Finding herself on Birthright Page 3 Who’s in the kitchen revisits Grossinger’s Page 10 Bookworm discusses Syria and the Allepo Codex Page 11 Where did the geese come from? Page 14
VOL 11, NO 30 ■ AUGUST 3, 2012 / 15 AV 5772
Mustering support for Supplies for Success
SHALOM Workshop comes to West Hempstead By Malka Eisenberg With Tu Bav approaching, a holiday that recalls the lifting of restrictions of marriage between the tribes of Bnai Yisrael, among other things, a meeting on improving marriage seems appropriate. Last Sunday, fifty married couples attended a joint program of the SHALOM Workshop, the National Council of Young Israel and the Young Israel of West Hempstead, “Making Good Marriages Great!” Each of the two speakers “gave the couples an exercise on communication skills,” said Bonnie Kupchik, co-sisterhood president of YIWH. “It was extremely effective across all age ranges.” Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, Executive Director of the SHALOM Task Force, instructed the couples in the daily temperature exercise, recounted Kupchik. She described it as “a way of setting aside time to go through the day with your spouse, to show appreciation,” to discuss new information, feelings, wishes and hopes, and complaints. Esther Friedman, MSW, Director of the SHALOM Workshop, presented the wheel exercise, explained Kupchik, a healthy way to bring up a topic that would otherwise be difficult to bring up. She further clarified that “when one spouse says something, the other has to repeat what they hear, so they have to understand what the other is feeling and they can go on to have a healthy discussion and deal with it in a healthy way. Each couple did the exercises themselves” after the speakers explained what to do. The recommendation was to use the exercises on a regular basis, said Krupchik. The daily temperature should be used daily but the difficult topic exercise should be used only when necessary “Don’t abuse it, just when a topic needs to be discussed,” she stressed. The program began at 7:30 pm with a light dinner and the program finished by ten pm. This was the first program like this in YIWH, but it had been held before at the
By Malka Eisenberg
Photo courtesy of National Council of Young Israel
Bonnie Kupchik, YIWH Sisterhood Co-President, Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, Director of Programming, National Council of Young Israel, Esther Friedman, Director, SHALOM Workshop, Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, Executive Director, Shalom Task Force. Not pictured but co-chairing the program was Sari Altmark, YIWH Sisterhood Co-President. Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Young Israel of Staten Island and at the Annual National Council of Young Israel Rabbinic Conference. “We’ve had speakers talk about shalom bayit before,” she said, “ but “now it was more practical.” She also noted that the timing was good. A Sunday during the nine days, “no one had anything else pulling in any direction, no smachot, no visiting day. We had great numbers; it was on target.” She said that the reactions of the participants were “positive across the board, all ages, grandparents to parents of preschoolers. I was concerned that the retirees would view it as ‘whatever’ but they were totally not. It engaged everyone. No one wasn’t doing the exercises; I don’t think that people knew that they would have to engage in exercises.” “It was the tip of the iceberg,” said Krupchik. “I turned to my husband and said I would encourage our kids to take one of their engaged couple workshops. It’s good to start (with that) at the beginning. We try to pick the best schools and camps for our kids, why not give them the tools to make a great marriage.” One married couple of five years said,
“From all of the secular and Jewish books and workshops that I have read and participated in, the Shalom Workshop provided me with the most practical and effective tools to enhance communication in marriage. In effect, Shalom gleaned a mass of theories and resources and presented the very best!” SHALOM (Starting Healthy and Long Lasting Marriages) Workshop is an educational program to “teach engaged couples practical tools to achieve a healthy marriage,” according to its site and is part of the Shalom Task Force (STF). STF is a national organization with the goal of helping women and their families who are “struggling with troubled relationships at home, to sensitize our communities so that a woman can feel less ashamed to ask for help, and to offer professional guidance and pointers to Rabbis who may be approached for advice by someone in a complex and possibly dangerous situation.” If a community would like to have the program, please contact Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, Director of Programming, National Council of Young Israel, 212-929-1525 x112; email@example.com
A part of a grass roots effort begun 11 years ago is coming to the Five Towns August 12th, calling for volunteers to come to the Kiddush room at Congregation Anshei Chesed in Hewlett to fill back packs with school supplies for disadvantaged children. Last year the Supplies for Success program, a UJA-Federation of New York-Connections effort, provided 3200 back packs to children across Long Island who might otherwise have been unequipped for school. Local yeshiva students received 800 of them. “Seeing how many people, the overwhelming need, who have to choose food on the table or what they need for school I thought, ‘wow, this could be us!’” said Judy Wagman, chair of the Supplies for Success drive at Congregation Anshei Chesed. “No matter how busy our schedules, our children come first. I want my child to walk in the first day (of class) with the supplies they need. It’s awkward enough—my heart went out and I said that I would get involved and I reached out to my friends in the community. We are going to purchase what we can. If you can’t do shopping, give a check to UJA.” The organization gets names of people who need these backpacks from parents who approach the rabbis at schools including HALB, HAFTR, Darchei Torah, based on those who need tuition assistance; through the Eliezer project, or through the JCC’s food pantry, noted Orna Sheena, UJA’s director of Connections. If they need the food pantry, pointed out Sheena, the agencies know they need backpacks, too. The backpacks and supplies are distributed via schools and agencies, not individually. “Organizations know Continued on page 3
Shabbat Candlelighting: 7:49 p.m. Shabbat ends 8:51 p.m. 72 minute zman 9:19 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Va’etchanan, Shabbat Nachamu
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New Facebook app restricts questionable “friends” By Malka Eisenberg A new application for Facebook provides three added levels of protection for users and may be helpful specifically for parents of teen users. The Social Privacy Protector (SPP), developed by undergraduate students at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), “scans the user friends list,” explained Michael Fire, a Ph.D. candidate in BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering. “For each friend, our application calculates how many common features the user and the friend have in common, such as common friends, tagged photos, messages and other attributes. According to the results and by using our developed algorithm, the application recommends which friends need to be restricted.” The SPP site states that Facebook is the “biggest social network” with over “901 million active users,” and that “36% of Facebook users exposed personal information.” The students’ project developed three tools to enhance security and privacy. They added privacy settings for children, celebrities and recommended settings and a “friends classifier” that analyzes “friends” who may be a risk and are recommended to be placed on a restricted list. An “application classifier” also cites installed Facebook applications that may pose a threat to privacy. “We decided to create the application in order to better protect unaware Facebook users that tend to accept friend requests from people they do not know,” emphasized Fire. “Recent studies in the field of privacy found that 80% of the users will accept friend requests from people they do not know if they have more than 11 friends in common. Moreover, Facebook estimates that around five to six percent of its users could be false or duplicate accounts.” Two fourth year students, Dima Kagan and Aviad Elishar of BGU’s Telekom Innovation Laboratories and Information Systems Engineering Department worked with Fire and Professor Yuval Elovici, on the app, based on their social network research. “The application is for everyone who uses Facebook and think that they have too many friends,” noted Fire. “We also have a special option for parents which can better protect their children’s privacy in one simple click.” It is currently available for Facebook and Firefox, but not for mobile devices. “This app is a very good idea,” said Arthur Carp, Vice President of Operations
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at Quantalytics, Inc. “It looks like they have made a beginning, but are far from a mature product.” He cited NetNanny as a “mature product” for protecting children on the Web and Facebook, but noted that they “do not have a feature to examine friend relationships and identify dubious friends like the Ben-Gurion product.” He noted the lack of coverage on mobile devices as a draw back. “It is useful,” he added, “and there is a need now for it. However, there are additional areas (phones, etc.) that need the same coverage that this software provides.” “The great advantage of our application,” Fire pointed out, “is that you can
remove friends without unfriending them and hurting their feelings. So I believe that almost everyone can enjoy the application without age limit.” More information can be found at http://socialprotector.net/wordpress/. The Facebook application can be downloaded from http://apps.facebook.com/ friend_analyzer_app/ and the Firefox Addon can be downloaded from https:// addons.mozilla.org/firefox/downloads/ file/157027/social_privacy_protector188.8.131.52-fx-windows.xpi YouTube movie with explanations can be found at http://socialprotector.net/ wordpress/?page_id=213
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August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
