August 12, 2022 | 15 Av 5782
Candlelighting 8:03 p.m. | Havdalah 9:04 p.m. | Vol. 65, No. 32 | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org
NOTEWORTHY LOCAL Community stalwart dies Jonathan Schachter tirelessly supported the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association.
JFCS partners with local lawyers to help immigrants and refugees stay in US
NBA player promotes peace in Israel with help from Pittsburgh Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer
to be able to stay here,” Cavicchio said. Other people are coming from countries that are not necessarily war-torn, but are still facing grave challenges, he said, including lacking necessities or persecution for their religion, gender or sexual orientation. “We are engaged with immigrants and refugees in all of those scenarios,” Cavicchio said. Volunteer attorneys and paralegals help JFCS provide needed assistance, he said. While the nonprofit could use more help across all areas of its work, there are some immediate needs. “The first is with minors who are immigrants and may qualify for what is called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status,” he said. Often, proceedings start with a child protective services hearing or as a custody case in front of a family court judge. “They have the power, in some cases, if
ERUSALEM — Enes Kanter Freedom launched an outlet pass and began cheering. On his next trip down court, Freedom, a 6-foot-10-inch professional basketball player, marveled at the assemblage of diminutive athletes cutting, shooting and running back on defense. A smile stretched across the NBA player’s face. “These are different kids from all over the world — Jews and Muslims and Christians — and I think the important thing here is we are learning how to share together, we are learning how to win or lose together, we are learning how to communicate together,” Freedom told the Chronicle. Scrimmages and drills continued all morning. Laughter ensued. Hands collided in high-fives. Selfies were taken, obviously. Before breaking for lunch and leaving the Jerusalem International YMCA on July 31, Freedom — an 11-year veteran of the NBA, who spent last season with the Boston Celtics — gathered the group of nearly 40 teenage campers around center court once more. He reiterated his message, telling the kids that peace is possible in the region and basketball can be a conduit for achieving it. Camp director and former basketball phenom Tamir Goodman praised Freedom’s words, saying they reminded him of principles he learned at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh 25 years ago. “The first day I was there, we had a rabbi named Rabbi [Eliezer] Shusterman, and on the first day of class, he said everybody has a special mission in this world to bring godliness into whatever it is,” Goodman said. “Whatever field they’re involved in, take something physical and make it holy. That’s kind of been my mission in life.” A quarter century has passed since
Please see JFCS, page 5
Please see Basketball, page 5
A ceasefire brokered by Egypt
Operation Breaking Dawn ends after three days.
Evelin Yajaira Flores Ceren came to the United States as a child fleeing violence. JFCS helped her stay in the country. She’s an adult now, living in the country with her daughter Emely Tatiana Mejia Flores. Photo provided by JFCS
Book review: ‘Old Truths and New Cliches’
By David Rullo | Staff Writer
E A new collection of Isaac Bashevis Singer essays
velin Yajaira Flores Ceren left El Salvador as a child to escape the gangs in her homeland. Abandoned by her father, Ceren had trouble affording necessities, let alone the legal aid she needed once she arrived in the United States. Thanks to the work of JFCS Pittsburgh and its Immigration Legal Services, Ceren was designated a Special Immigrant Juvenile and is on the path to receiving her green card. Ceren’s story is typical of the cases handled by JFCS’ Immigration Legal Services, according to attorney John Cavicchio, the pro bono and family law coordinator for JFCS. The work the social agency does covers a large spectrum, he said. “We have some people who are leaving a country like Ukraine, who have what is called temporary status — who are in a very, very acute dire situation and need legal relief
Headlines Jonathan Schachter, JCBA stalwart, dies unexpectedly
“He was just one of those genuinely good
— LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle
people who plug themselves in to do some
onathan Schachter, who served the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh non-concurrently as a volunteer, president and executive director and was months away from retiring, died unexpectedly on July 25. “He was gregarious, he was bold,” said one of Jonathan’s younger brothers, David Schachter. “He marched to his own beat, even from early childhood. He was never a follower. He was always a leader. He commandeered the troops he organized.” Born in 1954 in Philadelphia, Schachter was the eldest of three sons of Jeanne and Jacob Schachter, a pair of teachers — one in math, one in high school languages — who raised them in an Orthodox household. Schachter is survived by his father; his mother died in 2010. Schachter came to western Pennsylvania to attend the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and, after graduating, decided to stay, his brother recalled. Before joining the JCBA ranks around 15 years ago, Schachter held a variety of jobs. He worked in a tuxedo rental store and in pest control and sold cars. He also sold cookbooks under the name Lion House Distribution — his Hebrew name, “Aryeh,” translates to “lion” — out of the basement of his home in Forest Hills. He was active at the Jewish Community Center. Four years ago, Schachter took on the critical task of performing taharah, or the religious cleansing of a body before burial, for some of the victims of the Oct. 27, 2018, synagogue shooting. It rattled him, but he seldom spoke of it, his brother said. “He said to me, ‘You can’t imagine the
good. He wasn’t looking for glory. He was
just one of those quiet, good people.
— TAMMY HEPPS, JCBA BOARD MEMBER Jonathan Schachter
Photo courtesy of
amount of damage a bullet can do to the human body’ … but somebody has to do this,” David Schachter said. “You don’t put up a billboard; you just do the job.” That was a common reflection among family and friends. Lauren Schachter, the only child of Jonathan and the late Andrea Schachter, said she saw her father take leading roles in services and education at Congregation Beth Shalom — but almost always in the shadows of others. “He did what he had to do, and he got it done, whether people knew about it or not,” said Lauren Schachter, who grew up in Forest Hills and now lives in Akron, Ohio. “His motor was always running,” David Schachter said. “He couldn’t sit still, even as a child.” Schachter also helped form and lead the New Community Chevra Kadisha, his family said. Schachter drew extensive praise from the spiritual leader of the Conservative shul where he was affiliated and in whose cemetery he is now buried. “Jonathan was somebody who was truly
committed to community,” Beth Shalom’s Rabbi Seth Adelson said. “He was a person who was dependable and Jewishly knowledgeable and willing to give his time for people in need.” Schachter helped lead — and, later, administer — the JCBA through key transformations, said Barry Rudel, the JCBA’s executive director. And he did it all with grace and civility. “As the administrator in these last two-and-a-half years, there was nothing Jonathan wouldn’t or couldn’t do,” Rudel said. “He really made a difference, [and] he was an extremely versatile person. Whatever we do as a cemetery association in the future will be on the shoulders of Jonathan Schachter.” Schachter had cared for Pittsburgh’s “abandoned” cemeteries since 2007. “I take great satisfaction in what I do, maintaining something that needs to be taken care of, out of respect for those buried there, and as part of our Jewish tradition,” Schachter told the Chronicle for an article in September 2015. “He was just one of those Pittsburgh types — he was a very unassuming person,” said Tammy Hepps, a Squirrel Hill resident and JCBA board member. “He was just one of those genuinely good people who plug
themselves in to do some good. He wasn’t looking for glory. He was just one of those quiet, good people.” Hepps credits Schachter — who, she said, was “always focused on the work” — with “single-handedly bringing stability” to the JCBA as the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh set up a committee to steer it toward greater things. “He just managed a lot of types of information … and held it all together,” Hepps said. Harvey Wolsh, JCBA’s president, said Schachter was “extremely diligent in his work” and credited him with JCBA’s recent successes, which include bringing several new cemeteries under its jurisdiction. “I don’t think we would have survived without him,” Wolsh said. “He just had a knack of being there at the right time when things were necessary. We’re going to have a hard time filling his position.” Schachter’s funeral took place at Beth Shalom Cemetery on July 28. In addition to his father, daughter and brother David, Schachter is survived by his brother Avram, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. PJC Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.
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Calendar q TUESDAY, AUG. 16
Submit calendar items on the Chronicle’s website, pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. Submissions also will be included in print. Events will run in the print edition beginning one month prior to the date as space allows. The deadline for submissions is Friday, noon. q SUNDAY, AUG. 14 The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh presents Advanced Community Active Threat Training with Defensive Tactics. The four-part class will address the mind of an active shooter, predator versus prey, situational awareness and survival mindset; explore basic self-defense, using techniques such as Krav Maga; explore weapons awareness and disarming techniques; and advanced defensive tactics, including team tactics and reality-based training. 12:30 p.m. South Hills JCC. For more information and to register, visit jewishpgh.org/event/advance-community-activethreat-training-catt-with-defensive-tactics-2. Join the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle’s Book Club for its discussion of “The Finkler Question,” by Howard Jacobson. Noon on Zoom. Email drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org to register.
Join Rodef Shalom Congregation for the Garden Lecture Series, “The Tree of ‘Everybody Knows That.’” Dr. Jonathan Weinkle, a primary care physician at the Squirrel Hill Health Center and author of the book, “Healing People, Not Patients,” looks at the story of the Garden of Eden, and what it can teach us about where we get our knowledge, which of our senses to trust and how to take care of ourselves and each other. 6 p.m. 4905 Fifth Ave. rodefshalombiblicalgarden.org/events. Join members of the Jewish community for the annual Jewish Heritage Night at PNC Park. This is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some more. Enjoy an optional pre-game kosher meal in Picnic Park sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Each game ticket purchased will also include a limited-edition Pittsburgh Pirates Hebrew water bottle. 7:05 p.m. For questions, or groups of 10-plus, contact Joshua Avart at 412-325-4903 or Joshua.Avart@pirates.com. q WEDNESDAYS, AUG. 17-SEPT. 21 Bring the parashah alive and make it personally relevant and meaningful. Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman. 12:15 p.m. bethshalompgh.org/life-text.
q SUNDAYS, AUG. 14-SEPT. 18 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.
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 MONDAYS, AUG. 15-SEPT. 19 Join Congregation Beth Shalom for a weekly Talmud study. 9:15 a.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org.
q SUNDAY, AUG. 28 Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh at the Squirrel Hill JCC for an introductory class to
learn how to protect yourself, intelligently, through Mumon karate. You will receive training to prepare your mind and body to avoid or be capable of effectively defending yourself against real danger. Meet and practice with Dr. Paul Kovacs and Dr. Mark Weingarden, practitioners who have taught and trained non-commercially for more than 50 years. For ages 14 to adult. 1 p.m. jewishpgh.org/event/selfdefense-with-the-experts-mumon-karate. The 10.27 Healing Partnership invites the community to Welcoming the Month of Elul, a reflective and meditative event to awaken, prepare and become grounded as we head into the spiritual and reflective time of autumn and the High Holy Days. They will be hosting meditation practitioners, reiki-infused sound baths, expressive drum circles, speakers who will connect us with Jewish learning and a communal shofar blowing on the Sixth Presbyterian Church steps. Squirrel Hill JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave. 2 p.m. 1027healingpartnership.org. Join Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh to celebrate 80 years of chinuch at its new Greenfield campus. Welcome new parents and tour the building while enjoying wine and cheese, and participate in their annual raffle drawing and basket/silent auctions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. 6 p.m. $36 individual/$72 couple. yeshivaschools. com/support/endofsummer. q WEDNESDAYS, AUG. 31-SEPT. 28 Join the 10.27 Healing Partnership’s holistic support group as they partner with Sunny’s Community Garden on a journey to address grief through the healing power of gardening and herbs. This five-week program involves self-expression through gardening and writing. The group is open to all adults who have experienced grief, no matter
where they are on their healing journey, and offers an opportunity to connect and grow with others. 10 a.m. 5738 Forbes. Ave. 1027healingpartnership. org/seeds-of-resilience. q WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 21 Join Chabad of the South Hills for a Pre-High Holiday Seniors Lunch. Immunization clinic by Pathways Wellness program. Lunch, honey cake, hands-on holiday presentation and raffle prizes. 12 p.m. Pre-registration recommended. $5 suggested donation. 412-278-2658. q WEDNESDAYS, SEPT. 21-MAY 24 Registration is now open for Melton Core 1: Rhythms and Purposes of Jewish Living. This 25-lesson course will take you through the year’s cycle — the life cycle traditions and practices that bind us together. Explore not just the what’s and how’s of Jewish living, but the why’s that go with them. 7 p.m. $300 per person, per year (25 sessions), includes all books and materials. Virtual. foundation.jewishpgh.org/melton-core-1. q THURSDAYS, SEPT. 29-DEC. 15 Register now for the virtual course Melton: Social Justice – The Heart of Judaism in Theory and Practice. This 10-part Melton course highlights the Jewish call to action and provides a practical approach for achieving lasting change. Drawing from classic and modern texts, the course explores the communal connection that compels us to support the most vulnerable. 7 p.m. foundation. jewishpgh.org/melton-social-justice-the-heart-ofjudaism-in-theory-and-practic. PJC
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AUGUST 12, 2022
Headlines — WORLD — Citing stolen antiquities scandal, Michael Steinhardt resigns from NYU board
After 27 years in leadership roles at New York University, Michael Steinhardt, the Wall Street businessman and megadonor to Jewish causes accused of trafficking in stolen antiquities and sexual harassment, has stepped down from the university’s board of trustees, JTA reported. “I regret that my antiquities collecting has impacted the university and distracted from the important work of the faculty and global community,” Steinhardt wrote in a letter to the board. “As a result, I have decided to step down as a Life Trustee.” His wife, Judy Steinhardt, remains listed as a non-voting life trustee, and NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development continues to carry the family name. In a deal to avoid prosecution, Steinhardt agreed to surrender $70 million worth of ancient artifacts that were looted from 11 countries, including Israel. Steinhardt has not admitted to any wrongdoing.
