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The Kosher Bookworm: more on Pesach Page 5 Rabbi Seth Farber: Closing the religious rift Page 6 Who’s in the kitchen? Tasty treats Page 7 Feeding your pooch on Pesach Page 15



VOL 11, NO 14 ■ APRIL 6, 2012 / 14 NISSAN 5772

Jews should pass over their search for world approval


A place to call home Construction begins on HAFTR’s new sports complex By Jeffery Bessen

By Juda Engelmayer Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants, And the Hindus hate the Moslems, And everybody hates the Jews. More apt lyrics have yet to be found on the topic than these that comedian, mathematician and lecturer Tom Lehrer wrote in his satirical National Brotherhood Week in 1965. That was before the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, before Israel was attacked from all sides by its peace-seeking neighbors, and before Israel seized the land near its borders to protect its population and keep the enemies even further away from its bigger cities. The problem is that even though Lehrer was being sardonic, his “joke” is only funny because it rings with some truth. He knew something back then that so many fail to recognize today. It is that intentional disregard for the facts that help some Jews cope with their guilt for being who they are, and helps the cause of those who would see Israel fall. One particular self proclaimed Jewish Zionist has been hard at work lately, hawking a book called “The Crisis of Zionism” and publishing articles in both the New York Times, on how the whole Middle East conflict could end if Israel would relent and return the land it stole from the Palestinians, and then writing in the Wall Street Journal about the need for improved Jewish awareness through schooling and the case for public vouchers for Jewish education. The two opinions would seem inconsistent with one another. Seemingly, as one learns more about Judaism and its history, the more one might see that Israel has been under attack since the Arabs rejected a two-state solution in 1948 and pushed the Middle East into a perpetual state of war that cannot possibly end with any scenario yet raised by smarter people Continued on page 2

It might be a large hole in the ground encircled by cyclone fencing right now, but within six months that gaping space on the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns (HAFTR) Lower School’s campus in Lawrence will be the site of a state-of-the art gymnasium. The 7,500-square-foot building will house HAFTR’s indoor sports teams, including boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, floor hockey and serve as place to hold functions. It will have locker rooms, a video scoreboard and seating for nearly 400. “It will be a first-class, all-purpose sports complex that will be large enough to accommodate all of our sports,” said parent Yaron Kornblum, who serves as co-chair of the two year old planning committee. The building Continued on page 11

Courtesy John P. Capobianco Architects

Artist’s rendering of HAFTR’s new sports complex.

Israel sets ‘model’ behavior in industry By Malka Eisenberg Jewish moms have told their kids to eat to be healthy for millennia and the Jewish State is taking it to a new level. Facing the current horror of anorexia and the media’s trumpeting of emaciated models, the Knesset has adopted legislation to combat this scourge. The Knesset passed a new law forbidding the use of underweight models in advertising, and photos that have been retouched must state that as well. This new law is an attempt to change the perception of beauty in Israel away from idealizing skinniness and anorexia that has a devastating effect on young people struggling to emulate the images of bony models and end up developing eating disorders. The sponsors of the bill, Kadima MK Rachel Adatto and Likud MK Danny Danon, called this a “revolution” in the perception of beauty in Israel,

shattering “the ideal of anorexic beauty” that is an “impossible illusion.” Danon stated that “this will help eradicate eating disorders” in Israel. “This law will send a message to teenagers that being thin is acceptable, but slimness has its limits and there is such a thing as being too thin,” said Adatto. Under the new law, models in Israel must have a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or higher to be in Israeli ads. BMI is an indicator of body fatness based on a person’s height and weight. Photos submitted for advertisements are required to come with a letter from a health professional issued within the last three months indicating that the model is in good health, according to the new law. A female with a height of five foot six inches and weighing 115 pounds has a BMI of 18.6. Adi Barkan, an Israeli fashion photographer and model agent, initiated the idea for the law. He noted that over 30 years he has seen women becoming skinnier and sicker in

an attempt to conform to some industry-idealized myth of thinness. “They look like dead girls,” he said. Adatto said that only five percent of women had a BMI that naturally fell below 18.5. “On the one hand, maybe we’ll hurt a few models,” Adatto said. “On the other hand, we’ll save a lot of children.” “Other countries have passed similar legislation,” said Dr. Michael J. Salamon, senior psychologist and director of ADC Psychological Services in Hewlett. “It is too early to know if it will have a serious long term impact but it should be viewed as a part of the approach necessary to counter the unrealistic pressure placed on young women to view themselves as ugly or unhealthy if they are above a size"0." Legislation may remove some of the pictures that suggest that ultra thin is the way to be, and that is good, but parents and schools must also be a part of the process of educating for a healthy physical and emotional self-image.”

Shabbat and Passover Candlelighting, First Seder: 7:07 p.m. Candlelighting Second Seder: 8:10 p.m. 72 minute zman 8:40 p.m. Counting of the Omer. Yom Tov ends 8:10 p.m.

SANITARY DISTRICT 1 – PASSOVER PICKUPS Locations for Friday, April 6, 2012 8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. Woodmere – Temple Hillel 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

■ North

■ Woodmere

- Young Israel of Woodmere, Peninsula Blvd 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


■ Lawrence LIRR station 8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. ■ Cedarhurst LIRR station

Jews should pass over world approval Continued from page 1 than any of us, or the author of these pieces, Peter Beinart. Yet, these conflicting viewpoints are not something Beinart just conjured up out of the colder air of Massachusetts’ academia and the pretentiousness it often breeds. So many connected Jews seem to have the same ideology that stems from a deep-seated feeling of embarrassment of being Jewish, and a need to apologize for the achievements of Jews. In a conversation with someone closer to


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me than Beinart (and to be fair, I once ran the public relations account for The New Republic when Beinart was its editor) I found a source of angst that seemingly runs deep within the American Jewish condition. My discussion partner had edited one of the largest Jewish papers in the country, had written for one of the more right wing papers when Rabbi Mayer Kahane was there, has been deeply involved in Jewish education and is active in communal affairs. I consider him to be well versed and quite knowledgeable, and I finally understood his left leaning disposition. The conversation we had was filled with our initially disparate takes on the situation in the Middle East. We found that our thoughts were not so different from one another on matters of harmony among the different streams and sects of the religion. Point by point, as we talked, we almost met one another – right down to the point that neither of us believed truthfully that there is a real peace partner among the Palestinians or Arabs, even if Israel were to hand over the land it held after the 1967 War. So, what was it that drove him to say that Israel would be better off if it just handed over the West Bank and the Golan Heights? It was another set of incongruous philosophies that would cause more problems than it might solve. When pressed, the answer was found in an exasperated notion that sounded like this: “Israel should just give them their state unilaterally, and the world will see that the Palestinians cannot accept it. Then Israel can just do what it needs to do to once the world sees it.” And there it was. Compromise Israel to the point of unparalleled danger, and then come down violently hard on their enemies when the open wounds are so sore that the “world” feels it and sees it as do Zionists who already know the ending to that story. Does Israel, or do the Jews collectively need the world to approve and accept them so that their actions would be considered kosher? Did Syrian’s president Bashar al-Assad seek world approval before he killed ten thousand of his own people, and does the seeming world disapproval of his actions cause any of Israel’s opponents to see the conflict any differently? Did the violent and murderous riots in Afghanistan over reports of incinerated copies of Koran that were being used to pass coded messages from terror cells to others demonstrate the double standard of radical Islam, and does that show the “world” the precarious situation Israel finds itself in surrounded by people who think that way? The questions are rhetorical; the answer is not. No! The thought process is one of an apologist, wanting to be loved and seeking that approval. It is something, however, that even a Sixties era academic like Tom Lehrer understood all too well. The paradigm of Jewish wealth and success of the 20th Century is unprecedented, and it has caused so many Jews discomfort. The need for world approval, to be liked, may stem from the fear of living for centuries as strangers in strange lands and expecting persecution to come. Yet, that is the very syndrome the hope and reality of Israel treats. There are no easy answers, and I, too, believe that Israel and Jews must hold themselves to a standard better than that their oppressors would maintain. Still, the approval being sought by so many apologists may never come. Just as Passover recalls Jewish oppression that goes back to the very beginnings, and the ultimate redemption that came without world approval, Israel and Jews must live in the here and now and make decisions for its future, ones that they can live with. Juda Engelmayer is an executive at the NY PR Firm, 5W Public Relations

Fill your family days with fun! Holiday Week Schedule: Open Daily April 3-15 Musical Concerts Messy Afternoon Play Science Workshops

Crystal Trio —April 10

A Picnic of Pellets —April 9, 11 and 13.

