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Kosher bookworm: The mystical power of music Page 5 Who’s in the kitchen: Cruisin’ without losin’ Page 7 Miriam’s musings: Far flung family Page 10 Kosher critic: You don’t know Brat Page 11




Iron clad isn’t necessarily rock solid:

How Israel fares to America “Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history.” -- President Barack Obama This 19 word sentence contained within the 6992 word State of the Union address, President Barack Obama practically singled out Israel as if to highlight to his Jewish supporters and detractors alike, that he is the best friend the Jews have had. Other nations, or nation’s capitals were mentioned as allies, but only Israel was assured such an “Ironclad commitment”. For all the accolades and loud cheers in the House Chamber, however, the words that the President chose were quite careful and maybe even telling. Unlike Europe and Asia, which he called America’s “oldest alliances,” and the “Americas”, with which he said our ties “are deeper,” America, he said, is committed to Israel’s security. We accept that and know it, and have seen the “closest military cooperation between” Israel and the United States in history take shape in the iron-clad Iron Dome mobile missile defense system that the U.S. has helped build in Israel. The President’s security and military assurJuda Engelmayer ances might imply a harsh acceptance of the present and future. Is it easier to arm a nation and prepare it for a battle than it is to resolve the root cause of the threat in the first place? Not to make a perfect comparison, , but when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani saw some of New York City’s more dangerous neighborhoods, he did not put guns in the hands of the decent people living there, but eliminated the dangers, locked up the criminals and took the streets back. The same strategies are being deployed in cities like Newark, Compton and others across the country, where law enforcement and public leaders seek to eradicate crime and eliminate the root causes of the danger. Of course crime is not the same as ideology, and the issues that affect dangerous cities and those that drive the forces in the Middle East are not the same, but the essence of the argument is no different. Sure Israel needs better weaponry for the time being, as she needs to have a strong deterrent for her enemies, but wouldn’t the prudent course be to help clean up the neighborhood rather than, or in the case, along with, arming the decent people who are stuck in the middle. Israel is indeed in the middle of a world of nations seeking to destroy it. The right thing to do is for the President to call the issues as they are and boldly condemn those who would seek to harm Israel. He should pound the point of the unyielding cries within the “governments” of

Photo by Benjy Schreier

Woodmere mega fans Benjy and Penina Schreier follow Big Blue to the left coast.

Deja...Blue!!! A great win, but we still have one more to go By Benjy Schreier The prediction here is that Eli does not have to win this game for us. He manages the game, limits the turnovers, and lets the defense do its thing. GIANTS 20 49ERS 10. (The Jewish Star, sports column, January 19, 2012). I don’t mean to gloat, but there are a lot of columnists getting paid a lot more than I am, who were a lot farther off than I was. Now that I have that prediction, as well as the more general prediction of the path to victory over the Packers, on my resume’, I think what I have to say this week will be accepted with the necessary seriousness. For many years, I have attended my son, Menashe’s, ice hockey games. Over that time, Menashe has de-

scribed me as the father who “only sees what I did wrong, never crediting me for how well I played.” Menashe was partially right. There were many times when he was clearly the best player on the ice. However, there were many times when his level of effort and quality of decision making would have left him at a tremendous disadvantage against a higher quality opponent. As his #1 fan, I felt it was my responsibility to point out some of his flaws. With that introduction, I would like to praise the Giants for one of the gutsiest playoff performances I have ever seen. In conditions that beckoned every ball handler to put the pigskin on the ground, they had zero turnovers. Against a defense that was head and shoulders above any defense they’ve faced since the last Continued on page 10

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Shabbat Candlelighting: 4:47 p.m. Shabbat ends 5:50 p.m. 72 minute zman 6:19 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Bo

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Iron clad isn’t quite an ally Continued from page 1 Hamas and Hezbollah to destroy Israel. He should decry the hypocritical comments by people like Maen Areikat, the PLO “Ambassador” to the United States who said Jews would not be allowed in the Palestinian State, while Palestinians demand access to all of Israel. He should acknowledge that the divide separating Jews and Moslems in the Middle East is not about land, but about a true and deep seeded belief among many in positions of influence that the G-d of Islam wants his adherents to stamp out the Jews and erase all traces of Israel. Only then can we begin to discuss the terms of any “peace,” and try to find land agreements that would keep the distance sufficiently Instead, this President and his administration have chosen to ignore the true cause of the problems in the region; the ideological hatred that will not be negotiated away. In his third State of the Union the President declared that “a wave of change has washed across the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunis to Cairo; from Sana’a to Tripoli,” but left out the inconvenient truth that the fundamental Islamists are winning the hearts and minds of the people and miring those lands deeper into trends of intolerance, violence and hatred. Liberty is not coming; tyranny is rising, and that will not bode well for Israel or the United States. On May 19th, 2011, President Obama said that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.” This sentiment is nothing new; those words have been spoken by many before - Jews and Israelis alike.. However, it seemed to have belied what many thought the President had learned to appreciate – the need for defensible borders. Four month later, when he stood before the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, he said, Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied. Then in November, the administration was so harsh with Israel over building in Jerusalem and the West Bank, it was as if the President’s words to the U.N. - only two months prior- were delivered to placate Jews after the May 19th debacle. As soon as the pressure was off, he went back to the old routine of chastising the Jews and making moral equivalences to the plights of the two peoples living alongside each other. One people are the startup nation who built a burgeoning society that has contributed so much knowledge and value to the world, and the other is a people hell-bent seeing the former destroyed. The President, in his speech, devoted most of his attention to the economy, jobs, taxes and government reform and he spent very little time on foreign affairs. That’s actually a good thing. Yet, in that small allotment of time, he gave Israel a shout-out and emphasized how the U.S. cares for her security. For his supporters, they will say that proves what a friend he is, but a real friend cares enough to help make sure that the use of the war machines are the very last resort. Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR firm,5W Public Relations.

‫לדבר‬ ?‫עברית‬

Young Israel of Woodmere




January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


for Boys in Woodmere), and he volunteers at the JCC and the Chabad (Levi Yitzchak) library in Cedarhurst. “Post school age there are few programs,” agreed Richard Altabe, noted educator, executive vice president of TOVA mentoring and principal at Magen David Yeshiva High School. “It’s outside of the realm of the yeshiva system. It’s important to raise awareness; we need programs for the post high school population.” The local JCC has weekday programs, noted Gayle Fremed, director of the special needs department there, the Pizza with Pals monthly program and Soulmates twice a month. “Both programs have typically developing peers, high school and college students, who socially interact with students. This way they can model socialization and communication skills for the special needs participants.” As for a Shabbat program, she said, “We can’t do it; we are not open on Saturday.” Madraigos has a morning program, Monday through Thursday, called Tal Techiya for 18 to 24 year olds. It’s an alternative learning program with social workers and social work interns, a transition program to guide students to college, yeshiva, and work. “It’s based on the need in the community,’ said Rabbi Josh Zern, executive director of Madraigos. “We identified the morning group as a need; we were not approached (regarding a Shabbat group) as a particular need so we haven’t developed it at all. Whatever the community needs and we can identify it and it is within our mission, we will gladly provide it. Out program has been growing exponentially over the years. If there is anything we can do, we are more than willing to help.” “There definitely is a need for graduates of programs, a big need,” said Avigail Silberman, Manager of Ohel’s group home in Cedarhurst. She noted that there are Shabbatons, after school programs and Sunday programs up to age 21 and that Ohel has a dating program for special needs adults. Noting that two of the residents there are high functioning, she added, “if enough call we may set something up. There are not much social opportunities.” Kulanu, a local school that serves the spe-

cial needs population currently serves up to age 21 but has the capabilities to incorporate other ages. “He should contact us,” said Jonathan Cooper, director of the social service part of Kulanu and a social worker there. “That’s how programs get started,” he explained. “Someone says, ‘I need something; I want something.’ If we get enough people we start a program.” He pointed out that Kulanu runs an afterShabbat café program, On Common Ground Café, “providing entertainment and interaction. It’s a combination of café and outside activities,” he said. Kulanu also arranges trips, movies, bowling, city outings, athletic events, as well as some Sunday actitivies. He noted that it’s not on a steady basis; those interested should call for the schedule. Kulanu is also starting a “supportive adult employment program for special needs people who have difficulty getting into the job market,” continued Cooper. “Kulanu will provide a job coach and guidance.” The Kulanu building is currently open on Shabbat for an “inclusion activities group for children in the community,” Cooper pointed out. It’s held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Shabbat during the winter. “It’s for ages 4 to 15 and we are hoping all kinds of kids come. There are activities directors and shadows.” “It’s totally true that after 21 their services plummet and they feel totally isolated,” he said. “We’re addressing that here, not just thinking about this — we’re doing it.” For more information about Kulanu contact Amy Eisenberg at Kulanu (516) 569-3083 x138. “Asperger’s prefer to be by themselves,” said Rabbi Horowitz, “but they have to engage the world. They have social communication issues. They are wired differently. He wants to be engaged. He has no friends. It’s difficult for Asperger’s autism people to make friends. There are no structured programs for Shabbat. He needs to find a circle; he needs one more piece in his life.” To help form a group or to contact Rabbi Horowitz email at Gayle Fremed at the JCC can be reached at 516 569-6733.

