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are steakhouse is a unique space that fuses contemporary dining in a non-traditional kosher restaurant setting. It crosses the lines to create a singular synergy, bringing kosher fine dining to a new level. From interiors to cuisine, Rare Steakhouse permeates trend. “In a city littered with ‘classic American steakhouses’ you have to cook and present yourself with a little chutzpah to stand out”. The goal, to redefine the cookie-cutter approach to fine dining for its respective clientele, while introducing a new way of dining for Floridians and travelers alike removing the association that

kosher cuisine is exclusively about religion. At Rare Steakhouse you can find our cocktail program is the first true Kosher Mixology program in the Southeast. We use all fresh juices and the finest produce and spirits available. When kosher products are not available, we create our own by hand. Be sure to try our handmade Lemon Vodka, Orange Vodka, Spiced Rum, crème de meure (blackberry), crème de framboise (raspberry), crème de peche (peach) and velvet falernum. Our drinks show reverence for the past while looking toward the future.










Florida Jewish Home is fortunate to highlight several individuals from our commu-



nity that demonstrate our collective requirement that Jews should be a light among the nations. These local heroes make us proud as Jews and exemplify the hidden


When there are too frequent headlines that portray Jews in a bad light, the South






angles that walk amongst us. We celebrate an octogenarian’s bar-mitzvah, showing us that we are never too old to embrace our heritage. We follow a holocaust survivors torturous travels from Krakow to Hollywood. We sit down with one of Hollywood’s legendary photographers. And, we chat with an entrepreneur and

>> Parenting

business genius who leads his life with the principle of tikun olam. We also take





pride in our local athletes who competed in Israel against the world’s best Jewish athletes and came home with gold medals. The South Florida Jewish Home announces the addition of Steve Nichols to

>> Finance

our team. Steve brings extensive experience as a public relations professional and





>> People

a writer to head up our sales and community relations efforts in Boca Raton as our Senior Advertising Executive. We welcome his involvement and anticipate greater outreach in southern Palm Beach County.



We wish all of our kids luck as the new school year begins. We anticipate



keeping you updated on their progress with articles contributed by the local day schools, including extensive sports coverage throughout the year. We welcome





>> Jewish Thought

your participation in that regard. Please feel free to let us know what is happening at your children’s schools and with their sports teams and extracurricular activities. We welcome your input as well as pictures.



We hope you will take positive note of our new advertisers. They allow us to



bring you the community events, exciting articles and topical commentary. We thank them and we thank you for supporting our publication.

>> Sports

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>> Kosher Dining Guide

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4180 N. 42nd Avenue Hollywood, FL 33021 phone: 305-767-3443 fax: 954-416-6407 The South Florida Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The South Florida Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within.

The Editor

Dovid Gutman



Ofer Bavly Danielle Berrin Gedalia Borvick

Chana Billet Sarit Lasry Sarki Galbut Roy Seransky Jeff Schiff Mitch Rubinstein

Shalva Ginsparg


Elliot Katz

Danny Kay Shlomo Kay DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Elliott Grossbard Esty Hebel Avi Heilligman Rabbi Joshua Hess Daniel Vun Kannon Rabbi Warren Kasztl Levana Kirschenbaum Amiel Lindenbaum Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale Daniel Russo Megan Wasserstrom

BY OFER BAVLY WWW.CONSULATEISRAEL.COM As I prepare to return to Jerusalem after four years as Israel’s consul general to Florida and Puerto Rico, I look back and reflect on IsraeliFlorida relations and their strength. Foreign embassies and consulates have one central mission, which they carve into smaller goals and targets. These, in turn, are translated into action items. Our mission was to promote and strengthen the relations between Florida and Israel (political, economic, cultural, etc.) while improving Israel’s image among Floridians. To this mission, I added another one: promoting Florida’s image in Israel. On the political level, we strove to keep Israel as a bipartisan, or rather nonpartisan issue among Florida’s elected officials. It is perhaps the single issue on which there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans, all of whom shared the view that Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has an inherent right to defend itself and its citizens in the face of terrorist attacks and attempts to destroy her. Florida’s governor, the cabinet, members of the State House and Senate and the 25 members of Florida’s congressional delegation and two U.S. senators have all expressed their support for Israel. While they may not always agree with Israeli policies or actions, they are unanimous in their defense of Israel’s basic right to live in peace and security. That kind of support is not to be taken for granted as Florida is the only state in the union to have expressed such wall-to-wall backing from every single elected official. Beyond the political arena, we strove to also improve and expand commercial and economic ties between Florida and Israel. Although tasked by my government to promote Israeli exports, I have always believed that commercial relations need to be a twoway street and must benefit the peoples of both nations. As such, we have established the Florida-Israel Business Forum (FIBF), a Miami-based, not-for-profit chamber of commerce promoting business ventures, opportunities and employment in Florida and in Israel. FIBF’s Board of Directors includes the Israeli government as well as Florida’s government (through Enterprise Florida) and is the only chamber of commerce to be so endorsed by both states. FIBF initiates and organizes trade delegations, road shows and joint ventures between the two business communities. The consulate worked hard during the last years to strengthen relations between Israel and the Christian communities in Florida while also tightening relations between Florida’s sizeable Jewish community and Christian congregations. I believe that the time has come for Jews and Christians to stand together in the face of challenges that threaten our common way of life, chief among them the challenge of radical Islam, which targets Jews and Christians alike. Together with Christian clerics throughout Flor-

L-R: Ofer Bavly, Keith Wasserstrom

ida, we conducted many events in support of democracy, freedoms and brotherhood among people of all faiths. In the coming months, a joint team of Christian leaders and Jewish communities in South Florida will be hosting a conference on defending Israel against BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) — another milestone in the strengthening bond between people of our two faiths standing together against intolerance and violence. Much more can and will be done in order to bring the people of Florida and Israel even closer. Israelis have a natural love for America, for what your nation stands for, for your values and respect for human rights and democracy. You are Israel’s strongest and most important ally, and Israel is happy to be considered America’s staunchest friend and

strategic ally in the Middle East. Our societies are bound together by friendship, political ties, business connections, cultural heritage and more. Ours is a partnership with great potential. Israel is a world leader in exactly those areas in which Florida now wishes to move forward: renewable energy, efficient water management and recycling, waste management, solar energy, life sciences. These are all areas in which Israel has a head-start, simply because of our geographical situation and absolute lack of natural resources. Today, we are in a position to be able to advise, assist and share with our friends the tremendous advances made in Israel in all these fields, in a way that will benefit the people of Florida and create more employment and business opportunities in the Sunshine State. As my family and I return to our home in Jerusalem, we take with us the fondest memories of the wonderful people of Florida. You have much to be proud of, and know that we will be Florida’s most ardent ambassadors in Israel. Ofer Bavly ends his term as consul general of Israel this week for Florida and Puerto Rico based in Miami.

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Israel and Florida Share Common Goals





Southern NCSY to Participate in Inaugural YouthCon 2011: Addressing Opportunities & Challenges of Jewish Youth in the 21st Century Boca Raton, FL (August 3, 2011) – Southern NCSY is pleased to be among more than 50 national leaders in Jewish education at the inaugural YouthCon 2011, taking place on August 21st. YouthCon 2011 has already become a groundbreaking international one-day convention – the inaugural event has an unprecedented line-up representing more than 90 of the world’s leading informal and formal educational organizations across the Jewish spectrum  -- and an overwhelming registration already of almost 300 people from across North America, Israel, England, and Germany. YouthCon, organized by NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s international youth movement and leader within the field of informal Jewish education,  will address the challenges and opportunities of defining Jewish education within the 21st Century.  YouthCon 2011  will take place on Sunday, August 21 from 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.  at the  Stamford Hilton in Connecticut. The event is open to Jewish educators and lay leaders of all backgrounds.  “We are so excited to be a part of this momentous occasion!” stated Todd Cohn, Director of Southern NCSY. “Our focus has and will always be Jewish teens and a conference like YouthCon gives us the opportunity to discuss and learn how to address the growing challenges of the young Jewish population.” YouthCon  will consist of workshop sessions throughout the day, during which participants will be given six different track options to hear from leading speakers in various fields. The full schedule can be read at  www.youthcon. org.  The website also includes a blog which features various questions and answers posed to presenters of the day. Rabbi Steven Burg,  International Director of NCSY, explained: “Informal Jewish experiences, from summer programs and camps, to after-school activities and youth groups, are essential to the development of a strong Jewish identity. As leaders in the greater Jewish com-

munity, we are responsible for providing quality Jewish experiences for today’s Jewish youth, and that demands that we address the hottest topics, trends, and tools to innovate how informal Jewish education plays a role in the lives of our youth.” He continued, “YouthCon 2011 will unite the leaders of their fields from inside and outside of the classroom, and provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities with the biggest names in all backgrounds to create stronger, more creative Jewish educators.” YouthCon Chair Rhoda Weisman, a Los Angeles-based  communications specialist focusing on the next generation within the greater Jewish community, explained, “The goal of YouthCon is three-fold: To discover how to digitally connect with youth in the 21st century; to learn from those creating a paradigm shift in Jewish education; and to network with hundreds of educators who shape the lives of Jewish youth on a daily basis.  This is a groundbreaking moment not to be missed!” NCSY is a national youth group where Jewish teens are encouraged to grow into leaders. We strive to create an environment that empowers teens to make informed and educated choices that further their commitment to passionate Judaism. We provide a range of regional and local educational programs. We believe in teaching though example, and our hand-picked advisors and staff model a diverse, passionate, open– minded and enthusiastic approach to Jewish life. NCSY enables each teen to fulfill his or her personal potential as a Jew, as a leader and as a valued community member. Southern NCSY represents the following areas: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Eastern TN. NCSY is committed to provide a safe space where teens can celebrate their Jewish heritage; embrace Torah and Tradition; develop a positive Jewish identity; acquire invaluable leadership skills; connect with dedicated Jewish role models; and learn to live passionately Jewish lives. For more information on Southern NCSY, visit


Local estate professionals will share much more than congenial company, prime networking, and a lavish cocktail reception at the Jewish Community Foundation’s Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) Kickoff & Membership Drive Cocktail Reception. Gathered at Woodfield Country Club on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm, they’ll also share a deep commitment to helping the Jewish community in a most significant way. The reception will include passed hors d’oeuvres and a number of stations, with dietary laws observed – and the couvert is only $36. Woodfield Country Club is located at 3650 Club Place, Boca Raton. “The Kickoff will bring together the most influential members of our Jewish community’s legal, accounting, investment advisory, banking and insurance professionals,” said PAC Chair Marjorie Horwin, CPA. “We’ll enjoy a wonderful evening as we open another season of fund raising for the Foundation and its mission of meeting the needs of Jewish people locally, in Israel and worldwide. “ “We look forward to sharing with newcomers how our PAC members provide clients with compelling options to truly make a difference where it’s needed - through individualized restricted and unrestricted gifts that meet their clients’ philanthropic goals as well as financial interests,” added PAC Vice Chair Matt Kutcher, CFP. “It’s clearly time for our large, multifaceted yet relatively new Jewish community to take advantage of these opportunities and move ahead to accumulate more long term capital for vital long term goals.” The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) is an integral part of the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation of South Palm Beach County, with a membership of 85 and counting. PAC members encourage charitable giving through the establishment of new endowment funds, trusts, bequests, life insurance policies

Matt Kutcher, Marjorie Horwin

and IRAs on behalf of their clients. The PAC also provides networking opportunities, training and client educational tools for professionals from a variety of disciplines. For more information or to RSVP, professionals may visit, call 561-8523173 or email The PAC Kickoff is co-chaired by Linda A. Melcer and Seth A. Marmor, Esq. Oppenheimer is the event’s Premier Sponsor, joined by Support Sponsors Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; M. Adam Bankier, P.A.; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC; and Willis Group – Personal Lines. The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County serves the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach areas, raising and allocating funds to meet vital needs locally, in Israel and worldwide. The Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) is part of the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation, which develops permanent resources to ensure the continuity of Jewish life, programs and services in our community, Israel and worldwide, through permanent endowment funds, lifetime gifts, bequests in wills, trusts and planned giving programs.


Community-Minded Estate Planners To Kick Off Season & Membership Drive at Federation’s Pac Cocktail Reception




COMMUNITYHAPPENINGS Holocaust Survivors Could Receive Additional Funds

Wire Transfer Fee Waivers Possible From Many Banks In Florida Delray Beach, FL – Thousands of South Florida Holocaust survivors could receive as much as $40 more in each reparation payment if they have completed paperwork asking banks to waive wire transfer fees, according to state Sen. Maria Sachs. “Survivors need to know the state has been able to get over 20 financial institutions to agree to waive the transfer fee, which amounts to a 10 percent tax on each compensation payment from foreign governments,” said Sachs, DDelray Beach. “If survivors or assisting family members need help filling out forms or in getting their bank to participate, they

should contact my office at (561) 279-1427,” Sachs said. There are estimated to be anywhere from 12,500 to 18,000 Holocaust survivors in Florida, with the highest number in Sachs’ District 30 seat encompassing parts of northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties. Additional information regarding Holocaust insurance claims, reparation wire transfer fee waivers and participating financial institutions can be found by visiting

Senator Joseph Lieberman’s Book About Shabbat Released August 16 From OU Press and Simon & Shuster Dealing with the details of religious ritual observance is not often the subject of public discussion by prominent politicians. Senator Joseph Lieberman, who moves confidently in the highest echelons of political office, has maintained his observance of the Jewish Sabbath throughout his years in government. The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath, to be released on August 16 by Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books division, working together with OU Press, is Senator Lieberman’s exploration of the profound impact observance of the Sabbath has had on him. In the book, Senator Lieberman shares his experiences, some humorous and some serious, drawn from a lifetime of public service, as he combined loyalty to his faith with responsibility to his office. Senator Lieberman’s reflections on the significance of the Sabbath and how Sabbath observance has enriched his life and the lives of those around him are a call to spirituality to those in high office as well as an inspiration to the man and woman in the street.  

A longtime Connecticut Senator and the author of numerous books, Senator Lieberman recently announced he would not run for office in 2012. In 2000, he ran for Vice President of the United States as Al Gore’s running mate.

THE CHALLENGE WAS ON – AND THE COMMUNITY ROSE TO THE OCCASION Jewish Federation of Broward County raises $150,000 to meet the challenge for an additional $50,000 donation When an anonymous donor offered $50,000 to the Jewish Federation of Broward County if the community could raise an additional $150,000, the challenge was on. It was an exciting and unprecedented opportunity, and the community mobilized quickly. With the help of 284 members of the community, the Jewish Federation raised $150,000 in adSteve and Michele Jackman ditional funds, and the check for $50,000 was hand-delivered to the Federation offices on July 28, 2011. “It was an amazing few weeks and we are pleased to share the donors’ names – Stephen and Michele Jackman,” said Eric B. Stillman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Broward County. “With such a major donation as incentive, we found that our community truly rose to the occasion, and we are tremendously grateful to the Jackmans for making this all possible.” The Jewish Federation of Broward County had issued a statement announcing the generous offer. Through e-mails, personal outreach, advertising and word of mouth, the news traveled quickly, and the community responded equally swiftly. “We proved to ourselves that as a community, if we band together, we can accomplish incredible things,” said Steve Jackman. “Meeting the challenge resulted in raising $200,000 additional dollars that we didn’t have before, which will help fund dire needs in our community.” Stillman says that it was a phenomenal and exhilarating time, with donations coming in more rapidly than ever before. “This gives us the ability to fund programs that make a major impact in improving lives,” he said. Jackman noted that it was especially gratifying that 100 percent of the members of the Board of Directors in attendance when the challenge was presented increased their annual gifts to meet the challenge, as did every one of the Federation’s fundraising staff and management team. Another incredible example of the growing excitement in Broward County is the launch of The PJ Library, added Jackman. This fantastic enrichment program, which delivers complimentary Jewish content books to local families with children six months to 5 ½ years, opens on August 25th. Broward’s PJ Library program is made possible through the leadership and generosity of Sheryl Greenwald and The Sam Berman Charitable Foundation, 14 Collaborative Partners, other local funders, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. We should all be very proud of what the Jewish community is building for the future of all Jews in Broward County.” The Jewish Federation of Broward County sends heartfelt appreciation to the Jackmans, and everyone who helped the Federation reach their goal.



Lori Lesser cherishes the day her 14-year-old son got into the car and chatted about the wonderful day he had at school with his friends. While this may be typical everyday conversation between a mother and a son – this was a “first” for Matthew, who previously struggled to make connections. “My son has now made friends,” said Lesser. “As a parent, my first priority has always been to find a school that can embrace his differences and achieve his full potential.” Recently, Matthew had the courage to address a crowd about South Florida Jewish Academy (SFJA) – now having the ability to share his excitement with other people besides his mother. SFJA is the only Jewish day school in the tri-county area specializing in the education of children with special needs in grades kindergarten thru high school. The

Academy opened its doors four years ago to a handful of students who were on the peripheral of Jewish life. Today, SFJA serves nearly 50 children from Palm Beach, Broward and Dade County with mild to moderate learning disabilities, including ADD, ADHA, Aspergers, Autism, Auditory Processing Disorders, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other special needs. “By preserving a small student ratio, our qualified educators are able to hand-tailor an individual curriculum based on each child’s learning pace, style and ability,” said Baila Gansburg, SFJA director. “We find the key to unlock each child’s own method of learning whether they are auditory, visual or tactile learners.” In partnership with a staff of speech/language pathologists and occupational therapists, each student’s growth is measured socially in conjunction with academics. Additionally, SFJA is proud to be on the cutting edge of special needs education by installing the first Space Craft Sensory Suite in North America, designed to calm and stimulate students through the combination of sights, sounds, textures and movements. “The reality was mainstream Jewish day schools and synagogues were not equipped to accommodate students with disabilities,” Gansburg said. “This school opened its doors on the premise that all children,

regardless of their challenges, are entitled to every opportunity to learn, grow and enjoy a Jewish life blessed with our rich traditions,” In addition, SFJA is the only high school that provides a work-based learning experience and training program that is specific to each student’s assessed strengths and abilities. Emphasis is placed on vocational programs in service occupations, technology support and health careers. “This school is ‘The Big Bang’ ready to happen,” said Vicki Sied, occupational therapist. “It has all the right ingredients. The recipe is set. It can only go forward.” Nationally accredited, SFJA is open for enrollment accepting Mckay Scholarships and Florida Pride. Financial assistance is also available for qualified applicants. For more information, visit www. Or, call (954) 427-7788 to schedule a school tour.

