SNAC/shots The Road Not Taken
Issue #11 /
march 2021 / nissan 5781 /
Our Favorite Things P.8
The Road Not Taken
On the Tayelet
Our Favorite Things
Marriage and Adventure P.18
Always leave ‘em laughing P.13
Romance by the Sea P.25
A Stitch in Time P.8
Marilyn & David Ashton Norman A. Bailey & Barbara P. Billauer Laraine & Roy Barnes Birgitte Savosnick & Michail Baziljevich Myriam & Howard Beenstock Brenda & Eric Brett Carolyn & Robert Casselson Lesley & Roy Cohen Shirley & Marcel Cohen Ros & Tony Cole Terrie & Ephry Eder Sylvia & David Fellerman Gertie & Morris Forman Reva & Mike Garmise Toni & Charles Green Miriam & Yisrael Haber Gillian & Lee Heron Brenda Katten Linda & Ronnie Kaye Annette & Stephen Lambert Ros & Martin Landau Irith Langer Haya & David Lewi Miriam & Alan Lewis Karen & Julian Lewis Shosh & Stuart Lewis Ann & David Marks & Family Dorothy & Stanley Mason Joyce, Alan & Emma Mays Ayana Jazanovich & Meir Nisim Elaine & Bernard Oster Marcia & Nate Peretzman Ginger & Roy Pinchot Malka & Shimmy Pine Angela & Peter Redstone Roberta & Rafe Safier Eric & Barbara Salamon Pam & Mickie Sallmander Sharon & Jonathan Sherman Simone & John Sless Tina & David Son Barbara & Edward Susman Harold Sterne Mindy & Avi Tokayer Jenny & Leslie Wagner Barbara & Paul Westbrook Shelli & Tom Weisz Barbara & Brian Wolkind Iresine & David Woolf Molly & Jack Zwanziger Sue & Issy Zuckerbrod
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Issue #11 / march 2021
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Chairman's Words Sometimes we choose our path, other times our path is chosen for us. This can happen in a split second decision and often can define who we are. This past year has given our community the opportunity, and yes, I mean opportunity, to define who we are. To this day I am not certain whether we chose the path or it was thrust upon us, but I do know what followed was the correct path. Open or close, pray inside or outside, virtual or in-person, shorten davening, singing or no singing, tent or no tent, reach out or close our virtual doors. The path was always clear to us. Community, Commitment, Torah. These three words define the SNAC community and we choose to live by them. As we celebrate the upcoming holiday of Pesach (tent or no tent?) all of us will have paths to choose, but this year, as opposed to last, we have a choice and that is the beginning of our collective freedom from a year that has felt at times like oppression. I invite you to walk with us as we continue on our new path facing the uncertainty of the future, but facing it together, as one united community. On behalf of myself and the Board of SNAC, I wish you all a Chag Kasher v’Sameach • Shelli Weisz, Chairman
Editors' Welcome 5 Kehillat Tzfat Netanya www.snacshul.org SNAC@snacshul.org Chairman: Shelli Weisz Editorial Committee: Reva Garmise Roy Pinchot Proofreading: Gloria Deutsch Graphic Design: Michal Magen Advertising: Ephry Eder Printing: OBAR printing, 9 Shmuel Hanatziv, Netanya Tel. 09-862-0769 email@example.com
We all hope that this SNACshots issue will be the last ever in which the coronavirus makes headlines. We have had a mad year, strewn with lockdowns, restrictions and vaccine-talk; our hopes for an end to the plague have soared and plunged like a rollercoaster. Yet, despite the turmoil of this challenging period, we have enjoyed a feeling of protection and stability. Led by Chairman Shelli Weisz, the SNAC board has endeavored to keep our spirits raised in this difficult time. It has unceasingly found ways to bring us together, stimulate our minds and our interests and keep us in touch through a cornucopia of innovative activities, as is reflected in this issue. No road was “not taken” in the board’s tireless efforts to keep us socially together while physically apart. And all, while strictly adhering to the ever-changing rules of the Ministry of Health. As we go to press it seems more likely than ever that our prayers will be granted and that this Pesach will be a true Festival of Freedom! Chag Sameach to all! • Reva Garmise, Roy Pinchot
SNACtivities Holiday gifts of flowers for everyone
Commemorative Coffee Celebration
Zooming with SNAC
fter spending 250 mornings together, 10:00 - 11:00am five days a week, the SNAC Virtual Coffee Café has become a special time for the women who attend. On reaching this milestone, Iresine Woolf wrote the following ditty that expresses the sentiments of all her co-coffee klatch-ers.
f anyone thought we’d be bored during the series of nationwide lockdowns imposed on us since corona struck last March, oh how wrong was that thought. Our tireless chairman Shelli Weisz zooms from meeting to meeting treating us to exciting virtual tours such as “The Real Chanukah Story,” The Vatican, Mount Gerizim and many more spots on and off the beaten track. Each morning, rain or shine (who cares about the weather anymore?) Shelli brings the virtual coffee club together. Each Motzei Shabbat we Zoom in to hear havdalah.
Rising to the Challenge
he Challah Bake in the year 2020 was always going to be different from other times. In the past few years SNAC joined the Shabbat Project organizing communal challah bakes and havdalah ceremonies, rejoicing in the use of our beautiful Bet Knesset. Initiated
fun, braiding and blessing. And we all took home beautiful plaited challahs, ready to bake for the guests we were expecting around our Shabbat table. This year everything has changed. The Shabbat Project has always been about getting together, but the corona pandemic is all about keeping apart. However, with ingenuity and a sprinkle of technology, anything is possible. This year we participated in The Shabbat Project via Zoom. With so few Shabbat guests to consume our challah, we naturally had to think small and create small challahs. But small is also beautiful and we learnt new ways to plait our small breads. We chatted and appreciated being together while apart. Shortly after, pictures of lovely challahs were posted on WhatsApp. Another way of keeping in touch. Ros Cole
Gillian Heron displays her home-made challahs
in South Africa in 2013 to encourage Jews to experience one Shabbat in full – for many, for the very first time – the Shabbat Project has become an annual event, uniting over a million Jews in 106 countries. Just last year our shul was transformed into a challah production factory. Flour and
How to mark this wondrous year with its many highs and lows Restrictions came, restrictions went, when will it end, who knows? Rely on SNAC to save the day and give us all a reason To chat, discuss and try to bring understanding and cohesion. To those who may have floundered and been lost along the way Coffee time supported us almost every single day. A steadfast group of ladies with interests far and wide Came regularly together if not quite side by side.
Issue #11 / march 2021
Left: Celebrating 250 Virtual Coffee Cafe mornings. Above: Rabbi Chaim & Judith Fachler
The virus was debated and endless comments made Opinions ranging broadly during every different stage. And when we all decided that we could take no more We started on the topics we’d not discussed before.
With our expanded waistlines and a vast amount of chewing We should spend our time more wisely than all the Netflix viewing. We are assorted ladies with backgrounds and a past But here on Coffee can be found new friendships that will last.
These were extremely varied, both serious and amusing Mostly fun and enjoyable though occasionally confusing. We filled the hours, we filled the days with friendly coffee chat Coffee time was special and we all loved having that.
So thanks to leader Shelli for brilliance across the board Appreciation and our love is certainly assured. So let us hope and let us pray the virus will be gone And life will be much better in 2021. Poem by Iresine Woolf
Apart from conversation we found time to show our skill We have knitters, those who crochet, painters too with time to kill. We have those who do Pilates, those who walk though do not run Those who clean the beaches and do jigsaws (not always fun). A special treat is cook-in time when hours are spent creating Whatever Shelli chooses from her deliberating. Loads of challah bake-ins and a vast array of meals The results were all amazing and everything appeals.
“regardless of where its four walls were.” The Fachlers’ grandson Matanel, a soldier in the IDF, warmly thanked SNAC for making him feel welcome whenever he attended services. Following good wishes from members of the community, Rabbi Fachler spoke about the Future: “For everything there is a time and season. This is the time for Judith and me to move near our family in Beersheva.” He thanked Judith, his parents, his family, the SNAC community and the Netziv. The tribute ended with Birkat HaKohanim, followed by an enthusiastic l’chaim and a heartfelt virtual group hug. We all agree, this is not goodbye, but lehitra’ot! Ginger Pinchot
A Bittersweet Tribute
Two-Pronged Book Launch
n November the SNAC community gathered on Zoom to bid farewell to Rabbi Fachler and wife Judith upon their move to Beersheva. Following a beautiful musical tribute by Shimmy Pine, Lee Heron spoke about the Past, recalling how Rabbi Fachler first volunteered his services and then became SNAC’s permanent rabbi, “standing with us in times of joy and sorrow, as well as giving credence and legitimacy to the congregation.” Representing the Present, Shelli Weisz expressed gratitude to the Fachlers for journeying with SNAC
he book launch for Charles Green’s autobiography, originally scheduled for last March at Bar Ilan University and sadly canceled due to the first corona lockdown, finally took place in January. No party at Bar Ilan, but isn’t life with Charles always a party? Charles distributed signed copies of his book to members and set up a fund for sefarim for anyone wishing to make a donation in honor of the occasion.
SNAC/shots snactivities The second part of the launch was SNAC’s first Online Fireplace Interview sponsored by SNACshots, in which Charles regaled his many friends with his rags-to-riches stories about his successful career as a photographer that brought him to Buckingham Palace and beyond. Other virtual interviews followed: one with Haya and David Lewi in London and then with Roy Pinchot, each with its own fascinating tales and anecdotes and more to come in the future.
Tu Tu Tu Tu B’Tu B’Shvat
NAC’s annual Tu B’Shvat seder this year was celebrated virtually, like so many of our other activities. We took turns reading from a beautiful Haggadah compiled by Shelli Weisz and, once again, learned the significance of the holiday. Each family had its own seder plate with the fruits and nuts of its choice. While we all missed the camaraderie of a shared seder in the synagogue, the Zoom seder was certainly the next best thing.
et another fun and imaginative bake-in with Shelli. One January morning we spent an hour making assorted Mug Cakes: mini-cakes made
A siyum to celebrate the completion of the study of Melachim Aleph (Book of Kings I) in Shelli’s Sunday morning learning group.We didn’t miss a beat during any of the lockdowns. Shelli is “King.” Shirley Cohen in the microwave in just a few minutes. As always, the ladies of SNAC’s Virtual Coffee Cafe enjoyed an innovative session. Sometimes we bake, sometimes we cook but whatever we do, it’s a great way to pass the time. The COVID situation may not offer many benefits but Shelli’s daily sessions are a highlight for us. Iresine Woolf
Spiel played by our illustrious group of thespians – Ashley Leboff, Charles Green, Roy Cohen, Mike Garmise, Gertie Forman and Reva Garmise, with cameo performances by Shelli Weisz and Toni Green and with Lesley Cohen behind the camera. The result was closer to a spoof of a Purim spiel than the usual spoof of the Purim story.
Shoes for Chanukah
Cakes and photo by Linda Kaye
NAC contributed to the Shoes for Chanukah project sponsored by The Jaffa Institute, providing new shoes for the 300 at-risk children in the organization’s care. This gift brought the children great joy and showed them that there are people who care about their wellbeing and ensured their safe participation in the Purim Spiel Center's recreational activities.
