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Published Monthly In Cooperation With The Jewish Federation Of Ocean County

June 2012


24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

Jewish Heritage Night Celebration at BlueClaws’ Stadium


or the fifth year in a row, the Lakewood BlueClaws celebrated Jewish Heritage Night. The minor league baseball team and the Jewish Federations of Ocean County and Monmouth County once again brought kosher food, the Israeli flag, and a host of other Jewish elements to the stadium. The event was celebrated on May 22, 2012 Jewish Heritage Night is taking its place alongside Italian and Irish Heritage Nights as an annual opportunity to showcase Ocean County’s cultural landscape at First Energy Park. Danny Goldberg, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Ocean County, said this event is a chance for the community to be “recognized as part of the mosaic of different ethnic groups” that make up Ocean County. The Federation’s relationship with the BlueClaws began in 2002, when the organizations worked together on hosting the Garden State Jewish Festival, an event that brought 75 Israeli vendors to the stadium. Since Israeli tourism was down during the Second Intifada that year, vendors came to America to sell to the Jewish community directly, Goldberg explained.

PHOTOS BY THE JEWISH JOURNAL On May 22, the Jewish Federation of Ocean County along with the BlueClaws and the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County celebrated the annual Jewish Heritage Night at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood. Top photo, left to right (excluding minors): Danny Goldberg, Executive Director of JFOC, Ian White, Director of Marketing and Communications of JFMC, Jason Krane, Annual Campaign Officer of JFOC, Lawrence Mendel, Chair JCRC, Michael Berman, JFCS Committee Chair, Annabel Lindenbaum, past President of JFOC, Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Chabad Jewish Center, Dr. Ronen Rotem, President of JFOC, Gil Lainer, Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Israel in New York, Aaron Shapiro, President of Congregation Sha’arey Ha-Yam, Lynn Berkowitz, Bazaar Chairperson of Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island, Philip I. Brilliant, President of Congregation B’nai Israel, and Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields of Congregation B’nai Israel.

Jewish Heritage Night activities, like children having the chance to play a pre-game catch with players on the field, are the kinds of opportunities that aren’t present at FirstEnergy Park the rest of the season. With a pre-game parade in the field and a program that includes the participation of different Jewish organizations of Ocean County, Jewish Heritage Night gives synagogues, Jewish War Veterans, and other groups a Continued on page 12

Directory: Commentary...........................2 Community.............................5 Food for Thought....................21 Opinion....................................4 Recent Events..........................12, 13 Synagogues.............................16 Temple Events.........................22 World Jewry............................15



The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


Marriage Equality This month, Jewish Federation of Ocean County’s Executive Director, Danny Goldberg, yielded his column space in favor of this worthwhile Jewish Agency for Israel’s letter. JAFI is one of three overseas agencies supported by Your Federation gift.

By Rabbi Kim S. Geringer By Dr. Misha Galperin President & CEO of Jewish Agency International Development


Dear Friends, often hear people say they’ve been to Israel so many times. Why go again? To me, that’s like saying, I’ve seen my family so many times, why visit again? Going to Israel is always energizing. It has the familiarity of home and the newness of adventure travel. This past trip was no exception.

I was visiting with some of the programs of The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and its suburbs. I met a group of young, single immigrants studying at Ulpan Etzion from 25 different countries. Most were getting ready to go into the IDF, the army, after a six month stay at the absorption center. I met troubled kids in the Qiryat Year’im Youth Village, mostly from broken homes of immigrant parents. Then I got to listen in on a rehearsal of a band of percussionists that included Argentinean and American Jewish students participating in a Masa Israel Journey program at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Hebrew University’s Rothberg School. The percussion studio was in the basement. That was a good thing since it was very loud. The piece was by a Japanese composer, one of the percussionists was Japanese, four were Israelis (including an Ethiopian, a Russian and two Sabras) and one was an Argentinean. Israel’s demography is highly unusual because of our disproportionate number of immigrants. This, in turn, makes social service needs very complex and disproportionately high compared to other developed nations. I am deeply proud that Israel has made the commitment it has to absorbing immigrants, despite the high cost of social services in a nation under the strain of intense security costs. If we take the Jewish mission to be a “light onto the nations” seriously, then we also have to do our part to make sure Israel has the capacity to keep inviting immigrants and nurturing them, especially the most vulnerable. We need to bring more young people over for meaningful long-term visits. During this past trip, I encountered a cacophony of different voices. Many voices can make it hard sometimes to hear any one voice, but many voices also make beautiful, if occasionally very loud, music. Together, we make unimaginable dreams happen.


Congregation Sha’arey Ha-Yam Manahawkin, N.J.


his past spring the campaign for marriage equality recorded both significant setbacks and advances. First, the state of North Carolina passed Amendment 1 which banned any kind of legal civil union except heterosexual marriage. Shortly afterwards, President Obama told an interviewer that he personally supported legalizing samesex marriage, a first for a sitting U.S. President. The commentary on both sides was sustained and passionate. Because the issue has been so front and center recently, this is as good a time as any for me to speak out in favor of marriage equality – civil, legal marriage. It’s something I’ve done before, as have many of my colleagues, but, I think, it’s also important to say not just why I support the right of any loving, committed couple to be married, but why I do so as a rabbi—why I believe that marriage equality is a religious issue and can be justified on religious grounds. First, let’s briefly review some of the usual ways in which the issue of same gender relationships is framed religiously. The two most often cited Biblical texts concerning homosexuality are both found in the book of Leviticus, where they appear in the context of a larger section directing sexual behavior. First, it is written: “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.” (Leviticus 18:22) The second citation is from Leviticus 20:13, where we read that

“If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to deaththeir blood guilt is upon them.” That’s it. Just those two verses. The Hebrew word for “abhorrent thing” is “toevah.” A tremendous amount has been written on how to understand these verses and on what exactly a toevah actually is. A position taken by many scholars is that the Bible was not, in fact, condemning committed, loving same-sex relationships – perhaps, because it didn’t know of them - but was denouncing instead a particular kind of pagan sexual behavior which was widely performed in the ancient world as a religious rite in the hope of getting rain and a good harvest. Another widely-held view is that the behavior described in these verses is one of several in this section that refer to voluntary, purely volitional acts – that is, behaviors that human beings can choose to do or not to do. If one accepts the idea that both heterosexual and homosexual orientations are inborn – that is, an unchangeable aspect of who we are – then there should be no prohibition on something that we, literally, come into the world with and cannot alter. There’s so much more to say regarding a close reading of the biblical text, but those are the main arguments. The truth is that although no one knows for sure what the original biblical authors meant in these verses, these two brief sentences have been and continue to be the justification for treating same-sex couples and individuals differently than their heterosexual counterparts. (By the way, you might have noticed that these texts from Leviticus mention only the relationship of one man with another. The Bible has nothing to say about a relationship between women, although the Talmud, many centuries later, does.) So that’s one set of biblical texts, but here’s another, and it’s one of Judaism’s


