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No couch potato: Knish’s Jewish soul By Robert Gluck, JNS.org The history of the knish represents more than just the lineage of a fried, dumpling-like food. It demonstrates the often-central role of food in communities and cultural legacies. Laura Silver knows that all too well. She has consumed knishes on three different continents, and her exhaustive research on the iconic potato treat has resulted in her new book, “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food,” which was released in early May. When she started her knish book project, Silver had no plans for an intercontinental journey, though she did plan to go to Vineland, N.J., home of the Pasta Factory, the company that purchased the famous knish recipes of Mrs. Stahl’s bakery.

As a young girl from the New York borough of Queens, Silver vividly remembers heading to Mrs. Stahl’s in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn for knishes. “Mrs. Stahl’s was our go-to place, but there were certainly knishes in other places,” she told JNS.org. “When I grew up in Queens there were many Jewish delis around. Mrs. Fanny Stahl was born with the Yiddish name of Feige. She was an immigrant who supported her five children by doing many jobs, including cooking. She started the knish shop and ran it until her death. She was very active in the Brooklyn chapter of Hadassah (the women’s Zionist organization) and she knitted sweaters for the people of Palestine before Israel was a state. She was an entrepre-

neur par excellence. She worked very hard.” Silver is considered the world’s foremost expert on the knish. But can she definitively say where the first knish came from? “I don’t think it’s possible to know exactly who made the first knish,” she said. “It certainly happened in a different time but it was before 1614, the first recorded history of the knish, which is in a poem in the Polish language. It comes from a town called Krakowiec, which is in modern-day Ukraine in what would be the Pale of Settlement.” The knish undoubtedly has links to the Polish town of Knyszyn, where Silver’s own family originated, she said. But before setting out on her quest, she had no idea that she might be related to direct descendants of the

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knish’s pioneers from that very town. “I didn’t realize I was on a quest until I was in Poland with my family and we learned that our great aunt was from Knyszyn,” she said. “That’s what tipped me off that I might be a direct descendant of the knish, which I am in fact. It was bashert (meant to be).” According to David Sax, author of “Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen,” Silver’s knish book is a lovingly researched volume that elevates the knish—arguably the humblest of Jewish foods—into a weighty symbol of history, identity, and family. “Knishes haven’t met anything this good for them since the invention of mustard,” Sax told JNS.org, referring to Silver’s book. “The knish is ripe for the spotlight Laura has shone upon it. Just look at the lineup for Black Seed, the new Montreal bagel place in New York, and you’ll see that the revived interest in Jewish soul food is only growing. I bet we’ll see some amazing knishes in the years to come.” Arthur Schwartz, author of “Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited,” said the knish “has never been put to better use” than in Silver’s book. “Laura Silver’s at-times poetic meditation on knishes is not only a cultural history of this filled lump of dough, as meticulously researched as any doctoral thesis, but also a Proustian personal memoir that hints of James Joyce, no less, in the way Silver intones and uses the rhythms of Aramaic Jewish liturgy, Yiddishkeit, and Yiddish humor to tell her story,” Schwartz said on the book’s website. During her research, Silver discovered that the knish has connections to sources as surprising as Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music. One of her favorite stories in the book is about Gussie Schwebel, a former knish maker on Houston Street in New York. Schwebel wrote to Roosevelt to ask her to sample her knishes. “They turned her away because there was too much press,” Silver told JNS.org. “Mrs. Roosevelt’s secretary thought it was a public relations stunt. I say hats off to Mrs. Schwebel, because she had the chutzpah to write to Roosevelt. She wanted to help her adopted country so she asked to cook knishes for the armed forces. She used what she had, a knish, a food, and she ramped it up. That was in the 1940s. Later on she was quoted again in the Washington Post saying that knishes are going to bring about world peace and put an end to the Cold War. She saw food as an instrument for political maneuvering. Good for her.” “The best knish you can get is one you make yourself,” she said. “Barring that, I like the one at Gottlieb’s in [the Brooklyn neighborhood of] Williamsburg because they speak Yiddish behind the counter.” Silver was recently hired to teach a course at the Brooklyn Greenery, “Improve Your Knish IQ,” to give people a chance to expand their knowledge of the food. “The knish is a simple food and it is accessible,” Silver said. “It is one that people yearn for even when they don’t need to eat simple food because it reminds them of connections that may be difficult to maintain, or obtain.” The author is also set to appear at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage on June 15 to discuss her book with food writer Gabriella Gershenson. Gabriel Sanders, director of public programs at the museum told JNS. org that what “King Arthur is to the knight, Laura Silver is to the knish.” “Never before has the potato pocket had such a devoted champion,” Sanders said.


By Malka Eisenberg A large map of the New York–Long Island area linking photos of Israeli soldiers and their home communities hung on a wall of the Sephardic Temple in Woodmere. In Israel, these are the Lone Soldiers; in the Five Towns they are a source of pride. More than 500 supporters of the Israel Defense Forces came to the Long Island Chapter of Friends of the IDF at its third annual event on May 28, raising $350,000 for FIDF. A highlight of the evening was the surprise appearance of David Golombeck from Lawrence, a Lone Soldier with the Netzach Yehuda (Nahal Haredi) bridgade, who was greeted at the podium with hugs from his parents Anne and Shelly. Dror Moshkovski of Merrick pointed proudly to the picture of his daughter Miriam, an ofďŹ cer in the education corps, a graduate of HANC who spent her posthigh school year at Midreshet Moriah. She made aliyah and joined the army through a religious program with a group of other young women at Kibbutz Lavi. Dror said she is stationed in the navy and committed to another year after an ofďŹ cer training program. “We’re very proud of her,â€? he said. He said that his parents were on the ma’apil (illegal immigrant) boat the Exodus. His father was in a Jewish unit of the Russian partisans during World War II and after the war smuggled Jews through Lodz to then-Palestine and met his wife, Dror’s mother, that way. They made aliya but came to the U.S. in 1960 to join a remnant of their families here. Dror’s mother has since passed away but his father, 92, made aliyah again in December 2013. Miriam is named after an aunt who wanted to make aliyah before the war from Lithuania but was held back by her family and died in the Holocaust. “Miriam fulďŹ lled the dream,â€? said Dror proudly. Friends of the FIDF, founded in 1981, provides for the soldiers beyond what the Army provides, including programs spanning education, wellbeing and recreation programs, support for widows and orphans, and social and ďŹ nancial support for Lone Soldiers who are far from their families. “Every step of the way it was as if they were behind us,â€? Yeshiva University graduate and former Lone Soldier Jeremy Kugelman said of the FIDF. Mindy and James Steinblatt of North Woodmere said

