Photo by Tom Weisz
Issue #10 /
september 2020 / tishrei 5781 /
Kabbalat Shabbat in the Corona Era
Jews on Broadway
The Jews of Glasgow
From the Lagoon Hotel
"The Great White Way" – Jewish style P.8
The story of a Jewish community P.16
Last SNAC travelers before the corona lockdown P.18
Keeping our spirits up during the lockdown P.5
Shana Tova! Marilyn & David Ashton Norman A. Bailey & Barbara P. Billauer Laraine & Roy Barnes Birgitte Savosnick & Michael Baziljevich Brenda & Eric Brett Belinda & Graham Calvert Carolyn & Robert Casselson Les & Roy Cohen Shirley & Marcel Cohen Ros & Tony Cole Terrie & Ephry Eder Judith & Rabbi Chaim Fachler Sylvia & David Fellerman Gertie & Morris Forman Reva & Mike Garmise Ruth & Ivor Gertler Toni & Charles Green & Family Miriam & Yisrael Haber Gillian & Lee Heron Brenda Katten Linda & Ronnie Kaye Sandra & David Kibel Martin & Ros Landau Annette & Stephen Lambert Irith Langer Penny & Ashley Leboff Haya & David Lewi Miriam & Alan Lewis Shosh & Stuart Lewis Dorothy & Stanley Mason Joyce, Alan & Emma Mays Elaine & Bernard Oster Marcia & Nate Peretzman Ginger & Roy Pinchot Malka & Shimmy Pine Nechama & Tuly Polak Roberta & Rafe Safier Barbara & Eric Salamon Pam & Mickie Sallmander Sharon & Jonathan Sherman Simone & John Sless Tina & David Son Barbara & Edward Susman & Family Mindy & Avi Tokayer Jenny & Leslie Wagner Barbara & Paul Westbrook Shelli & Tom Weisz Barbara & Brian Wolkind Iresine & David Woolf Norma & David Zacks & Family Molly & Jack Zwanziger Sue & Issy Zuckerbrod
Issue #10 / september 2020
During this time of COVID, marked by uncertainty, isolation and fears of what tomorrow may bring, the SNAC community has been a model of constancy and resiliency. We have remained strong, vibrant and supportive of one another, using each new challenge as an opportunity to draw the kehillah closer together, finding new ways of sharing and learning. While the world around us has shifted, we have stayed focused on our core ideals – Community, Commitment, Torah. When restrictions put us in lockdown and reduced our shared physical time together, we widened the SNAC world of social bonding with virtual cook-ins, chats, Kabbalot Shabbat and even travel to places we may have never seen before. Corona may have disrupted our day-to-day lives, but it has not curbed our spirit. The SNAC community has created a sense of solidarity that is aiding us to weather this storm and will enable us to soar to greater heights in the future.
In a recent “Thought” piece I wrote for SNAC, I quoted the statement, “If you want to make HaShem smile, show Him your five-year plan!” and added, “Today, a five-DAY plan seems unrealistic.” Will those words still be relevant when you read this? Probably yes. SNAC has always prided itself on its pursuit of improvement - through social activities, support and hospitality, shiurim, and an enhanced physical presence. This time last year, we all felt justifiably proud of the changes we had initiated and implemented. Alas, the current changes in our lives have been challenging in the extreme. Happily we are judged not by what happens to us, but by how we react, and BS”D, the ever-enthusiastic SNAC spirit and buoyancy will surely carry us through.
Shana Tova to all,
• Shelli Weisz, Chairman
• Rabbi Chaim Fachler
Editors' Welcome 5 Kehillat Tzfat Netanya www.snacshul.org SNAC@snacshul.org Chairman: Shelli Weisz Editorial Committee: Reva Garmise Roy Pinchot Graphic Design: Michal Magen Advertising: Ephry Eder Printing: OBAR printing, 9 Shmuel Hanatziv, Netanya Tel. 09-862-0769 email@example.com
What weird and surrealistic times we are living through. Just think that a year ago the words COVID-19 could have referred to a new computer program instead of a virus that has taken over our lives, affecting our prayers, weddings, funerals, shopping, travel plans, social interactions, our economy and our fears. Together with populations the world over, we continue to face daily challenges, social, economic and spiritual in nature. To a great extent our social life has become virtual, centered around our computer screens. We have remained united through this colossal crisis, in great part thanks to the ingenuity and incessant efforts of our board to keep us entertained, educated, emotionally supported, calm and cohesive. In this issue, many of you have described the effects of the plague on your lives as well as stories of past ‘changed worlds.’ Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experience and memories with us. May the New Year bring us all health and continued togetherness. Shana Tova, • Reva Garmise, Roy Pinchot
SNACtivities Photo by Charles Green
evenings, all within strict compliance to Ministry of Health guidelines. As the regulations change from week to week, we adapt our routines. At the time of writing, prayers are only in the garden, with pre-registration for Kabbalat Shabbat and morning Shabbat services. Our world has changed and we all await a return to our old lives: tiyulim, Passover seders with our families, lecture nights, movies, full prayer services within the synagogue walls. We also look forward to the return influx of overseas members who have always made the holidays so special.
S Zoom Gali Gali Gali... ZOOM!
ho would have guessed that the Purim seudah in early March would be the last event SNAC members celebrated together before Israel went into a near total lockdown? Soon after, prayers at SNAC were suspended and for months we met each other mainly on the computer, seeing one another – from the neck up – in little square boxes on our screens. Zoom saved us from complete isolation. We greeted each other in a Zoom Kabbalat Shabbat and wished each other Shavua Tov at Zoom Havdalah ceremonies. Norman led his interesting World Affairs Discussion Group via Zoom meetings. Members chatted with friends at virtual café mornings, interesting online courses and fascinating lectures drew crowds, including a tour of the Sistine Chapel, focusing on the Jewish influences seen in Michelangelo’s work. The Yom HaShoah online memorial was
as moving as past such ceremonies, or perhaps more so, as survivors and children of survivors related their personal tales of escape and survival. Ruth Rogoff, Freddy Speaker, AnnaBella Sterngold, Rabbi Chaim Fachler, Miriam Haber and Issy Zuckerbrod were among the speakers. With the partial return to routine in June, we began praying together – in the garden on Friday night and Shabbat and indoors on weekday mornings and
everal SNAC members commemorated the memories of fallen IDF soldiers on Yom HaZikaron, the Israel Day of Remembrance, holding a certificate with the name of a fallen soldier during the two-minute siren that is sounded throughout the country at 11am on this day. In past years, participants took part in an organized run as well. Because of corona restrictions, this year Memorun participants ran or took part in a sport activity of their choice, wearing on their shirts the names of the fallen soldiers they were honoring.
Barbara and Paul Westbrook
Issue #10 / september 2020
Flowers for Shavuot
Our Friends at Lagoon
hat is Shavuot without flowers? And what can be more special than gifts of flowers distributed to all SNAC families in Netanya? Flowergrowers were also affected by the corona lockdown, and they, too, benefited from this lovely gift to members.
hat a shock. Coronavirus. Came from nowhere and completely engulfed me. The thought of waking up to long days without social interaction loomed heavily before me. But lo, a miracle! ZOOM! Shelli announced virtual coffee gatherings. Suddenly some 15 of us were able to be together, to talk, to laugh, to share. All the things I thought would be impossible to live without were going to be available. Every morning 10-10:30 became a must for me. Talking with friends, getting to know others better have made it such a special time. I treasure this bonus of regular communication and sharing. I am so grateful, especially to Shelli, for enabling us to continue to be a community and look forward to a corona-free future. but it would be nice if our coffee mornings continue, if only on an occasional basis. • Shirley Cohen page 5
hen the corona crisis struck in March, a feeling of togetherness began to envelop us. We were all in this situation together, in our immediate surroundings and even worldwide. From our balconies we applauded our medical personnel and on Pesach sang Ma Nishtanah, waving to our friends and neighbors in nearby buildings. The hotels in the area were empty. The beach, parks, malls, entertainment centers and restaurants were closed. With its rooms vacant, the Lagoon
Hotel began sending us messages via lit up windows. First we saw a heart shape emanating from the top floors of the hotel. On Pesach when we were at home with only ourselves at our seder tables, a new message appeared – ( חג שמחChag Sameach). And on Yom Ha’atzmaut, the star of David smiled down on us. It didn’t make us feel any better about the situation, but it brought a smile to our faces and reminded us that we were not alone. We had SNAC to keep us united and the Lagoon Hotel to remind us that we are part of a larger community.
SNAC/shots corona days Then, as he was packing up, he looked at David once more and said he was unhappy to leave him and would like to take him to hospital – just to be on the safe side. That was probably the finest decision of them all.
“We need to be lucky”
Our Fight with COVID-19 By Ann Marks
ondon: March 6, 2020: Gosh were we tired!! Well, there had been several very busy days and lots of late nights, so nothing really to worry about. We were looking forward to a good rest over Shabbat. That, of
Moments before being placed on a ventilator
course, was the beginning. I spent most of the time until Tuesday afternoon in bed but then, as I was feeling better, went out. David remained in bed on and off after Shabbat, though he ventured out on Tuesday, only to return straight back to bed. Over the next few days his condition worsened, but we still didn't realise what was happening, as government advice hadn’t changed, and the news was still reporting very low numbers. On Thursday we found out that we had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. Finally, the penny dropped, and on the following Monday, as David had deteriorated even more, I called 999. When the ambulance arrived, and after the paramedic's initial observations, it was decided to leave him at home.
We asked to be taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Over a two-anda-half-hour period in A+E I watched David rapidly deteriorate, culminating in his admission to the A+E resuscitation area. You can imagine how I felt when told by the medics: “We need to be lucky.” Between then and 10 days later when he came out of hospital I saw him once for a couple of minutes in ITU just before he was placed on a ventilator. Gillian (our daughter) and I waved through a window. We were asked if we would consider David being treated with a promising but unproven medication; this appeared to be the only option at that stage. Naturally we agreed. The drug company was given a list of his symptoms, and they agreed to supply the medication ‘on compassionate grounds.’ It was unavailable at the Hospital and had to be sent from the manufacturers who were abroad. Subsequently on May 27 the press reported that this drug had now been cleared for use as part of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS). During his eight days in ITU there were a couple of hiccups, but in general he was slowly moving in the right direction. This was the most traumatic time for myself, and our children, unable to visit and just waiting at home for updates on his condition. All families receive daily phone calls from the hospital, but we were more fortunate than most in this regard. Gillian is an oncology consultant at the Royal Free, and as she was there each day, the wonderful staff discussed his condition and treatment with her, which she filtered to me and the rest of the family. Two days after leaving ITU David came home (only 50% of patients going into ITU come out smiling). Gillian brought him home when she left work and you would have laughed had you seen him, as
Issue #10 / september 2020
corona days he was wearing scrubs and her coat, with a lovely fur hood. What a laugh and oh my goodness what a relief!!
