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Virginia Festival of Jewish Film January 18–26, 2014
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upfront Help the Simon Family JCC and Jewish Family Service through United Way gifts
hen giving to the United Way of South Hampton Roads through your workplace or individually, please consider designating all or part of your pledge to the Simon Family JCC and/or Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. When you get your United Way form, you’ll see it’s changed this year. You will need to write the agencies’ names in a special box on the bottom of the page; the box reads: Gift to a 501 (c)(3) Agency. There are no codes, simply write in Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family JCC or Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Your United Way designation to the JCC or JFS helps fund scholarships for children attending summer camp and the Strelitz Early Childhood Center. The designation also means there are critically needed funds for our most vulnerable and impoverished community members through subsidized counseling, Meals on Wheels, and guardianship services. By filling in these agencies’ names, you are also helping to keep other, essential programs in place, which increasingly are threatened by budget cuts in other sources of funding.
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Chagall found in Munich stash believed looted from Latvian Jews BERLIN (JTA)—A painting by Marc Chagall discovered in a sensational art trove found in Munich is believed to have been looted by the Nazis from a Latvian Jewish family. According to the German newspaper Bild, evidence was uncovered that the painting from the collection hidden for decades by the reclusive Cornelius Gurlitt, 80, may have been looted during the Nazi invasion of the former Soviet Union in 1941. Experts told Bild that the painting, Allegorical Scene, is now worth nearly $1.5 million. The painting was claimed in the 1950s by Savely Blumstein, who fled Nazi-occupied Latvia to the United States, Bild reported. Blumstein also claimed furnishings and other belongings and received a payment of approximately $49,000 from Germany in 1981. He died in 2009, but the newspaper located two sons who said they were pleased to hear the painting had been found. More than 1,400 works were confiscated from Gurlitt nearly two years ago in the course of an investigation for tax evasion. The works had been procured by his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, a collector and dealer commissioned by the Nazis to buy art for its museums, as well as art that it considered “degenerate,” that could be sold, with profits going to the Nazi government. The state prosecutor in Augsburg agreed last month to provide a list of at least 590 works of questionable provenance, along with photos, for publication on the website of Germany’s provenance-research authority. Some 354 objects have been published on the site. The Augsburg authorities have not commented on the latest revelations, but did note that they had received more than 100 inquiries about artwork in Gurlitt’s possession from possible claimants. Queries also have come in to private organizations that do provenance research. Advocates for survivors and heirs have been pressing for greater transparency regarding the Gurlitt collection. Meanwhile, authorities are facing a dilemma that many of the works may legally belong to Gurlitt, making it more problematic to put the entire collection online. Germany has established a six-person task force to investigate the provenance of all works in question. At least 300 paintings are to be returned to Gurlitt, particularly works by a relative.
contents Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Live presentations at film festival . . . 15
Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Mal Vincent at Film Festival . . . . . . . 16
Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Student raises funds for homeless. . . . 17
Op Ed: Israel Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
It’s a Wrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
American professors boycott Israel . . . 7
What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Reform Judaism reboots. . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Swarthmore Hillel picks fight . . . . . . 10
Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Super Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Inclusive at Ohef Sholom . . . . . . . . . . 12
Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. . . . . 14
Scene: YAD Lights it up. . . . . . . . . . . 25
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jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Israeli army calls Seton Hall basketball player’s number An Israeli playing basketball at Seton Hall University was ordered to return home to serve in the army. The Israel Defense Forces told Tom Maayan, a sophomore guard at the New Jersey college, to return by Jan. 2 to be drafted. Maayan had spent several months over the summer in basic training with the Israeli army but received a 120-day exemption to start the season at Seton Hall. He reportedly had expected another after lobbying for the exemption granted to exceptional athletes. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said the Pirates’ game against the New Jersey Institute of Technology was Maayan’s last with the team. He was set to finish his final exams before returning to Israel, according to The Star-Ledger. Now, he will serve out his full threeyear commitment to the military. “Tommy has been and will always be a beloved member of the Seton Hall community,” Willard told The New York Times last month. “We will certainly miss him, and while we understand and respect his responsibility to serve his country, we are disappointed with the timing.” Maayan would still be eligibile to play college basketball, but it is unclear if his scholarship at Seton Hall would be available after completing his army service. (JTA) Ex-U.N. envoy Richardson calls for Pollard’s release Bill Richardson, the former U.N. ambassador known for his efforts to release American captives overseas, called on President Obama to free Jonathan Pollard. In a Dec. 10 letter to Obama, whom he endorsed after dropping out of the 2008 presidential race, Richardson noted that an increasing number of figures involved in government when Pollard was given a 1987 life sentence for spying for Israel now believe his sentence should be commuted. “In my view, there is no longer a need for a discussion today,” Richardson wrote. “Virtually everyone who was in a high position of government—and dealt with the ramifications of what Pollard did at the time—now support his release.”
Richardson, also the ex-governor of New Mexico, wrote that former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb placed much of the blame for Pollard’s lengthy incarceration on former Secretary of State Casper Weinberger’s negative views of Israel. Noting in his letter that presidents traditionally consider commutations in time for the Christmas-New Year’s season, Richardson urged Obama to include Pollard among them. Richardson, an energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton, is known for negotiating the release of Americans held captive in North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan. He has been involved in the attempt to release Alan Gross, a State Department contractor, from a Cuban jail. Gross, of Maryland, has been imprisoned for four years after being arrested while trying to set up an Internet connection for the island’s tiny Jewish community. (JTA)
Baku gives land for Jewish cultural center, kosher restaurant The city of Baku in Azerbaijan has allocated land for the construction of a Jewish cultural center and the Azeri capital’s first kosher restaurant. The municipality has given the Mountain Jews, one of the country’s three Jewish communities, approximately 600 square yards for the restaurant, which will be part of a three-story cultural center that the community intends to build on the land, according to a report by Russia’s Jewish News Agency. The opening “will be a landmark event for Jewish life in Baku,” a statement on the website of the Mountain Jews’ community read. “The creation of such a complex will serve our foreign guests, who are experiencing some difficulties in Baku with kosher meals as the country has few kosher products.” Rabbi Shneor Segal, chief envoy to Azerbaijan of Chabad, said that Baku does not have any strictly kosher restaurants. Chabad also plans to open a large cultural center in Baku with help from the authorities sometime before 2016 that will have a
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kosher restaurant, he said. Azerbaijan has a Jewish population of about 20,000, according to the World Jewish Congress, with 75 percent residing in Baku. Despite strong traditionalist tendencies, most Azeri Jews are not observant, Segal said. (JTA)
Anne Frank sapling cut down, stolen in Germany A sapling that came from the tree that stood outside the hiding place of Anne Frank in Amsterdam was cut down and stolen in Frankfurt, German police said. Unidentified parties cut down the 8-foot tree outside the Anne Frank School, according to a report by the Dutch public broadcaster NOS. Police have no information or leads on the identity of the thieves or their motives, the report said. The cutting was planted in 2008 outside the school named for the Jewish teenage diarist who was born in Frankfurt in 1929. Anne was killed in 1945 during the Holocaust after her family was caught hiding in the Nazi-occupied Dutch capital, where they had moved to escape persecution in Germany. “It was, obviously, more than just a tree for us,” a spokesperson for Frankfurt’s Anne Frank School told NOS. “We grew it with the help of a landscape architect and with the loving care of several classes.” The tree is not easily replaceable, as the original chestnut tree that stood outside Anne’s hiding place, and which is featured in her diary, was cut down in 2010 following a storm. Several cuttings from the tree are found around the world. The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel in The Hague, or CIDI, is in possession of a 13-foot tree that grew from a certified cutting of the original trunk. (JTA) Biden: White House to help Holocaust survivors Vice President Joe Biden said the White House will work with the Jewish community to help Holocaust survivors living in poverty. Speaking at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Centennial on Tuesday, Dec. 11, Biden said the White House will appoint a special envoy at the
Department of Health and Human Services to act as a liaison for survivors and the nonprofit community organizations that serve them. A partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to increase the number of volunteers helping Holocaust survivors will be established, Biden said. Also, the White House will explore public-private partnerships to increase funding for organizations that work with Holocaust survivors. “Today our country took a major step forward toward addressing the needs of many Holocaust survivors,” said Michael Siegal, chair of The Jewish Federations of North America board of trustees. According to JFNA, there are about 120,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States, of which about 25 percent live below the poverty line. “As Jewish Federations continue to raise needed funds to support social service programs for Holocaust survivors, we will use the momentum from the vice president’s announcement to draw extra attention to this cause,” said Jerry Silverman, the president and CEO of Jewish Federations.
Damaged Torahs found in Iraq buried in N.Y. Damaged Torah scrolls found by U.S. troops in Iraq’s intelligence headquarters were buried in a New York cemetery. The burial took place at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island. More than 100 people attended the ceremony in the New York City suburb, among them Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. “This is a statement by the government and people of Iraq that we are here to respect the heritage of the Jews,” Faily said. Burial is the method under Jewish law of disposing of unusable religious objects and texts. Thousands of Jewish ritual items were discovered by U.S. troops in 2003 following the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein in the waterlogged basement of Iraq’s intelligence headquarters. The items were shipped to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., for restoration. They are featured at an exhibit there through Jan. 5. (JTA)
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When impatience is a virtue
n January 10, 1992 a shipment of Rubber Duckies was headed from Hong Kong to the United States. There was a terrible storm and 28,800 bath toys were washed overboard. Ten months later, on November 16, Rubber Duckies began to show up on the shores of Alaska. They spent about three years circling around with the oceans’ currents and showed up in Hawaii and Japan. Some made their way through the Bering Strait up to the Arctic Ocean and were actually frozen into the Arctic Drift. Oceanographers got involved and predicted that they would eventually reach the Northern Atlantic. Rewards were offered. Sure enough, the Rubber Duckies spent about six years travelling across the North Pole and started to move southward. They were spotted in Maine and Massachusetts. In 2007, a duck was found on a beach in England. Faded and covered with seaweed, these ducks have been sold at auctions for more than $1,000. The most amazing thing about this story is that oceanographers were able to predict exactly where and when the ducks would land. The Rubber Duckies made a difficult, heroic, and famous journey, but there was no will power. They are just Rubber Duckies. Sometimes people act like those Rubber Duckies. We resist change and insist on “going with the flow.” When Moses first approached the Jewish people with plans for freedom, they complained. They didn’t want change and they didn’t want to challenge the Egyptians. Before Moses came, the Jewish slaves had been supplied with enough
straw to fulfill their brick making quotas. Now they had to find their own straw. Moses damaged their reputations and increased their suffering. Moses turned to G-d and complained, “Why have you caused this nation to suffer? Why did you send me?” According to the Midrash, G-d responded by comparing Moses to the forefathers. He mourned the loss of greater generations. Moses had questioned G-d’s plan where the forefathers had never questioned Him. The truth is that the forefathers also questioned G-d. When G-d promised the land of Israel to Avraham, he asked: “Bameh Eidah?” How do I know? Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Darash Moshe 11) explains that Abraham’s question was a little different than that of Moses: When G-d first told Abraham that he would be given the land of Israel, he was dismayed. Abraham was not excited about the idea of conquering and expelling seven nations and 31 kings from the land of Canaan. He asked the question, “How will I know?” using the word ‘know’ in the biblical sense: “How can I make peace with this? How can I appreciate this? How can this relate to me?” G-d responded to Abraham by explaining that the conquest of Canaan would not happen overnight. There is a natural progression in world history. Trends change, nations change, beliefs change, and lands change. Just as the world has progressed past idolatry and slavery, there have been and will be many progressions throughout history. G-d assured Abraham that there would be no sudden expulsion of the Canaanite people. Rather, the Canaanite society would disintegrate and deteriorate over time. They would succumb naturally to the Jewish invaders. Such is the way of the world and it was set to remain that way until Moses came along. Moses grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh. His fellow Jews were oppressed and suppressed, but showed no interest in dissent or rebellion against Pharaoh. Only Moses understood that the time was finally right for conditions to improve.