Finding herself and becoming a Bat Mitzvah By Bari Zund “Taglit.” It is the Hebrew word for “discovery.” Therefore, it is no coincidence that the name of the program that has sent nearly 300,000 Jewish young adults to Israel since 2000 is called “Taglit-Birthright Israel.” This program encourages its participants, many visiting Israel for the first time, to discover new things about their Jewish identity and explore connections with their religion. The Birthright Israel program was founded in 1994 by Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, along with the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel. Young adults ages 18-26 who have at least one parent of recognized Jewish descent and have not traveled to Israel before on another peer education trip are eligible for this truly life changing experience. The ten day TaglitBirthright Israel trip is free, including the cost of airfare, hotels, and food. Participants travel through the country to many religious sites, including the Western Wall, and tourists sites such as the Dead Sea. The tour also includes a 5-10 day mifgash (meeting) with Israeli soldiers who join the tour. This portion of the trip allows the participants and the soldiers to better understand each other’s Jewish identity and to bond over a common religion. Every young adult who experiences this trip comes out of it with a deeper connection to Judaism and personal memories that they will never forget. Ashley Reicher, 19, a Sophomore at Pennsylvania State University, had one particularly eye opening experience on her trip this past May, when she was Bat-Mitzvahed at Masada, a milestone that she didn’t have the opportunity to experience until then. Ashley became involved in the Taglit Birthright Israel Program through several friends in her sorority who had heard wonderful things
Ashley (second from right) and friends at the Western Wall about the trip. In addition, her cousins who live in Israel had urged her to apply for years, and when she got to college there were many resources that helped her to get involved, such as Chabad. Ashley was on Taglit-Mayanot Bus 264 with some friends from her sorority, but also many other people whom she did not know. She admits that she became a lot closer with many of the Jewish peers that were on her trip. Being able to bond over a common religion was a great way for Ashley and her peers to learn more about each other and their unique identities. The highlight of Ashley’s trip was going into the open desert late at night and looking at the stars. She also loved “...camel riding, floating in the Dead Sea, and visiting the Western Wall on Shabbat.” For most of Ashley’s childhood, her family never belonged to a temple. Although both of her parents were Bar/Bat Mitzvahed at 13, her parents didn’t feel that it was necessary for her to have one at an age where she might have been more concerned with the lavish party or cool theme than the actual relevance of the milestone. At the time, Ashley did get irritated attending all of her friends’
Bat Mitzvahs and not having one of her own. However, in hindsight, Ashley said, “I am glad I was Bat Mitzvahed six years later than most of my friends. Being Bat Mitzvahed at 18 years old, especially at the top of Masada in Israel, allowed me to really appreciate the significance of a Bat Mitzvah ceremony.” The Birthright Israel program acted as a catalyst in helping her to get in touch with the State of Israel and her religion. Visiting Israel for the first time marked her personal beginning as a “Jewish adult” in many ways. Acording to Gail Hyman, Vice President of marketing for the Birthright Israel Fund, getting Bar/Bat Mitzvahed in Israel is “...entirely their choice. It comes out of conversations on the bus with tour guides and staff. The tour leaders are happy to support their choices.” Ashley was Bat-Mitzvahed by Rabbi Nosson, who runs the Chabad Program at Pennsylvania State University. “He was funny, quirky, and walked me through the entire ceremony,” she recalled. “He also announced that my Hebrew name, Ahava Leya, means Love and Peace. I was glad that the new friends I had met on the trip were all able
to be there and witness this milestone in my life. After I was done, everyone threw candy at me and two boys from my trip tossed me up in the air like I was in a chair.” Being BatMitzvahed at an older age in the homeland, in Israel, allowed Ashley to truly understand the significance of what it meant to become a Jewish adult. Ashley left Israel with a much stronger feeling of Zionism than when she had arrived. “I’ve definitely begun to pay more attention to the news regarding the Middle East and truly care about the well being of my home country. When we landed at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel, our trip organizer welcomed us “home” and nobody was sure exactly what she meant. After going on Birthright, I can certainly say everyone on the trip now understands exactly what her point was. Since Israel is a place where all Jewish people can enjoy freedom and feel safe, after visiting, you want to make sure it stays that way forever.” Ashley has become quite the advocate of experiencing this Birthright trip and recommends it to all who have the opportunity to go. In only 10 days, she was able to go from knowing little about her Jewish background and identity, to starting her journey as a Jewish adult by being Bat-Mitzvahed and experiencing the very best that Israel and the Jewish religion has to offer. Discovery, or “taglit” is definitely what happened to Ashley and many of her peers on this trip to Israel. Taglit of a religion, taglit of a country, and taglit of a new identity. To get involved in Taglit Birthright Israel, call the trip information hotline (1-888-99-ISRAEL; 1-888-994-7723) or visit the website http://www.birthrightisrael.com/site/PageServer. Many universities also offer services to get involved in Birthright through Chabad or other Jewish organizations within the school.
Supporting Supplies for Success Continued from page 1 of our initiative and reach out to me,” said Sheena. “We make sure it reaches the right hands, those who need it the most. Volunteers donate backpacks and the school supplies.” She said that the chairs raise money and buy in bulk throughout the year to be able to purchase “every item on the list” and that it’s run by a “committed group of volunteers and lay leaders. Communities like the Orthodox community help us and demonstrate care for others’ needs.” They provide supplies from K through 12. The main packing will be done at Solomon Schechter in Williston Park, August 14, 15, 16. On the 15th, they will deliver 500 packs to Sunrise Day Camp, for children with cancer and their siblings. It is the only day camp for children with cancer. A Sunrise Day Camp for children with cancer will also be opening in Israel. Supplies for Success began 11 years ago, at Summerfest, a yearly private concert and party to benefit UJA-Federation of New York. The first one was held 22 years ago; over 1,000 people from Long Island attend. People were asked to bring something for others in need and they decided on donating school supplies as the charity, explained Mindy Richenstein, Chair of Supplies for Success, and one of its founders. After two years, it evolved into a stand-alone program, with UJA’s sponsorship. In its first year, 68 children received backpacks. She emphasized that she had seen many in
need. “We had a single, Jewish mother come with her three kids to volunteer at back pack assembly,” she recounted. “She was receiving for her kids and it was her way of giving back. She was very grateful. She didn’t have money to put food on the table, she didn’t know how to manage to scrape together money to get school supplies. It was beyond her means. It is noteworthy that the numbers of Jews receiving backpacks has grown tremendously over the last eleven years. There were few in the beginning; now there are requests all across the island and other communities, from Far Rockaway to the Hamptons.” This is the third year that the Young Israel of North Woodmere has been involved in the project, said Rebbetzin Lisa Septimus. She said that YINW and the community buy, donate and collect school supplies over a few weeks, assemble them on one Sunday and bring them to UJA’s main bag packing and distribution site. She called the UJA “one of the most far reaching and charitable organizations in the U.S. and it serves communities in an infinite number of ways.” Septimus said they connected with Supplies for Success “to create a relationship between our shul and the UJA. This program has been an excellent way to start since it is a very concrete, hands on way to give Tzedaka and that Tzedaka is distributed to many families in our community.” The first year, she said, “People from all different areas and shuls were eager to contribute. There were also a bunch of
Photo courtesy of Supplies for Success
Packing backpacks with school supplies for Supplies for Success grateful individuals that asked me to be recipients of some bags. I was able to direct them to the UJA distribution center. The UJA, through Irwin Gershon, is making a strong effort to involve Long Island Orthodox communities. It is important for us to realize that the UJA directly serves the Orthodox communities and it is also essential to support an organization that serves all Jews (regardless of background, affiliation, or denomination) and that we take our place within that community as well.” Many local organizations participate in the effort, Richenstein noted in an email, to pick up backpacks for their clients or to volunteer at our giant three day Backpack Assembly at the Schechter School. The Backpack Assembly on August 13th in the Five Towns is a replication of our primary Backpack Assembly on August 14-16. Six local shuls are involved: Bais Haknesses of North Woodmere, Congregation Beth Sholom of Lawrence, Young Israel of Hewlett, Young Israel of West Hempstead,
Young Israel of Woodmere, Congregation Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park, Young Israel of North Woodmere, and Congregation Anshei Chesed. Aside from fund raising, Richenstein said that she “shops smart” and buys in bulk from companies that only sell to 501C3 charities. She is able to “fill a backpack with age appropriate supplies for under $18 but with a $63 retail value.” “I didn’t know there was such a need,” said Wagman. “The best part is that you can bring the children, to understand the other side of the world, about someone who may be lacking, and doing a mitzvah. It will have an impact on them. It’s a wonderful thing, and boruch Hashem for our great community.” “It builds community,” said Richenstein. “It’s a beautiful thing. You feel that you are doing a mitzvah, you teach the kids about tzedaka and tikun olam.” To volunteer, donate or for more information email email@example.com or call 516 677-1818.
THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
Opinion A tale of two Presidential campaigns and one holy city It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities” Unlike the classic Dickens work, this week’s Presidential campaign was a tale of one city: Jerusalem, and the different way it was handled by the two different campaigns, One handled it as if this was the age of foolishness, the other as the age of wisdom. One refused to give its position on Israel’s capital publicly; the other stood in front of the panorama of the holy city over his shoulder and pronounced the city Israel’s capital. During Thursday’s daily press briefing, White House Press SecPOLITICO retary Jay Carney wouldn’t anTO GO swer a simple question. Reporter: What city does this Administration consider to be the capital of Israel? Jerusalem or Tel Aviv? Jay Carney: Um... I haven’t had that question in a while. Our position has not changed. Can we, uh... Reporter: What is the capital [of Israel]? Jay Carney: You know our poJeff Dunetz sition. Reporter: I don’t. Lester Kinsolving, World Net Daily: No, no. She doesn’t know, that’s why she asked. Carney: She does know. Reporter: I don’t. Kinsolving: She does not know. She just said that she does not know. I don’t know. Carney: We have long, let’s not call on... Kinsolving: Tel Aviv or Jerusalem? Carney: You know the answer to that. Kinsolving: I don’t know the answer. We don’t know the answer. Could you just give us an answer? What do you recognize? What does the administration recognize? Carney: Our position has not changed. Kinsolving: What position? Carney then moved on to another question. Jay Carney refused to outline the President’s position on Jerusalem because the truth would be damaging to the campaign. He was afraid an hon-
est answer would further damage the support for the President’s cash-poor campaign amongst his donors who support Israel. Mitt Romney chose Tisha B’Av, the day Jews across the world mourn the loss of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem, to make a speech in the holy city. With about 400 Israelis in attendance (including his friend of 30 years, Prime Minister Netanyahu), and the Temple Mount in the background, the GOP candidate declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. Romney didn’t make the announcement as a big splash at an AIPAC convention, but said it almost matter-of-factly near the beginning of his speech: It is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Romney is not the first candidate to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, nor is he the first to talk about moving our embassy to Jerusalem as he told CNN later in the day. Recognizing Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av was only Romney’s starting point. Romney was not overtly critical of Obama, since he was on foreign soil, but he was critical nevertheless. He drew a clear distinction with the policies of the Obama Administration. The biggest distinction was in tone. Romney spoke about issues important to supporters of Israel unencumbered by the need to balance positive statements about Israel with moral equivalences. He said good things about Israel without the need to criticize her at the same time, as does the administration in power. Romney seemed to show an understanding that terrorism was not the result of something Israel was doing, as if to say the deeds of terrorists are somehow justified, but it was an expression of hatred: And tragedies like these are not reserved to the past. They are a constant reminder of the reality of hate, and the will with which it is executed upon the innocent. He even used the word “terrorism” which was refreshing in itself. I believe it significant that he recognized that Americans have been victims of Palestinian terrorism: At this time, we also remember the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were massacred at the Munich Olympics forty years ago. Ten years ago this week, nine Israeli and American students were murdered Continued on page 6
Correction Last week’s article on Bike4Chai omitted that that ride and the Tour de Simcha, are two ways to raise money for Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s medically equipped fun-filled overnightsummer camps for children and teens with cancer and other serious illnesses.
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Letters to the editor Picture perfect To the Editor: I would like to thank you for your accurate portrayal of the twelve teens from the Five Towns who were honored, with Camp Koby, by the Israeli Knesset. Unlike another Five Towns Jewish publication, who chose to alter the picture of our Orthodox children by lengthening their skirts and sleeves, you presented our children as they are – modern Orthodox, Yeshiva kids (from both HAFTR and HALB) who are respected because of their hearts and Middot and not by the clothes they wear. Alan Heller Lawrence
Olympian silence To the Editor: A few thoughts about your outstanding article last week about the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) refusal to grant a minute of silence during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics in memory of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes brutally murdered by Arab terrorists during the 1972 Munich Games. I believe modern terrorism came of age at the Munich games, when the world witnessed, in real time, demented, bestial acts of pure hatred, then returned to the games with barely a hiccup, or a moment of reflection. That summer, terrorists learned the Free World would tolerate any crime committed against Israel. The Free World has been tainted by this shameful truth for the last forty years. The IOC has been especially stained by their repeted actions proving their so-called Olympic ideals of building a peaceful, better world through mutual understanding, solidarity, and fair play do not apply to Israel. At this year’s Olympics, the world and the IOC were given an opportunity for redemption. Sixty seconds of silence could have wiped away fortyyears of shame. It’s unforgivable that this priceless opportunity was so casually squandered. The essence of the Olympics is to overcome the divides inherent within our separate nationalities to inspire a better world. The greatest good toward realizing this ideal is to recall and reflect on an incident that will always represent the antithesis of the Olympic mission, and serve as a reminder of what the games strive to prevent. Villains like IOC President Jacques Rogge who hid behind hollow “ideals” such as to prevent injecting politics into the games are cowards. So is our President, who should know better, and yet condones the outrage by staying silent. Also egregious is the utter silence of Congresswoman
Carolyn McCarthy, who rather than step up to make a meaningful statement on the international stage on behalf of her constituents and the State of Israel, sits in silence. Balancing the burden on our conscience of this team of unwilling cowards is the moral clarity of American sportscaster Bob Costas; the thirst for justice of Munich 11 widows, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano; and Catholic University of America Professor, Dr. Leszek Sibilski’s unflagging belief in the redemptive spirit of humanity. Together, they are part of a winning team: defending truth, decency and the memories of the murdered Munich 11 at this year’s Olympics - the 40th anniversary of the massacre. They valiently do this amidst silence from the IOC, President Obama and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. Francis X. Becker Nassau County Legislator Note: The author is also the Republican candidate for Congress in New York’s Fourth Congressional District.
