Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle 12-3-21

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December 3, 2021 | 29 Kislev 5782

Candlelighting 4:36 p.m. | Havdalah 5:38 p.m. | Vol. 64, No. 49 | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org


No news is not good news

2021 ANNUAL APPEAL – CONTRIBUTION FORM You count on us. And we count on you to help ensure that Pittsburgh’s Jewish community has quality, reliable news coverage every day. Please consider making a generous donation to support the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. Kindly fill out the donation card included with this issue of the Chronicle, or this form, and return it with your check or credit card information in the envelope included with this issue of the Chronicle. We thank you, and the Pittsburgh Jewish community thanks you!

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Subscriptions: 410-902-2308 SUBSCRIPTIONS subscriptions@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org 410-902-2308 TO ADVERTISE Display: advertising@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org 412-721-5931 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Email: newsdesk@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org BOARD OF TRUSTEES Evan Indianer, Chair Gayle R. Kraut, Secretary Evan H. Stein, Treasurer Gail Childs, Dan Droz, Malke Steinfeld Frank, Seth Glick, Tammy Hepps, Richard J. Kitay, Cátia Kossovsky, David Rush, Charles Saul GENERAL COUNSEL Stuart R. Kaplan, Esq.

EDITORIAL Toby Tabachnick, Editor 412-228-4577 ttabachnick@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org Shannon Levitt, Contributing Editor Selah Maya Zighelboim, Contributing Editor Adam Reinherz, Staff Writer 412-687-1000 areinherz@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org David Rullo, Staff Writer 412-687-1047 drullo@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org ADVERTISING Kelly Schwimer, Sales Director 412-721-5931 kschwimer@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org Phil Durler, Senior Sales Associate 724-713-8874 pdurler@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org

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Jim Busis, CEO and Publisher 412-228-4690 jbusis@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org

2  DECEMBER 3, 2021



Appeal Local news, from a trusted source, is vital to sustain our community Board Chair Evan Indianer


id our dramatic cover grab your attention? Good, because we want you to think about the Chronicle — the role it plays in our community, and how much we all rely on it. For over 125 years, the Chronicle has been connecting Jewish Pittsburgh. In the last few years, we have seen some of our most significant growth and change in both print and digital formats. We connect with more of our community, on a more frequent basis, than any other Jewish organization. We don’t have a building or a large staff, but we are a vital

part of the infrastructure of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. We help individuals enrich their Jewish lives. We help other Jewish organizations thrive by spreading the word about all the good things that they do more than they could on their own. And due to changes in our community and our society, the need for a local Jewish news provider is greater than ever. The 2017 demographic study commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh showed a community still strong in numbers but increasingly diverse and fragmented. Members of our community have a wide variety of views and interests. More and more of them have weak or no affiliation with traditional Jewish organizations. The Chronicle provides the best platform for reaching all these audiences

and helping them become engaged with the community — with both new and traditional Jewish organizations and programs. To make things more challenging, our society has become increasingly polarized. Different sectors live within their own information bubble, getting news from biased sources and from social media — and it is becoming increasingly clear how dangerous relying on social media for news can be. In contrast, the Chronicle continues to provide fair and honest coverage across a very wide variety of topics, but always emphasizing our Pittsburgh Jewish community. Local news, from a trusted source, reaching our community is critical to a healthy future for Jewish Pittsburgh. We need your support, now more than ever. Our community needs us not just to

survive, but to thrive. As technology and society continue to evolve at a rapid pace, we will continue to innovate and develop new ways to foster dialogue and connection across our community. Please join the Chronicle’s board in supporting our community’s critical resource. The Chronicle provides the platform for us to come together, have conversations and address challenges. Imagine all that the Chronicle can become with your support. We are asking for you to stand with us and send a contribution before the end of the calendar year. Our community depends on your participation.  Shabbat shalom.  PJC

nominated for 12 Golden Quill Awards in an annual competition sponsored by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania that honors professional excellence in journalism, and won two. We also won two Rockower awards from the American Jewish Press Association. We are proud that the Chronicle was one of only five media outlets to be selected to participate in the inaugural Jewish Journalism Fellowship, a yearlong program designed to help local Jewish news outlets thrive in the 21st-century media landscape. The Fellowship, which began in February, is a project of the Maimonides Fund, and has provided valuable tools and inspiration to help us strengthen our capabilities in the areas of audience development, organizational sustainability and Jewish community engagement. We can’t wait to

put more of the ideas we garnered from the Fellowship to work. Our team is committed to serving you. We are committed to bringing you the stories you want, and need, to read. We are committed to finding new ways of keeping you informed, engaged and connected. But we cannot do that without your help. For decades, you have depended on us. We now are depending on you. As the lights of this holiday shine bright, we wish you, our community, endless seasons of celebration to come. May we all go from strength to strength. Happy Chanukah.  PJC

donors enabled this transition and became our second largest revenue source as paid subscriptions dropped. We expanded our digital presence, grew our email list and email newsletters, and enhanced our activities on social media. This has grown digital ad revenue, but digital ad revenue can’t begin to replace print revenue given the way digital ads work. And now with the pandemic, the trends across all local news publishing have accelerated and become clear. Print ad revenue most likely won’t be coming back, let alone provide the financial means for us to grow and develop. Accordingly, we must shift our efforts to greatly expand our donations from both large and small donors, which will become our largest source of revenue. You count on us to bring you Jewish Pittsburgh, and now more than ever we

count on you — our readers, our supporters, our fellow community members — to help provide us with the resources we need to continue to serve you every day online and every week in print. Our last annual campaign was in 2020, and although some of you have generously made contributions this year, this is our first and only campaign for 2021. We ask you now to help maintain award-winning, critical news and information about and for the Pittsburgh Jewish community with your generous contribution, even if you’ve already supported us in the past. Thank you for reading, caring and doing what you can to help. Chag sameach.  PJC

Evan Indianer Board chair

Our commitment to you Editor Toby Tabachnick


s the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle continues its 125-year mission delivering local Jewish news, our small, dedicated staff is working tirelessly to keep you informed of the latest happenings in your neighborhood and beyond. We love Jewish Pittsburgh and we love being a vital part of it. In the last year, even through the challenges of COVID, the Chronicle’s team found new ways to connect our community

while still bringing you the news in our weekly print edition and on our website, which is updated daily. We increased our number of email newsletters to five a week, including the addition of our life cycle newsletter to keep you up to date on celebrations and obituaries. We enhanced our presence on social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram —and introduced a weekly poll question as a way to amplify the voices of our readers. We launched the Chronicle Book Club to engender discussion and connect our readers to each other. We expanded our coverage of community organizations and remarkable people doing noteworthy work. The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle is consistently recognized regionally and nationally for the quality of its content. In 2021, we were

Toby Tabachnick Editor

We need your support CEO and publisher Jim Busis


ike any independent nonprofit organization, the Chronicle runs on finances. For the past decade, the internet has significantly changed the ways the news works, bringing severe economic pressure on the country’s news industry, and especially on local news. The pandemic has been especially devastating to the economics of news publishing, with many local publishers, including local Jewish news publishers, cutting back or closing altogether, leaving a “news desert” in their communities. The

main culprit has been the sudden and dramatic drop in advertising. We hoped that things would return to pre-pandemic “normal,” but they haven’t and don’t look like they will anytime soon. And now, for the first time in a long time, the widespread supply chain disruptions have resulted in significant cost increases for us. We have seen the seismic changes coming to our industry for a while and have been making changes to adjust. The Chronicle’s revenue used to come primarily from print ads, with subscriptions second, and then donations. Recognizing trends, in 2017 we made print subscriptions free to members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community and relaunched our website. Print ads remained the largest revenue source, but grants and donations from large and small

Jim Busis CEO and publisher

Please consider making a gift to support local Jewish journalism | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG


DECEMBER 3, 2021  3


Ah, kindness.

Mayor Peduto helped create ‘playbook’ for dealing with mass shooting — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


Kindness in the form of Rabbi Dovid Small. In addition to his compassionate approach to our residents, Rabbi Small creates a reassuring spiritual environment at JAA. With his gentle and calming touch, he demonstrates that good things do, indeed, come in Small packages.

hree years after the antisemitic attack at the Tree of Life building in Squirrel Hill, Mayor Bill Peduto has helped create two documents intended to guide leaders of other communities in the event of a mass shooting. The first document, called “First 24 Hours Mass Shooting Protocol,” will help mayors through rapid response with a checklist for immediate actions. The second document, the “Mass Shooting Playbook,” shares guidance for mayors to respond to and help survivors and their communities recover from an attack. Peduto is part of a coalition of mayors fighting to end gun violence through the group Everytown for Gun Safety. During a Nov. 18 webinar sponsored by the group, Peduto discussed the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and how the newly launched documents could help other governmental leaders manage the aftermath of another mass homicide. Reflecting on the morning of Oct. 27, Peduto told webinar listeners that when his chief of staff, Dan Gilman, called just before 10 a.m. to say there was an active shooter at the Tree of Life building, “the last thing that I thought about was what is the protocol of a mayor.” His initial thoughts, he said, weren’t about what needed to be done in the first few hours, days and weeks after the shooting. Instead, his first thoughts were, “I need to be at the scene,” he said. “I need to make sure that my constituents are safe. I need to make sure that my personnel is safe.” As Oct. 27 stretched on, however, and phone calls came in from mayors across the country, Peduto’s mindset rapidly shifted. Their advice made clear “that we were all a part of a caucus —the caucus that you would never want to be a part of,” Peduto said.

Even after the day ended, conversations with elected officials from cities including Dayton, Ohio, and Orlando and Parkland, Florida, continued, and Peduto concluded that the likelihood of another mass shooting “wasn’t a matter of if — it was simply a matter of when.” The dialogue was informative, but as valuable as his colleague’s counsel was, Peduto realized there wasn’t a document that could help other mayors “get past what will be one of the darkest days in that city’s history.” Peduto said he met Sarah Peck, a former U.S. diplomat and current director of United on Guns, who expressed interest in creating a playbook of lessons learned from mass shootings. Peck told Peduto that if Pittsburgh was willing “to roll up the sleeves, go through the trauma and be able to reflect back upon those days,” she was sure other cities would follow suit. Peduto agreed, and said his colleagues joined him in sharing their experiences managing the aftermath of a mass shooting. What emerged from those conversations was “a playbook that should be in the top drawer of every mayor,” Peduto said. This material, which was organized by Peck, and shared by Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization with 6 million supporters, provides elected officials with a guide to the “necessary steps” to take immediately following a mass homicide and how to empower various departments and individuals within a city, Peduto said. The 198-page report, which is available online, is based on experience and “long overdue,” Peduto continued. What the documents ultimately offer mayors is more than a series of instructions on helping constituents survive, he added, but lessons on how to “be able to heal.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

To learn more about JAA’s family of services, please visit our website.

200 JHF Drive | Pittsburgh, PA 15217 jaapgh.org p Mayor Bill Peduto reflects on the events of Oct. 27, 2018. JAA401PJC_Rabbi-FINAL.indd 1

4  DECEMBER 3, 2021

Screenshot by Adam Reinherz

11/18/21 1:46 PM



Headlines New memorial to honor children at Beth Abraham cemetery — LOCAL — By David Rullo | Staff Writer


arry Rudel, the executive director of the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh, believes in the dignity of those buried in Jewish cemeteries — and that dignity extends beyond those who are visited regularly and memorialized with headstones. On Sunday, Dec. 12, the JCBA will dedicate a new monument to 71 children interred at Beth Abraham Cemetery, many in unmarked graves. Rudel said that Beth Abraham is the area’s third-oldest cemetery. While most Jewish cemeteries have children’s sections, he noted it’s not unusual for some graves to be unmarked. “Often, there are no arrangements when a child passes away, especially in older cemeteries,” he said. “In Beth Abraham, almost half of the graves are unmarked.” The identities of the children are maintained in JCBA records, Rudel said, and can also be found in the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Cemetery database at the Heinz History Center’s Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives. Each of the names will be read aloud as part of the dedication. The monument, which is the size of a

p Children’s memorial at Beth Abraham Cemetery

double headstone, features an image of a lamb. Rudel said the animal is often a symbol of purity and innocence in the Torah and is something that is commonly seen on children’s headstones. JCBA purchased the memorial, which was

Follow, Like and Share JAF posts: Facebook: Jewish Assistance Fund

Instagram handle: @jewishassistancefund

Financial Assistance for the Jewish Community for pressing expenses. Confidential and Without Repayment

designed by Urbach Memorials in consultation with JCBA’s executive committee. It was supported by New Castle’s Temple Hadar Israel Endowment Fund. Sam Bernstine, who served as the last president of the New Castle congregation,

Please see Memorial, page 14

It’s not too late to save a life in Israel this year.

