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upfront On Newtown anniversary, grandma, parents of Jewish boy killed slam gun control foes
he grandmother of the six-year-old Jewish boy who was killed in the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., criticized opponents of gun control legislation in a Washington Post Op-Ed on the event’s third anniversary. “Guns don’t kill; people do. Yes, that’s true. An open society can never protect itself completely from evil or insanity,” Marie-Claude Duytshaever, grandmother of Noah Pozner, wrote in the Washington Post on Monday, Dec. 14. “But it can start by preventing the distribution of the powerful weapons and ammunition that have been used to kill our grandson and so many other innocents.” Duytshaever singled out and slammed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, an adamant defender of the uninhibited right to bear arms. “A couple of months ago…Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, wrote that he had never seen a body with bullet holes that was more devastating ‘than taking the right to arm ourselves away,’” she wrote. “Presumably Carson never saw one of his kids or grandkids bullet-ridden and forever stilled.” Noah’s parents, Lenny and Veronique Pozner, also spoke out Thursday, Dec. 10 in advance of the anniversary of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in an Op-Ed in the Florida Sun-Sentinel. The couple bashed a Florida Atlantic university professor, James Tracy, who has said
that President Barack Obama staged the Newtown shooting to further his gun control agenda. “Tracy has enjoyed tremendous success from this exposure and has since leveraged it into a popular Internet blog and radio program,” the Pozners wrote in the newspaper. “Worse yet, it has elevated his status and fame among the degenerates that revel in the pleasure of sadistically torturing victims’ families.” The couple also said that Tracy caused them significant “pain and anguish” by harassing them with requests to prove that they were Noah’s biological parents and the “rightful owner of his photographic image.” “Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the ‘unfulfilled request’ was ‘noteworthy’ because we had used copyright claims to ‘thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event,’” the Pozners wrote. The couple noted that Tracy’s comments were supported by his “frequent collaborator” James Fetzer, a known Holocaust denier. Noah Pozner was one of the 20 children and six adult staffers killed by a lone gunman—Adam Lanza, 20—on Dec. 14, 2012 in the deadliest mass shooting at a high school or elementary school in U.S. history. (JTA)
Contents Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 President Ruvi and Hanukkah in Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Americans and Jewish refugees. . . . . . . . . 8 Republican candidates pitch GOP Jews. . . 9 Jewish groups comment on Donald Trump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Adelson and GOP candidates. . . . . . . . . . 13 Education Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Holocaust Commission’s student competitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
U. of Haifa, Texas A&M team up on Mediterranean observatory
exas A&M University and the University of Haifa announced joint plans to establish a major Mediterranean observatory to study oceanography and the atmosphere. The planned observatory will cost more than $5.5 million and will be called the Texas A&M-University of Haifa Eastern Mediterranean Observatory. The observatory will draw on the expertise of Texas A&M faculty conducting similar research efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico “are viewed as similar bodies of water and thus provide unique opportunities for comparative analysis of their related impacts on the environment, industry and people of their regions,” according to the statement issued by Texas A&M. Amos Shapira, president of the University of Haifa, said: “This collaboration with one of the biggest and best universities in the United States strengthens the role of the University of Haifa as the leading university in Israel in the field of marine sciences. Our understanding on what is happening in the deep water around Israel’s shores is one of strategic importance because the sea is the future of the state of Israel and all of humanity.” The joint project also will bring faculty from both universities together for symposiums, joint research projects and other programming. (JTA)
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Friday, December 25/Tevet 13 Light candles at 4:36 pm
“It’s not every day one receives
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jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 3
Briefs Top Reform bodies renew call for Redskins to change name, logo Two top Reform movement groups reiterated their call on the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change the team’s name and logo. “’Redskin’ is a racial slur that references the deplorable treatment of American Indians that has been a significant part of this country’s history,” Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who heads Reform’s Religious Action Center, said in a letter delivered Monday, Dec. 14 to the franchise’s headquarters by the group Change the Mascot. “The logo, seemingly attempting to draw upon the archetype of an Indian warrior, blatantly mocks a culture that struggles to survive,” said the letter addressed to owner Dan Snyder, who is Jewish. Snyder in the past has called on Jewish groups to defend him against what he perceived to be anti-Jewish slurs. Also writing to the team was the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis. “The intransigence of Redskins ownership is appalling, particularly in light of the tremendous offense that Native American Indians continue to experience as a result of the team’s inappropriate, insulting name,” said the letter signed by Rabbi Denise Eger, the CCAR president, and Rabbi Steven Fox, its CEO. Reform bodies for decades have advocated for the team to change its name. The Anti-Defamation League has also repeatedly called for a name change. (JTA) Nazi ‘gold train’ doesn’t exist, Polish academics say Despite claims made in August that two individuals had discovered an abandoned treasure-laden Nazi train near the Polish town of Walbrzych, researchers say they do not believe such a train exists. The experts from Krakow’s Academy of Mining said Tuesday, Dec. 15 there is no evidence to back up the claims that such a train is in fact buried in a tunnel, Agence France Press reported. In August, Piotr Koper, who is Polish, and Andreas Richter, a German, said they had discovered the train using ground-penetrating radar, but that they would not reveal its location until they
were guaranteed a 10 percent finder’s fee. The train was believed to be one that reportedly disappeared in 1945 loaded with gold, gems, art and guns bound for Berlin, one of several trains the Nazis used in an attempt to save their war plunder from the approaching Allies. According to local lore, the train vanished after entering a network of tunnels under the Owl Mountains. Academy of Mining geology professor Janusz Madej said, according to AFP, that his team’s research had indicated “there is no train on this site (but) maybe a tunnel.” Addressing a news conference in Wałbrzych, he added: “The geo-magnetic model anomalies would be far greater if there was a train.” Madej spoke at the end of a monthlong survey of a stretch along the WrocławWałbrzych railway line, during which experts employed magnetic field detectors, thermal imaging cameras and radars, according to the Times of Israel. In August, Poland’s deputy culture minister, Piotr Zuchowski, said he was “more than 99 percent certain that this train exists” based on a ground-penetrating radar image he had seen. He added, however, that “the nature of its contents is unverifiable at the moment.” Madej told AFP he was “100 percent sure there is no train” there based on magnetic, gravimetric and geo-radar studies. Koper and Richter stuck to their claim, however, and said they plan to prove the train exists. “We need a bit more time…we need to excavate,” Koper told AFP. (JTA)
Swedish PM backtracks from statement that stabbings in Israel aren’t terror Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven withdrew his statement that the recent string of stabbing attacks in Israel do not qualify as terror. Lofven clarified to say he views the stabbings as terror attacks, but meant they are not organized by terrorist organizations, according to Haaretz. Asked by TT, a Swedish wire service, whether the stabbings counted as terror, Lofven said, “No, it is not classified as such.” Hours later, he called TT to say,
4 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
“I meant that it was unclear if the knife attacks are organized by a group classified as a terrorist organization. Nonetheless, the attacks themselves do constitute terror.” The incident came days after Swedish Foreign Minister Margo Wallstrom accused Israel of unjustly executing Palestinians without trial. Wallstrom told a meeting of the Swedish parliament that while she condemns the knife attacks, Israel’s response has been disproportionate. “And in the same way the response cannot be, and I say this in other situations as well, where the response becomes so that there are extrajudicial executions, or that it becomes disproportionate so the numbers of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors,” Wallstrom said, according to Haaretz. Following Israeli condemnation of her remarks, Wallstrom’s spokesman said she was discussing international law and did not intend to accuse Israel of extrajudicial killing. (JTA)
British-American Jewish academic under investigation for Jewish Nazi comment The British-American Jewish academic who told a 13-year-old Israeli girl that she would not answer her questions for a school project until there is peace in Palestine is under police investigation. The Cambridgeshire Constabulary confirmed to the London-based Jewish Chronicle that it was investigating a complaint about a comment by archaeozoologist Marsha Levine, a former academic at the University of Cambridge, who told the Jewish Chronicle in response to an interview about the girl’s request that “the Jews have become the Nazis.” The Jewish Chronicle’s reporting of the email exchange between Levine and Shachar Rabinovitch of Zichron Yaakov, and later comments reportedly triggered a complaint to the police from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The police are investigating the comments as a possible hate crime, according to the Chronicle. Shachar Rabinovitch had sent an email to Levine last month asking for her help to learn about the early history of the horse and the use of horses by humans in ancient times, as part of a school assignment.
“I know you are a very important person and I’ve read your article about horses and I love horses very much and it will be an honor if you will answer my questions,” the girl wrote in her email to Levine. Levine responded that she is a member of the Jews for Justice for Palestinians organization and that she supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. “You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people,” the academic wrote, and referred her to the Jews for Justice for Palestinians website. The girl’s mother, Shamir Rabinovitch, posted the email exchange on Facebook. (JTA)
1 in 3 US Dems disapprove of Netanyahu, poll finds American Democratic voters increasingly disapprove of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a poll found. The poll by the Brookings Institution showed disapproval ratings for the Israeli prime minister among Democratic voters rising to 34 percent from 22 percent since last year. His favorable ratings dropped to 18 percent from 25 percent, while the “neither favorable nor unfavorable” column remained the largest, 35 percent this year and 38 percent last year. Among Republicans, Netanyahu’s favorability ratings did not budge – 51 percent this year as opposed to 49 percent last year, within the poll’s 3.3 percentage point margin of error. Unfavorables among GOP voters were 13 percent this year and 9 percent last year, and the “neither” column was 26 percent this year and 30 percent last year. Netanyahu clashed openly with President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress over the last year on the Iran nuclear deal. He accept an invitation from the Republican congressional leadership to address Congress without the knowledge of the president and Democratic leaders. In that March speech, he strongly opposed Obama’s Iran policy. The survey of 875 adults was taken Nov. 4–10. (JTA)
Birthdays and other Gentile customs, or, the hidden link between Hanukkah and Christmas
e rabbis often say that Hanukkah and Christmas have nothing in common except for the coincidence of a December date. I am no longer persuaded of that truism. In America, we love our birthdays. We eat cake, blow out candles, make wishes, receive presents, read corny cards, and generally indulge ourselves. It was not always so. In the Bible, only the non-Jew, Pharaoh, has his birthday mentioned, although its date was not recorded—in Genesis 40:20. Pharaoh marked his birthday by pardoning the butler, but executing the baker. Some celebration—The baker would have preferred to have created the cake out of which the dancing girl could spring, but one didn’t get to be Pharaoh without being schooled in cruelty. By contrast, our illustrious biblical ancestors’ birthdays are not recorded. It is a midrash, not a Bible verse, that Moses was born on 7 Adar (because of another midrash, that he died on 7 Adar, and the hope that he lived exactly 120 years, hence dying on his birthday). Abraham? Jacob? David? None have birthdays recorded. For that matter, since Jewish authors stand behind the Gospel traditions, it is not at all surprising that the birth date of Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, is unrecorded in the New Testament. So why December 25, for that most famous Jewish boy? And why is this of interest for the date of Hanukkah? The earliest account of Hanukkah,
the apocryphal book of First Maccabbees, tells us clearly that the Greek tyrant Antiochus began offering pagan sacrifices upon the illicit altar he had erected in the Temple of Jerusalem on the 25th day of Kislev. (I Macc. 1:59). Three years later, the victorious Judah Maccabbee selected the same date, 25 Kislev, as the time to rededicate the Temple, and inaugurated the restored worship of the One God at that time. (I Macc. 4:54) Judah and the assembly of Israel subsequently decreed an annual, eightday festival, to begin on 25 Kislev. Thus, the answer to the question— Why does Hanukkah begin on 25 Kislev? Is it because that is the date originally chosen by Antiochus to defile the Temple, then chosen by Judah to undo the original damage? But we still need to understand why Antiochus chose 25 Kislev. Antiochus sought to impose pagan worship upon the Jews. Specifically, which pagan deity? The best scholarly conjecture is Dionysius, the god of intoxication. The pig was the favorite sacrificial animal of the cult of Dionysius, which would explain why Antiochus forced the Jews to consume swine flesh. The month for the Greek veneration of Dionysius was Poseidon, which is the same as Kislev. Now, why the 25th? Many scholars conjecture that Antiochus wanted to impose a winter solstice festival, and that may be—although Kislev 25 was not the solstice in 167 BCE. Alternately, it may be that Antiochus was forcing a particularly loathsome celebration of his birthday. We read in another ancient account of Hanukkah, Second Maccabbees, that Antiochus forced Jews to partake of the meat of pagan sacrifices on his monthly birthday, i.e. on the day of the month that corresponded to the date of his birth. The likelihood is that he was born on the 25th; hence, while he erected the pagan altar in the Temple on the 15th of Kislev, he began the compulsory sacrifices on it on