A closer look at Joe Pa, the kid from Flatbush By Dave Cohen The look and the voice were unmistakable. The mistakes of judgement by the man and the administration were unforgivable. Five decades of Happy Valley life came to a sudden and stunning end last fall followed last Sunday by the death of the man who made it possible. Joe Paterno was a product of ethnic Brooklyn who took his no-nonsense upbringing first to the Ivy League and then to nowheresville --State College Pennsylvania. Driving there from Syracuse for the first time in the sixties, the trip transformed this college freshman into a 6-year- old with repeated cries of “Are we there yet?”. Mile after mile, hour after hour of nothing, absolute nothing. Why would anyone want to coach and live in a place that knew no pizza, egg creams or Jews. About as far from Brooklyn as any Italian or Jew would want to be and Joe was a bit of both, sort of. No, Joe Paterno was not Jewish, but the kid from Flatbush was proud and honored to be the Shabbos goy. Here’s how he explained growing up in Brooklyn in his autobiography, Paterno: By the Book, “Where we lived, when a kid asked, ‘What are you?’ he didn’t mean are you a second baseman or a baritone. He meant, “Are you Irish or German or Italian or Jewish or what?’ Religion — just having one, and believing your religion was the truth — was important, too, even if yours wasn’t the same as the other guy’s. When a Jewish kid had to abandon the stickball game to get to shul on time on the High Holy Days, the rest of us understood. And on those days I felt chosen when that kid’s family asked me in to light their stove because they weren’t sup-

Penn State’s Joe Paterno posed to strike matches. I was the shabat goy. Of course, everybody knew your family was important to you, and you assumed the other kid’s family was important to him.” This was a story echoed by brother George Paterno who was the radio analyst for the Penn State network. When I chatted with him in the broadcast booth he sounded so much like Joe that if you tuned in you’d be wondering how could he be coaching the team and be on the radio at the same time! I’ll take it one step further. Joe Paterno was the “chasid” of college football coaches. He came to Penn State from Brown University with his college coach Rip Engle, serving as an assistant for 16 years. When he succeeded his mentor in 1966, Joe was determined to emphasize “study” as well as football. A concept often preached but seldom practiced in major college sports. To Paterno’s credit, the Penn State way achieved a remarkable graduation rate during his 46-year reign. Tzedakah you ask? Paterno donated over

The missing piece By Malka Eisenberg Educational and social services abound in the Jewish community of the Five Towns, but there is a “glaring piece that’s missing,” according to the father of a high functioning special needs young adult. The missing piece, explained Rabbi Herbert Horowitz, is a structured social setting for long Friday nights in winter and long Shabbat afternoons in summer, where special needs adults could interact, make friends and socialize. “I don’t believe there is anything out there,” he said, “I would definitely jump on it. As far as I know, there is nothing being done for Shabbos or Yom Tov. This piece is missing for frum, shomer Shabbos; if they are home they have little to do. There is no social outlet for 20- to 30-year-old, high functioning people with varying disabilities.” After Horowitz’s son, who has Asperger’s — a form of autism — completed ninth grade in a small Brooklyn yeshiva, Rabbi Horowitz spent a year researching schools in his home borough, but he was unable to find a yeshiva that served his son’s needs and moved to the Five Towns. The boy entered Hewlett High School and graduated after five years. He and another student were the first Asperger’s students to graduate from Hewlett and were acknowledged by the principal for persevering and finishing high school. Horowitz noted that the “special needs coordinator at the high school is excellent and went out of the way to help him. The last two years were preparation for entering the work world.” Explaining that each child with Asperger’s is different, Horowitz noted that his son is of “average intelligence but has an excellent concrete memory.” The last six months in high school, he did clerical work in the courts in Mineola and worked in the office of Assemblyman Harvey

Weisenberg with the assistance of a personal coach who went with him to help him learn travel and work skills. “He received a citation at the end of the semester,” his father said proudly. “It was a building block that prepared him for the work world.” “Parents have to be extremely proactive,” stressed Horowitz. “If you sit back and wait for them to give them programs it’s ‘fafallen,’ it’s not going to happen.” He noted that until age 21 each district is obligated to provide a free and appropriate education for all children under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) enacted in 1975. “Most children finish high school at 18 or 19 but it holds till age 21 or the end of the school year,” explained Horowitz. “After that you are on your own.” Horowitz noted that most parents sign up with an agency when their child ages out of the system and that the service coordinator there assists in getting a Medicaid waiver that helps provide services and programs. “It can be good,” he said, but then you are “at the mercy of the agency.” He pointed out that he has qualified for consolidated support services, independently putting in a “huge” amount to time coordinating his son’s care, dealing with hiring and vetting coaches, and staying on top of paper work, payroll plans and goals. “You need motivation and time and ability and effort,” he said. “The rewards are enormous. It allows self-determination and the hope of independent life and the self-esteem of independence — it’s the only way to go.” The younger Horowitz is currently 24 and works 12 hours a week doing clerical work at a law firm and stocking shelves at CVS. He is involved in other community programming including a group for teenagers at the JCC (Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns), a Kulanu program at DRS (Yeshiva High School

3 THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772

$4 million of his own money to Penn State for the construction of libraries and other academic facilities. But if you knew absolutely nothing about Paterno behind the scenes, there was no way to overlook the way his teams dressed ---supermodest, no frills. Penn State’s uniforms. Not black and white, but navy blue and white. Two colors, plain white pants. No stripes, no sizzle. Plain white helmets with a single navy stripe. No stars, no buckeyes, not even a Nittany lion. Black shoes, white socks. Year after year, decade after decade, hardly a thing changed in the way Penn State dressed. Ok, contrasting trim around the neck and sleeves in 1987. But what a shanda for loyalists when the Nike swoosh appeared on the jersey in 1993 --- Joe actually following the lead of other schools displaying the Nike logo in exchange for outfitting all Penn State teams and cash contributions to the university. My goodness, Joe was going from chassid to modern orthodox? By his third season and then again in his fourth, Paterno had back-to-back undefeated teams including bowl wins. But in 1968 it was Ohio State crowned as national champions and a year later it was Texas. President Nixon even declared the Longhorns number one. Years later Paterno went Pesci when referring to Nixon: “How could a guy who knew so little about Watergate know so much about football?” Paterno and Penn State would eventually get their national titles in 1982 and 1986. Paterno indeed had a calculating side. Formalizing his own power play at Penn State by becoming athletic director. Resisting calls to join an eastern football conference then advocating his own plan. Finally in 1993, taking aim at Michigan, Ohio State and the Rose Bowl, the Brooklyn boy turned his back on Pitt, West Vir-

ginia and Syracuse, the whole east in fact and began play in the Big Ten. It took Paterno only two seasons to get that Rose Bowl win, making him the only coach ever to win Rose, Cotton, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls His 8 wins in his last season brought him to 409, the most ever by any coach in major college football. Its only 400 game winner. But this last season revealed a pattern of arrogance and influence that had been overshadowed by decades of success, reluctant fame, generosity and loyalty. Paterno told assistant Jerry Sandusky in 1999 that he would never have a chance to succeed him as coach. This after the first of Sandusky’s alledged sexual indiscretions. Sandusky left the staff but never left the scene. Access to a campus office and facilities, another incident of sexual behavior involving Sandusky and a young boy and this time an eyewitness report from an assistant coach. But Paterno never went to the police himself nor did he check to see if other Penn State officials in the know informed legal authorities-those very same officials that Joe had run off when they tried to get him to step down as coach in 2004. A coverup; an abandonment of responsiblity; criminal negligence; lying to a grand jury. The courts will eventually decide the legal fate of those charged. But in the end, the jury of Penn State officials allowed an aged coach to dictate the terms of his departure, instead of protecting his very valuable legacy. The valley was happy no more. Dave Cohen is a Brooklyn native, a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, and a resident of Atlanta. He has been a TV play-by-play broadcaster for Syracuse University, ESPN, and MSG covering the New York Yankees. He’s also appeared as an actor, most notably in “Glory Road,” and he does voiceover work on commercials. He is the brother of the Publisher, Karen C. Green. Contact him at