Spanish town previously named Fort Kill the Jews vandalized again with antisemitic graffiti
A tiny village in northern Spain that from 1627 until 2015 was named Fort Kill the Jews was hit with antisemitic graffiti on Aug. 3, and its mayor said he believes neo-Nazi
groups carried out the vandalism because they had heard a Jewish family was moving back into the town, JTA reported. As reported by the El País daily, the family will soon join another Jewish one that moved to the town earlier this year — the first to do so since medieval times. Originally named Castrillo Motajudíos, or Jew’s Hill Fort, in 1035 when Jews fleeing from a neighboring pogrom settled there, the town was renamed Castrillo Matajudíos — Fort Kill The Jews — in 1627, during a period of extreme religious persecution carried out by the Inquisition. Vandals spray painted the word Auschwitz, the name of the infamous former Nazi camp, onto one of the village’s signs with its restored current name. They also wrote the Fort Kill the Jews name onto a signpost that leads into the town.
Canada says Jews in 2021 were most-targeted religious minority
Canada’s 380,000 Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes reported to police in 2021, the country’s official numbers keeper reported, according to JTA. Statistics Canada said that the Jewish community, comprising about 1% of the population, were victims of 14% of reported hate crimes. Jews saw a 47% rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020, according to the bureau. Only Black Canadians, who make up about 3.5% of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes. “Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other
Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This is alarming.”
World-class tennis returns to Israel after 26 years
The Association of Tennis Professionals announced its new tournament in the ATP 250 category: The Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022, featuring some of the world’s top-20 ranked male pro players, jns.org reported. More than 26 years after Israel last hosted a major tennis competition, the tourney will begin at Expo Tel Aviv on Sept. 25. Singles and doubles finals are scheduled for Oct. 2, with players such as Rafael Nadal vying for nearly $1.2 million in prize money. The ATP 250 tournament is coming to Israel because of a joint effort by the Israel Tennis Association and water-from-air technology company Watergen, a sponsor.
Average Israeli salary falls
The average gross monthly salary in Israel fell from $3,593 in April to $3,512 in May Globes reported, citing Central Bureau of Statistics reports. The bureau said the decline may be the result of lower-salaried people who were furloughed during the pandemic returning to the workforce. The average gross salary in Israel in April was 4.2% more than in the same month a year earlier when it was $3,371. There were 3.94 million salaried employees
in Israel in May. That’s up 10.1% from 3.58 million in the same month in 2021.
UN investigator apologizes for ‘Jewish lobby’ remark and other comments deemed antisemitic
A United Nations investigator apologized for recently using the phrase “Jewish lobby” and suggesting that Israel could lose its U.N. membership, comments that drew widespread condemnation, including from U.S. officials, JTA reported. Miloon Kothari sent an apology letter last week to Federico Villegas, head of the U.N. Human Rights Council, for statements he made during a podcast interview last week with the anti-Zionist Mondoweiss site. Kothari is a member of the Human Rights Council’s commission to investigate human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that was formed following IsraelGaza violence in the spring of 2021. In the interview, he said, “We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by — whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs, a lot of money is being thrown into trying to discredit us, but the important thing is our mandate is based on international human rights and humanitarian standards and that we are all seeking the truth.” He added that “the Israeli government does not respect its own obligations as a U.N. member state.” PJC — Compiled by Andy Gotlieb
This week in Israeli history — WORLD — Items provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.
Aug. 12, 1944 — Labor Zionist Berl Katznelson dies
In the blueness
Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson dies of a hemorrhage at age 57. He developed the concept of moshavs and created a program for labor unity that served as the basis for the Mapai party.
of the skies and in the warmth of summer,
Aug. 13, 1942 — Composer Nurit Hirsch is born
Nurit Hirsch, a musician and composer, is born in Tel Aviv. With Ehud Manor’s lyrics, she writes Israel’s first Eurovision-winning song, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi,” performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta in 1978.
We Remember Them.
Aug. 14, 1944 — U.S. rejects bombing death camps
U.S. Assistant War Secretary John J. McCloy notifies Leon Kubowitzki of the World Jewish Congress that the U.S. military will not bomb Nazi death camps and their infrastructure despite being able to do so.
Lee & Lisa Oleinick 4
AUGUST 12, 2022
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Aug. 15, 2005 — Gaza withdrawal begins
The day after the deadline for settlers to leave, soldiers and police start carrying out Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan for disengagement from the Gaza Strip, approved by the Knesset in February.
Aug. 16, 1966 — Israel obtains Iraqi MiG-21
Operation Diamond, Israel’s plan to obtain a Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jet, succeeds when Iraqi pilot Munir Redfa lands at Hatzor Air Force Base for a $1 million bounty and other benefits.
Aug. 17, 1949 — Herzl’s body is reburied in Israel
The body of Theodor Herzl, buried in Vienna in 1904, is reburied with those of his wife and parents on the Jerusalem hill that now bears his name, fulfilling a directive in his will.
Aug. 18, 2000 — Archaeologist Claire Epstein dies
Archaeologist Claire Epstein, a London native who began working on digs during the War of Independence and discovered the culture of the Chalcolithic Period (4500 to 3300 B.C.E.) in the Golan, dies at 88 at Kibbutz Ginossar. PJC
Headlines JFCS: Continued from page 1
an immigrant child is here by himself or herself to, in addition to making a ruling on custody-related matters, say the child might qualify as a Special Immigrant Juvenile,” Cavicchio said. Given those parameters, attorneys with a family law background who have handled custody cases are helpful volunteers, he said. Other areas of legal help provided by Cavicchio and his volunteers are typical immigration services, including family-based immigration, U Visas (victims of various crimes), T Visas (human trafficking victims) or VAWA claims (domestic violence victims). Cavicchio said most of the work the agency does is with minors but that JFCS assists wherever needed. JFCS is looking for more volunteers to help with legal issues. Each year, the agency resettles approximately 500 refugees in the Pittsburgh area, all of whom are encouraged and eligible to apply for permanent resident status after one year in the country. Most turn to JFCS for legal representation when
that time comes. Cavicchio said volunteers don’t necessarily need to be immigration lawyers to assist. “We would strongly ask that anyone interested consider reaching out,” Cavicchio said. On Aug. 24, JFCS is partnering with the Allegheny County Bar Foundation for a free Continuing Legal Education event on Zoom to help non-immigration lawyers learn more about the process of refugee adjustment of status. One week later, on Aug. 31, Cavicchio said, there will be a clinic in conjunction with the Foundation, helping refugees apply for green cards. Barbara Griffin, director of the Foundation’s Pro Bono Center, said this type of volunteering is baked into the expectation of practicing law. “In Pennsylvania, and most states around the country, there’s a rule of professional conduct that governs attorney ethics,” she explained. “Those rules, specifically Rule 6.1, state that a lawyer should provide legal services to people who cannot afford an attorney.” While it’s not a mandate that lawyers volunteer their time, Griffin said the Pro Bono Center does its best to recruit and
support attorneys, making it as easy as possible to volunteer. “There’s a huge gap in this country,” she said, “between people who have a legal issue and those who get the legal help they need. There’s a lot of need but we do our best to use volunteer attorneys to meet it.” Griffin said that CLE events like the one on Aug. 24 are important because being a lawyer is mostly a self-regulating profession, and attorneys are required to stay current about changes in the law. Therefore, Pennsylvania attorneys must have 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education a year. With events like the one planned in August, Griffin said, the center can leverage its 5,000-plus members to mobilize and help organizations like JFCS. Griffin said she has a passion for the type of work the Pro Bono Center does. “I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people,” she said. “I started out with a private firm but pretty quickly moved to public interest work.” Griffin said she has volunteered with JFCS in the past and has attempted to do pro bono work for all the types of cases the center handles. “I try to have experience so that I know
what it’s like to handle this type of case, so I can tell a volunteer exactly what it’s like to do this type of work,” she said. Lawyers from across western Pennsylvania are needed, Cavicchio said. He noted that attorneys should not be worried that language will be a barrier since JFCS provides translators when needed. Cavicchio said the agency can always use more volunteers, and that there is some time-sensitive pressure on their caseload. “A child is only eligible to apply for special immigrant juvenile status until his or her 18th birthday, so if we have a child who falls in our lap right before their 18th birthday, we may have to rush to do his or her case, whereas, we might have a child that’s 11 that’s been waiting and as much as we would like to be filing legal paperwork, we have to put that on the back burner,” he said. “We don’t turn anyone away; we say that as a point of pride, but we can’t get to all of them as fast as we’d like.” For more information about the Aug. 24 Zoom CLE event or to register, go to jfcspgh.org/event/ jfcs-immigration-legal-services. PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Basketball: Continued from page 1
those days in Squirrel Hill, but Goodman has held tightly to Shusterman’s mandate — all the while carving out a well-documented path in basketball. In 1999, after Sports Illustrated dubbed the Sabbathobservant Goodman “The Jewish Jordan,” press coverage ballooned. ESPN, CNN, Fox, 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post followed the faithful athlete as he received a scholarship to No. 1-ranked University of Maryland and later played at Towson University, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Givat Shmuel. As Freedom, a current NBA free agent, signed the backs of campers’ T-shirts and promised the children he’d return to play with them again, Goodman was reminded of the lessons he learned from Shusterman in Pittsburgh. “We bring people together that otherwise would have never met,” Goodman said. “We teach the kids to take care of their body, to take care of their soul, to do good acts of kindness on the basketball court. And these are all things that take the physical game of basketball and make it holier, makes the world a better place.” Joseph Lunt, a Salt Lake City resident and an assistant coach at the camp, said that sports, and people like Freedom — a Swiss-born, Turkish-raised Muslim athlete and human rights activist — can remind children of their commonalities. He wishes Americans were less focused on dismal news cycles and instead were more aware of the changes happening inside a Middle Eastern gym. “People just need to see that it really is possible,” said Lunt, who traveled to Israel to help Goodman operate drills and manage games at the camp. “People share more things in common than differences.” PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Enes Kanter Freedom and Tamir Goodman
Jerusalem resident Nancy Salhab agreed, saying Freedom’s words reach the next generation in meaningful ways. “When you hear it from your parents, it’s one thing,” she said. “When you hear it from somebody that you aspire to be, I think it’s another, and I think it brings them together.” Salhab’s 14-year-old son Adam, who participated in the camp, said he appreciated
Freedom’s words as well as the time Freedom spent helping the children develop their athletic talents. “I would love for people to know that peace is possible,” Nancy Salhab said. “If people just looked at the similarities, not the differences, if they had more kindness in their hearts, were more accepting towards others. Everybody has children. Everybody has parents. If everyone just thought of the
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Photo by Adam Reinherz
other as a parent or as a child, I think it would be a much better world.” Heeding that sentiment would be nice, but there’s something Americans — specifically, teenage basketball players — need to know, added the smiling, sweat-drenched Adam Salhab: “We also got skills.” PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. AUGUST 12, 2022
Opinion This time, it’s different Guest Columnist Jerome M. Marcus
he Jews, in general, and this Jew, in particular, have complained for years about how poorly Israel has explained itself to the world. It’s a privilege to be able to recognize good work on this front by the Israel Defense Forces now that it’s been done. In almost all of its previous military confrontations with its neighbors, Israel has been attacked by wild lies, to which it has responded by saying that the libelous accusation is under investigation. After the lie had made its way around the world alone for weeks, a report would be issued by the IDF proving to any objective mind that the lie was a lie. But by then, it was far too late. The lie had embedded itself in the world’s “narrative,” and the truth was completely irrelevant. So it was with the “massacre” in Jenin that never happened. So it was with the staged films about Mohammad Al-dura. So it was with any number of attacks on ammunition dumps, rocket launchers and snipers lodged in Gaza’s schools, mosques and homes. The world heard about the attacks on these buildings, and it condemned the attacks and the Jewish state for committing them. Then, weeks later, if you were paying close attention and reading Jewish or Israeli news sources, you might learn what actually happened — that the schoolyard was being used as a rocket-launch pad; that the