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they were “thrilled, a little nervous, and very proudâ€? of the IDF trajectory of their son, a HAFTR graduate. “We knew his heart was there and he wouldn’t be happy anywhere else,â€? said Mindy Steinblatt. He served 14 months in search and rescue on the home front, working with the ďŹ re department in Israel. He made aliyah and now, at 25, is working in risk analysis in an international security company based in Israel. “He grew up with four grandparents who are Holocaust survivors,â€? she added. “That had a very big impact.â€? Yonah (Kevin) Hochhauser studied in HANC and post-high school in Or Yerushalayim and after a break back in the U.S., made aliyah and spent three years as a paratrooper in the IDF. “He knew that his dad, aâ€?h, and I wanted to go on aliyah,â€? said mom Renee Hochhauser of West Hempstead. “He knew how proud we are; it would have been [his dad] Jerry’s dream, jumping out of airplanes. It makes me give more to the FIDF. I’m very proud of him.â€? Two soldiers spoke at the presentation: •Tamar Aizenman, 23, of Jerusalem, said that for her, Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the anniversary of the liberation and reuniďŹ cation of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day-War, is a religious holiday, citing her personal connection with the city and the day. She currently commands 50 soldiers and teaches her soldiers to be proud of Israel, she said. Her grandfather, a paratrooper, was killed in the battle to free Jerusalem and 30 years later her father, a police ofďŹ cer, was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. •Benny Meir, of Gesher Haziv, a kibbutz in the north, commands 800 men in his current position in an extensive career in the military defending Israel. He has commanded various brigades and special forces, has a BA in law and recently reopened a special search and destroy anti-terrorist unit, Sayeret Rimon. “I can provide food and shelter,â€? said Meir. “The FIDF supports soldiers with quality of life. They help us a lot and the soldiers feel the support and know (people) are thinking about them. It makes a difference. I have 41 Lone Soldiers and each has his own story.â€? In an inspiring video screened at the dinner, Eli Waltuch, son of Debbie and Dr. David Waltuch of Woodmere, pointed out that the IDF is the â€œďŹ rst Jewish army in 2,000 yearsâ€? and that his home “sees [itself] as part of the larger Jewish nation.â€?

Shooting reects new threats to European Jews By Alina Dain Sharon, JNS.org The recent fatal shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels has brought the multidirectional threats faced by Europe’s Jews back to the forefront. These threats are coming together from the “right-wing, certain elements of the Muslim community, and at the same time also from the radical left, which is viciously antiIsrael,â€? Daniel Schwammenthal, director of American Jewish Committee (AJC) Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, told JNS.org. A shooter killed four people in the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. On Friday, 29-year-old Mehdi Nemmouche, a French national with suspected ties to Islamic radicals in Syria, was reportedly arrested in connection to the shooting. Two of the victims were an Israeli couple in their 50s, Mira and Emmanuel Riva. On the same day as the shooting, two Jewish brothers were beaten by two still-unknown assailants outside of a synagogue in Creteil, a suburb of Paris. French media reported that Nemmouche is suspected of having been in Syria with jihadist groups in 2013. At the time of his arrest on Friday, Nemmouche was in the southern French city of Marseille in possession of a Kalashnikov rie and a handgun similar to the ones used in the Brussels attack. Even before his arrest, several European Muslims, including from Belgium, have traveled to Syria

to join the ďŹ ghting in the civil war there. The Brussels Jewish community has been forced to signiďŹ cantly increase security following the shooting. Schwammenthal, whose children attend a Jewish school in Brussels, said that, “now they have police protection throughout the entire day.â€? European voters, meanwhile, went to the polls May 25 to elect MEPs—members of the 751-seat European Parliament, also based in Brussels. Eurosceptic (opposing the political integration of Europe), right-leaning, and some far-right parties gained electoral ground in the elections, in results that were dubbed a “political earthquakeâ€? by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. In France, the right-wing National Front party won 25 percent of the vote for France’s parliament seats, and in the United Kingdom the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 27 percent of the vote. The son of a Nazi SA assault division member was the ďŹ rst candidate from the extreme-right National Democratic Party (NDP) of Germany to be elected to the European Parliament. Jewish groups and leaders have expressed concern about the election results. But Konstanty Gebert, a prominent Polish-Jewish activist, journalist, and expert from the European Council on Foreign Relations, explained that many right-wing parties throughout Europe are actually reaching out to the lo-

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cal Jewish community for the purpose of the struggle against Muslim immigration. European Jews in some places have become more accepting of far-right parties that take a tough stance against radical Islam. Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, AJC’s Paris Director, told JNS.org that the National Front party has managed to capture a French public—especially young people and working people—that is critical of how the main-

stream conservative and socialist parties have handled the country’s economic crisis and growing Muslim immigration. “In an opinion poll a few months ago, 90 percent of French respondents said they did not trust their current political leaders. Marine Le Pen (the National Front’s current leader) has managed to convince voters that she is a credible alternative to the current system,â€? Rodan-Benzaquen said. Gebert said that Le Pen has tried to distance herself from the extremism of her father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.“She has taken great effort to show that she is not anti-Semitic, and that what she really cares about is what the every man in France cares about,â€? he said. Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement that the “anti-Semitic attack in the Jewish museum in Brussels, with four innocent people being killed, just showed us how irrational hatred became brutal and murderous reality.â€? “The very ďŹ rst message of the newly elected [European] Parliament therefore should be the strong condemnation of any kind of hatred against minorities,â€? Graumann said. “Anti-Semitism and racism have no place under our common European roof. This is something that we are more than ever requested to state loud and clear.â€?

Shabbat candlelighting 8:04 pm. Shabbat ends 9:15 pm. 72 minute zman 9:37 pm. Parshat Beha’alotcha.

THE JEWISH STAR June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774

5T hails FIDF and local Lone Soldiers, raises 350G

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‘Forcing’ G-d to meet our desires T

his week’s portion of Be’Ha’alotcha contains a fascinating mitzvah which represents, more than any other part of the Jewish experience, the opportunity for a second chance we so often wish we had: the story of Pesach Sheni. The Jewish people, celebrating the first anniversary of their Exodus from Egypt, are FROM THE HEART commanded to offer up OF JERUSALEM their first Paschal sacrifice as a free people. (Bamidbar 9:1-5) A small group of individuals, who are impure by virtue of having been in contact with a corpse (9:6), (therefore being unable to offer up the Paschal sacrifice) come before Moshe with a request: “We are impure by virRabbi Binny tue of contact with a Freedman corpse. Why should we miss out and not offer up the (Paschal) sacrifice of G-d in its appropriate time amongst the people of Israel?” (9:6-7) From this request is born the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni, The Second Passover. Essentially, any individual who has become impure or who is unavoidably distant from the Temple and thus misses the opportunity to offer up the Paschal lamb, can still make Pesach, one month later on the 14th day of Iyar. This mitzvah appears to represent the idea that there is always a second chance, and yet there are a number of questions that seem to arise both from the manner in which we received this mitzvah, as

well as the particulars it involves. First, why does this opportunity for a second chance revolve specifically around Pesach? We do not see a chance to make up a missed Sukkah experience, or for that matter Shabbat, so what is so special about Pesach? And why did a group of individuals who were impure have to ask, in order for the Jewish people to receive this mitzvah? Why didn’t Moshe just receive this Mitzvah from G-d like all the other mitzvoth? The Talmud (Sukkah 25a) suggests that these men were carrying the coffin of Joseph, who before his death made his brothers swear that when the Jewish people left Egypt they would take his bones home with them for burial in Israel. One wonders: is there a connection between the story of Joseph and this particular mitzvah? Interestingly, the Torah specifically mentions (9: 14) that the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni applies as well to a new convert who ‘missed’ the opportunity to offer the Paschal sacrifice. But why would this mitzvah apply to such a person, who was not even Jewish on the first Passover? It is interesting to note that the language in the Talmud is “Ger She’nitgayer”, “A convert who converted.” (Pesachim 93a ; Maimonides Hilchot Korban Pesach 5:7) This is a strange usage, as one would expect it to say: ‘Goy She’Nitgayer’, ‘a Non-Jew who converted’. Why does it say a convert who converted?

