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No Jewish child shall ever be left behind by Harry Graber
“When I took the job of UJFT president, I made a promise to myself that I would never do anything to weaken our community, but only to make it stronger and I would never let a lack of funds prevent a Jewish child and family from experiencing the wonders our people and our community have to offer,” says Alvin Wall. “That is why I am pleased to announce in cooperation with the Simon Family JCC and Tidewater Jewish Foundation that no Jewish child will be turned away and unable to attend the JCC day camp this summer because of a lack of a family’s ability to pay.” It is understood that it is the job of a strong Jewish community to make sure that each succeeding generation be prepared to take its place in Jewish history. Such preparation requires a strong Jewish identity and support of the institutions and
vehicles needed to build and reinforce that vital sense of communal and individual self esteem. Tidewater has been such a community for many generations and must be so for many generations to come. The correlation between a Jewish summer camp experience and a positive Jewish identity has been repeated in study after study. Children who attend Jewish camps are not only more likely to have an increased Jewish identity, but tend to also engage in more Jewish practices, increased Jewish communal volunteer activities and a greater knowledge of and fondness for Israel. Jewish summer camp experiences, combined with Jewish education and Jewish youth group activities, are frequently the prescription for a strong Jewish adult, Jewish family and Jewish community. JCC summer camp is often the springboard for such positive experiences and results according to Professor Steven M.
Cohen, author of the recently completed study, The Jewish Learning Presence in JCC Day Camps: Current Reality and Realizing the Potential. “At a time when fewer Jews maintain friendships with other Jews and when those friendships are critical for building and sustaining Jewish engagement, Jewish day camps bestow Jewish friendships upon campers.” “Jewish day camping offers a young child the opportunity to experience Jewish life in a non-pressured, non-academic setting,” says Helaine Katz, associate executive director at the 92nd St. Y in New York City. “From three years on, a child learns that Jewish is not just something you are, it is something you want to be.” “I am thrilled that we will be shouting from the proverbial rooftops and doing whatever we can to inform all families that a Jewish day camp experience for their child is not beyond their means,” says Wall.
Another view on Zachor Emily Gissen Dreyfus (Jewish News, First Person, March 25, 2013) courageously raises serious issues, which merit the caring response of dialogue. At the core of her admitted “torment” is a genuine quest for Jewish identity’s essence which eludes so many in a complex and confounding post- modern world. In truth, Judaism is about both faith (religion) and fate (history), and the two are intertwined. We do not choose the suffering that time and again has been imposed upon us, though we embrace the path of turning pain into promise and enslavement into redemption with a universal dimension. When transmitting our grand heritage of facts and values we should be mindful indeed of
Upfront . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Obama’s gains from trip to Israel . . . . . 6 Israeli analysis of Obama visit . . . . . . . 7 Miss Israel is Ethiopian-Israeli . . . . . . . 8 Jewish actor fits Mad Men role. . . . . . . 8 CRC hosts interfaith seder . . . . . . . . . . 9 Connie Golden’s path to rabbinate. . . 10 Drive-thru recycling event at JCC . . . 11 JCC ‘s new camp director. . . . . . . . . . 12 First Person: 2013 JCPA Plenum. . . . 12 UVA Hillel revival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 It’s a wrap: shul and school events. . . 14
preserving a proper balance, not allowing our immense martyrdom to overwhelm the abundance of joy in Jewish living and celebration, such as the practice of the weekly Shabbat. We are blessed with an uplifting system of mitzvot to aid us. Yes, at times a Jew is called for the unique and excruciating challenge of simultaneously shedding tears of joy and sorrow. Emily speaks of the Easter Egg Hunt’s sweetness, but let us recall the preceding agonizing image of a bloodied crucified Christ. In addition, our Passover Seder is not only about the bitter marror of oppression, but also the sweet wine of deliverance with our children’s indispensable role in a dramatic reenactment of so much meaning and fun. Of course, the afikoman’s rewarded search is there, too.
Talking about media at Emanuel . . . . Book reviews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . YAD Family Shabbat dinner. . . . . . . . Israel Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Israeli writer speaks at ODU. . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rugs of Love donations soar. . . . . . . . A roadblock to remembering . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Healthy Mediterranean diet . . . . . . . .
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The Holocaust’s monumental tragedy is followed by the unsurpassed elation at Israel’s rebirth, endurance and accomplishments, and the proud standing of American Jewry. Internalizing our history’s trying events as well as those in our lives has a potential to build up character and resolve. Sweetness alone would not suffice. I’m so very proud that the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light) created by Emily’s gifted mother, Linda Gissen, adorns my synagogue’s Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family Sanctuary, sign and symbol of remembrance’s infinite significance. Rabbi Israel Zoberman Congregation Beth Chaverim
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briefs Sara Netanyahu ranked Israel’s most powerful woman by Forbes Sara Netanyahu was ranked Israel’s most powerful woman in a list published by Forbes Israel. Netanyahu beat out international CEOs and politicians on the list of Israel’s 50 most powerful women. “Netanyahu has been placed ahead of impressive women who lead huge companies,” the magazine wrote. “While she does not decide about operations against Iran, lowering the interest rate or real estate reforms, her influence stems mainly from her involvement in the main appointments around the prime minister. “Some sources interviewed by Forbes say that her involvement in appointments does not stop at the prime minister’s office but includes major positions in the state service. ‘She is involved at all levels senior and junior,’ one source said.” Netanyahu was followed in order by Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, CEO of Bank Leumi; Shari Arison, head of The Arison Group; Ofra Strauss, head of The Strauss Group; and Karnit Flug, deputy governor of the Bank of Israel. Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was ranked 11th, and opposition leader and head of the Labor Party Shelly Yacimovich was 13th. (JTA) Israel battling new swarm of locusts Israel was battling a new swarm of locusts that crossed the border from Egypt. Crop-dusting planes last month dropped pesticides on the locusts, which are yellow and preparing to lay eggs. The yellow locusts eat much less than the swarms that have been entering Israel over the last three weeks, but the hatched eggs would pose a significant risk to Israeli crops since locust larvae will eat any green plant. A swarm of 30 million locusts first appeared near Cairo, March 2, causing millions of dollars worth of crop damage in Egypt. The locust attacks came at the start of Passover, which recalls a destructive plague of locusts that the Bible says was sent by God to help free the Jewish slaves. (JTA) Obama quotes ‘Hatikvah’ in Passover message President Obama in his Passover message cited the Israeli national anthem’s invocation of an ancient Jewish longing for a homeland. “Last week, I visited the State of Israel for the third time, my first as president,”
Obama said in his message just hours before the start of the holiday. “I reaffirmed our countries’ unbreakable bonds with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Shimon] President Peres. “I had the chance to speak directly with young Israelis about the future they wanted for their country, their region and the world. And I saw once again how the dream of true freedom found its full expression in those words of hope from ‘Hatikvah,’ ‘lihyot am chofshi be’artzeinu, ‘To be a free people in our land.’ ” The Obamas hosted a seder, a White House tradition begun by Obama. The seder featured a seder plate given as a gift by Sara Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister’s wife, to Michelle Obama, the first lady. (JTA)
Study: Half of Belgian Muslim teens have anti-Semitic views A major survey among Belgian teenagers indicated that anti-Semitism was seven times more prevalent among Muslim youths than in non-Muslim teens. Conducted in recent months by three universities for the Flemish government, the survey was published last month based on questionnaires filled out by 3,867 high school students in Antwerp and Ghent, including 1,068 Muslims. Among Muslims, 50.9 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “Jews foment war and blame others for it,” compared to 7.1 percent among non-Muslims. Among Muslims, 24.5 percent said they partially agreed with the statement, as did 20.6 percent of non-Muslims. The statement “Jews seek to control everything” received a 45.1 approval rating among Muslims, compared to 10.8 approval among non-Muslims. Of Muslims, 27.9 percent said they partially agreed, as did 29.2 percent of non-Muslims. Approximately 35 percent of Muslims agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much clout in Belgium,” compared to 11.8 percent of non-Muslims who participated in the “Young in Antwerp and Ghent” survey. The results were part of a 360-page report that was produced for the Flemish government’s Youth Research Platform by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Last month, the Brussels-based Jewish educational organization CEJI, which promotes tolerance in Europe, requested a meeting with Belgian Education Minister Pascal Smet to discuss the survey and address “the classical anti-Semitic attitudes” revealed by the study, “which we hoped not to see in a democratic Europe after
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World War II,” wrote CEJI’s director, Robin Sclafani. Claude Marinower, Antwerp’s alderman for education, told JTA that he found the data “most troubling.” In an interview for the Antwerp-based monthly Joods Actueel, Marinower said he would launch an action plan to fight anti-Semitism in the Flemish capital’s schools. (JTA)
Greek neo-Nazi party calls for boycott of WJC’s Lauder The Greek Golden Dawn party called for a boycott of Estee Lauder cosmetic products after World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder urged Greece to ban the neo-Nazi group. Due to the “hostile attack on Greek sovereignty, freedom, and interests, Lauder’s cosmetics monopoly Estee Lauder must be boycotted,” said a statement on the website of Golden Dawn’s New York branch. Lauder, speaking at a ceremony on March 17 to commemorate the destruction of the historic Jewish community in Thessaloniki by the Nazis, called on Greece to take a tougher stance against Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn erupted onto the political scene last year, winning 7 percent of the vote, or 18 seats, in the 300-member Parliament. Recent polls have indicated the party, which runs on a fierce anti-immigrant platform, now has between 14 to 18 percent of the population’s support. Jewish and international groups have condemned Golden Dawn as being racist and anti-Semitic. Golden Dawn slammed Lauder for interfering in Greek politics: “An institution that is not Greek and does nothing to contribute to Greek well-being is demanding [Greek Prime Minister Antonis] Samaras ban the third largest party, which enjoys up to 18 percent of the electorate’s support, all in the name of liberal democracy nonetheless. “The World Jewish Congress claims to speak on behalf of Greece’s 5,000 Jews. Why does Samaras care more about the opinions of 5,000 over 1 million Greeks, if Greece is truly a democracy?” said the statement. (JTA) Russian-Jewish oligarch was hanged, autopsy finds Boris Berezovsky, a Russian-Jewish oligarch and Kremlin critic, was hanged in his London-area home, a post-mortem examination found. There was no sign of a violent struggle, the Independent reported, citing Thames Valley Police.
Berezovsky’s body was found March 24 in the bathroom of his home. Berezovsky, 67, once the richest man in Russia, fled to Britain about 10 years ago following a falling-out with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fraud charges that Berezovsky said were politically motivated. The Moscow native, the son of a Jewish father and a mother with Jewish roots, immigrated to Israel in 1993 but later renounced his Israeli passport, according to the Israeli news website Walla. Berezovsky became a strident and frequent critic of Putin, accusing the leader of ushering in a dictatorship. He accumulated his wealth in the years following the collapse of Soviet Russia by acquiring local firms, including oil companies and television stations, rising to prominence during the term of Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. Russian media reported recently that Berezovsky had suffered heavy financial losses. (JTA)
Billboards calling for end to U.S. aid to Israel posted in N.Y., Conn. Billboards calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel were erected at 25 train stations in suburban New York and Connecticut. The billboards that went up Tuesday, March 26, on the first day of Passover, in Metro North stations are sponsored by a group called American Muslims for Palestine. The ad also calls Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza a form of apartheid, and features a quote by South African social rights activist Desmond Tutu. They are scheduled to run for one month, and reportedly were timed to coincide with President Obama’s visit to Israel. “The campaign against U.S. aid for Israel targets neither Jews nor Passover but rather Israeli apartheid and injustice,” said Michael Letwin of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, who spoke at the launch of the billboards at the Metro North station in Manhattan’s Harlem. “And the best way to honor Passover, which celebrates Jewish liberation from ancient oppression, is to champion Palestinian human rights today.” The ads come several months after billboards that accused Israel of confiscating Palestinian land were displayed in some of the same stations. Those ads were posted under the auspices of The Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine. There have been several exchanges of ads between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups at Metro North stations. (JTA)
Between sorrow and joy
t this sacred season of reconsecration to recollection, we are poised between Yom Ha’Shoah’s monumental burden of sorrow and Yom Ha’ Atzmaout’s transforming joy. We pause at this great twilight oscillating between the helplessness of Yeoush and Hatikvah’s hopefulness. We turn to the Torah’s Book of Life that we may face the Shoah’s Book of Death. These too are our Days of Awe, no less awesome than the fall ones, sanctified through our people’s blood and resolve, so curiously close to Pesach’s twin themes of bitter enslavement and ever promising redemption. Parashat Shemini alerts us to the unexpected both in the human condition and the divine response. In the midst of the Tabernacle’s zenith of joyful dedication, two of the four sons of Aaron the High Priest who just a short while ago were all consecrated as Kohanim, are tragically consumed by fire. We are told and taught, though ponder we must, that the victims’ attendance to holy duties went awry. The text reads, “Va’idom Aaron,” “And Aaron turned silent.” He had no words. Perhaps he could find no words given the shock’s magnitude of a double loss of his dearest of the dear, while ironically performing their sacred service. “Va’idom Aaron,” yet conceivably Aaron chose not to speak that me may not utter, out of the depths of pain, blasphemous words offensive to God and mocking his own calling. Thus, choosing to remain silent, but not necessarily speechless, was Aaron’s best
possible option under terrifying circumstances that challenged him personally as well as professionally, threatening to undo his very being. Insightfully, if not convincingly, a rabbinic commentary blames the disaster on the poor communication between the victims, Nadav and Avihu, along with their familial failure to respect father Aaron and consult with Uncle Moses. Namely, it is ultimately our own conduct or lack of it, which determines the outcome and not necessarily the Divine’s actions. At the risk of lifting a verse out of context of a sensitive text of theological quagmire, the following resonates with overwhelming relevance to Yom Ha’Shoah, which is observed, no accident, on the week of Shemini. “And your brethren the entire household of Israel will bemoan the srefa, the burning fire.” The following double parasha of Tazria-Metzora touches upon defiling body conditions on which the rabbis attached an ethical dimension. Leprosy becomes more than a skin ailment. With linguistic aid it is the chosen metaphor for violation, not by God but by one human being against another. To diminish one’s reputation, Motzi Shem Ra, was tantamount to no less than shedding one’s blood. A good name, Shem Tov, was to be a person’s crowning glory. No surprise, the sinfully genocidal Nazi ideology insisted on dehumanizing as a means for a person’s and our people’s total destruction in spirit and body. Shall we all, the Shoah’s wounded survivors, choose Aaron’s approach of silence as a path, though like him we profusely bleed, or use words, which our enemy manipulated with ease, to contend with a reality we are commanded to change? The covenantal call and cry is clearly our own, “You shall be holy for I am holy” Ken Yehi Ratzon. Amen. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim.
