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Palmachniks reunite to serve Page 3 Wowing dinner guests from the start Page 7 A bubbly collaboration Page 11 An emotional reunion on the hardwood Page 14




Founders of the Church: Rabbinic Double Agents? By Malka Eisenberg A bible teacher from Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) High School led a room of more than 50 breakfasting listeners through a whirlwind, eye-opening lecture on the Jewish originators and founders of Christianity. Shuli Taubes spoke at a memorial breakfast this past Sunday for the mother, grandmother and shloshim of the father of Danny Hiller, past president of Congregation Beth Shalom. Ms. Taubes is a teacher of Tanakh and Jewish Philosophy at SAR High School and holds a BA in history from Barnard College and a Masters in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Both Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, as well as Efrat Rabbi, Shlomo Riskin, found commonalities between Judaism and Christianity in that both have a messianic element, noted Shuli Taubes, but differ in whether it will be the first or “second” time that the Messiah is making his appearance. In the course of the presentation entitled “The Founders of the Church: Rabbinic Double Agents?” Taubes discussed various views throughout history, including those that put the story of the foundation of Christianity in the context of first century Judaism, the views in liberal Christianity that Judaism is for the Jews and everybody else should be Christian, and the traditional Christian view that Christianity supersedes Judaism. Taubes gave a brief and rapid overview of early Christianity and its texts, noting that the gospels were purportedly written from fifty to a hundred years after Jesus was supposed to have lived and have no historical or objective outside source. She pointed out the persecution of the early Christians, that someone named Saul, who had never met Jesus, changed his name to Paul, and began spreading this new religion, converting communities around the Mediterranean. He wrote letters to these communities, in an effort to maintain contact with

Photo by Malka Eisenberg

Educator Shuli Taubes speaks at breakfast. them, that were later compiled into books. How, she asked, did the Jews respond to this? She explained that there is relatively little comment in the Talmud and Mishna; that there are no absolute references to Yeshu (Jesus), nor are there references to Paul in the Gemara. She also stressed that there was a lot of censorship of the Gemara. On a source sheet she handed out, Taubes noted a quote from the Babylonian Talmud, Avoda Zara 10a referring to the Romans and “that they do not possess a tongue or script.” At that point, Rashi noted cryptically that their writings, language and literature were from another nation. In an uncensored version of this same Rashi excerpt, Rashi further explains that John, Paul and Simon Peter were all Jews that changed the Roman language into an obscure one to separate this new religion from Israel to benefit the Jews. John, Paul and Simon Peter, observing that the Jews had been suffering from the actions of the followers of Yeshu, acted as priests and set up all the Christian laws, customs and books.

Mazel Tov! Engagement Sam Klein, son of Nan and Harold Klein of Woodsburgh to Jordana, daughter of Lynn and Peter Friedman of Miami Beach, Florida. Photo by Monica Rzewski

Bar Mitzvah Jeremy Schreiber, son of Laurie and David Schreiber of Woodmere. Following Jeremy’s stellar laining at Young Israel of Woodmere, the Schreiber family celebrated at the shul with family and friends. Photo by Debbie and Michael Gottlieb

Continued on page 2

Shabbat Candlelighting: 4:18 p.m. Shabbat ends 5:21 p.m. 72 minute zman 5:48 p.m. Torah Reading Parshat Vayigash

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Rabbinic Double Agents Continued from page 1 “They were Rabbinic double agents,� Taubes declared, “working to create an insurmountable breach between Judaism and Christianity.� The Jewish narrative regarding the early history of Christianity, handed down and written sometime between 4 CE and 9 CE, is, as noted in that Rashi, Toldot Yeshu. It is both similar and different from the Christian narrative. Mary was a prostitute and Jesus was a bright and troubled youth who was able to perform what appeared to be miracles by cunningly manipulating the divine name under his skin, said Taubes. When he was hanged, the Jews took down his body and buried him according to Jewish law since it is not permitted for a body to be left hanging overnight. Jesus knew that his body would be taken down but did not inform his followers of the Jewish law; rather, he chose to simply tell them that he would not be there. As this new religion was developing, confusion spread throughout the Jewish community: were these people Christian Jews or Jewish Christians? A Jew in shul could be davening next to someone who observed this new religion and not even know since these observers kept most of the commandments but believed in Jesus. The Sanhedrin formulated the blessing against apostates in the Amida and sent Peter (a combination of Peter, Paul and John) to infiltrate the church and to rise to the top to create a separation. He went to Rome, became very popular and was asked to stay and be their leader. He agreed but only if he were to live secluded in a tower and emerge once a year. He changed the Sabbath to Sunday, ended circumcision, kashrut and the holidays, took a stand against forced conversions, and voiced his aversion to intermarriage. He succeeded in making a “clean break,� said Taubes, and lived a number of years, subsisting on bread and water and learning Torah in seclusion. He was said to have written piyutim including Nishmat and, as the first pope, preached tolerance of the Jews. Taubes also noted, based on an article by Prof. Sid Leiman, that Megilat Taanit mentions that most days when all Jews fast, “commemorate Jewish heroes’ deaths.� There is no explanation for the fast of the 9th of Tevet, said Taubes. “Based on manuscripts, it is the death of this great hero, Simon Peter Paul and the Rabbis obviously couldn’t say why.� However, she pointed out, there is no historical evidence that the story is true and there is no historical evidence that the gospels are true. “We are still trying to figure it out, to find a theological place for Christianity in our world outlook,� she continued. “Are we brothers, should we work together? But many Jews died in the name of the cross.� For a long time the Toldot Yeshu was virtually unmentioned, she added. Taubes closed her talk with a explanation from Maimonides Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, Chapter 11, where he stressed that the human mind cannot comprehend G-d, His ways and thoughts. Maimonides theorizes that these other religions are a way to prepare the nations of the world to recognize and eventually worship G-d, through discussion and knowledge of the Jewish hope for the true Messiah, the Torah and the commandments.






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December 30, 2011 â&#x20AC;˘ 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR



By Rabbi Avi Schwartz On the landscape of Israel, the most daring generation of Jewish youth since the Maccabees and Bar Kocha are the veterans of 1948, who forever changed Jewish and world history. Now elderly and frail their spirit has not faded as they now set to serve again opening the Shomrei HaAm youth leadership training centers in Cedarhurst, Flatbush and Herzliya, Israel. Under the leadership of my father, the famed Palmach Commander Mordechai Schwartz, otherwise known as Motzik HaGrazan, Motzik the Axeman, and his comrade, Michael “Mike” Shamah, they are trailblazing a new initiative in Jewish leadership aptly called “Real As 48”. Within a very short time since its inception, Shomrei HaAm has instituted a Palmach Torah Youth Center that is officially linked to Israel’s Palmach Museum, a meeting of the minds that would have been unthinkable to reach decades earlier. This significant act of reconciliation between such different mindsets - the Torah community and the Palmach - was quickly noticed, earning endorsements from such leading and illustrious rabbis such as Rav David Feinstein, Rav Shlomo Herbst. “They have innovated a new youth movement that combines true Torah and Palmach leadership skills,” Rabbi Herbst said. My father remembers how in 1948, the Jewish fighting groups put aside their political differences in their struggle to defend the newborn Jewish state. “All of us strove to create a new reality for the Jewish people, each in his own way. 64 years later we need to rekindle the passion of service that was part and parcel of all the four groups,” my father

said. “The establishment of Israel was a conflagration of extremely talented, intelligent and dedicated young adults, both in Israel and America, who focused and envisioned on creating an Israel of high moral caliber and selfless dedication to the Jewish people.” As part of its unity iumage, the organization will invite leading individuals from across Israeli society to speak at its events. “Shomrei HaAm is fulfilling a gap that has been missing for sometime within the Jewish community,” said Ret. IDF Col. Gabi Raz, general director of the Israeli Olympic Range in Herzliya. “The candidates will undergo special leadership and management skills training. We want all the candidates, no matter their religious or non-religious affiliation to return to their respective communities as well-informed Jewish leaders, ready to lead and serve,” said Capt. Ofer Rozenman, the center’s managing director. The most striking feature of Shomrei HaAm is the opportunity for youths to interact with my father’s generation. “It will, if done correctly, infuse lifeblood into a desperately needed vision that made Jews in Israel and America bond and committed during the early years after Israel’s birth,” commented Dr. Richard Israelowitz, a professor of social policy at Ben Gurion University. Shomrei HaAm’s curriculum also includes physical training to develop confidence and responsibility. One such skill is training in Krav Maga, originally known as Palmach Kapap. “I am always amazed how people undergo a transformation from non-confident to confident,” said instructor Tsahi Shemesh. “When I was approached by Shomrei HaAm I agreed seeing how unique its approach, and the necessary self-confidence that is required

Photo by Rabbi Avi Schwartz

1948 youth, Mordechai Schwartz and Michael Shamah, reunited at Shomrei HaAm meeting. of leadership.” Shomrei HaAm’s Jan. 2012 Open Enrollment will take place at its Five Towns headquarters at Happy Feet Studio, located at 595 Malvin Mall in Cedarhurst. “As a son of a ‘1948 youth,’ I know firsthand of their ‘Through Fire and Water’ mentality,” said Happy Feet owner Zvi Bornstein. “Their value of mesiras nefesh was and is for the community and not their own bottom line.” The six month intense training program entails: ■ Torah, Tanach, and Halacha ■ An historical overview of Jewish world contributions, ■ A study of anti-Semitic persecution and the longing to return to Eretz Yisrael, ■ The establishment of Israel ■ Management skills training ■ Leadership training ■ Physical training ■ Participation in various local chesed organizations

Monday’s miracle at Masbia By Yaakov Hawk A crowd of over 150 guests piled into Masbia this past Monday night to be treated food, gifts and live music. Philanthropy for the Future, hosted this incredible night at Masbia, helping Masbia feed almost double the amount of people that they usually feed at their Midwood location. This incredible event was run with a budget of zero dollars, as Masbia is currently facing tremendous financial strain. When PFF founder Yaakov Hawk approached Alexander Rapaport, director of Masbia with this idea it was a difficult decision for him to make, knowing that events like this, frequently go over budget and it was his responsibility to make sure Masbia can keep serving meals to New York’s hungry. As Mr. Rapaport said “Although we’ve had Channukah events and treats in previous years, weeks ago we had decided not do anything special this year due to our financial situation”. After Hawk reassured Mr. Rapaport that “zero means zero”, knowing that Masbia does not have money to supplement to this project, Mr. Rapaport happily jumped on board. After seeing PFF’s work in progress, raising money, finding a band to play and collecting hundreds of toys to give out to Masbia’s guests and that PFF was really working hard, Mr. Rapaport agreed to buy special sufganiyot for the nights guests, but just as Mr. Rapaport was about to pay for the sufganiyot, a complete stranger in the bakery asked him how much he was spending on them replying “85 dollars” the man wrote him a check for 86, truly

■ Weekly interaction with the veterans of 1948.

