruth’s love of religion stayed with her daughter, and today, she is enjoying a payback of sorts: being a focus of her daughter’s act. How does she feel about that? “She’s a Jewish mother. Any attention is good attention,” says Judy, noting that Jewish comedians feel safe to talk about their mothers, who will always love them unconditionally. Gold’s father, a tax attorney, served in World War II, and Gold was constantly reminded of lurking anti-Semitism — another difficulty to conquer through humor. The storytelling aspect

“Men feel more comfortable if they can distinguish between male and female humor. They are not 100-percent comfortable with women being so funny. But if you’re really with me, funny is funny.” — Adrianne Tolsch of every Jewish holiday embedded itself in her consciousness as well. “Essentially, Jews are born to tell stories and we don’t shy away from the funny. Comedy takes life and looks at it from a different perspective. Jews are taught to think like that.”   Gold did her first stand-up routine on a dare while she was a music major at Rutgers University and soon auditioned at the Comic Strip. Asked if she completed her music degree, she feigns indignation. “Did you just ask that of a Jewish person?” she responds. The mother of two sons, Henry, 17, and Ben, 12, Gold’s one-woman show, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, intersperses anecdotes from her own life with material drawn from interviews with more than 50 Jewish mothers in the United States. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for outstanding solo performance in the show, which also won the 2007 Glaad Media Award for outstanding New York theater. Her work as writer and producer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show garnered two Emmy awards. More recently, The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom, which ran off-Broadway and in Los Angeles, paid homage to sitcom families like the Bradys and Partridges that Gold idolized as a child. “I’ve been told that I’m too Jewish. All the people in showbiz who gave me that advice were Jewish,” says Gold, noting that she’s always been “brutally

Courtesy, Adrianne Tolsch

honest” on stage. “Being a comic is really who I am as a person. I always wonder where the joke is no matter what the situation. I’m fearless.” Goodhart, too, divulges her family history candidly — even on her Web site: “Her father, the famous Korean Presbyterian Minister, and her mother, the Oriental Tammy Faye Baker, are hoping she’s adopted…it would explain a lot. Driven nuts by her family, Esther found that performing in comedy clubs was a lot cheaper than psychotherapy.” The reality of Goodhart’s upbringing is not quite so funny. “I was born with a neurological disability — familial dystonia, found mostly among Russian Jews,” she says. (It’s bashert that she is now married to a Jew of Russian-Polish ancestry.) “I was bullied and beaten by kids in Brooklyn — where we moved to when I was 5 — and by my parents, who were ashamed I was disabled. That was before political correctness. I learned I could distract people by being funny and smart so they don’t notice my disability.” When she was 9, Goodhart moved with her family again, this time to Flushing, Queens, “a new, mostly Jewish planet of kindness,” where she found many mentors and friends. She told her story in an autobiographical, one-woman offBroadway play, Out of the Wheelchair and Into the Fire (1997). Her mother worked as a portrait continued on page 26 WINTER 2013/2014

Na’amat Woman


Flair �or Fashion An Israeli

Tel Aviv has become a veritable hothouse for fashion innovation. by MICHELE CHABIN


rederico Poletti, fashion curator at Italy’s Pitti Discovery Foundation, which promotes cultural research and artistic productions involving fashion, art, architecture and communication, had to catch a plane back to Italy in just a few hours, but he couldn’t tear himself away from Naomi Maaravi’s little clothing shop/studio in the Noga section of Jaffa, a few blocks south of Tel Aviv. Inspecting Maaravi’s collection, Poletti, a tall lanky man with a discerning eye, was intrigued by the way Maaravi creates playful, thoroughly contemporary clothing and accessories by reusing and recombining a wide assortment of pre-owned fabrics and materials. Smiling as he fingered a tote bag made from the same wood-like linoleum found on the shop’s floor, and then at a couple of bold necklaces constructed from pieces of old cameras, Poletti finally turned his



ak Tamar Prim

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attention to a leather jacket. He liked it so much that he bought it. Clearly pleased with his acquisition, Poletti and a handful of other fashion journalists who were in Israel to attend Holon Fashion Week in October, were finally spirited out the door by Galit Reisman, founder of TLVStyle, who creates customized tours to the studios and stores of some of Tel Aviv’s most cutting edge –- and often little known -– fashion designers. “There is huge potential here, lots of creative people, most of whom are unknown in Europe, Poletti said. “It’s very interesting for Europeans to come here and meet the designers.” Living and working in a small Middle Eastern country far from the fashion limelight, Israel’s growing crop of talented designers relish the opportunity to present their

collections to people like Poletti, who, thanks to their influence abroad, can jumpstart a career — or break it. Rushing to the next place on the five-hour tour of five studios, Poletti said he is looking forward to seeing how the Israeli fashion industry will evolve in the coming years. “I saw a lot of talented individuals working in different directions. In countries with a much more established fashion design culture, you sometimes see a precise style DNA” — that indicates a piece of clothing came from this or that place. “Here,” he said “it seems a bit too early. You don’t get the feeling that something is recognizably Israeli.” Whether there is such a thing as “Israeli style” is a subject of ongoing debate.


Naomi M aaravi

Naomi Maaravi calls her work a combination of eco-fashion, art and storytelling.

Reisman, formerly a fashion representative to major boutiques, museum stores and galleries, and whose self-described mission “is to promote and support” Israeli designers through highly specialized fashion tours and private fashion-related events such as fashion shows, said the industry has made strides despite many challenges. In the early days of the state, she said, Israel was well known not only for its textile industry but also for its fine tailoring. When Jews emigrated from Europe, “they brought with them the fashion scene and craftsmanship. These were real tailors,” she noted. One of those pioneers was Leah Gottlieb, a former raincoat manufacturer who, in 1957, created Gottex, the famous Israeli swimwear-beachwear line that is sold in top stores around the world. Immigrants from Middle Eastern countries arrived with their own high

level of craftsmanship, especially in textiles and ethnic arts like embroidery. The best of these handicrafts found their way to Maskit, an iconic fashion house created in 1955 by Ruth Dayan — a sabra who was married to the late politician Moshe Dayan — to employ new immigrant Mizrachi women who did handicrafts. Ayala Raz, a senior lecturer at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, told israelphilately.org.il that efforts to design distinctly Israeli “Western fashion with an Eastern orientation” peaked in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Gradually, though, Western international style seeped into the designs and “most fashion firms relinquish[ed] the distinctive Israeli style,” she explained. With labor cheaper overseas, the Israeli manufacturing industry was decimated and many companies folded.

“Nevertheless, domestic demand rose,” and “independent houses offering distinctive personal styles” continued to emerge. The second wave of Israeli fashion design began in the 1990s, and it has been flourishing ever since. Reisman, who has a unique eye for emerging talent, attributes the industry’s resurrection to several factors, including the “Internet and online matrix zone,” that have exposed Israelis to the world of international fashion and vice-versa. “A lot of the energy begins at Shenkar, Israel’s premiere school of design,” Reisman said. “Some 40 students graduate from there every year. They’re very ambitious and eager to create their own brands.”

Tamar Primak is known for her high-quality craftsmanship and versatile designs.

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Na’amat Woman


Courtesy, Ronen Chen

Ronen Chen’s women’s collection can be found in 400 American boutiques, but he hopes to open his own stores in the United States.

Courtesy, Adam Gefen

Adam Gefen’s funky menswear collection combines elements of nature and urban life.

Like science graduates seeking a post-doc at MIT, most Israeli fashion design students apply for coveted summer or year-long apprenticeships at famed fashion houses in the United States and Europe. But not everyone can afford to live in an expensive foreign capital earning next to nothing, “so the only way to survive is to start their own businesses and stores” in Israel, Reisman said. But regardless of where they study and intern, the designers “really have to be creative to survive.” Jessica Steinberg, culture and lifestyles editor at The Times of Israel, believes that in the past 10 to 15 years, Israeli design schools like Shenkar in Tel Aviv and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem have produced a crop of clothing, shoe, handbag and jewelry designers “who are doing fabulous things.” She notes “there’s a designer who picks wildflowers and turns them into necklaces, and a designer, Yaniv Baranes, who makes jewelry from bolts and washers. There’s a jewelry designer on Sheinkin [Street] who laser cuts sheets of bright plastic into shapes he strings with colorful beads. The list goes on and on.” Despite the diverse styles of various designers, Steinberg detects a com-

mon denominator. “In general, Israelis are very casual. They wear jeans to weddings” unless they are Westernized or very religious. Israeli designers, Steinberg observes, “are still developing, still finding what works for them and what they’re good at designing.” Citing the work of three highly successful Tel Aviv designers, she said, “Look at any of the major designers — Kedem Sasson, Dorin Frankfurt, Ronen Chen. They design a lot of monochromatic clothing that works anywhere in the world, that can be set off by a great jacket, a great necklace, great shoes. Their clothing is comfortable.” Like designers everywhere, Israelis create fashion that’s suitable to the local lifestyle. In Israel, Steinberg observed, the vast majority of women are working mothers. “They’re women who get up in morning, get the kids to school, go to work, get the kids from school and who might or might not go out at night. They may or may not change their clothes during the course of the day. It’s what [American designer] Donna Karan figured out years ago: Clothes that look great at 8 a.m. also need to look good at 8 p.m.” Steinberg emphasized that different designers are inspired by different things, some of them clearly Israeli, some by things much harder to pinpoint. While a number of designers say they draw inspiration from the beach or the desert, others cite the energy of city life. “A lot of Israeli living is urban and people. People are working and have very busy lives. Sharon and Nir Tal have revived Maskit, the renowned fashion house founded by Ruth Dayan in the 1950s. Courtesy, Sharon and Nir Tal


