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Metro Reese: No longer an Islander

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JULY 19, 2012 tammuz 29, 5772

Vol. 56, No. 10

Pittsburgh, PA

One, two, three, ’Dice

$1.50

Conservative heksher can expand kosher market, rabbis say BY TOBY TABACHNICK Staff Writer

the Israeli team who played shortstop the entire game, was equally impressed by his team and encouraged about how they performed. “We did very well today; I think that if we keep it up we can win a lot of games in the tournament,” Cogan said. Cogan helped his team by getting on base four times. He singled, was hit by a pitch and walked twice. The victory came just hours after the Israeli team arrived in Pittsburgh. For much of the team, it was their first time in the city. “We just arrived like three hours ago

When Avi Olitzky, a Conservative rabbi, moved from New York to Minneapolis in 2008, he quickly became frustrated with the relative dearth of kosher offerings in the Twin Cities. The options he did find — a dairy café, a meat deli, a kosher market and a couple bakeries — were costly and limited. “I began to explore the scenario here,” said Olitzky, who is the junior rabbi at the 1200-family Beth El congregation in St. Louis Park, Minn. “I came to the conclusion there was no move to expand the kosher options in town. There was a split between those thinking it was unnecessary, and those thinking we don’t have a community to support it.” What Olitzky found, though, was that both opinions were “erroneous,” he said. The proof is the success of Olitzky’s MSP Kosher, a free of charge, kosher certification organization that the rabbi founded in 2010 as an alternative to the Orthodox-run Twin Cities Community Kashruth Council. Olitzky launched MSP Kosher, “not with the goal of breaking the Orthodox monopoly [on kosher supervision],” but to lower the cost of kosher food, to increase the quantity of kosher food, and to create transparency in kosher certification in the Twin Cities, he said. While historically, local kosher certification agencies in most cities have been run by Orthodox rabbis, more and more Conservative rabbis are stepping up to the plate in order to expand kosher dining options for their communities.

Please see Baseball, page 13.

Please see Kosher, page 5.

Chronicle photo by Ohad Cadji

Yehuda Joffe, age 16, from Bet Shemesh, Israel

Israeli baseball team plays exhibition game against Allderdice ‘BY ANDREW GOLDSTEIN Staff Writer

Before the start of the baseball game on a muggy Sunday afternoon, a chant of “One, two, three, ’Dice” was heard when the Pittsburgh Allderdice baseball team ran onto the field. But one of the Allderdice players shouted “Yisrael!” instead, as his team ran onto the field. That’s because his team was getting ready to play the Israeli National High School baseball team in an exhibition game at the Allderdice field in Squirrel Hill. The Israeli National team is in

Pittsburgh this week for a tournament in Freeport. They will travel to Georgetown, Del., to play in another tournament next week. The Israeli team, who all received green and white Allderdice T-shirts as a gift from the Allderdice team, won 15-9, behind a four run second inning and a six run fifth inning. “I was very impressed with how they performed; they played good fundamental baseball,” said Aryeh Klein, head coach of the Israeli team. “[Allderdice is] a very good hitting team and we kept them for the most part in the park, so I was very happy with that.” Sam Cogan, a 15-year-old member of

B USINES S 12/C L AS SIFIED 11/O BITUARIES 14 O PINION 6/R EAL E STATE 13/S IMCHAS 10

Times To Remember

KINDLE SABBATH CANDLES: 8:27 p.m. DST. SABBATH ENDS: 9:32 p.m. DST.


2 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

Metro Researcher to continue work in Israel

Breath test could detect cancer, Pittsburgh native, Fulbright Scholar says BY LEE CHOTTINER Executive Editor

In the future, Jeffrey Halpern believes catching cancer in its early stages could be as simple as breathing into a tube. He’s so sure of it, in fact, that he plans to spend 20 months in Israel researching the procedure. A Squirrel Hill native and post-doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Halpern, 31, is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, which will enable him to study cancer screening at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. He will be working with chemical engineering and nanotechnology professors there to develop an existing screening procedure, which involves electrochemical censors to detect later stages

of cancer in patients. Halpern and his mentors at the Technion hope to modify those censors to attract chemical biomarkers from earlystage cancer, which doctors could harvest by having patients take a breath test in their offices. If successful, the procedure could not only detect early-stage cancer, but also help doctors determine what kind of cancer it is. “I’m hoping to take it to the next level,” Halpern said. He added, “There is the potential of distinguishing between various types of cancer.” A son of Bill and Robin Halpern, Jeffrey Halpern grew up in Squirrel Hill, and attended Colfax School, Reizenstein Middle School and Allderdice High School. He has a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Case Western Reserve in chemical engineering.

has been evaluating and developing drug delivery systems that use molecular interactions to control the rate of release. Halpern, who was awarded a Lady Davis Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year, was one of 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals selected through the State Department and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board of the for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program this year. He and his wife, Abigail, have a 2year-old son, Raphael. (Lee Chottiner can be reached at leec@thejewishchronicle.net.)

Jeffrey Halpern

He is in his second year of post-doctoral research at Case Western Reserve, funded by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, working with Horst von Recum, a professor of biomedical engineering. Specifically, he

Correction Jacob David Sternberger graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College. Due to a typographical error, the honor was not correctly reported in the July 12 Jew’colades column.


THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 3

METRO Briefly The Annual Jewish Community Day at Kennywood Park will take place Sunday, Aug. 19. Tickets will be available soon at Murray Avenue Kosher and Creative Silver and Wines (Premier Wine Pittsburgh), on a cash-only basis at both sites, or online at bit.ly/PVnp3n using the promo code JEWISH819 Kosher food by Mordy’s Cafe will be available in pavilion 4. BBYO has selected Pittsburgh as the host city for IMPACT: Pittsburgh, three days of service, advocacy and Jewish values, from July 29 to 31. The BBYO Panim Institute is sponsoring the event. Twenty-nine Jewish high school students, who are teen leaders in their respective communities, will do hands-on service, learning how to make an impact on their community and apply their leadership skills to effect lasting change. The teens will also have the opportunity to learn about Pittsburgh, visiting the Duquesne Incline and the Carnegie Science Center. The program will kick off at La Roche College in the North Hills. Olivia Benson, youth policy manager for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, will address the youth leaders Monday and proclaim July 29 to 31 as “BBYO IMPACT: Pittsburgh Week in the City of Pittsburgh. Seventeen Jewish women’s foundations — 14 in the United States, including the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh, and three in Israel — are pooling resources to bring social change to women and girls in Israel. Recent acts of illegal exclusion and discrimination against women in the Jewish state have spurred this action. Under the name, The Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund, the foundations have awarded a two-year, $150,000 grant to Itach-Maaki, the lead organization of Bringing Women to the Fore: A Feminist Partnership — a collaboration of eight women’s organizations in Israel. Each participating foundation committed to $10,000 over two years — $5,000 per year — according to Judy Greenwald Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh. The grant will be used to promote gender equality and women’s rights in Israel and minimize gender gaps on many issues through large-scale social and media campaigns. “The project is a direct reflection of our organization’s core values and demonstrates the power of women’s collective voices,” Cohen said in a prepared statement. The mission of the Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund is to raise awareness about concerns affecting women and girls in the Jewish and broader Israeli community, such as gender disenfranchisement and discrimination. One example is the Orthodox schoolgirl in Bet Shemesh who was harassed and intimidated by a group of extremists in January. The incident generated media coverage, which spotlighted involuntary segregation of men and women in some public places. Such practices have taken place despite condemnation by rabbinic leaders.