Those who prove to be exceptional will be invited to Shomrei HaAm’s Palmach 2000 Program in Herzliya to undergo advanced training as they re-trace the various 1948 campaigns. “The potential inherit in their new and dynamic leadership program to inspire both Israeli and American Youth to continue the spirit of ‘48 is great.” remarked Adiel Ron, Global Alliance Executive for Telco Industry. Shomrei HaAm’s aspiration is to produce a 1948 Youth in present day form possessing a charismatic personality, great inner strength, a sense of mission and fraternity, and the character and abilities ready to lead and serve as committed Jewish leaders in all fields of endeavor. To further inquiry about Shomrei HaAm and its enrollment program, contact me at

Shul celebrates with Siyum By Lauren Golubtchik

Photo by Alexander Rapaport

Volunteers such as Yaakov Hawk, founder of Philanthropy for the Future orchestrate a Chanukah miracle for Masbia and recipients at their event. a Chanukah miracle for Masbia. To make the Channukah celebration more joyous, PFF decided to give out to toys and bring in a live band to elevate the spirits of the guests. The over 200 toys that were distributed, were collected in the DRS Channukah Toy Drive as well as from Build - A - Bear for Tzedekah in Beaver Lake this past summer. The band, Betach comprised of members from community schools DRS and Rambam donated their time to liven the spirits of Masbia’s patrons. As keyboardist Yaakov Feldstein put it “We felt that on Channukah we need to give back a little to the community and the smiles we put on peoples faces really makes a lasting impact” and the guests

felt the same way with one guest thanking us for “Giving my family a night of happiness, presents to make my kids happy and great food for our stomaches”. The event itself, was one of Masbia of Flatbush’s busiest nights according to manager Joyce Morales. One of the most noticeable things in Masbia Monday night, was the large number of families with many young children, who generally do not come out of embarrassment. But this night was different, volunteers made everyone feel welcome, with warm greetings and gifts, to give everyone the greatest Chanukah gift of all, Happiness.

Our shul, Congregation Bais Tefilah of Woodmere ,under the direction of Rabbi Shaya Richmond, hosted a shul wide Siyum this past Shabbat, Shabbat Chanukah. This Siyum project was started last year to enable our entire congregation to get the mitzvah of learning the entire Torah from Bereishis until the last word in the Gemara. Members of all ages, both boys, girls, men and women, were all part of this project. Dr. Joe Rozenbaum and President Jay Fuchs oversaw the mass organization, under the guidance and leadership of Rabbi Richmond. “It spans Gemara mishna, Torah neviim, and kesuvim”, says Rabbi Richmond. The goal of the learning project is to unify everyone, in our shul and the greater five towns community, so that we will all merit a piece in the world to come. For more information regarding Congregation Bais Tefilah of Woodmere please contact Shul President Joh Haft @ 516 633-


THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772

1948 youths return to serve

December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Opinion Obama – Good for Israel, even for those who don’t think he is By Juda S. Engelmayer For anyone who has not been paying attention lately, President Barack Obama has been making greater attempts to demonstrate just how dedicated he is to Israel and therefore, to Jews in America. Among some, and not that it really matters, a debate rages as to whether Obama has been the best or the worst president for Jews, and in this election year we can be assured of one certainty; both sides will make the claim that benefits their own candidate for the White House, but what is the truth and what is hyperbole? To best answer the question, first we need to define how good Obama is for the Jews as how good he might be for Israel. The two are not distinctive, as without Israel, Jews have little else to set themselves apart as Americans and voters than any religious group or any national group within our union. Jews, like Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Moslems and all others, want religious freedoms. As a community, Jews seek social justice just as many advocate groups do, advocating for laws regarding welfare, education, and similar matters. Jews seek public acknowledgment, much like the Irish, Italians, West Indians, and just about every group that chooses a day each year to march down public thoroughfares across the country in celebration of their heritage. Basically, Jews are not so unique to the American experience, and therefore have common preferences or antipathy for any presidential candidate and essentially all public officials that can be aligned with any number of other religious or national voting groups. Therefore, the essence of “Jewish support” or lack thereof for Obama would be defined by the president’s position on Israel. After all, Obama was the

first U.S. President to declare a month of the year as Jewish History Month, but that would not impress those who believe Obama is weak on Israel. Apples and oranges. For the record, the most avid supporter of Israel in our nation’s history could arguably be Harry S. Truman. Best known for the Fair Deal and the Marshall Plan, Truman’s “proclamation of May 14, 1948” officially recognized Israel as an independent state just moments after the announcement of the U.N. proclamation. He was the first among nations to do so, and the first president to take the leap into the history of American support for Israel. For Obama, in certain action he has been fairly friendly, while in his rhetoric and on “real” issues, the naysayers find their fodder. Obama has been a strong supporter of keeping and even building on Israel’s military might, particularly with his support for the Iron Dome. He even worked for and signed legislation assuring Israel of American aid through 2018. Then, at the United Nations this year, the president pushed hard against the Palestinian bid for independent statehood and is still holding the line in pushing back against Abu Mazen’s drive for U.N. recognition. So what is the question as far as “Obama and the Jews” is concerned? It’s partly in his rhetoric, but mostly in his actions on two of the most critical issues to the State of Israel: Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Palestinian peace initiative. With his right hand he would offer more money and strength to Israel and its security needs, while with his left, he would compromise its very existence. In response to what he perceived as heavy handedness of the Bush administration’s policies that created a worldwide hatred of America, Obama pledged to engage Iran using “aggressive, principled diplomacy without

Letter to the editor Councilman’s congrats To the Editor: Allow me to offer my hearty congratulations to the new publisher and editor of the Jewish Star, Karen Green. Since her arrival, Ms. Green has brought an immediate, palpable jolt of energy, creativity, and authority to the pages of this important publication.

self-defeating preconditions.” Instead, Iran’s regime took advantage of this appearance of leniency and aggressively worked to develop its nuclear capability while assuring world leaders that it was for domestic consumption and not foreign hostilities. Meanwhile, Congress just voted for the harshest sanctions against Iran yet, but the Obama administration was a staunch opponent of sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, its primary apparatus for funding worldwide terror. It feared sanctions would only help enrich Iran by driving oil prices high. Most experts believe it’s the only real show of force left short of military action. Then there is the Palestinian question. For all of the money the U.S. spends on Israel’s security efforts, Obama pressured Israel to compromise on its borders and Jerusalem. It was just about six months ago when he stated that Israel needed to return to its pre-’67 borders. Some debate what he may have meant and what he believes in regards to land swaps, but the essence is that Israel is an occupier and needs to relent. Then Obama was overheard with the French president whispering about frustration with Bibi Netanyahu’s “lies” over the construction in the West Bank. As a result of feeling emboldened, Abu Mazen will not work towards normalization unless Israel stops every building project in the West Bank, even in areas that would remain under Israel’s flag as part of Obama’s presumed “land swaps.” It is on these two issues where Israel stands the most to lose, and where the critics of Obama say that the platitudes he tenders are just window dressing for public consumption. The emptiness of his actions is more telling. We are nowhere with a peace offering between the Palestinians and Israel, and perhaps now on the brink of opening an old-new front

Under Ms. Green’s capable direction, I am confident The Jewish Star will continue to deserve its status as a respected source of quality journalism, and broad, insightful news coverage of Long Island’s vibrant Jewish communities. I wish her the best of luck and much continued success. Anthony J. Santino Senior Councilman Town of Hempstead


Last week’s Lev Yitzchak photos and Kulanu dinner photos were taken by Monica Rzewski.



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

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on the Egyptian border, and Iran will likely realize nuclear weaponry capabilities within the coming year. Obama’s legacy to Jews might see his newly instituted Jewish Heritage Month one day recalling and celebrating the short lived, controversial, yet feisty Jewish State. For what it is worth, Obama has ratcheted up his tough talk against Iran, declaring to a Jewish audience two weeks ago that the U.S. will not accept a nuclear weapon in Iranian hands and alluded to military action to prevent it. Then on “60 Minutes” one week ago, Leon Panetta, the secretary of defense, backed that up with the same allusion. There is one more theory that few people consider when assessing how good Obama is for the Jews and that is the impact this president’s actions and policies have had on Israel itself. Talking to a Washington insider who recently made Alliyah, but still maintains his government-related business in D.C., it was suggested that Obama is in a very meaningful way “good for Israel.” He said that Israel had always relied on America and its allies in the west to give it permission to make its moves, to protect it, feed it, to essentially be its parent. Obama has put Israel in a position where it has to grow up and be a nation unto itself, to make decisions, take action and do what it needs to do regardless of world “approval”. He said, “Obama has truly given Israel its independence, and for that, he is the best president the Jews have had.” Few will argue that Israel is best represented when it stands as a strong nation without relying on America for approval, yet having it come because it cannot rely on the American president to have its back when its existence is hanging in the balance leaves us to wonder what kind of friend President Obama truly is.

