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Interim deal with Iran



10 In Poland and Israel

13 BINA’s royal evening


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Israel Today Dec. 12, 7 pm

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2 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

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upfront Israel asked to join U.N. Human Rights Council group


srael was formally invited to join a regional group within the United Nations Human Rights Council. An invitation was sent Monday, Dec. 2 to Israel to join the Western European countries group, the French news agency AFP reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source. The West European and Others Group is a 28-nation bloc made up of European nations, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The European states had agreed to welcome Israel into the group in exchange for the Jewish state’s return to the Human Rights Council and its participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights Review process. Israel had left the council a year-and-ahalf ago to protest its alleged bias against the Jewish state. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, applauded the invitation.

“As President Obama has made clear, the United States opposes effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy as a full and equal member of the community of nations, and will continue to work vigorously to end structural discrimination against Israel throughout the U.N. system,” she said. Since 2006, the council has passed 27 resolutions criticizing Israel and convened 19 special sessions, six of which were about Israel. Regular sessions feature a permanent agenda item 7, “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” In January, Israel became the first country to refuse to attend the Universal Periodic Review, a review of a country’s rights record. All U.N. member nations are meant to submit regularly to the evaluation. On Oct. 29, Israel participated in the review, during which it was widely criticized for alleged human rights abuses. (JTA)

Obama extends Jerusalem embassy waiver WASHINGTON (JTA)—President Obama suspended for another six months a law requiring the U.S. Embassy in Israel to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Obama on Tuesday, Dec. 3 cited the “national security interests of the United States” in waiving the 1995 law. Obama’s predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, also routinely exercised the waiver, citing the U.S. interest in advancing Israeli-Arab peace and in keeping the region calm.

JERUSALEM ( JTA)—The Israeli army has been providing humanitarian aid to Syrians living in the border area, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. The military has provided food and water, as well as baby food, Yaalon said Tuesday, Dec. 3 during a tour of the IsraelSyria border, which the previous day was the site of a mortar shell attack and gunfire at Israeli soldiers. “In light of the fact that the villages here are besieged and have no access to other places, we are assisting them for humanitarian reasons,” Yaalon said. The villages have been affected by the nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war. The food is being transferred to the Syrian villages via the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, Haaretz reported, though in some cases Israeli soldiers place aid packages over the border and villagers retrieve them. Medics from the Israel Defense Forces reportedly have been treating injured Syrians at the border as well. Dozens of Syrians also have been evacuated to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

UpFront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

The Book Thief. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Interim deal on Iran. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Israel: Jewish and Democratic . . . . . . . 8

Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Educational trip to Poland and Israel. 10

Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

HAT open house. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

The songs of Zion: Remembering Arik Einstein. . . . . . 22

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Israeli army providing aid to Syrians on border, defense chief says

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jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2013 | Jewish News | 3

briefs Israel awarded international women’s rights prize An international forum on women’s rights awarded Israel with a prize for progress made in reducing gender gaps. The Women in Parliament Global Forum presented the award at a Nov. 27 ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels. Accepting the award for Israel was Daphne Barak-Erez, 48, the youngest justice on the nation’s Supreme Court. Some 500 female lawmakers, government officials and scientists from more than 100 countries attended the ceremony. Israel is among a minority of 9 percent of developed countries with gender-sensitive institutions in the seat of government, according to a 2012 report titled “Closing the Gender Gap” by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,. The report also said that in Israel and Norway, dropout rates for female high school students are at 27 percent—15 percent lower than for males. Still, Israel ranked 53 in the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Index, scoring well below countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and the United States—at 13, 14 and 23, respectively—but also lower than Latvia, Nicaragua, Malawi, Namibia and Bulgaria. Israel scored 56 in last year’s index. “The Israeli legal system is the arena in which the promise of gender equality is materializing,” Barak-Erez said during her address. This was “the result of legislation regarding gender equality in various areas of life as well as through judicial precedents.” (JTA) Report: al-Qaida has gained foothold in West Bank Al-Qaida reportedly has gained a foothold in the West Bank, an Islamist group has asserted. Majles Shura al-Mujahideen, or Holy Warriors’ Assembly, said on an Islamist web forum, “By the will of God Almighty, the global jihadi doctrine has reached the bank of pride, the West Bank, planting its foothold after all attempts to thwart its presence.” Three suspected terrorists said to have been planning terror attacks against Israel

and the Palestinian Authority who were killed by Israeli troops last month in the West Bank were members of al-Qaida, according to the forum, Reuters reported, and proved that the Islamist terror organization has established itself in the West Bank. Reuters reported that the group already has support in Gaza and that Majles Shura al-Mujahideen called for an end to IsraeliPalestinian peace negotiations. “We are serious about fighting the aggression against religion by the blaspheming Jews and the hypocritical collaborators,” the statement also said. (JTA)

Kanye West: Black people don’t have same connections as Jews Rapper Kanye West, saying “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people,” defended President Obama’s difficulty in passing his policies. West made the comments last month in an interview on the New York City radio station WWPR-105.1 FM. The Israeli daily Haaretz apparently was the first to note the interview on the hip hop and R&B station. “Man, let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money,” West said. “People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connection as oil people.” West went on to say, “Can you guarantee that your daughter can get a job at this radio station? But if you own this radio station, you could guarantee that. That’s what I’m talking about.” The rapper has made comparisons in the past that have raised the hackles of the Jewish community. In August 2011, he was booed at a concert in England after comparing himself to Hitler. “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m (expletive) insane, like I’m Hitler,” West told an audience of 40,000 at the Big Chill Festival. As the audience booed, he said, “One day the light will shine through, and one day people will understand everything I ever did.” (JTA)

4 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

Netanyahu-pope meeting at Vatican explores Middle East, papal trip to Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis in their first face-to-face meeting talked about the Middle East and plans for a papal trip to Israel, among other issues. Also at the Monday, Dec. 2 closeddoor, 25-minute audience at the Vatican, Netanyahu presented the pope with a book about the Spanish Inquisition written by his father, the late historian Benzion Netanyahu. The dedication read, “To the great pastor and guardian of our common heritage.” The Vatican said in a statement that the talks focused on the “complex political and social situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, expressing hope that a just and lasting solution respecting the rights of both parties may be reached as soon as possible.” During the meeting, Netanyahu reiterated the invitation to the pope to visit Israel that was extended earlier by Israeli leaders. Media have reported that the pope may make the trip in late May, but Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said no date for such a visit had been set. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, who also attended the audience, reportedly told the pope, “We are expecting you, we can’t wait.” The Vatican statement said that “aside from indicating the Holy Father’s plans for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” the pope and Netanyahu considered “various questions” regarding the status of Christians in Israel. It said they also discussed lingering financial and other questions that have stalled full implementation of a formal bilateral agreement between Israel and the Holy See “in the hope that the Agreement which has been in preparation for some time may be concluded forthwith.” Following the meeting, Netanyahu held bilateral talks with his Italian counterpart, Enrico Letta. Netanyahu on the previous night lit Chanukah candles at Rome’s main synagogue, where he reiterated warnings about

the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu kindled the menorah with Letta. Speaking at the ceremony, the Israeli leader repeated his warnings that the recent deal on Iran’s nuclear program was a “historic error.” Letta said he “knew Israel’s positions, doubts and fears.” He said the current economic and social crisis fed “extremism, hate and intolerance,” and he pledged to resist the “racism, intolerance and xenophobia” that were growing in Italy “in a worrying manner.” (JTA)

Herzl Center launches in Budapest An educational center named for Theodor Herzl, considered the founder of modern Zionism, was inaugurated in his native Budapest. The Herzl Center, which was dedicated Sunday, Dec. 1 at the city’s Israel Cultural Center, is designed to introduce Hungarian Jews to the Zionist movement. It was established by the World Zionist Organization and The Jewish Agency for Israel with the assistance of the Herzl Center in Jerusalem. The Budapest center will concentrate on the history and spiritual heritage of Herzl, who was born in 1860. Through interactive exhibits, the center will show visitors the past and present realization of Herzl’s thoughts about anti-Semitism and the importance of Jewish identity. Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, said at the inauguration ceremony that “it is very important to focus on the fight against increasing anti-Semitism together with the Europeans and here in Hungary together with the Hungarian government.” Sharansky expressed support for the Committee on Anti-Semitism, which will research and monitor anti-Semitism in Hungary from the Israeli Cultural Center. Also at the ceremony, Avraham Duvdevani, president of the World Zionist Organization, said that “nobody thought that after so many years of Herzl and after the Shoah, anti-Semitism would again reappear in Hungary. Herzl was mistaken thinking that the Jewish state would be the solution against anti-Semitism.” (JTA)