The Israeli Supreme Court also has outlawed them. The plight of Jewish women whose husbands refuse to give them a get — a Jewish divorce — has also been brought to the forefront. A study on individuals aged 25 and over was conducted on a small cross section of the population in southwestern Pennsylvania (an area with high proportions of older adults) with the goal of examining how attitudes toward the aged affect growing old. Researcher Jacob B. Steinhaus explains in his manuscript how people view the biological, psychological and social cultural conditions of aging and discusses the consequences of ageism (a process of systematic stereotyping against aging Americans and a person’s chronological age). Individuals residing in southwestern Pennsylvania were randomly administered a survey questionnaire created by Erdman B. Palmore. “The Facts on Aging Quiz” (Palmore, 1988) is intended to demonstrate the many misconceptions about aging and is used as a stimulus to provoke discussion of growing old and attitudes toward old adults. Using Palmore’s survey study, Steinhaus measures the percentage of one hundred participants residing in southwestern Pennsylvania who hold positive/negative attitudes toward the aged and contributes newly found information to Palmore’s research. To learn additional information about Steinhaus’ research, contact him at STE9354@calu.edu. Poale Zedeck Sisterhood will hold three summer Wednesday dinners from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the synagogue’s Schwartz Social Hall. The first one, a fish fry, will be Wednesday, July 25. Call 412-4219786 for more information. Leigh Totty of Bethel Park High School, one of 13 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center personnel from nine states, is participating in The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous’ (JFR) 2012 European Study Program in Germany and Poland. The program includes visits to concentration camps, ghetto sites and Holocaust memorials. Through the visits and lectures, these educators will gain a deeper understanding of the complex and tragic history of the Holocaust. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, created in 1986, provides financial assistance to non-Jews who risked their lives and the lives of their families to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Today, the JFR supports more than 750 aged and needy rescuers in 22 countries. Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Career Development Center will offer job seekers 18 workshops in August. Some of the workshops include: Pittsburgh Business Times, Aug. 6; the Art of Networking, Aug. 13; Advanced Interviewing, Aug. 15; Life Coaching Session: Creating a Positive Sustainable Lifestyle, Aug. 16; and Transitioning to Success, Aug. 21, and more. Monthly LinkedIn for Beginners, LinkedIn Advanced, AARP WorkSearch 40+, Networking Club and Job Seeker Support group workshops will also be held. Registrations may be completed at career developmentcenter.org/calendar. Call 412-422-5627 for more information.

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4 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

METRO

Upper St. Clair native laces up for Penguins For Dylan Reese, coming to Pittsburgh was an easy decision. The Upper St. Clair native, a defenseman recently acquired by the Penguins, will have the chance to make the Penguins NHL roster and play in his hometown for his childhood team. When Reese laces up his skates for the Penguins, he will be one of only four players from western Pennsylvania ever to play for the local team. But Reese will be the first Jewish one from the area. “It’s a great honor for sure, I’m just happy it worked out,” said Reese about being the first Jewish Pittsburgher to play for the Penguins. “I haven’t put too much thought in it, to be honest, but it is what it is.” The Penguins went after Reese soon after free agency began July 1, and he accepted their offer that day. “There were a few other teams in the mix,” Reese said. “I didn’t really wait too long in free agency; I made my decision two hours in, and a lot of that was based on talking with the staff. It just seemed like the right fit.” Reese sees himself as a puck moving defenseman who can help the team on both sides of the ice. That is an important job in the system that the Penguins play.

“I think my game suits the Penguins style. They have a great offense and I consider myself a puck mover, and a puck retriever and a guy who is good moving at the puck to the forwards,” islanders.NHL.com Reese exDylan Reese plained. “With the firepower that the Penguins have I think my game fits the mold for the type of defenseman they’re looking for.” Reese signed a one-year, two-way contract where he could be shifted between the Penguins NHL and minor league roster. Using his abilities to feed players such as Sidney Crosby and reigning NHL Most Valuable Player Evgeni Malkin could give Reese the chance to regularly be placed on the NHL roster. This will be the first time that Reese

Buy, Sell, Trade in the Classifieds, Call Donna 412-687-1000

will have the opportunity to play for a team that is expected to win. After being drafted by the New York Rangers in 2003, Reese bounced around several teams in the American Hockey League, the NHL’s highest minor league level. “I haven’t really played for many

“It’s awesome to think that I could be playing in front of family and friends every night,” winners in the minors and at the NHL level,” Reese said. “Here in Pittsburgh, it’s [a team] expected to win every night and a team that competes for a Cup year in and year out.” Reese got his first chance to play in the NHL with the New York Islanders in the 2009-2010 season. In 74 NHL games, Reese has 17 points including three goals, according to the Islanders official website. Born in 1984, Reese and his family belonged to Temple Emanuel in Mount Lebanon, where he had his bar mitzva. Reese grew up watching the Penguins

and saw them in their glory days in the early 1990s. The Penguins teams that won two Stanley Cups motivated him to play hockey, he said. Other Pittsburghers to play for the Penguins include Ryan Malone, Bill Thomas and Nate Guenin. Jewish players that have played for the Penguins are Brett Sterling, Trevor Smith and Justin Duberman. “[The Penguins] are no doubt the reason I started playing, and it’s amazing to think that I’ll be playing for my childhood team,” he said. Though Reese decided to come to the Penguins because he thought it would be his best opportunity to get the most playing time, coming home is an added benefit. “It’s awesome to think that I could be playing in front of family and friends every night,” Reese said. Playing for a familiar audience, along with a chance to win, is a possibility that has Reese elated. “I think that it’s really exciting to know that not only are you playing with some of the best players of the generation, but if all goes well and the team plays well you have a really good shot at winning a Stanley Cup,” he said. (Andrew Goldstein can be reached at andrewg@thejewishchronicle.net.)

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THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012— 5

METRO Kosher: Continued from page 1. Olitzky’s MSP Kosher began its work with the certification of Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream, “one of Minnesota’s real gems,” Olitzky said, noting that the ice cream maker was “invested in the cause,” and made “a lot of serious changes” in order to gain the certification of MSP. “Their sales went up exponentially,” Olitzky said, “and they credit it with going kosher.” Since then, MSP kosher has certified several establishments around the Twin Cities, including a kosher hot dog stand at Target Field, which Olitzky said could only afford to become kosher because of MSP’s policy not to charge for certification, and because MSP allows it to remain open on the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays. “We got some flack in the press because it is nonglatt,” Olitzky noted, “but it’s kosher. It is open on Shabbat and yom tov, but we go in the next morning and blowtorch the grill. We know that with the arrangement we have, they can’t substitute in nonkosher products, but on the slight chance they do, we blowtorch.” Olitzky stressed that his goal in forming an alternative to the Orthodox-run Twin Cities Community Kashruth Council was simply to provide more kosher options in town. “We’re not making any money on this — it’s a collaboration of community rabbis,” Olitzky said. “My real goal was to increase the options. It wasn’t about breaking a monopoly; it was about breaking a de facto moratorium. I don’t eat out in nonsupervised restaurants, so on a personal level, I wanted more options. I’m not someone who feels I need to shoulder my way in just because I’m a Conservative rabbi with a Conservative voice. For me, it’s not about monopoly, it’s about expansion.” Likewise, Conservative Rabbi Jason Miller founded Kosher Michigan in 2007 in order to offer more kosher options in the Jewish community of Metro Detroit, where kosher certification previously had been dominated by its Orthodox Vaad Harabbonim. Miller now certifies some 30 businesses as kosher, including bakeries, spice companies, and ice cream parlors, and oversees kosher catering for Michigan State University. Having an alternative kashrut certification agency brings many advantages to a community, Miller said. “It brings the cost of kosher food down significantly. When there is a monopoly, there is price gouging, and it’s not good for anyone,” he said. “The goal is to provide some competition to local certification without lowering standards, to make it easier to manufacture kosher food, and to create more dining options for those who keep kosher.” Miller entered the world of kosher certification as the year-round rabbi and kosher supervisor of Tamarack Camps, a large Jewish camping agency. “Once I started doing that, businesses began calling me,” he said. “Some were not certified kosher because they couldn’t be — the owner was Jewish, but Reform, or open on Shabbat, and the Vaad wouldn’t certify them. There was a kosher butcher that was certified by the Vaad, but there were too many restrictions. They had to pay a