the 25th. (I Macc. 1: 54, 59) It is well known that the Christian celebration of December 25 is an attempt to co-opt an existing pagan festival. Saturnalia was December 25, and by Christianizing it, the Church gave itself the spoonful of sugar to help its medicine go down. Thus, it turns out that Christmas and Hanukkah are connected by the number 25, a time of month otherwise never used for Jewish holidays. Both are responses to paganism: the Christian Christmas an attempt to swallow the festival, and the Jewish Hanukkah, an attempt to undo the damage caused by the pagan tyrant who, like Pharaoh before him, celebrated his birthday by acts of cruelty. —Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel
Obama in Hanukkah greeting says ‘miracles happen in darkest hours’
resident Barack Obama in Hanukkah greetings said the lesson of the holiday was “on the miracles that can happen even in our darkest hours.” “It renews our commitment as Americans—as people who live by faith and conscience—to lead the way and act as unyielding advocates for the fundamental dignity of every human being,” Obama said in a statement released Sunday, Dec. 6 by the White House on the eve of the holiday. “During these eight days, let us be inspired by the light that can overcome darkness. As we recall the Maccabees’ struggle to free a people from oppression, let us rededicate ourselves to being the engine of the miracles we seek.” (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 5
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President Ruvi brings cheer to Washington’s Hanukkah season by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Reuven Rivlin toddles up the White House driveway. He is grinning as he shouts in Hebrew to a phalanx of local Israeli reporters shivering in the December chill: “If you must live in a Diaspora, live in this one!” Washington’s Hanukkah week found an unlikely Santa Claus in Israel’s president: His workshop, where the real work is done, is far away in Jerusalem, but here he came to the Diaspora, spreading cheer and goodwill. Look at Rivlin on Wednesday, Dec. 9, jaw dropped in joy, lighting the menorah at the White House Hanukkah party. Listen to him lavish praise on the American president in terms so affectionate they would cleave the tongue of his prime minister. Watch him nod in approval as a fiery rabbi from St. Louis excoriates policies embraced by Rivlin. Rivlin’s light-footed jauntiness is a relief in a city where the week of Hanukkah has become a monster. Holiday parties in Washington have become the ex who makes you crazy: You’d rather not go to his stupid party, but wait, he didn’t invite you? President George W. Bush launched the White House Hanukkah party tradition. Now it prompts an annual barrage of calls pleading for entry that have quickly aged a succession of once-youthful Jewish liaisons. Like clockwork, the Bush Jewish outreach staffers would “regretfully” quit right after their first Hanukkah party, preferring the joys of, say, Social Security reform to ever having to deal again with angry snubbed donors. President Barack Obama has expanded the celebrations to two yearly Hanukkah parties, both held this year on Wednesday, Dec. 10. His Jewish liaisons are fleeing less frequently, but ask any of them about the experience of fielding calls in the weeks ahead of the party, and watch their jaws and God knows what else clenching. And it’s not just the White House. There’s the menorah lighting on the Ellipse in front of the White House, organized by American Friends of Lubavitch, where each year a lucky official gets to squeeze into the cab of a cherry picker with the Rabbis Shemtov—father Abraham and son Levi— and light the huge lamps. Most years, it’s the most senior Jewish official in the government, although this year the honors
went to a Roman Catholic, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Then there’s the party at the Library of Congress, organized by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. And the party at the Israeli Embassy. And the Indian Embassy’s Hanukkah bash, which was held this year after the actual holiday, on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign also had a party, in between the two White House parties, on Wednesday, Dec. 9. There’s the party dubbed “Latkes and Vodkas” held by Bluelight Strategies, the lead public relations outfit handling Jewish communal accounts. (This year’s theme, emblazoned on blue baseball caps: “Let’s make Hanukkah great again!,” a jab at Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.) Then there is the heavy, heavy messaging. This year, nary an opportunity was missed to reference the plight of Syrian refugees on this holiday of religious freedom, an ancient festival that has somehow morphed into an American value. “And yet we are mindful, even as we gather here tonight, that while the light of freedom burns brightly for us, and our generation, it flickers for others – refugees fleeing religious intolerance and oppression, people targeted for their faith, people whose faith is perverted by others,” McDonough said before being transported to the chilly heights of the massive menorah. “That’s our challenge during this Hanukkah season,” Obama said at the second White House party. “Whether it’s standing up for the dignity of refugees, standing up against anti-Semitism—or any kind of bigotry or discrimination leveled at any religion—or standing with our ally the State of Israel, we can raise our voices, each of us, for the security and dignity of every human being.“ And Obama, at the afternoon party: “It’s no accident that when we’re called out to speak on behalf of refugees or against religious persecution, American Jews remember what it was like to be a stranger and are leading the way.” Taken one at a time, each party is packed with good food and camaraderie. Collectively, with the same folks attending each, the experience becomes otherworldly, like being stuck in an endless loop of encomiums to religious freedom. It’s like Groundhog Day, but without the fun parts.
And then comes President Ruvi. The merry scion of one of Israel’s oldest families, the president who hopes to transform a ceremonial office into a nexus of reconciliation among Israel’s warring tribes, gets what this minor holiday is about: having unironic, even childish fun. “This is my 76th Hanukkah,” he tells the White House crowd, to laughter. “I remember nearly all of them. I love all of them.” He adds: “They told me that the latkes and the donuts would be worth coming all the way.” He lavishes praise on Obama, likening him to the shamash candle—“not a civil servant, it is the leader.” He extols Obama’s “strong and clear moral leadership.” Talking to Israeli reporters in Hebrew, he uses two words for friend to describe the president —the more common one, “haver,” the other from the root for shepherd, “reah.” The contrast is sharp with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tends to praise the “relationship” with the United States more than he does the man who steers it. The difference is not lost on
Obama, who relaxes and smiles as he listens. Nor is it lost on the Jews at the party, many of whom twice helped lead Obama to resounding victories among Jewish voters, who whoop with cheers. Rivlin’s joy is evident throughout the long preamble to the blessing delivered by Rabbi Susan Talve from the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis. Rivlin nods cheerfully through references to the Black Lives Matter movement—Talve was a leader of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri —justice for Palestinians, compassion for the Syrian refugees and even a pointed reference to religious pluralism in Israel, which Rivlin has resisted. “I stand with my sisters who lit these lights at the Kotel!” she cries out, referring to the Women at the Wall protest group. Then Santa Ruvi steps forward and joins in the prayer, smiling as Talve shouts out “veimahot”—“and the mothers”—during the blessing. When it’s time, he lights the candle and belts out “Maoz Tzur.”
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jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 7
What Americans had to say about Jewish war refugees By Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK ( JTA)—They were called “so-called” refugees, told they were alien to American culture and warned against as potential enemies of the United States. This heated anti-refugee rhetoric in America was directed against Jews trying to flee Europe, not Mexicans or Syrians. Back in the 1930s and ‘40s, the fear was of Nazi and Communist infiltrators sneaking in along with the refugees rather than the Islamic militants or Mexican criminals that some fear today. Here’s a snapshot of what Americans were saying about Jews as they sought to escape Hitler’s Nazi vise for refuge in the United States. The polls In 1938, when Hitler’s threat to Jews in Germany already was apparent, America still was emerging from the Great Depression, and xenophobia and anti-Semitism were commonplace. In a July 1938 poll, 67 percent of Americans told Fortune
magazine that America should try to keep out altogether German, Austrian and other political refugees, and another 18 percent said America should allow them in but without increasing immigration quotas. In another 1938 poll, cited in the book Jews in the Mind of America, some 75 percent of respondents said they opposed increasing the number of German Jews allowed to resettle in the United States. In January 1939, 61 percent of Americans told Gallup they opposed the settlement of 10,000 refugee children, “most of them Jewish,” in the United States. In May that year, 12 percent of Americans said they would support a widespread campaign against Jews in the United States and another 8 percent said they would be sympathetic to one, according to the book FDR and the Jews. By June 1944, the number had risen to 43 percent of Americans who said they would support a campaign against the Jews or would be sympathetic to one. Polls cited in Jews in the Mind of America showed 24 percent of Americans believed Jews were “a menace
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to America.” At the same time, however, 70 percent of Americans said in an April 1944 poll commissioned by the White House that they supported creating temporary safe haven camps in the United States where war refugees could stay until the war’s end. Only one such camp was set up, at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York; 982 refugees were placed there in August 1944. The statements Rep. Jacob Thorkelson, a Montana Republican, said Jewish migrants are part of an “invisible government” tied to the “communistic Jew” and to “Jewish international financiers.” Sen. Robert Reynolds, a North Carolina Democrat, said Jews are “systematically building a Jewish empire in this country.” “Let Europe take care of its own people,” he said. “We cannot care for our own, to say nothing of importing more to care for.” Reynolds told Life magazine he merely wanted “our own fine boys and lovely girls to have all the jobs in this wonderful country,” according to TheIntercept.com. President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself warned that Jewish refugees might be Nazi spies, coerced to do the Reich’s bidding with threats against relatives back home. At a news conference, Roosevelt explained how refugees—“especially Jewish refugees” —might be forced into service for the Nazis with the threat that if they declined, they would be told, “We are frightfully sorry, but your old father and mother will be taken out and shot.” Similar warnings against Nazis disguised as refugees appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest and American Magazine, according to Reason.com. The numbers America did not take specific action to help Jewish refugees until January 1944, when Roosevelt, conceding to pressure from members of his own government and American Jews, established the War Refugee Board to help rescue Jews in Europe. Until then, several thousand Jewish refugees had gained admittance into the United States under the German-Austrian quota from 1938 to 1941, which wasn’t limited to Jews. But for most of Roosevelt’s
8 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
presidency, the U.S. quota for immigrants from Germany went less than 25 percent filled, according to the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. In all, more than 190,000 quota places from Germany and Axis-occupied countries sat unused during the Holocaust. In 1938, just two weeks after the Kristallnacht pogrom, the U.S. interior secretary floated the idea of settling refugees in Alaska, and soon his office began researching the possibility. In March 1940, Sen. Robert Wagner of New York and Rep. Frank Havenner of California proposed bills to resettle 10,000 war refugees in the remote territory who wouldn’t count toward America’s immigration quotas. But the idea ran into opponents in Congress who expressed concerns that “these foreigners cannot be assimilated in Alaska, and will constitute a threat to our American civilization.” In one of the most infamous incidents involving Jewish refugees, the SS St. Louis, a ship loaded with Jews fleeing the Nazis, sailed to the waters off of Florida in 1939, its passengers begging Roosevelt to enter the country. But Roosevelt said no, and the ship—once close enough for passengers to see the lights of Miami—returned to Europe. Nearly half its passengers would perish at the hands of the Nazis. Even after World War II, Jewish refugees and displaced persons who wanted to resettle to the United States faced tight restrictions. Overall immigration to the U.S. did not increase after the Holocaust, but in an effort to bypass congressional inaction and help war refugees, President Harry Truman ordered that existing immigration quotas be filled by displaced persons. Under the provisions of the Truman Directive, some 22,950 DPs came to the United States between late 1945 and 1947; two-thirds were Jewish. In 1948, Congress loosened immigration restrictions to allow 400,000 DPs into the United States. Most of those spots went to Christians, however; only about 20 percent, or 80,000, were Jews. In all, 137,450 Jewish refugees had settled in the United States by 1952, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. By comparison, more than four years into Syria’s civil war, America has accepted about 1,500 Syrian refugees.
Republican presidential hopefuls make their pitch to GOP Jews by Sarah Wildman
WASHINGTON (JTA)—In carefully tailored stump speeches that ranged in tone from apocalyptic to chummy, all but one of the Republican presidential candidates showed up in an attempt to woo Jewish voters. Many of the speeches at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum, held Dec. 3 at the Ronald Reagan Building, focused on the threat of “radical Islamic terror,” emphasized their disapproval for the recently negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, and took direct aim at Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. For decades, the Republican Jewish Coalition has had as its mission bridging the divide between a conservative party and a moderate constituency, U.S. Jews. Since the late 1990s, when casino magnate Sheldon Adelson became the group’s most generous funder, it has taken on his passions—for instance, embracing a hawkish pro-Israel stance. The daylong forum began with a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting that killed 14 a day earlier in San Bernardino, Calif., and prayers for the survivors and those who had lost loved ones. The massacre “underscores we are at a time of war,” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the first candidate to address the crowd. “This nation needs a wartime president to defend it.” When it came time for Donald Trump to speak, the real estate mogul turned Republican front-runner, who has long traded in conspiracy theories about Obama, told the crowd: “We have a president who refuses to use the term”—referring to “radical Islamic terrorism.” Trump then added, “There’s something about him we don’t know about.” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said, “This president and his former secretary of state cannot call it what it is: Islamic terrorism,” referencing Clinton, who preceded Kerry as America’s top diplomat. “[Islamic terrorists] have declared war on us and we need to declare war on them.”