Changed World The world David came back to was very different from the one he had left 10 days earlier. Initially he had no understanding of lockdown and how it was affecting everyone’s lives, particularly those in our age group, as almost no one was going to work, no socialising, all shops and restaurants closed, with the exception of food and medicine. Nothing left on the shelves in the supermarkets, even if you were brave enough to venture out. I never say David was lucky, I think there was so much more than luck involved, I always use the word, ‘fortunate.’ From the paramedic taking him in at that time, to our daughter Gillian being so involved with his care, to being offered the pretrial drug, to the wonderful support the whole family received, and davening in so many communities. Someone was looking after him.
To conclude, a really nice little story. About three weeks after David returned from hospital, he noticed that his wedding ring was missing. Oh my goodness where was it? Had it disappeared in the hospital or had it fallen off his finger, as he had lost weight? Gillian then turned into Agatha Christie. She remembered that he had waved to us from the ITU, and she had taken a photograph of him through the
window. Yes, he was wearing his ring in the photo! On his return from hospital he went straight to bed and I took a photograph of him to show the children he was home safe and sound. No ring. Now we knew where it had disappeared. We called the hospital, and would you believe it, it was down in security marked with his name and date. It is now back on his finger. All our heartfelt thanks to the incredibly dedicated staff at the Royal Free, who brought our family from indescribable despondency to these much, much happier times as well as to all our amazing friends at SNAC who prayed for David’s recovery. Ann & David Marks and all our wonderful family Editors’ Note: On Friday May 22, not long after his recovery, David beautifully led SNAC’s Zoom pre-Shabbat L'Chayim and Kabbalat Shabbat Highlights, proving you just can’t keep a good man down.
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SNAC/shots jewish world Ira Gershwin caricature by Al Hirschfeld
The Jews & Broadway By Roy Pinchot Dedicated to Aubrey Kreike z"l
“Well, let me put it like this. In any great adventure, if you don’t want to lose, Victory depends upon, the people that you choose. So listen, Arthur darling, closely to this news, We won’t succeed on Broadway if we don’t have any Jews!” [From the 2004 Broadway musical spoof “Spamalot” – Composer/Lyricist: Eric Idle]
t is impossible to explain exactly why Broadway’s musical theater came to be dominated by Jews. But there is no argument that, with the exception of Cole Porter, almost all the modern era composers, lyricists, directors, producers, and choreographers belonged to one single ethnic group – a Jewish all-star cast that made Broadway into “The Great White Way!” The American musical comedy sprang from an earlier tradition of “Light Comedies” such as Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular English classics, Viennese operettas, and early American
vaudeville, reviews, and variety shows. During the first ‘Golden Age of American Musicals’ in the 1920s, Jews made their mark by creating some of the most popular musicals and by fusing the older semi-operatic operetta musical style with America’s newest musical style of jazz and swing. Jewish composer Jerome Kern’s first musical was produced on Broadway in 1915, and by 1917 he had five of his musicals playing simultaneously on Broadway. Kern went on to write 35 Broadway musicals and hundreds of popular songs. His most popular musical,
Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
Showboat (1927), became an American standard and is still produced today. In addition to Kern, the early 1920s also witnessed the introduction of “America’s Greatest Songwriter” to the Broadway stage, Irving Berlin. Berlin, a prolific songwriter, who created both lyrics and melodies, wrote 20 musicals for Broadway, 15 Hollywood musical films and 1,500 songs in a 60-year career that lasted from 1915 until his death at 101 in 1989. Ironically Berlin, a Jew, also wrote the two most popular Christian holiday songs, White Christmas and Easter Parade. George Gershwin called him, “the greatest songwriter who ever lived,” and Jerome Kern proclaimed, “He WAS American music!”
Issue #10 / september 2020
A Revolution on Broadway Later in the decade, another Jewish composer launched a revolution in Broadway musicals. George Gershwin, usually working with his brother Ira who wrote the lyrics, merged jazz and other syncopated rhythms with complex but catchy tunes. With Ira’s sophisticated and clever lyrics the two became the “hot” music writers of the Jazz Age. The Gershwins composed 22 shows together and Ira went on to write six more shows after the tragic death of George at the age of 38. Their classic show was Porgy and Bess in 1935. Also in the late 1920s, the new team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart hit Broadway with their show, Connecticut Yankee and went on to write 25 popular Broadway shows together though the 1930s, until Hart’s early death. Rodgers’ beautiful melodies and Hart’s witty lyrics made many of their songs into popular standards. With the crash and the Great Depression of the 1930s, Broadway went into a slump, and although musicals by the Gershwins, Berlin, Jerome Kern and Rogers and Hart hit the stage, this was considered a low period in Broadway creativity. World War II brought the American economy back to life and Americans were seeking to escape the dreary experience of the Depression. In March 1943, musical history was made with the opening curtain of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Oklahoma! was a revolutionary musical because it integrated the story, dialogue, music, songs and dances into a single theatrical presentation. Serious themes and plot lines were pushed forward by the song and dance numbers rather than having them stand alone. Oklahoma! embraced a sentimental look at a bygone America, appealing to wartime Americans. The team went on to produce many of the greatest Broadway standards: Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s innovations changed
the American musical for the next two decades – setting off The Golden Age of Broadway!
Golden Age of Broadway The new Broadway was now engulfed by a flood of young talented Jewish composers and lyricists whose works thrilled millions of theatergoers and had Americans singing and snapping their fingers to the melodies. This new group of Jewish talent and their works included: Alan Lerner and Fredrick Loewe’s Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and Camelot; Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town and West Side Story; Julie Styne’s Gypsy and Funny Girl; Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business; Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s
“The Broadway musical is a tipping point experience where a handful of mostly Jewish composers and lyricists created a way for all of us to experience the ideas that became The American Dream.” Ben Sidron
Fiorello and Fiddler on the Roof; Jerry Herman’s Hello Dolly and Mame; John Kander and Fred Ebbs’s Cabaret and Chicago; Charles Strouse’s Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, and Annie; and Steven Sondheim’s West Side Story, Gypsy, Company, A Little Night Music, Follies and Sweeny Todd, among many others. These musicals became the American contribution to the world of musical forms – with the vast majority of composers, lyricists, writers, directors and producers being Jewish. Cole Porter, the great writer of musicals who was not Jewish, once met Richard Rogers in Venice. He told Rodgers that he had discovered the secret to writing successful Broadway musicals. “Write Jewish music,” he said. “And he did just that,” said Rodgers. “Just hum Night and Day, Begin the Begine, or I Love Paris, all minor key melodies that are unmistakably Jewish.” Irving Berlin’s father had been a cantor, and many of the composers grew up imbibing the haunting melodies of the High Holidays and the Sabbath. Broadway songs based on Jewish melodies would be embraced by millions. “Broadway was like a little Jewish club – and it STILL is a little Jewish club,” reminisced Richard Rodgers’ daughter, Mary Guetell.
Why Were They Successful? Music critic Josh Kun recreates the Jewish composers’ intuitive motivation that led to their amazing success: “I am not going to tell you a story about Jews in America, but the story of other outsiders. I am going to use someone else’s story to tell you our story. The more Jews are not writing about Jews,” Kun writes, “the more they are actually writing about Jews. It may be a poor London flower girl in Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, or the nun and governess Maria in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Sound of Music.” As Mel Brooks puts it, “Look at the musicals we have exported: they say happiness, they say hope, they say we are tough, we can survive – we are Americans! That is the Jewish heritage to America – and of America to the world.”
SNAC/shots jewish world
Jewish Composers/ Lyricists & their Musicals George Gershwin (died at age 38) & Ira Gershwin (22 shows + 6 by Ira alone) Lady be Good (1924), Oh Kay (1926), Funny Face (1927), Girl Crazy (1930), Of Thee I Sing (1931), Porgy & Bess (1935)
Arthur Schwartz Band Wagon (1931), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1951)
Richard Rodgers & Larry Hart (28 musicals) Dearest Enemy (1925), Babes in Arms (1937), The Boys From Syracuse (1938), Pal Joey (1940)
Irving Berlin (White Christmas & Easter Parade) This is the Army (1943), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Miss Liberty (1949), Call Me Madam (1950)
Jerome Kern (35 musicals) & Oscar Hammerstein Showboat (1927)
Richard Rodgers (38 musicals) with Oscar Hammerstein (11 musicals) Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The King and I (1951), Flower Drum Song (1958), Sound of Music (1959)
Kurt Weill Knickerbocker Holiday (1938), Lady in the Dark (1940), One Touch of Venus (1943)
Leonard Bernstein On the Town (1944), Wonderful Town (1953), West Side Story (1957) Betty Comden (Basya Cohen) & Adolph Green (19 productions) On the Town (1944), Wonderful Town (1953), The Bells are Ringing (1956), Applause (1970)
George Gershwin caricature by Al Hirschfeld
Richard Adler & Jerry Ross Pajama Game (1954), Damn Yankees (1955) Steven Sondheim (19 musicals) West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1979), Sweeney Todd (1979)
Jerome Robbins (Jerome Rabinowitz) On the Town (1944), High Button Shoes (1947), The King & I (1951), Wonderful Town (1953), Pajama Game (1954), The Bells are Ringing (1956), West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Funny Girl (1964) Alan Lerner & Frederick Loewe Brigadoon (1946), Paint Your Wagon (1951), My Fair Lady (1956), Camelot (1960) Julie Styne High Button Shoes (1947), The Bells are Ringing (1956), Gypsy (1959), Funny Girl (1964) Frank Loesser Guys and Dolls (1950), How to Succeed in Business (1961)
Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick Fiorello (1959), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Rothschilds (1970) Jerry Herman (12 musicals) Milk and Honey (1961), Hello Dolly, (1964), Mame (1966) John Kander & Fred Ebbs Cabaret (1966), Chicago (1975) Charles Strouse Bye Bye Birdy (1960), Applause (1970), Annie (1977) Stephen Schwartz Godspell (1971), Wicked (2003) Yip Harburg, Marc Shaiman, Harold Arlen, Andrew Lippa, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, Michael Todd, Dorothy Fields: Various musicals
Gareth and Belinda Kreike, Jonah, Noah and Dalia thank the whole SNAC community for the condolences received on the death of Aubrey. Gareth is especially grateful to everyone whose kindness and support made the difficult weeks so much more bearable.
Issue #10 / september 2020
Our Changing World
our 100-meter walk. Online shopping was something that the youngsters did long before the pandemic but, for us oldies, discovering online supermarket shopping has proven surprisingly easy and even fun.
The Day After...