Yachad Hosts First Teen Board Meeting and Installation of Officers (Boca Raton, FL) July 13, 2011 - - - Yachad, an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of all individuals with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community and NCSY, the premier organization dedicated to connecting, inspiring and empowering Jewish teens, are both under the umbrella of the Orthodox Union. Both Yachad and NCSY have regional advisory boards. The boards are made up of teens who are dedicated to enriching their Jewish communities through various programming efforts. The Yachad inaugural meeting for the 2011-2012 Slate of Teen Officers took place on Wednesday, June 30th, 2011. Eliana Feldan, 16 of Boca Raton, FL and Gabriella Sobol, 16 of Hollywood, FL assumed the roles of Co-Presidents and Samita Barrocas, 17 of Boca Raton, FL became the NCSY Liaison. The new board discussed member responsibilities, including attendance of monthly meetings, staffing Yachad programs and serving as ambassadors to the cause in their home communities. The new board evaluated potential programs for future events, including an annual marathon, boat ride, spa event and Oscars-style party. “What’s amazing, is that I am not even in Florida right now, and this meeting was organized and executed totally on their own! It’s unbelievable how dedicated these teens are,” stated Tzippi Rosen, Yachad South Florida Coordinator. “This initial meeting truly highlights the teen’s assumption of responsibility and leadership roles in our communities.”

“We are both so excited for the upcoming school year and what it has in store for Yachad South Florida. The new high school board met earlier this week and from the get-go, we can see that the board members are not only motivated, but also thinking outside the box. Countless ideas were presented as we brainstormed, and we, along with the rest of the Yachad high school board, cannot wait to start turning those ideas into a reality! We are excited to include even more people in Yachad this upcoming year, and we cannot wait to get started!”, stated Eliana and Gabriella. The purpose of the teen board is to give them responsibility and help in the creation of programs and events. Having them involved in the process gives them the confidence to become future leaders within the Jewish Community. Yachad is dedicated to addressing the needs of all individuals with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community. Yachad members participate in several inclusive activities per month. There are Yachad Chapters located throughout the United States and Canada. Yachad activities provide our members with opportunities for personal growth and enriched lives. The ‘inclusive design’ gives our special population their rightful place within the Jewish community, while helping to educate our community about our members’ abilities and strengths. NCSY works together with Yachad to provide many activities, including Shabbatons and many NCSY members participate as the mainstream component. (Put something else about NCSY here) For more information on Yachad and NCSY, please visit











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Local Group Has Given Nearly $400,000 Over Six Years The cutting-edge, hands-on philanthropists of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of South Palm Beach County (JWF) have proudly launched the application process for their 2012 Grant Funding Cycle. In a new application step this year, letters of intent for up to $20,000 from 501c (3) organizations for programs and projects that effect social change on behalf of women and girls will be accepted until September 26, 2011.   Rooted in Jewish values, JWF awards grants to address the areas of abuse prevention, education, health and research in South Palm Beach County, in Israel or elsewhere overseas. Founded by Roxane Frechie Lipton in 2003, this initiative of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County has granted nearly $400,000 over the past six years.  “We are interested in reviewing programs or projects that address a specific need for Jewish girls or women,” said JWF Co-chair Mara Reuben. “We fund with a ‘gender lens’ and a ‘Jewish lens.’ Our grant awardees must seek to create systemic change by developing women leaders, or changing laws, practices and cultural traditions to provide greater equality for Jewish women and girls.”  JWF’s Trustees serve as equal partners in selecting grant recipients, deciding together how to direct their combined resources. Diverse in their ages and Jewish backgrounds, Trustees build JWF through their $10,000, $50,000 and $100,000 tax-deductible contributions, payable over five years.   “JWF offers local Jewish women of all ages the unique opportunity to be hands-on, woman-to-woman, independent philanthropists,” said Ann Kalman, JWF Chair. “Together, we assist and empower those in need, bringing compassion and change to the lives of women and girls. Our Trustees are learning the remarkable impact and satisfaction of directing their collective resources toward the causes that matter to them most.”  Letters of Intent are due by September 26, 2011.JWF will then extend invitations to submit full proposals to selected agencies on October 18, 2011 and due on December 9, 2011. Grant awards will be announced on February 9, 2012.  The Jewish Women’s Foundation is generously sponsored by Oppenheimer.  To request a grant application or more information on the granting cycle, or to learn more about becoming a JWF Trustee, email maureenm@ or call 561-852-3188. Grant applications may be made online at jwf/grants.   The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County serves the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach areas, raising and allocating millions of dollars each year to meet vital needs locally, in Israel and more than 70 countries worldwide. The Jewish Women’s Foundation is an initiative of the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation.


Jewish Women’s Foundation of South Palm Beach County Seeks Grant Applications





Robert Zuckerman Brings His Works Back Home


By Amiel Lindenbaum

icture this. The setting is the Betsy He got his first big break from Oliver Hotel in South Beach. A man sits. Stone shooting celebrity portraits on the movHe is wearing casual cargo pants ie “The Doors.” He knew Stone’s assistant, and and a local union’s t-shirt. He is framed by when she showed Stone Zuckerman’s work, his own photographs of pop culture icons, the director signed him up on the spot. This such as Morgan Freeman, Alan Ginsberg shocked the Hollywood elite, because it was and David Bowie, as well as by an illustrious unheard of for a novice and outsider to get career guiding not just by the desire to to work with such a powerful director. Now create great art, but to create a great life. the Hollywood elite vie for Zuckerman. DiThis is a portrait of Robert Zuckerman, rectors like Jerry Bruckheimer or actors like one of Hollywood’s most illustrious photoDenzel Washington whisk Zuckerman around graphic portraitists – and a favorite son of the world on their private jets just so they can the Miami Beach Jewish community. work with him. Yet, this is not what compels Zuckerman, in town for the opening of him to work. an exhibition of his work at the Besty on Sitting there in the hotel lobby, it is almost August 14, is the unit and key art photoghard to notice the cane that rests between rapher on movie sets, including “Any Given his knees. Eight years ago, a friend noticed Sunday,” “Pursuit of Happiness” and the Zuckerman limping. This led to a discovery recent “Transformers III,” as well as an art that once again compelled Zuckerman to live photographer. His movie photos are used by his father’s words and see the good in life. in promotional and press materials. His job Zuckerman has the rare genetic disease that L-R Robert Zuckerman with Ramon Rodriguez who plays Bosley on new Charlies Angels requires him to spend 14 hours a day for only affects the 100 or so Ashkenazic Jews stretches of 100 days at a time shooting on called Adult Polyglucosan Body Disease. Now, Zuckerman attended the Mesivtah for a year, but realset. One moment he may sit atop a train not only does he continue to support his famized that he had a passion for a career in film. He says moving at 50 mph; the next, he may be positioned in ily and their disabilities, but he also has to contend he wasn’t ready for such a structured and traditional a cozy setting, capturing an intimate love scene. with his own. Despite this, he hasn’t slowed down. life, but the musings from Matty, as Zuckerman calls Rather than directing his subjects to pose a certain A production manager once called him “one tough his father, stayed with him. way, Zuckerman’s method is to let the right moment mother” after seeing Zuckerman carry his equipment “He taught me that even if you don’t agree with present itself. across desert sands. The moniker has stuck. He is someone, you should respect them,” he says. “He also “Often times when actors will forget their lines, driven by this tenacious love for his craft, and by the instructed me that no matter where I went, I should they look to outside distractions to place blame, typirecognition that his work is important to others. always take one day a week and make that a Shabbos.” cally singling out the photographer as an easy scapeReacting to the emotions after 9/11, Zuckerman Zuckerman’s father had a love for numbers. He goat” he says. “I learned early on that I don’t need started sending around to friends, photos of ordinary used to “guestimate” the seconds left in his son’s life. to capture every shot, it’s better to choose your mopeople attached to a small biography of the subjects. He also encouraged his son to be a positive person. ments.” These pieces drew great interest and his friends con“You can’t control what happens to you in life, but His works do not just capture a moment; they are vinced him to publish his works in a volume also you can control your reaction,” was one of Dr. Zuckevocative and soulful. It is not uncommon for a star available for sale at the Betsy called “Kindsight.” Zuckerman’s favorite sayings, Robert says. This became a to commission him to photograph family milestones erman’s subjects in the book are ordinary people with guiding principle in Robert’s life and would later serve or work off the set. When we ask the obvious – who great expression. By combining the photo with biohim well when he struggled. As a young man, Zuckerare his favorite actors to photograph? – His answers graphical text or the recollections of a first meeting, man took on the responsibility of caring financially for reflect his likeable disposition and his sense of core the “Kindsight” pieces allow for a greater degree of his two handicapped half-sisters who suffered from values. Cameron Diaz is one. At his first meeting with interpretation and emotion than the image by itself. Spinocerebellar Degeneration and Fibromyalgia. His Cameron Diaz at the beginning of her popularity, she Zuckerman believes that the more personal his art, father was proud of this and his professional work and diffused a stressful set by introducing herself individuthe more universal is its meaning. These fascinating saw his son as leading a life of mitzvoth in his own ally to each crew member, he says. Will Smith, whom artistic pieces that today adorn the walls of the Betsy way. Zuckerman counts as a close friend, and Kate Winslet Hotel have become vehicles of creative expression for Robert Zuckerman returned to his mother’s world are his other favorites for their unpretentious, courteZuckerman to observe and connect with the world after high school. He attended Boston University and ous and cheerful ways. around him. then film school in San Francisco, where as a borZuckerman didn’t always have a cheerful child“Pictures can tell the story of real people,” he says. derline applicant he had to talk his way in and prove hood. While Zuckerman credits his late father, Dr. “For me, photography, as much as possible, has behimself over a summer session. After graduation, he Matthew Zuckerman of Miami Beach, as his greatest come an integration of life and craft. Through it I am started a small film production company with two influence, he only met his father at age 16. His mothable to give value to people’s lives and derive value in friends. Eventually, they met with some success, but er, who grew up Reform, and his Observant Jewish my own life, beyond making a living.” the partners refused to pay Zuckerman his fair share. father found their lives incompatible and split when That’s Robert Zuckerman, in a snapshot. He won a small settlement in court of $25,000, and Zuckerman was only 6 months old. His father chose decided the time was right to pursue his dream of benot to stay in touch and interfere in Robert’s life until Robert Zuckerman’s exhibition, entitled, “Kindsight, Time Maing a photographer. Robert sought him out. Wanting to get to know his chine and Celebrity Portraits,” at the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean “Once I decided, that was it: I am a photographer father, Zuckerman went to live with him on Prairie Drive, opens August 14 and is free to the public. The works are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. and now I must try to do it all the time and with love,” Ave in Miami Beach, where Dr. Zuckerman was a denhe says. tist and a pillar of the Temple Beth Israel community.


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ZOA Challenges U.S. to Change Anti-Semitic Policy

merican citizens born in Jerusalem are being denied the right to have Israel recognized as their country of birth according to a State Department policy being challenged in an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case. The case, Zivotofsky v. Clinton, questions whether the State Department and Executive Branch can in fact claim exemption from laws that specifically require Jerusalem be recognized by the U.S. Government as Israel’s capital. Helping to lead the way in the legal challenge is the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). In an interview with South Florida Jewish Home, ZOA National President Morton Klein weighed in on the Issue: “Despite the US Congress passing a law in 2002 signed by President Bush to permit American citizens born in Jerusalem to have ‘Israel’ recorded as their birthplace on their passports, not merely ‘Jerusalem,’ the State Department refuses to honor this Law. The conspicuous rejection of the Law is all the more troubling when one realizes that in 1995 the Jerusalem Embassy Act became law with overwhelming majorities in the US House and Senate, specifically requiring that US policy is to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel,” he noted. “We hope that this case, which was consolidated into one from the 2 cases filed by the ZOA and distinguished Attorney Nathan Lewin, will finally be resolved by the Supreme Courton November 17 to require that the Law be fulfilled.” Over the last three weeks many leading Jewish-American organizations have finally stepped forward to lend their support as the Supreme Court prepares to consider the case. ZOA’s Florida Regional Director, Joseph Sabag, himself an attorney, has been speaking out around the community. “There is no legal or moral justification for American citizens born in Jerusalem to be denied the right to have Israel recorded as their country of birth on their passport and other documents,” Sabag said. “In 2002 Congress and President George W. Bush enacted a specific law intended to protect the rights of these citizens, which the State Department continues to willfully violate. It’s time for that law to finally be enforced.” “American citizens born in Jerusalem are being

victimized in order to deliver a message the State Department seeks to send to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority,” Sabag continued. “The message is that ownership of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, is a matter up for negotiation. Since taking office, the Obama Administration has also sought to

American Embassy in Tel Aviv

reinforce this point by coercing Israel into ceasing construction in eastern Jerusalem. They claim that they are doing so in the interest of promoting peace, but in reality they are destroying its prospects.” In Sabag’s case the issue carries personal meaning. His father, Isaac Sabag, 61, is an American citizen born in Jerusalem. “International travel has been made difficult for me as a result of the State Department’s policy,” the elder Sabag commented. “I traveled recently to South America, where I was repeat-

edly detained at the airport when both entering and exiting the countries I was visiting. Because I lacked a recognized country of birth on my passport the customs and immigration officials suspected it was a fake. Somehow I had to explain to them that I have been made a pawn in the State Department’s political game.” “This whole issue boils down to the question of whether Jerusalem should be divided again, Heaven-forbid,” continued Isaac Sabag. “As a proud Israeli and Jew who grew up in a Jerusalem split by conflict, I wish for all of my fellow Americans to know that this proposition is foolish and morally wrong. Israel is the Jewish State, and Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People. If America is truly Israel’s greatest ally then the U.S. Government should not be asking her to divide her capital and raise her children under such insecure and demoralizing circumstances ever again.” As the Florida Regional Director for ZOA, Joseph Sabag frequently warns about the dangers of dividing Jerusalem and handing over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian-Arabs. “On December 28th, 2010 Palestinian Authority president and Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas told reporters ‘We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.’” Sabag forcefully explained, “Jerusalem has been the rightful capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and it is an outrage that the Obama Administration and State Department would continue to serve the negotiating purposes of such vile and obvious racism. Only fools and liars would advocate Land for Peace and the Two State Solution while the Palestinian Authority continues to arm, sponsor, protect, glorify and reward terrorists who murder Jews and continue the encouragement of young Palestinian-Arabs to become terrorist martyrs.” “It is troubling that the State Department not only refuses to obey the law, but also works to promote the interests of the false moderates in the Palestinian Authority who seek to destroy the Jewish State of Israel,” concluded Sabag. For more information, visit: Association of Proud American Citizens Born in Jerusalem, Israel or www.



By SFJH Staff

Raba said, When man is led in for Judgment he is asked, Did you deal faithfully [i.e., with integrity], did you fix times for learning, did you engage in procreation, did you hope for salvation, did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom, did you understand one thing from another. - Talmud Shabbat 31a


s you enter the Miami office of, there is an incongruity that strikes you like a pound of feathers: the surprisingly functional décor, the understated furnishings, the modest amenities. It is a Motel Six where you might expect a Ritz Carlton. There is a framed newspaper story lauding the launching of a new entrepreneurial venture by the two multimillionaire founders of Hotels. com., but it is propped up unpretentiously against a wall near an office door. It would have gone completely unnoticed had we not sat down on the sofa opposite the display. The office’s lack of bravura does little to diminish the aura of success that has followed Bob Diener throughout his career and is apparent as he greeted us warmly for our scheduled interview. After making our way to his office, Bob motioned for us to find seats on the other side of his desk. We thanked him for making himself available to us, and as we prepared to begin our interview, he proceeded to ask us a question. He wasn’t trying to turn the tables on his interrogators, but with his hardwired acuity, he had anticipated where we wanted to take the interview. He was spot on. With trademark sincerity, Bob asked if we knew the questions the Almighty solicits from each of us at the end of our days. With his reference to the Ultimate Interview—the Super Bowl of inquisitions – Bob revealed to us the singular objective that has precipitated every step he has taken in his remarkable career: Bob Diener’s life is dedicated to making sure he has the answers to God’s inquiries. The questions are discussed in the Gemorah (Shabbas 31a) and many midrashim, describing to us our obligation to leave the world in a better state than which we entered it. Tikun Olam is the Hebrew phrase for repairing or improving the world. Listening to Bob, it is evident that like his father and grandfather before him, Bob is intent on making the world a better place. And, it is clear that, like his father and grandfather before him, when Bob sees a problem, he

undertakes to fix it. From a very young age, Bob has stood up, as we learn in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers), to be the man when there is none. Bob’s aptitude for zeroing in on a need - and then filling it - has no doubt served him well in his business ventures, but it is his commitment to meeting the needs of the Jewish community at large that sets him apart from other successful businessman. Though he speaks of his altruism with characteristic humility, the list of his philanthropic endeavors is astounding: He brought shluchim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Hawaii to infuse the island with Yiddeshkeit, kosher food and kidushas Shabbos. He helped to establish a world-class Jewish school for dyslexic children on the Hillel campus here in South Florida. He has dedicated himself to arming our young adults with the knowledge to defend and promote Israel on college campuses across our country. And, he has utilized the Internet to reach out to fellow Jews across the world and to defend Israel in the face of relentless – and overtly biased – criticism. Bob grew up in Surfside, attending Mesifta, today’s Hebrew Academy, for 12 years. Then, he attended the University of Florida and Cornell Law School. While at Cornell, he met his business partner, David Litman. Together, they launched a discount airline business that became a multi-million dollar wholesale airfare consolidation operation. The venture was so successful that he chose to leave his promising legal career at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. In 1991, the dynamic duo saw the untapped potential in the hotel industry, and with an investment of only

$1,200 ($600 apiece), the two founded Hotel Reservations Network, now known as Hotels. com. Then, in 1997, they anticipated the impact of IBM’s connecting mainframes to the Internet, for the first time allowing consumers to make purchases over the Internet. In 2000, they sold their interest to Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. as part of a consolidation in the Internet arena, combining with Expedia and Ticketmaster after an IPO. They left the company in 2004. In 2008, the two started, a new hotel booking website focusing on handpicked hotel deals in major cities. Getaroom differs from and other similar venues in that it invites its members to directly contact the hotels for their unpublished rates. There are also flash (24 or 48 hour) sales that members are notified of which offer deals as low as 50% off the hotel’s standard rate. Getaroom also offers vacation rooms, apartments and hotel-condos, which most hotel discount sites do not. Bob and David decided to launch Getaroom. com 18 months ago because they believed the creation and development of a successful entrepreneurial business would be a great vehicle to teach their kids, ages 4-16, many lessons they may not learn in a classroom. The children have watched Getaroom. com grow from scratch. The older ones have even been involved in sales and marketing and have contributed to commercials. Still, in Bob’s view, the most significant lesson the children have learned is that a successful business is a platform to help the community. The nascent company has already demonstrated its generosity, offering free hotel rooms at charity auctions and providing employment opportunities for those hit hard by the economy. Ten percent of the company’s profits are donated to charity and the company matches employees’ charitable contributions. Getaroom’s philanthropic efforts underscore Bob’s longstanding view that his success in business is merely a launch pad for his life’s objectives. Twentyfive years ago, before Bob’s most lucrative achievements, he already understood his responsibility to have an impact on others. At the time, Bob spent many weeks in Hawaii and saw the dearth of Yiddishkeit on the tranquil vacation locale. He contacted friends at Chabad and arranged for two shluchim to bring kosher food and Shabbas minyanim to Hawaii. One of those shluchim remains there with his family to this day. Rabbi Itchel Krasnjansky, Executive Director of Chabad of Hawaii, fondly recalls when he first met Bob. “He has always done great things in an continued on next page