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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 3

Parental Attitude Matters; Preparing for Sleepy-Away Camp

By Rita Sason, LCSW Director of Social Services Jewish Family & Children’s Service


our 12 year old daughter wants to go to sleep-away camp. Although you try to change her mind, nothing works, she has dug in her heels, and you send in the deposit. After all, isn’t this a great experience for her? Now, just a month before she is going to leave for camp you are getting a sense that she is changing her mind. She has started to ask questions like: “What if I can’t fall asleep at camp?” “What if I start to miss you and daddy?” Now you are having second thoughts. Should I contact the camp and try to get back my deposit, or should I tell her that she

doesn’t have to go. Isn’t her happiness worth more than the deposit? But this is an opportunity for you to teach her the importance of following through with one’s commitments; encourage her to stretch her wings; develop her self-reliance and prove to herself that she is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to. The real question is how to help her overcome her separation anxiety. Although, separation anxiety is a normal part of growing up, a parent’s attitude can make a difference in enabling a child to cope with the fears. Frank J. Sileo, Ph.D. Executive Director for the Center for Psychological Enhancement, and the author of Bug Bites and Campfires: A Story for Kids about Homesickness (Health Press, 2009) “Parents must avoid making ambivalent statements to their children about the separa-

tion. Giving children something to worry about will only increase thoughts of home. Parents should express enthusiasm, confidence, and optimism about the new experience and environment.” Dr. Sileo offers these tips to help make the emotional transition easier: • Practice times away from home at a friend or relative’s home. After the practice time, discuss which coping strategies worked best. • Send a letter to your child at camp before they arrive. It will be a nice gift on their first day of camp. • Take a tour of the camp utilizing web sites, pamphlets, catalogs and visits; speak with alumni and staff members. Familiarity with the camp will decrease anxiety.

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• Help your child to focus on the good things about their camp experience: new friends, swimming, and campfires. • Remind them that feelings of homesickness are “normal” and that homesick feelings don’t last very long. • Pack a bit of home. Pack pictures, a favorite toy, blanket or pillow. Do not send something valuable that the child will have to worry about losing or breaking. Dr. Sileo urges that parents do offer to pick up the child if they do not like it. “Under no circumstances, should parents make the ‘pick up deal’ as research shows that this promise drastically reduces the child’s success. This solution to separation anxiety conveys to the child, that as a parent, you have little confidence in their

ability to cope with these normal feelings and that the only solution is to rescue them. Offering an escape from camp can be a double edged sword. Parents may be inadvertently planting a seed that sleep-away camp is something to be afraid of and the only solution is avoidance or escape. This may undermine the efforts of the camp counselors to assist your child in adjusting to their new environment. The sleep-away camp experience is a wonderful opportunity for your child to develop independence, make new friends and develop a sense of adventure. For a parent it is also an opportunity to develop new skills as you transition from the parent of a child to the parent of a young teenager moving toward independence.




The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

Global Planning Table is Federations’ new platform Inspiring the Jewish Federations’ collective global work. we are determined to bequeath to the next generation nothing less.

JFNA By Rebecca Caspi and Lisa Friedman


hroughout the generations, the great strength of the Jewish community has been its distinct ability to organize itself. In North America this found expression through securing the rights of minorities; gaining a significant political foothold; setting up a comprehensive system of Jewish charitable, defense and educational institutions; and, providing substantial support to the State of Israel and to Jews around the world. As we witness the current shifting social, demographic and economic trends that impact our long standing communal efforts, we note that the fundamentals of Jewish communal life nevertheless remain very much the same. There is still an enduring sense of responsibility, one for the other, across social and geographic boundaries. We are beholden to past generations for enabling our vibrant communal existence, and

And yet, with today’s challenges, along with the great diversity and heightened self expression among younger Jews, our sense of shared Peoplehood cannot be taken for granted. Rather it is the premier task of Jewish leadership to work hard to keep us connected and engaged as a community, willing and able to undertake responsibilities at home and abroad. In the 21st century, this requires sensitivity to the changes in our culture, the need to be relevant for this generation, to be inclusive and to provide a big tent so that the imperative notion of Jewish family, of Peoplehood, will indeed hold firm. In many ways, this is the role of the Jewish Federations of North America. JFNA is a natural continuation of the Jewish organizational life that has accompanied our people throughout the ages. The 157 federations of our movement provide historical continuity of position and purpose. While looking inward at the changes affecting Jewish life in North America – the economic downturn, the aging of our population, the rising cost of Jewish education, among them – the federations also provide an essential link to Israel and Jews the world over. This is Peoplehood, the design of a system committed

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to raising philanthropic dollars to respond to global Jewish needs and emerging opportunities with collective best efforts. This most essential Jewish activity of raising charitable funds is at the very heart of the federation movement. Reflecting the spectrum of modern Jewish living, the federations represent the values and priorities of a dynamic Jewish agenda. Spearheaded by JFNA through effective strategies and coordinated efforts, and informed by the long-standing and trusted partnerships with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, federations stand ready with local responses to urgent global and domestic challenges. This is Jewish Peoplehood in action – rallying Jews and Jewish communities within North America and around the world to be connected, responsible, identified and inspired. To this end, JFNA recently put into place a new, innovative system for community assessment and allocation of North American Jewish philanthropy for Israel and overseas: The Global Planning Table. The Global Planning Table is designed to be the platform where Federation leaders and professionals, Historic Partners, donors and experts generate collective action through high quality re-

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Successful philanthropic intervention depends to a great deal on partnership. Historically, JFNA has relied extensively on JAFI and JDC. Both have enabled decades of effective and sustained activity, including working with JAFI to facilitate aliyah, to encourage a deeper relationship between Israel and younger Jews through Israel-based educational initiatives, and to confront the challenges in Israel’s social and geographic periphery. With JDC, our philanthropic dollars rescue Jews in danger, provide relief to those in distress, support the renewal of self-sustaining Jewish community life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens. A joint initiative between JFNA and the Jewish Agency for Israel, P2G (formerly P2K, Partnership 2000) launched this year the International School Twinning Network, a program that connects hundreds of Jewish schools around the world with ‘twin’ schools in Israel. The goal is to create real connections

between students and teachers across the globe, allowing global Jewry to experience Israel in a relevant and meaningful way, while creating a similar experience for Israeli youth towards their global contemporaries. Federations also provide key funding and support for TaglitBirthright Israel trips, MASA long-term Israel programs, and other key investments in the future of Judaism through our young people. In 2009, a Brandeis University study concluded that participants of Taglit-Birthright Israel were 16 percent more likely than nonparticipants to report feeling “very much” connected to the worldwide Jewish community. Participants were 24 percent more likely than nonparticipants to “strongly agree” with the statement, “I have a strong sense of connection to the Jewish people.” We respond to Jewish needs wherever and whenever they emerge by facilitating Tikkun Olam, a fundamental Jewish value, linking Jewish communities around the world in significant, meaningful exchanges. In recent years, Federations have raised millions of dollars for victims of natural disasters, including $30 million for Hurricane Katrina relief, $10 million to support JDC’s response to the Southeast Continued on page 22

Congregation Sha’arey Ha-Yam “Gates of the Sea” A Reform Congregation Rabbi Kim Geringer Come worship with us at the Lutheran Church, 333 Route 9, Manahawkin Join a vibrant full service congregation including Hebrew school. For dates of services, membership & other information call (609) 698-4459.



