Shalom Magazine Ed 26

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Ch a nu k a h / Winter 2015



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Happy Chanukah Shalom Magazine 2015 Published by Farber Marketing Inc. Editor & Publisher: Shirley Nigri Farber Marketing Director: Scott A. Farber Copy Editor: Susie Davidson Contributors: ADL New England AJC Boston Rabbi Katy Z. Allen - Ma’yan Tikvah Rabbi Susan Abramson - Temple Shalom Emeth David Bedein - Israel Rabbi Moshe Y. Bleich - Wellesley Chabad Susie Davidson David Farber - Kid’s Page Dr. Rebecca Housel Sid Lejfer - Mishkan Tefila Sandra Lilienthal, Ed.D. Daniel Pomerantz - Israel Contributing Photographers: Steve Schuster Design: Farber Marketing Signed articles are the writer’s responsibility and do not necessarily reflect the editor’s opinion. No article or photo can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Shalom Magazine is a free quarterly publication distributed in Massachusetts at stores, synagogues, and schools. We are not responsible for the products, services or the Kashrut certification offered by any advertiser. Readers are welcome to submit articles and photos. We are not responsible for accuracy on event listings. Please contact the organizer before attending any event.

Sometimes I wonder what the point is of celebrating the same Jewish festival year after year. What is the point of lighting candles for eight nights in a row? Is it for the gifts or for the latkes we enjoy while gathering our family? We are now living in times of darkness, with terrorist attacks everywhere in the world, planes being downed, and senseless killings in the streets of Israel. It is in times of darkness that we remember that we must bring some light to the world such as the light of the Chanukiah lit in our homes and in public places all over the world. It is more necessary than ever to remember that there was always a time in Jewish history when enemies tried to eliminate us, to destroy our heritage, and to take over our Temple, while expelling us from our Promised Land. It is therefore important for us to keep our faith, and to pray for miracles like the Chanukah story, which tells of finding the pure oil to light the menorah in the Temple. As we say in the prayer, “She assah Nissim Laavoteinu bayamim a hem” - as He performed miracles for our ancestors in those days - so we pray that He performs miracles in our time. Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is not a problem from the past. Prejudice in all its forms is present today as much as it was 70 years ago. Every time that we are indifferent, whenever we think that it is not knocking on our doors, we make a mistake. It is important that we act, that we express our outrage, and that we do not just watch it manifest on television and on social media. In the pages of Shalom Magazine, you will see what is going on our local Jewish community, and you will read various opinions and ideas. You can also participate by sharing your opinion on our Facebook page or by sending us an email to be published. It is important for the Jewish people to be united, even when we cannot agree on many issues, because we are one people with many traditions and many opinions, but we also worship one G-d, one land, and one Torah. All we need is to unite our forces and focus on the same goals. We live in a country where we are free to be Jews; now we must make sure that is safe to be a Jew anywhere in the world. We hope you are able to fill up the world with the lights of your Chanukiah. Happy Chanukah, and please join our conversation at www. Shirley Farber - Editor to subscribe to shalom magazine

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Winter 2015

Community Events Chanukah at the Brookline Chai Center CTeen Hummer Menorah Parade

Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 p.m. In a Hummer exclusively reserved for CTeen Brookline (a project of The Brookline Chai Center), teens will parade through the streets of Boston in style. Followed by an after party, this is one event you don’t want to miss. This event is free and open to all teens, but RSVP is a must. To make sure you have a spot in the Hummer, RSVP to Levi@

Chanukah Minions on Ice

Sunday, December 13, 12-2 p.m. At the Reilly Memorial Rink, 355 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton. At the event, organized by the Brookline Chai Center, there will be ice skating, Chanukah crafts, opportunities to take a selfie with a real Minion, as well as latkes and donuts. Meet Judah the Maccabee and light the Grand Menorah. RSVP at www.chaikidz/com/minions. Admission is $5 and skate rental $5.

Screening of “Body & Soul The State of the Jewish Nation” December 20 at 7:45 p.m. Temple Emanuel, 285 Ward St., Newton A powerful, 64-minute documentary that presents the undeniable historical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, but also succeeds in debunking the propaganda, myths, and misinformation that have become accepted as truth by so many. A post-screening discussion will be led by Professor Jonathan Sarna and Director/Producer Gloria Z. Greenfield. Refreshments will be served, suggested donation of $10 (at the door). For more information, please contact Marilyn at marilyn.goldman@, or Eric This event is co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), The American Jewish Committee (AJC), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), The Consulate General of Israel to New England, The Israel American Council (IAC), The Jewish National Fund (JNF), Northeastern University Hillel, The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, The David Project, Tufts University Hillel, Christians & Jews United for Israel (CJUI), Congregation Kehillath Israel, Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Temple Emeth, and Temple Israel of Boston.

Save the Date American Jewish Committee (AJC) Boston 17th Annual Diplomats ­ eder will take place Sunday, April 3, 2016 at the JFK Presidential S Library. For more information, please contact or 617-457-8700.

For information on how to include your event in listings, please send an email to: For advertising call: 781-975-0482

Israeli Stage Presents Never Ever Ever Sunday, December 20 at 7 p.m. Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Rd., Wellesley. Free of Charge Yoni runs away from school, from home, from himself. He runs away the moment he’s confronted with the words disabled or dyslexic. In this moving, one-man play, Ben-Yishai provides the audience with an experience of what it’s like to feel like an outsider, feeling different, being differently-abled, yet, at the same time, whole. Never Ever Ever is the winner of four 2013 Assitej Awards.

Happy Hanukah May the spirit of the holiday be with you now and throughout the year.

Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


AJC Boston Community Leadership Award

Dinner Co-Chair Ted Cutler, Governor Charlie Baker, AJC Boston 2015 Community Leadership Award Honoree Arthur Winn, and AJC Boston Director Robert Leikind

On October 15, over 500 people joined American Jewish Committee Boston to honor respected philanthropist and community leader Arthur Winn, recipient of the AJC Boston 2015 Community Leadership Award. Arthur’s contributions to the affordable housing industry and the greater Boston community, particularly in his role as the founder and principal of WinnCompanies, have given families across the country the opportunity to establish stable and productive lives. Arthur was supported at the award dinner, held at The Fairmont Copley Plaza, by Governor Charlie Baker, Kitty and Governor Michael Dukakis, Boston City Council President Bill Linehan, City Councillor Josh Zakim, and diplomats representing Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Morocco, Finland, Spain, and Israel. The event raised close to $1 million, a record amount for AJC Boston.

AJC Boston 2015 Community Leadership Award Honoree Arthur Winn, Shalom Magazine publisher Shirley Nigri Farber and CJP President Barry Shrage

To view local Jewish events in real time, follow us at ShalomMagazine


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Winter 2015

Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


ADL welcomes new CEO Jonathan Greenblatt ADL New England Chair David M. Grossman and Alec Bachman

Rob and Esta Epstein with Jonathan Greenblatt

The New England Anti-Defamation League welcomed its new CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to Boston on November 5 at Boston’s Fairmont Copley hotel. The Securing Our Future event celebrated Greenblatt, who interned for the ADL while a student at Tufts University. Prior to ascending to the helm at ADL, Greenblatt served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. He is also a serial entrepreneur who cofounded Ethos Brands, the business that launched Starbucks’ Ethos Water, which was also included in the gift bags at last year’s Academy Awards program. The event cast light on the anti-Semitic incidents that ADL New England encounters on a regular basis. A moving video was shown of a 13-yearold Jewish boy from the Berkshires, Alec Bachman, who was bullied repeatedly at a Great Barrington middle school by his peers, who hurled anti-Semitic remarks as well as pennies at the boy, among other insults. Alec’s father, Marc Bachman, called ADL to help address these disturbing incidents. Ultimately, ADL assisted with implementing two open community forums, in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, and guided the Bachmans in combating the situation. With over 330 people, the well attended night was an opportunity for the new CEO to meet with locals and to discuss ADL’s milestones in the past years, his 100 days in office, and the vision for the future.

Wishing you & your family a

Happy Chanukah David M. Grossman Regional Board Chair

Robert O. Trestan ADL Regional Director

Part of the staff and board members of ADL New England

New England


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Winter 2015

Newton Chabad Over 40 participants joined in the Jewish Learning Institute’s Fall Six-Week Course, Journey of the Soul, at Beth Menachem Chabad in Newton, exploring the mysteries of life and death and what lies beyond. For more information on the Winter or Spring courses, visit

Hadassah Northeast Salon Series

Hadassah Northeast Resource Chair Fran Feldman, Hadassah Northern New England VP Rhonda Saunders, Tilia Jacobs, Hadassah Boston member Judi Bornstein, and Hadassah Boston President Varda E. Farber

Winter 2015

On November 19, Hadassah Northeast hosted another popular Salon Series in Newton Centre, featuring awardwinning author Tilia Klebenov Jacobs. Jacobs presented a lively workshop focusing on the topic of “What is a Jewish Character?” Her examination of Jewish characters in popular Western world literature included what makes them Jewish, what aspects of their personalities and life stories resonate with us, and which ones fall flat. Jacobs lives near Boston and writes fiction and memoir. Her debut novel, “Wrong Place, Wrong Time,” won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Thriller and recently became an Amazon bestseller. To learn more about Tilia Jacobs, visit - Shalom Magazine


Rabin Memorial

Hadassah Northeast Benefit Concert Hadassah Northeast held its 2015 Benefit Concert at Gann Academy on November 21, featuring Jewish music performed by Rosalie Gerut, Hankus Netsky & Friends. Over 150 Hadassah members and friends came out from across New England to listen to this fabulous music. Hadassah was blessed with enlightening speakers and uplifting music that reminded everyone of their Jewish heritage, and gave the hope for a peaceful future. Concert proceeds will benefit cutting edge research and treatment at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem.

On October 31, Shalom contributor Steve Schuster of Westboro was at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv for the 20th anniversary memorial observance of Yitzchak Rabin’s murder. As he describes, “It was an absolutely amazing and very moving event which lasted for two and a half hours. More than 100,000 people filled the square, all very left-leaning peaceniks like me. There were many musical performances and speeches, including from Presidents Ruby Rivlin and Bill Clinton, who flew in just to speak there - and he was, as usual, fantastic.” Interestingly, Steve noted the absence of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.


