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February 9, 2018 | 24 Shevat 5778

NOTEWORTHY LOCAL In search of chicken soup and other remedies Flu season has struck with a vengeance, so be careful. Page 2


Candlelighting 5:30 p.m. | Havdalah 6:31 p.m. | Vol. 61, No. 6 |


Jewish Pittsburghers dream big Jewish in pro-immigrant march disability inclusion marked by month of activities


By Toby Tabachnick | Senior Staff Writer


Scholarships for change

Congress pass legislation to protect those brought to this country illegally as children, the so-called “Dreamers.” Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh, the local branch of a national left-wing Jewish group, organized the march with Latino community resource center Casa San Jose and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, a national organization that supports Latino families and workers. Bend the Arc has been partnering with Casa San Jose for more than a year, organizing a vigil last March in support of Pittsburgh’s immigrant community and a 4.12K run/walk, a fundraiser last October. “I work with a lot of Dreamers and their dream is not this,” Monica Ruiz, a community organizer from Casa San Jose, told the crowd. “Their dream isn’t that everything they’ve ever known can go away because of today’s tweets. … What they need is a path to citizenship.” In his State of the Union address Jan. 30 President Donald Trump announced that he

n exhibit showcasing the work of 18 artists with disabilities opened last weekend at Temple Sinai as part of the congregation’s ongoing efforts of inclusion, and to mark Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month. A 10-year-old national campaign to encourage Jewish organizations to include those community members with disabilities, JDAIM is an initiative of Inclusion Innovations, which helps design strategies for faith communities to develop more inclusive environments. Temple Sinai, which formed an inclusion committee about three years ago, will be running the art exhibit through Feb. 19. Some of the artists are Jewish and are living with disabilities such as visual impairment, hearing loss, autism or brain injury. Four of the artists showcased at the exhibit are participants at Jewish Residential Services’ Howard Levin Clubhouse, according to Alison Karabin, project manager for young adults in transition at JRS. “Temple Sinai has been very welcoming to JRS participants and interested in disability inclusion beyond just the month of February,” Karabin noted. “Temple Sinai is all about inclusion,” agreed Mara Kaplan, co-chair of Temple Sinai’s inclusion committee. “Inclusion of people of different abilities, interfaith families, different colors. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome when they come in and to know that inclusion is not just about a month, or a day or a program.” Although Temple Sinai emphasizes inclusion all year, it has scheduled various activities to mark JDAIM in addition to the art show.

Please see Rally, page 16

Please see JDAIM, page 16

CMU offers scholarships to Repair the World fellows. Page 3 LIFE & CULTURE Bari Weiss is in the spotlight

Hometown hero sparks controversy at New York Times. Page 15

 The protesters urge Congress to vote on immigration reform and to pass a clean Dream Act. Photo by Lauren Rosenblatt By Lauren Rosenblatt | Digital Content Manager


embers of the Pittsburgh Jewish community added their voices to a national movement to support undocumented immigrants with a rally on Tuesday, Jan. 30. As they marched in the Bend the Arc-organized event, the 70 activists — including seven local rabbis — held signs reading “Jews for Dreamers” and “Let my people stay,” drawing connections between the fear many immigrants face today and the collective Jewish experience of yesteryear. “We know what it means to be from somewhere else and to come to this country because we are fleeing somewhere and we are looking for protection,” said Yael Silk, an organizer of the rally. “I think that’s something we need to be fighting for, for all of our neighbors.” They marched to Pittsburgh’s Department of Homeland Security — where government officials take undocumented immigrants in protective custody before sending them to another detention center — to demand that

keep your eye on PittsburghJewishChronicle NATIONAL

Justice Ginsburg has answers


Holocaust comics on display


Not-so-trivial pursuit, with cash

Headlines Reactions to flu season range among local institutions — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


edia reports spewing forth from across the country have characterized this year’s flu season as one of extreme danger. In a conference call delivered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, CDC director, noted that as of Jan. 26, there have been 37 reported cases of pediatric deaths due to influenza. “The flu season has continued to be challenging, and flu has been intense across the United States,” said the director. In Pittsburgh, Jewish professionals have noticed a rise in flu-related absences from schools, services and related activities. “It’s been horrible,” said Jennifer Perer Slattery, director of Congregation Beth Shalom’s Early Learning Center. “We’ve had at least 10 staff members diagnosed with it and between 20 to 25 children. It’s pretty scary, and it’s very serious.” “There have been a lot of kids absent due to colds and flu-like viruses,” echoed Jennifer Bails, Community Day School’s director of marketing and communication. Apart from regular attention to cleanliness, extra effort has been made to prevent the spread of sickness at local institutions. “There’s been a lot of disinfecting going on,” said Slattery, who explained that maintenance workers have routinely cleaned door handles and other areas of high exposure. At Congregation Emanu-El Israel in Greensburg, Rabbi Stacy Petersohn


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canceled services on aged to wash hands,” a recent Friday night. said Rabbi Jamie “I didn’t want Gibson, the congreanyone to take the gation’s senior rabbi. risk,” said Petersohn. Similar dispensers R e pre s e nt at ive s are outside of each from Community classroom at CongreDay School, Hillel gation Beth Shalom, Academy of Pittssaid Slattery. burgh and Yeshiva “Parents are Schools of Pittssupposed to use them burgh all said that before entering,” precautionary steps and students are have been taken to instructed to reduce the transmiswash their hands p As part of the chicken soup sion of disease. at the classroom hotline, this package is sent to a sick sink, she explained. Although there have been docu- student by either staff or a fellow But preventing the student from Hillel JUC. mented cases of the Photo courtesy of Hillel JUC spread of illness is flu at Yeshiva Schools, not only about clean “I don’t think it’s been disproportionately skin and spotless knobs, common sense is more than in the past,” said Rabbi Chezky also involved. Rosenfeld, Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh’s “I sometimes think that we’re so busy with director of development. our jobs that parents may bring kids back “We encourage hand sanitation; students before they’re well,” said Slattery. do not share lunches; and we advise parents “It’s about everyone being a good citizen to keep children home if they show flu symp- and helping their fellow parents,” echoed toms,” added Rosenfeld. Bails. “We feel badly of course for the chilSimilar practices occur at Hillel Academy dren who are suffering from sickness, and it’s of Pittsburgh, said Rabbi Sam Weinberg, especially hard on working parents.” Hillel Academy’s principal. “We already Even so, bringing a sick child to school pride ourselves on promoting proper increases the likelihood of others becoming ill. hygiene when it comes to hand washing, In a letter home to parents, Yeshiva food preparation and hand sanitation, Schools shared information from the Pennand we always make it a point of emphasis sylvania Department of Health. during flu season.” “You can pass the flu to someone else At Temple Sinai there are “wall-mounted both before and while you are sick. Adults hand sanitizers all over the building, and we may be able to infect others beginning have a culture in which people are encour- one day before symptoms develop and


up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.” Added the Department of Health: “Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.” Said Fitzgerald: “The most important things to remember are to protect yourself from flu by washing your hands often, especially if you are caring for someone who is sick. Protect others by staying home, seeing a doctor if you are sick and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. And remember it’s not too late to get a flu shot for yourself and for your child.” While not substituting for a visit to the doctor or necessary care, for those under the weather at Hillel JUC, a special program is in place, said Danielle Kranjec, the organization’s senior Jewish educator. “We have a chicken soup hotline where parents can call up, and we deliver hot kosher chicken soup and matzah balls and challah rolls to the student’s door.” The items, which could be substituted for gluten-free or vegetarian options, are “delivered either by staff or fellow student who check in on the sick student,” added Julia Katz, Hillel JUC’s director of development. “It’s a nice bit of community building between the students and allows parents who are far away to know that their kids are getting the Jewish penicillin they need.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz

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G R O W T H It happens each day during the summer at J&R Day Camp. Campers get off the afternoon bus and surprise their parents with new songs and exciting cheers. They introduce new friends and share stories of having passed a swim test, going down the zip line for the first time and trying a new vegetable from the sustainable garden. Counselors celebrate our campers' most recent accomplishments and guide them in expanding their interests, harnessing their imagination, building their self-confidence, deepening their self-identity and enhancing their sense of community. We call it growth. Our campers call it, “What we did today at camp.” Shalom, Lewis Sohinki, Director, James & Rachel Levinson Day Camp

Headlines Repair the World fellows offered scholarships to CMU — LOCAL — By Toby Tabachnick | Senior Staff Writer


new partnership between Repair the World and Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy has catapulted RTW into the ranks of such acclaimed social service groups as Teach for America and AmeriCorps. Thanks to discussions with the university initiated by Zack Block, executive director of Repair the World Pittsburgh, CMU is offering to provide up to 10 RTW alumni each year with the following: scholarships equal to at least 30 percent of each semester’s tuition; an option to defer admission for up to two years; consideration for additional merit-based aid; and waived application fees. For years, CMU has offered similar support to alumni of other established service groups. RTW, which was launched in 2009, mobilizes young Jews to address the needs of local communities in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, New York City and Detroit. Fellows and alumni who served in any of those communities are eligible to apply for the benefits of the CMU partnership. The partnership “puts us in the same league as AmeriCorps, Teach for America and Public Allies,” said Block. “This is the first relationship like this with a university in any of our cities.”

p This year’s cohort of Pittsburgh Repair the World fellows pose for a photo.

Photo courtesy of Repair the World: Pittsburgh

Naomi Miller, a current RTW fellow, is hoping to take advantage of the new partnership. It was Miller, in fact, who asked Block to speak to administrators at the Heinz College to see if such a partnership would be possible. “I’m completing my service year now at Repair the World Pittsburgh, and through my fellowship program, I’ve met people who are working with PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience), Coro and AmeriCorps,” Miller said. “I’m interested in Carnegie Mellon to pursue a master’s of public policy, and I noticed that it had national partnerships with other service organizations. I asked Zack Block if he could go to CMU and ask for a partnership. Now, this partnership is a result of that meeting.”


The partnership will support RTW fellows and alumni who wish to pursue a degree in one of 25 unique programs at CMU’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. The Heinz College administration was “thrilled” to add RTW to its roll of partners, according to David Eber, director of admissions of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. “We work with three or four dozen strategic partners,” he said, including many in the field of social service. “It became clear to me,” he said, after doing a bit of research on RTW, that a partnership would be of mutual advantage to RTW and CMU. “Our students are looking to get an education that prepares them to confront the


issues of society,” Eber explained. “They need analytic and technical skills to build upon what they did in our partner organizations.” With their prior experience, combined with the skills they learn at the Heinz College, they become prepared to “tackle the greatest problems in their local and national communities, in all shapes and sizes,” Eber added. The Heinz School thrives on its diversity, and Eber is confident that the RTW fellows and alumni will contribute positively to the CMU community. “The Repair the World students will bring a different perspective to the classroom,” he said. “We are very excited about this opportunity, especially because we see the way Repair the World is influencing the region.” National RTW is “privileged” to form this partnership with CMU, said Sam Kuttner, director of the Repair the World Fellowship, in a prepared statement. “The H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy offers an environment in a world-leading and dynamic academic environment; we know from experience that our fellows, as social entrepreneurs and change agents, are interested in going there to learn, grow and network. It’s very gratifying to work together to make that easier for them to do.”  PJC Toby Tabachnick can be reached at FEBRUARY 9, 2018 3