For more than 90 years, American donors have provided vehicles, training, and supplies to Israel’s national paramedic and Red Cross service, equipping them to treat the sick and injured under the most difficult circumstances and to save lives. In fact, this past year Magen David Adom’s 30,000 EMTs and paramedics have been on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus while also contending with terrorist and rocket attacks, riots, car accidents, and other threats to Israeli lives. If you want to make a real difference in Israel, no other organization has a greater impact on its people than Magen David Adom. Make an end-of-year donation at afmda.org/saving-lives-2021

412.521.3237 | JewishAssistanceFund.org


said that when the synagogue closed its doors in 2017, it created several different funds overseen by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Two funds were created

Photo by Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

May the warmth and brightness of the Chanukah lights fill your home

Photo courtesy of the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association



DECEMBER 3, 2021  5

Headlines Unusual pandemic purchases: Oversized llama art, sticker beads and birds — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


ikara Levari is pretty sure her family’s fascination with sun conures began during a telemedicine visit in 2020. It was early on in the pandemic when her husband, an internist, was conducting a virtual checkup and noticed a beautifully colored bird in the background of his patient’s screen. As soon as the appointment ended, the physician told his family about the parrot with the yellow plumage. What happened next, Levari recalled, was that the family became fixated on the screaming South American bird, otherwise known as a sun parakeet. With multiple children at home due to quarantining, and the internet serving as a wellspring of avian knowledge, the family spent countless hours researching sun conures and related species. “We became obsessed with birds,” Levari said. Several hundred clicks later, they decided it was time to land a pet of their own. In an attempt to locate the playful member of the Aratinga genus, Levari called several stores and breeders. She even tried visiting a sun

p The Davis family enjoys a craft activity during the early days of the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Elena Davis

conure farm. She soon discovered, though, that the bird is not only noisy, but endangered. Still intent on acquiring a pet, the Levaris ended up adopting two parakeets. Months after welcoming home Chiquita and Papita, however, the family’s avian

interests flew south. “Nobody else pays attention to them but me,” Levari told the Chronicle last week. She doesn’t regret purchasing the birds, but there are plenty of people who fell down the early pandemic rabbit hole and ended up

buying things they now wish they hadn’t. According to the BBC, one in 10 Britons expressed remorse over a pandemic-timed purchase. The Guardian, relying on similar data, noted that British households spent £6.6 billion (or approximately $8.8 billion) on things they no longer use. More than a year ago, Dovid Taub found himself scouring grocery store aisles for hand sanitizer. At that point in the pandemic, he said, nobody was leaving their homes but everybody needed hand sanitizer, and all that anyone could find were the mini travel-sized ones. On a trip to the Squirrel Hill Giant Eagle, Taub discovered a 1-liter bottle, resembling a large flask, with a label reading “Hand Sanitizer.” After purchasing it and returning home, Taub tried it out. “It had this weird smell and was a little bit sticky,” he said. “It definitely felt like it’s burning everything away.” The Taub family quickly realized that, as opposed to relying solely on what Taub eventually dubbed “Everclear” (grain alcohol), they could attain an optimal level of hygiene by just washing their hands with soap and water. Still, Taub said he doesn’t feel bad about buying such a large amount of odd-smelling Please see Purchases, page 15

Wiz Khalifa shows love for ‘Black and Yellow’ with donation to Squirrel Hill Food Pantry — LOCAL — By David Rullo | Staff Writer


ot everything you read about yourself on social media is bad. Case in point: a Nov. 18 Facebook post by rapper Wiz Khalifa that referenced the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. “I got to work with Soundwave Art and artist Tim Wakefield to create art by coloring the sound waves of ‘We Dem Boyz’ and ‘See You Again,’ ” Khalifa wrote. “All the profits went to my hometown heroes JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry to support their work. Not many of these prints are left, so they’re being re-released for the holidays to give Squirrel Hill a boost when demand is up for their work.” Khalifa grew up in Pittsburgh, moving to the city in 1996 when he was 9 years old. He attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill. His single, “Black and Yellow,” which pays homage to the colors worn by the city’s sport teams, reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100. Matthew Bolton, director of the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, noted that Khalifa grew up in the service area of the organization. “It’s a wonderful demonstration of giving back and we’re honored to be chosen for this Please see Khalifa, page 15

6  DECEMBER 3, 2021

p Squirrel Hill Food Pantry volunteers with Thanksgiving items donated by Friendship Circle


Photo provided by Allie Reefer


Headlines Greenfield Giant Eagle expands kosher offerings — LOCAL — By David Rullo | Staff Writer


he shlep for Shabbat just a got a little easier for residents of Greenfield. For years, the kashrut-compliant Jews living in the community would have to make the trek to Murray Avenue Kosher or the Squirrel Hill Giant Eagle to find a robust selection of kosher food products. That is beginning to change, according to Chabad of Greenfield’s Rabbi Yitzi Goldwasser. “There’s a joke in the Jewish community,” Goldwasser said, “that we have the whole Friday to get whatever we need, and an hour before Shabbat we remember the 100 things we didn’t buy.” Community members would have to either travel to Squirrel Hill to purchase those forgotten staples, borrow from friends or neighbors, or go without for their Shabbos meals. Seeing there was a need in the community, the Greenfield Giant Eagle has expanded its kosher offerings, ending the sundown dash. The store is now under the supervision of the same manager who oversees Giant Eagle’s Squirrel Hill location and, Please see Giant Eagle, page 14


p Expanded offerings for Chanukah at the Greenfield Giant Eagle


Photos by Rabbi Yitzi Goldwasser

DECEMBER 3, 2021  7

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


The Ghetto Fighters’ House invites you to Invisible Years: Hiding in the Netherlands during the Holocaust. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Giblett will engage filmmakers Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo and Carmen Fernald in a conversation about distinctive approaches to Holocaust documentaries. 2 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org Temple David’s grand Menorah lighting will take place in the Temple’s parking lot. The lighting will include fun-filled Chanukah games. 5:30 p.m. 4415 Northern Pike, Monroeville, 15146. q


In the Briva Project’s weekly writing course, Sh’ma-Hear Your Inner Voice, students will reflect and write, moving through Chanukah to Tu B’Shvat. Each class will begin with a communal ritual and creative prompt. 6 p.m. $200 for all eight sessions. tickettailor.com/events/ briyaproject/604183 q


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


Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will examine the accounts of some of the most interesting righteous gentiles in the Tanakh in his new course Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible. $55 for all 11 Zoom sessions. 9:30 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh. org/righteous-gentiles Moishe House kicks off its monthly book club reading “I Saw Ramallah” by Mourid Barghouti. 7 p.m. forms.gle/ xT4vqQsKZqC6E99K9 q


Join Congregation Beth Shalom for a weekly Talmud study. 9:15 a.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org.  q


Join Classrooms Without Borders for their

weekly book discussion of “People Love Dead Jews, Reports from a Haunted Present” with Dr. Josh Andy. This program is geared for educators but open to all. 4 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/ weekly-book-discussions-people-lovedead-jews-reports-haunted-presentdr.-josh-andy q


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


Classrooms Without Borders, in partnership with Liberation75, is excited to offer the opportunity to engage in our unique series, Confronting the Complexity of Holocaust Scholarship: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Holocaust Studies. The third session in this series, Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away, will offer a virtual tour of the awardwinning exhibition on Auschwitz now in Kansas City, with Dr. Michael Berenbaum. 3 p.m. classroomswithoutborders. org/confronting_the_complexity_of_ holocaust_scholarship q


The holidays bring a world of feelings and emotions with them every year. They can be especially difficult when you have lost a loved one. Whether the celebration is Thanksgiving or Chanukah, being sensitive to those who are grieving is essential for friends and families getting together. Join JAA Bereavement Counselor Jan Kellough for “Grief at the Holidays,” live support sessions that delve into a different topic, sharing stories, discussing the challenges we face, and looking ahead toward the New Year. Attend as many sessions as you like. 6:30 p.m. jaapgh.org/news/wed11032021-422pm-support-during-holidaysthose-who-have-lost-loved-one q


Bring the parshah alive and make it personally relevant and meaningful. Study the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman. 12:15 p.m. bethshalompgh.org/life-text Join Temple Sinai to study the weekly Torah portion in its hybrid class available on Zoom. Open to everyone. 12 p.m. templesinaipgh.org/event/parashah/

weekly-torah-portion-class-via-zoom11.html In The Jewish Moral Virtues, Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff will explore Jewish teaching on critical moral virtues. Based on the qualities listed in the 13th century “Sefer Maalot Hamiddot” (“The Book of the Choicest Virtues”), Rabbi Schiff will explore the contemporary application of these moral virtues to our 21st century lives. $65 for all 13 Zoom sessions. 9:30 a.m. foundation.jewishpgh.org/ jewish-moral-virtues q


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


Be a superhero and virtually join Super Sunday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s annual phone-a-thon to raise money for the community. Three sessions, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Training session Dec. 8. For this event, you will need a computer with internet access and separate mobile device to make calls. For more information and to register, visit jewishpgh.org/event/ super-sunday.  Join the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh as it dedicates a new monument recognizing the largest section of Jewish children’s graves in Western Pennsylvania. With generous support from New Castle’s Temple Hadar Israel Endowment Fund and from JCBA donors, a headstone in memory of the 71 children, many in unmarked graves, will be dedicated at Beth Abraham Cemetery in Carrick at 11 a.m. All are welcome. Classrooms Without Borders and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage are excited to offer the opportunity to watch the film “My Neighbor My Killer” and engage in a post-film discussion with the documentary filmmaker Anne Aghion, and survivor and activist Liliane Pari Umhoza, in conversation with Dr. Alexis Herr. 3 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/ my_neighbor_my_killer Friendship Circle presents Wellness Speaker: Robert Anthony. The event will create a platform where teen participants

understand their inherent value and parents and community members understand how teens are feeling and what they are presently dealing with. Robert Anthony is a motivational and public speaker, professional prosthetic educator, founder of Limb Possible, U.S Amputee Soccer Player, American Ninja Warrior from Season 9, and much more. 7 p.m. Free. fcpgh.org q


Join Classrooms Without Borders for a virtual tour of Israel. Monthly tours with guide and scholar Rabbi Jonty Blackman via Zoom. 4 p.m. For more information and to register, visit classroomswithoutborders.org.  q


The Squirrel Hill AARP chapter welcomes seniors to an open meeting in the Falk Library at Rodef Shalom Synagogue on Fifth Avenue. There will be a short meeting with a report on current legislation and health tips. A fun bingo game with prizes will follow. Attendees must bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Any questions, contact Marcia at (412) 656-5803. q


Classrooms Without Borders, in partnership with the Czech Embassy, is excited to offer this opportunity to engage in a discussion with Hadar Galron, a playwright, actress, screenwriter and comedian based in Prague, Czech Republic. 3:30 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/czechembassy-series-hadar-galron q


The Arab-Israeli conflict plays a large (some would claim outsized) role in current events. This course aims to unpack the causes and core issues that relate to the conflict. The goal is to make the subject accessible to educators and to give them the tools with which to grapple in the classroom with the subject at large and with breaking news. 2 p.m. classroomswithoutborders.org/arab_ israeli_conflict. q