Fiesta Maya: A Celebration of Culture and Cuisine 14 play-based exhibits, including “The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion”

Messy Afternoons

Ask about our outdoor picnic area. NEW: The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion LICM Theater performances receive support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, New York State Council on the Arts and NYSCA ArtWORKS for Young People. Fiesta Maya is supported with funding from New York Council for the Humanities. The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion has been developed by The Arkansas Discovery Network, through a grant funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Long Island Children’s Museum 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530 • 516-224-5800 • On Charles Lindbergh Blvd. (Museum Row) near the Nassau Coliseum


April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR



By Malka Eisenberg With a flourish of color, creativity, and determination Artists 4 Israel is working to confront, dispel, and explode negative attitudes and misinformation about Israel through art. “Artists 4 Israel is the security fence against cultural terrorism,” said Craig Dershowitz, president and founder of A4I, in an email interview. “We use the powerful and universal medium of art to express the beauty of Israel and counter the manipulation of the creative community by Israel’s enemies.” In one of their media-covered installations, a group of their artists converge and assemble a gray cube-like structure, plaster one side with copies of anti-Israel fliers and then proceed to decorate the sharp edged building, painting over the inflammatory leaflets with the vivid strokes of spray-can graffiti art. In Washington Square Park, one of the A4I members stood outside the structure and explained to bystanders that it was a replica of a bomb shelter in Sderot where men, women and children have only fifteen seconds to dodge the bombs fired from Gaza, currently numbering over 10,000 since 2005. Bystanders are asked to enter the bomb shelter museum to hear a recorded “code red” warning from Sderot and see video footage of actual attacks, showing residents racing to shelters as the “tzeva adom” call blares and bombs strike, shaking the ground, explosions rending the air, smoke plumes billowing, flames engulfing cars. “We are using the arts to tell Israel’s story,” explained Dershowitz. Noting the criticism of some anti-Israel passersby, Dershowitz said, “We love the hate—it means we’re doing something right.” A4I educates artists about Israel, explained Dershowitz, working with them to create pro-Israel art in theater, music, fine arts or performance pieces. They have hosted indie rock shows, life-drawing classes, largescale graffiti murals and staged experimen-

Photos courtesy of One Israel Fund

Photos from last year’s joint mission of One Israel Fund and Artist 4 Israel. tal theater. “Artists 4 Israel maintains the Dershowitz Center,” continued Dershowitz, “ where a select group of creatives get free studio space in return for studying anti-Israel propaganda, refuting it and creating pro-Israel art. We are most known for our trips to Israel where we painted the bomb shelters of Sderot. We are the first organization to paint the Israel side of the Security Fence, answering the years of propaganda being used when our enemies paint the other side. We have brought artists to Israel and they have returned as advocates for the country. Within the graffiti community now, Israel is considered quite cool and quite correct in its dealing with its neighbors.”

Begun during Operation Cast Lead, A4I germinated as an art show where the pro-

ceeds of works sold by graffiti artists there would be donated to Sderot. When the gathering reached three times its anticipated size, they knew that they had a forum where Israel and Judaism were considered “cool” and they “should use our relationship with artists and this young audience to teach and educate.” The artists come from varied cultural backgrounds, races, religions and countries. More artists are open-minded or pro-Israel than the prevailing media portrays, noted Dershowitz. Dershowitz grew up in a housing project in Coney Island in the 1980s and initially identified with African-American culture. “As I grew and studied,” he said, “I realized that our own people had a story of strength, pride and overcoming diversity with creativity and honor.” He noted that he graduated from Connecticut College, worked as creative director of a graffiti lifestyle publication and currently manages an art gallery, devoting most of his time to A4I. A4I is financed by its Board of Directors, small grass-roots donations, “strategic partnerships and our own effective management of resources,” said Dershowitz. He pointed out that over 500 artists have or are ready to work on projects, with over 3,500 on A4I’s mailing list. Their work has touched hundreds of thousands through art exhibits all over the world and press coverage, he said. They are not exactly certain who is or is not an A4I, but they concentrate instead “on spreading a proIsrael message to completely new audiences and using the most appropriate, effective team needed for the specific program.” A4I recently painted a graffiti mural backdrop for the recent One Israel Fund dinner. They were lauded for their work by the Minister of Foreign Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, the executive director of Birthright Israel Alumni community, JNF executive Director Russell Robinson and received the key to the City of Sderot.

Yiddishe cup

Lawrence partners prepared for Pesach By Karen C. Green When it comes to wine for Pesach, people know what they want, says Mitchell Steinberg. Shortly before Rosh Hashanah, he and his partner, Bob Merenstein, took over the Liquor and Wine Warehouse in Lawrence. And they’ve learned a lot about their customers since then. The Passover seder, of course, requires participants to enjoy four glasses of wine and plenty of sophisticated South Shore connoisseurs — who know a syrah from a shiraz — nevertheless choose the traditional sweet and semi-sweet wines they remember from childhood, such as Kedem, Manischewitz, Kesser, and Rashi. Together, they account for one third of Steinberg and Merenstein’s holiday sales. But in recent years there has been an explosion of choice among high quality kosher-for-Passover dry vinifera varietals and they outsell the old standbys two-to-one. With backgrounds in healthcare and finance, Mitch and Bob have had a steep learning curve in their

first wine retailing venture, but they have enthusiastically embraced their new role in the community. “I love the area,” says Steinberg. “ I grew up in a conservative affiliated home, working here I feel like I am home. I feel very embraced by the Jewish community.” Steinberg estimates that fully fifty percent of the Liquor and Wine Warehouse’s business comes from the Jewish community and he and Merenstein quickly doubled their kosher wine offerings. Today, they proudly proclaim the distinction of having the largest selection of kosher wines on Long Island. “People want variety. We have an enormous selection of wines from Israel, Spain, Italy, France, Chile and California,” noted Steinberg. “Sales are up from the same time period last year.” What’s the favorite? “Barnetura Moscato, bar none, sells the most in units,” says Steinberg. People love the taste, the versatility, and effervescence of the sparkling Italian wine. In addition to Passover wines, vodka is now available for Pesach in four varieties. There are five

Photos by Bill Kelly

Liquor and Wine Warehouse owners Bob Merenstein, left, and Mitchell Steinberg are enthusiastic about offering the largest selection of Kosher wine on Long Island to the customers they have embraced. different types of Cognac and roughly six types of liqueurs. Liquor and Wine Warehouse has Sunday hours and has sold their chometz . Weekly tastings every Thursday and Friday

from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. give customers a chance to get acquainted with many products they may never have tried before, but more importantly, it gives Steinberg and Merenstein with an opportunity to meet and greet the community they serve.

THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772

Artists 4 Israel beautify Israel’s political landscape

April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Opinion “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt”


t started 3,500 years ago in the land of Egypt, during the first Passover. Jews were commanded to smear the blood of a slaughtered lamb on the doorposts of their homes so death would pass over them. Since that night, Jews have been accused of using the blood of innocents in religious rituals. The libel usually centers on Pesach, that the blood of a Gentile child was kneaded into the mixture to make it “kosher.” Like most anti-Semitic claims, this libel carries the secondary claim-Jews do not follow the Torah which expressly forbids us to ingest blood (read Vayikra, chapter 17 verses 10-14). The blood libel has POLITICO followed us everyTO GO where we have settled in the Galut. Pamphlets distributed in Novosibirsk, Russia, four years ago warned: "Beware Russian parents. Keep watch over your children before the coming of April 2008, the Jewish holiday of Passover. These disgusting people still engage in Jeff Dunetz ritual practice to their gods. They kidnap small children and remove some of their blood and use it to prepare their holy food (matzah). They throw the bodies (of the children) out in garbage dumps," the announcements read. In a March 2010 speech on Al-Aqsa TV, Salah Eldeen Sultan founder of the American Center for Islamic Research and the Islamic American University stated: "The Zionists kidnap several non-Muslims--Christians and others... this happened in a Jewish neighborhood in Damascus. They killed the French doctor, Toma, who used to treat the Jews and others for free, in order to spread Christianity. Even though he was their friend and they benefited from him the most, they took him on one of these holidays and slaughtered him, along with the nurse. Then they kneaded the matzos with the blood of Dr. Toma and his nurse.