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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


Hey Class Graduates and Celebrates Congregation Ahavat Olam’s Hey class finish fifth year of studies By Colin Lewis


he Hey class students of Congregation Ahavat Olam, in Howell, celebrated their graduation with a dinner, a class presentation and a graduation ceremony on May 30, 2012. This year, the Hey class course of study centered on the cities of Israel. “Hey” in Hebrew means “fifth,” relating to the five years of Hebrew studies done by the young people. The class of 17 students, working in small groups, actually researched 5 Israel cities: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Safat and Elat.

During the presentation, family members and guests received a passport and obtained a stamp upon their visit to each of the cities. The passports were created by the congregation in-house artist Milen

Amar for all who attended. Displays, poster boards, and handouts were part of the information the students utilized to share their knowledge about the cities. At the graduation ceremony, Rabbi Michael Klein and Educational Director Cantor David Amar offered words of encouragement. The Cantor’s message was about peace. He said “this message of peace is not just for Israel but all people, and only when peace is established between people, can peace come to the world.” The following students completed the study and were part of the graduation class: Matthew Baron, Sara Baron, Daniel Cohen, Matthew Cohen, Cory Friedman, Jake Friedman, Jenna Krutansky, DJ Meth, Alyssa Mobilio, Hannah Reiter, Leah Rifkin, Ashley Rosenstack, Bradley Shumer, Joshua Shumer, Joanna Thacke, Sam Panitch and Jacob Peters. Cantor David Amar (second from left to right) with some of his students

Members of the Congregation helped prepare the evening’s festivities, among them: Karen Brown, Chairperson of Education, Marsha Resnick, President of Sisterhood, Janice Weinberg, President of the Board of Directors, and board member Judy Singer. The mothers of the CAO Hebrew School’s students who helped prepare the meals were: Meridith Liptzin, Mauriann Kwartin, Shari Nemeroff, and Robin Zegas.


The students will continue their studies in Hebrew High School in the upcoming new year.

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Rabbi Michael Klein (middle) with Hey class students



The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

Beth Am Shalom’s 4th graders are mindful of Tikkun Olam


By Vilma Firce

MKJF Wichita Area Tornado Relief Fund Raises Money from Across the Country

n October 2011, the 4th grade class of Temple Am Shalom, Lakewood, started a Tzedakah collection. Teacher Connie Zirin reached out to Jewish Federation in Ocean County for some suggestions, taking into account that the children were specific as to wanting the money to go to a children’s cause here in the United States.

By Sandy Diel Director of the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation


he Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation’s Wichita Area Tornado Relief Fund raised $1,000 to help the victims of the tornado that struck this area last April. The money didn’t just come from people in the Mid-Kansas Jewish community; the MKJF received donations from others across the United States.

At the end, the group chose to send the money to the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation, specifically to the Wichita Area Tornado Relief Fund. As part of a major tornado outbreak that occurred from April 13 to the 16, 2012, across a large portion of the Central United States, the city of Wichita, Kansas, was affected by an intense tornado in the late evening of April 14. No fatalities occurred in Wichita, despite the intensity and dense population, but 38 people were injured (there were 6 fatalities in Oklahoma). The hardest hit areas were in the southern part of the city, where a few of the homes were completely leveled and nearly

PHOTO COURTESY OF MKJF Tornado girl cleaning remains. In Wichita, nearly 100 homes sustained damage of at least 50 percent during the April 2012 tornado.

The Relief Fund was publicized by the Jewish Federations of North America network nationally. As a result, the MKJF was contacted by several Federations. A shiduch was made between the 4th grade students at Temple Beth Am Shalom in Lakewood, NJ through the Jewish Federation of Ocean County and the MKJF. (See letter below) Dear Sandy,

I would like to introduce you personally to a wonderful group of 4th grade Hebrew School students from Temple Beth Am Shalom in Lakewood, New Jersey. Since that is impossible I will tell you about them.

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 7

For teenagers, Confirmation is a reaffirmation of their Jewish identity Beth Am Shalom celebrates Confirmation service of four students By Fran Gimpel


he Confirmation ceremony is a rite of passage, for Jewish teenagers, introduced by early Reform Rabbis in 19th Century Germany. Believing (rightly) that thirteen year-olds are too young to be considered adults and make the mature decision to affirm their Jewish identity, commit to Judaism, Torah and the Jewish Community, these reformers developed the Confirmation ceremony to replace Bar Mitzvah. When Reform Judaism came to North America, many or its innovations immigrated too, including Confirmation.

On Friday evening May 25, 2012, four Beth Am Shalom’s Ninth Graders became Confirmed after a year of study with Rabbi Stephen Gold. On the photo, left to right: Remi Silvan, Arielle Nozek, Rabbi Stephen Gold, Cantor Alisa Forman, Alexa Eisenhauer and Dan Mopsick.

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Today, many Reform Jews become Bar or Bat Mitzvah and become Confirmed as well. Confirmation, then, is seen as the next step in developing a deeper Jewish identity and connection to Jewish learning and community. Most congregations celebrate Confirmation in the Tenth Grade, others the Ninth and some even wait until Twelfth Grade. Early in its development, Confirmation was celebrated during the Festival of Shavout. The themes of both were well suited to each other. Just as Shavuot commemorates God giving Torah to the Jewish People as our ancestors stood before Har Sinai and accepted it, Confirmation celebrates our teens’ acceptance of Torah, and their affirmation of Jewish identity and life-long commitment to remain a part of the Jewish Community as they stand before the congregation.

part of their seasonal harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem, modern Confirmation echoes the symbolism of the ancient observance of Shavout: “Today… young people are the first fruits of each year’s harvest. They represent the hope and promise of tomorrow. During the service [they] reaffirm their commitment to the covenant” (Knobel, Peter S., ed. Gates of the Seasons: A Guide to the Jewish Year. New York: CCAR, 1983, 77). At Beth Am Shalom, in Lakewood, our Ninth Graders become Confirmed after a year of study with Rabbi Stephen Gold. They study traditional Jewish texts and modern thinkers in light of contemporary issues and problems. They also review Jewish Liturgy and then write and lead their own Shabbat worship service, following the rubrics of a traditional service.