By Brenda Katten
Will the world ever be as it was before? This is the question we ask ourselves following months of lockdown and, possibly, more lockdown Tzvika, Yishai and Judah Lambert
s we go to print it is now some six months since our familiar world began to change. Suddenly, we were confined to our homes, afraid of the unknown – a strange virus which is believed to have originated in China although there are conflicting versions as to how and when it all began. Denied the opportunity to see our children and grandchildren; denied the sheer pleasure of coffee on the beach; denied our Tuesday Pensioners’ NIS 10 outing to the cinema – we have learned to occupy our days in new ways. Zooming or WhatsApping the family, participating in SNAC Zoom get-togethers and sending jokes and videos to each other to return smiles to our faces. Initially, we Israelis gloated because we were doing well but – oh dear – that bit of hubris was short lived.
Corona Ingenuity How was it for families forced to spend time in close proximity? For some it proved to be a creative period. SNAC’s Stephen and Annette Lambert’s son, Gavriel, managed to find novel ways to keep his three young lads, Tzvika, Yishai and Judah, busy. On one occasion each child was presented with a NIS 20 note which they had to hold
in place – with their foreheads – on the sliding glass patio doors. Who was the winner? The one whose NIS 20 finally remained on the glass – he was able to pick up and collect the NIS 20 notes that had fallen earlier!
The Contest For those fortunate enough to still be working, when so many have joined the growing ranks of unemployed – returning to daily activities after weeks of working from home – there can be an appreciation of the responsibilities that hitherto one took for granted. My son, Michael – an architect – was able to return to meeting colleagues on project sites. He said “I never realized how much I enjoyed these meetings until deprived of the opportunity to do so.” For sure many of us can identify with this view. Somehow we do not value that which we believe will be there tomorrow and the day after. It is only when it is no longer available that we begin to prize what we had. The lockdown period gave us the opportunity to marvel at a clear blue sky and appreciate the tranquil beauty of nature against a background of quiet – far less traffic on the roads – how pure was the air we breathed on
Post COVID-19 will we see a different world. Cruises? Who wants to go on a cruise? Flying? Who wants to fly? What are the wider implications? Initially we in Israel congratulated ourselves (somewhat prematurely) for having survived this pandemic in a far more successful manner than countries in Europe. Could there be some advantage in being surrounded by enemies? We don’t have open borders; our borders are firmly guarded and closed. Conversely Europe has open borders. How useful it was in the past to avoid passport control queues when traveling through Europe by simply showing our British, French or other European passport. There can be little doubt that, initially, the virus spread like wildfire in Europe because of the ease with which Europeans can cross from one country to another. Perhaps the misfortune for the United Kingdom (whose death rates, at one stage, were the worst in Europe) was that Prime Minister Johnson was in the midst of taking the UK out of the European Union when the coronavirus struck. What does this mean for the future? Chances are that countries will begin to reassess the advantages and disadvantages of open borders. Looking back to World War II it is acknowledged that Britain was saved from Hitler’s invasion because it was an island. The channel served as a barrier against Hitler’s ambition to take over the UK. Could the mentality of isolating oneself from other countries be the answer to future pandemics? To what extent will European countries begin to reassess the pros and cons of a Union which enables uninhibited travel from one country to another? For sure the world will not be the same again.
Meet Marcia & Nate Peretzman By Reva Garmise
arcia and Nate’s easy, go-withthe-flow approach to life belies the interesting lives they have led, moving around both geographically and professionally. They were both born in Johannesburg, though, at age eight, Nate moved with his family to a small and relatively new gold mining town called Welkom, which was mainly populated by migrant workers. Nate’s father and uncle ran a trading store for the miners. Some 125 Jewish families lived in Welkom when they arrived and Nate was registered in CBC, the Christian Brothers College school. The local rabbi would teach the Jewish boys when the other pupils had Bible studies. Nate was proud to be the first bar mitzvah in the local synagogue. Aged 18, after completing his compulsory education, Nate moved to Johannesburg to study pharmacy.
The Four-Year Plan Meanwhile, Marcia grew up in Johannesburg, studying librarianship and was a practicing librarian until her marriage to Nate. They met in 1974 at a Yom HaAtzmaut dance, foreshadowing the Independence Days they would eventually celebrate in Israel as citizens of the state. A year later, they married and moved to Welkom where most of Nate’s family lived. He would go into business with his brother-in-law at a trading store. The plan was to remain four years and then move back to the
big city where Nate would open his own pharmacy. The four years morphed into two decades. “They say that when you come to Welkom you cry and when you leave you cry,” relates Marcia. “I didn’t cry when I arrived but I certainly cried when we left. We loved our life there and formed strong bonds with the Jewish community. Our two daughters were born there and we enjoyed the wonderful small-town life.” They threw themselves into community life, which revolved around the synagogue and Jewish organizations. As there was no kosher caterer in Welkom, Marcia, as chair of the Jewish Guild, headed a
committee that catered the community Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings and other events.
Held Up at Gunpoint The economy of Welkom revolved around the gold mines. But with time the mines began to fail, triggering an exodus of families. When the mine shaft adjacent to their trading store shut down, demand dropped overnight, and finally, 20 years after settling in Welkom, the end of the “Four Year Plan” was upon them. One day, as Nate was trying to sort out the vast quantity of merchandise left in the store, with no customers to buy it, two gun-toting men entered and forced Nate and two employees to the floor, tying their hands behind them. “I told them: ‘I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to know what you look like. Take money, merchandise, anything you want, just leave,’ and they did, leaving us tied up and shaking on the storeroom floor.” It was time to move on.
Next Stop: Cape Town In 1995 they moved to Cape Town, where their daughter Keren was studying physiotherapy. There they opened The Pie Works, a kosher restaurant and deli franchise in the predominately Jewish area of Sea Point, specializing in pies of every conceivable type. “We soon expanded to include takeaway Shabbat and holiday
Issue #10 / september 2020
corona days meals. We had brought our excellent housekeeper Annie with us from Welkom. She taught our staff how to make the delicacies that she’d prepared for us for so many years. Through the business, we got to know the Jewish community and quickly became part of its social fabric,” says Marcia. With her catering experience in Welkom and in their Sea Point restaurant, Marcia was well qualified to organize kiddushes, communal events and catering for Ohr Somayach, their local synagogue. “Although the restaurant was successful, it was hard work and after two years we decided to sell. That’s when we began to work in online trading, an occupation that we’ve continued to pursue until today,” explains Nate. Throughout their married life, Marcia and Nate have always worked together, side by side, and continue to do so today, trading futures from their home. The Peretzmans had always been a traditional family. But in 2002, inspired by their young, dynamic rabbi and after attending lectures by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, they decided to embrace a more observant lifestyle. As Nate tells it, one Friday evening they drove to a synagogue in a nearby suburb to attend an inspiring lecture by Esther Jungreis; afterwards, exiting with many rabbis who had been at the lecture, they strode nonchalantly past their car. When the crowd had dispersed, they returned to their car and drove home. “That was the last time we drove on Shabbat,” says Nate. When their daughters married, Keren moved to Israel and her younger sister Stacy, to Johannesburg. “On a visit to Keren in 2014, we spent a day in Netanya, a city that in many ways is similar to Cape Town,” relates Nate. “Keren urged us to make aliyah and live in this pretty area. We insisted we were not yet ready.” They returned to South Africa and six months later, in April 2015, made aliyah. “Soon after, we joined SNAC where we made many new wonderful friends in a short time. We love living in Netanya and feel blessed to have found this special community,” says Marcia.
Naturally, I used the Alexander Technique to help me regain my balance. And as I am a SNAC member, I really did not feel I was alone! It was wonderful having the support of the kehilla during these crazy days! How quickly Shelli and the board provided us with all kinds of gatherings on Zoom! A big thank you to all of you!
The Necklace By Irith Langer
Thanks I have been celebrating Pesach overseas with my family for seven years, since my mother became too weak to manage the holiday on her own. This year I was especially looking forward to the holiday. My newest grandson had just been born in Madrid and I eagerly awaited the chance to hold him in my arms and celebrate his brit mila with the family, shortly before Pesach. As in years past, the presents were ready to be packed, new clothes for Pesach were purchased. My travel documents and flight tickets were in place on the desk, lest I forget anything. But then this nasty, sneaky tiny coronavirus forced me to stay home.
My Pesach story is about a necklace. My mother z”l had a gorgeous diamond necklace, a gift from my late father for her 80th birthday. About a year after she died, I took the necklace out of the bank safe and put it in my home safe, intending to wear it someday. Somehow I never found the right occasion to put on such a valuable piece of jewelry. Now I decided that the time was right. But goodness gracious, I could not find the necklace anywhere! I searched every possible place. Nothing. It was gone! I thought I must have worn it once and lost it. What a pity! Seven years had passed since the last time I opened my Pesach cupboards. This year, opening them to take down Pesach dishes to celebrate the holiday all alone felt very strange. The dishes in the cupboard were part of my memories of beautiful Pesach celebrations, with my late husband Leslie leading the seder. With a heavy heart I climbed a ladder, opened the cupboard, and then almost fainted. All the way up, on the top shelf, was a box with the necklace inside! I had to sit down for a moment. What a surprise! It felt to me as though my parents had sent me their greetings. The joy I felt stayed with me the entire Pesach. I spent seder night on Skype with my son and his family in Switzerland. I had the laptop on my table and they had theirs on their table. It felt almost as though we were sitting together. We talked, we sang, we laughed. It was a very special seder for me, after all.
Israeli Surgeons Save Lives after Study Visits to UK By Alex Deutsch
looked into the eyes of a 66-year-old woman with a local recurrence of rectal cancer and realized that she could not be cured. She could only look forward to an unpleasant and painful end. The realization that well over a third of surgically treated low rectal cancers would end the same way brought back the memory of a presentation I had heard at the Royal Society of Medicine by Dr. Bill Heald in 1985. He described the Total Mesorectal Excision for these cancers that resulted in the lowering of local recurrence rates to single digit figures. Experienced surgeons are generally reluctant to accept the fact that what they were doing all their professional lives was wrong. (Senior surgeons in Israel were no different from our colleagues in England.) This was highlighted by a BBC
investigative report on July 6, 2000. “A cancer surgery technique pioneered in the UK could save 1,800 extra lives a year - but now doctors must be persuaded to use it.” Bill Heald turned to medical authorities in Sweden, persuading them to undertake a trial of his method, which resulted in a confirmation of his results. But that took time. Based on this success, in 2000 Heald launched a course in Basingstoke UK, teaching young surgeons his method.