Ten important political stories that went unreported in 2011 By Jeff Dunetz


his is the time of year for lists, everything from the best movies of the year, the top news stories of the year, best political quotes, etc. The list that few if any outlets report is the one of stories that were important and should have received wide-spread coverage, but were ignored by the mainstream media. Reports that would show the other side of an issue, and the lack of reporting is just more evidence that the mainstream media is in the tank for the progressive movement. What follows are my picks for the ten most important under-reported political stories that in 2011. 10. Chief Medicare Actuary Rips Obamacare In House Budget Committee Testimony - Richard Foster, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the guy in charge of crunching the Medicare’s numbers) testified before the House Budget committee in late January and said that Obamacare would not suppress healthcare costs nor would it allow people to keep their present providers, a contradiction of the promise that Obama made to us.

9. Kathleen Sebelius Admits The Obamacare Books Were COOKED. They screamed, they begged, cajoled but everyone called them liars. Ever since the outline of the Obamacare began to be circulated people pointed out that the $500 billion dollars of Medicare savings were being double counted in the cost estimates. In early March the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee heard testimony from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) asked about the double counting of the $500 billion of savings which seemed to still helping the bottom line of Medicare and contributing to the funding of Obamacare. He asked Sebelius which program was supposed to receive the benefit of that Medicare cut, she answered, “Both,” admitting that we had been lied to for the past year. 8. The STUXNET Virus, Is Queen Esther Saving the Jewish People From Persia Again? Computer Scientists who are analyzed the Stuxnet virus found file name that seemingly refers to the Biblical Queen Esther. The first direcContinued on page 5

Continued from page 4 tory inside the virus is named “Myrtus,” a reference to the myrtle plant. The Hebrew word for myrtle is the root of Hadassah which is Queen Esther’s Hebrew name. Given that another Persian, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes constant threats against Israel, that use of Myrtus could indicate a Jewish or Israeli involvement, or maybe a heavenly partner. 7. NASA Gets Caught Faking Climate Change Data: The consensus of global warming predictions is that the seas POLITICO would rise about 3 TO GO feet because of climate change in the 21st century. But satellite data proved that the first decade of the 21st century sea level grew by only 0.83 inches (a pace of just 8 inches for the entire century). Even worse there has been no rise since 2006. So the scientists at the University of Colorado’s NASA-funded Sea Level Research Jeff Dunetz Group did what any other self-respecting global warming alarmists would do, they fudged the numbers. They simply added .3 millimeters per year to its Global Mean Sea Level Time Series. Now they could report that the sea level rise was accelerating, instead of what was actually happening--decelerating. 6. Cowardly President Obama Refuses To Address The Key Middle East Issue In May, the President made a major speech about the Middle East. He made demands about Israel return-

ing to the 1949 armistice lines but didn’t make any demands of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. He called Israel a Jewish State, and he called for the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist, but he didn’t address the fact that both Palestinian President Abbas’ Fatah party and the Hamas party refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, which is the most elementary of issues in this 63-year-old dispute. If Obama doesn’t have the courage to definitively call for the Palestinians to make this basic acknowledgement, can he really expect the Palestinians to do it on their own? And without that recognition, none of the other issues will be resolved. 5. A Heck-of-a-Loophole: Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Owes $1 Billion In Back Taxes In August, Billionaire friend of Obama, wrote an op-ed in the NY Times urging our government to stop coddling the super-rich and support Obama’s position that the rich should pay more taxes. What Buffet neglected to say is his own company; Berkshire Hathaway owes the federal government more than $1 billion in back taxes, a noted by Auditors in the Berkshire annual report. Perhaps Mr. Buffett should read his own annual report before he tells rich people to pay more, since he looks a bit foolish when his own company is not paying enough. 4. Congresswoman Maxine Waters-Obama is Only The President of the African-American In Maxine Waters’ warped mind President Obama hasn’t screwed up the economy, he has only screwed it up for Black people. On the day the President was to make his major jobs speech in September, Waters complained that the first Black President has not shown enough love to African-Americans. “There are roughly 3 million African Americans out of work today, a number nearly equal to the entire population of Iowa. I would suggest


that if the entire population of Iowa, a key state on the electoral map and a place that served as a stop on the president’s jobs bus tour were unemployed, they would be mentioned in the president’s speech and be the beneficiary of targeted public policy,” Waters told POLTICO, “So, one question to be answered this evening [during the speech] is, are the unemployed in the African-American community, including almost 45 percent of its youth, as important as the people of Iowa?” I guess equality is not in Maxine’s dictionary. 3) Congressman Steve Israel Betrays the Jewish State For Politics The fifth most important Democrat in Congress, who represents part of Long Island, Israel claims to be a huge supporter of the State of Israel and other Jewish causes. His deeds however, do not back up his words. While he has signed letters with other Congressman, not once has he stood up publicly to criticize the Obama administration’s anti-Israel policies. When the President was trying to legitimize the anti-Israel group J Street, Steve Israel obeyed orders and lent his name to the organization so they could recruit more people to its convention, he takes campaign dollars from Parviz Lavi, a man convicted of selling arms to Iran, and supported the very anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street movement. With friends like Steve Israel, who needs enemies? 2. Obama’s Class Warfare Tactics Makes For Good Speeches—But He Isn’t Being Truthful. According to the IRS in 2009 (the last time they released these numbers) households making more than $1 million will paid an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 paid 15 percent of their income in federal taxes, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of

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5 THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772

Ten important political stories that went unreported in 2011

their income in federal taxes and households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent. So what is the president really saying when he says people should pay their fair share. 1. Climategate II Emails Show US and British Gov.s Colluded With Scientists to Suppress Data That Would Disprove Global Warming. Just before Thanksgiving, more than 5,000 emails were leaked online as a follow-up to the first set of Climategate emails released two years ago. The emails written by government officials and some of the world’s leading scientific proponents of the global warming theory show a systemic suppression of evidence, reports being “blessed” even though scientists knew they were using approaches that deviated from scientific procedures and even worse, direction by people in the United States and British Governments to some of those scientists to hide evidence that would dispute the global warming theory. If we are going to enact oppressive climate rules, which will hurt the worldwide economy while spending $37,000,000,000,000 worldwide to clean up “global warming” shouldn’t it be based on real scientific evidence, not selective reports which in aggregate work to sell a theory which at best is unproven, and at worst may very well be the biggest fraud perpetuated on mankind? Those are my top ten, if I had more room there would be another fifty added to the mix. My Mom, of blessed memory, used to say there were three sides to every story, “his, hers, and the truth.” What you generally see in the mainstream media is only one of those sides. You must seek out other sources, such as the Jewish Star for other sides which get you closer to the truth. My Mom, whose birthday was 12/27, would insist on it. Jeff Dunetz is the Editor/Publisher of the political blog “The Lid” ( Jeff contributes to some of the largest political sites on the internet.

December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Parshat Vayigash

Hebrew only please!

What Yaakov feared

A Jewish newspaper should have a Hebrew column. So here it is. We will try to maintain a level of vocabulary so that it will be easy enough for students to read and interesting enough for those more fluent to enjoy.


ere one to examine Yisrael’s attitude towards going to Egypt, it would be hard to convince us that he was apprehensive about the trip. When he heard Yosef was alive and was convinced by the sight of the wagons that he would be reunited with his favorite son, “His spirit became alive. He said, ‘... I will go and see him before I die.’” (45:27-28) And yet, three verses later, after a stopover in Beer Shava to bring offerings to God, Yisrael has a vision in which God tells him, “I am the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt, for it is there that I will make you into a great nation. I will go to Egypt with you, and I will also bring you back again...” (46:3-4) There is no indication that he is afraid of Egypt! What is God talking about? There are different kinds of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of possible outcomes – especially for one’s children, fear of an undesired destination or destiny. One can fear other people, or what the other people might be capable of doing. Many of the commentators raise the idea that Yaakov was aware that with this journey to Egypt the Rabbi Avi Billet years of bondage that Avraham had been promised in Bereishit 15 would commence. The Chizkuni, for example, says that God’s words after “Don’t be afraid” are to assure Yaakov that just as the bondage element of the promise to Avraham would be fulfilled, so would the exodus and the becoming a great nation promises be fulfilled. Others focus on the fears Yaakov harbored over his and his family’s spiritual future. In addition to the fear that he was beginning the exile that had been promised to Avraham, Or HaChaim also mentions Yaakov’s fear that he’d be buried in the impure land. God’s immediate response is the promise that he personally would not be enslaved, nor buried there. “Perhaps Yaakov had designs on going back to Canaan when the famine was over and the trouble passed… this is why he is told not to fear ‘for even the relatively short amount of time you think you’re going to be there,’ because your family will become a great nation in that place.” Along similar lines, the Beis HaLevi puts Yaakov’s fear in terms of his children not being able to be in Egypt and maintain their “kedushah” (holiness). Maybe they’ll become so entrenched in the tumah (impurity) of Egypt, they would not be worthy of being redeemed. God therefore promised not to fear, because He would not let them become completely lost, and if need be He would take them out before their time was up. It is the Seforno, however, who writes what I find to be the most compelling concern. “Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt. Were your children to stay here in Canaan, they would end up marrying the Canaanites and assimilating with them. But in Egypt this will never take place because the Egyptians have their own rules against intermingling with you.”