There is even a connection to Shavuot’s agricultural significance. According to Rabbi Peter Knobel, just as Shavuot was a time when the ancient Israelites brought a

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

A Journey worth Traveling Americans volunteering in the Southern Israeli city of Arad form friendships far from home and prove that community has no boundaries. By Itay Ben-Eliezer The Jewish Federation of Ocean County is part of a cluster of NJ and DE communities partnered with Arad and Tamar for over 15 years. The Arad-Tamar Partnership is one of the Israel programs supported by Your Federation gift.


hile a sense of community can be experienced within the limits of a neighborhood, a small village or a country, it can also be felt on a global scale.

For Isabel Strasser, who has visited Israel many times, this was her second trip as a Partnership’s volunteer in Arad.

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In the small desert city of Arad, American Jews and Israelis have been coming together and creating a community of their own due to efforts of the New Jersey/Delaware - Arad/Tamar Partnership. Established in 1995 as part of the Jewish Agency’s P2G platform, the Partnership’s mission is to connect between Jewish American communities from New Jersey and Delaware with the city of Arad and Tamar Regional Council in Israel, while offering Jewish Americans an opportunity to participate in overseas collaborations and volunteer in Israel. In February of 2012, Isabel Strasser of Brick Township, NJ, and Louise and Martin Abrams of New York arrived in Arad to take part in the Partnership’s volunteer program, which offers American Jews a unique opportunity to experience life in Arad and volunteer within its communities. For three weeks, Isabel, Louise and Martin resided in an apartment in the center of Arad, enjoying the city’s unique ambiance and relaxed atmosphere. Isabel and Louise, who are both teachers by profession, settled naturally in Yaelim-Ofarim School, helping two local teachers teach English to 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders, mainly through joint activities and conversation, with Martin joining in as well. “We were able to give these children everyday English and they became very fluent and knowledgeable,” recalls Louise, “we started a blog with the 5th graders and we will be writing in it. Hopefully I’ll add 10 children from NY to the blog, as well”. Sophie Kaniazev, the children’s English teacher, had nothing but praise for her volunteers. “They are truly special people and their work was heartfelt. Isabel and Louise are both teachers and Marty took a course so that he could volunteer. They clearly know what they are doing. They really helped us and did a lot for the children”. For Strasser, who visited Israel many ti-

mes in the past and volunteered in Arad in 2011, the decision to return was an easy one. “I love it here. I formed relationships with the kids and became close to the teachers. Some kids remembered me from last year, some were like ‘where do I know her from?’” Isabel, Louise and Martin’s volunteer spirit did not end with the ring of the bell, as they also volunteered once a week at Beit Gil-Ad, a local senior day-care center. It was there that they were able to really get to know the local community and form meaningful friendships. The three volunteers invited several of Beit Gil-Ad’s residents over for dinner and became close with their families. “The program’s goal is to create an opportunity for the volunteers to integrate within the community,” says Ruthie Dan-Guri, the Partnership’s Living Bridge Coordinator who oversees the volunteer program, “their community service gives them a chance to meet people”. “Isabel told us about this program last year, and it has been very exciting. I came along with Louise, and it has been wonderful,” reflects Martin, while Louise adds, “Meeting these wonderful children, teachers and people in Arad, it is a very trusting and caring community. For me, Israel is like welcome home. I felt this in Arad”. The people of Arad welcomed Isabel, Louise and Martin with open arms, and 2012’s volunteer program is a success by all standards. By interacting with children, teachers and senior citizens and making friends with people in town, the volunteers helped create a richer, more caring community. They were suddenly part of something bigger. They become part of Arad life. “It is important to get people to come to Israel. So many people can do it. It would really help the children”, says Strasser, “I have dates for when I am coming next year. I will also Skype with the children. It is a great way for them to practice their English”. “I really appreciate people who come here and want to volunteer and invest their time in helping the children, and I really hope we will stay in touch,” says Kaniazev, “I want to take this opportunity to say thank you”.


The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 9

Introducing Jason A. Krane


ason Krane has joined Jewish Federation of Ocean County as the “Annual Campaign Officer.” A graduate of the University of Hartford with a B.A. in Communications, Mr. Krane brings with him a varied background dealing with promotions, public relations and non-profit fund raising. Most recently, he has worked with The Zeta Beta Tau Foundation as Associate Director of Development in fund raising campaigns. At Temple Beth Shalom of Livingston, Mr. Krane remains active with “United Synagogue Youth” as an advisor to High School age youngsters.

Jason feels very strongly about meeting on a one-to-one basis, and when you meet him you will find him to be a very “perso-

Continued from page 6

Each one of my students is a caring, generous individual. Together they comprise an amazing group. This year alone they have worked on Tikkun Olam by feeding the homeless and by generously supporting our drive for Tzedakah. Each time we met, our class donation can was fed coins, dollars, and even some $5 bills. One student saved over $18 on his own and contributed it to our Tzedakah. Our drive netted a contribution total of $205. We are happy to enclose our money order made out to The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation for the purpose of Wichita Area Tornado Relief. This cause is exactly what my students wanted to be part of assisting. ... I want to thank Danny Goldberg of the Ocean County Jewish Federation for introducing your group to me. ... The 4th grade class of Temple Beth Am Shalom in Lakewood, New Jersey hopes and prays for G-ds blessings for those people who were directly or indirectly involved in the devastation caused by the tornados. G-d bless you with strength and courage to continue your good works. ...

By Larry Belkin

At present he continues his education at Seton Hall University where he is obtaining a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management.

Wichita Area Tornado

Jason Krane, JFOC’s new Annual Campaign Officer

nable guy” just as we did. When you can’t find him it will be because he and his family are at a baseball game.

Sincerely, Connie Zirin – Teacher

4th graders Continued from page 6

100 homes sustained damage of at least 50 percent. The damages were estimated at $283 million. By the end of May, the 10 and 11 year olds had collected $250 in coins, dollars, and even some $5 bills. “This is an extraordinary group of caring young people that put such enthusiasm and energy into this effort,” said Ms. Zirin.

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One young man, one of the 11 students, said it was important for him to

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

Marriage Equality Continued from page 2

most fundamental. In the very first chapter of the book of Genesis – the very first book in the whole Bible – we read, “And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.” Citing this verse, Reform Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of our Movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C., said in recent testimony before Congress: “Regardless of context, discrimination against any person arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, or hatred is inconsistent with this fundamental belief, that all human beings are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. So we oppose discrimination against all individuals, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, simply because the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every one of us.” Leviticus on the one hand, Genesis on the other. The creation story doesn’t end there however. It continues beyond the first human being, beyond the single, unique individual. We read just a little further in Genesis: “Lo tov heyot ha’adam levado” “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a partner fit for him.” We are not meant to walk alone through life. We are designed for companionship, for love, for partnership.

