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October 22, 2021 | 16 Cheshvan 5782

NOTEWORTHY LOCAL On raising a Nobel Prize winner

Candle Lighting 6:11 p.m. | Havdalah 7:09 p.m | Vol. 64, No. 43 | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org

Eyewitnesses testify that Oct. 27 shooter made antisemitic statements

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Oct. 27 attack plays prominent role at Eradicate Hate summit By David Rullo | Staff Writer

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An interview with Squirrel Hill parents Sarah and Stan Angrist

the time and therefore should have been given his Miranda warnings and told of his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent. The defendant faces more than 60 federal charges, including hate crime violations and obstruction of religious belief. He was not in the courtroom during the hearing, having waived his right to be there. At issue are a series of conversations between the defendant and officers and medical personnel following two gun battles with police. The defendant made the statements in question while he crawled out of the room to officers; after he reached the officers and had been handcuffed; while being transported from the Tree of Life building to Allegheny General Hospital; and before and after his surgery. Evidence of the defendant’s statements is included in recordings, reports from handwritten notes and video from the ambulance ride that was recorded on an officer’s body camera. Dozens of the conversations and portions of video were played during the hearing. Lead Pittsburgh Police SWAT officer Stephen Mescan said the defendant’s remarks were spontaneous utterances and not the

tanding before a crowd of several hundred, Michele Rosenthal welcomed attendees to the Eradicate Hate Global Summit by remembering her brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal, who were murdered on Oct. 27, 2018, in the Tree of Life building. Rosenthal’s voice cracked as she recalled her brothers and the events of three years ago. Cecil and David, she said, were good men who lived good lives. She recalled how they were affectionately known as the “mayors of Squirrel Hill,” how they bought flowers for their mother, how they were treated as members of the local fire department and how they often shared a cup of tea with Tree of Life’s custodian. “They did not judge anyone,” Rosenthal said. “Not by religion, color or ethnicity. They are my example, and they should be your example, too. They demonstrated the hearts and actions we want the world to show toward each other. Simple lessons, simple truths, simple love. Simply, let’s all love like the boys.” The massacre at the Tree of Life building loomed large over the summit, which was conceived following the Oct. 27 attack, said University of Pittsburgh chancellor emeritus Mark Nordenberg. Nordenberg co-chaired the summit along with Laura Ellsworth, first partner in charge of global community service initiatives for the law firm Jones Day. “Laura called and said, ‘We need to do something to make certain Pittsburgh becomes better known, not for being the site of this attack, but for its effective and constructive response to hate,’” Nordenberg told the audience. The Eradicate Hate Global Summit 2021, which ran from Oct. 18-20 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown,

Please see Eyewitesses, page 14

Please see Summit, page 14

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LOCAL 535 gifts to Congress

 Banner created by students from Baldwin Borough outside the Tree of Life building following the Oct. 27, 2018, attack. Photo by Toby Tabachnick

Irwin Kotovsky honors immigrants Page 3

LOCAL The lessons of Oct. 27

Natan Sharansky on moving forward in the battle against antisemitism Page 4

By David Rullo | Staff Writer

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fter murdering 11 people and injuring six others in the Tree of Life building— including four Pittsburgh Police officers — the shooter lay in a room upstairs in the synagogue, according to eyewitnesses who testified at an evidentiary hearing last week. Injured and afraid he would be killed by police — whose guns were trained on the entrance to the room — the shooter began negotiations that would allow him to come out and obtain medical attention, according to law enforcement officers at the hearing. As the shooter crawled from the room, the officers testified, he made antisemitic statements, including, “They’re killing our children. All Jews have to die.” Sixteen witnesses, including several police officers and medical personnel, testified on Oct. 12 and 13 before U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, at a hearing held to determine whether prosecutors will be permitted to use at trial some of the statements the defendant made the day of the massacre. Defense attorneys want those statements suppressed, claiming he was “in custody” at

keep your eye on PittsburghJewishChronicle LOCAL

Resettling refugees

LOCAL

“America and the Holocaust”

THEATER

Revisiting “The Band’s Visit”


Headlines Sarah and Stan Angrist on how to raise a Nobel Prize winner — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer

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quirrel Hill residents Sarah and Stan Angrist received a phone call at 6:25 a.m. on Oct. 11. The caller, a Floridabased reporter, told them their son Josh had just won the Nobel Prize and she’d like to speak with him. Bewildered, and barely awake, Stan declined to share Josh’s number and hung up. Still puzzled by the call, though, Stan powered on his computer and saw The New York Times had announced that Josh Angrist, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in economics. Stan and Sarah immediately phoned their son, who was preparing for a season-ending sail at Cape Cod. When Stan asked his son if he knew about the story in The Times, Josh, 61, replied, “‘Well, yes, I see I’ve been getting a lot of texts, but the truth of the matter is I have lost the phone number for the Swedish Academy in Stockholm and I’m looking for it right now,’” Stan told the Chronicle. As it turned out, representatives of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had phoned Josh earlier, but because of the time difference between Massachusetts and Stockholm, the call came in the middle of the night, after Josh had silenced his ringer. Several days have passed since the bevy of calls and messages began, and Stan and Sarah are still trying to contextualize it all. When asked what it means to be a parent of a Nobel Prize winner, Sarah said, “It’s hard to say. We have three sons. Josh is the oldest. All of them are very bright and very accomplished and they’re real menshen.” “We’ve encouraged them,” Sara continued.

p Sarah and Stan Angrist

“They’re wonderful children, and they now have families themselves. We’re very lucky, Josh and his wife, Mira, are grandparents already.” While Stan and Sarah shep nachas when it comes to their family, they are wary of offering child-rearing advice. Raising a Nobel Prize laureate was never on their radar, they said. Josh grew up in Shadyside, attended the Hebrew Institute and celebrated his bar mitzvah at Congregation Dor Hadash. But Stan and Sarah — both former faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University — observed Josh’s growing disinterest in school. As a teenager Josh was “restless” and “not too engaged with studies,” Sarah recalled. He was interested in writing and producing

Photos courtesy of Stan Angrist

plays and participated in a teen group at the Jewish Community Center. “High school was difficult for him and for us,” Stan said. “I got to tell you, he spent a lot of time at Rhoda’s, which was a deli on Murray Avenue near Allderdice. He and some of his buddies spent a lot of time there when they should have been in class.” “I wasn’t a precocious high school student,” Josh said in a conversation hosted by MIT shortly after the Oct. 11 announcement of his Nobel Prize. And it wasn’t until he graduated early from Allderdice, then spent some time working with disabled children, that he decided he “really probably should go to college.” As a freshman at Oberlin College, Josh took Econ 101 with Robert Piron — now an

emeritus professor at Oberlin. “It was all new to me,” Josh said in the interview hosted by MIT. “I hadn’t been exposed to economics in high school. I loved my Econ 101 course. It was a whole way of looking at the world. It just resonated with me and I never stopped loving it.” After graduating from Oberlin in 1982, Josh moved to Israel. He started graduate school at Hebrew University but dropped out “after about a year of some struggle,” he said. Having become an Israeli citizen, Josh served in the IDF for two years before convincing his Israeli wife, Mira, they should return to the States. Once back in America, Josh began graduate school again, this time at Princeton University, and completed his master’s and doctorate in economics. As a young scholar, Josh taught at Harvard and Hebrew University before eventually becoming a professor at MIT. Josh described his academic path as “sort of a winding road.” His parents said those travels were difficult at times but it taught them to “back off and to listen to him — and to understand what he was somehow searching for but didn’t find in high school,” Sarah said. Raising children is hard, she continued, “and with the firstborn, you know, sometimes you make mistakes.” Stan, though hesitant to offer advice because “everybody’s situation is different,” said if there was anything he could tell others who are seeking input on raising a Nobel Prize winner it’s “just don’t give up on your kid.” “It’s challenging...and being a Jewish mother and a Jewish father, I don’t know, we just lived through it,” Sarah laughed. “It’s a learning experience to be a parent.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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Headlines

 Tracy Kosylo and Irwin Kotovsky hold a commemorative coin, letter and envelopes.

 Irwin Kotovsky and Tracy Kosylo prepare 535 mailings.

Photo courtesy of YaJagoff Media, LLC.

Photo by Adam Reinherz

Local nonagenarian sends 535 gifts to Congress with one goal: Recognition of immigrants — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer

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rwin Kotovsky, 91, packaged, stamped and mailed 535 envelopes, inspired by one aim: In honor of National Immigrants

Day, which is Oct. 28, Kotovsky wants each member of Congress to remember this country’s history of welcoming immigrants and the contributions immigrants have made to bettering the republic. “The United States is the country that it is because of the immigrants that have come here,” Kotovsky explained while seated

inside his Brighton Heights office. As a first-generation American — born to a Ukrainian father and Lithuanian mother — Kotovsky achieved the so-called American dream. After growing up in Greenfield, celebrating his bar mitzvah at Bnai Emunoh and completing studies at Allderdice High School and the University of Pittsburgh, Kotovsky

founded Modular International, Inc., a custom lighting company. The Pittsburghbased business collaborates with architects, interior designers and lighting consultants worldwide. The company employs nearly 30 people, according to online reports. Please see Immigrants, page 15

Commemorative Torah Study October 27th and the 18th of Cheshvan mark three years since the attack on Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation, and Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation. The Jewish Federation is honored to host Torah Study in honor of the eleven lives lost.

Eleven study sessions over two days with inspiring scholars to choose from.

October 24 Sessions from 3-3:50 p.m., 4-4:50 p.m., 5-5:50 p.m.

October 27

Sessions from 12-12:50 p.m., 1-1:50 p.m.

Register: jewishpgh.org/commemorative-torah-learning-instructors/ Learn more: 1027healingpartnership.org/commemoration/ commemorative-study-events/

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Headlines Natan Sharansky on the lessons of Oct. 27

p Natan Sharansky speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo courtesy of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center

— LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer

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sraeli politician and human rights activist Natan Sharansky sees several lessons stemming from the Oct. 27 antisemitic attack and its aftermath. Not only was it a horrific example of rising antisemitism in the U.S., but it also demonstrated the ability of Jews from disparate backgrounds to stand in unity— as well as the tendency of some to politicize tragedy. During an Oct. 6 address in Kyiv, Ukraine, to commemorate 80 years since the murder of 34,000 Jews at Babi Yar, and during a recent conversation with the Chronicle, Sharansky recounted an evolution of antisemitic activity and shared his thoughts on Oct. 27. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was a wake-up call for many American Jews, he said, but it also “reminded everybody how united the Jewish community of Pittsburgh is.” National and international television highlighted the outpouring of “love, sympathy and support” to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, Sharansky said. Publications and speeches in the aftermath of the attack also showed a deep connection between Jews and the general public, as people of diverse faiths stood together and expressed “solidarity, sympathy and a readiness to fight against extremism.” Unfortunately, Oct. 27 also exposed rifts within the Jewish fold, Sharanksy said, including “infighting” about whether community members should meet with President Donald Trump, and whether Minister of Diaspora Affairs and current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett should visit Pittsburgh so soon after the attack. The finger-pointing between political camps was both “unfortunate and very dangerous.” In earlier generations, antisemitic activity typically unified Jews: The 1840 blood libel in Damascus, the Dreyfus Affair and the Beilis Trial each led to global Jewry standing together. Pittsburgh, however, showed how “political questions” could create fissures,

Sharansky said. “I think Pittsburgh emphasized all the good that we can see in America and the Jewish community and the Pittsburgh Jewish community, but it also shed light on the challenges in the fight against antisemitism, and how the most obvious and clear cases can be used for political rivalry,” he said. For nearly 50 years, Sharansky has studied, and experienced firsthand, antisemitic activity. As a young man, following his efforts as a refusenik to promote Soviet Jewry, he was convicted of treason and spying on behalf of the United States and sentenced to 13 years of forced labor. At that point in his life, Sharansky thought antisemitism was “a direct result of repressive totalitarian regimes,” he said. “A totalitarian regime needs scapegoats, a totalitarian regime needs external enemies in order to keep its own people under control.” Yet after arriving in Israel in 1986 — following an international campaign for his release — Sharansky’s perception of antisemitism shifted “to something of a much broader phenomenon,” he said. Within the free world, antisemitism, as he came to understand, involved “delegitimization, demonization and double standards.” These “three Ds,” Sharansky said, were hallmarks of “classical antisemitism and antisemitism towards the Jewish state.” He said Jews worldwide are experiencing increased threats from various political camps and ideologies. There is Islamic antisemitism, as espoused by Iranian leadership. From the political left is the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and “insistence that Israel, the Jewish state, has no right to exist by some representatives of the academic world,” Sharansky told the Chronicle. Pittsburgh and Toulouse, France — where a teacher and three children at a Jewish school were murdered in 2012 — are the “face of antisemitism on the right.” The attacks in Pittsburgh and Toulouse mobilized Jewish organizations to provide strategic defenses, Sharansky said. While serving as Please see Sharansky, page 15

