June 17, 2022 | 18 Sivan 5782
Candlelighting 8:35 p.m. | Havdalah 9:43 p.m. | Vol. 65, No. 24 | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org
Jewish Federation partners with OneTable and Ratzon to celebrate Pride Month
NOTEWORTHY LOCAL Team Israel: Here they come!
Local professionals weigh in on rising mortgage rates By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer
Two young Pittsburghers join the first 12U Israel Softball Team
Ratzon’s work, the Jewish LGBTQ+ community and Jewish identity. Weintraub said the goal of Ratzon is to create a place that fulfills the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of LGTBQ+ Jews and their community. The organization offers programming based on Jewish tradition, coupled with the perspective of “queerness and some of the political theory of anarchist practices as well,” Weintraub said. The aim is to create “non-hierarchical communities,” according to Ratzon’s website. “We question hierarchies that exist in our relationships to the broader world.” The Ratzon founder said they created the organization after realizing the need for the Jewish LGBTQ+ community to have more support. “I was going to Jewish spaces and felt like I needed to leave my queerness at the door, but then going to queer spaces, I felt like I had to leave my Jewishness at the door,” Weintraub said. Weintraub founded Ratzon in 2019,
ome buyers hoping to secure a 30-year mortgage are looking at interest rates that have nearly doubled since last summer. On June 8, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.55%, according to Bankrate.com. In May 2021, the monthly average was 2.96%. Rates have consistently risen for the past 12 months, according to Freddie Mac. Local real estate professionals noted that along with climbing rates is a cooling market, even in Squirrel Hill. Redfin, a full-service real estate brokerage, indicated that home prices in Squirrel Hill South — an area that houses one of the region’s largest Jewish populations according to the 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study — were down 2.9% in April 2022 compared to a year earlier. “You still see things moving quickly, but it’s not the same as it was a few months ago,” Jill Portland, a broker-owner at RE/MAX, said. Some buyers are shocked at rates jumping above 5%, but “everything is relative,” Denise Serbin, a real estate agent with Howard Hanna, said. “I bought my first home in 1988 when interest rates were 12.5%, so I look at 5.5% as historically a good rate.” Portland agreed, saying that when she started in real estate nearly 35 years ago mortgage rates were between 8% and 10%. What’s happening now is that some buyers who were motivated by the 2.5% to 3% interest rates of the last few years are “sitting back on their heels and waiting to see if they will go down,” Serbin said. But predicting the market is difficult, local professionals said. Fixed mortgage rates are influenced by several factors, such as supply, demand and
Please see Pride, page 14
Please see Mortgage, page 14
LOCAL Taking a bite out of shark myths
Mt. Lebanon’s David Shiffman explains ‘Why Sharks Matter’ in new book
LOCAL He’s not a Jew, but is he Jew-ish?
Bruce Springsteen’s Jewish legacy
Photo by Cunaplus_M.Faba via iStockPhoto
By David Rullo | Staff Writer
mi Weintraub wants to create greater connections in the Jewish community. Weintraub is a rabbinical student and founder of Ratzon: Center for Healing and Resistance, a nonprofit that calls itself a center for community organizing, queer resources and Jewish practice. Weintraub spoke virtually on June 8 at “JFedxOne Table Pride Month: Building a Jewish LGBTQ+ Community Center with Ratzon,” celebrating Pride Month. The program was organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council and OneTable. “My goal,” Weintraub said, “was to share more about what Ratzon is and to open up a conversation about what it looks like for the queer Jewish community and the not-queer Jewish community to be partners in creating the Jewish community.” The hour-long conversation, hosted by CRC Director Laura Cherner, covered
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LOCAL Exit Interview: Rabbi Keren Gorban
LOCAL Molly May says farewell
LOCAL Addressing racism through art
Headlines The exit interview: Rabbi Keren Gorban — LOCAL — By David Rullo | Staff Writer
abbi Keren Gorban will soon leave Temple Sinai after serving for seven years as the Reform congregation’s associate rabbi. Before serving the Squirrel Hill synagogue, Gorban was the assistant rabbi at Temple Sinai in Denver and spent time as a student rabbi in Montana, British Columbia and Arizona. She also was a teaching assistant at the University of Southern California and worked as a chaplain in nursing homes in California and at a hospital in Denver. This interview was edited for length and clarity.
Can you talk about what your responsibilities were while serving at Temple Sinai?
My responsibilities have ebbed and flowed. There have been parts of my portfolio that I have spent more time with and others when it’s been less. Right now, I am in charge of the religious school program Next DOR (the congregation’s center for Jewish learning). I am the associate rabbi, so I have full pulpit and life cycle responsibilities, counseling and so on. I am also responsible for all of the music for the congregation and anything with youth that sort of falls under Next DOR but not entirely. And I have mostly been the tech director.
Are there any parts of your role you enjoy more than other parts? What will your focus be moving forward?
The general rabbinic role is where my
passions lie. Part of what I was looking for in a new position is to really be able to enjoy the role of being on the bima and leading services, of getting to be involved in all of the different life cycle events. One of the things I’ve done a lot of here is conversions. I really enjoy Intro to Judaism and working with conversion candidates and teaching, but not so much on the administrative piece.
huge amount about what it means to be a rabbi I’ll be taking all of that with me.
Are there any last words that you want to leave for the Pittsburgh community?
Since your contract has expired at Temple Sinai, what’s next for you and your family?
I’m going to be the rabbi of Temple Beth El in Tacoma, Washington.
Was there anything about Pittsburgh that you particularly enjoyed?
I love Pittsburgh. I’ve loved the neighborhood feel. I like that fact that there are so many neighborhoods and that people actually know the people in their neighborhood. I love being able to walk down Murray and Forbes avenues and bump into people that I know.
What about Temple Sinai? What are you going to miss about the work you’ve done there?
I think it’s two things. One is the people because that is really what is most important. Also, Tacoma is a relatively mid-sized city but has a small Jewish population. Beth El is the only congregation, other than Chabad, in town. So, having the range of Jewish life and colleagues in town is something that I am going to miss.
What have you most enjoyed about your time at Temple Sinai?
Getting to know the people in the congregation and accompanying them on part of their journey, especially through the particularly
Rabbi Keren Gorban
difficult and particularly joyful times. Are there any lessons you’ve learned at Temple Sinai that you’ll be taking with you to Tacoma? Yes. I have grown significantly as a rabbi, a leader and a professional. I’ve been a rabbi for 10 years, and this is only my second fulltime congregational position. I’ve learned a
When I led the first Pittsburgh Honeymoon Israel trip, one of the things I kept reminding the couples on the trip was that they were individuals as well as couples, and that if they wanted to sometimes separate and go do different things they should and should feel comfortable about that. I think one of the things that we have seen in the Jewish community is that there is a strong push to do things together in ways that are intended to combine or erase the individuality of each congregation or community. My hope for Pittsburgh is that the Pittsburgh Jewish commuFile photo nity takes the stuff about working together, collaboration and community, while also allowing each place to retain its unique identity. Gorban will leave this month to begin her new position with Temple Beth El in Tacoma, Washington. PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
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Headlines Jewish musician Molly May reflects on communal work and upcoming move — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer
hose enchanted by the uplifting spiritual sound of Molly May’s voice will need to head south to hear Rodef Shalom Congregation’s longtime cantorial soloist and choir director. After nearly a decade serving the Shadyside congregation, May is moving to Durham, North Carolina, next week. Given her children’s ages and family health concerns, it’s a good time to relocate, May said. Along with wishing her well, May’s colleagues praised the Jewish professional for her work at Rodef Shalom, HaZamir Pittsburgh, the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and her commitment to arrangement and instrumentalism throughout the city. May’s musical contributions are well known throughout the area, but before ever ascending the pulpit, leading a multitude of singers or playing double bass, the Point Breeze native pursued undergraduate and graduate degrees in music pedagogy from the University of Michigan and Rutgers University, and taught orchestra and band for six years in New Jersey before coming back to Pittsburgh. Despite returning to her regional roots with a wealth of musical knowledge, May’s career climb wasn’t predictable, she said. When one son was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and another son was just an infant, she and her husband, Chuck, realized they “needed additional family support.” Once cancer treatment concluded,
May’s mother, Linda Doernberg, touted the benefits of the Rodef Shalom Family Center Preschool. She said the school was a “wonderful play-based center where kids learn in developmentally appropriate ways, sing great songs and make great friends,” May said. Months after enrolling her son David, May was asked if she wanted to teach music at Rodef Shalom’s religious school. She agreed — but just before Thanksgiving 2011 she began a new relationship with the congregation. It was just before the start of the holiday weekend, and there were no skilled singers available during services, said Don Megahan, Rodef Shalom’s music director and organist. “Rabbi Henry said there is a parent in the preschool who is Jewish and she sings, and I said, ‘Go get her,’” he recalled. May accepted Rodef Shalom’s offer and throughout the next 18 months returned to the Shadyside bima when requested. There was a stable of other soloists, May said, but as “people phased out of the rotation, I phased in.” During that period, May was still seeking work in her “first career,” teaching orchestra, but despite some long-term substitute positions “nothing really panned out,” she said. “I realized that what I was supposed to do was serve the Jewish community with my musicianship.” May’s self-awareness forever impacted the congregation, Megahan said. “Molly just unassumingly stepped into our lives, and I had no idea that our relationship would become what it is.” Week after week, Megahan and May partnered on maximizing the musical experience
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Headlines Two young Pittsburghers to represent Team Israel at international softball competition — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer
wo young Pittsburgh athletes are heading to Italy while representing Israel. This August, Izzy Zober and Grace Stark are joining the first-ever 12U Israel Softball Team at the European Massimo Romero Youth Tournament. Held in Collecchio, Italy, EMRYT is part of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Europe and will feature a collection of teams from across the globe. Although neither Izzy nor Grace live in the Jewish state, membership on Team Israel is available to those with Israeli citizenship and U.S.-born players with Jewish or Israeli heritage. Izzy, 11, told the Chronicle she’s “super excited to represent Israel on such an international stage.” Grace, 10, agreed, saying, “I am looking forward to playing with other girls that I have never played with and playing out of the country for the first time.” Izzy and Grace both said they lack experience with international play. Neither athlete is a softball newbie, however: Izzy started playing when she was 6, Grace began when she
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was 5, and both kids are familiar with travel teams. Izzy has played with the Pittsburgh Power organization. Grace has played with Team Pennsylvania and Harrison City Heat. Each of the players’ parents is excited for their daughters to represent Israel as well as Pittsburgh. “As a Jew and an Israeli citizen, to have Izzy don the blue and white and don the Star
softball in the Jewish state. Baran welcomed Izzy and Grace to the team, saying in a statement that their membership is helping Israel compete on one of the “biggest international stages for youth softball.” Though batting order and positions are still being sorted out, Izzy and Grace are eager to contribute to the team’s success. Izzy plays pitcher and Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stark Izzy Zober Photo courtesy of Yarone Zober first base. Grace plays catcher. of David is an amazing thing for her and Because of their talents, the Pittsburghers an amazing thing for us as a family,” Izzy’s and their teammates are contributing to father, Yarone Zober, said. a historic enterprise, Baran noted: “For Grace’s mother, Jennifer Stark, also shepped decades, we have worked to build Israel’s nachas, when saying, “We are very proud of youth program, and it is international her to have this opportunity. She’s done really opportunities like these that help to estabwell with athletics and academics.” lish our country as a true competitor on the Ami Baran oversees the Israel Softball Association, a governing body for organized Please see Softball, page 15
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Headlines Lawrenceville exhibit showcases art addressing racism — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle
wo Jewish women — one from Monroeville, one from Jersey City, New Jersey — are exhibiting art this summer that addresses racism and hate at a group exhibit in a Lawrenceville gallery. Debbie Maier Jacknin and Donna Greenberg, who are part of the polymer clay group The Gathering, first exhibited the work at a show in New Hampshire. The work stemmed from a yearlong dialogue the group of women artists had in the wake of George Floyd’s death. “It’s almost become a snapshot in time — from George Floyd’s murder to one year later, we went through a lot together,” said Jacknin, who is a member of Temple David and owns Songbird Artistry, the aforementioned Lawrenceville gallery, with her two daughters. “It’s one thing hearing about it, it’s another when you see a group of women — seven white, seven black — go through this experience together.” One of Jacknin’s striking pieces is an ornate work titled “Eye Persist,” which draws its name, in part, from the eye-bedecked hamsa that takes center stage. “In a world where many of us have a tendency to focus on ourselves, our religion
p Debbie Maier Jacknin and her piece “Eye Persist”
and our beliefs, would we perhaps see the world differently if we took a step back and instead focused on what we have in common?” Jacknin wrote in a blog entry on the “Eye Persist” piece. “If we did that, would we treat each other differently?” For the New Hampshire show, each of the 14
Photo courtesy of Debbie Maier Jacknin
women designed a 10-foot-by-10-foot tile work centered around a word they found powerful and meaningful, Jacknin said. Additional pieces also were created and exhibited. “This element of hate is out there,” Jacknin told the Chronicle, “but art has a way of reaching people.”
