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NEW JERSEY JEWISH NEWS

G R E AT E R M E T R O W E S T E D I T I O N A P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E J E W I S H W E E K M E D I A G R O U P Vol. LXX IV No. 13 | March 26, 2020 | 1 N I SAN 5780

njj ew is hnews . c o m

Death and Jewish ritual in the time of coronavirus

Chevra kadisha grapples with the dangers of ritual cleansing South Orange crafter on a mission State & Local 4

Westfield activist featured in film, book

Johanna Ginsberg NJJN Senior Writer

State & Local page 4 ➞

Days of darkness, then and now. And a message of hope From the Cuban Missile Crisis to coronavirus lar clothing store in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Pikesville. But I said no. ne day in OcWhat’s the use of tober 1962, my buying a new suit, parents visited I as ked my parents , me at school and enwhen it’s likely that the couraged me to come with them so they could Between world will be destroyed in the next couple of buy me a new suit. It the Lines days? was a tempting offer. Like so many around the After all, I was in the 10th grade at the Talmudical Academy of globe, I was frightened and deBaltimore — classes were from pressed at the prospect of an all9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — so a chance out nuclear war, which seemed to miss part of the day, with per- imminent. We were in the midst mission from my parents, was of what is now described as the appealing. As was the prospect Cuban Missile Crisis, a dramatiof a suit from Calby’s, a popu- cally tense 13-day confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the American discovery of Russian ballistic missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from the southern coast of Florida. The episode marked the height of the longstanding conflict between the world’s two superpowers, whose

Gary Rosenblatt Special to NJJN

Helpful tips for seder newbies Passover 9

State & Local Opinion Crossword Community Calendar LifeCycle Touch of Torah Exit Ramp

4 15 16 17 18 19 24 27

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Continued on page 12

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lmost immediately after Covid-19 took a stranglehold on our world, Jewish mourners lost the physical presence of friends and family during burial and shiva, which are now conducted via phone and video conferencing. Less talked about is how the coronavirus is stripping away tahara, one of Coronavirus Judaism’s most private but sanctified practice, that of ritually preparing the body of a beloved member of the community for burial. The question now facing chevrot kadisha, holy burial societies, around the country: to tahara or not to tahara? There is no consensus on whether this essential Jewish practice should be suspended in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two national groups have taken up the question in the last few days and made different recommendations. In Israel, tahara was banned and then reinstated. And multiple local rabbis, using nearly identical language, have said the situation is “too fluid to comment.” “It’s changing every single day,” said Louis Urban of Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel in Livingston. “I just got off the phone with a family. And I was very, very honest with them and said the longer it takes us to make our mind up, the chances are things are going to change again.” Tahara is the ritual washing of a deceased, usually by four members of the community wearing protective clothing. Afterward they wrap the body in white ritual garments known as tachrichim, the shroud, and place some earth, often from Israel, on the eyelids. “The family’s anguish, above and be-

Continued on page 10


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An open letter to the community from Regency Jewish Heritage at The Wilf Campus

HANDLING THE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 OUTBREAK The impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow and impact all aspects of our lives. This situation is unprecedented, fluid and evolving. With all the uncertainty, our primary focus continues to be the safety and well-being of the patients, residents, families & staff at Regency Jewish Heritage at The Wilf Campus. After several high-level conversations with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as the Governor’s office, New Jersey’s Commissioner of Health and infection control physician specialists, we have implemented a wide range of extensive measures to effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19, including clinical services, sanitation, visitation and staffing.

CARING FOR AN ELDERLY LOVED ONE AT HOME? We understand how much additional stress the coronavirus has caused to at-home caregivers, especially for those also dealing with the added variable of their children being home due to school closures. If your situation becomes too overwhelming, Regency Jewish Heritage is able to provide short-term respite stays. In fact, we have established an Emergency Fund for Elderly community members who need it. Call Marlene at 732-873-2000 for details. We are grateful for the community’s help and support during this trying time.

David Gross Regency Jewish Heritage, President

Regency Jewish Heritage at the Wilf Campus Post-Acute, Rehab & Nursing Center

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El Al flies them home

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Fans of Scarlett Johansson will have to wait a City/State/Zip 2 years $92 2 years $84 Address Provide an e-mail address and ge little longer to see the Jewish actress starring in Check Enclosed 1501 Broadway, Suite 505, New York, NY, 10036 3 years *Savings offEnclosed regular $49.00 subscription price.$125 Please allow up3 to 4years weeks for$136 delivery of first issue. www.thejewishweek.com Provide an e-mail address and get our online newsletter FR Checkoff 1501payment Broadway, Suite 505, New York, NY, 10036 05P17 “Black Widow,” according to JTA. *Savings regular $49.00 subscription price. Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of first issue.3. Choose www.thejewishweek.com method: City/State/Zip 05P17 Expiration Date off regular $49.00 subscription price. Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of first issue.Number www.thejewishweek.com The film, which was scheduled*Savings to be reCard Number Expiration Date Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery Card 05P17 Send To: Send To: Provide an e-mail address and get our online newsletter FR of first issue. 52 issues per year. leased on May 1, has been delayed indefinitely Check Enclosed Check Enclosed 1501 Broadway, 1501 Suite 505, New York, SN Broadway, because of the coronavirus, Deadline HollyCard Number Expiration Date Signature *Savings off regular $49.00 subscription price. Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of first issue. www.thejewishweek.com Send To: *Savings off regular $49.00 subscription price. Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of first issue. www.t Please mail to: wood reported. Check Enclosed (made payable to JWMW, LLC.) Check Enclosed 1501 Broadway, Suite 505, New York, N NJ Jewish News - Subscriptions In addition to most movie theaters being off regular $49.00 subscription price. Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of first issue. www.thejewishweek.com 1 year 2 years 3 years 901 Route 10, Whippany, NJ 07981 *Savings closed, the pandemic also prevents the stars GMW from traveling throughout the country for movie premieres and interviews. Some films will go directly to streaming, according to reports. PUBLISHER’S STATEMENT Meanwhile, “Wonder Woman 1984,” New Jersey Jewish News, an independent voice, seeks to inform, engage and inspire starring the Israeli actress Gal Gadot, is still its readers, covering and helping to build Scarlett Johansson at the scheduled to be released in theaters on June 5. community. The Greater MetroWest edition of NJJN (USPS 275-540) is published weekly Academy Awards in February. Warner Bros. confirmed to Indiewire that the by the JWMW, LLC, at 1501 Broadway, Room film will have a “full theatrical run.” Vol. LXXIV No. 13 March 26, 2020 1 Nisan 5780 505, New York, NY 10036. © 2016, NJ Jewish ®

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Factors of achievement

Two retired Jewish professors, including a Yeshiva University graduate who taught in Jerusalem for nearly four decades, have won the Abel Prize for mathematics, the equivalent of a Nobel. Hillel Furstenberg, 84, and Gregory Margulis, 74, will split the monetary award of about $700,000. There is no Nobel for mathematics. The Abel has been given out annually Hillel Furstenberg, one of two winby the Norwegian Academy of Sci- ners of the Abel Prize for mathematics. ence and Letters since 2003 to honor important advances in mathematics. Furstenberg and Margulis were recognized for their trailblazing work in probability and dynamics. Furstenberg, a Berlin native, left Germany with his family for the United States just prior to World War II, The New York Times reported. He was an undergraduate at Yeshiva University and earned a doctorate at Princeton. Later he moved to Israel and joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1965, where he worked until his retirement in 2003. Margulis, a Moscow native, received a doctorate from Moscow State University in 1970 and won the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics achievement eight years later at 32. He was not allowed to leave the country because of his Jewish heritage, but could travel to other universities beginning in the 1980s and eventually took a position at Yale in 1991. The ceremony, scheduled for May 19 in Oslo, Norway, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The award was named after Niels Henrik Abel, a Norwegian mathematician. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

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State&Local

NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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‘Unchained’ founder featured in film, Clinton book Activist advocates for legislation banning child, forced marriage

the Manchester Film Festival for its British premiere, where “Knots” won Best Documentary Feature honors.) As of yet, screenings of the film in New Jersey have not been scheduled. “My hope now is that this film will be the wake-up call that the country needs,” she told NJJN in a phone conversation. Reiss founded Unchained at Last in 2012 to advocate for the end of forced and arranged marriages. It took the Brooklyn native years to get out of her own marriage. Her family and others urged her to “adapt” and stay with him in Lakewood, where they lived as members of the fervently Orthodox chasidic community, despite her husband’s violence and threats. But she found her own