JCC needs a home To the Editor: As we all should be aware, School District 15’s Number 6 school has been empty now for several years. The Board of Education has finally seen fit to put the school on the market. Here in the Five Towns lies a hidden gem – the Five Towns JCC. Why is it hidden? It is hidden because it occupies a little out-of-theway house on Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst. Due to space limitations in its present location, the JCC also conducts programs in more than 18 other spaces in and around the Five Towns. It has not had the opportunity to create a “presence” in the community because it has not been successful in the acquisition of a new property that could accommodate all of its needs and the needs of the community. Now, the perfect opportunity exists for the community to come together as one and urge the Board of Education to sell the Number 6 School to the JCC. The JCC has put a bid in to purchase the school. We need a place where the entire community can come together and join a cause to unite all of us. A full-service JCC would provide one-point entry where all members of our community can receive social services programs, when needed, as well as educational and recreational programs and activities. The Five Towns has a proud Jewish Community. Isn’t it time we had a building for the Jewish Community Center of which we can be proud? Cherie Feinberg Lawrence
THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
Opinion Two campaigns and one holy city Continued from page 4 in the terrorist attack at Hebrew University. And tragedies like these are not reserved to the past. They are a constant reminder of the reality of hate, and the will with which it is executed upon the innocent. The GOP nominee drew a distinction with Obama with regards to Iran. As the Obama administration has spent much of the past three years trying to convince Israel not to defend herself against the possibility of Iranian nukes, Romney quoted Menachem Begin, seen by many in the diplomatic establishment as the most â€œhawkishâ€? leader in Israeli history, to argue that Israel must take care of its own defense, despite what other countries might say: It was Menachem Begin who said this about the Ninth of the month of Av: â€œWe remember that day, and now have the responsibility to make sure that never again will our independence be destroyed and never again will the Jew become homeless or defenseless. This,â€? Prime Minister Begin added, â€œis the crux of the problems facing us in the future.â€? Quoting Begin was not an accident. Romney was signaling that he understood Israelâ€™s predicament, being surrounded by nations who would see it destroyed. It was an understanding that only Israel can have a true understanding of her security needs and it must not gamble on safety issues. And to drive the point home the GOP candidate explained: To the north, Syria is on the brink of a civil war. The dictator in Damascus, no friend to Israel and no friend to America, slaughters his own people as he desperately clings to power. Your other neighbor to the north, Lebanon, is under the growing and dangerous influence of Hezbollah. After a year of upheaval and unrest, Egypt now has an Islamist President, chosen in a democratic election. Without mentioning Obama, Romney spoke about how this administration has been distancing itself from the Jewish state with one-sided public criticism, or by allowing others such as the UN to unfairly attack Israel. And standing by Israel does not mean with military and intelligence cooperation alone. We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israelâ€™s adversaries. Romney put to shame Obamaâ€™s futile policy of reaching out to evil such as Iran. He talked about the immorality of the mullahs, their Holocaust denial, then quoted Begin again, this time to show he believed their threats to be real: As Prime Minister Begin put it, in vivid and haunting words, â€œif an enemy of [the Jewish] people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him.â€? We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again. It was a tale of one city-Jerusalem, but two Presidential campaigns. One spoke with wisdom, the other with foolishness, by hiding its intentions. On Thursday, the Obama Press Secretary refused to speak about its own policy, reminding observers of what President Obama said to then Russian President Medvedev, â€œin
a second administration I would have more flexibility.â€? Obama wasnâ€™t talking about Israel at the time, but Carneyâ€™s lack of a response had the same meaning; the Administration was holding out for a second term, when unencumbered by the need to raise money or motivate voters, it could be even more onesided in its demands on the Jewish State. On Tisha Bâ€™Av, the day Jews mourn the loss of the Temple, Jerusalem and so many other calamities, Mitt Romney stood in Jeru-
salem with the Temple Mount over his shoulder and differentiated a future Romney administration from Obama on the Middle East. Calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel was a small part of his speech. Romney displayed an understanding of terrorism, of morality, and the security issues faced by Israel, which the present administration doesnâ€™t (or has no desire) to understand. In short, Romney said he would be a partner in Israelâ€™s quest to prevent another Tisha Bâ€™ Av tragedy. Update: On Monday the Obama Administration announced that they do not recognize Jerusalem as Israelâ€™s capital as the status of the city must await final negotiations. This
differs from the Bush administration who recognized Jerusalem as Israelâ€™s capital but would not move the US embassy until final boarders of the Israeli part of the city were negotiate. Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog â€œThe Lidâ€? (www.jeffdunetz.com). Jeff contributes to some of the largest political sites on the internet including American Thinker, Big Government, Big Journalism, NewsReal and Pajamaâ€™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.
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August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
Where are they now? Seven years ago this week, Jews were expelled - or evacuated - depending on your political position, from Gush Katif. However, regardless of the dispute whether the disengagement was good or bad for the Jews, we must ask: Where are the evacuees today? Have they settled into new homes and new jobs? The sad truth is that more than 1000 people are still jobless. This is not merely a financial concern; this directly affects one’s self esteem, and can lead to family tensions and even divorce. The only beacon of light is Jobkatif, an organization set up by Rabbi Yossef Tzvi Rimon to help them find work and create new businesses. Photos by Susan Grieco
By Rabbi Noam Himelstein
One Israel Fund trustee Eddie Wunsch, Executive Vice President Scott Feltman, NC Legislator Fran Becker, Trustee Jay Kestenbaum, and Dr. David Sussman.
One Israel Fund’s Summer BBQ By Karen C. Green Supporters of One Israel Fund gathered at the home of Yael and Gary Mandel of Lawrence for the 3rd Annual BBQ and Israeli Wine tasting event. Guests enjoyed great food by Prestige Caterers, and award winning wines provided by Shlomo Blashka and Royal Wine Corp/Kedem. One Israel Fund is dedicated to supporting the welfare and safety of the men, women and children of Judea and Samaria as well as rebuilding the lives of the Jewish people impacted by the Gaza evacuation.
Rena and David Saffra of Cedarhurst enjoyed the evening’s festivities
Gary and Yael Mandel graciously hosted the evening’s event.
Ben Brafman (l) and Fran Becker (r)
OIF board member Stew Greenberg with Dr. David Sussman and Sam Sussman
Rabbi Noam Himelstein studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion and served in the Tanks Corps of the IDF. He has taught in yeshiva high schools, post-high school women’s seminaries, and headed the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Melbourne, Australia. He currently teaches at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem, and lives with his wife and six children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion.
THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
Hebrew only please!
August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
Who’s in the kitchen?
California dreamin “G” on a summer’s day Although it’s been almost 30 years since I’ve been to Grossinger’s for Shabbat Nachamu, every year, as it rolls around, I reflect back on the wonderful memories I have of those days gone by. Of course my kids don’t understand why everyone’s parents lament that Grossinger’s isn’t around any more. It was a place where everyone went. We didn’t have to post a link on Facebook telling everyone to meet at a bar, restaurant, spa, pool, ski lodge, golf course, nightclub or disco (apologies to my kids for using that word....yes, I know it’s called “clubbing” today). It was all those places wrapped up in one. After Tisha B’av, we started looking forward to enjoying the fun that lay ahead. So many memories, starting with Judy Joszef the packing, at least three outfits per day, not including poolside attire. We didn’t actually step foot in the pool, but hey, we had to look good. Our reservations confirmed, our bags packs, we were on our way. Our journey led us to exit 100 on route 17, past Howard Johnson and up the hill to the Promised Land (in exile). A veritable oasis and proverbial Garden of Eden in the Catskills, created to satisfy all reasonably joyful experiences of the young and old, avid sportsmen or competitive eaters, lovers of nature or “Simon says.” Of course, if we happened to meet that someone special, well, that was icing on the cake, as those in my field like to say. Once we were past the guard house (I think it was easier to sneak into the White House, than The Big “G,” unless, of course you snuck into the trunk on your ride up the
hill…come on, you guys know who you are), and checked in, we unpacked and made our way to the dining room for lunch. Those of you not familiar with The Big “G,” let me tell you, eating there was an Olympic event. Jennie Grossinger was known to have said “Never let anyone go hungry.” To my knowledge, no one ever has. Leonard Lyon’s wife Sylvia asked Jennie G, “What can I do at Grossinger’s that’s slenderizing?” “Go home,” Jennie answered. The portions were supersized and unlimited. People would waddle out of the dining room swearing they would not eat for at least two days, and then be first on line waiting for the doors to open for the next meal. Not my mother in law, she had a fridge in her room, packed with goodies, should an emergency hunger pang break out. One menu item I never said no to, was the prime rib roast. I tried to get the recipe out of the waiter but he was of no help. Years later, I think I came up with one that rivaled Jennie G’s. I’m not sure what we read first, the menu, or “The Tattler” when we sat down at our table. The Tattler was a mimeographed (kids, that’s a word used in the days of the disco) sheet of paper, that highlighted the night’s activities, the next day’s and doubled as a local gossip column. It’s author had an adjective to describe each guest. I was vivacious Judy Feig from Brooklyn, one time and alluring Judy another time I was there. Needless to say I was flattered until I noticed the shy girl at our table the night before was outgoing Rachel and the girl that, let’s just say, liked to eat, was model in training Laura. Another great pastime was dancing in the Pink Elephant Lounge until closing at 4 AM, (yes kids, we were actually cool back then), then heading down the hill for ice cream sundaes. We needed to tide ourselves over till breakfast. Jerry’s parents vacationed there regularly,
and were treated like royalty. His mom told me how everyone adored her husband. As soon as they checked in, he would make his way to the night club to make reservations for the show for the entire two week stay. “Mr. Joszef, we already reserved your table, best one in the house, front and center.” Same thing in the dining room, best table, best waiter. I looked at Jerry and whispered, “Your dad was a big tipper, wasn’t he?” I’m sure they would have loved him regardless though. Everyone loved Miklosh Joszef a”h, even the world class boxers who trained at Grossinger’s. One day, Jerry was looking for his dad at the pool. He found him, sitting at a table with Bob Foster, other boxers and their trainers. Jerry’s dad called him over and introduced him to Mr. Foster (who was a light heavyweight champion, who fought Mohamed Ali and George Frazier). His dad introduced him as his son Hershel. Jerry joined them for a snack and then Mr. Foster said “Miklosh, you and Hershel are welcome to watch us train anytime you like while you’re here.” Jerry and his dad took him up on his offer and had ringside seats. On another visit to the resort his dad could be seen hanging out with Jerry Quarry, who was a popular heavy weight boxer, who also fought Ali and Frazier. You can’t make this stuff up. Although The Big ‘G” isn’t around anymore, try this prime rib recipe. Let me rephrase that…..As Lou Goldstein would have said…..Simon says try it!
