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NOVEMBER 22, 2012

kislev 8, 5773

Vol. 56, No. 28

Pittsburgh, PA


War with Gaza Fighting in Israel, Gaza affects Pittsburgh, Jewish community

Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90

The Iron Dome defense system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, Thursday, Nov. 15.

Chilling numbers tallied as fighting continues The Following is a recap of the fighting with Gaza as of Tuesday, Nov. 20: • The number of rockets and mortars fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza for 2012 stood at over 2,000. More than 3 million Israelis live within range of rocket and mortar attacks. • As of 1 p.m. today, more than 60 rockets were fired at Israel on Nov. 20, with more than 20 interceptions by the Iron Dome. • More than 30 rockets were shot at Beersheba, targeting the largest city in southern Israel. One of the rockets

hit a bus and injured a civilian. At least three grads landed in the city causing shrapnel damage. • More than 1,100 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza since the start of the operation last week. More than 350 have thus far been intercepted by the Iron Dome system. • The area closest to the Gaza border sees the most rocket attacks and all 90 schools and 61 kindergartens remain closed within 40km of the Palestinian coastal enclave. Civil defense officials have instructed all res-

idents within this area to remain within a maximum 15 seconds from a bomb shelter or protected area — the amount of time residents have to reach shelter once radar detects incoming projectiles. • Nineteen hospitals throughout Israel are located in the range of Hamas’ rockets. MDA (Israeli Red Cross) have dealt with more than 252 casualties since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, including three killed by a rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF As rockets continue to terrorize Israel, and the Jewish state responds with air strikes, the fighting in the region has touched the Pittsburgh community in many ways. Families with sons and daughters in the Israeli Defense Forces watch the news nervously for word of a ground assault. Community leaders are raising money and collecting necessities for Israelis within range of the rockets. Some Pittsburghers are visiting the country to express solidarity with Israel. And while Jew and Arab face off in the Middle East, here in Pittsburgh they are meeting in far different ways. One Pittsburgher currently in the IDF is 19-year-old Stephen Reibach of Mt. Lebanon; he enlisted last summer and recently finished his ulpan and “pre-basic training,” according to his mother, Stacey Reibach. Currently staying with a host family outside of Karmiel, Stephen is awaiting orders of where he will be stationed next. Because he has not yet finished his combat training, his mother does not think he will be doing “anything too dangerous,” she told the Chronicle. Still, she is worried for the safety of her son. “I am obviously nervous,” Reibach said. “But as a mom, I have peace in his confidence, and we are all in agreement that Israel is doing the right thing by defending herself. That doesn’t take the nervousness away, but I was nervous when he was in Oakland [at the Univer-

Please see Reaction, page 25.


Times To Remember



Metro Sajowitz weekend speaker

South African Jewish author says homeland defines his life and work BY TOBY TABACHNICK Staff Writer

David Schmahmann, the author of two novels about a Jewish family living in South Africa, will be the scholar-in-residence at the Temple Emanuel of South Hills Rabbi William Sajowitz Endowment Fund Weekend, Nov. 30 through Dec. 1. The weekend is called “People of the Books,” and will be a celebration of Jewish authors during Jewish book month, according to temple librarian Paula Altschul, who helped organize the event. Schmahmann was born in Durban, South Africa. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School, and has studied in India and Israel and worked in Burma. His first novel, “Empire Settings,” received the John Gardner Book Award. He practices law in Boston, and lives in Weston, Massachusetts. “Empire Settings,” and its companion book, “Ivory from Paradise,” tell the stories of a Jewish family living in Durban during apartheid, and post-apartheid. The books examine issues such as forbidden love, and

David Schmahmann

“the meaning of memory,” Schmahmann told the Chronicle. “I didn’t want to tell the story of apartheid, because everyone’s told that,” he said. “I wanted to tell the story of a normal family and a Jewish family.” Schmahmann lived in South Africa until

he was 17 years old, at which time he came to the United States. But, he said, he remains very much a South African. “Clearly, it was the defining experience of my life,” he said. “My children are American in every sense of the word, but ‘dad’ remains a South African.” In addition to discussing his novels, Schmahmann said he will also talk about Jewish life in South Africa. “Jews have a very colorful and successful history in South Africa,” he said. “Although about half the Jewish population has emigrated.” Jews began settling in South Africa in 1652, arriving with Dutch colonists, but the major influx of Jews came from a distinct area of Lithuania, between 1880 and 1930. At its peak, the Jewish population in South Africa was about 120,000, but only about 70,000 remain, Schmahmann said, including a large number of Israelis. Many Jews left South Africa in 1976 after the Soweto riots, and many more left in 1994 when the country came under Black majority rule. “They didn’t leave because of racism,” said Schmahmann, “but because of a feeling of insecurity. The risk became too high. “The crime there is out of control,” he added, noting that home invasions, rapes and car-jackings are not uncommon. “And for Jews, there is a vaguely uncomfortable feeling there.”

Schmahmann has become a darling among Jewish librarians, and is frequently invited to speak at congregations and other Jewish organizations across the country. He will speak at Temple Emanuel during Shabbat services Friday night at 7:30, and Saturday morning at 10:30. He will also be signing books after Havdala Saturday night. At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Schmahmann will join a panel of local authors for a question and answer session. The local authors, who are all members of Temple Emanuel, include Shirley Barasch, Carol Bleier, Stephanie Claypool, Meredith Cohen, Andrea Fitting, Ralph Hartman, Bob Konig, and Sally Lebowitz. The Rabbi William Sajowitz Endowment Fund sponsors this entire event, and it is free and open to the public. (Toby Tabachnick can be reached at

Clarification In the Nov. 15 story, “Highmark to begin coverage for genetic screening in 2013,” 18 of the 19 Jewish genetic diseases were identified. The 19th disease is Pemphigus Vulgaris.


METRO Briefly

The Rauh Jewish Archives has announced that the weekly newsletters of the Young Men & Women’s Hebrew Association, the Y-IKC, and the Jewish Community Center, from 1926 to 1975, have been digitized and are now accessible, as the Y-JCC series, on the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project (PJN) website. The Y-JCC series newsletters chronicle the activities and workings of these important institutions and are an invaluable resource for those interested in their history. The programs offered

by the institutions were designed for wide appeal, with no sectarian restrictions imposed, and so enriched the cultural life of the entire Pittsburgh community. More information about these newsletters can be found on the PJN site. Histories of the institutions are available on the website The digitization of the Y-JCC series was made possible by the generous support of the Philip Chosky Charitable Educational Foundation. CMU Library Services has moved all of their digital collections, including the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, to a new platform. Users of the old URL will be redirected to the new site at Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) sent a delegation of lay and professional leaders to Israel Sunday evening for a two-day Emergency Solidarity Mission. The mission was spearheaded by the JFNA chairperson, Michael Siegal, who will lead the group of 12 Jewish leaders representing the 155 Federations and more than 300 smaller Network communities that make up JFNA. “The ongoing crisis being faced by the people of Israel, particularly those in the south, will not be fought by the Jewish State alone,” Siegal said in a prepared statement. “We are here to express our firm solidarity and to say that as always, when Israel is in need, we are here.” The delegation traveled to affected Please see Briefly, page 5.


METRO Drescher: Black press attacked treatment of Jews following Kristallnacht pogram BY LEE CHOTTINER Executive Editor

In the fallout of the fires and broken glass of Kristallnacht, some of the best friends Jews had were in the Black community, Seymour Drescher said. “The African-American press editorials noted that the pogrom [Kristallnacht] and its decrees marked the end of Jewish existence in Nazi Germany,” said Drescher, a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. “The Pittsburgh Courier’s headline simply read: ‘German Jews Face Hopeless Fate as New Wave of Nazi Terror Hits. Unable to Earn Living Young May Escape Old Are Doomed.’ ” Drescher made his remarks during a Kristallnacht remembrance program, titled, “Lessons from Kristallnacht: The Entangled History of Race, Sports & Inhumanity in Nazi Europe,” Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the August Wilson Center, Downtown. The event was the second in a series of programs jointly sponsored by the August Wilson Center and the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The two centers also collaborated on the “Nazi Olympics” exhibit, which opened last month. Sala Udin, co-director of the August Wilson Center, said the series is bringing to light “an important collaboration in American history” between Blacks and Jews. As the title of the program suggests, Drescher — the featured speaker — lectured on Kristallnacht and the 1936 Sum-

Holocaust Center photo

Seymour Drescher addressed an audience at the annual Kristallnacht program, Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the August Wilson Center, Downtown.