Making the World a Better Place




BOB DIENER continued

unassuming way, cheerful and always smiling. Even many years after he left Hawaii, Bob still supports Chabad and is always interested in what we are doing in Hawaii.” Rabbi Krasnjansky remembers Bob’s determination, charm and Jewish spark (his Yiddishe neshama). “Bob is obviously very successful, but his success never went to his head. He is focused on accomplishing things, usually things for the Jewish people. He is never concerned about himself.” With their unassuming grace, Bob, and his real partner in tikun olam - his wife Michelle - have used their wealth and talents to spearhead or support diverse causes. Bob and Michelle, who met on a blind date at Sara’s (they were not each other’s blind date) in 1992 and married the following year, work together and independently in their charitable efforts. Michelle sits on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Miami and is one of the founders of the Kosher Food Bank. She joined her husband in what he considers their proudest achievement: establishing a preeminent school for dyslexic students, housed at the Hillel Community Day School Campus. It is the very campus where the Dieners dedicated the elementary school in the memory of Bob’s grandfather, Judah Diener, a pioneer in the Jewish Day School movement. Judah was a founder of the Lakewood Yeshiva and trusted friend of R’ Aaron Kotler and R’ Pinchas Teitz. Bob and Michelle were disappointed when they discovered that there was no school that met the needs of their children with dyslexia within the framework of a Jewish Day school. Instead of bemoaning their lack of options, they put together a team of experts to establish a school to suit their children’s needs. He encouraged the principal and several standout teachers at the school his children attended in Kendall to start a new school at Hillel. After only three years, the Nativ school has 50 students, grades one through five, providing an excellent education for dyslexic children in Hillel’s Jewish Day School atmosphere. “Michelle and Bob Diener are true community leaders. Their passionate commitment to Jewish education reflects their thoughtful dedication to initiatives that nurture and foster our next generation of Jewish leadership. The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School is blessed to be able to offer programs like Nativ, realizing the shared vision of Hillel and the Dieners to make Jewish education accessible and possible for all ages,” said Rabbi Pinchos Hecht, Head of School. The program has been endorsed by Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., The Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development in the Yale University School of Medicine and Co-Director, Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. “Bob and Michelle have that rare combination of compassion, caring, insight into the educational needs of all children, including those who are dyslexic, and a willingness to take bold actions. Our visit to the Hillel campus was a real treat – an extraordinary school reflecting cutting-edge scientific knowledge of teaching and dyslexia and caring for children – a true dream come true. I wish every child

could have the benefit of attending a school like this. Congratulations Bob and Michelle for making Jewish education in North Miami Beach the very best in the nation!” Bob’s vision for the Nativ school demonstrates his willingness to think outside the box, and it is this ingenuity that put Bob at the forefront of using the Internet as a tool for Jewish outreach. Bob understood that the Internet has the potential to be an invaluable resource for Jews who want to learn about their people, their history, and their religion. Bob, on his own initiative, contacted Aish Hatorah to see how he could help them to improve their web presence. He reached out to’s Nechemya Coopersmith, offering funding, marketing strategies, and programming resources.

“Michelle and Bob Diener are true community leaders. Their passionate commitment to Jewish education reflects their thoughtful dedication to initiatives that nurture and foster our next generation of Jewish leadership.” Furthermore, Bob, a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, realized that the Internet could be utilized by Jews in the diaspora to demonstrate their solidarity with the Jewish State. Bob was instrumental in establishing, as well as the media center for foreign journalists in Israel, to encourage reporters to provide an honest and fair depiction of Israel in the world press, and to call them out when bias or slant is observed. Bob is also a strong supporter of Hasbara, the college campus leadership and Israel advocacy program launched by Ephraim Shore and Elliot Mathais. This program fosters future Jewish leaders who will be able to speak, write and debate on behalf of Israel and Jews on college campuses and beyond. Bob’s commitment to Israel extends far beyond media relations. Bob is very active in Israel Bonds and AIPAC; he is involved in local campaigns and sits on the National Board. He was instrumental, again, quietly, in acquiring for AIPAC its Washington, D.C. headquarters. He is a masterful fundraiser for AIPAC and is the Jewish point of contact for many US senators. While Bob’s host of accomplishments – both in business and philanthropy - are inspiring, it is the man himself – the dignified and honest manner with which he conducts himself – that is the greatest source of inspiration. Rabbi Chaim Albert, Judaic Director at Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach, recalls the lasting impression

Bob made on his high school juniors when Bob was the guest speaker for his Jewish Business Ethics Class. “The Diener family has been a tremendous resource for our community. The Chessed and Tzedaka they have contributed have positively changed people’s lives. When Bob spoke to our eleventh graders on Business Ethics, he described the myriad opportunities in business to cheat, cut corners, or behave dishonestly. He demonstrated that you can be honest, do things the right way, and still be wildly successful, as a businessman and, more importantly, as a person.” As our interview drew to a close, Bob shared with us an inspiring story. He had the opportunity to meet the Lubavitch Rebbe shortly after the Rebbe’s wife had passed away. After leading a rousing minyan, the Rebbe sat down to greet thousands of well-wishers and those looking for a blessing from the revered and saintly rabbi. Bob and two friends joined the throngs in line. One of his friends was given a bracha for success in Torah learning. Within a year, he was enrolled at Ohr Semeach and was on his way to earning his rabbinical degree. His other friend received a blessing for a shidduch. Soon after, he met his wife and was married within a year. Bob received a blessing for parnassah, success in business. While this story demonstrates the obvious influence of the Rebbe, it also reveals the Rebbe’s ability to perceive the needs of each person who came to him for a blessing. The Rebbe, with his keen insight, was able to sense the individual strengths – and individual goals – of the many people he encountered. Though far too humble to make any comparisons himself, Bob, too, is able to sense what it is that someone needs, and has demonstrated time and again that he will do whatever he can to meet that need. In our preparation for our interview, we read press clippings extoling the many successes of Bob Diener in the business world, but these articles did little to describe the extent of his charity work, the extent of his community and political involvement, or the extent of his humility. As our interview unfolded, we met a man who was kind, engaging, proud of his achievements and accomplishments, but completely self-effacing and low key. He spoke matter-offactly, businesslike, with no hubris, no ego. Though we caught sight of framed photographs of his family posed with various American presidents and politicians, the man sitting before us of was a regular family man, haimish – a true mentsch. As we thanked Bob for his time, we understood that the simple yet functional office was, in fact, not the least bit incongruous with the remarkable man occupying its space. The understated décor perfectly suits a man who eschews fanfare for the chance to help another human being, a man whose modest smile belies his towering list of accomplishments, a man who realizes that his wealth and clout are merely conduits for him to leave the world a better place. When, after 120 years, it comes time for the Ultimate Interview, Bob’s manifold good deeds will surely speak for themselves.


(Information obtained from National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Washington D.C.)

1. Name the only Major League Baseball ballpark that sells more sausages than hot dogs per season? a. Yankee Stadium in New York b. Wrigley Field in Chicago c. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles d. Miller Park in Milwaukee 2. What is the average weight, fully loaded, of a baseball park hot dog vendor’s bin? a. 25 lbs b. 100 lbs c. 10 lbs d. 40 lbs 3. It is well known that Babe Ruth loved hot dogs. In fact, he once ate how many hot dogs between two games of a double header? a. 2 b. 5 c. 8 d. 12 4. How many hot dogs do Americans eat between Memorial Day and Labor Day? a. 80 million b. 300 million c. 750 million d. 7 billion 5. In which city are the most hotdogs eaten? a. Dallas b. New York City c. Chicago d. Los Angeles 6. How much does Thomas Makkos pay the city every year to sell hot dogs at a pushcart outside of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art? a. $17,050 b. $24,320 c. $68,552 d. $415,670

SPACE SHUTTLE TRIVIA 1.What was historic about the July 2011 Atlantis shuttle mission? a. The astronauts requested iced coffees from Le Chocolat. The ice coffees were sent up in a refrigerated capsule, which docked at the International Space Station. b. It was the first mission of Atlantis c. It was the first time an issue of TJH was taken to space. d. It was the final mission of NASA’s space shuttle program. 2. The maiden launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-41D was originally delayed over a month in order to replace a malfunctioning main engine. When finally back on the launch pad, the launch was delayed another six minutes and 50 seconds for what reason? a. One of the astronauts had to use the bathroom. b. A private aircraft had flown into the shuttle’s airspace. c. The new engine wasn’t working properly. d. There was a passing storm. 3. Space agencies around the globe try to create launch sites as close the equator as economically possible. Which of the below choices is NOT a valid reason for this? a. Rotational velocity of the earth is faster at the equator, allowing for a faster initial orbital slingshot. b. It is easier to keep the rocket fuel cooler in equatorial climates. c. Equatorial launches offer more orbital inclination possibilities. d. Many equatorial locations have nearby bodies of water to launch over for safety reasons. 4. Which of these names was never used for a space shuttle? a. Atlantic b. The TJH Shuttle c. Discovered d. Challenged 5. How many missions was each shuttle expected to fly? a. 25 b. 50 c. 67 d.100 6. An Astronaut has to be able to remain calm in tough situations which require quick thinking. Which astronaut is famous for being so strangely calm that he actually fell asleep on the launch pad waiting to launch? a. Neil Armstrong b. Gordon Copper c. John Glenn d. TJH Centerfold Commissioner


ANSWERS 1.D - Out of all 30 MLB parks, Miller Park in Milwaukee is the only one in which sausages outsell hotdogs per season. Miller Park is home to the famous “Sausage Race” during each game. 2. D - A fully loaded bin weights approximately 40 pounds. And vendors typically walk 4 to 5 miles per game, up and down steps. 3. D - Legend has it the Babe once ate 12 hot dogs and eight bottles of soda between games of a doubleheader. 4. D - Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs during peak season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That’s 818 hot dogs per second. 5. D - Los Angeles residents consume more hot dogs than any other city, beating out New York and San Antonio/Corpus Christi, Texas 6. D - Thomas Makkos pays $415,670 per year for the city’s top dog spot, which is right outside of the Met. That’s right- what do all of those “cultured stiff shirts” want after staring at Rembrandts for 6 hours? A hot dog with sauerkraut and baked beans! A bunch of frauds!

So how did you do?: 4-6 correct: You are really good at hot dog trivia. Give yourself a pat on the back… if your hand can actually reach that far. 2-4 correct: You are just a typical American. .. make sure to get your 47 hot dogs this summer. 0 correct: Truth is I can’t figure you out. You played the game so you can’t be such a “stiff.” But you didn’t even get 1 answer right! Maybe you are just in a hotdog induced coma.

1. D - After 30 years of space shuttle missions, NASA’s space shuttle program has been shut down. 2. B 3. B 4. A, B, C, D - Although some of the well known shuttles were Atlantis, Discovery and the Challenger. (Learn how to read my friend). 5. D 6. B - Gordon “Gordo” Cooper flew on Mercury 9, the last and longest Mercury flight, as well as Gemini 5. He was the last astronaut to fly solo. During his Mercury flight, his blood pressure dropped astonishingly down to 101/65.

Switchboard Key: 4-6 Correct: You are either a rocket scientist or a real nerd. 0-2 Correct: You must have inhaled some of Atlantis’ fumes.





Helpful Tips for Easing Your Child Back Into the School Year


ileen Ginzburg, director of special programs at The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day/The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School in North Miami Beach, FL, offers a few simple and helpful tips for families to ease back into the school mindset. Lower School Directors Tara Solomiany and Valerie Lustgarten also added their insight. • Let the countdown begin: No matter how much fun your child has had over the summer, the start of the school year should be something that is eagerly anticipated in your household (and not just by you). One of the ways that you can build a sense of excitement is to post a calendar in the kitchen and let your child mark down the days until the first day of school. • Start the conversation: While it’s important to be positive about the coming school year because children pick up on their parents’ anxieties, your child should also feel free to talk to you about any concerns or fears they may have. Maintain an open dialogue by addressing any issues that arise head-on while talking about the wonderful things they will learn, friends they will meet and opportunities that await them at school. • Get back into a routine: Schedules tend to be more lax during the summer. Start gradually adjusting bedtime and wake up times several days before the first day of school. Reestablish morning routines by setting out clothes the night before and allot a certain amount of time for

breakfast in the morning. Parents should also start reducing the amount of time kids spend in front of the television or on the computer. While most children do their homework on a computer today, time spent on the computer isn’t always productive and can take away from other back-to-school preparation. • Do your homework: Avoid any backto-school stress by making sure that your child has completed their summer assignments. Leaving things for the last minute will only create anxiety in both you and your child. Also, engage your child in a conversation about their summer assignments and how it will relate to what they’ll be studying in the classroom this year. • Involve the kids: Bring your child along with you to any open houses or meet-the- teacher events scheduled at their school. Also, acquaint younger children with basic activities, such as pick up and drop off routines and schedules. This is particularly important with younger children and those who will be attending a new school. Take them with you when you go shopping for school supplies too. Letting them make decisions about back-to-school clothes and supplies, with your approval, will give them an enthusiasm and sense of empowerment that will carry over into the classroom. From early childhood through Grade 12, The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School | The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School inspires students to become exemplary global citizens with strong Jewish identity through an innovative curriculum enriched by co-curricular experiences. All this is set within a nurturing, diverse, traditional Jewish community. Hillel is the one of the largest Jewish community day schools in the nation and Florida’s first Jewish International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School. For information, please visit


ot long ago I heard of a couple who were calling it quits and getting a divorce. They are not youngsters and have been married for many years. The gentleman explained to me that it was not over anything dramatic such as an affair or significant change in finances but simply that they "had grown apart". It always saddens me when I hear this to be the reason for the dissolution of a marriage because I feel it could have very easily been avoided. I am sure there were many things I am unaware of that went on in the privacy of his marriage, and while I understand that each relationship is unique, there are nevertheless certain truths and rules of relationships that breed success or lack thereof as the case may be. I think I can guess how couples "grow apart" and what makes it more problematic is that it is a slow and insidious process that many couples are not even aware of happening to them before it is too late. It goes kinda like this: When a couple first meet they are very excited about one another. There is energy and discovery in the relationship and they spend tons of time together getting to know one another. The courtship process continues this way until the big day, the wedding, and then some. The first years are hopeful, energetic, dynamic and bursting with excitement. But as the years go by and the young couple settles into a certain routine, new events enter and creep into their lives. There is making a living, a child or two or three show up; they have their interests, some shared, most not. The job(s) have their demands, kids get older; there is carpool, homework, after school activities. They look for and buy a home and that too has many demands of time, energy and effort. Not only is there mortgage, but new furnishings, fixing old ones, a sprinkler system that always seems to be on the blink, redoing the bathroom, getting rid of the old smelly carpet and "shall we choose laminated wood, engineered wood or solid; how about bamboo, I hear it is ecological?" And so the older the couple gets, the more stuff happens in their lives to involve their time and attention. And while all of these issues are certainly impor-

tant, the couple finds that they no longer have time and energy for each other. Their relationship gets relegated to the back-burner because there are so many imminent and important things to take care of. And, lo and behold, before they know it not only is that spark from their dating days long dead, there is very little sharing happening between these two folks as they become strangers to each other like two ships passing in the night. You see, if this couple who are now in their, let's say, 20th year of marriage would go back in time and revisit those days of early courtship they would find something very fascinating. They would see that when they told their friends that they had "just met the greatest guy/gal in the world", they didn't describe him/her like this: "Hey, he is so terrific, he is going to make every mortgage payment on time and not only that but every car payment too!... and for two cars!... and both cars will be luxury vehicles!!" He certainly did not tell his friends, "She is the best... she is going to be so good at car pooling and making sure the house is clean and orderly and I just know that she is going to find the best pediatrician for our kids once we have some!!" And while it is true that making mortgage and car payments on time are important, and finding a good pediatrician and caring for the kids is as well, this is not why you married this person. You married them

because of who they are as a person, because you enjoyed spending time and sharing life with them. You married them for their soul, for their spirit, for who they are and not for what they would do or accomplish. But people forget that and lose sight of it because when they first dated it came naturally and effortlessly. But once real life happened and there was more on the table, they forget that they now have to make much more of an effort to be with one another. They didn't shift gears to realize they have to fight for their time to be intimate - and I don't just mean physically (although that too). They never told their kids, "No, it's Daddy and Mommy's time" and didn't do the same to their jobs, their blackberrys, their computers and every other important obligation that seemed more pressing than each other. Because if you don't fight for your relationship, if you don't nurture it, if you fail to constantly monitor it, then like every other thing that is neglected, it wilts and it dies. Maybe not the first day or week or month or year, but eventually it will ... ever so slowly. A couple "grows apart" because they failed to put in the necessary care and time to ensure that they grow together and toward each other. And while every couple is guilty of this on some level, those who have an awareness of its danger have a chance at ensuring it doesn't harm their relationship beyond repair. So put down your iphone, get away from the computer, tell your kids to get lost (in a nice way), forget Home Depot and take your spouse, get a bottle of wine, have a drink, look her in the eye and capture what was when you first dated her so very long ago. Let it go, Let it happen like it happened once before It's a wicked wind And it chills me to the bone And if you do not believe me Come and gaze upon the shadow at your door -Gordon Lightfoot

Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale Aish South Florida


The Biggest Mistake Married Couples Make




Miami Beach Location: 6960 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33141 305-861-1771


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The downturn in the national and world economy has raised the workplace stress level for owners, managers and employees. It’s been a long time since anyone has enjoyed the security a positive economy precipitates, and pondering why this is happening will not change anything. Therefore, the question to ask is not why this is happening, but what we should do in response to the challenge at hand? Sometimes, in order to move forward we have to look back. I have chosen to look as far back as Biblical days to understand the values that will help us weather this storm. The passage I will draw upon in this series is found in Kings II, 4:32-37, the last part of the Haftorah portion for the Torah reading of Vayera in the book of Bereshis, Genesis. This speaks of Elisha’s revival of the Shunameet woman’s deceased son. Elisha the Prophet was brought to the room where the dead child was lying, and performed six actions that resulted in his revival, indeed his resurrection. He closed the door, prayed to G-d, placed his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, his palms on the child’s palms and caused his body to warm the body of the child. There is much more than Biblical CPR going on here!! Throughout the ages Rabbis have taken these six actions and used them as a metaphorical model for improving important relationships in our lives. In the coming weeks, we will understand how all of these

actions can be interpreted as having a valid place in the business world. The first thing Elisha did was close the door thereby securing his privacy with the child. One of the greatest assets every enterprise should possess is the people who transform a theoretical business model into a positive, profitable reality. Call your employees in, close the door, and take advantage of the private time to ask them how they are doing. Those few moments will achieve more in the form of employee dedication than you can imagine. Ascertaining what wisdom they can offer will validate that they are an integral part of the company team and their input is appreciated. This type of meeting will have a positive impact on their overall efficiency and may lead to the next great idea. Go back to the basics and “close the door” not on the business, but for those who you work with. From the employee’s perspective, if you think a meeting with your supervisor is in order, schedule it. How you present yourself is more important than what you’re presenting. Stick to the issue – no personal attacks. Constructive criticism is positive if it is clear that your point is well thought out with a solution for consideration in hand. At the very least, the person above you will appreciate that the success of the company and the people therein is something you take seriously.