The Initiative In 2007, I contacted Heald and proposed sending Israeli surgeons to the course. He enthusiastically agreed. The Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association (IBCA) agreed to support the project using funds raised at the annual Balfour Dinner. We set up the David Yanir Foundation for the Advancement of Colorectal Surgery in Israel, with the help of Dr. Rubin Weil, to ease the financial transactions involved. The first year we sent two surgeons to England and the next year, with extra funding from The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust, another 18 young Israeli surgeons participated in the course. Subsequently we were able to send up to 10 surgeons annually for a week-long visit that includes a three-day course in Basingstoke and visits to University College Hospital, Kings College Hospital and St. Thomas’ Hospital, to see how
British colorectal surgery is carried out. The Israeli surgeons come from hospitals around the country and include Moslems, Bedouins, Christians and Druse as well as Jews. For each trip, prior to leaving Israel, Gloria and I entertain the group in our home so that they can meet one another and finalize details of the project. We also take the opportunity to explain the intricacies of English behavior. The program also includes an academic and social evening with the United Kingdom Jewish Medical Society at University College London. Lord Stuart Polak, the then director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, agreed to welcome the groups at the House of Lords, a very successful addition to the project. Professor Heald and the Basingstoke team continue to welcome our participants in his courses every year. So far over 100 young surgeons have taken part in the program. Today many of them hold key positions in the hierarchy of colorectal surgery in Israel. We have achieved the initial objective of this initiative, which was to lower the recurrence rate of rectal cancer, as total mesorectal excision as described by Prof. Heald is performed throughout Israel with excellent results. The annual course has now been expanded to include cutting edge advancements in all aspects of colorectal surgery. We continue to send surgeons each year.
Course participants at Basingstoke 2020. Bill Heald , third from right on the landing, has his arm around the shoulder of Dr Mai Mezarine, a Bedouin surgeon
any people, in England and in Israel, contribute to the success of this project. Mr. Richard Cohen at University College Hospital kindly agreed to host our surgeons for a couple of days and show them how British colorectal surgery was carried out in a London teaching hospital. With an increase in numbers, Mr. Andrew Williams of St. Thomas’s Hospital, and Mr. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah of Kings College Hospital similarly agreed to host our surgeons. Professor David Katz, Chairman of the United Kingdom Jewish Medical Society and Irving Taylor, Professor of Surgery at University College Hospital, helped us organize an academic and social evening with the United Kingdom Jewish Medical Society at University College London.
Issue #10 / september 2020
That Was the Pesach That Was By Judith Fachler
ne March morning, before the complete lockdown, I met up with a few friends. It was the day Naftali Bennett warned against visiting grandparents. Slowly it dawned on me that this meant not being with our children and grandchildren over Pesach. Total shock! For a few years Chaim and I have been spending all of Pesach with our kids. And just last year I announced on our family WhatsApp group that our Pesach cupboards were “open for business.” Whoever wanted anything could come “shopping” in our kitchen balcony. And they did. Whatever was left over, went to WIZO. That was it. No more Pesach dishes. So what do we do now? That night, Chaim and I made lists of what needed to be bought and what
needed to be done. I always feel better with a list! Of course, like everyone else, we managed. Chaim’s a great shopper, and we found ourselves sitting at the seder table with everything we needed… and aches in our hearts, missing our children. The seder was actually wonderful – so enjoyable to be able to sit and discuss the Haggadah for as long as we wanted. Two truly remarkable experiences stand out. On our street many different groups davened from their balconies. Hearing Hallel sung together on the first night was just amazing. Then at 8:30pm Mah Nishtanah was being sung from every corner of Netanya. Tears and goose bumps. A truly once-in-alifetime happening. I became used to hearing davening three times a day from balconies and parking lots, although it was a little strange to hear the leining while still
in bed. And I had to be careful when going out to our bathroom balcony because it overlooked a regular minyan. I miss them all. I especially appreciate davening together with Chaim on Friday nights. During the corona crisis we celebrated the brit of a great grandson, which we managed to attend –maintaining the social distancing restrictions. However, we could not attend the bar mitzvah of our grandson or the induction of another grandson into the army. One thing is for sure. Corona-Pesach 2020 will never be forgotten. Photos courtesy of David Weisfish
The Jews of Glasgow By Cynthia and Orry Lovat
ynthia and I were both born and raised in Glasgow where we spent most of our lives. My grandparents settled in Glasgow from Lithuania at the turn of the 20th century and engaged in the clothing business. My parents, who were also born in central Scotland, spent most of their lives there. Being an observant family, as a youngster my life seemed to revolve around the shul and the cheder. I attended cheder three afternoons a week after school and on Sunday morning. Cynthia’s mother’s family settled in Dublin, and it transpired that they came from the same shtetl as my grandparents. Cynthia’s father came from the East End of London but settled in Glasgow after being demobilized, having served at Dunkirk, North Africa and Palestine in World War II. He met Cynthia’s mother, who was visiting relatives in Glasgow, and they settled there after their marriage. Cynthia’s parents were members of the Reform synagogue in Glasgow, which was very popular with German Jews who settled in Glasgow after the war. Cynthia and I were married in Clarkston Synagogue – my father had been among the shul’s founders and I later served as president. When we were growing up in Glasgow the community boasted many Jewish youth groups such as JLGB, FZY, Bnei Akiva, Habonim, Jewish Scouts, Guides and Brownies. Every weekend Jewish dances and social events provided a forum for Jewish youth to meet and hopefully find their future partners. It
was accepted practice for young single Jews to join charitable committees, which not only raised funds and provided services for the chosen charity but provided another forum for eligible youngsters to meet. Cynthia and I met after we had both joined the Jewish Blind Society Committee. We were barely out of our teens which then was considered the appropriate age to move forward and start planning married life.
First Jewish Settlers Jews first settled in Scotland in small numbers in the 17th century. They mainly came to study medicine at Scottish universities, after being barred from studying elsewhere.
The low rate of anti-Semitism in Scotland is probably a result of the small number of Jews who chose to settle there. It is also a reflection of the tolerant nature of Scottish society where education and literacy was almost universal from early times. At first, most of the Jews in Glasgow settled on High Street in the city center and the first communal gatherings and services were held in a private apartment there in 1821. However, the first custom-built synagogue was erected nearby in George Street in 1858. By then some 200 Jews lived in Glasgow and by 1871 Jews had started to settle on the south side of the River Clyde. In 1886 a synagogue was built in Garnethill in the city center and a split developed (as is wont to happen) between the established “West End Jews” who worshiped at Garnethill and the newcomers fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe who mainly settled in the notorious district of the Gorbals. Garnethill Synagogue still holds regular services over Shabbat, mainly supported by visitors and students. It hosts the Scottish Jewish Archives Center, which has been refurbished to a high standard and is worth visiting.
A Prosperous Community Opening of Jewish Scouts Hall, Queens Drive, Glasgow 1958. Copyright, from the collections of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Glasgow
Most Jews who came to Glasgow at the turn of the century used the city as a transit point for onward travel to USA. Some were stranded in Scotland by unscrupulous ship captains telling them
Issue #10 / september 2020
Links shop, Main Street, Gorbals c. 1907. Copyright, from the collections of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Glasgow Bottom right: Interior of the Garnethill Synagogue. Copyright, Rob Cunningham for the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, Glasgow
The community expanded to about 30,000 after World War II, as the population was augmented by refugees from Europe and Holocaust survivors. that they had landed in New York, and others just could not afford the passage to go any further. Many found life in Glasgow comfortable, and went on to establish businesses. The community expanded to about 30,000 after World War II, as the population was augmented by refugees from Europe and Holocaust survivors. The community boasted many Jewish
shops, synagogues and communal organizations, including a yeshiva (1908) a kollel and a bet din (1912). There was even a theatre group and a Yiddish newspaper. The Jewish primary school, Calderwood Lodge, was opened in 1962. Glasgow was the first community in the UK to have a dedicated Jewish representative council. As the Jewish community prospered, there was a general movement to the suburbs to the south of the city, and synagogues were established within new communities. The main synagogues in the south side were Queens Park, founded in 1906, and Giffnock in 1934. In addition, synagogues sprang up in Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Langside, Pollokshields and Crosshill. The Reform movement entered the scene in 1931 with one synagogue in Glasgow.
Orry and Cynthia on their wedding day
Unfortunately, over the years the community has shrunk. People left, especially after the war, for a better life in Canada, Australia and the US. Some moved to the larger communities of Manchester and London; many made aliyah. Today Glasgow Jewry
is a shadow of the former vibrant community we knew as children. Few young people live there and the remaining institutions cater to the elderly. Numbering under 3,000 Jews, the community has four functioning synagogues – three Orthodox and one Reform – a kosher deli with a lunch restaurant and a restaurant run by the Lubavitch, which is open from time to time. The representative council still functions though no cheder, yeshiva, kollel, bet din or even shechita are available. Today there are few Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and fewer weddings. You can still catch a minyan on weekdays at Giffnock Synagogue where Rabbi Moshe Rubin is the popular and competent communal spiritual leader, but only a handful of observant families still live in Glasgow. Our son Timothy still lives and works there with his family and, as one of the few young people, he is heavily involved in communal affairs. However, I anticipate that my grandchildren will eventually leave Glasgow, hopefully for Israel! The Glasgow Jewish community always had a reputation as a “friendly community,” and, with the absence of overt anti-Semitism, this made Glasgow a good place to live. Cynthia and I still have many friends in Glasgow and in non-corona times return frequently.
SNACpackers Corona Sea Adventure By Iresine Woolf
hen we left in February with Carolyn and Robert Casselson for our month’s cruise from Cape Town to Dubai, there was little talk of any virus. China appeared to be having an issue but it seemed to be nothing that affected us. We joined our ship, the Azamara Quest, and managed three stops in South Africa before heading for Madagascar. We were hoping to see the lemurs there and all was going well...and then it wasn’t! Although our ship was virus free, the government would not permit us to dock in Madagascar. No ships were allowed in. We sailed on to Port Reunion and Mauritius, which fortunately let us dock, and we all enjoyed both places. By now the crew was diligently scrubbing and disinfecting, and all possible arrangements for guest
hygiene were put in place. The captain and officers did a brilliant job of keeping us safe, informed, and secure at all times. Eleven days into our cruise, the trip was now a different experience. Day after day we were barred from docking at ports. First, Colombo in Sri Lanka where we were only permitted to stop for fuel and food. We spent our Golden Wedding anniversary tied up in the docks there... No sightseeing in Cochin, no Mumbai and, in the end, not even Dubai. We had to leave the ship in Oman which wasn’t even on the cruise itinerary. And we were the last ship allowed in. It was a frantic time as everyone tried to reschedule homeward-bound flights from Dubai. We cut short our visit to England, returning home quickly before return flights became another problem. We still managed to enjoy the holiday with our easygoing companions and are looking forward to cruising again someday...but it might be quite a while!