Torah Thought

Vaera and Bo —Sanctify freedom


he two consecutive Parshiyot in the Book of Exodus (Sefer Shemot) of Vaera and Bo serve as the most dramatic setting for a contest between two contenders for the divine title. Moses represents the unseen God of Freedom of the enslaved Israelites. In opposition stands Pharaoh, a totalitarian ruler who is considered by his Egyptian subject and himself, to be a God. Is the outcome in doubt? However, the God of Moses while invoking the ancestral bond is saddled with the formidable task of convincing both uncertain Moses and the devastated Israelites, that menacing Pharaoh is only a human being with clay feet; that he is no match for the One whose values and ideals are radically different from the one who has terrorized them for so long. God is set to teach the Egyptians and Israelites enduring lessons in spite and because of the human proclivity to resist God’s call for individual and communal transformation. Moses, raised in Pharaoh’s palace as an Egyptian prince, struggles like Joseph before him to recapture his very early Hebrew identity. Unlike Joseph, it would endanger his life and deprive him of a most privileged status. For both Joseph and

Moses, it is human misery of brothers that draws them back to their Hebrew roots, and shared fate. In time, Moses would be enshrined, far beyond any Pharaoh’s fame, as Israel’s and humanity’s paradigmatic leader, liberator and lawgiver. The rabbis would bestow upon him the most coveted title of “Moshe Rabbenu,” “Moses our Rabbi,” reflecting their own preferred emphasis on instruction and learning as vehicles for sacred growth and change. Moses was destined not to be the architect of confining pyramids of death, but of liberating principles of life through a towering Torah of ennobling teachings and tradition. Ironically, God’s stubborn yet successful attempt to draw reluctant hero Moses to his assigned sacred mission, helping him to overcome objections from within and without, is reminiscent of Moses’ own challenge. Moses recruits his exhausted and doubtful people to follow him in a mighty endeavor that will persist throughout his lifetime. The saga of the Exodus has loomed large in Jewish memory, empowering us to persevere throughout history’s enslavements and in the process to inspire humanity to believe in its obligation to overthrow tyranny and sanctify freedom, which is both a divine gift and a birthright. Our awesome journey from Egypt’s (Mitzrayim’s) constricting House of Bondage—physically, spiritually and psychologically—toward the enabling promise of the Promised Land will always be a fulfilled reality, as well as a lingering quest. —Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim.


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Survey: Israelis in the U.S. become more like American Jews The longer Israelis live in the United States, the less critical of Israel they are likely to be, a new survey suggests. The Internet-based survey of nearly 1,600 people divided respondents into two groups: those living in the United States for less than 10 years, and those living in the country for more than 10 years. Whereas 64 percent of the under-10-years group strongly agreed that when Israel is criticized they feel the need to defend it and show its positive side, the figure was

75 percent among the over-10-years group. When asked if they were to talk about Israel to an American non-Jew, 67 percent of the under-10-years group said they would say positive things about Israel compared to 78 percent of the over-10-years group. Though unscientific because all the respondents came from the lists of various Israel-related organizations in the United States, the results nevertheless suggest that Israelis’ political views become more like those of American Jews the longer they

reside in the United States. The survey was commissioned by the Israeli American Council and carried out by the Israeli firm Midgam, which asked respondents to complete an Internet questionnaire. The survey found that the longer Israelis live in the United States, the more likely they are to be interested in Israel’s internal politics, believe that American Jews strengthen Israel, say that American Jews should publicly support Israel and take a candidate’s attitude toward Israel into con-

sideration when voting. Israelis living in the United States for more than a decade are nearly twice as likely as the under-10-years group to marry out of the faith (8 percent versus 4 percent), and their children are twice as likely to intermarry (17 percent versus 8 percent), according to the survey. The survey also showed slight increases in synagogue attendance and day school enrollment among those in the United States for more than 10 years. (JTA)

jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2013 | Jewish News | 5

News analysis

Interim deal on Iran splits Congress on new sanctions bill by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—They want to brandish a new stick against Iran, but hawks in Congress aren’t going to use it—yet. For all the disappointment they expressed following the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, skeptics in Congress appear to be willing to give the agreement brokered by the Obama administration space to breathe—albeit with tough new punitive measures in place should Iran fail to live up to its end of the bargain. “I will continue working with my colleagues to craft bipartisan legislation that will impose tough new economic sanctions if Iran undermines this interim accord or if the dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is not underway by the end of this six-month period,” U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a leader in passing Iran sanc-

tions, said after the deal’s announcement last month. That’s a shift from pre-deal statements in which Kirk was leading an effort to push through new sanctions not conditioned on the outcome of talks between the United States and other world powers and Iran. Proponents of a tougher line against Iran say the sanctions talk wasn’t an empty threat and helped shaped the outcome of the interim deal. Moreover, Congress is not dropping the stick: Kirk and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are preparing new sanctions legislation to take effect if Iran violates the interim deal. The two senators “will be working over the Senate recess to craft a bipartisan sanctions bill that establishes a mandatory fail-safe to this interim agreement, ensuring sanctions come back in spades if Iran

cheats during the next six months or if Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is not being dismantled at the end of the six-month period,” a congressional aide told JTA in an email. “We should expect this legislation to go to the president’s desk for signature before the end of the year.” But it’s not clear if pro-sanctions lawmakers have backing from the Senate leadership for new sanctions. “I said when we come back, we’ll take a look at this to see if we need stronger sanctions, ” Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, said in an NPR interview quoted by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill daily. Reid said Menendez and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will study the issue. “They will hold hearings if necessary, and if we need more work on this, if we need to do stronger sanctions, I’m sure we

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6 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

will do that,” Reid said. The majority leader’s emphasis on the role played by Johnson is significant. Johnson, a moderate Democrat, thus far has resisted efforts to advance through his committee new sanctions passed over the summer by the U.S. House of Representatives. A former Johnson staffer told JTA that the senator, once thought of as a go-along-to-get-along senator, may feel freer to resist pressure from his colleagues and the pro-Israel community because he has decided not to run again next year. Other pro-Israel Democrats in the Senate—among them Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee—have made clear that they would oppose intensified sanctions kicking in while talks were taking place. “I am baffled by the insistence of some senators to undermine the P5+1 talks,” Feinstein said in a Nov. 15 statement, referring to the six major powers—Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in addition to the United States—involved in the Iran negotiations. “I will continue to support these negotiations and oppose any new sanctions as long as we are making progress toward a genuine solution.” Iran hawks already are unhappy with the interim deal, which places some restrictions on Iranian uranium enrichment in exchange for some sanctions relief but allows Iran to keep enriching low-level uranium and keeps in place its existing enrichment infrastructure. The hawks are determined to make sure that a final deal incapacitates any weapons-making capability. The deal must ensure that Iran ends “all nuclear weapons capability—all the enriched uranium, all the centrifuges,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said last month at an event for Ohel, a Jewish social services provider. “A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability,” Schumer said. “The goal of the administration is to eliminate all of Iran’s nuclear

News analysis the environment for a weapons-making capability by the end of final deal.” the final negations. It is still my hope Joel Rubin, a forthey can achieve that goal.” mer Senate staffer, In addition to keeping up pressure “I remind you said Congress must on the Iranians to follow through on tread carefully their commitments, new sanctions that, during the lest it be accused legislation could help shape the of scuttling the outcome of a final-status deal, talks, the leaders deal and driva source at the American Israel ing away U.S. Public Affairs Committee, or of Iran repeated their allies that have AIPAC, told JTA on condition of maintained anonymity. commitment to destroy the sanc“Our fundamental goal is tions regime that in the final agreement, the the State of Israel, and I that helped United States must prevent a bring Iran to nuclear-capable Iran,” said the AIPAC source, who emphasized reiterate here today my the negotiating table. that such legislation is in the Rubin now “conceptual” stage. The legislacommitment, as prime works for the tion “essentially will condition minister of Israel, Ploughshares Fund, an Community Relations Council to prevent them anti-proliferation advocacy keeps an eye on Iran group that backs he threat of Iran obtaining nuclear from achieving the deal brokered weapons is a grave danger to Israel, in Geneva. the Middle East, the United States and the ability to Israeli Prime the entire international community. It Minister Benjamin should alarm everyone. do so.” Netanyahu, who blastA nuclear Iran will be emboldened the ed the interim agreement country to threaten its neighbors, Israel as a “historic mistake,” and the West. Iran could use nuclear appeared to be tamping blackmail to block regional efforts down his rhetoric a notch. toward peace, cooperation and com“It is true that the international pressure merce, and continue to undermine the which we applied was partly successful and Israeli-Palestinian peace process. has led to a better result than what was originally planned, but this is still a bad deal,” While many (including not just he told the Knesset. “It reduces the pressure American Jews and their supporters, on Iran without receiving anything tangible Israelis and even the Saudis) have conin return, and the Iranians who laughed all cerns with this latest “deal,” everyone is the way to the bank are themselves saying being inundated with information from that this deal has saved them.” a variety of sources. Netanyahu dispatched his nationThe Community Relations Council al security adviser, Yossi Cohen, to is working hard to stay on top of the Washington to consult on the deal. situation and act as a resource for the “That agreement must lead to one community. It has added a page to its result: the dismantling of Iran’s military website and will continue to keep it nuclear capability,” Netanyahu said. “I fresh with the latest information as it is remind you that, during the talks, the received. Visit www.JewishVA.org/Iran leaders of Iran repeated their commitment to destroy the State of Israel, and I reiterand let CRC know if this information is ate here today my commitment, as prime helpful or with suggestions to make it minister of Israel, to prevent them from more relevant. achieving the ability to do so.”


