Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 58 No. 6 | 11 Kislev 5780 | December 9, 2019
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“Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’” —page 6
Friday, December 20/22 Kislev Light candles at 4:34 pm Friday, December 27/29 Kislev Light candles at 4:38 pm Friday, January 3/6 Tevet Light candles at 4:43 pm Friday, January 10/13 Tevet Light candles at 4:49 pm Friday, January 17/20 Tevet Light candles at 4:56 pm
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BRIEFS Arrest made in vandalism of Washington’s historic Sixth & I synagogue Police have arrested a 28-year-old man in the defacing of the historic Sixth & I synagogue in Washington, D.C. The arrest of Luis Montsinos came on Monday, Dec. 2, shortly after the synagogue announced the vandalism to the public. Montsinos, who has no address, was charged with defacing and destructing property, as well as resisting arrest. The police report described the vandalism as a suspected hate crime, according to the Washington Post. It included swastikas and anti-Semitic language, the synagogue’s communications manager, Michelle Eider, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. In addition to hosting services and Jewish programming, the nondenominational synagogue hosts events featuring well-known entertainers, thinkers, writers, and politicians. (JTA) movie Planned about WeWork and its founder Adam Neumann Two production companies are teaming up to make a film about WeWork and its founder, Adam Neumann. Universal and Blumhouse Productions have fast-tracked a film written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It is based on an upcoming book by journalist Katrina Brooker, who conducted in-depth reporting on the company and its recently ousted Israeli-American founder. The film will examine Neumann’s relationship with Masayoshi Son, the CEO of the Japanese holding company Softbank, which recently took over the struggling company. Neumann, 40, was forced out as chief executive of WeWork in September as the company’s value has plummeted. SoftBank, which had invested billions in WeWork in 2017, closed a deal in October that gave it 80 percent ownership of the company. But the deal, which Son called “a mistake” last month, ended up costing SoftBank billions. Neumann was heavily involved in the Kabbalah movement and made the
mystical tradition, which draws from Jewish teachings, part of the office culture, including scheduling meetings on the 18th day of the month, seen as a more auspicious time. Vanity Fair reported recently that Neumann helped President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner on his Middle East peace effort. (JTA)
KFC’s 4th relaunch in Israel is not kosher KFC is relaunching in Israel for the fourth time, but this time its restaurants will not be kosher. The first branch is set to be open this month in the Arab city of Nazareth, in northern Israel, Israel’s Mako news reported. Negotiations are underway for dozens of other branches throughout the country, according to the report. None of them are slated to be kosher. KFC announced late last year that it would relaunch in Israel for the fourth time. Kentucky Fried Chicken opened and closed in Israel in the 1980s and the ’90s, and then remained open between 2003 and 2012. In KFC’s last incarnation in Israel, franchise owner Udi Shamai’s eight locations went kosher after the company allowed him to switch the milk powder in the crispy coating to soy and to use chickens slaughtered by kosher methods instead of those provided by the company. “The moment we switched to kosher, sales began to plunge and it was no longer economically viable,” Shamai told Globes in February. “The product was less good, whereas things had gone fine with unkosher chickens.” KFC has 23,000 outlets in at least 141 countries. It has six outlets in three West Bank Palestinian cities. (JTA) 13 countries vote against a UN General Assembly resolution against Israel The United Nations General Assembly passed five resolutions against Israel, but for the first time, 13 countries switched their positions and voted against a pro-Palestine measure. The five resolutions passed Tuesday,
4 | Jewish News | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Dec. 3 are among 20 against Israel that the international body will vote on during the 74th session of the General Assembly. By contrast, it will consider resolutions about six other countries—one each on Iran, Syria, North Korea, Crimea, Myanmar and the United States (for its embargo on Cuba), the nongovernmental organization UN Watch reported. For the first time, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil and Colombia voted against the annual resolution supporting the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, which oversees the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Those countries previously had abstained on the vote. The resolution read in part that the committee “continues to make a constructive and positive contribution to raising international awareness of the question of Palestine and of the urgency of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine in all its aspects.” It passed by a vote of 87 for and 23 against, with 54 abstentions. Other resolutions demanded that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights and provide information on the “question of Palestine.” The votes on the five resolutions were taken in conjunction with the annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at the U.N. on Nov. 27. (JTA)
French parliament calls some forms of hate against Israel anti-Semitism The lower house of France’s parliament passed a nonbinding resolution on Tuesday, Dec. 3 that calls some forms of hatred of Israel expressions of anti-Semitism. The resolution, which passed in a 276154 vote, also calls on the government to join other European nations in adopting the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The definition states that some forms of vitriol against Israel, including comparing it to Nazi Germany, are
examples of anti-Semitism, though criticizing Israel’s policies is not. Reuters reported that fewer than half of the 577 members were present for the vote. The resolution says the IHRA definition can be effective in fighting “anti-Semitism in its modern and renewed form, which incorporates manifestations of hate toward Israel, which are justified only by its perception of a Jewish collective.” Weeks of debates in the French media preceded the vote on the resolution introduced by Sylvain Maillard of President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling LREM centrist party. In October, 39 organizations wrote an open letter to National Assembly President Richard Ferrand warning against passing the resolution. The letter argued against a separate definition of anti-Semitism, as it would “weaken the universalist approach” to combating all forms of racism” and compromise “defense of freedom of expression and assembly for groups and activists that must be allowed to defend the rights of Palestinians and criticize Israel’s policy without being falsely accused of anti-Semitism.” (JTA)
Swedish city of Malmo allocates $2 million to protect Jewish community The Swedish city of Malmo will allocate some $2 million to initiatives to protect its Jewish community from anti-Semitism. Malmo, a city where one third of the population is from Muslim countries, is home to several hundred Jews and has dozens of anti-Semitic incidents annually. Among the initiatives proposed by the city’s officials are educational programs in schools to uproot racism against Jews, promotion of Jewish culture, and a study to gauge the public’s perception of Jews, Ynet reported. The government is planning to hold an international conference on fighting anti-Semitism in Malmo and plans to open a Holocaust museum in the Swedish city. The population of the Swedish city has dropped over the past 10 years from 3,000 to 1,500, according to the report. In June, two philanthropists—one Jewish and one not—donated more than $4 million to security for Jews in Malmo. (JTA)
The relevance of Hanukkah continues
anukkah’s origins in the drama of a small, yet determined people, with a large vision standing up to the might of the Hellenistic empire of antiquity, is a poignant demonstration and a timeless reminder of Israel’s unique and timely legacy. The heroic Maccabees’ successful revolt of the few against the many in 167 B.C.E. following the dictates of the Syrian Greek King Antiochus IV, that sought to deprive the Jews of practicing their own faith, was truly a stance of a proud conscience. Our refusal to submit to a superior physical power when our spiritual inheritance was at stake is a clear indication of how deep a bond we held with both our religious convictions and sovereign independence, ready to sacrifice the sacred gift of life for the sake of an ancestral covenant with the compelling God of Freedom and Responsibility. The word Hanukkah and its festival meaning represent the spirit of dedication to irreplaceable ideals and ideas through the cleansing of Jerusalem’s temple of old from pagan defilement. The Talmud’s insisting focus on the miracle of the cruse of oil lasting eight days reflects the rabbis’ aversion to the bloodshed and the Hasmoneans’ intra-political strife, associated with the war and beyond. Consequently, the Books of the Maccabees were not included in our own biblical canon, but were fortunately preserved through the Catholic one. In truth, the conflict was not only against the enemy from without, but in
response to the experienced assimilation from within. The encounter with the dominant, flourishing, and tempting Greek culture led, however, to a fruitful philosophical engagement influencing Rabbinic thought and logic. The flickering lights of Hanukkah have come to symbolize the miracle of Jewish survival in spite of great odds, while endowing the human family with an enduring hope for a world transformed and redeemed. Let us continue to pray and labor that the ancient promise of prophetic shalom from the distant hills of Judea, the first such inspiring and pioneering message of universal embrace, will yet be realized for all of God’s children including the offspring of Isaac and Ishmael whose familial bond cannot be denied. How frustrating and telling that there are Palestinian and other Arab leaders attempting to re-write history with the shameful aid of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) by removing the incontrovertible Jewish connection, as well as the Christian one with the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and thus from the Land of Israel, seeking to extinguish Hanukkah’s authenticity. Hanukkah’s celebration of religious freedom of choice is vigorously tested and contested and the controversy over Jewish worship at the Western Wall and its southern end (Robinson’s Arch). The Women of the Wall’s long struggle for equal acceptance, as well as the painful disappointment of the Reform and Conservative streams over the unfulfilled agreement by the Israeli government for egalitarian worship in the southern section, are a cause for concern in the context of Jewish pluralism in Israel along with Israel-Diaspora relations. As the United States, the State of Israel, and the entire free world fight the blight of terrorism with contemporary Iran’s Hamans begrudging the Maccabeean
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victory leading the way, much can be learned from the old and new Maccabees’ saga and spirit. In the still restive region where Hanukkah’s drama took place, so ironically and tragically, Syria’s dictator Assad with Iranian and Russian participation sheds his people’s blood including so many children in the barbaric bombing of Aleppo. The Islamic State (ISIS) continues its assault on civilization. The terrorists negate the life-enlightening, pluralistic, and inclusive principles of
Hanukkah’s bright Menorah daring to challenge the darkness of oppression in all its destructive forms. All humans have now become vulnerable Jews, yet empowered with our people’s indomitable faith and noble example to face a formidable foe—physically, spiritually, and psychologically—and prevail. Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman is founder and spiritual leader of Temple Lev Tikvah in Virginia Beach.