They do this every year. The world must know these facts about the Zionist entity and its terrible corrupt creed. The world should know this. Much of the blood libel in modern times takes a different form, false charges of Israeli massacres, the Jewish State being accused of targeting Arab children and even American Jews pushing the United States to go to war and massacre Arabs. Just like in medieval times the blood libel is used to incite attacks on the Jewish people. Remember the Al Dura hoax? The young child who was supposedly shot by Israeli forces? Mainstream media across the globe picked up the video of a father desperately trying to shield his son from Israeli gunfire and the boy being shot dead. That video and its pictures helped incite the horrific homicide bombings of the second intifada. It was years later we learned that a Palestinian cameraman who worked for one of the French TV Networks staged the video. All along the French network had the full tape showing the boy and his father rehearsing their act. The mainstream media was all too quick to accept the blood libel story of the child-hating Israelis because it fit their narrative. The Goldstone report is another example. According to this UN commissioned report, during the Gaza War of 2008 Israeli soldiers deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians. The report was well received by the UN, world leaders and even the President of the United States who began calling for an independent investigation. The problem with the report was that Goldstone only interviewed Hamas sources for details on specific incidents and refused to consider Israeli evidence proving the claims as lies. Even though Goldstone himself now disputes the report’s claims, much of the world still


believes its libels as truth. The blood libel is also part of the language of the progressive left. Daily Kos, the largest progressive website/social community whose annual convention called Netroots Nation has been addressed by Secretary of State Clinton and her husband, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama among others, makes it a habit of portraying Jews as blood-thirsty Nazis. One political cartoon posted on the site shows a bloodstained Israeli flag with the "Jewish Star" morphed into a swastika. It still adorns a post called "Eulogy before the Inevitability of SelfDestruction: The Decline and Death of Israel," which warns of "A Zionist movement multiplying like cancer cells." The illustration for another Kos post, "Zionism was and remains a racist ideology," shows Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman as Adolf Hitler. It includes the word Zionism in blood and tattooed on his hand is a skull with the Star of David (there is more but I do have a word limit). Other recent examples come from the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, supported by our President, Democratic Party leaders, and even Long Island’s own Congressman Steve Israel. The movement’s ideological hero is author Naomi Klein who claims that "[Some Jews] even think we get one get-away-withgenocide-free-card." But she does say we have a reason for our genocidal tendencies--money. In her book The Shock Doctrine Klein explains that Israel is run by a vast military-industrial complex that purposely perpetuates war against the Palestinians so they can develop and more importantly sell, new weapons on the worldwide market. The founders of OWS, an organization

Since human rights issues are really close to my heart, I find myself wondering whether the Jewish organization shouldn’t rather be concentrating on the colossal war crimes that are daily repeated by Israel in Palestine.

called Adbusters believes the Jews are forcing the world into bloody wars. In an article Jazz and the Jihad published on their website, they claim Jews forced the U.S. into Iraq and Afghanistan, and are trying to force America into an Iran war. The Ziocons have some big appetite to satisfy. The same lobbies that led America towards this disastrous invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan are now doing whatever they can to push America towards intervention in Iran and Syria... It currently fights the last sovereign pockets of Muslim resistance. The true aim of the Zionist lobbies is concealed. Instead the Zionist lobbies promote some righteous phony humanitarian alternatives. The American Jewish Committee (AJC), for instance, is aggressively lobbying against human rights abuse in Iran and Darfur. Since human rights issues are really close to my heart, I find myself wondering whether the Jewish organization shouldn't rather be concentrating on the colossal war crimes that are daily repeated by Israel in Palestine. In the Torah we are commanded to “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt. As we tell the story of our wondrous delivery from Egypt later this week, Amalek will still be out there accusing us of a lust for blood. Even worse is the fact that our political leaders accept the purveyors of this libel into the mainstream, speak at their conferences, and support their movements. None of their support is due to some latent anti-Semitism on their own parts, but because of a crass desire to win elections. On this Passover it is important that we remember Amalek and demand our leaders to disassociate from those organizations and people; that they speak out against their libels no matter the political consequences. 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.


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 Assistant Editor Account Executive Contributors

Editorial Designers Photo Editor

Karen C. Green Malka Eisenberg Helene Parsons Miriam Bradman Abrahams Rabbi Avi Billet Jeff Dunetz Juda Engelmayer Rabbi Binny Freedman Alan Jay Gerber Rabbi Noam Himelstein Judy Joszef Alyson Goodman Marina Russian Christina Daly

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We at The Jewish Star are putting down our pencils and picking up our ladles during the week of Passover. There will be no issue on

April 12th but we will be cultivating stories for our April 19th issue. We wish you a Chag Kasher V’Sameach.


Last Minute Haggadah Picks With Pesach literally just around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to suggest several Haggadah selections, as well some other learning resources, that, hopefully, will serve to further enhance your holiday. “A Song of Ascents” [Bnei David Institutions, 2011] by Rabbi Eliezer Sadan, is an interesting history-based commentary. It reflects the religious Zionist and nationalist viewpoint of its author, and its sponsor, Bnei David, a preparatory mechina program whose goal is to instill in Jewish youth in the IDF a Torah centered ideology promoting Jewish and Zionist ideals with service in the IDF as a central value in Israeli society. Included in this effort is the yeshiva for post-army students designed for them to continue their studies. Among the inspirationAlan Jay Gerber al personalities whose ideologies helped form Bnei David was Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook, zt”l and Rav Zvi Tau, sh’lita. This Haggadah’s history-oriented commentary is evident in an excerpt from Rabbi Sadan’s teachings entitled, “Themes of the Seder Night” putting the Exodus in its proper Jewish religious and liturgical perspective: “The Exodus is one of the pillars of the Jewish faith. No subject is mentioned in the Torah as often as the Exodus. We commemo-

rate the Exodus mainly on the Seder night during Pesach. Throughout the year the Exodus is the subject of a range of mitzvoth de’oraita. The Torah commands us to mention the Exodus from Egypt morning and night, as it says, ‘So that you should recall the day you left Egypt all the days of your life.’ “The mitzvah of putting on Tefillin commemorates the Exodus, the mitzvah of wearing Tzizit commemorates the Exodus, and the festivals commemorate the Exodus. “Shabbat commemorates Creation, yet at the same time is also ‘the first of the appointed sacred times, a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.’ “The prohibition of lending to a Jew on interest, the prohibition of eating vermin, the prohibition of false measures, the prohibition of perverting the court-case of a righteous convert, and more – all commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. The very first of Rambam’s list of the 613 mitzvot, the obligation to believe in G-d, is based on the verse, ‘I am G-d, your G-d who brought you out of the land of Egypt’.” Further on, Rabbi Sadan quotes Rav Kook, zt”l, stating that, “The Exodus from Egypt is the eternal spring time of the world.” This theme is reinforced throughout this work with copious references to many commentaries, and historical events in Jewish, as well as world history, leading up to the events currently being played out on the world’s stage. This theme serves to give Pesach a contemporary meaning for all to learn from and to behold with awe and inspiration. Much that is written and taught here

views history in terms of a battle between nature and a G-d centered theology. The struggles against tyranny are highlighted in the profiling of Natan Sharansky as a prime example of what real victory over tyranny will be like. Sharansky’s fearless remarks before a communist court are cited for their raw bravery and sheer eloquence. Much of what we find here is repeated in variant manner throughout this work. The theme of liberation and freedom is seen to hold eternal truth for the Jewish people as seen in the following teaching: “On this night we discover our essential national self through the revelation of the Shechina: our innermost yearning to bond with G-d and delight in His goodness. And for His part, G-d promises us: ‘I will dwell among my people Israel, and I will not abandon my people Israel.’ [Kings I 6:13]” I am personally happy to note that Artscroll has just issued a most valued and long overdue Haggadah commentary by Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl, the world renowned rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem. Based upon his many years of commentaries and divrei Torah, this work, entitled “The Rav Nebenzahl Haggadah” cites many sources for his teachings, always with modesty by giving others the credit for his Torah. Let me cite but one example of this. The topic is “Gratitude of Torah Leaders,” starting with this famous example of Moshe. “When he was only three months old, the Nile protected him from drowning. Years later, he demonstrated his gratitude when he refrained from striking the river to initiate the

plague of blood as well as the plague of frogs.” This great chesed is, by extension, given a contemporary meaning by Rav Nebenzahl through the following heartfelt example: “We find something similar in our own generation right here in Jerusalem. Rabbi Yisrael Zev Gustman, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Netzach Yisrael would water plants in his yeshiva’s garden. Now, why did the Rosh Yeshivah insist on personally watering the plants? Because when he fled from Vilna, he was able to survive by eating plants and other vegetation. He, therefore, evidenced his gratitude to plants for the rest of his life by watering them himself. The plants in Jerusalem were not the same ones that saved Rabbi Gustman’s life in Vilna and the plants certainly did not care or even notice whether Rabbi Gustman watered them himself or whether it was the yeshivah’s gardener, who also would probably have provided the requisite amount of water. Nevertheless, Rabbi Gustman felt personal gratitude to ‘plants’ and wished to honor them by personally watering them.”


Rabbi Binyamin Lau’s “The Sages” [Maggid Books, Koren Publishers, 2010] volume one, serves as an excellent introduction to Pirkei Avot. This work has detailed biographies of all the leading sages cited in Perek, their interactions with each other and motivations behind their opinions and teachings. Where applicable, historical data is given as to the events surrounding the lives of these sages.