Here, in our congregation, we identify ourselves as a Reform community, and so it’s important for all of us to know where our Movement stands. The Reform Movement has been an advocate of gay and lesbian rights all the way back to 1965, when the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) passed a resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. Since then, both the URJ – our movement’s synagogue arm - and the CCAR – the Reform rabbis professional association - have passed many resolutions dealing with this issue, all calling for human rights for lesbian and gay people. Specifically, these resolutions have vigorously supported the inclusion of gays and lesbians as Reform rabbis and cantors, as well as national issues such as support for civil marriage, elimination of discrimination within the Armed Forces and the Boy Scouts, and support for explicit workplace non-discrimination and civil rights legislation. Gay, lesbian and bisexual outreach and inclusion has been of great importance to the Reform Movement in recent years. The URJ Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Inclusion, headed by the late Rabbi Julie Spitzer, herself a lesbian, created a manual called Kulanu (All of Us), the text of which is aimed at helping congregations include and welco-

characterized by an ever-widening expansion of inclusion of those who at one time were on the outside: People with disabilities. People who are poor. People without influence or pull or power. People who are women. This means that – as I understand Judaism – justice, equality and compassion are the lenses through which we decide how to act in the world.

me gay and lesbian members and families. Today, our Reform Jewish Movement is committed to working to secure full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, including the right to civil marriage.

And, that brings me to my last religious point: One of my favorite teachings in all of Judaism is the oft-repeated ethical injunction to care for the stranger because we were strangers; a reminder that our own history of oppression is supposed to make us more sensitive to others. We have been treated badly, and we have been marginalized, and we have had our rights (and our lives) suppressed. Because of that, we’re supposed to look at others who are being similarly treated and take active means to help them.

Four thousand years ago, in the time of Abraham and Sarah, wives were the property of their husbands. Marriage has changed. Four thousand years ago in the time of the Torah, our patriarchs took multiple wives. Marriage has changed. Four thousand years ago, our patriarch Jacob’s wealth was assessed by the number of sheep and wives he possessed. Marriage has changed. Until very recently in human history, people of different races, as well as people of different religions were prevented by law from marrying each other. Marriage has changed. Every religion changes over time; don’t believe otherwise. The only variable is the speed of that change. In some cases, change is very, very slow. In others, it proceeds more quickly. Written down over time during a particular period of human history, our Torah orders the sacrifice of animals on an altar, selling one’s daughter into slavery, rejecting as religious leaders anyone who limps or is deaf or blind or has some other physical challenge – or isn’t a man. It forbids men to trim the hair around their temples, anyone to wear clothing made from a mixture of fibers, encourages a community to stone a person who collects firewood on the Sabbath and prohibits touching the skin of a dead pig – which, by the way, would make it impossible for a Jew to ever pick up a football.

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In my understanding, our sacred texts are a record of our ancestors’ encounters with the Divine – as they best understood them at the time they were happening. In other words, our texts don’t only reflect God’s will, but human biases, prejudices and misunderstandings as well. They reflect the times and the communal structures out of which they emerged.

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There are two other Jewish values that I believe to be key here. They are tzedek – justice – and rachamim - compassion. As Jews we are exhorted to honor and protect the vulnerable members of our society. Over the centuries, our tradition has been

Like gender, like skin color, then, I understand sexual orientation to be part of the vast array of creation, the brilliance and majesty of our diversity.

It’s that simple. To be a Jew is to remember how terrible it feels to be powerless and oppressed, and therefore to act on behalf of the powerless and oppressed. Right now, in our society, there is probably no group which is more openly oppressed than nonstraight people. Gay rights has been called the next or last great frontier of civil rights. It’s the last group about which it’s acceptable to speak publicly about denying them basic rights, even destroying them. Yet every demographer tells the same story: the younger the group being surveyed, the stronger the support for gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular. And that means, among other things, that it won’t be long before people look back at this time and shake their heads. It means that already many of our children wonder how anyone could think that gays and lesbians don’t deserve the right to marry; it mystifies them, they just don’t get it, and they wonder how anyone could argue against that right. I am certain that someday soon we will look back at current legislative attempts to discriminate against gay people in precisely the same way we now look back at legislation that at one time forbade women to vote or black children to swim in public pools. As a person who believes that I should try my best to live my life according to the Jewish values of tzedek – justice, rachamim – compassion, and b’tzelem elohim – the belief that each one of us is equal because we are created in the image of God - I don’t see how I could possibly look at loving same-sex couples and their families and say that they are in any way whatsoever less worthy than my own.

The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 11

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

RECENT EVENTS Jewish Heritage Night Continued from page 1

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 13

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


Overcoming Disability to Parent with Pride

Oren, 37, has cerebral palsy and is a proud new dad. “My disability may be visible but I want my daughter to see my unique abilities instead. I want to teach her to be like me: to identify challenges and find solutions, to strive to achieve her goals.�

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with homework, or making their teenager feel comfortable with their limitations can be an insurmountable challenge.


In Israel, there are approximately 336,000 parents with disabilities - including physical, sensory, mental, and cognitive disabilities as well as chronic diseases - raising young children. But with the exception of a few, small, local initiatives, there have historically been no services to help them with their unique issues, until now.

The first time my 14-yearold son saw me using a cane for the blind he went completely pale with shock. That’s when I knew I needed to confront my disability and to find a way to help him deal with it too,� says Ella, 40, a working mom whose sight has been degenerating steadily for the past seven years. “Being a parent and a spouse with a visual disability presents a lot of challenges. I needed help overcoming mine.� While many parents may commiserate about the hardships of raising young children, most can happily take for granted many of their daily abilities, but for some parents with disabilities, lifting a baby out of a crib, helping a child

nal therapist and an educational counselor, the group includes parents with a wide range of sensory, physical, and mental disabilities; it is the first of its kind in Israel. “I learn a great deal from my peers because everyone shares their unique angle and offers perspective and helpful tools,� says Ella, who has been attending the course for the past three months. While Ella’s sight was degenerating, her self-confidence declined too. She felt deeply embarrassed, depressed, and alone. Joining the group helped her build her self-esteem and empowered her to address her situation with her family.