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Moses believed that the Pharaoh and the Jewish people were ready to start talking about freedom. Pharaoh refused to take him seriously and the Jews cursed him for getting involved, but Moses realized that if history was to progress at a natural pace, the Jews would not live to see the end of the story. His complaint to G-d was about the slow pace of change. He saw that the Jews did not have the stamina to take much more and that they had lost all desire to be free. Moses begged G-d for a game changer. G-d responded by rushing the Jewish people to freedom. The ensuing story of the 10 plagues and the Exodus was a story of Shock and Awe. Rather than wait, as Abraham had requested, G-d shocked Pharaoh and the Jewish people into change. Within a year, Pharaoh was begging the Jews to go and the Jews were free of bondage. The quick change came at an expense. Attitude did not have time to catch up to reality. Pharaoh immediately regretted letting the Jews out, and the Jews begged to return to Egypt. We needed 40 years of wandering in the desert just to shake off our slave mentality and prepare ourselves
to enter the land of Israel. Even after we entered the land of Israel, our freedom was not eternal. It lasted only 410 years. We had needed more time, but Moses had realized that there was no more time. The approaches of Abraham and of Moses both have merit: We can teach ourselves to be patient with the historic process, but we also need to be willing to introduce a game changer when necessary. There is a lesson here for our own lives as well. Sometimes we need to be patient and have the luxury of sitting back and letting things progress naturally. There are times, however, when we need to take action. It is then that we, like Moses, need to use our unique abilities to effect some badly needed change. We can be the ones to bring the world one step closer to perfection. Don’t be a floating Rubber Duckie. Don’t just go where you are told and let the ocean’s currents and the passage of time pull you around. Don’t let yourself go into automatic pilot. Be patient, but be willing to effect change where necessary. —Rabbi Sender Haber, B’nai Israel
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Israel: Jewish and Democratic by Gil Troy and Martin J. Raffel
Martin J. Raffel is the senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), where he has served as the lead professional on Israel, world Jewry and international human rights for the past 26 years. He also holds the position of project director for the Israel Action Network, a joint project of the Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the JCPA, created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy. Gil Troy is a professor of history at McGill University. His latest book, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, was just published.
ong confined to the extreme margins, but, in recent times, beginning to seep into mainstream discourse is the odious position that challenges Israel’s legitimacy as both a Jewish and democratic state. Many supporters of Israel sometimes have difficulty articulating why these two sides of Israel’s identity are not only compatible, but complementary. In response, JCPA senior vice president and the Israel Action Network project director Martin J. Raffel, together with author and professor Gil Troy, penned a new IAN publication entitled, Israel: Jewish and Democratic, refuting the arguments questioning Israel’s Gil Troy dual identities. The Times of Israel published Troy and Raffel’s series of responses to common challenges to Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic state based on their joint publication. (The full publication may be found at http://israelactionnetwork.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/08/Israel-Jewish-and-Democratic-.pdf.) Following is one of the five op-eds that appeared in The Times of Israel. It is reprinted with permission. Gil Troy is part of the Community Relations Council’s Israel Today Forum.
Going home… to the place where I belong
he lyrics of Chris Daughtry’s song Home, can surely speak to the millions of Jews who have immigrated to Israel from all four corners of the globe. “Well I’m going home, Back to the place where I belong,” Daughtry crooned in his hit song. It’s a sentiment to which all of Israel’s Olim Chadashim can certainly relate, after acquiring citizenship under the Law of Return. Yet, this law has been attacked as racist and contrary to international law, despite the fact that nothing could be further from the truth. International law does impose numerous requirements on the behavior of states. However, every state, based on the principle of sovereignty, retains virtually unfettered authority to decide who will be considered its national or citizen. As the nation state of the Jewish people, Israel has
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the right, indeed the obligation, to define the boundaries of its membership or citizenship. Israel’s nationality law provides for multiple ways of acquiring citizenship, including through naturalization and birth to an Israeli citizen. These provisions apply equally to Jews and non-Jews. In addition, just as other countries express preferences through various fast-tracks for returning nationals, Israel has a Law of Return that enables any Jew to acquire automatic citizenship unless his presence in the state poses a threat to public health or security. The basic legal instrument advancing the principle of nondiscrimination is the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Racial discrimination is defined as any distinction…or preference based on race, color, descent, or national
op ed or ethnic origin.” Essentially, this is an admonition to states that they are not permitted to enact legislation that discriminates among their citizens on the basis of these defined categories. At the same time, the Convention departs from the general principle by providing that state laws dealing with “nationality, citizenship, or naturalization” are not to be affected as long as they do not discriminate against any particular nationality. By giving preferred status to Jews alone, there is no discrimination against Palestinians or anyone else because no particular group is being singled out for exclusion. In short, preferential treatment—or affirmative action—does not equal discrimination. In the U.S. context—a relatively young country made up of immigrants seeking to forge new identities—the idea of extending citizenship preference to former Americans seems out of place, although American immigration law does favor certain political refugees as well as some categories of wealthy immigrants. But the U.S. is not the only model. Israel is hardly alone among democracies in Europe and elsewhere in offering preferential treatment in this arena. For example, the German constitution, Greece’s citizenship law, the Irish nationality law, and the Armenian constitution all offer expedited citizenship acquisition tracks for immigrants with an ethnic attachment to those countries. In addition, since Jews are a people that anyone can join through conversion—irrespective of their race, previous religion or nationality—it cannot be argued reasonably that the Law of Return is racist. Explaining the Law’s background to the Knesset, David Ben-Gurion declared “the State does not grant the right of return to the Jews of the Diaspora. This right preceded the State; this right built the State;
its source is to be found in the historic and never-broken connection between the Jewish people and the homeland.” In other words, a potential “genuine link”—a concept beginning to be incorporated into international law as it relates to citizenship—exists within every Jew. It becomes manifested in the acquisition of Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. This in no way diminishes the connection between Jews who have not chosen to become Israeli nationals and the countries of their citizenship. Indeed, many Jews who have taken Israeli citizenship choose also to retain citizenship in their countries of origin if such an arrangement is permitted. Palestinian leadership long has asserted a “Right of Return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israeli towns and villages from which they fled in the 1948 and 1967 conflicts. This similar language sometimes creates confusion. They are totally different. The Palestinians ground their claims to refugee return in UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which was adopted at the end of 1948. According to the Resolution (non-binding because it was passed in the General Assembly, not the UN Security Council), the refugees “should [not shall] be permitted” to return to their homes at the “earliest practicable date” and this applies only to those “wishing to… live at peace with their neighbors.” This is a UN recommendation from 65 years ago for Israel to admit refugees from that period willing to live in peace, certainly not their descendants. A humanitarian resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue must be addressed in the context of the two-state solution, Israel and a future Palestine within the context of direct negotiations between the parties.
will be the second speaker in the CRC and community
partners’ Israel Today series. He will speak on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. To RSVP for the event, contact Liz Henderson at LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. For more on the Israel Today series, visit www.jewishva.org/crc.
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 7
Education is not received; it is achieved. The team at Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. salutes our local educators and their students.
American Studies Association votes for boycott of Israeli universities WASHINGTON ( JTA)—The membership of the American Studies Association endorsed its national council’s call for a boycott of Israeli universities. Two-thirds of the 1,252 members who voted approved the boycott, according to an ASA announcement Monday, Dec. 16, a day after the deadline for voting. At the time of the vote, there were 3,853 eligible voters, meaning a third of the membership participated. The membership-wide canvas was unprecedented and was undertaken in part at the behest of boycott opponents, who said at a session during the ASA annual conference in Washington last month that the matter was too sensitive to leave up to the 20-member national council, which unanimously endorsed the boycott. “The National Council engaged and addressed questions and concerns of the membership throughout the process,” the ASA statement said. “During the open discussion at the recent convention, members asked us to draft a resolution that was relevant to the ASA in particular and so the Council’s final resolution acknowledged that the US plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” The resolution, which applies to ASA as an organization, is not binding on members and targets institutions, not individuals. In its announcement, the ASA said it would invite Israeli and Palestinian academics to its 2014 national meeting in Los Angeles. ASA describes itself as “devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” “The Israel Action Network (IAN) is troubled that members of the American Studies Association voted to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions that directly violates the strongly held principle of academic freedom,” said Geri Palast,
managing director of The Israel Action Network (IAN), a strategic initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, of which the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is a member. Prior to the vote, Robin Mancoll, director of UJFT’s CRC, contacted local professors to express concerns about the ramifications of the potential boycott, and to “reach out to their friends around the country to make the plea to vote not to divest.” “As a practical matter, this resolution will have limited symbolic significance, but it still raises a number of deeply troubling concerns. Its adoption promotes a discriminatory policy that could fuel a dangerous trend in which violating rights to academic freedom becomes a norm. It singles out academic scholars and institutions based on their nationality, without regard to the important role they play as thought leaders in evaluating and critiquing government policy. And rather than encouraging important discourse and debate, or promoting Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, this resolution will only polarize the academic world by ‘blacklisting’ alternative views, scholars and institutions,” Palast said in her statement. “Peace for both Israelis and Palestinians depends on both parties working together towards a negotiated, two-state solution. Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected boycotts of Israel as counterproductive. Divisive measures such as academic boycotts will only serve to further deflect attention away from serious moral and political issues. These one-sided attacks based on falsehoods should embarrass their proponents, and we move our community to condemn this action,” she said.
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policy that could
fuel a dangerous trend.