January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Opinion Former Mayor Ed Koch folds for Obama–again After three years of criticizing President Barack Obama’s anti-Israel policies, former Mayor Ed Koch has once again decided to be an advocate for Obama in the Jewish community–without any clear changes in Obama’s positions. This is not Koch’s first such reversal. In May 2008 during Democratic Party primary season, Koch publically announced that he was worried that Barack Obama would not be a friend to Israel: “Hillary recently attempted to warn Iran that were it to launch nuclear weapons against Israel, the U.S. “would be able to totally obliterate them.” Hillary’s comments were totally in keepPOLITICO ing with the doctrine TO GO of Mutually Assured Destruction which kept the Soviet Union at bay during the Cold War when it threatened its European neighbors and members of NATO. Instead of joining Hillary in a similar warning to Iran, Senator Obama on “Meet the Press” criticized Hillary stating, “it’s Jeff Dunetz language reflective of George Bush…This kind of language is not helpful.” Koch concluded: “We now know just how far Senator Obama is prepared to go to defend our friends and allies. It is not far enough.” Just four months later in September 2008 Koch endorsed Barack Obama even though he didn’t change his positions. Koch followed up his endorsement by campaigning in heavily Jewish state. He successfully convinced American Jews that Israel should not be an issue in the campaign because Obama and McCain were equal in their support of Israel. Once Obama was elected and proved to be horrible for America and Israel, Ed Koch became a leading critic of the POTUS and his anti-Israel policies. In March 2010 he wrote a commentary for the progressive Huffington Post called “Never Again Should We Be Silent“: “ Now, in my opinion, based on the actions and statements by President Obama

and members of his administration, there dent Obama. “If Jewish New Yorkers and others who is grave doubt among supporters of Israel that President Obama can be counted on to support Israel were to turn away from the do what presidents before him did – protect Democratic Party in that congressional elecour ally, Israel. The Arabs can lose countless tion and elect the Republican candidate to wars and still come back because of their Congress in 2011, it might very well cause numbers. If Israel were to lose one, it would President Obama to change his hostile position on the State of Israel and to reestablish cease to exist.” In April 2010 Koch doubled down on criti- the special relationship presidents before cizing Obama’s Middle East policies, telling him had supported. His own reelection will be decided next year in 2012. The outcome Neil Cavuto on Fox News; “I have been a supporter of President of the 2011 congressional special election in Obama and went to Florida for him, urged the 9th Congressional District will certainly Jews all over the country to vote for him say- get his attention.” The former Mayor continued by making ing that he would be just as good as John McCain on the security of Israel. I don’t think this political threat to the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: it’s true anymore,” “ But if he doesn’t read the tea leaves and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a chilly reception at the White House change his position, you can be certain I will last week after Israel announced plans to continue to bang my drum. I will campaign build 1,600 new apartments for Jews in East against him not only in New York, but in Jerusalem during a visit from Vice President other parts of the country next year. I’ll be loud and clear about what Biden. The announcement I believe. There are many drew sharp condemnations Floridians who are confrom Washington and calls cerned about the Obama to cancel the construction He promised to hold administration’s treatment plans – requests that Neof Israel, and Florida will tanyahu says he will not the president’s feet be crucial to the President’s heed. to the fire regarding reelection.” Koch said he believes Last week, just as he did Obama “orchestrated” Israel, and now, just in 2008 Ed Koch reversed what happened in Israel. as he did in 2008 Ed himself without a reversal “What they did is they in the Obama Israel poliwanted to make Israel into Koch is exploiting his cies. He hosted an Obama a pariah,” he said. “It’s outfavorability in the fundraising event which rageous in my judgment.” raised a half a million dolKoch went on to say Jewish Community by lars from 100 members of that Senator self-serve, Chuck Schumer had told acting as Barak Obama’s the Jewish community. Koch’s change of heart him that he wouldn’t speak House Jew. came the same week as out against Obama’s Ismultiple reports of the rael positions publicly because he was working behind the scenes Obama administration warning Israel not to to get Obama to change is policy (it didn’t defend herself against Iran. Even though I disagreed with many of his work). The former mayor continued by saying Schumer promised to speak out against positions, Ed Koch was always one of my poObama publicly should he not change his litical heroes. As mayor he seemed to be a policies (Schumer hasn’t). He concluded by different kind of politician–one who put convictions in front of party affiliation. I should saying: “I believe that the Obama administration have known better. Ed Koch is comfortable is willing to throw Israel under the bus in or- bashing Obama until he sees the election coming, then just like any other politician (of der to please Muslim nations.” Just this past September, Koch was a big either party) he falls in line and any backpart of the GOP victory in the special elec- bone is replaced by a wet noodle. No voter should ever pick a President tion to replace Anthony Weiner in NY-9. The reason he gave for supporting the Republican solely based on his position about Israel, so Bob Turner was to send a message to Presi- I could understand if the former Mayor said

other issues were much more important than Israel in the coming election. That is not what happened. He promised to hold the president’s feet to the fire regarding Israel, and now, just as he did in 2008 Ed Koch is exploiting his favorability in the Jewish Community by acting as Barak Obama’s House Jew. Despite the fact that Obama has not budged in the anti-Israel positions that motivated him to help a Republican take Anthony Weiner’s seat in the House, Ed Koch is trying to fool us once again and convince Jews that Obama is Israel’s buddy. Makes one wonder, was Koch lying in September when he threatened Obama or is he lying today? When Koch was mayor he used to walk around the NYC saying “How am I doing?” The answer today is, Mayor you are doing lousy! Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid” ( Jeff contributes to some of the largest political sites on the internet including American Thinker, Big Government, Big Journalism, NewsReal and Pajama’s Media, and has been a guest on national radio shows including G. Gordon Liddy, Tammy Bruce and Glenn Beck. Jeff lives in Long Island.

Correction: THE JEWISH STAR Independent and original reporting from the Orthodox communities of Long Island and New York City All opinions expressed are solely those of The Jewish Star’s editorial staff or contributing writers Publisher and Editor Account Executive Contributors

Editorial Designer Photo Editor

Karen C. Green Helene Parsons Miriam Bradman Abrahams Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Juda Engelmayer Rabbi Binny Freedman Alan Jay Gerber Jonathan Greenstein Judy Josefz Zechariah Mehler Aviva Rizel Alyson Goodman Christina Daly

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Please note that in the Jan. 20 issue, the article written by Zechariah Mehler, “Comfort foods sure to please taste buds and wallet,” Pizza Crave is erroneously noted to be located on Central Avenue. The correct address is 439 Cedar Lane in Teaneck, N.J. We apologize to the management.

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Part One: Perek Shirah As Nature’s Song


ith the advent of the Jewish month of Shevat, and Shabbat Shirah, can an early spring be not too far behind? With this warm thought in mind our focus for the next two weeks will be upon several literary works that hopefully will give you a clearer picture concerning the importance that this time of year represents in the Jewish tradition. An interesting tradition has gained the attention and support of many in our community, almost as if spontaneously, the daily recitation of Perek Shirah. This ancient text according to some dates back to ancient times, at least a thousand years according to Rabbi Nathan Slifkin. Its content is both mystical and cryptic. As a result its rote recitations by many among us, are in need of comAlan Jay Gerber mentary to further enhance a deeper understanding of its purpose and appreciation of its message. In a book entitled, “The Mystical Power of Music” by Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman, {Targum/Feldheim, 2005] there is a segment,”The Song of Creation”, wherein the purpose and rational behind Perek Shivah is both briefly and eloquently dealt with. According to Rabbi Trugman,“The idea that every creation has a special song that

it sings forms the basis of an intriguing and mysterious midrash called Perek Shirah, literally translated as ‘Chapter of Song.’ In this short and concise text, different creations sing specific verses from the Torah. Why each creation sings its particular verse is not explained, though many explanations are obvious.” The author goes on to briefly give several examples to buttress his premise. Further on Rabbi Trugman notes that “The first question asked by commentators down the ages is who exactly is singing the songs attributed to each creation. Four basic answers are given, each one true from its own perspective. Thus ,the four answers are not in contradiction with each other, but rather they ultimately complement each other.” This presentation deserves your attention as serves as an adequate introduction to this subject. Rabbi Natan Slifkin, who will be hosted by Rabbi Kenneth Hain , at Cong. Beth Shalom of Lawrence next weekend, Shabbat Shirah, is the author of the most comprehensive commentary to date on Perek Shirah. For all who recite Perek Shirah, this work is a must read. Aptly entitled, “Nature’s Song”, this 440 page comprehensive work consists of a line by line commentary of the entire Perek consisting of six chapters. Each chapter consists of about ten subsections for each of the natural phenomena that are dealt with in the Perek In his introduction, Rabbi Slifkin details the following:

“While Perek Shirah’s recent publicity as a segulah has caused its popularity to soar, many people are unaware of important classical views on the nature of Perek Shirah.” This ten page introduction goes on to explore the origins of this work, the different perspectives on its nature, style, content and aspects of its literary structure. The introduction comes with twenty seven extensive footnotes thus enabling those interested to further pursue their studies on this work, to do so, including the thorough academic study of the work on this subject by Malachi Bet Arie’s Ph.D thesis at Hebrew University in 1966. This work by Rabbi Slifkin is the singular English commentary to date on Perek Shirah making use of numerous rare commentaries as well as modern insights from the fields of zoology, geology and meteorology. This later factor is what gives it its theological shine. This will enable all who choose to recite this ancient work as part of their daily spiritual regimen to better understand its content , and purpose from the mind and pen of one of its premier commentators and elucidators. For more on the works of Rabbi Avraham Trugman you can

reach him at For Rabbi Natan Slifkin you can reach him at his website at:

