Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 53 No. 11 | 20 Shevet 5775 | February 9, 2015
Super stories on Super Sunday
26 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film
32 Gidi Grinstein, Celebrate Israel Series Thursday, Feb. 26
32 Israel Today: Disaster Relief Sunday, March 15
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33 Operation Hamantaschen Sunday, Feb. 15
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letter Another view on Torah Thought
was surprised after I read Rabbi Kraus’s personal take on the Chanukah story ( Jewish News, Dec. 22, 2014). There are many unsubstantiated facts and misquotes from the Talmud. I think quite often facts get rewritten to fit our sensibilities. The Rabbis of the time fought long and hard to maintain the integrity of our holy Torah and its eternal values because of the desire of the Greeks to remove spirituality and G-d off the face of the earth. To insinuate that the Greeks tolerated and even encouraged religious freedom of any kind is simply untrue. His claim that the Chanukah story is celebrating “religious pluralism in recognition that we draw our values from the culture around us” is handing over our souls to Lady Gaga and David Letterman! Our eternal values come from our Torah that has been passed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter, father to son, and teacher to student directly from the mouth of G-d. We live our lives not to be defined by modern culture but to transcend modern culture. This can only be accomplished by the Divine and not by simple human understanding, which is governed entirely by what makes us feel good and brings us the most physical pleasure. Chanukah celebrates the victory over the opinions that Rabbi Kraus advocates and the eternity of the spiritual Jew and our Torah.
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Charlie Hebdo: Freedom of speech and mutual respect
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
by Dr. Frederick A. Lubich Professor of German, Old Dominion University
he recent assassinations of French citizens were horrendous acts of barbarity. In addition, they also were violent attacks on our concept of civil liberties. Most of us love our freedom of speech, lots of it and for very good reasons. And many of us enjoy social satire. I certainly do and have been teaching a course on the 500 year old history of German satire at ODU for many years. But recent events and comments made me also reconsider our beloved postmodern maxims of “Having Fun” and “Anything Goes.” Although I have been a solidly lapsed Catholic for most of my life, I am afraid Pope Francis makes a good point with his statement on his recent trip to the Philippines, that it is “wrong to insult religion.” Even in our highly secular Western World, there are millions of Christians, Muslims, Jews and followers of other spiritual beliefs, for whom their religion is a source of solace, inspiration and cultural identity. And the greatest majority of them are—no surprise there—decent, law-abiding and hardworking citizens. Which brings me to the issue of cul-
tural censorship. To this day, present-day Germany makes it a crime to display the swastika or publish Mein Kampf not only in an attempt to prevent the possible resurgence of fascism’s antagonistic world view, but also out of respect for all those who have been murdered under its icon and ideology because of their religious tradition, sexual orientation or political conviction. Maybe, if we are a bit less irreverent of each other’s cultures and different opinions and orientations, the ominous “Clash of Civilizations,” which Samuel Huntington had predicted at the end of the last century, will not continue to be as brutal as it has been time and again since September 11, 2001. (How we can fine-tune the important difference between legitimate satire and provocative insult, that will be one of our increasingly global and multicultural challenges). —Frederick A. Lubich, Ph.D., Professor of German, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Old Dominion University
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Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz liberation. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Orthodox and tax-defined ‘upper’ incomes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Super Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Karen Fine on JCPA trip. . . . . . . . . . . 16 AJC gets re-introduced. . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Warm your winter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Adam Zelenka’s Birthright trip . . . . . 24 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. . . . . 26 EVMS and Bar-Ilan University Medical Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Serina at BINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill joins Tidewater Chavurah. . . . . . . . . . . . 30 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
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briefs Hollande tells French Jews ‘France is your country’ French President Francois Hollande told French Jews “your place is here,” responding to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for French Jews to emigrate to Israel in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. “You, French people of the Jewish faith, your place is here, in your home. France is your country,” Hollande said Tuesday, Jan. 27 in a speech at the Paris Holocaust memorial marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He added: “I want to say that France will protect all its children and will tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration.” After the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris on Jan. 9 and before the massive unity march in the French capital on Jan. 11, Netanyahu said that “any Jew who wants to immigrate to Israel will be received here with open arms.” Some 7,000 Jews left France for Israel last year, or more than twice the number who made aliyah in 2013. A record number of anti-Semitic incidents was recorded in France in 2014. (JTA) Watchdog: Anti-Semitic incidents doubled in France to new high Last year saw a doubling of anti-Semitic incidents in France to a record high and a 60 percent increase in Belgium. In France, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, SPCJ, recorded 851 incidents in 2014 compared to 423 the previous year, the group reported on its Facebook page. The total was slightly above the previous record year of 2009, which saw 832 incidents. In Belgium, the number of incidents recorded last year rose to 200, a 60 percent increase over 2013, according to a report published by the Le Soir daily. Belgium has approximately 40,000 Jews, while France has approximately half a million. In both countries, the increase was attributed to Israel’s actions during its war in Gaza last summer. According to SPCJ, about half of all racist attacks in France in 2013 were committed against Jews, who constitute 1 percent of the population. SPCJ released
similar figures in 2012, but France’s National Consultative Commission on Human Rights said anti-Semitic attacks accounted for only 39 percent of the overall figure of 1,539 that year. Anti-Semitic incidents in France that involved violence increased by 130 percent in 2014 over the previous year, according to SPCJ, to 241 from 105. The record was 974 incidents in 2002. Along with major cities such as Paris and Marseille, anti-Semitism was prevalent in heavily Jewish suburbs of the French capital such as Creteil and Sarcelles, SPCJ reported. (JTA)
Reporter who broke Nisman story in Israel, insists Argentine gov’t pursued him Damian Pachter, the Argentine-Israeli journalist who was the first to report the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, said he feels safe now that he has arrived in Israel. Pachter, a writer for the Buenos Aires Herald, said he felt “pursued by the Argentine government” and that his life was in danger in Argentina, he told Argentine journalist Adrian Bono in an interview from Tel Aviv via Skype. Pachter, who has dual Argentine-Israeli citizenship, left Argentina following what he said were threats to his safety after breaking the story. He criticized Argentina’s Telam news agency and the Twitter account of the president’s office for publishing information about his plane tickets and wrongly claiming he planned to return to Argentina on Feb. 2. Pachter made similar comments in a column he published in Haaretz titled “Why I fled Argentina after breaking the story of Alberto Nisman’s death.” In the Haaretz piece, Pachter said, “I have no idea when I’ll be back in Argentina; I don’t even know if I want to. What I do know is that the country where I was born is not the happy place my Jewish grandparents used to tell me stories about. “Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system,” he added. Argentina’s Cabinet chief, Jorge Capitanich, said in news conference that Argentina has “full security for all journalists” and that Pachter should have provided authorities with the photograph he has of
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the sunglasses-wearing Argentine security agent he said followed him, so that the man could be identified. Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home Jan. 18, hours before he was to present evidence that Argentine President Cristina Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. Asked by Bono if he was worried about his mother, who remains in Argentina, Pachter said, “I’m worried because she is a Jewish mother. I worry because she worries, but not because of something else.”
Jewish visitors to Temple Mount sees 28 percent rise in ’14 The Temple Mount in Jerusalem saw nearly 11,000 Israeli Jewish visitors last year, an increase of 28 percent over 2013. The figures were released by Israel Police through a freedom of information request to the Temple Institute, an organization that encourages Jewish visits to the site and aspires to rebuild the Jewish Temple there. According to the figures, 10,906 Israeli Jews visited the site in 2014, up from 8,528 in 2013 and an increase of 92 percent over 2009, when 5,658 Jewish visitors arrived. The Temple Mount, which Muslims revere as the Noble Sanctuary, was the site of repeated clashes last year between Muslims and Jews. The site was closed repeatedly due to the unrest. Under normal circumstances, Jewish visitors are allowed at the site only three days a week during limited hours and are prohibited from praying there. (JTA) McCain: Obama-Netanyahu relationship ‘worst ever’ Sen. John McCain called President Barack Obama’s relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the worst that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.” “And that in itself is a tragedy because it’s the only functioning democracy in the entire Middle East,” McCain (R-Ariz.) told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview broadcast Sunday, Feb. 1. McCain, who ran against Obama in 2008, said Obama was not entirely to blame, although he said the president also expected too much from Netanyahu. “The president had very unrealistic
expectations about the degree of cooperation that he would get from Israel, particularly on the Palestinian issue, as well as the nuclear issue with Iran,” he said. McCain added that “no other president has had such a difficult relationship with the State of Israel since it became a country.” Bash noted the parlous relations between the administration of President George H. W. Bush, whose secretary of state, James Baker, openly taunted then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir with the White House general access phone number should he be ready to make peace. McCain agreed those were not good relations, but insisted they were not as bad. “It never reached this level,” he said. McCain said that he would have consulted with the White House before inviting Netanyahu to address Congress, although he backed the invitation last month by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who did not consult Democrats, the White House or the pro-Israel community before issuing it. “Obviously I would have talked to the White House,” he said. “But I may have —and I hate to put myself in these leaders’ place—but I might have at least informed them. But I certainly agree that you don’t need their permission, given the state of relations.” (JTA)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz takes back critique of intermarriage U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz rescinded comments she made about the problems that intermarriage poses for the Jewish community. “I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it,” Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the head of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement issued Tuesday, according to NBC News. Last month, she told a South Florida Jewish federation group that intermarriage is a “problem,” the Daily Caller reported. “We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community—particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance.” (JTA)
Bernard is doing good works forever.
Who’s in charge here?
Sez who? Sez God, that’s who. That pretty well sums up parshat Mishpatim, the extensive list of laws we read this Shabbat, many of which flesh out instructions that were delivered in the Ten Commandments, the culmination of the previous Torah portion. For example, if the commandment “You shall not murder” isn’t detailed enough for you, parshat Mishpatim goes into detail about how intentional murder and its punishment differ from the more accidental manslaughter. If you don’t find the mandate to honor your mother and father compelling, Exodus 21:17 puts teeth in the punishment for the opposite: “He who curses/treats with contempt his father or his mother shall be put to death.” In fact, Mishpatim lays out several capital offenses and includes other laws that don’t sit particularly well with a modern, Western sensibility. Instructions that relate to people as slaves, daughters as chattel, and, seemingly, justice as revenge (“eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” Exodus 21:24) fall harshly on North American ears. And because these laws come directly from God, many Jews (and even more Christians) come to think of God as cold and micromanaging, an unloving control freak. And it only gets worse from here, because it’s at parshat Mishpatim that the Torah shifts from almost all narrative to mostly lists of instructions and rules, with occasional narrative breaks. So what’s the point of all these laws? The off-putting nature of many of these laws, even some that makes good ethical sense, underscores how important it is to study Torah, not just hear it or read it. Only when you dig beneath the crust of the text do you start to understand the historical context of the laws, the idea that no matter how antiquated they seem to us now, many
mandates in Torah represent real progress from attitudes of other ancient Near Eastern societies. Also, when we study, we learn about what subsequent rabbis and scholars had to say about these laws, and we begin to understand not only that Torah is open to interpretation—it’s much more than the letters in the scroll—but that Judaism has been changing constantly since the Torah was first put on parchment. Sometimes the evolution is toward specificity and restriction, such as the injunction “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19) morphing into the separation of meat and dairy under the laws of kashrut. But other times, the rabbis of the early Common Era took pains to mitigate the harsh language of the Torah, insisting, for example, that the penalties of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” were not to be taken literally as physical punishments, but called for financial compensation of the injured party. Once you establish that Jewish law is open to interpretation, you’re free to adapt it to contemporary society. But with that freedom comes responsibility. If a religious law runs counter to your values and you don’t study it, you may have the power to ignore it, but you don’t have a real voice in its evolution. Study also helps us understand why God’s role in handing out these laws has to be absolute. Moses was a courageous leader of the Israelites, but in many ways he was unprepared to be the top executive for many thousands of people. (We see this in the previous Torah reading, when Moses’ father-in-law, Yitro, teaches him how to delegate responsibility.) Moses needs God to call the shots, not only because Moses doesn’t have the chops for it yet, but because Moses himself comes from a culture in which Godliness and humanness are mutually exclusive, and the God of the Israelites wants to establish an ethos in which humans, created in God’s image, contain the presence of God. Text study helps us get to a place where we can see how the laws of Mishpatim contribute to a just and orderly society—and an individual’s Godliness. —Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Tidewater Chavurah
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70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
Survivors return to Auschwitz determined to share their stories by Toby Axelrod
KRAKOW, Poland (JTA)—What kept you alive? Did your non-Jewish friends reject you? Could you ever forgive? Those were some of the questions posed by Jewish young adults to Holocaust survivor Marcel Tuchman on Monday, Jan. 26 at the Galicia Jewish Museum here. “What kept me alive was having my father with me,” said Tuchman, 93, a physician from New York who was born in Poland and survived several concentration camps, including Auschwitz. “And another thing was the hope I had that one day I will be able to tell the story to the likes of you, so you can tell it to the next generation.” His meeting with young Jews was one of many such encounters taking place in and around Krakow on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet army’s liberation of Auschwitz, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered—many of them gassed. On Tuesday, Jan. 27, in a tent set up around the gaping entrance to the Auschwitz-adjacent Birkenau concentration camp, survivors and their companions were joined by dignitaries from more than 40 countries for ceremonies that may well mark the final time that so many Auschwitz survivors are together here again. Halina Birenbaum, who survived Auschwitz as a child, described to the crowd of 3,000 her impressions of the Nazi camp
45 miles east of Krakow, calling it “a bottomless pit of hell that I could not get out of.” “All around us was electric barbed wire. Rows of barracks, stinking mud ... a disgusting mass of people all in lousy wet rags, with numbers and shaven heads,” she said. “Those gray faces with legs like sticks, wearing those muddy clogs. Nothing reminded you of anything human.” Roman Kent, president of the International Auschwitz Committee, which was founded by a group of Auschwitz survivors, said his experience in the camp was “more than enough to keep me awake at night until the end of time.” He added: “How can I ever forget the smell of burning flesh that permeated the air” or “the cries of children torn from their mother’s arms.” While survivors cannot forget, others simply must remember. Otherwise, Kent said, “the conscience of mankind would be buried alongside the victims.” The memorial was sponsored by the World Jewish Congress, the USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Communications, whose subsidiary, Discovery Education, is working with the Shoah Foundation to develop digital teaching materials about Auschwitz. The event also featured the screening of a short documentary, Auschwitz, co-directed by the famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who started the Shoah Foundation. In a moment of disequilibrium, survi-
“Auschwitz never goes
away. This awful place stands as
a reminder that
propaganda leads to anti-Semitism…that anti-Semitism will grow if nobody speaks out.”