Purim Fun Together
J Shoes for 300 children
ust in time for Purim, we returned to our shul, albeit with some restrictions in effect, and heard the reading of Megillat Esther IN PERSON, beautifully read by three of our members: Avi Tokayer, Mike Garmise and Rafe Safier. However, not yet fully weaned from Zoom, we followed the Megillah reading with a recorded Purim
Mishloach Manot were assembled by (left to right): Ros Cole, Annette Lambert, Ginger Pinchot, Barbara Wolkind, Miriam Lewis
Issue #11 / march 2021
road not taken
An MP? Not for Me!
Leslie and Jenny Wagner
By Leslie Wagner
t was 1971 and Jenny and I with our two young children were living in Pinner (part of the London Borough of Harrow). I was a lecturer in economics at the newly established Open University. Everything about the job, (except the pay!) was attractive and I worked hard to develop my career. I was also passionately interested in politics, joining the local Labour Party and being elected as a local councillor in 1971. In those days this was an entirely voluntary activity with no pay. The 200,000 people of Harrow traditionally voted solidly Conservative. However, in 1971, to everyone’s astonishment, they supported Labour and we ended up with one more seat than the Conservatives. As I was a university lecturer, my colleagues thought I knew something about education and at the tender age of 29 I found myself appointed chair of the Education Committee whose responsibilities covered all the schools and colleges in the area. It was very time-consuming and Jenny did not appreciate my evening absences from home, which was when the Council and its committees met. Thank God for Shabbat!
“Two roads diverged...” In 1973, some political colleagues suggested that I consider a parliamentary career. I had thought about it briefly, but it seemed too early to make a decision. A wise friend advised that as I was very unlikely to be given a winnable seat straight away, I might as well start now in an unwinnable one and make my mind up later about going on. So, I found myself chosen as the adopted Labour candidate in my local constituency. A general election was not due for another two years. However, things did not quite go as planned. I developed a kidney stone, which eventually needed surgery, the operation being scheduled for January 1974. The miners’ union, then a powerful force because most electricity was generated using coal, was on strike and the country was grinding to a halt. The Conservative Government decided, two days before I was due to leave hospital, to call an early general election. Instead of recuperating, I was actively involved in the three-week campaign, before inevitably losing by a large margin. But the experience was enjoyable and I began to seriously consider the option of going down the road of a political career. Labour won the most seats nationally, but could only govern
with the support of the Liberals. Harold Wilson, the Labour leader, quickly called an autumn 1974 election and it gave him a clear majority.
“… and sorry I could not travel both,” As for me, following the February national election, I had to stand again in my local election in May, which I won. Contemplating the possibility of another national election a few months later, I had neither the enthusiasm nor the energy for more campaigning, particularly in a hopeless cause and told my local party that I wanted to withdraw on health grounds. In truth there was another, more important reason. The chagim would fall during an autumn election. My colleagues knew that I was incommunicado during Shabbat. That had never been a problem. But the chagim would involve seven further days when I would be out of action, which I thought was too much. However, I still believed that commitment to a modern Orthodox Jewish life and a fulfilling family life might be possible even as a member of Parliament. I remained involved with national politics for the next two years, occasionally attending meetings with MPs. Few MPs got home before 11pm in addition to spending many of their weekends in their constituencies. Most of the MPs I met didn’t seem very happy with their lot. Perhaps as a minister it might be different, but the majority never got that far.
“And that has made all the difference.” Doubts about the wisdom of following the political road emerged and grew stronger. I valued highly both my Jewish life and my family life. Was it worth putting them at risk? And then in 1976 I was appointed Head of Social Sciences at what is now the University of Westminster, a significant promotion. In even applying for the post I had, subconsciously or otherwise, decided that the road forward was the road I had started on, the academic, and not the road that tempted me, the political one. I have never regretted my decision, and I soon came to learn that academic politics were just as challenging -- if not more so!
Our Favorite Things Skiing and biking and hiking and walking, eating and swimming and serious talking... tennis, crocheting, creating with glass, SNAC-ers are doing all these with class! When the winds blow, when the rains come, when the pools are closed, we simply remember our SNAC family and then we don’t feel enclosed!!!
walking for five minutes as a ‘cool down.’ How hard could it be? I coped with my six one-minute runs. Just. Who knew that a single minute could last that long? My heart was pounding and I began to worry seriously about the wisdom of taking up running in my mid-60s. In fact, come to think of it, was I about to kill myself? I decided to be cautious. I would confine my entire routine to the area by Landwers. Normal people, sitting enjoying drinks and pastries in the sunshine, would be equipped with mobile phones and would surely summon an ambulance were I to suffer a sudden heart attack. Miraculously I survived and, incredibly, I was improving. Week followed week and the runs lengthened, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, an impossibly long jump to 12 minutes. About halfway through the program I realized that as imminent heart failure was now unlikely, I could stretch my geographic horizons beyond the coffee shop. As long as I turned around when the reassuring voice in my earpiece said ‘you are halfway,’ I would get home. After the thrill of ‘graduating’ from couch potato to 5k, I played the final week’s instructions for months. Now, I simply tune into my music and set off. My normal run is from our building to the turnaround point at the Carmel Hotel from where I run to the end of the tayelet to the ‘totem pole’ and run
Anonymous lyrics by Shelli Weisz
Death of a Couch Potato
you.” Being quite gullible and having perfect faith in my children, I decided to give it a go. I downloaded the app as instructed, dug out some earphones and vaguely suitable clothes and, with ou haven’t heard of C25k? Well, my son’s words ringing in my ears, neither had I till it was mentioned stepped gingerly out onto the tayelet. I to me by my son. C for couch potato; 2 had been well briefed. for to; 5 for – well five – and finally k for kilometers. I was going to transform The six-week program is highly structured. Each session lasts 40 myself from a couch potato into someone capable of running – or at least minutes. I felt reasonably confident about the five-minute walk as a warm jogging slowly – for five kilometers. I up. Next a run of one minute followed laughed so hard that it took a while to hear what my son was trying to explain. by five more minutes of walking. This to be repeated five times followed by “Believe me Mum, if I can do it, so can
Joyce Mays running C25k on the tayelet
Issue #11 / march 2021
our favorite things home. I jog slowly and I love it. Every run is different. Some are easy, some harder. But the constants are the joy of the tayelet with its glorious views, the joy of being alive and active and my gratitude as I say ‘modeh ani’ and thank my maker for each new day. Joyce Mays
children in deprived areas of Netanya who need warm winter clothing. So, hookers – for that is what we are called – keep up the good work. A win-win all round. Barbara Westbrook
"Hooker" Barbara Westbrook
ront post, back post, single, double, treble, magic circle, cluster, granny square, basket weave – terms of a whole new language that we have learned in the past few months – and we had to learn it in two new jargons as US crochet terms are different from those used in the UK. I joined the Poleg ESRA knitting and crochet circle a couple of years ago. We met weekly at Rose Glaskie’s apartment in Ir Yamim but COVID ended our socializing. Our lovely member Tina Kraus agreed to teach a small group via Zoom. The group’s success led to two further groups. Ros Cole and Toni Green joined the second group and Gill Heron the third. Tina is amazing, organized, patient, fun, and always available when we need guidance. Learning a new skill during lockdown helped pass the time and lifted my spirits on those miserable days when time dragged. And all for charity, as the garments we make are donated to
ver since 1949 when my father gave me a book that covered the 1948 Olympics, I dreamed of being an Olympic swimming champion. However, as English Olympic champion Harold Abraham’s wise coach Sam Mussabini explained in the great film, Chariots of Fire, “Son, you can’t put in what God’s left out!” And He left out many critical physical ingredients in me! Nonetheless, I doggedly pursued swimming, becoming my college swim team captain and swimming head to head in championship races against Olympic and World champions (don’t ask how I placed). I’ve been swimming competitively and continuously now for 65 years (via Masters Swimming). Today, I train daily at the pool in Poleg. In addition, I still water and snow ski, bicycle, sail, play basketball, tennis, golf, speed skate, and throw a baseball, football or discus whenever possible. I have coached high school swimming, volleyball, basketball, track and field and speed skating. By Roy Pinchot
Alex Deutsch sailing
Ahoy, Captain Alex!
n 2003, while walking in the Herzlia Marina one Friday morning, I was offered an introductory sail by the Via Maris sailing club. Before I realized it, I had signed up for the skippers’ course. It took me a year, and following four written and an eight-hour practical exam at sea, I was awarded my certificate as a captain. I was more “chuffed” than when I passed my MD. We are now a group of six Israelis who sail every week in all weathers. Each has a story: an ex-pilot, two Mossad retirees, a physician who specialized in Aids, and an industrialist. We hoist the sails, eat, and solve all of Israel’s problems. Alex Deutsch
A Glass Wonderland
Roy Pinchot on the Kinneret, 2020
ith the onset of the corona pandemic, we quickly realized that life had changed and not all for the worse! We found we actually had spare time to enjoy new opportunities. When Brenda Brett opened her home to offer a Glass Fusion class, I decided
SNAC/shots our favorite things Birgitte and Michail in a forest near home in Oslo Far left: (left to right) Linda Kaye, Brenda Brett, Gill Heron, Charles Green, Toni Green
to give it a try. Together with Toni and Charles Green and Linda Kaye I entered the studio of Brenda’s magical world – hundreds of small and large pieces of colored glass ready for us to create our individual designs. Brenda’s magnificent artistry on display in her home inspired us to develop a talent for creating items, the likes of which we would never have thought possible. Before our very eyes – with Brenda’s guidance – each of us was designing and creating attractive dishes, platters and even a havdalah plate, which we are proud to display in our homes. We continue to improve with each lesson – AND THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING! Gillian Heron
slo is surrounded by a rich forest with an abundance of pleasant hiking routes. We often enjoy excursions on foot, carrying a backpack with hot chocolate (when it’s cold) and fruit, cake or other snack. After the onset of corona, we refurbished our somewhat dormant bikes and started using them to extend our trips further into the forest. In the photo we are enjoying such an expedition following a river bank. We also use our bikes frequently for exercise and travel to work. Birgitte Savosnick and Michail Baziljevich
y interest in painting started at around age 15. At my all-girl school I had to choose double hockey or double art. A no-brainer for someone who avoided any sort of sport, and the option was further enhanced by the fact that the art teacher was a very handsome young man! During the first corona lockdown I came upon my art materials hidden away at the back of a cupboard and soon rediscovered the joy of painting. Although most of my efforts are consigned to the bin, the pleasure this hobby gives me makes the time spent very worthwhile. Terrie Eder
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Terri Eder at the easel
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Issue #11 / march 2021
our favorite things
It’s a Small World
et’s get one misconception out of the way. The hobby of making and collecting dollhouse miniatures is not for children. It’s for adults who like to create miniature scenes using a variety of crafts and materials. Modeling with Fimo (a type of polymer clay which is baked to become firm), paper and wood, painting and needlework are all techniques used by miniaturists to create every imaginable scene – kitchens, bedrooms, gardens, pubs – we’ve even made succot with tiny paper chains and realistic schach.