Registration is now open for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Mitzvah Day, a long-standing tradition where the Jewish community provides services to organizations throughout the entire community. Times and locations vary. Check the website for more information. jewishpgh.org/mitzvah-day. PJC

www.pittsburghjewishchronicle.org 8  DECEMBER 3, 2021




Philip Chosky Performing Arts Program

Young friends help refugees with bake sale proceeds — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle


sther Hilsabeck’s great-grandparents survived the Holocaust and fled Europe decades ago as Jewish refugees. So, when the 7-year-old Squirrel Hill girl heard about Afghan refugees resettling in Pittsburgh in the midst of a foreign crisis, it made sense for her to do something to help. “Me and my mom were talking about refugees, about some people helping out,” Esther told the Chronicle. “She told me the refugees had to leave their homes because there was something bad happening.” Esther paired up with a friend, 6-year-old Alphie Doller, and held a fundraising bake sale recently at the Squirrel Hill Farmers’ Market. This was no rag-tag effort. Esther’s mother helped with baking, and the children made pumpkin muffins and chocolate chip cookies. They even enlisted a friend who’s a professional chef to prepare and donate sweet potato bread, ginger cookies and rugelach. “I wanted to help them a lot so I made the bake sale with a lot of sugar,” Esther laughed. “Most people got a cookie or something [but] a few people just gave us money and walked away.” The pair raked in more than $500 in about 90 minutes — no small feat for the budding philanthropists — and 100% of the proceeds went to Jewish Family and Community Services in Squirrel Hill. Jordan Golin, president and CEO of JFCS, said he was immensely grateful for how

much support the community has delivered for his group’s work with Afghan refugees. And he had nothing but kind words about the two young donors. “We are honored that Esther and Alphie used their bake sale to raise money to help us provide for new refugee children coming to Pittsburgh,” Golin said. “They showed that anyone can really make a difference in their community. This is an example of why it is so important to help kids understand how they can help others and give them opportunities to get involved. Kids can really make a big impact.” Alphie was modest about her role in the bake sale. She gave the Chronicle the list of special ingredients for her cookies that sold well — oats, M&Ms, Cow Tales brand caramel — and said her intentions were pretty straightforward. “It’s so [the new refugees] could be just as comfortable here as they would be at their old homes,” Alphie said. She also said she heard one recently resettled woman was expecting a baby soon. Alphie said she hoped her bake sale proceeds help fund a crib. Plus, winter’s coming, she added, so the refugees’ children will need good winter coats. Esther, a second-grader at Sewickley Academy, said she had one message for people who were proud of her for organizing the bake sale. “I think people should stand up for themselves and for other people, people like refugees,” Esther said. “They should help people who need help.”  PJC

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DECEMBER 3, 2021  9

Headlines German Jewish writers discuss identity, process and pandemic problems — LOCAL — By Adam Reinherz | Staff Writer


OVID-19 reframed the way celebrated Jewish German authors Mirna Funk and Lena Gorelik work, presenting challenges that extended beyond finding community — or even spaces to write. The two writers joined Kaleen Gallagher, of Germany Close Up, for a candid conversation on Nov. 23. The 60-minute program was offered in partnership with Classrooms Without Borders, and began with each writer describing how location has shaped her sense of identity. “I would definitely call myself German,” said Funk, a winner of the Uwe Johnson Prize. “I feel very German when I’m in Israel. But on the other hand, I know in Germany, and for Germans, I might not appear as German as they think.” Funk regularly writes for German publications. She grew up in East Germany and majored in philosophy and history at Humboldt University of Berlin. For the past 13 years, though, Funk has been spending Please see Writers, page 15


 Top left: Kaleen Gallagher; bottom left: Lena Gorelik; right: Mirna Funk discuss contemporary challenges facing German Jewish women writers. Screenshot by Adam Reinherz

s ’ y s us

This week in Israeli history


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


Dec. 3, 1995 — Begin adviser Shmulevitz dies

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Dec. 5, 1949 — Ben-Gurion rejects internationalized Jerusalem


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Leo Motzkin, the chairman of the Zionist Executive from 1925 to 1933, is born in Ukraine. He is drawn to Zionism after witnessing the 1881 pogrom in Kiev. He attends the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

Dec. 7, 1921 — First nurses graduate in Jerusalem Matityahu Shmulevitz, a Lehi member in the 1940s and the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office under Menachem Begin in the late 1970s, dies at 75 a day after collapsing during a chess game.


Dec. 6, 1867 — Early Zionist leader Leo Motzkin is born

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declares that “Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the state of Israel” and that Israel will not give up sovereignty over its “eternal capital.”


Twenty-two women graduate from the Nurses’ Training Institute at Rothschild Hospital in Jerusalem, making them the first to receive nursing degrees in the Land of Israel.

Dec. 8, 1885 — 1st Knesset speaker Joseph Sprinzak is born

Joseph Sprinzak, the first speaker of the Knesset and two-time interim president, is born in Moscow. He helps establish many institutions that form the state’s foundation, such as the Histadrut labor federation.

Dec. 9, 1987 — First Intifada breaks out

Riots erupt in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in response to a fatal army truck crash the previous day, starting the First Intifada. The violence kills 900 Palestinians and 100 Israelis by the end of 1991. PJC


Headlines — WORLD — From JTA reports

Chile’s Jews feel under ‘siege’ from anti-Israel sentiment, so they’re backing a far-right presidential candidate

The Nov. 21 presidential primaries in Chile narrowed the race down to two polar opposite candidates: a Catholic far-right leader with nine children who has defended the iron-fisted rule of Augusto Pinochet, and a 35-year-old leftist leader who represents a years-long protest movement calling for a new Chilean constitution. For many Chilean Jews, the choice is clear, if wildly divergent from the way Jews vote in the United States: Most are backing the right-wing candidate, José Antonio Kast, who heads into a Dec. 19 runoff with a slight lead over rival Gabriel Boric. As in most other Latin American Jewish communities, with the exception of Argentina, the majority of Chilean Jews are staunch Zionists who stand behind more conservative leaders because of their perceived support of Israel. And what has defined public life for Chile’s 18,000 or so Jews during the past two decades, according to several community members, is a strong anti-Israel discourse emanating from the left, which includes the country’s vocal 350,000-strong Palestinian community, the largest one outside of the Middle East.

In a victory for efforts to quash the violent far-right, jury docks Charlottesville rally organizers $25 million

A jury awarded $25 million against the white-supremacist organizers of the deadly 2017 Charlottesville far-right rally, although it deadlocked on awarding damages under federal law. Even as she declared victory in their effort to thwart organizers of potentially violent white supremacists events, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers reportedly hopes to retry the rally organizers on federal charges. Jurors in the civil case against 24 groups and individuals deadlocked on whether to award damages based on a federal conspiracy law that plaintiffs’ lawyers said underpinned their bid to crush the neo-Nazi movement. The result is that 17 defendants who mounted a defense will be required to pay substantive damages to nine people injured physically or emotionally during the violent weekend, but based only on Virginia state laws. (Seven groups and individuals who did not defend themselves — some could not be tracked down — will have default judgments rendered against them.) Yet to be seen is whether substantial damages awarded under Virginia law will inhibit far right violence elsewhere in the country. A University of Virginia Jewish history professor, James Loeffler, who is covering the case, quoted the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Roberta Kaplan, as saying outside the court that she plans to retry

Join the Chronicle Book Club: ‘People Love Dead Jews’ Note: There has been a time change for this meeting. It is now scheduled for noon.


he Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle invites you to join the Chronicle Book Club’s Dec. 19 meeting, when we will be discussing “People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present” by Dara Horn. From the author’s website: “Reflecting on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the blockbuster traveling exhibition called ‘Auschwitz,’ the Jewish history of the Chinese city of Harbin, and the little known ‘righteous Gentile’ Varian Fry, Dara Horn challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, as emblematic of the worst of evils the world has to offer, and so little respect for Jewish lives, as they continue to unfold in the present.”

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based on the two federal claims.

statement, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli squash team says it will sue if it can’t compete in world championships in Malaysia next month

Less than half of Jewish Israelis support a mandatory army draft, per new poll

The Israel Squash Association said it would sue the World Squash Federation if the organization does not ensure the team can compete in the world championships scheduled to take place next month in Malaysia, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israel and Malaysia do not maintain diplomatic relations and Israelis are barred from visiting the South Asian country. Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad once said he was “glad to be labeled antisemitic.” The competition, which begins Dec. 7, was originally set to be held in New Zealand but was moved to Malaysia as a result of COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand. Responding to a request by the president of the World Squash Federation, Gerard Monteiro, the head of the Malaysian squash organization, said the country “would not be able to guarantee [Israeli players’] safety and well-being.” Aviv Bushinsky, chairman of the Israeli organization, suggested moving the competition to Israel. “I find it impossible to believe that in this modern era, there is still a place for discrimination, as well as the mixing of political considerations and sport,” Israel’s Minister of Sport and Culture Chili Tropper said in a

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We will meet on Zoom on Sunday, Dec. 19, at noon to discuss the book. As you read it, we invite you to share comments and join discussions in our Facebook group, Chronicle Connects: Jewish PGH. We invite you to join now if you are not already a member of the group.

What To Do

Buy: “People Love Dead Jews.” It is available at Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront, Amazon.com and from other online retailers. Email: Contact us at drullo@pittsburgh jewishchronicle.org, and write “Chronicle Book Club” in the subject line. We will send you a Zoom link for the meeting. See you in later this month! PJC

Toby Tabachnick, editor of the Chronicle David Rullo, Chronicle staff writer

— Toby Tabachnick






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A new poll conducted in Israel found that more Israelis support professionalizing the army and abolishing the draft than opposed that idea. The poll was the first time the Israel Democracy Institute found that more Israelis supported the idea of abolishing the draft than opposed it since the organization began studying the question in 2017. In this year’s survey, 47% of Jewish respondents believe the draft should be abolished while 42% disagreed. In 2017, just 38% supported professionalization while 59% opposed it. In Israel, all citizens are drafted into the army at age 18, though Arab and Druze Israelis are given exemptions, as are most haredi Orthodox citizens and many religious women. The poll points to a future in which support for the army, already decreasing in recent years among the Israeli public, could sink low enough to actually undermine its ability to function. The poll also indicates that among younger Israelis, support for the draft is far lower than among older Israelis, which could increase public support for ending the draft in the years to come. Among those ages 18-44, 54-57% supported abolishing the draft while just 31-32% of those ages 55 and up felt the same.  PJC

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DECEMBER 3, 2021  11

Opinion The difficult tasks of engagement and explanation — EDITORIAL —


oung Americans are being tested by a worldwide pandemic, with its lockdowns, lost education, social isolation and uncertainty. Young Jewish Americans are experiencing the same, of course, with the added fact that they are coming of age in a time of rising antisemitism. The glory of the Chanukah menorah — of publicizing the holiday miracle to a public that accepts and welcomes American Jews — has been threatened by people with weapons chanting antisemitic slogans and promoting hate. Young Jews today are uncertain how to handle it. Polls report that Jewish college students feel unsafe on campus, with many hiding their Jewish identities, and even more

experiencing or being familiar with acts of antisemitism. Young American Jews have choices. They can choose to live and practice their religion — either in traditional settings or in less conventional ways. And they are free to reject being part of the Tribe. But it’s important that the choice be one that the individual makes for his or her own reasons, rather than one driven by fear. To that end, The Jewish Education Project, along with its partners, created the Shine a Light project, which will provide daily “opportunities for educators, families and allies to explore how we can shine a light on antisemitism, as well as light up our Jewish joy through learning, social media contests and reflection,” through the end of Chanukah. We welcome the initiative, which brings

a ray of light into our holiday celebration. But at the same time as we educate young Jews with an eye toward making them more comfortable embracing Judaism and less concerned about external threats, it appears that we need to reconsider how our community educates non-Jews about antisemitism and the importance of Israel. According to a recent study of young Americans by the pro-Israel, Spanishlanguage media nonprofit Fuente Latina, we aren’t doing so well in that effort. Instead, the study found that Jewish communicators were singing to the choir about these subjects and missing young people of color entirely. The Fuente Latina report has an important message. It illustrates the needle that Jewish groups must thread as they seek to communicate with millennials and Generation Z, whose

typical views include: “Jews may be discriminated against, but Blacks have it worse”; “Jews aren’t a minority, because they’re white”; “Jews are people of color but they’re white passing and have high-income jobs.” Such points of view demonstrate that new language and new approaches are necessary when discussing the Jewish story with young non-Jews of color. This is so even as we already know that we need to adjust our language and our presentations as we seek to address our younger Jewish population. Both the Shine a Light project and the Fuente Latina survey provide welcome illumination for the careful thinking, planning and steps we need to take in our outreach and engagement efforts within our community and beyond. We have a lot of work to do.  PJC

