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Celebrating Jewish Life in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Israel and the World FEDERATION NEWS

Serving our community for over 40 years! Published by The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

July 2012 - Tammuz/Av 5772 INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

7A Community Focus 11A Jewish Interest 15A Commentary 17A Israel & the Jewish World 21A Focus on Youth 23A Life Cycle 1B Jewish Happenings 6B Recent Events

2A 27 college scholarships awarded to local students

4A Interfaith Leadership Mission to Israel – Hope for a better tomorrow


Volume 42, Number 7

March of the Living 2012: My journal By Julianne Simson


knew that it was my responsibility to attend March of the Living, but I did not know if I could emotionally handle such a trip. I did not know how I was supposed to think of this trip, but after hearing the amazing testimonies of past participants, I decided to give this trip a try. I am extremely passionate about genocide awareness and prevention, and as a lighthearted individual, I decided to put courage in my heart and be a Marcher. Of course, I was beMarch of the Living participants in Rosh HaNikrah (Julianne is second from right) yond excited to be selected to attend, but it was not until my pre-March classes that I truly traveling through Poland that, unlike books or movdeveloped my reason for going on this trip. ies that can carry the emotions of the Holocaust, had Dr. Helen Fagin is a Holocaust survivor who has the ability to truly capture the essence, moment by become a renowned leader and educator, and I had moment, of my experiences in Holocaust-ridden Pothe privilege of speaking with her. She told my March land. Although there is so much I could say, I would group of her experience as a teacher and how she like to share just a few entries that really highlighted would show Holocaust videos to her students. She the impact of this trip: said that when they would close their eyes or look Welcome to Poland, where no one speaks Engaway, she would stop the movie, turn on the lights, lish but they have a KFC. and say, “If I could survive this, you can watch it.” ~~~ That was the day I discovered my purpose and found There are about 40 people per bus and there all the strength I never knew I had to go on this March were two other buses with us there at the time. and become a true witness of the Holocaust. We went into a real boxcar. Although it was overAs survivors dwindle and deniers still exist, it crowded, it wasn’t jam-packed as described. There is up to me to express the captured moments of the continued on page 3A Holocaust that I gained on my trip. I kept a journal

Domestic Granting Committee approves $75,000 in local grants

TBS Schools – 2012 Gulf Coast League Tennis Champions!

Staff Report

T 8B Mazel Tov to Rabbi Dan and Rachel Krimsky on the birth of their son

A publication of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Klingenstein Jewish Center, 580 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota, FL 34232 Annual voluntary subscription: $25

he Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has a clear and concise vision – a vibrant Jewish community. We also have developed a simple and repeatable mission, “To save Jewish lives and enhance Jewish life in Sarasota-Manatee, in Israel and around the world.” A number of years ago, our Federation moved away from a traditional model of allocating funds to agencies not specifically earmarked for particular programs and activities. In its place, we developed two committees that handle the suggested disbursements of donor dollars in an effective, transparent and fiduciary manner. There is one committee designed to disburse funds domestically and another committee that handles Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID MANASOTA FL PERMIT 167

Israel and overseas disbursements. The results can be downright exciting and invigorating. According to Dan Miller, who just completed his first year as Chair of the Domestic Granting Committee, “I am very proud of what our committee accomplished this past year. We rebuilt the committee, got up to speed with technology, and expanded our purview beyond Sarasota-Manatee to look for funding opportunities throughout North America.” Marty Haberer, Associate Executive Director of the Federation, who staffs the committee, said, “Spending donor dollars is daunting and it is a responsibility each of our committee members takes

continued on page 4A



July 2012

Legacies live on By Jessica Katz n the final installment of our endowment highlights, we want to again recognize all those who have been a part of this series: Barbara Ackerman, Donald and Barbara Bernstein, Gershom Cohn, Ellen Fedder, Jacqueline Siegel-Frascella, Bea Friedman, Leonard and Helen Glaser, Herbert and Rita Gold*, Dr. Joshua and Julie Green, Robert and Esther Heller, Lisa Kates, Jerry Lavin*, Robert Michelson, Margaret Nadler, Irene Ross, Faye Sandler, Barbara Saphier, Herbert* and Betty Schiff, Betty Schoenbaum, Samuel and Sally Shapiro, Susan Shimelman, Lois Stulberg, Bruce and Naomi Wertheimer, and Marvin Wolf. These philanthropists have made huge impacts in our local and worldwide Jewish community and now it is your turn. * of blessed memory Your presence is needed. For your family. For your community. For Israel. For the Jewish people. A planned gift to your Jewish community enables you to be present forever. Whether your gift


is used to provide for the needs of the Jewish poor, to assist the elderly, to rescue Jews in need around the world, or to fight anti-Semitism – no matter where or when in the future – you can be there to help. It can strengthen Jewish identity, preserve our culture and heritage, and protect the State of Israel. Your bequest or other planned gift will keep our Jewish community strong for generations. It’s an expression of your trust in future community leaders; a way for you to be there whenever help is needed. You can be the difference. For decades, hundreds of donors and their financial advisors have entrusted The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee to be their partner in their thoughtful planning of Jewish philanthropy and management of charitable assets. Learn more about our commitment to you by contacting Marty Haberer at or 941.371.4546 x108.

27 college scholarships awarded to local students By Jessica Katz

n Wednesday, May 16, the Federation’s College Scholarship Committee hosted its annual College Scholarship Award Dessert Reception during which students were presented with their scholarship awards. Eighty guests, including the award recipients, their families and fundholders, were in attendance for this special evening. Twenty-seven local Jewish students either going off to college for the first time or current college students were awarded close to $57,000 in college scholarships. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of donors who have left endowment funds for scholarships.


Executive Director of Suncoast Hillels. Mrs. Robbins provided insight into the college application process and Rabbi Rosenthal spoke about Jewish life on campus. College Night 2012 will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. Applications for the 2013-14 academic year will be available on the Sarasota County’s “Sarasota Scholarship Scene” in late October and also on the Federation’s website. Applicants are encouraged to file their taxes early (tax returns are required with the application) to meet the application deadline. Federation college scholarships are need (not merit) based. It often means the difference between going to college

We are pleased to present Part 4 of our Endowments feature. We are so proud to highlight those in our community who have already decided to leave a legacy.

Gershom Cohn Any foundation gift that leaves the income to a worthwhile charity in perpetuity is a “mitzvah.” A greater “mitzvah” is when a Jewish person leaves this gift to the Jewish Federation. It is the overall umbrella for all Jewish organizations and it has strong ties to Israel.

Barbara Saphier I feel very strongly about my endowment because it will allow Federation to continue to do its work. It will perpetuate my gift for future generations. I think that it is important to set an example for others.

Betty Schoenbaum I left an endowment so that the benefits of my philanthropy can continue in perpetuity. I want to be able to provide services for people as long as they need it. I derive much personal satisfaction in leaving an endowment for an organization for the simple reason that I feel very much a part of it. I feel that it is important for Jews to help each other and to be there for each other because no one else will. Tzedakah is part of the Jewish religion and I feel that it is important to set an example for my fellow Jews.

Marvin Wolf I believe in Jewish continuity! To achieve this, we must never forget our past; we must attend to the present needs of our worldwide community; we must reinforce our traditions. A strong Jewish presence will be the bridge to the continuance of a Jewish future. This is why I support Federation today and why I gave a legacy gift for our future.

Lois Stulberg I believe that each person can make a difference – a difference for their own lives and for others. Supporting our Federation, especially our programs in Israel, is my way of making a difference. I am very grateful for the opportunity to help our Jewish people here in Sarasota, in Israel and around the world. I feel that my legacy to my children and grandchildren is the idea of embracing the importance of philanthropic responsibility of sharing our good fortune with meaningful causes like our federation. Each of us can make a difference, now and for years to come.

College Scholarship committee, recipients and fund holders

Terry Blumenstein, Chair of the College Scholarship Committee, welcomed everyone and explained the long and arduous process that each applicant goes through when applying. He said, “The committee knows that every scholarship makes a difference. For the scholarship awardees, make the most of it. You are being supported by friends and family, the Jewish community and The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatee.” Nelle Miller, President of the Federation’s Board of Directors, also spoke at the reception. She was happy to see how many wonderful and deserving students were able to receive scholarships from the Federation. Tali Cohen, a second-year recipient of the Ned F. Sinder Scholarship, spoke about how this scholarship has had a great impact on her college experience. She hopes to be able to give back in the future as much as she has received. Last fall, the College Scholarship Committee sponsored College Night, “Navigating the College Application Process,” featuring college counselor Jane Robbins and Rabbi Ed Rosenthal,

or not, or holding one or two jobs while attending school. The 2012 recipients are: Guy Bean, Tali Cohen, Valerie Daniel, Vincent Giura, David Goodless, Rachel Guttman, Laura Henry, Dana Kulbersh, Flana Levando, Melody Mishkin, Jesare Morano, Nicholas Pasternack, Erica Pead, Eli Pintchuck, Daniel Schein, Rebecca Schild, Nicole Shebroe, Samuel Silverberg, Julianne Simson, Lauren Singer, Sarah Jane Singer, Maxwell Harrison Strauss, Sarah Tedesco, Hannah Tishman, Leo Tuck, Erin Weinberger and Jessica Zimmerman. Members of Federation’s College Scholarship Committee are Terry Blumenstein, Chair, Robert Antovel, William Behrenfeld, Thomas Bernstein, Bernard Isaacs, Jane Robbins, Betty Schoenbaum, Jacqueline SiegelFrascella and Geri Yonover. For more information about the Federation’s college scholarship program, visit the teens and students section of our website at college.aspx or call 941.371.4546.

ct e l E Campaign to Elect Jennifer Cohen Sarasota Board of County Commissioners, District 3 1181 S. Sumter Blvd. # 111 North Port, FL 34287 Phone: 941.467.2549 Email: Sarasota County Commissioner - District 3 Paid for and approved by the campaign to elect Jennifer Cohen, Democrat, Sarasota County Commissioner, District 3


July 2012


March of the Living...continued from page 1A were Jews everywhere in this car – just like in the ’40s. There was a sign on the boxcar – “Caution: For safety, this has a 20 person maximum.” How ironic. I saw a survivor and I asked if I could hold her hand. Her name is Heni. She was so sweet and as soon as I touched her, we both started crying. It made me realize that we both equally need each other on this trip. Although she has obviously been to Poland before, this is our first March. I felt her start shaking when a survivor in the car started talking about his experience in the car and how death was ingrained in the train; the Nazis never cleaned out the limbs or excretions. How dehumanizing. While the leader was talking about the optional prayer service the teens could attend in the car, Heni asked, “Where was God during the Holocaust?” I wanted to answer her and give her strength but all I could say was, “I don’t know.” One of the survivors was talking about how he had to be in a boxcar four times, first at age 13. He explained that the boxcar was a symbol of the destruction of our people and dehumanization. I asked for the survivor to just stay with me and we held each other during the prayers. I felt that I needed to be there and pray. I realized that we have prayer as a form of unity and strength of the Jewish people. Thus, it was so important to pray while in the boxcar, to show the comparison of strength versus weakness. ~~~ As we approached the Auschwitz museum’s parking lot, I saw two hotels and a burger and ice cream restaurant...then noticed a bunch of buses across the street. This was Auschwitz. I cannot begin to describe how furious I was. People are eating ice cream and burgers at a cheap hotel across the street from Auschwitz, the site of millions of deaths! ~~~ I found death when I visited Treblinka...and found a tooth. It came from a real person. I have evidence of the Holocaust. Shame on those madmen of this world who deny the Holocaust! What more proof do you want? Peeking out of a mass grave is a fragment of a once living human being. And shame on Hitler and his followers for thinking that they could hide their evidence by destroying Treblinka, because this screams the truth. ~~~ I stand here in a forest similar to the one I saw in the movie Defiance and cry as I write this. In front of me is a weedy area squared in by a fence

with yahrtzeit candles and Israeli flags. I came here from walking down a long path with my friend Erica, from what used to be an old Jewish shtetl named Tichokyn. Before this, we spent time in a beautiful synagogue with the Jewish prayers painted on the walls. It was built in the 1500s and was the center of the 1,800-person Jewish community. I learned of a man who survived the Holocaust on the mere thought of coming back to this synagogue, only to find it trashed and without a Torah. When he saw orphaned children walk in, though, he screamed “Am Yisrael Chai! There will be a Jewish future!” After hearing this story, all of the boys and girls sang, danced, laughed, and brought so much life to this temple. Now we are standing in this forest where all of the inhabitants of this beautiful community were mass murdered. On August 21, 1944, they were awakened early in the morning, just like me, except without a wake-up call, or breakfast, or prayer service, but by Nazi guards and dogs dragging them from their house. The Jews were either forced into a car or to walk the same path my bus took me from the temple to this forest to this weedy area. This weedy area, however, was not as it looks now; it was a huge pit. Men to the left, women to the right, the Nazis shot the 1,800 Jews from that town and 200 from surrounding areas, 12 at a time. It took three days. The Jews did not get a burial stone for each person; they screamed and fell into a massive grave, where now weeds have grown over the thousands of Jews, where I am standing. One woman tried running away with her baby, but a soldier chased her, grabbed her, threw her baby at a tree, killing it immediately, and shooting her right away. These are the types of horrors that took place in hundreds of towns in Europe during the Shoah. Hitler wrote in his will and testament that upon his death, his followers would make the world “Jew-free.” Luckily, this dream died with this man, or else I would not be alive today. If my family waited another generation to move to America, we would not exist. And as I write this with tears running down my cheeks, in the presence of thousands of dead people, I understand why it’s important to come and see what happened. It is not enough to watch a movie or read a book. One cannot truly understand what happened until they see and touch and smell the last evidence, as survivors dwindle. And as I light a candle for the Jews that died here, a candle so common in the Jewish religion, I have no prayer besides

the tears running down my face. That is enough, I feel. I said Kaddish for the innocent people who were brutally murdered not only in this massive grave, but all over Europe. As I light my candle and start to cry, I notice the same thing hapJulianne Simson and Orna Nissan in Latrun, Israel pening to my friends around me. And as I watch my candle burn out important to me. I held Heni’s hand the as I write, I hope that the existence of whole way from each camp and heard hate and genocide will extinguish, like her stories. During the service, I got my candle. That my tears actually mean to make friends and trade objects with something for all of the families who teens from around the world (and got to practice my Spanish). I even made never had a chance to survive. Today I celebrated in a beautiful non-Jewish friends, like Muslims and temple, just like those in the pits once Christians from Austria, who were here did. They never were able to return to because they understand that the Holotheir temple. But I have the ability to re- caust was not just a Jewish problem, but turn, to leave the forest, and to continue a humanitarian problem. Today was one of the most exciting days of my life. to be a Jew. ~~~ ~~~ In short, this trip was nothing Today I went on the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau. less than absolutely amazing and lifeAlthough two days previous I was at changing. Every Jewish teen – and honthese camps in mourning and in discom- estly, non-Jewish teens, too – NEED to attend this trip. It is just that important. fort, today I am here in celebration. Today is Yom HaShoah, a day usu- I had the time of my life, and going on ally filled with grief. Even though I am this trip is my proudest decision yet. Many thanks to Orna Nissan and at the places that were the source of all the grief, I can only feel life and cel- The Jewish Federation of Sarasotaebration. I am here at these camps with Manatee for allowing me to be part of thousands of other Jews, proving Hit- this amazing mission. To learn more about the March of ler wrong. We are excited to meet each other, from all over the world, with so the Living mission, contact Orna Nissan at 941.371.4564 x104 or onissan@ many different languages. Today, I walked for something


Grassroots Your Gift Makes the difference! Or cOntact MartY haberer at 941.371.4546 ext. 108

A wonderful donor has offered a matching grant of $50,000, contingent upon us raising new gifts and gift increases of at least $100 dollars totaling $50,000! You can be part of operation Grassroots for less than $2 a week - you can help us accomplish two things: access a $50,000 challenge grant and make Federation history!