Israel Unlimited, a strategic partnership among JDC, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and the Government of Israel that aims to meet the needs of Israel’s 700,000 adults with disabilities (17.9% of the population), has developed a special new program tailored for parents with disabilities. Facilitated by an occupatio-


“The program gave me the strength to confront my disability, to ask my son, ‘how do you feel about my cane and my limitations?’ for the first time. Today my son isn’t ashamed of me an-

ymore. When his friends come over I can’t see their faces but I can talk with them without making him uncomfortable.� In addition to dealing with all the daily challenges of raising children, parents with disabilities face additional hardships including lack of support from extended families, isolation, and societal disapproval; difficulty communicating with their children; and lack of physical access to children’s daily lives and activities. Oren, 37, is a father to oneyear-old Michal and knows these issues all too well. Both Oren and his wife have cerebral palsy, so when their daughter was born, his in-laws became deeply involved, and family tensions arose quickly. Oren has a Masters in Economics and works at a medical logistics services company, but Continued on page 23

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


SYNAGOGUES CHABAD CHABAD JEWISH CENTER 2001 Church Road Toms River, NJ 08753 Rabbi Moshe Gourarie 732-349-4199 Email: Services: Fri: 6:30 PM, Sat: 9:15 AM Kiddush after morning service

Rabbi Robert B. Rubin 732-458-4700 Services: Fri: 7:15 PM, Sat: 9:15 AM CONGREGATION DOV “V” SCHMUEL 1143 West County Road Lakewood, NJ 08701 732-367-1999



CONGREGATION AHAVAT OLAM 106 Windeler Road Howell, NJ 07731 Rabbi Michael A. Klein Cantor David Amar 732-363-5190 Email: Services: Friday night 8PM Saturday morning 9AM Monday and Thursday 7:30AM Monday through Thursday 7:30PM Tot Shabbat (for youngsters) The first Friday of the month 7:30PM June, July, August - Outdoor Musical Shabbat the third Friday of the month 8PM

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CONGREGATION B'NAI ISRAEL 1488 Old Freehold Road Toms River, NJ 08753 Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields Hazzan Steven Walvick 732-349-1244 Email: Services: Mon-Fri 7:45 AM, Fri: 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 9 AM TEMPLE BETH OR 200 Van Zile Road Brick, NJ 08724

CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL 4 Ridge Avenue Lakewood, NJ 08701 Rabbi Baruch B Yoffe 732-363-9034 Friday 10 minutes before sunset

REFORM BETH AM SHALOM 1235 State Highway 70 Lakewood, NJ 08701 Rabbi Stephen D. Gold Cantor Alisa Forman 732-363-2800 Email: Worship: Erev Shabbat:1st Friday each month 7:00 PM all others 8:00 PM Select Shabbat mornings 10:00 AM (call)

CONGREGATION SHA'AREY HA-YAM 333 N. Main Street (Route 9) Manahawkin, NJ 08050 Rabbi Kim Geringer Aaron Shapiro President 609-242-2390


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TRIBUTES JUNE 2012 To Larry Hartmayer & Family

To Hillary Goldstein

In Memory of Harriet Lwow From Cynthia Seeberg

In Memory of Marvin Goldstein From Ida Peskin Wollock

To Hillary Goldstein

To Marilyn Kassenoff

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In Memory of Maurice Kassenoff From Ida Peskin Wollock

To Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Goldstein

To George Young

In Memory of Marvin Goldstein From Amy & Stuart Perlmutter

In Memory of your sister From Gloria Bitkower

To Richard Krupnick In Honor of his 50th Birthday From Leo & Mimi Ross

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 17

World ORT establishes Holocaust Education Resource Center in Bulgaria “It was particularly important for me to get ideas on how to approach this topic in an interesting and unusual way.” History teacher Nadejda Aleksieva

Project Manager Stella Dinkova (standing) addresses a teacher training seminar in Sofia.

ORT World ORT is one of three overseas agencies supported by Your Federation gift.

training seminars at which 180 teachers from across Bulgaria have shared experiences and best practice.


“During the days of socialism it was not taught for ideological reasons, because those who helped the Jews, such as the church, were out of favor with the ruling regime. When communism collapsed there was huge interest in the topic, but it was mostly debate about who the rescuers were, which led to a variety of ideological approaches. The Holocaust has no place in the curriculum not because people are against it, but because of inertia. The result is that young people in Bulgaria are poorly informed about the Holocaust,” said the project’s curriculum developer, Dr. Albena Taneva, Associate Professor in the University of Sofia’s Department of Public Admi-

orld ORT has facilitated a grass roots move by teachers in Bulgaria to plug a glaring gap in the country’s education. It has established an on-line Holocaust Education Resource Center, which acts as a repository for lesson plans and other material which teachers can access and add to help each other’s efforts to raise awareness and understanding of the Shoah among teenagers. The project, co-funded by World ORT and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, has also held

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nistration. Now with greater skills, resources and support, the teachers who participated in the World ORT project have become an effective network to advance the teaching of the Holocaust in a meaningful, thoughtprovoking and engaging way. History teacher Nadejda Aleksieva said: “It was particularly important for me to get ideas on how to approach this topic in an interesting and unusual way. Students have a general awareness of the Holocaust and think they don’t need to learn more. However, they don’t understand how deep this topic is. So I have to be able to surprise them and provoke their sensitivity.” The seminars provided not only the information and ideas that Ms. Aleksieva sought, but also offered different way to integrate them into the calendar and through special activities for the students. Bulgaria is renowned for not handing over its 50,000 Jews to Germany for extermination - the community survived the war and most of them left for Israel when the communists took power. The reality was, however, more checkered: it surrendered 11,000 Jews from annexed Macedonia and Thrace to its Nazi ally’s death camps, and it was only after a sustained and intense campaign by the public, politicians and the church, that the government decided not to do the same with its own Jewish citizens. Instead, it confined them to rural camps where they were subjected to often cruel, but not fatal, forced labor.

The completion of World ORT’s project is timely: next year is the 70th anniversary of the success of the civil campaign against the deportation of the Jews and Dr. Taneva and the teachers are already discussing how to commemorate it. “The sustainability of the project is very important to us. Next year’s anniversary is an opportunity for the network of teachers and the website to generate work. Ideas include an essay competition, locally-based research and exhibitions - events which encourage active learning,” Dr. Taneva said. Also, as Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. Department of State’s Special Envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, has noted, extremist far-right groups have entered parliaments in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland on anti-immigration and racist platforms, prompting her to declare that educating the young is a priority. Anti-Semitism in Bulgaria has yet to manifest itself in ways more serious than vandalism, inflammatory rhetoric and offensive graffiti, but Dr. Taneva is a firm believer that prevention is better than cure. “The lack of Holocaust education has created a vacuum which has the potential of being filled with extremist ideas, including from abroad,” she said. “I distributed a book to seminar participants which focused on the way the church was able to have a key role in the rescue of Jews during the war and a teacher from a religious high school, whose students go on to become priests, said it was a powerful antidote to anti-Semitic ideas that some of his students may have.” The education authorities have been Continued on page 23


18 The Jewish Journal - June 2012

24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

Huge Canaanite Jewelry Hoard Unearthed in Megiddo Conflagration at biblical Armageddon preserved gold and silver trove. By Arieh O’Sullivan The Media Line


rchaeologists digging at Tel Megiddo in northern Israel have unearthed what turns out to be one of the largest troves of Canaanite treasures ever found, buried in rubble from destruction 3,100 years ago. The treasure was hidden inside a clay vessel that had been unearthed in the summer of 2010. The pot had been filled with dirt and sent for testing. It was only recently that the dirt was examined in a

restoration laboratory and the treasure revealed to their great surprise. The hoard includes a collection of gold and silver jewelry, beads, a ring and a pair of unique gold earrings with molded ibexes and wild goats that was likely made in Egypt.