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NEW YORK (JTA)—Sacha Baron Cohen has made a career out of playing absurd comedic characters, from the dopey Brit Ali G to the Kazakh journalist Borat to the Israeli veteran Erran Morad. He rarely gives interviews and stays relatively far from the movie star limelight. But last month, Cohen tossed aside the humorous facade to excoriate the social media industry and the “autocracy” he says it promotes in a non-ironic speech. After receiving the international leadership award from the Anti-Defamation League at its annual conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan, the British Jewish comedian slammed social media sites as the “greatest propaganda machine in history”—reserving most of his
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15-minute speech to specifically critique Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others—they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged—stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear,” Cohen said. “It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times. It’s why fake news outperforms real news, because studies show that lies spread faster than truth. “And it’s no surprise that the greatest propaganda machine in history has spread the oldest conspiracy theory in history—the lie that Jews are somehow dangerous. As one headline put it, ‘Just Think What Goebbels Could Have Done with Facebook.‘” Cohen spent a significant part of his speech criticizing a recent address Zuckerberg gave at Georgetown University in which the Facebook founder spoke about the importance of upholding free expression on social media. Cohen called out Facebook for allowing political ads on its platform without verifying the veracity of their claims. Twitter and Google have recently taken steps to ban such ads. “Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem,’” Cohen said, saying the site should fact check all political ads. The actor also urged social media sites to consider delaying real-time posts that could spread hateful content, citing the gunman who attacked two mosques in New Zealand and livestreamed his attack. “Why can’t we have more of a delay so this trauma-inducing filth can be caught and stopped before it’s posted in the first place?” he asked. Cohen said that social media companies should be held responsible for the content spread on their sites, referencing a federal law that shields them from liability
for specific posts. “Maybe it’s time to tell Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of these companies: You already allowed one foreign power to interfere in our elections, you already facilitated one genocide in Myanmar, do it again and you go to jail,” Cohen said. The speech was not completely devoid of humor—Cohen managed to joke about a key Jewish adviser for President Donald Trump. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” he said. “And to be clear, when I say ‘racism, hate and bigotry,’ I’m not referring to the names of Stephen Miller’s Labradoodles.” Cohen additionally addressed the idea that he promotes anti-Semitic stereotypes in his movies, which groups like the ADL have criticized. “Now I’m not going to claim that everything I’ve done has been for a higher purpose,” he said. “But when Borat was able to get an entire bar in Arizona to sing ‘Throw the Jew down the well,’ it did reveal people’s indifference to anti-Semitism.” Cohen said he has been “passionate about challenging bigotry and intolerance” his entire life and wrote an undergraduate thesis on the American civil rights movement “with the help of the archives of the ADL.” The ADL said that more than 1,600 people attended the daylong event, which included a range of sessions on anti-Semitism and hate. The organization also honored Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of the Chobani yogurt company. Ulukaya, a Kurd from Turkey, has donated millions to help refugees and hired them in his factories. Ulukaya used his speech to condemn hate and call on businesses to help refugees. “[I]f government isn’t willing to act, I believe that business must lead,” he said. “This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency.”
Leave the Holocaust out of your self-promotion, political agenda and profit-seeking Jonathan A. Greenblatt
NEW YORK (JTA)—Here we go again: Just this month, two more cases of the abuse of Holocaust imagery have surfaced and created an international stir. In November, Russian figure skater Anton Shulepov wore an Auschwitzthemed costume during his free skating performance at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating event. To compound the offense, the International Skating Union listed it as a contender in the best costume category, which is open to voting from the public. After protests, the skating union quickly removed the Shulepov costume from its top list. That same day, Amazon announced it was removing holiday ornaments that displayed an image of the same Nazi concentration camp on the products from its marketplace. Unfortunately, Nazi analogies and imagery have been proliferating for some time. For more than a decade, inappropriate and offensive comparisons to the Holocaust have increasingly cropped up in popular culture in the United States. Sports and other celebrities have compared their personal struggles to those of Anne Frank or, at a traumatic time in their lives, make inappropriate comparisons to Hitler or the Holocaust to make a point. Then there is the use of Nazi analogies to make a political point. Sometimes it’s by pro-life individuals who refer to abortion as worse than the Holocaust. Sometimes it’s by folks on the left who are troubled by Donald Trump’s behavior and refer to him as a second Hitler. And some, like Shulepov, are simply looking for attention. The use of concentration camp designs, the pinning of the Jewish yellow star, and the very word Auschwitz, definitely cause people to sit up. Each manifestation is offensive and
insensitive in its own way. The use of Holocaust references by high-profile public figures such as entertainers trivializes history and the political use of the Holocaust stops civil discussion dead in its tracks. In each case, the attention seekers don’t think for a second about those who actually perished in the gas chambers. They all deserve repudiation. The murder of 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, is not a subject for glib analogies, lightheartedness or political exploitation. In calling out those who misuse the memory of the Holocaust, one must distinguish between the motives of the offenders. There are meaningful differences between those who must be called out for their evil intent, those who are undermining rational discussion about serious issues and those who are guilty of self-promotion at the expense of the victims of genocide. Are there occasions where it would be deemed legitimate to cite the Holocaust or compare something to those tragic events? Historical and political analysis surely leaves room for serious comparisons. In the popular sphere, however, it is far better to be cautious and generally avoid such usage. All this matters, more and more, not only because of the general debasement of facts and history, but because the Holocaust itself is either being questioned, ignored or complained about. Holocaust denial is alive and well in extremist circles. White supremacists like David Duke and Arthur Jones and Islamist extremists like Iran’s former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad simply deny the Holocaust and claim it’s a fantasy foisted on the world by all-powerful Jews. ADL’s Global 100 Survey of 101 countries several years ago revealed that 45 percent of the respondents indicated
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that they had either never heard of the Holocaust or weren’t sure. And ADL’s most recent poll of 18 countries showed that 30 percent of people believe that Jews talk too much about the Holocaust. The misuse of Holocaust analogies and imagery is not only a slap in the face to all those who died. It is also contributing to the trivialization and diminution of the understanding of those horrific events which are so important in making sure that such things never happen again.
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Jonathan Greenblatt is the sixth national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Prior to heading ADL, Greenblatt served in the White House as Special Assistant to Barack Obama, and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
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In the Jewish heart of Pittsburgh, Mister Rogers was actually our neighbor Dorit Sasson
This story originally appeared on Kveller.
’m sitting in a sold-out first weekend movie premiere of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, delighted by the fact that this movie was filmed in my Pittsburgh neighborhood, Squirrel Hill. It’s an upscale, multicultural neighborhood—far more diverse today than it used to be— that is also the center of the city’s Jewish community. Sadly, it is most famous now for the deadly attack on the Tree of Life synagogue. Squirrel Hill is also, quite literally, Mister Rogers’ neighborhood. Fred Rogers lived in Squirrel Hill, and for 33 years he filmed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at the nearby WQED studios. While surely anyone who grew up watching the show feels a personal connection to Rogers, here in Pittsburgh, he isn’t just a global icon. He’s a local hero. We’re at Squirrel Hill’s indie movie theater, the landmark Manor Theater, where the ticket-taker greeted us wearing a red cardigan while singing “It’s a beautiful day in Manorland.” I’m filled with anticipation, imagining how Tom Hanks—whom I most fondly remember from one of my favorite childhood movies, Big—might bring Mister Rogers to life. As the movie begins, Hanks comes down the stairs clad in Rogers’ iconic red cardigan. He sings the well-known opening music to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”—and the entire theater joins in a singalong. Hanks, as Rogers, is tying his sneakers, singing and looking directly at me—just like Rogers used to do, many years ago, when I was a preschooler watching his show in my family’s New York City living room. I’m trying not to get distracted by the obvious physical differences—Hanks’ glasses, his rounder face. I’m trying to measure up his smile and intonation against the memory of Rogers. Yet I’m comforted and reassured that Hanks is
able to give voice to a very public person who, through the magic of television, as well as his pure and honest delivery, had a special way of making me feel special and cared for, just as he did for millions of other children. Seeing Hanks “do” Rogers is like meeting my long-lost friend all over again. And not just for the two hours that I’m sitting in the theater. Like so many children who grew up watching his show, Rogers is someone I’ve long felt deeply compassionate toward—and that feeling only strengthened after the Tree of Life attack. In those early and very dark moments, when a gunman murdered 11 Jewish souls, my social media feed became flooded with Mister Rogers memes. “Look for the helpers,” they said, “You will always find people who are helping.” When Rogers first uttered those lines, he was referring to his own memories of feeling scared by terrible news as a boy, and how his mother would encourage him to look for those helpers. In Rogers’ words, “To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” But during those very dark and traumatic days after the attack, I kept listening, looking for those helpers. Where were they? Turns out they were there; I just had to be patient. The following week, during a rally for peace and unity held in honor of the victims in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, Tom Hanks would appear in the pouring rain, next to Joanne Rogers, Rogers’ widow. There, he’d say in earnest, “The people of Pittsburgh live in good neighborhoods that do not divide the city but define it.” Hanks was just one of many helpers who would stand in solidarity with us, as if he was an insider to our community, to our pain. At that moment, he wasn’t just an adored celebrity, he was someone who cared about my city—our city, our community. In the movie, Rogers takes a personal
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nation interest in Lloyd Vogel, a bitter and angered journalist (played by Matthew Rhys and based upon real-life journo Tom Junod) on assignment to interview Rogers for Esquire. Vogel struggles to feel compassion for his father, who had left Vogel’s mother while she lay dying. Vogel cannot forgive him for this. However, with the help of the children’s TV icon, he unwittingly begins to realize that he, too, needs a helper, when Rogers invites him to the set in Pittsburgh and performs with a puppet, Daniel the Striped Tiger, the iconic song, “What do you do with the mad that you feel?” Following the attack, what did the citizens of Pittsburgh do with the mad that we felt? Well, our city and community came together in a most unprecedented way: There were crocheted hearts strung to tree branches; there were deliveries of notes, cards, flowers from across the globe; there were donations of money and meals; and Jews from other cities flocked to Pittsburgh to mourn with us, the prayers from so many lifting us up. In our community’s most vulnerable state, I stayed focused on those helpers. For months following the attack, buses flickered the slogan “Pittsburgh Strong” instead of their usual route numbers. One evening, as I was returning home to Squirrel Hill by bus, the driver and I chatted briefly about the disaster that befell our community. Movingly, he told me, “It’s terrible what happened to that synagogue, but know that we’re with you.” I had witnessed something I know to be true in catastrophes—that this attack brought the community closer with acts of compassion and kindness. Compassion doesn’t have to end in physical action, but the feeling itself starts with empathy towards someone else. Mister Rogers spent his life attuned to the needs of other people; he’d listen to children and adults compassionately from the depth of his soul. He had a true gift of putting himself in their shoes. Seeing how the entire city of Pittsburgh, the world at large, and Tom Hanks stood in solidarity with those beloved murdered souls unlocked Judaism’s highest value for me, personally: caring for the other. This senseless tragedy connected me to
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Photograph of Mister Rogers in the late 1960s.
my Jewish heart and helped me to see how tethered to Pittsburgh, Mister Rogers and Judaism I’d become. In many ways, the three are spokes of the same wheel. Judaism is a religion of action, and Rogers, too, is a man whose actions are as great as his words. After the Tree of Life attack, our synagogues transformed into miniature “neighborhoods” of their own. By that I don’t mean they were separate islands of grief. Rather we were like community lamplighters—helpers—driven to restock our community with light. The Chabad congregation, where my family and I are members, would take on a mezuzah campaign, distributing free mezuzahs to people in the community as a way to offer blessings and security. Jewish community members, including our family, would prepare endless trays of food for the police and the FBI. We went to the Tree of Life to chant psalms as a means to offer healing and solace. As Tree of Life congregants came to our synagogue, we became one united Jewish community again, mourning together and resolute in standing strong together. We will not be clubbed by fear. “Ahm Yisroel Chai—the people of Israel live! Perhaps this is the greatest legacy of Mister Rogers—for the Pittsburgh community, and for the increasingly scary world at large: That in our darkest hour, with compassion and kindness as our guide, we can still find our way toward the light. We don’t need to just look for the helpers, we can be the helpers and light the way for others.