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Regions Hadassah Presidents Varda E. Farber, Carole Greenfield and Susan Shikora and Israel’s Deputy Consul General to New England, Matan Zamir

Winter 2015

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The future is in our past Sandra Lilienthal, Ed.D. In the past two years, much conversation has been held in reference to the 2013 Pew Survey of U.S. Jewry. But we now have a more recent study - the Pew Research Center Survey on American Religion [1], which adds some interesting information to the discussion. Between June and September of 2014, 35,000 Americans were interviewed over the phone, of which close to 850 identified as Jews. Compared to the previous study of this kind, conducted in 2007, Jews in 2014 seem to pray, study, and go to synagogue slightly more. And while the majority of Jews feels gratitude weekly, they spend less time thinking about the meaning and purpose of life than other religious groups. Of all religious peoples who believe in the Bible, Jews are the ones who least believe that G-d wrote it. In fact, general belief in G-d also fell when comparing the responses of 2014 and 2007. While there are many more pointers studied, what seems to have impacted general media reports above are rates of Jewish support for same-sex marriage (77 percent) and the fact that most American Jews (57 percent) eat pork (90% of Muslims do not). In my eyes, this is not nearly as worrisome as the fact that, according to this research, the majority of Jews do not experience spiritual peace. The practice of Judaism, as of all religions, should ideally lead to feelings of peace, of well-being, of purpose, of spirituality. Where have we gone wrong? I know I am in danger of crossing the line of political correctness. But if we are to survive, as a religion, we need to engage in some serious thinking. This is especially true if we want non-Orthodox Judaism to survive and flourish as much as Orthodoxy.


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This past October, a group of American Jewish leaders from different movements published a “Statement on Jewish Vitality[2],” in which they propose that if we are to survive, spiritually speaking, we need to face the problems head on, and come up with solutions. These solutions, they write, must “build Jewish social networks, convey Jewish content, [and] target peer groups of Jews at crucial stages of life.” They discuss support for day schools, summer camp, youth groups, Israel trips, and campus rabbis and educators. They advocate for film festivals, concerts, and learning programs. They speak of conversion-oriented courses, which would bring more intermarried couples into the Jewish fold. While I admire and respect the 74 signers of the statement, I find that we are missing a very important element: a push for the education of our adults. Those who grew up in the Orthodox world and went to cheder and yeshiva acquired the Jewish “language.” Whether they remain observant or not, they have the knowledge foundation needed to make their choices, to search for spiritually meaningful experiences, and to engage with their Judaism in a way that allows for spiritual growth. But what happens to those who grew up with little or no Jewish education? While supplementary school is a real blessing for those who do or did not attend day schools, how much can we realistically learn in a couple of hours a week when we are speaking of a corpus of teachings and literature that is at least 3,000 years old?! I am not at all suggesting that day school is the only option; neither am I saying that supplementary Hebrew school is not impactful. What I am saying is that for the majority of American Jews, there is a need for strong, meaningful, and relevant adult Jewish education - education that takes into consideration how adults learn, what they are looking for, and how they can truly become links on the chain of transmission of Judaism to the next generations. As I humbly accepted the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education last month, I said that adult learners understand that learning is a journey with no end, and that Judaism teaches not WHAT to think, but HOW to think Jewishly. I cited the Jewish songwriter Doug Cotler,

Winter 2015

The future is in our past who sings, in one of his songs, that it is not only words and stories that are passed down from generation to generation; rather, it’s the way we study, the Book we study, and the way we study “the way.” Adult learners become more involved with their synagogues, their education agencies, and their federations. They become role models for their friends, spouses, children and grandchildren. They promote inter-generational engagement and contribute to the building of a Jewish future. A few days after I delivered this speech in Washington, D.C., the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University published comments based on research conducted with Millennial children of intermarriage[3]. According to the 2013 Pew Research, 71 percent of non-Orthodox Jews are intermarried, so this topic is more than relevant. They found that going on Birthright trips, attending college courses on Jewish studies, and participating in on-campus Jewish groups all led to future Jewish engagement. What is most interesting is that the likelihood of young adults engaging in these programs and activities was higher for those who, growing up, had a strong relationship with Jewish grandparents. In other words, Jewish grandparents who shared Jewish experiences with their grandchildren greatly influenced the younger generation and were a predictor of future Jewish engagement. With all of the above in mind, I strongly urge Jewish organizations to invest in adult Jewish education, in order to offer learning opportunities

Winter 2015

for adults. How many Jews eat bacon or not is not a barometer of how vibrant our communities will be in the future, even if it is a headline that “sells.” But how many Jews experience spiritual peace is certainly an indicator of our success or failure. Jewish education nourishes the soul and allows for each one of us to find their own place in Judaism. When we discover how Judaism can enrich our lives, we are ready to pass that down to the next generations. In order to sustain and foster a spirited and dynamic Jewish community, we need to become actively involved in strengthening those who are the links in the chain of tradition. We must offer them opportunities to learn, we must facilitate inspiration and connection, and we must convey that Jewish living is an accessible reality that we cannot pass up. This is what the mission of any Jewish educator should be. [1] The full text of the research can be found at http://www.pewforum. org/files/2015/11/201.11.03_RLS_ II_full_report.pdf [2] The document can be found at [3] The complete report can be found at cmjs/pdfs/intermarriage/MillennialChildrenIntermarriage1.pdf Dr. Sandra Lilienthal is a Jewish educator with over 25 years experience. She holds a Master’s in Jewish Studies and a Doctorate in Jewish Education, and is the author of the Pillars of Judaism curriculum. - Shalom Magazine


AJC Boston Hosts 2015 Diplomatic Marathon On November 18, AJC Boston launched the 2015 Diplomatic Marathon, a series of 12 diplomatic programs over the course of 2 days, with members of the New England consular corps. AJC leaders addressed the rise of global anti-Semitism, Israel’s place in the world, and how the world will monitor Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in meetings with the Consuls General of Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. The Diplomatic Marathon kicked-off on AJC Boston Development Director Jonathan Nierman, Rabbi Neal Gold, AJC Boston November 18 with a private breakfast with Assistant Director Rebecca Keys, Rabbi Braham David, Rabbi Howard Jaffe, Ms. Monika Consul General of Israel of New England Dane, Rabbi David Lerner, Ambassador Dr. Felix Klein, Rabbi Sonia Saltzman, Rabbi Yehuda Yaakov, followed by a series of 6 Navah Levine, and AJC Boston Director Robert Leikind. diplomatic meetings with 25 AJC leaders. Later that evening, the ACCESS Young Leadership Committee of the AJC Boston Leadership Board hosted a “Dinner with a Diplomat” program featuring Consul General of Mexico Amb. Daniel Hernandez Joseph, while AJC leaders met with Consul General of Germany in Boston Ralf Horlemann and German Ambassador Dr. Felix Klein, Special Representative of the Federal Foreign Office for Relations with Jewish Organizations, to learn about Jewish life in Germany. On November 19, the Diplomatic Marathon continued with a series of private meetings with Amb. Dr. Felix Klein and members of the Jewish community, including AJC leaders, rabbis, and Jewish organizational leaders. AJC Boston Board Members Les Fagen, Michael Tichnor, Jeff For more information about the AJC Boston Diplomatic Marathon, Cymrot, Consul General of Spain Jose Nunez Montesinos, AJC please contact or 617-457-8700. Boston Board Member Michael Sperling, and AJC ACCESS Boston member Ariel Scheer Stein.

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MAYORS SPEAK OUT ON ANTI-SEMITISM An Enduring and Malevolent Human Rights Abuse DECEMBER 10, 2015 is Human Rights Day and marks the 67th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. This document promised a new age in which the rights of all people would be assured. Today, its promise is yet to be realized, but it remains a beacon of hope to hundreds of millions of people around the world, who live in places where the legitimacy of human rights is denied and malignant hatreds like anti-Semitism are celebrated. So, this Human Rights Day we honor Mayors and Municipal Leaders from around the world who have decided to take a stand and speak out against an ancient hatred that once again is raging in places around the globe.

THIS PAST SUMMER, AJC launched the Mayors United Against

TO DATE, MORE than 300 mayors and municipal leaders from 47

Anti-Semitism campaign, an initiative conceived of by AJC’s Boston

states plus the District of Columbia, representing more than 80 million

Office with Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Massachusetts. As part of the

people, have signed on. And now, a parallel European campaign is being

campaign, mayors and municipal leaders from across New England and

launched, led by AJC’s Paris Office, in coordination with the Mayor of

around the country signed a statement expressing concern over the rise

Paris Anne Hidalgo.

of European anti-Semitism and inviting European municipal leaders to

HERE IN NEW ENGLAND, 57 municipal leaders representing 3.2

join their U.S. counterparts in fighting this pernicious and ancient hatred. For the full text of AJC’s statement, please visit

million people from all six New England states joined AJC’s campaign. Thank you to the following mayors and municipal leaders for taking action to combat global anti-Semitism.


Frederick Swenson Chair, Board of Selectmen Charlton, MA

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken Gloucester, MA

Mayor David Rollins Augusta, ME

Matt Hanson Chair, Board of Selectmen Chelmsford, MA

Nelson Durgin Chair, City Council Bangor, ME

John O’Rourke Chair, Board of Selectmen Conway, MA

Mayor Michael Cahill Beverly, MA

Mayor Allan Fung Cranston, RI

Mayor Alex Morse Holyoke, MA

Mayor Martin J. Walsh Boston, MA

Jim MacDonald Chair, Board of Selectmen Dedham, MA

John Brannen Chair, Board of Selectmen Hull, MA

Mayor Marcia Leclerc East Hartford, CT

Mayor Daniel Rivera Lawrence, MA

Mayor Miro Weinberger Burlington, VT

Mayor Karen Cadieux Easthampton, MA

Mayor Dean Mazzarella Leominster, MA

Mayor David Maher Cambridge, MA

Bruce Turner Chair, Board of Selectmen Egremont, MA

Mayor Robert Macdonald Lewiston, ME

Mayor Kevin Dumas Attleboro, MA

Neil Wishinsky Chair, Board of Selectmen Brookline, MA

Mayor James Diossa Central Falls, RI

Mayor Lisa Wong Fitchburg, MA

Mayor Gary Christenson Malden, MA

Mayor David Narkewicz Northampton, MA

Mayor William Martin Greenfield, MA

Mark Reil Chair, Board of Selectmen Mendon, MA

Paul Bishop Chair, Board of Selectmen Norwood, MA

Mayor Pedro Segarra Hartford, CT

Mayor Stephen Zanni Methuen, MA

Mayor James Fiorentini Haverhill, MA

Scott Jenssen Chair, Board of Selectmen Monterey, MA

Mark Russo Chair, Board of Selectmen Plympton, MA

Mayor Rodney Elliot Lowell, MA

Mayor Michael Brannan Portland, ME

Sandisfield, MA Frank Pannorfi Chair, Board of Selectmen Sandwich, MA William Heitin Chair, Board of Selectmen Sharon, MA Mayor Joseph Curtatone Somerville, MA Mayor Domenic Sarno Springfield, MA

Mayor John Hollar Montpelier, VT

Mayor Robert J. Lister Portsmouth, NH

Maurice Handel Chair, Board of Selectmen Needham, MA

Mayor Jorge Elorza Providence, RI

Joseph Mokrisky Chair, Board of Selectmen Stoughton, MA

Mayor Thomas Koch Quincy, MA

Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. Taunton, MA

Mayor Daniel Rizzo Revere, MA

Mayor Jeanette McCarthy Waltham, MA

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll Salem, MA

Mayor Scott Avedisian Warwick, RI

Alice Boyd Chair, Board of Selectmen

Mayor Joseph Petty Worcester, MA

Mayor Erin Stewart New Britain, CT Mayor Donna Holaday Newburyport, MA Mayor Setti Warren Newton, MA


For more information about AJC:

Winter 2015



@ajcboston - Shalom Magazine


Kesher Newton Kesher Newton’s Family Havdalah program took place on Saturday, November 21 at Kesher Newton in Chestnut Hill. The event highlighted Kesher’s “Jewish Values and Ethics” Unit on Betzelem Elohim, and a discussion was held on honoring people with disabilities. The students read the Sifryat Pajama book “7 Blind Mice” in Hebrew and in English. They were able to decorate their own puzzle pieces, and play pin the tail on the elephant. The highlight of the evening was a visit from Deborah Krause of Perkins School for the Blind. Students made their own besamim (spices) bags while blindfolded, to gain an understanding about how people with visual impairments can still do the

same things they can, just a little differently! Havdalah was led by Kesher parent Rabbi Daniel Klein of Hebrew College.