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THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772

The Kosher Bookworm

A sign for you W

hen one reads through Shmot Chapter 12, it becomes quite clear that blood will play a significant role in bringing about the salvation of the Hebrew slaves at the midnight hour when Egypt will be struck its most devastating blow. Verses 7, 13, 22 and 23, when run together, read something like this. “They must take the blood and place it on the two doorposts and on the beam above the door of the houses in which they will eat [the sacrifice]. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are staying. I will see the blood and pass you by (pasach). There will not be any deadly plague among you when I strike Egypt. {Instructions to the elders are to tell the people to] ‘Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it into the blood that [will be placed] in a basin. Touch the beam over the door and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin. Not a single one of you may go out the door of his house until morning. God will then pass through to strike Egypt. When he sees the blood over the door Rabbi Avi Billet and on the two doorposts, God will pass over that door, and not let the force of destruction enter your houses to strike.’� The Ktav V’Hakabalah asks a seemingly obvious question. Does God really need the blood as a sign? If He wants to distinguish between the Egyptians who suffer in the plague and the Israelites who are spared, could He not just say “My wonders will be proven by the fact that Egyptians will die and Israelites will not�? Ibn Ezra rejects the notion that the blood was a derivative of a public process aimed at showing the Egyptians who is boss. Were it so, he argues, the blood would have been put on courtyard gates instead of on the doorway of homes recessed from the street and the slaughtering of the lamb would have taken place in the daytime, instead of closer to nighttime when people are already in their homes. Ibn Ezra even derives from “The blood will be a sign for you� that you, who cannot go outside all night, will be able to see the blood because it will be on the inside of your home. But the Ktav V’Hakabalah has an entirely different perspective, which introduces much deeper symbolism than a mere “sticking-it� to the Egyptians. The Israelites had many obstacles to their own redemption. They were idolators! They needed to achieve a spiritual purity (taharah) that had eluded them for a very long time. The Korban Pesach (Paschal offering) was meant to serve as a first step in their stepping away from and rejection of Egyptian idolatry of the sheep. The second element of their return to God was a com-

plete rejection of their former fears of their Egyptian masters. And the last element of their return to God was the public nature of their actions. He brings four examples of the how they publicized the deed: First, the animals were led through the street, before the slaughtering was done publicly (#2), while the gathering of families providing the third ingredient in drawing attention. The nail in the coffin, so to speak, was placing the blood on the doorpost for all to see. Didn’t the Ibn Ezra say the blood was placed inside the home, as a sign for the Israelites alone? He did. But the Ktav V’Hakabalah is one step ahead when he quotes the Mechilta who says the blood was placed on the outside. This public display of the blood of the lamb was another step in the rejection of the sheep-as-god mentality. All this is very nice as far as the process the people go through. But it does not answer whether God needed a sign! The answer is that of course God did not need a sign. If God could distinguish between which animals were Egyptian-owned and which animals were Israelite-owned, He could surely distinguish between Egyptians and Israelites. The reason for the blood, then, is that it is through blood that covenants are forged. A blood oath involves the mixing of bloods, “The process usually provides a participant with a heightened symbolic sense of attachment with another participant.� (Wikipedia, “Blood Brother�) The Shakh claims that as males who are not circumcised may not participate in the eating of the korban pesach, a major circumcision festival needed to take place (based on 12:50). As such there were ample samples of blood available to be mixed together – blood from the lamb, from the circumcisions, and from the removal of the mucosal membrane (not from metzitzah!) The blood, therefore, becomes highly symbolic. Putting it on the door is an indicator that those in the home fulfill the will of God. But the placement of this particular mixture of blood, stands to serve as a “reminder,� so to speak, to God, of the mark of the covenant that connects this people to Him for eternity. This reminder is what prevents the death force from making its way into the homes of the Israelites. In this respect, the sign-on-the-door for humans is significant for them because their own blood is in it. But it really is for God, who reminds the people over and over that each plague was meant to make His name well known in the land. This goal is further represented by the blood on the door, a mark which is fresh, which will last long beyond when the Israelite’s leave town, and will be seen by those who explore the ghost town of Goshen. It is the symbol of God’s dominance over the Egyptian deity, combined with the covenant He forged with Abraham, that brought about the creation of the nation that left Egypt with a strong hand.

Parshat Bo

Living in the moment W

hat does it mean to truly live in, to truly be in a moment? One day, when we are all up in heaven, perhaps I will have the chance to ask Noam Apter, 22, of Otniel. Friday night: White tablecloths and china, the sweet light of the Shabbat candles, and the singing of Shalom Aleichem, a song of peace that begins every Shabbat dinner in every Jewish home. No matter where Jews have been, and how FROM THE HEART unwelcoming and OF JERUSALEM challenging the world around them has been, they are still singing of peace on Friday nights. And this particular Friday night in the Yeshiva at Otniel was no different. Except that while the students of this yeshiva and their families were singing of peace, no one heard the silent click of wire cutters slicing through Rabbi Binny the security fence. Freedman Smiling faces, Kiddush over wine, and the blessing of the children; every Friday night for thousands of years Jewish parents have taken a moment to appreciate the gift of children sitting at the Shabbat table. It is a moment of dreams and joy, of potential and

love. If we can bless the sweet delicious challot, and appreciate how blessed we are have to have bread on our table when so many in the world can only imagine such a luxury, how can we not take a moment to appreciate what a blessing each child is, and how many dreams each of them represent? Except that this Friday night, while parents were blessing their children with light, and seeing in them the majesty of creation, two other ‘children’, armed with M-16 automatic assault rifles and grenades, were making their way into the same dining hall bringing only darkness and destruction. Otniel, a town in the Hebron foothills south of Jerusalem, is also home to a very special yeshiva, where boys add two years to their army service in order to combine army service with Jewish studies. While students and families sang and danced to traditional Shabbat tunes in the dining hall, Noam, along with Gavriel, aged 17, Tzvika, aged 19, and Yehuda aged 20, were in the kitchen getting the first course on to the serving plates. In the blink of an eye, light became darkness and the sweet sound of Shabbat melodies was lost in the horrible sounds of gunfire. Two terrorists, members of the Islamic Jihad organization, entered the kitchen wearing IDF army uniforms and began shooting immediately. Under fire, Noam Apter ran towards the door separating the kitchen from the dining room where over a hundred unsuspectContinued on page 14




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January 27, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


7 Garnish â&#x2013; 6 ounces whipped cream (or non dairy) â&#x2013;  6 strawberries, halved â&#x2013;  Mint sprigs â&#x2013;  6 chocolate cigarette cookies (purchased) â&#x2013;  1 ounce pistachios, chopped â&#x2013;  18 wild strawberries

Cruisinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; without losinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; H

aving worked as a pastry chef for many years, I thought I knew all there was to know about the inner workings of an industrial kitchen. At least I thought I did. That was before I managed to get myself on a list of just 15 passengers (aboard Royal Caribbeanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Explorer of the Sea cruise liner) to tour the main kitchen with Executive Chef Patrick J. McCabe. With the information I learned on that tour, as well as all the information I received from sweet talking every steward, chef, head waiter, matreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d and bus boy that would speak to me, I decided to write my article aboard the cruise liner. Being an Executive Chef aboard an ocean liner that caters to 3,650 guests, as well Judy Joszef as 1400 in crew and officers, is no easy task. McCabe is at the helm of the main kitchen, many restaurants, cafes, snack bars and room service. He oversees 125 cooks and 50 stewards. He manages to turn out 24,000 meals a day, including snacks and midnight buffets and room service. Getting 125 chefs on board, in sync, takes constant vigilance. The phrase â&#x20AC;&#x153;running a tight shipâ&#x20AC;? is definitely applicable to the executive chef of an ocean liner and his kitchen. On this 11 day cruise, here are some of

the foods and quantities that will be used: â&#x2013; 2,500 lbs of fish and seafood â&#x2013;  2 tons of beef â&#x2013;  48,000 eggs â&#x2013;  12,000 lbs baking potatoes â&#x2013;  9,000 lbs of watermelon â&#x2013;  7,000 lbs of pineapple â&#x2013;  12,000 croissants â&#x2013;  18,000 scones â&#x2013;  35,000 cookies â&#x2013;  16,000 lbs of ice cream â&#x2013;  1,200 lbs of coffee The sheer amount of calories consumed in one day is staggering. Everything aboard is made fresh daily except for the cookies, as they go through at least 3,000 a day. The kitchen looked spotless and highly organized. As we walked through, soups and sauces were boiling in huge stainless steel cauldrons, meats were marinating, and salads were being plated in the hundreds. But what caught my eyes was the 100 quart Hobart mixer that I could have stretched out in. That along with 100 lb rolling carts of chocolate shavings and pastry cream made me green with envy. If you ever want to see what controlled chaos looks like, show up at the kitchen of a cruise liner just about dinner time. Chefs are plating dozens of appetizers and salads, pastry chefs are pipping out squiggles of chocolate and strawberry sauce in anticipation of the incoming orders. Waiters line up with trays in hand and scoop up a dozen appetizers and salads and stagger under the weight of the trays. Elec-

Photo by Judy Josefz

tronic boards let the chefs know how many of each entree is ordered. The traffic pattern seems like July 4th weekend at JFK. At the end of the tour, McCabe knowing I was in the food industry, winked and asked if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d want his job one day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Noâ&#x20AC;? I replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just want all of your recipes.â&#x20AC;? Below is McCabeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite, coming to you from aboard â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Explorerâ&#x20AC;?