Reform Judaism tries for a ‘reboot’ in face of daunting challenges by Uriel Heilman
SAN DIEGO (JTA)—What do you get when you bring together 5,000 of the Reform movement’s faithful for a conference in sunny San Diego in mid-December? Four days of singing, learning, schmoozing and worrying at a gathering that seemed equal parts pep rally and intervention session. For pep, there were the spirited prayer services, the morning-till-night stream of musical performances and Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, or URJ, who compared the challenges facing the movement to giant waves, crying “Surf’s up!” “Big waves require more skill and courage to ride, but if ridden artfully they enable us to go faster and further than ever before,” Jacobs said, a giant screen projecting a swell behind him. For the intervention, there was session after session devoted to the challenges facing the movement, especially the question of how to engage young adult Jews who, by and large, are steering clear of Reform synagogues. “I think the Reform movement needs to remember that no matter how much we double down on great programming, it might not increase the likelihood that those young people are going to walk in,” Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, a Reform rabbi who is president of the Wexner Foundation, said in a conference session focused on the recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Jewry. “I think that’s really hard for this gathering to keep in mind because we are the people who love what we do, and we just think if we do more of it and do it better and do it more often and do it faster that they’re going to come.” Though Reform is the largest denomination in American Jewish life, there was palpable concern at the conference that the movement is headed for a diminished future. The fastest-growing group in American Jewry is Jews of no religion, and the denomination doing best at holding its own is Orthodox, according to the Pew survey. Reform membership is dwindling, synagogues are struggling to secure their bottom lines and, as Jacobs noted at the last biennial, 80 percent of Reform Jews
are “out the door” by the end of high school. Many never return: Fewer than half of Reform parents have their children enrolled in some kind of Jewish youth, camp or educational program, the Pew survey showed. Jacobs has promised to “reboot” the movement, and he is focusing his efforts on young people. In his Dec. 12 biennial speech, Jacobs pushed for Reform communities to practice “audacious hospitality” by being as welcoming as possible to intermarried families and unengaged Jews; announced that URJ had just sold half of its office space in Manhattan and was investing $1 million from the proceeds to reshape its youth engagement strategies; and detailed the ways the union was making youth engagement a priority, including expanding Reform summer camps and NFTY, the National Federation of Temple Youth. “Trends are a wake-up call, not our destiny,” Jacobs said, noting that a shrinking Reform movement helped reverse its decline in the 1930s by repositioning itself to be more open to traditional Jewish practice and Zionism. “We adjusted our concept of who we are and what was needed to strengthen Jewish life,” he said. “We must be as open to reinventing ourselves today as in the past.” At session after session, the talk was about how to reinvent synagogues, the central pillar of Reform Jewish life. “My 20-year-old son wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything our synagogue does,” one audience member announced in a session on North America’s top models of engaging Jews in their 20s and 30s. But the variegated dynamism on display at the biennial also belied the demographic challenges of a religious movement whose median age is 54 and only 17 percent of whose members, according to Pew, say they attend synagogue services at least once a month. The five morning services offered at the biennial ranged from “Yoga Shalom: A Shacharit Embodiment of Prayer” to a visual service with no prayerbook to an Israeli-led service integrating prayer with pop music and poetry. Plenty of kippot were in evidence, sported by both men and women. The virtual smorgasbord of conference
sessions offered up to 33 concurrent options at some points. Participants could hop from “The Synagogue as a Center of Health and Wellness” to “Meaningful Routes to Involvement with Israel” to “Clergy Retirement: Preparing for Congregational Transition.” On Saturday morning, Jacobs teamed with Cantor Angela Buchdahl of New York’s Central Synagogue to lead a Shabbat service replete with singing, dancing, interludes of reflective prose and “Storahtelling,” showcasing how far the movement has moved away from the Germanic, High Church-style Reform that was popular in the mid-20th century. When they reached the Shema, Jacobs clutched the purple tallis he had made from fabric he purchased in Darfur and, as he grasped each tzitzit fringe, talked about how it symbolized people from the four corners of the earth—from Rio de Janeiro to Gedera, Israel, to the people suffering in Syria and the families of Newtown, Conn. As Buchdahl strummed her guitar and masses of congregants broke into dance, Jacobs swayed and bobbed his head to the music. Biennial organizers also invited several Jewish leaders from outside the movement to share their ideas for revitalization, including Rabbi Sharon Brous, a Conservative rabbi who heads the popular nondenominational IKAR community in Los Angeles; Ron Wolfson, a professor of education at American Jewish University; and Rabbi Donniel Hartman, an Orthodox rabbi who leads the Shalom Hartman Institute and accepted an award from the URJ honoring his late father, David Hartman, also an Orthodox rabbi. Absent from the conference was any representative from the other major force in Jewish life focused on outreach, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, though it was the subject of some curiosity, envy and anxiety at the biennial. Many spoke of their struggles competing with Chabad for adherents, asking how their cash-strapped synagogues can compete with Chabad’s free or lower-cost offerings. At one session on engaging Israelis in America, Rabbi Meir Azari, executive director of the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism in Israel, warned, “If you don’t
adopt Israelis, Chabad will be very happy to adopt them.” At a clergy luncheon, rabbis peppered Jacobs with questions about his recent experience at the Chabad conference of emissaries, or shluchim, and his meeting with Chabad leader Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky. Jacobs also talked about Chabad in his keynote address. “I believe with the very fiber of my being that young Jews are hungry, but not for a Judaism frozen in a distant time, no matter how loving and warm the purveyors —including Chabad, in particular—might be,” he said. While trying to reshape the movement, the URJ is also trying to transform its own organization. The chairman of URJ’s board, Steve Sacks, acknowledged that the financing system “needs significant overhaul.” Aside from downsizing its headquarters, Sacks promised a review of URJ policies on synagogue dues; a “simpler, fairer and more predictable” dues payment system; and a reduction in synagogue dues as a percentage of congregational budgets. The goal, Sacks said, is to increase revenue to the movement through outside funding, including several new partnerships. The Ruderman Family Foundation, which focuses on disabled people, is committing $600,000 over the next three years to help make Reform synagogues more disabled-friendly. And the Harold Grinspoon Foundation is offering URJ congregations up to $900,000 in support over the next five years to help bring PJ Library—a Grinspoon program that delivers free Jewish-themed books every month to more than 126,000 families—to small communities that don’t have it. The URJ already has funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Marcus Foundation and the Crown Family Philanthropies. The union also is strengthening its relationship with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the movement’s rabbinical school and academic center, in part by moving most of the URJ youth-programming professionals to the HUC campus in Manhattan. “The biggest challenges of Jewish life,” Jacobs said, “cannot be tackled separately but must be faced together.”
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 9
Swarthmore Hillel picks fight over campus group’s Israel guidelines by Julie Wiener
NEW YORK (JTA)—With an estimated Jewish population of 275 undergraduates, the Quaker-founded Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia is home to one of the smaller Hillel chapters in the country. But that hasn’t stopped student activists at the small suburban school from picking a fight of potentially epic proportions with the umbrella group, Hillel International. On Dec. 8, the Swarthmore Hillel student board announced that it had voted unanimously to defy Hillel International’s guidelines for Israel activities and become the first college to join the Open Hillel movement, a campaign aimed at widening the Israel discourse on campus. Two days later, Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut responded with a letter declaring the position unacceptable. “I hope you will inform your colleagues on the Student Board of Swarthmore Hillel that Hillel International expects all cam-
pus organizations that use the Hillel name to adhere to these guidelines,” Fingerhut wrote. “No organization that uses the Hillel name may choose to do otherwise.” The conflict comes amid growing criticism of the 2010 Israel guidelines, which some argue stifles debate and excludes too many people from the communal discourse around Israel. The guidelines forbid individual Hillel chapters from hosting groups or speakers that among other things deny Israel’s right to exist or support boycott or divestment from the Jewish state. Just how far Hillel will go to enforce the policy remains unclear. David Eden, its chief administrative officer, declines to say whether the group would strip the Swarthmore group of its name or take other punitive measures. Eden says a meeting between Fingerhut and Joshua Wolfsun, communications chair of the Swarthmore Hillel, would likely take place in January.
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“Hillel is an open organization,” Eden says. “We embrace dialogue on all sorts of issues, especially with our students.” Israel has long been an explosive issue on college campuses, with pro-Palestinian groups routinely sponsoring events like Israel Apartheid Week and pro-Israel activists struggling to determine whether to react to provocations or focus instead on promoting positive aspects of Israeli culture. The challenges have multiplied with the recent growth of the movement to boycott or divest from the Jewish state, known by the acronym BDS. Wolfsun, a sophomore from Amherst, Mass., says his board had been thinking for a while about publicly distancing itself from Hillel’s Israel policy. They were moved to act by Harvard Hillel’s decision in November to cancel an appearance by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg because it was co-sponsored by a student group that supports BDS. Wolfsun emphasizes that Swarthmore Hillel board members represent a range of views on Israel, but are united in the belief that the chapter should be a place to discuss and disagree. “It’s not that we all support BDS or even that any of us support BDS,” Wolfsun says. “But we want to make room for everybody who does.” Ira Stup, director of the campus arm of the liberal Israel policy group J Street, says Hillel’s hard line may have ramifications for efforts to engage Jewish students. “For so many Jewish students Israel is such an important part of their Jewish identity and how they express Jewishness, so that to not have a space where they can explore challenging issues related to Israel ultimately does them a tremendous disservice,” Stup says. But David Bernstein, executive director
of the David Project, a group that works to educate college students about Israel, says Hillel International is doing the right thing. “Openness is a great general approach, but it has its limits,” Bernstein says. “I don’t believe those who advocate for BDS or for the elimination of the Jewish state should be included in an official Jewish discussion on Israel any more than angry, racist voices should be included in a campus race-relations dialogue.” Since the 2010 guidelines were established, some Hillel chapters have refused to sponsor events with the Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence, which opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank by disseminating testimony from soldiers who served there. In 2012, the Harvard Hillel reportedly invoked the guidelines in deciding not to host an event called “Jewish Voices Against the Occupation” because a Palestinian solidarity group was a co-sponsor. In October, the University of California, Berkeley’s Jewish Student Union denied a membership application from J Street U, the campus arm of J Street, though it’s not clear whether the guidelines were a factor in the decision. Open Hillel was launched last spring “to encourage inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels,” according to its website. So far, 944 people have signed its petition calling on Hillel to engage with the “full spectrum” of views on the Middle East. One reason Swarthmore is the only campus so far to openly flout the guidelines may be that it has more financial independence than other branches. That, Stup says, points to a larger issue within the Hillel movement. “This highlights the disparity between the political sentiments of a lot of donors and the political sentiments and desires of students,” he says.