Yahrtzeit candles and Israeli flags in the forest of Tichokyn



July 2012

Interfaith Leadership Mission to Israel – Hope for a better tomorrow By Rabbi Howard A. Simon, Chair of The Robert and Esther Heller Israel Advocacy Initiative


t started as a dream. Can we reach where Jews, Arabs and Christians lived out to leaders of non-Jewish reli- together, worked together and went to gious groups, interest them in getting school together. Howard and I wanted to know one another, consider working the group to see the real Israel, not what together on community projects, and is read about in newspapers or debated coming to understand the on CNN or Fox News. needs of each group? How We wanted them to see would it be best to accomthe real Israel where peoplish such a goal? How ple live their lives, raise could we find the necessary their children and pray time to spend together, talk for peace in their land together and truly come to and all of the countries know one another? The ansurrounding them. swer? An Interfaith LeaderWe went to the Daship Mission to Israel. vid Center for ProgresYour Jewish Federation sive Judaism and heard has been devoting a great about programs devoted deal of time and energy outto developing coexisRabbi Howard A. Simon reaching to our non-Jewish tence between the Israeli community. We want to know each Jewish and the Israeli Arab residents of other. We want to work together. We Jaffa. We talked to leaders of the Arab, want to better understand diverse reac- Christian and Jewish communities who tions to what is happening in the Middle told of the challenge confronting them, East, in general, and in Israel, in par- and their determination to succeed in ticular. To do that we knew we had to creating harmony and understanding. make precious time to share totally and We went to the Hand In Hand completely with one another. A mission School in Jerusalem and spoke with to Israel would, we hoped, do this and two eighth grade children – one Arab, ever so much more. one Jewish – about how they felt sharOn April 22, nineteen leaders of ing the same classroom, being taught by our non-Jewish community, joined both Arab and Jewish teachers. Their Federation Executive Director How- answer: “We come to know each other ard Tevlowitz and me on a plane bound and respect each other.” This school is for Israel and ten days of touring Jew- devoted to this goal, achieving results ish and Christian sites, as well as areas that give one hope for a better tomor-

The group at Baha’i Gardens in Israel

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row. It isn’t easy, but thanks to the dedi- formed a bond of friendship, of trust cation of Jewish and Arab parents, it and of love. We made the dream a reis happening in Jerusalem and in two ality and now we will build upon that other schools where Hand In Hand reality as we reach out to one another creates understanding and appreciation on behalf of others and ourselves. For for one and all. each of us, Israel lives in our hearts and We celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut in souls. Israel has inspired us to be more, Kiryat Yam. We prayed at the Western to do more, to care more. What does it Wall. We prayed before the statue of all mean for us and for others? Have the Mary. We walked the Via Dolorosa. We nerve, have the faith to dream dreams went through the Rabbinical Tunnels. for a better tomorrow, and be willing to What did we learn? We are of diverse devote the time and effort to make them faiths, but we share a mutual respect for come true. one another, for our beliefs and our ide- To learn about how you can get involved als. We found so much to share. We ate with the Heller IAI, please visit www. together, journeyed on our bus together, or contact Kim Mullins at visited all of Israel together and, best or 941.371.4546 of all, we became friends who did not x103. want to see this relationship end upon our return to Sarasota. We have plans to talk more about what we can do together on behalf of our community and our world. We have set dates for further meetings where we will apply what we learned in Israel to our lives here at home. We The group prayed at the Western Wall

local grants...continued from page 1A very seriously. We were asked to consider hundreds of thousands of dollars in requests and had to make difficult choices in order to spend the $75,000 that was made available to us with as much impact and at the lowest cost possible.” Said committee member Dr. Robert Katz, “It has been an honor to work with our group of volunteers. The ability to participate in making decisions that can help to grow ‘Jewish Community’ has truly been a privilege. This was really a rewarding experience and I look forward to the future of our community.” Special thanks to our Domestic Granting Committee participants. They are: Dan Miller, Chair, Fran Braverman, Jason Collier, Dr. Robert Katz, Gisele Pintchuck, Joey Schlossberg and Lois Stulberg.

After hours of deliberation and homework, the committee made its recommendations and presented them to the Federation Board of Directors for final approval. This year’s recommendations were voted on at the May Federation Board of Directors meeting. The grants that were approved are listed below. In order to be considered for a grant, an organization must complete a grant application and fulfill specific qualifications. Moving forward, all requests will be considered and granted semi-annually online at Please visit the site anytime for further information. Please contact Marty Haberer at the Federation with any questions at 941.371.4546 x108 or mhaberer@

Organization Name/Program Grant Amount Chabad Jewish Center at the University of South Florida $3,500 The Shabbat Experience at USF Chabad Lubavitch of Sarasota & Manatee Counties $8,500 * Lag B’Omer Family Celebration ($3,500) * Chanukah Celebration at Five Points Park ($5,000) Chabad of Venice and North Port $6,000 Jewish Online School Hillel Jewish Center at the University of South Florida $3,500 The Shabbat Experience at USF Hillels of the Florida Suncoast $12,500 * Ringling College Hillel Judaic Art Scholarship Competition and Exhibition * Shabbat, Holidays and more at New College and Ringling College Jewish Family & Children’s Service $22,000 Jewish Financial Assistant and Holocaust Survivor Case Manager The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee $5,000 Young Adult Division Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Housing Council $12,000 It’s Never Too Late program Temple Emanu-El $2,000 Interfaith Family Chanukah Party


July 2012


Federation to launch the Shapiro Teen Engagement Program (STEP) Established 1971

PUBLISHER The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Klingenstein Jewish Center 580 McIntosh Road Sarasota, FL 34232-1959 Phone: 941.371.4546 Fax: 941.378.2947 E-mail: Website: Published Monthly Volume 42, Number 7 July 2012 32 pages in two sections USPS Permit No. 167 August 2012 Issue Deadlines: Editorial: June 29, 2012 Advertising: July 2, 2012 PRESIDENT Nelle Miller EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Howard Tevlowitz ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Marty Haberer COMMUNICATIONS CO-CHAIRS David Gruber, Linda Lipson MANAGING EDITOR Ted Epstein CREATIVE MANAGER Christopher Alexander ADVERTISING SALES Robin Leonardi PROOFREADERS Adeline Silverman, Stacey Edelman JOSEPH J. EDLIN JOURNALISM INTERN Haven Miller MISSION STATEMENT: The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee strives to be the source of news and features of special interest to the Jewish community of Sarasota-Manatee, to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions in the Jewish community, and to communicate the mission, activities and achievements of the Federation and its Jewish community partners. OPINIONS printed in The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee do not necessarily reflect those of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, its Board of Directors or staff. SUBMISSIONS to The Jewish News are subject to editing for space and content, and may be withheld from publication without prior notice. Approval of submissions for publication in either verbal or written form shall always be considered tentative, and does not imply a guarantee of any kind. Submissions must be sent electronically to LETTERS to the editor should not exceed 300 words, must be typed, and include the writer’s name, mailing address and phone number. Letters can be submitted via snail mail or e-mail ( Not all letters will be published. Letters may be edited for length and content. ADVERTISING: Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisement and may require the words “Paid Advertisement” in any ad. Publication of advertisements does not constitute endorsement of products, services or ideas promoted therein.

Member publication:

By Arianna Robbins


omething new is on the horizon for young Jews in Sarasota. The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatee has developed the innovative Shapiro Teen Engagement Program (STEP), designed to address the unique needs of our community and the teenage demographic. The concept targets the Sarasota-Manatee area’s specific Arianna Robbins issues regarding teen and family engagement and Jewish affiliation, and targets teens in a fresh and dynamic way. Synagogue affiliation rates are declining nationwide, and Sarasota is no exception. Eighty percent of our community’s Jews are unaffiliated. In the last six years, religious school enrollment at local synagogues has declined overall in Sarasota and Manatee counties by approximately twenty percent. Volunteerism and financial giving to Jewish community organizations are also down in our area. The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatee views these trends with grave concern and thus seeks a new avenue to build and strengthen Jewish identity and engagement locally. According to Howard Tevlowitz, Federation Executive Director, “The only way to engage the next generation is to reach out.” The Federation specifically targeted a key demographic: teens and pre-teens. These young people, on the verge or in the wake of their B’nai Mitzvah – their official entrance to adult Jewish life – are at a uniquely influential point in their lives. Their Jewish identities are intensely malleable and are formed through their high school and college years. Any programmatic response to this trend of declining Jewish engagement has to be affordable, accessible, individualized, and integrated with existing opportunities for Jewish teens in the community. It also has to meet teen interests in the secular world in order to continue to appeal to them throughout their middle and high school years. It is from both recognition of this community’s unique needs and this framework of program requirements that the Shapiro Teen Engagement Program was born. STEP is not a new Federation program. It is not a new religious school. It is a “concierge approach” – an individualized model that guides teens and their families through existing and developing programs in our community and beyond, and creates experiences colored and shaped by Judaism, yet utterly applicable to their interests and lives. Previously, a Sarasota-Manatee Jewish teen had to choose among many programs, provided by the Federation and other organizations, without any guidance or individualization. Through

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STEP, a “Jewish Engagement Guide,” a sort of Jewish guidance counselor, will work with the teen and his or her family to create a roadmap of programs and opportunities that takes the young person all the way from 6th to 12th grade, and beyond, if desired, to a possible Gap Year. For example, a teenager would approach the Jewish Engagement Guide (JEG) and explain his or her existing interests, commitments and time availability. The JEG would discuss these parameters with the teen’s family, and would then draw up a multi-year Individual Engagement Plan. The plan would take advantage of the Federation’s available programs, including Israel advocacy programs in Washington, mitzvah outreach programs thoughout Sarasota, and the Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors trip to Israel. Teens will also be able to engage in Holocaust education and anti-Semitism awareness programs locally, nationally or internationally. The Individual Engagement Plan will cater to the teenager’s secular interests as well. For a teen interested in the performing arts, the JEG might recommend an internship with local organizations like the Asolo Repertory Theatre or the Florida Studio Theatre, with which the Federation has established relationships. Or, for a teen concerned about environmental issues, the JEG might recommend an internship with Mote Marine Laboratory or Selby Gardens, also organizations with which the Federation has established relationships. For a teen desiring in-depth community service or academic study abroad, the JEG might recommend an internship or academic program in

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Israel via partnership city Kiryat Yam, or the Daniel Centers in Tel Aviv - Jaffa, or the five to twelve-month Masa Israel Journey. From a sizeable group of Jewish teens, many likely share interests and can be matched in similar programs or internship opportunities. This will enable these teens to build relationships with Jewish peers who share not only their religious background, but also their secular interests. Each teen’s Individual Engagement Plan will guide him or her through ever-deeper Jewish experiences, culminating in a trip to Israel. There will also be a peer-mentoring aspect of STEP. Older teenagers, like returning Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors, will guide younger program members through their initial years of the program, forming cross-age group bonds and drawing on the intense influence that peers can hold at this age. It is the Federation’s hope that STEP will provide the ideal path for Jewish teens in the Sarasota-Manatee area to engage with their Judaism through multiple facets. A successful STEP program in Executive Director Tevlowitz’s eyes will “engage pre-teens, teens and their parents in Jewish life as they define it.” The program dovetails perfectly with our Jewish Federation’s mission: “To save Jewish lives and enhance Jewish life in Sarasota-Manatee, in Israel and around the world.” The Federation will launch a STEP pilot effort this September with a limited group of area teens and a Jewish Engagement Guide to outline each teen’s Jewish journey. An Open House for interested parents and teens will be scheduled in early September.


Sarasota-Manatee’s Conservative Synagogue

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Email: Website:

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July 2012

Young Ambassadors: Where are they now? By Haven Miller, Joseph J. Edlin Journalism Intern


lex Balno attended Riverview High School in Sarasota before he made aliyah by moving to Israel and joining the Israel Defense Forces. This was a huge change in his lifestyle, and yet, he says that it was what he’s wanted to do all of his life. “I’ve always wanted to be in the military, and I loved Israel.” Alex went on the Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors Haven Miller trip to Israel in 2008 with The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. On the visit to the Western Wall he encountered the commencement ceremony of the IDF soldiers. This ceremony truly fascinated

him, and further proved his own allegiance to the State of Israel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Alex and find out about his daily life as a soldier. Alex says that the greatest part about Israel is the fact that it is the Jewish homeland, and he feels a deep connection with Israel because of this. As an IDF soldier, he puts himself in danger in order to protect his state and the people living there. He says one of the most unsettling feelings he had was when his best friend was almost stabbed by a Palestinian woman while he was at the guard post. His friend was reading the newspaper when an enraged Palestinian woman ran

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at him with a knife, but he saw her just in time and was able to prevent her from stabbing him. He feels the most dangerous regions are the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Alex mostly controls riots and protests, and he says that these can

Alex Balno

get very intense. When he’s off base, Alex lives on a peaceful kibbutz, where he can relax and take a break from all of the fighting. For fun he likes to go out with his fellow soldiers to get his mind off of the conflict and have his favorite food, shawarma. He has the full support of his family because they know that this is what he wants to do, and how truly dedicated to his country he is. However, he is among the first to arrive in combat, which worries his family greatly. Overall, this Sarasota native has assimilated to the Israeli culture, made aliyah, and is proudly serving the Jewish homeland. He loves what he does and intends to continue with it for quite some time. Editor’s note: As you’re reading this, Haven is just returning from her first trip to Israel. The Jewish News will feature an article about her experiences in an upcoming issue.

These we honor ANNUAL CAMPAIGN




Jessica Waxman Edie Chaifetz Sandra Hanan Rich, Howard, Marty and your friends at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

Bob Chalphin Judy Weinstein - Wishing you a speedy recovery

IN MEMORY OF To Barbara Fremont in memory of Robert Fremont Claire Love Bob Peterson Howard, Rich, Marty and your friends at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Norman Menell Howard, Rich, Marty and your friends at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee To Sandra Kauffman – in memory of your dear father, Leonard Katz Irene and Mark Kauffman To Jimmy Raymond – in memory of your brother Rich, Howard, Marty and your friends at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

MAZEL TOV Jay Dor – on your 50th birthday!! With love from Marilyn & Jerry Soble Len Glaser – Happy 80th Birthday Ilene & Michael Fox Helen & Len Glaser – Congratulations on the JNF Tree of Life Award Ilene & Michael Fox Bob Goldschmidt Elaine Kaplan Sylvia & Lewis Whitman

MAZEL TOV Judy Weinstein Sandra and Stan Krawetz

MELTON ADULT MINI-SCHOOL IN MEMORY OF Stephen Snider Arthur & Elaine Sander

Schiff SKIP (Send a Kid to Israel) GET WELL Sandy Hanan Patti & Richard Hershorin Donald Polack Irene & Marty Ross

IN MEMORY OF Milton Lucow Irene & Marty Ross Norman Samet’s brother Irene & Marty Ross Donald Polack’s father Irene & Marty Ross

MAZEL TOV Helen & Len Glaser Irene & Marty Ross Marlene & Art Silverman – Mazel Tov on your new great-grandson Patti & Richard Hershorin

To be publicly acknowledged in The Jewish News, Honor Cards require a minimum $10 contribution per listing. You can send Honor Cards directly from For more information, call 941.371.4546 x102.



