Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 57 No. 11 | 13 Adar 5779 | February 18, 2019
When the right and left fight over anti-Semitism, Jews are caught in the middle
22 Writing in retirement
28 Rave reviews for Film Festival
30 A Hebrew Father Patrick Debois Academy in Tidewater
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Posters calling for destruction of ‘Israeli Apartheid Forces’ hung outside Tufts Hillel
Virginia legislature candidate apologizes for anti-Israel and antiSemitic social media posts
Published 21 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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wo dozen posters that are being called anti-Semitic were hung outside the Hillel center at Tufts University in suburban Boston. The posters discovered Tuesday, Feb. 12 contained cartoons depicting militarized pigs, with at least one showing the pigs holding guns and calling for the destruction of the “Israeli Apartheid Forces and Amerikkan Pigs Which Fund it.” Many of the images date to the 1960s and the Black Panther Party, and originally they were meant to disparage American military imperialism and the police state, The Associated Press reported. Some of the posters were hung on the windows of the Granoff Family Hillel Center with the images facing inward. No other campus buildings were targeted, according to a statement released by Tufts Hillel. “The derogatory images and symbolism in these posters were profoundly disturbing and hurtful to those targeted and to others in our community,” Tufts President Tony Monaco said in a statement that was sent by email to the Tufts community, according to the Tufts Daily student newspaper. “Recognizing these posters’ impact on our campus climate, we will fully investigate this matter and follow up appropriately on the results of that investigation.” (JTA)
Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates who describes himself as a “second-generation Palestinian refugee” has apologized for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel social media posts. “This slander campaign is using five-year-old Facebook posts from my impassioned college days, posts that upon my reflection and with the blessing of time, I sincerely regret and apologize for,” Ibraheem Samirah said in a statement dated Friday, Feb. 8. “I am so sorry that my ill-chosen words added to the pain of the Jewish community, and I seek your understanding and compassion as I prove to you our common humanity. Please do not let those who seek divide us use these words out of context of time and place to accomplish their hateful goals.” The posts were first published on Thursday, Feb. 7 by the conservative website Big League Politics. Samirah, a Chicago native who is Muslim, said that sending money to Israel is “worse” than sending money to the Ku Klux Klan and that the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell upon his death. He also accused Israeli teenagers of using Tinder to “cover up the murders in their names. Samira, a dentist, is running in a special election on Feb. 19 to fill a vacated seat in Virginia’s 86th District, in western Fairfax County and Eastern Loudoun County. He has advocated on social media for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and was the co-founder of American University’s Jewish Voice for Peace chapter, which backs BDS. He also was a member of the traditionally Jewish Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity at the university. The news about Samirah comes as Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam works to overcome a blackface scandal.
Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jewish Dem lawmakers criticize Rep. Omar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elizabeth Warren urges two-state solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice Elena Kagan dissents to ruling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JCPA: CRCSare in crisis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shooting damage at Ohio synagogue. . . .
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Opinion: Anti-Semitisism from the right and left. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special Section: Retirement in Style . . . Film Festival huge success. . . . . . . . . . . Father Patrick Desbois delivers powerful message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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BRIEFS 100 years of Haaretz to be made available online For its 100th birthday, Israel’s Haaretz daily newspaper will be digitized and made available to the public. Haaretz and the National Library of Israel signed an agreement to open digital access to all the issues of the newspaper since its founding in 1919. The newspaper will become part of the JPress-Historic Jewish Press website, a collaboration between the National Library of Israel and Tel Aviv University, which includes millions of pages from over 300 Israeli and Jewish newspapers published in 16 languages from dozens of countries since the end of the 18th century. The library already has begun to digitize the first two decades of the newspaper. Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken said that in the digital age, it is important that Haaretz be available to researchers and scholars, as well as anyone in the general public interested in the Israeli press. The newspaper, a left-leaning survivor of an era when numerous Hebrew-language dailies reflected Israel’s ideological fault lines, earned a reputation for probing reporting and cultural coverage. Yaron Tsur, professor in the department of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University and founder and academic director of JPress, calls Haaretz “exceptional in a number of ways, giving it pride of place in the landscape and history of the Israeli press.” (JTA)
Warner Wolf charged with felony for vandalizing sign he considered racist Longtime sportscaster Warner Wolf was charged with a felony for ripping the letters off a sign outside of his gated community in Naples, Florida, because he considers them racist. Wolf turned himself in to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000. He was released on $5,000 bond. The community’s name is Classics Plantation Estates. Wolf, who is Jewish, considers the word racist and has complained about the name at board meetings. Wolf was seen removing the letters of the word Plantation from the sign on a surveillance video on Nov. 30. Two weeks later he gave the pieces of the words to a guard at the gate of the community and told him to give them to the property manager. Wolf during his broadcasting career was known for his signature phrase “Let’s go to the videotape.” He was a news sports anchor in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and announced Monday Night Baseball and the Olympics for ABC. Wolf played himself in Rocky IV. (JTA)
Israel begins construction on steel barrier to surround Gaza Israel has begun construction on a 40-mile-long steel barrier that will surround the Gaza Strip in an effort to prevent terrorist infiltration. The construction of the 20-foot-high barrier was announced by the Defense Ministry. The barrier is slated to be finished by the end of this year. It will connect to the new sea barrier being built by the Israeli army. The barrier will have sensors to provide a warning if an infiltrator attempts to breach it. It sits atop a wall reaching several yards underground and is meant to prevent terror tunnels from being dug from Gaza into Israel.
Anti-Semitic acts in France rose by 74 percent in 2018 Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that the total of reported acts of anti-Semitism was 541 in 2018, up from 311 in 2017, according to local reports. The latest incident occurred on Monday, Feb. 11 when a tree planted in the Paris suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-duBois in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young man who in 2006 was kidnapped and tortured because a gang thought his Jewish family had a lot of money to pay ransom, was chopped down. The incident followed a number of swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets being painted around the city in recent days, including on a local bagel shop.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Feb.3 called the barriers necessary to “prevent the infiltration of terrorists into our territory.” (JTA)
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Castaner in Sainte-Genevieve-du-Bois near the memorial to Halimi, said that “anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” and that the government will fight it. He called anti-Semitism “an attack against hope.” (JTA)
Nestle denies report it is in talks to distribute Israel’s popular peanut snack Bamba in US Bamba lovers, some bad news: Nestle apparently isn’t in talks to distribute the Israeli snack in the U.S. The Israeli news site CTech reported earlier this month that Osem, Bamba’s manufacturer, was negotiating with the food giant over the puffed peanut nosh wildly popular in Israel. “Osem will continue to work diligently on marketing Bamba in North America through its U.S. subsidiary Osem USA,” Nestle spokeswoman Caroline Bietry says. “Osem is not negotiating with Nestle over Bamba’s distribution.” But be of good cheer: While Nestle would have provided wider distribution, Bamba is still available in a range of major stores, including Trader Joe’s and Target, as well as on Amazon. (A study found that feeding Bamba to kids may prevent peanut allergies.) (JTA) Israelis are top users of social media in the world When it comes to social media, Israelis rule the world. Some 77 percent of adults in Israel use social media, putting the country 1 percentage point ahead of South Korea, according to a Pew Research Center survey released this month. The United States was sixth at 70 percent. At the same time, Israel ranks second in smartphone ownership, with 88 percent of its adults owning smartphones. South Korea was first with 95 percent of adults owning a smartphone and the U.S. sixth again at 81 percent. The two categories are related, according to Pew, because social networking sites can be accessed via smartphones, and smartphone owners are more likely to access social networking sites than those who own a basic phone or none at all.
Among Israelis, smartphone ownership is on the rise for the over-50 set: 80 percent as compared to 50 percent in 2015. Those surveyed in 18 advanced economies were more likely to have mobile phones—smartphones in particular— and use the internet and social media than those in emerging economies, with a median of 76 percent in the former having smartphones compared to 45 percent in the latter. The survey had 30,133 respondents in 27 countries. (JTA)
Protesters call on Guggenheim Museum to reject Sackler donations over opioidS Demonstrators protested in front of the Guggenheim Museum in New York against its major donors, the Sackler family. Some members of the family have been accused of directing their pharmaceutical firm, Purdue Pharma, to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of the opioid painkiller OxyContin produced by the company. The protest was led by a group founded by the Jewish activist and photographer Nan Goldin. The group is calling on museums to refuse donations from Sackler family members. The museum’s Sackler Center for Arts Education was built with funding from the family. Arthur Sackler’s name appears on the building; he died before OxyContin was released. Sackler’s brothers, Raymond and Mortimer, bought out his stake after his death. The family has supported Tel Aviv University’s School of Medicine and the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Last month, the Massachusetts attorney general filed Purdue Pharma internal company communications that provide the first evidence that the Sacklers made company decisions to aggressively market OxyContin even though they allegedly knew it is highly addictive. The Sacklers are among the richest families in the U. S., with much of their wealth derived from sales of OxyContin. More than 200,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids. (JTA)
nation Jewish Democratic lawmakers criticize Ilhan Omar for saying AIPAC buys pro-Israel support Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Jewish House Democrats repudiated party colleague Ilhan Omar of Minnesota after she said AIPAC buys the pro-Israel support of lawmakers. A letter circulated Monday, Feb. 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives among Jewish Democrats urged the party leadership there to have the caucus call on every Democrat to speak out against anti-Semitism. The letter, addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and three other leaders was initiated by Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Elaine Luria of Virginia. “We must speak out when any Member—Democrat or Republican—uses harmful tropes or stereotypes, levels accusations of dual loyalty, or makes reckless statements like those of yesterday,” the letter says. A day earlier Omar tweeted “It’s all about the Benjamins,” or cash, when referring to a call by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California to take action against Omar for a seven-year-old tweet that was perceived as anti-Semitic, and for which she has apologized. Asked
to clarify whom she was referring to, she replied “AIPAC!” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee does not give money to lawmakers.
The letter was initiated by Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Elaine Luria.
A number of Jewish Democrats already had posted statements condemning Omar, including Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Jerry Nadler, also of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee; and Ted Deutch of Florida, the chairman of its Middle East subcommittee. Others included Lois Frankel of Florida, Max Rose of New York and Brad Schneider of Illinois. Omar is a member of Engel’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “I fully expect that when we disagree on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we will debate policy on the merits and never question members’ motives or resort to personal attacks,” Engel said.
Elizabeth Warren urges two-state solution after announcing presidential bid Marcy Oster
(JTA)—Sen. Elizabeth Warren, appearing in New Hampshire hours after she announced her bid for president in 2020, acknowledged the need for a strong Israel, but “we need to think about what our support for Israel means.” Asked in the first primary state how, as commander in chief, she would act to improve stability in the Middle East, the Massachusetts Democrat responded: “Israel lives in a dangerous part of the world where there are not a lot of liberal democracies,” Warren said. “We need a strong Israel there.” But she said “a good ally is an ally that
promotes peace” and supports basic humanitarian efforts. Warren also said that the U. S. should be pushing Israel and the Palestinian Authority toward a two-state solution, according to The Wall Street Journal. Warren attended a town hall meeting in Dover after officially announcing her candidacy in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Asked what she thought of Israel’s West Bank settlements and “basically an apartheid situation in Palestine now,” here’s how Warren responded, according to The Algemeiner: She “thanked the voter for his question and replied with generalities in which voters from a variety of viewpoints about Israel might find themes to sympathize.”