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Winter 2015

The American Jewish Historical Society‐New England Archives Preserving the historical record of the Jewish community of Greater Boston and New England

The American Jewish Historical Society‐New England Archives (AJHS‐NEA) at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) serves as the New England regional headquarters of the nation’s oldest ethnic historical organization. The Society is the archival repository for the documentary record of Jewish families, businesses and institutions in the Greater Boston area and New England communities, and the home of the reference library of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. Join as a member and receive benets from AJHS‐NEA and NEHGS!

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Membership Levels $89.95














99-101 Newbury Street Boston, Massachusetts

Visit us online at or call 617‐226‐1245 for more information

Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


FID F N ew E n g l a n d A n nu a l D i n n e r R a i s e s $1.3M to Suppor t IDF Soldiers

IDF soldiers on stage

Sergeant Reut with Holocaust survivor


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First Lt. Tom and Hon. Ken Fishman

Larry Greenberg, Sahar, Beth Greenberg and First Lt. Roi

Winter 2015

FID F N ew E n g l a n d A n nu a l D i n n e r R a i s e s $1.3M to Suppor t IDF Soldiers

Sapir Resnik, Emma, Yael Mark 1200 people from New England gathered on November 11 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel to demonstrate our region’s solidarity with Israel, and the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The dinner, which sold out for the second consecutive year, has so far raised $1.3 million out of the $3.6 million that the New England Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) raised in 2015. The funds support education and well-being programs for the brave young men and women who defend the Jewish homeland. FIDF is grateful for all those who came to support the soldiers and who made contributions, especially the 75 Table Hosts who brought their families and friends. To learn more about FIDF, visit https://www.

Winter 2015

Lone Soldiers Emma and Elle

Sahar, Claire and Marc Perlman, First Lt. Roi, Brigadier Gen. Gila Klifi-Amir, Maj. Gen. Meir Klifi-Amir, Joyce and Steve Schultz - Shalom Magazine


JALSA helps to spread the biblical concept of justice By Hannah Klein, Community Organizer, JALSA At the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA), we often turn to the passage “Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue,” as the backbone for the social justice advocacy and organizing work that we do in domestic and social policy. Justice is a broad term, and there are many ways to actively pursue it in one’s life. Our members choose to prioritize the difficult issue of economic inequality, through acting in coalition with other faith, labor, and community organizations in Raise Up Massachusetts. Together, we are advocating, marching, and organizing for a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and a progressive tax to fund quality public education and transportation throughout the state. Why is it Jewish? Why is this the path that we, a Jewish organization, have chosen to follow? There are many reasons and stories within each of us which draw us to this fight, but a unifying theme is the imperative within Jewish faith and tradition to stand up and speak out when we see something unjust. It is not enough to just notice it; we are compelled to speak out and to act. Why is “justice” a Jewish cause? The word “justice” itself deepens the connection between Jewish activism and the fight for economic justice. The Hebrew word for justice, tzedek, shares a root with another word many of us are familiar with - tzedakah. These two words, tzedek and tzedakah, are integrally intertwined. Tzedakah, while traditionally used to refer to giving to charity, also


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refers to the obligation to act for what is right and just. There is a common thread of action, implying that we as a Jewish community cannot only give tzedakah in the form of the money we put into tzedakah boxes, but we must give tzedakah through our choices and our actions as well. How does JALSA perform tzedakah? The fights for a $15 minimum wage, ensured paid family and medical leave, and a progressive tax to increase funding for public education and transportation are JALSA’s way to give tzedakah through action. These words and messages help to ground our work and passions at JALSA in Jewish values. Join the Jewish community in this work! Our work offers an opportunity to take action for those who resonate with these values of justice. The number of individuals, congregations and communities who are involved in these efforts is a testament to the Jewish community in the Boston area, and the pervading sense of duty to have an impact on the greater world. You can help! The fight for economic justice is still in need of support, as we try to pass important pieces of legislation that will provide a livable minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and increased funding for public education and transportation. We welcome all who want to speak out against in justice and work for a more just Massachusetts. Reach us at and

Winter 2015

‘March of the Living’: Life-Changing Trip for Teens Limited Scholarships Available for 2016 International Trip to Poland and Israel By Stanley Hurwitz Applications for Massachusetts high school juniors and seniors interested in participating in the 2016 March of the Living (MOTL) trip to Poland and Israel are now due. The trip is scheduled for May 1 - May 15, 2016. Now in its 28th year, ‘March of the Living’ ( annually brings some 15,000 Jewish teens from around the world on a once-in-a-lifetime, lifechanging trip that gives them a rare opportunity to explore their heritage and history. The trip coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day which is marked in Poland, followed a week later in Israel with Israel Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day. For 2016, there are 15 scholarships of $2,000 each to put toward the trip cost that will be awarded to applicants on a first- come, first served basis. Participants are responsible for the balance of the trip cost. Students (ages 17-18) are carefully chosen and acceptance is based upon emotional maturity and community involvement. Online applications include short answer questions including an essay. Applicants are also required to interview in order to qualify for the program. Past MOTL teen participant Jake Dinerman said, “It’s really im-

Winter 2015

portant to hear survivors speak because we are the last generation that will be able to. As they pass away, we must go and bear witness for them. MOTL is also a fantastic way to meet others from around the world and develop bonds that will last a lifetime. All of us came back with changed perspectives and appreciations of life. Walking through the death camps together - then experiencing Israel together - is unforgettable and powerful beyond imagination.” To potential scholarship donors, Dinerman says, “When you meet individuals that you helped send on the March, you’ll understand why the trip is so important. It is so much more than a trip to Poland and Israel. It’s a lifechanging experience that helps shape the Jewish future.” Scholarship funds have been raised by MOTL Massachusetts Chair Irv Kempner of Sharon, with additional funds from the Kempner Family Foundation. To lock in a spot and for more information about the March of the Living 2016 trip, visit or contact Jana Brenman, New England MOTL Regional Coordinator at jbrenman@ / 401-421-4111, ext. 181. A separate adult portion of the 2016 MOTL trip is totally sold out. To make donations toward teen scholarships, contact Irv Kempner at - Shalom Magazine


The Covenant Award Recognizes Three Jewish Educators Three exceptional Jewish educators received The Covenant that have altered the educational landscape. Foundation’s 2015 Covenant Award on November 8 in Washinghton, As Director of Program Development for the Campaign for Youth D.C. Honored for their dedication, inspiration and vision by hundreds Engagement at URJ, Abraham has created educational experiences that of thought-leaders, colleagues, philanthropists, students, family and have transformed the lives of thousands of Jewish youth, and altered friends, who gathered at the Foundation’s annual awards dinner. approaches of camp staff and educators. Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Director of ProFor 12 years, Abraham served as Digram Development for the Campaign for Youth rector of Education at Temple Sholom in Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism Fanwood, NJ, where she designed and (URJ), as well as a consultant for the Foundation oversaw educational approaches and for Jewish Camp, and a clinical faculty member programming for the religious school in the HUC-Jewish Institute of Religion Exeand for the congregation as a whole. cutive MAJE Program; Dr. Sandra Ostrowicz Dr. Sandra Ostrowicz Lilienthal, acLilienthal, Curriculum Developer and Instructor cepting the Covenant Award from Jordan at The Rose and Jack Orloff Central Agency for Goodman, described her dedication to Jewish Education of Broward County in Davie, adult Jewish education and the critical FL; and Amy Meltzer, Lead Kindergarten teacher place it occupies on the continuum at Lander-Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, of Jewish continuity and community MA, are the three Covenant Award recipients growth. Michelle Abraham, Amy Meltzer for 2015. “Jewish education is holy work,” she and Sandra Lilienthal The Covenant Award is among the most prosaid. “I have the privilege to work with minent citations in the Jewish community, and people who, as adults, felt that someis awarded to three educators every year after a thing was missing in their lives, who are rigorous selection process. Including this year’s awardees, 75 Jewish searching for meaning and for answers to life’s difficult questions, who educators have received a Covenant Award since its establishment want to become an integral, active, part of this chain of tradition. I can in 1991. relate. I only came into Jewish education as an adult.” The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family PhiAffiliated with Orloff CAJE since 2006, Lilienthal has transformed lanthropies and members of the Crown family presented the three re- the agency, its educational impact, and the face of adult Jewish educacipients and bestowed the Award. Each of the 2015 recipients received tion in South Florida. She has done this through not only her dedication $36,000, and each of their institutions, $5,000. to teaching and her students, but also by designing and using new Accepting the Covenant Award, each recipient spoke about the curricula and approaches that fuel personal and community growth holy work of Jewish education, and their individual commitments to through Jewish knowledge and perspective. continue working to ensure that future generations feel the impact and Central in Dr. Lilienthal’s toolkit is Pillars of Judaism, a four-module, inspiration that creative and dedicated teachers can have on Jewish life. 50-session curriculum that she wrote and designed. The depth and Michelle Shapiro Abraham, receiving the Covenant Award from success of the curriculum has gained national recognition and interest James Crown, said that overcoming her own learning challenges as by other agencies as research indicates it generates stronger Jewish a child and young adult instilled in her a passion for creativity and identity and more meaningful Jewish experiences. inclusivity that empowered her to design and introduce bold initiatives In addition to her affiliation with Orloff CAJE, where she has also created course materials for the Midrasha Graduate program, Dr. Lilienthal is an adjunct professor at Gratz College and is an instructor for The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. Amy Meltzer, presented with The Covenant Award by Sara Crown Star, turned the energy and exuberance emanating from her kindergarten class into a metaphor for the possibilities of creative and inspired Jewish education. FIND THE RIGHT COLLEGE “Joyful, engaging Jewish education creates joyful, engaged Jews,” she said in her acceptance speech. “There is a growing trend to make kindergarten look more like the rest of school. Instead, we should be FOR YOUR CHILD making the rest of school – and all our learning experiences – look more like kindergarten.”  Admission Experts One of the biggest manifestations of her integrated approach is the annual Gan (Kindergarten) Opera, an original production and an  Internships And Summer Programs initiative cited as an exemplary model of arts-based education by the  Application & Essay Preparation Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. She has envisioned, designed and led numerous programs for families  Financial Aid & Scholarship Experts with young children in the Northampton area and nationally, oversees a monthly program for pre-school families in partnership with PJ Library, and she has led tot and family Shabbat and High Holiday services at local synagogues. She travels to schools, synagogues and JCC’s Call Today For Your FREE Consultation throughout the country to lead programs based on her two children’s books, The Shabbat Princess and A Mezuzah on the Door. 508508-879879-7374 “All of us in this room understand that both learning and teaching are forms of avodat Hashem, of doing God’s work in the world,” she .com www. said in her acceptance speech. “The question we need to ask is how to make this work deeply joyful for both students and educators.”