PRIME RIB ROAST
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub the oil over the roast and smear the garlic on evenly. Sprinkle the dry ingredients last. Place the roast, ribs down in a roasting pan. Sear the rib roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F, turn the oven to 325 degrees F for the rest of the cooking time. Baste the roast every 1/2 hour with the fat accumulated in the roasting pan. Don’t cover the roast. When checking the temperature of your prime rib roast, insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of beef. Cook until roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. for rare, 130 F for medium rare, 140F for medium and 150 for well done. Remember as the roast sits after you remove it from the oven it will rise another 10 degrees. After you remove roast from the oven cover loosely with foil and let sit for 15 minutes. If you cut into the meat before, you will lose the meat’s juices. This goes for any cut of meat you make.
■ Standing Rib roast, room temp., 2 people per rib ■ 8 cloves of garlic, minced ■ 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil ■ 1 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper ■ 1 3/4 teaspoons salt ■ 1 ¾ teaspoons dried thyme
Judy Joszef is a pastry and personal chef as well as a party planner. She spent 18 years as a pastry chef at Abigael’s, The Cedar Club, Centro and T42 in the Five Towns, before launching her current business, Soiree. She can be reached at email@example.com
must admit I’m a bit envious of my kids. My friends say they would love to live their children’s lives. We are a fortunate generation in so many ways and thankfully our kids reap the benMIRIAM’S MUSINGS efits with the ability to study what and where they wish. My daughter’s grade has just graduated high school and some are leaving soon for a year in Israel where they will become fluent in Ivrit, do community service, delve into Jewish texts and philosophy, tour the country. The study Miriam Bradman is generally “lishma” Abrahams for the sake of learning, without outside pressures. It’s an incredible luxury whose spiritual benefits will hopefully validate the mundane expenditures of time and money. I have an assortment of feelings about it: I’m sad that she’s leaving, excited for her, jealous about what she’ll experience, and wish I could go, too. Learning Torah in Israel is a special treat, but of course furthering one’s Jewish education can be accomplished right here. I’ve been to great shiurim in the Five Towns and fondly remember the wonderful teachers who
taught Tanach B’Shana. Feeling motivated to spend a few quality summer hours studying something new, I signed up for a class given by Rabbi Skydell, a local rabbi I admire. The title of this series, “Lovers, Children, Friends: Understanding the Relationship Between G-d and Israel,” intrigued me, as did so many of the other great offerings on Drisha’s summer schedule. I would have loved to sign up for all of them; however I could only fit in one. Drisha’s classes are held on the 5th floor of a modest building across the street from Lincoln Center. Its website says Drisha “provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to encounter texts in a serious, intellectually rigorous and inclusive manner through specialized courses, lectures and an emphasis on havruta [partner] study. It is a pioneer in advancing Jewish scholarship for women” with co-ed classes, too. I joined a class in the five week summer institute which is open to all ages and was surprised to be one of only two older women there. I realized the younger women were friendly and inclusive right away, when it was time to break up for 20 minutes of havruta, and before I could feel uncomfortable, someone immediately offered to be my partner. Though I attended a progressive yeshiva high school with Talmud study for girls, I wasn’t ever part of a havruta, so I was grateful for this gesture. More intimidating than the age difference was the fact that these young ladies are ex-
tremely knowledgeable, inquisitive and eloquent. I quickly decided it was ok to be one of the few quiet participants, fully engaged and absorbing the lively discussion without stressing myself vocally. I was taking only one ninety minute class, but these ladies were learning from morning till evening five days a week and their enthusiasm for what they were studying still shone through during this late afternoon session. Occasionally, I’ve run into Five Towns women taking the train to the city for a Drisha class and was impressed by their effort to fit a voluntary commute and learning into their day. That encouraged me to try single session lunch time classes. In this summer course, I got some insight into one of the more intensive programs offered. I asked one young woman from our neighborhood whose class I was in, what motivated her to spend her summer vacation from university engaged in full time study. She expressed excitement about the learned educators being extremely approachable and about the other participants who are so motivated to learn and engage in thought-provoking conversations - whether about in-class topics or issues in the Jewish community today. She was impressed by the intellectually stimulating atmosphere and happy about the ability to learn without the pressure of grades or other school time distractions. She enjoys meeting students from a variety of backgrounds each offering a fresh and unique perspective.
These young women could be spending their summer advancing their careers, traveling or hanging out at the beach, all valid choices, but instead or in addition, they’re choosing to study ‘lishma” right here in the city. Had I been given this opportunity during my college days, I don’t think I would have been mature enough to take it. It takes a very special young lady to appreciate this gift. Knowing a women’s program like this exists close by warms my heart. Sitting in a classroom with exceptional people who discuss nuances of Jewish text and philosophy with conversational ease, fills me with hope for the future. Being able to spend a few hours simulating a tiny percentage of what my daughter will experience in the coming year in Israel is priceless! There is definitely something immeasurably special about living and learning Torah in the place central to Judaism. To my daughter, my niece and their friends flying soon to Israel, I wish you “tzeitchem l’shalom” - go in peace, stay safe and enjoy every moment of this truly unique time in your lives. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Miriam Bradman Abrahams is Cuban born, Brooklyn bred and lives in Woodmere. She organizes author events for Hadassah, reviews books for Jewish Book World and is very slowly writing her father’s immigration story. She can be reached at mabraha1@optonline. net
The Aleppo Factor and the War to Come
arlier this year, as the turmoil in Syria started to get a sense of reality, I stated to my students, some of whom were of Syrian heritage, that the one factor that will indicate to us the seriousness of the civil unrest in Syria, will be what ultimately happens in Aleppo, the commercial center of Syria. This past week, my premonitions concerning this unfolding human tragedy are coming true, and the human toll has started to balloon to genocidal proportions. Before the ascendancy of the Assad dynasty in the early 1970s, Syria was known politically as the mad house of the Middle East, with a coup occurring once every six months. The Assad takeover brought an end to this political destabilization and gave Syria a measure of political tranquility. However, this also brought this beleaguered country a Alan Jay Gerber demonic regime that closely matched that of its murderous Soviet patrons in the Communist Bloc. Further, the Assad regime was complicit in the murderous aggression of the Yom Kippur War that came within miles of a major devastation of northern Israel, all fueled by communist arms and ideology. So, therefore, given these factors, there will be no great amount of tears to be shed from all peace
loving people of good-will, both near and far from the conflict, over Bashar al-Assad’s demise. However, it is the Aleppo factor that has had me most mystified over this past year. Aleppo should be familiar to our readers inasmuch as its Jewish religious legacy was the subject of a review earlier this month. And now, as fate would have it, the media is reporting that credible hostilities against the Assad regime are in full swing. And, as a result, with the focus now upon this most storied of Arab cities, Aleppo will once again be the focus of my column. Among the most sober analysts of the Middle East scene, is the London Telegraph’s Adrian Blomfield whose dispatch of July 25th was the source of much valued historical information. Blomfield notes that Aleppo is geographically located near the Turkish border at the end of the proverbial Silk Road from China, “making it a hugely important trading centre for centuries and leaving it with its fabulous architectural legacy of caravanserais and souks. Its importance was internationally recognized: when the English Levant Company was looking for a Middle East headquarters in the late 16th century, it chose Aleppo.” With this prologue, we can now better understand the symbolic as well as logistical importance that Aleppo has come to represent to observers of this tragic scene. A once united city, committed to political as well as religious stability, has now come apart, with radical Islamists on the ascen-
dancy. Further, and most ominous to this writer, according to Blomfield, is that “in Aleppo itself, much of the Sunni working class has turned against the regime, something that has manifested itself in a series of arson attacks on factories in the city in recent months. The factory owners are starting to realize that support for the regime is no longer in their interest. Their employees have turned, trade has been paralyzed because it is impossible to move goods to the nearby Turkish border, and the uprising has plunged the country into economic crisis.” By the time you read these words, the die will have been cast as to the fate and longevity of the Assad regime. What will concern many of us, will be the implications all this will have upon American policy and upon the physical well-being of Israel. The irony of the Aleppo legacy in what is transpiring now should not be lost upon us, for it was in Aleppo that an icon of our faith was both preserved and ultimately plundered and lost to history. In a recent book, “The Aleppo Codex,” [Algonquin Books, 2012] journalist Matti Friedman of The Times of Israel authored a riveting report concerning the fate of one of history’s most accurate texts of our Bible, a text written in Tiberias over a thousand years ago and held to be accurate by none other
than the Rambam himself. While it is not my intention in this essay to give my personal value judgment of what transpired with this sacred document, I would like to share with you the book’s author’s heartfelt feelings concerning this sad saga of the theft of a Tanach that bears the name of a city now central to the affairs of state that will have an impact upon us for many years to come. Friedman makes the following observations whose words must be seriously taken to heart: “The hunger for old and beautiful things is not new. Paintings and other works of art are routinely stolen and fenced for large sums. But here the object stolen is not a thing of beauty but a book that condemns theft. The page with the passage, ‘Thou shalt not steal’ was stolen. Also missing are the commandments not to bear false witness, covert another’s property, or commit murder. All of which have been violated in these chapters. The Hebrew Bible, of which our code was the most perfect copy, the one used by Maimonides himself, was meant to serve humans as a moral compass. Its story is a tragedy of human weakness.” How sad for us, and for all humanity, at so sad a time in the history of our civilization.