A Chanukah gift: Argue, don’t fight Guest Columnist David Suissa


here’s an enormous difference between an argument and an attack. Calling someone a liar or a traitor is not an argument; it’s an attack. If you marshal facts and reason to make your case, that’s an argument. Have you noticed how so many arguments these days quickly unravel into nasty fights? OK, be honest: When you get an email, what kind of “information” gets your adrenaline pumping — a personal attack on someone or a reasoned argument about a serious issue? For most people, the personal attack, like juicy gossip, is simply irresistible. It’s like watching the aftermath of a car wreck or seeing someone being arrested—there’s a weird thrill in witnessing trouble of any kind. In the same way that popcorn tastes better than Brussels sprouts, it’s a bigger thrill to see a fight than a civil debate. It appeals to our primal appetites. As much as the Jewish tradition values reasoned argument, in the hard reality of communal life that tradition often succumbs to the thrill of the fight. I see it all the time. When people are outraged, they’re more inclined to take the gloves off than to think in Talmudic ways. I call it the “curse of being right.” Some people are so sure of themselves, so blinded by their

passions, they will violate their own norms of decency. In that state, a polite person may become rude; a friendly person may become hostile; a calm person may become enraged. That is the curse of righteousness — it can bring out the worst in us. It can even make us forget who we are. But, you ask, when the stakes are so high, and if your opponents are so wrong and you must teach them a lesson, why not attack

One of my favorite Jewish teachings is the idea of transcending our appetites. We’re not supposed to settle for quick hits and cheap thrills. Our tradition encourages us to be thoughtful at all times, even when (especially when!) our passions are inflamed. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to civil dialogue is when people are hypnotized by a cause. If you despise Donald Trump, if you think the Iran nuclear deal is an exis-

I call it the “curse of being right.” Some people are so sure of themselves, so blinded by their passions, they will violate their own norms of decency. them if you think you’re right? Because it’s ugly, divisive and boringly empty. People who attack others — publicly, anonymously or otherwise — don’t enlighten but offer cheap thrills that spread gossip and division and leave everyone feeling empty and dirty. Try listening to some juicy gossip at a Shabbat table, or at any moment. It might give us a quick sugar high, but when we put down others to elevate ourselves, all we feel is emptiness.

tential threat, if you feel violated by vaccine mandates, and on and on, you’re vulnerable to the curse of being right. The antidote to that curse is the blessing of curiosity. Open any page of Talmud and you’ll see the glorious offshoots of curiosity — careful listening, knowledgeable arguments, delightful complexity and a relentless commitment to civility. It’s not a coincidence that in determining Jewish law, our Sages took the side of the Hillel school over the uncompromising school of Shammai. As the Talmud explains in Tractate

Eruvim: “On what basis did the School of Hillel merit that the law should be determined in accordance with its positions? Because they were gentle and kind, and they studied their own rulings plus those of Shammai. They were even so humble as to place the words of Shammai before their own.” There are more than five centuries of civil, complex debate gathered in our Talmud. Those 40 volumes are as much a Jewish treasure as the Five Books of Moses, because they bring the Torah into our everyday lives and help us refine our characters. Of course, our Sages had a big advantage over us: They weren’t distracted by smartphones, email and social media, so it was much easier for them to dig deep and be thoughtful. Today we must make a greater effort. I can’t think of a better Chanukah gift than to spread the light of civility. Whether it’s in our personal or communal relations, let us not succumb to the curse of being right. Let us instead do the hard work of seeking knowledge, valuing complexity and arguing with decency. If you disagree, I’m open to a reasoned argument. I’ve learned over the years to love Brussels sprouts. I hear they’re really good for you. Happy Chanukah.  PJC David Suissa is editor-in-chief and publisher of Tribe Media Corp, and Jewish Journal. He can be reached at davids@jewishjournal.com. This article was first published by the Jewish Journal and republished by JNS.

Grief and the holidays Guest Columnist Jan Kellough


he holiday season is a time for joy, family traditions and celebration. But for those of us who are grieving the loss of a loved one, this can be an especially

12  DECEMBER 3, 2021

difficult time. All around us are the sounds of the season, the memories of past holidays and the constant reminder that our lives have changed. When we have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can evoke a wide array of emotions and pain, both mentally and physically. Our hearts feel increasingly heavy. We are often unsure we can even get through the day. Our lives are different now, and we wonder if we should try to celebrate

the season as we had before, or just bury our heads in the sand and do nothing. Our family and friends, though well meaning, can also contribute to our pain and confusion by expecting us to uphold old traditions and do things just as we have always done them. A time that is supposed to create joy and family unity can now be the source of family division. Family members may feel it is time for you to “get on with your life.” They may not realize your need to


honor the memory of your loved one as you work to negotiate the holiday. So, how do we manage our grief and deal with the overwhelming demands of the season? First, we must understand that honoring our feelings and our individual grieving process is essential to our emotional wellbeing. Grief is a highly personal experience and each of us must deal with our feelings Please see Kellough, page 13


Opinion Chronicle poll results: Miracles


ast week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Chanukah starts Sunday night. Do you believe in miracles?” Of the 141 people who responded, 47% said “Yes, in small things in our daily living.” Thirty-one percent said they believed in miracles as described in the Bible and other holy texts, and 25% said they believed in miracles in the sweep of historical events. Twenty-four percent said they did not believe in miracles. Twenty-seven people submitted comments. A few follow. That Eretz Israel thrives in spite of the legions of hostile, merciless, despicable enemies whose sole raison d’etre is to obliterate it and all Jewish lives can only be described as a miracle. Am Y’Israel Chai! Since it will be a miracle if our democracy survives, I choose to believe in miracles. Miracles are real and it’s up to us to recognize and be grateful for them.

Kellough: Continued from page 12

and emotions in our own way. People who are grieving often cycle though a host of emotions. During a holiday, we are likely to experience increased sadness, loneliness, frustration, anger and depression. Thoughts of our loved one are often intense and all consuming. We may find that we are unable to control our tears. If we are fortunate enough to laugh, we might feel a surge of guilt — “How dare I laugh when my loved one is gone?” Remember that feeling good and laughing is your body’s way of letting you relax and regain some strength for a few moments during grief. How many of us really believe that our loved ones would not want us to laugh? All emotions are common during the

Life itself is a miracle. Belief in miracles is an abdication of responsibility and an example of wishful thinking. Not everything is in our own human hands. Stuff happens — good and bad — from sources (or A Source) outside our control. Still, that doesn’t excuse us from trying to do our part. My wife is my miracle. Waking up in the morning and feeling good about life in general; having a wonderful family and a job that I love are miracles in and of themselves. B"H. Over the years many things have happened that I believe had to be caused by divine intervention. And yet I’m still hesitant to say definitely yes — although I would never say I don’t believe in miracles.

grieving process; however, the intensity of these emotions is heightened during this season. Your physical needs will also become apparent very quickly. You may feel increased fatigue as you manage your daily tasks. Getting enough rest and eating a healthy diet is the first step in keeping up your strength. Our resistance is lowered during the grieving process and we are more susceptible to illness; therefore, it is imperative that you get enough rest. You may also discover that you are unable to concentrate well while doing tasks. Be aware of this when scheduling projects and activities. Pace yourself. If you promised to bake cookies, for example, bake your old standbys instead of trying a new fancy recipe. To help reduce stress and increase your sense of well-being, it is also helpful to exercise. You don’t have to join a gym; sometimes a simple walk can work wonders. Be aware that masking your feelings with

— LETTERS — Kudos to Jan Glick

I was pleased to see well-deserved recognition afforded Jan Glick, the outgoing chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh (“Jan Glick prepared to say farewell to Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Nov. 26). The article was of particular interest to me as I am nearing the conclusion of my almost six years of serving as a Big Brothers mentor to a disadvantaged boy (now young man) from Glassport who will soon be 18. Volunteering in this capacity is a serious long-term commitment to which I gave great thought before pursuing, but it is something which was natural for me as I benefited from the mentorship of two wonderful Big Brothers at different points in my childhood. Giving of myself to Thomas allows me to give back to another who is in need. I wish more men would consider volunteering for an experience which will bring fulfillment to them as they provide much-needed companionship and guidance to a child. By all accounts, Jan has led the organization with dedication, skill, and purpose. She has not only ensured that the mission of BBBS was fulfilled, but that the organization was on sound financial footing. It could not have been easy to oversee such an entity and I know firsthand that her position is by no means a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job. The fact that PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG

I believe that the bit of reality we see from our perspective is so limited that phenomena sometimes seem to line up in meaningful ways. Everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. If you believe, really believe, your prayers will be answered. We have to believe there is a power higher than we know. Miracles small and large abound. How could anyone miss them?

Chanukah started Sunday night. Do you believe in miracles? 47% 31%

Yes, in small things in our daily lives

Yes, as described in the Bible and other holy texts

25% Yes, in the sweep of historical events

I experienced a miracle while driving through 24% No a blizzard on I-70/79 toward Pittsburgh. It was at night and there was no visibility. Suddenly, 10% Not sure a truck with a beacon appeared in front of me, 80 60 40 0 20 going my exact speed. It led me to the intersection of I-70 and I-79. When it veered off onto I-70, another truck with a beacon appeared and let me all the way into Pittsburgh. They were my “guardian angels!”  PJC This week’s Chronicle poll — Toby Tabachnick

excess alcohol, excess food or abusing any substance can have adverse effects. The temporary relief that substance abuse can bring is short-lived and you are often left with intensified grief. Taking care of yourself during this time is essential. Remember that it is OK to feel sad. Even people who have not experienced a major loss can feel pressure, depression and fatigue from the holidays. Be kind to yourself. It is also OK to feel good. Give yourself permission to laugh — you are in no way being disrespectful to the memory of your loved one. Find someone that you can confide in. Each of us needs an outlet for emotions that are bottled inside of us. Seek out family and friends who are caring and compassionate and who understand your need to express yourself. Try to surround yourself with people who



How concerned are you about the new COVID-19 variant, omicron? Go to pittsburgh jewishchronicle.org to respond.  PJC

have a positive influence in your life. Finally, when you feel the need…cry. Crying helps you both physically and emotionally. It reduces stress and calms anxiety. Ignore advice that tells you to be strong. You are going through an experience that is emotionally and physically draining. The holidays will be different this year and in the future. Lower your expectations that things are going to be as they were before. You can still have a meaningful holiday. Traditions may change, but the love you share remains.  PJC Jan Kellough is the bereavement coordinator for Sivitz Hospice & Palliative Care at the Jewish Association on Aging. Join her for “Grief At The Holidays” counseling sessions, (free and virtual), Wednesdays, Dec. 1, 8, and 15, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Details and link here: jaapgh.org/ news/wed-11032021-422pm-support-duringholidays-those-who-have-lost-loved-one.

