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Southern Jewish Life 3747 West Esplanade, 3rd Floor Metairie, LA 70002

Volume 27 Issue 8

August 2017


Southern Jewish Life

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2 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

shalom y’all shalom y’all shalom y’all When we first heard that a Louisiana congressman was being condemned for a video he filmed at Auschwitz (see page 14), the first thought was “what stupid thing did he say?” Did he do one of those stupid comparisons of abortion in the United States to the Holocaust? Or worse, heaven forbid, say something factually erroneous that either was a form of Holocaust denial or played into the deniers’ hands? It was with that trepidation that we watched the five-minute video, waiting for the bombshell. What did he say to provoke such a firestorm? Not much, as it turns out. Rep. Clay Higgins’ big sin was filming less than a minute of the footage inside one of the gas chambers, where he spoke quietly with seemingly no one else around. As was rather forcefully pointed out after the video’s release, the gas chambers have signs asking for silence while inside, as a show of respect for those who were murdered there. Recently there has been a debate over the propriety of smiling selfies at concentration camps, and this seemed more like an extension of that debate. Filming inside the gas chamber may not have been the smartest move, but the umbrage seems way out of proportion. Some have condemned the video as politicizing the Holocaust, using Auschwitz for self-serving reasons. Perhaps, but politicians always use visits to significant sites for aims that seem political, whether or not they actually are. One wonders how much of the criticism comes from the fact that Higgins, described as the “Cajun John Wayne,” is a Republican who is a bit… shall we say… quirky, with a history of speaking his mind, such as his June “kill them all” comment

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about radicalized Muslims after a London terror attack. Was it more about the messenger than the message? What was Higgins’ message in the video? The dangers of unchecked evil and the need to be vigilant against it, so a Holocaust does not happen again. That’s pretty much the point every Holocaust education program tries to make. One may quibble with Higgins over the forms vigilance should take, and certainly filming inside the gas chamber was ill-advised. But in the pantheon of insults and slights seen in recent months, from the Jews kicked out of the Chicago Dyke March and other left-wing causes, to anti-Semitic attacks, ongoing terrorism and other items that should draw the community’s attention, this well-intentioned if improperly done video should be far down the outrage list.

that homebound community members could have the opportunity to not only listen to these services, but also be able to view them live on the internet, my family and I jumped at the chance to help make this happen,” said Sandy Levy. “We are grateful to the Ferber Family of Houma Foundation and to the Levy family for their generous underwriting of this project,” said EllenRae Shalett, executive director of Temple Sinai. Broadcasts on WRBH-FM (88.3) or wrbh. com will be on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. for Rosh Hashanah, and Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. for Kol Nidre. Livestreams for Rosh Hashanah will be at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, 10 a.m. on Sept. 21 and 2 p.m. for the children’s service. Yom Kippur livestreams will be at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 10 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2 p.m. for the children’s service and 3 p.m. for the afternoon service and Yizkor.

A correction: Due to a production error, the captions for two of the photos in last issue’s New Orleans Jewish Family Service Rhythm and Soul Gala article were switched. The correct captions are here — 3: Marjorie Bissinger, Sanford Pailet and Anne Gauthier. 6: Carol Wise, Bruce and Judge Miriam Waltzer.



Temple Sinai has High Holy Days service broadcasts, live streaming The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana announced that through the generosity of the Ferber Family of Houma Foundation and the Levy Family Fund, High Holy Days services at Temple Sinai will be accessible on the radio and internet for members of the Jewish community who are unable to attend services. The Ferber Family of Houma Foundation, a JEF supporting foundation, has been underwriting radio broadcasts of Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre services since 1998. Dora Ferber, who was a native of Houma, but had many friends in New Orleans and was a member of Temple Sinai, started funding the broadcasts during her lifetime. The legacy she created continues to support this project. Services will also be live streamed at www. by Sandy Levy, her son Jonathan Levy, and daughter and son-in-law Lauren and Scott Neustadter through the Levy Family Donor Advised Fund at JEF. “When we realized



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rivka Epstein, Nathan Klein, Tally Werthan, Bebe Hudson, Belle Freitag, Claire Yates, Doug Brook BIRMINGHAM OFFICE P.O. Box 130052, Birmingham, AL 35213 14 Office Park Circle #104 Birmingham, AL 35223 205/870.7889 NEW ORLEANS OFFICE 3747 West Esplanade, 3rd Floor Metairie, LA 70002 504/780.5615 TOLL-FREE 866/446.5894 FAX 866/392.7750 ADVERTISING Advertising inquiries to 205/870.7889 for Lee Green, or Annetta Dolowitz, Media kit, rates available upon request SUBSCRIPTIONS It has always been our goal to provide a large-community quality publication to all communities of the South. To that end, our commitment includes mailing to every Jewish household in the region (AL, LA, MS, NW FL), without a subscription fee. Outside the area, subscriptions are $25/year, $40/two years. Subscribe via, call 205/870.7889 or mail payment to the address above. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. Views expressed in SJL are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. SJL makes no claims as to the Kashrut of its advertisers, and retains the right to refuse any advertisement. Documenting this community, a community we are members of and active within, is our passion. We love what we do, and who we do it for.

4 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

agenda interesting bits & can’t miss events

A delegation from the National Federation of Temple Youth visited the Mississippi Delta, including a stop at Ahavath Rayim in Greenwood, and dinner with Gail Goldberg and family.

“Free the Tatas” Disco Ball raising breast cancer awareness Event is part of Hadassah New Orleans’ centennial year A body painting disco dancing event to “Free the Tatas” will honor Cathy Bart and Judy Lieberman while raising awareness and support for Hadassah’s breast cancer and genetic research programs. The Sept. 9 event at The Cannery also is part of the centennial year celebration for Hadassah New Orleans. The Disco Ball will include “The Big Reveal” of artworks from Paint Day. On March 19, 18 volunteer models, many of whom are breast cancer survivors, had their torsos painted by local, well-known artists at Northshore Jewish Congregation. They were then photographed, “baring it all for A.R.T. — Awareness, Research, Treatment.” Participating artists included Aidi Kansas, Madalyn Goff, Marilyn Cothren, Gretchen Armbruster, Tracy Hammill, Craig Tracy, Brittney Peloquin, Colleen Hickey, Teri Brasher, Aimee Farnet, Pam Soileau, Ben Benson, Jenny Bell Gremillion, Monica Kelly, Meghan Davis, Sarah Early, Emory Nolan, Lai Xiao and Susan Gisleson. The Disco Ball will also include an auction featuring Chuck Mutz from The Black Tie Auctioneer. Entertainment will be provided by

Crescent City DJ, with a special performance by Trixie Minx. The event will feature the cuisine of around 30 local restaurants, including Brick Oven Café, Byblos, Café Equator, Caffé Caffé, Casablanca, Cool Brew coffee by New Orleans Coffee Co., Copeland’s of New Orleans, Crêpes á la Carte, Fausto’s Bistro, Five Happiness Restaurant, Joey K’s Restaurant, Kosher Cajun, Lebanon’s Café, Lil Dizzy’s Café, Louisiana Specialty Drinks, Martin Wine Cellar, Maurice French Pastries, Melanie Blitz Catering, Mikimoto Japanese Restaurant, Parkway Bakery, Pho Orchid, Puerto Rico Coffee Inc., Red Dog Diner, Riccobono’s Peppermill, Ristorante Filippo, Rommel Catering, Stein’s Market and Deli, Toast, Vincent’s Italian Cuisine, and Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. Bart and Lieberman said they and many other family members carry the BRCA2 gene, and they have taken proactive measures to decrease their breast cancer risk. With support for the event, they hope to “reach out to many others to show that we are all connected, not only by genetics but by our desire to make a difference in the lives of so many of us who have been touched in one way or another by this disease.”

On Aug. 17, there will be the last Free the Tatas social in a series of events leading up to the Disco Ball. The social will be at Cava starting at 6:30 p.m., with drink specials and appetizers to sample. For the Disco Ball, “Good Vibes” tickets for age 40 and younger are $75, $85 after Aug. 15. “Rock On” general tickets are $136, $150 after Aug. 15. Patron tickets start at $250 and include a commemorative poster. There is also a $36 “Donation for a Friend” opportunity to honor or memorialize a friend. Additional names are $18. August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 5

agenda Tolmas Trust gives boost to Jewish Family Service’s counseling programs Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans announced the receipt of a “generous donation” from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust to support counseling services for children and families. The donation primarily supports an established partnership between JFS and the Jewish Community Day School in Metairie, to offer on-site counseling services to students, parents, faculty and staff. The donation also supports counseling services to children and families at the JFS counseling centers in Metairie and the Northshore, plus Girl Power workshops designed to build self-esteem and social skills in girls ages 8 to 14. “This donation will have a substantial positive impact on local children and families in the coming year. The support of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust allows JFS to continue our important partnership with the Jewish Community Day School and provide affordable, professional guidance and support to the community,” said JFS Executive Director Roselle Ungar. In his will, Tolmas, a lifelong resident of New Orleans, established the charitable trust to support charitable organizations with their missions of helping others.

Torah Academy implements new curricula, enhances technology

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As Torah Academy in Metairie opens its doors for the new year, the elementary school has several changes, including a new curriculum. For reading and English Language Arts instruction, the school will be using Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop for writing, literature and reading comprehension, and Spell to Write and Read for phonics instruction. They will be using the Fountas and Pinnel reading assessment system to assess each student’s individual reading progress at regular intervals. For mathematics instruction, they will be using Eureka. This curriculum was developed especially for the state of New York in response to the development of Common Core. Eureka is used widely throughout the U.S. For Hebrew instruction, Torah Academy is implementing the Tal Am curriculum, which is based on years of research on the principles of language development and learning patterns, and is used in 357 schools worldwide. The goal is to give students the tools to be fluent in Hebrew language when they graduate. Veteran music teacher Charlene Gubitz is joining the staff. For Early Childhood, she will run a music and movement class centered around the Jewish holidays and content the students are learning in school. Elementary students will learn how to play the ukulele, and will have an introduction to many other instruments. Early Childhood students will have a Yoga class where they will learn to practice mindfulness, which helps both children and adults become self aware. There are also several technology enhancements. After a computer program was launched in the elementary school last year, each classroom will be equipped with Chromebooks. Torah Academy is working with educational technology expert Stew Greenberg of Nassau County to implement a technology curriculum that will enhance both general studies and Judaic curriculum. Early Childhood and Kindergarten will have iPads in their classrooms as a teaching tool, and all elementary classes will also have iPads for use with the school’s education app. The SMART boards are also being upgraded. The Early Childhood program is for ages 6 weeks to 5 years, and the elementary school goes through eighth grade.

agenda Rescheduled Marthe Cohn event also announced for Metairie Last month, it was announced that the Baton Rouge talk by 97-year-old Marthe Cohn, “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany,” which was postponed on May 10, has been rescheduled for Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Lod Cook Alumni Center. Tickets to the Baton Rouge talk are $20 an include a dessert buffet. VIP tickets are $180, including a signed book and two VIP seats. Cohn’s New Orleans talk has also been rescheduled, for Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m., at the Chabad Center in Metairie. Tickets are $10, $18 after Sept. 7. Refreshments will be served. During World War II, Cohn posed as a German Christian nurse looking for a missing fiance, going to different groups of soldiers in her quest, while she was really spying on the Germans for the Allies. Reservations can be made on the respective Chabad websites.