As important, the footage shows what Israel is not doing; it is showing the many attacks called off because of the nearby presence of non-combatants. mosque was filled with explosives; that the apartment building window was the location of a sniper or a Hamas command-andcontrol operation. But this time is different. In “Operation Breaking Dawn,” which has now concluded, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit is clearly out front. It has been releasing, within a few hours of the events, footage showing exactly what Israel is doing. As important, the footage shows what Israel is not doing; it is showing the many attacks called off because of the nearby presence of noncombatants. It has been Israel’s policy and practice for many years to abort attacks that unnecessarily endanger civilians, as Israel has patiently explained to anyone who cares to listen. But in the past, Israel hasn’t revealed to the world the evidence showing this degree of care in action actually being applied in real time. Now Israel is publishing that proof and doing so very quickly, like on the day of
the attack, often within a few hours. IDF news releases are also showing the errant missiles launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) — errant, that is, because they killed Arabs instead of the Jewish civilians at whom they were aimed. It is showing the 20% of PIJ’s missiles that land within Gaza, killing the very people the terror group pretends to be fighting for. The result is a slew of news stories not published in the same old way, libelously attacking the Jewish state. The New York Times has maintained its standard policy of publishing articles only about Israeli military action, with no mention of the hundreds of missiles PIJ is launching at Jewish civilians that explain that action. But even in the Times, the articles contain timely explanations from the IDF of what’s being attacked and why. This relative evenhandedness is not a function of any change by the Times in its political views, or because politics has
somehow been disentangled from the “news” section of that once-great newspaper. The reason the stories are more evenhanded is that it’s harder to write completely one-sided articles if the truth is out there for all to see. And now it is. So, for example (though you would never learn about it from the Times), there is a series of clips showing four attempts to assassinate Khaled Mansour, the Islamic Jihad leader killed on Saturday. In the first three attempts, the attacks are called off because children are nearby. By 11 p.m., the children had stopped kicking a soccer ball in the nearby courtyard. All was safe for an attack that killed no one but the terrorist. And it’s all there to watch from the comfort of your laptop or phone. When Israel’s ground operations end — and its sons and husbands come back across Israel’s borders after yet again defeating those who would destroy the Jewish state and kill all of the Jews who live there — the bumper stickers and billboards in that country say “Kol HaKavod l’Tzahal,” give honor to the Israeli army, which has yet again protected Israel’s citizens from their would-be murderers. This time we can also say “Kol HaKavod l’Dover Tzahal” — give honor to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, which has attained a new and effective level of putting the truth out to a world that is often reluctant to hear the truth from the Jewish state. PJC Jerome M. Marcus is a lawyer and a fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem. This first appeared on JNS.
Voices of European Jewry: Krakow, Poland Guest Columnist Madison Jackson
t’s 6:20 a.m. and after our first overnight bus on the tour, I am in a daze. Deanna and I enter a small, crowded bus station, heading directly for two empty blue bench seats in the waiting area. I notice the only food in the bus station: an obwarzanek stall. In Krakow, obwarzanek is a popular street food, the closest you can get to a bagel in Poland. It is larger than a bagel and twisted. The topping options are sesame, poppy seed or occasionally asiago. I remember — with not much nostalgia — the first time I tried obwarzanek four years ago when I lived in Warsaw for the summer and visited Krakow. It was hard and chewy and took a long time to swallow, and I can’t say I’ve missed it. But it is a Krakow staple and so I ask Deanna if she would like one. We soon make our way to Mariia’s apartment, a seven-minute walk from the bus station. Mariia is the 23-year-old Global Jewish Pen Pal hosting us in Krakow. I love Poland, but Krakow is not my favorite city. I hope that spending time with a pen pal who is an active leader of Hillel Krakow, a Jewish
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student group, will change my perspective of the city this time around. We find the courtyard which centers Mariia’s apartment building, and she greets us from a window on the second floor. She waves down at us smiling, pointing to the entrance. “Are you hungry? I will make you breakfast,” Mariia says instantly. We sit in her living room and watch as she pulls items out of her refrigerator and sets them on the counter. She prepares broccoli omelets, toast and cherry tomatoes. She brings us tall glasses of coffee with caramel syrup and then tells us she is going back to bed for a bit. Mariia is a Ukrainian Jew who has lived in Krakow for seven years. Originally from Dnipro, Ukraine, Mariia is proud to come from the city with the Menorah Center, the largest Jewish Community Center in Europe. Recently, leaving behind the war in Ukraine, Mariia’s mom and younger sister Yeva joined her in Krakow. As is common for many Ukrainian refugees, her dad and brother still live in Ukraine. As much as she loves Dnipro, Mariia also loves Krakow. She feels at home at Hillel Krakow the same way many Americans feel at home at their university’s Hillel. One evening during our stay in Krakow, Mariia and Yeva meet us outside the entrance to Hillel Krakow. It is a small, worn-down
building from the outside, and when Mariia sees that one of its windows is open, she worries that someone broke in. She has the keys to the place, and leads us inside where there is another set of locked doors, before we enter a small but cozy lounge. It reminds me of the lounge at my university, and the way student leaders were given the keys to the place. In the back is a bookshelf filled with Jewish books and games; in front of it sits a couch and a table with a TV. The room is decorated for Pride Month, and off to the side is a tiny kitchen where Mariia sets a pot of water to boil for tea. Unlike in the United States, a Hillel in Europe is usually established for a city rather than for one university. All Jewish students in Krakow go to the same Hillel regardless of where they go to school. In fact, you don’t even have to be a student to attend Hillel events: Hillel Krakow is for people of Jewish descent between the ages of 18 and 30. The Jewish descent rule means that many participants only recently have discovered their Jewish roots, or perhaps only one parent or one grandparent is Jewish. In Mariia’s case, her dad is Jewish and her mom isn’t. Mariia prefers egalitarian, Reform spaces and is dating an American non-Jewish man. We leave the Hillel and walk by a plaque on a nearby building which shares the history of a location which housed a Jewish
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school before World War II. “It’s so beautiful,” Mariia says, pointing it out. She has said this for many of the Jewish heritage signs and sites we have passed. I find it ironic that what she loves about Krakow is exactly what I don’t love about Krakow. Jewish life in Krakow seems fake to me. It is surrounded by a black gate with Jewish stars and non-Jews playing Klezmer music on the streets. Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, is largely where Jewish life takes place in the city and feels unnatural. It’s so different from Warsaw, where Jewish life and organizations are spread across the city. As our time in Krakow winds down, I don’t feel sad about leaving the city behind, but I do feel sad about leaving Mariia. She has taught me so much — such as it doesn’t really matter what I think of Krakow. What matters is what the Jews of Krakow think of Krakow. If they are happy, the global Jewish community should be happy for them. PJC Madison Jackson is a graduate student at the Chatham University MFA program in Creative Nonfiction Writing. She lives in Squirrel Hill and is the founder and executive director of the Global Jewish Pen Pal Program. She is traveling throughout Europe this summer and writing for the Chronicle about Jewish life in diverse locations. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Chronicle poll results: Number of synagogues in Pittsburgh
ast week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “With congregational affiliation declining, do you think Pittsburgh has too many synagogues?” Of the 231 people who responded, 47% said “No”; 34% said “Yes”; and 19% said “Not sure.” Seventy-two people submitted comments. A few follow.
With congregational affiliation declining, do you think Pittsburgh has too many synagogues?
Orthodox synagogues have been growing in the past decade but are still way short of filling their buildings. With rising maintenance and facility costs, and less differentiation between congregations, it would be prudent to merge on some level to ensure a thriving present and future. The Orthodox synagogues seem to be doing pretty well in terms of attendance and participation. I think that Conservative and Reform synagogues ought to be more willing
to hold joint services, with small adjustments in liturgy. Women could have prominent roles.
— LETTERS — AIPAC threatens the future of Israel
Regarding “J Street’s new low: Calling supporters of Israel racists” by Jonathan S. Tobin (July 29): As a longtime member of J Street and the current chair of J Street Pittsburgh, I was very disappointed that the Chronicle published this nasty, mean-spirited set of ad hominem attacks on J Street and others. Purportedly, Tobin aims to push back against J Street’s claim that AIPAC’s SuperPac, the United Democracy Project, is “driving a wedge between communities of color, especially progressives, and the Jewish community” and targeting “women of color.” Instead, he spends more than 1,000 words hurling baseless attacks, explicitly calling J Street “anti-Israel.” J Street’s concerns are valid: UDP has spent heavily to oppose numerous progressive women of color running for office this cycle, such as Donna Edwards in Maryland, Jessica Cisneros in Texas, Erica Smith in North Carolina, and even Summer Lee right here in Pittsburgh. But what I found most striking was that Tobin failed to mention J Street’s core objection to AIPAC and UDP’s work this campaign cycle: their endorsement of and fundraising for 109 candidates who supported Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” and voted against certifying the 2020 election results. J Street is a consistent, committed supporter of America’s democratic values. J Street supports Israel’s survival as a democratic, Jewish state. We support efforts to achieve a two-state solution. That is our core mission. One way we do that is supporting candidates who support democracy in Israel and in the United States. AIPAC’s support for 109 Republicans who backed reversing the election results on Jan. 6, 2021, is simply astonishing. It ends the longstanding bipartisan support for democracy at home and abroad which has helped Israel to plan next year to mark 75 years of renewed national life. A strong, democratic Israel must have solid bipartisan support. AIPAC’s support of the antidemocratic wing of one party threatens that solidarity and with it the future of Israel. Mark Fichman Pittsburgh It was distressingly instructive to read the differing reactions reported on the first two pages of the July 29 issue of the Chronicle. Page 1 reported the outrage directed at the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Doug Mastriano, whose postings on the website Gab elicited antisemitic comments. A creature of a cynical Democrat plan to assure Josh Shapiro’s election as Pennsylvania’s governor by financing campaign ads highlighting the stances of the most unpalatable opponent, Mastriano achieved the name recognition and votes needed to secure the Republican spot. Now, having achieved the opposition man of their choice, Democrats hasten to condemn the outcome. Denouncing Gab as a “festering cesspool of intolerance,” Rep. Dan Frankel joined the outcry while assuring us that “all law-abiding people won’t tolerate bigotry and antisemitism.” But evidently the problem with Gab is not so much its antisemitism per se as the crudity of its expression. For, on the very next page, the Chronicle reported a much more subdued reaction to the more sophisticated but more ominous actions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Reflecting its long animosity toward Israel, the PC(USA) at its most recent General Assembly voted to declare Israel an apartheid state. It viewed with alarm the “heightened Zionist-Jewish” identity of Jerusalem. It accused Israel of stealing “Palestinian” land and water. It suggested that aspects of Christian Zionism tended toward “idolatry and heresy.” And, to erase any doubt of its antisemitism, it compared Israel to Nazi Germany, appropriating to itself the vow of “Never Again.” PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Virtual attendance — during the pandemic — has been a very meaningful experience for those who are able to accept this type of religious participation. It is almost certain to continue, and is responsible for people of all ages regularly taking part in morning, evening, Sabbath and High Holiday services. Congregational leaderships should work together and with Federation to consider what’s best for Jewish Pittsburgh, not for their individual shuls — which is to consolidate.