students, Israel is
such an important
part of their Jewish identity and how they express
Extraordinary community inspires Super Sunday committee Sunday, Jan. 26, 9 am–1 pm
he young adult Steering Committee planning Super Sunday, the Tidewater Jewish community’s annual phone-a-thon are representative of the Tidewater Jewish population. Some are multi-generational Jews, others have only lived here a year or two. Some are temple members, other are unaffiliated. All, however, through their involvement, have expressed the desire to ensure the vitality of the Tidewater Jewish community, and are gaining insight and inspiration through their involvement in planning the event. The goal of Super Sunday is to have members of the greater Tidewater Jewish community help raise funds for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign, which then allocates the funds to local, statewide, national and global Jewish organizations. The committee of nine—members of
the Young Adult Division of the UJFT—is working diligently to establish a successful event that it hopes will raise more than $100,000 for the UJFT Annual Campaign. Event planning and fundraising isn’t this group’s only goal, however. Committee members are learning about the different area agencies, organizations, schools and facilities that receive funding and guidance from UJFT allocations. They are also learning about the Israel and overseas organizations that the UJFT supports. Learning effective leadership skills is another element of their involvement on the Super Sunday committee. “This committee is just a fantastic group of young leaders,” says Amy Weinstein, YAD director. “It’s a good mix of people native to the community, or transplants who recently moved to the area. Every one of them has made a commitment to the future and the strength of the Jewish peo-
ple, and the Tidewater Jewish community.” In line with the UJFT’s 2014 Annual Campaign theme, Together We Do Extraordinary Things, the Super Sunday steering committee decided this year’s Super Sunday theme would be: From Baby to Jason Lurie, Jeremy Krupnick, Jen Groves, Danny Rubin, Shikma Rubin, Bubbe—Our Community Guy Berkowitz, Jacob Mart, Amy Weinstein, and Zach Lewis. Is Extraordinary. “The idea of babies and grandmothers— feel connected, and to make a difference. bubbes—evolved from discussions about And that’s what Super Sunday is all about.” Volunteers are welcome, and needed, what Super Sunday is, what the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater does, and to make calls from the Sandler Family what being a community really means,” Campus on Sunday, January 26. Two shifts are available: 9–11 am and 11 am–1 pm. says Weinstein. “What the committee recognized is how Call 757-965-6100 for more information, unique the Tidewater community is, that or sign up for a volunteer shift at JewishVA. it truly offers something for everyone, and org/Super Sunday. To find out more about that people really do want to participate, to YAD, visit JewishVA.org/YAD.
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Ohef Sholom Temple marks 12 years of inclusive families by Ted Kaufmaun
his summer, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act decision, which legally recognized same sex married couples, Ohef Sholom noted a milestone in its 169-year-history: 12 years of inclusion for same sex families in its congregation. At its May 2001 annual meeting, the congregation voted to alter their Bylaws’ definition of a “membership household” to include non-married couples, including LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) individuals and partnerships. The Bylaws revision process was led by the worship committee chair, the Honorable Louis A. Sherman, after a lengthy group discussion and investigation of the temple’s current membership roster. “We were simply responding to our current congregational make-up, particularly
unmarried military couples,” remembers Judge Sherman. “It was just acknowledging the reality of the situation.” The genesis for the entire process came from a recommendation from Rabbi Michael Joseph, who in October, 2000 noted the need to broaden the definition of “family” to encompass the wider variety of families he was welcoming into the congregation. His suggestion for a new unit of measurement, “a household consisting of at least one Jewish adult, plus unmarried children under the age of 30 living in the same domicile,” was adopted into the Temple’s Bylaws the following spring. The vote was not unanimous. Some loudly opposed this “unprecedented vote” and vociferously stated their opposition until board member Andy Kline reminded the assembly that the words “My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer for All Peoples” (a quote from Isaiah) was carved in stone outside the Sanctuary. That ended
Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline Vice President
Andy Kline President
discussion, and the vote was held. “The day following the vote only one person resigned, who later rejoined,” recalls Gail Bachman, now temple administrator. Steady word of mouth eventually led to more same sex couples attending services. To date, Ohef Sholom and the former Temple Sinai of Portsmouth remain the only Tidewater synagogue where same sex couples have lit the Shabbat candles on the bima, and OST is the sole Jewish organization listed in the local Lambda Directory of LBGT support organizations. Ohef Sholom Temple’s website states that “Reform Jews are committed to the full participation of LBGT congregants in all aspects of synagogue life as well as society at large.” The Union for Reform Judaism cites LBGT outreach as the fourth largest area of new members since 2009 (behind converts, interfaith families, and new families with children). Twelve years later, Rabbi Roz Mandelberg says that there is a growing number of LGBT congregants, but declines to state the number. “No one likes to be marginalized,” she cautions, “besides which we are fully committed to living the Jewish value of Hachnassat Orchim or ‘Welcoming the Stranger’ without judgment. Indeed, the commandment to ‘respect the stranger in our midst because we, too, were once strangers in the land of Egypt’ is the most often repeated mitzvah in all of the Torah.” At more than 750 family member units,
David Fierman and Ron Miller light the Shabbat candles at OST’s Shabbat service.
Ohef Sholom continues to embrace new concepts and new definitions of the 21st century while still honoring its past. 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Synagogue’s building at 530 Raleigh Avenue, followed by the 175th anniversary of the founding of the congregation in 2019. Reminds Rabbi Mandelberg, the first female senior rabbi of a Tidewater congregation, “Times change and we must change with them. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘you must be the change you wish to see in the world,’ and we take pride in knowing we are.”
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12 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
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(JTA)—A mikvah dating from the 18th century was discovered in Venezuela. The Jewish ritual bath was discovered in the state of Falcon during the remodeling of the Art Museum Alberto Henriquez in the central town of Coro, according to the Prensa Latina news agency. Its discovery was reported late last week. According to Prensa Latina, it is the only known ancient mikvah in Venezuela. The museum is located in the Senior House, which was built in 1774 and
bought by Jewish trader David Abraham Senior in 1847, who turned one room into a synagogue. It later became known as the Coro Synagogue. Specialists from the School of Anthropology at the Central University of Venezuela are conducting the excavation under the auspices of the Venezuelan Ministry of Culture and coordinated by the Office of Planning and Design for Heritage Areas at Coro and La Vela, or OPEDAD.
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 13
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 7 pm Beach Movie Bistro, 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach
Kidon Directed by Emmanuel Naccache 2013, Israel, 97 minutes English, French and Hebrew (with subtitles)
*of blessed memory
Saturday, Jan. 18 Opening Night Movie and Reception 7:30 pm
Sunday, Jan. 19, 2 pm TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts 201 Market Street Virginia Beach Doors open at 6:45 pm reception following film
The Zigzag Kid Directed by Vincent Bal 2012, Netherlands, 95 minutes English, Dutch and French with subtitles (Based on the novel by David Grossman)
ono wants to be like his father— the best police inspector in the world— but he constantly gets in trouble. Two days before his Bar Mitzvah, he is sent away to his Uncle Sjmoel, who is supposed to get him back on track. During the train ride, Nono gets one last chance to prove himself. Together with master-burglar Felix Glick—an old adversary of his father—he stops the train and enters a world of disguises and chases and meets Zohara, a mysterious woman whose secrets will change Nono’s life forever.
*Appropriate for children ages 12 and over.
Opening Night film and party sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi Catered by Village Caterers
Film Festival tickets Full Festival Pass — $90 (includes 7 days of movies and receptions) Opening night film and reception —$35 Closing night film and reception — $18 Individual film tickets —$10 (does not include opening or closing night films) Film Festival special pricing All students and faculty (with valid ID) are FREE for TCC Roper film showings.
To purchase tickets and passes visit wwwsimonfamilyjcc.org, stop by the JCC Front Desk or call 757 321-2338. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. 14 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Kidon, which translates as The Spear, is a comedic take on real life events: the killing in Dubai in 2010 of Hamas operative al-Mabhouh. Dubai police blamed Israel’s spy agency Mossad for the hit, but were never able to prove their suspicions and the crime has remained unsolved. In the film, supermodel Bar Refaeli plays a sly seductress who lures al-Mabhouh into a trap laid for him by his assassins. To guarantee seating, please arrive no later than 6:15 pm. Dinner and drinks available for purchase.
Directed by Sean Gaston 2012, United States, 97 mins., English
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 12 pm
Simon Family JCC 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach
isa’s Fugue is the true story Frank “Misa” Grunwald’s journey through Prague, Terezin, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Melk, and Gunskirchen as a victim of Nazi oppression. While exposed to some of the most horrific events of the Holocaust, Grunwald endured the atrocities of genocide through a love for art and music that was instilled in him during his childhood in Prague. His story of suffering, loss, and self-discovery is from the perspective of a child who lived with these tragic memories for more than half of a century. Fleetwood, Pa. area high school students collaborated to create this documentary. Shown in partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. The director, Bill Jucksch (a local liberator of Gunskirchen), and Frank “Misa” Grunwald will participate in a post film discussion.
(Also shown on Sunday, January 19 at 2 pm at Beth Sholom Village)
Sturgeon Queens (Free) Directed by Julie Cohen 2014, United States, 45 minutes English
our generations of a Jewish immigrant family create Russ and Daughters, a Lower East Side lox and herring emporium that survives and
thrives. Produced to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the store, this documentary features an extensive interview with two of the original daughters for whom the store was named, now 100- and 92-years-old, as well as interviews with prominent enthusiasts of the store including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer. The filmmakers bring together six colorful longtime fans of the store, in their 80s and 90s, who sit around a table of fish reading the script in the style of a Passover Seder.
Thursday, Jan. 23, 7 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts 201 Market Street, Virginia Beach 6:00 pm meet and greet and reception with Mal Vincent
Sophie’s Choice Mal Vincent’s Pick Directed by Alan J. Pakula 1982, United States, 150 minutes English
his romantic comedy is the story of Uriel, a professional gambler, single father, and Don Juan of the first rank. With his luck running out at cards and with the ladies, Uriel decides to take the plunge and embark on a new life of freedom—he gets a vasectomy. Just as everything seems to be coming together, Gloria, his old pre-marriage flame, returns to Buenos Aires after years abroad to turn his life on its head.
Saturday, Jan. 25, 7 pm Date Night at the Beach Bistro!
Lunch available at the Cardo Cafe.
Beach Movie Bistro 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7:15 pm
Double Feature SPECIAL Young Adult Division of UJFT after party at Eurasia
Naro Expanded Cinema 1507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk
Directed by Jonathan Gruber and Ari Daniel Pinchot 2012, Israel, 84 minutes English
n Follow Me, two story arcs tragically and heroically connect. The first is the dramatic Entebbe hijack and rescue, when a nation held its breath for eight days and executed a military miracle that redefined Israel’s call “Never Again!” The second is the remarkable life story of Jonathan Netanyahu, a young soldier who struggled to find the balance between the people and the nation he loved. This film is about Netanyahu’s life, and what led these two dramatic arcs to intersect on that fateful day. Jonathan Gruber, director, will speak after the screening. Shown in partnership with the Community Relations Council of the UJFT.