Johanna Ginsberg NJJN Senior Writer

S

peaking in a trailer for the documentary “Knots: A Forced Marriage Story” about her arranged marriage at 19 to an abusive husband in the chasidic community, Fraidy Reiss says, “That’s one of the things that bothers me the most,” her voice cracking. “How could I have been so gullible?” The feature-length film, by writer and director Kate Ryan Brewer, explores forced marriage in the United States through the eyes of three survivors turned advocates: Reiss of Westfield, Sara Tasmeen of California, and Nina Van Harn of Michigan. “Knots” had its premiere at the Omaha Film Festival in Ne-

Fraidy Reiss, center, leads a “chain-in” demonstration supporting legislation to end child marriage last year at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. PHOTO BY SUSAN LANDMANN

braska on March 4, with Reiss in attendance. (In light of the public

health situation, Reiss canceled her scheduled March 14 appearance at

Continued on page 6

Local crafter helps out in health crisis Making face masks for hospitals is ‘clearly tzedakah’ Johanna Ginsberg NJJN Senior Writer

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lba Hochman likes to say she has a “dealer.” But it’s nothing the South Orange resident has to keep hidden. The dealer she works with provides hard-to-find elastic for the team of facemask fabricators she recruited to create much needed Coronavirus protective gear for health-care workers during the coronavirus crisis. Like most others, Hochman, 42, had no idea what to do as the crisis mounted. But as a crafter she knew she could at least create community amid the chaos. With her partner Nancy — her trusted sewing machine — at the ready, she launched her project on March 21. As soon as she started the SoMa (South Orange/Maplewood) Sewing Volunteers Facebook group, reaching out to crafters to find a way to respond to the crisis, close to 200 people joined. At first there was no definite plan, Hochman

Alba Hochman sewing much-needed face masks for health-care workers. PHOTO BY NAOMI HOCHMAN

said. “It was just: Let’s get everybody together…. If we’re all crafters, we’re all willing to do this. How can we all work

together?” Several other community members stepped up to help moderate, and — after Hochman saw CNN reports

on the shortage of facemasks for healthcare providers — they quickly settled on the idea of deploying their skills and sewing machines to make face masks. They contacted Atlantic Health Systems — which encompasses six hospitals, including Morristown and Overlook medical centers and a range of other health services. Staff there provided a pattern and fabric specifications for making effective masks: flannel for the inside, flat cotton on the outside — and, of course, elastic to keep the mask on the face. Group members immediately rallied to support the effort — even those without a sidekick like Nancy — donating materials, cleaning and cutting fabric, picking up or dropping off supplies and, eventually, the products themselves. The result: In its first 24 hours, the effort yielded an impressive output — 112 face masks for use by local healthcare workers. The speed with which the project moved into high gear “gives you a sense

Continued on page 24


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If caring for your elderly loved one has become too overwhelming as a result of Coronavirus, Passover or school closures, we can help! Ask about Regency’s Emergency Fund for Elderly community members who need a short-term respite stay. Contact Marlene - mgrossman@regencynursing.com or 732-873-2000

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NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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State&Local Activist

Continued from page 4 way out, attending Rutgers University (and graduated as class valedictorian) and, after being married for a dozen years, she left her husband — and the community. “I am dead — it’s true,” she often tells audience members at speaking engagements; at least that’s how her family regards her. After founding Unchained at Last, she also fell

into advocacy around the related issue of child marriage, which, she discovered, is legal in most states. So along with her other work, Reiss started campaigning to pass legislation that would ban marriage, with no exceptions, for those under the age of 18. She often says when she speaks, it’s a no-brainer to ban marriage for girls who aren’t yet old enough to file for a divorce. So far just two states, New Jersey and Delaware, have passed such laws, and 10 states have legislation pending. Reiss and her staff and volunteers hold regular “chain-in” demonstrations in

Fraidy Reiss, who escaped her own arranged marriage to an abusive husband, created the organization Unchained at Last to advocate for girls and women in child and forced marriages. places where laws are pending: Wearing wedding gowns and veils, they chain their arms and tape their mouths shut, symbolizing the need for legislative action to end the practice. Reiss’s advocacy has garnered plenty of media attention over the years, including through television, radio, print, and on-line op-ed pieces and interviews. Besides Unchained having been featured twice before in the pages of NJJN, Reiss and her organization have been featured and/or discussed in The New York Times and Buzzfeed News, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, and other public lectures. Most recently, she was part of chain-ins in New Hampshire and Minnesota, where, she said, it was minus 29 degrees outside the statehouse.

Happy Passover from your friends at Valley

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Fraidy Reiss said she was thrilled to be included in the book by the Clintons, mother and daughter, about women who have inspired them.


An op-ed Reiss wrote in The Washington Post a few years back caught the eye — and the Twitter feed — of Chelsea Clinton, who gave her a shoutout. In response, Reiss invited her to collaborate, and the former first daughter accepted. Last summer Reiss learned that Clinton and her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, wanted to include her in “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience” (Simon & Schuster, 2019), their account about pioneers, leaders, educators, and social activists who have inspired them. When a staffer e-mailed Reiss to get her permission, she recalled that her “exact” response was, “Does this mean Hillary knows who I am? OMG, I cannot breathe right now.” She added, “It was not a tough decision.” Even so, it’s clear upon speaking with Reiss that the widespread recognition of her work is far less important than the work itself: her unceasing advocacy for women and girls. When NJJN called her a few weeks ago, she had been watching New Hampshire politicians debate the state bill on TV. She turned down the volume and said, “Sometimes I just want to walk outside and just yell because it’s so obvious, it’s so simple: Child marriage is a human rights abuse, it destroys girls’ lives. It’s so infuriating to watch legislators just not give a crap about girls. “How, how can you sleep or rest well, when that’s still going on?” Reiss continued. “These girls are reaching out to us and asking for help,

Fraidy Reiss is one of three women whose stories were told in the “Knots” documentary. PHOTO BY JOEY VALENTI

and we have to tell them there’s nothing we can do to help you.” According to research conducted by Unchained at Last, 240,000 children under 18 were married in one decade, mostly girls who were married to

adult men. According to Reiss, the organization has helped close to 600 women escape forced marriages through its direct services, and she said she feels really good about using her own trauma as a force to assist other women. Still, it can be complicated when girls under 18 call the organization. But now, when girls in New Jersey or Delaware call, Reiss said she can tell them the practice is no longer legal. “The impact is real and the lives are real,” she said, “and these are girls, instead of being pulled out of school and raped, are now going to have a future…. That’s what keeps us going.” Shifting her attention to the film, Reiss said she first watched it at a private screening for cast and crew while sitting in the front row with the other women featured in the documentary. “We held hands through the entire film, all three of us,” she said. “It was very sweet.” At the public premiere in Omaha, the film received a standing ovation, Brewer, the filmmaker, told NJJN. “People asked really engaging and insightful questions. They wanted to know what they could do to end forced and child marriage,” she said, which, of course, is the goal of the film. Reiss said she was gratified that the audience reacted with all the shock and horror she had anticipated. “I hope it will put us on the map,” she said. “I hope the people who never got the message get it now.” ■ jginsberg@njjewishnews.com

7 NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

State&Local


NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

8

State&Local

Coronavirus restrictions take bite out of kosher eateries Jerusalem Restaurant, Tokyo Hibachi close until after Passover

Jed Weisberger NJJN Staff Writer

H

al Robinson, owner of Rye Deli in Springfield, is usually hustling to make sure he keeps up with his steady collection of catering clients. Orders can include sandwiches for school lunches, chicken marsala for a synagogue fund-raiser, or trays of food for a family sitting shiva. Now he’s simply looking to keep his eatery running. In restaurants across the Coronavirus state, chairs are stacked on tables or removed entirely as social separation prohibits dining in. This drastic change hits kosher businesses especially hard as there’s a mark-

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“We’re just trying to hang in right now,” Rye Deli owner Hal Robinson said about kosher restaurants. NJJN FILE PHOTO

up in the cost of products and additional fees for kosher supervision. Even with the uptick in take-out and delivery options, kosher restaurants are suffering. “I am just hoping we get through this,” Robinson, who opened his deli in October 2016 and is under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of MetroWest, told NJJN in a telephone interview. He said he considers himself “lucky to have the resources to remain open,” for now, and he’s “trying to be innovative” and keep his staff employed during this time. This week the Rye Deli launched a student lunch program with discounted meals for those under 10. For a fee, delivery is available to Springfield, West Orange, and Livingston. “Someday, we’ll be back to normal, but who knows when?” he said. “We’re just trying to hang in right now.” Robinson, whose business is faring better than six others NJJN contacted — two of which have announced closures until after Pesach — said he’s hoping Congress’ proposed stimulus plans will help small business owners. “We could, like all others in our business, really use some help at this point,” he said. The initial stimulus package that passed the House but was still stalled in the Senate at press time, includes a proposal valued at $300 billion to provide forgivable loans of up to $10 million to small businesses. Jerusalem Restaurant in Livingston was one of the two establishments to close until after the Passover holiday, which they announced March 24. “I have made the food for 15 years here, and I can tell, without dine-in customers, we probably are doing about 35 percent of our usual business,” said chef Jacob Rosenboim. “We are usually very busy the two weeks before Pesach, but we’re not. We may have had 10 people for pickup Monday.” Jerusalem, a dairy restaurant, serves pizza, Mediterranean foods, sushi, fish, and more. “With what is going on with the virus, people, both our customers and our staff, are uneasy,” said Rosenboim, who spent this past Tuesday cleaning the restaurant and storing food in freezers. (Jerusalem Restaurant in Elizabeth, under dif-