Panama Canal (...and the SNAC Connection) By Charles Green
→ Robert, Iresine, David and Carolyn
t had long been on our bucket list – ‘to do’ the Panama Canal. So early February, together with our friends Linda and Ronnie Kaye, Toni and I flew
Issue #10 / september 2020
→ With SNAC friends Annette and Stephen Lambert and Sharon Sherman
to Miami via London. Arriving two days before our cruise, we stayed in Boca Raton so we could visit our friends Annette and Stephen Lambert (first SNAC connection) at their apartment. A huge hamper awaited us at our hotel. The Lamberts had provided us with a box containing enough food to last a week! In the morning, we returned the hamper, its contents intact. But what a lovely
thought. They showed us round their magnificent complex, took us sightseeing and we ended up at the Butcher’s Block restaurant, where Sharon Sherman (second SNAC connection) joined us for dinner. We boarded our ship at Fort Lauderdale, and had wonderful days, stopping at little ports and beaches along the way. On the morning of arrival at the Panama Canal, we got up extra early to ensure good seats as we went through the locks. It was still dark as we grabbed front row chairs on the top deck with my camera ready for action. The locks were spectacular. It’s one of the man-made wonders of the world, so effective, yet so simple. The canal connects the lower Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, saving 3,500 kms of sailing around all of South America. Our ship entered the Gatun Lock, the gate closed behind it, then the gate in front opened and the sea water poured in to raise the ship to the next level. Our huge ship rose effortlessly within ten minutes, then continued to be pulled to the next lock by railmounted electric engines on either side of the canal. The whole experience was amazing. On our return to Miami, we had a week before our flight home. SNAC friends (third SNAC connection) had suggested various itineraries, so we visited Sanibel Island, Naples, the Everglades as well as every shopping outlet, and every kosher restaurant in and around Miami. The highlight was the Miami Holocaust Memorial, which was one of the most
impressive we have seen anywhere. We spent a memorable Shabbat in Sunny Isles with Rabbi Meir Moshe Haber, son of Miriam and Rabbi Israel Haber (fourth SNAC connection), who hosted us beautifully at his home on Friday night. We had a huge kiddish lunch at his Young Israel synagogue on Shabbat and I was invited to give a Dvar Torah at the Seudah Shlishit.” It was a great holiday and we were all grateful that we returned to Israel just a few weeks before the Corona lockdown.
Getting Home By Cynthia Lovat
n March 2 we arrived in Malaga for a one-week visit to our apartment in San Pedro del Alcantara as our cruise had been canceled due to the coronavirus. This followed a five-night visit to Sri Lanka, a beautiful country which we both agreed we will visit and explore once we can travel again. Most people in this densely populated island live in small villages and are warm and friendly, despite their poverty. The bright clothes worn by the Sri Lankan people and the amazing clear light make this a very colorful island. Sri Lanka is known for its spices, especially cinnamon. We visited two cinnamon farms where the spice is prepared just as it has been for centuries. The hotels we visited were beautiful and the staff could not do enough for us. Our last hotel was at a resort where the beaches and sea were picture-postcard beautiful.
And on to Spain... We thought a quick stop in Spain on our way home to Israel would be in order. The COVID problems were in Italy with only a few cases reported in Spain at that time. The first three days were very pleasant as I happily reacquainted myself with the amazing shops there. By Day 4 we were not feeling quite as confident as before. Our flight to Israel via Madrid was canceled. We booked new flights via London but not long after, these also were canceled. Back to the drawing board. We booked our third set of flights for the following week. Our brief visit to Spain had now become a two-week plus sojourn. We were convinced this flight would be canceled too and we would be stuck in Spain for an eternity so went out and bought enough food to last at least two months in the event of a lockdown. We decided to self-isolate for the rest of our stay. There was serious talk of Spain being locked down at 4pm that day, so the pressure was really on. With no cars on the road to Malaga Airport, if felt like an early Sunday morning drive. The flight to London left on time as did our flight to Tel Aviv the next morning,
completing our journey home. The airports were empty. No shops open, no restaurants or food courts and no duty free! Until we were safely ensconced on the plane, I was certain we would be stopped at some point.
Home at Last For two weeks my entire focus had been on getting back to Israel, and the feeling when we arrived was akin to that of millions of people when they arrive in Israel for the first time! I truly wanted to kiss the ground. I was delighted to be back home and felt safer here than anywhere else in the world.
I Only Want Some Eggs By Roy Barnes
Cynthia and Orry Lovat
Electrician David Hersh
This happened to me before we all started wearing masks. We needed eggs, so I braved going to the mini-market which is very near our flat. Laraine wasn’t taking any chances. She wrapped a thick scarf around my face. I had on sunglasses, gloves and a baseball cap. I entered the shop, quickly grabbed the eggs, and made my way to the counter to pay. On reaching the counter, the cashier raised both of his arms in complete fright. He thought it was a robbery! I shouted through my scarf, “I ONLY WANT SOME EGGS!”
Tel. 052-387 1625
Issue #10 / september 2020
Corona MasqueParade I
t may be hard to imagine it now, but the day will come when the corona era will begin to fade from our memories. The masks we donned, the talc-lined gloves on sweaty hands, the 100-meter walks and two-meter social distancing, temperature checks, hand scrubbing and, of course, the ubiquitous checkerboard of familiar faces on our computer screens. We were offered disposable masks, re-washable masks, designer masks, see-through masks, N95 masks – all in a gay array of colors and designs: the 2020 fashion statement. Lest we forget, SNACshots presents the SNAC Corona MasqueParade. Can you match their descriptions to their pictures?
A SNAC Founder
A SNAC Founder
Gematria Man Malt for Me”
At Home in Boca Too “I’ll Be Back”
Offspring on 3 Continents
Sweet and Spicy
Sweet English Lady
Our own Von Trapp family?
“We Need Your Article”
Colors and Smiles
Pretty Rebbetzin The Boss
Writer in a Circle
Fighting City Hall “Single
Popular Hebrew teacher
SNAC/shots changing worlds “useful.” Many Dutch Jews were also at the facility including a young lady named Anne Frank. On the other side of the barbed wire fence emaciated men stared at these ‘exchange Jews’ with wonder and hatred! Finally, after five months, the group boarded another train, departed Bergen Belsen and arrived at the Swiss border. They crossed into Switzerland on foot and were taken to a military barracks in St. Gallon and finally to a Displaced Person’s Camp in Meiringen, where they spent the next three winters. Kastner met the train, but returned to Hungary to negotiate the rescue of other Jews.
Zsigmund and Magda Blum
The Letter By Stephen Lambert
his is the story of my machatenusta Ariella, who was on Rudolf Kastner’s rescue train to Palestine. Ariella’s father, Zsigmund Blum, was married in Budapest to Magda in November 1930. In the late 1930s terrible changes took place in the city, unleashing widespread anti-Semitic incidents; Jews were publicly insulted, kosher meat was outlawed, automobiles and telephones were confiscated. The first Jewish Law was issued in May 1939, restricting Jews from holding public office or practicing as lawyers or teachers. In late 1941 Zsigmund, an ultraOrthodox Jew, was conscripted and sent to join a labor battalion, leaving behind Magda who was pregnant. His battalion was sent to the Ukraine on the Eastern Front to support the offensive against the Russians. Of the Jews employed in heavy physical labor, fewer than 10 percent survived. In the spring of 1943, a handful of men from Zsigmund’s labor group returned to Budapest. One of them reported his death in the Ukranian icefields. Magda had given birth to Ariella in August 1942. Ariella was never to know her father.
Kastner’s Plan In 1944 the Germans occupied Hungary and immediately started deportations to the extermination camps. Rudolf Kastner, head of the Jewish Refugee Relief Committee, cut a deal with Adolph Eichmann to run a train from Budapest to Spain with the final destination being Palestine, in exchange for money and goods. An eclectic group of 1,684 Jews, comprising rabbis (including the Satmir Rebbe), scholars, a world-famous psychologist, opera singers, journalists, land owners and peasants, was chosen – including 252 children. The oldest was 82 years old and the youngest but a few days old. Ariella was there with her grandmother, mother and older sister. The train left Budapest at midnight on July 1, 1944. Eichmann, however, reneged on his promise, and after eight days the train arrived at Bergen Belsen. Herded into long barracks with straw-covered wooden bunks, each was issued a single blanket, a wooden bowl and spoon. In 1944, parts of Bergen Belsen still retained the camp’s original 1942 purpose of holding people considered
After the War After the war, the Kastner group was free to return home. Ariella’s family, however, remained in Switzerland, as they wished to go to Palestine. A surreptitious immigration plan was organized for them by the Haganah. Photographs were taken and used to create illegal documentation. In January 1947, they left Switzerland for Paris where a safe place for the night had been arranged, but their documentation was not accepted. They spent that night in prison. The next day, after meeting in Marseilles with Haganah rescuers, they boarded a leased Greek ship called the Marathon, carrying 300 refugees to the “Promised Land.” Eight stormy days later they arrived in Haifa facing a strict selection process that allowed few to enter the country and most to be interned in Cyprus. NOT by coincidence, the man who processed the papers was none other than Ariella’s cousin, a Haganah member who had infiltrated British Immigration. He turned a blind eye to the errors in their papers and allowed them entry. Ariella lived in Israel until March 1952, when at age 11 she left with her family for Montreal. After graduating from university, she went to work for a metal trader (the father of her future husband Jules), who had been in the ‘Dutch Camp’ in Bergen Belsen when she was there! They married in the mid ‘60s. In the spring of 1992 Ariella’s cousin Yudit lost her father (Zsigmund’s brother).
Issue #10 / september 2020
Going through his papers, she found a small metal box containing an unopened letter dated 1942 – 50 years earlier – addressed to Ariella’s mother Magda. How it got there no one knows.
The Letter Zsigmund had written: “Dear Magda: If God should decide that I leave this world, I would have the following wishes: first of all, I ask for forgiveness if I ever offended God. I ask the Almighty to overlook my mistakes and take me into his sacred protection. I already love the baby you are carrying... If it is a girl, she should be brought up in an explicitly Orthodox manner either here or in Eretz Yisroel and she should study diligently secular and Jewish subjects. She should have a trade in order to have a parnose. If she gets married, she should only marry a religious Jew. She should respect herself and think of me often – and always be a religious Jew of whom the family will be proud. Always keep in mind to give tzedakah in such a way that the poor are not embarrassed. I thank you for the years I have spent with you. The Almighty should protect and bless you with all that is good.” Finally, after reading this letter, Ariella was able to put to bed the ghosts of the past and come to know and understand the father she never met.
Zsigmund with Ariella's sister Marinko, shortly before he was conscripted to the labor battalion
The Day I Met Hannah Goslar By Laraine Sharon Barnes
n June 2000, Roy took me to Amsterdam for a special birthday treat. We went to the usual tourist attractions including, of course, the Anne Frank House. Having planned to spend Shabbat in Amsterdam, we were eager to visit the shul. Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue, called the ‘Esnoga,’ was constructed in 1675. Its interior décor and layout is reflected in London’s famous Bevis Marks Synagogue. Sadly, the Nazis occupied Amsterdam during WWII, and murdered most of Netherland’s Jews. Generally, the main shul is not open on Shabbat and worshippers pray in the annex. To our delight, on that particular Shabbat there was a Bat Chayil ceremony and the main sanctuary was open in all its splendor. Roy was davening downstairs, completely oblivious as to what was occurring in the Women’s Gallery. I found a seat in the front row and as I was taking in the ambience of the synagogue, a woman asked if the seat next to mine
was available. I gestured to her with a welcoming hand. We chatted and I told her I was from England and was visiting this beautiful city. She in turn explained that she was a guest of the family making the simcha. She told me that she had lived in Amsterdam many years ago and now lived in Jerusalem. As we conversed, I kept thinking I had seen this woman before. But where? Or when? I had to tell her about my strange feelings of having seen her before. But how could this be? We were strangers. She asked me where I had visited in Amsterdam and I listed the various places including the Anne Frank House. Suddenly it came to me! I realized where I had seen this lovely lady before. At the end of the museum tour a video relates Anne Frank’s story. There she was, recounting the amazing story of... her best friend Anne Frank. That was the day I met Hannah Goslar.