The mitzvah of food

The only kosher restaurant in the area By Sarah Ida Tedesco


n the Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice area there is just one kosher restaurant – The Teahouse at Asian Arts and Décor on Fruitville Road in Sarasota. Hannah Gibbons is the owner of this restaurant and offers more than just food to her customers. Hannah offers Jews who follow the laws of kashrut the ability to dine out with their family Sarah Ida Tedesco and friends. For her, making this restaurant kosher was more than just a spiritual decision; it was an act of community service. Hannah Gibbons believes that giving this community a kosher dining facility was something this area has needed for quite some time. Asian Arts and Décor was originally owned by Sharon Lee but was later bought by Gibbons. The heart and soul that has been put into both the store and the restaurant amazes customers. Creating a kosher kitchen in a home is one thing, but creating a completely kosher business is another. Hannah needed to study all the laws of kashrut and make sure that she was giving her kosher customers a place they could trust when dining out. The laws of kashrut are long and detailed. They include many rules that changed the way Hannah conducted not only her business but her everyday life. Since transforming her restaurant’s kitchen into a kosher space, Hannah has become Shomer Shabbos. This commitment is one that I find admirable. The laws of kashrut go far beyond

banning the mixing of milk with meat. To have her restaurant be compatible with modern Orthodox Judaism, Hannah needed to dispose of every piece of tableware she had in her restaurant. Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Sarasota & Manatee Counties, joined in on the process of approving the restaurant for kosher certification. Rabbi Steinmetz helped Hannah in this process by torching the oven that the restaurant uses. This process ensures that the oven will not contaminate the food being served to Hannah’s customers. The entire kitchen was cleaned and a completely new set of tableware was purchased. Making a business kosher is not an easy task. Hannah, with the help of others, successfully accomplished this task. The Teahouse at Asian Arts and Décor is now the only kosher restaurant in our area. Asian culture and cuisine have many ties to Jewish culture. Not only will customers enjoy a kosher meal out, they will have the opportunity to learn about the JewishAsian culture through merchandise found at Asian Arts and Décor. The restaurant has received numerous rave reviews and is doing well for a small Asian diner. Rabbi Steinmetz stated, “The food was yummy and fresh,” when speaking about his experience dining at the restaurant. For the first time, kosher Jews in Sarasota and Manatee counties can experience eating out while feeling at ease. The Teahouse at Asian Arts and Décor is located at 5437 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. To schedule a time to receive Mah Jongg lessons while enjoying Asian cuisine, please call the restaurant at 941.343.9727.


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Jewish Heritage Video Collection

The Jewish Heritage Video Collection consists of 203 videos. It is open and available to the entire community as it was at the JCC. It is housed at the Goldie Feldman Academy at the Temple Beth Sholom (TBS) Idelson Adult Library. The videos may be circulated at no charge for up to three weeks and then renewed if necessary. A complete list is available on the TBS website. Visit, click Education, and then Library to see the categories and descriptions. Call 941.379.0429 for an appointment or to reserve videos.

July 2012


Non-traditional students receive NCJW scholarships

illie Fisher and Bee Volk, two ‹‹ Vicki Moore, Venice – The Herof the organizers of the first mine Silver Memorial Scholarship NCJW (National Council of presented by Howard Silver and Jewish Women) scholarship awards 12 Greta Silver years ago, watched with pride as each of ‹‹ Jason Harris, Sarasota – Yanowitz Family Scholarship presented by the scholarship recipients received their Sandy Kuskin $1,000 award. This annual event highAppreciation to Eve Pokornicky lights NCJW’s mission to improve the lives of families by encouraging adults and her committee – Cecile Alexander, Marcia DuBrin, Marge Ellin, Ann to pursue or continue their education. Goldstein, Sandy Kuskin, Marian Moss, The recipients include: ‹‹ Danielle Sheppard, Sarasota – Marge Rome and Carol Weissfeld – for NCJW Sarasota Manatee Section reviewing applications and organizing Scholarship presented by Marcia the event. For information about upcoming Dubrin ‹‹ Stephanie Boynton, North Port, events or volunteer opportunities, call Irina Ioshpe, Bradenton and Linda NCJW’s 24-hour answering service at Loffer, Venice – Helen Schuster- 941.342.1855. man and Albert Samuel Morrison Women’s Scholarship presented by Debbie Morrison ‹‹ Marcella Lacy, Bradenton – Ruth Rolfe Scholarship presented by Cecile Alexander ‹‹ Mary Elizabeth Schrowang, Caroline Zucker (speaker), Charlene Harris (for her Sarasota – Publix Supermarson, Jason), Stephanie Boynton, Marcella Lacy, Danielle Sheppard, Vicki Moore, Eve Pokornicky, Chair kets Charities Scholarship


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Fridays at 6:00 PM, preceded at 5:15 by a Welcome Reception Saturdays at 10:00 AM for Service and Study “Unpacking Judaism” class with Reb Ari Shapiro Wednesdays at 2:00 PM. Call 966-7778.

Rabbi Geoffrey Huntting Chazzan Cliff Abramson Sue Huntting, Religious School Director 922-9322 Laura Freedman, Early Childhood Director 926-9462 Andrea Eiffert, Youth Group Director 924-1802

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Jewish Museum of Florida NAOMI ALEXANDER

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English artist Naomi Alexander, ROI, records the last remnants of Jewish heritage in Lithuania today. Alexander traveled the country depicting her impressions of the people and their communities. The Museum adds photographs, artifacts and stories from Floridian Jews whose origins are from Lithuania.

Once Upon a Time in LITHUANIA & the Florida Connection

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July 2012

Innovative method applied to new humor course


ow completing its second academic year, the Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva began its new Summer Studies Program in May with a ten-week 1½ hour course on Jewish humor entitled: “You Could Just Plotz! What Can We Learn From Jewish Humor?” This text-based course is unique and original although some of the supporting jokes and stories used may have “beards on them” as my zaydeh (grandpa) used to say about bubbemeises (granny tales). Some may have been heard in the golden era of the Catskills, but linking their Jewish content to Biblical and Talmudic texts along with the class discussion is original. The Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva meets on the Jewish Federation Campus this year under an Innovation Fund Grant from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. As an independent Jewish studies institute doing outreach, the students represent a cross-section of the entire local Jewish community, including non-affiliated Jews, Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox members drawn from the following synagogues: Temple Sinai, Temple Beth Israel, Chabad of Saraso-

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ta, Kol HaNeshama, Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth Sholom. Registration is always open to anyone interested in text-based studies. The Yeshiva operates on the fundamental Jewish principle of Torah lishmah (Torah for the sake of learning) – pure and simple. There is a modest tuition fee with scholarship assistance available for those in need. Given its two-year history – the impressive goals and achievements in such a short span of time – and having served over 135 individuals, the Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva is receiving additional seed money (grant) to continue and expand this experimental, trans-ideological, non-denominational, independent community school open to anyone regardless of affiliation. Marden Paru serves as Dean and Rosh Yeshiva and can be contacted at or 941.379.5655 for further information and enrollment. See the ad below for a new class that begins in August.


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Helping others find Judaism in the face of lost freedom By Andria Keil Bilan, JFCS VP of Development


faith is harder. Being surrounded by abbi Ari Shapiro is a Jewish people who cannot relate to what Family & Children’s Service I believe, and some even hating Jewish Program Volunteer who me for it, is incredibly tough. The provides outreach and Prison Ministry weekly visit by Rabbi Ari is an into inmates at the DeSoto Correctional credible gift, as well as inspiration. Institution. Every Friday, Reb Ari makes His dedication to a small the 120-mile round trip group of Jewish inmates from Sarasota to Arcadia is astounding. It means so to teach, study Torah and much to me that a man of lead Shabbat services. his knowledge, dedication “It has also become and charisma visits us on a my custom to conduct a weekly basis, and provides seder on the first night us with a proper holiday setof Passover,” stated Reb ting.” Ari. “The underlying ‹‹ “What Passover meant theme of Passover is the to me this year was my own freedom of the Jewish Rabbi Ari Shapiro exodus since I’m leaving people in ancient times; prison after eight years of bondbut what about those who are incarcerage. This Passover symbolizes my ated? The Passover seder is an important freedom, not just physically but community and spiritual connection for mentally. Sitting there and being these men.” Our thanks to Rabbi Ari for surrounded by the Rabbi and my sharing some excerpts from a few letJewish brothers, I knew God loved ters that he received from inmates who me and can go anywhere with me. attended the seder this year: ‹‹ “Being in prison, away from my I’m so thankful for this Passover because it is my passage out of the family, friends and freedom is hard. Being in a world away from my bondage that held me for a long time, my second chance at a new life, but more importantly, that of a Jewish life.” WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE FIT MAKES ‹‹ “Passover this year was made better because we had our seder led by W. V. SAM JONES a real elder of our community, Reb PRESIDENT Ari Shapiro. He makes our service even more special, one step closer to 1901 SOUTH OSPREY AVE. (Corner Hillview) home. At no other time throughout SARASOTA, FL 34239 the year did we come together as a community and became as one.” 366-7866 366-7876


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July 2012


Temple Emanu-El’s Interfaith Tea unites women of faith

bout 250 Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Quaker and Buddhist women filled the social hall, building bridges of friendship and learning about one another’s faiths at Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood’s second annual Interfaith Tea on May 9. Expertly chaired by Marion Goldsmith and Dorothy Quint, the Interfaith Tea began with socializing over cups of tea and platters of elegant desserts. Tables comprised women of different religions, enabling attendees to mingle with members of other faith communities and get to know one another in a friendly setting. The centerpiece of the event was a panel discussion featuring female clergy and lay leaders from six different religions. Each woman spoke about the basic tenets of her faith and detailed how her religion marks life cycle events. A spirited and informative

question-and-answer period followed. The first panelist to speak was Gen Kelsang Demo, a young Buddhist nun who lives at Sarasota’s Kadampa Meditation Center and is renowned for her speaking and teaching expertise. Her presentation explained the tremendous regard offered to mothers in Buddhist tradition, and how the Buddhist belief in reincarnation influences Buddhists to show respect to all – because anyone might have served as a Buddhist’s mother in their previous incarnations on earth. She also discussed Buddhist practices regarding death and burial, and shared her personal story of discovering Buddhism and converting to the Buddhist faith. Another outstanding panelist was Ruta Jouniari, who engagingly discussed Islam, its rituals, and its observance of life cycle events. Attendees were fascinated to hear how many Muslim practices and ideas parallel those in Judaism, including the giving of the dowry to the wife in case of divorce, the importance of women’s rights in marriage contracts, a quick burial for the deceased, and a belief in judgment and resurRabbi Brenner Glickman greets Carol Kopelman and Sheila rection. In response to a Wengerhoff at Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood’s Interfaith Tea


Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood Interfaith Tea panelists: (standing) Claire Collins, Ruta Jouniari, (seated) Gen Kelsang Demo and Mimi McAdoo with event co-chair Marion Goldsmith

question, Jouniari also emphasized that Islam forbids female genital mutilation and that such practices are cultural rather than religious in nature. Other panelists included Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman representing Judaism, Youth and Family Pastor Tricia Dillon Thomas of Peace Presbyterian Church, Mimi McAdoo of the Quaker Society of Friends, and Claire Collins of St. Martha Catholic Church.

Panelists Pastor Tricia Dillon Thomas and Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman

JFCS expands food pantry to second location By Jennifer Weber, JFCS AmeriCorps VISTA


he economic crisis continues to take a significant toll on families who turn to Jewish Family & Children’s Service for help with food and emergency assistance. In response to the increased need for basic life necessities, JFCS has opened a second food pantry location at its offices on 17th Street in the Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center. You can help by participating in our food drive initiative…Buy One, Get One, Give One. Grocery stores offer weekly specials promoting Buy One, Get One FREE. JFCS is now asking

you to go one step further and donate those Get One FREE grocery and toiletry items to our food pantry. The following items are needed: pasta and tomato sauce; canned vegetables, fruit and soup; peanut butter and jelly; cereal and oatmeal; juice boxes; toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, diapers and wipes. Donations can be dropped off at JFCS, 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. For more information, call Jennifer Weber at 941.366.2224.

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July 2012

Sarasota-Manatee Rabbinical Association welcomes guests from Leo Baeck Center in Haifa By Rabbi Elaine Rose Glickman t the season’s final meeting of the Sarasota-Manatee Rabbinical Association – held May 17 at Temple Emanu-El – SMRA members welcomed guests from the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa and learned about the organization’s efforts to aid the hungry and to foster “shared existence” through a variety of innovative programs. Carol Brauner and Eran Shafir, Directors of International Relations for the Leo Baeck Center, described the institution’s multi-ethnic school, summer programs for Jewish and Arab children, Jewish-Arab singing troupe that has performed internationally, and


comprehensive food distribution program serving individuals and families throughout the Haifa area. Plans were made to strengthen the relationship between the SMRA and the Leo Baeck Center. The SMRA also hopes to sponsor a screening of a documentary chronicling the European tour of the Jewish-Arab teen singing group this coming fall or winter. After hearing about the Leo Baeck Center’s work, SMRA members voted to donate some of their charitable funds to the organization. In keeping with past years, the SMRA also made contributions to All Faiths Food Bank and

the Food Bank of Manatee. The SMRA enables the clergy of Sarasota-Manatee to maintain bonds with one another and to work collaboratively on important issues of the day, educational programs, and subjects of

interest to the Jewish community. Serving as the organization’s officers are SMRA President Rabbi Jonathan Katz, Vice President Rabbi Harold Caminker, and Treasurer Rabbi Larry Mahrer.

Bernie Yablon shares his “Interesting Life”


n May 2, the audience at Temple Beth Sholom listened attentively to Bernie Yablon’s reminiscences of his life before, during and after World War II. Despite being adversely affected by the Great Depression and the early death of his much-admired father, Bernie always maintained an upbeat attitude toward life. In his youth in Poland, his father Izzy had saved the governess of the Russian Czar’s children from drowning in a swift current. At first reluctant to reward a Jew, the Czar finally gave him a medal, which now resides with the first Yablon grandson to become a bar mitzvah. Bernie went on to

Bernie Yablon

tell the audience about his family’s life in the New York area during the Great Depression. Then Bernie entertained his listeners with stories about his military training at various bases in the U.S., where he prepared to defend his country as an airplane radio repairman during WW II. The most surprising and amusing stories, however, were the tales of Bernie’s service in the South Pacific as a ship-based member of the Army Air Corps, the predecessor of today’s U.S. Air Force. His division’s commander provided good food, ice cream sodas and clean, comfortable quarters with laundry service. He and his buddies also enjoyed swimming in the Pacific, fishing for sharks with a meat hook, and playing baseball whenever they landed on an island, always after a battle. Bernie ended the war by watching the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri in Manila Bay, the Philippines. To watch a video of this and other Interesting Lives presentations, visit and click on TBS Media Center.