Among the candidates to take the stage, only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a point to distinguish between mainstream Muslim-Americans and radical jihadists, noting his own pushback when one of his appointed judges was falsely accused of practicing traditional Islamic religious, or shariah law. At times, the candidates seemed to be competing over who was closest with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and which had spent more time in Israel. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, for example, said he had visited the Jewish state “dozens of times since 1973.” Many pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on “day one” of their presidency. Trump, however, balked in response to a question about Jerusalem—united in Israeli hands or divided between Israelis and Palestinians—saying he would wait to decide until he spoke with Netanyahu. The crowd booed its disapproval. He then tried to win back the audience by telling them about how he made a commercial for Netanyahu’s re-election campaign. (Trump also made a point of reminding the room that his daughter Ivanka is Jewish; she converted before marrying real estate developer Jared Kushner.) But Trump also seemed to acknowledge that he wasn’t likely to be popular among Jewish Republicans, telling the crowd, “You aren’t going to support me even though you know I’m the best thing that will ever happen for Israel. You aren’t going to support me because I don’t want your money.” One common refrain during the event was the rejection of the deal that the Obama administration, together with other world powers, struck with Iran over its nuclear program. Trump, for one, said he would send everyone back to the negotiating table, assuring the room that inking a better deal would be “so easy.” Bush said he would reinstitute sanctions against Iran lifted as part of the deal. And Cruz declared, “We need to nominate a candidate who has the clarity to stand up and say: If you vote for Hillary Clinton, you are voting for the Ayatollah Khamenei to have nuclear
weapons,” referring to Iran’s supreme leader. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida vowed to “shred” the agreement. And there was also a near-universal declaration of revulsion for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Cruz indicated that as president, his administration would strip federal funding from universities that divest from companies that do business with Israel. Rubio blasted the new European Union resolution to label products made in the West Bank settlements, saying that the policy was tantamount to anti-Semitism. He also promised to “call on university and religious leaders to speak out with clarity and force on this issue the same way … they speak out against racism and bigotry.” The room generally received the candidates warmly, but their votes may be few: Jewish voters consistently skew Democratic. Obama won the 2012 presidential election with about 70 percent of the Jewish vote, and Jews overwhelmingly support social issues that fall in the progressive column, including gay marriage and abortion rights. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate, made some headway over the 2008 GOP choice, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Romney garnered about 30 percent of the Jewish vote to McCain’s 22-24 percent, corresponding to sagging enthusiasm among voters generally for Obama. Additionally, McCain’s vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is believed to have turned off many Jewish voters because of her stridency on social issues. On a call with the media the day before the forum, National Jewish Democratic Council Chairman Greg Rosenbaum said, “[W]hen we look at the candidates this party is putting forward, we’re amazed by how out of sync they are with the priorities of Jewish-Americans. The RJC attempts to drive a wedge between the parties on Israel, using Israel as a partisan issue, because it is all they’ve got.” Only Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tried to address that lag, noting a successful Republican candidate had to rethink immigration policy, reach out to Latinos, and allow for exceptions on rape
and incest with regard to abortion. Each of the speeches had moments of direct Jewish appeal, sometimes to mixed effect. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore warmed up the crowd by noting that just the night before he had watched the Oscarwinning Holocaust feature Schindler’s List. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he always followed his mother’s advice. “She said, ‘Johnny, if you want to look for a really good friend, get someone who is Jewish,’” Kasich recalled. “You know why she said that? Your Jewish friend will stick by your side and stand by your side.” Trump was introduced as a “mensch” with “chutzpah.” “This room negotiates deals, perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to,” he said. Not all of the effort was well received: Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, spent his time on stage woodenly reading from Ally, a book written by Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. Then, in the same monotone, he read his own prepared remarks, several times mispronouncing Hamas—it sounded more like hummus. Other candidates to speak were former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul missed the event, citing Senate votes. As raucous as the crowd was at times, it may not be about votes at all but about dollars. “I am a fiscal conservative,” said Richard Fox, a venture capitalist from Haddonfield, New Jersey, who listed Israel as a top voting priority. “Oddly I thought that Cruz lit the crowd up on fire. But Rubio was a little flatter today. I haven’t decided.” The real money will come from another reportedly undecided voter: Adelson, who was traveling overseas and not in attendance. He is rumored to still be considering which candidate to support for 2016. Adelson, the RJC’s main bankroller, helped sustain the 2012 campaign of former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich—backing the mogul now believes wounded Romney in the general election.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 9
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What Jewish groups have (and haven’t) said about Donald Trump by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK (JTA)—Donald Trump’s call this month to bar all Muslims from entering the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” has set off a deluge of criticism in America and around the world, from U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “The State of Israel respects all religion and strictly adheres to the rights of all its citizens.” Trump’s Dec. 7 remark also spurred numerous Jewish organizations to speak up. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable Jewish organizational responses, as well as some of those that have stayed silent. Jewish defense organizations: Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt: “A plan that singles out Muslims and denies them entry to the U.S. based on their religion is deeply offensive and runs contrary to our nation’s deepest values.” American Jewish Committee Associate Executive Director for Policy Jason Isaacson: “We are deeply disturbed by the nativist racism inherent in the candidate’s latest remarks.” B’nai B’rith International: “Singling out an entire religious community for diminished rights amounts to bigotry, and it should not be accepted.”
Umbrella organizations: Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community: “There is no place in America, a nation founded on religious freedom, for discrimination on the basis of religion— or any other immutable characteristic, for that matter.… Recent statements are misleading to voters, because they imply
that sacrificing our values will advance our security, which is a fallacy.” Religious organizations: Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin: “We call on all Americans to reaffirm that discrimination of any group solely upon religion is wrong and anathema to the great traditions of religious and personal freedoms upon which this country was founded.” Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox): President Rabbi Shalom Baum: “The complex issues that face us in ensuring the safety and security from terror of innocents and free societies throughout the world need to be addressed, but need to be done in sober and responsible ways. We call upon all Americans and the United States government to recognize the threats posed by radical Islamists, while preserving and protecting the rights of all people who seek peace, no matter how they worship God.” Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative): “We recognize the need to be vigilant in providing security and protection from those who seek to do our country harm, but discriminating against an entire religion is wrong and dangerous.” Religious Action Center of Union for Reform Judaism Director Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner: “While we take no position on Mr. Trump’s candidacy for president, we condemn in the strongest terms his comments calling for barring the entry of Muslims into the United States. As Jews who too often suffered persecution because of our faith, we cannot abide religious bigotry.” Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association: “We call on all Jews and all Americans to denounce hate speech and fear-mongering against Muslims in politics and the media, and to reach out in support of Muslim Americans in every way that we can.”
Election 2016 Political organizations: J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group that has positioned itself as a left-wing alternative to AIPAC: “Donald Trump’s statement today calling for a ‘total and complete shutdown’ of Muslim immigration to the United States is repugnant and unacceptable. This statement is the latest in a string of deeply bigoted and Islamophobic remarks by Mr. Trump and others seeking to stoke and take political advantage of rank hatred.” National Jewish Democratic Council: “It is long past time for leading Republicans, especially Jewish Republicans, to strongly speak out against the bigotry coming from its leading candidate. No single religion is our enemy—terrorists and all those who seek to destroy us are our enemies.” Which Jewish groups of note have not responded? Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: While as
the umbrella organization of the American Jewish community on foreign policy matters, the Conference of Presidents is meant to operate as a consensus organization, the group nonetheless frequently comments on issues in the news without obtaining consensus from its 50-plus members. For example, the Presidents Conference fired off a quick statement this month expressing deep disturbance and dismay the same day that Arab-Israeli Knesset member Ayman Odeh refused to enter its New York office because it shares space with the Jewish Agency and other Zionist entities. In March, the Presidents Conference took less than a day to condemn a newspaper ad by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach attacking U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice for turning a blind eye to genocide. Since Trump made his remarks, the Presidents Conference has declined to respond to several inquiries from JTA about its stance on the remarks or whether a statement might be in the works.
AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee: The nation’s premier pro-Israel lobbying group does not frequently make public statements on matters not directly connected to the initiatives it backs in Congress. But the organization occasionally does wade into partisan political waters. Back in March, AIPAC in a statement applauded Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress warning of the perils of the Iran deal. (Netanyahu consulted with Republicans in Congress, but not the White House, when scheduling his congressional address.) And three weeks later, when Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution after vowing during Israel’s election campaign days earlier that a Palestinian state would not emerge on his watch, AIPAC issued a statement expressing dismay that Obama administration officials expressed skepticism of Netanyahu’s seeming about-face. On Trump, AIPAC has been silent; a spokesman told JTA the organization’s focus is U.S.-Israel relations.
Zionist Organization of America: This group on the right end of the American Jewish political spectrum on Israel rarely misses an opportunity to promote its views, issuing statements on everything from what public officials fail to say (Dec. 10: U.N.’s Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Terror Attacks On Civilians in Many Countries—But Not In Israel) to little-noticed initiatives the organization itself undertakes (Sept. 25: ZOA Testifies to U. Cal. Regents: Adopt State Dept. Def. of Anti-Semitism). While the ZOA has not addressed Trump’s call to bar Muslims entry to America, the organization issued a statement about Syrian refugees after Trump made his comments. “ZOA: Don’t Bring ISIS/Terrorist Infiltrated, Hamas Supporting, Jew-Hating, Syrian Muslims Into the U.S.,” reads the headline of ZOA’s Dec. 8 news release. “The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly opposes bringing more Syrian Muslim ‘refugees’ into the United States,” wrote the group’s president, Morton Klein. “Syrian continued on page 12
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Election 2016 continued from page 11
immigrants pose a grave danger to all Americans—and an even greater danger to American Jews, for a host of reasons.”
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Republican Jewish Coalition: The nation’s premier Republican Jewish group has opted to stay silent on the remarks by Trump, who has led the Republican presidential field in national polls for most of the past few months. RJC officials did not respond to a JTA request for comment.
Obama’s ‘chutzpah’ email by Daniel Treiman
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Jewish Federations of North America: While the umbrella group for North American Jewish federations tries to stay out of the partisan fray, it has weighed in on political matters when it felt the issue merited it. For example, on Dec. 10, JFNA rebuked Israel’s chief rabbi for criticizing an Israeli politician’s visit to a non-Orthodox Jewish day school in New York. In its statement, JFNA said: “Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau was wrong to criticize Minister Naftali Bennett for the latter’s visit to a Solomon Schechter community day school in Manhattan.” On Trump, JFNA has issued no statement, and a representative told JTA it has no plans to do so.
(JTA)—It’s not every day one receives an email from the president of the United States with the one-word subject line “Chutzpah.” But on Friday, Dec. 11, Barack Obama used that very line in a Democratic Party fundraising email blasting Republicans for their persistent efforts to undo his signature health care reform. “[L]ast week Senate Republicans passed yet another bill to try to repeal Obamacare—a bill they knew that I would veto as soon as it landed on my desk,” Obama wrote in his email. “You may not be able to point to a lot of legislative accomplishments with this group of Republicans in Congress, but you’ve gotta give these folks credit for their chutzpah.” It’s not entirely surprising to see this quintessentially Jewish word pop up in a presidential email. It’s certainly a snappier subject line than “The Gall” or “Temerity.” And like Levy’s Rye Bread, you don’t have to be Jewish to love the word chutzpah. “Chutzpah” has definitely entered the mainstream of American political discourse. Four years ago, Mitt Romney and Joe Biden were busy trading charges of chutzpah. The Massachusetts Mormon
used the word to deride Biden’s criticisms of his economic ideas, while our IrishCatholic vice president accused Romney of chutzpah for calling Obama “out of touch.” Meanwhile, Obama’s critics haven’t been shy about accusing him of chutzpah. In 2011, GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann famously mangled the difficult-to-pronounce Yiddishism in a televised attack on Obama’s budgetary record. Earlier this year, current Republican hopeful Ted Cruz called it “the height of chutzpah for Obama to lecture the nation of Israel on Jewish values.” Even Mr. Chutzpah himself, famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, has accused Obama of chutzpah, suggesting the president was taking too much credit for the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage when he hadn’t supported it in his run for office. There is a danger, however, that with chutzpah becoming popular as a political insult, the word’s nuances will be lost to the American public. Obama at least understands the word’s complexity. Just last month, Obama praised Barbra Streisand’s chutzpah as he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Like Dershowitz, Obama knows that a little chutzpah can be a good thing.
Three strategies for Sheldon Adelson in dealing with the Trump conundrum by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—For months, Republican Party insiders have speculated who Sheldon Adelson, the pro-Israel billionaire, will back in the GOP presidential primary. Now there’s a follow-up question: How does Donald Trump’s continued perch atop the polls scramble the casino magnate’s calculations? In 2012, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, backed Newt Gingrich to the tune of $40 million. Insiders say that money forced eventual candidate Mitt Romney to spend dollars fending off Gi ng r ich — ex penditures that helped cripple Romney’s efforts against incumbent Barack Obama in the general election. Republicans who have communicated with Adelson say the billionaire is loath to repeat that experiment and wants to be sure of a front-runner before he steps in. But Trump, the maverick real estate billionaire and reality television star, is rewriting the script. Establishment Republicans and the party’s Jewish donor base fear that his impolitic outbursts and alienation of constituencies being courted by the GOP may destroy the party. Adelson’s office declined comment, and Adelson has never said on the record what he thinks of Trump. Sources close to Trump, however, leaked to Politico last month that there was a time when Trump sought the backing of Adelson. After speaking with a number of GOP operatives, including several who back
Trump’s rivals, here are three possible strategies for Adelson. Save it for the general election Reports suggest that the Adelsons are down to deciding between backing Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. Miriam Adelson favors Cruz, while Sheldon Adelson favors Rubio, according to Yahoo News. Both candidates are rising in the polls and have been targeted by Trump in his stump speech. Backing one or the other now would be a zero-sum game: Like with Gingrich in 2012, whoever receives the money could inflict serious damage on the eventual nominee. Meanwhile, Trump, who has benefited from media attention money can’t buy— and who has plenty of his own cash, should he need to start spending seriously—would emerge unscathed. A number of factors—the growth of social media, surging grassroots resentment of the establishment and Trump’s ability to command free media attention for every outrageous utterance—have conspired to render fundraising far less useful in the primaries. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is flush with cash, yet remains stranded in the single digits in polls. All that may change as the actual voting nears, but as Bush can attest, trying to stop Trump with cash seems to be a case of throwing good money after bad.
blaming Israel in
part for the impasse
in peace talks with the
Palestinians, and would not commit to moving the U.S. Embassy to
Jerusalem and keeping the city as Israel’s undivided capital.
continued on page 14
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Election 2016 continued from page 13
Give it to a SuperPAC The Adelsons may be able to spend against Trump, while avoiding favoring another candidate, by giving to a SuperPAC, political action committees that allow unlimited spending against a candidate. One contender could be Club for Growth Action, the SuperPAC affiliated with the famed anti-tax group, which already has targeted Trump for his calls to tax the super-rich. One smart move for Adelson might be to back a SuperPAC that strategically targets Trump in states where he may be vulnerable, like Florida, whose March 1 primary is considered a must-win for native son Rubio. Crush him—now Waiting out Trump might seem tempting, but there are reasons Adelson might want to bash Trump early and often. The prospect of Trump as the Republican nominee spooks establishment Republicans in
general, but Adelson and other donors for whom Israel is the premier issue have specific reasons for fearing his candidacy. Trump could drive away moderate Republicans from the polls and galvanize minority voters repelled by his rhetoric. That would be a disaster for pro-Israel Republicans in Congress who face tough reelection campaigns, chief among them Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois. Trump has also refused to toe the line that pro-Israel Republicans expect from their candidate. At the Republican Jewish Coalition’s candidates forum earlier this month, Trump made headlines for joking about the wealth and business prowess of those in attendance. But more substantively, Trump raised eyebrows by blaming Israel in part for the impasse in peace talks with the Palestinians, and would not commit to moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and keeping the city as Israel’s undivided capital.