Headlines The Chronicle plays HQ: a trivial pursuit — LOCAL — By Toby Tabachnick | Senior Staff Writer


t’s almost like a parody of what mid-20th-century Americans would have predicted quiz programs would look like in the future: a real-time, app-based game show that only can be played from smartphones and tablets, complete with psychedelic graphics, strange music and a daily audience of players that exceeds 800,000. Welcome to HQ Trivia, which launched in October 2017 and is taking the country by storm, propelled in large part by its Jewish emcee, Scott Rogowsky, who refers to himself as the “Semitic Sajek,� or “The Meshuggeneh Martindale.� Twice each day, at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., the emcee poses a series of 12 trivia questions, increasing in difficulty, that players have 10 seconds to answer by choosing from three multiple choice responses. Players who get all 12 questions right — which is really hard to do — split a pot of cash, usually $2,000, but sometimes up to $10,000, and on Super Bowl Sunday totaled $20,000. HQ has become a daily ritual in a lot of offices across the country, with workers slipping away from their desks at 3 p.m. to huddle around one or more smartphones, pulling their collective knowledge in an attempt to win a slice of the pie, which usually ends up being somewhere between $10 and $25, once it is divvied up 4 FEBRUARY 9, 2018

among those players throughout the country who have answered all 12 questions correctly. Last Tuesday, the staff of the Chronicle stepped away from their computers and stood around publisher and CEO Jim Busis’ iPhone to try their hand at the game everyone seems to be talking about. I was charged with tapping our responses on Jim’s phone — which turned out to be (spoiler alert) a big mistake. Here’s how it played out: An enthusiastic Rogowsky, decked out in a suit and tie, appears on the tiny screen and greets his audience of 850,000 players, who he refers to as his “H-Qties� (or is it H-Cuties?). “Live from the greatest city on Earth, the city that never sleeps, Tuscaloosa, Alabama,� Rogowsky jokes. After giving shout-outs to a few players celebrating birthdays, he offers quick instructions on how to play and announces that the current game’s cash prize is $2,500. “Think of all the cut-rate plastic surgery you could afford with that kind of coin,� he says. Then he dives right into the game with the first question, asking: “Which of these Muppets is green?� I’ve got this one, without even seeing the three response choices; and once they appear on the screen, I confidently tap “Kermit the Frog,� not even needing to consult my co-workers. For the record, the other choices were Swedish Chef and Miss Piggy.

p Scott Rogowsky on the set of the 2013 ABC show “Would You Fall for That?�

Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images

Despite the easiness of the question, 12,000 players are eliminated. Question 2: equally simple, an inquiry into what product’s packaging states “do not insert swab into ear canal.� The choices are Rice-ARoni, Q-Tips or Oreo Cookies. No problem there for the astute staff of the Chronicle, although 20,000 other players are tripped up on that one. To be fair, though, none of those products actually belong in an ear canal.


Moving on to Question 3, we have a Jewish angle: “Which of these holidays does not involve fasting?� Quickly eliminating Yom Kippur and Ramadan, we all agree it’s Easter and, starting to feel a bit smug, are ready and psyched to move on to the next round. More than 200,000 of our competitors, however, are not so fortunate. Question 4 asks, “Which of these three Please see HQ, page 17


With UPMC Hillman Cancer Center behind me, I am

Jason Venturella learned he had two types of life-threatening cancer while on active military duty in Alaska. Because he wanted the best team behind him, he traveled to Pittsburgh and sought treatment with Dr. James Ohr and Dr. Matthew Holtzman at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Jason underwent HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion), an innovative method of chemo pioneered at UPMC that attacks cancer in hard-to-reach places. Today, he is in full recovery. Learn more about the care that made Jason #unstoppable at

NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine



FEBRUARY 9, 2018 5

Headlines Be Free Israel highlights efforts for religious pluralism — LOCAL — By Lauren Rosenblatt | Digital Content Manager


ri Keidar got married in shorts and sandals. But his attire wasn’t the most controversial part of the ceremony. Performed by a female Orthodox rabbi, Keidar was married through common law, outside the Rabbinate, something that the Israeli government only began recognizing as marriage last month. He and his wife are one of a growing number of couples choosing to get married outside the Rabbinate, hoping to avoid the strict guidelines and bureaucratic structure. “As religious institutions become more and more extreme, it drives more and more Israelis away. The support for separa-

part of a short U.S. visit to engage the American Jewish community. Maya Haber, who was connected with Keidar through mutual friends, said she hoped conversations like this would connect American and Israeli Jews around issues of pluralism that they all support. “I call it bridge the gap,” she said. “We want things to happen in Israel, we want it to be a place where we can feel it is ours, and we can help it become that.” Haber moved to the United States from Israel in 2000 but said a lot has changed already since her time there. As a teenager, she recalled, her family was told to wait until after Rosh Hashanah to begin the burial proceedings for her grandfather. Haber’s mother was not permitted to say Kaddish over her father when he passed away because she was a woman. Later on,

“ As religious institutions become

more and more extreme, it drives more and more Israelis away. The support for separation between religion and politics side of it

Photo by Lauren Rosenblatt

are climbing by the year.

— URI KEIDAR tion between religion and politics side of it are climbing by the year,” he said, citing a jump from 56 percent support in 2012 to 68 percent in 2017. As executive director of the religious pluralism group Israel Hofsheet — Be Free Israel, marriage is just one of the issues on which Keidar and his organization are focusing. The group formed in 2009 and has since worked on campaigns to separate religion and politics including expanded public transportation and store openings on Shabbat, kashrut certifications and burial and conversion processes. On Sunday afternoon, Keidar addressed a group of about 15 people at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh,

p Uri Keidar, executive director of Israel Hofsheet, visits the JCC to talk about the group’s efforts to increase religious pluralism in Israel.

she described the marriage and subsequent divorce process as “medieval.” Under Israeli law, couples must get married in a religious ceremony by an Orthodox rabbi under the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The law prohibits same-sex and interfaith marriage. As an alternative, many Israelis marry abroad, which the government recognizes retroactively. Havaya, a program of Israel Hofsheet, is encouraging common-law, nondenominational weddings as another option. The Israeli government began recognizing common-law identification cards in January. In 2017, Havaya distributed 400 cards and performed ceremonies for 500 couples. “We think Israelis should marry at home.

I don’t want to be part of telling people they should marry abroad,” Keidar said. “They should marry at home any way they want.” Israel Hofsheet is also supporting a movement to allow municipalities to decide if stores will be able to open on Shabbat. The Israeli government recently decided that the central government would have control over the decision, angering some local lawmakers and activists who have begun protesting the ruling in Israeli cities. For Michael Greene, an attendee at the JCC event, the issue of public transportation and store openings on Shabbat in Israel was simple until someone reminded him that some people only have Saturday off from work. “I think the Rabbinate feels Judaism will be diluted [and] I’m not unsympathetic to what they’re saying,” he said. “At the same time, people who are not religious should be allowed to live.” Keidar agreed, saying that although Israel


Hofsheet does not identify as anti-religion, they have received criticism that they are trying to make “Israel give up its Judaism.” “People who are making people choose a very specific form [of Judaism] are the ones making Judaism go away,” he argued. The group is now looking toward the municipal elections in October and the general elections in November to further promote their agenda, from marriage options and transportation on Shabbat to the larger goal of dismantling the “monopoly of the Rabbinate.” “I don’t want to eliminate the rabbinical court,” he said. “I just want the Reform movement to have acknowledgement of their court. I want the Conservative movement to have acknowledgement of their court and to have other options for people who don’t want to choose either of those.”  PJC Lauren Rosenblatt can be reached at

Every Friday in the

and all the time online For home delivery, call 410.902.2308. 6 FEBRUARY 9, 2018




Richard E. Rauh Senior High Musical 2018 Directed by Jill Machen Thursday, February 15

7:30 PM

Saturday, February 17

8:00 PM

Sunday, February 18

2:00 PM

Wednesday, February 21

7:30 PM

Thursday, February 22

7:30 PM

Saturday, February 24

8:00 PM

$12/Reserved Seats $8/General; $6/Students & Seniors Available in advance at the Centerfit Desk, lower level, Kaufmann Building, and at the door 30 minutes before show starts JCC of Greater Pittsburgh Katz Performing Arts Center 5738 Darlington Road • Call 412-697-3520 for more information.

Call 412-697-3534 for tickets

Headlines Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh becomes official organization — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


fter years of operation, a group of helping hands has become a bit more official. Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh, a volunteer-based group led by Nina Butler, is now an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3). The decision to file paperwork and pay applicable fees to attain such status was driven by the organization’s welcome predicament of what to do when given money. “We found ourselves, without soliciting, being the recipients of some generous gifts, and so although Jewish organizations were very generous in offering to hold them for us and help us with it, we wanted to do everything above board and 100 percent kosher, so becoming an independent 501(c)(3) took time, and frankly it took money, but we believe it was the right thing to do,” said Butler. “We want everything we do to be of the highest ethical practice, and in order for us to have standards worthy of our wonderful volunteers, we want our business side of it to be unquestionable.” Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh, whose mission is to provide for “Orthodox Jewish observance by patients and their families who are receiving medical treatment in the Pittsburgh area,” has been in some sort of existence for decades, explained its head.

‫ברוך ה' יום יום‬

Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh p Logo of the new Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh

“Bikur Cholim has been a Butler project since Aunt Chantze was pretty early in her marriage.” (Chantze Butler was married in June of 1946.) While elements of the work have changed over time, the commitment of those involved has remained the same. “Volunteers are the forefront,” said Linda Tashbook, a local attorney who assisted the group with filings and requirements. Though seemingly inconceivable years ago, much of the volunteers’ communication and work is coordinated through a digital platform, said Sue Fuhrman, an associate of Nina Butler’s and a Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh board member. The group relies upon lotsahelping-


Art provided by Sue Fuhrman, a website that allows registered members to schedule and provide the patient or its family members with not only meals, but also a host of other needed services or items, including clothing, rides or visits. Fuhrman, who has been active with Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh for “about seven years,” said that “it’s a win both ways.” In trying to provide what is best in each situation, there are often a multitude of needs and of those willing to help. “Sometimes we have 30 to 40 [volunteers],” Fuhrman said. “Sometimes we are literally coordinating hundreds of volunteers from multiple cities and countries.” Becoming a 501(c)(3) is another way of aiding that network.


“A lot of people over the years wanted to give thanks and money for services given to them or their families,” said Tashbook. “Now, there is a way to receive those funds.” That opportunity joins another recent development within the organization, which Butler was proud to share. “We are pleased to inform the Pittsburgh Jewish community that UPMC MageeWomens Hospital now has a Shabbat Cabinet, which will offer the comfort of familiar rituals to Jewish patients and their families during difficult times in their lives and make UPMC Magee even more welcoming to them,” wrote Butler to supporters. “Note that these cabinets are not in place of what we do through Bikur Cholim by providing meals and other assistance. They are really for the emergency situation. We are blessed that our hospitals have kosher food that can be ordered. These cabinets are known to security staff so if you ever find yourself in that situation, ask for the cabinets’ location at the information desk.” Within the past eight years, Shabbat Cabinets, which include items such as grape juice, electric candles, siddurim and snacks, have been installed at UPMC Presbyterian, Montefiore and Shadyside hospitals, said Butler. And although Shabbat, the Jewish holidays and kashrut are often on the mindset of Please see Cholim, page 20

FEBRUARY 9, 2018 7

Calendar >> Submit calendar items on the Chronicle’s website, Submissions will also be included in print. Events will run in the print edition beginning one month prior to the date. The deadline for submissions is Friday, noon. q FRIDAY, FEB. 9 Downtown lunch and learn with Rabbi Keren Gorban of Temple Sinai: a discussion at an office downtown at noon the second Friday of every month. For more information and to be put on the mailing list or to RSVP, contact Nancy Conaway at nancy@templesinaipgh. org or (412) 421-9715, ext. 115. Temple David and AgeWell Pittsburgh are partnering to offer a Caregivers Forum to learn what supports you need as a caregiver, be it a safe, nurturing place to talk, resources for your loved one or supports for yourself, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at 4415 Northern Pike, Monroeville. Coffee and light snacks will be provided. RSVP by Feb. 2 to Sybil Lieberman, AgeWell at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, at or 412-697-3514. q SUNDAY, FEB. 11 Family Service Corps, a program of Repair the World: Pittsburgh, participates in G2G: Generation to Generation, Music Through the Ages, an afternoon of sharing stories and music across generations from 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. Families, teens and seniors will share their favorite songs from the past and from today. Participants will help seniors access cherished songs through online platforms and document oral histories and memories by creating scrapbooks and podcasts. The address for teens is Weinberg Terrace, 5757 Bartlett St.; for families, Weinberg Village, 300 JHF Drive. Register at tinyurl. com/ya5qs7nk. The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh invites the community to the latest art exhibit for the opening of CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 826 Hazelwood Ave. The Art of Resistance immerses viewers in the stories of real-life heroes that used various forms of resistance to defy the Nazis and shows how their stories were brought to life in the comic series. The opening will also include the unveiling of “CHUTZ-POW! Volume III: The Young Survivors.” Tickets to the opening are $5, and free for students (with valid ID) and Holocaust survivors. Visit for more information.

q MONDAY, FEB. 12 Crafts Night: Egalentine’s Day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Moishe House. You’ve heard of Valentine’s Day, you’ve heard of Galentine’s Day, now get ready for Egalentine’s Day. Celebrate platonic love (and gender inclusivity) by making cards for friends while indulging in chocolate and wine. Visit tinyurl. com/yc6u2loo for more information.