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Super Sunday 2020: A perfect vision Lisa Richmon
uper Sunday is the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual phone-a-thon fundraiser dating back to the 1980’s. This year’s ‘community call’ had kid-friendly written all over it. A group of emerging leaders known as the Rishon committee, led by Amie Harrell, committee chair, met their collective goal to unify the community, engage Religious School students, and raise money for a number of local, national, and global organizations and programs such as Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and Virginia Hillels. Super Sunday 2020 took place at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus on Sunday, November 17. Jasmine Amitay. UJFT’s Young Leadership Campaign manager, says that UJFT’s Rishon committee, together with 100 adult and student
Damian Gordon and Bahrn Gadson.
volunteers, raised an estimated $170,000, and connected with 300 community members who committed to the 2020 annual campaign. “What I found most compelling about Super Sunday was the enthusiasm, not just of the volunteer callers that forfeited time out of their busy weekend schedules, but the donors that gleefully made the choice to give,” says Igor Vaserfirer, a Rishon committee member. Super Sunday 2020 marked the first year that Religious School students from area synagogues were invited to participate and make calls. The move to foster hands-on philanthropy in students was so positive for everyone that Amitay wants to bring it back next year. Volunteer students came from Ohef Sholom Temple’s seventh grade; Temple Emanuel’s sixth and seventh grades; and Congregation Beth El’s sixth and seventh grades. Students made solicitation and thank-you calls and some
even asked for campaign contributions face-to-face. “We want to establish a new tradition where Religious School students join us every year,” says Amitay. “We hope students will be back next year as volunteers, outside of the Religious School curriculum.”
Dara Pomerantz, Damian Gordon, Hillary Gordon, and Talk Sifen.
Yael Haas and Damian Gordon.
Stephanie and David Calliott.
10 | Jewish News | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Amy Levy and Betty Ann Levin.
For more information, contact Jasmine Amitay 757-9656138, jamitay@ujft. org. To make a donation go to: jewishva. org/donate. Lisa Richmon may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographs by Mark Robbins Religious School students.
Noam Haas, Ben Amitay, and Amie Harrell.
Amy Levy and Stephanie Calliott.
Betty Ann Levin.
Jodi and Jay Klebanoff.
Jasmine Amitay and Amie Harrell.
Jeremy Krupnick and Jenny Sachs
Nechama and Yaul Haas
Tal Sifen and Danielle Danzing.
Laura Gross and Amy Levy.
jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2019 | Jewish News | 11
Baby names inspired by Hanukkah Kveller
f your baby is on the way, have you picked a name? To honor the most favorite least important Jewish holiday, consider a Hanukkah-themed name. No, not like “applesauce” or “latke” (although, those are pretty adorable names). From paying tribute to the Maccabee soldiers to honoring the fire that burns the menorah candles, here’s an extensive list of Hanukkah inspired baby names. Honor the Maccabees The Maccabees are the official poster boys for the Festival of Lights. Matityahu and his five sons (Judah, Shimon, Yonatan, Yochanan, and Eliezer) revolted against Antiochus, the anti-Semitic ruler of the Syrian Kingdom, and led a guerrilla war against his army. After three years of battles
and bloodshed, the Maccabees won—the true miracle of Hanukkah. Judah is a Hebrew name for boys that means “to praise or thank.” Shimon is a Hebrew name for boys that means “he has heard.” Yochanan is a Hebrew name for boys that means “God is gracious.” Eliezer is a Hebrew name for boys that means “help of my God.” Matityahu is a Hebrew name for boys that means “gift of God.” (Are you sensing a common theme here among the Maccabee boys?). Mac is not a Hebrew name, but it’s super cool and unisex and short for Maccabee. Gift it For some families—and hey, no judgements!—the true miracle of Hanukkah isn’t about oils and lamps or military victory… it’s about all those fabulous presents. And,
really, what’s better than the gift of life? Matan/a is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “gift.” Jesse is a Hebrew name for boys that means “gift.” Gold and bold What is Hanukkah without gelt? Golda is a Yiddish name for girls that means “gold.” Paz/it is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “pure gold” or “anything that glimmers like gold.” Zahava is a Hebrew name for girls that means “gold.” Light and fire These baby names are an ode to the flame that keeps the menorah candles burning all night long. Yair is a Hebrew name for boys that means “he will illuminate.”
Ziv/a is a Hebrew name for boys or girls that means “light” or “brilliance” or “glow.” Lior/a is a Hebrew name for girls or boys that means “I have a light.” Noga is a Hebrew name for girls that means “light.” Uriel is a Hebrew name for boys that means “fire of God.” Uriah is a Hebrew name for girls that means “fire of God.” Shalhevet is a Hebrew name for girls that means “flame.” But that’s not all! There are also a bunch of Hanukkahadjacent names, such as these. Nissim is a Hebrew name for boys that means “miracles.” Leila is a Hebrew name for girls that means “night.” Yuval is a unisex name that means “rejoice.”
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y p p a H ! h a k k u n a H Supplement to Jewish News December 9, 2019
A Perfect Holiday Gift Idea!
Hanukkah Dear Readers,
he first Hanukkah candle is lit this year on the evening of Sunday, December 22, which means of course, the fourth will be lit on Christmas.
While some might say that the Jewish holiday’s overlap with the most major of Christian days might result in less attention paid to Hanukkah, others may argue that it will have increased celebration time since school’s not in session and the rush to get through each night won’t be as intense. I vote for the latter. One thing for certain, celebrating this rather minor holiday gets easier each year— with more events, films, music, stuff to purchase, and crafts to make. For example, on page 21, Shalom Tidewater has compiled a list of Hanukkah events taking place in Tidewater. Latkepalooza on Sunday, December 15 at the Sandler Family Campus, will be one Hanukkah celebration for the books! (Pun intended, as three children’s book authors are part of the festivities.) The article on page 16 about latkes is dripping with fun—not oil. Everyone has their own method of cooking, as you’ll read. We have articles about staying safe and preventing fires (page 20) and about
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Hannukah films to watch (page 26). Other articles suggest alternatives for ways to celebrate and observe the eight nights. Whether your tradition of Hanukkah is big or small, all of us at Jewish News hope that your holiday is filled with plenty of light, health, happiness, and, mostly, peace. Happy Hanukkah!
HAPPY HANUKKAH! jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2019 | Hanukkah | Jewish News | 15
Tasty Hanukkah twists and turns the house from smelling like oil for three days.” “My wife may make the best matzo brei, but my latkes…stand back,” he says with a smile. Rule # 1. Mise en place. I have all my tools and ingredients together before cooking. Tricks: • Canola oil, not olive oil. Taste the potatoes, not the oil. • Grate a little carrot with the onion for color contrast and firmer texture. • Add something green like zucchini or spinach, or sprinkle some parsley. • Use russet potatoes “On Christmas Day we go to our friend’s home for a beautiful dinner. It’s a tradition,” says Budman. “A couple of years ago, Hanukkah overlapped with Christmas and our friend called with a request. ‘Hey Steve,’ she said, ‘please bring your skillet and make some latkes.’ Of course, I complied. “Last week we were together and, as she noted, the holidays converge again this year. Guess what she assigned us to bring.” Have skillet, will travel.
veryone loves latkes. Making them is another story. Is buying frozen potato pancakes at Trader Joe’s selling out? Some say, ‘most definitely.’ This is the first artice (of two) featuring serious cooks who ‘play with their food’ and riff on the universally revered potato pancake. Look for the next installement in the December 23 issue of Jewish News.
Jack Siegel—A decade of Happy Hanukkah extras Dr. Jack Siegel cops to going behind his mother-in-law’s back and feeding his late father-in-law extra latkes. “It was a Hanukkah tradition in our house,” says Siegel. “The man loved to eat.” Siegel is referring to his father-in-law, Marino Bertini who was 85 when he passed away in February. “Marino Bertini was Italian, but he hated pizza! Boy did he love Jewish cooking, he couldn’t get enough potato pancakes. Every year, my mother-in-law would cut him off at four latkes to safeguard his health. And every year he’d circle back to the kitchen, hit up the frying pan and pop more latkes in his mouth.” What makes Siegel’s latkes so good? “They’re pretty basic,” says Siegel. “The one oddity is that I sautée celery with the onion, which I think makes it more flavorful. You just have to make sure to drain all the liquid from the potatoes and the celery onion mixture. Another thing I do is fry them in peanut oil and olive oil.” Siegel’s recipe is his late mother’s mother’s, dating back to late 1800s. Steve Budman— Latke road show Steve Budman has his own take on making latkes—and taking them on the road. “Here’s what I don’t do,” says Budman, a local photographer and home cook. “Everyone says to wrap the potatoes up in a clean dish towel to get moisture out. It’s such a pain. I tried leaving that step out one time and couldn’t tell the difference. They were still crispy. So now, I don’t bother squeezing the mixture.” Another Budman twist: “I don’t cook them in my kitchen. Instead, I use an electric skillet on our back porch to keep
Steve Budman and his traveling skillet.
16 | Jewish News | Hanukkah | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Jack Siegel’s latkes.
Janie Jacobson Craig— A grandmother’s gold anie Jacobson Craig is a Jewish juxtaposition. She is uniquely skilled in traditional, Jewish comfort food, as well as farm-to-table-fresh, and simply prepared whole foods that mark her passion as a teacher, author, and healthy lifestyle pioneer. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Snyder, “Gram” who passed away at 101, filled her granddaughter’s Hanukkah heart with love and latkes. “We always had a Hanukkah party at my grandmother’s house,” says Jacobson Craig, “For one thing, she loved her grandchildren and was very accepting. Her home was always open to us. She LOVED latkes, especially with sour cream. I personally like the shredded potato latke well done, while my family liked them almost burnt.
Elizabeth Snyder, and Janie Jacobson Craig.
If you have a Hanukkah-with-a-twist story to share, submit to lrichmon@ ujft.org or call Lisa Richmon at 757-576-5472.
How to have eight nights of Hanukkah that aren’t just about presents Kveller Staff
f your kids become greedy gift monsters around Hanukkah, you have failed miserably as a parent. Relax! We’re only kidding! The truth is, if your kids are all about the presents during the Festival of Lights, you are so not alone! We’ve been there, and we’ll help you through it. If you’re looking to avoid eight nights of gift-related mayhem, we asked fellow Kveller moms about their methods for striking a balance between presents (giving and receiving), spending some quality time as a family, and doing some good deeds. Check out these tried and true alternative options that fellow Kveller mamas have used:
1. Small gift night Give something simple, like a book, pajamas, or a puzzle—whatever inexpensive but meaningful gift works for your little ones. 2. Pick a charity night Choose a charity with your kids and make a donation with their input. This can be to a worthy children’s charity such as Toys for Tots, agencies collecting for families that lost everything in the wildfires or other disasters, or a Kiva micro-finance gift certificate. Letting your kids choose can be fun and empowering for them and an insight into other families’ realities. 3. Visiting night Take your kids to celebrate Hanukkah in at Beth Sholom Village or other nursing home. They can light candles with the residents, and bring cards or drawings.