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THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772

The Kosher Bookworm

April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Preventing civil war: closing the religious rift By Malka Eisenberg In a dynamic, fast paced exhortation on Sunday night, Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber laid bare the rift between the religious and marginally or not religious segments of Israeli society and the struggle to heal this wound that, if allowed to fester, could lead to civil war. Twenty men and women listened attentively in the Young Israel of North Woodmere as Farber presented cases and dilemmas he faces as founder and director of ITIM: The Jewish-Life Information Center, an organization that assists Israelis with the legal intricacies of personal status-marriage, divorce, conversion and burial. Its services are free. He opened his talk with a quote from Yeshayahu (Isaiah), the part read on fast days, that Isaiah prophesized when he “was certain that he was standing at a transformative moment. ‘Thus says G-d, seek justice and righteousness because my redemption is about to come. Blessed is the person who grasps this covenant by observing Shabbat and behaving properly with your fellow human beings.’” Farber stated that this is a “pretty normative prophecy” and then Isaiah introduces two people, a convert and a man who can’t have children. If they observe the Shabbat and behave properly to their fellow man they will not be “separated out” but “I will give them an everlasting memorial, I will give them something better than children.” These people feel marginalized but the prophet proclaims, “we can find a space for you at the center,” explained Farber. The convert has no past and the eunuch has no future but here he said G-d will “bring you to the Temple and you’ll be a part of it.” Essentially, noted Farber, Yeshaya said “’the whole geulah is only relevant if I can take people from the margins and put them in the center.’ That was 2500 years ago.” Rabbi Farber then gave examples of cases that marginalized converts or Jews who came to Israel but either didn’t have strong Judaic connections or did not seem to have such connections. They are olim from countries, time periods, and communities under suspicion by Rabbinic authorities in Israel who oversee life cycle events. He read an email in Hebrew from a woman originally from Uzbekistan who was not permitted to marry by the chief Rabbi of her city until she proved her Jewishness. In her letter she described her Jewish education, her Aliyah, her service in the IDF and her allegiance to Judaism and her exasperation and pain “and now I’m not a Jew anymore. I want to call out to my entire family who were slaughtered in the forest in Russia and burnt in the concentration camp Mauthausen. It was a big mistake. It’s true you were killed because you were Jews… if only when you were standing naked in the gas chambers and in front of the firing squads you could have screamed out and explained you are not really Jewish because in the Rabbanut in Yerushalayim they don’t recognize you as Jewish then maybe you would have still been alive…If I can prove my Jewishness I could tell you to rest in peace. Hitler was less strict than the Rabbanut. The degradation I felt today will never be erased from my heart.” “This woman and thousands like her every year find themselves being marginalized not for no reason, maybe for no good reason,” explained Farber. “I’m a believer, I’m an Orthodox Rabbi. The law says only Jews can get married to Jews. I don’t have a problem with that despite the fact that I’ve gone on the record a number of times that the Rabbanut is

not doing their job the way that they should. I’m still not sure that the State of Israel should sponsor intermarriage. I have a real conflict but it’s a big jump to tell everybody that if your parents were not married in Israel you are not Jewish unless you can prove it. It’s a complex area of law and attitude.” He described a case of a woman who brought her mother’s ketuba dated 5778 from Tashkent to verify her Jewishness and her city’s chief rabbi crumpled it up and threw it out. He pointed out that the date as written is six years from now but the Soviet appointed Rabbi who filled it out, filling in the blank after the numbers 57 entered the last digits of the secular year. It was noted that anyone in that time, 1978 in the former Soviet Union seeking a ketuba, had to have Jewish leanings but it was not a halachically valid document. “If someone shows up and doesn’t look ultra or super orthodox, the assumption is they want to dupe us,” Farber explained. Another case cited was of an American who grew up in a conservative environment and was not permitted to marry an Israeli a day and a half before his wedding since he was required to prove his Jewishness and the letter from his rabbi was rejected. Rabbi Farber was able to track down the man’s grandmother’s grave in an Orthodox part of a cemetery in Chicago and send a digital picture of the grave for verification of his Jewishness. “The real North American Jewish narrative is 60% intermarriage rate and unaffiliated for two generations is higher than 60%,” noted Farber. “It’s much worse for Jews in North America; the assumption in Israel is that they are living in the periphery.” “I really don’t know if a women or a family who came on Aliyah, and you know the law of return allows people whose fathers and grandfathers are Jewish to make Aliyah, if that person wants to marry a person who was born in Israel who was Jewish, I’m not sure that the State should recognize that marriage like that without a problem even though I think it’s an inalienable right for people to get married,” said Farber. Farber said that he felt that he was born in the wrong generation, wishing that he had been an adult in Israel in 1946 or 1966, but he said that we are living in historic times even now. “We fought an incredible civil rights war to free Sharansky.” He recounted that Natan Sharansky recalled when he was in jail in a Soviet prison how the jailers showed him copies of the

New York Times’ coverage of the protests, of the students and housewives, and he thought, ‘how stupid they were. If I saw the students and housewives I knew that they all cared about me.’ Farber called it “the greatest single immigration since the Exodus with one million entering Israel, a great miracle between 1989 through 2004. But now there are 330,000 who are not halachically Jewish. “”I would argue that the North American Jewish community, us, we have a moral responsibility to those people to try to get them as much as possible included in society. If it means converting them in a standard that we wouldn’t normally use but it would be considered an Orthodox halachic standard because we don’t want a fifth column, I think that if we have to do it at one time in Jewish history we have to do it now.” He cited a case of a chief rabbi of a town who rejected a valid conversion by Israel’s chief rabbi that was even validated by the Beit Din. “I respect the rabbi’s right to do what he wants; he just shouldn’t work for the State of Israel.” Rabbi Farber cited that these rabbis were persecuting a convert, a Jewish legal issue, and sued the chief rabbi in Supreme Court. Rav Ovadia Yosef then said that all army conversions are valid and the chief rabbi agreed so now if someone goes through conversion and the local rabbi doesn’t accept it they take the file and send it to another rabbi who does, he signs it and sends it back. “I don’t like it 100% but I can live with it I guess,” he said. “The problem on our hands is part ideological and part political. What is this new entity, Medinat Yisrael, how does it relate to the new average citizen who is not orthodox, with the body politic imposing its will on the non-religious. They want to live in the past and only in the past; they want to say that maybe its better not to convert them so they’ll leave and I’m thinking, what?! We can’t do that. The fact that 300,000 Jews came who went through the fire of Judaism if they’re not willing to go through the water of Judaism as they did for the last generation then we can’t do anything about them. It’s part of the national interest.” “The good news is that there are a lot of people out there who are not satisfied and want to change. We get 600 phone calls a month. It’s like in Yeshaya. There are people on the periphery and people pushing them out. There are rabbis in political positions who are willing to go the extra mile saying there is just too much at stake to leave people on the sidelines. We can’t do it anymore.” “We have to work now to try to bring the periphery in so everybody feels a part of it.” He notes that Israel is young and that there is a lot of opportunity, challenges, responsibility and hope. “The biggest issue facing Israel today is our security. In the end the security will be resolved, not behind us but will plateau and the Jewish issue will then either divide us to the extent that we might have a civil war or something that bonds us together not just as a people in Israel but a world community. It’s not simple. Now is the time to work hard and figure it out. There’s a lot of complexity, a lot of demographic issues, political issues that have to be resolved, but I don’t think Israel has a fighting chance if Jewish life is going to be so contentious, if so many people are going to be left on the sidelines. That is really a mission for Jews and particularly for Orthodox Jews today.” Rabbi Seth Farber received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. from Hebrew University. He is the rabbi of Kehillat Netivot in Ra’anana where he lives with his wife and their five children.

From left, Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber and Rabbi Yehuda Septimus, mora d’atra of Young Israel of North Woodmere.

Photo by Monica Rzewski


at the theater and comfortably settled in our seats, we opened our paper bags (no designer totes back in the day for us) and took out our snacks and lunches that we made and packed. Yes, we actually made our own matzo sandwiches and packed our snacks, too; hear that kids? As the aluminum foil was opened and we compared our lunches, the man in front of us turned around and told us to be quiet. So being the obedient girls we were, we just started munching on our matzo as we enjoyed "American Grafitti." Again the man turned around and asked us chew a little quieter. Obviously he didn't realize there was no way to eat matzo quietly. I put my sandwich in the bag and had my snacks instead. A little later on, I took my matzo out again because I was starving. Again he turned around and in a loud voice asked me to put it away. (I'm sure my kids are wondering why, at that point, I wasn’t at the managers office voicing a complaint... read on kids). I leaned forward and took one last crunchy bite right in his ear, and then my friends and I high tailed it out of those seats and sat in the back of the theater. Not only did we get to see a great movie, we had a story to tell as well. Whether bowling, seeing a movie, going to a museum, attending a Broadway show or a baseball game, I’m sure all of us have special memories spent with family or good friends. This week, I thought I would share a fun recipe for chocolate, marshmallow, walnut and matzo farfel clusters. It’s an easy recipe to make with your kids, and a great way to spend a day together during chal hamoed.

moonwalk. In 2008, competitive-eating champion Joey Chestnut ate 78 matzo balls in eight minutes for a $1,500 prize. Bet he would have rather eaten these chocolate clusters!


