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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 54 No. 11 | 29 Shevat 5776 | February 8, 2016

Historic compromise at Western Wall —page 6

8 Studying success Israeli-style

10 Postcard from Argentina


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Kotel compromise shows Israelis know they need American Jews by Jay Ruderman

The good news Behind some dismissive statements and controversial actions by members of Israel’s government, average Israelis genuinely value the involvement of American Jews. In our poll, 82 percent of Israelis agree with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent pledge that “every Jew should feel that the Western Wall belongs to him and every Jew should feel welcome in Israel.” Two-thirds agree that the relationship between Israel and American Jews directly impacts Israel-U.S. relations, and 88 percent think their leaders should work to strengthen that relationship.

that Reform Jews aren’t real Jews. Just last December, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau condemned Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to a Conservative Jewish school in New York.. It is easy to assume wrongly that American Jews either don’t matter or they will continue supporting Israel because they have no other Jewish homeland. In the United States, Reform and Conservative Jews remain very supportive of Israel. So yes, despite being treated occasionally as second-class citizens, American Jews still identify with Israel. In the long run, however, enough insults and humiliations leave a bitter taste, and it becomes more challenging to see Israel as a pathway to Jewish meaning for all. Even though Israelis are favorable toward American Jews and the more liberal streams, they still underestimate their numbers. The 2013 Pew study found 40 percent Reform, 22 percent Conservative and only 12 percent Orthodox. Should skeptics be proved right about the demise of progressive Judaism in America, the movements are still likely to dominate American Jewry for the next several generations. And even this modern Orthodox American-Israeli sees no cause to celebrate a theory of diminishing Jewish returns.

The bad news Despite the generally warm feelings and intentions of so many Israelis—many Israeli decision-makers and religious leaders still fail to see the value proposition. First, for Israel to be secure, it still needs a strong and vibrant alliance with the U.S. in which American Jews play an obvious and integral role. Second, if Israel wants to remain the Jewish state, it must find ways to recognize and accommodate, rather than alienate, the bulk of America’s committed Jews. American Jews seem to be a target of choice for Israeli politicians seeking to score cheap points with their supporters. Religious Services Minister David Azoulay sparked controversy last July by saying

The hope Clearly, Israelis—including at least some Orthodox Jews—overwhelmingly value American Jews and their connection to Israel. There is a growing awareness among Israel’s elite that Israel needs American Jews as much as we need Israel, this includes Reform and Conservative Jews. With this new poll, we see that most Israelis don’t just need American Jews on board, they also want American Jews as part of Israel’s Jewish family. It’s ultimately up to Israelis at all levels of society to hold their leaders accountable. This isn’t just because American Jews expect it, but because Israelis do. —Jay Ruderman is president of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

(JTA)—The relationship between Israel and American Jews is a complicated mix of good news and bad news, and the government compromise on the Western Wall, or Kotel, (see page 6) is a case in point: It’s a step forward in providing access for non-Orthodox Jews, but may also reinforce the reality that the main plaza doesn’t welcome Reform or Conservative Jews, the majority of affiliated American Jews. The main Kotel plaza may never accommodate non-Orthodox prayer, but a new poll by the Ruderman Family Foundation provides some hope and direction for more positive developments on other fronts.

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

arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 17 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Writee your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.

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upfront Obama marks Holocaust remembrance at Israeli Embassy: U.S. must lead anti-Semitism battle WASHINGTON (JTA)—Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, and the United States must lead the fight against it, President Barack Obama said in historic remarks at the Israeli Embassy. “We cannot deny it,” Obama said, speaking of the increase in anti-Semitism, at a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “When we see some Jews leaving major European cities, where their families have lived for generations, because they no longer feel safe; when Jewish centers are targeted from Mumbai to Overland Park, Kansas; when swastikas appear on college campuses— when we see all that and more, we must not be silent.” Obama, making the first speech ever by a U.S. president at the embassy, said he has made fighting global anti-Semitism a priority. He cited Hungary as a case where the United States made it clear that the failure to address anti-Jewish bias would impede strong bilateral relations. “It’s why, when a statue of an anti-Semitic leader from World War II was planned in Hungary, we led the charge to convince their government to reverse course,” he said. “This was not a side note to our relations with Hungary, this was central to maintaining a good relationship with the United States, and we let them know.” Obama also addressed criticism of Israel that veers into anti-Semitism. “It’s why, when voices around the world veer from criticism of a particular Israeli policy to an unjust denial of Israel’s right to

Contents Kotel compromise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Western Wall prayer fight’s historic compromise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Israel-Style success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Postcard for Argentina. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Standing Together Tidewater. . . . . . . . . . 12 Cooking & Eating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 CRC Israel Poster Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Volunteering on Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Ohef Sholom’s Confirmation class retreat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

exist, when Israel faces terrorism, we stand up forcefully and proudly in defense of our ally, in defense of our friend, in defense of the Jewish State of Israel,” he said. The president cast anti-Semitism as a manifestation of intolerance that afflicts other minorities, and praised Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for combating anti-Arab bias in Israel – notably because Rivlin has chided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not doing enough in that arena. Learning from the past “means cultivating a habit of empathy, and recognizing ourselves in one another; to make common cause with the outsider, the minority, whether that minority is Christian or Jew, whether it is Hindu or Muslim, or a nonbeliever; whether that minority is native born or immigrant; whether they’re Israeli or Palestinian,” Obama said. He appeared at one point to allude to the candidacy of real estate magnate Donald Trump, who is leading in the polls among Republican presidential contenders and has called for sweeping actions against undocumented migrants and Muslims. “It means taking a stand against bigotry in all its forms, and rejecting our darkest impulses and guarding against tribalism as the only value in our communities and in our politics,” he said. Israel’s ambassador, Ron Dermer, in his remarks noted the unprecedented nature of Obama’s address. The U.S. and Israeli governments have endeavored in recent months to overcome bad blood created by last year’s Iran nuclear deal, which


About the cover: The Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Beth El Religious School lesson in Tikkun Olam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Super Sunday success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beth El at ODU basketball game. . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . First Person: Zoe Siegel rebuilds faith and homes through Bridges . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gomely Chesed at Beth El. . . . . . . . . . . . Special Section: Food and Cooking

Israel opposed, and the failure of the Obama administration’s efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Netanyahu delivered brief remarks via a video recording, thanking Obama for speaking at the embassy, as well as for advancing talks on extending and expanding U.S. defense assistance to Israel. The event, co-hosted by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, included the formal recognition of four non-Jews as Righteous Among the Nations for the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. They were Roddie Edmonds, a U.S. Army sergeant who while being held captive in a German prisoner of war camp refused orders from a German commander to identify Jewish POWs under his command; Lois Gunden, an American teacher in France who made the children’s home she ran a safe haven for Jewish children, and Walery and Maryla Zbijewski, a Polish couple who cared for a Jewish girl who had managed to flee with her mother from the Warsaw Ghetto. Families of the rescuers and survivors they saved, and their descendants, were among those on hand. Obama in his speech picked up particularly on Edmonds’ declaration to the German commander, who was furious with Edmonds for not identifying the Jewish soldiers in his ranks: “We are all Jews,” Edmonds said. Obama, alluding to Edmonds’ devout faith, said: “I cannot imagine a greater expression of Christianity than to say, I, too, am a Jew.”

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Candle lighting Friday, February 12/3 Adar I Light candles at 5:23 pm

“It was heart-warming and encouraging to join together in a setting where friendship and respect prevailed.”

Friday, February 19/10 Adar I Light candles at 5:30 pm Friday, February 26/17 Adar I Light candles at 5:37 pm Friday, March 4/24 Adar I Light candles at 5:44 pm

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Briefs Kerry: Some funds released under Iran deal will go to terrorism Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran would likely use some money freed by the lifting of sanctions for terrorism, but if it does, it will be subject to separate sanctions. “I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” Kerry said last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in an interview by CNBC. The IRGC is an acronym for the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented,” he said. “But I can tell you this, right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time.” The Obama administration lifted nuclear-related sanctions after U.N. inspectors confirmed Iran had complied with its obligations under the nuclear roll back for sanctions relief deal achieved last year between Iran and six major powers. Kerry said IRGC and other terrorist groups would still be subject to separate sanctions should the new money be used toward attacks. “We have made it very clear that we use sanctions when we think they are appropriate in order to counter behavior that we believe has broken the law or has challenged the United Nations Security Council or threatened the United States and we stand by our sanctions,” he said, referring to new sanctions imposed on Iran because of its test launch of a ballistic missile. (JTA)

Candy-making Holocaust survivor believed to be world’s oldest man A Holocaust survivor in Haifa is believed to be the oldest man in the world. Yisrael Kristal, 112, achieved that status last month after Yasutaro Koide of Japan, also 112, died, Haaretz reported. Kristal’s grandson, Oren, received an email last month from the Gerontology Research Group, an international organization that tracks the world’s over-110 set, alerting him that the Polish-born Auschwitz survivor was up for the honor. Upon hearing the news, Kristal said in

Yiddish: “The joy of my old age.” To be officially certified as the oldest living man, Kristal must present documentation from the first 20 years of his life. However, Haaretz reported, the earliest official document Kristal possesses is from when he was 25. Born on Sept. 15, 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Kristal moved to Lodz in 1920 to work in his family’s candy business. He continued operating the business after the Nazis forced the city’s Jews into a ghetto, where Kristal’s two children died. In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife, whom he had married at age 25, was killed. In 1950, he moved to Haifa with his second wife and their son, working again as a confectioner. Kristal’s daughter Shula Kuperstoch told The Jerusalem Post that he has been religiously observant his whole life and continues to lay tefillin each morning. “The Holocaust did not affect his beliefs,” Kuperstoch said. “He believes he was saved because that’s what God wanted. He is not an angry person, he is not someone who seeks to an accounting, he believes everything has a reason in the world.” “His attitude to life is everything in moderation,” she added. “He eats and sleeps moderately, and says that a person should always be in control of their own life and not have their life control them, as far as this is possible.” Interviewed by Haaretz in 2012, at the comparatively youthful age of 109, Kristal declined to offer a theory for his longevity, instead saying, “It’s no great bargain. Everyone has their own good fortune. It’s from heaven. There are no secrets.” Asked if his diet was responsible for his long life, he said, “In the camps there wasn’t always anything to eat. What they gave me, I ate. I eat to live; I don’t live to eat. I don’t need too much. Anything that’s too much is no good.” (JTA)

Israeli soldiers sent to prison for fatally shooting camel An Israeli soldier who fatally shot a camel— and his friend who filmed the November incident—were sentenced to prison and stripped of their rank. The two soldiers, from the Israel

4 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

Defense Forces’ elite Duvdevan special operations unit, were convicted in military court and were not identified in Israeli media accounts. According to Ynet, the shooter was convicted of illegal use of a weapon and animal abuse and sentenced to four months in prison. His friend was sentenced to two months in prison. The soldiers, who were on leave at the time, were driving past the camel when the driver shot it. “The sentence reflects the severity with which the IDF sees the offense of cruelty to animals, especially when it involves using military-issued weapons,” the IDF said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. The video shows the bullet hitting the camel, followed by laughter from the soldiers. (JTA)

UN’s Ban: ‘Frustration’ is to blame for Palestinian violence against Israelis Palestinian violence against Israel is a result of Palestinian “frustration” over “a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. Ban called on Israel to freeze building in the settlements and to apply justice equally for Israelis and Palestinians in an address Tuesday, Jan. 26 to the U.N. Security Council. He condemned the four-month spate of stabbings, vehicle attacks and shootings by Palestinians targeting Jewish-Israelis and added that clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have continued to claim lives. “But security measures alone will not stop the violence,” Ban said. “They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians —especially young people. It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.” Ban said West Bank Jewish settlements, or “so-called facts on the ground in the occupied West Bank,” are “steadily chipping away the viability of a Palestinian state and the ability of Palestinian people to live in dignity.” He said he was “deeply troubled” by

reports of Israel approving more than 150 new homes in West Bank settlements, as well as an announcement declaring 370 acres in the West Bank as state land. “These provocative acts are bound to increase the growth of settler populations, further heighten tensions and undermine any prospects for a political road ahead,” Ban said. “The parties must act—and act now—to prevent the two-state solution from slipping away forever.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Ban’s remarks, saying they “provide a tail-wind for terror.” “There is no justification for terror. Those Palestinians who murder do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state and they say this openly,” Netanyahu said. “They want to murder Jews for being Jews, and say this publicly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.” The Israeli leader also criticized the U.N.’s positions on his country. “The United Nations long ago lost its neutrality and its moral force,” Netanyahu said, “and the secretary-general’s remarks do not improve its standing.” (JTA)