An evening with Anna Bikont, author of “The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne” is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at City of Asylum, 40 W. North Ave. Classrooms Without Borders, City of Asylum, the Departments of History, English and Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh are presenting the program. Bikont is a nonfiction writer and journalist for Gazeta Wyborcza, the main newspaper in Poland, which she helped found in 1989. In 2015 the English version of “The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of the Jews in wartime Jedwabne” was selected in the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times and won a National Jewish Book Award. RSVPs are required via the City of Asylum event link at

Beth El Congregation’s Adult Education Speaker Series presents Rabbi Danny Schiff, Foundation Scholar at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, on “Our Flawed Ancestors” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1900 Cochran Road. The talk follows a wineand-cheese reception. RSVP in advance at or call 412-561-1168. The program is free and open to the community.

p.m., following services. Visit templesinaipgh. org/shabbat-after-hours-6 for more information.



South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council and the JCC’s Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement, will be hosting South Hills Coffee and Conversation with Conor Lamb (D), candidate in the U.S. 18th Congressional District Special Election. Lamb will meet South Hills residents from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the South Hills JCC. The event is free and open to the public. Register at

Temple Emanuel holds a hamantaschen baking event with Melinda Freed for all ages at 10:15 a.m. Learn how to make, shape and fill these tasty Purim treats and take home all that you make. The charge is $5/ person or $20 family maximum, payable at the door. RSVP to templeemanuel@ or 412-279-7600 by Feb. 15. Visit hamantashen-baking/ for more information.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society presents Pittsburgh historian Charles McCollester at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. The talk is free and open to the community. The meeting will be held in the church basement and elevator service will be provided if needed. q THURSDAY, FEB. 15 Men’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh presents its first social event of the year, Men’s Scotch & Cigars at Three Rivers Cigars, Inc. from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join your fellow men for a cigar, a variety of scotch tastings and hors d’oeuvres. Limited to the first 30 registrants. Visit yaglf48t to register and for more information. Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David holds a book discussion on “Forest Dark” by Nicole Krauss at the Monroeville Public Library, 4000 Gateway Campus Blvd. at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. q FRIDAY, FEB. 16 Young Adult Shabbat After Hours at Temple Sinai, a wine-and-cheese mix and mingle with young adults ages 21 to 45 from 8:30 p.m. to 10

q TUESDAY, FEB. 27 Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh Region partners with the Aleph Institute at 5804 Beacon St. at 6 p.m. to present a Heart Health Program to provide information on the symptoms of heart attacks in women and healthy diet and proper exercise. The speakers will provide important facts along with personal stories. Healthy snacks will be provided. As an extra educational piece, Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel, executive director of Aleph Institute North East Region will speak about the Institute’s work. All are welcome. Contact 412-4218919 or for more information.

8 FEBRUARY 9, 2018


The New Community Chevra Kadisha of Greater Pittsburgh holds its 13th annual Adar 7 dinner on Sunday, Feb. 18. The kosher vegetarian dinner will be held at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha. Included in the program will be the Threshold Choir and a presentation by volunteers of No One Dies Alone. Family Service Corps, a program of Repair the World and Kids 4 Kindness, a program of Camp Gan Israel, makes scarves for those in need in Pittsburgh and Israel, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Repair the World Workshop, 6022 Broad St. Register at or 412-568-3244. Moishe Goes to the Fermentation Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Learn about the fermentation process, try your hand at pickling and play fermentation-themed games with your favorite Moishes. Come to the house at 11:30 a.m. for rides, or meet us at Spirit, 242 51st St. at noon. Visit y9wc6sma for more information. q MONDAY, FEB. 19 South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council and the JCC’s Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement, will be hosting South Hills Coffee and Conversation with Rick Saccone (R), candidate in the U.S. 18th Congressional District Special Election. Saccone will meet South Hills residents from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the South Hills JCC. The event is free and open to the public. Register at q TUESDAY, FEB. 20 JFCS Career Development Center holds the second session of the Women’s Networking Series, Women in Transition, on how to use social networking and LinkedIn during a job search from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. Guest speaker will be Julie Thornton, executive director Career Coach and business owner. Register for the free session


with Mt. Lebanon Public Library at 412-531-1912. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh unveils the findings of the 2017 Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study at 5:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will make the opening remarks. Register at yd25xfqa or contact Chrissy Janisko at or 412-697-6652. q WEDNESDAY, FEB. 21 Documentary Night: “T-Rex,” from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Moishe House for viewing and discussing “T-Rex,” a film about Claressa Shields, an African-American woman from Flint, Mich., and her journey to Olympic gold in boxing in 2012. Meet at the house at 6:15 p.m. to walk over to Chatham University together. RSVP at Join South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Brandeis University’s Cohen Center of Modern Jewish Studies for a South Hills Town Hall Meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the South Hills JCC, 345 Kane Blvd. for a demographic snapshot of Jewish Pittsburgh, from a suburban perspective, as well as a review of current patterns of Jewish engagement. Snacks and light refreshments provided. The meeting is free and open to the entire South Hills Jewish community. RSVP at Jeffrey Cohan, executive director of Jewish Veg, demonstrates the connection between animal-free diets and Judaism when he speaks on Plant-Based Diets: A Jewish Imperative for Our Time at 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom, in the Lippman Library. The program is free and open to the community. q THURSDAY, FEB. 22 Chabad of the South Hills at 1701 McFarland Road holds Love & Knaidels: Cooking for a Cause, baking hamantaschen for seniors at 7:30 p.m. Contact Batya at 412-512-2330 or for more information. A Candidates Forum featuring candidates running for City of Pittsburgh District 8 City Council Special Election for parts of Oakland, Shadyside, Point Breeze and Squirrel Hill is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Levinson Hall. The forum is sponsored by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, the JCC Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the League of Women Voters and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Contact jccpittsburgh@ Please see Calendar, page 9


Calendar Calendar: Continued from page 8 for more information. q SATURDAY, FEB. 24

of Greater Pittsburgh, on “The Critical Lessons of Purim” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1900 Cochran Road. The talk follows a wine and cheese reception. RSVP in advance at or call 412-561-1168. The program is free and open to the community.

q THURSDAY, MARCH 1 Chabad of the South Hills presents Purim in the Jungle with exotic birds, African drum circle, themed cuisine, child-friendly dinner, Megillah reading, and hamantaschen at 5 p.m. at the South Hills Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 345 Kane Blvd. Come dressed up. RSVP by Feb. 19 at or contact 412-344-2424 or Event cost: $18/family, $10 individual. The Jewish Community Center and South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh are co-sponsors.


Party Bus to Purim Party at 7:30 p.m. at Moishe House for Shalom Pittsburgh and J’Burgh’s annual Purim Party. Come to MoHo at 7 p.m. to get ready or meet at 8 p.m. for the party bus to the Children’s Museum. Entrance fee and transportation home are not covered. Visit to RSVP. Adult Purim Carnival at Temple Sinai from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Get a preview of the games in store for the kids with some special “adult” twists. Prizes, food and drinks for 21 and over at 5505 Forbes Ave. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. q SUNDAY, FEB. 25 Congregation Beth Shalom holds its annual Purim Carnival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5915 Beacon St. The $10 per person charge will include lunch, games and crafts. Contact youth director Marissa Tait at 412-421-2288, ext. 463 or visit for more information. q MONDAY, FEB. 26 Beth El Congregation’s Adult Education Speaker Series presents Rabbi Danny Schiff, Foundation Scholar at Jewish Federation

Chabad of the South Hills holds a pre-Purim lunch for seniors at noon at 1701 McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon. Lunch will include hamantaschen, musical entertainment and raffle prizes. There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible. Call 412-278-2658 to register. q WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 Moishe Hears Megillah from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. Booze, scandal, and ... triangular hats? Welcome the most spectacular holiday of the year with the story of Purim with Moishe House at 5915 Beacon St. Visit for more information. Temple Sinai presents Grease: A Purim Shpiel from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 5505 Forbes Ave. Visit for more information. From 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., stay for the Great LatkeHamantaschen Debate with panelists Nancy Polinsky Johnson, David Shribman and Lynn Cullen, who will debate the merits of the latke or hamantaschen to determine which is the best. Come at 7:15 p.m. to sample the contenders. Visit for more information.



The Zionist Organization of AmericaPittsburgh District announces the 56th year of its Israel Scholarship Program to assist local students traveling to and studying in Israel. The program is designed to encourage and assist student participation on approved educational trips to Israel. Up to three $1,000 scholarships are available to students who will be entering the junior or senior year of high school in the fall of 2018. In addition, the Anouchi Research Scholarship of $750 is available to full-time college students who have completed at least one year and graduate students. Contact ZOA Executive Director Stuart Pavilack at 412-665-4630 or for more information or to establish a scholarship.

Rodef Shalom Congregation will host the 2018 Ruth and Bernard Levaur Contemporary Lecture on “Jewish Christian Dialogue in an Age of Sharp Divisions” at 7:30 p.m. in Levy Hall with speakers Rabbi Sonja Pilz of Hebrew Union College and Rabbi Danny Schiff, Jewish Community Foundation Scholar. RSVP to JoAnn at 412-621-6566. q MONDAY, MARCH 5 The Women of Temple Sinai invite the community to learn about Passover cooking with Leon Edelsack at 6:30 p.m. Participants age 16 and older are welcome. The cost for this class is $10. RSVP is required. Visit for more information. PJC

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FEBRUARY 9, 2018 9

Headlines Ginsburg argues for equal rights, Jewish holidays — NATIONAL — By Dan Schere | Special to the Chronicle


upreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has one wish for the Constitution — that the document include an Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee gender equality. “I take out my pocket Constitution and say, ‘I have three granddaughters,’” she told an audience of 1,400 people who packed Washington, D.C.’s Adas Israel Congregation on Feb. 1. “I point to the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, religion. I would like them to see in the Constitution a statement that men and women are persons of equal citizenship stature.” In a one-hour and 20-minute conversation with Forward Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner, Ginsberg, 84, was witty and professorial as she spoke about women’s rights, other justices — Jewish and not — and her plans. Ginsburg said that although explicit gender discrimination had largely faded by the 1970s, when the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by the Senate, it exists in more discreet ways. “There was a tendency to tune out when a woman was speaking because she couldn’t have been saying anything worthwhile,” she said.

p Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg addresses an audience of 1,400 Photo by Dan Schere at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.

Last month, Ginsburg expressed support for the #MeToo movement, revealing that while a student at Cornell University she was propositioned by a chemistry professor who gave her an advance copy of an exam. “I knew exactly what he wanted in return,”

she told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. When Eisner asked Ginsburg if she had experienced sexism since then, she said, “Not that kind of sexism,” but she said discrimination remains an issue. Eisner told Ginsburg that, according to

the Harvard Business Review, the Supreme Court’s male justices interrupt female justices three times more than they interrupt each other. Ginsburg said that sounded accurate, and recalled an oral argument during which she interrupted Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, leading to a media frenzy. “The next day in USA Today the headline, was ‘Rude Ruth Interrupts Sandra,’” Ginsburg said. Ginsburg said she apologized to O’Connor, who said, “Don’t worry, the guys do it all the time.” Ginsburg said the reporter attended oral arguments the next day and said, “You know, [O’Connor’s] right, but I never noticed it when the men interrupt all the time.” Ginsburg joked that the real reason she interrupted O’Connor is because her then-colleague on the bench is a slowtalking “laid back gal from the West” and she is a “fast-talking Jewish girl from New York.” The justice told Eisner that more than once the court has adjusted for its Jewish justices. When Ginsburg was appointed in 1993, there had been no Jewish justice since the 1960s. She discovered that the dates on the certificates admitting attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court bar read “In Please see Ginsburg, page 17

This week in Israeli history Feb. 13, 1931 1930 Passfield White Paper is rejected by British PM Ramsey MacDonald

— WORLD — Items provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details.