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Nation Elena Kagan in Supreme Court dissent says condemned Jews and Muslims must have choice of clergy Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—In a dissent to a ruling that allowed Alabama to execute a Muslim without an imam by his side, Justice Elena Kagan said denying condemned persons their clergy of choice, whether they be Jewish or Muslim, was unconstitutional. Alabama executed Domineque Ray late Thursday, Feb. 7 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the stay put in place by a lower court while it considered his plea to have an imam present. The 5–4 decision reflected the court’s conservative-liberal divide. “A Christian prisoner may have a minister of his own faith accompany him into the execution chamber to say his last rites,” Kagan, who is one of the court’s three Jewish justices, wrote, according to the New York Times. “But if an inmate
practices a different religion—whether Islam, Judaism or any other—he may not die with a minister of his own faith by his side.” She called that “profoundly wrong” and said it violated the constitutional ban on establishing a state religion. Alabama agreed to Ray’s request to not allow its Christian chaplain to be present, and its officials said Ray’s imam could visit with him shortly before the execution and could view it from a separate room. But the officials would not allow the imam to be present in the room, saying that required familiarity with executions, which the chaplain had acquired from his years on the job. The majority said Ray had waited too long to appeal. Ray was convicted in the 1995 rape, robbery and murder of a 15-year-old, Tiffany Harville.
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A national Jewish group says community relations are in crisis Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—An increase in anti-Semitism, an intensification of anti-Israel activity and decades of neglect have created a crisis in the Jewish community relations field, according to the umbrella group for Jewish public policy organizations, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. In reports published this month at its annual Washington meeting, the group urged a radical shift among its constituent Jewish community relations councils, which advocate for Jewish issues on behalf of the Jewish community at the local level. The shift would mean engaging with other ethnic and civic groups and more assertively including Jewish voices in broader conversations about bias, Israel, and a range of other issues where Jewish communities have led in the past. The JCPA wants constituents to contribute toward nearly doubling its existing budget with hopes of training a new cadre of Jewish outreach officials across the country. “The Jewish community does not have the network of relationships it did with other communities and leaders it did 30 or 40 years ago,” David Brown, the co-chairman of a JCPA task force that spent a year presenting the report, said Sunday, Feb. 10. “We absolutely need them.” Brown also referred to reports of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks and an increase in anti-Israel activity on campuses. “It’s become politically OK to say things that were certainly amped down for a generation or two,” he said. The four-day annual conference drew some 250 professionals and volunteers. The sessions reflected the range of policy issues being dealt with at the local level by CRCs, often in coalitions, including criminal justice reform, immigration, #MeToo, the social safety net, and the boycott Israel movement. The report undergirding Brown’s remarks, and a panel after he delivered them, painted a dire picture of the decline
of the prominence of the Jewish voice in such issues. It blamed a number of factors, including the widening divide between Israel and the Diaspora, the disenchantment of millennials with the norms of their elders, and the difficulties inherent in an essentially liberal U.S. Jewish community grappling with the emergence of anti-Semitism on the left as well as the right.
Let’s be honest that when acting as advocates to engage liberals with Israel, the current government’s policies can make for a really bad client.
The reports identified the decline of the Jewish community relations council. Such councils flourished in the years following World War II when the devastation an ocean away spurred American Jewish leaders to create a system that sought to include Jews at the forefront of framing public policy. Its success can be seen in the preeminence of Jews in the civil rights movement, the proliferation of Jewish lawmakers and the fact that Americans remain overwhelmingly pro-Israel. That success ate its own, one of the several reports released at the conference posits: “Following the Oslo Process,” the peace talks Israel and the Palestinians launched in 1993, “and the resolution of the plight of Soviet Jewry, areas of the community relations field experienced a decline.” “The U.S. Jewish community shifted its focus to internal challenges of Jewish education and identity with the belief that peace could be achieved, anti-Semitism was declining, and oppressed Jewish communities were now free,” it continues.
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“Although some community relations organizations and initiatives in larger communities flourished, much of the field lost resources and attention from the U.S. Jewish community.” These and other trends “are limiting the effectiveness of community relations organizations and initiatives.” Community relations councils in major cities remain robust (as does United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’ very active CRC), JCPA officials said, but among the 125 affiliated with the umbrella, many are staffed by one person or manned by
volunteers. That creates a vacuum, said Gidi Grinstein, the founder of Reut, the Israelbased strategy think tank that issued one of the reports. When crises demand responses, like the controversy over the Woman’s March, or a movement to counter perceived police discrimination, Jewish voices are lacking. “This country is so big, the communities are so diverse, the issues are so different, the only way to contain what we’re talking about here”—the rise of continued on page 8
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Anti-Semitism continued from page 7
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anti-Semitism and of anti-Israel activism —“is a network of local organizations that have the talent, the methodology and the technology,” Grinstein said in a briefing for reporters. At the annual meeting, and at a board meeting last month, the JCPA lay and professional leadership launched a pitch based on the Reut report to donors and constituent community relations councils to raise $1.6 million—almost doubling its existing $1.8 million budget—to hire officials to make up for the gap. Part of the plan would be to make the larger and more robust councils hubs that would assist the smaller ones in their regions. In the reports, and at the conference, JCPA officials acknowledged two additional obstacles to reviving a robust Jewish presence in community affairs: an Israeli government that has trended rightward, and with its actions has alienated liberals, and the disruptive politics of the moment.
There was much talk at the conference of the need to broaden the capacity for criticism of Israel while continuing to delegitimize calls to bring an end to Israel as a Jewish state. “Let’s be honest that when acting as advocates to engage liberals with Israel, the current government’s policies can make for a really bad client,” Jeremy Burton, the executive director of Boston’s JCRC, said during a panel. “Which requires moral clarity about our absolutes like delegitimization of Israel’s existence and nuance about criticism.” Melanie Gorelick, JCPA’s senior vice president, said the JCPA would have to make the case to the disaffected that the best arena to advance favored policies, in a Jewish setting, was the local JCRC. “We are the only organizations that come together and tackle day-to-day issues” with the right and the left at the table, she said.
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Anti-Semitism Rabbi reports shooting damage at Ohio synagogue Marcy Oster
synagogue in Lima, Ohio, was shot up with what police describe as a BB or pellet gun, although they caution it was likely not a hate crime. At least two dozen holes were discovered in the windows of Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek on Shabbat, according to the congregation’s part-time rabbi, Howie Stein, who reported the vandalism in a public that has since been deleted. “Friday night, we prayed in a sanctuary with three bullet holes in its windows,” Stein wrote. “Services followed a potluck supper, in a social hall with a minyan of holes in its windows, brought out from a kitchen with twice as many holes in its window. Shabbat morning we found three more holes in the upstairs classrooms, no longer used because of the shrinking and aging nature of the
congregation. Thankfully, nobody was in the building at the time, and the damage, while emotionally and physically extensive, was not more significant.” Sgt. Jason Warren of the Lima Police Department says that the incident, which likely occurred on Friday, Deb. 8 was not being treated as a hate crime. Police are treating it as an act of vandalism because there was nothing besides the bullet holes to suggest an anti-Semitic motive, he says. Warren said the bullet holes appear to have come from a BB or pellet gun, and that shooting those weapons is a relatively popular activity for kids in the area. Police have increased patrols around the synagogue, he said. There are no suspects at this time. “We have kids who think it’s fun to shoot houses and cars,” Warren said. “It’s a pretty common occurrence.” (JTA)
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When the right and left fight over anti-Semitism, Jews are caught in the middle David Schraub
(JTA)—I lived in Minnesota for five years. My wife is from there; her family still lives there. When we return to visit, we have to reckon with a frightening reality: My in-laws’ newly elected congressional representative is deeply implicated in anti-Semitism. We are not dealing with minor missteps that can be overlooked. We’re dealing, after all, with a person who, when asked what motivated Sen. Joe Lieberman’s vote for the Iraq war, boiled it down to a simple question: “Jew or Arab?” We’re dealing with a person who ran campaign ads stating that the opponent was “owned” by wealthy Jewish financial backers. When the representative was elected last November, we could no longer avoid confronting anti-Semitism from the elected officials in Congress tasked with representing our family. I’m referring, of course, to Rep. Jim Hagedorn—a Republican representing Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. Was that not the lawmaker you thought I was talking about? Of course it wasn’t. You thought I was talking about Rep. Ilhan Omar, who recently came under fire for claiming that attacks on her by GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy regarding anti-Israel statements that allegedly crossed into anti-Semitism were actually motivated by “the Benjamins” (that is, big money) and “AIPAC!” (She has since apologized.) Like any elected official, Omar absolutely deserves to be held accountable for her statements. We must call out politicians on both the left and the right who twist ancient anti-Semitic tropes to win votes and vilify our own. But it’s important to notice the fundamental hypocrisy in allowing those who have a terrible track record on anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry to co-opt the conversation. We can’t allow the loudest voices on both sides of the political spectrum to shout over the vast majority of Jews.
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For Jews who are Democrats (which is to say, the vast majority of Jewish Americans), it’s been hard to keep track of where Omar stands on Israel and anti-Semitism. In August, she went to a synagogue and expressed her opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement— only to flip-flop after the election and endorse BDS. Then, rather than acknowledging the switch, she insulted everyone’s intelligence by insisting that saying the BDS movement is “not helpful in getting that two-state solution…I think that pressure really is counteractive” did not actually preclude her from endorsing BDS. An old tweet accusing Israel of “hypnotizing” the world was dug up, and for a while Omar dug in. But then she apologized with one of the single best responses to anti-Semitism allegations that I’ve ever seen from a non-Jewish politician. And yet, too soon after that, she was “chuckling” at how we can call Israel a democracy when we attack Iran for being a theocracy. And then came the “Benjamins” comment. She asserted that McCarthy, who has threatened to take action against her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib because of their positions on Israel, was only making a fuss because “AIPAC!” is paying him to do so. Others have explained succinctly how the last comment raises anti-Semitic tropes (and for that matter misrepresents how AIPAC operates). I have no quarrel with their analysis, and I have little patience with those who seek to minimize what Omar did as anodyne “criticism of AIPAC.” But that is only half the story. Even those of us who have been sharply critical of Ilhan Omar also see that many of her critics are not exactly equal opportunity in their attentions. Few politicians implicated in anti-Semitism receive the torrent of scrutiny and the ceaseless pile-ons that Omar endures from the right. Examples of mainstream right-wing anti-Semitism abound. The central play in
the 2016 Republican campaign playbook was to cast the Democratic Party as in the pocket of Jewish financiers pushing an agenda of “globalism,” open borders and foreign invasion. President Donald Trump himself pointed out that the neoNazi marchers included some “very fine people” in Charlottesville and used “sheriff’s stars” that looked suspiciously like Jewish stars to vilify Hillary Clinton on his campaign literature.
For all the talk about the Israel Lobby this and Jewish Power that, the clearest takeaway from this whole ordeal is the striking disempowerment of the Jewish community.