BBBS maintains a sterling reputation in the community is a tribute to her leadership. I was particularly impressed with how deftly Jan handled the challenge posed by the pandemic, placing the safety of “bigs” and “littles” first while recognizing how difficult it was for us to have to forgo in-person meetings for a period of time. Becky Flaherty has big shoes to fill as Jan Glick’s successor. I wish her every success in the challenges ahead. Oren Spiegler Peters Township We invite you to submit letters for publication. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number; addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may not exceed 500 words and may be edited for length and clarity; they cannot be returned. Mail, fax or email letters to:

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DECEMBER 3, 2021  13

Headlines Pooled testing adds layer of COVID protection in day schools — LOCAL — By Justin Vellucci | Special to the Chronicle


his COVID-19 story ends with a positive test — but also a bit of hope. Community Day School in Squirrel Hill has been doing “pooled testing” of staff and students whose parents consent for nearly two months. Students are tested each Monday in large groups and, if a group test comes back positive, more tests will follow to narrow down the threat —a preventative means of stemming the spread of the virus among children. The first few weeks of pooled testing were uneventful, with a lot of negative tests. Then, right before Thanksgiving, Avi Baran Munro, CDS’ head of school, emailed parents that a student had tested positive for COVID.

Memorial: Continued from page 5

to care for two cemeteries in the former congregation’s community, and a third was created to continue the legacy of the temple. Bernstine, who serves as the president of the board overseeing the latter fund, said the board seeks out opportunities to help various organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, locally, regionally and throughout the United States. The fund has donated $20,000 a year for the last four years through $5,000 grants to various organizations. JCBA has formed a relationship with Temple Hadar Israel, Bernstine said, because

Giant Eagle: Continued from page 7

Goldwasser said, is dedicated to helping the neighborhood. “He really wants to show that he is here for the Greenfield community,” the rabbi said. The manager (Giant Eagle did not give permission to the Chronicle to publish his name) is working with Goldwasser and Rabbi Elchonon Friedman of Bnai Emunah Chabad, which is also located in Greenfield, to bring in products needed by the community. Goldwasser said the newly enhanced kosher food section will help end the pre-Shabbat stress. New items lining the shelves so far include Bissli, several types of candy, Shabbat candles and a variety of Manischewitz products. “Now, we can literally go down the block,” Goldwasser said. “Things are coming in. You want to have guests over or have a party or

“We notified the cohort who had direct exposure to this individual and provided quarantine guidelines,” Munro wrote. “While this is difficult news to receive, our routine testing was able to identify a COVID-19 case here at CDS before it would have likely been detected otherwise. We are hopeful that pooled testing results will resume being returned sooner each week to make this protective strategy even more effective.” The testing method is gaining popularity in another Jewish school in Pittsburgh as well. Pooled testing started about eight weeks ago at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, officials there confirmed. Hillel’s principal, Rabbi Sam Weinberg, was not available for further comment. Pooled testing is not currently taking place at Yeshiva Schools, officials there said. CDS launched its pooled testing Oct.

11, through a partnership with the firm Concentric by Ginkgo. Through the program, which is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Munro said she hopes “to identify COVID-19 cases quickly and early, which can help us make better decisions to try to stop an outbreak before it happens as another layer of protection.” In early October, CDS officials contacted staff and parents of students to seek consent for the free testing, which occurs regularly at the school’s Forward Avenue campus. Testing was offered even if individuals didn’t present COVID-like symptoms and regardless of their vaccination status, school officials stressed. “Pooling can test 15 people using one test,” officials said in an October letter to staff members. “All individuals in a pool (e.g., a cohort, homeroom, or group of employees) swab the inner part of their lower nostrils

and place their swabs in a single tube. The test is quick, painless, and easy, and young children typically can do it themselves with no issues. The samples in that tube are then shipped to the lab and run as a single sample, using one test.” Community Day School leaders said they also went to extensive lengths to protect individuals’ personal and health-related information. The names of the people in the pooled samples cannot be entered by schools into the HIPAA-compliant Concentric website, and the participants are anonymous to the company, CDS officials said. The company also never sees information about which person’s swab is in which tube.  PJC

at some point in the future there will be no one left in New Castle to care for the Jewish cemeteries. When that happens, JCBA will manage and maintain that care. Bernstine said he learned of Beth Abraham’s unmarked children’s graves though a conversation with Rudel. “We just couldn’t believe those graves were unmarked and unrecognized,” Bernstine said. “When [Rudel] told me they were putting a monument together, we thought it would be a real mitzvah for us to donate toward the memorial and recognize those children.” JCBA currently manages or helps manage 21 cemeteries throughout Western Pennsylvania. Harvey Wolsh, president of the

organization, said that JCBA learned of the children’s section as part of its work to rehabilitate Beth Abraham cemetery, which included installing a fence, repairing railings and removing debris on the property. “Beth Abraham is one of the largest cemeteries we take care of,” Wolsh said. “Over the years, it was really neglected. There were a lot of dead trees when we took it on. We knew we had to improve it.” He said JCBA’s work at the cemetery has been significant. The memorial and dedication are something new for the organization, Wolsh said. His hope is that the project will help JCBA find families related to the children. Wolsh said he’s proud of the work JCBA

has done. He noted that the organization needs an endowment of $5 million which would allow it to care for possibly 75 cemeteries in the region. For Bernstine, the idea to help create a memorial dedicated to children outside of New Castle was a simple one. “Our philosophy is that even a temple, synagogue, mosque or church is just a building, a brick-and-mortar facility,” Bernstine said. “It’s really about how you live your life. We thought this was another example of how we could take this and extend it beyond New Castle to this cemetery for these children.”  PJC

just sit for coffee with someone and have some snacks, you can get some nice, traditional Jewish products. It’s really making a statement that we’re here in the community.” The expansion is a testament to the emergent Greenfield Jewish community, which has seen steady and substantial growth over the last several years, including the construction of a new mikvah and acquisition of the St. Rosalia Catholic School as the future home of the Yeshiva’s Boy School. Goldwasser said he is now sending his Chabad of Greenfield magazine to more than 800 families and continues to see growth on social media. Giant Eagle’s efforts to bring more kosher products to Greenfield has helped fill a void. “There are so many people — Orthodox, non-Orthodox — that are there every day, this was something that just had to be done and was a wonderful thing to do,” Goldwasser said. “I can’t walk down the street without getting a ‘shalom,’ even in Giant Eagle or the

auto store. That was unheard of 10 years ago.” The store’s kosher food expansion, Goldwasser noted, hasn’t ended with bringing in items for Shabbat. The rabbi met with the store’s manager and also helped him select holiday items for Chanukah. “These things are literally flying off the shelf,” Goldwasser said. “These are things the have not been in Pittsburgh before. It’s almost like Brooklyn.” And if you aren’t sure of how to celebrate the holiday, Goldwasser, Friedman and Giant Eagle have you covered as well. Chabad of Greenfield set up a table in the front of the store featuring items for sale, giving away menorahs, holding raffles and offering special giveaways. “The community greatly appreciates what we’re doing,” Goldwasser said, adding he expects to organize similar activities at Giant Eagle for other holidays. The connection to the community is about

more than business or money, Goldwasser said. He believes it shows that Greenfield’s Giant Eagle is giving back to its patrons and predicted that the efforts will pay off. “They’re going to see over the next week, very strongly, how much the community recognizes and appreciates what’s going on,” he said. The growth of the kosher food section is part of a greater connection to the community at large, Goldwasser said, noting the store is also increasing its selection of glutenfree foods and other specialty items that are in demand. “The manager is literally going out of his way to accommodate the needs of the community,” Goldwasser said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.” A spokesperson for Giant Eagle was not available for comment.  PJC

Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.

David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

www.pittsburghjewishchronicle.org 14  DECEMBER 3, 2021



Headlines Purchases: Continued from page 6

gel, and gets a good chuckle when people come to his house, snoop inside his cupboard and find what they think is a bottle of alcohol. What he does regret is “buying into the panic,” he said. “Just because there was something I couldn’t get, I felt like I had to.” Squirrel Hill resident Morris Kornblit understands that feeling. He and his wife Anita were set to go on a car trip when they discovered major problems with their vehicle. After taking their Subaru in for a routine oil change and inspection, Kornblit was told that the cradle had rotted out and that the car’s engine could fall out at any moment. Kornblit said he was not only surprised by the finding but disappointed as his car only had 66,000 miles on it. He recalled seeing advertisements that Subarus could be driven through rivers and over rocks and purchased the car, he said, because he thought it would last several hundred thousand miles, even if he never took it off-road. After experiencing the rigamarole of looking for a new car during the pandemic — a process in which he discovered there

Khalifa: Continued from page 6

exciting artistic and impactful donation,” Bolton said. “It’s a generous act that also promotes our mission. We’re just very happy to be a part of it.” The pantry had no advance notice of the donation, Bolton said, but noted that the artist did the same thing last year. Soundwave Art is a nonprofit that works with musicians to create art from the recorded sound waves of iconic songs. It sells the art to raise funds for charities and social justice causes supported by the music industry. Its website says that music fans in 82 countries have helped raise over $5 million for dozens of charities. The site lists “See You Again” as Khalifa’s

Writers: Continued from page 10

more time in Israel. Although she has family and many friends in the Jewish state, and has lived for periods in Tel Aviv, Funk said she doesn’t quite feel Israeli. Not feeling “fully German, fully Israeli or fully Jewish” was challenging, she said. “It caused a lot of trouble in my life and it felt really weird.” For a while, when people asked where home was, “I always said my home is in the EasyJet plane,” Funk said. After finally embracing her transient nature, things started to make sense. “My identity is a constant movement,” she said, “and between different identities, and it doesn’t feel chaotic anymore but very, very rich.” The question of home is an odd one, agreed Gorelik, a past recipient of the ErnstHoferichter Prize. Other people sometimes ask her where PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG

were basically none available — Kornblit said he ended up buying another Subaru. Although he doesn’t regret purchasing the car, he is sorry he bought an extended warranty. The cost of the warranty was more than $3,000, or 10% of the car’s value, and requires Kornblit to make co-pays every time he wants to use the warranty for repairs. What he learned was it’s always important to read the paperwork prior to a sale, he said. Squirrel Hill resident Elena Davis said she didn’t head into quarantine making any big purchases — just a bunch of small ones. With four children at home Davis decided she needed to increase her family’s supply of craft projects. One kit she bought came with a lot of little beads that could be stuck in place to create a portrait. It was a cool idea, and one of her children even completed a picture, but the problem was anytime someone passed by and bumped into the table, the tray containing about “800 million little sticker beads” would likely tip, and at that point, Davis said, “you’re just picking up beads.” But at least that purchase was somewhat used. Davis said as soon her kids started going to virtual school, everyone needed to spread out around the house. Each person had a spot, but when her 9-year-old

biggest hit and is selling individual hand-signed copies of the art for $1,300. Hand-signed copies of the art made from “We Dem Boyz” are listed as $400 framed. Each piece is a limited-edition print, although the site did not indicate how many copies had been created. Bolton said that it isn’t every day the organization learns about a donation on social media, but the food pantry is supported by both locals and those who have moved out of the city. That support is important to the pantry. It is open five days a week, something that is rare for similar organizations, Bolton said. It also does more than simply distribute food. “This time of the year, we see a lot of emergency clients and more need for case management with utilities and gas and electric needs, housing challenges and she feels she “belongs,” or in which language she dreams, Gorelik said, but “these are not questions I’m asking myself. For me, I don’t have to decide that I am 30% this and 30% that — or is it like 40% on Sundays and 50% on Tuesdays? I think the identities we are talking about, like national identities, are only part of a lot of other identities we have.” Gorelik was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1981. When she was 11, she moved to Germany with her family. Much of her writing has addressed this relocation and her status as a “refugee.” “I find the question of ‘how do I identify,’ in a way of Russian versus German versus Jewish, kind of a shortened question,” she said. The best way to make sense of all these seemingly disparate identities, she continued, is to acknowledge there are many facets to a person — “there are a lot of pieces of cake.” After talking about the complexities of identity, both writers then spoke about the challenges of working during the pandemic.