INGREDIENTS; ■ 24 ounces parve chocolate chips ■ 1 cup matzo farfel ■ 1 cup chopped walnuts or walnut halves ■ 2 cups mini marshmallows Melt chocolate in the microwave, stir well and set aside to cool a bit but not harden. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with waxed paper. Add the remaining ingredients to the melted chocolate, stir till everything is coated and drop by the tablespoon onto the cookie sheet. Once the chocolate is hardened, remove the clusters, and whatever your kids don’t gobble down you can store in an airtight container. For those of you sending your kids to the movies, make sure to pack some of these as a snack….The chocolate and marshmallows will muffle the sound of the crunchy farfel, so your kids won’t have to worry about the grouch sitting in front of them!



y the time most of you will be reading this article, it will probably be over a cup of coffee, Shabbat morning. For those of you who are reading in your hotel, I hope you’ve recovered from your flights, unpacking and overeating so far. (Yes, I’m jealous) For those of you who stayed home for Pesach, the last minute shopping, cleaning, cooking, serving and clearing up after the Seder (s) has taken a toll on you, I'm sure. And for those of you with young children, your fun is just about to begin: Chol ha’moed trip planning. Way back when, when I was a kid, things were much different from what they are today. It was a treat just not having to get up and go to school. We didn't lament that we were stuck home in Judy Joszef Brooklyn while all our friends were in Miami. We looked forward to the special day trips we would take. We'd go bowling, to a show or museum in the city or a movie. I remember so clearly one such chol ha’moed trip to the movies. My friends Lynn, Lisa, Henny, Fay and I all met at the bus stop, holding our bags of lunch and snacks for the day. Yes, in those days we actually took busses at age thirteen, and we walked about seven blocks to the bus stop (hope any teenagers reading this didn't faint at the thought of that). Once

THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772

Who’s in the kitchen? A cluster of sweetness for Pesach

Make an extra batch and have it for the second days of Yom Tov. It’s great as a desert or a snack. While you’re making these tasty treats, and adding the matzo farfel, you can also impress the kids with these interesting matzo facts: In 1838, a Frenchman named Isaac Singer invented a matzo-dough-rolling machine that cut down on the dough's prep time and made mass production possible. In 1888, a Lithuanian immigrant named Dov Behr opened the first matzo-making factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. He adopted the name Manischewitz, named his factory the B. Manischewitz Company and developed an entirely automated method of matzo production. In advertisements, Manischewitz boasted that, "no human hand touches these matzos!" By 1920, he was the world's largest matzo producer--making 1.25 million matzos a year. The Manischewitz family sold the company in 1990 for $42.5 million; the brand is still the most popular type of matzo in the world. Streit's has been in existence since 1925 and offers every kind of matzo, from unsalted to sundried tomato, although the Passover-approved matzo — supervised by rabbis holding stopwatches to monitor the 18-minute rule — is still the most popular. My father, Walter Feig, a”h, worked for Streit’s in 1937 as a teenager. His job was to pull the string that allowed the flour to flow into the huge mixing machines as soon as the whistle blew for production to start. Everything was timed to the second so they never went over 18 minutes from start to finish. In 1938, a matzo bakery was invited to the New York World's Fair, but for unknown reasons never appeared. In 1973, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan shouted, "Man, oh, Manischewitz," the matzo company's slogan, in the middle of his


April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772



10 April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR

Hebrew only please! Rav Levine died erev Shabbat Hagadol 1969. He used to visit the prisoners of the underground held by the British. A short story describes his efforts to free “illegal immigrants” from Persia on Pesach by arranging “families” to vouch for them.

Rabbi Aryeh Levine, Rabbi of the underground

By Rabbi Noam Himelstein

‫ מפני שהיה נוהג לבקר את אסירי‬,"‫ "רב האסירים‬-‫ היה ידוע כ‬,‫ הצדיק הירושלמי‬,‫הרב אריה לוין‬ ‫ כך היה מגיע מידי שבת‬.‫המחתרת שנלחמו מול השלטון הבריטי בימים שקדמו להקמת המדינה‬ ‫ התשכ"ט‬,‫ ט' ניסן‬,‫ הרב נפטר בערב שבת הגדול‬.‫בבוקר כדי להתפלל עמם ולחזק את רוחם‬ ‫ ובכך‬,(‫ ונקבר באותו יום אחר הצהריים בבית הקברות בסנהדריה )בירושלים‬,(‫ למנינם‬28.3.69) ‫ אנשי‬... ‫ והיה זה סמוך לכניסת השבת‬,‫ שכן אין מספידים בחודש ניסן‬,‫נתקיימה צוואתו שלא להספידו‬ ‫ עד שגילה להם‬,‫ שכן האדמה הייתה קשה‬,‫ה"חברה קדישא" חששו שיקח זמן רב לחפור את הקבר‬ ,‫שומר בית הקברות כי עוד לפני שנים ביקש ממנו הרב אריה להכין את קברו מראש ולכסותו בעפר‬ ‫ ואם יהיה זה ביום שישי יתקשו להכין‬,‫והסביר לו כי אף אדם לא יכול לדעת מתי הוא יסתלק מהעולם‬ ... ‫את הקבר באדמה הקשה והמלוים יתקשו להגיע הביתה בזמן לשבת‬ ‫ החוק היה שעולים "בלתי‬,‫ כשהבריטים חסמו את גבולות הארץ לעולים יהודים‬,‫לפני קום המדינה‬ ‫ אם תוך שישה ימים מהזמן שנתפסו לא הגיעו "קרובי משפחה" והיו‬,‫ליגליים" היו מתגרשים מהארץ‬ ‫ והיה הרב אריה עובד קשה מאד כדי לעזור‬,‫חותמים שהם מקבלים אחריות על העולים שנתפסו‬ .‫לעולים אלה‬ ‫ הגיעו שישה עולים "בלתי ליגליים" מפרס לכלא‬,‫ כמה שעות לפני הסדר‬,‫בערב פסח התרצ"ט‬ ‫ אך דאגו מאד‬,‫ אנשי המחתרת שהיו בכלא העבירו להם אוכל לסדר שהיה בידם‬.‫בירושלים‬ .‫ ואין איש מגיע כדי לשחררם‬,‫משהתברר שהעולים נתפסו כבר לפני ארבעה ימים‬ ‫ סיפרו אנשי המחתרת את דאגתם לרב אריה כשבא לבקרם ולהתפלל‬,‫ בחג הפסח‬,‫למחרת היום‬ ... ‫ יש אלוקים גדול בשמים‬,‫ אל תדאגו‬,‫ הרגיעם הרב‬.‫עימם‬ ...‫ ולא הבינו כיצד קרה הדבר‬,‫ ראו האסירים כמה מאות איש מתגודדים בחצר‬,‫ כעבור שעתיים‬,‫ואכן‬ ‫ הסביר לאסירים )לאחר שלחצו עליו לגלות מה‬,‫ כשהגיע הרב אריה שוב לכלא‬,‫בשבת חול המועד‬ ‫ וביקש‬,‫ שם הוא היה משגיח‬,"‫ הוא רץ לישיבת "עץ חיים‬,‫( שמיד לאחר שנפרד מהם ביום טוב‬... ‫קרה‬ ‫ כדי שיבואו לכלא ויבקשו‬,‫מכל הבחורים שירוצו מיד ויסתובבו בכל בתי הכנסת של העדה הבוכרית‬ ..."‫מיד את שחרור "קרוביהם‬ ("‫ "איש צדיק היה‬,‫)על פי ספרו של שמחה רז‬ !‫ ויהי רצון שנזכה כולנו לצאת לחרות אמיתית רוחנית‬,‫פסח שמח וכשר‬ 547809