Facebook’s Zuckerberg surpasses Koch brothers, now world’s 6th wealthiest person Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the richest Jewish person in the world, has become the sixth-wealthiest overall. Zuckerberg, 31, has a net worth of $47.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, slightly ahead of the Koch brothers’ fortune valued at $45.9 billion, Bloomberg Business reported. He moved past the Kochs when his fortune rose $6 billion in trading last month, when Facebook reported record earnings. In October, Zuckerberg was listed No. 8 on the Bloomberg index. Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos or Carlos Slim are the top 5 on the index. Among Jews, Zuckerberg is ahead of Oracle’s Larry Ellison, who is No. 10 overall. In December, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced plans to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charity over their lifetimes. (JTA)

Torah Thought

God’s contractor


very winter, the Jewish calendar rolls around to Parshat Terumah, a Torah portion whose every word is devoted to the details of the portable tabernacle that the Israelites will carry from Egypt to the Promised Land. It’s all lengths, widths, and materials: a distinct contrast to the thunderous revelation at Sinai from two Shabbats earlier and the lists of widely varied ethical mandates that comprise last week’s reading. When reading Terumah, I always picture Moses with a clipboard, jotting down the specifications he’s receiving from God and checking to make sure he has them right. “Okay, you want the long facing walls to be 20 planks each and the short wall eight planks. And all the wood has to be acacia, right?… You got a whole lot of cloth hangings ordered here. Maybe we should have a Plan B in case the Israelites don’t kick in enough.… Okay, if you’re sure, I’m sure.” I’ve never hired a contractor for a big project, but it seems to me that Moses is better suited to being God’s contractor than for almost every other role he takes on as he leads the Israelites across the wilderness. He has learned how to delegate responsibility, and in the chapters of the Book of Exodus, we’ll see him doing a great job of gathering materials for the mishkan and assigning design and artisanal work to talented subcontractors. Moses also has a gift for dealing with the entity for whom he’s working, taking a stand when he disagrees with God and doing a little massaging when God gets upset. Moses is able to hit the right balance between leadership and deference. Parshat Terumah and Moses’s role as God’s contractor underscore how important human beings are to God’s plans for the world. God doesn’t just wave a wand to bring the desert tabernacle into being. God tells Moses to ask the Israelites for

gifts (terumah) of the precious metals, colored yarns, animal skins, and other materials required to create the mishkan, then outlines the tasks to be performed by craftspeople among them; everyone has at least the opportunity to contribute to God’s sanctuary project. Nor does God announce the materials and specs to the mixed multitude from on high. God communicates with Moses, knowing that Moses is fully human and has plenty of the flaws that come with being human, trusting that he and the other flawed humans will get the task done and do a good job. And it’s an important task: the mishkan will be a place in God will dwell (Exodus 25:8). What does this mean for us as contemporary humans and as Jews? One thing is that what makes Moshe Rabbeinu a success as God’s contractor is high on the list of qualities we should emulate in our reverence for him. Moses defers to God in the way we should defer to any force more powerful than we are, such as nature when it’s destructive or challenging. None of us can stop an earthquake, snowstorm, or tidal surge, but we can prepare for natural occurrences before they hit. More important, we can endeavor to bring about change in the world that might lessen nature’s wrath in the future. And we can take away from Terumah the concept that every single person has the potential to contribute to society and every Jew can contribute to the future of am Yisrael, the Jewish people. Many Jews have told me that they don’t have the knowledge or the spiritual capacity or the money to take part in active Jewish life. But there are lots of communal Jewish experiences that cost exactly nothing, and as for Judaic knowledge and spiritual engagement, those come after you get involved; they come because you get involved. The contributions God tells Moses to ask for aren’t really physical things. The gold and silver and copper, the fine linen and goat’s hair and colored yarns, the acacia wood and all the other items God wants for the tabernacle are metaphors for some of our time, our mental focus, our willingness to connect with others. Those are the gifts that serve God today. —Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Tidewater Chavurah


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jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 5

Western Wall prayer fight ends with historic compromise

by Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA)—Israel’s government on Sunday, Jan. 31 approved a compromise to expand the non-Orthodox Jewish prayer section of the Western Wall, putting to rest the decades-long fight between Women of the Wall and Israel’s haredi Orthodox religious establishment. The deal achieves what had been an elusive goal: an interdenominational consensus on Judaism’s holiest site with official recognition. The non-Orthodox prayer section at the wall will become much larger and more accessible. But haredi control of the Orthodox section will also be solidified, though non-Orthodox leaders have long protested that monopoly. The deal still contains a few unknowns. It is unclear how long construction will take. It does not say whether clear signage will direct visitors to the non-Orthodox section. Nor does it say exactly when Women of the Wall, an embattled women’s prayer group, will move its monthly services from the Orthodox Jewish main prayer section to the non-Orthodox one. Still, the Conservative and Reform movements can declare victory. The size of the non-Orthodox section of the Western Wall will double to nearly 10,000 square feet—half the size of the Orthodox main section just to its north. A committee of non-Orthodox leaders and government officials will manage the non-Orthodox section. And a single entrance will lead to both sections. The Western Wall’s haredi Orthodox management, called the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, also safeguarded its interests. Non-Orthodox leaders had campaigned for a share of control of the Orthodox section 6 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

of the wall, but the Heritage Foundation will retain full authority over it and the larger plaza behind the prayer sections. And when the plan is implemented, Women of the Wall will move to the non-Orthodox section, one of the Heritage Foundation’s long-standing demands. “They all came to the conclusion that they must make serious compromises because they want it to remain one Kotel for one people,” Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Natan Sharansky says, using the Hebrew term for the site. “lt’s the place that must unite us more than anything else, and it turned into the most ugly war.” Plans for the non-Orthodox section’s expansion, spearheaded by Sharansky, began in December 2012. In October of that year, police had arrested the Women of the Wall’s chairwoman, Anat Hoffman, for wearing a tallit during the group’s monthly service—an act that at the time was illegal at the site. Talks on a plan to expand the non-Orthodox section of the wall, located in an archaeological park known as Robinson’s Arch, began in April 2013. Sharansky and outgoing Israeli Cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit led the negotiations, which included representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements, the Heritage Foundation and Women of the Wall. Nearly three years later, the deal calls for the creation of an “official and respected,” 9,700-square foot prayer space in the non-Orthodox section of the Western Wall, running along a 31-foot segment of the wall, that Sharansky said will fit approximately 1,200 people. It will have a government-funded staff, Torah scrolls and other ritual objects, and be open to all forms of Jewish prayer. Sharansky estimated its construction could take up to two years. Even after it is completed, the non-Orthodox section will remain smaller than its Orthodox counterpart. The Orthodox section measures some 21,500 square feet, adjacent to a nearly 200-foot segment of the wall, and has some 27,000 visitors on an average day. The area is divided into two sections: a larger one for men and a smaller one for women. The rules prohibit women from reading from Torah scrolls in the Orthodox section. A committee composed of two Reform leaders, two Conservative leaders, two non-Orthodox women representatives, the Jewish Agency chairman and six government officials will run the non-Orthodox section. The Orthodox and non-Orthodox sections of the Western Wall will share an entrance near the Old City of Jerusalem’s Dung Gate, one story above the Western Wall plaza’s current entrance. Currently, the path to the non-Orthodox section is long, narrow and accessible only through a gateway tucked in a back corner of the plaza. The deal will create a wide and visible walkway to the

section. The deal does not specify, however, whether there will be signs at the entrance informing visitors of the non-Orthodox section or anything else notifying visitors of its existence. “The vision of the new section of the Kotel is a physical and conceptual space open to all forms of Jewish prayer,” a statement from Women of the Wall says. “Instead of splitting up the existing pie into ever more divided, smaller pieces, we are making the pie much larger and sharing the new space.” The Western Wall’s haredi management, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, has long pushed for Women of the Wall to leave the site. Under the deal, the women’s group has agreed to move to the non-Orthodox section only once the deal is implemented. And a faction of Women of the Wall has vowed not to budge from the Orthodox section—regardless of what the deal says. The Western Wall’s religious status has been under contention for decades. Women of the Wall was founded in 1988 to advance women’s prayer at the site, which is prohibited under haredi Orthodox Jewish law. Until 2013, much of the group’s activity contravened the Heritage Foundation’s regulations and thus was illegal. Police regularly detained members of the group. Non-Orthodox groups also suffered persecution at the site. In 1997, an egalitarian Conservative Shavuot celebration behind the prayer section was attacked by protesters throwing bottles, diapers and refuse at the worshippers. The incident led to the establishment of the non-Orthodox prayer section at Robinson’s Arch in 2000. Following an international backlash to Hoffman’s 2012 arrest, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tasked Sharansky with forging a compromise solution to the dispute. An outline Sharansky proposed in April 2013 called for the non-Orthodox section to be equal in size and elevation to the Orthodox section, but it proved unworkable due to objections from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Waqf, the Islamic body that governs the Temple Mount. In August 2013, Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett tried for an interim solution by building a 4,800-square-foot platform that created more space in the non-Orthodox section. Women of the Wall rejected the platform, calling it a “sundeck.” Now the architects of the compromise hope that all sides of the debate will be able to put their differences behind them for the sake of the Western Wall’s symbolism. “This contains the hope that the Western Wall will no longer be an arena for disputes, and will regain the uniting character that befits its special place for the entire Jewish people,” the agreement reads. “May this also bring peace among us.”

Election 2016 Ben & Jerry’s founder creates Bernie Sanders ice cream flavor


co-founder of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company has created a new flavor inspired by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Ben Cohen, who founded the Vermontbased company with Jerry Greenfield in 1978, introduced “Bernie’s Yearning” Monday, Jan. 25 on his Facebook page.