Strawberry Pavlova Ingredients: Strawberry Syrup â&#x2013; 1 cup strawberries, quartered â&#x2013;  1 cup granulated sugar â&#x2013;  1 tsp vanilla extract â&#x2013;  3 tbls water

Preheat oven to 300 F. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients for the strawberry syrup and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until berries are soft and syrup is thickened. Remove from heat and strain through a fine strainer into a container. Let cool, cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, to make meringues, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form. Fold in cornstarch and lemon juice. Using an ice cream scoop, create balls and delicately transfer onto a pre-greased baking sheet. Gently tap the top of each meringue to create a flat surface. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on a wire rack. To serve, place each meringue on a chilled dessert plate. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, a couple half strawberries, a mint sprig and a chocolate cigarette wafer cookie. Finish with a drizzle of strawberry syrup. Sprinkle with pistachio garnish and wild strawberries. Judy Joszef is a pastry and personal chef as well as a party planner. She spent 18 years as a pastry chef at Abigaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, The Cedar Club, Centro and T42 in the Five Towns, before launching her current business. She may be contacted via email at

Meringues â&#x2013; 4 egg whites â&#x2013;  1 cup granulated sugar â&#x2013;  1/2 tsp cornstarch â&#x2013;  1 tsp lemon juice

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THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 3 SHEVET, 5772

Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the kitchen


January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772



January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Let’s keep the blue streak going Continued from page 1 49ers game, they found a way to score 20 points. They went into San Francisco with one goal, and they achieved that goal. We are going to the Super Bowl!! If we coach and execute in Indianapolis the same way we did in San Francisco….we will surely go home as Super Bowl losers. I appeal to Tom Coughlin to heed my advice and give some serious thought to some of the points I’m about to bring up. Tom…can we come up with a better play for 3rd or 4th and 1. No matter what team we play; no matter which player gets the ball; we cannot get that yard. May I recommend abandoning the run completely or coming up with a running play that doesn’t start five yards behind the line. Can David Baas go one game without a major mistake? Is it my imagination, or did our offensive line start playing better when he was out with his headache? That holding call on the 49er 12 yard line very easily could have cost us the game. I can’t believe how many years I have been complaining about this. Can someone send Eli Manning the next play with enough time to get to the line and change it. Why are the Giants always fighting to avoid a delay of the game penalty? Why do we have to waste at least one timeout every game because we ran out of time? I’m certain the timeout we wasted at the 12 minute mark of the second quarter would have come in very handy before halftime. In fact, if we had that timeout, we may have been able to score a touchdown, rather than run out of time, and be stuck with a field goal. While we are on the subject of timeouts, Tom, you have to be smarter with your 4th quarter use. From football 101 comes the concept that you should use your timeouts during the last few minutes of the game to assure that you will have enough time to score on your last possession. From football 102 comes the concept that you don’t want to have so much time left as to allow your opponent the opportunity to have the ball after you. So please Tom, look back at that timeout you took with three minutes left, and realize that you gave the 49ers two more chances to score after using it. I also would like to know what you were thinking on 4th and 4 from the 49er 46 with 27 seconds left. Against a team that never turns the ball over; against a team that you have not been able to move the ball against, do you really want to send the game to overtime, when you are one first down away from an opportunity for a game winning field

goal? I’m thankful that it didn’t cost us the game, but you have to go for the win there!! Tom…what happened before the winning field goal!!! After running Ahmad Bradshaw three times, risking a fumble, to gain extra yardage for Lawrence Tynes, how can we possibly take a delay of game penalty!! That was a “twilight zone” play. It simply cannot happen! Overall Tom Coughlin deserves all the credit he is getting for leading the Giants to the Super Bowl. I believe they pulled out this game in spite of some of these coaching miscues. As I told Menashe, we got away with it this week, but against a better team, who we will see in the Super Bowl, any coaching mistakes could lead to a regretful defeat. I’m certain many of my readers are anxiously awaiting my Super Bowl pick. I have decided to focus this week’s article on the NFC championship game and save my Super Bowl breakdown for next week. Going into this week’s championship game, many commentators brought up the last time these two teams played in San Francisco for the right to go to the Super Bowl. In January 1991, the Giants beat the 49ers 1513 on their way to their second Super Bowl championship. Ironically, the two teams who faced each other this Sunday were exactly the opposite of the two teams who played 21 years ago. In 1991, with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, the 49ers had a powerful offense capable of putting huge numbers on the scoreboard. The Giants, on the other hand, had a smothering defense, a solid running game, and counted on their quarterback to play a mistake free, conservative game to make sure he didn’t lose it. Even more ironically, it turned out that the two games ended the same way. A huge fumble by the 49ers led to a “walk off” field goal by the Giants. The 49ers had the Giants beat just the way they beat 14 other teams this year. They won the field position battle thanks to their great defense and incredible special teams. Alex Smith and Vernon Davis did just enough to give the 49ers what they needed to win. But the Niners didn’t count on the Giants’ spe-

Photo by Xx

Hillel Schreier of Woodmere exhibits the power and force of Big Blue at Giants’ victory breakfast at Young Israel of Woodmere, 2008. cial teams showing up. A year after we had to hold our breath every time Matt Dodge went back to punt the ball, Steve Weatherford stepped up with huge punt after huge punt in the biggest game of his life. Thanks to Kyle Williams’ knee, and Jaquan Williams’ long reach, the Giants got the two breaks they needed to pull out the win. Now a moment on Eli Manning. I owe Trent Dilfer a huge debt of gratitude. I was so happy with the big win, but I was down on Eli. In spite of the continuous stream of praise heaped on Eli from the FOX broadcasters, I was seeing right through it. Over the last ten minutes of the game, Eli had FIVE opportunities to bring the Giants within field goal range. It looked as if he could have had FIFTY FIVE opportunities and would have been scoreless. Kyle Williams bailed out the entire Giant team, but no one more than Eli Manning. Or so I thought. That night, about an hour after the game, I heard Trent Dilfer claim that this was the best game he’s ever seen Eli play. When you combine the high level of the 49er defense, and the brutal hits that Eli took throughout the game, with the horrendous field conditions, it is amazing that Eli could have gone back to pass 64 times, and not turned the ball over once (of course he had a fumble and two “sure” interceptions dropped). I am convinced. I am

relieved that we still have our eli-te quarterback intact. So, just like the Giants, I am spending this week celebrating the NFC championship. Next Monday it is back to work preparing for the final “biggest” game of the year. GO BIG BLUE!!! In honor of the Giants Super Bowl Run, Seasons of Lawrence is offering some amazing game day specials. Check out our website at, and call Shiv, 516 295 3300 to place your orders! Send any Big Blue questions or comments to About the writer..Benjy Schreier is best known locally for his close to thirty years managing Supersol, and now Seasons. He lives in Woodmere, with his wife, Penina, who is a cofounder of Gan Ami, a popular nursery program in Cedarhurst. Their children, Menashe, 21, Batya, 16, Dalia 15, and Hillel, 14 have kept up the Big Blue tradition that has made Benjy one of the most recognized Giant fans in the area. His video presentation, “The Giants 2007 Playoff Run..the plays that no one talks about” is a staple in every Giant fan’s video library. In addition, he was a semi finalist in the WFAN “Fantasy Phenom” contest this past year.