Catered by Village Caterers
Saturday, Jan. 25, 7 pm Date Night at the Roper! TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
All In Directed by Daniel Burman 2012, Argentina, 113 minutes Spanish with subtitles
In partnership with the Young Adult Division of the UJFT. Reservations required: tickets only available in advance. Arrive by 6:15 pm to order dinner and drinks. Kosher meal available upon request by contacting mgoldberg@ simonfamilyjcc.org.
Sunday, Jan. 26, 7 pm 5:45 pm Closing reception
ophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps who has found a reason to live because of Nathan, a sparkling, if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions. Mal Vincent, entertainment editor for The Virginian-Pilot, will speak before the movie.
substance injected into the fighters turns them into flesh-eating zombies.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
In The Shadow
Punk Jews Directed by Jesse Zook Mann 2012, United States, 60 minutes English
unk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Jewish artists, activists and musicians from diverse backgrounds and communities are defying norms and expressing their Jewish identities in unconventional ways. In the process, they are challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers.
Poisoned Directed by Didi Lubetzky 2011, Israel, 45 Minutes Hebrew with subtitles
Directed by David Ondricek 2012, Czech Republic, 97 minutes Czech, Polish and German
n the former Czechoslovakia, 1950s, police captain Hakl investigates a jewelry robbery. An opened safe deposit leads to a known burglar. What seems an easy case soon starts to tangle. Called off the case, Hakl continues on his own, leading him onto thin ice. Can he beat a stronger enemy and save his family and his own life? Catered by TCC Culinary Arts students
n this refreshing horror-comedy from Israel, it is Passover on the military base of an elite IDF unit, and this night will definitely be different from all other nights. When vaccines are delivered to the base, the mysterious
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 15
Directors and presenters Live at the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film by Leslie Shroyer
his year’s Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg, features multiple venues, nine fantastic films of all genres, as well as three live presentations that will discuss the making of the films and the history behind the stories. Sunday afternoon, Jan. 19 features the gripping documentary Misa’s Fugue about Frank “Misa” Grunwald’s personal journey as a child during the Holocaust. Frank Grunwald will be at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center to discuss his story along with the director, Sean Gaston, and Gunskirchen Camp liberator Bill Jucksch. Gaston, who will explain how a group of students collaborated with him to commit the story to film, spoke to a sold out crowd at the 2013 Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville last month. This film is shown in partnership with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The Naro Expanded Cinema will show Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story, on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Since its release last year, Follow Me, the story of Yonatan Netanyahu, commander of an elite Israeli army commando unit who was killed during Operation Entebbe, has won awards at Jewish film festivals, as well as international festivals such as the Charleston Film Festival and the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Director Jonathan Gruber will lead a lively discussion after the film. This film is shown in partnership with the Community Relations Council of the UJFT. The Virginian-Pilot’s entertainment writer, Mal Vincent, will speak before his annual pick on Thursday, Jan. 23. Vincent, who has worked with the Festival since its inception 21 years ago, selected Sophie’s Choice, a renowned 1982 drama, as this year’s movie. A meet-and-greet reception will be followed by a discussion with Vincent and the movie at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. For a complete listing of the films and ticket information at this year’s festival, see page 14, look for the film mailer, or visit SimonFamilyJCC.org’s film page. * of blesssed memory
16 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Mal Vincent Twenty-one years with Film Festival and counting
Student raises funds and awareness for homeless
Thursday, Jan. 23 Meet and greet reception with Mal Vincent, 6 pm Introduction of Sophie’s Choice by Mal Vincent, 7 pm by Leslie Shroyer
ince its inception 21 years ago, Mal Vincent, entertainment writer for The Virginian-Pilot, has reviewed films and helped promote the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. This year will be the sixth time Vincent has his own designated night, the Mal Vincent “Pick” night, where he chooses an ‘oldie but goodie’ movie from Hollywood that has Jewish content. His past picks (since 2009) have been Gentleman’s Agreement, The Pawnbroker, Ship of Fools, Crossfire, and Yentl. This year’s pick is Sophie’s Choice and will be shown at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. “My self-assignment is to present the popular Hollywood conception of Judaism for one night of the Festival,” he says. Sophie’s Choice is a movie Vincent feels is “often forgotten about, but a great film.” A 1982 hit, the film stars Meryl Streep
and Kevin Kline. It combines drama with elements of comedy and romance. The Holocaust is Sophie’s background, the tragedy of her past. A triangle friendship develops between Sophie, her lover (Kline) who is troubled, and a young southern writer whom they befriend. Sophie’s Choice explores their complicated relationships and questions the capacities of love and friendship to survive the ghosts, obsessions and secrets of Sophie’s past. “Streep is amazing in this role, and she will be the subject of much of what I will discuss before the movie,” says Vincent, who will speak at 7 pm for about 30 minutes prior to the start of the screening at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. “She is an actress who can nail an accent and do so much more than most can with any role she has,” says Vincent. Sophie’s Choice was the first role for which Streep won Best Actress. “I look forward to this night every year,” says Vincent. “Through the years, these
films have been tremendously educational for me, and in reviewing films for the festival lineup, I’ve learned so much about the Jewish religion and recent history.” * of blessed memory
At Reform biennial, Netanyahu calls for peaceful solution to Iran, Palestinians
sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an address to the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2013 conference stressed the importance of peaceful solutions to the Iranian nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His speech Sunday, Dec. 15 via video feed to the conference’s closing plenary in San Diego, also praised recent efforts to find a compromise solution to interdenominational conflict at the Western Wall. In large part, the speech repeated the principal points of Netanyahu’s address to the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly last month in Jerusalem. Netanyahu began by reiterating his frequent message that the best way to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is
through maintaining economic sanctions alongside the threat of military attack. “Iran is bent on a nuclear weapons program,” he said. “We would seek a peaceful solution. We cannot allow this regime to have a nuclear weapons capacity.” Netanyahu said that Iran’s repression of civil rights at home, as well as its support for terror abroad, belie the friendly diplomatic posture its leaders have struck recently. “It talks the talk, but it walks the walk of death every day,” he said. Addressing ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Netanyahu repeated his call for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also emphasized the need
for an agreement that will ensure Israel’s security. To reach this historic peace, “I’m ready to make difficult decisions,” he said. “I made these decisions because I wanted to give negotiations a chance. Peace is not a one-way street. It’s a two-way street.” The prime minister ended his speech with a mention of the recent efforts to forge an interdenominational compromise at the Western Wall. He thanked the Reform movement for its efforts to strengthen Jewish identity and American Jews’ connection to Israel. “I’m committed to making sure all Jews feel at home at our holiest site,” he said. “Israel is and must continue to be the home of the entire Jewish people.” (JTA)
ince he was a toddler, Caleb Peck has been sensitive to the plight of homelessness. In fact, after his first encounter with someone less fortunate, he began asking questions about why this happens to some people and how it can be made better. Now, he has taken action. Caleb hopes to raise money and awareness through the sale of his t-shirt design at Booster.com. Each t-shirt costs $20. Proceeds from these sales will benefit Congregation Beth El in Norfolk when it hosts its week of the N.E.S.T. Program (Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team) in January, an annual effort to provide shelter and meals for those in need. This program is hosted throughout January by local churches and synagogues. If Caleb meets his goal of selling 150 t-shirts, Beth El will receive $1,650 towards the expenses to host a week of N.E.S.T. To purchase a t-shirt, go to https://www. booster.com/nest?share=3561386124216616.
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 17
it’s a wrap Chanukah in a Box doubles
eth Sholom Village had a successful second annual Chanukah in a Box event, more than doubling orders from last year. Plus, customers loved Stan Riddick’s latkes, who, over the course of three days, made and fried more than 1,500 latkes. Last year he said, “If I never see another latke again, I will be happy.” But as usual, Riddick stepped up and went above and beyond to make delicious latkes. In addition to families ordering, customers made generous donations to the JFS Milk and Honey program. Volunteer, Ben Kozak assisted in delivering the boxes to JFS. The staff at the Milk and Honey program say that the recipients were excited to get the boxes. Next year, Riddick plans to again be at the grill.
Lots of latkes at JCC
atke lovers came out to the Simon Family JCC on the sixth night of Chanukah for the first annual Latke Palooza. This family friendly party featured Chanukah games, crafts, and dinner at a world class Latke bar. After a brief explanation of the holiday and Menorah lighting by Miriam Brunn Ruberg, director of Jewish Life and Learning at the JCC, Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin and his daughter Channah sang and played guitars, while children played games and enjoyed a night of Chanukah.
Channah and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin.
Ben Kosak prepares to deliver boxes to JFS.
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18 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
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it’s a wrap Spirited team from Ohef Sholom in Komen Race
hef Sholom Temple helped sponsor a team called The Treasure Chests for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, Oct. 12. The OST team, comprised of eight survivors and supporters, as well as many other financial supporters, helped the Komen organization raise more than $275,000 towards the goal of ending Breast Cancer. While some of the team members braved the weather elements by participating in the Run/Walk, others chose the “Sleep In” category. Either way, each person’s involvement played a significant role in the team’s success. In the end, the weather actually cooperated to offer a “perfect” low mist with high humidity run/ walk. There were plenty of outrageous costumes and team outfits, and touching moments offered by the Survivors’ Walk/ Parade with their inspirational messages that resonated throughout the event. The Treasure Chests are reaching for a higher goal of participation next year. To join a team that is reaching for a goal that helps mothers, grandmothers, and
Strelitz preschool spreads the magic of Chanukah at a festive Zimriyah by Dee Dee Becker
Sandy Advocat, Mara Bates, Angie Edrington, Marsha Moody, Celia Friedman and Kari Friedman. (Not pictured Jeanne Miller)
daughters (current and future)—as well as men—consider joining. Up to 75% of the funds raised by The Treasure Chests for the Race for the Cure remain in Tidewater to provide breast health research, diagnostics, screening, treatment, services and education for uninsured or underinsured women. The remaining 25% goes to fund national research towards discovering the cause of breast cancer and, ultimately, its cure. For registration or support information, contact Mara Bates at email@example.com.
hat is a zimriyah? It means ‘songfest,’ and the Strelitz preschoolers sang their little hearts out in this year’s Mini-Zimriyah. “Together with family and friends,” says Alene Kaufman, preschool director, “our two- through four-year-olds joined in singing a variety of songs from traditional to contemporary—some even written by our talented and creative preschool faculty members! From Maccabee heroes to temple cleaners, each class did a unique song with a very cheerful (loud!) finale of Dreidle, Dreidle. “The teachers never cease to amaze me with their imaginations and resourcefulness in working with the youngest of our students—and watching the faces of the parents is like experiencing a show within a show. They beam when they realize how much their children have learned and what they can do.”
Strelitz four-year-olds perform a Chanukah version of What does the Fox Say?
The Strelitz Preschool two-year-old class struts their stuff at the mini zimriyah.