3/20/20 9:37 AM

ferent ownership than the Livingston location, remains open until Passover.) These times are also challenging for Sam Eriske, who opened Bridge Turkish & Mediterranean Grill in Highland Park early in 2015. He said his facility, which came under the supervision of the Vaad HaRabbonim of Raritan Valley in 2019, was doing quite well until the Covid-19 pandemic and the social separation procedures brought with it. “Our business dropped 90 percent,” Eriske told NJJN. “We have done a little takeout, but we’re not even meeting our expenses, which are $2,000 a day. We are trying to keep going, but it’s not easy.” Eriske’s menu, which includes a variety of kabobs and grilled meats, normally attracts a consistent group of in-house diners. “We can’t do that with our customers right now,” he said. “It’s not easy. We really could use some help like the government is talking about. Currently, we are continuing, but losing $2,000 a day for a month in this situation is $600,000.” “I am worried about these restaurants,” said Rabbi Mendel Solomon of the Chabad of Short Hills. “Our community needs them.” Solomon is one of three co-presidents of the Vaad Harabonim of MetroWest. The other two are Rabbi Chaim Marcus of Congregation Israel in Springfield and Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler of Congregation Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob and David of West Orange. The Vaad sent a letter March 13 to the Greater MetroWest Jewish community encouraging support of local restaurants. “We are asking the entire community to make a special effort to continue patronizing our kosher establishments throughout this difficult time,” it said, and also included business names, contact information, and delivery fees. Solomon told NJJN that patronizing the restaurants is a “double mitzvah.” “One has to eat to sustain life, and one could also help to sustain a kosher business during this very tough time,” he said. However, emotional support from the Vaad is not enough to sustain these businesses. In addition to Jerusalem, Tokyo Hibachi in Springfield announced this week that it will be closed through Passover. West Orange’s Glatt Fusion is considering it as well, according to co-owner Shneor Dobruskin. “Business is very slow,” he told NJJN. “As I said, our community needs these restaurants, and our community wants to see them get back to normal with their businesses,” said Solomon. “We hope this happens sooner rather than later.” ■ jweisberger@njjewishnews.com


CORONAVIRUS DISPATCHES Greater MetroWest partner in Israel diagnosed with Covid-19 An Israeli mayor who has a long-running partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ has contracted the Covid-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Shai Hajaj is mayor of the Merchavim Regional Council, which consists of 14 communities in the northern Negev that have been partnered with Greater MetroWest since the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2gether Peoplehood Platform began in 1996. Originally called Partnership 2000, the program connects individual Jewish communities from around the world to Israeli communities. Hajaj said he caught the virus from the husband of a doctor at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. Four members of Knesset (MKs), including two cabinet ministers, who were in contact with Hajaj at an agricultural conference in Ramat Gan have since had to be quarantined. All the MKs have tested negative.

Two mayors of Greater MetroWest partnership communities in a photo from 2019. Shai Hajaj, at right, mayor of Merchavim, who tested positive for Covid-19, and Itzik Danino, mayor of Ofakim. The mayor said he is feeling well and continues to run Merchavim from his home until he is rid of the virus and his quarantine ends. Hajaj said he wanted to send a message to the people of Greater MetroWest that all the volunteers from their community in Merchavim are completely healthy. “I appreciate the concern of our friends in New Jersey,” he said. “I love them and embrace them, and I’m happy to help them in any way. I hope this period passes soon for the good of all of us.” The virus has also impacted the mayor of Rishon LeZion, Israel’s fourth largest city and another Greater MetroWest partner community. Mayor Raz Kinstlich had to be quarantined, ironically, because the judge at a hearing related to Covid-19 contracted the virus. The hearing was about whether 80 elderly people at a geriatric center had to be removed in order

to enable the center to house coronavirus patients. Kinstlich protested the takeover of the center in court. Not only did he lose the case, he also lost the right to leave his home. His deputies and aides were also quarantined. “The city is still working, even though our offices are closed down,” Kinstlich said. “Don’t worry. My quarantine is almost over, and my city and our partnership with MetroWest will both soon be stronger.” Rishon LeZion has been partnered with Greater MetroWest since 1978, when a disadvantaged neighborhood in the city was tied to federation’s Project Renewal, a joint program of the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency.

Federation’s partnership network is trying to maintain its connections despite many of its leaders being quarantined. Amir Shacham, federation’s associate executive vice president of Global Connections, said he was monitoring the situation and assessing needs. “Because we’re a suburban community and already maintaining a network of overseas partnerships, we’re well-equipped to work remotely and maintain virtual local and global connections,” Shacham said. “We see that even more clearly now.” — GIL HOFFMAN/NJJN Israel Correspondent

Continued on page 18

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13 NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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Editorial

NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

14

What everyone can do while the pandemic rages

T

he coronavirus outbreak and the concomitant shutdowns have taken an enormous toll on our health, our wallets, and our mental wellbeing. Behind each of these challenges is an array of nonprofit organizations with experience helping others in times of crisis and distress. And yet all the elements that have made this crisis unique have also created a unique set of challenges for the nation’s charitable sector. Even as the needs increase, nervous or stretched donors may not be supporting these vital agencies at the levels they need now or even had been accustomed to. Big agencies are doing what they can, but pockets are only so deep. Locally, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is helping community members affected by the crisis through both donations — having voted to allocate up to $1 million in emergency funds to help vulnerable members — and soliciting volunteers for onthe-ground needs. To learn how you can contribute to their efforts, go to

A

jfedgmw.org/covid-19response. But as generous as that is, the needs are still greater. As Congress and state legislators weigh various relief packages, nonprofits are also looking for relief from the government. Several national groups — including UJA-Federation, the United Way, the YMCA and YWCA, and the American Cancer Society — this week asked Congress for emergency funding to nonprofit organizations nationwide. They also requested additional tax breaks and other incentives meant to encourage charitable contributions, and maintenance of vital federal human service programs, including SNAP and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Throughout this crisis, people stuck at home and so far blessed not to face the virus’ effects in their own families have been asking, “What can I do?” The answer: stay home, enable health-care workers by not hoarding supplies, and do what you can to take care of the most vulnerable, through your generous contributions and letting your lawmakers know where you stand. ■

Dark humor helps lighten hard times

stand-up comic’s observation about a young couple’s life in the no-guests era of coronavirus: “The fact that they are exempt from Shabbat dinner with the in-laws is often just a bonus.” An Israeli politician’s suggestion of a use for Ben-Gurion Airport, which is virtually deserted these days: Turn it into a gym. As the Covid-19 disease leaves offices empty and the stock market in tatters, it’s proving fertile ground for defiant humor. In comedy routines, in videos and memes and Facebook postings, people scared for their own health and that of others are finding succor, as in past times of stress, in laughter. Consider some recent headlines. “Laugh Away The Apocalypse With These 15 Coronavirus Memes.” Or “Toilet Paper Humor Saves America During Shortage.” And the Jewish community is doing its fair share, turning out jokes and puns that are uniquely Jewish or uniquely Israeli. An Israeli mom’s Instagram rant about home schooling has gone viral

(“If I don’t die of coronavirus, I’ll die of distance learning!”). David Kilimnick, a Rochester, N.Y.-born stand-up comic who owns the Off the Wall comedy club in Jerusalem, has written several essays about dealing with coronavirus. “Baking Challah is a beautiful Jewish family tradition,” he reminds those stuck at home. “It gets the kids involved, and it gives you a chance to yell at them…. Yelling is an important Jewish experience.” With an eye on Passover, one tweet, referencing the Exodus story of God passing over the homes of faithful Israelite slaves, asks, “nevermind the purell does cvs carry blood of the lamb”? The humor, as in past times of persecution and economic distress, has an optimistic, we-will-get-through-this tone. “Jews thrive on community and sharing. We are a socially interacting, kibitzing community,” says Bob Alper, a rabbi who has worked as a comedian for 30 years. “With new methods of transmission (e-mail, Facebook, Instagram), Jews still find ways to stay connected and make ample use of humor to see them through hard times.” ■