For those in sales, this economy causes clients to be more dedicated to the bottom line rather than long term business relationships. Operating in the depersonalized world of faxes, emails, Twitter and Facebook, doesn’t help!! Renew your relationship with a private – closed door – meeting before it’s too late. Issues are easier to solve in this setting than over a computer or texting device. Nothing can replace a warm handshake and the unique tone of your voice. Cutting your price or providing better credit terms to save a client will be received & remembered with greater appreciation in a personal setting than in a text message. We may not be able to do much about the overall economy. Nonetheless, if we focus on strengthening that which is working well and are part of positive changes where appropriate, your business may exceed expectations and projections. Strengthening the personal side of business relationships by taking advantage of Elisha’s “closed door” approach will inspire confidence in you as well as the product or service you are promoting. Achieve these goals and your clients will quickly recognize that you’re doing it better than the competition. Rabbi Warren Kasztl, M.S., CHt. ,Marriage & Family Lifecoach Effective corporate communication & team-building (305)607-2355 Cell - (305)652-4082 Personal Fax




OMAHA, NE: Buffett: US Rating Still AAA, No Matter What S&P Says According to Warren Buffet, there’s no question that the United States’ debt is still AAA and that he’s not changing his mind about Treasurys based on Standard & Poor’s downgrade. “If anything, it may change my opinion on S&P,” the legendary investor said. Buffett is a big shareholder in S&P’s rival, Moody’s. Buffett is putting his money where his mouth is. As of June 30, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway had $47 billion in cash and equivalents. Buffett says that at least $40 billion of that is in U.S. Treasury bills. Not only that, Buffett says almost all of his own personal holdings in cash and equivalents are in T-bills as well. “I wouldn’t dream of putting it any-

where else,” says Buffett, adding that at Berkshire, the only reason he’s sold U.S. Treasurys in the past was to buy stocks or make acquisitions. And Buffett says Berkshire is still buying T-bills, even though yields have fallen so low. “If I have to buy Treasurys at a zero percent yield, I will,” he says. “I don’t like it, but we’ll do it.” Buffett argues that as the richest nation in the world with a GDP of $48,000 per person, America should have no problem meeting that obligation. And, of course, there’s also the benefit of having a Federal Reserve that can print money. “I can go out drinking all night, but if I’ve got a printing press, my debt is good,” says Buffett.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - Google to Buy Motorola for $12.5 Billion Google is buying cell phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash in what is by far the company’s biggest acquisition to date. Google Inc. will pay $40.00 per share, a 63 percent premium to Motorola’s closing price on Friday.

The companies say the deal has been approved by the boards of both. Google CEO Larry Page says that the deal with “supercharge the entire Android ecosystem.” The deal gives Google direct control over the maker of many of its Android phones.

WASHINGTON: Obama Administration to Get Tough on Syria, Will Tell Assad that he Must Go In the coming days, the Obama administration is preparing to explicitly demand the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad and hit his regime with tough new sanctions. The move by the White House is a direct response to Assad’s decision to step up the ruthlessvness of the crackdown against pro-reform demonstrators, already responsible for 1,700 deaths, by sending tanks into opposition hotbeds. President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials previously had said Assad has “lost legitimacy” as a leader and that he either had to spearhead a transition to democracy or get out of

the way. They had not specifically demanded that he step down. The new formulation will make it clear that Assad can no longer be a credible reformist and should leave power. Bashar assumed power in 2000, succeeding his late father, Hafez Assad, who had seized control of the country three decades earlier. A trained eye doctor, the son has spent years portraying himself as a reformer while doing little to expand civil freedoms and democracy. The unrest has prompted symbolic concessions from the government, but they’ve been accompanied by further examples of brutal repression.

WORLD REPORT CALIFORNIA: U.S. Military Unsuccessfully Test Launches Fastest Plane Ever

HOLLYWOOD, CA: Sony Hosted Obama Fundraiser, Releasing Bin Laden Movie Right before Election There may be an overtly political reason that moviegoers will be seeing the story of the Osama bin Laden raid just before they vote for president. Sony Pictures, the company distributing next year’s film, hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama on their studio’s premises in California last April. So far, Sony is the only major studio to hold a political fundraiser this cycle. Local media reports that Sony will release the bin Laden movie on October

12, 2012, less than a month before the presidential election. “The eyebrow does go up when you see the release date,” says Douglas Urbanski, a Hollywood producer and conservative radio talk show host. Urbanski said he believes the movie will be straightforward and apolitical. But Sony’s decision to release the bin Laden movie just weeks before the election, he says, is most likely “very, very deliberate.”

By the time you finish reading this sentence, the Falcon HTV-2, the fastest plane ever built, could have flown 18 miles. It would get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000 C, hotter than the melting point of steel. At 3pm last Thursday , the US Defence Advance Research Projects Agency launched the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Once on the edge of space the plane detached and launched on a hypersonic flight that was to reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) upon its return to Earth. Shortly after takeoff the aircraft stopped sending back real-time data to engineers and scientists who were moderating the

mission. According to reports, the aircraft ejected from its protective cover atop the rocket, then nosedived back toward Earth, leveled out and was supposed to glide above the Pacific for 30 minutes, but that part is unknown. The Falcon started life in 2003, part of a US military research project to build a plane that could reach (and potentially deliver bombs to) any part of the world in less than an hour. The plane has been tested in computer models and wind tunnels, but they can only simulate speeds up to Mach 15 (11,400mph). A real test is the only way to determine if the plane will remain flying at high speeds. While this test mission may have failed, the planned plane would change the rules of war dramatically for the United States.

RAMALLAH - US Helps Pay PA Terrorists Who Murdered Americans Prisoners who were jailed for periods of up to five years receive 1,400 to 2,000 NIS per month. However, terrorists serving 10 to 15 years receive 6,000 shekels, the ones serving 15 to 20 years receive 10,000 shekels, and those serving 20 to 30 years get 12,000 shekels. These are people who planned, directed and took part in the murder of civilian men, women and children. Since some of the victims of PA terror are American citizens, the information means that US taxpayers pay monthly salaries to the people who murdered their fellow citizens.

Gunmen kidnapped Warren Weinstein, an American development expert from Rockville MD, living in Pakistan. Weinstein is the Pakistan country director for J.E. Austin Associates, a development contractor that has received millions of dollars from the aid arm of the U.S. government. Police declined to speculate on the motive, and no group immediately claimed responsibility. But kidnappings for ransom are common in Pakistan,

with foreigners being occasional targets. Criminal gangs are suspected in most abductions, but Islamic militants are believed to also use the tactic to raise money. Police said the American, believed to be in his 60s, had returned to his home in the eastern city of Lahore the previous night from the capital, Islamabad. He had told his staff that he would be wrapping up his latest project and moving out of Pakistan by Monday.

TEHRAN: Iran to Stage Protest against U.K. ‘Savage Aggression’ Toward Rioters A stateorganized protest is being planned by Iran against the U.K. over what Tehran calls “savage aggression” used by British police on demonstrators in the recent street riots that have spread across England. The protest, to be held by students in front of the British embassy in Tehran is “in solidarity with the oppressed Britons

and against British police terror”. The move is seen as payback for Britain being one of the more vocal opponents to actions taken against Iranians protesting the outcome of the 2009 presidential election which was overshadowed by fraud. At that time British diplomats were expelled and several members of the Tehran British embassy staff were arrested.

PAKISTAN Allows China to See U.S. Helicopter NORTHERN ISRAEL: Israel Army Plants New Mines Along Syria Border I s r a e l ’s army is planting new land mines along its border with Syria in an attempt to dissuade protesters from rushing into the Golan Heights. This is part of increased security measures ahead of rallies that Palestinians are planning to hold in September after declaring their independence in the UN. The army decided to go ahead with

the move after older mines failed to detonate when the Syrians crossed in mass protests in June. The mountainous plateau is heavily sown with minefields, which are marked. Military officials have said they are also preparing non-lethal methods for controlling any Golan protests.

In the latest display of the complicated lack of trust between Islamabad and Washington, it has now been revealed that Pakistan allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph and take samples from the top-secret stealth helicopter that US special forces left behind when they killed Osama bin Laden. “The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” said one person in intelligence circles, referring to the Pakistani spy agency. The Chinese engineers

were allowed to survey the wreckage and take photographs of it, as well as take samples of the special “stealth” skin that allowed the American team to enter Pakistan undetected by radar, he said. After their Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the wall of Bin Laden’s compound, Navy Seals used a hammer to smash the instruments then rigged up explosives to detonate it in an effort to keep classified military technology secret, but the tail section landed outside the compound wall and remained intact.


Every Palestinian terrorist held in an Israeli jail receives a monthly salary from the PA. Terrorists who committed the most heinous crimes – and therefore received longer sentences – receive the most money, according to Israeli media. Citing a report received by a senior government official in Jerusalem, the paper says that the terrorists’ salaries are paid from the PA’s “public budget,” which accounts for about 3.5 percent of its total budget. The PA treasury receives cash from two main sources: the US pays about 50 percent of the money, and the rest is mostly from European Union member nations.

PAKISTAN: American Jew Kidnapped from His House



“Say WHAT?”

A collection of notable quotes

“The Republicans had their big debate in Iowa. You know who the winner was? Anyone that didn’t watch.” – Jay Leno “After all the rioting in London this week, officials are worried that it could mean security problems for the Olympics next year. On the bright side, the guy running with the torch will just blend right in.” –Jimmy Fallon

no reason, why destroy your own city? Move one city over.” – Jimmy Kimmel “During a call with investors, Rupert Murdoch said that News Corp made $2.7 billion last year. Murdoch said if investors had any questions, they should contact him by leaving a message on their own voicemails.” – Jimmy Fallon “Financial analysts are worried that we may be headed for a double-dip recession. That sounds delicious to me.” – Jimmy Kimmel

“Here’s what I don’t understand about rioting. If you’re going to destroy a city for

“The Republican Party is making automated robocalls to voters, blaming Democrats for the credit downgrade. Yeah, I thought I got a robocall from Mitt Romney. Turns out it was actually Mitt Romney.” – Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama’s motorcade was fined $16 for traffic it caused while in the United Kingdom. Typical for Obama, he said, ‘My grandkids will pay for it.’” – Jay Leno

“President Obama almost had to cancel his 50th birthday party because of the debt limit crisis. The Republicans wouldn’t even let Obama raise his age.” – Conan O’Brien

“Amid the heat, health officials are telling Americans to stay home. Americans responded by saying, ‘We are home. We have no jobs.’” – Conan O’Brien “NASA says that without the space shuttle, we’ll have to pay the Russians $63 million to take one astronaut into space. And if the astronaut wants to check a bag, it’s an extra $15 million.” – Conan O’Brien “Weather experts say that 1 million square miles of the U.S. are under a ‘heat dome.’ But don’t worry — we have plenty of shade under our $14 trillion debt ceiling.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Texas governor Rick Perry said G-d is calling on him to run for President. But Michele Bachmann said that G-d is calling on her to run for President. You know, if G-d is that indecisive, he’s probably for Mitt Romney.” – Jay Leno “Rupert Murdoch was testifying in his phone hacking case today, and a man attacked him with a pie. Fortunately, Murdoch knew to move out of the way, because he heard about the plan on the guy’s voicemail.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Obama is going to use ‘weird’ as code for ‘Mormon.’ I am really starting to respect that urban, rhythmic, Socialist, Kenyan secret Muslim.” – Stephen Colbert “Al Gore got so angry during a speech about global warming that he almost woke up some of the people in the audience.” – Jimmy Kimmel “By the way, the ratings agency is Standard & Poor’s. Who’s going to listen to a company whose name translates to Average & Below Average?” – Jon Stewart “A new report shows that due to the weak economy right now, more Americans are canceling their cable television. Good luck trying to live without eight shows about cakes.” – Conan O’Brien

“Last night, I got Chinese food and the fortune cookie said, “Where’s my money?” – Craig Ferguson “In China they say piracy is so rampant that there are at least three fake Apple stores. It’s hard to put these people out of the business. If China arrests them for selling fake Apple products, they’ll be sent to prison where they will be forced to make real Apple products.” – Jay Leno “Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has fired his campaign manager, which is kind of sad because the only other person who knew Huntsman was running for president was the campaign manager.” – Jay Leno “We are $14.3 trillion in debt, but the good news is we’ve got 14.3 trillion airline miles. “ – Craig Ferguson


By Shalva Ginsparg


’m just a simple, old man,” Aaron Halpern tells me but I can see the blue numbers emblazoned on his arm, which he told curious onlookers when he first got to the states was his telephone number, as we sit in the Shul he founded, the Young Israel of Hollywood Beach. Indeed, both the Shul and the number point to the truth he is too modest to convey: Aaron Halpern is an extraordinary man. Born in Krakow, Mr. Halpern descends from Jewish royalty. His Chassidic roots connect him to the Sanzer Rav, the Koloshitzer Rav, the Plantcher Rav, the Satmar Rav, and the Bobover Rebbe. His parents were Bobover Chassidim and Mr. Halpern shares fond memories of summers spent with the Bobover Rebbe at a resort in Krinitza and of Friday nights around the Rebbe’s tisch. The pleasant childhood Aaron shared with his older brother Yaakov Shlome came to a crashing halt around the time Aaron turned twelve, when the Germans first invaded Krakow. After their parents were taken in 1942, never to be seen by their sons again, the two brothers worked in a labor camp in the Krakow airport. From there, Mr. Halpern was sent to the Plaszow concentration camp, and then to an explosives factory in Pionki, after which he was transported to Aushwitz-Birkenau, to Sosnowitz, to Mauthausen, and finally to Gunskirchen. Though Gunkirchen is one of the lesser known concentration camps, “an

Excerpts from December 2010 ZMAN Magazine which inspired the above story: Some 65 years ago, Aaron had also been waiting and longing -- waiting and longing for deliverance and salvation. His eyes would gaze longingly into the distance, waiting desperately for the arrival of the American soldiers who would rescue him from the hellish fires that had already consumed millions of his brethren. He was sick and frail beyond words, his stomach swollen with hunger, incarcerated in one of the harshest concentration camps in Europe, along with thousands of other Jews. Then the doubts that assailed him were of a different sort. Would the Americans ever arrive to rescue them? And if they did, would he live to see it? Eventually, the American soldiers did arrive, and by some incredible miracle, Aaron did live to see it. When asked how he survived the veritable gehinnom, he has no definitive answer. There are thousands of reasons for him not to have survived. He had spent six years of his life under the brutal, Nazi fist. He had experienced the indescribable horror of the Holocaust from its humiliating, painful beginnings to its crushing climax and finally to its miraculous conclusion. Tragically, some three million of his Polish Jewish brethren were not so lucky and never lived to see the day. Aaron had suffered through trials and tribulations

that no man could be expected to bear. He was shipped from one concentration camp to another – each more horrendous than the next. * * * Aaron Halpern was born in Krakow. His parents were pious Jews, Bobov Chassidim who were committed to a life of Torah and Chassidus. “Mitzvos and good deeds were the focus of their existence,” Aaron recalls with pride. “There were no shortcuts.” Aaron is a modest and humble man who elicits the respect of all who meet him. We discovered from family and friends that Aaron is a descendant of distinguished ancestors and famous rabbanim, with familial ties to all of the major Chassidic dynasties. He is a descendant of the renowned Sanzer Rav as well as a relative of the Koloshitzer Rav, zt’l, hy’d, and the Plantcher Rav, zt’l. He is also related to the rebbes of Gur and Sighet-Satmar. Aaron’s childhood was as unremarkable as it was tranquil. He attended the Talmud Torah Yesodei HaTorah in Krakow. On Shabbos, his father often davened in a shul a short walk from their home, the Plantcher shteibel. On many other Shabbosim, they would make the long trek to the Bobov shteibel, which was quite a distance away, and every once in a while they would

daven in the closer Chevrah Tehillim shul. On special Shabbosim, Aaron’s parents would travel to Bobov to spend the day with the Bobover Rebbe, zt’l, hy’d. Aaron recalls with nostalgia how the family would travel to Krinitza, a resort town in the mountains near Slovakia where the Bobover Rebbe would spend his summers, and they would stay in the same building as the Rebbe. Aaron’s life followed a seemingly predictable routine. He was an obedient, well-behaved child who likewise befriended boys from fine, upright homes. His idyllic childhood came to an abrupt halt when he was 12 and Hitler began implementing his plans to make the world Judenrein. On September 2, 1939, on Aaron’s twelfth birthday, the Germans invaded Krakow. That day marked the last day of Aaron’s carefree childhood as he had known it. A year later, in September, 1940, when Aaron celebrated his bar mitzvah, the situation in Krakow had turned dramatically worse. The city’s shuls were all hermetically sealed. What was supposed to be an exciting, joyous day for Aaron was a day filled with anguish and sadness. His mother prepared a meager meal and a few guests were invited to their home – his maternal grandcontinued on next page