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Entering The Lyons Den


n 1934 Leonard Sucher, a City College graduate and practicing lawyer, beat out 500 applicants for a job at the New York Post, the oldest continuously published newspaper in America. He was the columnist of “East of Broadway” in the Sunday English page of the Jewish Daily Forward when he entered the New York Post contest to win a column. His new position was meant to rival Walter Winchell’s in the Daily Mirror. Beginning May 20, 1934, he would write 1000 words per column, 6 columns a week for 40 years to the day. Leonard’s editor anMIRIAM’S MUSINGS nounced on a Friday that he’d have a new name on Monday. Lyons was chosen and thus was born “The Lyons Den.” This is now a three-generation brand name, since his son Jeffrey and grandson Ben use it for their own work as critics. Unlike others in the field, Leonard never used the word “celebrity” which Miriam Bradman he hated; his was not a Abrahams gossip column, instead he penned anecdotes about anyone newsworthy. Jeffrey Lyons, third of Leonard’s four sons, is a chip off the old block. He entertained the Hadassah Nassau Region in the ballroom at Plainview Jewish Center with his colorful true stories. Fast talking, funny, smart, confident and articulate, Jeffrey filled our ears

with interesting details about every type of performer you can imagine. He showed us a spectacular amalgam of home movies which enhanced his memories of interacting with a diverse group of personalities while growing up in his parents’ household. He proudly states that, “my father knew everyone.” Jeffrey Lyons wrote his book “Stories My Father Told Me, Notes from “The Lyons Den” as a testament to his father’s life’s work. It reads as a beautiful personal homage to his dad and to the incredible lifestyle his family lived. The 12,479 columns Leonard Lyons wrote consisted of exclusive first hand copy, a result of his own leg-work, interviewing some of the most famous people in the world. When he saw another reporter ahead of him, he’d leave, wanting only fresh material. Many stars became friends with Leonard and frequent visitors to his home. So many names impressed the Hadassah audience, including: Irving Berlin, Danny Kaye, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Noel Coward, Frank Sinatra, Alfred Hitchcock, Lawrence Olivier, Salvador Dali, Margaret and Bess Truman, Richard Burton, Albert Einstein (a distant cousin), J. Edgar Hoover (who kept a file on his family), Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, John F. Kennedy. Leonard Lyons had tea with the Duke of Windsor. Orson Wells was his best friend for many years. Charlie Chaplin taught his sons how to walk like him. Marilyn Monroe phoned Jeffrey to wish him a happy 16th birthday. Joe DiMaggio came to Jeffrey’s bar mitzvah and is the message voice on his answering machine. David Ben Gurion took Leonard on a tour of Tel Aviv and told him that to be a good Jew you need to live in Is-

A place to call home Continued from page 1 is being designed by Inwood-based John F. Capobianco Architects. Part of the $2 million the school is raising through donations is targeted to renovate the Lower School gym with new lighting, windows and court floor. That gym is also used as an auditorium. They have already raised $1.4 million. “It’s great for our community to have a brand new state-of-the-art gym with plenty of bleachers and space, ;Maron, HAFTR’s executive director. “I have been involved with HAFTR since the ‘80s and this floor is the original from the Hillel gym from 60 years ago,” said Joey Hoenig, HAFTR’s athletic director and co-chair of the project committee, during the construction’s kick off barbecue at the Lower School on March 29. Hillel merged with HILI in 1978 to

become HAFTR. Due to the lack of facilities, HAFTR leases space to play its “home” games at public schools, Kornblum said, and with no genuine home court, that puts the Hawks hoops teams and Flames hockey squads at a distinct disadvantage against other schools. “It’s been a dream of HAFTR’s to build this new sports complex,” said Kornblum. “A place that we can call home.” Despite not having a home court advantage, the boys’ seventh-grade basketball team won its division championship and the floor hockey team won the Metropolitan Yeshiva Junior High Hockey League championship in double overtime. “I think it’s really great,” seventh-grader Elijah Glaubach, who played on the Flames title team, said about the new sports complex. “It’s really cool.”

Wishing my friends and neighbors a very sweet Passover.

rael, to which Leonard responded by pointing out all the American donor names on the Israeli buildings. During the war, Marc Chagall often came for a kosher Friday night dinner in their home. Jeffrey says “Chagall was a spiritual link for my parents to their ancestors’ lives in Eastern Europe.” Chagall always had a twinkle in his eye and once looked at a Miro painting in the Lyons’ home and called it “dreck.” Leonard owned the world’s smallest Chagall. When he was going to visit Eastern Europe he asked Chagall to draw his home. Chagall drew the village of Vitebsk on a scrap of paper for him. The Lyons’ belonged to Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a reform synagogue, just two blocks away from their home. Leonard says he has a Red Sox yarmulke which he wears in private during post season. “That’s the extent of my current practice, but I remain Jewish in my heart and outlook on life...and humor. My other religion is baseball in general and the Boston Red Sox in particular. I’m serious.” Lyons was most excited telling us about his family’s relationship with Ernest Hemingway and his own 25 trips to Spain. He first met Hemingway in 1952 as a boy of eight when the Lyons’ were his houseguests outside Havana. Hemingway taught the boys how to shoot and spoke about his writing. Jeffrey read Hemingway’s books which changed his life. Four years later on his first trip to Spain, he became enamored with bullfighting and was given the incredible opportunity to travel with the world famous matador Antonio Ordonez who had been anointed by Hemingway as the greatest matador of them all. Lyons said these incredible experiences

gave him confidence he brought to his work. Jeffrey Lyons has had his own stellar career having reviewed more than 15,000 movies and hundreds of Broadway shows. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York and earned a Law degree from Syracuse University. He began his career writing sports and obituaries, interning at the New York Times and covering the 1968 political conventions for WINS. He has been the film critic for WPIX, co-hosted Sneak Previews, and hosted “The Lyons Den” on WCBS-AM. Jeffrey was on MSNBC’s “AT THE MOVIES” with his son Ben. He was WNBC’s film and theatre critic and co-hosted the Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk. He currently hosts the syndicated “LYONS DEN RADIO.” He appeared as himself in The French Connection, Deathtrap and the TV series Wiseguy. The book’s last section is about current actors whom Jeffrey respects and has interviewed. He insisted on answering questions from the audience: his favorite movie is The Graduate, he disliked Vanessa Redgrave’s politics, but reviewed her films fairly, referred to Mel Gibson as “he who shall not be named” and that he only regrets having missed interviewing some deceased actors. Like his father Leonard, Jeffrey is a teetotaler with a strict work ethic and prides himself on his research and preparedness. He says you “have to think twice before you sit on somebody’s work” and tries not to be harsh in his reviews, though he quipped about someone having had a “charisma bypass operation.” You could never say that about Jeffrey Lyons; I’d say he’s a clever, accomplished mentsch who acknowledges his roots by revering his family.

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THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772

Miriam’s musings

April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


April 9 Levi Yitzchak Library THE LEVI YITZCHAK LIBRARY is pleased to announce that we will be OPEN during Chol Hamoed Pesach!! Come see the SMALL WONDER PUPPET THEATER: When: Monday, April 9th at 11 a.m. Cost: LYL Chai Member - $8, LYL Member - $10, Non-Member - $12 LIBRARY HOURS: Monday and Wednesday 12pm - 5pm Pesach Video Presentations: Both days at 1:30 and 3:30 Crafts will be available for purchase Explore * Express * Experience The LEVI YITZCHAK LIBRARY is located at 564 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. For additional information, please call 516-374BOOK (2665) or email


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

The 5 Towns Jewish Council, 2nd Generation of Children of Survivors of the Holocaust, and the Holocaust Center in Glen Cove, will hold their 4th Annual Holocaust Day Commemoration at the Legislative Chamber in Mineola, from 10 AM-12 noon. The Legislative Chamber is located at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola.

Ongoing The Rylands HaggadahMedieval Jewish Art in Context

Calendar addendum for chol hamoed

Pesach Concert YERACHMIEL BEGUN AND THE MIAMI BOYS CHOIR, Uncle Moishy and more Monday, April 9 in Monsey, Tuesday April 10, in Brooklyn, Wednesday, April 11, in Lakewood, Thursday April 12 in Far Rockaway-Five Towns on Beach 6th Street. Tickets at

April 9, 10 Yeshiva Boys Choir MONDAY, APRIL 9TH 7:30 P.M., Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY Tuesday, April 10th, 7:30 p.m., Bergen PAC, 30 North Van Brunt St., Englewood, NJ or

If you’re in Israel.. ONE ISRAEL FUND WHY ARE OUR DAY TRIPS DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS? April 9 What ‘Green Line’? Down the road to the Negev where some will tour and taste the award winning wine at Yatir Winery while others visit the First Temple era town at Tel Arad, where Tanach and Archeology intersect. In Gush Etzion we will stop at the local community artist village, with an opportunity to purchase their beautiful products Return to Jerusalem along Derech Avot, the path of our forefathers, on their way to the Bet Hamikdash for the Pesach pilgrimage. April 10 The Holy Route:from Har Eival to Shilo

April 19 Annual Holocaust Day Commemoration

April 9, 10, 11,12 JEWISH CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Hours: April 9, 10, 11, 10 am to 6 pm April 12 10 am to 2:30 pm $10 general admission, $13 general admission + new exhibits. Children under 2 are free Museum is located at 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. For more information please call 718 907-8833 or visit

p.m. Arts and Crafts, Flight simulators, Hands-On Activities Museum Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information please call 877-957-SHIP or visit Museum is located at W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue, NYC

The Metropolitan Museum of Art The drama of the Exodus and a medieval Passover is depicted in this 14th century masterpiece. Through September 30.

Why is this Seder different from all others Seders? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano marked the upcoming beginning of Passover by hosting the first model Seder at the County’s Headquarters. The Seder was led by Shaliach Rabbi Anchelle Perl. “It’s so important to share the personal relevance and message of Passover to the widest community” noted Rabbi Perl. Invited guests included prominent community leaders and Jewish staffers in the County’s Administration. Rachel Pellar, member at Chabad of West Hempstead delighted all assembled with her rendition of the Ma Nishtana and traditional introduction of the Seder’s 15-steps of Kadesh UrChatz. “I found fascinating Rabbi Perl’s explanation,” noted Martin Volk of the County’s Attorney’s Office, “of why we eat three Matzos and we drink four cups of wine. This distinction between masculine matzah and feminine wine is connected to their respective journeys to freedom. The main challenge of a male in his journey to freedom is to become like matzah. To deflate and flatten his ego; to challenge the arrogance and the self-consciousness that obstruct his path to liberation. The main challenge of a woman in her journey to liberation is to allow her inner power, represented by wine, to emerge and bring joy and holiness to the world.” The Seder concluded with the deep reason on why Chabad pours the wine of Elijah Cup back into the wine bottle singing Keli Ata. All participants left inspired and uplifted and a gift of Shmura Matzahs for their own Seders. Centuries before the Bait Hamikdash, during the first Pesach as a nation in Eretz Yisrael, we paid homage to the Almighty at the altar on Har Eival. Join us for a unique visit to the mizbeach of Yehoshua, undisturbed for over 3,000 years. With specially arranged IDF escort, we will tour the area of the Blessings and Curses, see the remains of the famous Altar and learn why it inspires passionate debate On to the Gav HaHar region including Mt. Kabir, Elon Moreh and Itamar We will end our day at the site of the ancient Mishkan in Shilo. You will see some of the most recent discoveries and artifacts excavated by an expert team of archaeologists unearthing its ancient city Nearby, visit an ancient Biblical crafts tent featuring basket weaving, mosaics, and pottery workshops run by Suri Prowisor, dynamic wife of One Israel Fund’s security project director, Marc Prowisor.

Trip Details: Eve Harow, renowned English-speaking guide, will lead the day trips in a bullet proof tour bus. We will leave promptly at 8:30 am from the parking lot of the Liberty Bell Park, located next to the Sonol Gas Station, and return at approximately 6:30 pm. There is an adjacent bus stop for the 4, 18, and 21 bus lines. Please bring your own Kosher L’Pesach lunch Cost per day: $70 adult, $60 children 12 and under. Itinerary subject to change as determined by security considerations For more information call 516 239-9202 x10 or email to

April 11 Intrepid Chol Hamoed Family Festival PERFORMANCES BY DAVID GABAY at 1 p.m. and 3

Mummys and body parts: The Brooklyn Museum View world-famous remnants of the culture that enslaved us, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd floor. 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11238 Hours: Wednesday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information call: (718) 638-5000

The New York Aquarium Open every day Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Weekends and holidays. Surf Avenue & West 8th Street Brooklyn, NY 11224 For information call (718) 265-FISH

Queens Zoo Open every day Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekends and holidays 52-51 111th Street Flushing, NY 11368 For more information call: (718) 271-1500

Central Park Zoo Open every day Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Weekends and holidays. 64th Street and Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10021 (212) 439-6500

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Hours: Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mondays 900 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225 For more information call: (718) 623-7200



Appreciating the “Broken” Afikoman


here are differences of opinion as to the origin of the word Afikoman--the most common suggestion I’ve seen is that it is a Greek term--and, as far as its translation goes, while it is not entirely clear, it is largely considered to mean “dessert.” There are a number of opinions amongst the Rishonim as to what purpose the Afikoman serves. Some consider it the actual fulfillment of the mitzvah to eat matzah (despite whatever earlier eatings took place). Others view it as a commemoration of the Korban Pesach--eating a specifically designated “dessert” in place of the meat of the sacrifice we no longer ofRabbi Avi Billet fer because there is no Temple in Jerusalem. Why do we make such a big deal about the specific piece of matzah that we use for the Afikoman? Why do parents fall for the negotiation for this piece of matzah meal (because that is what it is after it’s been folded and hidden inside a pillow) when surely a fresh piece of matzah

would be much more desirable to those sitting around the table? Because when something is set aside for a mitzvah, it achieves its own unique identity, and in some cases a level of holiness, which cannot be replaced by something else. In a homiletical sense, perhaps the Afikoman carries with it a deep and profound message we all know, but need to be reminded of every now and then. The Afikoman might be a broken matzah, but it’s the best broken piece of matzah you’ll ever eat because of the added significance it carries. Even if it may be a little unsightly, we look past its imperfections and its seeming limitations, and we look forward to its taste, which we’ll carry in our mouths until we go to sleep. We appreciate the mitzvah it helps us fulfill. How could a broken and seemingly worthless piece of matzah serve that function? Because not everything that looks broken is automatically broken or in need of repair. My baby cries when a cookie breaks--even if I give him both parts of the cookie. He doesn’t understand that both parts of the cookie are the same cookie and that as soon as he takes one bite, he’ll have left what is currently “broken” in his hand. The Afikoman is not broken! It is meant

to be this way. It is our way of saving the best for last. Its imperfection is what makes it real. This piece was part of a whole, and we’ve been anticipating this piece and looking forward to this piece, and no other piece could ever take its place. When we think about this concept with respect to those we love, we understand how people refuse to let go or give up on family members who have physically changed on account of illness or aging. They may not look like they once did, but we know them very well. They are not broken. Any physical imperfections are what make them real. In a way, the value attached to the Afikoman is a reminder of how anything that may seem on the surface to be dull or inconsequential is only that way to those of us who don’t scratch past the surface or who don’t seek to uncover the depth or beauty of what lies beneath. To bring the parable full circle, I share a passage from the children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams. The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces...

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” Have a wonderful Pesach, enjoying all the company that spends time together through the holiday.

The sign on the doorpost—the birth of the Jewish home


alk in to any Jewish home and ask yourself: what distinguishes it as a Jewish home? There is actually no ritual, biblical obligation concerning the Jewish home, save one: the mezuzah. One would expect to find this symbol, therefore, in the center of our homes, the living room or dining room. Yet we place our mezuzot in the doorway at the entrance to the home, a place we only pass through, never really stopping to focus on much of anyFROM THE HEART thing. OF JERUSALEM Why do we place our mezuzah in the doorway, rather than hanging it somewhere special inside our home? In 1941, Rav Ephraim Oshri, the last Rabbi of Kovno, Lithuania, was asked a fascinating question. One of the Jews in the ghetto believed the yellow star the Jews Rabbi Binny were all forced to wear Freedman was somehow a consequence of the laxity with which the Jews of Kovno had related to the mitzvah of mezuzah, the mark of a Jewish home, before the war. He wanted to know if there was a mitzvah to place a mezuzah in a home in the ghetto, given the horrible conditions the Jews were forced to live in. Would such a place constitute a home, requiring a mezuzah? His intent, in the event there was such an obligation, was to make it his mission to share with every Jew the beauty of the mitzvah, and to teach them the blessing. Amazingly, given the danger inherent

in such a practice, and the fact that public Jewish ritual in the ghetto was often punishable by death, there was no question as to whether they should try and hide the mitzvah somewhere inside the home, as opposed to the front door. It was a given that a mezuzah only makes sense on the front door. To understand this strange mitzvah we need to take a closer look at the origins of the mitzvah of mezuzah, whose sources are to be found in the Exodus from Egypt: After two hundred and ten years of slavery and nine plagues, G-d announces that the end is finally at hand; the Jewish people will finally be redeemed. Hashem will bring one more plague upon Egypt, and this one He will do Himself. But first the Jews must take a lamb, slaughter it and… paint their doorjambs with it. And strangest of all is the explanation G-d gives (12:13) for this bizarre ritual. Apparently, the blood on the doorpost will serve as a sign for G-d when He passes through Egypt at midnight. Wherever G-d sees blood on the doorjamb, He will pass over that house and spare the family from the plague of the first-born… What is going on? Is G-d nervous he will be wandering through downtown Cairo and might get lost? I have this image of G-d, in a big red suit, with a long white beard, flying through Egypt with a sled and camels hitched up, singing “Ho, Ho, Ho,” at the top of His lungs! Is this the same G-d who will split the Sea? Who created the world? Why does G-d need a sign to implement the tenth plague? Incredibly, this condition is somehow so crucial to the story of the Exodus from Egypt, that the very name of the festival we celebrate to commemorate these momentous