Letters to the Editor Vote Trump

I find myself writing after reading Gabe Kahn’s “The lesser of two nominees” (Garden State of Mind, Feb. 20). At first I wanted to pull a Rep. Nancy Pelosi and tear it up. I just can’t fathom what Kahn is speaking of — I am referring to him saying that Sen. Bernie Sanders is the lesser of two evils. His comparison of Sanders to Pres. Donald Trump is crazy. First off, I will vote for Trump. In fact, I will vote for Trump over Joe Biden. Trump has done a fantastic job starting with our economy, which was soaring before the coronavirus pandemic. Trump works all the time to help make this great country even greater. Is he hard on our allies? Yes. But they have been taking advantage of us forever. He is getting NATO to start paying their fair share for security. Most important is the fact that Trump is a strong, no, super strong, supporter of Israel. He moved the embassy to Jerusalem, which previous presidents said they would but never did. We all know how Sanders feels about Israel. He blames the Israelis for the lack of real peace with the Palestinians. There is an old saying, you need two partners to have a peace agreement. Trump has put forth a peace plan which, of course, the Palestinians knocked down. And by the way, while Biden was vice president an anti-Israel vote came up in the UN and the U.S. let it pass. Also, Biden received an endorsement from Congressman Jim Clyburn, who has appeared with Louis Farrakhan. Trump does not act presidential — maybe because he is not a politician, and thank God for that. So there is no need to wring one’s hands and fret about who one should vote for if it is between Trump or Sanders. Trump is by far and away the choice. And if the Democrats would work with this president and not divide the country, we can get some truly great things done. Merrick Millman Freehold

Delightfully uplifting

Merrill Silver’s Exit Ramp was a

wonderful way to start my morning (“A parent primer — without advice,” March 5). In a world of chaotic political tensions and divides, coronavirus forcing social distancing, and otherwise generational misunderstandings, Silver’s reflections resonate universally and bond us over the happy and the good that so many of us share. I can barely see through my tears, I was so moved. Thanks for running her piece, and for the joy it gave this reader — and I am sure, many others. Risa Bernstein Montclair

No joke

I read the headline “President Trump says, ‘I could shoot a Jew on Fifth Avenue, and you’d still vote for me’” and was shocked, shocked (Purim satire, March 5). A staff member at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County explained to me that it was a Purim joke. I was shocked even more. A “joke” like this is hurtful, in bad taste, piss-poor journalism, and is very inflammatory. I do not like Pres. Donald Trump and would never vote for him. H o w e v e r, y o u r P u r i m “ j o k e ” ranks lower than Trump’s moral profile. Shame on NJJN for publishing it. Howard W. Silbersher Princeton Send letters to the editor to editorial@njjewishnews.com without attachments. Indicate “letter” in the subject line of the e-mail. Include your full name, place of residence, and daytime telephone number. If you are referring to an article in NJJN, please include the headline and edition and date of the paper in which it appeared. Letters also can be mailed to Letters to the Editor, New Jersey Jewish News, 1719 Route 10, Parsippany, NJ 07054; or faxed to 973-887-5999. NJJN reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity, content, and accuracy.


NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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May 12, 2017 • 16 IYYAR 5777

May 12, 2017 • 16 IYYAR 5777

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t was a thorn in U.S.-Israel relations for years. Right or wrong, former President Barack Obama’s decision, right at the start of his presidency, to visit Muslim nations around the Middle East while skipping Israel was seen

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as an affront and vote of noconfidence in the U.S. ally. By the time Obama did visit in the first months of his second term, the scar had never healed. Now, in a contra st with his predecessor, Presid ent Donald Trump is plann ing a quick swing through Israel first trip abroad since on his his inauContinued on page 23

Gary Rosenbla tt Editor and Publi sher

ess than three month s after the Ortho dox Union issued a halachic prohibition against women serving in clerical roles, three leader s of the influential nation al body have begun meeti ng with the rabbis of the four OUmember synagogues in the U.S. that employ women clergy, The Jewis h Week has learned. Some believe the visits may be a first step toward Between punitive The Lines m e a sures, and possible expul sion, Rabba Sara for congregations Hurwitz: “Glad to that do know that the OU is finally not conform with meetthe OU’s ing a few of [Yeshivat Maha Continued on page rat’s] 7 graduates.” Y E S H I V AT M AH A R AT

MANHATTAN • $1.00

May 12, 2017 • 16 IYYAR 5777

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Crown Heights’ New Food Scene

Trump’s First Tri p: Into Belly Of Th e Beast Trump’s First Tri p: Into Belly Of Th e Beast

y 21, 2017 York Post. Follow him on Twitter at: M 06/30/2017 everything upside down. Indeed, with same path. fate of Trump or Netanyahu. I ZAMIR HORALE Call 212-870-3335 ZAMIR NODCED Expires HAZAMIR more people stuck at home with little It’s easy to blame Trump for IIhis Rather than indulging in partisan- @jonathans_tobin. On A Jam With I ller Give A Gift Subscription To: Ro to do but to watch the grim news on willingness to torch his opponents and Derby’s MOTs 06/30/2017 CELEBRATE CERU JE LESA BRLE ATM E May 21, 2017 TV or to vent on social media, the the press when he should be concenJE ZRU SA On CE Call 212-8 LECBRLE A Jam With 21,70-33 201735 ATM May Z Z N C H Z E Call 212-8 Roller Derby’s MO 35 ZJERU LE May 21,70-33 result is not a collective sobering up trating on the crisis. But he’s hardly N SAH 2017 Z M Ts Z C Call 212-870-3335 Give A Gift Subscription To: I Z N SUBSCRIPTION RATES FOR H Z Give A Giftalone Subscription To: as we move away from snark and in his inability to transcend po- Name Give A Gift Subscription To: NEW SUBSCRIBERS recriminations to face the challenge litical warfare. Moreover, the rush to CELE I Apt. No.BRATE Name GREATER METROWEST JERUEDITION together. Rather, the political tem- apportion blame for a situation that Address SALEM May 21, 2017 Name Z C Call 212-870-3335 Z Name N H Z perature of the country has remained was unlikely to have been signifiAddress Apt. No. CE LE BR Address Apt. No.City/State/Zip AT OUT OF STATE IN STATE E Give A Gift Subscription To: JERUSALEM perilously high. cantly ameliorated May 21, 2017 Address Apt. No. Z C Call 212-870-3335 City/State/Zip mailing address mailing address Z N H I Z There have been by any conceiv- Provide an e-mail address P City/State/Zip and get To: our online newsletter FREE! 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DREYFUS/JW ofonDavid their keep survivin The over league 102-pla heryer goes by the treif leftleague, g.” February. “Those eye — iswhich get back up in not the same goes but lov- ish is only ranked ablyThe Jewplayer campy No.to1 monikefor you fallare As again when sport her Judaism Continued on page r being Jewish, said saidtraits. down,” proudly Gotham Girls we fall Ham LinFinemaan,people, Fineman — 20 roller Hebrew but we 102-pla oval. The derby skater who paintsona the surviving.”28, who joineddown the Gotham Dara keep league, Fineman, who goes Girls league in David over heryer is Star of No. left eye — which February. “Those by 1 isContinu not the ranked only page 20to are ably campy monike the treif but lov- ish traits. As a people, we fall down Jew- proudly sport her Judaism ed on player r Hebrew Ham Linon the IN CONCER but we 102-pla keep surviving.” yer league, which T oval. The is ranked No. 1 Continued

IN CONCERT

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AMIR HORALE AMIR ODEwithD A AMIR AMIR HORALE AMIR ODEwithD A AMIR HORALEAMIR AMIR ODED A AMIR

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IN CONCER www.ZamirChoralF T oundatio

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NEW JERSEY JEWISH NEWS

IN CONCERT

on page 20

G R E AT E R M E T R O W E ST E D I T I O N

A P U B L I C AT I O N O F THE JEWISH WEEK MEDIA GROUP Vol. LXX I No. 37 | September 14, 2017 | 23 E LU L 5777

IN CONCERT

njjewishnews.com

A year for ‘dreamers’ ‘We have lost a giant to realize their goals in our community’ Gary Rosenblatt

Local rabbis let Bibi hear it

State & Local 4

Las Vegas novel has roots in Newark

Arts 26

Opinion

There are

more important problems than

the fate of Trump and Netanyahu.