p Donna Greenberg’s “Headpiece”
Photo courtesy of Debbie Maier Jacknin
Donna Greenberg, who lives a few blocks from where she was born in Jersey City, chose the word “RISE” and Maya Angelou’s accompanying poem “And Still I Rise” as a Please see Art, page 15
Rodef Shalom Congregation
PURSUER OF PEACE join us in honoring Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry 412 Food Rescue Just Harvest Sunday, June 26, 2022 ~ 5:30 P.M. Wine Bar ~ Dinner Prooff o Proo off Vaccination required required..
RSVP at www.rodefshalom.org www.rodefshalom.or g /peace or call 412.621.6566 x140
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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 a prior to the date as space allows. The deadline for submissions is Friday, noon. q
SATURDAY, JUNE 18
Join the Temple Sinai disAbility Task Force for the special event, Celebrating Disabilities Through the Arts. The evening will include dancers from Cynthia’s School of Dance, musical ensemble Infinity, the American Sign Language Choir, Pittsburgh stand-up comic Gab Bonesso and much more. 7 p.m. $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit templesinaipgh.org/event/ CelebratedisAbilities2022.html.
SUNDAYS, JUNE 19-JULY 24
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
MONDAYS, JUNE 20-JULY 25
Join Congregation Beth Shalom for a weekly Talmud study. 9:15 a.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org. q
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22
Join the Temple Sinai Book Club in the Falk Library for a discussion of the book “Prayers for the Living.” 1:15 p.m. templesinaipgh.org. The new six-week Rohr Jewish Learning Institute course, The Values That Shape Judaism’s Civil Code, examines a number of key legal issues
that disclose fundamental ethical considerations that serve as the engine of Jewish civil law. Class offered online or in person at Chabad of the South Hills. $95 individual/$170 couple. 7:30 p.m. chabadsh.com. q
Rodef Shalom presents the seventh biennial Pursuer of Peace celebration. Honorees include the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, 412 Food Rescue and Just Harvest. The award recognizes the contribution of an individual or organization in pursuit of peace, promoting social justice, fostering interfaith understanding and/or encouraging humanitarianism. 5:30 p.m. 4905 Fifth Ave. Tickets can be purchased at rodefshalom.org.
WEDNESDAYS, JUNE 22 -AUG. 3
Bring the parshah 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. Join Temple Sinai to study the weekly Torah portion in its hybrid class available on Zoom. Open to everyone. Noon. templesinaipgh.org/event/ parashah/weekly-torah-portion-classvia-zoom11.html. q
THURSDAY, JUNE 30
Enjoy a kid friendly-event and explore the Biblical Garden at Rodef Shalom. The garden is tucked away on the Devonshire side of the building, and there is ample parking in the parking lot. 1 p.m. 4905 Fifth Ave. rodefshalom.org/events-1/storytime-inthe-garden. PJC
SUNDAY, JUNE 26
Join Temple Sinai and give back to the Earth by picking up a tree to plant for the Arbor Day Foundation. 10 a.m.
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PROTECT YOURSELF WHILE HELPING SOMEONE ELSE This is one in a series of articles about Elder Law by Michael H. Marks., Esq. Michael H. Marks is an elder law attorney with offices in Squirrel Hill and Monroeville. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.marks-law.com.
We may on occasion generously agree to help a needy family member, neighbor or friend by handling their finances for them. However, any time you handle someone else’s financial affairs for them, you assume legal obligations to act properly, and you expose yourself to legal liability. Did you ever hear the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished?” Sometimes volunteers get trouble instead of rewards, in return for their efforts. When you help another person by handling their resources for them in a position of trust and responsibility, you are acting as “fiduciary,” and are subject to “fiduciary duties”. Other examples of fiduciaries are a Trustees of a Trust, Guardian for a minor child or disabled adult, or an Executor of an Estate. If you are act as an Agent under a Financial Power Of Attorney, you have legal and ethical duties to act properly. Just because you are named doesn’t mean you have to assume the obligation to help, but if you do, your obligations include the duty to act in good faith; to act loyally for the benefit of the person you are helping; to act only within the scope of the powers you are granted under the POA; to keep accurate records of all transactions; to keep your money separate from that of the person you are helping; to not misappropriate their money for your own purposes; and to act in accordance with their
JUNE 17, 2022
reasonable expectations to the extent known, and otherwise in their best interest; and more. Actually, you can be subject to the same legal duties even if you’re not officially named in writing as an Agent under Power Of Attorney, or even if you don’t sign as POA, any time you handle someone else’s property for their benefit and when that person relies on you and trusts you. Sometimes a volunteer helper comes under investigation if a complaint is made against them alleging financial abuse, or that they have taken advantage by misusing their position of trust. An investigation can often be triggered when a complaint is made to the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging (or Department of Aging), Older Adult Protective Services department (or through the statewide toll-free Elder abuse hotline). Such allegations of wrongdoing are often made by administrative staff at a care facility, who may suspect exploitation or abuse, or sometimes by a neighbor, family member, or other interested (“nebby?”) Individual. I’d like to think that all such complaints are made in good faith but we know that sometimes they are not. When that happens, even if you’ve done nothing wrong, as a practical matter you need to respond and produce records and explanations, to protect and defend yourself. By the way, allegations can be made of physical or non-financial abuse too, but complaints about mishandling money are more common. Sometimes, investigations or enforcement proceedings go beyond the stage of the local administrative agency. You may even face a court case, usually demanding that you account
formally, in writing, for all the transactions you’ve undertaken involving someone else’s property. What can you do to protect yourself, while helping someone else? • •
• • •
Keep complete and accurate records, including e.g. bank statements, checkbook registers, etc. to produce if demanded. Keep your money separate from theirs. Don’t commingle funds! And be scrupulously strict in using their money for their benefit, not your own. Don’t even borrow. Refrain from paying yourself for services rendered. If you do pay yourself, keep a log of your hours and services. Document your decisions and actions for anything beyond the routine, even just by keeping notes for yourself. For as long as possible, get the person
you are helping to sign and even write out their own checks. Postpone signing on their behalf as Agent under Power Of Attorney until absolutely necessary. Be transparent and communicate with other stakeholders and interested parties, but use your judgment, it’s a doubleedged sword, when dealing with others not acting in good faith.
What if you observe suspicious circumstances and think that someone is being taken advantage of? You can complain anonymously, and the Older Adult Protective Services agency won’t disclose your name. At Marks Elder Law, we help people every day with issues like these. I invite your questions and feedback. Please let me know how I can help you and your family.
helping you plan for what matters the most
With the increasing costs of long-term care, having the help of a legal professional when planning for your family’s future can help you make better decisions that can result in keeping more of your money. We help families understand the strategies, the benefits, and risks involved with elder law, disability and estate planning.
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Headlines Mt. Lebanon’s David Shiffman comes full circle with ‘Why Sharks Matter’ — LOCAL — By Ethan Beck | Staff Writer
avid Shiffman can trace his love of marine biology back to a few early memories. The first shark he ever saw was at the Pittsburgh Zoo, and the first time he ever saw the ocean was when he visited his retired grandparents in Florida. But part of his fascination with the field might have been spurred while practicing for his bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel of South Hills. “My rabbi, who at the time was Mark Mahler, had a fish tank in his office, and we geeked out about fish all of the time when I was doing bar mitzvah prep,” Shiffman recalled. “It always cracked me up that my haftarah portion at the time was Ezekiel, so I had a fish at my house named Ezekiel, and Mahler had a piranha in his office named Killer. But he was the rabbi, and I was the kid.” More than two decades after raising Ezekiel, Shiffman — who now lives in the Washington, D.C. area — has turned his biology credentials into a new book with “Why Sharks Matter.’’ The book had percolated for nearly 10 years. “I find that there are a lot of people who ask
p David Shiffman at the Pittsburgh Zoo
really great questions, and sometimes they say, ‘I really enjoyed this topic, I would like to learn more about the kind of work you do. Is there an accessible, not textbook, not law school book that can tell me about shark conservation science and policy?’ And until two weeks ago, the answer was no,” Shiffman explained. “Why Sharks Matter” takes Shiffman’s experience from working at Arizona State University and his lifelong shark obsession and argues that our cultural understanding of sharks is, at best, misinformed. “My neighbors in Pittsburgh are afraid of sharks, and they don’t live anywhere near them,” he said. “This is not something they need to worry about in their day-to-day lives, and it’s so over-exaggerated by inflammatory media coverage.” But the goal of “Why Sharks Matter” isn’t just a course correction of the idea that sharks are a threat to humans. Shiffman also wants readers to know about the present-day threats to sharks and what people can do to help counter them. The book’s final chapter is simply titled “How Can You Help Sharks? (Dos and Please Just Don’ts).” Last weekend, Shiffman returned to Pittsburgh to kick off the book tour for “Why Sharks Matter” at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Photo courtesy of David Shiffman
Please see Shiffman, page 15
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Headlines The quintessential Jewishness of Bruce Springsteen
p Bruce Springsteen performs onstage during the “Stand Up for Heroes” special at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 5, 2014.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Hinton/Released via Wikimedia
— LOCAL — By Ethan Beck | Staff Writer
t could be his last name, which was once accidentally spelled as “Springstein” by The New York Times. Or it might be that he’s known for his mensch-like commitment to social justice. No matter how it happened, you, or someone you know, have probably mistaken Bruce Springsteen as a Jew. To clarify: The Boss is not a member of the tribe, and his Catholic roots are well-documented. But can that really stop Springsteen from being Jew-ish? Some say that the New Jersey legend could at least blend in with the pack. “I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I’ve always had the sense that Bruce is a really spiritual guy,” said Temple Sinai Rabbi Daniel Fellman, a life-long Springsteen fan. “He wrestles with things. He tries to make sense of things. He uses his art to try and help others in a way that most musicians don’t.” While growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, Fellman was struck by Springsteen’s music at the age of 12, and it has stuck with him. Fellman saw the E Street Band for the first time in the early 2000s when he was in
JUNE 17, 2022
rabbinical school. “I went with a group of classmates from rabbinical school, but we also went with a Talmudic professor,” Fellman laughed. Years after rabbinical school, Fellman finds ways to tie his love for Springsteen with theology. After his ordination, he moved to New Jersey, where he was tasked with preparing a Jewish class on death and dying. Because of the Garden State’s proximity to New York, Fellman felt the effects of 9/11 on a direct level. That inspired him to base the class on Springsteen’s 2002 album “The Rising.” “It seemed that Bruce Springsteen had done what no other artist had done, which was effectively to try and write a eulogy for the whole disaster,” Fellman said. “‘The Rising’ is an album of healing. It’s an album of songs that could be psalms. Any one of them could be a reading at a funeral. I brought in a stereo to class, and I reproduced the lyrics. We went through every song on that disc and talked through the Jewish way of death and mourning using those songs.” And while there are certainly thematic overlaps between the Tanakh and Springsteen’s lyrics on songs like “The Promised Land,” Fellman thinks the connection is even bigger than that. “If you go to a Bruce Springsteen concert, you can’t help but walk away feeling uplifted
in the same way you would if you’d go to a Jewish wedding or a Jewish celebration,” Fellman said. “We’re pretty good about leaving all of our emotions out on the floor and living it up. You know, dancing the hora is a huge emotive experience. A Bruce concert is the same kind of thing.” Of course, Fellman isn’t the first person to note the Springsteen-Jewish connection, There’s also the more anecdotal approach, as seen in Eric Alterman’s chapter of “Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen.” Alterman shares a story of how he missed a Yom Kippur service to go see the iconic 1979 “No Nukes” concert. “That night, I and (I’m guessing) everyone else in attendance believed in the ‘Promised Land,’” Alterman wrote. There’s also Azzan Yadin-Israel’s 2016 book “The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen,” which devotes an entire chapter to what Yadin-Israel calls “Springsteen’s Midrash.” It discusses songs like “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Swallowed Up (In The Belly of the Whale)” by tying them in with their biblical counterparts in Genesis and the story of Jonah. Abby Mendelson, a journalist, author and professor at Chatham and Point Park universities, thinks that the comparison is two-fold.