Confront antisemitism in all its forms
Each congregation is unique. Reducing the number of synagogues would create a “box store” landscape. What is the objective, efficiency or engagement?
Synagogues of each denomination in the Squirrel Hill area need to consolidate to remain viable. Many of the synagogues should
rethink their business models. They should merge or downsize and consider a voluntary dues structure. As for them providing for the spiritual needs of their congregants, they need to talk about Torah and not how it justifies a political point of view. There is a reason why Chabad is growing worldwide while the more lenient movements are stagnant or shrinking. We could combine congregations and pool our resources, but I’m not optimistic that boards and rabbis would be able to put their egos aside for the greater good. PJC — Toby Tabachnick
Chronicle weekly poll question:
Do you support the Inflation Reduction Act, the pared-down version of the Build Back Better bill? Go to pittsburghjewish chronicle.org to respond. PJC
Did anyone call all this a “festering cesspool of hate?” Where was any “law-abiding person” who wouldn’t tolerate this hateful bigotry and antisemitism? Laura Cherner, the director of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council, found all this — and more — merely “disappointing.” The spokesman for the Pittsburgh Presbytery spoke in platitudes, some of them misleading, to put it gently. A subsequent assembly could overturn the action he said, in spite of the fact that this action is a culmination of decades of anti-Israel acts and resolutions. Could he be unaware of the 2014 Presbyterian study guide that describes Zionism as a “pathology ... a doctrine that promotes death rather than life?” The president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary assured us of his commitment to “interfaith dialogue.” Dialogue about what? How to dismember the Jewish state? The Federation’s Cherner thinks “it’s worth a conversation ... educating them about why this is harmful ... working to affect positive change.” Did she notice that none of these people actually disavowed a single one of the church’s anti-Israel positions? Anti-Zionism is the latest incarnation of antisemitism. Railing against antisemitism only when it’s encountered in its most vulgar form won’t do. A community unable or unwilling to confront it in its sophisticated environs — in the churches, in the universities, in professional societies — is a community surrendering to it. It’s time for us to be brave, to be strong, to defend Israel as if our lives depended on it. Because they do. Ann Sheckter Powell Pittsburgh
Not putting up with public prayer
In reference to Howard Elson’s recent letter (“Coach’s public prayer was ‘implicit coercion,’” July 29), I, too, have had one too many instances where someone slipped in a prayer “in Jesus’ name.” Following the “blessing” I quietly speak to them about it. I explain that when it is a function that is not religiously related — such as one in a church — then the prayer should not mention Jesus or Isa or any other reference to a particular religion. If the individual repeats the prayer at another function, I leave the room and make everyone aware, privately, that I am offended. If I am in a ceremony in a church, that is different. I have entered their religious area and cannot expect anything else. I have been to military, professional and other functions that do not respect anything but the religion of the person leading the prayer — which is very disrespectful of others there. If I am at someone’s home, that is a different story: It is their home and their custom. I bow my head and am quiet as they pray. I am a proud Jew and will not put up with the above. Elaine Berkowitz, DMD North Hills We invite you to submit letters for publication. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number; addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may not exceed 500 words and may be edited for length and clarity; they cannot be returned. Mail or email letters to: Letters to the editor via email: email@example.com Address:
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Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle 5915 Beacon St., 5th Flr., Pittsburgh, PA 15217 pittsburghjewishchronicle.org/letters-to-the-editor
AUGUST 12, 2022
Israel didn’t agree to free PIJ prisoners, sees chance of wider Gaza deal with Hamas — WORLD — By Lazar Berman | The Times of Israel
enior Israeli officials expressed optimism on Monday morning over the prospects that the fresh ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad would hold up, but stressed that Jerusalem did not agree to demands that it release members of the terror group it recently arrested. “We can now start looking toward the next phase,” said one of the officials who briefed Israeli reporters. The Egyptian-mediated deal, which went into effect at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, ended a three-day conflict that began Friday with Israeli strikes that killed a top PIJ commander. Palestinian terrorists subsequently fired around 1,100 rockets toward Israeli territory, while the Israel Defense Forces hit Islamic Jihad targets and killed another of the Iran-backed organization’s top military leaders in Gaza. There were also signs that Operation Breaking Dawn, and the manner in which it came to a rapid end, would lead to additional progress on talks with Hamas and PIJ in Gaza, said the officials. “We are absolutely aware that there is an opportunity in the aftermath that we don’t want to miss,” said one of the officials, highlighting the ongoing attempts to arrange for the return of Israeli civilian captives and bodies of IDF soldiers held by Hamas, among other imperatives. “The signals from Hamas in recent weeks have been received,” the official continued. “We want to take things forward, and not make do only with a ceasefire with PIJ.” The Hamas terror group holds two living Israelis — Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed — as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers: Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Israel and Hamas have held indirect talks in an attempt to reach a prisoner exchange deal. A similar deal in 2011 to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas’ clutches saw 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners released, many of them convicted terrorists. However, Israel is not about to release the PIJ prisoners that the organization wants to see freed.
During the ceasefire talks, Israel did not agree to release Khalil al-Awawda, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member who is hunger-striking in protest of his detention by Israel without any charges, and the terror group’s West Bank leader Bassam al-Saadi, who was arrested last week in a move believed to have sparked the round of violence in Gaza, the officials said. Israel has no intentions to release the prisoners early, The Times of Israel has learned.
The officials also expressed satisfaction with Israel’s diplomatic efforts leading up to the operation and during it, pointing to Egypt, Qatar and the United States as key players. “They knew all the elements of our decision-making beforehand, and also our efforts to avoid acting and to ensure [the operation] was as limited as possible,” said one of the officials. Jerusalem initially expected PIJ to fold under pressure from the aforementioned countries — and from Hamas — to abandon plans to attack Israel, obviating the need for an operation, said the officials. As tensions rose, Israel restricted movement near the Gaza border to reduce friction and make it harder for PIJ to carry out a sniper or anti-tank attack, but understood it couldn’t keep its border towns in those conditions for long. Once Israel determined an escalation was unavoidable, the aim was to strike PIJ cells and senior leaders planning attacks, while avoiding hitting Hamas targets. Israel also sought to achieve a rapid de-escalation, determining that an extended operation risked inadvertently causing damage that would push Hamas into the fight. Ceasefire efforts began on Saturday, the second day of the operation. “We understood that PIJ was not achieving what it wanted. The strikes against it were significant,” said an official. The fact that Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s general-secretary Ziad Nakhaleh was in Tehran meeting the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps made it harder for him to agree to a ceasefire, according to the officials.
to stay out” of the conflict, the officials said. However, they added, Hamas failed in its responsibility to work to head off a conflict by pressuring PIJ before it started. “That is an expectation we have of someone who presumes to rule the Strip and its population,” said one of the briefers. p Prime Minister Yair Lapid (right) holds an assessment Hamas stayed out of the with military and security officials at the IDF’s headquarters fight because of Israel’s miliin Tel Aviv on Aug. 6. Photo by Kobi Elkatzur/GPO tary and civil policies over There were discussions about a temporary the past year, argued the humanitarian ceasefire on Saturday night, officials. “That includes Operation Guardian but Prime Minister Yair Lapid rejected that of the Walls, and the important economic offer, insisting on a full halt to hostilities. incentives for the population.” Israel’s political leadership initially wanted The potential for economic harm to Gazan the ceasefire to come into effect Sunday families from having thousands of workers afternoon, the officials revealed, but had to barred from entering Israel had the effect on wait a few more hours to allow the IDF to Hamas that Israel wanted, they said. In June, complete operations. Israel increased the number of work permits Officials were especially pleased with for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to 14,000, Egypt’s role. “The Egyptian mediation was a 100% increase from the previous summer. very intensive; our relationship with them is The return to Israel’s regular policies extremely close.” toward Gaza will happen gradually, and will The official also praised the role Qatar happen in a way that “sends a message about played, calling the Gulf country “a player the future,” said one of the officials. that creates economic stability.” These policies are expected to be put back Israel does not have diplomatic relations in place over the next couple of days. with Qatar, though the two countries mainOn Monday, the military liaison to the tained trade and low-level diplomatic ties Palestinians announced that crossings in 1996-2009. Since then, there has been between Israel and Gaza would reopen some ongoing contact, especially on matters for humanitarian purposes after a securelating to the Gaza Strip. rity assessment. The officials also said that Lapid underThe reopening allowed renewed fuel stood the sensitivities around embarking on shipments into Gaza, after the closures led a military campaign ahead of an election, the Strip’s sole power plant to drastically and sought to fully explain his rationale to reduce operations. ministers and to the public. The Defense Ministry body, widely known Israel is set for its fifth elections since by its acronym COGAT, said a meeting to 2019 on Nov. 1. consider a full reopening of the crossings will be held if calm is maintained in the south. Hamas on the sidelines The Erez terminal between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and Gaza, which serves as the sole pedestrian has fought Israel in four major operations crossing for Palestinians in the coastal since Israel left the coastal territory in 2005, enclave, was struck Sunday by mortars pressured PIJ to consent to the ceasefire, launched from Gaza, according to the according to the officials, warning that “[PIJ] Defense Ministry. PJC is endangering the population.” “We knew throughout that Hamas wanted Emmanuel Fabian contributed to this report.