Arts

Community

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Crossword

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Calendar

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LifeCycle

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Touch of Torah Exit Ramp

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Gottesman dead at 87

of a Washington struggle beSpecial to NJJN tween moral decency and poJohanna Ginsberg litical expediency. NJJN Staff Writer t’s only fitting that The program, launched “dreamers” are in the during the Obama adminhilanthropist Jerome news on the istration, protects “Jerry” Gottesman, eve of Rosh undocumented immiHaShanah, ushering 87, of Morristown, grants who arrived in in a High Holy Day the cofounder and the U.S. as children. chair season that focuses of Edison Properties T h e s e a r e y o u n g in Newark, Jerry Gottesman was us on visions, goals, died in Israel on people — the oldest Sept. and aspirations for 10. The funeral was honored at the Joseph would now be 36 and h e l d the new year. a t G o t t e s m a n RT W Kushner Hebrew AcadBetween most are between the Academy in Randolph two emy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva The media headl i n e s h a v e b e e n The Lines ages of 22 and 28 days later, with interment at High School 69th annual — who trusted the B’nai about President Abraham Memorial dinner in May. government and pro- Park Trump’s callous decision to in Union. vided personal information to “We have lost a dear friend end the Deferred Action for and a giant in our commuenroll in the program, which nity,” said Scott Krieger, president Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allowed them to apply for leof the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, program, which could result which spans Essex, Morris, gal status and work permits, Sussex, Union, and parts of in the U.S. deporting about Somerset counties. “Thinking renewable every two years. through the lens of real estate, 800,000 so-called “dreamers” Jerry understood that building By all indications, these Jewish community meant deep who are the innocent victims investment today, but always Continued on page 20 with an eye to the future.”

Deconstructing Shylock

Continued on page 31

faculty of the Yale Split casting uncovers ambiguity School of Drama and in innovative ‘Merchant’ at MSU whose work has been shown and acAbby Meth Kanter ductive “binary” take on what claimed across NJJN Editorial Adviser is arguably Shakespeare’s the United most controversial character. States and around s Shylock a venal vilIn its American premiere, The Compagnia de’ Colomthe world, is also lain, an embodiment of Compagnia founding director de’ Colombari’s bari, including Sorab Wadia negative Jewish stereo- innovative of Colombari. The production of “The (Graziano) and Ned Eisentypes, or a tragic vic- Merchant theater company, of Venice” will play berg (Shylock #5) in “The tim doomed by his enemies’ at Montclair State University Merchant of Venice.” an international anti-Semitic antipathy? An Sept. 19-Oct. 1 as part of the P HOTOS BY AN DR EA M ESSANA collective of expert involved in a visionary Peak Performances series. performing artgender play Shylock — was staging of “The Merchant of ists, is based in New York but The revolutionary producinitially performed in the JewVenice” claims that a daring was conceived in Orvieto, tion — in which five actors ish Ghetto of Venice last year casting move helps avoid a reItaly, in 2004. of diverse race, ethnicity, and to mark the site’s 500th anniCoonrod said she discovversary and the 400th anniverered that it is the ambiguity sary of Shakespeare’s death. that lies at the heart of ShakeThe play “seems to dig speare’s “comedy” — “In the deeper into the heart of manworld of the play, a mercy kind beneath [the] two unnever expressed for the Jew compromising poles of justice in the street is conveniently and mercy,” its director, Karin required of the Jew in the Coonrod, has said. court” — that “opens the soul Coonrod, who is on the Continued on page 24

with

AMIR HORALE AMIR ODED A AMIR

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NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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State&Local

From Afar By Yoni Glatt, koshercrosswords@gmail.com Difficulty Level: Challenging

Across

1. Conveyance in a Twain classic 5. First name in Israeli basketball 9. Do some reading? 13. “Gentleman’s Agreement” director Kazan 14. “Open” or “pigeon” addon 15. “___ anochi ...” 16. One who may have made life difficult for a refusenik 19. Tel Aviv to Tiberias dir. 20. Geena’s sister in “A League of Their Own” 21. Desist’s partner 22. 18th letter 24. Pollute 26. Who you might spend Tu b’Av with 31. Agitate

32. What some polls reveal 33. Season-long storyline 36. Thurmond or Archibald 38. Actor who’s been reading live bedtime stories wearing a “Samantha” hat 39. Prairie predator 42. “Kiddush HaShem” writer Sholem 45. A member of Hapoel Haifa might teach one 50. Prop for Gadot 51. Todah, in Toulouse 52. “I Enjoy Being ___” (Rodgers and Hammerstein tune) 54. Yutz 57. Tough wood 58. Something to keep nowadays ... or a hint to 16, 26, and 45-Across 61. Parker or Payton 62. Big earthenware jar

For Those Who Value Community

The preferred career resource for the Jewish community. lsirois@njjewishnews.com | 973-739-8113

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1. Changes hands? 2. Seven-time NBA All-Star Mourning 3. When some morning news programs begin 4. Brittany Murphy’s “Clueless” role 5. The O of FAO Schwarz 6. Othello was one 7. Modernizes, in a way 8. Israel wouldn’t exist without these letters 9. “___ to Kill” 10. Getting high, perhaps 11. Funds for later yrs. 12. Biblical site of genocide 17. “Middlemarch” author 18. More like Elsa? 23. ___ Plaines, Illinois 25. Exam for top students, briefly 27. Recent Super Bowl losers

28. Ace’s measure 29. Oral surgeons’ org. 30. Dropping it can be very dangerous 33. Cool units: abbr. 34. Hundred Acre Wood denizen 35. Like Israel’s sabbatical year 37. Fraternity “T” 40. Instrument whose name means “little goose” 41. Noted inventor and electrician 43. Streaker with a tail 44. 1,000-year Eur. realm 46. Take baby steps 47. Worked with a board 48. Tabernacle wood 49. Plausible 52. Talmudic Rav 53. Attends 55. Some Chanukah fuels 56. Halachic decision 59. Ben-Gurion airport, once 60. Lee who made the lauded “Crouching Tiger” and the panned “Hulk” Answers to be published in the next issue.


Community Early School students at Temple B’nai Abraham, Livingston, participated in a Purim play with Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg, shown directing the students, from left, Logan Walsh as Queen Vashti, Alex Sullivan as Haman, Charlotte Kahn as Queen Esther, Marcello Sellito-Dasti as Mordechai, and Max Sharenow as King Ahasuerus.

PHOTO BY RAPHAEL PAISNER

This year’s Purim spiel at B’nai Shalom in West Orange, “Shushan State of Mind,” featured the music of Billy Joel and highlighted original lyrics by members of the cast.

BLACK-JEWISH SOLIDARITY — The Gallery at TSTI, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, was the site of a community event, “Black/Jewish Solidarity: Building Together,” on Feb. 23. Some 75 people attended the program, coordinated by the synagogue in partnership with South Orange/Maplewood’s SOMA Justice group and the Community Coalition on Race. It included a tour of TSTI’s civil rights art exhibit and a panel discussion on issues affecting AfricanAmerican and Jewish communities in South Orange and Maplewood. Exhibit curator Armisey Smith shared information about the African-American and African diasporic artists and their works, which will be on display until April 2. INTRO TO JUDAISM — Temple Beth Am in Parsippany runs a weekly Introduction to Judaism class led by education director Lynn Ann Cutler. For information, call Debbie at 973-887-0046.

When a cure is no longer possible, what matter most...

Hebrew school students at Temple Beth O’r/ Beth Torah of Clark baked hamantaschen on March 1 for Purim.

Family, friends, comfort and compassion become even more important. Caring for a loved one at the end of life is perhaps the most physically and emotionally damanding role a family member will ever face. Stein Hospice brings a sense of peace and calm at a time when it is most needed. Sisterhood members at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains prepared gift bags to be delivered as mishloach manot to the congregation on March 4, and donated additional Purim treats to senior facilities. Purim outreach chairs are, from left, Carrie Jaffe, Linda Weissbrod, Nikki Leske, Debbie Abrams, and Laura Queller.

For more information, please call 732-227-1212 or email hospice@wilfcampus.org. www.wilfcampus.org Accredited by CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Partner) and The National Institute for Jewish Hospice

Commitment. Compassion. Community.

NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

Celebrating Purim

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NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, most synagogues and organizations have cancelled all in-person activities for the rest of the month. Some are offering online learning opportunities or plan to reschedule. Please email calendar@njjewishnews. com with online events open to the community. Bnai Keshet, Montclair — The Reconstructionist congregation has begun streaming Shabbat services on Facebook, holding monthly lunch-and-learns and weekly meditation sessions on Zoom, and holding trainings for those unfamiliar with the online hosting technology. For more information, visit bnaikeshet. org. Chabad of Randolph — Partnering with Chabad.org, the synagogue will offer a free, four-part online course, “Stress Less: The Jewish Way to Living in the Moment,” which includes meditation, at RandolphJewish.com/StressLess. Chabad will also offer “Character over Conflict: How to Resolve Conflict While

Calendar

Improving Yourself.” Go to tinyurl.com/ vlqfwan. Two courses will continue via teleconferencing: The women’s Torah & Tea class will be offered on Tuesdays, 9-10 a.m., and the Torah Talks class for both men and women will be held Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. The call-in number for both classes is 712-451-0280; access code: 930643.

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains — A “Virtual JCC” lists daily activities being held online at jccnj.org. Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield — Virtual classes continue to be offered at the Reform temple via Zoom, including today, March 26: • Jewish Short Story Discussion of Bernard Malamud’s “The Jewbird” with Norm Pollack, 1 p.m.; zoom.us/j/426486296. • Bedtime Stories with TNT Teens, 7 p.m.; zoom.us/j/155020857. • Community Sh’ma Unwind, 7:30 p.m.; zoom.us/j/947132333. • Landlord-Tenant Relations Discussion, 7:45 p.m. Jewish and secular dis-

cussion of rent control and gentrification with Rabbi Marc Katz and Daniel GarciaPedrosa; zoom.us/j/903168956. For calendar updates, go to nertamid. org/calendar. YM-YWHA of Union County, Union — All spring session swim/fitness classes scheduled to have started March 29 will be postponed to a later date. The raffle drawing and party scheduled for March 22 will be postponed to a later date. The Y continues to cook and prepare Meals on Wheels for both Jewish Family Service of Central NJ and the community’s seniors on weekdays. The following national and international organizations are offering various online resources: Hillel International has launched Hillel@ Home to provide Jewish college students an opportunity to explore new ideas and experiences as they keep themselves and others healthy. Visit welcome.hillel.org/hillelathome.

NCSY, the youth organization run by the Orthodox Union, is selling the NCSY Box, which contains three decks of Jewish educational cards that are meant to spark interactive conversations and ideas. Go to menuchapublishers.com/products/ the-box. OneTable, an organization funded to support people (ages 21-39ish) looking to find and share Shabbat dinners and meaningful Friday night experiences, has launched a webpage, “Shabbat Alone, Together,” at onetable.org/ shabbatshalone. To submit an event to the calendar — only events intended for the community at large — send only the following information to Calendar@njjewishnews.com: the title, a one-sentence description of the event, sponsoring organization, place, date, time, fee, and contact information. Information must be received by Tuesday at noon, at least two weeks before the program. You may also list your event at njjewishnews.com/community/events/ submit.

State&Local

Dispatches

Continued from page 13

Team Israel bolsters roster in spite of Olympic delay The Israel National Baseball Team had already qualified for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but this week they got more good news — and some bad. First the good: They learned that recently retired Major League Baseball infielder Ian Kinsler fulfilled Israeli citizenship requirements and would be eligible to compete for a spot on the roster. The bad news, of course, was that the 2020 Olympics will be postponed to at least 2021. “All our players are doing fine and practicing and training as best as they can. Each one does different things, depending on the facilities they have available,” Team Israel general manager Peter Kurz wrote to NJJN in an email exchange before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the decision to push off the games. “A postponement of the games won’t be good for our team, as we are ready and able to go now and have been gearing up to play in July.” Before the IOC’s postponement decision became official, several countries, including Australia, Canada, and Germany, said they

would not send teams to Tokyo this summer due to the spread of the coronavirus. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee urged the IOC to postpone the games, and the following day, March 24, the IOC made the decision official. Morristown’s Mark Rattner, a past president of Jewish National Fund’s Central New Jersey region who has been fund-raising for the team and for the Israel Association of Baseball, is concerned about the effect that postponing the games might have on the roster. “I’m not sure we’ll have the same roster,” he said, adding, “I am excited about Ian Kinsler joining the team.” Kinsler, 37, played 14 seasons with teams in Texas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Diego, amassing 1,999 hits, 257 home runs, and 243 stolen bases. According to JewishBaseballMuseum.com, the four-time All-Star and two-time Golden Glove winner was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. — JED WEISBERGER/NJJN Staff Writer

Federation allocates emergency funds THE JEWISH FEDERATION of Greater MetroWest NJ will allocate up to $1 million from its Emergency Reserves Fund to help meet the growing needs in the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This crisis requires a response unlike any before it,” said the federation’s UJA Campaign chair, Michael Goldberg. “In this time of unimaginable uncertainty, we’re on the front lines with our partners, serving those in our community who are counting on us the most.” The leaders of the federation, whose board of trustees voted to allocate the funds on March 18, have been in constant contact with its partner agencies to determine the most pressing needs as they evolve. Among them: the need for provision of groceries and food, including kosher goods, for the elderly, people in financial distress, and those who are physically isolated; support to ensure that those currently receiving or in need of mental health counseling can access a licensed provider; and funding for coverage of care workers in the homes of older adults who require extra assistance. The federation board has empowered a lay task force to swiftly approve direct payments to its constituent agencies to meet these and other needs. “This is what your federation does,” said its president, Scott Krieger, in a video message to donors. “We are always here. We never close. It is because of your support of the UJA annual campaign that we are able to react in this emergency in a manner that is necessary and right.” For resources and additional information, visit jfedgmw.org/ covid-19response.


B’nei mitzvah

MATTHEW CARRIERI, son of Susan Barasch and David Carrieri of Green Brook, March 21 at Temple Har Shalom, Warren. MAYA WISHNIA, daughter of Lauren and Jonathan Wishnia of Warren, March 21 at Temple Har Shalom, Warren.

Obituaries

Leslie Elaine SkillmanHull

Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.; and Myofascial Freedom in Morristown. She attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1975 with a B.S.N. in nursing. In 1979 she earned an M.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Health Care of Women and the Childbearing Family. She was certified by the NAACOG as an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner R.N.C. in 1982. She earned a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Campus in 1994, with a thesis entitled “She Walks in Beauty: Nurse-Artists’ Lived Experience of the Creative Process and Authentic Human Care.” A potter, she spent five years studying with Stephen Merritt at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and another 20 years studying with Tom Neugebauer and Carole Wong Chesek at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts in Summit. Her work included vases, bowls, teapots and other vessels, and hand-built pieces. She worked with a variety of clay types, and specialized in raku firing. Her pottery was shown at the Center for Visual Arts and the public library in New Providence. She was involved with many school activities in the Chathams, and was a co-founder in 2004 of Education Counts, an advocacy group

Leslie Elaine Skillman-Hull, 66, of Chatham Township died Feb. 29, 2020. Born in Rochester, N.Y., she lived in Colorado for many years before moving to New Jersey in 1996. Dr. Skillman-Hull worked as an instructor and assistant professor in women’s health care at the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing between 1984 and 1987, and as an assistant professor in women’s health at the School of Nursing of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Campus in 1995 and 1996. She published several academic research papers and a book chapter. Her clinical practice included work at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado; Planned Parenthood in Ithaca, N.Y.; the neonatal intensive care unit at Mark S. Ross

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LifeCycle Continued from previous page supporting strong public schools. She was a singer at Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit, and participated in several of their Purim spiels. She taught art and pottery to senior citizens for several years at Sage Eldercare in Summit. She enjoyed travel and nature. She is survived by her husband, Richard Baxter Hull; her daughter, Arianna Sophia Hull; a brother, Evan David Skillman; and her mother, Frances Hartung Skillman Quarles. Services were held March 8 with arrangements by J.L. Apter Memorial Chapels of Dover. Memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood or Congregation Beth Hatikvah.

two daughters, Elise (Richard) and Karen; two sons, Ira (Julia) and Howard (Janet); and eight grandchildren. Services were held March 2 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.

Phyllis Levine

tions throughout her career, including working as executive assistant to Seward Johnson Sr. at Johnson & Johnson. She was active in community organizations such as Hadassah, of which she was a life member and “founder,” as well as Deborah. Predeceased by her husband, Nathan B., in 1986, she is survived by her niece, Sandra Bondar of Florida. Arrangements were handled by McCriskinGustafson Home For Funerals, South Plainfield. Services will be held at a later date; for updates, go to mccriskinfuneralhome.com.

Phyllis Steinbaum Levine, 89, a lifelong resident of Bayonne, died March 13, 2020. She and her family had a vacation home on Lake Hopatcong for over 75 years. Mrs. Levine studied at Upsala College. She received many honors, citations, and awards for her community involvement. She was Harold G. Sterling Norma Bech Levine the first female president of Temple Emanu-El, Harold G. Sterling, J.D., 95, of South Orange died Norma Bech Levine, 88, of Dallas died March 14, a Conservative synagogue. She served in many March 18, 2020. He was born in Brooklyn. 2020. She formerly lived in Springfield. leadership positions at the JCC of Bayonne, where Mr. Sterling began attending New York Predeceased in November 2019 by her husband, she was instrumental in its arts programming. She University in 1941, and interrupted his studies to Murray, Mrs. Levine is survived by two sons, was an involved leader in UJA and attained Lion join the United States Army in 1943, where he Howard (Eun Ah Kam) and Michael; her daughter, of Judah status. She regularly took classes at the served as staff sergeant and wrote for “Stars and Beth (Milton Packer); a sister, Rita Ehrenpreis; New School in New York City as well as painting Stripes.” three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. and sculpture courses. She also helped support the After graduating Private services were held with arrangements osteopathic medical profession both on the state and from NYU, he worked by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral national level. as a manager for Predeceased by her husband of more than 50 Chapel, Livingston. Buxton Manufacturing years, Howard M., she is survived by three sons, Company. In 1951, he Alan (Laura) of Morris Township, Martin (Andrea) began attending Yale Carl Tasch of Short Hills, and APTERCHAPELS.COM Steven (Debra) of Springfield; a Law School. Carl Tasch, 87, of Verona died Feb. 29, 2020. brother, Fred Steinbaum; 10 grandchildren; and 10 In 1954, he graduated Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in Newark and great-grandchildren. from Yale Law School with honors, receiving the also had resided in West Orange and Palm Beach Arrangements were handled by Gutterman Robbin’s Prize for the highest grades in third year Gardens, Fla. Bros., Jersey City. A future memorial celebration of and the LaRue Munson Prize for proficiency in serMr. Tasch was president of Siegmeister Sales her life will be held. vice to the public defender of New Haven. and Service, a family business, for over 50 years. After law school, he began working at the Helen Kantor He graduated from Weequahic High School in law firm of Lum, Fairlee, Foster in Newark, and Helen Passon Kantor, 99, of South Plainfield died Newark, and City University of New York. then became counsel for Tishman Realty and in Savannah, Lighting Ga., she grew - Candle He played the saxophone and enjoyed travel, March 16, 2020. Born Metropolitan Structures. He then founded and up in Highland Park and later lived in Colonia and food, and art. served as CEO of Sutton Construction Company. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Linda; South Plainfield. This role was followed by positions as CEO of Mrs. Kantor held various administrative posiBerkley Realty Group, counsel at Wilentz Goldman Spitzer and Rothe Johnson Fantacone, and founder J.L. of B4 Development Co. In the Philip Apter & Son Tradition Since 1902 He was also heavily involved in New Jersey’s Jason L. Apter, Manager, NJ Lic. No. 3650 health-care community. From 1972 to 1978, Sutton APTERCHAPELS.COM Construction executed all of the construction projects for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where he then served as a trustee. In 1995, he became chairman of the board of Orange Memorial Hospital • allow us to review your pre-need plan and later of St. Michael’s Medical Center. His • cost savings refundable to you other philanthropic activities included serving as (if applicable)

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the chairman of the building committee of Temple B’nai Abraham, overseeing construction of the congregation’s new facility in Livingston in 1973. He enjoyed art and architecture; playing football, basketball, and baseball; and jazz. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Elaine (Druckman); his children, Robin Wasserman (Kelly Stup) and Brian (Linda) Sterling; and four grandchildren. Arrangements were handled by Bernheim-ApterKreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Yale Law School.

Garrett Vaughn Spada

Garrett Vaughn Spada, 26, of Philadelphia died March 9, 2020. Born in Livingston, he grew up in Rockaway. Mr. Spada worked in New Jersey for several years before moving to Bucks County, Pa., where he worked in construction and as a landscape designer. A lover of sports, he swam competitively, played baseball and football, wrestled, and was on several championship teams. He was a second-degree (Ni-Dan) black belt in Okinawan Karate and won many awards and top rankings in kumite and kata karate competitions. He was a lifeguard in the summers during his school years. He graduated from Morris Knolls High School and attended University of Rhode Island. Predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Philip Spada, and his maternal grandparents, Bernard and Sara Simon, he is survived by his parents, Andrew and Susan Spada of Rockaway; two brothers, Zachary and Ryan of Rockaway; and his paternal grandmother, Rose Spada. Services were held March 23 with arrangements by J.L. Apter Memorial Chapels, Cedar Grove. Memorial contributions may be made to CARES, 25 West Main St., Rockaway, N.J. 07866 (morris. caresnj.org/donate).

Cathy Silverman

Cathy Silverman (Feierman), 64, of Roseland died Feb. 4, 2020. Born in Allentown, Pa., she raised her family in North Caldwell and Roseland. Ms. Silverman served as executive director of National Council of Jewish Women’s Essex County Section for more than 18 years. She greatly increased membership during her tenure and was instrumental in developing programs such as the Back to School Store, Mitzvah-A-Minute, and others. She doubled the organization’s professional staff, tripled its budget, and quadrupled its assets. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Delaware and an M.S.W. from New York University. She was a member of Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston and an avid golfer. She also enjoyed playing tennis. She is survived by her husband, Lenny Dinnerstein; three sons, Jared (Paige) Silverman, Evan (Erin) Silverman, and Lyle (Jordana) Silverman; her

daughter, Cara (Daniel) Marcoux; her mother, Doris Feierman; a brother, Arthur Feierman; a stepdaughter, Rebecca (Todd) Bialick; a stepson, Andrew Dinnerstein; and seven grandchildren. Services were held Feb. 6 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.

Edward Brill

Edward Stuart Brill, 90, of Boca Raton, Fla., died March 19, 2020. He lived for many years in New Providence. Mr. Brill was a CPA in New Jersey. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Gaby; two sons, Steven and Michael; and his daughter, Lisa. Services were held March 22 with arrangements by Gutterman Warheit Memorial Chapel, Boca Raton.

Monroe Goffman

Monroe Aaron Goffman, 94, of Langhorne, Pa., died Feb. 16, 2020. Born in Newark, he resided in West Orange for over 50 years. Mr. Goffman worked for Prototype Transformers of Phillipsburg as an engineering specialist in electrical transformers, and then became a systems and data analyst for IMS America of Wayne. He was a 1943 graduate of Newark’s Weequahic

High School. He attended University of Pittsburgh and Fairleigh Dickinson University to study electrical engineering. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and served in the artillery division-special munitions unit in World War II. His many talents ranged from creating inventions to singing Big Band Era music and performing in local musicals. As a lover of nature, he served on the board of trustees of the Verona Park Conservancy for many years, and enjoyed coaching in the West Orange Police Baseball League along with serving as a troop leader for the Boy Scouts of America. His favorite pastimes were sailing off the New Jersey coastline, playing volleyball, listening to jazz music, and spending time with loved ones. He was a member of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills. Predeceased by his wife, Simone “Mona” (Bengelsdorf), whom he married in 1960, he is survived by his daughter, Allison Goffman (Bryan) Siegelman of York, Pa., his son, Jeffrey Goffman of Holland, Pa.; four grandchildren; and a greatgrandchild. Services were held Feb. 18 with arrangements by Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael Sacks Suburban North, Southampton, Pa. Memorial contributions may be made to Verona Park Conservancy, P.O. Box 143, Verona, N.J. 07044 (veronapark.org/donate).

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For the latest information & happenings in the Jewish community, visit us at www.jfedgmw.org

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| SHABBAT CANDLELIGHTING | March 27: 7 p.m.

Forgiving one’s fallibility Vayikra Leviticus 1:1-5:26 Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb

I

was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” These are rare words indeed, but I heard them pronounced clearly by a woman I once worked for. She was the superintendent of a small school district just outside of Washington, D.C., one of several in that area that were under a federal court order to guarantee desegregation of the races in the public schools. The superintendent, whom I will call Dr. Cassidy, had selected a group of school system employees to serve as part of a specially trained team to deal with the tensions in the community that were caused by the implementation of this order. Working as a school psychologist in this school district, I was one of those chosen to serve on this team. We had spent several weeks training for this sensitive human relations project. She had initially assured us that federal funding for our salaries was guaranteed, and that we could be confident that our jobs were secure once certain formalities were finalized. One morning we were summoned to an urgent meeting. She informed us that the funds were not available, and that we would be denied not only our future salaries, but even remuneration for the time we had already spent. It was then that she uttered the words, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” I have subsequently witnessed many situations in

which a leader made a terrible mistake impacting the lives of others. But, almost invariably, those leaders shirked responsibility, blamed others, or concocted ludicrous excuses for their failures. Very few had Dr. Cassidy’s courage. This week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, describes an individual who demonstrated just such courage, and who indeed was expected to do so. Chapter 4 of our Torah portion lists a number of individuals who occupied special roles in the ancient Jewish community. They included the High Priest; the judges of the central court or Sanhedrin; and the Nasi, or chieftain. Of the latter, we read: “In case it is a chieftain who incurs guilt by doing unwittingly any of the things which by the commandment of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and he realizes his guilt … He shall bring as his sin offering a male goat without blemish … Thus the priest shall make expiation on his behalf for his sin, and he shall be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:22-26) The Hebrew for the first phrase in the above quotation, “in case,” is “asher.” Rashi notes the similarity between the word “asher” and the word “ashrei,” or “fortunate.” Based on that similarity he comments: “Fortunate is the generation whose leader is concerned about achieving forgiveness for his unintentional transgressions. How much more so will he demonstrate remorse for his intentional misdeeds.” Our commentators note that it is to be expected that leaders will commit moral errors. Rabbi Obadiah Sforno, the medieval Italian physician and Torah scholar, comments that it is unavoidable that men in positions of power will sin. He quotes the phrase in

Deuteronomy 32:15 that reads, “Jeshurun grew fat and kicked,” indicating that when one becomes “fat” with power he will “kick” sinfully. If the Torah assumes that misdeeds by leaders are unavoidable, it also expects that those leaders will humbly acknowledge their misdeeds and beg forgiveness for them. However, the process cannot end there. His followers must accept his sincere regret and even bring themselves to forgive him. So, let’s return to the story of Dr. Cassidy, who proved herself to be capable of confessing her mistake. But I also remember our reaction, which was one of great anger. We asked her to leave the room so that we could plan our next step. We managed to move from anger and frustration to empathizing with her dilemma, and finally, deciding to express to her our understanding and forgiveness. Perhaps emboldened by the support she felt from us, she renewed her efforts to obtain the grant from the federal agency, and obtained the funds available for this training program. The lessons of ordinary life often parallel the lessons of the Torah. For a society to advance, its leaders must be self-aware and courageous enough to recognize and confess their failures, and to seek forgiveness from those whom they have affronted. Equally important, those who have been affronted most find it in their hearts to sincerely forgive. Only then can problems be solved, and greater goals achieved. Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is executive vice president emeritus of the Orthodox Union.

State&Local Masks

Continued from page 4 moved into high gear “gives you a sense of how eager people are to be able to do something,” said Hochman in a phone interview with NJJN on Sunday night, March 22. Among the supplies most difficult to come by, Hochman discovered, is elastic; it’s scarce all over. Atlantic Health has been able to provide the group with elastic (where it is coming from — Hochman’s “dealer” — remains a mystery). The face masks are not being used by those having direct contact with coronavirus patients — they require a different level of protection — but by health-care workers who are dealing with other patients in the hospitals. “Us crafters, we love putting our trade to use, and we love having it out there,” said Hochman. “For many of us, it’s just there’s something hopeful about

being able to participate, even in something as random as cutting fabric.” Hochman, who works part-time in marketing, also sees the project as setting a valuable example for her two children, one in kindergarten, the other in second grade. “It’s clearly tzedakah, you know; we’re trying to heal the world in any little way that we can,” said Hochman, a member of Congregation Beth El in South Orange. “It’s showing them that something as simple as cutting fabric can mean something to someone else.” SoMa Sewing Volunteers won’t refuse help from anyone — even those who do not live in the local area — but each person is responsible for dropping off or picking up supplies. Hochman also suggests checking local communities for similar groups, or going to atlantichealth.org and searching for its posted video instructions on how to make a face mask. n jginsberg@njjewishnews.com

#BeAMensch encourages good deeds in pandemic AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE (AJC) launched #BeAMensch to encourage and highlight acts of kindness during the coronavirus pandemic. Mensch is Yiddish for “a person of integrity and honor.” “In the face of the unique adversity of COVID-19, everyday acts of kindness to others become particularly vital,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Anyone can be a mensch by helping a family member, a neighbor, a stranger, an elderly person, by confronting coronavirus pandemic despair, or in so many other ways. The important thing is to extend oneself on behalf of others.” Uplifting stories from the U.S. and around the world are featured at AJC.org/BeAMensch and on AJC’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. AJC also will be sharing tips on the sorts of things one can do to be a mensch and lend a helping hand — or elbow — during this challenging time. Share on social media your stories of kindness and decency using the hashtag #BeAMensch. For more information, visit AJC. org/BeAMensch.


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NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

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Tyler Antiques – A Heimish Family Business For four generations, Tyler Antiques has continued the traditions started in a small, family-run antique business in early 1900’s Europe. A treasured newspaper clipping written in Dutch highlights the beginnings of what is now a thriving business in our area since 1940. Specializing in many areas of fine art and heirlooms, Tyler Antiques buys oil paintings, jewelry, silver, Chinese art and porcelain, estate jewelry, watches, Tiffany, bronzes and more. Whether you’re selling one piece or an entire collection,

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Rosanne Skopp Special to NJJN

O

ur brandnew Peugeot wagon was delivered on the same day we met Rachel, a glorious mid-May Friday. We had eagerly piled the four little kids and the ancient dog, a reject from the streets of Newark, into the car to visit my sister’s family in Herzliya. We were staying in Mevaseret, a leafy suburb in the Judean mountains near Jerusalem, at an Immigrant Absorption Center, although we were not yet official olim, immigrants; we had arrived six weeks earlier, in March 1973, my husband having just started a one-year assignment consulting with the government. Our kids became Israelis far faster than their parents and the sudden independence was formative. They were emboldened and they remain so all these years later, and I won’t even get into their language skills. Suffice it to say that they have them and we don’t. So, there we were, a New Jersey family embarking on our inaugural solo car trip in Israel, when we saw Rachel before we reached the city limits of Mevaseret. That first glimpse of Rachel was unforgettable: Here was a woman about my own age, early 30s, laden with a backpack holding an infant, a toddler attached to another pack on Rachel’s chest, a 5-year-old girl walking beside her, and a

7-year-old boy on her other side fully in charge of an unwieldy suitcase. We had never met but we all know that “kol Yisrael chaverim,” all Israel are friends, so I yelled to my husband to stop the car. I opened the window and asked her where she was going and she replied Tel Aviv. “Get in,” I said in a voice that made clear I would not take no for an answer. We shared stories during a noisy ride to Tel Aviv. Her husband, Chaim, was leading a group of college students on a tour of Israel. We would soon learn that the absent husband grew up in Newark’s Weequahic neighborhood, just as I had. Weequahic forever, even 6,000 miles from Newark Beth Israel, where Chaim and I were born. My friendship with Rachel was birthed right there and then. By trip’s end we both knew we would be buddies forever. Her attributes were many, but I especially like friends who are funny, and Rachel certainly was; her dry and clever sense of humor had me laughing from the start. Just the kind of person I adore. I still don’t know where she got the energy to do all she did. Rachel worked a full-time job, but luckily Israel is equipped with gans, day cares, for little kids, even babies, to help working parents. She was an amazing and creative cook, a supreme challah baker even in Mevaseret, where we all existed with a twoburner stove and no oven. She and Chaim moved to Jerusalem about the same time as we did, in September, just in time for school, the chagim, and the Yom Kippur War. Rachel added volunteering to her already-overloaded life. If something had to be done, she was there to do it.

We promised to keep in touch when my husband’s assignment ended in May 1974 and we returned to New Jersey, and we did. We traveled often to Israel, never leaving without visiting Chaim and Rachel. I was devastated when she told me she had been diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, but, of course, Rachel was optimistic a cure was in sight. A couple of years later I received a copy of Hadassah Magazine, the headline on the cover touting, “I Was Cured of Cancer.” I knew immediately that it was written by Rachel. Eventually her cancer returned and she was brave until the end, dying shortly after her 40th birthday. Anyone, especially anyone born in America and living in the Talpiot section of Jerusalem, knew Rachel. Whereas many in her position would have returned to the familiarity of the U.S. where they could depend on their families’ support, this was not her way. She had committed to living in Israel and her kids would grow up in Israel, with or without her. And so her new community did for her what she would have done for them. They provided meals and took care of the kids and supported Chaim and did all the numerous acts of chesed, kindness, that were necessary to keep this family in Israel. And, ultimately, they buried her and continued to shelter and love her family. Her children are now grown. They still live in Israel and I still weep for my beloved and cherished friend. May her memory be for a blessing. ■ Rosanne Skopp is a frequent blogger for the Times of Israel. She lives in West Orange and Israel.

PROFESSI O NAL DIRECTORY

Tyler Antiques EST. 1940

WE BUY Paintings • Silver • Jewelry • Porcelain Bronzes • Rugs • Furniture • Judaica Chinese Objects A HEIMISHE FAMILY BUSINESS FOR THREE GENERATIONS!

Shomer Shabbos

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NJ Jewish News ■ njjewishnews.com ■ March 26, 2020

Picking up a friend in Israel


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