The secrets behind Hebrew Academy’s Hanukkah De-Lights by Dee Dee Becker
he audience was seated, the lights lowered, the curtains rose and…action! Hanukkah De-Lights 2013 Symbols of Hanukkah wowed parents and other family members, who clapped, hollered and danced in their seats with faces of pride and love. Little did they know of the long hours and hard work it took for the students and director, Zohar Ben Moshe (a.k.a. HAT music and Judaic studies teacher), to get to that stage. Every year HAT students are transformed into actors, dancers and singers. This year’s show included songs performed by kindergarten through third graders, respectively—Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles), The Dreidel, Light and Heroes —in addition to a fourth and fifth grade musical
called A Latke Story. So how does a school production of this magnitude come together? It takes undeniable, tireless commitment and teamwork between the students and teachers that starts in October and ends in December with the final pièce de résistance. There is writing, editing and translating lyrics from Hebrew to English. The students learn the songs in music class, working every day in rehearsal for weeks prior to the show. They give their input on the design of the costumes along with the props, set decorations and even the playbill. It is an outstanding blend of Judaic studies and the performing arts. In addition to teaching students the music, drama and dance moves, Ben Moshe adds video clips with sub-titles to go along with every song. “The translation
helps the audience to better understand the themes and storylines of the songs. Adding pictures and video engages them with the production—when they are engaged, the kids get even more animated which is such a thrill to see.” Still, it’s all about HAT SGA officers Bella Cardon, Mushky Brashevitzky, Leo Kamer, having fun, making and Noah Alper begin the evening by lighting the Chanukah candles. memories with family and celebrating the spirit of Chanukah, Moshe. “Just have fun! These are special complete with the lighting of the candles. times that I hope they will remember for “I want the kids to be happy, sing loud and the rest of their lives. Remember how maginot worry if they make a mistake,” says Ben cal Chanukah was when you were a child?”
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 19
What’s Happening FBI seminar to cover topics ranging from personal to international
CRC getting ready for A Date With The State Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day: Wednesday, Feb. 5 CRC meeting to discuss agenda: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 6 pm
Sunday, Jan. 12, 8:30 am–2 pm
partnership of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council and the Business and Legal Society, the Simon Family JCC, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will offer the Federal Bureau of Investigation Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (FBI CREST) program next month at the JCC. Building on the success of the more involved and longer Citizens’ Academy program, the FBI created the initiative in 2006. This program is designed to give more citizens the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of the FBI from Special Agents. Developed just for the Jewish community, this CREST program will offer specialized training seminars with presentations on these topics: counterterrorism,
foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime and civil rights. “Through the CREST program, we are able to help improve the quality of life within the community through awareness programs, to establish new partnerships and initiatives, to improve our understanding of the community through an exchange of information, and to identify crime problems affecting specific communities that are not currently being addressed,” says Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk FBI office, Royce Curtin. Free and open to the community, lunch will be provided. RSVP is required to attend by Jan. 9 to LHenderson@ujft.org or 757-965-6107. For more information on this event and other CRC initiatives, visit JewishVA.org/CRC.
Tidewater Jewish Community Genetic Screening Make-up day for college students Monday, Jan. 6, 12–3 pm
irginia Jewish Advocacy Day, when Jews from throughout the Commonwealth descend on the Virginia General Assembly to lobby legislators on issues important to the Jewish communities will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Virginia’s new Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General have all been invited to speak with the group over an early lunch with fellow citizen activists from around the state. After their talks, while the General Assembly is in session, the participants will be briefed on key Jewish issues on which they will lobby. Then, as the House of Delegates and the State Senate adjourn for the day (usually around 2 pm), the advocates will divide into small groups for a series of scheduled, 20-minute meetings with area legislators. The Community Relations Council will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at the Sandler Family Campus to discuss its legislative agenda and invite the community to participate. Issues expected to be discussed include: advocating on health care, Medicaid and public guardianship issues important to Beth Sholom Village
and Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Participants in Date with the State should also expect to lobby on diverse issues such as preserving the separation of church and state as well as supporting funding for the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board, and other issues still under consideration. Those planning to participate in A Date with the State should also plan on attending the very important lobbying tips and talking points review on Jan. 30 at 6 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. On Feb. 5, the bus will depart from Simon Family JCC at 8:45 am; the program begins in Richmond at 11 am; the bus should leave Richmond to return to the JCC by 4 pm. The $36 to participate includes a kosher lunch and helps defray the transportation expense. A strong turnout from Tidewater is needed to demonstrate support of Jewish communal positions. E-mail Robin Mancoll, director, UJFT Community Relations Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm participation, or for more information.
Family Havdalah celebration at Children’s Museum
Switch Day 2013 at Beth Sholom Village
ppointments are now being accepted for the Jewish genetic screening makeup day. The screening will be held at the Jewish Family Service office, 260 Grayson Road, Virginia Beach, Va.
Appointments are only for college students who were not home for winter break on the original date. To schedule an appointment, call 757-321-2222.
20 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Saturday, Jan. 4, 6 pm
ring the family and enjoy dinner and fun as the Sabbath departs. Explore the many hands-on exhibits and sights at the Children’s Museum, while it is closed to the general public. The Portsmouth Children’s Museum is located at 221 High Street. $15 for adults; $10 for children; under three years old, free. Visit www.jewishva.org/YAD or call 3212338 by Jan. 2, 2014 to make reservations. This event is co-sponsored by the Simon Family JCC’s Children and Family department and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
December 25, 7 am–3 pm
n annual Beth Sholom Village tradition, Switch Day allows employees to celebrate the Christmas holiday with their families. Switch Day family members and volunteers help out in many ways. From playing Bingo with residents to serving food, delivering ice cream and folding laundry, a variety of jobs are available, except for vacuuming, which is reserved for BSV’s CEO, David Abraham. To participate, call or e-mail Marcia Brodie or Allison Whiteman and say when you can help: 757-420-2512; mbrodie@ bethsholomvillage.com or Awhiteman@ bethsholomvillage.com.
what’s happening Postcards from the Old Country closing reception Sunday, Jan. 5, 3 pm
reception for Don Hurwitz’s exhibit, “Postcards from the Old Country” will take place in the Leon Family Gallery on the second floor of the Sandler Family Campus. Hurwitz’s photographs are from Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Lithuania. A portion of the sales goes directly to the Simon Family JCC. The exhibit has been on display since early November.
Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Roz Thursday, Jan. 9, 12 pm
oin Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg for Lunch and Learn with the topic, “Fall Out from the Pew Study on American Judaism: What We Learn, What We Can Do.” Bring a lunch, an open mind, a sense of humor, and any interested friends. RSVPs to email@example.com or 625-4295 are not required, but help with how many materials to prepare. Lunch & Learn will take place at the law offices of Vandeventer Black, 101 W.
Main Street, Suite 500, in Norfolk. Park directly across from the building on Main Street; parking slips will be validated. Upon entering the building, take the bank of elevators on the right to the fifth floor. Rabbi Roz will revisit this topic at the JCC’s Lunch and Learn on Feb. 11 at 12:30 pm at the Simon Family JCC. This is event is free and open to the community.
An Evening of Gratitude at B’nai Israel Simon Family JCC Open House Sunday, Jan. 12, 1–4 pm
tart the New Year with more than 60 group exercise classes, great cardio and weight training equipment, heated pools, personal training, free towel service, babysitting and day lockers, and so much more at the Simon Family JCC. Learn about it all at the Open House. Activities at the Open House include indoor carnival games for children, drawings for merchandise and a free membership, free hot chocolate and popcorn for all, and soups and breads for sale. See why the Simon Family JCC is the place to heat it up this winter. Sign up in January and get February for free. For additional information, visit SimonFamilyJ.org or call 321-2338.
Sunday, Jan. 12, 5:30 pm
he community is invited to “B’nai Israel Congregation’s Hakaras HaTov: An Evening Of Gratitude.” Six individuals who have gone “above and beyond” in the service of B’nai Israel will be honored: Gershon Aronoff, Nancy Berman, Harold Blumenthal, MD, Aaron Cohen, Tehilla
THIRD ANNUAL GIRLS’ A F T E R N O O N AT T H E M O V I E S The UJFT Women’s Outreach & The Jewish Women’s Salon Invite all women in the Jewish community to a Girls’ Afternoon at the Movies Featuring the award-winning film Dorfman In Love Followed by a discussion with Film Screenwriter Wendy Kout (live via Skype)
Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah class
Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 7 10:30 am – noon
en week course taught by Rabbi Panitz at the Simon Family JCC. Call 321-2328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, pricing, and to register.
Mostofsky and Benn Richels. The dinner event will take place at B’nai Israel Congregation, 420 Spotswood Ave, Norfolk. For more information on the dinner or ad journal submissions, call Nancy Berman at 627-3759 or Shira Itzhak at 576-4282.
Sunday, January 12 • 3:30 pm Sandler Family Campus • Fleder Multipurpose Room $5 includes ticket and kosher snacks and beverages
Come out and share an afternoon of fun and conversation with the women in your community! Contact Amy Zelenka at 757.965-6139 or email@example.com NO
MINIMUM GIFT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE .
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 21
Spanish hotel built on 15th century synagogue opens new shul ( JTA)—A Spanish hotel built on the remains of a 15th century synagogue opened a new synagogue on its seventh floor. The opening last week at the fourstar Parador de Lorca hotel in Lorca, a city in the southeastern region of Murcia, was the result of negotiations between management and the Sefarad Beitenu Jewish association, which will run the shul, according to a report in the Murcia Economia newspaper. The president of Sefarad Beitenu, Aharon Franco, signed a cooperation contract with the Paradores hotel network on Dec. 4, the report said. The synagogue was unearthed during the construction of the new hotel, which was opened last year.