4. Animal night Ask your kids to pick an animal to “adopt” via the World Wildlife Federation. They’ll even send you a stuffed animal! Or you could give to Heifer International and explain how giving an animal not only provides food to a family but can change the course of a family’s life. 5. Make a gift night Pick a night to create gifts for their friends and family. Some ideas include soap, cookies, hand warmers, or dog toys. Whatever you think they’ll enjoy making the most! 6. Experience night Give them the gift of an experience. For instance, this can be a museum membership, manicure date with mom, or a visit to a rock-climbing gym. It doesn’t actually need to happen that night, but pick a date so they know it’ll happen soon. 7. Collect and share night Have your kids clear out old toys they no longer want and then donate them to a children’s home or a school. Giving is better than receiving!
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8. One gift they really want night It is actually fun to give your kids something they really, truly want (see above!). You can save this for the last night so they have a special treat to look forward to. If that kind of build up doesn’t work for your kids, go ahead and do this earlier in the week. Thanks to the parents of the Kveller Moms group for sharing these great ideas! Join the group here to ask more questions about Hanukkah—or whatever Jewish or parenting questions you may have!
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(Alma via JTA)—Hanukkah season means latkes, menorahs, and the retelling of the classic story about Judah and the Maccabees. But there’s a woman from a few hundred years before Judah was around who is just as important to this story. This Hanukkah, let’s bring this forgotten biblical badass back into the spotlight. She’s not mentioned in the Torah. Her earliest known stories aren’t even in Hebrew; they’re in Greek. And she’s on the fringes of medieval texts, at best. And though her story is interwoven with quite a few fictional elements, the story of Judith is too important not to celebrate and share. She is the feminist activist we need right now—she just happens to be from antiquity. Judith’s story starts in Jerusalem centuries before Judah’s story of the Maccabean revolt. A widow of three years, she has been in deep mourning, only wearing rags and ashes. And her children are on the brink of starvation, as her city is under siege by the evil Holofernes and his armies, who have been sent by King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian 18 | Jewish News | Hanukkah | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Empire to conquer the city and convert the Jews living there. Though they had fought back against Holofernes as best they could, the Israelites were ready to surrender.
Determined her city will not fall, she devises a plan and convinces her people that she can singlehandedly defeat their enemies.
But Judith is not. Determined her city will not fall, she devises a plan and convinces her people that she can singlehandedly defeat their enemies. Judith is disgusted by the faithlessness of the leaders of Jerusalem and tells them that God will act through her. That night, Judith sheds her mourning clothes, dresses herself in her finest jewels and, with wine and her maid, she leaves the city in the dark. Alone, the two women walk into the enemy’s camp and straight up to the royal tent (that’s not something you just, like, did back then). Struck by her beauty, Holofernes asks, “Who are you? Where do you come from and where do you wish
Hanukkiah Building contest at Beth El
Hanukkah to go?” Judith responds, “I have heard of your wisdom and skill, and since Israel has sinned, I know that you will conquer the city and take possession of it, so I came to save myself and my father’s household when you take the city.” She promises to help Holofernes conquer the city from the inside, and he invites her into his tent intending to seduce her. She follows him. Inside, Holofernes indulges in a feast and drinks more than he ever has in celebration of his near victory, with Judith feeding him cheese and pouring him more and more wine. Yes, my friends, cheese and wine are the weapons of choice in this story. RESPECT. Judith feasts, too, but only on what she has brought with her. Holofernes soon falls asleep. Turning her thoughts to God, Judith grabs the sword on his bedpost, and in one swift motion, beheads Holofernes as he sleeps. (OK, so the sword was a weapon, too.) Judith then takes the head of
Holofernes in her bag and swiftly leaves the tent with her maid. The two return, unnoticed back to the city walls, where she commands the guards to put his head up high for all of Holofernes’ armies to see upon sunrise. When they wake, Holofernes’ men see what has become of him and flee. Jerusalem is safe, thanks to Judith’s actions. The Israelites enter the camps and plunder them for their invaluable riches, much needed after years of living under siege. Judith is given Holofernes’ tent and all his possessions. She is blessed by every woman and leads them in song and dance. She praises God for giving her the courage and strength needed to save her people. Judith is celebrated for three months. Though many offer, Judith chooses not to remarry, instead living her life as a free woman. She frees her maid before she dies at the age of 105.
This story was once told alongside the more well-known story of Judah and the Maccabees each Hanukkah. Both Judah and Judith’s names come from the same root and both stories are about military victories that seemed impossible. But mostly, only Judah’s story is recounted and celebrated today. There has been a movement to place Judith back in the forefront of the Hanukkah story. Some even eat dairy on Hanukkah to commemorate the cheese Judith fed Holofernes before taking his head (cheese latkes, anyone?). Her story is gruesome. She is a lone woman, determined not to let the children of her city starve or be converted. But instead of cowering and surrendering like the male leaders suggest, Judith decides to take a stand, taking matters (and heads) into her own hands.
he Hanukkiah is one of the oldest Jewish ritual items still in use. To commemorate its beauty and brightness, Congregation Beth El is having a Hanukkiah Building contest. First place winner will be awarded a $100 gift card. Other prizes include movie tickets. All entries must be received at Congregation Beth El by Friday, Dec. 20. For information, call 757-625-7821 or go to www. bethelnorfolk.com.
Steph Black is a women’s studies major at American University.
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Know these Hanukkah fire safety tips before you light the menorah of fry latkes Lior Zaltzman
(Kveller via JTA)—While Hanukkah is a favorite on the Jewish calendar, there is no holiday as dangerous with its open flames, boiling oil and sharp graters for making latkes. So we’ve compiled these helpful tips to help minimize the risks and have a safe and bright Festival of Lights.
Menorah safety tips Don’t leave menorahs unattended. Never leave a room where a menorah is lit. Either wait for the candles to go out, or put them out yourself if you need to leave the room or house. Put menorahs on a nonflammable surface. If you’re putting your menorah on a wooden window sill or any other wooden surface, make sure to lay down aluminum foil or another nonflammable material. An even better idea is to put menorahs on a stone or marble counter. Glass and metal surfaces also work. Put menorahs on a sturdy surface. Is your dining room table a bit wobbly? Don’t put your menorah there! Any piece of furniture with wheels is also a bad idea. Opt for a sturdy, safe surface. Keep menorahs away from pets. This might be easier said than done, especially with adventurous cats around, but it’s better not to put that menorah anywhere your pets are known to reach.
Keep menorahs out of reach of little kids. It may be obvious, but make sure your menorahs are away from edges and are high enough. Don’t walk around with a lit candle. No running with scissors, no walking with fire are some basic rules to live by. Keep candles in a contained space. Take precautions when letting children light the menorah. Make sure they are standing on a sturdy surface, and are close enough and high enough to safely light it —a stable stool is good, so they can see what they’re doing. Have an adult present there for support and intervention. Keep decorations, papers, and fabrics away from your menorah. Put decorations far from where you’ll be lighting your menorah. If you’re putting your menorah by the window, make sure there’s no way for the flame to touch the curtains. Keep any papers (including paper towels) away from where the menorah is placed, and out of your hands when you’re lighting candles. And, when you’re lighting candles, make sure they are far from your clothing and hair. Don’t light your kid’s arts and crafts menorah unless you are 100 percent sure they aren’t flammable. These handmade menorahs may be super cute, but they can also be fire hazards. Make sure to only light menorahs you are certain are nonflammable. Keep the ones you’re not sure about away from the lit menorahs, and
instead consider using electric candles with them.
Frying safety tips Make sure fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working. This is pretty self-explanatory but easy to forget. Do this a week before the festivities to have peace of mind. Never fill the pan with too much oil, and keep it from getting too hot. Being burned with splashing oil really, really stinks. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot. It’s a good idea to use an oil with a high burning point, like canola oil or olive oil. Keep pan and pot handles facing the inside of the stove. It’s a good way to keep them from getting knocked over. You DO NOT want that boiling pan falling on the floor. Keep young children away from the stove. Total Family Care suggests creating “a 3-foot safety zone around the stove when the latkes are frying” or using “the further burners so children cannot reach the flames.” Keep flammable materials away from the flames. Keep hair and shirtsleeves pulled up and away from the flame. Make sure paper towels are away from the
Still time to contribute to make Hanukkah happy for area kids
ewish Family Service’s 27th annual Chanukah Gift Project for local Jewish children and teens is still in progress. The community response thus far has been spectacular. JFS has 75 local children whose financially struggling families need help with gifts. Gifts received are enjoyed at Chanukah, and then used throughout the year. Although the initial deadline has passed, JFS can still use more help to purchase gifts. Contact Maryann Kettyle at JFS at 757- 459-4640 or MKettyle@jfshamptonroads.org to contribute to this wonderful, local tzedakah project. Gifts are piling up at Jewish Family Service.
20 | Jewish News | Hanukkah | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
flames, too. Never try to extinguish a fire with water, and keep water away from your frying pan. In case of a grease fire, turn off the stove and use a pot lid or a baking pan to extinguish a grease fire. If that doesn’t work, douse it with lots of baking soda. Keep a good burn cream around and treat any burn right away. Accidents happen. If you do get burned, immediately run your burn under cold water. Dispose of oil properly. Don’t throw that oil down the drain! It will clog pipes. Instead, let it cool and put it in a closed container that can be thrown away. Lior Zaltzman is the social media editor for 70 Faces Media, Kveller’s parent company. She is also an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. Kveller is a thriving community of women and parents who convene online to share, celebrate and commiserate their experiences of raising kids through a Jewish lens. Visit Kveller. com.
Hanukkah in Tidewater Compiled by Shalom Tidewater
idewater is fortunate to have so many great Hanukkah events taking place around town this year, Check some of them out here.
Saturday, December 14 Ohef Sholom Temple OSTY Chanukah Party Sunday, Dec. 15, 11:30 am–2:30 pm Simon Family JCC Latkapalooza A day filled with fun and a light latke lunch, music, crafts, three visiting authors, and games and activities with visiting camps. RSVP to 757-965-6107. See page 29. Thursday, Dec. 19, 7 pm Temple Emanuel: The True Story of Hanukkah Think you know why we celebrate Hanukkah? Think again. Come learn the four stories of Hanukkah. The festival they tried to get rid of. RSVP for the address. 757‑428-2591 or email@example.com.
Friday, Dec. 20, 5:30 pm Dinner starts at 6:45 pm Ohef Sholom Temple Chanukah Dinner Community Hanukkah dinner, for the entire family. Ohef Sholom Temple, 530 Raleigh Ave., Norfolk RSVP and for tickets and prices, ohefsholom.org.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 5:30 pm Temple Emanuel: Latkes, Lights, & Legos Join for the first night celebration with latkes, ice cream, and the largest Lego brick Hanukkah menorah in Virginia. RSVP by Dec. 19 to Gail at 757-428-2591.