Hollywood’s Living History Aaron Halpern


30 estimated 17,000 Jews passed through the camp.” “How I made it...I don’t know,” Mr. Halpern relays. “Had the liberator arrived one day later, I wouldn’t have made it.” Mr. Halpern’s liberator was young, American— and Jewish. His name was Alan Moskin and he grew up comfortably in Englewood, New Jersey. Comfortably, that is, before a letter with “Greetings” at the top of it arrived and demanded that Mr. Moskin report for military duty. Mr. Moskin did, and sixty-five years later, Aaron Halpern again awaited the arrival of his liberator, this time at an airport terminal in New York. During one auspicious speech at a Holocaust program in Monsey, Mr. Moskin spoke of the prisoners he liberated, of Gunskirchen, and of his belief that no survivors of the camp remained. An audience member, Mr. Ari Sharf, founder of Project Mesorah, held evidence to the contrary: he knew Mr. Aaron Halpern of Hollywood, Florida. Mr. Sharf contacted Zman Magazine which quickly endeavored to “reunite the liberator Sergeant Alan Moskin of Nanuet, New York and the liberated, Aaron Halpern, currently residing in Hollywood, Florida.” Before a “crowd of spellbound onlookers,” Mr. Halpern and Mr. Moskin “embraced each other like two long-lost brothers.” “I

father and a few cousins among them. All together, about 10 people attended his bar mitzvah. Soon afterward, the Nazis began deporting the Jews from their homes and resettling them in the city’s ghetto. * * * Miraculous and heart-wrenching stories of Holocaust survivors abound, but Aaron Halpern’s saga of survival is especially valuable in that, as a Polish Jew, he lived through the full gamut of the Holocaust’s horror – from its brutal inception to the bitter end. He languished under the Nazi boot for a full six years and made his way through a total of seven concentration camps, suffering torture and pain that the human mind cannot even fathom -- and yet experiencing one miracle after another. An even more amazing aspect of his six-year odyssey is the fact that he went through the horrific inferno accompanied by a close childhood friend and distant relative from Krakow, Shmulik Lipman. Incredibly, the two remained together for almost the entire course of the war. Aaron and his friend were transported through the entire labyrinth of Nazi concentration camps and never once were they separated from each (except for the final two months). When we asked Shmulik how it was possible for them both to have survived three years of hell, he replied, “It wasn’t just three years! We endured the unspeakable for a full six years! As soon as the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, the sun ceased to shine for Polish Jewry, even before we were resettled in ghettos. We were subjected to humiliating anti-Semitic legislation and devastating persecution before the actual liquidation was ever put into motion. Every time we had to go out into the street, we would bid our families farewell. We could never be certain that we would make it back home alive. We were at that age when Jewish boys were just blooming into adulthood. We should have been sa-

never believed this day would come,” Mr. Halpern remarked. After the reunion at the airport, Mr. Moskin and Mr. Halpern continued on to a program at Yeshivas Toras Chaim in North Miami Beach. Mr. Moskin told the students of the utter shock he and his fellow GIs experienced when they stumbled upon a stench-ridden complex that turned out to be Gunskirchen. There, in Mr. Moskin’s own words, they “saw piles and piles of skeleton-like corpses stacked upon each all over the place…we just stood there, shocked. We couldn’t believe our own eyes.” At first the inmates, who had suffered so much abuse at the hands of uniformed men, shrunk back in fear. Finally, Mr. Moskin declared, “I am an American Jew! I have come to liberate the

voring the newly discovered joys of gemara learning in yeshiva, etc. But the Nazis had robbed us of all that.” And how did the two youths survive when so many others didn’t? “Believe me, that’s something I still don’t understand,” says Shmulik pensively. “In fact, I still don’t believe it either. We were weak and vulnerable young boys. Many strong, robust young men did not survive. Every morning, when I wake up and say modeh ani, I am filled with gratitude to Hashem for the gift of survival that simply defies nature.” When we speak to Aaron about his friend Shmulik, he declares simply, “We were two walking miracles.” Aaron’s parents were taken from him in the beginning of 1942, during the first round-up of Jews in the Krakow ghetto, after which Aharon never saw them again. He and his brother Yaakov Shlome remained all alone in the world, and, as Aaron recalls, his older brother became his surrogate father and always tried to save and protect him. * * * Aaron Halpern remained as a Nazi slave laborer in the airport in Krakow for about six months before the Nazis rounded up half of the Jews and transported them to the Plaszow concentration camp, where he was again required to perform forced labor under the harshest conditions. In Auschwitz, Aaron, like the other new arrivals, went through the selektzia, which was conducted by the “Angel of Death” of Auschwitz, the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, who would nonchalantly wave his finger either to the right or the left. Those who were sent to the left were immediately taken to be killed in the gas chambers. Aaron was among those who were sent to the right -- to a life of forced labor and daily torture. Aaron’s arm was branded with the notorious, bluenumbered tattoo, after which the Nazis recorded his name, birthday and hometown. He and Shmulik were

then sent to a concentration camp not far from Auschwitz, near Sosnowitz, where the Germans had built a weapons factory. Even in the war’s final months, the Nazis continued to march the hapless prisoners aimlessly and mercilessly from one place to another. It did not matter that it was clear to everyone, including the Nazis, that Hitler’s Germany was doomed. In their insane hatred of all things Jewish, the Nazis were consumed with finishing the job of making Europe Judenrein. Such was the fate that awaited the Jewish prisoners of the Sosnowitz concentration camp. On January 18, 1945, the Nazis liquidated the camp and marched the survivors toward Austria, in the direction of the Mauthausen camp, hundreds of miles away (a trip that would take a car eight hours today). As the Jews began the long and torturous trek, a snowstorm hit the region. When they passed through the center of Sosnowitz, Aaron decided to risk all. Hoping the fast falling snow flurries would at least partly obscure the Nazis’ view, he mustered the courage to slip away and dart into one of the local houses. Of course, this placed him at the mercy of the local Polish residents, who more often than not, were virulent antiSemites themselves. Predictably, they chased him into the street, beating him and shouting, “Get out of here, you dirty zhid!” Snowstorm notwithstanding, the Nazi officers noticed the commotion. One of them approached Aaron and looked at him long and hard. Then, without a word, he marked his name down on a list. Aaron knew well enough what that meant. “Usually, when they marked someone down, it meant that he would be shot the very next time they passed through a forest. To this day, I have no idea how or why, but somehow, by Divine intervention, they forgot about me and the ‘sin’ I had committed. Whatever the case was, I was a marked man.” continued on next page

Aaron relates a remarkable detail: “Only one day later, the Russians captured Sosnowitz. Had the Poles allowed me to remain in the corridor of the building for just one night, I would have been spared the horrors of the death march and would have been freed the next day.” Aaron smiles bitterly. “As we’ve seen time and again, the Poles’ hearts were really full of compassion for the suffering Jews,” he remarks sarcastically. After days of marching, the prisoners finally reached the train station where they were loaded onto cattle cars which took them to Mauthausen. When the Nazi officers at Mauthausen opened the wagon doors, half of the Jews were no longer alive. * * * Though Gunskirchen is not a very well-know concentration camp, it was one of the worst ones. Though all concentration camps were established for the express purpose of torment and murder, the cruelty and brutality that prevailed in Gunskirchen was exceptional, as hard as that is to believe. The Nazis began constructing Gunskirchen in December, 1944. The camp had originally been intended to house several hundred inmates. But when it was opened in April, 1945, it was inundated with thousands of Jewish prisoners who were directed to the camp from labor camps all over Europe. The small camp became a stifling dump of overflowing humanity and filth. There was not an inch of space left to breathe in, and yet the transports of Jews never stopped arriving. There was no food and certainly no basic living accommodations. As the conditions wors-

everything was okay. In a choked voice, the tenant replied, “Actually, everything is not okay. I haven’t been feeling well for several months now, and my doctor just diagnosed me with cancer.” “Do you have everything you need?” the landlord asked in concern. The tenant looked down in embarrassment and replied quietly, “I am going to start treatments in the near future and I will be taking medication. Hopefully, I will be feeling better soon and I will be able to find a job so I can begin paying the rent again.” To his surprise, the landlord responded, “You can forget about the rent now. I don’t want any rent from you. I just want to know if you have everything you need at home. Do you have food in the house? Have you eaten dinner yet?” The man replied that no, he had nothing to eat. As soon as the landlord heard that, he left to buy him dinner at a restaurant, and as the days passed he continued providing him with all the food he needed. The tenant was all alone in the world, without any family to care for him. When he eventually died, a whole host of relatives suddenly appeared, wanting to know if he had left behind anything of value. A bit of investigation soon revealed the difficult situation their relative had been in and how the landlord, who was no longer receiving rent from him, had lent him such a generous hand. The story soon became public and met with much admiration from all who heard it. I want to tell you, Sergeant Moskin, that the hero of our story, the landlord, is none other than R’ Aaron Halpern. This is the kind of person you liberated all those years ago.” Towards the end of the program, the students ened, illness and epidemic was rampant. The weakened inmates fell like flies. The majority of the inmates at Gunskirchen were Hungarian Jews. At that time, nearly 90 percent of Polish Jewry had been annihilated. Aaron was one of only several Polish Jews in the camp. It is estimated that as many as 17,000 Jews passed through the camp of Gunskirchen. Aaron grimly recalls how the Nazis stacked approximately 2,000 to 3,000 inmates into each of the barracks. They were not supplied with minimal sanitary provisions. The stench of filth and waste constantly assaulted their nostrils. With so many people packed together, people were forced to sleep on top of each other. Every morning, the ravaged inmates would awaken to find themselves surrounded by ever more casualties. Each day, they would drag the dead bodies outside the barracks. Within weeks, the landscape was littered with piles and piles of corpses. * * * Aaron recalls the day of liberation as if it had occurred only yesterday. He was severely ill at the time and was barely aware of his surroundings, but he well remembers the bittersweet atmosphere that enveloped the camp when Alan and his unit arrived. He remembers clearly how the American soldiers entered the barracks and gently lifted his emaciated body, placed him on a stretcher and wheeled him away. Virtually on the brink of death, it was difficult for Aaron to comprehend what was happening. The Americans drove Aaron to a hospital several

of Yeshivas Toras Chaim presented Hakaras Hatov Awards to Mr. Moskin and Mr. Halpern. Indeed, all Jews living in Hollywood and its environs owe Mr. Halpern, a noted philanthropist, an active member of the Jewish community of South Florida, and a staunch supporter of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center and Museum in Hollywood, a tremendous debt of gratitude. Europe was not purged only of its Jews during the Holocaust but also of its Jewry—the interconnected, global community of Jews that, together, engendered a vibrant culture of gefilte fish, of Yiddish, of Shteiblach. When six million Jews died that culture largely died with them. But though the Holocaust may have knocked down the Shuls of the European Jewry, Mr. Halpern has started his own in Hollywood. Though the Holocaust may have shut down its Yeshivas, Mr. Halpern made sure his daughter attended a Jewish Day School. Though the Holocaust sought to upend its values, Mr. Halpern has continued to live and breathe them in America. And though the Holocaust sought to deny European Jewry a legacy, Mr. Halpern has followed in the footsteps of his exalted predecessors, and in so doing, claimed for himself a legacy that proves how much he is not “just a simple, old man.” The author wishes to thank Zman Magazine for allowing her to quote many of the facts and statements included herein which first appeared in Zman Magazine.

miles from the camp, where he was in for a very pleasant surprise. There, he found… who else but his best friend Shmulik, recuperating in that same hospital! It turned out that Shmulik had been liberated in the Mauthausen camp by the Americans, who then transported him to a decent hospital with adequate facilities. Aaron later learned that his severely weakened physical condition was really a blessing in disguise. Precisely because he was unable to get up from his wooden board to welcome the American troops did he miss out on the packets of food that the soldiers threw so generously at them, and was thus spared the tragic and sudden deaths that so many of his fellow inmates encountered when they devoured the food which their weakened digestive systems could not handle. Of the 15,000 prisoners that were liberated in the Gunskirchen concentration camp, it is estimated that 1,500 died shortly after liberation. One year after liberation, Aaron was as healthy as could be expected. He had gained some weight and could stand on his own two feet. “For the first time in a very long time, I began to look like a person again,” says Aaron. Aaron and his brother remained alone in the world. After the war, they received the bitter report of their parents’ death. They had been transported to the Belzec death camp where they, together with 800,000 Jews, including most of the Jews of Krakow, were murdered.


camp,” at which point the inmates began to embrace their liberators and feebly chant “Danke! Danke!” Aaron was so ill on the day of liberation he couldn’t stand up to hug the soldiers. This saved his life. “I was so lucky I couldn’t stand up,” Mr. Halpern recalls, because I wasn’t able to get the “goodies” of food the soldiers doled out, not knowing that solid food was virtual poison to the emaciated inmates. After many months of recuperation, Aaron and his brother Yaakov Shlome, who also miraculously survived the war, traveled to Linz and then to Italy. Ultimately, the brothers left Europe, saturated as it now was with Jewish blood, for America. “The Holocaust never left me….” Mr. Halpern says as we sit across from each other in his Shul. “I still have it for the rest of my life…people like me, we live it till the day we die.” When asked what lessons are to be learned from the Holocaust, Mr. Halpern replies, “what we can learn—we never learn. This world was a lousy world. People sold us out. We have to stick together, support ourselves and each other. We are a minority… we have to tolerate every Jew.” Throughout his life, Mr. Halpern has embodied this message. At the program in Toras Chaim, Mr. Ari Sharf relayed the following anecdote: A landlord who had many properties, all filled with tenants, would review his books every once in a while to ensure that the tenants were paying their rent in a timely manner. One day, he noted that one of his tenants had not paid the rent for several months. The landlord decided to pay the tenant a visit. When the tenant opened the door, the landlord inquired if



FORGOTTEN HEROES Highlights of Jewish Heroes who made a difference in defending their countries

The End of WWII and the Role Played by Jewish Scientists By: Avi Heiligman


Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer

n August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress bomber piloted by Paul Tibbetts, dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later the Bocks Car dropped another one on Nagasaki. The research behind the making and construction of the bomb was called the Manhattan Project, and they were several Jewish scientists who had a vital role in this world-changing operation. The project first started in June 1942, and soon many scientists were recruited into their ranks. The military head and security adviser was General Leslie Grove who soon asked J. Robert Oppenheimer to head the project’s secret weapons laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. While the uranium was produced at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and other sites manufactured other essentials for the bomb and research, Los Alamos was chosen because it was in the

middle of nowhere. Oppenheimer had a ranch there, and suggested it to Groves. The U.S. government purchased land and the base was up and running by late 1942. Before we continue talking about the making of the bomb, it is important to note a letter that was sent by Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was dated August 2, 1939 and in it was written, “In the course of the last four months it has been made probable - through the work of Joliot in France as well as  Fermi  and Szilard  in America - that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future. “This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable - though much less certain - that extremely powerful bombs of a new continued on page 49 type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.” It was penned by Leo Szilard, a Jewish immigrant from Budapest, who felt that the Americans were way behind other countries in the race to make the bomb, and pushed Einstein and other scientists to pressure the government to step up the research process. In 1942, Szilard and Enrico Fermi, an Italian scientist who fled Europe because his wife was Jewish, constructed the first “neutronic reactor”, a uranium and graphite “atomic pile” in which the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was achieved. The letter inspired the president to action. Roosevelt approved the program and it was soon underway in Los Alamos. Eventually, two different versions of the bomb were created. The first, nicknamed “little boy,” was from enriched urianium-235, using a bul-

Nagasaki: Before and after being bombed

let-like device to strike the cylindrical target in the bomb thereby causing a huge explosion. This was considered highly volatile and the scientists weren’t sure if it would work. The second bomb, nicknamed “fat man,” used plutonium to create the explosion. In 1944, Oppenhiemer decided based on his research that the gun design used in little boy would not work and they came up with imploding the bomb internally. Both designs were successful and the bombs achieved the desired result of coercing the Japanese to surrender. Oppenhiemer was called “the Father of the Atomic Bomb” and after the war he became a chief adviser to the newly created United States Atomic Energy Commission. Szilard was appalled that the U.S. would actually use the weapons on civilian targets. He thought that they would be used as scare tactics and was featured in  U.S. News & World Report in 1960 in an issue entitled issue “President Truman Didn’t Understand.” After the war he switched his area of study from physics to molecular biology. Several other Jewish scientists participated in the making of the bomb whose contributions will be explored in future articles. If you have any questions or comments, you can email Avi at




Bibi's Revolutionary Housing Initiative

hile we have been witnessing the “Arab Spring” wave of revolutions in over a dozen Arab countries, Israel has been experiencing a “Summer of Discontent.” Starting with the Cottage Cheese Revolution, reflecting Israelis’ frustration with rising food prices, continuing with the doctors’ strike which has dragged on for months, and now the tent cities sprouting up across the country to demonstrate cost of living issues and particularly the lack of affordable housing, the common man is standing up to protest the sense of inequitable wealth distribution. Since 2004, Israel has been one of the world’s strongest economies; during this period its average annual economic growth rate has been 4.5% and unemployment has declined from 11% to around 6%. But public displeasure with the rising cost of living and lagging salaries is mounting. Although many of the protestors’ demands are too radical to implement, Netanyahu has created a social-change taskforce to meet with the protestors and recommend concrete solutions to their grievances. Let’s focus on Netanyahu’s response to the housing crisis. At the end of July, Prime Minister Netanyahu presented a revolutionary program that had been two years in the making, as he recognized prices were too high – housing prices have risen by 40% since 2007 – even before this summer’s populist uprising. Netanyahu explained that soaring prices stemmed from a shortage of new housing units. This lack of new development is due to the Israel Land Authority’s (ILA or Minhal) extremely slow pace of selling government land for development, which was deliberately done to create strong demand, thus raising land sale prices and increasing the country’s revenue.

Protest tents outside Jerusalem’s Old City

planning and on sales of land for residential construction. • A 50% discount in land prices for constructing apartments when contractors compete to offer lowest prices to buyers, with preference given to young couples and recently discharged soldiers. • Construction of apartments for long-term rental, with steep land discounts for contractors offering lowest rental prices. • Construction of 10,000 new student dormitory units, with a secondary benefit of boosting residential supply by vacating thousands of city center

apartments previously used by students. • Immediate 50% rail and bus discount for university and college students, to encourage living outside city centers. • Limiting exemptions on municipal taxes (“arnona” or what is commonly called “real estate taxes” in the US) for the over 140,000 vacant apartments and offices across the country, as an inducement to put these properties on the market for either sale or rent. Netanyahu expects these reforms to result in 50,000 new housing units being put on the market within 1.5 years. Now that the Knesset has passed this plan, let’s hope that the savings get passed on to the proper recipients and that the country finally rids itself of the red tape which has historically limited residential construction. I believe that these new laws will not initially affect apartment pricing for overseas buyers but, if properly implemented, will create an influx of residential units which should help curb the escalating housing price trend. “My Israel Home” is a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy homes in Israel. You may contact Gedaliah Borvick at To read previous articles, please visit his blog at

Summarizing his plan to repair this problem, Netanyahu said that the correct government approach should be to combine “the twin pursuits of a free market and social justice.” By significantly reducing state revenues from the land sales to the tune of hundreds of millions of shekels, the greater good of societal harmony can be achieved. Netanyahu’s program to solve the housing market crisis includes the following initiatives: • Reforming ILA to remove restrictions on residential Largest housing crisis rally in Tel Aviv


by Gedaliah Borvick




Rule Britannia?

s London cleans up from the riots that have plagued that city, many are discussing and offering the possible reasons and factors behind the looting and violence. Thursday’s New York Times editorial page featured an op-ed piece that mirrored one school of thought. Two writers, both professors of sociology, one from the UK the other from Columbia University, claim that the new austerity program that Britain is presently undertaking is the root cause of this violence. But Britain is now grappling with the consequences of those cuts, which have led to the neglect and exclusion of many vulnerable, disaffected young people who are acting out violently and irresponsibly - driven by rage rather than an explicit political agenda. And so you have it, words and concepts borrowed from their Arab brethren of “the Arab street” - driven by rage. Rage a true justification if ever one could find. From such academics we are hearing claims of righteous indignation resulting from alienation, class difference, neglect, exclusion, disaffected youth and similar terms. Whenever I hear such words, I think of my father and his siblings who came to Canada after surviving the Holocaust. They were given nothing from the government and if any group of people had a claim of “neglect and exclusion” it was those folks who went through hell and back. My father received no government handout, no formal education, didn’t speak the language of his new country and simply worked hard, saved up, went from selling pop bottles to having his own store to working in a meat-packing plant to being a partner in owning his own meat-packing plant, got up at four in the morning to go to work, moved from a small flat to a small bungalow to a three bedroom split level and then to an even larger home; married, raised four sons, supported a wife and today reaps the benefits of all those years of hard work. How come he never became a “disaffected youth” after Hitler’s death camps and took out his “rage” on society? And not just him, his siblings, his fellow Stashivers, the other thousands who came and continue to arrive from similar circumstances or less dramatic ones from places like Italy, Romania, China, the Philippines...