Feb. 9, 1994 Israel, PLO sign second agreement

Five months after the signing of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) on the White House lawn, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sign an agreement in Cairo.

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Feb. 10, 1913 Charles Winters is born

Charles Winters, an American who helped Israel acquire fighter planes in 1948, is born in Brookline, Mass.

Steven M. Recht Elisa Recht Marlin Family Law • Personal Injury Wills and Estates • Business Transactions

Feb. 11, 1995 AJC adopts new Policy Statement

The Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee adopts a new Policy Statement on Israel-Diaspora Relations.


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The White Paper contained distinct threats to the geography of the Jewish National Home. The subsequent nine years saw unprecedented growth of Jewish demographic and physical presence in Palestine.

Feb. 14, 1896 Theodor Herzl’s ‘The Jewish State’ is published

“Der Judenstaat” (“The Jewish State”), subtitled “An Attempt at a Modern Solution to the Jewish Question,” by Theodor Herzl is first published in Vienna. Five hundred copies are originally printed and distributed.

Feb. 15, 1975 Salvator Cicurel dies

Former Egyptian Olympic fencer and leader of the Cairo Jewish community Salvator Cicurel dies.  PJC

Feb. 12, 1958 First Basic Law of Israel is established

The first of 11 Basic Laws is issued by the Israeli parliament. Basic Laws are originally intended to form the basis of an Israeli Constitution, but the constitution remains unwritten.



Headlines — WORLD — From JTA reports

Construction begins on Western Wall section for egalitarian prayer Construction has begun to upgrade the section set aside for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall. Workers reportedly arrived at the site on Feb. 1 and began erecting scaffolding at the southern end of the Western Wall. The work, which has a budget of more than $7 million, comes more than a year after a more comprehensive plan was approved, and more than half a year after the plan was frozen. In June, the Cabinet suspended the deal passed in 2016 as a result of negotiations between the Reform and Conservative movements, the Women of the Wall, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government. The suspension came after the government’s haredi Orthodox coalition partners pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to scrap the agreement. The plan also would have included a common entrance to the Western Wall plaza for all three sections and a public board to oversee the egalitarian prayer space that would include representatives of the non-Orthodox movements and Women of the Wall. Israel’s Supreme Court during a fourhour session on the issue of prayer rights for women at the Western Wall last month indicated that physical upgrades to the section

set aside for egalitarian prayer is key to satisfying the government’s suspended agreement with the liberal Jewish groups. Israel’s Masorti and Reform movements told the local media that the government did not consult or coordinate with them on the physical changes. The Supreme Court also has not yet ruled on whether the government had the right to freeze the comprehensive plan. Justice Department settles with pro-Israel group for delay in its tax-exempt status The Justice Department settled with Z Street, a right-wing pro-Israel group that was for years denied tax exempt status. The group complained that its 2009 application for U.S. tax-exempt status was being unduly scrutinized because of its connection to Israel. It was granted in 2016. In a statement, the Justice department did not detail the settlement, but said the settlement agreement “includes an apology from the IRS to Z Street for the delayed processing of the group’s application for tax-exempt status.� The Justice Department statement also suggested that Z Street’s positions on Israel might also have been a factor in delaying its tax-exempt status. “Tax exemption eligibility should be based on whether an organization’s activities fulfill requirements of the law, not a group’s policy positions or the name chosen to reflect those views,� it said.



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In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Feb. 2, Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a founder of Z Street, said the initial source of the lengthy review was an outdated IRS list of countries where there may be fundraising for terrorism, requiring further review for tax-exemption for groups fundraising in relation to those countries. Israel appeared on the old list. An updated list had removed Israel. Republican Party in Illinois rejects Holocaust denier nominee for Congress A Holocaust denier, anti-Semite and white supremacist is about to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat. Arthur Jones, a perennial candidate since the 1990s for the 3rd Congressional District representing parts of Chicago and its southwestern suburbs, in a political fluke is the only Republican candidate on the ballot, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday. The primary will be held on March 20. Jones, 70, is a retired insurance salesman. His website for this congressional run, Art Jones for Congressman, says by way of introduction: “I am not now, nor have I ever been a follower of any political party, though I am a registered Republican.� A section of the site headed “Holocaust?� says that “The idea that ‘Six Million Jews’ were killed by the Nationalist Socialist government of Germany in World War II is the biggest blackest lie in history.� It also calls the Holocaust a “racket� designed to “bleed, blackmail, extort and terrorize the enemies

of organized world Jewry into silence or submissiveness to Zionism and communism — both movements founded, financed and led by Jews.� Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee, which he told the Sun-Times is “open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent.� Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement to the Sun-Times: “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.� In 2016, Jones was removed from the district’s GOP ballot in legal actions engineered by the Illinois Republican Party, which determined that his nominating petitions had too many faulty signatures, according to the Sun-Times. This time, Jones was more careful to have valid signatures and could not be thrown off the ballot. The district is one of the most heavily Democratic in the state, and Jones will most likely be defeated in the November race. The Republican Party does not invest heavily in fielding a candidate for the district since he or she likely will lose, which is how Jones came to be the only candidate. Jones said last spring in a speech to a National Socialist Movement gathering that he was sorry he voted for Donald Trump, who has “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews.�  PJC

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FEBRUARY 9, 2018 11

Opinion Poland’s revisionist history — EDITORIAL —


ast week the Polish parliament passed a bill that criminalizes claims of Poland’s culpability during the Holocaust. It proposes prison time for parties that use phrases like “Polish death camps” and prohibits placing blame on Poland for crimes committed by Nazi Germany. Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, said he will sign the bill into law. He had come under intense pressure to let the bill die, and rightfully so. Israeli officials led the campaign against the legislation, likening its quasi-revisionist spin to Holocaust denial. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw also voiced concern. We understand Poland’s wish to whitewash a profoundly uncomfortable period in its history, given that as an occupied country it and its people suffered terribly at the hands of the Nazis. But we also know that many Poles were far from aggrieved to see their native Jewish populations decimated; some even helped, including by staffing such death camps as Auschwitz. By attempting to gloss over such details, Poland now seems to be part of an authoritarian trend in Central and Eastern Europe to rewrite history by criminalizing speech that offends those in power.

p The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

In retrospect, the Jewish community has seen this coming for a couple years, but failed to recognize where it was headed. Polish consulates have been relentless about contacting Jewish newspapers, correcting their use of “Polish concentration camps” and insisting upon mentions of the good things

Polish people did during World War II. Poland has even paid for American Jewish officials to travel there on specialized tours promoting the country’s revised vision of its citizenry as victims of the Nazis, rather than collaborators. The time was right for a rebranding campaign. Poland emerged from the

Communist period as a model of a Westernizing market democracy. In recent years, the country has shifted rightward, with its governing party leading a nationalistic assault on the media and judiciary. The current attempt to criminalize speech seems to reflect an understandable impulse to assert Poland’s victimhood in World War II. But many supporters of the legislation go further, arguing that Poles bear no blame for the murder of millions of Jews on occupied Polish soil. And lawmaker Robert Winnicki, who heads an ultranationalist organization in Poland, revealed the anti-Semitism that was epidemic in his country before the Holocaust when he said, “Poland has been the subject of attack by the Israeli elite and Jewish circles in the world for many days.” Even with lawmakers like Winnicki, President Duda can repair the damage that’s been done to Poland’s reputation. But it requires grappling with what really happened. Countries, like Germany, that confront their own historic faults and acknowledge a mixed legacy of pain and hate, are able to move forward in good faith and with the support of the global community. Nations that continue to deny wrongdoing foment ongoing suffering. Poland should not be joining their ranks.  PJC

Jewish Dreamer risks deportation to a country he barely knows Guest Columnist Elias Rosenfeld


y name is Elias Rosenfeld, and I am a 20-year-old student at Brandeis University in Boston, where I am studying political science and sociology with a legal studies minor. I am also a DACA recipient. I came to the United States legally, on a visa, with my mom and sister when I was 6 years old, from Caracas, Venezuela. My mother came here on an L1 visa, which enabled her and us toward a legal pathway to a green card and eventual citizenship. Sadly, my mother never got this opportunity. When I was in fourth grade, she was diagnosed with kidney cancer and ultimately passed away when I was in sixth grade. Her death, however, had ramifications beyond the normal emotional pain of losing a parent at such a young age. Her death meant I fell out of status, because our nation’s immigration system is broken, and has no mechanism in place for when a parent, like my mom, passes away. I, like many others, discovered my status when I couldn’t apply for a driving learner’s permit the summer of eighth grade. It seemed incomprehensible how someone like I, who had won the U.S. history award every year in middle school, lacked the basic privileges I assumed I had as an 12 FEBRUARY 9, 2018

American. However, luckily for me, DACA was announced the start of my freshman year of high school, providing me with basic opportunities I could not acquire before. DACA enabled me to graduate at the top of my class, speak at my high school graduation and acquire a privately funded full merit scholarship at Brandeis University, where I am studying to pursue a career in law. DACA has allowed me to experience a diverse set of opportunities, ranging from interning in the U.S. Senate to being selected as the only freshman in Brandeis’ history department to win the Linda Heller Kamm Award for Social Justice. I am also a sophomore columnist for the university’s official publication. However, all my hard work in the last 19 years is at stake, because since Sept. 5, I have been unable to clearly see my future in my only home. Come August, my DACA status expires, and my life will be thrust into imminent chaos. My education is in jeopardy, but I could also be detained and deported to a country I do not call home. DACA’s expiration means going back to a country where I do not even command the native language and a city which is now ranked as the deadliest in the world. The constant thought of deportation is now a topic I wake up every morning thinking about. Without congressional action, I will become a priority for deportation — along with 800,000 other DACA recipients who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans. It is urgent for lawmakers to come together

and pass a bipartisan compromise that would allow Dreamers like myself to continue contributing and serving our communities, here in the United States. Congress must remember that any immigration bill they pass will take months to fully implement, which is why it’s so critical for them to pass legislation immediately, without delay. More than 15,000 Dreamers have lost their work authorization and deportation protections since President Trump eliminated the DACA program last year. Every single day, 122 other Dreamers lose their status — and this trend will continue until Congress takes action to affirmatively protect us from deportation. Come March, that number rises to 1,200 Dreamers losing protections every single day. I urge you to count from 1 to 1,200 in your head to see the dramatic impact this will have on our workforce and economy, and on American families every single day. Protecting Dreamers is also a religious issue, particularly for me as a member of the Jewish community. In the Torah, we are called 36 times to welcome the stranger. This, combined with our community’s shared experience as immigrants from Egypt up to the Holocaust, informs our commitment to the Dream Act. In Leviticus 19:34, God commands the Israelites: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as yourself.” We are called to welcome the stranger. But with DACA participants, our task is easier. We are not strangers. Dreamers are


already firmly established within the American community. Which is why last week, hundreds of Jewish leaders like Rabbi Jonah Pesner were willing to risk arrest for their fellow Dreamers. For Dreamers like me, the certainty and stability that permanent protections would provide is an urgent issue. Just two months ago, shortly after Thanksgiving, I learned that my grandfather in Venezuela had passed away unexpectedly. Growing up, he was a dear father figure to me and in many ways was a direct connection to my mother and one of the few adults in my entire life I could count on. He would visit me in Florida and taught me the importance of hard work, the value of family and the power of prayer and religion. He was a tremendously influential person in my life. After his passing, I was forced to watch his funeral via cellphone videos because my DACA status did not allow me to leave the country to be by his side at that critical time. Protecting Dreamers is an issue that is both urgent and imminent. There is strong bipartisan support in Congress to allow Dreamers like me to stay here, and it is something that 80 percent of Americans would like to see be resolved. I urge every member to follow their constituents and pass a legislative solution for Dreamers that is rooted in compromise, the fundamental basis of our nation and U.S Constitution.  PJC Elias Rosenfeld is one of the few Jewish Dreamers. He is a college student in Boston.