Beginning The College Search



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Winter 2015

The young survivor of the Mumbai attack picture

On November 8, I attended the grand banquet at the annual conference of Chabad Rabbis. (This is the largest gathering of Rabbis in history, with over 3,500 Rabbis from 90 countries and every state, and the largest ever sit down dinner in NYC, with close to 5,500 in attendance for the banquet dinner). Each year, all of the Rabbis (shluchim/emissaries) in the world get together for five days of workshops and brotherhood, which culminates in the grand banquet. This year’s highlight was when Moshe Holtzberg stood in front of thousands and read the Psalms in a sweet, pure voice. You see, the last time I saw Moshe Holtzberg was seven years ago, right after his parents, my colleagues, were killed in a brutal terror attack in Mumbai, India. His parents, Gabi and Rivki, the Chabad Rabbi and Rebetzin to Mumbai, ran the Nariman House, providing selflessly for all who came their way. Exactly seven years ago to the day, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, terMoshe Holtzberg rorists took the Chabad house hostage, killing everyone inside. Except for little Moshe. His nanny, Sandra, had been hiding on a lower level, and when she heard the two-year-old boy crying, she ran upstairs and found him standing and crying over the bodies of his parents. She grabbed him and fled. When I watched his parents’ funeral, I saw Moshe on the television, crying, “Ima, Ima (Mother, Mother).” This beautiful two-year-old child was crying for his mother, who he would never see again. Fast forward seven years. Moshe has been living with his loving

grandparents in Afula, Israel. And when I saw him Sunday night, this was not the pitiful two-year-old I remember. He strode onto the stage with confidence and maturity. He read a chapter of Psalms, praying for world peace, and inspiring us all. He received a standing ovation; the Rabbis could not stop clapping. The last time I saw Moshe I cried, and this time, I cried too. But this time it was tears of joy, nachas and triumph for this beautiful boy, who has overcome so much tragedy in his short life. In this week’s Torah portion we read, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, and the hands are the hands of Esau.” We see now, as clearly as ever, that our enemies’ strength lies in their hands. They use knives and guns to attack, terrorize and kill us. Of course, we have to do everything in our power to defend ourselves, but we also need to remember that our true strength lies in our “voice” -our faith, observance of the mitzvot, and belief in G-d. I remember the Mumbai terror attacks vividly. I remember the hand of Esau coming to the Chabad house, and for 48 hours, we had no information about what was going on inside. We were shocked, and banded together in prayer and hope. Tragically, when the siege ended, we found out that the worst had happened. When I heard Moshe’s voice on Sunday night, I knew we had emerged victorious. Moshe is alive and well, strong and confident. He carries the legacy of his parents, Gabi and Rivki, proudly and with confidence, continuing where they left off. May he continue to heal and forge ahead with strength and clarity. Rabbi Moshe Y. Bleich Wellesley-Weston Chabad

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The Birthright Israel Challenge





As a Chabad rabbi, I just had the pleasure of spending an amazingly inspirational weekend at the International Conference of Shluchim (emissaries), where I joined some 4000 colleagues from around the world in sharing ideas and bottling inspiration for the upcoming year at our posts. As is the case when two rabbis get together, no less 4000, current Jewish-related events were bound to come up. Not surprisingly, a call made at the URJ Biennial by Birthright Israel co-founder Charles Bronfman caused a great deal of discussion. Bronfman’s call was for the Reform movement to “Take back Birthright from Chabad.” It seemed to me that some were offended by Bronfman’s comments, translating his statement into one of contempt for Chabad. Others found his words to be extremely complimentary, in recognizing the hard work and great dedication of the Chabad-led Mayanot- Birthright team. While I personally did not take a stance, my immediate reaction to reading about Bronfman’s statement and the “we’re going to meet that challenge and more” response of URJ’s president was excitement. I literally shouted at my phone (that’s where I was reading the report) to “BRING IT ON!” Let me set the record straight. It has been eight years since I last led a Birthright-Israel trip (lately, I’ve been leading missions to Israel with my community members). Nor am I a campus rabbi. Nevertheless, I believe that to truly understand the depth of Chabad’s tremendous success attracting students to its Birthright trips, as well as their equally successful post-Birthright program, IsraeLinks, one must examine Chabad’s success as a whole. As a Chabad rabbi, I am hopefully equal to that task. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a trailblazer in Jewish outreach (or as he called it, “inreach,” since bringing Jews closer means connecting them to what is already there inside of them). But even more so, he was way ahead of his time in understanding the core needs of Jewish youth. In numerous talks, written correspondence, personal conversations and public addresses, the Rebbe stressed that a searching teenager or young adult is not impressed with superficiality. Rather, they are most impressed, inspired, and moved by truth. They are uplifted by experiences that touch them deep inside and they yearn for moments that can provide them a real connection to their souls. A young man does not put on teffilin on the streets of Manhattan because it makes sense, but rather, because it connects him to something deeper. A young woman does not light Shabbat candles on a busy Friday evening because it is the “in” thing to do, but rather, because it makes her feel whole inside. Similarly, a college student does not travel to Israel because it is a cool place to visit, for they could just as easily travel to Italy, Australia, or Nepal. Rather, they travel to Israel because 3,000 years of Jewish history and tradition call out to them and seek to connect them to who they truly are at their essence.

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Winter 2015

The Birthright Israel Challenge Furthermore, while occasionally a student may sign up for a Birthri- continuation of the ideas and ideals that they live by, and have been ght trip on a whim, for the most part, a student is engaged by a loving teaching from Day One. Chabad rabbi and rebbetzin months, sometimes even years, before he If Charles Bronfman or the Reform movement as a whole are serious or she ever thinks of travelling to Israel. These Shluchim, the selfless about “taking back Birthright,” then they need to consider the opporJewish leaders serving on college campuses worldwide, create a nur- tunities a Birthright trip truly offers. They need to take a page from turing, loving, and deeply caring environment where a young student the Rebbe’s book in calling on their members to add in the observance can safely question what it means to be a Jew without fear of ever of practical mitzvot and the study of Torah. They need to challenge being judged or labeled. their members to put on teffilin, observe Shabbat, keep a kosher diet, It’s Chabad’s philosophy of loving, caring and guiding every single or adopt the countless other ways they can promote growth in Jewish Jew that sets the foundation for students to desire more of a connection, practice and observance. It is then that a trip to Israel takes on the regardless of their previous affiliation, most meaning. knowledge, or level of practice. It is Judaism sees Israel as more than just a through this nurturing and guidance that geographic and historical place. Judaism is the students are inspired to get in touch one’s identity, and in Israel, one can become with the connection often felt through a closer and more intimate with that identity. trip to our Holy Land. The land of Israel speaks the language of This then is what attracts students (and the Jewish neshama (soul). Israel is a part people in general) to Chabad. Chabad of who we are, and its history helps teach offers something for every Jew. People us about our important mission in life. It are comfortable at Chabad because the is this perspective, and it is through these rabbi jokes with them, and the rebbetzin experiences, that a young Jewish man or cooks a mean kugel. But they also teach woman is challenged to want to build a them, encourage them, and challenge deeper connection to Judaism and his or her A Birthright group visiting Safed them to get better all the time. All of Jewish identity. this is done in the most unconditionally So, if the Reform movement is to one day loving way - not through preaching or succeed in taking “Birthright back,” it meparty-line ideological platforms, but to each in their own special way ans it could have only happened one way. That’s through drastically and to all at their very own pace. increasing Jewish observance and awareness - and that, my friend, Bottom line, Chabad’s success is not in its marketing (though that is a good thing! helps, and may I say, they are pretty good at it!) or its choice of hotels So with this in mind, I reverse the challenge to you, Mr. Bronfman. in Israel, but rather in its authenticity. Perhaps more accurately put, I say, “BRING IT ON!” Chabad provides a genuine and positive Jewish experience prior to Rabbi Avi Richler is the Executive Director of Chabad of Glouthe trip, and uses the trip to reinforce these ideas. So when a Chabad cester County, New Jersey. He is passionate about the Jewish rabbi or rebbetzin presents a Mayanot Birthright opportunity, it is community’s voice being heard in the public arena, and thus also more than just a cool tourist experience that happens to be free. It is a serves as the Director for Legislative Affairs on behalf of the 52 Chabad Centers of New Jersey and the Rabbinical College of America.

Kosher Dairy Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


Challah bake brings 1,000 Jewish women When a woman makes challah, “a bread prepared for Jewish holidays and observances,” she is not only continuing a tradition that has gone on uninterrupted for the history of the Jewish people, she is actively inviting G-d into her home. “After we make the dough, we take off a piece to show G-d that we are not keeping everything for ourselves, realizing that everything we have is from God,” said Geni Bleich of the Wellesley-Weston Chabad, one of the area Chabad organizers of the Boston Mega Challah Bake 1000. “We burn [that piece] to tell G-d that “we’re going to take from [the dough], something we made, and we’re going to give it to you and make it holy.” And that is exactly what over 1,000 Jewish women, from as far away as Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine did on October 22 at Moseley on the Charles in Dedham. The event, dedicated to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Shneersohn, leader of the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch movement, began in 2014 with 500 women making challah together. But like the


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Rebbe, Bleich and other leaders of several different Chabads in Eastern Massachusetts dreamed bigger. Daughters who came with their mothers, to generations of families who came together for the evening enjoyed the time spent with one another openly practicing an expression of their faith. “I think it’s amazing to see that last year there were 500, and now it’s grown to 1,000,” said Lily Grinberg of Natick, who was there with her mother, Lauren Grinberg. “That just shows how strong the Jewish community is and how passionate we are.” Moreover, this year is a Hakhel year, which happens once every seven years. “It is a time when all Jews of all walks of life come together,” said Grinberg. In the end, the massive group of women filled the hall with joyous music and a line that snaked through the tightly-packed tables and chairs, inviting everyone to join, before packing up their challah to take home and bake, or to refrigerate, as was the case for Judy Paige of Wellesley.

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Public Image, Ltd.’s Johnny (Rotten) Lydon rocks New York By Susie Davidson Shalom caught Public Image, Ltd.’s tour stop at the PlayStation Theater in New York on Nov. 17, prior to PiL’s appearance the following night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Bandleader John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of late-70s British punk pioneers The Sex Pistols fame, was in good form, or should we say, typically endearingly odious, Rotten form. The packed PlayStation crowd saluted and sang along, bouncing large balloons throughout. Why should Shalom readers care about Johnny Rotten? Because in 2010, he steadfastly refused to cave in to a widespread, vicious internet boycott, and Public Image, Ltd. played Israel. According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an independent research institute that focuses on public diplomacy and foreign policy, Lydon “has a reputation of loudly opposing politically correct niceties and calling things by their true name and character.” In JCPA’s 2014 report “The Rock and Roll Boycott of Israel,” Adam Shay cites an interview with Lydon on Sky News, where Lydon said that he definitely would play Israel. The interviewer then asked if that mean he was a Zionist or an anti-Palestinian, and Lydon responded that he was neither, and he plays to people. “You cannot use music politically in that way,” he said. “Now there’s been an awful lot of stuff spread on the Internet about how wrong it is of me to play Israel and how anti-Palestinian that is - No! Wrong! I’m playing to people!”

The JCPA report quotes a press conference in Tel Aviv, where Lydon was asked what he thought about bands that cancelled their concerts in Israel. “I think it’s disgusting,” he answered. “I think they shouldn’t have agreed in the first place if they were gonna back out in the second. Now this is due to some left-wing bullsh-t political pressure. “...I’m here to say, people of Israel: I support you 100%. As for your government, they can f*** off....I support no government anywhere in the entire world, and quite frankly, no government supports me. I am here because you are human beings like me. Hello, boys and girls!” Shay writes that punk leaders “tend to be relatively politically savvy and critical of political manipulation. As such, they are able to see through the ‘human rights’ facade of the boycott movement and call its bluff.” In a 2011 interview with the British newspaper The Independent, Lydon went a bit further politically: “If Elvis f*ing Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he’s suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him,” he told reporter Guy Adams. “But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they’re treated.” All we can say is, in the inimitable words of American rock trailblazer Chuck Berry, “Go, Johnny, Go!”

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Solidarity By Rebecca Housel, Ph.D. On November 19, 2015, 18-year old Ezra Schwartz from Sharon, Massachusetts was shot and killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Five other people were killed as well by a second Palestinian terrorist. On the same day in the West Bank, three Jews were killed and three injured after a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on cars sitting in traffic. One year ago, five Jewish worshippers including three Americans - were murdered inside a Jerusalem synagogue with meat cleavers during a Palestinian terrorist attack. All of these terrorist acts are condoned by Hamas in their founding charter, which includes killing Jews. For this reason, Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the vast majority of European countries, except the United Kingdom, China and Russia. And yet, Hamas is now the governing political party for Palestinians. As a result, Hamas enjoys an elevated non-member status with the United Nations while Israel has been banned from the Asia group. Israel also has no representation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the very same governing body that on October 21, 2015, voted on Jewish heritage sites like Rachel’s Tomb, declaring them Muslim - without any Jewish voice to even present a case or evidence to the contrary. In an interesting side note to UNESCO’s declaration of agency over Jews and our culture, the Orionid meteor show was at its peak on October 21st. Orionid meteors come from the Orion constellation and derive from debris particles from Halley’s Comet. The word ORION is also used as an anti-Semitic acronym that stands for “Our Race Is Our Nation.” It appears as a slogan on logos for groups like the Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi’s, as well as other white supremacist groups, including international sects.





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Winter 2015

Solidarity In looking at the history of annual terrorist attacks in Israel from 2000- an Israeli voice. 2015 (Johnston Archive), though there are consistent attacks throughout Jews and Israel are clearly not a priority in the global landscape the year, there appears to be a uniformity of clustered attacks during - that is nothing new. Hundreds of Jews are killed and/or injured mid-October and mid-November that often include multiple Jewish every year from Palestinian terrorist attacks, but there is nowhere deaths; nearly all of those attacks come from Palestinian sources. And near the same level of outrage at the unnecessary death of Jews in the United Nations has the gall to accuse Israel Israel. Jews in a synagogue in prayer were carved of “aggression and illegal measures” that affect up with meat cleavers by Palestinian terrorists in “Muslim freedom”? November 2014…how many hashtags claiming Ignorance is the excuse of the apathetic…. “solidarity” with Israel were produced on Twitter Do you know who sponsored the first draft of then? Nowhere near what I’ve seen in my feed for this farcical “resolution”? Six member-nations on “solidarite avec France.” UNESCO’s executive board, including Algeria, Terrorism is an outrage, no matter who’s killed, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United how many die or where the murders take place. Arab Emirates. All of which are predominantly There is no reason that is even remotely reasonable Muslim. for terrorist attacks, or to prescribe said attacks Is that a fair representation of countries to sponsor as part of a charter of a governing political body a resolution that involves Israeli properties and now allowed representation at the United Nations. well-established Jewish holy sites? Obviously, Nations are united alright…against Israel. It’s a equity is not a concern for UNESCO. disgusting display of legalized anti-Semitism that is From November 13-14, 2015, ISIS-organized being legitimized by a global organization claiming terrorist attacks in Paris killed 130 people. It to promote “unity.” was horrific, as if insanity ruled the world for American Jews that do not side with Israel are that night. The UN Security Council rightly living in a fantasy world. You will be just as approved counterterrorist measures against ISIS responsible for the downfall of your own people as after France penned an emergency resolution. those who support the inclusion of terrorist groups Ezra Schwartz z’l But from 2000-2005, over 1,100 Israelis were like Hamas in the global conversation for unity…a killed in similar Palestinian terrorist attacks; conversation that has banned Jews, by the way. that’s an average of 220 people a year. In the last two years alone, Je me tiens avec vous, France. But I also stand with Israel. Proudly. close to 100 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in Do you??? Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel. But the UN finds fault with Israel Dr. Rebecca Housel has been teaching in the college classroom for 20 when they take counterterrorist measures to defend the Jewish people. years. She is best known for her books that connect popular culture The same UN that just approved France’s plea to gain international to socio-political contexts as well as her appearances speaking on support of their defense against ISIS. And the same UN that keeps the subject at comic cons across the country. Housel also authors a Israel from being represented yet allows Muslim countries to come popular blog on her website that boasts over 700,000 readers. To learn up with “resolutions” for Jewish holy sites that do not even include more about Dr. Housel, please visit her website:

Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


Jews, Food, and Sustainability: T he Growing National Conversation Ask any group of Jews around a dinner table and they’ll all say the same thing: Jews and food have a long (and sometimes complicated) history. But it’s not just about our collective love of hummus, or the decades-long arguments about whose mom makes the best brisket. From our earliest days, we have discussed, dictated, and been obsessed with what we grow and consume. This has even produced great international debates, such as whose bagels are better: Montreal’s or NYC’s? But the conversation is, more and more, shifting to something more meta: How do our Jewish values influence our thoughts on local and sustainable agriculture? Some have labeled it the “new Jewish food movement.” It’s a logical continuation of the broader Jewish food conversation, as well as a subset of secular eating and awareness trends. All religion is interested in the idea of sustainability. A Wikipedia page states it thusly: “Sustainability is the capacity to endure.” Our current rabbinic tradition blossomed after the destruction of the second Temple, when the leaders were focused on the preservation of culture and community. We are a religion continually struggling to adapt to periods of exile, while still holding true to our values and rituals. But now, sustainability means not only preserving our faith - it means preserving our resources and nourishing our bodies. We live in the age of the internet, of technology that enables the global exchange of ideas in real time. Our agricultural systems feed millions, not just members of a small village. In the age of industry, these new systems often lack transparency, and we can often forget that we are indeed pieces of the puzzle. In reality, our food choices influence, and are influenced by, a wide variety of people, resources, and energy. What is amazing is about this current interest in the sustainability of our food choices is that the conversations are bringing diverse


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members of our communities together in new ways: rabbis who have never witnessed a shechita (ritual slaughter) sit with Jewish college students who spent their alternative spring break working with the Jewish Farm School. Together they are delving into discussions of food systems and justice - the result being new ways of thinking about both how we eat, and our responsibilities as global citizens. In 2006, Hazon hosted the first contemporary Jewish Food Conference, where some of these national conversations began. Since then, their organizational presence has grown, and tickets to their multi-day conference have regularly sold out. The energy and success of what Hazon is accomplishing on a national scale in the U.S. is mirrored locally. Jewish food lectures, festivals, and conferences emphasizing local and sustainable eating are popping up all over. In New England, Ganei Beantown has organized the Boston Jewish Food Conference for four years, and it keeps getting bigger and better. The question of “what does it mean to eat Jewishly?” has therefore narrowed to “what does it mean to eat Jewishly here?” The momentum and capacity of this ever-growing movement has left us poised to engage with the sometimes-challenging issues of applying Jewish agricultural law to today’s modern world, such as acknowledging the principles of Shmita (release) in our farms and gardens, and framing Jewish communal responsibility in a way that honors and feeds those in need. What makes these gatherings and conversations so powerful are the connections people are forming with others in their community whom they would never have connected with otherwise. They provide a space to find and build relationships with others who are thinking about nuances and conflicting ideas, and who are struggling to make the “best” decisions about how to nourish themselves and their community in a just and sustainable manner. Our Jewish conversations about food have always been complex. We are now at a special moment in time in which we can grow and build an even more amazing, and sustainable, tradition. Leora Mallach is the Co-Founder and D i r e c t o r o f G a n e i B e a n t o w n ( w w w. Join her on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Congregation Shaarei Tefillah in Newton Centre, for the fifth annual Boston Jewish Food Conference.

Winter 2015

Brookline Chai Center Paint-a-Menorah event at the Brookline Clayroom on November 22

CTeen Brookline chapter gathering on November 21

Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


Responding to Hate in Burlington On November 6, I attended a Muslim worship service for the first time in my life. Members of the Burlington Interfaith Clergy, State Rep. Ken Gordon and I were there to express our solidarity with the members of the Islamic Center in Burlington. As you may be aware, one side of their building was recently spray painted with the letters USA. The speeches and presentations at the service, for me, highlighted the parallels between our respective faiths. When the Imam spoke of the lessons of Adam, Noah and Abraham and the importance of forgiveness, the message was strikingly familiar to those of us from a Judeo-Christian background. The interfaith service and the rally we held two days before were opportunities for our community to unite around our common values. These were moments when people of good will demonstrated their compassion for those who are maligned simply because of their religion. I was particularly proud of how many members of the Jewish community came from far and wide to join Wednesday’s rally. With less than 24 hours’ notice, on a weekday morning, representatives from the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, and people from synagogues as far away as Newton, Wayland, and Westborough all came to show their support. An impressive number of Burlington residents, as well as members of area churches and other houses of worship, were also in attendance. As Jews, we know all too well what it is like to be the victims of prejudice, stereotyping and ignorance. We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and reach out to the oppressed because we know what it is like to be considered the stranger. The events of this


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past week were an opportunity for us to live out these values. I was so gratified to be able to make new friends and connections with my Muslim neighbors whom I never would have met had this not happened. My hope is that the result of this recent vandalism will be a renewed effort on the part of our entire community to reach out and learn about each other, debunk the myths that are rampant in our society, and come to appreciate each other as individuals and fellow citizens. There is so much Islamophobia in our society that this is particularly important for our Muslim brothers and sisters. I was shocked by the number of racist comments that were made online in response to news reports of the vandalism. My temple, Temple Shalom Emeth, three churches and the Islamic Center are all located on the same road in Burlington. Though we worship in different ways, in different languages, and at different times, we are all neighbors who share the same path through life. We face the same obstacles, the same roadblocks, the same forks in the road. All any of us wants is to live together in our country and travel through life in peace and security. Our nation is predicated on the belief that all are created equal. There is no “them.” There is only “us,” and from now on, every time I see the abbreviation USA, it will inspire me to do what I can to bring us all together. Susan Abramson is the rabbi at Temple Shalom Emeth, Burlington and chair of the Burlington Interfaith Clergy Association. She is the author of the Rabbi Rocketpower children’s books and Challah: A Chewish Guide to the Torah, available on

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A member of the French community One of my French friends recently wrote this to me: “I know you, and I am surprised by your silence after the Paris terrorist attacks.” Here is my answer: My compassion goes out to all the victims of terrorist actions and their families, no matter their nationality. I don’t feel, as a member of the French community, shocked and devastated by the recent events. For many years, I have been deeply concerned about the rise of terrorism in the world, and disgusted by the inaction of governments of affected countries. I feel that the media is contributing to this inertia by repeatedly broadcasting the empty words of political authorities, assuring the public that the ‘barbarians’ would be arrested and punished. What does the word solidarity mean? It means a unity of feeling or action among individuals based on similar interests or sympathies. Do you really hope that showing solidarity by uploading a symbol of France is enough? Do you really think that pacific gathering to mourn the victims of Paris will help and change something? Why is there no concrete action? If people were not manipulated like sheep, if they were But This Is What The Arbors Really Looks Like reacting like normal human beings, they would feel anger, The fun! The excitement! Come take a tour! and they would gather to request the decommissioning of inadequate authorities who are unable The all-inclusive Arbors experience allows our residents to protect their citizens. Instead, they would ask for the training to enjoy the peace of mind and security that comes with and recruiting of anti-terrorism troops in all major cities of the three healthy meals a day, medication management, world, in order to prevent mashousekeeping services, memory support and sive attacks on common areas. What do you think will happen 24-hour staffing. when the states of emergency in France or Belgium will end? Of course, terrorists will act Daily tours Monday through Friday again, in Berlin, Rome and 9:00-5:00. Call ahead for a personal appointment. Washington. If democracies don’t organize efficient defense programs, they The Arbors at Stoughton will rapidly decline. My only hope is that it is not too late. Isabelle Beck is a French at2121 Central Street torney who moved from Lyon Stoughton MA 02072 to the Boston area with her daughter two years ago. She is 781-344-0310 the owner of Your French Gift in Wellesley. Family Owned & Operated NW-CN13289696

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The Boston JCRC Collection: A Historical Gold Mine By Judith A. Garner The Boston Jewish Community Relations Council Collection (I123) is our most widely used collection for historical research. The collection contains 221 boxes of material dating from 1933 to 2002, and documents a wide range of issues that affected not only Boston’s Jewish community, but all residents of Greater Boston and beyond. Some of the material has an international scope, and includes documents concerning the rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism during the 1930s and 1940s, and the plight of Soviet Jewry during the Cold War years. The collection, which was initially accessioned by AJHS-NEA in 1993, is a gold mine for historians and contains documents not found anywhere else. Genealogists should keep in mind that this collection may contain inforA protest at a Soviet mation on ancestors who were involved in Circus performance Boston-area Jewish community activities. in Boston, 1975 The History of the Council Originally founded to address concerns about the increase in anti-Semitic attacks in primarily Jewish neighborhoods, the Associated Jewish Philanthropies (the forerunner to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies) organized an interim committee in 1938 to examine interfaith cooperation in Boston. After this committee dissolved, Associated Jewish Philanthropies organized the Central Advisory Committee during World War II. Led by Isaac Seligson, this committee established the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Boston. The Council consisted of representatives from key local Jewish organizations, such as B’nai B’rith, the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Workmen’s Circle, Young Israel, and the League of Jewish Women. The Council continually modified its goals and purpose to reflect the changing political and economic landscape. After World War II, its focus shifted to include Jewish representation in the non-sectarian community. The Council provided education on anti-Semitism and, later, civil rights.











The years preceding, during, and immediately following World War II were marked by virulent anti-Semitism in the Boston area, and nationally. To monitor the situation, Council members clandestinely attended meetings and rallies held by Fathers Coughlin and Feeney and other well-known anti-Semites. Transcripts of these meetings are in the collection. The Council also subscribed to many publications that carried false and inflammatory information about Jews, including publications created and endorsed by Coughlin and Feeney. The college quota system was another topic of much study during the early years of the Council. In the 1940s questionnaires were sent to alumni of local schools to assess the number of Jewish, African-American, and Italian students in classes from the early 1920s into the 1940s. The Council worked to eliminate the quota system and closely followed the public discussion leading to the passage of Massachusetts’s 1949 Fair Educational Practices Act, which required schools to admit students without regard to race, color, religion, creed, or national origin. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, council work also addressed religious liberties, intercultural education, Israel and the Middle East, civil liberties, immigration, and issues of discrimination. In the 1970s, council committees continued to focus on Middle East affairs, issues of church and state, human rights, and the status of Soviet Jewry. The Council planned Israel anniversary celebrations, but also closely monitored volatile situations such as Israel’s relationship with Palestine and the political climate regarding Israel in the United States. In addition, the Council focused on the plight of Soviet Jewry, educating and connecting Boston-area Jews to Jews trying to leave the Soviet Union for resettlement in Israel. Today the Council, now known as the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, continues the tradition of mobilizing the Jewish community around issues of social justice, and support for Israel and Jewish people around the globe.[1] This collection has been widely used by students, Ph.D. candidates, authors, and filmmakers. The material is in the process of being digitized, and over 72,000 documents are currently online and searchable through our digital archives. Anyone interested in learning more about this collection should visit our website at and click on the “collections” tab for the finding aid, or email us at [1] Sources for the historical portion of this article include the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council Collection and website, and Pioneers in Service: History of the Associated Jewish Philanthropies of Boston by Barbara Miller (Boston: Associated Jewish Philanthropies, 1956).







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Winter 2015


By Susie Davidson Sean Altman is calling his upcoming gig “a celebration of the birth of the most famous, albeit traitorous Jew.” For the tenth year in a row, his “unkosher comedy song concert,” a unique blend of bawdy satire called JEWMONGOUS, will be rockin’ and shockin’ Club Passim on Christmas Eve in Harvard Square. The side-splitting show has been performed throughout the US, Europe, and Israel, and once in China. Look for fun tunes like Altman’s classic Passover song “They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat),” which has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. “I’ll also be performing tracks from the new album I plan to release in Boston,” he promised Shalom. Altman, a native New Yorker whose father is a 45-year UMass Lowell physics professor, previously starred in the vocal group Rockapella, which has sung the national anthem at a Celtics game. He has been favorably reviewed in major media including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Jerusalem Post, which noted that he “writes hilarious and irreverent acoustic rock songs about his awakening Jewish awareness.” Altman has performed twice for President Obama at the White House Chanukah Party, and, as a volunteer with Musicians On Call, sings vocal standards by the bedside of hospital patients. Rockapella is best known for Altman’s theme song for the Emmywinning PBS-TV series “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?”, which is marking its 25th anniversary. JEWMONGOUS’ 10th Annual Holiday Comedy Songfest at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve, Thursday Dec 24, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., $18 advance, $20 day of show. All ages. For information, visit (617) 492-7679, http://www., or

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The Jewish Future By David Harris Seventy thinkers, leaders, and clergy were asked: “What will be the condition of the Jewish community 50 years from now?” Below is AJC Executive Director David Harris’s response: Let me be honest. I have no clue what the Jewish condition will be in the year 2065. In fact, I am hard-pressed to predict what things will look like tomorrow. Indeed, had I been asked to participate in a similar Commentary symposium in 1965, could I have foreseen the Six-Day War only two years later, and its aftermath? Or the astonishing success of the Soviet Jewry movement at a time when the word emigration was absent from the Kremlin’s lexicon? Or the downfall of the USSR and its satellites, and the rebirth of Jewish communities in places where Jewish life was assumed to be nearing its end? Or, on a related note, that nations such as Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania would one day speak of Israel as a “strategic” partner? Or that Germany would become the home of the fastest-growing Jewish community in the world? Or that Israel would sign peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994? Or the remarkable flourishing of U.S.-Israeli relations, even as France’s close ties with Israel withered? Or the recrudescence of anti-Semitism in Western Europe, fueled principally by elements of a growing Muslim presence and an extreme right-wing backlash to this immigration? Or Israel’s population more than tripling from 2.5 million to more than 8 million? Or the rescue of tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews, who for centuries dreamed of Zion but, in their isolation, thought they might be the only Jews on Earth?


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Winter 2015

The Jewish Future Or the toppling of the remaining barriers to full Jewish participation in American life, with Fortune 500 executive suites, Ivy League presidencies, and presidential candidacies now wide open to Jews? Or Israel’s foreign-policy pivot to Asia, with India as a showcase of new friendships? Or the emergence of the Internet, creating previously unimaginable forms of Jewish connectivity, JDate among them? Or the ordaining of women rabbis, the establishment of LGBT-friendly congregations, or the development of Chabad’s worldwide outreach network? No, I could not have foreseen these startling developments in 1965. So what is even remotely foreseeable from today’s vantage point? First, Israel will continue to grow and thrive. True, the religious, social, and ethnic fault lines in Israeli society will not suddenly disappear. But the state will somehow manage them and blaze a trail in the 21st century as a global, sought-after leader in entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, water management, counterterrorism, renewable energy, medical research, and breakthrough technologies. Second, while Israel’s neighborhood might possibly improve one day, affording new opportunities for regional cooperation, in the meantime the Jewish state will be ready for whatever ominous new threats surface from both state and non-state actors. As the story goes, God was so angry with the world that he announced, in two weeks’ time, a massive flood as punishment. On hearing this news, the French president told his citizens that the world would come to an end in 14 days, so there would be no more work, just joie de vivre, until the last minute. Meanwhile, the Israeli prime minister informed the Israeli people that “we have exactly two weeks to learn how to live underwater.” Third, the universal vaccine against anti-Semitism is unlikely to be discovered by 2065. For a while, many thought that post–World War II liberal democracy was the antidote, but the rise of Judeophobia in several Western countries, abetted by the receding memory of the Holocaust and its lessons, means that all bets are off. Fourth, America’s special ties with Israel will come under increasing challenge. There are seismic demographic changes happening in the

United States, many college students are being exposed to the BDS movement on campus, and, with the passage of time, fewer Americans are able to recall the events of 1967 and how Israel unexpectedly became an “occupying power.” Absent an Israeli - Palestinian peace accord, the battle for American public opinion will grow still more intense. Fifth, even as Jews confront the inevitable external challenges, there will be no shortage of internal debates and divisions that stretch the notion of am echad, “one people,” to the breaking point. To cite just one telling example, the fast-growing Haredi population at one end of the spectrum will be matched by the equally fast-growing population of Jews with an attenuated identity, two groups with essentially nothing in common. Then again, we’ve just about always been an argumentative and fractured people, sometimes, alas, to the point of self-destruction, so why should that suddenly change? And sixth, in 2065, Commentary will hold a symposium on the next 50 years of Jewish life, and the magazine will have no difficulty identifying another group of contributors willing to ignore the late Yogi Berra’s sage words: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” David Harris is the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee. This article was originally published at Huffington Post and Times of Israel on August 26, 2015.



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101 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02108 (617)423-1515 Fax (617)423-7147 E-Mail: • • 1. Please review the changes to your ads and listing below for the 2009 Pink Pages. 2. Fax or mail this proof back to production within 48 Hours at (617) 423-7147 with your signature if you approve. 3. If there are any corrections, please indicate the changes on this proof. If the proof is not signed and returned, the advertisement will be printed as is. On November 11, Veterans Day, Post 157 of the Jewish War Veterans of Metrowest sponsored a Poppy Fund Raiser for their “Veterans Helping Veterans” program. All proceeds go directly into support for our brothers. The event was at the Stop and Shops on Old Connecticut Path and on Temple Street in Framingham. S I M P L Y S E R V I N G I I Copy Approval Signature and Date Approved with CORRECTIONS The benefits from these funds enable the Jewish War Veterans of Metrowest to partner with some great supporters, who include Temple Beth Am, which prepares two meals a month, and organizations such (Please sign here) as the Elks of Framingham, and Mike Shaine from “Thanks to Yanks,” who are great contributors and supporters. Other notable supporters include Neal and Perry Bent, Ms. Leslie Fleisher, and Ms. Walls. Reminder Pictured above are some of the volunteers who helped collect E V E N T S Tto Credit A F Card F Customers Charges will appear on your Credit Cards as “M. Kennedy Publishing/Pink Pages”On AMEX as: “M.Leavitt, KennedyBernie Publishing” money: Charley Skoletsky, Richard Constant, Fred For All Your Serving N eeds Pike, Mel Botsian. Front row: Robert Bohmiller, Arnold Pinsley, 781 769 1900 Dan Schuldman, Joseph Rubinovitz, Hy Sokolov, and Commander Larry Herson.

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Winter 2015

“My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays” The time of year when families gather for reunions, dinners and parties also means the funniest family function around. Peter Fogel arrives in Boston for two weeks only, December 9 to 20, in Steve Solomon’s “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays!,” playing at the historic Regent Theatre in Arlington. Presented by Philip Roger Roy and Dana Matthow, the comedy chaos continues in this critically acclaimed sequel to Steve Solomon’s original, three-time award-winning hit, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy.” This hilarious one-man show follows Steve’s struggles to get home for the holidays. While trapped in the airport, Steve (played by Peter Fogel) goes through the hilarious craziness of dealing with the bureaucracy and the challenges of handling hysterical phone calls from his family. In a wonderfully funny performance, Fogel tackles the holidays, his adolescence, mixed marriage, ex-wives, dogs, cats, dieting, and dozens of other uproarious and endless relatable situations, each performed with dialects and wacky sound effects that only add to the hilarity of each story. And then there’s the holiday dinner at Grandma’s, where, if you’re under 55, you’re allowed to sit at the children’s table, and 35 over-fed people share one bathroom with no plunger. “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays!” plays for just two weeks at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington.

Winter 2015

SHOW TIMES: Wednesday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday, 7 p.m, Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at or via telephone at 781-646-4849. For group rates and information, call 1-888-264-1788. The Regent Theatre is wheelchair accessible. The Regent Theatre has free parking right across the street from the theatre on weeknights and Saturday after 6 p.m., and all day Sunday. About Peter J. Fogel: An awardwinning international sitcom writer, comedian, humorist, and published author who has performed in the United States, Canada and Australia, for over 25 years has been touring the USA for the past 2 years performing as Steve, in Steve Solomon’s My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy! as well as My Mother’s Italian... & I’m Home For The Holidays! Fogel is no stranger to theatrical audiences. He has worked on over twenty-two Television programs including “Comic Strip Live” Comedy on the Road”, “Married With Children” “Unhappily Ever After” “Chicago Sons” and “Men Behaving Badly!” He’s appeared on many major networks including: HBO, NBC MTV, PBS and A&E. Over the years, Fogel has shared the stage with Ray Romano, Jon Stewart, Robert Klein, Ed Asner, Harry Anderson and Dennis Miller to name just a few. His theatre credits include “Yentl,” “Ghosts of a Lonely Heart” and “Cocoa’s Cabaret and Burlesque.” - Shalom Magazine


Glass, Kafka brought to life in deathly, staged drama By Susie Davidson In the Boston Lyric Opera production “ln the Penal Colony,” prison officer David McFerrin sings reverently about the harrow, a spiked agricultural tool traditionally dragged across soil. Harrowing is an apt metaphor for the opera by Philip Glass, with a libretto by Rudolph Wurlitzer, that is based on the 1914 Franz Kafka novel. Directed by R. B. Schlather and staged at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, it was equally affecting and unforgettable. The harrow, in this case, is the integral part of a macabre execution device that fatally etches the alleged infraction of a condemned prisoner across his nude body, in his own blood. The chilling lines of “Officer” McFerrin, and “Visitor” Neil Ferreia, widely acclaimed respective baritone and tenor artists, and the condemned “Man” Yury Yanowsky, a former Boston Ballet soloist, principal and principal guest artist, also appeared on a black rectangular display. The props were sparse, just a ladder and said machine. The signature cyclical sounds of Philip Glass, performed by a five-piece string chamber ensemble, filled the immense, high-ceilinged, circular and fortresslike Cyclorama and prepared the audience for the mesmerizing, engrossing theatrics to come. From the start, The Visitor provided a distanced moral counterpoint, as The Officer described in great detail the mechanisms of the death Creating Positive while pining for a previous, possibly totalitarian world, Change Through Music chamber, helmed by a dictatorial prison commander, that celebrated and feted the gruesome ritual. He alluded to the fact that the new commander For musicians 11 to 18 years old Spring Session starts the week of February 23 22 did not view it in the same way: 11-August Summer Camp 2-4 week options from July 6 to July 316 “Should a life’s work perish because of a new commander?” Critics have posited that perhaps Kafka was writing about the crum• Band Class • Community • Open Mic • Songwriting Engage Night bling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to the 1918 Czechoslovakia • Website Design • Benefit Concert • Day Trips declaration of independence. But Kafka himself remains an enigmatic • Workshops • Busking • Music Videos figure, unknown in his own lifetime before shortly emerging, after Register at his death at age 40 from tuberculosis, as the greatest literary figure 781-956-4281 • of the region. The condemned man had failed to rise at 2 a.m one night for his hourly salute to the commander. And instead of asking for forgiveness, he hkcPluggedInTeen1502.indd 1 1/16/15 8:03 AM grabbed the captain’s leg, asking him to dispose of the observance altogether. “There was no point in questioning him, as he would have lied,” said The Officer. “Guilt is always beyond doubt.” Glass’ notes rose and fell, sped up and slowed down in cohort with the highly emotional tempo of the verses. A Prudential financial professional can assess your situation, clarify your goals and help you build a secure future. To learn more, call me today. The Visitor’s polite voice of reason was no match for the dedication Glenn A. Levine, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP® of The Officer to his beloved Commandant and the world he had reFinancial Professional presented. “Even if you are right,” McFerrin implored, “we must try CA License #0B69786 anything to preserve the old tradition.”


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Winter 2015

Glass, Kafka brought to life in deathly, staged drama The words on the display flickered and malfunctioned to reflect the machine’s breakdown before the tragic ending, with The Officer himself climbing into the machine. Viewed on a Sunday afternoon, the earlier sunset lent somber hues to the pathos. “I oppose,” The Visitor finally declared, facing the seats. “Do you want an explanation?” he asks, seemingly both to The Officer - and The Audience. “Have faith and abide,” is The Officer’s ending credo. According to the New York-based YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Kafka, (1883-1924), “Kafka took an interest in and learned Jewish languages later in life, and his diaries and personal correspondence reveal a sustained reflection on his identity as a Jew and on East European Jewish life.” However, as Czech Jews of his family’s class were primarily focused on assimilation into higher society, German was the language spoken at home, and Kafka wrote little of his Jewish background. Upon attending a Yiddish theater troupe from Poland, however, Kafka befriended its leader, Yitskhok Löwy, began to read histories of Yiddish literature, and tried to learn Yiddish. “In 1912,” reports YIVO, “he arranged for a presentation of Yiddish dramatic readings by Löwy in Prague, and himself delivered an introductory talk about the Yiddish language that reveals the

Yury Yanowsky, Neal Ferreira, and David McFerrin in “In the Penal Colony.” Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

complexity of his thinking about Jewishness at the time.” Kafka entrusted much of his work to Jewish writer Max Brod, who ignored his request to destroy them after his death. Instead, Brod, a Zionist, arranged for their publication. Kafka was twice engaged to a Berlin Jewish woman, Felice Bauer, but the two never married. He did suggest she volunteer for a Zionist organization that assisted East European Jewish refugees in Berlin, and he studied Hebrew and before his death, made plans to immigrate to Palestine with Dora Dymant, an East European Orthodox Jew. Philip Glass’ operas, symphonies and compositions are heralded across generations at opera houses, concert halls, dance stages, and in film and popular music. Glass, a Baltimore native who holds a bachelor’s degree in math and philosophy from the University of Chicago and a master’s in composition from Juilliard ­School, told Shalom in an earlier interview that his father, a second cousin of Al Jolson, owned a record store. “I grew up among Holocaust survivors,” he said, noting that mother would house World War II refugees. Glass, who said he was bar mitzvahed at the end of the 1940s and is a cousin of NPR’s Ira Glass, has played in an open-air theater in Tel Aviv, and in Jerusalem. He belongs to and swims regularly at the YMHA in New York. BLO, founded in 1976, is New England’s leading, fully-professional opera company.

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Winter 2015

Sara’s Voice

By Marjorie Short Rabbi Lawrence Kushner once wrote that each lifetime is pieces of a puzzle, though some have more pieces and are more difficult to assemble than others. One life that was to be put together was that of Sara Rashina, 1920-1941, of Riga Latvia, who was the first wife of Deborah Shelkan Remis’ father. Remis, from Swampscott, Mass., a gifted writer and Holocaust educator as well as a medical school graduate, had traced her father’s life in Germany. But now, she decided to begin another journey to piece together the Anna Smulowitz and life of his first wife, Sara Rashina, a violin Deborah Shelkan Remis prodigy from Riga, Latvia who died during the Holocaust, 1941. In order to better understand Sara’s life, Remis made the decision to visit Latvia, to collect the needed related documents from the Latvian Archives, newspaper articles, and old concert programs, and to search for as many people as possible who may have remembered Rashina. The daughter of a watchmaker, Rashina first performed a violin concert in Jelgava, Latvia at the age of 12. From there, she went on to perform concerts throughout Latvia, as well as in Paris, London and Warsaw, before her life was cut short by the Holocaust. Recognized for outstanding talent and exceptional musical style, Rashina’s life had been memorialized in Latvia, in news articles as well as in several legends that grew out of her young fame. For many years, Remis had thought about ways to tell Rashina’s story, wondering how she could best pay tribute to her. Being a writer, she initially thought it could be a memoir, but if so, she would need to learn more about Rashina’s early life. Eventually, she realized that the most appropriate way to proceed would be to produce a violin concert that would present musical selections of pieces that Rashina had performed during her various concerts. With partial sponsorship from the Paulson Fund of Temple Ahavat Achim, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an endowed fund for development of community programs, and a grant from Temple Sinai, Swampscott, Shelkan Remis was able to travel to Latvia and explore Sara’s concert background as well as to write and produce a violin program, “Sara’s Voice, sotto voce” a theatrical violin concert

narrated by Shelkan Remis on. Sunday, October 18 was the opening production at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, with its beautiful glass background looking onto the Rockport Harbor. The sold out concert was marvelously performed by Diana Cohen, violinist and Roman Ravinovich, pianist with narration by Deborah Shelkan Remis. Prior to the concert, Shelkan Remis spoke at Brooksby Village Retirement Community, Peabody, presenting background about herself and what she had obtained from her explorations in Latvia, including information about Sara and how the Shalin Liu concert came to be. Marjorie Short, Professor Emeritus, Middlesex Community College is a researcher on Massachusetts Jewish historical topics.

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Winter 2015 - Shalom Magazine


From Best-Selling Author of From Central Park to Sinai & 2020 Vision


Working Toward Moshiach

A book by Roy S. Neuberger Reviewed by Fern Sidman One of the fundamental concepts in Torah Judaism is our collective redemption. Hardly a day passes that we do not find ourselves pleading to G-d to send Moshiach. And this is happening with more and more urgency, as worldwide events become increasingly chaotic and frightening. But many of us remain confused and perplexed about what “sending Moshiach” AN INSPIRATIONAL COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ON PREPARING OURSELVES FOR THE FINAL REDEMPTION really means. Foreword by Rabbi Pinchos Lipshutz, Publisher of Yated Ne’eman What is Redemption all about, for the Jews and for the world? In his fourth book, author Roy Neuberger opens new vistas in understanding what Redemption really means. Aptly named “Working Towards Moshiach” and compiled in the order of the weekly Torah portion and the Jewish holidays, Neuberger’s new book offers the reader a compendium of his weekly writings as they have appeared - complete with his own photographs - over the last six years in the newspaper Yated Ne’eman. Throughout this time period, it is clear that Neuberger evolved into the consummate raconteur. Captivating the reader with scintillating narratives of his extensive travels across America and Israel as well as Eastern and Central Europe, he spotlights the human power to rise against all odds and the remarkable process by which Jews who were formerly distant from their tradition have returned to their ancient heritage. Additionally, the book offers profiles of remarkable personalities, who – despite political, religious and cultural adversity – have ignited their souls in ways that were hitherto never thought possible. It seems that Neuberger is telling us that the way to hasten Moshiach’s arrival, and save ourselves in the process, translates into attaching ourselves to G-d through sincerity in prayer, learning Torah as an act of personal lifesaving, and actualizing the unity of the Jewish people through mutual acts of kindness.



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Neuberger generously peppers this book with quotes from the Torah, the Psalms, the Prophets and classic Jewish sources, which bring home the fact that Biblical prophesies and the words of the Rabbis are referring directly to our times. “The Biblical Prophets told us thousands of years ago that, following a chaotic climax to world history, the world will return to spiritual tranquility and all mankind will once again recognize the existence of our Creator,” writes Neuberger. His writing actually enables us to listen for the “footsteps of Moshiach.” Whether he is discussing increasingly hostile anti-Semitism or frightening natural phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis, Neuberger offers trenchant insights into precisely what these “wake up calls” may mean. Full disclosure is something that comes as second nature to this author. He recounts the fears that engulfed him in the wealthy, secular lifestyle of his New York City childhood. With great fervor he tells of his battles to make sense of life, his realization that the secular “values” of his youth were not values at all, his trip - accompanied by his devoted wife -- through lifestyle after lifestyle, culminating in the day - actually the middle of the night - when he finally realized that he needed to believe in G-d in order to survive. That realization led, years later, to Newburgh, New York, where he and his wife were introduced to Torah Judaism by the legendary Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. They became regular attendees at her Torah classes and aided in her outreach work. Neuberger and his wife thus embarked on a journey toward becoming workers in the vineyards of Torah, trying to give over to others the drama of their own spiritual odyssey. “I remember the relief,” he writes, “when we came back to Torah. Every action in our lives was suddenly under the trustworthy direction of the Master of the Universe; nothing was left to chance. Can you imagine the comfort: to escape from the chaos, to come home to the warmth of a Jewish home where the Presence of G-d resides?” Neuberger and his wife wanted to “express our thanks for what G-d gave us; to speak to others about what we had experienced,” and so they became sought-after speakers, crafting their addresses to diverse audiences around the globe. Each person we meet in Neuberger’s compelling book serves to catapult us to the loftiest of levels. Whether it be Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, or Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, exuberant audiences of students attending their programs around the world, or Jews in Odessa, Kiev, Vilnius, or Tbilisi, we glean an unshakable hope that Moshiach’s arrival is imminent. We seem to hear him knocking at the door; waiting for us to let him in. Neuberger writes: “Wherever Torah is increased, peace comes to the world. As it says, ‘Torah scholars increase peace in the world... Abundant peace to those who love your Torah....’” (Tractate Berochos 64a) Neuberger’s passionate voice also gives us a deeper appreciation of the greatness of G-d, offering insights into the physical beauty of our planet, and especially the Land of Israel. In these pages, you can read about encounters with a rooster, a wild boar, or the glory of a mountain range. And what does it all have to do with “Working Toward Moshiach”? “Clearly,” Neuberger writes, “redemption is at hand. All the predicted signs are coming to pass in our own day.” The stories in this thick volume seem to leap off the pages and into the heart and soul of the reader. Neuberger’s voice is replete with the erudition of a Torah scholar, a formidable grasp of logic, as well as a palpable understanding, passion and compassion. There is more than a good chance that this book will not make it to the bookcase to collect dust. Readers will find themselves keeping it close at hand, referring back to its prescient words as we all prepare for the advent of Moshiach, soon – we hope! – in our own days! Winter 2015

BOOKS The Jewish Fact Finder, New Edition By Yaffa Ganz This is the kind of book I wish I had while going to religious school. With all the Jewish information filed on an easy to browse and compact format, it is guaranteed to inform, enrich and stimulate readers to learn more about Judaism. This revised and updated edition contains everything from Torah to Talmud to Temple; from prophets to plagues to prayers; seasons and cities; measurements and mountains; and lots more, designed to be available right at your fingertips. A fundamental book for every Jewish home, it is also an essential quickreference guide for students, young and old, and for their parents and teachers as well.

Mitzvah Kids: Learning and Laughing Throughout the Jewish Year By Michal Goren

Noach and the Flood By Rabbi Mordechai Chalamish Here is the full story of Noach - based on the Torah, Gemara, Midrash, and their commentaries - as an incredible experience that makes learning fun! Sixty pages of full-color drawings bring to life the deeds of Noach and his family, their building and living in the ark, and the actions of the entire generation that was destroyed. The culmination of years of effort, this book is an outstanding addition to any child’s library, featuring a wonderful combination of comprehensive Torah content, engaging text, and stunning illustrations. Complete with annotated sources, this volume will delight children of all ages - and their parents, too.


A popular feature of the London Jewish Tribune, here are more than 90 color cartoons that will make your child chuckle throughout the Jewish year! Whether it’s Shabbos, Yom Tov, or an ordinary day of the week, come join the Mitzvah Kids as they teach Torah lessons in a really fun way.

Winter 2015

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An Exploration o f Melech HaOla m

Chanukah is SIZZLING with some great events 12/5 - Chanukah and Havdalah with Young Downtown Families 12/10 - Donut Tasting with Union Sqaure Donut Owner Josh Danoff 12/11 - Havurah on the Hill Young Adult Services


Rabbi Katy Z. Allen The blessings for Chanukah, like all our blessings, begin with the words “Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam / Blessed are You, Adonai our G!d, King of the World.” With our modern sensibilities, G-d as King of the World can be a challenging image for many to relate to. Often the word melech is translated as “Ruler,” or “Sovereign,” instead of “King,” to try to soften the impact that “King” might have. But since people may also have issues with these images as a way to think about G-d, some modern prayer books use other words, such as “Eternal One,” that are not direct translations. Watching the Chanukah candles burning, does thinking about G-d as King resonate for you? If you struggle with this image, delving into the meaning of the word melech can provide support for thinking about it in a different way. What do the Hebrew-English dictionaries - Biblical, post-Biblical, and modern - tell us about the word melech? Here are some of the answers. The word melech has the connotation of supreme power. A melech rules alone, and the role is inherited. There is no democratic procedure involved. There are two different three-letter Hebrew roots for melech. One has the meanings so far discussed. The other has the meaning of “counselor.” Taken all together, these various meanings begin to paint a more complex picture of the word melech. G-d as a supreme power. G-d as the only one with that supreme power. Nobody choosing which god will be G-d - G-d just is. G-d as counselor, the one who guides us. Does this fit better with your understanding and experience of G-d? It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to describe what G-d is, for words cannot fully express what is so vast and yet so tiny, both through space and through time. But we may know in our hearts that G-d’s presence is hovering within us and around us. With a more complex understanding of the word melech, it is possible to envision G-d - melech ha’olam, King of the Universe - hovering, encircling, holding the entire Earth, the entire Universe. All of this allows a deeper meaning to resonate. As we light the hanukkiah and chant the blessings, when arriving at Melech Ha’Olam, we can allow our imaginations to embrace the One and Only Source of all that is, encompassing time and space, present because, just because, and there for us to tap into, in order to find strength and compassion and wisdom and healing and courage. This Chanukah, may we open our hearts to the image of melech ha’olam, to embrace it as a rich addition to our prayer life, and by so doing, may we find new depths of faith and strength. Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma’yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope and a chaplain at Caregroup Parmenter Hospice in Wayland. She blogs at

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Winter 2015

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Winter 2015