Thankfully, some voices of reason were heard such as the Prime Minister of Britain declaring that, “the sight of those young people running down streets, smashing windows, taking property, looting, laughing as they go, the problem of that is a complete lack of responsibility, a lack of proper parenting, a lack of proper upbringing, a lack of proper ethics, a lack of proper morals.” Cutting through all the sociological

blather and gobbledygook was a leader who took a stand and stated the truth - that it comes down to personal responsibility, ethics and good choices versus immoral ones. David Cameron’s words address not only his nation but the other so-called protest that turn into freefor-alls of looting and violence. Canada witnessed its share of the same in Vancouver after their beloved hockey team lost the Stanley Cup finals. Here too we were treated to the spectacle of young people on a looting and violent orgy that had nothing to do with

the events that spawned them. My wife, Karen made a very poignant observation about these riots. In the West we witnessed assemblies that led to mayhem and a government not being forceful enough to keep it in check. In the Arab world we see the opposite - protests that are being met with alarming acts of violence against their own people such as in Syria, Libya, Bahrain and other Arab nations. Yet, at the same time there have been massive protests in another land which has seen neither the “rage” of the public nor the strongarmed tactics of the government. In the past number of weeks, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been massing to let their voices be known about the high cost of living in Israel. It was reported last Saturday night that between a quarter of a million to 300,000 people took to the streets in Tel Aviv. And did you hear of one case of looting? One incident of violence? One act of police or army brutality? The prophet Isaiah coined the phrase that the Jewish people are an Ohr LaGoyim - A Light Unto Nations. Throughout history this has taken on many meanings. Today we are witnessing yet another expression of the great humanity and holiness of our people. Yes, holiness. Holy is not only in the hands of those who wear kippot and pray thrice daily it is also found in the most secular Israeli throngs on the streets of Tel Aviv who behave with dignity and élan even when they passionately express their dissatisfaction with their government. While we may be a Light Unto Nations, it is still the responsibility of those nations to see that Light. Hopefully Britain, Canada, the Arab world and others will finally open their eyes and behold that Light. You must be somewhere in London You must be loving your life in the rain You must be somewhere in London Walking Abbey Lane Famous angels never come through England England gets the ones you never need -The National Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale Aish South Florida

By Danielle Berrin Hollywood Jew

A Rising Generation of Actresses Overturns Old Tropes T he year is 1950. The setting is a dimly lit movie studio backlot. It’s the middle of the night, and an attractive young woman named Betty Schaefer is explaining to her screenwriting partner why she became a writer instead of what she really wanted to be — an actress. The movie is “Sunset Boulevard.” “I come from a picture family,” Schaefer (Nancy Olson) tells Joe Gillis (William Holden). “Naturally, they took it for granted I was to become a great star. So I had 10 years of dramatic lessons, diction, dancing. Then the studio made a test. Well, they didn’t like my nose — it slanted this way a little. I went to a doctor and had it fixed. They made more tests, and they were crazy about my nose — only they didn’t like my acting.” Though it’s never overtly stated, the obvious implication is that Betty Schaefer is Jewish. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the ambivalence Hollywood has felt toward Jewish women, there it is in glorious black and white. Now, fast-forward three decades, to 1979, when the Jewish nose makes a self-assured — or in-yourface — comeback. This time, it literally figures front and center, practically raising the curtain on the film “The Main Event” starring Barbra Streisand. The opening sequence foregrounds a glass perfume bottle, which three male noses sniff, in close-up, before the camera pans to Streisand’s nose — long, angular, delicate — and then zooms out for the perfect profile. As Streisand, who plays the perfumery owner Hillary Cramer inhales her latest creation, one of her lab coat lackeys chortles: “They don’t call you ‘The Nose’ for nothing!” It wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood reduced a talented actress to a stereotype. Streisand, of course, famously refused to “fix” her nose for fear it would alter her singing voice, and, over the course of her career, proved again and again that her nose was, in fact, everything — defining her as a singer, an actress and a Jew. She would become that rare entertainer who could seize control of a stereotype and transcend it, though for a long line of Jewish women, ethnic myths would endure.

Scarlett Johansson

The centrality of noses as a defining characteristic both on and off screen is evidence of traditional Hollywood’s cartoonish, clichéd understanding of Jewish women. With some exceptions, they were reduced to poufy hair and awkward noses, caricatured as loudmouths with shrieking laughs, the spoiled princess or the insufferable mother. Jewish women weren’t allowed to be starlets or sex symbols; they were invisible, unacknowledged or relegated to peripheral roles that embodied tired, unflattering tropes. Well, goodbye to all that. The image of Jewish women in contemporary Hollywood has become far more complex. While the token Jewish characters depicted as neurotic, anxious and graceless still exist, now those characters — in particular, Jewish women — are being counterbalanced with a rising generation of Jewish actresses who defy the clichés. Never mind the classically annoying Fran Drescher image — with the frizzy brown hair and shrill, nasal voice — American movie audiences can now see Jewishness in a sultry slate of actresses that includes Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Mélanie Laurent, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Rachel Weisz — women considered exotic, erotic and beautiful, each one as diverse in temperament and talent as the next. But, as they say, beauty is only skin deep. If it were beauty alone these actresses offered, they’d run the risk of serving as cultural fetish, not feminist coun-

terpoint, their contribution to the pop culture canon reduced to eroticism instead of empowerment. But even as their physical beauty may be most striking, fetching looks merely serve a broader sexual power, a combination of calculation and allure that amounts as much to an intellectual seduction as a physical one. Far from an unwitting ingénue waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming, the new Jewish actress is both sexy and cerebral, striking the perfect balance of sexual confidence and emotional vulnerability. This summer, an onslaught of self-assured Jewish women can be seen on film and TV: The Russian transplant Kunis stars as an energetic and persuasive headhunter who gets Justin Timberlake to fall in love with her after they’ve had sex (many times) in the self-deprecatingly self-conscious rom-com “Friends With Benefits.” French actress Laurent, last seen burning down a Paris theater filled with Nazis in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” plays a shy, introverted actress in “Beginners” opposite Ewan McGregor. And the smoldering Sephardic Jew Chriqui is reprising her role as the fiercely independent Sloan, arguably the most multidimensional of female characters on HBO’s “Entourage,” which is entering its eighth and final season. For the first time in movie history, a disproportionate number of Hollywood’s most desirable onscreen actresses are members of the tribe. And their experience as openly Jewish in Hollywood speaks to an evolving acceptance of Jewishness in an industry that, from its inception, was peopled by Jews who changed their names, if not their visages, to hide their heritage. Call it a Jewish “coming out,” because far from being invisible, this generation makes up a major presence in movies and magazines, serving as a group of cultural iconoclasts who could, perhaps, redefine the image of Jewishness in the 21st century. As yet, the impact of all this is hard to measure. Will the exposure of a few attractive actresses catalyze a paradigm shift in deeply ingrained cultural clichés? What will it take to truly supplant stereotypes with more honest, nuanced portraits? And how critical is continued on next page


The New Jewess:





it for Jewish women to play Jewish characters? For so long an undercurrent of shame has characterized Jewish identity, so, it’s worth asking, do they even want to? “I think it’s important to celebrate who we are, but creatively that puts us in a box,” Chriqui, said during a phone interview from New York. “It’s not so much about hiding who you are anymore, it’s about not letting that be the only thing you are.” While Chriqui is outspoken about her Jewishness, she is not easily identified as one. She is considered “exotic,” with long sable hair, olive skin and a mysterious last name that implies ethnicity, but not necessarily a Jewish background. “Nobody knows what the hell I am,” she said, explaining that her “Mediterranean” looks, rather than limiting her, have enabled her to play a diverse range of roles — Latin, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Italian. Even her character on “Entourage,” she said, has an ambiguous ethnicity, which she can get away with because she doesn’t appear to represent a stereotype. “I guess you could say Sloan is half-Jewish,” Chriqui said. Her exoticism, she said, often works to her advantage. It is why, for instance, she was cast in her breakout film role as Adam Sandler’s Palestinian love interest in “Don’t Mess With the Zohan” in 2008. The role called for a romantic lead who could pass as Middle Eastern. Ironically for Chriqui, who grew up Modern Orthodox in Toronto, playing a Palestinian allowed her to draw upon her Sephardic roots for the first time. Because of all the cultural similarities, she said, “I actually delved into my Sephardic-ness, as opposed to trying to downplay my ethnicity. Of course, it was hilarious when I told my family, ‘I’m in an Adam Sandler film! And I’m playing his Palestinian love interest!’ ” Despite the occasional advantages of her enigmatic appearance, Chriqui said, there are times when she wishes she could “blend in easier.” “As an actor, I feel I can do anything,” she said, “and to not get a shot at something because I’m darker is frustrating.”

Natalie Portman

Since Hollywood’s creation, Jewish women have been in a sticky spot. Actresses Mae West, whose mother was of Bavarian Jewish heritage, and Judy Holliday, whose parents were of Russian-Jewish decent, both fared well as comedians, but never as leading dramatic actresses, while Theda Bara, Alla Nazimova and Hedy Lamarr were exceptions, cast for their exotic sexuality. Overall, the industry quite literally grew to prefer blondes. “In many cases, Jewish women made it due to their singing skills and their overwhelming talent, or as crossover figures from Broadway,” Maureen Turim, a professor of English at the University of Florida who teaches Women in Film courses wrote in an e-mail interview. “In general, though, the all-American girl lead in the ’30s did seem to be harder for Jewish women to attain. Molly Picon should have been a bigger film star, given her talent, but unlike her male peers she had trouble moving from Yiddish theater and film into the mainstream.” High-level success in the acting profession came more readily to Jewish men. From the days of the Marx Brothers, George Burns and Peter Lorre to Mel Brooks, Dustin Hoffman and Woody Allen, Jewish men could exploit a stereotype that pegged them as smart and funny, even if they weren’t sexy. Kirk Douglas figures as an exception, since his “non-Jewish” looks meant he could be cast as the handsome lead. But by and large, for a man, applying wit to get ahead and overcome insecurities was admirable enough. What recourse did Jewish women have? As recently as 2001, the actress Weisz articulated her experience of being Jewish in Hollywood during an interview with BlackBook magazine: “I was advised by an American agent when I was about 19 to change my surname. And I said, ‘Why? Jews run Hollywood.’ He said ‘Exactly.’ He had a theory that all the executives think acting’s a job for shiksas.” To fit in, Jewish actresses, like their male counterparts, altered aspects of their identity to conform to Ameri-

Emmanuelle Chriqui

can ideals. The most prevalent practice for both men and woman was to change Jewish-sounding names to more Americanized ones: Izzy Demsky became Kirk Douglas; Betty Perske became Lauren Bacall; Winona Horowitz became Winona Ryder. “In some way, acting is prostitution,” Weisz, whose father is a Hungarian Holocaust survivor told BlackBook. “Hollywood Jews don’t want their own women to participate.” In a 2009 article for Tablet Magazine, aptly titled “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Liel Leibovitz described Hollywood’s reluctance to cast Jewish women as leads. “Since the dawn of American entertainment,” he wrote, “[Jewish women] watched as their sons and brothers and husbands became successful producers, directors, and impresarios, powerful men who then chose to populate their works with a parade of sexy, sultry shiksas who looked nothing like their female kin.” If the goal of Hollywood’s founding Jewish fathers was to assimilate, what better way to do so than bed the blonde American vixen? “Jewish men—like all men, perhaps—lusted after what they perceived as the exotic and unattainable, and projected these fantasies onto their artistic work,” Leibovitz said. “Jewish women,” he concluded in his piece, “were simply too pure to lust after.” This is the year all that has changed. During the past year alone, Jewish women have populated some of the raciest, most passionate and salacious sex scenes in recent memory. In “No Strings Attached” (2011) starring Portman, with Ashton Kutcher as her best friend-turned-lover, Portman, within the first 10 minutes of the movie, has an orgasm so realistic it’s discomfiting. Her ecstatic surrender is disarming because it reveals more about the depth of her sexual knowledge than her sexual feelings, and while the effect is erotic, yes, it is a statement about her experience, not her sex appeal. Portman’s character has prioritized her career and can’t, at the moment, be bothered with the emotional complexities of a relationship. The “friends” agree to engage in a sex-only fling. “I’m a doctor,” Portman’s characcontinued on next page


Dianna Agron

Also in “Funny Girl,” (1968) there are consequences for being too successful, as when Fanny Brice, a huge Broadway star, surpasses her husband, a gambling addict, she loses him. Today a new Hollywood ideal prizes women who are both intellectually and sexually appealing. When she appears, the submissive shiksa seems as outmoded and boring as the old Jewish labels seem offensive and irrelevent. A woman who is exuberant and determined is most desirable by today’s standards, and those qualities stem from the mold Jewish women helped create. The benefit of this new diversity means that the particulars of ethnicity can now be celebrated. Lisa Edelstein, who played Dr. Lisa Cuddy for seven seasons on TV’s “House” and has appeared in the films “What Women Want,” “Keeping the Faith” and “As Good as It Gets,” is one of those women who couldn’t hide her Jewishness, even if she tried. “It’s really obvious who and what I am,” Edelstein said. “And it stopped me from being considered for a lot of things on the way to developing my career, but, ultimately, at this point, it doesn’t really matter.” When Edelstein moved to Los Angeles in 1991, she said, her Jewish-sounding last name precluded her from getting roles. “The minute somebody thinks you’re a Jew, they have a lot of ideas about what that means.” When executives were casting “Dharma & Greg,” a sitcom that ran from 1997-2002, they cast Jenna Elfman, a tall, trim, blond, non-Jewish actress in the Jewish

role of Dharma. “I always found that hilarious,” Edelstein said of the Dharma casting. “There were so many Jews around at that time auditioning for that show,” but, she said, the people who got hired were considered “a more palatable version of that character. It wouldn’t happen now; it just wouldn’t happen.” She says the stigma surrounding Jewishness has lessened over the course of her two-decade career. “Nowadays, there’s such a multiethnic, multicultural presence on television and in film that it’s become less of a big deal,” she said. “What’s nice about this change in representation is that things have gotten more subtle, more humanized. You’ve got Jews who are warriors and heroes rather than nebbishy or whiny. It’s not all ‘Seinfeld.’ ” Some of that nuance is evident in Edelstein’s character on “House.” At least on the surface, Dr. Cuddy is a normal, unremarkable Jew. “That’s why I like that my character is a Jew — she just is. It isn’t commented on; it isn’t an issue. She just has a menorah,” Edelstein said. Part of what has led to this shift may be the mainstreaming of American Judaism. Hollywood, despite its penchant for reducing complex themes to easily digestible fare, should be credited for integrating Jewish imagery, idiosyncrasy and symbolism into American — and, for that matter, international — popular culture. Now that Judaism is a common trope, what began as idiosyncratic and strange has become merely incidental. In an entrance worthy of a star turn, the actress Laurent subverts almost every Jewish stereotype in history by making her screen entrance in “Beginners” in complete silence (digest that one for a minute).

Lisa Edelstein

continued on next page


ter, Emma says. “I work 80 hours a week. I need someone who’s gonna be in my bed at 2 a.m. who I don’t have to eat breakfast with.” In “Friends With Benefits,” a movie with a similar premise, Kunis and Timberlake also romp outside of a relationship. Stripped to her skivvies, Kunis asserts herself in bed, commanding Timberlake to do things just so because that’s how she likes it. The two spend much of the movie in bed, in undergarments or unclothed. Kunis never worries that she’s “given too much away” or that Timberlake will tire of her once he’s had her. Instead, her real fear is that an absent father has left her “emotionally damaged.” What she’s afraid of is love. Then there is the most talkedabout scene from the Oscar-nominated film “Black Swan,” in which the aforementioned actresses, Portman and Kunis, get lusty with each other. It used to be that actresses who showed their breasts were less respectable (how else could Julia Roberts get away with playing a hooker in “Pretty Woman” without baring an inch of skin?). Now it’s not even taboo to see two A-list actresses having lesbian sex — in an Oscar-nominated film, no less. More head spinning than the sex is that the women aren’t slandered as unchaste. In Laura Mulvey’s seminal 1973 essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” in which she claimed that the classic Hollywood era positioned women as objects of a “male gaze” through which they were either voyeuristically sexualized or psychologically fetishized, it was also expected that promiscuous women would be punished. But in both of the aforementioned films, the girls get the guy. And as far as lesbian sexuality goes, for that role, Portman won an Oscar. The breakthrough is not that Jewish women are suddenly sex objects — it’s that they’re not just sex objects. They can behave sexually, and unapologetically so, because they are also valued as smart, tough, independent equals to their male counterparts. Sex is not a source of shame, but rather, another source of a woman’s strength. In the review of “Friends With Benefits,” The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis put it this way: “[Kunis] doesn’t play the stock girl, teary and needy or plucky and needy, but rather a woman who can go joking round for round against men. … [The movie] uses sex and bared skin to get at questions about the possibility of romantic love between true male and female equals.” In the past, if a Jewish woman character was tough, witty and equal with men, she was often shunned romantically. Streisand, for example, played a spate of characters who were punished for their intellectual aspirations. Katie in “The Way We Were” (1973) is so overwhelmingly outspoken, driven, dynamic and politically engaged, she loses the man she loves. She is, in effect, too equal for Robert Redford’s WASPy Hubbell — if only she’d keep quiet, he would stay.




Mazel Tov George Freedman


By Shalva Ginsparg

eorge Freedman is not your average Bar Mitzvah boy. True, he prepared his Torah portion with a cantor diligently. Yes, he shared his Simcha with proud family members and friends. But what sets George apart is that he is 83-years old. George Freedman’s BarMitzvah, which took place on August 13th at the Century Pines Jewish Center, has been a lifetime in the making. Mr. Freedman’s father passed away around the time of George’s 13th birthday, about seventy years ago. It was a difficult time for his mother, a widow with four boys, and Mr. Freedman notes that “there was so much going on I didn’t have it in me” to go through with a Bar Mitzvah celebration. Originally from Montreal, though he now lives in Century Village with his wife Rose, Mr. Freedman worked at a bowling alley in his teenage years to help raise the funds for his mother and brothers to relocate to the suburbs. His devotion to his family is also one of his motivations for the Bar Mitzvah celebration. He relays that his in-laws, for whom he has “the highest respect,” were very religious people and that “for them alone it is worth it for me to do it.” Mr. Freedman is fittingly now on the receiving end of the commitment to family he embodied growing up. His son, who lives in Israel, not only flew in to Florida for the Simcha but worked with his father on a weekly basis to help prepare Mr. Freedman for the Torah-reading. Their collaborative efforts certainly paid off; Mr. Freedman recited the Torah portion to rave reviews and his son remarked after the service, “Dad, you did excellent. I am

very proud!” When guests joked with Mr. Freedman, “now that you’re the Bar Mitzvah, who’s the man beside you?” Mr. Freedman gestured to his son and replied, “he’s my father.” Says Mr. Freedman, the reaction to his decision to have a Bar-Mitzvah has been “unbelievable” and “everyone seems to be very happy and proud for me.” He shares that he is so grateful to the Almighty for giving him all these years of life and that there is a deeper significance to having his Bar Mitzvah at the age of 83—it is 70 years, which is considered to be a complete, good lifespan plus the 13 years of a Bar Mitzvah. Though Mr. Freedman expected ninety guests, about a hundred-and-thirty five people arrived to partake in this seminal moment in his life. As Mr. Freedman puts it, “other than getting married, it was the most exciting thing in my life. It was hard work but I am very proud.” Towards the end of our interview, Mr. Freedman conveys an anecdote that really highlights his dedication to Judaism. When he first began studying with his cantor, he asked the cantor, “Do you think you can really teach me to read from the Torah, considering that I am not so well-versed? The cantor answered, “How much do you want it?” Replied Mr. Freedman, “I want it—big time.” That drive to succeed and persevere enabled Mr. Freedman to realize his lifelong dream of celebrating a Bar Mitzvah. On August 13th, Mr. Freedman reaped the fruits of his labor. The fact that he has waited seventy years for this moment only makes it sweeter.