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“Nothing is so unstoppable as a flavor whose time has finally come,” Cohen wrote. The flavor in honor of the Vermont senator consists of a pint of mint ice cream topped by a chocolate disk that Cohen explains in a description on the container “represents the huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1% since the

end of the recession.” The disk is meant to be broken up with a spoon and mixed into the rest of the ice cream, the description continues. Ben & Jerry’s will not produce the flavor. Cohen explained that he made 40 pints of it in his own kitchen and donated 25 to the Sanders campaign to be

disseminated through a public contest. Cohen and Greenfield, who have been Sanders constituents in Vermont for over 30 years, have been steadfast supporters of the senator throughout his campaign. They introduced him last year at his presidential campaign launch in Burlington. (JTA)

2/1/16 3:42 PM

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8 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

Jack Habib, Pat Robertson and Annie Sandler. by Karen Lombart


rof. Jack Habib and his colleague Dr. Keri Zelson Warshawsky enjoyed a walk through Seashore State Park on Thursday, Dec. 17 as their last experience in Tidewater before they flew back to Israel. Invited to Tidewater by Annie Sandler, the researchers experienced two days of whirlwind activity orchestrated by Sandler and Robin Mancoll. The prior evening, Sandler spoke to a gathering of members from the Tidewater Couples Project, Hineni alumni and the Young Adult Division’s cabinet (YAD) in her home, saying, “As a member of the Myers JDC Brookdale board, it has been a privilege working with Jack and witnessing research as it unfolds into its practical application. I marvel at the improvements made because of MJB’s findings.” Under Habib’s leadership as director of MJB, the 40-year-old institute serves Israel, the Jewish world and the international community in developing and disseminating research that directly impacts social services and relevant governmental policy. Established as a partnership between The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Israeli government, the Institute is uniquely positioned to help bring about social change by offering measurable feedback for the country’s

most important national social initiatives. In Tidewater, Habib shared his wisdom with many different groups. “Every research project starts with the challenge of identifying the very specific reason for the study. Narrowing the goal is critical to its success,” he says. Ralph Robbins, executive director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB), led a group of 10 to meet with the researchers to explore the idea of measuring the benefits of the program, Minds in Motion, a dance experience for fourth and fifth graders. Started in Richmond, the dance course has expanded to two communities in Israel, integrating an exchange of students between the Israeli and Arab communities. “Jack has the unique ability to draw out the opinions of group members and steer the discussion,” says Robbins. With Habib’s probing questions, the participants (including Brett Bonda, director of the Richmond Ballet and Cat Studdard, its director for education) settled on the study’s focus and potential contributions for a program that is expected to play a major role in the collaboration of two communities. Students in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High School listened intently as the MJB director described the complexity of Israel’s society. Habib stressed that with each wave of immigration, Israel has been challenged with melding the disparate cultures into one society. He explained, “As a newly established state in 1948, Israel chose to find a way to honor the culture of the Arabs already living there. The government created a dual educational system, which allowed Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis to study in their own languages and learn customs relevant to their own cultural preferences. “With the end of the Holocaust, the resettlement of the Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe and the Sephardim from neighboring Middle Eastern countries added another dimension to the population’s diversity. In the 1990’s, hundreds of thousands of Russian refugees made Israel their home and a second major wave of rural Ethiopian immigrants also arrived. While Israel is famous for its unique hightech industry, this has also contributed to a widening of socio-economic gaps. Later

waves of arrivals from Yemen, India and more recently, France have continued to transform this multifaceted society,” said Habib. As Gregory Falls, the school’s program director, says, “The teenagers’ exposure to the sociological confluences confronting Israel’s society stimulated an intense dialogue after the presentation. The students stayed to talk about the visit for almost an hour after Prof. Habib and Dr. Warshawsky left.” “I could have listened to Jack for days,” says Betty Ann Levin, director of Jewish Family Service. Habib and Warshawsky met with the agency’s staff, board members and leadership. Dr. Robert Palmer, director of the Gerontology department at EVMS, also joined the group. The conversation began with an introduction to the institute’s work taking place in Israel. MJB’s research on the elderly, the disabled and health care services led to an active conversation about what has been learned to promote best practices. Drawing on the Institute’s research on poverty, child welfare, and youth at risk, Habib led a strategic conversation for the program directors of the Seton Youth Shelters, including the Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter and Mentoring divisions. Having built a safe “home,” financed an outreach van and installed an effective emergency hotline, the program offers support and temporary alternative housing to teens at risk. Spearheaded by nonprofit leadership consultant, Jane Stein and Seton board president, Steve Waranch, the conversation underscored the challenges and successes of the program. Waranch says, “The meeting became a lightning rod for future discussions because it presented a rare opportunity for us to consolidate our differing viewpoints, share insights and team build. The discussion expanded our own microcosmic perspective by hearing that other nations face

similar challenges when providing direct care for children at risk. Working in the trenches day-to-day can become blinding, but Habib’s professional expertise and enthusiasm illuminated the importance of our tireless efforts to improve the world.” Changing the day’s dynamic, Habib and Warshawsky met with Israelis living in Tidewater for a dialogue about the country’s present social issues that affect Israelis on a daily basis. In an animated Hebrew conversation led by Jasmine Amitay, Sandler described the dialogue as “fast paced, interactive and intense.” In an interview with Pat Robertson on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Habib discussed some of Israel’s effective social initiatives. The network continues to support Israel, as demonstrated in the recent release of its powerful documentary, The Hope. The Institute agreed to serve as a resource for the network’s continuing effort to share exciting social developments in Israel. The MJB presentation to a joint meeting of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater board and its Israel and Overseas Committee provided useful background information for UJFT’s allocation process, regarding projects in Israel. To a packed boardroom filled with community leaders of all ages, Habib discussed an overview of the enormous expanse of MJB’s work, as well as the social challenges facing Israel and the key national efforts to address them. MJB has flourished under the leadership of Habib and the Institute’s team of experts, receiving requests worldwide for its guidance and advice. With Habib’s passion for “actionable knowledge,” MJB has become the “go-to” institute for the information needed to set change in motion and make it successful. “Underlying the society’s complexity, Israel is a special place where all Jews are welcome and all


professional expertise

and enthusiasm illuminated the

importance of our tireless efforts to improve the world.”

Jews strive to live together as one nation,” underscores Habib. Over the years, the Institute has researched major policy issues such as the adoption of national health insurance, the national program of home care for the elderly, the national policy for Holocaust survivors, the national program for children and youth at risk as well as innovative social interventions such as PACT (an early childhood program for Ethiopian immigrants) and the network of one stop employment centers for Israeli Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox.

An ongoing dialogue takes place with all of the major ministries involved with social policies, including the ministries of Finance, Health, Social Affairs, Education and Social Security. Reflecting on his Tidewater visit, Habib says, “The exchange of ideas was very powerful. So many facets of the Tidewater community share the same social issues found in Israel. This community has played an important role in the Institute’s work and Myers JDC Brookdale looks forward to continuing to be a resource for Tidewater Jewish community.”



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jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 9

Jewish community of Argentina going strong despite challenges Sixteen members of the Tidewater Jewish community recently returned from a special mission to the Jewish community of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The mission, sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, allowed local donors to “follow their campaign dollars” to one of the many overseas communities served by Tidewater’s Annual Campaign. The next few issues of Jewish News will share “Postcards” from the mission, highlighting some of the most impactful experiences.

Postcard from the former site of the Israel Embassy in Argentina by Amy Zelenka


he mission arrived in Buenos Aires just weeks after the suspicious and untimely death of special prosecutor Alberto Nissman. Nissman had been appointed by the government to investigate the 1992 and 1994 bombings of the Israel Embassy and the AMIA (Federation) building. Many of the locals the mission group encountered felt that Nissman, a successful Jewish attorney, had in essence signed his own death sentence, by appearing on national television and announcing that he was days away from presenting the findings of his investigation. Those findings, he said, would implicate some of Argentina’s highest ranking officials. Days later, Nissman was found dead in his apartment on the 13th floor of the luxury Le Parc tower complex in the expensive Puerto Madero neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Nissman’s mysterious death (and the subject of his investigation) was therefore never far from the thoughts of the participants or those with whom they met. Accompanied by a wonderful guide, Paola, and a terrific educator, Dan, the group visited various Buenos Aires neighborhoods. Also traveling with the group were two security guards, Alberto and Gustavo, who had worked for the Israel Embassy in Argentina in 1992 when the building was bombed. They arranged a special meeting for the group at the former site of the Embassy with one of their former colleagues. After walking from the hotel to the site, which is now a memorial, the group was met by Victor Nisembaum, who shared his personal story, focusing on the day of the bombing. Nisembaum spoke candidly about the seconds and moments following the bombing. The building had collapsed, and an eerie silence settled over the rubble under which he’d been trapped. Nisembaum had been so buried that when he opened his eyes to find a way out, he saw only black.

He later found out that his ear drums had been blown–out during the bombing. So seeing nothing and hearing nothing….he literally struggled to determine whether he was dead or alive. As the initial shock wore off (in what seemed like hours, but was only minutes), Nisembaum began to focus his vision on a point of light slowly making its way into his awareness. It was then he realized he was in fact alive, and that he could fight his way out from under the rubble. And so he did. On coming to the surface, the site which greeted him was horrific, but his security training kicked in, and he started to run down the street. The buildings for several blocks had been damaged, so he ran and ran until he found a storefront with a working phone. Then he made two calls. The first was to his mother. “There’s been a bombing, but I’m alive!” he shouted into the receiver (not sure anyone had even picked up the phone on the other end). Next he placed a call to his boss in Israel. Here again, he waited what seemed like a reasonable amount of time to allow the call to connect then shouted into the phone: “Our embassy in Buenos Argentina has been bombed! You must send a team!” Anyone familiar with the Argentine government and law enforcement, Nisembaum explained, would immediately understand that any investigation they led was bound to be compromised in some fashion. He then ran back to the site to assist with recovery operations. Also destroyed in the bombing that day were a Catholic church and a nearby school building. When all was tallied up: 29 people were killed (four were Israelis, but most were Argentine civilians, many of them children); and 242 were wounded. It was Argentina’s deadliest terror attack until the 1994 bombing of the AMIA (Jewish Federation) building, and it remains the deadliest attack on an Israeli diplomatic mission. Left to stand in memory of the victims of the 1992 bombing is a “ghost” of

10 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

Amy Zelenka, Stephanie Calliott, Don London, Ilana Benson, Michelle Mahoney, Joan Joffe, Mark Gonsenhauser, Victor Nisembaum, Nathan Benson, Charlene Cohen, David Cohen, Leslie Siegel, Larry Siegel, Maggie Erickson, David Maizel, Honey Maizel, and Eric Joffe.

the embassy—an outline of the original building on what had been a neighboring building. Where the embassy had stood now stands a plaza with trees and benches —a rare peaceful spot in the midst of a bustling city neighborhood. On the wall is a plaque with the victims’ names. After sharing his story with the group, Nisembaum showed them a commemorative book, which had been printed on the 23rd anniversary of the bombing and given to the survivors and families of the victims. The book depicted “then and now” photos. It was heart-wrenching to see the faces of those whose lives were lost in the bombing—and to comprehend the vast potential for good which went with them —but it was incredibly inspiring to see Nisembaum’s own pages, which showed a strapping young security officer, uniform covered in dust and eyes haunted by the experience; then a facing photo of an older Nisembaum, now married with multiple children on his lap—a victim no longer. Today, he is a survivor with a story to tell and a father with a gaggle of children about which to kvell. Next stop.… The “new” AMIA building in Buenos Aires.

Educator Dan Gait, with former Israel Embassy Security Guard Victor Nissembaum. Nissembaum shared his personal story with the group.

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Standing Together in Tidewater

uphold our highest ideals and values as a community, Commonwealth, and country.” In his remarks, Rabbi Israel Zoberman said, “Diversity, my friends, is divine. “We all stand together in the arc of survival.” Standing Together, not just a one-time event in Tidewater, includes an online pledge where the community can show

their commitment to stand together, educational resources on the diverse groups that comprise the U.S.A., a social media campaign encouraging everyone to #StandTogether, and more. A full page advertisement in The Virginian-Pilot with the pledge was signed by 140 community leaders and groups. Visit http://www.inclusiveva.org/standing-together-hr/ to sign the pledge and learn how to get involved with this initiative. “It was a privilege, but also a sacred responsibility, to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters. As Jews, we have known historic persecution and, so, are reminded 36 times in the Torah to “Remember the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt.” In practical terms, we are commanded that anytime our neighbor bleeds we cannot stand idly by. Our neighbors are bleeding. If we, who have been in their place before, do not act, who will?” says Rabbi Roz Mandelberg. “I attended the Standing Together event because the Jewish community needed to be represented at a gathering in protest of ethnic and religious intolerance and in support of making Hampton Roads a place where people can show their humanity and co-exist,” says Jay Klebanoff, president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. “Jews are no strangers to persecution based on belief and appearance. It was heart-warming and encouraging to join together in a setting where friendship and respect prevailed,” he says.

Imam Vernon Fareed, Jagadish Singh, and Barry and Lois Einhorn.

Nishan Singh Sidhu of Guru Nanak Foundation of Tidewater.