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THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
The Kosher Bookworm
August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
August 2 Bereavement Group presented by the JCC The JCC of the Greater Five Town would like to announce the beginning of a Phase I Bereavement Group for the loss of a spouse. The initial stages of grief can be a painful and lonely time. You are not alone in those feelings and you should not be alone in your grief. If you are coping with the loss of a spouse please join us at the JCC for support, guidance, information and friendship. This six week group, facilitated by a certified social worker will begin from 11:00 – 11:50 a.m. at the JCC, 207 Grove Ave., Cedarhurst. Pre-registration is a must. For more information please call Janet Zimmerman, LCSW-R at (516) 569-6733 x. 224.
Calendar Submit your shul or organization’s events or shiurim to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Wednesday of the week prior to publication.
August 5 Chabad of the Hamptons Summer event! Join Chabad of the Hamptons, supporters and friends at one of the most anticipated events of the Hamptons season. Featuring the Alumni of the Perlman Music Program. The Perlman Music Program has established itself a leader in its field. The faculty, led by Itzhak Perlman, includes some of the most highly respected and soughtafter pedagogues in the world. The evening will include a beautiful concert, cocktail reception, passed hors d’oeuvres, specialty food stations, silent auction and more! All proceeds will benefit the activities of Chabad of the Hamptons and celebrate seven years out East. This event will be $200.00 a person and will take place from 5-7 pm at a beautiful private home in the Hamptons, and the exact address will be announced with payment. For more information or to RSVP www. JewishHamptons.com/reception or email rsvpAugust5@yahoo.com.
Summer celebration boat tour with food and music. $15 Advance Registration $20 at the Pier Register at www.nbn.org.il/cruise. This event is for Singles and Young Professionals age 21-35. 7 pm at Pier 83 (West 42nd Street NY)
Get ready for an emotionally powerful, artistic voyage awash with warm harmonies, intricate textures and spellbinding rhythms. Huntington Arts Council presents Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom: Ladino Songs Renewed, the newest program from the award-winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble. The concert will take place at 8:00pm at Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY. More info at www. guymendilow.com and www.huntingtonarts.org. Estee Ackerman, 10, a sixth grader at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, West Hempstead, got the chance to practice with 2012 USA Table Tennis team members Erica Wu and Lily Zhang both from California at the US Open held in Grand Rapids, MI on June 29. Ackerman, currently ranked #8 in the US under age twelve girls catagory enjoyed the session and the advice the olympians gave her.Wu and Zhang who are both 16 are one of the youngest players competing in London next week. Ackerman hopes to try out for tean USA for the 2016 olympics.
August 2, 6 16, 23, 30 August Bagel Babies Sign up Please join the JCC of the Greater Five Towns for a Thursday morning Yoga class, 9:15-10:30am - $75. This class will take place at our Grove Street location and will be taught by Miriam Abrahams. For registration information please call Sheryl at (516) 569-6733 x 222.
Nefesh B’ Nefesh is rockin’ the boat!
Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom: Ladino Songs Renewed
24th Annual Cedarhurst Sidewalk Sale
JCC Yoga Classes
August 2-3 Stop by and check out the unbeatable deals offered by tons of amazing stores at this sidewalk sale. As an added bonus we are offering a $1,000 Cedarhurst Shopping Spree to one lucky winner! Raffle tickets will be available in participating stores as well as in newspaper advertising, so watch for our ads in the local press. The sidewalk sale hours are August 1: 10 am-8 pm, August 2: 10 am-6 pm, August 3: 10 am-closing. For more information about the Cedarhurst Sidewalk Sale, or the stores participating in the $1,000 Cedarhurst Shopping Spree, please contact Teri Schure at email@example.com or visit www.shopcedarhurst.com.
more information please call Rivka Deinstag 516 410-3054 or Rachellie Knobel 347 - 306-2054.
First Monday in August is the day to come in to Chabad and sign up for our renowned Bagel Babies program, ably led by our very own effervescent Hadassah Geisinsky. Bagel Babies is a program geared for mothers with babies ages 12 -36 months. Chose one day a week, Monday through Thursday, and come for one hour between 9:30-10:30 a.m., for special mommy and me time. Bagels, cream cheese and a drink are served at the end of the class. Space is limited so come early to register. Place: Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue, Cedarhurst Time: Starting at 9:00 am WALK IN REGISTRATION ONLY with a form of payment Info: 516-295-2478 or www.chabad5towns. com.
August 7 A Night at the Beach to benefit Kulanu Join us from 7-11 pm at the Sunny Atlantic Beach Club to benefit Kulanu. It will be a fun night of live music, drinks, a barbecue, and raffle tickets! 60 dollars per person. Make reservations at www.kulanukids.org. The first 75 to sign up will receive a free gift! Call 516-569-3083 for more information!
Farbrengen for Men Farbrengen in honor of the passing of Rabbi
Levi Yitzchak, father of the Rebbe OB”M Place: Chabad of the Five Towns 74 Maple Avenue, Cedarhurst Time: 8:15 pm Info: Call 516-295-2478.
August 8 Kashrut & Cooking with Mrs. Shifra Klein Enjoy a summer themed cooking demonstration, freshly prepared by Mrs. Shifra Klein, for you to watch and taste. Shifra Klein is the editor in chief and co-founder of Bityavon magazine, a gourmet kosher cooking magazine which celebrates kosher in a modern, revolutionary way. A self-taught cook, Shifra is all about having fun in the kitchen and cooking flavorful and mouthwatering food in a simple and approachable way. RSVP appreciated. Fee: $36 per person Place: Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue, Cedarhurst Time: 7:45 pm Info: 516-295-2478 or www. chabad5towns.com.