mashgiach $15 an hour, even if they were closed. They couldn’t keep the keys to their own establishment.” While the food these businesses were providing was indeed kosher, the business owners found it difficult to meet other requirements of Detroit’s Vaad — such as closing on Shabbat — and contacted Miller. “There really aren’t any differences in standards [between Kosher Michigan’s supervision and that of Detroit’s Vaad],” Miller said. “The subtle difference is that I am more eager to certify Jewish-owned businesses open on the Sabbath.” To do so, a document is created that sells the business to non-Jews during the 25 hours of the Sabbath. “This is a document used by the Orthodox as well,” Miller said, “although they are less apt to do so.” While Miller’s certification agency is growing, Conservative kashruth supervision is not accepted by the Orthodox community in Detroit, according to Rabbi Doniel Neustadt of the Detroit Vaad Harabbonim. “It causes confusion,” Neustadt wrote in an email to the Chronicle. “Many people are unaware of the intricacies of kashruth supervision and assume that all kashruth agencies are created equally. They are not. Kashruth is not only about kosher ingredients, it’s also about a kosher process, and only a professional, Orthodox agency can provide that. “It [a Conservative kashruth certification] is partially beneficial for those who are looking for the most basic, elementary kashruth standard, such as not allowing pork.” Neustadt wrote. “It is useless for anyone who cares about the complete picture of the laws of kashruth.” And therein lies the difficulty. If a kosher certification by a Conservative rabbi is not acceptable to the majority of people who keep kosher — i.e., the Orthodox — what’s the point? Rabbi Joel Roth, professor of Talmud and Jewish Law at The Jewish Theological Seminary, and rosh yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, is a renowned expert on kashruth, and has taught training sessions in kosher supervision for Conservative rabbis. While he sees circumstances where a Conservative certification has its place, he is reluctant to endorse it as a productive challenge to an established Orthodox certification in a given community. “Whenever I taught those [kosher supervision] courses with others, we made the point of saying the purpose of the course was not to put you in competition with the Orthodox, but to give supervision where it is lacking or in your own shul, or especially in a community where there is no supervision,” Roth said. “If we’re talking about a community that doesn’t have Orthodox supervision, and a Conservative rabbi wants to supervise a bakery so that Jews can have pareve challa and bread, I think that’s commendable. It’s a great mitzva if the community has no kosher supervision. “But if a restaurant in my community — where there are established kosher advisory institutions — contacts me, I think I need to tell them it’s a bad business decision to seek my supervision,” he continued. “The Orthodox won’t eat there. If he (the restaurateur) says, ‘I’m doing it out of principle, and not to expand my business,’ then I will [supervise him], but I warned him. But if

he thinks my supervision will enhance his business, I’ll tell him, regretfully, it’s not. Most Conservative Jews, regrettably, are not worried about kosher supervision.” One potential downside with multiple certification agencies in any given community is “a lack of consistency, and a little bit of chaos,” said Rabbi Robert Rubin, former head of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly Mid-Atlantic Region Vaad Hakashrut. “It can get confusing to clients, synagogues and caterers.” The Rabbinical Assembly set up its own Conservative regional kosher supervision agency in the Mid-Atlantic region about 40 years ago, Rubin said, and it operated until last year. “There was a need at the time,” Rubin said. “ And it grew. We had about 15 vendors. We were involved in kosher supervision for some time. Forty years ago or so, there was a pretty large Conservative community [in the Philadelphia area], and it was a more natural fit. Today the kashrut world has changed, and gotten more complex.” And so kashrut supervision in that region is now, for the most part left to the Orthodox. “We realized over time it was a bigger project than we could handle,” Rubin said. Conservative rabbis did not really enter the world of kashrut supervision until the 1990s, said Rabbi Paul Plotkin, chair of the subcommittee on kashrut of the Rabbinical Assembly’s committee on Jewish law and standards. “When I was at seminary as a student in the early ’70s, there wasn’t a lot of time allotted for training in kashrus supervision,” Plotkin recalled. “The attitude was, ‘don’t worry about it, the Orthodox will handle it.’ But by the time the ’90s came, I came to see there were all kinds of times Conservative rabbis were called to do supervision, but many of them didn’t have the practical training. So I argued for a number of years that we had an obligation to teach our colleagues who were called on for kosher supervision.” In 1990, the Rabbinical Assembly ran its first kosher supervision-training program. Eighty rabbis came from all over North America to take the four-day course. “It proved what I’d been saying,” Plotkin said. “There was a need and a demand for it.” The purpose of the training was to teach Conservative rabbis how to supervise kashruth operations when there was

not an Orthodox alternative in a given community. “In the ’90s, Chabad didn’t have the footprint it has now,” Plotkin said, “so in a lot of towns, the Conservative rabbi was the most traditional rabbi in the area. That’s how it started. It was never the idea that this would be a big, national thing, and I don’t think it ever will be. If you want to produce a product, and sell it all over, I am not doing you a favor by having you hire me. Most people won’t accept me in the market you want to use me. If everyone will eat O-U, and 10 percent will eat Plotkin, why use Plotkin?” Plotkin currently certifies two facilities: a Dunkin’ Donuts, and Ben’s Deli in Boca Raton, Fla. Unlike many kosher certifiers, Plotkin does not charge for his services, but instead does it to “enhance life for my community,” he said. He was contacted by the owner of Ben’s, Ronnie Dragoon, after Dragoon saw an article Plotkin wrote for United Synagogue Review, in which he argued against the imposition of more stringent kashruth standards that work to limit kosher options. “I wrote we should have a new certification: K-E, for ‘kosher enough,’ ” he said. “There is a segment of the population that wants to make more rules, and make keeping kosher more costly. They’ve blackballed everyone else, with the attitude that ‘if you don’t rise to my level, we won’t take you seriously.’ If we continue this, we will have less and less food, at more and more outrageous prices.” Plotkin agreed to certify Ben’s, although Rangoon already had an Orthodox certification. Even so, it took Rangoon three years to work through all the changes Plotkin insisted upon before the Conservative rabbi would certify Ben’s as kosher. Rangoon has maintained the Orthodox certification alongside his certification from Plotkin, in order to satisfy an Orthodox clientele that will not rely solely on a Conservative rabbi. “I have had an increase in business with Rabbi Plotkin, because he is very well known and respected in South Florida,” Rangoon said. “But I’d be less than candid if I said I’d be comfortable with only a Conservative heksher, because I know some Orthodox people wouldn’t be comfortable with it. But Rabbi Plotkin is at least as strict as the Orthodox rabbi.” (Toby Tabachnick can be reached at tobyt@thejewishchronicle.net.)


6 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

The Jewish Chronicle

Opinion

Jim Busis, Interim CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Lee Chottiner, Executive Editor Angela Leibowicz, Community/ Web Editor Toby Tabachnick, Staff Writer SALES STAFF Susie Mangel, Senior Sales Associate Roberta Letwin, Sales Associate Donna Mink, Classified Sales PRODUCTION STAFF Dawn Wanninger, Production Manager Nancy Bishop Production Artist BUSINESS STAFF Joe Soloski, Comptroller Josh Reisner, Office Manager Marcy Kronzek, Subscriptions BOARD OF TRUSTEES Richard Kitay, President Cindy Goodman-Leib, Vice President Larry Honig, Secretary Andy Schaer, Treasurer Davida Fromm, Past President Carolyn Hess Abraham Brian Balk Daniel Berkowitz Lynn Cullen Milton Eisner Stephen Fienberg Malke Steinfeld Frank David Grubman Thomas Hollander Evan Indianer David Levine Ari Lightman Mitchell Pakler Amy Platt Benjamin Rosenthal Charles Saul Adam Shear Jonathan Wander Lou Weiss Published every Thursday by the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation 5915 Beacon St., 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15217 Phone: 412-687-1000 FAX: 412-521-0154 E-Mail: newsdesk@thejewishchronicle.net SUBSCRIPTION: $46 in Pennsylvania $48 East of the Mississippi $50 West of the Mississippi and FL NEWSSTAND PRICE $1.50 PER COPY POSTMASTER: Send address change to THE JEWISH CHRONICLE, 5915 BEACON ST., 3rd Floor PITTSBURGH, PA 15217 (PERIODICAL RATE POSTAGE PAID AT PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA) USPS 582-740 Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to the Jewish Chronicle become the property of this publication, which is not responsible for the return or loss of such items. The Chronicle does not endorse the goods or services advertised in its pages and makes no representation to the kashrut of food products and services in said advertising. The publisher is not liable for damages if, for any reason whatsoever, he fails to publish an advertisement or for any error in an advertisement. Acceptance of advertisers and of ad copy is subject to the publisher’s approval. The Chronicle is not responsible if ads violate applicable laws and the advertiser will indemnify, hold harmless and defend the Chronicle from all claims made by governmental agencies and consumers for any reason based on ads appearing in the Chronicle.