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Courtesy, Naama Bezalel

They don’t have time to get in a bubble called Tel Aviv, all ferpitzed in the morning,” and although locals say they’re Steinberg said, using the Yiddish cool, they don’t necessarily word for dressed up. “And they dress the part. Fashion-wise, I won’t wear stockings because it’s find people more open in Afula too hot here most of the year. or Rishon LeZion,” smaller IsThe emphasis is on comfort.” raeli cities. But as Israeli designers Gefen dreams of selling his know all too well, what sells work abroad “although not necin Israel doesn’t necessarily essarily living there. I don’t think sell abroad. “There’s a learning I want to live anywhere else, decurve,” Steinberg said, explainspite all the strife. At the end of ing why so few Israeli designers the day, I feel I have a certain working in Israel have successamount of freedom and privilege ful lines in Europe, the United I might not have elsewhere.” States and Asia. “It’s hard to Gefen could learn a lot figure out the market abroad. about selling overseas from Jeans worn with a great shirt, Paula Bianco, who, with just an outfit that’s totally acceptthree employees, creates a able here, isn’t necessarily acsuccessful line of colorful, ceptable elsewhere. You start glittery non-precious jewelry out here and it’s hard to make and scarves that are sold in the jump. That’s the reason a lot high-quality boutiques all over of local designers sell only blue the world. “We do everything and white” — only in Israel. in-house,” Bianco said during But being such a tiny Reisman’s tour of her elegant country, Reisman said, Israel shop, which has a small fishhas a relatively small retail pond in the backyard garden. market and a perpetual short“During production season we age of homegrown materials Naama Bezalel designs skirts, dresses and blouses inspired by work 16 hours a day.” like fabrics and fittings. De- the styles of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Bianco noted that for the signers must therefore travel past five years, she has had an overseas and purchase materials there an atmosphere reminiscent of ’60s-era agent representing her worldwide. “We and pay customs duties on the imports. Greenwich Village, a lot of that inno- have a showroom during Paris fashion And then there is the cost of pro- vation is taking place in the industrial week. We sell in Europe, America, Asia, ducing an original garment or piece of zones in and around south Tel Aviv and even Arab countries.” Selling to high-end original jewelry. “If you exclude the Tel Jaffa, which is just to the south. stores abroad requires high-end work, Aviv area, most people here aren’t buying Some, like Adam Gefen, who grad- she emphasized. “We need to be very soa NIS 2,000 (nearly $600) dress or shirt. uated from Bezalel in 2011, launched his phisticated not only with our product but So it is a must to sell overseas in order first collection at the beginning of 2012. with our catalogues and our shipping.” to grow and survive,” Reisman explained. Showing his funky menswear colRonen Chen is another local deUsually, the Israelis who make it big lection of brightly-colored shirts and signer with a large international clienin London, New York and Tokyo live out- pants with bottoms that zipper off, tele. His casual yet chic women’s colside Israel as well. Alber Elbaz, artistic creating shorts, to the journalists as- lection is sold in about 400 American director of Lanvin, moved to New York sembled in his small studio-shop, Ge- boutiques and in the 18 Ronen Chen after serving in the Israeli Army and ul- fen said he tries to combine elements of stores throughout Israel, plus two in timately to Paris. Yigal Azrouel has bou- nature with those of urban life. London. “I’ve achieved many of my tiques in Los Angeles, Russia and Tokyo. “Sometimes these elements work goals,” Chen said during a phone inGiven the many challenges facing in harmony and sometimes they fight terview from Tel Aviv. We now have six Israeli fashion designers, it is doubly each other,” said Gefen, who holds both showrooms that permanently show our impressive that Tel Aviv has become Israeli and American citizenship thanks collections and we participate in all the a veritable hothouse for fashion in- to his American-born mother. There major fashion shows.” novation. Of course, there are the are lots of bold prints and texture, a But Chen still has hopes of openshowrooms of the more established lot of purples and oranges and browns. ing his own stores in the United States. designers like Gideon Oberson, Kar- Usually I work with fabrics I find in “My longtime dream is to find an Ameren Oberson, Dorit Bar On and Mirit markets in Israel.” ican partner. Can you publish that?” he Weinstock. But thanks to lower rents The young designer acknowledged asked playfully. than those charged in midtown, and that the Israeli market “is small. We’re continued on page 25 WINTER 2013/2014

Na’amat Woman


Proud to Stand With You! by DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s video address to Na’amat USA’s 41st national convention in July was received with great enthusiasm. Her remarks follow.


a’amat ’s

work to improve the lives of women, children and families in the Jewish state is remarkable, and I’m proud to stand with you in your efforts to advance the status of women worldwide. Jewish women in America and Israel have an undeniable sisterhood. Though we are separated by miles and oceans, we are united in our fight for women’s equality, full political representation, and economic justice and parity. Both American and Israeli women are earning less than their male counterparts and are more likely to work in low-wage jobs. American women earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, a wage gap that over a 40-year career deprives the average American woman of almost half a million dollars in lost wages over her lifetime. The wage gap between men and women in Israel is even larger, with women earning salaries that are 35 percent lower than men’s. These are lost wages that women could be putting toward furthering their education or investing in a home or buying health insurance, caring for an elderly parent or feeding their children. Adding to the financial stress of pay inequity is the fact that both American and Israeli women are significantly more likely to have a minimum wage salary, with 67 percent of minimum wage workers in America and 70 percent of minimum wage workers in Israel being women. The feminization of poverty is a global phenomenon and hinders opportunities for Jewish women and all women worldwide. Economic justice must be a crucial part of our shared struggle for women’s equality, because without


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it, Jewish women will not have the security necessary for other pursuits. If you are working two or three jobs just to earn a livable wage, when will you have time to teach your children to read? If you can’t afford your next meal, how will you afford to finish school? The slow progress toward economic equality may be partially rooted in the fact that women are far from having full political representation in both America and Israel. Women hold only 19 percent of seats in the United States Congress. In the Knesset, it’s the same low percentage — just 19 percent. Women make up only 10 percent of Israeli government ministers, and the United States has yet to elect a woman to the highest office in the land. When women are absent or only have a small voice at the negotiating table, a key perspective is missing for tackling any nation’s most pressing challenges. Gender parity in all government institutions is a necessary foundation for gender equality. As sisters, we know that our daughters deserve governments that make their needs a priority — governments dedicated to working for women because they play an integral role in governing! As we consider our shared challenges, we must remember that ours is a global struggle. The strength of our two countries and the commitment to our faith reminds us that we have an obligation to our worldwide sisterhood. Barriers to the advancement of education for women and girls present an enormous roadblock to global progress. Women activists like the brave Mukhtar Mai of Pakistan receive death threats almost weekly for striving against the

odds to educate young girls. Developing the mind of the female child has been a tremendous untapped potential resource in so many countries for far too long. As the mother of two young daughters, I know personally that nothing is more powerful than a girl supported by a good education. All daughters throughout the world must be empowered by the chance to strive in the classroom. There are threats globally not only to the development of women’s minds but to the safety of women’s bodies. The specter of violence against women looms large today. Millions of women in war-torn countries like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda don’t move freely from place to place for fear of being raped — a fear created and exacerbated by soldiers who purposefully and disgracefully turn women’s bodies into casualties of war. We know that one in three women will experience abuse in her lifetime. That is one billion women alive today — one billion of our sisters. This abuse can manifest itself in horrific ways, like human trafficking and forced sexual slavery. That is unacceptable, and it is statistics like this one that propel us forward to continue our charge to stand up for women everywhere. President Obama has said: “Promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives.” We believe that all who understand that the story of gaining freedom continues to this day will support these goals. We must acknowledge that violence perpetrated against any woman, anywhere, impacts all women, everywhere. Their pain is our pain, their fights are our fights, because as Jews we know that the suffering of one deserves

the attention and compassion of us all. You have shown through your work with Na’amat that you understand this. Your global presence in 11 different countries creates a worldwide movement for Jewish women. And the domestic initiatives of Na’amat are transforming Israel into the nation we know it can be. Thanks to your shelters, housing programs and public awareness campaigns, Israeli women have the opportunity to overcome violence and find new hope. Your work is crucial to the wellbeing of Israeli women — from pressuring employers in local communities to provide equal pay to encouraging national legislation that furthers economic justice. Your priorities are my priorities, too. Our tradition and history compel us to give back to our society, make the world a better place, and ensure freedom for all. Today, women around the world have more access to education, more money in our pockets, and more female elected officials reflecting our

concerns than ever before. This fact is inspiring and exhilarating, but does not mean that our work is done. We must also consider where we go from here, what we do next, and how we can continue helping women around the world. Helping other women is why I was proud to vote for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which helps provide the necessary resources and support to all victims of domestic violence, regardless of their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. I was also proud to stand up for women and vote against some of the terrible bills you’ve heard about recently, like Congressman Trent Franks’s 20-week abortion ban that would have limited women’s ability to make our own health care decisions. As a mom, when I think about the kind of world I want my daughters to live in, it’s one where their rights are sacred and their value is recognized, and that means having ac-

Excerpt from Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s stirring new book

FOR THE NEXT GENERATION: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems


efore we can succeed in changing opinions about what women can and can’t do, we must raise expectations for ourselves. This, I believe, will lead more women to enter politics and join me in bringing women’s perspectives to national issues that solely need it…. Too often, women think they don’t have enough experience to run. This is another example of the difference in how women and men are socialized. Can most women imagine a conversation with the men they know regarding whether they should consider running

cess to comprehensive sex education, affordable contraception, and safe, legal reproductive services. Bills that would allow the U.S. government to intercede in personal health care decisions don’t work toward creating a better world for future generations of women. They erode their future by undermining their independence and undercutting their health. I am grateful for the work that Na’amat has been doing to help preserve the reproductive health of women and girls and strengthen our nation’s families and communities. To get closer to true equality for women, we must come together to work tirelessly wherever we can to support global health, education, political participation, and women’s empowerment. You must never forget that you are not a woman on your own, but rather, part of a network of women, and a sisterhood of strength. Thank you for all the great work you do every day. Am Yisrael Chai!

for public office in which the man says, “I am not sure I’m qualified”? Take it from me: If you want it badly enough, and you’re willing to work for it, you don’t have to “wait your turn.” But this is bigger than any one woman’s personal ambition. In a competitive political arena, we are outnumbered. And as long as we lack the strength in numbers, we will lack the critical mass needed to ensure that policies crafted in Congress account for interests specific to women. This is why it is so important to add more women’s voices to policymaking roles. Our issues are far more likely to reach the top of the agenda.

Excerpt from For the Next Generation. © 2013 by Debbie Wasserman Schultz with Julie M. Fenster. Reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press.