Sunday, Dec. 22 9:30–10:30am Chabad at the Oceanfront: Mommy & Me For moms and tots, 0-3. Jewish adventures, interactive circle time, music and movement, bubbles, parachutes, and more. Delicious brunch served. 718-207-7185 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, Dec. 23, 6 pm Chabad at the Oceanfront: North End Giant Menorah Lighting At the home of Dr. Mark Lipton, 232 43rd Street, Virginia Beach Virginia.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 5 pm Chabad of Tidewater/Chabad at the Oceanfront Annual Chanukah Extravaganza at the Giant Mount Trashmore Menorah! At the Mt. Trashmore parking lot near the Y. Featuring Chanukah treats, crafts for kids, and more. www.chabadoftidewater.com/menorah.
Saturday, Dec. 28 Congregation Beth El Beth El will recognize and honor the elders (ages 70 and older) in the synagogue family on Shabbat morning, the sixth day of Chanukah. Following the special service, potato latkes will be served at the Shabbat kiddush luncheon. 757-625-7821.
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EASY LATKES by Ina Garten Makes 12 (3-inch) pancakes 1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled 1½ tablespoons grated yellow onion 1 extra-large egg, beaten 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, divided 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided Sour cream and/or applesauce, for serving Grate the potatoes lengthwise on a box grater, as you would grate carrots. Spread the potatoes and the grated onion out on a clean kitchen towel and roll it up like a jelly roll. Squeeze the towel to remove as much liquid as possible without breaking the potatoes. Transfer the potato mixture to a medium bowl, add the egg, flour, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and combine well.
Heat a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat until sizzling. Drop a scant ¼ cup measure of the potato mixture into the pan and repeat to make 6 latkes. Using a small metal spatula, lightly flatten each latke. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the latkes with the spatula and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and heat until sizzling. Repeat to make 6 more latkes with the remaining potato mixture and transfer them to the plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle all the latkes lightly with salt, if desired, and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream or applesauce.
Ina Garten’s friend, Sheryl Haft at Latkepalooza
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Sunday, December 15, 11:30 am–2:30 pm Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
ook for Ina Garten’s recipe in Goodnight Bubbala, her friend, Sheryl Haft’s, book. Haft will be at Latkepalooza and Camp Extravaganza. A light latke lunch will be served. See page 29. Presented by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Tidewater Jewish Foundation, along with PJ Library and One Happy Camper Foundation. Free and open to the community with RSVP (required) to JewishVA.org/Latkepalooza.
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hmaltz Brewing Company officially turns 23 this Hanukkah season as the largest, the smallest, the most award-winning, and astonishingly still the only Jewish celebration beer company in the country. For the second year in a row, the Upstate New York brewery releases for the holiday season their official Hanukkah beer in 12 oz. can 4-packs. Chanukah, Hanukkah: Pass The Beer® is a Dark Ale brewed with Chocolate (8% ABV, 8 Malts, 8 Hops) that celebrates the eight nights of Hanukkah. Shmaltz Brewing beers are available
throughout New York City from distributors Gasko & Meyer and S.K.I. Beer, and nationally by Artisanal Imports and a network of Chosen Beer distributors featured on shmaltzbrewing.com. Founder and owner Jeremy Cowan established Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco in 1996. The first 100 cases of He’brew Beer were hand-bottled and delivered throughout the Bay Area from the back of his grandmother’s Volvo. Shmaltz Brewing now sells across 25 states, through 40 wholesalers and in nearly 5,000 retailers.
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(My Jewish Learning via JTA)— Hanukkah’s proximity to Christmas can complicate the holiday. For those who try to make Hanukkah more like Christmas, it inevitably seems to fall short. Still, while Hanukkah was traditionally not one of the most central holidays of the Jewish calendar, it can offer opportunities for fun and joyous celebration. Here are some suggestions for how to make this Hanukkah memorable, while staying true to its essential meaning. Bring light out of darkness There are many ways to make this year’s Hanukkah a real “Festival of Lights.” As Rabbi Arthur Waskow writes in his book, Seasons of Joy, “Hanukkah is the moment when light is born from darkness, hope from despair.” Historically, this was reflected in the unlikely victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, in the oil that brought light for eight days instead of one, and in the very act of lighting candles during the darkest time of the year. Before lighting candles, consider taking a family walk. Go outside together and feel the darkness. Even in the city,
the month of December has a special darkness to it. Then, come in from the cold, light the hanukkiyah, and feel the contrast. The oil in the Temple menorah can be understood as an early example of energy conservation. In keeping with that theme, try using environmentally sustainable candles this year. According to Hazon, a Jewish environmental organization, “beeswax, soy, and palm oil provide more natural alternatives to the traditional paraffin Hanukah candles.” Several vendors sell beeswax Hanukkah candles, and GoodLight Natural Candles’ Hanukkah candles not only claim to be “clean burning and non-toxic,” but the company “contributes to sustainable palm farming.” Hanukkah is also a wonderful time to bring light into the lives of those around us. The winter months can be especially difficult for those who need help. Why not volunteer as a family at a local soup kitchen, shelter, or any place that is personally meaningful? Get creative Hanukkah can be a great time for simple and fun family art projects. There is a
Hanukkah custom for each member of the family to have his/her own hanukkiyah. This year, why not make one? Buy lots of small votive candles and decorate the glass with a collage of colorful pieces of tissue paper. When the votives are lit, light shines through the tissue paper like stained glass. This is a great hanukkiyah for the Friday night of the holiday, when the candles are supposed to burn for at least two hours— as long as Shabbat candles burn. No matter what kind of hanukkiyah you use, try to place it in as visible a spot as possible to fulfill the mitzvah of “pirsumei nisa” (publicizing the miracle). And don’t forget the decorations. Judaica stores sell lots of colorful Hanukkah decorations that make the house feel more festive Make each night special One of the wonderful things about Hanukkah is that it lasts eight days. Giving each night a special theme can increase the excitement and take some of the attention away from presents. Themes might include “Tzedakah (charity) night,” “Sing-Off Night,” “Party Night” and, of course, “Presents Night.” I know a family that eats a different kind of potato latke (pancake) for dinner each night. Apples, cauliflower, or even meat can be delicious
additions to the traditional potato latke. Cheese is also a great Hanukkah food, as it recollects the heroism of Judith, who cleverly fed Holofernes, a general fighting the Maccabees, salty cheese, and wine. When the general promptly fell asleep, Judith cut off his head and thereby saved her town from his tyranny. Hanukkah is also an ideal time for fun activities such as playing music, taking pictures, or making home movies documenting the year’s celebration. Celebrate uniqueness One of the miracles of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people were able to rededicate the Temple. Hanukkah today presents the opportunity to reconsecrate our own uniqueness as a religion, a people, and a culture. Hanukkah is a time to discuss as a family some of the blessings and challenges of being Jewish in a predominantly Christian country. One way to spark discussion on this subject is to watch a movie that in some way tackles the subject of assimilation. Some suggestions include My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Avalon, Keeping the Faith, The Jazz Singer, Monsoon Wedding, and American Desi. Have a joyous and meaningful Hanukkah!
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A movie marathon for all 8 nights of Hanukkah Elana Spivack
(Alma via JTA)—Fry up some latkes and fulfill the 11th commandment by observing a movie marathon for each day of Hanukkah. Here are some suggestions perfect for the occasion:
Night 1: Little Fockers This third installment of the Meet the Parents saga is a phenomenal way to start the holiday for five reasons: 1. Barbra Streisand 2. Barbra Streisand 3. Barbra Streisand 4. Barbra Streisand 5. The classic trope of neurotic Jewish family meets Waspy family for the holidays, and chaos ensues. (Available on Amazon Prime and YouTube)
Night 2: An American Tail Steven Spielberg’s first animated production tells the story of plucky young Fievel Mousekewitz. The film opens with a Hanukkah celebration where Papa Mousekewitz gifts Fievel his hat before they embark to America. Oh yeah, and it’s a musical. Bring latkes and tissues. (Available on Amazon Prime and Netflix) Night 3: Full-Court Miracle This Disney Channel Original Movie should have reached the heights of High School Musical or Cadet Kelly. Based on a
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Collage by Alma
true story, this uplifting 2003 movie puts a modern-day spin on the story of the Maccabees as a Jewish boys basketball team search for a coach to lead them to victory. (Available on Amazon Prime and YouTube)
Night 4: Hitched for the Holidays Would any holiday season be complete without a Hallmark TV movie? This cheesy romance from 2012 shows yet another Hanukkah-meets-Christmas, but with a twist: Julie finds a temporary boyfriend, Rob, to placate her Jewish mother for the holiday season (#relatable). Will the nice Jewish girl really fall for a Catholic schoolboy? Yes. Obviously. It’s a Hallmark TV movie. (Available on Amazon Prime and YouTube) Night 5: The TV specials Binge these excellent holiday specials and skits all at once! Here is the absolute correct order in which to watch them: Saturday Night Live: Hanukkah Harry Saturday Night Live: Adam Sandler’s
Hanukkah Song Friends: The One with the Holiday Armadillo The OC: Best Chrismukkah Ever Rugrats: A Rugrats Chanukah
Night 6: Hanukkah the Movie Consider this the experimental day of Hanukkah. Give the gift of funding the Indiegogo for this bizarre Hanukkahslasher film. Then go call your parents. Night 7: The Hebrew Hammer This Jewish sendup of Blaxploitation films gives us the perfect Hanukkah hero. Or at least a Hanukkah hero. (Available on Amazon Prime) Night 8: 8 Crazy Nights You knew this one was coming. It sums up the last eight days: animation, basketball, Adam Sandler, Hanukkah and lots of grownup humor. (Available on Amazon Prime and YouTube) Elana Spivack is a New York City-based writer.
The quest for annual Hanukkah stamps Ronald Scheiman
he United States Post Office is not producing a new Hanukkah stamp this year. According to the USPS, sufficient quantities remain from last year. This means there will not be an automatic shipment to post offices. Each individual post office will have to order the Hanukkah stamps. Past history has shown that many do not. So, in order to have Hanukkah stamps in time to mail Hanukkah cards, go to a local post office and ask them to order Hanukkah stamps as soon as possible so they will have them in time for the holiday.
Disney’s Elena of Avalor is introducing a Latina Jewish princess who celebrates Hanukkah Marcy Oster
(JTA)—Disney introduced a Latina Jewish princess who celebrates Hanukkah. The princess, still to be named, appears on the Disney Channel series Elena of Avalor this month. The Hanukkah-themed episode features a visiting princess who is from a “Latino Jewish kingdom,” the Disney Channel announced. The series centers on Princess Elena Castillo Flores, a 16-year-old who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress. For the past two seasons, the teenager has
been learning to govern Avalor. The third season launches in October. Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the Jewish actress who played Meadow on The Sopranos, will provide the voice for the new princess. “I am so excited to voice Disney’s first Jewish princess,” she tweeted. This, despite the fact that actress Sarah Silverman asserted last year that her character in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz, is a Jewish princess. Walt Disney, the company’s late founder, is infamous for having held anti-Semitic views.