A great public tragedy n describing the Israeli protester who set himself on fire at a Tel Aviv demonstration Saturday as the victim of “a great personal tragedy,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have missed the mark. It was not a “personal tragedy,” as Netanyahu said; but a public tragedy — the most extreme and disturbing kind — intended to send a message to the powers that be in Israel. Moshe Silman, 57, of Haifa, doused himself with gasoline and set his body on fire Saturday night during a demonstration in Tel Aviv to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of social justice protests last summer. In a letter he left behind, Silman, who is being treated at Sheba Medical Center for third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, attacked Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for “the humiliation that the weakened citizens go

I

through every day, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.” He reportedly owed money to the Tax Authority and to the National Insurance Institute of Israel, but his payments ballooned over procedural errors and lost court cases. Anyone who thought this kind of thing could never happen in Israel must now reconsider. Please note, we’re not predicting a wave of Israeli protestors opting for self-immolation, but Israelis, including Israeli political figures, are definitely concerned. In tweeting about the episode, former Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni said Silman is not the only person to reach “the most difficult level of despair.” Indeed, Ynet reported that a man armed with a bottle of inflammable liquid walked into a cell phone store in Ariel a day after Silman set fire to himself and threatened to do the same because he could not pay a 20,000 NIS debt. A

security guard stopped him. The PM has ordered all relevant ministries to look into this case. In addition, the Tel Aviv municipality issued a directive Sunday requiring a permit for public demonstrations like the one Saturday night, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. It’s not clear if the PM’s order and the Tel Aviv directive are related, but responding to this selfimmolation by tightening controls on public expression would definitely be the wrong way to go. People don’t set themselves on fire in public for personal reasons, as the prime minister suggested. They do so to lodge public protests that cannot be ignored. We have seen what such protests can do to governments elsewhere. We’re not saying the same will happen in Israel, but if we ignore Silman’s protest, or casually dismiss it, then we do so at our own risk.

What does Bibi want? Gary Rosenblatt

NEW YORK — Israelis call him by his affectionate nickname, Bibi, but few speak of him with warmth. There is no alternative political leader on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean he’s popular at home. Even though he is not known for his integrity, he is widely trusted with protecting the fate of his people as Israel faces the threat of extinction from a nuclear Iran. Serving his second tenure as prime minister, controlling 94 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, with no serious rival to succeed him, Benjamin Netanyahu, 62, remains a mystery — the most entrenched yet least liked of Israeli leaders, a brilliant orator and maven when it comes to solidifying political power, but still an unknown in terms of what he intends to do with it. Armchair psychologists have theorized for years that Netanyahu could not make peace with the Palestinians as long as his father, Benzion, was alive. A noted historian on the Jews of Spain and Revisionist Zionist, the senior Netanyahu expressed strong distrust of Arabs. He died this spring at the age of 102. With a single word, Netanyahu the son dismissed recently the notion that his father influenced him politically. “Psychobabble,” he told journalist David Margolick, whose lengthy, trenchant Vanity Fair profile of Bibi, “The Netanyahu Paradox” (July), describes the Israeli leader as both his country’s “strongest and weakest

leader in memory,” wavering between a confident statesman “seeking immortality” and an unsure politician “seeking survival.” Netanyahu can be charming when the occasion arises but he can also be icily distant — I’ve seen him up close both ways. He is basically a loner, distrustful of the media and fellow politicians, who are equally wary of him. Some liberals still blame him for tolerating the right-wing vitriol that led to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. But even critics grudgingly note that he has helped Israel weather the economic crisis far better than most countries, spurred high-tech business and kept the country out of military entanglements. Some say he has learned from his first tenure as prime minister, from June 1996 to July 1999, and is less arrogant now, a better listener. One thing is certain: With the threat of a nuclear Iran looming, Washington loath to become involved in another foreign war, much of the Mideast in chaos, and tensions between secular and religious Israelis at a flashpoint, no one thinks Netanyahu has an easy job. While many would like to see him initiating policies, particularly in breaking the stalemate with the Palestinians, he told Margolick that he sees his primary role as securing Israel’s future and avoiding “major pitfalls.” One has the impression that on the Palestinian front, the prime minister is running in place, churning rhetorically but taking little action. Maybe that’s his plan. It’s hard to tell, though just about everyone I spoke with during my recent visit to Israel has a theory. While Netanyahu gets little credit for risking his credibility as the leader of Likud in publicly endorsing a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, few believe that he has serious intentions of actively pursuing that goal. His surprise move in bringing Kadima into his

coalition in May was a brilliant way of shoring up his political power and avoiding early elections. But it took away his excuse for not pursuing peace talks more aggressively — the claim that religious parties could walk away from his coalition and bring him down. If he really believes in the two-state solution — and that the longer the delay, the greater the chance of the Palestinians opting for the waiting game/one-state solution — why is he not taking the initiative and pressing for negotiations, or taking steps to counter the Palestinian belief that Israel just wants to expand its West Bank presence? With Egypt and Syria in deep disorder, Netanyahu has chosen to keep Israel out of the limelight, no doubt a wise move. But at last month’s Israel Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, veteran Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross cautioned that Israel should not remain a passive bystander in the region. The status quo in the Mideast is dangerous, he said, and he suggested Israel seek to revive peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, improve relations with Turkey and help create safe havens for Syrian refugees. On the domestic front, Netanyahu is seeking to find a delicate political balance in resolving the crisis over the issue of haredim serving in the army and Israeli Arabs performing national service. After a series of fits and starts, including canceling the committee charged with forging a new law by the July 31 deadline, the prime minister seems to have reached an agreement with Shaul Mofaz, the leader of Kadima, who had threatened to lead his party out of the coalition it just joined if Netanyahu did not make good on his pledge to make the army system more equitable. If achieved, the new law would be an historic breakthrough in bolstering Please see Rosenblatt, page 13.


THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 7

OPINION

Letters to the editor We invite you to submit letters for publication. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number; addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may not exceed 400 words and may be edited for length and clarity; they cannot be returned. Mail, fax or e-mail letters to: Letters to the Editor via e-mail: letters@thejewishchronicle.net Address & Phone:

Web site address:

The Jewish Chronicle 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Flr. Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 521-0154 www.thejewishchronicle.net

Work for peace Last week’s editorial titled “Watershed Moment” was indeed that. The discourse about the Presbyterian Church (USA), their General Assembly and the commissioners who voted in it reached a new low, using language that is just as extreme and irresponsible as that of the anti-Israel activists behind the divestment, boycott and apartheid resolutions. To say that there is a cancer in the PC (USA) is inflammatory and uncalled for in response to a process that ultimately opposed divestment, largely in response to and out of respect for Jewish concerns. The author rightly asserts that the commissioners who opposed divestment did not speak out as loudly about boycott. Divestment from companies whose products are used by the Israel Defense Forces, such as HP, Caterpillar and Motorola, whose goods are all part of the security apparatus which aims to reduce terror attacks in Israel (in addition to its supporting role in the territories) is one thing. Supporting the economy of the West Bank settlements, whose continued growth makes the likelihood of a two-state solution look less and less viable is another. The vast majority of Americans, Jewish and Christian want to see the two sides reach an agreement that facilitates the formation of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace. It is time that we take control of the discourse away from the extremists on both sides and let our voices be heard. The battle with our Presbyterian neighbors is over for now, but will replay in two years when the PC (USA) meets again. Couldn’t we use this time to everyone’s advantage by finding a way to work for peace that does not divide us from our longtime allies and partners in this church and the various others that are struggling with the same issues? The Presbyterian Church voted to invest in peaceful pursuits that promote coexistence. There are many Israelis and American

Jews who are doing just that through local, national and international organizations working for peace. Just one local example: Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee (PAJC) Life Trustee Mark Frank is working with Bill Strickland, the visionary behind the Manchester Bidwell Corporation, to build a career training center for disaffected Israeli Arabs and Jews with a focus on the arts in Akko, Israel. They need money to make it happen and would welcome support from any Jews or Christians who care about peace in the Holy Land. The editorial concludes by stating that the “growing anti-Semitic sentiment” in the church will cause irreparable harm to Jewish-Presbyterian relations “if nothing changes.” Irreparable harm will come from unfounded accusations such as that, actually. And yes, something does need to change. What needs to change is the silence of the majority of American Jews and Christians who know that Israel must remain a democratic, Jewish state and that the occupation is an existential threat to that end. The onus is on the rest of us to distance ourselves from the extremists within our own religious community and act accordingly. Only thus can we hope to avoid fighting this same battle repeatedly. We cannot keep our heads in the sand and our fingers in the dyke forever; we must stand up for the two state solution — for Israel’s sake and our own. Deborah Fidel Marshall Dayan (Deborah Fidel is executive director of PAJC; Marshall Dayan is president of PAJC.)