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Na’amat Woman


♥ Keeping The Circle Whole: Red or Blue, It’s Really About Family

(and What the Holocaust Should Have Taught Us) by JEANETTE FRIEDMAN


his is a story about the generations of my family. My parents and in-laws, as well as my machatonim (my daughter’s in-laws) are Holocaust survivors, with all that implies. We are their descendants, with all that implies, and some of us are Orthodox, and some of us are not. I am a post-denominational woman who recently joined the official ranks of the senior citizens. Medicare matters. Unlike some of my siblings and my parents, I do not believe that God is an old man in a long white beard micromanaging the universe and toting up brownie points. I believe there is value in Judaism and I try to be a good person, but I do have a temper and a low threshold for stupidity — as well as a potty mouth. What has affected my life even more than the Holocaust is my family’s very diverse approach to Judaism, Israel and politics. Their beliefs span the spectrum — from agnostic to haredi and hasidic, from progressive to wingnuts. My father, who died at 66, was a first-generation haredi Jew (a haredi Jew is a cross between a Litvish yeshiva bocher and a Hasid that came into being in Europe right before the war, when Hasidic boys began going to yeshivot like Mir and Pressburg to learn Talmud). He was also one of the primary movers of the Agudath Israel, a major worldwide umbrella organization for ultra-Orthodox Jews that invented the Daf Yomi (daily page) Talmud study program, and lobbied for Pell Grants so 14

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Jewish schools could get grants and food. My father’s work in Hungary with the Jewish Rescue Committee (the Va’ad Hatzolah, an offshoot of the Agudah), with his brother-in-law, the Munkacser Rov (Reb Barukh Rabinowich) and with the Hungarian Countess Erzsébet Szapáry, saved hundreds of Jews by providing them with Latin American papers. Later, as an officer of the Agudah, he delivered a speech in Yiddish at the White House during the Nixon Administration. He and I had bitter fights about the war in Vietnam. He was for it, I was against it. He felt Nixon was the best president ever for Israel. I said Nixon was an anti-Semite playing war games with a client state to test his ammunition. My dad didn’t want to make aliyah and thought I was nuts when I considered it. “You don’t go from the frying pan into the fire,” he said. As a survivor of the Holocaust, I figured he knew what he was talking about. When I said I would run for Knesset, he snorted and said that maybe I should run for prime minister. I told him I wouldn’t be the first American girl to do that. It had already been done. And she won. And when I went on food stamps as a single mom working her way through college, he almost killed me. His widow, my mother, was one of the people rescued by the network he helped create. She was on the train with 1,684 people that left Budapest for Bergen-Belsen in December 1944, put together by an ultra-Orthodox rabbi,

Illustrations by Avi Katz

My mother is the last one alive of her very important Hasidic family. They were rabid anti-Zionists because they were waiting for the Messiah, and without him, there could be no State of Israel. Michoel Ber Weissmandl, son-in-law of the head of the yeshiva in Nitre, Slovakia; the Zionist leaders Joel Brand and Reszo Kasztner; and the heads of the Judenrat in Budapest, Freudiger and Stern. Eighty Orthodox passengers, paid for by monies raised by the Va’ad, were aboard. She was one of them. Rabbi Joel Teitlebaum, the Satmar Rebbe, was another. The train became known as the Kasztner transport. Kasztner was libeled in Israel and later murdered in front of his house, ostensibly because he collaborated with the Nazis to save his family and friends. It was simply not true. Books and movies have been written about him. My mother was outraged when he was killed. All of this affected me. I became the Holocaust memorial candle for my family and the guardian of remembrance, almost by default. My siblings were too busy or frankly didn’t care. I was mostly resented, because I was the first one of my siblings to “fall off the path,” driving my parents nuts. My siblings never understood why I left — and my brothers still don’t get me. My sister understood when she got her divorce from an abuser. My mother is the baby and last one alive of her very important Hasidic family. They were rabid anti-Zionists because they were waiting for the Messiah, and without him, there could be no State of Israel. Her father, Rabbi Nathan Dovid Rabinowich, the Partzever Rebbe, was fanatically anti-Zionist, as was Reb Barukh’s father-in-law, Grand Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira of Munkacs, aka the Minchas Elazar, who declared that Zionists and Reform Jews were respon-

sible for anti-Semitism. He would not allow his followers to flee to America or Palestine, because they were “treif ” places to go. He was also against Jewish education for women, and cursed the founder of the Beth Jacob system. The Minchas Elazar died before the war began, but Reb Burakh, who had visited Israel with his future father-in-law when he was 11, became a rare Hasidic Zionist after the old man’s death and sought certificates for Palestine to rescue many others and also his family. For becoming a Zionist, he suffered ignominy. The followers of the Satmar Rebbe and some of his own son’s followers refer to him as “The Rebbe, Yemach Shmo,” the rebbe whose name should be erased. They say the same thing about Nazis and Amalek. I watched as he was beaten and frog-marched out of his son’s wedding at the Grand Paradise. On top of all of that, I was raised to believe that Reform Jews caused the Holocaust. When my mom got off the boat in Israel, they called her a cake of soap. Her brother-in-law was head of the welfare department of the Jewish Agency, and he and my aunt helped build the road to Jerusalem. They got to Palestine from Poland in 1937. My uncle was also the co-founder of the Poalei Agudath Israel and they were considered real pioneers. My mom spent some time putting Reb Barukh’s family back together after his wife died of tuberculosis. She found out my dad was alive (they knew each other before the war), then left for Paris to marry him. He lost his first wife and son in Auschwitz, and after going through the system, he WINTER 2013/2014

Na’amat Woman


was liberated in Bergen-Belsen. My dad began working with Rabbi Weissmandl almost immediately, in a chateau outside of Paris, to rebuild the Nitre Yeshiva. My parents married in the Pletzel in Paris (the shul at 25 Rue de Rosiers is still there). They left for America in 1947 for an Agudah convention. My twin brother and I are anchor babies, so you can imagine our family’s position on immigration. Today, my mom is 93 and sharp as a tack. She’s very, very Orthodox, goes to shul every Shabbos when she can, and is sort of enlightened. She says she is glad my father didn’t live to see what was going on in his organization today: More than 30 years after his death, Agudath Israel is under scrutiny for supposedly protecting pedophiles. The leadership recently asked their members, when confronted with child sexual abuse, to call the rabbis before they dialed 911. Her focus has always been on toeing the halachic line while using what she calls common sense and the rest of us call ethics and morality. Her politics have always been straight Democratic, but Fox News has her confused. She didn’t vote for president but pulled the lever for the rest of the Democratic ticket. She realizes that presidents don’t make the laws. Congress and your local politicians do. She is an avid Zionist, and is disgusted with my son, the leftie. She called him a bad Jew. My relationship with my mother is good. But it used to be awful — mutually awful and verbally abusive. But now that she is old, and has seen the way I helped her when she had to go to the hospital, we talk often, and she still gives me cooking advice. She picks up my spirits and I try to pick up hers. She almost died this summer, but we made sure she made it to her great-grandson’s wedding in August, and she is doing well considering where she was. She was so happy at the wedding and told my sister-in-law that I had proven myself to her and finally won her approval. (She said I looked magnificent!) My twin brother is Agudist, lives in an enclave on Long Island, is fairly enlightened, very yeshivish — and his children and grandchildren live a Lakewood-type life. We don’t share much at all. My younger brother is out in North Hollywood, Modern Orthodox with a taint of ingrained chauvinism. He’s a Democrat except on Israel, where he is as much a wingnut as any of them. His daughters in Teaneck are secular and modern Orthodox. My sister lived in Israel for more than 10 years. After her divorce, she, too, fell off “the path.” Now she is Conservative and lives on cruise ships, traveling with her significant other, a Conservative rabbi. I am not even sure of their politics because we “don’t go there.” He had lived in Israel for years, also, and left after his divorce. He, too, is a child of Holocaust survivors. My husband went to Chaim Berlin, a mainstream yeshiva in Brooklyn, until he was 13. It was not a good thing. He is also Second Generation on both sides and was born in a DP camp. His father died at 66 — he was in Chelmno and 16

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lost a wife and five children. Liberal in every other way, my husband is a closet right-winger on Israel. (He’s also a classic male chauvinist — and demanding.) His mother, who survived Stuthof and Ravensbruck with her two sisters, was a Bundist type, married to a baker who lived a hard life and focused on making a livelihood for his family. When he was a kid, my husband was responsible for waking his mother when she had nightmares. From the age of 9, he would go work for his father in a factory in Williamsburg, taking public transportation at 4 a.m. through the worst parts of Brooklyn. Today, my mother-in-law, like millions of seniors who can’t get real help, is strung out on meds for anxiety and doesn’t know or care anything about religion, politics or Israel, though she sometimes acts like she’s worried about what the Orthodox will think of her. She cares about where her next meal is coming from and who is going to bury her. We tell her not to worry. It’s taken care of. My husband hates organized religion, follows some of the traditions, like Passover, and his version of the High Holy Days. He indulged me with a Sukkah when the kids were growing up, moans and groans a lot about the cost of being Jewish, and is mostly turned off by the ultra-Orthodox. There are exceptions. A chauvinist in his own way, he thinks the shoemaker’s elves cook meals and wash dishes. He votes for Democrats, and allowed me to use much needed family funds to get my Second Generation group going more than 30 years ago. Since then, he has “allowed” my quixotic quests for justice to continue. He just wishes I would shut up. He gets tired of hearing what some truly outrageous trolls say about me when I tell it like it is. And some of it is exceptionally offensive. I look nothing like Ahmadinejad. My husband and I have been married 38 years and everyone we knew said we would never last. We have four grown children and thousands upon thousands of books, a very dangerous combination. They all knew how to read before they got to Pre-1A and their teachers hated us for that. I always tried to teach my children to think critically and pursue justice, be compassionate and speak out when something is not “kosher.” Sometimes that would bite me in the pants. All four of them have lived in Israel as young adults for a minimum of one year — and as many as five. Despite our political differences, most of my kids manage to get along with me, even if some don’t talk to each other and we have a bumpy ride. When push comes to shove and there is a family crisis, we do stick together. My oldest, a daughter from my previous marriage, now 45, has five children. She is what I call a one-woman community resource. She’s a registered nurse who saved her husband’s life, a cake artist and a professional nitpicker (www.thelicequeen.com). A Stern College girl, she met her husband when they were kids in Israel. He is true blue Yeshiva University, modern Orthodox, and they are religious Zionists. She unfriended me on Facebook for a couple of