The seventh floor also houses a small Jewish cultural center offering an overview of Jewish history in Spain and a description of the synagogue and other findings recovered in the ruins. Several heritage preservation groups opposed the hotel’s construction because it would mean the loss of archaeological finds. The management pledged to incorporate the findings, including a 15th-century mikvah, or ritual bath, into the building’s architecture. Shlomo Amar, a former Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, visited the hotel and the ruins earlier this year and requested that it be made into a place of pilgrimage for Jews, according to the Spanish daily La Opinion de Murcia.
calendar December 23–December 31 (no Camp 12/25) Chill out during Winter Break at the Simon Family JCC. JCC Winter Camp is filled with adventure and fun in a supportive and enriching environment. Camp includes a variety of recreational activities: arts and crafts, specialty projects, active and quiet games, sports and swimming. $360/$280 JCC members, call 321-2342 to register. December 25, Wednesday Pancake breakfast, 9:30 am–noon at the Simon Family JCC. Enjoy a delicious breakfast with all the trimmings: juice, eggs and fresh pancakes with special toppings. Come out to eat, create crafts, play games and have fun with family and friends. $7 child, $10 adult, $34 family; $5 child, $8 adult, $26 family for JCC members. Call 321-2338 to reserve. Beth Sholom Village Switch Day. 7 am–3 pm. See page 21. DECEMBER 29, SUNDAY Brith Sholom will hold a Pre-New Years Eve dinner at Beth Sholom Home at 5:30 pm. Menu includes steak, salmon, roasted potatoes, vegetables, salad, and dessert. Entertainment for listening and dancing provided by Christopher Jay. $10 for members; $20 for guests. January 4, Saturday Family Havdalah celebration at Children’s Museum. 6 pm. 321-2338. See page 20. January 6, Monday Tidewater Jewish Community Genetic Screening make-up day for college students. 12 – 3 pm. 321-2222. See page 20. January 8, Wednesday Date with the State meeting to discuss agenda for Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day. 6 pm. See page 20. January 9, Thursday Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Roz. “Fall Out from the Pew Study on American Juadsim” at Vandeventer Black. 12:30 pm. 625-4295. January 12, Sunday Simon Family JCC Open House. 1–4 pm. 321-2338. See page 21. Girls’ Afternoon at the Movies. UJFT Outreach and The Jewish Women’s Salon. Open to all members of the community. 3:30 pm. Sandler Family Campus. $5 includes movie (Dorfman in Love) and kosher snacks and beverages. Contact Amy Zelenka at 965-6139 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST), offered by the Community Relations Council of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, along with the Simon Family JCC in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI created the CREST initiative in 2006 to give citizens the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of the FBI. The training will include learning about the mission, goals, history, and internal workings of the FBI. Other topics for this program include Counterterrorism, Foreign Counterintelligence, Cyber Crime, and Civil Rights. Takes place on the Sandler Family Campus, 8:30 am–2 pm; lunch will be served. The course is free and open to the community with RSVP REQUIRED. For more information or to RSVP, contact LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. See page 20. January 29, Wednesday Israel Today with Gil Troy. Sandler Family Campus. 7 pm. 965-6107. See article on page 6. 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.
22 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
Mazel Tov to Achievement Michel C. Ashe, FAIA, who was recently honored by the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects with the 2013 William C. Noland Medal. This prestigious award is the highest honor bestowed upon one of its members, recognizing a lifetime of achievement for an architect, through award-winning design, dedicated service to the profession, and leadership in the community. Mike has practiced architecture in Tidewater for more than 40 years.
who knew Katie Couric hosts for AFMDA American Friends of Magen David Adom apparently has some pretty big-name friends. In attendance at the organization’s sold-out Manhattan fundraiser earlier this month were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and host Katie Couric. The event raised $1 million, all of which will go toward ambulances and lifesaving equipment used to respond to emergencies in Israel. “MDA’s willingness to help save all lives is something we should rally behind,” said Couric, whose mother is Jewish. “I’ve built a career on the pursuit of a good story. And in a part of the world that’s constantly producing ominous headlines, I’ve clearly found a positive one.” In addition to the array of tributes, honors and other typical fundraiser fare, Bloomberg declared Dec. 9 as Magen David Adom Day in New York. Mazel tov! (JTA)
Animating Anne Frank Israeli director Ari Folman has committed to writing and directing an animated feature based on the life of Anne Frank, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Folman’s animated film Waltz With Bashir, about the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, was nominated for an Oscar, and his Israeli TV series En terapia was the basis for HBO’s In Therapy. This will be his first foray into
return again, and take an royal sword your banisht ha The Complete Works of that owe you to Gods, William- our Shakespeare with yourselves, - to keep the ster: You never shall -so help Embrace each others love in bani look upon upon each others face; n regret, nor reconcile this louring tem home-bred hate; nor never be advis to plot, contrive, or complot any ill ‘g state, our subjects, or our land.
Robert C. Goodman Jr. of Virginia Beach, who recently received the seventh annual Barron F. Black Community Builder award from the Hampton Roads Robert Goodman. Community Foundation. The award honors Goodman for his community service, support of philanthropy and dedication to improving life in Hampton Roads. He is a member of Kaufman & Canoles and serves on the boards of the Eastern Virginia Medical School Foundation, the Citizens
Steering Committee for the Virginia Beach Convention Center, and Virginia Beach Vision. He is president of the Ohef Sholom Foundation and past president of Ohef Sholom Temple. He was a founding director and chairman of The Virginia Beach Foundation board and led the boards of the Children’s Health Foundation and the United Way of South Hampton Roads.
the family-friendly realm. “Bringing the Anne Frank diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge,” Folman said. “There is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations.” To paint the picture of who Anne was, Folman will have more material than just the well-known contents of her diary. The Anne Frank Fonds Basel, set up by her father Otto Frank, has granted the filmmakers total access to its archives. This will apply as well to other branches worldwide. Production is scheduled to begin in the winter of 2014. (JTA)
tition bubbles up between the two writers as they discuss women, depression and the pros and cons of fame.” (JTA)
Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace
In juicy Jewish casting news, Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg have been attached to The End of the Tour, a film about David Foster Wallace, The Wrap reports. The twist here is that Segel, star of such heavy fare as The Muppets, How I Met Your Mother and Forgetting Sarah Marshall,”will portray Infinite Jest author Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008. A less surprising choice is Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me) as Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky. The movie, adapted from Lipsky’s book, follows the two writers as they travel across the country promoting Infinite Jest. Per The Wrap: “Along the way, jealousy and compe-
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CBS orders Masada miniseries
Alice Hoffman’s best-selling historical novel The Dovekeepers will be turned into a four-hour miniseries for CBS airing in 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The story, set in ancient Israel, follows four women who fight to save 900 Jews under siege by Romans at Masada. The producers behind the project are Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the married couple responsible for another religion-based epic, History’s “The Bible.” (JTA)
id g r b A
By Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield Directed by Nancy Bloom
Jan 3 - 26, 2014
Overpaying Adam Sandler
If you haven’t rushed out to see the most recent films of Adam Sandler, you’re not alone. The thing is, while Sandler vehicles like Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy have fallen flat at the box office, the comic actor still commands mega-high paychecks—we’re talking more than $15 million a pop. The disparity has landed Sandler the No.1 spot on Forbes’ 2013 list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors. Sandler leads a pack of other talented, disproportionately compensated stars that includes Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell and Matt Damon. (JTA)
For tickets www.ltnonline.org, or call our box office 757.627.8551
801 Claremont Ave Norfolk, VA 23507
jewishnewsva.org | December 23, 2013 | Jewish News | 23
obituaries Morris Cohen Norfolk—On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, Morris Cohen, 86, died peacefully at the Beth Sholom Home in Virginia Beach, Va. He is preceded in death by his wife Faye, his parents Philip and Tessie Brooks Cohen, and siblings Pauline, Samuel, Abraham and William Cohen. Morris is survived by his brother, Bernard Cohen of Norfolk, and several nieces and nephews. He was born and lived most of his life in the Washington, D.C. area. Graveside services were held at Judean Memorial Gardens in Olney, Md. Contributions in Morris Cohen’s memory may be made to the Beth Sholom Home of Virginia Beach, or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Dr. Asher A. Friedman Norfolk—Asher A. Friedman, M.D. FAAD, 91, beloved and esteemed dermatologist, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. The son of the late Dr. Louis and Lillie Glasser Friedman of Norfolk, he spent his childhood and early education in the Norfolk Public Schools, then went to Baltimore to prepare for his vocation. Dr. Friedman received his B.A. degree in science from the Johns Hopkins University, then his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. While in medical school, Dr. Friedman also was on active military duty. Following his internship at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, he completed his specialty in dermatology training at Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn, N. Y., followed by a program
Are you living a Jewish life just because your parents did? Are you searching for what Judaism means to you on a personal level?
Congregation Beth Chaverim is introducing
“Living a Jewish Life in the Reform Way” to help you answer these questions. Join us for 7 hands on sessions that will have you and fellow participants exploring our traditions, culture and dilemmas in thought provoking ways.
Sessions will be held from 6:30pm-8:30pm on the following Tuesdays: Free onsite childcare is available upon request. January 21, 2014 Feb. 4, 2014 Feb. 18, 2014 March 4, 2014 March 18, 2014 April 1, 2014 April 22, 2014 The program will take place at 3820 Stoneshore Road in Virginia Beach. For more information or to register today, please contact Dr. Rita Frank at 757-498-5341. Made possible through funding of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation and Simon Family Foundation.
24 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
at Skin and Cancer Hospital of New York City and finally trained with the respected and famous Dr. Francis Ellis of Baltimore, Md. After passing the American Board of Dermatology, he served in the United States Army for two years where he was the chief dermatologist in the Korean War in 1951–1953. He opened a practice in dermatology in Norfolk at the Wainwright Building in the fall of 1954 and a second practice several years later in the Midtown Building. Upon retiring from medical practice in 1997, he enjoyed over 14 years of auditing classes at Old Dominion University as he had extra ordinary powers of learning, memory, and observation and was learned in four languages. During his lifetime, he was director of dermatology at Lake Taylor Hospital for 30 years, was active in the Venereal Disease (VD) clinic of Norfolk, now called the S.T.D. diseases. Dr. Friedman was on the staff of Bon Secours Depaul and Sentara Norfolk General Hospitals. He was a life-time member of Beth El Temple and was active in the Jewish community, B’nai Brith, Norfolk Masonic Lodge No. 1, American Academy of Medicine and Dermatology, American Medical Tennis Association, American Dermatology Association, and other community activities. Dr. Friedman was an avid singles tennis player, playing from the age of 13 until he reached the age of 87. He and his wife established a scholarship for Jewish Studies at O.D.U. in the Heritage Society. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Ellyn-Mae Friedman; a son, Neil and Ruth Friedman of Richmond; a daughter, Louise and Dr. Alan Schneider of Potomac, Md.; and his grandchildren, Joshua of N.Y.C., Andrew and Samuel Friedman of Richmond, Richard Schneider of Israel, Benjamin and Lindsay Schneider of Potomac, Md. A graveside funeral service was held in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Rabbi Jeffrey Aronowitz and Cantor Gordon Pilch officiating. Memorial donations to one’s favorite charity. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences at www.hdoliver.com. Elijah Paul Jernegan Norfolk—Elijah Paul Jernegan, 102, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 in a Norfolk hospital.