Editorial rebutted I was most grieved to read the July 12 Jewish Chronicle editorial, which declared “There is a cancer in the PC (USA)” and “growing anti-Semitic sentiment within the church,” and by the cartoon which declared that in the PC (USA) there is “growing anti-Israel sentiment.” While I personally reject divestment as a strategy for Middle East peace, I welcome the debate about strategies for a solution to the stalemate in the lands, which we all claim to be holy, and reject the accusation that such conversation is either anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. The writer, while pointing to the PC (USA) could just as easily have inserted the Please see Letters, page 9.


8 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

OPINION

The demography of fear Guest Columnist RABBI DONNIEL HARTMAN JERUSALEM — The Jewish people have perfected a new weapon in our crisis arsenal, a weapon guaranteed to marshal the prerequisite quota of fear and concern needed to fuel Jewish communal life — demography. As a people, we have replaced vision with crisis as the central force and motivation for identity, philanthropy and unity. We have found amongst the plethora of demographic studies an inexhaustible gold mine. We now have an unending source to feed our fear. As the so-called “ever-dying people,” we can bask in statistics, which either point to accelerated assimilation, lack of affiliation, intermarriage, alienation, decreased commitment and distancing from Israel, or the ever-increasing size of the ultra-Orthodox community, be it in Israel or New York City with the crisis to the Jewish future that such a growth may portend. If the numbers aren’t sufficiently alarming, then we can combine two groups, for example, such as Arabs and Haredim, in order to achieve the desired gloomy prediction of a non-Zionist majority in Israel in the very near future.

While some demographers benefit handsomely from the demography of fear, I do not mean to attack the messenger. Demography can play an invaluable role in empowering, shaping and guiding the vision of our people. The problem lies neither in the demographers nor in demography per se, but in its crisis celebration, which is manipulating Jewish social life. At its core, the purpose of demography is to alert us to shifts in the status quo and to new currents within our individual and collective identities, so that we can adapt and respond effectively and intelligently. The demography of fear, however, works in the opposite direction. It paralyzes and creates a sense of helplessness, as the Jewish community or Israel are portrayed as forever spiraling out of control into a self-destructive future of differing forms. As the ever-abused child of history, it seems that without an ongoing dose of fear we cannot arouse from our slumber, see ourselves or connect to our reality. We are not an ever-dying community. We are, however, an ever-changing one. The one consistent feature of Jewish life is that Judaism is a source of disagreement, rather than cohesion — that whatever boundaries we pick in order to define our core identity will invariably be crossed before they even take hold. The primary defining feature of 21st-century Jewish life is that the differences are more extreme, and the crossing of boundaries more accelerated. Jewish identity does not begin with a system of values or practices but with a

We

Jews, Christians, Muslims, and unaffiliated individuals who followed the public discussion about the boycott and targeted divestment resolutions at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA would like to express our shock at the language and tone taken by The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh in its July 12, 2012, editorial titled “Watershed moment.” Among us are both proponents and opponents of the boycott and divestment resolutions, including some who spoke publicly and forcefully for and against those resolutions. However, we are united in our feeling that by stating that "there is a cancer in the PC (USA)" and by Jeffery Abood Robert Abraham Robert Ackerman Barry Ames Sara Angist Stan Angist Janet Aronson Norma Artman Sam Bahour Sujaya Balachandran Caroline Ban M. Theresa Basile Roz Becker Edith Bell Nancy Bernstein Aya Betensky Kathy Blee Ken Boas Joan Bradley Rev Myles Bradley Erin Breault Jeffrey Conn David Cooper Joan Cooper Katherine Cunningham Kate Daher

Kipp Dawson Marshall Dayan Rabbi Art Donsky Seymour Drescher Phyllis Dreyfuss Krauz Eileen Julian Eligator Ray Engel Mark Fichman Anita Fine Daniel Fine Beth Fischer Barry Fisher Mary Fitzsimmons Richard Fox Ivan Frank Malke Frank Carol Gable Pamela Goldman Janice Gordon Harry Hagerty Ginny Hildebrand Harry Stewart Hochheiser Rachel Hovne Amal Jubran Iris Kaminski

commitment to a particular people and collective identity. As a result, a new convert must first declare, “Your people is my people,” before they declare, “Your God is my God.” In every generation, identity with the Jewish people carried with it differing baggage. For much of our history this baggage entailed persecution, discrimination, and alienation from the surrounding political and religious communities. To be or become a Jew required one to internalize the reality of Jewish collective identity, to carry its burdens and challenges on one’s shoulders as one participated in the journey of Jewish life, and contributed to its growth and value. While some of the old challenges still remain, we face new ones, challenges of identity, continuity, and moral and spiritual excellence. But our response must remain the same. Who the Jewish people are is not a neutral question of statistics but a blueprint for the parameters of my loyalty. To love the Jewish people means not merely to save them from impending death but to make room for them around the table in their ever-changing personas. As a member of a people, I must accept that who the Jews are also shapes what Judaism is, even if that Judaism may differ from my own. Who the Jewish people are is not a crisis or a tragedy or a “cancer” growing in our midst. It is simply who we are, the identity of my community without whom I am not “I,” without whom there is no meaning to Judaism. In theory, I might fantasize about belonging to a different team or a different

team makeup. That fantasy, however, can only impact my work, not my loyalty. Who we are is not necessarily whom we ought to or can be. And in the open marketplace of ideas, we can all strive to shape who we will be. The great benefit of demography is that it allows different visions and ideas to tailor their educational strategies to maximize their potential effectiveness in shaping our future. We don’t need a demography of fear; we need a demography of aspirations and responsibility. For example, if one is concerned about a Jewish community, whether in North America or Israel, with an evershrinking number of liberal voices and in which Jewish seriousness is carried by an ever-growing, financially disadvantaged, and insular Haredi population, instead of fear and despair one must get to work. Pessimism is a luxury that we cannot afford. We need to marshal our talent to create a different reality, to remove self-destructive policies, and through the power of ideas offer an alternative and compelling vision, all the while never succumbing to demonization, delegitimization, and bifurcation. In demography we find an ally who places a mirror before us, teaching us what is. As Jews, our task is neither to mourn the present nor hold on to it; our task is to hold on to our loyalty to our people and to a vision of its future, to dispel despair and get busy. (Rabbi Donniel Hartman is president of Shalom Hartman Institute and director of the Engaging Israel Project.)

misrepresenting those in the General Assembly as exhibiting a “growing anti-Semitic sentiment” the editors have crossed the dangerous line that separates debate from incitement. We are deeply concerned that the language used by the authors will have a harmful effect on the relations and trust between various religious communities in Pittsburgh and beyond. We call on all Jewish Community leaders in Pittsburgh to make this indeed a “Watershed moment” by publicly denouncing the July 12th editorial and re-asserting their commitment to a civil and mutually respectful debate between all communities in Pittsburgh.

Naftali Kaminski Naomi Kaminski Tamar Kaminski Daniel Kass Daniel Klein Mary Korytkowski Robert Kraftowitz Mary Ann Krupper Nancy Levin-Arnold Jules Lobel Ali Masahledan Bob Mason Tirzah Mason Ella Mason Rebecca Mayer Karl Meyers Carl Morgenstern Scott Morgenstern Sam Morris Edie Naveh Jacob Naveh Jan Neffke Jon Nelson Sally Newman Ted Newman Eileen Olmsted

John Olmsted Carol O'Neil Alexander Orbach Wendy Osher Pastor Sara Webb Philips Adi Rapport Lynne Reder Ken Regal Sarah Regenspan Daniel Resnick Leila Richards Roni Rosenfeld Bob Ross Hal Rubinstein Carolyn Spicer Russ James Russ Rocky Schoen Pat Schuetz Vivienne Selia Fred Shaheen Halah Shaheen Hlah Shaheen Joe Shaheen Samira Shaheen Peter Shell Lincoln Shlensky

Merle Showers Nickolas Solicnic Barbara Stephens Joel Tarr Steven Tuell Dudy Tzfati Paul Wahrhaftig Melinda Ward David Warga Rhonda Wasserman Arlene Weiner Robert Weiner Ken White Tina Whitehead Andrea Whitmore Eve Wider Carol Wood Eileen Yacknin Maria Youssef Michael Zigmond Naomi Zigmond Fred Zuhlke Ronnie Cook Zuhlke


THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 9

OPINION Letters to the Editor:

More is expected

Continued from page 7.