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Education Matters Operation Understanding returns to Hampton Roads in 2016
BINA’s Baker’s Dozen
Barry and Lois Einhorn with OHUR class of 2003–2004
by Robin Mancoll
ounded by Lois and Barry Einhorn in 1998, Operation Understanding Hampton Roads was active until 2006. The program is re-launching in 2016 under the leadership of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, along with coalition partners, the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, the Urban League of Hampton Roads, and the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Operation Understanding Hampton Roads year-long leadership development program. Forty African American and Jewish high school students (sophomores and juniors, 20 from each community) will be accepted. Over the course of the program, student participants build understanding, respect, and friendship through monthly workshops and a transformative summer Civil Rights trip. Participants develop their personal strengths, share one another’s cultures and religions, and enhance their leadership abilities. By the conclusion of OUHR, graduates assume the responsibility for taking inclusive actions that foster pluralism and equality. OUHR participants will be selected by mid-February, and the program activities run from March through October. Over the course of the year, students immerse
themselves in one another’s historical, cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds with many meaningful opportunities for discussion and interaction. During each month of the OUHR program, students will participate in interactive and engaging workshops. These sessions offer participants an opportunity to bond as they explore history and values and build skills of dialogue, communication, and leadership. Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities facilitators will lead the sessions, in combination with community leaders in a variety of locations in an effort to expose participants to diverse sites within Hampton Roads. A highlight of the OUHR experience is a summer Civil Rights trip offering unique opportunities to learn about African American and Jewish history and culture. Beginning in August, participants will share what they have learned in OUHR through the development and implementation of personal action plans which include work with diversity clubs in schools, speaking about OUHR at community events, coordinating programs on tolerance, and more. Applications for the 2016 OUHR class can be found at http://www.inclusiveva.org/ouhr/ and are due no later than Monday, Feb. 1. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by mid-February. Contact Robin Mancoll, director, Community Relations Council of UJFT at RMancoll@ujft.org or 965-6120 for more information.
18 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | Education | jewishnewsva.org
Marcy Mostofsky, Chamie Haber, and Miriam Wilson at the Bake Sale at Dominion Tower.
INA High School’s sixth Pre- Management Company, were hospitable, Thanksgiving Bake Sale at Dominion had patience, and assisted BINA’s volunteers Tower took place on Tuesday, Nov. during set up, sales, and break down. Bakers included Rochelle Brinn, Shana 24. Thirteen women (BINA’s “baker’s dozen”) baked for this fantastically delicious Danziger, Avigail Florans, Helen Griffin, fundraiser, including 80 “sweet breads,” 243 Goldie Hilel, Rifki Katz, Amy Lefcoe, Carol dozen cookies (yes, that’s 2,916 cookies), 61 Miller, Marcy Mostofsky, Tehilla Mostofsky, Shira Rubin, Elka Shereshevsky, and Debbie pies, and 40 cakes. An annual highlight at Dominion Tower, Wilson. Other volunteers sold, schlepped, many of the 1,400 employees look forward and supported the effort, including student to buying Thanksgiving baked goods at Miriam Wilson who worked all day as a the office instead of facing the crowds technical advisor with credit purchases. elsewhere. Knowing these are all homemade and that they Strelitz Early Childhood are supporting girls’ Education Center education is another draw. The boxes were barely open when customers were waiting for their favorites from years past. The few baked goods left sold the next day. The bake sale was co-chaired by Tehilla and Marcy Mostofsky. The staff of Gan Alef students Avi Zittrain, Louis Weissman and Isaac Arnowitz practice Dominion Tower, number recognition and counting skills while playing a math matching game. which is managed by Harbor Group
norfolkacademy.org norfolkacademy.org norfolkacademy.org norfolkacademy.org
tidewater ﬁrst. the world in time. tidewater ﬁrst. the world in time. tidewater ﬁrst. the world in time.
As an independent school with a public purpose, Norfolk Academy shapes not only prepared graduates, but citizen-scholars: keenly aware, intellectually agile, As an independent school with a public purpose, Norfolk shapes socially conscious, and courageous young Academy people who live not out only theirprepared ideals tograduates, invent but citizen-scholars: keenly aware, intellectually agile, socially conscious, and courageous young people As anbrighter independent schoolall with a public purpose, Norfolk Academy shapes not a new, future—for of us. who live out their ideals to invent a new, brighter future—for all of us. aware, intellectually agile, only prepared graduates, but citizen-scholars: keenly conscious, andtrajectory, courageous people who liveAcademy out their ideals to invent Associally anwork, independent school withhere a public purpose, Norfolk shapes not That work, that upward trajectory, starts right inyoung Hampton Roads. long, Norfolk Academy students That that upward starts right here inBefore Hampton Roads. Before long, a new, brighter future—for all of us. inﬂuence extend their inﬂuence from the Chesapeake Bay totheir China, fromkeenly Norfolk to cities around the globe. only prepared graduates, but citizen-scholars: intellectually agile, Norfolk Academy students extend fromaware, the Chesapeake Bay to China, socially conscious, andaround courageous young people who live out their ideals to invent from Norfolk to cities the globe. That work, that upward trajectory, a new, brighterat future—for all of us. starts right here in Hampton Roads. Before long, Register for Mornings the Academy students extend their inﬂuence from the Chesapeake Bay to China, January 13, 20,Norfolk 27 at 9 Academy a.m. or call for an individual tour from Norfolk to cities around thestarts globe. That work, that upward trajectory, right here in Hampton Roads. Before long, All-Grades Open House Norfolk students extend Saturday, January 9, 2016 Register for OpenAcademy House Grades 1-12 their inﬂuence from the Chesapeake Bay to China, Norfolk to. cities around the globe. Saturday, January 9 at 2 p.m 2from p.m.
All-Grades Open House Saturday, January 9, 2016 2 p.m. Open House All-Grades Saturday, January 9, 2016 Where students grades 1-12 grow into responsible and responsive citizen-scholars. 2 p.m. 1585 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Education | Jewish News | 19
Education Matters PJ Library Jewish book program expanding to Russia
J Library, a program providing free Jewish children’s books to families, is expanding to Russia. The monthly book club founded by American Jewish philanthropist Harold Grinspoon is launching a pilot effort distributing Russian-language books in Moscow. The program, in partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group, will initially serve Jewish children ages four through eight and their families. The first books were distributed during Hanukkah. Its goal is to reach up to 2,000 children and families by August. While the project represents the first time PJ has distributed Russian-language books, the organization, with Genesis, for the past five years has sponsored events and other efforts to enroll North American Russian-speaking Jews in its Englishlanguage book program.
“We have seen huge demand for PJ Library among Russian-speaking Jewish families,” Grinspoon says. “Parents from all Jewish backgrounds struggle with the question of how to raise a Jewish family. The high-quality books introduced into the home through PJ Library empower and equip Russian-speaking Jewish families— whether in the United States or Russia—to engage Jewishly.” Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, says, “We are thrilled to partner with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in this important project that will infuse the cherished tradition of parents and children reading together at bedtime with Jewish content and values, this time in Russian.” Created in 2005, the PJ Library says it sends more than 150,000 Jewish children’s books each month to Jewish children and families in North America. Globally, more than 400,000 Jewish children and families
VISIT CBA A school where bright kids with learning differences thrive! ~ Individualized Instruction Plans ~ Multisensory Instruction & Project-Based Learning ~ 6-1 Student-Teacher Ratio ~ Self-Advocacy Skills ~ 1-1 Technology-Student Ratio ~ Intramural Athletics ~ Visual & Performing Arts ~ Kindergarten–12th Grade ~ Tuition Assistance Available Register for our Jan. 20th Open House or Schedule a Visit at www.cba-va.org Contact Dana Calo at 757.497.6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
821 Baker Road • Virginia Beach, VA 23462 20 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | Education | jewishnewsva.org
in eight countries receive PJ Library books each month through PJ Library and Sifriyat Pijama, a sister program distributing Hebrew-language books in Israel. (Sifriyat Pajama also distributes the Hebrew books to Israeli families in North America.) In 2014, Grinspoon’s foundation launched a spinoff effort distributing secular Arabic-language
books to Arab schoolchildren in Israel. In addition to mailing out books, PJ Library partners with local community organizations to provide Jewish family and children’s programming, including holiday celebrations. To register for PJ Library Russia, go to http://www.pjlibrary.ru.
Stein Family Scholarship enters eighth year
he application period for the Stein Family College Scholarship will open on Friday, Jan. 1. The annual grant for Tidewater area students that provides a scholarship of up to $10,000 a year for college tuition, marks its eighth year in 2016. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation administers the scholarship. The Stein Family College Scholarship, established in 2009, is dedicated in loving memory of Arlene Shea Stein, wife of Gerald Stein, of blessed memory, and mother of Steve Stein, Lisa Stein Delevie, Craig Stein and Debbie Stein Levy. Arlene Stein had a deep love of learning and a strong belief that higher education should be accessible to all. Both Arlene and Gerald were unable to complete their college educations due to financial difficulties. The Stein children and grandchildren established this scholarship as a testament to Arlene and to honor the values she held dear. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation works closely with the Stein children and grandchildren in administering this generous scholarship to a deserving Tidewater teen each year. Scholarship applicants must be Jewish and current residents of Tidewater. Students must demonstrate academic ability, as well as concern for school and both the Jewish and general communities through extracurricular activities and volunteer service. Application deadline is April 1, 2016; interested students can learn more at www.jewishva.org/tjfstein or by contacting Amy Weinstein, director of development, at email@example.com or 965-6105.
Education Matters HAT and Strelitz students celebrate Grandparents Day by Patti Seeman, director of development
hanksgiving break was about to begin and excitement filled the air as preschool through fifth graders from Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning and Strelitz Robert Gibbs with granddaughter Catherine Gibbs, age four, Early Childhood Education Center cel- Rick and Janice Foleck with granddaughter Ameilia Portnoy (kindergarten). and Phyllis Friedman with granddaughter Ava Dail, age four. ebrated during the cherished annual tradition of Grandparents Day. More than 125 grandparents and special guests met in the Fleder Multi-Purpose Room for musical performances, including a beautiful rendition of Hatikvah on the Suzuki chime bells, as well as other songs about thankfulness and tzedakah (charity). Fun classroom activities followed. Many visitors came from nearby, while some traveled from Arkansas, Florida, Ofelia and Albert Abrams with granddaughter Leila Abrams (fourth grade). Ilan Rivera (third grade) surrounded by grandparents Amos and Marcia Berkovich. Georgia, New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina. Others traveled from lands even much farther away, including Israel and Iran. While the points of origin varied, the smiles, laughs and love for their little ones were quite the s a me…prov id i ng memory making at its best. Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning Lily Stromberg and Roz Drucker. and the Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center are Constituent Agencies of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The application is now available online at:
High School Seniors...
Announcing the 2016 Stein Family College Scholarship!