Newman case against Point Park settled
lawsuit filed by a Jewish professor against Point Park University, claiming employment discrimination based on her Jewish and Israeli ancestry, was settled. The 19-count complaint was filed in January 2020 by Channa Newman, a Holocaust survivor with U.S., Israeli and Czech citizenship, who has been employed by Point Park since 1964. In her complaint, Newman alleged that another professor used his position at Point Park to promote “highly anti-Zionist views and activities”
AUGUST 8, 2022
and to “foster the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel,” and that he and others sought to have Newman removed from her position because she did not acquiesce to their one-sided representation of the conflict. The anti-Zionists on campus tried to remove Newman from her position at Point Park through the filing of a Title IX complaint against her, in which a student claimed that Newman made an insensitive comment about the #MeToo movement, Newman alleged. She was exonerated from those charges, but not before she
had endured significant maltreatment from the university, including having her classes canceled mid-semester, being prohibited from campus and being denied access to her email — actions she said were not taken against other faculty members accused of Title IX infractions. The case was assigned to a mediator in June and was resolved, according to a July 8 court filing. The terms of the settlement are undisclosed. Point Park declined to comment on the case’s resolution, as did James Lieber, an
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attorney for Newman. In September 2020, The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit network of legal professionals that defends the civil rights of Jews and the pro-Israel community, joined Newman’s legal team. “The Lawfare Project, which represented Channa Newman, along with co-counsel, is thrilled to report that the matter has been settled,” a spokesperson for the organization said in an email to the Chronicle. PJC — Toby Tabachnick PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Back to School: A Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle special advertising section
From left: Community Day School students Yona Stein, Arbel Friedman and Simona Svoboda
Photo courtesy of Community Day School
Back to School
STEAM gains steam across Pittsburgh’s middle and high schools — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle
esse Robinson is the face of technology at Shady Side Academy. The director of the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub at the academy’s Senior School, Robinson runs a state-of-the-art STEAM facility that, since opening in 2019, has rocketed Shady Side’s science, technology, engineering, art and math curriculum to a whole new level. Robinson teaches tech and design classes, partners with teachers in other disciplines to integrate tech and design projects into their classes, works with students on independent study projects, advises STEAM clubs and teaches STEAM summer camps to middle schoolers. “I have the best job in the world,” Robinson told the Chronicle. “I get to go to work and play all day, and see students play all day — and they only are limited by their own imaginations.” The dropping costs of certain kinds of technology — say, a 3-D printer — has put STEAM education within the reach of students who previously only dreamed of such resources. And this is not just a story about Shady Side Academy; independent schools throughout Pittsburgh, including Jewish day schools, are stressing the growing importance of STEAM
in a well-rounded education. Sarah Posti oversees kindergarten through eighth grade at the Campus Laboratory School, a Carlow University institution in Oakland celebrating its 60th anniversary this spring. “We are values-based — and that’s what we have in common with other facilities,” said Posti, who addressed the dissonance of a Jewish newspaper interviewing school officials at a Catholic university. “We’re mission-driven and inclusive of other faiths.” Taryn Brown, the school’s STEAM and library teacher, boasted about Campus Laboratory’s STEAM curriculum, which includes a project where older, middleschool students must interact with and design toys for their younger peers. “They’re going to have to talk to each other, empathize and see where the younger kid is development-wise,” said Brown, who added that LEGO Braille blocks have been created in the past. “It’s amazing how much the kids love programming and coding,” Brown said. “And they’re better at it than I am ... It’s that idea of equity and inclusion — it’s so valued.” Brown teaches STEAM and works with others on the staff of 35 at the 225-student school to incorporate technology into the curriculum. They have a robotics club and a “maker’s space”; Brown stresses the school needs to remain flexible because it is unclear
STEAM station at the Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University
Photo courtesy of the Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University
what technology jobs the students of today will eventually fill. “I don’t know if you’re going to find [this level of STEAM education] in a pre-K to 8 environment elsewhere,” she added. “There’s a real dedication to STEAM.” Jewish day schools also are getting in on the action. Hillel Academy this summer started a $10.5 million project to remove the front of its building, build a new shul, construct a second-story addition for the girls’ high school, add a basement and — perhaps most importantly — construct a new, nearly 1,000-square-foot science lab. “We’ve been growing the curriculum to include more science and engineering,” said Rabbi Sam Weinberg, who heads the Squirrel Hill school. “And we can modify and adapt the new [lab space] as needed. We have
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microscopes, chemical sciences for chemistry. The new space will allow us to do more robotics and engineering.” Hillel Academy, like other independent schools, has robotics and coding clubs, Weinberg said. But it also offers deeper dives into robotics in classes like AP Computer Science. “It’s really exciting stuff,” he said. At Community Day School, a pre-K to eighth-grade Jewish day school in Squirrel Hill, regular STEAM activities begin in its early childhood program with the school’s youngest learners and extend through middle school, as it prioritizes student-centered learning, inquiry and real-world problem solving, spokesperson Jennifer Bails said. In 2020, CDS opened a joint computer lab and library dubbed the Legacy Learning Lab. In that modern space, students across all grades come to create, innovate, explore and discover using a variety of tools — including coding and robotics, green screen videos, 3-D printing, programmable sewing machines and invention kits, Bails said. “Our goal is to prepare our students to honor the worldwide legacy of Jewish innovation and to make a positive difference in the world,” she said. The Ellis School, a pre-K through 12th-grade school in Shadyside, is bursting with STEAM activities. The school offers Please see STEAM, page 14
AUGUST 12, 2022 9
Spaces Available in Beth Shalom Early Learning Center Classrooms for the 2022-2023 Program Year
Back to School As costs climb, community addresses back-to-school expenses — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer
C A Loving Environment for Play-Based Learning For information, please contact us at 412-421-8857 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 12, 2022
lassrooms will soon be filled again, but along with the return of occupied desks and bustling hallways are new economic pressures. With inflation reaching a 40-year high, it’s not just gas and groceries that cost more but also markers, glue sticks and countless other school supplies. In readying kids for the academic year, families with elementary through high school children expect to spend about $864 on school items — $15 more than last year — according to the National Retail Federation. The bump is significant when every dollar counts. Cindy Goodman-Leib, executive director of the Jewish Assistance Fund, said the organization is hearing from numerous people struggling with increased costs. “Prices are rising, and it’s harder and harder to pay the bills,” Goodman-Leib said. With many in the community having exhausted whatever savings they had during the
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pandemic, “people have a helpless feeling.” Goodman-Leib called the Jewish Assistance Fund a “helpful resource when there’s nowhere else to turn.” On Aug. 3, JFCS Pittsburgh posted a list of local resources providing free backpacks, food, cloth masks and hand sanitizers. Jordan Golin, president and CEO of JFCS, said that “families who are struggling to find the money to purchase back-to-school items” can reach out to JFCS’ Critical Needs Hotline (412-742-4215 or critical@jfcspgh. org). “We will consider their situation and determine what resources might be available to assist them — either internally at JFCS or by referring them to external resources.” Representatives of Pittsburgh’s Jewish day schools said they’ve done what they can to help defray costs, but they, too, face increased expenses. Rabbi Sam Weinberg, of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, said he’s received a request from “every single teacher” for a raise due to inflation. The appeals make sense, he continued, as “everything has gone up; stuff is more expensive.” Regarding school supplies, however, Hillel Academy will again partner with Please see Expenses, page 16
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Back to School Jewish life at smaller universities a ‘challenge’ but not impossible — LOCAL — By David Rullo | Staff Writer
tudents can find options for Jewish life on many smaller university and college campuses across western Pennsylvania, but they often must take the initiative to seek out resources and experiences. While both Chabad on Campus and Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh have an established presence at larger schools like the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, both groups offer some programming at several of the smaller schools as well. Sara Weinstein, co-director of Chabad on Campus in Oakland, acknowledged there aren’t as many Jewish college students at universities such as Carlow, Chatham, Duquesne, Point Park and Robert Morris, but said the smaller numbers allow for individual relationships. “We go way back with alumni at the smaller schools,” she said, “because we were able to give them more individualized attention.” Group activity ebbs and flows at the smaller schools, based on the number of Jewish students and their level of interest, Weinstein said. “At times, there were groups,” she continued. “I used to have a women’s class at Chatham. We would meet for lunch every Wednesday, and there was a solid group of five, six or seven girls and it was a highlight of all our weeks.” Chabad on Campus has reached out to faculty and administrators at various schools and has established official student organizations at Chatham, Duquesne and Robert Morris, Weinstein said. Chabad continues to talk with Point Park and has a solid relationship with Carlow University, where Weinstein’s husband, Rabbi Shmuel Weinstein, recently gave the benediction at President Kathy W. Humphrey’s installation ceremony. Chabad attempts to build relationships with students at the different universities, Weinstein said, both by coming to the schools for events like a menorah lighting
AUGUST 12, 2022
p Chatham University students enjoy Purim treats from Chabad on Campus.
Photo courtesy of Sara Weinstein
on Chanukah, and by extending invitations to activities taking place off campus, like Chabad on Campus’ annual Rosh Hashanah dinner, which might draw 300 students from various colleges. COVID made things more difficult, she noted. “We were not allowed on campus,” she said, “especially on the smaller campuses.” The organization pivoted, though, and engaged in activities like delivering Passover packages to the universities. Chabad on Campus, Weinstein said, tries to be present for activity fairs to meet people. The group is also planning to hire someone to help with outreach at the various schools. Chabad works to establish good relationships with not only students but also faculty, administrators and the different chaplains on the campuses, she said. Weinstein views campus outreach as important, not only for Jewish students but for students of other faiths as well. A few years ago, she said, Chabad on Campus set up at a park across the street from Point Park and served matzah ball soup — and it wasn’t only Jewish students who enjoyed the food.
“We talked with Arab and Muslim students,” she said. “It was a positive interaction and maybe built a little goodwill.” That goodwill extends to Christian students, as well, especially at Carlow and Duquesne, both Catholic Universities. Hillel JUC also engages in significant outreach at smaller universities. “Every Jewish student,” said Hillel JUC Executive Director and CEO Daniel Marcus, “is welcome to participate, to join in Hillel JUC. They are part of the Hillel JUC community.” Hillel’s Jewish educator engages with the leadership of the Jewish students on various campuses, Marcus said, and the organization is available as a resource and as support. Hillel also has relationships with school administrators at Chatham and Duquesne, and the organization is appreciative of those relationships, Marcus said. Hillel has sponsored events like falafel and shawarma dinners and offered Shabbat resources, Marcus said, adding that his organization is eager to support students at smaller schools “if, and when, there is a desire from students on these campuses. We
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are always open to supporting and providing for their needs.” At Duquesne University, Father Bill Christy, who heads the campus ministry and is also the university chaplain, said that “being a chaplain means the whole community.” Christy provides spiritual first aid to non-Catholic students before referring them to their own tradition, he said. “With our Jewish students we have a very good relationship with Hillel at Pitt,” he said. Hillel has a general student group at Duquesne, as well as another group specifically for Jewish law school students. Duquesne also has a good relationship with Chabad on Campus, Christy said, adding that Shmuel Weinstein came to campus for Chanukah to light the menorah. The chaplain said the university is working to have a kosher meal option included at the school, especially for night-school students. “They’re the ones that have the least chance to get off campus for a meal,” he said. Now that COVID fears have lessened, Sara Weinstein said Chabad on Campus is anxious to begin reaching out in person again to Jewish students. On Nov. 4, Chabad on Campus will host a Shabbat dinner for Carlow University students at the invitation of the school’s president. The dinner, she said, will include a concert with the Violins of Hope. Still, Weinstein noted, Jewish life for students on smaller campuses isn’t always easy. “It’s a challenge,” Weinstein said. “You have to seek it out.” Despite the difficulties, Chabad on Campus has found a way to make connections, Weinstein said, noting that she and her husband don’t assess success by the number of students they reach — rather it’s the relationships they build, what she considers an extended-Jewish family. “We’ve had one-on-one relationships with students that continued, and we have remained connected in our lives for years after college,” she said. PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Back to school… Back to the JCC!