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(Front row) Sarasota-Manatee Rabbinical Association (SMRA) President Rabbi Jonathan Katz, Leo Baeck Center Directors of International Relations Carol Brauner and Eran Shafir, SMRA Treasurer Rabbi Larry Mahrer, (back row) Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, Rabbi Allan Schwartzman, SMRA Vice President Rabbi Harold Caminker, Hazzan Diane Nathanson, Reb Ari Shapiro, Rabbi Richard Klein, Rabbi Herb Rose, Hazzan Jeffrey Weber

Art enriches the lives of senior citizens

Kobernick Anchin residents dance, sing and paint By Patricia G. Horwell


rt is important in everyone’s dents, including some centenarians, life. Whether it be dance, mu- danced their way down the hall even sic, writing, or hands-on art after the music ended. like painting, collage or potting, it has Music therapy by Gulf Coast Music the power to lift our spirits and make us Therapy, Collage Art taught by SCTI, happy. It’s good for children, teenagers as well as painting, beading and other and adults, and is equally beneficial for crafts, are all integrated into the activiolder adults. ties programs at Kobernick Anchin’s As people age they might not be independent and assisted living areas as able to move as well as they did before, well as its skilled nursing center. but whether they sway to the music in “The arts are what cause miracles their chairs, or dance as their walkers to happen,” Zella said. support them, people are taken to another plane as they respond to the music. It brings back memories, fosters better coordination and balance, and makes people more joyful. They actually forget about their troubles for awhile. Dr. Bill Zella, program director of Serenity Place, runs a program Kobernick residents Anne Hoffman and Ruth Tachna enjoy an entitled Dance Your afternoon of Dance Your Aches and Pains Away with Dr. Bill Zella Aches and Pains Away. “Dancing combines it all – exercise, socialization, learning and laughter!” Dance has an aerobic, psychological and sociological benefit. Zella recently brought the program to Kobernick Anchin. It was one of the most attended events on campus, second only to the Senior Prom held at Kobernick House last Virginia, a music therapist from Gulf Coast Music Therapy, entertains Anchin Pavilion residents March. Kobernick resi-


July 2012

Stars of David

Interested in Your Family’s History?

By Nate Bloom, Contributing Columnist Editor’s note: Persons in BOLD CAPS are deemed by Nate Bloom to be Jewish for the purpose of the column. Persons identified as Jewish have at least one Jewish parent and were not raised in a faith other than Judaism – and don’t identify with a faith other than Judaism as an adult. Converts to Judaism, of course, are also identified as Jewish. The Grandson of “The Greatest” Kudos to the Forward newspaper for cluing me into an article on the boxing website, “The Sweet Science,” about the bar mitzvah of JACOB WERTHEIMER on April 29 in Philadelphia. In attendance was Jacob’s grandfather, legendary heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, 70. Jacob is the son of SPENCER WERTHEIMER, a Philadelphia attorney, and Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer, the boxer’s daughter. Khaliah told the website: “I was born and raised as a Muslim. But I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture… My father was supportive in every way. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely. It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there.” The Times Are Changin’ Despite writing some famous protest songs, BOB DYLAN, 71, has always said that he was not a political songwriter. Nonetheless, his biographers have noted that if Dylan had one gutlevel, fierce political view – it was his opposition to racism. So, even though he hardly said a word, and wore his sunglasses throughout the ceremony, Dylan was almost certainly pleased that it was Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, who presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony held on May 29. The president said at the ceremony that “there is not a big-

ger giant in the history of American music” and that he remembered his world “opening up” when he listened to Dylan in college, “because he captured something about this country that was so vital.” Brooklyn Doings and More For those visiting Brooklyn after a long time away, as I recently did, the changes are astonishing. All over this borough of New York City, neighborhoods are thriving. The downtown area, near the Brooklyn Bridge, has been transformed by many big new buildings, including Barclay’s Center, a $5 billion project that includes a sports arena. On October 11 and 12, the Brooklyn-born and raised legend, singer BARBRA STREISAND, 70, will perform for the first time in Brooklyn – at the Center. Meanwhile, Streisand’s ex-husband, ELLIOTT GOULD, 73, and the father of her only child (JASON GOULD, 45), is the co-star of a new, three-part,, on-line series, Listen to Granpa, Andy Ling. Andy, the son of a Jewish mother and Chinese father, loses all his money and alienates his parents. He turns to a religious grandfather (Gould) he really doesn’t know for help. The series is full of humor and Yiddish references as it also addresses many of the concerns of young Jews. Gould, himself, studied at an Aish (Orthodox) HaTorah yeshiva in Los Angeles. The New Jersey Nets NBA basketball team has just relocated from New Jersey to Brooklyn and will start playing in the Barclay’s Center next September. Playing for the Brooklyn Nets, as they are now called, is point guard

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Send Nate an email at, tell him you saw this ad in The Jewish News, and include your phone number (area code, too). Nate will then contact you about doing a “limited” family history for you at a modest cost (no more than $100). No upfront payment. JORDAN FARMAR, 24, one of two Jews in the NBA. The son of an AfricanAmerican father and a Jewish mother, Farmar was raised by his mother and Israeli stepfather and, during the NBA strike last season, played for the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv team for about two months. Brooklyn, of course, did once have the Dodgers baseball team. Farmar is the first Brooklyn-based, Jewish “major league” player since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1958, taking Brooklyn-born and raised pitcher SANDY KOUFAX, now 76, with them. Ironically, Farmar was born and raised and had his bar mitzvah in Los Angeles. He was a star player for UCLA and began his pro career with the L.A. Lakers. (Brooklyn also had an NFL team from 1930-44. It was called the Dodgers for all but its last year.) Maxim’s Hot Hebrews Okay, I know this last item could be called sexist – but it’s become a tradi-

tion for me to tell you which “tribe members” made Maxim magazine’s 2012 list of the “100 Hottest Women in the World.” So, here they are, with apologies to anyone offended. The number before the woman’s name is her Maxim ranking: (1) BAR REFAELI, 26, Israeli model; (3) MILA KUNIS, 28, actress; (17) SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 27, actress; (38) KELLY KELLY, 25, Jacksonville native, model and pro wrestler; (49) EMMY ROSSUM, 25, actress; (59) AMANDA BYNES, 26, actress; and (97) KAT DENNINGS, 25, actress. Dennings, Kunis, and Refaeli have two Jewish parents. Kelly has a Jewish father/non-Jewish mother. The rest are the daughters of Jewish mothers/non-Jewish fathers. All these women were raised Jewish or secular. Note: “Glee” star Lee Michele, whose father is Jewish, is on the Maxim list. She recently disclosed that she was raised in her mother’s Catholic faith.

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July 2012


Deborah Feldman’s memoir – a triumph of the spirit By Philip K. Jason, Special to The Jewish News Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, by Deborah Feldman. Simon & Schuster. 272 pages. $23.00. t’s no surprise that Unorthodox has raised a good deal of controversy. There isn’t much middle ground in published reactions. Some find the writing effective and moving, some find it amateurish – barely passable. Are all these people reading the same book? For me, the writing is just fine in doing the job that the author sets out to do: tell her story as she sees it. It’s particularly strong in Phil Jason registering emotional truths and differentiating among the various levels of insight and maturity that the author attains in her journey. Deborah Feldman’s subjectivity is an asset, not a liability. This is a memoir, not a scholarly tome. Ms. Feldman’s tale of growing up in Brooklyn’s Satmar community, a particularly repressive and conformist Hasidic group, plausibly expresses the tension between wanting all of the psychic nourishment of belonging and approval – and needing to be true to


herself. Her identity has already been One of the most memorable threatened by the disgrace of having a is her description of the mentally disabled father and a mother claustrophobic frenzy at a who abandoned Deborah and the com- Simchat Torah celebration munity. Raised by her rapidly aging in the Satmar synagogue. grandparents, people less equipped to Ms. Feldman conjures up deal with this responsibility as time the enormous crowds, the goes by, Deborah reaches her teen years dangerous pushing and in crisis. shoving in the overloaded The author’s portraits of her neigh- women’s balcony as its borhood, her grandparents’ home, the denizens search for posiarray of relatives, the texture of daily tions that allow a glimpse of the Satmar life with its strict rules and narrow ex- Rabbi dancing with the Torah. And then pectations, her education, and her own the rush to get out, the collapse into identity conflicts are vivid and totally silence after the noisy ecstasy, and the engaging. Unorthodox is a very special writer’s own sense of separation from kind of coming-of-age story in which all she has tried so hard to enjoy. the consequences of rebellion of any Though this young woman resort are a lot more severe than ceived some mentoring in less isolated and less guardwith respect to her own ed communities. From a very biological processes young age, Deborah is a misfit. and some guidance in She knows it, but because she preparing for marriage, is not equipped to thrive in any these were insufficient other environment, she is powto allow for healthy erless to do anything about it. transitions. She lived in Hiding classic English lana world in which the poguage novels like Jane Eyre tential for some kind of and Little Women under the shameful exposure was mattress, Deborah pursues a always at hand, where Deborah Feldman lonely journey to find answers gossip and rumor were to questions she’s not allowed to ask – rampant, and where privacy was almost or even think. non-existent. Deborah Feldman develops reAt seventeen, just out of the 11th vealing scenes throughout the book. grade, she was married off to a stranger.

Attempts at sexual intimacy were a disaster, and it seemed as if everyone knew about their problem and had something to say about it. Such busy-body intrusion did not help matters; however, treatment from a wise and sensitive physician eventually made sexual intercourse possible. This section of the narrative is harrowing. Soon after that treatment, Deborah Feldman was pregnant. The marriage was doomed early on. The husband regularly sought his own sexual release, but never had a clue about romancing or pleasuring his wife. Her role, perhaps, was never to be more than a provider for her husband’s pleasure and the vessel for birthing his offspring. It was a subset of her communal role. Although the couple’s relocation to a suburban community filled with other Orthodox and Hasidic couples gave her some relief from the prying eyes and interference of acquaintances and relatives in Williamsburg, Deborah Feldman already knew she had to find a way out both for herself and her young son. Exactly how this escape took place I’ll leave for the curious reader’s enlightenment. Unorthodox is a courageous and valuable piece of story-telling. It conveys both the innocence and wisdom of youth, and it is good medicine for disenfranchised souls. Philip K. Jason is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy. He reviews regularly for the Naples edition of Florida Weekly and for Fort Myers Magazine. Visit Phil’s website at www.philjason.wordpress. com.


July 2012


Healing and Magen David

Dr. Rachel Zohar Dulin


hen we think of medicine we are cognizant of the great Jewish contribution to this field. In today’s Israel, for example, medical research and medical care excel, and the science of preventing and arresting diseases is one of the best in the world. In biblical times, however, the Hebrews were skeptical of practical medicine and at times even ridiculed those who practiced it (Jer 8:17; Ps 58:60), as they viewed healing as part of God’s domain. The word for medicine in Hebrew is refuah and the word for doctor is rofeh. Both nouns are derived from the root r.f.a, meaning ‘heal’ or ‘cure’. In the Bible, refuah and rofeh appear only three times each. However, the verb rafa, meaning ‘to cure’ or ‘treat a sick

person’, appears over sixty times in various forms, and in a few cases it is used to mean ‘repairing’, or ‘improving a condition’. Interestingly, the Text refers to the practitioners as m’la-kcashim, ‘charmers’ (Ps 58:6; Ecc10:11), or ne-von la-cha-sh, ‘expert enchanter’ (Is 3:3). In both cases, these are not complimentary words. The belief that miracles and incantations help bring cure and avert the evil eye is found in all cultures and all belief systems. From time immemorial people used signs, amulets and magic to protect themselves from demons and their evil will. The Magen David, the symbol that is so connected with our Jewish culture was originally such an amulet. Indeed, the six-pointed star was a magic sign placed on walls and tombs as a

decorative motif and magical protection in very early antiquity by Christians and Jews alike. The history of this amulet is obscure. Yet, despite the fact that it has no Jewish symbolic meanings, neither biblical nor rabbinic, the Magen David emerged as an exclusive Jewish symbol. With the influence of popular Kabala, the Magen David entered Jewish culture as a talisman to protect oneself from the assaults of evil spirits. In recent history, (14th century) and for unclear reasons, the Magen David appeared as an emblem representing Jewish establishments, first in Prague, and from there spreading throughout the world as a Jewish identifying symbol. The term Magen David also has a mystical origin. In Hebrew, magen means ‘shield’. It is derived from the

root g.n.n, meaning ‘protect’, ‘defend’, ‘guard’ or ‘shelter’. The word Haganah, meaning ‘protection’, coined by Rashi, and used in modern Israel as the name of Israel’s defense force, is based in the same root. As for using King David’s name, Jewish lore attributed this symbol to his protective shield and even to King Solomon’s seal, but this is unsubstantiated. It is indeed fascinating that a crosscultural amulet believed to protect one from evil, emerged in the Jewish culture as a symbol of strength. The blue Magen David at the center of the Israeli flag represents political identity and national pride, and the red Magen David is the logo of Israel’s most distinguished medical emergency organization, Magen David Adom.

I, too, am a Holocaust survivor By Susice Torah 664 as told to Leona Uchitelle


nsconced in my display case at the Jewish Congregation of Venice (JCV), life has been uneventful for 23 years, so I was amazed when I was recently invited to an unusual Yom HaShoah service at the Jewish Center of Princeton, in New Jersey. Once I was one of seven Torahs in the Susice, Czechoslovakia, Jewish synagogue. When the Nazis sent Jews to death camps, the Prague Jewish Museum collected abandoned Torahs. The Nazis confiscated the collection for a Museum of an Extinct Race. After WWII, the Czech government stored us Torahs for decades, before selling us to a British philanthropist.

Most Holocaust Torahs were too damaged for religious use, yet we were treated with kindness and respect in London and placed on “permanent loan” to synagogues and groups worldwide. Karl and Lily Ebner, Czech Holocaust survivors, brought me to Venice. In Princeton, we Susice Torahs were reunited after 70 years. I and my escort, Leona Uchitelle, JCV Ritual Chair, shared my story with Princeton children, some of whom had grandparents who were Holocaust survivors, like me. During the Yom HaShoah service, Hana Gruna, the last known surviving Susice Jew, came to meet and embrace us. Her father and brother may have

read my scroll. There was rain outside, but there was music, singing and tears of joy inside the Princeton synagogue as we vowed NEVER AGAIN. Now I am happily home at the Jewish Congregation of Venice telling my story and bearing witness that the People of Israel Live! Martin Himmelfarb and Judith Zangwill also contributed to this story.

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July 2012

Top 10 living “Tough Jews” By Ronn Torossian


rom Samson to Judah Maccabee, Ze’ev Jabotinsky to Hannah Senesh, there is a valiant history of tough and brave Jews who made tremendous marks on the world. While the image of a Jew has not always been that of a “tough” people, it is important that the world sees tough Jews. Owning a PR firm, I help build brands and create personas – and as a proud traditional Jew and Zionist, I offer this list in tribute. The list of the top 10 living “Tough Jews” is not only about brute physical strength – it is about a people who are smart, strong, resilient, rugged, bold and fearless. This is a reflection of good, tough Jews who are positive representations of the Jewish people (no gangsters here), and don’t let a yarmulke fool you. In no particular order here is my list of the top 10 living “Tough Jews.” It’s a list compiled by a Public Relations pro, not a Rabbinical Authority.

Jennifer Singer discusses Jewish education at Kol HaNeshama

Like many of my peers, as a kid I thought that Hebrew school was the most boring place on earth. I vowed to change that. At Kol HaNeshama, we offer an education that is fun, meaningful and relevant. We give students the chance to draw their own conclusions, voice their opinions, and explore Judaism with an open mind. My goal is to imbue our children with a positive Jewish identity. That might mean learning the Shema in sign language. Writing our own blessings. Making memories that are fun and warm, instead of memories of boredom and unhappiness. Loving being Jewish. Our program is called “Doorways to Judaism.” It’s open to members and non-member families. Most important, it’s not just for kids. We invite – encourage – love! – parents, grandparents and guardians to participate. When it comes to b’nai mitzvah prep, we believe that each student deserves a ceremony that’s uniquely their own. So we start by asking questions. What does bar/bat mitzvah mean to you and your family? What do you want to learn? What hobbies or skills do you want to incorporate? Parents are invited to ask, “How can we as a family create an experience that is meaningful, fun and as stress-free as possible?” The result is a ceremony that’s personal and meaningful. Our students have sung a duet with a non-Jewish parent, played the violin, used an ark the student handcrafted, made their own siddur, and more.