Before he converted he was not yet a convert, so it should say a non-Jew who converted? If he has not yet converted why is he already referred to as a convert? The Chidah (Rav Chaim David Azulai) explains that even before his conversion he is already called a convert, because the spark of holiness already burns deep within his soul. His conversion will ultimately be the result of an intense, burning desire that burned within him long before he successfully converted. Indeed, it is this intense desire which allows him to see through his desire to be Jewish, despite all the challenging obstacles that stand in his path. And this, perhaps, is the essence of what Pesach Sheni is all about. It is no accident that this mitzvah comes about as a result of the query of a group of people who are technically exempt from the Paschal lamb. This desire to be a part of something bigger, this refusal to accept the given situation, is what creates this mitzvah in the first place. Which is what Pesach is all about: The ultimate redemption from Egypt, and the entire Pesach story, actually begins with the Jewish people, after 200 years of exile in Egypt, finally crying out to G-d (Shemot 2:23), as a result of which, they are given a second chance (after the debacle of selling Joseph into slavery that got the Jews stuck in Egypt in the first place). Before the Jews can be redeemed, Continued on page 14

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June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

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Wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer, slain on Achille Lauro, made symbol of evil Jews What follows is an open letter to New York Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb concerning “The Death of Klinghoffer,� an antiJewish and anti-Israel opera. The letter was written by Myron Kaplan, Senior Research Analyst of CAMERA.

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Dear Mr. Gelb, As a longtime fan of grand opera, I have attended numerous superb live Met performances both at Lincoln Center and via live Saturday matinee performance HD transmissions to theaters (not to mention listening to numerous Met Saturday matinee live radio broadcasts)—and have greatly admired your accomplishments at the Met. So it was with great dismay and disappointment that I learned that the Met had scheduled for the 2014-2015 season its ďŹ rst-ever performances of John Adams’s “The Death of Klinghoffer.â€? Mediocre music is the least of the work’s problems. Even more serious is a tendentious story line and an inammatory libretto that falsely maligns Israel and the Jewish people. This story line can be characterized fairly as “Understandably aggrieved Palestinian Arabs wreak vengeance on disabled Jew standing in for all his perďŹ dious co-religionists.â€? This is an obscene inversion of the reality that was the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and subsequent terrorist murder of passenger Leon Klinghoffer. In this regard, it must be noted that the librettist, Alice Goodman, during the writing of the opera rejected her American Jewish heritage by joining the Anglican Church, the leadership of which is known for its hostility toward Israel. Goodman is now a parish priest in England. The most troubling aspect of the Met’s scheduling of “The Death of Klinghofferâ€? is the live HD transmission of this opera, set for Nov. 15, 2014—one of 10 such transmitted opera performances planned for the coming season—to more than 2,000 theaters in 66 countries (including more than 700 U.S. theaters). This would make the live performance immediately available to hundreds of thousands of people (and potentially millions according to the Met), giving wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander. I’m aware that it may not be feasible at this juncture to cancel all or any of the eight performances of this opera scheduled

during the period of October to November 2014, but in order to minimize the harm, the Met should substitute another opera for the HD transmission. As alluded to above, the opera is based on the 1985 murder of a helpless 69-year-old American Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer, conďŹ ned to a wheelchair—shot in the head while vacationing with his wife on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea. He was murdered by Palestinian Arab hijackers belonging to the Palestine Liberation Front, a component of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, and his body dumped into the water. The choice of the title, “The Death of Klinghofferâ€? and not “The Murder of Klinghoffer,â€? signals the work’s moral evasion and misrepresentation. In a sense, it is consistent with the PLO’s initial comments on the murder, that either Klinghoffer had died of natural causes or his wife pushed him overboard to be able to claim life insurance. The title’s sanitizing of murder is, however, also consistent with the opera’s anti-Jewish tone. Instead of properly characterizing the Palestinian hijackers of the cruise ship as permanent prisoners of their own rage originating from cultural indoctrination, Adams/Goodman impart idealism to them. The opera opens with these words sung by the Chorus of Exiled Palestinians: “My father’s house was razed—In nineteen forty-eight—When the Israelis passed—Over our street.â€? Here, Israelis are likened to the avenging Angel of Death in the biblical story of the original Passover, exacting punishment on the ancient Egyptians after Pharaoh, breaking a promise, refused to let the Jewish people leave Egypt. This amounts to an artistically licensed slander, falsely suggesting that the Israelis, besieged by the armies of ďŹ ve Arab countries and Palestinian Arab “irregularsâ€? bent on driving them into the sea, exacted widespread revenge upon Arabs residing in the ancient Jewish homeland. Hijacker Rambo invokes anti-Semitic canards: “Wherever poor men—Are gathered they can—Find Jews getting fat— You know how to cheat—The simple, exploit—The virgin, Continued on page 12

THE JEWISH STAR June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774

Met screening anti-Israel opera to the world

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June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

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Rabbi Twerski, at YIW, says happiness is best found thru its pursuit By Racheli Tuchman Jewish Star intern, SKA Senior Everyone stood to honor Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski as he walked to the front of the Young Israel of Woodmere’s main sanctuary to talk about the “Pursuit of Happiness and the Retreat from Happiness,” in memory of Rebekah Ann Frucht who died on the second day of Shavuot two years ago. Our society has a “distorted idea of happiness,” Rabbi Twerski began, and we often confuse the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of pleasure. Some think that their ultimate goal is to achieve maximum pleasure, that if they receive pleasure they will have received happiness; others do not even question what is the goal or purpose of their lives. Adolescents, longing for happiness, receive pleasure as they experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, as experimentation occurs in the search for happiness, it actually brings about a retreat from happiness, requiring more pain relievers. Thus, asked Rabbi Twerski asked, “is pleasure the only goal in one’s life?” He compared the character traits of human beings with those of animals, emphasizing that man is the only living thing that has self-awareness, with the ability to establish goals and purposes for his life. Man can control his desires, unlike the animal that has no control over any desires or actions; man can differentiate right from wrong, and understand the concept of chesed (charity and good deeds); man has the ability to be humble and patient, whereas the animal is only concerned about itself; man has the ability to delay gratification, pushing off the good until the end to make the present more worthwhile. Rabbi Twerski described all of these traits as the Human Spirit; if we have these traits, then we have a spirit, he said. Yet these traits are not the essence of a human being if they are not exercised, Rabbi Twerski continued. If they are exercised, by using the Human Spirit, then an individual is spiritual. Spirituality is not religion; rather, it is the exercise of the religion. Many people believe that one is spiritual because of their belief in their religion, however, even though they may believe in something, if they do not use their religion in their everyday life, they fail to be truly spiritual. Ordained by the Hebrew Theological College of Chicago, Rabbi Twerski was also a clinical director of the Department of Psychiatry and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. An accomplished speaker who has appeared on many television and radio programs, he has authored more than 60 books. Rabbi Twerski faulted psychologists for excluding a consideration of spirituality in their sessions with patients. They ask about a patient’s problems and how those problems were provoked, yet they do not ask the patient about the goals they wish to achieve in their life. People need to ask themselves what they were created for and what their