A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles Miniaturists create true-life scenes, scaled down to a twelfth of the original. You can buy accessories but it’s more fun to make everything yourself. While you can buy expensive museum-quality miniatures, you can also make wonderful miniatures from the stuff most people throw away. In the lid of a bottle of soda is a plastic disc that can turn into a beautiful plate. To make an ornate picture frame, we stick a grain of rice alternating with a lentil and paint the whole thing in gold paint. Lamps can be made from Ping Pong balls and plants from masking tape. A miniaturist never throws anything Closeup of vegetable stand miniature Far right (left to right): Brian Wolkind, Orry Lovat, Robert Casselson and Norman Aisler
Gloria Deutsch with miniature vegetable stand
away. The opposite is true. Like Shakespeare’s Autolycus, a miniaturist is ‘a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.’
A Wonderful Escape The most exacting test of a miniature scene’s success is looking at a photo of it to see if you can tell that it isn’t a fullsized room. Miniaturists see the world with different eyes. When you look at a piece of Scotch-Brite and see it as a green lawn, or the lid of a tube of toothpaste as a plant pot, you know you have become a fully-fledged miniaturist. Creating miniatures is a wonderful way to escape the harsh realities of our day-to-day lives. You make your own little world in miniature: static, peaceful, a room to which you can return again and again and nothing changes. Miniatures were my passion for 20 years
and I truly can’t recall what set it off. After working alone for a while, I found other people with the same passion and we formed the Israel Miniaturists Association. Our first project was a sewing shop complete with rolls of cloth, and knitting and sewing requirements. The highlight of our existence was the show we put on in Ra’anana’s Yad LeBanim. It was hugely successful, with loads of press coverage. We were on the map. Eventually the group fizzled out and I no longer make miniatures, but I have a room full of them that continue to give me great pleasure. Gloria Deutsch
“A Good Walk Spoiled”*
hen we made aliyah, nearly four years ago, I was keen to fix a regular golf game. Not only do I enjoy playing but walking about 5.5 miles, two or three times a week, seemed like good exercise, something for which I’m not renowned. I found SNAC’s Robert Cassleson played regularly with Norman from Ir Yamim at the Caesarea Golf Club, so I joined them. Our regular 4th was Neville Walters, a SNAC member, who retired from our foursome – claiming age and a desire to spend time with his wife. Orry Lovat, another SNAC member, replaced Neville on our Sunday, →
SNAC/shots our favorite things
Tuesday and Thursday matches. To make our games competitive, we vie for the “Current Champion Cup,” which is awarded to each day’s winner – a Cup envied by all other Caesarea members, who are not entitled to compete for it. Brian Wolkind
A Corona Yarn
here it was. It came as a surprise, it came fast! All of a sudden I was familiar with the expressions corona, COVID19, worldwide-crisis, lockdown! Realizing I was stuck and disconnected from my family came as a shock. I felt *This article’s headline is a well-known cooped up and a bit panicky. Without overthinking the situation, I took a huge phrase popularly attributed to Mark bag of wool and started to crochet. The Twain, although it was first used in deep colors of the different yarns spun 1948; Twain had died in 1910! their magic and made me feel better. I crocheted a whole puppet family. Each puppet belongs to a different grandchild. I wrote a little story in which the puppets take part, and my grandchildren gave each one a name. The puppets will continue to o soft green baize-covered tables... connect me to the grandchildren until I No red and blue cards... but instead worldwide Bridge Base Online. am able to visit them. Whether it’s a 1C or a spectacular 2C Irith Langer opener, we don’t care. It’s BRIDGE! This enticing medium is keeping us excited and involved throughout these troubled times. Thank goodness for BBO. Carolyn Casselson
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Confessions of a Junkie
am an unabashed tennis addict. I need to start every day with a game or I am bereft. In hot summer weather, I come off the court dripping wet and overwhelmingly satisfied. It is not the winning that counts, but the sense of achievement from having given my all. For me, tennis is more than a game; it is a fraternity. I love the camaraderie, in mixing with like-minded “fanatics.” Stephen Lambert
orris Forman has found a new outlet for his artistic flair, using discarded trees and beautiful flowers to create a wonderful garden on our balcony. Gertie Forman
On the Forman balcony
Irith Langer's corocheted dolls
Stephen Lambert with tennis trophies advertisement
Issue #11 / march 2021
Meet Ephry Eder
Jewish Society, and in his last year there he resided at the newly-founded Hillel House.
The Road Not Taken
By Reva Garmise
lthough born and bred in England, Ephry could have shared the moniker “sabra” with native Israelis – seemingly tough on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside. In his own words upon assuming the position of SNACshots advertising manager, Ephry wrote: “Former red-headed volatile Londoner, susceptible to passionate self-expression but kindly disposed to all...” Yup. A sabra. As one gets better acquainted with Ephry, it becomes clear that the “passionate self-expression” he referred to is never arbitrary. He is a man blessed with an analytic mind who feels strongly about many issues and is not afraid to take a stand on any of them, regardless of the popular view of the issue. Two years after his parents escaped war-torn Belgium and landed on the shores of England in 1940, Ephry Eder saw the light of day in London. Until age four he lived in Stamford Hill and remembers the 20-minute walk to shul and the weekly stop at his grandparents’ house on the way home. Ephry’s sister Annette (Lambert) was born when he was four years old. He still has the antique armchair in which his mother nursed Annette, if anyone doubts he has a sentimental side.
Zionist Values “My upbringing was very Zionistic. I remember wearing my first Purim costume, aged four, dressed as
Theodore Herzl. Between the ages of 14 and 19, I attended a local Oneg Shabbat group and Jewish Youth Study Groups. At age 17, before starting university, I joined a six-week Jewish Agency tour of Israel. My Zionism was further stimulated when I heard Golda Meir address a large audience in London’s Coliseum Theatre on Yom HaAtzmaut 1968.”
An Ear for Languages Ephry knew Yiddish from a young age. “It was the lingua franca at home and, in fact, the only way to communicate with my grandparents.” He has a good ear for languages. On vacations in Belgium, he was at ease with French, Flemish, Dutch (his mother’s mother tongue) and German. Today he enjoys Yiddish and shortly before COVID reared its ugly head, he joined a Yiddish group in Poleg with a few other SNAC members. His early education was at the Menorah Jewish kindergarten and the Menorah primary school. This was followed by enrollment in Christ’s College. Its name notwithstanding, the student body of the school was 45 percent Jewish. His Jewish education was reinforced by after-school attendance at a cheder and tutelage with the late Rabbi Sidney Leperer. After he started engineering studies at Manchester University, Ephry was actively involved in the University
The engineering studies came to a halt at the end of the first year when the exams were held on Shavuot. Unwilling to compromise his principles, Ephry had to choose whether to take a failing grade in the subjects being tested (and redo the courses) or switch to a different course of studies. He opted for the latter and decided to study maths and physics. After obtaining his university degree, Ephry sought to qualify as a patent attorney, a decision that meant several more years of study for exams that had only a 20 percent pass rate. That decision determined the course of his professional life. He persevered and qualified when he was almost 30 years old. While studying evenings for the exams, Ephry worked full time in both private and company practice, and after qualification he started his own firm. In 1980, Ephry married Sara, an Israeli he had met in London. After 22 happy years together, she sadly passed away in 2002, aged 53. They had two sons: Naftali, married to Olivia, now living in Israel with their three children; and Arriel, married to Ari, living in London with their two children. Some two years after Sara’s passing, Ephry met Terrie at a wedding and after a whirlwind romance, they married in 2005. Ephry and Terrie purchased a holiday apartment in Netanya in 2011, and in 2016 came on full aliyah. Ephry and Terrie have been active members of SNAC since their arrival, adding a refreshing blend of sweetness and spice to our community where Ephry is well known as a raconteur of humorous stories and the occasional Gematria. Ephry feels he and Terrie are blessed in their 16 years of marriage and by their SNAC experiences and the friendships formed. However, it is the excellent relationships which their children and 12 grandchildren have with them, and among one another, that brings them the greatest naches.
SNAC/shots jewish world
Jews & Hollywood
By Roy Pinchot
We all love to ‘spot the Jews’ in Hollywood movies. Jews are well represented in the acting world. From Kirk Douglas and Mel Brooks to Lauren Bacall and Barbra Streisand et al. But the role played by the Jewish immigrants who created Hollywood is even more impressive.
he Golden Age of Hollywood ran from the 1920s through the 1960s. Hollywood films had a powerful influence on American and European culture – bringing American ideas and ideals to a world audience. How odd that this cultural tidal wave of business and culture was created, propelled, and firmly established by a handful of young Jewish immigrants, who mostly arrived penniless in the USA at the beginning of the 20th Century! Of the
the Warner Studio from bankruptcy to a major film studio by 1924. He even won the first Academy Award for best actor. The Warner Brothers’ films featured gangsters, private investigators, hard-boiled, tough-talking women, and patriotic American themes. While other Jewish studio heads refused to criticize the Nazis, the Warners produced virulent anti-Nazi films.
eight major film studios that dominated this period, six were founded and run by Jews. This is a true rags-to-riches story of men who started with nothing becoming some of the richest and most influential men in America. The Warner brothers – Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack – arrived in America from Poland in 1888. Sam and Albert invested $150 in 1903 to purchase a film projector and the rights to show The Great Train Robbery in New Castle, Pennsylvania and then founded a company to collect and distribute every film they could find. Soon they were producing their own films to keep up with the demand. Warner Brothers Studio was established on Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, in 1918. Intrigued with the idea of adding sound to silent movies, Sam Warner used a few sound effects in a film, which proved so unpopular that the studio almost went bankrupt. In desperation, Warner’s produced the first talkie, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson. It was a revolution, but the company was soon in trouble again. Luckily, a new star had just been introduced in a Warner Bros. 1923 film who soon became America’s most famous movie hero: Rin-Tin-Tin, a German Shepherd! Rin starred in 27 movies and with his four paws lifted
Over the years, the Jewish immigrants who came to be the main players in the creation of the Hollywood film industry established a dizzying array of alliances, mergers and splinter companies. Carl Laemmle, an 1884 immigrant to Chicago from Germany, moved to New York in 1912, where he merged seven movie companies to create Universal Pictures with himself as president. The studio was one of the first to vertically integrate film production, distribution, and theaters in one company. Adolph Zukor was born in Hungary and was expected to become a rabbi, but in 1881 at age 16 he emigrated to America. Working as a furrier, he became very wealthy and in 1903 invested in a chain of movie theaters. Nine years later he founded Famous Players Film Company, with the goal of bringing famous stage actors to the movie screen. Famous Players produced America’s first feature-length film, The Prisoner of Zenda. In 1916, Famous Players merged with American born Jesse Lasky and a film distribution company named Paramount Pictures. Zukor was president of Paramount and later Chairman Emeritus, a position he held until his death at age 103. A producer of Broadway musicals, in 1913 Lasky joined with Samuel Goldwyn and Cecil B. DeMille to establish the Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company near Los Angeles. Goldwyn was born in Warsaw to Hasidic parents. Penniless, he fled Poland for Hamburg, Germany where he became a glovemaker. In 1899 he emigrated to the United States, rising to VP of Sales for a large glove company. As a member of
Issue #11 / march 2021
jewish world the Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company, Goldwyn didn’t get along with Zukor and resigned from the Lasky-Zukor merger to found Goldwyn Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Productions. In 1924 Marcus Lowe (also Jewish), owner of a movie theater chain, brought together Metro Pictures, Mayer Pictures and Goldwyn Pictures to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM). Goldwyn left and for the next 35 years produced his own quality movies, receiving the Oscar for The Best Years of Our Lives. In an argument with writer Dorothy Parker, who said he was only a glovemaker, he shot back, “Don’t you point that finger at me. I knew it when it had a thimble on it!”