Indeed, a bevy of Republican politicians—including Rep. Matt Gaetz, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rudy Giuliani, as well as the aforementioned Hagedorn—have all promoted Soros-centered anti-Semitic dog whistles and have received nowhere near the attention that Omar gets. Gaetz even brought a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union. Among such stiff competition, there’s not a lot of mystery as to what makes Omar stand out in the crowd. There is a familiarity to Omar’s case—of needing to acknowledge genuine wrongs worthy of critique, but also needing to acknowledge that the obsessive focus on these wrongs stems from baser instincts. The real parallel of how we talk about Muslim women like Omar is to how we talk about Israel itself—where real misdeeds and wrongdoings nonetheless cannot explain or justify the never-ending torrent of abuse, opprobrium and
opinion conspiracy theorizing. The aforementioned McCarthy may not be scrutinizing Omar’s behavior based on the promise of financial reward, but what right has he to accuse anyone of anti-Semitism after tweeting that George Soros was trying to “buy” the 2018 elections just days after a bomb was planted at Soros’ house? Other Republicans seem similarly inclined to cast stones at liberals while ignoring the literal Nazi apologists in their midst. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is Jewish, has been almost singlemindedly harassing Omar in demanding that she condemn random bits of anti-Semitic conduct with which she had absolutely no association, including asking if she “disagreed” with a hate-filled anti-Semitic voicemail that lamented the failure of the Nazis to finish their extermination of the Jews. Say what you will about Omar, but she’s never said anything that could be remotely construed as expressing sympathy for Hitler. Yet in Zeldin’s own party, from Trump’s praise of “alt-right” protesters to Rep. Steve King’s endorsement of European neo-Nazi parties to, most recently, Candace Owens’ declaration that Hitler would’ve been fine if he’d contained himself to Germany, Nazi sympathizing remains a decidedly Republican phenomenon. The entitled demand that Omar must nonetheless answer for literal Nazi apologists smacked of Islamophobia and racism. Omar’s graceful reply to Zeldin’s unreasonable haranguing was even more impressive when you remember that Zeldin was a public backer of Trump’s nakedly Islamophobic Muslim ban. Those in bigoted glass houses should not throw stones. Of course, the bigotry and anti-Semitism of these conservative politicians does not excuse Omar’s. But the fact is we are, in effect, excusing a lot of anti-Semitism and a lot of bigotry—and the distribution of who gets a pass or a day’s worth of bad press versus who remains forever under the microscope is clearly neither random nor innocent. To be clear, some have been calling out the double standard. Rep. Max Rose, a Jewish Democrat who was among the first
to condemn Omar’s anti-Semitism, lit into the media for gobbling up the Omar story while displaying no interest in covering analogous anti-Semitism by McCarthy and other Republicans. Leah Greenberg of the progressive Indivisible group leveled a similar critique. The fact is, Omar apologized and has been responsive to Jewish concerns. McCarthy and his ilk remain unrepentant. So who really deserves more ire? Yet there is palpable frustration within the Jewish community over how little our efforts on this score seem to matter. Our public discourse about anti-Semitism seems almost immune to being influenced by what the actual Jewish community wants to talk about. As noted, the majority of the Jewish community is politically left of center. We welcome a more robust and nuanced conversation about Israel entering American politics—including the need to mobilize to counteract Israel’s increasingly rightwing drift. Yet we do not endorse those who wish to wipe Israel off the map, and we see the trap when Jewish efforts to participate in American politics are cast as “proof” that we exert a nefarious sway over the polity. When liberal members of Congress evoke anti-Semitic tropes, we have no desire to let them go unchallenged. But neither do we have any interest in having our criticisms lumped in with cynical and hypocritical denunciations emanating from the political right. We understand that the most tangible threats to Jewish lives and livelihoods in America—the anti-Semitism that sheds actual blood in America—emerges from the political right, including (especially via Soros conspiracies) the mainstream Republican Party. But we also claim special pain at anti-Semitism coming from inside our home and our political community—an anti-Semitism that hurts us directly precisely because it comes from those we are in coalition with. There is no conceptual difficulty in holding to these positions together. A great many of us are wholly comfortable in our own skins on these issues. But to the extent these distinctions are impossible to maintain in practice—to the
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Some things in life really can be as simple as they used to be.
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extent that “criticism of Omar” simply is encoded as part of a right-wing campaign, to the extent that “supporting Omar” simply is an endorsement of extreme-left anti-Israel politics—the net effect is that most Jews are silenced. We may speak the words, but they go unheard. For all the talk about the Israel Lobby this and Jewish Power that, the clearest takeaway from this whole ordeal is the striking disempowerment of the Jewish community. Spoken about and spoken over, the Jewish community is being systematically stripped of our ability to contribute to the dialogue happening over our own lives. We are “represented,” if you can call it that, by Glenn Greenwald on the one side and Lee Zeldin on the other (surely, this is the definition of Jewish hell), both of whose elevated stature in public discourse about Jews is almost exclusively a feature of gentile, not Jewish, interests. Indeed, in a real way, Omar’s conservative critics and progressive defenders stand in a symbiotic relationship: They are united in their desire to silence the message most Jews want to send. The right insists on condemning the Democratic Party and any progressive conversation about Israel as institutionally anti-Semitic, never mind that most Jews are committed Democrats and often share the progressive critique of Israel’s rightward drift that Republicans are so eager to tar. Many of Omar’s progressive defenders, for their part, are happy to simply dismiss all talk of left-wing anti-Semitism as conservative agitprop; they are content to rely on the usual assortment of fringe voices who— so long as Israel is on the docket—will offer to kasher even the clearest instances of anti-Semitic discourse. It makes for a crushing feeling of powerlessness. The nation is having a conversation about Jews virtually impervious to the input of Jews themselves. This, above all else, is what makes so many Jews want to scream in frustration. The right loudly proclaims it’s standing up to anti-Semitism—but Jews know their 24/7 Omar coverage does us no favors, and that in any event, conservative solidarity with Jews runs out precisely at the point it requires challenging the sort of
anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering that gets Jews shot. The left self-righteously insists that it is saving its ammunition for combating the “real anti-Semitism”—but Jews have long seen that for too much of the left, cases of “real anti-Semitism” beyond the most obvious murderous varieties seem almost as elusive as O.J.’s “real killer.” Both
It makes for a crushing feeling of powerlessness. The nation is having a conversation about Jews virtually impervious to the input of Jews themselves.
sides are silencing Jews in the guise of allyship. Both sides need to step back and knock it off. We need to break this pattern at its root. That means taking Jewish testimony seriously and resisting the impulse to dismiss efforts to combat anti-Semitism—including anti-Semitism related to Israel—as hasbara. And it equally means calling out those who purport to be allies in the fight against anti-Semitism, but in reality use anti-Semitism for political purposes while further marginalizing the Jewish community the moment we’re inconvenient to the ideological narrative. In short, we need to have a conversation about anti-Semitism. But we also need to have a conversation about how, when we talk about anti-Semitism, we seem to always talk about Ilhan Omar and never about Jim Hagedorn. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.
jewishnewsva.org | February 18, 2019 | Jewish News | 13
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, interfaith activist who raised millions in Christian donations for Israel, dies at 67 Cnaan Liphshiz
o the many colleagues and supporters of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who died Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the age of 67, he was a man of vision whose enormous drive to succeed both facilitated and complicated his relentless efforts on behalf of the Jewish people. As head of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, or IFCJ, the New York-born rabbi raised hundreds of millions of dollars in donations—mostly from Christians—or projects benefiting needy Jews and Arabs in Israel and beyond. To many thousands of ordinary Jews and Christians whose lives he touched without ever meeting them, Eckstein was something of a guardian angel, heading a powerful machine that offered everyday assistance and was able to intervene quickly in emergencies, in creative ways cutting through the red tape characteristic of some other Jewish aid groups. The impact left by Eckstein, who died of cardiac arrest at his home in Jerusalem, was reflected in the glowing eulogies that mainstream Jewish groups offered within hours of his death. “He was a tireless worker for the Jewish people and for Israel, and he made significant contributions by fostering evangelical support for Israel,” wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Eckstein, who grew up in Canada and moved to Israel in 1999, began his involvement in interfaith dialogue with the ADL in 1974 and started the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in 1983. Using television advertising, his tremendous charisma and tireless outreach legwork in the United States, he made unprecedented headway in raising funds for Israel and Jews in crisis situations among evangelicals. Eckstein served as a member of the board and executive committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee and in 2014, together with IFCJ, received its highest honor, the Raoul Wallenberg Award. He also pushed back against Jewish leaders who distrusted evangelical support of Israel.
I could not accept the conditional love of those who expect a payback on behalf of my people. I could not embark on a relationship that would compromise my personal integrity and ideals or that of the Jewish community I represent.
“[T]he majority of evangelicals are passionately pro-Israel because it is part of their theology to love and support the Jewish people,” Eckstein wrote in 2002. “I could not accept the conditional love of those who expect a payback on behalf of my people. I could not embark on a relationship that would compromise my personal integrity and ideals or that of the Jewish community I represent. But having been the first—and most often the only—Jew to build bridges with the right-wing Christian community, I have a view and understanding of their pro-Israel fervor that most people ‘on the outside’ lack.” Israel’s influential Tzohar rabbinical group called him a “visionary whose
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leadership enabled tremendous support for the state and people of Israel, and his actions bettered the lives of countless people all over the country.” Isaac Herzog, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, wrote on Twitter that the Jewish people have lost “a leader who worked tirelessly on their behalf.” Eckstein was ordained at Yeshiva University in New York, and held master’s degrees from Yeshiva University and Columbia University, where he also completed studies for his doctorate. One of his three daughters, Yael, works at the ICFJ as global executive vice president. Despite the posthumous embrace, Eckstein had a thorny relationship with the Jewish establishment most everywhere he went. Critics considered him a tacky manipulator of public opinion with a mercurial temper and an overgrown ego. Most recently he clashed publicly with the Jewish Agency, to which his group had donated many millions of dollars over the years. The funding stopped in 2014 amid a fight over recognition for the ICFJ by the agency and Eckstein’s long-held reservations about the agency’s efficiency in fulfilling its main task: facilitating immigration of Jews to Israel, or aliyah. That year, Eckstein had the ICFJ start its own aliyah operation. He offered every new immigrant a $1,000 grant on top of benefits offered by the Jewish Agency. And he helped bring thousands of immigrants from Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, France, Venezuela, Yemen and other trouble spots for Jews. But Eckstein’s outreach to Christians to make that happen made him a pariah for many years for Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. In 2001, Israel’s then chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Avraham Shapira, published a letter condemning Eckstein’s use of Christian money to “expand Christian missionary propaganda.”