May light, health and peace fill your home this Hanukkah.
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Haim, Jack Black, and more record songs for a Hanukkah album
(JTA)—Adam Sandler is finally getting some competition in the Hanukkah music world. Haim, Jack Black, the Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, and other prominent artists have recorded songs for a Hanukkah album titled Hanukkah+, the record label Verve Forecast announced. The album also features contributions from folk singer Loudon Wainwright III, Adam Green (of the band Moldy Peaches), Alex Frankel (of the electronic group Holy Ghost and a founder of the Jewish deli Frankel’s in Brooklyn) and more. Rolling Stone reported that the record is a mix of covers and original songs. Haim’s contribution is a cover of the late
28 | Jewish News | Hanukkah | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Leonard Cohen’s If It Be Your Will. Black wrote two originals, and the Flaming Lips and Wainwright also penned new songs for the album. The project is the brainchild of Grammy-winning music supervisor Randall Poster, who was inspired by Yo La Tengo’s annual run of Hanukkah concerts. “When our old friend Randy Poster asked us to contribute to an album of Hanukkah songs he was putting together, we were kind of stumped,” Yo La Tengo, which is led by singer Ira Kaplan, said in a statement. “As non-practicing Jews (and non-Jews), truthfully, the holiday has little meaning for us (that’s the meta joke behind Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows), but we were open to inspiration.”
Latkepalooza: A family celebration Sunday, December 15, 11:30 am–2:30 pm, Free, Sandler Family Campus Lisa Richmon
community celebration of Hanukkah, Latkepalooza features three children’s books and authors, a camp extravaganza, light lunch and latkes, raffle, crafts, and live music. Latkepalooza 2019 is a family-friendly mini-book festival filled with group activities, camp reunions, virtual tours, latkes, music, crafts, sports, and storytellers. It doesn’t get more magical than children’s book authors Sheryl Haft, Jane Bernstein, and Leslea Newman delivering delight in their own special way. Consider, for example, the touching
story of Gina from Siberia. Author Jane Bernstein tells the story from the perspective of Victor, a kind and gentle dog who rescues Gina from extreme loneliness. The book is about fitting in and adjusting to change. A surprise four-legged visitor will come alive off the page and is sure to make everyone smile. In Goodnight Bubbala, Sharyl Haft’s story about a bubbala and latkes makes the perfect recipe for fun and gratitude. And, Gittel’s Journey by Leslea Newman tells the heart-tugging story of a young girl starting over in a new country, all alone. Each story has a meaningful message for children and adults.
Leslea Newman shares a family story about a brave little girl
earn about the real Gittel from Gittel’s Journey: an Ellis Island Story at Latkepalooza. Leslea Newman grew up knowing that her aunt’s mother, Sadie Gringrass, traveled to America alone when she was a young girl. All that she carried with her was a piece of paper with an address and the name of a relative written on it. When Newman decided to write her great aunt’s story, she called her Aunt Phyllis and asked about her mother. Shortly after her Aunt Phyllis’s 90th birthday, Newman presented her with Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story. One hundred and eight years after Sadie Gringrass, the real “Gittel,” traveled to the United States, hear the remarkable story of a small girl going on a big journey.
Ina and Jeffrey Garten host the book launch party for Sheryl Haft’s Goodnight Bubbala, a #1 Amazon Best Seller. A joyful parody of the classic Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Bubbala celebrates family, Hanukkah, Jewish culture, Yiddish, and the universal values of expressing gratitude and cherishing loved ones.
Summer camps will bring a different kind of light to the Hanukkah celebration. Visiting sleepaway camps such as Camp Perlman, Camps Airy and Louise, and Zeke and Ramah will provide information and virtual tours. Adding to the ‘festival’ theme will be trivia games, a prize wheel, scratch art dreidels, cornhole and ring toss. Information about PJ library, Strelitz International Academy and Jfit will also be available.
The event is part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffee Family Jewish Book Festival and One Happy Camper’s Camp Extravaganza, with PJ Library. Support is from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, and One Happy Camper Foundation. RSVP (required) to JewishVA.org/ Latkepalooza. For more information, contact Sierra Lautman at 757-965-6107 or email@example.com.
Jane Bernstein and four-legged friends
ina, the little terrier featured in Gina from Siberia, may have inspired Jane Bernstein to get a furry friend of her own. Rozzie, another small dog with a big personality, was welcomed into Bernstein’s home just before the book was published. Rozzie travels just as well as Gina. However, instead of being wrapped in a blanket and disguised as a baby, Rozzie is usually comfortably nestled in a little bag by Bernstein’s feet. Hear more about Gina’s excursion. While Rozzie isn’t able to make it to Latkepalooza, a couple of other four-legged friends will be there.
Leslea and her Aunt Phyllis.
Rozzie the dog.
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it’s a Wrap Following provocative panel on end-of-life issues, Hadassah seeks to rebuild presence in area
Great Big Challah Bake celebrates five years Sierra Lautman
Vivian Margulies, Harriet Dickman, Janis Foleck, Charlie Sprung, Lynn Seltzer, Nancy Schreier, and Eileen Rosenblum.
or its first event in Tidewater in recent years, national and regional leadership of Hadassah could only guess what the turnout would be for a program on ethical issues surrounding end-oflife. The event on Sunday, November 3 at the Simon Family JCC did not disap- Scott Alperin, Rabbi Lila Kagedin, Charlie Sprung, and Tom Elder. point, with nearly 90 people attending. The panel featured international Seaboard, a previous and soon-to-be-reand local experts including Dr. Charles turning Tidewater resident who helped Sprung, world-renowned ethicist and spearhead the event. director emeritus of the Medical Intensive “Our primary goal was to offer the Care Department at Hadassah Hebrew Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads University Medical Center in Jerusalem, community a glimpse of the current work and Rabbi Lila Kagedan, who teaches bioof Hadassah and the exciting programethics and is a chaplain in hospitals and ming available,” says Goretsky. hospices in Boston. Rabbi Kagedan is the As Hadassah determines its future first Orthodox woman to adopt the title presence in the area, it has set up a of rabbi. Also, on stage were Tom Elder, Facebook page at Hadassah-Norfolk/ director of Freda Gordon Hospice and Virginia-Beach and is encouraging sugPalliative Care; Scott Alperin, an elder law gestions of other programs and initiatives. attorney; and Joel Rubin, the afternoon’s Email hadassahNFKVB@gmail.com. moderator. “It was compelling to learn the benTo learn more about Hadassah’s work in efits of purposeful communication with Israel, the United States and around the loved ones concerning end-of-life care,” world, visit https://www.hadassah.org/ says Sharon Goretsky, organizational 360degrees/ or https://www.hadassah.org/ vice president of Hadassah Southern health-medicine-in-israel/research/. 30 | Jewish News | December 9, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
he Fifth Annual Great Big Challah Bake offered a chance to learn and experience the joy and mitzvah of making challah. Chaired by Darcy Bloch, B’nai Israel Congregation invited all Jewish women to participate in this event, which took place last month at the synagogue. From varied backgrounds, the women who attended ranged from children to seniors, religiously observant to secular, affiliated to unaffiliated, first timers to regular Challah Bake attendees. Tables were filled with friends, sis- Stacie Hofheimer Moss, Marcia Hofheimer, and Bonnie Brand. ters, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers—all coming together to share in the uniquely Jewish experience of baking challah. “Challah is made up of individual strands that come together to form a beautiful, delicious unit. Similarly, the Jewish people is formed by many unique individuals, and we all operate as a part of something larger. When we come together as a group to do a mitzvah and celebrate our Jewishness, we actually become one beautiful, cohesive unit!” said Chamie Orbach-Haber, as she shared insight about why challah is so different than other bread. The Great Big Challah Bake is held in hundreds of communities around the world each year, with tens of thousands of women participating. It’s a lead up to the Shabbat Project, an even larger global observation. Held this year, November 15–16, B’nai Israel Congregation hosted the events for Tidewater. The Challah Bake is a fulfillment of the High Holiday prayer, V’yei’asu chulam agudah achat la’asot retzonecha b’leivav shalem “And may we all come together as one community to do G-d’s will with a full heart.” For information or to get involved with future initiatives of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Jewish Innovation office, contact Sierra Lautman, director, at SLautman@ujft.org or 965-6107. Beth, Layla, and Maria Dorsk.
it’s a Wrap Ohef Sholom Temple celebrates 175 years with Gala
early 300 people arrived at Ohef Sholom Temple on Saturday, November 16 for the Temple’s 175th Anniversary Gala. The evening was beyond expectations, and really offered something for everyone: a jazz quartet to start the party, a dance band, and a piano bar where spontaneous singing took place. Hors d’oeuvres were passed early in the evening and a Middle-Eastern buffet was enjoyed for dinner. Dessert was a seven-foot cake that included a timeline of Ohef Sholom’s history and images of 54 of the temple’s presidents. The library held four screens that featured past Ohef Sholom parties, Purimsphiels, archival images, and the
Ohef Sholom Temple presidents behind the cake marking the congregation’s 175 years: Terri Budman, Bob Rubin, Karen Fine, Steve Kayer, Eddie Kramer, Linda Spindel, Charlie Nusbaum, Kurt Rosenbach, Minette Copper, Linda Fox-Jarvis, Alan Stein, Rob Goodman, Bill Nusbaum, and Kim Simon Fink.
recent WOOSH videos…We Of Ohef Sholom, in which members shared snippets of their Ohef Sholom stories. A brief program included a presentation by Congresswoman Elaine Luria, an Ohef Sholom congregant. The Honorable Kenneth Alexander, Mayor, City of Norfolk, and Norfolk City Councilwomen Andria McClellan and Courtney Doyle, also attended. During the program, Rabbi
Rosalin Mandleberg was celebrated for her 15 years with the congregation. A particularly special moment was when Rabbi Roz, Cantor Jennifer Rueben, Rabbi Lawrence Forman, and Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel (a surprise guest), led the Shehecheyanu and other blessings. Private labeled wine, commemorative buttons, an ice sculpture, and a special place to take photographs, all combined
to create a memorable evening for the congregation. Chaired by Susan and Alex Pincus, the committee worked for more than a year—concepting and implementing the night. Kim Simon Fink and Terri Budman served as co-chairs of the 100th Anniversary of the Sanctuary and the 175th Anniversary of the Temple celebrations, which began in October 2018.
Rabbi Roz Mandelberg, Rabbi Lawrence Forman, Cantor Jen Rueben, and Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel.