Opinion Thanks to Special in Uniform program, the future looks bright Guest Columnist Maj. Oren H.


ou know those pictures, which tell you to take a look and say what you see, and after you draw a banal answer, they say to you: “Now take a really good look and say what you see.” You look for a minute or two, and suddenly you notice something completely different that is hidden in the picture? This story reminds me of those images. My name is Oren. I am 41, married to Hila, and a father of three. I’ve made a career serving in the Israel Defense Forces, and am a pilot. For 17 years I flew various types of helicopters in support of Israel’s ground forces, making decisions during combat, rescuing the wounded, and helping families and friends during their darkest times. Throughout my military career, I have held numerous command positions, and a year ago, I was chosen as the new deputy commander at the Palmachim Air Force Base, where some 4,500 live and work. During my two week orientation and in between managing budgets, projects and

contractors, one morning the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Moti, informed me that we were visiting a special place. “Special?” I asked. “You’ll see,” was all he would answer. We arrived at a small compound where a group of soldiers with disabilities of varying degrees was mustered — all whom had dreamed of serving in the Israel Defense Forces like everyone else in the country. It’s crucial to understand that serving in the army in our small country is one of life’s milestones; aside from maturing the person, the experience helps transition young people into adults. For many hours that day I spoke with these young soldiers, understanding that each one of them could have easily been classified “exempt from military service.” I learned from all of them the unique and very personal journey that brought them here to attain the status as an enlisted member of the IDF. Dozens of wonderful stories. Recall the picture in my opening sentence? In that moment I understood what I was looking at — boys and girls, no different from countless others who all their lives wanted to just be like their friends — and now you too can understand what it means to serve in the army, and understand their motivation. After a few weeks I witnessed something

even more extraordinary unfolding: While the soldiers with disabilities had fulfilled their own dreams working alongside regular soldiers, those who really got the added value were the regular soldiers! Take for example the female soldier who enlisted at 18 and serves as a technician or in an educational role or as a dental assistant, and works alongside a soldier with special needs. That same enlisted soldier mentors and aids the other, and they eat lunch together. Or take the soldiers assigned to the kitchen who ensure we are regularly fed. With them works a soldier whose speech may sound a little strange and may have a difficult time walking, but together they perform the same tasks. These soldiers have doubled their responsibility by having the extra added value of caring for others. Throughout my own training process, when physical conditions were put to the test, the commanders always conveyed a clear message: “You will not succeed alone. Only with teamwork will you succeed. Take care of your peers who are going through difficulties because they’ll save you next time.” When I now ask soldiers how it is serving alongside someone with disabilities, they look at me strangely, almost as if they did not understand why I was asking them this ridiculous question. “He is like our brother,”


Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler’s Feb. 2 Torah column appeared beneath an incorrect headline. It should have been, “Above and beyond belief.” The Chronicle regrets the error. Gratz College president Paul Finkelman, whose appointment was covered in the Dec. 29 issue of the Chronicle, was previously a legal scholar at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law, not Duquesne University. The Chronicle regrets the error.  PJC We invite you to submit letters for publication. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number; addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may not exceed 500 words and may be edited for length and clarity; they cannot be returned. Mail, fax or email letters to:


Maj. Oren H. serves in Israel’s air force. February is recognized as Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month (JDAIM) and Jewish National Fund is a proud supporter of making sure that people with special needs and disabilities are fully included in Israeli society.


The photos appearing in “Jewish organizations participate as active shooter drill ‘plays out’ at JCC” (Feb. 2) were taken by Elan S. Mizrahi for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Letters to the editor via email: Address & Fax: Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle 5915 Beacon St., 5th Flr., Pittsburgh, PA 15217 Fax 412-521-0154 Website address:

they often answer, “this place would not be the same without him.” There’s something about this connection that gives me goosebumps every time I think of it. The future looks pretty good. After all, do you think that a soldier who has served with someone with disabilities and later goes on to graduate with a degree in architecture will ever design a swimming pool without adding an accessible component for the handicapped? Or that a future manager would ever deny a job to a candidate with a disability? Not a chance. The Special in Uniform program, generously funded by Jewish National Fund-USA, which helps hundreds of young men and women with disabilities enlist and serve in the IDF like every other Israeli citizen, of course helps those very young men and women. But just as much, it changes the enlistment and life forever for the many thousands of “regular” soldiers and officers they serve alongside with. That is the power of this program and the great social change it has brought about.  PJC

Misleading editorial The Chronicle’s Jan. 26 editorial misrepresented a story by claiming that high school “children” were “used as political props” by a high school administration. The editorial was inaccurate and misleading. The correct story is that a voluntary high school student club, the American Israel Student Action Committee at The Frisch School, a Jewish high school, sent an email to the student body as part of a student-led letter-writing campaign. The email was sent from the student group through the school’s administration (as it didn’t have access to send a schoolwide email) in support of President Donald Trump “formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” If students agreed with the email, they could then voluntarily choose to send a supportive email to the president. Frisch only received complaints from three parents. This story is hardly worth a blistering editorial. The Chronicle should report with less political bias and more accuracy. Robert Davis Pittsburgh


FEBRUARY 9, 2018 13

Life & Culture Exhibits illustrate comic book creations from the Holocaust Center — ARTS — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


oncurring exhibits aim to contextualize the comic book creations constructed by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. Between both Pittsburgh-based displays, viewers are invited to glean greater insight into the makings of the CHUTZ-POW! series, said Lauren Bairnsfather, director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. Beginning Sunday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m., material from the comic book’s first two volumes will be presented at a scheduled exhibition within the Holocaust Center. The exhibit, titled “CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance,” allows participants to “engage in their own art-making process” and features “never-before-seen process art,” said Bairnsfather. “We looked at the stories in Volumes I and II and pulled out different categories of resistance. People who come will see the art and will also learn about partisans, which is what people normally think about when they think about resistance, armed resistance, but also about nonviolent types of resistance like escape and rescue.” While Volume I of the CHUTZ-POW! series featured five survivors who eventually settled in Pittsburgh, Volume II shared stories of “more globally well-known figures.” Pairing both volumes through text panels allows exhibit-goers to appreciate comparable narratives, “like the Moshe Baran story of fighting as a partisan in Volume I with the Bielski partisans in Volume II,” explained Bairnsfather. Although “CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance” opens this Sunday, the American Jewish Museum at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh has showcased a sister display since Jan. 22. Titled, “CHUTZ-POW! Superheroes of the Holocaust: Volume III, The Young Survivors,” the American Jewish Museum exhibit features material from the comic book series’ newest installment. “Viewers will be intrigued by the interconnected relationship between the caliber of skill in the drawings, the writers’ evocative interpretation of the narratives and the sheer power of the survivors’ childhood experiences,” said Melissa Hiller, the museum’s director. Given the focus — the trials and travails of Holocaust youth — the work, both as it is displayed in exhibit form and in comic book print, is stirring, said Marcel Lamont Walker,

CHUTZ-POW! project coordinator. “I think Volume III may hit an emotional place for most readers that other volumes haven’t or won’t,” he said. “Just because of the nature of the story, you can’t read stories about children enduring things like this and not be affected.” Even apart from the age of those illustrated, the familiarity of the subjects themselves should increase accessibility to the newest issue, added Bairnsfather. “Volume III is the young survivors, so it’s the stories of a lot of survivors that we know well in Pittsburgh, and it’s also stories of survivors that many students across the region have met, so it will have that significance for the teachers and students who are going to see it and incorporate it into the classroom.” Although CHUTZ-POW! remains a printonly read, Bairnsfather envisions the comic books one day entering the digital sphere. “We’re talking about that. It is my hope that we will be able to have a digital copy of it. It would be especially good for classrooms because they often just buy a book and use it for a decade and a comic book isn’t quite as sturdy as most textbooks. It would be really useful for teachers to use a digital copy, so we’re working on that.” Future CHUTZ-POW! plans also include more volumes, added Walker. “There are several other themes waiting to be explored,” said the artist. Such installments may address “women’s stories and stories of those who were in the military, and that would be different militaries in the world.” But before that page is turned, Holocaust Center employees would like to encourage people to attend both exhibits and purchase the newest CHUTZ-POW! volume. Tickets to the Feb. 11 opening of the Holocaust Center exhibit, at 826 Hazelwood Ave. in Pittsburgh can be purchased online at Tickets are $5; free for students (with valid ID) and Holocaust survivors. Copies of “CHUTZ-POW! Volume III: The Young Survivors” are also available online at Copies, which will be available for purchase at the Feb. 11 event, are $3.99 each and half price for educators and for educational use, said Bairnsfather. The American Jewish Museum’s exhibit, which includes 36 original storyboard illustrations, runs through April 20 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz

p Volume III of CHUTZ-POW! concentrates on resistance.

Art courtesy of Marcel Walker

14 FEBRUARY 9, 2018



Life & Culture New York Times staff editor and writer Bari Weiss finds herself at the center of the #MeToo debate — #METOO — By Josefin Dolsten | JTA


EW YORK — It’s the rare newspaper op-ed that breaks through into popular culture. Rarer still is a “Saturday Night Live” skit based on such an essay. But a recent piece by Bari Weiss enjoyed that perhaps dubious distinction. Her essay, criticizing a viral article in which an unnamed woman claimed that she was sexually assaulted by comedian Aziz Ansari stirred passions over the #MeToo debate. In the “SNL” skit, three couples at a restaurant are so worried about saying something insensitive about sexual assault that they struggle to say anything at all. Since starting at The New York Times in May as staff editor and writer on the opinion pages, Weiss, 33, has been at the center of the often difficult discussions of men, women and sexual assault. The Pittsburgh native’s willingness to defy the feminist consensus, both in her own writing and the articles she commissions, has earned her both praise and vilification. For some, hers is a refreshing voice in the Times’ predominately liberal opinion section. For others, she is a Wall Street Journal transplant who is importing an unearned intolerance of the left. “I am being consistent on the issues,” Weiss said over lunch in the cafeteria of the Times’ Midtown Manhattan headquarters recently. “What’s astonishing is how people react when those views are expressed in The New York Times, that’s the difference, and I think part of that has to do with the misperception on the part of some that op-ed pages are supposed to be their ideological safe space.” It’s a heady perch for a former pro-Israel activist at Columbia University, who after college worked as a freelance reporter and wrote for the Israeli daily Haaretz on a Dorot fellowship, a Jewish leadership program. Weiss’ prior positions include associate book review editor at The Wall Street Journal and senior news and politics editor at Tablet, the online Jewish journal. “I’m sort of intellectually promiscuous,” she joked. “I am not an expert in anything. I’m interested in a lot of different things, and it turns out that this is the perfect job if that’s true of you.” At the Times, Weiss has written pieces on a variety of subjects, including anti-Semitism on the left, cultural appropriation and a humorous take on Tiffany & Co.’s collection of high-end everyday items. She has also recruited a cadre of high-profile writers for The Times. On her first day there, she shepherded an op-ed written by Monica Lewinsky slamming the late Fox News executive Roger Ailes for creating a toxic and abusive culture at the network. Weiss reached Lewinsky with the help of a rabbi at whose synagogue the former White House intern had spoken. Weiss also commissioned articles by Julius Krein, a Trump supporter who on the cover of The Times’ Sunday Magazine said he

p Bari Weiss at her desk in The New York Times office in Midtown Manhattan.

Photo by Josefin Dolsten

regretted his vote; Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to accuse Olympics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse; and Dorsa Derakhshani, a young chess champion who Iran banned from representing the country because she would not wear a headscarf. But it is her writing and editing of articles on the #MeToo movement that have received the most attention. In November, as the list of prominent men accused of sexual harassment grew and grew, she questioned the idea that women accusers should automatically be believed. “In a climate in which sexual mores are transforming so rapidly,” she wrote, “many men are asking: If I were wrongly accused, who would believe me?” Earlier she had commissioned an op-ed by Mayim Bialik in which the actress appeared to suggest that women in Hollywood could avoid harassment if they dressed and acted more demurely. Following an angry backlash on Twitter, Bialik apologized, saying, “What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault.” Weiss had a taste of that kind of backlash following her Ansari essay, in which she counseled the woman who complained about the comedian’s aggressive behavior to “stand up on your two legs and walk out his door.” “I’m apparently the victim of sexual assault. And if you’re a sexually active woman in the 21st century, chances are you are, too,” Weiss wrote. Not every less-than-stellar sexual experience is sexual assault, she argues, and in those cases, it is up to women to leave the encounter. The Times published letters in reaction to her article accusing her of blaming the victim, and others praising her for bravely identifying the pitfalls of the “hookup culture.” Those were apparently the kinds of diverse reactions that The Times was hoping for when it hired Weiss and her fellow Wall Street Journal alum, Bret Stephens. Announcing Stephens’ hire last April, James Bennet, The Times’ editorial page editor, said readers could “expect other additions to our regular roster in coming months as we continue to diversify our lineup and enrich our debate.”