I was mostly resented, because I was the first one of my siblings to “fall off the path,” driving my parents nuts. days and made me swear not to respond to the Romney lovers who are her friends. I really loved it not when one of her friends said corporations are people, too, and repeated the lie about Obama throwing Israel under a bus. I was compelled to post and was eliminated with a click of a mouse. She will also not allow me to attack haredim, even though they called people like her Amalek. Sigh. My daughter’s husband’s parents are Holocaust survivors. Her father-in-law was hidden in a hole in the ground for a very long time and he has the patience of a saint. My son-in-law’s mother lived in Israel after the war and his sister and many of their friends live there. My daughter just married off one of her twin sons and will marry off the second in January. The twins, who are voting age, are at Yeshiva University. I have a tough time with them because they basically toe the Zionist Orthodox party line, and we talk a lot about the purpose of Judaism, the role of women and ethics. One of them liked Romney on Facebook, and I warned him we would have words. This was after we had already had a long discussion about the redefinition of rape, women’s health care issues, and how the GOP pays no attention to halacha. His brother suggested on Facebook that I get a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I told them to check the facts before they voted for Romney. I am tired of repeating myself, but it’s hard to drown out the

adrenaline rush that accompanies opinions brought to you by Fox News. We are at an impasse. They don’t have time to fact-check politics, they have heavy course loads, and one of them is also a prolific writer on family history and other issues in the community. Besides, they have lives! And wives (a wife-to-be)! Their younger brother just made IDF aliyah and will serve in very dangerous times. I asked him what he was going to defend. He said the land. I asked, “Rocks and dirt? Or people?” and suggested that he get a group together to create a Tomchei Shabbat (free meals for Sabbath) program for impoverished Holocaust survivors in his area and speak out on behalf of African refugees, two very deep thorns in humanity’s side — we do not discuss the Arabs, Israeli or otherwise. Not ever — because that would be the end of it. Bibi Netanyahu welcomed him personally when the plane landed in Lod. My e-mail to the Prime Minister mentioned these two thorns, and suggested they be removed from the side of the Jewish people or any sacrifices my grandson would have to make would be useless. The response: “Message read and duly noted.” I told the boys that duly noted doesn’t hack it, they have to speak out against injustice and think about the decisions they make. The girls are 16 and 5. The Jonas Bros. and bling are what matter most — in other words, they’re normal — and want to make aliyah, because my grandfather’s continued on page 27 WINTER 2013/2014

Na’amat Woman


News Na’amat

Visiting Gilo Day Care Center

Lifsa Schacter of Cleveland was the honoree at a recent event for which funds were raised to refurbish the Gilo Day Care Center. Her talk follows.


e visited the Na’amat Gilo Day Care Center in Jerusalem on an ordinary day. The children get breakfast, a 10 a.m. snack, a hot lunch and an afternoon snack. There are close to 80 children as well as 17 adults, including a young woman who is working there instead of doing army service. Miriam, the director of the center,

overwhelms you by the spirit of joy she brings to her work, and this joyfulness permeates the place. Miriam trains the teachers to work according to her approach. Three classrooms are large by American standards, but spare. There is a spirit of calm throughout the center, with teachers interacting with groups of children in pleasant ways. Miriam gives the children books from the library to take home. The most intriguing spaces in the gan are the bomb shelters that have been converted into a gym and an arts room. These areas will be refurbished with money we raised. Miriam explains that she wants the children to be comfortable in the shelters

Scholarships for Women



annual scholarship award ceremony honored 190 female university students, emphasizing the importance of pursuing degrees in science and technology. Some 70 percent of recipients are engaged in these fields. Four grants were also awarded for doctoral candidates involved in women’s studies and gender issues; and for the first time, four grants were given to women doing research in the life sciences.

Na’amat president Galia Wolloch said she was “very happy to see this big auditorium filled with young women — female power at its best!” She lamented that some women are forced to “give up the right to dream” due to their difficult circumstances, but the scholarship recipients “have not given up.” The right to fulfill dreams is an “achievement in itself that can’t be taken for granted. The women who gave up their right to education or those who did not dare believe they could succeed do not have a chance to dare to change, to fight for their beliefs, to take the lead…. We believe that equality of opportunities is the key to achieving equality between women and men.” Shirli Shavit, director of the International Department, noted that all the recipients have served in the military, civil or national service. And she heartMasha Lubelsky, head of the Profesily thanked the members of sional Scholarship Fund, presents award Na’amat USA and Na’amat Canada to doctoral candidate Adit Naor. who have carried out intensive


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She would love to be able to restore the music specialist, a cost of $450 a month for one day a week. She and her staff give the children an important positive start to their lives in school. They provide a happy supportive environment for

Gilo Day Care Center in Jerusalem.

should they need to be used for security. Two other spaces that will be refurbished are the very inadequate kitchen and the outdoor spaces that need to be reclaimed from the neighborhood cats. Miriam says that they used to have “specialists” — a music and rhythm teacher and a nature teacher, but they lost the budget for them.

fund-raising for this cause over the past 30 years. Let’s take a look at what some of these high achievers are involved in. Rina Bibar lives in a small Druze village in the north of Israel. She studied biology at Technion in Haifa and plans to study medicine there. “My dream is to become an exemplary doctor and be able to give the best of me,” she says. Karina Golberg, a mother of three, is a biotech engineer. She is conducting research for her Ph.D. in the field of microbiology, focusing on searching for novel alternatives to combat pathogenic bacteria that have increased due to decreased efficiency of conventional antibiotics. Lili Nimri, 28, lives in Nazareth and is doing her doctoral studies in the nutritional sciences at the Hebrew University. Her research involves mechanisms linking altered metabolism to obesityrelated colon cancer. She says that her “involvement in the academic research track of nutritional science as the first Arab Israeli woman will give me a stronger science background for a career in biology and nutrition.”

Efrat Knoll is in the gender studies program at Bar Ilan University. Her doctoral research examines fatherhood in Israel through the study of father’s experiences as they are manifested in new family structures. She believes that “shedding light on fatherhood will help break the traditional connection between man and the public sphere, thus allowing them entrance to the private, family sphere, which will then increase gender equality.” Ibtisam Marey-Sarwan is in her second year of Ph.D. studies at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her research topic is “Attachment and risk among Bedouin children in unrecognized villages in the Negev.” Efrat Cohen-Touati is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is an organizational and learning consultant and instructional designer, specializing in developing and implementing learning for new technologies in government offices, the army and various industries. In her research, she is

Expand Labor Protections for Home Care Workers! by MARCIA J. WEISS


he Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938 to set standards for minimum wage, overtime, record keeping and youth

employment. The Act requires employers to compensate covered nonexempt workers at not less than $7.25 per hour and to pay “time and one-half” for work over 40 hours a week.

analyzing women’s technology training processes in a military context. Now in her final year of doctoral studies, Adit Naor has been researching microorganisms that live in high salt environments that are able to exchange their genetic material with other species. Forty-year-old Orit Zach Schwartz, mother of four, is a physician and Ph.D. student. She is involved in participatory action research on the experience of childbirth. “My hope is to broaden the space, in medical discourse and practice, for women’s needs, both physical and emotional, concerning childbirth. Kibbutz-born Reut Shavit is a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her research examines the role of toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria that cause disease in cucurbit plants. All recipients expressed their deep gratitude and appreciation for Na’amat’s financial help and encouragement.

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However, due to the so-called “companionship services exemption” under the FLSA, home care workers, such as domestics, housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers for the disabled and elderly were not included in the minimum wage scale. In 1974, Congress expanded coverage to include “domestic service” workers performing services in a private home. At the same time, the 1974 amendments created a limited exemption for “companionship services” such as casual babysitters and companions for the aged and infirm as well as for livein domestic workers. The in-home care industry has undergone a vast transformation since the regulations became effective. While there has been a growing demand for long-term, inhome care, these workers remain among the lowest paid, averaging $9.70 per hour, and some earn less than minimum wage. Nearly 40 percent of the home care workers, who are mostly women, rely on Medicaid or food stamps. The Obama administration announced in September 2013 that it will extend minimum wage and overtime protections to direct care workers effective in January 2015. This will ensure that

Take Action!

the children, many of whom live in environments that are troubled. We were deeply impressed and gratified that we are making a contribution to this special place.

nearly two million workers, such as home health care aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants, will have the same basic protections already provided to most U.S. workers. Third-party employers, such as home care staffing agencies, will no longer be able to assert the exemption for employees who provide companionship services. The scope of the term “companionship services” will be narrowed and limited to “fellowship and protection” services. Incidental care services, such as meal preparation, driving, grooming, and bathing will be limited to 20 percent of total hours worked per week in order for the exemption to be claimed. Opponents of the proposed rule argued that these changes will drive up the cost of home care, potentially forcing families to institutionalize seniors, but those arguments apparently have been unsuccessful. Activists are campaigning for increased labor protections for domestic workers in the form of Domestic Workers Bill of Rights legislation. If enacted, such a law would guarantee the following: overtime pay at one-andone-half for more than forty hours or forty-four hours for in-home service; a day of rest of twenty-four hours every seven days (or overtime pay if that day is worked); three paid days of rest each year after one year of service to the same employer; and protection under the state’s human rights law for a cause of action if the employee suffers sexual or racial harassment. California is the most recent

state to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. New York and Hawaii have already passed versions of the law. TAKE ACTION! If your state has not already passed similar protections for workers such as housekeepers, child care providers and caregivers for the disabled and elderly, contact your state legislator and urge the passage of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in your state.

Marcia J. Weiss, J.D., is the NA’AMAT USA advocacy chair and national vice president for Program and Education.

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News Na’amat

Thousands gather in Jerusalem’s Safra Square to honor Na’amat volunteers and employees.

Toda Raba!


erusalem’s Safra Square was overflowing with some 3,000 Na’amat employees and volunteers from all over Israel. Held on a summer’s night, the festive event was a “Thank You!” to all the devoted caregivers working in Na’amat day care centers. President Galia Wolloch expressed the organization’s appreciation for all their “hard daily work of doing important educational work with love and care.” Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, spoke about the significance of Na’amat to Israeli society and to the young generations. “The atmosphere was heartwarming, very moving and exciting,” reported Shirli Shavit, director of the Na’amat International Department. “At the end we all danced together to the music of a well-known singer.”

Another New Day Care Center…


a’amat opened a beautiful new day care center in Ramleh. This bright and cheerful facility accommodates 77 children.


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Communal Health Center Opens


ome 200 guests attended the opening of the new home of the Na’amat Communal Health Center in Carmiel. The impressive facility is a joint project of Na’amat Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Federation. Along with the adjoining Na’amat Community Center, it serves more than 600 women every month and attracts many Na’amat volunteers who help on a daily basis. A variety of activities are offered, such as lectures and discussions on the prevention of osteoporosis and breast cancer; empowerment groups for new immigrants, singleparent families and retired women; meetings to promote coexistence between Jews, Arabs and Druze; health and nutrition education; and yoga and dance classes. Arts and crafts workshops are also offered. Another plus: Women can get legal counseling on family matters.