mer Olympics in Berlin and how the two hate-stoked events affected Blacks and Jews. Drescher’s wife, Ruth Drescher, a survivor of Kristallnacht, spoke briefly about her experiences. Speaking to a crowd of 250 mostly elderly guests, much of Drescher’s lecture dealt extensively with the reaction by the Black community and particularly the Black press, to the events in Europe. While hundreds of American newspa-

pers condemned the events of Kristallnacht, the Black press was particularly vocal in its outrage. “African-Americans could clearly see that the nationally sponsored violence in Germany had crossed lines never breached in the United States,” Drescher said. “Here was a nationwide assault on all of a minority’s sites of worship; on its communal existence, on its wealth; and livelihood. A minority was pauperized by deprivation of its right to employment. It was subject to mass incarceration. Had the number of arrests been proportionately applied to Blacks in the United States, a million African-Americans would have been rounded up. Had blacks suffered the same proportion of deaths as in Kristallnacht, 75,000 to 80,000 of them would have perished.” Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass” in English, was a pogrom carried out in Germany and Austria on the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938. Orchestrated on the pretense of retaliation for the assassination of a German embassy official in Paris by a Jewish boy, the night is seen as the turning point for Jews’ fortunes in Germany. Their stores were smashed and looted, hundreds of synagogues were torched and 30,000 Jewish men were unjustly arrested and detained in concentration camps. While many countries, including the United States, were unwilling to relax their quotas to accept more Jewish refugees following Kristallnacht, the Black press called for their admission, Drescher said. He again quoted The Pittsburgh Courier, which wrote, “American Negros would welcome the importation of Germany’s benighted Jewish population to the American Southern States where, we believe, they would be a leavening influence working on terms of equality with elements of the population already established there.” Ruth Drescher, who was a child in Stuttgart, Germany, the night of Kristallnacht, recalled her older sister Margot

coming home in tears that morning because she saw her school on fire. She remembered how fearful her mother was and how she pleaded with her father to make plans for the family to leave the country. Her father escaped being sent to a concentration camp that night because a police official warned him of the roundup of Jewish men, and even let him stay at his villa for several nights. “When I think about Kristallnacht, I always think of it as a major turning point in my life,” she said. Blacks and Jews likewise lobbied against participating in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, advocating moving the Games, because of Nazi’s avowed racist statements and exclusion decrees preventing Jews from participating in sports associations where Olympic qualifying trails took place. “Jewish organizations and the NAACP were among the first to bring pressure to bear upon the AOC (American Olympic Committee) and the Amateur Athletic Union to prohibit American participation in the upcoming Olympics. But the AOC, led by Avery Brundage — a known anti-Semite — wanted to participate, and had their way. “Despite vociferous opposition from Jewish and African organizations, Brundage successfully lobbied the AOC to approve American participation. He argued that he was “protecting” American sport from communists and Jews. The legacy of the Holocaust in general continues to have a place in Black culture, Drescher said. “African-Americans have used the Holocaust in their own rituals of remembrance,” he said. “A number of scholars of memory have referred to the example of Jews who preserved memories of the Holocaust as a way of understanding and withstanding contemporary problems.” (Lee Chottiner can be reached at

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METRO Briefly Continued from page 3. areas of the south including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot and Beersheba with the goal of bringing a message of solidarity to the people and examining specific areas of need. During its time in the South, the delegation met with IDF personnel and was personally briefed by Homefront Defense Minister Avi Dichter, who has established an operations center in the affected region. Upon its return to the United States, the delegates will brief their own communities, local and national politicians and media to encourage continued support of Israel. Jewish Federations are working in close coordination with the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and others across the Jewish community who are uniting to come to Israel’s side through the Israel Terror Relief Fund. Classrooms Without Borders, in association with Germany Close Up, is subsidizing an August 2013 trip for 20 young Jewish professionals to experience Berlin’s modern transformation and its history. The 12-day trip, set for Aug. 4 to 15, will offer leading local Jewish professionals up to age 35 the opportunity to visit cultural and historical sites in Berlin, Heidelberg, Speyer and Worms and learn more about German-American relations (including a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office), Jewish Berlin present and past (including a visit to a former concentration camp) and German-Israeli relations. The itinerary includes visits to the former East Germany, Jewish Museum in Berlin and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, as well as meetings with German opinion-makers, grassroots activists, faculty and students of Humboldt University Berlin, the Jewish community and German contemporaries. Classrooms Without Borders subsidizes teachers’ firsthand travel and learning experiences, focusing on the history and culture of Poland and Berlin from the Holocaust to today and on the history and diverse modern life of Israel.

Germany Close Up: American Jews Meet Modern Germany was created in 2007 to provide Jewish-American young emerging leaders with an opportunity to experience modern Germany up close and personally. Trips are designed to expose participants to the many factors that form modern Germany. Those interested in joining the trip are invited to hear more details at an open house at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 234 McKee Place in Oakland, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. Contact CWB Founder and Executive Director Zipora Gur at 412-915-9182 or Chabad of the South Hills and the Jewish Community Center will co-sponsor a Chanuka luncheon for seniors, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 12:30 p.m. at the JCC South Hills, located at 345 Kane Blvd. There is a suggested donation. Chabad of the South Hills will also hold their annual Chanuka Toy Drive. Toys will be distributed to underprivileged and hospitalized children in the Pittsburgh area and in light of the recent hurricane, some of the donations this year will also be sent to a school that was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Toys can be dropped off at Chabad of the South Hills, 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon or E2 Toys 2 Try, Scott Towne Center, 2101 Greentree Road, Scott Township, from Sunday, Nov. 18 until Thursday, Dec. 6. Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or for more information. Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Career Development Center will offer job seekers 18 workshops in December. Some of the workshops include: AXA Advisors Career Information Session, Dec. 6; The Art of Networking, Dec. 10; Franchising as a Career Option, Dec. 11; Advanced Interviewing, Dec. 12; Overcoming Holiday Malaise, Dec. 18; and more. Monthly LinkedIn for Beginners, LinkedIn Advanced, AARP WorkSearch 40+, Networking Club and Job Seeker Support group workshops will also be held. Visit to register or call the Career Development Center at 412-422-5627 for more information.

Yolkut departs on mission to Israel; takes toys for kids BY TOBY TABACHNICK Staff Writer

Rabbi Daniel Yolkut, spiritual leader of Congregation Poale Zedeck, left for Israel Monday afternoon on a three-day emergency mission organized by the Rabbinical Council of America. About a dozen Orthodox rabbis from North America planned to join colleagues living in Israel in an effort to provide support to victims of the recent violence inflicted by Hamas. Rabbis on the mission also planned to meet with members of the IDF. “We will do whatever we can to support the people in Israel, particularly the people in the south,” Yolkut told the Chronicle a few hours before his departure to Israel. “We will make shiva visits to at least one family [of a bombing victim], and interface with children in the area.” The rabbis will also be briefed by members of the Knesset in Jerusalem. Details of the trip were not confirmed by the RCA until Sunday, Nov. 18, at which time Yolkut immediately sent out an email to his congregants, asking for donations of coloring books, crayons, markers and small toys that could help distract Israeli children forced into bomb shelters during the rocket attacks of Hamas. Within hours, Poale Zedeck members had brought Yolkut enough art supplies and toys to fill up a duffel bag

Rabbi Daniel Yolkut

and a large box. Yolkut said that in addition to bringing comfort and toys to Israelis, a second aim of the mission was to bring home inspiration from Israel. “As Jews living in the United States, we are living behind the front lines,” he said. “We want to know what’s going on in Israel, be inspired by them, and increase our identification with them. I want to come back to our community and convey to our shul more of a sense of connectiveness.” “Anyone can bring coloring books,” he said. “What we get out of this is a lot more than what we give.” (Toby Tabachnick can be reached at


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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: 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.

Is Egypt a fair broker? f we are to believe Egyptian authorities, some of whom have been talking to the Israeli media, they are trying to mediate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and an agreement could be very close. Sounds good at first blush, Even U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to the region this week to push for an agreement; we suspect she wouldn’t be there were there not some movement toward a deal. But as talks continue in Cairo, we are still left to wonder what kind of talks are going on. After all, this is not the Egypt of Hosni Mubarak. Is this Egypt a fair broker when it comes to diplomacy between Hamas and Israel? The answer to that question is somewhat muddied. To be sure, this is the Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic party that stands with Hamas and holds Israel responsible for the latest round of fighting. That should give the pro-Israel camp something to worry about. And Egyptian authorities have said Israel must yield to certain Hamas


demands to achieve a cease-fire. Hamas is demanding a lifting of Israel’s blockade — at a minimum — which is a nonstarter for Israel as long as the rockets are flying. So maybe reports of a deal being close at hand aren’t so accurate after all. Like we said, the answer is muddied. Egypt has certainly changed from the days of the Mubarak regime. This is the same country that allowed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to be sacked by rioters last year. It is the same Egypt where an increasingly anti-Israel electorate put President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood in power in the last election. All of which makes a good case for the argument that Egypt is no longer a fair broker in the region. It has clearly taken sides, and it’s hard to trust a mediator who doesn’t sit between two warring parties. But remember, the answer is muddied. Egypt also stands to lose by not being a fair broker. It is second only to Israel in the amount of foreign assistance

received from the United States, and it is mindful that support for that assistance has waned in Congress. The Morsi government has a weak economy, a fractious population, doubledigit unemployment and a suspicious military with which to contend. Quite possibly, the last thing Egypt wants is a regional war for which it’s not prepared to fight. Stability, at least for now, is far more preferable. That would explain why Egypt — until last week — kept its ambassador in Israel, why members of the Muslim Brotherhood have met with high-level Israeli officials this year, including Gen. Uzi Dayan, former deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, as Dayan himself told the Chronicle in a recent interview; and most of all, why Egypt has kept its treaty with Israel. So, is Egypt a fair broker? Probably not. But for now at least, Egypt may have decided it needs Israel perhaps as much as Israel needs Egypt. In today’s Middle East, that’s about as fair as we can expect.