Stephens, who met Weiss when she was a student at Columbia and encouraged her to apply for a fellowship at the Journal, called her columns “both intellectually provocative and morally passionate.” “I think that Bari provides a kind of common sense sensibility that people find themselves agreeing with even when they don’t have the courage to say so out loud,” Stephens, who earlier in his career edited The Jerusalem Post, said. Her writing, which includes criticism of the right and the left, doesn’t lend itself easily to labels. “The thing I admire in other writers and try to stick to myself is really examining things issue by issue,” she said. “That’s largely meant for me that I’m very progressive on a lot of social issues, I’m hawkish on foreign policy. If that makes me a neocon to certain people, if that makes me a progressive to others, OK.” Weiss said her last year at the Journal was filled with frustration. “I was no longer able to write for the op-ed page because I kept getting stonewalled because I was told that my pieces were too critical of Trump and Trump supporters,” she said. An Esquire article published last month claimed the Rupert Murdoch-owned Journal embraced a pro-Trump perspective and even spiked an editorial about Trump’s alleged Mafia connections. At Columbia, Weiss made a name for herself as an advocate for Israel. She was one of four Jewish students who founded the group Columbians for Academic Freedom, in protest of what they saw as an anti-Israel bias among professors and the targeting of students who expressed other opinions. Her loud Israel advocacy earned her plenty of criticism, including from the Jewish left. “People were writing in the school paper that I was a McCarthyite, that I was a neocon, that I was a warmonger,” she said. Ariel Beery, one of the co-founders of Columbians for Academic Freedom, called Weiss “a natural born leader and organizer.”


“Bari herself was deeply influential in understanding the intellectual and politically philosophical ramifications of the challenges to students’ ability to share from their experiences,” he recalled of Weiss’ role in the group. Weiss hadn’t originally envisioned that she would be so involved in activism in college. “I came to school really planning to be a theater kid and doing artsy stuff, which I also loved,” she said, “but I was really drawn into the political realm and then eventually column writing and then eventually starting this magazine [The Current, a Jewish journal at Columbia] because of the controversy around the Middle East studies department, and that was really formative for me.” The issue of how Jews are received in progressive spaces is still an important one to her. In June, she wrote a widely shared piece about Jewish protesters who were told they could not march in a Chicago protest organized by lesbian activists if they carried banners with a Star of David because the event was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.” “What concerns me, and this is sort of what’s behind my piece on the Women’s March or the [Chicago] Dyke March, is a progressivism that forces Jews to check their Jewish or pro-Israel or Zionist identity at the door in order to be good progressives,” she said. Weiss says her first name — pronounced Barry — has helped her career. Her parents, Amy and Lou Weiss of Squirrel Hill, wanted to name her after her great-grandmother, but “didn’t want to burden me with a name like Bertha.” They settled on Bari upon meeting a local actress with the name. “I didn’t always love my name,” she said, “but I’ve loved it in my professional career because it’s super androgynous and I’ve had the experience countless times, especially in the early days of my career, where I’d be editing a major general or a CEO and they’d pick up the phone to call me and assume that I was the secretary of Bari Weiss, and I’d be like ‘No, no, I’m Bari Weiss.’” In Pittsburgh, Weiss grew up surrounded by a diverse set of political views and ways to think about Judaism. Her father identifies as a political conservative and her mother as a liberal, and the family belonged to three synagogues — Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. “We had a big Shabbat dinner every Friday night, we’d have tons of different people talking, and we’d always talk about major political and moral and social issues,” she recalled. In her hometown of Pittsburgh, she found the Jewish community to be less fragmented by religious affiliation than in New York. Here she attends Romemu, a nondenominational Upper West Side synagogue known for its lively singing and dancing. Despite the charms of her hometown, she’s happy to be living here. “The second I land in filthy LaGuardia,” she said of returning home after a recent trip to Dallas, “I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m back here. I love it, I love the energy here, so, so much.”  PJC FEBRUARY 9, 2018 15

Headlines Rally:

Although no undocumented immigrants came to the protest in the South Side, reportedly because of legal and safety concerns, the protesters read stories from local Dreamers. One story came from a student at Slippery Rock University who had been a DACA beneficiary for about seven years. “This is our home,” the student wrote. “We just want to contribute and give back to this beautiful country that has given us everything.” Elinor Nathanson, a member of the steering committee for Bend the Arc, said the protest further motivated her to “break bread” with members of the immigrant community in Pittsburgh to create authentic connections. She wanted to reach a point where everyone’s social circle was wide enough that “when you hear in the news about these people, you can picture someone.”  PJC

Continued from page 1

was pushing immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. His plan would tie that reform with other stipulations, such as building a wall along the southern border and stopping the so-called chain migration by which legal immigrants can sponsor other family members to immigrate to the United States. In September, Trump ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which protected Dreamers from deportation if they achieved certain education and work guidelines. “We will not stand idly by as Dreamers continue to lose their legal status,” Tammy Hepps, a member of the steering committee for Bend the Arc, said at the rally. “Let our people stay to keep reminding us of their vision for America. … The America they saw is an America worth believing in.” On Jan. 17, Hepps traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in a national protest of Jewish activists in support of immigrants. Hepps and Joshua Friedman, another local activist, were among 82 people arrested that day. As she was being handcuffed, she told the crowd in Pittsburgh that she “locked eyes with two young Dreamers. … That is what we are fighting for.”

Lauren Rosenblatt can be reached at p Above: Protesters march toward Pittsburgh’s Department of Homeland Security, singing and chanting as they go. t A group of girls pose with their signs. They said they were inspired to march after Tammy Hepps, a member of Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh, visited their school.

Photos by Lauren Rosenblatt

JDAIM: Continued from page 1

Last Saturday night, the congregation hosted a screening of “My Hero Brother,” an Israeli film that tells the story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark on a trek through the Himalayas, accompanied by their siblings. The film was followed by a Skype conversation with its producer, Enosh Cassel. On Friday, Temple Sinai held its monthly Mostly Musical Shabbat, with sign language for several prayers and songs. The service, which features a band, is appropriate for families with children who have a difficult time sitting still. “We encourage movement and noise,” Kaplan said, adding that the congregation also offers an alternative “quiet room” for people who find the setting “too overwhelming.” The service is then streamed into the quiet room. The weekend of Feb. 16-18, Temple Sinai will host Lisa Friedman, an expert on Jewish disability inclusion, as its scholar-in-residence. Friedman will run a leadership session for staff and board members on Feb. 17 and speak with religious school parents on Feb. 18. Temple Sinai recently was recognized as an Exemplar Congregation in Disability Inclusion by the Union for Reform Judaism in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation. Other Jewish organizations in Pittsburgh holding programs in February as part of JDAIM include Beth El Congregation of 16 FEBRUARY 9, 2018

p Artist Elaine Lesgold standing beside her art.

the South Hills, which will hold its annual Inclusion Shabbat on Saturday, Feb. 24. The service will include religious school students signing several of the prayers and participation by “parents of children with different abilities, as well as members themselves who have different abilities,” according to Joan Charlson, chair of Beth El’s inclusion committee. Dr. Gary Swanson, a child/ adolescent psychologist, will speak on “Where do we go from here? My child has aged out of the system.”

Photo courtesy of Evelyn Pierce

“We believe in and practice inclusion at Beth El on many levels,” Charlson said, “which in the long run benefits both the recipients and those who are offering such help and acceptance.” Beth Shalom’s youth group, USY, is also planning a special inclusion Shabbat but is scheduling it for March 24, according to Marissa Tait, Beth Shalom’s director of youth programming. “The teens brought this to our attention,” Tait said. “They have a lot of ideas


of ways to make our space more inclusive and to show that inclusion is a core value of Beth Shalom.” Although the trip predated JDAIM by a week, Rabbi Barbara Symons, spiritual leader of Temple David in Monroeville, and two members of the congregation’s confirmation class visited Capitol Hill at the end of January to lobby Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Keith Rothfus for disability rights as part of the L’taken Social Justice Seminar of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. There are scores of additional and ongoing activities organized by local Jewish institutions throughout the year, recognizing that making Jewish life more inclusive for those with disabilities is a core value of Judaism. Organizations such as Friendship Circle, the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and JRS are continually working on ways to incorporate those with disabilities into communal life. “At Rosh Hashanah, we sent out a letter to various congregations and Jewish organizations highlighting things you can do for the high holidays to make them more inclusive,” cited JRS’ Karabin as an example. “And we will send a letter out this month to families and friends in the community to talk about what is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month and how they can get involved and plan for next year.”  PJC Toby Tabachnick can be reached at


Headlines HQ: Continued from page 4

Supreme Court cases dealt with the First Amendment?” Channeling knowledge from a previous life, I recall the answer is New York Times Company v. Sullivan, and we continue to Question 5, leaving 350,000 others behind. Now we are on a roll. But we face a snag with Question 5, which queries what the metal at the end of a pencil is called. No one at the Chronicle has a clue, even though, somewhat ironically, we write for a living. We have to guess.

Ginsburg: Continued from page 10

the year of our Lord.” “And he’s not our Lord,” Ginsburg said, referring to Jews and Jesus, respectively. “I spoke to the chief,” she said. He said the wording was good enough for former Jewish justices Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter and Arthur Goldberg. “It’s not good enough for Ginsburg,” she said. She was able to change the rule. A year later, Stephen Breyer became the court’s second Jewish justice. She said the two teamed up to ask Chief Justice William Rehnquist to reschedule arguments in a case

But we guess correctly (ferrule!) and move on. We are still in this but are now starting to get a little nervous. The questions are most definitely getting tougher. And here’s where I blow it. Question 6, inquiring: “The ‘S’ in USB cable shares its name with a well-known what?” The choices are: airline, podcast and sports team. I am at a loss here, and my teammates are taking FORever to answer. “Pick one!” I yell in a panic. But time is ticking, and I don’t want to be completely shut out, so I tap “airline,” just as Jim is hollering the correct answer: “Podcast!!” But it is too late. We are eliminated.

And here is what makes it worse: We continue to watch, just to see how we would have done, and we get the next five questions correct, which means if I had only waited a second longer in Question 6, we would have made it to the final question. Seven hundred other people are left to respond to Question 12, but it’s a killer: “Marsha Bell was the model for what iconic character?” The choices are Rosie the Riveter, Little Debbie, and Carmen Sandiago. We are torn between Rosie the Riveter and Little Debbie, and when the final answer is revealed — Carmen Sandiago — I

that fell during the High Holidays so that they could celebrate the Jewish holidays. Rehnquist obliged. “The argument that was utterly convincing for the chief was that in an argument, there will inevitably be Jewish lawyers,” she said. “Do you want to take away from them the opportunity to present their case? And that resonated. So now we don’t sit on the High Holy Days.” Asked how her Judaism has informed her career, the justice drew on the themes of the Jewish Diaspora as she discussed how her parents had immigrated to the United States from Europe. “The sense of being an outsider, of being one of the people who had suffered oppres-

sion for no sensible reason … it’s the sense of being part of a minority,” she said. “It makes you more empathetic to other people who are outsiders.” People in the audience applauded much of what Ginsburg said as she answered Eisner’s questions. “She really expressed how she interprets the Constitution and what it means to be human,” said Patricia Hunt, who teaches an introductory law course at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.. Falls Church, Va., resident Roz Cohen said Ginsburg was “just as wonderful” as she anticipated, and appreciated her comments on gender discrimination. “In these times, you think you’ve won all

have to say, I am hugely relieved. See? We would have lost anyway, even if I hadn’t blundered on Question 6! Only 94 players remain, making each winner’s share a grand total of $26.60. So, even though we didn’t walk away with cash, now we know what all the fuss is about. Some Chronicle staff were more enthusiastic than others, but on a slow news day, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone pulled out his or her phone for a trivia break. PJC Toby Tabachnick can be reached at

these battles, but the same old issues come around again, so I was glad that she pointed that out,” she said. Although Ginsburg said she would not discuss cases before the court, she did weigh in on whether Supreme Court justices should have fixed terms rather than the current life term. “It is a subject on which I am biased and prejudiced,” she said, eliciting applause from the friendly crowd when she said she has no plans to retire from the court. “As long as I can do the job, I’ll be here.” PJC Dan Schere writes for Washington Jewish Week, an affiliated publication of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.