Cantor Jen Rueben, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, and Rabbi Roz Mandelberg.
jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2019 | Jewish News | 31
what’s happening Save the Date, for a Date with the State: Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Yaakov Katz: Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief A conversation with Herm Shelanski, Vice Admiral USN, Ret.
Monday, December 9, 7:30 pm Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
Melissa Eichelbaum, Leigh Casson, Hannah Mancoll, Callah Terkeltaub, Carly Glikman, and Andie Eichelbaum at the Virginia State Capitol. February 2019.
embers of Jewish communities from across the Commonwealth go each year to the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond to collaborate on Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day, also known as Date with the State. This annual event is a powerful forum to effectively communicate with General Assembly members about issues of importance to the Jewish community. Tidewater’s delegation will travel by bus to and from Richmond, leaving the Simon Family JCC at 7 am and returning by 4 pm. While in Richmond, the Tidewater delegation will divide into teams to visit the regions’ State Senators and Delegates. The delegation will convene for lunch with other Virginia Jewish
communal lobbyists, and as in years past, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General have been invited to join the group and address the issues important to the community. The cost is $36, which includes a kosher lunch and helps defray the cost of transportation. For more information, e-mail Megan Zuckerman, director, Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 965-6112. To reserve a seat on the bus (payment confirms participation for the day) by January 29, visit www.JewishVa. org/CRCDateWiththeState.
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aakov Katz’s book, Shadow Strike, tells the never-before-told inside story of how Israel stopped Syria from becoming a global nuclear nightmare and its far-reaching implications. Hear Katz tell the story of the espionage, political courage, military might, and psychological warfare behind Israel’s daring operation to stop one of the greatest known acts of nuclear proliferation. Before Katz took on the role of editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, he spent two years as a senior policy advisor to Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Diaspora Affairs. FREE with RSVP (required) at JewishVa.org/IsraelToday. For more information on the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ 9th annual Israel Today series, or to learn more about the Community Relations Council’s initiatives, contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director, at MZuckerman@ujft.org or 965-6112.
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what’s happening The Face Tells the Secret, Jane Bernstein Monday, December 16, noon, Beth Sholom Village
story of a woman who discovers love and learns how to open herself to life’s happier relationships, Jane Bernstein’s The Face Tells the Secret is, as Sherry Lieberman, notes, “a definite page-turner.” Lieberman is the Simon Family JCC Book Club leader. Bernstein will share details from the book, sign copies and answer questions when she visits Tidewater next week. The event is part of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, which is held in coordination with the Jewish Book Council, the only organization in the organized American Jewish community whose sole purpose is
the promotion of Jewish books. $12 lunch/$21 lunch and book. Bundled registration for lunch and signed book closes December 9. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva.org/bookfest or contact Patty Shelanski, Arts + Ideas manager, at 757- 4523184 or pshelanski@ ujft.org.
Keeping Tradition IS OUR LEGACY THE AFTEL FAMILY BEACH GOERS | ADVENTURE SEEKERS | PHILANTHROPISTS
Jewish Museum and Cultural Center: “Saturdays At Seven”
or its 10th Annual Chevra Cinema Series, the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is featuring “Saturdays At Seven.” These four Saturday evening films, beginning at 7 pm, will have an introductory commentary by the cinema specialist who chose the evening movie. The series begins January 4, 2020, with Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel presenting the film, The Chosen, a classic adapted from Chaim Potok’s book by the same title. On Saturday, January 11, Old Dominion University Professor of English, Peter Adams will introduce the Woody Allen film, The Front, which explores McCarthyism of the 1950s. Barbara Rossen, administrator and curator of the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center, will present The Debt, on February 1,
a movie drama involving a secret mission to capture a Nazi War criminal. “Saturdays At Seven” will conclude with Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand on February 29. This final film will be introduced by Andrew Quicke, the former Bureau Chief CBN-Jerusalem, Israel chair, and professor of Cinema-Television and Performing Arts at Regent University. The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center is a non-profit organization providing educational opportunities regarding Jewish history, faith, and culture. There is no admission cost for the films, although donations are always welcome. The museum is located at 607 Effingham Street in Portsmouth. For more information, contact Barbara Rossen at jmccportsmouth@ gmail.com.
TIDEWATER JEWISH FOUNDATION HAS BEEN HELPING MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY DEFINE THEIR LEGACIES WITH PHILANTHROPY FOR OVER 35 YEARS. This holiday season, add philanthropy to your family’s legacy and ensure that your cherished organizations have the resources they need to thrive today and plan for tomorrow.
WHAT’S YOUR LEGACY? For more information, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner email@example.com | 757-965-6103 | foundation.jewishva.org
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Calendar December 10, Tuesday Baby & Me—An opportunity to bond with your baby and other moms (or dads) through exploration, play, music, and movement. Classes are for newborns-18 months. Free for JCC members, $5 for potential members. Contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org to register.
Come bond & learn together! Bond with your baby (newborns to 18 months) and other moms (or dads) through exploration, play, music & movement. A Shalom Baby program.
Simon Family JCC 9:30 AM 2nd Tuesdays Dec. 10, Jan 14, Feb. 11, March 10, April 14, May 12
5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23462
FREE for JCC members $5 for potential members
To register, contact Carly Glikman, outreach manager 757.965.6127 • CGlikman@ujft.org
December 14, Saturday Kids Night Out Simon Family JCC. 6–10 pm. Need a Date Night? Kids Night Out is in session the third Saturday of each month for JCC members. Children from 6 weeks to 12 years old will enjoy a night full of games, crafts, snacks, and swimming. (Swimming for those four and older who can swim without a flotation device. Lifeguard supervised) $15 per child; $12.50 for siblings. Space is limited. To register, visit the JCC front desk or call 757-321-2338. DECEMBER 15, SUNDAY A community celebration of Hanukkah, Latkepalooza is part of the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, with One Happy Camper’s Camp Extravaganza, and PJ Library along with support from the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. Featuring three children’s authors, music, crafts, and a light latke lunch. Free, fun for all ages, 11:30 am–2:30 pm. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. For more information on authors, activities, times, or to RSVP (required), visit jewishva.org/latkepalooza. See page 29. DECEMBER 16, MONDAY Jane Bernstein, author of The Face Tells the Secret tells the story about a woman who finds love, explores disability, and raises questions about the responsibility of caring for relatives. $12 lunch/$21 lunch and book if purchased by Dec. 9. 12:00 pm, Beth Sholom Village. With the Simon Family JCC Book Club. For more information or to RSVP (required), visit jewishva.org/bookfestival. December 17, Thursday YAD Golf and Brew Happy Hour. Join UJFT’s Young Adult Division for a round at Top Golf in Virginia Beach. Golf on YAD, drinks on participants! Happy Hour starts at 5:30pm. January 8, Wednesday Charlie Harary: Unlocking Greatness . The best-selling author explains why you have the capacity to transform your life. 7:30 pm. Sandler Family Campus. RSVP to jewishva.org/bookfest. Thursday, January 16 Michael Roizen: What to Eat When, A Strategic Plan to Improve your Health & Life Through Food. The chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Michael Roizen’s guide reveals how to use food to enhance your life. 12 noon. $12 lunch. Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival in partnership with Simon Family JCC’s Jfit, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals, and Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Sandler Family Campus. RSVP to jewishva.org/bookfest.
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Send submissions for calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
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mazel tov to
who knew? Scarlett Johansson: Game of Thrones star cancels Belgium appearance over parade AMSTERDAM ( JTA)—Carice van Houten, a Dutch actress known for her role in the hit series Game of Thrones, canceled a television appearance in Belgium over the use of caricatures of Jews at a parade there. Van Houten, who portrayed Melisandre in the series, and her associate, Halina Reijn, who is married to a Jewish soccer player, both pulled out of the panel of the talk show The Appointment after learning it would host Christoph D’Haese, the mayor of Aalst, who has insisted on the legitimacy of caricaturing Jews at his city’s iconic annual carnival. In March, the carnival featured a float with effigies of grinning Jews holding money, one carrying a rat on its shoulder. The float received widespread
condemnation, including by Belgium’s UNIA watchdog on racism, which called it anti-Semitic. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, condemned the display as “racist and anti-Semitic” and scheduled a vote on whether to remove Aalst from its list of culturally significant events. D’Haese said Aalst would leave UNESCO and insisted again that the display falls within legitimate expression of satire in the context of the carnival’s promotion of edgy humor. “No Halina Reijn and Carice Van Houten as advertised,” Phara de Aguirre, the Belgian show’s presenter, wrote on Twitter. “Reijn is married to a Jewish man and doesn’t want to share a table with Aalst’s mayor.” De Aguirre quoted Reijn as having called the mayor “an anti-Semite” and said Van Houten canceled out of solidarity.
Jack Rephan receives recognition from Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Construction Law and Public Contracts Section
he Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Construction Law Section presented a certificate of recognition to Jack Rephan in appreciation and gratitude for his work as a founder of the Section in 1979 and his service on the initial Board of Governors for the Section. The presentation and acknowledgement were made last month at a reception following the first day of the 40th Construction Law Seminar at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville. Rephan is a Pender & Coward shareholder who practices in the areas of construction law, government contracts, mediation and arbitration. Pender & Coward’s attorneys practice throughout the Virginia from offices in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk.
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.
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Obituaries Hilde Gonsenhauser Deutsch Norfolk—Our beloved Hilde passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at age 95. Hilde was born on February 13, 1924 to Hermann and Frieda Herz in Hildesheim, Germany. The family left Germany to escape the Nazi persecution, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa in January, 1936. As a child, Hilde had the distinction of being chosen to have her portrait painted by the famous South African artist Irma Stern. At that time, her father could not afford to buy the painting and the family has spent many years searching for it globally. Hilde married Helmut Gonsenhauser on September 5, 1948. Together they played an important part in the establishment of the synagogue and Jewish life in the town of Milnerton near Cape Town. Helmut passed away on April 19, 1980. Hilde emigrated from South Africa to Norfolk, in 1986 to be close to her family, settling into her Ghent apartment which was to be her home for the rest of her life. Hilde was a regular attendee at Congregation Beth El. In 1990 Hilde married Ted Deutsch who passed away after seven years of marriage. Despite losing two spouses as well as twice having to establish a life in a new country, Hilde always found a way to move forward. Hilde was larger than life, always immaculately dressed and ready to celebrate the good times. She was a strong and fiercely loyal woman who loved her family most of all. Hilde, the matriarch of our family was a very generous woman who supported many causes. She was loved and admired by all. In addition to her parents and her husbands, Hilde was predeceased by her brother Helmut Herz. Hilde is survived by her daughter Joan Joffe and husband Eric, son Mark Gonsenhauser and fiance Michelle, all of Virginia Beach. Also grandchildren Carin Simon and husband Mike, Francine Rossen and husband Jeff, Howard Joffe, David Gonsenhauser and Lauren Gonsenhauser. She is also survived by her great-grandsons Nate and Ari Simon and Clay, Morgan and Evan Rossen.