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Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans will host Adoption 101, an adoption information panel, on Aug. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the town Jewish Community Center. Newman seeks to enroll qualified students regardless of race, gender, or creed. The panel will feature an adoption social worker, an adoption attorney, Need-based financial aid is available. a fertility specialist, a local clergy member, an adult adoptee and an adoptive parent. Panelists will discuss the process of adoption, share personal stories and answer questions. SouthernJewish.indd 1 7/21/17 This event is free and open to the public

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The annual Harriet Kugler Memorial Mah Jongg Tournament will be held on Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. There will be a catered lunch, and non-members are invited to register. Just in time for the High Holy Days, the Chabad Center in Metairie is holding a Hebrew reading beginner’s crash course for five Tuesdays, starting Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Mendel Ceitlin will lead the course. Registration is $60, which includes the textbook. Touro Synagogue will begin the annual Elul Walks in the Park, leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Every Wednesday from Aug. 23 to Sept. 13 starting at 8 a.m., walkers will have conversations and contemplations in Audubon Park, meeting at the St. Charles entrance. Strollers and dogs are welcome. Poet and writer Benjamin Morris will read from and discuss his new book, “Ecotone,” at the next Morris Bart Sr. Lecture Series event, Sept. 11 at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. The collection was created when he was in residence at A Studio in the Woods in Algiers. It gives voice to the endangered forest landscape of coastal Louisiana, and is accompanied by the surreal, atmospheric paintings of Myrtle von Damitz. Lunch will be served at the 11:45 a.m. event. Reservations are requested by Sept. 7 and there is no charge for members, $10 for non-members. On Aug. 18, Touro Synagogue will have LGBTQ Shabbat at the 6 p.m. service. Touro is the August host for the joint summer Reform services, with Temple Sinai and Gates of Prayer. Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have a Guys Night Out, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at Beachcorner Bar and Grill on Canal Street. Brotherhood will provide the appetizers.

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 7

agenda On Aug. 18, the incoming chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Arnie Fielkow, will be the dinner speaker following Shabbat services at Beth Israel in Metairie. Fielkow is scheduled to assume his role at the Federation on Aug. 15. The service will be at 7 p.m. Dinner reservations are $18 for adult members, $9 per child; $25 and $18 respectively for non-members. Children 5 and under are free. Reservations are requested by Aug. 16. Shir Chadash in Metairie will hold a Yiddish Song Night on Aug. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. Jennie Lavine will facilitate the sing-along and listening party. Light percussion will be provided, and other instruments are welcome. An Israeli folk dancing group is starting at B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge. Led by David Kirshner, it is open to novices and experienced dancers, or to those who just want to come and enjoy the music. The group will meet every other Sunday at 7 p.m., starting Sept. 17. Temple Sinai in New Orleans will have its annual Sisterhood Attic Sale on Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Aug. 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are available for $10, granting early-bird entry at 8 a.m. on Aug. 20. Donations are accepted until Aug. 17. JNOLA’s Chai Society will “get spirited” on Aug. 24 with a celebration at 524 Metairie Road, starting at 7 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a special spirits demonstration, with music by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. JNOLA serves members of the Jewish community ages 21 to 45, and the Chai Society consists of those who donate at least $180 annually to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans’ campaign. Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have “An Evening with Trader Joe’s,” Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. The evening begins with a wine and cheese tasting, with nine of Trader Joe’s select wines. Havdalah will follow the wine tasting, then there will be a three-course dinner. The event is the annual kickoff for the congregation’s Brotherhood. Reservations are $30 per person, and are due by Aug. 14. The Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge will have its annual CommUNITY Prayer Breakfast, “Listen: With Hearts Wide Open,” Sept. 7 at 7 a.m. at Boudreaux’s. Tickets are $20 and are available at the B’nai Israel office. The next Morris Bart Sr. Lecture at the Uptown Jewish Community Center in New Orleans will feature Casey Love of Tulane University, presenting “Immigrants in America: Myths, Realities and Prospects for Policy Reform,” Aug. 14 at 11:45 a.m. Lunch is available with reservations by Aug. 10. There is no charge for members, non-members are $10. Rabbi Yossi Friedman from Chabad of Alabama will give a presentation on the Jewish view of the afterlife, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at Chabad of Louisiana, Uptown. The program, part of Project Talmud Summer, is open to all and includes a dessert buffet. Suggested donation is $10. Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans will present a workshop, “LGBTQ 101: An Overview of Sexual and Gender Diversity,” Aug. 18 from 8:45 a.m. to noon at its Metairie office. Carrie Patterson of Diversity House will be the presenter. Attendees can earn 3 General CEUs for LCA and 3 Clinical CEUs for LABSWE. There will be a meeting about the relaunch of the Crescent City Sanctuary, Aug. 23 at noon at Temple Sinai in New Orleans. The Sanctuary is a new interfaith network working to support homeless LGBT youth, partnering with various individuals and organizations to provide resources, housing, and healing opportunities. Lunch will be served at the meeting, which will detail the group’s progress over the last year. The Monday Movies in Metairie series concludes its summer with “Chariots of Fire,” Aug. 28 at 7 p.m., at Shir Chadash. The film is free and open to the community. 8 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017


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An area of New Orleans with several major museums will be the new home for the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. During a presentation at Temple Sinai in New Orleans on July 28, the location of 818 Howard Street was announced, along with a projected timeline of 2019 for the museum to open. The July 28 presentation was also an introduction of the museum’s new director, Kenneth Hoffman, a Baton Rouge native who has been at the National World War II Museum since it opened in 2000. Hoffman and Rusty Palmer, vice chair of the museum task force, made the presentation. The museum’s location, currently a four-story office building, is one block from Lee Circle and half a block from the streetcar line. The National World War II Museum, Ogden Museum, Contemporary Arts Center and Civil War Museum are about three blocks away, and it is near the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the Dryades Street Corridor that was an integral part of New Orleans Jewish history. The original location of Temple Sinai is also across the street, and the site is across from the New Orleans Hospitality and Culinary Institute. Jay Tanenbaum, chairman of the museum task force, said the lease is still being finalized. The plan calls for the entire first floor and half of the second floor to be devoted to the museum, along with a courtyard and atrium space for events. The rest of the building will be a mix of office and residential. A website for the museum,, went live in late July with a survey and a place to submit an email address for updates. The survey is being done “as we plan the museum’s new mission, exhibits, and programs” and input is requested from everyone, “whether you are Jewish or not, or a Southerner or not.” A Facebook page, msjenola, has also been established. While people are encouraged to sign up at the website for updates, it will be several months before a public fundraising campaign will begin. The museum closed its location on the campus of the Henry S. Jacobs

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community Camp in Utica six years ago as the camp sought to expand its programs into the museum space. The museum originally came about as the camp became a repository for Judaica from congregations that were downsizing or closing in the region. In 2000, the museum gave birth to a larger organization, the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Jacobs Camp Director Macy Hart soon left the camp to lead the new organization in Jackson, and the museum became part of the Institute. The ISJL is spinning off the museum as a separate entity, but there will still be ties between the organizations. For the last two years, a museum planning committee has worked to select a location, meet with interested parties and solicit major gifts. Hoffman’s hiring was announced by the committee on July 12. Tanenbaum said Hoffman “is uniquely qualified for this challenge.” Hoffman was a camper at Jacobs Camp and is a Tulane alumnus. After graduating, he was the first research and curatorial intern at the thennew MSJE in Utica. While finishing his Master’s degree at Tulane, he published research on several Southern Jewish communities. After working at the New Orleans Museum of Art and Louisiana State Museum, he joined the National World War II Museum, which was then the D-Day Museum, as one of the founding staff members in 1998. Most recently, he has been the director of education at the National World War II Museum, having established a nationally-recognized program with a department budget of over $1 million annually. Tanenbaum said Hoffman is “known throughout the South and in history circles.”

Baton Rouge Chabad to dedicate Torah on Aug. 20 Chabad of Baton Rouge will celebrate the arrival of a Torah with a community celebration, Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. at the Louisiana State University Hilltop Arboretum. The scroll was written around World War II, and was then taken to Israel for use in a synagogue, Rabbi Peretz Kazen said. It was purchased for the Baton Rouge Chabad and is being donated by Tere Vives. Additional dedication opportunities are available on the Chabad website, from dedicating a letter in the Torah for $54, a word for $108, a special section for $360, individual parshas, the sections reciting the 13 divine attributes or the prayer at the opening of the ark, or an entire book for $1800. Dedication opportunities are also available for the ark cover, pointer, sash and the Torah rollers.

community Several group trips to Israel planned for 2018 With Israel’s 70th birthday next year, many area congregations are planning Israel trips for 2018. Rabbi Joel Fleekop will lead a trip for Pensacola’s Temple Beth-El from July 9 to 19, An informational meeting will be held on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. The trip is designed with first-timers and experienced Israel travelers in mind. Rabbi Natan Trief will lead an Israel trip for members of Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge, their friends and family. The trip will be May 25 to June 4, and registration is open. Rabbi Barry Leff, interim rabbi at Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El and a resident of Israel, will lead “Rav Barry’s Israel” next spring. As a resident of Israel, he will lead “a look at Israel as experienced by Israelis, as opposed to only the tourist side.” There will be an informational meeting on Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. The trip will feature not only Jewish holy sites, but those of Christians, Muslims and the Bahai. A visit to Hebron will include talks with Palestinians and settlers. Chaya Mushka and Rabbi Mendel Ceitlin from Chabad in Metairie will lead the New Orleans contingent in “The Land and the Spirit: A Jewish Learning Institute Israel Experience,” March 4 to 13. Numerous communities will take part in the learning and solidarity trip. Registration is open. For those who are looking for a different type of congregational trip, Rabbi Jordan Goldson of B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge is leading a “People to People” mission to Cuba, Dec. 7 to 12, with the trip’s pricing based on eight to 12 participants. Information is available through B’nai Israel.