What if there were no Jewish newspapers? Gary Rosenblatt

NEW YORK — I received a call several weeks ago from a Jewish community leader in another city asking for my thoughts on a growing problem in his community: The local, independent Jewish newspaper is facing strong financial pressures and needs to make changes. “How can we help?” he wanted to know, recognizing the key role the paper has played in the community for decades. I was saddened but not surprised by the call. Jewish media groups around the country — including this one — are facing the triple whammy of a weak economy, an aging audience and a next generation that is less interested in Jewish organizational life and used to getting news for free online. I told the exec he was not alone, and credited him for seeking ways to help out. I wish more like him would be thinking about the prospects and consequences of a Jewish community — local or national — without a media vehicle to unite and inform its constituents across the religious, political and social barriers that too often divide them. There aren’t any simple solutions, and the scope of the difficulties varies from city to city, from newspaper to newspaper. But the basic concerns about the future of Jewish media in this country are real, and not going away. I suspect, though, that most local federations,

communal organizations and philanthropists are not focusing on the issue or thinking about the value Jewish newspapers can, and often do, add to the cohesiveness and vitality of a community. That’s why Ami Eden, editor and CEO of JTA: The Global News Service of the Jewish People, and I advocated for a session at the recently held annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America devoted to the subject. And we are gratified that the powers that be agreed. The session, entitled “How Jewish Media Can Help Build Community,” was held Nov. 13, at the annual three-day conference of the federation movement, in Baltimore this year, and all GA delegates were invited to attend. (According to the schedule, there were “only” 11 concurrent sessions competing with ours.) Ami and I were joined by Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of the New Jersey Jewish News, and Esther Kustanowitz, a Los Angeles-based writer and consultant specializing in social media, pop culture, Jewish community and innovation. (She used to write a singles column for The New York Jewish Week.) We discussed how the relationship — often described as “love-hate” — between the organized Jewish community and the local Jewish newspaper can be elevated to a higher and mutually beneficial level, even if there is natural tension between them. These publications (and their websites, of course) should be doing their job, reporting on local successes and challenges, and educating and entertaining readers — helping to keep them connected to each other and to Jewish life. And communal institutions should be thinking about how best to respond when the newspapers face economic hardships and social media replaces

hard news. It’s not just about an infusion of funding that’s required. It’s about creative, strategic thinking in ways that highlight the power of Jewish journalism to connect, enlighten and strengthen community at a time of increasing polarization. After Hurricane Sandy I was reminded of the essential role a Jewish newspaper serves as our staff worked valiantly to produce an edition despite the hardship created by the storm. One staff writer, anticipating that his neighborhood would lose power, came into our Times Square office Sunday afternoon before Sandy and didn’t leave until the issue had gone to press late Wednesday. He and his colleagues gathered and disseminated information around the clock, and several staffers walked for miles, and hours, to get to work. Subscribers may have noticed that the issue, dated Nov. 2, looked a bit odd. That’s because the printing facility we normally use (at the Daily News’ plant) was flooded and so the issue had to be printed elsewhere (at The Newark StarLedger). As a result, the size of the paper was shorter and wider than usual, the font sizes were different, the photo images were wider than normal and there was less color throughout the paper. But it looked beautiful to me, a labor of love that underscored our commitment to serve the community we cover, and are a part of. That’s why, on a good day, this work can seem less like a job and more like a calling.

(Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, can be reached at This column originally appeared in the Week.)



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NA’AMAT leaders respond Regarding the letter from Oren Spiegler in the Nov. 6 issue, “Arrest decried” we wish to relate some significant facts. Mr. Spiegler stated that Rodef Shalom Congregation “is taking a leading role in fighting for the rights of women in Israel.” It should be noted that since its founding in 1921 by a group of young working women who came to Palestine and sought to improve the plight of early settlers, NA’AMAT (formerly Pioneer Women) has taken an active role on behalf of women and children in Israel. Through the establishment of 260 day care centers throughout Israel, community centers offering a full range of educational, cultural and social activities for every age group, counseling

programs for adolescents and families, job training for Arab and Druze women, cultural activities, and child care, NA’AMAT is the largest Zionist women’s organization in the world with 350,000 members in 13 countries. Further, in addition to scholarships, NA’AMAT provides legal aid for women, maintains centers for the prevention and treatment of family violence as well as a shelter for battered women, and operates agricultural, vocational and technological high schools for teens and a broad network of vocational programs for women. NA'AMAT is leading a public campaign for free early childhood education and adapting the labor world to parenting. This achievement for working mothers signifies an important step toward correcting the structural discrimination of women in the labor market. These activities certainly empower women and families in Israel and put NA’AMAT at the forefront of implementing social change. Marcia J. Weiss Dee Selekman Squirrel Hill (The authors are respectively president and executive director of NA’AMAT Pittsburgh Council.)


OPINION Weekend of Twinning

Jewish, Muslim students build bridges while fighting rages in Middle East Guest Columnist SAM LAPIN As fighting raged between the Jewish state and militant Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip, Jewish students and members of the Muslim Students Association at the University of Pittsburgh came together at the Hillel Jewish University Center. I was convinced, and worried, that their conversation, meant to foster a lasting relationship, would spiral into an argument over current events and politics. Happily, I was proven incorrect. The two groups were brought together as part of the Weekend of Twinning, an international initiative seeking to bring young Muslims and young Jews together to foster communication, understanding, reconciliation and eventually friendship. Aaron Weil, executive director and CEO of Hillel JUC, led the conversation. He drew on his experiences as a public relations professional in Israel, where he lived for over a decade. Weil talked about working with a man in Ramallah on a project with Major League Baseball, after learning that he was a committed Washington Redskins fan, they bonded over football. Weil also talked about becoming friends with an Egyptian groom-to-be who invited him to join his party on a train from Cairo to Alexandria. What Weil took from these experiences is that people could make connections with each other by removing space; that would be much easier to understand

and to bridge the gaps between each other if people made the effort to come together and talk. The next speaker, Pitt sophomore and MSA President Jasmine Kashkoush, chose to speak about her choice to wear a scarf — she made it clear that it was a choice — which is meant to be a sign of modesty and humility. Here a similarity was discovered between Islam and Judaism, where Weil noted that Kashkoush’s scarf, known as a hijab, was similar in meaning to a tallit worn by a Jewish man. This was only the first of many similarities noted during the hour-long conversation. An Egyptian student from Carnegie Mellon University, a self-described “orthodox Muslim,” said that his beard was the male equivalent of the hijab. It was meant to remind him to be modest and humble. The only male member of MSA in attendance with a beard, he hinted at another similarity between Judaism and Islam: a difference in interpretation of the laws that the Bible sets forth. Just as Jews have different movements — Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox — Muslims have different schools of thought within Sunni and Shia traditions. This spectrum was evident in the variety in appearance of the members of MSA who came to participate in the conversation; some women wore hijabs and some did not, one man had a beard and most did not. That Muslims interpret the Koran differently among themselves may have

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come as a surprise to some who see Muslims defined by their most common media portrayal — the Islamist militant with a very strict, almost literal interpretation of the Koran and of sharia law. Possibly, the only more striking similarity than their wide spectra of interpretations and practices is the recognition among both the Jewish and Muslim attendees that they are ambassadors for their religions in a country in which they are both very small minorities. This diplomatic responsibility might be more pronounced for the members of the MSA. Because of the physical responsibilities that some Muslims take on, Muslims can be more readily identified than Jews and because of the distrust of Islam as a whole in America today, the Muslim students felt a responsibility to make sure that they do all that they can to represent Islam as best as possible. Both Muslim and Jewish students believed that this responsibility is to be balanced, however. While each student is proud of his or her faith, they are just as proud of being American. Each student believed that they should be able to identify as Jewish

or Muslim and still enjoy a spot in the American melting pot. I asked Kashkoush why she thought it was important for MSA to participate in Twinning Weekend. People tend to focus only on their faith and rarely consider others’, she said. She enjoys learning about other faiths. It helps to gain understanding, she said, especially when discussing the more tense issues. It was clear that I was not the only one with Israel and Gaza on my mind.

(Sam Lapin, a Chronicle correspondent and Hillel JUC intern, can be reached at


OPINION U.S. Jews fighting wrong battle Guest Columnist DANIEL GORDIS This has been a frightening and sad week in Israel. First, Hamas unleashed 160 rockets on Israeli towns. Then the IDF responded, and Israeli civilians were ordered — and many remain — in bomb shelters. And as was almost inevitable, some who did not heed the warnings were killed by rocket fire. At this writing, the end is nowhere in sight. If there can be said to be a silver lining in this horrendous situation, it’s in the broad range of support for the prime minister’s decision to protect his citizens. “Labor, Kadima, Olmert, Livni back government’s air assault on Hamas,” reported the Times of Israel. But it shouldn’t take war for Jews to acknowledge that we’re utterly dependent on each other, no matter how deeply we may disagree. Far from the fighting, the conversation among American Jews about Israel has become so toxic that it’s often impossible even for people who are allies to listen to each other. Not long ago, I was invited by a major national Jewish organization to give a lecture in the United States. Soon after, the person who had invited me called me in Jerusalem to tell me that the major sponsors of the event had pulled their support and their funding because I’d signed a letter asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to ignore a legal report claiming that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not technically an occupation. “You’re not embarrassed?” I asked her. She couldn’t understand why she should possibly be embarrassed. She explained that her organization believed that the report was important for defending Israel’s international legitimacy. “That’s fine,” I said, “and I think that adopting it would do us great damage. But so what? Doesn’t the fact that we disagree make it all the more critical that we talk to each other? Or have we reached the point where your supporters will listen only to those with whom they agree completely? Your sponsors based their decision to invite me on a record of 15 years of writing and speaking. I do one thing that they don’t approve of, and they pull the plug?” That’s precisely what they did. I ended up giving the lecture, but the sponsors never restored their support. They represent, I believe, a scary antiintellectual trend in the Jewish community. These people believe that an increasingly narrow tent will best protect the State of Israel, and so they continue to move the tent’s pegs. But they are doing just the opposite of bolstering the Jewish state: They weaken Israel and make it more vulnerable because they exclude enormous swaths of the community that we need — particularly on a week like this. The latest example of this narrowing happened last week in Atlanta, where one of the country’s major Jewish book fairs canceled an appearance by the writer Peter Beinart. “As leaders of our agency, we want the center to always serve as a safe place for honest debate, but we want to balance that against the concerns of our patrons,” said Steven Cadranel, president of the Marcus Jewish Community Center. I have no unique knowledge of what actually