MGM: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Louis B. Mayer became the most powerful studio head in Hollywood. Born in 1884 in Russia, he quit school to work at age 12 and later moved to New York. Mayer became fascinated with the entertainment business and in 1907 renovated a burlesque house, turning it into a movie theater. Mayer purchased the rights to show Birth of a Nation in New England and with the profits, moved to Los Angeles and founded Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corp. In 1922, Mayer met Irving Thalberg at Universal, instantly recognized his astounding talent and hired him to become head of Mayer’s studio production. Two years later, Mayer’s company was merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Mayer
became Head of Studio Production with Thalberg, now a partner, as Vice President of Production. Under Mayer and Thalberg (until his death at age 37), MGM became the most successful studio in Hollywood, turning out great quality movies such as, Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain.
Columbia: Siberia to Oscars New Yorker Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, was one of Hollywood’s most colorful characters. In its early years Columbia, founded in 1918, was a minor studio on
Hollywood’s Poverty Row. In 1924, Cohn took over as both president and head of production, giving him total power over the films and the studio. By hiring director Frank Capra, Cohn brought fame and fortune to the studio, raising it to the front row of major studios. Capra’s award-winning films at Columbia included: It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and You Can’t Take It with You, among others. Always miserly with money, Cohn kept few talents under contract, but borrowed top quality actors from the major studios which, to punish them for misdeeds, had them exiled to Columbia Pictures for a movie – this was known in the trade as being sent to “Siberia.” But, when MGM punished Clark Gable for asking for a raise and sent him to Columbia, Capra cast him in It Happened One Night and he became an overnight sensation, won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and as a result, MGM had to pay him five times his previous salary when he returned.
Who Invented Hollywood? Did the Jews “Invent Hollywood’? Did a handful of Jewish immigrants, just off the boat and rushing into a new business where there was yet no established record of prejudice to hinder them, create a magical fantasy world – a world in which they wanted to live – a dream that became the idea of an America that Americans and people all over the world came to believe in? The Jews who created and ran Hollywood loved America and all it stood for – for rescuing them from persecution, providing them with dignity and rights, and certainly with opportunity. As Neal Gabler put it in his recent book chronicling the Jews’ dominance of this mass communication medium: [The Jews] “yearning to belong― were [to] provide reassurance against the anxieties and disruptions of the time. They did this by fashioning a vast, compelling national fantasy out of their dreams and out of the basic tenets of their own dogmatic faith― a belief in virtue, in the bulwark of family, in the merits of loyalty, in the soundness of tradition, in America itself.”
SNACpackers Joyce & Alan Mays at Apollonia
Apollonia – More Bang for Your Buck
Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Early Arab, Crusader and Ottoman – have left plenty for the visitor to marvel at: a Crusader castle, lime kiln, wine press, ballista, a Roman villa and moat are but a few of the fascinating remains to be seen along this beautiful route. Taking advantage of a sunny winter’s day, we ambled across these acres of history marveling at the many influences that shaped ancient and modern Israel. The pagan deity Arshuf has even percolated into our modern Hebrew vocabulary with the nearby town of Rishpon and a modern Israeli naval missile boat ‘the Reshef’ deriving their names from this thunderous archetype. Another advantage is the reduced entrance fee of a mere NIS11 for less junior citizens. ~ Joyce Mays
OVID may have nixed many travel plans, but fortunately we live in a country which, though geographically tiny, is so diverse that within its borders even the most intrepid SNACpackers can find stimulating adventures. For those of you who enjoy maximum ‘bang for your buck’ combined with minimal effort, a trip to Apollonia is a must. Less than half an hour up the road from Netanya, situated in Herzlia, Apollonia is a wondrous archaeological site spanning over 2,500 years of history. First settled by the Phoenicians during the Persian period, the settlement was called Ashruf and dedicated to the deity Reshef, god of war and thunder. The site is located within a national park encompassing magnificent cliff-top walks, picnic areas and views. A sheltered natural cove provided the seafaring Phoenicians with trading links to the ancient world where they traded in the famous purple dye from murex sea snails which, it is believed, formed the original biblical dye, techelet that was used for tzitzit. Successive layers of human occupation –
Roberta Safier at the Kinneret
Passport to Freedom
ne of the perks of aliyah for olim from the USA was the proximity to the European continent. The thought of jetting off to Paris, Rome or other European city for a midweek excursion
or long weekend carried a definite appeal. We did manage one such trip, a Shabbat in Venice in March 2019 with Miriam and Meyer Stender but this year covid interceded and plans for additional overseas trips were shelved. Thankfully we still had our bikes! These became our passport to freedom. We began a nearly daily routine of local rides within Netanya; south via Winter Lake Park to Poleg Beach, or north past Sanz to Banana Beach. On some days, when we felt particularly energetic, both loops. Having a bike rack allowed us to ride further afield; our criterion in selecting a destination: a relatively flat bike path. Here are two recommended destinations: Nahariya to Rosh Hanikra: One of the nicer rides along the Mediterranean! Park in south Nahariya (about 75 minutes’ drive), head south by bike to the beginning of the tayelet in Shavei Zion; reverse course and head north along the tayelet through Nahariya; detour along the rail tracks as you approach Achziv (dirt path for ½ mile) and continue to the grottoes and blue waters of Rosh Hanikra. Spectacular! Roundtrip about 16 miles and a great beach with lifeguards when you’re back in Nahariya. Kinneret: Advertised as a circumferential bike path around the Kinneret, we found that large sections involve riding on the shoulder of the road. For those who, like us, prefer the safety of a protected bike path, on sections of approximately 6-8 km on the eastern side (park at Haon or Ein Gev) and western side (park at any of several beaches) the majority of the ride is on a protected path. Of the two, the western path (heading north to Tiberias) is the more scenic and offers excellent swimming access in season. We’re always looking for new destinations so, if you know of any, please share with us. Likewise, we’re always looking for friends interested in riding with us; we have an extra bike rack which fits most sedans and some hatchbacks and can lend this to you for the day. ~ Roberta and Rafe Safier page 16
Issue #11 / march 2021
Barbara and Paul Westbrook north of the Dead Sea (with Jordan in the background)
Dead Sea or Bust During Lockdown
n a beautiful morning in November we set out early to meet friends for a tiyul to Einot Tzukim and Qumran. This was during lockdown but National Parks were open and we decided to take advantage of the glorious weather to visit parts of this wonderful land we either had not seen before or had been to as teenagers! As the desert landscape came into view, we immediately felt as though we were in a different climate zone. Einot Tzukim is a nature reserve at the north end of the Dead Sea replete with natural springs and beautiful pathways through numerous types of plants and trees. On the drive into the site a marker indicates the shore of the Dead Sea in 1968. The sea, technically a lake, has receded hugely since then. Our guide explained the geography of the region before we set off on a gentle stroll around the reserve. This was the chance to meet new people and chat about our different aliyah experiences. Paul managed to meet a distant relative and over a picnic lunch we met friends of Iresine and David Woolf! Jewish geography at its best. From Einot Tzukim we drove back northwards, the short distance to Qumran, the site where in 1947 a young Bedouin shepherd came across a number of storage jars containing what have become known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Over several years many more
scrolls were discovered, which are now on display at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. After a short introductory film, our guide described the lifestyle of the sect members who lived at the site. We then strolled around the archaeological remains. This was the end of the official tiyul. However, our friends mentioned another site about 20 minutes further north that we were more than happy to visit. Qasr al Yehud is supposedly the site on the River Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. In normal (non-corona) times, thousands of Christian pilgrims come to immerse themselves in the River Jordan. Other experts claim this is where Joshua led the Jewish people into the promised land. Indeed, the stretch of river is very narrow and so this seems to make sense. The border with Jordan is merely a rope down the middle of the river. We were the only visitors at this site and were able to walk around unhindered. We did wonder, however, about the number of workmen there who were constructing tents and walkways. It turned out that the following day, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife were expected to visit the same site! So all in all, a fun and interesting day in our beautiful country. One minor problem – due to COVID, there was nowhere to buy a cup of coffee; this was remedied on our way back when we stopped in Jerusalem to visit our family. ~ Barbara and Paul Westbrook
Qsar al Yehud Baptism site. The wooden steps are Jordanian; the rope in the river is the international border!
Belinda & Graham Calvert at Alona Park
So Much to See, Close to Home
itting in pitch black darkness, waiting for the moon to rise... we saw two satellites and the ISS space station shooting across the sky... what a thrill. This was part of our December trip with AACI to the Alona Park at Mei Kedem where we hiked for two hours before settling down to star gazing. We love spending time outdoors, and despite the limitations on travel this year we’ve managed to find opportunities to put on our hiking boots, trainers, sandals (or have even gone barefoot) in order to get out and about). We’ve been on organized hikes to Kibbutz Maagan Michael, to Upper Nachal Oren in the spectacular Carmel Mountains and to the Alona Park at Mei Kedem. We explored the hills around Bet Shemesh with friends and climbed Tel Azeka where the battle between David and Goliath was fought. Ramat Hanadiv, the Rothschild memorial garden near Zichron Yaakov, is a lovely place to spend a few relaxing hours. And there is so much to see within a 15-minute drive from Netanya – Agamon Hefer, the KKL (JNF) lake and the Mitzpor Viker bird watching center, where hundreds of migrating pelicans stop to feed between September and November and Ya’ar Ilanot, a KKL/JNF arboretum. And, of course, we are so privileged to live in Netanya where we spend many hours walking along our lovely beach. ~ Belinda and Graham Calvert
SNAC/shots road not taken
The Road to Adventure By Roy Pinchot
hat forces mold people who choose a life on “The Road Not Taken”? Is it family upbringing, inborn personality, genes, a sense of adventure, or a belief that your life (in this case two lives) are directed by a higher power to some important but unknown purpose? Perhaps all of these propelled Miriam and Rabbi Yisrael Haber to a life of unique adventure, played out in the frozen reaches of America’s northland – Alaska – and then in Israel’s unfrozen northland, Tiberias and the Golan. Yisrael Haber’s family was a conventional Orthodox family in Brooklyn. After yeshiva, Yisrael earned a university degree in European History and then an MA in Educational Psychology. Upon receiving smicha, he turned his energies to the field of Jewish education and was principal of a New York Jewish Day School at age 23. In 1972, Yisrael married the woman of his dreams: Miriam Schwimmer. He was 24 and she 19. The child of survivors, Miriam was also raised in Brooklyn. For a wife raised in a conventional Orthodox family and community to sign on as an active partner to “the road not taken” takes love, commitment, belief, and a special sense of adventure.