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein at the 25th anniversary of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, September 22, 2008. (Courtesy The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews)
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, an influential haredi Orthodox Talmud scholar, signed a letter forbidding cooperation with Eckstein, calling it “close to idolatry.” Eckstein, who dismissed the Chief Rabbinate’s attacks as not worthy of a response, angered some of his nationalist critics with his group’s support to the tune of millions of dollars for Israeli Arabs, Christians and Muslims. Despite repeated conflicts over the years with establishment figures and bodies, the scale of Eckstein’s work made his organization too big to ignore or sideline, forcing even his most outspoken critics to work with him or get out of his way. Thanks to Eckstein, “today so many Christians from around the world stand in fellowship with Israel,” Rabbi Tuly Weisz, an author and publisher of the Israel National News website wrote in an obituary. “We, Jews and Christians together, mourn the tragic loss of a true bridge builder.” (JTA)
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16 | Jewish News | Retirement in Style | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Rethink the idea of retirement.
ver wonder why Tidewater and the Jewish community have so many active retirees and busy seniors? We all know that our weather is mild (everything is relative, I
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museums boast first class art, and on and on. In fact, last year, WalletHub ranked Virginia the fifth best place to retire in the nation. Florida was number one. Our closest neighbors, Maryland and North Carolina, were ranked 38 and 28, respectfully. Rankings were based on scores for affordability (18), quality of life (9), and healthcare (21). But for Jewish retirement-aged adults, it’s also about the countless activities that take place nearly every single day, such as intellectually stimulating speakers from across the globe, cultural and social events, a state-of-the-art fitness facility with classes just for seniors, places to volunteer, and, of course myriad synagogues for worship. All anyone has to do is peruse the pages of Jewish News and it’s apparent that the Tidewater Jewish community is jam packed with things to do. Who would ever want to leave? Yes, WalletHub has it right…Virginia, and especially, Tidewater is a great place for retirees. The pieces written by three area retirees: Alan Bartel, Linda Samuels, and Louis Sherman are personal confirmations of the area’s ranking. Bartel recently published a book (a great read, by the way!) based on a collection of his father’s writings—written during his retirement. His piece is on page 22. Sherman, who is busy traveling and serves as a Retired Judge, tells his story on page 20. And, on page 18, Samuels shares how her focus is now about volunteering. All are leading inspiring lives in this busy chapter of life. On a more serious note, Scott Kaplan discusses new tax-wise strategies for those 70½ and older on page 21. A fun article about Jewish retirees not too far from Boston who hosted a tailgate-style gathering for the Super Bowl is sure to make everyone smile…no matter which team you preferred to win. Of course, there is more, including information on activities at the JCC and seminars on estate planning. Retiree or not, we hope you find an article of interest, or an advertiser to connect with.
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hat will I do?â€? After more than 40 years as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist/ Laboratory manager, I decided to retire. It was a wonderful career of hospital lab work and work in a private practice with the Group for Internal Medicine, where I had the privilege of working closely with patients and being a part of their health care team; not to mention the incredible amount of knowledge that the physicians shared with me. That was followed by a stint of managing several laboratories for Sentara Medical Group after the practice joined the group. For the first three months after I stopped working, I just relaxed. I was unused to not being responsible for something. I caught up with old friends, made a few new ones, and began to have precious time for my children and grandchildren. I was available for them when they needed me to help out. I joined a canasta group and began to volunteer at my synagogue, Beth El. I was able to read tons of books! My husband, Stanley, and I began to travel a little more. (He was still working.) It was a wonderful time, but I did miss my friends at work. Several years later, I was approached by one of my former graduate school professors at ODU, who asked if I would â€œlike
to help outâ€? in the Medical Technology Program. I said, â€œWhat kind of help?â€? She answered, â€œWhy teaching, of course!â€? I had never thought about teaching in a classroom. I had taught in the hospital systems, but that was one on one or one on two! Still, I accepted and found myself as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. I have to say that I discovered a newfound respect for teachers and the amazing job that they do, day in and day out. I had to review and relearn so much material in order to teach it, but I loved it! I loved working with my students and cannot even describe the sense of accomplishment that they gave me. So much for retirement! I taught there for six years and retired again in 2018 to take another â€œjob.â€? In April of 2018, I was elected president of my synagogue, Congregation Beth El. It is a different kind of job, but one from which I get so much satisfaction. Having had family there for six generations, I feel that I am able to give back to the community that nurtured me as a child and gave me a sense of who I am as a Jewish woman today. So, I say, â€œWhat Retirement?â€? I love being active and feeling that I have something to contribute to our greater Jewish community and to Tikun Olam.
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Retirement Enjoying the Journey
‘Golden Years’ filled with family, travel, and…work Louis Sherman
’m glad to have this opportunity to reflect on my “golden years.” My long-suffering wife of 45 years, Carol, and I are worriers. So, prior to retiring, we spent lots of time worrying about having adequate health care and income so that once we retired we would, for the most part, not lose sleep over those important issues. Kudos to Sally Kocen and the folks at the Frieden Agency for their expertise in helping us make the best decisions for our retirement years. Retirement, assuming reasonably good health, left us with LOTS of time on our hands. We love to travel, so Carol and I
have cruised quite a bit, often with family or friends, sometimes just the two of us, throughout the Baltic Sea, the Greek Isles, much of Europe, Alaska, New England/ Canada, and the Caribbean (a great place to avoid the misery of winter). Our sons, Eric and Scott, our daughters-in love, Anna and Aly, and our amazing granddaughters, Elizabeth, Lily, and Ashley, all live out of town. So, we travel to see them as much as possible. The last couple of years we have all enjoyed getting together to share a condo in Myrtle Beach during the summer, and to gather at each other’s homes for Thanksgiving. As a retired Virginia Judge, I also
enjoy serving as a Retired/Recalled Judge (frequently called a “substitute judge”). This requires the approval of the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court and attendance at mandatory continuing judicial education. I average about a week a month hearing cases, mostly in Hampton Roads. Serving as a substitute judge helps keep my mind fresh, and allows me to stay in touch with my judicial colleagues and members of the bar. Finally, I also enjoy volunteering my time in the community. I am an Honorary Board member of Ohef Sholom Temple, and have participated in the NEST Program, Men’s Club, and other activities that serve people in need.
Carol and Louis Sherman.
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20 | Jewish News | Retirement in Style | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Retirement First Person
Has your tax situation changed? Looking for a new tax-wise strategy this year? Scott Kaplan
s you begin to collect your 2018 income tax information and prepare to file a return, are you: Scott Kaplan • Realizing that your tax situation may be different from previous years? • No longer able to itemize your deductions due to the increased standard deduction? • Interested in learning about a way to support your community in a tax-wise manner? What if you could use some retirement assets to make an impact on the community today? If you, or someone you know, is 70 ½ years old (or older), you must withdraw a portion of your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) each year based upon your age. This Required Minimum Distribution (or RMD) is mandated and you must pay income tax on the portion you withdraw. If you fail to withdraw your RMD, you will face stiff penalties. Did you know you may have another option? It’s called the Charitable IRA Rollover. It’s a tax planning strategy for donors that was made a permanent part of the tax law as of 2016. Now, since the new tax cuts bill went into effect for 2018, it will be even more relevant as millions of Americans are realizing they will take the increased standard deduction and lose the ability to itemize their gifts to charity, among other deductions. These “charitable rollovers” count as part of your required minimum distribution, but aren’t taxable income to you. Rather than simply take your RMD as a withdrawal this year, you can direct your IRA administrator to distribute a gift from your IRA to benefit the Jewish
community. Any amount you transfer counts against your required minimum distribution (RMD), and you can direct up to $100,000 to your favorite causes this year. So, how does it work? Making an IRA Rollover gift is easier than ever and here are the simple steps: 1. If you are 70½ or older, contact your IRA administrator. Because of the popularity of the rollover, most administrators provide forms and a procedure to help you make a rollover gift, also known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution or QCD.
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3. You will pay no income taxes on the amount transferred. Note: Because you are not claiming the transferred amount as income, you will not receive an income tax deduction for your gift (though you may realize those deductions are harder to claim with the new thresholds).
for a three-step Pre-Arrangement Guide
Caution: The check from your IRA must be made out to a charity (such as TJF), not to you. Call the financial institution that holds your IRA and ask about its charitable rollover procedures. You will likely need to fill out a simple distribution form, naming TJF as the recipient and specifying the dollar amount. This information is not intended as tax, legal, or financial advice. Gift results may vary. Consult your personal financial advisor for information specific to your situation.
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is one of the best ways to show your
2. Direct a transfer of any amount (up to $100,000) from your IRA to the Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF). This gift can be designated to benefit any local charitable organization.
4. Contact Scott Kaplan at 965-6109 or email email@example.com to let us know how you would like your gift to be used.
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training and experience that will help you in the process. Our services include a free funeral cost estimate, and we offer many options for financing. Visit our web site or contact the Altmeyer Pre-Arrangement
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jewishnewsva.org | February 18, 2019 | Retirement in Style | Jewish News | 21
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22 | Jewish News | Retirement in Style | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
No case is typical and results may vary.
formally retired from my Cardiology group after 45 years of practice in July 2018. Fortunate to be able to ease into retirement by ending night and weekend call after 35 years (which is obviously quite demanding and stressful), for the last several years, my practice was limited to two days per week in the office— with no hospital or invasive Cardiology commitments. This allowed time for family activities, continuing with my passion for music and flute playing and physical activity. Plus, I now had time to enshrine my father’s hobby and pastime of writing stories. He started writing during his retirement years at age 62, and continued writing into his 90s. I saved his carefully typewritten stories and decided to publish them in a book, to hopefully preserve them for my family. Hal Sacks, of blessed memory, who recorded his fascinating Navy experiences and writings for the Jewish News in two books, encouraged me. Mom and Dad wrote more than 100 stories, so I needed some central theme for the book. Immigration and assimilation is such a pertinent and poignant topic; thus I chose related stories for the book. Dad had such a good way with words and a “folksy” style. Since I did not want to alter that aspect of his writing, my main job
Alan and Ralph Bartel.
was editing his stories, including his slang and Yiddish expressions. His incredible memory for details and clear descriptions of his past environments, as well as his great sense of humor, made this a fun task. My son and two nephews were very helpful and supportive and made my work much easier. The book, Family, Faith and Love: Beyond Immig rat ion, is available on Amazon Books. I hope you like it!!! https://w w w.amazon.com / FamilyFaith-L ove-Beyond-Immig ration / dp/1732310513 Editor’s note: A book review of Family, Faith and Love: Beyond Immigration is slated for an upcoming edition of Jewish News.
Simon Family JCC offers plenty of opportunities for a healthy retirement
LIFESTYLE TO SMILE ABOUT
he weekday Simon Family JCC schedule of activities for retirees offers opportunities for socializing and physical fitness. For many who are no longer in the full-time workforce, avoiding isolation is one of the many challenges. Becoming involved in classes or interest groups can be helpful in maintaining a healthy rhythm of life. JFit, the JCC’s fitness center, offers classes designed for participants who are 55 years and older, in addition to all of the machines, weights, and classes that are available for all ages. Zumba Gold, for example, is a class with all the elements of regular Zumba, but with active older participants in mind; and Water 4 Arthritis involves no swimming, but the water makes it easier to perform gentle motion exercises. Class schedules are available at the JCC Front Desk, Fitness Center and on Facebook (Simon Family JCC). For more information, contact Tom Purcell 321-2310 or email@example.com. For something more cerebral and sedate, an array of mah jongg and card games run Monday through Friday. The JFS Knitting Circle meets every Wednesday morning, producing scarfs and blankets for area nursing home residents and JFS clients. Others meet to discuss current events, to read books, and to learn Yiddish. The schedule for all these groups and others is at the JCC Front Desk and on the Federation calendar. Contact Sheryl Luebke, senior programs coordinator at 757-321-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org for specific information.