The Siegel/Zuckerman clan: Grandparents Phyllis and Bob Zuckerman, Leslie and Larry Siegel, with Aunt Anita Candig and Chloe Zuckerman (second grade).
www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein Applications deadline is April 1, 2016
Questions? Contact Amy Weinstein at: 757-965-6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Education | Jewish News | 21
Education Matters Norfolk Academy expands program to teach students about medical professions
he Norfolk Academy Medical Scholars Program (NAMSP), which has become an institution at the school in the decade since its founding, is now expanding in enrollment and depth of programming. The Medical Scholars Program is a joint effort between community physicians, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Sentara Health System to provide Norfolk Academy Upper School students an opportunity to observe health care being delivered in Tidewater. This experience provides students an early opportunity to consider pursuing a health care career. Started in 2005 with 10 students, the program has grown to 53 students, including 22 sophomores, who began this year in NAMSP’s new incarnation. In this academic year, this signature program has moved under the aegis of Norfolk Academy’s Center for Civic and Global Leadership, which is home to five other academic, experiential leadership programs. Previously, the Medical Scholars program was a summer offering, but this move to the Center allows the program to add some important new elements. During the school year, Medical Scholars will learn from visiting speakers from the health care industry, participate in a global health/social medicine rotation, and engage in several health-related community service projects. “These additional requirements broaden the student’s overall experience in the program and are designed to promote community service and the importance of giving back to their community,” says Dr. Lewis Affronti, the program’s director and chairman of Norfolk Academy’s science department. According to the Center’s director, Sean Wetmore, “the addition of the Medical Scholars program to our current offerings in the Center makes so much sense, truly helping us get closer to the goal of offering coordinated, intentional and broad leadership programming to all of our students.” The Center’s programs include the Chesapeake Bay Fellows; Global Health Fellows; International Relations Fellows; Literacy Fellows; and Engineering, Design,
Teaching Israel forum follows report showing widespread ignorance of Jewish state
Norfolk Academy seniors have participated in the Medical Scholars program for two summers. Haley Edmonds, Brian Peccie, Bridget Dickinson, program co-founder Dr. W. Andrew Dickinson Jr., Wyatt Miller, and Tyler Moore.
and Innovation Fellows. The Medical Scholars program began when Dr. W. Andrew Dickinson Jr. and Dr. John G. Kenerson, area cardiologists, became concerned about the waning interest Norfolk Academy students had toward entering the medical field. They wanted to reverse the trend and provide an avenue for students to experience what it is like to be a physician. Working in collaboration with Dr. Solhaug from EVMS and Andrea Arnett from Sentara Health System, Dickinson and Kenerson developed the program, which involves a series of shadowing events at local hospitals and “hands-on” experiences at EVMS. Students accompany physicians, gaining the chance to observe a variety of rotations to include General Surgery, Intensive Care, Radiology, Cardiac Catheterization, and Open Heart Surgery. In addition, students may participate in elective rotations to include Running Rescue, shadowing in the delivery room, and volunteer work with Physicians for Peace. Enhanced by the new school-year offerings, these experiential summer programs will continue to be the bedrock of the NAMSP curriculum. The curriculum is divided into three phases, each to be completed during the summer. Phase I, an introduction to medicine, helps prepare students for behavior in the health care arena.
22 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | Education | jewishnewsva.org
During this first year, Medical Scholars learn First Aid and Basic Life Support to include CPR. Phase II is designed to provide students with patient care experiences in a variety of settings at Norfolk General Hospital and the Heart Hospital. Phase III gives students experience with patient care in community physicians’ offices. At the end of each rotation, students are required to complete a shadowing report where they reflect on their experiences; with the ultimate goal to help participants consider future involvement in healthcare professions. The program clearly is achieving that goal. Several students who participated in the early years of the program are now in medical school, and current seniors say that the program has influenced their choice of majors as they head toward college. “I loved the Norfolk Academy Medical Scholars Program, because it helped guide me down the path that I want to pursue in college,” says senior Luke Morina, who plans to attend Johns Hopkins University. “Before NAMSP I had no idea what I wanted to do. The experiences that I had through the program, especially watching procedures first-hand, have inspired me to become a biomedical engineer.”
ome 250 Jewish educators, educational leaders and funders gathered in Las Vegas for iCamp, a three-day conference on Israel education. The iCamp conference, which launched Tuesday, Dec. 1, focuses on strategies for teaching Diaspora Jews about the culture, history and politics of the State of Israel. The conference was a week after Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies released a report showing major gaps in American Jewish college students’ knowledge about Israel. More than half of the 628 Birthright Israel program applicants who took a multiple-choice exam designed to assess Israel literacy had scores of 50 percent or lower, the report said, noting that the students are incapable of “contributing to discourse about Israel on campus in a meaningful way.” Hosted by the iCenter for Israel Education, the conference seeks to impart “new approaches and skills to help youth in all kinds of educational settings connect to Israel in personal and authentic ways,” according to a statement issued by the iCenter. “Effective Israel education reflects excellent education,” says Anne Lanski, the iCenter’s executive director. “It starts with talented educators—individuals who are knowledgeable and deft storytellers, who know how to tap into their students’ passions, and are able to bring Israel to life in nearly any educational environment—be it in a classroom, at a camp, on a bus or elsewhere. “This is an exciting moment for those committed to bringing dynamic and inspiring Israel learning and experiences to today’s youth and young adults. We have more knowledge than ever about what these experiences consist of, and more talented educators in the field than ever before.” At the conference, the iCenter was set to launch the Aleph Bet of Israel Education2nd Edition, representing a set of 12 core principles, approaches to content and essential pedagogies that together constitute the building blocks of Israel education.
Education Matters Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Konikoff Center of Learning Strelitz Early Childhood Center
or 60 years, The Strelitz Early Childhood Center preschool and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning have educated and nurtured students throughout their formative years. As the area’s only Jewish Community Day School, students on the 22-acre Sandler Family Campus receive the advantages of its remarkable facility and advanced technology. The strengths of traditions, outstanding dual curriculum and dedicated faculty are just part of what has defined the schools’ continued success. The modern campus boasts large classrooms with bathrooms and sinks, outdoor and indoor play areas, a cooking center, art room, and computers in every classroom. Stretliz Early Childhood Center (ages two–four) The Strelitz Early Childhood Center offers an environment infused with Jewish culture and a commitment to lifelong learning. The child-centered program makes liberal use of graphic arts and group work, under the direction of teachers who love, support, and challenge students to new heights. The school’s nurturing, developmentally appropriate curriculum guides children of all faiths to develop not only strong readiness skills, but also moral and ethical values that create a caring community.
The preschool provides opportunities for music, physical education, library, and swimming instruction. Programs allow some flexibility and range from a two morning per week class for two year olds to a five-day per week full care program for ages two–four. Faculty turnover is very low and parents play an important role in supporting the programs Hebrew Academy of Tidewater For children in the lower school, the key to educational success is a solid foundation in Judaic and General Studies. A developmentally appropriate approach to learning is combined with creative and integrated instruction, while constantly emphasizing the highest academic standards. The general studies program encompasses language arts, mathematics, technology, social and natural sciences, the humanities and physical education. The school emphasizes the integration of its dual curriculum. By fifth grade, HAT graduates are well prepared to meet the challenges of the modern world, evidenced by their acceptance and seamless transitions into the area’s best private, IB and public school academies. They’re also accepted into the most well-respected colleges and universities in this country and abroad. For more information about the schools or to arrange for a personal tour, contact Carin Simon, admissions director, at 757-424-4327.
Chesapeake Bay Academy— Bright kids. Better fit.
or 26 years, Chesapeake Bay Academy has been transforming the lives of children and their families. As the only local K-12 independent school dedicated to educating bright students who have difficulty learning and achieving in traditional lecture-style educational environments, it specializes in educating children with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other learning differences. CBA embraces each child’s unique learning style, creating new, specialized pathways to academic and social success. By relieving the stress and frustration that often accompany academic struggle, CBA helps students develop into confident and enthusiastic learners. Students flourish in a safe, supportive environment that encourages their intellectual, social, creative, physical and ethical growth. • 6/1 Student-Teacher Ratio • Individualized Instruction Plans • Multisensory Instruction & Project-Based Curriculum • Self-Advocacy Skills • Intramural Athletics • Visual & Performing Arts • Student-Technology Ratio • Kindergarten—12th Grade • Tuition Assistance Available Twice Exceptional Learners The school’s unique approach to curriculum provides children with the rigorous academic challenges their minds need in a non-traditional classroom environment that positively channels their individual learning styles. By developing each student’s instruction plan on and individual basis, children work at grade levels varied by discipline and advance at a pace suitable to them. Family Impact As families are relieved of the stress and frustration that often accompanies underachievement, the entire family becomes more relaxed.
Academics Academic programs are based on a philosophy that recognizes the uniqueness of every student. Educators differentiate the curriculum for each child and apply a wide-range of teaching strategies and instructional methodologies to match the individual learning styles of their students. Athletics, Fine Arts & Extracurricular Activities Chesapeake Bay Academy incorporates athletics, fine arts and other extracurricular activities into its culture to nurture self-esteem and develop the collaborative skills that are important to a child’s future success. Soccer, volleyball, basketball, bowling, tennis and golf are offered. Students are encouraged to participate regardless of skill level. The Fine Arts program offers a variety of musical, visual and digital technology programs to encourage creative means of expression. After CBA Over the past 10 years, 90% of CBA graduates have gone on to pursue higher education at two-and four-year colleges and universities, locally and across the country. The remaining 10% of alumni have chosen careers in both the civilian and military workforces, many through CBA’s Schoolto-Work program. Graduates receive a standard private school diploma and leave ready for success, academically and in life. Visit www.cba-va.org to schedule a visit or contact Dana Calo at 757-497-6200 or dcalo@ cba-va.org for more information.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Education | Jewish News | 23
2016 WINTER-SPRING PROGRAM GUIDE
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If you’d like a printed copy, stop by the front desk or call 757-321-2338. 24 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | Education | jewishnewsva.org
Education Matters Preschool through college preparatory education, Cape Henry focuses on individual growth Cape Henry Collegiate School provides Prekindergarten through Grade 12 coeducational, college preparatory education that fosters the growth of the individual. Students are encouraged to engage in purposeful education preparing them for the responsibilities and challenges of the future. Members of the Cape Henry student body experience the discipline and excitement of academics, the pride of developing personal character and integrity in a learning environment governed by an Honor
Code, the creative opportunities provided by the arts and extra-curricular activities, the rigor and pleasure of athletics, an awareness of and involvement with the community in which they live, and a respect for its diversity with the ultimate goal of placing responsible and educated citizens into our global society.
700+ Jewish campus leaders gather for Hillel International Global Assembly in Orlando ORLANDO—More than 700 staff members and leaders from Jewish communities on campuses across the country attended the Hillel International Global Assembly this month. The second annual convention of its kind, the Global Assembly is an opportunity to share best practices, teach new skills and build a community among Hillel staff from different colleges and universities. Funded in part through a partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to building Jewish communities that foster inclusion for individuals with disabilities, this year’s HIGA included innovative mental health services training for Hillel professionals and groundbreaking discussions of inclusion in campus Jewish communities. “This year’s Global Assembly brings together inspirational leaders, top-notch educators and dedicated staff from every part of the Hillel International family,” says Eric D. Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International. “There is no better opportunity for us to reflect on how we meet the needs and safeguard the wellbeing of all of our students, learn new and innovative techniques from one another, and recommit ourselves to the worthy goal of inclusion.” Hillel International will focus on disability engagement and inclusion on
campus and to reach students who are currently not comfortable connecting with the Jewish community. A plenary session with Jay and Shira Ruderman, president and Israel director, respectively, of the Ruderman Family Foundation, explored how campus Hillels can be at the forefront of suicide prevention, mental illness identification and treatment and inclusion of Jews with all kinds of disabilities. The session addressed how to build communities of care on college campuses and how to instill values of inclusion in the broader Jewish community. Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities. In Virginia, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater supports Hillels at University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, William and Mary and George Mason University.
Education Matters Norfolk Collegiate incorporates progressive education
hifts in contemporary education are affecting the ways in which schools and teachers are delivering quality instruction. According to Pat Bassett, president of Heads Up Educational Consulting, several trends in education are creating a new breed of school dedicated to expanding the traditional view of education through student-centered, project-based, technology-infused teaching and learning. Independent schools such as Norfolk Collegiate are in a unique position to respond to these changes. Recently Bassett, who has more than 45 years of experience in education, including serving as the former executive director of the National Association of Independent Schools, discussed these shifts while speaking at Collegiate. “Traditional, classical education worked well for 600 years,” said Bassett. “But the other choice is progressive education. It’s student-centered, project-based and experiential learning.” “The ability to address the needs of our students is what makes independent schools unique,” says Scott Kennedy, headmaster. “We empower our faculty to teach our curriculum based on best practices and research.”
Bassett’s discussion included advice for shifting the educational paradigm from: • Knowing to doing; • Teacher-centered to student-centered; • Individual to team; • Consumption of information to construction of meaning; • Single sourcing to crowd sourcing; • H igh-stakes testing to high-value demonstrations Twenty-first century students have ready access to information, and independent schools that embrace this shift can create a more engaging learning experience for their students. “The four Cs of 21st century education—collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity—are redefining what it means to be literate in an age of 24/7 access,” says Judy Davis, director of curriculum and instruction at Norfolk Collegiate. “We need to teach our students how to be critical consumers of that information.” One way this is happening is by placing students at the center of the lessons and making it less teacher-centered. For example, first-grade students created eBooks (digital books) capturing their experiences on a trip to the Children’s Museum. Using
iPads®, they took pictures during a scavenger hunt and used those photographs to develop a story. “This innovative and intuitive activity was exciting because it taught our students teamwork, collaboration and problem-solving skills,” says teacher Emily Lindale. Norfolk Collegiate students record their classmate, Noah, The more schools on their iPads as part of their class assignment. shift their focus to This shift to student-centered learncreate an environment in which students can engage in their lessons and be chal- ing is one way independent schools like lenged to think outside of the box, the Norfolk Collegiate combine traditional better they position their students to suc- knowledge with emerging technologies, such as iPads®, robots and 3D printers, ceed in the world. “Many of the jobs our students will hold to engage students in real-world problem in the future don’t exist at this moment,” solving. “We believe this approach to education Davis says. “Their future success will depend on their ability to use information best prepares students for the demands and technology to engage in creative prob- of college and careers that lie ahead in an increasingly technological world,” Davis lem solving.” For example, seventh-grade students says. To learn more about 21st century are learning to construct robots and then program them to perform simple tasks. skills and what independent schools such This project creates teams of students who as Norfolk Collegiate are doing to meet use math, science and design skills to work these demands, attend its Open House on together to build robots, learn code and Sunday, Jan. 10, 2-4 pm. at both of Norfolk Collegiate’s campuses. program their creations.