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AUGUST 12, 2022
Back to School
Pittsburgh’s Danielle Kranjec accepts leadership role at Hillel International director of Campus Initiatives for Shalom Hartman Institute of North America — a position she’ll hold until Aug. 25. By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer Kranjec said she remains grateful to the Shalom Hartman Institute for providing her familiar face is returning to the Hillel with a “greater level of sophistication and orbit. As of Sept. 1, Danielle Kranjec, language around how Israel, Jewish people who previously served as the senior and pluralism are fully intertwined.” Jewish educator at Hillel Jewish “I think so often in Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, education, there’s an impulse to will become associate vice pressilo our learning and say, ‘Oh, ident of Hillel International’s this is our Israel curriculum, and Center for Jewish and Israel this is our Jewish religion curricEducation/Meyerhoff Center. ulum, and this is our Jewish The remote position will allow culture set of ideas,’” Kranjec Kranjec to remain in Pittsburgh said. “But really, we need to look while helping to “shape and more holistically at the Jewish guide the next evolution of what people and our history, and how Jewish and Israel learning looks we share experiences as a global like across the Hillel move- Danielle Kranjec Jewish people.” File photo ment,” she said. Rabbi Ben Berger, Hillel Hillel is the world’s largest International vice president for Jewish campus organization. Since its Jewish Education, praised Kranjec and the 1923 founding on the University of Illinois skills she gained at Hartman, as she heads Urbana-Champaign campus, Hillel has back to Hillel. expanded to 500 campuses in North “We are so excited to welcome Danielle America. The organization operates a host Kranjec back to the Hillel movement,” of programs and initiatives, including the Berger said. “Danielle is a uniquely gifted Jewish Learning Fellowship, as well as educator who for years inspired students at provides curricula regarding Israel education Hillel JUC Pittsburgh, and has continued to and professional development opportuni- distinguish herself during her time at the ties for staffers. Shalom Hartman Institute. We’re thrilled “Part of what I’ll be doing is figuring out that she’ll be bringing her signature combiwhat the next evolution is for all of these nation of brilliance, creativity and humility initiatives,” Kranjec said. to this role in support of both Hillel students According to Hillel officials, the organi- and campus professionals around the world.” zation has provided Jewish educational and Kranjec said she’s excited to work with spiritual opportunities to 170,000 students Berger and other members of Hillel, who since 2006 and employs 1,200 campus facilitated her growth as a Jewish professional. professionals worldwide. “During my years in the field, it was always When dealing with that many students this team that I felt was my support system, and employees, “there’s a constant impulse my inspiration and my collaborators, the to improve, to expand and to enrich the people to whom I looked when I wanted to try learning that’s happening,” Kranjec said. new things or when I was looking to expand The Jewish professional said she’ll rely on the reach of what I was doing on campus,” past successes as well as lessons learned from she said. “So it’s very exciting and, in a certain her time at the Shalom Hartman Institute sense, it’s a way of coming home to rejoin this of North America as she returns to the team in a leadership position.” PJC Hillel sphere. Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ After eight years at Hillel JUC, Kranjec left the Oakland group in May 2021 to become pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
— LOCAL —
Located on the border of Squirrel Hill, Chatham University’s stunning Shadyside Campus is home to our robust academics in sustainability & health, arts & sciences, and business & technology, as well as a host of intellectual, spiritual, and recreational opportunities for students interested in Jewish culture. Offerings include minors in Jewish Studies and in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies, learning and social opportunities through Chabad House, and partnerships with local organizations including Hillel Jewish University Center, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, and more. For more information, visit
STEAM Continued from page 9
several AP calculus and science classes, widely available coding instruction for all ages, and a “state of the art and flexible” science and technology space for middle-schoolers that’s set to be completed this fall, Head of School Macon Finley told the Chronicle. “We, as a school, are really committed to a mission of creating good problem solvers,” Finley said. “We want them to all have a lot of skill and confidence in that kind of training.” Ellis School also participates every year in the Future City competition, in which middle school students taking an elective class design a city around specific goals, 14
AUGUST 12, 2022
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such as energy use, Finley said. The school has received multiple awards for its contributions to the competition. In addition, Ellis School offers “discovery units” in science, technology, literature and more at the elementary school level, and a “maker’s space” complete with a 3-D printer, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and more, Finley said. “It’s an important part of what we do,” Finley said. Or there’s the way Robinson, the STEAM director from Shady Side Academy, put it. “I’ve got second-graders using laser cutters with great success,” he said. “And it’s awesome.” PJC Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh. PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG
Back to School Welcome to womanhood Guest Columnist Chana Luba Ertel
o you remember the first time you heard the awkward word “puberty”? If you are like me and many others, it might have been in fifth grade during an embarrassing meeting with a school nurse or while watching an uncomfortable video on the subject. For some children, the conversation about the changes that occur during puberty never happens. As a health care provider focused on woman’s health, I saw the opportunity and need to change this heritage of embarrassment and shame around puberty. My work as a doula for 25 years, a midwife for 10 years, a childbirth educator and a teacher who has trained close to 400 women in the art of labor support, made it clear to me that the work of empowering women during their childbearing years must start with young girls as they enter womanhood. I set out to create a program for girls, ages 11 to 13, that would not only focus on the physical aspects of maturation but the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of these changes as well. While working at a birthing center in Texas during the summer of 2009, I began my first
outline for a class. I envisioned a course that would extend over a few weeks, building slowly on sensitive topics, communication and trust. My class would be interactive and have a creative framework that would allow girls to be active participants; my students would not be passive recipients of traditional “education,” which could be clinical and impersonal. The need for this type of class was solidified a few years later while I was training Jewish doulas in Crown Heights. During the training, I met several women from different Jewish communities who shared similar stories with me — stories of fear, shame and ignorance around the topic of puberty and change. They and their daughters were told little — in some cases nothing — about puberty and the changes young girls underwent. To my shock, some told stories of waking up one day thinking they were dying when seeing menstrual blood for the first time. I knew then that my passion for empowering women during childbirth must extend to empowering young girls during this pivotal and complex time as well. It was not until I moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 that the course would take shape in earnest. To my delight the Yeshiva Girls School of Pittsburgh was receptive to my ideas and recognized the need for my class. With the support of the administration, I shared my curriculum with Rebbetzin Blumie Rosenfeld, longtime educator, speaker and
kallah (new bride) teacher, who added spiritual insights, guidance and refinements to my program. The result of this collaboration was a course that was both honest and forthright with a healthy decorum of modest speech grounded in Jewish values and spirituality. For the past eight years, I have facilitated the course Welcome to Womanhood at the Yeshiva Girls School. The five-week class allows for integration of the subject matter, communication between daughter and mother (or other close adult), and comfort. The class builds organically as the subject matter becomes more intimate. Each week the girls work on creating a personalized journal that mirrors the message of each class. Keeping a journal symbolizes each girl’s uniqueness. The message of God creating each one of us perfect and different is emphasized in the class. As the girls happily choose from an array of colorful papers and fun embellishments, that sentiment is reinforced. Girls are inundated with messages about body shape and beauty standards now more than ever. One study found that at age 13 more than 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies. That number grows to 78% by the age 17. Therefore, discussions about inner beauty, different body shapes, Jewish values, modesty and self-esteem are opening topics. Once that foundation is set, the class covers physical changes on the outside, including ranges of normal breast, hair and body development.
As the classes mature, normal anatomy and physiology of a young woman’s body and the process of menstruation are discussed. With each new topic the parallel deeper meaning of our bodies’ changes is shared. It is not a coincidence that our physical changes coincide with the age of becoming a bat mitzvah. The girls are introduced to the concept of menstruation as a blessing that signifies good health and the ability bear children in the future, one of our greatest blessings and responsibilities. This focus creates a sense of empowerment alongside the new physical stage of life. Welcome to Womanhood also centers around respect for and honoring the strong emotions that come with becoming a woman. As a class we brainstorm ways to deal with strong feelings and normalize the cycles of emotions girls and young women have. The girls are given writing prompts that encourage them to express themselves and think deeper about the topics discussed. Privacy is a strong concept in my class, and while the girls are encouraged to speak with their mothers or other appropriate adults about sensitive topics, they also know their journals are private and need not be shared with anyone. This process allows me to broach the topics of appropriate touch, consent and body safety, which are important issues that should be discussed often. Please see Ertel, page 16
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Back to School Expenses: Continued from page 10
organizations, including GIVE and JFCS, to provide items for people in need, Weinberg said. “That’s always been our policy, and we take pride in knowing that every kid should have what they need to feel confident and successful in school — regardless of COVID or inflation or people’s financial situation.” Rabbi Yossi Rosenblum, of Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, said that Yeshiva is “being extremely careful as to what we’re putting on book order and supply lists. We are always careful but now more than ever before.” The school also is scrutinizing its budget and trying to identify ways to avoid “waste,” Rosenblum said. “We want to make sure we don’t harm the education or compromise education and, at the same time, want to make sure we don’t want to waste parents’ money.” As for ensuring students have the
Ertel: Continued from page 15
At the end of each class, the girls are given a blank card. They are encouraged to write down any questions they have. This has been a great tool to gauge the girls’ concerns and allows them to feel free to get answers to sensitive topics. Administrators and parents
necessary back-to-school items, Rosenblum credited parent volunteers with discreetly collecting surplus supplies from families and distributing them to others in need. Jennifer Bails of Community Day School said teachers at CDS are cognizant of current fiscal burdens and “purposely don’t include brand names on the items requested so families have the freedom to choose lower-cost items.” Bails credited the “network of Jewish financial support services in the Pittsburgh community” with helping many individuals and families. At CDS, a team of volunteer parents is trying to offset some costs by operating a back-to-school store. Open at the start of the year and as the seasons change, the space gives families a place to buy gently-used uniforms and avoid the escalating expenses of new clothes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apparel costs rose 5.2% during the 12 months preceding June. In years past, National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh combatted
back-to-school shopping expenses by operating a pop-up store on the city’s East End. After undergoing a revaluation of internal programming and policies, however, the organization adopted a new model. Instead of hosting a one-day event where people could come to receive what they needed, NCJW pivoted to managing Kids Community Closets, a program where NCJW liaisons with partner organizations and schools to first learn about the specific requests and then provide clothing for children in grades K-5, NCJW Programming and Communication Manager Kate Rothstein said. Based on conversations with partner agencies and schools, NCJW meets a host of clothing needs while allowing the various entities to determine when and how distribution occurs. In this way, Rothstein said, the work becomes “more relational than transactional.” Matthew Bolton, director of the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, said that with “the added costs associated with preparing kids for a new
year in school everyone is getting squeezed.” Bolton pointed to the costs of potatoes and oranges — each up 25% — and kosher chicken, which is up 15% from last year, but said he was encouraged by recent changes in government programs. Whereas the Emergency Food Assistance Program previously required eligible parties to maintain a household income at or below 150% of the poverty line, that figure expanded to 185%. “With these changes, many new families are eligible, and I would request that they should please give us a call,” Bolton said. “We have food, we have case workers that help with social service needs and we are here for the community.” As children return to school, families are seeing rising costs nearly everywhere they look. For that reason, “utilizing every program is key,” Bolton said. PJC
know that children have questions, talk among themselves and seek answers. If there is no safe space for this exploration, children can find false and/or inappropriate information that can be disturbing and unwelcomed. Welcome to Womanhood classes are a safe place where questions can be asked and answered in an appropriate way with the guidance of Torah values. I am happy to have entered the stage
wherein the first group of girls that I taught is now well adapted to womanhood and entering into childbearing years. It is my hope that through Welcome to Womanhood these young girls grow up with a sense of knowledge, empowerment and healthy body image. These tools can them serve them as they navigate the next stage of womanhood, that of childbearing, with the same sense of confidence and inspiration.
As we choose to change the narrative around women’s health we have an opportunity to empower our girls so that “awkward” and “puberty” are no longer synonymous and young women are welcomed to womanhood with respect, knowledge and ease. PJC
As you feel the impact of soaring prices …
Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.
Chana Luba Ertel is a doula, midwife and educator. Her website can be found at maternalwisdom.org.
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Life & Culture Isaac Bashevis Singer: The voice we need today — LOCAL — Jeffrey Spitz Cohan | Special to the Chronicle
omewhere in heaven, Isaac Bashevis Singer must be smiling, or cursing. For years, he wanted to compile and publish a book of his essays. Thank God it finally happened — in my lifetime, at least. “Old Truths and New Cliches” is a tremendous gift to the Jewish world. Singer is known first and foremost — and, in some minds, exclusively — as a storyteller. An incredibly great storyteller. But he was also a true intellectual whose essays on literature, the Yiddish language and the Jewish enterprise are treasures that we can now digest and enjoy. If you love his stories and novels, you will probably find yourself aligned with his views on literature. He allowed his characters’ thoughts and actions to speak for themselves, rather than subjecting the characters to psychoanalysis, which he knew was beyond his limitations as a writer. He also subscribed to the somewhat radical and unfashionable idea that a story should contain, you know, a story. A plot. His essays on the Yiddish language did not align with my previous, errant thinking.
Singer convinced me that Yiddish, in some important ways, is a better vehicle than Hebrew for describing the Jewish experience. I’m not going to reprise his argument here, but I’ll offer one quote that went straight to my heart: “Yiddish is the language of those who are afraid, not of those who arouse fear.” Pausing … to let that sink in. His perspective on Jewish history is equally valuable. Our historical exile from Jerusalem had its drawbacks, to put it mildly. But Singer points out that it also enabled Judaism to evolve as a spiritual and ethical enterprise, free from the moral compromises inherent to statehood. Zionism, he notes, emerged only as a last resort, when the very survival of Diaspora Jews was in jeopardy. The idea that exile has been essential to the ethical elevation of Judaism is not originally Singer’s. But he expresses the idea as well or better than anyone: “The truth is that a people who must be ever prepared for war cannot live by high religious ideals. The preacher of love and the bearer of the sword are the greatest contrasts the human mind can entertain.” We can’t quibble too much with editor David Stromberg’s curation here, as he only included essays that Singer himself had
translated from Yiddish into English. In other words, these essays may very well have been the ones that Singer had selected for publication in book form. But this collection does leave readers with an incomplete understanding of Singer’s relationship with God. In this collection, we find Singer comparing God to a novelist, while we are both the characters and co-writers. Missing is an essay in which Singer presents a much more provocative conception. Addressing God in that essay, he wrote: “You are consciousness and unconsciousness, cause and effect, faith and doubt, what we call reality and what we call dreams. You are the web of all our fantasies, every will and whim. In You roars the lion and hisses the snake. In You the righteous cries out and the evildoer laughs.” Looking ahead, Singer believed that a “revitalized Judaism” must take the “form of a great spiritual vision and awakening.” That vision and awakening, in Singer’s
view and mine, includes a reframing of our relationship with animals. He wrote: “We will never ascend to spiritual heights if we look down on God’s creatures, and if we consider them merely meat to devour, or objects of that bloody game called hunting. I believe that if there is ever to be a religious awakening and a reformulation of the old faith, it will require love and respect not only for people but also for animals. The religion of the future will include vegetarianism.” I would slightly revise and update that vision: “The religion of the present must include veganism.” Singer was the Jewish intellectual and ethical voice we needed — and need more than ever today. Thanks to this book, we have his voice at our fingertips, and feel it in our hearts. PJC Jeffrey Spitz Cohan is the executive director of Jewish Veg, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and assist Jews to transition to plant-based diets.