5DEEL$EUDKDP7ZHUVNLLatkelarry via WikiCommons

purpose is, otherwise they will regret not thinking about it later on, when it is too late. It may seemed vague as to what spirituality had to do with happiness, but Rabbi Twerski resolved that once goals are set and our spirit is exercised, we will reach true happiness. Happiness is often cut short because of pain, he said, observing that people spend so much time focusing on the pain in their lives that happiness seems unattainable, causing depression. So how can pain be reduced? Rabbi Twerski confidently answered, “Forgive.” Pain cannot be reduced if the person who caused the pain has not been forgiven. “How do we forgive them?” he asked. “Do something nice for the person who hurt you. [If] there isn’t anything to do for the person, daven (pray) for them.” Animals do not have the ability to forgive, he said. Rabbi Twerski concluded by explaining what the meaning of happiness really is, while tying in the differences between man and animal. Animals are born with their exact purpose — an alligator is born the exact way it will be for the rest of its life. A human, on the other hand, is born incomplete. Unlike the animals that G-d created in a complete form, man has the ability to make his own completion, and happiness is obtained by striving for and achieving that completion, he said. When the journey includes discomfort, pain and unpleasant occurrences, if man exercises his Human Spirit, forgives the people who caused him pain and considers their purpose in life, then the pursuit of happiness will be attained.

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THE JEWISH STAR June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774

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By Malka Eisenberg Supporters of Israel turned out in force on Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of spectators lining Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue as an estimated 35,000 marchers, in colorful T-shirts, carrying large banners and fluttering blue and white Israeli flags, participated in the 50th Celebrate Israel Parade. Long Island schools, synagogues and organizations were well-represented during the five-hour-long line of march and on the sidelines, flocking to the city to cheer on the Jewish State on its 66th anniversary. Thousands of flag waving bystanders lined the route cheering and applauding as the parade passed. Floats, musicians, motorcycles, camels, marching bands, entertainers on stilts, joined Israeli and American politicians in heralding the symbiotic relationship between Israel and the United States. The day began with the Celebrate Israel four-mile run and shorter runs for children in Central Park. After the step off of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio and other politicians and Members of Knesset including Dov Lipman and Danny Danon, came a large contingent of Hillel representatives from colleges across the U.S., their English names emblazoned on T-shirts in Hebrew letters. Participants and the thousands of bystanders showed their support for Israel and the unity of the day. Despite some unease over the participation in this year’s parade of groups that are highly critical of Israeli policies, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, rosh mesivta of the Rambam Mesivta, a Zionist activist high school for boys in Lawrence, said that “the parade was great. It brings out tens of thousands of people and supporters of many faiths, not just from the Jewish community. Politicians who make policy see the widespread support Israel enjoys and support Israel. It’s a very important event.” The marchers trekked from 57th Street to 74th Street.


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NY concert hears tough talk in support of Israel By Malka Eisenberg For the 21st year, a mid-afternoon concert and political rally in Central Park overlapped with the day-long Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday. Musicians and dignitaries rubbed shoulders at Summerstage as crowds poured past security to enter the Rumsey PlayďŹ eld near the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 72nd Street entrance. The lineup included Shloimie Dachs and his orchestra, Lipa Schmelzer, Israeli singer Gad Elbaz, Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Got Talent Edon, Benny Freedman, Nachas, Elron Zabatani and Shlomi Aharoni. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to show unity and to show the world we are united and that we all are

committed to making sure that Israel remains united, both the people of Israel and the land of Israel.â&#x20AC;? Friedman told the Jewish Star before his performance, which including Matisyahuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;One Dayâ&#x20AC;? and more. Edon noted that he is not from New York and is happy to â&#x20AC;&#x153;see so many Jews support Israel from all walks of life.â&#x20AC;? Dr. Joseph Frager â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who, together with Karen Frager and Dr. Paul and Drora Brody, organized the event â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thanked the audience for â&#x20AC;&#x153;coming here to show the whole world that the land of Israel belongs eternally to the Jewish people.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;How great it is to be with so many fellow Zionists,â&#x20AC;? exulted Morton Klein, presi-

dent of the Zionist Organization of America. He stressed that Israel includes Judea and Samaria â&#x20AC;&#x153;foreverâ&#x20AC;? and that â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is no occupation.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Jews have a greater political, legal, religious claim,â&#x20AC;? Klein said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The American people are with Israel and the Jews of the world.â&#x20AC;? He urged Congress to stop funding the Palestinians and said that the Koran should be â&#x20AC;&#x153;transformedâ&#x20AC;? since it promotes and urges anti-Semitism. Dr. Alan Berger, a concert sponsor, said that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Israel is our haven, our security, not just a nice place to visit. And we have to appreciate that not long ago we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have it.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;A strong Israel only makes America that

much better,â&#x20AC;? he said. Attorney Alan Dershowitz introduced Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an outspoken supporter of Israel. Backstage, Dershowitz condemned the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement, noting that it is focused solely on Israel and not other countries that are guilty of serious violations of human rights. He also noted that J Street, an organization that singles out Israel for condemnation although claiming to support Israel, is â&#x20AC;&#x153;guilty of the worst hypocrisy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow me to speak,â&#x20AC;? he said, noting that they want to be included in the Jewish â&#x20AC;&#x153;tentâ&#x20AC;? but â&#x20AC;&#x153;wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let me into Continued on page 14