August 8-9 JEP - LI Bake Sale To benefit the Lily and Sol Freimark Yeshivah Scholarship Fund At the home of Leah and Mendy Elefant 1 Lakeside Drive West, Lawrence, NY 11559 Wed. 5p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. For
Ongoing Mangano Announces Weekday Golf Specials at Nassau County’s 9-Hole Golf Courses Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that all four of Nassau County’s 9-hole golf courses will be offering a special weekday discount. Conveniently spread around the county park system, Nassau offers residents four executive-level 9 hole golf courses at Cantiague Park, Christopher Morley, North Woodmere, and Bay Park. “With these lower green fee prices, golfers of all skill levels are invited to continue to enjoy our 9-hole County golf courses at an even more economical and low-cost rate” said Mangano. “Every course provides the perfect setting to enjoy a day of golf.” The new special rates, which must be purchased in packages of 5 rounds and are valid for weekday play only, are as follows: Original Price Special Price Savings Senior/Discount with Leisure Pass $8.50 $7.50 $5.00 *5 Rounds for $37.50* Resident Leisure Pass $15.00 $12.00 $15.00 *5 Rounds for $60.00* Non-Resident No Leisure Pass $26.00 $21.00 $25.00 *5 Rounds for $105.00* For more information regarding Nassau County’s four executive 9-hole golf courses, or the three 18-hole golf courses located in Eisenhower Park, please visit the Nassau County website at: www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks.
ne of the more fascinating narratives in the Torah is the one surrounding the fate of Moshe, the great leader, and his passionate effort to gain entry into the Promised Land. In last week’s parsha he seemed to imply that the episode of the spies doomed him to the same fate as the entire generation (Devarim 1:37). In this week’s parsha, Moshe has a more cryptic explanation when, in the context of a paragraph in which he explains why G-d took the people out of Egypt to make them His special nation, “He got angry at me [because of] your words, and He swore I would not cross the Jordan, and I would not come into the land that Hashem your G-d is giving to you as an inheritance.” (4:21) No further explanation is given here beyond blaming “your words.” Why, then, was Rabbi Avi Billet Moshe barred from entering the land? Is Moshe referring to the spies incident? The rock incident? Something else? Which “words” uttered by the people may have brought upon him the devastating fate that he tries over and over to have reversed? The Or HaChaim points out that Moshe’s reference to “not crossing the Jordan” as well
as “not coming to the land” covers his nonentry in life, or in death (to be buried there), respectively. The traditional approach has all of Yaakov’s sons’ remains being brought to the land for burial. Moshe is excluded even from this. Why could he not even be buried in the land? Because of their words. What were their words? The Shakh on the Torah suggests that the anger that G-d wrought on Moshe was at the Golden Calf incident. When G-d told Moshe to “Go down” (Shmot 32:7) He meant “Go down from your greatness.” Perhaps the underlying message is, “What kind of leader leaves his people in such a state that when he is missing for a 40 day period, they not only don’t have more patience, but they go to such an extreme that they create a golden image and seemingly serve it?” This is a failure of leadership. The Shakh goes on to say that Moshe’s response to the people in the rock incident (Bamidbar 20) hardly fits with his words here – “their words” there, complaining for water, could certainly not be viewed as causing his non-entry to the Land. Taking Moshe’s message home, Ramban provides the most poignant message in his illuminating comment on this verse. He explains Moshe’s words as meaning “G-d commanded me to teach you the commandments, that you will do in the Land when you cross over [the river] to get there. So, take the lesson, because I will be dying in Moab and I will not be able to teach you in the Land. [When you are] there, don’t forget
what I have taught you. Nor what you saw in Sinai… G-d was angry with me on account of worry that you will forget the covenant with G-d.” This is why when Moshe repeats the “Ten Statements,” he mentions “as G-d commanded you” (5:12,16) as if to say, “What I am telling you here was not my own words – it was never my words. All of my teachings come from G-d.” What then were “their words?” On a simple level, it is likely words of rebellion that were legitimately out of place – which, as the Shakh points out, is likely not the incident with the rock. Does it matter if it was the Golden Calf, the spies, or something else? I think the point is that it’s very hard to square Moshe’s failure on a single incident. The punishment, as it were, does not fit any single crime. On a much deeper level, I think Ramban is suggesting that Moshe is saying, “I was punished because of your words, because I failed you as a teacher. I didn’t understand your complaints. I didn’t appreciate where you were coming from. I couldn’t relate to you on your level. I may have advocated when you complained, but I didn’t anticipate your needs in the right way. This lack on my part brought about the moral failures that fill the Torah, and is the reason I will not enter the land in life, and why not even my body will enjoy the benefit of burial in the land.” This is an incredible admission. Moshe is teaching every parent and teacher that G-d gets angry at us – the parents and teachers – on account of the words of those
we are meant to teach, guide and inspire. We need to listen, to try hard to understand, and to respond in a way that is direct, pointed, and that helps the student or child overcome the obstacle, move past the challenging question or episode, with more clarity, with proper guidance. We need to provide answers that the children and students can appreciate and understand. And, most importantly, we need to be intellectually honest, without evading issues. Students and children can spot hypocrisy in an instant, and they also know when they’re not being listened to or when their genuine concerns are misunderstood by those they look to for guidance. There is a big difference between the response elicited by our teaching or rebuke when a child says, “I hate you” versus “I don’t like what you’re saying, but I respect you nonetheless because you respect me.” Moshe concludes saying, “While I may not have understood you, I hope you will see that my teachings are good. Heed them, don’t disregard them, don’t forget what I have taught you.” May we merit to learn from Moshe. Let us succeed in hearing “their words” so G-d may always be pleased with us in our roles as parents and teachers - horim and morim. And even when they don’t like our methods, let us pray that the students and children will be able to see that our teachings are good, even though we, human beings that we are, are not perfect.
Israel: Reaching our potential where we belong
n 1897, Theodore Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Though he defined himself as a secular Jew to whom Judaism was just an afterthought he gave form to a 2000 year old dream: the longing of the Jewish people to return home to the land of Israel. At the beginning of the early modern Zionist enterprise, one of the proposed sites for a Jewish State was a very large tract of land FROM THE HEART called Grant’s island, OF JERUSALEM in upstate New York, near Niagara falls. This idea, to create a ‘Jewish territory,’ autonomously managed by the Jewish people, was actually considered by a Congressional subcommittee, but the early Zionists, despite their secular leanings, voted down all of these proposals in favor of the land of Israel. Rabbi Binny A number of years Freedman ago, the summer-camp where I was teaching visited Grant’s island on the way to Niagara Falls. My daughter, recounting the experience later, said, only half-jokingly, “Abba, we should have taken it!” Think about it. The State of Israel in Grant’s island, New York. Nestled in the mountains between America and Canada, imagine how much easier it would have been. There certainly would have been no water shortage and no reserve duty either! Yet, despite all of our differences and different opinions, the Jewish people completely rejected the notion of a Jewish home anywhere else but in the land of Israel. Why? This week’s portion, Va’Etchanan, challenges us with this very question, over three
thousand years ago. “Va’Etchanan El Hashem….” And I beseeched G-d….” (Devarim3: 23) Moshe makes his last request, and begs G-d to allow him to enter the land. And G-d, in one of the most tragic moments in the Torah, refuses. Why does the Torah need to share this with us? And why did Moshe so yearn to enter the land of Israel? And why do I need to know that Moshe wanted to enter the land? In fact, why do we need to be in the land of Israel at all? The Jewish people had already conquered the kingdoms east of the Jordan River and could have lived just fine, without ever crossing the Jordan River. In fact, the land was apparently so lush and fertile, that two tribes (Re’uven and Gad) wanted to stay there and worked out a deal with Moshe to remain in the ‘Ever Ha’Yarden,’ the other side of the Jordan River, building their cities and homes outside of the land of Israel! The ‘Ever Ha’Yarden,’ it seems, was the Grant Island of Moshe’s generation. So, what is this need to live specifically in the land of Israel? In 1948, when we built the State of Israel out of the ashes of Auschwitz and Treblinka, we were a people with a mission. We had no choice. There was simply nowhere else to go. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were wallowing in the DP camps all over Europe, in horrible conditions, and nobody wanted us. The doors of England, the United States, and Canada remained largely closed to Jewish immigration. Most of Europe was a Jewish cemetery, and there was clearly no future for the Jews in those places. And Israel, then mandated by the British as ‘Palestine,’ was impossible to get in to, under the severe limitations of the notorious White Paper, which since 1939, had limited Jewish immigration into Palestine to 15,000 Jews a year. So we had to have a State; a place Jews would always be able to go, where their rights would be guaranteed, so that when the next
pogrom came, there would, at least in one corner of the world, be an open door. And we succeeded, because we had no choice. Today, Jews have plenty of choices. We can live almost anywhere in the world. Today, a Jew can even go to Germany. We can live fulfilled Jewish lives in Teaneck or Boca Raton, London, Los Angeles, or Woodmere. So why do we need a Jewish State? Clearly, Moshe’s desire and the Jewish (G-d’s) decision to cross over the Jordan and enter the land of Israel, was not because the Jewish people had no choice. They had plenty of choice, as we mentioned above. They could all have stayed very happily on the lands east of the Jordan River, having conquered the kingdoms of Balak, Sichon and Og, without ever having to go to war against the seven Canaanite nations. Perhaps Moshe is sharing his yearning to demonstrate that there is something more, so much more, to living in the land of Israel. In fact, moving to Israel because one has no choice is like getting married to someone because you think there is nobody else. And while a person could certainly make a good marriage out of such a challenging beginning, it certainly isn’t the ideal. So what is this need to be in the land of Israel? Each of us relates to and is inspired by different places. Sometimes you walk into a room or a house, and it just feels right. And sometimes, you get this feeling that you are in a place that just isn’t ‘right’ for you. It is good to trust those instincts, because that is your soul talking to you. And you cannot fully accomplish all the things you could do in this world, if you are in a place you were not meant to be in. Just as this is true for a person, it is true for a people. Each nation has its place. And only in that place, can that nation ever become all it was meant to be. The French were meant to be in France, just as the Irish were
meant to be in Ireland. The beautiful, haunting music of the Celts would never have come to be, if the Irish were living in Arizona. They were meant to be in Ireland. That is why each land produces many different things that flow from the love relationship that develops between a people and its land. We, too, have a home; a land that is where we are meant to be; a land that has been waiting for us to come home for two thousand years. And we, the Jewish people, can never become all that we are meant to be, and the world will never receive all that it is meant to gain from the Jewish people, unless we are in the land of Israel. Trying to figure out why that is, by analyzing history or finding logical alternatives, is as futile as trying to convince a person you have found another woman who is logically a much better choice for him. You can’t argue with love. There was a time when a chance to walk down the narrow alleys of the old city of Jerusalem and see the Kotel, would have filled our hearts with joy and wonder. Not so long ago, the idea of standing on top of the Golan Heights, the Bashan of the Bible, looking down on the Sea of Galilee with Tiberias and Tsfat across the bay, would have seemed nothing short of incredible. And yet today so many Jews have never even visited Israel! Maybe we haven’t yet become the nation we are meant to be, and so we haven’t earned living in this land in peace. But one thing is certain: we would not have a State of Israel if Jews weren’t willing to go there. And we will lose it just as certainly, if Jews stop going there. Which would mean we would lose who we really are; because when we come home to the place we were born as a people, we discover a part of ourselves. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, Binny Freedman
THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
Parshat Va’etchanan: Moshe’s Failure: An Important Lesson in Education
August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772 THE JEWISH STAR
Where did all these geese come from?