daughter needed a place to work, Davis thought she’d found the perfect solution: a portable lap desk. Marketed as both a seat and a surface, the lap desk could go anywhere. Davis thought it was a great option and quickly ordered it from Amazon. Once it arrived, however, Davis’ daughter tried it out and informed her mother how incredibly uncomfortable it was to sit on the floor wedged within an all-in-one desk. Davis doesn’t know why she didn’t return the item. The silver lining of keeping it, though, is that if any young children come to her house and want to play school, there is an uncomfortable seat that’s ready for use, she said. In the first few weeks after the first confirmed case of COVID in the U.S., people were making all types of purchases. According to a CNBC story from March 2020, in addition to medical supplies and pantry items, “people have begun shelling out money for entertainment.” Davis said she wasn’t immune from making early pandemic entertainment purchases. She remembered seeing an ad on social media for an oversized colorable map. Having already purchased numerous crafts in the first few days of the pandemic,

clothing,” Bolton said. Part of the continuum of care offered by JFCS, the pantry also helps connect its clients to other resources, including mental health services and career development support. Bolton said the key to the assistance JFCS offers is its ability to assist with more than food insecurity. “It’s what makes the biggest impact,” he said. “That’s what makes JFCS unique and we’re able to help people right on the spot or connect them to what they need.” Everybody needs help from time to time, Bolton said, noting that last year brought an uptick in teen mental health issues, senior isolation issues, federal changes to SNAP and career development changes in unemployment — all are areas where JFCS’ staff can help. A person does not need to be a pop Funk said that COVID has required some juggling in her life. She is currently in Egypt working on a non-fiction book while her 6-year-old daughter is in Israel with family. That separation, Funk said, was necessary to create the head space for writing anything longer than an article. Gorelik agreed, and jokingly remarked that it was only after her two young children were home from school due to Bavarian pandemic protocols that she realized how much each child actually talked. Gorelik explained, in all seriousness, that constant conversation with her children made it difficult to work and ultimately resulted in having to delay the publication of her newest novel. She added that, like Funk, she chose to write articles throughout the pandemic, as they required less concentration than longer literary pieces. Before concluding the discussion, Gallagher mused whether Virginia Woolf was correct when declaring that “a woman


she thought it might be fun for her family to color an extended tablecloth-sized item together. But as opposed to buying a map of the U.S. and learning more about the nation’s geography, Davis bought an oversized picture of a llama. Why would someone want to color a large blank camelid? Because llamas are cool and “anything oversized is so exciting,” Davis said. Once the project arrived, though, Davis quickly learned the challenge of working with enormous art. “It took so long to do anything,” she said. “It took so long to color. It was just annoying.” So, with no one pining to color the pack animal, the giant item was eventually shelved. Nearly 20 months have passed since Davis made her first regretful pandemic purchase. She said she’s learned a few lessons about easily spillable beads, a desk that’s not conducive for studying and a llama no one wants to color. Those lessons, she continued, could be helpful for future purchasers. “Maybe think about things that are useful post-pandemic,” Davis said. Once this period is over, “we probably won’t need to sit at a floor desk.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

star to support the work of JFCS and the pantry, Bolton said. “We have people that give $1, people that give two hours of their time a week or month,” he said. “We have people that just write a letter thanking us and we hang it in the back of the pantry, and it warms the heart of our staff. We have a really powerful, loving community and we’re thankful for the support.” Bolton said the pantry is both honored and thankful for Khalifa’s gift. Coming full circle, JFCS posted a note online as well. “Thank you once again to Wiz Khalifa for helping out his hometown and the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry! Pick up one of these amazing prints and help us feed our community!”  PJC David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Ellen Resnek, educational programs and outreach manager at Classrooms Without Borders, said there’s a value in Pittsburghbased listeners clicking onto a conversation between German Jewish writers, as these types of discussions help forge a “transatlantic bond between Germans and Americans.” When people share their experiences, it’s easier to find commonalities, Resnek said. “When we think about our interconnectedness across the ocean and generations, we need to explore the Jewish narrative in all of its elements,” she said. “By bringing the literary elements and young people’s voice into the conversation it perpetuates the idea that we are one people. Although our experiences are varied, we all have a thread of interconnectedness.”  PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. DECEMBER 3, 2021  15

Life & Culture ‘People Love Dead Jews.’ The living ones, not so much. — BOOKS — By Toby Tabachnick | Editor

“People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present” Dara Horn W.W. Norton & Company (2021)


ara Horn ends the introduction to her new book, “People Love Dead Jews,” with the hope that her readers “find it as disturbing as I do.” What she wanted to write, though, was something more direct: that she hoped her readers would “hate it as much as I do.” Horn told a group of Jewish journalists gathered to discuss her book earlier this month that her publisher made her soften her words. That was the right decision, as “disturbed” is a much more accurate way than “hate” to describe how a (Jewish) reader will react to Horn’s essays that, in the author’s words, cover “the endless upspoken ways in which the popular obsession with dead Jews, even in its most apparently benign and civic-minded forms, is a profound affront to human dignity.” “I wish I did not feel the need to do this,” Horn writes in her introduction. “But I want my children, and your children, to know.” Horn, a novelist whose stories center on Jewish characters and subjects, turns essayist in her newest tome as she reflects on the world’s fascination with Jews who have died and its collective shrug when it comes to Jewish life. The 230-page collection of essays is the most astute, sensitive and honest book I have read about antisemitism.

Horn’s writing style — unabashedly frank, smart and even funny at times — serves as the perfect vehicle for her two central theses: People tell stories about dead Jews that make them feel better about themselves; and Jews must erase some aspect of themselves in order to gain public respect in non-Jewish societies. Horn begins the book with a chapter called “Everyone’s (Second) Favorite Dead Jew,” an exegesis on the world’s obsession with Anne Frank. Horn doesn’t waste time making her point. By page 2, she jars the reader awake by contrasting the popularity of Frank’s diary (it has sold more than 30 million copies) and tours of the house where she was hidden, with a disconcerting incident that occurred in 2018. A young man who worked at the Anne Frank house was told by his employers to wear a cap to conceal his yarmulke. The leaders of the museum were seeking “neutrality,” they said, and a Jewish worker wearing a kippah might “interfere” with the museum’s “independent position.” It took four months for the museum to finally agree to allow the yarmulke in public, “which seems like a rather long time,” Horn writes, “for the Anne Frank House to ponder whether it was good idea to force a Jew into hiding.” In a later chapter, “Blockbuster Dead Jews,”

Horn writes of last year’s comprehensive exhibition, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away” at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, and expounds on the proliferation of Holocaust museums and memorials across the U.S. in the 1990s. She writes: “The idea was that people would come to these museums and learn what the world had done to the Jews, and where hatred can lead. They would then stop hating Jews.” “It wasn’t a ridiculous idea,” Horn continues, “but it seems to have been proven wrong. A generation later, antisemitism is once again the next big thing, and it’s hard to go to these museums today without feeling that something profound has shifted.” As she notes the breadth and detail of the “Auschwitz” exhibit in New York, Horn wonders what its purpose was. While the “official” answer is “Everyone must learn the depths to which humanity can sink,” Horn worries that, instead, it sets the bar “rather high” when it comes to dangerous Jew hatred. “Yes, everyone must learn about the Holocaust so as not to repeat it,” she writes. “But this has come to mean that anything short of the Holocaust is, well, not the Holocaust.” Like a lone wolf shooting people in a synagogue. In the chapter, “Commuting with Shylock,” Horn lays bare the strained efforts of English

professors to prove that Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is not antisemitic — when it clearly is. I can attest this is a real phenomenon. In both Shakespeare classes I took as an undergraduate, the instructors stressed Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes?...If you prick us, do we not bleed?” monologue as proof that the Bard was saying that Jews were just like everyone else. Horn writes that she also handed this explanation to her 10-year-old son while listening to an audio version of the play. The child, in response, laughs: “You seriously fell for that?” “There is a terrible bond at work here,” Horn writes, “tying us inexorably to a long history of ugly caricatures and spilled blood. And there is also a much subtler and more insidious bond, tying us to the need to justify it and accept it.” From the preservation of Jewish heritage sites in the Middle East and elsewhere that ignore the reasons why Jewish communities no longer exist in those locales, to the Jewish martyrs of the former Soviet Union, to the lack of public empathy when visibly Orthodox Jews are murdered in America, Horn pulls no punches in calling out the hypocrisy that continues to fuel antisemitism. Yes, it is disturbing. It is also a must-read.  PJC Toby Tabachnick can be reached at ttabachnick@pittsbsburghjewishchronicle.org. Join the Chronicle Book Club on Dec. 19 to discuss “People Love Dead Jews.” Email drullo@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org to register for the Zoom link.

‘Shrink Next Door’ looks for breakthroughs — STREAMING — By Sasha Rogelberg | Contributing Writer


he Hippocratic Oath is a Greek text that every physician and medical professional takes when beginning their career. It’s a promise to “do no harm” and prioritize the patient above all else, lest the doctor loses their license and the patient their well-being. Apple TV+’s limited series “The Shrink Next Door,” which premiered on Nov. 12, pushes the meaning of that oath to the brink through the troubled and troubling relationship between a charismatic and calculating therapist and his pushover client. Adapted from the Wondery and Bloomberg podcast of the same name by Joe Nocera and based on a true story, the series shows the 30-year relationship between psychiatrist Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) and patient Marty Markowitz (Will Ferrell), which skirts the line between comradery and manipulation. Rudd — whose Jewish grandparents changed their name from Rudnitsky — portrays Dr. Ike as an easy-going, gregarious man: He’s a smiling therapist and active

16  DECEMBER 3, 2021

member of his modern Orthodox synagogue. As a Jewish man himself, Rudd captures the familiar New York diction toned down by his character’s affluent lifestyle. Dr. Ike takes on new patient Marty after Marty’s sister (Kathryn Hahn) witnesses Marty’s persistent anxiety around his inherited fabric business. Marty bears a bit of a resemblance to Ferrell’s character in the Saturday Night Live sketch “More Cowbell,” complete with bushy, curly locks and thick beard, but with less midriff and less cowbell. He’s a bit schlubby and pathetic, and Ferrell’s New York accent tends to come and go, perhaps exposing himself as a California gentile. The duo’s differences are pointedly shown when Ike takes Marty to a Korean restaurant — which he describes as a deli — to continue their session over lunch. (Ike makes it clear to Marty that he’ll still have to pay for the session’s extra hour.) Ike sits down and begins contentedly slurping noodles with chopsticks. Marty shyly orders a turkey sandwich with nothing else on it. During the series, Ike takes advantage of Marty’s delicate state and tendency to be taken advantage of, first by building him up, then by knocking him down.

p Will Ferrell plays patient Marty Markowitz and Paul Rudd plays therapist Ike Herschkopf in “The Shrink Next Door” on AppleTV+. Photo courtesy of AppleTV+

The series doesn’t waste any time testing Marty and his relationship with his therapist, who is a walking HIPAA violation, disclosing his patience’s identity around his affluent New York neighborhood. Local park-goers, chess players and rabbis alike know Marty


as Ike’s patient, which is perhaps a product of antiquated therapeutic practices from the ’80s, or an intentional exaggeration of Ike’s “unconventional” (read: unethical) practices. Please see Shrink, page 17



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Headlines Shrink: Continued from page 16

With two well-known comedic actors in these two opposing roles, the audience would expect laughs to ensue and, though the show is billed as a drama, it doesn’t shy away from putting Rudd and Ferrell into preposterous situations. But it’s difficult at times for the audience to tell whether the show is an earnest commentary on the ability of doctor-patient relationships to become abusive or if it’s a dramatization of two people’s true stories. Either way, the writing strays into PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG

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farcical territory. “Shrink Next Door” raises the stakes quickly — Ike’s manipulation of Marty is laid on thick rather than as insidious and slow to burn. In the show’s second episode, Ike suggests Marty has a second bar mitzvah, though, as sister Phyllis explains, Marty has already had a bar mitzvah as a 13-year-old, complete with the participation of his loving family and prerequisite gastrointestinal emergencies. The episode — spoilers ahead — spotlights Marty practicing the prayers for an aliyah, which Ferrell manages to pull off with more success than his New York accent, and toward the end of the episode, he ascends to the bimah


For private pleasecast contact Linda to Sciubba to read his Torah portion beforefunctions freezing up, members portray Jewish characters,

only to be assisted by Ike, who has been duti“The Shrink Next Door” has no problem Hours: fully standing beside himMon. the entire time. delving11:30AM-9:00PM into Jewish culture and religion. But 11:30AM-2:00PM Tues.-Fri. 5:00PM-9:30PM The two finish leyning Marty’sSat. Torah with Rudd and Ferrell not pulling any punches portion together before the synagogue in acting out their clear power differential, is erupts with applause. it necessary to show the intimacy of Jewish To a Jewish audience, the discomfort of practices for the sake of dramatic effect? this moment is palpable. It’s clear that even The show is generous with letting the audiin the sophomore episode of the show, Ike ence know that Ike will cross boundaries. has a stronghold over Marty. But more At times, it makes it just as clear that it will disturbingly, Ike has shamelessly grabbed the cross a boundary with the audience as well. spotlight in a show of one-upmanship during Episode five of the show is available to the most sacred part of a Shabbat service — stream now.  PJC something clear to a Jewish audience, but maybe not as obvious to a gentile one. Sasha Rogelberg writes for the Jewish For a show that relies heavily on non-Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication.