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he fractious public reaction to the rejection of J Street’s membership by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has been based on widespread dissemination of false information about the process, according to exclusive interviews with sources close to the Presidents Conference process. EDWIN BLACK The sources declined to be named because, while fully conversant with all aspects of the J Street vote, they were not authorized to speak publicly. But they emphasize that J Street was rejected not by the “Left or Right” or a “right-wing minority” but by the overwhelming voting consensus For Jewish Star of the 50-member organization. Moreover, the sources say, J Street supporters were in a smaller minority than initially apparent because just two voting blocs controlled 8 of the 17 yes votes. After a year of trying, the controversial Mideast lobby J Street was rejected by a wide margin for membership in the Presidents Conference, the umbrella group for 50 American Jewish communal organizations. The lopsided vote rang in at only 17 for, and 22 against in a process that required 34 yes ballots out of 50 voting member groups. But digging into the numbers reveals more than previously apparent about who voted yes and who did not, Conference sources say. J Street bills itself as pro-Israel, but has engendered controversy among the pro-Israel community about its true intentions. Since its April 30, 2014 membership rejection vote, public vitriol by J Street and its supporters in the Conference and the Jewish media have been directed at the Conference as an organization, and, in a few instances, its executive vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein, personally. The fallout included a threat by a Reform Judaism leader to break away as well as sarcastic jibes on J Street’s website, which are still live at press time more than a month after the vote. One such J Street website remonstration declared: “Yesterday’s rejection of J Street’s bid to join the Conference validates the reason for J Street: those claiming to speak for the entire Jewish community don’t in fact represent the full diversity of pro-Israel views in our community. The Conference of President [sic] claims to be the [sic] ‘the proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry.’ Last night’s vote removed that pretense. So join us in thanking Malcolm Hoenlein for clarifying this situation and revealing to all what we’ve long known: a new voice is needed to represent the true majority of American Jews — and non-Jewish supporters of an Israel at peace.” The J Street rebuke included a mock thank you note: “Dear Malcolm: Thank you for finally making it clear that the Conference of Presidents is not representative of the voice of the Jewish community. We recognize the need for an open and honest conversation on Israel in the United States. We appreciate you being honest. Now we’ll work on the openness.” In response to questions for this article, J Street vice president for communications Alan Elsner stated, “We regard the vote as a closed chapter. We were happy to receive the support from the very significant organizations that backed us; and we are heartened that the vote has prompted a debate and examination of the Jewish community’s ability or lack thereof to hear diverse views and to fully reflect the positions of American Jews.” Hoenlein — and indeed all other Conference officials — repeatedly declined to be in-

terviewed on the record for this article. Nonetheless the key Conference sources interviewed for this article, did respond with a surprisingly upbeat message. “I don’t think the Conference was subjected to a lot of criticism,” one source asserted. “Yes, there were some references, but it was not really personalized. Most people know that the chairman [Robert Sugarman] and the executive vice chairman [Malcolm Hoenlein] did not participate in the process at all. They didn’t vote, didn’t attend the meetings, they did not express themselves and have not — before or since — expressed a public view on the issue because the Conference wanted it clear that the vote was a decision of the members, and not directed from outside or from the inside.” key source added, “The vote speaks for itself. People have misinterpreted it in ways that have served their purposes. But they just need to look at the objective facts. J Street was given every opportunity in a fair and open process. Even by J Street’s own recognition, the process was fair and done the same way as every other application.” The sources all asserted that the J Street vote mirrored any democratic election in the United States. One individual declared, “Of course, the vote is always conducted by a closed ballot. But not the process, not the discussion — that is open and people expressed themselves. However, people should be free to vote their conscience and not be intimidated.” No key sources would reveal any vote specifics. “Members of organizations have the right to ask their organizations how they voted,” stated one individual. “They can choose to tell them or not tell them. But that’s an internal matter for each organization.” Asked what the lopsided vote of rejection says about the Conference, one source replied, “This vote actually was not about the Conference. This was about J Street, and the proportion of the vote, I think, speaks to the fact that this was not one extreme or another. This was the expression of the majority of the members of the Conference. Had it gone the other way, I don’t know that people would have criticized. But it went against J Street, and some took the opportunity to grandstand.” Asked if this is the first time the vote and the results have played out so publicly, one source replied, “No. It could be about any issue,” adding, “There is a lot of ignorance. Our choice is not to engage in public confrontation over these issues. But people write things that have no relationship to what really occurred or to what the Conference’s deliberative engagements are, or what the Conference even does for that matter.” As an example of false reports, one key source stated, “I just saw a piece today where somebody was writing about the Conference and it was completely wrong — about how votes are allocated. The reform movement and the conservative movement, for example, don’t have one vote each, as has been written. Actually, with their affiliates, they each have four votes. The reform movement affiliates are the Union of Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and ARZA—the Association of Reform Zionists of America. The conservative movement also has four votes through their affiliates: the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, the Rabbinical Assembly, and MERCAZ — which is the Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement. So it is has been disingenuous to keep saying their movements only had one vote when, in truth, they each had four votes. So now take those two movements — and then you have eight of the votes for J Street.” J Street only received 17 votes out of 42 present. If indeed, eight were from the two synagogue movements combined, reform and

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conservative, then only 9 among the others voted yes. One of those yes votes came from the Anti-Defamation League. “We will support the admission of J Street not because we agree with them, not because we support their views, but in order to ensure the integrity and credibility of American Jewish advocacy and of the Conference of Presidents,” ADL national director Abraham Foxman told the JTA’s veteran correspondent Ron Kampeas. Farley Weiss, president of the National Council of Young Israel, writing in the Jerusalem Post, assembled a litany of actions by J Street that his organization found worthy of a negative vote. Weiss cited one example: “Just a few days before the Conference of Presidents vote on J Street, it became public that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had been quoted as saying Israel could become an apartheid country, and that J Street defended Kerry’s remark.” “So,” a key source commented, “It is incorrect to reduce it to all ‘Lefties or Righties’ — it was actually the center.” The key sources focused on the public state-

tell you they were given — every opportunity. [J Street executive director] Jeremy Ben Ami was invited to speak to the committee and to answer questions — which he did. Remember, three presidents of member organizations [of the Conference] sit on J Street boards, so their point of view was represented.” In the aftermath of the rejection, where does the Conference go from here? “Part of the brilliance of the founders of the Conference,” stated one source, “is that they didn’t set hardcore bylaws. Some twenty years ago, ‘process and procedures guidelines’ were prepared so that it would actually have some set rules. The ‘process and procedures’ committee will afford an opportunity to anyone who wishes to make suggestions or raise issues about the process or the issues that were raised. Many certainly would welcome it.” One source pointed out that, “More than a dozen groups have been turned down over the past 10 years. Many did not get a positive recommendation in the committee process, or did not meet the specific requirements that are

ments of the reform and conservative movement leadership. One stated, “Right now, there appears to be a lot of resentment within the conservative and the reform movements over what happened, complaining that leaders spoke for them without consulting. There has been a backlash against the leaders for going public and taking extreme positions in public statements. There was a public petition signed by members of the reform movement and conservative moment, and they published various full page ads in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and the Washington Jewish Week and other newspapers. They said: Who did you consult in making a decision on how to vote? ‘You don’t speak for me voting for J Street.’” The Presidents Conference rejected criticism that they operate in secret. Said one source, “The only thing that was secret was the actual ballot. Everything else was done with full information provided to the members. The membership committee is broadly representative of the Conference. Obviously, you cannot have a committee of the whole. But like every committee, it tries to have reform, conservative, left, right, big organizations, and small organizations all represented. Believe me, if the conference goes off in a direction that is really not representative of the consensus, the whole world will hear it, because they rush to the press. You have some media that is always ready to exploit it.” hat source was asked again if anyone went out of their way to block J Street? “No — not at all,” that source replied, adding, “They were given — and J Street will

spelled out in the by-laws. For instance, there were dozens of groups that were American Friends of — this or that. When a substantial part of their agenda is not actual advocacy but is really just fundraising, even though it is related to Israel, they did not get accepted.” Conceding that American Friends of Peace Now is included that source explained, “Yes. It also has the American Friends of Likud. But these groups were admitted before the membership decision was made more than 10 years ago. Otherwise, the Conference would have been flooded with new members.” The Conference source identified one leading Jewish organization rejected at first. “Hillel also was turned down at one point,” the source stated, “but then admitted later.” The source explained, “Some groups were turned down because the Committee felt that their constitution wasn’t truly democratic or that it didn’t allow for clarity about their budget, about the membership, and about other considerations. These same questions were raised about J Street, by the way. Then, later, many of these other groups were admitted because of changes they made or other reasons.” Asked point blank, “Is J Street invited to reapply?” the source answered, “Everyone can reapply.” Edwin Black is the award-winning author of the international bestseller IBM and the Holocaust. His latest volume is the just-released newsbook, Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terrorism in Israel. Copyright 2014 Edwin Black

T

THE JEWISH STAR June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774

Inside Presidents Conference’s rejection of J St.