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jewishnewsva.org | February 18, 2019 | Retirement in Style | Jewish News | 23
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Retirement Alperin Law to host seminars at Sandler Family Campus
Russ and Daughters, iconic appetizing shop, expands to Brooklyn
How a Properly Drafted and Maintained Estate Plan Will Protect You Wednesday, Feb. 27; Tuesday, March 19; and Wednesday, April 17, 10 am
native of Norfolk who maintains law offices throughout Hampton Roads, Scott Alperin has practiced law for over a quarter century and focuses in the areas of estate planning, elder law, special needs planning, disability law, real estate, and business law. Alperin Law provides its clients with a personalized, comprehensive, and relationship-based approach to estate and asset protection planning. Scott Alperin Alperin is also active in community service, serving on the boards of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Vanguard Landing, an intentional special needs community being developed in Virginia Beach.
rooklynites can now have bagels and lox from the iconic Russ & Daughters in their home borough. The family-owned Jewish appetizing shop, located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side for more than a century, just opened in the refurbished Building 22 in the Navy Yard. “Over the past two years we have designed and built out a 18,000 square foot base of operations, which includes our bakery, nationwide shipping facility, kitchens, a beautiful appetizing store, and (future) private events space,” the company said. Russ & Daughters also has a café around the corner from its original location and a café in the New York Jewish Museum. It is co-owned by cousins Niki Russ Federman and Joshua Russ Tupper, the fourth Russ generation to run the business. “We want to preserve the tradition, the quality, the recipes, the experience of 105 years of history,” Federman told Eater NY website. “In order to do that, we have to stay relevant and have the infrastructure to do that. It’s this interesting dance that we do constantly of, how do you maintain 105 years of history and keep it moving forward at the same time?”
S P E C I A L M OV I E P R E S E N TAT I O N
This Academy Award-nominated ﬁlm tells the story of how Edith Hill, 95, and Eddie Harrison, 96, found love with one another later in life. Watch and learn how guardianship issues and disagreements between their adult children threatened to tear them apart.
Wednesday, March 6th, at 5 p.m. Hosted at The Naro, 1507 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA The ﬁlm will be followed by a discussion led by elder law attorney, Emily Martin, with Hook Law.
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Four ways a retirement plan can survive a volatile market
volatile stock market is raising the anxiety level of some investors— especially those nearing retirement. In the wake of last year’s closing tumble—the S&P 500 lost 6.2 percent in 2018, its worst showing since the 2008 financial crisis—market analysts and those with equities comprising much of their portfolio aren’t quite sure what to expect in 2019. Such uncertainty necessitates reviewing and perhaps adjusting a retirement plan to protect against market downturns, some financial advisers say. “When you’re getting closer to retirement and truly planning for it, you have to understand the effects of volatility,” says Christy Smith, founder of Presley Wealth Management and an Investment Adviser representative. “People forget easily the pain of the recession when the markets are doing well. But the market will always go up and down, and it’s a struggle teaching people that to have a successful retirement, they need to truly diversify, and recession-proof, their retirement portfolio. “How do you do that? You build a lower-volatility, long-term plan that puts some safety nets in place to protect us if we do see a recession.” Smith gives four tips for protecting a portfolio from a volatile stock market and a possible recession: Know your risk level. “We tend as a society to not understand the difference between accumulation and preservation,” Smith says. “It’s extremely important to understand how much risk you can handle. If you build a plan based on that, you won’t make emotional decisions— which are often bad ones—when the markets go down.”
Consider a fixed-index annuity. With interest rates trending upward, bonds aren’t as safe an investment as they were. “A fixed-index annuity is an alternative to bonds because it has principal protection built into it and thus provides safety,” Smith says. “The last few years people have been trained to think they need to invest in bonds to offset risk in their equities, but we’re in a time period now where we’re treading in some uncharted waters. The equity market is going down, but then we also have rising interest rates, which affects the bond market. When you’re using a fixed-index annuity, you won’t see the value of it go down as interest rates go up.” Don’t overanalyze. “When market conditions are good, you’re looking at your 401(k) and not seeing a lot of losses, and you tend to step away and not check your account as often,” Smith says. “But in times like right now, when the market has been turbulent, people start to be more proactive and analyzing things more than normally would. Sometimes it’s better for people not to watch as much of the news, because it’s so negative and we can overreact. Put a good recession-proof plan in place with a fiduciary and don’t panic.” Diversify your plan. “You don’t want to have, say, 80 percent of your portfolio in stocks, especially right now,” Smith says. “It’s important to diversify and also to understand how your money is truly invested. Have a written investment plan tailored to your goals.” “You have to understand the importance of having the mind shift of, the closer you get to retirement, the less you need to be aggressive like when you were young,” Smith says.
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CANTON, Mass. (JTA)—At a kickoff party Sunday, February 3 at the Orchard Cove senior home in this suburb about 25 miles from Boston, boisterous cheers erupted from a small ballroom. Dozens of residents had begun an evening-long tailgate-style gathering as their New England Patriots started yet another Super Bowl, this time against the Los Angeles Rams. Of course, the residents didn’t know that at the final whistle their team would be hoisting its sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy hours later. “Everyone was so excited,” Harvey Sandberg, 93, says about the game, which ended with the Pats topping the Rams, 13–3, in Atlanta. “They couldn’t stop cheering. Everyone was thrilled.” The kickoff party was new this year, organized by Sandberg and Charles “Bud” Liftman, both Jewish residents—but the community’s Patriots fandom was decades old. The party, with a jumbo TV and plenty of team regalia, created quite the buzz throughout the facility, where not all but many of the residents are Jewish. “The community atmosphere here is why we wanted to do this,” Liftman says. Canton is only about a dozen miles from Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots. The team’s owner is Robert Kraft, a businessman and Jewish philanthropist who was recently awarded the Genesis Prize for contributions to the Jewish community. At other places Liftman has lived, management may have set up some snacks and put out Patriots’ banners. “But people wouldn’t be coming together,” says Liftman, who retired following a longtime career as a Boston Globe
editor. “To organize something like this, it makes us proud. It makes everyone happy,” Sandberg adds. As lifelong sports enthusiasts, Liftman and Sandberg have followed Jewish sports figures and feel great pride in watching outstanding Jewish players like Julian Edelman, the Patriots’ star wide receiver, succeed on the field. Edelman would win the Most Valuable Player award in the Super Bowl, the first Jewish player to be so honored. Sandberg can’t remember a time when he wasn’t a Patriots fan, dating back to his youth, when the team was the Boston Patriots and played in the old American Football League. Years later his family-owned toy distribution company was located in Foxborough, across the street from Gillette Stadium. One year before Kraft bought the team in 1994, two women who worked for the Patriots came to Sandberg’s retail outlet looking to buy 2,000 Christmas stockings to donate to children. His shop was their last hope and he was able to deliver. Later that day, the Patriots reciprocated with 40 tickets to the day’s game for his employees and their families. Sandberg and his wife, Thelma, have been hosting Super Bowl parties for years, sometimes at their home, but often for larger crowds, including at the Naples Jewish Congregation in Florida, where the couple lived for 20 years before moving back to the Boston area last year. As people were leaving after the Super Bowl victory, Sandberg and Liftman were already looking ahead. “Next year,” they say, “we’re planning earlier and it will be even bigger.”
Don’t miss these masterful performances!
Billy Crystal plays a rabbi for the first time in this indie drama Stephen Silver
n the surface, Untogether is a drama about a pair of young women struggling to come into their own as adults in contemporary Los Angeles. While that setup may sound mind-numbingly familiar to fans of American indie film, Untogether—which opened this month in theaters in several cities as well as on demand—is different from the norm in a couple of key ways. First, the film is very Jewish for the genre, both in theme and cast. Second, it represents the anticipated film debut of Jewish writer Emma Forrest, the BritishAmerican journalist and novelist who wrote an acclaimed memoir, Your Voice In My Head, back in 2011 (it covered, among other things, her relationship with movie star Colin Farrell). She wrote the Untogether screenplay and directed the movie. Real-life sisters Jemima Kirke (best known for her role in Lena Dunham’s Girls) and Lola Kirke (best known for roles in Mistress America and Mozart in the Jungle) play the main characters. Jemima’s character is an ex-junkie and aspiring writer who is dating a doctor-turned-war-memoirist played by Fifty Shades of Grey heartthrob Jamie Dornan. Her sister, a masseuse, is dating a much older rock star (Ben Mendelsohn, to whom Forrest was formerly married), but soon finds herself drawn to a liberal rabbi played by Crystal, who’s even older. While Crystal may have sounded very rabbinical while eulogizing at Muhammad Ali’s funeral back in 2016, and has told numerous rabbi jokes throughout his long career, Untogether marks the first time he has ever played a rabbi in a movie. In addition to Crystal, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey has a small role in the film, as does Scott Caan (son of Jewish actor James Caan). The Kirke sisters have a Jewish mother and Israeli grandmother. Several scenes are set in a synagogue,
and at one point, one character suggests that another has “copy-edited the Torah.” The rabbi character, Forrest says, is inspired by an “amalgamation” of Los Angeles rabbis, including David Wolpe, Mordecai Finley and Sharon Brous. While the film is Forrest’s first to be produced, it was far from her first screenplay. In fact, she’s spent several years in Los Angeles as a screenwriter, and had two different films for which she wrote screenplays fall apart shortly before production. She was able to get the film financed, with herself as director, by agreeing to a low budget and by getting Dornan, then in the middle of the Fifty Shades series, on board to star. She described it as “a small film, just with people talking in rooms.” The London-born Forrest became a music journalist when she was a teenager, later writing three novels and then her memoir before getting into screenwriting. Untogether isn’t 100 percent autobiographical, but Forrest did incorporate various inspirations from her own life. “Yes, in the sense that I take things that have happened to me, or I wish things that had happened to me, or things that happened to me where I wish I could change the ending,” she says. One big thing that inspired her was her Jewish background. Raised in a Jewish family in London, Forrest wrote in her memoir about how affected she was, at a very low moment in her life, by a synagogue sermon delivered by the well-known Rabbi David Wolpe, of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. She described Wolpe as “a real moral force” and added that “certainly Billy’s character is the one in the piece who has the strongest moral clarity.” “[Being Jewish] is a massive part of who I am,” she says. “In the time of my life a long time ago when I didn’t like myself, it was one of the things that I did like about myself… When you’re struggling with how to stay alive, it’s helpful to recognize [that you are] singing the same
GRIEG PIANO CONCERTO Sat., Mar. 9, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM Sun., Mar. 10, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, VA Beach | 2:30PM
JoAnn Falletta, conductor Jeﬀrey Biegel, piano Bantock: Kishmul’s Galley Grieg: Piano Concerto Prokoﬁev: Symphony No. 5
A MOZART CELEBRATION Gage Skidmore
Billy Crystal at Celebrity Fight Night XXIV in Phoenix, Arizona, March 10, 2018
songs that people had sung a thousand years earlier. And part of that choosing to stay alive was carrying on a bloodline.” Crystal at first passed on the part, but a rewrite ultimately got him on board, and Forrest said she got valuable input from him, which “really enriched the script and the film.” As for the Kirke sisters, Forrest knew that she wanted real sisters playing sisters. She also praised the acting the Kirkes do, particularly with their faces. “[They] have really lively, interesting faces. It has to be a face that you want to stay with. It means a face where you can feel what’s happening underneath the surface,” Forrest says. She also compared Jemima’s acting style to that of the prolific Jewish actress Rachel Weisz. As for the line about copy-editing the Torah, Forrest says that came from her own observations about how, as the character says in the film, “there are too many ‘and’s’” in Jewish prayer texts. “I think that’s from me,” she says.