Replica of Biblical Megiddo, 1000 BCE

“We find about 10 [whole] vessels every year. The only thing that was unusual was that the jug was found inside a bowl. It was put inside a bowl 3,100 years ago and was covered by another bowl and it was put in the corner of a court yard,” archaeologist Eran Arie told The Media Line.

The hoard is one of the largest and most intriguing ever found in Israel. The treasure likely belonged to a wealthy, perhaps royal, family and was found in the layer of settlement dating to 1,100 B.C., about 150 years prior to the Israelite conquest of Canaan, Arie says. Israel Finkelstein, a professor at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, who has been digging at Megiddo for nearly two decades, says the jug was discovered in the remains of a private home in the northern part of the site. It was dated to a period called Iron I.

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The ancient city of Megiddo lies on the western border of the Jezreel Valley and had dozens of layers of civilization. It is mentioned repeatedly in Egyptian chronicles and was a major city during the era of the biblical Jewish kings. Christian prophecy holds that it is Armageddon, the site of the final battle between good and evil.

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It’s another fascinating find from a unique archaeological site. Tel Megiddo was an important Canaanite city-state until the early 10th century B.C.E. and a pivotal center of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the following centuries. It is a multilayered site comprising clearly differentiated time periods.

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Gold earrings, beads and ring

in the making of Egyptian jewelry in the same period. It also contained a number of silver jewelry pieces. Arie was supervising the area where the jug was found. He says the layer his team was excavating had gone through a conflagration, or destruction, perhaps connected to the treasure. “Maybe somebody knew that the family had this kind of hoard and they were looking for it and when they didn’t find it they set it all on fire,” Arie speculates. “It was not hidden under the floor, but on the floor. So the people didn’t know that they were going to perish. It was probably hidden by some kind of organic material, sacks, textile, leaves something that we didn’t find.” He says an examination of the jewelry showed that some of it had originated from a different period. “Probably part of it was stolen or robbed from an earlier strata. Or some of it may have been heirloom,” he says. “What was unique in this hoard is that it contained gold and silver jewelry together. This is the exact period when the Egyptians were no longer here,” he adds. At the time this was going on Israelites began to appear in the central mountains and Philistines in the coastal plane, but Megiddo remained a strong Canaanite city well into the Israelite period. Arie says the source of the silver was to the north, while the gold came from Egypt in the south. The mixture of the silver and gold jewelry can be seen as evidence of the waning Egyptian influence on the area.

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The hoard contained nine pairs of lunette [moon-shaped] earrings of common Canaanite origin made out of gold and a gold ring with a seal. There were also over one thousand beads made from semi-precious carnelian, which was frequently used

“The hoard itself showed that they knew of and still appreciated the Egyptian style,” he says.


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In this time period there are 10 or 11 strata well-dated through radiocarbon analysis. “Such a sequence of radiocarbon dates doesn’t exist anywhere else in the region,” says Finkelstein.

Excavations at Megiddo resumed this month.

The Jewish Journal - June 2012 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz


Israel is a world leader in agro-technology. A big reason for this is the country’s shortage of water and arable land, which has led to the development of methods, technologies and products that address these challenges.

Agritech 2012: MFA promotes Israeli agriculture worldwide Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs


he agricultural exhibition, Agritech 2012, took place in Tel Aviv from May 15-17. Prominent figures from abroad were among the thousands that visited the exhibition, which showcased innovations, developments and inventions in the fields of agriculture and related technologies. Israel is a world leader in agro-technology. A big reason for this is the country’s shortage of water and arable land, which has led to the development of methods, technologies and products that address these challenges. A significant proportion of scientific research in Israel focuses on agrotechnology, providing the foundation for start-up companies in this field.

Agritech 2012 offered a window through which the Israeli agro-technology industry may be viewed close up. This was the 18th Agritech exhibition, which is held every three years. The main subjects for this year’s exhibition included irrigation, water management, greenhouses, and the dairy industry. For the first time, one of the pavilions was dedicated to agricultural innovation and displayed Israeli innovations and developments in the field. Agritech has become a tradition for farmers as well as decision-makers in the field of agriculture. At the 2009 Agritech exhibition, about 4,200 visitors came from all over the world. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which sees as one of its primary goals the promotion of Israel’s economy through its envoys abroad and its staff at the home office, played a major part in Agritech 2012. In keeping with its slogan, “diplomacy in the service of the Israeli economy,” the Foreign Ministry took care of the foreign VIP visitors, including a prime minister, ministers of agriculture, and other government ministers whose jobs are connected to agriculture in some way. During the exhibition, MASHAV convened a forum for visiting ministers titled, “Global challenges in agriculture.” In addition, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon represented the Foreign Ministry

at the opening ceremony, which took place at the Tel Aviv Trade Fairs and Convention Center on Tuesday, May 15, and met with senior officials from abroad who came to see the exhibition.


The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

A new heart from old skin An Israeli team has made medical history with its ability to transform skin stem cells from heart-disease patients into healthy heart tissue. By Karin Kloosterman ISRAEL21c


e still your beating hearts: Making medical history, scientists from Israel have been able to transform human stem cells from older diseased patients into brandnew, healthy, beating heart tissue.

lop out of control and become tumors.

This could mean that heart disease might someday be repaired by using cells from a person’s own body, eliminating the need for risky surgical implants and transplants.

“The tissue was behaving like a tiny microscopic cardiac tissue composed of approximately 1,000 cells in each beating area.”

Using stem-cell technology, TechnionIsrael Institute of Technology researchers from Haifa showed that their lab-produced cardiac muscle cells are also capable of merging into existing heart muscles. The news is causing a media sensation around the globe.

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“The good thing about it is that the research has increased public awareness to science that Israel isn’t only portrayed with hostility, but that it’s a country bringing good news for the world,” Prof. Lior Gepstein, head researcher in the advance, tells ISRAEL21c.

A decade from clinical trials the.joyous.occasions.and.the.sad.ones.! The life cycle events that contribute to our family’s pleasures and sorrows will be listed as a courtesy to all who wish to make an event known. Send it : by e-mail: by mail: P.o. Box 1082 Jackson, NJ 08527

It will take five to 10 years before this basic science can get to the point of clinical trials, Gepstein emphasizes. People with advanced heart disease today might never benefit from the research, published in the current issue of the European Heart Journal. The advance is more likely to be applicable to people who are now 30 years old and younger. Still, the breakthrough is monumental. “What is new and exciting about our research is that we have shown that it’s possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young - the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born,” says Gepstein. Skin cells from patients aged 51 and 61 were transformed into healthy heart muscle cells by adding to the cell nucleus three genes and valpoic acid, a small molecule. Gepstein’s team avoided a transcription factor typically used in creating stem cells because it’s thought to cause cells to deve-

The new heart muscle cells, cardiomyocytes, grew in a lab dish with existing heart tissues, and within 24 to 48 hours both kinds of tissue were beating together as one.