Lapse in launch of nukes deal gives Iran an edge, some say by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—There’s the sixmonth interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program that trades some sanctions relief for a freeze on Iran’s nuclear program. And then there’s the interim before the interim begins. Little noticed in the wake of the historic pact reached last month by Iran and the major powers is the fact that technically, the deal is not yet underway. A commission of experts from the United States, Russia, Germany, Britain, China and France, working with Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, first must work out the technical details before the deal officially goes into effect. The commission is not scheduled to meet until January. It’s not clear how long it might take to reach an agreement. “Obviously, once that’s—those technical discussions are worked through, I guess the clock would start,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a news briefing on Nov. 27. Under the terms of the deal reached in Geneva last month, Iran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium to 5 percent, freeze most of its centrifuges and halt construction on its plutonium reactor. In exchange it would receive sanctions relief totaling approximately $7 billion. Some critics say the uncertainty over when the deal kicks in also works in Iran’s favor. “Every day that goes by where Iran is not bound to roll back its nuclear program but still can benefit from a shift in the market psychology from fear to greed puts money in the regime’s pocket without doing anything to address their growing nuclear weapons capacity,” said Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which has helped shape many of the tough sanctions passed in recent years by Congress. Dubowitz’s colleague, Foundation for Defense of Democracies vice president Jonathan Schanzer, tweeted links to Arab media reports that some European oil companies already are considering new business with Iran. The French oil giant Total reportedly said it would resume deal-

ings with Iran if sanctions are revoked. Ron Dermer, the new Israeli envoy to Washington, also has cast the argument as one of momentum. In briefings to members of Congress and Jewish groups, Dermer has argued that before the deal, tough sanctions and the likelihood of more to come had Iran on the ropes. With a deal in place, however, the momentum could reverse direction—companies that once feared being cut off from the U.S. economy might consider deals with Iran. Obama administration officials adamantly deny the scenario. The principal sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and banking sectors will stay in place even during the interim deal, they say. “Right now our sanctions remain in place,” John Sullivan, spokesman for the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Treasury section that monitors sanctions compliance, told JTA. “What we agreed to is clear and limited. We will continue to enforce our sanctions aggressively.” Alireza Nader, an Iran expert at the Rand Corp., a think tank with close ties to the U.S. defense establishment, said that even those nations and companies eager for sanctions relief would not bust sanctions now for fear of alienating the United States. India and China, he said, would risk U.S. waivers granted them on some dealings with Iran should they be seen as planning new business with the country. “Most countries are still wary of having normal energy ties with Iran,” he said. Michael Adler, an Iran expert at the congressionally funded Wilson Center, acknowledged that the momentum argument has merit. But he noted that provisions in the deal that would resume sanctions should Iran not comply ultimately are enough to scare companies away from resuming business with the country. “To say that it will lead to Total resuming contracts with Iran is wrong,” Adler said. “You can be concerned you’re changing from a tightening mode to a lightening mode, but the deal is structured in such a way that all the sanctions are reversible and the money they’re getting is a drop in the bucket.” (JTA)

jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2013 | Jewish News | 7

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by Gil Troy and Martin J. Raffel

Martin J. Raffel is the senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), where he has served as the lead professional on Israel, world Jewry and international human rights for the past 26 years. He also holds the position of project director for the Israel Action Network, a joint project of the Jewish Federations of North America in partnership with the JCPA, created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy. Gil Troy is a professor of history at McGill University. His latest book, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, was just published.


ong confined to the extreme margins, but, in recent times, beginning to seep into mainstream discourse is the odious position that challenges Israel’s legitimacy as both a Jewish and democratic state. Many supporters of Israel sometimes have difficulty articulating why these two sides of Israel’s identity are not only compatible, but complementary. In response, JCPA senior vice president and the Israel Action Network project director Martin J. Raffel, together with author and professor Gil Troy, penned a new IAN publication entitled, Israel: Jewish and Democratic, refuting the arguments questioning Israel’s Gil Troy dual identities. The Times of Israel published Troy and Raffel’s series of responses to common challenges to Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic state based on their joint publication. The full publication may be found at http://israelactionnetwork.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/08/Israel-Jewish-and-Democratic-.pdf. Following is one of the five op-eds that appeared in The Times of Israel. It is reprinted with permission. Gil Troy is part of the Community Relations Council’s Israel Today Forum.

Being Jewish at Christmastime


eing Jewish in America during Christmas season is a somewhat awkward experience given that the Christian holiday so heavily dominates the public square despite the First Amendment’s separation between church and state. How, for example, should we respond to well-meaning people wishing one and all a Merry Christmas? The answer to that question is a subjective one, but the existence of Jewish and other religious and ethnic minorities in the U.S. in no way diminishes America’s robust pluralistic democracy. Nor does it in Israel, where similar to the U.S. and other countries, it celebrates and cultivates a majority culture, while remaining dedicated to preserving full equality for all of its citizens. There is no contradiction in keeping Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, even with a sizable non-Jewish minority citizenry com-

8 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

prised mostly of Palestinian Arabs, as distinct from Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and parts of Jerusalem who are not citizens. Israel can be—and is—both the nation state of the Jewish people and a state of all its citizens. While addressing the challenge of rebuilding the Jewish State of Israel, the country’s Declaration of Independence calls for “complete equality of social and political rights” of all its inhabitants “irrespective of religion, race or sex,” and guarantees “freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture…” The term “Jewish State of Israel” sometimes is understood, or misunderstood, to mean that Israel is a theocracy. What this indicates in reality is that, in the public sphere, Israel may reflect its core mission of serving as the nation state of the Jewish people. For example, in the U.S., Sunday is chosen as the official day of rest because

op ed of the majority Christian population. In Israel, it is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. At the same time, as a liberal democracy, Israel should always strive to assure equal rights for all its citizens. As with many other sets of principles in democracies, this duality of majority rule versus protection of individual rights, especially of minorities, sometimes can create tensions. In the U.S., the Bill of Rights, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, protects minority rights against the majority. Similarly in Israel, when called into question, this non-discrimination principle has been enforced over the years by Israel’s independent and highly respected judiciary. For example, in the Ka’adan case (2000), the Supreme Court considered a situation in which an Arab citizen was denied the right to buy State-owned land after it had been transferred to the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund. The Court ruled that these Zionist institutions, which are geared toward development of Jewish settlement in Israel, cannot be used to get around the fundamental obligation to treat all citizens equally. Another Supreme Court ruling, after it found a disparity in allocation of state budget resources for housing projects, determined that the Arab community in Israel must be given its pro rata share of those resources. Living as a national or ethnic minority

within a majority culture is never easy. The situation of Israel’s Palestinian Arab citizens is especially challenging, both ideologically and practically. They do face de facto discrimination in the workplace and in allocation of state resources and Israel’s government should be expected to do much more to address this issue. Nevertheless, Israel’s Arab citizens participate without hindrance in local and national elections; serve as members of Israel’s parliament (Knesset); are represented in the judiciary, including on the Supreme Court; act as Israel’s representatives abroad; and, at least in one instance, as a minister in Israel’s government [Raleb Majadele, Minister of Science, Culture and Sport in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s cabinet]. Israel is not unique in possessing this dual identity. The constitution of Slovenia, a new Eastern European democracy and member of the European Union, states —“Slovenia is a state of all its citizens and is founded on the permanent and inalienable right of the Slovenian nation to self-determination…” As in Israel, the distinction is made between the rights of citizenship and the state’s national character. This concept found expression in a resolution adopted in 2006 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Council acknowledged “that in some… member states, the concept of ‘nation’ is

Israel’s Arab citizens participate without hindrance in local and national elections, serve as members of Israel’s parliament and are represented in the judiciary.

used to indicate citizenship… while in some other member states the same term is used in order to indicate an organic community speaking a certain language and characterized by a set of similar cultural and historic traditions, similar perceptions of its past, similar aspirations for its present and similar visions of its future.” That said, the situation has been dif-

ficult and Israel’s Arab citizens have not always received the non-discriminatory treatment they deserve. While the inherent tension of balancing Israel’s dual identity as nation-state of the Jewish people and state of all its citizens remains, the struggle to fulfill the promise of full equality made in the Declaration of Independence is ongoing.