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A crowd of more than 200 attend Standing Together. by Robin Mancoll


n response to increasing Islamophobia, xenophobia, and divisive rhetoric, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Standing Together event on Sunday, Jan. 24 at the Slover Library, did exactly what it set out to do. The afternoon event with more than 200 people brought together a diverse group to speak out and stand with the Muslim community and others who are marginalized. Featuring a clergy press conference and interfaith panel discussion, people came from many different faiths to share a message of unity during turbulent times. Speakers included faith leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Presbyterian Church (USA), and Hindu communities. Jonathan Zur, president & CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, led the efforts for the initiative in Tidewater. “It was so meaningful to see over 200 people gathered in support of Standing Together. As we noted in the pledge that was read at the end of the program, all of us are at risk when one group is unjustly targeted. I hope that Standing Together remains an initiative that brings diverse groups together to

12 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org


Cooking Eating Supplement to Jewish News February 8, 2016

Cooking & Eating Dear Readers, From bagels to bourbon and literally everything in between, and before and after, food always seems to figure into everything Jewish. Have you ever heard of a Simcha without a meal? Or a Shiva home without a

Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email news@ujft.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader

spread? How about a celebration without a reservation? Or a trip without a meal destination? This section hosts a variety of fun, mostly light pieces that feature, of course, food. For example, just in time for Spring Break, we offer an article about eating

Jay Klebanoff, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President www.jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper.

kosher in Orlando at the Disney parks. Yes, it’s possible! We’ve got news about a new invention out of Israel that promises to “prepare mess-free, all-natural, healthy food in just

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seconds.” It sounds a bit like Star Trek, but who knows, its creators are hoping it helps solve world hunger. Russ & Daughters is expanding in Brooklyn and Burger King

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is back in Israel. Plus, we have a tempting recipe for apricot-infused bourbon ahead of Purim. Yum. We hope you enjoy this section and when making reservations or planning

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Cooking & Eating For Orlando vacations, kosher food easy to find at Disney by Uriel Heilman

ORLANDO, Fla. ( JTA)—As any religiously observant Jew knows, going on vacation can take a lot of work. Aside from the customary preparations, there are the added complications of organizing kosher food and Shabbat logistics. Many kosher tourists spend days before trips precooking meals to freeze and bring along, to say nothing of figuring out once at their destination how to heat food on Shabbat and avoid using electronic hotel key cards. So when my editor heard about a new kosher kitchen opening at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in this central Florida city, and asked me if I’d be willing to fly to the warmer climes in mid-January to write about doing a kosher vacation in Disney town— sans pre-cooking—it didn’t take much persuading. I had gone on assignment to Gaza, rural Ethiopia and eastern Ukraine. Yeah, I figured I could handle Orlando with the kids in tow. Here’s what I found:

don’t have a kosher kitchen at all. Instead, they temporarily kosherize their regular kitchens, which afterward revert to non-kosher. That’s what the Rosen Plaza Hotel here used to do until its founder and president, Harris Rosen, decided a year ago he wanted a permanent kosher kitchen. After months of construction and consulting on kosher specifications with the O.U. and the Rabbinate of Central Florida, the hotel technically has three: meat, dairy and pareve. Open all year, Zayde’s Kosher Kitchen allows guests to order even a single meal to eat in any of the hotel’s restaurants or their room. The hotel also offers freshly made $10 packaged meals in the lobby mini-market, such as pastrami, egg salad sandwiches and tuna wraps. “Our main and primary goal was to open up the door for the kosher traveler so they did not have to eat out of their suitcase anymore,” says Keith Keiser, director of sales and catering at Rosen Plaza. “Our goal is to have a luxury kosher product.” When I dialed room service on a recent Thursday to put in my Shabbat order (Sabbath meals require 24-hour advance notice), I was the hotel’s first kosher room-service order. The food wasn’t just fresh and good—we had the Asian chicken salad ($22), pan-seared chicken breast wrapped in turkey pastrami ($35) and roast beef in Cabernet reduction with potatoes ($45)—but super convenient. Instead of spending Friday afternoon at the supermarket and trying to make


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Zayde’s Kosher Kitchen at the Rosen Plaza Hotel The new $2 million, 5,000-square-foot kosher kitchen that opened in mid-January at the Rosen Plaza Hotel is the first of its kind in America, according to Rabbi Leonard Steinberg of the Orthodox Union’s kosher division. A few other U.S. hotels have kosher kitchens, but they are typically used only for special events or Jewish holidays. In fact, most hotels that host kosher events

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a salad with plastic utensils to serve in the ice bucket, we hung out poolside. On Saturday, there was a prayer minyan in the hotel, and that evening we joined some Israelis we had met for light kosher fare at Café Matisse, the ground-floor restaurant with kosher options. When my kids got hungry on Shabbat afternoon, I was able to grab some kosher grub at the quick mart in the lobby without using cash. Rosen Plaza hopes to make its money not just from kosher travelers like me (full disclosure: the hotel hosted me, so I didn’t

pay anything), but from Jewish conventions and events. The hotel is connected by sky bridge to the Orange County Convention Center. Kosher at the parks Kosher travelers going to most of Orlando’s theme parks—isn’t that why you’re here?— are going to have to pack a lunch. That’s true for Legoland, Sea World and even the Holy Land Experience. (Despite its name, the Yom Kippur Plate is definitely NOT kosher. Neither is the park, for that matter.) continued on page 16

jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 15




Cooking & Eating

continued from page 15

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One notable exception is Disney World, where you can order kosher food at most of the entertainment complex’s on-site restaurants. There are, however, a couple of catches. One, you need to order meals at least 48 hours in advance (Disney’s website wrongly suggests 24 hours is sufficient). Two, if you want a reservation around dinnertime rather than 4 p.m. or 10 p.m. (the slots I was offered), you’re best off reserving weeks in advance—Disney takes reservations as early as 180 days out; call (407) 939-3463. Finally, kosher menu options will be limited. Depending on where you snag a spot, some restaurants may have more dishes than others. When we made reservations at the Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom, for example, the kosher menu included a variety of dairy or meat entrees, including glazed chicken breast, salmon,

lasagna or pizza. The kids menu had mac & cheese, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. At fixed-price eateries, the price for dinner was $35 for adults and $19 for children. At restaurants with a la carte menus, entrees ranged from $20 to $25 for adults and $8.50 to $11 for children. Kosher desserts such as apple strudel and chocolate layer cake can be ordered, but no need to waste your money: Disney’s own snacks and candy will do just fine. Don’t be worried by the side-by-side dairy and meat (a kosher no-no). Everything comes prepackaged like airline meals, prepared outside the park by Webermans Traditional Foods, a glatt kosher caterer with OK Kosher certification. Quality aside, it’s a real treat having a hot kosher meal at Disney. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can dine at the very spot where (I’m told) Lady and the Tramp shared their first kiss.

Join the Business & Legal Society and Maimonides Society of UJFT for an exquisite kosher wine tasting experience.

The liqueur-making Jews of Curaco by Leah Falk

from Around the World Sunday, February 21, 2016 4:00-7:00pm Holiday Inn North Beach 3900 Atlantic Avenue,Virginia Beach $18 per person Kosher hors d’oeuvres will be served Spouses and significant others welcome

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Samantha Golden at 757-965-6124 or sgolden@ujft.org.

16 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

(Jewniverse via JTA)—The oldest continually active Jewish congregation in the Americas? Hint: Check your margarita glass. Congregation Mikve Israel Emmanuel in Curacao, home of the liqueur of the same name, holds the honor, having served the island’s Jewish community since roughly 1654. The wheels of the community were put in motion by Jaoa d’Yllan, a Portuguese Jew by way of Amsterdam who petitioned the Dutch West India Company to send a group of settlers to the island. Most were Amsterdam Jews who had fled the Iberian Peninsula in the aftershocks of the Portuguese Inquisition. The synagogue was called “Mikve Israel,” meaning “the gathering of Israel,” for the aspiration

that the Jewish settlers would redeem the island as a Dutch possession by making it a lucrative nexus of trade. If Curacao’s first Jews were born European, they quickly acculturated as Caribbean. They joined Simon Bolivar’s fight for Venezuelan and Colombian independence, and they soon spoke the Portuguese creole, Papiamentu, as a lingua franca. Today, Mikve Israel plays host to a stream of Jewish tourists, but its own community is fragile: Jews number 350 on an island of 153,000. But Jews still play a role in manufacturing and trade, including the making of that key ingredient of your ice-cold marg. We’ll drink to that. —Leah Falk earned an MFA from the University of Michigan, and has written for Haaretz, The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Jewish Daily Forward.)

Cooking & Eating Could an Israeli invention end cooking as we know it? by Julie Wiener

(JTA)—Plenty of mobile apps help consumers order meals for delivery or offer recipes. But a new app developed by Israeli entrepreneurs will actually prepare the food for you on your kitchen counter. While not quite as fantastical as it sounds—to use the app you also need a coffeem a ker-si zed appliance called The Genie—the invention promises to prepare messfree, all-natural, healthy food in just seconds. Described by one writer as “like a Keurig [coffeemaker] for food,” the device, which looks sort of like a fancy rice cooker, uses Keurig-like single-serving, disposable (but in this case recyclable) pods. Genie creators Ayelet Carasso and Doron Marco told Reuters the food in the pods will be nutritious and free of preservatives, the ingredients kept fresh simply through freeze-drying technology. “The dish can be anything, it can be a meal like chicken with rice, like couscous with vegetable or an amazing Ramen or even a chocolate soufflé or any other desert that you want,” Carasso told Reuters. (The product does not appear to have its own website yet, nor is it featured on the site of Marco and Carasso’s White Innovation company.) While not yet available commercially, at least not to individual consumers, the Genie, expected to cost several hundred dollars, is preparing for mass production

and distribution. The meal pods will be “priced so they are comparable to a meal, snack or dessert,” Reuters reported. The Genie’s creators say it could also help solve global hunger. “In our world, we are getting fat and we are throwing away a lot of food, in their world, they don’t have any food,” Marco told Reuters. “So if you use Genie, you can distribute the food better, you can have the shelf life much longer without the preservatives, give the people better food for them.” The G enie also brings to mind another revolutionary Israeli kitchen appliance: SodaStream soft-drink makers. Let’s hope The Genie manages to avoid the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions problems that hit SodaStream—keeping production out of West Bank settlements or Bedouin areas would help. One thing that remains unclear from the coverage so far is what the cooked product looks like: Promotional materials show beautifully plated meals, but from what I could see on the Reuters video, the food comes in the form of mush and is served up, Cup-o’-Noodles style, in a cardboard container. Which makes me think of the chewing-gum meal in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that tastes great, but turns Violet Beauregarde into a giant blueberry. More importantly, if SodaStream chose Scarlett Johansson as its celebrity spokeswoman, who will The Genie choose? I’m rooting for Natalie Portman.


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Cooking & Eating Lower East Side icon Russ & Daughters expanding to Brooklyn

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NEW YORK ( JTA)—An iconic family-owned Jewish appetizing shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is opening a second retail location, in Brooklyn. Russ & Daughters, which has sold smoked fish and other Ashkenazi favorites from a small Houston Street shop since 1920, is opening a 14,000-square-feet store in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Bedford & Bowery blog reported. In addition to the planned new retail location, which is expected to add 30 jobs and a new bakery, Russ & Daughters in 2014 opened a cafe on the Lower East Side and will be opening a second one in The Jewish Museum. The shop’s former owner, Mark Russ Federman, published a

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cookbook in 2013 called Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House that Herring Built. The new store will be part of a new 60,000-square-foot food hall in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 77, which is undergoing an $80 million renovation, according to Bedford & Bowery. Russ & Daughters’ expansion to Brooklyn comes a year after another iconic Lower East Side Jewish food establishment, Streit’s Matzo Factory, sold its building in the gentrified neighborhood and moved operations to New Jersey. It is not clear whether Russ & Daughters’ new location will supplement or ultimately replace the Lower East Side shop.

JERUSALEM ( JTA)—After a six-year absence, Burger King is reopening in Israel. The first Burger King franchise since 2010 opened this month in Tel Aviv. Fifty branches are expected to open in the next five years at an initial investment of about $12 million, the Israeli business newspaper Globes reported. French businessman Pierre Besnainou and a group of investors own the rights to the new franchise. Besnainou is already invested in other Israeli businesses, including the Carmel Winery. The new Tel Aviv Burger King will not be kosher. Burger King originally entered the Israeli market in 1993. Its 55 franchises in Israel shut down in the summer of 2010; most reopened as the Israeli franchise Burger Ranch. Starbucks, Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are other American franchises that did not make it in Israel.