Meet Tzipi Trogan by Reva Garmise
n a community composed almost entirely of olim from the UK, USA and other parts of the world, Tzipi Trogan has the distinction of being one of the few SNAC members born and bred in Israel. More than a few in our community can now converse in Hebrew after studying with Tzipi. She first came to SNAC in 2010, seeking a synagogue where she could say Yizkor, and quickly befriended many members, beginning with Irith Langer who remains a close friend. “We had a special connection, from the beginning,” recalls Tzipi. Tzipi’s story begins with her grandparents’ immigration in 1925 from Poland to Palestine, when her father was five years old. Their first stop was Haifa. “My grandfather, Moshe Zhalovsky, was a staunch Zionist with a strong work ethic. He and his family were among the first residents of Kiryat Haim, a secular settlement, north of Haifa, founded in 1930. The residents were members of the Labor Movement who wished to establish a new cooperative society. My grandfather felt an affinity towards the movement and saw no contradiction with his Hasidism and his piety.” In Kiryat Haim they received a house on a plot of land on which they planted many fruit trees and had chickens strutting around the property. Tzipi’s father also went to work at the mill. In 1949 Tzipi was born, the youngest of three children, all of whom grew up in this house in Kiryat Haim.
The Synagogue “My grandfather wanted to build a synagogue and applied for a parcel of land for this purpose.” Jews being Jews, this led to bitter conflicts with the secular residents who opposed the very idea of
position at Ulpan Akiva in Netanya as right hand to its founder and director, the legendary Shulamit Katznelson. Working each summer during my university years, I met many important and interesting people and had amazing experiences that broadened my scope in many ways.”
Shimon 1975 was a turning point in Tzipi’s life. That was when she met Shimon Trogan, her husband-to-be and the love of her life. They met at a meeting at the Neurim a synagogue. “The residents of the village school, near Netanya, where she had accepted a temporary teaching position, came from Europe, all with religious substituting for a teacher on maternity backgrounds, which they were eager to leave. That ‘temporary’ position lasted shed now that they were in the Jewish 30 years. Shimon had arrived in Israel homeland,” relates Tzipi. Eventually, a year earlier from Russia, a refusenik her grandfather built his synagogue. who managed to escape 17 years before “Many years later, I brought my children the gates were finally opened, releasing to Kiryat Haim to celebrate their bar a flood of Russian Jewry. “Shimon mitzvahs in the synagogue their greatwas an amazingly talented artist and grandfather had built.” musician,” relates Tzipi. They married Tzipi was studying for her matriculation a year later at Ulpan Akiva. The entire exams when the Six Day War broke out. wedding was coordinated by a group of Immediately, she was drafted to the students from Mexico. Tzipi met them wireless communications unit in the air again years later when she, Shimon and force, which maintained contact with their children spent two years in Mexico aircraft by Morse Code. “I was based in Tel Aviv and this was my first time in a big City as shlichim, emissaries of the Jewish Agency. She taught Hebrew and he taught city. When I stepped off the bus, I was in total shock. But I soon got used to being in music. “This was a wonderful family the city and genuinely loved my army job. experience. Over the years, we took part in other missions as well. Shimon later The people I worked with were of very high caliber and we all felt we were doing led a two-year mission to Caucasia to help bring Jews to Israel.” something important for the country." Tzipi and Shimon settled in Netanya. After her army service, Tzipi studied Their three children were born here. Hebrew literature and language as well In 2005 the family moved to a new as political science at Haifa University. apartment in the vicinity of SNAC. She also took a teacher training course, Tragically, in 2015, at age 68, Shimon, which has served her well. “One summer who had just retired, was killed in a car I saw an ad in the newspaper, offering a accident. For Tzipi the loss was traumatic and it took time to heal the wound. Tzipi and Shimon Today, all three offspring work in hi-tech at their daughter's wedding – the oldest lives in Singapore and the others, to Tzipi’s great delight, live close to her. She continues to be involved in SNAC classes and activities and has made many close friends among the members of the community, retaining her distinction as one of the synagogue’s rare Hebrew speakers.
Issue #10 / september 2020
Snipped from Carolyn Casselson’s Frantic Blog
e’re sailing serenely on our ship – Iresine and David Woolf, Robert and I – sneakily watching the news in our cabins – are we going to be affected by the virus or not? Day by day just floating along. First stop good, second good. Then we notice the Captain and First Officers serving our lunch! Umm not good. Don’t use the spoons, wipe your hands every second, open toilet door with a paper towel... Is the virus on this ship? A resounding NO. Chinese whispers… Will we stop in India, Sri Lanka…? Yes? No? Sadly not. Bumped off the ship in Oman… The Sultan graciously gives our ship permission to dock but only just! A beautiful airport -- unless your wait is nine hours! Phew! Outta there. Now to Addis Ababa… Hot, steamy, crowded, lost — temperature checks — ummm Robert are you ok? Blimey he was not, he tested RED... He’s hot, sweaty, white, shocked, -- and that was the guy taking the temperature. He had never seen RED on his thermometer. Ever!! A whisper in his ear… Rob go now to the toilet, strip off, wash yourself in cold water… go go go... He's back, fear in his eyes, another test RED RED… “Sir… go and relax for a while.” Holding hands, wondering whether we will see our 50th anniversary. He tells me he will stay in this third world country alone and pleads for me to go back to Israel. Oh, and I love you... End of story… he had picked up a cold from Iresine. We surreptitiously slip past another temperature guy (very naughty), and Israel here we come, safe and well -- and heading for two weeks’ isolation… page 25
SNAC/shots changing worlds
A CenturyOld Dream of Aliyah By Harold Sterne
y grandfather’s family originally planned to make aliyah in the 1920s – some 100 years ago – with the intention of settling in a small kfar near Binyamina named Karkur. This is the story of British/Scottish religious Jews whose intense desire to live in the Holy Land led them to found institutions that would purchase land, sign up potential pioneering families and brush aside all obstacles to their goal of aliyah.
Harold's grandparents with three of their five children. The girl in white is Harold's mother, Pessie.
1906 My grandparents Harris and Hannah Simon left Lithuania in 1906 and settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. Like many other transplanted Lithuanian Jews, they dreamed of settling in Palestine. Fortunately, their dream was shared by others in Edinburgh, London, and other cities. These pioneers-to-be formed a limited liability company, The First London Achuzah Company, to buy land and create a farming community in the Land of Israel.
1920 By 1920, the company had already authorized 2000 shares at £25 each and had brought in £25,000, purchasing land from the Palestine Land Development Co. in Karkur and adjacent Rabia. Company directors had already gone to Palestine, bringing with them army huts, a tractor, various tools and agricultural implements. A large tract of land was leased to nearby Arabs for farming, and a nursery of 4,000 olive and 1,600 almond trees was purchased. After boring a well 22 meters into the soil, the property finally yielded 3,000
gallons of good fresh water. The First London Achuzah Company’s 1920 Annual Report of September 1, (exactly 100 years ago) reported the colony’s costs, including new buildings, iron works, pumps, horses, olive, almond, and eucalyptus trees to drain the swamps, plus expenses for barley and wheat as well as labor and management costs. The Report sums up the company’s progress by stating, “The Directors think that the shareholders will feel satisfied with the start made on their behalf and…that very shortly the Colony will be sufficiently developed to receive all those members who are prepared to go and make their permanent home there.” The Annual Report also mentioned that three men from Edinburgh had traveled to Palestine to check on the company’s investments, but caught typhoid fever on the return home and died in Port Said, Egypt.
1936 Those members anxious to settle in Karkur included my grandfather and
grandmother. As serious pioneers, the family prepared themselves by sending their son David to study agriculture in Canada in 1932. Although all shipping and other arrangements had already been made for the move to Israel in the mid-1930s, my grandfather became gravely ill, passing away in 1936, and the family sadly had to stay in Edinburgh. David returned home from Canada, later graduating as a doctor in Edinburgh. The dream of aliyah was abandoned. Eight years later, a woman and her daughter arrived in Edinburgh from Israel. Although her name was also Simon, she was no relation. The woman persuaded my mother to sell her the rights to the family’s land in Israel. Grandmother’s brothers and sister found out, resulting in a fierce family row.
1986 In 1986, after selling my business, my late wife and I made aliyah. Soon after our arrival, we traveled to Karkur to see the almost legendary place I had heard about all my life. I checked in with the local kfar office in Karkur to request assistance. After explaining who I was and the family’s history with Karkur, Mr. Perach, the local official, took down a thick file that contained many letters from my mother, her brothers and her sister. The records showed that during the intervening years much had happened in Karkur and Israel, and the family connection to Karkur was lost. Meanwhile, Karkur had slowly progressed from an empty wasteland to a sleepy farming colony founded by English-speaking chalutzim, then becoming a moshav, which today has morphed into Pardes Chana-Karkur – an up-and-coming residential area on the Binyamina train line. My grandfather would have been pleased to know that two of his grandchildren and two of his greatgrandchildren have fulfilled his dream of aliyah.
Issue #10 / september 2020
corona days and the children heard the great exodus story.