Life long learning a priority at Ohef Sholom Temple
hef Sholom Temple has made a full-time commitment to family learning. From infants to elders, engaging the community and environment, the congregation welcomes new participants and experiences. On Sunday mornings, 69 inspired faculty members, including 42 enthusiastic teen leaders, or madrichim, guide a community of 174 children and their families. “What we need more than anything else is not text-books but text-people,” wrote Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel 50 years ago. Rabbi Heschel’s educational wisdom applies just as well for the 21st century American Jew. Ohef Sholom’s learning spaces include a beautiful sunny chapel, classrooms for every grade level, pre-kindergarten play rooms and quiet rooms,
two fully stocked art rooms, a yoga yeladim room and youth lounge, children’s library and a separate adult library and archive, large kitchen for cooking projects and an open door for engaging a variety of multi-faith organizations beyond the temple’s walls. Ohef Sholom’s learning community supports a youth choir, JOSTY, a junior high youth group and OSTY, a senior high youth group, annual Purim Schpeil, Chanukah Chappening, and a new program working with infants as teachers of spirituality. Future plans include a community garden and native plant garden on location to enhance the congregation’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Scholarships are available so that cost is not a barrier. Students in OST’s pre-kindergarten class.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Education | Jewish News | 25
NORFOLK COLLEGIATE Engaging Students. Inspiring Success.
Inspiring a passion for learning Every child has unique characteristics with individual needs. Our innovative curriculum encourages personalization and the pursuit of one’s passions. That’s because a Norfolk Collegiate education isn’t just college preparatory; it’s life preparatory.
Tanner Class of 2016
What makes us different from other schools? • AP Capstone™ Program
• Lego® Robotics
• Merit Scholar Program
• 3D Printers & Coding
• Communication Arts
• Turf Field & Lights
• 1:1 iPad® Program
• Need-based Financial Aid
Join us Sunday, Jan. 10, at our Open House for grades K - 12 from 2 - 4 p.m. Explore our campuses, speak with teachers and students, and experience our interactive classrooms.
To learn more or schedule a tour, call 757.480.1495 or visit NorfolkCollegiate.org/OpenHouse 26 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | Education | jewishnewsva.org
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Relating the past to the present: Holocaust Commission’s 2016 student competitions
he official start of the United Jewish lessons to their lives, students can gain an Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust understanding of the true nature of moral Commission’s 2016 Elie Wiesel Student courage. They will realize the dangers of Writing & Visual Arts Competitions was all types of prejudice, peer pressure, and announced this month. This is the 19th unthinking obedience to authority, and be year the Commission has invited students aware of what happens when there is indifference to the suffering of others. With to enter the writing competition and the issues facing students today the 14th year for visual arts. The on the current events and contests’ namesake is a Jewish The political landscape, having Holocaust survivor, Nobel a strong moral compass is Laureate, and author of 57 Commission critical. Bob Aston, presbooks, many with powbelieves that by ident of TowneBank, erful Holocaust themes. knows this, saying, Each year the comlearning about the “Our bank is delighted mission receives more than 1,500 entries Holocaust and applying to be [the Holocaust Commission’s] partner from area students, and, more recently— its lessons to their lives, in such an important effort.” thanks to an online students can gain an The Holocaust presence, out-of-state Commission also and foreign entries. understanding of the announced the return Open to middle and of Through the Eyes of a high school students, true nature of moral Friend, with a limited run competition categories Feb. 1–12. The acclaimed include poetry, essay, twocourage. multimedia theatrical preand three-dimensional art, sentation is based on Anne’ and multimedia. Frank’s brief, yet famous, life. Winners in each category A Virginia Beach teacher has receive cash prizes, recognition at the annual community Yom Hashoah, already scheduled a presentation in prepaHolocaust Day of Remembrance, program, ration for her students’ participation in the and, if an art winner, a place in the competitions, saying, “We had [you] come annual Holocaust Commission student art present Through the Eyes of a Friend for us two years ago, and it was a wonderful exhibition. Educators, too, can be winners in the experience!” Schools pay only a minimal fee for competitions. Teachers who submit student entries can receive incentives, such as Through the Eyes; Amy Goldberg and the classroom sets of books and gift certificates Helen G. Gifford Foundation provide underwriting to offset costs. Early booking for art supplies. Sponsored by the Simon Family is recommended. To reserve now, or for Foundation (writing) and TowneBank more information, contact info@holocaust(visual arts), the 2016 Elie Wiesel compe- commission.org. Remind teachers and students to enter the titions ask students to frame their entries in response to a series of thought-provok- 2016 Elie Wiesel Student Competitions. Can’t ing questions connecting lessons of the find the forms? Download them at www.holoHolocaust to present day situations and caustcommission.org. Individual students may also enter without a sponsoring teacher. For moral decisions. The Commission believes that by learn- more information, contact info@holocaustcoming about the Holocaust and applying its mission.org.
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jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 27
Simon Family JCC’s
Presented by Alma* & Howard Laderberg
January 16–24, 2016 Opening Night Film and Reception Dough Saturday, Jan. 16, 7:30 pm Doors open at 6:45 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts 201 Market Street Virginia Beach Directed by John Goldschmidt 2015, USA, 94min.
In this light comedy, a widowed bakery owner is desperate to save his London bake shop. In a pinch, he reluctantly enlists the help of a teenage refugee from Darfur. The Muslim boy assists with the bakery’s daily chores, while selling cannabis on the side to help his struggling mother make ends meet. When Ayyash accidently drops his stash into the dough, the challah starts flying off the shelf, and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. Opening Night Film and reception sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi. Special thanks to Leslie Siegel for Opening Night reception décor Heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts catered by Village Caterers Business casual attire preferred.
Film Festival Pricing Purchase tickets and passes online at SimonFamilyJCC.org, at the JCC customer service desk, or by calling the JCC at 757-321-2338 Full Festival Pass: $95; $70 JCC members Includes seven days of movies and receptions
Opening Night Film and Reception $45; $35 JCC members January 16 at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach
Closing Night Film and Reception $20; $15 JCC members January 24 at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk
Individual Film Ticket $11; $8 JCC members Per film for adults (does not include opening or closing night films).
The Eichmann Show Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 pm TCC Roper Performing Arts Center 340 Granby Street, Norfolk Directed by Paul Andrew Williams 2015, United Kingdom, 90 min.
The true story of groundbreaking producer Milton Fruchtman and blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz, who, overcoming enormous obstacles, set out to capture the testimony of one of the war’s most notorious Nazis, Adolf Eichmann, who was accused of executing the Final Solution and organizing the murder of six million Jews. Dr. Peter Black, senior historian at the United Sates Holocaust Memorial Museum will lead a live discussion after the film, which will be facilitated by Elena Baum, director, Holocaust Commission of the UJFT.
Deli Man Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 pm Beth Sholom Village 6401 Auburn Drive Virginia Beach Directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou 2014, USA, 92 min.
Ziggy Gruber, a third generation delicatessen man and owner of the world-renowned deli, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston, Texas, is the central figure in this film. The story of the American deli is the story of American Jews—their immigration, migration, upward mobility and western assimilation. The deli is the virtual epicenter of food, family, laughter and community. FREE
All students and faculty are free (with valid ID) for all TCC Roper Performing Arts Center showings.
*of blessed memory
28 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
The Art Dealer Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7 pm Naro Expanded Cinema 1507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk Directed by François Margolin 2015, USA, 96 min.
This film is a compelling and fast-paced Parisian drama in the form of a modern day detective story that takes on the sensitive issue of art stolen during World War II. Beautiful, young journalist Esther Stegmann uncovers a web of betrayal and complicity as she investigates a story that has been carefully buried for decades by those closest to her.
Rock in the Red Zone Thursday, Jan. 21, 7 pm Beach Movie Bistro 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach Directed by Laura Bialis 2015, USA, 90 min.
Rock in the Red Zone is an intimate portrayal of life on the edge in the war-torn city of Sderot. Once known for its prolific rock scene that revolutionized Israeli music, for 13 years the town has been the target of ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza strip. The film chronicles the town’s trauma and reveals its enduring spirit. To guarantee seating, arrive by 6:30 pm. Dinner and drinks available for purchase. Kosher meals available upon request by contacting email@example.com.
Closer to the Moon Saturday, Jan. 23, 7 pm TCC Roper Performing Arts Center 340 Granby Street, Norfolk Directed by Nae Caranfil 2014, USA,| 112 min.
Oscar-nominee Vera Farmiga stars in this absurdist black comedy based on the incredible true story of an audacious Romanian bank heist by high-ranking Jewish Communists posing as moviemakers. Set in 1959 Bucharest, the movie opens as the crime is hatched and executed by old friends from the WWII Jewish Resistance who seek to recapture the excitement of their glory days. One of the most expensive productions in Romanian cinema, it mixes distinctive Jewish humor with a fatalist melancholy in an outlandish history lesson open to endless interpretation.
Closing Night! Mal Vincent’s Choice Avalon Sunday, Jan. 24, 5:30 pm TCC Roper Performing Arts Center 340 Granby Street, Norfolk Directed by Barry Levinson 1990, USA, 96 min.
A Polish-Jewish family comes to America at the beginning of the 20th century. The family and their children try to make themselves a better future in the so-called promised land. This is the annual selection of esteemed local critic Mal Vincent, who will be on hand to lead a lively discussion before the film. Be sure to come at 5:30 pm to enjoy the reception preceding the film, which is catered by TCC Culinary Arts students.
Free Festival Extra at the Simon Family JCC WALL-E Monday, Jan. 18, 10 am In the distant future, WALL-E lives alone on the planet earth with his pet cockroach. When a spaceship comes to earth and drops a sleek and dangerous probe EVE to look for a living plant, WALL-E falls in love with her, and together they try to save the earth.
FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORS With major support from Old Point National Bank and Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi In partnership with Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Naro Expanded Cinema Beach Movie Bistro Tidewater Community College Beth Sholom Village Presented by Simon Family JCC Additional support from Alan and Esther* Fleder Foundation Speaker overnight accommodations generously provided by the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, the premier hotel of the Simon Family JCC. Visit www.facebook.com/VAJewishFilmFest for more information. FB.com/VAJewishFilmFest
Get more information and the trailer for each film at www.SimonFamilyJCC.org under the Cultural Arts tab. Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 29
it’s a wrap Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater receives accreditation from National Institute for Jewish Hospice
oining more than 60 hospices nationwide, Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater became the second Hospice in Virginia to become accredited with the National Institute For Jewish Hospice (NIJH). The accreditation links Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater (HPCT) with NIJH, which provides staff training, insights on treating terminally ill Jewish patients, and access to resources and education about Jewish custom and practice that may arise while caring for a Jewish hospice patient. The accreditation was earned after Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater’s Chaplain Jim Thompson attended the NIJH 30th Accreditation Conference in Newark,
N. J. on Thursday, Nov. 19. “The training and resources now available through NIJH enables HCPT’s Interdisciplinary teams to provide specialized care to patients of the Jewish faith who are at the end of their life,” Thompson says. “We congratulate Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater for earning this important accreditation,” says Rabbi Maurice Lamm, founder and president of NIJH. “Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater is now part of a database of accredited Virginia hospices that NIJH will refer patients, families and rabbis to when they seek the best care for the terminally ill.” The other hospice program in Virginia with this accreditation is in Glen Allen, near Richmond.
Interpreting our role in ‘Never Again’
by Annette Finley-Croswhite, Ph.D., professor of history, Old Dominion University
SUPER SUNDAY JANUARY 31 ST • 9AM–1PM VOLUNTEER SIGN UP FOR 1 OF 2 SHIFTS 9am–11am • 11am–1pm Training provided Free babysitting!
IT’S YOUR MOVE! Sign up today • Make a donation • www.JewishVA.org/SuperSunday
Super Sunday is sponsored by Coastal Home Mortgage Co., LLC 30 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
ld Dominion University’s Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding offered students the opportunity to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Twelve ODU students, along with Farideh Goldin, IJIU director, and professor of history, Annette Finley-Croswhite, made the trip on Friday, Nov. 20. The visit began with the core exhibit that starts on an upper floor of the museum and included plenty of time to visit newer exhibits, as well as meet two Holocaust survivors, Martin Weiss and Harry Greenbaum. Other trip highlights included introducing students to Dr. Robert J. Williams, director of development and New Initiatives at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Williams invited the group for a tour of the Center and Library and explained internship and research opportunities to the students. One of the new exhibitions, “Some were Neighbors” seeks to explain the question of “why” with regard to the Holocaust by demonstrating as the exhibit’s subtitle makes clear, “Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust” went far beyond Hitler and the SS and included
everyday “bystanders” who chose whether to act or not in the face of atrocity. The exhibit opens with a quote from the doyen of Holocaust Studies in the United States, Raul Hilberg. “At crucial junctures,” Hilberg wrote, “every individual makes decisions…every decision is individual.” Hopefully people emerge from the exhibit with a greater sense of personal responsibility and a sense of horror over those in the past who chose to do nothing. While in the Museum, Elena Baum, director of UJFT’s Holocaust Commission, phoned to say that a reporter from Channel 13 News was looking for information on the Syrian refugee crisis and comparisons with the Jewish refugee crisis before and during the Holocaust. Baum connected me to Kristina Zverjako who interviewed me over the telephone while I was in the museum. That evening IJIU and our ODU students were on the news. A trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum always raises more questions than it answers. In thinking about the meaning of the “Neighbors” exhibit and the reality of current genocides and refugee crises, I could not leave the Museum without encouraging the students to contemplate the critical question raised by Elie Wiesel and written on museum displays: “When we say ‘never again,’ what does it mean?”