A Tidewater Winter B R O U G H T TO Y O U B Y

Gil Troy

will be the second speaker in the CRC and community

partners Israel Today series. He will speak on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. To RSVP for the event, contact Liz Henderson at LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. For more on the Israel Today series, visit www.jewishva.org/crc.

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first person

JCPA and CRC offer educational do-over in Poland and Israel


by Brad Lerner

just experienced an educational do-over. In my younger years, I was lucky enough to receive a first-rate college education in Ann Arbor, Michigan and travel to Israel on a Federation-sponsored tour in my late 20s. Thus, I had studied Jewish and Israeli history, and read the appropriate Holocaust canon. However, as a young student and a budding lawyer, I squandered most of those educational opportunities being distracted with my social life and other life events. So as an adult living in Virginia Beach, I am so grateful that I just experienced a fantastic opportunity to learn about the Holocaust first-hand, along with pressing issues facing Israel today. What type of “mission” was this and how did I get involved? I have recently become more active in our local Community Relations Council headed by the awesome director, Robin Mancoll, who recommended that I apply for the trip. Lois and Larry Frank, two philanthropists from Atlanta, envisioned funding a program where young U.S. Jewish leaders could visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, contemplate the enormity of the Holocaust, and then travel to Israel to join the Jewish Council for Public Affairs yearly trip and discuss Israel today. The goal was to weave history and legacy. The Franks gift was transformative. I cannot thank them enough for this amazing experience. I was able to make life-long friendships in an instant with my fellow Frank grantees (a diverse group of eight from Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Louisville, San Francisco and Atlanta). We were bonded quickly by the intensity of the trip’s schedule and heavy subject-matter. As part of the Frank grant, our group will meet again at the Plenum, which is the highest decision making body of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the umbrella organization for local CRCs. The Plenum provides a prominent national forum to enable our community to shape the policies and strategies that best advance our priority objectives. Our first stop was to Krakow, Poland, where we visited the town square memori-

al and the Schindler factory, which is now a museum of the war, as well as some synagogues. The Jewish population is Krakow steadily growing. Many residents are rediscovering their Jewish roots. We spent some time at the JCC of Krakow, which interestingly was partially funded and dedicated by Prince Charles. The most intense day of the trip was our visit Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (commonly known as Birkenau). I was struck by the sheer size of Birkenau. It was a small city and felt enormous. Being immersed in the darkest side of human nature during the Auschwitz tour leaves you with unanswerable questions. “We are all survivors” our guide told us. The images that have been seared in my brain were all of the pictures of children. Being a father takes those pictures to another level. Our group then travelled to Jerusalem and joined the Jewish Council for Public Affairs leadership mission. Our first stop was at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. We met with former Counsel Generals to the United States. We discussed the Iranian nuclear bomb issue and the need for stricter sanctions. We discussed the Boycott and Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The government officials we met with at the Foreign Ministry believe stronger sanctions are needed against Iran. After leaving the Foreign Ministry, we met with a member of the Knesset who is the head of his party, known as the religious party. After leaving the Knesset we walked through the old city before meeting with Anat Hoffman, the leader of the Women of the Wall. She has advocated for 25 years that women get equal room to read Torah at the Western Wall. She was a great presenter and made a strong case for her point of view. Most impressive, she expressed her willingness to compromise and understand the opposing views. We also attended an interfaith discussion with Rabbi David Rosen, Archbishop Aris Shirvanian of the Armenian Patriacrchate, William Shomali, the Catholic Bishop of Jerusalem and Bishop Suheil Dawani, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. The discussion was centered on how the faiths all

10 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

The group at Auschwitz.

work together, how all extremists are not good for anyone, and how everyone wants peace in the Middle East. We then proceeded to Hebrew University where we heard from Professor Reuven Hazan, who provided a crash course on the Israeli political system. He explained the parliamentarian system in Israel. He provided insight into the major political parties in Israel and the strategy behind creating a governing coalition. This was a fantastic presentation that engaged the group and delivered valuable information that enabled us to better understand the Israeli election process and the overall political system. We invited Professor Hazan to come to the States this winter. Hopefully, others will have the opportunity to hear him speak. We also spent some time Ramallah, which is in the area typically referred to as the occupied West Bank. We went to lunch at the Orjuwan Lounge, a restaurant owned by two brothers and a sister from a prominent West Bank family that has been featured in numerous travel guides and articles, including the New York Times. At the restaurant we had an “off-the-record” meeting with Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority in the peace negotiations with Israel and a frequent spokesperson for the Palestinians in the Western media. We also met with several young Palestinian civic leaders, including Kamel Husseini, managing director of the

Brad Lerner.

Ramallah office of The Portland Trust, a British non-profit ‘action tank’ whose mission is to promote peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic development We got to spend some time at the Holocaust Museum in Israel, Yad Vashem. Visiting any Holocaust Museum is an emotional experience. I kept seeing my children’s faces in the pictures and it impossible not to feel lucky that my family was spared. It was a whirlwind of a trip. We all learned so much and so much from each other. The speakers were inspiring. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity to explore the Holocaust and Israel today, especially in light of the journey my wife Stacey and I are on – guiding and teaching our two young children into the importance of history and support for a Jewish state.

Incorporating the arts into lessons of history, environmental consciousness and Judaism by Dee Dee Becker


n any day walking down the halls of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, visitors will observe students fully engaged in the learning process. Whether they are being taught about ancient history or today’s current events—from general to Judaic studies—they are doing so by interacting with each other and their teachers in ways that are meaningful, relevant and entertaining. HAT students’ recent study of the Revolutionary War, water pollution and the Havdallah ceremony are examples of how well the curriculum incorporates the arts. Hebrew Academy’s fifth graders just completed a unit on the Revolutionary War. After learning about the influences of different leaders, each student chose one and wrote a report. Adding a little creativity and drama to this history lesson, students designed images of their leader, using felt, paper, and hair and also performed a play about the Boston Tea Party. “Our fifth graders exhibited a lot of imagination,” says Deb White, fifth grade general studies teacher. “It was an opportunity for them to bring to life the lessons they had learned and to teach those lessons to our younger students in a fun way. Everyone enjoyed the show!”

Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Open House For more information about HAT’s preschool through fifth grade programs, attend an upcoming Open House: For parents of rising 1st–5th graders: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 8:30 am For preschool parents: Friday, Feb. 7, 9 am Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 pm Can’t make an Open House? Contact Carin Simon, admissions director, to schedule a private tour: 424-4327 or csimon@hebrewacademy.net.

Water Pirates teach lessons of water conservation and pollution prevention to HAT students.

Also adding a little drama to the classroom was Tanya Conley, HAT science teacher. “Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is an important value and topic we regularly incorporate into learning at HAT. One example is a performance, “Water Pirates of Neverland,” about water conservation and pollution that we held in October. Water Pirates from National Theatre for Children, and funded by a grant from the Virginia Beach Department of Utilities, amused and engaged our students in learning about significant water conservation tips. It was an effective program that the students really enjoyed.” HAT teachers also bring family into Judaic lessons with Lunch and Learns, special programs students enjoy at school along with their parents. Each grade has a different learning component and project. Topics include the mezuzah, Havdallah, challah baking, and Passover Seder plate. First and second grade students and families enjoy the cherished annual traditions of Siddur and Chumash presentations in place of a Lunch and Learn. After having lunch together, the third graders shared their knowledge of the Havdallah ceremony with their parents by performing a song and then getting artfully creative. Together they braided Havdallah candles, decorated Besamim (spice) jars, wine glasses, a plate to use during Havdallah and a candle holder. “It was a lot of fun making our own Havdallah kit,” says third grade parent Elliot Zaret. “Isaac really enjoyed having me come and

Fifth graders pose with war heroes made during a unit on the Revolutionary War.

be a part of his school day.” No doubt a sentiment shared by all the parents who enjoy making special memories with their children at a time of life that ultimately passes so quickly.