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11 THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772

Jonathan Greenstein

Antique Judaica collector’s corner Dear Mr. Greenstein, I recently read your online article about your expertise in evaluating antique Judaica. Attached are photos of a silver B’samim Box I was given by the National Jewish Welfare Board about 45 years ago while serving as an army chaplain on Fort Ord, CA. I understood that the JWB received pieces of Judaica retrieved from destroyed synagogues following World War II. It distributed a number of such pieces to chaplains serving at the time it relocated it headquarters in 1968 or 1969. Could you please give your opinion as to the background and value of the piece? I have no intent to sell it as it is a significant memento of my years as a chaplain. Thank you for your attention, Bob Gill

Hey Bob, This wonderful spice tower was made in Vienna, Austria about 130 years ago. it would sell for $900 or so in the retail collectors market! Thanks Jonathan Greenstein


Forget the cheese(heads), Midwest’s Bratwurst is best for NY football fans V

ince Lombardi set the standard for excellence in sport by being the first coach to not only hoist the sterling pigskin but to earn the right twice in a row thus cementing himself in the annals of NFL history and insuring that the twenty two inch silver trophy would eventually bear his name. In the forty six years since those first two Super Bowls only a hand full of coaches have ever been able to win the Lombardi Trophy twice and a week from this coming Sunday Tom Coughlin will look to be on that auspicious roster as he takes the G Men to their second Super Bowl appearance in the past five years. And as most of the country sits down to watch the New York Football Giants take on Bill Belichick and his THE KOSHER pet quarterback there will be one very CRITIC important question to ask yourself and that question is what will you be serving your guests? Super Bowl parties often lean on regular staples like hoagies or Buffalo wings coupled with snackable items like chips, pretzels and various dips. While I whole heartedly approve of this fare I feel like it’s way too overused and that football party guests would be pleasantly surprised by a something a little different. That is why this year I am looking towards Vince Lombardi’s town of Green Bay for culinary inspiraZechariah Mehler tion. Now I have been to Green Bay and can definitively tell you that there is no kosher in Title Town but what they do have is a rich tailgating tradition that made a German sausage an icon of football cuisine. I am talking of course about the bratwurst. Bratwursts were rare in the kosher world up until about a year ago when sausage company Jack’s Gourmet burst onto the scene with their innovative products. I had written previously about my love of their chorizo but since then all of Jack’s Gourmet sausages have become a regular in my home. Their bratwurst is particularly good and though it differs from the traditional brat in that it is made entirely of beef rather than pork or veal it none the less has a flavor that is exceptional and can best be compared to the Nuremburg Brat which is the most popular bratwurst flavor in the Midwest. In addition to their bratwurst Jack’s makes a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sausage which was recently released and is out of this world. The flavor parodies chicken wings to a tee and is the perfect Super Bowl Party accompaniment as it satisfies the tastes of football food traditionalists with an out of the

box flair. To prepare your brats I suggest purchasing inexpensive German ale. Place sliced white onions in a pot with the beer and boil the brats until hot. Serve the brats on a hearty bun (or pretzel bread) with good spicy mustard and either the onions you used with the beer or with sauerkraut. If you really want to be adventurous go and get a package of Dayia “cheese” which is an excellent tapioca based cheese substitute that you can melt on top of the brat. For the Buffalo Chicken Sausages serve on a soft bun with celery, shredded carrots and whatever parve ranch dressing is available in your local grocery store. These two sausages are easy to make and a perfect centerpiece to any Super Bowl party and will make your guests take notice of what they are eating rather than mindlessly scarfing down slices of grinder while they holler at the television. Let’s face it the Giants look fierce right now and though I am sure that Tom Brady is going to be chomping at the bit to redeem himself for the way he was beaten in Super Bowl 43 I just don’t think the Patriots have the defense necessary to keep Coughlin and Manning from carving them up offensively. So I hope to see Tom Coughlin and the Giants able once again to raise the trophy named for Green Bay’s iconic coach while I will be eating the bratwurst Green Bay’s iconic dish. LETS GO GIANTS! Zechariah Mehler is a widely published food writer and expert in social marketing. Follow him on Twitter @thekoshercritic

Jan. 29

experienced instructor, Coach Michael and the students of the Brandies school. Together all will have a ball and practice basketball skill, kickball, and much more. Sibs welcome Fee: $25 per child for all 3 sessions. 5-6 p.m. For more information please call 516-295-2478, ext. 13 or email Brandeis School is located at 25 Frost Lane in Lawrence.



Eating Disorders Among our Young People CONGREGATION AISH KODESH, Woodmere Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, radio personality, author, syndicated columnist and Director of the Center for Torah Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the Lander College for Women is keynote speaker at 8 p.m. Panel of experts including Dr. Ditza Berger, professor of Psychology at Lander College, Dr. Alan Perry, chair of the Department of Psychology at Lander College, and Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern, the spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Scarsdale who holds a Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling will respond following Rabbi Goldwasser . Congregation Aish Kodesh is located at 894 Woodmere Place.

Submit your shul or organization’s events or shiurim to Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.

Feb 4 Live from EMUNAH, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT! EMUNAH OF AMERICA- 5 Towns Chapter Proudly presents the comedy event of year featuring the Comedy Sensation MODI at Backstage Night Club, 948 Broadway, Woodmere 8:00pm: Dairy Buffet & Desserts, 9:00p.m. Showtime $60 per person SPONSORSHIPS (includes one reservation)): $100 LENO $180 LETTERMAN $180 SEINFELD $250 CRYSTAL For more information, please contact Shari Shapiro:516-413-6927 JAGEALISHUS@aol. com or Elana Oved: 516-984-4799 ELANREP@aol. com

Jan. 31 Workshop for parents of children with special needs JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS & THE HEWLETTWOODMERE & LAWRENCE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Andrew Cohen, Esq., and Mitch Weisbrot, CLU for parents of children with special needs titled “How to Protect Your Child Legally and Financially”. The seminar will take place at the JCC on Tuesday, January 31st at 7pm at 207 Grove Avenue, Cedarhurst. Pre-registration is required. For further information please call Gayle Fremed at 516 569-6733 x211.

Feb. 1 Shalom Bayit Dinner sponsored by Great Neck Synagogue sisterhood COLBEH RESTAURANT 75 North Station Plaza, Great Neck Special Lecture by Rabbi Dale Polakoff at 7 p.m. $40/per person RSVP 516487-6100

Jewish Learning Institute: Money Matters and Jewish Business Ethics CHABAD OF THE FIVE TOWNS Jewish Learning Institute: Money Matters and Jewish Business

Shabbat, Feb 3 - 4

Stanley Nussbaum of Atlantic Beach with United States Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand at her “Maintaining a Strong U.S. – Israel Relationship” discussion at Temple Sinai of Roslyn on Sunday Jan. 22. Ethics Money Matters is all about making money, lack of money, holding on to your money, using it wisely, and much more - from the perspective of Jewish law. This is a truly timely and meaningful new JLI course, that uses lessons taken straight from the news - about the rights of unions, salaries and minimum wage, insider trading - and all the dozens of decisions you make every day about your money. Presented by Rabbi Zalman Wolowik. Course is open to men & women of all backgrounds. 8:15-9:30 p.m. Fee: $99 including text book. For more information please call 516295-2478 or go online to

Jewish Learning Institute: Rosh Chodesh Women’s Society: The Outer Woman

Congregation Beth Sholom

ING INSTITUTE presents a seven part educational experience highlighting the power of the woman and the Torah’s vision for implementing that power. Third class of the series is The Outer Woman. This lecture series will be led by Mrs. Esti Jacobson. It is not necessary to have attended a previous class to join in a subsequent class. 8:15 p.m. Fee: $20 per class. For more information please call 516-295-2478 or go online to to www.

SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE: RABBI NATAN SLIFKIN Friday 8p.m. - “One People, Two Worlds: Rationalists and Mystics” Shabbat Morning 11:00 a.m. - “Battle for Beit Shemesh:The Evolution of Chareidim” Shabbat Afternoon - 5:00 p.m. “The Animal Kingdom in Jewish Thought: The Dynamics of Controversy” Rabbi Natan Slifkin has caused a stir in the Orthodox world with his brilliantly researched and articulated views on significant areas of Jewish thought i.e. creation of the universe, evolution & the development of life. Known as the “Zoo Rabbi”, Rabbi Slifkin now lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, the site of much recent controversy, and teaches at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. He is the author of several books including “The Challenge of Creation” and “Mysterious Creatures”.