We Take the GUESS WORK OUT of TAXES & BOOKKEEPING
it’s a wrap First Person
Sunset of Life by Dr. Bob Lehman
eath. Certainly, this is understandably not a word that one wants to think about or discuss. But on Nov. 22, 70 people gathered at Congregation Beth El to have a communal dinner and talk about envisioning the culmination of their lives and their final wishes. Modeled after the nationwide project called “Death Over Dinner,” the evening’s objective was to help the attendees be more accepting and comfortable about having this most important discussion about their plan for the end of their lives with the people who matter most. The idea of this program began approximately one year ago after signing all of my legal papers such as a Power of Attorney, Will, Trust, Advanced Medical Directive and other estate planning documents. One night, I was looking at TEDTALKS (an on-line lecture series) when I saw a lecture on “Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death.” One can imagine that this is a topic that is more easily skipped over. Since I recently finalized this issue with my attorney and other life planners, I watched. After viewing the video, I realized that this topic is one which the synagogues could help their congregants plan—but don’t. As Jews, we live for simchas and plan them with the greatest skill. We orchestrate, plan, and organize life cycle events as well as holidays. But Death? Not so much! With this in mind, I approached Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowtiz about having a community congregational dinner with a presentation and discussion. The rabbi was very excited about this, so we started the initial planning. I contacted the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for direction. I thought, certainly some synagogue somewhere has done this! After research, the USCJ informed me that there has, to their knowledge, never been such a program. A committee formed and the event was planned. During the evening, we enjoyed a
delicious dinner prepared by Beth Sholom Home and watched the video. (To view this video, Google: “Conversation Project” and Ellen Goodman). Each table had small fishbowls containing slips of paper with issues pertaining to end-of-life concerns. Rabbi Arnowtiz led a spirited discussion in which the attendees at each table had to quickly answer the questions they drew from their fishbowl. A booklet was given to all in attendance on the Jewish view on Death and Mourning. Written by Norman Soroko, the booklet contains a wealth of knowledge on preparing for and handling all aspects when death occurs. It is available by calling the Beth El office. Bill Oast from Oast and Taylor PLC, a Virginia Beach Estate Planning Law firm, led a discussion about legal caveats to end-of life issues and how to prepare for the inevitable. He outlined 10 scenarios in which little or no planning devastated a family both legally and emotionally. Louise Lubin, a Norfolk psychologist with experience in leading Death Over Dinner discussions, then gave insightful and meaningful tips to make it easier to engage in this most important conversation. Attendees felt the discussions were meaningful and allowed them to realize that this discussion does not need to be daunting.
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Follow-up programs include: January 31—Medical Directives, Hospice and End-of-Life Care – What you need to know to make important decisions. February 28—Testamentary Letters, Living Wills and Ethical Wills, Oh My! – What documents do I need and how do I write them? Death and mourning can be a tumultuous time for the family, but preplanning and forward thinking discussions can help give clarity for this life cycle event, ultimately providing peace of mind. To help in this project, contact Bob Lehman at email@example.com.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 31
what’s happening Suffolk author to speak about a rabbi’s journey in WWII
Simon Family JCC’s 23rd Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film Opens with Dough
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2 pm, Temple Sinai in Newport News
ee Mandel, author of Unlikely Warrior: A Pacifist Rabbi’s Journey from the Pulpit to Iwo Jima will speak about his book at Temple Sinai in Newport Lee Mandel News. Unlikely Warrior is the story of Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn, who as a student embraced total pacifism. After his ordination and once he obtained his first pulpit, Gittelsohn continued to preach passionately on the futility of war. He continued to do so through the 1930s, even while fervently denouncing the rise of Nazism in Europe. But Gittelsohn’s viewpoint changed in 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He volunteered for military service and
became the first Jewish chaplain attached to the U.S. Marine Corps. In this capacity, he witnessed the bloody battle for Iwo Jima, winning three service ribbons. At the dedication of the Fifth Marine Division Cemetery, he made one of the most famous speeches in military history, extolling the “highest and purest democracy,” represented by the dead of all religions and races. Lee Mandel is a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. During his naval career, he has been on the staff of four navy hospitals and served twice as a staff internist at the Office of the Attending Physician, United States Congress. In addition, he served as senior medical officer on three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. He retired from the United States Navy in June 2013. Mandel is an avid writer and historian, and has lectured at Old Dominion University, Stonybrook Medical Center,
Saturday, Jan. 16, 7:30 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Tidewater Community College, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. He has published in numerous journals both in medicine and history. As a result of his research on the health history of President John F. Kennedy, he has appeared twice on the History Channel. His first book was Moryak: A Novel of the Russian Revolution. Mandel lives in Suffolk, with his wife Ann. Mandel’s appearance is made possible by the Jewish Book Council. For more information, call Temple Sinai at 757-596-8352 or visit www.templesinai-nn.org.
The Hampton Years offers opportunity for education and conversation between local Jewish and African American community Sunday, Jan. 31, 2 pm, Wells Theater, Norfolk
merging from Washington D.C.’s Theater J’s Locally Grown Festival in 2013, The Hampton Years by Jacqueline E. Lawton explores the development of great African American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator Viktor Lowenfeld. Focusing on the pivotal years at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) during WWII, this richly researched tapestry of African American luminaries reveals the dreams and travails of young artists in a still segregated society. The play also examines the impact of World War II on a Jewish immigrant and his wife finding shelter in the
U.S. and his controversial influence in shaping the careers of African American students. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s C o m m u n i t y Playwright Jacqueline Lawton. Photograph by Jason Hornick Relations Council and Holocaust Commission, in partner- VCIC will take place. For more information about the play, or ship with Congregation Beth El’s HAZAK, the Urban League Guild, and the Virginia to reserve tickets (discounts available) for this Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) performance and discussion, contact Gaby are joining together for this performance. Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or Following the show, a discussion led by GGrune@ujft.org.
32 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
smash at this summer’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Dough is a perfect feel-good movie. The film is this year’s Opening Night selection for the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. After the screening of Dough, a reception catered by Village Caterers will take place. The entire Opening Night event is sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi. As the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s website states: “Food has always represented more than sustenance in Jewish culture, and its transformative power is on display in this delightful British dramedy,” which unites a widowed third generation kosher baker, Nat and his new Muslim apprentice, Ayyash. Dayan & Son Bakery is in a downward spiral, with customers moving or dying, competition setting in, and a few other problems. When his apprentice quits, Nat reluctantly hires Ayyash, a smalltime pot dealer living with his mother, who has struggled to keep a crumbling roof over their heads since they immigrated to England from Darfur. Working the dough at the sleepy bakery, Nat and Ayyash begin to understand each other’s personal histories and religious rituals; distrust becomes respect and eventually a heartwarming intergenerational friendship. But Dough really takes off when Ayyash’s two professions accidentally merge in a batch of very popular weed-infused challah! For Opening Night tickets, call 321-2338, or purchase a ticket or film festival pass online at SimonFamilyJCC.org. The festival continues at area venues for a week. See page 28 for a complete list of films and screening times. *of blessed memory
what’s happening Date With the State—Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7 am–4 pm Issue selection meeting: Thursday, Jan. 7, noon Insiders’ Briefing for attendees: Thursday, Jan. 28, 6:30 pm
SUPER SUNDAY JANUARY 31 ST • 9AM–1PM
Get Ready to Make Your Move on Super Sunday Sunday, Jan. 31, 9 am–1 pm by Laine M. Rutherford
he young leaders of the Tidewater Jewish community are at it again. Demonstrating mettle and tenacity, more than a dozen 22- 45-year-olds have volunteered to be on a committee responsible for the planning and execution of Tidewater’s Jewish community’s largest fundraising day of the year, Super Sunday. Super Sunday is a combination of old school phone-a-thon, with decidedly contemporary elements mixed into it. The 2016 Super Sunday Steering Committee, chaired by Super Sunday veterans Jeremy Krupnick and Brandon Terkeltaub, is working to ensure that there are at least 100 volunteers at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus from 9 am–1 pm that day. The volunteers will make phone calls to members of the area Jewish community, asking for pledges of support for the UJFT 2016 Annual Campaign. Or they may make thank you calls, write thank you notes, or help with logistics. These Super Sunday duties have remained relatively the same (except for the ever-changing phone styles over the years: rotary, pushbutton, flip, smart, and phablet) since the first such event, was held in 1982. New to the event this year are several fun community incentives and challenges, made possible by Coastal Mortgage Company, the Super Sunday corporate sponsor, and the UJFT. With the 2016 Super Sunday theme in mind—Make Your Move—Coastal Mortgage will provide matching funds for those who would rather make a pledge and work out in the Simon Family JCC fitness
center, than spend time on their phones. Special incentives will also be given to community members who participate in the Super Sunday #MakeYourMove social media campaign on the UJFTidewater Facebook page. Winners will receive grants they can distribute directly to any UJFT-allocated organization or program of their choosing. The Super Sunday committee has set its goals high: it’s looking for more than 300 donors who will agree to pledge at least $120,000. Through their involvement in the committee, group members know the stakes are high. The funds raised on Super Sunday make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands around the world, and have a significant impact on the lives of the volunteers and donors who participate in the annual tradition. The contributions will be distributed in allocations that go to support the elderly living at the Berger-Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village, those who need emergency financial aid from Jewish Family Service to help buy food and pay bills, and the many families who are grateful to have scholarships to area Jewish day schools and summer camps. Dozens more organizations locally, in the United States, in Israel and around the world are helped from the collaborative efforts that go into making Super Sunday a success. The Super Sunday committee appreciates any and all volunteer help and donations on Sunday, Jan. 31. Training is provided and babysitting is available. To sign up for a shift or make a donation in advance, visit www.JewishVA.org/ SuperSunday, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 757-965-6127.
Tidewater Delegation in Richmond for the 2015 Date With the State.
or years, members of Jewish communities from across the Commonwealth have gone to the State Capitol in Richmond to collaborate on Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day, also known as “Date with the State.” This annual event has proven to be a powerful forum to effectively communicate with General Assembly members about issues of importance to the Jewish community. In preparation for this year’s Date with the State, the Community Relations Council’s Legislative Action Committee will host a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 7 at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus in Virginia Beach to discuss potential issues that the delegation will present to the General Assembly representatives. Past issues have included social service programs to care for Virginians, support for local agencies including Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board, combating bias legislation, and more. On Thursday, Jan. 28, also at the Sandler Family Campus, the Legislative Action Committee will host an Insiders’ Briefing session, essential for those attending the Date With the State to review the issues with presentations from experts to arm the citizen lobbyists with talking points for the meetings with legislators. All members of the delegation are strongly encouraged to
attend both of these meetings. On the day of the Date with the State, Feb. 2, the Tidewater delegation will travel by bus to and from Richmond, leaving the Simon Family JCC at a new, earlier time, 7 am. Immediately upon arrival in Richmond, the Tidewater delegation will divide into teams to visit the regions’ State Senators and Delegates. Following the appointments with legislators, the delegation will convene for lunch with other Virginia Jewish communal lobbyists. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General have been invited to join the group, and they usually attend and address the issues important to this community. Following lunch, the group will board the bus and expect to return to Tidewater by 4 pm. Cost is $36, which includes a kosher lunch and helps defray the cost of transportation. Checks made out to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater (mail to UJFT 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, ATT: CRC DWTS) will reserve a space. For more information, e-mail Gaby Grune, program associate, Community Relations Council of UJFT at email@example.com or call 965-6107. To RSVP (required) by Jan. 28, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCDateWiththeState or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
jewishnewsva.org | December 21, 2015 | Jewish News | 33
what’s happening 3rd Annual Tidewater Together continues tradition of inspirational conversations Feb.4–7, Thursday–Sunday, six locations
Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s 3rd Annual Tidewater Together. This year’s scholar-in-residence is Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, an internationally-known religious leader regarded as a bold, compelling, and inspirational speaker and author. President emeritus of the Union for Reform
ver four days in February, community members will have the opportunity to explore, question, learn and grow from a Jewish perspective when the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Tidewater Synagogue Leadership Council present the Milton “Mickey” Kramer
Judaism, Yoffie has designed topics specifically for the Tidewater Jewish community’s interests and challenges. Yoffie’s diverse subjects for conversation include an unconventional look at the surprising history of the ever-changing American synagogue, political stories and political lessons in relation to Jews and the American experience, and the campus dilemma facing Jewish college students. The free series begins at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus on Thursday, Feb. 4, with the UJFT hosting a cocktail reception and conversation. Tidewater Together continues over the next three days at Congregation Beth Chaverim, Ohef Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, Temple Emanuel, and concludes on Sunday at Temple Israel, with co-host Kehillat Bet Hamidrash. The previous Tidewater Together events proved to be extremely popular, attracting
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
hundreds of people at each discussion and more than 1,000 individual community members each year. Tidewater Together has earned a national reputation for the collaborative nature of its planners and presenters, and the enthusiastic support of the community. Artson said, when visiting, that he knew of no other area this size where the Federation and synagogues of all denominations worked as one, reaching across all branches and practices of Judaism, in order to build a stronger community. Registration for the individual discussions is encouraged for the hosts’ planning purposes. To register, for a schedule and more information, visit www.TidewaterTogether.org, email email@example.com, or call 757-965-6136.