This culture was then implanted into the hearts of healthy rats, where it connected well to the existing cardiac muscle.

An empire of stem-cell research

Over the last decade, Israel has created what Gepstein calls an “empire” in stemcell research, with nodes of highly focused research taking place at the country’s best research institutes. He focuses on the heart, but there are labs concentrating on diabetes, Parkinson’s disease or on repairing nerve damage. Israeli scientists today use pluripotent stem cells, which come from skin or blood samples. Cultivating stem cells this way circumvents ethical considerations of embryonic stem-cell research, and also guarantees that patients wouldn’t need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives, since the progenitor cells originate from the patients’ own bodies. The early pioneering work, such as that of Benjamin Rubinoff at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, was done with embryonic stem cells. Of the world’s first 10 scientific papers dealing with human embryonic stem cells, nearly all were authored in Israel. Gepstein explains that Israel never faced the ethical challenges in embryonic stemcell research that plague most US states. That’s because in Jewish law, an embryo is not considered human until 40 days after conception. Using younger embryos therefore doesn’t raise ethical problems, and Israel was free to move ahead in the field. Today, Israelis excel at maintaining pluripotent stem-cell cultures, growing them and coaxing them into new cell types, Gepstein says.

The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 21

Food for Thought

Cream Cheese


ream cheese is made from cream that has been dried so that it can be cut with a knife. Cream cheese may have its roots as far back as 9000 B.C.E., when nomadic tribes discovered that the milk they transported would first sour and then separate, through evaporation, leaving a dried curd. A type of cream cheese was first enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans and then by the Europeans. But it was not until the late nineteenth century that cream cheese as we know it today was first manufactured in this country, in upstate New York. In 1872 dairyman William A. Lawrence set out to duplicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Within a decade, his methods of production were acquired by C. D. Reynolds, who purchased the Empire Cheese Company. The name Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese was arrived at simply because that city was synonymous with high-quality foods. Kraft Cheese Company entered the cream cheese market in 1924, patenting a method to extend the shelf life from two weeks to four months through pasteurization. With this development, cheesecake made with cream cheese was born. This dry, easily spread curd has since become the “schemer” we enjoy on bagels today.

Article courtesy of America’s Great Delis: Recipes and Traditions from Coast to Coast By Sheryll Bellman Published by Sellers Publishing, Inc.

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

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Sisterhood Shalom Party and . Installation of Officers Tuesday, June 12 7:30 PM

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CBI Board Installation Friday, June 15 7:30 PM

Shabbat Musical Service

Featuring the CBI Klezmer Band Friday, July 6 7:30 PM

Continued from page 4

Asia tsunami in 2004 and more than $1 million for relief work in Japan. Federations also contributed to JDC’s Haiti earthquake relief, which topped $8 million, and raised $2.7 million to help Israel recover from the Carmel Forest Fire, the worst such disaster in the country’s history. At JFNA, we believe that in order to further develop and strengthen the idea of Jewish Peoplehood around the world, we must invest not only in North American Jewry, but in global Jewish life. By solidifying our commitment to Jewish Peoplehood, we take one more step forward in ensuring that future generations will be willing and able to carry on the fundamental values of the Jewish people. Rebecca Caspi is SVP of Israel & Overseas/Director General, JFNA Israel and Lisa Friedman is an Intern at JFNA Israel.

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Mania Warshaw (nee Mlynarski), 94, of Lakewood, passed away on May 17, 2012. Mrs. Warshaw, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Poland and lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Freehold, N.J. before moving to Lakewood. She was a founding member of Congregation Dov V Shmuel and a member of Congregation Sons of Israel both in Lakewood. Mrs. Warshaw was an active member of Hadassah and volunteered for Bezalel Hebrew Day School.

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She owned and operated the 3 M Poultry Farm in Freehold with her late husband Morris and her late brother-in-law Maier before her retirement. She was predeceased by her husband Morris in 1991. Mrs. Warshaw is survived by her son David and his wife Trish of South Burlington, VT, and a daughter Sylvia Cohen and her husband Howard of Westfield, N.J. She also leaves behind 4 grandchildren Michael, Jonathan, Zachary and Alexandra and 2 greatgrandchildren Madeline and Charlotte. The funeral service was held on May 20 at Belkoff Goldstein Funeral Chapel in Lakewood. Interment followed at Freehold Hebrew Benefit Society Cemetery. Memorial donations in Mrs. Warshaw’s memory can be directed to Hadassah or Congregation Sons of Israel, Lakewood, N.J.

CORRECTION In our May 2012 issue, on page 6 we mentioned The Four Seasons Country Club is located in Jackson, when in fact it is in Lakewood. The Jewish Journal willingly corrects its factual mistakes. If you think we have made an error please send us an e-mail to:

The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz 23

Overcoming Disability

Holocaust Education Resource Center

Continued from page 15

Continued from page 17

convincing his in-laws that he could parent independently has been difficult nonetheless. He came to the course to enrich his parenting know-how and to learn how to address his challenges with the extended family. “I got the tools I needed to look at my situation in a new way and to find ways to emphasize my abilities rather than my disability,” shares Oren. I learned how to communicate with my wife and in-laws more clearly, to reduce disputes, and conflict in my

family. I am grateful to JDC for this course.” Israel Unlimited is forming three more groups similar this year, including a special course for parents with cognitive disabilities. “Our society needs to know that people with disabilities are like everyone else,” says Oren. “Despite our physical limitations we have other abilities, and discovering that will not only improve our lives, but also strengthen Israeli society.”

very supportive of the project and Dr. Taneva and her colleagues plan to build on these good relations with a view to establishing the Holocaust as a part of the national curriculum. They can expect a sympathetic hearing if Vanya Kastreva, the head of the Regional Education Inspectorate for Sofia, is anything to go by. In a recent letter to ORT Bulgaria President, Emil Kalo, Mr. Kastreva wrote: “The project has contributed not only to the improvement of the qualifications of

the history and philosophy teachers in Sofia, but also has given us all a real lesson in civic education with respects to national dignity, historical responsibility and tolerance.”

most as if it hadn’t happened. It’s very important that we start with the teachers because there’s a multiplier effect: each teacher educates hundreds of students,” Dr. Kalo said.

ORT Bulgaria President, Dr. Emil Kalo, said he was very happy that the Claims Conference had supported the project.

He added: “This is an opportunity to examine the anti-humanity face of the war because the Holocaust is a very important part of this. Many people died on all sides of the fighting, but there was one people which was the ‘universal victim’.”

“For 50 years, the history of that era was all about the Soviet role in the war and about the communist-led resistance. The word ‘Holocaust’ doesn’t appear in any school text books; it’s al-

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The Jewish Journal - June 2012 - 24 Sivan - 26 Tammuz

JUNE 2012  

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