After several readings of the editorial, “Watershed moment” (July 12), I cannot get past the following sentence that ends this column. “If nothing changes to correct growing anti-Semitism within the church ...” How have you come to such an untrue, dishonest and inflammatory conclusion? The central issue for many who followed, as well as participated in the PC (USA) convention was how to end the 45year occupation of the West Bank by Israel, and how to end the Israeli settlement enterprise that threatens to overwhelm what land remains for the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Political pressure, either from within Israel or from the United States or European

name of almost every Protestant Christian denomination in the United States; for most of our traditions are wrestling with similar issues. Many of our denominations have made great strides in coming to grips with our anti-Jewish attitudes, teachings and liturgies since the Shoa and Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions). We have renounced supersessionism (the belief that Christianity is the fulfillment of biblical Judaism, and therefore that Jews who deny that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah fall short of their calling as God’s Chosen people), and seek to be in dialogue about our respective religions and common ancestry. But, we also wrestle with how best to “accompany” our Christian siblings in the Middle East, particularly in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Thus, we often have heated discussions about divestment, positive investment and embargos against products from the settlements. Just because my own Evangelical Lutheran Church in America rejected divestment as an accompaniment strategy on behalf of our Christian kin and in the name of peace, doesn’t mean that we are free of the “cancer” of which the editorial writer accuses. Denominational meetings, like the just concluded Presbyterian General Assembly and Convention of the Episcopal Church or the ELCA Assembly, which will be in Pittsburgh next August, are not the best places to discuss the fine points of controversial issues. Nor are hastily convened conversations by the Jewish community just a few weeks prior to such gatherings to tell their side to these groups helpful either. In both cases we end up talking at each other, instead of with and to each other. Trust and mutual respect are fragile commodities; they take a great investment of time, energy and listening to establish and maintain. Before we lob the accusations of “cancer,” “anti-Semitic” or “anti-Israel” at any of our Abrahamic kin, let us find a way of investing in consistent, intensive conversation among our diverse Christian, Muslim and equally diverse Jewish constituencies about that which makes for peace with justice for all residents of those lands we call holy. Pastor Don Green Pittsburgh (The author is executive director of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania.) (Editor’s note: Upon further consideration, the Chronicle regrets its use of the word “cancer” in the July 12 editorial. However, we must continue to stand by our references to the words “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel” to describe certain actions and statements at the General Assembly. Israel was accused of “ethnic cleansing,” which is tantamount to genocide. And the apartheid resolution, which was clearly false, as church leaders ultimately determined, would have demonized the Jewish state, and provided a powerful weapon for Israel’s enemies. Nevertheless, it attracted considerable support at the G.A.)

Buy, Sell, Trade in the Classifieds Call Donna 412-687-1000

Union, has not slowed down the seizure of Palestinian lands by Israeli settlers, often done with the encouragement of the current Israeli government or done illegally and in defiance of Israeli law. A recent statement made by the Levy Commission, charged to look into the legal status of the West Bank, stated that there is no “occupation” at all. Do you think any West Bank Palestinians were interviewed? What was the point of such a commission? Political and diplomatic efforts have failed to resolve this conflict. Few nonviolent tactics remain. One of those is an economic boycott of goods manufactured in West Bank settlements, applying serious and sustained economic pressure on the settlements. Why is this being called “growing anti-Semitism” by you? Because this boycott is aimed at Is-

raelis? If American citizens unlawfully took Mexican lands to create settlements and we protested that, would we be anti-American? I reject the charge of anti-Semitism leveled at the PC (USA). As a Jew who has been involved in the struggle for peace and justice for both peoples, I believe we must, as a community, stop labeling every criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic to avoid any serious public discussion of the issue. As a newspaper of this Jewish community, The Jewish Chronicle has a responsibility to raise the level of discussion, not resort to cynical and cheap stereotyping. This is not journalism. It’s propaganda. Many in this community expect better from you. Richard Fox South Side


10 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

Simchas & Mazel Tovs! Weddings

and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Josh received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Michigan. Beth and Josh are practicing attorneys in New York, where they reside.

Births

Simon/Ruland: Huvvy and Meyer Simon are happy to announce the marriage of their daughter, Beth Dana, to Joshua Ruland, son of Roberta and Richard Ruland, in Pittsburgh at the Fairmont Hotel Dec. 31. Rabbi Elliot Burk officiated. The bride was attended by her sister and matron of honor, Freada Jaffe, as well as her cousins, Kim Snyder and Shaina Schachter and friend, Iris Baron. Her nieces, Emily Jaffe, Miranda Simon, Jennifer Jaffe, Claudia Simon, Alexandra Jaffe, Sloane Simon, and Danica Simon, completed her bridal party. Ring bearers were Matthew Simon and Jackson Ruland. Josh was attended by his best man, Jeffrey Sukach, and his brothers, Jonathan and Christopher Ruland. The couple spent their honeymoon in Chile. Beth received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree from New York University

Frank/Molliver: Michal Frank and Derek Molliver happily announce the birth of their daughter, Sarah Yuval, May 5/13 Iyar. Grandparents are Malke and Ivan Frank of Squirrel Hill, Saralynn Clark of Baltimore and the late Mark Molliver. Sarah is named in loving memory of her maternal great-grandmother, Sonya Winerman Frank; and to honor her paternal grandmother, Saralynn Clark. Her parents’ love for nature is given to Sarah in her middle name, Yuval, the Hebrew word for a stream.

B’nai Mitzva Danielle Kate Brand, daughter of Lisa and Jeffrey Brand of Murrysville, will become a bat mitzva Saturday, July 21, at Temple David in Monroeville. Grandparents are Tony and Kathy Palmer of Swissvale and William and Shirley Brand of Squirrel Hill.

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THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 11

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TORAH Invisible realities Portion of the Week RABBI NOSSON SACHS, UPMC SHADYSIDE Parshat Mattot-Masai Jeremiah, Numbers 33:1-36:13

If one were to choose among the greatest benefactors of humanity, Louis Pasteur would certainly rank at the top. He solved the mysteries of rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera and silkworm diseases, and contributed to the development of the first vaccines. But in the beginning, he was ridiculed for his theory that diseases were caused by factors that were invisible to the eye. It was a battle to gain acceptance for this theory because many people would not believe that which they could not see. In the past 200 years, science and technology have made us far more humble regarding that which we cannot see. We now know that we cannot see the overwhelming range of light that makes up the spectrum; we cannot detect the invisible particles that comprise the majority of the matter in the universe. You cannot see the atomic particles that make up the newspaper you are reading, or even the waves, which transmit images and voices to your computer and smart phone. But we have come to believe in and rely upon the invisible. In our parsha we read about a war with Midian. Jewish soldiers returning from war brought back cooking utensils among the spoils. The Torah reports, “… Eliezer the Priest said to the Soldiers who were going to war, ‘This is the

teaching which Hashem commanded Moses … everything which was used with fire shall be purified with fire.’ ” This verse is one of the sources for a law of kashrus. A pot or a knife used for nonkosher food must be kashered before it is used to cook kosher food. But wait! The verse has Eliezer speaking to “… Soldiers who were going to war.” The soldiers he was addressing had just returned from battle! Perhaps the “war” referred to here is not the physical battle, which they had just concluded. Perhaps there was still a battle to wage within themselves: An internal battle to accept that there was an invisible component affecting the apparently clean vessels taken from the Midianites. Perhaps some of them had yet to fight a battle to accept that an invisible, spiritually damaging component had to be kashered before the vessel could be used. Sometimes as Jews we also struggle to believe in things our eyes cannot verify. But we have an advantage! Science and technology have accustomed us to accept that there is an entire universe of particles and waves and bacteria that are invisible to the eye, and are very real. Some of these “invisibles” can be of great benefit; some can cause illness or even death. The Torah is a window into a world that is often invisible and very real. It is a handbook teaching us which actions and objects are of great spiritual benefit and which can cause spiritual illness.