Thurs., Mar. 21, 2019 | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News | 8PM Sat., Mar. 23, 2019 | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk | 8PM Sun., Mar. 24, 2019 | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, VA Beach | 2:30PM Scott Yoo, conductor Sherie Aguirre, oboe Michael Byerly, clarinet Laura Leisring, bassoon Jacob Wilder, horn Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 297b Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
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jewishnewsva.org | February 18, 2019 | Jewish News | 27
it’s a Wrap
Rave reviews for Film Festival Callah Terkeltaub
he 26th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg and Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi was “one of the most successful in the 26-year history of the festival,” according to Mark Robbins, Film Festival screening committee co-chair. “We seemed to have had the perfect
storm this year—good films with great guests, perfect weather, and thanks to all involved, the best marketing we’ve ever had,” says Robbins. The festival took place Monday, January 21 through Thursday, January 30 at various theaters and venues in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. With six films presented this year, attendance numbers doubled, and even tripled at some of the events. Film
YAD after the screening of Heading Home: Melissa Kass and Aaron Kass, Amy Weinstein and Eliot Weinstein, Scott Debb and Sharon Debb, Seth Kramer, Ty Kelly, and Max Shulman-Hutter.
topics ranged from an historical drama set in South Africa centered around a trial involving Nelson Mandela to the spirited story of Team Israel—a baseball tale that even non-sports fans cheered on. Also this year, the Festival offered admission to educators and their students to see the Samuel Project, starring Hal Linden of Barney Miller fame. “It was wonderful to see so many teachers bringing their students (on a Sunday!) to a film relating to Holocaust education. The younger generation may not have known who Barney Miller was before they came, but they left with a clearer understanding of the human compassion involved in Samuel’s Holocaust story, and the knowledge that there are many different types of learning,” says Wendy Auerbach. Event partners
and generous Patron of the J donors made the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film possible and another exciting success. “Once again the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film delivered a terrific performance with a home run Saturday night and a diverse line up of films that provided a great experience for all who attended,” says Sandra Porter Leon. “Success is very satisfying. I am looking forward to next year’s Virginia Festival of Jewish Film,” says William Laderberg, Film Festival screening committee co-chair. Callah Terkeltaub, Arts + Ideas manager may be reached at email@example.com.
Ed Kramer introduces When Heros Fly.
Lawrence Steingold, Sandra Porter Leon and Miles Leon, Anne and Eddie Kramer, and Wayne Goodman.
28 | Jewish News | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Amy Weinstein and Ellen Wagner.
itâ€™s a Wrap
Talya Gershon, Ralph Soussan, and Larry Leibowitz.
William Laderberg, Mal Vincent, and Thom Vourlas.
Marc Moss and Hal Linden.
Sharon Goldner, Hal Linden, and Karen Kendall.
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For more information, contact Barb Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 965.6105. jewishnewsva.org | February 18, 2019 | Jewish News | 29
it’s a Wrap
Father Patrick Desbois shared his powerful humanitarian work at Sandler Center Elena Barr Baum
n a first ever joint event, the Norfolk and Virginia Beach Forums came together, and with the Holocaust Commission, brought the powerful message of Father Patrick Desbois to Tidewater. The idea to bring this internationally known scholar and humanitarian to Tidewater originated with Sonia Stein Bonnie, who brought it up at her first Holocaust Commission meeting in 2016. The cost seemed prohibitive, and it was put on the back burner, but she never gave up. After looking at several options, Harry Graber, then United Jewish Federation of Tidewater executive vice president, explored the concept of involving the Forums. With Jody Wagner, Norfolk Forum president, on board, it was not hard to bring in Bryan Plumlee of the Virginia Beach Forum. And, so, on the coldest night of the year, nearly 750 fortunate people were able to hear Father Patrick Desbois speak at the Sandler Center on Thursday, January 31. A 2018 study indicated that far too many Americans, including a large percentage of millennials, do not know much if anything about the Holocaust. While this was disheartening to the Holocaust Commission, whose mission is to educate about the lessons of the tragic events of the Shoah, think for a minute about those who DO know something about the Holocaust.
Father Patrick Desbois
30 | Jewish News | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
If any of those knowlegeable people who attended Father Desbois’ talk were asked, most would tell you that he had told them about a part of the Holocaust of which they had very little awareness: the Holocaust By Bullets. With passion, as well as a degree of pathos, Father Desbois shared stories from his life and his research. His normally gregarious grandfather’s silence about his experience in a Soviet labor camp during World War II always made young Patrick curious to know more. After becoming a math teacher and then a priest, and working with the Catholic church on Catholic-Jewish relations, he serendipitously found himself in the town where his forebear had been imprisoned. The Mayor of Rawa Ruska in Ukraine shared with the grandson what the grandfather had been reticent to divulge: the town had been witness to, in fact party to, the mass murder of its Jewish population at the hands of the Einsatzgruppen, the Nazi killing squads who terrorized the Jews of Eastern Europe before the death camp machinery was operational. This meeting led to the founding of his organization, Yahad-In Unum (Together in One) and almost two decades of interviewing witnesses, and some perpetrators, to the Nazis’ crimes. To date he has recorded more than 6,000 interviews and found more than 2,500 unmarked mass graves as he tries to “find” 1.5 million Jewish victims. When asked in the Q&A session what he says to Holocaust deniers, he responded, “The deniers don’t confront me; they hate me, because I have evidence.” But he does not stop with this emotionally wrenching look into the past. Father Desbois refuses to stand by while genocide continues. He visits Iraq frequently to document the genocide of the Yazidi people by ISIS, his organization trying to deprogram and support children orphaned by ISIS crimes, in real time. Father Desbois is relentless in his pursuit of the truth, no matter how difficult it is to live with. His hope, his goal, is to prepare a new generation to fight the evil of deniers, and the evil of the terrorists who learned their trade from the Nazis. A professor at Georgetown University, where he is on the faculty for the Center for Jewish Civilization, Father Desbois was the recipient of the 2017 Lantos Human Rights prize. Once in a while a speaker like Father Desbois comes along who changes the way you think about the world. As Leigh Casson, UJFT program associate, says, “I will never forget that talk as long as I live.”
What some said about Father Desbois Can’t quite find the words to describe my emotions from last night. Father Desbois is a modern-day Mother Theresa. Can’t even fathom where someone finds the emotional strength to do what he does. Great program. —Stephanie Peck What a great lecture last night! I am ordering both of Father Desbois’ books. —Allison Handler The presentation was excellent and horrifying. What an incredible cause! —Steve and Lynne Mallory Winter That was incredible last night. It is going to change the way that I teach a few things from now on. I think that he’s a hugely important ethical thinker, updating Arendt in some important ways. —David Kidd Norfolk Academy I was teary eyed throughout the entire presentation. The thought came to mind: “if you don’t learn from history you’re doomed to repeat it.” —Dr. Charles Wilkes The event was amazing, dignified, and powerful. —Dave Zobel That was an amazing event. I even had time with Dana. —Craig Blackman Indian River High School Father Desbois’ presentation was riveting and thought provoking. I haven’t stopped thinking about it. In fact, on Friday, we were talking about ethnic violence in AP Comparative Government and many of the things he talked about were quite relevant to the topic. —Linda McCubbins Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School I truly enjoyed every minute of the program last night. I especially was so happy to see the collaborating vision of all parties. In the past year between doing works on the Navajo code talkers and the Nisei (first generation) Japanese who fought for us in World War II, indigenous people worldwide, and my research into the Holocaust, I am sometimes speechless at what is happening or what has happened. The great news is that I know my calling is to stand in the gap, to expose, educate, and shout out relentlessly and fervently to make people aware. It was an honor to be there. All the stories were riveting and I especially like the fact that he made the audience aware that it is still happening to humanity. —Elbert Watson Norfolk Academy His story is truly remarkable. I am really glad I went. —Amy Lindgren The Williams School
it’s a Wrap
Elena Barr Baum and Father Patrick Desbois. Father Patrick Desbois and Jody Wagner.
Bryan Plumlee with Father Desbois.
Dana Cohen and Father Patrick Desbois.
Marshall Bonnie, Sonia Stein-Bonnie and Father Patrick Desbois.
Portraits of local survivors
laced around the Sandler Center lobby were portraits of local survivors from the Holocaust Commission’s Faces of Survival exhibit created in 2018. Twothirds of the survivors in those portraits came from Ukraine, Western Russia, and Poland, and but for providence, could have ended up in the mass graves Father Desbois is uncovering with his research teams. In May, the exhibit will be mounted permanently in a place of honor at the Simon Family JCC. Alicia and Robert Friedman.
Craig Blackman, Anne Tomasovic, Leslie Siegel, Dana Cohen, and Lisa Bertini.
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What’s happening Patricia Wainger to receive VCIC award at the Tidewater Chapter’s 55th Annual Humanitarian Awards Thursday, March 28, 2019, 5:45 pm The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center
he Humanitarian Award of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is presented to those individuals who have demonstrated a personal commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. One of these year’s honorees is Patricia P. Wainger. Alvin Wall is chair of the evening. In addition to Wainger, 2019 Humanitarian Award recipients are Regina R. Darden, Claus Ihlemann, Cassandra L. NewbyAlexander, Kevin H. Turpin, and Alok K. Verma. Patricia Wainger.
To honor this year’s award winners by purchasing a seat at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Tidewater Jewish Foundation/Jewish Family Service community table, contact Tammy Mujica at email@example.com or 757-965-6124.
2nd Annual Tidewater Learning Connection: A conference for educators and parents Sunday, February 24, 9:30 am–12:45 pm Sandler Family Campus, $10
n initiative of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Konikoff Center of Learning, Tidewater Learning Connection brings nationally recognized authors, speakers, and expert educators to engage the community in dialogue and action to improve outcomes for children in the classroom and at home. Workshops empower parents, school administrators, and teachers with the tools to motivate diverse student populations. This year’s event features An Education Revolution: Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom with a virtual presentation by Sir Anthony Seldon and an in-person discussion with Dr. Wayne Holmes; Julie Morgenstern, author of Time to Parent, in conjunction with the Jewish Book Council and the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival; and Sensory Processing 101 with Pediatric Occupational Therapist April Johnson. Registration and breakfast begins at 9:30 am, with the first speaker at 10 am. Tickets are $10 and include breakfast, all of the speakers, professional development points, a book sale, and a book signing opportunity. For more information, to see the full conference agenda, and to purchase tickets and sponsorships, visit TidewaterLearningConnection.org or contact Patti Seeman at pseeman@ hebrewacademy.net or 757-424-4327.
Stein Family College Scholarship The Stein Family College Scholarship is an annual grant for Jewish students in the Hampton Roads area that provides a scholarship of up to $10,000 a year for college tuition.
Eligibile Applicants Must: • Be Jewish students graduating high school this Spring, entering a degree-granting institution for the first time as a full-time, degree-seeking student • Be current residents of Hampton Roads • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 • Demonstrate academic ability, concern for school, Jewish & general communities • Show substantiated financial need (as determined by FAFSA) The Stein Family College Scholarship is dedicated in loving memory of Arlene Shea Stein.
Application Deadline: March 29, 2019 For more information, guidelines and application, visit www.JewishVa.org/tjf-stein
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what’s happening 15th Annual Grieving Children’s Art Show
Wednesday, February 20, 7:30 pm Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach
March 2019 Leon Family Gallery at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
young child just learns that her father has died from an accident at work. Who can she talk to about her feelings? How can she cope with this tragic loss? How will her family cope and begin to heal from this crisis? Many children suffer the loss of a significant loved one before age 18. Jewish Family Service of Tidewater is available to help these young people and their families. Jewish Family Service counseling staff, through the Dozoretz Center for Healing and the Jessica Glasser Children’s Therapeutic Pavilion, specializes in helping individuals of all ages cope with loss and grieving. One component of this program is a free support group for children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one: Peace by Piece. This program is operated by Edmarc in collaboration with JFS. JFS and Edmarc co-sponsor an annual art show—now in its 15th year—that displays the creative drawings and words of local grieving children and teens. This is an opportunity for these young people to share their feelings with others and to see that they are not alone. The art show is open to any school-aged youth
in Tidewater who has experienced the death of a loved one. Over the past 14 years, more than 400 pictures have been displayed. After this annual Grieving Children’s Art Show in the Leon Family Gallery, artwork will be on display for one night only for Peace by Piece families on May 30, 2019. Following that, the artwork will return to either JFS or Edmarc for display throughout the rest of the year. For more information on the exhibit, program, or services offered by JFS, contact Debbie Mayer, LCSW, at JFS at 757-459-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inaugural Virginia Weekend of Unity Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23
ongregation B’nai Israel of Norfolk and Keneseth Beth Israel of Richmond are joining forces for a weekend of unity and inspiration in Norfolk. The weekend will kick off with a “Carlebach” style Kabbalat Shabbat. After davening, a communal Friday night dinner will take place at B’nai Israel. The weekend will offer many opportunities to socialize and listen to lectures
from rabbis of both communities. This event is open to the entire Tidewater and Richmond Jewish communities. For more information or to attend the Friday night dinner, contact Rabbi Gavriel Rudin at 757-386-3274 or gavrielrudin@ bniaisrael.org.
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Brimming with insight and optimism, Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, will offer an assessment of the ever-changing challenges on Israel's borders, through the trends, thoughts, and policies of her Arab neighbors. A provider of timely analysis of global politics and terrorist activity to key decision makers in Washington and around the world, Schanzer previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, playing an integral role in the designation of terrorist financiers. A world-renowned expert on Middle East affairs who has authored hundreds of articles, appeared on news outlets such as Fox News, CNN, Al-Arabiyya, and Al-Jazeera, Schanzer has published several books about Palestinian politics and terror organizations throughout the Middle East, including Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, the only book on the market that analyzes the confl conflict f ict fl between the two most powerful rfu f l Palestinian factions. fu FREE & open to the community with RSVP. For more information or to RSVP call 757-321-2304 or visit JewishVA.org/IsraelToday
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Employment Oppor tunity
Development Associate and LIFE & LEGACY Program Coordinator Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) seeks an organized, self-starter, and team-oriented individual to work collaboratively with the president & CEO to manage the LIFE & LEGACY Program and other planned giving related activities. Position serves as the primary liaison and coach to all LIFE & LEGACY partner organizations. Works with TJF staff, board, and other leaders to help facilitate development efforts by planning, organizing, monitoring, and assisting with the execution of action plans in coordination with Legacy teams. Promotes TJF and gift planning concepts to help cultivate new gifts. Works collaboratively with marketing staff to coordinate various events and programs. Must be able to handle confidential and sensitive information. Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree with at least 3 years’ experience in either: development, marketing, financial planning, community relations, project management, foundations, and/or grant making. Non-profit experience not required. Ability to understand and work within structure of a customized database. Knowledge of and appreciation for Jewish culture, heritage and traditions a plus.
Complete job description at www.JewishVa.org/tjf-jobs Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: email@example.com or call Human Resources (757) 965-6117. EOE.
Tidewater Jewish Foundation is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability, genetic information or military status.
Tidewater Jewish Foundation
Summer Day Camp Director Position
Simon Family JCC seeks Dynamic Day Camp Director Ideal candidate has independent judgment, initiative, camp operations experience, and creativite program planning skills. Must enjoy interacting with children, be dedicated to promoting appreciation for Jewish culture and values; proficient in preparing budgets, maintaining fiscal responsibility and administrative management. Complete job description at www.jewishva.org Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org Submit by mail to: United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Attention: Taftaleen T. Hunter, Director of Human Resources – Confidential 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
U J F T / S I M O N F A M I LY J C C K i d s C o n n e c t i o n P o s i t i o n
Kids Connection Program-After School Inclusion Specialist Candidates work with children who have learning challenges (ages 5-12) with homework and other academic, social, and behavioral related needs in Virginia Beach after-school program. Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Special Education or equivalent. Must be available Monday-Friday afternoons and early evening hours. Part-Time. EOE. Drug Free Workplace. Criminal Background check. Complete job description at www.jewishva.org Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: email@example.com
Part-Time. Start Work Now! 34 | Jewish News | February 18, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Calendar FEBRUARY 20, WEDNESDAY The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partner’s Israel Today presents Defender of Democracy with Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of the ‘Little Think Tank That Could’ and internationally-respected pundit for Israel’s Threat Matrix: A Survey of the Challenges on Israel’s Borders and Beyond. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. 7:30 pm. Free. For more information or to RSVP, visit JewishVA.org/ IsraelToday, or contact Melissa Eichelbaum at MEichelbaum@ujft.org. Seniors Club Monthly Lunch Meeting. The Daybreak Singers, an acapella group composed of active duty and retired military spouses, will entertain after lunch and a brief business meeting. Members only event. Noon–2 pm. $6 at the door. Membership requirements are to be a JCC member or Silver Sneaker participant at the Simon Family JCC. Annual dues are $15. For more information on Club membership, contact Wayne Gordon, membership chair, at 757-426-3297 or Sheryl Luebke, JCC/UJFT senior programs coordinator, at 757-321-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org. February 22, Friday Jewish Virginia Shabbos of Unity. A communal Friday night dinner and full weekend of programming. The cost of the dinner is $36 a couple or $75 per family. For more information or to register for the dinner, contact Rabbi Gavriel Rudin at 757-386-3274 or gavriel.rudin@ bnaiisrael.org. FEBRUARY 24, SUNDAY The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Konikoff Center of Learning presents its 2nd Annual Tidewater Learning Connection, on the Reba and Sam Sandler Campus. Registration and breakfast at 9:30 am. An Education Revolution: Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom with a virtual presentation by Sir Anthony Seldon and an in-person discussion with Dr. Wayne Holmes at 10 am. Time to Parent with author Julie Morgenstern, in conjunction with the Jewish Book Council and the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival at 11 am. Sensory Processing 101 with Pediatric Occupational Therapist April Johnson at 12 pm. $10 includes all speakers, breakfast, and professional development points. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tidewaterlearningconnection.org/agenda-tickets/ or contact Patti Seeman at email@example.com or 757-424-4327. See page 32. February 26, Tuesday YAD Happy Hour. UJFT’s Young Adult Division’s ‘Booze and Schmooze’ takes place at New River Tap House in Virginia Beach. Drinks on participants, appetizers on YAD. Bring a canned food item to be donated to Jewish Family Service. Happy Hour starts at 5:30 pm. For more information, contact Carly Glikman at firstname.lastname@example.org. March 7, Thursday YAD Hands On Tidewater. Social action at The Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore with UJFT’s Young Adult Division. YADians will volunteer in the warehouse. This event is open to YADians and their children ages 12 and older. 5 pm. For more information, contact Carly Glikman at email@example.com. MARCH 18, MONDAY In celebration of the JCC Book Club’s 100th read and 10th Anniversary, Marilyn Simon Rothstein will discuss her book Husbands and Other Sharp Objects on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. 12 pm. $12 lunch/$20 lunch and book. Bundled registration closes March 11. For more information and to RSVP, visit JewishVA.org/BookFestival, or contact Callah Terkeltaub at firstname.lastname@example.org. March 23, Saturday YAD Purim Party. Party like it’s a Bar Mitzvah at YAD Mitzah Party! YAD’s annual Purim Party gets bigger and better every year with lots of dancing and fun. Purim Mitzvah is for YADians ages 21+. To purchase tickets for $40 a person and $70 for two, visit Federation. jewishva.org/Purim-Party. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
WHO knew? Hank Greenberg bat sells for more than $25,000 (JTA)—A bat used by Jewish Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg sold at auction for over $25,000. The closed auction on the website of Lelands-Sports Memorabilia and Card Auctions did not say who is taking home the Detroit Tiger star’s wood bat, which was signed by 34 teammates from the 1937 club, for $25,063.20. Bidding started at $5,000. Greenberg signed right above his name on the barrel of the bat. Greenberg, a first baseman and outfielder for the Tigers for 12 seasons in the 1930s and ’40s, hit 331 home runs in his career. Known as “Hammerin’ Hank” and the “Hebrew Hammer,” he had 1,276 runs batted in and a .313 lifetime batting average. Though he was not religiously observant, Greenberg sat out a game in 1934 during Yom Kippur at the height of the American League pennant race. He finished his baseball career in the 1947 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His playing days were interrupted by more than four years serving in the Army Air Corps, including during World War II. Greenberg died in 1986 at age 75.
Julian Edelman is the first Jewish Super Bowl MVP JTA Staff
(JTA)—Wide receiver Julian Edelman was named Most Valuable Player as the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The Patriots’ Jewish owner, Robert Kraft, also earned a kiss on the lips from quarterback Tom Brady as their team celebrated its 13–3 victory—New England’s sixth Super Bowl triumph. After the game, an interviewer asked Edelman how he felt about earning the MVP award. “It sounds crazy, it sounds crazy. 2018. L’Chaim!” he said. Edelman, 32, is one of only a few Jewish players in the league, embracing that side of his identity over time. He has a Jewish father but was not raised in the religion, and through the Patriots front
Mazel Tov TO office often would defer on questions about his religion. His is the quintessential surprise story: Undersized at 5' 10" and less than 200 pounds, without blazing speed and coming from Kent State—not exactly Alabama—Edelman was picked toward the end of the last round of the 2009 draft. He didn’t establish himself as a standout until the 2013 season. Coincidentally or not, it was during his breakout year that Edelman identified as Jewish in an interview with the NFL Network. Since then, he has shown his Jewish pride on a number of occasions. In a 2014 game, for instance, he wore a pin featuring the Israeli flag. He has tweeted about Jewish holidays. He even went on a Birthright-style trip to Israel, and has written a children’s book that references modern-day Zionism founder Theodor Herzl. After the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in the fall that killed 11, he wore special cleats with Hebrew on them to honor the victims.
The Band’s Visit, Drake win Grammy Awards Marcy Oster
The Band’s Visit, the Tony Award-winning musical set in an Israeli village, added a Grammy Award to its list of accolades and Jewish rapper Drake also won a Grammy for best rap song. The musical, which is based on a 2007 Israeli film, won for best musical theater album during the live award presentation on Sunday, Feb. 10. The show is leaving Broadway in April, but will go on national tour and plans a stop in Norfolk. Drake won for God’s Plan, but it was his only award out of seven nominations. The Canadian singer and former day school student has won a total of four Grammys among 34 nominations. Indie songstress St. Vincent won the Grammy for best rock song for Masseduction. It was co-written by Jack Antonoff, who is Lena Dunham’s ex-boyfriend and has also written songs with Taylor Swift and Lorde. Antonoff is a graduate of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, New Jersey. (JTA)
Achievement Jerome Blackman, MD, professor of Psychiatry at EVMS, was recently appointed Distinguished Professor of Mental Health At Shanxi Medical University in Taiyuan, China, and appointed chair of the North American Teachers Group for Lingyu International Psychology Center based in Hangzhou, China. Shanxi Province awarded him the honor of “High-End Foreign Talent” this past November.