Cooking & Eating Apricot-infused bourbon for Purim

The Nosher via JTA—Hamantaschen get all the Purim glory, and rightfully so. These soft triangular cookies can be filled with anything from the traditional apricot, poppy seed or prune to non-traditional varieties like chocolate or Speculoos. The only limits are your imagination and your oven space. While the children are noshing on hamantaschen and dressing up in their Purim finest, the adults get to play with another tradition. I’m talking, of course, about the boozing. It’s famously (and controversially) a mitzvah to drink on Purim to the point that one cannot tell the difference between the evil Haman or hero Mordechai. You don’t have to tell me twice. But what to drink? Inspired by the classic apricot hamantaschen, I infused bourbon with apricots, then poured the finished product over ice in a poppy seed-rimmed glass. You can also get creative with the finished bourbon. Maybe make a bourbon caramel to drizzle over hamantaschen, or an apricot hot toddy? As a bonus, this recipe also makes boozy apricots, which I recommend eating straight from the jar or serving over vanilla ice cream. Not a bourbon fan? You can substitute vodka or gin, and mix the final product with a splash of pomegranate juice to take the edge off.

MEDITERRANEAN SALAD greens, shrimp, artichoke, mushrooms, radishes, feta, pepperoncini, sardine, white anchovy, beets, tomato, cucumber, chickpeas, egg, fresh herbs, red wine.

APRICOT-INFUSED BOURBON FOR PURIM Ingredients 1½ cups dried apricots, halved the long way   (they stay pretty that way) 2 cups good quality bourbon (I used Bulleit) ½ cup dark brown sugar  (more or less depending on how sweet you want it) 4 cinnamon sticks Corn syrup Poppy seeds Preparation Put the apricots on the bottom of a mason jar and pour in the bourbon along with the brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Close the lid tightly and shake to mix up. Let rest in a dark, cool place for 4–7 days, shaking daily to mix flavors. I let mine infuse for a full week; the longer you wait the stronger the flavor will be. Strain the bourbon and serve over ice. To line the jar’s rim, dip in corn syrup and then rip in poppy seeds (before filling with liquor!). Store the infused bourbon in a cool, dark place and refrigerate leftover infused apricots in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Note: The apricots will absorb some of the bourbon, so the yield will be less than 2 cups. You can easily double this recipe. I recommend it!

jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 19


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Oh frog-et about it! 4th Annual Community Relations Council Israel Poster Contest is going to be wild!

Danny Kline President

Andy Kline CEO

by Gaby Grune


piders and raptors and frogs, oh my! Those words are not the synopsis of a play starring arachnids, birds, and amphibians, but a few details from the list of Cool Facts about Israel 2016 Edition for the Community Relations Council’s 4th Annual Israel Poster Contest. Since 2012, UJFT’s Community Relations Council has called Tidewater students, grades 1-12, to create original works of art inspired by the many developments and discoveries recently born out of Israel. This year’s list of ‘interesting factoids’ about Israel encompass a wide range of topics, including: cultural, social, medical, political, technological, and environmental. In the environmental category, consider: • Israeli researchers have discovered that the once believed to be extinct, Hula painted frog, has been found alive and jumping in the Hula Valley. • The Israeli startup company, BioBee, has managed to ship 600 million spiders to Colombia in hopes of assisting the South American country in using natural alternatives to pesticides such as living insects. • Israel happens to have the world’s largest raptor migration. That’s right, hundreds of millions of birds migrate across

All Services. All Local. Payroll, Taxes and W-2s • ACA Compliance and Reporting Web Based Time and Attendance • NCS Background Checks Employee Loans • Pay As You Go Workers Comp Insurance • HR Support Center Employee Self Service Online • Merchant Services • VISA Debit Payday Cards

Rena Lewin, Shifra Chana Harpaz, Minna Haber, Rivka Shoenfeld, Mushky Brashevitzky (2015 winner), Shirel Suissa, Shaina Lefkovitz, and Pesha Shereshevsky.

Israel each year. A complete list of facts for inspiration may be found at: www.JewishVA.org/ CRCIsraelPosterContest. The winning poster with the most votes will be announced in May. The winner will have their poster professionally framed and it will hang permanently on the Sandler Family Campus. Plus, on Sunday, June 5 at the Israel Festival, attendees will receive a copy of the winning poster. For more information visit www. JewishVA.org/CRCIsraelPosterContest or email ggrune@ujft.org.

Contact us today at 757-523-0605 or www.paydaypayroll.com ,

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Staff Orientation: June 13 - 17 Camp JCC: June 20 - August 12 Post Camp: August 15 - September 2

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• Counselors (HS grads, min.) • Junior Counselors (Rising HS junior, min.) • Specialists (full & part-time): Sports, Music, and Arts • Special Needs Counselors • Lead Counselors • Camp Nurse

Contest Rules


tudents and teachers can find a list of cool facts about Israel at www.JewishVA.org/

CRCIsraelPosterContest. Each student should choose one fact from the list to serve

as the theme of his or her poster. The fact should be clearly stated on the front of the poster. Posters are to be submitted on 8.5" by 11" paper and are to be hand drawn (not computer generated) only using pencil, crayon, marker, or 2-D art. Names should

Summer camp JCC offers a rich and unique day camp experience, allowing every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills and form meaningful relationships. Staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. Positions available for experienced counselors, unit head lead counselors, part time and first time counselors. All camp personnel have a background check and participate in an extensive mandatory orientation program. EOE

not be visible on the front of the poster, but must be included along with age, grade, school, email address and phone number on the back. The deadline for submissions is

For more information, contact:

Erika Eskanazi, Children, Family and Camp Assistant Director (757) 321-2342 Taffy Hunter, Human Resource Director (757) 965-6117

Monday, Feb. 29 at 4:30 pm. Submissions may be dropped off in person at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater office located on the second floor of the Sandler Family Campus, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach.

Submit completed application to: Applications available at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org

Simon Family JCC

Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462

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Don't wait! Applications accepted TODAY! jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 21

it’s a wrap Temple Israel continues tradition of volunteering on Christmas


n December, the local Jewish community continued its 20-year tradition of bringing good cheer—and good food—to needy people on Christmas. Nineteen people cooked and served dinner to homeless families at Haven House, a shelter operated by ForKids in Norfolk. The tradition began in the early ‘90s, according to Lois Einhorn, the longtime coordinator of the Christmas project. It was launched as Project Ahavah by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, which solicited Jewish volunteers to provide Christmas dinner to area homeless and needy people. Early on, volunteers served at the Queen Street Baptist Church in downtown Norfolk. A few years later, the federation asked them to help at The Dwelling Place in Norfolk. Since the closing of the Dwelling Place, Jewish volunteers have helped ForKids during Christmas. Seventeen members of Temple Israel volunteered at Haven House this year: Wendy Brodsky, Lois and Barry Einhorn,

Ellie and Paul Lipkin, Ted Kruger, Jody Mazur and David Banyai, Nancy Tucker and Brandon Metheny, Beverlee and Cantor Larry Tiger and Jennifer Peters, and Mary Ann, Phil, Jacob and Benjamin Walzer. In addition, Beth Gross and Nancy Bangel, members of Congregation Beth El, provided desserts, as they have for many years. The holiday dinner consisted of turkey, sweet potato casserole, stuffing and roasted vegetables. The residents of Haven House also benefited from the expertise of the volunteers: David Banyai, a chef at the Town Point Club, cooked one of the turkeys, and Cantor Larry and Beverlee Tiger and Jennifer Peters serenaded them with Christmas carols. “Our Christmas-season humanitarianism is a testimonial to our American-Jewish identity. One of the benefits of the wise American policy of separation of Church and State is that people of different faith communities have the freedom to interact as equal partners in the public square, joining forces to mend the world,” says Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel.

BERS PACTivity on Tikkun Olam

Ohef Sholom’s Confirmation Class holds retreat at the beach


he Ohef Sholom Temple 2016 Confirmation Class held a one-day retreat in December at Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. Health Center at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. This annual event for the Confirmation Class was a meaningful and bonding experience for the 15 members who participated. Study topics included interactive and energetic discussions on the Jewish views on the value of life, what happens after death, and what makes a good leader —Israeli Army style. Confirmation Class faculty Rabbi Roz Mandelberg and Cantor Wally SchachetBriskin, along with Chris Kraus, director of Family Learning and Sarah Glaser, OST ninth grade Religious School teacher, led the activities. Educator Kitty Wolf provided support. The retreat began with a creative service held outside overlooking the ocean. Students formed a human sculpture, created a rhythmic, impromptu symphony of sound, and stretched in yoga positions. They also acted out the weekly Torah Portion, which involved Jacob’s sons “shoving” Joseph into a pit. From there the students participated in a values clarification exercise, where they explored what they would choose in an ethical dilemma

Ohef Sholom’s Confirmaton class participating in one of the many activities at their retreat.

and what Judaism says about their choices. Afternoon activities included a team-building event and an engaging art activity. After studying the colorful and witty technique of Israeli photo-illustrator Hanoch Piven, participants created self-portraits based on Piven’s style, mostly using everyday objects and miniatures of household items. A Havdalah service in the center’s meditation room concluded the retreat, wrapping up a full, enjoyable and learning-filled day.

by Sharon Wasserberg


busy day for the families and students at BERS (Beth El Religious School) took place on Sunday, Jan. 17. After a bagel breakfast and introduction to the day’s theme, K-5 students participated in a PACTivity (Parents And Children Together Activity) focusing on Tikkun Olam. At the same time, the sixth and seventh graders explored tallit and tefillin in a workshop led by Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz and Cantor Wendi Fried. Through a variety of hands-on and thought-provoking activities, families learned how Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, can take shape in many different ways. Of all the activities, the most fun was making blankets for “Blankets for the Homeless.”

Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center

Blankets for the homeless.

The sixth and seventh graders, and their parents familiarized themselves with the mitzvot of tallit and tefillin. Putting on tefillin becomes easier with experience and the rabbi and cantor helped participants feel comfortable with the process.

22 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

The Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center had a fun and interactive Tu B’Shevat Seder for their Pre-K students and families.

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If you are an ambitious, high-energy, self-starter with good people skills, this might be the job for you! The 2016 Super Sunday Steering Committee: Front Row: Nina Kruger, Allison Handler, Elka Mednick, Leah Abrams, Nicole Smith. Standing: Jeremy Krupnick, co-chair, Jasmine Amitay, Matt Kantro, Sam Sacks, Bern Glasser, Brandon Terkeltaub, co-chair. Not pictured: Ethan and Catherine Heben.

Super Sunday success


n “old-fashioned,” Jewish community Super Sunday phone-a-thon still works in 2016. The proof? The 80 volunteers who came to make phone calls and provide support on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. And the community members who answered their

phones and generously contributed to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater 2016 Annual Campaign. The day’s unofficial total, $109, 083, far exceeded expectations and the $100,000 goal. Look in the February 22 Jewish News for a complete wrap-up and more details.


Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, resumes@ujft.org or submit resume to

Jewish News

Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462

Employment Oppor tunity Assistant Director of Development

Win or lose, Beth El Men’s Club annual ODU Basketball game is a favorite tradition by Craig Schranz


ongregation Beth El’s Men’s Club’s 10th annual ODU basketball night took place on Thursday, Jan. 14. A VIP suite was the site for the evening of camaraderie, as family and friends of the Men’s Club enjoyed an exciting game watching Old Dominion University’s Men’s team play University of Alabama. Led by star guard Trey Freeman who finished with 28 points, ODU came back from an 11 point second half deficit to tie the game and push it to overtime. A tight game throughout, ODU finally succumbed in overtime to the UAB 72-71 to snap a 32-game home winning streak for the Monarchs. While the results were disappointing, it was a thrilling game and the experience was aided by a wonderful

Bob Lehman and Abraham Ashkenazi.

variety of food and beverage. The Annual Men’s Club ODU game is a favorite tradition of Beth El and is made possible by the generosity of Avraham and Patricia Ashkenzai.