The Plight of the Pesach Props By Mindy Tokayer
fter an entire year of being cooped up in the storeroom of our Netanya home, we were excited to finally be placed on the hand dolly. It was the season for us to be freed from the stuffy box of seder props and get reacquainted with the Pesach hustle and bustle. We longed to see the giggling children and take our position in the center of the seder table. But very quickly we realized something was clearly different this year. Fewer boxes were joining us and from the moment we entered the elevator there was an undeniable scent of Alcogel. But the greatest difference was that we were alone with Mama and Papa Zaidy. The children never came and Bubby never joined us. A mock model seder was scheduled for a few hours
before the onset of the holiday. We were to see everyone over something called zoom. Moshe Rabbeinu and Pharaoh appeared. Moshe demanded the Israelites be set free and Pharaoh wagged his nasty finger and shouted, "No! No! No! I will not let them go." That was our cue to make our debut. Cups colored red as blood were offered to Pharaoh, frogs of all sizes and shapes leapt across the room, Styrofoam balls fell everywhere… As the 10 plagues, we performed well
What wasn't different? This year everyone went outside, stood on their balconies and sang the Ma Nishtanah in unison. Physically distanced but socially and spiritually united. Having the family all together at one table was certainly missed – the little ones standing on chairs singing the Ma Nishtanah, Bubby singing the Yiddish rendition, the older children sharing commentaries on the Haggadah, the marshmallows flying across the table for every good question posed, mini-macaroons for every good answer, the overflowing cups of wine and grape juice spilling on the starched clean white tablecloth, the whining of when are we
going to eat already, the annual terror as all held their breath until the purple-faced coughing son-in-law returned to normal after taking too big a mouthful of maror, the commotion of finding who has stolen the afikomen so we could finally resume the seder… This year was certainly different. But as we were being repacked into the stuffy Pesach box to be returned to the garage for another year, we makkot (10 Plagues) realized something that hadn’t changed at all: The story of exodus from Egypt's servitude remains the same. And this year as we were all exiled to our homes, coronavirus brought the exodus to life more effectively than we Pesach props ever could. Next year in Jerusalem and Next year free of this awful coronavirus plague!!
The SNAC Writers' Circle
We are pleased to introduce the Writers’ Circle to SNACshots. It began January 2018 based upon a popular American model. Each participant presents his or her writing – be it poetry, fiction, memoir, short story, or essay. Participants read, review and critique each other’s work, to enhance and develop each writer’s unique style. Writers also have the opportunity to present pieces by famous writers. We analyze their styles, vocabulary and dialogue as a means of improving our own writing. One creative and enjoyable feature of the group, is the “prompt,” writing creatively in response to a “prompt” provided by the leader. During our regular sessions, writers have the opportunity to spontaneously come up with stories, memoirs or poems based upon the prompt presented. During our “Corona Adventures,” writers were encouraged to write limericks related to our stressful situations, followed by prompts related to Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haazmaut, counting sefira and Shavuot. Each and every one of us has a unique story to tell. We look forward to sharing our pieces with the SNAC community, and hope you enjoy them. Everyone is welcome to join our Writers' Circle. Molly Zwanziger Chair
At the Netanya Misrad Hapnim office
Welcome to Israel? By Molly Zanzwiger
ituations crop up in Israel that have no equivalence in life as we knew it in our countries of origin. To me, life here is a strange blend of 19th century Czarist bureaucracy and 21st century state-of-the-art technology. This anomaly is reflected in the true tale related below. Our three-month visitors’ visas had expired. The original plan had been a short trip to either Venice or Florence, and reentry to Israel for another three-month stay. Thanks to coronavirus, that idea was nixed. Plan two, obtain a visa extension through “Misrad Hapnim,” the Ministry of Interior. After all, we are the ever-compliant law-abiding citizens-to-be who do not want to jeopardize our aliyah application with visa violations. Up at 7:00, our passports in hand, we enter the office building that houses Misrad Hapnim, a solid 30 minutes before opening time. We join a long and winding road of motley-masked persons standing six feet apart, awaiting security check. Suddenly, a gentleman glides into the line ahead of us. “Excuse me, Sir.” I say, in my politest Hebrew, “There is a line here. We are ahead of you.” Nonchalantly he replies, “I have an appointment.” The situation is complicated as the same word is used for both “in line” and “appointment.” At this point, all the other people in line take on the function of a Greek Chorus. “Yes, you must have an appointment to enter the office,” they sing in mournful harmony. Bewildered, we return home to search for the holy “appointment.” After a day of reading internet guidelines for requesting a visa extension, we find
Issue #10 / september 2020
the steps required to obtain a formal “Appointment Date.” Jack completes the form and is assigned a six-digit identifier. The wait begins. And continues. “Perhaps you filled out the form incorrectly,” I suggest. “Perhaps it is the wrong form. Let’s call Yael. Her Hebrew is excellent; she can complete the form!” And so, our highly intelligent and Hebrew-fluent daughter completes the online form once more and receives a new six-digit identifier with the same response. Wait. We do, for another two weeks. Now we turn to Yossi Golani, our sweet Israeli sabra lawyer. He would know how to get us an appointment for a visa extension. When in Israel, apply muscle. “No problem!” he replies. “I’ll do it for you in a jiffy!” And for the third time we receive a six-digit identifier.
Not So Fast… A further two weeks pass with no response. Yossi calls to suggest asking at the information desk at the entry to the ministry on the main floor. We had never seen such an information desk at the entry but… why not? The next day, at the ministry building, there is no information desk, only a security post manned by a gentle retired police officer. “How should I know anything about visa extensions?” he says. “Go upstairs and ask them yourselves!” This time there is no line. We pass through the security and thermometer check, and enter the Holy of Holies, Misrad Hapnim.” It’s a ghost town. Instead of a Babylon of people of all sorts, types and colors creating a hullabaloo of jibber jabber of French, Russian, Arabic, Amharic and English, there is no one. Utter silence. In the visa office, a young woman is sitting quietly in a cubicle coloring letters on paper. “Excuse me, please,” I say in my most polite Hebrew, “We would like to obtain information as to how to obtain an appointment for a visa extension.” “Do you have your passports? We will do it right now.” “You… You will do it? Right now?” “Yes of course.” “But we do not have our passports with us.” Who would have thought visas could be obtained at the snap of fingers? “OK. What is your name?” “Zwanziger.” She pulls out a small blue-lined note pad, the type used in grade school for spelling lessons, and writes our name in pencil. “You have an appointment tomorrow at 8:00.” “I, I need a glass of water…” I say. It is too much for me. So, the next day we are back at the ministry building, once again in line. Once more someone tries to cut the line. But this time, we say, “We have an appointment,” and he sheepishly goes to the end of the line. Then we are in the visa office. The clerk takes our passports, does not look at any information we have provided, clicks on the computer, and in less than five minutes we have our long-awaited visa extension. Oh, and of course we are still awaiting a response to our six-digit requests for an appointment!
I Want to Gently Walk the Earth Poem and painting by Judy Isenberg I want to gently walk the earth With heart freely floating. Not tethered by rigid straps Of inner doubt. I want to gently walk the earth With sensitive, naked feet. Not strides of weighty boots That crush the ground. I want to gently walk the earth With diverse routes and endings. Not the straight, familiar roads That keep me bound. I want to gently walk the earth With volume turned up high. Not sounds and voices muted That muffle hope. I want to gently walk the earth With judgement suspended. Not an obdurate finger That points out guilt. I want to gently walk the earth With thoughtful grace and freedom. Not the squeezing, stifling jail Of fake control. I want to gently walk the earth With a mind wide open. Not a blinkered, partial view That hides the truth.
The SNAC Writers' Circle
Cycling for Charity By Graham Calvert
vided pocket paperback siddurim for weekday davening. Day 2 was down the Jordan Valley, through Jericho. At a break before reaching Jericho we were told no stopping, everyone cycles together. As we approached, we heard a brass band; the mayor of Jericho had arranged a welcoming party as we were the first Israeli group to pass through after the signing of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement with the PA Administration that would later be part of the Oslo Agreement. We were given drinks and stood in the plaza in front of the parliament building. I chatted with an Iraqi soldier! Notwithstanding the warm welcome, we hot-footed it out, as fast as we could to the next overnight stop. We traveled along the Dead Sea road staying in Almog and visiting Qumran. Day 3 took us past Masada. By the way, if you think the Dead Sea road is flat, you should consider the uphills as well as the long downhill respite.
y first experience of long-distance bike-riding for a charity was in 1994, when I joined a ride from the Carmel Mountains to Jerusalem, to raise funds for the learning disabled at Ravenswood (Norwood) village in England. The institution was making dramatic changes in the worlds of its learning-challenged residents by moving them into individual units where they could live independently. A major change for them. Four Down Syndrome and autistic residents took part in the ride on tandem bikes, sitting in the rear seat, with staff members serving as front cyclists. P.E. Staff Carers and residents trained on tandem bikes for months. Having the beneficiaries of the fund-raising participate in the bike ride made the project so much more meaningful for us. Speed-Dating on Wheels On a Motzei Shabbat we flew to Israel and headed straight to Kibbutz Bet Oren In Arad we stayed in a Bedouin tent. in the Carmel Forest where our ride was Overnight. Not exactly 5-star accommoto begin. That night, October 15, 1994, dations, especially considering the outwas ingrained in memory because it was door toilets and showers. The camarathe day after the IDF’s failed attempt to derie on the trip was great and we rarely rescue Nachshon Wachsman after six cycled with the same person on a regular days of captivity by Hamas terrorists. basis. If you stopped for a breather or to Cycling with my cousin, who has lived Wachsman was murdered during the resadjust your chain or wait for a mechanic at Ravenswood since 1960, and just to fix a puncture, the others cycled on, so celebrated his 70th birthday cue attempt. you met and rode with someone else. A We trained in the rain on Sunday and kind of speed-dating on wheels. the next morning started our ride, aimDay 4 was through Bet Guvrin and I remember standing for ing to reach Kfar Ruppin near the Jordan crossing: a 60-mile two minutes of silence in the evening for the victims of a terride. We were 200 riders. Most, like me, had never used “granny-gears” for the hills, and the guides’ claim of “just 10 km to rorist attack on a bus in Tel Aviv. the next rest spot” was being economical with the truth. The final day was across to Bet Shemesh, over the foul We were given mountain bikes. The seasoned cyclists came smelling Soreq River, and up through the Jerusalem Forest well prepared, a few with their own bikes, all with gel-saddles, to Angel Bakery and the finish line by the Knesset. On the diaper rash cream and wet-wipes for soothing vital areas of final night at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel, we laughed soft-tissue! Of course, I was a novice and thought I was preand groaned because of the pins-and-needles in our hands and the pain in walking up or down stairs. No amount of pared as I came with a cycle helmet, comfortable cycle shoes training prepared us for the hills or for sitting on a bike for a daily change of socks and the traditional yellow tee-shirt and eight hours a day. Very sensibly, each ride was accompawater bottles. Finding one guesthouse to accommodate us all was a chalnied by mechanics and an MDA ambulance. I had left Belinda and three children at home: time off for lenge. It is well known that the most popular request of riders good behavior! Subsequently I joined several other rides for is to share a room with a non-snorer. Not easy on the first night different charities based on the success and the sheer fun of with 80 impromptu beds set up in a children’s kindergarten. my first cycling trip. We had a good minyan of friends from London and I pro-
Issue #10 / september 2020
Barbara & Ed Susman By Reva Garmise
arbara and Ed Susman will always be remembered as the Corona Olim. While the rest of us were mapping out our 100-meter treks, they were Israel-bound on one of EL AL’s last inbound passenger flights. “The decision to come at that time wasn’t so momentous,” says Ed. “We were all packed (our lift was picked up from our home in Teaneck, New Jersey on Purim). We only deliberated about dates as we were helping our son Aviad set up his New York apartment in time for the start of the semester at City College and before any lockdown would be initiated by the powers that be. When we realized the gates were closing, it was clear that the time had come. We already had a fully furnished rental apartment waiting for us until our container would arrive and allow us to move into our own apartment. Physically and emotionally, we were ready for the move. Actually we’d had a rolling two-year aliyah plan since we married 26 years ago. And now it finally stopped rolling.” Both Ed and Barbara were raised in Zionist families and raised their own children in the same spirit. “We came to Israel with our children, at least once a year, and all of us felt at home here,” says Barbara. “Ed has two brothers in Israel who’ve been here for over three decades, and it was no surprise to us when our daughter Nediva made
aliyah four years ago at age 19. More surprising, perhaps, is the fact that she met her husband Aaron here, a young man from New Jersey! We came to visit her often, each time staying in a different apartment including one stay in 37 Pierre Koenig, which at the time was SNAC’s temporary home.”