DECEMBER 3, 2021  17



Tourists barred from traveling to Israel for 2 weeks as the country monitors Omicron variant

‘And the Spirit of God is in [them]’

p Traveler seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, Nov. 28, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

— WORLD — By Shira Hanau | JTA


srael has barred all non-citizens from entering the country for at least two weeks due to concern about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The travel ban began Sunday night at midnight. The announcement was issued Saturday night, one day after the country banned visitors from several African countries due to fear of the omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa. The new rule comes less than a month after the country reopened to foreign tourists for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. “We are currently on the verge of a state of emergency,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday. The first case of the new variant was found in Israel Nov. 25. The new variant includes more mutations than were seen in past variants of

the coronavirus and seems to be spreading quickly across South Africa. It is not yet known whether the variant is more lethal than past iterations of the virus, but public health officials are concerned that it may be more contagious and possibly better at evading the body’s immune response. Beginning Sunday night at midnight, the rules regarding quarantine for Israelis returning from abroad became stricter. Vaccinated Israels returning from abroad who until now were only required to quarantine until receiving a negative COVID test in Israel now have to test once upon landing, quarantine for 72 hours, and take another test on the third day after they arrive. Unvaccinated Israelis returning from abroad have to quarantine for at least one week and may exit quarantine if they receive a negative test on the first and seventh days of their quarantine. Those who do not submit to a test on the seventh day will have to complete a full 14-day quarantine.  PJC

Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt Parshat Mikeitz | Genesis 41:1 - 44:17


s you open up these words, I hope that you are doubly full — satisfied with a meaningful Thanksgiving and hopeful with the lights of Chanukah burning bright in your window. As you are turning to these words now, you, like every other Jew in this world, are preparing for the beauty of Shabbat Chanukah, a time in which we are blessed to read from three sifrei Torah. As you are taking in these words, I hope you will find the twin lights from the chanukiyah and this week’s portion of Mikeitz. Early on in this week’s portion, we find Joseph summoned to Pharoah’s throne room. There, the sole Jew amongst the powerful and elite of the nation, stands steadfast in a place where he surely knows that a wrong answer could easily end his life. Joseph, undeterred and unswayed by the terror of the moment, stands fast and firm in his faith and himself. The actions of Joseph so move Pharoah that he turns and asks, “Is there anyone like this... with the spirit of God within him?” Gen. 41:38. The example of Joseph in this moment is what stands with us, is what is passed on to us as part of our heritage. Our Hasmonean forbearers remained steadfast in their faith, they found within themselves that strength that Joseph possessed. In their moment of terror — the desecration of our Temple, the outlawing of their way of law — they kept the spirit of God alive within themselves. Challenged unlike any generation before them, the first generation to truly know anti-Judaism (what

would later become antisemitism), they steeled themselves, lit the light and found the faith to march forward. As we moved forward from that victory, time and again, until this very moment, we have had countless chances to stand as Joseph once stood. At this very moment, we can look

As we moved forward from that victory, time and again, until this very moment, we have had countless chances to stand as Joseph once stood. to the lights burning brightly in our windows, shining through the night in the public squares, and within the reflection of the light, I believe we can see the heritage of Joseph, of the Hasmoneans, of all those who came before us and stood proudly as they claimed their heritage. We, their descendants, can look at these Chanukah lights, knowing they are not the last embers of a challenged generation, but the burning hope of a people who know how to bring light into a darkened world. As you turn to light your Shabbat and Chanukah candles, may you find the blessings of these lights of hope, of strength, and of a brightened tomorrow.  PJC Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt is rabbi at Temple Ohav Shalom. This column is a service of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association.

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18  DECEMBER 3, 2021



Obituaries MANDEL: Rose V. Mandel of Delray Beach, Florida, formerly of Pittsburgh, passed away on Oct. 13, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Dr, Isadore B. Mandel, married for 56 years. Devoted mother to Helene, Howard (Shelley), and Paul (Diane Perkins). Proud grandmother of Jordan, Harris, Andrew, Michael and great-grandson Max. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60601. REISZ: Walter Jack Reisz, on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. Beloved husband of the late Rachel (Match) Reisz. Beloved father of Cheryl (Thomas) Lawless, Neal (Joy) Reisz, Adam (Lorie Long) Reisz and Joel (Michelle) Reisz. Son of the late Joseph and Helen Reisz. Grandfather of Jessica Jacobsmeyer, Samantha Smith and Hillary O’Dell, Justin Reisz, Erica Alvarez, Emily, Seth and Olivia Reisz. Great-grandfather of eight. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews and Florida companion Roslyn Neiderfer. Predeceased by brothers Harold (surviving spouse Dolores) and Melvin (Marty) (surviving Lana Rolnik). Walter served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War; worked for more than 30 years at PNC Bank as an operations officer and worked at Ralph Schugar Chapel during his retirement years. He resided in Florida for the past eight years. Services were at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Friday, Nov. 26, at 11 a.m. Interment New Light Cemetery. Contributions may be made to New Light Congregation, 5915 Beacon Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or Century Village Temple Beth Shalom, 19140 Lyons Road, Boca Raton, FL 33434. schugar.com SUPOWITZ: Elaine Love Supowitz, age 89, on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Wife of 67 years of Leroy, devoted mother of Janet Supowitz, Carole (Jerry) Katz, Paul (Marcy Nord) Supowitz. Loving grandmother of Glennie (Steve Sherman), Ted and Ben Katz, and Will and Juliet Supowitz. Great-grandmother of Rafi and Lev Sherman. Sister-in-law of Marion Brooks, Patti Love Anouchi and Brenda Love. Preceded in death by her parents, Pat and Goldie (Darling) Love, and her two brothers, Murray and Paul Love. Elaine earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree, Phi Beta

Kappa, and a Master of Letters from the University of Pittsburgh. She was among the founding English department faculty of the Allegheny Campus of the Community College of Allegheny County, where she taught for 29 years. To see Elaine teaching a class was to feel her love of literature. Elaine also took great satisfaction in guiding students through her work at CCAC’s student advising center. Elaine loved reading fiction and Shakespeare plays, having read each one many times. For years, she met weekly with her Shakespeare group to discuss the next act of the play under discussion. She also enjoyed playing bridge. But her greatest pleasure was spending time with family and friends. Elaine was a board member of the Hebrew Free Loan Association for many years, and edited its newsletter, compiling 36 editions. She also was a life member of Hadassah. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered for the Read Together program of Beginning with Books, and served as a study leader several terms at Carnegie Mellon University’s Osher adult learning program. Elaine’s family is grateful to Sybil Eugene, Elaine’s caregiver, and the nurses from Family Hospice, who kept Elaine as comfortable as possible over her last several years. Graveside services and interment will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. at Beth Shalom Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Hebrew Free Loan, P.O. Box 452, Homestead, PA 15120, hflapgh.org, or the Jewish Association on Aging, 200 JHF Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, jaapgh.org/donate. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., family owned and operated. schugar.com WARSZAWSKI: Eva Warszawski, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Abraham “Abie” Warszawski. Beloved mother of Barbara J. (John) Miller, Melinda E. (Troy) Mitchell and Julie I. (Michael Wilson) Warszawski. Sister of Jack (late Marilyn) Rubin, Duffy Rubin, Martin (Margaret) Rubin, Lenny (late Marie) Rubin, Allan (Janie) Rubin, Esther (Bill) McCallum, Ethel (late Andy) Matsko, Beverly Rubin, late Beryl (surviving spouse Bob) Jones, Freida (surviving spouse Jerry) Gross, Marlene (late Frank) Gaito and Manny Rubin. Grandma of Ryan S. (Stephanie Elias) Miller, Allison C. Miller and Troy E. Mitchell, Jr. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Friday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m. Interment New Light Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 444 Liberty Avenue, #1300, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or Alzheimer’s Association, Greater PA, 2835 E. Carson Street, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 or a charity of the donor’s choice. schugar.com  PJC


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

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Selma P. Ryave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sol E. Podolsky

Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Celia Kaddell

Rhoda F. Sikov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ella R. Finn

Susan Cohen . . . . . . . . Howard Bernard Schwartz

Rhoda F. Sikov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Rose

Amy R. Kamin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Celia Kaddell

Rhoda F. Sikov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seymour A. Sikov

Maxine and Larry Myer . . . . . . . .Dora Zeidenstein

Rhoda F. Sikov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ruda Bella Rose

The Love and Rutman Families . . Charlotte Love

Barbara E. Vogel . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sydney Bertenthal

THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS — Sunday December 5: Milton Backal, Baruch Berenstein, Bert Bergad, Marci Lynn Bernstein, Sydney Bertenthal, Fredric Alvin Green, Samuel M. Hyman, Philip Katz, Joseph Levy, Ella Markowitz, Louis Miller, Gust H. Oppenheim, Ralph Pecarsky, Sol E. Podolsky, Abraham W. Shapiro, Rae Specter, William B. Waldman, Bernard H. Weiss, Ann Whiser Monday December 6: Harry I. Alpern, Isadore Caplan, Samuel Davis, Samuel Finkel, Louis Gallet, George J. Golden, Joseph Goldhamer, Minnie Van Praagh Jacobs, Celia Kaddell, Charles Kanselbaum, Lina Kapner, Phillip Larry Katz, Louis Kessler, Sarah E. Kramer, Blanche Levine, Louis Monsein, Louis Rapport, Jacob Robinson, Shirley B. Samuels, Sarah Stein, Albert Zweig Tuesday December 7: Pearl Alinikoff, Ethel Berry, Beyne R. Bricklin, Ida Briskin, Sheldon A. Cohen, Thomas Cohen, Abe Darling, Charles Finesod, John J. Fischer, Morris R. Gordon, Arnold Kanselbaum, Gertrude C. Kimball, William Krapin, Samuel Fishel Londo, Sgt. Max Marcus, Mollie Rubin Pretter, Joseph Recht, Harry Rice, Charlotte June Ruthrauff, Erma R. Spielberger Wednesday December 8: Edna Sarah Bennett, Max L. Berg, Moses Bluestone, Paul Cooper, Sadie Mermelstein Feinberg, Celia Garber, Henrietta Goldman, Phillip Goodman, Nathan Greenberg, Rose B. Gross, Ethel Farber Hoyt, Yetta Klein, Dr. Marvin Kurfeerst, Celia Levin, Racille Light, Ruben Marcus, Samuel Neustein, Belle Mandell Rodin, Ruth Sachs, Bessie Sands, Abraham Schulman, Julius Shapiro, Louis Shapiro, Raymond Weinberg, Bella Zeman Thursday December 9: Anna Arnowitz, Freda Blumenfeld, Dora Cole, Anna Sanes Cukerbaum, Esther Davis, Caroline Falk, Theodore Gold, Abe Goldstein, Josephine Levine Gottlieb, Ada Hilsenrath, Anna Hinkes, Harry Kellman, Harry Klatman, Josiah Drotman Lazar, Harry Levinson, Samuel Mandelblatt, Abe Mullen, Sadie Segal, Jennie Shaffer, Tillie Simon, Louis B. Supowitz, William Zeidenstein Friday December 10: Berul Amstey, Fannie Berner, Florence G. Davidson, Joseph Goldhammer, Ethel J. Greenberg, Helene Tumpson Horewitz, Albert Marcus, David Miller, Edwin L. Miller, Fannie Pecarsky, Fannie Robinson, Maida Rothaus, Esther Levy Shapiro, Sophie Patz Strauss, Matthew Teplitz, Ida Sack Tobias, David Weinberger, Morris Wolf Saturday December 11: Bess B. Aberman, Abraham Boodman, Rebecca A. F. Finkelhor, Henry E. Green, Esther Ruth Karpo, David Labowitz, Reuben B. Lando, Charlotte Love, Anna Miller, Laura Roth Miller, Jerome Myers, Samuel Roth, Samuel Shaffer, Edward H. Talenfeld

Anshe Lubovitz Cemetery This historic stone is a testimony to the imprint that “Cemetery Anshe Lubawitch” had on its founders and members. Like many cemeteries, it kept those from the town of Schedrin in Russia together long after their Hill District shul had closed. Located in Shaler Township, Anshe Lubovitz became part of the JCBA in 2020.