(This column is a service of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association.)

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THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 13

OPINION/CDS Rosenblatt: Continued from page 6. national unity and easing widespread resentment toward haredi men, who have been allowed to substitute government-subsidized Torah study for military service. Surely the Netanyahu legacy will be judged, though, by the outcome of the Iranian nuclear threat, an issue the prime minister has spoken about — often as a lone voice — for many years. Finally, in recent months he has succeeded in getting the West, and especially Washington, to focus on it with

Baseball: Continued from page 1. and on the way from the airport it seems like a wonderful city,” said Yaron Erel, manager of the Israeli team, of his initial reaction to Pittsburgh. “The people are very friendly.”

urgency. And though personal relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama remain strained, the president has come around, for the most part, to the Israeli position that containment is unacceptable and that Iran must not be allowed to have a nuclear bomb. The remaining questions concern timing, the value of further negotiations with Tehran and whether or not, in addition to stringent economic sanctions, military action is required. The clock is ticking now in terms of weeks and months, not years, and the November elections in the United States are a pivotal time for Israel as well.

With Mitt Romney coming to Jerusalem soon to bolster his position with Evangelical Christians and rightof-center American Jews, much will be made of the warm relationship and natural alliance between the presumptive Republican candidate and the Israeli prime minister. But heads of state don’t get to pick their fellow world leaders; their respective constituents do. Will Netanyahu attack Iran before the November elections, based on Iran’s steady nuclear progress, favorable weather conditions for an attack, and the concern that a re-elected Obama will be more difficult to sway? Or will he hold off and let the tightened

sanctions play out, hoping for a friendlier partner in the White House and to avoid a cataclysmic confrontation with Iran and its surrogates? So far Netanyahu has been more a man of words than of actions. The future will determine if that holds, and which is the wiser course in dealing with the Palestinians and Iran. The question for him now is not “what would his father say?” but what will he do? His country’s fate is in his hands.

Fourteen players age 16 and under made up the Israeli team. Families pay some $4,000 for their children to take the trip. “We have one player from the north, we have one player from the south border with Gaza, we have players from Tel Aviv, from all over,” Erel said. Players for the Israeli team are selected out of a league of nine teams in Israel. Players have to go through an

enrichment program and tryouts to make the team. The games the Israeli team will play in the United States serve as a warm up to the Maccabiah Games in 2013. Congregation Beth Shalom Men’s Club provided food for the players and coaches after the game. Another game between Allderdice and Israel is expected to take place this week, likely Friday afternoon at the

Allderdice field, but the details are subject to weather and the availability of some Allderdice players with commitments to teams in other leagues. The community is invited to attend the game free of charge.

(Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of The New York Jewish Week, can be reached at Gary@jewishweek.org.)

(Andrew Goldstein can be reached at andrewg@thejewishchronicle.net.)


14 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

OBITUARY BERGER: On Saturday, July 14, 2012, Tillie C. Berger; beloved wife of the late Louis J. Berger; mother of Marshall (Myrna) Berger and Sandra (Richard) Yurko; sister of the late Ida Shore, Rose Rosenthal and Belle Kaufman; loving Nanny of Samra (Leonard) Savioz and Kenneth Berger; greatgrandmother of Baela and Remi Savioz, Ariana and Alyah Berger; also survived by nieces and nephews. Special thanks to her caregivers. Services and interment were private. Arrangements by Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232. www.schugar.com FELDMAN: On Tuesday, July 10, Frank Feldman, 70, of Pittsburgh, was born in McKeesport Jan. 17, 1942, and is the son of the late Ben and Bobbe Caplan Feldman; survived by son Joshua Alpert of Portland, Ore.; granddaughter Lucy Alpert; brother Steve (Gail) Feldman of Miami; sister Lisa (Ron) Brill of Atlanta; and many loving nieces and nephews, cousins and countless friends. He was a retired information technology consultant and was a member of Temple B’nai Israel. His noble life will forever be remembered and blessed by those whose lives he touched. Services were held at Temple Cemetery, Center Street, Versailles Borough. Arrangements by Strifflers of White Oak. FRIEDLANDER: On Thursday, July 12, 2012, Dr. Myron Friedlander; beloved and cherished husband of Bernice (Kaufman) Friedlander; beloved father of Bari (Larry) Friedlander Servello of Monroeville, Elyssa Friedlander Ferraro of Shaler Township; and Jaime Friedlander Varsha of Florida; beloved son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Friedlander and son-in-law of the late Ben and Ruth Kaufman; brother of Eileen (late Larry) Bondy and the late Leonard, Warren, Howell and Murray Friedlander; brother-in-law of Cheryl Kaufman, Gloria and Marylin Friedlander; beloved grandfather of Garrick, Parker and Mason Servello, Alec Sauers, Stephanie and Julie Varsha; also survived by many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.; interment Pliskover Cemetery. Contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. www.schugar.com.

GROBSTEIN: On Sunday, July 15, 2012, Charles Grobstein; beloved husband of 58 years to Saundra Lois Grobstein; beloved father of Debbie (Marc) Haber, Robert (Janet) Grobstein and Ellen (Tom) Clancy; brother of Earl (Sonia) Grobstein and Lenny (Elaine) Grobstein; grandfather of Jeff (Jaime Whareham) Haber, Eric Haber, David and Jason Grobstein, Ryan and Brendan Clancy; great-grandfather of Lilliana Haber. Graveside services and interment were held at West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. Contributions may be made to Friendship Circle, 5872 Northumberland St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217; American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205; or Autism Society of Pittsburgh, 4371 Northern Pike, Monroeville, PA 15146. Arrangements by Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232. www.schugar.com LAZAR: On Thursday, July 12, 2012, Elias Lazar; beloved husband of the late Anna Lazar; beloved father of Arthur (Shirley) Lazar and Richard (Marlene) Lazar; grandfather of Nathaniel, Geoffrey and Michael Lazar; also survived by cousin Miriam Simon and special friend Francis. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.; interment Poale Zedeck Memorial Park. Contributions may be made to Yeshiva School of Pittsburgh, 2100 Wightman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. www.schugar.com VIXMAN: On Friday, July 13, 2012, Larry (Lawrence) Vixman; beloved son of the late Sam and Minnie Vixman; beloved father of Stacey (Michael) Zayac, Lonni Vixman and Phillip (Rachel) Vixman, all of Pittsburgh; brother of Marilyn Kramer of Pittsburgh; Grandfather of Marley, Emma and Olivia Vixman, Brooke Zayac, Taylor Reilly and the late Julian Reilly; uncle of Mark and Scott Kramer. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.; interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. Contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. www.schugar.com

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THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012 — 15

METRO JAA takes part in White House discussion on senior services BY ANDREW GOLDSTEIN Staff Writer

Vice President Joe Biden spoke for about 30 minutes on Monday to a group of some 100 nationwide representatives for senior services in the White House. Biden shared personal stories about his parents care as they aged and about their determination to maintain independence. Some of the topics discussed hit home with the audience. For some, they not only work in the business, they have had similar personal experiences to Biden. “I think on a personal level we can all relate to what the issues are with helping manage seniors in our lives,” said Debbie Winn-Horvitz, president and CEO of the Jewish Association on Aging. Steve Halpern, chair of the JAA board, joined Winn-Horvitz; both were invited to the meeting. “The ability to be able to have interactive discussions with some of the key decision makers in Washington is of significant value to health care providers,” said Winn-Horvitz. The White House holds briefings on leadership issues weekly. Issues involving seniors have now become so prominent that they have held two meetings in the past 30 days on the topic. While some of the key figures spoke — but did not answer questions, including Biden — the meeting was set up in a dialogue format. A panel took part in a discussion with the audience. “At the core of yesterday’s conversation, was the state of Medicaid and Medicare. At JAA, 60 percent of our revenue is coming from government reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid,” said Halpern. The 60 percent of the revenue accounts for $19 million per year. “It’s fair to say that not only our lifeblood but the relationship that we have to 60 percent of over 500 patients and families served are impacted by the government deliberations around Medicare and Medicaid and how those will move going

JAA photo

Steve Halpern, chair of the JAA board, with JAA President and CEO Debbie Winn-Horvitz in Washington, D.C. forward,” Halpern said. Halpern added that the Obama administration is focused on managing Medicare and Medicaid expenses because they are a significant amount of government spending, but at the same time, the administration wants to preserve them. “They’re focused on dignity for seniors, and they’re focused on creating retirement security for seniors,” Halpern said. “The Republican version of the budget that’s been introduced hurts some of that by threatening to substantially reduce Medicaid and overhaul Medicare. “It was a great opportunity for us to hear that in a much more intimate setting, but also reinforce for ourselves because our entire business model at the JAA and the Jewish Community Senior Living Services depends entirely on where this whole conversation’s going,” Halpern said.