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He noted that many of the great lyricists of the 20th century are Jews, such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. “When we look at people who really had something to say with depth, who wanted to describe the world and to make the world better, they’re not exclusively Jewish, but there’s a large number of them out there,” Mendelson said. “Springsteen seems to fit in wonderfully well with them,” he continued. “You hear the idea of changing the world, not merely talking about the effluvia of life. He really has something to say.” But Mendelson also compares Springsteen’s lyrics to the great dramatists, particularly those who had a focus on working class and labor issues, such as Clifford Odets. He thinks that Springsteen is most connected to Judaism through a mutual concern with those who are disadvantaged. “How are we defined as Jews, as a people and a culture? One of the ways we are defined is as former slaves. Remember, you were strangers in a strange land. We are always, always, always feeling for the underdog,” Mendelson said. “As a people, that’s what we feel, and that’s where Springsteen is.” PJC Ethan Beck can be reached at ebeck@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Headlines Lawmakers launch bipartisan push for defense arrangement between Israel and Arab neighbors — WORLD — By Ron Kampeas | JTA
ASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan slate of lawmakers launched a bill that would establish an “integrated air and missile defense capability” joining the United States, Israel and Arab countries in a bid to deter Iran. Senate and House members of the Abraham Accords Caucus rolled out the bill, called the DEFEND Act, in a press conference Thursday outside the Capitol and described it as means of advancing the U.S.-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries that collectively bear that name. “The full potential of the Abraham Accords, economic cooperation, education exchanges, trade agreements between Israel and our Middle Eastern partners, cannot be achieved without a commitment to collective security,” said Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who is the lead co-sponsor of the bill with Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Jewish Democrat. “America’s role in activating and networking our allies and partners in the Middle East must evolve as violent extremists, like Iran, change their tactics and
p From left: Rep. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican; Rep. David Trone, a Maryland Democrat; Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican; Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat; and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, a California Democrat, at a press conference at the Capitol on June 9 Photo via Office of Sen. Joni Ernst
onboard new systems capable of catastrophic damage against civilian targets.” It’s not clear from the bill how formal the arrangement would be. The bill tasks the secretary of defense with establishing an “architecture” and “acquisition approach” for an “integrated air and missile defense system” to counter threats from Iran. Israel has traditionally been wary of formal defense pacts with even its closest allies, wishing to preserve its right to act unilaterally. However, Israeli officials have in recent years signaled that less formal arrangements
Standup Comic & Mental Health Advocate Gab Bonesso
that preserve Israel’s agency are acceptable. The bill also designates as participants in the arrangement the four countries signed onto the Abraham Accords — Morocco, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — as well as countries that still have no relations with Israel, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Saudi Arabia looks closer than ever to formalizing what has been for years a secret relationship with Israel, and reportedly is near an agreement that would allow Israeli aircraft to fly through Saudi air space. But
Iraq is openly hostile to Israel. Ernst said that the United States should coax those countries into participation. She noted that the U.S. consulate in Erbil, Iraq, came under drone attack on Wednesday, an area that has in the past come under fire from Iran and its proxies. “We understand they are not part of the Abraham Accords,” she said of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, “but it is extremely important that we continue the discussions with them as well as wrap them into this agreement as part of the DEFEND act. We have to continue those conversations with them. We just saw the attack in Erbil yesterday.” In a press release, Ernst named an array of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations that back the bill, but there was no institution linked to any of the Arab countries named in the bill. The lead quote was from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “By directing a strategic approach to cooperative missile defense and counter-UAV coordination, this legislation strengthens the U.S.-Israel partnership as it enhances regional cooperation against common security threats,” the powerhouse pro-Israel lobby said. Hadassah said the bill, should it become Please see Defense, page 18
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Headlines — WORLD — Polygamous Jerusalem cult leader found dead in prison
Polygamous cult leader Daniel Ambash was found dead in his cell at Ayalon Prison in Ramle on June 10, The Times of Israel reported, citing the Israel Prisons Service. Paramedics declared Ambash dead after resuscitation efforts failed. The prisons service said the circumstances of his death would be examined. Ambash was sentenced to 26 years in prison on 18 charges. Those charges included sexual offenses, abuse of minors, incarceration and sadistic violence. Ambash, who was a Bratslav ultra-Orthodox Jew, headed the so-called “Jerusalem cult.” He had six wives and 14 children, who were kept by Ambash and his assistants in slavery conditions.
Brazilian Jewish school takes in hospital patients escaping a fire
A Jewish school in Rio de Janeiro took in more than 150 patients escaping a hospital fire, many of them in sick beds, on June 7, JTA reported. A fire broke out in the Hospital São Lucas’ laundry room that produced thick smoke and required an evacuation.
Employees at the hospital in Copacabana, one of Rio’s most Jewish neighborhoods, wheeled patients to the nearby TTH Barilan School and the ground floors of apartment buildings. “Humanity is so complicated that, when you do the right thing, they say you’re like Superman,” TTH Barilan President Rafael Antaki said. “The hospital’s emergency plan was successful, and so was ours, focused on chesed and love.” The unprecedented scene of hospital beds lined up in the school’s courtyard made parents, teachers and employees emotional. Kindergarten classes were temporarily suspended, but elementary, junior high and high school classes were not interrupted. One patient needed to be resuscitated in the courtyard, the O Dia newspaper reported.
of “Holocaust remembrance, education and documentation, and to discuss efforts to fight antisemitism and racism worldwide,” Dayan’s office wrote in a statement. Dayan thanked the pope for his 2020 decision to open the Vatican’s archives related to the wartime Pope Pius XII, whose critics say did too little to intervene on behalf of the 6 million Jews that the Nazis murdered. But they did not discuss the Holocaustrelated controversies, including the ongoing beatification of Pius XII, that have strained Jewish-Catholic relations for years, Dayan said. Instead, Dayan focused on areas of consensus and on strengthening ties with the Vatican, he said.
Pope hosts Yad Vashem director at Vatican, doesn’t discuss Catholic Church’s Holocaust controversies
For the first time, female authors in Israel published more books of prose and poetry than their male counterparts, the National Library of Israel said in its 2021 annual “Book Report,” JTA reported. Of the 7,344 books sent to the library in 2021, 25% are exclusively classified as prose and poetry. Just over half, 52%, were credited to female authors, giving them a majority for the first time since the library began collecting statistics. Among the notable releases by women
Amid controversies concerning the Vatican’s Holocaust-era record, Pope Francis and the head of Yad Vashem met for a firstof-its-kind talk on June 9, JTA reported. Yad Vashem Director Dani Dayan met with the pope at his office in the Vatican. During their 30-minute talk, they spoke about ways to “bolster collaborative activities” in areas
A First: Female Israeli authors outpaced males in publishing in 2021
were “A Penguin Café at the Edge of the World,” a children’s story by author and poet Nurit Zarchi, recipient of the 2021 Israel Prize for literature, and “Strangers,” a bestselling novel by author Lihi Lapid, advocate and wife of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Approximately 92% of books published in Israel in 2021 were in Hebrew, with 4.8% in English, 2.2% in Arabic and a handful in Russian.
More than 170,000 march in Tel Aviv 2022 Pride Parade
Despite heat warnings, more than 170,000 people dressed in rainbows and glitter participated on June 10 in the Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2022, The Jerusalem Post reported. The parade began near the Sporteque on Rokach Boulevard, leading to a performance area in Ganei Yehoshua within Yarkon Park. The route was different than in past years. “For the first time in 20 years, the Pride March route is running through here; there is nothing more exciting than that,” Transportation Minister and Labor head Merav Michaeli said. “But as happy as we are here today, it’s important to remember those who are not here, because they are being silenced into fear. We will not allow them!” The Post reported that drones flew above the crowd as a protective measure. PJC — Compiled by Andy Gotlieb
This week in Israeli history
— WORLD —
I N G E T T YS B U R G !
Items provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.
June 17, 1939 — St. Louis returns to Europe
June 20, 1950 — First Festival of Jewish Music opens
Israel’s first Festival of Jewish Music begins at the YMCA building in Jerusalem and runs until July 1. Most performances present classical music, including Leonard Bernstein, but two showcase Israeli folk music.
June 21, 1990 — Diplomat Eliahu Eilat dies DestinationGettysburg.com
Legal Notice Sophia Pollak, deceased, of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 02685 of 2022, Alexander Pollak, Executor, c/o David J. Slesnick, Esq., 310 Grant Street, Suite # 1220, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
L e ga l Not ic e Krista M. Reitz, Deceased of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania No. 02-22-2529 Susan Kishpaugh-Delich, Co-Executor; 2272 Glen Haven Drive, Loveland, CO 80538, and; Bruce S. Gelman, Esq., Co-Executor; Gelman & Reisman, P.C., Law & Finance Bldg., 429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1701, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 10
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The SS St. Louis completes its recrossing of the Atlantic to Europe after all but 28 of the 938 Jewish refugees on board are denied admission to Cuba or the United States. More than 250 are killed in the Holocaust.
June 18, 1890 — JNF official Avraham Granovsky is born
Avraham Granovsky (Granot after making aliyah in 1922) is born in Moldova. For the Jewish National Fund, he leads the purchase of thousands of dunams of land, helping define Israel’s borders.