The Road to Adventure After the honeymoon, Yisrael was hired as assistant principal of a Day School in Dallas, Texas. In sports-mad Dallas, his school had difficulty recruiting students because it had no sports teams. He proposed a basketball team and became
the team’s coach. His players wore kipot because Yisrael felt the fans must know they were a Jewish school. His coaching struck gold with the Akiva team winning the league championship! Recruiting was now no problem. However, when the Board wanted to promote Yisrael to Principal at the price of relaxing his halachic constraints, the Habers knew Dallas was no longer for them – but where to go next? Yisrael was intrigued by a series of US Air Force posters portraying a fashionable young couple in Hawaii that read, “YOU too can be in this picture!” Yisrael envisioned himself and Miriam in that picture. After romancing Miriam with a life of leisure as a chaplain’s wife in Hawaii, she agreed to his enlistment. In 1973 he enlisted in the US Air Force, graduated chaplain’s school, and was appointed a Captain. Next came his assignment. Wanting to finish his PhD in Educational Psychology, Yisrael requested Texas or California, but God had different plans. It turned out that the Jewish chaplain in Alaska is also the Chief Rabbi of Alaska, and as the current chaplain was leaving the state, Alaska’s Senator Gravel demanded the Air Force send a replacement Jewish chaplain. The call came from Col. Johnson at the Pentagon: “We have your assignment. We are sending you to a place where the mountains are majestic and the air is ecologically pure. You are going to Alaska for the next three years!” “Where are we going?” asked Miriam. Yisrael replied, “You know, Miriam, we are a
very fortunate couple,” repeating the description of majestic mountains and pure air. “Alaska!” Miriam responded. “YOU may be going to Alaska -- but I am not going!”
Mikvah, not Mixer Realizing that this was going to be difficult, Yisrael called the Pentagon to tell them they could not go, as Alaska did not have a mikvah which was a necessity for a religious Jewish couple. His plea didn’t work. Col. Johnson reminded him this was an order, not a suggestion. Miriam, being the loving wife she is, told Yisrael, “Whither thou goest, I will go.” The Air Force agreed to meet the Habers’ religious needs – at first mistaking a “mikvah” for a “mixer!” After a comedy of errors getting the General-in-Charge to understand what a mikvah was, orders were issued to build a $75,000 ritual pool on America’s northernmost airbase. Until its completion, Miriam flew as the only passenger on a giant Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane monthly from Alaska to Seattle to perform the mikvah mitzvah.
Issue #11 / march 2021
road not taken brits. Yisrael traveled from the southern cities of Alaska to far north Eskimo villages – accessible only by dogsled. The Habers distributed food, prayerbooks and other holiday necessities provided by the Jewish Welfare Board. Miriam spoke throughout the state, inspiring many women to keep kosher, light candles, celebrate the holidays and even keep Taharat HaMishpacha. While in Alaska, Miriam was awarded a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Alaska, and Yisrael finished his PhD in Educational Psychology from Baylor University.
During their move to Alaska, the Habers stopped in Minnesota to visit an older couple who had taken in Miriam’s mother when she arrived alone in America from Auschwitz. There, Yisrael and Miriam met two young Chabad rabbis. When the Lubavitchers learned that Yisrael was to be Chief Rabbi of Alaska, they requested he write the Rebbe, informing him of their move. Yisrael composed a letter, including the fact that he had the funds for a mikvah but needed someone to build it. Upon hearing there was no one to plan and engineer the project, one of the young men announced, “I will build it for you.” “What do you do?” asked Yisrael. “I build mikvot,” answered Rabbi Grossbaum. Before the letter was mailed, its request had been answered! Upon completion of the mikvah, Rabbi Grossbaum and Rabbi Hendel of Montreal flew to Alaska, pronouncing the mikvah kosher and filled it with 70 truckloads of melted snow. In their respective roles, the Habers serviced all the Jews in Alaska, performing holiday and other religious services, bar mitzvahs, weddings, and
In December of 1974, the Habers visited New York. At Rabbi Grossbaum’s insistence, they met with the Rebbe for a private audience or “Yechidut.” As they waited in line at the Rebbe’s headquarters, the Rebbe’s secretary suddenly appeared and greeted them: “Shalom Aleichem, Rabbi and Mrs. Haber from Alaska! When the people come out, you’re next.” The Rebbe told them of the importance of bringing Yiddishkeit to Jewish children in Alaska, then adding, “You should have boys who become Torah scholars!” Having been married for three years, this was the blessing Miriam and Yisrael had prayed for. In 1977, they
had their first child, a boy, followed by three brothers. After the Air Force and their Alaskan adventure, the Habers made aliyah. They arrived in August, 1978 with one child, one on the way, and others to follow. After living a few months in Gilo and five years in Tiberias, they moved to Hispin in the Golan Heights. Yisrael assumed the position of supervisor for the Ministry of Education, and directed the International School. Miriam continued her work as an administrative consultant in Special Education. At a request from the Rebbe, Yisrael became head of the Chabad school in Yavne’el, and doubled as the Rebbe’s representative (shaliach) in the Golan. When the Israel government was being pressured to give up the Golan Heights for peace with Syria, Yisrael sent a letter to the Rebbe for advice. The Rebbe answered saying, “[Tell] all the residents of the Golan Heights – don’t be afraid and stay in your places!” We were to stay in our places and continue our mission of settling the Land of Israel until the coming of the Mashiach! Miriam and Yisrael stayed in the Golan until their move to Netanya, where they could watch over Miriam’s mother and become a welcome addition to the SNAC community.
The Jews of Madrid By Ayana Jaznovich
he first thing that comes to mind when we think about Spain are Sephardi Jews: Maimonides, Ramban and Moses de León to name a few. But, would it surprise you to know that the Madrid Jewish community was founded by Ashkenazi Jews? I was born in Argentina but I feel Spanish at heart. We arrived in Spain when I was eight, and my parents soon became active members of the Jewish community. Back then most Jews were either of Moroccan origin or, like my family, Ashkenazi South American Jews fleeing the dictatorships that were commonplace in the southern hemisphere. Until the expulsion on March 31, 1492, Jews had lived and thrived in Spain for at least 1500 years. Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in the world. Spain was the unquestioned leader
of world Jewry. There, scientific and philological study of the Hebrew Bible began and secular poetry was written in Hebrew for the first time. As far as we know, from 1492 to 1834 when Queen María Cristina’s decree definitively abolished the Spanish Inquisition, there was no Jewish community in Madrid.
First Jew In 1834, the House of Rothschild sent Daniel Weisweiller, a banker from Frankfurt, as its representative. He was the first Jew to settle in Madrid after 1492. Ignacio Bauer, a Hungarian Jew from Budapest who served as his deputy, joined him in 1848. Five years later, Bauer replaced Weisweiller and in 1870 acquired a palace on Calle San Bernardo, which soon became a focal point of Madrid’s cultural scene. Bauer died in 1895, but his children continued his work. His son, also named Ignacio,
was the first President of the Jewish Community of Madrid. According to the 1877 national census, 406 Jews (276 men and 130 women) lived in Spain, 31 of whom lived in Madrid, and were primarily of German or French origin. Until the mid-20th century, Barcelona was the Jews’ favorite locale. This changed at the end of the 50s, when Madrid began to develop economically and Spanishspeaking Jews opted to settle in the capital. On February 3, 1917, the first synagogue – Midrash Abarbanel – was officially inaugurated. One of the most important achievements of that original community was the concession it elicited from the City Council in 1922 for a Hebrew enclosure in the city’s civil cemetery.
Photos courtesy of the Ibn Gvirol Estrella Toledano Jewish School
Two fundamental milestones affected Jewish life on the peninsula in the 1930s: the advent of the Second Republic in 1931 and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). There is no need to elaborate on what was going on in Europe at the time, but it is worth mentioning that during that period, some 3000 Jews arrived in Spain, the majority settling in Barcelona, and about 500 German Jews in Madrid. It is estimated that between 1940 and 1942 some 30,000 Jews went through Spain to escape the Nazi horrors. But in July
Issue #11 / march 2021
roots Bat Mitzvahs in Jerusalem at the kotel). The Beth Yaacov Synagogue, with a capacity for 550 people and a mikvah, was inaugurated on December 16, on Balmes Street. The 1970s were very important for all of Spanish society, with the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 and the transition to democracy after 36 years of dictatorship. The increase in the Hispanic-Moroccan population generated an important change in the community and in the governing bodies. On July 5, 1980 Spain approved a new constitution recognizing the right to religious freedom and civil equality for all citizens.
Synagogues and Schools
1942, exit visas were canceled and Spain committed itself to the extradition of foreign Jews to Germany. In 1956, with the independence of Morocco, Jews arrived in Madrid en masse from Tangier and the Protectorate of Spain in Morocco. The Law of Associations, approved on December 24, 1964, allowed the establishment of small, independent, non-political groups that did not have to be associated with either the Catholic Church or the Falange. That same year the Symposium on Sephardic Studies was held and the government decided to create the Sephardic Museum of Toledo. The Jewish population in Madrid had already grown to 2500 people and in 1965 the first kindergarten was inaugurated, followed by a primary school in 1968. By then, a shochet was also hired to guarantee the availability of kosher food, and in 1962, staff were hired for religious services. On October 4, 1964, the Jewish communities of Madrid, Barcelona, Ceuta and Melilla formed the Council of Israelite Communities of Spain in order to obtain legal security for their institutions and promote the creation of new communities. In 1968 Baruch Garzón was appointed rabbi (he accompanied my family when my brother and I celebrated our Bar and
The Balmes Street Beth Yaacov Synagogue is still the main synagogue of Madrid, although several other smaller batei midrash have also emerged in the last 30 years. Although its daily services are Sephardic, during Yamim Noraim the synagogue holds special services for Ashkenazi Jews. The Ibn Gvirol Estrella Toledano Jewish School is undoubtedly the piece de resistance and the recipient of most resources today. It has around 500 students, from kindergarten to high school, reflecting the broad diversity of today’s Jewish community. Jews from Spain, Argentina, Venezuela and Israel,
Deborah’s BOUTIQUE EST 2009
both religious and secular, make up its student body. Many non-Jews also attend the school because of its excellent academic standing and values. It's more than simply a school, it's a big family. I hold very dear memories of my years there, both as a student and as a teacher. After my mother passed away in 1992, my father started holding Ashkenazi Conservative services on Friday nights at home. The Conservative community grew and today many Ashkenazi Jews participate in that community’s services and cultural and social activities, although they don't have daily services. Madrid offers modest but steady means for improving spiritual development and fighting assimilation: daily shiurim, a kolel, daily services in all of its Orthodox synagogues and batei midrash, three stores selling kosher food, and a couple of kosher restaurants. Chabad has a small Beit Chabad on the outskirts, mainly for French students who come to Madrid to study dentistry at one of its universities. The school holds shacharit services at the beginning of the school day and many parents join their children – it is a beautiful way to start the day! Although Israel is unequivocally my home, and I would never consider moving back to Madrid, I hold very fond memories of the city and its people.