9/20/21 9:33 AM

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Headlines

University of Pittsburgh presents

Refugees from Afghanistan among dozens recently resettled by JFCS — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle

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ittsburghers have shown overwhelming support for recent Jewish Family and Community Services’ efforts to resettle 320 refugees, many of them from war-torn Afghanistan, which fell under Taliban control over the summer. JFCS, which has been resettling refugees in the Greater Pittsburgh region for decades, has resettled 72 people since June, including two Special Immigrant Visa, or SIV, cases and five Afghan parole, or APA, cases, officials said. They are expecting to resettle a total of 320 individuals by June 2022. Pittsburghers have responded in kind, offering everything from monetary donations to groceries and gift cards, furniture and even their own homes for temporary refugee housing. JFCS has received $121,679 in individual gifts since announcing the new wave of arrivals in June, as well as $5,000 from the Brother’s Brother Foundation to respond to the arrival of families specifically from Afghanistan. During the same time period, more than 300 people have offered to volunteer with JFCS’ Refugee & Immigrant Services department, officials said. “We have found the Pittsburgh community to be incredibly welcoming,” JFCS President and CEO Jordan Golin said. “We’ve been inundated with calls to help.” JFCS also has received support from Pittsburgh and Allegheny County government officials, as well as in the form of partnerships and collaborations. Today, the group is working with 10 area organizations — including Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania, and Salvation Army — to address refugee housing needs, donations and the use of volunteers. Golin said there are some connections to be seen between the Afghan refugees of

2021, the Jewish Russian refugees of the 1990s and European Jews fleeing Europe in the wake of World War II. “There is not a direct link in the sense of relationships between the individuals [but] there’s a relationship for sure in the reasons why we do this for Afghan refugees today,” Golin said. “Thankfully, today there are fewer Jewish refugees out there but there are people who need help … and we feel we have an obligation to do something.” Ivonne Smith-Tapia, JFCS’ refugee and immigrant services director, said one difference between Afghans and previous refugees is time. While prior waves of immigrants came with paperwork and three-month timelines, JFCS has grown accustomed to shorter notice and turn-around time with Afghan immigrants, sometimes as short as five hours’ heads-up about a pending arrival. “My team is incredible — they know what they’re doing [and] we have been able to adapt to the circumstances,” Smith-Tapia told the Chronicle. “We thank everyone for their support.” JFCS is working with local doctors and hospitals to ensure that Afghan individuals can receive timely and adequate medical care, including COVID-19 shots and all other necessary vaccinations. Another early priority is getting individuals social security cards so they can apply for government benefits, Smith-Tapia said. Golin stressed his organization is not wading into debate about what the U.S. should do in response to the turbulence in Afghanistan, but merely responding to the government officials — whether they’re Democrats or Republicans — telling them how many families to help resettle. “We are not partisan, we are not political,” Golin said. “Our role is to help those the U.S. government has authorized to become integrated.”  PJC

PITTSBURGH SPEAKERS SERIES Seven Thought-Provoking Evenings of Diverse Opinions and World Perspectives

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Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.

p Airplane with Afghan families on board landing at Pittsburgh International Airport Photo courtesy of Allie Reefer/JFCS.

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Calendar Submit calendar items on the Chronicle’s website, pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. Submissions also will be included in print. Events will run in the print edition beginning one month prior to the date as space allows. The deadline for submissions is Friday, noon. q FRIDAY, OCT. 22-WEDNESDAY, OCT. 27

Join the Pittsburgh community to commemorate the 11 lives lost on Oct. 27, 2018. The 10.27 Healing Partnership, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Repair the World present volunteer opportunities, Torah study and an in-person and Zoom commemoration ceremony. For more information, visit 1027healingpartnership.org. q SUNDAYS, OCT. 24, 31; NOV. 7, 14, 21

Join a lay-led Online Parashah Study Group to discuss the week’s Torah portion. No Hebrew knowledge is needed. The goal is to build community while deepening understanding of the text. 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org. q SUNDAYS, OCT. 24-NOV. 21

In this new series, Halakhic Conversations, Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will discuss a variety of controversial halakhic issues relevant to the lives of contemporary Jews with Poale Zedek Rabbi Daniel Yolkut. Ranging from end-of-life issues to the difficult test of coronavirus to the use of technology,

the conversations will consider how the halakha is applied to today’s cutting-edge issues. $75 for all eight Zoom sessions. 10 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh.org/halakhicconversations q MONDAY, OCT. 25

Classrooms Without Borders, in coordination with Tali Nates, founder and director of the Johannesburg Genocide & Holocaust Centre, and in partnership with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Liberation 75, The Philip Chosky Charitable and Educational Foundation and the USC Shoah Foundation presents Holocaust Museums and Memorials Around the World. 2 p.m. classroomswithoutborders. org/holocaust_museums_and_memorials_ around_the_world q MONDAYS, OCT. 25; NOV. 8, 15

Join Congregation Beth Shalom for a weekly Talmud study. 9:15 a.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org.  q MONDAYS, OCT. 25-DEC. 20

Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will examine the accounts of some of the most interesting righteous gentiles in the Tanakh in his new course Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible. $55 for all 11 Zoom sessions. 9:30 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh.org/ righteous-gentiles

q TUESDAY, OCT. 26

Join Hadassah Midwest as its welcomes Wendy Evans, art historian, as she illuminates the art and lives of Jewish women artists. 7 p.m. $18. hadassahmidwest.org/RooseveltArt Join the Jewish Spark for Millennial Kosher with Chanie Apfelbaum, of Busy in Brooklyn. Apfelbaum is a food blogger, writer, recipe developer and photographer. VIP reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Live cooking demo and three-course dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. Fox Chapel Racquet Club, 355 Hunt Road. Vaccination card required for participation. For more information, including all pricing options and to RSVP, visit jewishspark.com. Join Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures for Made Local with Mark Oppenheimer, a virtual lecture with the author of “Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood.” Oppenheimer will also be at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill for a book signing at 7:30 p.m. Register for the prerecorded, virtual event at pittsburghlectures.org/mark-oppenheimer.

for all Zoom sessions. 9:30 a.m. foundation. jewishpgh.org/making-the-case-for-israel q TUESDAYS, OCT. 26-NOV. 30

Join Rabbi Daniel Yolkut for “Messiah,” an exploration of the history and philosophy of one of the most powerful (and destabilizing) ideas in the Jewish experience: Messianism. A fascinating deep dive into the personalities and perspectives that shaped history-changing movements from Christianity to Zionism and continues to be a misunderstood but critical Jewish belief to this day. $75 for all Zoom sessions. 11 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh. org/messiah q TUESDAYS, OCT. 26-MAY 24

Sign up now for Melton Core 2, Ethics and Crossroads of Jewish Living. Discover the central ideas and texts that inform our daily, weekly and annual rituals, as well as life cycle observances and essential Jewish theological concepts and ideas as they unfold in the Bible, the Talmud and other sacred texts. $300. 9:30 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh.org/melton-2

q TUESDAYS, OCT. 26-NOV. 9

q WEDNESDAY, OCT. 27

In the workshop Making the Case for Israel, Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will offer tools for how to respond to Israel’s critics in 2021. This is a course for those who want to see Israel prosper and who would like to know more about how to answer the accusations that are now being made against Israel. $40

Join Temple Sinai to study the weekly Torah portion in our hybrid class, available on Zoom. Open to everyone. 12 p.m. templesinaipgh.org/ event/parashah/weekly-torah-portion-classvia-zoom11.html Please see Calendar, page 7

As we mark three years since October 27, 2018, the JCC and our neighbors honor the 11 lives that were taken and support our community healing through reflection, learning and action.

Remember and Reflect: 10.27 Commemoration 2021 • Community Service Events • Jewish Learning Study Sessions • Commemoration Ceremony • Wednesday, October 27 • 4:30 pm Schenley Park, Prospect Drive For more information: 1027healingpartnership.org 412-697-3534 info@1027HealingPartnership.org

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Calendar q THURSDAYS, OCT. 28-JUNE 30

q WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage proudly invites you to a virtual behind-the-scenes look at their newest special exhibition, “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory,” featuring co-creators curator Arielle Weininger and photographer Jim Lommasson. $5 nonmembers; free for Maltz Museum Members. 7 p.m. maltzmuseum.org/events/stories-ofsurvival-a-special-exhibition-launch-event

The Alan Papernick Educational Institute Endowment Fund presents Continuing Legal Education, a six-part CLE series taught by Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff. Earn up to 12 CLE credits. Each session is a standalone unit; you can take one class or all six. 8:30 a.m. With CLE credit: $30/session or $150 all sessions; without CLE credit: $25/session or $125 all sessions. For a complete list of dates and topics, visit foundation.jewishpgh.org/ continuing-legal-education.

Join Hadassah Midwest for From Sarah to Golda: Female Jewish Leadership Past, Present and Future with Rebecca Starr, director of regional programs for the Shalom Hartman Institute. 11 a.m. $10 members; $12 nonmembers. hadassahmidwest.org/ tikvahleadership

q WEDNESDAYS, OCT. 27;

q FRIDAY, OCT. 29

Calendar: Continued from page 6

NOV. 3, 10, 17, 24

Join Moishe House as it partners with JFed, Repair the World, The Friendship Circle and OneTable for Together at The Table: 10.27 Commemoration. There will be a virtual service with a brief kiddush and intention setting, followed by individual dinners at home. Time TBA. Register here: forms.gle/ ieF3MzzSyU93sVm36.

Bring the parashah alive and make it personally relevant and meaningful. Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman. 12:15 p.m. bethshalompgh. org/life-text q WEDNESDAYS, OCT. 27-JAN. 26

In The Jewish Moral Virtues, Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will explore Jewish teaching on critical moral virtues. Based on the qualities listed in the 13th century Sefer Maalot Hamiddot (The Book of the Choicest Virtues), Rabbi Schiff will explore the contemporary application of these moral virtues to our 21st century lives. $65 for all 13 Zoom sessions. 9:30 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh.org/jewishmoral-virtues

q SUNDAY, OCT. 31

Gather on Zoom with the Briya Project, for moments of ritual and writing in the writing course “Sh’ma - Hear Your Inner Voice.” The session will include a communal ritual and creative prompt to help you hear your inner artistic voice. 6 p.m. ticketailor.com/events/ briyaproject/564066

RSVP required to receive Zoom link. 6 p.m. jewishpgh.org/event/mega-mission-novemberinfo-session The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh presents Disability Rights and the Power of Advocacy. Join Aaron Kaufman, senior manager of legislative affairs in Jewish Federation of North America’s Washington D.C. office, Laura Cherner, director of the Community Relations Council, and Dr. Josie Badger, disability activist and consultant, to learn what advocacy is all about, how it works and its importance to improving the lives of people living with disabilities. 7 p.m. jewishpgh.org/event/disability-rights-and-thepower-of-advocacy

q WEDNESDAYS, NOV. 3-JAN. 24

Through illuminating source texts and captivating case studies, Outsmarting Antisemitism — A four-part JLI course on the absurdity of antisemitsm considers the sources of this ancient scourge, along with the appropriate strategies for overcoming it. 7:30 p.m. Zoom or in-person.chabadsh.com

q TUESDAY, NOV. 9

q SUNDAY, NOV. 7

Join Classrooms Without Borders for the film “What Will Become of Us” and a postscreening discussion with filmmaker Stephanie Ayanian, Rev. Fr. Hratch Sargsyan, and Anthony Barsamian in conversation with Dr. Mark Cole. 3 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/whatwill-become-of-us  q MONDAY, NOV. 8

Learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Mega Mission over Zoom. The mission will take place in Israel on June 13-21, 2022. This is your chance to hear the details and ask all of your pressing questions.