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 jcbapgh@gmail.com, 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

obituaries@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. Proof of death in the form of death certificate, email from funeral home or link to notice in another publication is required. Black and white photos are $12; color photos are $24.


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DECEMBER 3, 2021  19



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CITY LIVING! GATEWAY TOWERS • UNIT 16G • $200,000 Unit is move-in ready! Stainless appliances, granite counter tops, tons of cabinet space, washer/dryer in unit. Breathtaking panoramic city views! LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION convenient to Market Square, theater district and sporting events, plus much more! HOA includes all utilities but electric/cable. Amenities include 27/7 security, doorman, gym/sauna/showers, social room, on-site maintenance and management staff. Pet friendly building with a small outdoor pet space. New windows were installed in June of 2020. A must-see unit!

The Winchester | 540 N. Neville St. Pristine condo!! Generous size 2 bdrms 2 baths. Bright living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen. Lots of closets throughout. Valet parking, indoor pool, rooftop deck with beautiful view. Close to everything.

GATEWAY TOWERS • 10-O and 12-O UNITS SALE/LEASE $200,000 or $1,300/MO. Great location in the City of Pittsburgh with city and river views! Units are move-in ready and beautifully decorated and furnished. The condos face south so lots of natural sunlight comes through the new windows that open to let the fresh air in! There are Bosch washers and dryers in the units. Convenient to the Market District and sporting events, plus much more! HOA includes all utilities but electric/cable. Amenities include 24/7 doorman, social room, gym/sauna/showers, on-site maintenance and management staff. Pet friendly building! The units are available for sale or one-year lease. 4601 FIFTH AVENUE • UNIT 225 • OAKLAND • $121,500 Well maintained and move in ready apartment in the heart of Oakland! Updated bathroom, two great size bedrooms, and tons of closet space, free laundry located in the basement, bike storage area in the parking garage, and 24-hour staff. There is indoor valet parking, a large guest parking lot and a wonderful outside park area. Monthly fee includes ALL UTILITIES, building maintenance, AND REAL ESTATE TAXES (the building is a co-op). Carnegie Museums, Universities, UPMC hospitals, restaurants, and public transportation are all nearby! This apartment is a must see!

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

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SQUIRREL HILL • $349,900 • MELVIN STREET REDUCED! 2-story family home awaits your family. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2nd floor laundry. First floor living room, dining room, remodeled kitchen and a large, versatile room with cathedral ceiling that can be used as a wonderful family room, office, den, primary bedroom suite, or in-law suite. Devin Canofari 412-552-9115 FOX CHAPEL AREA • CHAPEL POINTE • $575,000 Beautiful, updated first floor unit with lovely river marsh views. Wall of windows, DING gorgeous hardwood floors. Cook’s kitchen PENwith lighted glass front cabinets. Spa-like master bath. Call Betsy Thompson 412-708-5866 SHADYSIDE • THE HIGHWOOD CONDO • $169,000 Charming 2 bedroom with great windows Iand light, hard wood floors, roof top deck D NG PENcome on the market. Permitted to have 2 cats. and assigned parking. These units rarely JILL and MARK PORTLAND RE/MAX REALTY BROKERS 412.521.1000 EXT. 200

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DECEMBER 3, 2021 21

Life & Culture Stephen Sondheim, Jewish theater legend who reshaped the American musical, is dead at 91 — THEATER — By Ron Kampeas | JTA


tephen Sondheim, the Jewish lyricist and composer who redefined the American musical through a monumental canon of influential and innovative theatrical works, has died at 91. He died suddenly Friday after enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with friends at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, The New York Times reported. Sondheim’s stunning debut came writing the lyrics to Leonard Bernstein’s score for “West Side Story” in 1957, at age 27. Sondheim was born to Jewish parents in New York City but raised without any formal Jewish background, to the extent that he once said Bernstein had to explain to him how to pronounce the words “Yom Kippur.” Sondheim’s other well-known musicals include “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music” and “Sunday in the Park With George.” Many of them were not smash hits immediately, as he avoided traditional Broadway formulas that would immediately draw audiences. Instead, he crafted musicals that dealt with subjects that had not received treatments on mainstream stages: loneliness, despair and the artistic temperament. There was the young man who is terrified of emotional commitment in “Company”

p Stephen Sondheim listens to music in the recording control room during the original cast recording of the Broadway musical “Into The Woods,” in New York, 1987. Photo by Oliver Morris/Getty Images

(1970); the family torn apart by emotional dishonesty in “A Little Night Music” (1973); the vicious serial killer in “Sweeney Todd” (1979); and the artist in the midst of conceiving a masterpiece in “Sunday in the Park with George” (1984). “Into the Woods,” a mashup of characters from multiple fairy tales, won several Tony Awards in 1987. Revivals staged years after often did better

than original runs, but he is often cited as one of the 20th century’s most influential theater writers. Sondheim — who did not entertain a romantic partnership until he was 60 — also often wrote about loneliness and whether the capacity to create a longterm relationship was possible. “Send In the Clowns,” a signature song from “A Little Night Music” that Frank Sinatra recorded a popular version of, remains a famous lamentation about bad timing when it comes to love. “Isn’t it rich?” sings the character Desiree. “Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground, You in mid-air?” Sondheim hated when his fans and biographers attempted to examine his life to understand his music, but it was an irresistible enterprise. Born into a wealthy family in New York that ran a dressmaking company, his father left him and his mother when Sondheim was 10 years old, and his mother heaped on him hateful scorn, once telling him that her greatest regret was that he was born at all. He found mentorship and a father figure in his teen years in a family friend, Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist of Jewish descent who had heralded an earlier revolution in the American musical, leading its transition in the 1920s from lighthearted reviews to novelistic treatments of major issues. Hammerstein plotted out a four-step training for Sondheim while he was still in high school: Adapt a good play into a musical, adapt a flawed play into a musical,

adapt a musical from another literary form, write your own musical. Sondheim stuck assiduously to the course and at 22 began auditioning songs around New York. A producer, Lemuel Ayers, commissioned Sondheim to write songs for a musical he was producing, but Ayers died before it could be staged. Sondheim’s skills nonetheless became known in Broadway circles and at age 25, he was asked to come on board and write the lyrics for a musical Bernstein was planning based on “Romeo and Juliet.” That became “West Side Story,” and Sondheim’s skill at weaving doom and despair into romance was immediately evident in the signature song, “Somewhere”: “There’s a place for us/ Somewhere a place for us/Peace and quiet and open air/Wait for us somewhere.” Sondheim was a generous interview, speaking to journalists and even critics at length, and lacerating himself for years about lyrics he believed post-facto were misconceived. He hated that the big, emotive note in “Somewhere” was the “a” in “There’s a place for us.” Sondheim earned multiple honors besides his many Tony’s, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. He settled into a comfortable elder statesman status late in life, traveling into New York this year to see revivals of his musicals, and living with his husband, Jeffrey Romley, whom he married in 2017 and who survives him.  PJC

Here’s to your health: Unstuffed cabbage soup — FOOD — By Carole Mantel | Special to the Chronicle


ne of my favorite foods, hands down, is stuffed cabbage. After making it a few times with my mom, my background in productivity improvement kicked in — I simply needed to find a quicker way to prepare this tedious dish. Additionally, I have reduced salt in my cooking for various family members’ health needs. Luckily, kosher meat is salted in the koshering process and therefore is already flavorful without adding more. The health benefits of reducing salt include less water retention and inflammation. This healthy dish can be eaten guilt free. Like many other people, I have reduced carbs in my diet so I enjoy this soup “as is,” but you can certainly serve it over steamed rice to make it even more hearty. The 36 ounces of raw meat I use in this recipe is very intentional … double chai! The recipe is simple, easy to double and freezes well. Just in time for the cold weather, here is my version of unstuffed cabbage soup. Unstuffed cabbage soup Serves 4+


22  DECEMBER 3, 2021

Cooking oil spray 4 tablespoons onion, chopped 3 stalks of celery, diced 3 carrots, peeled and diced 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped 36 ounces raw, 96% lean ground chuck ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning ½ head white cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes 1 can low sodium tomato sauce 4 cups low sodium chicken broth

Directions: Use a large stockpot sprayed with cooking oil. Over a medium heat, cook the ground meat, onion and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until meat is no longer pink. In a crock pot set to high, add the cooked meat and remaining ingredients and cook for a few hours. Stir occasionally. The soup is ready when the cabbage wilts and everything is hot. Serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!  PJC Carole Mantel is an independent health coach and home chef living in Pittsburgh.

 Unstuffed cabbage soup


Photo by Carole Mantel


Community Helping hands

Making art

Campers from J&R Day Camp and South Hills Day Camp joined students from the Jewish Community Center’s ECDC and campers from Hosanna House and South Hills Interfaith Movement, in making 700 Kindness Bags. The project, which was headed by PJ Library Pittsburgh Coordinator Danielle West, enabled bags to be delivered in time for Thanksgiving.

p Temple David’s Weiger students learned about Israeli artist Hanoch Piven’s creative techniques before attempting to make pieces of their own. Photo courtesy of Temple David

p PJ Library Pittsburgh Coordinator Danielle West delivers Kindness Bags to Matthew Bolton of the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. Photo courtesy of Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh

Caring Freezer Volunteers prepared food for Temple Sinai’s Caring Freezer on Nov. 21. As part of the project, caring bags are given to families with new babies, someone coming home from the hospital or a person who has a chronic illness and/or financial difficulty.

I’m here to pump you up

p Bill Padnos helps

p Tonya Bass volunteers Photos by Mara Kaplan

Babka Bake p Personal trainer Medardo Lomeli works with a client at the South Hills JCC. Photo courtesy of Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh

Macher and Shaker With the pandemic highlighting the increasing need for mental health services, Dr. Burt Singerman was recently recognized for helping residents of Western Pennsylvania. Singerman received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Psychiatry from the Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society for 2021. The award was given for his leadership as the head of three large academic departments of psychiatry, including being the chairman of psychiatry at St. Francis Medical Center.

u Dr. Burt Singerman Photo courtesy of Ellen Singerman


p 30 young Jewish professionals joined together to bake babka and learn about Jewish tradition. The event was hosted by Chabad Young Professionals and instructed by Yaara Amram. Photo by Henoch Rosenfeld


DECEMBER 3, 2021  23


Empire Kosher Fresh Boneless Chicken Breasts

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Available at 24  DECEMBER 3, 2021