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Open for debate and in no particular order: Israel Defense Forces: All of the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces – the holy Jewish army – are the toughest Jews one can ever imagine. They protect the people of Israel against tremendous odds, and with Israel’s survival threatened daily, these Jews are consummate warriors, fighting not only for a country but for an important ideal. Elie Wiesel and all of the Holocaust survivors: Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust survivors who survived the tremendous inhumanity of the Nazis are tough beyond comprehension. Wiesel said: “I have tried to keep memory alive. I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are all accomplices.” The Holocaust survivors all lost so much – and fight on every single day in life. Few can imagine how much toughness and inner strength that takes. Yitzhak Shamir: Israel’s founding father, Shamir served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1983-84 and 1986-92. Before Israel became a state he served in the heroic underground, and then in the Mossad (Israel secret service). Shamir is a man with amazing legacy. Elegant, strong and determined, this tough man devoted his whole life to building the land and people of Israel. Shamir, whose name means “hard stone,” always said, “I would like to be remembered as a person who loved Eretz Israel and never ever gave up an inch.” Tough man. Liev Schreiber: Defiance is one of the greatest Jewish movies ever, as it makes my point clear for audiences around the world to see, and it can make any tough guy cry. Schreiber’s character in the movie, Zus Bielski, is a reallife tough Jew. (Bielski is one of three Jewish warrior brothers who fought the Nazis.) As Schreiber says, “This was a remarkable story – a triumphant story. It sets out to redefine the Jewish image – that of fighter. We all know tough

Jews like that. My own grandfather was incredibly tough and athletic and was the main male role model in my life.” For his portrayal and his own pride of his heritage, Schreiber makes the list. Sandy Koufax: Perhaps the greatest known Jewish athlete ever, Koufax was a legendary pitcher. He was the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 at the age of 36. Skilled and determined on the mound, he had tremendous inner strength to be able to not pitch in game one of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. As legendary Los Angeles Dodgers scout Al Campanis said, “There are two times in my life the hair on my arms has stood up: The first time I saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the first time I saw Sandy Koufax throw a fastball.” Sam Zell: This business magnate may be the most hated man in the newspaper business – and he’s one tough Jew. “I’m an immigrant’s kid. I have a very different perspective on the world than somebody who grew up in Chicago and led what I would call a normal life.” Zell was raised in an Orthodox household and is a supporter of Israel. No matter where he travels, “In no way, shape or form do I hide the fact that I believe in Israel – open kimono!” he declared. “There’s this Yiddish term, derech eretz, and it means respect. My father and mother, particularly my father, brought us up with the premise that respect was non-negotiable. Love was optional. I’m not saying this in a bad way. It was: ‘I want you to love me, but you have to respect me.’” A great lesson for all of the Jewish people. Natan Sharansky, Avital Sharansky, Ida Nudel and the former Russian “Prisoners of Zion”: The first political prisoner released under the old Soviet regime was Natan Sharansky, who was jailed for 13 years on false charges of treason. When he was sentenced he showed his great courage when he said: “One would think I

would be sorry, but I am not. I am happy because I have lived at peace with my conscience...I am happy that I helped people...I am happy to have witnessed the process of liberating Soviet Jewry. For more than 2,000 years, my people have been dispersed. Wherever Jews were, they would repeat every year, ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’ At present, I am as far as ever from my people...and many hard years...are in store for me. To my wife and my people, I can only say, ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’” This resiliency stayed with him throughout his many hard years in Soviet prisons – while his wife tirelessly campaigned worldwide for him. These unstoppable dissidents were active and determined to free the Jews of Russia. Ida Nudel is a brave, tough Jewish activist who was called the “Guardian Angel” for her efforts to help the “Prisoners of Zion,” many of whom called her “Mama” and “angel of mercy.” Today, these Jews who weren’t allowed to leave the Soviet Union are the crème de la crème of the Jewish people worldwide. Sheldon Adelson: The richest Jew in the world, Adelson is famously resilient, stubborn and focused on winning. The son of Jewish immigrants, Adelson grew up lower-class, dropped out of the City College of New York, and has built one of the largest casino empires in the world. That was not easy, and the man has had to win many stare-downs as the mogul of Las Vegas. As a Jewish man he is the quintessential tough Jew who says his primary personal driving force is the survival of the United States and Israel in the face of an Iranian nuclear weapon. He stands up and often speaks truth to power – no easy feat. Benjamin (Ben) Brafman: The legendary criminal defense attorney whose grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz is the very epitome of a tough Jew. A proud Orthodox Jew, Brafman grew up on the mean streets of Crown Heights, and he came home

continued on next page

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COMMENTARY 15A July 2012

July 2012


A farewell to my “second” mommy From the Bimah Rabbi Harold F. Caminker Temple Beth El of Bradenton


arlier this year, our beloved Temple Beth El religious school director, Susie Konicov, bid a sad farewell to her ‘second’ mommy, a righteous Christian woman from Holland who was a Holocaust heroine. Here is Susie’s incredible personal story, in her own words: On December 20, 2011, Jenny, my second mother died. She was 99 years old. Second mother? Do you think I mean stepmother or something like that? No. I am Jewish and I am 70 years old, and when I was a baby, I had to be hidden from the Nazis. I am sure you have heard stories about that time, that war, and those Nazis. My parents and I (and all the Jews) had been forced to move from where we lived in Holland, to the ghetto established in Amsterdam. When the time

came that the “razzias” (round-ups) were a daily occurrence, my parents contacted the Dutch underground to have me smuggled out of Amsterdam. I was 16 months old. Wim and Jenny Van Heeckerens, who had three young children of their own, had contacted the Resistance people and told them they would help where they could. I was brought to the Van Heeckerens’ home to be hidden there. I stayed for two and a half years. I was a very active little member of the family. All five of them had straight blond hair. I had dark curly hair. Yet I was not literally hidden, as in a closet or under floorboards. There were times when I was out and about, playing with my (new) brothers and sister outside, or going on an errand with Wim. I don’t have many memories of that time, just one brief picture in my mind that I once asked Jenny about, and she corroborated it as a genuine memory. So, you see, Jenny and Wim were my second mommy and daddy. I was four when they sent me back to a liberated Amsterdam to be with my father’s Jewish cousin and his gentile wife. That time, the Van Heeckerens believed, would provide a transition for me – from a gentile home to a (semi) Jewish home and family. And that was where my parents

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continued from previous page with bruised knuckles almost every day. “Trouble would find you without you looking for it,” he has said. Brafman is the man you want in your corner in a street fight or battle of any sort. The man put himself through Brooklyn College night school and then Ohio Northern University Law School, and is now the most well respected criminal defense attorney in the world – and is tremendously passionate about Jewish causes. All of the Jews of Eretz Israel (especially Judea and Samaria): Living in Israel, a tough country in a tough neighborhood, makes one a tough and resilient people. Building the center of Jewish life in the center of the Jewish world has been the greatest challenge facing the Jewish people throughout history; Israelis are some of the toughest Jews. Honorable mention: Chabad Emissaries worldwide (Can you imagine giving everyone who comes calling an invite to your home? This on top of death threats, and all the places Chabad faces danger.); Jonathan Pollard (25 years in jail); Dr. Irving Moskowitz

(ensures a united, undivided Jerusalem despite worldwide pressure); athletes like Yuri Foreman (how great it is to see a fighter with a Jewish star on his shorts win a world title), Mark Spitz and Omri Caspi; Rabbi Avi Weiss (has protested anti-Semites worldwide to great physical danger); Prime Minister Netanyahu (former elite Israeli soldier); and, of course, the people we seldom hear of – mothers and fathers who raise families (including my valiant mother, Penny Waga), and individuals who channel their skills into making life better for others. In the Torah, as Moses hands over the mantle to his successor, he says two short yet inspiring words to this future leader, “Chazak Ve-ematz” – Be Strong and Have Courage. Be strong and have courage are the best words for any Jew to hear. The Jewish people of Israel live: Am Yisrael Chai. Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency and a Jewish philanthropist who formerly served as President of Betar, founded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky.

went to reclaim their daughter – me – and begin a new life. That was possible for many reasons, but most of all, because Jenny and Wim were who they were – Righteous Gentiles, as they are called in Israel, at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Memorial Center.

In my own words, Jenny and Wim were my parents in those early years and I loved them. They were kind, and wise, and true Christians. And I love them still. Zichronam l’vracha – their memories bless us.


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July 2012

Ten reasons I admire Israel By David Harris, Executive Director, AJC, May 28, 2012 came back from Israel a week ago. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been there on behalf of AJC, but it’s easily above 50. Each time I go, I’m struck by the wide gap between the dispiriting perception of Israel created from a distance, usually fostered by the media, UN resolutions, and the like, and the uplifting reality of being on the ground there. It’s like witnessing two very different worlds. That’s why I wrote this column. Whatever the challenges, there are so many reasons to be proud of Israel. In the daily news coverage, as they say, if it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead. The larger story of Israel, therefore, is rarely told.




And the steady barrage of antiIsrael assaults – from the UN’s Arabled automatic majority to the boycottsanctions-divestment crowd; from some PR-savvy NGOs to the red-green (extreme left-radical Muslim) alliance – doesn’t always leave much room for the bigger picture, either. But the larger story of Israel is well worth telling. Indeed it is, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, one of the great chapters in the annals of history. Here’s what I admire most: First, the Jewish people’s identity is built on three legs – a faith, a people and a land. The land is inextricable to the equation. Even when Jews were forcibly



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removed from the land, as they were more than once, they never, not for a single moment, lost the connection. It was core to their prayers and their belief systems. Jerusalem, physically and metaphysically, is at the center of Jewish existence. The determination of Jews to reaffirm that link, over literally thousands of years, is awe-inspiring. Second, those who lived in or returned to the land before the rebirth of the state in 1948 faced indescribable challenges. Those challenges could easily have defeated less determined people. The terrain itself was harsh and unyielding. The swamps were disease-infested. Water was scarce. Marauding Arab bands put them at risk. But they persisted. Third, these pioneers, against all the odds, gave birth to field after field, tree after tree, job after job (for Jews and Arabs alike), and neighborhood after neighborhood. And, equally, they gave birth to Modern Hebrew. They took an ancient language and rendered it contemporary, which in turn became the lingua franca of the new state. Fourth, the politics of statehood were not uncomplicated. It took 50 years from Theodore Herzl’s vision of a reborn Jewish nation to the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which called for Jewish and Arab states to emerge from British-ruled Mandatory Palestine. During those five decades – and all the global ups and downs, governments’ sleights-of-hand, and power politics – Jewish leadership in the land persevered. They were undeterred. Fifth, that same Jewish leadership understood that half a loaf was better than none. While the Jews would have wished for a bigger state, and believed the historical facts warranted it, pragmatism prevailed over maximalism. And therein lies the fundamental difference between Jewish and Arab leadership at the time, and since. The 1947 Partition Plan could

have solved the national aspirations of Jews and Arabs alike (i.e., Palestinians, though the term was not then used by the UN). There would have been two states for two peoples, living, ideally, side by side in peace and cooperation. But the Arab insistence on the whole loaf triggered war. The war in turn created a Palestinian refugee problem, and that dream of the whole loaf continues to be nurtured by too many Palestinian leaders. Sixth, the 1948 war to annihilate the new state might have been Israel’s first and, yes, last war, but it wasn’t. Vastly outnumbered and outarmed, the 650,000 Jews could have been vanquished by the five attacking Arab armies, including the British-trained Jordanians. But they dug in, fought on with often hard-to-acquire weapons, and eventually won, while losing one percent of their entire population – the first of several wars Israel was to win to defend its very right to exist. Seventh, Israel’s ability to defend itself is nothing short of extraordinary. A country the size of New Jersey, and without a favorable military topography, has withstood repeated assaults of every kind – wars, missile barrages, suicide bombings, kidnappings, lawfare, and modern-day blood libels. The morale and commitment of Israelis to fulfill their national obligations – when, no doubt, they’d much rather be studying, socializing and traveling – is remarkable. Alone, having never asked for the help of other nations’ troops, they defend the state. And Israel’s technical ingenuity in meeting each new challenge head-on has served as an object lesson for other countries. From Entebbe to Iron Dome, from Osirak to the Syrian nuclear plant, Israel has come up with viable answers to seemingly insurmountable threats. Eighth, Israel has forged a far more cohesive, vibrant society than many

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July 2012


Natan Sharansky applauds Government of Israel’s recognition of Reform and Conservative rabbis

ew York, NY; May 30, 2012 – Declaring it another step towards Jewish unity, Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has released the following statement on the decision by the Government of Israel to recognize Reform and Conservative rabbis and community leaders: “The government’s decision to recognize Reform and Conservative leaders gives official recognition to these dynamic community leaders and rabbis who work tirelessly to build strong and vibrant Zionist and Jewish communi-


ties throughout Israel,” said Sharansky, whose organization is the only platform where all the streams of Judaism and Jewish organizations from around the world sit together at one table with the Israeli government – a table where the positions and views of community representatives and the various streams are expressed and influence issues facing the Jewish world and Israel. “I believe this decision has both practical and symbolic importance,” Sharansky added. “It contributes significantly to the strengthening of the relationship between Diaspora Jews

and Israel. The Jewish Agency sees this decision as a bridge and as another step towards bringing unity to the Jewish people.” About the Jewish Agency for Israel Investing in a vibrant Jewish future, The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to address the greatest challenges of our People in every generation. We connect the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel – and Israel to Jews. We build a better society in Israel – and beyond – energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the

same time, the Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live at-risk. The Jewish Agency is funded by The Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod, major Jewish communities and Federations, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, foundations and donors from Israel and around the world. More information can be obtained at www.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Masa participants: Stand up for Israel wherever you are

ew York, NY; May 22, 2012 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today addressed thousands of Jewish young adults from around the world who are currently spending time in Israel as part of Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency. Netanyahu called on the Masa participants to stand up for Israel wherever they are – by making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) or defending Israel in their home communities. “Israel is your home, your home-


land, and your future,” the prime minister said. “You are bringing back to your countries something valuable – the truth about Israel.” The prime minister praised Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky, calling him “a hero of the Jewish people.” He recalled for the Masa participants that when Sharansky stood in court back in the Soviet Union and was asked whether he had anything to say, he responded: “I have nothing to say to the court, but to my wife and the Jewish

people I say, ‘next year in Jerusalem.’” Later in the Masa event, Sharansky informed the audience that a Jew had been murdered earlier in the day in a Yemen marketplace solely for being Jewish. “We must do everything to protect the Jews of Yemen and Iran, and all the Jews of the world,” he said, adding that it is imperative that the young people take their future and that of the Jewish people into their own hands. Masa Israel Journey brings some 10,000 Jewish young people from

throughout the world to experience Israel on long-term programs each year. The initiative is aimed at strengthening the connections between Israel and the Jewish world. Masa participants tend to return to their home countries even more engaged in Jewish life and Israel advocacy than they had been when they left, and many assume leadership positions in their communities. Many Masa participants – some 20 percent – elect to make aliyah.