Galia Wolloch, Na’amat president, and Adi Eldar, Mayor of Carmiel, cut the ribbon at the opening of the Na’amat Communal Health Center.

Book Margot: A Novel by Jillian Cantor New York: Riverhead Books 352 pages, paperback, $16


n Jillian Cantor’s intriguing novel, Margot, the year is 1959 and the protagonist is Margie Franklin, who resides with her cat in a studio apartment in Philadelphia. She works as a secretary for Joshua, a partner in a law firm. She has a sisterly friendship with another secretary, Shelby, but Shelby has no inkling who Margie really is and fails to pick up on clues that could point to her real identity. Margie is thin and anorexic. She wears a sweater even when the weather is hot. The sound of a car backfiring or the thud of boots on a pavement makes her anxious. No one — not even her father — knows that Margie is Margot, Anne Frank’s older sister, and that she survived the Holocaust. In flashbacks, we learn how Margie escaped the Nazis and immigrated to America. Survivor’s guilt compounds her post-traumatic stress. Margot is a novel about truth and identity, but in order to accomplish her goal, Cantor has mingled fact and fiction. In real life, Otto Frank, the father of the girls, was the sole survivor of the eight people who were discovered hiding in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam and were sent to concentration camps. On rereading The Diary of a Young Girl 20 years after she was first acquainted with it, Cantor, an older sister herself, decided to give Margot “what was stolen from her” even if it was in the form of a fictional life. Die-hard Anne Frank fans may want a Margot based on facts alone, but in her author’s notes Cantor reminds us that most of what is known about her is found in Anne’s diary. The actual Margot also kept a diary, which was never recovered, but the fact that she had one is an important detail in the novel.

When the story begins, Margie is shaken up because Shelby wants her company to see the movie, “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Margie, now passing as a nonJew, becomes besieged by the past, not always knowing whether her memories are true, which makes her an unreliable narrator. Margie reveals that it was she whom Peter loved, not Anne, as Anne suggested in her diary, and that he had planned a life for them in Philadelphia, if they survived, in which they would reinvent themselves as gentiles and he’d assume the name Peter Pelt. Margie finds out from the telephone operator there is a P. Pelt in the city, but she takes time to follow up on the lead. She still seems to love Peter, though she also harbors feelings for her boss Joshua. To complicate matters, Joshua has a girlfriend and hasn’t shown any overt interest in Margie. Her obsession with Peter is reminiscent of the actual Anne’s infatuation with him. The readers of Margot, especially those who are Anne Frank’s fans, will, in Cantor’s fiction, puzzle over whether Peter loved Margie or Anne. Margie anguishes that her identity will be discovered. She is especially fearful because there have been racist incidents against Jews in the city. She feels uncomfortable in the presence of Bryda, another Holocaust survivor, who is Joshua’s client. She worries about being a bridesmaid when Shelby gets married because she won’t be able to conceal the tattoo number on her forearm. Margie hasn’t contacted her father, though she’s composed several letters to him in her head. “I am not his daughter anymore. I am not even a Jew. And if he were to know I am still here, I would not go back. I could not. I do not want the world to know me, as they know

him, and my sister.” What is surprising is that though we quickly warm to the narrator, we don’t feel our eyes well up the way we do with many protagonists in Holocaust literature. Our sympathy will, however, be engaged toward the end without depressing us. Cantor has resurrected Margot credibly. Margot will be a good choice for book clubs because its theme of truth and identity makes for a lively discussion. — Tara Menon

In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist: A Novel By Ruchama King Feuerman New York: Random House 272 pages, paperback, $16


oneliness can drive a person to behave in an uncharacteristic manner. And sometimes the consequences reverberate far beyond his or her life. That makes for good fiction, especially in the skillful hands of Ruchama King Feuerman. One of the two main characters in her second novel is Mustafa, a normally meek janitor who removes one of the ancient relics being dug up at the Temple Mount by the Arab authorities. He then presents it as a gift to a Jew he incorrectly calls “rabbi” because of a single act of kindness. Mustafa is a man unused to kindness. As Feuerman describes him with great compassion, while not taking away the character’s dignity and innate intelligence, he suffers from torticollis, an extremely twisted neck. Because of his deformity, the people in his village have turned Mustafa into an outcast; even his mother cannot bring herself to feel for him, which only intensifies his efforts to “buy” her love. The “rabbi” is Isaac, an American-born ne’er-do-well who had never achieved his dreams to marry and to have his own yeshiva but who finally finds himself after arriving in Jerusa-

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turbed if it and other ancient remnants of Jewish history were found. Mustafa is in mortal danger. A growing number of books (and movies) have explored various complicated (often romantic) relationships between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. But the tale Feuerman spins is particularly moving and exciting. In The Courtyard is suspenseful, beautifully lyrical and psychologically penetrating. It delves into the ambivalence of love as well as into the complex political scene of Israel without hitting anyone on the head about it. Feuerman writes gently and openly, seeing all sides of the issues and of her memorable creations. You will long remember and be touched by not only the main characters but also the secondary ones — including the pious but worldly kabbalist’s wife, Shaindel Bracha, who may be more responsible than the supplicants know for the help they receive; the handsome, cynical police commander Shani, tasked with stopping the presence of the relic from being known; and Professor Minkus, the gentle, secular archeologist who understands that his profession involves being a “Torah scholar.” Then there are the hardened criminals Isaac is imprisoned among when he refuses to give Shani Mustafa’s name. This section may seem a little less realistic than the others, but there’s no question that these colorful prisoners, who nonetheless seek spiritual guidance from Isaac, are part of the city’s fabric and beg not to be forgotten. The other “character” that comes to life so vividly is Jerusalem — not so much through detailed physical descriptions of the city but through the evocation of its mood and spirit and the many varied people who live in it, sometimes easily, sometimes not. — Barbara Trainin Blank

all them alternative comics, art comics, comics lit, comix, or graphic novels, the genre of comics keeps growing and becoming more diverse. Since Na’amat Woman first reviewed Jewish comics in 2007, a number of talented new authors have joined the veterans who continue to expand their own work. Here’s a roundup of some recent books that deal with difficult subjects in candid and compelling ways. Keeping My Hope (www. ChristopherHuh.com) by Christopher Huh. I would have been chillingly moved by this Holocaust story about the Jews in Lomza, Poland, had it been written by a talented, empathetic adult, but I was even more overwhelmed knowing it was told by a 14-year-old secondgeneration Korean American. In the voice of grandfather Ari who survived Auschwitz as a teenager, Huh takes readers through the horrors of ghetto life, transports, concentration camps and death marches — with occasional relief in the scenes of Ari’s present-day life with his children and grandchildren. Huh started writing and drawing the book when he was 13 years

From Unterzakhn by Leela Corman

lem soon after his mother’s death. At first, Isaac is only the assistant to a kabbalist and his wife — in one of the city’s many courtyards — who minister to people even more lost than himself: “Homemakers, unemployed Israelis, yeshiva students, a concert pianist who hiccupped excessively and couldn’t play anymore, two obese quarreling neighbors,” in the author’s words. Also hanging about the courtyard is Tamar, a passionate, redheaded former hippie and ba’al teshuva (a Jew who returns to the faith) who falls for the attracted but reluctant Isaac. When the rebbe dies, his widow asks Isaac to take his place. One can say he grows into the job, but in what may be the book’s only serious flaw, he seems to attain confidence more quickly than might be expected in a man so used to failure. Though deeply devout, and troubled by the prohibition against Jews praying on the Temple Mount, Isaac sees Mustafa as just another human being whose problems can be alleviated, if not cured, by a friendly smile and gentleness. In fact, Isaac calls the janitor a “kohein” — a member of the Jewish priestly class — for tending lovingly to a mountain sacred to both Jews and Muslims. The friendship between the two men would be complicated enough based just on differences of religion, ethnicity and class. And the fact that Mustafa has taken a relic from the mountain the Muslims call “Noble Sanctuary” (third holiest site in Islam) could get him fired from a job the Arab desperately needs. But there is the political situation Feuerman weaves in with such originality and cleverness. The relic itself could serve as archeological proof of the existence of Jewish temples on the site — making the Arabs want to squelch its existence and the Israeli police afraid a fragile peace between the two peoples would be dis-

Jewish Comics C


old, spending more than 1,000 hours researching the Holocaust and World War II. Huh is deeply sensitive and knowledgeable about the Shoah, and his simple black-and-white drawings are expressive. He wrote to me: “These days, not many people think the Holocaust is important. But I hope my book changes that view. I think Keeping My Hope is relevant in today’s diverse community. I hope you like the book.” Chris, you are a mensch. Jerusalem: A Family Portrait (First Second) by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi. Based on stories told to him by his father, Yakin (along with artist Bertozzi) has created a powerful story of three generations of the Halaby family in Jerusalem during the tumultuous years of 1940 to 1948. A New York City screenwriter and film director, Yakin (whose parents were born in Israel) brings you into the homes, prisons, streets, offices and hiding places of the Jews, Arabs, Communists, Zionist extremists and British who are all fueling the battles. The ideologically diverse Halaby family, too, is at war — in the larger world as well as with itself. Anger is the ruling emotion of the story. Bertozzi’s stark black-and-white illustrations rarely relent in their explosiveness, and neither does the narrative.

The Property (Drawn & Quarterly) by Rutu Modan. In this novel, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw from Israel ostensibly to reclaim family property lost during the Holocaust (Modan’s

From Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi.

Tangles (Skyhorse Publishing), subtitled “A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me” is Sarah Leavitt’s heartwrenching chronicle of her mother’s six-year descent into Alzheimer’s, starting around age 53. It’s hard not to become a participant, almost a member of the family, as Leavitt reveals the most intimate, hurtful and beautiful moments of their lives. You feel relief when her mother loses the painful awareness of her disease: “After three or four years, Mom didn’t know she was sick anymore. This meant that she was happier. She rarely cried or got angry.” Leavitt’s strong feelings of needing her mother but also wanting to flee are palpable. And you cannot help but adore her loving, patient father. Then there is the end: “Many times a day I was knocked off my feet by the absolute absence of my mother.” Though the family is atheistic Jewish, Leavitt surprisingly finds comfort in reciting Kaddish. “Every day I mourned the loss of her blazing, protective love.”

own grandmother escaped Poland). Mix in some family secrets, a mystery surrounding an old love affair, a new romance in the making and Polish-Jewish relationships, and you have an engaging story. The artist, a pioneer of alternative comics in Israel, captures expressions with all their humor, sadness, confusion and anger as well as the wonderful details of the streets and interiors of the places the characters wander through. Modan’s first full-length graphic Exit Wounds, also involved family secrets and a search.