Jerome Blackman, MD (right), with Li Xiao Si, MD, director of Anhui Mental Hospital, in Taiyuan, China.
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
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Obituaries Robert S. Friedman Charlottesville, Va.—Robert S. Friedman, born February 15, 1942, lived a long and peaceful life devoted to inspiring the best in others. He passed away without pain on January 7, 2019 in his mountain home near Charlottesville, Virginia, surrounded by the trees and hills of the town he treasured. During his surprise illness—a very rare and rapid neurodegenerative prion disease—Robert (called Bob by those close to him) was tenderly taken care of by his beloved Beth Hines and visited often by his friends and adoring family. He was a man of deep spiritual conviction who showed love and generosity towards everyone in his life, as well as those in need. A sophisticated man of letters, Bob devoted his professional life to publishing books that would provide help and enlightenment to his readers. He is survived by Beth, his sister Diane Bienstock (Steve); his four children: Jonathan and Matthew (with Donna Reiss) and Marc and Sophia (with Kathleen Shaffer); his cousin Leonard Baker (Sara Sgarlat), and many other loved cousins and extended family. A memorial celebration is being planned for April; for details, updates, and family contact information, please visit www.bobfriedman.net. Bob had as many accomplishments as he had years: he was a proud graduate of the University of Virginia (whose long-overdue bowl victory was a happy moment shared with fellow Hoos during his final days), and a member of AEπ. He founded three publishing companies, was a published writer, a teacher, a fine
amateur photographer, a film producer, and a much-admired husband and father. He earned his M.F.A. in Writing from UNC Greensboro, and completed two years of graduate studies at University College of Swansea of the University of Wales. He was managing editor for Metro Hampton Roads and proposed the tabloid which later became PortFolio Magazine. For many years he helped organize the Virginia Festival of the Book, where he often served as a moderator and panelist. Bob pioneered several genres of books, including the graphic novel and the pictorial history. He founded the Donning Company Publishers in 1974 with his wife Donna and his friend Fred Jordan, named by combining Donna’s name with that of Fred’s wife Ingrid. Joined thereafter by the late Stan Hainer, he published revered pictorial histories of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and dozens more, then launched a science-fiction/fantasy line, Starblaze Editions, where he worked with or launched some of the great artists, authors, and titles of the genre, including Robert Asprin (Myth Adventures), Kelly Freas, and many more. With Donning and Starblaze, Bob was one of the fathers of the graphic novel, with the Elfquest series being the first breakthrough success bridging the gap between specialty comic stores and mainstream bookstores. His foresight paved the way for graphic novels as a respected (and Pulitzer Prizewinning) literary form. Bob formed Hampton Roads Publishing Company in 1989 with Frank DeMarco, and worked with such luminaries as Neale Donald Walsch (author of
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the Conversations with God series), Richard Bach (author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Messiah’s Handbook), Eckhart Tolle (with whom he co-wrote a children’s book), and Linda Goodman, and discovered many critically-acclaimed novelists of the new Visionary Fiction genre, such as D.S. Lliteras, Monty Joynes, and Vernon Kitabu Turner. After a brief struggle with retirement, he founded Rainbow Ridge Books, which is now carried on by his surviving family. All in all, Bob published more than 1,000 books in over 30 languages, including many international bestsellers. He also wrote several screenplays, co-produced the documentary iGod, and recently had his book with Eckhart Tolle, Milton’s Secret, adapted into a motion picture starring Donald Sutherland. In all his endeavors, Bob inspired love and loyalty from others. His quiet, gentle good humor and spirit of endless acceptance won him a lifetime of admirers who will all miss him more than even a published writer could express—and if they could, Bob would surely have been the one to publish them. Marlene S. Goldsticker Virginia Beach—Marlene S. Goldsticker passed away on February 9, 2019. In 2008, she was preceded in death by her first husband, kind and gentle Lewis J. Goldsticker. Born in New York City on March 9, 1935, and although moved to the south in her mid-20s, she is forever a “Brooklynite.” In addition to her loving husband, Fred Greene, her survivors include her daughters, Marcy (Ed) Berger and Jodi (Stuart) Cohen, along with her four grandchildren, Andrew and Sasha Berger, Paul (Ariel) Cohen, and Stephanie (Dan) Rubin, and stepdaughter, Pam (Darrell) Parsons, along with multiple nieces and nephews and extended families. Her passions include classical music as she was an accomplished violinist. She enjoyed going to the opera, attending stage plays and travelling. A graveside service was held at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in the King David section of the cemetery. Donations can be made to Beth Sholom Village, 6401
Auburn Drive VB, VA 23464. Janet Loewenberg Philadelphia—Janet Rose Loewenberg, 86, passed away on February 5, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pa. She was predeceased by her parents Philip and Bertha Rose and her beloved husband, Dr. Lee Loewenberg. She is survived by her daughters Nancy Loewenberg (Richard Marten), Ellen Promisloff (Steven) and Stephanie Metter (Dean) and her loving grandchildren, Joshua Marten (Christine), Samantha Promisloff, Jacob Marten, Shelby Segermeister (Justin), and Perri Metter (fiancé Adam Haft), as well as two great-grandchildren, Cia and Calen Driscoll Marten. She is also survived by her brother, Frank Rose. Janet was a graduate of Beaver College and taught elementary school for many years in the Philadelphia public schools and at Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia. She enjoyed travel with her husband and was known for her elegance and impeccable sense of style. A graveside funeral was held at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Trevose, Pa. The family requests that contributions be made to the Abramson Center for Jewish Life, Beth Sholom Village, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Donald Allen Myers, Ph.D. Virginia Beach—Donald Allen Myers, Ph.D., died peacefully in his home early on Feb. 2. 2019, after a long struggle with dementia. He was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1932, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Chicago, with a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. He was Professor of Education at SUNY-Albany, Oklahoma State, and Dean of Education at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He was also Dean of the Darden College of Education, Old Dominion University for 10 years, and taught another 16 years at ODU. He was named Professor Emeritus. He gained some notoriety with publication of his book, Teacher Power: Teacher Professionalization and Collective Bargaining (1973). He published many
Obituaries scholarly articles, his favorite being Devil’s Dictionary of Educational Terms. He received many honors and distinctions, but was too humble to want them noted. He leaves his partner of 31 years and primary caretaker, Alice L. Twining; Don’s older brother and sister, Merle Myers, Jr. and Myrlene Wheat and husband Al; sons Eric Levy-Myers and wife Helen, Johnny Myers and wife Stacie, David A. Myers, and Aaron Twining Myers and his fiancée Anne Friedman; daughter Sherri Gescheidler and husband Jimmy; grandchildren Christopher, Mickayla, Mathew, Reuben, Julian, Asher, Drew, and Dawson; and three great grandchildren. Don enjoyed the Myers’ and Twining’s extended families, with many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was the best father a child could ask for—generous with his laughter, his time, and his love. He will be remembered for his leadership and dedication to his work, his kindness to all who knew him, his French cooking, his love of the Nebraska Corn Huskers, and perhaps most of all his sardonic wit. His favorite sign in the kitchen was: I value the opinions you keep to yourself. Thanks to the compassionate team of hospice professionals at Jewish Family Service and Frieda Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater. A Celebration of Life will be held later this year in Virginia Beach. Details are pending. Please consider donating to a non-profit of your choice in Don’s memory. Sheila Starr Saks Columbia, S.C.—Sheila Starr Saks, 95, died February 1, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. She was born in Norfolk and was the daughter of the late Dr. Joseph and Naomi Wolf Starr. Sheila was the wife of the late Louis B. Saks, a Norfolk native. Working alongside her husband, Sheila helped with the details and business side of the Lou Saks Orchestra. The Orchestra was an important part of Norfolk’s musical life for many years, playing for countless events, including weddings, bar mitzvahs and more. Sheila was always there for honest and
wise advice with a kind heart. Sheila was predeceased by her sister, Adele Radin (Hank) and her brother Bertram Starr who died a World War II hero. She is survived by her special friend who was like a “daughter” Gretchen Brown of South Carolina. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Kitty Saks and Felice Saks of Norfolk, and nieces and nephews, Tonie (Frank) Wilkins, David (May Lou) Saks, Judith Sidlow, and cousins Richard (Judy) Levin, Bobbi Lou (Michael) Miller, Beverly (Dr. Michael) Huckman, and Alan (Eve) Blachman. A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.hdoliver.com.
Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Ramona Bourgeois; his son, Stephen of Chicago, Illinois; two daughters, Molly and Emma Gould; his parents, Harold and Elaine Schultz; his sister, Nancy Kocen and her family, all of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and his brother, Joseph Schultz and his family
of Marietta, Georgia. Services were held at the Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home. As an expression of sympathy, contributions may be made on Alan’s behalf to PanCAN at http://support.pancan.org/goto/alancschultz. continued on page 38
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Alan C. Schultz Clifton, Va.—Alan C. Schultz passed away peacefully at the age of 61 on January 20, 2019, at his home in Clifton, Chris Sisler, Vice President, Member of Ohef Sholom Temple, Board member of the Berger-Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village, James E. Altmeyer, Jr., President, James E. Altmeyer, Sr., Owner
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Obituaries continued from page 37
Lee Gerry Wertheimer Norfolk—Lee Wertheimer was taken too soon on January 30, 2019. She was born on October 23, 1950. She is survived by her children, Ellen and Daniel. The funeral took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations may be made in Lee’s memory to WHRO or to cancer research. She will be dearly missed by all who loved her.
Transgender rights activist Barbra Siperstein
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Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who fought for transgender rights in the United States after her own gender transition in middle age, has died. Siperstein died Feb. 3 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at the age of 76. Her death came two days after a law named for her went into effect that allows New Jersey residents to amend the gender on their birth certificates without proof of gender reassignment surgery. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, after being vetoed twice by his Republican predecessor, Chris Christie. Siperstein, an Army veteran who was born with the name Barry, told her wife,
Carol, that she was transgender in the late 1980s. Her wife was supportive and the couple stayed together until Carol’s death in 2001. In the intervening years they had used an amalgamation of their initials and names as an alias, Casbar. While she had been transitioning in stages since telling her wife, Siperstein became a public advocate for gender equality and transgender rights. In 2009, after completing sex reassignment surgery, she officially changed her Hebrew name from Eliezer Banish to Baila Chaya at a ceremony at her Conservative synagogue in Freehold, the New Jersey Jewish News reported at the time. Siperstein, known as “Babs,” was a principal in her family’s eponymous paint and wallpaper chain. She was the first transgender member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee, and served from 2011 to 2017. During that time, she successfully worked to convince the party to include gender identity as a category for protected rights. Also, during that time, she was a superdelegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. Siperstein “was never shy to push us to open our hearts and minds, and to move our thinking ever forward,” Murphy said in a statement after her death. (JTA)
MARILYN SIMON ROTHSTEIN
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