Classrooms Without Borders presents Hollywood Composers: Musicians in Exile with Inbal Megiddo, cello and Jian Liu, piano. 4 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/ hollywood-composers-musicians-exile-inbalmegiddo-cello-jian-liu-piano q THURSDAY, NOV. 11

Join fellow Ben Gurion Society members for an incredible day of tailgating before the showdown: Pitt vs. UNC. Tickets are limited. Please provide a working email and cell phone number, tailgating details will be sent out closer to the event. 5:30 p.m. jewishpgh.org/ event/bgs-pitt-football-game-and-tailgate PJC

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Headlines New illustrated book highlights America’s response to the Holocaust — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle

A

new illustrated book published in Pittsburgh aims to combat bigotry and hate, while telling the story of what the United States did — and didn’t — do for European Jews during the Holocaust. Barbara Burstin, a local historian who teaches at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, wrote the 16-page script for the book, “America and the Holocaust,” hoping “it might appeal to young people,” she said. Burstin also launched a website, AmericaandtheHolocaust.com, to promote the book, which is written for middle- and high-school students. She said the Holocaust and America’s response is “a subject I care about and know about,” and she wrote the book as a way to reach a broader audience. The story is told through the characters of two modern-day students bouncing through the events of the 1930s and 1940s, interacting with key players as the story of the Holocaust unfolds. “It seemed the logical thing — that’s something I wanted right away,” Burstin said. “And

I wanted one to be a Black student to make this more than a Jewish issue … the message is, ‘Combat bigotry.’ Clearly, antisemitism is expressed. But it’s not exclusive.” Burstin paired up with illustrator Frederick Carlson, a Carnegie Mellon alum and former illustration professor who was the first illustrator from outside New York City to be elected president of the National Graphic Artists Guild. Carlson said “America and the Holocaust” — which runs 32 pages, some of them densely designed and lavishly illustrated — is less of a comic book or a graphic novel than it is an “illustrated book.” “I said, ‘Look, this is a timetravel novel — by the end of the book, these are kids of today,’” Carlson explained. “Every page has ethical questions posited. You could spend weeks and weeks and weeks reading through this.” That’s true: The book encompasses a great level of nuance and detail, offering social and political commentaries from the period, Cover of “America and the Holocaust” as well as details some middle- or p

high-school history books on the subject might omit. “Barbara’s very discerning about getting into the issues,” Carlson said. Carlson, who cites Jack Kirby and Golden Age Marvel illustrators as influences, used photos he took of two Gateway High School track athletes — real life teens Emma Sandor and Omarion Davidson — as inspiration. He then built the book around their interactions with the content. At one point, Davidson even asks FDR a press-conference-style question. The illustration portion of the project took four months. One thing the book seeks to show is how Hitler used the prejudices of Americans against the U.S. by flaunting the fact that Congressional leaders and members of FDR’s cabinet wouldn’t stop the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, Carlson said. “That was one of the things I was glad we were able to unveil,” Carlson said. “I think Barbara Please see Book, page 15

Art by Frederick Carlson

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Headlines An early moment in the Sephardic history of Pittsburgh — HISTORY — By Eric Lidji | Special to the Chronicle

A

few months ago, someone came up to me in synagogue and asked, “Who is David A. Mendoza?” I knew exactly why he was asking. I had often wondered myself. At Congregation Poale Zedeck, along the eastern wall of the sanctuary, above the ark, there is a large circular stained glass window. It features the hands of the priestly blessing inside a fiery Star of David. Affixed to the glass, slightly off center, is a hand-painted plaque. It reads: “David A. Mendoza, in memory of Emanuel & Lucy Mendoza.” My curiosity — and my friend’s, too, I think — came from the name Mendoza. It is a surname that seemed to swim against the strongest currents of local Jewish history. Mendoza suggests the world of the “Western Sephardim.” These were the Jews who remained in Spain and Portugal following the conversion decrees and later migrated into northern Europe. They were eventually among the first Jewish settlers in North America. They began arriving in the 17th century and formed communities in New York, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, in cities down the East Coast, in the Caribbean and in Brazil.

They really didn’t cross the Allegheny Mountains to our side of the state. Our story began with later waves. Southern Germans and then Poseners came in the 1840s, followed by Lithuanians and Hungarians, and then Russians, Poles, Galitzianers, Romanians and other Eastern Europeans. The Sephardic population of our region emerged after World War II with the arrival of families from Egypt, Greece, Iran, Israel, Morocco and other parts of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. These migration patterns can be illuminating, but they can also be blinding. The plaque at Poale Zedeck both confirms and complicates the often-told story of our region. Lucy Levy was born in France and came to the Philadelphia area in 1860, as a small child. She was living in Pittsburgh by 1889, when she married Emanuel Mendoza. He had emigrated about six years earlier from England, where Mendozas had been living for generations. Genealogist Patrick Comerford traced the family to David de Mendoza (1650-1730) and Abigail David de la Penha Castro (1665-1751). They were part of the generation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who had faked conversion and then fled the Iberian Peninsula, joining the large Sephardic community in Amsterdam. From there, branches of the Mendozas went to the British Isles. One included

the clever English prizefighter Daniel Mendoza. Another included the actor Peter Sellers. Emanuel and Lucy Mendoza were likely one of the few Sephardic families in Pittsburgh at the time. What little is known about their lives is similar to the lives of other Jewish immigrants in the city. They lived in the Hill District and the Bluff. They sent their boys David and Nathan to the Irene Kaufmann Settlement House for activities. There were differences, though. They also sent their kids to the Rodef Shalom religious school for studies, and they stayed with Rodef Shalom when it relocated to Fifth Avenue in Shadyside. By 1910, they were living on Zulema Street in Oakland, perhaps to be closer. When their kids left home, they moved out to Dormont. But they remained members of Rodef Shalom and were both eventually buried in Please see History, page 15

p The Mendoza family of Pittsburgh traced its lineage back through England, Amsterdam and the worst years of Jewish persecution in Spain and Portugal. Photo courtesy of Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center

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OCTOBER 22, 2021  9


Headlines — WORLD — From JTA reports

US rejoins UN Human Rights Council 3 years after leaving

The U.S. rejoined the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Oct. 14, three years after former President Donald Trump pulled out of it over what his administration deemed a “shameless” bias against Israel. President Joe Biden’s envoy to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, argued in a statement that the move will not mean the U.S. does not stand with Israel. The council, which investigates alleged human rights abuses in U.N. member countries, has for decades routinely singled out Israel in reports and resolutions. Nikki Haley, former envoy to the U.N. under Trump, said in 2018 after the U.S.’ pullout that the council “was not worthy of its name.”

‘Holocaust was a scam’ projected on Swedish synagogue

Swedish police are investigating how the words “the Holocaust was a scam” were projected onto the main synagogue in Malmö while that city was holding an international forum on combating antisemitism. The projection was seen on the Synagogue of Malmö and on other buildings in

cities across southern Sweden on Oct. 13, the day of the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. Police are handling the case as a hate crime, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported. The Nordic Resistance Movement, a neo-Nazi group, claimed responsibility for the incident, according to Dagens Nyheter.

Texas official: Law requires teaching ‘opposing’ views on the Holocaust

Teachers in a Texas school district were told that a new state law requiring them to present multiple perspectives about “widely debated and currently controversial” issues meant they needed to make “opposing” views on the Holocaust available to students. NBC News obtained an audio recording of the official, Gina Peddy, the Carroll Independent School District’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, speaking to the teachers about how to work under the new law. The law was passed amid a wave of efforts in Republican-led statehouses to prevent “critical race theory,” “divisive” topics and concepts related to race and bias from being taught to children. “Make sure that if, if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing — that has other perspectives,” Peddy said in the recording.

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Gasps and sounds of nervous laughter can be heard on the recording, as one teacher asks aloud, “How do you oppose the Holocaust?” Peddy responds: “Believe me. That’s come up.”

EU plan to fight antisemitism ‘not serious,’ Jewish community leaders say

Leaders of European Jewish communities criticized the absence of reference to religious freedoms in an European Union plan to fight antisemitism and strengthen Jewish life. Titled “EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030),” the 46-page document published Oct. 6 reiterated several long-term goals and principles of various EU institutions regarding antisemitism, including the adoption of an EU definition of it by members states and educating young people against stereotypes. But it mentioned neither the bans put in place recently in multiple EU countries, including Belgium in 2019, of slaughter of animals without prior stunning — a prerequisite for producing kosher and halal meat — and attempts to outlaw the non-medical circumcision of boys. Ritual slaughter is illegal in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia. The Dutch Senate in 2012 reversed a ban passed the previous year, citing freedom of worship.

Survivor who called himself ‘The Happiest Man on Earth’ dies

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who published a best-selling memoir last year in Australia at age 100 titled “The Happiest Man on Earth,” died on Oct. 12. He had suffered a heart attack a few months earlier, J-Wire reported. Jaku earned tributes from an array of Australian political figures, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, whose Jewish mother survived the Holocaust in Hungary. Jaku was born Abraham “Adi” Jakubowiez in Leipzig, Germany. He earned a high school engineering degree that he said later helped him survive in Nazi concentration camps, since his slave labor was valuable, according to the Associated Press. He was sent to multiple camps, including Buchenwald and Auschwitz, and escaped from what he suspected was a death march in the latter as Allied soldiers approached. Jaku married his Jewish wife Flore in Belgium in 1946, and they immigrated to Australia in 1950, eventually going into the real estate business together. Jaku went on to volunteer and talk to high school students and other visitors to the Sydney Jewish Museum.  PJC

This week in Israeli history — WORLD — Items provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.

Oct. 22, 1952 — First Ambassador to Britain takes office

Eliahu Elath, who was Israel’s first ambassador to the United States, presents his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II as he is elevated from minister to become Israel’s first ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Oct. 23, 1998 — Wye River Memorandum is signed

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Benjamin Netanyahu, Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton sign a memorandum recommitting to the Oslo II agreement of September 1995 after nine days of negotiations at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland.

Oct. 24, 1915 — Husayn-McMahon correspondence starts

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Poland also outlawed the practice in 2013 but has since scaled back the ban to include only meat for export.

Sir Henry McMahon, the British high commissioner in Cairo, and Husayn Ibn Ali, the sherif of Mecca, begin an exchange of letters in which the British promise to back Husayn’s dreams of a caliphate if he fights the Ottoman Empire.

PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE

Oct. 25, 1976 — World Chess Olympiad opens in Haifa

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the president of the International Chess Federation, Max Euwe, open the 22nd men’s and seventh women’s Chess Olympiad in Haifa despite a Soviet-led boycott.

Oct. 26, 1994 — Israel, Jordan sign treaty

More than 4,500 people, including President Bill Clinton, witness Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian King Hussein sign a peace treaty at the Wadi Araba Border Crossing between Eilat and Aqaba.

Oct. 27, 1978 — Begin, Sadat win Nobel Prize

Forty-one days after signing the Camp David Accords, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat are announced as the winners of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.

Oct. 28, 1948 — Israel adopts state flag

The iconic banner with two blue stripes and a blue Star of David at its center, adopted by the First Zionist Congress in 1897, becomes the official Israeli flag five months after the state’s establishment.  PJC

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Headlines Josh Shapiro follows Jewish values in governor’s race — REGION — By Jarrad Saffren | Contributing Writer

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t the end of his campaign kickoff speech on Oct. 13, at Penn State Abington, Josh Shapiro paraphrased a line from the Talmud. “My faith teaches me that no one is required to complete the task, but neither are we free to refrain from it,” said the new Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor. The state’s attorney general, who is Jewish, said he uses that line in synagogues, churches and union halls alike, and now on his “Big Fights” bus tour that is serving as the opening stage of his 2022 gubernatorial campaign. And he uses it for two reasons. It clarifies his own role as a public servant, and it reminds citizens that they have a role to play, too. “Each of us has a responsibility to get off the sidelines, to get in the game and to do our part,” Shapiro continued in his address. “Folks, by being here tonight, you’ve stepped off the sidelines, you are in the game, and now it’s on all of us to do our part.” Shapiro closed his speech just seconds later to a round of applause from the hundreds of Montgomery County supporters in attendance. The attorney general opened his campaign earlier that day in Pittsburgh’s North Shore

 Josh Shapiro speaks to the crowd at his campaign rally on Oct. 13 at Penn State Abington.