Tikkun Olam in action: Empower yourself to care for creation
Repairing Our Earth Together: Small Changes, Big Impacts Sunday, Jan. 10, 10:30 am, Ohef Sholom Temple by Alyssa Muhlendorf
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TheQualityShops.com 34 | Jewish News | December 21, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
“When God created the first human beings, God led them around the Garden of Eden and said: “Look at my works! See how beautiful they are—how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.” (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah, 1 on Ecclesiastes 7:13) An interpretation with modern implications of this passage is the concept of environmental stewardship—the responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practice. This midrash indicates it is isn’t just a “good thing” to care for our environment, but that it is mandated. This is an overwhelming thought to most—that to fulfill this directive we must single-handedly stop climate change, cease driving cars or never use plastic. One
common response is to find this absurd, ignore it, and hope it all turns out for the best. But humans are mighty and innovative. Just like we created technologies in the last few hundred years that inadvertently destroyed habitats and animal species, so, too, do we have the ability to stem the tide of destruction, and begin restoration and repair. If we heightened awareness to small changes we could make in our lives to improve the overall world, then together we could make huge impacts on its rehabilitation. Ohef Sholom Temple invites the community to a free brunch and panel discussion on “Repairing Our Earth Together: Small Changes, Big Impacts.” The panel will include Lynnhaven River NOW, Elizabeth River Project, TFC Recycling, and a native plant enthusiast. After the discussion, each organization will facilitate hands-on learning. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mazel Tov to
Calendar December 25, Friday Simon Family JCC Pancake Breakfast and Movie. Breakfast, movies, games, crafts. 9:30 am–12 pm. 321-2338. DECEMBER 27, SUNDAY Brith Sholom’s pre-New Year’s Eve dinner, dance and show at Beth Sholom. Featuring the Von Johns Family Singers and Musicians. The menu includes braised short ribs, chicken marsala, potato latkes, baby glazed carrots, salad, rolls, pineapple upside down cake, sugar free peach pie, coffee, tea and soft drinks. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for guests. 5:30–9 pm. Reservations and payment must be received by Tuesday, Dec.22. January 7, Thursday To prepare for this year’s Date with the State, the Community Relations Council’s Legislative Action Committee hosts a meeting to discuss potential issues for the delegation to present to the General Assembly representatives during their annual advocacy day on Feb. 2. Past issues have included social service programs to care for Virginians, support for local agencies including Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board, combating bias legislation and more. To RSVP for this noon meeting at the Sandler Family Campus or for more details, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate, at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. See page 33. January 16, Saturday Opening Night of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. Enjoy the movie Dough at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts at 7 pm, followed by an elegant dessert reception. www.Simonfamilyjcc.org.
Achievement Ohef Sholom Temple for receiving the Elizabeth River Project’s recognition for the first time as a “River Star Business” at the Two-Star Achievement Level for 2015. This distinction is attained after a Restoration Advisory Committee reviews applications and decides whether a business has documented quantified achievements in both pollution prevention and wildlife habitat enhancement. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to email@example.com with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
January 16–24, Saturday–Sunday The 23rd Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg brings varied, eclectic films rarely seen to area movie theaters in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Visit www.simonfamilyjcc for more information. Film passes and tickets are available online or by calling 321-2338. See page 28.
Ohef Sholom Temple members cleaning the beach and making rain barrels.
January 17, Sunday Annual Holocaust film at the Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk, as part of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. See The Eichmann Show, a docudrama of the 1961 trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for war crimes, and hear Dr. Peter Black, Senior Historian of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum lead a live discussion after the movie. 2 pm. Visit www.simonfamilyjcc.org/culture-enrichment for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets also available at the Roper and at the JCC front desk, or by calling 321-2338. January 31, Sunday The Community Relations Council of the UJFT, in partnership with Congregation Beth El’s Hazak, the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) invite the community to The Hampton Years presented by Virginia Stage Company, followed by discussion led by VCIC. For more information or to reserve tickets for the 2 pm show and discussion, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. See page 32. February 2, Tuesday The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater travels to Richmond for the annual Jewish Advocacy Day. 7 am-4 pm; leaving from the Sandler Family Campus. $36 includes kosher lunch and helps defray the cost of transportation. For more information about how to join this year’s Date with the State delegation, or to RSVP (REQUIRED) by Jan. 28, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCDateWiththeState. An Insiders’ Briefing, providing all attendees with detailed talking points on the issues and lobbying tips, takes place on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. To RSVP or for more details, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. See page 33. *of blessed memory 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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obituaries Louis Klavan Portsmouth—Louis Klavan, 89, passed away Thursday, December 3, 2015. He was born in Norfolk to the late David and Rose Klavan. He honorably served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the Philippines. He retired from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard after 38 years as a mechanical engineering technician and metallurgist, earning numerous awards and commendations. He was a longtime member of Gomley Chesed Congregation. Mr. Klavan was predeceased by his daughter, Randi Ruth Klavan; two brothers, Isaac Klavan and Irvin Klavan; and a sister, Doris Klavan Pincus. He is survived by his loving wife, Leslie Block Klavan; a son, Bradford Klavan and wife Randi Marcus Klavan; and two grandchildren, Ryan Daniel Klavan and Rachel Harper Klavan. A funeral service was held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz. Sturtevant Funeral Home,
Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel. Memorial donations to the American Heart Association. Nancy Ruth Mazur Virginia Beach—Nancy Ruth Mazur, 67, passed away Dec. 6, 2015. She was born to Howard and Gussie Handler Marks, and was raised in New Jersey where she met her husband Alan. Nancy loved playing Mahjong, reading books, doing needlework, and cooking. She adored spending time with her family, and those moments were always very dear. Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 41 years, Alan Mazur; daughter, Cheryl Spitalnick and her husband, Josh; son, Dan Mazur and his wife, Alexis; grandchildren, Cara and Nathan Spitalnick; and brother, Barry Marks and his wife, Yvonne. A funeral ceremony was held at Altmeyer Funeral Home with burial in Forest Lawn. Visit www.AltmeyerFH.com to offer condolences. Memorial donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at www.bcrfcure.org.
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Hope Watkins Price Norfolk—Hope W. Price, 94, died November 19, 2015. She was a native of Henderson, N. C. and was the daughter of the late Taylor and Grace Weaver Watkins. She was preceded in death by her loving husband James Guy Price, MD. and her siblings, T.J. Watkins, Jr., Vivian W. Keeton, and Jere E. Watkins. Hope is survived by many nieces and nephews and their families and a host of friends. Hope graduated from Madison College and the University of Virginia School Of Nursing. She initially worked as a private duty nurse and late in 1947 became the office manager and secretary for her husband’s medical practice until his retirement in 1979. She later worked as a home health nurse, an insurance nurse and a nurse at St. Paul’s Infant Center until her retirement in 1985. Hope was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple and its Sisterhood, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, Virginia Nurses Association and the Comforting Circle of the King’s Daughters and formerly of the Edgewater Point Garden Club and the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. Memorial donations to The Ballentine Home Foundation and The Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. Funeral Services were held in the Norfolk chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Burial took place in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
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Tibor Rubin, Holocaust survivor and Korean War hero LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Tibor Rubin, a Korean War hero who survived a Chinese prisoner of war camp and before that the Mauthausen concentration camp, has died. Rubin, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism, died Saturday, Dec. 5 in Garden Grove, Calif., of natural causes. He was 86. Born in Paszto, a Hungarian shtetl of 120 Jewish families, Rubin was 15 when he was liberated from Mauthausen after two years by U.S. troops, and vowed to repay his debt by enlisting in the Army after arriving in New York in 1948. During the Korean War in 1950, Rubin singlehandedly defended a hill for 24 hours against waves of North Korean soldiers to cover the retreat of his company. Rubin was recommended three times for the Congressional Medal of Honor by two of his commanding officers for his conduct in the war. But the necessary paperwork was intentionally sabotaged by the company’s anti-Semitic first sergeant, according to testimonies by many of Rubin’s comrades. In late 1950, Rubin was severely wounded and captured by Chinese troops. He would spend 2½ years in the POW camp. Applying skills acquired during the Holocaust, Rubin regularly stole food from Chinese supply depots and distributed it among his fellow prisoners, who later credited him with keeping 40 people alive. Rubin finally won the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2005. “I want this recognition for my Jewish brothers and sisters,” he said upon receiving the medal. “I want the goyim to know that there were Jews over there, that there was a little greenhorn from Hungary who fought for their beloved country.” Earlier this year, Garden Grove, where Rubin lived, bestowed his name on its new public library. Rubin is survived by his wife, Yvonne, and two children, Frank and Rosalyn.
Sandy Berger, national security adviser for President Clinton Samuel “Sandy” Berger, who served as President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, has died. Berger, a prominent player at the
obituaries 2000 Camp David summit, died early Wednesday, Dec. 2 of cancer. He was 70. Berger, who was Jewish, was the top foreign policy adviser for Clinton during the 1992 campaign, then served as deputy national security adviser during Clinton’s first term. He was named national security adviser in 1997, at the beginning of Clinton’s second term. At Camp David, Clinton fell short of bringing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to a peace agreement. After leaving the White House, Berger continued to consult on foreign policy, including for Hillary Clinton, the president’s wife, when she served as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton reportedly consulted with Berger on how to handle Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her push for a peace agreement. President Barack Obama recognized Berger’s legacy and said he was personally grateful for his advice and counsel, Politico reported. “From his service in President Carter’s State Department to President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, Sandy devoted himself to strengthening American leadership in an uncertain world,” Obama said in a statement quoted by Politico. “Today, his legacy can be seen in a peaceful Balkans,
our strong alliance with Japan, our deeper relationships with India and China. “Around the globe, families and children are living healthier, more secure lives because, as a private citizen, Sandy was a humanitarian who helped the world respond to crises and feed the hungry. With his trademark passion, wisdom and good humor, he is remembered fondly within the ranks of the National Security Council, where those he mentored carry on his work.” Berger pleaded guilty in 2005 to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal of classified material from the National Archives in Washington. He took the five classified reports while preparing to testify before the 9/11 Commission and lied to investigators about removing them. Berger was fined and sentenced to two years probation; he also had his security clearance suspended for three years. Berger, a graduate of Harvard Law School, later voluntarily relinquished his license to practice law. He was chairman of Stonebridge International, an international advisory firm he co-founded in 2001. Berger, a New York State native, met Bill Clinton while working on the 1972 Democratic presidential campaign of George McGovern. (JTA)
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Who Knew? Amy Winehouse documentary named semifinalist for Oscar LOS ANGELES (JTA)—A British documentary on the late Jewish singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is among the semifinalists for an Academy Award. Amy was in the field of 15 films for top documentary feature after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences winnowed the list of 124 contenders. A dozen films on Jewish and Israeli topics were eliminated. Two American-Jewish filmmakers—Davis Guggenheim and Joshua Oppenheimer—also made the cut and are among the favorites to claim the Oscar. Amy tells the story of Winehouse, whose meteoric career and tortured life was cut short at the age of 27 through drug abuse and alcohol poisoning. Her brother describes Winehouse in the film as “a little Jewish kid from North London with a big talent.” Guggenheim directed He Called Me
Malala, an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzu, a Pakistani who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 for her advocacy of education for girls. Oppenheimer in The Look of Silence documents the killing of some 500,000 alleged communists by the Indonesian military in 1965 and 1966. Among the contenders that did not make the cut are documentaries on Israel’s prime ministers, the birth of the Israeli Air Force and somber recollections by veterans of the Six-Day War. Also eliminated were the recollections of a Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivor and testimonies by the sons of two Nazi war criminals, as well as the Palestinian entry satirizing Israeli restrictions on the livelihoods of Palestinians. The 15 candidates will be cut to five when nominations in all categories are announced on Jan. 15. The 2016 Oscar winners will be announced on Feb. 28.
Trotsky’s Yogurt is Alive and Well in NYC, And You Can Eat It by Zachary Solomon
(Jewniverse via JTA)—For three months in early 1917, the famous Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was living in exile in the Bronx, writing for the local socialist rag Novy Mir and, of course, eating yogurt. All of that is well and good, but the takeaway here is that you can eat literally the same yogurt that Trotsky did. Seriously. All you have to do is go to New York City’s Lower East Side. On Houston Street, between First and Second avenues, sits the deceptively humble Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery. The shop, founded by Romanian immigrant Yonah Schimmel in 1910, still exists in its
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original location. It also continues to sell yogurt made from the very same culture that Schimmel imported from Romania, making it over 100 years old. It makes sense that Trotsky would have been a fan of the long-beloved treat. L. bulgaricus, the microbe found in the yogurt, was popular among Bulgarian peasants—i.e. Trotsky’s proletariat. In fact, the microbe was discovered by JewishUkrainian Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff, who wanted to know why those same Bulgarian peasants lived so long. Turned out it was their robust love of yogurt, the lactic acid of which promotes healthy gut flora and combats toxic bacteria. So next time you’re in NYC, order some of history’s finest yogurt. Support probiotics, support the working class.
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