Hebrew Academy of Tidewater/Strelitz Early Childhood Center preschool is a constituent agency of the United Federation of Tidewater.



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it’s a wrap HAT and Strelitz celebrate national “Mix it up Day”


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n October 29, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz students joined more than one million other students across the country by participating in the 12th annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Launched by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project in 2002, the event encourages children to broaden their perspectives by interacting with schoolmates outside of their regular friendship circles. An example is sitting with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day, a place where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious. HAT students from kindergarten through fifth grade participated in a lesson on tolerance. They were given a necklace and assigned seats at tables with other children wearing the same necklace, mixing up students from all grade levels. Once seated, there were questions for each to answer.

“The fifth graders did a great job facilitating the discussions amongst their tablemates. Every one learned something about another student and made new friends,” says Janet Jenkins, HAT general studies director and coordinator of the activities. “The preschool really enjoyed celebrating Mix-It-Up Day as well,” says Ellen Sacks, preschool teacher and coordinator of pre-K activities. “Teachers explained to the children that they were celebrating a day about being kind to one another and making new friends. They took half of each preschool class and switched with half of another preschool class. The children played for 20 minutes and then enjoyed a ‘mixed up snack’ of two different cereals. Then they switched again for 20 minutes so everyone had a chance to be in the other classroom, playing with new friends and different toys. They really enjoyed it!”

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en’s Club teams from Beth El, Rodef Sholom and Temple Israel gathered at Rodef Sholom Temple on Saturday, Nov. 9, for the camaraderie of the annual good-spirited “It’s Academic” competition. Newly re-designed to be more fun and a bit less academic, Temple Israel took the “It’s Academic” title this year. Team members and accompanying fans enjoyed desserts and an assortment of beverages. Seaboard Region executive vice-president Bruce Gordon and his wife also attended.

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Blake Brown (fifth grade) leads a discussion for Mix-ItUp-Day with his table mates Jack Poorman (first grade) and Sam Levin (kindergarten).

“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in Mix It Up Day,” says Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, head of school. “It allows us to teach an important lesson in a meaningful way—one about tolerance and standing up to stop bullying and hatred. These are our Torah’s teachings of kindness and respect for one another.”

Auxiliary of Beth Sholom Village’s Fall Luncheon: “Hats off to Gloria”


eth Sholom Village’s Auxiliary luncheon honoring Gloria Polay for her 15 years of service was a hit. Polay, who is leaving her post in January, was honored by 150 guests and members who took “their hats off to Gloria” for her outstanding contribution to BSV. Polay has put her heart and soul into buying and running the gift shop, purchasing items that are both attractive and economical, meeting the needs of residents, staff and family members. When shoppers go to the shop when Polay works, they’ve gotten more than the manager, they’ve been met by a friend. Polay gave an emotional farewell speech

that was filled with gratitude for her experience and the people she works with. Of course a speech by Polay would not be complete without a big thank you to her husband, Harry, who has been by her side on shopping trips and tagging items in their home. Her daughter, Lissa Baumann came in to share in the special day. Polay introduced Stephanie Peck as the new merchandise buyer. Music was provided by Dr. Brian Nedvin, assistant professor of voice, at Old Dominion University’s music department and a delicious lunch was catered by The Village Caterers at Beth Sholom Village.

it’s a wrap BINA’s royal evening


he girls of BINA High School presented “An Evening of Royalty” at Bnai Israel Congregation on Sunday, Nov. 17. The program, coordinated and directed by Chayale Lefkowitz, focused on the meaning of God’s kingship and what it means to be a subject in His kingdom. More than 100 women came out for an evening of fine food, art and theatre. In preparation for this event, the students researched different aspects of royalty and created banners about what they learned. These artistic displays were created using many different types of media, including stained glass, wax, wood and sequins. The girls’ artwork was used to form the base of a 10-foot high crown, which was the focal point of the room. Between each dinner course, which was prepared entirely by the students, there were brief performances of drama, dance

Elisheva Mostofsky, Adina Mostofsky, Tzippy Silverberg, Anna Slone, and Ayelet Itzhak.

and choir. Shira Rubin, the newly installed principal of BINA, spoke about Chanukah and how the Macabees’ relentless search for pure oil for the Menorah was an expression of their loyalty to God. The girls’ creativity, expressed in so many different ways, made this a most memorable evening. The students’ artwork was on display at the Simon Family JCC until Dec. 3.

Chanukah prep at Home Depot


appy faces, sticky hands and newly built Menorahs were the scene at the Norfolk Home Depot on Sunday, Nov. 24. More than 80 children from the Tidewater Jewish community attended the “Menorah Workshop” presented by Chabad of Tidewater and Home Depot. Using wood, glass tiles, foam stickers, foil stickers, paint markers and lots and lots of glue, each child created and decorated their very own Menorah to be used on Chanukah. “Watching so many children and their parents working together to create their masterpieces was a heartwarming sight,” says Rashi Brashevitzky.

Cooper Poorman

Casey Barkan

Leia Silverstein

Skyel Nida jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2013 | Jewish News | 13

first person

Holocaust meets Hollywood Premiere of The Book Thief


by Elena Barr Baum, Holocaust Commission director


was honored to receive an invitation last month to the premiere of the film adaptation of Markus Zuzak’s award winning novel, The Book Thief, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. There would be a panel after the film including the author, director, and two of the actors. It was, to quote another wonderful film, an offer I couldn’t refuse. Meyerhoff Theater in the USHMM was filled with approximately 300 people, ranging in age from student to survivor. The lights dimmed and for two hours we were mesmerized by the story of the young (gentile) Liesel Meminger, her adoptive parents, and the Jew they chose to hide from the Nazis. At the end of the film, veteran newsman Marvin Kalb moderated a panel including the 38-year-old Zuzak, director Brian Percival, (Dow nton Abbey), Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, and up and coming 13-year-old star, Sophie Nélisse. As the non-Jewish Zuzak talked earnestly about growing up in Australia with parents who had immigrated from Germany and Austria in the 1950s, you could begin to see how such a young man could write such a deeply powerful story about the Holocaust. His parents had shared with him and his siblings some of the unbearably cruel things they remembered witnessing in their hometowns. Geoffrey Rush, who is also not Jewish but has been called “an honorary Jew” for his roles as child prodigy David Helfgott in Shine and Mossad agent Ephraim in Munich, was intrigued by the story of Liesel and his character, Hans Huberman.

Hans had made a deathbed promise to a Jewish comrade during their service in the first World War, that he would be there for the man’s family if they ever needed him. When the moment arrived that his son needed help, Hans did not hesitate. He was a thoroughly Righteous Gentile, though it meant putting his family at risk. Rush was fascinated by the humanity (and lack thereof) that was part of each character in the film. Hans’ transformation from an underemployed painter into a Hero of Humanity was another tour de force performance in Rush’s distinguished career. While seeing the movie could in itself be transformative, such as seeing Schindler’s List, Hotel Rwanda, or other powerful “message movies” about real tragic events, seeing it and participating in the panel discussion in a room with about 50 Holocaust survivors was unbelievably moving. Some of them likely went through experiences like Max, the Jewish character in the film. Their presence was validation of the importance of keeping stories alive. Even though this was fiction, they accepted it as worthy of them and their loved ones’ memories. When the young French Canadian actress Sophie Nélisse talked innocently about her lack of knowledge about the Holocaust before auditioning for this film, and her deep understanding of it afterwards, I was reassured that the Holocaust Commission is doing exactly what it needs to do. We educate students, of all ages, that there are lessons to be learned from the Holocaust that we can all use to make the world a better place today. That is what I hope that this film, now open in wide release, will also do.