transpired, but this has become an old story: Many Jewish organizations have been pushed into such corners by donors who refused to contribute to festivals or organizations who will host people whose views they find reprehensible. Jewish community professionals regularly find themselves between a rock and a hard place. I disagree with Peter Beinart on more issues than I can count. I was appalled by his op-ed in the Times calling for a boycott on some Israelis, and I found his most recent book far too accommodating of Israel’s enemies and unfairly critical of Israel. I think he’s completely wrong when he asserts the occupation is the core cause of Israel’s marginality. But his views represent those of a not inconsiderable swath of American Jewry, so I agreed to debate him at Columbia University. Our debate was fun — and far more important, it was civil. I don’t know how many minds were changed that night; Beinart’s wasn’t, and neither was mine. But we did model for the hundreds of people who were there and the many more who watched the debate online that the Jewish community doesn’t have the luxury of refusing to speak to those who disagree with us. Instead, Peter and I did what the Jews have always done: We engaged the ideas, assumptions and moral positions of the other, and in the spirit of the brave marketplace of ideas that Judaism has always been, tried to make our most compelling case. Are there no limits to who’s in the Zionist tent? Of course there are. For me, the litmus tests are Israel’s Jewishness, democracy and security. Anyone publicly committed to those three — even if I believe that their policy ideas are wrong-minded — is in the tent. There are many Israeli politicians whose ideas I believe are naïve or dangerous. But should I say that they’re not Zionists? That would absurd. For the same reason, Beinart is in my tent. Speaking with people who agree with me is no challenge. Engaging with those whose views seem to me dangerous is infinitely harder, but far more important. That sort of conversation is perhaps the most critical lesson that we inherit from centuries of talmudic Judaism. The Talmud is essentially a 20-volume argument, in which even positions that “lost” the battle and were not codified into law are subjected to reverential examination. When Hillel and Shammai debate, Jewish law, or halakha, almost always follows Hillel. But we still study Shammai with reverence. Even those views not codified, we believe, have insights to share and moral positions worth considering. The American Jewish community is the most secure diaspora community the Jews have ever known. Economically, socially, politically, culturally — we have made it, and what we say and model is watched by countless others. Yet New York Times readers this week can only conclude that in the midst of that security and comfort, we’ve utterly abandoned the intellectual curiosity that has long been Judaism’s hallmark. Are we not ashamed to have created a community so shrill that any semblance of that talmudic curiosity has been banished? Has the People of the Book really become so uninterested in thinking? (Daniel Gordis is senior vice president and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. This column first appeared on Tablet is reprinted here with the magazine’s permission.)


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Gaza The ‘Kids’ behind IDF’s media Young soldiers push commanders to adopt aggressive social media strategy BY ALLISON HOFFMAN Tablet

After the first night of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, a photograph began circulating around Twitter of a grinning 11-month-old who had been killed by an Israeli missile that landed on his house. Within hours, Avital Leibovich, an Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman, posted a reply of sorts: a photograph of another infant, this one an Israeli girl, wounded by a Hamas rocket in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi. It wasn’t the first skirmish of the virtual war being waged across social media networks by both the Israeli government and Hamas — the real-world hostilities were announced Nov. 14 by the IDF in a tweet trumpeting the death of Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari — but it was an early indication of how the awful life-and-death stakes of war have been reduced to Internet fodder. The world is by now well aware of the power of social media to help foment and spread popular movements everywhere from Lower Manhattan to the streets of Cairo. But Operation Pillar of Defense may be the first war to feature direct trash-talking between enemies. “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead,” came a tweet from the official @IDFspokesperson account last Wednesday. “@IDFspokesperson Our blessed hands will reach your leaders wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves),” came the reply from @AlQassamBrigade. It’s not clear who’s running the Qassam Brigade’s twitter feed, but in Israel, the IDF’s social media operation is run by a 26-year-old immigrant from Belgium named Sacha Dratwa. In the past two years, Dratwa has taken a small operation initially created during Operation Cast Lead to streamline the IDF’s YouTube and Facebook presence and turned it into the most globally visible arm of the Israeli military. In the past year, the new media desk has rapidly expanded into new terrain, from commissioning content designed for viral sharing to creating a Foursquare-style game for the IDF blog that rewards frequent visitors to the site with badges. The IDF is also posting video of its drone strikes, starting with the Jabari assassination, as well as of Israelis taking cover during air raids and of Iron Dome units successfully thwarting rockets launched from Gaza. “The government still has to generate the talking points, what we want to achieve, and then we turn it over to the kids, and they translate it into this new language of social media,” said Daniel

Jonathan Ben David/IDF

Former Sgt. Talia Wissner-Levy of the New Media desk.

Seaman, deputy director general of the Ministry of Public Information and Diaspora Affairs, who ran the government press office during Operation Cast Lead. “I say it’s magic.” “We want to explain to people what happens in Israel, simply,” Dratwa said in a brief telephone interview late last week. “We believe people understand the language of Facebook, the language of Twitter.” For Israel, taking the war to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest is a natural outgrowth of the Israeli government’s public diplomacy initiatives, from helping organize seminars to train Israelis to advocate on the country’s behalf over social media networks to underwriting a campaign to improve the image of settlers among bloggers. The goal, as Dratwa explained it, is twofold: to get Israel’s narrative out in real time, as people read about red alerts in Tel Aviv and rocket landings in Gaza on Twitter, and to cut out the middleman of “old media” in communicating with pro-Israel activists. “What we try to do is to be fast and get information out before the old media,” Dratwa told me. “We believe people are getting information from social media platforms and we don’t want them to get it from other sources — we are the ones on the scene, and the old media are not on the scene as are the IDF.” It’s not immediately clear what concrete impact the IDF’s Twitter battles are having on the course of public opinion. Foreign journalists have been allowed to enter Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense — a change from Is-

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raeli policy during Operation Cast Lead, when foreign journalists were barred from Gaza — resulting in a steady stream of gripping footage and images from the territory. But the IDF boasts 185,150 Twitter followers viewing its stream of videos, photos, and updates, which includes information from the front and frequent reminders of Israel’s ongoing provision of food and medical services to Gazan civilians. “There’s an idea of playing to your base,” said Garth Jowett, a professor specializing in propaganda and media at the University of Houston. “But it’s very hard to change people’s minds with propaganda.” The IDF’s new media presence was originally the brainchild of Aliza Landes (the American-born daughter of the historian Richard Landes), who was herself only 25 when, as an officer on the IDF’s North American press desk, she piloted the IDF’s first forays into virtual warfare during Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-2009. “In Israel, Facebook had only just opened up, and it was considered a toy for kids,” Landes said. “YouTube was the same. They didn’t think of it as a dissemination tool that could be effective — it was just a way for people to waste time in the office.” Landes had already written position papers trying to excite her commanders in the spokesman’s office about the possibilities of a more aggressive social media strategy, but it wasn’t until videos she posted on YouTube began to tally up impressive views that they paid attention. Originally, she told me late last week, she had used YouTube as a way to

transfer video files to foreign journalists, who were prevented by the Israeli military from entering Gaza during Cast Lead and were in many instances forced to rely on IDF footage. “It wasn’t for public consumption,” Landes said. She soon began posting routine information updates, like statistics on the number of rockets fired, to an IDF blog and, by the time Cast Lead concluded in January, had moved to commissioning original videos from the military film department. “It was sort of my pet project on top of everything else I was supposed to be doing,” Landes said. In August 2009, Landes succeeded in convincing her superiors to give her a dedicated budget for a new media operation. The first big test came in January 2010, not for a war but after the massive earthquake in Haiti, when Israel dispatched emergency medical staff to the Caribbean island. “People were sending us requests for assistance based on Twitter,” Landes said. “So, it wasn’t just a PR tool, it became a practical rescue tool too.” That summer, Landes was responsible for sending out footage from the controversial Mavi Marmara commando raid and convinced her superiors to give her near real-time access to video. By the time Landes left later that year, she had a staff of 10 people devoted to putting out polished material in concert with other government ministries — some of which, particularly videos from the widely scrutinized Mavi Marmara episode, wound up giving ammunition to Israel’s critics. “It’s important to be in the conversation,” Landes said. “If you just say, ‘I’m going to cut this out entirely,’ you’re not doing yourself any favors, and in fact you’re doing yourself a disservice.” And while the IDF’s social media campaign has drawn criticism from those who feel it trivializes war and its consequences, it’s unlikely to be the last of its kind. “We’re at a moment where this stuff is not only the way a lot of these communications happen, but the audience is primed for it,” said Sree Sreenivasan, a professor of social media at Columbia’s School of Journalism. “There’s no point saying they shouldn’t be doing it because no one is going to listen,” he said. “Both sides are going to do whatever is in their self-interest,” he added. “And social media is an example of that.”

(Allison Hoffman is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine. This story first appeared on Tablet is reprinted here with the magazine’s permission.)