Welcome Isolation They knew they would be in isolation for two weeks, and actually welcomed it. “We were exhausted,” explains Barbara. “Knowing we could not do anything (even if we wanted to) gave us a chance to catch our breath before being submerged in the whole aliyah process.” Coming in the midst of a pandemic did not make their acclimation any easier. They didn’t get a teudat zehut or passport or sign up for the specific health plan of their choice until long after their arrival. Most offices simply were not open. It also was bad timing for joining an ulpan. During the following months, Barbara and Ed gradually settled into their new life. Their lift arrived and within days they’d moved into their own apartment. They soon signed up as volunteers in an organization called Shabbat Metukah, which delivers food packages to Holocaust survivors every Friday. “It is clear to us that it is a service that is needed and very much appreciated by
the recipients. It’s been a privilege and we will continue working with them,” says Barbara, who also relates that her parents were survivors, making this a personally significant contribution. They also volunteer with Leket Israel, the leading food rescue organization in the country. Ed is planning to take a tour guide course. Barbara, a real estate agent by profession, recently closed her last pending real estate deal in New Jersey. They hope to join an ulpan class as soon as it becomes possible. Both are excited about the birth of their first grandchild, a boy born in mid-August. Still no decision on whether they will work here; all options are open. Ending up in Netanya was really a fluke. “We had been here many years ago, in the 1980s when it seemed like a two-horse town, but decided to give it a try now and, bingo, it had everything we wanted in a community,” says Ed. “We wanted to be in a city, not a suburb (quite a few more ‘horses’ have been added to the town since the 1980s – rg). It was important for us to be among English speakers. And we wanted a seaside town. Having SNAC here was a bonus that totally clinched the deal. “This is without doubt the warmest, most welcoming shul I have ever attended. And as a traveling IT consultant, I have attended many,” says Ed.
SNAC/shots corona days
By Ros Landau (To the tune of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," from Les Mis)
hese are strange times that we live in Coronavirus is the cause Death and sickness in the headlines Daily updates, rules and laws
Social distance is the new norm A virtual life we must now lead Work at home if you are able And donâ€™t forget all those in need And as Pesach fast approaches Our preparations are the same But in our hearts there is a difference And we try not to show the pain As we sit and tell the story Of our survival through the years Empty chairs at seder tables It is hard to stop the tears But Hashem is always with us Through the good times and the bad Empty chairs at seder tables We have no right to be sad These times will fade into the distance But life will never be the same Empty chairs at seder tables Should never happen again advertisement
Photo by: Joyce Mays
Empty Chairs at Seder Tables
Issue #10 / september 2020
Photo by:Charles Green
Flare By Brenda Brett The year is 2045. Planet Earth, no longer aqua marine and golden and twinkling in the sun has been ravaged and savaged by years of plunder, sickness and loss. Ashen wastes proliferate, dank swamps, dead fields Vistas of lost dreams. Glass monuments that spiralled ever higher in the sky Lie shattered and discarded in a numb, dumb world. And Man, who posed as God, lurches zombie-like through the detritus of his life Out of kilter, a knot of destructive energy Humanity balances on a thread. Somewhere in the Mohave Desert The Skytrain waits. A wingless bird, it shimmers radiantly in the breathless heat And seems to quiver for the countdown. The cargo inside this exquisite machine comprises thirty souls. Some Elon Musk types A couple of moguls grown fat and rich on Earth’s fair pickings A president Three dictators And a sprinkling of astrophysicists and scientists All heading upwards and Moonwards towards a better life.
Blooming Suitcases Toni and Charles Green love to travel, but when corona entered the scene, it became clear that their beloved pastime was going to be just one more victim of the virus. “Clearly, we wouldn’t be using our suitcases for an indefinite period of time. So we found a perfect use for them,” says Charles. Why not use them as planters?” Now their ‘corona suitcase garden’ is blooming.
The silence is as deafening as the boom about to come And in a dazzling flare of flame and fire and shattering sound The space craft, arrogant symbol of Man’s power and ingenuity Glides gracefully into the purple space beyond. And while all is as it should be for the journey into tomorrow All fingers on the pulse In the tiniest of recesses Invisible to those onboard A sputnik shaped amoeba Dangerous and deadly Flexes its miniscule muscle Impatient to fly free.
Say it in Hebrew!
The Last Word
By Mike Garmise
You should only be healthy!
llness has been the focus of our lives since March and for the foreseeable future. One unanswered (OK, unasked!) question is whether COVID-19 will leave any lasting impression on our language (other than reminding us, yet again, that in illness, positive is the most negative word you don't want to hear!). Before examining how other diseases have contributed to our language, let's examine some basic terms. A pandemic is an epidemic that has gone out of control. Pan, meaning all, and demos meaning people, shows that this outbreak affects "all" people, as opposed to an epidemic that is "upon" the people, but in a much more defined area. And wouldn't we like to find a panacea, a remedy for all, and specifically for COVID-19, sooner rather than later! Nor does it have to be a vaccine, which originally meant something that came from a cow (as in the smallpox vaccine). An inoculation is a more precise name (it means the grafting of an " eye" – a bud – from one plant to another, and in this case, the implantation of a germ in another person to stimulate antibodies). And now let's turn to some other illnesses of the past that have joined our language. The first is flu. This is a shortened version of influenza, an Italian word meaning… you guessed it, influence! Back in the early 1500s, when an epidemic broke out, cause unknown, the Italians attributed it to the influence of the stars. What they meant was they had no idea what caused it. Since the mid-1700s flu has been used as the name for any outbreak of illness of uncertain origin.
Health - ְּב ִריאּות- [briyut] The second example, almost as old, is malaria, another Italian import (and you thought Italy gave us only operas and pasta!). Back in the mid-1700s an Italian physician named Francisco Torti gave the name malaria to an illness marked by chills and fever, caused, he surmised, by bad (mal) air (aria). The real culprits, those pesky little mosquitoes, came to light only in 1897. By the way, malaria had an English equivalent dating back to the 14th century. Ague. As a child, when I read of people suffering from the ague, I imagined a person walking bent over for no explicable reason. The word ague harks back to Latin where it was (febris) acuta – sharp fever, and as it wended its way through the Continent, French caught it, acuta was softened into ague and was thus adopted by English. Another old example is cholera. This one is really ancient, dating back to the humors theory that ruled medicine from about the third century BCE to the 1800s. In short, the theory held that four substances called humors (blood, bile, black bile and phlegm) had to be in balance for us to be healthy. Too much of one would cause an illness, whose purpose was to rid the body of the excess humor. Cholē was the Greek word for bile, and cholera was therefore an illness in which the body was excreting excess bile through whichever orifices it could, to bring the body back into balance and health. A much more modern malady, dating back to 1968 in fact, is norovirus, what is sometimes called the cruise virus (I can personally attest to its purging qualities!). The virus, marked by vomiting and diarrhea, was identified in an elementary school in Norwalk, Ohio, and the city was later honored by having its name embedded in that of the virus. Isn't it relaxing to talk about illnesses that have more or less been tamed. Let's hope that COVID-19 (the 19 refers to the year, 2019) will soon join its bothersome relatives in the list of controlled maladies.
Illness/Disease ]machala[ מ ֲַחלָ ה
Appointment ]tor[ תֹור Examination ]bedika[ ְּב ִד ָיקה
blood test ]bedikat dam[ ְּב ִדיקַת ָדם
Blood pressure ]lachatz dam[ לַחַץ ָדם Referral ]hafnaya[ ה ְַפנָ יָ ה Pain ]ke-ev[ ּכְ ֵאב Cough ]shiyul[ ִׁשיעּול Temperature ]chom[ חֹום
Inflammation ]daleket[ דַלֶ ֶקת Infection ]zihoum[ זִ יהּום Flu ]shapa’at[ ׁשפַעַת ַ Immunization ]chisoun[ ִחיסּון Virus ]negif[ נְ גִ יף
Operation ]nituach[ ַנִ יתּוח Injection ]zerika[ זְ ִר ָיקה Corona ]Phooya![ פּויה ָ
Be Well! רַק ְּב ִריאּות
~ Barbara Westbrook ~
The Shine Family Ofﬁce
The Shine Group was created in 2008, as a separate entity to the leading law ﬁrm Michael Shine & Partners, by that ﬁrm’s founders, Michael Shine, Shira Shine, and Alon Shine. Providing multinational families and High Net Worth individuals with a wide range of customized ﬁnancial/structural/estate planning solutions and family portfolio scenarios, the Shine Group's multi-disciplinary team of more than ﬁfty experienced ﬁnancial specialists is dedicated to handling every aspect of our clients' ﬁnancial affairs.
4th Floor, Sea View Building, 11 HaSadnaot Street, Herzliya Pituach 4612001, Israel P.O. Box 2053, Fax: +972(0) 9531954 Tel: +972(0) 9531953, Email: Ofﬁce@shinegrp.com
Michael Shine & Partners
Michael Shine & Partners is one of the leading law ﬁrms in Israel in the Private Client ﬁeld with expertise in: international tax planning, the establishment and administration of trusts, trust taxation, multi-national asset protection, family wealth preservation, local real estate transactions including buying, selling and leasing, estate planning and general legal counsel for multi-national families. 4th Floor, Sea View Building, 11 HaSadnaot Street, Herzliya Pituach 4612001, Israel P.O. Box 2053, Fax: +972(0) 9531954 Tel: +972(0) 9531953 Email: Ofﬁce@shinelaw.com
Meet the PINK Real Estate Office! Dedicated To Providing Exceptional Personal Service From Start To Finish
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Introduction to new and existing projects Large choice of Re-Sale properties Introduction to local mortgage banks Working with Lawyers who can offer the best purchase/tax advice Familiarizing with the local areas, shuls, schools, shops & restaurants
Maxine Marks - More Than Just A Real Estate Agency
Maxine Marks 054-4433589
Nava Fried 054-2000559
Daniel Marks 054-3189534
Gabriella Marks 052-2343885
Robert Marks 054-6836880
Adam Marks 052-5238966