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After Israel trip and apology to Turkey, Obama gains political capital. Will he spend it? by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—For a trip that U.S. officials had cautioned was not about getting “deliverables,” President Obama’s apparent success during his Middle East trip at getting Israel and Turkey to reconcile has raised some hopes for a breakthrough on another front: Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The question now is whether Obama has the means or the will to push the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who stayed behind to follow up with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s team on what happens next, made clear in his statement on Israel’s apology to Turkey to place it in the broader context of the region’s tensions. “As I discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu this evening, this will help Israel meet the many challenges it faces in the region,” Kerry said in a statement issued Saturday, March 23. Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, delivered
Friday, March 22 on the Ben Gurion Airport tarmac while crew members readied Air Force One for departure, took the political world by surprise. After years of resisting, Netanyahu delivered the apology sought by Turkey since 2010 for the Israel commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine people aboard a Turkish vessel. There may have been a hint of what was to come in a remark delivered to reporters by Ben Rhodes, the U.S. deputy national security adviser, in a March 14 conference call before the trip. “Israel as it makes peace is going to have recognize the broader role of public opinion in peacemaking,” Rhodes said, referring to the need to reach out to populations, not just leaders, in the region. It was a theme Obama seized upon in his March 21 speech at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. “Given the frustration in the international community about this conflict, Israel needs to reverse an undertow of isolation,” Obama said. Later in the speech, he added, “As more governments respond to popular will, the
days when Israel could seek peace simply with a handful of autocratic leaders, those days are over. Peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments.” The next afternoon, asked during a news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah how he brokered the TurkishIsraeli rapprochement, Obama made it clear it was about advancing shared interests in the region. “I have long said that it is in both the interest of Israel and Turkey to restore normal relations between two countries that have historically had good ties,” Obama said. “It broke down several years ago as a consequence of the flotilla incident. “For the last two years, I’ve spoken to both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Erdogan about why this rupture has to be mended, that they don’t have to agree on everything in order for them to come together around a whole range of common interests and common concerns.” If there was much resistance in Israel to such an apology, it seemed to have dissipated in the wake of Obama’s charm offensive, which won over not only Israelis but even
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some American Jewish conservatives who have been among the fiercest critics of the president. “In terms of his attitude toward Israel, in the past three days Obama has altered his status in that regard from being the second coming of Jimmy Carter to that of another Bill Clinton,” wrote Jonathan Tobin, the senior online editor at Commentary magazine. Emphasizing the Jewish connection to the land with visits to the grave of the founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, and a viewing of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Obama’s good will appears to have superseded any Israeli resentment for being pressured into the apology to Turkey. A snap poll by Channel 2 in the aftermath of the visit by Obama found that 39 percent of Israelis had changed their opinion of the U.S. leader for the better, the Times of Israel reported. Whether Obama, like Clinton, will be able to leverage such good will into pressure on Netanyahu’s government—and whether he wants to—remains to be seen. Obama has made clear that he wants Netanyahu to give him time on Iran, telling Channel 2 in a pre-trip interview that he sees the dangers of a nuclear Iran arising in about a year’s time, not in several months, as Israeli officials reportedly believe. Obama also made clear that he wants to see progress in the Palestinian-Israeli talks, but he did so in a passive way, not by offering solutions but by urging Israelis to pressure their government. “I can promise you this, political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks,” Obama said in his March 21 speech. “You must create the change that you want to see.” That’s not a clear plan, Robert Satloff, the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in a post-trip analysis. “Whether the shift on how peace talks should begin translates into a shift on how those talks should then proceed remains unclear,” he wrote. Nonetheless, should Obama proceed, Satloff suggested, he now has the political capital to do so. “If the basic idea behind visiting Israel was to open the administration’s second term on surer footing in terms of U.S.Israeli relations than what characterized the opening months of the president’s first term,” Satloff wrote, “he appears to have succeeded.”
Did Obama’s charm offensive in Israel work? where,” Obama said during his speech at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. JERUSALEM (JTA)—President Obama had “And today I want to tell you, particularly three goals for his first presidential trip to the young people, so that there’s no mistake Israel. here, so long as there is a United States of He wanted to persuade Israelis that the America, ‘atem lo l’vad.’ You are not alone.” United States is committed to preventing Iran Before the trip, Israelis were extremely from acquiring a nuclear weapon. He wanted wary about the U.S. president. He had to promote the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian visited Israel twice before, most recently negotiations, albeit without any specific “deliv- in 2008, but Israelis were irked that he erables.” Most of all, however, he wanted to skipped Israel on a Middle East swing charm the pants off the Israeli people. in 2009 that included his famous Cairo He dropped Hebrew phrases into his speech. They were put off by his public speeches. He quoted the Talmud. He calls for a freeze on settlement building invoked the story of Passover. early in his presidency. They compared So, nu, did it work? him unfavorably to his two predecessors, “Does anyone doubt, still, that we’re George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. talking about a friend here?” Itzik Shmueli, In a 2009 poll, fewer than 10 pera Knesset minister from the center-left cent of Israelis had a favorable view of Labor party, wrote on Obama. And a poll conFacebook. ducted this month by the Obama earned qualiIsrael Democracy Institute fied praise even from showed that 54 percent Naftali Bennett, the proof the 600 Jewish Israelis settler chairman of the surveyed said they did not Percent drop nationalist Jewish Home trust Obama to considin number of Israelis party who now serves as er and safeguard Israel’s who view Obama minister of commerce and interests. as pro-Palestinian economics. After his speech, howafter his visit “Obama’s words cerever, some listeners said to Israel. tainly came out of concern they had warmed to him. for Israel and true friend“He was very clear, and ship,” Bennett wrote, he conveyed a feeling of also on Facebook. Citing security, especially about rockets fired from Gaza Iran,” said Hagar Shilo, into southern Israel, how23, a political science stuever, Bennett added, “A dent at Tel Aviv University. Palestinian state isn’t the right way. The time “He made a lot of pro-Israel statements has come for new and creative approaches.” that we hadn’t heard yet—very much like A smiling Obama appeared side by Clinton.” side with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to the government’s Israeli-Palestinian negotalk about their two nations’ shared values tiations, wrote on Facebook, “Obama’s and security needs. He visited the Israel speech was important and inspirational. Museum, viewed the Dead Sea Scrolls, Our job is to apply our Zionist vision, surveyed the Iron Dome missile defense which was reflected eloquently in his system and saw a host of Israeli high-tech words for Israel’s youth.” innovations. His itinerary included visits To be sure, Obama also challenged to the graves of Theodor Herzl, the father Israel on the trip. He visited the West Bank of modern Zionism, and slain Israeli Prime city of Ramallah and gave a statement with Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud For the most part, the visit was a cor- Abbas condemning settlement construcnucopia of compliments and commitments tion. And in his speech to Israeli students, to Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel rela- he made an extended appeal asking Israelis tionship. to take risks for peace and the two-state “Those who adhere to the ideology of solution, calling peace “necessary,” “just” rejecting Israel’s right to exist, they might as and “possible.” well reject the earth beneath them and the “I speak to you as a friend who is deeply sky above because Israel’s not going any- concerned and committed to your future,” by Ben Sales
Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Obama said. “You have the opportunity to be the generation that permanently secures the Zionist dream, or you can face a growing challenge to its future. Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.” Mostly, though, Obama sought to use this trip to reassure Israelis, including on Iran. “We agree that a nuclear-armed Iran
would be a threat to the region, a threat to the world and potentially an existential threat to Israel,” Obama said at a news conference with Netanyahu. “We do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear Iran. Our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” Even many of those who disagreed with Obama’s policies on Israel said they were encouraged by his decision to visit Israel.
Fewer Israelis see Obama as pro-Palestinian, poll shows The number of Israelis who view President Obama as pro-Palestinian dropped by 20 percent following his first presidential visit to Israel, according to a new poll. In the poll conducted March 24 by Smith Research for the Jerusalem Post, 27 percent of 500 Israeli respondents said they considered the Obama administration more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian, 16 percent said he was more pro-Palestinian, 39 percent were neutral and 18 percent did not an express an opinion. In a pre-visit poll conducted a week earlier, 36 percent of respondents said they thought Obama was more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel, 26 percent said he was more pro-Israel and 12 percent expressed no opinion. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Palestinian disappointment with Obama’s positive messages about Israel and his failure to visit former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s grave were widely reported in the Hebrew press. Among Labor party voters who participated in the post-visit poll, 51 percent said Obama was pro-Israel. The figure was 29 percent among Yesh Atid voters; 27 percent for Likud-Beiteinu and Shas supporters, and 20 percent for those who supported the Jewish Home party. The proportion considering the administration more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel was 40 percent among Shas voters, 20 percent for those who voted Jewish Home, 19 percent for Likud-Beiteinu, 11 percent among Yesh Atid supporters and 6 percent among Labor voters. (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | April 8, 2013 | Jewish News | 7
African-Israeli personalities hoping to change community’s image by Ben Sales
TEL AVIV (JTA)—When Yityish Aynaw immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel at age 12, she was thrust into an Israeli classroom. An orphan lacking Hebrew skills, Aynaw says she relied on other kids and her own sheer ambition to get through. Ten years later, Aynaw, 22, is the first Ethiopian-Israeli to be crowned Miss Israel—a title she hopes to use to showcase Israel’s diversity. “Israel really accepts everybody,” she says. “That I was chosen proves it.” Ethiopian and other AfricanIsraelis have historically struggled with poverty and integration. But recently, several African-Israeli women have made a pop culture splash. Along with Aynaw, Ethiopian-Israeli actress Ester Rada, 28, has just released her first solo rock record to positive reviews. And Ahtaliyah Pierce, a 17-year-old Black Hebrew Israeli, reached the semifinals on Israel’s edition of “The Voice,” a reality show in which emerging singers compete. Though their personal stories diverge, each woman has experienced challenges as an African immigrant and wants to use her fame to help other African immigrants better integrate into Israeli society. “It’s hard for Ethiopians to adapt, but they should be who they are, be the best that they can be,” says Rada, who was born in Jerusalem to Ethiopian parents who spoke Amharic at home. “Don’t let others keep you down or make you feel like we don’t belong.” Rada’s parents stayed close to their Ethiopian roots, eating traditional foods and listening to traditional music. But Rada rebelled. She refused to speak Amharic and failed to understand why she should feel tied to a country she had never seen and did not understand. In recent years, the resistance has softened. Ethiopian culture “is a part of me and I can’t run away from it,” Rada says.
“I decided to embrace it. And it’s helped me define who I am, in my culture and in my music.” Aynaw says it’s important for Israelis to see the positive side of the Ethiopian community. She compares the effect of her winning Miss Israel to Barack Obama’s election as president of the United States. The two met at the Israeli president’s residence during Obama’s recent trip to the region. “There are wonderful things about the [Ethiopian] community, and it’s important that [Israelis] see it,” she saya. “Israel is a multicultural state. We’re diverse and we come from different countries, so we need to show that outwardly.” Rada and Pierce report incidents of racism directed at them because of their skin color. A woman once accused Rada of coming to Israel only for the money. And Pierce says in her hometown of Dimona, she used to be called “kushi,” a Hebrew pejorative used to describe blacks. “There are many stigmas about the community, and unfortunate stories,” says Hava Tizazu, an Ethiopian-Israeli actress who works with at-risk African youth. “Now there are new personalities who are beautiful and positive. It helps to change the image, but it’s just one step in a longer process.” Since she advanced to the semifinals on The Voice, Pierce says the slurs have all but stopped. She was voted off the show in March, but like Rada she hopes to keep performing after her army service. “I want to be on stage,” Pierce says. “It doesn’t matter if I’m modeling, singing or acting. I have to be on stage.” Aynaw also hopes to model and act, and to support youth arts clubs during her year as Miss Israel. She will represent Israel at the Miss World competition in September in Indonesia. “I feel like a very important person,” Aynaw says. “I don’t usually get up and see myself on all of the TV channels. I’m definitely getting used to it.”
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ARTS & CULTURE
Ben Feldman hams up the Jew factor on Mad Men by Chavie Lieber
NEW YORK (JTA)—Advertising, it’s fair to say, is in Ben Feldman’s blood. Yes, he technically plays a fictional advertiser, the Jewish copywriter in AMC’s award-winning drama Mad Men. But Feldman says it was his excellent marketing skills that landed him the role. “The casting loved that I was a Jew in real life,” Feldman says. “They were looking for the typical character, a Jew with a heavy accent, and I played it up for all it was worth.” A 32-year-old traditional Jew from Washington, Feldman is best known as the token MOT on Mad Men: the terrible blazer-wearing, Brooklyn-accent talking, shamelessly outspoken Michael Ginsberg. Feldman’s first acting gigs were in offBroadway plays. Eventually he scored roles in TV shows such as CSI and Living with Fran, as well as in small films. He thought he was about to hit it big when he moved to Los Angeles for a sitcom produced by Adam Sandler titled The Mayor. Feldman starred in the pilot, but the show never aired and eventually was dropped, providing the struggling actor a crash course in the capriciousness of the entertainment industry. Persevering, he closely followed casting calls for his favorite show, Mad Men, and was thrilled when he landed the part of the Jewish copywriter. Feldman said it wasn’t so surprising that the show incorporated a Jewish character into the cast. “If you look at the history of advertising, most of them were Jews, so it was only a matter of time before Mad Men explored that area of advertising,” Feldman says. “Plus, the show illustrates the boundaries that were broken in that time period, with women in the workplace, race and such. So it makes sense that the show was going to bring a Jew on.” Feldman is basking in the success of his character, but he knows it could end at any time: The producers of Mad Men love to leave their audience and their actors in suspense on plot twists. The sixth season premiered on April 7. “Even if I wanted to tell you what was in store for Michael Ginsberg, I couldn’t,” Feldman says. “There’s no way of knowing if he’ll run off with Joan or Peggy because the writers of the show keep everything top secret. And if one of us leaks a page of our script, everyone will know who it is because they have big, bold letters with our names on it.”
Feldman, who grew up in a Conservative Jewish home, considers himself a traditional Jew. Though he notes sadly that he never had a bar mitzvah, Feldman says he occasionally attends synagogue and hosts a Passover seder every year for his friends. The gefilte fish, he says, is “a must.” To get fully into character, Feldman says he tries to impersonate other Jews he knows; hence, the accent and quips. And while his imitations might seem a little over the top, Feldman says he enjoys having fun with the character and isn’t aiming to represent all Jews. The show’s writers, he says, are using Judaism as a metaphor for being an outsider. “The thick accent isn’t just about being Jewish. It’s that Michael is less cultured, less educated than everyone around him, but someone who is trying to step in,” Feldman says. “He’s in a totally different social class, as you can see from his clothing, and I try to show how hard it is for him to fit in.” Feldman’s parents are ardent Mad Men fans. His father, Robert, runs an ad agency in Maryland. And they were excited for him when he landed the role—until they found out the role. “My mother’s first reaction was like, ‘Oh I’m so excited. You’re going to star next to the handsome, silver-haired actor,’” Feldman recalls. “And I was like, ‘Well, I’m in a show full of good-looking people, but I’m going to stand out as the weird, ugly one. But honestly, it’s more rewarding to fly solo and play a different sort of character. There’s more room to grow.” Feldman won’t reveal any details of the upcoming season, but he does mention that he was present recently at a reading for the season’s 10th episode. As for his career steps after Mad Men, Feldman sees a mad dash to find a new show once the season wraps. But he has other things on his mind, like planning his October wedding—an event, he promises, that will have a chuppah and the breakingof-the-glass ritual. “Here’s the thing about Jews in Hollywood,” he says. “Not to stereotype, but the Jews I know here are the funniest, most self-deprecating people I know. And it’s rare to find a Jew that is actually offended by comedy about them. “It’s sort of like Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars. I’m not trying to offend anyone with my character. I’m trying to be as authentic as it gets.”
Community religious leaders participate in CRC Interfaith Seder article and photos by Laine M. Rutherford
ver bowls of matzoh ball soup and glasses of sweet, Kosher wine, almost 80 faith leaders and representatives of Tidewater’s many religious affiliations gathered at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center on March 19 for a pre-Passover seder. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater hosted the two-hour event that had Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists sharing a meal, and participating in the retelling of the Torah story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. “Our goal is to build bridges with others in our community,” said Nicole Kushner, event co-chair, welcoming the guests and introducing the CRC’s mission to motivate, educate and advocate. Using a social justice-themed Haggadah containing the traditional order of the seder— created especially for the event—Jewish clergy and CRC members helped set a positive tone, exuberantly chanting, singing and chatting with neighbors during the meal. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom Temple, president of the Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors, began the seder, with her fellow board members taking turns leading. In a seamless, casual manner, participating Tidewater rabbis and cantors—seated at tables throughout the room—passed microphones to one another, reading or chanting in Hebrew and English, often sharing insights or explanations with the guests. “This is a beautiful opportunity to meet many people I would never have spent a seder with,” says Rabbi Sender Haber of B’nai Israel Congregation. Reverend Al Butzer and Randy DuVall of First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach recently returned from an interfaith trip to Israel with the Richmond Jewish Federation. Both were eager for the opportunity to participate in the community seder. “We absolutely feel a connection with the Jewish people and this helps us to
Greg Marino, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, and Reverend Fred McCall, Squires Memorial Presbyterian Church.
understand both the Jewish religion and praised the CRC for hosting the seder, the our own heritage,” says Butzer. “There is an rabbis, cantors and Jewish community memeffort to recover the Jewishness that is the bers for participating, and the willingness of basis of our faith, so we are pleased to be members of other faiths to attend. invited and share this seder meal.” “This was a wonderful opportunity to Following the creation of Hillel sand- recognize the universal themes of freedom wiches, the singing of Go Down Moses and and liberation in the seder, and not only the chanting of Dayenu, those who began teach others how we celebrate them, but also the meal as curious observers soon became to learn from them the pieces of their culture active participants. that can inform us, too,” says Arnowitz. Veronica Coleman of New Jerusalem To find out more about the CRC and Ministries says she was familiar with the see upcoming events, visit www.jewishva.org/ story of Moses leading the Jews from slavery crc. To see more photos from this event, Like Ohef Sholom Temple Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, president Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors, to freedom, but the seder brought a fullness JewishNewsVA on Facebook. and Nicole Kushner, Seder co-chair. of understanding to the story of Passover and the importance of its celebration. “My favorite part of the seder was Dayenu,” Coleman says. “It just blows me away to know that each piece of it stands alone, that God is good, that whatever he does Randy DuVall, First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach, Sid Barrera, Philippine is enough. I’m so CRC Outreach Committee members Cultural Center of Virginia, and Reverend Al Butzer, First Presbyterian Church. thankful and so Ellie Lipkin and Lois Einhorn. grateful I was here to experience this.” “I like that we can see the oneness of us all,” adds Reverend Harry Hall of Bethany Baptist Church. “There are so many here with different cultures and backgrounds, but this provided wonderful fellowAlvin Wall, president United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Nancy Wall, ship that opens us Reverend Harold Cobb and Sheilah Cobb of Grace Episcopal Church. to realize we have Rabbi Michael Panitz, so many things in Temple Israel, and Cecelia common.” Tucker, Virginia Center C o n g r e g a t i o n for Inclusive Communities Beth El’s Rabbi follow the social justice themed Haggadah created Jeffrey Arnowitz for the Interfaith Seder. enthusiastically
Chaplain Frank Ferguson and Cantor Michael Horwitz, Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center.
Veronica Coleman, New Jerusalem Ministries, Father Jim Parke, Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim, Bill and Cindy Edwards, One New Man Fellowship, and Marty Snyder, CRC Outreach Committee member.
jewishnewsva.org | April 8, 2013 | Jewish News | 9
Ten Minutes of Torah Celebrating Women of Reform Judaism features local Rabbi Connie Golden The following was posted on the Women of Reform Judaism’s website in February. The Ten Minutes of Torah series is sponsored by the Blumstein Family Fund and is co-sponsored by Sandi and Michael Firsel, Temple Chai Sisterhood.
From the Rabbinate to WRJ Rabbi Connie Golden
hen I decided to apply to HUCJIR in 1978, at age 35, I had no idea how I could possibly pay for my education. My parents were deceased, and while a relative had offered to help me pay, it was very important to me that I manage somehow to make my way into the rabbinate myself. After I was accepted at HUC, I heard about the WRJ YES Fund, and immediately felt bonded to this wonderful organization that would make it possible for my dream of becoming a rabbi to come true. After ordination, I was determined to do everything I could to pay back WRJ for their generous gift. How ironic, then, that I had practically no time during my working years as a congregational rabbi to involve myself with any of my Temples’ Sisterhoods! I wanted so much to give back, to play my part in the relationship I felt was so important to my career, but... I was sure I could do it in my retirement, and to a great extent I have. I am very active in my outstanding Sisterhood at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, Va. As a rabbi with time, I’m able to help out more than I ever could. Our superb Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, who is devoted to WRJ, wishes she had the time I do! But
even though I’m always available for any kind of ritual program planning or distinctly Jewish-content learning events, and Sisterhood members and leadership all thank me for what I do, I’m really the one who’s been made happy. Working in our monthly Soup Kitchen is a delight, helping out in the Gift Shop is great, programs are interesting and fun to attend, and I’ve made so many good friends! The truth is, WRJ has done much more for me in my retirement than ever before! What an exciting and beautiful surprise it has been for me, a rather determined nonfeminist, to find my place in a new Temple to be centered among a group of fantastic women. Intelligent, fun-loving, deeply committed Jewishly, involved in other arms of Temple life and community life as well, the women of our Sisterhood—be they young at-home moms, working moms, career women, or retired volunteers—are a tight group of people who care about and are there for each other in a unique way. My retirement days are full of volunteer work in the Norfolk community, attendance at lectures and museums and concerts, reading, needlepoint, and transcribing Braille. Yet when I think about my life these days, I realize that what is most consistent, significant, and fulfilling in it overall, is my involvement in Sisterhood. So thank you, WRJ, for making a dream come true—twice in my life! • • • Rabbi Connie Golden, HUC-JIR NY 1984, served congregations in the South and then in Abington, Pa. She retired early, in 2001, and has remained busy with volunteer work, such as transcribing books into
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Rabbi Connie Golden
braille (including Gates of Prayer for Shabbat and Weekdays 1994). A native of the Boston area, Golden lives in Norfolk, and is doing volunteer research on the first Jewish family to have lived there. NFTS/WRJ is the largest cumulative donor to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In the early 1920’s NFTS raised $345,000 to build the Sisterhood Dorm at HUC in Cincinnati; in today’s dollars that would be $4.5 million. Annually through the YES Fund, WRJ gives $70,000-100,000 for student scholarships and prizes at the four campuses of HUC-JIR. Scholarship funds were collected from sisterhoods beginning in the first year of NFTS/WRJ’s existence. Over the course of our hundred years, in today’s dollars that would amount to $7,000,000-10,000,000!
Tips on Jewish Trips Abandoned Polish synagogue rededicated as Jewish museum A former synagogue in the Polish city of Plock was rededicated as a museum of Jewish culture and heritage. Jews explores the 700-year heritage of Jews in Plock and the surrounding region. It contains multimedia displays and exhibits relating to Jewish religious ceremonies, customs, cuisine and music. A separate exhibition is devoted to the Holocaust. The museum was born of the initiative of the Plock Synagogue Association, Polskie Radio reported last month. The association raised about $400,000 and the European Union provided the remaining funding for the $2.8 million project, according to the museum’s website. Prior to the war, about one-third of Plock’s inhabitants were Jewish, according to the radio station. The vast majority of the town’s 9,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Some of the survivors emigrated after the war, and those who remained left in 1968, after Poland’s communist government launched an anti-Zionist campaign. Feliks Tuszynski, a 91-year-old Jewish artist who grew up in Plock but is now based in Australia, has donated 40 paintings to the museum. (JTA)
Jewish Democrats alarmed by NC State Religion Bill WASHINGTON, DC—National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Executive Director Aaron Keyak issued the following statement on Wednesday, April 3 in response to the bill that would permit the establishment of a state religion in North Carolina: “The bill proposed in North Carolina that would assert that states are not be bound by the separation of church and state is very alarming to those of us who understand the utmost importance of this
constitutional value, including American Jews. If this bill is seriously considered or becomes law, it will have consequences for all Americans and those who believe that government should not be making laws that show preference to some religions over others. We call for this bill to be completely rejected in North Carolina and withdrawn from consideration.” The Bill was introduced Monday, April 1 in the General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2013.
Tikkun Tidewater and Counting the Omer 2nd Annual Community Recycling Day Sunday, April 14, 1–4 pm
Avoiding the Desert to Find Enlightenment by Rabbi Jeffrey M. Arnowitz
tarting with the evening of the second seder, we have been in the period known as Sephirat HaOmer, often called Sephira for short, or in English, the Counting of the Omer. During the sevenweek Sephira season, we ritually count every day and every week, and the counting culminates on the 50th day with the holiday of Shavuot. For historical reference, the first Sephira began with our first night in the desert on our way to the Red Sea and ends with our receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai 50 days later. Because of the seriousness of the journey and the expectation of our encounter with God, during Sephira many people observe mourning customs like not shaving and not planning celebrations like weddings. Being the place for serious reflection is a role the desert plays through the whole Torah. In fact, the Hebrew word for ‘desert,’ midbar, comes from the same root as the word for ‘speak,’ midaber. Taken literally, the desert is the place that speaks to us,
Sharon Ross and Jan Johnson at Tikkun Tidewater 2012.
or the place where God speaks to us. The desert is a place for serious reflection and communication with things that are not usually visible. Today the desert can inspire us to a different sort of reflection, because there is a lot more of it than ever before in human history. Due to drought and desertification each year, almost 30 million acres are lost (57 acres/minute!), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown. Land degradation affects 1.5 billion people globally. Of course, being in Tidewater, there is another kind of desert we have to worry about. Whatever the cause, the rising sea levels threaten to make additional vast quantities of land uninhabitable. The spiritual idea of the desert was always to go to the desert to find enlightenment, but with a rate of desertification 30 to 35 times the historic rate, we seem to be trying to bring the desert to us. At the end of their 49-day journey through the desert, the Jewish people receive the Torah with its mitzvot designed to help us sense holiness in the world even when we are not in the desert. Hopefully we can all heed that example and adopt our own set of rules to turn the tide of the desert and make sure this beautiful world, the greatest gift from God, continues to be a place that can support us and the other seven billion people who live here. After all, being a steward of Creation was a task given to Adam and Eve long before Sinai. It is a responsibility for all of us. In that spirit, on Sunday, April 14, on the 19th day of the Sephira, several of our Jewish communal organizations are hosting Tikkun Tidewater. These groups, assisted by many of our community’s teens, will be collecting those hard to recycle items such as cell phones, VCRs, PC towers/ desktops, circuit boards, keyboards, iPods/ MP3 players, digital cameras, electronic notebooks/laptops, computer mice, cables/ cords, eye glasses (No sunglasses), hearing aids, plastic grocery bags, prescription and non-prescription medications, including pet medications, and household batteries (No car batteries). Just drive up with recyclables and volunteers will unload them and make sure they get to the correct collection bins. So, this year while recovering from
Passover and putting the house back in order, or while doing regular spring cleaning, keep an eye out for those used electronics, eye glasses and other items. The Jews of the desert learned at Sinai that in order to lead a fulfilling, productive life, rules and guidelines were needed for living; so too, there are guidelines to be followed to keep our world livable and beautiful. We need to make a conscious effort to take care of the great gifts God gave us by recycling and being careful about our consumption. Tikkun Tidewater is a great opportunity to make it easy to follow those guidelines and do our part.
Drive-Through Recycling It’s a convenient way to do good! Sunday, April 14, 1–4 pm Simon Family JCC parking lot by Amy Cobb, JFS marketing and fundraising assistant
ore than 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. Why? One reason could be that it’s not always convenient or easy. We’ve become a “drive-through” society. We “drive through” a fast food chain to pick up dinner. We “drive through” at the bank to get cash. We even “drive through” a pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Now, you can drive through to get rid of your recyclable items. The 2nd Annual Tikkun Tidewater—a community recycling event—will offer the convenience of a covered “drive through” recycling at Simon Family JCC on the Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. Just drive up and volunteers will unload your car. Items being accepted include—but are not limited to—computers and computer components, VCRs, pharmaceuticals
(including pet medications), plastic grocery bags, household batteries, eye glasses and hearing aids. Contemporary new or like-new professional clothing women will also be accepted for Dress for Success. Television sets will not be accepted at this event. For a complete list of items accepted, visit www.JewishVA. org/recycle. Tikkun Tidewater is sponsored by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Young Adult Division, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, and BBYO as a project of J-SERVE. The event is partnering with Goodwill Industries to collect and recycle electronics. For more information, contact Jan Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757965-6123. To volunteer, contact Patty Shelanski at email@example.com or 757-321-2227.
jewishnewsva.org | April 8, 2013 | Jewish News | 11
JCC has new director of children, family and camp
2013 Jewish Council for Public Affairs Plenum by Megan Zuckerman
I Jill Sava
ill Sava joins the Simon Family JCC as its new director of the children and family department, which includes directing Summer Camp, Kids Connection, the Before and After School Program, and the Babysitting department. The sixth of seven children in a very close-knit family, Sava knows all about nurturing one another, and says she has a very strong Jewish identity. Originally from the Princeton, N.J. area, she attended Rutgers University and received a Masters degree from the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles in Jewish Communal Service. Following graduate school, Sava was the day camp director and the assistant director for the overnights camp and retreats at Brandeis Bardin Institute. As the director, she focused on the arts, and children and family programming. Moving back East, she served as the early childhood director at Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, N.J. and as camp director, youth and family director, and Jewish educator in Allentown, Pa. Sava hopes to impart the love she felt for her own JCC camp on others this summer. She says she wants to bring campers the traditional feel of JCC summer camp like the one she attended in New Jersey from the time she was a toddler through college, when she was a counselor. “I want to bring that Ruach, that passion into camp experiences this summer,” she says. She is excited to bring overnights to the camp this year for older campers, late stays for campers in first and second grades, and family nights to the outdoor waterpark for the littlest campers. “The JCC should be an extended family,” she says, referring in particular to the summer she has in store for this year’s camp. “A feeling of belonging, like the one I had growing up.”
recently attended the 2013 Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) Plenum with no expectations other than my personal goal of gaining a national perspective on the work I do as United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council vice chair. JCPA represents 14 national and 125 community member agencies with the purpose of repairing the world through activism. As a professional advocate for children’s health and education issues, it was a natural fit for me to become a lay leader of the CRC starting off as legislative action committee co-chair evolving into vice chair. I thought the CRC byline was brilliant: “Motivate. Educate. Advocate.” Beginning my tenure, I was clear on “motivate” and “educate,” but fuzzy on what Tidewater CRC’s issues would be to “advocate.” The existence and support of Israel, of course, being an automatic in my mind and one shared by our community as evidenced by the plethora of fantastic programs and speakers the CRC has presented on Israel. But when it comes to domestic issues, putting my personal beliefs aside, I sought the guidance of JCPA. The first day of the Plenum focused on Israel, kicking off with a great discussion between Michael Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States and Jeffrey Goldberg, a renowned journalist published in numerous publications including The Atlantic and Bloomberg View. The two men are friends and neighbors, so it was a very lively, very informative discussion. The day continued with forums and workshops such as “Reframing the Zionist Narrative” now that there are many players when
it comes to support for Israel such as AIPAC and J Street; and “Iran: What Communities Need to Do Now,” stressing the importance of an emergency action plan in each and every community if the need should arise—I say “if” because I am a glass half full person who feels peaceful resolution will be Jeffrey Goldberg and Michael Oren. sought before the need arises for violence, but many in the that are discriminated against or even on room felt the question is a matter of “when.” those issues concerning public safety in The second day, centered on social order to uphold our belief in the sanctity justice and domestic issues, started with of life, and the environment as partners in a session that I found most personally the ongoing work of Creation? Through resonated with my values and beliefs. The our advocacy day in Richmond—“Date session “From Many Paths to The Creator, with the State”—our CRC has done a great A Common Path to Social Justice” included job on advocating on behalf of our Jewish Sister Simone Campbell from NETWORK: agencies—Jewish Family Service and Beth a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Sholom Village, and now is the time that we Reverend Jim Wallis from Sojourners, a take a stance on some of the broader state national Christian organization commit- and national issues, not just those affecting ted to faith in action for social justice, and our Jewish community, but the community Rabbi Steve Gutow, JCPA president. There at large. Of course we care about our own was very little that all three faith leaders did fate, but the Jewish people are better than not agree on when it came to putting our that. My belief that we must do all that faith into action. The Judeo-Christian value we can to put our faith into action was system is based on loving thy neighbor, reaffirmed at this year’s JCPA plenum and sharing our prosperity, serving the common validated when every participant’s packet good, and seeing all human beings as cre- contained a book with one of my favorite ated in God’s image. quotes, from Hillel in Pirkei Avot in the I asked myself, how does our Community Mishnah: “If I am not for myself, who will Relations Council not speak out on behalf be for me? If I am only for myself, what am of our most vulnerable citizens and those I, and if not now when?”
Tamar field in northern Israel yields natural gas JERUSALEM (JTA)—Natural gas started to flow from a Tamar field that is expected to meet Israel’s domestic needs for at least the next 20 years. The gas, which began flowing from an offshore rig in the Mediterranean Sea, was expected to reach an intake center in Ashdod in southern Israel on Sunday, March 31. Some 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is believed to be contained in the field off the coast of northern Israel near Haifa. “This is an important day for the
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Israeli economy,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “On the Festival of Freedom, we are taking an important step toward energy independence. We have advanced the natural gas sector in Israel over the last decade, which will be good for the Israeli economy and for all Israelis.” The gas will be used for the generation of electricity at power stations, which will increase its availability and allow for lower prices. Electricity prices rose 24 percent in recent years, in part due to the depletion
of the Yam Tatis gas field located west of Ashdod. The Tamar field was discovered in 2009. It is located next to the larger Leviathan gas field, which has yet to yield gas, and will be used mostly for export. Israel has been facing a natural gas crisis since the gas flow from Egypt was disrupted by terror attacks on the gas line to Israel located in the Sinai Peninsula. Israel has not received gas from Egypt since 2011. Egypt recently canceled its natural gas contract with Israel.
Rabbi Jake brings story of Hillel revival at UVA to Hampton Roads gogue, but today that’s not the case. Our religious culdon’t know what made ture is Reform/Conservative me more proud. but more important, we are Hearing how strong a place to come and be Hillel has become at my with other Jews, to learn alma mater, the University and grow.” of Virginia, or the fact that Wendy Brodsky was my nephew was the one thrilled with the turnout delivering the good news. of nearly 50 community Rabbi Jake Rubin, son members at an early eveof my brother, came to Rabbi Jake Rubin speaks in Ghent. ning event in Ghent. “The Norfolk at the invitation of word’s getting out about Hillel state board members Steve Leon how Hillel is thriving at UVa, and so much and Wendy Brodsky, to apprise friends credit goes to Jake and his small staff,” says and prospective first years on how the Brodsky, whose daughter graduated from Jewish student youth organization is thriv- Virginia in 2012 and whose son is a third ing under his leadership as director. year at the university. He doesn’t take all the credit. “Parents who used to think “It’s the kids who are starting you had to send your children committees to help the poor, further north to find a Jewish promote Jewish education life are taking a second look and Israel, celebrate holiat UVa,” says Steve Leon, days and plan events,” whose son Mason gradusays the graduate of ates this spring from both Mr. Jefferson’s the school. “They are University and the hearing from other Reconstructionist young people about Rabbinical seminary the positive experiin Philadelphia. “We ence there.” provide space and Hillel has support, but it’s the expanded its buildstudents who supply ing on University the energy and manCircle and is now power.” raising funds to Hillel screens all increase the annual Wahoos who want to budget and staff go on Birthright misto keep up with sions (UVa routinely demand. sends 50 or more to “Kids feel so good Israel each year). It’s when they come into one of the ways Jake the Brody Jewish says he is able to get Center,” says Rabbi in front of Jewish stuRubin, who thanked dents, of which there are the United Jewish now some 2,000 on the Federation of Tidewater Charlottesville campus. and Tidewater Jewish “We man booths during Foundation for their ongoorientations, have bagels on ing support. “We encourage the Lawn, Shabbat dinners them to get in touch with us every Friday night, Pesach sedbefore they arrive or right after ers, high holiday services and many they get to the grounds. Jewish life more activities to make students aware is getting better all the time here, and we that we are here and help them maintain a want everyone to be part of it.” connection to their Judaism,” says Rubin, a For more information on Hillel at UVa, Richmond native. “Many years ago I think visit www.brodyjewishcenter.org. Hillel was perceived as the campus synaby Joel Rubin
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jewishnewsva.org | April 8, 2013 | Jewish News | 13
it’s a wrap Model Seder for JCC Seniors
Passover Model Seder for Simon Family JCC senior adults was held on Tuesday, March 19 at the Sandler Family Campus. The seniors were honored to have Rabbi Mordecai Wecker, head of school of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, lead the seder with support from Sheila Panitz, HAT religious teacher and 17 HAT students.
Passover: Behind the scenes at Beth Sholom Village
The experience was wonderful for all who attended. This Model Seder is particularly special for some of the senior adults as it might be the only seder some have during the holiday. The food was delicious and holiday appropriate and ably prepared by the Cardo Café staff.
Basketball league’s championship games
outh basketball league at the Simon Family JCC culminated with a championship day on Feb. 24. Twelve teams, for each of three divisions: grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 participated. The K-2 undefeated champion was the Kelly team, the 3-5 grade champion was the white team, winning in a nail biting double overtime. The 6-8 grade champion was the Beach Xplosion team. This was the largest spectator turnout of the year to watch the 100 players in the season’s JCC youth basketball league.
Stan Riddick blowtorching BSV’s kitchen
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ow that Passover is complete for 2013 (Nissan 5773) and the kitchens at Beth Sholom Village are back to normal, consider what took place in order to prepare for this eight-day holiday. The Team at Beth Sholom Village started getting ready for Passover one week prior to sundown, March 25. “It is the Home’s responsibility to honor and uphold the guidelines of Kosher for Passover for our residents,” says David Abraham, CEO, BSV. One of the most important aspects of preparation was education. Cantor Elihu Flax gave in-services daily to the entire staff.
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amilies were treated to an afternoon at the opera when three junior members of the Virginia Opera performed The Pirates of Penzance at the Simon Family JCC on Sunday, March 24.
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Because BSV is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that meant coming in at 11 pm to educate the evening shift on the ways of Kosher for Passover. All were informed that no food could be brought in from outside during the holiday, including posting signs to remind visitors. Beth Sholom provided Kosher for Passover meals for staff every day to make sure that everyone was well feed. Kitchens were cleaned from top to bottom…literally. Nothing was excluded, even the walls. Cantor Flax oversaw and worked alongside Stan Riddick, dietary manager, Dan Hahn, executive chef and a host of dietary and housekeeping staff. Riddick and Hahn spent Sunday morning before Passover blowtorching the kitchen. The fire sanitizes the material so it can be cleaned and ready to use for Passover. The act also represents a spiritual cleansing all Jews undergo during the holiday. Once the preparation was complete, Riddick and his team geared up for six different Seders held within the Village and a host of holiday catering orders. Riddick and Hahn acknowledge that it is a lot of work, but after five or six years of learning and performing these rituals, it has become a routine they know is well worth the effort.
In this family friendly, shortened version of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, three singers and an accompanist performed a one-hour action packed show. All aspiring main stage performers, the singers answered the audiences’ questions after the show. Children’s cultural arts events at the JCC are made possible through generous support from Zahavs and Patrons, as well as by gifts directed to these performances from Laura and Fred Gross, Alicia and Robert Friedman, Shelly and Britt Simon, Lawrence Steingold, Lynn and Hugh Cohen, and Kim and Michael Gross.
Intriguing discussion follows CRC films at Temple Emanuel
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Rabbi David Barnett leads the discussion following the films.
article and photos by Laine M. Rutherford
s the media was covering President Obama’s visit to Israel on March 20, a group of community members gathered that night at Temple Emanuel in Virginia Beach to discuss the role the media plays in shaping negative opinions about Israel. The synagogue hosted the third event
Marsha Chenman with Dr. Morris Elstein, president Temple Emanuel.
Barbara and Harry Fried, with Esther Leiderman
in the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Step Up for Israel Film and discussion series. Temple Emanuel’s Rabbi David Barnett led the 60 guests in a sometimes heated dialogue following the showing of the films Shared Values and Israel and the Media. Topics highlighted in the films included Israel as a democratic nation that epitomizes Western values, the examination of journalistic bias when it comes to media stories about Israel, and the examination of real and perceived threats to journalists who criticize Israel’s enemies. “Both of these films are very interesting and very provocative,” says Barnett. “I am delighted to see so many people passionate about these subjects, and we must all realize that we can never underestimate the force and value and the effect that even a single person can have.” The next film in the CRC series is on April 11 at 7 pm at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk. The final film will be held on May 1, at 7 pm at Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. Rabbis of the host congregations lead the group discussions. To find out more about the Step Up for Israel series and other upcoming CRC events, visit www.jewishva. org/crc. To see more photos of this event, visit and “Like” JewishNewsVa on Facebook.
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BOOK REVIEWS At what cost? What Money Can’t Buy The Moral Limits of Markets Michael J. Sandel Farrar, Strauss, and Girouz 2012 244 Pages, $27 ISBN 978-0-374-20303-0 Michael Sandel is a charismatic political philosopher and professor of government at Harvard. His course, Justice, has been taken by more than Hal Sacks 15,000 students and his BBC and PBS TV series and accompanying book, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? has been praised by liberals and conservatives alike. We all know that money can and can’t buy happiness. For people who live on less than $2.50 per day seemingly small increases in income does lead to a profound increase in happiness. Most rich countries have reported increases in happiness as they become richer; with one strange exception. Despite the fact that the U.S. is nearly three times as wealthy as it was a quarter of a century ago, Americans are no happier than they were back then, principally due to the unequal participation experienced in the increase in wealth. The title of Sandel’s latest book, What Money Can’t Buy, while not dealing with the question of happiness, concerns itself with his basic premise: Markets lead to “commodification,” which leads to corruption and “crowds out” moral norms. By commodification Sandel refers to Americans increasing predilection for treating every aspect of life—from medicine to art, from sports to family life, from law to personal relations—as a commodity to be purchased, traded, and marketed, however unseemly and, from his philosophical standpoint, however immoral. Readers may take issue with Sandel’s caviling over some of his examples, adopting a kind of libertarian view that people should be free to buy and sell what they please as long as rights are not violated. Certainly the person who can afford an expensive automobile ought to be able to consult a “boutique” medical practice that provides a more responsive level of care. Or should he? Is this just a form of jumping the line? What about buying scalped tickets to rock concerts? What about buying an aliyah in shul? Or a donated kidney? Is it ethical to pay a person to donate an organ or to test a new drug? Is it strange
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that in America voluntary blood donation is a dying form of philanthropy with most blood donations being paid for and most donors being from the lowest socioeconomic strata of our society? What is disarming about this book is that Sandel takes us from a seemingly insignificant if technically ethically questionable practice to much more grim scenarios. Back in the day, in the “house that Ruth built” (the first Yankee Stadium), there were roughly 70,000 seats. The difference in price between a grandstand seat and a box seat was a couple of dollars. The wealthy sat cheek by jowl with the hoi polloi. There are now only 56,000 seats; but now there are sky-boxes that cost up to $500,000 for the season and the cosseted few watch the game in air-conditioned, well-fed splendor. Up until fairly recently, they were paid for by those taxpayers in the “cheap seats” as corporations wrote them off as business expenses. What he terms the “skyboxification” of America is, he fears, a serious issue of de-democratization. In some communities kids are paid for reading books. Other kids are paid for good grades. In some communities one can pay to drive alone in the HOV lanes. One can buy a professionally written wedding toast. Corporations can trade pollution allowances; some colleges are auctioning admissions; people are being paid to become human billboards with ads on forehead and body. Which of these, if any, are harmless or do they all exist on a slippery ethical or moral slope? After all, so what if the Washington Redskins play in FedEx Field or the New York Mets in Citi Field? Perhaps Sandel’s most telling chapter deals with Markets in Life and Death. At what point does the well accepted “key man” insurance become what has been termed “janitor’s insurance?” In the 1980s the insurance industry lobbied state legislatures to relax insurance laws and allow companies to buy life insurance on the lives of all employees “from the CEO to the mailroom clerk.” “By the 1990s major companies were investing millions in corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) policies, creating what amounted to a multibillion-dollar death futures industry. Among the companies that bought policies on there workers were AT&T, Dow Chemical, Nestle USA, Pitney Bowes, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Walt Disney and the Winn-Dixie supermarket chain. Companies were drawn to this morbid form of investment by favorable tax treatment.” By the beginning of the 21st century
BOOK REVIEWS COLI amounted to over 25 percent of total life insurance sales and employees generally were not aware that the policies on their lives even existed. It may be argued that the COLI frequently stretched the concept of “insurable interest” a bit far. The author then goes on to discuss the short lived “stranger-originated life insurance,” STOLI, as it came to be called, wherein the client bought and immediately sold policies on his or her life, for a fee, which were then packaged and marketed to investors. By 2009, STOLI were banned in most states, but brokers were permitted to continue trading in policies from ill or elderly people. How far is this from “death pools,” the author asks? Sandel asks if there is something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? His answers are rooted in his personal sense of morality, one which may not be subscribed to by all. In one respect, his slim volume is a series of excellent lectures. One might wish he had expanded it a bit by including more of what might be called “opposing rationale.”
A real life detective story Never Forgotten The Search and Discovery of Israel’s Lost Submarine Dakar David W. Jourdan U.S. Naval Institute, 2009 248 pages, $34.95 ISBN: 978-1-59114-418-2 1968 was a bad year for submarines, the worst since WWII. The K129, a Soviet Ballistic Missile sub sank in March. The French submarine Minerve was lost with all hands January, and the USS Scorpion famously disappeared in May. Less well reported was the disappearance during her maiden voyage home, following extensive renovation in Great Britain, of INS Dakar, a WWII diesel electric boat given to the Israeli Navy. Never Forgotten details the dramatic effort to locate the remains of Israel’s lost submarine and bring closure to the families of the lost crew, albeit 31 years later. The author, David W. Jourdan, is a 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a submariner, and the holder of a Master’s degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University. After leaving the Navy Jourdan co-founded Nauticos, an ocean exploration
company located in Cape Porpoise, Maine, of which he is president. Jourdan, in one slim volume has given the reader what amounts to two stories. The first involves the intimate revelation of the pride of the elite crew and its leaders, the cohesiveness of their families, their expectations and heartbreak when Dakar, following a speedy transit of the Mediterranean, failed to come home. What began as just another underwater investigation became a sacred mission as he came to know the families and understand their need for resolution three decades after the tragic loss. As in many literary mysteries, there is a “McGuffin.” at play. The recovery of an emergency buoy identified as having come from Dakar in relatively shallow waters close to Israel’s shores influenced Israeli search efforts and gave rise to all manner of theories. Did the captain make a fatal error? Was the submarine captured by the Egyptians and hidden away with the crew captive? It was concluded by Israeli scientists and military experts that she had sunk in relatively shallow water not far from the coast. Enter Nauticos, the United States Navy, the Ballard organization (discoverer of the Titanic), and others, now equipped for deepwater search not technically feasible in 1968. Jourdan travels to Israel, is read into the problem and is finally asked to make a proposal to search for the remains of Dakar. Jourdan, after studying all the data held by the Israelis, decided that with the assistance of what amounted to an international community of undersea exploration resources, Dakar might indeed be found. The fascinating details of the science and art employed in making a totally different assumption as to where the submarine sank, and the complexity involved in deploying state of the art equipment to test those theories is the second story in Never Forgotten. In 1997 Jourdan’s calculations put the submarine far out to sea, in deep water, over 10,000 feet. Now, in May of 1999, taking advantage of a slim window of opportunity in terms of financing, equipment and personnel availability, one last effort was mounted with remarkable results. Not only was Dakar found, but a section of the conning was lifted from that great depth to be installed as a permanent monument to the lost crew. Other mysteries were solved, including the reasonable conclusion that Dakar, operating submerged, suffered a massive hull failure in the vicinity of one of the forward torpedo tubes, resulting in uncontrollable flooding in the bow. Inexorably she sank
below her crush depth and all was over in a matter of seconds. The families of the lost crew were unstinting in their appreciation. “…By finding Dakar you accomplished a holy mission that was a dream to us….you brought them home; even deep in the sea…our lives changed the moment your cried out ‘we found.’” Never Forgotten has been rightly termed “a fascinating, hi-tech detective story.” —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Double Chai for the Shoah Contemporary Jewish Writing, Holocaust Edition Michael Mahgerefteh, editor-in-chief Poetica Magazine, 2012, Pp. 55 This second collection of Holocaust poetry by Poetica Magazine is ample proof that the Shoah as a theme for reflection and contemplation is an inexhaustible Rabbi Zoberman wellspring promising to ever connect us to this watershed event in both Jewish and general history. I believe that as we naturally move away in time from the Shoah and World War II, they are bound to have a growing impact particularly on the Jewish people. The genocidal assault on the Jewish people has deprived it and humanity of their full potential to creatively respond to multiple challenges and opportunities. In the case of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, the loss of progeny and talent of decimated European Jewry is potentially of grave consequence. To avert it requires extra commitment and effort. The 36 poets (double Chai) represent a variety of backgrounds. While some of the poets are children of survivors, what unites them all is a profound sense of relatedness to the endless aspects and implications of the overwhelming crime of the Shoah. Sari Friedman who earned an MFA from Columbia University and is editor of the Fearless Poetry Series, shares At The “Second Generation Meeting the burden shared by survivors and their children which, as a survivors’ son, I can relate to. “I can’t live my life,” a woman takes up-/”My father threatens to kill himself/if I do the slightest thing wrong./Says he couldn’t keep living/
if something were to happen to me./Wants to protect me./Won’t let me cross a street by myself…and I’m 25.” Richard Bronson from Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care & Bioethics faculty laments in his Lament the enormity of “fields of loss” “yet wishes to overcome justified despair with the gift of hope’s renewal,” “Mother, in your suit of Spring, /teach your grieving son to sing. / Father, wield your mace of light/as I walk the way of night.” New York native, Helen Bar Lev, senior editor of Cyclaments and Swords Publishing who spent 40 years in Israel, in her Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010 she uses chilling imagery in Jerusalem, the Jewish peoples home of eternal memories, ancient and new. “Jerusalem 2010/winter now, the skies cry/the oven is warm; a cake bakes/a siren wrenches the heart/the radio plays somber songs/and people retell of the Holocaust/of the loss.” Poet Michael Shorb speaks of the spirit of Polish Righteous Gentile Irena Sendler that the Nazis could not capture and of her heroic deeds and those of her comrades, She and some friends had smuggled/ Jewish children from the/Warsaw ghetto in those days, /Sometimes in large black purses, /Sometimes in baskets covered/ With blankets, slipping under/The eyes of the German guards/Like fish sliding beneath a net.” Prolific poet Barbara Hantman reminds all of the Jewish mission in face of inhumanity in My Holocaust Poem for Yom Hashoah,” “May the Jewish genie stay out of the bottle for an eternity:/Divine monitor of all that is unkind,/White-winged safeguard that roosts and flutters/Over all humanity.” In my own poem “Old Memories” I recall my mother’s traumatic recollection of memories that do not die, “Contemplating travel/From Springfield to Chicago/My mom, a Holocaust survivor/Visiting from Israel, /Apprehensively asked me if/It was safe to board/A train filled with Gentiles.” Allen Cohen who served as a major education author for Random House, responds in After Auschwitz…Poetry? (Reflections on Adorno’s query) “with words of meaning, “After the Shoah there must be poems/ because the universe is otherwise/indifferent to killing fields & ovens/& poets can’t bear indifference.” —Rabbi Israel Zoberman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim. He is the son of Polish Holocaust survivors.
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New study offers tips on engaging Jewish teens by Gil Shefler
NEW YORK (JTA)—Trying to interest teenagers in activities is difficult, parents and teachers know well, especially given what technology has done to the attention spans of young people. So how to get them to partake in doing Jewish over other pursuits? The Jim Joseph Foundation commissioned two consulting firms to carry out a two-year study to figure it out. BTW Informing Change and Rosov Advisors mined data from 21 organizations geared toward Jewish and non-Jewish teens. Their conclusions: Hire good staff, be flexible on attendance and target teens through social media. As a teen might say, “Duh!” “People who know the teen space well will not be shocked by the findings, but they are important realizations for anyone involved in the field,” said Josh Miller, the senior program manager at the Jim Joseph Foundation, which has invested $270 million to promote Jewish education since 2006. The $200,000 study, which cost $40,000 to print and disseminate according
to a spokesperson, comes at a time when the majority of young American Jews are not enrolled in Jewish schools. According to a 2008 paper commissioned by the Avi Chai Foundation, an estimated 460,000 American Jews—about 45 percent of the school-aged demographic—are enrolled in either Jewish day schools or Jewish supplementary education. Participation in Jewish activities outside school hours was lower. The Jim Joseph Foundation’s study offers 10 “implications for strategy development” aimed at boosting those numbers. Among them: Accept teens as they are. Don’t punish kids who show up irregularly for events. Create a recognizable brand. And, perhaps most important, find good staff to mentor teens. “You might call them Pied Pipers, people who can create a relationship with others,” said Jerry Somers, a board member at the Jim Joseph Foundation. “This is very essential to establishment of strong engagement.” The paper notes that younger staffers tend to be better at forging such ties with adolescents, but cautions that employees in their early 20s have a higher turnover
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rate than those in their late 20s and early 30s. It also recommends using digital tools such as Facebook and text messaging to reach teens, citing the success of DoSomething.org, a website that motivates youths to partake in social activism and has pioneered the use of texts to stay in touch with its user base. Creating partnerships also is important. Joe Reimer, an expert on Jewish education at Brandeis University and a member of the research advisory group for the report, lamented the lack of cooperation in the world of Jewish organizations working with teens. “Each synagogue has its group, then a BBYO, then you have people working in the public schools and Zionist movements and they’re all doing their own thing,” he said.
“The question is, how can we bring this all together to bring this together?” Somers said it was possible to cultivate closer relations, noting the success of the North Shore Youth Initiative, a group in the northern Boston suburbs that the Jim Joseph Foundation helped start in 2008. “It’s a collaboration of youth groups, any group that deals with Jewish teens,” he said. “It’s a matter of enhancing opportunities. “In terms of streams of Judaism, most youths don’t care whether the group is affiliated with Chabad, Reform, Conservative or whatever. They want to be with their friends, their peers, and do things that are worthwhile.” The Jim Joseph Foundation said it planned to use the report’s findings in future investment strategies.
be with their
peers, and do
things that are worthwhile.
what’s happening Presentation puts spotlight on investments and Israeli startups Wednesday, April 17, noon, Vandeventer Black offices
he Business and Legal Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board present “Israel Incubates Brian Rosenzweig and America Invests” at a free, lunch-hour discussion. featuring Brian Rosenzweig, managing partner of American investment group JANVEST. The investment group funds seed state Internet, software, telecom and defense companies within Israel’s emerging technology market. Rosenzweig will provide an overview of some of the young Israeli companies in which his company has invested, and the business and financial strategies behind these investments. “While everybody knows of Israel as a tech hub, most have no understanding of the country’s early stage market, which is where the majority of emerging technologies are operating,” says Rosenzweig. To attract companies from this market, he says, it is important to know the types and numbers of these companies, what their needs are and what role the Tidewater community could play in supporting their growth.
Companies JANVEST includes in its portfolio, and which Rosenzweig will highlight, include one with an information security technology based on behavioral biometrics, which could render the username/password login obsolete. Another boasts an e-book reading and distribution platform going head to head with Apple and Amazon and another offers a mobile application which monitors mobile device radiation. “We are excited to hear Brian describe the potential of these unique, cutting-edge Israeli startups, and the opportunity for the Business and Legal Society to partner with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board,” says Carolyn Amacher, UJFT community development specialist. The program is free and open to Jewish business and legal professionals. Refreshments will be served. The event will take place at the Vandeventer Black law offices, located at 101 W. Main Street in downtown Norfolk To register for “Israel Incubates and America Invests,” call Carolyn Amacher at 757-452-3181 or email camacher@ujft. org. For more information on the UJFT Business & Legal Society and upcoming events, visit www.jewishva.org/ BusinessAndLegalSociety.
Lawyers without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich Thursday, April 11, 5:30–8 pm An exhibit and panel discussion at Old Dominion University will explore what happens when the rule of law is obliterated. The exhibit, Lawyers without Rights, was created by the German Federal Bar and has been shown in more than 80 cities worldwide. It depicts how Jewish lawyers and jurists were barred from German courts beginning in 1933, and how individual rights and the Rule of Law were obliterated during the Nazi era. The program begins at 6:30 pm with opening remarks by The Honorable G. William Whitehurst, Ph.D., a former U.S.
Congressman and professor of History and Political Science at Old Dominion University. A panel discussion featuring The Honorable U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division; Professor Frederick Lubich, Ph.D., professor of German, Old Dominion University; with moderator Susan R. Blackman, Esq., Willcox & Savage, P.C. follows. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. by April 8 to Farideh Goldin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hebrew Academy observes and celebrates Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Memorial Day Observance Monday, April 8, 2:40 pm—Fleder Multipurpose Room In observance of Yom HaShoah, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s fifth grade students, under the direction of Sheila Panitz, will present a program in honor and in memory of the victims, survivors and heroes of the Holocaust. The community is invited to attend.
Yom HaZikaron—Israel Memorial Day Observance Monday, April 15, 2:40 pm—Fleder Multipurpose Room In observance of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s students in grades three to five will present a program of poems and songs in memory of all those who have fallen in defense of the State of Israel. Hebrew Academy parents from Israel, Hebrew Academy faculty, and members of the clergy will also participate in the ceremonies, which will include lowering the Israeli flag to half mast, a moment of silence, lighting the memorial candle and multi-media presentations. The community is invited to attend.
Yom HaAtzma’ut—Israel Independence Day Celebration Tuesday, April 16, 2:30 pm—Fleder Multipurpose Room To celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday, Hebrew Academy students and Strelitz pre-school students will perform a program of songs and dances, accompanied by a multi-media presentation. The community is invited to attend.
Singer Noa performs in Simon Family JCC/ Virginia Art Festival collaboration Tuesday, April 16, 7:30 pm The Virginia Arts Festival brings Noa to the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk in a performance co-presented with the Simon Family JCC. For tickets and information, go to vafest.org, call 757‑282‑2822 or visit the VAF Box Office, 440 Bank Street in Norfolk. (M-F, 10am5pm). For a video of Noa, search for her on youtube.
Temple Emanuel presents Ramaz Choir Saturday, April 27
he Ramaz Choir High School singing group from New York will perform at Temple Emanuel at Shabbat services. This group has been to Temple Emanuel many times before. Shabbat services are open to the community. To learn more about the Ramaz Choir, go to www.ramaz.tv. For more information, call Beth Weiner Gross at Temple Emanuel at 757-428-2591.
Volunteers and donors needed! Simon Family Jewish Community Center
Blood Drive Thursday, May 9, 12 – 6 pm To schedule an appointment visit redcrossblood.org. Sponsor Code SFJCC
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what’s happening Yom Hazikaron observation at Temple Israel
Israel Festival at the Simon Family JCC
Sunday, April 14, 6:15 pm
Sunday April 28, 12:30–5 pm
by Marc Soldberg
he State of Israel will observe Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day on 4 Iyyar, Sunday, April 14. In Israel, Yom Hazikaron means more than a three-day weekend and big discounts at the mall. Every Israeli is related to or knows someone who has fallen in defense of Israel. Yom Hazikaron is widely and solemnly observed. Businesses are closed by law. Twice every Yom Hazikaron, sirens wail all over Israel, and everything comes to a stop for two minutes. Even on the highways, cars pull over to the side of the road and everyone gets out and stands still. All day long, military cemeteries are crowded with families visiting their lost loved ones, and IDF veterans honoring their fallen comrades. They put flowers on graves, light candles, and say prayers. And cry. In schools, in workplaces, and on military bases, there are memorial ceremonies.
The flag of Israel is dipped in remembrance of those who have given their lives in defense of Israel. A memorial ceremony will take place at Temple Israel, 7255 Granby Street, Norfolk, to commemorate Yom Hazikaron and honor the fallen heroes of Israel. The doors will open at 6 pm. The ceremony will start promptly at 6:15 in Brody Auditorium. The event is free and open to the community. The program will be conducted in Hebrew and English. An Israeli Kosher dinner will be served following the ceremony. RSVP to the Temple Israel Office, 489-4550. Charitable contributions will be accepted on behalf of the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization (“IDFWO”), an organization dedicated to providing social, emotional and financial support to the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers. It is customary in Israel to dress in white and blue for Yom Hazikaron.
Family Shabbat dinner and celebration Friday, April 12, 6 pm • Sandler Family Campus
AD’s popular Family Shabbat event is back, serving up a traditional Shabbat dinner (vegetarian option available), followed by fun and games for kids of all ages. Don’t miss this Family Shabbat event, complete with special and unique kids and family activities. Bring friends and family— all are welcome at this Shabbat table. Mark calendars to join this special mishpocha for Shabbat, and register today. $6/ child (3+); $12/adult; $30/family. Register by calling 321-2338, visit the customer service desk at the Simon Family JCC, or email email@example.com. Prepayment required for attendance. UJFT YAD events are for young Jewish professionals, ages 22-45 in the Tidewater Jewish community.
he 2013 Israel Festival at the Simon Family JCC welcomes people from every background and religion to an afternoon of celebration. The Israel Festival aims to reach beyond the Jewish community to those who are looking for a taste of Israeli culture. This celebration of Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut) will include traditional Israeli cuisine, unique shopping, arts and crafts and much, much more. Admission is free, with food and some activities requiring ticket purchase. “The Israel Festival is a wonderful way to celebrate Israel right here in Hampton Roads,” says Gloria Siegel, vice president, cultural arts for the JCC. “Where else can you ride a camel outside of Israel? Plus, there’s so much we have to showcase here at the JCC.” At the festival, expect to see, taste and experience Israeli culture by partaking in an afternoon of Israeli activities. New this year is a visual representation of Israel’s gifts to the world called Walk the Land 65, a collection of educational murals, which will be spaced throughout the campus. On the main stage, the Israeli rock band, The Shuk, will perform two sets. Israeli dancing performances will also take place on the main stage. There will be plenty of family fun such as inflatables, amusement rides, face painting, and even real camel rides (weather-permitting). All ages will
enjoy authentic Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as frozen delectables. Never been to the Western Wall? There will be an opportunity to have personal letters delivered to Jerusalem. A wall will be constructed at the JCC, and the letters from this community will be delivered to the real Western Wall by students traveling on a Birthright Israel trip this summer. Israeli artists and vendors will demonstrate their crafts and have merchandise available for sale at the JCC Ben Yehuda Street marketplace. Experience Israel, see family and friends, and share in Israel’s 65th birthday. Check the JCC website for a full schedule of events at www.simonfamilyj.org.
Pink Tea at Temple Emanuel Sunday, May 5, 2 pm 2012 Family Shabbat at the Aquarium.
Animal blessing at Temple Israel
by Leslie Shroyer
Sunday, April 21, 9:30 am
ring leashed or contained pets to Temple Israel for the Blessing of the Animals by Rabbi Michael Panitz. Enter through the rear atrium stairs for this fun and unique service. Sunday school students will provide special Kosher dog treats, and Fleigel the Jewish Beagle, newest member of the Panitz family, will make a special guest appearance. At 11 am, representatives from the Virginia Zoo will arrive with an assortment of animals.
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he community is invited to a Pink Tea at Temple Emanuel to honor Women Cancer survivors. This is an opportunity to hear how “Your Good Health is in Your Hands” with a panel of health experts including Dr. Celeste Bremer, oncologist; Cori Damuth, nurse practitioner gynecology; Susan Hellstrom, director Beach Health Clinic; and Renee Heyman, community educator. The minimum contribution of $7.50 will be donated to the Beach Health Clinic.
The clinic provides mammograms and examinations to underserved women in the area. Last year, $1,200 was collected at the tea for the clinic. The Tea is sponsored by local Pink Angels, allowing all the proceeds to go directly to the clinic. The festivities take place in the Social Hall of Temple Emanuel at 424 25th Street in Virginia Beach. Make reservations by Wednesday, May 1 by calling the temple office at 757-4282591 or Renee Heyman at 757-853-2145.
what’s happening Israeli writer to give 2013 Helen and Daniel Sonenshine Lecture at ODU
The Honorable Louis A. Sherman to receive 2013 Henry B. Kaufmann Award at Ohef Sholom Temple
Sunday, April 14, 7 pm
Sunday, May 5, 10:30 am
by Anita Clair Fellman
n Israeli Holocaust survivor forbidden by his granddaughter to mention his experiences in the war during her engagement party, collapses with a stroke when she yells Savyon Liebrecht at him to remain quiet. A Jewish woman struggles unsuccessfully to find the right tone to use when dealing with the Arab laborers building an extra room on the roof of her home. ‘What am I speaking, Chinese?’ is the mantra of an embittered survivor denying her husband and daughter the smallest expression of tenderness or joy. Words withheld and words used as weapons—these are motifs in many of the stories of Savyon Liebrecht, a popular and well-regarded Israeli writer, whose following in the U.S. is growing steadily with the English-language publication of some of her books and the U.S. production of one of her plays. Liebrecht will give the 2013 Helen and Daniel Sonenshine Lecture as part of her first visit to Tidewater, courtesy of The Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University. Her talk, “On Writing,” will deal with the challenges of writing in Israel today. Liebrecht, who went to Israel as an infant with her survivor parents in 1948, grew up in what she describes as “a silent home,” muted by the many taboo subjects pertaining to her parents’ earlier lives. In this type of home, she points out, “A child learns very early on to observe and absorb clues from nonverbal sources.” Although the Holocaust was never discussed in her family, it became the event, “which more
than any other...left its marks” on her life and hence has become a subject in her life. Tension between the survivor generation and their children and grandchildren is one of the subjects to which Liebrecht has returned time and again in her six collections of short stories and novellas, her two novels, and her plays and TV scripts. Her sensibilities shaped by this topic also extend to other contested aspects of life in Israel. Whether she is dealing with the Mizrahi/ Asheknasi disconnect, Jewish Israeli unease in the presence of Palestinians, secular/religious divisions, or gender and aging issues, through her stories of personal interactions, she explores the impact of long-contained anger and pain, the power of family bonds, the damage to children who essentially have been orphaned. As one reviewer wrote of her 2006 short story collection, A Good Place for the Night, “The permanent unsettledness of Israel is exported and globalized here; no matter where Liebrecht’s characters go or what they do, they are never yet truly at home.” Her writings reveal strong identification with the victim and deep yearning for reconciliation between those in conflict. Savyon Liebrecht’s talk will take place in Room 1012 of the Batten Arts and Letters Building on the Old Dominion University campus. Free parking is available next to the building at Hampton Blvd. and 43rd St. Refreshments and a book signing will follow the talk. More about ODU’s Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding and the Sonenshine Lecture Series in Jewish Studies can be found at http://al.odu.edu/ijiu or contact Farideh Dayanim Goldin, director of IJIU, firstname.lastname@example.org. —Anita Clair Fellman, professor emerita of Women’s Studies at ODU, was the co-founder with Farideh Goldin of the Jewish Women Writers Book Club sponsored by IJIU.
or more than 30 years, the Ohef Sholom Temple Men’s Club has bestowed the Henry B. Kaufmann Award upon a congregant for extraordinary service to the temple The Honorable and the entire com- Louis A. Sherman munity. Henry B. Kaufmann, an accountant by trade, was extremely active in Men’s Club and numerous other temple affairs. He was also a devoted volunteer for civic clubs throughout the city, as well as an active fundraiser for the Heart Association, Cancer and Arthritis Foundations. The Men’s Club established this memorial to him posthumously to honor his exemplary service to the community, his devotion to Ohef Sholom Temple, and his love for Judaism. This year, the Men’s Club selected The Honorable Louis A. Sherman as the 2013 Henry B. Kaufmann Award Recipient. Sherman has been married to Carol for 40 years and they are the proud parents of two sons, Eric and Scott, as well as three granddaughters. The Shermans have been Ohef Sholom members for more than 30 years and have celebrated the Consecration, Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation of both sons at OST, in addition to Eric’s marriage to Anna and their granddaughters’ namings. Carol was part of the first Adult B’nai Mitzvah at OST and recently, Sherman observed the 50th anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah there. Sherman’s love for and dedication to his synagogue include a long tradition of service. He is an honorary member and
trustee of the OST board of directors. He has served as secretary of the executive committee, chair of the worship, by-laws revision and personnel committees and as president of the Men’s Club. He also chaired the Temple Fundraiser that produced its first Temple Directory. Other committees include membership, long range planning and numerous ad-hoc groups. Sherman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from West Virginia University in 1968 and received his law degree in 1971 from University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a clerk for a Federal Judge in Baltimore, as a staff Legal Aid attorney, two years at HUD and six years as executive director of the Tidewater Legal Aid Society. After 13 years in private practice, Sherman was elected by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to serve as Judge of the Norfolk General District Court, a position he held until October 2008 when he was appointed Judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court. Sherman retired in January, 2013. In the community at large, Sherman is a past president of the Association of Retarded Citizens and has been an active board member of Family Services of Tidewater and the Wards Corner Little League. Every year, he has been a devoted volunteer for the NEST program. Sherman also served on the Norfolk City Democratic Committee rising to the position of vice-chair. Brunch will be held in Kaufman Hall at 10:30 am with the presentation following at 11 am. Admission is $10. Reservations may be made by calling the Temple office at 757-626-4295.
UJFT Women’s Outreach Committee presents Barry Levinson’s Avalon for Girls Afternoon at the Movies Sunday, April 21, 2:30 pm at Cinema Café, Pembroke Meadows
Tikkun Tidewater 2nd Annual Community Recycling Day Sunday, April 14, 1– 4pm Simon Family JCC on the Sandler Family Campus Drive-thru Recycling: it’s the convenient way to do good! Contact JewishVa.org/recycle. For more details, see page 11
early a quarter century after its release, Barry Levinson’s film, Avalon, remains as poignant, funny, and quintessentially Jewish as it was at its 1990 premiere. The Women’s Outreach Committee of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites all women in the Jewish community to enjoy on the big screen the film the Washington Post called “a rich, graceful work of lulling sentiment.”
The movie will be shown at Cinema Café, Pembroke at 758 Independence Boulevard in Virginia Beach. Cost to participate is $5 per person, which covers the film, kosher snacks and soft drinks. Open to all women in the Jewish community. No solicitation. For more information or to RSVP, contact Patty Malone at 965-6115 or email@example.com.
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Who Knew New website helps young and Jewish navigate life Better Than Bubbe provides advice, insights and tips for Jewish 20-somethings such as negotiating the Jewish holidays off at a first job; learning tips about how to live inexpensively in Israel for a year; and getting insights into how to share living space with someone who keeps kosher when you aren’t. All of this and more can be found on Better Than Bubbe (www.betterthanbubbe. com). The website is part of a global outreach and engagement initiative made possible by the Schoenbaum Family Foundation, and the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Federation Alliance. Better Than Bubbe expands beyond the solid, old-fashioned advice that Bubbes across the world have passed down to their grandchildren for generations. The site offers advice and how-tos on Jewish and general interest topics written by young Jewish adults who have lived through their 20s. Better Than Bubbe also gives young adults an opportunity to talk to each other in a freeform forum, and invites readers to submit their own questions about life issues they are facing. “We are providing Jewish young adults a meaningful way to navigate their twenties, a critical time when they are searching for resources and connection,” says Lisa Robbins, Better than Bubbe’s director of All Things Bubbe. “We aren’t trying to replace the sage advice offered by Jewish grandmothers everywhere; we are creating a community for Jewish young adults to learn, interact and trade experiences with those who have already ‘been there’ before. Thirty-somethings might enjoy the site too, if nothing else but to share their knowledge and what they’ve learned.” (JTA) Raisman heading to ‘Jewish Olympics’ Aly Raisman will be bringing some star power to the Maccabiah Games this summer. Raisman, the U.S. gymnast who won gold at the London Olympics and recently made headlines for joining the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, will be competing at the so-called “Jewish Olympics” being held July 17–30. Maccabiah organizers made the announcement at a recent news conference in Israel. Games chairman Amir Pered said the Jewish champion would be honored at the opening ceremony at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. “We are very happy that an athlete like Aly Raisman, who is at the top of her game, will be coming to take part,” Pered said, according to Haaretz.
calendar At the Maccabiah Games, which like the Olympics are held every four years, Jewish athletes from all over the world compete in 42 events at various venues. This year’s competition is expected to be the largest ever, with some 8,600 athletes from 72 countries. (JTA)
Dunham likes her body Even if shock radio jockey Howard Stern did call her a “little fat chick,” writer-actress Lena Dunham of HBO’s “Girls” wouldn’t have her body any other way. For the April issue of Playboy, the Jewish “voice of a generation” posed naked behind a white Playboy shirt and explained in an interview that she is much happier looking like an average girl than a model. “There would be all kinds of weird challenges to deal with, I don’t think I’d like it very much,” she said about having the body of a Victoria’s Secret model. “I don’t want to go through life wondering if people are talking to me because I have a big rack. Not being the babest person in the world creates a nice barrier.” Dunham doesn’t need to go through life pondering what people know about her rack because the actress already has broken plenty of nudity boundaries on her show: We’ve seen her topless in just about every episode, sometimes playing ping pong and other times eating cupcakes. Speaking of cupcakes, Dunham did admit she wouldn’t mind living in the body of a Victoria’s Secret model for a day—to score some free food at restaurants. “Then I’d call a doctor and see if she could return me to my former situation,” she added. (JTA) Dylan bringing rock to American Academy of Arts and Letters Bob Dylan was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, becoming the first rocker to join the prestigious institution. Robert Allen Zimmerman joins the academy’s list of such A-list Americans as Sinclair Lewis, Kurt Vonnegut, Duke Ellington, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Rothko, Frank Lloyd Wright and Roy Lichtenstein. Additions to the academy come from music, literature and the visual arts, and Dylan was anointed as an honorary member because of “the diversity of his work” and “his iconic place in the American culture,” said the academy’s Virginia Dajani. She added that Dylan “is a multitalented artist whose work so thoroughly crosses several disciplines that it defies categorization.” Dylan will be inducted in May, but he likely will not attend the ceremony since he’s booked tour dates during that time. (JTA)
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A p ril 11, T hur s d ay Film and Discussion a s a p a r t o f t h e C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s C o u n c il ’s S t e p U p f o r Is r a e l s e r i e s. Wa t c h a s h o r t f il m, C rea tion of a S ta te f o l l o w e d b y a dis c u s si o n w i t h R a b b i R o z M a n d e lb e r g. E x a m i n e t h e e v e n t s t h a t l e d t o t h e e s t a b lis h m e n t o f t h e S t a t e o f Is r a e l, t h e 19 4 8 Wa r o f I n d e p e n d e n c e, a n d t h e 19 6 7 S i x- D a y Wa r. O h e f S h o l o m Te m p l e, 5 3 0 R a l e ig h Av e n u e, N o r f o l k , 7 p m. F r e e a n d o p e n t o t h e c o m m u n i t y. R S V P t o Jj o h n s o n @ u j f t .o r g o r 3 21- 2 3 8 8. A p ril 14, S und ay Tikkun Tidewater , a “ dr i v e -t h r o ug h ” c o m m u ni t y r ec y cle da y p r esen t ed b y t h e C o m m u ni t y Rela t io ns C o u n cil, JF S, TJF, YA D a nd BB Y O in a p r ojec t o f J - S er v e. C h ec k w w w.Je w ishVa.o r g /r ec y cle t o see w ha t i t ems t o sa v e t o p a r t icip a t e. 1– 4 p m o n t h e S a ndler F a mil y C a mp us. F o r m o r e in f o r ma t io n o r t o v olu n t eer, c o n t a c t J Jo h nso n @ ujf t.o r g. S ee p ag e 11. Yom Hazikaron , Is r a e l ’s M e m o r ia l D a y. Te m p l e Is r a e l. Yo m H a z i k a r o n c e r e m o n y h o n o r i n g t h e m e m o r y o f Is r a e li s o l d i e r s w h o l o s t t h e i r li v e s i n b a t t l e f o r t h e c r e a t i o n a n d p r e s e r v a t i o n o f t h e S t a t e o f Is r a e l, a n d t h e m e m o r y o f a ll v i c t i m s o f t e r r o r is m. F r e e a n d o p e n t o t h e c o m m u n i t y. 6 p m. A n Is r a e li K o s h e r d i n n e r w ill b e s e r v e d f o ll o w i n g t h e c e r e m o n y. R S V P t o t h e t e m p l e o f f i c e, 4 8 9 - 4 5 5 0. S e e p a g e 2 0. Brith Sholom w ill h o l d t h e i r I n s t a lla t i o n D i n n e r D a n c e a t t h e We s t i n H o t e l, V i r g i n ia B e a c h To w n C e n t e r, 4 p m. D i n n e r s e r v e d w i t h q u i e t m u si c b y P a u l Z i m m e r m a n; 5 p m I n s t a lla t i o n c e r e m o n y, 6 p.m. D a n c i n g, 6:3 0 – 8:0 0 p m. F u ll c o u r s e d i n n e r s e r v e d w i t h c h o i c e o f s t e a k o r s a l m o n. $ 2 2.5 0 p e r p e r s o n. C a ll D a l e f o r r e s e r v a t i o n s a t 4 61-115 0.
APRIL 17, WED NESDAY The JCC Seniors Club w ill m e e t a t t h e S i m o n F a m il y J C C. B o a r d m e e t i n g a t 10:3 0 a m; C a t e r e d l u n c h a t 12 p m; G e n e r a l m e e t i n g a t 12:3 0 p.m. G u e s t s p e a k e r is E ll e n Wa r a n c h, s o c ia l w o r k e r w i t h J F S. S h e w ill dis c u s s “ Wo r r y.” A p ril 23, T ue s d ay Christians United for Israel (C U F I ) a n d t h e U n i t e d J e w is h F e d e r a t i o n o f T i d e w a t e r p r e s e n t A Nigh t to Hono r Is rael a t t h e R o c k C h u r c h i n V i r g i n ia B e a c h. P la n t o a t t e n d t o s h o w s u p p o r t f o r t h e w o r k C U F I is d o i n g b o t h l o c a ll y a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a ll y a s t h e i r e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r a n d o n e o f t h e 2 0 0 7 h o n o r e e s i n t h e J e w is h d a il y Fo rward ’s t o p 5 0, D a v i d B r o g a d d r e s s e s t h e a u d i e n c e o n t h e g r e a t p a r t n e r s h ip b e t w e e n t h e J e w is h a n d C h r is t ia n c o m m u n i t y w o r k i n g t o s u p p o r t Is r a e l. 7 p m. F o r m o r e d e t a ils, c o n t a c t R o b i n M a n c o ll, d i r e c t o r, C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s C o u n c il a t R M a n c o ll @ u j f t .o r g. A p ril 28, S und ay Walk the Land 65 w i t h t h e C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s C o u n c il a t Is r a e l F e s t 12:3 0 – 5:0 0 p m a s t h e c o m m u n i t y c e l e b r a t e s Is r a e l a t 6 5 a t Is r a e l F e s t i v a l a t t h e S i m o n F a m il y J C C. F o r m o r e d e t a ils a b o u t t h e e v e n t o r t o v o l u n t e e r, v isi t w w w.Wa l k t h e L a n d 6 5.o r g o r c o n t a c t R o b i n M a n c o ll, C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s C o u n c il d i r e c t o r a t R M a n c o ll @ u j f t .o r g. M ay 20, M o nd ay •New Date• Israel Today with David Makovsky p r e s e n t e d b y t h e C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s c o u n c il a n d c o m m u n i t y p a r t n e r s. V isi t J e w is hVa. o r g / C R C f o r m o r e d e t a i l s o r c o n t a c t R o b i n M a n c o l l, C o m m u n i t y R e la t i o n s C o u n c il di r e c t o r a t R M a n c o ll @ u j f t .o r g. Send submissions for calendar to news@ujf t.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Rugs of Love program reaches donations of more than $100,000 in rugs
Mazel Tov Birth Francine and Norman Morgan on the birth of their granddaughter, Margot Elyse, born on Oct. 11, 2012. Proud parents are Dr. Neil Zemmel and Melissa Zemmel of Richmond. Big sister is Viveinne Rose.
More than 65 rugs with a retail value of over $100,000 have been donated by Rugs of Love since the program began in 2010. Local organizations who have received rugs from this program include Dwelling Place, Equi-Kids, For Kids, Southeastern Boys and Girls Club, Star of the Sea, Congregation Beth El, Family Solutions of Tidewater, Ronald McDonald House, Armed Services YMCA, and Just People. Mark Gonsenhauser’s Rug and Carpet Superstore’s program places cleaned, donated rugs that are received in the store with charities that can use the rugs in their facilities or can distribute them to families that need the extra warmth and comfort. Donated rugs are cleaned at no charge in Gonsenhauser’s cleaning plant. After the rug is placed with a local charity, the person or family donating the rug receives a tax deduction receipt. “The organizations that receive the rugs are always very appreciative,” says Lorie Armstrong, head of the cleaning and repair department. If interested in being on the “Rugs of Love” list of charitable organizations or to donate a rug, call Lorie Armstrong at Mark Gonsenhauser’s Rug and Carpet Superstore at 333-1010.
Equi-Kids representatives accept a rug from Mark Gonsenhauser for Rugs of Love.
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FIRST PERSON Yom Hashoah Feature
For one Holocaust survivor, Siemens was a roadblock to his story by Toby Axelrod
BERLIN (JTA)—I was 23 when I first met my cousin Gilbert Michlin. He was sitting at a brasserie near his office in Paris wearing a dark suit with a folded handkerchief poking out of the breast pocket. His short, dark hair was perfectly combed. He said, in charmingly accented English, “There is one thing I must tell you: I was in Auschwitz.” Of course, I already knew. But I had never met a survivor before, let alone our French cousin, who had been a slave laborer for Siemens at the death camp. After the war, Gilbert went to study in the United States and eventually returned to Paris to become the European director of telecom products for IBM. That day in the late 1970s, Gilbert, then 53, had no more to say about the Holocaust. Instead, he told me how miraculous it was that he’d met his French wife, Mireille, in America. “A girl from Marseilles and a boy from Paris would never meet in France,” he laughed. “Someone should write a novel.” We met again over the years. But it was not until 2006, when he and Mireille visited my adopted home city of Berlin, that I really got to know Gilbert. Berlin had been one of Gilbert’s last stations on his way to liberation. Now he and three other men had been invited back to share their recollections with the public and meet representatives of the German company that had “recruited” them at Auschwitz in February 1944. By then, Gilbert was 80 and had published his memoir, Of No Interest to the Nation, in French and English. He wanted not only to tell what he remembered, but
also to provide evidence. He had spent many hours in archives and consulted historians. Sitting at his laptop, he had typed out the facts of his parents’ fate in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The fight against Holocaust denial was most important to him. His new hero was U.S. historian Deborah Lipstadt, who dared to call David Irving a Holocaust denier and triumphed in Irving’s lawsuit against her. In his memoir, Gilbert recalled French complicity in the deportation of Jews. He lovingly portrayed his father’s yearning to immigrate to America and his rejection at Ellis Island in 1923; Gilbert’s own childhood dream to be an actor; and the shock of Nazi occupation and his arrest with his mother by French police at 2 a.m. on Feb. 3, 1944, two days before his 18th birthday. A week later, Gilbert saw his mother for the last time as she was driven away from the Auschwitz platform in a truck. It was at the death camp that a Siemens representative recruited Gilbert and about 100 others to a work unit. His father’s insistence that Gilbert learn a mechanical trade saved his life. Gilbert was selected for armaments production. Siemens kept its Bobrek factory prisoners together, even after the SS evacuated them in the death march from Auschwitz in January 1945. They were transferred together from Buchenwald to Berlin. A few months later, the war was over. Sixty-one years later, Gilbert was back in Berlin. Visiting the unfinished Holocaust memorial, he said the insurmountable chain-link fence was more evocative than the Peter Eisenman construction itself. I went with the Bobrek survivors to the
had wanted to
reach out to young
Germans, whom he had never blamed for the past.
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Siemens offices. Each told his story. Then my the newly catalogued Bobrek files to my cousin stood and insisted that the company heart’s content. finally open its archives to historians so they Gilbert, however, would never get a could get some answers: Why were these chance to see them. Last July, Gilbert called slave laborers kept together? to tell me that the melaWhy were they saved? noma he had fought for The Siemens repreyears was back. sentatives froze; they had “I am being attacked,” no response. The archive he said. “This is really remained closed. the last stretch.” Years later In the years since, I did Just as this news Gilbert some research for Gilbert, arrived, we also learned returned to finding original documents that a German translaBerlin about his family in other tion of Gilbert’s memoir postwar archives. But it was would be published. always the Siemens archive He had wanted to reach that haunted him. For years out to young Germans, he carried on conversations whom he had never and correspondence with blamed for the past. The sympathetic company replayout was ready. The resentatives, yet never got into their archive. cover was finished. Meanwhile, each year on his birth“How fast do you think you can get the day, Gilbert and Mireille invited several book out?” I asked the publisher. friends—survivors and their spouses, and “We’re rushing,” I was told. me—to lunch in a Paris hotel. With chamThat August, I arrived at the American pagne we would toast to life. More than hospital in Paris with a photo of the book once, Gilbert drove me through the streets cover on my computer. Gilbert lay in bed of Paris, pointing out the apartments where with an IV attached to his arm. he and his parents had lived, the parks Days before, his wife had hired a homewhere he had played as a child, the hotel care nurse who, seeing Gilbert’s Auschwitz where he had been put up after his return tattoo, took it as an occasion to complain to Paris in 1945, emaciated and alone. about past Jewish patients. Mireille bit her I never fully understood how Gilbert tongue: She feared she could not easily find could resettle in Paris after all that had a replacement in August. happened. But somehow he achieved a balGilbert once told me he was not afraid ance: holding on to his postwar American of death, since he had seen so much of it. citizenship, bonding with fellow survivors, He died two days after I returned home digging to find out what happened to his from my visit to Paris. His memoir in parents, writing his book and speaking to German was published a few weeks later, French youth about his life. last fall. Always, however, he wondered what Not long ago, I received a call from the was in those Siemens archives. Holocaust memorial in Berlin. In 2010, the semi-official Siemens his“I just read your cousin’s book,” torian who had held the proverbial key Constanze Jaiser, a research associate there, to the company archive was killed in a told me. “We’d like to use an excerpt on our freak accident when the brakes failed in a educational website for German students.” reproduction of a historic Siemens auto. I still haven’t managed to visit the After that, Siemens took some real steps to Siemens archive; it’s been too hard to conimprove access to the archives. template with Gilbert gone. But his passing In a visit to the company archives in does not mean his quest has died. Munich in 2011, I glimpsed underground Maybe the archive contains only lists rooms housing miles of files stacked on with names. Or maybe it contains some metal shelves. And I received an open invi- answers. tation to spend a couple of days perusing Gilbert will never know—perhaps I will.
obituaries Merle Sue Levine Norfolk—Merle Sue Levine died peacefully at her home in Norfolk on Thursday, March 28, 2013 with her husband, Leonard, and her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by her side. Born in Portsmouth on Oct. 8, 1939, she was the daughter of the late Irma and Sol Kaplan. After attending the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and serving an internship at Norfolk General Hospital, Merle was designated as a Registered Medical Technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Receiving an N.I.H. grant, Merle worked in the Pathology Department at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in conjunction with the Technicon Company, where she was instrumental in the design and construction of the first auto analyzer of human fluids. Upon her return to Norfolk, she worked at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and later in the Special Chemistry Department at DePaul Hospital. Leaving the medical profession while raising and educating her two sons, Steven and Mark, Merle became the regional president of Hadassah. She then returned to school, receiving her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Clinical Counseling from Old Dominion University in 1995 and 1998, respectively. After receiving her Master’s degree, Merle worked as a case manager in the Personal Affairs Department of Jewish Family Service for five years and upon her retirement remained active as a master docent at the Chrysler Museum, as a board member of the Hermitage Foundation, and as a docent at the Norfolk Zoo. Merle was a very observant and participating member of both Temple Israel and Ohef Sholom Temple, in Norfolk. Merle’s intellectual curiosity was never satiated and her quest for knowledge ended only with her death. Merle is survived by her husband of 53 years, Leonard D. Levine, of Norfolk, her two sons, Steven and Mark, her sisters, Pamela Sigmond and husband Bill, of Elizabeth City, Jeri Ann Furman and husband Stanley, of Virginia Beach, her brothers, Drew Kaplan, of Dallas, Texas, and Jeff Kaplan and his wife Meryl, of Cleveland, Ohio, and her brothers-in-law Robert Levine and wife Ina, of Tucson, Ariz., and Paul Levine and wife Margaret, of Norfolk, as well as numerous other family members and dear friends. Merle loved her God, her family, her friends, her work, all animals and art glass,
and had the unique ability to balance her life so as not to neglect any of her loves. Graveside funeral services were conducted by Rabbi Michael Panitz at Forest Lawn Cemetery. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Memorial donations may be made to Hadassah, or to Temple Israel. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com
Celtics. Milton also hired a young Wilt Chamberlain as a bellhop, and the couple stayed friends with the Hall of Fame basketballer until his death in 1999. The resort featured performers such as Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Jackie Mason, Jerry Seinfeld, Harry Belafonte, Billy Crystal and Tony Bennett—celebrities that Kutsher came to know well and could call on to entertain if an act fell through.
Marion F. Ostroff Norfolk—Marion Frankel Ostroff passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Born March 16, 1918 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mary was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Sol Ostroff, parents Ethel and Julius Frankel and siblings Rhea Legum, Ada Melnick, Sid Bursor and Morris Frankel. Survivors include daughters Paula Swartz (Charles), Judy Stein (Stanley) and Bonnie Holstein (Gary), granddaughters Kimberly Wynne (Tracy), Jennifer Nomberg (Robert) and Dana Gauthier, and greatgrandchildren Sydney, Gavin, Zoe and Shiloh. A graveside service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.
Two adjacent plots available. David’s Garden Forest Lawn Cemetery 495-3644
Helen Kutsher, a Borscht Belt matriarch NEW YORK (JTA)—Helen Kutsher, the face of her family-owned resort in the Catskill Mountains for decades, has died. Kutsher, who came to be known as the matriach of what was called the Borscht Belt, died Saturday, March 23 in Philadelphia. She was 89 and spent much of her life in Monticello, N.Y., in a house on the grounds of Kutsher’s Country Club, according to The New York Times. Her family owned Kutsher’s for more than 100 years, maintaining the resort while others in the area such as Grossinger’s, Brown’s and the Concord closed down. The family still owns the resort, though it was leased three years ago to another operator, the Times reported. At the height of its popularity, the group of summer resorts known as the Borscht Belt served as the summer getaway for many East Coast Jews. Kutsher and her husband, Milton, who died in 1998, ran the resort together. Milton handled the business side, while Helen focused on the upkeep of the place and was its gracious hostess. Milton hired an athletic director, a young Red Auerbach, who went on to fame as the championship coach of the Boston
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For Israeli souk’s old-timers, healthy Mediterranean diet is no secret by Ben Sales
TEL AVIV (JTA)—Puffing on a cigarette, Amnon Tubi says he always knew what scientists only recently have proven about staying healthy. “I knew that Mediterranean food is the best,” he says, surrounded by tables overflowing with tomatoes, cucumbers and oranges. “The legumes are healthy. There’s a lot of fiber.” Tubi, 60, has worked in Tel Aviv’s crowded, open-air Carmel Market for four decades, peddling produce and fresh fish. He’s no doctor, but that won’t stop him from recommending a daily diet: fish, vegetables, chicken, legumes and eggs. Subtract the eggs, and what’s left are some of the recommendations from a comprehensive dietary study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the effects of heart disease by up to 30 percent. Which foods are best? Olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, cereals, fish and poultry. The study makes the Carmel Market, the onelane pedestrian bazaar known to locals simply as “the shuk,” seem like a health food store. Along the souk’s narrow, cramped and sometimes
smelly corridor, there are at least three natural fruit shake stands, two stores specializing in varieties of olive oil, several fish shops and endless rows of produce. Which stand gets business often depends on which grocer can yell the loudest. And some of the market’s most voluble salesmen are happy to point out what they’ve long known about their product. “I always knew it, of course,” said Yossi, who has worked in the souk for 30 years selling potatoes, onions and garlic. “Mediterranean food is spicy. In Israel, it’s healthy. American food is disgusting. It doesn’t have natural ingredients.” Tucked away behind one of the vegetable stands is a small doorway, framed in blue and white, whose sign simply says “Hummus.” The restaurant, which has gained a local reputation, is housed in a former synagogue and the food is prepared in full view of the patrons. Employees
26 | Jewish News | April 8, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
glop hummus on a dish from a metal bin, scoop in some beans from a large pot, add a sprinkling of spices and maybe some onion. What comes out is the Israeli staple snack hummus ful, or bean hummus. “It’s made from a natural process without any chemicals,” says Dror Zaidenberg, noting that hummus helps reduce fat and high blood pressure. “Jews and Arabs have been eating it for 5,000 years. Our day-to-day movement is better.” But even hummus is too unnatural for Yossi, who says that his dietary staple is one of hummus’s core supplements, tahini, the sesame paste he calls “the original material, the most natural and the healthiest.” American cuisine has had a growing presence in Israel over
the past few decades. At the market’s entrance is a large Burger Ranch, Israel’s answer to McDonald’s. If you prefer the original article, there’s a McDonald’s less than a mile away on Rothschild Boulevard. Greasy pizza is ubiquitous here, too, and French fries are a common addon to falafel. “Israelis aren’t influenced by American food,” Zaidenberg says, though he admits, “We sin sometimes.” Other grocers in the souk also claim not to feel threatened by the encroachment of U.S. fare. And they’re not shy about insulting its enthusiasts. “They don’t know how to eat,” Tubi says. “They just have sandwiches and steak.” For Tubi, a Yemenite Jew, Americans are hardly the only poor eaters. Ashkenazi Israelis, he says, are just as bad. “Ashkenazim are spoiled,” he says. “They don’t know how to cook, so they go to restaurants.” Tubi says the superior eating habits of Middle Eastern Jews have far-reaching implications. “Why is Eyal Golan the best singer?” Tubi says of the Israeli pop star of Moroccan and Yemenite descent. “Because he eats healthy food.” Chaim Bitran, who runs one of the souk’s fruit shake stands, concurs with Tubi’s sentiments. “All of the Americans are fat, white and sick,” he says, adding that bottled juice from a grocery store is “a waste of time.” Either drink juice within 20 minutes after it’s squeezed, he says, or don’t drink it at all.
“Mediterranean food is spicy.
In Israel, it’s healthy. American food is disgusting.
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