Letting it Go (Drawn & Quarterly) follows Miriam Katin’s memoir We Are On Our Own, a harrowing account of the author and her mother’s survival in Hungary during the Holocaust. Katin now explores her revulsion to her son Ilan’s decision to move to Berlin where he’ll live with his Swedish girlfriend. Ilan also wants his mother to help him get Hungarian citizenship. Katin’s marvelous swirling full-color illustrations reflect her inner turmoil: “This is like handing my baby over to the wolves.” This “manic old lady,” as she calls herself in the book’s acknowledgments, truly bares her soul as she sort of comes to terms with his move; as she interacts with her son, husband and mother; and as she visits Berlin. Creating the book is a coming-to-terms process

From The Property by Rutu Modan

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for the artist. As she projects in the beginning, looking out from her window at the George Washington Bridge and Hudson River: “So, where does the story begin? And if you are inside that story right now, in that situation and it hurts and say you can draw, then you must try and draw yourself out of it.” We Won’t See Auschwitz (SelfMadeHero) by Jérémie Dres. After the death of his grandmother Tema in 2009, the author/illustrator took a trip to Poland with his brother to explore their family’s roots

in Warsaw and Zelechów. In words and simple black-and-white drawings, Dres, who is now in his early 30s, relates his journey with great detail and self-awareness. Interviewing people involved in various Jewish organizations and others, the two assimilated French Jews are surprised that the Nazis and Communists have not completely erased the Jews. They are also surprised to find out they are not the only ones who have come to explore their Jewish background. In fact, it has become somewhat ordinary, even among Poles,

Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective


hat can one say about Art Spiegelman that’s new? His life and work — especially Maus — his revolutionary graphic novel about the Holocaust — have been discussed and dissected by the media, critics, teachers, most Jews and lots of others. The master storyteller and artist has numerous other claims to fame, and you can see the magnificent trajectory of his innovative work at New York’s Jewish Museum until March 23, 2014. The retrospective leads us from Spiegelman’s first work as a teenager publishing a satire fanzine to his illustrations for the underground press in the 1960s and to his work as a cartoonist and editor for underground comix. With its political and social critiques, MAD magazine


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to seek out one's Jewish roots. And they’re amazed to discover that there’s a Jewish renewal movement going on. Although the subject is complicated and difficult, the author injects humor and objectivity along the way — perhaps in a way only the grandson of a destroyed generation can do. Unterzakhn (Schocken) by

Leela Corman reveals the brutal side of Jewish immigrant life on the Lower East Side circa 1910. The author/artist tells the story of twin Jewish girls, Fanya and Esther Feinberg, who follow very different paths. Raised in a home by a cruel mother and an apathetic father who are stuck in a bad marriage, Fanya works for the neighborhood’s “lady doctor,” an ob-gyn who secretly performs abortions, and Esther becomes a dancer/prostitute. The forces of good, evil and in-between, the will to make choices, the determination to survive, the ironies and hypocrisies of life — it’s all here in this turbulent novel and vibrant black-and-white art. — Judith A. Sokoloff

was a huge influence. “I studied MAD like other kids studied the Talmud,” he has noted. Then there’s Spiegelman’s work creating concepts for bubblegum products, trading cards and stickers made by Topps Chewing Gum; his groundbreaking books like Breakdowns; the graphics magazine RAW (published with his wife Francoise Mouly); and his famous Maus, recounting the wartime experiences of his parents, both survivors of Auschwitz, and his relationship with his father — it was 13 years in the making and won him a Pulitzer Prize. In the 1990s, he turned to comics essays, often personal reflections, with many appearing in The New Yorker. He created book covers, children’s books, and the powerful personal In the Shadow of No Towers following 9/11. More recent are his collaborations with dancers and musicians. Spiegelman provokes, he transgresses, he bites — with humor, honesty, empathy and serious self-reflection — as he presents his trenchant observations about his life and the world. He once observed: “Spiegel means mirror in German, so my name co-mixes languages to form a sentence: Art mirrors man.” The exhibit is accompanied by a terrific catalogue, CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps ­— a full-color, 136-page hardcover book published by Drawn & Quarterly. — Judith A. Sokoloff

Copyright ©1989 by Art Spiegelman. Used by permission of the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.


continued from page 11 Chen credits the Shenkar design school for jumpstarting his career in the ’90s. “Mainly, it taught me how to think about design, that you can just do what you want. I learned that designing has a purpose: to make a product that someone will fall in love with and buy.” His clothes, known for their minimalism, are flattering to many body types. The dresses, skirts, blouses and pants gather and flow in all the right places. Designing for overseas has been “a good challenge,” Chen noted. “Here there’s a freedom in the air that I think affects the way people dress. That there are no strict dress codes means someone can wear a sequined shirt with cropped pants, a mixture of high and low, evening wear and casual. But in Europe, that doesn’t always work, so I’ve had to think in different ways.” Tamar Primak has a smaller but discerning clientele who flock to her Tel Aviv fashion house for high-quality work and leisure clothes. Using a variety of fabrics, from silk and brocade to knits and Egyptian cotton, her collections are feminine without being fussy. Educated at Shenkar, Primak, whose salon is located on trendy Gordon Street, learned fine English tailoring while apprenticing at Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom and designed the silk collection of the revered Schumacher fashion house in Germany. She launched her own brand in her hometown, Jerusalem, in 2008, “because I needed to do something of my own,” she said at her store, the first stop on Reisman’s tour. “I missed Israel, I missed the climate and the mood, the people, the sun.” Two years later, Primak moved to Tel Aviv, which she said is full of actors, photographers, writers and artists, professionals and, of course, designers. Thanks to her high level of craftsmanship and versatile designs, successful businesswomen seek out Primak’s designs and also her advice. She offers a ready-to-wear collection as well as custom-made pieces. “It’s a lot about the personal relationships. The women inspire me. They’re my muses, and it becomes a celebration of fashion.” Primak said she is inspired by being

in Israel, “even when the inspiration is unconscious.” Tel Aviv, she said, is the very symbol of non-religious life and urbanization and “the heart of the culture of Israel where pop culture and high art coexist. It’s also a beach town, where surfers walk barefoot.” But she also draws creativity from Jerusalem, which she said is “pure beauty, as beautiful as Paris. I’m very interested and influenced by the architecture of the Old City, the feeling of the Middle Ages” at every turn. Asked why she moved back to Israel after working in fashion abroad, Primak replied, “because I was born here. I’m very connected to family in Israel. I wanted to have children and wanted them to grow up here. The quality of life here is very high. There is the sea and the desert and the mentality is less polite, more easygoing. This is a very, very good place to live.” That feeling is shared by Sharon and Nir Tal, the young married couple who revived Maskit, the renowned fashion house created by Ruth Dayan in 1954 and closed in 1994. After graduating from Shenkar and moving to London for two years (Sharon designed embroidered garments for Alexander McQueen), “we wanted to do something really Israeli,” Tal said. The couple contacted Dayan, still active at 97, to discuss the possibility of creating modern clothes utilizing Maskit’s signature embroideries and craftsmanship. Now housed in a landmark building in Tel Aviv, the designers’ first clothes — the couple calls it “a homage” — “is young and updated, not vintage,” Sharon said. In the past, she said, much of the embroidery was done by Arab women in Bethlehem “but the old ladies who did the work have since died, so we learned how to do it and resurrected an art form.” Naama Bezalel, another young designer with a sense of nostalgia, designs skirts, dresses and blouses inspired by the styles of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. She has 11 brand name stores in Israel and distributes to the United States as well. New York Times fashion guru Suzy Menkes called Bezalel’s designs “funky pastiches of vintage clothing” full of “innocence and infancy.” Bezalel said she designs for real Israeli women who live

through hot summers and not-so-cold winters. “They have breasts and Middle Eastern hips. My customers feel I make my clothes just for them. I hear that a lot.” When it comes to designing clothes with a personal touch, few can match the efforts of Naomi Maaravi, who calls her work a combination of “eco-fashion, art and storytelling.” Maaravi traces her passion for collecting things and retooling them to her father, an Indonesian-born Jew and former Japanese prisoner of war who remade everything. “My father always told me that every product had a soul and a story,” Maaravi said, as fashion journalists examined her gauzy white blouses, leather jackets and oversized sweaters. Some of Maaravi’s clothes are like a quilt: pieces from different places artfully sewn together in pleasing, highly unexpected ways. “I have the materials and I take what I have and go further. I try to listen and then I break rules,” she said, breaking into a smile. She recalled how a 67-year-old client “told me a story of her mother who died when she was 10. Her mother was making a dress and had half-knitted a sweater but she died before finishing it. She brought a little bag with the unfinished dress, with yarns and all kinds of little fabrics, of things that she kept.” Maaravi took a blanket and made a coat by knitting the sleeves from all the leftover yarn and made a collar from the sweater. She lined the inside of the coat with a patchwork of the leftover fabrics. “It was a like a hug from her mother,” she observed. Maaravi, who hails from Holland, said Israel encourages creativity. “If you want something, it allows you to follow your dreams. That vision belongs to the Jews, belongs to our culture. It’s in our genes.” Michele Chabin is a journalist living in Jerusalem. She covers the Middle East for The New York Jewish Week and other publications. She wrote “Passionate About Women’s Rights” in our fall 2013 issue. To learn more about Galit Reisman’s TLVStyle boutique fashion tours and special events coordination, go to www.tlvstyle.com. WINTER 2013/2014