(Andrew Goldstein can be reached at andrewg@thejewishchronicle.net.)

A closer look Jennifer Olbum got more than she bargained for when she signed up for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel. Shortly after registering, she and her husband, Robin Wertkin, learned that their son, Eli Allswede, 20, who made aliya last year and entered the Israel Defense Forces Tank Division in February, would receive his black beret in a ceremony at Latrun (a memorial site for the tank division) while Olbum, Wertkin and their younger son, Eric Wertkin, were to be in the country. “It was just a fluke,” Olbum said, but it was also an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. So they excused themselves from the rest of the mission on June 22 to be at Latrun when Allswede and his brigade entered the compound after the traditional 30-kilometer march. She recalled watching some of the soldiers pray following the long trek. “There were these soldiers just drenched [in sweat] putting on their tallit and davening,” she said. “It was so moving … it’s such a human army.” Eric marched alongside his older brother for the last kilometer. That evening, at the mission’s Shabbat 450 people — mostly dinner,

Eli Allswede

Pittsburghers — came together. Cheryl Moore honored Allswede with a short recognition speech, and the group stood cheering “Mazel Tov” for him. “It was great having Pittsburgh embrace him on an important day,” Olbum said. “And I really appreciate it.”

We acknowledge with grateful appreciation contributions from the following: Donor

In MeMory of

HEDY CAPLAN ..................GERTRUDE MITCHEL DOROTHY CHAJSON .................ROBERT PLATT JOSEPH COHEN .....................HERBERT COHEN PAULINE DOBKIN ..................FRANK SUSSMAN MR. & MRS. ALBERT EDELSTEIN ..................MORRIS & IDA F. LINDER FRANCES FREED..............WILLIAM CONGRESS ELINOR & IVAN GOLD ..........MILDRED “MITZIE” GOLD BRUCE GOLDBERG .............................IDA ROTH GAY & ALVIN GOLDSTONE.......................DIANE GOLDSTONE EDITH GRINBERG .......................MEYER & TOBY GRINBERG BETTY HALPERN ................SYLVIA GOLDSTEIN MARILYN NEUWIRTH HERRON.............................HAROLD NEUWIRTH ARLENE KAIZER............................ETHEL PEREN LEONARD KOPELSON .........FRANK KOPELSON SANFORD LEFKOWITZ.....SAMUEL LEDERMAN ROBERTA & MARVIN LEVINE MORRIS LEVINE RACILLE LIGHT.................BENJAMIN OLENDER IRENE LOUIK .................................HARRY LOUIK

Donor

In MeMory of

MICHAEL & JANE LOUIK ..............HARRY LOUIK PAULINE MICHAELS.......HYMAN S. LIEBLING & IDA WEINER THELMA MILLER...............MARVIN H. MILLER & ISADORE RUBINOFF ABBY SNIDERMAN MILSTEIN....................JOSEPH MORMANSTEIN ELVA PERRIN ..........................HAROLD HENDEL SANDI & MALCOM REE ..........ALEX & BEVERLY KWELLER MORRIS & MARION RIEMER ......FRIEDA & SAM RIEMER DONNA ROSEN ..............................SAM ROSEN ESTELLE ROSENFELD ....SAMUEL ROSENFELD ROBERT ROSENSTEIN .....HARRY SILVERSTEIN HERBERT SHAPIRO......................BEN SHAPIRO JANET SLIFKIN ......................MALCOM SLIFKIN JUDY & JOEL SMALLEY .............................REUBEN STEWART DR. SANFORD TOLCHIN .......RUTH & LEONARD TOLCHIN PAUL WEINER ...............................RAY WESOKY

SUNDAY, JULY 22: FRANK BURNSTEIN, RAE DANOVITZ, CHARLES GOLDBERG, LOUIS HARRIS, MOLLIE LAPPIN, ANNA LEVENSON, HARRY LEVINE, NATHAN LEWIS, HARRY W. LIEBMAN, SOL ROSENBLUM, DAVID SCHMOOKLER, RUTH REBECCA SHERMAN, MEYER SILBERBLATT, HARRY SILVERMAN, RUTH WELTMAN, ELIZABETH YOUNG. MONDAY, JULY 23: SAMUEL FARGOTSTEIN, CELIA FLANSBAUM, EDWARD R. GLUCKSON, HILDA GOLDSTEIN, DAVID LEE GREENFIELD, MARTIN M. KRAMER, JESSIE W. LEVENSON, RUTH GRINBERG LINCOFF, DOROTHY S. POLLOCK, MARGARET RACUSIN, JOSEPH H. SIMON, WILLIAM S. WINER, BRINA GITTEL ZWERLING. TUESDAY, JULY 24: A. DAVID BROUDY, JOSEPH COHEN, ROSE CRAMER, BESSIE RINI GLASS, DR. ABRAHAM D. GOLDBLUM, SOPHIA GOLDSTEIN, ROSE A. GREEN, MORRIS L. KAUFMAN, 6HELEN S. LUPTAK, GERTRUDE MITCHEL, ALVIN J. MOLDOVAN, BENJAMIN OLENDER, ELI RACUSIN, HARRY RAPOPORT, RAE ROSENTHAL, ROSE SMITH, IDA VOLKOVITZ, PHILIP WEKSELMAN. WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: HARRY ADLER, MINNIE BASKIN, MOLLIE R. BENNETT, MARVIN B. BERNSTEIN, HANNAH BROMBERG, IDA CANTOR, ALICE ROSE COHEN, ROBERT CONGRESS, DOROTHY CRUTCH, SOPHIA FREEDMAN, LEO GERNSBACK, HELEN HANDELSMAN, DORA KAUFMAN, SARAH KLEINERMAN, GIZELLA KRAUSE, DAVID LEVINE, MOLLIE WOLFE MARCUS, CELIA MORGAN, ANNA G. ROSENTHAL, JOHN SCHWARTZ, SAUL STEIN, IRENE WEITZMAN,. THURSDAY, JULY 26: LT. RICHARD STANLEY ACKERMAN, JACK NEVILLE BERKMAN, MYER BROSTOFF, BEN COWEN, JAMES J. GLUCK, REBECCA GOISNER, LEONARD KLEVAN, SAMUEL MAYSELS, JACOB MELNICK, ROSE PAUL, ETHEL R. PERER, BERNARD A. PRICE, MOLLY SCHWARTZ, LEAH SHAPIRO, MAX L. SIEGLE, LARRY TRACHTENBERG. FRIDAY, JULY 27: JUDA BIRNBAUM, LILLIAN BRODY, SARAH COHEN, PAULINE DAVIS, NATHAN FISHMAN, SAMUEL MATTHEW GOLDEN, MEYER HANDMAKER, ANNE LEVINE, ETHEL LINDER, IDA MANDEL, MAURICE L. MORITZ, BERNARD MURSTEIN, JUDITH ASHINSKY ROSEN, MARTHA SCHWORTZ, JACOB SHEFFLER, JACK SHERMAN, SIDNEY SIEGMAN, MOE STRUMINGER, HAROLD LEIGHTON WINKLER, LILLIAN ZIMMERMAN. SATURDAY, JULY 28: FRYMA MAETE BERENSTEIN, HERBERT COHEN, BEATRICE GALLER, CHARLES J. GOLDBERG, IRWIN LEVINSON, EVA CORN MAKLER, ABRAHAM RECHT, SOPHIA WEINERMAN SANDS, ELEANOR J. SLINGER, HARRY WEISBERG, BESSIE ZEFF.


16 — THE JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 19, 2012

The Jewish Chronicle July 19, 2012  

The Jewish Chronicle July 19, 2012

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