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January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR




hen I was a child I dreamt that I’d marry into an immigrant family very similar to my own. My children would grow up speaking Spanglish and we’d continue the traditions I grew up with. But other than my extended family I really didn’t know many other Jewish Cubans living in Brooklyn. Little did I imagine I would later go to Israel, meet and then marry a totally different type of Jewish immigrant, one from Africa, who speaks Afrikaans and a bit of Zulu, but no Spanish at all. I continue to cook for my family some of the traditional Cuban dishes of my childhood. Our children’s Spanish, however, comes straight out of the textbooks from three years of forced high school Regents preparatory classes. Their attempts at hablando espanol can make me laugh; compared to them I sound like a real Cuban native! We don’t often fly south for the end of January “yeshiva break”, but we’re off to Puerto Rico this week because we were invited to stay MIRIAM’S MUSINGS with my Spanish speaking cousins in San Juan. They are amazingly gracious, picking us up from the airport and touring us around their beautiful island. We decided it would be best not to overstay our welcome, and split the week between a hotel and their home. I got a great deal for a couple of weeknights at my Miriam Bradman favorite place on the Abrahams island to which I have sentimental attachment from visits so many years ago. I was so excited about getting away, but then I heard that half of our shul will be in Puerto Rico, and some at the very same hotel! I had totally forgotten that PR is a popular destination for Yeshiva break revelers. So much for anonymity and getting away from it all! I’m still happy we can all enjoy some “fun in the sun” (just like at the beach club) and perhaps even share a mojito together. We’ve been so lucky this winter that it hasn’t been too frigid; a few bad days here and there but nothing to complain about. When those freezing days do hit, I shiver compulsively and long for the warmer climes. Perhaps it’s in my blood since I’m of “Caribbean descent”. I dream of relentlessly sunny days and the delicious warm blue water of the island beaches. I would love to bring my husband and kids to visit Cuba as I did nearly three years ago with my mom and sister. Though relations have warmed up as far as permissible travel to Cuba goes, the steep price and red tape involved in getting there are still prohibitive. I guess Puerto Rico is as close as we’re going to get to a Cuban vacation at this time. My four cousins in San Juan are children of the matriarch of their family who is my mom’s first cousin. Like my parents, she and her husband left Cuba in the early 1960’s with one child, and ended up in Puerto Rico because of opportunity and the ease of adjustment - same language and similar slower paced lifestyle. Those who came to New York, including my parents, benefited from life in NY, but had to struggle with English, adjust to the faster pace and to bitter cold winters. The vast majority of Cuban refugees ended up in Miami, where they could have the best of both worlds; a bilingual lifestyle in a warm climate in the free world. Nearly everyone can speak English in Puerto Rico, but the signs are in Spanish

as is the local lingo. I am usually too shy to jump right in with my gringo sounding accent, but I am fluent in Spanish. As when I go to Israel, it takes me a little time to feel confident, forget about my accent and join the conversation. My family belongs to the synagogue Shaarei Zedek, established in 1954. This shul received a large influx of Cuban refugees after Fidel took over. They use a Hebrew/Spanish siddur and announcements are made in Spanish, switching to English only for visitors, as when we’ve been there for a bar mitzvah or wedding. My cousins are leaders of the shul and I’ve enjoyed hearing one speak as president from the Bima. I feel at home in that environment, despite the fact that I left Havana when I was only a year old. I plan to see all of my kin and catch up with them and their children’s news. I enjoyed the facebook photos of their December bar mitzvah in Israel and was sorry I missed the party. The Cuban ex-pat population is so close that ten percent of the San Juan Jewish community traveled to Israel for the celebration! I was amazed to come across a story about them in a monthly Hadassah ebulletin to which I subscribe. The article featured photos of my cousins as they toured the brand new Hadassah Hospital Tower as part of their bar mitzvah week festivities. Hadassah provides a major bond between my family and the Puerto Rican cousins. Like us, they are involved life members and one is currently the chapter president. Their kids have participated in Hadassah’s Young Judaea programs, some of them coinciding with ours at camp in NY and Year Course in Israel. Our lifestyles are quite different due to geography and more, yet I feel more connection to them than disparity. When we are face to face, there is a sense of familiarity, of understanding that I think can only come with shared DNA. I see someone’s smile, hear another’s laugh and feel a sense of recognition. These Latino Judios are my people! I know I’m very lucky to have access to such an extended family even if they live in far flung places around the world. I’m sometimes asked why I make such an effort to keep in touch (and it is - taking time and money to write, call, drive or fly). I feel a great sense of personal responsibility to keep the chain going, to pass along to my kids the importance of our family connection and history. I clearly and lovingly remember my maternal grandfather Abuelo Leon, and how he spent his little bit of down time each weekend after a grueling week of work. He sat at the kitchen table and with great ceremony, filled his pen with ink and wrote beautiful long letters in Yiddish to his sisters in Israel, Miami and Cuba and to his brother in Detroit. I like to think I’ve inherited that special trait from him. I don’t claim to love all of my relatives equally, but I’ve learned from my parents and grandparents that family is forever so I pursue the close relationships that feel good to me and are reciprocated. I treasure my closest friends who have become as dear to me as family. Family is my foundation and when the bonds are nurtured and strong, I feel support and love that is incomparable. So when I go to the beach in Puerto Rico I will relish the warmth and sun and reenergize, but when I see my cousins I will laugh, maybe cry and definitely reconnect. Miriam Bradman Abrahams is Cuban born, Brooklyn bred and lives in Woodmere. She organizes author events for Hadassah, reviews books for Jewish Book World and is very slowly writing her father’s immigration story. She is teaching yoga at Peaceful Presence Yoga Studio.

THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772

Far flung family

Ask Aviva

Why can’t we be friends? Dear Aviva, What is your take on platonic relationships? I’m in the dating scene, and while I am marriage minded, I really appreciate my close friendships, even though they are inter-gender. The problem is that people keep telling me that I give off mixed signals. I’m just someone who appreciates close relationships, even if I wouldn’t want a particular person to be my spouse. Is friendship so bad? -Buddy

Dear Buddy, You know, “platonic” doesn’t mean “loveless”. “Platonic love” is actually referring to a relationship in its purest form, which inspires one to focus that love toward the Divine (or “divine”, according to the Greeks). Now, while this Greek philosophy sounds almost aligned with Judaic thought, it actually runs in utter contrast to our beliefs. Love directed from a man to a woman was seen as hormonally driven, therefore greedy, while the purest, most spiritual love was actually from man, directed toward his young apprentice, who just so happened to share the same gender. Sounds like grounds for imprisonment, right? Yuck! So let’s figure out what today’s version of a platonic relationship is, because American society definitely looks down upon the Greek version. And in our Jewish view of love, we believe that the hormonally driven sort of love is not something greedy, as long as it is driving along-side the spiritual love, and directed at a single person, namely your spouse. A platonic relationship is a relationship between you and a member of the opposite gender. The relationship is made up of a high comfort level, mutual respect, and meeting each other’s emotional needs. Some platonic relationships superficially meet the above criteria (you hang out once every six weeks), and some meet it on a much deeper level (you two are literally best friends). Now for the attraction scale: some platonic relationships have zero physical attraction toward each other, some have it, but gloss over it. And others have it skewed, where one is attracted to the other in an unrequited kinda way. Painting this whole picture, and looking

at the research of what makes a great marriage so successful, I would start turning toward my platonic friendships to see which one is the best looking, and then I would simply pop the question. Hmm? Whadya say? That’s not your speed, exactly? Ok, well try the slowed down version. Because… Dr. John Gottman, with his scores of longitudinal studies, has found that friendship is one of the foundations of an awesome marriage. Basically, a great marriage looks like a good friendship with intimacy. So pay attention to your closest and most satisfying platonic relationships and see if there could be more hormones there. If you won’t try that, I think platonic relationships for the marriage minded is a bit distracting. It pales the colors of love’s first bloom. If you go on an awkward first date with someone who is made for you, you may unfairly compare the low comfort level to your uber-comfy platonic relationship, and not give the date a fair chance. So watch out for that. If you see that you prefer to hang out with your already established pareve friends over the butterflies of a first date, try to distance yourself from the buddies. It is important to do that for your sake. Now, for the sake of the Platonics in your life: you can make sure that you don’t give mixed messages as long as you come with a disclaimer. Make it crystal clear if you have no intention of taking things to the next level and often find yourself alone with the person. If you feel like one of these friendships has potential for more, make that clear as well. Just say it. I also want to make sure that you are not passively meeting your needs of connection while avoiding the riskier connection of dating and romance. Try taking a break from the Platonics and see how that feels for you. Make sure that you date during this break as well. You can still confide in your samegender friends. Because once you are married, a platonic friendship is also known as a threat. -Aviva Aviva Rizel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Lawrence. She can be reached at 347-292-8482 or