Laurent, an elegant, understated presence with messy blond hair and deep-set blue eyes, plays an actress, Anna, who at the beginning of the movie is suffering from laryngitis. When she meets Oliver (Ewan McGregor), soberly dressed as Freud at a costume party, Anna reclines on the couch before him, communicating with warm, vivid facial expressions, relying on her eyes and her smile, and, sometimes, the aid of doodles on a notepad. After they part, she doesn’t wait for him to call, but dials him as he’s walking to the car, using beeps on the dialpad to communicate. By night’s end, she initiates the kiss and asks Oliver to stay over, to “just sleep.” Anna is soft-spoken and subtle, feisty only at injustice (she curses at a skating rink manager in French when the woman insists Oliver leave his Jack Russell terrier in the car), sexually confident, but not aggressive — you know, French in all the good ways. When Oliver tells her she is pretty, she is surprised. “Jewish girls are not pretty,” she tells him. “They can be interesting or cute, but not pretty.” Stunned, Oliver replies, “You’re kidding, right?” Noting a shift in the public perception of Jewish women, writer Christopher Noxon penned an essay for the December 2009 issue of Details magazine titled “The Rise of the Hot Jewish Girl: Why American

Mélanie Laurent

Men Are Lusting After Women of the Tribe” in which he noted, “America can’t get enough smoking-hot Semitic tush.” Looking beyond Hollywood, Noxon even dug up statistics from the porn blog, Fleshbot, in which “Jewish girls” were ranked second among sexual preferences. But, just how much does this “hot” generation own up to its Jewishness? While many are openly Jewish, they are not outspokenly so. Despite efforts, Portman, “Glee’s” Lea Michele and Dianna Agron, and budding starlet Kat Dennings (“The

40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) declined to be interviewed for this story. “They don’t really advertise their Jewishness,” Noxon said. “I’m sure they would say its not their job to fix the image, and besides, I don’t think it would be very interesting to see them do a token Jewish repair project through their acting.” Just last year, Oscar-winner Portman, the most famous Jew in the bunch (and Jerusalem-born to boot), told Elle Magazine, “I’ve always tried to stay away from playing Jews. I get, like, 20 Holocaust scripts a month, but I hate the genre.” Nevertheless, Portman played a young Chasidic bride in the vignette film “New York, I Love You,” which she said was the first Jewish character that had “intrigued” her. Likewise, the veteran stage and screen actress Gina Gershon, who played an Orthodox Jew on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” described a paucity of rich, complex movie roles for women. “Forget Jewish women — it’s rare to find good women’s parts, period,” Gershon said by phone from New York. “If there’s a good Jewish part, an actress will play it. But it’s a struggle to get women’s movies out. That’s been a complaint of mine for years.” Even in an age when Jewish actresses are more decontinued on page 45


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Molten Chocolate Cake by Lévana


f there is anyone who doesn’t go gaga over these little gems with the runny gooey centers, I have never met them! Alas, no baking in advance and no reheating, or they won’t be, well, molten chocolate cake: runny and gooey! The great news is, (a) they are nothing to prepare even though they look and taste as if they came out of the best restaurant, and (b) the batter can be made and poured in advance in individual ramekins or muffin molds and refrigerated until ready to use, and I mean it literally: You could stick them in the oven as you are resetting for dessert—they will be ready in minutes. This recipe is excerpted from Levana Kirschenbaum’s latest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. You can order you copy from

• • • • • • • •

Ingredients: 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, best quality ½ cup natural margarine spread (health food stores) 1 tablespoon coffee powder, mixed with a few drops hot water 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 6 eggs 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the chocolate, margarine, coffee, and cocoa over very low heat, or microwave in a bowl for 1 to 2 minutes. In a food processor, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix. Add the flour and vanilla and pulse until just combined. Pour the mixture into 8 to 10 greased ramekins or muffin molds and bake about 12 minutes, or until the top is barely set and the center is still slightly wet. Watch the baking closely after the first 12 minutes: Do not overbake, or the center will solidify. Err on the side of caution and bake rather less than more: Invert just one on a plate—if it’s too runny, don’t worry, just stuff it right back in its mold and return all the molds to the oven for another couple minutes. Invert the cakes onto dessert plates and serve immediately while hot, alone, or with vanilla or coffee ice cream or coconut sorbet. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after thirty two years), and the pioneer in kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, and gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking. She gives weekly cooking demos and cooking demo engagements around the country. She has published "Levana's Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone", "Levana Cooks Dairy-Free!”, and a book-dvd set based on her demo series called "In Short Order”. She is currently at work on her next cookbook, scheduled to be published in June 2011: “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple” ( She is launching a line of all-natural spelt desserts, called, what else, Lévana. Her weekly cooking demos take place at her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Get ready for dinner and a show! Go onto her website to find out more about her demos, cookbooks, desserts, and entertaining stories at

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South Florida Kosher Restaurant Guide 41 ON THE BAY 4101 Pinetree Drive Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-535-4101 Rabbinic Supervision: Kosher-Miami

CHAI WOK 1688 NE 164 Street North Miami Beach, FL 33162 305-705-2110 Supervision: Kosher Miami

HOLLYWOOD DELI 6100 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, FL 33024 (954) 608-5790 Supervision: ORB

ASIA Sushi, Wok, Grill 7600 W Camino Real Boca Raton, FL 33433 561-544-8100 Supervision: ORB

CHINA BISTRO 3565 NE 207th Street Aventura, FL 33180 305-936-0755 Supervision: Kosher Miami

JCC CAFE American 9801 Donna Klein Blvd at Cultural Arts Center Boca Raton, FL 33428 561-852-3200 x 4103 | Supervision: ORB

ASI’S 4020 Royal Palm Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-604-0555 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

CINE CITTA MIAMI 9544 Harding Avenue Surfside, FL 33154 305-407-8319 Supervision: OK

ASI’S GRILL AND SUSHI BAR 4020 Royal Palm Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-604-0555 Supervision: Kosher Miami

CUSINE BY SILVIA 141 Via Naranjas suite 45b Boca Raton Fl 33434 561-361-3939 Supervision: ORB

JONA’S GRILL & BAR 2520 NE 186th Street North Miami Beach, FL 33180 305-466-0722 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

ELIES CAFE 145 East Flagler Miami, FL 33131 786-594-0196 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

JONAS PIZZA 2530 NE Miami Gardens Drive North Miami Beach, FL 33180 305-918-8998 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

ELSIE’S CAFE Located in the North Miami Beach JCC 18900 NE 25th Avenue North Miami Beach, FL 33180 305-778-5946 Supervision: Kosher Miami

JONAS PIZZA 544 w 41st Miami Beach Fl 33140 305-397-8395 Supervision: OK

EUROPEAN CORNER CAFE 7300 Camino Real Boca Raton, FL 33433 561-395-1109 Supervision: ORB

JON’S PLACE OF BOCA Pizzeria 22191 Powerline Road Boca Raton, FL 33433 561-338-0008 Supervision: ORB

FRESH CAFE 2214 NE 123 Street North Miami, FL 33181 305-891-8848 Supervision: Kosher Miami

JP BISTRO Pizzeria 5650 Stirling Road Hollywood, FL 33021 (954) 964-6811 Supervision: ORB

GIGI’S CAFE 3585 NE 207th Street Aventura, FL 33180 305-466-4648 Supervision: Kosher Miami

KIKAR TEL-AVIV RESTAURANT Chinese and Continental Cuisine Carriage Club North 5005 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-866-3316

AT HAGI 5800 Stirling Road Hollywood, FL 33021 954-981-7710 Supervision: ORB AVENTURA PITA 18129 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura, FL 33160 305-933-4040 AVIGDOR’S MOZART CAFE 4433 Stirling Road, Hollywood, FL 33021 954-584-5171 Supervision: ORB B & H PIZZA 233 95th Street Surfside, FL 33154 786-245-5557 Supervision: Kosher Miami BAGEL TIME 3915 Alton Road Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-538-0300 Supervision: Circle K BOCA PITA EXPRESS Middle Eastern Israeli cuisine & grill 7185 N. Beracasa Way Boca Raton, FL 33433 561-750-0088 Supervision: ORB BON AMI CAFE 5650 Stirling Road Hollywood, FL 33021 (954) 962-2070 Supervision: ORB CAFE EMUNAH 3558 North Ocean Dr. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 954-561-6411 Supervision: ORB CAFE VERT 9490 Harding Ave. Surfside, FL 33154 305-867-3151 Supervision: OK

GRILL TIME 16145 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami Beach, FL 33160 786-274-8935 | 305-491-3325 Supervision: ORB GRILL TIME RESTAURANT Fusion Steak House 8177 Glades Road Boca Raton, FL 33434 (561) 482-3699 | Fax: (561) 487-4044 Supervision: ORB HARBOUR GRILL 9415 Harding Avenue Surfside, FL 33154 305-861-0787 Supervision: Kosher Miami

JERUSALEM PIZZA 761 NE 167th Street North Miami Beach, FL 33162 305-653 6662 | Supervision: Kosher Miami

South Florida Kosher Restaurant Guide KOSHER BURGER 5021 State Road 7, Davie, FL 33314 954-534-1158 Supervision: ORB L’CHAIM MEE CHINA ORIENTAL RESTAURANT 3940 North 46 Avenue Hollywood, FL 33021 954-986-1770 Supervision: ORB LEVY’S KOSHER OF HOLLYWOOD 3357 Sheridan Street Hollywood, FL 33021 954-983-2825 Supervision: ORB LUL GRILL CAFE 18288 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 305-933-0199 Rabbinic Supervision: OK MAOZ VEGETARIAN Town Center Mall 6000 Glades Road #1175 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-393-6269 | Fax: 561-393-6532 Rabbinical Supervision: National Orthodox Rabbinical Organization MILKY CAFÉ 4579 N Pine Island Road Sunrise Fl 33351 954-533-5325 Supervision - ORB NEWTIME Moroccan and Spanish cuisine 2120 N.E. 123rd Street North Miami Beach, FL 33181 305-891-6336 Supervision: Kosher Miami ORCHIDS GARDEN 9045 La Fontana Boulevard Boca Raton, FL 33434 561-482-3831 Supervision: ORB

ORIGINAL PITA HUT 5304 41 Street Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-531-6090 Supervision: ORD

SHALOM HAIFA RESTAURANT 18533 W. Dixie Hwy Aventura, FL 33180 305-945-2884 Supervision: ORB

PISTACHIO GOURMET GRILL 740 41 Street Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-538-1616 Supervision: Kosher Miami

SHEM TOV’S PIZZA 514 41st Street Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-538-2123 Supervision: Kosher Miami

PITA LOCA 601 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139 305-673-3388 Supervision: Kosher Miami

SIR TACO 5650 Stirling Rd Hollywood Fl , 33021 954-964-6811 Supervision: ORB

PITA PLUS 2145 Stirling Road Hollywood, FL 33312 954-241-2011

SUBWAY 18900 NE 25th Ave North Miami Beach, FL 33180 305-663-9883 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

PITA PLUS 1883w3 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura, FL 33180 305-935-0761 PITA PLUS 3801 N. University Dr. Sunrise, FL 33351 954-741-5844 PRIME SUSHI 726 Arthur Godfrey Road Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-534-0551 Supervision: Kosher-Miami Cholov Yisroel PRIME SUSHI 18250 Collins Avenue Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 786-284-8430 Supervision: Kosher-Miami RARE STEAKHOUSE 468 W 41st Street Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-532-7273 Supervision: Kosher-Miami RITZ RESTAURANT 1678 NE Miami Gardens Dr. North Miami Beach, FL 33179 305-354-9303 Supervision: Kosher-Miami

SUNRISE PITA & GRILL 2680 N University Dr. Sunrise, FL 33322 954-748-0090 SUNRISE PITA TOO 5650 Stirling Rd. Hollywood, FL 33021 954-963-0093 Supervision: ORB TASTI CAFE 4041 Royal Palm Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33140 305-673-5483 Supervision: Kosher Miami Dairy THAI TREAT & SUSHI & BOMBAY GRILL 2176 NE 123rd Street North Miami, FL 33181 305-892-1118 Supervision: Kosher-Miami THE FAMOUS PITA BURGER BAR 18798 W Dixie Hwy North Miami Beach, FL 33180 305-682-9692 Supervision: Kosher-Miami URBAN BAGEL 2790 Stirling rd Hollywood Fl 33020

SAGI’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 22767 US Highway 441 Boca Raton, FL 33428 561-477-0633 Supervision: ORB

WEBER CAFE 3565 NE 207th Street Aventura, FL 33180 (305) 935-5580 Supervision: Kosher Miami

SARA’S 3944 N 46th Street Hollywood, FL 33021 954-986-1770 Supervision: ORB

WEST AVENUE CAFE 959 West Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139 305-534-4211 Supervision: Kosher Miami

SEVENTEEN 1205 17 Street Miami Beach, FL 33139 305-672-0565 Supervision: Kosher-Miami


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Com for a free choce in olate dipped Oreo!


Mila Kunis


sirable, there are still Jewish women characters subjected to old hostilities. Within the last year, portrayals of Jewish women in the films “The Social Network” (2010) and “Barney’s Version” (2011) were overwhelmingly clichéd, if not offensive. Why should Harvard’s Jewish guys love Asian women in “Social Network”? Because, according to one Jewish male at an AEPi frat party, “They’re hot, smart, not Jewish and can dance.” And in “Barney’s,” the Jewish leading man endures two failed marriages to Jewish women — the first, so ashamed of her Jewishness she lies about it; the second, a selfish, spoiled snob who whines and then cheats — he winds up happily ever after with the majestic Miriam, who is a Grace Kelly counterpoint to the graceless Jewish goons. “I don’t think this recent blooming of Jewish actresses, lovely as it is, changes much,” Leibovitz, who in addition to writing for Tablet is a visiting assistant professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, said. “The key, I think, is not merely having Jewish women on screen, it’s having Jewish women portraying Jewish women on screen. When Scarlett Johansson is as comfortable making on-screen quips about being Jewish as, say, Seth Rogen is, then we would have achieved something real.” While there is still a gap between the images of Jewish women seen on the red carpet and their counterparts in film and television, it must be counted as some kind of progress that Jewish women are reclaiming their roots in a secular popular culture. Even if stereotypes still exist, which they do, Chriqui believes they serve a purpose in exposing ideas about identity. “There’s a fine line between reinforcing stereotypes and denying that they exist,” she said. “I mean that for everyone who has a strong identity — whether you’re Greek or Italian or Moroccan — there are those overbearing aunts; food is simply the most important thing, and family gatherings are like carnivals. Should we not show that stuff? Because then, we’re not celebrating a part of us.” University of Florida’s Turim also believes images of Jewish women are changing. “Today, the situation is entirely different [than it was], and the current Jewish actresses, American and Israeli, are playing a wide range of roles. There is substantial talent in the Israeli cinema, and I wonder if more of these actresses will be cast in U.S. films.” What Judaism teaches, for better or worse, is that the future is linked with the past. Both American and Israeli Jewish actresses hail from an intellectual tradition that prizes a strong matriarchal culture. In theory, traditional Judaism encourages the realization of female potential, and, at least in the secular world, Jewish women have come to represent the ultimate realization of the feminist ideal. “I think we’re helping redefine that you can be anything you want to be,” Chriqui said of her acting kin and their influence. “You can be as powerful as you want to be; as a woman, a Jew, whatever. The new generation feels far more empowered because we have so many freedoms. We’re blessed to be born in a country where there is nothing holding us back except ourselves.”

How is an Independent Consultant like a Movie Star?