June 19, 1967 — LBJ outlines peace principles
President Lyndon B. Johnson lays out five principles for Middle East peace in a speech at the State Department. He does not demand Israel’s surrender of recently captured land.
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Eliahu Eilat, who won President Harry Truman’s U.S. recognition of Israel in May 1948 and served as Israel’s first ambassador to the United States and later its envoy to Britain, dies in Jerusalem at age 86.
June 22, 1939 — Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath is born
Biochemist Ada Yonath is born in Jerusalem. She shares the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering the 3D structure of two subunits of ribosomes, which make proteins in cells.
June 23, 2011 — Israel promotes 1st female major general
Orna Barbivai is promoted to major general, the first woman to hold the second-highest rank in the IDF. The 30-year military veteran and mother of three heads the Personnel Directorate. PJC
Congratulations, Melton School Grads! On completion of the Melton Core Curriculum from The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, a project of Hebrew University. “When you walk, your learning will guide you; when you sleep, it will watch over you; when you awake, it will speak unto you.” – Proverbs 6:22
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Opinion You don’t need a map to find antisemitism Guest Columnist Jonathan A. Greenblatt
ast week, an anti-Zionist group called BDS Boston promoted an initiative from an anonymous organization called “The Mapping Project” that recently released a graphic that depicted what it claimed are the interconnected nodes of “Zionism, Policing and Empire” around the state of Massachusetts. Among their targets: a Jewish high school, an arts collaborative, a coordinating body of synagogues, Harvard Medical School, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The organizers explained that: “We have shown physical addresses, named officers and leaders, and mapped connections. These entities exist in the physical world and can be disrupted in the physical world. We hope people will use our map to help figure out how to push back effectively ... we support non-cooperation, community self-defense, and resistance in all its forms.” Invoking the specter of a sinister Jewish conspiracy is an age-old antisemitic trope and the accompanying call to action is one that has rallied people to vandalism, pogroms, and worse against the Jewish people across the centuries, including to the present day. By doxing and demonizing the Boston Jewish community while simultaneously calling for “self-defense” and “resistance,” it is not hard to imagine what this deranged propaganda could incite. Sadly, the “Mapping Project” is not a one-off from a fringe group. Rather, it exemplifies how the increasingly aggressive purveyors of anti-Zionism are spewing raw antisemitism into the mainstream. The movement barely attempts to use the fig leaf of opposition to Israeli policies to cover a venomous hostility to the Jewish people. Zionism is a belief that the Jewish people have the right to self-determination and
statehood in their ancestral homeland. The yearning to return to Zion (the biblical term for the land of Israel) has been central to Judaism and Jewish identity for thousands of years. Anti-Zionism, in its current form, is not just the intellectual opposition to this idea. It is a belief system predicated on the negation of Jewish nationhood and the Jewish right to self-determination. These anti-Zionist groups deny the historic and spiritual connection that Jews have to the land of Israel and seek to delegitimize and extinguish the existence of the world’s only Jewish state. And as seen in the aforementioned mapping project, modern-day anti-Zionist groups regularly employ antisemitic tropes and imagery — as well as incendiary rhetoric — to vilify all individuals and groups associated with Zionism and Israel, i.e., Jews. Listen to how Zahra Billoo — a prominent Muslim-American activist and longtime leader of the San Francisco chapter of Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — spoke about Palestinian solidarity. In a public speech last year, she said the enemy is not just rightwing extremists, but “polite Zionists,” including mainstream American Jewish organizations like the Jewish federations, Hillel, and “Zionist synagogues.” She weaved a conspiracy of nefarious Jewish organizations that supposedly are working together to harm Muslims. And the response of CAIR? The organization stood by her despite this naked bigotry. At Brooklyn College, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) posted on Instagram: “Zionism is not welcome on campus” and “#ZionismoutofCUNY,” effectively calling for the exclusion of Jews (students, staff, faculty) from all CUNY campuses. And last week, the “anti-Zionist” organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which, despite its name, neither represents the Jewish community nor anyone truly interested in peace, shared a cartoon on its Instagram feed depicting Israeli soldiers drinking Palestinian blood, a classic antisemitic trope. In these cases and scores more, activists
Walking the healing path Guest Columnists Maggie Feinstein Catherine Qureshi
t’s so wonderful to get out into the natural environment that helps us start to realign — to get away from the high tension of our daily lives, our work lives, or even our interpersonal lives.” Those are the words of Deane Root, a member of Congregation Dor Hadash. He is one of the earliest participants in Walking the Healing Path, a program that is hosted by the 10.27 Healing Partnership and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. It is a healing and meditative program that features guided walks alongside grounding and reflective exercises within several of 12
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Pittsburgh’s 163 beautiful parks and gardens. The goal is to create space for mutual healing through movement, meditation practices and togetherness. Many turn to nature during times of sorrow and sadness to seek respite and refuge, and for good reason. Being outside can help the spirit recover from hardship. It helps the body, too; time in nature can reduce blood pressure and anxiety while improving one’s overall mood. In addition, parks and green spaces improve health and well-being, strengthen communities and make neighborhoods better places to live, work and play. “To be out there in G-d’s medium is wonderful, with the sun and the sky and the animals and plants, and to be in a space where I can just interact with the trees and the grasses and the butterflies and other people in a gentle, humane and thoughtful way,” Root said. Recent, tragic events have rocked our country’s core and highlighted the urgent importance of peace and calm for our
may be calling out “Zionists,” but this is just how they whitewash their attacks on Jews. The problem with this rhetorical sleight-ofhand is that they are not fooling anybody. ADL has tracked this usage of “Zionist” as an epithet for decades, starting with the Soviet Union where this disinformation tactic originally was designed. In fact, in 1967, none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. admonished a young man for making a derogatory comment about Zionists by saying: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism.” Neither I nor historians know what motivated Dr. King to say this, but perhaps from experience, he knew that when you demonize a people enough, it leads many to violent action. Last year, for instance, during the conflict between Israel and the terrorist group, Hamas, ADL logged 387 incidents — including 15 brazen assaults — that month, an increase of almost 150% over the same period in 2020. Since then, Jews have been assaulted for carrying an Israeli flag and wearing a Star of David. A synagogue in Florida was tagged with graffiti including “F— Israel” and, on the flipside, an Israeli restaurant was vandalized with a spray-painted “F— Jews.” The list goes on and on and on; the threat environment expands. When I recently made these points in an address to ADL leadership, some observers took issue with my equating the threat of anti-Zionist organizations — such as SJP, JVP, and CAIR — to the threat posed by extremist organizations, such as the neo-Nazis who chanted “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. To be fair, these are very different threats. As I said in the speech and as ADL has documented for decades, far-right extremism is a singularly lethal and dangerous threat to the Jewish community and to our country. For years, individuals have been driven by white supremacist conspiracy theories to murder Jews along with other minorities. From Pittsburgh to Poway to Buffalo, it is a violent danger that should not be underestimated.
At the same time, we also must recognize the growing threat posed by the organized anti-Zionist movement, which — despite its effort to wrap itself in the progressive cloak of solidarity with oppressed minorities — is no less conspiratorial and antisemitic. Left unchecked, the demonization, vilification and conspiracy theories from anti-Zionists will lead to more — and even deadly — violence. This is not a paranoid abstraction. Rather, it is what Jewish communities in Europe have experienced over the past several years, and it is what we see happen to other minority groups such as Asian-Americans in the U.S. in the wake of COVID, to name just one example. Let’s be clear: this does not mean that Israel should be exempt from critique. There are a host of Jewish groups in and out of Israel that criticize the actions of the Jewish state, such as, Ameinu, J Street and T’ruah. Unlike the anti-Zionist groups who think pro-Palestinian solidarity compels an anti-Jewish racism, these groups believe that Zionism does not compel being anti-Palestinian. In fact, they — along with ADL — often condemn those politicians, groups and commentators who incite violence against Israeli Arabs or Palestinians and advocate for a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state of Israel. Equally importantly, these critics inside and outside the Jewish community — many who are proud progressives — level their critiques without demonizing Jews, calling for violence against Jewish organizations or calling for the eradication of the Jewish state. These organizations know that words have consequences. Words lead to actions, so they choose them carefully. The leaders of SJP, JVP and CAIR know this too. And so we have no choice but to take what they say seriously. And by judging those words, it is clear that these anti-Zionist groups represent a growing antisemitic threat in the United States, a threat that ADL will redouble its efforts to counter. PJC
community. We’ve witnessed unspeakable acts of violence that have touched many of our lives. We continue mourning the innocent lives taken in Uvalde, Texas; in Buffalo, New York; in Laguna Woods, California; and too many others. These horrible events only add to the emotional disturbances many of us experience in our daily lives. The 10.27 Healing Partnership and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy recognized that our community needs a safe space for reflection and peace. Walking the Healing Path is part of our effort to create diverse opportunities for people to compassionately work through their difficult emotions and trauma journeys. These walks will provide opportunities to build relationships and connections with new or familiar people, a key factor in strengthening community resilience. “It’s hard for me to sit down in an office with a grief counselor or trauma therapist and talk about things sometimes,” Root said. “But if we’re outdoors and in a quiet space, that’s inviting, that makes it possible to be
able to open up a little bit more and talk and walk. To be on a healing walk is such a great relief. We don’t have to say anything, or if we want to, we feel it’s a safe space to talk about some of the things that we’ve been facing.” The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit that improves the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with government agencies and the community. The 10.27 Healing Partnership is the coordinating agency for resiliency and healing efforts after the 2018 synagogue shooting. Together, our guides create an educational space with moments of reflection, meditation, and thoughtfulness. It’s a chance to process one’s own thoughts, in a direct way; or, to connect with others. When current events — or the events of our lives — are difficult, sometimes our reaction is to withdraw from the world and from others. We urge you to join us in nature, and
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Jonathan A. Greenblatt is CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. This piece first appeared on Times of Israel.
Please see Healing, page 13
Opinion Chronicle poll results: Firearm ownership
ast week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Do you own a firearm?” Of the 361 people who responded, 82% said no, and 18% said yes. Comments were submitted by 112 people. A few follow. I’m sickened to my core by this entire gun issue. Our son has a gun, and I’m considering getting one. Jews must be able to defend themselves. It’s painful to have to say something this obvious. I own several. All locked and secured. Yes, I have a concealed gun permit.
Healing: Continued from page 12
to connect with your neighbors. The program is free and open to the
The Supreme Court is radically misconstruing the Constitution and it’s killing people. I support intense regulation of fire arms — no need for anyone to keep a gun in his or her house. No need for automatic weapons. There should be massive penalties for crimes committed with guns.
out a gun unless you intend to use it.” I see
public. It will take place in a different park or garden each Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. through July 7. The walks are specifically intended to be slow, not rigorous, so they are accessible for individuals with limited mobility. For more details, or to register,
call us at 412-697-3534 or visit us online at 1027healingpartnership.org/events. Finally, if you need someone to talk to, please know that 10.27 Healing Partnership is always available to help. You can contact us at 412-697-3534 or 1027healingpartnership.