The Simon Family Jewish Community Center seeks applications and recommendations for the position of Assistant Director of Development. Responsibilities include developing a comprehensive fundraising plan that integrates myriad of campaigns, community outreach events and marketing plans in support of development activities or projects to successfully garner the funding needs of the JCC. The position will require an ambitious leader willing to work as an integral part of the UJFT/JCC joint development team; supporting the agency’s focus on building positive relationships with other institutions, cultivating corporate sponsorships and community outreach. The ideal candidate will possess strong interpersonal and listening skills, understand the mission of the SFJCC, bring a visionary zeal to the position and be an organized self-starter. A minimum of three- five years of successful experience working in an annual/capital campaign, nonprofit development and or a major gifts environment is preferred. Bachelor’s Degree is required. Knowledge of the Jewish community is helpful. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Complete job description at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: resumes@ujft.org Submit by mail to: Simon Family JCC Attention: Human Resources – Assistant Director of Development Search Committee 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462

Equal Employment Opportunity jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 23

what’s happening Olga Meshoe: Trailblazing Israel advocate from South Africa headed to Tidewater

Joe Fleischmann’s gift of computer knowledge Classes begin Monday, Feb. 15 by Leslie Shroyer


he Simon Family JCC was Joe Fleischmann’s home away from home. He knew everyone and spent at least a few full days a week at the JCC taking classes, exercising, eating lunch, and Joe Fleischmann being with friends. When he passed away last year at 89, his niece, Janet Gelman, wanted something left in his memory at the JCC. Fleischmann was very humble, and he wanted to give what he had back to the JCC. When he finally bought himself a computer, he donated it to the JCC, figuring he could use it there. It was from that computer that he emailed Gelman in New Jersey in his last years. Fleischmann needed help with the computer sometimes, and he got it from his friends at the JCC. “He would have wanted more seniors to be familiar with basic computer skills, so it’s for that reason that we looked into a

Six-week computer class for seniors Simon Family JCC Monday mornings, starting Feb. 15 beginner class 10 am, intermediate 11 am $30 for six classes—JCC members only Call 321-2338 to register

senior computer class,” says Gelman. The JCC Computer Lab and classes are being funded through the Joseph Fleishmann Memorial Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. Michel Newman, who has a computer science degree and is an active JCC member, will teach the classes. The beginner level will deal with simple applications of emailing and YouTube. The second level will deal with learning to use the search engine Google, and how to Skype. “I have an older father in Israel,” says Newman, “and we stay in regular touch. I want the same for older JCC members.” “My goal is to get the classes off the ground,” says Gelman. “To educate and enlighten people at the JCC—this would make my uncle proud.”

JCC Children’s Cultural Arts presents Puerto Rican Folk Tale Sunday, Feb. 21, 2:30 pm, Simon Family JCC.


he Horse of Many Colors, presented by the Simon Family JCC’s Children’s Cultural Arts Series, will captivate kids and amuse their parents. The story will be read and danced by a group from Todd Rosenlieb Dance and Virginia Ballet Theatre. The Puerto Rican folk tale is about a father and his three sons who discover that their crops are disappearing. The story will be read first and then performed as a modern dance piece. Children will be asked to watch for movement motifs from the story, which they will be able to replicate at the end with dancers. “Children will feel and understand the story being told through expression,

March 2, 7:30 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus

movement, body language and musical phrasing,” says Todd Rosenlieb, company director. “Because we explore the story first, the kids will be enchanted, and it’s as entertaining for adults as it is for children.” Ticket cost: Family Ticket (two adults and children), $27, $22 for JCC members; Adult Ticket (Ages 11 and up) $8, $6 for members; Child Ticket (Ages 10 and under) $6, $4 for members.

24 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

Olga Meshoe by Gaby Grune

“Dynamism, eloquence, energy and power,” are just a few words The Times of Israel’s blogger, Howard Feldman, uses to describe Olga Meshoe. The next speaker in the 5th Annual CRC Israel Today series, Meshoe is the empowered daughter of a Reverend, proud native of South Africa, pioneering cofounder and COO of her own organization, and self motivated workaholic. The organization she cofounded fights against the Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that protests all things Israel. The Israel Today series is presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partners. A bright and passionate attorney, arts enthusiast, reliable consultant, and ardent Zionist, Meshoe coined her organization Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel, or DEISI. DEISI is pronounced daisy, as in pushing up the daisies, or more appropriately “laying to rest” the notions brought forth by BDS and other anti-Israel movements that declare Israel an apartheid state. Meshoe grew up in South Africa and knows what it is to suffer the evils of apartheid. After visiting Israel’s Yad Vashem in

2014, she said, “We know what apartheid was, because we still suffer from the scars of it and my parents were directly impacted.… How in the world seeing what we see, knowing what we know, and being educated as to truth, can we say Israel is an apartheid State?” The inspiration for DEISI came from Meshoe’s father Kenneth Meshoe, president of the African Christian Democratic party. During a speaking tour in 2013 he witnessed the strength that the BDS movement had accrued among communities in Canada. Kenneth Meshoe was so upset after witnessing BDS in action, that he returned home prepared to properly educate South Africans about Israel. He knew the best support Israel could acquire was from people who understood and experienced apartheid atrocities and he felt it was his duty to help. DEISI educates young African Americans about the history of Israel, as well as provides trips to the Jewish State. These trips provide the students an opportunity to see for themselves exactly why Israel is not an apartheid state. On their visit, DEISI students learn Israeli history, as well as witness modern day Israeli life, inventions and achievements. Meshoe is adamant about what South Africa could learn from Israel’s technological, medical, and agricultural innovations. Feldman says, “She believes that real transformation in South Africa can come about through working with Israel.” According to Feldman, “Meshoe is someone who gave hope to the South African Jewish community when they needed it most,” referring to the conflicts in Gaza during the summer of 2014. Meshoe has a lot to share with Tidewater about her experiences, knowledge, and passion regarding Israel advocacy. For more details, or to RSVP (required) visit www.JewishVA.org/CRCIsraelToday or call 757-965-6107.

what’s happening Cookies for the troops—calling all hamantaschen bakers Sunday, March 6, 11 am—2 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus


e c r u it m e n t has begun and enlistment is open for the annual community baking effort known as Operation Hamantaschen. Volunteers are needed to help roll, fill, pinch, bake, and box the triangular-shaped traditional cookies associated with the Jewish festival of Purim. While a few of the cookies may slip into the mouths of hungry “quality control” assistants, the goal is to send the goodies to Jewish members of the military deployed or stationed on U.S. bases. Boxes will be shipped in time for recipients to enjoy the cookies on or before Purim, March 23–24. “Living in a military community, we are so mindful of the sacrifices they have to make,” says Stephanie Steerman, chair of this year’s event. “For our Jewish troops, the least we can do is give them a little taste of home by baking them hamantaschen.” The free event is organized by the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon

Family JCC Department of Children and Family. Last year, more than 150 people participated, baking and packaging about 2,000 cookies, which are also shared with Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s food pantries. “Making hamentaschen together with parents and friends is an important part of creating a meaningful Jewish experience for children of all ages—even toddlers,” says Alicia Cohen Kraus, JCC’s director of Children and Family programs. “Operation Hamentaschen allows families to get a jump start of fulfilling the mitzvah (positive commandment) of mishloach manot, sending gifts, one of the four mitzvot associated with the celebration of Purim.” In addition to baking, volunteers are needed to decorate the boxes cookies are shipped in and to write letters of encouragement and appreciation to military members. Visit JewishVA.org/OH to RSVP or call 757-321-2323 for more information. RSVPs are requested to ensure sufficient supplies and childcare staff.

Alvin Wall to be honored by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities


Thursday, April 7, reception at 5:45 pm, program and dinner at 6:30 pm

any times a man’s deeds have to be stretched to fit the award. However, in the case of Alvin Wall’s selection by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities as a recipient of its 2016 Humanitarian Award, this award had to be stretched to encompass the man’s deeds. The event will take place at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is a venerable organization whose mission is to “Achieve Success through Inclusion.” It works with schools, businesses and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity and enhance local trust. The Humanitarian Awards Dinner honors individuals who have identified a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Since moving to Tidewater in 1981, Wall has been involved with many non-profits. He is a past president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and its current treasurer. He is the past chair and serves on

Simon Family JCC hosts ultimate Commit to be Fit competition

Young Adult Division plans Vegas-style party for Purim 2016 Saturday, March 19, 8 pm, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus


ights, glitz, glamour, and an evening of joyous merrymaking are planned for the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2016 Purim party. What Happens at Purim Stays at Purim is the theme of this year’s bash. This event is designed for Jewish professionals, students, singles, and couples, ages 22–45. The party features live entertainment from the popular area band Cheap Thrills, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, gourmet desserts, gaming tables, and at least one Elvis, if not several. Costumes or cocktail attire are encouraged, say party co-chairs Ashley Zittrain and Callah Terkeltaub. Dressing up is part of the traditional observation of Purim,

a festival celebrating the biblical story of good triumphing over evil. The co-chairs say a majority of the 200 attendees at last year’s Purim party— Purimpalooza—came dressed in unique attire, individually and in groups. They expect even more creativity this year, and also anticipate a larger crowd for the event, which is sponsored by Tidewater Home Funding. “Last year’s party was such a success and everyone had such an incredible time, that people have already started planning what they’re going to wear this year, and are getting their friends involved early,” says Zittrain. Those who have lived in or visited Israel during Purim know it is a huge

the Sandler Family Campus governing committee and is vice chair of the Alvin Wall Tidewater Jewish Foundation and is chairman of its grants committee. It is safe to say that Wall’s service to the community has made the raising and allocation of funds a process that has benefited all the agencies and people it serves in Tidewater, Israel and around the globe. Wall serves on the board of the United Way of South Hampton Roads and is immediate past chairman of the United Way Foundation. He is also chairman of the finance committee and member of the board of trustees at WestminsterCanterbury on Chesapeake Bay. In addition, he is a member of the Towne Bank Norfolk advisory board and the treasurer and board member at Bayville Golf Club. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Tidewater Jewish Foundation are organizing tables for the event. To attend, and sit at a UJFT-TJF table, call or e-mail Samantha Golden at 965-6124 or Sgolden@UJFT.org.

nation-wide celebration where costumes and street parties are common, and that everyone gets involved—young and old, religious and secular. In parts of the United States, Purim is right up there with Mardi Gras in New Orleans or St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, Zittrain says. While YAD’s Purim party may not be as big as those celebrations yet, it is the largest social event of the year for young Jewish adults in Tidewater, and is already raising the stakes for future parties. Tickets for What Happens at Purim Stays at Purim are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Visit www.JewishVA.org/purimparty to see photos from last year’s party, reserve tickets, and get more information.


he Simon Family JCC has some extra motivation for members who want to meet their fitness goals this Spring —money. From March 1 through April 26, members can compete to win a $100 grand prize. The competition boasts four categories, split by gender and age, with four grand prizes. Members earn points for participating in classes, completing workouts, attending nutrition seminars, and losing weight and inches. “It’s not all about losing weight. We really want our members to form new habits and focus on fitness,” says Sharon Giannelli, Wellness director. Interested? Stop by the Simon Family JCC and talk to a trainer.

jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 25

what’s happening


Wine Tasting for UJFT’s Business & Legal and Maimonides Societies


Sunday, Feb. 21

assover will be here soon, and the Jewish business, legal and medical professionals of Tidewater will be ready. At least, they will be ready to fill their four cups at the Seder with a selection of delicious kosher wines from around the world. The Business & Legal Society and Maimonides Society of UJFT will host an exquisite wine-tasting at the Holiday Inn North Beach at the Oceanfront. Society members, prospective members, spouses and significant others will learn from professional sommelier, Crystal Cameron, of Crystal Palate, taste an impressive assortment of kosher wines, enjoy kosher hors d’oeuvres and mingle with fellow Jewish professionals from the Tidewater community as the sun goes down. Last summer, UJFT’s Business & Legal and Maimonides Societies came together for a similar, more casual afternoon of wine

tasting and kosher pairings at the home of members Gary and Jessica Kell. The event was a major success. Now, this highly anticipated second wine tasting experience expects to attract double the attendance from last summer and promises a delightful evening of friends, food and wine not to be missed. Business, legal or medical Jewish professional who would like to attend, should contact Samantha Golden at sgolden@ ujft.org or 757-965-6124. For more information about the UJFT’ societies, contact Alex Pomerantz at apomerantz@ujft.org or 757-965-6136.