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FEBRUARY 9, 201817




‘Father of Orphans’ watches over us Rabbi Mendy Schapiro Parshat Mishpatim | Shabbat Shekalim Exodus 21:1-24:18 Exodus 30:11-16

I STEIN: Jackie and Evan H. Stein of Pittsburgh announce the birth of their son, Samuel Ellis, on Jan. 18. Sammy is the grandson of Laura and Cary Friedman of Trumbull, Conn., and Yvonne and Barry L. Stein of Squirrel Hill and is the great-grandson of Dorothy and Richard Blank of Bridgeport, Conn. Sammy is named for his maternal great-grandmother, Sylvia Friedman, and his paternal great-grandfather, Earle Thall.  PJC


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celebrations IN THE

would like to dedicate this week’s column to a special cousin, a young mother of six beautiful children who tragically passed last week. Nechama Dina — or Chomie — was known for her great hospitality, welcoming guests from all walks of life into her home in Antwerp, Belgium, at any time of day. She would offer them a place to stay, a warm meal, her friendship and a sense of belonging. May Hashem watch over her beautiful family and bless them with happiness and the ability to perpetuate her legacy. Immediately after the Giving of the Torah, before G-d commanded us to observe Yom Kippur or build the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the first thing that G-d commands us is to treat others in a moral and compassionate manner. The Torah tells us: “You shall not oppress any widow or orphan,� and then goes on to say, “If you oppress him, [beware,] for if he cries out to Me, I will surely hear his cry� (Shemos 22:21-22). The Torah enjoins us to be very careful and sensitive when dealing with orphans and warns us that should an orphan cry out to G-d (to complain about us), he or she will be answered immediately. The orphan, as far as the Torah is concerned, has a direct telephone line to G-d. Now, why is G-d so sensitive to the suffering of orphans? The answer is found in King David’s book of psalms, in which G-d is described (68:6) as the “Father of Orphans.� Every child in the world has parents who care for and protect him or her. But who cares for and protects orphans? To that question, G-d answers, “I am the “Father of Orphans.� Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn of Lubavitch

(1834-1882, the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe), got married at a young age, but his young bride took ill right after the wedding and died a short time thereafter. Some two years went by and they started suggesting matches for him. Rabbi Shmuel had two female cousins, Gittel and Rivkah, two sisters who had been bereft of both their father and their mother. The suggestion was brought up to create a match with his first cousin, Rivkah. The idea worked out, and when the engagement was finalized and they had held a party, the older sister, Gittel (who was also like a mother to her younger sister), said the following to her grandfather, Rabbi Menachem Mendel: “We definitely made a nice shidduch here! If my father were alive, he could not have expected a better mechutan than you. ... But you got the best deal, since your mechutan is the ‘Father of Orphans’ — may He Himself bless you with good fortune!� All too often we Jews can feel like orphans in our world. Sometimes it seems the whole world is against us, whether it’s ISIS or other Jew-haters, whether secretly or even openly. A Jew can get depressed and feel like an orphan with no parents to stand up and defend him while everyone else has someone who will fight for them. Only the Jewish Nation has no defender. As the verse in Eichah (Lamentations) states, “We were orphans with no father.� However, the Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 30:8) says it is incumbent upon us to remember that G-d is the “Father of Orphans� — he is the Father of Israel, and he shields and saves the Jewish Nation from all their troubles. Indeed, let us remember and take to heart who our true Rock is, He who neither slumbers nor sleeps.  PJC

Rabbi Mendy Schapiro is the spiritual leader of Chabad of Monroeville. This column is a service of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Pittsburgh.

SPECIAL OCCASIONS DESERVE SPECIAL ATTENTION The more you celebrate in life‌ the more there is in life to celebrate! SEND YOUR SIMCHAS, MAZEL TOVS, and PHOTOS TO:

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Obituaries CUDEN: Craig Thomas Cuden, on February 2, 2018. Brother of Steven D. Cuden of Squirrel Hill. Son of the late Dr. Charles L. Cuden and Helen Miller Cuden-Pisik. Craig was an attorney and businessman in the health care field. Graveside services were held at West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. Contributions may be made to Lord’s Place, 2808 North Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. KELEMAN: Herbert Keleman, age 84, of Scott Township, on Thursday, February 1, 2018. Beloved husband of Barbara Lubin Keleman; son of the late Morris and Ethel (Kimmelman) Keleman; father of Ronnie Keleman, Richard Keleman, and Lori (David) Keleman Calgaro; brother of Rhea Glickenstein and Melvin Keleman. Mr. Keleman was retired from the U.S. Postal Service as a supervisor, a member of the Ahavath Achim Congregation in Carnegie, Pa., an avid golfer and Pittsburgh sports fan. Graveside military services were held at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville. Memorial contributions suggested to be made for research at William Slater II Funeral Service entrusted with arrangements. KRAMER: Phyllis Louise Kramer, a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2018. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, she earned her law degree from Duquesne University in 1953, and was honored by the Allegheny County Bar Association as one of the first 100 female attorneys in Allegheny County. She is survived by daughter Elaine (Richard) Levine, son Ronald (Leslie) Kramer, sisters Janice (Arthur) Oaks and Sandra (David) Bluestein, three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and greatnephews. Fiercely independent at the age of 91, she enjoyed her family, being active at Rodef Shalom Congregation and attending the theater and the senior lunch program at the Jewish Community Center. Contributions can be made to Mollie’s Meals, c/o Charles Morris, 200 JHF Drive, Pittsburgh PA, 15217. Arrangements were entrusted to the Gesher HaChaim Jewish Burial Society. N OT T U R N O : Michele Monleon Notturno, age 74, of Naples, Fla., formerly of Pittsburgh and Lancaster, Pa., passed away after a brief illness on January 27, 2018. Predeceased by her daughter, Erica Pittler, she is survived by her husband, Kenneth C. Notturno; children Alan Pittler (Bethann Lloyd), Elisabeth Notturno (Brent King) and Amy Snavely (Terry Snavely); adopted granddaughter Aubrey Hunt; and grandchildren Nicole Pittler, Bryce Pittler and Brynn Snavely. Michele was a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School (1960), the University of Pittsburgh (1963) and the University of Pennsylvania (MSW, 1979). Michele will be remembered for her passion for learning, compassion, and, most of all, her devotion to her family. Interment at West View Cemetery. A celebration of Michele’s life will be arranged at a later date in Naples. Memorial donations in Michele’s memory may be made to Avow Hospice of Naples or the Naples Zoo. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.

ROSENFELD: Sandra Z. Rosenfeld, age 79 of Mt. Lebanon, on Monday January 15, 2018. Beloved wife for 57 years of Jerry Rosenfeld, Dear mother of Maura Rosenfeld, Rachel Rosenfeld (Benjamin Rosenthal) and Susan Kaplan (Mike). Loving grandmother of Jack, Ana, Matthew and Zachary. Sister of Barry Zeman (Angela) and Bonnie Hahn (Stanley). Funeral services were held at Beth El Congregation. Interment at Beth El Section of Mt. Lebanon Cemetery. Donations may be made to Parkinson’s Association of Western PA or Concordia of South Hills or Beth El Congregation. Arrangements were entrusted to William Slater II Funeral Service. SHEFFLER: Rheta (Bobrow) Sheffler was born in Philadelphia one very warm August in 1933. She grew up in New Brighton. She attended Penn State University and went on to be one of the first women to gain an internship at a prestigious accounting firm in New York City. This could have led to a very lucrative corporate career in the accounting field but as was the defining character of this woman, family outweighed all else and she returned home to work in her parents’ business in New Brighton. She found the love of her life and soul mate in Marvin Sheffler, her husband of 62 years. Rheta and Marvin had three children who brought joy and purpose to their existence, Mitch, Craig and Maxine. When her children married, Mitch to Julia, Craig to Julie and Maxine to Steve Shangold, Rheta welcomed each of the new spouses as another one of her children. Each couple gave them grandchildren, who Rheta realized, immediately, were so much more fun and spoilable then her own children. So, she went on to love, cherish and dote on Kevin and Andy Sheffler, Samantha and Stephanie Sheffler, and Alyssa and Dani Shangold, with all the intensity and pride that any grandparent has ever known. In return, Rheta’s grandchildren will forever miss her. Rheta was also fortunate enough to experience the wonder and joy of her great-grandchildren, Isabelle, Max and Jake. Over the years Rheta enjoyed her life in so many ways, including her involvement in Hadassah, playing spirited games of mah-jongg with friends, spending long weekends at their boat with the children and her and Marvin’s time selling Pittsburgh merchandise with a circle of friends. There were so many more people who gave Rheta joy throughout the years and her last wishes would be to tell them just how much they meant to her, her nieces and nephews, Sherri, Eddie, Kelly, Michael, Mark, and Janice. Her many friends who she shared the stories, joys and tribulations of life, and of course, her best friend with whom she will now be reunited, her sister, Phyllis Stein. We will always remember her smile and laughter. The way she made catnaps an art, her dedication to attending Steeler games in all types of weather, her chicken matzah ball soup and brisket, the best in the world, and how she was always there for everyone. Forever in our hearts we will love you always. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment at Beth Shalom Cemetery. Donations can be made to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Under Designation select Other, and then designate Hematology/Oncology


Please see Obituaries, page 20

Jewish Association on Aging gratefully acknowledges contributions from the following: A gift from ...

In memory of...

A gift from ...

In memory of...

Ida Jean McCormley ....................................Miriam Silberman Charla Miller .....................................................Conrad I. Adler David & Lynetta Neft ...................... Frances Schulman Snider Toby Perilman ........................... Bertha & Morris J. Ackerman Shirley Preny ..................................................... Max Mallinger Shirley Preny .................................................. Esther Mallinger Shirley Preny ..................................................Jack I. Mallinger Dorothy Samitz ....................................... Miriam W. Steerman Susan S. Schlansky .............................................. Ethel Sachs Susan S. Schlansky .................................... Berel Louis Sachs Herbert Shapiro......................................Anne Deutch Shapiro Herbert Shapiro................................................... Clara Deutch Paula Rofey Singer ................................................Celia Rofey Rhoda Rofey ..........................................................Celia Rofey Rhoda Rofey ..............................................Marvin L. Kaufman Cheryl Sober ................................ Rachel Sheffler Shuklansky Mitchell & Elly Toig ..................................................Harry Levy Scott Wirtzman ................................................John Wirtzman

Gertrude Adams............................................ Ruth Weinberger Anonymous .................................................. Sophie Auerbach Anonymous .............................................................Alec Chinn Anonymous ...........................................................Philip Chinn Anonymous ...................................................... Melvin Morgan Janet & Gordon Campbell .............................. Louis Luterman Irene & Harry Chizeck ..................................Gertrude Chizeck Herzl S. Eisenstadt....................... Esther Ashinsky Eisenstadt Sharon & Morry Feldman ................................Jeffrey S. Weiss Dana & Bruce Gelman ......................................... Phillip Harris Ruth K. Goldman ................................................Ethel Golanty Ruth K. Goldman ...........................................Bernard Golanty Gloria Greenfield ..............................................Joseph Horvitz Ellen Harlow ............................................... O. Hicks Friedman Ilene Iskoe .............................................. Martha Trachtenberg Edna & Elmer Judd ................................................ Morris Herr Edna & Elmer Judd ...............................................Sadye Judd Leonard Kopelson.....................................Miriam E. Kopelson Len & Joyce Mandelblatt .................................Raye Supowitz

THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS — Sunday February 11: Isaac Apple, Fannie Binstock, Morton Blumenfeld, Alfred Devon, Josephine Feldman, Reva Hankin, Albert F. Klein, Joseph G. Lazear, Moishe Ofshinski, Serrae Roberts, Ben Simon, Louise S. Sobel, Ida J. Wilner, John Wirtzman, Annette Wolk Monday February 12: Anna Friedman, Louis Friedman, O. Hicks Friedman, Fanny Gitelman, Jack Morris Glantz, Ann R. Hendel, Milton B. Krupp, Joseph Lewinter, Celia Lipsitz, William Mintz, Ruth Brill Moldovan, Celia Rofey, David M. Rosenberg, Samuel Earl Schugar, Rose Sherry, Bennie Silverman, Tillie Tex Tuesday February 13: Abraham B. Amper, Philip Anolik, Sophie Auerbach, Gertrude Brody, Leah Canter, Esther Covel, Anne M. Darling, Harry Friedman, Mendel Helfand, Morris Herr, Julius Skigen, Mary Davis Solomon, Esther Spiro, Isadore Zeidenschneider, David Zytnick Wednesday February 14: Elijah Becker, Meyer Borofsky, David Brown, David Brown, Morris Goldberg, Betty G. Gordon, Gertrude Grossman, Edward Haims, Leeba Hausman, Lillian Hoffman, Abram Katkisky, Helen Klein, Jacob Levine, Max Malkin, Morris Malt, Minnie Rosenberg, Rachel Sheffler Shuklansky, Abe Weiner, Louis Weiss, Gussie Wolf Thursday February 15: Bessie Taback Americus, Samuel Bails, Louis Cohen, Isadore Dektor, Rachel Eisenberg, Dora Feldman, Sarah R. Fineman, Ida Goldberg, Adolph Graff, Jacob Horewitz, Joseph R. Kaufman, Isadore Libson, Milton Emanuel Linder, Morris T. Mason, Ben Neiman, Anna Goldie Pearlman, Nathan Routman, Martha Trachtenberg, Anna H. Wolfe, Ann Yecies Friday February 16: Milton Abes, Harry Cohen, Joseph Cohen, Sarah Finkelstein, Leonard M. Friedman, Norman B. Goldfield, Sadye Goldstein, Minna Hohenstein, David Kaplan, Dr. Edward Kaplan, Sarah Kaufman, Rose G. Klein, Isaac Rosenberg, Bertha B. Rosenfeld, Joseph Rosenthal, Blanche Schultz, Celia Soloman, Samual Spokane, Ruth Steiger, Isaac Zuckerman Saturday February 17: Samuel Barasch, Henrietta Caplan, Ida Danenberg, Morris Finkelstein, Milton I. Freedman, Abe I. Friedman, Rose Goldenberg, Dorothy Goldstein, Carl Gussin, Sadye Judd, Jack Leff, Lena Lefkowitz, Aaron Mallinger, Bella W. Marks, Solomon Neustein, Betty F. Paull, Emanuel Perlow, Lee Radbord, Bertha Rosenfeld, Alice Shapiro, Miriam Silberman, Julius Silverman, Janina Winkler, Pauline Zalevsky


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FEBRUARY 9, 2018 19

Obituaries Sam Bloch, a leader of the Holocaust survivor community, dies at 94


am Bloch, a Holocaust survivor who committed much of his life to ensuring that the murder of millions of Jews would not be denied and the lives they led would not be forgotten, has died. Bloch, who was an executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for 50 years, died Sunday. He was 94. He was one of the principal organizers of historic survivor gatherings in Jerusalem, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. Bloch was a founder of Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People (then known as the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora) and served as chairman of the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and a member of its Board of Governors. For many years he was also a member of the board of directors of the American Section of the World Jewish Congress. In addition, Bloch was a founding member of the International Society for Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance authority, and a founder of the American Friends of the IDF. Bloch was born in Ivie, Poland, in what today is Belarus. He attended high school in Vilna, and was home on a school break when World War II broke out, according to information provided by his family. His father was

Obituaries: Continued from page 19

murdered by the Einsatzgruppen Nazi mobile killing unit, and Bloch, his mother and brother escaped from the Jewish ghetto and hid first with Christian farmers and then in the woods. They later joined the Bielski partisan brigade and were able to survive the war. He was the youngest leader of the Jewish Committee that governed the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp. He met and married his wife of 69 years, Lilly Czaban, in the DP camp, from where they immigrated to the United States. Bloch served as president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants; president of the World Federation of Bergen-Belsen Survivors Associations; chairman of the Advisory Council of the Foundation for World War II Memorial Sites in Lower Saxony, Germany, and served as a member of its board. In 1981, Elie Wiesel, then-chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed him as chairman of the council’s Board of Advisers as well as a member of its Development, Days of Remembrance, and Content committees. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  PJC —JTA

WANDER: Harvey Wander, age 94, of White Oak, died Tuesday, January 30, 2018. He was born January 10, 1924, in Elizabeth, Pa., son of the late Morris and Minnie Mermelstein Wander. A well-known figure in Pittsburgh, he was an entrepreneur and business owner. He managed the first rock and roll club in Pittsburgh. He subsequently established Harvey’s House on Federal Street and later formed the Harvey Wander Agency, a bail bond business. He was a member of the Pleasant Hills-Guthrie Lodge #509 F&AM.

Cholim: Continued from page 7

volunteers at Bikur Cholim Pittsburgh, the group’s focus is not only on the Orthodox, explained its leader. “The focus really isn’t denominational per se, it isn’t that they have to be Orthodox; the focus is really on people who need some help on keeping up some standard of kashrut and some standard of Shabbat, but that’s totally according to their preferences. “I’ve cared for families where I’ve had to learn a lot more about their cultural preferences because they’re far to the right of my personal

He was also a member of Scottish Rite where he received his 32nd degree. He was also dedicated and active in the Shrine as well. A sports enthusiast, he coached amateur basketball in White Oak and was a Pittsburgh Steelers season ticket holder for more than 50 years. He is survived by his devoted wife of 71 years, Irene Rudick Wander; son, Jeffrey (Lisa) Wander of Cuyutlan, Mexico; daughter, Elyse Wander of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren, Joshua, Meghan, Layne; and great-grandchildren, Calina, Zoë and Scarlett. Family and friends gathered at Strifflers of White Oak Cremation and Mortuary Services, Inc. Rabbi Paul Tuchman officiated. Burial at Temple Cemetery.   PJC

practice; and we’ve also cared for families to the left,” said Butler. “It’s really about the patient and the family, the fact that they’re going through a very stressful time, and we hope that we can alleviate that in some small way.” In that sense, the work is no different now than it was decades ago. Bikur Cholim of Pittsburgh “is still going to rely on the work of volunteers,” said Tashbook, who added that no salaries are being taken by anyone in the group. What has changed is that “this organization has a clear identity.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz


AN ELDER LAW / ASSET PROTECTION SUCCESS STORY This is one in a series of articles about Elder Law by Michael H. Marks., Esq. Michael H. Marks is an elder law attorney practicing at Marks Elder Law with offices in Squirrel Hill and Monroeville. Send questions to or visit www.

Jerry and Lisa needed help to deal with Jerry’s advancing dementia and increasing cost of care. They were terrified they would lose everything. Jerry and Lisa had done well for themselves. They owned their home, they had CDs and bank accounts and some investments. They also each had IRAs and life insurance. Then things got worse for Jerry. There came a time when Lisa could no longer take care of Jerry at home; his dementia had progressed to the point that he needed to go to a nursing home. Lisa was staggered when she began researching the cost of nursing home care. She quickly learned that Medicare, that they had always relied on, would not pay for Jerry to be in the nursing home permanently – for “long-term care” – but would only pay for short-term, temporary nursing home care. Then the nursing home began bill them at the rate of $320 a day, or almost $10,000 per month. At that rate, all

20 FEBRUARY 9, 2018

their assets, including their house, would be gone within a few years. Jerry could easily remain in the nursing home far longer. It was at this point that Lisa visited our office in Squirrel Hill. Elder law to the rescue! With no long term care insurance, the only viable choice was to have Jerry enrolled in Medicaid. Jerry needed Medicaid to pay for his long-term care in a nursing home, or their life savings and retirement nest egg would be gone pretty quickly. But Medicaid has strict rules on financial eligibility so we got to work on lawful, allowable asset protection strategies. Otherwise, Medicaid wouldn’t even begin to pay for Jerry in the nursing home till after they had spent most of their own money on Jerry’s care.

Resource Allowance.” Finally, I helped them put all their remaining money that wasn’t already protected – the money that Medicaid told them they had to spend at the nursing home first – into a very specialized kind of annuity, a “Medicaid Qualified Spousal Immediate Annuity.” I helped Lisa transfer the rest of her cash and liquid assets – excess “available resources” according to Medicaid - into a stream of future payments, thereby making Jerry eligible for Medicaid. All the money was returned to Lisa in monthly payments over

the ensuing months, for her to keep. I also guided them in removing Jerry as an owner or beneficiary where appropriate or required. I was able to save them virtually everything they owned. They ended up paying the nursing home privately for only a short period of time. They kept many, many, many times the amount of my fee that without the right advice, they would have lost. By the way, they kept their home for Lisa, too. When Jerry passed, Lisa and the kids were heartbroken, but she was financially secure. I couldn’t have been more proud of the help that I provided.

First, I helped them spend some of their money on things they needed or could use anyway, like prepaid funerals, upgrading the car that Lisa drove every day to see her husband, and other transactions that would protect value for them (but not mess up our plan for Jerry’s Medicaid) under the rules. Next, we identified specific assets that Lisa would be allowed to keep, because she was Jerry’s wife still living at home in the community – her “Community Spouse



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© 2018 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Property information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


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FEBRUARY 9, 201821

Community Well done!

At Temple David

On Sunday, Jan. 28, volunteers helped package medical supplies as part of a project sponsored by I-Volunteer, a partnership of the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center and Friendship Circle. The site was in Green Tree at Global Links, an organization that sends surplus medical supplies to those in need around the world. The project included volunteers from Moishe House and the wider Jewish community. The Volunteer Center offers I-Volunteer opportunities monthly.

p From left: Emily Ford and Riki Rudolph of the Friendship Circle

p Hannah Dunn and Rebecca Gerse learn the correct blessing for eating olives at the Weiger School as part of its Tu B’Shevat celebration.

u Nate Goldberg decides which delicious fruits to eat next.

Photos courtesy of Temple David

‘Recycled’ fun p Moishe House volunteers at the I-Volunteer event. From left: Rose Eilenberg, Gabrielle Palmer, Dafna Bliss and Alex Temple

p Rebecca Lasus and daughter Hannah attend PJ Library’s Tu B’Shevat program at the Mt. Lebanon Library. Children were asked to craft a tree out of recycled materials.

p Casey Briglia, left, of the Friendship Circle works with volunteer Brendan Clancy, far right, to sort medical scrubs at the I-Volunteer event.

Photos courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

22 FEBRUARY 9, 2018

u Josh Brasher constructs a tree out of recycled items.

Photos courtesy of PJ Library



Community At Temple Sinai

Mostly Musical Shabbat at Temple Sinai is the first Friday of every month and is a sensory-friendly experience. The music is informal and lively — dancing and singing along are encouraged. The service features the Temple Sinai Band; visual tefillah to follow along in Hebrew, English or pictures; sign language during a portion of the service; a quiet room with a live stream of the service; and fidget toys. In recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, Temple Sinai presented a screening of “My Hero Brother” on Saturday, Feb. 3 with a Skype question-and-answer session afterward with the producer. The evening reception featured an art exhibit by artists with disabilities.

p Kara Ruth Snyder with her artwork p Delanie Swearman with her artwork

u Event organizer Mara Kaplan welcomes guests to Temple Sinai.

t From left: Cantor Laura Berman, Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Lenore Wossidlo and son signing and Rabbi Keren Gorban

Photos courtesy of Temple Sinai



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