I was

reassured that

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the Holocaust

Commission is doing exactly what it needs to do

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation 20|3 Annual Report

‫להפריח את העתיד‬

“Growing the Future”

View it online at www.jewishva.org/tjf-2013

Would you prefer a printed copy? Just let us know. Contact Stephanie Grooms at 757.965.6106 or sgrooms@ujft.org

CALLING ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS! Announcing the 2014 Stein Family College Scholarship The application is now available online at: www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein Applications deadline is April 1, 2014 Questions? Contact Shelby Tudor at: 757.965.6105 or studor@ujft.org jewishnewsva.org | December 9, 2013 | Jewish News | 15

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s the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg, celebrates its 21st anniversary, it continues to expand its presence and breadth, becoming one of the longest running festivals of its kind in the country. To bring new ideas and direction to the festival, an advisory committee was created this year. “We hit a point where we were getting stale,” says Mark Robbins, co-chairman of the committee. Robbins, along with Gloria Siegel, advisory council co-chair, brainstormed with Michele Goldberg, Simon Family JCC director of Cultural Arts, about how to “shake things up.” The most major decision was to go multi-venue. Opening night last year at the Sandler Center was successful, which led to the move to branch out further. This year,

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four venues will be used: The Sandler Center, The TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Beach Movie Bistro and the Naro Expanded Cinema. The JCC and Beth Sholom Village will also each screen a free movie. Realizing that some Virginia Beach residents want to see films closer to home, the council decided to screen Tuesday and Saturday evening shows at Beach Movie Bistro. Saturday night will be “date night” in partnership with the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. For those who prefer “date night” to take place downtown on Saturday night, the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center will screen a different movie. In addition to opening night, a second

Film Festival Advisory Council committees Mark Robbins, co-chair Gloria Siegel, co-chair Michele Goldberg, cultural arts director Danny and Shikma Rubin, social networking William Laderberg co-chair, film screening committee Mark Robbins, co-chair, film screening committee Mark Sohlberg, outreach to organizations outside the community Linda Spindel, outreach to Jewish community agencies Leslie Siegel, opening night party Helene Grablowsky, closing night party Leslie Shroyer, marketing

Sandler Center showing will now be the Virginian-Pilot critic Mal Vincent’s pick night. The Naro Expanded Cinema, which was the original home of the festival, will show Follow Me as part of its Wednesday documentary series. “We are happy to once again partner with the Naro,” says Robbins. “Hopefully, this is the beginning of another long relationship.” The festival has a long-standing relationship with Tidewater Community College, and is continuing to show the largest number of its films at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center. TCC began a new Intercultural Learning program spearheaded by Dr. Jeanne B. Natali, and the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film is one of the cultural events that the students will be exposed to and incorporated into their curriculum. “This film festival is for everyone,” says Siegel. “No matter where you live, it’s a festival for you.” Visit Virginia Festival of Jewish Film’s facebook page, and see the full festival lineup on www.SimonFamilyJCC.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Homework Help

Monday through Thursday 3:45-4:45 pm Homework helpers are needed to work with 1st-6th graders at the Simon Family JCC’s Kids Connection Program. It doesn’t take much time and makes a world of difference. High school students to seniors are welcome. Call 321-2342.

what’s happening Israel Today Forum presents Ishmael Khaldi Thursday, Dec. 12, 7 pm


he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, in partnership with area synagogues, agencies, organizations, businesses and community members, will feature Ishmael Khaldi as the first speaker in its 2013–2014 three-part Israel Today Forum. Khaldi will discuss diversity in Israel, with a unique, personal viewpoint. Born into a traditional Bedouin family in a poor village in northern Israel, Khaldi made the choice as a young adult to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry, and the Israeli Police. In 2004, Khaldi earned the distinction of becoming the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s first Bedouin diplomat. Khaldi is currently Counsellor for Civil Society Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in London. A Bedouin, Arab, Muslim Israeli, Khaldi

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is a vocal patriot and advocate for Israel. He has garnered a reputation for the willingness and risks he takes to speak up in support for his homeland, as Ishmael Khaldi well as for his storytelling prowess. The Israel Today Forum is free and open to the community, as are the other speakers in the three part series. The Forum takes place at the Simon Family JCC on the Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. RSVP to lhenderson@ujft.org, or call 757-965-6107. For more information, visit www.jewishva. org/israeltoday.

Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Roz Thursday, Jan. 9, 12 pm


oin Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg for Lunch and Learn with the topic, “Fall Out from the Pew Study on American Judaism: What We Learn, What We Can Do.” Bring a lunch, an open mind, a sense of humor, and any interested friends. RSVPs to sara@ohefsholom.org or 625-4295 are not required, but help with how many materials to prepare.  Lunch & Learn will take place at the law offices of Vandeventer Black, 101 W.

Main Street, Suite 500, in Norfolk. Park directly across from the building on Main Street; parking slips will be validated. Upon entering the building, take the bank of elevators on the right to the fifth floor. Rabbi Roz will revisit this topic at the JCC’s Lunch and Learn on Feb. 11 at 12:30 pm at the Simon Family JCC. This is event is free and open to the community.

Tidewater Jewish community Jewish genetic screening Sponsored by Jewish Family Service Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 am–3 pm, Simon Family JCC

Anyone who is Ashkenazi or has Ashkenazi heritage is recommended for genetic screening. In addition, it is recommended that those with an Ashkenazi partner get screened, because it is still possible that both are carriers. The screening is free thanks to generous donors; however, those with health insurance will have their insurance billed (no copayments, and cost is not applied to

deductibles). To register for the screening and learn more about these conditions, why it is important to get screened, about being a carrier and more, visit www.jewishva.org/ geneticscreening. Registrants should complete the consent form and bring it to the screening. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Sat. January 18, 8pm

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This tour engagement is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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calendar December 9, Monday The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Congregation Beth Chaverim present, “The Threat of the World-Wide Muslim Brotherhood Movement” with Kyle Shideler of Endowment for Middle East Truth. Beth Chaverim, 3820 Stoneshore Road, Virginia Beach. 7 pm. Free and open to the community with RSVP to LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. December 12, Thursday The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partners present Israel Today with Ishmael Khaldi, a Bedouin Israeli who holds the distinction of being the first Bedouin appointed as a diplomat in Israel’s Foreign Ministry. 7 pm at the Sandler Family Campus, RSVP is requested by Dec. 10 to LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. See page 17. December 15, Sunday Jewish community genetic screening at the Simon Family JCC. 10 am–3 pm. See page 17. December 16–February 12, Mondays and Wednesdays Swim team winter and spring pre-season workouts and swim clinics. These 16-class clinics are off-season opportunities for swimmers to have the Swordfish coaching staff help them work on conditioning, swim stroke techniques, flip turns, and race strategies to prepare for the 2014 summer season, or as a great way to stay active and healthy during the winter (classes repeat early spring). 3:45–4:30 pm. Experienced swimmers (ages 5-18) are required. The swim team staff will make decisions regarding a swimmer’s ability to participate. Call 321-2308 for questions, register at 321-2338. No clinics on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. Registration fee ($115/$85 JCC member) is for an entire session. DECEMBER 18, WEDNESDAY The JCC Seniors Club at the Simon Family JCC. Board meeting 10:30 am; lunch at 12 pm; General meeting follows. Rebecca Bickford, Community Concierge for United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, is the guest speaker and will officiate the installation of new officers.

Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline Vice President

Andy Kline President

December 23–December 31 (no Camp 12/25) Chill out during Winter Break at the Simon Family JCC. JCC Winter Camp is filled with adventure and fun in a supportive and enriching environment. Camp includes a variety of recreational activities: arts and crafts, specialty projects, active and quiet games, sports and swimming. $360/$280 JCC members, call 321-2342 to register. December 25, Wednesday Enjoy a pancake breakfast, 9:30 am–noon at the Simon Family JCC. Join for a delicious breakfast with all the trimmings: juice, eggs and fresh pancakes with special toppings. Come out to eat, create crafts, play games and have fun with family and friends. $7 child, $10 adult, $34 family; $5 child, $8 adult, $26 family for JCC members. Call 321-2338 to reserve. DECEMBER 29, SUNDAY Brith Sholom will hold a Pre-New Years Eve dinner at Beth Sholom Home at 5:30 pm. Menu includes steak, salmon, roasted potatoes, vegetables, salad, and dessert. Entertainment for listening and dancing provided by Christopher Jay. $10 for members; $20 for guests.

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January 12, Sunday Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST), offered by the Community Relations Council of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, along with the Simon Family JCC in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI created the CREST initiative in 2006 to give citizens the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of the FBI. The training will include learning about the mission, goals, history, and internal workings of the FBI. Other topics for this program include Counterterrorism, Foreign Counterintelligence, Cyber Crime, and Civil Rights. Takes place on the Sandler Family Campus, 8:30 am -2 pm; lunch will be served. The course is free and open to the community with RSVP REQUIRED. For more information or to RSVP, contact LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107. Send submissions for calendar to news@ujft.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.