Remember When helps seniors dealing with memory loss

Living in the moment Continued from page 6 ing people, young boys and families, were welcoming Shabbat. Wounded and bleeding profusely, with his last strength, he managed to lock both locks and throw the key away. He locked himself in with the terrorists, preventing them from entering the dining hall, and raining death and destruction on all those inside. Noam Apter paid for this act of heroism with his life. The terrorists murdered him, and the other three boys with him. It is difficult to imagine what pure terror such a moment must contain. To be at such close quarters, with no way of defending yourself, facing evil in its purest form, the range of emotions that must inevitably sweep over a person is impossible to describe. Many experience pure fear, the fear of the unknown. Some experience intense sadness, the sadness that comes with the awareness of endings; dreams that will never be realized, loved ones that will be left behind, goals never to be achieved. And some, those rare few, experience challenge, the challenge that comes with the realization that life always means opportunity, and that we are always here for a purpose. How does a human being rise to such a level? How does one overcome every natural instinct of self-preservation, and so see his fellow human beings before him, that he is able to run towards danger, instead of away from it? If I ever get the chance, I will ask Noam Apter that question. There are those who, in a moment, achieve what most people strive to an entire lifetime to become. You may think that this is a terribly sad story to begin Shabbat with, and this may be true. But there is also a deep joy hidden in between the lines of this story. Because hidden in between the lines of this story is the secret power of a given moment, and with it, perhaps, the reason we are still here as a people, after four thousand years of wandering and struggle, pain and suffering. In this week’s portion, Bo, after two hundred years of pain and suffering in the darkness of Egyptian servitude, the family of Yaakov finally leaves Egypt, and, amidst the great Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people are born. And, perhaps no less important, we are given our mission as a people, as we receive our first mitzvah, the first commandment given to us as a people on the road to Sinai. “And Hashem (G-d) spoke to Moses

and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying: This month shall be to you the beginning (Head) of the months, it will be the first for you of the months of the year.” (Shemot 12:1-2) Incredibly, the first mitzvah given to us as a people is the mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh, the sanctification of the new moon. One might have assumed, and maybe even expected a more ‘impressive’ mitzvah to get our journey as a people started: Shabbat, for example, or the mitzvah to believe in one G-d. We might even have understood beginning with one of the special mitzvoth associated with Pesach (Passover), like Matzah or the Paschal lamb (which actually does come next). So why is the first mitzvah given the Jewish people, the commandment to have a calendar (and begin it with this month of Nissan) When you stop to think about it, a calendar is all about time. And this was really the first gift Hashem gave us as a people. Just prior to leaving Egypt, on the eve of the tenth and last plague, Hashem gave us the gift of time. A slave really has no need for a calendar, because a slave really has no use for time. His time is not his own, he is essentially at the mercy of his master. He cannot plan, because his future is not his to determine. Tomorrow will be no different from today, which, as well, is indistinguishable from yesterday. Only with freedom did we rediscover the value and the power of time. Because all of a sudden what we did today could make all the difference in who and how we would be tomorrow. Right from the outset, Hashem wanted to teach us, that we always have the power to change, and that we are never ever doomed to be where we think we are stuck. We can always rise above where and even who we are, just like the moon, which is constantly changing and never ‘gives up’, waxing again just when it appears to be gone forever. And most of all, we learned the value of every given moment.

For many senior citizens the golden years are a time filled with the joy of family, grandchildren and wonderful memories of a lifetime of good times shared with close friends and loved ones. For some however, neurological disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can cloud those great lifetime memories and can create a feeling of isolation and frustration. Remember When is a therapeutic program of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns that is a gathering place for people who are lost due to the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Through memory-enhancing activities, physical exercise and social interaction, Remember When helps restore dignity to many who, through no fault of their own, have been stripped of it due to these debilitating disorders. Trained social workers encourage clients in the program to interact with their peers and individual attention is given to each participant to help strengthen their mental and emotional well-being. Often, when clients answer questions about past events and their earlier lives, the JCC’s social workers are able to catch a glimpse into the person they were before the disease took over. Recalling past events is an especially helpful mental exercise in helping many of the clients overcome certain frustration in not being able to remember important events and life milestones. Remember When participant Edith says she enjoys coming because of the “friendship, we all get along and I enjoy the camaraderie.” Her home health

Shabbat Shalom, Binny Freedman Rav Binny Freedman, Rosh Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem’s Old City is a Company Commander in the IDF reserves, and lives in Efrat with his wife Doreet and their four children. His weekly Internet ‘Parsha Bytes’ can be found at

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January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


LEGAL NOTICE PUBLIC NOTICE OF COUNTY TREASURER’S SALE OF TAX LIENS ON REAL ESTATE Notice is hereby given that I shall on the 21st day of February, 2012 through the 24th day of February, 2012, beginning at 10:00 o’clock in the morning each day, in the Legislative Chambers, First Floor, Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, New York, sell at public auction the tax liens on certain real estate, unless the owner, mortgagee, occupant of or any other party in interest in such real estate shall have paid to the County Treasurer by February 17th, 2012 the total amount of such unpaid taxes or assessments with the interest, penalties and other expenses and charges against the property. Such tax liens will be sold at the lowest rate of interest, not exceeding 10 percent per six month period, for which any person or persons shall offer to take the total amount of such unpaid taxes as defined in Section 5-37.0 of the Nassau County Administrative Code. As required by Section 5-44.0 of the Nassau County Administrative Code, the County Treasurer shall charge a registration fee of $100.00 per day to each person who shall seek to bid at the public auction as defined above. A list of all real estate in Nassau County on which tax liens are to be sold is available at the website of the Nassau County Treasurer at http://www.nassaucountyny. gov/agencies/Treasurer/Annual _Tax_Lien_Sale/tax_sale_

listing.html. A list of local properties upon which tax liens are to be sold will be advertised in this publication on or about February 6th, 2012. Nassau County does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to or access to, or treatment or employment in, its services, programs, or activities. Upon request, accommodations such as those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be provided to enable individuals with disabilities to participate in all services, programs, activities and public hearings and events conducted by the Treasurer’s Office. Upon request, information can be made available in Braille, large print, audio-tape or other alternative formats. For additional information, please call (516) 571-3723 (voice) or (516) 571-3108 (TTY). Dated: January 13, 2012 T H E N A S S AU C O U N T Y TREASURER Mineola, New York TERMS OF SALE Such tax liens shall be sold subject to any and all superior tax liens of sovereignties and other municipalities and to all claims of record which the County may have thereon and subject to the provisions of the Federal and State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Acts. However, such tax liens shall have priority over the County’s Differential Interest Lien, representing the excess, if any, of the interest and penalty borne at the maximum rate over the interest and penalty borne at the rate at which the lien is purchased. The Purchaser acknowledges

attendant says Edith reads a lot at home and looks forward to sharing friendship among the group. The therapies employed during the weekly day program for those with memory loss includes a combination of social and intellectual activities utilizing art, music, current events and other cognitive treatments. Remember When helps provide a vital link in reviving good memories of days gone by, while giving the participant’s families the assurance that their loved ones are being attended to in a caring and nurturing environment. Marty enjoys socializing with the other participants and is especially fond of dancing and looks forward to the weekly sessions. He feels that he’s not so alone anymore and his home health aide says the program has had noticeable effects in bringing out a lot in his personality. At 96, Dorothy is the oldest client in the group. She has been coming for five years. Her home health care attendant feels that the program has helped Dorothy cope with the problems of memory loss due to her advanced age. Remember When is held every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Congregation Sons of Israel in Woodmere. The fee to attend is $40 per day and accommodations are made for participants with financial constraints. To learn more about this and other programs for the elderly, call the JCC of the Greater Five Towns at 516-569-6733, or visit

that the tax lien(s) sold pursuant to these Terms of Sale may be subject to pending bankruptcy proceedings and/ or may become subject to such proceedings which may be commenced during the period in which a tax lien is held by a successful bidder or the assignee of same, which may modify a Purchaser’s rights with respect to the lien(s) and the property securing same. Such bankruptcy proceedings shall not affect the validity of the tax lien. In addition to being subject to pending bankruptcy proceedings and/or the Federal and State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Acts, said purchaser’s right of foreclosure may be affected by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act(FIRREA),12 U.S.C. ss 1811 et.seq., with regard to real property under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC) receivership. The County Treasurer reserves the right, without further notice and at any time, to withdraw from sale any of the parcels of land or premises herein listed. The Nassau County Treasurer reserves the right to intervene in any bankruptcy case/litigation where the property affected by the tax liens sold by the Treasurer is part of the bankruptcy estate. However, it is the sole responsibility of all tax lien purchasers to protect their legal interests in any bankruptcy case affecting their purchased tax lien, including but not limited to the filing of a proof of claim on their behalf, covering their investment in said tax lien. The Nassau County Treasurer and Nassau County and its

agencies, assumes no responsibility for any legal representation of any tax lien purchaser in any legal proceeding including but not limited to a bankruptcy case where the purchased tax lien is at risk. The rate of interest and penalty at which any person purchases the tax lien shall be established by his bid. Each purchaser, immediately after the sale thereof, shall pay to the County Treasurer ten per cent of the amount for which the tax liens have been sold and the remaining ninety per cent within thirty days after such sale. If the purchaser at the tax sale shall fail to pay the remaining ninety per cent within ten days after he has been notified by the County Treasurer that the certificates of sale are ready for delivery, then all amounts deposited with the County Treasurer including but not limited to the ten per cent theretofore paid by him shall, without further notice or demand, be irrevocably forfeited by the purchaser and shall be retained by the County Treasurer as liquidated damages and the agreement to purchase shall be of no further effect. Time is of the essence in this sale. This sale is held pursuant to the Nassau County Administrative Code and interested parties are referred to such Code for additional information as to terms of the sale, rights of purchasers, maximum rates of interest and other legal incidents of the sale. Dated: January 13, 2012 T H E N A S S AU C O U N T Y TREASURER Mineola, New York #23260E


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THE JEWISH STAR January 27, 2012 • 3 SHEVET, 5772

CLASSIFIEDS New Year’s Clean Up

January 27, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 3 SHEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


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January 27, 2012  
January 27, 2012  

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