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vors watched the film about their former place of imprisonment, sitting in front of the very gate through which cattle cars once passed, delivering so many Jews to their deaths. Just outside the tent, a light snow was falling on the remaining barracks of Birkenau, surrounded by barbed wire. Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, addressed the crowd. “Auschwitz never goes away,” he said. “This awful place stands as a reminder that propaganda leads to anti-Semitism…that anti-Semitism will grow if nobody speaks out.” Anti-Semitism, he said, “leads to places like Auschwitz.” He added: “After the recent events in Paris and throughout Europe and around the world, I cannot ignore what is happening today. Jews are targeted in Europe once again because they are Jews.” The ceremony was the culmination of several days of events and meetings attended in total by some 300 Holocaust survivors. Few of them were actually liberated at Auschwitz. But all passed through its gates. Today they are in their 80s and 90s, and fit enough to have traveled from Israel, America, Argentina and elsewhere. A group of survivors who was to visit the Auschwitz exhibit never got beyond the infamous gate, marked “Arbeit Macht Frei”—so crowded was this threshold with eager journalists who had come from around the world. And yet the hubbub didn’t seem to faze them a bit. In fact, most of the visitors seemed determined to tell their stories to all who inquired. “I know that we’re getting old and have to make sure that the memory doesn’t die with us,” said Irene Weiss, 84, of Fairfax, Va., who traveled with her daughter Lesley. Her key message to today’s youth: “[Don’t] be deceived by demagogues.” At a ceremony for visiting survivors, Spielberg, whose Oscar-winning movie
50,000 Holocaust Survivors have been interviewed by USC Shoah Foundation.
Schindler’s List was filmed partly in Krakow, told the survivors, “I found my own voice and my own Jewish identity thanks to you.” Spielberg, whose USC Shoah Foundation has interviewed more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors since it was founded 21 years ago, said he was first confronted with the Holocaust as a child reading the numbers on his grandfather’s arm. Edgar Wildfeuer, 90, travelled from Argentina with his daughter, Doris Wildfeuer, wanting to show her both the camp he survived and city where he grew up: Krakow, with its parks and market squares, its church spires and streetcars. They planned to visit the street where he had lived and the synagogue where he had his bar mitzvah. Wildfeuer, who was deported to Auschwitz in 1944, lost 32 relatives. “I was the only one left,” he said. Still, his daughter said, “He wanted to show me not only that place but the place where he grew up and was happy.” Tuchman, too, recalled a happy childhood in Poland. But when the question of forgiveness came up before the youthful crowd, he paused. “Forgiveness is a very complicated thing,” said Tuchman, who came with his son Jeffrey. After the war, he testified on behalf of a German engineer who had overseen slave laborers, including Tuchman himself, in Auschwitz. But Tuchman also dealt out his own justice. In postwar Germany, he and a fellow survivor spied a man who had tortured them. “He was a sadist: He pounded on our stomachs when we were sick with diarrhea,” Tuchman recalled. “We recognized him on the street and grabbed him, and beat the hell out of him.”
70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
When the office is a death camp by Katarzyna Markusz
OSWIECIM, Poland (JTA)—Seventy years ago last month, Germany evacuated 58,000 prisoners from the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau, burning documents and blowing up gas chambers and crematoria. On Jan. 27—the day now celebrated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day—the Soviet Red Army arrived, liberating several thousand sick prisoners left behind. Two years later, the camp that has since become nearly synonymous with the Nazi attempt to eradicate European Jewry became a museum. Last year, 1.5 million people visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, most of them from Poland, Italy, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. The visitors generally come for a day, but dozens of people come to Auschwitz every day—the conservators, researchers and curators who work to disseminate new information about the Holocaust and preserve the museum’s legacy for future generations. “For me, Auschwitz is a place of reflection and meditation,” says Piotr Kadlcik, the former president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and a board member of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which raises money for the museum. “I think it is important for many people who come here to work. They cannot really imagine that they could work elsewhere. They are somehow shaped by this place.” Below are short portraits of several employees of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Margrit Bormann, 34, is a conservator from Germany who works in the building where newly arrived prisoners were registered. Through the window is a clear view to the nearby cell blocks behind the barbed wire. In 2005, as a university student in Cologne, she participated in a two-week educational program at Auschwitz, helping preserve objects in the museum. She returned later for a six-month internship. “This stay has changed everything in my life,” Bormann says. “I got to know the place and its history even more. I knew a lot
about the Shoah, but now I got to know the testimonies of Polish prisoners, about whom in German schools very little is said.” After graduation, she went to work fulltime at the museum. Two years ago she was asked to take care of the maintenance of six baskets of shoes that once belonged to prisoners. “I wanted to be close to this place, these objects, but with shoes I felt afraid,” she says. “There was some bad energy. When I returned home from work, my whole body hurt.” Bormann would pick up a shoe and stare at it. One seemed to have been repaired multiple times by a cobbler. Maybe the owner walked in it to work, perhaps wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. Such thoughts would occur often, but Bormann would try to inhibit them and focus on the object at hand. One day she began to cry. “I knew the story, the facts, the number of victims, the memories of former prisoners,” she says. “It brought me sadness, but I never cried so hard. I acted that day like I was at a funeral. When I cried for the victims, something was passing from me and I could get back to work.” Piotr Setkiewicz, 51, the head of the museum’s Research Center, has worked at Auschwitz since 1988. His uncle died in the camp, and his grandmother was an employee of IG Farben, the chemical company that supplied the German army’s war needs. A plant producing gasoline and rubber was located at Auschwitz, and 20,000 prisoners worked there. “During the school years I had no awareness of the uniqueness of this place,” Setkiewicz says. “That changed when I started working here.” Setkiewicz is involved in efforts to disseminate new historical information about the camp. Occasionally he hears people asserting that there is nothing more to learn about what transpired there, but Setkiewicz says it’s not true. With advances in research and the emergence of new historical sources, there is always more to learn. Several years ago, Setkiewicz caused a mini-crisis in Polish-Russian relations when he pointed out to a journalist errors in an exhibition about Soviet prisoners at Auschwitz prepared by the Russians. His
comment led to claims in the media that Setkiewicz was denying the suffering of the Russian people. Shortly after, Russia stopped importing Polish pork. “They began to connect me with this, as the one who stopped the delivery of Polish meat to the east,” Setkiewicz says. “To this day, on Google you can find several thousand hits on the subject.” Pawel Sawicki, 34, works in the museum’s spokesman office. Among his duties is the photographing of personal items that belonged to the prisoners—shoes, glasses and other personal effects. The photos show the scale of the tragedy that occurred at Auschwitz, but also its human dimension—what Sawicki calls “the power of a single personal experience” as reflected in individual objects. Sawicki is also the compiler of AuschwitzBirkenau: The Place Where You Are Standing, a photo album that juxtaposes archival photographs taken by the Germans in 1944 with contemporary shots of the same spots. “Taking these photos, more and more I felt a special emptiness,” Sawicki says. “I missed the people who were the essence of the photo album. Today, those people are not here anymore. Only the place where most of them were killed still exists.”
Piotr Cywinski, 43, has been the museum director since 2006. A historian whose interest was the Middle Ages, he was asked several years ago by his professor, a former camp inmate named Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, to help in the work of the International Auschwitz Council. When his predecessor retired, he was asked to take over. Cywinski says it’s easier to work at Auschwitz than to visit. Visitors come for their own purposes, he says, while the museum employees work on behalf of others. At night he dreams of the camps and the war, though he prefers not to discuss the details. “This place is impossible to ignore,” he says. “It is a turning point in human history. Nothing that preceded it will ever return. Ethics, morality, law, faith, science, enlightenment, positivism—all died here. A man lost his sense of innocence that he cherished and found so comforting.” Cywinski is mindful of the survivors and their stories. He knows they will soon pass away and only the museum will remain, which will have to carry their stories forth for future generations. “There will be no great silence,” Cywinski says. “We are too many and we know too much.”
Merkel at Budapest synagogue remembers Hungary’s Holocaust victims BUDAPEST (JTA)—German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a visit to Budapest’s Dohany Street Synagogue paid tribute to the 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust. Merkel, who is on a state visit to Hungary, on Monday, Feb. 2 laid a stone on the Jewish community memorial in the synagogue backyard. Her tour of the historic building was led by Robert Frolich, the synagogue’s chief rabbi. Hungarian Jewish leaders and Merkel met for one hour at Budapest Jewish Community headquarters. The meeting lasted about half an hour longer than planned because of the “very sensitive” interest of Merkel, Andras Heisler, president of the Federation of the Hungarian Jewish Communities, told the
Hungarian TV channel ATV. Heisler said the meeting included five Jewish denominations, among them the Reform and the Orthodox religious streams. He said the group discussed “the question of anti-Semitism, which is increasing in Europe and also present in Hungary.” The talks also touched on Jewish schools and education, which Heisler called the most important issue for the Jewish community’s future in Hungary. The Dohany Street Synagogue memorial is the only one in Hungary that commemorates the Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust. No public monuments memorialize Hungary’s Jewish Holocaust victims, which is a sore subject with the country’s Jewish community.
jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 7
70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Bulgarian president keeping palace lights on to protest anti-Semitism PRAGUE (JTA)—The presidential palace in Bulgaria’s capital remained lit throughout the night of International Holocaust Memorial Day to encourage actions against anti-Semitism. The symbolic act at the Sofia residence was announced by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev at a meeting organized by the European Jewish Congress in Prague on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet army. The act is meant “to remind us today that there are people afraid for their safety in Europe,” Plevneliev said in reference to a recent string of anti-Semitic acts in Europe. “This gesture has symbolic meaning, as sometimes even the smallest effort is enough to drive back the darkness and bring back hope, light.” Plevneliev called on other European officials at the event, titled “Let My People Live,” to combat the current anti-Semitism in Europe.
Czech President Milos Zelman, who spoke after Plevneliev, called on “civilized nations to launch an attack” against ISIS, the Middle Eastern terrorist group. Radical Islamism and jihadism, he said, “can lead to a super-Holocaust in which hundreds of millions will die if it is left unopposed.” In his address, Plevneliev also called Bulgaria’s actions during the Holocaust ”exemplary” because Bulgaria resisted Nazi demands to deport its Jewish citizens. Bulgarian authorities did consent, however, to the deportation of approximately 11,000 Jews who were not Bulgarian citizens to Nazi death camps. “Unfortunately, Bulgaria could not do the same for Jews from Greece and Yugoslavia,” Plevneliev said. “We deeply mourn the loss of their lives.” In 2013, Bulgaria’s parliament passed a stronger-worded resolution that did express “regret” about them, although it stopped short of apologizing for the deportations.
Lauder, Spielberg warn of rising anti-Semitism KRAKOW, Poland ( JTA)—European leaders must do more to combat rising anti-Semitism on their home turf, Jewish leaders urged on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Governments must adopt a “zero tolerance” policy toward preachers of hate and importers of jihad, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder told reporters. Filmmaker Stephen Spielberg told some 100 Holocaust survivors and their companions in Krakow that “we are once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance.” Lauder said he had been hearing from worried Jews across Europe, especially following the rash of terrorist attacks on Jewish targets in Belgium and France. “The Jewish population is frightened,” he said. Religious Jews “are afraid of getting attacked in the street” for wearing a yarmulke. “Jews want to leave Europe because they feel their governments are not
protecting them.” Lauder called for the deportation of leaders who promulgate hate speech and the closing of schools that teach hateful messages. European citizens who go abroad to receive Islamist military training, he said, “are not learning how to make couscous. They should lose their passports.” Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, told JTA that unlike in Western Europe, jihadists have not posed a problem in Poland. He also said that classic Catholic anti-Semitism has greatly decreased thanks to the efforts of the late Pope John Paul II. But Schudrich said that in addition to the terrorist threat, there is an increased willingness in Western Europe to express traditional anti-Semitism. “It’s as if at some level the expiration date of the Holocaust is up,” he said.
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Hungary’s Orban acknowledges country’s complicity in Holocaust BUDAPEST ( JTA)—Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban apologized for Hungarians’ role in deporting Jews to concentration camps, his first acknowledgement of Hungarian complicity in the Holocaust. In a speech Monday, Jan. 26 at a Jewish cemetery in Budapest, Orban called the Holocaust a “national tragedy” for Hungarians. “We were without love and indifferent, when we should have helped, and very many Hungarians chose bad instead of good, the shameful instead of the honorable,” Orban said, according to the French news agency AFP. Orban also paid tribute to Jewish Hungarian soldiers who fought in World War I. “Without the sacrifices that Hungarian
Jews made during the First World War, it would have been impossible to defend our homeland,” Orban said at a ceremony to mark the renovation of World War I-era graves in the Kozma Street Cemetery, the largest Jewish burial place in the Hungarian capital. Orban said hundreds of Jewish soldiers who fought in the war, from 1914 to 1918, were buried in the cemetery. The Hungarian government provided funding for the graves’ recent renovation. Some Hungarian Jews criticized the timing of the event, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau. Half a million Hungarian Jews were killed at the concentration camp.
EU official: Tensions with Russia must not muddle Holocaust record PRAGUE (JTA)—Political tensions with Russia must not be allowed to obfuscate the historical record on the Holocaust, a senior European Union official said. Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission—the EU’s executive branch—made the plea Monday, Jan. 26 at an event in Prague commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by Soviet troops. “It would be horrible to have a debate about who liberated Auschwitz,” Timmermans told JTA during an interview at a commemoration event titled “Let My People Live” that the European Jewish Congress and the Czech government organized for hundreds of dignitaries at venues across Prague. Timmermans, a former Dutch foreign minister, was reacting to a Jan. 21 statement by Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, who infuriated Russian officials when he said during a radio interview that “Ukrainians liberated [Auschwitz], because Ukrainian soldiers were there, on that January day.” Relations between Russia and its western neighbors have deteriorated drastically following Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian
territory last year and its arming of rebels against the government in Kiev, which some formerly communist states perceive as a threat. The soldiers who liberated Auschwitz belonged to a Red Army unit named the First Ukrainian Front because it was deployed in Ukraine, “but the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, that’s a historic fact,” said Timmermans, who in the past has harshly criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine. “I would feel very bad indeed if it were to be claimed by some, or if others were excluded from this. It would be terrible.” Historical accuracy is crucial now, he said, because “anti-Semitism is rising in Europe.” As Holocaust survivors die out, “we will no longer have people who can show you tattoos on their arms.” The EJC’s Moscow-born president, Moshe Kantor, reacted to Schetyna’s remark when he presented the French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy— himself a harsh critic of Russia—with the memoirs of a Russian who participated in Auschwitz’s liberation. “In this book by Anatoly Shapiro, you will see who really opened the gates that read ‘work sets you free,’” Kantor said.
German woman, 93, under investigation for role as SS guard
he investigation of Hilde Michnia was announced last week by the Hamburg prosecutors’ office. In the Michnia case, state prosecutors through an informant are looking into whether Michnia participated in guarding the death march from Gross-Rosen to a labor camp in Gubin, during which 1,400 of the 2,000 women died. She could face charges as an accessory to murder. Michnia (nee Lisiewicz) was a guard at the Bergen-Belsen and Gross-Rosen concentration camps. She recently told a reporter for the German newspaper Die Welt that she worked in the kitchen of Bergen-Belsen, but she denied seeing gaunt, starving and diseased prisoners, claiming she was in another part of the camp. But when asked,
Michnia said she knew the camp’s inmates were mostly Jews. At least 52,000 people died in Bergen-Belsen. British occupying forces in Luneburg tried Michnia in 1945 in connection with cruelty toward prisoners along with 44 other camp guards and SS members, Die Welt reported. Eleven were sentenced to death and executed. Michnia received a one-year prison sentence and was released in November 1946. A witness had testified that Michnia brutally beat two men with a club and kicked them with her boots because they had taken two turnips from the kitchen. The witness, a prisoner in the kitchen who had let the men take the food, said Michnia then told her to “stop crying or I also will kill you.”
Reward offered in search for U.C. Davis swastika vandals
he Anti-Defamation League has offered a $2,500 reward for assistance in catching whoever spray-painted swastikas at a Jewish fraternity house at the University of California, Davis. The reward, which was announced by Davis police on Tuesday, Feb. 3 and reported by the Sacramento Bee, is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who painted the two swastikas between 2 am and 9:30 am Saturday, Jan. 31. The swastikas appeared at the off-campus house of Alpha Epsilon Pi two days after the U.C. Davis student senate passed a divestment resolution targeting Israel. In response to the vandalism, Andrew Borans, the national executive of AEPi,
announced in a statement that “Alpha Epsilon Pi International has dispatched staff and security experts to Davis to assure that our brothers are safe in their university and safe when expressing their Judaism and support for Israel.” In addition, an online petition emanding “immediate condemnation of this hateful act from all UC Davis administrative officials as well as from every single ASUCD elected representative” had garnered 16,037 signatures by Wednesday, Feb. 4. U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi issued a statement condemning the vandalism attack on Saturday, the same day that the swastikas were found.
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Protesters of Israeli musicians are singing wrong tune by Sarit Arbell
(JTA)—On a fall evening in 2014, more than 70,000 people gathered in New York’s Central Park for the U.N.-sponsored Global Citizen Festival. Another 3.6 million watched on national television as Alicia Keys, Israeli musician Idan Raichel and Palestinian artist Ali Amr sang “We Are Here” and called for peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The act showcased Raichel’s musical collaborations with various world artists, which helped him win MTV’s 2014 Role Model Award. At other times, however, human rights activists have protested Raichel’s performances, calling him “a self-proclaimed propagandist for the Israeli government.” Disturbingly, such protests seem to be common these days. Palestinian sympathizers take their fight against Israel to
concert and dance halls across the world in an effort to disrupt Israeli artists at work. While high demand for tickets has not soured, it is clear that performing Israeli artists are under attack. Israeli artists in all areas represent the most liberal sounds in Israeli society, advocating for peace, understanding and bridging the divides between torn peoples. Raichel and many of his fellow Israeli artists work closely with their Palestinian and Arab-Israeli counterparts. Achinoam Nini, best known as Noa, is a well-known peace advocate who has performed with Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad. Israeli superstar singer David Broza has been singing about peace and collaborating with Palestinian musicians since 1977. His recent “East Jerusalem West Jerusalem” album was recorded in Sabreen, a Palestinian recording studio in eastern Jerusalem, and featured Israeli, Palestinian
closer together. It allows us to and American musicians. Art see perspectives that we might The Israeli dance companies otherwise resist and can Batsheva and Vertigo work comes influence our thinking. with Arab dancers and dance Those who protest groups and are influenced from the heart, Israeli artists are choosing by Arab dance and music. touches the heart the wrong targets. They Batsheva runs programs that are demonstrating against reach Jewish, Christian and and plays a critical the very voices within Muslim youngsters. Still, role in improving our Israeli society that reach the two companies faced out to the Palestinian peoprotesters during recent U.S. communication and ple and call for others to tours. do so as well. They are Arab tunes and movebringing people protesting against those who ments are evident in much of closer together represent what unites people the work of Israeli musicians from both sides of the divide. and dancers. And Israeli movies These folks are singing the and plays often give voice to multiple wrong tune. narratives, both Israeli and Palestinians, —Sarit Arbell, the former cultural attache forcing us to see the other in a new way. Art comes from the heart, touches the at Israel’s Washington embassy, is founder heart and plays a critical role in improving of Israel on Stage, a nonprofit that showcases our communication and bringing people Israeli artists.
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For Orthodox, tax-defined ‘upper’ incomes are often stretched by Dmitriy Shapiro
WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week via JTA)—For Orthodox Jews, President Barack Obama’s proposed tax reforms present a numbers-crunching paradox: Income he designates as welloff may mean just getting by for large families. Obama’s 2015 budget, which was introduced Monday, Feb. 2 aims to offset economic breaks to upper-income families to help working- and middle-class Americans, a key goal of his State of the Union address. The reforms would fund most tax breaks and social services by increasing taxes on those in the higher brackets. For Orthodox Jews, the fastest growing segment of Judaism according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study of American
Jewry, higher taxes for households making more than $100,000 per year can strain finances already challenged by day school tuitions and the burdens of feeding larger-than-average families. The Pew report showed that despite their relatively small population—making up only 10 percent of the Jewish population in the United States—families that consider themselves modern Orthodox reported higher incomes than others in the Jewish community, with 37 percent having household incomes of more than $150,000. Nathan Diament, who directs the advocacy branch of the Orthodox Union on state and federal policy matters, attributes the trend to Orthodox parents being “driven to higher paying professions because they know that they want to pay for day school education for the three, four
or five children that they’re having.” Costs involved in having a large family and providing all of their children with private Jewish educations often drive Orthodox Jews into a middle- or working-class lifestyle. The current tax system caps child care benefits and per-child tax deductions for all income levels, reducing benefits as family income increases. “That’s a huge challenge, and it’s very much the case that if you are in the Modern Orthodox community and you’re making $200,000 or even $300,000 a year, you’re struggling,” Diament says “That’s very difficult to say and we’re aware that it’s much higher than the average income in the United States, but if you’re paying tuitions of $20,000 to $30,000 a year per child and you have four or five children, it’s very, very challenging. “It’s already the case that those tuition
dollars are not accounted for in a tax-favored sort of way,” he adds, “and it is [also] the case that many tax breaks are phased out” at the $100,000 level. Obama’s budget aims to reduce the gap between working- and middle-class Americans and the higher-income families by tripling the per-child tax incentive and providing a $500 tax break to dual-income earners among other tax incentives ranging from child care to retirement. To pay for its reforms, Obama’s plan would raise the capital gains tax to 28 percent for revenue greater than $200,000 a year; increase fees on large financial institutions; and close the “trust fund” loophole that lets individuals pass on taxfree assets to their heirs. “By ensuring those at the top pay their fair share in taxes, the president’s plan responsibly pays for investments we need
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The to help middle class families get ahead,” a White House fact sheet released shortly before the complete budget explained. Roberton Williams, the Sol Price fellow at the UrbanBrookings Tax Policy Center, says Obama’s approach fails to take into account lifestyle and regional discrepancies. “I think it’s a more general question of what does income represent in terms of lifestyle,” Williams says, noting that “$200,000 in New York City doesn’t buy you nearly as much as it does in Indiana.” Williams says the government rarely factors lifestyle choices, such as how many children a family wants to have or whether they send their children to private school, into its bracket calculations. “We all make lots of decisions about what we do with our personal lives,” he says. “In general, the tax code does not take into account of a lot of those [issues]. So people who choose to have lots of kids, it’s a private choice. Despite the president’s increased child care credit, which applies fully to children younger than 5 and then is reduced significantly until largely disappearing once a child turns 13, there is a cap on the total amount of child credits a family can claim. In the current tax code, families can claim $3,000 per child up to a total cap of $6,000. Each additional child after the second does not receive tax credit. Jason Fichtner, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, says the economic and cultural definitions of the term “middle class” differed significantly. “The American public has a much different view of what is middle-class than an
economist or a statistician might,” Fichtner says. “Middle usually descr ibes an average or a median to someone familiar with statistics. But when it comes to i ncome and American culture, the ‘middle-class’ is very wide and includes professionals making $30,000 a year all the way up to families with combined incomes of $400,000.” Presidential budgets, submitted for the approval of Congress, rarely survive intact, especially
rarely factors lifestyle
choices, such as how many children a family wants to
have or whether they send their children to private school, into its bracket calculations.
when the opposing party controls both chambers like the Republicans do now. Mark McNulty, communications director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, says that what Republicans are calling class-driven tax policies are “bad for the American people.” “Redistribution is never a good thing,” he says. “What we want to do is raise all boats and create prosperity for everybody, and I don’t think Obama’s policies do any of that.” Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the new director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, says a degree of redistribution made Jewish sense. “Our core work is about that Deuteronomic vision of the widow, the orphan and the stranger, and those tax policies that will actually measurably impact and improve the lives of poor people, and frankly, that would generate economic activity that would improve the wider landscape for all Americans,” he says.
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jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 13
Stories and support abound on Super Sunday
he question of whether the Tidewater Jewish Community’s traditional phone-a-thon could still work in 2015 was answered with a loud, “yes,” on Sunday, Jan. 25. The Super Sunday phone-a-thon was a success, with contributions to date exceeding $103,000. Planned and organized by a steering committee comprised of young leaders in the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the event raises funds for the UJFT Annual Campaign. “I was incredibly impressed not only by the overwhelming turnout of the volunteers, but also with the passion of the young leaders as they organized the event and managed the day. I feel, as UJFT president, that our community’s future is in strong capable hands,” says Miles Leon, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater president. “It’s incredible to see this community come together to support the Federation,” says Eliot Weinstein, co-chair of the steering committee. “It shows a sense of commitment to the Jewish idea that we need to take care of each other, and to actively take part in making sure our community is still here for future generations.” More than 100 volunteers came to the Sandler Family Campus to participate. All area denominations and organizations had at least one representative making phone calls to community members, asking for pledges and sharing stories. Volunteers were also calling existing donors to thank them for continuing to support the UJFT. “It was wonderful to see the full breadth of our community come together for the common purpose of making sure that no Jewish person feels alone when confronting life’s challenges but rather, feels empowered and encouraged by the knowledge that they are supported and cared for by their people,” says Cindy Kramer. Jeremy Krupnick, co-chair with Weinstein, gave the final Super Sunday update just before 1 pm, in front of volunteers still on the phone. Along with the
viduals, and it’s important that we stay connected and know a little about each other,” says Weinstein. “It helps Maly and Ariella Jackson. to show why giving to the Federation, and making sure this community survives, is vital.” Gifts pledged on Super Sunday are destined for local, national, international and Israeli organizations that David Calliott and Sean Mulligan show off the 2015 Super Sunday t-shirt. strengthen communitotal amount, Krupnick noted that more ties and care for those in need. Contributions than 300 people donated, and that more are still being accepted. Find out more at JewishVA.org/SuperSunday. Like the UJFT’s than 40 of them were new donors. “You all have helped us reach Facebook page to see unique stories from this our goal—what you’ve done here community, and post your own. today is phenomenal,” said Krupnick. (photography by Laine Mednick Rutherford) Lawrence Fleder makes calls. “We thank you, and the community thanks you.” Weinstein and Krupnick, along with their committee members, created a theme for this year’s event that asked the community to share their Jewish stories on the UJFT Facebook page. The response has been so positive, that the Share Your Story theme will continue. Stories will be added regularly to the Facebook. com/UJFTidewater, as well as on JewishVA.org. “We are one people, but we are all distinct indi- Super Sunday Steering Committee: Benyamin Yaffe, Jade Rouzeau, Brandon and Callah Turkeltaub, Sean Mulligan, Morgan Bober, Joash
14 | Jewish News | February 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Schulman, Eliot Weinstein, Jeremy Krupnick, David Calliott, Joshua Mallenbaum, Meryl Mulligan, Samantha Golden and Eric Miller.
Toras Chaim Middle School students make thank you calls: Eliezer Schwartz, Minna Haber, Pesha Shereshevsky, Chaim Shereshevsky and Nesanel Schwartz.
Randi Gordon and Harry Graber.
Sean and Meryl Mulligan.
Jennifer Groves, Avi and Amy Weinstein and Rebecca Bickford.
Stephanie, Alexa, Sam, Leah and Max Steerman.
Jody Wagner and Stephanie Calliott.
Brandon and Callah Turkeltaub.
Jodi Klebanoff, Ben Simon, Karen Jaffe and Ron Kramer.
jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 15
JCP Leadership Mission to Poland and Israel by Karen Fine
Journal entry Dec. 6, 2014
nd so it begins…. On an adventure to Poland and Israel courtesy of Lois and Larry Frank of Atlanta and the JCPA, based on a recommendation from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Robin Mancoll. The itinerary looks amazing and exhausting: Three days in Krakow, Poland, followed by six days in Israel with the JCPA Leadership Mission. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is the umbrella agency for 125 Federation Community Relations Councils, along with 16 other organizations. This is going to be an interesting trip on so many levels! Definitely a bit out of my “comfort zone”—it is never easy for me to leave my family, and never for 10 days across the world. Also, I will not be in any of the “roles” that dominate my daily life: mother, wife, daughter, volunteer. –––––––––––––– n Newark, I meet our group leader, Andi Milens, JCPA vice president, along with the seven other Frank Family Fellows who ranged in age from 27 to 50 (me!) from
Dayton, Pittsburgh, Nashville, St Louis, Atlanta, Denver, and San Jose. Our first flight is to Munich, then another to Krakow. We arrive in Krakow, already behind schedule, because of an uncooperative passenger on the Newark flight who literally had to be “escorted” off the plane by several police officers. The first two days’ itinerary is combined so as not to miss anything. We check into our hotel and get our roommate assignments, mine is Leslie Kirby, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt from Nashville. We have an hour or so to unpack, decompress, shower and then off to dinner. Though dark, we walk a short way to a restaurant on the square filled with lights, music, people and beautiful old city buildings that apparently escaped destruction and bombing from war. Our guide for the Poland portion of our trip, Barbara, joins us for dinner and enlightens us with the history and current day affairs of Krakow, along with highlights of our itinerary. Following a delightful dinner, part of the group sets off in search of a Polish vodka tasting experience. Exhausted, I opt for hotel and a warm bath before bed, as the next day’s wake up call is early.
In Hero’s Square In Krakow. 16 | Jewish News | February 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Fellows at Lois and Larry Frank’s home.
Day Two in Poland
aking up for lost time, we have a full schedule. We board our bus with Barbara and head across the bridge leaving 13th/14th century Krakow and enter the area known as “Ghetto Square” to visit the Jewish neighborhood, Karzimerz. Now referred to as “Hero’s Square,” this is where the Jews were brought before deportation to the concentration camps. Donated by Roman Polanski, who lost his family in the Holocaust, a memorial in the plaza has steel chairs of varying sizes, creating a very somber, austere atmosphere. We then toured the historic Remuh Synagogue and cemetery where Rabbi Moses is buried. Orthodox Jews make pilgrimage to this site to visit his grave, leaving notes and stones, which adorn his headstone. We continue on to the Schindler Factory, now a museum, and then head towards Osweicin, the town where, just outside its limits, lies Auschwitz and Birkenau. The experience of actually “being” at the death camps was beyond what I had imagined. It was as if a dark cloud engulfed our small group, connecting us, while at the same time separating us, so that we experienced it together and individually. I felt it was inappropriate and disrespectful to photograph the experience. I knew I would never forget what I was seeing. I kept waiting to hear a clock chime every hour on the hour with people gathering to recite the Mourners Kaddish, but there was only silence, deafening quiet. We barely even spoke. Barbara led us through, saying only what was necessary; the rest spoke
for itself. As I walked, I kept shaking my head at the unfathomableness, fighting back tears from deep within, a heaviness hanging on me that I couldn’t shake off. The question, “How do people get to the place where they ever think it is okay to treat other human beings like this?” intermingled with prayers on a constant loop in my heart and mind. And yet, through all of this, somewhere there came a sense of hope. Sprinkled in with the facts and details of the atrocities, were stories of moments of grace and miracles. Though it was December and bitter cold, vibrant green grass sprung from the ground, reminiscent of spring and new beginnings. I had a sense of hope. The Jewish people had endured hell on earth, yet were not lost nor defined by it. That is the truth and testament to the strength and hope of our people. It was a long, dark, silent ride back to the town of Osweicin. The feeling of hope and life was furthered by our visit to the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace Center, adjacent to the oldest surviving synagogue in Osweicin. Thanks to outside resources, the synagogue, center and small museum have been restored and built. The synagogue had been kept alive by the one remaining Jew in the town who passed away in 2008. Now, the museum and center serve as an outreach and educational facility for the community and area. Upon returning to Krakow, we enjoyed a lovely tour and dinner compliments of the JCC there and the director Jonathan Orenstein. The Center was vibrant and
first person bustling with activity, a project that came into being largely because of the philanthropic efforts of Prince Charles. Orenstein, an American, shared with us his story of aliyah to Israel where he lived for eight years before meeting a Polish woman who led him to find Krakow, or Krakow find him. He also shared his “off the record” thoughts about the current state of affairs in Israel, the Holocaust, Jewish education and American Jewry. It was a wonderful way to end an emotionally, spiritually and physically challenging day… with hope for the future.
Journal entry Dec. 9, 2014
fter a 5 am departure from Krakow, we arrive in Tel Aviv mid-afternoon, and bus to Jerusalem where we check into the beautiful Inbal Hotel. We actually have a few hours to relax before meeting for an opening reception and dinner session with the JCPA Mission delegation. Leslie and I unpack, take a brief walk to the Mamilla Mall for some exercise, fresh air and caffeine. A beautiful outdoor mall, it meets the step leading up to the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem—modern meeting the ancient, in a seamless way.
o better acquaint the delegates with the joining Frank Fellows, just before dinner, we each introduce ourselves to the group and tell them our “story.” When it is my turn, I speak of my sincere gratitude to the Franks and the JCPA for being able to take part in this amazing experience. And though I feel somewhat “unworthy” of it, I also feel there is a “bigger” reason why I am there, as if the universe is guiding me along a path and I am a willing participant. I also share that I am a Jew by choice, not by birth, and that having “officially” converted only eight years ago, it is something that called to me, it chose me. I am there to learn, grow and open my mind and heart to all this experience has to offer, not just for me, but for the community I represent. We then hear briefings from representatives of organizations such as AIPAC, JFNA, ADL, NCJW and AJL. If my head wasn’t swimming already, it definitely is by the end of the evening! It feels like a crash course in history, politics, religion
and sociology all at once. Fascinating and overwhelming, the speakers, all women, share their personal stories of this past summer and what it was like during that tumultuous time. It is clear how the events of this summer had really “shaken” them unlike anything else in recent years. We conclude the evening with the hope of Lois and Larry, “that we would open our Jewish hearts.”
with author and owner David Ehrlich. The restaurant/bookstore has been a hotspot for years for many of Israel’s finest intellectuals. David shares his beloved poet Yehuda Amichai’s words. It is a magical evening.
Day Three in Israel We enter the Old City of Jerusalem, meeting at the Latin Patriarchate with head Christian clergymen and moderator Rabbi David Rosen, International director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee. The Christian clergy share their perspectives and thoughts on continued on page 18
Day Two in Israel The day begins with a briefing by the senior advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Dr. Jonathan Schachter. The day or so before we arrived, the Knesset dissolved and called for new elections. Different than the American democratic system, perhaps Israel’s Parliamentary democracy is more effective in that when they get stuck, they start over. We, on the other hand, might stay stuck for four years! Following this briefing, we head to the Knesset to meet with leaders of the Labor and Yesh Atid political parties, currently in the Opposition (the Likud party currently leads the Coalition) at least until the March election. From here we split from the JCPA delegation and visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum. The structure itself, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie is dramatic—the building cuts through the mountain in the form of a spike. It is an unforgettable place, inside and out, and tribute and remembrance of the Shoah (Hebrew for “the catastrophe”). The fact that we had just visited Auschwitz and Birkenau makes it especially poignant. Here, towards the end of our tour, I am finally overwhelmed by emotion, listening to a taped story of a woman survivor who not long after her liberation from one of the camps discovered she was pregnant. What normally would be a joyous time in a woman’s life, instead was the worst nightmare. She had been so traumatized by her experience that upon learning of her pregnancy she immediately tried to abort her unborn fetus. She couldn’t imagine bringing the horror of her experience to another human being, even her own child. I don’t try to hide or hold back the tears, and instead let them flow. That evening we dine at Tmol Shilshom
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Travel first person continued from page 17
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the current state of Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem. They liken the walls around the city to “walls of hatred” and “walls of the heart.” They share their belief and hope that “the darkness will end when the Israeli people see the image of God in each other, and in themselves. When fear, ignorance and misunderstandings can be reconciled.” Concluding this most memorable meeting, (another one of those, “how did I get here?” moments), we join as one in prayer and song, reciting the words of “Oseh Shalom Le’Olam.” My strong belief and practice in the power of prayer make this a profoundly moving experience. Scheduled to travel to Ramallah, events that transpired a few days before, change our plans for security purposes. So, we go to the American Colony Hotel in east Jerusalem, a historic place known for its foreign intrigue, as this is where many journalists and diplomats have met with Palestinians. We, too, meet with several young Palestinian social and civil representatives to hear their perspective and views of the issues between Israel and Palestinians. Visiting east Jerusalem almost feels like visiting another country. Living conditions in this part of Jerusalem are recognizably poorer than its counterpart. Palestinians are not citizens of Israel, even though they may have lived there their entire lives. They are not entitled to the same privileges—they hold no passports, so claim no country as their own. There
is very little interaction between Israelis and Palestinians. Stereotypes and myths perpetuated by generations continue. The young leaders hope their work with the nonprofits Bridging the Gap Initiative and Kids 4 Peace, will help break barriers and force face-to-face interactions with Israelis and Palestinians, “who really want the same thing, peace.” When asked how we can help, their plea is for us to carry the Palestinian voice to our Jewish communities, that “we are human beings just like you, who strongly believe in peace and security and deserve this as do all Israeli citizens.” Their message seems to echo the Christian clergy’s message. Jerusalem is the problem, but also the solution. We then travel to Tel Aviv and the Peres Center for Peace, meeting with Nadav Tamir, policy advisor to Shimon Peres and Dan Shapiro, our American Ambassador to Israel. The building’s unique design exemplifies the vision of Shimon Peres: 200 different shapes are arranged in different ways on each level—symbolic of our complexity, but also of the possibilities of working together to create harmony. His vision includes the idea that global companies can do a lot, which in the past, have been done by governments. Peace, he believes, cannot be accomplished from the top down or the bottom up, but by both. His world-view is that by helping Israel and the Jewish people, we will help humanity, tikkun olam. Ambassador Shapiro’s first words were
JCC Krakow Museum with Center Director Jonathan Orenstein.
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first person “thank you.” He expresses deep gratitude for the efforts of organizations such as JCPA for their work and support for Israel. A very humble, intelligent and dedicated man, he speaks of the solidarity of the U.S./Israel relationship, not just in words, but especially actions as evidenced this summer with Operation Protective Edge. Though peace talks with the Palestinians had stopped, he assures us not all is lost. The delay, now in part caused by new elections, can hopefully be used efficiently to prepare for resumed negotiations. The evening ends with a briefing from the editor of HaAretz, Aluf Benn. He speaks about the elections and all the speculation and implications. He also speaks of the country experiencing a demographic decline in the left wing population with the right wing growing at much higher rates. The result will be that in the future, the right wing will have more representation in the government and in policy.
Day Four in Israel
e travel to the town of Sderot, a small working class city less than a mile from the Gaza Strip. This town has experienced the unrelenting drum of Kassam rockets for more than eight years. Laura Bialis, an American-born documentary filmmaker has been there since 2007
and has heard the unique way this town copes with the trauma of constantly being under attack. Surprisingly, a music scene has emerged, a “little Liverpool” of sorts. She became enamored with the town and its people (one in particular, a musician named Avi Vaknin, whom she married and now they have a child), but also its story. Her film, Rock in the Red Zone filmed from 2007 to 2014 is a depiction of life on the front lines—a metaphor for Israel. We are privileged to view the film in Sderot’s charming cinema with the filmmaker, only a day before its premier. The voice of the film and the experience of the town profoundly resonate with us all. It so realistically exposes the daily life and despair of people caught in the crossfire, and the effects of the long-term stress of constant bombings. Look for this movie in the future, for it is a must see. Following this, we take a short ride to a bluff where we can see neighboring Gaza and even hear voices in the distance. That’s how close they live to the constant threat. It is an eye opening experience. We return to Jerusalem and our hotel in time for Shabbat candle lighting in the lobby. We also have a short drash and discussion with Rabbi Steve. Leslie and I treat ourselves to massages at the hotel spa and a quiet night. Shabbat Shalom.
Peres Center for Peace with Ambassador Dan Shapiro.
Day Five in Israel
habbat morning I take a long walk on a beautiful path around the outside of the Old City’s walls, allowing me to clear my mind and thoughts, which are on overload! A welcome slow morning is followed by lunch with the Fellows to discuss the next steps on our journey. We decide it is important to “keep the conversations going,” to not just go home and end our dialogue. Many ideas and suggestions are made, culminating in the creation of a Frank Fellows Facebook group. This will allow us to share our stories and experiences upon returning home, and keep the conversations going. The annual plenum in October will be another opportunity to continue dialogue, reconvening in person to share with each other all that has come from this experience. After lunch, we take a walking tour of the Old City with David, our guide. The tour begins at the Zion gate and includes the Jewish quarter and Western Wall. Though my second visit to this sacred place, it is as impactful as the first. I pray at the Wall where women are allowed with Andi and Leslie. For Leslie, her first visit, it is an emotional
experience, bringing tears to her eyes, and mine too. The tour continues through the Muslim quarter, where we climb rooftops for spectacular views. David highlights the tour with words of the beloved Israeli poet Amichai along the way, finishing at the Jaffa gate. The group meets for Havdallah in the hotel courtyard. The rosemary and olive sprigs I had gathered from my walk earlier are used as a substitute for a spice box. It is beautiful way to end Shabbat, together as one. The stores reopen an hour after Shabbat, so I hit the Mamilla Mall for a quick shopping trip, as Chanukah begins the day after arriving home.
Day Six in Israel
ur final day begins with a session with Professor Reuven Hazan, who gives a lesson on the Israeli political system versus our own, and insight into the upcoming elections. It is interesting to note that though he favors policies and parties whose focus is on the economy over security, the fact that his young son has just entered the IDF, he eludes he will vote for the party continued on page 20
Schindler Factory Museum.
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first person continued from page 19
favoring security policies. Sometimes our words don’t match up with our actions. Next we visit the Hand in Hand Bilingual School, a center for Jewish-Arab education that is a model proving to be a success. With more than 600 students, which represent a microcosm of Jerusalem’s urban diversity, the school is in an area where Jews and Arabs live near one another but rarely interact. The school has become the place where relationships between people blossom, no matter their backgrounds. It is a model that creates a partnership between Arabs and Jews in an environment that fosters inclusiveness, equality and mutual respect. We hear from the director, as well as from parents and students. It is a refreshing and positive experience. We conclude the mission with a trip to the Foreign Ministry. Positive and uplifting soon turns to gloom and sadness as discussions focus on the rise of anti-Semitism, BDS, false reporting by media sources
and the weakening of a Jewish identity in America. It is a very sobering few hours, and a feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness seem to overcome me. So many questions emerge for me at this point. From “what am I doing here?” to “what can I do about any of this?” Needless to say, I feel as overwhelmed as I have been the entire trip. I am glad it is winding down and to be going home to the good old USA. We have our problems for sure, and some not so far from those in Israel and Europe, but nonetheless, we live in a different world. I want at that moment to return to my illusionary bubble. We end the evening with a lovely dinner at Lois and Larry’s home. First, just with the Fellows having an hour or so, before the rest of the delegation arrives. We all express our gratitude to the Franks for this most amazing opportunity and vow in our own ways, silently, that it will not be in vain. Before boarding the bus for the trip to the airport, we are each asked to share one word that
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describes how we feel about the mission or sums up our thoughts. Mine is Shalom. –––––––––––––– nd so it ends…and begins. Having been home for just over a month, the experience is still settling into me. I knew from the moment I said yes to this opportunity it would be transformational. I learned a lot, especially that I know so little. In fact, I returned home more confused than when I left! My eyes were opened to so many things, but mostly to the struggles and challenges that face a very complicated and difficult part of our world. There are no clear-cut answers, no simple solutions. The question we asked at each of our meetings with leaders, regardless of their background, was “What can we do to help?“ The answer for me is simple, yet it requires me to show up and take responsibility for myself. Be the change you want to see in the world. I can try to be a better person, a better Jew, a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, volunteer, a better human being.
The dedication of the JCPA delegation, their commitment to making the world a better place, their welcoming spirit is inspirational. Actions speak louder than words, and being part of the solution requires work and going out of my comfort zone. “Being“ better means educating myself, asking questions, looking for answers, looking in the mirror, choosing to be kind, loving, tolerant and forgiving, rather than judging, blaming and self-centered. The world needs this now more than ever, individually and collectively. I can do these things if I set my intentions on them. We have more power to affect change than we realize. Like pebbles dropped into a pond, the ripples get bigger and spread outward, so too do our intentions and actions. Lois and Larry Frank had the hope that we would open our Jewish hearts. By opening theirs, they opened mine, and I would venture to guess that their “pebble” rippled outward to many, many more.
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I hope that this short article has peaked your interest in AJC and that you’ll take a few minutes to read more about them, perhaps consider attending the Global Forum in Washington, or even just keeping an eye out for an invitation to hear more, next time Alan Ronkin visits. If you’d like to learn more before that invitation arrives, please contact me—I’d be glad to put you in touch with Alan directly and to learn more about AJC. Contact Robin Mancoll, director, Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater at RMancoll@ujft.org.
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idewater received a visit from the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Washington regional director, Alan Ronkin on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22 and 23. As I prepared for Alan’s visit and mentioned AJC to community members, many responded with “what is AJC?” I went online to AJC’s website and learned that their mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. Alan’s visit proved to be both interesting and educational as we offered insight into AJC’s history and purpose. In 1906, in the wake of the Kishinev pogroms, Cyrus Adler, Jacob Schiff, Mayer Sulzberger, Louis Marshall and other prominent leaders of the American Jewish community established the American Jewish Committee to advocate for the defense of Jews everywhere. One month after its establishment, AJC assisted in the rebuilding of Jewish institutions destroyed by the San Francisco earthquake, and over the next few years took on the responsibility of preparing the American Jewish Yearbook, lead a successful campaign to annul the American commercial treaty with the anti-Semitic Russian regime, advocated for legislation in New York to end discrimination in public accommodations, resorts and amusement parks resulting in the passage of a law that served as a model for other states, and more. As Alan shared time and again during his visit, AJC is known for “global Jewish advocacy.” We see this through a variety of initiatives including global diplomacy (think of AIPAC knocking on the doors of the U.S. Members of Congress, and AJC knocking on the doors of Embassies in Washington and around the world), which leverages long-standing relationships, interreligious and intergroup coalition-building through establishing important local and global alliances among diverse ethnic and religious groups, and through a global media presence, generating awareness and
providing expert resources to promote the well-being of the Jewish people and to advance human rights and democratic values for all. Combating all forms of anti-Semitism is a top priority for AJC. After the wave of Islamist terror swept France, targeting journalists at a magazine and Jews at a kosher grocery, AJC Paris—the only office of an American Jewish organization in France—went into overdrive. Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, AJC Paris director, has been in close, consultative, contact with senior French officials, including Prime Minister Manuel Valls, during the crisis and in the days after, while simultaneously spreading the message, via The New York Times, NPR, CNN and other media, that the failure to protect Europe’s Jews also presents an existential threat to the continent’s democratic values. In fact, you might have read her piece in the Jan. 26 issue of the Jewish News without realizing that she’s a director of AJC. With offices across the United States and around the globe, and partnerships with Jewish communities worldwide, AJC is the most global of Jewish advocacy organizations. They maintain 22 offices across the U.S., as well as offices/representatives in Berlin, Brussels, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, New Delhi, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, Tokyo and South East Asia. They have three regional institutes that cover Africa, Asi, and Latin America and 30 formal partnerships with international Jewish communities. You see the amazing work and impact from it around the globe through the AJC Dispatch, their communication vehicle that I now receive via e-mail, and from what I understand at the AJC Global Forum, which takes place each year in Washington, D.C. This year, the Global Forum will take place June 7–9. I urge you to go to www. ajc.org and check it out. Boasting an intimate crowd of 2,500, the Global Forum is said to be a significant international platform that has been addressed by many presidents, foreign ministers, members of Congress and leading public figures.
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Warm your winter
Six quick tips for sub-zero Winter offers a perfect time for interior painting winter driving
inter’s snow and cold may put a damper on some remodeling activity, but not interior painting. In fact, “snow days” and these nearly freezing days with all of that wind that Tidewater has been experiencing, actually make for great days to paint. Rather than feeling trapped inside, why not put the time to good use? What could be better than scratching an important home improvement project off a to-do list? According to Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute, good light is essential when doing interior painting. “It not only makes the project more pleasant, but it can speed the work by clearly differentiating painted from unpainted areas and minimizing ‘misses’ where the light is inadequate,” she says. That’s part of the allure of painting in winter: The light is often prolific. A sunny, snow-covered landscape throws off wonderful reflected light that brightens all but the darkest corners. Even when there is no snow, very cold days are almost always clear and sun-filled, so they’re perfect for painting. Of course, winter days are also short, so it is important to get an early start to capitalize on these conditions. At night or the day before, prepare the room by removing curtains, switch-plates and outlet covers; also, purchase paint, brushes and other items in advance so the work can begin
early in the morning. When purchasing paint, Zimmer suggests that choosing a “paint and primer” will both hide the existing color and add new color to the room. “Since ‘paint and primer’ serves a dual purpose, it’s possible to get away with fewer coats, which will help finish the project more quickly,” she says. That’s a great benefit on short winter days. It’s always wise to have some ventilation when doing interior painting, which presents a bit of a challenge in the colder months. Crack the windows slightly; or run an exhaust fan, if one is handy. Either way, always work with water-based latex paint (not an oil-based or alkyd coating) and choose one low in “VOCs” (volatile organic compounds). This type of paint emits very little odor, so there won’t be a lingering “paint smell” when the project is done. In just a few short hours, an attractive new, fresh color will brighten those walls and woodwork, making the rest of those winter days indoors all the more enjoyable. So, plan ahead for the next interior painting project, buy the paint and sundries beforehand, and wait for Mother Nature to provide the next opportunity to do some snow day painting. The way things are going, looks like Tidewater painters won’t have to wait very long.
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hen it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero. These six quick tips will help vehicles perform best during cold weather months. • Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. • Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem. • Check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed. • Unless drivers are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior, modern cars are ready to be driven right away. Idling longer than 30 seconds in most cases is unnecessary for the sake of warming up the engine. The best way to warm up your car is to drive gently at the start. • Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car. • Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades when especially harsh winter conditions occur. While sub-zero temperatures can have a real impact on vehicles, even in Tidewater’s relatively mild climate, the cold can take its toll on vehicles. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling and very cold temperatures reduce battery power. A thorough vehicle inspection is a good idea to avoid the aggravation and unexpected cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.
Warm your winter
Luxury travel’s top international “Up and Coming” destinations for 2015 include Cuba
eeling tired of Tidewater’s weather? Ready for a break from daily life on I-264? From now until Spring appears and Tidewater residents really don’t want to leave home, might be the perfect time to get away. With options from across the globe to just hours away, now is as good as time as any to “warm your winter” out of town. Consider the results of a recent survey by Travel Leaders Group. Although Europe is far and away the most enticing getaway destination for luxury travelers from the United States, the top “up and coming” luxury experiences and destinations for 2015 include Africa Safaris, South Africa, Croatia, Vietnam and Cuba, according to Travel Leaders Group. Four of the top five international luxury travel destinations outside of North America are European destinations, led by European river cruises and followed by Italy, Mediterranean cruises and France. These trends are based on responses from 844 Travel Leaders Group owners, managers and travel experts throughout the United States. “While there is an extensive list of ‘up and coming’ destinations which our luxury travel clients are booking that are more exotic, our high-end travel clients are very loyal to the upscale experiences and charms—both old world and modern —that Europe offers,” says Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “In nearly 90% of Travel Leaders Group luxury travel agents reporting, their luxury bookings are higher than or equal to last year at this time.” “When people talk about life changing travel experiences, Africa and African safaris are most certainly at the top of the list. There is something so moving and incredible about that destination,” says J.D. O’Hara, Tzell president. “The real destination to watch is Cuba, which already was appearing quite high on the list, even though the survey was launched prior to the President’s announcement of a process to normalize relations. It shows how much pent up demand their truly is for legal travel
to Cuba, particularly among luxury travelers who want an authentic experience before the country undergoes rapid change and modernization as a tourist destination.” These lists highlight the top international destinations for Travel Leaders Group’s luxury travelers in 2015. Top luxury destinations outside of North America 1. Cruise—Europe (River) 2. Italy 3. Cruise—Europe (Mediterranean) 4. France 5. Australia 6. England 7. Cruise—Europe (Baltic) 8. Germany 9. (tie) Ireland, South Africa 11. Cruise—South Pacific and Tahiti 12. Greece 13. New Zealand 14. Spain 15. Bora Bora Top luxury travel destinations within North America 1. Mexico 2. Cruise—Caribbean 3. Jamaica 4. Dominican Republic 5. Costa Rica “The incredibly strong U.S. dollar—versus the euro—is already having an impact on travel to Europe. Luxury travelers are savvy and, while they may spend more than the average American, they still want the greatest value for the money they’re spending,” according to Patrick Fragale, president of Protravel International. “While a trip to Italy may be a once-in-alifetime experience for
many Americans, luxury travelers will go back time and time again for the rich culture, amazing history, incredible cuisine and unparalleled scenery. Because of the incredibly favorable exchange rate, plus the advantages that many luxury travelers have in terms of time and money, they are once again being enticed by Europe.” Most Important Component of a Luxury Trip: When Travel Leaders Group agents were asked, “When spending money for travel, what is most important to your luxury travel clients?” the top responses were:
1. Accommodations—Luxury 2. Air—First or Business Class 3. Experience—Unique activities 4. Experience—Exclusivity 5. Accommodations—Ultra luxury
These luxury trends are part of a comprehensive travel trends survey which included responses from 1,226 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Cruise Holidays, Cruise Specialists, Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units. Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies—encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents—and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion annually. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.
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Birthright trip to Israel in December by Adam Zelenka
arrived back in the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at about 5 in the morning. I was excited that the next day I would be having sushi with my friends and telling them all about my trip; my spiritual journey. I had about a 10-hour layover at JFK to reflect on what those past 10 days meant to me. Break I awaited an open space to pray at the Western Wall, and I looked at everyone leaning, eyes closed, with their heads against their forearms against the wall. I realized I hadn’t thought about what to pray for. I’m not a super sentimental guy, and when I ask myself deep questions I find myself producing thoughts at a faster rate than I can put words to them in my head, a series of intimations diverging
towards parts unknown. So I had a hard time deciding what to write on my note to place in the Kotel. And when I closed my eyes and put my head against my forearm with everyone else, my prayers were a little jumbley. Whatever diffused through my forearm into eternity had something to do with making sure everything turned out okay for the people in my life; mainly an assortment of images really, I couldn’t quite put it in words. So I thanked Hashem for everything he has given me, said the Shechechiyanu, and vacated my wall space. I think I did alright. That was one of the things I thought about at the airport, as I sat yet unwilling to crack open the book I bought for 20 shekels at some mall en route from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. The Idiot by Dostoevsky. This brought to my mind something that had occurred to me two or three times before on my journey.
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Gratitude I was so thankful that the state of Israel exists and that I got to go there. The first time that occurred to me was during a talk in Tzfat with Avraham Loewenthal, who said, “Our Jewish ancestors have been praying three times a day for next year in Jerusalem. For 2000 years! That’s a lot of prayers!” And I was like “Oh man, that’s like—so many prayers, man! And the fact that I’m here. With you guuuuyysssss.” The second time that happened was New Year’s Eve. We were staying that night with the Bedouins. One of the activities was a desert meditation circle, in which we all sat or lied down quietly in the sand and then shared our thoughts. It was cold and a little rainy (wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, it was raining in the Negev!), but we were out there. I was on a derailing train of thought, as per usual. It was overwhelming and surreal, and I sort of had to grip the dirt with my fingers to make sure what I felt was real. And out of fairness to the other things we did on the trip, because every day was spiritually and intellectually meaningful, I’ll count the rest of the trip as the third time it occurred to me how thankful I was for a the Jewish State in the land of Israel. I am thankful to have met the IDF soldiers who accompanied us. And I am glad I got to hear their stories at Har Herzl, of the fallen soldiers they knew or of whom they knew. I am so thankful that at the end of Yad Vashem, the corridor opens outward to Jerusalem, which I can tell you really does look golden in the sunset.
Return Any kid who just got back from a TaglitBirthright trip will tell you he can’t wait to get back to Israel as soon as possible. To me at least, it feels exactly like home (Hebrew everywhere and I don’t have to think twice about drinking beer… and other reasons too!). So if you were to ask me about what I’ll do next, you’d send me spiraling into an oblivion of indecision and anxiety. BUT I can tell you I will be back. As many times as I possibly can, hopefully for durations of indeterminable length. As Avraham Infeld put it, it is the place where I am accepted not in spite of being Jewish, not regardless of it, but because I am Jewish. And that is totally awesome. Adam Zelenka is a freshman at Virginia Tech. He is the son of Amy and Frank Zelenka, a graduate of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach.
kid who just
got back from a
Taglit-Birthright trip will tell you he can’t wait to get back to Israel as soon as possible.
Why Jewish families should vaccinate their kids by Jamie Rubin
(Kveller via JTA)—Since the news of the recent Disneyland measles outbreak and the subsequent chatter on Facebook began, I discovered I have at least four Facebook friends (and likely a few more) with healthy, non-immunocompromised, vaccine-aged children who have decided, for non-medical reasons, to not vaccinate. For some of these friends and acquaintances, the news was not surprising considering their views on other issues. With one friend in particular, though, it felt like a betrayal, one that I just can’t get past. Here this person was, in my community, in my home, and I never knew how they felt and what steps they were taking to separate themselves from the herd. I spent some time thinking and talking about it with another friend and realized one of the major reasons it bothered me so much is because this family is Jewish. I naively assumed Jews (outside of the ultra-Orthodox) always vaccinate for lots of reasons—we are a religion that values life, after all. Many of us are doctors, and there is no question in the medical community that vaccinating is the right choice for healthy children and in the best interest of everyone’s public health. We are also known to have champion hypochondriacs among us who won’t leave much to chance if there is the promise of a cure or a preventative measure for just about anything. But mostly I assumed Jewish parents vaccinated because we have, more than many other groups of people, a deep sense of community within us. We are the people who don’t let mourners mourn alone. We don’t even let dead bodies rest in solitude until after they are buried. For a Jew, being communal is not an option, it’s an obligation. We can’t even have a minyan unless 10 of us are there. I see childhood immunizations through this same communal lens: Just as I pay my taxes for the good of the community, save water during a drought or don’t get behind the wheel if I’m drunk, I vaccinate my kids not just to protect them but to cover yours, too. I always assumed my fellow Jews were naturally inclined to do the same for me. I’m doing it for my relative who is immunosuppressed. And for my neighbor’s newborn twins. And for the stranger at Target on her third round of chemo.
I get so frustrated when parents say, “This is a personal decision we are making for our family.” It’s not. Unlike the epic debates about co-sleeping vs. sleep training or formula vs. breast milk, this is one of the only parenting decisions that actually effects everybody. It is not a personal decision, it is a public health decision, and I don’t think we can be reminded of that enough. Your choice to take the risk that your kid can ride out a case of the measles unscathed means you are making that choice for dozens of other people your child comes in contact with. Unless you move into a cave or to a private island, there is no escaping community; we are all in this together. I used to avoid debates about the merits of vaccinating. Usually these arguments aren’t a fair fight anyway. It’s impossible to argue with the research from countless scientific studies and medical professionals who are unequivocally pro-vaccine for healthy children. These discussions always end up being about other things like our freedom to make personal decisions or about the distrust of government or pharmaceutical companies, or about people’s opinions and feelings towards actual facts. Frankly, before I knew that people close to me felt this way, it was easy enough to write off those who don’t vaccinate as “crazies.” I can no longer say nothing, and I’m tired of accommodating people who are offended by the views of the entire medical community. There is a place where personal freedom ends and public safety for the entire population begins. I don’t like to judge other people’s parenting decisions, but when it comes to vaccines I have no choice. As far as I am concerned, the anti-vax position is indefensible. If you’re a Jew with no medical reason to not vaccinate your children, you are forgetting how connected we all are to one another and that it’s our responsibility to consider the community when we consider ourselves. Just as we are obligated to celebrate in each other’s joys, we are commanded to care for and protect each other, too. This isn’t just about you. Kveller is a community of women and parents who convene online to share, celebrate, and commiserate their experiences of raising kids through a Jewish lens. Kveller.com.
• Watch the sunset while enjoying award winning seafood. • Fantastic view of the Chesapeake Bay.
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hether it’s an intimate dinner for two, a business meeting for ten, or a celebration for fifty, join us and discover why we have been voted the Best of the Beach for 17 consecutive years.
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Your Table is Waiting! jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 25
Virginia Festival of Jewish Film winds up a success Simon Family JCC’s
Presented by Alma* & Howard Laderberg
January 17 – 25, 2015
“I can’t thank this community enough for supporting the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg,” said William Laderberg at the closing night of the film festival on Sunday, Jan. 25. “Thanks to them, their outpouring of support and their attendance at the films, I believe this was the most successful film festival in 22 years.“ More than 1,400 people viewed one or more of the varied and eclectic films presented at this year’s festival. At the various films and venues, the audience heard from film directors, attended receptions and watched movies from all over the world. New this year was a free children’s film at the Simon Family JCC, which was met with great interest on Martin Luther King Day. A ‘family fun morning’ will be repeated Monday, Feb. 16, starting at 9 am. The Prince of Egypt will be screened at 10:30 am, along with a host of other fun things to do at the JCC. For more information, call 321-2338. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. *of blessed memory
Glen Arluk, Larry Siegel, Megan and Steve Zuckerman, Shaye Arluk and Leslie Siegel.
Cameron Goldberg and his mother, cultural arts director Michele Goldberg.
Bob Lehman and Linda Samuels.
William Laderberg, Mal Vincent and Mark Robbins.
Normie Sher and Gloria Siegel.
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Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi.
(Photography by Al Benas, unless noted.)
Leslie Siegel with her Opening Night décor.
Harry Laderberg, William Laderberg, Linda and Leigh Baltuch and Romney Laderberg, children of Alma* and Howard Laderberg
Mark Robbins Photography.
Avraham Ashkenazi, Normie Sher and Mal Vincent.
Paul and Ellie Lipkin.
Linda Baltuch walks her father, Howard Laderberg, down the red carpet at Beth Sholom Village before the film The Lady in Number 6.
The Simon Family JCC thanks the Film Festival sponsors and supporters: Avraham and Patricia Ashkenazi, Old Point Bank, Alan & Esther* Fleder Foundation, Global Spectrum, Adam Shall, Philip J. Geib, PC, United Property Associates, Virginia Arts Festival, and the five venues that screened the films. Thanks to both of the reception caterers, Beth Sholom’s Village Caterers and TCC students of the Culinary Institute, Leslie Siegel for décor, Al Benas and Mark Robbins for photography, Military Aviation Museum, and the many other volunteers and staff who made this year’s film festival possible.
jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 27
Exchange program launched by Eastern Virginia Medical School and Bar-Ilan University Medical School
avigating effective ways to provide high quality community healthcare services to patients at risk both in America and northern Israel is among the major learning insights of medical students participating in the exchange program between Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Va., and the Bar-Ilan University Medical School (BIUMS) in Safed, Israel. Steven Warsof, MD, EVMS professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, helped bridge the relationship between the two schools. Since the Israeli school opened in the fall of 2011, Warsof has taught on numerous occasions at BIUMS. “Teaching in Safed combines my three passions—getting closer to my family in Israel, teaching obstetrics and helping Israel in the best way I know how,” says Warsof. The EVMS student exchange program is being funded by a generous gift from Cindy and Ron Kramer and their family. The BIUMS student exchange program is being funded by a grant, along with gifts from members of the Maimonides Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Others instrumental in the creation of the exchange program are Terri Babineau, MD, EVMS vice dean for Students Affairs, and Michael Weingarten, BIUMS associate dean for Medical Education, as well as the chairmen of the school’s respective OB/ GYN departments: Inbar Ben Shacher, MD, chair and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ziv Medical Center, which is BIUMS’ affiliated teaching hospital, and Alfred Abuhamad, MD, chair and professor of EVMS Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Mason C. Andrews chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The first phase of the exchange program allows students in their last year of medical school planning to specialize in OB/GYN, the opportunity to broaden their medical experience before starting residency training. The exchange program got underway last year with two EVMS students traveling to Israel and two BIUMS
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students traveling to the United States for a four-week stint. Warsof was inspired to start this program after volunteering his services to BIUMS and its partner hospital, Ziv Medical Center. He was impressed by how quickly the medical school has had a positive impact on improving healthcare in the Galilee. “During the short period the school has been there, it’s made amazing progress. The community is very fortunate to have inspired and dedicated leadership at BIUMS,” says Warsof. “As a physician for 40 years, I can safely say that my relationship with the Bar-Ilan University Medical School is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my professional career.” The Bar-Ilan University Medical School shares EVMS’ community focus as it was Steven Warsof. created for the purpose of providing improved medical care in an underserved community. Because of the very mixed socioeconomic and cultural background in both Hampton Roads and northern Israel, there are many potential opportunities for unique public health and community health projects for both students and doctors in this exchange program. Phase two of BIUMS exchange student Gil Rubenshtine with this program, EVMS exchange student Mae Winchester. which is now being launched, involves faculty exchanges the partner institutions. Warsof and David between the schools. In December 2014, Peleg, MD, a physician at Ziv Medical Ed Karotkin, MD, professor of Pediatrics, Center, have already published several scispent a week as the guest of Eric Shinwell, entific articles and abstracts through joint MD, director of Neonatology at Ziv Medical efforts between the two schools. “With partnerships such as this, the Center. The final phase of the program involves future looks bright for these two institudeveloping collaborative research between tions,” says Warsof.
Book Review From a Nobel winner Suspended Sentences Patrick Modiano Translated by Mark Polizzotti Yale University Press, 2014 ISBN 978-0-300-19805-8, 215 pp.(paper)
atrick Modiano, French writer of Flemish/ Italian/Jewish ancestry and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Hal Sacks is almost unheard of in the United States. His novel, Missing Persons, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978, sold fewer than 2,500 copies in this country. Considered by critics to be a modern Marcel Proust, and considering his reputation for many fictional works set in Paris during WWII, the publication of Suspended Sentences by the Yale University Press is of more than routine significance. This slim volume, consisting of three novellas, must serve as your reviewer’s introduction to this moody, terse artist and likely to our readers as well. Modiano was born in 1945 and his early works were an attempt to reconnect with the past; in his own words “a search for memories.” His prodigious output, about 30 books to date plus screenplays, while not autobiographical, sometimes appears to be a search for an autobiography. Characters appear in one novella in a minor role only to reappear in another in a more prominent role. Thus, the three novellas, although published individually over a period of five years, have considerable coherence, whether intended or not. Modiano, in another context states, “I have always felt like I’ve been writing the same book for 45 years.” His comment for a reissue of a collection of his novels suggests that these books “form a single work...I thought I’d written them discontinuously, in successive bouts of forgetfulness, but often the same faces, the same names, the same places, the same sentences recur from one to the other.” In the first novella, Afterimage, an aspiring author and narrator, perhaps not Modiano but of the same age, becomes fascinated if not obsessed with Jansen, an older freelance photographer. Jansen befriends the youth (this is not a sexual friendship) but is sparing (terse again) in what he
reveals of himself, leaving the young writer to piece together what he can of Jansen’s life from his photos, his acquaintances and his own imagination. The youth undertakes the mind-numbing task of organizing and indexing Jansen’s totally chaotic collection of photographs. He attempts to meet with a young woman with whom Jansen may have had an affair, mainly to learn more about him. To no avail, Jansen gives signs that he is about to depart, and finally just disappears, never to be heard from again. The title novella, Suspended Sentences, is perhaps the more Proust-like. The narrator recalls a childhood year in which he, of elementary school age, and his younger brother are cared for by unmarried sisters in a bucolic French village. Their parents are perennially away, the mother an actress performing in parts unknown and their father even more difficult to pin down. Here reference may be made to the author’s parents, his mother being on the road a lot and his father somewhat on the run. Doted upon by the sisters and, to the young boys, their mysterious and fascinating friends, life passes in a charming and privileged manner. In this novella the “remembrance of things past” is that magical year. In later years there are occasional reunions with one or more of the characters remembered from childhood, none of which have any permanence, nor is there any real closure to the relationships. Finally, Flowers of Ruin, published originally in 1991 when the author was 46 years old, is a third existential mystery, with subtle connections to the prior works—all three of which were published within about five years. Although not completely autobiographical, Flowers of Ruin may represent Modiano as a young adult. He has left school and taken to making careful notations of his observation of a particular character, Pacheco, and very Proustian trivia of persons, places and things. Thus, the writer emerges, in his own words, “without fully realizing it, I began writing my first book.” This slim volume offers only the most oblique references to the Nazi occupation of Paris during WWII, for studies of which Modiano is most famous. However, the three works selected are a fitting introduction to a Nobel Prize-winning author virtually unknown in the USA. —Hal Sacks has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
My Classic Valentine February 13 | CNU’s Ferguson Center February 14 | Chrysler Hall February 15 | Sandler Center
Celebrate the most romantic day of the year by experiencing some of the lushest and most romantic music ever written. Three selections hand-picked by JoAnn Falletta just for you and your Valentine. JoAnn Falletta, music director Photo: Cheryl Gorski
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Cello Concerto February 27, 28 and March 1
jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 29
it’s a wrap Serina: A smashing success
he students of BINA High School recently produced and performed the play, Serina. Set in Poland the play tells the story of a Jewish Surifky Fine and girl kidnapped and Miriam Wilson. brainwashed by Feliciano nuns during the turn-of-the century. There are at least 30 documented cases in Krakow, Poland of young Jewish girls imprisoned in convents. Under the direction of Chayla Lefkovitz, the students beautifully and accurately portrayed Serine’s harsh captivity, the cruel behavior of the nuns, the faith of Serina’s parents, their tenacity in attempts to recuse her, and efforts by Serina’s sister to reintroduce Serina to her true faith. Tenth grader Miriam Wilson played the
lead role of Serina, wowing the audience with her acting skills and beautiful voice. Ninth grader Mattie Lefcoe played Serina’s caring sister, Claire with brilliant intensity. Tenth grader Ellya Suissa deftly played Serina’s father and made the audience share his pain in losing his daughter. Senior Elisheva Mostofsky, the dance head, choreographed the spectacular dance number. Senior Surifky Fine convincingly portrayed the cruel nun, Sister Christiane and senior Jenny Lefcoe provided comic relief with her amusing portrayal of the slightly ditzy Vera. The entire student body worked hard to make the play a success. In addition to those on stage, students designed and made their costumes, painted all the scenery, made props, produced a soundtrack and printed the playbill. These efforts paid off tremendously as the production was a huge hit.
Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill joins Tidewater Chavurah
n unaffiliated group involved in Jewish fellowship, Tidewater Chavurah has engaged its first ordained rabbi as spiritual leader, Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill. Rabbi Jaffe-Gill will lead Shabbat and High Holidays services using prayer books of the Reform movement. She will also lead holiday celebrations and facilitate learning experiences for the Chavurah. “I look forward to many shared celebrations and opportunities to daven and learn together,” she says. Jaffe-Gill graduated from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia in 2014 and moved to Tidewater, reaching out as an independent rabbi to unaffiliated Jews and spiritual seekers. A former teacher in the Los Angeles, Calif. public schools, she is the author of three books and is certified as a cantor by the Reform movement. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Spencer Gill, a
Norfolk native. Formed in 1996, Tidewater Chavurah has been a nondenomNewly appoin inational alternative of Tidewater to the formality of religious institutions since Rabbi Ellen serving Tidewater’s unaff ilia its inception. While its Jaffe-Gill. and spiritual seekers a activities have been layled for most of its existence, Tidewater Lifecycle Offician Chavurah’s leadership decidedJewish to enterEducator a &T growth phase and welcome new members rabbicantorejg@gmail who are not involved with established syn215-359-7806 agogues, while remaining a small, vibrant and friendly group. The Hebrew term chavurah means “fellowship” and generally denotes a group of like-minded people who interact within a Jewish context. For more information about Tidewater Chavurah, go to Tidewaterchavurah.org or contact membership chair, Carol Smith at email@example.com.
Showtimes March 6-8th 8pm Fri/Sat 2pm* Sat/Sun *Discounted Sat. matinee
Celebrating the art of song and dance since 1991.
Reserve Best Seats NOW! TIX: 757.340.5446 Also at the Sandler Center Box Office online: ynottix.com | sandlercenter.org vmtheatre.org VIRGINIA BEACH
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30 | Jewish News | February 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
“The greatest of all American musicals.”
-Ben Brantley, New York Times Theatre critic
what’s happening CRC holds 3rd annual Israel poster contest
Chuck Woodward at Ohef Sholom’s Men’s Club Shabbat Service
Deadline for submission: Monday, March 2
he third annual Israel Poster Contest for first through 12th graders is now accepting entrees. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater sponsors the contest. Students and teachers can 2014 Israel Poster Contest winner Leo Kamer (center) with his mom, find a list of cool Marcia Samuels and dad, David Kamer. facts about Israel at www.jewishva.org/ asked to vote electronically in early April for their favorite. During viewing and voting, CRCIsraelPosterContest. Each student should choose one fact the artists’ names will be hidden. The winning poster will be announced from the list for the poster’s theme. Posters are to be submitted on an 8.5 by 11 inch on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, April 23 and will sheet of paper and be hand drawn (not be professionally framed and hang percomputer generated) using only pencil, manently at the Sandler Family Campus. crayon, marker or new this year, 2-D col- Attendees of the community Israel Festival lage. Names should not be visible on the on Sunday, May 17 will receive a copy of front of the poster, but must be includ- the winning poster. Submissions must be received by 4:30 ed along with age, grade, school, email address and phone number, on the back pm on Monday, March 2 and may be delivered to the United Jewish Federation of or attached. All posters will be displayed in the Simon Tidewater 5000 Corporate Woods Drive in Family JCC Cardo March 9 through March Virginia Beach. For more information, visit www. 27. The community will be asked to vote in person for their favorite. Finalists will then Jewishva.org/CRCIsraelPosterContest or be posted online and the community will be contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, Feb. 20, 7:30 pm
he Men’s Club at Ohef Sholom Temple’s Annual Men’s Club Shabbat will feature Chuck Woodward, the temple’s music director of 33 years. He will speak about “A Life of Music and Faith.” Woodward will share his personal and professional experience of Charles Woodward, serving both St. Paul’s Virginia Chorale Episcopal Church and artistic director. Ohef Sholom Temple. Members of St. Paul’s choir will join Ohef Sholom’s choir in presenting some of the music that most inspires worship. Known in Tidewater as a choral conductor, pianist and organist, Woodward is the music director of two historic congregations in Norfolk, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and Ohef Sholom Temple where, in 2012, he celebrated his 30th anniversary. Since 2011, he has served as the artistic director of the Virginia Chorale, the Commonwealth’s premier professional choral ensemble. He served as the choral director and collaborative pianist for the Governor’s School for the Arts, 1986-1993. As a pianist, Woodward is a frequent
collaborator in both vocal and instrumental chamber concerts, having performed with the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Chamber Players, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, I. Sherman Greene Chorale, Art Song of Williamsburg and Norfolk Chamber Consort, among others; at the Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Jordan Hall (Boston) and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and in Germany and Italy. In April 2011, he served as principal coach for the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Rappahannock County, a music theater work co-commissioned by the Virginia Opera and Virginia Arts Festival. Woodward’s performances have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today. A graduate of Northwestern University, Woodward has served on the adjunct music faculties of The College of William and Mary, Old Dominion University and Christopher Newport University. A Shabbat dinner will take place at 6:30 pm prepared by the Ohef Sholom’s Sisterhood. Adults and children 13 and older are $10. Child- friendly meals for those under 13 years of age are free. For dinner reservations or more information, call the Temple at 625-4295. Reservations are not necessary to attend the Shabbat service.