7/6/11 11:54 AM

who knew Gaga and Beyonce in Israel


op superstar Lady Gaga has plans to perform in the Holy Land this summer, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. The show, which will be Gaga’s second in Israel, will likely take place at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park and will likely not feature a kosher meat dress, although that would be pretty great. Elsewhere on the American music scene, Beyonce, who was set to play Israel in the spring, may not make it due to what Haaretz calls a “snag” with an Israeli concert production company. But Israeli Beliebers will be pleased to learn that Justin Bieber’s previously announced show has an official date: May 14. (JTA)

Fight Club producer: I was an Israeli operative


ollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who is behind such films as Fight Club, Pretty Woman, 12 Years a Slave and the upcoming Noah, just revealed another interesting line on his resume: Israeli intelligence operative. In an interview with the Israeli TV show Uvda, Milchan confirmed that he worked for the now-defunct spy unit Bureau of Scientific Relations, assisting in the development of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons project. His 2011 unauthorized biography, Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan,” details his former life, but this is his first public acknowledgment. “Do you know what it’s like to be a 20-something-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting,” Milchan said in the Uvda interview. Which begs the question: When is the movie coming out? (JTA)

Bob Dylan sued over comments on Croats


he iconic singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was sued in France for inciting racial hatred based on a comment he made to Rolling Stone that could be read as drawing a parallel between Croats and Nazis. The story was published in the magazine’s Sept. 27, 2012 issue. Asked by the magazine if he saw any parallels between the 1860s and pres-

Mazel Tov to ent-day America, Dylan answered: “This country is just too f***ed up about color. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back—or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery—that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.” The Council of Croats was put off by the last part—so much so that it sued under France’s laws banning hate speech or incitement to racial hatred, according to The Guardian. Per The Hollywood Reporter, French courts have agreed to hear the case, and Dylan has asked to appear for the hearings. If he skips out, he could be fined. (JTA)

Achievement Haley Haverson for becoming a member of The National Society of High School Scholars. The Society recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment. The announcement was made by NSHSS founder and chairman, Claes Nobel, a senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes. A sophomore at Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Haley is the daughter of Todd and Jill Haverson and the granddaughter of Jeffery Haverson and Sybil Friedberg of blessed memory. Haley Haverson and Claes Nobel at the NSHSS Membership Conference on the University of Miami Coral Gables Campus in Miami, Fla.

Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to news@ujft.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.

Ruth’s will said a lot about her. What does your will say about you? As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995, Ruth

arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 21 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Write your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.

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obituaries Shirlee Jelaza Cohen Norfolk—Shirlee Jelaza Cohen, a life long resident of Norfok, Va. passed away in Boca Raton, Fla. on Thursday, Nov. 28 at the age of 91. She was born in Norfolk on May 2, 1922 to the late Samuel and Ida Jelaza. She was the beloved and cherished wife of the late Bernard Cohen. She is survived by her three children Sandra Fraim (Ed), Joel Cohen (Suzanne) and Judy Gershman (Richard) . Loving grandchildren Marc, Stacey, and Barry Berman, Cameron (Mia) and Christopher Cohen and Whitney Wortman. Great grandsons Andrew and Jake Cohen. She was the fond sister of the late Jack Jason. Shirlee graduated from Maury High School in 1939, spent her freshman year at University of Southern California and went on to Temple University in Philadelphia. She will always be remembered for her grace, style, and charm. Funeral services were held in Boca Raton, Fla. Remembrances to either the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton. Henry C. Galumbeck Virginia Beach, Va.—Henry Calvin Galumbeck passed away Nov. 23, 2013. Henry was born in Norfolk, Va., on Jul. 24, 1920. For 93 years, he made people feel better about themselves with a kind word, a pat on the back, or just a warm smile. Throughout his life, he built relationships, whether business, social or personal. Henry used his humanity to strengthen others. His sage advice, usually epitomized through an amusing anecdote, was heeded by all that could listen. They were better off because of it. So, whether you knew Henry or not, reach out to another. Share a drink or a meal and a story. Build a relationship. Strengthen us all, in honor of Henry. He was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Suzanne Galumbeck. He is survived by a son, Matthew Galumbeck and his wife, Cindy; and two beautiful granddaughters, Alix and Bryn who were his little angels. Services were private. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com. Donations to Jewish Family Service or Ohef Sholom Temple.

ROBERT D. KLEIN November 18, 2013. Beloved husband of Harriet (nee Silverman); loving father of Susan (Eric) Klein Schwartzman, Debra (David) Klein Brownstein and Harriet’s daughter, Beth (Yury) Korenberg; adored grandfather of Mark Schwartzman, Marisa Kendall, and Rebecca Schwartzman. Funeral services took place at Roosevelt Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Services took place at Sol Levinson & Bros., Inc. with interment Mikro Kodesh Beth Israel Cemetery in Baltimore, Md. Contributions in her memory to American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 or National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St, New York, N.Y. 10016 or Special Olympics, 1133 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Lucille E. Livingston Norfolk—Lucille ‘Lucy’ E. Livingston, 79, of Norfolk, Va., passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Born in Hagerstown, Md., she was the daughter of the late John and Edna Shilling. She was predeceased by sisters Peggy Fritz, Ann Hose, and Betty Perrin, and brothers John Jr. and Randolph Shilling. Lucille is survived by her sisters Dorothy Thomas (John), Linda Findley (Dale), and brother Berkley Shilling (Kathleen). Lucille is survived by her loving husband of 59 plus years, Reece, and children Robin Cohen (Moss) of Hillsborough N.C., Philip Livingston of Rehoboth Beach, Del. and Barry Livingston of Buford, Ga. She will be deeply missed by her five grandchildren, Meredith and Caitlyn Cohen, and Jared, Jacob, and Chloe Livingston. Lucille was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and aunt, never happier than when in the company of her family. One of her joys in life was baking ‘goodies’ for festive occasions and care packages for her grandchildren, children, and friends. Lucille graduated from Towson State Teachers College in 1956. In college she wrote for the Tower Light Newspaper and played basketball. She taught elementary school in the Baltimore County Public Schools and the Norfolk City Public Schools for a combined 32 years. She received many accolades during her teaching career including Teacher of the Year at Fairlawn Elementary School. Not only was Lucille devoted in the classroom, she also anonymously made sure her school’s needy families had warm winter clothing and a special Thanksgiving dinner every year. She was a member of Temple Israel Sisterhood, National Education Association and Norfolk Education Association. She was an avid reader, a great joke teller, and a wicked Scrabble player.

Rhoda H. Mazur NEWPORT NEWS—Rhoda Himmel Mazur passed away peacefully early Tuesday morning, Nov. 26, 2013, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Rhoda Mazur was born on July 4, 1929, in Brooklyn, N. Y., to Morris and Geitl (“Gussie”) Himmel, the third of four daughters. She was educated (with David Daniel Kaminsky, a.k.a. “Danny Kaye,” only slightly her senior) at Thomas Jefferson High School—where she won great acclaim for her singing—and Brooklyn College, where she majored in English and won awards for her writing. She married Marvin Irwin Mazur in 1952, and lived with him in New York City, Boston, Lewiston, Maine, and Alexandria, Virginia, before moving to Newport News, Virginia, in 1957. While raising four children, Rhoda became active in the local and national Jewish community, chairing the Rodef Sholom Temple social action committee, endowment committee, and Sisterhood, as well as the Newport News chapter of Hadassah, and serving as president of the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula; representative to the national Council of Jewish Federations; and member of the regional board of directors for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. She was also an active advocate for social justice, and was appointed to serve on the Newport News Social Services Advisory Board, Newport News Task Force on Emergency Housing, and the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She also served on the advisory boards of Friends of the Homeless, Inc., the Peninsula Peace Education Center, the Associated Marine Institute, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews chapter for the Virginia region.

20 | Jewish News | December 9, 2013 | jewishnewsva.org

Rhoda was recognized for her work by the Jewish Federation of Newport News (“Young Leadership Award,” 1968), the National Conference of Christians and Jews (“Brotherhood Award,” 1984), and the Anti-Defamation League (“Leadership Award,” 1997). For pleasure, Rhoda was a notorious puzzler (from crossword to jigsaw), film aficionado, and world traveler. She also enjoyed partisan politics, taking much pride from her friendships with various elected officials and candidates. She idolized President Kennedy, danced with Marvin at the Carter White House, and maintained a portrait of President Obama in her living room. Rhoda is preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Marvin Irwin Mazur, and sister Lillian Weintraub, and survived by her sisters Shirley Gitomer and Renee Yarmoff; children Jody Risa Mazur (and David Banyai) of Norfolk, Amy Catha Mazur (and Michael Feldstein) of Newton, Mass., Leslie Robin Needham (and Joseph Randy Needham) of Newport News, and Eric Michael Mazur (and Claudia Anne Mazur) of Norfolk; and grandchildren Gabriel Feldstein, Jesse Feldstein, Emma Kate Needham, Dana Rae Needham, Mia Rose Mazur, and Elias Amiel Mazur. Funeral services were conducted by Rabbi Gilah Dror at Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton. Burial followed in the Jewish Cemetery of the Virginia Peninsula. Peninsula Funeral Home. Contributions to the Mazur Educational Fund at UJCVP, 2700 Spring Road, Newport News, Virginia, 23606. Louis Pachter Chicago, Ill—Louis Harold Pachter (b. 1917, Chicago) died peacefully at home in Chicago on Nov. 25, 2013, surrounded by his family. Louis, “Louie” to his many friends, grew up on the South Side of Chicago with his parents Charles and Rose (Cohen) Pachter (obm) who emigrated from Poland and Lithuania, and his brothers, Sidney (obm) and Ralph (obm). Louis was an avid sailor, and in his early years the “Comet” survived many Lake Michigan races. He served in WWII training pilots in celestial navigation. Always a golfer, Louis achieved a ‘hole in one’ twice,