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Jewish, Female and Funny continued from page 7

artist in Borscht Belt hotels, and Goodhart absorbed the shtick of comics like Freddy Roman and Soupy Sales. She also imbibed the power of comedy firsthand. “They told the same jokes night after night but it was like listening to Mozart and Beethoven. I could hear it over and over and it was always funny.” A former PR and advertising executive, Goodhart complained of her unhappiness when she moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Demarest, New Jersey. Her friends suggested she try her hand at comedy; Goodhart’s debut at Caroline’s Comedy Club focused on her family and her suburban culture shock. She has since played all the major clubs in America and has hosted the PBS special, Asian America. “Judaism helped me find my voice, helped me get out of my wheelchair, to do stand-up, local community service and raise awareness of mental illness and physical disabilities. My Korean family told me to sit down and shut up. The Jewish community said I was so brave and that the wheelchair wasn’t horrible — that instead, it helped me to get around. I want to pay it forward.” She was also inspired by Roseanne, whose unperfect image and “freedom to talk about her family helped me find freedom to talk about mine,” and by Korean comic Margaret Cho, “who was doing my life — and I had a better life than she had!” Goodhart’s conversion to Judaism has ended her already tense relationship with her parents. “I try to smooth out that cutting edge through comedy,” she says. The solace she finds in Judaism goes deep. “I’m like Ruth,” she explains. “I like coming from the ashes. The Jewish community always rises better than before. Going to temple makes me feel very calm and whole.” She belongs to a “Conservadox” synagogue today and tutors Hebrew privately, mostly to children with learning disabilities, to children of Korean-Jewish marriages, and to Christian Koreans who are interested in the Talmud. “My house is known as Temple Beth Esther,” she jokes. Despite their success, female comics have had to fight for their status. A 2007 26

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Vanity Fair essay by the late Christopher Hutchins posited that “male humor prefers the laugh at someone’s expense, and understands that life is possibly a joke to begin with — and often a joke in extremely poor taste. Whereas women, bless their tender hearts, would prefer that life be fair and sweet, rather than the sordid mess it actually is.” A surge of funny women has put the article’s claims to rest, says Kohen. “There has been a sea change in the status of women comics, in sheer numbers who have reached the upper echelons and who enjoy powerful status.” Though the demarcation between male and female humor is blurred now, Kahaney says the media and sexist fans continue to send the message that women aren’t funny. “There’s room for us at the table that wasn’t there before. But female comics have to be funnier to go over than the average guy comic.” She recalls being in the room at the St. Regis at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, 2000, when Jerry Lewis announced that he doesn’t think women are funny. “I was really sad. He had been an icon in my world. My father had been a busboy in his youth at Browns’ when Jerry Lewis was discovered and I thought he was family. I realized he wasn’t.” In fact, says Gold, “stand-up is the most unfeminine profession. We equate outspokenness and being in control as masculine traits. Being ‘ladylike’ is keeping your mouth shut, not having an opinion, being subservient. Being ladylike doesn’t work in stand-up.” A female comic’s attractiveness can also be an issue. “There’s a huge double standard. You can’t dress provocatively or sexy as a stand-up,” says Gold. “It distracts men and then they don’t take you seriously, and women are also put off by it.” “Men feel more comfortable if they can distinguish between male and female humor,” says Adrianne Tolsch, who has headlined at major American comedy clubs, has toured abroad, has been the opening act for Jay Leno, Billy Crystal and many others, and performed in a Broadway revue, Three From Brooklyn. “They are not 100-percent comfortable with women being so funny. But if you’re really with me, funny is funny.” Tolsch, who grew up in Brooklyn and says she is “35 by the metric sys-

tem,” is an only child whose parents divorced when she was 11. She majored in art history at Brooklyn College and was an advertising manager in the corporate world before venturing into comedy. “I always had a big mouth and made people laugh,” says Tolsch. After debuting at the Comic Strip in 1980, she was house emcee at Catch a Rising Star. Her influences include Lenny Bruce, Richard Belzer and Jean Carroll, a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show more than 20 times. She is currently bringing her comedy to Jewish Florida communities. For Tolsch, aging is a “way of laugh.” “I’ve come up with a new skin cream for the woman unafraid of aging. It’s called Embalm,” she jokes. And “It’s a great time to get older because I can talk to myself on street and people think I’m on the phone.” She punctuates her conversational style with a “real joke” every 10 minutes. “Jewish audiences love ‘joke jokes’ because it’s a structure they understand. They know where to laugh and they can take the joke away with them.” She admits she can’t yet find the humor in the esophageal cancer surgery she underwent this past year. “I don’t talk about it. I don’t know if I ever will,” says Tolsch. But what she gets out of comedy is clear. “Audiences come in with their aches and pains and I make them laugh. I make them forget. I’ve never felt more useful in my life.” Like their audiences, Jewish women comics, too, find that laughter is the medicine that quiets the pain, an unparalleled personal lifeline. “Comedy gives me a way to survive through life. I like to think I’ve brought my own truth to comedy as well as a universal truth,” says Hoffman. “It gives me everything. It gives me my identity,” Kahaney emphasizes. “The planets align perfectly. You write or craft a joke that’s very funny to you and very funny to the audience, and there’s electricity. You surprise them and delight them, and it’s pure love when that happens.” Rahel Musleah is a New York-based writer, singer and educator who presents programs on the Jews of India and Iraq. Visit her Web site: www.rahelsjewishindia.com. She wrote “Sephardi Voices” in our fall 2013 issue.


continued from page 17 will said they should build a yeshiva in Hebron. I just sigh. My next daughter, who is headed for 36, is a happily married Chabad heavy metal headbanger who lives in Pittsburgh with her Chabad heavy metal headbanger husband and their delightful baby son and is awaiting another child. She studied in Israel and climbed back on the path on her own. Sometimes we talk. She is a total rightwingnut, who once was a member of the JDL and Kach. She unfriended me on Facebook long ago. I do not discuss religion or politics with her, because it would only lead to war. She, too, wants to make aliyah with her family. She often doesn’t talk to her younger siblings because they are lefties. Her fatherin-law works for NASA, and she, her mother-in-law and her husband are living happily in western PA. Her sister, who is 363 days younger than she, is a professional musician and gypsy who travels the globe seeking to bring world peace. She is a progressive Democrat and sees reality through rainbow-colored glasses as she couch surfs her way across the globe, yearning for a human perfection that is virtually impossible to find. She married this summer in Jerusalem and lives in California where she will be producing charity concerts and teaching fourth-grade Hebrew school. And then there is my son, 34, a selfproclaimed progressive Jew who lives with his wife and puppy in Syracuse, New York. He was an organizer of Occupy Yom Kippur, along with Occupy Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Shabbat and last year’s Occupy Rosh Hashanah. He sticks his neck out to pursue justice and we share the despair. He spent years in Israel, leaving America as a good Zionist, and came back as what some people call a “left-winger,” and others call a selfhating Jew, a Jewish anti-Semite, a communist, a Stalinist, etc. — others being his sisters, his grandmother, Bill Kristol, Commentary and more. He considers himself post-Hasidic, and as an autodidact, taught himself Jewish history, the religion and a lot about his Hasidic ancestors. His

favorite is Der Yid Hakadosh — The Holy Jew, aka the Przysucha Rebbe. Martin Buber wrote a book about him. He lived in the time of the American Revolution and was a revolutionary. Der Yid realized that neither Napoleon nor the Czar would deliver Jerusalem, so it wasn’t about the Messiah. It was about us. He believed that a man’s obligation was to first provide for his family, to be ethical and decent. Then if he had time, he could sit down and learn a little Torah. This philosophy, one way or another, trickled down to my immediate family. My father was a businessman with rabbinical ordination who was considered a Talmudic scholar. He was kicked out of a program for refugee rabbis at the UJA because he didn’t want to be a rabbi in North Carolina. So, instead, I’m a kid from Bed-Stuy, and that plays into the mix, too. Both my husband and I were at Brooklyn College during the upheavals in the early 1970s. And our kids knew it. They also knew that I marched for a Holocaust Studies Department at that school, against the war in Vietnam, and in the women’s lib parade down Fifth Ave. They also know that on the day someone painted swastikas on our synagogue in Teaneck, I became a person who wanted to teach the lessons of the Holocaust. They lived with it every day — and watched what it took to deal with politicians and Jewish leadership to even get them to think about the Holocaust. What they witnessed wasn’t always pretty. But they loved my taking on Ayn Rand at Madison Square Garden — The Phil Donahue Show, May 1, 1979. It’s on YouTube.com. My son tracked it down. I was preggers with him when it happened! And that is what is at the heart of the politics and the religious observance among my family members as well as the rest of the Jewish community. The Holocaust hovers over everything, along with the definitions and practice of Judaism. I do not believe that descendants of Holocaust survivors suffer genetic trauma. Every human being suffers trauma — they may have survived a war, a rape, a terrorist attack, a mugging, a shooting, a car accident. Everyone has their own

package, and A+B doesn’t need to equal C. Everyone is different. Just look at all the different personalities you find among Holocaust survivors! But there are diametrically opposed Jewish responses to the Holocaust. One is to become a total xenophobe, where you fear the outside world (often for legitimate reasons, I do not deny that at all). But you become insulated and isolated and cut yourself off from being responsible for your own actions and let “leaders” make decisions for you — and that leads to vicious racism and cruelty as witnessed in the treatment of the Darfur refugees, and the indifference of most Jews to the treatment of Holocaust survivors in Israel. You cut off your nose to spite your face. And that lead to lies and more lies. To these people, Never Again means Jews Only — and that only sometimes. They stand silent in the face of injustice. There are Yiddish songs about people like them standing around with their arms akimbo while the shtetl burns. The other lesson is the universal one, where Never Again pertains to the whole world. Right now my family is locked in a war between these two points of view, especially as it pertains to Israel and Iran. Some lean toward Tea Party ideas and don’t like Obama, mainly because he’s black, and the other group believes in Obama and progressive values. Should we be xenophobes or universalists? Whatever the answer to that one is, one thing is certain. The most vital lesson the Holocaust should have taught us is that family is important — and that we have to stick together for the sake of our people’s soul survival. For like the eggs and the oranges we put on our Seder plates, Judaism is a circle and a different Jew stands on each degree of the circle, representing 360 different degrees of our history, religion and people. Everyone is where he or she is supposed to be. All of us in the circle are necessary for the whole. And if we break that circle, it’s over and done. A native “New Yawka,” Jeanette Friedman is a freelance editor and writer now living in exile in Paradise Valley off Devil's Hole Road, somewhere in the Pocono Mountains. WINTER 2013/2014

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AROUND THE COUNTRY √ Chicago Council honored Jan Minnick, then national Midwest Area coordinator, for her many years of selfless service to Na’amat USA. At the festive luncheon, music was provided by Kol Zimrah, the Jewish Community Singers. From left: Cyndee Schwartz, Eileen Kurtz, Shari Fagan and Jan Minnick. πEsther Goldsmith club of Lakewood, New Jersey, raised funds for a Circle of Love certificate, which was given in honor of its treasurer Rita Michel (right). Also shown are Elaine Perdeck (left), co-president, and Helen Hollander (center), corresponding secretary.