Purimpalooza: a costume carnivale for the young adult crowd Saturday, March 7, 8 pm
nown for throwing great, community-wide parties, the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is planning to hold an extravaganza next month at the Sandler Family Campus. In a nod to the international music fest of a similar name, Purimpalooza promises everything that a 20-, 30-, or 40-something could hope for in a celebration: live music, an open bar, gourmet noshes, and photo ops. Many, many photo ops. The party, sponsored by Tidewater Home Funding, invites its guests (21-years and older) to come in costume—the more inventive and creative the better.
Bizarre and fun attire is an accepted part of celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is observed just a few days before the March 7 event. A joyous and festive time for the Jewish people, Purim celebrates the biblical story of good triumphing over evil. Revelers are encouraged to dress up, and even to go a little wild. “It’s a little bit like a St. Patty’s Day or Mardi Gras celebration for the Jewish community,” says Ashley Zittrain, co-chair of the event. “I’m from Chicago, and St. Patty’s day is huge—this is going to be so much fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing how creative people are going to be with their
costumes!” Beth Gerstein, also co-chair of the event, says Purim is a purely fun holiday. Purimpalooza will be the party of year, she says, with its carnivale theme and entertainment planned to delight all who come. “Anyone who has been to a YAD holiday party in the past couple of years knows how much fun we have, and our ticket sales are a reflection of how incredible Purimpalooza is going to be,” says Gerstein. “Food, music, drinks and lots of surprises that you’ll have to see to
believe—celebrating Purim with the rest of the community is going to be truly memorable.” Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit www.JewishVA.org/ Purimpalooza or email aweinstein@ujft. org. Like YAD on Facebook for the latest details: www.FB.com/YAD.UJFT.
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what’s happening Gidi Grinstein to open Celebrate Israel Series
Global disaster relief: first on scene Israel Today with Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin
Thursday, Feb. 26, 7 pm, Simon Family JCC by Leslie Shroyer
“In working with Gidi Grinstein and his team at the Reut Institute these past few years, we have delved into many topics. I believe Gidi is on the cutting edge of modern Jewish and Zionist thinking,” says David Brand. Grinstein, the founder and president of the Reut Institute, Israel’s leading not-for-profit strategy and action group specializing in societal innovation including national security, economic development and technology—will lead off the Simon Family JCC’s Celebrate Israel Series, presented by Charles Barker Automotive. The program is also a JCC Beyond the Book Festival event, and is presented with support from the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Grinstein will speak both about his book Flexigidity, as well as his involvement in the 21st Century Tikkun Olam project, a global engagement strategy for the State of Israel and the Jewish People spearheaded by the Reut Institute. Avraham Infeld, who has headed Hillel International and several other foundations and serves as a mentor for Reut, calls Flexigidity a “must read for contemporary Jewish lay and professional leaders, and for all those who seek to understand Judaism, the Jewish People and the State of Israel. It cuts across denominational lines and stands to benefit readers of all walks of life and all levels of learning and observance.” “I cannot imagine a lay leader or professional faculty member, student or parent who will not benefit from Flexigidity,” says Brand, president and CEO of the Alliance for Global Good. Grinstein has been a leader with several organizations, including the ISRAEL 15 Vision, which calls for Israel to become one of the 15 leading nations in terms of quality of life, and with 21st Century Tikkun Olam, which calls for the State of Israel and the Jewish world to “improve the lives of a
quarter of a billion of the world’s poorest people within a decade” in areas from infant mortality to food and water safety and security utilizing Israeli expertise. Grinstein’s Gidi Grinstein. impressive career began as a graduate of the Tel-Aviv University schools of law and economics and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow. He established the team that turned the vision of Taglit Birthright Israel into a plan in the 1990’s. He served as secretary of the Israeli delegation for the Camp David negotiations in 2000, working from the Bureau of the Prime Minister of Israel. A leading voice on essential electoral and government reform, he established the Reut Institute in Israel in 2004. “Ever read a book that opens your mind, soul, imagination and vision?” asked David Brand in a review posted on Amazon last year. “Flexigidity takes you through a compelling and necessary journey that combines the totality of Jewish peoplehood with the challenges of preserving that which has held together the essence of our survival and development. This is not a history book as much as it is a road map for future generations of the Jewish people... a survival guide for Israeli and Diaspora Jews.” Brand, who utilized Grinstein and the Reut Institute Organization’s expertise in helping to launch the 21st Century Tikkun Olam project, says that Grinstein is a must see speaker. “If you are going to one event this winter, this should be it. Once in every few decades, you come across an individual who brings as many questions as he does answers, that we have to confront as Jews.” The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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Sunday, March 15, 7:30, Sandler Family Campus
esponsible for setting up the field hospitals in instances of natural disaster, Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin, is also part of the Cardio Thoracic Surgery Department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, as well as the head of the emergency hospital preparedness for mass causality team and the head of its trauma unit. Speaking in Tidewater Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin. as the final speaker in the Community Relations Council’s 2014– 2015 Israel Today series, Merin will share details of his experiences representing Israel around the world in the field. Merin is a Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF and has served since 1983 with the reserve forces in a variety of positions including his current position as Chief, IDF Field Hospital. His reserve unit was part of the Israeli delegation that gave aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, arriving first on the scene. He served as the chief surgeon of the hospital and was responsible for the triage and treatment of thousands of victims. In the December 2010 edition of The Jewish Journal, the article, “The Top 10 Jews of The Year—2010,” lists Merin as #3 for compassion in action, and honored him for establishing the most effective field hospital in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the quake.
In May 2010, Merin received the Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles on behalf of the IDF. Merin was also first on the scene in Japan after the tsunami that followed the massive earthquake on March 11, 2011, and in the Philippines after the Typhoon in 2013, on the Syria-Israel border in the Fall of 2013, and most recently on the border with Gaza, although citizens from Gaza were prohibited to use the hospital by Hamas. The Community Relations Council in conjunction with area synagogues, Jewish agencies and organizations, as well as community businesses and members present the annual Israel Today series. For more information on the series, the partners, or to RSVP by March 12 for this free and open to the community event, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCIsraelToday or call 965‑6107.
Family Friendly Friday at OST Friday, Feb. 20, 5:45 pm
amilies with young children are invited to Ohef Sholom Temple’s Family Friendly Friday, an abbreviated service specifically designed for families with infants through middle schoolers. With lively singing, an entertaining story and boundless joy, this 40-minute service allows families and their children to worship together
comfortably on Shabbat. After the service, Shabbat dinner takes place at 6:30 pm. Adults and children 13 years and older are $10. Child-friendly meals for those under 13 years of age are free. For more information or to make a reservation for the dinner, call the temple at 625-4295.
what’s happening Join the mission to bake and create at Operation Hamantaschen
The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center
Sunday, Feb. 15, 9 am–3 pm by Benyamin Yaffe
an you believe it’s already time for Operation Hamantaschen? The triangle-shaped cookies that Jews worldwide associated with the holiday of Purim give this annual Jewish community event its name. At Operation Hamantaschen, toddlers, teens, hipsters and seniors will come together at the Simon Family JCC to roll, cut, fill, and taste-test the freshly baked treats. They’ll also help pack the cookies to send to United States Jewish military service men and women, and to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater clients. Operation Hamantaschen is not only fun, but it’s a mitzvah—a good deed, too. People of all ages and backgrounds gather to support one of the most fundamental of Judaic values—taking care of each other. The cookies will be mailed to Jewish military members serving in the armed forces, so they can enjoy a “taste of home” and know they’re being thought of during the Purim celebration on March 5. JFS’ kosher food pantry and other JFS programs will also benefit from the goodies baked at the event. “This is the fourth year of Operation Hamantaschen, and we feel it’s important to let those who serve know that we appreciate what they do—and it’s a way we can show they’re not forgotten,” says Stephanie Steerman, chair of Operation Hamantaschen and a member of the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Rabbi Yoni Warren, a Hebrew Academy of Tidewater alumnus, a former JCC camp counselor, and a current Navy Chaplain,
was one of last year’s hamantaschen recipients. “The food was great! It gave me an emotional feeling about home, and about the entire story of Purim,” says Warren, who was surprised with the box of cookies while deployed overseas. “The fact that I could celebrate the holiday of Purim with hamantaschen from my hometown was truly an emotional experience.” Warren, who in March will take over as Chaplain at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, says he is proud to hear this community tradition will continue. Baking for the troops is just one of the good deeds that will occur during Operation Hamantaschen. Participants will also have the opportunity to write and decorate letters to be sent along with the sweets. Yet another mitzvah will focus on sending letters to Lone Soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces, thanking them for serving and protecting the State of Israel. From all over the world, many of these soldiers are American. They’re called Lone Soldiers because they’re not Israeli, and usually don’t have any family in Israel. The decision to serve in the IDF is their own, and it can sometimes be tougher than they imagined. And it can be lonely. “It may sound silly, but receiving a letter from anyone, especially from the states, really keeps us alive over here. It’s the truth,” says Nathan Mandel, a Lone Soldier from Portland who has friends in YAD. Sending notes of support and thanks to these volunteer soldiers, Mandel says, means so much, and will be appreciated
more than this community can imagine. Operation Hamantaschen chair Steerman, a mother of three (her older daughters attend HAT and Strelitz Early Childhood Center and her son is not yet one), feels that is a great event for all ages, and the lessons learned about giving to others can be invaluable. “We may not be giving to a charity, but we are devoting our time and giving support to our Jewish community and military men and women, which is an important aspect of tzedakah,” Steerman says. “I want my children to understand the importance of community—and of being here for each other.” Operation Hamantaschen is a free, collaborative event, open to all in the community, presented by YAD and the Simon Family JCC’s Department of Children and Family programs. The day is split into two shifts for planning purposes (i.e., how many dozens of eggs and pounds of flour will be needed); participants are asked to register in advance. To sign up for a shift, or for more information, visit JewishVA.org/operationh, or call 757-965-6138.
Members honored at B’nai Israel
Sunday, March 15, 9 am–12 pm
he Jewish Museum and Cultural Center will present the film, Me and the Colonel, starring Danny Kaye. The movie is a departure from Kaye’s usual comedic slapstick. His skill, however, gives it gentle humor and moving sympathy. A discussion will follow the movie with Rabbi Arthur Steinberg and Prof. Andrew Quicke. Popcorn and water will be served. 2 pm. A $5 donation is recommended. 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth. 391‑9266 or www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org.
The Maccabeats LIVE! Sunday, March 29, 3 pm
hen the Maccabeats last performed at the Simon Family JCC, the demand was so great the venue had to be moved to accommodate the audience. Now, they are returning for a repeat performance. This unique a cappella group performs an eclectic array of Jewish, American and Israeli songs. As before, this is sure to be a fantastic performance for all ages. The concert will take place at the Simon Family JCC. The Cardo Café will be open prior to the performance. Tickets are: Adults $20 or $15 for JCC members; children $15 or $10 for JCC members. For additional information, call 321-2338.
“Purim for Grownups,” presented by Tidewater Chavurah
Used books and media sale
Saturday, Feb. 14, 8:15 pm ’nai Israel Congregation is honoring members that have gone “above and beyond in the service of B’nai Israel” for more than 25 years at an elegant gala reception. The honorees are: Frances Berger, Behrooz and Trudy Dayanim, Shirley Isrow, Irene Mazel, Barney and Betty Lou Siegel, Ludwig and Ruth Sternlicht and Sarah Zedd. Various opportunities are available to place an ad in the commemorative journal in their honor. For more information, to make a reservation or to place an ad, call Melissa Shoenfeld at 757-627-4567 or email email@example.com.
Sunday, February 22
hef Sholom Temple’s Sisterhood’s used book sale will take place at the temple, 530 Raleigh Ave. in Norfolk. For more information, call 625-4295.
Thursday, March 5
abbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill will lead an English reading and discussion of the Book of Esther, with special attention to aspects of the story that aren’t covered in religious school. Bring a Bible containing Esther if possible. Costumes optional; be prepared to boo Haman and eat hamantaschen. Everyone is invited. 7:30–9:30 pm. 4661 Priscilla Lane, Virginia Beach. More information at 464-1950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 33
Event for community members fluent in Hebrew שמח להזמין אתכם להרצאהSimon Family JCC February 26th | 12:00pm |353 Village Road Virginia Beach, VA 23454 האירוע כולל ארוחת צהריים ומשתתף בהסכמי קמפ, ממובילי תוכנית תגלית, מייסד ונשיא מכון ראות,ידי מר גידי גרינשטיין- על,התועבר בשפה העברית .דייויד .כלכלי ובתחום הביטחון הלאומי-ההרצאה תתמקד בתחום החברתי ,עבודתו של מר גרינשטיין מתמקדת בהובלת שינוי חברתי באיזורים משמעותיים לביטחונה של מדינת ישראל והעולם היהודי ,ידי גיוס והכשרת צוות מנהיגים-תפעול תוכנית להנהגה אסטראטגית על 21-ופיתוח גישות מתקדמות להתמודדות עם שינויים קיצוניים ודינמאיים של המאה ה .והתרומה לאנושות ברוח ובערך תיקון עולם RSVP to Evan Levitt by Monday, February 23rd email@example.com 757-321-2337
February 13, Friday—February 14 Satuday B’nai Israel Congregation’s Scholar-in-Residence and HaKaros HaTov weekend with Rabbi Hanoch Teller. The Saturday evening Malava Malka Gala Reception will honor members that have serviced the shul for over 25 years. Contact B’nai Israel at 627-7358. February 15, Sunday Operation Hamantaschen. Two shifts: 9 am–noon or noon–3 pm. Free and open to the community. At the Simon Family JCC. Bakers of all ages are needed to help make cookies to send to Jewish U.S. troops for Purim and to donate to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Volunteers are also needed to decorate and pack boxes. More of an artist than a baker? Create handmade notes of thanks that will be sent to support U.S. and IDF troops. All materials provided. Babysitting available. Sign up: www.JewishVA.org/OperationH or call 757-965-6138. See page 33. Monday, February 16 President’s Day Family Fun Day at the Simon Family JCC. 9–10 am—Family Swim and Pool Games. 9 am–10 am—PJ Library Activity 10:30 am—Family Movie The Prince of Egypt with snacks in the Fleder Multipurpose Room at the Simon Family JCC 12:15–2 pm—Jump Castle in the Gym. Family Friendly Lunch Specials at the Cardo Café. February 21, Saturday Hoedown Havdallah at the Simon Family JCC. Celebrate the end of Shabbat with friends and family. Visit with animals, pet and play with creatures great and small, learn some square dancing moves and have dinner and Havdallah. 6-7:30 pm. $10 adults; $6 children. Call 321-2338. February 22, Sunday Two area dance companies to perform at Simon Family JCC. Virginia Ballet Theatre and Todd Rosenlieb Dance will perform as part of the JCC’s Children’s Cultural Arts series. Tickets cost: Children (ages 10 and under) $6 or $4 for JCC members; Adults $8 or $6 for JCC members; Family (2 adults, plus children) $27 or $22 for JCC members. 321-2338 to purchase tickets and for more information. The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center will present the film, Me and the Colonel, starring Danny Kaye. A discussion will follow the movie with Rabbi Arthur Steinberg and Prof. Andrew Quicke. 2 pm. A $5 donation is recommended. 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth. 391-9266 or www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org. See page 33.