There are different kinds of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of possible outcomes – especially for one’s children, fear of an undesired destination or destiny. One can fear other people, or what the other people might be capable of doing. Right after this exchange with God, the Torah lists for us the names of the descendants of Yaakov. The Torah does not tell us much about the wives of the sons of Yaakov. One midrashic thought suggests each of the tribes was born with a twin sister who became a wife to one of the tribes. A different line of thinking posits the wives were Canaanite women who embraced the ways of the family of Yaakov – and listing his children here (46:5-27) would alleviate the fear of a family breakdown as it would serve as a strong indicator that this family unit will remain intact. If the latter approach is correct, moving the family to Egypt, away from Canaanite grandparents and relatives might actually be the best thing to happen to Yaakov and his family. Creating their own homogeneous environment that will not be influenced by “distance relatives” or Egypt’s “live and let live, but we will not mingle with you” attitude could, in the end, become the strongest bond in the effort to stem a tide of assimilation and have everyone in the family remain close-by-design in the Goshen area they will soon occupy. Consider this statistic: by 1927 (14 years into the Weimar Republic), more than 44% of Jews in Germany married non-Jews. (The Nazis counted them all as Jews anyway, but nonetheless, it is a staggering number for early 20th century stats, versus current US figures where the number wavers in the 50-plus percent range.) Being in a place like Egypt, therefore, where Egyptian law allowed for engaging in commerce and neighborliness but prohibited assimilating with the Hebrews – wining, dining, and marrying – was a reminder Yaakov desperately needed, and an answer that assuaged his number one fear. The fear of the silent destruction brought on by the loving environment of assimilation is one Yaakov did not need to express. It is constantly in the mind of every parent, and was Avraham’s first concern when he was promised the land (see Seforno, Bereishit 15:8). God therefore assured him that his descendants would not only remain his descendants, maintaining their distinct identity, but they would return one day to the land of their fathers.

Chanukah 1947: the convoy of the “ten”

By Rabbi Noam Himelstein

This week’s Hebrew column is about the story of a convoy attacked in 1947 on the way to Gush Etzion, suffering 10 killed. Rabbi Himmelstein is a Gemara instructor at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem, and lives with his wife and six children in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion.

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.


Wowing your guests right from the start


s a personal chef, I am sometimes asked by clients, to recommend a signature, mouthwatering dish, that is sure to “wow” their guests. Without hesitation, I always offer my favorite appetizer; baby lamb chops in pastry dough smothered in mushroom sauce. This recipe consists of quite a few steps, but the finished product will be well worth the effort. Just ask my good friends, Ira Grosser and Joe Grob. When they are invited to my home for dinner, it’s a given that I’m going to make baby lamb chops wrapped in pastry dough and smothered in onion and mushroom sauce...or else. In my opinion, no single gesture by a host or hostess shows culinary sophistication quite like serving an impressive appetizer. While this recipe may initially sound a bit intimidating, to quote Chef James Beard, “The only thing, that will make a soufflé fall, is if it knows you are afraid of it.” Keep that in mind as you follow these directions.

Judy Joszef

Baby Lamb Chops, Wrapped in Pastry Dough, Served With Mushroom and Onion Sauce Ingredients

■ 10 baby lamb chops, uniform in size ■ 4 round bone shoulder lamb chops ■ 10 pieces of puff pastry frozen dough

dough (3 x 3 inch) can be found in most supermarkets, in a 10 or 36 piece package ■ 10 frilly paper caps to encircle the bone end of the chops (made of white paper), optional ■ 2 pounds fresh mushrooms ■ 5 large onions, peeled and diced ■ 1/8th cup of Mikee garlic, stir-fry and rib sauce ■ 10 sprigs of fresh rosemary ■ garlic powder ■ salt ■ pepper ■ 8 tablespoons Osem mushroom soup and seasoning mix ■ 2 cups cold water

■ 1/4th teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce ■ 1 cup canola oil

Instructions Slice and sautée mushrooms in a small amount of canola oil. When mushrooms are just about done, raise the heat and pour in a tablespoon of the Garlic Sauce and mix thoroughly for a minute. Peel, dice and sautée the onions in canola oil until they are soft and caramelized (about 40 min) Rinse, and pat dry 10 baby lamb chops. Place them on a lightly greased half sheet pan and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Broil, on high for two and a half minutes on each side. Remove from oven and set aside. Rinse and pat dry 4 shoulder lamb chops, place in lightly greased 8 x 11 pan, and brush with Mikee Garlic Stir Fry and Rib sauce. Pour a 1/4th cup of water in the bottom of the pan and cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. After removing them from the oven, keep covered while letting them cool. Once cooled, cut the shoulder lamb chops into small pieces and discard the bones. Set aside. Take the 10 baby lamb chops and “french” the bones. To do this, scrape the meat on the long part of the bone, but leave the main part of the lamb chop meat, intact. You can put the pieces of meat from the bones along with the cut pieces of shoulder lamb chops Assembling the baby lamb chops Keep the puff pastry frozen until you are ready to assemble the lamb chops. They only take about two minutes to defrost. Stretch the dough gently by the sides so that it enlarges the area of the square a bit. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Place a teaspoon of caramelized onions, a tablespoon of mushrooms and a tablespoon of shoulder lamb chop chunks in the center of the dough square. Gently place the baby lamb chop “eye” on top. Fold the pastry dough around the lamb chop, until all the ingredients are covered, but leaving the entire long bone bare. Place chop, seam side down, on a lightly greased half sheet

Photo by Jeremy Pollack Baby Lamp Chops in pastry dough make an elegant first course. pan. Repeat with the remaining 9 baby lamb chops. Place in oven for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees, until till the pastry dough turns a golden brown. You are now ready to prepare the onion and mushroom sauce. Place 8 tablespoons of the Osem mushroom soup and seasoning mix in a pan. Slowly add 2 cups of cold water, while stirring, making sure to smooth out any lumps. Place on a low flame and stir constantly until mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Then add the remaining mushrooms and onions and 1/8th tsp of Kitchen Bouquet. Let simmer for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are serving this dish on Friday night, place lamb chops and mushroom sauce in the warming drawer or on the blech, but not on the hottest part. When ready to serve your appetizer, place the lamb chop in the center of the plate and spoon the sauce on half the pastry portion of the chop, letting it drip down the sides onto the plate. Place a sprig of rosemary in the center of the dough. This dish is sure to appeal to advanced epicures and as well as novices. Enjoy! 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. She may be contacted via email at

Parody punk band tops on YouTube By Sergey Kadinsky If last year’s YouTube viral sensation adapted pop songs prop songs to Jewish holidays in a capella, this year is ranging with rebellion, with music videos by the Groggers posted on nearly everyone’s Facebook profile wall. “It resonates with all of us marginally religious New Yorkers,” said fan Michael Fishman, 32, of Manhattan. “Anyone who’s ever been on a bad shidduch date or tried doing the Upper West Side thing.” Fishman was describing their video “Upper West Side Story,” where front man L.e. Doug Staiman, 23, sings about a neighborhood of high rents, eligible women, and speed-dating accountants. The video, directed by Farrell Goldsmith, was released last September, receiving a boost from the irreverent Heeb Magazine and numerous other sites that parody Jewish life in New York. Staiman grew up in Florida, relocating to Queens five and a half years ago in search of a more active Jewish community. Teaming up with Ari Friedman and Chemy Soibelman, Staiman recruited Goldsmith in May 2010 for the breakout hit “GET,” about a man who refuses to give his wife a Jewish bill of divorce. I think its time to cut your losses And maybe cut the cord Its time to let her go Cause she seems miserable and bored

Courtesy The Groggers

The Groggers bring a punk beat to the Orthodox music scene. “Their music is visual and reaches a lot of people, comical and captivating, and never in a negative way,” said Frum Satire blogger Heshy Fried, 30, who shares Staiman’s

love of punk music and rebellious expression while remaining personally Orthodox. Describing their musical inspirations, Fried and Staiman listed Foo Fighters, Green Day and

Blink182, citing their ability to blend teenage angst, current topics and cultural criticism. Echoing their lyrics, the videos contain comical characters poking fun at Ortohdox life, while keeping a positive message. In the video for “Eishes Chayil,” the protagonist expresses his adoration for his crush by standing outside her window and hiding behind bushes as she passes by. “A good filmmaker is a storyteller, it keeps people interested,” Goldsmith said. “With YouTube, you’re able to see whether people watched the video beginning to end, and they have.” The band’s most recent hits, anonymous Girl, responds to the controversy at Stern College on an anonymous student columnist’s account of a tryst; and The View from the Sink takes the point of view of Matisyahu’s now-shaved beard singing to him about eventually returning to the singer’s face. “My mind works differently,” Staiman said. “Within 10 minutes, I interpret information into a song. I sit down with a guitar and record the idea.” Although the music of the may be too risqué for most synagogues and charity concerts, Staiman expressed confidence in the band’s future. “The reaction to our first video was tremendous,” Staiman said. “We penetrated a market that appreciates honesty.”

THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772

Who’s in the Kitchen

December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772



December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Enlightening the world through communication Chanukah, a festival of hope and joy, is a festival I always look forward to. For eight days, I get more and more excited as the day continues and the next night of Chanukah approaches. While life will always have its share of dark moments, the opportunity to spend a week surrounded by close family and friends, re-telling the story of the miracle of the Jewish people’s survival, against all odds, in their battle against the mighty Greek empire, is always uplifting. Which is why a few years ago, it was a strange feeling to be leaving my family, and dreading the darkness I was sure Chanukah would bring. Thanks to an invitation from a close friend, on the sixth night of Chanukah I found myself on the road from the Maidjanek concentration camp to Warsaw in the darkest place I have ever been. On our way back to Warsaw, we detoured into FROM THE HEART Lublin to visit the desecratOF JERUSALEM ed Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. Established by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the last century, who was the Chief Rabbi of Poland, the yeshiva’s dedication ceremony was attended by fifty thousand people. It was in these halls that thousands of Jews had the chance to discover the joy of the study of Torah. And here as well, the Nazis gathered the Talmudic Library of the Yeshiva Rabbi Binny and transported them to Freedman the market place where they were set on fire, a prelude to the same fate that would soon befall the forty thousand Jews of Lublin. So how does one celebrate Chanukah in such a dark place where, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, only 230 Jews in this area of German occupation survived the war? Where was their miracle? But as much as one cannot be prepared for such emptiness, what really caught us by surprise was what we encountered as we entered one of the smaller classrooms of the Yeshiva. Deep in the heart of Lublin, Jews are re-discovering their past and reconnecting with who they once were. And, to our surprise and amazement, there was a Chanukah party being held in the Yeshiva. There were only twenty or thirty Jews, most of them in their seventies and eighties, a shadow of the once proud Lublin Jewish community which dated back to the fourteenth century, but incredibly, their Chanukah menorahs burned on the window sills. And in the heart of the darkness, we tasted yet again, the incredible light of Jewish survival. This week’s portion, Vayigash, begins with the foreboding of that same darkness we felt in Poland. The sons of Ya’acov, after buying their food to stave off the famine in Canaan, and redeeming their brother Shimon, who had been held hostage in Egypt, were finally on their way home in high spirits, assuming their ordeal was behind them. Much like the Jews of Europe in the nineteen twenties, who assumed they had finally come out of the darkness of Feudal anti-Semitism into the light of democracy and enlightenment, the storm that came upon them took them completely by surprise. One minute they were headed home with food and the anticipation of a reunion with their father, and the next minute, having been overtaken by the King’s guards who discovered the stolen goblet in the possession of Binyamin, they were back in the darkness of Egypt, standing before the Viceroy of Pharaoh (whom they do not recognize as Joseph), awaiting their fate. Yehudah, in his finest hour, rises to the challenge and succeeds in communicating to the ‘Viceroy’ just how painful the loss of yet another son (and especially Binyamin, the only surviving son of Rachel) would be for their father Ya’acov. And in this moment, somehow, Joseph can finally bear the deception no longer and reveals at last who he really is to the brothers: “Ani Yosef! Ha’od avi’ chai?” “I am Joseph! Does my father yet live?” (Bereishit (Genesis) 45:3) “Ve’lo yachlu’ echav la’anot oto’ ki’ nivhalu’ mi’panav.” “And his brothers could not respond to him for they were in shock before him.” (ibid) However one wonders what Joseph, who un-

til now had executed what seems to be a carefully planned series of events to lead the brothers to this moment, was thinking when exclaiming the first words he uttered as the ‘newly reborn’ Joseph, long lost brother? It is easy to understand why Joseph re-introduces himself to his brothers by saying: “I am Joseph!” But why does he then add “Does my father yet live?” Especially considering the fact that Yehudah’s entire plea for the release of Binyamin was based on the fact that Ya’acov would surely die, not to mention the fact that the brothers had already told Joseph that their father was alive, on various occasions. (42:13) It would be difficult to imagine that Joseph, hungry for details of his previous life would have missed the obvious fact that Ya’acov, despite his age, was still alive, especially it seems that this fact was part of what motivated Joseph to finally reveal himself to his brothers in the first place! It is also interesting to note that Joseph does not even wait for an answer to his question regarding whether his father still lives, but immediately proceeds (45:4-13) to give a speech to his brothers which includes telling them to hurry and tell their father that he (Joseph) yet lives, and bring Ya’acov down to Egypt, making it clear that he knows that Ya’acov is still alive! Clearly, Joseph knew that his father Ya’acov was alive, which must lead us to conclude that this question of Joseph’s (“Does my father yet live?”) actually had a different intent. Indeed, the Abarbanel suggests that Joseph did not actually ask this question in order to ascertain that Ya’acov was indeed alive, but in fact: “Ke’dei le’hikanes imam be’d’varim.” “In order to enter into conversation with them.” (Abarbanel Bereishit (Genesis) 45:3) This comment, however, seems to be even more puzzling: after twenty two years, given the opportunity at last to confront the brothers who sold him as a slave, as well as the chance to hug his long lost brother Binyamin, Joseph is looking for a topic of conversation? Perhaps this ‘conversation’ is meant to represent the solution to the problem, the opportunity to fix the mistakes that led to the catastrophe referred to here. Indeed, it might be suggested that the root of what went wrong was a lack of communication; an inability to communicate. One of the fascinating questions in the story of Joseph is why, in all the time he was in Egypt, and especially once he rose to a position of power as Viceroy, he never even attempted to contact his father Ya’acov, an innocent bystander in this whole affair. How could he let Ya’acov, who loved

him so much, suffer all these years without even a simple letter or message? And while there are many responses, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun’s article on this topic (Megadim vol.1) has always captured my imagination: What if the question is not: ‘why did Joseph not contact Ya’acov’, but rather: why did Ya’acov not contact Joseph? All those years in the slave pits of Egypt, one wonders how long it took Joseph to realize his father was not even looking for him. After all, the grandson of Abraham certainly had enough connections to inquire about a simple Jewish slave. Perhaps at first Joseph was waiting for Ya’acov to come and rescue him, and then he must have started wondering why Ya’acov wasn’t coming. And maybe eventually he began to assume that just as his great-grandfather Abraham had sent away his son Yishmael, and grandpa Yitzchak had lost Eisav from the Jewish fold, perhaps, in the conflict with the brothers he too was simply sent away? After all, why else would Ya’acov have sent him out all alone, to the fields to find the brothers? Indeed, at a certain point one might assume Joseph had finally let go, and put his past to rest, in order to get on with the business of living. And in fact, if one looks closely at the final speech Yehuda makes before Joseph finally reveals himself, Yehuda recounts the story of the brother who was ‘lost’ because he was “Tarof Toraf”, “Torn to pieces(by an animal)”.( 44:29) This may well be the first time Joseph has ever heard that the brothers lied to their father claiming Joseph was killed by an animal. And all of a sudden, everything changes. And maybe this is why Joseph asks “is my father alive?” as if to say: ‘You mean my father is still alive, and never abandoned me all these years?’ And maybe the enormity of the tragedy, and all the lost years finally lands on Joseph’s shoulders as he realizes that all of this was really about the brothers not being able to communicate. It was about Joseph not understanding the brothers’ pain at seeing their father favor him, and the brothers not understanding Joseph’s loneliness after his mother Rachel died, and Ya’acov not being able to hear his sons’ feelings of rejection and jealousy…. And perhaps, as this message dawns on Joseph, he realizes that it is time to reopen the channels of conversation. And so, in the moment of his greatest triumph, recognizing how painful it must be for the brothers to confront their victim, he has the opportunity to begin again the conversation that was lost so long ago. And, switching the subject, the conversation Joseph begins is not about himself, or even about the brothers, but rather about their common purpose, as given by Hashem, and their shared love for their father Ya’acov. At which point not only does Joseph declare

who he is but the brothers discover that the Joseph they thought they had lost has come home. Something about her caught my eye. She was sitting at a table in the corner, in that classroom in Lublin, and her eyes kept glancing at the lights of the Chanukah Menorah. I could not imagine an eighty year old woman in Lublin not having a story, so I went over to sit down, and through a translator, met a modern day Josephine. Mara was seventeen when the Holocaust raged through Poland in 1939, but she was one of the lucky ones, and was smart enough to escape into the deep forests near the Russian border. Eventually, she managed to join a Partisan group, where her specialty was laying explosives on railroad lines and blowing up German trains. Eventually, she married the leader of the Partisan group and after the war they made a home in Poland. Her husband passed away nine years ago, in 1995, and in all that time, over fifty years, she never told a soul that she was Jewish. From the day she escaped into the forests she knew she could not share her identity; even if the Germans didn’t find her, many of the Polish and Ukrainian Partisans hated the Jews and would not hesitate to kill her if it became known she was a Jew. So, for all those years, Mara, like Joseph, was lost to the Jewish people. And today, with the demise of Communism, and sixty years after the Nazis were defeated, Mara, like many of her fellow hidden Jews, is coming out of the Polish woodwork to reclaim her Jewish identity. We often think when we light the Chanukah candles, that we are recalling an ancient miracle of survival, long forgotten by the rest of the world. But in Eastern Europe, as in Israel, the miracle of the light that would not be extinguished lives on, and Jews are finding their fellow Jews and opening up once again the long lost channels of communications. Today, more than ever, we need to find ways to listen to each other, to talk with each other and to find ways, together, from our very many different perspectives, to bring the light into the world that so many would have destroyed. Nearly four thousand years ago, a small band of brothers embraced and wept as they reclaimed the past they thought they had lost, simply because they lost the ability to talk to each other. May we all find the strength and the wisdom to find ways to share and to speak, to perceive and to rejoice, all of us, together. Shabbat Shalom. Rav Binny Freedman, Rosh Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem’s Old City is a Company Commander in the IDF reserves, and lives in Efrat with his wife Doreet and their four children. His weekly Internet ‘Parsha Bytes’ can be found at


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This week, HAFTR High School has been in a celebratory mood. From Chanukah to several impressive college acceptances, high school students have enjoyed a week of excitement and fun. To many students, including myself, an important benefit of Chanukah is a week free of tests. In addition to instituting this perk, school administrators, along with the student government, planned wonderful Chanukah trips and activities. Last Wednesday, the entire student body visited Aviator Sports, an enormous sports complex with basketball courts, ice skating rinks, and turf fields. Student treasurer JusAvery Feit tin Merkin explains, “We knew students would love Aviator. We have been going there for the past several years and students have enjoyed it in the past.” The rest of the week students continued to enjoy Chanukah activities including a boys student-teacher basketball game, during which the students promptly defeated the teachers. Immediately following the basketball game, the teachers defeated the students in an exciting student-teacher college bowl match. The students may have had an edge

THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772

HAFTR highlights

Photo courtesy of HAFTR

HAFTR’s junior Varsity College Bowl team hoists the first place trophy. From left to right: Josh Lederer, Daniel Green, Matthew Goldstein, Avery Feit, Chaviva Freedman, Aliza Blond, (top) Max Lent, and Austin Feit in athletics but the teachers proved superior in academics, as we expected they would. However, the sting the student college bowl team felt owing to their defeat at the hands of the teachers did not linger very long. On Thursday Afternoon, the junior varsity college bowl team won the first place prize at a RAMBAM college bowl invitational event. HAFTR continued its Chanukah festivities on Tuesday as the girls varsity and junior varsity basketball teams faced off against their teachers in another student-teacher event. Following the game, students were offered free sufganiyot. Lastly, to cap off the chag, students enjoyed all you can eat sushi on Wednesday.

On the subject of college acceptances, HAFTR High School seniors received several impressive acceptances from prestigious universities including Adelphi University, Boston University, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Long Island University, NYIT, NYU, NYU-Poly, Princeton University, Rutgers University, University of Hartford, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, HAFTR High School juniors have begun their college application process. On Monday, December 19, HAFTR’s college guidance department held their annual college night, in which students heard from HAFTR’s college advisors, a HAFTR senior

who described her experiences applying to college, and an NYU admissions officer, who was especially helpful in discussing exactly what colleges look for in an application. As a junior beginning to contemplate university choices, I can testify that college night was an event especially helpful in teaching students what is needed for the college application process. Chanukah is easily one of the most fun weeks of the school year. We are grateful to the administration and the student government for the especially outstanding Chanukah activities that were planned. We would also like to congratulate the seniors who have received their college acceptances.

A different kind of beer I

love celebrating the secular New Year and I enjoy partaking in bubbly. New Year’s, above other holidays, tends to demand a more refined beverage for toasting to the years conclusion. That is why there is more champagne purchased in the month of December than any other time of the year. But what if you don’t like champagne? Perhaps you’re not a wine drinker or you just don’t want to shell out the money required to purchase one of the better bottles of kosher champagne. What THE KOSHER then? Luckily there is an excellent opCRITIC tion that is delicious, affordable and more than refined enough for New Year’s Eve consumption and that option is brought to us from the most unlikely of places: a brewery. Samuel Adams has long been making their trademark Boston Lager but lately the good people at the Boston Beer Company have been stepping up their game by experimenting with a number of small batch brews. These experiments have lead Sam Adams to begin putting out limited runs of seasonal beers that are each unique, inZechariah Mehler novative and truly delicious. This year I found myself lucky enough to find a bottle of the limited holiday release, Infinium just in time for New Years. The Sam Adams Infinium is collaboration between the Boston beer Company and Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery, located in Bavaria. Infinium is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot beer purity laws which state that only four traditional ingredients, water, hops, malt and yeast be used in making the beer. Despite being rooted in brewing law going back over five centuries, Sam Adams and Weihenstephan utilize modern brewing techniques to craft the Infinium into Bière de Champagne or quite literally translated a Champagne Beer. Champagne beers differ from standard beers in

that they are matured over a longer period of time and go through the same process of removing yeast from the bottle that is employed in Champagne manufacturing. This method results in a more finely carbonated beer that has a mouth feel more akin to sparkling wine then ale. The Infinium specifically has a very delicate carbonation that serves to enhance the overall flavor of the beer. Once poured, the Infinum has a deep amber color with a light cream-colored head of delicate foam. Its scent is earthy with just a hint of apples and an herbal spiciness. The taste however, is what I found to be the most magnificent thing about this beer. It manages to be rich and bold with a fantastic malty flavor like good German ale but at the same time it is sharp and citrusy in the way that good champagne is. Though this would seem to be a dichotomy, Infinium manages to meld the two spectrums flawlessly. What makes Infinium even better is the fact that it is 10.3% alcohol by volume, which is high for a beer but about standard for champagne. The richness of the malt mellows the intensity of the alcohol’s flavor, making Infinium an exceptionally drinkable, albeit potent, beer. I will admit that normally I am not in love with Sam Adams and their various beers but I am hard pressed in this instance to call the Infinium anything but a triumph. I can see where many beer purists would find it to be cloying in its attempt to be a beer that mimics champagne but honestly, that is one of the things I like about it. It is enormously different (in a good way) from most other beers out there and thus deserves a fair shake. Infinium is being sold in very limited quantities so if you’re interested in trying it you need to check Sam Adams website to locate a retailer near you that has bottles in stock. Regardless of what you’re drinking to send off the year 2011, have a Happy New Year. See you in 2012.

Zechariah Mehler is a widely published food writer and expert in social marketing. Follow him on Twitter @thekoshercritic

Dec. 31 Melave Malka Reception A MELAVE MALKA is being held on Motzei Shabbos, December 31 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Shabse Fuchs at 18 Lord Avenue in Lawrence. The reception will begin at 8:00 p.m. and the formal program will begin at 9:00 p.m. Keynote address by Horav Yisroel Reisman. For more information call 718-941-8000 or email admin@torahvodaath. org

Broadway and 49th street in NYC. The dinner will be honoring Cheryl & Dr. Mendy Markowitz, Melanie & Tov Marmer and Leigh & Daniel Waxman. For more information call 201-530-0210 or visit




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

Calling all Senior Song Birds THE JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS, located at 270 Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst, hosts a choir for seniors every Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. for a joyful hour of singing with choir master Zvi Klein. We sing songs in all languages and we perform for local venues. There is a $5.00 optional contribution requested per session. For information please call Sheryl at 516-569-6733 x222.

Jan. 1 SKA 2011 Production SKA PRESENTS the show “Bereishet,” or “In the Beginning,” On Sunday January 1 at 4:00 pm. The show will be held at Lawrence High School. Ticket prices are $5 for eighth graders, $15 for SKA students, $18 for all students, and $20 for adults. Email to reserve tickets.

Support group THE JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS will sponsor a new support group for the economically challenged as a result of the economic downturn. Key themes will include unemployment, financial issues, empowerment and support. Please join us on Thursday mornings at 10:15 a.m. at Temple Israel, 140 Central Ave, Lawrence until January 20th. This group is part of Connect to Care, an initiative funded by UJAFederation of NY. For further information and to pre-register, please contact Talia Rapps, L.M.S.W. at 516-569-6733 x213.

Jan. 6 Parenting Resource Network FRIEDBERG JCC, located at 15 Neil Court in Oceanside, is holding a lecture sponsored by Parenting Resource network, on the topic “Parenting with Outside Influences.” The presentation will be given by parenting coach Erika Stroh of Parent From the Heart. The free event begins at 10:00 a.m. For more information, contact 516-634-4192.

Jan. 7 Concert JEWISH MUSIC AT THE PLAYHOUSE is holding a concert featuring the band 8th day, on January 7, Motzei Shabbos, at 8:00 p.m. There will be a special guest performance by Eli Marcus. Tickets are being sold at for $25, $45, $74 or $180 VIP package, which includes meeting the artists. The event will take place at the Hofstra Playhouse and at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at 118 Hofstra University in Hempstead. All proceeds go to charity to benefit the Friendship Circle of West Hempstead.

Dinner Melave Malka JEWISH EDUCATION PROGRAM (JEP) of Long Island Camp Nagila is holding a dinner Melave Malka on Saturday evening, January 7th at 8:30 pm in the

Photo by Isabel Slepoy

Membership Drive

Rabbi Mochem Tenenboim of Young Israel of Hewlett lights the 5-foot ice Menorah at the Chanukah on Ice event at the Grand Park Skating Rink. Lawrence Country Club. The event is being held in tribute of 25 years of the Suri Schwartz Jewish Individualized Learning (JIL) Institute. The dinner is $200 per person. For more information, call 516-374-1528 or visit

Jan. 8 Breakfast Reception YESHIVAS NEFESH DOVID, The International Yeshiva High School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is holding a breakfast reception with the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Kakon on Sunday Morning. The breakfast will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Yoni Kutner at 9 Harborview West in Lawrence. The reception begins at 10:00 a.m. and will feature guest speaker Rabbi Eli Mansour. For more information call 416-630-6220, email or visit www.nefeshdovid. com

THE SUBURBAN PARK JEWISH CENTER, located at 400 Old Westbury in East Meadow, is conducting a membership drive. The Jewish Center has the lowest membership dues in the area and membership includes free Hebrew School tuition and free High Holy Days tickets. There is no building fund and special discounts are offered to new members. For more information, call the synagogue at 516-796-8833.

Yeshiva Darchei Torah 39th Annual Dinner YESHIVA DARCHEI TORAH is holding its 39th annual dinner on Sunday January 8th at Terrace on the Park. The dinner is honoring Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Brecher, Mr. and Mrs. Aron Solomon, Rabbi and Mrs. Shlomo Pfeiffer, Rabbi and Mrs. Shloime Eisen, Mr. and Mrs. Yosef Goldberg, and Mr. and Mrs. Franklyn Snitow. For more information, call 718-868-2300 ext. 237 or email dinner@darchei. org

Movement class for special needs THE JCC OF THE GREATER FIVE TOWNS offers “Movement with Mary Moshos,” a class for children with special needs ages 5 and up, designed to enhance interaction with the environment through work with music, bubbles, and various textures. Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30pm at the JCC, 207 Grove Avenue, Cedarhurst. 12 sessions/$240. Please call Sharona Arbeit at 516569-6733 x218 for more information.

Jan. 16 Beit Orot Annual Dinner BEIT OROT is having its annual dinner on Monday Evening, January 16th at 6:00 p.m. It will take place at The Crowne Plaza Times Square at


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December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR



Making the right adjustment


finally conquered a very old fear. You may find it laughable that for a long while I harbored a terror of unicellular fungi, aka, yeast, but how that fear held me back! I have been cooking since my late teens, hosting friends at my parents’ house whenever they were away for an evening. When I got married I continued inviting family and friends for meals, cooking in our apartment’s tiny kitchen. You don’t need a fancy or big kitchen to cook, and I managed to turn out plentiful food in a galley with a miniscule refrigerator and essentially zero counter space. As our family grew, so did the opportunities for preparing feasts. Birthdays, Shabbat and holidays are cause for celebratory repasts. We subsequently moved to bigger apartments with normal size kitchens, so preparing and storing ingredients became easier. I cooked soups, stews, lasagnas and fish dishes, concocted salads and dips. They were mostly vegetarian with the occasional fleishig meal to satisfy the masses. I was happy about what we ate, but something was missing. And I don’t mean meat! Though I did more of my fair share of cooking, the one thing I did not do was bake. Instead, I frequented local bakeries for fresh breads, pastries and cakes. But as our kids were growing up I wanted to share the joy of scraping the mixing bowl with a spatula and licking it clean. I wished for our house to be filled with the delicious aroma of fresh-baked anything. Occasionally I resorted to buying Duncan Hines brownies or chocolate chip cookie mixes. I got my kids to crack some eggs, measure oil, stir and MIRIAM’S MUSINGS taste and called it baking but I knew deep down that I was really a poser! I like perusing cook books, reading recipes, and ooh-ing and aah-ing at photos of beautiful dishes. I have amassed a small collection, from the iconic wedding gift book Spice and Spirit to the Suzie Fishbein series, the Moosewood vegetarian books and more. I’ve always enjoyed cooking shows and fondly remember Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet. I watch some cooking shows now for relaxation, including No ReserMiriam Bradman vations, Iron Chef and anything Italian. Abrahams It doesn’t matter what they’re cooking or whether it’s something I’d ever consider eating, it’s just pleasurable watching others discuss and prepare interesting food. I’ve attended many types of cooking classes: the local ones during sisterhood events at designer kitchens in back Lawrence, challah baking events at Chabad, and the pricey professional classes on Macy’s 8th floor. I eagerly watch the chefs, enjoy tasting what was made and take home the printed recipes to try out at home. I usually end up just sticking them in the bulging file in my recipe shelf. You know how it is; we tend to make the same things over and over; those dishes you barely have to think about as you cook them and are a hit every time. But eventually they do get old and it’s time to find something new to dazzle the taste buds. Preparing a new dish requires careful reading and shopping for ingredients. The process requires the chef’s full attention in order to execute perfectly the rules of the recipe; it calls for not only following the directions, but taking care to not purposefully veer away from them (which is something I tend to do.) I figure it won’t really hurt the dish if I substitute cumin for curry powder, or leave out an ingredient I think is superfluous. These substitutions may work perfectly well for soups and stews even if it’s your first time making it. But I always knew it wouldn’t work for baking. Baking is alchemy and art. My problem is that I’m neither a wizard nor an artist (that’s my oldest son’s job!) And what about the dreaded yeast? Real bread requires mastering that magical ingredient which is a mystery to me. The bread failing to rise could spoil your entire effort. It requires precise measurements, not “throw in a little of this and a pinch of that,” at least not for the novice. My only attempts at baking include yeast-less banana or corn breads and Pesach “breads,” those fake rolls made from matza meal and eggs which are only tasty fresh from the oven (with a bit of honey they are actually delicious!) For a few years these Pesach rolls were the only thing my middle child would eat on the holiday. I spent hours baking these rolls each morning to take on our family Chol Hamoed adventures. A little while later, I attempted making flour-less chocolate brownies to enhance Pesach’s meager options. No yeast in those, and yet they were yummy. I be-

Ask Aviva

Dear Aviva, I’m 20 years old and I grew up in a Modern Orthodox family. I went to Yeshiva in Israel for two years and became much more right-wing than my family. Now that I’m back, I’m finding it very difficult to adjust. I go to a local college and live at home. I have a Chavrusa and learn as much as I can when I’m not in school. My parents are questioning everything I do and are not happy about how I live. I’m thinking about just moving out and getting an apartment, but that would require that I also get a job. I know that my grades will suffer and that I will not be able to learn as much. I also want to know how to move out without making it look like I am cutting ties with my parents. -Religious Returnee

Dear Religious Returnee,

gan to dream that perhaps I could attempt bread someday. About two years ago, I heard about Jim Lahey’s “noknead bread-in-a-pot” recipe and was intrigued. Kneading and punching down dough scared me; it seemed to require lots of strength that I simply didn’t have. Mark Bittman, the “minimalist” of the NY Times, highlights simple, forgiving recipes in his column and raved about this revolutionary bread baking method. I felt I was not alone in my quest for an easy, bread fix. I signed up for a group class with Mr. Lahey and approached him to sign my book. I told him my fears and he wrote, “Be not afraid to try because your effort is just as important as your results.” I was struck by the sincerity and simplicity of this. All I had to do was buy a cast iron pot and try. I was really motivated now; the approaching winter made me crave comfort food and the aroma of baking bread would fulfill that need. I bought the heavy pot, dry yeast and bread flour. I already owned salt and water. Three ingredients didn’t seem scary at all. I followed the easy recipe which was mostly about preparing the dough the night before and not overdoing the kneading. I placed the dough in the preheated pot in the oven, first covered, then uncovered. Forty minutes later I opened the door and took out a beautiful rounded haimish loaf of bread. I felt incredibly proud of my accomplishment and could not believe I had done it! I was in a bread-baking frenzy as I baked loaf after loaf, day after day, shocked each time to see how easy this was. My family happily enjoyed my manic bread-breaking spree as long as it lasted. Now I was hungry for more and had to try baking challah. I wanted to be able to recite the bracha while accomplishing this feat. One snowy homebound day I tried a recipe which called for the entire 5 lb bag of flour. It was overwhelming and disastrous. My fingers literally couldn’t handle that amount of dough, flour flew everywhere, and the dough became a bread rock. Then a friend shared her recipe that produces only 2 challot at a time. I followed that recipe carefully and voila, it worked! Our house smelled delicious and I could finally call myself a baking beginner! I slowly became more adventurous adding seeds to the mix and toppings to my loaves, but I never veer from the basic formula. There are infinite new things to try in this world, but it’s safer to stay with what you know. Sometimes it’s a bread whisperer to help you conquer your fear and sometimes it’s your growling stomach that will push you to the edge! Miriam Bradman Abrahams is Cuban born, Brooklyn bred and lives in Woodmere. She organizes author events for Hadassah, reviews books for Jewish Book World and is very slowly writing her father’s immigration story. She is teaching yoga at Peaceful Presence Yoga Studio.

It’s not easy coming back. You were independent, living life as you wanted, making your own new choices that were not questioned by anyone. Now is the test to see how strong you are. Can your new choices stand up to being questioned? Are there times when you need to be flexible and let things slide for the sake of the bigger picture? Do you still continue with your new way of life even in the face of skepticism? And, can you maintain what you stand up for while still maintaining respect for those who are questioning you? These are questions that tell us how emotionally developed a person is. It’s easy to revert to the adolescent behavior of “Don’t tell me what to do!” when we are faced with our parents’ disapproval. But, we may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater when we globally dismiss any disapproval they offer. It is important to sit down and tell your parents that you see that they are not gung-ho for your new lifestyle, and you are wondering why that is. If things get heated, remember to do the right thing and take a break from the conversation. Nothing good can come of it when the veins in your neck are throbbing against the backdrop of your booming shouts, you know? It could be that they may not understand where you are coming from, and they may be lumping you together with some black-hats who have made a bad impression on them. Or, it could be that as normal parents, they are noticing some things that concern them. These concerns may be very valid and may be worth noting, even if you choose not to heed their advice. To see the other side of things, check out Ask Aviva: Too Frum for the Family from December 29, 2010 at That piece was about a mother who was concerned about her son who had returned from Israel much more religious than he was when he left. It would be good to read it, since it’s not written from your actual mother. Now, about this idea of moving out, or “launching”: It’s very important to gain independence around this stage of your life. I want to make sure that you are leaving for the right reasons. If you would rather get out of there before talking openly to your parents, then I am worried. I want to see you grow up a little bit before you go through the motions of growing up. If you come to the decision that it is best for you to move out, involve your parents. I don’t know what the dynamic is. Are they digging their claws into you and will freak out if you start creeping toward the door? Or are they the type who has valued your independence and growth since you were younger? Either way, present it to them so that it is clearly not about them constricting you. Something like, an apartment closer to college, or being part of the social scene, or trying your hand at more responsibilities can be more innocuous reasons for leaving. Make sure that you don’t burn any bridges with your parents. The first thing a passenger needs to know before take-off is where the emergency exits are. Where does your emergency exit lead to? -Aviva Aviva Rizel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Lawrence. She can be reached at 347-2928482 or

THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772

Breaking Bread

December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


Atlantic Beach surfers ride the charitable wave

Collecting surfboards for Israeli donation By JEFF BESSEN Inspired by the film documentary “White Wash” that tells the story of surfing through the lives of black surfers in Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida and California, Atlantic Beach residents Oran Bendelstein and Mike Urra decided to collect old, used surfboards and donate them to economically disadvantaged children in Israel. Bendelstein, 30, co-owner of clothing company, and Urra, 25, a care coordinator for adults with disabilities, realized they had many more surfboards than they needed and began collecting their older boards and some from friends. Their goal is to collect at least 40 boards. Currently they have 25. “They are extra boards, used boards that we had lying around collecting dust,” said Bendelstein, who donated X boards. Through Zula Clothing, the Manhattanbased business owned by Bendelstein and his brother Meyer, the charity program is partnering with Israeli-based Beach House, a surf shop in the city of Natanya. In cooperation with Blitz Manufacturing, an Israeli company that produces surfboards, the donated boards will be repaired. Beach House will reach out to the community and give the boards to children of families who otherwise couldn’t one. In April, Bendelstein and Urra plan on traveling to Israel and conduct a weeklong surfing clinic for the children who received the surfboards. Plans also call for a local artist who specializes in

Courtesy Oran Bendelstein

Atlantic Beach residents Oran Bendelstein, left, and Mike Urra, are collecting used surfboards and donating them to economically disadvantaged children in Israel. surfboard art to paint a design chosen by the child on the board. “We are giving back to a place we love and really connect to,” said Urra, who donated

seven boards. Bendelstein, the youth director of the Jewish Center in Atlantic Beach and Urra, a member of the Atlantic Beach Rescue Squad have run a couple of surfing camps in

Atlantic Beach, including one called “Little Fish” named in honor of Urra’s sister Nicole Pescepto, who died at 31 of cancer in 2008. They also ran the Joe V Surfboard camp a few years ago. “In Israel it’s different than here, surfboards are expensive and you can’t afford one unless you are pretty well off,” Urra said. Introduced to the sport through a friend a decade ago, Bendelstein said he loved it from the beginning and hasn’t stopped surfing. Though married with two children now he continues to surf no matter the season. “I pretty much was eating, breathing and dreaming surfing and still do to this day,” said Bendelstein, who added he surfs in the summer and the winter. Surfing since he was 4-years-old, Urra was placed on a “big, old dirty board,” 10feet in length by his brother Dave Pescepto. “He held my hands and made me stand up,” said Urra, who was always being given his brother’s used boards. Bringing the experience of riding the waves children who may not otherwise receive an opportunity to do so and having people come together through surfing is Bendelstein’s main mission. “I believe that surfing is more than just riding waves and fun, it’s a way of connecting to the world, he said. “When your surfing, all the world’s problems are gone and there is no such thing as race. Your skin color doesn’t matter and religion doesn’t cause any differences between people.”

Yeshiva University Basketball

Looking back, past teammates reconnecting and scoring big By Jerry Joszef On December 18, Yeshiva University hosted an event in honor of past Yeshiva University Mac captains during the halftime of a basketball game between the current YU Macs and the St. Joseph College Bears at the beautiful Mac home gym on Wilf Campus. Though I have attended numerous Mac games over the past few years, this was the first time that my teammates and I were able to once again step on the court to officially represent Yeshiva University basketball. When I played basketball for Yeshiva University way back in the 70’s, my teammates and I had been veritable nomads practicing and playing home games at a myriad of venues and locations throughout Manhattan and Queens neighborhoods. Our team reflected both an integrated group of dedicated players as well as a metaphoric tribe of 20th Century wandering Jews searching for a homeland and playing in virtual exile, as we had no home. We were led by a man, Coach Johnny Halpert, who I have learned to greatly appreciate and admire for his dedication and commitment to our team, to Yeshiva University, and ultimately to each one of us as individuals. He showed me leadership and understanding as he led us during the time of the complex Vietnam/post-60’s period. He was a model of consistency and integrity that respected us as individual players notwithstanding our won-loss record which did not reflect both his and our hard work, sacrifice, and unmitigated dedication to our team and to Yeshiva University. The day turned out to be really special; well beyond what I could possibly have imagined or expected.

Photo by Judy Joszef

Robert Rosenbloom, Jerry Joszef, Alan Lochspeiser, Bruce Wenig, Mark Hoenig, Sol Genuth Seeing teammates who I had not seen for many years precipitated a richness of emotions. Gratitude, friendship, laughter and memories swirled intermittently throughout the day and provided me with a window to re-explore an incredibly wonderful and meaningful period in my life. I was fortunately able to see teammates such as Sol Genuth (my Co-Captain ) , Robert Rosenbloom(Rosey), Mark (Witzy ) Hoenig , David Kufeld , Alan Lochspeiser, and especially Bruce Wenig as I had not seen Bruce since I graduated Yeshiva. I was very lucky to be accompanied by my wonderful wife Judy, as well as my children and grandchildren. It really doesn’t get much better than that. I was especially happy for the current

Photo Courtsey of Yeshivah University Alumni Affairs Office

Team photo from 1977 edition of Yeshivah University’s Masmid yearbook provides past teammates with an emotional reunion on the hardwood. generation of Yeshiva University Macs as they have a beautiful home gym and facility in which to practice and play and the opportunity to experience the thrill of playing in front of a gym full of fans. They are especially lucky to be coached and mentored by

Coach Halpert. It was one of those days that made an indelible impression and somehow touched and integrated the past, the present and the future. As I said, it doesn’t get much better than that.


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News from Rambam Mesivta Saluting Our Troops Students at Rambam Mesivta are imbued with the message that we are fortunate to live in a Medinas Chesed and owe a tremendous amount of hakarat hatov to this great country. On the most fundamental level we must serve as loyal citizens and be meticulous in our observance of the laws of the land. Ideally, we should be model citizens and our moral and ethical conduct should be beyond reproach. We have the obligation and opportunity to create a tremendous Kiddush Hashem amongst our neighbors. It was with that message in mind that a group of 15 students from Rambam Mesivta visited a veteran’s hospital in Queens New York. The students volunteered their time to visit elderly soldiers who have served our country during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In addition to bonding with the servicemen and communicating their sense of appreciation, the students brought goody bags and toiletries for the soldiers they visited. Students and servicemen paired off in groups for various board game challenges against each other. A Jeopardy type competition called upon the student - soldier teams to demonstrate their knowledge of American






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Rambam students expressing hakarat hatov to veterans in area hospitals. history. Both the students and the servicemen were impressed with the proficiency that they mutually possessed in the heritage and history of our country. Students gained insight into the challenges and sacrifices that these soldiers made and walked away with a greater appreciation of what our country represents. Soldiers appreciated the caring and sensitivity that the Rambam boys demonstrated and pined for a return visit. Both groups went home at the end of the day enriched and fulfilled with a greater respect and admiration for what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.

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DRS happenings When one walks into DRS during the week of Chanukah, there is a special spirit in the air. One can practically “feel” that Chanukah has begun. The excitement that builds towards the special DRS Chanukah festivities is always tremendous. Already beginning two weeks ago, Chanuka promo videos were playing in the lobbies, and huge posters advertising this year’s events were plastered all over the school. Last Thursday morning, the entire school gathered to celebrate Chanukah in DRS Style. The day began with the annual student council Chanukah Auction in which teachers donate goods and services to be auctioned off to the students. The fun continued with games of Minute to Win it, which pitted students against our maintenance staff and Rabbeim in all sorts of wacky competitions. The festivities ended with the always thrilling, annual Rebbe Talmid Basketball Game, in which the Rebbe lost to the Talmidim in a hard fought contest. The celebration continued this past Tuesday when the students were treated to a special Shlomo Katz Chanukah concert. The Chanukah celebration moved out of the school when each

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DRS students were treated to Chanukah parties at the homes of their Rebbeim. shiur traveled to their Rabbeim’s houses for special Chanukah parties. Chanukah in DRS also always a time for tremendous Chessed opportunities. This year, we had two tremendous Chessed initiatives that were very successful. A company called Challywood sells Challahs of all types of interesting flavors. The boys in school sold Challahs for Tzedakah, and managed to sell 75 of these special Challahs. A tremendous yasher koach goes out to Junior Eli Guttman for organizing the Challah Drive. Senior Joey Biller took initiative in running the Toy Drive this year which raised money for the Ossie Schonfeld Toy Drive Organization. The money raised for the drive is used to buy toys for sick children in hospitals in Eretz Yisroel.

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By Zali Ritholtz

THE JEWISH STAR December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772


Help bring sunshine into the lives of families coping with cancer It costs $6,000 to send a child with cancer to Sunrise Day Camp. Thanks to the generous donations of people like you, we have been able to brighten the lives of hundreds of kids each year. Even a small gift can make a big difference. Sunrise Day Camp is offered free of charge to all children, ages 3 1/2 -16, being treated for cancer and their siblings on a non-sectarian basis. Operated by the Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC on the 300-acre Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights, Long Island, Sunrise Day Camp is the only dedicated day camp in the nation for children with cancer and their siblings.

Where children with cancer find a new beginning every day... WPlease clip this form and mail to the address below W

Here’s my tax-deductible gift in the amount of (please check one): P$10









Buys arts and crafts supplies

Buys kids’ snacks and treats

Buys sporting goods and equipment

Pays for transp. to camp

Pays for medical supplies

Pays for special programs

Pays for half camp session

Pays for full camp session

Pays for days of fun for every lucky camper

3 easy ways to contribute

Thank you! Please print your information:

1. Credit Card

Name ___________________________________________________

Card No.______________________________ Exp. Date ______

Address _________________________________________________

Card Code_________ Signature __________________________ 2. Check payable to Sunrise Day Camp.

City/State/Zip _____________________________________________

3. Make your contribution online at

Phone _______________ E-mail _______________________________

Send contribution to Sunrise Day Camp, Development Office, 15 Neil Court, Oceanside, NY 11572.

P My (or my spouse’s) employer has a matching gift program. Please enclose employer’s matching gift form with your donation.


December 30, 2011 • 4 TEVET, 5772 THE JEWISH STAR


December 30, 2011  

The Jewish Star December 30, 2011