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Chanuka Shop ’til you drop

History of gift giving on Chanuka, with gift guide BY TOBY TABACHNICK Staff Writer

Chanuka begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which falls this year on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8. For many Jews across the United States, that means now is the time to start shopping. The tradition of giving gifts to celebrate Chanuka is relatively new, and not one that is embraced by the Jewish community as a whole. “Chanuka gift giving is a distinctly American phenomenon,” said Rabbi Scott Aaron, community scholar of the Agency for Jewish Learning. “While Chanuka always involved special foods and sweets, and gelt for playing dreidel, gift-giving as a central component of the holiday did not develop until the 19th century in America.” The prioritization of Chanuka gift giving arose from both necessity and desire. “As Jewish immigrants poured in to the tenements of New York City and other urban areas in the mid- to late-1800s, they lived in very close proximity to

gentile neighbors and their holiday customs,” said Aaron. “For many of them, it was their first up-close look at Christmas, which included gift giving. It also included missionaries working in the tenements who lured Jewish children to Christmas celebrations with the promise of presents.” The call to compete with Christmas was often explicit, according to Aaron. In fact, in 1885, Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler spoke here in Pittsburgh, imploring Jews to ramp up their Chanuka celebrations to vie with Christmas in order to counter Christmas’ attraction to Jewish children. In addition to protecting their children from being lured by the festivities of Christmas, another motivation for Jews to amplify Chanuka was to further ingrain them as part of the social fabric of America. “For other Jews, though, gift giving in December became a sign of being an American; if my neighbors can earn enough to give such luxuries to their children then so can I,” Aaron said. “As

we became more affluent and moved to the suburbs, the cost of the gifts rose proportionally, too. For whatever reason, by the 1920s the giving of Chanuka gifts had become an ingrained practice in American Jewry and a way to feel equal to other Americans without losing our distinction as Jews.” To be clear, gift giving is not the primary reason most American Jews celebrate Chanuka today. But for those who have embraced the tradition, the Chronicle has compiled a list of suggestions of some unusual and interesting items that your loved ones may enjoy receiving this holiday season, or anytime:

dimensional canvas and the designs will light up in vivid colors. Kids can even create animations with special effects, and his work can be saved and displayed later. There is also a game and activity mode. Toys “R” Us

For children

For the foodie

Shalom Sesame T-shirts: Who knew that Cookie Monster, Elmo and Grover were Jewish? These fun little T-shirts feature the beloved Sesame Street characters, but with a Yiddishe bent. Choices include Cookie Monster “Nosh,” Grover “You had me at Shalom” and Zoe “B is for Bubelah.” The shirts are printed on soft 100 percent cotton American Apparel Tshirts by Rabbi’s Daughters. Sizes: 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months, Toddler 2, Toddler 4. (

Handmade Gray Sea Salted Caramels: The description of these candies by Shari’s Berries sounds delicious. Each caramel is smothered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with Sel Gris, otherwise known as gray sea salt. Sweet, salty, smooth, and crunchy. 16 Sel Gris Gray Sea Salted Caramels, certified kosher dairy by the Orthodox Union. (

“A Hanukkah Bear For Me” Personalized Book: This beautifully illustrated Chanuka story is personalized with your child’s and her family’s names incorporated throughout the book. In the story, the child lights the menora, plays with a dreidel, enjoys chocolate gelt and latkes, and on the eighth night, receives the gift of a cuddly bear. The book comes with a small Gund® bear as well. Written by awardwinning author Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Wilson Ong. ( Yogibo: Yogibo takes the beanbag chair of old up several notches. These chairs and loungers are made from a comfortable cotton-Lycra fabric that stretches and moves with you, molding to your body. Yogibos come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Yogibo’s most popular item, the Yogi Max, can be used as a chair, recliner, bed or couch. ( Crayola Digital Light Designer: Your child can use the stylus to draw anywhere on this dome-shaped, three-

Upcycled Designs Jewish Holiday Skirt: This adorable holiday-themed skirt includes Velcro icons that your little girl can change along with the Jewish calendar. All of local designer Jen Primack’s unique clothing is made with reclaimed materials, so giving one of these skirts as a gift is tikum olam in action. (

Delavignes Garlic Infused Olive Oil, Delavignes Basil Infused Olive Oil, Delavignes Hot Pepper Infused Olive Oil: Olive oil infused with flavor can enhance a variety of foods, from omelets to pastas to soups. In the spirit of Chanuka’s miracle of the oil, why not give the chef in your life one or more of these gourmet concoctions? Certified kosher by the Star-K. ( Carousel Blue Velvet Cake: Oprah chose this cake as one of her favorite things for her 2012 O List. A moist “blue” vanilla cake with cream cheese filling and topping, decorated with delicate sugar snowflakes and silver beads. Cakes are 7 inches and serve 6 to 10. Certified kosher by National Kosher Supervision. (

For the bibliophile “The Lawgiver: a Novel,” by Herman Wouk: Released just last week, this is the culmination of Wouk’s 50-year dream of writing a novel about the life of Moses. Wouk, now 97, gives us this tale that Amazon describes as “a romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, emails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, Skype transcripts and text messages.” ( Please see Gift Guide, next page.


CHANUKA Gift Guide: Continued from page 10.

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories,” by Nathan Englander: These eight new stories from novelist and short-story writer Englander have the celebrated young author grappling with questions of modern life, and displaying his versatility in terms of tackling a variety of issues. The title story paints a portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game. In “Camp Sundown” vigilante justice is undertaken by a group of geriatric campers in a summer enclave. “Sister Hills” is a political fable, chronicling the history of Israel’s settlements from the eve of the Yom Kippur War through the present. ( “How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought,” by Leora Batnitzky, (Princeton University Press): This book by the professor and chair of the department of religion at Princeton examines the question of whether Judaism is a religion, a culture, a nationality or a mixture of all three. Batnitzky tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religion in modern times, and why Jewish thinkers have both fought and championed this idea. (

“Scenes from Village Life,” by Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): This is the 18th book of fiction by the Israeli writer perennially mentioned as a favorite for the Nobel Prize. It is a novel in stories about the unusual lives in one town. (

For the techie Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver: This receiver is a perfect way to get music from your phone or laptop to your stereo. Just plug this receiver into your audio/stereo system and stream music endlessly via Bluetooth. ( LG Tone-HBS-700 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset: Up to 10 hours of listening/talk time keeps you connected to your music and social life whenever you need it. With its unique form factor and sleek design, the LG Tone has an around-the-neck wearing style, ensuring your comfort throughout the day. ( iRobot Mint®4200: This is the newest domesticated robot from iRobot (inventor of the Roomba), and the most affordable. The Mint is like an automatic mop that does the cleaning for you. ( Vtech InnoTab 2 S: This is a great educational tablet for kids. It has downloadable games and learning exercises and even keeps track

of you child’s progress, showing areas of improvement. (

Out of the ordinary Initial and trinket necklace: These customized pieces by Lotus Jewelry are sure to delight that special woman in your life. The 16-inch chain and initial disc are adorned with your color choice of dazzling stone trinkets. The chain is solid sterling silver, and the initial discs have a soft satin finish. (Little Boutique on Wheels: 412-344-2312) Award-Winning Jewish Independent Film of the month club: A subscription to this club gets its recipient an award-winning Jewish-themed feature film and a bonus short film every other month. A portion of all proceeds is donated to charity. ( Leather-bound Story of a Lifetime: This do-it-yourself volume helps preserve memories for your family by posing questions such as: “What do you feel has been your purpose in life?” and “Is there any particular incident in your life that changed everything?” The book is intended to help chronicle school, careers, relationships, traditions and milestones. The front cover may be personalized with the name of the recipient. Winner of the Family Channel Seal of Quality. (

Waring Pro® Cotton Candy Maker: This is just fun. This appliance can turn any gathering into a celebration. It’s cotton candy. ( Nice Jewish Guys 2013 Calendar: We couldn’t resist. This calendar features 12 months of photos of guys that would make your bubbie kvell. Who needs movie star hunks when you’ve got boychiks like Mark, Jake and Jonathan? ( (Toby Tabachnick can be reached at Josh Reisner and Angela Leibowicz contributed to this story.)

For the arts lover Pittsburgh offers a wide array of world-class cultural events and performances. Consider giving the Pittsburgh Cultural District-wide gift card that can be used to purchase tickets for: the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; Pittsburgh CLO; Pittsburgh Opera; Pittsburgh Public Theater; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Gift cards can be purchased in person at most Cultural District box offices, or online. (





Spice up Chanuka with new latke toppings BY JNS.ORG

Mollie Katzen—an award-winning illustrator and designer, as well as bestselling cookbook author and popular public speaker—is back with a new round of recipes for Hanukkah. With over 6 million books in print, Katzen is listed by the New York Times as one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all time and has been named by Health Magazine as one of “The Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat.” Below are some of her ideas for how to freshen up your Hanukkah table, without intruding on your latke loyalties. How about switching the toppings? You can always have the usual applesauce and sour cream on hand, but consider adding some intrigue and savory twists—in addition to sneaking in vegetables, herbs, nuts, and olive oil—to the options on the menu. Add some lentil

soup and a green salad, and your Hanukkah celebration will be colorful and compelling.

CHIMICHURRI Chimichurri is the “national sauce” of Argentina, and is also common in Honduras and other Latin American countries. It’s a complex green paste, similar to a pesto, but containing a greater variety of herbs, and a tart taste from the presence of vinegar. Chimichurri is normally served with roasted or grilled meat or fish, but it’s also delicious on cooked potatoes and vegetables, pasta, grains, and sandwiches. It’s also a terrific dab of flavor for latkes—either directly on top, or as a green dollop on the sour cream. • This keeps for a week or two if stored in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator. Just use as needed, as you would any condiment.