Eric Kline Business Development
February 26, Thursday Celebrate Israel series. Simon Family JCC welcomes Gidi Grinstein, president and founder of Israel’s Reut Institute. Grinstein will discuss his groundbreaking book, Flexigidity. In his talk, he will explore how the Jews have utilized Flexigidity to adapt and stay relevant. He will also assess the future in light of trends that are pulling Jewish communities apart. Free and open to the community. 7 pm. Simon Family JCC. 757-321-2338. See page 32.
Danny Kline President
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March 5, Thursday Purim for Grownups, presented by Tidewater Chavurah. 7:30–9:30 pm. See page 33. MARCH 7, SATURDAY Purimpalooza. 8 pm, ages 21 and up. $20 early bird tickets; $25 at the door, at the Sandler Family Campus. Join hundreds of young Jewish adults and friends for the Young Adult Division of the UJFT’s 2015 Purim costume carnivale—a party like no other. Live music, costume contest, open bar, desserts and many, many photo ops. Get tickets at visit www.JewishVA.org/ Purimpalooza or call 757-965-6138. More information at www.fb.com/YAD.UJFT.
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March 15, Sunday The Community Relations Council and area synagogues, Jewish agencies, organizations and partners conclude the 4th annual Israel Today forum with Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin, chief, IDF Field Hospitals, in charge of setting up the hospitals in instances of natural disaster. 7:30pm at the Sandler Family Campus. RSVP by March 12 to jewishva.org/CRCIsraelToday#Merin, CRC@ ujft.org, or 965-6107. See page 32.
Send submissions for calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Contact us today at 757-523-0605 or www.paydaypayroll.com 34 PD-ad-JewishNews-QtrColor-110614.indd | Jewish News | February 9, 2015 1 | jewishnewsva.org
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Joel Grey, Jewish actor best known for Cabaret role, comes out at 82 by Julie Wiener
NEW YORK (JTA)—It’s no longer surprising for a prominent actor to come out publicly as gay. What is a little surprising, however, is when he does so at age 82. Joel Grey—whose illustrious career includes winning an Academy Award, Tony Award and Golden Globe Award, all for playing the master of ceremonies in “Cabaret”—came out last month in an exclusive interview with People magazine. “I don’t like labels,” he told the magazine, “but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” Grey, who was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years and is the father of actress Jennifer Grey, was already out to friends and family, but had not spoken publicly about his sexuality. Grey’s original surname was Katz, and his father, Mickey Katz, was also an actor. In the People interview, he recalled
growing up in Cleveland and “hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about ‘fairies’….” In addition to his award-winning Cabaret performances, Grey, who is also a photographer with three books of photographs and a Museum of the City of New York exhibit to his credit, has played a wide range of roles for stage, film and television. Among the more incongruous ones, given his Jewish background: Joseph Goebbels in The Empty Mirror (1996), Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol (1999) and the narrator in ’Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974). His CV includes some Jewish roles as well, however: in 1994, he appeared in the show Borscht Capades, which the Philadelphia Inquirer described as a “kind of a Yiddish vaudeville.” And while he may not be a Jewish doctor, he’s played them on TV, including Jude Bar-Shalom on Brothers & Sisters and Dr. Singer on Grey’s Anatomy.
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The Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater presents
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If you are an ambitious, high-energy, self-starter with good people skills, this might be the job for you!
Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, email@example.com or submit resume to
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For tickets and details go to www.JewishVA.org/Purimpalooza or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Purimpalooza is sponsored by Tidewater Home Funding jewishnewsva.org | February 9, 2015 | Jewish News | 35
obituaries Braham Martin Baum Hertfordshire, England—Braham Martin Baum passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the age of 78, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born in London on May 16, 1936, a mere two and a half hours before his future wife, Shirley Adrienne Baum
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(née Dunn), was born in the same hospital. Their mothers met while they were convalescing. Braham and Shirley met as teens at the synagogue youth club, and married in 1958. Their son Gary was born in 1961, and daughter Tracey came in 1965. Braham worked hard all of his life to support his family. Owning a newsagents’ shop while the children were young, he was “on the clock” almost 24/7. But once he sold the shop, he and Shirley traveled extensively, especially after they discovered cruising. They built lasting friendships with people from all parts of the world whom they met on ships. They also enjoyed travelling in the United States once Gary had settled there, either with or without their beloved grandchildren. Rabbi Reuven Lanning officiated at the funeral service at the Jewish cemetery in Bushey, Hertfordshire. Braham will be deeply mourned by his wife Shirley, son Gary, daughter Tracey, daughters-in-law Elena Barr Baum and Jo
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Hayers, grandchildren Jaden, Asher and Micah Baum, brother-in-law and sister-inlaw Brian and Ros Dunn, family and friends. Dr. ALBERT S. GLICKMAN Silver Spring, Md—On Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 Dr. Albert S. Glickman of Silver Spring, Md., passed away. Beloved husband of the late Blanche B. Glickman; devoted father of Ralph Elias, Marc Glickman, Judi Glickman-Shnider (Reed Shnider) and Deb Charles; beloved brother of Florence Saferstein; cherished grandfather of Rachel Shnider, Joshua Shnider, Benjamin Shnider, Zachary Charles and Ezra Charles; and adoring great-grandfather of Lylah Preotle. Funeral Services were held at Adat Shalon Congregation in Bethesda, Md. Interment followed at Arlington Cemetery Chizuk Amuno Cemetery Baltimore. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Southern Poverty Law Center. Arrangements by Hines Rinaldi Funeral Home, Inc. under Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington Contract. ESTHER LEVINE GOLDMAN Virginia Beach—Esther Levine Goldman, of Virginia Beach, passed away on January 24, 2015 at age 87. She was predeceased by her husband, Rabbi Joseph Goldman, the first rabbi to serve Temple Israel from its founding until his death in 1983. She was also predeceased by her son, Jordan Hillel Goldman. She is survived by her daughter, Shira Goldman Salzberg (married to Mark) of Denver, Col., by her son, Dr. Daniel Goldman, of Houston, Texas, and by seven grandchildren: Ilan Salzberg, Yaniv Salzberg, Rachel Goldman Miller, Talia Salzberg Horowitz, Johannah Lowin, Sarah Reinitz, and Carmiella Salzberg. She is also survived by five great-grandchildren: Judah, Phoebe and Emmett Salzberg, Sophie Miller, and Henry Reinitz, as well as other distant relatives. Esther Levine was born in Halberstadt, Germany, in 1927, immigrating to the United States at age three. She grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, where her father, Rabbi Isser Levine, was the Orthodox rabbi.
Esther earned several academic degrees: B.A. from the University of Chicago, M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and Doctor of Education from George Washington University. In later years, she focused on Jewish studies and earned her Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from the University of Judaism. Both during and after Rabbi Goldman’s tenure at Temple Israel, Esther was active in the educational endeavors of the synagogue and community. She taught in the congregational religious school and in the inter-congregational United Hebrew School. Esther was a proponent of interfaith dialogue. She participated in the annual ecumenical retreats of the Greater Carolina Association of Rabbis. She also lectured at the interfaith “Nexus” series at Virginia Wesleyan College. At Norfolk State University, she enriched the perspectives of her students by sharing her Jewish learning. Memorial services were held at Temple Israel, with Rabbi Michael E. Panitz officiating. Burial followed in the Levine family plot in the Jewish cemetery of St. Joseph, Missouri. Memorial donations in her name may be sent to the Rabbi Joseph Goldman Education and Endowment fund of Temple Israel, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Arthur V. Lerman Portsmouth—Arthur Victor Lerman, 77, died February 2, 2015. A native of Portsmouth, he was the son of the late Myers and Rose Stark Lerman. Arthur was a lifelong member of Gomley Chesed Synagogue and was the recipient of the 2009 Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year award. Survivors include two sisters, Toby Lerman and Diana Ruben; nephew, David Sears; niece, Rachel Pufahl; great-nieces and nephews, Aaron, Taylor and Hannah Via, and Samantha Roseberg; and special friend, Martha McDaniel. A funeral service was held in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz. Burial followed in Gomley Chesed Cemetery. Contributions to the Parkinson’s disease Foundation.
obituaries Iris Robinson Pincus Norfolk—Iris Robinson Pincus, loving wife, mother and grandmother passed peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Norfolk. Iris was born in Hartford, Conn. to Gertrude (Cohen) and Abraham Frank on June 16, 1928. She lived in Connecticut until 1983 when she moved to Hilton Head, S. C. and then to Sarasota, Fla. in 1986. She later moved to Virginia Beach in 1996 with her husband Harry Pincus. Iris and Harry Pincus met in Sarasota, Fla. in January of 1993 and fell in love. She was 64, he was 68. In July of 1993, they traveled on the first of many International
U.S Senior Volleyball Team Good Will Tours around the world to Israel, then in 1996 to the British Isles, in 1998 through South America and in 2001 through Eastern Europe. They married in 1996, lived in Sarasota for several years, then Virginia Beach until 2012, when they moved to the Talbot on Granby in Norfolk to be closer to family. At the Talbot they have been comfortable, among many friends, and participating in many activities. Iris was a warm, funny, loving person who was a friend to many. She will be sadly missed by all. Iris is survived by her husband Harry Pincus, her son James Robinson and his wife Amy, her daughter Nancy Rogers
and her husband Chris, two granddaughters, Anna Rogers and Marissa Robinson, and her grandson Benjamin Rogers and his wife Katie. She is also survived by her husband’s children to whom she was devoted, Paul and Kjersti Pincus, Finn Pincus, Alex and Susan Pincus, Ingeresa and Brian Friedman and Kari Pincus, and eight grandchildren, Hanna, Sigrid, Nora, Erin, David, Anna Britta, Neal and Cole. Iris was predeceased by her first husband Richard J. Robinson in 1990. She was also predeceased by her favorite cousin, Sondra (Sandy) Hurwit. Iris was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple. The funeral service was held there. continued on page 38
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obituaries continued from page 37
Memorial donations may be sent to Ohef Sholom Temple or The National Shingles Foundation, 603 West 115th St. Suite #371 NY, NY 10025. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel. Henry Rubin Virginia Beach—Henry Edward Rubin, 83, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 in Richmond, Va. He is survived by his wife Barbara G. Rubin, his son, Hilton Rubin and his wife, Suzanne; daughter, Michelle Rosenbaum and her husband, Evan; grandchildren, Darryn Rubin and Ronni Rosenbaum; and a loving extended family. Services were held graveside at the Richmond Beth-El Cemetery at Forest Lawn. Dr. Martin Sheintoch Petersburg, Va.—Dr. Martin Sheintoch, 93, passed away January 25, 2015 surrounded by his family.
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Born in Petersburg, Virginia, he was predeceased by his parents Philip and Polly Sheintoch and siblings Dr. Hyman Sheintoch and Rose Senie. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 68 years, Rhoda Klein Sheintoch, whose marriage was an inspiration to all who knew them. His adoring family included children, Phyllis and Michael Sperling, Jill and Fred Siegal; grandchildren, Jennifer and Stuart Sperling, Jessica and Adam Schur, Jessica and Matthew Glazer, and Melissa Glazer; great-grandchildren, Sam and Chase Sperling and Austin and Julia Schur. After graduating from Petersburg Public Schools, he received additional degrees from the University of Richmond and the MCV College of Dentistry. Upon graduation Dr. Sheintoch served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corp until 1946 when he returned to Petersburg and opened his private dental practice. He enjoyed practicing dentistry for 47 years. Additionally, he was a member of the Southside Dental Society and served a term as its president. In 1983 ,Dr. Sheintoch was honored and inducted into the International College of Dentists. Known to his friends as Lucky, Dr. Sheintoch’s life was enriched by his devotion to Congregation Brith Achim serving in many capacities and on multiple committees including his two-term tenure as president of the congregation and co-heading the cemetery corporation. He was an avid golfer, playing many years with friends at Lee Park and then at the Country Club of Petersburg. His name Lucky was reinforced as he made seven holes in one and shot his age multiple times including at 86 when he shot an 85. Dr. Sheintoch
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appreciated the fellowship of his many friends especially his ROMEO group. He was an accomplished bridge and card player as well as a pianist. His keen sense of humor, memorable quips, intelligence, and his unwavering attention to his family will be sorely missed. Funeral Services were held at Congregation Brith Achim, Petersburg and interment followed at Brith Achim Cemetery. Donations may be made to Congregation Brith Achim, P.O. Box 1507, Petersburg, VA 23805. Condolences may be registered at www.jtmorriss.com.
David Landau, Haaretz editor and JTA’s longtime Israel bureau chief
avid Landau, a British-born Israeli journalist who held top positions at several English-language publications, including JTA, has died. Landau died of brain cancer in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Jan. 27. He was 67. Landau, who made aliyah in 1970, served part time as JTA’s Israel bureau chief for many years while also working as a diplomatic correspondent at The Jerusalem Post. He later was promoted to managing editor of the Post. In 1997 he founded Haaretz’s English-language edition and served as the newspaper’s editor in chief from 2004 to 2008. He wrote columns for Haaretz until last year. In choosing to work for JTA, Landau “demonstrated his strong commitment to educating Diaspora Jewry about the intricacies of Israeli politics and Israeli life,” said Lisa Hostein, JTA’s editor from 1994 to 2008. “Top Israeli journalists in Israel would respond with disbelief when they discovered I had the audacity to edit and even challenge David, who was known as a tough journalist and editor in his own right,” said Hostein, who now serves as executive editor of the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia. “He was an Orthodox Jew whose commitment to an open and moral democracy in Israel drove his work as a journalist,” she said. “May his memory be a blessing.” Landau wrote and ghost-wrote several books, including Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism (1992), about Israel’s haredi Orthodox community,
and a biography of Ariel Sharon published last year. “David Landau’s untimely death is a very great loss, not just for his family and his many friends, but also for Haaretz and for journalism in general,” said Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken in an obituary published in that newspaper. “As a Haaretz staffer for many years, and especially during his tenure as editor-in-chief, David made an enormous contribution to the paper as an enlightened Zionist intellectual, a liberal in the full sense of the word and a believing Jew, and he demonstrated that there is no inherent contradiction in these things.” Former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who collaborated with Landau on two memoirs, told Haaretz that Landau was “a rare combination of an individual—religious in depth and liberal in breadth.” Landau was buried at Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, Jackie, their three children and eight grandchildren. (JTA)
Luise Rainer, Jewish Hollywood star NEW YORK ( JTA)—Luise Rainer, the first actress to win back-to-back Academy Awards, died on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at her London home. She was 104. The daughter of a middle-class Jewish family that later escaped Nazi Germany, Rainer was born in Dusseldorf in 1910 and later spent part of her upbringing in Austria. She studied acting under Max Reinhardt, Austria’s premier stage director. In 1935, she sailed to the United States and starred in her first Hollywood film, Escapade. She won the Oscar for best actress in 1936 and 1937 for her roles in The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth respectively. She quickly became disenchanted with Hollywood and her success. After 1938, she left the film industry and moved back to Europe, where she lived until her death. During World War II , she appeared at bond rallies in the United States and entertained Allied troops in Italy and North Africa. Rainer was the oldest person alive to have won an Academy Award.
BMX BIKING • ROCK BAND • GO KARTS • ROBOTICS • CULINARY ARTS • PAINTBALL • SPORTS A JEWISH CAMPING TRADITION
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40 | Jewish News | February 9, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org