Sarah E. Flanders, MD Squirrel Hill
Guns are the problem
In his “Guns are not the problem” letter (June 10), Andrew Neft posed several questions for consideration. We would like to answer them. 1. He wonders why we never talk about mental illness or the violence our children are exposed to. This is because mental illness is not a root cause of shootings. Stereotyping the mentally ill as dangerous is deeply harmful. On the other hand, no one disputes that gun violence damages the mental health of children and entire communities. 2. Why does nobody talk about the crimes foiled by lawful gun owners? Because there is zero evidence that having a gun is protective. Worse, having a gun in the home increases the risk of being shot dead. The number of “lawful gun uses” is grossly overestimated by opponents of gun reform. 3. Mr. Neft invokes Hitler solely as a fear tactic. This is so deeply offensive that we have nothing more to say about it. In “‘Doc Goldblum’ from August Wilson’s plays was real-life Hill District physician” (June 3), the Chronicle reported incorrect circumstances regarding Edwin Kittel’s encounter with Doc Goldblum. Kittel has since contacted the Chronicle and said that while he did see Doc Goldblum, it
It’s important for Jews to provide protection for their family when law enforcement is not present. — Toby Tabachnick
Chronicle weekly poll question:
I’d like to own one for protection in my home, but my father always said, “Don’t pull
Andrew Neft’s “Guns are not the answer” letter (June 10) states erroneously that shootings happen in “gun-free zones” like schools, implying that the presence of a gun makes you safe. This is dead wrong. First of all, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Gun-Free Zones Act (1990), which prohibited the possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, is unconstitutional, and it was struck down. All the other “gun-free zones” he mentions are also not gun-free zones, as both concealed and open carry laws allow you to take your gun anywhere you want. Second, gun homicide is primarily due to accidents, minor altercations and domestic disputes where a gun is handy. Humans are passionate creatures who get angry, make mistakes and like to get intoxicated. The presence of a gun in the home triples the risk that someone in the home will die by gun suicide and more than quadruples their risk of getting shot. Only a minuscule fraction of gun homicide and injury is due to self-defense or, conversely, premeditated killings. More than 110 of us die every day, and many more suffer severe gun injuries that are indistinguishable from gun homicides except that the vital organs were a few inches from the wound and the victim survived — sometimes with brain, spine, vital organs, limbs or face destroyed. Guns are now the top cause of child deaths in the United States. Many more children are mutilated but survive. Mass homicide by gun is a small fraction of gun deaths. But the repeal of the assault weapons ban was followed by an ever-increasing rate of mass shootings using assault rifles. It is scientifically proven: When and where fewer people have guns, fewer get shot. Every death or injury destroys an American family’s happiness. Need any more proof that guns are ruining the American way of life?
stories every once in a while of someone shooting who they think is an intruder, but is actually a child goofing around trying to jump out and scare someone. I don’t want to make a mistake, so I choose not to have one.
I am not opposed to owning a small firearm for personal safety but would only do so with proper training, which I don’t have.
The Second Amendment should be repealed and all private gun ownership restricted to one hunting weapon per person.
— LETTERS —
Do you own a firearm?
In light of the recent House committee hearings on the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, do you think former President Donald Trump was responsible for that event? Go to pittsburgh jewishchronicle.org to respond. PJC org/contact. PJC Maggie Feinstein is director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership. Catherine Qureshi is president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
He then goes on to say that “While it is sad that 19 children and 2 adults were murdered….” We have difficulty imagining a more heartless statement. We suggest he try rephrasing his sentence as “While it is sad that 11 Jewish worshippers were murdered in my hometown of Pittsburgh…” and find any way to end to that sentence that is not inhumane and absurd. He further states that many of these shootings occur in “gun-free zones,” another fallacy. Looking at mass shootings over the past 30 years, there is no evidence that a single shooter chose their target because it was in a gun-free area. Mr. Neft then states that the Second Amendment phrase “well-regulated” militia does not mean “well-regulated” but instead means well-trained and disciplined. Had the founders meant well-trained and disciplined, we suspect they would have said so. Mr. Neft is correct that eliminating modern sporting rifles (a genteel term for military style assault weapons), certain (large capacity) magazines and enhancing background checks will not stop all gun violence. We need to do those things and more. We need safe storage laws so children stop shooting themselves and others, as well as perpetrating mass shootings as happened at Sandy Hook. We need to raise the age for all gun purchases to 21. We need to mandate reporting of lost and stolen guns. We do need to invest money in distressed communities to address poverty, education and joblessness. We need to invest in mental health services. These are the right things to do but cannot be a distraction from strengthening our gun laws. Miri Rabinowitz Dan Leger Dana Kellerman Dr. Rabinowitz’s husband Jerry was murdered in the Oct. 27 synagogue massacre. Mr. Leger is a survivor of the Oct. 27 synagogue massacre. Dr. Kellerman is the policy director for Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence.
Hadassah still needs our support
We are writing to clarify the article of May 20, 2022, “Hadassah members disappointed by its departure from Greater Pittsburgh.” This was not new news. It happened over two years ago! We agree that our passion, unfortunately, had not transferred to funds raised locally. Thus, our status was taken from us. We are sad that the perception is that there is not a viable core of Hadassah members in Greater Pittsburgh. At last count, there were over 3000 life members, many of whom share our disappointment in the events that have caused us to be seen as non-existent when that is far from the truth. We are very proud and passionate about the medical advances that have been discovered at Hadassah. The care for all citizens of Israel has been a model for all of the Middle East and beyond. Even though we do not have a face in the Jewish community we do have a connection to Hadassah and all of the wonderful work it does. Hadassah will always continue to need our support. Marlene Silverman, Bernice Meyers, Bobbee Slotsky Kramer Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh past chapter presidents was not under the circumstances described by Professor Larry Glasco. Instead, Kittel said that he swallowed a chicken bone and was taken by his mother to the house of Julie Burley, who lived next to the Goldblum home. Burley’s mother ran her fingers down his throat and extracted the bone. Kittel was then taken to see Doc Goldblum, who gave him a piece of bread to eat and charged his mother $5 for the visit. PJC
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JUNE 17, 2022
Headlines Pride: Continued from page 1
and the organization opened its physical space in 2020. Weintraub said COVID-19 forced the nonprofit to think about the response of “queer Jews in a pandemic.” The answer to that question, they said, was “mutual aid.” Weintraub said volunteers partnered with Pittsburgh Mutual Aid, collecting and distributing at least $15,000 in food. This was an example of what happens when “queer Jews” are offered leadership roles and have access to infrastructure and resources, they said. Since September, Ratzon has focused on more spiritual, educational and culturebuilding programs for young adults, Weintraub said. “How do our traditions support us, how does your Torah learning, our singing, our prayer spaces support us?” they asked. Weintraub said that if advocates don’t
continue fighting the struggle around antisemitism, queerness, white nationalism and other issues, the entire Jewish community could be affected. Homophobia and transphobia sometimes make it difficult, Weintraub explained, for the LGBTQ+ community to feel comfortable accessing available resources. And because the community is marginalized, it often isn’t even aware of some of those resources. “I think there’s still a lot of work to be done around actually making spaces queer-competent and inclusive and welcoming,” they said. Weintraub said they are often misgendered. “That’s something I accept to a degree; that’s part of the trans world but it doesn’t make me want to come back for services,” they said. “It doesn’t make me want to go there in a nonprofessional capacity, because that’s not where I could feel comfortable.” Ratzon exists, Weintraub said, as a place where people don’t question pronouns or question relationships. The CRC’s Dylan Groff said the June 8 program was important because there still
exists some separation between the mainstream Jewish community and people who identify as nonbinary, queer, intersex or somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. “We wanted to help facilitate opening up more mainstream synagogues and Jewish institutions,” he said. Groff added that Federation is hosting seminars during Pride Month with OneTable, a nonprofit that helps young adults find and create Friday night Shabbat dinners. OneTable will provide “double the nourishment” it typically provides for a Shabbat dinner, and Federation will provide hosts with relevant materials and a “Love Is Kosher” shirt during Pride Month, Groff said. Julia Schantz, the OneTable Pittsburgh field manager, said the organization wants to embrace “radical welcoming” and the opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to show up as their authentic selves during the month. “If you want to host your own queer Shabbat, or if you want a special guide for Pride Shabbat or find out more information about what’s going on in your community or
just different ideas for hosting a Pride Shabbat gathering, that’s all available,” she said. OneTable decided to partner with Federation to highlight the work that’s being done in Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh queer community, Schantz added. “We were able to partner and have these amazing events where community members were able to talk and learn from one another and then the idea is to continue the conversation around a table during a Pride Shabbat,” she said. That idea of community conversation and supporting the LGBTQ+ Jewish community is exciting to Weintraub, who said it’s important for the rest of the Jewish community to be open to new perspectives. “How do we form this partnership between the more marginalized community and the rest of the Jewish community — because that is a community I want to be a part of and I know many queer people do,” they said. PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Mortgage: Continued from page 1
inflation, and a big influencer, according to Bankrate.com, is the 10-year treasury rate. When the yield for investing in a U.S. government-issued Treasury security with a 10-year maturity rises, 30-year fixed mortgage rates typically follow. As of June 7, the 10-year treasury rate was 2.98%. This time last year, the rate was 1.57%. David Knoll, a real estate agent with Fifth & Grant, said that with mortgage rates nearly doubling, both buyers and sellers are questioning the market. “People are sitting out now, but will that become the norm two to three months from now? People may say this is the new reality and come back in,” he said. Knoll has worked in real estate for the past 15 years, and said that while the market has “definitely cooled” in recent weeks, the impact has mostly affected buyers searching for mid- and lower-tier priced homes. “For people buying more expensive homes, money doesn’t seem to be an issue,” Knoll said. Sherri Mayer, a real estate agent with Howard Hanna, said she’s still seeing buyers who are writing checks at closing. And for these purchasers, rising mortgage rates aren’t as much of a concern. Mayer has worked in the field for 30 years. She said that across the market, both in the city and the suburbs, homes are still selling. Knoll agreed, but said he’s seen a reduction in the number of extreme purchasing techniques. He recalled several Jewish buyers — firmly committed to finding a home in Squirrel Hill or within walking distance of a synagogue — who basically “jumped through hoops.” Throughout the pandemic, with both mortgage rates and inventory low, buyers often waived inspections and contingencies in an effort to close. But these types of practices, especially when it comes to older homes, aren’t ideal. While quoting a February survey from Zillow, The New York Times reported that many homeowners regretted rushing into 14
JUNE 17, 2022
p Rising design prices, rising construction prices
purchases and wished “they’d had more time, more patience or considered living somewhere else.” Portland said the growing pandemic norm of waiving inspections isn’t great: “Sellers don’t want to mislead somebody, and buyers should know what’s going on in the guts of the house.” Many sellers live in their homes for years without realizing something isn’t optimally working, and inspections help both sellers and buyers better engage in honest and informed transactions, she added. Years ago, buyers never would have waived inspections, but that practice — or making
all cash offers and covering sellers’ costs — likely will continue even with rising mortgage rates, Serbin predicted. Buyers typically have a list of what they want and where they want to live. So whether it’s a certain number of bathrooms, a place to build a sukkah or a location within the eruv, some buyers “are so desperate, and they want to stand out,” she said. But recent weeks have seen a return to more familiar habits, Knoll said. “We’re not seeing situations where buyers need to put an offer in within five hours and with crazy terms,” he said. “We’re just in a more normal phase now, one like we’ve