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June 6, 2014 â&#x20AC;˘ 8 SIVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

12

Jewish Star Calendar â&#x20AC;˘Compiled by Racheli Tuchman â&#x20AC;˘Send events to Calendar@TheJewishStar.com â&#x20AC;˘Include contact phone or email â&#x20AC;˘ Deadline Thursday one week before cover date

681'$<-81( ,65$(/)(67,9$/ The Jewish Community Relations Council Long Island Israel Festival. Activities such as the Bounce House, carnival games, Sifriyat Pâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Jama Program, Israeli dancing, vendors, kosher food available for purchase, and a concert at 7 pm, featuring Kapelye and Rami Kleinstein. Free. 5 to 9:30 pm at Eisenhower Park. 516-677-1867. /(*$&< &217,18(6 Day-long event honoring Holocaust Survivors, Liberators, Righteous Among Nations, and their descendants. $36 adults, $10 under 18, including valet parking, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. No charge for Holocaust Survivors, veterans and Hofstra staff and students. Registration at 8 am, programs begin at 10 am. Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. 516-571-8040 ext. 119 or judyvladimir@holocaust-nassau.org. )5,(1'6+,3&,5&/(7<$' Social program for Teens and young adults with special needs, ages 14 and up. Place is to be announced. $10. 6-7 pm. 516-295-2478.

021'$<-81( 63,5,7,1,7,$7,9( Stimulating Program Initiative for Retirees that Inspires Thought for men and women. Harriet Cabelly, on retirement and how to learn, grow and explore new interests. Rabbi Hanoch Teller on the Torah perspectives on retirement. $10. Registration and lunch at 12 pm, program at 12:30-2:30 pm. Young Israel of Woodmere. 859 Peninsula Boulevard. 212-613-8300.

/$1' 2) 285 3(23/( One Israel Fund celebrates their 20th Gala Anniversary Dinner with Ambassador Alan Baker. Couvert $300, ages 35 and under $180. Tribeca Rooftop. 2 Desbrosses St. NYC. Dinner@oneisraelfund.org or 516-239-9202

78(6'$<-81( &,5&/(2)+23(is hosting itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth monthly â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cooking for Hopeâ&#x20AC;? series of classes where teens will learn to cook various Jewish foods and then bring their creations to people in need. No cooking experience is required to participate. 7 to 9 pm. 2083 Seneca Gate, Merrick. 516-833-3057 or CircleOfHope@ChabadJewishLife.org <7$/.6$1'3$1(/6Join Adam Phillips, one of the most foremost authorities on Freud, along with novelist and critic, Daphne Merkin for a discussion about Phillips biogrophy, Becoming Freud: The Making of Psychoanalysis. Tickets from $29. 8:15 pm. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, Manhattan. 212-413-8841

:('1(6'$<-81( ,65$(/1,*+7$7&,7,),(/'Celebrate Israel with the New York Mets with pregame musical entertainment with reserved seating. Tickets can be purchased on purchase.tickets.com. 7:10 pm. Citi Field, 12301 Roosevelt Ave, Corona NY 11368. 718-559-3037 or efox@nymets.com. &21&(57 92/817((56 High School Boys and Girls can help out with the CBS Cantorial Concert and may receive chesed hours. 7:45 pm. Moshecohen.cbsyouth@gmail.com

%(7+6+2/20&$1725,$/&21&(57 in memory of Cantor Moshe Ehrlich. Features cantors Yizchak Helfgot, chief cantor of Park East Synaoguge in Manhattan; Netanel Hershtik of Hamptons Synagogue; Yitzy Spinner of Hebrew Institute of White Plains, and Joel Kaplan of Congregation Beth Shalom. 7:45 pm. Congregation Beth Shalom, 390 Broadway, Lawrence. Tickets from $36. To purchase tickets or to sponsor the concert, call 516-569-3600 ext 21. Tickets are also available at Judaica Plus in Cedarhurst. )5,(1'6+,3&,5&/(for siblings of children with special needs to socialize and have fun with each other in a warm and safe environment. For children ages 6-12. $10 per child. 5:30-6:45 pm. Drop off at Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza. Pick up at Chabad, 74 Maple Ave., Cedarhurst. 516-295-2478 x13.

7+856'$<-81( /81&+  /($51 with Rabbi Shalom Axelrod of YI Woodmere. Traditions Restaurant, 302 Central Ave., Lawrence. 12:30-1:30 pm. $12 lunch. Alan Stern 516-398-3094.

)5,'$<-81( *$1 &+$0(6+ *5$'8$7,21 parade. Celebrate another successful year with the children and Morahs of Gan Chamesh. Watch the children march on Maple Ave to the music along with their classmates and Morahs. Everyone is welcome. 10:30 am. In front of Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue. 516-298-2478 x17.

6$785'$<-81(

)5,(1'6+,3&,5&/(6+$%%$73$57< featuring a Shabbat Oneg for children with special needs and their siblings. Program includes stories, snacks and fun. 4 to 5 pm. Chabad, 74 Maple Ave., Cedar-hurst. 516-295-2478.

681'$<-81( <086(802)-(:,6++(5,7$*( Author and award winning journalist, Laura Silver, talks about her book, Knish, and shares stories of entrepreneurship, survival and major deliciousness. $15, $12 for MJH members. 2:30 pm. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. 212-413-8841. 0$'5$,*26 Annual beneďŹ t breakfast. Rav Moshe Weinberger. 9:30 am. Bugayer home. 81 Neptune Ave., Woodmere. 516-371-3250.

021'$<-81( '(66(57 5(&(37,21 Honoring Esther Weinstein Krown, Michael Papilsky and Marvin Shanker for Long Island Tov Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Yachad. Couvert $25. 7:30 pm. Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst. 8 Spruce Street, Cedarhurst. 516-677-1800.

78(6'$<-81( %5($67 &$1&(5 6&5((1,1*6 from the NUMC Mammography Van. Appointments are required and are scheduled on a ďŹ rst come, ďŹ rst served basis. 8:45 am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12 pm. Waldbaumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Shopping Plaza, East Park Avenue, Long Beach. 516-571-6204.

Anti-Israel operaâ&#x20AC;Ś Continued from page 5 polluteâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Where you have exploitedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Defame those you cheatedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And break your own lawâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;With idolatry.â&#x20AC;? Ramboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lyrics, with virtually no artistic embellishment, could have been lifted from Nazi publications like Der Sturmer, as even a casual glance at the archives would conďŹ rm. Repeatedly, the Palestinians are portrayed as humane idealists. Hijacker Molqi sings: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We areâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Soldiers ďŹ ghting a warâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;We are not criminalsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And we are not vandalsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;But men of ideals.â&#x20AC;? Hijacker Mamoud appears gentle and grieving as he tells of his mother and brother: â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was killedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;With the old menâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And children inâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Camps at Sabraâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And Shatillaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Where Almighty G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;In His mercy showedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; My decapitatedâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Brother to meâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And in His mercyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Allowed me to closeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;My brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And wipe his face.â&#x20AC;? This tear jerker falsely implies that Israelis, rather than members of the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia, massacred hundreds of Palestinian Arabs on Sept. 16-18, 1982 in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee districts. It gives no hint that the Phalangists acted in retribution for massacres of Christian Lebanese by the PLO and the September 14 assassination of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christian president-elect, Bashir Gemayel. Mamoud shows himself to be consumed with seemingly permanent hate and a vision of martyrdom: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The day that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And my enemyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Sit peacefullyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Each putting his caseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; And working towards peaceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;That day our hope diesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And I shall die too.â&#x20AC;? But even this negative portrayal is mitigated by Mamoudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meditation on the birds in the airâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; which may encourage the viewer to sympathize with him. Leon Klinghofferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aria expressing his hu-

manity and railing against the terrorists is insufďŹ cient to mitigate the harmful impression left by Goodmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biased libretto and may even be seen as unnecessarily agitating the terrorists: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I came here withâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;My wife. We bothâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Have tried to liveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Good lives. We giveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gladly, receiveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Gratefully, loveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; And take pleasureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;In small things, sufferâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And comfort each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re human. We areâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;The kind of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;You like to killâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Was it your palâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Who shot that little girlâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;At the airport in Rome?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;You would have done the sameâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much anger in youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;And hate.â&#x20AC;? Goodmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biased libretto condemns Jews and Israelis as a group, while the Arab hijackers, when condemned, are characterized as violent or revengeful individuals without regard to their ethnic/religious group. If Adams/ Goodman intended some semblance of balance in this respect then they would have included, as well as anti-Jewish canards, anti-Arab/Muslim charges such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Muslims want to destroy all inďŹ delsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;their Koran tells them to do this.â&#x20AC;? But there is no semblance of this in this opera. Then there is the matter of the renewed cruelty this Met production, not so much ďŹ ction but rather propagandistically manipulated facts, is likely to inďŹ&#x201A;ict upon the Klinghoffer family. After the 1991 premieres of the opera, The Telegraph (London) reported that Mr. Klinghofferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two daughters, Lisa and Ilsa, attended a New York production of the opera in 1991, which they described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;appallingâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;anti-Semitic.â&#x20AC;? A New York Times article reported on the antipathy toward Adams/ Goodman by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are outraged at the exploitation of our parents and the cold blooded murder of our father as the centerpiece of a production that appears to us to be anti-Semitic.â&#x20AC;? If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s necessary to provide at least one

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ďŹ rst-time HD transmission of a modern opera composed after 1930, there are two excellent candidates already in the Metâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2014-2015 schedule: Shastikovichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lady MacBeth of Mtsenskâ&#x20AC;? and Stravinskyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Rakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Progress,â&#x20AC;? both of which, according to critics, have excellent productions, conductors and singers. The Shastikovich substitution would involve merely a replacement of November 15 on the HD schedule with Nov. 29 currently scheduled as a Saturday matinee performance of this opera. The Stravinsky substitution would involve replacement of Nov. 15 on the HD schedule with May 9, 2015 already scheduled as a Saturday matinee performance of this opera. Otherwise, classic operas already scheduled at the Met in 2014â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2015, but not scheduled for HD broadcast, include â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aidaâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D; currently scheduled for a Met evening performance on the same day, Nov. 15, as the HD transmission. Why not substitute it on that day with the Adams opera? This magniďŹ cent Verdi opera is one of the favorites of opera fans worldwide. Certainly it would be a much greater drawing card than the Adams opera in all or nearly all of the countries. Oth-

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er possibilities include â&#x20AC;&#x153;La Traviata,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Magic Flute,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barber of Seville.â&#x20AC;? For â&#x20AC;&#x153;La Traviata,â&#x20AC;? replace Nov. 15 on the HD schedule with Dec. 27, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera. For â&#x20AC;&#x153;Magic Flute,â&#x20AC;? replace Nov. 15 on the HD schedule with Nov. 8, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera. For â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barber of Seville,â&#x20AC;? replace Nov. 15 on the HD schedule with Nov. 22, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera. Mr. Gelb, I trust that you will reverse an unfortunate decision just as you did in 2012 when, displeased with Opera News reviews of Met productions, you barred the magazine from subsequent reviews. Following an uproar from opera fans, you reversed the brief ban, forthrightly admitting to having made a mistake. Live transmission of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Death of Klinghoffer,â&#x20AC;? a slanderous anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli concoction, is much more grave than the contretemps over Opera News. Mr. Gelb, we urge you, for the sake of the Metâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation and the constant struggle against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, to at least provide an HD transmission substitution.


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Continued from page 10 their tent so they could understand why J Street is not for Israel.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I stand with our good and great ally the nation of Israel,â&#x20AC;? Cruz said as he was greeted with raucous cheers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The challenges facing Israel and the U.S. in national security have never been greater than now.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The relationship and friendship between the U.S. and Israel is and should always be unbreakable,â&#x20AC;? he declared, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and you have my commitment of a strong voice in the U.S. Senate to stand for the State of Israel, and a strong voice against a bad deal with Iran.â&#x20AC;? Cruz commended Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;path to energy independenceâ&#x20AC;? and Israelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treating more than 1,000 Syrians in its Ziv Medical Center. He called for a vote for the KirkMenendez bill to increase sanctions against Iran, stating that it should have been voted on already. Israel Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon, told The Jewish Star that it is crucial to implement a bill to stop United Statesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; funding of Hamas and â&#x20AC;&#x153;donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look for loopholes in implementing this important bill.â&#x20AC;? He also endorsed annexing the parts of Judea and Samaria known as Area C that have the highest concentrations of Israeli towns and Jewish population.