Riverfront Park. But he saved his primetime kickoff event for his home county. The 48-year-old grew up in Montgomery County, graduated from the Akiba Hebrew Academy and attended Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park. As an adult, he moved back to the area with his wife, Lori, and began attending Beth Sholom all over again. Shapiro came of age in a Conservative Jewish household that kept kosher, and now he’s raising his own four kids the same way. For Shabbat dinner each week, Lori Shapiro even makes homemade challah. On Oct. 15, with the bus tour in full swing across the state, the Democrat finished an event at 6:30 p.m. in Scranton and raced home for Shabbat dinner. The Shapiros said their prayers and ate, just like they do every Friday night. “It keeps me grounded,” he said. “It is at

Photos by Jarrad Saffren

least one night each week where we know we’ll all be together.” Shapiro’s friends and neighbors say his faith is not just genuine, but deep. His rabbi at Beth Sholom, David Glanzberg-Krainin, pointed to one piece of evidence in particular: the Shapiro kids following in their father’s footsteps by attending the same Jewish day school, now called the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy. “Sending your kids to Jewish day school is a serious commitment,” Glanzberg-Krainin said. According to Nancy Astor-Fox, a Jewish Merion resident and the chief development officer for JEVS Human Services, Shapiro’s Judaism extends into his political work. JEVS helps “individuals with physical, developmental and emotional challenges as well as those facing adverse socio-economic

conditions,” per its website. Astor-Fox said Shapiro has visited the not-for-profit’s various programs and connected its leaders with political and community authorities. “He’s a righteous Jew,” Astor-Fox said. Jill Zipin, chairwoman for Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, a political action committee, concurs with that description In the past, Democratic Jewish Outreach was only a federal PAC, supporting candidates who reflected Jewish values. But Zipin started the state PAC to support Shapiro. She said the committee’s 13-member board aligns with Shapiro on several issues. Yet there’s one, access to the vote and support for the democratic process, that matters more than others right now. In November, after Democrat Joe Biden won Pennsylvania and the presidential election, then-President Donald Trump filed lawsuits challenging the result in court. Shapiro defended Pennsylvania’s process, both in court and in the media. Republican requests to invalidate millions of votes were rejected by state judges. Congress certified Biden’s Electoral College victory on Jan. 6. “Josh Shapiro is defending democracy,” Zipin said. “The GOP seeks to limit and take away the right to vote.” Zipin said that democracy is a Jewish issue. Please see Shapiro, page 18

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OCTOBER 22, 2021 11


Opinion Moving the needle — EDITORIAL —

T

he calls to stop antisemitism once and for all were loud in the weeks and months following the attack at the Tree of life building. Vigils were held where speakers decried Jew-hatred — as well as hatred directed against other marginalized groups — and urged diverse communities to work together to fight it. Countless panels of experts were convened to discuss the history of antisemitism, its sources, the politics behind it and its proliferation online. Books were written. Webinars were broadcast. Has anything changed since October 2018? The reports of rampant antisemitic rhetoric, vandalism and violence, both in this country and abroad, continue to appear daily in Jewish media — although those same stories are often absent in secular sources. Headstones are overturned at Jewish cemeteries, or Jewish students on college campuses are harassed for supporting Israel, or politicians slip into antisemitic tropes. Or worse: Jews are physically attacked on the streets of New York, at a café in Los Angeles, in the heart of Squirrel Hill.

We are encouraged that the organizers of the summit are charging its participants with spending the next year working on specific “deliverables” to combat hate, which will be evaluated at next year’s summit. This week, a major global summit with the lofty goal of eradicating hate convened at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown (See story on pg. 1). World-renowned experts participated as keynote speakers or panelists, waiving their typical fees because of the urgent nature of the problem. “They want to see things get done, they want to see the needle move,” one of the organizers of the summit, Laura Ellsworth, told the Chronicle. “They don’t want to just come and talk and go back to their desks. This is structured in such a way to drive

change and check in at a future summit and see if you accomplished things.” The aim is noble, even as we remain skeptical of its achievement — at least in the current divisive political climate, where those on both the right and the left often ignore or downplay antisemitism, and other manifestations of hate, coming from their own camp. Even leading into this summit, critics on both the right and left condemned the selection of some of the speakers for their purported complicity in proliferating hate. Notably, those critics were silent when

it came to the speakers with problematic histories from their own side of the aisle. A major theme in Jewish historian Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book, “Antisemitism Here and Now,” published just months after the attack at the Tree of Life building, was that both those on the left and the right should be “discomforted” by the antisemitism in their own ranks. “That discomfort should be caused by an acknowledgement on everyone’s part that extremism and anti-Semitism are not found only among people on the other side of the political spectrum. As long as we are blind to it in our midst, our fight against it will be futile,” Lipstadt wrote. We are encouraged that the organizers of the summit are charging its participants with spending the next year working on specific “deliverables” to combat hate, which will be evaluated at next year’s summit. But we hope those charged with finding solutions are wise enough to open their eyes to the many sources of hate and are willing to work to address all of them. Perhaps this summit will be the one to make a difference. At the very least, maybe it will be a good first step.  PJC

We see humanity when we see each other Guest Columnist

Maggie Feinstein

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hree years ago, after the national media left town and the spotlight dimmed, something had changed. We walked down Forbes Avenue with a renewed sense of closeness. People looked each other in the eye as they passed, making an effort to acknowledge the other person and the humanity we share. We didn’t always know one another’s name or story, but in that moment we knew we had shared an experience. Our neighborhood had been targeted in an act of hatred, and we were there to carry that story forward together. Today, we are still here and still together. As we approach the third commemoration of Oct. 27, 2018, we remember the day 11 valued neighbors were taken from us. We know that many endured the physical and emotional injuries of an act of hate, and the threat to our freedom to worship safely. At the same time, we can still feel the call to look out for one another. There is something about an act of inhumanity that reminds us to be more aware of each other. Psychologist Louis Cozolino says about humans, “We are not the survival of the fittest, we are the survival of the nurtured.” We are all stronger for looking into another person’s face and allowing that moment of vulnerability to be a moment of connection. We all have the power to make someone else feel seen and understood. Our work at 10.27 Healing Partnership is to aid the essential pillars of the community

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All of us have something to offer. All of us have the power to look one another in the eye and share a moment of humanity. It is amazing what one small idea can become when we give it time and space to grow. — our congregations, organizations and individuals — as we process our collective grief. I am grateful for the fact that the Jewish community in general, and Pittsburgh’s Jewish community specifically, has strong and overlapping support structures. In the mental health profession, that’s called collective resiliency. It is an example of our modern world benefitting from the wisdom of our forebears. The people who make up our community have done really inspiring things. There are two examples that really speak to me. These are stories in which one person, through one kind gesture, guided our entire community to use our power to help others. The first example started at the Friendship Circle, which has been a wonderful presence in our community for a long time, creating programs for diverse groups of youth and teens. Seeing the struggles that young people have faced over these past three years, they wanted to maintain their identity and purpose, but also wanted to acknowledge everything we’ve been through. So, Friendship Circle started a training track

to help young people think critically about being advocates in society. This started as advocacy for people with disabilities, but evolved into looking at mental health and how youth can help create traumainformed communities. A young woman spoke up during our meeting and suggested that some concepts were better expressed through art than in words. She thought of a way for people to be seen and feel seen, even when times are difficult. The idea grew from that conversation into a broader program with Friendship Circle and partner organizations. Ultimately it turned into a public art project that brought people together after a year of social distancing, and inspired many. The second example started with a teenager who wanted to honor the 11 victims by planting trees in their memory. Quietly and anonymously, she worked to raise the money. Her actions prompted the families of the victims and others to think about where they wanted to see the commemorative trees planted, and ultimately what it means to

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memorialize. They truly wrestled with the question and ultimately found a location that felt right to them: Prospect Drive in Schenley Park. The trees were planted in a meaningful private ceremony in April. Later, when community stakeholders discussed where they wanted to locate the third commemoration ceremony, they came back to the conversations around the trees. They decided that the space felt right for the broader, public commemoration, too. In that way one young woman, through her kindness, set in motion an entire chain of events that will resonate through our entire community. All of us have something to offer. All of us have the power to look one another in the eye and share a moment of humanity. It is amazing what one small idea can become when we give it time and space to grow. Helping people feel seen is the best way to work through the hardships we face. In that spirit, I hope everyone can join together on Oct. 27 at Prospect Drive in Schenley Park. The space is open starting at 3 p.m. and the program is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Come and reconnect as we honor the lives taken and the people affected by the antisemitic attack three years ago. Greet your neighbors, share a smile, and really see each other. There have been so many times recently that we have had to search for the reserves of hope and resiliency inside of us. Polarization and pandemic have led to fewer opportunities to look in each other’s eyes and share a moment of humanity. As we honor and mourn the people who were killed, and the lives affected, we know that we truly are stronger together.  PJC Maggie Feinstein is the director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG


Opinion Remembering Colin Powell Guest Columnist Dov S. Zakheim

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met Colin Powell, who died on Monday at age 84, when he succeeded Maj. Gen. Carl Smith as Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s military assistant. Like Smith, Powell was a two-star general, but Weinberger quickly promoted him to the three-star rank of lieutenant general, the first military assistant to hold that rank. Powell had first met Weinberger years before, when he was a White House fellow and Weinberger was President Richard Nixon’s director of the Office of Management and Budget. Powell impressed as an intelligent, wellspoken and clear-thinking officer. It was clear that he had to be someone special; it was not easy for a Black person to move up the ranks during the 1960s and ‘70s. I came to know him when we flew together to Quebec on a small military jet. The occasion was the 1985 Reagan-Mulroney summit, termed the Shamrock summit because both the American and Canadian leaders had Irish roots. Powell regaled me with stories of his childhood in a Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx. He talked about his being a “Shabbos goy” — turning on lights for Orthodox Jews who refrained from doing so. But his favorite story was about his time working in a shoe shop whose proprietor was Jewish. Much of the business was done in Yiddish, which he spoke more than passably well. Colin would recount that when the shopkeeper’s relatives came shopping expecting a discount, his boss would

May the memory of this great, heroic and exceedingly decent American be for a blessing, especially in these troubled times for our country. overhear the conversations in Yiddish. The relatives would duly choose their shoes and Colin would hurry down to tell his boss what they had chosen. And the price would magically increase before the discount. And Powell would finish his story, “So you see, I was a shill for a Jewish shoe salesman.” Powell went on to earn his degree from City College, which had a very competitive admissions policy. After ROTC, he joined the Army and served with distinction as he moved up the ranks. Subsequent to his supporting Weinberger as his confidential military aide, he served as a corps commander and then as deputy national security adviser to Frank Carlucci whom he then succeeded as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser. Carlucci, who had worked with Powell at the Department of Defense, returned to the Pentagon as secretary of defense. Powell retained his military rank as did H.R. McMaster many years later. As national security adviser, Powell believed in leadership, not merely management. His staff was lean, but talented. Powell continued the push to bring the Cold War to an end and then quickly earned his fourth

star, moving back to the Army as head of its Forces Command forces in the first years of the George H.W. Bush presidency. Everyone knew that it was a short-term job. He was expected to become a chief of staff. But he did better. When Bush named Powell to be the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it was an inspired choice. Powell presided over the post-Cold War reduction of the armed forces, what he called the Base Force. But he also was Bush’s top adviser as the United States smashed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in the 1990-92 Gulf War. His war briefings wowed television audiences. Powell’s popularity reached stratospheric levels and there was talk of his running for president on the Republican ticket. He declined to do so, reportedly because his wife Alma worried for his safety. He remained an exceedingly popular figure and his appointment to secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration was widely hailed. Powell was a popular secretary inside the department but he did not get along with my boss, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld. He only reluctantly supported the administration’s impulse to go to war with

Iraq and only on condition that Washington win international support. To that end, and regrettably, he asserted to the UN Security Council shortly before the attack on Iraq that Saddam possessed biological weapons and was proceeding with a nuclear weapons program. America’s subsequent travails in Iraq damaged his credibility and overshadowed his previously stellar career. I remained in touch with him after his retirement. He started a program to encourage and support the careers of young Black Americans and established The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, City College. Powell was at times accused of being less than sympathetic to Israel. That was not at all the case. He strongly believed in a two-state solution, and as secretary of state developed the road map for peace that still underpins U.S. policy. He certainly was friendly with Israeli officials. In one hilarious instance that I witnessed at a reception we both attended, the Israeli attaché, Adm. Ben Shoshan, asked me to introduce him to Chairman Powell. I did so, and Powell asked him, “Vos macht a yid?” an old Yiddish greeting. Shoshan, who spoke no Yiddish, asked me what Powell had said. At which point Powell asked me, “Iz doss a Yid?” (He’s Jewish?) I did not translate that for the admiral. May the memory of this great, heroic and exceedingly decent American be for a blessing, especially in these troubled times for our country.  PJC Dov S. Zakheim was a deputy undersecretary of defense (1985-87) and undersecretary of defense (2001-04).