continued from previous page predicted. How, the skeptics asked, could Israel absorb Jews from scores of countries with different languages, political traditions, cultural norms and religious practices? How could Israel forge a democratic state when so many refugees came from non-democratic Arab lands and communist societies – and in a region, the Middle East, where there was absolutely no tradition of free, open societies? How could religious and secular Jews coexist? How could Israel absorb over 100,000 Ethiopian Jews, who hailed from villages that had no electricity or other modern accoutrements? And how would non-Jews, especially a large Arab community, fare as citizens of the State of Israel? These are all works in progress, but, 64 years after the rebirth of Israel, it can be said that the centripetal forces binding the state together far outweigh the centrifugal forces at work – and that’s no mean feat, given the magnitude of each of the challenges. Ninth, in the face of unrelenting threats and dangers, Israel could have turned inward, abandoned hope, and given up on peace, but it most assuredly has not. Instead, Israel has embraced the world, sharing its vast know-how with developing countries and often being among the first on the scene when disaster strikes. It has affirmed life in a way that outsiders can hardly imagine. And, despite one spurned peace effort after another since the landmark treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) – not to mention the experiences of withdrawal from southern Lebanon only

to have Iranian-backed Hezbollah step in, or from Gaza only to have Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, take control – Israel still clings to the belief that peace, based on major territorial compromise and a two-state solution, is possible. And tenth is what travelers see for themselves when they come to Israel. As many first-time visitors have commented, they had no idea that Israel was so small or its security challenges so complex. They had no clue that Arabic was an official language and Israeli Arabs, even those opposed to the state’s very existence, have been elected to the Israeli parliament. They were unaware that churches and mosques are found everywhere, with full freedom of worship protected. They had no sense of how ancient and modern, at one and the same time, the country is. They had no understanding of what a full-throttled democracy Israel is, including a feisty press, an independent judiciary, an array of active NGOs, political parties galore, and an argumentative, self-critical culture. And they had no hint how proud of their country – and optimistic about the future – are the vast majority of Israelis. For nearly 2,000 years, Jews could only dream of, and pray for, the rebirth of Israel. Today, it is a living, breathing and pulsating reality. And I count myself among the lucky ones to see it unfold before my very eyes. For more information, visit


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July 2012

The top 12 ways Israel feeds the world By Abigail Klein Leichman - ISRAEL21c (, May 10, 2012


ood security is a major concern for our rapidly growing planet. As resources dwindle and the population rises, smart solutions for better agriculture and safer food storage are essential. No other single country – certainly not one as young and as tiny as Israel – has contributed more breakthroughs in this area than Israel. Since the 1950s, Israelis have not only been finding miraculous ways to green their own desert but have shared their discoveries far and wide through channels including MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ISRAEL21c has highlighted dozens of food-related advances pioneered by Israelis. Here are 12 major ways Israel helps feed the world. 1. Drip irrigation Probably no other advancement has been quite as significant. While the concept of drip irrigation existed well before Israeli statehood, it was revolutionized by Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass, who serendipitously discovered that a slow and balanced drip led to remarkable growth. He created tubing that slowly released water where it was most effective and, in 1965, Kibbutz Hatzerim built a whole new industry, Netafim, based on his invention. Israeli drip and micro-irrigation solutions rapidly spread worldwide. The newest models are self-cleaning and maintain uniform flow rate regardless of water quality and pressure. Just one recent example of how this method has impacted food supply in foreign countries is Tipa, literally

“Drop,” an Israeli-developed kit that has allowed 700 farming families in Senegal to reap crops three times a year instead of just once, even on infertile land. Tipa is “a simple drip irrigation system that uses gravity when there is no water supply or water pressure coming to rural areas,” MASHAV’s Ilan Fluss told ISRAEL21c. The organization has similar activities in Kenya, South Africa, Benin and Niger. 2. Grain cocoons Israeli-designed GrainPro Cocoons provide a surprisingly simple and cheap way for African and Asian farmers to keep their grain market-fresh. The huge bags, invented by international food technology consultant Prof. Shlomo Navarro, keep both water and air out. They’re used all over the developed world, including Africa and the Far East, and even in countries that have no diplomatic ties to Israel, such as Pakistan. As much as 50 percent of every grain harvest and 100% of every pulse harvest is lost to pests and mold, Navarro told ISRAEL21c. Subsistence farmers in developing countries tend to store their crops in primitive baskets or bags, which are not effective in keeping hungry bugs and micro-contaminants out. The Cocoon solves that problem, even in extreme heat and humidity. 3. Biological pest control On Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, a company called Bio-Bee breeds beneficial insects and mites for biological pest control, and bumblebees for natural pollination in greenhouses and open fields. Subsidiary Bio-Fly sells sterile Mediterranean fruit flies to control this major pest in fruit trees.

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R&D manager Dr. Shimon Steinberg told ISRAEL21c the company’s top-seller worldwide is a two-millimeter-long, pear-shaped orange spider that is a highly efficient enemy of the spider mite, a devastating agricultural pest. “Sixty percent of California strawberries since 1990 are treated with this predatory mite from the Holy Land,” he reported. In Israel, Bio-Bee products have enabled sweet-pepper farmers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 75 percent. Bio-Bee exports eight different species of biological control agents, plus pollinating bumblebees, to 32 nations from Japan to Chile. Bio-Fly collaborates with Jordanian and West Bank Palestinian Authority agricultural experts. 4. Dairy farming Hof Hasharon Dairy Farm, SAE Afikim and SCR Precise Dairy Farming all make advanced systems for herd management, monitoring and feeding used on dairy farms worldwide. SAE Afikim is one of 10 Israeli companies involved in a five-year project in Vietnam to implement every aspect of a vast $500 million dairy farm project. It’s the largest project of its kind in the world. The operation will encompass 30,000 cows at 12 state-of-the-art mega-dairies and a milk processing plant supplying 300 million liters per year. By the end of 2012, 500,000 liters are expected to be produced daily. In the meantime, China is sending groups of dairy farm manager trainees to Israel to learn how to boost milk production there as well. 5. Tailor-made farm solutions Kibbutz-based Agricultural Knowledge On-Line (AKOL) makes unique software to help producers grow fruits and vegetables, raise poultry and dairy cows, manage vineyards and make olive oil. Hosted in IBM’s “cloud,” AKOL’s latest project gives farmers anywhere in the world access to information from Israeli experts. Hundreds of thousands of farmers can obtain tailor-made solutions, arrange group purchases of supplies, and communicate with colleagues. CEO Ron Shani told ISRAEL21c that AKOL applications advise farmers on when to plant, irrigate and harvest; how to cope with drought; how to choose the crops best for their area; how to implement ideal storage and temperature control procedures based on climate; and how to track the growth of chickens, livestock and fruit, among other ideas for running a modern, professional farm. 6. A better potato It took nearly 30 years of research, but Hebrew University’s Prof. David Levy developed strains of potatoes that thrive in hot, dry climates, and can be irrigated by saltwater. Potatoes are one of the top sources of nutrition in the world, but they never before grew well in hot, desert regions like the Middle East. Now farmers in these regions can grow potatoes as a cash crop. Levy told ISRAEL21c that he also

intended his research to enhance understanding between Israel and its neighbors, as scientists and officials from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco meet with Israeli scientists to share knowledge and build bridges of information and technology. 7. Squeezing every drop of water from the air Tal-Ya Water Technologies developed reusable plastic trays to collect dew from the air, reducing the water needed by crops or trees by up to 50 percent. The square serrated trays, made from non-PET recycled and recyclable plastic with UV filters and a limestone additive, surround each plant or tree. With overnight temperature change, dew forms on both surfaces of the TalYa tray, which funnels the dew and condensation straight to the roots. If it rains, the trays heighten the effect of each millimeter of water 27 times over. Inventor and CEO Avraham Tamir told ISRAEL21c that the trays also block the sun so weeds can’t take root, and protect the plants from extreme temperature shifts. “Farmers need to use much less water, and in turn much less fertilizer on the crop,” which translates to less groundwater contamination. 8. Unparalleled crop protection Two years ago, Hebrew University’s tech-transfer company teamed with Makhteshim Agan, a world leader in crop protection products, to develop and commercialize slow-release herbicides and a targeted insecticide that doesn’t harm beneficial insects. The total worldwide herbicide market is valued at more than $15 billion, of which approximately a quarter is dedicated to soil-applied herbicides and other pesticides. The Israeli approach incorporates herbicides into micelles or vesicles, which are absorbed onto negatively charged clay minerals to enable a slow and controlled release, reducing leaching to deeper soil layers. This enhances efficiency and reduces the required doses. The novel insecticide kills caterpillars of night-flying moths – a common scourge for farmers worldwide – but unlike common commercial preparations, has minimal or no effect on any other creature. High levels of control can be achieved with much less product, greatly minimizing environmental impact. 9. Fishing in the desert Overfishing is a serious threat to the food supply, a grave situation since fish is the main source of protein for hundreds of millions of people. But what if fish could be raised virtually anywhere, even in the desert? That is just what the Israel’s GFA (Grow Fish Anywhere) Advanced Systems has made possible. The Israeli “zero-discharge” system eliminates the environmental problems in conventional fish farming, and doesn’t depend on electricity or proximity to a body of water. Specially developed microbes purify fish waste byproducts right in the tank, with no need for spillage and refilling. The largest facility using GFA

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July 2012

continued from previous page technology, in New York, produced about 100 tons of sea bream, bass and tilapia in 2010. 10. Food from greenhouse gas Israel’s Seambiotic clean-tech company recently launched a commercial algae farm in China and does business in the United States and Italy as well. People don’t eat algae, but algae ponds nourished by power-plant effluent conserve farmed produce for human consumption because they generate 30 times more feedstock for biofuel than do land-based crop alternatives. Plus, the tiny plants, which thrive on carbon dioxide and sunlight, produce a valuable nutraceutical food additive that is especially popular in the Far East. 11. Reintroducing carp to Africa Half a century ago, Lake Victoria carp was a significant part of the diet of the nearby Ugandan villagers. But when Nile perch was introduced to the lake, it decimated most of the smaller fish including the carp. Villagers had neither the equipment nor the expertise necessary to start fishing the huge perch, and symptoms of protein deficiency started becoming apparent in their children. Prof. Berta Sivan of Hebrew University came to the rescue with a multiyear project to help these African families. Her team was able to apply

techniques developed over many years for Israeli fish farmers. The Israeli project not only successfully spawned carp on Ugandan fish farms, but also provided training on how to dig and fill ponds and raise the small fish. Now local children have an abundant supply of protein to eat with their fruit and vegetables. 12. Hardier seeds for better crops Hebrew University agricultural scientists Ilan Sela and Haim D. Rabinowitch developed TraitUP, a trademarked technology that enables the introduction of genetic materials into seeds without modifying their DNA. This method immediately and efficiently improves plants before they’re even sowed. The university’s Yissum Research Development technology transfer company licensed the seed treatment technology to Morflora Israel for curing fruit-tree diseases in orchards and groves, and for seedling treatment in the nursery. “The new ability to deliver traits within days instead of years, and to offer a treatment with results similar to breeding to all current species, answers a long and unmet need that will revolutionize modern agriculture and significantly impact the vegetable and commodity crop markets,” said Dotan Peleg, CEO of Morflora.



Google Maps Street View images of Israel are available online. The 3D mapping project began with car- and tricycle-mounted cameras snapping photos from the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa – offering a panoramic look at Israel’s three largest cities. To protect both national security and citizens’ privacy, Google agreed to skip sensitive facilities and blur peoples’ faces. (Times of Israel)

FREE ISRAELI CATARACT CLINICS TREAT 1,000 ETHIOPIANS When the seven-person crew from the Israeli volunteer organization Eye from Zion arrived in a remote region in Ethiopia in February to provide free cataract surgery, they were expecting several dozen patients. 1,400 showed up. The organization has performed the 20-minute procedure on thousands of people in Asian and African countries. After an initial 170 operations in the regions of Debark and Gondar, Eye

from Zion founder Nati Marcus planned to return with another team of four eye doctors, a couple of nurses and a technician over the course of the year to finish the job for those on the waiting list. No one at Eye from Zion receives any money for their services. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

TURKEY-ISRAEL TRADE UNAFFECTED BY POLITICAL CRISIS Economic relations between Turkey and Israel have not been impacted by the political crisis that resulted after the Mavi Marmara incident. In 2011, imports from Israel reached an all-time high of $2 billion, compared to $1.36 billion the previous year, while exports to Israel were $2.4 billion, up from $2 billion in 2010. The only areas of Turkish-Israeli relations badly affected are military cooperation and tourism. (Zaman-Turkey)


For the first time in five years, a large

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July 2012

BRIEFS continued from previous page group of Bnei Menashe immigrants from northeastern India is slated to make aliya this summer. 50 families, numbering 250 people, will arrive in August and settle in the Galilee. More than 1,700 Bnei Menashe moved to Israel over the last decade. (Jerusalem Post)


126 new names have been added to the list of Israel’s fallen soldiers and ter-

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rorism victims who were honored at Remembrance Day events. Israel now has 10,524 bereaved families who have lost 22,993 loved ones. The families include 2,396 orphans and 4,992 widows. A one-minute siren was heard at 8:00 p.m. on the eve of Yom HaZikaron, followed by a ceremony at the Western Wall. The following day, a two-minute siren was heard as Israelis observed a second moment of silence, followed by numerous memorial services across the country. The placing of a flag with a black “Yizkor” (remembrance) ribbon on the grave of each and every fallen soldier or terror victim is an expression of the state’s deeply held honor and respect for the fallen. It embodies the participation of the whole country in the shared grief of all the bereaved families, orphans and widows. The Ministry of Defense estimated that over one million Israelis paid their respects at the 44 military cemeteries and burial plots across the country. (Israel Ministry of Defense-IMRA)

HALL OF NAMES FOR THE FALLEN OF ISRAEL’S WARS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN JERUSALEM The Israeli Cabinet recently approved the establishment of a “Hall of Names” for the fallen of Israel’s wars, in the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We have no central hall to enshrine the memories of the fallen of Israel’s wars...We are a people that overflows with memory. We are doing this out of deep recognition of the contribution of the fallen, and I hope that such places

will no longer be necessary.” (Prime Minister’s Office)

POLL: 93 PERCENT PROUD TO BE ISRAELI According to a poll of Israelis conducted in honor of Independence Day, 93% are proud to be Israeli, and 70% describe themselves as “very proud.” 80% say they prefer to live in Israel over any other place in the world, while only 9% would rather live abroad. 83% intend to display their national pride by flying a flag outside their house or on their car on Independence Day. 65% said they see themselves as Jews first, then Israeli. 21% feel more Israeli than Jewish. 81% said they feel an affinity towards Diaspora Jews. (Israel Hayom)

ISRAEL’S GAS DIPLOMACY After Israel survived its war of independence, it set about winning friends in the Middle East among non-Arabs, including Iran and Turkey, two non-Arab regional powers that became full-blown military allies. Now Israel’s periphery strategy is back big time, thanks largely to hydrocarbon diplomacy. Israel has known gas reserves of $130-billion in the Mediterranean, with some estimating that twice as much will materialize as exploration continues. Cyprus is also discovering immense amounts of gas in the sea bed adjacent to Israel’s. The two are now developing their gas jointly, with plans to export it to Europe or Asia or both. Greece is now talking of joining in joint ventures. Israel’s periphery strategy includes other European countries such as Christian Romania and Bulgaria, and Muslim

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Albania, which has been a standout defender of Israel in the UN. Israel also has allies such as Georgia and Azerbaijan in Central Asia, and works with predominantly Christian Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan to fend off Iran and Islamist terrorism. Israel’s stock in East Africa is particularly high because of its role in gaining independence for South Sudan. Over much of South Sudan’s half-century struggle for independence, Israel almost single-handedly armed and supported the black African rebels against what was widely recognized as genocide and enslavement perpetrated by the Arabic rulers based in northern Sudan. (Financial Post-Canada)