events, Passover, takes its name from this part of the story. Why does this represent the essence of the Exodus? And why is all this actually the basis for the mitzvah of mezuzah and really the only message the Torah tells us which must be physically represented in every Jewish home? 3,200 years ago, in what was then the darkest place on earth, the Jewish people were given the opportunity to take a stand. One of the gods of ancient Egypt was the lamb. So Hashem asked the Jewish people to take this lamb and tie it up outside their homes on the tenth day of Nissan, and leave it there for four whole days. Then, they had to slaughter this lamb, and paint their doors with the blood. While still in Egypt, they marked their front doors with the blood of the god of their masters. Imagine how difficult this must have been. Mordechai Anilewitcz, in the diary he kept during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, points out how incredible it was to these embattled Jews that their bullets could kill the Nazi ‘Ubermentschen.’ After nearly ten years of Nazi rule, the Jews could barely imagine their masters as men of flesh and blood, just like them. Imagine how challenging it must have been for the Jews in Egypt to kill the god of their masters who had enslaved them for two hundred and ten years. You see, before Hashem would take us out of Egypt, we had to be willing to take Egypt out of ourselves. The reason we celebrate Pesach on the night of the tenth plague when we were still in Egypt, is because it was on this night that we took a stand and set ourselves free. This tremendous act of faith was the first step in the long process of the Jewish path to freedom. It was easy for G-d to take the Jews out of Egypt. It was much harder

to take Egypt out of the Jews. On that night every Jewish family was ready to place a sign on their doors, and to make the statement: through this doorway the gods of Egypt will not pass. The beginning of our emergence as a free nation was the birth of the Jewish home. G-d did not spare the Jews by virtue of seeing the sign on their doors; the Jews saved themselves by declaring themselves, for the entire world to see, worthy of their redemption. And this is the essence of the mitzvah of mezuzah. It is not an accident that the mezuzah is placed in the doorway; it is a sign that you are entering a Jewish home. And this is our challenge: what really makes each of our homes a Jewish home? What influences do we bring in to our homes from the world, and what message do we carry from it when we go out into that same world? Are we proud to be Jews? Are we ready to define ourselves as such for the entire world to see? Three millennium ago, a people, written off as one more culture that was about to disappear, began an incredible journey. Against all the odds, defying every rule of history, the Jewish people began their odyssey to make a difference. 3,200 years later, the beginning of that journey, the Jewish home, is still the secret both to why we are still here, as well as to what we have to offer the world. Wishing you all a happy and meaningful Pesach. 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

THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772


14 April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR



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15 THE JEWISH STAR April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772

Chana Koenig

Feeding your pets on Passover


pring is in the air, the birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and Brach’s is preparing for Passover. As families run around shopping for food and cleaning, there is one family member that must not be forgotten, your household pets. Right before the holiday begins, there is a rush to finish all the chametz food, including all those dog bones and pet treats. So what do you feed your pets over Passover? Well, if they appear overweight you can always put them on a diet for the next eight days. However, you might expect a call from the A.S.P.C.A. If you are not personally eating the pet food containing the chametz, nor are you deriving pleasure directly from the food, then why must one buy different pet foods? To start, we must first state what chametz is. According to chabbad. org, chametz is “any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully Chana Koenig baked within eighteen minutes.” Therefore, any pet food containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt can be considered chametz. When it involves pet food, kitniyot is not an issue. According to Rabbi Hershel Billet of Young Israel of Woodmere, “Pet food can have kitniyot.” As humans, we are not receiving pleasure from these foods directly. So must we still buy different foods for the animals? The answer is a simple yes. Rabbi Chaim Tabasky, from writes, “Not only is it forbidden to eat or own chametz on Pesach; it is also forbidden to derive benefit from chametz, and feeding one’s animals with chametz is gaining benefit.” In America there are many different types of pet foods, and obtaining ones that are permissible for Passover has become increasingly easy. I have heard of some families who simply feed their dogs “people food,” such as chicken and other meats for the eight days. However, this is not recommended as many

Photos by Chana Koenig

Household pets such as my hedgehog Chabie Kremo Jr. and my dog Chloe modify their diets for eight days as well. dog’s stomachs are not accustomed to such foods and they can easily become sick. For the standard pets, such as cats and dogs, most of the well-known brands carry foods that can be used over Passover. Cat food brands such as Evanger’s, Prescription Diet and Science Diet all have foods that can be used. However, only certain items sold by the companies are allowed. For example, Evanger’s canned Beef Tips with Gravy is acceptable, but canned Holistic Pheasant Dinner is not. The same goes with Prescription Diet and Science Diet. Several kitten, adult and mature adult versions of Science Diet are approved. As for dog food, many of the items from Evanger’s, Prescription Diet and Science Diet are allowed. To check which items from the brands are permitted, go to and do a search of Passover pet food. For owners with other pets, do not despair, there are suitable substitutions for everyone. Fish are rather simple. Flakes and other regular fish foods are chametz. In exchange for fish flakes, bloodworms, brine shrimp and freeze-dried can be substituted. These can be picked up at Petworks, Petland, Petco, Pet

Smart or any other local pet store. Regular year round bird food usually needs to be put away. Most small birds, such as parakeets, finches and cockatiels, can eat millet seed. However, for larger birds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and safflower seeds can be given. Not all pet stores carry these foods and you might need to seek out a more exotic pet store. Parrots of the World, located at 316 Sunrise Highway, carries some of these items. Small animals, including hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits can be fed vegetables such as carrots, apples, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers and many more. Pellets are still a main food that should be fed to the pet and pure alfalfa pellets are permitted. Ferrets fall under this category as well. Caring for your reptiles, amphibians and tarantulas is rather simple. Usually their diet does not need any alteration. Crickets, meals worms, wax worms or any other type of worms are acceptable, but be careful about the food you feed the insects as many of them contain grains. Most containers that worms come in are not a problem since the insects are usually placed in wood shavings. Some distributers do use wheat flakes, bran

or oatmeal, so be sure to check with your local pet store. For those unique pet owners with more exotic pets, there are solutions for you as well. I personally own a hedgehog who is a lovely part of my family. He is fed cat food during the year and, therefore, I use approved for Passover cat food year round. Snake owners can continue to feed their pets mice or rats as long as there are no additives. The iguana owners should be aware that their pet is an herbivore and should not have a problem finding them food. Ask an iguana breeder or pet store which vegetables are suitable for your iguana. “Floating sticks,” which are generally fed to turtles, may not be acceptable. In exchange, feeder fish may be fed to the turtle for the duration of the eight days. A rather new unique pet on the market is the sugar glider. Sugar glider foods do contain chametz. However, your sugar glider can be fed vegetables such as apples, pears and sweet potatoes. Sugar gliders must get protein in their diet that can easily be substituted with crickets or mealworms. Wishing you and your pets a very happy v’kasher Pesach!

HAFTR Highlights By Michael Sosnick

Students at Penn, from left, Lauren Schneider, Dean Decter, Eden Hoffman, Carli Wilkowski

This past weekend, thirty six HAFTR students went to the University of Pennsylvania to participate in the annual Penn Model Congress. Students picked specific committees in Congress to be a part of, wrote simulated bills, and went to meetings serving as delegates in the form of mock Senators and Representatives. Arriving Thursday night, the students went to the Penn Hillel for dinner and then had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker Marjorie Margolies. After this presentation, they had sessions in their committees where they had the opportunity to present, debate, amend, and vote on bills. On Friday students attended two committee sessions and religious Jewish students were able to attend an extra session to make up for the session scheduled for Saturday morning.

Throughout Shabbos students participated in Friday night and Shabbos morning services and meals at the Hillel in Penn. Avery Feit, a HAFTR student who went on the trip, really loved the Jewish community at Penn. "The Hillel at Penn is enormous, diverse in levels of observance, and it is extremely active" said Feit. During the day students were encouraged to explore the beautiful campus and see what life at Penn is like. On Saturday night there was a ‘Delegate Dance’ at which the students were able to relax and have fun. Justin Merkin, another HAFTR student who attended, thinks that "Penn was really a fantastic weekend. Everyone who goes immensely enjoys the whole occasion; I strongly encourage everyone to go and experience it for themselves." Although the school could not stay for the awards ceremony on Sunday night, Adam Lifshitz, a HAFTR student, won an honorable mention award for his committee.

April 6, 2012 • 14 Nissan 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


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April 6, 2012  
April 6, 2012  

The Jewishs Star