By Daniel Vun Kannon


f you are (or thinking of becoming) an independent consultant, the way you work is quite similar to that of a movie star. Just as the movie star works movie to movie, a consultant works project to project. Both actor and consultant work on a contract basis, and both can fill in down times with leisure, learning, marketing (i.e., networking, touting their newest ventures) and fill in with income producing stints. As contract employees (aka contractors), both can have the luxury of filling in their schedules with endeavors and people they like. Both contractors are essentially their own bosses; negotiating their own fees, perks and vacations. And, just like the movie star, if the consultant can’t deliver blockbuster work, clients will be ill-inclined to utilize and pay extra for his services next time. Many people believe that the life of a movie celebrity is all glitz and glamour (is yours?); however, this lifestyle requires a tremendous amount of work and effort behind the scenes. Contracts need to be signed,

taxes and insurances need to be filed and paid appropriately, and the actor’s brand needs PR and marketing work. And just like the movie star, the consultant without a support staff will be wasting too much valuable time in his back office instead of working on what he is good at and earns money for. To be the best employee for themselves and their clients, the consultant has to concentrate his working hours on clients’ projects and not on trivial back office concerns. Essentially, effectively outsourcing back office functions to reliable and experienced professionals for both celebrity and consultant translates into better use of time, more exposure, better management, and an increase of the bottom line! Without an entourage of agents, managers, and accountants to rely on for the back office work, the actor would not have any time to star in any movies! The equivalent for independent consultants is a well-known secret to many successful contractors; the umbrella company. These companies supply indepen-

dent contractors with back office support functions and also protect them under an umbrella of services. Some even supply their consultants with professional insurances and reimburse business expenses, like iamindpendent (aka IAI) Think of the umbrella company as your entourage. Without umbrella companies for back office support, independent consultants would be just that, independent, with limited time and resources to efficiently perform back office functions and maximize earnings. An actor without his bevy of managers, accountants, agents, and publicists could not perform his business effectively and live the life of a movie star. As an independent consultant, you can work like a celebrity and live your dream. For more information on services and insurances to enhance your business, email or call Daniel Vun Kannon 201-567-2434

My friends ask how I work for myself and still have time for my family. I tell them iamindependent. iamindependent members have full access to our umbrella of insurances and services: Invoicing & collection Workman’s Compensation Payroll and Direct Deposit Health Insurance Retirement Plan 401(k) Professional Insurances - E&O and Liability Unemployment Compensation Employer of Record Immediate reimbursement on business expenses

(201)-567-2434 / The leader in 1099 compliance and co-employment risk solutions


@koshersales - Trustworthy advice for salespeople and managers that your grandmother would love.

ow would you describe what determines a personor business to be termed as a customer? A newsstand owner might say one who comes and purchases a magazine or newspaper is a customer. A lawyer possibly will call a client who pays a retainer, a customer. A doctor would consider any of his/her patients to be customers. loosely translates cus·to·mer as “a person who purchases something from another”. And sale - transfer of property for money. That’s all it is, nothing more nothing less. Webster’s for customer however goes with: “one who  regularly  or  repeatedly makes purchases of a trader; a purchaser;  a  buyer» for cus·to·mer. Call me old school (just don’t call me old!) but Webster’s nailed it. What is the difference between a sale, and a customer really? A sale is what I would term along with what the first translation deemed; basically someone steps up to the counter, buys a pack of gum, and you probably never see him again, let alone recall what they looked like as they left the store. Whereas a sale is just a purchase, a “customer” is someone who routinely comes back to you to buy the same product or services, or purchases other items from your line of products. But one thing is set in stone, the coined adjective “repeat customer” is an oxymoron if I ever saw one. The fact that they come back for more, IS what makes them a customer. Simply put, sale = 1 purchase, customer = 2 or more ongoing purchases. Now that we have that to go on, let us talk about what makes the customer; a loyal and profitable client. One word - Relationships. Jeffery Gitomer in his classic book Little Red Book of Selling says “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy”. This is very true, but what about the people who need to purchase something out of necessity such as diesel fuel for their trucking company, batteries for their electronic store, plastic gloves for their medical office, or yes even office supplies for their business. I would hypothesize (Big word I know but it made you look...) that people that are buying items out of necessity are not doing so while singing Willie Armstrong’s “It’s a wonderful world.” So is it possible to get decision makers that are buying these items or services out of necessity, to “love to buy” these things, let alone from you? Until someone can prove otherwise my answer is no. But what IS possible is getting your customer to love you. YOU are what you are really selling, YOU are the company you own or work for, YOU are the reason they come back for more, YOU, YOU, YOU.....not price, not freebies, not the taste of the cupcake, not smooth delivery, but YOU. By saying this I am by no means discounting any of the above mentioned, however all of it takes a back seat to your

relationship with the customer. How you interact with them, how you service them, how you refer business their way. You/Your.....I hope you get it by now. Harry Beckwith has a great and easy to read book called You, Inc. - “The art of selling yourself”. On it he describes what an engineer mentioned in his speech in March 1997 at the Learning Annex. “I want to think I am your only client”, he put it memorably. “So when you are in my area and you visit someone else, I want you to at least stop by and say hello.” How many of us truly do that? There is too much pressure to run to the next meeting, or errand to run, that we miss out on an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the most important component in the not you, the customer. In my first @koshersales article I mentioned that I rarely refer to our customers as “accounts”, that it was too impersonal. Our Modus Operandi (Latin for “mode of operating” i.e. MO) at WeSupplyYou is “It’s not only about business, it’s personal”. The reason being is that yes it’s great that your company is getting their ink, toner, paper, filing, and office supplies from us, however by having a relationship with the customer not only builds a wall of defense against competitors, it also makes doing business enjoyable. So the question is, how do you take something impersonal, personal? You have to show that you care, and in order to do so, you have to care. And you can’t fake caring, it has to be real, genuine. It amazes me how often I experience a saleperson who fails to make me believe that they honestly care about my decision and how it effects me. The average person though has an above average “fakeness radar”. You can’t fake your way to getting the customer, and you can’t fake being real. But let’s assume you care, (otherwise just stop reading) how do you convey that to your customer? If you care about someone, anyone, you want to naturally help them in anyway you can. When I first marketed WeSupplyYou LLC within my network of contacts I wanted customers and potential clients to feel that if there was anything they needed, whether I could supply it directly to them like office supplies, or something like material for scarves, I wanted them to think of me regardless, I was to be their “go to guy”, period. If they needed anything, they would come to me and I would invite them into our network of people and their connections. Our MO was “If you need it, We can supply it!”. I was so con-

sumed in trying to be “the everything” for our clients that I was being unnatural. Recently someone I have a great deal of respect for pointed out to me that “in attempting to do everything, nothing is being accomplished”. So I took a step back and decided to focus on the company’s direct products and services. By doing so I became more natural. With a true conviction of trying to help customers, I was helping them in more than the direct way of supplying them paper,toner and hanging file folders. I naturally started referring poeple from within our network of friends, collegues, and clientle to our customers in areas of business I was indirectly involved in. By doing this one is accomplishing two things; 1) I was referring someone I trusted to my client that helped them in that area of expertise 2) I was giving business to that contact and in essense paying it forward twice. Why are you in sales? And forget the limitless earnings of potential commissions, pretend everyone earned the same amount of income no matter the profession. Why do you do what you do? In sales there has to be more than the mighty dollar that motivates the salesperson. That feeling of satisfaction and rush of worthiness has to be rooted within the inner desire to help people. What I love, what I have always loved about sales is the constant interaction of people both new and old contacts, hearing their stories and learning about them, the potential of not knowing where this meeting would lead; but by far the biggest satisfaction and driving force for me is the accomplishment felt after coming through for someone, delivering on a promise, and generally helping them. Dale Carnegie THE original authority on sales and motivation, wrote in his classic book published originally in 1936 “How to win friends and influence people” : “You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you” There is one have to be real, otherwise you are wasting the time of your lost customer, and yourself. Elliot is CEO and Co-founder of, a company that offers a personal touch while supplying businesses with office supplies and equipment. With 17 years of sales and sales management experience, WeSupplyYou. com is “doing business the old school way in today’s world”. @koshersales & @wesupplyyou - It’s not only business, it’s personal Mention you saw our logo in the South Florida Jewish Home and receive 15% off your first order and a printer cleaning free of charge.



Your Best Friend and Worst Enemy....the Customer



Parenting 1. SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY - Summer presents many opportunities that the school year does not - to involve children in activities that build self confidence and self esteem and which nurture their talents and strengths. Your child was born with a unique nature and a set of personal qualities which can be cultivated to allow your child to forge a personal path as an adult. Take a moment to consider your child’s personality to determine what activities will benefit him/her most. 2. LET THE LEADER LEAD - If your child has an outgoing personality, enjoys and often takes the lead, step aside and let him/her do the work! From planning a family outing (lunch included!) to running a backyard daycamp or making a carnival for the neighborhood, your child can develop those leadership abilities in a productive and useful way. Have your child draw up lists and schedules and learn how to plan properly. You can stop worrying about entertaining this child by letting go and allowing him/her to entertain others. 3. HELP THE QUIET CHILD BE HEARD Some children have great ideas, but shy personalities. They will often not speak up even when they have something valuable to share which can be very frustrating and stifling. Pave the way for your quiet child by discreetly letting someone know what your child can do or make arrangements that your child is too shy to make. It is true that your child needs to learn to be assertive, but if you wait for that to happen, your child’s talents may go undeveloped! For example, I know someone who let's her child’s camp know that he paints magnificently… he and his color war team appreciated it very much! 4. ENCOURAGE THE ENTERPRISING CHILD - If your child is bored by routine, develop his/ her imagination and look for opportunities to be innovative and share ideas. For the intellectual child, try creative projects such as a family newsletter or webquests (research based projects available online – just search “ grade __ webquests” for a plethora of webquests appropriate for your child’s grade level). A savvier child can try his hand as an entrepreneur. My son is the number one bike light distributor in our area, and his friend has been running a landscaping business with three employees for three years! 5. CHALLENGE THE ENIGMATIC - If your child enjoys complicated tasks such as puzzles and brain teasers or enjoys fixing things, you need to put him/her to the challenge! A mind


Mrs. Hebel’s


like that certainly deserves to be developed. There is a fantastic assortment of mind games available online or through companies such as MindWares. Better yet, find real-life challenges in your home or apprenticing for a professional in a related field. 6. PROVIDE AUDIENCE TO THE THEATRIC - If your child is energetic, enthusiastic and antsy to shows off his/her creativity, find a way to release that energy in an appropriate forum. Creative expression is vital to some children and they should be encouraged to express themselves in the ways they can do so best. From the way they dance, do their hair, decorate their bedrooms, dramatize stories, write or sing songs, you can figure out which ones are important to your child. Sign your child up for lessons or clubs – the more open ended the better. Set times for your child to have the chance exhibit his/her talents, enough to feel fulfilled … and to end the dancing at dinner time! 7. LISTEN TO THE LINGUIST - Listen to the linguist. If your child is an avid reader, an analytic conversationalist and an information sponge, find new frontiers of language and knowledge to conquer. Writer’s workshops are

a great way to foster language skills and to share ideas with like-minded friends. Museum visits and non-fiction books on far-flung topics will fascinate your child and develop his/her mind. 8. GIVE SOME STIFF COMPETITION TO YOUR COMPETITOR - If your child is the type who can get on your nerves by pre-empting your every word and running rings round you to get what he/she wants, it is time to channel those talents (away from you!) into healthy and productive places. Try strategy games, such as chess, Rumikub, or Othello. There are many new games on the market that are quite hard and, to competitive children, that much more appealing! If your child is athletic, organized competitive sports can be very healthy provided they are supervised by someone who will teach and encourage two middos that are not easy for the competitive child: good sportsmanship and accepting defeat gracefully. 9. ALLOW FOR ARTISTIC EXPRESSION - If your child loves to stare out the window and daydream, decorates every surface or brainstorms new inventions, you can find all sorts of new mediums to experiment with. Let your child loose with supplies from an art store or even odds and ends that you collect around your home. As a preschool teacher once told me, “Your garbage is their treasures.” Don’t offer suggestions… just let your child’s creativity to express itself unstifled. 10. BUILD EMPATHY AND SOCIAL AWARENESS IN THE INDEPENDENT Whatever your child’s talents are, and however you cultivate them, keep in mind that it is their ability to get along with others that will bring them the greatest success and joy in life. It is not always easy to do, but it is important to balance building our children’s strengths with teaching them how to step aside and to let others have a chance to shine. Mrs. Estee Hebel, MsED is the General Studies Principal of YBH (Yeshiva Beis Hillel) of Passaic, a preschool through eighth grade yeshiva day school, in Passaic, NJ. With over 17 years of experience in education and educational leadership, she is also a dynamic teacher trainer who has taught a graduate course in educational research and presents innovative, hands-on training workshops on a wide assortment of teaching methods, classroom management and motivational techniques and strategies for encouraging self-directed and higher-level learning. To learn more about her workshops or to schedule one, you can contact her at 732-779-1185 or



Megan Wasserstrom


ot too long ago, I was in a place all of us call home; Israel. Now, many of us have been to Israel; to visit family or to experience its wonders on a summer program or vacation, but a couple weeks ago my experience was vastly different than your average visit. What 1,200 high-schoolers from across the country shared with me was a trip that coupled Jewish pride and unity with team spirit and a competitive atmosphere that changed our lives forever. We experienced the first ever JCC Maccabi Games in Israel. Having been a member of the Boca Raton girl’s 17u basketball team for three consecutive years, I was rather accustomed to the intensive training and competition associated with being a

Boca Macabbi coach, Paul Gorlick and his undefeated Gold Medal winning team

part of the games. I was also no stranger to the art of was truly unreal. From the moment we arrived to the winning; as my team and I have been undefeated in moment we departed, their warm-hearted hospitalthree seasons of play. ity made us feel welcome in a land many of us had Normally, the games last a week, concluding with never been. Although sad to part from these wondera closing ceremony that sends the delegations back ful families and their cute-as-a-button children, the home with their teams and medals. However, in these warmth absorbed from our visit remained with us for games in Israel we experienced something quite difthe rest of the trip. ferent. When my team and I arrived in “the land of The feeling carried over into our championship our people,” immediately a connection was forged game the next morning, most prominently when my between all of us participating in the games. We are team and I took the gold for the third straight year. all here to play and compete against one another, but No feeling can compare to the elation associated with we are all still able to share the same identity; still being a champion and playing on a team that you love able to come together under one faith and wave the with coaches that make the experience even more resame flag. That realization was something that hit markable. After the conclusion of the first week, with home with every single person participating in the closing ceremonies that congratulated us and the rest games. Joining the 60 athletes from my Boca Raton of the winning teams, we were all ready to see the delegation were 34 other delegations from across the rest of Israel; to tour a land we had all once heard country all coming together to compete for their respective sports. When all of us arrived in Israel, the difference from past years was apparent immediately as we were greeted with jetlag and over exhaustion. Our days began at 6 am for breakfast and ended at midnight, with not a dull moment in between. From the two games we played each day to the captivating night events, we L-R: Sami Jackowitz, Rebecca Turk,l Shaina Wottitz, Sabrina Zarco, Mandi Gaynor, had been more enMegan Wasserstrom, Bari Gordon, Paige Cohen tertained in those first few days than we had imagined possible. With about but had never before seen. During these next the excitement of all the games played in that first few days spent visiting places like the Western Wall week still surging, (and having my team going into and the Shuk in Carmel, not only was I able to see Isthe weekend with yet another undefeated record,) rael, but I was blessed to have spent those days with a tranquil weekend was much in order. For Shabamazing people – making friendships that will last bat, everyone went his or her separate way; having a lifetime. Although the trip’s end was bittersweet, a taste of Maccabi in almost every city in Israel. The we all departed with the comforting knowledge that city my delegation stayed in was Kiryat Balik, Boca we will soon return to the place that had never beRaton’s sister city--a city of unexpected serenity and fore experienced the JCC Maccabi Games- a place in kindness. My personal experience was truly beyond which history was made this summer- a place we will compare. The incredible amount of selfless dedicaagain call home; Israel. tion these families put forth to prepare for our stay


Maccabi Games In Israel




At 85, Ralph Branca, The Pitcher Who Surrendered ‘The Shot Heard ‘Round The World,’ Is Back In The News – But For The Wrong Reasons


obby Thomson was immortalized for his 9th inning homerun in 1951 dubbed, “the shot heard ‘round the world”. The play won the pennant for the New York Giants. Ralph Branca, who had a successful but short pitching career as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is mostly remembered as the pitcher who surrendered Thomson’s homer. That at-bat is known as one of, if not the greatest, moments in baseball history. After the game Branca was understandably distraught and devastated. His pitch cost the Dodgers the pennant! But he didn’t let his anger and frustration diminish his faith or detract from connection to the Almighty. In fact, this painful experience strengthened his faith in the Divine. Why? Because it was his faith that helped him cope with the loss; one that still pains him to this day. Branca revealed in a recent interview with journalist Joshua Prager that after the game a Jesuit priest approached him. He offered words of consolation. He said that, “G0d had chosen him to yield the home run because G0d knew his faith was strong enough to sustain him through what would follow.” Branca agreed; and thus the book reveals that “ever since, even as the goat endured public discourteousness for 60 years, he praised G0d, reciting every morning and night the “Our Father,” a “Hail Mary” and a couplet of his own: “Make me worthy of your love; make my love worthy of you.” I know numerous people who’ve suddenly abandoned their faith after suffering a significant loss in their lives. As a result of their struggle they concluded that the Almighty does not exist – for if He did, how is it possible for Him to allow evil to prevail. Similarly, they say they’re suddenly convinced that the Almighty isn’t good. How then, they ask, could they dare associate with a “bad” god. Had Branca used his horrible brush with failure to question the Divine’s motives and leave his faith, it would have been understandable. The personal attacks and public embarrassment he endured over the loss of the baseball game was more than excessive. The fact that he was able to maintain a heart full of faith throughout this ordeal was nothing short of remarkable. While Branca may have lost the baseball game, he emerged victorious in the most important game; the game of life! Recently, Branca’s faith was tested again in a more subtle, but perhaps equally significant way. After some research, it was confirmed that his mother, a practicing Catholic, was, in fact, Jewish. According to traditional Judaism, this makes Branca a full fledged Jew. His mother, who lost several siblings in the Ho-

By Rabbi Joshua Hess

Ralph Branca after giving up homerun to Bobby Thomson

locaust, hid her Jewish background from family and friends after receiving permission from her parents to marry out of the faith. Branca’s reaction to the news was intriguing. He remarked, “Maybe that’s why Gd’s mad at me – that I didn’t practice my mother’s religion. He made me throw that home run pitch. He made me get injured the next year. Remember, Jesus was a Jew.” I don’t believe in assigning our failures and hardships in life to specific sins that we have committed. Good or bad, the Almighty deals with us in ways that we will never understand. My purpose here, however, is to make the following observation: the ease and willingness with which Branca turns to the Almighty for help in resolving

the difficulties and challenges in his life is something that we can all learn from. When faced with the reality that he was practicing a foreign faith for the last 85 years, he immediately expressed his feelings in connection to the Divine. His faithful attitude embodies the rabbinic teaching that one is required to praise the Almighty equally in good as in bad. Through thick and thin, Branca uses his faith as a vehicle to find contentment and peace. While he may never fully recover from the psychological effect of surrendering the home run or being misled for so many years about his family’s religious heritage, his ability to keep the Divine at the center of his life is truly praiseworthy. Being faithful is the foundation for any successful relationship. Indeed the Ten Commandments begin with two that speak of our obligation to believe in the Lord: Know that there is a G0d and that there is none other than He. It is only once the basis for our relationship with the Almighty has been solidified, that we can focus on the details of the relationship and accept the other eight commandments and the multitude of other obligations that are part of religious observance. I don’t know whether Branca will fully embrace his Jewish identity as an 85 year old man. But it appears certain that his faith and belief in the Divine will never falter. If he was able to keep the faith while enduring personal attacks and public mockery from devoted Dodger fans, then certainly this news will not be able to shake him. As an Orthodox rabbi, I believe that Branca, as the son of a Jewish mother, is a Jew, despite the fact that he has practiced Catholicism all his life. While we may never agree on which religion offers the true path to salvation, I have deep respect and admiration for the faith that Mr. Branca has shown throughout his life. And so, Mr. Branca, welcome to the Tribe. No matter how you lead your life, continue to keep the Lord in the center.





2012 Kia Sorento LX





2011 Kia Optima LX A MO.


2011 Kia Soul+


2012 Kia Sedona







Elie Anidjar


Our dealership's finance and leasing manager



1640 S. State Road 7, Hollywood, FL 33023 - on the NW corner of State Road 7 and Pembroke Rd

Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm

• NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • NO DEALER FEES • *Lease Offers are 36 month leases with 12,000 miles per year / 20 cents each addtʼl mile. No security deposit! No dealer fee! Requires credit approval through Kia Motors Finance and qualification for Competitive Bonus Rebate with assignment to dealer. $2,999.96 due at inception plus tax and tag, which includes $595 acquisition fee.  Lease offer for 2012 Kia Sportage LX is for Stock No. 787K MSRP $22,900; 2012 Kia Sorento LX is for Stock No. 536K MSRP $24,065; 2011 Kia Optima LX is for Stock No. 767K MSRP $22,050; 2011 Kia Soul+ is for Stock No. 783K MSRP $16,285.  Lease offers expire 9/6/11.  Finance Offer for 2012 Kia Sedona Minivan Stock No. 543K is $299/mo plus tax and tag at 3.99% A.P.R. for 72 months and $2,999.96 down.  Requires credit approval and qualification for Competitive Bonus Rebate with assignment to dealer. See dealer for details. Offers cannot be combined. Subject to prior sale. Letʼs make it happen!


2012 Kia Sportage LX





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South Florida Jewish Home Magazine

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