IMPRESSIONS OF AN IDF RESERVE SOLDIER Last week I returned from month-long IDF reserve service in Judea and Samaria. Israelis maintain a daily routine under a constant threat to their lives. Jewish communities must be surrounded by a fence so their residents won’t be butchered. I suddenly understood how truly shocking it is that I’m lying in ambush in mud near a Jewish community on the eve of a holiday, just to prevent the murder of Jews. The Palestinians do not draw their hatred for Israel from the soldier at the checkpoint. They take in the hatred from the PA and Hamas TV. They get the hatred from incitement at mosques, schools, and the photos of martyrs adorning every wall and square in their cities. (Yaniv Blumenfeld in Ynet News)

ISRAEL – A FOREIGN ACTIVIST’S PARADISE I once asked two Swedish activists why they came to Israel of all places? Why not Syria? Egypt? Russia or China? One of them replied, “Are you insane? These are all extremely dangerous places!” And that’s when it hit me. These people know that nothing bad is going to happen to them here. The massive exposure of the Israeli officer who struck a protestor, and the amount of condemnation it received, proves how unusual this incident was. After all, in Egypt or Syria you would become another dead body on the street. In China or Russia you would find yourself imprisoned for the rest of your life if you even attempted to raise your hand against a local police officer or soldier. For many of those foreign peace activists, this is all just a game. They come from all corners of the world to a faraway country they have never been to before. They confront soldiers and policemen, blocking roads and holding signs. Moreover, as long as they have their cold beer by the end of the evening, as long as they lay their heads in a comfy and friendly hostel, they will continue to arrive. They take advantage of what we’re most proud of: our freedom, democracy and tolerance. I hope they will embrace how lucky they are to be “spoiled radicals” here with us. Hopefully they will realize that if Israel disappeared, they will not have anywhere else to go. (Tal Dror in Ynet News)

FOCUS ON YOUTH 21A July 2012

July 2012


TBS Schools’ Museum Night educates and entertains


n May 9, Temple Beth Sholom Schools transformed into a museum, complete with student

docents. As a “Museum School,” a projectbased learning method that fosters

Eighth grader Gabi Mandelblum performs in the Living Wax Museum as Leonardo da Vinci

abstract, intellectual tasks to explore complex issues, students view knowledge holistically rather than by looking at isolated facts. They explore, make judgments, interpret, and synthesize information across curriculum areas. The culmination of the learning process is a museum exhibit where the interdisciplinary curricular projects are on display “museum style” and students serve as “museum docents” to share knowledge with others. During the tour of museum exhibits, attendees asked tough questions! These young docents, Kindergarten through eighth grade, eagerly explained the exhibits they had been researching, designing and building the past few months. The topics each grade focused on include: ‹‹ Preschool Seniors: Appreciation of

the Arts (Visual & Performing) ‹‹ Kindergarten: Faces of the Future: A Kindergarten Social Studies unit on community helpers ‹‹ First Grade: Journey Around the World: First Grade’s Study of World Geography and Cultures ‹‹ Grades 2-3: Native Americans ‹‹ Grade 4: Somewhere in Time: Exploration and Colonization ‹‹ Grade 5: Somewhere in Time: Industrialization and Expansion ‹‹ Middle School: Inquiring Minds: A Trip Through the Middle Ages:

Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution and Exploration Part of the school’s overall philosophy is that all students are capable, competent and powerful individuals. The student learning was on display in a professional manner for the entire community to view. Whether toddlers or 8th graders, all of the students are so proud of their hard work and accomplishments, and they enjoyed sharing their knowledge during this evening of discovery.

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Temple Beth El proud of future Eagle Scout By Sandy Clark

kyler Banfill grew up in a family devoted to helping others and “giving back.” Skyler’s mother Stephanie, grandmother Susie Konicov (TBE’s religious school director), and great grandfather Werner Weinberg (a past professor at Hebrew Union Seminary in Cincinnati), instilled a sense of pride in tzedakah that has made him into the wonderful young man he is today. Skyler, at about the age of 4, started scouting and found himself. In his own


Skylar Banfill

words: “Scouting, like Judaism, has instilled in me a set of morals, a sense of community and community service, and a pride in myself and my abilities.” He has worked hard towards his goals of not only becoming an Eagle Scout, but of striving to receive a special award given for commitment to his faith. As part of his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout he must be part of a “mitzvah” (good works) project. Skyler’s choice was the “Street Outreach Program” because it helps an estimated two-million homeless youth and young adults in America on any given day. To that end, Skyler has placed a donation box in the lobby of Temple Beth El where members and friends can donate, from a list, items that provide homeless young people (ages 16-25) with items for daily survival. Without a doubt, Skyler’s family and his TBE family are all extremely proud of this special young man. For more information on this wonderful “Street Outreach Program” that is run by Manatee Children’s Services, or to help with this project, please call the program at 941.747.1509 and tell them “Skyler sent you.”

Gift Store Open Daily 941.366.2404



July 2012

Temple Emanu-El Preschool honors graduates and recognizes faculty and Circumstance, then ascended the bimah to receive diplomas and trophies and perform special graduation songs and dances. Offering warm words to the new graduates were Temple EmanuEl Preschool Director Elaine Sharrock, Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman, and outgoing Vice President of Education Kala Sheckler. Rabbi Glickman’s younger son and daughter, as well as Sheckler’s two daughters, were also educated at Temple Emanu-El Preschool. During the ceremony, Sharrock and Pre-Kindergarten instructor Debbie Kaufman – who also serves as Head Temple Emanu-El Vice President of Education Kala Sheckler, Teacher – were recVPK teacher Debbie Kaufman, Preschool Director Elaine Sharrock, ognized for 25 years Rabbi Brenner J. Glickman

he newly-minted graduates of Temple Emanu-El Preschool – and their proud families, teachers and fellow students – filled the sanctuary Friday morning, June 1, for an adorable ceremony. Pre-Kindergarteners walked down the aisle to the strains of Pomp


of outstanding service to Temple Emanu-El Preschool. A plaque inscribed with “Distinguished Educators” and their names was presented and will hang in the preschool building to honor their longevity and dedication to Temple Emanu-El Preschool. Two other Temple Emanu-El Preschool teachers will soon reach the milestone of serving the school for 25 years, and their names will be added to the plaque in coming years. Temple Emanu-El Preschool VPK teacher Debbie Kaufman “In a field like earcongratulates graduate Ben Vieira ly childhood education, where so many schools experience so their students and families love and remuch turnover, we feel blessed to have spect them so much. We are delighted faculty like Elaine Sharrock and Debbie to honor them for their commitment to Kaufman,” commented Temple Emanu- our preschool and their teaching excelEl Preschool chair Rabbi Elaine Rose lence.” Glickman. “They love this school, and

Chalutzim update

TBS Schools – 2012 Gulf Coast League Tennis Champions!

n May 6, the Temple Beth Sholom Chalutzim group headed off to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for the school year’s last event. The day was filled with lots of adventure and everyone had a great time. Chalutzim is open to all 3rd, 4th and th 5 grade children. This youth group focuses on fun activities including arts and crafts, holiday programs, social time, field trips, sleepovers, and games


that help to teach about Judaism and foster basic leadership skills. Chalutzim meets monthly on Sunday afternoons following religious school, either on the grounds of the synagogue or off site. Chalutzim is the place to be! Activities will resume in late August, so keep a look out for notices, or contact Elaine Tedesco at for more information.


emple Beth Sholom Schools are the 2012 Gulf Coast League Tennis Champions. The victory on May 8 was highlighted by 8th grader Austin Srur, who won 8-0; 8th grader Sierra VanSuch, who won 8-4; and 7th grader Erica Lester, who won 8-6. Drew Fenner, grade 7, was down 6-2 to one of the league’s best players atz aK essic Katz r ct: Jessica J 23 or


C t: t. ns? ntac stio ? Co 6 ex Questions .4546 ext. Que 1.371.454


but went on to win five of the next six games, forcing a tie-breaker which he won 7-5. The doubles team of Austin Srur and Xavier Koffman played outstanding and entertaining tennis, winning their doubles match against St. Martha’s #1 and #3 seeded players. Go Panthers!


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Temple Beth Sholom Chalutzim group at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa

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Temple Beth Sholom Schools’ tennis team

Jewish Jewish Bedtime Bedtime Stories Stories & & Songs Songs for for Families Families The PJ Library program supports families in their Jewish journey The PJ Library program supports families in their Jewish journey by sending Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis by sending Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to children from age six-months to eight-years. to children from age six-months to eight-years.

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July 2012

July 2012


ANNIVERSARIES 55th Adele & Rabbi Joseph Herzog Temple Sinai 55th Alfred & Hedy Kohn Temple Beth Sholom 50th William & Dolores Fogel Temple Beth Sholom 50th Shirley & Richard Rose Temple Sinai 50th Myrna & Jack Shapiro Temple Sinai 35th Jack & Marge Mansbach Temple Emanu-El



20th Andrea & Eric Eiffert Temple Sinai 20th Donald & Jodie Meyers Temple Emanu-El 20th Gerald & Ruth Strauss Temple Beth Sholom 15th Marc & Shana Rosenthal Temple Emanu-El 15th Barbara & Lawrence Weil Temple Sinai 10th Matthew & Cheryl Kaehn Temple Beth Sholom

Providing dedicated Jewish facilities and traditional Jewish Burials to Sarasota & Manatee for

over 60 years.

Rosalind Sichel

ENGAGEMENT Michael & Sabina Zimmer are delighted to announce the engagement of their son, Jonathan, to Jennifer Kerschner (pictured). Jennifer is the daughter of Paul & Debra Kerschner of Manlius, New York. The couple plan to be married on February 16, 2013 at Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa, Florida.


Dora Benderson, of Sarasota, formerly of Buffalo, NY, May 31 Susan M. Bendit, 64, of Venice, formerly of Lynn, MA, June 1 Mary Ann Hytken Bernstein (nee Teweles), 85, of Sarasota, May 30 Francis Joseph Carmody, 81, of Sarasota, May 9 Lee Miller Floersheimer, 77, of Sarasota, May 26 Ruth Barbara Greenspan, 92, of Cambria Heights & East Rockaway, NY, and Sarasota, May 13 Gloria Klein, 87, of Sarasota, May 12 Robert Kort, 82, of Venice, formerly of Southfield, MI, May 15 Lillie Levenson, 90, of Sarasota, April 27 Milton Lucow, 87, of Sarasota, May 28 Irene Mirabito, 87, of Bradenton, May 9 Philippe Nahon, 48, of Sarasota, May 26 Ruth Goldsmith Conwisher Rolfe, 98, of Sarasota, May 18 Jayne R. Rosenberg, of Sarasota, May 25 Edith M. Rosenthal, 86, of Longboat Key, May 18 Saul Winton Segal, 84, of Sarasota, and Wayzata, MN, March 17 Earl Silvers, 92, of Sarasota, formerly of River Forest, IL, May 24 Claire W. Wolf, 92, of Sarasota, May 18

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for decades, hundreds of donors and their financial advisors have entrusted The Jewish Federation to be their partner in their thoughtful planning of Jewish philanthropy and management of charitable assets. Learn more about our commitment to you by contacting Marty Haberer at or 941.371.4546 x.108.


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Celebrating Jewish Life in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Israel and the World FEDERATION NEWS

See pages 6B-8B for recent event photos To submit your event, send an e-mail to

July 2012 - Tammuz/Av 5772

Volume 42, Number 7

Jewish Happenings monDAY, july 2

tuesDAY, july 3

Summer at the Academy: Summer Camp at TBS Schools

Brandeis summer study group

Temple Beth Sholom Schools’ Goldie Feldman Academy (1050 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota) is offering two-week summer enrichment programs (July 2-13 and July 16-27 this month) for incoming Kindergarten-3rd grade students. Themes for academic sessions include cooking, gardening, games and sports, and modern, American and world arts. These courses are designed to maximize fun and provide an educational camper experience. Cost is $400 from 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. Possible after care is available. For more information, please contact Cindi Bavry at 941.954.2027 or

Brandeis National Committee invites everyone to join us for the Reel Discussion. There is no charge; simply see the movie (TBD) on your own and come to participate in a discussion of it. Members and nonmembers are all welcome. Discussions begin at 1:30 p.m. at Roskamp Center, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Plan ahead – the next session will take place Tuesday, August 7. Contact Lenore Weintraub at 941.377.5958 or for the film name or for more information.

Summer Experience: Summer Camp at TBS Schools Two two-week sessions are offered in July for campers 15 months - 4 years. The first camp session (July 2-13) theme is Creatures Featured Jaws. The second session (July 16-27) themes are Creatures Featured Swamp Things and Kindergarten Readiness. Summer camp activities include art, cooking and science with our experienced and caring staff. Swim lessons are offered for older campers. Cost is $220-$375 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Possible after care is available. Temple Beth Sholom Schools is located at 1050 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. For more information, please contact Cindi Bavry at 941.954.2027 or

Temple Emanu-El Preschool Summer Camp Children ages 18 months through five years are invited for the wonderful second session of day camp at Temple Emanu-El Preschool. In a clean, safe, loving Jewish environment, campers will enjoy fun themes like around the world, robots, bakery and construction; science, cooking, singing and art; free play; and special activities including making rainsticks and robots, water days, building houses, and a visit from the Sailor Circus! Weekly Shabbat celebrations and pizza lunch on Fridays! Temple EmanuEl Preschool is located at 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. For the schedule and tuition information, call Elaine Sharrock, Temple Emanu-El Preschool Director, at 941.377.8074. Established 1979

wednesDAY, july 4 Temple Beth El goes to the fireworks Join the members and friends of Temple Beth El Bradenton at the Manatee River to watch the beautiful fireworks display presented by the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto. The group will meet and set up on the Bradenton side of the River at Pier 22 at 8:30 p.m. Come and enjoy the fireworks and ice cream. For more information, call the temple office at 941.755.4900, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to noon.

thursDAY, july 5 Bible study at Temple Emanu-El Every Thursday morning, a cadre of adult learners gathers from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El (151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota) for a Bible study class led by Dr. Ruth Simons. These intimate, intriguing and enriching classes are open to the Jewish community. In July, the Bible study group will complete The Book of Exodus and delve into The Book of Leviticus. Come escape the summer heat and rediscover the ancient laws and teachings of our people! Donation requested for community guests. For more information, call Dr. Ruth Simons at 941.922.8659.

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July 2012

monDAY, july 9 Brandeis summer day trip 3470 Fruitville Rd. Sarasota, FL 34237

Brandeis National Committee invites everyone to join us for a day at the Chihuly Museum (400 Beach Drive NE) and the Morean Arts Center (719 Central Avenue) in St. Petersburg. We’ll meet in Sarasota (call for location) for carpooling at 9:15 a.m. and return at 4:00 p.m. The cost is $20, with lunch on your own at one of the waterfront restaurants. Members and nonmembers are all welcome. Contact Jill Simons at 312.203.0903 or to RSVP or for more information.

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tuesDAY, july 10 JFCS Transitions Support Group Sponsored by

The death of a spouse, significant other or life partner is perhaps the most difficult experience that one can have. Once the initial intense period of grief has subsided, how do you recreate your life and go on? This group is an opportunity to be with others who are struggling with the same life issues. The ongoing group will meet monthly initially to meet new people in similar life circumstances; share experiences – what works, what doesn’t; begin to laugh and enjoy what life can offer you now; and receive support as you navigate this new road. Funded through a grant from The Jewish Federation of SarasotaManatee. The group will meet from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at the JFCS Main Campus, 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. No fee, but pre-registration is required. Contact Susan Finkelstein, RN, MAS, Jewish Healing Coordinator, at 941.366.2224 x166 or

Ladies Lunch & Learn Join Chanie Bukiet from noon - 1:00 p.m. at Chabad Jewish Center, 5712 Lorraine Road, Lakewood Ranch, for a Lunch & Learn. Feast on a delicious lunch and learn Tanya, psychology of the soul, based on the Kabbalah. No cost. Call 941.752.3030 for more information.