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For the last 20 years, New Orleans-based Jewish Children’s Regional Service has been providing Chanukah gifts to Jewish children and youth whose families have been struggling economically. The program has developed into one that last year helped close to 300 Jewish youth and institutionalized Jewish adults in the seven-state Southern region. Thousands of gifts were shipped to families with children. Last year, department store gift cards were added to the gift bags for children and youth. The JCRS annually distributes thousands of gifts, as each recipient receives eight small gifts, one for each night of Chanukah. The agency serves children in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. For this year, JCRS must receive the electronically-submitted application by August 14 for any

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community child to receive maximum gift consideration, including gift cards. To apply, parents should go the JCRS website,, and under the headline of programs they can find the Oscar J. Tolmas Chanukah Gift Program. Parents who submit an electronic application after August 14 should assume that their children will not receive gift cards. For more information about the program, as either a potential applicant or donor, contact the JCRS by calling (800) 729-5277, or write P.O. Box 7368 , Metairie LA 70010 -7368. The email address is

Annual Wrap-a-Thon on Sept. 10

The annual Chanukah Gift Wrap-a-Thon will be held at the Goldring/Woldenberg JCC in Metairie on Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help wrap thousands of gifts for the Chanukah packages. Pizza and refreshments will be served all day, and there will be Chanukah door prizes for each household. Students can earn community service hours, and there will be awards for the best wrappers. Child care is available upon prior request.

Yeshiva University professor Joy Ladin to speak on transgender isssues The recent series of tweets sent out by President Donald Trump banning transgendered individuals from serving in the military has brought the transgendered community into the headlines. On Aug. 16, Joy Ladin, the first and only openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution, will speak in Birmingham. The “family-friendly presentation and discussion” will explore gender and how gender is connected to religion, tradition, and community. The program will be held at the Emmet O’Neal Library in Crestline, starting at 6:15 p.m., and is open to the community. Ladin is the David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University. The former Jay Ladin, after receiving tenure in 2007 she told the dean at Yeshiva’s Stern College that she was transitioning, and was put on leave. After student support and some legal maneuvers, she returned to campus as Joy in 2008, and received a great deal of support. Her transition did result in the breakup of her marriage, and the divorce was a trauma for her three children. In 2009, she published a poetry collection, “Transmigration,” and in 2012 published her memoir, “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders.” She travels to speak about the practical, religious and emotional issues around the transgendered. Her goal is to strengthen American democracy by finding ways “to talk respectfully about both our differences and our common concerns” without demeaning others. The evening is sponsored by Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, and is hosted by SOJOURN: the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

12 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

community Rabbi Task inducted into Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame For just the second time, there was a Jewish inductee to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. Rabbi Arnold Task, rabbi emeritus of Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria, was inducted into the hall, located at the Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum at Angola Prison. After a ceremony at the museum, where there was a ribbon cutting for memorabilia cases of all of the inductees, there was a banquet at the Lod Cook Alumni Center in Baton Rouge. The Justice Hall of Fame was established by the Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Foundation Board of Directors in 2004 to honor and acknowledge the men and women of Louisiana who have served their community and their state in the honorable professions of law enforcement, the judiciary, criminal justice, civil service, and other related fields, including governmental service, corrections, education, communications/media, victim services, volunteerism, sponsorships and community activism. Also inducted this year were Marlin N. Gusman, Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr., Jimmy N. Dimos, Retired Major General Bennett C. Landreneau, Marc H. Morial, Newell D. Normand and Robert ‘Bob’ Smith. Ordained in 1958, Task started as an assis-

tant rabbi in St. Louis, then went to Newport News, Va., from 1960 to 1968. He then was at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, N.C., until 1988, and was appointed to the citizens review committee that investigated the 1979 “Greensboro massacre,” a shootout between members of the Communist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party. He served Gemiluth Chassodim from 1989 to 2011, and has written regular columns in The Town Talk for 25 years. Last year, he published a collection of the columns, “Life’s Amazing Lessons: Things I Learned Along The Way.” Task is past chair of the LSU-Alexandria Lay Advisory Committee, vice president for military affairs at the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Central Louisiana Community Foundation. He also helped establish the Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum at Camp Beauregard, and helped raise the funds to establish the Holocaust memorial in downtown Alexandria. Aside from being the second Jewish inductee, Task is the first clergy member recognized since

the hall began. Task noted that in 2011, Judge Lance Africk of New Orleans, who “grew up under me in Greensboro many years ago,” was inducted. Michael Bindursky, president of Gemiluth Chassodim, attended the banquet and said “I found myself filled with pride for our congregation and felt that we are so blessed to have had such a wonderful rabbi for all these years, and that when he retired he chose to stay in our community.”

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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 13


Rep. Higgins pulls video filmed inside Auschwitz gas chamber Apologizes for offense, says intent was to speak about consequences of evil

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Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins apologized for a video he took while touring the Auschwitz concentration camp and had posted on July 1. Higgins, who is in his first term, said “my message has caused pain to some whom I love and respect. For that, my own heart feels sorrow. Out of respect to any who may feel that my video posting was wrong or caused pain, I have retracted my video.” He has taken the video down, but it is still accessible on some news sites. Part of the five-minute video was filmed inside a former gas chamber. After he posted it, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum tweeted that “Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage.” A follow-up tweet showed a sign outside the building stating that thousands were killed in the building, so “Please maintain silence here: remember their suffering and show respect for their memory.” In the video, Higgins tours Auschwitz, stating that “a great sense of dread comes over you in this place” as he walked past the display of victims’ shoes. He spent about a minute of the video inside the gas chamber and crematoria, speaking in a low voice with nobody else around, and describing what took place in that space. He then spoke outside the suffocation room where laborers were punished. “We must remember these things,” he said. “Man’s inhumanity to man can be quite shocking.” Back outside, he added, “It’s hard to walk away from gas chambers and ovens without a sober feeling of commitment — unwavering commitment — to make damn sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world,” and said in this age,

with greater worldwide mobility, it is easier for threats to reach the U.S. mainland. Manfred Klepper of Lafayette, who was six when the Nazis ransacked his home during Kristallnacht, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that Higgins “made a spectacle” of a “sacred space.” The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a little-known group until it criticized President Donald Trump a few months ago, called the video “disgusting beyond description” and Executive Director Steve Goldstein refused to accept Higgins’ apology. Conversely, the Baltimore-based Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents about 200 “traditional” rabbis, sent Higgins a letter on July 10 commending him for making Auschwitz one of his first international destinations as a congressman, and for his “sincere, heartfelt reflections.” The group told Higgins that he deserves “thanks from the Jewish people,” and that they are “embarrassed by those who accused you of insensitivity,” saying some of them are “misusing anti-Semitism as a political cudgel against our conservative friends.” In his statement, Higgins said he filmed the video “with great humility. My intent was to offer a reverent homage to those who were murdered in Auschwitz and to remind the world that evil exists, that free nations must remember, and stand strong.” Higgins’ statement concluded, “The atrocities that happened at Auschwitz were truly despicable, and we must never let history repeat itself in such a way. I have always stood with Israel and all Jewish people, and I always will. We live in a dangerous world, and massive forces of evil do indeed yet exist. We must all stand united against those evils. My Auschwitz video has been removed, and my sincere apology for any unintended pain is extended.”

community Nick May’s first full-length album can now be heard In Jewish music circles, Nick May is being heard. “Be Heard,” the first full-length album by the long-time camp songleader and freelance synagogue musician from New Orleans, was released on July 14. He wrote the title track while in high school, because “I was really struggling with my speech and how some people were treating me because of it.” He has stuttered since he was very young, “and it affects almost every sound that comes out of my mouth.” Music, though “has never been hindered for me.” When dealing with how he was being treated in school, he looked at a bracelet he had worn from the National Stuttering Association. “Be Heard” was its message, and “these two, simple words motivated me to shake off the frustration and write a song that would uplift not only my spirits but others who were silently fighting their own battles.” May, who is music and programming coordinator for Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge, said four of the 10 songs are from his 2016 EP, “This Beauty.” After the EP was released, “I knew I wanted to get back in the studio and make a full length album and I figured this was the perfect

time in my life to do it since I didn’t know what I was going to be doing after graduation” from Louisiana State University. May was songleader at the Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica for three years, then was head songleader at JCC Camp Sabra in Missouri in 2016. “One of my staff members from last summer at Camp Sabra, Josh Mannis, has recorded music so I went to him for information on the studio he recorded with,” he said. May got in touch with producer Ben Majchrzak, who has toured with Rick Recht, and found out it would cost $8,000 to cover recording, musicians, post production and the manufacture of physical copies. He set up a Kickstarter campaign online, and “on the final night of the campaign, I surpassed my goal and raised $8,098,” May said. In April, he spent nine days at Native Sound Recording in St. Louis, with Majchrzak, drummer Tony Barbata, pianist Nathan Jatcko, vocalist Robert Scott, and bassist Zebadiah Briskovitch. “Guitarist Adam Tressler recorded his

parts from Los Angeles and sent them to us via email,” May said. Thanks to the musicians and his Kickstarter backers, “I can finally release this song and throw my voice out there to the world.” The album is available on May’s website,, Amazon, Google Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and CDBaby.

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 15

world maccabiah

MVP New Orleans’ Chance Doyle excels as U.S. rugby team wins gold

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For the first time in 20 years and only the second time ever, the U.S. rugby team won the gold at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel, with New Orleans’ Chance Doyle playing a key role. Doyle, who was a late addition to the team, was Vice Captain Chance Doyle, left, was named the MVP of named the tournament Most Valu- the tournament. Chase Schor Haskin, right, was named able Player and was the U.S. team’s the MVP of the final. vice captain. The U.S. beat “heavily favored” South Africa, 31-21, in the Fifteens fi- U.S. not make the medal round for the first time nals. After South Africa took a 14-12 lead, the since rugby was added to the games in 1985. U.S. regained the lead, with Doyle converting Head Coach Shawn Lipman added Doyle to twice. the squad after being told about him by legendThe rugby tournament was held at the Win- ary player Gary Lambert last September. Doyle gate Institute in Netanya. first joined the team at an international tournaThe U.S. beat Argentina 32-19 in the semi- ment in February. final, and South Africa advanced by beating Being part of what is known as the Jewish Israel, 59-0. Doyle had a last-second insurance Olympics would not have been on Doyle’s radar conversion after a Mickey Rudzinsky try. before. Two years ago he played in New Zealand On July 10, they defeated Israel, a team that and spent much of the rest of the year touring competes in the European championship, 22- the Far East and Europe. After his return to the 15. After Israel took the early lead, Sam Rabb U.S., he set out to discover family connections, had two consecutive tries for the U.S., with and through an aunt found out that he had JewDoyle converting both. ish ancestry through his mother, but the family The first match was against Australia, which had cast their identity aside following persehad knocked the U.S. out in the 2013 semifinals, cution in Hungary and facing difficulties after leading to a U.S. bronze medal. The U.S. team winding up in rural Alabama, where he grew avenged that loss, 29-11, with Doyle scoring up. two tries and converting one. He saw his participation in the Maccabiah The tournament win was a welcome change Games as a way to pay respect to his ancestors from the opening 7s tournament, which saw the in an area where he could perform well.

Recent Auburn grad wins silver in equestrian The United States equestrian show jumping team at the World Maccabiah Games consisted of three Grand Prix show jumping riders, and a rider who was the sole eventer on the team. Andrea Glazer, who just graduated from Auburn University, was on the Auburn Eventing team. Now that the games are over, she is starting as a marketing intern for a racing club in Australia — but she is taking a Maccabiah silver medal with her. “Ever since they added equestrian to the Maccabiah Games, it has been a dream of mine to ride on the team,” she told Eventing News. 16 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

A Louisville, Ky., native, Glazer has been riding since age 6. While at Auburn, she trained in Newnan, Ga., over an hour away. In the Maccabiah, riders are on horses that are assigned to them. She rode a horse named Chin Chinello through a 1.20-meter show jumping course, the largest course she had ever jumped.

world maccabiah

Eternal Team Goldfarb coaches U.S. men’s soccer to repeat victory in his coaching finale In 2013, legendary Birmingham-Southern Soccer Coach Preston Goldfarb motivated the U.S. men’s soccer team in the World Maccabiah Games by saying they could make history by being the first U.S. soccer team to win gold at the Maccabiah. After the “impossible dream” team did just that, Goldfarb had to find a different motivation for a title defense this year. “It’s hard to win one time, but to win it two times in back to back games is almost impossible,” he said. The U.S. team surprised everyone again, becoming what Goldfarb called the “forever team” by winning gold again this year, defeating Great Britain in the championship game on July 16, 3-0. He originally wasn’t going to coach the team this year, but when his assistant coach from 2013 who was slated to be the head coach this year got sick, Goldfarb received repeated calls urging him to come back. Having retired from Birmingham-Southern in 2015, he secured his wife’s approval to get back into coaching and started putting the team together. On paper, he said, the 2013 team was more talented, but a major difference was that the 2017 team “came together at the airport when we left” and quickly became a cohesive unit. There were five players from the 2013 team on this year’s squad, and Goldfarb said they were instrumental in getting the newcomers up to speed on what he expected from them.

The U.S. squad had a total of six practices before the preliminary round started. Goldfarb said Great Britain’s team, the London Lions, plays in a league all year. The teams from Australia and Venezuela are also teams that play together year-round, and Israel’s team is actually the national under-23 team. Another difference is that each country sets its own eligibility rules. In the U.S. squad, athletes must be Jewish. In many other countries, one need only be a Jewish Community Center member, regardless of the athlete’s actual religion. One of the teams they faced had only two Jewish starters. “I’m proud we had an all-Jewish team,” Goldfarb said.

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 17

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world maccabiah Like the 2013 team, they started out with a loss, with Great Britain doing the deed by a 1-0 score. After that, “we had to win every game or we wouldn’t qualify” for the playoffs. They beat Venezuela, 3-0, and Australia, 2-0. “It could have been 7-0 — I emptied my bench,” he said. On July 12, the U.S. won its quarterfinal match, 4-2 over Uruguay. Next up was Israel, which Goldfarb said was the best team in the group. In the first half, “we were zombies, we were awestruck by the badge on their jerseys” indicating they were the national team. After a halftime reality check, the U.S. came back to win, 2-1. Goldfarb said it was remarkable to repeat. “I was fortunate to be in that position, and they listened to me, so that was nice,” he said. He said the gold medal repeat is “the highlight of my coaching career,” and lets him goes out on top — twice. He said “now I am fully retired, and I am thrilled.”

Basketball squads win gold The U.S. national men’s basketball team beat France, 75-68, to win the gold medal at the World Maccabiah Games. Steven Pearl, assistant coach at Auburn University, was an assistant coach for the U.S. team. Pearl won gold as a player at the 2006 Australian Maccabiah Games, and at the 2009 Maccabiah in Israel, where his father, Bruce Pearl, was head coach. To reach the finals, the U.S. beat Israel, 92-69, on July 14 in the semi-finals, and France advanced over Argentina, 78-59. In the preliminary rounds, the U.S. beat France, 89-70, on July 9; took out Canada, 78-60, on July 10; had no trouble with Belgium on July 11, winning 110-32; and finished the preliminary rounds with a 91-29 win over Mexico. Lior Berman of Birmingham is also bringing home gold, as part of the Juniors 15-16 men’s basketball team. In the gold medal game on July 16, the U.S. beat Argentina in a rematch, 53-33, with Berman scoring 9 points. Berman, who will be a junior at Mountain Brook High School this year, scored 11 in a 70-41 U.S. victory over Argentina on July 14. On July 12, he scored 17 in a 91-25 win over Mexico, and had 6 points on July 10 as the U.S. edged Israel, 57-49. On July 9 he had 15 points in the 78-40 win over Canada, and in the first game of the tournament on July 7, he had 9 points in the 90-25 win over Australia. From the Maccabiah experience, he headed home to join Team Alabama for the JCC Maccabi Games in Birmingham.

Seth Cohen competes in tennis

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Birmingham’s Seth Cohen was one of six men on the U.S. tennis team, and the youngest at age 19. Cohen won his first match against Argentina and lost the next one to Switzerland’s No. 4 seed. In the back draw he won the first round against Moldova and then lost in a close match against Mexico. He also won the first round in men’s doubles against Great Britain. He also played against the No. 1 Israeli teams for Mixed and Men’s Doubles in the second round. Both of those Israeli teams went on to win a gold medal. Cohen was part of the 7A state champion Mountain Brook High School tennis team, winning the five seed singles championship in April 2016. He now plays club tennis at University of Alabama.

Maren Angus and Rebecca Blitz celebrate the gold medal victory

Blitz, Angus bring back softball gold The U.S. Women’s softball team is bringing gold medals home from the 20th World Maccabiah in Israel. Two of the team members are from the region — Rebecca Blitz of Birmingham, a rising senior at Indiana University, and Maren Angus of Hendersonville, Tenn. The U.S. team beat Canada, 8-1, on July 13, to win the gold. The U.S. team finished 5-1, while Canada fell to 3-3. The U.S. team scored 52 runs and gave up just 6. Blitz reached base in all but three of her at-bats in the tournament, which was a triple round-robin among three teams. Blitz provided the final hit in an 8-1 finals victory over Canada. Her two-run triple in the fifth inning triggered the 7-inning mercy rule, ensuring the gold medal. Blitz went 3-for-4 in the gold medal game. The U.S. team dropped its first game on July 9, 4-3, to Canada, despite an inside-the-park home run by Blitz. In the second game of the day, against Israel, the U.S. pitched a onehit shutout of Israel, with the game ending 12-0 by the mercy rule. For Angus, the Israel game was her first live action since high school, and she played first base. “It felt so great to get in the box and face live pitching again,” she said, even though she went 0-for-2 with two groundouts. On July 10, the U.S. avenged its earlier loss by pummeling Canada, 8-1, in another mercy rule game. The U.S. team then beat Israel, 10-0, on July 11, with Angus getting her first hit to lead off the second inning. Her first RBI came in her next at-bat, with a fly ball to right field, scoring her roommate. Her final at-bat of the day, she was hit by a pitch. July 12 brought another U.S. win over Canada, 8-1, followed by an 11-0 win over Israel. Blitz said the experience was incredible, “not only because I was able to play and win gold in the sport I love on the international level, but because I was able to tour Israel, gain a deeper understanding of my Jewish identity, and make incredible friendships that will last a lifetime.” Blitz was named Second Team All Big Ten the last two seasons, and led Indiana in batting average and hits. For Angus, the moment contained a mix of emotions. Because the gold medal game ended early due to the mercy rule, she was the only player not to see action that day. “My career just came full circle,” she said. In her reports for, Angus wrote that “Sixteen-yearold me came to Israel before her senior year of high school and gave up her dream of playing college softball” because she chose the Israel trip at a time when she would otherwise have been going through the college recruiting process. “Nine years later… I prepare to come home from Israel with a Maccabiah gold medal.”

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 19

Photo by Rabbi Barry Altmark

Carleton Sokol, Spencer Lynch, Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, Layne Held, Amanda Held, Allison Weil, Coach Bruce Pearl, Bruce Sokol, General Charles Krulak and Mike Slive at the opening ceremony on July 30 at Bartow Arena.

“Small but mighty” Birmingham opens Maccabi Games Visiting delegations march into Bartow Arena as “once in a generation” event kicks off A “once in a generation” event kicked off on July 30 as 900 athletes from around the United States and across the world marched into Bartow Arena at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the opening ceremony of the JCC Maccabi Games. Coordinated by the Jewish Community Centers Association, the Maccabi Games bring together Jewish teens age 13 to 16 for a week of competition and community service. Several times during the evening, during the opening ceremony and at a preceding reception, it was stated that Birmingham’s “small but mighty” community is the second smallest Jewish community to ever attempt hosting the games. As the opening ceremony began, cochair Layne Held spoke for the organizers, saying “this very well could be our one shot at this, so we went all in” and looked to the overall community for support, as this would benefit Birmingham as a whole. He was joined on stage by wife Amanda, co-chair Bruce Sokol and his wife Carlton, Levite Jewish Community Center Executive Director Betzy Lynch, Games Director Spencer Lynch and LJCC President Allison Weil. As Held and Sokol went to the corporate community to tout the games, “most of these companies took these meetings as a favor, but they left the meetings in awe,” Held said. “Over 75 companies believed in the Maccabi story.” Held spoke of his experiences competing as a Maccabi Games athlete, then as a coach. He recalled losing a basketball game against Atlanta in 2001, and two of the Atlanta players embracing in celebration. One of 20 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

those two would be his big brother at the University of Georgia, and the other was one of the signers of his ketubah. With the words “let’s meet the over 900 athletes and their coaches of our 28 Delegations from around the world,” Robert Levin, voice of the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band, began introducing each delegation with anecdotes about their communities. Before the ceremony, Levin commented that he “can’t say enough” about the “remarkable job” that opening ceremony co-chairs Anna Slive Harwood and Alison Berman did in putting the evening together. The teams walked in alphabetically, starting with Atlanta, which will host the games in 2019. They were escorted by sign-holders from Birmingham, and Junior Maccabi participants who are too young for the athletic competitions. Next to last in the arena was Team Israel, which received a rousing ovation. As the home team, Team Alabama came in last, with a delegation of teens from Birmingham’s sister cities in Israel and Ukraine, Rosh Ha’Ayin

Memorial tribute to the 1972 Israeli athletes

maccabi games and Vinnytsia. After the playing of the Canadian and Ukraine national anthems, Cantor Alberto Mizrahi led “Hatikvah” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” That was followed by a memorial to the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Junior Maccabi participants carrying electronic candles entered the darkened arena and traced a Star of David projected on the floor, standing at each angle. Younger participants then stood on an “11” in the center of the star. After singing “Ani Ma’amin,” Mizrahi led the crowd in “Halleleuia” and “Oseh Shalom.” Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl led the athletes in the JCC Maccabi Games Oath after giving a locker room pep talk, encouraging the athletes to embrace and be proud of their Jewish identities. In 2009, Pearl coached the U.S. men’s basketball team to a gold medal in the World Maccabiah Games in Israel. His son, Stephen, played on the 2009 team, and just returned from the 2017 Games with a gold medal as assistant basketball coach. Recalling the 2009 Games, Pearl said “the experience our players had there was off the charts.”

He recalled being 7 years old in 1967, when the Six Day War broke out, going to bed “not sure that Israel would be there the next day,” and to be proud of the Jewish people’s struggles. Pearl also noted that “this wonderful country of ours allows us to gather together… to be Jews and be free. And not everyone in the world has that freedom.” He urged the athletes to “be that shining light… we are supposed to be different. We do have responsibilities.” Honorary co-chairs Mike Slive and General Charles Krulak carried the torch into the arena, and used it to light an array of candles on the stage. The Maccabi Games cauldron was outside the arena’s main entrance. The torch lighting was preceded by a video from when the cauldron was Mike Slive and General Charles Krulak brought in the poured at Sloss Furnace earlier in the Maccabi Games torch month. After the ceremony, the cauldron was moved to the LJCC, where it will re- member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton. Most recently, Krulak retired main after the games. Slive is former commissioner of the South- as president of Birmingham-Southern College. The ceremony concluded with a concert by eastern Conference, and Krulak was the 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu.

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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 21



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“All eyes are on Birmingham” Before the opening ceremony focused on the over 900 athletes taking part in the Maccabi Games, a reception recognized those who made the week possible. As the athletes assembled in their delegations, several hundred volunteers, organizers and guests assembled in the Green and Gold Room. Levite Jewish Community Center Executive Director Betzy Lynch set the “small but mighty” tone for the night, saying that “has been a theme of my life.” She spoke of the challenge of hosting the games in a community of “less than 7,000,” but said the community’s generosity and support “is unparalleled.” She said “we are here today because of the leaders who would not allow Birmingham to remain small” and “we did not allow size to limit our achievements.” Lynch had led the 2012 Maccabi Games in Memphis, which marked the 30th anniversary of the first Maccabi Games, which were also held in Memphis. She praised LJCC President Allison Weil for “transforming the future of the LJCC and Jewish life in Birmingham.” Weil recalled being called to Lynch’s office two years ago and being told to take a seat. She recalled Lynch asked “How would you like to showcase Birmingham to the world” by considering a bid for the 2017 Maccabi Games. She thought about it for “a minute or Kwami Carson makes a two.” “This is what happens when presentation to Betzy Lynch on you take a shot and you believe behalf of Mayor William Bell that you can do it,” Weil said. Maccabi Games Co-chair Bruce Sokol started his remarks by stating he had been put in charge of the weather. It has been a rainy summer, but the week of the Games had forecasts of sun and temperatures in the relatively-cool mid-80s. He said this was an opportunity to be part of the “most exciting and most important event to happen in the Birmingham Jewish community in my lifetime.” He added, “we have arrived at the promised land, and it is just outside this room,” where the opening ceremonies were about to take place. Sokol co-chaired the games with Layne Held. Many speakers cited the opportunity to showcase Birmingham to people who might not have otherwise had a reason to visit the city, and to change perceptions. As the delegations arrived earlier in the day, Sokol said he heard an athlete from Dallas wonder aloud whether Birmingham had wi-fi. “I’m going to find him before these games are over,” he said. Stephen Seiden, chairman of the Jewish Community Centers Associa-

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maccabi games tion, said “you talk about showcasing your city, the Southern hospitality exudes from everyone.” Jed Margolis, executive director of Maccabi USA, said he just returned to the U.S. after being at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel with the 1,100 U.S. athletes that were part of an event with 10,000 Jewish athletes representing 80 countries. Two weeks earlier, Margolis said, all eyes were on Jerusalem. Now, he said, “all eyes are on Birmingham.” Alabama Representative David Faulkner presented a copy of a House resolution commending the games, noting that the week is estimated to have a $3 million economic impact on the area. Kwani Carson represented Birmingham Mayor William Bell, who was in Poland for the 2017 World Games. Birmingham is the host for the 2021 World Games, and she explained that Bell had to be there as the only person who can sign the official documents at the close of the 2017 Games. Carson, who used to take dance classes at the LJCC, spoke of Bell’s trips to Israel and that he wanted to be sure the Maccabi Games “are a huge success.” She presented the Mayor’s Crystal Award to Lynch, and made additional presentations to the Sokols, Helds and Weil. Margolis told the crowd that “you will be able to look back… with great pride” for years to come.

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maccabi games Matisyahu slammed for shoving teens Reggae star Matisyahu is facing criticism for shoving teenage fans off the stage during his performance to close out the JCC Maccabi Games opening ceremony in Birmingham on July 30. Matisyahu’s appearance at the ceremony had been a closely-guarded secret before the event. At one point during his show, a couple dozen teens had made their way onto the stage, unhindered by security, and started dancing behind and around him. One of the athletes was standing to Matisyahu’s right and hit a beach ball into the crowd. The central Florida delegation had been bouncing the ball through the venue all evening. A moment later, when an athlete was walking toward where Matisyahu was sitting, Matishayu got up from his seat and shoved the teen into a monitor at the edge of the stage. While some have reported that one of the teens had knocked Matisyahu’s hat off of his head, it is unclear in the video whether that happened or if the hat fell off during the shove. Another teen who was getting on the stage during that time started walking past Matisyahu, who had just put his hat back on. The singer grabbed the teen by the shirt and did a two-handed shove off the stage and into the crowd. Matisyahu then shoved another teen who had been walking by toward the back of the stage. None of the three teens who were shoved engaged him further. As the third teen was shoved, security personnel started clearing the rest of the dancers from the stage. Many had already started to back away as Matisyahu continued his performance. Rabbi Barry Leff, interim rabbi at Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El, said the teen who was shoved off the stage was his daughter, Devorah, who was participating on the Birmingham girls volleyball team. “Fortunately, all she got was some minor scrapes,” he said. “But it’s unbelievable what Matisyahu did.” He was infuriated that a grown man would treat a teen girl that way. He added that he has an uncle who was killed by a head injury when he fell the wrong way. Some questioned why security had not prevented the athletes from being on stage, and noted that spectators who do go onstage at concerts are often forcibly removed. Others say this was a celebration instead of a formal concert. Leff said “If the kids had crowded the stage with the other performer, Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, I’m sure he would have given them hugs instead of violence.” The opening ceremony was held in Bartow Arena. After the conclusion of the formal ceremony, when Matisyahu started performing, the roughly 900 athletes came down from their seats and gathered in front of the four-foot high stage to dance and watch the performance. The Jewish Community Center Association issued a statement saying “We are disappointed and dismayed that our opening concert performer, Matisyahu, forcibly removed some of our teen participants from the stage, and we will cooperate with any police investigation. Violence is never acceptable… This is contrary to what we instill in our participants and in what we believe. We are relieved that the participants involved were not seriously injured.” Local Maccabi organizers, while disappointed by shat happened, want the focus to be on the positive aspects of the game and are letting the national organization handle the incident. Leff noted, “It’s disappointing that the opening ceremony of the Maccabi Games here in Birmingham was marred by this — the ceremony itself was really well done.” While many who were at the event are calling for an apology to the community, there has not been any response from Matisyahu at press time. Aside from the shoving, many have remarked that Matisyahu’s performance was brief and uninspired. Ironically, in a 2011 concert in Birmingham, Matisyahu brought a large proportion of the audience onstage during his final encore.

food & dining an annual SJL special section Curbing their enthusiasm at the ASBEE Kosher BBQ Contest

Doing the kosher Southern food festival circuit Barbecue, hot chicken among offerings While championship barbecue is a big deal in culinary circles, the pork-centered nature of those events has excluded many in the Jewish community, and kosher barbecue contests have also inspired kosher-friendly competitive versions of other regional cuisines.. This summer and fall, 11 communities around the country are holding kosher barbecue contests. Plans are also being discussed to revive the When Pigs Fly contest in Birmingham next year. The festival that started it all, the Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth World Kosher BBQ Contest, will have its 29th annual event in Memphis on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The annual event was started as a kosher response to the famous porkbased Memphis in May world barbecue championship, and has grown over the years. Last year, the festival had 45 teams and over 3,000 in attendance. The barbecue contest includes best brisket, best beef ribs, best beans, best chicken, best booth and best team name. In addition, there is a three-on-three ASBEE Grizzlies basketball tournament, 3-point shooting contest and free throw contest. University of Memphis basketball players and the Memphis Grizzlies mascot will be in attendance. There is also a pickle eating contest. Children’s activities include a bounce house, train ride, face painting, petting zoo and more. To compete, team registration is $150, plus $25 if requesting a third grill. Applications and kosher ingredient preorder forms are due by Oct. 3. Also on Oct. 22, the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival celebrates its fifth year. “This year’s festival is going to be even bigger and better than anything we’ve ever done,” said festival chair Jody Pollack. “Our little Kosher BBQ Competition that started in a parking lot 5 years ago has grown into the premier Kosher BBQ event of the year for the entire Atlanta community.” The Hebrew Order of David International expects over 20 competing teams and over 4,000 families to attend the event at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. The competition is judged by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, and is under supervision of the Atlanta Kosher Commission. All attendees may taste each team’s samples for a dollar per taste. Awards will be given for best brisket, best beef ribs, best beans, best chicken, best booth and best team name. There will also be a people’s choice award. The event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature kosher vendors, a beer garden, live music and a children’s area. There will also be a pickle eating contest and a genetic screening booth.









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Team applications are $550. Profits from the festival will benefit Helping Feed Atlanta, Jewish Education Loan Fund and the Cobb County Police Department. A kosher food drive for canned items is also being planned. In Nashville, hot chicken is the signature local menu item. On Nov. 5, the Kosher Hot Chicken Festival will be at the Gordon Jewish Community Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nashville hot chicken is known for its extreme spice level. The contest will judge two levels — mild, which would be regarded as spicy anywhere else, and hot, which some liken to either a religious experience or a gut buster. Hot chicken is generally served atop white bread with pickle slices. The legend for the dish’s origin states that in the 1930s Thornton Prince was known as a womanizer. After being out all night, he returned home and wanted breakfast. Upset at his wandering ways, his then-partner made him his favorite meal, fried chicken — but with the spiciest things she could find in the kitchen. Certain that it was inedible and would be a painful experience, she served it to him. Instead, he loved it and shared it with friends. He soon turned it into an idea for a restaurant. Because the chicken is prepared with buttermilk, lard and bacon grease, many in Nashville’s Jewish community had to settle for the lesser-known Nashville Hot Fish. Making it even more challenging under kashrut, the usual antidote for extreme spice, dairy products, is forbidden. An idea was hatched to “celebrating our town’s favorite dish, make it Kosher, ask every person we know to come a taste what all the fuss is about, see if they can’t follow the Kosher rules, try their hand at making their own version good enough to take home bragging rights, and generally have a good time surrounded by Jews and their friends,” said organizer Evan Nahmias. In 2015, the first kosher festival was held in Nashville, with the cooperation of Bolton’s Hot Chicken and Fish, drawing about 300 enthusiasts. Last year, Bolton’s was joined by Slow Burn and seven teams signed up for the second festival, which drew 500. The Hebrenero Peppers won best name and best booth, but the men of Athens of the South AZA took the overall prizes and the deep fryer. Nahmias said there will be participants from “fellow Jewish hub” Pittsburgh, an outgrowth of the recent Stanley Cup finals rivalry between the two communities. Crews from the Atlanta and Memphis barbecue festivals are also expected to try their hands at hot chicken. The teams will be judged on mild and hot chicken, team name and booth decoration. An overall grand champion will be named, and a people’s choice award will be given. Festival-goers will be able to purchase tasting tickets to sample the teams’ efforts. For vegetarians and vegans, there will also be mock chicken available. Team registration is $250, with an early bird special of $199 by Sept. 15. On Sept. 4, the second Kosher Red Beans and Rice cookoff will be held at Torah Academy in Metairie from noon to 2:30 p.m. In the inaugural event two years ago, Hadassah New Orleans took first place among the six teams with a recipe that included kosher chorizo. With that win, the red beans and rice sold at this year’s festival will be from their recipe. The cookoff was started by Alan Smason and Crescent City Jewish News and was a fundraiser for Torah Academy. This year, Jewish Community Day School is also participating in the benefit for Jewish education in New Orleans. Teams of three to seven members will assemble at Torah Academy on Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. to start prep work. Entries are prepared in a 6-quart crock pot with pre-requested ingredients, and teams can check their entries starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 4. Irma Thomas will be among the guest judges. The team entry fee is $100 and includes two meal tickets.

food and dining

Always something new brewing at Cahaba by Lee J. Green Every day is a hoppy day at Cahaba Brewing in Birmingham and there is always a reason to celebrate with a quality craft beer. Later this month, Oktoberfest cans return to the brewery and stores in central and north Alabama, and coming this fall, Cahaba will start making its own wine for those who come to its 51,000-square-foot production facility, tasting room and event space in Avondale. “We make good, clean, consistent, tasty beer. Our love for making quality beer that people want is why we got into this business. That is our core,” said Cahaba Brewing Company Managing Partner and Brewmaster Eric Myers. “But there are some people that come in here that are wine drinkers and we can provide them with those options. We will likely do Pinot Noir, Cabs, a couple of red and white wine offerings.” Cahaba’s craft beers are sold in cans, growlers, crowlers and on draft at the brewery as well as locations across Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. They plan to widen their distribution area to other parts of Alabama soon. A few of Cahaba’s large batch beers are in stores, including American Blonde, Liquidambar, IPA and Kiwi Kolsch, soon to be rejoined by Oktoberfest. This past spring they had their new seasonal Dry Irish Stout in the stores, and it is still at the brewery. Their canning system allows them to change labels so they can add more smaller batch and seasonal beers. “We want to make sure that everything we serve is quality. We might hit it just right the first time on a new beer or variation of a current beer. Sometimes it may take 40 tries or more,” said Myers. “It’s a balance. We want to be creative and to also respond to customer demand. But getting the best craft beer we can to our customers is more important than growing our distribution or putting something out there we’re not 100 percent happy with,” he said. Fellow owner Andrew Pharo said they regularly add new small batches at the brewery. “We want to give people reasons to come here regularly. They know they can count on great beers and a fun environment along with some new things to try,” said Pharo. He said they have been proud to host numerous events and celebrations for those in the Birmingham area Jewish community. At the Magic City Brewfest July 29, Cahaba featured an Imperial Blonde and bourbon-barrel-aged beer they will test out as small batches to see how well they are received, said Myers, a Huntsville native. “We try to tailor what we do based on customer response. We let them decide what they want as much as possible,” he said.


Ethiopian Restaurant at the Pizitz Food Hall 1821 2nd Ave N, Suite 170 Birmingham 205/939-3111

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 27

food and dining Residential and Commercial Services

Organic advice by Lee J. Green Organic Harvest is much more than a Birmingham area neighborhood market that focuses on organic, gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian and other specialty foods and supplements. Its trained staff happily offers advice on wellness so its customers can reap the benefits. What started as a 1,200-square-foot store on Highway 31 in Hoover back in 2005 has now grown into a 10,000-square-foot space with another Hoover location opening within the next few months, as well as another couple possible ones in the Birmingham area over the next few years. “The vision of our owner Kenny Camp was to have a full-service natural and organic market to offer foods and supplements that meet special dietary requests and are free of additives as well as preservatives with most everything we carry,” said Sherry Murer, supplement manager for Organic Harvest, who joined the company less than a year after the store opened. Murer said much has changed with organic and natural products since 2005. Some diets have come and stayed around. Other diets and products did not have staying power. The Organic Harvest staff makes sure they stay on top of the latest news, trends and even brings in experts to educate them and their customers. “It’s a big challenge for us to stay ahead of the curve and learn as much as we can to help educate our customers. We also learn from them about some remedies, supplements and foods that have worked,” she said. Murer said that their employees are not licensed health care providers, but they do refer to nutritionists, doctors and other specialists. They also have some come in to speak about everything from superfoods to skin care. She also said that there are more products today and more resources to get them in the store. When Organic Harvest started 12 years ago there were not a lot of farmers doing organic but today they are able to “go as local as possible” with the farmers they work with. “Supporting our local economy is very important to us,” added Murer. Organic Market encourages its customers to recommend products they would like to see them carry if not already on the shelves. Murer said they can typically order a product and have it in within a week. Organic Harvest also includes a café at which everything is made from scratch. The menu features several items that are kosher, gluten-free, or vegan/vegetarian. “We do our homework and go the extra mile to help our customers live a healthy lifestyle,” she said. 28 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

food and dining

Utz and Golden Flake have something for all snack lovers Zapp’s, also in the Utz family, won best overall chip award by Lee J. Green Golden Flake, a chip off of the old block known as the flavor of the South, has enjoyed the synergies of being in the Utz Quality Foods family of companies that also includes Zapp’s, “the little chippery in Gramercy” that is part of Louisiana culture. “We now have a much broader-based portfolio for our snack-loving consumers here in the Deep South and across the nation” with the Utz family of brands that also includes Good Health, Zapp’s, Snikiddy and Dirty Potato Chips, said Jim Ward, Sr., director of marketing for Golden Flake and Zapp’s. “We have snacks for every desire.” Utz bought Zapp’s in 2011, and Birmingham-based Golden Flake completed its sale to Utz last October. The marriage has allowed Golden Flake to expand outside of its current primarily Southeast distribution area. Other Utz family products not previously available in this region have hit the shelves, including pretzels and lobster-flavored kettle cooked potato chips — which are indeed certified kosher, as are the crawfish-flavored Zapp’s Cajun Crawtators. “We’ll always be the flavor of the South and have our great products” such as Sweet Heat, Corn Chips, Sour Cream and Onion, Buffalo Ranch BBQ, Tangy Pickle BBQ, he said. “But now we can introduce Golden Flake to others and introduce those in this region to a great variety of quality snacks from Utz.” Of course Zapp’s is already well-known in this region and its Kettle-Style Mesquite BBQ potato chips was named grand champion “Best Overall Chip” at the 2017 National Chip Festival. The Golden Flake Tortiyahs! was named best tortilla chip, and the runner-up for best “anything goes” was Zapp’s Voodoo chips. Like Golden Flake, Utz has been around for many years, having started in 1921, and started as a family-owned company in Hanover, Pa. The majority of their products, and within the family of companies, are OU kosher-certified. “In addition to appealing to a variety of tastes we want to meet special dietary needs with the products including kosher and gluten-free,” said Ward. Golden Flake also continues to be an active part of the communities in the Deep South. They were a proud sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games held in Birmingham July 30 to Aug. 4. “We think the Maccabi games are a big deal and very important for our community,” said Ward. “That’s a successful week of activity and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

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Houston’s Kenny and Ziggy’s institutes national New York Deli Month The famed Carnegie Deli in New York is no more — unless you count its Las Vegas outpost. To promote and celebrate the idea of the traditional Jewish deli, Ziggy Gruber of Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston collaborated with Jay Parker of Ben’s Best Deli in New York to establish August as New York Deli Month nationally. This year, the second such month includes about 30 delis across the country, including Noshville in Nashville. Each deli has a special menu celebrating traditional deli foods, with portions of the proceeds going to local charities. Ten percent of the $37 fixed price three-course special menu at Kenny and Ziggy’s goes to Holocaust Museum Houston. Of course, if you can’t make it to Houston to celebrate the month, Kenny and Ziggy’s is available through online ordering and shipping.

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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 29

food and dining Look for our summer seasonal:

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The Acquistapace family has been a staple in the New Orleans grocery business for more than 150 years, but there is still much new in store, especially with the new store. Steve Acquistapace’s mother was born above the family’s corner store in New Orleans. The business evolved from a “mom and pop” operation into a supermarket through the decades, but still always maintained the “family operation feel.” In 1963, Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket opened on Claiborne Hill. The family moved the store to its current location in 1985. Current Owner Adam Acquistapace wanted to serve more of the Northshore with a new store in Mandeville, which opened just over a year ago. Acquistapace’s specializes in providing customers with some of the finest produce, meats, cheese, prepared foods, wine, beer and spirits. The new Mandeville location puts even more focus into its diverse selection of cheese, beer, wine and spirits. The huge selection includes some Israeli beers and wines. “We talk to our customers and they tell us what they like about the stores and what they would like us to bring in,” said Acquistapace. “We have many items for special dietary needs including kosher, gluten free and vegetarian. “For us this business is a family tradition and we feel that our customers as well as our employees have become a part of our family,” he added.

This Pig does kosher, and Piggly Wiggly Birmingham proudly sponsored the JCC Maccabi Games held in town this month. “Piggly Wiggly is honored to be selected to provide kosher products for the competing athletes in the games knowing what a tremendous community effort it is to make this successful,” said Piggly Wiggly Birmingham stores co-owner Andy Virciglio. He gave much credit to Maccabi Games Co-chair Layne Held, who worked with Virciglio’s sons Andrew and Austin, both of whom have leadership roles within the Piggly Wiggly Birmingham family. “Our in-store kosher selections continue to expand and we encourage each store manager to listen closely to what our customers want,” Virciglio said. “We try hard to have the right product mix… that meets our customers’ needs.” The Virciglios said they ask customers what products they want in the stores. If there is a kosher product not currently on the shelves at their Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Homewood or Forest Park locations, they can order it and usually have it in within a week or so. Opened last year, the new Piggly Wiggly Crestline Village location increased the previous store location’s retail space by 40 percent. Andrew Virciglio said the expanded store has more than 30 linear feet of shelf space devoted to traditional kosher foods on a regular basis. They also have a great reputation for their kosher meats. “I grew up in this business and it’s all about family,” he said. “Our customers have become like an extended family and we want to make sure they have everything they need.”

food and dining

Rimon sets Aug. 9 opening Tulane Hillel announced that Rimon, a new kosher restaurant concept by Chef Daniel Esses, would be opening for brunch and lunch on Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As the school year begins, the hours will be expanded. The goal is to be open year-round and be available to cater events in the community. The restaurant, located inside Tulane Hillel, is open to students and the general public, and in addition to dining in, there will be an emphasis on grab-and-go meals. Esses said the goal is to provide dishes that are farm-to-table, homemade and locally sourced as much as possible.

St. George Middle East Food Festival in Sept. Preparation for the Saint George Melkite Catholic Church’s annual Middle Eastern Food Festival starts with 2,000 falafels. The eagerly-awaited Birmingham event is in its 36th year, and attracts thousands of visitors from the area over a three-day period. This year’s festival is Sept. 14 to 16. Falafel chair Hilweh Shunnarah said they use 100 pounds of dry chick peas for the falafel, using a family recipe. “We have to have 80 pounds of onion, 15 pounds of garlic, 5 boxes of fresh parsley and hot peppers too!” said Shunnarah. Parishioners spend late summer preparing foods such as Kibbee, a meat entrée made with ground round of beef, onions, cracked wheat and special spices; Rolled Grape Leaves, grape leaves stuffed with rice, meat and special spices and cooked in lemon juice and water; Meat and Spinach pies, made with a homemade yeast dough filled either with a lemony spinach filling or a meat and cream cheese filling. Favorite desserts include baklawa, a delicate pastry filled with nuts; Hareeseh, a homemade farina butter cake drizzled with rose water flavored syrup; Zalabieh, a homemade fried doughnut prepared freshly on site. Activities include church tours, which are conducted throughout day until 8 p.m.; live entertainment on several occasions, and the sale of handmade crafts and items from the Middle East. Proceeds will benefit local charities, including Three Hots and A Cot, Pathways of Birmingham, and Habitat for Humanity. The Food Festival also enables the parish to feed the homeless, prepare hot meals for women in shelters, provide diapers and other paper products to local charities, and sponsor an “Angel Tree” at Christmas. Festival hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a drive through from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and lunch delivery downtown on Sept. 14 and 15 for orders over $75.

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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 31

community “There Are Jews Here” part of Capri festival “There Are Jews Here,” a film about disappearing Jewish communities in Laredo, Tex.; Latrobe, Pa.; and Butte, Mont.; contrasted with the Dothan Jewish community, will be part of the Capri Cultural Film Festival in Montgomery on Aug. 20, and will be screened in Shreveport in September. The festival showcases different ethnic groups in Montgomery, as seen in motion pictures. The festival kicks off at noon with “Trail of Tears” and photographs from the Hugh Rozelle Collection, presented by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. At 1:30 p.m., “There Are Jews Here” will be screened, presented by the Jewish Federation of Central Alabama. Film producer Brad Lichtenstein said it was eye-opening to realize that there are 1 million Jews in smaller American communities, with a vastly different experience than he had living in Atlanta, Milwaukee and New York. The filmmakers spent a great deal of time in Dothan, chronicling the life of Temple Emanu-El and detailing the incentive package that lures Jewish families to the area in an effort to keep the community vibrant. “There Are Jews Here” debuted last summer at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This is the first theatrical screening in Alabama, and it is also scheduled to be shown at Agudath Achim in Shreveport on Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The festival concludes with the little-known but significant 1964 film “Nothing But A Man,” presented by Jacqueline Allen Trimble, chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University, at 3:30 p.m. Admission to the film festival is $5, and advance tickets will go on sale on the Capri’s website at noon on Aug. 13.

Emily learns about Sukkot at Temple Emanu-El in Dothan, in the documentary “There Are Jews Here.” 32 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

community Across from East Jefferson Hospital Emergency

Gates of Prayer defends softball title

Providing long-term care services and short-term rehab and therapy in an atmosphere of caring and compassion

Though neither Gates of Prayer nor Beth Israel/Northshore had a stellar record during the New Orleans Synagogue Softball League regular season, for the fourth time in five years the Metairie next door neighbors met in the championship game. Gates of Prayer successfully repeated, defending their title with a 15-2 win over Beth Israel/Northshore. Gates of Prayer was the No. 3 seed, defeating Touro Synagogue in the semifinal. Despite a 4-7 record during the season, Beth Israel/Northshore beat No. 1 seed Temple Sinai, 14-3, in the other semifinal. Veteran pitcher Damion Michaels was named Gates of Prayer’s most valuable player. Gates of Prayer also won the championship in 2014, with Beth Israel winning in 2013 and 2015.


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ISJL gets Slingshot recognition The Jackson-based Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life is once again listed in Slingshot: A Resource Guide to Jewish Innovation. Published annually since 2005, Slingshot highlights innovative organizations in American Jewish life “with particular resonance among the next generation.” The guide is distributed to 7,500 funders, foundation professionals, federation executives, and not-for-profit leaders annually, in addition to tens of thousands of online downloads. This year, for the first time, organizations were asked to apply based on where they are in their life cycle: start-up, mezzanine or legacy. Applications and evaluations were tailored to life cycle, giving organizations a greater context to share their work within an ever-expanding ecosystem. “The whole ISJL team is proud to be included in the Guide, and honored to be in such inspiring company,” said Macy Hart, the ISJL’s founder and president. Stefanie Rhodes, executive director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, said “Slingshot’s work is to help Jews find, fund and connect to meaningful, exciting experiences in Jewish life. After 12 years, the book remains relevant in a changing world because we continue to highlight organizations doing exceptional work, serving as the trailblazers for what is possible, meeting the community’s evolving needs and inspiring all of us.” Sarah Rueven, Slingshot board chair, said “It is clear that innovation is a critical component of today’s Jewish community and embracing organizational life cycles will be important for all of us as we seek to support and sustain Jewish innovation. Slingshot is highlighting the work of organizations that strengthen Jewish life by rising to the challenges of the day and making our community more relevant to our generation.” Listed organizations were selected from among hundreds of finalists and reviewed by nearly 100 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life. Slingshot noted ISJL’s innovation amd its long-term commitment to ongoing programming and service. Organizations included in this year’s Guide were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results. Selected organizations are eligible for grants from the Slingshot Fund, a peer-giving network of young donors with an eye for identifying, highlighting and advancing causes that resonate the most with the next generation of philanthropists. Furthermore, the Guide is a frequently used resource for donors seeking to support organizations transforming the world in novel and interesting ways. Other organizations with regional ties in the 50 include Moishe House, which has a location in New Orleans, Jewish Kids Groups in Atlanta, and Challah for Hunger.


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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 33

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34 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017


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Medical and emergency health care professionals from throughout the New Orleans area are traveling to Israel this month to learn and share best practices for dealing with catastrophic events, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks. Doctors, nurses, administrators and paramedics are spending Aug. 5 to 12 in Israel as part of an initiative by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans to introduce local medical personnel to Israeli emergency response practices. The visit is a follow-up to a symposium in December 2013 when Israeli emergency response professionals traveled to New Orleans to participate in discussions on crisis management, operational readiness, emergency response best practices and trauma protocol. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans organized both exchanges as part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2gether Peoplehood Platform. New Orleans’ sister city in this partnership is Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, located near Tel Aviv. “Emergency response professionals in Israel have established a reputation as experts in quick and effective response to earthquakes, military and terrorist scenarios,” said Federation President Edward Soll. “In New Orleans, medical and health care professionals frequently juggle mass casualty situations. It’s the perfect partnership.” Plans in Israel include visits to an Israel Defense Force medical corps base and Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s first military hospital, known widely for its clinical research and global training model. Participants also will take part in a mass casualty simulation at Carmel Hospital in Haifa and ride in an ambulance with Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical service. Participants represent New Orleans EMS, Ochsner Health System, East Jefferson General Health Hospital, Touro Infirmary/LCMC, LSU Health Sciences Center and Ready Responders, which recently won The Big Idea prize at the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. They include Dr. James Aiken of LSUHSC; Dr. Ryan Bird, Ronnie Landry and Eileen Smith of Touro Infirmary; Captain Adam Brickeen, Dr. Jeff Elder and Cedric Palmisano of New Orleans EMS; Michael Guillot of East Jefferson General Hospital; Benjamin Swig of Ready Responders and Dr. Christopher Voigt of Ochsner.

community Parshall returns to Institute of Southern Jewish Life as new historian Josh Parshall is joining the Jackson-based Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life as director of the organization’s history department. Parshall is already quite familiar with the ISJL and Southern Jewish history. He was the oral historian at ISJL from 2009 to 2013, working with former ISJL historian Stuart Rockoff. After four years traveling the South and collecting stories of the Southern Jewish experience, Parshall enrolled at the University of North Carolina in 2013 to pursue a Ph.D. from the newly-formed graduate program in American Studies. His wife, Alli Goldman Parshall, is a former ISJL Education Fellow. Parshall’s recently completed doctoral dissertation, “Yiddish Politics in Southern States: The Southern District of the Arbeter Ring, 1908-1949,” shapes a history of the Arbeter Ring / Workmen’s Circle in Southern cities during the first half of the 20th century. This research explores how a subset of East European Jewish immigrants in the South established a regional network of Arbeter Ring, a national fraternal organization that promoted secular Yiddish culture and socialist politics and that is most often associated with the urban North. In cities such as Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham and Waco, Arbeter Ring members built new homes for themselves in unfamiliar environments by supporting one another through mutual aid, organizing secular Yiddish cultural events and pursuing left-wing politics. Southern Arbeter Ring history both calls attention to the diversity of Jewish experiences outside the American Northeast and demonstrates once again that Jews in the South maintained strong connections to a broad range of global Jewish movements.

Parshall’s research has been published in the journal Southern Jewish History and presented at the annual meetings of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, the American Studies Association and the Association for Jewish Studies. In his new role as ISJL historian, he will enhance the online Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish communities, prepare lectures to be presented across the region, gather additional histories for the collection, and work with individuals and organizations across the South to preserve and explore the Southern Jewish experience.

JFS announces fall groups

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans will launch some of the fall groups in the coming weeks. LGBTQ Adults With Anxiety is a support group for adults in the LGBTQ community seeking a safe, supportive environment to explore anxiety. There will be six sessions, Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., starting Aug. 23. Total cost is $50 per person. On Sept. 5, Playful Parenting will start an eight-session run. The interactive seminar for parents and caregivers is aimed at providing play therapy techniques to improve the child-parent relationship with children ages 3 to 10. The group will meet Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. Cost is $280 per couple or individual. The Caregiver Support Group will start on Sept. 5 and meet for six Tuesdays at 4p.m. Cost is $60 per person. Girl Power starts its fall session for girls ages 8 to 13 on Sept. 11, and Parenting LGBTQ Teens starts on Oct. 4.


August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 35

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Beef Carpaccio Editor’s Note: While the original recipe calls for beef tenderloin, because of the nerve running along the tenderloin, that cut is not widely available from kosher butchers in the U.S., so the recipe can be adapted with a substitute cut if needed. 1 whole beef tenderloin 1 cup black pepper (ground) Canola oil Trim all fat and silver skin off filet until just the center cut is available. Break filet down into 4 pieces cutting once down the center vertically and one down the center horizontally. Heat a skillet and add canola oil. Cover each piece in black pepper and then roll in hot oil. Allow to cool on a wire rack, or in the fridge. Slice each piece into 1/8th inch slices. Using a mallet, flatten pieces until they are 2 mm thick. Arrange on deli sheets and wrap in plastic. Can freeze for up to 48 hours

Soy and Ginger vinaigrette 1/2 cup ginger (grated) 1 cup shallots (small dice) 1/4 cup garlic (grated) 2 cups extra virgin olive oil 1 cup Soy sauce Caramelize shallots in a cast iron skillet. Turn off heat, add ginger and garlic, and allow to cool. Add soy and olive oil. Store in an airtight container. To make carpaccio, take one portion of the sliced meat and spread 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette on top. Toss 1 oz. of arugula with vinaigrette, pickled carrots, and place on top of beef. Mix and serve.


Apolline by Lee J. Green

“A gift from Apollo” shines a bright light on the New Orleans culinary scene. That’s the meaning of the French-Creole name given to this contemporary Creole restaurant and bar located on Magazine Street in Uptown, Apolline, which opened its doors in November 2011, “features contemporary French cuisine with Creole influences and locally-grown ingredients, including the restaurant’s own garden for herbs, peppers and tomatoes,” said Apolline General Manager Frank Phillips. Those Apolline garden herbs and peppers even make their way into continued on the next page 36 Southern Jewish Life • August 2017

Continued from page 38

Do you have peace of mind?

Unfortunately, how the dreidel was incorporated into each event has been lost to history, as should have been…


The short-lived presence of the Surfganiyot was unexpected. In between the events of the Maccabiad’s middle days, some specatators took to the nearby waters. They floated lazily on improvised, rounded apparatus. As they rode the gentle current, dozens of jellyfish arrived, attacking the frightened floatsam through the center holes of their improvised inner tubes. The result was a race for shore that was universally observed to be the most spirited and energetic of the entire Games. At least, by those who survived, who were barely more in number than the designated catchers in...

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The Hammer Throw

To commemorate the Maccebees —  the original Hebrew Hammers —  competitors threw a hammer for distance. Unlike the contemporary construct based on the Greek Olympiad, there is no spinning and no cable. A straightforward metal hammer is hurled for distance, much like a carpenter does when he realizes his union break should have started 10 minutes ago, and thus he missed the beginning of the day’s match in…

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Millenia before Rowling’s Ravenclaws fantastically flew around on brooms, Quidditch swept through the First Maccabiad. Hard to believe, until one realizes there’s a well-known reminder on every Shabbat: The Quidditch Cup.

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festive cocktails. The recipes are a collaborative effort led by Chef Jeffrey Maurer and Sous Chef Michael Shelton. Philips said together the two create contemporary cuisine while remaining true to traditional southern Louisiana influences. “We change the menu seasonally, and though we really do not experience four full seasons in New Orleans, we generally change the menu 3 to 4 times per year,” he said. Apolline’s capacity inside is 80 including the bar, and they also offer some outdoor patio seating. The restaurant has played host to many special celebrations, even an actual wedding. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. They have Sunday brunch and are closed on Mondays. Philips said what sets Apolline apart is its personality, which comes through in the ambiance, cuisine, attention to detail and friendly service. “We encourage our front of house staff to really let their personalities shine and the guests really love that,” he said. “To us it’s all about the entire experience that our guests have. We want every guest who walks in the front door to feel like family and know that we truly appreciate them for choosing to dine with us.”

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Eat This, Not That The Uptown Jewish Community Center in New Orleans will have a healthy eating conversation, led by Touro Infirmary Dietician Julie Fortenberry. The discussion will focus on making the best choices when there are so many food options available. The discussion will be on Aug. 17 at noon. Participants may bring their own lunch; desserts and coffee will be served. Reservations are requested by Aug. 14. There is no charge for members and non-members.

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August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 37

rear pew mirror • doug brook

Games of the First Maccabiad As Birmingham collects its breath after hosting the 2017 Maccabi Games, it’s interesting to reflect on how many people this columnist knows who have teens who competed in it, while he, on the other hand… Editor’s Note: “Interesting” was a typo. The more apt adjective is not repeatable in this space, and resulted in an appointment scheduled with an analyst. Therefore, the rest of this column will be a special feature on the competitive events held in the ancient, first-ever Maccabi Games. The Games of the First Maccabiad were held many centuries ago, several years before ancient times. They pre-dated the more commonly publicized Olympic Games which, like many a successful venture in the modern world, stood on the shoulders of someone else’s good idea and ultimately becoming better known than its originator. Unfortunately, the First Maccabiad was also long before the advent of lucrative television rights. Fortunately, this means it was spared commercial breaks, and live streaming on the internet. Regardless, the Games were played. It was a different era: Football before the invention of the concussion, and baseball before the invention of the equally damaging Designated Hitter. The First Maccabiad was scheduled to take just one day. However, the oil from the Maccabic torch kept it lit for eight days. This required the sudden creation of additional competitions to fill the extra week. These improvised sports were inspired by the origin story of the famed family who shared their names with the games.

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Running of the Elephants

The first Running of the Elephants was more dramatic than it sounds. Elephants aren’t very fast. However, neither were some of the competitors. While runners in Pamplona who get caught might be gored, runners caught by a running elephant would be pancaked, which diminished some spectators’ interest in…

Competitive Latke Eating

The Latke Eating competition had several flavors. While all latkes were heated, different heats featured the rapid consumption of latkes with applesauce, sour cream, applesauce and sour cream, nothing, or SPAM. Unlike modern competitions for eating hot dogs or White Castles, the First Maccabiad’s consumption contest was twofold. The first part was won by whoever ate the most latkes. The second part was won by whoever took the longest to regurgitate the first part. This dizzying after-effect sometimes made competitors feel like the centerpiece in the…


Modern minds would find a variety of potential competitions revolving around the Chanukaically ubiquitous souvenir from Frankie Valli and The Four-Sided Tops concerts. None of these notions were part of the Games of the First Maccabiad. Instead, there were 10 challenges, all based on the dreidel: The running dreidel jump, 100-meter dreidel, shot dreidel, dreidel jump, 400-meter dreidel, 110-meter dreidels, dreidel throw, dreidel vault, javelin dreidel, and the 1,500-meter run — while spinning like a dreidel. continued on previous page

August 2017 • Southern Jewish Life 47

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SJL New Orleans, August 2017  

August 2017 New Orleans edition of Southern Jewish Life, the official publication of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community.

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