1 cup (packed) minced cilantro 1/4 cup (packed) minced parsley 1/4 cup minced scallions 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano) 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic Big pinch of cayenne 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Place the cilantro, parsley, scallions, and oregano in a food processor, and mince very finely. Add the garlic, cayenne, vinegar, salt, and process to a paste, with the food processor running until everything is fully incorporated. Drizzle in the oil at the very end. Transfer to a tightly lidded container and refrigerate until use. Yield: About 2/3 cup Preparation time: 10 minutes

CHIPOTLE CREAM Chipotle chilies are smoked dried jalapenos. They most commonly come in cans, packed in a vinegar preparation called adobo sauce. A little bit of canned chipotles-in-adobo goes a very long way, both in terms of its heat and its powerful smoky essence. In this sauce, sour cream and/or yogurt create a soothing, luxurious vehicle for the chipotle flavor. • Serve this wherever it seems appropriate—on any egg dish, with beans, rice, cornmeal preparations, or drizzled onto soups—or on latkes. 1 cup sour cream or yogurt (or a combination) 1/2 to 1 teaspoon canned chipotle chilies, finely minced Place the sour cream and/or yogurt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon minced chipotles, and let it sit for about 10 minutes, so the flavor can develop. Taste to see if it needs more chipotle paste, and adjust, as desired. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 1 cup Preparation time: 5 minutes

RED PEPPER-WALNUT PASTE Based on the Middle Eastern sauce called muhammar, this delicious paste is simultaneously pungent, slightly hot and sweet. I make it often and keep it around for many uses: as a topping for pilafs and other cooked grains, for spreading on pizza, toast, crackers, and sandwiches, and as a dip for cooked or raw vegetables. I also love it on latkes. • This keeps well for at least a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In fact, the flavors deepen over time. • For a California twist, you can use almonds in place of the walnuts. 2 heaping cups lightly toasted walnuts 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained 1 tablespsoon cider vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) Black pepper and cayenne to taste Place the walnuts and garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground, but not yet a paste. Cut the peppers into chunks, and add them to the food processor, along with the vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, and honey. Process to a fairly smooth paste, then transfer to a bowl, and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3 to 4 cups Preparation time: 10 minutes (after the peppers are roasted)



STYLE ‘Radiant Circles’

Art should speak for itself, late artist’s husband says BY ANDREW GOLDSTEIN Chronicle Correspondent

When Dr. Arthur Levine entrusted Pat Sheahan and Adrienne Heinrich with his late wife’s artwork, they knew what they wanted to do with the collection — put it on display in the American Jewish Museum (AJM) of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. “The artwork is so intellectual and so erudite that it needed to have a setting where those characteristics would be appreciated,” Sheahan said. “This is a museum. What more prestigious place could one’s work be exhibited?” More than 60 drawings, paintings and sculptures by Ruth Levine are now on display in an exhibit titled “Radiant Circles: Ruth E. Levine’s Generous Life.” The exhibit debuted Oct. 23, but the opening reception was held Tuesday, Nov. 13, with many of Levine’s friends in attendance. “Her life was radiant and she has so many issues around society, politics and philosophy that underpin her work, so even though the forms look very simple there is incredible depth to her artistic motivation,” AJM Director Melissa Hiller said, explaining the title of the exhibit. “I wanted the title to evoke all of those senses at once.”

Image courtesy of AJM

“Kings Play Chess On Fine Grain Sand” is part of the Ruth Levine exhibit at the American Jewish Museum.

Levine became a full-time artist while living in Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s, and continued her work when she and her husband moved to Pittsburgh in 1998.

In Pittsburgh, “she immersed herself in the camaraderie of a group of artists who belong to a closely knit discussion group, as well as joined the boards of the Andy Warhol Museum and the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh,” according to a biography of Levine compiled by Hiller. After she died in 2010, her husband received the names of Sheahan and Heinrich as people engaged in the arts. He consulted them about cataloging, measuring and preparing his wife’s art for presentations. “It [was] all in storage just languishing without having anyone look at it,” Sheahan said. When going through the archives, Sheahan and Heinrich noticed the richness and diversity of the work and thought that they should put it on display. “I was the first person they thought of because of the American Jewish Museum and because of the fact that Ruth was a Jewish artist,” Hiller said. Hiller jumped at the opportunity to bring Levine’s work to the AJM. “When I began looking at her work I knew right away that this was material that was mining a very rich expanse and considering human existence,” she said. “I knew that she was a very interesting artist, so I wanted to unpack that and have that exhibit here.” The exhibit is already garnering attention from even casual passers-by. “The other day,” Hiller said, “someone who passes through here every morning stopped me and said, ‘I don’t really understand abstract art, but I see something different every morning that I walk through here. Some days I feel like I’m looking at DNA print, oth-

er days empty spaces between columns just jump out at me and this morning I’m really tired and feel like I’m floating, so these rectangles look like the top of something that I’m hovering over.’ I told him that I thought Ruth would be pleased with his sleep deprived observations.” At the opening reception guests perused exhibit guide pamphlets that provided interpretations of 13 of the works in “Radiant Circles.” For a drawing entitled, “Kings Play Chess on Fine Grain Sand,” the interpretation began with a description that “Kings Play Chess on Fine Grain Sand is a pared-down drawing comprised simply of five rows. Each row is made up of overlapping stamps and hand-drawn rectangles in subtle red and blue shades. The stamps that designate the lines’ rows depict various designs. Two rows contain a long line of plump birds resting on wire. Two other rows illustrate Japanese characters. Other rows depict abstract decorative patterns.” The guide goes on to explain, “The expression ‘kings play chess on fine grain sand’ is a mnemonic that aids memorization of the classification of living organisms. Designed to improve memory, a mnemonic is a kind of system that translates information into simple forms that the human brain can retain. Knowing this helps correlate the relationship between the work’s title and its composition, which calls to mind the varied means by which we take in data and process information.” The exhibition is located in the JCC Kaufmann Building’s Fine Perlow Weis Gallery and in the Robinson Building’s Berger Gallery. The art will be on display until Jan. 11, 2013. It is free and open to the public. Much of the artwork in the exhibit is for sale and the proceeds will go into an endowment fund that supports emerging artists. “Radiant Circles” is supported by Susan and Dr. David L. Bartlett, Joan Birnbaum, The Fine Foundation, Isabel and Lee Foster, Toto and Jim Fisher, Dr. Margaret Tarpey and Dr. Bruce Freeman, Julie and Mike Gibson, Adrienne R. Heinrich, Adrienne Masters and Dr. Harry Huang, Dr. Arthur Levine, Angela and Dr. James Maher, Sarah Mirkin, Ellen Chisdes Neuberg, Dr. Bert W. O’Malley, Dr. Carol-Bird Ravenal, Ralph Reese, Dr. Patricia and James Sheahan, Judith Sugar, Teresa Jones and Joshua Zimmerberg. Arthur Levine, the late artist’s husband and senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, attended the opening reception but did not want to comment, saying his wife’s art should speak for itself. (Andrew Goldstein can be reached at

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Simchas & Mazel Tovs! Celebrating 100

B’nai Mitzva

Sara Karly Goldstein, daughter of Lynne and Michael Goldstein, will become a bat mitzva Saturday, Nov. 24, at Temple Sinai. Grandparents are Carol and Harry Adelsheimer and the late Sarah and Sol Goldstein, all of Pittsburgh.

Jennifer Isabel Jaffe, daughter of Freada and David Jaffe, will become a bat mitzva Saturday, Nov. 24, at Congregation Beth Shalom. Grandparents are Huvvy and Meyer Simon and Alice and Norman Jaffe.

Hadassah photo

Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh Chapter delegates attended the Centennial Hadassah convention in Jerusalem in October. The delegates are pictured at the dedication ceremony at Safra Square for the newly built Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower of Ein Kerem Hospital. Pictured in first row, from left, are Zandra Goldberg, Janice Greenwald, Bernice Meyers, Judy Kobell and Jack Meyers; second row, Gerry Kobell, Esther Schwartz and Judy Palkovitz.


GAZA Briefly JointMedia News Service

Obama sends Clinton to Middle East amid IsraelGaza conflict U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to the Middle East to foster negotiations to end the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. Clinton was set to depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she was on an official Southeast Asia visit with President Barack Obama, according to the State Department. Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, as well as Palestinian officials in Ramallah. She will then head to Cairo to meet with Egyptian leaders. Her visit will support “de-escalation of violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns and restores a broader calm,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, according to The Washington Post.

Hamas videos display showcase core mission of killing Israelis As its rockets rain down on Israel by the hundreds, Hamas has released a video on its channel, Al-Aqsa TV, telling Israelis: “From the Al-Qassam Brigades to the Zionist soldiers: The Al-Qassam Brigades love death more than you love life,” Palestinian Media Watch reported. In another video, Hamas says “The price will be high, Sons of Zion. Are you willing to pay the price?... All of Palestine is ours. There’s nothing here for you but death. There’s nothing here for you but to be killed and to leave. ...If your eyes look [at us], they will be gouged out... In the land that you came to live, you will end as body parts. That is Allah’s promise.”

In addition, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported in August that Hamas’s education ministry launched a training program for boys teaching jihad and combat skills. An official poster about the program states that its goals are “preparing the believing youth for a life of loyalty, honesty, faith, courage, sacrifice and love of jihad... ; raising awareness of [the values of] resistance, in order to cultivate a generation of young people capable of serving the resistance, once they join it... and preparing the pupils in terms of faith and physical [fitness] to [serve as] resistance fighters.” The program has been met with criticism from many Palestinians. As one parent said, the program is an “indirect [means of] forced recruitment, meant to prompt our sons to enlist in the police force immediately after graduating from school.”

Hamas fires more rockets at Jerusalem Hamas again fired rockets at Jerusalem on Tuesday, marking the second time the Israeli capital was targeted since the current conflict began. One rocket landed in the Jewish community of Gush Etzion—about 10 miles south of Jerusalem—and another rocket that went astray hit an open area in a Palestinian village, according to the Israel Defense Forces’ Twitter feed and Israeli police statements. No injuries or damage were reported. Nov. 16 had marked the first time a rocket alarm sounded in Jerusalem, resulting from rockets that also landed in Gush Etzion. Jonathan Nevo, a 26-year-old student living in Jerusalem, told in reaction to the Nov. 16 alarm that although the city is not accustomed to rockets, the area “is very connected to everything that’s happening because during the Intifada a few years ago there were a lot of suicide bombings here.” universities around the world, including Israel.”