WILL MEDICARE OR MEDICAID PAY FOR MY NURSING HOME? 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 email@example.com or visit www.marks-law.com. Help! I just landed in the nursing home and they want me to pay $12,000 a month! Will my Medicare or will Medicaid pay for me to be in the nursing home? And what can I protect?
Helping people answer these questions is part of what I do every day. The short answer is: Medicare may pay for someone to be in a nursing home temporarily, after a qualifying hospital stay, but will not pay for long term nursing home care. Medicaid can pay for long-term care in a nursing home if you qualify medically and financially, and haven’t made any disqualifying gifts. As Paul Harvey used to say, here’s the rest of the story: Medicare pays for doctors and hospitals, and nowadays often for prescription drugs. If you’re discharged after an officially admitted for a qualifying hospital stay – generally, for three days – your Medicare together with your additional Medicare plan coverage will probably pay for you to be in the nursing home temporarily - in theory up to 100 days . But no one gets the 100 days. Most of the time, people get a few weeks of Medicare coverage. Nursing homes are under intense financial pressure to not approve patients to stay on Medicare too long. Watch out if you are in the hospital, even overnight, but aren’t officially “admitted,” and instead placed on “observation status.” You’ll be billed as an outpatient AND you don’t get Medicare coverage.
Once admitted to a nursing home, there are really only three ways to pay: by yourself (“self-pay” or “private pay”); with private long-term care insurance (if you have it); or with public benefits such as Medicaid. Medicare is an entitlement program. If you paid into the system when you worked, it doesn’t matter how much money you have now, you may be entitled to Medicare coverage and benefits. Medicaid is the opposite. No one’s automatically “entitled.” You have to apply, submit financial records, and be approved for long-term care. It’s based on both medical need/disability, and financial need. Medicaid’s number one rule is that you have to spend almost all your own money on your own care, before they start to pay anything for you. This applies to both your assets or money in the bank and your future income You have to disclose all your financial information and available resources. Before you’re on Medicaid you’re allowed to spend your money on anything you want, so long as you get value in return (but no gifts, see below). Afterward, however, you’re allowed to have only certain amounts of value in different categories of exempt property. Medicaid considers everything else over and above those limits as “available resources” that you have to spend on your own costs of care (or funeral or legal expenses) The main categories of exempt resources are usually equity in a home, a vehicle, a prepaid funeral or irrevocable burial account, and a little bit of cash. If you make a gift by giving away anything of value during the five years prior to your application (the so-called “five-year look back period” penalty), the gift delays the beginning of benefits. This period of ineligibility corresponds to how much longer you
could have paid for your own care with that money or asset, if you hadn’t given it away. The application process is annoyingly bureaucratic and paper intensive, and approval will take months. While the application is pending you do not have to pay the full monthly amount, but a limited amount based on your income. There’s been a huge trend for Medicaid to pay for less expensive, more comfortable home and community-based care settings. The home care application process and service delivery system though is equally long and frustrating. Do you really have to spend all your money before Medicaid will pay for you? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! And it’s never too late to plan! If one spouse is going into a nursing home and the other is staying at home, then with the right
planning strategies I can help you protect and save almost everything that you have. For a single, unmarried person such as a widow or widower, I can often help you save about half your assets. Asset protection strategies can include gifting, but in a planned, strategic, intentional way and may be based on family relationships and financial dealings such as a live-in caregiver child; written agreements for care and compensation; gifts or trusts for a disabled person; allowances for siblings who own a home together; and various special needs trust arrangements to allow you to become Medicaid eligible while still protecting your resources and funds. 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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Michael H. Marks, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org member, national academy of elder law attorneys
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AUGUST 12, 2022
Listening well to move forward
B’not Mitzvah Emma Broudy, daughter of Michael and Michelle Broudy, will become a bat mitzvah at Adat Shalom on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Emma is the granddaughter of Dr. Arnold and Regina Broudy of Fox Chapel and Patricia Majersky and the late Joseph Majersky of Apollo. Emma is a seventhgrader at Dorseyville Middle School. She is active in basketball, softball and lacrosse. She enjoys spending time with friends and her English Mastiff, Bob. Natalie Broudy, daughter of Michael and Michelle Broudy, will become a bat mitzvah at Adat Shalom on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Natalie is the granddaughter of Dr. Arnold and Regina Broudy of Fox Chapel and Patricia Majersky and the late Joseph Majersky of Apollo. Natalie is a seventhgrader at Dorseyville Middle School. She competes nationally in cheer competitions and is also participates in basketball and softball. She enjoys spending time with friends and her Bullmastiff, Eunice.
Leon and Hela Edelsack and Elaine and Todd Miller, all of Squirrel Hill, joyfully announce the marriage of their children, Lillian and Evan. The ceremony and reception took place on May 29, 2022, in The Wintergarden at PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, with Rabbi Jamie Gibson officiating. Lillian is the granddaughter of Charlotte Nusberg and the late Edgar Edelsack of Washington, D.C., and the late Luis Francisco and Chinca de Sanchez of Bucaramanga, Colombia, South America. Evan is the grandson of Newell Miller and the late Myrna Miller of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the late Isadore and Shirley Krouse of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Lillian is a professional staff nurse in the neurosurgical unit at UPMC Shadyside and Evan is director of housing lending at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Lillian and Evan are graduates of Penn State University. Following a honeymoon in Mexico, the newlyweds reside in Bloomfield with their dog, Boop. PJC
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AUGUST 12, 2022
Rabbi Barbara AB Symons Parshat Vaetchanan Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11
f a Jew knows one prayer, it is the Sh’ma. It is often translated: “Listen Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.” And, it is not a prayer. It is found in Deuteronomy as one of many “Sh’ma Yisrael” statements such as “Listen, Israel, the laws and rules that I proclaim to you this day…” (5:1). It was the rabbis who created the prayer service that made this particular “Sh’ma Yisrael” into what we consider a prayer. Throughout the Torah, there is a focus on speaking and listening; how often do we read the phrase “Adonai spoke to Moses…”? Per Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (z”l), former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain on Parashat Eikev: “The God encountered by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by Moses in the burning bush, and by the Israelites as they stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, came not as an appearance, a visible presence, but as a voice — commanding, promising, challenging, summoning.” In Deuteronomy, the dynamic of speaking and listening is heightened. This is the last opportunity for Moses to address the Israelites. This is the last opportunity for God to speak to Moses — and to the Israelites through Moses. This is when the Israelites’ story transforms from them being nomads to their settling in the Promised Land; to having Moses as their leader; to being passed to his successor Joshua; from being together as one, to being divided into tribal lands.
This is a paradigm shift that will affect every aspect of their lives, so they need to listen up. We, too, know the experience of saying something over and over again and not being heard. Or perhaps we are heard but ignored. Or maybe we are heard and mocked. None of those scenarios is effective for the speaker or the listener. I was trained in the Prepare/Enrich marital counseling program. Per its website: “Our mission is to equip marriage champions, couples, and families with evidence-based skills and insights to foster healthy relationships.” No matter the couples’ “Strength” areas and “Growth” areas, one of the foci for all couples is communication. There is an activity in which each member of the couple writes down his/her wishes for their relationship. Then one partner is to share a wish using assertive language which is clear and non-aggressive, and the other partner is to actively listen and share back what was said. Then they switch. It is interesting how difficult this exercise can be. The listener often adds commentary or changes the words significantly, at which point I turn to the speaker and ask, “Is that what you said?” For us to move forward — whether into the Promised Land, into the next phase of our relationships, into hearing our own inner voice, into our covenant with God — we need to learn to be good, active listeners. Sh’ma Yisrael — Listen Up! PJC Rabbi Barbara AB Symons is the rabbi of Temple David. This column is a service of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association.
JCBA Operations Manager The Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh is seeking a full time administrative professional to join the staff of this growing cemetery association. Responsibilities: • Serve as primary operations professional for organization that manages Jewish cemeteries; Position reports to the Executive Director • Carry out day-to-day duties of the Association • Manage contractors and vendors • Coordinate burials • Coordinate two fundraising appeals each year • Maintain databases, and coordinate website updates Qualities that we are seeking in an organized self starter include efficiency, reliability, responsiveness, and sensitivity. Skills we are seeking include common software usage. Interested candidates may apply by submitting their resume to email@example.com and marking it “Operations Manager”
For more information about JCBA cemeteries, to volunteer, to read our complete histories and/or to make a contribution, please visit our website at www.JCBApgh.org, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the JCBA office at 412-553-6469 JCBA’s expanded vision is made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community Foundation
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Obituaries ESCOVITZ: Rosalyn Fried Escovitz, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Beloved wife of the late Joel L. Escovitz. Loving mother of Estelle (Steven) Cherin and Martin (Freda) Escovitz. Sister of the late Dr. Joseph Fried. Grandma of Joel (Karen) Solomon, Steven Solomon (Chiquisha Robinson Solomon) and Jeremy Escovitz. Great-grandmother of Phoebe, Chase and McKenzie Solomon. Also survived by many beloved friends. The family would like to thank Dr. Stanley Marks for his care and compassion and also the caregivers for their devoted service. Rosalyn was a teacher for over 30 years in the Pittsburgh Public School System and was nationally recognized in the Who’s Who of Teachers. She was a lover of classical music and attended the symphony quite regularly. Graveside services and interment were held at Poale Zedeck Memorial Park. Contributions may be made to Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, the Pittsburgh Symphony, 600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222, or a charity of donor’s choice. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com KENDALL: Mervin Kendall, on Aug. 7, 2022. Dearly beloved husband of 60 years to Gail Kendall. Father of Steven Kendall (Pamela), Ilene Felser (Jeff) and David Kendall (Betsy). Grandfather of Ray, Matthew, Brittany, Alex (Carolyn), Kevin, Sam, Daniel, Ashley, Danny and Georgia. He was born in Pittsburgh in
1933 and enjoyed a long career as a dedicated pharmacist. He is also survived by his sister Rhoda Shugerman (late Robert) and brother-in-law Alan Burckin (Carol) along with many nieces and nephews. Graveside services and interment were held at Mount Lebanon Cemetery/Beth El Section. Memorial contributions may be made to Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com PERL: Charlotte Esther Perl, on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022. Loving wife of the late Albert Perl. Loving mother of Linda M. (Bob) Singer and Larry (Marilyn) Perl. Sister of the late Sylvia Diamond. “CeCe” to Steven M. Singer, Jeffrey D. Singer (Melissa Singer-Kouvaros), Lora (Chris) Rigatti and Adam Perl (fiancée Sarah Trageser). Great-grandmother of Desi and Stella Singer, Miles and Nathan Rigatti and Lucas Singer. Graveside services and interment were held at New Gemilas Chesed Cemetery, White Oak. Contributions may be made to Gemilas Chesed Synagogue, 1400 Summit Street, White Oak, PA 15131 or Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, 2835 E. Carson Street, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com
Jewish Association on Aging gratefully acknowledges contributions from the following: A gift from ... In memory of... A gift from ... In memory of... Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louis Farber
Randy Malt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rabbi Henry Friedman
Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Morris Toig
Susan Melnick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Natterson
Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harry Winsberg Thelma Cohn . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Elise Ratowsky Whitley Thelma Cohn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eva Ulanoff Sharon Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Esther Klee Meyer Grinberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meyer I. Grinberg Edith Z. Kramer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harry N. Zeligman
Marvin A. Perer, M.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ethel R. Perer Dr. Marc Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rhea Mark Paula S. Riemer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ruth Feldman Frank and Laura Rubenstein . . . Hinda Kuhl Rubenstein Sheila Siegman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Green
Edith Z. Kramer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ruth F. Zeligman
Jules Spokane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eli Spokane
Carl B. Krasik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Krasik
Edris C. Weis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saul Weis
Contact the Development department at 412.586.3264 or email@example.com for more information.
THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS —
Sunday August 14: Jacob Friedman, Gilbert Murray Gerber, Helen Goldberg, Diana D. Gordon, Robert Green, Anna Greenberg, Morris H. Hirschfield, Herman Jacobs, Rae Labovitz, Morris Lebovitz, Robert Shapiro, Ruth F. Zeligman Monday August 15: Sarah Bales, Adam Chotiner, Abraham Endich, Anna Friedman, Rose H. Green, Eva Greenberg, Rebecca Gusky, Annetta Marks Horwitz, Marvin Klein, Isadore Mandelblatt, Tzivia Marbach, Milton Morris, Anna R. Rosenbloom, Freda Barnett Safier, Cecilia Selkovits, Eleanor Ruth Simon, Louis A. Skeegan, Myron Snider, Harry Winsberg, Esther M. Wyner, Harry Zerelstein Tuesday August 16: Sadye Bowytz, Julius S. Broida, Bernard S. Davis, Irwin Sowie Fein, Lester A. Hamburg, Lois Hepps, Herman Hollander, Bessie Perr Miller, Esther Patkin, Theodore Somach, Gilbert Stein, Edward Stern, Rebecca Supowitz, Bella Weiner, Renee Weinstock Wednesday August 17: Sara J. Ansell, Earl Barmen, Esther Caplan, Harriet L. Cohen, Rebecca Lebenson, George Lisker, Paul A. Love, Joseph Siegman, David P. Zelenski Thursday August 18: Liza Canter, Elizabeth Cohen, Leonard Ehrenreich, Dr. Morris H. Glick, Bertha Klein, Harry Lipser, Harry H. Marcus, Rhea Mark, Sophie Masloff, Gussie Sacks, Morris Schwartz, Herbert Sternlight, Rose Zweig Friday August 19: Zelda Cohen, Meyer David Elovitz, Fanny Kramer, Mary Lang, Hazel Pinsker Lemelman, Albert P. Levine, Zelman Lee Moritz, Tillie K. Morris, Irene I. Posner, Mollie Rothman, Samuel Selkovits, Gabe Shapiro, Melvin Tobias, Eva Ulanoff, Rabbi Hugo Unger, Sarah Wesely Saturday August 20: Sarah Aronson, Irwin George Berman, Nathan Corn, Milton David Daniels, Abraham Herman, Ida Garber Hytovitz, William Kaplan, Samuel S. Lewinter, Leon Loibman, Morris Middleman, Hazel Rose Newman, Samuel Simon, Harry Suttin, Merle Weitz, Leah Wekselman, Samuels Zionts
Please see Obituaries, page 20
The Most Personal Thing I Have Ever Written by James Lange, CPA/Attorney
My newest book, Retire Secure for Professors, which would beneﬁt virtually all IRA and retirement plan owners, includes what is unequivocally the most personal chapter I’ve written titled: The Three Surprising Keys to Protect Your Disabled Child’s Financial Security After You are Gone. This chapter reveals a difficult/challenging aspect of my family’s story. For the last 15 years, anecdotes in my written communications have included personal non-business thoughts about health, travel, happiness, and other topics that I have felt comfortable sharing with you. What I didn’t share was that our daughter has dysautonomia that will prevent her from ever being able to work or lead a life that we would typically anticipate for a smart and charming young woman. Part of the reason I didn't write about her disability was I wanted to wait until she was old enough to make an informed decision as to whether she was comfortable with me sharing her story publicly. Erica’s autonomic nervous system doesn’t function properly. That explains why she has many different problems. The autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, breathing patterns, and multiple other bodily functions that when working properly, we don’t think about. Now Erica is 27 years old and has made an informed choice that allows me to talk about her disability and how we have planned for her ﬁnancial future. Erica wants this information to be available for parents of children with a disability be-
cause it could make an enormous difference for other children with a disability.
My Emotional Response Another reason I never wrote about her disability is that frankly it was so hard seeing her suffer. I really didn’t want to talk about her at work. Work was an escape—a safe haven—from watching her in pain and thinking about how sad it is that she has this disability. I knew if I communicated her problems that well-meaning caring clients and others would ask about her. I would be taken from my haven and plunged back into thinking about Erica’s problems. Parents of a child with a disability understand the anguish and fear we have for our child and how we constantly worry about their care. The worry is made worse by our fears of what will happen when we are gone. Which is what makes the rest of our story so important.
What We Have Done to Al leviate Some Worries Through extensive research, effort, and applications of both new and old tax law, we uncovered several key strategies to ﬁnancially protect Erica after we are gone. Through just two strategies, Erica will be almost $1.8 million dollars better off in today’s dollars from the time Cindy and I die until the time she dies than she would have been if we had not taken these steps. Our history and our actions provide the backbone for the chapter dedicated to parents of children with disabilities. I write not only about these
two steps, but on some of the other most important ﬁnancial steps that parents of a child with a disability should take to insure their child’s ﬁnancial security.
My Aha! Moment Then I realized the information in the chapter was so valuable that I really needed to make it available to the hundreds of thousands and preferably millions of parents of children with disabilities. It warranted greater exposure, and I have decided to repurpose the chapter into a special report. I am the right guy to tell this story. A major part of the long-term ﬁnancial solution stems from a series of Roth IRA conversions and Roth contributions. But an equally important part of the solution is getting the estate planning right. But the main reason I am the right guy to spread this information is that I share a bond with parents of a child with a disability because I have ﬁrsthand experience with the problems we parents face and the strategies I am recommending.
Who Can Benefit? Many parents will not have resources equivalent to mine to ensure such an advantageous outcome for their child. But my strategies can still provide a signiﬁcant advantage for those with less resources. For example, someone who dies with a $500,000 IRA can, with Roth IRA conversions and appropriate estate planning, help their child be better off by $239,000 in today’s dollars. That might be the difference between your child being OK ﬁnancially versus running out of money.
The report and the chapter in our book have other technical information on strategies that are powerful for parents of a child with a disability. Did you know that a beneﬁciary of a 401(k) plan can convert an Inherited 401(k) to an Inherited Roth 401(k) after the 401(k) owner dies? A beneﬁciary can’t make an Inherited IRA conversion to a Roth. This important nuance could be worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to the right beneﬁciary. Few ﬁnancial advisors know about this strategy or can help implement it for the child after the death of the parent.
For More Information Though we aren’t quite done with the report, if you are interested in reading the details, please go to https://PayTaxesLater.com/Disability. If you have a friend or colleague who has a child with a disability, please forward this column or link to them. If you are interested in joining our book launch team to promote Retire Secure for Professors and get early access, please go to http://PayTaxes Later.com/ProfessorBook. Please note that there will be a time lag between when you sign up, and when I deliver the report and/or the PDF of the book.
Lange Financial Group, LLC Financial Security for Life
2200 Murray Avenue • Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412-521-2732 • www.paytaxeslater.com
The foregoing content from Lange Financial Group, LLC is for informational purposes only, subject to change, and should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Those seeking personalized guidance should seek a qualiﬁed professional.
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
AUGUST 12, 2022
Continued from page 19
KEEPING IT REAL IN REAL ESTATE!
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SOBOL: Bernard Sobol was born Jan. 24, 1937, to Esther and Louis Sobol in Pittsburgh. He was a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, the University of Pittsburgh and the Heidelberg University School of Medicine. He worked his way through college where he played in the marching band (Sugar Bowl!) and where he met his lifelong love, Evelyn Borovetz. They married while he was training in Germany and returned to Pittsburgh where he and Evelyn raised five children. After working in hospitals in Pittsburgh, Bernie opened a successful ophthalmology practice in Charleroi and later Uniontown where he practiced for nearly 30 years. He was known by his patients and their families for his gentlemanly manner and excellent medical care. Though he worked incredibly long days, he never missed his Saturday night date with Evelyn or his children’s events. Later in life he never missed our family Sunday night dinners. Despite suffering through medical issues for decades, Bernie never lost his drive and determination to see what would happen next. He was known for his quick wit, amazing sense of humor and encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything. He was best friends with his children and grandchildren and spoke to almost all of them daily. His goal in life was to be a mensch, and for his children to be the same. When Evelyn and Bernie moved to Boca Raton years ago, he became known as a great friend and gym partner, and went on many adventures with his family. His days were filled with long discussions in the bagel room, and more dinner dates with Evelyn and their close
CALL THE SMITH-ROSENTHAL TEAM TODAY.
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WO L KO W I C Z - B R A N T: Marta Wolkowicz-Brant, 72, of Monongahela, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. She was born May 15, 1950, the daughter of Hermann and Lillian Weiss Wolkowicz. Marta was a devoted member of the former Congregation Ohav Shalom of Donora and former Temple Beth Am of Monessen. She was also involved with the Sisterhood of both congregations. Marta was formerly employed at Kaufmann’s in the jewelry department at the Century III Mall. She also resided in Israel for a few years. Marta is survived by numerous cousins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Edward Brant, III, and her brother, Howard Wolkowicz. Funeral services were held in the Frye Funeral Home, Inc. of Monongahela conducted by Rabbi Leonard Sarko. Interment was in Mon Valley Memorial Park, Donora. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at fryefuneralhome.com. PJC
Beth El invites the community to put its best foot forward
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friends. He was the loving husband of Evelyn Borovetz Sobol, and beloved father of Lori Sobol, Louis (Jennifer) Sobol, Aaron (Cheryl Bernstein) Sobol, and Ronald Sobol. Adored grandfather of Andrew and Sam Kaplan, Scott, Elana, Ezra and Ruben Sobol. He is survived by his brother, Arnold Sobol, of Wilmington, North Carolina, and by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family. Graveside service and interment were held at Homewood Cemetery, Star of David Section. Contributions in Bernie’s name can be made to Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh or the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com
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eth El Congregation of the South Hills has found a new way to raise money while helping those in need around the world, to boot. The Conservative congregation is accepting donations of gently worn, used and new shoes. Funds2Org, the nation’s largest shoe drive fundraising company, picks up the footwear and redistributes it to microenterprise partners in 26 countries worldwide. Cindy Platto, Beth El’s vice president of fundraising and immediate past co-chair of the social action committee, said the congregation has sought creative ways to raise funds without asking for money. “This gives our members an opportunity to help Beth El while cleaning out their closets for a good cause,” she said. The social action component of the program — helping underserved people around the world — aligns nicely with the committee’s mission, Platto said. Funds2Orgs was started in 2004 by
Wayne Elsey, who was motivated by the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami that year. He established the nonprofit to help groups in the United States with fundraising while making a global impact, creating job opportunities for more than 4,000 micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries who sell the shoes to support their families. The donations, Beth El officials noted, help repurpose some of the 600 million pairs of shoes thrown away each year. The chemicals used to manufacture shoes create hazards as they disintegrate in landfills. Donating shoes eliminates that hazard, giving them a second chance to make a difference in developing nations. “This drive is a win for all parties involved,” Platto said. Shoes can be dropped off in the marked box inside the synagogue during normal business hours. PJC — David Rullo
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
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TEMPLE OHAV SHALOM PRESENTS
NOAH ARONSON SATURDAY, AUGUST 27TH 2022 Doors @ 6:45pm Show @ 7:45pm Brooklyn-based SingerSongwriter Noah Aronson shares a set of his original songs and heartfelt stories about love,
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PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
Community Summer fun continues Campers at J&R Day Camp enjoyed another week of exciting adventures.
p Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
p Everyone’s a winner at J&R.
p Reaching new heights all summer long
p Splish, splash, it’s smile time.
Representing Pittsburgh out west
Machers and Shakers
Black and Gold came to San Diego when a delegation of Pittsburghers descended on the JCC Maccabi Games. The games, which occurred between July 31 and Aug. 5, allowed athletes to compete in a variety of sports and meet fellow Jewish people from around the world.
Attorneys/mediators Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock and Richard D. Rogow recently presented a seminar on “Mediation” to the visiting Global Pittsburgh contingent of Pakistani judges, court administrators and lawyers.
Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
p Here we go Pittsburgh. Here we go!
Photo courtesy of Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Photos courtesy of Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
p Richard D. Rogow
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE
p Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
AUGUST 12, 2022
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AUGUST 12, 2022
PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE