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Southern Jewish Life NEW ORLEANS EDITION

CHANUKAH GIFT GUIDE TOURO DEDICATES NEW TORAH GREEN PRESCHOOL EICHMANN EXHIBIT OPENS

November 2019

Volume 29 Issue 11

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Join Us on the Green Carpet for an Award Winning Evening Honoring| Susan and Howard Green Celebrating | Green Preschool at JCDS Featuring | NJ Beats, Tulane’s first Jewish a capella group Enjoy & Sip | D’vash Catering & Hollywood Highballs

In 2019, Susan and Howard Green made a significant gift to establish a leading-edge, research-based preschool rooted in Jewish values here at JCDS, and, in appreciation, Susan and Howard Green Preschool has been named in their honor. We are thrilled to celebrate the spirit and legacy of this wonderful couple at this year’s gala! With very special thanks to our Gala Chairs: Rochelle Adler Effron & Mark Effron, Lis & Hugo Kahn, and Tracey & Henry Smith To purchase tickets, become a Patron, or support JCDS with a general donation: Visit jcdsnola.org or call Tiffany Cotlar at 504.887.4091 2

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


shalom y’all There has been a lot of talk about antisemitism lately, and a heated debate on where it comes from and what manifestation is worse, though Deborah Lipstadt, who wrote the book on the topic, reminds everyone that it comes from more than one side and is dangerous in every form. One recent version of the debate was done publicly with members of IfNotNow confronting Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House Republican Whip, demanding that he condemn antisemitism coming from Republicans. For the left-wing activist group, his condemnation of antisemitism in general was insufficient (story, page 15). When one brings up the idea that antisemitism isn’t restricted to one side of the political spectrum, the argument is naturally made that the recent synagogue shooters were white nationalists on the right, and thus right-wing antisemitism is far more dangerous. Yes, the nuts who enter synagogues to commit terror attacks in the U.S. are generally lone-wolf right wingers. While their brazen acts are usually linked to a coarsening of public dialogue under Trump, the actual shooters have shown a dislike of Trump, because they see him as a puppet under control of the Jews. The death toll from the right far exceeds that from the left, though the mostly-ignored plague of assaults against Orthodox Jews in New York has come from people of color, not white supremacists — and have been explained away by many as a natural reaction to perceived economic circumstances, such as gentrification, in the neighborhoods, for which Jews are perpetrators, not victims. But most people have also forgotten that in the last year, there have been four potentially mass-murderous plots against Jewish communities by Islamic extremists in the U.S. — in Ohio, California, Montana and Georgia — that were all thwarted by law enforcement. In Europe it came as a shock when the Yom Kippur synagogue attacker in Halle,

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commentary

MESSAGES

Maccabi USA leader praises Birmingham Games I have had the honor of attending many Maccabi competitions around the world. From Israel to Australiawas to South America, and the JCCthey Maccabi gamesdoing around States ” Germany, revealed to beEurope a right-winger; have been tothe theUnited Palestinians. and Canada,they I have miles seeing how sports cannuked be a vehicle to help builditJewish in Europe, arelogged used many to frequent jihadist If Iran Tel Aviv, would be conidentity, especially our young. Muslim immi- demned or celebrated on campuses in the attacks on Jews byinradicalized grants. U.S.? I felt honored to come to Birmingham for the first time and fell in love with not just the city a recent inhave Atlanta, U.S. Special hospitality Envoy There is another made butInthe people.talk You taken Southern to a new level withlinkage your kind andbetween caring Jefor Monitoring Anti-Semitism sus and the Palestinians. Every other year there approach to the and JCC Combating Maccabi Games. Elan Carr said there are three main places from is a program called Christ at the Checkpoint, Led by the Sokol andisHelds, your hard-working volunteers werethat wonderful. They partnered where antisemitism spreading — “ethnic where it is said the “Palestinian” Mary and with your outstanding staff, led by Betzy Lynch, to make the 2017 JCC Maccabi a huge supremacism of the far right, Israel-hatred on Joseph would not have beengames allowed intohit. toIthe want to take this opportunity as executive director of Maccabi USAbytoIsrael, say thank you Israel on behalf radical left and militant Islam. ” He spent day’s Bethlehem and that operof everyone more time involved. discussing the left, though he ates a “crucifixion system” against the Palestincautioned wasn’t from because that World was more ians.games It’s the deicide updated I had justitreturned the 20th Maccabiah in ancient Israel with a U.S.charge delegation of important or a joined greater10,000 threat. “We don’t rank woke 21st over 1100, who Jewish athletes fromfor 80 the countries. Backcentury, in July the eyes of the entire kinds ofworld Jew-hatred. there a group out there committing Jewish were on” Jerusalem and the Maccabiah. IfThis pastwere month with 1000 athletes and Whilefrom the around venom the from thebeing left is, at this genocide, stealing from innocent peocoaches world in Birmingham, you became theorgans focal point. point, mere words, is there not a danger in ple, targeting children, engaging in supremaEveryone from the Jewish community and the community at large, including a wonderful rhetoric? cism… if something bad were to happen to police force, are to be commended. These games will go down in history as being a seminal When David Duke says something, he’s a them, well, at best there is a feeling that karmoment for the Jewish community as we build to the future by providing such wonderful Jewish crank, a Nazi Klansman who can’t be taken ma comes home to roost. At worst, it’s time to memories. seriously. When left-wing college professors pile on for some payback. Jed say Margolis the same things about Jews, even drawing That is the danger of what is becoming Executive Director, Maccabi USA praise from Duke, it’s their academic freedom mainstream in far too many places, from the and they have every right to their beliefs, and college campus to certain Congressional officbesides, look at what Israel is doing to deserve supremacists es. It isn’t justwould that Jews are libeled like to seebeing pushed back and On suchCharlottesville criticism (which, mind you, is always into accused of all outlandish a corner andmanner made tooffeel lesser. Weoffensstand legitimate and can never be called antisemi- with es, it’s that those liesfamily that would makeHeyer, David and pray for the of Heather Editor’s Thishow reaction to the events in tism, noNote: matter vile, and if you complain, Duke blush are coming from college profeswho was there standing up to the face of this Charlottesville, written Jeremy Newman, you’re just trying to by shut down legitimate hate. sors and otherwise respected public figures, Master of the Epsilon Pi Theta Colony discourse byAlpha saying any criticism of Israel is and are becoming mainstream among the Wegeneration. recognize the essence of the American at Auburn University, was shared by AEPi antisemitism). next narrative a two-century old Again” struggletotoarid National, which called it “very eloquent” and Discrimination against and harrassment of How doasyou teach “Never genourselves of such corners, and praised “our brothers at AEPi Theta Colony at Jewish students has become mainstreamed eration that is being sold a lieallow that those Jews in have them theright seat ataround the tableand that are theyperpetrating so deserve. Auburn Universityon and… thecollege leadership they and acceptable many campuses. turned is the struggle fulfill thePalestinians promise of the display their campus.” publish vile screeds It Studenton newspapers Holocaust Part to II on the (While Independence, that “all men are against Israel then refuse to let Jewish stu- Declaration arguing overofwhether Part I really took place, created equal… endowed by their Creator with dents respond. Jewish students are marginal- or was actually part of a Zionist collaboration White supremacy has been a cancer on unalienable rights.” We know our work ized for insufficient loathing of an Israel that is certain with Hitler)? our country since its beginning, threatening from finished, but we know wethe willleft nothas portrayed as worse than the Klan or the Nazis, is far Making the situation muddier, its hopes, its values, and its better angels. move backwards. and of course nobody would allow the Klan or embraced fellow traveler ostensibly Jewish The events that took place in Charlottesville Nazis to have a say in the public square. extremist groups as a fig leaf how can When men and women, fully— armed, takethis represented the worst of this nation. Those Through monstrous lies, a whole genera- to “legitimate criticism” be antisemitism when the streets in droves with swastikas and who marched onto the streets with tiki torches tion is being conditioned to look at Israel as other “the Jews” agree with itus? symbols of hate, is a reminder of how and swastikas did so to provoke violence and the world’s rogue regime, and since the Jew- relevant In 2019, whites can’t and decide for Afrithe issues of racism anti-Semitism fear. Those who marched onto the streets did ish community (with a few exceptions) knows are can-Americans what is call or toisn’t racist.that Hettoday. It is a wake-up the work so to profess an ideology that harkens back to how off-base that assessment is, we are tar- needs erosexuals can’ttobe the aarbiter of what is to be done ensure better, more a bleaker, more wretched time in our history. geted by yet another irrational hatred, this homophobic. But when it comes to antisemA time when men and women of many creeds, welcoming country. But it should not come time wrapped in the name of justice, inclusion itism? Sit down, Jew, we’ll let you know when races, and religions were far from equal and far without a reflection on how far we’ve come. and a warped view of human rights. something is antisemitic (spoiler alert: it’ll America was born a slave nation. A century from safe in our own borders. A time where After the Holocaust, wide swaths of the never be something from our enlightened into our history we engaged in a war in part Americans lived under a constant cloud of Christian world were forced to look in the mir- side of the aisle). to ensure we would not continue as one. We racism, anti-Semitism and pervasive hate. The ror and examine their centuries of anti-Jewish Yes, right wing antisemitism has been much events that took place in Charlottesville served found ourselves confronted by the issue of civil theological teachings, and ask themselves more of a physical threat, at least in the U.S. rights, and embarked on a mission to ensure as a reminder of how painfully relevant these whether that greased the skids for the Holo- But looking long-term, it would be foolish to the fair treatment of all peoples no matter their issues are today. caust. Sure, the Nazis weren’t acting out of a ignore the ideological threat coming from color. Although we’ve made great strides, Auburn’sideology, Alpha Epsilon Pi stands with the of skin Christian but did the centuries the not-as-far-anymore left, and its potential it is a mission we’re still grappling with today. Jewish community of Charlottesville, and anti-Jewish conditioning in society help the for serious long-term damage that is far more America wasaccepted also borninansociety. immigrant with the Jewish around country average citizen people rationalize it orthe not care about severe — and country. As early as the pilgrims, many and the world. to Wethe also stand with the whataround was happening Jews? minorities targeted by the hate that How far who is it are from “the Jews deserve it be- groups and families found in the country the opportunity to plant stakes, chase their future, was onthey display in Charlottesville. stand cause killed Christ” in early We 20th-century with the minorities of whom these white Europe to “the Jews deserve it because of what and be themselves. Few were met with open

Lawrence Brook, Publisher/Editor

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

November April 2019 2019

Southern Jewish Life PUBLISHER/EDITOR Lawrence M. Brook editor@sjlmag.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ADVERTISING Lee J. Green lee@sjlmag.com V.P. SALES/MARKETING, NEW ORLEANS Jeff Pizzo jeff@sjlmag.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ginger Brook ginger@sjlmag.com SOCIAL/WEB Emily Baldwein connect@sjlmag.com PHOTOGRAPHER-AT-LARGE Rabbi Barry C. Altmark deepsouthrabbi.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rivka Epstein, Louis Crawford, Tally Werthan, Stuart Derroff, Belle Freitag, Ted Gelber, E. Walter Katz, Doug Brook brookwrite.com 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 504/432-2561 TOLL-FREE 866/446.5894 FAX 866/392.7750 ADVERTISING Advertising inquiries to 205/870.7889 for Lee Green, lee@sjlmag.com; Jeff Pizzo, jeff@sjlmag.com; or Annetta Dolowitz, annetta@sjlmag.com 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 sjlmag.com, call 205/870.7889 or mail payment to the address above. Copyright 2019. 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.

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agenda interesting bits & can’t miss events Photo by Michael Maples Video Productions

At the Oct. 17 NCJW Hannah G. Solomon Award event, past recipients in attendance included (seated, left to right) Norma Freiberg, Ana and Juan Gershanik, 2019 honoree Madeleine Landreiu, Kim Sport and Susan Hess; (Standing, left to right) Madalyn Schenk, Mary Zervigon, Hugo Kahn, Eddy Rosen, Diana Lewis and Judge Miriam Waltzer. Story, page 44.

Investing in the future of Jewish New Orleans After receiving largest gift in 15 years, JCDS names preschool after Susan and Howard Green The Jewish Community Day School in Metairie announced that Susan and Howard Green had given the school a $1 million gift, which led to the naming of the preschool in their honor. The donation is the largest that the school has received in 15 years, and is being administered by the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana. The contribution will provide support to the Susan and Howard Green Preschool@ JCDS early childhood program. Green Preschool is unique in that it promotes Reggio Emilia-inspired, child-centered learning in a creative environment while fostering creativity, collaboration and partnership with families in the context of a strong foundation in Jewish values. The Greens initially became involved with JCDS as a result of their grandchildren attending a Jewish Day School in New York, where they were able to observe firsthand the benefits of a Jewish day school education.

“We have seen the impact on our whole family,” Susan Green said. “We are constantly awed by the joy and knowledge exhibited by our children and grandchildren.” They also connected with JCDS after being “wowed” by the Children’s Annual Chanukah Extravaganza. “We were impressed with the beauty of the children’s singing and the astounding confidence they displayed. I just knew that this education would lay the groundwork for their connection to Judaism for a lifetime. “Howard and I want to make sure that the same high-quality Jewish education our grandchildren are receiving in New York is available for the children and families in the Greater New Orleans Area,” she said. As they started to become involved with JCDS, Susan Green was asked to serve on the school’s board, and they have been zealous advocates and supporters ever since. According to Susan Green, the moment

Head of School Brad Philipson with Susan and Howard Green November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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agenda she learned of the JCDS dream to create an early childhood program, she wondered how she and her husband could best help to make this a reality. “Before I had even officially become head of school in July, I got to know Susan and Howard as this brilliant, charming couple who cared deeply about the school,” said Oscar J. Tolmas Head of School Brad Philipson. “This gift is a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of JCDS, and it further builds our foundation in a way that will impact generations of future students. Whatever the story of JCDS is from here forward, the love and support of the Greens will forever be a part of it.” The Howard and Susan Green Jewish Community Day School Operating Support Charitable Fund held at JEF will retain half of their gift to be used in concert with Legacy Heritage Fund Challenge grants to act as an incubator for the preschool at JCDS. The other half of the contribution will also be held at JEF in the Howard and Susan Green Jewish Community Day School Permanent Charitable Trust to ensure the school’s long-term future. “JEF’s Board of Directors and I are honored that Susan and Howard entrusted us to administer this magnanimous gift,” stated JEF Executive Director Bobby Garon. “We hope for other similar collaborative opportunities like the Greens’ in order to support and preserve the future needs of our Jewish community.” The couple will be honored at the JCDS ‘Green Carpet’ event to be held on Dec. 8 at the Goldring-Woldenberg Jewish Community Campus in Metairie. The event is sold out.

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Touro to install Bauman on Nov. 22 Touro Synagogue will officially install Rabbi Katie Bauman during the 6 p.m. Shabbat service on Nov. 22. Bauman returned to New Orleans this summer to become the rabbi of Touro, which she said was the only place for which she would ever consider leaving Temple Israel in Memphis. Born in New Orleans, Bauman grew up in Little Rock and was a longtime camper and counselor at the Henry S. Jacobs Camp. On Nov. 1, the Jacobs Camp 50th anniversary celebration began at Touro. Rev. Rosalyn Nichols, the organizing pastor of Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church in Memphis, will be among the special guests at the installation. Bauman said she is a “spiritual sister” who became a close friend while she was in Memphis, and they worked together in numerous interfaith efforts. Acclaimed Jewish musician Dan Nichols will also be involved with the service, along with Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel in Memphis. Greenstein has been at Temple Israel since 1991, becoming senior rabbi in 2000. After college, she interned as an education and music specialist at Temple Israel, then entered rabbinical school. After ordination, she returned to Temple Israel as assistant rabbi in 2009, then as associate rabbi. Temple Sinai is not holding services that evening, so their members can take part in welcoming Bauman back to New Orleans. A reception will follow the service.


agenda JNEXT launching for 40s and 50s

50-state Torah reading tour hits NOLA

JNOLA is for young adults in the New Orleans Jewish community, but what’s next? JNEXT is launching this month for the 40s and 50s-“ish” crowd, providing social engagement, cultural programs and service outreach in a Jewish context. Both groups are coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. JNOLA, which was formed several years ago through a merger of young adult groups, recently changed its scope to the 21 to 39 age range. JNEXT was created with the help of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana. The launch program for JNEXT will be “Breaking Bread” with Chefs Alon Shaya and Graison Gill, who recently toured Israel together. They will speak about their journey and how food brings people together at the 5:30 p.m. program on Nov. 20. Reservations are $25 and can be made through the Federation website. Shaya, a James Beard Award winner, established Pom Hospitality, which has Saba restaurant in New Orleans, and a sister restaurant in Denver. Saba will provide the hors d’oeuvres, and those in attendance will receive a gift from Bellegarde, which is owned by Gill. Future programs include NOLA craft culture on Jan. 12 and a happy hour and volunteer opportunity at Second Harvest Food Bank on March 11. More information about JNEXT is available at jewishnola.com/jnext.

On Dec. 14, Michael Segal of Teaneck, N.J., will be at Anshe Sfard in New Orleans, reaching the milestone of reading Torah at synagogues in 40 states. His “personal quest” started several years ago, after reaching his goal of chanting the entire Torah by age 30. With 54 weekly Torah portions, he decided to embark on a goal of reading Torah in all 50 states, adding that the four U.S. territories add up to 54. While he is Orthodox, in some states he has had to read in non-Orthodox settings, though he still follows the rule that there have to be 10 men over Bar Mitzvah age in attendance, prefers not to use a microphone, and requests no press coverage on Shabbat. In October 2018, he read at B’nai Israel in Hattiesburg, a Reform congregation, where the service was led by Rabbi Edward Cohn of New Orleans. Mississippi was his 35th state. His 25th state was Alabama, having read at Knesseth Israel in Birmingham in March 2016. When he read in South Dakota, he brought a Torah from Omaha, and a friend came from four hours away to help ensure he had a minyan. Last December, he read at Beth Tefillah in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Kol BeRamah in Santa Fe, N.M., while on a vacation with his father. This summer, he read in Oregon, and his most recent state was Kentucky, having read at Anshei Sfard in Louisville in September. His sister will be joining him in New Orleans next month. “I look forward to reading the Torah in State Number 40 in New Orleans, late this year,” he said. Shabbat morning services at Anshe Sfard are at 9:30 a.m.

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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At the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Chicago next month, Touro Synagogue in New Orleans will be recognized as a Belin Award Honorable Mention for its Krewe of VIPs Mardi Gras program. The congregation builds an elevated platform in front of the building so children with disabilities who would otherwise have difficulty navigating the crowds have a front row seat to the Mardi Gras parades on St. Charles Avenue. A poster featuring the program will be displayed at the biennial. The Louise Hayem Manheim Center for Early Childhood Education at Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have its annual fundraiser, A Brave Caterpillar, on Nov. 17. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., reservations are $35 for adults, $10 for children 6 and up, free for ages 5 and under, and include admission to the fair. The fair will begin at noon and run through 3 p.m., and admission to just the fair is $10, free for CECE families. The New Orleans Reform congregations will have a civil rights trip for grades 7 and 8, traveling to Birmingham for the weekend of Feb. 14 to 16. The 11th annual Turkey Train at B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge will be on Nov. 17 at 11:30 a.m. Turkeys that are being donated to St. Vincent de Paul will be carried along the train of religious school students from the B’nai Israel kitchen to the truck. Cash donations of $20 per turkey are being accepted through Nov. 10, with Matherne’s Market offering a discount and free delivery for the effort, and those donating frozen turkeys are asked to bring them the morning of Nov. 17. Slater Torah Academy will have a Moms Night Out on Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., with sushi, wine, desserts and yoga. Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have its annual Thanksgiving joint service on Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m., at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church. The B’nai Israel, Baton Rouge, Men’s Club Big Buddy Shopping Spree will be on Dec. 4. Over the years, communities in the region have seen hurricanes cancel High Holy Day services — but two congregations had unusual events that made it challenging for their rabbis to get to Rosh Hashanah services on time. In Pensacola, a wreck shut down the Bay Bridge, so Temple Beth El Rabbi Joel Fleekop had to take a boat across the bay to get to Rosh Hashanah evening services. The bridge did reopen about 45 minutes before services began. In Huntsville, on Rosh Hashanah morning there was a rockslide blocking Governors Drive, snarling traffic and forcing Temple B’nai Sholom Rabbi Eric Berk and others from the other side of the mountain to find a different route into downtown. The Gates of Prayer Brotherhood in Metairie will have a viewing of the Nov. 24 Saints game, noon in the Manheim Social Hall. Burgers, hot dogs, wings and snacks will be served. The Louise Hayem Manheim Center for Early Childhood Education at Gates of Prayer in Metairie is introducing a Baby and Me series, for infants to 14-month-olds and their caregivers. The monthly series started Nov. 11 with Music to Your Ears with Tory May. On Dec. 9, Celebrate Chanukah with PJ Library and Bonnie Lustig. Free play starts at 10 a.m., followed by the activity at 10:15 a.m. and snack time at 10:45 a.m. Shir Chadash in Metairie will have Friday Night Plus with Rick Streiffer’s “Tales from the Cutting Edge,” a discussion of what it is like to be a mohel and what prompts him to perform and facilitate this mitzvah. The service on Nov. 22 will be at 6:15 p.m. Dinner will be at 7 p.m., reservations are $18, and his talk will begin around 8 p.m.

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


Hundreds of hands went into making Touro’s new Torah New scroll dedicated at Shabbat service on Oct. 18, just before Simchat Torah Thirteen months after Linda Coppleson sat under a canopy in the sanctuary of Touro Synagogue in New Orleans and scribed the first few letters of the Torah on a fresh sheet of parchment, the congregation held a Shabbat service in the middle of Sukkot to dedicate the completed scroll. “This is a momentous night,” said Rabbi Katie Bauman, who recently became the congregation’s rabbi, succeeding Rabbi Alexis Berk, who had officiated the Oct. 16 ceremony last year before assuming a new pulpit in San Diego. The Torah is being dedicated in memory of Julian Good Sr., who died in 2013 and had been a president of the congregation. Bauman said the Torah was made possible by the Good family “and with the generosity of hundreds of Touro congregants whose hands combined with Linda’s to form the letters in this scroll.” Over the past year, Coppleson visited Touro a few times, holding “scribing sessions” with donors, where they could hold her hand as she did a letter or a word. Bauman said there were over 100 sessions, “Involving many generations of Touro families, our religious school teachers and children, our leaders, everyone who brought the gift of their heart to this project.” This was the fifth Torah that Coppleson has completed, and at the start of the Oct. 18 service, Bauman asked Coppleson to light the Shabbat candles “with the same hands that gave us our beautiful new Torah.” The Torah’s rollers were made “by an incredible expert local artisan from a pear tree that used to stand on Prytania Street,” Bauman noted.

Linda Coppleson sews the completed scroll onto the Louisiana-made roller before the new Torah was dedicated at the Oct. 18 service. The week of Sukkot, Bauman said, is “all about the fragility of shelter and the significance of water,” and in New Orleans, that played out in many ways that week, “from the water advisory that spanned several days, to the tragic collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel,” the sudden change in seasons and the harvesting of 86 bags from Touro’s vertical garden. “Change is a part of life, but there is much we carry with us through

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community

Touro livescreen screenshot

Cantor Kevin Margolius does the first reading from the new Torah, with the scroll lifted and facing the congregation so everyone sees the text, as the Good family is honored with the first aliyah on Oct. 18.

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those changes,” Bauman said, including “the constancy and eternity of Torah.” In describing the building of the Tabernacle, the Torah notes that “beautiful and sacred artifacts do not just appear,” Bauman said, “but rather are painstakingly created in the hands of artists and with the gifts of the faithful. So it is with our beautiful and sacred new artifact.” As the Torah service began with “the welcoming of God’s Torah into our community,” Bauman said “we have so much gratitude in our hearts” as the new Torah was about to be read for the first time of “what we pray will be thousands of times over the course of its life here at Touro Synagogue.” The scroll was carried into the sanctuary, then Immediate Past President Teri Hunter, “under whose leadership and vision this project began,” carried the Torah through the congregation. The first aliyah was given to the Good family, and the pointer used for the reading was given by Susan and Lou Good in honor of their children and grandchildren. Bauman told them, “Please know how grateful we are for your generosity, and the love and care with which you have enabled this process to take place.” For the first aliyah, Cantor Kevin Margolius read the section where the Israelites assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai, preparing to hear the Ten Commandments. The scroll was lifted and held facing the congregation, so everyone could see the words as Margolius read. After the aliyah, Peggy Good was presented with a book containing photos by Scott Saltzman, who had documented the entire process of the new Torah’s creation. For the second aliyah, everyone who had donated to the project was invited onto or close to the bimah. Bauman read the section where Moses carved the second set of tablets. Bauman said each person who participated should remember being under the chupah as the letters were written, and “know and feel that our letter, in our scroll and in our community, is an essential part of the story, a gift unique to us, that makes Touro Synagogue what it is.” The third aliyah went to “every single person in this sanctuary,” as Bauman noted that “each of us are heirs to this incredible legacy.” Rabbi Todd Silverman read the traditional section for Sukkot. Bauman also noted that as part of the project, a new lift was constructed onto the bimah, so everyone would be able to go up there for Torah honors. After the congregation recited “Shehecheyanu,” the scroll was lifted by Chris Kornman, chair of the Torah committee, and tied by Barbara


community Marcus, who donated the new Torah’s mantle in memory of Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Walter Marcus. Lisa Herman, Touro president, thanked everyone who worked on the project, then called Coppleson to the bimah. “Over the past year you have truly become one of us,” Herman said, naming Coppleson an honorary member of Touro and presenting her with a New Orleans streetcar tzedakah box. She has embraced New Orleans wholeheartedly,” Herman said. Coppleson said “you welcomed me and you truly have made me one of your own,” and “my experience here has been more than I could have ever imagined.” Her husband passed away in early September, and in recent weeks “people have been very understanding of my loss, and I appreciate that more than I can say.” The evening concluded with a Shabbat dinner under the sukkah.

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Regional learning event scheduled for March 20-22 Registration is now open for LimmudFest New Orleans 2020, the weekend of Big Tent Jewish Learning. Held from March 20 to 22, LimmudFest will have over 90 sessions in a variety of tracks, from text study to cultural exploration, Jewish food, social justice, art and history. Each congregation in the community participates in an environment that crosses denominational lines and levels of observance, including Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Shabbat services under one roof. There is also a children’s track. The weekend begins with services, Shabbat dinner and educational sessions at Gates of Prayer in Metairie. On Shabbat morning, there are services and additional sessions after lunch. Events shift to the Uptown Jewish Community Center for Havdalah and community programming. A full day of sessions will continue at the JCC on March 22. This month, LimmudFest partnered with the Greater New Orleans Jewish Community Council and 929 North America for a taste of Limmud, through the mini-course “Ego and Leadership: A Crash Course in the Prophets.” Sessions were scheduled at Gates of Prayer, Touro Synagogue and Beth Israel. Volunteers are encouraged to work on the LimmudFest marketing, programming, logistics, participant care and volunteer development teams. LimmudFest is entirely locally-planned and run by volunteers, and all meals and snacks are under rabbinic supervision. An international movement, Limmud has conferences in 80 communities around the world. Limmud operates on the core value that everyone is a learner and everyone can be a teacher, and sessions are designed to be interactive. All presenters are volunteering their time, and many of them travel to New Orleans from around the country to present. Organizers hope to draw participants from the region, and arrangements can be made for those who need home hospitality within walking distance over Shabbat. Early Bird registrations are being taken through Jan. 31. Adult registration is $85 for the weekend, $60 for just Sunday. Young adult registration for the weekend is $50 and children’s registration is $18. There is also a LimmudFest Mensch registration of $180, which covers the true, non-subsidized cost for a participant and helps offset registration for someone who can’t afford it. Registration and more information are available at limmudnola.org. The lineup of speakers will be announced soon.

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community INDIANA UNIVERSITY

World War II Museum dedicates new space with Eichmann exhibit Speakers from Israel explain origins of “Operation Finale” As the National World War II Museum celebrated the opening of the Hall of Democracy and broke ground on the Liberation Pavilion on Oct. 17, Museum CEO Stephen Watson said it was “especially fitting that we mark these two milestones” with the opening of “Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann,” the first exhibit at the new Sen. John Alario Special Exhibition Hall. Watson said the exhibit “really touched upon many of the post-war themes that will be explored in the museum’s Liberation Pavilion,” and is an example of large-scale exhibits they plan to have in the new space to explore issues and events in greater depth, bringing fresh perspectives that attract repeat visitors. The exhibit uncovers the secret history of one of the 20th century’s most sensational events — the capture and trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. As head of the Nazis’ homicidal “Jewish Department,” Orit Gover of Beit Hatfutsot and Eichmann zealously managed the Avner Avraham of the Mossad transport of millions of innocent speak at the exhibit opening people to death camps and vanished after World War II. Operation Finale — the code name of Israel’s effort to find Eichmann — reveals how agents of Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, located him in hiding in South America years after the war, then abducted and smuggled him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel, where he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. The exhibition features recently declassified materials, including 1960s-era artifacts, photographs, film, audio, contemporary design elements and interactive displays. Pete Crean, vice president of education and access, said this is the last U.S. stop for the exhibit. “Bringing an exhibit of this magnitude to this new space was no small task,” he said. Exhibits like this help the museum teach about “the fight to preserve human life, dignity and freedom,” and the museum is committed to sharing lesser-known stories in the new space, and expanding the level of Holocaust education offered. Crean said Hannah Arendt, who covered the Eichmann trial for the New Yorker, coined the term “the banality of evil,” as Eichmann “oversaw the logistics of the Holocaust through what he considered to be just someone doing his job.” After the war, “he simply vanished but there were those who were not going to let him just walk away and disappear.” Crean introduced the event’s guest speakers by saying this was the first time he had met — knowingly — a member of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

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community Avner Avraham, a former Mossad agent and curator of the exhibit, said the exhibit started with a small display at Mossad headquarters about 10 years ago. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited to view the exhibit, and asked if it could be displayed at the Knesset. From there, the exhibit expanded and went to Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. Orit Gover, chief curator of the exhibit at Beit Hatfutsot, said there was some hesitation on whether to have the exhibit, as in Israel, “who doesn’t know who Eichmann was, and his trial.” It “was a small exhibition we thought would last three months” after they received the materials and memorabilia from the Mossad. “The Mossad never gives anything to anyone, so we were lucky,” she said. Much to her surprise, the exhibit’ drew the largest opening crowd she had seen. “Israelis came by the thousands, and the exhibition lasted for nine months.” The only reason they took it down was because they needed that gallery for a previously-committed exhibit. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland asked to bring the exhibit to the U.S. That presented a translation challenge, as “it is different to show an exhibit about World War II and the Shoah in Israel and in the U.S.” While every Israeli knows the term Shoah by age 2 and the entire history of the Final Solution and Eichmann by age 13, “in the U.S.… we had to assume nobody knows who Eichmann was, or about the Final Solution,” Gover said. After expanding the historical context, the exhibit opened in Cleveland in February 2016. “This is the seventh venue,” Gover said. “The last

stop will be Germany before going back to Israel,” after which the Mossad will reclaim the items. “The Mossad may give items, but they always take them back.” Avraham said most of the items in the exhibit are original, such as a camera used for surveillance in Argentina during the operation. He said that in Miami, they came across a woman who had owned the photo shop the Mossad used in Argentina. “She developed the pictures for Mossad.” Another encounter came in Cleveland, as the son of one of the two policemen photographed standing guard inside the bulletproof witness box where Eichmann was during courtroom proceedings presented his father’s uniform to the Mossad. Avraham said they chose Iraqi or Moroccan Jews to guard Eichmann, trying to ensure that the guards had no direct personal connection to the Holocaust. Avraham said that Mossad knew that “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele was in Buenos Aires and he would be the next target after Eichmann, but when Eichmann was abducted, Mengele disappeared. Avraham noted that the same day the exhibit was opening in New Orleans, what may be one of the last Holocaust trials ever began in Hamburg, Germany. Bruno Dey was accused of being an accessory to the murder of 5,230 people as an SS guard at the Stutthof concentration camp. Because he was 17 at the time, the 93-year-old Dey was being tried in juvenile court. At press time, the trial was continuing. “Operation Finale” will be displayed through Jan. 5. On Nov. 6, the museum was holding a screening of the documentary film, “Operation Finale,” followed by a live recording of the museum’s podcast on films, “Service on Celluloid.”

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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community Mobile’s Ahavas Chesed begins 125th anniversary events Exhibit at University of South Alabama tells congregation’s history The Nov. 13 visit to Ahavas Chesed in Mobile by the Jewish Women’s Theatre played two additional purposes — expressing solidarity with a community that experienced a recent antisemitic attack, and kicking off the congregation’s 125th anniversary celebration. The Conservative congregation was formed in October 1894, and Rabbi Steven Silberman said “This year is a celebration of being part of our small, tight-knit, caring Jewish community,” and numerous events will be announced. He also said the Nov. 13 performance was being dedicated to the community of Halle, Germany, where two people were killed following a failed attempt to invade the synagogue on Yom Kippur. Each year, the Jewish community of Halle has a cultural series during this time of the year, and in memory of those who were killed, “communities around the world are ‘partnering’ with Halle and dedicating their own cultural events to the community of Halle,” Silberman said. As part of the anniversary celebration, Emily Ensor-Gibson has organized an exhibit, “Ahavas Chesed Synagogue: 125 Years of Jewish Life in Mobile,” at the University of South Alabama’s Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, in the third floor exhibit cases. The exhibit will be up throughout November. Ensor-Gibson said after an archival internship at the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Indiana, “I really wanted to delve into the story of the thriving Jewish community of Mobile. Having

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

the exhibit displayed at the University of South Alabama library is a great way to engage young individuals that may not know much about Jewish history within their own city.” The exhibit talks about the early days when the congregation met in private homes and rented spaces until they were able to have their own building. She also explored the history of the Ladies Aid Society, which was organized in 1908 and later became the Sisterhood, “and has continued to serve the community hosting events and conferences to raise money and improve conditions for the Jewish community on local and national levels.” The exhibit also discusses the families that wound up in Mobile following the Holocaust, and focuses on Agnes Tennenbaum, who spoke extensively about her experiences to local churches and schools. “The exhibit ends with a view into the present-day life at Ahavas Chesed,” Ensor-Gibson said. Silberman said the congregation offers Torah study geared to different ages, monthly Guitar Shabbat, discussion groups and community service opportunities. “We are pleased to celebrate our past and look to our future,” Silberman said, referencing that there are some sixth-generation families in the congregation, as well as the “recent significant growth of our young families and the influx of babies and toddlers,” which “promises new vitality for the years ahead.”


inło

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana discusses antisemitism with Ezra OliffLieberman

Scalise, activists spar over antisemitism IfNotNow members challenge him over comments from Republicans, he responds with “both sides” condemnation The partisan argument over which side of the political spectrum is more responsible for antisemitism in America hit Louisiana as member of the left-wing IfNotNow group confronted Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise on the topic at a town hall meeting in Mandeville on Oct. 14. Ezra Oliff-Lieberman and Elias Newman pressed Scalise to condemn antisemitism in the Republican party, then posted videos of the encounters, saying he refused to condemn “the role his party has played in antisemitic and white nationalist violence,” instead touting his support for Israel. In a statement after the event, the activists said Scalise and Republicans “continue to traffic in the same antisemitic and racist conspiracy theories that have inspired white nationalist mass shooters to murder dozens of Jews and Latinx people in the past year alone.” At the town hall, Oliff-Lieberman noted it was approaching the oneyear anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and said he recalled Scalise visiting Shir Chadash for the New Orleans community vigil. Saying he was “terrified” about an incident in New Orleans while he was attending High Holy Day services recently, his “worst fears were realized” on hearing about the synagogue attack in Halle, Germany, on Yom Kippur and that gunman Scalise: “For — who was unable to enter the synagogue — “espoused the same anyone to think it antisemitic and anti-immigrant that your party, the GOP, is exclusive to one rhetoric espouses on a daily basis.” Scalise said he “disagrees political party, you strongly” with that characterizaare fooling yourself” tion, and said that antisemitism has grown “even in the halls of Congress” and “I have stood up against the antisemitism, frankly it’s two of our colleagues on the Democrat side,” Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, that have used antisemitic statements in their criticism of Israel. After Scalise spoke about the Democrat representatives, Oliff-Lieberman said “the president called me a disloyal Jew because I disagree with what has been coming out of the Republican party.” Scalise told him, “I don’t know when you had that meeting with him.” Trump’s recent statement that Jews who vote for Democrats are being “disloyal” has been characterized by opponents as questioning the loyalty of American Jews, a common antisemitic trope, while those who defend Trump said he was merely asking why some Jews would be disloyal to Israel and their fellow Jews by voting for a party that he considers hostile to Jewish interests. When others in the room shouted out about Steve King, a Republican representative with a history of antisemitic statements, Scalise said “by the way, we removed King from all of his committees” and contrasted that to Pelosi’s inaction regarding Reps. Omar and Tlaib. Scalise spoke about how he is standing up to the BDS movement,

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community which seeks to isolate Israel economically and eradicate the Jewish state. “I think the BDS movement is a real danger to Israel… and it is rooted in antisemitism.” When Oliff-Lieberman concluded that Scalise was not going to condemn antisemitism, Scalise said “I absolutely condemn all of that” and urged Oliff-Lieberman to condemn “the antisemitism by Reps. Omar, Tlaib and others. He added, “I’ve stood up to all of it, on both parties, Republican or Democrat. I haven’t heard you condemn any on the Democrat side, I encourage you to acknowledge it.” Newman said he is also “terrified of rising white nationalism and antisemitism,” and asked Scalise to “condemn antisemitism and white nationalism in the GOP.” “I condemn antisemitism and white nationalism wherever it happens,” Scalise replied. “For anyone to think it is exclusive to one political party, you are fooling yourself.” When Scalise mentioned working with Israel on issues, Newman said “I’m not from Israel” and continued, “Donald Trump called me a disloyal Jew and you said nothing,” adding that the charge of being disloyal “sent my grandfather to Auschwitz.” After Scalise reiterated that he condemns antisemitism “in all parties,” Newman continued, “so you will not condemn.” After the encounter, Newman referred to Scalise’s “both sides condemnation, saying “only one side is inciting the mass murder of Jews and our neighbors. Only one side is spouting antisemitic conspiracy theories from the White House.” Newman added, “until he can acknowledge and condemn the role his party has played in the rising violence facing minority communities across the nation, until he apologizes for his own voting record on the rights our communities hold dear, Scalise can never credibly present himself as an ally of the Louisiana Jewish community.” Newman also stated later that Scalise steering the conversation toward his support of Israel was itself antisemitic because it conflates Jews with Zionism, and the Republicans use support for Israel “as a shield” to cover white nationalism. Oliff-Lieberman said he was giving Scalise the opportunity to “do teshuva” but “his refusal to condemn antisemitism in the GOP and from the president is emblematic of his entire party’s embrace of white nationalists — the same people who, all across the country, have been opening fire on Jews as we pray, attacking mosques, and setting fire to Black churches in Louisiana.” Oliff-Lieberman noted that Scalise “once spoke at a convening hosted by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a white supremacist group founded by David Duke.” In 2014, he issued a statement of “regret” that in 2002, while speaking to numerous groups while pushing a legislation package, “one of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold.” In January, Scalise co-sponsored House Resolution 72, introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin, which rejects “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred in the United States and around the world.” In a statement at the time, Scalise said “I am alarmed by incidents of anti-Semitism across the country, including a growing incidence of anti-Semitic rhetoric and association with anti-Semitic leaders from some Democrat Members of Congress. We cannot pretend this is a thing of the past; anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, including the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the vandalism of a synagogue in St. Tammany Parish in my district last September.” Scalise added, “Like the House of Representatives recently condemned the hateful ideology of white supremacy, we must also condemn anti-Sem-


community NED MARSHALL DESIGN itism. Hate in all its forms is wrong, and we as leaders need to stand up against hate and bigotry. Speaker Pelosi should immediately schedule a vote to pass this resolution on the House floor.” When the vandalism occurred at Northshore Jewish Congregation in Mandeville last fall, Scalise said “Hatred and bigotry have no place in our society. This cowardly act of anti-Semitism is disgraceful, and I hope the criminal who perpetrated it is brought to justice. I am proud to stand with the good people of the Northshore Jewish Congregation, and I know they will not be intimidated by this hateful act.” In April, Scalise called out Democrats who had voted for an amendment to condemn antisemitism for turning around two weeks later and voting down a similar amendment that also opposed the boycott-Israel movement. “Democrats have no consistency,” he said. “It’s simple: anti-Semitism is a vile ideology that deserves our condemnation and the State of Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East that deserves our undivided support.” In 2015, he praised passage of a resolution calling for the U.S. and European governments to take action for the safety of Jewish communities in Europe, where the bulk of antisemitic attacks have come from radicalized Muslim

immigrants. “With an alarming uptick in anti-Semitic activity happening across Europe, it’s critical for America to partner with our European allies to combat this bigotry and support the Jewish community groups working to promote peace and prevent violent attacks like those we’ve seen in Paris, Copenhagen, and Brussels.” Founded in 2014, IfNotNow uses social activism and direct action to end “the American Jewish community’s support for occupation” of the Palestinians. The organization states “we do not take a unified stance on BDS, Zionism or the question of statehood” for Israel but they “work together to end American Jewish support for the occupation” and seek to disrupt support for Israel through public criticism of mainstream Jewish organizations and by provoking headline-grabbing confrontations. The group followed up the Scalise confrontation with a demonstration outside his office on Oct. 28, for the anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting. They placed 11 stones on the floor in memory of those killed, and demanded that “Scalise, Trump and the GOP take responsibility for inciting white nationalist violence”

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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Rosenwald remembered in Tuskegee Jewish historical group funded 13 markers for city’s new civil rights and historic trail

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Julius Rosenwald was among those honored with historical markers in Tuskegee as the city’s Civil Rights and Historic Trail was dedicated on Sept. 20. Thirteen markers detail individuals and organizations that were pivotal in the civil rights struggle. They were “chosen for their individual and unique aspects, which provide us and generations to follow the opportunity to learn and cherish the unforgettable role they – and the Tuskegee community – played in the American Civil Rights Movement,” said Tuskegee University Archivist Dana Chandler. The markers were funded by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. Jerry Klinger, president and founder of the society, said his father was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp, and used to say “silence at your neighbor’s oppression will mean silence at yours.” The Tuskegee University Libraries, Museums and Archives, Macon County Bicentennial Committee, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, the National Park Service, the City of Tuskegee and the Macon County Commission also partnered in establishing the trail. Representatives of Montgomery’s Jewish community attended the dedication. Rosenwald was CEO of Sears and Roebuck, and in 1911 he met Booker T. Washington, who headed the Tuskegee Institute. Washington had been working on developing a public school building program for blacks, as black schools were few and barely funded by the state and local white school boards. Rosenwald became a member of Tuskegee’s board of trustees, and in 1913 funded a pilot program that led to the opening of six schools for black students in Alabama. The Rosenwald Fund then provided seed money to build schools in other communities, where local matching efforts were part of the deal. Over the next two decades, around 5,000 Rosenwald Schools were built. By 1932, one-fourth of all black students in the South were in a Rosenwald School. Today, very few of the buildings still exist. The marker also noted that the Rosenwald Fund “supported the creation of many black YMCAs, YWCAs, and grants that encouraged many of the 20th century’s greatest black artists and innovators. Approximately half of his charitable gifts went to African American communities.” The Rosenwald marker is on the university campus near the main gates at Moton Hall. Other markers commemorate Jessie Guzman, the first black citizen to seek political office in Alabama since Reconstruction; civil rights pioneer Amelia Boynton Robinson; Tuskegee native Rosa Parks, who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott; and Sammy Younge Jr., who was the first African-American university student killed in the U.S. during the civil rights struggle. Markers also honor Mr. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Tuskegee High School, the “Trade With Your Friends” boycott of whiteowned businesses, and the Tuskegee Civic Association. The Tuskegee trail is the seventh in Alabama on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.


November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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Bruce Pearl, sixth from left on top row, and a delegation from the Auburn area visited Ariel in August, and they are pictured here with student performers

Back from Israel, Auburn Coach Pearl Building Ties Between Jews, Christians by Richard Friedman Auburn University head basketball coach Bruce Pearl is a hulking guy with a huge heart. He cares deeply about people, cries at the drop of a hat, and though he led his Auburn team to the Final Four this year, is as passionate about Israel as he is about basketball. Those were the takeaways from an inspirational from-the-heart talk Pearl gave recently to an audience of about 60 Christians and Jews at the Birmingham home of Heather Johnston. Pearl and his wife Brandy recently visited Israel on a trip sponsored by the Birmingham-based US Israel Education Association, an organization Johnston founded and leads as executive director. Pearl had been to Israel before, including as the gold-medal winning coach of the U.S. basketball team at the World Maccabiah Games. But this trip was different because it included a blend of Evangelical Christians, including Pearl’s wife Brandy, and Jews such as Pearl, who is passionate about his faith and heritage. The trip, which was small, was comprised mainly of individuals and couples connected to Auburn University. It provided an opportunity for joint exploration and dialogue in a spiritual context, as well as an on-theground look at Israel’s complexities and challenges. Participants had the chance to learn more about USIEA’s signature programs — which include enhancing understanding of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and breakthrough initiatives to promote Israeli-Palestinian coexistence and harmony through the development of business partnerships. Johnston also leads another organization, JH Israel, which has initiated leadership development programs based on teachings and lessons from the Hebrew Bible. These programs touch thousands of young Israelis every year and take place at the National Leadership Center in Ariel, one of the major Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria. Pearl had the chance to see these programs as well.

Pride in Israel What came through in his talk, perhaps more than anything, is Pearl’s pride in Israel as a Jew, and his recognition that through Johnston’s two organizations, a unique venue has been created for Christians and Jews to work together to strengthen Israel. As a Jew, Pearl, a Boston native who is 60, recalls his grandfather laying awake at night during Israel’s early years wondering if the Jewish state would survive. “I’m grateful to my Jewish and Christian friends for helping Israel survive,” said Pearl. As a basketball coach whose job is to bring individuals together to cre20

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


community ate a team, seeing what USIEA and JH Israel are doing to make life better for Israelis and Palestinians touched him deeply. In addition, he said, “Jews and Christians are from the same family — I’m trying to bring people together.“ As part of this effort to bring people together, he plans to bring the Auburn basketball team to Israel in August 2021. “I want these kids to experience Israel, see how great it is and come home and tell their families.” Working his way up over the years from school to school, Pearl didn’t always have the financial resources that he has today as one of the most successful basketball coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Given his more prosperous circumstances, the trip motivated the Pearls to make the largest gifts they’ve ever made in support of Israel, through donations to USIEA and JH Israel. Johnston also spoke at the recent program, highlighting USIEA’s achievements and reflecting on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which was beginning that evening. She talked knowledgeably and passionately about the significance of the holiday to Jews and broadened it metaphorically to embrace all of the people who were there. Sukkot, she said, is “a powerful festival of commemoration.” Powerful indeed was the operative word for those there that night. Johnston, a Christian Biblically-inspired to support Israel, and Pearl, an open-hearted fiercely proud Jew, were a powerful combination — not only inspiring each other but inspiring everyone who was there.

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Richard Friedman will be finishing a long-time career as executive director of the Birmingham Jewish Federation on Dec. 31. He will be joining the staffs of the US Israel Education Association and Israel InSight magazine.

Rabbi Silberman leading tour of Morocco Rabbi Steven Silberman of Ahavas Chesed in Mobile is planning a tour of Jewish, scenic and cultural sites in Morocco, April 21 to 30. Highlights will include Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh and Ifrane, a Moroccan parallel to a town in the Swiss Alps. The tour includes sightseeing, most meals, wine tastings, a sunrise hot air balloon ride and more. Cost is approximately $4,000 per person for land only, based on at least 10 travelers. Before 1948, there were over 250,000 Jews in Morocco, with the community dating back to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Currently, Israel has about 500,000 Jews of Moroccan descent, and Morocco has about 2500 Jews remaining. For more information, contact Silberman at rabbi@ahavaschesed.com. November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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After 21 years of developing into one of the nation’s must-see film festivals, the Sidewalk Film Festival has a new home, and one of the first major events will be the inaugural Birmingham Jewish Film Festival. Sidewalk announced the “mini-festival” will run from Nov. 21 to 24. In late September, the Sidewalk Cinema opened in the Pizitz building in downtown Birmingham. The center has two 95-seat screening rooms, two lounges, a concession stand and bar, and an educational center. During the year, it will show independent films and retrospectives daily, and the cinema was used for the first time during this August’s Sidewalk festival. The festival, presented by the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, is “a cinematic exploration of Jewish culture, history, art, and life in Israel.” In addition to four days of film, the festival includes an opening night reception, panels, workshops, networking events, and a closing night party featuring a tasting of Jewish cuisine. Janet Aarons, assistant director of the Foundation, said “we know that several communities in our region have successful festivals, and we were thrilled when Sidewalk approached us.” Chloe Cook, executive director of Sidewalk, said they worked with members of the Birmingham Jewish community to select the films. “The Jewish Film Festival will not only screen Jewish themed films chosen by members of the local Jewish community in conjunction with the Sidewalk staff, but will also incorporate Jewish-themed events surrounding the screenings,” Cook said. Though the festival will run through Shabbat, Cook said the films screened on Shabbat will be exclusively encores, “so that no one has to miss a title if they keep the Sabbath.” Filmmaker Michele Forman, who grew up in Birmingham’s Jewish community and is now director of the media studies program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said she is excited to see the festival debut. “I really can’t believe the diversity of Jewish experience from around the world they are bringing to Birmingham,” she said. Aarons said the festival is a great opportunity for the community to see current movies that aren’t typically playing at the multiplex. “Also, it will provide the chance for young members of the community to experience some classics and for older members to revisit some of the movies they’ve loved over the years,” she said. Aarons also noted that the Pizitz building, where the Sidewalk theater complex is housed, is part of Birmingham’s Jewish history. Though many other communities, including Baton Rouge, Mobile, Nashville and Jackson have longstanding Jewish film festivals, aside from a couple of smaller events from 2011 to 2013, this will be Birmingham’s first Jewish Film Festival. Many festivals in the region began through Jewish Cinema South, initially coordinated by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life before becoming independent. A preliminary lineup for the Birmingham festival was announced on Oct. 31. The opening reception starts at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 at the Sidewalk Cinema Lobby Bar. At 7 p.m. “Before You Know It” will be screened in both theaters. Released in August, the film is about a dysfunctional family that runs a small community theatre in New York City. After the father, played by Mandy Patinkin, dies, the two daughters find out that their real mother is a soap opera actress — and the business and family home had been left to her. On Nov. 22, the wide range of offerings begins at noon in Theater A, with “The Rabbi Goes West,” a documentary about religious diversity


community focusing on a Chabad rabbi who moved from Crown Heights to open the first Chabad center in Montana. Co-director Gerald Peary is scheduled to attend. At 2 p.m., “Chasing Portraits” tells of filmmaker Elizabeth Rynecki’s quest to find — but not reclaim — paintings her great-grandfather did of Jewish life in Poland before he was murdered in the Holocaust. Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Adam Wright will lead a talkback session after the film. At 4 p.m., “Safe Spaces,” which was featured at Sidewalk in August, has Justin Long playing an adjunct creative writing professor who is forced to grapple with the backlash to a class discussion that he saw as innocent, but others felt crossed the line. Filmmaker Daniel Schechter said Long’s character is partially inspired by himself and his experience as a teacher. Fran Drescher plays Long’s mother, and the character is based on Schechter’s mother. The final film of the day in Theatre A is “Seder-Masochism” at 7 p.m., an animated feature that loosely follows the Passover Seder, with the events being told by Moses, Aaron, the Angel of Death, Jesus and director Nina Paley’s father.

There’s also a battle with humankind’s original deity, the Great Mother, in a battle against patriarchy. In Theater B, “Longing” screens at 12:30 p.m., an Israeli comedy-drama about a middle-aged bachelor who finds out his former girlfriend gave birth to his son 20 years earlier. At 3 p.m., the documentary “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is the inside story on how a risky Broadway show with mixed reviews became a cultural icon, with a celebrated film adaptation and becoming the first Broadway musical to exceed 3,000 performances. The “Fiddler” screen- “Standing Up, Falling Down” with Ben Schwartz and ing is sponsored by Temple Beth-El, Billy Crystal, closes the festival and Rabbi Stephen and Bethany Slater will lead a brief talkback after the screening. west, Scott came out as gay, was diagnosed with Theater B will have encore screenings of “The cancer and converted to Judaism. Rabbi Goes West” at 5:30 p.m. and “Before You The rest of the schedule in Theater A on Nov. Know It” at 7:30 p.m. 23 consists of encore screenings, with “Fiddler” On Nov. 23, “Latter Day Jew” screens at noon, at 2 p.m., “Longing” at 4:15 p.m. and Safe Spacfollowing writer-comedian H. Alan Scott as he es at 7:30 p.m. A cocktail reception will be held finds his spiritual path while preparing for his from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Bar Mitzvah, trying to figure out how to be the After a 7 p.m. encore screening of “Sedbest Jew he can be. Raised Mormon in the mid- er-Masochism” in Theater B, “The Dancing

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Dogs of Dombrova” will be at 8:45 p.m. The Canadian film depicts two estranged siblings being asked by their dying grandmother to go to Poland and exhume the remains of her long-dead family dog so they can be buried together. Despite barely speaking to each other and knowing no Polish, they have to journey together to a remote village to try and accomplish their grandmother’s wish. On Nov. 24 at 10:45 a.m., “The Rabbi’s Cat” will be in Theater A. Based on a French graphis novel series, the animated film is set in the Jewish community of Algeria in the 1920s. After eating a parrot, the rabbi’s cat is able to speak, and the now sharp-tongued cat with less-thanwholesome designs on the rabbi’s daughter insists that he be trained for a bar mitzvah. They soon encounter and join a Russian Jewish stowaway who has come to Africa in search of a hidden city of black Jews deep in the continent. Encore screenings of “Latter Day Jew” at 1 p.m. and “Chasing Portraits” at 3 p.m. round out the lineup in Theater A. In Theater B on Nov. 24, “The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova” will be at 11:30 a.m., followed by the 1969 Gene Kelly film, “Hello, Dolly!” at 1:45 p.m., the story of matchmaker Dolly Levi, played by Barbra Streisand, and her attempt to find a match for the miserly Horace Vandergelder, played by Walter Matthau. The closing night reception will be in the Lobby Bar from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the final selection of the festival, “Standing Up, Falling Down,” a comedy about a failed stand-up comedian, played by Ben Schwartz, who has to leave Southern California and move back to his family in Long Island. There, he strikes up a friendship with an alcoholic dermatologist, played by Billy Crystal, as they confront their personal disappointments and regrets. The film screens at 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. in the two theaters. Tickets and passes went on sale Nov. 1. A $24 Pick-3 Pass provides entry to any three films. A $100 VIP pass includes entry to the entire lineup, along with six drink tickets for Yellow Tail wine and Cahaba Brewing Company beers, as the Sidewalk Concession Stand and Full Bar will be open throughout the festival. Single tickets are also available for $10.75. “Birmingham’s Jewish community is one with an immense impact and one that should be celebrated,” Cook said. “We are extremely proud to bring their stories, perspectives and culture to attendees of all walks of life.” Elsewhere in the region, the Nashville Jewish Film Festival concludes in early November, while the Mobile Jewish Film Festival will be from Jan. 16 to Feb. 2, and the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival will be Jan. 15 to 19. As of press time, Jewish Cinema Mississippi had not announced a 2020 schedule.


The 2019 Pomegranate Prize recipients, with Covenant Foundation Board Chair Cheryl Finkel. From left to right: Shara Peters, Natan Kuchar, Beverly Socher-Lerner, Rabbi Matthew Dreffin, Na’amit Sturm-Nagel, and Cheryl Finkel.

ISJL’s Dreffin receives national educator recognition Rabbi Matthew Dreffin, director of education at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, was one of five emerging Jewish educators who received the Covenant Foundation Pomegranate Prize. The Pomegranate Prize, inaugurated eight years ago, is designed to honor rising leaders who have been in the field of Jewish education for up to 10 years. By encouraging Prize recipients in their pursuits, and enabling them to accelerate their professional development and amplify their impact on the field, The Covenant Foundation aims to nurture Pomegranate Prize recipients in an intentional way, and empower them to take risks and make a difference in the field of Jewish education. “The five 2019 Pomegranate Prize recipients are truly multi-talented, which is reflective of an important trend in Jewish education,” said Cheryl Finkel, board chair of The Covenant Foundation, who also presented the Prize on Nov. 6. “By enhancing their educational practice with skills in visual arts, music, literature, community engagement strategies, and creative problem solving, they offer the learners they work with a more well-rounded and rich Jewish learning experience. We are so excited about the potential they promise to the field.” The Prize stands next to the Covenant Award, which since 1991 has honored three exemplary Jewish educators each year for innovation and impact across Jewish education settings. Macy Hart, ISJL founder and president emeritus, received the Covenant Award in 1999. An artist and advocate, Dreffin seeks to foster meaningful Jewish moments; when it comes to Jewish education, “good enough is never good enough.” His role at the ISJL allows creativity and high-level strategic planning while also demanding teaching, scholarship, and above all, the mentoring and direct supervision of a team of a dozen young emerging Education Fellows. Dreffin previously served as rabbinical intern at Congregation Shir Ami in Castro Valley, Calif., and Temple Judea in Tarzana, Calif. He received his ordination and Master’s degrees in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was also a Mandel Fellow. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Hot Glass Sculpture from Tulane University, and he continues to make art in his personal studio. After the ceremony, Dreffin said “I am humbled by those who received (the award) with me and before me — they are filled with talents, insights, commitments, and accomplishments that are impressively intimidating.” He expressed pride in his work at ISJL, saying “my colleagues and my team are an inspiration with their creativity, support and hard work. I

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community endeavor to produce high-level work that serves our communities and helps create good humans.” Also honored were Na’amit Sturm Nagel, English teacher and associate director of The Shalhevet Institute at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles; Shara Peters, Head of School at Adat Ari El Day School in Valley Village, Calif.; Beverly Socher-Lerner, founding director of Makom Community in Philadelphia; and Natan Kuchar, director of Edah Community in Berkeley, Calif.

Russian Jewish artists lead classes in Natchez

“Southern Jewish Life is a vital community asset” Help Support Independent, Quality, Original Southern Jewish Journalism!

For almost three decades, Southern Jewish Life has been an important asset to the Jewish communities of the Deep South, telling unique stories, covering important issues and developing a national reputation for quality journalism. We bring the small communities of a wide region together, to form a stronger Southern Jewish community, and help keep our communities on the national and international map. As part of our mission, we send the magazine free to every known Jewish household in our coverage area. If you are one of those receiving the magazine for free and want to express your appreciation and support, please consider supporting us through a voluntary subscription. If you want to go further and want to help ensure that our publication remains a vital part of our community in an era when other communities are seeing their publications scale back or close entirely, we welcome your contributions! (Some of our colleagues do full-blown annual donation campaigns). You can contribute online at sjlmag.com, or mail to P.O. Box 130052, Birmingham, AL 35213. Our normal subscription is $25 for one year, $40 for two years, but we welcome your support, no matter the size. We thank you for your continued support as we tell our stories — the stories of Southern Jewish Life! 26

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

The Mississippi School of Folk Art in Natchez will be hosting renowned Russian artists Aleksander and Lyuba Titovets for three-day drawing and media workshops in December. The Titovetses were invited to Natchez by long-time friend Fred Kent, who is a long-time collector of their art. Earlier this year, they visited Natchez and were struck by the beauty, so they set up the workshops, which Kent said they do “very infrequently.” Natives of St. Petersburg, Russia, the Titovetses came to the United States 27 years ago, establishing a studio in Charleston, S.C. They now live in El Paso. Their works are in galleries across the country and in the King of Spain’s collection. Aleksander Titovets was selected to do a portrait of thenFirst Lady Laura Bush. Participants in the workshops will receive nine hours of instruction in three-hour sessions over three days, Dec. 9 through 11 and Dec. 12 through 14 from 9 a.m. to noon or 5 to 8 p.m. with approximately 12 students per class. Tuition is $250 per student, and participants will take home their finished pieces. The workshops will focus on drawing, painting and composition. The Northeast Louisiana Jewish Federation in Shreveport is planning a one-day trip to Natchez, picking up those in Monroe who also want to attend. The date has not been selected. Rabbi Feivel Rubinstein is organizing the trip.


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JCRS Roots Gala to honor Beerman family Musical “success stories” to perform at Feb. 1 event For its 2020 gala, New Orleans-based Jewish Children’s Regional Service continues its Jewish Roots series with the Jewish Roots of Rhythm and Blues, Feb. 1 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. One of the largest Jewish events in New Orleans each year, the gala attracts attendees from throughout the region, as the organization serves seven states and holds an annual board meeting the morning after the gala. The 2020 Jewish Roots gala will honor the Beerman family, whose members proudly claim a near 100-year history with the original 19th century Jewish Children’s Home, which transformed into JCRS when the home closed. Six Beerman siblings were Home residents in the 1920s, while more recently, family members have served in leadership positions within JCRS, including Marc Beerman as president from 2015 to 2017.  The event will feature music from The Great American Songbook, performed by JCRS “success stories” — educational scholarship recipients who are currently pursuing advanced degrees in musical performance. Performers will include violinist Basil Alter of Memphis, who attends the Manhattan School of Music; Joshua Dolney, a Texan who plays trumpet and is at the University of Illinois; Joshua Sadinsky of Fayetteville, Ark., a pianist at Cal Arts; and Baton Rouge’s Caroline Samuels, a Jacobs Camp alumna who plays double bass and is working on a Master’s at Boston University. The evening will also include a cocktail reception followed by a seated dinner. A silent auction focused on boutique shopping, restaurants and once-in-a-lifetime vacations will round out the evening.  JCRS has served financially challenged Jewish children and families, providing college scholarships, grants for Jewish summer camp experiences, special needs assistance and other outreach programs since 1855. This year, JCRS will serve or fund over 1,800 Jewish children from over 200 communities in its seven-state Mid-South region, including 54 percent of Jewish youth, ages 17 and under, in Greater New Orleans.  Applications for summer camp assistance went live on Nov. 1 and the priority deadline is Feb. 15. College aid applications are due May 31. Gala tickets are available at www.jcrs.org or by calling the office at (800) 729-5277. The event is open to the public. 

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• November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Whether you are a seasoned business owner or an entrepreneur starting a business, your journey holds many challenges — but also many opportunities and even some obligations. Here, we will consider some estate planning opportunities and responsibilities for the business owner. You don’t need to be a business owner to create an estate plan, but all business owners, for the sake of their families and businesses, need to have at least a basic estate plan. The business is an asset of your estate, and you want to ensure its continuation after your death. Thus, you should have a will or a trust (as a will substitute) that will preserve your business’s continued viability and value for your beneficiaries after your death. You should also have a durable power of attorney that appoints an agent to handle all aspects of your financial affairs, including your business if you are unable to do so for yourself. The power of attorney’s scope can be broad or limited and could leave different people in charge of different things. The power of attorney’s effectiveness ends at your death. If you do all of the online banking for the business, are the administrator for email accounts, or keep other types of business records or proprietary information that are password protected, make sure someone else will know the passwords or be able to access the information so the business suffers no disruption in accessing its accounts and information because of your incapacity or death. Be sure to include language in your will and power of attorney that specifically addresses digital assets like these. If the business represents a significant amount of your family’s income or a significant amount of the business’s value depends upon your activities, you should consider insurance as part of your plan. You could have “key man” life insurance owned by the business to give it some working capital to help it endure after you are gone. To replace your income earning potential for any dependents, you may also want personal life insurance. Additionally, a trust may be an appropriate vehicle to receive the insurance to make sure the insurance proceeds are used for your beneficiaries in the way you want. Disability insurance should also be considered to provide working capital and income in the event of poor health or accident. Whether you spread the ownership of your business among yourself and other family members, a trust, or even unrelated third parties, you will want to have a shareholder’s agreement or the like to regulate how the interests may be passed on, such as gifts during your lifetime or at your death, as well as stipulations for sales of the interests. You don’t want to find yourself in business with someone not of your choosing because a co-owner sold their interest, made a gift of their interest, or died and left their interest to someone you did not approve. For an entrepreneur, business succession planning is a large part of estate planning. A successful entrepreneur takes care to do things right when forming and running his or her business. Make sure you plan for taking care of your business in the event of your incapacity and your death. Leigh Kaylor is an Estates, Wills and Trusts attorney at Sirote and Permutt in Birmingham.


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LSU veteran Bregman sets World Series records with Astros While the World Series did not turn out the way Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros wanted, losing to the Washington Nationals in the decisive Game 7, Bregman received a lot of attention for his record-setting performance. Much of the coverage of Bregman’s Game 6 home run for the Astros focused on the propriety of him carrying his bat to first base after hitting the home run, but lost in the controversy was that the blast was another historic hit for him. Including his two home runs in the 2017 World Series, Bregman set the record for the most World Series home runs by a third baseman. He also became the youngest American League player to hit three home runs in a single World Series since Mickey Mantle, in 1956. In the fifth inning of the same game, the Nationals’ Juan Soto took possession of the overall youngest record by hitting his third homer of the series — and he carried his bat to first base as well. After the game, Bregman apologized, saying “I just let my emotions get the best of me. I’m sorry for doing that. It’s not how I was raised to play the game.” In Game 4, Bregman went 3-for-5 with an RBI single and a grand slam, the first grand slam hit by a third baseman in the World Series since 1964, and his five RBI were the most by an American League player in a single World Series game in a decade. He also had a home run in Game 2. Before the World Series, though, he had just three hits in six games against the New York Yankees. The Game 7 loss wasn’t the only difficult moment for Bregman on Oct. 30. Two hours before gametime, he posted on social media that he would be dedicating that night’s game to his grandfather, Joe DeOliveira, who had died just a couple of hours earlier. An Albuquerque native, Bregman played college ball for three years at Louisiana State University, where he was one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the best amateur baseball player in the country. He was drafted second overall by the Astros in the 2015 draft, and was the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year in 2016. Bregman was heavily recruited by Team Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Team Israel captured most of the headlines — and a documentary film — by doing far better than anyone expected, but Bregman opted to play for the U.S. team, which won the classic for the first time. He later said he should have played for Israel, because he had only four at-bats for the U.S. Bregman was called up to the Astros on July 25, 2016. That September, he also made history by hitting the 3,000th home run by a Jewish player in the major leagues, according to Jewish Baseball News. It was his eighth of the season. In the 2017 World Series, which Houston won, he knocked in runs in each of the first five games, and had the game winning single in the 10th inning of Game 5, a 13-12 win. He also hit the go-ahead home run in the 2018 All-Star Game in the 10th inning, and became the first Jewish player to be named MVP of the All-Star Game. In 2018, he hit .286 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI. This year, he hit .296 with 41 home runs and 112 RBI.


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From the Michou Collection at Fisher & Sons Jewelers in Metairie, a Sterling Silver cuff bracelet containing a combination of fused Mother of Pearl, Quartz and Onyx as well as Mystic Topaz, with 22k Gold Vermeil.

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DSLD Land Management gained a fountain of knowledge in — among other areas — aquatic garden design, construction and maintenance. This past April, DSLD Owner David Sharp launched Aquascapes, a retail division of the company across from the Lee Branch Shopping Center on Highway 280 in Birmingham. It is a water garden, comprehensive pond and fountain resource center. “I started DSLD 36 years ago as a landscape design and construction company,” said Sharp. “We have expanded over the years to try and bring in other services so that clients do not need to deal with multiple contractors to accomplish one project. “Opening up the AquaScapes retail shop was a natural for us. Aquatic gardens are a big part of landscaping. This is just part of our evolutionary process,” he added. AquaScapes displays and sells not just water gardens, but also aquatic plants, fish, pond supplies, statuaries, sculptures, yard art, wind chimes, lanterns, bird houses, outdoor kitchens, fire places, fire pits as well as providing design services. They even employ a marine biologist, Aquatics and Fishery Manager Riley Krohn, to guide clients on managing their aquatic gardens. “It’s very important to manage the water quality for the health of the aquatics and fish, but also for pets that might be around the water gardens,” said Krohn. “You have to protect against water evaporation and make sure the temperature is right for the fish.” Sharp said that DSLD employs “one of Alabama’s most credentialed professional staffs,” including licensed and/or degreed designers, landscape artists, landscape architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, horticulturalists, turf grass specialists and aquatic gardens experts. “They have a combined 350 years of experience and can handle any project, big or small.” He also added that Acquisition International magazine recently recognized DSLD in its Global Excellence Awards as the Most Innovative Landscape and Construction Services Provider in Alabama for 2019.

Israel InSight Magazine israelinsightmagazine.com

We Do Custom Gift Baskets Online at alabamagoods.com Or visit our Homewood location 34

2933 18th Street South (205) 803-3900

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Looking for a gift for a Christian friend who loves Israel? Get a gift subscription for Israel InSight, the new magazine for Israel’s Christian friends. Published by the team at Southern Jewish Life, this magazine will debut soon. Charter subscriptions are available at israelinsightmagazine.com for $18/year or $32 for two years. Of course, readers and subscribers of all faiths are welcome!


chanukah gifts Earthborn Pottery

7575 Parkway Drive Leeds, Ala 205/702.7055 earthbornpottery.net From the finest restaurants to your home — Earthborn pottery is restaurant sturdy, dishwasher, oven and microwave safe. It’s artisan work that is passed to down to generations. And Earthborn “buttons” can be made into any logo or mark… the Star of David, a Menorah, or your favorite image — custom dinnerware that’s beautiful and functional!

Chateau Drugs and Gifts

3544 West Esplanade Avenue Metairie 504/889.2300 chateaudrugsrx.com Chateau Drugs and Gifts has been a pharmacy since 1977, but it also has a diverse selection of gifts, including art and handmade pottery, clothes (mostly sweaters, robes, pajamas), lamps, purses, small luggage, kids’ costumes, New Orleans-themed gifts from Jax Frey as well as Purple Pumpkin, Beatrice Ball, toys, bath and body products, wine charms, as well as much more. Chateau’s Judaica gifts include menorahs and mezuzahs from Michael Aram, “Jewish History of New Orleans” books from Images of America, along with a nice selection of greeting cards for Chanukah and other holidays and B’nai Mitzvah celebrations, along with a few options for wrapping paper and gift bags.

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Vulcan Park and Museum

1701 Valley View Drive Birmingham 205/933-1409 visitvulcan.com Those who love Birmingham’s famous Iron Man and gifts featuring Alabama and from local artists can find everything they want at The Anvil — the gift shop at Vulcan Park and Museum. Vulcan’s statue replicas are meticulously detailed to show every feature of the real Iron Man and make great souvenirs or a perfect addition to a personal collection. Bobblehead Vulcan is 8” tall and features a bobbling head — and yes, the famous “moon over Homewood” also bobbles! Enclosed in a ready-to-gift box.

BUY 2 GLASSES, GET 2 FREE COASTERS REGULAR PRICE: $3.29-$14.99 | IN-STORE ONLY 11/2-11/28/19 locations.hollywoodfeed.com November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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chanukah gifts Chateau Drugs & gifts

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Mon Ami

40 Church Street, Crestline Birmingham 205/848.7800 monamibham.com Mon Ami kids clothing lets boys and girls “create their own style,” while making shopping a fun experience. Aja Michel Powanda and her mother, Farren Michel, opened the Crestline Village shop in February. “I worked for several years as a buyer at a high-end children’s clothing store in New York City after graduating college,” said Powanda. “But I grew up in Birmingham and we wanted our kids (7-year-old Farren, 5-year-old Mavis) to be able to grow up here too, so we moved back three years ago. It was always my goal to open up my own children’s clothing store here.” She said that growing up in Birmingham; having kids, and gaining a lot of buying knowledge and connections from her experience in New York, helped shape Mon Ami. In addition to providing clothing for boys and girls sizes four to 18, Mon Ami sells accessories, Bluetooth speakers, sequin pillows that change from one image to another, purses, jewelry, shoes as well as other gifts. The store even offers Llamakkah loungewear pants for girls (pictured here). For simchas, Mon Ami has a large selection of formal wear for girls and boys, including a few of the same brands worn by adults, such as Southern Point, and highend blazers made in Italy. Kids can get on a mirrored stage at Mon Ami and get their photos taken for a slide show that runs on a TV in the store. Farren Michael said, “we want this to be a memorable, fun experience for kids and their families.” Mon Ami offers online ordering and even does some local deliveries. Add Powanda, “we’re a part of the community. We enjoy spending a lot of time with our customers…helping them find exactly what they and their kids want.”

Vineyard Vines

209 Summit Boulevard Birmingham 205/970-9758 vineyardvines.com

Vineyard Vines Birmingham is owned and operated by Oak Hall in Memphis, Tenn., as a partner store with Vineyard Vines. The Levys of Oak Hall met Shep and Ian Murray when the Murrays cut their ties with corporate America to start making ties that represented the Good Life. In addition to signature neckwear, Vineyard Vines offers a variety of clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Pictured here is the New Sankaty 1/2-Zip Pullover.

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


Alabama Goods

chanukah gifts

2933 18th Street So. Birmingham 205/803.3900 alabamagoods.com

Among the many local items at Alabama Goods: Adorable highball glasses that highlight Birmingham landmarks. Each glass features a different iconic image: Railroad trail with the Magic City sign, the Birmingham theatre district, Sloss Furnace, and Vulcan. The set of four comes in a gift box, $39.99. Makes the perfect gift for men and women alike! Available in-store or order at alabamagoods.com.

Applause Dance Wear

1629 Oxmoor Road Birmingham 205/781-7837 applausedancewear.net It is the holiday season and Applause is the place for all of your Nutcracker merchandise! These cute tops are all made by Motionwear. The gray Nutcracker Academy sweatshirt in the top left is $41. The gray Nutcracker On Duty tank and the black Dream tank are both $25. The gray cold shoulder Nutcracker top is $29. All of these tops would make the perfect seasonal gift for your little dancer!

SJL

goes anywhere digital editions at ISSUU.COM/SJLMAG November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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{

HISTORY David Sorkin’s Jewish Emancipation: A History Across Five Centuries focuses on Jewish history in (mostly) Europe along the framework of the ebb and tide of gaining rights and recognition. Status in politics and as garden-variety citizenry is examined in depth, and taken as a whole, leaves one reminded that the lives we enjoy as Americans, the modern establishment and challenges facing the State of Israel, still require thoughtful examination and protection for our own and others’ future. The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House is set from a front-row seat in Europe’s political drama from its perch in an enormous home in the Czech Republic. The home, built by a Jewish man after World War I to demonstrate his and the country’s resilience, was later taken up as residence by a German Army officer who had served in both wars and curiously wound up saving both the house and Prague. Later, the mansion became the residence for U.S. ambassadors, including Shirley Temple Black, and the book gives great insight to her political endeavors. Alongside are pieces of Eisen’s own story: his mother, a Czech Holocaust survivor, shares her fears, even as her son, the author, takes up residence to serve as U.S. Ambassador there under the Obama administration. America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today by Pamela S. Nadell takes a look at those change-makers whose influence looms large or was made in more subtle but still profound ways. Written as a historical narrative rather than a series of individual biographies, the book makes for a compelling read. The Kosher Capones: A History of Chicago’s Jewish Gangsters by Joe Kraus follows the Jewish mafia from Prohibition to its demise at the end of the last century. Included are rich depictions of the families and lone actors involved, the rules they were expected to play by — and how those characters and motivations intertwined with political intrigue.

HUMOR

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE: Essays

by Rebecca Fishbein

Can we start with "sigh, yessss," just over the title alone? Fishbein tells the kind of stories that used to be saved for best-friend sleepovers (OG Taylor Swift fan! a co-worker crush!) but now go out to everybody on earth via Instagram story or multi-part tweets. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Thing is, reading her essays on hot yoga, drinking adventures, private schools... they’re hilarious (and sometimes a little sad, but that’s okay). Mostly, the author is someone you’d like to know to gameplan and commiserate, and let’s face it, share how things turn out before anybody else gets to hear. Fun.

A FIELD GUIDE TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE by Dave Barry, Adam Mansback and Alan Zweibel

Listen, the second half of the title of this book was 45 words and included the phrase “why they fled Egypt by running straight to a large body of water” and the first author listed is Dave Barry, so when I tell you this book is so incredibly Dave Barry, you know what you’re getting. We’re talking lists (maybe the best of which includes: people we wish were Jewish, people we wish weren’t Jewish, people you thought were Jewish but aren’t, and people we’re so glad aren’t Jewish), Q&As, quizzes, translations, and essays on everything from the holidays to shiva, and no... absolutely nothing is sacred. Even if you’re not into this kind of thing, your dad probably is. Chanukah present. You’re welcome. 38

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

SPIRITUALITY

HERE ALL ALONG:

Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life — in Judaism

by Sarah Hurwitz

The former speechwriter for Hillary Clinton and both Obamas pens a memoir of her journey from someone who mostly felt as if she had fulfilled her commitment to Jewish practice with her bat mitzvah, to her mid-30s when a JCC class resonated deeply with its emphasis on ethics and purpose behind observance, rather than simple just-roll-with-it rote adherence. The author writes with a refreshing, completely relateable voice asking contemporary questions. How do we take Torah and other texts and square those with modern values? Where does mindfulness and gratefulness fit in? How can we refocus Shabbat so it isn’t so much what we can’t do, but what it frees us to do: disconnect from work and connect at a higher level, with ourselves and our family and friends and our world? A modern take on the whys of Judaism, why it’s an excellent structure to live one's life by, and why it all matters. Highly recommended.

CHILDREN The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come by Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst. Aaron Lansky’s grandmother came to America as a teenage girl with only a few precious things in her suitcase, including her Yiddish books. Aaron, too, had a love of books. But by the time he was in college studying Jewish history, Yiddish books were hard to come by. Fearing they’d be lost forever, Aaron set off to find the books wherever he could, and as the collection overtook his parents’ home and his own apartment, he decided to make them available for everyone. Donations came rolling in, because people knew they could trust him, and today, the Yiddish Book Center is home to over 1.5 million books! Written in the tone of a traditional folkstory and with Chagall-inspired illustrations, this makes for a particularly smart, thoughtful gift for any young reader.


community Finalists for Federation CEO position visiting Birmingham The search for the next CEO of the Birmingham Jewish Federation continues with candidate visits, with the hopes that a new CEO will be named shortly. “We’re real excited,” said Steve Greene, who is co-chairing the Federation search with Jesse Unkenholz. “We’ve got great candidates and we hope to have decision by the middle of December.” Richard Friedman, who has led the Federation for 37 years, is retiring on Dec. 31 (story below). The search for his successor comes after a visioning process where a group of next generation leaders developed a community road map and presented it to all of the community’s congregations and agencies. As an example of the cooperative vision, the new Federation CEO will also be the Chief Visionary Officer for the Levite Jewish Community Center, working with a yet-to-be-named executive director of the LJCC. Since the departure of former Executive Director Betzy Lynch in 2017, Friedman has also been executive director of the LJCC. The search committee has been working with the nationally-known DRG Search firm, and was “pleased” with the reception that the opening received, and that there was a lot of interest in interviewing for the new CEO position. After initial interviews and narrowing down of candidates, the first candidate came for a visit in late October, another candidate was scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 10, and the committee was working to schedule a third for the beginning of December The visits include a series of meetings and presentations with the search committee, community executive directors and rabbis, the Federation board and others, a reception with the young leaders, tours of Birmingham and the Jewish institutions.

Federation Exec Richard Friedman to join USIEA, Israel InSight staffs Birmingham Jewish Federation Executive Director Richard Friedman, currently the longest-serving Federation director in the country, will embark on two new professional endeavors when he steps down from his Federation role on Dec. 31. For 37 years, Friedman has been the professional head of the Federation, the Birmingham Jewish community’s central fundraising and community relations agency. During his tenure he has helped raise more than $125 million, mainly from Birmingham’s 6,500-member Jewish community, for Jewish needs locally and globally. Through his work, he has been heavily-involved with Israel, traveling there more than 50 times and speaking and writing extensively over the years on Israel and other Jewish topics. Trained as a journalist, Friedman has continued his writing while at the Federation, with his work appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Times of Israel, Los Angeles Jewish Journal and New York Jewish Week, as well as in the Birmingham News and on al.com. He also established the Federation’s Update email, which at its peak reached around 6,000 people daily in Alabama and around the world. Lisa Engel, current Federation president, said “I know that I speak for our whole community in expressing appreciation to Richard for the passion, dedication, communications expertise and fundraising skills he has November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

39


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used to benefit Jews in Birmingham, Israel and throughout the world. “Our Jewish community and Israel are stronger because of Richard’s unique knowledge of our history and his strategic vision for our future,” she added. As his Federation career comes to a close this year, a finishing date that he and the Federation planned together several years ago, he will join the staff of two Birmingham-based entities — the US Israel Education Association as director of funding initiatives, and Israel InSight magazine as associate editor. The USIEA is headed by Heather Johnston, a well-known Christian leader, and promotes initiatives that strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Israel InSight is a new magazine and website designed to appeal to Israel’s Christian supporters. It has been started by long-time Jewish journalist Larry Brook, editor and publisher of Southern Jewish Life. “We are delighted and honored to have Richard join the US Israel Education Association,” said Johnston. “He is known for his character and leadership. He is selfless, possesses strong moral courage, and has a wonderful strength of integrity. “At a time when significant change is taking place in the Middle East in general and in Israel in particular, these attributes, along with Richard’s knowledge, understanding, unbridled enthusiasm and dedication, will play a critical role as the US Israel Education Association works to strengthen the bond between the U.S. and Israel,” Johnston added. Working for these two entities also will provide Friedman with an opportunity to help deepen ties between Jews and Christians within the framework of their mutual support for Israel. This is an area that he has been interested in for nearly 20 years. “Being in the Deep South, we have long been ahead of the curve in acknowledging and writing about the importance of Christian support for Israel, and under Richard’s leadership, the Birmingham Federation has been at the forefront of working with Christian friends of Israel,” Brook said. “I look forward to working with Richard in combining our expertise to produce this important new publication, which we feel will be an important part of the huge transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews over the last couple of decades.” “I have loved my time at the Jewish Federation and now I’m excited to embark on two new and important endeavors,” said Friedman. “Israel is a great country and a remarkable ally, and continuing to deepen the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is crucial to both countries.”

Baton Rouge’s Beth Shalom Starts Celebration of 75th Anniversary Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge will have two major weekends next year as the congregation marks its 75th anniversary. The weekend of Jan. 10, there will be a musical Shabbat service and dinner, with Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs in attendance. The next morning, there will be a Shabbat service and lunch, and a glass art project with Susan Arnold. The weekend of Aug. 7, there will be an anniversary Shabbaton, including a 75th anniversary dinner and show on Aug. 8, and a breakfast on Aug. 9 that includes a session on Torah repairs with a scribe. The congregation is also hosting an online trivia quiz, with 75 questions about the congregation’s history. There is also a “75 Trees for the 75th Anniversary” campaign to plant 75 trees on the property, using Biblical and native species.


community

Philipson installed as new head of JCDS While Bradley Philipson said the natural reaction to the Oct. 11 ceremony at Shir Chadash installing him as the Oscar J. Tolmas Head of School at Jewish Community Day School in Metairie would be to say that the event is “really for the community… not for me,” in truth it is marking his assuming the enormous responsibility and trust the community has placed Bradley Philipson (second from right) and family in him to lead the school. “As the person charged with stewarding its dents receive a world language instruction with evolution and growth into the future, I owe a a different alphabet at an early age, “improving duty to everyone here assembled and to all of their understanding of how English works, of the younger kids and all of the faculty and staff how symbols fall together into algorithms in a back on the other side of the parking lot,” he way that will help them in math and in computer coding.” said. Through Judaic studies, “they’re understandHe also feels that duty to the school’s financial supporters, the future children of New Orleans’ ing their own identity while developing empaJewish community, the board and his predeces- thy for others. These students are going to excel sor, those who don’t know about the school but at critical thinking throughout the humanities, benefit from a vibrant community, the Tolmas from history to literature to philosophy.” They Trust, and to Susan and Howard Green. For also will have a strong sense of self that will be whom the new preschool was just named “and beneficial as they move into the world. Over 75 people attended the early morning whose recent magnanimous gift to the school is going to have repercussions for generations of ceremony, including supporters, school families, Philipson’s family and Jewish agency leadstudents not yet born. ers. “So, you know, no pressure,” he added. The program began with the students leadHe envisions “a city where not only does every Jewish family feel compelled to carefully ing “Shehecheyanu,” followed by remarks from consider JCDS for their child, but where JCDS is JCDS President Carole Neff and School Rabbi known citywide both for its excellent program- Michael Cohen. Wendy Goldberg, associate director of the ming and its centrality to the identity of Jewish New Orleans. I envision a JCDS that sits as a pil- Jewish Community Center in Metairie, said lar of the broader educational landscape of New Philipson is “a sunny addition to the Jewish Community Day School, our joint administraOrleans for generations to come.” Having a Jewish Studies and Hebrew pro- tive and professional staffs and the building in gram bolsters general studies, he said, as stu- general.” Shir Chadash Rabbi Deborah Silver spoke of a verse in Ecclesiastes, referencing how a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. She said the synagogues are one thread, the community’s Jewish institutions are the second, and the Day School is the third. A native New Orleanian, Philipson succeeded Sharon Pollin, who returned to Oregon this past summer after leading the school through six years of growth. Previously, Philipson was Upper and Middle School Principal at Young Audiences Charter School in Gretna. Before that, he was assistant head of school for academics and curriculum, and communications specialist at Country Day School in Fort Worth, Tex. He also taught at Metairie Park Country Day School, where he was also assistant principal in the Upper School.

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community Chabad opens student lounge for CTeen Nola chapter On Aug. 25, the members of Cteen Nola, the local branch of a worldwide network for high school students, gathered together to inaugurate the brand new Cteen Lounge. The Chabad Teen Network is for students starting in grade 8 and going through high school, and in the New Orleans area is based out of the Chabad Center in Metairie. During the week before the dedication, the students transformed a garage into a comfortable, inviting lounge complete with couches, a game center and a refrigerator for refreshments. “We hope to create an environment for Jewish teens to have fun,” said Ethan Taylor of Country Day, the newly appointed Cteen leader, together

with his fellow 10th grader Shimmy Lang of Ridgewood High School. “As we’ve grown and gotten to know each other, we have become like a big family,” Lang added. The teens gather twice a month to express Jewish pride, discuss their responsibilities as a Jew, hear speakers, do community service and have a great time with friends over kosher food. Last year, Cteen Nola sent representatives to the International Cteen Shabbaton for the first time. They spent Shabbat in New York together with over 2,000 Jewish teens from 36 countries. The local group hopes to bring an even larger delegation next year. For more about Cteen, email zalman@jewishlouisiana.com or call (704) 648-7966.

First-time camper grant available The Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana announced that applications are now available for first-time overnight summer campers to receive the Goldring Jewish Summer Camp Experience Incentive Grant. The Goldring Jewish Summer Camp Experience is administered by JEF. This program, which helps families provide their children with a first-time camping experience at a Jewish sleepaway camp, was established by JEF in 1999 and has been funded by the Goldring Family Foundation since 2001. Since its inception, close to 1,400 children have received grants to attend Jewish summer camp. The Goldring Family Foundation makes this camp program available to

42 November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


community every Jewish child in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle by giving a one-time-only grant of up to $1,500 per child to attend a nonprofit Jewish summer camp. Programs costing less than $1,500 will be funded up to the amount of camp tuition. To meet the criteria for funding, children must be first-time campers at a nonprofit Jewish sleepaway camp, currently in grades 1 through 9, and residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or the Florida Panhandle. Grants are not based on financial need. Both parents need not be Jewish. Synagogue affiliation is not required. The deadline for applications is March 31 and early application is strongly suggested. Award notification will be made by May 31. For more information and an application form, contact Debbie Berins at JEF at (504) 524-4559 or debbie@jefno.org. The application can also be downloaded at www.jefno.org.

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Tulane Hillel welcomes new programming staff

135 N. Carrollton Ave (1 block off Canal), Mid-City, NOLA 504-309-7283 dosonnoodlehousela.com

Tulane Hillel announced two new programming staff members for the 2019-2020 academic year. Josh Hare, director of Jewish life, and Julia Mattis, innovation and student engagement manager, are both embarking on the first of their two-year fellowships through Hillel International. Hare is New Jersey native who completed his undergraduate degree at American University in Washington, where he studied justice and law, concentrating in criminology and minoring in philosophy. In college, Hare had “incredible experiences” with Hillel and Josh Hare the Shalom Hartman Institute, where he learned how to take part in making Jewish learning fun, interesting, and contemporary. Beyond his love for Jewish music, his favorite thing to do in New Orleans is to explore the NOMA Sculpture Garden, and he looks forward to continuing to explore the food and jazz scene. He also loves the strong Jewish community in New Orleans, and is excited to be a part of an innovative Jewish space on the cusp of its growth, in an eclectic, fun, and energetic city that encourages continued creativity. Mattis is originally from Cincinnati, Julia Mattis and pursued her passion for photography at Ohio State University. She is excited about the opportunity to make a direct impact on students, and to build a community where students can brainstorm ideas and act upon them. In her spare time, you can find her running, practicing yoga or checking out a live show. Current programs that Mattis is working on include kayaking and picnicking on Bayou St. John, sustainable clothing swaps, a dine-around dinner series hosted by local New Orleans families, exploring the Bywater, and an art market featuring creative student entrepreneurs. While working with students in Tulane Hillel’s Tulane Jewish Leaders program, Mattis finds that “incredible potential exists when a group of passionate people unite to create meaningful and eye-opening experiences.”

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life 43


community

Madeleine Landrieu Presented with NCJW’s 2019 Hannah G. Solomon Award

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At its annual luncheon on Oct. 17, the Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women presented Madeleine M. Landrieu, dean of Loyola University College of Law, with the 2019 Hannah G. Solomon Award. The Solomon Award is given annually to a community leader who exemplifies the qualities of Hannah G. Solomon, founder of NCJW. According to the Council, these individuals have brought about important community programs and services through their leadership in a volunteer capacity, and have been a catalyst for social change. Photos by Michael Maples Video Productions Prior to her appointment in 2017 City Council Members Joe Giarrusso and Jason Williams to head Loyola’s law school, Landrieu present Madeleine Landreiu with city proclamation. served as a judge on the state’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, and before that, as a meaningful with her life as a woman than just ‘serve tea’,” Hess said, so in 1893 she started judge at Orleans Parish Civil District Court. During her 16-year tenure on the bench, NCJW, “the first national association of JewLandrieu served as president of both the Louisi- ish women in America, by writing over 2000 ana District Judges Association and the Louisi- personal letters to women around the country ana Judicial College. She also was on the board inviting them to join her in creating an orgaof the Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Legal As- nization that would combine both service and activism to improve the community. And that sistance Program. Landrieu has spent a large part of her career is exactly what NCJW has always done and conadvocating for improvements in laws and pol- tinues to do to this day.” In presenting the award to Landrieu, Comicies relative to children who come before the courts as a result of abuse or neglect. She is a mittee Chair Ana Gershanik noted that imfounding board member of the Louisiana In- proving the quality of life for women, children stitute for Children in Families and was instru- and families has been a strong motivation in mental in the launch of Louisiana’s Quality Par- Landrieu’s life. She was nurtured in a home enting Initiative and Louisiana Fosters, efforts where her parents believed in servicing and imto raise awareness about the needs of abused proving the community. Landrieu “always advocated for improveand neglected children and their families. NCJW President Susan Hess opened the lun- ments in laws and policies related to children cheon at the Sheraton with a tribute to Solomon. who were abused or neglected,” Gershanik said. Solomon “wanted to do something more “Madeleine serves as a leader and great role model for many young (and old) people entering the legal profession and wanting to make a difference in the lives of others.” Additional tributes came from around the city and state. New Orleans City Councilmembers Joe Giarrusso and Jason Williams presented Landreiu with a proclamation from the city. First Lady of Louisiana Donna Bel Edwards wrote a letter extolling Landrieu’s life of service. Alice Glenn, legislative director to Rep. Walt Leger, presented Landrieu with a commendation from the House of Representatives. The Solomon Award has been presented since 1966. Recent honorees include Mark Keller NCJW Hannah G. Solomon Committee Chair Ana Gershanik, Honoree Madeleine Landreiu Zervigon, Ruth Kullman, Marjorie and Scott Cohen, Julie Schwam Harris, Ana and Juan with husband Paige Sensenbrenner, and Gershanik, Kim Sport and Susan Hess. NCJW President Susan Hess.


community >> Rear Pew Mirror

continued from page 46

man leader of the children of Israel which he didst already hold anyway. (21) And there were allegations of the election being tainted by Prussian interference, but they were ignored because Moses ran unopposed.

HONORING TRADITIONS,

strengthening faith.

(22) And Moses was sworn in, taking an oath with his hand on a draft of the Bible. (23) And Moses vowed to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, and he didst doest this thusly. (24) And Moses turned to the Big G to ask a question. (25) And because the Big G is everywhere, Moses repeatedly spun around in circles which helps explain why the Israelites would take another 38 years to traverse just one desert and two books of the Torah. (26) And Moses said to the Big G, “You are all powerful and all knowing, can you tell us if this system will work for future generations?” (27) And the Big G didst grin, and said, “I am all knowing, so I know enough to stay out of it.” Doug Brook is only part knowing, but also knows enough to stay out of it. To read past columns, visit http://brookwrite.com/. For exclusive online content, like facebook.com/rearpewmirror.

Getting Healthy with Hadassah

Every life is unique and deserves to be remembered in a special way. Lake Lawn Metairie proudly serves all congregations and all local Jewish cemeteries. We’re dedicated to helping you and your loved ones create a meaningful Jewish service that truly captures the essence of the life it represents. Lake Lawn Metairie is honored to welcome Stephen Sontheimer and Billy Henry to the Dignity Memorial® family. On Oct. 27, Ellen Bander spoke at a Hadassah Baton Rouge program, “Let’s Get Healthy with Hadassah,” at the Aathma Wellness Center. Bander, a certified health coach and former Hadassah chapter president, spoke about why and how to get healthier, and then led some Zumba dancing with participants from ages 26 to 94.

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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rear pew mirror • doug brook

The Electorah College Numbers, 9a

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(1) And the children of Israel had designated leaders, one for each of the 12 tribes, and to each of the 12 tribes there was one leader. (2) And they were princes of their tribes leading over the hundreds and the thousands, over the scores and the dozens, and the stray tribesman who wandered off. And they served under Moses. (3) And the children of Israel realized that they had no say in who their supreme leader would be. (4) And the children of Israel said to Moses, “we realize that we had no say in who our supreme leader would be.” (5) And Moses couldn’t understand them because it’s hard to distinguish words when 603,550 adult men speak at once. (6) So the Israelites conveyed their message instead through their tribal princes, and Moses heard them but was unamused. (7) And Moses refrained from bringing the Israelites’ concern to the Big G, and then the Big G said to Moses, “I understand you have a message for me.” (8) And Moses said, “I was just stopping for a drink before speaking to you, the Israelites realize that they had no say in who their supreme leader would be.” (9) And the Big G told Moses, “remind the children of Israel that I am their supreme leader, who brought them out of their slavery in Egypt and who can put them right back.”

Who can retell the votes that befell us, who can count them?

(10) And the children of Israel clarified that they were talking about Moses, and apologized for the confusion. (11) And the Big G declared, “on the first Tuesday of the second month of the second year since the Exodus, there shall be an election.”

(12) And so the handling of the election was placed in the hands of Alec ben Popla, who would handle the handling of the vote based on the recent census of Israelite men ages 20 and older. (13) And so Gamaliel son of Pedahzur of the tribe of Menashe and Abidan son of Gidoni of the tribe of Benjamin petitioned Alec ben Popla, saying, “Our tribes have barely thirty thousand men each, while some have over one hundred thousand. We’ll never be a factor in the vote.” (14) And so Alec ben Popla declared, “there will be two methods to count the vote — the actual number of votes indicating the overall popular tally across the nation, and a smaller vote by representatives of each tribe apportioned to give smaller tribes more equitable influence as the larger tribes.” (15) And this system of election law was known as the Alec Torah vote, until this day.” (16) And Miriam said, “the census included only men aged 20 years and older, but no women.” (17) And Alec ben Popla said, “women don’t get the right to vote until the year 1919.” (18) And Miriam replied, “according to the Hebrew calendar, that was about 300 years ago.” (19) And Alec ben Popla relented. (20) And so an election occurred, and Moses won the position of hucontinued on previous page 46

November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life


November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

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November 2019 • Southern Jewish Life

Profile for Southern Jewish Life

Southern Jewish Life, New Orleans Edition, November 2019  

New Orleans edition of the November 2019 issue of Southern Jewish Life, the official news magazine of the Greater New Orleans Jewish communi...

Southern Jewish Life, New Orleans Edition, November 2019  

New Orleans edition of the November 2019 issue of Southern Jewish Life, the official news magazine of the Greater New Orleans Jewish communi...

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