Former United States Ambassador to the UN John Bolton told The Jewish Star that he believes the recent exchange of an American POW soldier for ďŹ ve Taliban terrorists was a mistake for â&#x20AC;&#x153;equating one of ours and the Taliban. I always felt that Israel was making a mistake when exchanging terrorists for prisoners.â&#x20AC;? He said he â&#x20AC;&#x153;understands humanitarian concernsâ&#x20AC;? but that â&#x20AC;&#x153;they (terrorists) are never satisďŹ edâ&#x20AC;? and that putting â&#x20AC;&#x153;a price on the head is encouraging the terrorists to do that again.â&#x20AC;? Bolton also said that the recent â&#x20AC;&#x153;deal with Iran beneďŹ ts Iran almost exclusively,â&#x20AC;? that there is â&#x20AC;&#x153;nothing in the deal to stop them.â&#x20AC;? Recent negotiations with the Palestinians are a â&#x20AC;&#x153;demonstration of why the two state solution does not work,â&#x20AC;? he said. Bolton advocates a three state solution, giving Gaza to Egypt, parts of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;West Bankâ&#x20AC;? that Israel doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to Jordan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the absence of a two state solution, Israel has to look out for her own interests,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one should be surprised with that.â&#x20AC;? Special praise was extended at the concert to its founders Carl, zâ&#x20AC;?l, and Sylvia Freyer. The Freyers were given the mission by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin in Efrat 21 years ago to raise awareness for Israel by launching the annual event, explained Sylvia Freyer at the concert.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Forcingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handâ&#x20AC;Ś Continued from page 4 they ďŹ rst have to really want to be redeemed. Nothing exists without a will for it to exist. Everything we have built, and everything we receive from Hashem comes into being because someone somewhere wants it badly enough. If no one wanted something it simply would not exist. Anything that does not yet exist in the world is simply not wanted enough. We do not yet have a third Temple (Beit HaMikdash) simply because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want it enough. If the entire Jewish people (and even the majority of the Jewish people) wanted something badly enough, no force on earth would stand in the way of Hashemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s promise to fulďŹ ll such a desire. Indeed, this is the secret of the State of Israel Conversely, if we are today in danger of losing portions of the land of Israel, it is not because the Arabs are better strategists, or because of Western political pressure, but simply because we do not want our home enough. If we wanted to be home in Israel so badly, there would not be nearly nine million Jews living in the world outside of Israel, and there certainly wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a million Jews in the Diaspora who deďŹ ne themselves as â&#x20AC;&#x153;religiousâ&#x20AC;? adherents of the Torah and its obligations. The convert referred to here with regards to Pesach Sheni so wants to be included amongst the Jewish people, that he is already â&#x20AC;&#x153;missingâ&#x20AC;? an opportunity on Pesach, even though not yet obligated to offer the sacriďŹ ce. And this mitzvah of Pesach Sheni, is brought about by the intense desire of a small group of Jews who so wanted to be a part of the Jewish peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience, they couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bear the thought of not being included in the festivities and offerings of Pesach itself. f ever there was an individual who represented the opportunity of a second chance, it was Yosef, who, having been on top of the world, the apple of his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye

I

and recipient of the special striped (multicolored) cloak, suddenly ďŹ nds himself a slave in the darkest hell on earth at the time, the lowest level of the caste system of ancient Egypt. But Yosef did not let go of who he was, and never gives up on becoming who he was meant to be. Pesach represents the ultimate â&#x20AC;&#x153;second chanceâ&#x20AC;? which we experienced as a people so long ago. Two hundred years after throwing their brother into a pit and sitting down to lunch while his screams rang in their ears (Bereishit 37:24-25), the Jewish people, having experienced this same slavery ďŹ rst hand, are given a second chance. It is this opportunity, and their desire to be truly free, that changes the destiny of the entire world. What do we, as a people, really want? Do we really want a Jewish State? Do we really want a place we can call home? We may pay lip service to an idea, but if we really wanted it so much we would long since have ďŹ lled the skies with El Al planes going home to the land of Israel. We would do well to listen carefully to the lesson taught us so long ago by a group of individuals who may have technically been immersed in death (carrying the bones of Joseph), but who so desired to be a part of the living choice of the Pesach experience that they â&#x20AC;&#x153;forcedâ&#x20AC;? G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand, as it were, to grant them a second chance at creating the Pesach experience, a month later. It was this same group, over 3,000 years later â&#x20AC;&#x201D; surrounded by the same death, of the mounds of bodies in the liberated camps, and the barbed wire fences of the DP camps â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who so desired to be a part of a living choice of the creation of a Jewish State, that they as well â&#x20AC;&#x153;forcedâ&#x20AC;? G-dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand, as it were, to grant them a second chance at creating a home for the Jewish people, after 200 years of exile. Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. Columnist@TheJewishStar.com

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HANC toasts its mishmar scholars Congratulations to the over 70 students in the third through sixth grades at HANC’s Samuel & Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School in West Hempstead, who participated in the mishmar after-school learning program. Throughout the mishmar program, students and teachers studied Mishna, Tefillah or Shemirat HaLashon. To celebrate the students’ commitment to Torah learning, they were treated to a special Mishmar Dinner. The evening began with a magic show, followed by divrei Torah from the students, and topped off with a delicious BBQ dinner. Thanks go to the dedicated mishmar teachers: Rabbi Boim, Rabbi Hoffman, Rabbi Merrill, Mrs. Tawil and Morah Devorah, and to the PTA for its generous sponsorship of the dinner as well as mishmar snacks all year. May our students continue to have a lifelong love of learning Torah.

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Edwin Black, a Jewish Star columnist and New York Times best-selling author, told the students and parents of Rambam Mesivta High School how the activities of some NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) are undermining support for Israel. During a May 21 appearance at the Lawrence school, he shared first-hand accounts of meetings with some of the NGOs mentioned in his book, “Financing the Flames,” and relayed his experiences on the front lines as anti-Israel activists which according to Black, were supported by NGOs that receive U.S. and European tax-payer dollars, provoke Israeli soldiers into confrontation. The Rambam event was sponsored by StandWithUs, an international, non-profit Israel education organization that supports people worldwide who want to advocate for Israel. “This was a great opportunity to educate our students about the dangers of these groups. As the war for the hearts and minds of young people continues, we must reach the next generation of Jewish leaders, today,” said Avi Posnick, New York Regional Coordinator for StandWithUs and an alumnus of Rambam. Black left the students with an encouraging message, “Don’t be worriers, be warriors. Now you know the facts.” StandWithUs also held an event with Edwin Black in NYC earlier in the week at the StandWithUs office.

Shulamith gifts to IDF

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On Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the students of Shulamith Middle Division assembled packages of personal care items for chayalim. During a recent trip to Israel, eighth grader Shoshana Farber and her family had the opportunity to deliver some of those packages. Mr. Farber writes, “We went to Kever Rachel this morning. We first stopped at the Mishmar Hagvul base.... They were very happy with the packages. We gave some out and left one duffel (of packages) there. Then we

went to the Kever and gave the other duffel. We couldn’t give them out individually since rock throwing suddenly started, but before we left we spent some time with the soldiers once things calmed down.” It is easy for us to forget the sacrifices Chayalei Tzahal make for our Holy Land and our people on a daily basis. In sending these packages, the students and faculty of Shulamith have indicated, albeit in a small way, their enormous gratitude for all of our chayalim. $KDSS\UHFLSLHQWRI6KXODPLWK0LGGOH'LYLVLRQ¶VSDFNDJHVIRUFKD\DOLPSURMHFW

THE JEWISH STAR June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774

Jewish Star Schools

At Rambam, Black tells how NGOs hit Israel


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June 6, 2014 • 8 SIVAN 5774 THE JEWISH STAR

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June 6, 2014  

The Jewish Star

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