He was retired from the United States Navy and was a very proud veteran of W. W. II with 20 years of service. He was also retired from the Civil Service as a government employee. Born in Wachula, Fla., he was the son of the late Minnie and Harvey Jernegan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sadie Jernegan, and a granddaughter, Cynthia Gregory. Mr. Jernegan attended Temple Israel. Left to cherish his memory is his daughter, Mae Quirk of Norfolk; two sons, Michael Jernegan and his wife, Lois of Arlington, Va. and Harvey Jernegan, and his wife, Dr. Sharon Weinstein of Virginia Beach; three grandchildren, Marcia Sandler of Virginia Beach, Sharon Rosen and her husband, Dr. Alan Rosen of Baltimore, Md., and Gregory Jernegan of Arlington, Va.; 12 great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and an extended family that will miss him dearly. A funeral service was conducted in the Norfolk Chapel of H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., with Rabbi Michael E. Panitz officiating. Burial followed in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish War Veterans, 1811 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 or www.jwv.org. Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com. Patricia Rose Smolen Virginia Beach—Patricia Rose Smolen passed away Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 at the age of 86. Pat is survived by her loving and devoted family: her husband, Stan Smolen, her daughters and son-in laws, Lynn and Jerry Hankin and Leslie and Larry Siegel, her grandchildren and their husbands, Shaye and Glen Arluk, Kari and Yossi Amuial, Megan and Steve Zuckerman, and Ryan and Dan Miller, and her great-grandchildren, Brianna, Madison, and Dylan Arluk, Jordan and Devon Amuial, Jonah and Chloe Zuckerman, and Cameron Hankin. Born in New York and raised in Arlington, Va., Pat was the daughter of Helen and Leonard Rose. At the age of 15, Pat met the love of her life, Stan Smolen, in Washington D.C. at a holiday party. Stan proposed that night and Pat held on to Stan’s fraternity ring and many love letters
obituaries while Stan served in World War II as a flight navigator. Stan returned home to her in 1945 fulfilling his promise to marry the beautiful and very sweet Pat. Pat and Stan were married for 68 loving years, holding hands until the end and loving each other every single day while instilling in all who knew them what a beautiful and successful marriage looks like. After living in numerous cities spanning from Washington D.C., Asheville, Norfolk, Buffalo, and Chicago, they settled in Virginia Beach 28 years ago. Pat loved her family and spending time with them foremost despite her and Stan’s multiple moves and the countless cruises experienced to satisfy her and Stan’s love of travel. Pat was an artist and a collector of all things big and small whether mementos and pictures from her countless trips or newspaper articles saved for her grandchildren. She approached life with a smile and a never-ending positive attitude. She carried herself with grace and dignity bestowed upon all who crossed her path. Pat was beautiful, kind, smart, creative, loving, generous, trustworthy and a giver of the best hugs in the world. A private memorial service was held. Pat will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside her parents, Stan’s parents, and Stan’s sister, Helen. Donations to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater or Air Warriors Courage Foundation. Online condolences may be made at hdoliver.com.
Harold Unger Virginia Beach—Harold “Hap” Ira Unger, 63, died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 in his residence. A native of Norfolk, he was the son of the late Ruth Cohn and Maurice Unger. He was a former co-owner of The Rug Shop with his father, for many years, and was currently working in the Logistics Department of the Gordon Paper Co. He was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer M. Unger of Fairfax, Va.; and a sister, Nancy D. Hawley of Hampton, N.H.; an aunt, Dorothy Cohn of Miami, Fla. A graveside funeral service was conducted in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin officiating. Memorial contributions to Jewish Family Service or the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made at www. hdoliver.com.
Superman Sam, leukemia patient who inspired fundraisers Samuel Asher Sommer, known as “Superman Sam,” whose fight against leukemia inspired many to raise money to fight the disease, has died. Sam died Saturday, Dec. 14 in his Chicago-area home at the age of 8. His death was announced during Shabbat morning services at the Union for Reform Judaism biennial convention, according to the Times of Israel. Sam’s 18-month battle against refractory acute myeloid leukemia was chronicled
on the Superman Sam blog written by his mother, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. He also is the son of Rabbi Michael Sommer and has three siblings. He was known as “Superman Sam” because of his love of superheroes. Some 48 rabbis, including 10 women, had registered before his death to shave their heads in honor of Sam to raise money for leukemia research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Others had agreed to raise funds in other ways. Sam was buried in his Superman pajamas and shirt, his favorite hoodie, a Superman blanket and SpongeBob SquarePants sheets, according to the Times of Israel. Sam had been under home hospice care in the week before his death. “Sam was not alone for a single moment of his life,” his mother wrote in her latest Superman Sam blog post. “He died peacefully and calmly and quietly at 12:33 am. He was not in fear or in pain. And for that I am eternally grateful.”
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YAD celebrates Chanukah with LIGHT IT UP largest annual event
he Young Adult Division of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, held its biggest event of the year on Saturday, Dec. 7. More than 180 people attended LIGHT IT UP, a club-themed twist on a traditional Chanukah party, held in the Cardo on the Sandler Family Campus. In a totally transformed Cardo, generously decorated by Leslie Siegel, guests were treated to specialty latkes, as well as a specialty cocktail at the open bar—a “Blue Gene Cocktail” which was served to help promote the upcoming Jewish Genetic Screening event, co-sponsored with Jewish Family Service. Beth Gerstein and Steve Zuckerman, event co-chairs, were thrilled that so many people experienced their second co-chaired event. Of the successful night, Gerstein says, “LIGHT IT UP was truly an amazing night of great friends, drinks, food and fun. This event is designed to bring the Jewish young professional community together for a social event, and it was nice to see the entire community represented and burning up the dance floor!” Guests enjoyed a photo booth with props and danced to the live music of local favorite, Vinyl Headlights. The annual YAD Chanukah party is one facet of YAD’s outreach curriculum; for more information on upcoming events and other initiatives, visit www.jewishva. org/YAD.
Kristy Foleck, Erinn and Felix Portnoy, and David Leon.
Danielle and Sam Leibovici.
Guy Berkowitz, Nir Yatziv, Holly Bodner, and Jason Lurie.
Shawn Lemke, Alex Barkan, and Ashley Lemke.
Deena Gilbert, Elyse and David Cardon, Rabbi Levi and Rashi Brasheviztky.
Adam Tabakin, Alicia and Rabbi Marc Kraus.
Brad Schloss, Scott Konikoff and Bryan Konikoff.
Jonathan, Ryan and Fred Rose, and Jen Groves.
Event co-chairs Steve Zuckerman and Beth Gerstein.
Darren and Rebecca Dorfman, Ross Kantor, and Todd Feldman.
Greg Zittrain, Sam Steerman, Benjay Kempner, and Marc Abrams.
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Evan and Risa Levitt, and Tami Arnowitz.
Jason and Denise Hoffman.
26 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org
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PHOEBUS AUCTION GALLERY
NEW YEARS’ DAY 2014 AUCTION Wednesday, January 1, 2014 • 10:00am
Presentation of 18th, 19th, 20th C. Antiques, Decorative Arts, Fine Art, The “Man Cave” • PARTIAL LISTING • MAMANCAVE: M35A2 Deuce & Half 1972 Army Truck, 1988 Mercedes SE, 2 Hand Built Master Boatbuilder Row Boats, Windsurfer, Marlin Trophy, Ted Nugent Pinball Machine, Full Sized Pool Table, 1930 Slot Machine, 15+ Ivory & Bone Chess Sets, Remington Recast Bronzes, 6 American Express “Greatness in America” Series Pewter Statues, 6 “Smithsonian Aviation Relics” Series including Amelia Earhart’s Vega, “Chicago”, “Vin Fiz”, “NC-4” & Fokker D VIII, SS UNITED STATES Life Raft, Vase and Life Ring. US Silver Coins Dollars, Half’s, Quarters and Dimes. Erotic Items and Books WEAPONS: Walter PP, Ruger LCR, Colt Police Positive Baltimore PD, Antique Winchester Model 1894, Winchester Model 1903 Auto, Springfield Model 1898 KRAG Carbine, Remington Model 11, 12 & 16 GA, Ivor Johnson Champion 410 and 12 GA, Mossberg and Winchester .22’s Pedersoli Trapper Musket CIVIL WAR: Original Cartridge Boxes, Whitney Enfield Rifle, Confederate Flag Bearer Photo, McClellen Studio Card FURNITURE: 18TH C. Linen Press, 18th C, Corner Cupboard, 18th C. Chest, 18th/18th C. Captain’s chest, 18t C. P9ine Table, 18th C. Chest on Frame, Biedermeier Hanging Corner Cabinet, Golden Oak Figural Sideboard, Art Deco Armoire, 18th & 19th C. Tilt Top Tables, Biedermeier Daybed/sofa, 19th C. Breakfast Table, Sets Centennial Chippendale Chairs, Paw Foot Sofa, Comfy Modern Sofa, 3 pc. Mother of Pearl Inlaid Parlor Set, Chinoiserie Silk Sofa, Low Boy, Small Tables, 18th C. Phoenix Chippendale Mirror, Drexel Bed Set, Lg. Bookcase, Rockford China Cabinet, Etagere, George III Writing Desk, Modern Stickley Table & Chairs. More! CHINA & POTTERY: 122 pc. Set 19th C. Old Paris Dinnnerware from a Richmond Mansion, T. Haviland Gold Band Dinnerware, Herend, Quimper, Vintage Fiesta, Lg. Fish Set, Set Furnival Flow Blue Dinnerware, Beatrix Potter Collection, Limoges Boxes, Elephant Garden Seats, Set Haviland Oyster Plates LIGHTING: Venetian Five Arm Chandelier, 24 Light Maria Theresa Crystal Chandelier from Nicks, Many Leaded Table Lamps, Small Figural Accent Lamps, Floral Crystal Chandelier, Dragonfly Stained Glass Floor Lamp, Pair Carved Alabaster Lamps, Pr. Arts & Crafts Iron Chandeliers, Dome Base Crystal Chandelier STERLING: H. Bateman Tongs, Pr. Paul Storr Condiment Bowls, Gorham Poultry Shears, Set Alvin Flatware for 12. Misc. pcs. GLASS: Selection Leaded Stained Glass Windows, Pair Lusters, Northwood Carnival Punch Bowl w/Stand & Cups, Steuben Compote, Clear Epergne. FINE ART: 19th & 20th C. Oil Paintings-Many Listed Artists, Water Colors, Good Folk Art Painting, Long Jack TJakamarra Oil on Board, “Possum Dreaming”.-and The Lady in Blue, 18th C. Portrait-maybe! FOR THE CAT LOVERS AMONG US: Exquisite Carved Signed Ivory at Netsukes, Carved Quartz, Jade, Agate, Bronze Cat, Baccarat & Steuben Cats, Porcelain, Asian, Fine Engraving SPECIAL: Neon “Ride ‘em Hard Sturgis” Sign, Kestner and More 19th C. Dolls, 1930’s Slot M achine, Big Bird, Iron Parlor Stove, Steel Bead Bag, Collection Bronze & Carved African Animas,, Doors, Plaques, Furnished Doll House, 2 Long Case Clocks Rosewood Travel Boxes, Pitcher & Chair from Hygeia Hotel (PHOEBUS) Terms: Cash, Check, MC/Visa/ Discover15% Buyers Premium 2 % discount Cash or Check Day of Auction Only FREE FOOD TICKET FOR New Year’s Buffet!
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28 | Jewish News | December 23, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org