obituaries won many awards at Ravisloe Country Club and enjoyed golf in Ft. Lauderdale well into his 90s. After WWII, Louie joined his brothers in Pachter Construction Company in Gary, Indiana, which built over 1,500 homes including his family’s home, and donated Pachter Park. Louis and his loving and adored wife of 65 years, E.J. ‘Dolly’ Pachter, lovingly raised their three devoted children there: Rosalyn, Abbey and Ralph Pachter, with each of whom Louie had memorable travels, now reside in Chicago, Virginia Beach, and Santa Barbara, respectively. A founding and participating member of Temple Israel in Miller Beach, Louis and Dolly taught their children about their Jewish heritage. Louis is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Madeline Szul, Amy Hooper and Samantha Pachter, and his devoted nephew, Charles Pachter. Louis’ constant and last thoughts expressed concern for and actions towards the well-being of his family. He is also survived by his nephew Sidney Pachter, Jr. and niece Suzanne Wallach. Donations to the Mayo Clinic Rochester in memory of Louis Pachter and in honor of Dr. Louis Letandre-Hematology ,Dept. of Development, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 or to the Israeli first-responders team, Magen David Adom at www.afmda.org. Celia Plotkin Weiner Savannah, Ga.—Celia Plotkin Weiner, 95, of Savannah, Ga. and widow of Elliott R. Weiner, died peacefully Tuesday morning, Nov. 19, 2013, at her home at Buckingham South, where she resided for 14 years, and under the care of Hospice Savannah.

Born in Savannah, she was a daughter of the late Isadore Plotkin and the late Rebecca Mallin Plotkin. Mrs. Weiner was a lifelong member of Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob and the Jewish Educational Alliance. She was a graduate of Savannah High School. Mrs. Weiner and her husband owned and operated Plotkin and Company for more than 35 years, where she was vice president for sales, bookkeeping and marketing. She was a dedicated chairperson of the synagogue’s gift shop for many years. Mrs. Weiner was a lifelong member of Hadassah, having served in many leadership positions, including president. She was a loving wife, and a devoted and loving mother and grandmother. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Samuel Sam Plotkin and Jacob Plotkin, OBM. Surviving are one daughter, Roslyn W. Barney and her husband, Michael, of Virginia Beach, Va.; one son, Larry A. Weiner and his wife, Linda, of Raleigh, N. C.; four grandchildren, Jason Ross Barney, Scott Ryan Barney, Keith E. Weiner and Denise W. Spitalnick; one great-granddaughter, Nina Spitalnick; two sisters, Miriam P. Stein and Bertha P. Freedman, both of Savannah, and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service was held at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Avigdor Slatus. Remembrances: Congregation Bnai Brith—Jacob-5444 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405 or Hospice Savannah—Post Office Box #13190, Savannah, Georgia 31416-0190.

Share thoughts about Mrs. Weiner and her life at www.gamblefuneralservice.com.

David Peleg, Israeli historian and diplomat JERUSALEM ( JTA)—David Peleg, an Israeli historian and a longtime diplomat who served as director of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, has died. Peleg, Israel’s former ambassador to Poland, died Nov. 27 in Israel following a long illness. He was 72. The Jerusalem native, whose family was from Poland, served as an Israeli envoy starting in 1965, finishing his career in Warsaw from 2004 to 2009. Previous stops included Zambia, Atlanta, London, Washington, New York and Geneva. He was appointed director-general of the World Jewish Restitution Organization after leaving the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2009. (JTA)

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op ed

Sing us the songs of Zion

Arik Einstein by Jeffrey Salkin

BAYONNE, N.J. (JTA)—Arik Einstein, who died last month at the age of 74, basically invented Israeli popular music. He was a unique Israeli combination of Sinatra, Dylan and the Beatles, embodying the spirit and the struggles of a younger, more optimistic Israel. His death brought tributes from the top leaders of Israeli society. Shy, almost reclu-

sive, he died in the same Tel Aviv house in which he had been born. Find another rock star who has never changed addresses. But Einstein’s death has broader cultural implications. At a time when the U.S.-Israel relationship appears particularly fragile, and with the state of American Jewry’s ties to Israel again under discussion, the death of Arik Einstein presents us with the opportunity to ask if, musically, American Jews and Israelis are on the same page? I’m grateful to my friend and colleague Rabbi Morley Feinstein of the University Synagogue in Los Angeles for posing the question. Feinstein noted that Einstein’s classic “Ani v’Atta” (“You and I”) had been sung in Reform movement summer camps, youth groups and creative services, helping to forge an important link between American Jewish youth and Israel. Back in the early 1970s, Israeli pop songs


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were a mainstay of American Jewish camping. were dependent on Israeli imports and, to The playlist I remember includes “Bashana a lesser degree, on the music of Shlomo Carlebach. In some ways, the absence ha ba-ah,” an optimistic song that in of Israeli popular music from our the heady days between the Sixsummer camps demonstrates Day War and the Yom Kippur In those that American Jewish culture War proclaimed the hope that has come of age. But with that next year will be better. We days there was cultural declaration of indewere full participants in the an unbroken link pendence, what do we lose? post-1967 Israel euphoria. The Zionist thinker Ahad The Naomi Shemer classic between Israeli Ha-am hoped that the reborn “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” despite its right-wing con- popular culture and state would become the cultural center of the Jewish notations, expressed the American Jewish world, with a new kind of conviction that Jerusalem Torah coming forth from Zion. would always be in our hearts youth culture. Without Israeli songs on our as well as on our lips. And years lips, we lose a connection between later there was “Abanibi,” an exerAmerican Jewish youth and Israeli cise in pure fun based on jumbled culture. A pop culture connection repHebrew sentences. It was all rather easy. The songs flowed resents the opportunity to see an Israel that into each other. Everything was in A minor goes beyond the crisis narrative, an Israel or D minor, depending on where you put that is rich, vibrant, cool, sophisticated. And in fact, as I have learned from Yossi Klein the capo on the neck of the guitar. In those days there was an unbroken link Halevi, a meticulous observer and fan of this between Israeli popular culture and American music, the music is better than ever, with Jewish youth culture. Our song leaders listened much to say and teach. Let’s work on restoring the link. It to Israeli rock music and almost instantly is easy, painless and technologically imported it into camps and youth programs. And today? Based on largely anecdotal feasible. Let’s teach the songs and their sigevidence, most of the songs sung at Jewish nificance—to contemporary Israelis, and to summer camps are written by contempo- us as American Jews. “Sing us the songs of Zion,” says the rary American Jewish composers. By and large, our American Jewish youth are not Psalmist. This was how the Babylonians taunted our hopeless and hapless ancestors singing the songs of Zion. The proliferation of American Jewish who despaired of ever having songs to sings popular songs at summer camps is quite again. The Temple musicians, deprived of understandable. First, the golden age of their sacred venue, hung their harps on the Israeli popular music in our camps coin- willows. The midrash says they even broke cided with the post-Six-Day War American their fingers in protest. It’s time for us to walk with history and Jewish infatuation with Israel—an infatuation that has deepened into a more mature to sing the songs of Zion. And here is the love, but one in which the bloom is clearly good news. Einstein’s “Ani v’atta” is still being sung at Jewish summer camps. It is off the rose. Second, our ways of teaching and pre- Arik’s musical kaddish. In the musical world to come he now senting music has changed over the years. Kids are less likely to have song sheets in inhabits, Arik is surely smiling. And come their hands, making the singing of complex next summer, he will surely sing along. —Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin is the spiritual leadmodern Hebrew lyrics much more unwieldy. Third, in the early 1970s there were er of Temple Beth Am in Bayonne, N.J., and essentially no American Jewish compos- the author of numerous books on spirituality ers writing for a youth market. It was the and Jewish identity published by Jewish Lights BDF era—Before Debbie Friedman. We Publishing and the Jewish Publication Society.

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