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I believe in angels Portion of the Week RABBI JONATHAN PERLMAN NEW LIGHT CONGREGATION Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3

Jake was fired from his job this week. After 18 months of investment and work with the new company, and moving across the country with his family, it turned out that Jake was not the person the company was looking for. They expected somebody different and, without warning, Jake was told to clean out his office and leave. For Jake, the new job meant everything: a new home for his family, a step up the professional ladder, pride, a larger salary. So the word “fire” felt like a sucker punch to his abdomen, leaving only emptiness, disorder and loss. As much as we are urged to connect with others in our tradition, making connections with others, especially those you only know for a short while, can always be risky. There are shorter honeymoons with work places these days and many companies expect us to begin performing from day one. You can be sure if you entered with a passion to connect with the team on the way in, you will experience a painful separation of equal measure on the way out. The pain and anxiety for Jake of covering his mortgage and other payments, disrupting the lives of his wife and children and the hard, full-time job of finding work was daunting, especially in a new city. Pain and anxiety would also mask whatever lessons learned. The newly unemployed can get really depressed. Our biblical Jacob was told by his parents to leave home at the end of last week’s parasha. For all the promises and blessings spoken over him by his father, Isaac, Jacob came up empty handed on his way out. Where was the “dew of heaven and the fat places of the soil, abundance of corn and new wine?” (Genesis 27:28) Didn’t the wave of a magic wand with the blessing confer on him instant respect? It certainly didn’t come from Esau, who was scheming to kill him. Despite the hullabaloo about tricking blind Isaac into getting Esau’s blessing, Jacob left penniless and would never see his mother again. There would be no magic wand passed over Jacob’s head for fortune and fame. As he headed off to find his Uncle Lavan, it was clear that Jacob would have to earn everything through hard work. Esau the hunter had the reputation and the

materials, the women and the children; Jacob was cut off. The vision of the angels and the ladder came at a transitional and fearful time in Jacob’s life. The pain of separation ran deep; all he had was the pack on his back. But the Torah teaches that painful separations come with opportunities; we just need to see the angels. I believe angels are manifestations of God in other people who protect us and guide us along the way. They are guardian angels who see you when you are invisible to others. They know your pain and can help in whole or in part along your journey in life. When Jacob was first introduced to the vision of the ladder, he didn’t know what to think. It surprised him because it was unfamiliar to the sedentary life of the contemplative shepherd. The ladder prepared Jacob for the next leg of the journey. He would need to climb and stretch himself. He would need to ascend and view reality from above. According to Rashi, the ladder stretched over the border between Jacob’s home and the land beyond (the world of uncertainty). The angels of the home world handed Jacob off to the angels of the foreign world. The spiritual journey, when accepted by the pilgrim, tested and challenged him especially when he moved out of his comfort zone. The old language, the old tools of the trade needed to be refashioned. Jacob thought he would become a prince but the new reality, introduced by the ladder-bridge and its angels, pointed him in a new direction. Incredibly, the pain of separation disappeared and Jacob found hope. Look around and be grateful for your guardian angels. They appear most prominently in the pain of separation and encourage us to go forward, in turns in the road we might not expect, in shadowy valleys that can crush our spirit at times, but we continue to pray and trust that they know what is best for our lives. The journey of the soul is one of faith going forward. Jacob at the end of his life is grateful for “Hamalach Goel Oti,” (Genesis 48:16) the Guardian Angel who keeps him from harm — the one who helped him climb the ladder bridge, the one who blessed his hard work and provided for family and fortune (despite obstacles) and the one with whom he struggled. I believe that in pain and suffering, our guardian angels help us to cope and, with a smile and few words, help us to pass into the new normal of our lives. (This column is a service of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association.)




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Israel’s hospitals continue to treat Gazan patients BY JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH Jerusalem Post

JERUSALEM — Israeli hospitals are treating dozens of patients of all ages who came to Israel from Gaza to get health care unavailable there, and are making provisions for accompanying persons. “We at Rambam Medical Center are taking care of sick children and adults, and we are not looking at their religion or where they come from,” Rambam Director-General Rafael Beyar said. “At the moment, we have four — a baby girl in the nephrology department, two children in oncology and an adult in urology. “Family members accompanied them,” Beyar continued. “It’s absurd that we are doing this at the same time Israelis are being attacked, but there is no other way. We are used to it. We are very far from politics.” Working in Haifa, Beyar was “extremely upset” when he learned that Arab students at the University of Haifa last week stood for a “moment of silence” when Ahmed Jabari, the military chief of Hamas, was killed by the IDF. “I just can’t accept that,” he said. Beyar also said that he had received no reports of any tension among Jewish and Arab personnel in his medical center. “We are used to working together to

Rambam Medical Center is one of several Israeli hospitals treating wounded from Gaza.

save lives.” The Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem said that in the past month, it has hospitalized six Gazan patients.

Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer said that it provides medical center to several dozen Palestinians each month, and even now, there is no change. Most are children who are

hospitalized for long periods or youngsters who underwent treatment and return periodically for follow-up, Sheba spokesman Amir Marom told the Jerusalem Post. “Just two days ago, a 9-year-old girl from Gaza who was hurt in her palm was brought to Sheba. Her father is an Arab journalist who writes from Gaza for an Israeli newspaper. She was accompanied by her mother. An Israeli boy who was wounded by a Gazan rocket that fell in Kiryat Malachi last week is in the same room with a Gazan girl whose fingers were amputated due to injury,” Marom said. “We regard our hospital as a bridge to peace.” Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center said 50 patients and their accompanying relatives from Gaza are now hospitalized — both children and adults. Most of them are cancer patients. The relatives live in the hospital’s hotel, and there is a hospital employee who serves as a contact person and helps them. Medical treatment for Gaza residents allowed into Israel is paid for by the Palestinian Authority or by other bodies, including the Peres Center for Peace. (This story is reprinted her with the permission of the Jerusalem Post.)












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METRO Reaction: Continued from page 1. sity of Pittsburgh] last year.” Conversely, “he [Stephen] is not nervous at all,” Reibach continued. “He’s calm, he’s confident. When I asked him if he was scared, he said, ‘This is what I came to do.’ ” While Reibach doesn’t expect her son to be in this round of fighting, Michael Fisher, former community shaliach to Pittsburgh, has every reason to believe his son will. Natan Fisher, who is in the IDF Tank Corps, is already deployed near the Gazan border and is ready to enter Gaza if ordered. “On Friday he was mobilized,” Michael Fisher told the Chronicle while visiting Pittsburgh. He said Natan was “sent down right now to the Gaza border, and they are now poised and waiting to see if they get a green light for going in with ground forces. “It’s very difficult when you have a kid,” added Fisher, who was in the first Lebanon War. “I’m feeling very apprehensive right now.” Tzur Goldblum of Pittsburgh, also a former community shaliach here, was in Israel visiting his son in the IDF when the fighting ramped up. He actually witnessed Iron Dome, the Israeli missile defense system, shoot down incoming Hamas rockets and posted this observation on Facebook: “Air raid sirens, the radio in the car is screaming ‘red color, red color,’ and before you know it, from the field next to the road, four or five Iron Dome rockets launch to the sky intercepting rockets from Gaza. Just unreal. The price of having a free, safe Jewish state is so expensive and demanding to some, and so taken for granted by so many others.” Jennifer Olbum’s son, Eli Allswede, 20, moved to Israel about 18 months ago, and joined the IDF last February. He is a tank driver stationed in the West Bank, although his mother does not know for sure where he currently is. “I haven’t spoken to him since the fighting started,” the Squirrel Hill resident said. “He was supposed to come home last Sunday; he hasn’t been home in a year. But he called to say ‘cancel the trip,’ and that was all. There is no communication on purpose. They tell them not to communicate if possible because their texts and calls can get intercepted.” Not knowing her son’s whereabouts isn’t easy for Olbum. Although, “what I am going through is no different than what any Israeli mother is going through. Nobody knows where their kids are. But I’m very proud of him, very supportive. And worried.” While parents worry about their kids in uniform, at least one Pittsburgh rabbi traveled to Israel this week on a solidarity mission. Rabbi Daniel Yolkut of Congregation Poale Zedeck traveled on a three-day emergency mission organized by the Rabbinical Council of America and took along toys and art supplies for children, which his congregation collected (see story, page 5). Meanwhile, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh leaders are responding to the violence.

• An emergency meeting of the Federation’s executive committee was held Friday morning, Nov. 17, to discuss its response to the rocket attacks. • The Federation has committed to raising $100,000 as its share of a $5 million commitment made by the Jewish Federations of North America to assist Israel during the crisis. • A fundraising mailbox has been opened, which has already received many donations, totaling more than $3,000. Donations continue to arrive. People can access the mailbox at Back in Pittsburgh, Jews, Muslims and supporters met in other ways. About 40 protesters gathered in Downtown Pittsburgh, Friday, Nov. 17, to voice their displeasure with Israel’s handling of the conflict. Students for Justice in Palestine, a student group from the University of Pittsburgh that promotes the causes of liberation and self-determination for the Palestinian people, organized the demonstration, which was held Friday in front of the William S. Moorhead Federal Building on Liberty Avenue. “We see this as an intentional escalation on the part of Israel for more conflict in Gaza,” SJP President Ryan Branagan said. “I’m not convinced at the random nature of this, or that there was a threat to Israeli security, although now there certainly is. This is a great way for Likud and Shas to shore up their votes in an election over Ehud Barak.” The protest began at 5 p.m. — after the beginning of Shabbat. There was no organized Jewish response to the demonstration, but Gregg Roman, the Federation’s community relations director, still turned out to survey the scene, and wasn’t concerned about the lack of a Jewish presence to counter the rally. “We will have our own agenda — not to respond to this protest, but to respond to the situation,” Roman said. “I believe that the wider narrative for the city is that we have the support of many different organizations and many different faiths. It’s not what goes on on a corner in front of the Federal Building, but what we do on an hour-to-hour basis in terms of responding.” Brian Eglash, the Federation’s senior vice president and chief development officer, also turned out. Like Roman, he was more concerned with the needs and safety of the people affected by the violence than any counter-demonstration from the local Jewish community. “The needs on the ground are tremendous,” Eglash said. “We have psychologists, social workers, emergency medical personnel — all this money is going to them. We’re getting dozens of contributions.” Across town, Jews and Muslims were meeting in a more constructive — and hopeful — forum. Students of the Hillel Jewish University Center and Muslim Student Association met at the HJUC in Oakland for a dinner and conversation in a program called the Weekend of Twinning. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding sponsored the program (see story page 5). (Lee Chottiner, Toby Tabachnick and Matthew Wein contributed to this story.)