Young Adults Division Happy Hour Join the Young Adults Division (YAD) of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee for happy hour! This is a great opportunity to meet other young Jews in their 20s and 30s. Free to attend. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Darwin’s On Fourth, 1525 4th Street, Sarasota. Please contact Jessica Katz at 941.371.4546 x123 or if you have any questions about YAD.

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JEWISH HAPPENINGS 3B July 2012 wednesDAY, july 11

July 2012


sundaY, july 15

“Reintroduction to Judaism” workshops

Summer fun - Bingo, pizza and prizes

Temple Beth Sholom is offering an ongoing series (classes continue July 18, 25 and August 1) of special workshops confronting the changes in Jewish practice during contemporary times. Instructor Marden Paru will use text material from the Tanach and Talmud to analyze ancient, traditional and current practices covering topics such as life cycle events, mourning, Israel and dietary laws. Each session will stand on its own. There is no cost for members and a $36 fee for nonmembers for the entire course. Community members are welcome to participate. The workshops take place from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. at 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota. For further information and registration, call the temple office at 941.955.8121.

It’s Sum-Sum-Summertime at Congregation Ner Tamid and that means it’s time for Bingo and Pizza. The fun starts at 12:30 p.m. at The Lodge, 4802 B 26th St. W., Bradenton. $5 for pizza and soda or bottled water, and only $1 for each Bingo card. Prizes, too. To reserve your place, call Elaine at 941.755.1231 or visit

“Lunch with the Rabbi” Come eat, socialize and learn with Temple Emanu-El’s wonderful parttime Associate Rabbi Richard Klein at this “Lunch with the Rabbi” special edition! While Rabbi Brenner Glickman is on summer sabbatical in Israel, Rabbi Klein is serving as Temple Emanu-El’s spiritual leader and will host this popular monthly gathering. Bring a brown-bag lunch and enjoy mingling with old and new friends and discussing current events and topics of Jewish interest with Rabbi Klein. All are welcome to this free event which begins at noon at Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. For more information, call the temple office at 941.371.2788.

Temple Beth Sholom Interesting Lives Series Join us at 1:15 p.m. at 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue, Sarasota, to hear Dr. Pauline Rabin, who was raised in South Africa before immigrating to the United States in early adulthood. After the Six Day War, she spent five years in Israel, after which she returned to the U.S. and settled in Maryland. Come and listen to her experiences and impressions of three different cultures. The program is open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be served. For information, contact Judy Lebowich at 941.371.4686 or

Temple Emanu-El summer film series Beat the heat (cold lemonade will be served!) and enjoy a stimulating afternoon at the temple’s summer film series, sponsored by the Adult Education Committee. In honor of the summer Olympics, this popular monthly program continues with a screening of Chariots of Fire on the temple’s state-of-the-art projection system at 2:00 p.m. at 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. Cost: $5. Watch this riveting story of two athletes – one Scottish-Christian, one a British Jew – in the 1924 Games who run to honor God and overcome prejudice. Contact Judilee Sterne at 941.349.9287 for more information.

monDAY, july 16 Temple Sinai’s Camp Gan Camp Gan at Temple Sinai (4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota) begins its 3rd summer session with the theme of “Outer Space.” During this final session, kids 2 - 5 will explore the “final frontier” - space: planets, asteroids, the moon, oh my! These astronauts’ imaginations will soar while they explore the limits of outer space. Fridays include celebrating Shabbat and pizza lunch. Contact Laura Freedman, Director of Early Childhood Education, at 941.926.9462 or

140 kosher characters

“Unpacking Judaism” Discover the rich and mystical significance of awareness and consciousness within Judaism. Topics include Non-Duality in Religion, Kabbalah, Wisdom of Hebrew Letters, Soul, Talmud, Prayer, Laws. This ongoing Wednesday class meets from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. Free for Temple Sinai members; $18 per month for nonmembers. Contact Reb Ari Shapiro at 941.966.7778 or for information or to register.

For a continuously updated community calendar, visit

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Calling all bridge players! Join me for Bridge Group on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 4:00 p.m. on the Federation Campus (582 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota). Intermediate or advanced players only, please. Questions? Call me (Jayne Rosenberg) at 941.378.9323. 

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WEDNEsDAY, july 18 Kol HaNeshama interactive Torah study Tuvia Natkin (pictured) will facilitate an ongoing interaction with the Chumash (starting with Genesis 1:1) on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 a.m. noon. The purpose of this free class is to bring Torah in all of its potential meaning to people’s lives today – to explore, study, examine and determine its place in their lives. Any interpretation is welcome and open to discussion. Tuvia Natkin grew up in New York and Connecticut and moved to Israel in 1975 to study Torah. His recent translations include the works of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and classic Chassidic texts. This course will go all year and dynamics will determine class size (or perhaps a second class). Various sources and interpretations will be suggested for reading with each section. Tuvia will set these in PDF format to be downloaded. The location will be announced. For more information and to RSVP, contact Scott Barde at 941.922.9353 or

Advertising deAdlines September: OctOber: NOvember: December:

aug 1 aug 31 oct 1 nov 1

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WEDNEsDAY, july 25 AJC 2012 Summer Lunch & Learn

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AJC (American Jewish Committee) West Coast Florida is proud to present Jason Isaacson, AJC’s Director of Government & International Affairs (pictured), as the Keynote Speaker at its Summer Lunch & Learn program at 11:00 a.m. at The Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd. Mr. Isaacson will discuss “Is Peace Possible? – Growing Challenges to a Two-State IsraeliPalestinian Solution in the Region’s Shifting Political and Strategic Landscape.” This is the second program of the series, generously sponsored by the law firm of Williams Parker. The cost of $25 includes lunch. To RSVP, contact Monica Caldwell at 941.365.4955 or

fri-mon, july 27-30 Entering the Temple: Discovering the Other Within Join us for a Tisha B’Av meditation retreat. Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, and other tragedies the Jewish people experienced over centuries. Out of destruction comes transformation and the opportunity for wholeness. The weekend will juxtapose the joy of Shabbat with the brokenness of Tisha B’Av through Meditation, Torah Study, Prayer, Reflection, Spiritual Chevrutah, Art, Body Movement and Spiritual Eating. The retreat will be led by Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels, teacher at the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center in the Galilee of Israel, and Rabbi Elyssa Joy Auster of Temple Judea in Fort Myers. The retreat take places at the scenic DaySpring Conference Center in Ellenton, Florida, and begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (with onsite registration from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.) and ends at 7:00 a.m. on Monday. Double occupancy cabins are $245 per person. The retreat fee is $218. Financial aid is available for those in need. For registration forms, financial aid, questions and further information, please contact Rabbi Auster at or 239.433.0201. Registration closes prior to July 1, so if you’re interested, act now.


July 2012 Development Corporation for Israel

friDAY, july 27 Summer Shabbat Supper and Schmooze This month’s event features a variety of pizzas from II Panifico, salad, soda and dessert. The evening begins at 5:15 p.m. with a Welcome Reception; services are at 6:00 p.m. and then dinner. It’s a casual, comfortable evening and we invite the community to Temple Sinai, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota. $12.50 for members; $15.00 for guests. RSVP by the July 24 at 941.751.5340.

saturDAY, july 28 Ner Tamid’s Annual Summer Potluck & Movie Night Spend Saturday evening with your Ner Tamid family. Enjoy a potluck dinner and a PG-13 movie. Haven, an award-winning film, is based on a true story by American journalist Ruth Gruber, whose efforts brought Jews to the U.S. during World War II. The film documents their incredible journey, culminating in U.S. residency. This was the only attempt by the United States to shelter Jewish refugees during the war. Start time is 6:00 p.m. at The Lodge, 4802 B 26th St. W., Bradenton. Free and open to members and friends. For information, reservations and directions, call Elaine at 941.755.1231 or visit

sunDAY, july 29 Temple Beth El Bradenton’s “Movie & Meal”


Member FINRA 

State of Israel Bonds 12600 South Belcher Road, Suite 101A Largo, Florida 33773

Reva Pearlstein Assistant Director

Monica DiGiovanni Registered Representative

727-539-6445  800-622-8017 This is not an offering, which can only be made by prospectus. Read the prospectus carefully before investing to fully evaluate the risks associated with investing in State of Israel Bonds. Issues subject to availability

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International Classics with an adventurous twist! ~Voted~

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Dinner for Two for $49.00

Includes an appetizer, entree and dessert and a glass of wine. Or $55.00 with a bottle of wine Present this ad, expires 8/31/12

Breakfast and Lunch from 8am Daily Dinner Tues- Sat 5 to 9pm Reservations Suggested

The temple’s “Social Activities” group invites you to a screening of Hester Street, followed by a dairy dinner and discussion. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. at 4200 32nd Street West, Bradenton. The cost is $7 for members and $10 for nonmembers. For more information, call the temple office at 941.755.4900, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to noon.

941.312.4027 Orange at 4th, Sarasota Rosemary District

tuesDAY, july 31 Brandeis summer book discussions Brandeis National Committee invites everyone to join us for the Mystery Book Discussions. On July 31 the book is Raylan by Elmore Leonard. On August 28, the book is Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. There is no charge. Members and nonmembers are all welcome. Discussions begin at 1:30 p.m. at Roskamp Center, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Contact Lenore Weintraub at 941.377.5958 or for more information.

What if there was one place…

Featuring inspired international cuisine including: unique appetizers. USDA prime steaks, fresh seafood, pasta, tantalizing desserts, and an extensive award-wining wine list. Savor our many evening specialities: Littly Italy Monday, Prime Rib Wednesday,Lobster Pot Fridays and our Epicurean Adventures! Visit to see our current menu

1212 East Ave. South Sarasota, FL 34239 941.366.0007

ÎÎ to meet the needs of Jews and non-Jews, young and old, wherever they live? ÎÎ inspired by bold, often daring pursuits of social justice and human rights? ÎÎ you could make stronger by rich traditions of advocacy, education, responsibility and tzedakah? ÎÎ where you could provide the spark that helps repair the world?

There is! Federation. It starts with you!


Grassroots Your Gift Makes the difference! Or cOntact MartY haberer at 941.371.4546 ext. 108

A wonderful donor has offered a matching grant of $50,000, contingent upon us raising new gifts and gift increases of at least $100 dollars totaling $50,000! You can be part of operation Grassroots for less than $2 a week - you can help us accomplish two things: access a $50,000 challenge grant and make Federation history!


July 2012


Recent event photos from the area’s temples, schools & organizations

Congregation Ner Tamid’s Jewish Living and Learning Sunday School program concluded 5772 in style with special acknowledgements for each student. Ashley Manevitch (front row left) received the Perfect Attendance award two years’ running! Temple Emanu-El Religious School students Allison Kramer and Rachel Silverman celebrate a successful year of interfaith participation in All Faiths Food Bank’s BackPack Program at a May 9 party with fellow participants from St. Martha School

Morah Frea’s class performs a song at the Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch’s Hebrew School year end celebration

Temple Beth El Religious School’s end-of-school program delighted all

Bianca Gruber and Melanie Green enjoy spending time together at Paver Religious School at Temple Beth Sholom

For a continuously updated community calendar, visit

Teen volunteers Brandon Ikeman and Megan Warrenbran assist at Chabad of Sarasota’s Lag B’Omer barbecue and carnival

Marty Broadfoot paints her picture of how she views G-d’s world after reading G-d’s Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg at Paver Religious School

Congregation Kol HaNeshama’s 5772 B’nai Mitzvah Class party together: Fay Baldwin, Samantha Brooks, Merik Schechter, Evelyn Baldwin

Daniel Yohann, NFTY Regional Song Leader (at right), led 175 guests in Havdalah with the help of Youth Group officers


July 2012


At the SaraMana ORT trivia event and pizza dinner are committee members Joan Dorfman, Donna Levin, Sandy Livon, Natalie Abrams and Paula Reich

At Chabad Kaplan Preschool’s parent-teacher appreciation breakfast are Morahs (teachers) Chris, Sara and Jessica

Jill Simons, guest speaker Kathleen Houseweart, coordinator of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Memory Disorder Clinic, and Judy Krakow at the SaraMana ORT April general meeting

Temple Sinai co-Presidents Elana Margolis and Laurie Lachowitzer, Chazzan Cliff Abramson and Rabbi Geoff Huntting celebrate the end of their term at their last morning meeting

Nancy Behrenfeld snuggles LambChop at Temple Emanu-El’s “Blessing of the Animals.” Attendees brought their pets for a blessing from Rabbi Brenner Glickman, portraits and socializing.

Joel Servetz was honored as Temple Beth Sholom’s “Man of the Year” and presented with a shofar. Notable accomplishments include past president of the Men’s Club and instituting the Passport to Israel program.

First Vice President Dan Carter, pictured with Rabbi Brenner Glickman, was honored as Temple Emanu-El’s “Man of the Year” at a gala tribute dinner at Bird Key Yacht Club

Temple Beth El & Bradenton Woman’s Club members hosted a successful casino night. Pictured are co-Chairs Sandy Clark from TBE (first on left) and Rebecca Biro from BWC (fifth from right) with their committee members.

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Lou Altman, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism board member, receives the 2012 Rabbi Sherwin Wine Lifetime Achievement Award in Illinois. With Lou are Rabbi Miriam Jerris and Bonnie Cousens, Executive Director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.



July 2012

Ann Wacholder, Sherrie Shapiro, Elisa Miro and Gwen Macwilliams enjoy their time at the Spa Hour at Chabad of Venice’s annual Jewish Women’s Event Operation Military Assistance Program volunteer Sy Goldblatt helped his mentee, Kevin Koscielnick, access services and receive food and VA surplus items at the STAND DOWN for homeless vets sponsored by JFCS

Malkiya Larosa, Sheila Fox and Dori Zingmond enjoy the Spa Hour at Chabad of Venice’s annual Jewish Women’s Event

Bonnie Sussman and Debbie Engleson were installed as co-presidents of the National Council of Jewish Women’s local chapter, which has over 300 members in the Sarasota-Manatee area. The group takes action on progressive social issues involving women, children, the poor and the elderly.

Three attendees at the ORT Celebrity Bartending Event were Feders, but all are pronounced differently. Abe Feder (fader), Rita Feder (feeder) and Cody Feder (fed her). All are from Chicago, but had not met until the event!

Want to see photos from your recent events featured on these pages? Send your hi-res photos (up to 3 per issue) plus captions (up to 25 words per caption) to

Shari Eshet, Director of National Council of Jewish Women’s Israel Office in Jerusalem, spoke at an NCJW Shabbat at Temple Sinai, with Susan Levine, serving her second term on the National Board of NCJW

The Jewish Congregation of Venice Sisterhood showered Rebbitzen Rachel Krimsky (center) with over 50 gifts at a just-in-time baby shower in May. Rabbi Dan and Rachel welcomed their new baby boy just two days later. Though not expected until June, it seems this boy just couldn’t wait to see his new clothes and toys.  With Rachel are the new grandmas, Joyce Krimsky and Leah Nachman.

Elliott Sauertieg, Nina Insinna, Vice President of the Literacy Council of Sarasota, Rita Mazer and Alice Cotman read with enthusiasm as they presented the Books Alive program at a GulfsidePalm ORT meeting

140 kosher characters:

ConneCt with your Jewish Community Donna Besser Stone, President of Jewish Genealogical Society of the Deep South, Martha Kesler, Eunice Cohen and Kim Sheintal at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Southwest Florida meeting to hear Rabbi Allan Schwartzman speak about Delta Jews

The Jewish News - July 2012  
The Jewish News - July 2012  

Monthly newspaper of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee