Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 55 No. 01 | 16 Elul 5775 | August 31, 2015
31 Kids Connection expands
32 Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel
UJFT Annual Campaign Kick-off Thursday, Sept. 17 —page 16
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41 The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel Wednesday, Sept. 30
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Upfront American Airlines to cancel flights to Israel JERUSALEM ( JTA)—American Airlines announced that it will stop flying to Israel. The airline said it will halt its Philadelphia-Tel Aviv flight in January because it is losing money, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Philadelphia flight, which was begun in 2009, is American’s only route to Israel. The office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has called on the airline to reverse its decision, in part because Nutter has been working to develop economic ties between the city and Israeli companies. “In the future, this business decision may be viewed as shortsighted as more Israeli businesses express interest in Philadelphia,” the mayor’s office said, according to the Inquirer. “Indeed, we’re now seeing a trend where Israeli firms have decided to locate their operations in Philadelphia.” The Israeli business publication The Marker quoted unnamed industry officials as saying that the route is not losing money and that the decision to cancel it could be political. According to The Marker, American is part of the OneWorld alliance, which shares flight codes and other services with Arab airlines. According to The Marker, the airline did not inform Israeli officials about the planned closure in advance of the public announcement.
Contents UpFront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Israel negotiating with Hamas?. . . . . . . . . 6 Iran Nuclear Deal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Elections 201614. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Matisyahu affair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 UJFT Campaign Kick-off. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Rosh Hashanah special section . . . . . . . . 19 Kids Connection expands . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Tom Hofheimer Leadership Mission to Israel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
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Report finds BDS, pro-Israel activity increasing on U.S. campuses NEW YORK (JTA)—Pro- and anti-Israel activity at U.S. universities increased in the 2014-15 academic year, with groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel springing up on more campuses and employing new strategies. Nonetheless, there were more than twice as many pro-Israel events as anti-Israel ones on campus, according to the Israel on Campus Coalition’s “Campus Trends Report” released last week. The report found that the number of U.S. campuses with anti-Israel activity jumped by 31.2 percent from the previous academic year, with two groups that promote BDS—Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, and Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP—both increasing their presence. SJP is now on 150 campuses and JVP on 14 campuses, according to the Washington, D.C.-based group. BDS resolutions on campus increased, particularly on the West Coast and in the Midwest, with activists for the first time pushing referenda in which the entire student population, not just student leaders, is asked to vote on BDS resolutions. Another new development among pro-BDS groups in the past year was a concerted effort to strengthen alliances with progressive and social justice-oriented campus organizations, including LGBT, environmental and anti-racism groups. As a result, the 2014-15 academic year “saw an unprecedented increase in the number
Cover: Jerry Silverman delivers a plenary address at the International Lion of Judah Conference in New York City, September 9, 2014. (Photo credit: Jeff Neira)
Jewish Summers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It’s a Wrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Temple Israel’s prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSIDE—Rosh Hashanah
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of SJP events that are co-sponsored by other campus groups,” and pro-Israel students “on some campuses on which social justice causes are championed by broad segments of the community reported feeling marginalized.” The report also noted a “series of attempts, primarily on West Coast campuses, by anti-Israel activists to take over student governments.” According to the report, anti-Israel efforts on campus receive “significant professional support” from several national organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace. While anti-Israel activism increased, the ICC report also noted the creation of more than 100 new pro-Israel campus groups and said pro-Israel students “are increasingly disciplined, coordinated, and strategic thanks to the leadership of a broad coalition of national pro-Israel organizations.” Pro-Israel resolutions passed at Liberty University, the University of Georgia, Texas A&M University and the University of Nevada during the last academic year. “Recent months have seen a slew of media reports alleging that BDS is taking over college campuses, but ICC-gathered data disprove that theory,” the report concludes. “Nonetheless, if the current trends on campuses nationwide persist, the result could be dangerously close to that reality.”
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Briefs BBYO affirms gender inclusivity BBYO, a pluralistic American Jewish youth group, affirmed in a motion that it is fully inclusive of its members regardless of gender. The motion was passed this month by BBYO’s teen leadership at the group’s International August Executives Conference. “Young people who genuinely identify as Jewish—male, female or gender neutra—are given full eligibility to join and afforded full status as members of the Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the International Order of the B’nai B’rith Girls in any matter, business or forum,” the motion read, referring to the boys’ chapter and girls’ chapter, respectively. While most BBYO chapters are single-sex, some are co-ed. Asked if gender neutral individuals will be able to choose whether to join a girls’ or boys’ chapter, regardless of their birth gender, a spokeswoman said, “The teen leadership of [Aleph Zadik Aleph] amended their constitution to widen the definition of an eligible member of BBYO to any high school-aged teen who identifies as Jewish, based on their own definition of their gender. The teen leaders of BBG [B’nai B’rith Girls] immediately adopted the amendment for their own constitution. BBYO CEO Matthew Grossman said the group was founded to create a space for Jewish students excluded from other groups, and that this motion continues that tradition of acceptance. “This motion is a testament to BBYO’s commitment to inclusivity and just one example of how BBYO is a welcoming place for every Jewish teen.” (JTA) J Street U elects Muslim student as president The campus arm of left-wing pro-Israel group J Street elected a Muslim-American student to serve as president of its national student board. At its “Summer Leadership Institute” in Washington this month, J Street U elected Amna Farooqi, a senior at the University of Maryland who is of Pakistani descent, Haaretz reported. Approximately 120 J Street U student leaders attended the four-day gathering, according to Haaretz, and J Street U says it
has 4,000 active participants on 75 college campuses in the United States. A native of suburban Washington, D.C., Farooqi grew up in a “fairly religious Muslim home” with “a lot of Jewish friends,” Haaretz reported. But “growing up in a household sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, the Palestine-Israel conflict was always the elephant in the room,” she said in a video filmed at the J Street conference last March. “This conflict evoked a level of anger and emotion in me, and I needed to learn more. Everything I was learning about the conflict made me not want to be pro-Israel.… As someone who wanted to contribute to ending this conflict I knew I needed to understand all sides.” While taking a course about Israel in college, Farooqi said she “fell in love with Zionism, because Zionism became about taking ownership over the story of one’s people. If Zionism is about owning your future, how can I not respect that?” She spent a semester at Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School in order to “meet people on the ground and understand the Israeli narrative from their perspective, and to put faces to things and see some of these issues up close,” she said, according to Haaretz. Her extended family has been “confused but supportive” about Farooqi’s Israel activism, she said. This summer she lived in Jerusalem as a J Street U intern, co-leading day trips, including a visit to Hebron, for American university students, Haaretz reported. (JTA)
Late Filipino president honored for taking in Holocaust refugees The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation posthumously honored Philippines President Manuel L. Quezon for providing a haven in his country to more than 1,300 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. In a ceremony at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, Zenaida Quezon Avancena received the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Medal on behalf of her father, Filipino media outlets reported. Quezon, who led the Philippines from 1935 to 1944, was recognized for his “life-saving plan” and for “reaching out to the victims of the Nazi murderous machine.”
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Effie Ben-Matityau, Israel’s ambassador to the Philippines, and Lee Blumenthal, board member of the Jewish Association of the Philippines, presented the medal. President Benigno Aquino attended the ceremony. In a statement, the Wallenberg Foundation said Quezon had “wanted to absorb some 100,000 Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe,” but “his monumental project was thwarted by the outbreak of World War II and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.” (JTA)
Birthright sets record for summer participants Birthright, the free 10-day trip to Israel for diaspora Jews ages 18-26, brought a record 30,000 young Jewish people on its trips this summer. The number of summer participants is Birthright’s highest in its 15 years of existence. The participants came from 32 countries on six continents, and were joined by 5,000 Israeli soldiers and students. Birthright takes Jews on a free trip to a range of historical, religious and outdoor sites across Israel. Overall, half a million people have gone on Birthright’s trips. (JTA) Israeli filmmaker rejected from Oslo festival due to boycott of Israel A film by Roy Zafrani, an Israeli filmmaker, was rejected from an Oslo film festival because it dealt with Israeli subject matter but did not address the Palestinians. The film, Other Dreamers, is about disabled children in Tel Aviv. The film was rejected from the Human Rights Human Wrongs festival, which screens political documentaries, according to the New York Times, because it concerned Israel but did not deal directly with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or discrimination against Palestinians. Zafrani said he sees the decision as tied to the broader movement to boycott Israel, and opposes cultural aspects of that boycott. “I think the larger issue is that there is a boycott—which I can understand and not understand,” he told the Times. “I’m not political.” The decision to boycott Zafrani drew criticism even from Omar Barghouti, a
co-founder of the BDS movement, which encourages boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israel. Barghouti said the boycott should target Israeli institutions, not individuals. “Mere affiliation of Israeli cultural workers to an Israeli cultural institution is therefore not grounds for applying the boycott,” Barghouti wrote in an email to the Times. “If, however, an individual is representing the State of Israel or a complicit Israeli institution, or is commissioned/ recruited to participate in Israel’s efforts to ‘rebrand’ itself, then her/his activities are subject to the institutional boycott the B.D.S. movement is calling for.” (JTA)
Kirk Douglas and wife donating $80 million in new gifts Actor Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, announced plans to donate $80 million in new gifts to an array of charitable causes. In a Hollywood Reporter interview, Douglas, 98, said major beneficiaries will include Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. The two already have donated millions of dollars through their Douglas Charitable Foundation. While most of the beneficiaries are secular organizations, the couple also is donating to the Sinai Temple of Los Angeles, which houses the Kirk and Anne Douglas Childhood Center. Douglas is Jewish and the father of Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, who this year won the $1 million Genesis Prize, which is known informally as the “Jewish Nobel.” In the interview, Douglas recalled his modest childhood as the son of Russian immigrants. “Sometimes we didn’t have enough to eat, but very often there would be a knock at the door and it would be a hobo wanting food, and my mother always gave them something,” he recalled. “My mother said to me, ‘You must take care of other people.’ That stayed with me.” In 2013, the most recent year for which tax information is available, the Douglas Foundation gave away more than $2 million in grants. Jewish beneficiaries included Jewish Family Service, Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl and the Anti-Defamation League. (JTA)
Kee Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)
ith the High Holy Days 5776 soon upon us, how reflective of their grateful spirit and challenging thrust is this Parasha! The Israelites are taught that re-entering the Promised Land is more than a physical act. At the core of this great adventure is a spiritual drama calling for giving thanks through a heartfelt thanksgiving, to the God who led Israel from the diverse confines of Egypt’s House of Bondage to freedom’s open promise and the underlying premise of Sinai’s responsibility. The expected offering to the priest from the bounty of “a land flowing with milk and honey” and the consecrated field’s labor, is designed as an uplifting recognition of divine benevolence that should not go unnoticed, but be internalized for generations to come. It becomes a humbling act of acknowledging an individual’s and a people’s limitations – particularly for a nation covenanted to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” However, given the human proclivity to take blessings for granted and put aside the true record of one’s accomplishments
and failings for short-term self-aggrandizement, implicit in the Israelites’ approaching the priest with earthly goods is a remembrance of these gifts’ divine origin which assumes even fuller significance while reciting the liberation saga of the Exodus. A liberation which is also from our own petty narrowness and pagan blindness to the larger scene of the human enterprise, in which God is a senior partner. It is precisely in the moment of peak rejoicing of the harvest’s fruitful yield that the celebrating Israelites are commanded to recall trying beginnings of their people’s sojourn and the subsequent suffering in the crucible of Egyptian tyranny; lest a journey of forgetfulness and neglect ensues with disastrous consequences. It is difficult, though, to reconcile the lyrically tender words, so very relevant at this trying time, “Hashkifa mimon kodschecha min-hashamayim uvarech et-amcha et-Yisrael.” (“Behold from the heights of your holy abode, from heaven and bless Your people, Israel…”), to the extraordinarily harsh and indescribable punishments to befall us for straying from God’s Covenant. On the threshold of a New Year, may we pledge to pursue in tandem with the Most High the covenant’s loving, yet demanding agenda for our sake, as well as that of the Keeper of our lives. Shana Tova of shalom’s sweet blessings of healing, hope, and harmony! —Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim
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demanding agenda for our sake, as well as that of the Keeper of our lives.
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Here’s why Hamas and Israel may be secretly negotiating Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “Israel is also interested in a long-term cease-fire.” TEL AVIV ( JTA)—After more than a Arabic news sources reported that the decade of failed diplomacy, Israel could be close to signing a major agreement with the agreement could include the construction of a port in the Gaza Strip. Ships en route Palestinians. They’re just not the Palestinians you to Gaza would pass through a port in Cyprus, where they would be examined by thought. After years of vowing not to negotiate either Turkish or NATO authorities. The with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, agreement also would include permits for Israel may be finalizing a deal with the thousands of Gazan day laborers to work terrorist group that reportedly would lift in Israel, and in exchange Hamas would Israel’s blockade of Gaza in exchange for commit to ceasing all rocket attacks and a cessation of Hamas rocket attacks and tunneling into Israel, according to the Times of Israel. tunneling into Israel for at The deal reportedly least eight years. has been approved by the Israeli officials have Shura Council, Hamas’ flatly denied the reports. legislative body. Former Prime Minister Benjamin British Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office Number of wars Tony Blair is said to be released a statement between Israel and Hamas mediating between the saying that its policy of in 6 years sides. non-negotiation with Gershon Baskin, who Hamas had not changed. helped negotiate the 2011 “Israel would like to Israel-Hamas prisoner officially clarify that it exchange that freed Israeli is not holding any meetsoldier Gilad Shalit, says ings with Hamas, neither directly, nor via other countries, nor via he was inclined to believe Netanyahu’s denials and doubted that an agreement intermediaries,” the statement said. But there may be some truth to the was close. Israel has no incentive to sign an reports, which have appeared in the agreement that would strengthen Hamas Arabic-language press and have received while weakening Palestinian moderates in considerable attention in the Israeli media. the West Bank who oppose Hamas, Baskin A senior official in Turkey, an ally of says. “It’s insane for Israel to even think about Hamas, told the Hamas daily al-Resalah that an agreement was near, the Times of entering into that kind of agreement,” Israel reported. The official, Yasin Aktay, Baskin says. “It’s a victory for Hamas, is an adviser to Turkish Prime Minister and the question is: You’re giving Hamas Ahmet Davutoglu and said Hamas politi- a victory as Hamas continues to build its cal chief Khaled Meshaal came to Turkey soldiers and its army. For what? It’s not a to brief the Turkish leadership about the plan to demilitarize Gaza.” If negotiations are taking place, it would agreement. After three wars in the past six years, be a major reversal for a government that Israel and Hamas may have a mutual inter- previously considered Israel-Hamas talks est in securing a longer-term truce that will anathema—at least officially. Last year, stave off another round of fighting. Hamas Israel called off peace talks with the Fatahwould be able to rebuild Gaza—and per- controlled Palestinian Authority when the haps restock its arsenal—while the Israelis Fatah faction and Hamas signed a unity would get a reprieve from Hamas rockets pact. “Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen that is longer than two years. “It seems to me that Hamas absorbed formed an alliance with a murderous some [Israeli military] operations, and terrorist organization that calls for the they’re interested in getting to an arrange- destruction of Israel,” Netanyahu said at ment that will allow them to live in Gaza in the time, using P.A. President Mahmoud quiet,” says Ephraim Inbar, the director of Abbas’ nom de guerre. “Whoever chooses by Ben Sales
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the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace.” Israel, however, has negotiated with Hamas indirectly in the past. Mediated talks in 2012 and 2014 ended Israeli military operations in Gaza. At the end of August 2014, an Egyptian-mediated pact ended a Gaza conflict that saw more than 2,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis killed. The cease-fire also called for restarting indirect talks on easing the blockade of Gaza and disarming the territory.
An Israel-Hamas agreement may be especially opportune now as Israel aims to strengthen ties with neighboring countries that share its fears about the Iran nuclear agreement. Saudi Arabia reportedly wants to create a broad, Sunni-based alliance that includes Hamas to counter Iran’s regional ambitions. Hamas, however, has received funding and weaponry from Iran. For Israel, another positive side effect of an accord could be improved relations with Turkey, which supports Hamas. Relations
between Turkey and Israel deteriorated in 2010 after nine Turks were killed when Israeli soldiers stormed a Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara, trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Since then, Turkey and Israel have negotiated over Israeli compensation for the victims. An Israeli pact with Hamas could make Turkey more amenable to an agreement of its own with Israel. But a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said, “As for relations with Turkey,
agreement is still far off.” Even if an Israel-Hamas accord does strengthen Israel’s regional position, it could harm Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority, signaling to moderate Palestinians that violence pays, Baskin says. “It destroys the Palestinian Authority, it destroys Palestinian moderates,” he says. “It gives the Palestinians the message that you only get concessions from Israel through violence or force.”
Sir Nicholas Winton, the ‘British Schindler,’ to appear on stamp
ritain’s Royal Mail said it will issue a commemorative stamp featuring Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler.” The decision was in response to a campaign launched late last month by the website British jewishnews.co.uk. As of Tuesday, August 25, an online petition calling for the stamp had garnered nearly 106,000 signatures. “Now we have consulted with his family, we are delighted to confirm our intention to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp as part of a commemorative set, subject to the appropriate approvals, in 2016,” the Royal Mail said Monday in a response to the petition posted on the Change.org website. “One of the purposes of Royal Mail stamps is to honour those who have made important contributions to the UK, and every year we consider hundreds of subjects for inclusion. It is clear that Sir Nicholas Winton is a worthy candidate,” the message concluded. The Holocaust Educational Trust, the Association of Jewish Refugees and Sir Mick Davis, who chaired Prime Minister David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission, backed the campaign.
The Royal Mail commissions 12 new stamps each year. Final approval for the stamp must be given by the queen. Winton died on July 1 at the age of 106. The baptized son of Jewish parents, Winton was a 29-year-old stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. In the following nine months, he organized eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain. Winton’s heroism was unremarked until the 1980s, when his wife found evidence of the rescues. The discovery led to a reunion with some of the children and a documentary. Winton received many honors in his later years, including the knighthood. Last year, the Czech government flew him to Prague in a military plane to receive the country’s highest honor. The “Schindler” reference is to the German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who is credited with saving some 1,200 Jews in the Holocaust. His story was made into an Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List. (JTA)
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IRAN nuclear Deal
A tally of how Jewish lawmakers are voting on the Iran deal by Ron Kampeas
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(JTA)—There are 28 Jewish members of Congress: 26 Democrats, one independent who caucuses with the Democrats and one Republican. Nine of them are senators and 19 are representatives. At press time, nine back the Iran deal, seven oppose it and 12 are undecided. The positions of Jewish lawmakers are being watched as Congress decides whether to reject the July 14 agreement between Iran and world powers. The vote, to be held by the end of September, is expected go against the deal. The real question is: Will opponents manage two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto of a rejection? Counting Jewish lawmakers, as distinct from their colleagues, can be controversial. Some ask, why not just track overall whip counts? Are you counting AfricanAmerican lawmakers? The answers are, respectively: Overall whip counts are being covered closely, and yes, blacks, too. But doesn’t singling out Jews feed into Jewish loyalty and cabal stereotypes? The answer to this one: Yes, it unfortunately does. But it should be done anyway. Bigotry and the fear of it cannot dictate news coverage. Identity politics is a fact of American life. There is a Congressional Black Caucus, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Each of these caucuses has a figurative “lobby us” shingle on its door. No single member of Congress can expect to be immersed in every issue coming before the world’s most powerful and influential legislature. Lawmakers naturally look to colleagues who are closest to an issue for guidance. What’s up on immigration? Few lawmakers—few Democrats at least—would pronounce without first taking the temperature of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Police-black relations? Check in with the Congressional Black Caucus. Israel? There’s the congressional Jewish caucus.
Except there isn’t. Or there is, kind of. Jewish lawmakers meet, they consult, their staffs check in with one another. Every four years, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee assembles a “Breakfast with Mishpocha” at political conventions. But there is no official caucus. It is said that Jewish lawmakers will never formally organize precisely because of anxieties over the anti-Semitic stereotypes cited here: dual loyalties and cabals. And yet their non-caucus functions just like the other caucuses—as the front door of Congress for interests representing issues that tend to preoccupy Jews more than other Americans. So when AIPAC needs a Senate sponsor for an enhanced ally bill, it makes sense to sign on Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in no small part because she is Jewish. And when Boxer scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for seeming to interfere in the last U.S. presidential election, she drew headlines, in no small part because she is Jewish. When political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s “ferkakte” theory about the pro-Israel lobby pushing the Iraq war started to gain traction in 2007, an arrow through its heart was a letter signed by 16 Jewish lawmakers saying that no, AIPAC had never lobbied them to support the war. It was understood that AIPAC lobbies Jewish lawmakers first; so if AIPAC had not lobbied Jewish lawmakers on the Iraq War, it had lobbied no one on the Iraq War. In 2015, AIPAC is very much in the lead lobbying against the Iran deal, and its focus has been on Jewish lawmakers. Dozens of members of Congress have come out against the Iran deal, yet AIPAC issued a statement thanking only one, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Schumer is of course key partly because he is a leading Democrat, and with Republicans more or less unified against the deal, the battleground for the deal is Democrats. But Schumer is also key because he is Jewish, and because, playing on his last name, he has called himself a “shomer
IRAN nuclear Deal [‘guardian’] for Israel.” It goes both ways: J Street, in listing lawmakers who agree with its support for the deal, identified two lawmakers as Jewish: Reps. Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif. The Obama administration has focused with intensity equal to AIPAC’s on Jewish lawmakers, with Obama meeting in special sessions with the caucus. “This is a decision that weighs heavily on all members of Congress—particularly on Jewish members,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., wrote on Aug. 5 in a JTA Op-Ed about the Iran deal. One day in a perfect world, or at least a perfect United States, an ambitious intern at the Congressional Jewish Caucus Leadership Institute will compile a whip list like this, and reporters will merely link to it. Until then, JTA is doing the work.
1992, retiring next year. Democratic chief deputy whip, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Statement: “The bottom line is that Iran is a bad actor and a nuclear-armed Iran would make the world a much more dangerous place—and that is why Congress should unite behind this deal to block Iran’s path to a bomb.” (Aug. 4) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., elected 1992. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. From her congressional website’s foreign policy page: “Senator Feinstein strongly believes that the only way to peacefully resolve the international community’s dispute with Iran over its nuclear program is through diplomacy. She supports the nuclear agreement between the P5 +1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia) and Iran.”
Backing the deal Senate Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., elected
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., elected 2008. CNN Op-Ed: “Many have expressed
reservations about the deal, and I share some of those reservations. It isn’t a perfect agreement. But it is a strong one. This agreement is, in my opinion, the most effective, realistic way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon anytime in the next 15 years.” (Aug. 13) Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., elected 2006. Caucuses with Democrats, running for president. From the CBS’s “Face the Nation”: “It’s so easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect. But the United States has to negotiate with, you know, other countries. We have to negotiate with Iran. And the alternative of not reaching an agreement, you know what it is? It’s war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? An asymmetrical warfare that will take place all over this world, threatening American troops. So I think we go as far as we possibly can in trying to give peace a chance, if you like. Trying to see if this agreement will work. And I will
support it.” (Aug. 7) Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, appointed 2012, elected 2014. Statement: “This agreement should not be compared to an imaginary deal where Iran rolled over, and eliminated all its centrifuges and all peaceful nuclear energy generation. That was never seriously on the table. It should be compared to its real world alternative—an unraveling of the international sanctions, Iran moving ever faster towards the bomb, and our country left with few choices other than another war in the Middle East.” (Aug. 10) House Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., elected 1982. Ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, longest serving Jewish member of Congress. Statement: “I along with my brother and late sister when we were in our teens experienced with our parents great personal joy when President continued on page 10
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IRAN nuclear Deal continued from page 9
Truman announced U.S. recognition of Israel. It was something that we could take hold of amidst the unfolding horrors of the years before. Israel’s security has and always will be of critical importance to me and our country. I believe that Israel, the region, and the world are far more secure if Iran does not move toward possession of a nuclear weapon. I believe the Agreement is the best way to achieve that.” (July 28) Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., elected 1998. Democratic deputy chief whip. Statement: “This agreement will not solve every problem – and I stand with the President in his pledge to do even more to protect Israel’s security and combat ISIS. But this deal will prevent Iran from posing the most serious problem—a nuclear threat. Now that our negotiators have succeeded, I stand ready to make sure this agreement moves forward.” (July 14) Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., elected 2000. Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Statement: “The Iranian people will one day throw off the shackles of their repressive regime, and I hope that this deal will empower those who wish to reform Iranian governance and behavior. The fifteen years or more this agreement provides will give us the time to test that proposition, without Iran developing the bomb and without the necessity of protracted military action. Then, as now, if Iran is determined to go nuclear, there is only one way to stop it and that is by the use of force. But then at least, the American people and others around the world will recognize that we did everything possible to avoid war.” (Aug. 3) Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., elected 2006. Statement “This historic agreement is a victory for American diplomacy and international security. We now have a clear plan to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, which ensures a safer world and a more stable Middle East. As President Obama stated this morning, this agreement is not built on trust—it is built on verification.” (July 14)
Opposing the deal Senate
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., elected 1998. A leading contender for Democratic leadership in the Senate when Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, retires next year. Statement: “Ultimately, in my view, whether one supports or opposes the resolution of disapproval depends on how one thinks Iran will behave under this agreement. If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement. After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism. But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.” (Aug. 6) House Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., elected 2006. Ranking Democrat on the Middle East subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Op-Ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “There are different predictions about what will happen if Congress rejects this deal. But the consequences of approving it aren’t up for debate. Opening Iran up to foreign investment, increasing its oil exports, and unfreezing over $100 billion in assets means more money for Hamas for building terror tunnels in Gaza, more weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon, more slaughter in Syria, and more violence worldwide. After a decade in public life working to stop Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons, I cannot support a deal giving Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief – in return for letting it maintain an advanced nuclear program and the infrastructure of a threshold nuclear state.” (Aug. 4) Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., elected 1988. Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Statement: “At the
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outset, I was troubled that Iran was not asked to stop enriching despite the fact that there were several separate UN Security Council resolutions compelling them to do so. I have raised questions and concerns throughout the negotiating phase and review period. The answers I’ve received simply don’t convince me that this deal will keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and may in fact strengthen Iran’s position as a destabilizing and destructive influence across the Middle East.” (Aug. 6) Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., elected 2000. Until last year, chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Interview with Newsday: “I tried very hard to get to ‘yes.’ But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.” (Aug. 4) Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., elected 1988. Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. Statement: “This agreement will leave the international community with limited options in 15 years to prevent nuclear breakout in Iran, which will be an internationally-recognized nuclear threshold state, capable of producing highly enriched uranium. I am greatly concerned that the agreement lacks a crystal clear statement that the international community reserves the right to take all military, economic, and diplomatic measures necessary during the course of the deal and beyond to deter Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.” (Aug. 4) Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., elected 1996. Ranking Democrat on terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Statement: “This Agreement is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It contains the good and the bad in the first year, and gets ugly in the years thereafter. The Good: Iran gives up 97% of its stockpile of enriched uranium and decommissions 2/3 of its existing centrifuges. The Bad: Iran gets access to at least $56 billion of its own currently-frozen funds, and free access to the international oil markets. The Ugly: In 15 years or less, Iran is permitted to have an unlimited quantity of centrifuges of unlimited quality, as well as heavy water reactors
and reprocessing facilities. I might be willing to accept the good with the bad during the first year of the Agreement. But we must force modifications of the Agreement, and extensions of its nuclear restrictions, before it gets ugly.” (Aug. 7) Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., elected 2014. The only Jewish Republican in Congress, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Op-Ed in the Washington Times: “The irony of the president’s capitulation is that this bad deal will pave the path to more instability in the Middle East, not less. The Iranians were at the table desperate for sanctions relief. They were not there as freedom-loving, good citizens of the world. The Iranians were not at the table because they fear the military option. The leverage was sanctions relief. That brought the Iranians to the table, which is proof the sanctions were working. With a strong hand, the United States must negotiate a better deal. The American public must reject this deal. The Obama administration must be forced to reverse course. America’s hand at the negotiating table must be strengthened.” (July 19)
Not yet declared Senate Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., elected 2010. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Statement: “This agreement must be airtight, comprehensive and enduring – and, perhaps most importantly, strictly verifiable and enforceable. While our common hope may be that diplomacy has succeeded in barring an Iranian path to nuclear weapons capability, Congress must apply exacting standards and strict scrutiny, especially given Iran’s history of deceit and international law violations.” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., elected 2006. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. With the committee’s chairman, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., crafted legislation that gave Congress 60 days to consider whether to reject the deal. Statement: “There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of
IRAN nuclear Deal sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.” (July 14) On July 16, Cardin and Corker urged President Barack Obama not to advance U.N. Security Council consideration of the Iran deal until Congress had finished deliberating. The United States advanced the deal, and the Security Council unanimously approved it. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., elected 1996. Ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, member of the Intelligence Committee. Statement: “I said all along I was skeptical that Iran’s leaders would agree to dismantle their nuclear weapons program and I have questions about whether this agreement accomplishes that, particularly in light of Iran’s history on this issue. However, I will use my seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee to thoroughly review the details. An agreement with such serious consequences for U.S. security must be subject to rigorous oversight before any decisions are made.” (July 14) House Rep. David Cicilinne, D-R.I., elected 2010. Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Statement: “This morning’s announcement that negotiators have reached an agreement intended to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is a very significant development. It’s important that Congress take the next 60 days to carefully review all of the terms of this agreement before deciding whether it accomplishes its objective of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.” (July 14) Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., elected 2006. Statement: “Secretary Kerry and all of the negotiators deserve credit for their hard work leading to this historic, comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran, and Congress should give the agreement a fair, unbiased, and objective review. I look forward to thoroughly examining the agreement to ensure that it effectively cuts off Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and will keep America and our allies, especially Israel, safe. I also look forward to discussing the deal with the intelligence community, my colleagues, and my constituents before moving forward.” (July 14)
Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., elected 2000. Statement to Breitbart News: Undecided. (Aug. 15) Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., elected 2008, unseated 2010, reelected 2012. Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, running for Senate. Statement: “Having reviewed this agreement, there are three areas that concern me: First, I’m concerned that the lifting of economic sanctions will not stop Iran from continuing to be a sponsor of global terrorism. In fact, that support would now be well financed by an increase in its oil revenues. Second, I’m concerned that Iran will continue its missile program, which would help it develop a missile directed against the United States. Third, I’m concerned that this is just a pause in Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and not an end to it.” (July 14) Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., elected 2012. Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Statement: “In June, I made a statement urging vigilance ahead of the upcoming nuclear agreement deadline, outlining the following five key components that should be included in any final deal to ensure the agreement verifiably prevents all Iranian pathways to a bomb: Robust and intrusive inspections; Phased sanctions relief that comes only as a result of Iranian compliance; Dismantlement of key nuclear infrastructure; Disclosure of possible military dimensions of the program; and a long timeline that gives the international community confidence that it can hold Iran accountable. I plan to evaluate the proposed agreement using these standards.” (July 14) Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., elected 2012. Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Statement: “I applaud Secretary Kerry and am encouraged by the P5+1 agreement with Iran as a possibly historic move toward peace and stability in the Persian Gulf region. The negotiators have done their job, now it is time for Congress to do ours. I supported the Administration framework that included rigorous inspections, snapbacks on the sanctions, and a goal of blocking Iran from a pathway to nuclear weapons. I now look forward to continued on page 12
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IRAN nuclear Deal continued from page 11
reviewing the full agreement in detail to determine if the agreement is consistent with the framework.” (July 14) Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., elected 1992. Op-Ed: “Parts of this agreement are good and parts are bad; that is the reality of the decision we face. Congress must weigh all the alternative scenarios to determine what is achievable, what is preferable and what action most likely will lead to the outcome we all want. My colleagues and I must ask the right questions, without any certainty that there are indisputable or unanimously agreed-upon right answers. We must put aside the demagoguery and political pressures to make a decision based on a clear and careful analysis.”
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., elected 2008. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado, reported by the Coloradoan: “There’s a lot of steps where, if they tried to weaponize (nuclear materials), they’d be caught. On the negative side of things, the regime supports terrorism and $50 billion in sanctions will be unlocked.” (Aug. 8) Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., elected 2004. Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, member of the foreign operations subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Initiated in her freshman term legislation that created Jewish Heritage Month. Does not have a statement on her congressional
U.S. rabbis sign petition opposing Iran nuclear agreement WASHINGTON (JTA)—Hundreds of U.S. rabbis from the major streams of Judaism signed on to a petition urging Congress to oppose the Iran nuclear deal. As of Tuesday, August 25, more than 840 rabbis had signed the online letter, which says that the hope for a good deal “is not yet realized.” The petition was posted on the Care2 website earlier this month and remains open until Sept. 7, with a goal of 1,000 signatures. “Together, we are deeply troubled by the proposed deal, and believe this agreement will harm the short-term and long-term interests of both the United States and our allies, particularly Israel,” reads the letter, which was co-authored by Rabbis Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Congregation in Southern California and Yonah Bookstein of Pico Shul in Los Angeles. “Collectively, we feel we must do better.”
The letter criticizes key aspects of the deal, including the lifting of the arms embargo on Iran and providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief without an “airtight, comprehensive inspections structure.” In mid-August, a petition urging support for the nuclear deal with Iran signed by 340 U.S. rabbis from the major denominations of Judaism and sponsored by Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization, was sent to Congress. Congress will vote in September on whether to approve the deal reached between six world powers, including the United States, and Iran. The agreement offers Iran sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its nuclear program. President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any legislation aimed at blocking the deal. (JTA)
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website, but has conveyed in interviews the pressures on her as a top Democrat and one of the Jewish caucus’s most visible members. On CNN after Schumer announced he opposed the Iran deal: “I know Chuck’s decision was based on what he personally concluded was the most likely way of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And that’s the choice I have to make after I go home and talk to my constituents as well. But I think this is not black and white. It’s not a no-brainer…it’s troubling and difficult for the deal to lose a prominent senator like Chuck Schumer. But it’s absolutely completely still possible, and probably likely that this is a deal that will go through. You know, ultimately,
when the Republicans send a resolution of disapproval, which is almost for sure to happen because they have the majority in both chambers, the president is going to veto it. I do not believe at the end of the day that Republicans will have the votes to override his veto.” (Aug. 7) On Aug. 14, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Wasserman Schultz “plans on meeting with rabbis, community organizers, business owners and elected officials.” She has received 200 calls and emails. “It tilts toward people asking her to vote against it rather than for it but of the people contacting us, both sides are pretty vocal in their support or opposition,” her spokesman, Sean Bartlett, told the newspaper.
N.Y. lawmaker says he’s facing personal attacks over backing of Iran deal (JTA)—U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler said he has faced hurtful personal attacks from Orthodox precincts since he announced his support of the Iran nuclear deal. Nadler, D-N.Y., told the Israeli daily Haaretz this week that the attacks have come from the religiously and politically conservative precincts in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. He noted also that he has received emails and calls of support since he announced his backing for what he called the “flawed” deal in a more than 5,000-word statement, citing as a major reason his support for Israel. He is the sole Jewish lawmaker from his state to support the deal. Of the attacks, Nadler told Haaretz, “Of course it hurts. It’s emotional.” “Most hurtful is people asserting, shouting, that somehow I am anti-Israel,” he said. “I’ve been a supporter of Israel my whole life.” New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is Orthodox, has threatened to raise millions of dollars to mount a primary challenge to Nadler, according to the report. “The political consequences are
concerning, but I had to” support the deal,” Nadler told Haaretz. “How could I live with myself if I voted against it knowing that would increase the chances of a bomb in Iranian hands? How could I do that? “What bothers me about this debate is its incivility, excoriating people as traitors or dual loyalists.” The agreement, in which the United States and five other world powers offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its nuclear program, “for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” Nadler wrote in his statement. “I am also deeply disturbed that some opponents of the agreement have taken to questioning the sincerity of people’s support for Israel (or their ‘Jewishness,’ if it applies) if that person believes” in the agreement, he added. Nadler decided to support the deal after receiving a letter from President Barack Obama answering his critical questions about it. The letter, which Nadler shared on his website, promises to increase military aid for Israel’s defense and to keep pressure on Iran for its support of terrorist groups.
IRAN nuclear Deal
Iran deal will pass (or so says the math) by Uriel Heilman
Does the Iran deal have the votes or not? Though President Barack Obama is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard and Congress is in recess through Labor Day, there’s plenty of action on the agreement as lawmakers debate whether to vote with their colleagues, constituents, aides or consciences—or some combination therein. The deal’s chances in Congress With Obama having vowed to veto any disapproval of the deal, both houses of Congress would have to muster vetoproof majorities—290 in the House, 67 in the Senate—to kill the deal. If the Republicans vote as a bloc against the deal, as seems likely, its opponents would need 44 Democrats in the House and 13 in the Senate to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto. That’s unlikely to happen in the Senate, which is why few analysts are even bothering to count votes in the House. (If the Senate cannot override Obama’s veto, it doesn’t matter what happens in the House.) Only two Senate Democrats have come out against the deal: Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Charles Schumer of New York. Meanwhile, 26 Democrats and the two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats have come out for the agreement reached last month between six world powers and Iran. That leaves only 14 more Democratic votes up for grabs. Unless 11 of those senators break with the president to vote against the deal, the agreement trading sanctions relief for Iran for restrictions on its nuclear program will become law. (To put it another way, the deal’s supporters need just four more yes votes in the Senate to uphold the deal.) At press time, a continuously updated tally by the Washington Post counts four already leaning in support of the deal and 11 unknown or undecided. Those tilting toward support are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut; Thomas Carper of Delaware; Jeff Merkley of Oregon; and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia. According to the math, the deal looks
likely to be upheld. For the record, fewer than 10 percent of all presidential vetoes throughout history have been overridden by votes in Congress. The Jews are lobbying Despite the high likelihood of the deal proceeding—or perhaps because of it— Jewish groups have maintained an intense lobbying push against and for the deal. Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, which is backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is spending down a $30 million war chest to run ads against the agreement AIPAC has distributed a script to followers to provide guidance on what they should say when they ring their Congress member. “I am calling/writing to urge you to oppose the flawed Iran deal, which does not end Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon,” says the script directed at undecided members of Congress. “Please stand up for the security of the United States and our allies and demand a better deal.” A rabbinic petition (though it’s not clear all the signatories are rabbis) against the deal garnered more than 900 signatures as of Tuesday, August 25, while the previous week 340 rabbis sent a letter to Congress supporting the deal (prompting the rightwing Zionist Organization of America to release an “analysis” of the pro-deal rabbis that found the overwhelming majority supportive of “activities that are hostile towards Israel.”) In a column in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles titled “Imagine the following headline: 340 plumbers urge Congress to disapprove Iran nuclear deal,” Israeli analyst Shmuel Rosner wrote, “Rabbis have no advantage over plumbers when it comes to understanding and assessing the agreement with Iran. They have no better professional qualifications and no more relevant experience.”
support of the deal. In what announced that it would is perhaps a sign of the not take a position. rightward shift of Jewish “At this time, there is organizations (or their big no unity of opinion among donors) in recent decades, the Reform Movement leadDemocrats among the pro-deal ad’s sigership—lay and rabbinic in the Senate natories were three former alike—just as there is not needed to leaders of major Jewish unity among our memberoverride groups whose current leadship as to the JCPOA itself,” the veto ers oppose the deal: Thomas the Union for Reform Dine, AIPAC’s execuJudaism said in a statement tive director from 1980 Aug. 19, using the acroto 1993; Seymour Reich, nym for the Iran deal, the chairman of the Conference Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “Thus, there is simply no clarity of Presidents of Major American Jewish that would support taking a position ‘for’ or Organizations from 1989 to 1990; and Robert Rifkind, president of the American ‘against’ the JCPOA itself.” Meanwhile, a group made up primarily Jewish Committee from 1994 to 1998. The deadline for the vote in Congress of former lay or professional leaders of Jewish organizations took out a full-page on the Iran deal is Sept. 17, just two days ad in The New York Times on Aug. 20 in after Rosh Hashanah.
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Jewish groups weigh in While most nonpartisan Jewish groups that have weighed in are opposing the deal, there have been a couple of notable exceptions. For example, the Reform movement
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Election 2016 Where does Bernie Sanders, the Jewish candidate for president, stand on Israel? by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Bernie Sanders’ best friend is a Zionist who teaches Jewish philosophy, he had a formative experience on a kibbutz and Saturday Night Live dubbed him the “old Jew.” Still, Sanders can’t get away from the inevitable “But where is he on Israel?” question, especially now that the Democratic presidential contender, an Independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, has pulled ahead of Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire, the first primary state. “Do you view yourself as a Zionist?” the left-leaning online magazine Vox asked Sanders in a July 28 interview. It’s a funny question for Sanders, who if there were an “out and proud” metric for Jews in politics would score high. Sanders, 73, is best friends with Richard Sugarman, a professor of Jewish
philosophy at the University of Vermont who champions Zionism to his left-leaning students. His other best friend—and former chief of staff—is Huck Gutman, a University of Vermont professor of literature who is a passionate aficionado of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai. When the comedian Sarah Silverman introduced Sanders at an Aug. 10 rally in Los Angeles, she shunted aside, for a moment, her caustic Jewish shtick. “His moral compass and sense of values inspires me,” she said. “He always seems to be on the right side of history.” Silverman ticked off a list of Sanders’ qualifications that align him with positions that polls show American Jews overwhelmingly favor: for same-sex marriage, for civil rights, against the Iraq war. She might have added favoring universally available health care. “He is a man of the people,” Silverman said. “He has to be; his name is Bernie.”
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Fresh out of the University of Chicago and already deeply involved in left-wing activism, Sanders spent several months in the mid-1960s on a kibbutz. The Brooklyn-born and accented Sanders has been shaped by the murder of his father’s extended family in the Holocaust. “As everyone in this room knows, I am a Jew, an old Jew,” actor Fred Armisen said while playing Sanders in a 2013 Saturday Night Live sketch. Sanders’ well-known pique surfaced in June when Diane Rehm, the NPR talk show host, declaratively told him he had dual U.S.-Israel citizenship, citing an anti-Semitic meme circulating on the Internet. “Well, no, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel,” Sanders said. “I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.” So where does Bernie Sanders stand on Israel? Here’s a review. He backs Israel, but he believes in spending less on defense assistance to Israel and more on economic assistance in the Middle East. Is Sanders a Zionist? Here’s what he told Vox’s Ezra Klein: “A Zionist? What does that mean? Want to define what the word is? Do I think Israel has the right to exist? Yeah, I do. Do I believe that the United States should be playing an even-handed role in terms of its dealings with the Palestinian community in Israel? Absolutely I do. “Again, I think that you have volatile regions in the world, the Middle East is one of them, and the United States has got to work with other countries around the world to fight for Israel’s security and existence at the same time as we fight for a Palestinian state where the people in that country can enjoy a decent standard of living, which is certainly not the case right now. My long-term hope is that instead of pouring so much military aid into Israel, into Egypt, we can provide more economic aid to help improve the standard of living of the people in that area.” He will defend Israel to a hostile crowd, but will also fault Israel—and will shout
down hecklers. At a town hall in Cabot, Vermont, during last summer’s Gaza war, a constituent commended Sanders for not signing onto a Senate resolution that solely blamed Hamas for the conflict, but wondered if he would “go further.” “Has Israel overreacted? Have they bombed U.N. facilities? The answer is yes, and that is terribly, terribly wrong,” Sanders said. “On the other hand—and there is another hand—you have a situation where Hamas is sending missiles into Israel—a fact—and you know where some of those missiles are coming from. They’re coming from populated areas; that’s a fact. Hamas is using money that came into Gaza for construction purposes—and God knows they need roads and all the things that they need—and used some of that money to build these very sophisticated tunnels into Israel for military purposes.” Hecklers interrupted, some shouting epithets. “Excuse me, shut up, you don’t have the microphone,” Sanders said. “You asked the question, I’m answering it. This is called democracy. I am answering a question and I do not want to be disturbed.” His critical but supportive posture on Israel has been consistent and has included using assistance as leverage. As mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1988, Sanders was asked if he backed then-candidate for president Jesse Jackson’s support for the Palestinians during the first intifada. Sanders excoriated what he depicted as Israeli brutality as well as Arab extremism. “What is going on in the Middle East right now is obviously a tragedy, there’s no question about it. The sight of Israeli soldiers breaking the arms and legs of Arabs is reprehensible. The idea of Israel closing down towns and sealing them off is unacceptable,” he said at a news conference, according to video unearthed by Alternet writer Zaid Jilani. “You have had a crisis there for 30 years, you have had people at war for 30 years, you have a situation with some Arab countries where there are still some Arab leadership calling for the destruction of the State of Israel and the
Election 2016 murder of Israeli citizens.” Sanders said the United States should exercise the prerogative it has as an economic power. “We are pouring billions of dollars in arms into Arab countries. We have the clout to demand they and Israel, who we’re also heavily financing, to begin to sit down and work out a sensible solution to the problem which would guarantee the existence of the State of Israel and which would also protect Palestinian rights,” he said. He doesn’t think the Iran nuclear deal is perfect, but he backs it.
“It’s so easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect,” he told CBS News on Aug. 7. “But the United States has to negotiate with, you know, other countries. We have to negotiate with Iran. And the alternative of not reaching an agreement, you know what it is? It’s war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? An asymmetrical warfare that will take place all over this world, threatening American troops? So I think we go as far as we possibly can in trying to give peace a chance, if you like. Trying to see if this agreement will work. And I will support it.”
In Jerusalem, Huckabee says West Bank not occupied, two-state solution unworkable
epublican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Israel has as much right to the West Bank as the United States has to Manhattan. Speaking at a press conference at Jerusalem’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the former Arkansas governor, who gave a speech in the West Bank settlement Shiloh said, according to The Guardian: “I don’t
see it as occupied, that makes it appear as if someone is illegally taking land. I don’t see it that way.” He added: “In America, we have about a 400-year relationship to Manhattan. It would be as if I came and said we need to end our occupation of Manhattan. I’m pretty sure most Americans would find that laughable.” (JTA)
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Chris Christie, appearing with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, slams Iran deal
epublican presidential candidate Chris Christie at a news conference alongside Jewish leaders including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach urged Congress to block the Iran nuclear deal. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, at the Rutgers University Chabad House in New Brunswick, N. J., called on Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and his state’s congressional delegation to vote against the deal. Booker has not announced his position on the deal, which lifts economic sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. New Jersey’s other senator, Robert Menendez, announced on Aug. 18 that he opposes the deal. “We now must count on the United States Congress to substitute for the moral clarity that this president lacks,” Christie
said, according to The Associated Press. “It is a bad deal,” Christie said of the agreement negotiated by the United States and five other world powers. “It is a deal that is not in the interest of the United States, and I think the folks in New Jersey have learned over the last six years that when I think something is a bad deal, I take action to try to change it.” Congress will vote in September on whether to approve the deal. President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any legislation aimed at blocking the deal. At the news conference Boteach, founder of the World Values Network, described Booker as a “soul friend” and noted that they had studied Torah together at Oxford University. (JTA)
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Global surges of anti-Semitism
The Matisyahu affair: In Europe, conflating Jew and Israel By Cnaan Liphshiz
(JTA)—A Spanish music festival’s recent decision to rescind its invitation to the American reggae singer Matisyahu, after he declined to endorse a Palestinian state, brought international attention to a phenomenon that many European Jews have been feeling for years: that they are being targeted for Israel’s actions. Matisyahu, who is Jewish but not Israeli, was the only performer to be asked his views of Palestinian statehood by organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash festival near Barcelona from Aug. 15 to 22. The cancellation of his gig triggered a wave of condemnations, including by Spain’s government and the European Jewish Congress. To quell the storm, organizers of the festival reinvited Matisyahu—he performed his hit song Jerusalem there—and apologized for what they said was a “mistake” made under pressure and threats from anti-Israel activists. But some who track anti-Semitic sentiments and incidents in Europe see the Matisyahu affair as emblematic of widespread conflation between Jew and Israeli on a continent where Israel serves as a pretext for anti-Jewish acts. Recent examples of the conflation include Hitler salutes by Belgian soccer fans at a match last month in Charleroi between a local team and Beitar Jerusalem; Bosnian soccer fans in April chanting anti-Semitic slogans, including “kill the Jews,” at an impromptu pro-Palestinian rally they held in Vienna; and in Britain, singer-songwriter Alison Chabloz signing a blog post this month in which she questioned the existence of the gas chambers with the phrase “#FreePalestine.” “The borderline of what is acceptable behavior toward Jews is shifting in Europe, and the people moving it are using Israel as one of their main vehicles,” says Manfred Gerstenfeld, an Israeli scholar whose work has focused on European anti-Semitism. Earlier this year Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi, said European
Jews are facing a choice: “Live in Europe and criticize Israel or be silent—or leave Europe.” He pointed a finger at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which aims to put political and economic pressure on Israel. For its part, the BDS movement has been adamant in rejecting accusations that it is the modern face of anti-Semitism. It was, however, a pro-BDS group in Valencia, Spain, that lobbied for and celebrated Matisyahu’s ejection from the festival. One of the movement’s most outspoken advocates, Ali Abuminah, who co-founded the website Electronic Intifada, defended rescinding Matisyahu’s invitation, insisting it was connected to his support for Israel and his performance at an event sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Across Europe, BDS activists have consistently pressured festival organizers, performers and commercial entities to disassociate themselves from Israel and its supporters. Activists send petitions, hold protest rallies at events featuring those who back, or choose to visit, the Jewish state. However, an inspection of the Rototom lineup reveals that non-Jewish performers whose actions were contrary to the BDS movement’s goal of isolating Israel were subjected to less scrutiny. The Jamaican singer Popcaan, for example, performed at Rototom a little over a month after giving his first concert in Israel. Malaka Youth, also a reggae band, played in Israel last year. And one of the festival’s biggest draws, Barrington Levy, an Afro-Caribbean singer from Jamaica, has performed twice in Israel. To its critics, the alleged discrimination against Matisyahu was a way of making Europe an uncomfortable place to be Jewish. Outside the music industry, the conflation of Jew and Israel last year engendered mob violence and exclusion that had not been seen in Western Europe since World War II. (The current wave of violence against Jews there began in 2000, coinciding with the second Palestinian uprising,
16 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Matisyahu on tour with 311 and English Beat in Mansfield MA, July 2007.
and has worsened in recent years, particularly in the wake of Israel’s war last summer in Gaza.) In Belgium last year, a physician refused to treat a 90-year-old woman with a broken rib because of her Jewish-sounding last name, telling her son, “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she’ll get rid of the pain.” Also last summer in Belgium, the owner of a clothing shop in Antwerp refused to service a local Jew “in protest” of Israel’s actions during its most recent war in Gaza. Meanwhile, a cafe in Liege displayed a sign that read “no Jews allowed” in Turkish, and a French version swapped “Jews” for “Zionists.” In France, meanwhile, authorities imposed a ban on anti-Israel demonstrations after several rallies deteriorated into attacks on synagogues. At least nine Jewish houses of worship in France were attacked during the war in Gaza. (A record 7,000 Jews left France, Europe’s largest Jewish community, for Israel last year.) And in the Netherlands, the home of Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was vandalized for the fifth time in recent years. European governments and leaders are often accused of looking the other way to avoid rocking the boat or alienating large Muslim voting blocs. The lawmaker set to head Britain’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has endorsed the militant Islamic groups Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as Dyab Abou Jahjah, founder of the Arab European League, which has published caricatures of
Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler and Holocaust denials on its website. In the Netherlands, the withholding of the publication of a government-commissioned study on anti-Semitism among Muslims, who were found to be more susceptible to the prejudice against Jews than others, has provoked outrage from Jewish groups and others, notably rightist parties. Some politicians, however, are confronting the problem head on, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has said repeatedly that “anti-Zionism is the portal that leads to anti-Semitism.” France is also the only country in Europe where BDS has been outlawed, by a 2003 amendment introduced by a Jewish lawmaker. But the actions of those trying to curb the new anti-Semitism are still a negligible force, according to Gerstenfeld, a former chair of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The views in some Arab and Muslim immigrant communities in Western Europe, among whom studies show that anti-Semitism is more prevalent than in the general population, “is emboldening ethnic Europeans to give expression to the age-old anti-Semitism in their culture, which for a time became taboo after the Holocaust as a result of guilt,” Gerstenfeld says. “But now,” he says, “the two forms of anti-Semitism, the old and the new, are feeding each other as they push the borderline of acceptability toward a zone of discomfort.”
Jewish Federations of North America President Jerry Silverman to kick off Annual Campaign Thursday, Sept. 17, 6:45 pm by Laine M. Rutherford
He’s casual, he’s passionate, he’s earnest and he heads up a movement that ranks collectively among the top 10 charities in the world. “He,” is Jerry Silverman, presi- Jerry Silverman dent and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. Silverman will be the featured speaker at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff at the Sandler Family Campus. The Kickoff is free and open to the community. The event begins with cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres, and continues with a presentation that is designed to inform, inspire and motivate the Tidewater Jewish community for a year of fundraising, dialogue, programming and volunteer opportunities. “Coming to the Kickoff is one of the best ways to learn about the impact you have when you give to the Federation, and lets you get involved right away,” says Karen Jaffe, Annual Campaign chair. “This year, hearing directly from Jerry about the challenges facing communities just like ours—and the situations Jews are dealing with overseas and in Israel—and what we can do to make a difference, will be both eye-opening and enlightening,” she says. “Jerry is a top Jewish communal professional, an in-demand speaker, and we’re
very fortunate to have him travel here to speak with us.” As JFNA’s highest level executive, Silverman represents 151 Federations, including UJFT, and 300 Network communities. Through the Federation’s communal model of giving and fundraising, more than $900 million comes in from Annual and emergency campaigns and, more than $2 billion is distributed through its foundations and endowments. The money raised throughout North American on behalf of Jewish community is extraordinary, Silverman says, but there’s something that he finds even more inspirational—the work he sees being done around the world because there is a Federation system. “To me, it’s all about what we impact. And who we impact. And how we impact,” Silverman said at a JFNA conference held last March in Chicago. “That’s what connects us, and builds community, and creates the meaning behind what we do.” Jay Klebanoff, UJFT’s newly installed president, feels that with its devoted Jewish leaders and thousands-strong caring community members, the UJFT will continue to be the unifying force that meets the challenges of today, and secures the future for generations of Jews to come. “The concept of tikkun olam and the importance of tzedekah are bred into us. They are in our DNA and are in our hearts,” Klebanoff said earlier this summer. “When we hear about Jews struggling in our community and abroad, when we hear about Israel’s struggle to survive and thrive in a perilous part of the world, when we hear about the cost financially and
for a fresh start to the Jewish New Year.
emotionally of defending our Jewish homeland, we feel it in our hearts. We know we have to respond. And we do.” Klebanoff and Jaffe know the 2016 Annual Campaign goals seem lofty: raise more than $4.7 million, increase donor and community involvement, and cultivate the next generation of Jewish leaders. Challenging, yes, but definitely achievable, they feel. “It’s so important for people to understand when they make a gift to the UJFT Annual Campaign—they’re providing critical funds for our local agencies that can then take care of our senior citizens, our disabled Jewish adults, and provide financial assistance so our children can to go to camp and get a great Jewish educational experience,” says Jaffe.
“Until the messiah arrives, we’ll always need an Annual Campaign,” she says. “The needs and challenges of the Jewish community in Hampton Roads, on college campuses and in big and small cities in North America are great. In the worldwide arena, in Tel Aviv and Kiryat Yam and Budapest and Argentina and Paris—problems don’t just go away. If we don’t help, who will?” “Come to Kickoff,” Jaffe says, “for a fresh start to the Jewish New Year. Help us alleviate hunger and hardship and open doors to opportunity. Become part of an organizations where, together, we are creating a Jewish future.” —For more information, or to RSVP for Campaign Kickoff, email email@example.com, or call 757-965-6115.
Bill’s will said a lot about him. What does your will say about you? Norfolk businessman Bill Goldback valued good health and good music.
Before he died in 2007, Bill arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to provide grants for arts and medicine in Hampton Roads. Goldback grants have helped the Virginia Symphony and The Free Foundation, which provides wheelchairs for lowincome citizens. Thanks to Bill’s generosity he will forever bring music and health to his home region. Connect your passions to the future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
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Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email firstname.lastname@example.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader Jay Klebanoff, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President www.jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2015 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email email@example.com.
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Looking back at 5775 by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK (JTA) — As 5775 winds to a close, here’s a look back on the highs and lows (and everything in between) of the year that was.
September 2014 At the annual U.N. General Assembly, President Barack Obama focuses his speech on the ISIS, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likens Iran to ISIS and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blames the West’s blunders for fomenting the terrorists of ISIS. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issues a scathing attack against Israel for its conduct in the summer’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
October 2014 Rabbi Barry Freundel, the longtime spiritual leader of the Kesher Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C., is arrested and charged with voyeurism following the discovery
of hidden cameras that recorded women undressing in the Orthodox synagogue’s mikvah. The following February, Freundel pleads guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. The case roils the Orthodox world. Rabbi Avi Weiss, an ardent political activist who espouses a liberal brand of Orthodoxy, announces his planned retirement from the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York. Weiss is the founder of the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah rabbinical school for men and Yeshivat Maharat school for female Orthodox clergy. The Death of Klinghoffer—an opera based on the true story of an elderly American Jewish man in a wheelchair killed by terrorists aboard an Italian cruise ship— opens at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York amid protests that the production is anti-Semitic and sympathetic to terrorists. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and two former New York governors, David Paterson and George
Pataki, are among those who protest the New York opening of an opera that had its worldwide debut in 1991. Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old American citizen, is killed when a Hamas terrorist crashes a car into a Jerusalem rail station. A second victim, a 22-year-old tourist from Ecuador, dies several days later from injuries sustained in the attack. Relations between the Obama White House and Prime Minister Netanyahu reach a new low after an anonymous American official calls the Israeli leader a “chickenshit” in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic. U.S. officials condemn the remark and Secretary of State John Kerry calls Netanyahu to apologize. Open Hillel, the movement launched to counter the campus organization’s regulations on Israel programming, holds its first national conference, at Harvard University. The two-day gathering, titled “If Not Now, When?,” draws some 350 participants for a
May the sound of the shofar herald health and happiness for your entire family, and the promise of a secure and lasting peace in Israel.
conference aimed at pushing back against Hillel International rules prohibiting programs that feature groups or individuals who “delegitimize” Israel or support the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state. Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, the senior rabbi at a large Conservative congregation in Washington, D.C., announces he is gay. The announcement is received positively by the leadership of his synagogue, Adas Israel. SodaStream, the Israeli at-home seltzer machine company, announces that it will close its West Bank factory and move the facility’s operations to southern Israel in 2015. The company says the move out of the Jewish settlement of Mishor Adumim is unrelated to boycott threats. The core exhibit of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a more than $100 million complex first conceived over continued on page 22
& Mrs. Scott Rigell
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20 years ago, is inaugurated with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on hand.
November 2014 As Republicans retake the Senate in midterm elections, a state senator from New York’s Long Island, Lee Zeldin, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the sole Jewish Republican in Congress. Four Jewish immigrants and a Druze policeman are killed during morning prayer services in a terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov in the Har Nof neighborhood. The mayor of Ashkelon is roundly criticized for laying off city Arab workers in the aftermath of the deadly synagogue attack in Jerusalem. Israel’s Cabinet grants initial passage to a controversial bill that would identify Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, prompting concern at home and among some American Jews that it will prioritize Israel’s Jewish character over its
democracy. Acrimony over the bill sparks a coalition crisis that ends up dissolving the Knesset in early December and sending Israel to early elections scheduled for the following March. Steven Pruzansky, a New Jersey Orthodox rabbi known for his incendiary rhetoric, is broadly criticized for publishing a blog post saying that Arabs in Israel are an enemy that must be “vanquished.” The post, titled “Dealing with Savages,” draws a strong rebuke from the Orthodox Union, which calls it “anathema to the Jewish religious tradition.” As the Ebola epidemic spreads in three countries in Africa, IsraAid becomes the sole Israeli or Jewish organization on the ground in the hot zone. A state monitor slams the East Ramapo Central School District in New York’s Rockland County for giving preferential treatment to Orthodox schoolchildren who do not attend public schools. The school board, which is majority Orthodox, had been under fire for years for allegedly diverting public funds to religious schools.
Jonathan Greenblatt, a former special assistant to President Obama, is named the next national director of the Anti-Defamation League to replace Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s leader since 1987. World powers, led by the United States, extend the deadline in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program to June 30, 2015, prompting a call by AIPAC for new sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Ultimately, additional sanctions are not levied during the negotiations, which last until a deal is struck in early July 2015.
December 2014 France’s parliament, the National Assembly, votes 339-151 to urge the French government to recognize the state of Palestine. The vote follows similar motions passed the previous month by parliaments in Britain and Ireland. An oil pipeline ruptures near the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat, causing a spill that is called one of Israel’s worst environmental disasters.
The United Auto Workers Local 2865, which represents more than 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors and other student workers in the University of California system, approves a resolution to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, becoming the first major U.S. labor union to hold a membership vote on Israel and BDS. The New Republic’s longtime literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, and editor Franklin Foer quit the 100-year-old magazine to protest its new direction under new owner Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder. The magazine has a long history of Jewish editors and coverage of Jewish issues. The European Parliament passes a resolution that supports, in principle, recognition of a Palestinian state as part of peace talks with Israel, in a 498-88 vote with 111 abstentions. Meanwhile, the General Court of the European Union annuls Hamas’ inclusion on a blacklist of terrorist groups, saying the 2001 decision was based on press reports and not legal reasoning.
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Alan Gross, a Jewish-American contractor for the U.S. government who had spent five years in a Cuban prison for helping connect Cuban Jews to the Internet, is released and returned to the United States as part of a sweeping deal to restore diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana. Jewish immigration from France to Israel reaches an all-time record of nearly 7,000 in 2014, more than doubling the French aliyah rate in 2013 and far outstripping immigration to Israel from the United States. Overall, immigration to Israel hits a 10-year high in 2014 with approximately 26,500 new immigrants. The Conservative movement youth group USY votes to relax rules barring teenage board members from dating non-Jews. The change, adopted at the group’s annual convention in Atlanta, affects the 100 or so teen officers who serve on USY’s national board. President Obama signs the 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. The law, which unanimously passed the House and Senate, declares Israel a “major strategic partner,” upgrades the value of American weapons stockpiles in Israel and grants the Jewish state improved trade status. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics announces that the country’s population grew by 2 percent in 2014, to 8.3 million. Of them, 74.9 percent are counted as Jews, 20.7 percent as Arabs and 4.3 percent as others.
January 2015 Streit’s announces it is closing its historic, six-story matzah factory on New York’s Lower East Side, where the company produced the Passover staple for 90 years. It will relocate operations to New Jersey. Bess Myerson, the only Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant, dies at 90. Myerson won the competition in 1945. Four Jewish men are killed by an Islamic gunman during a hostage siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris two days after a pair of Islamic gunmen storm the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, killing 11. The supermarket gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, is killed when police storm the Hyper Cacher market. Almost simultaneously, police kill the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack—brothers Said
and Cherif Kouachi, who were friends with Coulibaly—at a printing plant just outside Paris. The events, which prompt a massive anti-terrorism demonstration in Paris, stoke fears of French Jews about their future in the country. Actor Michael Douglas is named the winner of the Genesis Prize. The $1 million award, given by a consortium of philanthropists from the former Soviet Union, is meant to recognize accomplished Jews who demonstrate commitment to Jewish values. Alberto Nisman—the indefatigable Argentine prosecutor collecting evidence of culpability in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires— is found shot to death in his apartment, just hours before he is to present evidence to Argentina’s congress that he said implicated his country’s president and Jewish foreign minister in a scheme to cover up Iran’s role in the bombing. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner first calls the death a suicide, then a murder, while protesters hold rallies in Buenos Aires demanding justice in the Nisman case. The mysterious circumstances surrounding Nisman’s death remain unresolved. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is arrested on federal corruption charges. One of the state’s most powerful politicians and high-profile Orthodox Jews, Silver soon steps down as speaker, but retains his Assembly seat while the investigation is ongoing. House Speaker John Boehner invites Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran’s nuclear program. The move sparks a showdown with the Obama administration, which says the invite breaks protocol by circumventing the White House and is inappropriate, given that the Israeli leader is in the midst of an election campaign. American Jews are divided over whether Netanyahu should speak to Congress over Obama’s objections, and a partisan row ensues. The Conservative movement’s flagship institution, the Jewish Theological Seminary, announces plans to sell two dorms, some of its air rights and potentially part of its library building in order to finance an ambitious redevelopment project at its Manhattan campus.
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Portugal’s government adopts legislation that offers citizenship to some descendants of Sephardic Jews, making Portugal the second country in the world after Israel to pass a law of return for Jews. FEGS, a Jewish charity and one of the largest social service agencies in the United States, abruptly shuts down after losing $19.4 million in 2014. The 3,000-employee agency, which is a major beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York, had said it served 12,000 people daily in such areas as home care, job training and immigrant services. The news comes just days after another major New York Jewish social services agency, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, announces it is looking to merge or partner with other organizations or perhaps close altogether.
February 2015 Brandeis University President Frederick Lawrence announces he will step down at the end of the academic year. Lawrence led the historically nonsectarian, Jewishsponsored university for five years and was the institution’s eighth president. Comedian Jon Stewart announces he is leaving The Daily Show, the mock news program he anchored for 16 years and built into a political and cultural touchstone. Europe’s Jewish population is pegged at 1.4 million, down from 2 million in 1991 and 3.2 million in 1960, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Overall, European Jews account for about 10 percent of the world Jewish population, compared to 57 percent in 1939, the eve of the Holocaust. CBS News reporter Bob Simon, an Emmy Award-winning correspondent who was held captive in Iraq for 40 days while covering the Gulf War in 1991, is killed in a car crash in New York. He was 73. A gunman attacks the main synagogue in Copenhagen, killing a security guard. The attack comes just hours after a gunman kills one person at a cafe in the city, where a caricaturist who had lampooned Islam was speaking. The attacks are seen as a wake-up call for Danish Jews to the threat of Islamic terrorism. As a gesture of solidarity, Muslims in neighboring Norway form a “peace ring” around an Oslo synagogue.
The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film goes to Ida, a Polish movie about a Catholic novitiate who learns she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed by the Nazis. More than half of U.S. Jewish college students witnessed or experienced anti-Semitism, an online survey conducted by two professors at Trinity College finds. In a landmark case, a New York jury orders the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to pay more than $218 million in damages to American victims of six terrorist attacks that took place in Israel between 2002 and 2004 and were attributed to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas. The Palestinian Authority pledges to appeal. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed the iconic character Spock on Star Trek for over four decades on television and in film, dies at 83. Born in Boston to Yiddishspeaking Orthodox parents, Nimoy had said he derived Spock’s trademark split-finger salute from the priestly blessing that involves a physical approximation of the Hebrew letter “shin.”
March 2015 Amid lingering controversy, Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses a joint session of Congress to warn of the emerging Iran nuclear deal. Several Jewish lawmakers skip the address. Obama says the speech offers “nothing new,” and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., calls it an “insult to the intelligence of the United States.” The Reform movement’s rabbinic group, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, installs Denise Eger as its first openly gay president. The Swarthmore Hillel votes to disaffiliate from Hillel International to protest the Jewish campus group’s rules on Israel programming. In 2013, the Pennsylvania college’s Hillel ignited a national debate on Hillel International’s Israel policies, which restrict programs with speakers who support boycotting the Jewish state. Netanyahu wins a fourth term, his third in a row, as Israel’s prime minister, roundly defeating his main challenger, Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union. Netanyahu’s remarks in the days before the election prove highly controversial, as he says a Palestinian state
will not be established under his watch and warns on election day about Arab-Israelis turning out to vote “in droves.” The comments are condemned in the United States by the Reform and Conservative movements and by President Obama. Netanyahu later apologizes to Israel’s Arabs and insists he still backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The American Jewish Reconstructionist movement is roiled by debate about whether to drop its longstanding ban against intermarried rabbinical school students. Some synagogues threaten to quit the movement if the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College becomes the first of America’s four major Jewish religious denominations to ordain intermarried rabbis; the debate continues.
Seven children, ages 5 to 16, are killed in a Brooklyn house fire reportedly caused by a malfunctioning Sabbath hot plate. The children’s mother, Gayle Sassoon, and her daughter Tziporah sustain injuries in the blaze but survive; the father was out of town at a religious conference. The children are buried in Israel.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, announces that he intends to run for the U.S. presidency. A self-described “Democratic socialist,” Sanders, who is running as a Democrat, is considered a long shot to defeat the party’s front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is found guilty of fraud under aggravating circumstances and breach of trust for accepting cash-filled envelopes from U.S. Jewish businessman Morris Talansky and using it for personal gain. Olmert’s lawyers later appeal the verdict in what is known as the “Talansky Affair.”
April 2015 Negotiators for the United States, five other world powers and Iran reach a framework accord for a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program and set June 30 as the deadline for a final, comprehensive deal. Women of the Wall, a group that promotes women’s religious rights at the Western Wall, for the first time reads from a fullsize Torah scroll during its monthly prayer service at the Kotel, contravening regulations there. The Torah was passed across the barrier between the men’s and women’s sections by male supporters. The following month, police block and arrest a man who attempts to repeat the effort. Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, a leader of the national religious movement in Israel, a head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva in the West Bank and a prominent modern Orthodox scholar, dies at 81. The White House acknowledges that a U.S. drone strike in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area in January accidentally killed Warren Weinstein, the Jewish-American government contractor who had been held hostage by al-Qaida since 2011. An Italian hostage, Giovanni Lo Porto, held captive since 2012, also was killed in the strike on an al-Qaida-linked compound.
Ethiopian-Israeli protesters clash with police during demonstrations throughout Jerusalem over two attacks against Ethiopian-Israelis by Israeli law enforcement, one of which is captured on video. The attacks spark a national debate about racism in Israel.
May 2015 Ed Miliband, the first Jewish leader of Britain’s Labor Party, fails to become his country’s first Jewish prime minister as the incumbent, David Cameron of the Conservative Party, handily wins reelection and secures 331 of the 650 seats in the Parliament. Miliband resigns immediately after the defeat. Rabbi Freundel is sentenced to nearly 6½ years in prison—45 days for each of the 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism. Additional court documents show Freundel also engaged in extramarital sexual encounters. The U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passes a bill providing for its approval of any Iran nuclear deal. Shlomo Riskin, rabbi of the West Bank city of Efrat, is summoned to a hearing by the Chief Rabbinate’s governing body on the future of his position. An Orthodox progressive on women’s issues and conversion, Riskin vows not to go, suspecting the Chief Rabbinate is looking for a pretext to dismiss him. The Rabbinate later backs down and renews Riskin’s position. Rochelle Shoretz, the founder of the national cancer group Sharsheret after
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being diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, dies of the disease at 42.
June 2015 After a lengthy story in The New York Times detailing his habit of inviting young males to join him for naked heart-to-heart talks in the sauna, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale Jewish Center in New York asserts he is innocent of any crime, but says he regrets if his conduct offended anyone. Congregants at his Orthodox synagogue are divided dismissing him. Rosenblatt eventually rebuffs offers to buy
out the remainder of his contract, vowing he will stay on as leader of the shul. The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a 2002 law allowing U.S. citizens to list Jerusalem as their place of birth. The case was brought by the parents of 12-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky, whose parents sought the passport listing not long after his birth. Spain’s lower house of Parliament passes a law offering citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews, the result of a 2012
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government decision that described the law as compensation for the expulsion of Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. David Blatt, the first Israeli to serve as head coach of an NBA team, guides the Cleveland Cavaliers to the league finals. Blatt’s club loses to the Golden State Warriors in six games after taking a 2-1 lead in the bestof-seven series. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict finds that Israel’s military and Palestinian armed groups committed “serious violations” of international human rights law during their 2014 summer war. While the report accuses both sides of possible war crimes, its findings focus more on what it considers Israeli wrongdoing. Israel, which refused to cooperate with the investigation, slams the outcome. Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, an Orthodox Jewish nonprofit that purports to help gay men become heterosexual, is found guilty of violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and is ordered to pay $72,000 in damages to three former clients. The plaintiffs said JONAH claimed a success rate it could not prove and used scientifically questionable therapy methods. Days before the U.S. Supreme Court endorses the right to same-sex marriage, the Public Religion Research Institute finds that American Jews are among the
country’s most supportive religious groups of same-sex marriage. The Pine Bush Central School District in upstate New York agrees to pay nearly $4.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging widespread anti-Semitic harassment. The 2012 suit by five former and current students was due to go to trial in July. Israeli parliamentarian Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States and before that a respected American-Israeli historian, causes a stir with a new book, Ally, suggesting that President Obama purposely damaged U.S.Israeli relations.
July 2015 Iran and six world powers led by the United States reach a historic agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions. President Obama says the deal cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. Prime Minister Netanyahu calls the deal a “stunning historic mistake.” AIPAC quickly launches an all-out effort to have Congress scuttle the deal. A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, Oskar Groening, is sentenced by a German court to four years in prison for his role in the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews in the concentration camp. Theodore Bikel, the actor and folk singer who won fame playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, dies at 91.
Paying to pray? by Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Tidewater Chavurah
L’Shanah Tovah! Congregation Beth Chaverim
3820 Stoneshore Road, Virginia Beach 23452
26 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | Rosh Hashanah | jewishnewsva.org
e’ve all heard this story, and some of us have lived it: A Jewish individual or couple, new in town or newly seeking to reconnect with the Jewish community, walks into a worship space just before the start time of a High Holy Days service and starts to enter the sanctuary, only to be stopped by an usher, who asks, “Do you have a ticket?” If the answer is no, the would-be worshiper is directed to a table in the lobby, where he or she is offered admission to the service in exchange for a stated amount of money.
How many Jews have been turned off from participation in synagogue life because this has happened? It’s a classic recipe for alienation. The stranger may be offended by what seems to be a crass business transaction at what’s supposed to be the holiest time on the Jewish calendar. He or she may not be able to afford the amount asked for. The person staffing the table may come off as officious or unfriendly. And heaven forbid the stranger doesn’t look particularly Jewish.… This doesn’t happen in our bend of the river, of course. But it happens, and it’s always a horror story when it does.
This is a time of nervousness and heightened security measures, when you don’t know what kind of nut might walk through the door. But we who gather in congregations that are outlets for our Jewish spiritual and communal impulses have a responsibility even at the High Holy Days—especially at the High Holy Days—to make sure every single newcomer who turns up on the doorstep is welcomed warmly and unconditionally. I would like those of you who are not affiliated with a congregation to understand why most synagogues ask for donations of money from nonmembers who want to attend High Holy Days services. It’s mostly to offset the greater expenses that congregations incur during the holidays. These can include space rental; additional personnel (from extra security guards to a cantor and other professional musicians); food service for a crowd several times larger than usual; printing of bulletins, prayerbook supplements and memorial booklets. Keep in mind, too, that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the only services for which congregations ask a specific donation. For every other visit to a temple’s sanctuary during the Jewish year—every Shabbat, every festival, every commemoration—the stranger is asked for nothing but fellowship. When you make a donation to a congregation in order to attend High Holy Days services, you aren’t paying to pray. (After all, you can do that for free, anywhere.) You’re supporting the ability of that congregation to provide a spiritually meaningful, aesthetically pleasing worship experience led by people who have trained for years and are working hard to express both the gravitas and celebration of the holiday season. You’re supporting the profoundly communal nature of Judaism, making yourself part of the minyan, if only for a couple of hours—and, it’s tax-deductible. The responsibility of the worship group,
then, is to offer a sacred space and atmosphere that will embrace you and make you want to come back. The congregations that do this best at holiday time enlist their friendliest, warmest members to sit at the “ticket table,” take tickets at the door, and hang out in the lobby with an eye toward spotting newbies. Collecting money from nonmembers is a much lower priority. Nonmembers who walk in without tickets should be directed smilingly to the ticket table, where they are asked for a donation. If the potential congregants offer a smaller donation than requested, accept it graciously. If they say they can’t afford any donation or aren’t carrying what they need to make a transaction, hand them tickets and a stamped, addressed donation envelope, saying something along the lines of, “No problem. Here’s an envelope if you can send something later. We’re glad you can be with us for the holiday.” The odds of receiving a check? Unknown. Mitzvah points? Priceless. During my years as a Jewish adult, I’ve been a temple board member eyeing the budget for the High Holy Days, and I’ve been the gal at the ticket table. I’ve been the cantor hired for the holidays and am currently rabbi of a congregation-without-walls that needs to rent walls for the holidays. And I’ve been the stranger seeking a spiritual home for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Even when I was young and my financial resources minimal, the sense of being home was always worth supporting. If congregations and unaffiliated Jews approach the High Holy Days in a spirit of generosity, support and welcome, worship spaces everywhere will be filled with an extra radiance of joy and wholeness. L’shanah tovah um’tukah tikateivu: May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet year. And may you find your spiritual home in 5776.
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Tidewater Chavurah’s High Holy Days plans
idewater Chavurah will celebrate the High Holy Days at a new venue this year, holding services in Brody Auditorium at Temple Israel. Rabbi Cantor Ellen JaffeGill will lead in prayer and celebration. Tidewater Chavurah’s services are in the Reform/Reconstructionist traditions. Tidewater Chavurah welcomes people to join this group of chaverim for holiday worship filled with warmth, joy and
community. Tickets (for a nominal fee) are required for entry to the building and services. Tidewater Chavurah doesn’t want anyone left out. Temple Israel is located at 7255 Granby Street in Norfolk. Contact Reesa at email@example.com or 757468-2675 or Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-499-3660 for details.
Jewishnewsva.org | Rosh Hashanah | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 27
The ultimate interview by Rabbi Gershon Litt
Hampton Roads is a great place to live and raise a family, but a terrible place for anyone suffering from allergies or asthma. Our Allergy & Asthma health care team is available to treat patients suffering from allergies and asthma at our four office locations in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
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ost of us can relate to the following situation: We went to school and studied for years. We worked in some jobs generally just to make enough money to pay to live while going to school. We had dreams of what we wanted to do when we got out of school. Then, the big day came. We graduated, applied to a number of work opportunities, and were asked to go for an interview. The preparation for that interview was fairly intense. We were nervous, we did not know what to expect. We were unsure what we would be asked. The big day finally arrived. We woke up that morning, nervous, making sure that we looked our best, had our cup, or multiple cups, of coffee and headed out the door. We waited in a waiting room while our stomachs churned with anxiety. Then, the secretary said the dreaded words, “Mr. ‘Smith’ will see you now.” As we sat down for that interview, we felt as though we were being judged, looked over and examined. We chose our words very carefully. We told our potential boss the truth, but definitely what we thought he wanted to hear. When asked the typical interview questions, we answered them well, but at the end of the interview we were told that there were many candidates and that we would get a call within a few days or weeks and we left. The feelings of anxiety lessened because the interview was over, but now different butterflies plagued our stomachs. Did we get the job or not?
Every year we, the Jewish people, go through this exact process with our Creator, the Ultimate Boss. We, “go to school” all year preparing and examining our lives. Then, we come to the month before Rosh Hashanah, the Hebrew month of Elul. During this month we get ready for our “interview.” We ready our resumes, think back on what we have done or not done. We contemplate our relationships, our life goals, our accomplishments and our failures. Then, the big day(s) come. Rosh Hashanah is the, “Yom Hadin,” the Day of Judgment. It is the greatest interview we will ever have. If we felt anxiety coming into a potential employer’s office then we should feel much more trepidation approaching the awe of Our Father in Heaven, the True Judge. Rosh Hashanah is a time when we bring out sweet foods and give each other kind greetings and well wishes. We want good things for ourselves and others and by surrounding ourselves with goodness we try to bring that spirit into our lives. At the same time we should not lose sight of the power and potential of these holy days. Just like we spend years preparing for our jobs we should use this month of Elul to prepare for the most powerful days of the year. May we all be inscribed in the book of life for the upcoming year. —Rabbi Gershon Litt is the rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, the executive director of the Norfolk Kollel, and the director of the Hillels at the College of William and Mary and Christopher Newport University.
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28 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | Rosh Hashanah | jewishnewsva.org
years preparing for our jobs we should
use this month of Elul to prepare for the
most powerful days of the year.
What makes a mensch? A ‘digital diva’ wants to know by Gabe Friedman
(JTA)—“Our technology has exceeded our humanity,” Albert Einstein allegedly once lamented. But filmmaker Tiffany Shlain—who utilizes an online, collaborative process and distribution method she dubs “cloud filmmaking”—says it’s possible that technology, used correctly, can enhance our humanity. As a testament to Shlain’s methods, as well as her rise to becoming one of the most influential filmmakers in the American Jewish world, her latest film, The Making of a Mensch, will be shown in more than 4,000 Jewish schools, synagogues and other organizations across the country during the High Holidays. The film—about the Mussar movement, a lesser-known strain of Jewish ethical thought known for promoting character development—will be released on Friday, Sept. 18. Shlain’s nonprofit film company Let It Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change is offering the short to the organizations for free, along with materials meant to foster discussions about moral discipline and ethical exploration. It’s a pretty remarkable feat, considering that just a few years ago Shlain—who founded the Webby Awards, for excellence on the Internet—had never heard of Mussar, which is Hebrew for “moral conduct.” Her new film, which has a run time of less than 15 minutes, coaches viewers on improving specific personality traits by combining Mussar teachings with strains of psychology, philosophy, social science and Jewish history. “The High Holidays are a time of self-reflection…on who you are, what you did last year and what you want to become,” Shlain says. “And Mussar is the perfect set of tools to help do that.” This is Shlain’s second film that delves deeply into Jewish topics. Her first, 2006’s The Tribe, was inspired by an iconic 11½ inch piece of plastic: the Barbie doll. “I always thought it was such an irony that a Jewish woman created the ultimate shiksa with the Barbie doll,” says Shlain, who identifies as “very culturally Jewish.” The short—which used Barbie and its founder, Ruth Handler, as an entry point into an exploration of American Jewish identity—played at the Sundance Film Festival and became the first documentary
to top the iTunes film chart. “Making of a Mensch is the next evolution of what I was wrestling with with The Tribe,” Shlain says. “The Tribe was about ‘OK, I’m Jewish, what does that mean?’ Ten years later, ‘I’m Jewish, we celebrate Shabbat…but I want a deeper guide and meaning in this 24/7 world on living a good life and fulfilling it in my children.’” Shlain, 45, lives in Mill Valley, Calif. with her husband and two children. She grew up in northern California, the daughter of a neuroscientist and a psychologist, and loved film and technology from an early age. She actually predicted the potential of the Internet before its time—in 1988, at age 18, she wrote a proposal called “Uniting Nations in Telecommunications and Software” that caught the eye of California Sen. Barbara Boxer. Through her work for The Web Magazine—a publication that Shlain says failed because it was way ahead of its time, founded the Webby Awards in 1996. The awards became a success partly due to Shlain’s quirky ideas, such as a five-word maximum for each award acceptance speech. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown dubbed Shlain the “Digital Diva” of Silicon Valley. But it wasn’t until she met her husband, Ken Goldberg, that she got in touch with her Jewish side. Goldberg, a professor of robotics at the University of California, Berkeley, who now co-writes most of Shlain’s films, took her to Israel for their honeymoon and introduced her to Shabbat observance—a Jewish ritual that would inspire Shlain in the years to come. After attending the inaugural conference organized by Reboot (a Jewish nonprofit that engages and inspires young, Jewishly unconnected cultural creatives) in 2002 and making The Tribe, Shlain started working on a feature documentary, Connected, which explored technology’s ways of connecting people. It was shown at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. While working on the film, Shlain watched her father, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer, deteriorate to the point of having only “one good hour a day.” She resolved with her husband to turn off all of her family’s screens each Saturday—what she termed a “technology Shabbat”—in order to greater appreciate their time together. “Most people are surprised by it because
I founded the Webby Awards,” Shlain says. “But most of my work explores the good, the bad and the potential [of the Internet], all three of those things. Disconnecting one day a week every week has just been the most profound experience for me.” Shlain went on to make a short film about the “technology Shabbat,” which was also the first episode of a web series called The Future Starts Here, which she was commissioned to make for AOL. Connected and the subsequent Brain Power, were included in the State Department’s American Film Showcase, which showed the films at American embassies around the world. Since The Tribe, Shlain has carved out a niche for herself in the Jewish community and some Jewish educators and community leaders had been asking her for another “Jewish” film. Shlain credits her nonprofit with helping her reach out to Jewish institutions across the country without worrying about the profitability of her films. “Rather than focusing so much energy on licensing fees and selling the films,
foundations and grants could support giving the films away for free, and we could make so many more films and have them reach so many more people,” Shlain says. In producing The Making of a Mensch, Shlain on her website requested video submissions from people around the world to provide a definition of a mensch. Snippets from selected submissions will make their way into the final cut of the film, which Shlain is completing. Shlain terms this collaborative process—along with releasing the film for free to maximize its reach and impact—“cloud filmmaking,” a term that symbolizes how deeply her work is entwined with the power of the Internet. “I like the word ‘cloud’ because, to me, a cloud sounds intimate, and it sounds like creativity,” Shlain says. “The exciting part for me is that I can be working on a script with three people at the same time or I can make a film with videos from people from all over the world. I cannot wait to share this.”
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Jewishnewsva.org | Rosh Hashanah | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 29
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New construction, elevated enrichment
hen walking into the Simon Family JCC, there’s something new near the entrance. The expansive, open space is the new Kids Connection, a beforeand after-school enrichment program for Pre-K through 6th grade students. Part of the rennovations taking place at the Sandler Family Campus the JCC is Camp JCC students enjoy the new Kids Connection space as staff members investing in the space Post move in the last pieces of furniture and books and set up the computers. to benefit parents, time. Although children are able to swim students and the community. in the pool each week and play games as part of Kid Fit in the gym, learning is For parents “The new space is right inside the front the program’s foundation. And, since staff door, so it’s convenient for working par- members help students with their homeents with easy access for drop off or pick work, so there’s more ‘family time’ available up,” says Erika Eskenazi, Kids Connection at home. Enrichments projects, including art, director. Parents can choose between before- drama, music and a Kids Connection school enrichment, after-school enrichment newspaper class, keep students learning and engaged. or both. When weather permits, students have A fleet of JCC buses takes students to Virginia Beach schools and picks them the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities up when the day is through. This option and sports, including disc golf this fall. is available for half-day kindergarten, too. For the community This year, Kids Connection will host family For students In the Kids Connection space, giant checker nights where families can socialize, conand tic-tac-toe boards are on the floor and nect and cultivate new relationships. “It’s a new way for families to get to crafts and other games dot the walls and cubbies to welcome kids to participate— know each other and see their kids’ projects and artwork,” explains Eskenazi. once their homework is done. Kids Connection isn’t just open gym
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jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 31
Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel
The journey continues Part two of a three-part series by Amy Weinstein
alfway through the eight day journey of the Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel, the experience continues to be overwhelming, exciting and thought-provoking. The Mission participants have already visited and met with recipients of Campaign allocations and seen the impact of the UJFT firsthand, traversed startling landscapes to see the history between Israel and Syria, walked through the sacred city of Tzfat and indulged in delicious meals—and there is so much more to come. Traveling to Jerusalem for Shabbat is an
experience unlike any other. Mission participants witnessed the hustle and bustle of Machane Yehuda Market, along with the thousands of patrons preparing for Shabbat. After a unique Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the Kotel and Davidson Center, the group enjoyed Shabbat dinner with Avraham Infeld, president emeritus of Hillel International and renowned Jewish educator. The adventure continued with an exciting day at Masada, a float in the Dead Sea and a late night trip through the underground Western Wall tunnels. Mission participants experienced an emotionally riveting morning as they toured Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, and were presented with a profoundly Jewish memorial of the Shoah. After viewing the powerful exhibits, participants ascended to Mount Herzl to visit the burial place of Israel’s founding fathers, the country’s leaders and the site of Jerusalem’s military cemetery. With many connections to the
Evan Levitt tells the story of his friend Jason Korsower, memorialized at Ammunition Hill, for his service in the IDF as a paratrooper.
Robin Mancoll, CRC director, with a preschool teacher and two students at the Matnas in Pardes Katz.
32 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Mission participants at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, about to enter the Old City for a Shabbat tour.
military, the visit to Har Herzl was powerful and poignant. The journey continued with a hike through the water tunnel at the ancient City of David and a fun night out in Tel Aviv. The final day provided the perfect conclusion of the Tom Hofheimer Mission to Israel, when participants met direct recipients of UJFT’s fundraising efforts. Mission participants were honored to meet
Mission participants welcome Shabbat at the Davidson Center.
with a young woman in her mid-20s, Sara, who made Aliyah to Israel last year. She did so under duress, and in order to escape escalating and tangible anti-Semitism in her home city of Paris, France. She told the group about her experiences with a leadership program specifically for young Jewish adults in her situation that is provided by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and how she worried about the rest of her family still in Paris. Sara brought Mission participants to tears as she expressed her gratitude for the leaders who help fund JAFI programs like the one she works with, and who enabled her to make Aliyah to Israel, where she feels safe, at ease and hopeful. Finally, Mission participants visited a recipient agency that is very special to Tidewater. The Jewish community
An investment in Tidewater’s Jewish community’s future from the Tom Hafheimer Fund board of directors:
he Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel is a project of the Tom Hofheimer Fund. The mission is highly subsidized by the Tom Hofheimer Fund, and open to graduates of the Hineni! Institute for Leadership Development, powered by the Young Adult Division of the UJFT. This Mission experience is an investment in the future of our Jewish community—and we need your help to continue to offer this opportunity to Tidewater’s emerging leaders. This unique and life changing experience gives our local leadership a shared passion for Israel and her people, and an understanding of where and how our community fulfills its responsibility of tikkun olam. Please consider a gift to the Tom Hofheimer Fund—this is the perfect way to honor or pay tribute to a family member or friend. Visit jewishva.org/Hofheimer for more details.
of Tidewater has a long and loving relationship with the Matnas (community center) in Pardes Katz, which has been our Project Renewal community for more than two decades. Mission participants met with Michal Zahavi, Matas director, toured the dental clinic, the only library in Pardes Katzn that is housed inside the Matnas, visited with preschoolers and saw a performance of rock and roll favorites by the middle school’s after school performance group. Mission participants were reluctant to leave the Matnas, as they connected so deeply with the students, toddlers and staff. Many expressed a desire to visit again in the future. Over the course of an exhausting and exhilarating week, the Mission group navigated a series of experiences that evoked emotions ranging from pride to shock to love, as they traveled through the history of the land of Israel and the Jewish people. This Mission experience was life changing, and our Tidewater community will be better for it. The 2015 Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel was a definitive success. The third part of this series will appear in the September 14 issue of Jewish News.
Greg Zittrain and Jeff Werby enjoy touring Masada.
Mission participants visit Independence Hall at the end of their journey.
Mission participants with Michal Zahavi, director of the Matnas in Pardes Katz, in front of the Tidewater Education Center.
Colleen Fox enjoys the treats in Machane Yehuda market.
Mission participants in the ancient synagogue atop Masada.
A fun night out in Tel Aviv.
jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 33
Report from Israel by Rabbi Israel Zoberman
Having spent parts of June and July in Israel, the land in which I had the privilege to grow up, I was exposed once again to the vibrancy of Israeli society and democracy at the time of great and dangerous tumult in the Middle East. Obviously the “deal” with Iran topped headlines in a country where everyone is involved in the political scene, along with profound convictions, every cab driver an expert and every tour guide a war hero. Just about everyone is deeply concerned that the deep holes in the Iranian
agreement bode ill for Israel and the United States, with no trust in a state run by religious fanatics who sponsor the world’s largest network of terrorism. After all, a nuclear Iran is a mortal threat to Israel (“Little Satan, America is “Big Satan”), as well as a troubling reality to the Sunni Arab states. The growing presence of ISIS on Israel’s borders is a formidable concern challenging the IDF. What emerges from what feisty Prime Minister Netanyahu has characterized as a “bad deal,” is an Iran inevitably becoming a nuclear power armed with ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel, the release of
A people who have been around as long as we have know a thing or two about bringing in the new year. We know that it’s not only about celebration. It’s about reflecting on our past year and resolving to be kinder and more generous in the coming one. And here’s a sure way to do that—give to Federation. You’ll be nurturing and sustaining our people wherever they’re in need. Helping thousands to connect to their Jewish identity wherever there’s a longing. Sweetening the new year for our entire global Jewish community. Please give as generously as you can. You’ll make 5776 very sweet indeed! Meeting the Challenge. Securing the Future.
34 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
billions of dollars that will further fuel and sustain Hezballah and Hamas, allowing for the Syrian dictator and mass murderer, Bashar Assad, to remain in power. The first anniversary of the Gaza War was a reminder of an enemy using its own civilians as human shields and engaging in digging attack tunnels to reach the Israeli population. I was in Israel a year ago, witness to terrorizing rockets raining on Israel’s cities with its people’s incredible heroism, resolution and restraint. Of course, Israel mourns its dead, civilians and military, with a profound Jewish regard for the sanctity of human life, which its adversaries abhor. The observed 10th anniversary of the controversial disengagement from Gaza under Prime Minister Sharon is a wound not yet healed, raising trying questions affecting Israel’s unity and soul. Netanyahu’s narrow coalition government with a majority of just one vote in the Knesset, is a prescription for potential instability. The ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party was given charge of the Ministry of Religious Affairs with Minister David Azoulay, reversing to the chagrin of many, the previous administration’s hailed reform of conversion (Giur) procedures. In addition, Reform Jews were slighted, Conservative Jews belittled and some Orthodox rabbis not respected. The ultimate solution to this long-standing and intolerable state of affairs is the separation of Synagogue and State in Israel. Without it, Israel’s democracy is lacking, its internal front weakened, its most vital bond with American Jewry fractured and Judaism itself debased. The unrest in the Ethiopian community is also alarming. The list of grievances needs to be addressed while acknowledging accomplishments. There is much discussion and disagreement on how to handle the promising large off-shore
Rabbi Israel Zoberman at the memorial for the Jews of Coustanz, Germany, who perished in the Holocaust.
natural gas deposits. Otherwise, all is well in our beloved Israel. I surely enjoyed my mother’s East European cuisine along with falafel and shwarma on the street. I totally immersed myself in my native Hebrew tongue (I came to Chicago 49 years ago!), schmoozing a lot and buying new books from the flourishing Israeli literary field. I took a side trip with a group of lively Israeli tourists to Germany (where I spent my early childhood, 1947–1949), France and Switzerland enjoying the beauty of The Black Forest and the Rhine’s waterfalls, but also being reminded of a long Jewish presence of both pain and perseverance, culminating in the devastating Holocaust. In the town of Tubingen, we were treated to a unique experience of a German church group whose mission is to ask forgiveness from Jews for the sins of the grandfathers during WWII. The group organizes Marches of the Living and pro-Israeli rallies. Am Yisrael Chai! Our people Israel proudly endures.
my mother’s East European cuisine
along with falafel and shwarma on the street.
JWRP delivers again by Marcy Mostofsky
On Safari with a Sefer Torah by Kevin Lefcoe
What an amazing trip to Israel! Once again, women from Tidewater connected to their land, roots and Jewish values on the eightday Momentum Trip through the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. Our community is proud to be part of this cutting edge movement that is literally Atop Masada: Robin Herbol, Tracey Weinstein, Shari Berman, Marcy Mostofsky, Barb Fernandez, Lisa Cohen, Sofie Konikoff and Melissa Kass. changing the world. Highlights included meeting and traveling with 200 women from across the U.S. and Israel, emotional experiences at the Kotel, making challah for Shabbos and learning the mitzvahs and symbolism surrounding it, and awesome and inspiring speakers. As always, we took time to visit Pardes Katz, Tidewater’s sister city in Israel, where we got to see the differences that are being made in people’s lives through the Matnas (community center) that United Jewish Federation of Tidewater dollars help support. For the third straight year, JWRP Visiting Pardes Katz and involved in chessed projects. received funding from United Jewish experience of a lifetime. What a blessing!” Federation of Tidewater —Tracy Weinstein, Virginia Beach • • • “I believe that this journey strengthened my belief in God and that Jewish women “To me, the trip was like coming home. can be empowered to make a difference in Shabbat at the Kotel was the most special event. I could feel the energy and the spirour community.” –Lisa Cohen, Virginia Beach ituality of everyone present like it was a physical thing. It was truly awesome.” —Robin Herbol, Virginia Beach “Along with 200 women, re “Jew”venation is the term that comes to my mind with this
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“Will you carry the Torah?” our trip captain asked me. “What would be involved?” I wondered aloud, contemplating the gravity of transporting, guarding Kevin Lefcoe holds the and actually car- Sefer Torah. rying a borrowed Sefer Torah in an army issue duffel through four South African countries over 10 days. The word of G-d, given to the Jewish People, and transmitted over the generations since Mount Sinai—in this very form, without change—it was there, with me, all the time. I did not stop thinking about it, that Torah scroll, and its significance. During this summer’s safari adventure and exploration of the dazzling and remote of this world, the Torah lived in my hotel closet. I was sure to close the door, so it would not be subjected to the physical and mundane of hotel events. It also rested on a shelf above my bed in another venue. Always there, it seemed to ask for the better me. There were only 10 couples on this trip, which included one of the great rabbis of our time. We had our Minyan, though the holy rabbi pointed out at the start, “We need everyone.” The rabbi was speaking like my caring grandfather, his words expounding on a more global message for perhaps all of us. My friends there lauded my effort, though my exercise only fueled a desire to learn more about the leaders of Israel that carried this very Torah in the
desert during biblical times, through the centuries of Jewish triumph and challenge, and now in our present day. Well, “everyone” in this group included different aspects of greatness. This living Sefer Torah on my shoulder was always on the minds of my travel partners, too. Alacrity to do Mitzvot was defined for me, as I watched the care for the Torah during its preparation for prayers and its return to the duffel. I was personally guarded at every step, through different airport, immigration and customs check points. There was not one hiccup in every encounter with citizens of other nations. Baggage porters offering help to carry this duffel seemed to understand without question that I would be fine to handle this item myself. My travel partners saw to it that the Torah would fly in first class airplane compartments, and were clear where this Torah, our physical link to the Almighty, was situated at all times. That Sefer Torah was as essential to us as the air we were breathing. It seemed to carry itself. As I think back to those 10 days, I now ask myself for the better me. On the last early morning of our trek, it was a time for the Torah to be read. Our safari guide came to the hut with his high-powered rifle, as protection from the surrounding animal kingdom as we walked to the place where the Minyan would say morning prayers. With the duffel over my shoulder, carrying the word of G-d in the Sefer Torah, I looked at the guide in front of me, toting his weapon and said, “Hein, you’re not gonna need that today.” I had all the protection I needed right with me. Thank you, “Chevra”…I will carry the Torah.
the Torah lived in my hotel closet.
jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 35
tips on Jewish trips
At Tuscany’s only kosher winery, owners can’t touch the Chianti sealed with a white plastic strip bearing a K inside a circle, also stays locked, though visitors may peer into the room through CASTELNUOVO BERARDENGA, Italy glass panels. (JTA)—Up a windy road in the tranquil During a recent visit, the winery’s Tuscan hills, down a gravel path and past owner, Maria Pellegrini, stood next door, acres of grapevines, a visitor will come laying out thin slices of Tuscan bread along across a stainless steel door frame secured the perimeter of a plate and topping them with tomatoes grown in her garden. She chopped pieces of fresh, kosher parmesan into a small dish. But when it came time to open her signature bottle, the Terra Di Seta Winery’s Chianti Classico 2010 Reserve, she yielded to Yossi Metzger, an intern with little winemaking experience and a kippah on his Much of the focus of the day of Rosh Hashana, both in terms of time and energy, is on head. Metzger twisted the corkscrew and prayer. At the center of the prayers is Musaf, and at the heart of Musaf there are three popped the bottle open. Much of the focus Much of the of the dayfocus of Rosh of the Hashana, day ofboth RoshinHashana, terms ofboth timein and terms energy, of time is onand prayer. energy, At the is on center prayer. ofAt the center of Muchvery of theunique focus ofblessings: the day of Malchuyot Rosh Hashana, both kingship), in terms of time and energy, is on prayer. At the (G-d’s Zichronot (G-d’s mindfulness of center us) of “We must be crazy to make kosher wine the prayers is Musaf, the prayers and atisthe Musaf, heartand of Musaf at thethere heartare of Musaf three very thereunique are three blessings: very unique Malchuyot blessings: (G-d’sMalchuyot king(G-d’s king the prayers is Musaf, andand at the heart of(Historic Musaf there are three very unique blessings: Malchuyot (G-d’s kingShofarot and future role of the Shofar). in Tuscany,” laughs Pellegrini, who, accordship), Zichronot (G-d’s ship), Zichronot mindfulness (G-d’s of us) mindfulness and Shofarot of us) (Historic and Shofarot and future (Historic role of and the future Shofar). role of the Shofar). ship), Zichronot (G-d’s mindfulness of us) and Shofarot (Historic and future role of the Shofar). ing to Jewish law, cannot touch the wine Much ofus theas focus ofexplore the day ofwe Rosh Hashana, both main in terms of time and is three on prayer. At the center of JoinJoin we Join us asexplore the explore main themes the of these themes three ofenergy, these blessings, blessings, because she is not Jewish. “Others tried to us as we explore the main themes of these three blessings, Join us as we the main themes of these three blessings, the prayers is Musaf, andfind athow theexpression heart of find Musafexpression there three in very unique blessings: Malchuyot (G-d’s kingand how they and they in theareactivities the ofactivities the day. of the day. make kosher wine, but it’s not easy. It’s not and how they find expression in the activities of the day. and how theymindfulness find expression in the activities of ship), Zichronot of us) and Shofarot (Historic and future rolethe of theday. Shofar). ALL (G-d’s CLASSES ALL FROM CLASSES 8:15 FROM 9:00PM 8:15 9:00PM a joke.” ALL CLASSES FROM 8:15 - 9:00PM ALL CLASSES FROM 8:15–9:00PM Join us as we explore the main themes of these three blessings, Other non-kosher Tuscan wineries have and how they find expression in the activities of the day. occasionally produced a run of kosher wine, Tuesday, Tuesday, Malchuyot: Malchuyot: OnMALCHUYOT: Rosh On Rosh we’re Hashana judged we’re on life, judged livelilife, On Rosh Hashana we’re judged onliveliALL CLASSES FROM 8:15 -we’re 9:00PM Tuesday, Malchuyot: OnHashana Rosh Hashana judged on life,on livelibut since it began producing bottles eight TUESDAY, hood, health, hood, and happiness. health, and So happiness. why don’t So we why ask don’t for it?! we ask for it?! AugustAugust 25 August 25 life, livelihood, health, and happiness. So why don’t 25 hood, health, and happiness. So why don’t we ask for it?! years ago, Terra di Seta has been the only AUGUST 25 we ask for it?! fully kosher winery in central Italy’s Chianti Tuesday, Malchuyot: On Rosh Hashana we’re judged on life, liveliregion. It’s an area famed for the distinctive Tuesday, Tuesday, health, and happiness. So why don’t we ask for it?! August 25 hood, Tuesday, Zichronot: Why Zichronot: am I being Why judged? am I being And judged? for what? And for what? red wines its families have produced for Zichronot: Why am I being judged? for what? September 1September 1 ZICHRONOT: Why am I beingAnd judged? And for TUESDAY, September 1 centuries, against a landscape that looks like SEPTEMBER 1 what? the backdrop to a Renaissance painting. Tuesday, Pellegrini and her husband, Daniele Zichronot: Why am I being judged? And for what? Tuesday, Tuesday, September 1 Tuesday, Shofarot: What Shofarot: will you What hear will when you the hear Shofar when blows? the Shofar blows? Della Seta, are meticulous about adhering Shofarot: What will you hear when the Shofar blows? September 8September 8 September 8 SHOFAROT: What will you hear when the Shofar TUESDAY, to Chianti’s high standards. They export SEPTEMBER 8 blows? 35,000 to 45,000 bottles per year to stores Tuesday, Shofarot: What will you hear when the Shofar blows? and restaurants in the United States, Israel Sunday, Sunday, Thirteen Attributes Thirteen ofAttributes Mercy: Why of Mercy: are there Why sothere many are there so many September 8 Thirteen Sunday, Attributes ofof Mercy: Why are so many attributes and attributes what does and each what does them each do? of them do? and around the world. The winery also September 20 September 20 and what does each of them do? Why are September 20 attributesTHIRTEEN ATTRIBUTES OF MERCY: makes olive oil from trees in the vineyard TUESDAY, there so many attributes and what does each of as well as honey, another regional specialty. SEPTEMBER 20 ALL CLASSES ALL WILL CLASSES TAKEThirteen PLACE WILL TAKE AT BNAI PLACE ISRAEL: AT BNAI 420ISRAEL: SPOTSWOOD 420 SPOTSWOOD AVE. AVE. Sunday, them do? Attributes of Mercy: there so many ALL CLASSES WILL TAKE PLACE AT BNAI ISRAEL:Why 420 are SPOTSWOOD AVE. Requirements for Chianti (pronounced For more Information For more or for Information any Questions, or for any Please Questions, email email@example.com Please email firstname.lastname@example.org attributes and what does each of them do? September 20Information or for any Questions, Please email email@example.com For more kee-ON-tea) wine range from using the local ALL CLASSES WILL TAKE PLACE AT BNAI ISRAEL Sangiovese grape variety almost exclusively 420 TAKE SPOTSWOOD AVENUE, NORFOLK ALL CLASSES WILL PLACE AT BNAI ISRAEL: 420 SPOTSWOOD AVE. to letting the wine age for more than two For more Information anyquestions, Questions, please Please email For more information oror forforany firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com years. At the end of the process, each run is sent to a committee so it can be approved as an official “Chianti Classico” wine—complete with a serial number for each vintage. But keeping kosher means the vintners must surrender the actual winemaking process to others. According to traditional Jewish law, only religious Jews may produce by Ben Sales
with a piece of clear packing tape. The Hebrew scrawled on the adhesive reads: “David Solomon.” Almost no one may remove this tape, open the door or use the winemaking equipment in an expansive room on the other side. Another door to the same room,
Make the Rosh Hashana Make Make thethe Rosh the Rosh Hashana Hashana Make Rosh Hashana Machzor an Open Book Machzor Machzor an Open an Open Book Book
Machzor Open Book Make thean Rosh Hashana Machzor an Open Book
36 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
kosher wine, and though Della Seta is Jewish, he does not observe Shabbat. So mashgiachs, or kosher supervisors, hired by the OK Kosher certification agency have to handle everything from the time the grapes come to the winery’s door to when the cork goes into the bottle. “I’ve worked with non-kosher wineries before who’ve always wanted to jump into some point of the process,” says Ian Schnall, one of Terra di Seta’s mashgiachs. “It’s like Van Gogh saying, ‘Paint this corner in this shade, paint that corner in that shade.’” At first, the restrictions were especially difficult for Pellegrini, who is originally from Tuscany. She grew up in a winemaking family in southern Italy and always dreamed of operating her own winery. When Della Seta, a neurology professor, got an appointment at the nearby University of Siena in 2000, the couple bought a vineyard surrounding a 400-year-old stone house and moved in. The year after their first vintage, in 2007, they decided to go kosher. They knew it meant giving up a certain measure of control, but the couple also had to compete with families that had been producing Chianti for generations. Although some nearby wineries had produced the occasional kosher run none was fully kosher. They believed that making Terra di Seta kosher-certified would give them an edge— and a market niche. They also believed their boutique winery would set a new standard
Lâ€™Shanah Tovah Let this be the year to Create a Jewish Legacy, ensuring our Jewish traditions and culture will live on and flourish for generations to come.
To learn more, contact Scott Kaplan, President and CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation at 757-965-6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 37
HEBREW ACADEMY OF TIDEWATER INSPIRING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE WITHIN A WARM COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT
H EBREW A CADEMY OF T IDEWATER Konikoff Center of Learning
VISITOR TOURS BY APPOINTMENT CALL ADMISSIONS AT
5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach,VA 23462 www.HebrewAcademy.net
SERVING THE COASTAL VIRGINIA COMMUNITY ON THE MAGNIFICENT 22-ACRE SANDLER FAMILY CAMPUS 38 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Blog Jon Stewart looks back at his Jewish moments by Gabe Friedman
(JTA)—For years it has been written about, and on the night of July 23 it was sealed: Jon Stewart is proud to be Jewish. With just two weeks left before he leaves The Daily Show” following a 16-year run as host—and well ahead of the High Holidays—he appears to be tying up loose ends. Stewart made his Jewish pride clear in a segment titled “A Look Back: Let His People Laugh.” Sen. Chuck Schumer made a surprise appearance as a follow-up to his inclusion on the previous night’s show, which poked fun at the New York Democrat’s preference for talking about diner food rather than addressing the Iran deal. (“What have you done?” Stewart asked MSNBC about its choice of location for its interview with Schumer last weekend. “You brought an old New York Jewish man to a diner!”) Conversation about diner breakfast
food inevitably led to a Jewish joke, with Stewart quipping to the audience: “How did you know I was Jewish? For years I have gone out of my way to avoid displaying any of the stereotypical characteristics of our shared heritage.” “Then Jon, you have failed spectacularly,” Schumer said. “So tonight, I’d actually like to celebrate your membership in the tribe.” That served as a cue for a concise but hysterically memorable video of some of Stewart’s best Jewish moments on the show—of which there are far too many to cram into a four-minute video. A partial list of the Yiddish or Hebrew words Stewart says in the video includes shalom, mazel tov, schmutz, bubbe, dayenu, shpilkes, punum, minyan, meshuganah and bubkes. After the video concluded, Schumer asked Stewart: “Now would you show up at synagogue every once in a while? We miss you!”
Join us for
A Taste of OST Get a flavor of our Clergy, Religious School & programming.
Sunday, September 20 10:00 am - 12:30 pm 530 Raleigh Avenue in Norfolk
For questions or to RSVP, contact our office at 757.625-4295 or email@example.com
Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year!
Heinz no longer qualifies as ketchup in Israel by Gabe Friedman
(JTA)—In the United States, Heinz is nearly synonymous with ketchup, but Israel has kicked the brand out of that category of condiments. Israel’s Health Ministry ruled recently that the Heinz product does not contain enough “tomato solids” to be labeled as ketchup in Israeli stores. It will be relegated to the title “tomato seasoning,” Ynet reported. The ruling followed a lobbying campaign by the Israeli food manufacturer Osem, which produces much of the ketchup consumed in Israel. Israelis have long complained that local monopolies distort the economy, especially the food market, leading to high prices on products like cottage cheese and Milky brand pudding. In a letter the company sent to retailers back in January, Osem claimed that it had tested Heinz ketchup in a “leading European external laboratory” and found that it only contained 21 percent tomato concentrate instead of the 61 percent it
advertised to consumers. Israeli trade standards require ketchup to have at least 41 percent tomato concentrate. The letter sparked a war of words between Osem and Diplomat, the company that distributes Heinz ketchup in Israel. Osem controls about two-thirds of the market for Israeli ketchup, leaving Heinz a distance second in terms of sales. “Obviously, Osem, which has a monopoly, would be happy if it were only possible to sell their product in Israel,” a spokesman for Diplomat told Ynet in January. “But Osem’s claims have no substance.” Osem fired back, claiming that no one else had raised legitimate concerns about the composition of Heinz’s product. Diplomat is petitioning to change the Health Ministry’s standards in order to allow Heinz to qualify again as ketchup, Haaretz reported. In the meantime, consumers may be left wondering about Heinz ketchup’s actual tomato content.
• Watch the sunset while enjoying award winning seafood. • Fantastic view of the Chesapeake Bay.
Lynnhaven Fish House Restaurant
• Owned and operated by the Kyrus family for thirty six years.
hether it’s an intimate dinner for two, a business meeting for ten, or a celebration for fifty, join us and discover why we have been voted the Best of the Beach for 17 consecutive years.
2350 Starfish Road Virginia Beach, VA 23451 (757) 481-0003 www.lynnhavenfishhouse.net
Your Table is Waiting! jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 39
Book Review Cartoons, The New Yorker and a memoir all in one How About Never Is Never Good For You? My Life in Cartoons Bob Mankoff Henry Holt and Company 285pp, $32 ISBN 978-0-8050-9591-3
explanation of every crime he solves. In other words, if your brain already contains the information, the referent, necessary to understand both the cartoon and the caption, you’ll “get” it. You’ve got to know who Kim Kardashian is to appreciate cartoons about big rear ends. Or the cartoon titled “Hamlet’s Duplex.”
Cartoon: Three men: Man on the left is wearing a deerstalker (yes, deerstalker) hat; man on the right is an older man; man in the middle is lying on the floor with a spear-length ink pen stabbed into his chest. Caption: “Elementary, my dear Watson; the cartoonist did it.” Do you get it? Yes, if you know who the man in the deerstalker hat is and if you know the man on the right is Dr. Watson and if you know that “Elementary, my dear Watson” precedes Sherlock Holmes’ verbal
Cartoon: Side-by-side apartment doors labeled “2B” and “Not 2B.” Caption: No caption. And, as Mankoff reminds us, humor changes. What was hilariously funny decades ago may not even elicit a grin today. Personally, your reviewer, who has subscribed to The New Yorker since 1947, comes across cartoons which (with increasing frequency!) aren’t “funny” and, in some cases don’t seem to make any sense at all. That’s a function of not being “with it.” Kim Kardashian? A grandchild explained who she is. That’s how it is with cartoons.
**FREE** COMMUNITY SHOWING October 11 & October 15
Sunday, October 11 @ 2:00 PM Thursday, October 15 @ 7:00 PM Simon Family JCC 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach
And cartoons have impact. Take, for example, the commonly used phrase referring to something that doesn’t work the way it was planned: “Back to the drawing board.” Did you know that it comes from a New Yorker cartoon, by Peter Arno? Cartoon: Huge plane crashing in the background, pilot parachuting down, people rushing toward the crash, and one guy walking away with a blueprint under his arm. Caption: “Well, back to the old drawing board.” You don’t “get” the title of the book? Then you’re probably not familiar with Bob Mankoff’s famous cartoon in the May 3, 1993 issue of The New Yorker. Cartoon: Business man standing behind desk in high rise office with telephone pressed to his ear and a finger pointing at his appointment book. Caption: “No, Thursday’s out. How about never—is never good for you?” (You’ve got to see it to appreciate it fully.) How About Never (since you now know what it means we’ll use that for the sake of brevity), is “Dedicated to everyone who has ever done a cartoon for The New Yorker—the list
Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center
Call 757-452-6944. After the movie, the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of medical professionals who specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia, including Dr. Hamid R. Okhravi, Glennan Center at EVMS. In 2011, music legend Glen Campbell set out on an unprecedented tour across America, doing 151 spectacular sold out shows in 18 months across America. What made this tour extraordinary was that Glen had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was told to hang up his guitar and prepare for the inevitable. Instead, Glen and his wife went public with his diagnosis and announced that he and his family would set out on a “Goodbye Tour.” This film documents this amazing journey. Presented by: Beth Sholom Village • EVMS Glennan Center for Geriatrics & Gerontology • Freda H. Gordon Hospice & Palliative Care of Tidewater • Jewish Family Service of Tidewater • Simon Family JCC
40 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
(in very small print) covers the length and width of a page and a half and ends with “And To Anyone Who Ever Will.” Bob Mankoff is the current cartoon editor for The New Yorker and from the first chapter, “I’m not Arguing, I’m Jewish” to the last, “The Kids Are All Right,” he treats us to everything we want to know about cartoon art (plus a number of things we may not have thought about at all). And as a bonus, it’s a memoir. Like the anecdote Mankoff shares about his mother (his Jewish Mother, of course) that made me laugh out loud (no spoilers!). Have you ever thought about whether the cartoonist imagines the picture first or the caption first? Spoiler: There are cartoonists in each school of thought plus those who can do both. And Mankoff is very generous in sharing the book with wonderful examples of fellow artists who represent divergent aspects of the art of the cartoon. (There are 284 cartoons in the book.) You’ll enjoy the book; you’ll learn something about yourself—wherever your referents are! —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Come early on October 11 to enjoy JFS’ 2nd Annual Stop & Shop for Helping Hearts! Visit lots of local vendors! 1:00 – 5:00 PM in the Cardo
Two-year-old students enjoy being outside on the Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center’s state-of-the-art playground.
Specializing in home transformations for over 30 years, I embrace any project, large or small, with the vision to provide the WOW factor.
JCC to host local NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition for second year Sunday, Sept. 20, 1–3 pm
he NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition is a free opportunity to build confidence and it is returning to the Simon Family JCC. For boys and girls ages 6–15, this competition is the first step to advancing regionally, and perhaps all the way to an NFL playoff game this season. Punt, Pass & Kick is a nationwide football skills competition sponsored annually by the National Football League and designed to provide America’s youth athletes an opportunity to compete against their peers in five age brackets. Last year, the JCC boasted several winners, including William Park from Virginia Beach, who won in the boys 10- and 11-year-old category, advanced to regionals, and then had an opportunity to go to the Redskin field to compete. “Not many kids at that age have the opportunity to stand on the same field while the players run on before the game starts,” says his mother, Stephanie Park. “William also got to return to the field with other competitors to throw the ball around at half time as well. It was an exhilarating experience for him, and one that he will
never forget.” Established in 1961, PPK is the oldest NFL youth football program. More than three million boys and girls from around the country take part in PPK competitions from May through January, making it one of the largest youth sports participation programs. Boys and girls compete separately in one of five age divisions (6–7, 8–9, 10–11, 12–13, 14–15) by punting, passing and kicking anytime they chose between 1 and 3 pm. All participants launch one punt, one pass and one kick, with scores based on distance and accuracy, in the hopes of winning a chance to advance to sectionals. Distance scores are determined from where a contestant’s ball first makes contact with the ground and accuracy is measured by the distance the ball deviates from the centerline down the field. Yardage off the centerline is then subtracted from the distance yardage to establish the final result. Participants start out in local competitions, which take place across the country. The contest is free and all that’s needed is a birth certificate to verify age. Players can only participate in one local competition a
year. Sneakers are required; cleats are not allowed. The top finisher in each age group at each local competition will qualify for the sectional competition. At sectionals, each participant starts over and tallies new scores. The top four finishers in each age group at the sectional competition advance to the team championship in their respective NFL market. The winners there are named that NFL market’s Punt, Pass & Kick champion. From there, the top four scores nationally in each age group come together for the national competition. The finals generally take place in January at an NFL stadium that’s playing host to a playoff game. To sign up for the FREE PPK event at the JCC, visit the NFL’s Punt Pass and Kick website, NFLPPK.com. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CRC Presents The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7:30 pm, Sandler Family Campus
oi n the Community Relations Council for a screening of The Christian Broadcasting Network’s documentary, The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel. CBN’s newest documentary takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through the 50 years that preceded the founding of the modern State of Israel. Combining archival footage with dramatic reenactments, this powerful docudrama offers an inside look at some of the most significant—and unlikely— moments in modern history. Witness the struggles and victories of Israel’s founders
and visionaries as they worked to reestablish a Jewish homeland after nearly 2,000 years in exile. For more information on the making of the film and to watch a trailer, visit www. thehope1948.com. To RSVP for this FREE and open to the community event, visit www.jewishva.org/CRCTheHope or email RMancoll@ujft.org.
jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 41
CAREER OPPORTUNITY MANAGER
The Tidewater Jewish Foundation seeks an organized, team-oriented
individual to steward the organization's planned giving program from an administrative and logistical perspective; communicating its benefits to affiliated agencies, donors, and prospects to include marketing and public relations. This position requires a candidate with a broad understanding of the history and aspirations of the Jewish people and how the various Jewish community agencies and synagogues interact. Successful candidate must have a professional appearance and attitude; highly developed written and verbal communication skills, advanced critical thinking, ability to multi-task, with a superior attention to detail.
Applicants should have a Bachelor's Degree and at least three (3) years' experience or a combination of education and experience that demonstrates qualification for the position. Non-profit experience not required; however would be a plus. Proficient use of Windows and MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe; ability to work within and understand structure of customized database to include becoming proficient, is required. For the detail position overview, please visit us at www.jewishva.org. Forward resume with salary requirements to email@example.com or call Human Resources (757) 965-6117.
The Tidewater Jewish Foundation is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability, genetic information or military status.
SEPTEMBER 6, Sunday Brith Sholom meeting will be held at Beth Sholom Village. Board Meeting at 10 am; General meeting at 11 am; brunch at 12:00 Noon.
SEPTEMBER 16, WEDNESDAY The J.C.C. Seniors Club board meeting at 10:30 am; lunch at 12 noon; general meeting at 12:30 pm with guest speaker Rabbi/Cantor Ellen Jaffee Gill of Tidewater Chavarah, the Congregation without walls. She will talk about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and sing some songs.
September 20, Sunday NFL Punt, Pass & Kick sponsored by the NFL. The PPK program is a national skills competition for boys and girls (ages 6 to 15) to compete separately against their peers. Spaces limited for this free program at the Simon Family JCC. 1 pm. Register at nflppk.com.
Wednesday, September 30 The CRC Presents The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel at the Sandler Family Campus at 7:30 pm. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s newest documentary takes viewers on a journey through the 50 years that preceded the founding of the modern State of Israel. Learn more about the film by visiting www.thehope1948.com. For more information or to RSVP for this FREE and open to the community event, visit www.jewishva.org/CRCTheHope or email RMancoll@ujft.org. See page 41.
Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline President
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October 18, Sunday The Children’s Cultural Arts Series of the Simon Family JCC presents The Tricksters Trilogy by Virginia Opera. A collection of stories focusing on three “tricksters” from around the world, this piece is sure to entertain with its very imaginative and fun approach. Includes some audience participation and is suitable for all ages. 2:30 pm at the JCC. 321-2338 for tickets or simonfamilyjcc.org.
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Contact us today at 757-523-0605 or www.paydaypayroll.com 42 PD-ad-JewishNews-QtrColor-110614.indd | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 1 | jewishnewsva.org
September 1, Tuesday 27th Annual Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning Golf Tournament at Bayville Golf Club. To register or sponsor, contact: Patti Seeman, director of development, 757-424-4327, firstname.lastname@example.org.
11/6/14 7:39 PM
October 24, Saturday Performing Arts at the J presents Cutting Edge Dueling Pianos. Whatever songs the audience wants to hear, the players are sure to know—whether it’s classic rock, current songs, rap or country. Cash bar available. 8 pm at the Simon Family JCC. Detailed information at SimonFamilyJCC.org or contact Michele Goldberg at 757-321-2341. $20 or $10 for JCC members.
Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES BBYO C IT Y DIRECTOR PART TIME. The leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement, BBYO has provided exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences for over 90 years. Seeking a candidate with proven leadership skills to inspire and support teens by creating leadership development opportunities and serving as a Jewish role model/experiential educator. Ideal candidate must be passionate about working with teens, creative, resultsdriven and able to deal effectively with youth and parents in sometimes difficult situations. Previous work experience with teens preferred. Submit resume to: Scott Katz, executive director, Simon Family JCC firstname.lastname@example.org Ellen Goldstein, area field director, BBYO email@example.com
Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, firstname.lastname@example.org or submit resume to: Simon Family JCC Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
If you are self-motivated, career minded, and a team oriented LEADER, one of these careers might be yours!
Mazel Tov to Achievement Graham Eilberg, who, while golfing with his Dad, Seth at the Jamestown, RI course, got a hole in one on the 114 yard par 3 fifth hole. Graham Eilberg, age 11, is the grandson of Susan and Jim Eilberg of Norfolk.
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to email@example.com with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
Who Knew? Mayim Bialik: Being religious isn’t trendy in Hollywood
eople of faith working in Hollywood are often out of step with the entertainment industry, American actress Mayim Bialik says. “I think in general it’s never going to be trendy to be observant or religious in Hollywood circles,” Bialik, 39, told Fox411 in an interview. “There are people I know of faith and we tend to congregate together. I study Jewish texts weekly. That’s something really positive to me when you’re a person of faith, it stays with you all the time.” Bialik is known in Hollywood as an observant person. She says she gets a lot of flack for being a modest dresser, including getting labeled as a prude.
“Being a modest dresser, that for me is a certain amount of my religious faith— privacy and chastity. Just because I have a body, doesn’t mean it means to be on display.” Bialik also spoke about the “negative attention” she received on the Internet for her recent visit to Israel. “It really doesn’t matter what I support or believe—the fact that I’m Jewish and go there is enough— that should be alarming to most people,” she said. Bialik, who has written for the JTAaffiliated Jewish parenting site Kveller for the last five years, plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. She recently launched a new website, GrokNation.com. (JTA)
it’s a wrap Annual birthday celebration for aquatics instructor
or Barb Mathewson’s birthday each year, her noon aquatics class at the Simon Family JCC orders a chocolate cake to celebrate. This year, the 2014 world age group champion in the half ironman celebrated with her aqua arthritis class in the Cardo Café at the JCC. On her actual birthday, Tuesday, August 4, Shelley Loeb hosts an annual party at her home in Cypress Point. “Barb is hands down the best water fitness teacher we’ve ever had,” says Loeb. “She is a role model herself with all her
Celebrating in the Cardo Café.
athletic accomplishments. And she inspires others to do the same.”
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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES BBYO C IT Y DIRECTOR PART TIME. The leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement, BBYO has provided exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences for over 90 years. Seeking a candidate with proven leadership skills to inspire and support teens by creating leadership development opportunities and serving as a Jewish role model/experiential educator. Ideal candidate must be passionate about working with teens, creative, resultsdriven and able to deal effectively with youth and parents in sometimes difficult situations. Previous work experience with teens preferred. Submit resume to: Scott Katz, executive director, Simon Family JCC email@example.com Ellen Goldstein, area field director, BBYO firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, email@example.com or submit resume to: Simon Family JCC Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
If you are self-motivated, career minded, and a team oriented LEADER, one of these careers might be yours! jewishnewsva.org | August 31, 2015 | Jewish News | 43
obituaries Shirley G. Blum Norfolk—Shirley Blum, 93, of Virginia Beach, passed away on August 12, 2015. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Shirley came to Norfolk over 60 years ago and later moved to Virginia Beach. Shirley loved to dance and rarely missed a social engagement. She was a generous, loyal and loving friend. Her greatest delight was spending time with her loved ones. She was predeceased by her first husband Joseph (Jack) Gertsfeld, but later found happiness again with her second husband, Samuel Blum. They were married for 41 years until Sam passed away in 2014. She is survived by her daughter Ellen Willner of Virginia Beach, her daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Tom McAndrew of Bluffton, S. C., and her grandchildren Jennifer Head, Allison Masinter, Dana Willner, and Daniel McAndrew. Shirley is also survived by four great-grandchildren. A graveside service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk by Rabbi Israel Zoberman. Donations to the
Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org). H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments. Eleanor Cohen Virginia Beach—Eleanor Simon Cohen, 96, passed away peacefully at home on August 17, 2015. Eleanor had an amazing and long life, always full of adventure. Born in Norfolk, she attended Maury High School and later married the love of her life for more than 50 years, Irvin H. Cohen. She went on to study art at Old Dominion University with artists Charles Sibley, Ken Daily and Victor Pickett. Her passion for art led her to classes in San Miguel, Mexico, Palm Beach, Fla. with Paul Jenkins, and classes in Nice, France at the International Academy d’Ete. She was in many shows, both local and national, from Norfolk to Atlanta to Palm Beach. She won second place in the Irene Leache Memorial show at the Chrysler Museum. Eleanor was never a follower, and was always a trend-setter. She studied French at the Sorbonne in 1959–1960 and reported on fashion and culture for The VirginianPilot while in France. Golf was another passion for her. She won the Portsmouth Amateur Golf Championship in 1952, and was an avid golfer at the Cavalier Golf Club. Eleanor also worked with many community organizations, including being a Grey Lady with the Red Cross during WWII, serving as President of the Churchland Elementary School PTA, and was a member of Temple Sinai in Portsmouth, Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, B’Nai Brith, The Chrysler Museum, MOCA, and the Norton Museum in Palm Beach.
All that knew her adored her, and her friendships were measured in decades, not years. Eleanor is predeceased by her parents, Nathan and Esther Simon, as well as her sisters Nettie Nelson and Vera Fox, and her husband Irvin Cohen, as well as her son in law, Lee David Cohen. Her spirit lives on in her brother and sister-in-law, Eddie and Sylvia Simon, her daughters, Arleen Cohen (Lee, obm) and Susan Ticknor (Malcom), and her grandchildren Benjamin Cohen and Alexander Getsinger (Kim). She also will be missed by her great-grandchildren Barbara, David and Aaron Cohen, and her nephews Marc Simon (Mady) and Robert Simon (Karen), and Dale Fox. Services were held at Ohef Sholom Temple in the Sinai Chapel. Burial was private. Memorial donations to Ocean Park Rescue Squad, MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) in the name of the Cohen Family Memorial Fund. Condolences can be sent to www.sturtevantfuneralhome.com. Herbert S. Epstein Virginia Beach—Herbert S. Epstein, 88, passed away suddenly, but peacefully on Saturday, August 22, 2015 with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife Mary Epstein, six children, Beth Epstein, Robert Epstein, Susan Connor, Jerry Belote, Carolyn Belote, Jim Belote and 12 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Herbert A. Epstein. A service took place at Bliley’s Funerals Home in Richmond.
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44 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Morton Goldmeier NORFOLK—Morton Goldmeier, 91, passed away on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 in his residence with his family by his side. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Edith Oltman and Sidney Goldmeier. He attended V.P.I. and then served in the U.S. Air Force during WW II. Following the War, he graduated from UVa with an accounting degree. He became a CPA and served as the managing partner of Goodman and Company for many years. After retiring from accounting, he founded and was president of Hampton Roads Management Associates for over 20 years. Morton was a founding member of Temple Israel and a founder and first president of Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. His many contributions to the community were recognized by awards from United Way, The National Conference of Christians and Jews, and Israel Bonds among others. His passions in life were his adored wife, Bootsie, his family, and his work both professionally and communally. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 67 years, Elaine “Bootsie” Goldmeier; a daughter, Linda Katz; two sons, Michael Goldmeier (Bitsy) and Edward Goldmeier (Jennifer); nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. A funeral service took place at Temple Israel with Rabbi Michael Panitz officiating. Burial followed in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Morton and Elaine Goldmeier Family Foundation, c/o Tidewater Jewish Foundation, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462, Temple Israel, or Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com. Herman Jerry Gutterman NORFOLK—Herman Jerry Gutterman, 75, husband and dad, passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2015. Jerry was born on July 5, 1940 to the late Nathan and Sadie Gutterman. He was predeceased by his wife, Geraldine “Gerry” Glazer Gutterman. Jerry was retired from Norfolk Southern Railroad. He is survived by his only child, a loving
obituaries daughter, Amy Lynn Gutterman. The graveside service and celebration of Jerry’s life was held in B’Nai Israel Cemetery by Rabbi Sender Haber. Altmeyer Funeral Home. Condolences to www.altmeyerfh.com.
(jfshamptonroads.org) or to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (myasthenia. org). Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyerfh.com. Altmeyer Funeral Home.
Edmund Herring Virginia Beach—Edmund Herring, 84, formerly of Levittown, Pa., Salisbury, Md., and Destin, Fla., passed away Friday, August 14, 2015 at Atlantic Shores Seaside in Virginia Beach. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on March 8, 1931 to the late Harry and Anna Kasselman Herring. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 60 years, Marcy Herring; son, Michael Herring (Sherry); son, Charles Herring (Terry); daughter, Joyce Herring Bolton; and five grandchildren: Sarah, Lisa, Kelsey, Craig and Tyler. A graveside service was heldat Forest Lawn Cemetery with Rabbi Marc Kraus officiating. Memorial donations to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater
Charles Mansbach II Norfolk—Charles M Mansbach II, MD, of Memphis, died surrounded by family on August 19, 2015. He was 77. He was born in Norfolk Va. on August 21, 1937, to the late Marie and Harry Mansbach. He graduated from the George School in Bucks County, Pa., and Yale University, Class of 1959. He received his M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1963. He did his internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. where he subsequently became a faculty member in the Gastroenterology Division of the Department of Internal Medicine. From 1968 to 1970 he was a Lt. Commander in the Navy stationed at Portsmouth
Naval Hospital in Portsmouth. After his military service, he returned to Duke University where he took care of patients, taught in the medical school and conducted research. In 1986 he moved to Memphis to accept the position as Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was professor of Medicine and Physiology with an appointment also at the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center. He received numerous grants over the course of his career from the National Institutes of Health and from the Veterans Administration to support his investigations into the mechanisms of lipid absorption and transport. He was the author of many scientific papers and an editor for scientific journals and books. Despite his lengthy illness, he continued his research and writing up until the time of his death. He was known for his devotion to family and work and for his unquenchable optimism and sense of humor. He is survived by his wife of 53 years,
May Lynn, and three sons and their families: Dr. Harry Mansbach III (Sarah) of Kentfield, Calif.; Samuel Ross Mansbach (Jodi) of Atlanta, Ga.; and Dr. Jonathan M. Mansbach (Rachel) of Newton, Mass.; and eight grandchildren. He is survived also by his brother, B. Thomas Mansbach of Washington, D.C. and a sister, Sally M. Herman (Stephen) of Bethesda, Md., and many nieces and nephews. A graveside funeral service was held in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Opera Memphis, Temple Israel, the Church Health Center, or a charity of the donor’s choice. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com. Florence Kahn Samuels Norfolk—Florence Kahn Samuels, 91 of the 5500 block of Frog Pond Lane, died August 24, 2015. Mrs. Samuels was born in Norfolk the daughter of the late Nathaniel Morris Kahn and Hannah Klaff Kahn.
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obituaries She was a member of B’nai Israel Synagogue in Norfolk. She was very active with the synagogue, like her mother, she was past president of the B’nai Israel Sisterhood and worked tirelessly on the calendar committee. Mrs. Samuels was also a life member of the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary, Hadassah and the Hebrew Ladies Charity. She supported numerous charitable and community organizations. She was a devoted wife and mother and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. Mrs. Samuels was predeceased by her husband Morton Samuels, her brother J. Leonard Kahn and his wife Rebecca, two sisters Zelda Silver and her husband Ben, Dorothy Eulau and her husband Raymond as well as a sister in law Gertrude Kahn and brother in law Gene Linden. Survivors include her two sons, Marc Samuels and his wife Nancy of Virginia Beach; Lew Samuels and his wife Cheri of Boise, Idaho; a granddaughter, Tia Rhodehouse and her husband Robert; and two great grandchildren, Colter and Ellie. She is also survived by a brother, Bernard Kahn of Norfolk; a sister Janet Linden of Richmond, Va., and many nieces, nephews and extended family. A graveside service was conducted at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Norfolk by Rabbi Sender Haber. Memorial donations
to a charity of one’s choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments.
Gerald Bubis, Jewish communal service pioneer LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Gerald Bubis, who pioneered and shaped the field of Jewish communal service and was a passionate champion of a progressive Israel, has died. Bubis died Friday, August 21 at his Los Angeles home at the age of 91, following a series of lengthy illnesses. Bubis was born in Winnipeg, Canada, but as a youngster moved with his sister and mother to Minneapolis. In 1968, at the invitation of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), he established the School of Jewish Communal Service, now the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, at its Los Angeles campus. Bubis retired from the school’s directorship in 1989, Bubis “was the first to conceptualize, initiate, establish and sustain a program for the education and formation of professionals who would serve the totality of the Jewish community,” according to Rabbi David Ellenson, chancellor emeritus of the HUC-JIR’s four-campus system. Bubis forged his legacy through “his unique combination of charisma, warmth, intellectual acuity and boundless energy,” Ellenson said.
Parallel to his academic achievements, Bubis was a key figure in the Israel peace movement and among the first in the 1980s to advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at a time when such a stance was highly unpopular in the Jewish community. “Jerry belonged to that generation of leaders who could be a beacon of moral conscience while remaining fully within the communal fold,” said David Myers, chairman of the UCLA history department. Bubis’ energy and outreach were prodigious. In his 2005 autobiography, Guide Yourself Accordingly: A Memoir, a listing of his various achievements and associations takes up a full 20 pages of small print. He wrote some 170 academic papers and popular articles and 14 books and monographs, ranging across his focus on the Jewish family, Jewish identity in the modern world, board-staff relations in volunteer organizations and the IsraelDiaspora relationship. Bubis visited Israel some 50 times and created a biannual program in Jerusalem “dedicated to profound studies and critical exploration of Israel-Diaspora bonds,” according to Prof. Gideon Shimoni, former head of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Contemporary Jewry. He is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Ruby, and two children.
Goldie Steinberg, reportedly the world’s oldest Jewish person Goldie Steinberg, reportedly the world’s oldest known Jewish person, died at age 114. Steinberg, according to Chabad.org, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement’s news site, died Sunday, August 16 at the Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Long Beach, N.Y. She was two months away from her 115th birthday. Steinberg was born in 1900, one of eight siblings. As a child, she survived the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, in what is now Moldova, in which 49 Jews died and 500 were injured over two days. In 1923, she moved to the United States. Steinberg lived in New York City, where she married and had two children. She worked as a seamstress until retiring at age 80, and lived independently until age 104. “My grandmother’s life—surviving the pogroms, losing siblings in the Holocaust— it was a history lesson,” said Peter Kutner, Steinberg’s grandson, according to Chabad. org. “She was a very selfless person; she always thought of others.” Steinberg is survived by her two children, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Temple Israel’s “Prayer for Our Congregation” by Michael Knepler
any synagogues include “A Prayer for the Congregation” in weekly Torah services, but Temple Israel might be the only one where members recite “A Prayer for Our Congregation.” The prayer for “Our Congregation” was crafted for Temple Israel by Bobbie Fisher, a member who is a longtime professional writer and editor of Hampton Roads Physician magazine. The title, “A Prayer for Our Congregation,” is not the only difference between Temple Israel’s prayer and the more generic prayer found in the siddur. The prayer book version asks that “blessings of heaven, kindness and compassion, long life, ample sustenance, well-being,
and healthy children devoted to Torah —be granted to members of this congregation.” While these are sacred requests to the almighty, they also can sound a bit boilerplate. The Temple Israel prayer gives thanks for blessings already received, especially the freedom to pray and for the Torah, but it also emphasizes the “ourness” in the congregants’ relationships to each other as members of Temple Israel, the general community and humankind. “I wanted to talk more about our obligations to each other” and about the importance of “listening to and valuing each other,” Fisher says. The genesis of the Temple Israel prayer came last year from then-president Joel Rubin, according to Fisher.
46 | Jewish News | August 31, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
“We were talking about what the High Holy Days would be like and making the services more participatory, so Joel said to me, ‘We need a new prayer for the congregation. Why don’t you try? Write something in that spirit and make it Temple Israelcentric,’” Fisher recalls. Fisher took up the challenge of writing a new prayer that would be both reverential and fresh, but also meaningful, in particular, for members of Temple Israel. “I wanted to talk more about our obligations to each other, a prayer for us that would be more spiritual than practical, so we can have conversations with each other,” she says. “So I thought about it hard and long.” After a couple of drafts, she sent the prayer to Rubin, who “didn’t change a thing and sent it on to Rabbi Panitz,” Fisher says.
The result is a communal prayer that captures the spirit and values of Temple Israel. For example, there are passages that ask for God’s help in embracing “strangers who come to our door as warmly as we welcome and embrace each other” and in opening “our hearts and minds to each other, to our community and to our world … in the true spirit of tikkun olam.” Fisher regards the prayer she wrote not only as words, but also as “a place where we can come together with equal voice, a place where every voice counts.” Temple Israel’s “A Prayer for Our Congregation” debuted last Rosh Hashanah with Fisher on the bimah leading her fellow congregants in a unison reading. “I felt happy,” she says, “that I could give temple members something they deemed valuable.”
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Jewish News August 31, 2015