Jerusalem: 1 George Washington St, 02 674 4207 Netanya: By appointment, 054 463 9131
SNAC/shots road not taken
Who Would Have Guessed? By Norman A. Bailey
y life, now a pretty long one, has been characterized by unexpected chance happenings that altered the trajectory of my career(s). Everything went along a quite normal and anticipated path until I graduated from Columbia University in 1955 with a Master of International Affairs degree. I had intended to take the foreign service examination and become a diplomat, but at that time the military draft was still in effect, and so I took what I thought was double protective action by registering for a doctorate at Columbia and simultaneously joining an army reserve strategic intelligence unit. The point of all this was to reach the age of 26 without being drafted, at which point I would be too old for the draft. Unusual event no. 1: My local draft board informed me, however, that unless I volunteered for active duty, I would be drafted anyway. I volunteered. Unusual event no. 2: After basic training, I applied for scientific and professional status. My application, however, was confused with that of another person who had applied for scientific and professional status as a psychologist! Unusual event no. 3: As a result, I was assigned to an Army General Hospital to work in the psychiatric ward. I informed the commandant of the hospital of the mistake and was sent to army supply school to learn how to pass out shirts to new recruits. I had a friend in the
we transferred immediately to the States. We won an award for efficiency, since efficiency was defined as getting patients out of the hospital as soon as possible. Unusual event no. 6: After this rather surrealistic military experience, I decided that I didn’t want to work for the government in any capacity, so I went back to Columbia to continue my work towards a Ph.D. While working on my dissertation I was employed by Mobil International Oil Company as an international economist, despite holding degrees in international relations. After two years in that position, personnel office (always a smart thing to the president of Mobil Chemical Company do in the armed forces) and he contacted offered to bankroll me if I wanted to start a me about a position in the military business on my own. attaché’s office in London, in joint Unusual event no. 7: So I opened a operational planning. Nothing against shirts, I jumped at the opportunity. consulting office in the Wall Street area. To this day I can’t explain how and why Unusual event no. 4: Safely ensconced I thought anyone would want to hire me in London, in an interesting civilianas a consultant, but I began to get clients. clothes job at the embassy, and living in Simultaneously the City University of New an apartment paid for by the army, my York asked me to join the Political Science quickly-acquired English girlfriend and faculty. So for the next several years I I were enjoying the cultural and other combined business and university teaching. attractions of the English capital when suddenly I was summoned by the first Unusual event no. 8: One of my clients sergeant who informed me that for some was a boutique investment banking firm, reason the Department of Defense had specializing in international finance. ordered me transferred to the 34th Army After I had done a couple of projects for General Hospital at NATO headquarters them, they asked me to join the firm as in France. I sadly told the first sergeant president! that some busybody at DOD had noticed Unusual event no. 9: Thus I spent that this qualified psychologist had been several years as a hybrid—professor and mis-assigned. investment banker. I had never had any Unusual event no. 5: I was greeted involvement in politics, other than voting, but in 1980 I decided that I must do with open arms by the commandant something to assure Jimmy Carter would of the 34th Army General Hospital not have a second term, so I contacted who informed me the hospital had no psychiatrist, and that I would be in charge friends in the Reagan campaign and of the psychiatric ward! I, whose training offered my services. After the election I was asked to join the transition team and in psychology consisted of one basic following the inauguration I was offered course in college, then spent the next nine months, until discharge, running the a high-level position on the staff of the National Security Council at the White psychiatric ward of one of the US army’s House, where I became Chief International largest Army General Hospitals. It was not bad, however. I lived in a room in the Economist. chateau of an impoverished Napoleonic The rest, as they say, is history. From an count and went to Paris or beyond every intention to become a career diplomat, weekend. Some 90 perent of soldiers who hopefully ending with an ambassadorship were sent to the psychiatric ward were prior to retirement, and after numerous alcoholics. I and my intrepid corps of hilarious twists and turns, I ended up at assistants dried them out and sent them the White House – and finally at SNAC. back to their units. The real psychotics Who would have guessed?
Issue #11 / march 2021
Our Very Own Trash Collector
half miles, spending about two hours each visit, twice a week.”
Plastic, Plastic Everywhere...
By Reva Garmise
ake a walk along the Netanya beach and you may be surprised to see a familiar person picking up rubbish. It is none other than SNAC’s own Iresine Woolf who two years ago took it upon herself to keep the beach clean. “My main motive for cleaning the beach is my concern for the safety of all sea life, which is so precious,” explains Iresine. “I couldn’t believe the amount of rubbish
"My daughter in England treated me to a ‘grabber’ so I no longer have to keep bending down!!"
people leave. Yes, some comes in from the sea but mostly it is carelessly left by the public. I start at the West Lagoon Resort Hotel and head both north and south, alternately, for about one and a
Among the assorted ‘treasures’ she collects are bottle tops, plastic bottles and containers of all sizes, plastic cups, straws, random colored plastic fragments, plastic bags, and bits of children’s plastic sand toys, plastic cutlery and a large number of unidentifiable tubes and syringes. “The crazy thing is there always have been some rubbish bins at intervals along the beach, and in the past year more have been added. There is no excuse at all for anything to be left on the sand,” she asserts. Although Netanya employs teams of beach cleaners who empty the bins, plenty is left to spoil the beach. “I always take two extra-large garbage bags and usually manage to fill them both,” says Iresine. Iresine’s hard work does not go unappreciated, and she is pleased when passersby call out to her “Kol Hakavod!”
Photo by Joyce Mays
ccording to Kamil, Samid and Walid, Druse workers on the construction of the elevator that will convey us up and down between the beach and the tayelet, the longawaited elevator is scheduled to be operational sometime this summer. This was reported to our intrepid reporter, Joyce Mays, in an exclusive on-site interview. The information has not yet been confirmed by the municipality and there’s no way to know for sure whether we will be in or out of a lockdown when it happens, but isn’t it lovely to think of zooming (pardon the expression) up and down the cliff-side in the foreseeable future?
Meet Judy & Colin Isenberg By Reva Garmise
ad someone told the newlywed Judy and Colin Isenberg that they would end up living in Israel, actively involved in an Orthodox shul with haredi children and a gaggle of grandchildren, they would have said “Crazy to even think such a thing!” And yet, here they are. It is not wholly unheard of for parents to follow in the footsteps of their children, though obviously most of us wish our offspring would adhere to our own well-thoughtout lifestyles. Judy and Colin respected their children’s choices and adapted their own lives to ensure their own comfort zone as well as that of their children. They never looked back.
In the Beginning Both Judy and Colin grew up in traditional Jewish homes: she in London, he in Luton. Few Jewish families lived in Luton which meant almost no Jewish youngsters for Colin to befriend. “Luton had one synagogue and a Jewish youth club that served as a meeting point for boys and girls.” David Zacks was one of those boys and the Zacks and Isenberg families have remained good friends until today, both joining the SNAC community after making aliyah. Judy grew up in Hendon, a largely Jewish neighborhood in London. “Religiously, my family was ‘middle of the road’; we went to shul three times a year and maintained a Jewish lifestyle, if not an Orthodox one.”
The Change For Judy and Colin, the change began with son number 1: Benjy went off to Manchester University and came home with a kippa on his head and a clearly changed lifestyle: on Friday nights about half of his fellow Hillel House dormers went off to nightclubs. Nightclubs were not Benjy’s thing, so he stayed in with the frum students. Apparently, their lifestyle suited him. Fast forward to son number 3. David enjoyed the religious studies in the Jewish school he attended. At age 16,
he came home and told his parents that what he was learning made sense to him. And if it makes sense, he explained, he should adopt the lifestyle. At age 18, he took a gap year to study in a yeshiva in Monsey, New York. It took just three weeks for David to decide that this was the life he wanted to lead. So Benjy and David now live in Ramat Bet Shemesh and Jerusalem respectively, both happy with the lifestyle they chose, married and with growing families. Son number 2, Robert, remained in London, married with two young children. He did not quite go the way of his brothers, but does lead a traditionally Jewish lifestyle.
The Meeting Judy and Colin met at Manchester University where he studied law and she, chemical engineering. Colin began practicing as a solicitor and soon became a partner in a law firm. He chose to also serve as a Deputy Judge which meant that 30 days a year he sat on civil cases. “I found the 30 days on the judge’s bench was good training, seeing the process through the eyes of ‘the other side.’” Judy worked in her chosen field for a short time, until the birth of their first son. Two babies later, she decided to return to the work field and trained to teach English as a second language. She was offered a teaching position in
Issue #11 / march 2021
profile the same college where she’d trained. Eventually, she decided to move on and trained as a careers adviser (guidance counselor, in American lingo), working in this profession for about five years. This was followed with a “stressful” teaching position in a city secondary school, mainly for pupils who had dropped out of school for one reason or another. Judy was happy to change professions every few years, each time learning something new. This is in keeping with another character trait. Judy is not what you would call a “hoarder.” She does not like keeping possessions for any length of time. Don’t ask to see her wedding album when you visit. It did not make the cut when they came on aliyah (It took a while for Judy to dig up the wedding photo on the facing page. So we know for sure that there was a wedding). “And I was fortunate enough to have salvaged from the bin a couple of my favorite history books,” says Colin. Her engineering degree notwithstanding, Judy has discovered she has a creative side as well. Her poems, stories and illustrations have graced the pages of SNACshots, and the walls of their apartment are adorned with her beautiful works of art. “One day a friend suggested a painting course and that was the beginning of a delightful relationship with the arts. I have studied textiles, photography, print-making, drawing and painting.” Judy is also involved in the SNAC Writers’ Circle. During the corona lockdowns she began writing and illustrating stories for her grandchildren. For his part, Colin honed new talents after moving to Israel. He became a table tennis player after a gap of 40+ years and has trophies to prove it. He also followed up on a wish to learn to cook and, according to Judy, “makes a mean cholent.” “The transformation in our lifestyle serves us well as members of the SNAC community. We have made wonderful friends here and love the rich Jewish life offered by SNAC.” And how fortunate is SNAC to have gained Judy and Colin as valuable members of the community. It’s been a good shidduch all around.
On the Tayelet With weddings and parties strictly curtailed during the on-again-offagain corona lockdowns, romance moved to the most beautiful site in Netanya – our own seaside tayelet. During the clear twilight evenings in our rainless spring and summer days, passersby could amble into one of several weddings. One, for example, featured a Yemenite shofar blower in full regalia (why didn’t I think of taking a picture?) as part of the wedding party, all on the backdrop of a beautiful sunset. Likewise, several love-struck young men decided to propose in style on the tayelet (this time I did remember to snap a shot) and surprised the brides-to-be with a MARRY ME wall and a flower-bordered red carpet. There’s no stopping true love, corona or no corona.
SNAC/shots road not taken
Reverse Engineering: My Journey to Orthodoxy By Roy Pinchot
uring my college years, I was hounded by the questions: What has made Jews so successful in terms of their profession, academics, family and community? juxtaposed with Why were my university fraternity brothers running away from their Jewish traditions? My search for the answers to these questions led me to change the path on which I was raised and adopt an observant way of life. Although my parents were both raised in kosher homes, they chose to move away from an Orthodox lifestyle and become
Conservative Jews. However, they remained firmly committed to Jewish tradition, insisting on family Friday night dinner after which our family drove to the synagogue, where I enjoyed singing in the choir alongside my father. Dinner and Shabbat services were not a suggestion; they were a rule. The initial turning point in my religious life came during my college years, when I began to think more seriously about behavior, morality, and family. While attending services in our Conservative synagogue the rabbi, an exceptionally learned intellectual, gave a talk between musaf and mincha on Yom Kippur. His talk contained numerous quotes from
various commentators. Afterwards, I asked him, “All your quotes are from Orthodox commentators, where are the quotes from Conservative scholars?” He responded with silence. It was a moment of illumination. I realized that only Orthodox thinkers could provide me with a deep and meaningful understanding of my Jewish faith. This revelation was a turning point in my religious life.
Four Critical Events In my formative college years, four critical events occurred in my life. First and most impacting was meeting and falling in love with Ginger, who was on the same spiritual quest as I. Second, I regularly frequented the Northwestern University Hillel, a gathering place for Jewish students. There I became friendly with an affable young man from a warm Orthodox family who invited me to be with them for the first day of Pesach. I loved it! I enjoyed singing around the table, knowledgeable discussion and comments, and their devotion to Jewish ritual traditions and ideas. I stayed for eight days. We became life-long friends, and later sang and performed Israeli songs for Hadassah and other Jewish organizations, founded what became one of America’s largest Modern Orthodox shuls in Skokie, Il and in later years made aliyah with our families. Third, a university class taught by a famous cultural anthropology professor
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road not taken who had worked with Margaret Mead opened my eyes to reevaluating Torah Judaism. Cultural anthropology’s key concept is that every native culture has to be understood within its own set of values – not evaluated from our modern Western viewpoint. When I fully grasped this concept, I began to evaluate classical Judaism through its own view of life and values, and not through the lens of my American ideas. This eased the clash where Jewish values, ideas, and practices conflicted with my subconscious American viewpoints – enabling me to enter fully into a new, different, engaging, serious and meaningful religious culture. Fourth, surprisingly, were my fraternity brothers, who unbeknownst to themselves, played an important role in my religious development. I was proud to be president of a Jewish fraternity that was the academic star of the campus, having won the University Academic Award for the previous eight years. The fraternity also claimed: the US National Debate Champion, lead actors in theater school, who went on to
Marc & Tamar Lesnick
Malka Moshe and z rt Schwa
careers in Hollywood, (my roommate David Seltzer became a very successful screenwriter and director for MGM), as well as composers and lyricists who would write music for Broadway and the movies.
Inspiration from Time Magazine At this point in the 1960s, Time Magazine devoted an entire issue to: “Why Are the Jews So Successful?” I remember walking along the university’s Lake Michigan shoreline and thinking about this question: Why ARE we Jews so successful? I realized my fraternity brothers’ success was partly due to the generations of Jewish tradition they carried within themselves; a tradition of love of learning, diligence and drive, supported by close family relationships. Knowing them intimately, they seemed little different from other students. Almost all of them longed to fit in, to belong, shedding every vestige of Judaism they carried with them from
home. Some even arrived with tefillin, which they quickly put away, never to be seen again. If they just want to be like everyone else, what could account for their success? I concluded the difference must be what was passed down to them. Our historic and genetic past was responsible for their success; it certainly wasn’t any current actions! The thought struck me that here were boys gifted by their Jewish heritage – their RELIGIOUS Jewish heritage – and they were trying to escape it. It was incomprehensible to me that anyone would try to flee from that which had bestowed upon them the intelligence, diligence, ambition, and emotional balance responsible for their success. I made a turn. I decided to reverse-engineer what was making today’s Jews successful. I would explore what in our past was so True and Immortal that it still vibrated in the Jewish soul today. I chose the path of an observant Jew, dedicated to discovering what Time should have written: “What in Their RELIGIOUS PAST Has Made the Jews so Successful Today?”
Welcome Aboard! SNAC is delighted to welcome four new families to our community:
Meir Nissim & Ay Jazanovich ana
d Hilarie Stuart an Ifield
SNAC/shots corona days
Corona Weddings ♥
The engagement of my son Noam to Oshrit was announced several days before last Purim, in a synagogue in Petah Tikva. Less than a week after the engagement, the first lockdown was announced. The wedding date was first set for June 1, but the closer we got to that date, the less likely it seemed the wedding halls would be opened by then. Following intense efforts to persuade the young couple and the wedding hall to agree to a postponement, the date was switched to June 16. So many things had to be changed and the technical arrangements to assure everyone would be available for the new date were endless. The main problem, however, was the number of guests. We had invited about 600. Some chose not to come and others came just for the chupah, so in the end we had 290 guests sitting at tables. Thank God, no guest was infected with corona at the wedding. And two weeks later, the wedding halls were closed again! ~ Avi Bernfeld
It wasn’t the wedding we’d planned for our 42-yearold son Zvicka’s marriage to the lovely Inbar, his partner of one and a half years. We hadn’t made a wedding since our daughters Anna and Rachel married 26 and 27 years ago. In those days 500/600 guests was the norm. For this wedding we should have had 350 – our entire family from here and England, good friends, work colleagues – and a smaller number from Inbar’s small family. It was meant to be a beautiful June wedding with all the trappings – disco, compere, big reception, huge meal, flashing lights – the works. And then came corona. We chose a new date, August 9. Who thought the pandemic would still be going strong in August? When all wedding halls were closed by government order, we realized we had to postpone again, and this time cut the guest list dramatically. We found a small place in Caesarea and re-scheduled for August 27. The guest list was down to 50/60. For each date that was set, I bought a new dress better than the previous one. It was a lovely evening – very emotional for Alex and me – finally taking our son to the chupa. Our children sang Im eshkachaich Yerushalayim with a guitar accompaniment. We sang, we danced, we shed a tear or two. It was a very special occasion. ~ Gloria Deutsch
♥ Bernfeld wedding
How does one marry off one daughter, on three different dates, at three different locations, all within one week’s time; and yes, to the same groom? You “hire” two Jewish mothers who want their kids to get married, COVID, or no COVID. When Gabi and Nitsan got engaged this past summer, they soon realized that the corona epidemic was going to be with us for
Issue #11 / march 2021
corona days a while and decided that it was more important for them to start their lives together than to wait for the epidemic to pass and have a “normal” wedding. That’s all the two mothers needed to hear. Pam and Osnat sprang into action. They looked at wedding halls, taste-tested food, hired a photographer, a videographer, musicians, and most importantly went on numerous fitting sessions for the bride’s wedding gown. It was all lined up. Then came the second complete shutdown of the country.
There was still hope to hold the wedding as planned since the shutdown would end just a few days before the planned date. Then the wedding hall informed us that they would not open up again even for small weddings. So back to square one. With some creativity and much flexibility, a Sunday wedding in Netanya turned into a Monday wedding in Ra’anana at the groom’s parents’ backyard. Wow, everything was once again ready to go. But a couple of days later, friends of the groom’s family offered their house for the wedding that included the largest backyard in Ra’anana, stretching over three lots with a 40-meter swimming pool in the middle. Amazing place, but not enough time to plan, so Monday turned into Thursday. The wedding itself was amazing, small, intimate, and more memorable. The fact that I took vacation time earlier in the week, to cover the two first wedding dates, but in the end had to work on the wedding day and change my clothes in my car parked in an alleyway did not matter one bit. And most important, Gabi and Nitsan were thrilled with the wedding. So what can we learn from this? Nothing can stop two Jewish mothers who want their kids to get married. Now, they will just have to explain to the grandchildren in 20 years’ time why they made such a small wedding for their parents. Because by then, this period will be part of the history books and long gone from our day-to-day lives. ~ Mickie Sallmander
IBCA – Building Bridges By Brenda Katten
ollowing the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a number of individuals, with the support of the British Embassy, conceived the idea of forming an association to build bridges between Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth countries. It was felt to be of particular significance in repairing the tenuous relationship that existed between the yishuv and Britain prior to the rebirth of Israel. Initially those involved met informally, but in 1953 a formal Association was founded named “The Ottoman Society,” later becoming the Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association (IBCA). One of its earliest chairmen was Chaim Herzog. IBCA’s objective today remains the same as in former years: to ensure that Britain and the Commonwealth countries have an understanding of Israel that is based on fact. To this end, regular meetings are held where ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic corps, together with IBCA members, are addressed by prominent public figures from the field of politics, the judiciary, finance and journalism. IBCA’s flagship event is the annual Balfour Dinner – taking place on or around November 2 – the date when Arthur James Balfour wrote his famous letter to Lord Rothschild stating: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…” The letter became known as “The Balfour Declaration.” The dinner is addressed by a speaker from the United Kingdom and another from Israel. From the UK, the Association has had the privilege of being addressed by the former Conservative Party Leader William Hague, Boris Johnson, Lord Rothschild and the Earl of Balfour among others; speakers from Israel have included Shimon Peres, Isaac Herzog, Natan Sharansky, Yair Lapid and Gideon Saar.
And Then There Was COVID COVID 19 put paid to our traditional enjoyable gatherings – both the Annual Dinner and our brunch at the Daniel Hotel. Known for its warm convivial get-togethers, IBCA acknowledges there is no substitute for the personal opportunity to meet friends over a
glass of wine, a brunch, a tea party or a dinner. We look forward to the day when our normal social life resumes. Having taken on the chair in August from SNAC member – and good friend – Alex Deutsch (a difficult act to follow), yours truly was faced with the challenge of how to keep the flag flying without the people-to-people connection. Zoom proved to be the answer. Our first event was an outstanding success when some 200 participants from the UK as well as Israel Zoomed in to watch the UK’s Ambassador to Israel H.E. Neil Wigan, interviewed by David Horowitz, editor of The Times of Israel; the event attracted a number of Commonwealth ambassadors as well as members of the diplomatic corps. Days after the announcement of a fourth election in Israel, Gil Hoffman, Chief Political Correspondent of The Jerusalem Post, addressed the Association on “Turmoil Today within Israeli Politics” – the timing could not have been better. On February 22, Justice Professor Elyakim Rubinstein, VicePresident of the Supreme Court of Israel (Ret.), spoke on "The Israeli Supreme Court in a Divided Society." He gave a detailed overview of the make-up of the Court and its responsibilities, stating that the time was long overdue for Israel to have a Constitution. After obtaining our “Green Passports,” our forthcoming events will include a Summer Reception at the Residence of the British Ambassador and, of course, our famed Balfour Dinner on November 2 to which all our readers are cordially invited!
Issue #11 / march 2021
˜ Letters to SNAC Dear SNAC,
By Brenda Brett I hate flying. No amount of encouraging affirmations, deep breathing or mental projections as to what awaits me at journey’s end The grandkids theatre shopping terra firma, can unfurl my icy fingers from dampened armrests. Bright eyed and terrified I ride the skies within this streaking behemoth And count the seconds. Sometimes, despite this inner frenzy, the radiant palette of a dawning sky intrudes upon the cabin and my thoughts And I let the journey take me. However, last December, on descent into Heathrow The pinks and golds of a glorious morning sky filled with promise suddenly turned ugly. Without warning monstrous banks of cloud churning and menacing took hold. The plane, buffeted by waves of raging air, shuddered onwards. An abandoned cork tossed on a writhing sea. It lurched again, more violent than before. And dropped. My brain is lost. And fails to fathom the intensity of the moment. The plane groans and struggles to right itself And lurches on. The cabin is enveloped in an eerie silence. I am harnessed and helpless. And then Soft drizzle replaces swirling vapours. The storm is above and behind. The sky turns a soft dove grey, and like a graceful bird we descend and land I collect my book, my bag and my breath and leave the plane. I am me again.