Chronicle poll results: Will you mark the three-year commemoration of the Oct. 27 attack?

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ast week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Are you planning to mark the three-year commemoration of the shooting at the Tree of Life building?” Of the 203 people who responded, more than two-thirds said they would be marking the day, either by participating in a community-sponsored event or privately with family and/ or friends. About 18% of respondents said they would not be marking the day, and another 13% said they were not yet sure. Thirty-one people submitted comments. A few follow.

As someone who lived in Squirrel Hill for 20 wonderful years the event really shook me. The people who died were neighbors that I saw on the street, and one I met through a coworker of mine. One of the survivors was a theater buddy who I am happy to say survived because she was one of my favorite people from my time at Pitt and I can’t imagine my world without her. I don’t think I’ll ever totally leave this horrible event PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG

Are you planning to mark the three-year commemoration of the shooting at the Tree of Life building?

I will mark it on the Yahrtzeit of these folks, on the Jewish calendar.

13.07% Not sure yet.

37.69% Yes, I will be marking the day quietly at home, or privately with family and/or friends.

18.09% No.

I live four houses from Tree of Life and must unfortunately commemorate/ be reminded of the nearby tragedy on a daily basis.

31.16% Yes, I will be participating in at least one organized event (volunteer, learning and/or public commemoration).

behind. I’ve always had the tendency to get stuck and not move on. That, of course, gets me nowhere, but it is who I am.

It is a yahrzeit we must observe every year. If we don’t, we cannot expect others to remember. It is a day that never should be forgotten. I live in Canada. My shul mourned with you to an overflowing capacity. We are currently still “virtual.” If an event is planned, I will definitely participate...virtually. How about also commemorating the day when justice is served. Three years is too long. I cannot attend as I live in New Zealand, but my heart will be with you all.

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Will light candles for those who lost their lives. I live in Maryland. Those of us who were involved stand strong together, with a pointed message to the world and sweet memories of those we lost. Although I am not a Pittsburgh resident, as a rural Jew the solidarity of the Jewish community is not location dependent. The Jewish Chronicle is my connection to a community. I and my family are with everyone each day who have had to endure one more tragedy.  PJC — Toby Tabachnick

This week’s poll question

Will you and/or your children be participating in any Halloween activities this year? Go to our website, pittsburghjewish chronicle.org, to respond.  PJC OCTOBER 22, 2021  13


Headlines Eyewitness: Continued from page 1

result of questioning while in custody. Officer Clint Thimons testified that he took the lead in negotiations with the defendant, who initially expressed concern he would die in the room he was laying in if he didn’t get medical attention, and asked officers to come into the room to get him. Thimons said he told the defendant that he had to crawl out on his own or he would die. Thimons and other officers said they were unwilling to go into the room because the suspect had already shot several officers and they did not know at that point whether he was acting alone. When the accused began crawling out of the room, Thimons said he spoke to him, first in a tone that was loud and direct but eventually modulated to a more conversational volume. “I was keeping him focused and awake,” Thimons said. “It seemed to take a long time. He said we would kill him. I told him we

wouldn’t if we could see his hands.” Thimons then asked him several questions, including his name, date of birth, what weapons he had and where they were located. He also asked the suspect why he attacked those in the synagogue. That question, Thimons said, was asked to keep the shooter focused on the officer’s voice, not to elicit answers to an interrogation. It was then the suspect said that Jews had to die. After reaching officers and being handcuffed, the defendant was moved to a second room where he received medical attention. Thimons said that, because he was concerned there were other shooters in the building, he lied to the suspect, claiming he was seen on video walking into the building with another person. The defendant, Thimons said, looked confused and said, “That must have been some f*cking Jew. I came here all by myself.” Several officers, including Mescan and Thimons, said they did not believe the building was safe at that time, nor did they consider the suspect officially in custody. The questions they asked were to determine

if there were other shooters or explosives in the building, they said. Officer David Blahut recounted searching the building before hearing gunshots above him from a large caliber rifle. When he arrived on the floor where the suspect was hiding, he saw Officer Timothy Matson and noticed that he had been shot several times. Blahut was one of the officers who eventually handcuffed the suspect. He said that while receiving medical treatment the suspect said, “These people are committing genocide on my people, and I want to kill Jews.” Officer Andrew Miller, called by the defense, said he heard the suspect say, “Jews are the children of Satan. They are killing our children.” Defense lawyers are also trying to suppress several statements made by the defendant while being transported to, and at, Allegheny General Hospital. He was accompanied to the hospital by several officers and medical technicians, including Pittsburgh Police Detective Robert Shaw and FBI Agent Matthew Patcher. Shaw testified that he read the defendant

Summit: Continued from page 1

hosted more than 100 experts on hate and extremism. They were charged not only with sharing their expertise, but with spending the next year working on specific “deliverables” which will be evaluated at next year’s summit, Ellsworth said. Before the start of the various summit sessions, Tree of Life Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers spoke to the audience and offered an invocation. He said that if not for the massacre three years ago, which occurred in the midst of Shabbat services, he would have read that day’s Torah portion, which describes patriarch Abraham welcoming three unknown guests into his home. “Imagine,” Myers said, “welcoming total strangers into your home. This passage has guided me, so permit me to welcome you, many who are strangers, to Pittsburgh.” Rita Katz, the executive director and founder of SITE Intelligence Group, explained to summit attendees how the man who attacked three congregations at the Tree of Life building became an emblem of extremism and violence in the years following the massacre. In her talk, “A Historical Perspective: The Tree of Life,” Katz shared a theory she called “the chain of ‘screw your optics,’” in reference to a social media post the alleged shooter wrote just prior to Oct. 27 attack: “All Jews must die. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” The Christchurch Mosque attack in New Zealand; the attack on a Chabad Center in Poway, California; a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; the attempted terrorist attack at a Norway mosque; and an attempted attack in Halle, Germany, she said, could all be directly traced back as inspired by the massacre at the Tree of Life building — which was widely promoted by hate groups online. The Pittsburgh massacre, Katz posited, triggered other forms of violent extremism as well, including a planned attack on a hospital due to COVID-19 conspiracy theories. “Every day,” noted keynote speaker 14  OCTOBER 22, 2021

p Former President George W. Bush was a keynote speaker at the Eradicate Hate Global Summit. Photo by David Rullo

Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, “you can open your phone, turn on your TV or pick up the paper and find instances of shocking antisemitism and hate.” Greenblatt spoke about the role social media has played in growing antisemitism and other manifestations of hate. “What starts with the Jews,” Greenblatt said, “never ends with the Jews.” Greenblatt railed against the antisemitism of right-wing extremism as well as that coming from the political left, including the BDS movement on college campuses. “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism, pure and simple,” he said. Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh President and CEO Jeff Finkelstein, who introduced Greenblatt, was on the planning committee for the summit. “This is a nice way for our community to share with the world experts on hate,” Finkelstein told the Chronicle. “But this isn’t a program about Pittsburgh, although the program takes place in Pittsburgh. It is one way to remember what took place here.” The objectives of the conference, Finkelstein said, extend beyond fighting antisemitism. “Remember it’s ‘anti-hate,’” he said. “Antisemitism is one piece of hatred. This is about hate as a broad topic.”

The words of keynote speaker Gary Locke, former governor of Washington, proved Finkelstein’s point. Locke was born in the U.S., but his parents were Chinese immigrants. He spoke about anti-Asian hate and recounted an assassination plot by someone who incorrectly believed Locke was an Asian immigrant and therefore unable to serve as governor. Keynote speakers former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former President George W. Bush both addressed the audience with prerecorded remarks. Ridge said the summit was important because there is not a spot on the map that hasn’t been affected by hate. “While we understand we can’t eradicate every instance of hate around the globe, we can certainly weaken it at its sources,” said Ridge, who also served as the first U.S. secretary of Homeland Security. Bush thanked those in attendance for taking up the important work of combatting hate. “This is a bridge against our nation’s greatest divisions,” Bush said. Brad Orsini, who served as director of community security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh from 20172020, said he was pleased with the summit. “This is the first step to get everyone together and see what deliverables come out of this and build really tangible results on the

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his Miranda rights during the ride and, again, at the hospital, and each time asked the defendant whether he wanted to make a statement. The defendant, Shaw recounted, said he would like to speak with counsel. Shaw said he did not interrogate the defendant once he “lawyered up,” but under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule he did ask the suspect about possible explosives and weapons at the Tree of Life building and at his home. Patcher testified that he also asked the defendant about possible explosives in the building, qualifying his statements by saying, “We want to make sure no one gets hurt.” Government and defense attorneys have 30 days to further brief their positions after they receive transcripts of the hearing. The defendant has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces a possible death penalty. Though the murders occurred three years ago, no trial date has yet been set in this case.  PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. back end,” he said. Not everyone, though, shared Orsini’s optimism. Bend the Arc Jewish Action: Pittsburgh and Casa San Jose Latino Resource and Welcome Center issued a joint statement that expressed disappointment that Bush, Ridge and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were keynote speakers at the summit. “Their inclusion,” the statement said, “undermines the bold and admirable mission of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, and turns a blind eye to the roots of the hatred that led to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. “If one of the summit’s goals is to ‘maintain broad public vigilance against hate crimes by highlighting the diversity of its victims,’ we need to acknowledge that the people targeted by the War on Terror and DHS are often themselves victims of hate. We need to acknowledge that elevating the voices of Bush, Ridge, and Mayorkas in a conference against hate instead whitewashes their roles in racially-based human rights abuses. We at Bend the Arc Jewish Action: Pittsburgh and Casa San Jose believe that the inability to see how centering these men contradicts the conference’s goals shows just how deeply embedded white supremacy is in our nation. Denying uncomfortable truths does not help us in our efforts to eradicate hate.” Dan Leger, a member of Congregation Dor Hadash who was seriously wounded during the Oct. 27 attack, sees value in having more than one voice in the room, and said he was impressed with the various experts and perspectives brought together for the summit. “As disturbing as it is to have some of the presenters representing themselves, I think it’s really important that we not just talk to the choir, that we just always hear the voices that we think are in unison, because, if hate is anything, it’s divisive,” Leger said. “We need to be able to hear each other, to listen to each other, instead of just talk against each other.”  PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG


Headlines Immigrants: Continued from page 3

Kotovsky also holds between 20 and 25 patents, said Tracy Kosylo, Modular’s director of marketing. Achieving this type of success isn’t possible elsewhere, Kotovsky said, referencing Italy, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Finland and other countries he’s visited. “There’s simple little things that we do here, that we take for granted, that you can’t do in other places.” Kotovsky described America’s “rules and regulations” regarding intellectual property as an example, and said the United States

Sharansky: Continued from page 4

head of the Jewish Agency from June 2009 to August 2018, Sharansky oversaw the creation of the Jewish Agency’s Security Assistance Fund, which distributes funding to synagogues, community centers and Jewish schools for use toward bettering security measures. Oct. 27 likewise served as “a warning signal” for Jewish Federations and umbrella

Book: Continued from page 8

did a great job walking people through the ‘30s and ‘40s.” Now, it’s Classrooms Without Borders’ turn at the bat. The Pittsburgh-based nonprofit has worked with Stockton University historian Mary Johnson on a curriculum guide area teachers can use to further delve into the book as teaching material. The goal? For students to look for trends in events occurring locally and globally — as in the book — but also for those students to “become instruments for change,” according to Ellen Resnek, Classrooms Without Borders’ educational programs and outreach manager. “This is something we do on a regular basis,” Resnek told the Chronicle. “One of the things that sets CWB apart is we ensure there are historians working on these curriculum guides so we can guarantee the historical accuracy as well.” To that end, Johnson and the team have created a guide chock-full of primary references — things like newspaper clippings from the era, transcriptions of speeches and letters, such as one from Albert Einstein to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt — to aid teachers as they work through the material in class, Resnek said. “If educators want to expand this into a