Memorial donations can be made to Congregation Beth El, Beth Sholom Village, the Strelitz International Academy or a charity of the donor’s choice. The family thanks all the kind and compassionate people that helped Hilde in her final days. A funeral service took place at Congregation Beth El with Rabbi Murray Ezring officiating. A private burial at Princess Anne Memorial Park followed. Natalie Marilyn Donn Parkland, Fla.—Natalie Marilyn Donn (nee Orleans), 71, passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2019 in a Boca Raton, Fla. hospital. Natalie grew up in Bethesda, Md. She raised her family in Norfolk and moved to Langhorne, Penn. in 2009 to enjoy her grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, Ruth Cohen Orleans and Arnold Orleans, and her husband, Ronald Phillip Donn. Natalie graduated from Russel Sage College as a Registered Nurse, and was devoted to caring for others, as a nurse, volunteer, loving friend, and family member. She especially adored and focused her efforts on care for children. Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Jessica D. Goodman (Michael); grandchildren, Roni and Leo of Parkland Fla.; her daughter, Courtney Donn of Tampa, Florida; and her brother, Ronald Orleans (Jeanne) of Scituate, Mass. A funeral service was conducted in the Norfolk Chapel of H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg officiating. Burial followed in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at michaeljfox.org or to the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be shared at www.hdoliver.com. Ireene Goldstein Winn Virginia Beach—Ireene Winn passed away November 21, 2019. She attended William and Mary College and embarked on many interesting travels and experiences that she enjoyed regaling with her family. She will stay in their hearts forever, and as Mom/ Bubbie would say, “I’m just telling you...”!
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She was predeceased by her sister, Frances Reingold and the love of her life and best friend for over 60 years, Jeff Winn. She is survived by her #1 son, Robert Winn, of Atlanta, her #1 daughter, Nancy Winn Hackney of Virginia Beach, and her four grandchildren, Jennifer, Amanda, Rachael, and Dillon. She will also be missed by her “boys,” Redford and Newman. A private graveside service was officiated by Rabbi Lawrence Forman, a personal friend. Donations may be made to the charity of choice. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com. Betty Harris Zetlin Norfolk—Betty Harris Zetlin, 93, died, Thursday, November 28, 2019 in a local hospital. She was a native of Norfolk and was the daughter of the late Archie and Minnie Klaff Harris. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Henry Zetlin and her son, Herbert. Betty was a graduate of Maury High School and Goucher College, Towson, Md. She was a founding member of Temple Israel and Temple Israel Sisterhood. She was a life member of Jewish Women International and the Auxiliary of Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia, Jewish Family Service and Friends of the Norfolk Public Library. In 1984, she was awarded the Phillis Blackman Award for B’nai Brith Women. Survivors include her children, Barbara and Steven Shepard of Clearwater, Florida, Patti Zetlin of Denver, Colorado, and Ruth Zetlin of North Bethesda, Maryland.; her grandchildren, Dana and Adam Shepard, and her great grandson Donovan DeMahop. Funeral Services were held in the Norfolk chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Interment was in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Michael Panitz officiated. Memorial donations may be made to the Henry and Betty Zetlin Endowment of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation or the Rabbi Joseph Goldman Education and Endowment Fund of Temple Israel. Online condolences at hdoliver.com.
Allan Gerson, lawyer who made it easier for terror victims to sue governments Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Allan Gerson, a lawyer who made it easier for the families of terror victims to sue foreign governments, has died. His daughter Daniela told family and friends that he passed away Sunday, Dec. 1 at his Washington, D.C., home. His wife, Joan Nathan, the cookbook author and authority on Jewish cuisine, told the Washington Post that Gerson, who was 74, died from complications from the degenerative brain disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob. In 1992, by his mid-40s, Gerson had already made a name for himself as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice team that helped bring to justice Nazi war criminals, a Reagan administration deputy assistant attorney general whose focus was human rights and a senior counsel to U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. Gerson then launched the process that would lead him to the unprecedented challenge of suing Libya for its government’s role in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. The bomb killed 259 people on board and 11 on the ground. The efforts of Gerson and his team were frustrated at first by the principle of sovereign immunity, which maintains that foreign governments are above the law. Separate lawsuits targeting Pan Am for poor security measures seemed to be the more sensible route for redress for victims’ families. Rebuffed by the courts, Gerson took his case to Congress, which eventually passed laws that were upheld by the courts and have led to a new discipline of law that holds foreign entities accountable for terrorist attacks on U.S. civilians. Under the laws, attorneys have successfully sued Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization, among others. Gerson’s efforts led to $10 million payouts by the Libyan government to each Lockerbie victim starting in the early 2000s. A separate lawsuit Gerson joined
Obituaries against Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks is still in the courts. Gerson, a native of the former Soviet Union, moved with his Polish-born parents to the United States in 1950 under false identities, assuming the names of a family that had permission to enter the country. They eventually obtained legal status and citizenship under their real names. That led Gerson to identify in a 2017 op-ed for the Washington Post with “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who had arrived as children. “Deportation is terribly punitive, especially for the young who have known no home other than the United States and did nothing worse than hold on to their parents’ hands,” he wrote. “And even if not deported, today’s dreamers could still face severe deprivation, including limits on their ability to work and to obtain funding for college.” Gerson graduated from New York University Law School, and also earned a graduate degree in law from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a doctorate from Yale. Gerson, who dabbled successfully in photography and jewelry design, is survived by three children, two grandchildren, and a brother, in addition to his wife. His family asked that he be honored with contributions to HIAS, the Jewish immigration advocacy group that assisted in his settlement and that now advocates for dreamers.
Shelly Morrison, who played Rosario the maid in Will & Grace Shelly Morrison, a Jewish actress best known for her role as a maid on the long-running comedy series Will & Grace, has died. Morrison, who retired in 2017 after a 50-year acting career, died Sunday, Dec. 1 of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 83. She played the Salvadoran maid Rosario Inés Consuelo Yolanda Salazar on the NBC comedy from 1999 to 2006. The part had been written as a one-episode walk-on, but Morrison ended up performing in 68 episodes over eight seasons. Morrison was born Rachel Mitrani in New York to Jewish parents from Spain, and her first language was Spanish. She was a regular on another television series, The Flying Nun starring Sally Fields, playing a Puerto Rican nun, Sister Sixto, who had trouble with English, from 1967 to 1970.
Among her some 25 film appearances and 200 television appearances, Morrison portrayed a maid or housekeeper on 32 occasions. She appeared in movies with big-name actors including Dean Martin in How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, and Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl, both in
1968, as well as Gregory Peck in 1969’s Mackenna’s Gold. She also appeared with Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills in 1989, and with Salma Hayek in Fools Rush In in 1997. Her last official acting role was a voiceover in the 2012 animated film Foodfight! (JTA)
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arts and culture
Are the Jewish mobsters referenced in The Irishman real? Emily Burack
Very minor spoilers ahead for The Irishman—but nothing big, we promise. (JTA)—The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s latest organized crime epic, is now streamable on Netflix. Even if the significant digital de-aging of the actors involved is a bit distracting, the film’s good reviews hold up thanks in large part to its legendary director and cast—Scorsese and none other than Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino. Making a very brief appearance in the mafia madness? Jewish mobsters. The 3½-hour story follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), who becomes a hitman for the Bufalino crime family, led by Russel Bufalino (Pesci), and spends time working for union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). About 30 minutes into the film, Sheeran takes a job from mobster Whispers DiTullio (Paul Herman). Whispers instructs him to burn down the Cadillac Linen Service in Delaware, a competitor to the laundry company that Whispers owns in Atlantic City. Whispers also tells Sheeran that Cadillac Linen is owned by “a bunch of Jews,” hands Sheeran an envelope of cash and says, “Let them collect their insurance, which I’m sure they have plenty, and leave this f***ing other place alone, the one I’m involved in.” But Sheeran is spotted scouting out Cadillac Linen Services, and he’s called in to talk to another mobster, Angelo Bruno (Harvey Keitel). It turns out that the laundry is owned not only by the Jewish mob, but also by Bruno and his Italian gangsters. Bufalino vouches for him, saving Sheeran’s life. To atone, Sheeran is ordered to kill Whispers. Sheeran becomes indebted to Bufalino, and the subsequent killing is Sheeran’s first murder of The Irishman, setting him on a path for the rest of the film. “Whispers didn’t tell you it was Jew mob?” Bruno asks.
“He said Jew washerwomen,” Sheeran replies. So who exactly is the “Jew mob” referenced here? Let’s turn to the book on which the film was based. The real Frank Sheeran recounts in I Heard You Paint Houses, the source material for The Irishman, that two Jewish mobsters did in fact own Cadillac Linen Services: Cappy Hoffman and Woody Weisman. But Weisman may actually have been named Max “Willie” Weisberg. In a self-published book, Izzy: A Life Inside the Old Philadelphia Jew Mob, a Jewish mobster’s nephew writes that Cadillac Linen is really run by a man named Willie Weisberg. Samuel “Cappy” Hoffman, meanwhile, was called “the vice king” of Atlantic City. He died in 1970 at the age of 65. Between 1923 and 1962, he was arrested 23 times. Weisberg was the “chief lieutenant” for a prominent mob boss named Harry Stromberg, known as Nig Rosen, based out of Philadelphia.
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According to a 1950 U.S. Congress investigation into organized crime in interstate commerce, Hoffman and Weisberg were Stromberg’s first and second in command. It makes sense that they would control a corrupt laundry that serviced Atlantic City—Rosen’s influence extended to the South Jersey site, as well as Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Whether or not this incident truly happened as The Irishman recounts—an attempted burning of a laundry, followed by a murder—we’ll probably never know. What we do know: Jewish mobsters certainly existed. Jewish-American organized crime reached its heights during the 1920s and ’30s and largely declined after World War II. And while The Irishman does not get into it because many were in power before the film was set, New York was home to many famous Jewish mobsters. Here are some highlights: • J. Edgar Hoover called Louis “Lepke” Buchalter the “most dangerous criminal in the United States.” In 1932, Lepke helped organize the group known
as “Murder, Inc.,” bringing together a wide-ranging group of Jewish and Italian crime bosses. He was sentenced to death—the only mob boss to receive the death penalty—and executed in 1944. • Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein was best known for fixing the 1919 baseball World Series and being depicted in The Great Gatsby as Meyer Wolfsheim for that same act. Rothstein put together the largest gambling empire in the U.S. during the 1920s, realizing business opportunities during Prohibition. He was murdered in 1928 at age 46. • Meyer Lansky (born Meier Suchowlański in Poland) ran a wide gambling network and helped develop the National Crime Syndicate. He tried to retire in Israel in 1970, but his citizenship application was rejected because he was a “danger to public safety.” He died of natural causes in 1983. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency in its obituary called Lansky “an acknowledged financial wizard and one-time reputed czar of organized crime in the U.S. and many points overseas.”
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