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OBITUARY BENKOVITZ: On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Evelyn Soltz Benkovitz; Beloved wife of the late Bernard Benkovitz. Cherished mother of Rose Linda (Charles) Lebovitz, Reuben (Colleen) Benkovitz and the late Joseph (Deborah) Benkovitz. Beloved sister of Renee (Gene) Lichter, Marlene (George) Weiss, Nadine Sales and the late Sidney Soltz and Lois Soltz. Adored grandmother of Emily Lebovitz, Jeffrey (Jill) Lebovitz, Max, Nick and Ingrid Benkovitz, Jennifer, Samuel and Zachary Benkovitz, Ben and Dan Hurwitz. Devoted sister-in-law of Susan Levine and the late Samuel Benkovitz. Loving aunt of Samara and Rebecca Hutman and many other nieces and nephews. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. Contributions may be made to UPMC Digestive Disorders Center in honor of Dr. Adam Slivka, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. CHILDS: On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Jordan A. Childs; Loving and devoted father of Norman & Gail Childs, Scott Childs, and Brad & Linda Childs. Brother of Jay Childs. Very proud

Grandpa of Jeremy & Daniel Childs and David & Blair Ashley. Great-grandpa of Lyla Greave. He was a board member of the Footlighter's organization which helps indigent musicians and entertainers. For many years he produced a show for Deborah Hospital to help raise money. Deborah Hospital held a luncheon in his honor and he received the "Man of the Year" award. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Homewood Cemetery, Star of David Section. Contributions may be made to National Parkinson Foundation Western PA, 3468 Babcock Blvd., Pgh. PA 15237 or a charity of the donor's choice. LIPSMAN: On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Charles E. Lipsman; Beloved husband of Hilda Caplan Lipsman. Beloved father of Edward Lipsman and Arlene Morris Lipsman and Sanford and Arleen Lipsman; Brother and brother-in-law of Marcia and Irv Kramer and the late Tillie and James Cooperman, Edythe and Irv Pechersky, Paul Lipsman, Minnie Klein Goldberg, Clara and Irving Goldstein, Eugene Klein, Sidney Uram, and Morry Goldberg. Also survived by many dear

nieces and nephews. Charles served honorably in the U.S. Army as a Captain in the Anti-aircraft forces and was a member of the Jewish War Veterans. He had a long and successful career in visual merchandising working in partnership with many of Pittsburgh’s most prominent retail establishments. He supported many Jewish organizations including Beth El Congregation, UJA, and Israel Bonds. At Beth El, Charles and Hilda endowed many projects as that congregation evolved from its small roots in Beechview to its current stature among the larger synagogues in the Pittsburgh area. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Adath Jeshurun Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Hilda and Charles Lipsman Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. MORAVITZ: On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Flo Mae Moravitz; Beloved wife of the late Stanley Moravitz. Survived by loving children Edward (Janie) Moravitz and Joy Moravitz. Adoring grandchildren Jennifer Moravitz-Golfman (Jonathan), Daniel Magrish (Heidi), Benjamin Moravitz (Tracey), Michael Magrish (Dena) and Amy Magrish. Great-grandchildren Charlie and Sally Moravitz and Logan Magrish. Sister of the late Leon (Rose) Bialy. Flo Mae was born in Alexandria, LA where she met her beloved Stanley who was based at Camp Livingston during WW II. The charming southern beauty moved to Pittsburgh shortly thereafter to begin her blissful 64-year marriage. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. Contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. WEINER, of Sarasota, Fl, died peacefully after a long illness on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Rosalyne (Rose Lynn) Wolkoff Weiner. She was born in Masontown, PA on May 22, 1927. She was the daughter of the late Samee and Ben Wolkoff. She lived not only in Masontown but also Uniontown and for many years in Pittsburgh. After marrying the love of her life, Jay Weiner, they eventually moved to New Castle, PA and raised their three children, Joanne (Margarita Acosta) Weiner, Bruce (Susan) Weiner and Kathy (Sam) DiBiase. Her grandchildren were the other great love of her life, Josh (Caro-

line) Weiner, Evan (Ellen) DiBiase, Neil DiBiase, Kara DiBiase and James Weiner, all will carry her love with them for the rest of their lives. Her friend Ed Cohen of Sarasota has been a wonderful companion and jokester for the past several years and he and Roz developed a warm and caring relationship. In New Castle, Roz was one of the founding members of the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County. She was a member of Temple Israel and was active in Hadassah and the Temple Sisterhood where she served as President. Roz closely followed politics and was a member of the New Castle League of Women Voters. She was thrilled to live to see Barack Obama elected to a second term as President of the United States! Roz traveled all over the world with Jay and loved every minute of not only her travels, but her time with the man she met when she was just 16 years old and married two years later. They were married for 61 years and Jay preceded her in death in 2006. Her sister Shirley, and her brothers Milton, Billy and Julian also preceded her in death. Roz was cared for in the last months of her life by a loving group of women who will never be forgotten. The family sends their gratitude to Adina, Ruth Ann, Paula and Christie as well as her caregivers from Comfort Keepers. Everyone who knew “Roz” commented on her positive outlook on life and the way she could bounce back from the complications of her illness in the last few years, all the while looking beautiful! She will always be remembered for her love of beauty and for the beauty of her love. Graveside Services and Interment were held at Anshe Labovitz Cemetery. A Memorial/Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 11 AM at Temple Ohav Shalom, 8400 Thompson Run Road, Alllison Park for all family and friends to attend. The family requests that anyone wishing to make a contribution in Roz’s memory select a charity of their choice. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.

Unveiling WEIN: A monument in loving memory of Joseph Wein will be unveiled Sunday, Nov. 25, at 10:30 a.m. at the Beth Shalom Cemetery. Family and friends are invited.


Community A CLOSER LOOK Food drive

Silk art Community Day School photo

The Community Day School Student Council organized a schoolwide food drive for the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry and collected 613 pounds of food. This number is significant in Judaism — 613 is the number of mitzvot, good deeds, that we are required to do. Chabad of Pittsburgh photo

The talented young artists at Chabad of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Children’s Center for the Creative Arts painted silk challa covers.


State Rep. Dan Frankel is one of the men being honored for the first time in its history by the Women and Girls Foundation. The foundation will honor men who are helping to advance women’s rights and opportunities in the greater Pittsburgh region. The awards will be presented at the organization’s annual Rep. Dan Frankel gala Saturday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. “Celebrating Women began eight years ago as an annual event to recognize and honor amazing women from myriad disciplines who are serving as role models and breaking barriers in our region,” said Heather Arnet, CEO Women and Girls Foundation, in a prepared statement. “With so many men from our area standing up for women and serving as champions and advocates in the workplace and the community, we thought it was time to shine a light on them. This year, the name of the event stayed the same but with a slight twist to focus on those being honored — Celebrating woMEN.” Contact or 412-434-4883 for more information and tickets. Evan Gildenblatt of Kent State University is one of five students from around the world to win the Philip H. Cohen and Susan Rudd Cohen Student Exemplar of Excellence Award, presented at a ceremony during the 2012

We acknowledge with grateful appreciation contributions from the following: Donor

Pictured are Evan Gildenblatt and Jennifer Chestnut, executive director of Hillel at Kent State.

Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly last week. Each year, students who have demonstrated outstanding Jewish leadership skills on their college campus are chosen to receive the Student Exemplar of Excellence Award. These students have shown continued commitment to their Judaism through leadership, observance of Jewish values, creating relationships, and inspiring others to do the same. Gildenblatt is a senior majoring in conflict management. He spent a year in Israel on Young Judaea Year Course and then began school at Kent State University, immediately immersing himself in being a leader and an advocate for students at Hillel at Kent State. A Cincinnati native, he was Hillel’s first-year student intern and continued on to be the executive director of the undergraduate student government. Through his work at Hillel, Gildenblatt has shown his commitment to creating a safe place at Hillel for each individual’s Judaism to prosper, and to engage students to continue on their Jewish journeys. He was one of four Kent State student members of the Cleveland delegation for the General Assembly, funded by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

In MeMory of

JOEL FALK .....................................BENJAMIN FALK MIRIAM FRIEDLANDER .............................STANLEY FRIEDLANDER MIRIAM FRIEDLANDER ....................SARAH & SAM CAPLAN STEPHANIE GLICK...........................FANNIE RUBEN BRUCE GOLDBERG ..........................HAROLD ROTH JULIETTE D. GRAUER ......................DR. ROBERT C. GRAUER BARRY J. HELFAND ........................MINNIE SCHILIT CHERYL KALSON ............................BELLA KALSON MARTIN B. KAPLAN ........KAREN KAPLAN DRERUP MR. & MRS. WILLIAM M. KATZ .............................LOUIS & PAULINE DANIELS MARLENE KOHN..............................LEON ABRAMS


In MeMory of

SANDRA G. KRAKOFF ..................HELEN R. GUSKY CORINNE KRAUSE............................LOUIS J. AZEN MARCIA POMERANTZ.............SELMA GOLDSTEIN BARRY R. REZNICK ..........................GRACE MILLER MORRIS & MARION RIEMER.............LENA & LOUIS RIEMER MRS. AUDREY ROSENTHALL .........WALTER SIGEL SHEILA ROTHMAN.........................MORRIS BRAUN SHARON SNIDER ...........................NETTIE TOUBER VIOLET SOFFER ...............................JULIUS GUSKY VIOLET SOFFER ........................DOROTHY BENDER ROBERT SOLTZ .................................HARRY SOLTZ EUGENE STEIN ......................................MAX STEIN SYBIL WEIN..............................DOROTHY ABRAMS



The Jewish Chronicle November 22, 2012  

The Jewish Chronicle November 22, 2012

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