History: Continued from page 9

its West View Cemetery. A newspaper clipping from 1912 lists David Mendoza among the guests at a birthday party for Celia Hausman. She came from a large Austro-Hungarian family in the Hill District with ties to Poale Zedeck. David 15  OCTOBER 22, 2021

maintains a legitimate patent process that is absent in some other countries. Within his letter to congressional members, Kotovsky wrote, “I hope you share my pride in belonging to a nation that has welcomed countless immigrants, granting them opportunities to apply their talents to the building of the culture and economy of the United States. “All of the talented men and women in our Pittsburgh-based company are sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of immigrants to this city, which is famously powered by ethnic diversity,” he added. Along with a personally signed letter, Kotovsky included a special half-dollar coin. Struck between Oct. 18, 1985 and 1986, the

50-cent piece was “authorized in commemoration of the centennial of the Statue of Liberty,” and features iconic images of a ship “steaming into New York harbor” and “an immigrant family with their belongings on the threshold of America,” according to the United States Mint. The coin’s embossed images are symbolic, but the words pressed upon it are what resonates most for Kotovsky, he said. Inscribed above the picture of the family is text reading “United States of America” and “A Nation of Immigrants.” Despite investing multiple hours drafting and revising his letter, packaging hundreds of envelopes and spending $2,240.25 to mail 535

packages, Kotovsky doesn’t expect a single reply. He said his goal is neither policy change nor legislative action. Instead, he merely wishes to remind recipients of his gift of this country’s values and the contributions immigrants have made. “You and your colleagues are entrusted with the hopes of all those born here and abroad who now work eagerly to preserve and expand the freedoms that are the core of the American dream,” he wrote. “On National Immigrants Day and every day, I take pride in thanking you for the work you do to help those dreams come true.”  PJC

organizations to “intensify the self-protection, or self-defense, of Jewish institutions,” Sharansky said. On March 12, 2021, Jeff Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, announced that Pittsburgh’s Federation and the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition had successfully lobbied the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant the Pittsburgh Jewish community $1,052,692 — more than 20% of a $5 million pool available to all Pennsylvania nonprofits — toward

“specific target hardening” of 20 different synagogues and Jewish agencies. Moving forward, Jews in Pittsburgh, and across the globe, must not only be willing to recognize antisemitic threats emanating from both the left and right, but prioritize Jewish peoplehood and support of Israel, Sharansky stressed. “It is very important for every Jewish community, and for every Jew in the world to strengthen their connection with the Israel state — whatever their political views,

whatever disagreements with this government or that government,” he said. “All of us have a lot of disagreements among ourselves, but it shouldn’t stop us from strengthening our bridges between communities and with the state of Israel. The best guarantor of the continuity of Jewish people is the fact that there is a Jewish state.”  PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

locally?’” Bairnsfather told the Chronicle. Bairnsfather said historical depictions of the U.S. involvement in World War II typically focus on battlefield heroism. “That’s part of the story but there’s a lot more,” she said. “In what ways did America not help the Jews — then and now?” Burstin is the author of five books, including “Steel City Jews 18401915,” “Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War 1915-1950,” and “After the Holocaust: The Migration of Po l i s h Je w s and Christians to Pittsburgh after World War II.” This tome, she admits, p Page 13 of “America and the Holocaust” p Page 12 of “America and the Holocaust” Art by Frederick Carlson Art by Frederick Carlson is a bit different. “I’m trying to get this learning unit, they can,” she said. will be distributing copies of the book to book into the hands of educators,” Burstin The guide will be available for a free teachers in 13 local districts, according to said, “where it can benefit people with somedownload, with registration, on CWB’s Lauren Bairnsfather, the Holocaust Center’s thing that’s an entry point into the Holocaust website. The group also plans to distribute executive director. — from an American perspective.”  PJC hard copies of the book and its accompa“[Burstin] had so much to teach and, nying curriculum guide. really, a concern that if she doesn’t teach it, Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh also who will learn? And she thought, ‘Why stop in Pittsburgh. and Celia married four years later. They followed her family to Negley Avenue. There were no permanent synagogues yet in the East End, but there were two growing congregations —B’nai Israel and Adath Jeshurun. Celia Mendoza joined the sisterhoods of both congregations. She was also president of the Poale Zedeck Sisterhood. The congregation was still on Crawford Street in the Hill District, but

changes were underway. It had a new rabbi, who would gradually guide the congregation toward Squirrel Hill over the next decade. Celia Mendoza held the leadership position for nine years, assisting with that effort to move the congregation into a new synagogue at Shady and Phillips. Sisterhoods have always played a fundraising role. Whatever financial conversations occurred between her and her husband occurred far beyond

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the reach of the archive, but the result is known: Her husband dedicated the most prominent plaque in the new synagogue — a plaque that casually reflects a mix of Jewish ethnicities, ideologies and geographies.  PJC Eric Lidji is the director of the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center. He can be reached at rjarchives@heinzhistorycenter. org or 412-454-6406. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG


Life & Culture ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ opens on North Shore — ART — By Toby Tabachnick | Editor

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t’s not really fair to describe the Original Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit as simply akin to walking into the paintings of the 19th-century post-impressionist. It’s much cooler than that. The exhibit, which opened this week on Pittsburgh’s North Shore inside an enormous warehouse, surrounds its audience with massive animated images based on the work of the Dutch master, accompanied by a soundtrack that pairs perfectly with shooting stars or sprouting irises or a rising sun. It’s a trippy ride. “Most people have not seen art or entertainment in this way before, where you are stepping into the artist’s work, you’re surrounded by the artist’s work, it is projected onto the walls and onto the floor and you’re fully immersed in the experience, from the moment you walk in until the moment you leave,” said Mark Shedletsky, a Jewish serial entrepreneur in Los Angeles, and one of the founders of Impact Museums, an operating partner for the exhibit. “It’s quite a unique way of experiencing art.” The exhibit was conceived and designed by Massimiliano Siccardi, with a soundtrack by Luca Longobardi; both artists pioneered immersive digital art experiences in France. The exhibit has captivated audiences in Toronto, Chicago and San Francisco. Impact Museums has partnered with Lighthouse Immersive to open in eight more cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and now Pittsburgh. Openings in other cities are in the works. The show runs 35-40 minutes, and boasts 90 million pixels of animation, 500,000 cubic feet of projections and 60,600 frames of video. Circles of light— 6 feet apart — are projected on the floor, designating COVIDsafe spacing for attendees, who must also wear masks and undergo temperature checks. Pittsburgh was chosen as a destination for the exhibit because it is “a dynamic art city,” Shedletsky told the Chronicle. “Although its population size is smaller than some of the other markets that we are in, like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, it’s a market that loves culture and entertainment. And it’s a sophisticated city, and obviously it’s a beautiful city.” Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art

p Original Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Chicago

houses three works by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), including an etching of Dr. Gachet, who treated the painter for a psychological disorder. Despite his illness, van Gogh created almost 900 paintings between 1881 and 1890. Van Gogh did not sell many paintings during his lifetime, according to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but he did sell “more than a couple” — despite popular lore that he only sold one. The artist also often traded his work with other artists, sometimes in exchange for food or art supplies. In a letter to his brother, Theo, van Gogh wrote, “It’s a rather sad prospect to have to say to myself that the painting I do will perhaps never have any value.” A hundred years after his death, his painting “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” sold for $82.5 million at auction. The Original Immersive Van Gogh is “a

Photo by Michael Brosilow

new way of exhibiting his work,” Shedletsky said, and “has now become part of the cultural zeitgeist. Almost everybody I speak to tells me they see it in their [social media] feed on a daily basis, either because they’re seeing the advertising for it or because they’re seeing their friends post the photos from attending it. … I think the awareness and interest level in this exhibit has been nothing that we’ve seen before in location-based entertainment or immersive entertainment. It really is the first global blockbuster of a show.” So far, more than 3 million tickets have been sold to the exhibit worldwide. Shedletsky, who grew up in Toronto, is the grandson of Holocaust survivors on his father’s side, and his maternal grandfather fought in World War II on behalf of Canada. From a young age, he said, they instilled within him “a sense of the importance of Judaism, both as religion and tradition.”

He grew up in a Conservative household and attended Hebrew day school. His wife, Diana Rayzman, another partner of Impact Museums, is also Jewish. Shedletsky remains active in the Jewish community, volunteering and speaking at events hosted by Jewish groups. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Ralph Shedletsky, former chair of Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA. “Believe it or not, most of the partners at Lighthouse and Impact Museums — not all, but most — are also Jewish,” Shedletsky told the Chronicle. Their nonpublic joint venture name, he noted, is LHIM, which they like to pronounce as “l’chaim.” The Original Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit will run through Feb. 6. For more information, go to vangoghpittsburgh.com. PJC Toby Tabachnick can be reached at ttabachnick@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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Life & Culture ‘The Band’s Visit’ opens PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh season — THEATER — By David Rullo | Staff Writer

I

t wasn’t the singing, dancing or acting that concerned Ariel Reich as she prepared to audition for “The Band’s Visit.” It was the roller skating. Reich plays Anna in the U.S. tour of the Tony Award-winning musical set in Israel, which opens in Pittsburgh next week. A quick search online for an open cast call describes Anna as “Julia’s cousin, sexy and extroverted. Roller skating skills a plus.” “This is a major fear-conquering moment for me in my life,” Reich told the Chronicle. “I have spent my whole life being afraid of wheels, and I’ve always preferred feeling my feet on my ground. Anyone who knows me from childhood, or any part of my life, knows this about me.” The actress, though, was determined to conquer her worries and went to a roller rink near her home in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. She taught herself how to skate — and conquered her fear of falling. “I surprised myself and skated for about an hour,” she said. “I felt pretty comfortable and was enjoying it and then I plopped right on my booty, right at the end. I had a massive bruise for a couple of weeks. But it’s something I’ve celebrated. I’m doing something

that scares me.” experience for those members of Reich grew up in a Jewish houseour company who are returning hold in St. Petersburg, Florida. from pre-COVID times, and She attended Jewish day school those of us who are new are going and Camp Ramah Darom in to share in that experience,” she Georgia, and participated in the said. “It won’t hit us the same way Conservative youth group USY. because we weren’t there when She then studied classical acting p the shutdown happened, but I Ariel Reich Photo by think Pittsburgh will be a very at the University of Florida, where Melissa Cohen she earned a bachelor’s in fine arts. (Bond Theatrical) special experience.” While in college, she also studied The idea of performing before health, and as a result, she’s done a lot of work a live audience after the isolation of a at the intersection of the arts and health. pandemic has caused a bit of anxiety, Reich Before auditioning for “The Band’s Visit,” admitted, but she has found strength in the Reich was a teaching artist on the faculty cast, who has bonded into a family. of the Mark Morris Dance Group, helping On the other hand, Reich said, “When we with its internationally recognized dance get to the curtain call, it is overwhelming program for those with Parkinson’s disease. to stand there and look out and see 3,000 She remains connected to that program even people, not only in terms of the people while on tour, she said, because classes are looking at you but also in terms of COVID. still held virtually due to the pandemic. We are not out of the pandemic, so it is still It was because of COVID-19 that “The an uncomfortable and precarious time.” Band’s Visit” had to cancel its Pittsburgh Reich said she’s grateful that both masks performances in 2020 halfway through its and proof of vaccination are required, both run. The musical will open the 2021-2022 for the audiences and those working on PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh season at the show. The actress noted that the virus the Benedum Center on Oct. 28 and run even affected the way she auditioned for through Oct. 31. “The Band’s Visit.” Reich, who wasn’t with the production She first submitted a video audition in when it was forced to end its run in 2020, mid-June and then had a Zoom session with said there is a special significance to the the creative team, including the director, Pittsburgh dates. music supervisor and casting director. She “I think it’s going to be a very layered then had a few in-person auditions and two

final callbacks, including one focused on the previously dreaded roller skating — a skill with which she was now comfortable. “A couple of days later I got the call that I got the job,” she said. The musical, adapted from a 2007 Israeli film, is about a group of Egyptian musicians scheduled to perform in an Arab cultural center in Petah Tikvah, Israel. Instead, they are mistakenly sent to the tiny Jewish town of Bet Hatikva. Reich said she believes the film struck a chord with a global audience because it embodies themes of hope and connection. “At the bare bones of the story,” she said, “you see human beings who have basic needs and connect around those needs and the power of music. I think that hope is universal, and that people can not only relate to it, but really need now. I can’t think of a better story to share with people as we navigate these times. It’s a deep honor to offer this message of hope.” Reich said she thinks audiences can take that message of hope and translate it to the real world. “This is the first time for many people to return to theater,” she said. “I think, coming out of the pandemic, it’s something that helps with that fear. We’re a spark of hope, and I think that is great.”  PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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OCTOBER 22, 2021  17


Celebrations

Torah

B’nei Mitzvah

The perils of looking back in anger

Benjamin Kyle Nicholson will become a bar mitzvah on Oct. 23, at Rodef Shalom Congregation. Benjamin is the son of Brandon Nicholson and Shanna Kovalchick. He is an eighth-grader at Winchester Thurston School and enjoys reading and learning about history, maps and public transportation. Benjamin is an avid skier, and he’s worried about the impact of climate change on future snowfall. For his mitzvah project, he is researching solar energy and is planning to build a solar panel.