Elephants, giraffes and rhinos, oh my! One hundred guests® mingled with giant metal versions of these animals at the summer fund-raising event of Eilat and Mitzvah clubs of San Fernando Valley Council. The creative planning committee posed with the giraffe after a delicious dinner followed by entertainment in the form of an African drum circle. The safari event was the most successful summer fund-raiser ever by these groups with net profits from the evening totaling $6,600 for Na’amat USA. Committee members, from left: Roz Porton, Linda Lewensohn, Susan Brownstein, Liz Seligman-Bravo, Gail Simpson, chair Linda Kavalsky, Joey Bilow, Esther Shapiro, Sharri Kornblum and Ellen Barshop.

Everyone had a great ® time at Tikvah club’s (San Fernando Valley Council) pool party day. During this successful fund-raiser, a clown engaged the children in games, face painting and balloon blowing. A watermelon eating contest and a raffle topped off the event. “Members and their families are looking forward to the second annual pool party next year,” said hostess Ivy Liebross, national vice president.


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πRochelle Harris (center), St. Louis Council treasurer and longtime member of Aviva club, is awarded the special Na’amat USA fundraising pin because she raised $15,000. Kol Hakavod! Fund-raising vice president Ann Frank (left) presents pin as president Beverly Stuhlman looks on.

πThe annual fashion show of Brooklyn’s Bessie Choina club, held at Buckleys Restaurant, was a great success. Shown, from left: Jan Gurvitch, national fund-raising vice president; Debra Kohn, national treasurer; Doris Katz, national Eastern Area co-coordinator.

πThe Amat club of Akron, Ohio, installs new officers. From left: Shlomit Antopolski, executive vice president; Joan Kodesh, program vice president; Sally Katz, president; Marilyn Groden, treasurer; Lani Rothstein, financial secretary; Kathy Snyder, recording secretary; Barbara Rosenthal, membership vice president.

πLong Island/Queens Council held a gala Succot celebration in a member’s succah. From left, standing: Trudy Sinn, Diane Hershkowitz, Leslie Berlin, Susan Flaum, Carol Knecht, Susan Gottlieb, Eleanor Blackman, Rhonda Eisenstadt, Judy Shanker, Linda Biderman, Marsha Jaffe; seated: Nadine Simone Maddy Berson, Jane Berliner, Barbara Golden, Tal Ourian and Barbara Adler.

√ At its Spiritual Adoption event, Pittsburgh Council presents a plaque to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in appreciation for its support and partnership and its foundation for Na’amat Pittsburgh’s Adele and Maurice Weiner Women’s Health Center (aka Na’amat Communal Health Center) in Carmiel. From left: Dan Brandeis, foundation director; Jeff Finkelstein, CEO and Federation president; Carole Walsh, event co-chair; Gloria Elbling Gottlieb, event co-chair; and Marcia Weiss, council president.

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Circle of Love Donors

Na’amat USA wholeheartedly thanks those who have joined our Circle of Love, providing scholarships for needy Israeli children at Na'amat multipurpose day care centers. One Circle ($2,000 or more) In memory of Anne L. Krieger by Ronald Krieger Others In memory of Viola Orloff by San Fernando Valley Council

Calling All Snowbirds

The members of Na’amat USA clubs and councils in Florida are looking forward to your participation in their meetings and special events. Please call the Southeast Area office for information: 561-368-8898.


Welcome to the New Life Members of Na’amat USA

Your Online Purchases and Searches Can Help Na’amat USA. It’s easy and it’s free with iGive.com!

EASTERN AREA Ellen Bogatz Staten Island, N.Y.

Join iGive.com for free — then shop and search and support our cause. A percentage of each purchase benefits Na’amat USA.

MIDWEST AREA Susannah Cohen Lyndhurst, Ohio Ingrid Halpert Mayfield Heights, Ohio WESTERN AREA Judi Lieberman Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Visit Na’amat Installations!

See Na’amat in action when you travel to Israel. Na’amat’s International Department will arrange for you to visit a day care center or technological high school. Just contact Shirli Shavit at shirlisha@naamat.org.il at least two weeks ahead.


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Be part of the largest online network of shoppers, stores and worthy causes dedicated to turning everyday online shopping into much needed donations. It’s never been easier to support Na’amat USA. Shop at 1,300+ top-notch stores, including Amazon.com, Pottery Barn, Best Buy, Staples, PETCO, Expedia and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Smart shoppers will love iGive’s free shipping deals and exclusive coupons. That’s not all. You can raise a penny per search using iGive’s search engine www.iGive.com. And you will enjoy total member privacy.


In our summer 2013 issue, we published a letter from a member of Kibbutz Kfar Blum that was written in 1946 and sent to a Na’amat USA member. Many readers enjoyed her observations about life in Palestine just before Israel’s War of Independence and wanted to know more about her. Thanks to the Web, the children of Minnie Bernstein saw the article and wrote to us. It was wonderful to hear more about the family and make the connection. Here are their letters, edited slightly for clarity. Dear Editor, he publication of my mother’s letter was exciting, exposing me to a period that happened before both my sister and I were born. My mother, Min, was an amazing person with so many virtues, and writing is among them. My mother joined Habonim and through them got to the hachshara [movement]. Here she met my father and they were slated to leave for Palestine in 1939. WWII postponed their aliya to 1946. My parents left Kfar Blum in 1955. They had two stops, in Yad Nathan and Ramot Hashavim before settling in Beit Yanai for the rest of their lives. My sister and I were born in Kfar Blum, I in 1951. I grew up in Beit Yanai and in 1985 settled in a nearby moshav, Herev Leet. I served three years in the army, have a B.S. from the Hebrew University and an M.A. from Haifa University. I worked most of my career in the high-tech industry. In the last 10 years, I’ve been involved in educational activities and run an oak nursery [http://www.oaks.co.il]. I am married to Hana, and we have four children — Anat, 32, Michal 30, Yonathan, 28 and Alon, 22. Michal is currently studying for her Ph.D. in psychology in New York City. I’d like to thank you so much for this publication and sharing it with us. Ezra Barnea Herev Leet, Israel


Dear Editor, was overwhelmed having read my mother’s letter — in a way she sort of stepped back into my life. Yes, she was an amazing person, well-read, and as my brother mentioned, writing was one of her virtues. Some more details: My mother grew up in Chicago with no affiliation to Zionism. She graduated Hebrew teachers college and went to Milwaukee where she got a job teaching Hebrew. There she met a friend who invited her to sing in a choir of the Zionist movement and she was [hooked]. From there she went to New York and joined Habonim/Poalei Zion. She was asked to work with Enzo Sireni for a while when he was in the United States. Then she joined the hachshara [farm] located in Cream Ridge, N.J. There she met my father who was an agricultural instructor for the youngsters. His history is a story by itself. They got married in 1942, getting ready to go to Palestine but couldn’t because of the war. They moved to Ellenville, N.Y., and both were working. My mother also helped the Haganah at the time. I was born in 1949, and we moved a few times until my par-


ents settled in Beit Yanai where I grew up. I’ve been living in Jerusalem for many years. I’m married to Nachum, who emmigrated from Russia in the big waves of aliya. He came with his daughter’s family, and so I’m a grandmother of two girls, today 24 and 19 years of age. I’m a social worker and have a master’s degree from JTS having studied women studies. I work in the national insurance institute, the equivalent of social security, specializing in vocational rehabilitation and treating victims of terror. Thank you for all you have done in connection with publishing my mother’s letter. Nehama Barnea Jerusalem

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation. Publication title: NA’AMAT WOMAN. Publication no.: 0433800. Filing date: October 1, 2013. Issue frequency: Quarterly. Number of issues published annually: 4. Annual subscription price: $10.00. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, N.Y. 10018 - New York County. Contact person and telephone number: G. Gross, 212-563-5222. Mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, N.Y. 10018. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publisher, editor and managing editor: Publisher: Judith A. Sokoloff, c/o NA’AMAT USA, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, N.Y. 10018. Editor: Judith A. Sokoloff, c/o NA’AMAT USA, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, N.Y. 10018. Managing Editor: None. Owner: NA’AMAT USA, 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, N.Y. 10018. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding one percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. Publication name: NA’AMAT WOMAN. Issue date for circulation data below: Fall 2013. Average no. of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 8,827. Paid/requested outside county mail subscriptions: 8,470. Paid in-county mail subscriptions: 2. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales, and other non-USPS paid distribution: 25. Other classes mailed through USPS: 30. Total paid and/or requested mail circulation: 8,527. Free distribution by mail outside of county: 0. Free distribution by mail in county: 0. Other classes mailed through USPS: 0. Free distribution outside the mail: 0. Total free distribution: 0. Total distribution: 8,527. Copies not distributed: 300. Total: 8,827. Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 100.0 percent. Actual no. of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 10,073. Paid/requested outside county mail subscriptions: 9,716. Paid in-county mail subscriptions: 2. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales, and other non-USPS paid distribution: 25. Other classes mailed through USPS: 30. Total paid and/or requested mail circulation: 9,773. Free distribution by mail outside of county: 0. Free distribution by mail in county: 0. Other classes mailed through USPS: 0. Free distribution outside the mail: 0. Total free distribution: 0. Total distribution: 9,773. Copies not distributed: 300. Total: 10,073. Percent paid and/or requested circulation: 100.0 percent. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. — Judith A. Sokoloff, Editor.

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NA’AMAT was founded 88 years ago as Pioneer Women.

Today, we’re still pioneers, providing day care for more than 18,000 Israeli children.

When NA’AMAT was founded in 1925, we were pioneers, dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in pre-state Israel. Now, with the largest network of day care centers in Israel, NA’AMAT has become a world leader in early childhood education. In fact, the NA’AMAT day care program has served as a model for the Head Start Program in the United States. Our activities also encompass legal, family and financial counseling; the prevention and treatment of domestic violence; a technological education network; and advocacy for women’s rights.

Join NA’AMAT USA today and become a pioneer of the 21st century. NA’AMAT USA, 505 Eighth Ave.,Suite 2302, New York, NY 10018 212-563-5222 • naamat@naamat.org • www.naamat.org 32

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Profile for NA'AMAT WOMAN

NA'AMAT WOMAN Winter 2013 - 2014  

NA'AMAT WOMAN Winter 2013 - 2014