We met Ann and Jeff Zinkin at SNAC a few years ago and have become firm friends. Like us, they live in London, allowing us to continue our friendship when back in the UK. COVID and lockdown restrictions have curtailed our activities, but we have managed to meet up for long walks in the fresh air, taking in the lovely scenery. We even play online bridge. All of us hope to return to Netanya in June. We have missed coming to Israel and seeing our friends at SNAC. Marilyn Ashton
Jeff & Ann Zinkin with Marilyn Ashton
Electrician David Hersh
Tel. 052-387 1625
e ThA C ' SNiters Wr ircle C
The Road to Success By Graham Calvert
My father won a contract to print and collate 25,000 fourpart sets on NCR paper for the customer to cut apart into individual units. He wanted to give added value to customer service by delivering already-separated four-sheet individual units. However, because of the NCR chemical coating on the paper, the small amount of adhesive applied would not hold the four-part set together. No adhesive manufacturer would help for what they considered a small order.
A Sticky Formula Given the opportunity of becoming a do-it-yourself expert in one particular aspect of the printing trade, very few would have selected adhesives. But this is what my father chose. He experimented by mixing various kinds of glue and sticky substances together and came up with a formula that held the NCR sets together and enabled them to be separated by hand. You didn’t even need a knife! Just hold up the pads when dry and they fall apart into perfectly glued separate sets. Although work of a similar nature was carried out in the USA, it was my father’s company, soon renamed Howarine Calvert Ltd., that made major news in the printing industry, creating an avalanche of enquiries. While one-time carbon papers still dominated the market in 1963, there was a search for a product that would permit self-separation of sets comprising plain paper. My father achieved success in 1965 and patented the first self-separating process among all major countries in the world.
Often the road one takes in life is dictated by events, but sometimes a person decides The Tempting Easy Path that personal satisfaction or maintaining a path of creativity is worth risking finanOffers were soon made to buy both the formula and the company. Selling them might have been the cial security and stability. My father, Bert Calvert, easy path to take and was certainly tempting. But the inventor of Fanapart Glue, turned from the my father chose to maintain the company’s indesafe path many times in his career, in order to maintain his creative and financial independence. pendence and not curtail our creativity. Instead, My father studied printing at North London he increased his contacts and contracts with paper Polytechnic following his service during WW II. manufacturers in the UK, France, Germany, and Soon, he opened his own print business, Clapich My father, Bert Calvert the USA. To meet increasing demand from the Printers, near Kings Cross. He started by printing Common Market countries, he established a projewelry cards and then business stationery. Personalized Rosh duction unit in France in 1967 and later in New York. Hashanah cards soon became a major source of income and I In March 1977 my father passed away. I had been workremember delivering to agents in Edgware on my bike, in the ing with him for 12 months and took over the business; my mid-1960s. younger brother Howard joined me later.
Added Value to Customers
The Risky Road of Independence
At one time, the main means of reproducing typing was via carbon paper placed between the sheets of paper. Carbon paper, however, left black smudges on your hands and was difficult to maintain between the pages. In the 1960s the invention of NCR self-copy paper applied to a paper’s surface produced a non-smudgeable coating that eliminated the use of carbon paper while successfully reproducing typing to a sheet of paper below. Although NCR papers were applied in loose sheets or as tear-off pads, the need for multi-part sets of NCR business forms was quicky realized.
Although the forecast for the paper-less office was predicted for 1984 – the demand for paper continued to expand. Small adhesive factories like ours supplied the large paper manufacturers into the 21st century. In 2005 we started to see a decline, causing paper manufacturing plants to merge. Although volume was reduced, the demand for our family’s Howarine’s Fanapart Glue for NCR paper multi-part sets ensured we remain a trusted supplier of glue to numerous paper mills. My family’s choice to follow the risky road of independence assured success until Howarine Calvert Ltd. was sold in 2017.
Issue #11 / march 2021
Is This All There Is? by Judy Isenberg
July 1970. She didn’t look any different. Exam-
ining her reflection, Claire was surprised that being engaged didn’t show on her face. Mum and Grandma were glowing with excitement, overflowing with joy and making plans as if her real life were just beginning. Susan, serene as always, had hugged her tightly, welcoming her to the grown-up club. Claire was calm and composed, not a flicker of excitement. She saw her life stretched out all the way to the horizon. The big wedding next year, when Stuart will have passed his accountancy exams, a flat in one of the “Jewish” London suburbs. Mum and Grandma regarded her education as merely a way of marking time before marriage, but Claire was determined to finish her degree. “You’ll probably want a little job,” said Stuart, “at least for a while.” Then there would be a house, babies – she knew the roadmap from her parents, cousins and Susan. Her school friends, also starting to pair up with nice Jewish boys, would be her companions along the way. A thought came, unbidden, a question crept into her mind, “Is this all there is?” Her future seemed fenced in, a straight road with no twists or turns. And then the thought, “I’m going to Edinburgh, anyway.” A small chink of light. She had booked the music workshop months ago; a week in Edinburgh in August, during the famous Festival, playing the violin and then performing at a concert. She would not give that up. “I’ll tell them I can’t get my money back,” she decided, lumping Stuart together with her family. She went to Edinburgh and that made all the difference.
. Claire looked in the mirror. In her hair – still dark, lustrous and long – was a circlet of rosebuds. Today was her wedding day. The sun was rising and the cottage was quiet. In the early light, she looked round the cramped room. The bags packed for the honeymoon stood in a corner. She saw her battered violin case on the shelf, the psychepage 33
delic sticker now faded and torn and remembered Edinburgh, all those years ago. Someone had slapped the sticker on her pristine violin case as soon as she arrived, bag slung over her shoulder. She had met musicians, artists, actors – people her age who didn’t think about the future, were not restricted by the shadows of Mum and Grandma hovering behind them. Then there was Owen, not planning to be a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant – not planning anything. They liked each other and didn’t think about the future. At the end of the week, they went their separate ways. When Claire came home, she broke off her engagement. Then weary of the never-ending recriminations, she moved into a flat in an unsavory part of London, supporting herself by several “unsuitable” jobs, while she finished her degree. After graduating, Claire taught English in Spain for a couple of years. And there was Pablo. In Italy, there was Salvatore. She spent six months in America with Chris, writing her “big” novel, but the book didn’t sell. Back in England, she got a teaching job at a minor university and seemed to have found her niche. Over the years she moved around the country, climbing the academic ladder. Never alone for long. When she went “home,” her mother never failed to tell her how well Stuart was doing and also her school friends and of course Susan, with three children and a large house. Then Claire met Ed. On holiday in Cornwall, she wandered into his pottery studio. Fifteen years her senior, with grown up children, he was originally from Canada, but now rented a small cottage in the village. They settled into a routine. She spent the working week in a pied-à-terre in the northern city where she headed a university department and made the long drive each weekend to Cornwall. After a year, to her family’s astonishment, Claire announced that they were getting married. He was “the one.” So now the wedding day had come. Claire examined Ed’s sleeping figure on the bed with detachment, noticing how old he looked. The strand of gray hair falling over his face aroused no tenderness. Questions came. “Was he truly ‘the one’? How was this relationship better than all the others?” And once again the insidious, “Is this all there is?” Claire’s future life stretched out before her; the soulless studio flat and Ed’s tiny cottage, that had nothing of herself in it. The exhausting commute. Turning back to the mirror, she took off the circlet of roses and ran her fingers through her hair. In the kind early light, she looked little older than the girl who had set off for Edinburgh all those years ago. “Is this all there is?” Searching in the mirror, she seemed to find an answer. With deliberate movements, she lifted her bag and, slinging it over her shoulder, picked up the violin case. Then, without looking back, she walked out the door.
Say it in Hebrew!
The Last Word
By Mike Garmise
Hi-Yo Hobby, Away!!!
שיפוצים ותיקונים ]shipootzim v’tikoonim[
Contractor ]kablan[ ק ְַּבל ַן
Interior Designer ]me’atzev pnim[ ְמע ֵַצב ְפנִ ים
orona has given us an ambivalent giftcurse, depending on how you view it, one that has eluded many of us for most of our adult lives. Time. For those who complain they never have time for themselves to develop hobbies or pursue some esoteric subject that has interested them since they can remember themselves, it is a gift. For those who have trouble filling up their daily schedule (yes, there are some people like that!), it is a curse. From the reports in this magazine, extra time has been a boon for many. Members of the SNAC congregation have taken up new hobbies, others have devoted more time to leisure pursuits, which they have developed and enjoyed for donkey’s years (as the English are wont to say). Hobby, the word, is a fairly well established stalwart in the language, dating back to the late 13th century or so. Somewhat surprisingly, it derives from hobi, which is a shortened form of hobyn, which was a diminutive form of the proper name Robyn or Robert or Dobbin (see Merchant of Venice, Act II) given to a horse (as in: “Hey Robert/Robyn/Dobbin/Hobyn, give me a ride down to the pub for a beer, what do you say?”). But hobby as used today dates back only to the early 1800s, as a shortened form of the child’s hobbyhorse. The connection may lie in the fact that just as a hobbyhorse gets you nowhere, so does a hobby (from a utilitarian point of view, of course). We engage in hobbies during our leisure time, which refers to the free time that provides us with the opportunity to do something we are not obliged to do (like work). Its roots go back, through French, to the Latin licere, to be allowed, which, unsurprisingly, also gives
us the word license. In other words, leisure gives us license to engage in hobbies, which in turn get us nowhere except perhaps to a state of enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment and sometimes a fistful of knickknacks (or something better) with which to decorate our homes. If we act with decorum (wouldn’t you know it, from the same root) and pretend our hobbies are more important than our mundane affairs, suspicions (coming from the Latin meaning looking under something with mistrust) will arise about our sanity which, of course, means (mental) health. Naturally, we must not become too obsessive (originally meaning besieged and ultimately deriving from sed to sit + ob opposite) about our hobbies. That can lead to the booby hatch (originally a gate installed on a merchant sea vessel) where bedlam (a condensed colloquial moniker for “Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem” in London, which served as a lunatic asylum from 1402) once reigned supreme, that is, before pharmacological means were found to be more humane and easier to administer than more extreme means for subduing patients. In all, we see that, like tranquilizers in general, hobbies should be consumed in proper dosages for optimal results. Utilized properly, hobbies can serve as enjoyable ways to pass the time and perhaps as good vocational preparation for our next incarnation (turning into flesh). Happy hobbying!
Builder ]banai[ ּב ַנָ ִאי Handyman ]shiputznik[ ִׁשּפּוצנִ יק Electrician ]chashmalai[ ח ְַׁשמַל ִַאי Carpenter ]nagar[ נ ַגָ ר Locksmith ]manulan[ מַנְ עּולָ ן Painter ]tzaba[ צ ַָּבע
Gardener ]ganan[ גָ נָ ן Air-conditioner ]mazgan[ מַזְ ג ַן
Boiler ]dood[ דּוד To repair ]letaken[ לְ ת ֵַקן To connect ]lechaber[ לְ חַּבר
To check ]livdok[ לִ ְבדֹוק To turn on )lehadlik[ לְ ה ְַדלִ יק To turn off ]lechabot[ לְ כ ַּבֹות
To break down ]lehitkalkel[ ַלקל ֵ לְ ִה ְתק
~ 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.
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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
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