By CHRIS CONNOLLY firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have walked, driven, pedaled a bike or rowed your boat on Long Island in the last decade, you’ve likely noticed that there are a lot of geese around. They inhabit golf courses, sports fields, playgrounds, lakes, ponds and every place in between. But where did all these geese come from? What’s being done to control their population? Why don’t they fly south for the winter? Or just fly south for good? In short, what’s the deal with the geese?
Origins of the resident goose population The geese Long Islanders contend with on a daily basis are of the species branta Canadensis, or giant Canada goose, an animal distinguished by its stature, creamy breast, long neck and distinctive white chinstrap. While it may appear to us that the geese cluster with exceptional eagerness on Long Island, they are, in fact, a presence in every state except Hawaii and have even crossed the pond to England and its neighbors. In some senses, the Goose boom is a conservation success story. In others it’s another disaster on the Venn diagram depicting the overlap between humans and animals. According to “The Geese That Came In from the Wild,” by Jack Hope in a 2000 issue of Audubon, the Canada goose was rarely seen in the U.S. until the 1960s. Prior to that, most New Yorkers glimpsed Canada geese only as the pixels in a large V flying overhead from Newfoundland to the Aleutian Islands. Those geese that could be found in New York were mostly members of hobbled flocks, collections of artificially grounded geese maintained by hunters in the 19th and early 20th centuries. By clipping (or just lopping off) a goose’s wings, hunters created flightless flocks that they set out to attract migratory geese into shooting range. This practice, called “live decoying,” was outlawed in 1935, and while some hunters maintained their flocks in the aftermath, most just “freed” them. The geese, of course, couldn’t fly away, so they stayed on, eating and breeding without the help of humans. The Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that this one-time goose emancipation consisted of some 20,000 flightless birds, and it is believed that this wave begat the population now occupying golf courses and soccer fields from Miami to Minneapolis.
Expansion of the population Freedom wasn’t free for early resident geese. Conditioned to live in a single location, they no longer flew more than about 150
CANADA GEESE are taking over Long Island. But where did they come from? miles during a given season (and even then, flocks. The proliferation of large, grassy only when severe weather demanded it). areas near water sources where hunting was Prior to their release, Americans had been a no-no and mountain lions weren’t found exploring their manifest destinies in the was an advantage for the geese. In a way West, killing and devouring geese to such an few people predicted, both birds and extent that the birds were thought to be ’burbs thrived. extinct. (Those reckonings did not include hobbled flocks, because they were impossible Wild goose chasing to count.) Today, according to the U.S. Fish and WildThen, in 1962, an Illinois life Service, Canada goose biologist named Harold populations are expanding Do you have some Hanson found a population by 1 to 5 percent annually. Long Island of Canada geese wintering From seed populations of in Rochester, Minn. Accordor a hobbled geese, the birds ing to Hope’s story, Hanson’s have bounced back so sucfor us discovery incited a “hoopla cessfully that they have to solve? Email within the wildlife managebecome pests. email@example.com ment community.” People The 5 million or so resiacross the country rushed dent geese currently wadto adopt populations of the dling around the U.S. cause birds, establishing them in parks as orna- numerous problems: The resident populaments, like peacocks, and looking after them. tion is poaching from the migratory parent The birds were also seeded in the wild. population, which is dwindling; the birds can According to the DEC, “Geese were released be aggressive during their nesting season; by the State Conservation Department on and the geese have been known to get sucked wildlife management areas in upstate New into airplane engines. It was a goose collision York to establish local flocks.” that forced US Airways Flight 1549 to land in Today it is obvious that these conserva- the Hudson River, although researchers at tion efforts were explosively successful. But the Smithsonian Institute’s Feather Identifiwhy? For one thing, Canada geese are good cation Laboratory have determined that survivors and have few natural predators. those birds were of the migratory variety,. They are also protected by the Migratory Geese also poop a lot. A healthy goose is Bird Act of 1918 — which is ironic, since the capable of “loafing” 100 times per day, and population causing most of the problems no excessive accumulations of fecal coliform longer migrates. Canada geese also mate for have forced the closures of public beaches life. This means that every time a migratory and lakes. goose couples with a resident, the new arrivControlling the population of Canada al stays on. (What’s good for the goose is good geese has proven to be, thus far, an advenfor the gander, right?) These resident pair- ture. But the problem has spurred some creings then raise clutches of goslings and ative thinking. Swans were thought to disgrand-goslings with no migratory instinct. courage goose residency for a while, as were These days, the majority of Canada geese border collies, wolf-shaped cutouts, scare have never been to Canada. guns, “dissuader” lasers and fencing. The creation of suburbs (which took root The current anti-goose thinking is pretty right here on Long Island following World pro-goose. The Humane Society advocates a War II) was also a boon to the recovering process of oiling goose nests — pouring food-
The population of geese in the Atlantic Flyway alone tops one million. grade corn oil over the eggs to “keep air from passing through the shell so the embryo cannot develop.” Another humane method of population control is putting geese on the pill. A drug called Nicarbazin, or OvoControl, can be introduced just before breeding season and will ensure that geese lay infertile eggs — goose eggs, both literally and figuratively, at least as far as reproduction is concerned. So far no single method of goose control has risen to prominence, and locales that are plagued by an overabundance of geese rely on a combination of tactics to manage the problem. The conclusion most goose thinkers have reached is that the geese are here to stay. Our advice, if there’s a flock encroaching on your territory, is to notify animal control, take a deep breath and try to appreciate the geese for the loyal, intelligent survivors that they are. With their swooping necks and stately black heads, Canada geese are handsome birds when viewed with proper perspective. Besides, we did invite them here in the first place. Watch this space next week for Long Island History and Mysteries part II: What’s the deal with those houses out in the wetlands? Joe Diglio contributed to this story.
15 THE JEWISH STAR August 3, 2012 15 AV 5772
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