Ella Marinn Ettinger, daughter of Jared Elias and Anna Katharine Ettinger, will become a bat mitzvah at Adat Shalom during Shabbat morning services on Saturday, Oct. 23. Grandparents are Joan and Joel Ettinger and Sharon and George Falkenstern.

Tyler Thomas Glancey, son of Steven and Amy Goldberg Glancey, and brother of Alexia, will become a bar mitzvah on Saturday, Oct. 23, at Congregation Sha’are Shalom in Leesburg, Virginia. Tyler is the grandson of Arthur and Zandra Goldberg, Kathleen Scully, and Tom Glancey. Tyler attends Smart Mills Middle School. He plays travel flag football for Virginia Extreme, tackle football for D1SA and basketball for the Central Loudoun Basketball League.

Engagement Marcy and Larry Grollman are thrilled to announce the engagement of their son, Jordan Matthew (grandson of the late Sondra and Morry Blummer of Pittsburgh and the late Shirley and Sylvan Grollman) to Abbie Matz, daughter of Emily and Gary Matz of Highland Park, Illinois (granddaughter of Rita and Alex Matz and Bena and the late Michael Shklyanoy). Jordan is a 2012 graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School. Abbie is a 2013 graduate of Highland Park High School (Illinois). Abbie and Jordan are both graduates of Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana). Jordan received his B.S. degree in sports management and marketing and Abbie received her B.S. degree in informatics from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. They currently reside in Chicago. Jordan is working as an advertising account manager for Facebook, and Abbie is working as a strategic consultant for Ernst & Young. They will be getting married in Chicago in May 2022.  PJC

Rabbi Emily Meyer Parshat Vayeira | Genesis 18:1 – 22:24

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udaism loves looking back: Every holiday centers around a significant historical event. Our prayers speak to generational wisdom and promise; memory is a visceral part of Judaism. So why, in this week’s Torah portion, Vayeira, is someone punished for looking back? Idit, better known as Lot’s wife (we first see her named in Midrash Tanchuma), is among the few allowed to leave Sodom as it is destroyed by divine forces. Although she hears the instruction not to turn back, she cannot resist. As she gazes back at the burning city, Idit is turned to a pillar of salt. It’s impossible not to look back and wonder what might have been, so why was Idit punished? The rabbis of Midrash explain that Idit and Lot had been “a house divided” on the subject of whether they should welcome strangers into their home with hospitality. Idit was so displeased with her partner that she alerted the neighbors to the presence of strangers by asking them for salt, explaining that she had enough for her family but not

Shapiro: Continued from page 11

“Jews have, throughout the last hundred years, fled to the United States in search of a better life,” she said. “That better life is not just economic and religious freedom, but political freedom as well.” To Shapiro’s friends and neighbors, though, it’s not just the depth of his Judaism that impresses them. It’s also that he’s a selfloving Jew, rather than a self-loathing one. He’s literally out there on the campaign trail quoting the Talmud. “That says everything to Jewish voters,” said Laurin Goldin, a Jewish Abington resident who attended the Oct. 13 rally. Maybe to some, but not all. Grant Schmidt, a Jewish political conservative from Haverford Township, does not plan on voting for Shapiro. He thinks the

the guests. Because of this action, the people of Sodom knew about the presence of visitors and attacked according to their selfish ways (Gen. Rabbah 51:5). Idit looks back in anger, blaming others for her circumstances — her husband for welcoming guests, her neighbors for their violence, even Abraham for setting the example of hospitality. Perhaps this blame is what causes her to become “salty.” When we focus on remembering only the negative actions of others that have led to the present circumstances, we can fail to see the ways we have missed the mark ourselves. A heart crowded with blame has no room for the introspection needed for self-improvement. May Idit’s story remind us that, as we look back on our lives, seeing only others’ mistakes will just make us salty. Instead, may we take the opportunity to reflect on our own actions and contributions to circumstances with introspection and compassion. May the stories we carry with us inspire us to be our best selves.  PJC

Rabbi Emily Meyer is an educator and the founder of Doodly Jew on Facebook. This column is a service of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association. attorney general has not done enough to prosecute criminals. Philadelphia has seen more than 400 homicides in 2021. Schmidt believes that Shapiro isn’t working hard enough with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to stamp out the crime issue. “He keeps trying to go after firearms. That’s not the root of crime,” Schmidt said of Shapiro. “It’s the lack of willpower to prosecute.” Shapiro is the only Democrat in the gubernatorial race. Gov. Tom Wolf is also a Democrat, but he is finishing his second term and unable to run for reelection. Nine Republicans are running in the party primary election set for May 2022. “I’m hopeful and optimistic about our future,” Shapiro said.  PJC Jarrad Saffren is a writer for the Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication.

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Obituaries CHERNOFF: Theodore “Ted or Champ” Chernoff. Ted passed peacefully on Oct. 12, 2021. He cherished his time living and socializing in Squirrel Hill. Son of the late Nate and Jeanette Chernoff, twin brother of the late Reaven, father of Alan Grana. Ted graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972. He won the Pittsburgh Golden Gloves in 1962, 1967 and 1982 (the oldest champion ever). He won the All-Army Middleweight Boxing Championship in 1969. Ted worked in London 1973 thru 1977 and hitchhiked through Europe and the Middle East. He was inducted into the JCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the proud owner/operator of TC Auto Transport and was a real estate agent. Ted had great rapport with everyone because of his outgoing wit and charm. In 2005 he reconnected with Phyllis Halgas, a college classmate, and they cherished time spent together. You will be missed Champ! Arrangements by Ball Funeral Chapel, Inc. COFFEY: Raye Coffey. A life well lived and beloved is what Raye Coffey achieved before passing away in the presence of her children at UPMC MageeWomen’s Hospital on Oct. 12, 2021. She would so often hear “Where do I know you from?” Was it her resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor? Her time as a volunteer at Forbes Hospital? More than likely, it was as the food demonstrator for 24 years at McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville. For decades, she prepared kielbasa, pasta, kugel, cheese spreads and every manner of specialty food for her legions of devoted customers, many of whom became long-time friends. She was truly in her element at home and at work combining her two passions: kibbitzing and cooking. She was equally fantastic in both. She is survived by her devoted husband of 65 glorious years, Harry, her children Ivy, Mark (Mindy) and Hal (Erica), her four grandchildren, Oliver, Carlin, Zachary and Eli, and her two granddogs, Stella and Turbo. Raye was born and raised in South Oakland to the late Ike and Dorothy Friedken. She is survived by her sister Shirley (late husband Byron), the late Ronald (Flossie) Friedken and late sister Selma (Max) Stein. She graduated from Schenley High School. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. Shiva was held at the residence of Hal and Erica Coffey on Oct. 14. Contributions may be made in her blessed memory to Rodef Shalom Congregation or the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owed and operated. schugar.com FINKELPEARL: Joseph A Finkelpearl, long-time resident of Squirrel Hill, died on Friday, Oct. 15, at the age of 89. Son of the late Maurice Finkelpearl and Nellie Meyers Finkelpearl, he went to Wightman School and Taylor Allderdice High School. Joe graduated in 1955 from Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. Drafted into the U.S. Army, he served as a medic, stationed in PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG

Massachusetts at Fort Devens. His grandfather, father and uncle were all Pittsburgh pharmacists. For nearly 75 years, Joe’s family owned and operated Melwood Drug Company at 4631 Centre Ave. in Oakland. When it closed in 2009 the Pittsburgh PostGazette heralded its long run in business with an article on its front page (12/30/2009). Joe was a dedicated health care professional and loved serving his Melwood Drug customers in Oakland, Polish Hill and the Upper Hill District. In retirement, Joe was very active at the Squirrel Hill Jewish Community Center where he had lunch most days. He was twice named Volunteer of the Year by the JCC for his work in the Check Mates program, which fosters communication with elderly and housebound Pittsburghers. Joe loved the Steelers, Penguins and Bucs, and he attended Pirates games at Forbes Field, Three Rivers, and PNC Park. In his younger days, Joe was a ballroom dancer and an avid golfer; he could be often found slipping in a round at Schenley golf course. His wife, Miriam Kern Finkelpearl, predeceased him. Joe is survived by his son, Mark Finkelpearl (Ruth Zitner) of Washington, D.C., daughter Susan Finkelpearl (Ted Sobel) of Ottawa, Canada, daughter Beth Turner (George Turner) of Beaver Falls, and seven grandchildren. Services will remain private. In lieu of flowers, Joe’s family would welcome donations to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh or The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Professional services trusted to D’Alessandro Funeral Home & Crematory, Ltd., Lawrenceville. dalessandroltd.com. MAYER: Herbert “Buzz” Mayer, 88, of Irwin passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Irwin, Pennsylvania. Buzz is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his children, Stuart Mayer (Carol); Jeffrey Mayer (Kimberly); Ellen Reinig (Michael); and Minton Mayer (Ruth). He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his twin sister, Audrey “Cissy” Cohen, formerly of Orlando, Florida. Buzz graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1951 and married Evelyn in November 1958 at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. They moved to Irwin where they began their life together and he began his career. Buzz was an entrepreneur having owned many successful businesses throughout his career including a truck stop, a restaurant, a vending company and two motels. Buzz had the good fortune to have not spent a night in a hospital in over three decades due to the care and attention of Evelyn. He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pitt Panthers. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by utilizing this link: fundraising.stjude.org/ site/TR/GiftFunds/GiftFunds? px=4042122& pg=personal&fr_id=39300 Entrusted with the arrangements is the Ott Funeral Home Inc 805 Pennsylvania Avenue Irwin.

Jewish Association on Aging gratefully acknowledges contributions from the following:

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Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. Jay Eger Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joyce Fienberg Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Gottfried

A gift from …

In memory of …

Lynne Gottesman and Debra Ritt . . . . Lena Wesoky Jeff and Darcy Kaplan. . . . . . . . Karen Kaplan Drerup

Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rose Mallinger

Jay & Ilene Klein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louis Klein

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Toby Perilman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saul I. Perilman Toby Perilman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jerrilyn Ruth Perilman Sylvia Pearl Plevin . . . . . . . . . . . . Faye Pearl Schwartz

Paul & Margaret Clovsky. . . Florence Meyers Clovsky

Debra Ritt and Lynne Gottesman . . . . Lena Wesoky

Cheryl and Mace Coffey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ruth Coffey

The Love and Rutman Families . . . . . . Albert J. Love

Cheryl and Mace Coffey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ed Coffey Susan Cohen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joseph Braunstein

Karen K. Shapiro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sadie Levy

Edward M. Goldston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Goldston

Ronald M. Tepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Harry Tepper

Edward M. Goldston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mike Leebov Irwin Goldston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Isaac Goldston Geraldine Gomberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harry Gomberg

Howard & Rhea Troffkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sally Brenner Sanford H. Zaremberg . . . . . . . . . Samuel Zaremberg

THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS —

Sunday October 24: Dorothy Bender, Harold I. Freed, Elizabeth D. Gusky, David Lederman, David Jacob Lerner, Grace Levenson, Anna Roth Levitan, Eugene Marchbein, Benjamin Miller, Freda (Fritzi) Paul, Michael Pirchesky, Esther Portnoy, Rose Schultz Saltsburg, Isaac Serrins, Harry Tepper, Jessie S. Yorkin Monday October 25: Herzl L. Amdur, Louis J. Azen, Wilma Rosenberg Blau, Dorothy Brand, Sally Brenner, Nat M. Cherkosly, Morris Cohen, Pauline Daniels, Gertrude Dektor, Gertrude Frank, Bella Friedman, Ruth A. Gold, Isaac Goldstein, Dr. Robert Grauer, Morris O. Guttman, Anna Lewinter Hirsh, Rose Hoffman, Sylvia Israel, Israel Leff, James Samuel Levine, Albert Love, Benjamin R. Protas, Elizabeth Rome, Samuel Rudick, Ruth Witt Simon, Sidney Wein Tuesday October 26: Estherita Cohen, Sarah N. Cohen, Emanuel Feldman, Solis L. Goldman, Helen Gottesman, Barbara Rom Krum, William S. Lichtenstul, Abe M. Miller, Geoffrey Roberts Wednesday October 27: Dr. Max A. Antis, Frank Cohen, Rose Feigenbaum, Bernard Aaron Feldman, William L. Fogel, Rose Glick, Blanche Moskowitz Gould, Saul Kopelson, Rachel Lazarus, Celia Meyers, Samuel Rosenfeld, Harold L. Roth, Sarah Safier, Theodore Sokoler, David Volkin, Lena Wesoky Thursday October 28: Robert Scott Ackerman, Emery J. Feldman, Linda Goldston, Nathan Israel, Paul Kimball, Morris B. Kirschenbaum, Mary Mannheimer, Saul I. Perilman, Rosalyn Serrins, Mitchell Shulman, Rose Stern, Paul Emanuel Tauberg, Samuel Viess, Clara Weiner, Martha Weis, Louis Zweig Friday October 29: Bernard Berkovitz, Dorothy M. Brill, James Cohen, Sidney H. Eger, Sidney H. Eger, Ephraim Farber, Howard Joseph Green, Charlotte R. Greenfield, Julius Gusky, Samuel Hackman, Max Hoffman, Albert S. Mar, Edward Witt Saturday October 30: Meyer R. Bochner, Elliot Borofsky, J. Jay Eger, Annie Chotiner Ellovich, Mildred Flanick, Mildred Hahn, Morris Bernard Marcus, Freda Miller, Milton L. Rosenbaum, Richard S. Rosenfeld, Sarah Schwartz Rudick, Milton E. Steinfeld, Abraham Stevenson, Abraham Wechsler

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Obituaries Obituaries: Continued from page 19

S A B L OWSK Y: Rae Sablowsky. Rae passed away peacefully at the age of 104 at her home in Squirrel Hill on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Leonard; her parents, Philip and Celia Warshauer; and her siblings Sarah, Fritzie, May and Sam. Survived by her children, Robert (Barbara) Sablowsky, Gail (Irwin) Wedner and Steven (Arlene) Sablowsky. Rae was blessed with seven grandchildren, Jon (Jackie) Sablowsky, Julie (Matthew) Brown, James Wedner, Bonnie (Thad) Davis, Lori Wedner, Lauren (Robert) Finkel and Michael Sablowsky; 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Rae had a strong faith, lighting Shabbos candles every Friday, being a life member of several Jewish organizations and an officer in Temple Sinai Sisterhood. She loved playing mahjong, poker, canasta, reading, participating in water aerobics and traveling. Her greatest joy was being with family. The family would like to specially thank Rae’s many caregivers and hospice providers. Graveside services and interment were held at Temple Sinai Memorial. Contributions in Rae’s memory may be made to Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, The New Riverview, 52 Garetta Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or a charity of one’s choice. schugar.com SONNENKLAR: Arthur B. (Art) Sonnenklar passed peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. Beloved husband of Flo for over 70 years. Beloved son of the late Philip and Clara Sonnenklar and Herman and Rebecca

Fineberg. Adored father of the late Debra and Jed Zidell, Linda and Jim Rosenbloom, and Philip and Maria Sonnenklar. Proud Zady of grandchildren Jessica and Adam Perilman, Amy and Danny Kaplan, Zach Sonnenklar, Rebecca and Kevin Young, Chad Rosenbloom, Jenna Rosenbloom and Jake Sonnenklar. Treasured Zady of great-grandchildren Chase Perilman, Chloe Perilman, and Tessa Kaplan. Loved by daughter-in-law Robin Gordon. Brother to the late Mimi and Alex Weitz, Molly and the late Sidney Rudin, and brother-in-law to Joy and Eliezer Rosenthal. Also will be greatly missed by loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and special devoted friend Sandra Rodgers. Being a devoted son, husband, father and grandfather is what Art valued most. Graduate of the Bronx School of Science and CAL Tech University. Served proudly in the U.S. Navy. We are forever grateful to all of the physicians and medical professionals for providing the care that gave us extra precious years with Art. Services and interment were private. Contributions may be made to the Cecil and David Rosenthal Memorial Fund at Achieva, 711 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (achieva.info/ loveliketheboys). Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com STEIN: Heather Harris Stein, whose lifelong curiosity led her to a rewarding career in communications and a rich life filled with family, friends, and social advocacy, died on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 (4 Heshvan 5782). Heather was born on March 13, 1945, in Pittsburgh to Aron Harris, an Austrian who had fled Vienna in 1937, and Sophia Markowitz, an American-born daughter of Romanian Immigrants. Aron and Sophie met in Pittsburgh, married, and settled

in a house on Highview Street where they raised Heather and her older brother, Harold. Growing up in the Highland Park neighborhood Heather was active in the nearby B’nai Israel synagogue choir and attended Peabody High School. At the University of Pittsburgh Heather studied English/writing and worked her way up to be the advertising manager at the Pitt News, while also working part-time at her father’s dry goods store upriver from Pittsburgh. After graduation Heather worked at Westinghouse’s Astro-nuclear Laboratory, before being hired as the editor of the Duquesne Light News, the electric utility’s employee magazine. While at Duquesne Light Heather was the first woman allowed in Duquesne Light’s coal mines and in electrical generators under repair. In 1968 Heather married her college sweetheart, Mel Stein. Two years later she left the workplace to give birth to Matthew, and to Paula four years after that. During this time Heather volunteered for Na’amat USA (formerly Pioneer Women) where she was selected as an Israel seminarist, Pittsburgh Council president, and member of the national board. She also chaired the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Women’s Plea for Human Rights for Soviet Jewry. Heather also gave generously of her time and talents to the NCJW, Pittsburgh’s chapter of the ZOA, Hillel Academy and Congregation Poale Zedeck. Heather’s first job back required adjusting to a completely different milieu-city government. As the lead writer for Mayor Richard S. Caliguiri’s Task Force on Women in Renaissance II, Heather produced programs and public information materials, such as “In Celebration of Women,” a series of TV salutes to Pittsburgh women broadcast during National Women’s History Month. She also successfully launched the Real Women’s Essay Competition for students in public and private schools throughout the City of Pittsburgh. In subsequent years Heather held communications positions at a wide breadth

of organizations in various industries: a corporate design firm, South Hills Health System, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering, and University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law. She also established her own communications and marketing consulting firm. All of this creative work earned Heather five Women in Communications Matrix Awards and a national Clarion Award for her writing and marketing materials. In 1995, she was selected by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh for its Leadership Award in Communications; the following year the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania added her to the 1996 Honor Roll of Women. Heather excelled at making lifelong friends through work and volunteering, as well as through helping neighbors on the block. She loved arranging get-togethers, planning European trips based on Rick Steeves’ recommendations, and celebrating holidays and friends’ simchas. Through it all Heather was devoted to her parents, brother, extended family, friends and colleagues. She will be missed by her life partner of 53 years and “wind beneath her wings,” Melvin Stein. She will be remembered by Mel’s sister, Lila Horowitz; brother, Irwin Stein and his wife, Judith; and wonderful nieces and nephews. Heather is survived by her children Matthew Stein of New York City, and Paula and Josh Weisman of Efrat, Israel, as well as four awesome grandchildren, Adi, Aron, Eliana, and Maya Weisman. Heather and family wish to thank Heather’s extraordinary doctors, treatment center staff, and nurses at Hillman’s Cancer Center and Shadyside Hospital. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. Interment Poale Zedeck Memorial Park Cemetery. For a celebration of her well-lived life, please consider contributions in Heather’s name to the Frick Environmental Center in Squirrel Hill, any of the philanthropies she supported, or your favorite charity. schugar.com PJC

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5501 Baum Blvd. Pittsburgh PA 15232 Shadyside Office | 412-361-4000

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FOX CHAPEL MEWS • $599,000 • NEW PRICE! Stunning, move in ready condo with every updated amenity! Just hang up your clothes! 3 BR, 3 BA, double patio, storage galore, and steps from the elevator. The Mews offers indoor pool, exercise room, outdoor tennis, and beautiful guest suites. Convenient location to all city areas, and walking distance for coffee or shopping. Shown by appointment with Etta Golomb. 412-725-6524

WASHINGTONS LANDING • $649,000 Fabulous townhome on the water with a park-like setting! Enjoy a gourmet cooks kitchen that opens to the dining/living area with a beautiful gas fireplace, glass doors to a newer trex deck that DING has a remote controlled awning. 2nd floor master PEN area has a dual vanity, two person jacuzzi, as well as a shower, and a water closet. The third floor has a great room that extends the length of the home and has a full bath … a multi purpose room for entertaining, as well as sleeping. Call for directions. JILL and MARK PORTLAND RE/MAX REALTY BROKERS 412.521.1000 EXT. 200

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Denise Serbin, Realtor HOWARD HANNA REAL ESTATE

Squirrel Hill Office 6310 Forbes Ave. , Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412-480-6554 mobile/preferred 412-421-9120 office deniseserbin@howardhanna.com

OCTOBER 22, 2021  21


Community Looth tooth no more

Getting jabbed at JAA Jewish Association on Aging residents and staff received COVID-19 booster shots.

p Brody Markovitz lost his second tooth thanks to the help of a delicious apple at Beth El Congregation’s Pop Up Torah Party. Photo courtesy of Beth El Congregation of the South Hills

Swimming in the fast lane

p Jack Baker receives his shot.

p John Stage gets a booster.

p Priscilla Burgess experiences a jab.

p Weinberg Village Nursing Assistant Angelita Sholock is all smiles.

Local phenom Zoe Skirboll represented Team USA at the 2021 FINA Swimming World Cup. Meets were held in Berlin, Germany, between Oct. 1-3, and in Budapest, Hungary, between Oct. 7-9. In Berlin and Budapest, Skirboll made the finals in the 50M Breast in Berlin and Budapest, finishing sixth place in both races. Skirboll also swam the 50M Free, 100M Free, 200M Free, 100M Fly, 100M Breast, 200M Breast and 100M IM. Skirboll didn’t finish lower than 20th place during the two stops.

u  Zoe Skirboll receives a kiss from her dad Jim Skirboll. Photo courtesy of Jim Skirboll

Photos courtesy of Jewish Association on Aging

Loaves of Love Chabad of Squirrel Hill hosted Loaves of Love on Oct. 7. t Isn’t this sweet? Photos by Kelly Schwimer

p Participants make pumpkin shaped challahs as a seasonal treat.

22  OCTOBER 22, 2021

Fast times at Hillel Academy Hillel Academy’s Cross Country Team placed first at the East End Championships on Oct. 10. All five JV Girl team members were among the top 20 finishers in the race.

p From left: Miri Shaw, Bella Reinherz, Mali Weinberg, Coach Dayna Greenfield, Talia Azagury and Tamar Isenberg Photo courtesy of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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Community 2022 Community Campaign, here we go Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh launched its 2022 Community Campaign outdoors at Nova Place Plaza. With sponsorship from PNC Bank and UPMC Health Plan, the Oct. 12 event was underwritten by the Ira and Nanette Gordon (z”l) Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh.

p From left: Debbie Resnick (Community Campaign vice chair and event chair), Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein (Community Campaign chair) and Susan Berman Kress (Community Campaign co-chair)

p From left: Todd Rosenfeld, Evan Indianer, Jane Rollman, Susan Berman Kress and Adrienne Indianer

p From left: Brian Eglash, Peter Gordon, Mordy Rudolph and Rivkee Rudolph

p PNC Bank representative Jonathan Kessler presents the 2021 PNC Community Builders Award to Rose and Edward Berman. Photos by David Bachman

Imagining David as exemplar Jill Joshowitz, Ph.D. candidate, New York University, and visiting scholar, University of Pittsburgh, examined images of King David playing his lyre as a case study for exploring David’s role as psalmist and musician in late antique Jewish imagination. Joshowitz’s Oct. 15 talk was part of a Pitt Jewish Studies Program work-in-progress colloquium.

p Jill Joshowitz

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Macher and Shaker Squirrel Hill resident Boaz Frankel was named a 40 Under 40 Honoree by Pittsburgh Magazine. Frankel is a writer, filmmaker, experiential storyteller, museum curator and master gardener.

t Boaz Frankel Screenshot by Adam Reinherz

PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE

File photo by Adam Reinherz

OCTOBER 22, 2021  23


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