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Phtoto by Evgenii Dmitriev via iStock Photo
seen for decades.” Whether it sticks, Portland isn’t sure. “It may go back to the old ways,” she said. “People are always going to buy and sell houses, and there may be some adjustments in how it’s done.” The one certainty, though, according to local Realtors, is that even a cooler market remains a strong market. “Things are still selling,” Knoll said, “just not in the frenzied pace like we’ve been in for the past two years.” PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Headlines May: Continued from page 3
of synagogue-goers. “Many people are content with simply playing or singing what is on the page, but to me, the magic in music happens when you give life to what it is in front of you,” he said. “It’s about communication, intention, meaning, and that doesn’t happen naturally with every musician.” Megahan called his work with May a “liturgical dance.” “When you dance with someone, you become as one, not two different people,” he said. “You move with and for each other, and it’s a dance Molly and I fell comfortably into.” May became deeply involved with the congregation in other ways, too. In January 2015, she started Rodef Shira, an all-volunteer choir. She said the group was a source of pride. She noted how the choir improves knowledge of Jewish texts, and that several choir members eventually
Softball: Continued from page 4
softball field.” Softball will be the primary focus of the team’s journey, the players’ parents said, but time will be dedicated to touring and relationship-building. The latter, Yarone Zober said, is especially meaningful, as with players coming from
Art: Continued from page 5
point of inspiration for her contributions to the exhibit. “That poem came very strongly into my head,” Greenberg said. “I tried to create a piece that showed what that poem was trying to say … as a way I could relate to
Shiffman: Continued from page 7
He said that part of his love for the ocean surprisingly stemmed from the fact that he was raised around Pittsburgh. “I actually know a lot of marine biologists who are from Midwest areas, and we’ve talked
became Rodef Shalom lay leaders. “Molly has raised the quality and appreciation for music and liturgy,” Barb Feige, Rodef Shalom’s interim executive director, said. “She is so incredibly talented vocally, and I don’t know how many instruments she plays — anything with strings. She’s like the whole package.” Henry agreed, saying May has many “extraordinary qualities.” In addition to being a “gifted musician as well as a reliable, steadfast and delightful partner on our worship team, she is also deeply committed to the Jewish community, to vibrant Jewish life and to Yiddishkeit.” May began sharing her love of Jewish music and education with a new group six years ago as director of the Pittsburgh chapter of HaZamir. While working at Rodef Shalom enabled her to grow a local base, HaZamir offered national and international benefits. Along with creating new contacts in the world of Jewish music, directing HaZamir allowed May to partner with diverse Jewish youth,
she said. “HaZamir is not a denominational organization. It’s pluralistic, it’s inclusive and helps teens solidify their Jewish identity and build strong connections to Israel.” May said she enjoyed bringing together kids from a variety of Jewish backgrounds and watching how children “who don’t do a lot of Jewish things at home are connected with kids who are shomer Shabbos” all the while singing the same music, celebrating Shabbat and performing as one “on a big New York City stage.” Trading Pittsburgh for Durham isn’t necessarily easy, May said, but there will be some constants. Her husband will keep his job, and she will continue her hybrid studies at the cantorial program at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, New York. May still has about three years left before graduating, she said, and isn’t certain whether she will want to return to a synagogue or rely on upcoming clinical pastoral classwork and possibly work in a hospital after receiving ordination. What she knows for sure is that upon
relocating she’ll be spending countless hours at baseball fields — a practice she’s grown quite familiar with. For years, May has been a staple at Stan Lederman Field in Frick Park and its neighboring concession stand. “I’ve probably purchased about 200 Diet Dr. Peppers. It’s my second-favorite soda,” she said. “My favorite is Diet Mountain Dew, but they don’t sell them there.” For now, caffeinated beverage selections at Little League fields are far from thought. May is eager to see her three sons — ages 14, 12 and 10 — succeed in new surroundings both on the field and off. Change isn’t necessarily easy, but between music, baseball and Durham’s vast cultural amenities, there’s a lot to be excited about, she said. “I am proud to have given so much to this community — this community where I grew up — and I will miss it very much but I am looking forward to new opportunities,” she said. PJC
Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Portland, New York, Florida and Israel, it will be nice to see the team bond over Judaism, Israel and softball. “It will be a neat exchange between cultures,” he said. Without this opportunity, these are kids who “might not have necessarily met each other.” Zober is excited for the players to create new friendships, but he’s also excited to help grow an awareness of softball in Israel. When young players compete in these types
of tournaments it helps build a foundation and “develop a pipeline” for the future, he said. But for that to happen, greater support is needed. The Jewish National Fund USA, is collecting funds to help young Jewish women compete in softball tournaments throughout Europe, Zober said. As of June 8, JNF USA has raised $40,090 toward its $200,000 goal. Some of the players lack the means to cover tournament costs. And what’s important
to know, Zober noted, is that when people support these fundraising efforts they’re doing more than just paying for uniforms and plane tickets. “This is an opportunity for the girls to not only play softball,” he said, “but to bond as Jews and represent Israel and see the world.” PJC
this. Jews definitely relate to the idea of being other-ized.” Greenberg started working in the arts in the New York City area in the 1970s, first in ceramics, then tapestries. After a long sojourn in the world of decorative painting, she began working with polymer clay about 15 years ago. Greenberg remembers being approached by fellow polymer clay artist Cynthia Tinapple
about the idea of forming the circle, or Gathering, of 14 artists, working through issues of racism, bigotry and hate together. She had few expectations about the group’s output. “I had no idea what [the group coming together] would mean,” she said. “If there was anything I could do except for marching, I wanted to be a part of it.” “As a Jewish woman,” Jacknin added, “I feel this is a very important topic and believe
that the Jewish and Black communities can tackle the issues of hate together.” The exhibit, titled “Truth Be Told: An Artful Gathering of Women,” is open from June 24 to Aug. 13 at Songbird Artistry, near Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on the Lawrenceville/Bloomfield border. PJC
about it,” Shiffman said. “There’s something about the ocean in your imagination. When you don’t see it as everyday growing up, it’s just extra-special and magical, and you want to get there. Then you see it, and it lives up to the hype.” Shiffman previously wrote about how his Jewish upbringing informs his environmental conservation philosophy in an article for the
website Southern Fried Science. But beyond themes of tikkun olam and bal taschit (the concept of not wasting resources), Shiffman shared that his faith helps with optimism. “Despite constant bad news about the environment, the hope that it will get better if we just work hard enough … that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and all of those clichés, a lot of that comes from my faith,” he
said. “I have a lot of environmental scientist friends, and we talk a lot about, like, ‘Are you hopeful? Man, this is so bad,’ and I gotta be hopeful. If we’re not, then why try?” “Why Sharks Matter” is published by John Hopkins University Press. PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.
Ethan Beck can be reached at ebeck@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Andrew Clinton released on probation
ndrew Clinton, 20, was released from jail on probation on June 8 pending trial on multiple counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. Clinton was accused by several members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community of stealing items from their homes. p Andrew In April, Pittsburgh Police Clinton
confiscated a large collection of Jewish items from Clinton’s home. At the time, they urged anyone who could identify their property from photos in the Chronicle and other news sites to come forward. According to Det. Francesco Rosato Jr., Clinton posed as a handyman to gain access to homes in Squirrel Hill, Fox Chapel and
O’Hara Township. He has been known to impersonate a home improvement contractor, general contractor, landscaper, HVAC technician and gynecological resident. At times, Clinton, who is not Jewish, purported to either be Jewish or someone wishing to convert. He attended functions at Jewish institutions before rabbis and others expressed concern. After community leaders consulted with Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Community Security Director
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Shawn Brokos, Clinton was banned from several Jewish institutions due to his questionable behavior. Clinton has posted messages on the Jewish Pittsburgh Facebook group under the false account of “Paul Wolfe,” according to Brokos. Brokos urges anyone with immediate concerns for their safety, or if they are a victim of Clinton’s and he attempts contact, to call 911. PJC — David Rullo JUNE 17, 2022
Life & Culture Kosher beefy bacon barbecue beans — FOOD — By Jessica Grann | Special to the Chronicle
eefy, bacon, kosher baked beans! Did that get your attention? It has mine. Baked beans remind me of a time when we went to potluck picnics. They pack a lot of flavor and are simple to whip up and bake. Don’t expect any leftovers if you bring this dish to a party. The kosher industry has come a long way. With the options of both turkey and beef bacon, you won’t be missing out on a thing, and nobody can tell the difference. This dish is both sweet and tangy and will be adored by all. Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef 1 pound turkey or beef bacon, diced 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like avocado or canola 1 28-ounce can of Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans 1 15.5-ounce can of butter beans, rinsed and drained 2 15.5-ounce cans of white or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained ½ cup chili sauce ¼ cup barbecue sauce 3 tablespoons yellow mustard 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 teaspoon salt A sprinkle of black pepper Directions:
Set the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the wire rack in the middle position. Dice the onion, then rinse and drain the butter and white beans. Place a large pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, and set the heat to medium to warm the oil. After 2 minutes, stir in the onion and let cook for 5 minutes. Chop your choice of bacon, or use a mix of turkey and beef like I do. I really love Grow & Behold beef bacon, but it is pricey, so I supplement it with Empire turkey bacon. If you use only turkey bacon, you may need to add another tablespoon of oil to the pot to
p Kosher beefy bacon barbecue beans
help it brown because turkey bacon doesn’t have the same fat content as beef bacon. Add the bacon to the onions, stirring occasionally, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, and chop it into the onion and turkey mixture. Cook until the mixture is well browned, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the chili sauce, barbecue
Photo by Jessica Grann
sauce, yellow mustard, brown sugar, molasses, salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. The chili sauce already has a little spice, so I didn’t add any more. If you love a little heat, feel free to add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste. Combine the ingredients. Once the meat is completely browned, stir this mixture
into the pot. Add the rinsed beans and the prepared vegetarian beans to the pot, and mix until well combined. Scoop into a baking dish, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Enjoy and bless your hands! PJC Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.
Radish canapes by some Portuguese coarse salt that I picked up in my travels — but any coarse or flaky sea salt can be substituted or, indeed, omitted. I put the salt in a small jar with a teeny spoon for guests to add if they wished. It looked pretty and allowed people to opt in or out depending on their blood pressure.
— FOOD — By Keri White | Contributing Writer
his dish is said to be a classic French snack and is occasionally served for breakfast when radishes are at their prime, in early to mid-spring. It seems like an odd combination, but I was prompted to try it when the farmers market offered a beautiful bountiful bouquet of French breakfast radishes. I served this as an appetizer for a casual dinner with extended family, accompanied
JUNE 17, 2022
p Radish canapes
Photo by Keri White
create larger pieces bunch radishes, rinsed well and sliced, keeping leafy portion intact ½ stick best-quality butter (Plugra or Kerrygold) Coarse salt, if desired 1
Leaving the leafy stems on the radishes added to the color and texture of the dish, and the presentation was pretty spectacular for such a simple combination.