Sunday, Feb. 14, 3 pm, Norfolk Collegiate, free performance ationally acclaimed baritone David Krohn will perform at Norfolk Collegiate School as the second speaker in the Bill & Betty Jones Humanities Speaker Series, Politics, Stage & Silver Screen: 400 Years Since Shakespeare David Krohn series. A 2002 Norfolk Collegiate alumnus, Krohn will present “If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On—Songs and Arias Inspired by the Great Bard.” In a performance composed by Krohn specifically for the series, he will take guests on a musical voyage through the life and works of William Shakespeare. “I’ve fashioned it into four distinctive sections and an encore,” says Krohn. “First, (audience members will enjoy) a gorgeous Renaissance-style setting of Duke Orsino’s great monologue that starts Twelfth Night. Then, we’ll move into two monologues from Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, each in two contrasting settings…,

Tamar Goodman, “The Jewish Jordan” speaks at the Simon Family JCC. 1:30 pm. This is the first speaker in the 2016 Simon Family JCC Celebrate Israel Series. FEBRUARY 17, WEDNESDAY J.C.C. Seniors Club board meeting at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 pm, general meeting, 12:45 pm. Mardi Gras presented by Patsi Walton, JCC Seniors Club president. Will play games, have fun and all wear purple, gold or green. Lunch will be beans and rice, cole slaw and cake.

Norfolk Collegiate hosts nationally acclaimed baritone David Krohn


February 14, Sunday Brith Sholom will hold a Valentine’s dinner and dance at Beth Sholom Village at 5:30 pm. Entertainment by Paul Zimmerman. This will be a sweet evening and include a special gift for the ladies. $10 for members and $20 for guests. Payment must be received by Tuesday Feb. 9.

which will illuminate the imaginations of the composers that interpret his work. In the most ambitious section, I’ve taken four operatic treatments of great monologues from his plays and inserted Elton John’s blockbuster song from The Lion King, which is derived straight from Hamlet. The three Verdi arias are of special interest, because of the close love Verdi had for Shakespeare’s works.” Krohn’s 70-minute production will conclude with “two amazing songs by Cole Porter from Kiss me, Kate, which is derived from The Taming of the Shrew, especially the riotously funny Brush Up Your Shakespeare! to close.” A free reception follows the performance. Politics, Stage & Silver Screen presentations are free and open to the public. F0r more information, visit http://www.norfolkcollegiate. org/JonesSpeakerSeries. Norfolk Collegiate is located at 7336 Granby Street in Norfolk.

26 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

February 21, Sunday Wines from around the World presented by UJFT’s Maimonides Society and Business & Legal Society. An exquisite wine tasting experience, Kosher hors d’oeuvres will be served. Open to Society members, significant others, and prospective members only. 4–7 pm. Holiday Inn North Beach. Purim Carnival at Simon Family JCC presented by BINA HIgh School. 12–4 pm. Games, food, crafts, and lots of fun booths. February 23, Tuesday Alan Gross, former Cuban hostage and humanitarian aid worker, speaks as part of Old Dominion University’s President’s Lecture Series. Webb University Center. 7:30 pm. For more information, email sngyen@odu.edu. February 29, Monday The 4th Annual Israel Poster Contest sponsored by the CRC is underway. First through 12th graders are invited to participate. Submissions must be received by 4:30 pm on Monday, Feb. 29 and can be dropped off at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater office, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach. For more information, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate, at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. Contest details on page 21. March 2, Wednesday Olga Meshoe. One of the world’s most vocal supporters of investing in Israel and denying the claim that Israel is an apartheid state, Meshoe is a black South African, Christian, attorney, dancer and politician. She shares her story with thousands of people a year, and this year, with Tidewater. RSVP to hear from Meshoe at the CRC and community partner’s 5th Annual Israel Today series. 7:30 pm. For more information or to RSVP for this free and open to the community event, at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, visit www.JewishVa.org/ CRCIsraelToday or call 965-6107. See page 24. March 5, Saturday Israeli mentalist Eran Biderman. An evening of mystery for the second of the Celebrate Israel Series at the Simon Family JCC. 8 pm. Bar opens at 7pm. $10 members; $20 guests. Call 321-2338 or visit simonfamilyjcc cultural arts page for tickets. March 6, Sunday Operation Hamentaschen. 11 am–2 pm. Bring the family to bake hamentaschen (Purim cookies) to be distributed to troops stationed locally and overseas in time for Purim celebrations. Sandler Family Campus. Contact Alicia Cohen Kraus akraus@simonfamilyjcc.org 3212338. See page 25. March 19, Saturday YAD Purim party—Vegas style. The Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites 22–45-year-olds to: What happens at Purim Stays at Purim. 8 pm–12 am. Sandler Family Campus. Live music. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information: www.JewishVA.org/purimparty or email labrams@ujft.org. *of blessed memory Send submissions for calendar to news@ujft.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.

first person

Rebuilding homes and faith through Bridges by Zoe Siegel


’ve always been fascinated with Judaism because of the many layers of my faith that I see in various aspects of modern day life. With that strong presence, one of the most challenging opportunities we have today is to educate and learn from all types of spiritual and cultural communities. To gently paraphrase Deuteronomy, “So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” This applies directly to the work my generation must do. No one should feel lonely. In fact, it is our duty to make sure, to the extent we can, that everyone is welcomed because Judaism mandates that we empathize. And, I believe the best way we can make sure groups or individuals do not feel isolated is through open dialogue. We have to talk about the tough, awkward stuff, and discuss why we might feel misplaced in society at times. In January, I spent a week in Wimberly, Texas rebuilding homes, installing insulation, and fluffing trees from an incredibly damaging flood that hit on Memorial Day and then again on Halloween. The destruction was real and we had our work to do to help. For the past five years, Bridges: Muslim-Jewish Dialogue at NYU has sponsored a service trip. Bridges is a student-run organization seeking to bring

together Jewish and Muslim students to engage in constructive discussions about our faiths. Shanjida Chowdhury and Gavi Rubin serve as co-presidents. Every day we volunteered at a home, talking to the homeowner, building homes and friendships, and most importantly coming together for a common and productive cause. In both Judaism and Islam there is a focus on altruism and giving back to various communities. We were doing just that together. At night, the 22 of us had an assortment of conversations. Some were intense and beautiful with lots of tears, and some were refreshingly lighthearted and silly. This past year I have doubted my faith, my connection, my practices, and my role as a Jewish woman. I spoke about it some with my parents, but mostly kept it to myself, like a little sad secret. The love I had for Judaism was slowly disappearing and I needed to control it. One night in Bridges, we shared our faith stories. It was hard, but absolutely touching. I was able to share my doubts and my recent lack of connection to Judaism for the first time. As I grow up, I realize how scary this world truly is. And I am not easily frightened. We are fighting brutal wars, politicians are spewing hate, the climate is drastically worsening, terrorism is growing, and people are desperate for fundamental rights. Meanwhile,

I continue to doubt and question my faith and beliefs. Over the past year, I have lost some hope. At first, I thought that was supposed to happen when you read the news every day. Perhaps, that is true, but, I wanted to still see the light in the world. My intimate dilemma was received with open arms and some others felt comfortable enough to share their own hesitancy. It was the moment I needed to reaffirm my love for my faith and the people in it. I went into this trip knowing it would be really fun and great to meet new people from different backgrounds. What I did not know was how this trip would change my perspective and inspire me to be a woman of faith.  As usual for me, I learned more than expected. I grasped that I have another really cool area to study and learn. I have realized that Muslims and Jews had more similarities than differences and we are complicated, even though all young. We are thinkers, doubters, peacemakers, and lovers and people of faith. We care about one another like brothers and sisters because we are. We are the brothers and sisters of Islam and Judaism. This trip has given me a new knowledge and appreciation for Islam; I can honestly say standing up against Islamophobia has always been important to me, but now it is my calling. I have a handful of new

Zoe Siegel and Shanjida Chowdhury, co-president of Bridges.

Muslim friends that share every beautiful trait I look for in a person. For those of you that could not experience this with me, I hope you can look at your own implicit biases and realize, despite the media’s assumptions that we can live, work and love together. Judaism is the ideal place to see the light. Judaism is my beacon. I will continue to let it shine. —Zoe Siegel is a junior at NYU studying Global Public Health and Applied Psychology. She is a member of Ohef Sholom Temple.

WHO Knew? Golden Globes 2016: Son of Saul, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star claim trophies The Hungarian Holocaust movie Son of Saul and the star of the Jewy show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom, won Golden Globe Awards. Son of Saul won for best foreign film and Bloom was named best actress in a television series, musical or comedy when the awards were handed out Sunday, Jan. 10. Aaron Sorkin won in the best screenplay category for the film Steve Jobs. Bloom and Sorkin are Jewish. The televised ceremony included host Ricky Gervais roasting presenter Mel Gibson, who made anti-Semitic slurs to a

sheriff’s officer during a widely publicized DUI arrest in 2006. In Son of Saul, a film funded in part by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the character of Saul Auslander is a member of the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau who is forced to cremate the bodies of fellow prisoners gassed by the SS. In one corpse, Saul believes he recognizes his dead son. As the Sonderkommando men plan a rebellion, Saul vows to save the child’s corpse from the flames and find a rabbi to say Kaddish at a proper funeral.

Bloom, along with being the star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, is the creator of the CW series about a successful New York lawyer, Rebecca Bunch, who follows her summer camp ex-boyfriend to small-town California, even though he has a serious girlfriend. Rebecca’s Judaism is a major element of the show. Gibson was presenting for the best picture nominee Mad Max: Fury Road when he felt the wrath of Gervais, who also had insulted Gibson at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards ceremony. “A few years ago on this show I made a

joke about Mel Gibson getting a bit drunk and saying a few unsavory things,” Gervais said. “We’ve all done it. I wasn’t judging him, but now I find myself in the awkward position of having to introduce him again. Listen, I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us, and I blame NBC for this terrible situation. And Mel blames…well, we know who Mel blames.” Gibson later apologized for the anti-Semitic remarks he made to the police officer. Gervais ended the show by saying: “From myself and Mel Gibson, shalom.” (JTA)

jewishnewsva.org | February 8, 2016 | Jewish News | 27

obituaries Sidney L. Nusbaum, II Norfolk—Sidney L. Nusbaum, II, 90, died Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 in his home at Harbors Edge after a courageous battle with cancer. A Norfolk native he was the son of the late V.H. Nusbaum and Justine Lowenberg Nusbaum. Sid graduated from Maury High School, then served in the Army as a technician 4th grade at the headquarters battery, 33rd field artillery battalion, first division. He attended the University of Virginia on the G.I. Bill. Subsequently, he bought land, formed a corporation and built University Gardens Apartments in Charlottesville. Sid married Faith Wilkoff on her graduation day from Smith College. In 1946 he helped start S.L. Nusbaum and Co. Insurance Agency, and in 1948 started Ewing, Nusbaum, and Hutcheson, Real Estate and General Insurance. He and Faith moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1952 where he affiliated with his father-in-law’s insurance firm. Twenty-Five years later, he sold

the firm and returned to Norfolk. He and Faith restored the English basement of an 1845 historic landmark house on Bute Street and opened Family Tree Antiques. They sold 18th and 19th century American and English furniture and accessories and specialized in English Silver and Brass. While in Youngstown, Sid was active in many organizations. He worked with the Boy Scouts, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Butler Institute of American Art’s Friends of American Art (president), Youngstown Symphony Society (board member), YMCA Volunteer Service Bureau (finance chairman), Citizen’s Committee of the Children’s Services Board (county finance chairman), Jewish Family and Children’s Services board (chairman), and member of the Inter-Faith Task Force for public assistance reform in the state of Ohio. His affiliations with insurance organizations included the Youngstown Association

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of Insurance Agents (president) and the Ohio Association of Insurance Agents (trustee and chairman/member of various committees). He has been a trustee of the Hermitage Museum Foundation and has volunteered at the information desk at the Chrysler Museum. Sid and Faith traveled extensively. During the Youngstown years they made six Trans-Atlantic crossings by ship and traveled throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Russia. Later buying trips for the shop took them to England every year. Sid was a Masterpiece Society member of the Chrysler Museum of Art and a charter member of it’s Mowbray Arch Society. He was a member of the Hermitage Foundation Auxiliary and former Hermitage Foundation board member. He supported the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and WHRO Radio and TV. Sid is survived by his devoted daughter, Cynthia N. Katz and her husband, Stuart, who was like a son to him; his granddog, Penny; brother, Robert C. Nusbaum (Linda); cousin, Charles G. Nusbaum (Blanche); beloved nephews, cousins, their children, and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Faith W. Nusbaum; brother, V.H. Nusbaum, Jr., his wife, Nancy and son, Alan, and cousin, Bertram S. Nusbaum, Jr. and wife, Lois. A memorial service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple conducted by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg. Memorial donations to the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, The Hermitage Museum, WHRO, or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Rabbi Ronald Greenwald, former Nixon liaison to Jewish community Rabbi Ronald Greenwald, who worked to help free Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky and others, and served as President Richard Nixon’s liaison to the Jewish community, has died. Greenwald, of Monsey, N.Y., died Wednesday, Jan. 20 in his sleep while on vacation in Florida. He was 82. In helping to free Sharansky, Greenwald reportedly made 25 trips to East Germany in the 1970s and ‘80s. Sharansky, who was

released in 1986, now serves as the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Greenwald also worked to free political activist Lori Berenson, who was held in a Peruvian prison, and spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard. He was successful in negotiating the rescue of an Israeli citizen, Miron Markus, from Mozambique in 1978. He became active in politics in 1962, and worked on the New York gubernatorial campaign of Nelson Rockefeller, helping him win a large share of the Jewish vote for a Republican at the time. The Rockefeller campaign recommended Greenwald to the Nixon campaign, and he worked in the Jewish community for Nixon’s 1972 reelection. During the Watergate scandal, Greenwald contacted Democratic Jewish members of Congress, including Elizabeth Holtzman, Bella Abzug and Arlen Specter, working to convince them that impeaching the president would weaken the United States and, by extension, hurt Israel. In 1965, he founded the Camp Sternberg Orthodox Jewish summer camp for girls in the Catskill Mountains, which he continued to operate. He also ran the Monsey Academy for Girls. (JTA)

Pittsburgh chiropractor’s obituary wish: Dump Trump An obituary for a Jewish chiropractor asked those who mourn his death not to vote for Donald Trump in lieu of flowers. Jeffrey Cohen’s death notice, posted Wednesday, Jan. 20 on the Legacy.com website by the McCabe Bros. Funeral Homes, said the 70-year-old Pittsburgh man died unexpectedly at the home in suburban Squirrel Hill where he was raised. The notice said Cohen as a teenager worked at a Montana ranch and he “took pride in being the only Jewish cowboy that he knew of.” It said that from a slow start, his career led him to become known as a “chiropractor to the stars,” listing as clients Fred Rogers, the famed children’s television host known as Mr. Rogers; singer Liza Minnelli, and parody songwriter “Weird Al” Yankovic, as well as boxers, ballet dancers and players for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. He eventually opened a Manhattan practice in addition to his Pittsburgh practice.

obituaries “He was also a voracious teller of jokes of all kinds, especially dirty and groan-inducing ones,” the notice said. “He had a great smile and all his teeth were still his.” It concluded: “Jeffrey would ask that in lieu of flowers, please do not vote for Donald Trump,” but said that donations to a charity of one’s choice or a chiropractic educational foundation Cohen founded were also acceptable. Trump, a real estate magnate and reality TV star, is the front-runner in polls among Republicans vying to become the party’s presidential nominee in November. (JTA)

Abe Vigoda, known for ‘Barney Miller’ role NEW YORK (JTA)—Abe Vigoda, a Jewish actor best known for playing a cranky police detective in the 1970s sitcom Barney Miller, has died. Vigoda died Tuesday, Jan. 26 at his daughter’s home in Woodland Park, N.J., The Associated Press reported. He was 94. The cause of death was old age, according to his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs. (People magazine mistakenly reported that Vigoda had died in 1982.) “This man was never sick,” Fuchs told the AP. In addition to his role as Sgt. Philip K. Fish on Barney Miller, Vigoda is best known for playing mobster Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather. Although he was not Italian, Vigoda at times was mistaken for one. According to The Washington Post, Vigoda reported that during filming of The Godfather, some New York mafia members showed up on the set and “They kept looking at me, as if to say, ‘What family is he from?’” Vigoda also starred in Fish, a short-lived spinoff to Barney Miller. Born in Brooklyn, Vigoda was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He started acting as a teenager, attending the Theater School of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall. Vigoda worked steadily in theater and television for decades before gaining prominence with his roles in The Godfather and Barney Miller. According to the AP, Vigoda once said: “When I was a young man, I was told success had to come in my youth. I found this to be a myth. My experiences have taught me that if you deeply believe in what you are

doing, success can come at any age.”

David Stoliar, sole survivor of bombed ship fleeing Holocaust, is remembered David Stoliar, the only survivor of the Struma, an ill-fated ship that was carrying 800 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Romania, died in 2014, but his death was not widely or nationally reported. The New York Times reported last month that Stoliar’s death in 2014 received little attention outside of Oregon, where he lived. The Times had an obituary prepared before his death and published it on Sunday, Jan. 24. Stoliar died on May 1, 2014, at his longtime residence in Bend, Oregon. He was 91. He almost never spoke about the Struma incident, the Oregonian reported in its obituary from the time of his death. The Struma was barred from entering then-Palestine, held in Turkey for several months, then set adrift without power and torpedoed by a

Soviet submarine in the Black Sea in 1942. Stoliar eventually made it to Palestine and served as a member of the British Army’s Jewish Brigade in 1943, serving in Egypt and Libya. He also fought for Israel in the 1948 War of Independence. Stoliar worked in the oil industry, serving as an executive in Japan for 18 years, and later in shoe manufacturing. He moved to Oregon in 1971. He was born in 1922, in Chisinau, Romania. His father bought him a ticket on the Struma, an old cattle boat that had engine trouble. It sailed in December 1941 from a port on the Black Sea with nearly 800 Romanian, Bulgarian and Russian Jews, and very little food or water. The engines on the boat failed near Turkey, which towed it to port, where it remained while Turkish officials debated its fate. Britain would not allow the passengers to enter Palestine. Ultimately the boat was towed back to the Black Sea and left to drift aimlessly. It was fired on by a Soviet sub with

orders to sink all ships in the Black Sea to prevent supplies from reaching Germany. The torpedo blew apart the ship, leading to the death of everyone on the ship except Stoliar. The loss of the Struma and Stoliar’s survival were largely unknown until Stoliar told his story to New York Times reporter Douglas Frantz in 2000. The story was recounted in the 2003 book Death on the Black Sea.

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Gomley Chesed’s lions come home to Beth El by Mark Kozak


omley Chesed Synagogue’s Lions of Judah—bronze-like sculptures with fierce snarling mouths and red-glowing eyes—were objects of affection for generations of that once vibrant Portsmouth congregation. But neither the lions, most of the active members, or the memories are gone. They have just relocated to Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. On Saturday, Jan. 16, almost all of those senior members from Portsmouth joined the previous, long-ago exodus of Bangels, Goldins, Katzes, Leons and Pecks in a Shabbat service that also served as a dedication of the lions’ plaque and a celebration of Gomley Chesed. The service honored the recent senior members with aliyot and incorporated longtime Beth El members who have Gomley Chesed roots. In addition to the families mentioned above, parts of the

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Torah and Musaf services were carried out by representatives of the Ackerman, Beck, Branfield, Brewer, Dolsey, Frank, Hecht, Kopelove, Kozak, Lerman, Marcus, Ornoff, Salasky, Schoenhaut, Stark, Stein, Stromberg and Zedd families. During the rabbi’s sermon, featured speakers were former Portsmouth boys: Paul Peck, a past president of Beth El; Mark Kozak, who initiated the lions’ move and celebration; and Dr. Mayer Grob of Richmond, son of Cantor Paul Grob, Gomley Chesed’s longtime cantor. In different ways, all three tied in the heart of the lions with the even more important influence of Gomley Chesed’s Hebrew and Sunday school education and junior congregation. “One thing my parents (Dorothy and Paul Grob) both worked hard to accomplish was that anyone who made it through the religious school could participate in a Hebrew service.” Grob said. “That experience binds all of us together, but more importantly perhaps, it links us in time to all of those who came before us.” “We were extremely blessed growing up in the community we did, and Gomley Chesed played a huge role,” Peck said. “In the shtetl of Portsmouth, you could say, Gomley was the backbone. “When I celebrate the High Holidays here at Beth El, I look around and see all my friends and hear everyone davening, and it takes me back to my youth in Portsmouth.” The unifying hook that brought about

this reunion-like celebration, the Lions of Judah, are now mounted in Beth El’s memorial hall—a vestibule that also includes memorabilia from Suffolk’s former Agudath Achim congregation. “These ever-present lions put the fear Gomley Chesed. In the Sterling Point section of Portsmouth, the building dates to of Hashem in gener- 1955 and now houses the Orthodox Toras Chaim day school. ations of little kids,” Kozak said. “And everyone I spoke to with leadership role in the community. “Every Jewish community in the world Gomley Chesed roots couldn’t have agreed more about their significance.… They are rests on the shoulders of great communities more than a decoration; they are a symbol that came before it,” he said. “And that is truly the message of bringof the strength of that congregation in the ing the Gomley Chesed lions here to Beth face of a declining city of Portsmouth.” Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz spoke about El. We bring them not as an artifact Gomley Chesed’s continued presence reminding us of the loss of a once great through its senior members and its large Jewish community; we bring them as a reminder that our present and our future are very much wrapped up in the Gomley Spring lecture at U. Va. features Chesed story.… Gomley Chesed isn’t really gone. It lives on here at Beth El through University of Pennsylvania professor the influence of all of the former Gomley Monday, March 21 Chesed folks who now animate and influence our Beth El family,” said Arnowitz. o help keep the memory of Dorothy and Paul Grob and Gomley “I had several folks come up to me and Chesed alive, the Grob siblings, Jeff Grob, Erica Berent and Dr. Mayer Grob. suggest we make it an annual Gomley Mayer Grob, are working to endow “The Paul and Dorothy Grob annual lecture in Chesed celebration,” said Arnowitz. “I American Jewish Life.” think it’s a good idea.” Dr. Beth Wenger from the University of Pennsylvania will deliver the third annual Note: The Friends of Gomley Chesed is lecture in March. still requesting donations to help fund the An endowed lecture that takes place every spring at the University of Virginia remaining costs of mounting the lions, the (where Mayer Grob received his BA and Paul Grob earned his doctorate in education), creation of a plaque, the printing of a special it is an opportunity for the students and faculty in Jewish Studies to hear an expert in Shabbat program, and the sponsoring of kidthe field and for visitors to reminisce during a dinner with the visiting professor. Last dush. Donations may be made to Congregation year, Steve Leon gave the opening remarks. Beth El’s Temple Fund, care of the Gomley Mayer Grob is still raising the $100,000 to endow the lecture. For more information, Chesed Lions of Judah. contact Grob at drgrob@yahoo.com.

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Lions of Judah are now mounted in Beth El’s memorial hall, a vestibule between the sanctuary and Myers Hall that also includes memorabilia from Suffolk’s former Agudath Achim congregation.

30 | Jewish News | February 8, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org

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