Smear a thin coating of butter on each slice of bread. Cover the butter with radish slices. Place on a tray, accompanied by salt, if desired. Enjoy! PJC
Serves 6 as an appetizer
Keri White writes for the Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication where this first appeared.
baguette, sliced on the diagonal to
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Life & Culture Billy Crystal performs ‘Yiddish scat’ at the Tony Awards — THEATER — By Andrew Lapin | JTA
lla Fitzgerald, wherever you are, I apologize in advance.” Billy Crystal gave this year’s Tonys a jolt of Jewish shtick when he coaxed the audience into a call-and-response “Yiddish scat” routine, as part of a live performance to promote his Broadway musical, “Mr. Saturday Night.” In a good-faith mockery of Fitzgerald’s own famous “scat” routine, Crystal, in character as his show’s fading comedian star Buddy Young Jr., let loose on the Sunday night
telecast with a series of nonsensical guttural sounds vaguely approximating Yiddish. He then gleefully entered the audience for a bit of crowd work, messing with attendees Samuel L. Jackson and Lin-Manuel Miranda — who unwittingly became a Jewish “Hamilton” alter ego: “I’m Alexander Rabinowitz.” (Miranda has proven his Jewish-theater bona fides before: He sang “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof ” at his own wedding, and also performed in Hebrew in a college a cappella group.) After briefly cursing “an old Jew’s worst nightmare: stairs,” Crystal ended his routine by leading Radio City Music Hall in a giant “Oy vey” chant. It was surely a nice consolation prize, given that “Mr. Saturday Night,”
based on Crystal’s 1992 movie of the same name, left the evening with none of the five awards it had been nominated for (the top prize for Best Musical instead went to Pulitzer Prize winner “A Strange Loop”). Some other Jewish-adjacent nominees were more successful. “The Lehman Trilogy,” an expansive play about multiple generations of the Jewish banking family, took home Best Play and four other Tonys. “Company,” a gender-swapped revival of the classic Stephen Sondheim show that premiered shortly after the Broadway titan’s death, won five awards including Best Musical Revival. And “Take Me Out,” a restaging of Jewish playwright Richard Greenberg’s 2002 play about a professional baseball player who
comes out as gay to his teammates, won for Best Revival of a Play, as well as for its lead actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. “Girl From the North Country,” a jukebox musical that reimagines Bob Dylan’s songbook for a Depression-era story about American hardship, also won a Tony for Best Orchestrations. During the broadcast, “North Country” star Jeannette Bayardelle delivered a showstopping live medley of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Pressing On” (the latter from the raised-Jewish rocker’s Christian conversion phase in the 1970s and ’80s). And there was one more Jewish appearance at the Tonys, as “Spring Awakening” star Lea Michele reunited with that 2006 show’s cast for an anniversary performance. PJC
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Celebrations Bar Mitzvah
Eli Jorge Ramirez, son of Danielle (Segall) and Robinson Ramirez, became a bar mitzvah at Adat Shalom during Shabbat morning services on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Grandparents are Roslyn (Applebaum) and Herschel Segall of Pittsburgh, and Luz Marleny Rincón and Aníbal Ramírez of Miami, Florida. Eli is a high honor roll student at Dorseyville Middle School. He also plays striker for Hotspurs Soccer Club and enjoys cello. Honoring both parts of his heritage with his mitzvah project, Eli ran over 70 miles and raised money through pledges for Tiempo de Juego, which supports children through sports and education in Colombia.
Susan and Rick Tabor joyfully announce the birth of their granddaughter Nicoletta Capri Perla. She was born on May 10, 2022, weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her parents are Morgan and Nick Perla. Nicoletta has two very special big brothers, Valentino and Luca. Her paternal grandparents are Pam and Rich Perla.
Matthew Seth Goldstein and Samantha Taylor Darrow of Boca Raton, Florida, are pleased to announce the birth of their son Graham Wilder Goldstein on Jan. 31, 2022. Grandparents are Michael and Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein of Pittsburgh and Frank and Karen Darrow of Parkland, Florida. Great-grandparents are Natalie (and the late Lawrence) Kaplan of Pittsburgh, Barbara (and the late Howard) Goldstein of Columbus, Ohio, and Mollie (and the late Harry) Lipsitz of Parkland, Florida. PJC
Defense: Continued from page 9
law, would “strengthen cooperative defense across strategic allies in the Middle East to protect Israel and its neighbors against growing threats from Iran and its proxies.” Lawmakers leading the push for the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives include Rep. Brad Schneider, a Jewish Democrat from Illinois, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington Republican. Ernst expressed confidence at the outset that the bill would sail through Congress, given its bipartisan backing in both chambers, but it may hit some roadblocks. Progressive Democrats have in recent years grown increasingly wary of delivering arms to the Middle East, to Israel and also to authoritarian Arab countries like Saudi Arabia. The bill could also be seen as an irritant
to Biden administration endeavors to reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Lawmakers at Thursday’s press conference suggested that deterring Iran was made urgent by the apparent failure those talks, which are currently stalled in Vienna over Iran’s insistence that Biden removes Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from the list of designated terrorist groups. The Trump administration quit the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in 2018, and Biden wants back in because he sees the deal as the best means of keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “As we realize as the administration works to revive the JCPOA from the dead, Iran continues to not only bolster its breakout time to build a nuclear weapon, but it is also doubling down on its ballistic missile program as well as its regional troublemaking in the Middle East,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta, a California Democrat. PJC
JUNE 17, 2022
We all can be Miriams Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum Behaalotecha | Numbers 8:1 – 12:16
n this week’s Torah portion, Behaalotecha, we catch a rare and fascinating glimpse into the relationships of siblings Moshe, Aharon and Miriam. When Miriam comments to Aharon about their brother Moses’ marriage, the Torah is cryptic about what exactly she is criticizing, saying merely, “Miriam and Aharon spoke about Moses regarding the Cushite woman he had married.” There are various explanations and interpretations of what it was she said and who this Cushite woman was. G-d hears their conversation and clarifies unequivocally who their younger brother, Moshe, is. He says to them: “If there are prophets among you, I make myself known to them only in a vision or a dream. Not so is My servant Moses; he is faithful throughout My house. With him, I speak mouth to mouth ... he beholds the image of the Lord. So how were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” G-d departs, and Miriam is left stricken with leprosy, the biblical punishment for slander. Moses then intervenes, crying out to G-d: “I beseech you, G-d, please heal her!” G-d limits her affliction to seven days, which she, like all lepers, must spend in isolation outside the camp. Following these seven quarantined days, she would be healed and could reenter the camp. The Torah finishes the story by telling us about a unique privilege and honor granted exclusively to Miriam: “And the people did not travel until Miriam had re-entered.” Rashi tells us that this special treatment was bestowed in the merit of something she did in her past. In the book of Exodus, Pharaoh had decreed that all male Jewish children must be drowned in the Nile. Moses’ mother had placed baby Moses in a basket in the Nile River. It was then that Miriam debuted in biblical history: “His sister stood from afar, to know what would happen to him.” It is the merit of Miriam waiting for Moses that the nation now waited for her. Although the nation was ready to embark on the next leg of its journey, it stopped for seven days, waiting for Miriam — who was quarantined outside of the camp — as a reward for her noble deed decades earlier when Moses was still a baby. Why did Miriam deserve this honor? Let us go back 81 years earlier to see what Miriam actually did for her baby brother, Moses. We can then begin to appreciate the spiritual dynamics of history — how all our actions return to us in one form or another. Picture the scene. Pharaoh decreed that all Jewish newborn boys, including Moses, must be drowned. In desperation, hoping against hope that somehow, some way, he might survive, their mother sent the infant to his divinely ordained fate by setting him sail into the Nile. Perhaps an Egyptian would, against odds, be aroused to compassion and save the innocent Jewish boy. Miriam goes to the river: “His sister stood from afar, to know what would happen to him.” She gazes at her brother from a distance to see how things will play out. Miriam is a 7-year-old girl at the time. If Moses is
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captured by Pharaoh’s soldiers, she knows she cannot save him. She is probably too far away to help if the basket capsizes, and she won’t be able to do much if an Egyptian takes the baby to his own home. So what does she actually accomplish? She accomplishes one thing. You may see it as a small achievement, but in the biblical perspective it is grand. When Batya, Pharaoh’s daughter, discovers Moses wailing, she naturally attempts to find a wet nurse to feed him. Moses, although starving, refuses to nurse from an Egyptian woman. That is when Miriam steps in: “Shall I go and call for you a wet nurse from the Hebrew women, so that she shall nurse the child for you?” she asks the Egyptian princess. Batya agrees. Miriam calls the mother of the child. Batya gives her the child so that she can nurse him. As a result, Moses is reunited with his loving mother. He survives, and the rest is history. Now suppose that Miriam was absent from the scene. What would have occurred? After observing that the baby is not taking an Egyptian women’s milk, Batya would have eventually realized that Moses, a Jewish child, was insisting on nursing from a Jewish woman. She would have summoned a Jewish woman and Moses would have gotten his nourishment. Sure, it would have taken longer — Moses would have cried for another hour or two — but eventually he would be fed. So what did Miriam accomplish? She ensured that her baby brother was hungry for a shorter period of time and that he cried less. She alleviated the distress of a baby. Eighty-one years pass. Miriam is experiencing discomfort. She has a skin disease. The nation is supposed to travel to the Holy Land. But if they begin traveling now, Miriam’s agony would be prolonged, maybe a few hours, maybe a few days. Because she eased the discomfort of her baby brother, eight decades later, an entire nation — 3 million people, the holy Tabernacle, the Ark, Moses, Aharon, all of the leaders, and G-d Himself — all waited. She minimized her brother’s pain, and now millions of people waited patiently to minimize her agony. The energy you put out there is exactly the same energy comes back to you, in one form or another. This episode about Miriam teaches us that real history is not created in office buildings. It is created in the arms of mothers and fathers nurturing the souls G-d granted them to create our collective tomorrow. On a single day, a little boy was spared, for a short time, hunger pangs. Eight decades later, millions of people and G-d himself, interrupted their journey to pay homage to that individual act. All of us can be Miriams each day of our life. We meet or hear of someone in pain, starving for nourishment, for love, for validation, for confidence, for meaning. We may say, “They will grow up and learn how to manage.” Or we may tend to them, be there for them, embrace them and shorten the span of their agony. And when we do that, like little Miriam did, millions will be thankful to us for making a difference in that one individual’s life. PJC Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum is director of Chabad of the South Hills. This column is a service of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Pittsburgh. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Obituaries GELMAN: Robert B. Gelman, 83, of Greensburg, passed away on Friday, June 3, 2022. He was born in Bronx, New York, on Dec. 12, 1938, raised in Lorain, Ohio, and received his college degrees from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) and the University of Pittsburgh. His career included positions in the chemical industry, the electronic manufacturing industry and the defense nuclear industry. He is survived by his wife, Ann, of 61 years; two wonderful children, Joel (Connie) Gelman of Paradise, Pennsylvania, and Lisa (Cory) VanWinkle of Richland, Washington; and seven grandchildren, Jessika (John Raymond) Salinas, Jordan Gelman, Kylie (Dylan) Long, Caitlyn (Brandon) Foy, Courtney (Nathan) Perry, Jada Rose VanWinkle and Frankie KayAnna VanWinkle. In addition Bob had six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Marilyn (Stephen) Strahl of Scottsdale, Arizona. A graveside service was conducted by Rabbi Emerita Sara Rae Perman of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, at the Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Richland, Washington. Bob was a member of Temple Sinai of Pittsburgh as well as synagogues in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Richland, Washington, and Lorain, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to one’s favorite charity in memory of Bob. For online condolences and information, please visit kepplegraft.com. KLEIN: Florence Karsh Klein passed peacefully in her sleep at home on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at age 107. Beloved wife of the late Zola Klein; loving mother of the late Joseph W. Klein (Roberta), Gerald N. Klein of Hollywood, Florida, Eugene A. Klein (Iris) of Tamarac, Florida and Marlene Karsh Bernstein of Boynton Beach, Florida. Also preceded in death by her treasured children-in-law, Madeline Klein and Joseph Bernstein. Florence is the beloved grandmother of Larry (Karen) Bernstein, Robert (Ellie) Bernstein, Hollie (Donald) Machen, Kenneth (Sennie) Klein, Wendy Klein, Ron Klein, Karyn Klein, Valerie (Daniel) Landis, Susan (Scott) Newburge, Joseph Klein and Kimberly (Chaim) Klein Goldman. She is survived by 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren (with #4 on the way). Flo is the beloved sister of the late Emanuel (Danice) Karsh, Eugene (Robin) Karsh and Sherwin (Helen) Karsh. Also loved and adored by many nieces, nephews and many cousins. Florence was born in Pittsburgh in 1915 to Anna and David Karsh. She graduated from Schenley High School and married Zola (Saul) Klein in 1932. They moved to Miami Beach in 1953 and made it their home until passing. Florence was devoted to her husband, children and extended family. Even at 107, she knew everyone’s name, partner, job, hobbies, city where they lived and happenings in their life. She made everyone she loved (or even liked) feel special. She was well-known for sending her loved ones a newspaper article just because she thought they would find it interesting or educational. And her envelopes were always hand-addressed in her beautiful handwriting. In 1956, she wrote a letter to her children who were “mostly” grown and ended the letter with this passage: “I have loved and been loved. I have known great happiness as a mother PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
and grandmother. I have traveled and had many luxuries. So, grieve not unnecessarily for what is a lifetime? Keep that bond between you. All my love forever. Mother” Graveside services and interment were on Monday, June 6, 2022, at Lakeside Cemetery. Contributions may be made to National MS Society (nationalmssociety.org) or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (jdrf.org) or a charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Levitt-Weinstein. KRAUS: Anita Brooks Kraus, 98, resident of Delray Beach, Florida, formerly of Somerset, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Daughter of the late Samuel and Bertie Brooks, formerly of Pittsburgh. Beloved wife of 56½ years to the late Dr. Burton Kraus. Devoted mother of the late Janice Ruth Kraus and Beth Kraus Weinstein (William Elnick), of Havertown, Pennsylvania. Loving and adoring Nanny of Nicholas Weinstein and Great Nanny of Isabella; step-grandchildren Michael and Loren Elnick and great-step-grandchildren Lee and Quinn. Sister of the late Dr. Bernard Brooks and Melvin Brooks, formerly of Pittsburgh. Anita was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Education in 1951. She retired as a third-grade teacher from the Somerset Area School District in 1986. Anita was a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, Somerset, Pennsylvania Chapter and the Pap Corps, Huntington Lakes, Florida Chapter. Service and interment were held at Tree of Life Memorial Park, Franklin Township. Contributions may be made to the Pap Corps, Huntington Lakes Chapter, 1191 E Newport Center Drive, Ste 107, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. schugar.com LAMPEL: Robert Lampel, on Monday, June 6, 2022. Beloved husband of Leah Lampel. Beloved father of Carole (Jesse) Mantel and Howard (late Carla) Lampel. Brother of the late Shirley Lampel Favish. Grandfather to Hilary, Sarah, Melanie and Jenna Mantel and Adam and Robyn Lampel. Also survived by many nieces and nephews and sister-in-law Bea Liebstein. Bob grew up in Oakland, served in the Navy where he worked in procurement and parlayed this knowledge into growing a thriving shoe business that included Florsheim and Hushpuppies stores and later an e-commerce business called the Slipper Warehouse. He wooed Leah with his larger-than-life personality and kindness toward his mother and sister. For Howard, Carole and the cousins there hasn’t been a major decision made without his advice and guidance. Guiding them on negotiating salaries, on how much to bid on houses, pay contractors, where to go to school — everything. He taught us all well. To love and be loved by Bob was a gift for his family and friends. Services were held at Beth El Congregation. Interment Mount Lebanon Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com
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THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS —
Sunday June 19: Casper Alman, Louis Bowytz, Jack Kenneth Kruman, Shirley F. Levenson, Hyman Shapiro Monday June 20: Cheri Glick Jak, Dorothy Levine, Dorothy Glickman Mandelblatt Tuesday June 21: David J. Cohen, Milton Klein, Rebecca Leff, Louis Meyers, Harold Middleman, Abraham N. Miller, David Howard Weis Wednesday June 22: Rachel Americus, Rae Solomon, Phillip Weiss Thursday June 23: Benjamin Horne, Nathan Shaer, Ethel Silver, Irene Feldman Weiss Friday June 24: Sara Pollack, Barney Snyder, Bertha Weinberg Saturday June 25: Eugene Bernard Barovsky, Esther Levine, Julius Moskovitz, Ruth Perlmutter
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Obituaries Obituaries: Continued from page 19
OLEINICK: Jon Oleinick, 68, passed away on May 17, 2022, in his hometown of Auburn, Alabama. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 45 years, Tracy Oleinick, his devoted children, Jason Oleinick, Anna (David) Levy, and grandchildren Georgia, Jackson, Mackenzie and Madison. Dearly loved brother of Peter (Barbara) Oleinick, Lee (Lisa) Oleinick and Michelle Dusenberry. Loving uncle to many nieces and nephews. Wonderful cousin and dear friend to many. Jon was very family-oriented. During COVID he came up with the idea to have a monthly Friday night candle lighting service with the Oleinick clan … which will continue. Jon was preceded in death by his parents Cynthia and Julius Oleinick. Jon was born in New York City, moving to Pittsburgh at age 7 and graduating from Churchill High School in 1972. Jon’s passion was coaching baseball — so much that he built a batting cage in his backyard! He coached his beloved “Yankees” Dixie Youth teams of 9- and 10-year-olds for 25 years. He taught young men to love the game and respect the rules. Jon’s other passion was golf. He got to the course three times a week, with his buddies. Jon also managed to volunteer his time twice a week helping school children in reading and math. Memorial donations requested to be made to: Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Ukraine relief fund; 100% of your contribution, (net of credit card fee), will go directly to the communities in need. Donate at jfedpgh.org/
ukraine-emergency, or mail a check made to: Jewish federation/Ukraine (In memo section-jon oleinick), 2000 technology Drive, 1st floor, Pittsburgh, 15219. SLAVINGS: Rosalie Darling Slavings, age 78, of Bradenton, Florida, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2022. She was born in Pittsburgh on Jan. 25, 1944. In 1967, Rosalie “Rosie” and her first husband, Burton Mallinger, moved to the Washington D.C. area, where she had two sons, Jeffrey and Bradley. Rosalie and her family moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1977. In 1987, Rosalie married Joe Slavings of Malden, Missouri, and they relocated to Ruther Glen, Virginia. Rosalie and Joe moved to Bradenton, Florida, in 2005, where she was an active member of Chabad. Even through her battle with cancer, she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Rosalie loved her pets dearly and, no matter what she was going through, always cared and asked about others’ children. She is preceded in death by her parents, James “Jimmy” and Anne Darling, as well as her brother Leon. She is survived by her loving husband, Joe; brother Marc and his wife Susan; late brother’s wife Nancy; son Jeffery; son Bradley and his partner Symeon and her children Izack and Cyrus; and grandchildren Aaron and Sarah. Services and interment were held in Bradenton. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Chabad of Bradenton. A service of Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. schugar.com WEIN: Jeffrey David Wein was a man of keen intellect, passionate beliefs, spiritual depth and altruistic values. He was adventurous, loved the outdoors, and traveled extensively, thumbing his way through Europe after college and
later touring by motorcycle. In his later years Jeff divided his time between Belgium, France and Southern California, returning to western Pennsylvania in 2020. Jeff was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on June 6, 1949, to Sylvia Schwelling Wein and Edward Wein. In his youth, Jeff was an active member of the B’nai Brith Youth Organization, in which he held several leadership positions. He cherished that experience and the friendships he formed. Jeff attended Yale University after his junior year at Sharon Sr. High School, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1969. Jeff ’s political consciousness was forged at Yale, where he became active in the SDS. In the 1980s, Jeff went to Nicaragua to support the Sandinista efforts following the revolution there. While living in Santa Cruz, California, Jeff was active in community affairs, including in his role as CFO for a nonprofit consortium that ran local businesses such as a day care center and health food store. Jeff ’s true calling was as an educator. He was intellectually curious, loved to debate, and was an eloquent communicator. He was fluent in several languages. Jeff developed his own personal growth workshops that he led in communities around the world, from Sacred Geometry and Developing Loving Relationships to a creative approach to the Kabbalah he named Letters of Fire. Jeff died on May 27, 2022, at the age of 72. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Wein of San Francisco, California, his brother, Jan Wein of Pittsburgh, and his relations, Alexandra Furry, Rebecca Delphia, Lily Wein, Jessica Wein Miller and Nathan Connable. Jeff will long be remembered by his friends and family as a brilliant man of deep conviction and diverse interests who lived life
on his own terms. WEINBAUM: Morris Joseph Weinbaum, age 97, of Pittsburgh, passed away June 9, 2022, peacefully surrounded by his family. He was born Dec. 20, 1924, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, to Isadore and Sarah Weinbaum. He served proudly in the U.S. Navy as an Electronic Technicians Mate Third Class in the South Pacific during WWII. Following his honorable discharge, Morris studied engineering and metallurgy at Carnegie Institute of Technology, met and was married to his wife Claire (Lebovitz) for 73 years. Initially Morris was employed by NASA in Cleveland, Ohio. He subsequently started his own manufacturing plant, ALON Processing in Tarentum, Pennsylvania, producing aluminum-coated steel tubes used to carry liquid chemicals for various industries worldwide. Morris was predeceased by three sisters, Mildred Mallinger, Anne Levy and Ruth Perlmutter, and his son Stuart. He is survived by his wife Claire and two children, David (Joan Lumelsky) and Judith (Jon Eakin). Morris was a wonderful grandfather to Matthew (Julie), Bradley (Melissa) and Peter and was fortunate to enjoy his role as great-grandfather to Libby, Noah and Nora. His memory will also be cherished by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and -nephews. Graveside services and interment were held at Beth Shalom Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of New York, www2.jdrf.org/ site/Donation, or a charity of donor’s choice. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com PJC
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PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Community Working together as one
Making memories in Israel
Members of Repair the World Pittsburgh, the Wexner Group and the Mallinger family helped upgrade the patio at the Squirrel Hill JCC.
Eighth-grade students from Community Day School visited familiar Israeli haunts during their time in the Jewish state.
p Volunteering is the seed of communal growth.
p It’s hammer time.
Photos courtesy of Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
p Enjoying a beautiful day at the Kotel.
Gymnasium named Carriage House Children’s Center held a dedication ceremony to commemorate the naming of the Natalie A Kaplan gymnasium. A bronze plaque outside the gymnasium reads: “Natalie founded Carriage House in 1974, one of the first full-day childcare centers in Pittsburgh to provide quality infant, toddler and preschool programming. As a lifelong educator, Natalie’s approach to early childhood education emphasizes the dignity of each child and focuses on serving the needs of families. Natalie accomplished all of this with enthusiasm and style — including the many times she and her husband Larry danced across the floor of this gymnasium.”
p Riding an animal while dressed in costume is a staple of Israel travel.
Photos courtesy of Community Day School
Food for thought, thought for food
p Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein and Natalie Kaplan stand near the plaque and renamed gymnasium. Photo courtesy of Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein
p Members of the 2022 Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning graduating class Photo courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
JUNE 17, 2022
• Variety of deli meats and franks • All-natural poultry — whole chickens, breasts, wings and more • All-natural, corn-fed beef — steaks, roasts, ground beef and more Available at select Giant Eagle stores. Visit GiantEagle.com for location information.
Empire Kosher Chicken or Turkey Franks
16 oz. pkg.
save with your
Price effective Thursday, -XQH through Wednesday, -XQH , 202
Available at 24
JUNE 17, 2022
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE