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Obama signs law strengthening U.S.-Israel alliance
resident Obama signed a law that strengthens the U.S.-Israel alliance. The 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which unanimously passed both the House of Representatives last month and the Senate in September, declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States and expands the value of American weapons stockpiled in Israel and upgrades Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing. The law also encourages the inclusion of Israel in the United States’ visa waiver program if it meets program requirements. Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies also is included in the legislation. Jewish organizations commended Congress for passing the bill. “I applaud the President for signing this bill to strengthen our historic relationship with Israel,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who introduced the bipartisan legislation with Sen. Blunt (R-Mo.). “This law will enhance cooperation between Israel and the United States on a wide range of issues—from defense to energy to cyber security—so we can work together to address the many challenges facing both countries.” (JTA)
Harvard caterer: Politics affected decision to stop buying SodaStream
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arvard University Dining Services admitted it made a mistake in deciding to stop buying SodaStream equipment. In a statement e-mailed last month to the student newspaper, The Crimson, dining services spokesperson Crista Martin said the service “mistakenly factored political concerns” into its decision. “As the President and Provost have made clear, our procurement decisions should not be driven by community members’ views on matters of political controversy,” Martin said. The dining service agreed to remove SodaStream labels on existing water machines and purchase new ones from American companies after meeting in April with members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society, according to a report in The Crimson. At the April meeting, the students expressed their discomfort with the SodaStream machines and the “potential of the machines to offend those affected by the Israel-Palestine conflict,” according to the newspaper. After the article appeared, Harvard President Drew Faust requested an investigation into the decision by the university’s dining service. “Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy,” University
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UP Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Deborah Lipstadt: Europe’s last Jews . . . . . . 6 Surges in anti-Semitism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Cuban Jews in U.S. and Castro . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Solar field in Israel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Jewish cartoonist among Paris fatalities. . . 10 JTA’s 2014 news quiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Blogging for the Orthodox Movement. . . . . 14 Super Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 UJFT Corporate Partners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
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Provost Alan Garber wrote in an emailed statement to the Crimson. “If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now.” SodaStream has long come under fire for producing its popular line of of home carbonation machines in a factory in the West Bank. In October, the company announced it would close that factory and move it to Lehavim, in southern Israel. The move is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. About 1,100 employees work in the West Bank plant, including 850 ArabIsraelis and Palestinians. Many of them could lose their jobs in the move. In an op-ed published in the Crimson, Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz called for a “full and open discussion by the entire university community, including students, faculty, alumni and administration” on the subject of boycotting Israeli products. “The decision of the HUDS must be rescinded immediately and a process should be instituted for discussing this issue openly with all points of view and all members of the university community represented. The end result should be freedom of choice: those who disapprove of SodaStream should be free to drink Pepsi. But those who don’t disapprove should be free to drink SodaStream,” Dershowitz wrote. (JTA)
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briefs HarperCollins leaves Israel off maps in atlases for Middle East schools The HarperCollins publishing house has omitted Israel from maps in atlases that it sells to English-speaking schools in the Middle East. Collins Bartholomew, a map-publishing company that is a subsidiary of HarperCollins, told The Tablet, an international Catholic news weekly based in London, that including Israel in its Collins Primary Geography Atlas For The Middle East would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and that leaving Israel off the maps incorporated “local preferences.” The atlas is billed by the company as being “developed specifically for schools in the Middle East,” according to its website. “The maps give in-depth coverage of the region and its issues,” it also states. While Israel is not demarcated on the maps, the West Bank is clearly labeled. Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet that the maps will harm peace efforts. “The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful coexistence,” he said. Customs officials in one Gulf nation did not allow previous editions of the school atlases into the country until the labeling of Israel had been crossed out by hand, according to The Tablet. Later, HarperCollins publishing house apologized. “HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” the company said in a statement released Dec. 31. “This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologizes for this omission and for any offense caused.” (JTA) Israel pledges $8.75 million to fund Ebola fight Israel pledged $8.75 million to a United Nations fund aiming to halt the spread of
the Ebola virus in West Africa. The donation to the Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which was launched in September, represents the largest per-capita investment by any country, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF said. The Israeli government asked that a portion of the pledge be earmarked for the United Nations Children’s Rights & Emergency Relief Organization, or UNICEF, to provide services for children affected by the virus. Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, thanked Israel for the contribution “and for recognizing that children are especially vulnerable during emergencies.” Israel already has sent mobile field hospitals and medical cargo to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and medical specialists to operate the clinics and train local health workers. Ebola has infected nearly 19,000 people and claimed over 6,900 lives across West Africa. (JTA)
American Historical Association rejects vote on anti-Israel resolutions Anti-Israel resolutions presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association did not come up for a vote after members rejected a vote to suspend the group’s by-laws. The resolutions were submitted to the AHA by the independent group Historians Against the War. However, business meeting agenda items were supposed to be submitted by Nov. 1 to allow members time to plan to attend the annual meeting. The anti-Israel resolutions were submitted on Dec. 22 and did not appear on the business meeting agenda. The three-day annual meeting took place in New York City. On Sunday, Jan. 4, AHA members by a vote of 144 to 54 declined to suspend the by-law on when the resolutions could be submitted in order to allow the Historians Against the War to present the resolutions. One resolution accused Israel of violating academic freedom, saying Israel “arbitrarily limits the entry of foreign nationals who seek to lecture, teach and attend conferences at Palestinian universities.…” It called on
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the State Department to “honor the academic freedom of U.S. citizens by contesting Israel’s denials of U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer or do research at Palestinian universities.” Another resolution called on the AHA to condemn the “acts of violence and intimidation by the State of Israel against Palestinian researchers and their archival collections,” as well as other alleged violations of academic freedom, and accused Israel of bombing the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip in August during its military operation. A resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel was rejected in November. Jan Goldstein, the AHA’s outgoing president and a history professor at the University of Chicago, told the meeting that several leadership-sponsored sessions for the 2016 annual meeting have already been reserved for discussions of the IsraelPalestinian conflict and related concerns about academic freedom, according to Inside Higher Education. (JTA)
Streit’s closing Lower East Side matzah factory after 90 years Streit’s said it will close the company’s 90-year-old matzah factory on New York’s Lower East Side. Aron Streit, Inc., a family-owned business, said it will leave the facility at 148-154 Rivington St. following the Passover baking season in April. “The economics just finally caught up with us,” Alan Adler, the owner of the factory and the Streit’s matzah store, told DNAinfo. “It was very sad, a very hard decision to make.” Adler is the great-grandson of Aron Streit, who started a bakery at a different Lower East Side location before opening the Rivingston Street factory nearby in 1925. Streit’s now produces approximately 40 percent of the matzah consumed in the United States, according to The Associated Press. The company will move its offices to its other facility in New Jersey that bakes macaroons and other products, Adler said. It hopes to fetch $25 million for the six-story building, AP reported. “Right now everything is on the table, we’re looking at all our options,” Adler told DNAinfo. Adler said the company cannot find
anyone to repair its equipment, which was built in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. (JTA)
Republican Jewish Coalition hosting Cruz at victory party The Republican Jewish Coalition drew top GOP lawmakers, including possible presidential contender Ted Cruz, to a Washington victory event. The event Tuesday, Jan. 6, celebrating the GOP sweep in the November midterm elections, was portrayed in Politico as a signal by the GOP’s interventionist wing to shore up support for a robust foreign policy in the face of the recent rise in support for Republicans who call for scaling back the U.S. role overseas. In addition to Cruz, a Texas U.S. senator, others attending the event include Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 presidential nominee, and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), among the party’s most outspoken advocates for intervention. Also, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), a freshman who will be the sole Jewish Republican in Congress. (JTA) 1.5 million visitors to Auschwitz museum in ‘14 sets mark More than 1.5 million people visited the former Auschwitz concentration camp in 2014, setting a record. It was the highest attendance ever at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial in Poland, according to its museum. “The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial has become the world’s symbol of the Holocaust and the crimes of World War II,” said Dr. Piotr Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz Memorial. “Without the reference to the history of this place, it would be hard for new generations to understand our reality and challenges of the contemporary world.” The most visitors came from Poland, with 398,000, followed by Great Britain at 199,000 and the United States at 92,000. Germany and Israel had the fifth and sixth highest totals at 75,000 and 62,000. Over 10,000 people from around the world participated in educational projects, seminars, conferences or study visits at Auschwitz in 2014, according to the museum. (JTA)
Toward the Promised Land
he two consecutive Parshiyot in the Book of Exodus (Sefer Shemot) of Varea and Bo serve as the most dramatic setting for a contest between two contenders for the divine title. Moses represents the unseen God of Freedom of the enslaved Israelites. In opposition stands Pharoah, a totalitarian ruler who is considered by his Egyptian subjects, and himself, to be a god. Is the outcome in doubt? However, The God of Moses while invoking the ancestral covenantal bond, is saddled with the formidable task of convincing both uncertain Moses and the devastated Israelites, that menacing Pharoah is only a human being with clay feet; that he is no match for the One whose values and ideals are radically different from the one who terrorized them for so long. God is set to teach the Egyptians and the Israelites enduring lessons in spite and because of the human proclivity to resist God’s call for individual and communal transformation. Moses, raised in Pharoah’s palace as an Egyptian prince, struggles, like Joseph before him, to recapture his early Hebrew identity. Unlike Joseph, it would endanger his very life and deprive him of a most priv-
ileged status. For both Joseph and Moses, it is human misery of brothers-brethren that draws them back to their Hebrew roots and shared fate. In time, Moses would be enshrined, far beyond any Pharoah’s fame, as Israel’s as well as humanity’s paradigmatic leader, liberator and lawgiver. The rabbis would bestow upon him the most coveted title of “Moshe Rabbenu,” Moses our Rabbi,” reflecting their own preferred emphasis on instruction and learning as vehicles for sacred growth and change. Moses was destined not to the architect of confining pyramids of death, but of liberating principles of life through a towering Torah of ennobling teachings and tradition. Ironically, God’s stubborn, yet successful attempt to draw Moses to his assigned sacred mission, helping him to overcome objections from within and without, is reminiscent of Moses’s own challenge. Moses recruits his exhausted and doubtful people to follow him in a mighty endeavor that persists throughout his lifetime. The saga of the Exodus has loomed large in Jewish memory, empowering us to persevere throughout history’s enslavements, and in the process to inspire humanity to believe in its obligation to overthrow tyranny and sanctify freedom, which is both a divine gift and a birthright. Our people’s awesome journey from Egypt’s (Mitzrayim’s) constricting House of Bondage—physically, spiritually and psychologically—toward the promise of the Promised Land, remains both a fulfilled reality and a lingering quest. —Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim.
Rebuilt Polish synagogue to become Jewish museum A Polish Jewish foundation is planning to open a revamped Jewish museum in a reconstructed 17th century synagogue. The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland plans to open the museum in the Great Synagogue in Leczna, in Lublin province, in 2016, with a focus on the town’s Jewish community. The baroque synagogue was mostly destroyed during and after World War II. It was reconstructed in the 1950s and ’60s,
retaining the most important architectural elements of the former synagogue, including its wooden ceilings, the bimah and the Torah ark. Since 1966, the synagogue has housed a regional museum, which has in its collection some valuable Judaica. In 2013, the synagogue was transferred to the Jewish community and placed under the foundation’s responsibility. (JTA)
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Global surges of anti-Semitism
Europe’s Last Jews
Diaspora Goes on the Defensive Amid Anti-Semitism by Deborah E. Lipstadt
This has been a tough year for Jews. But you’ve heard that before. I used to attend a synagogue where every Yom Kippur the rabbi, as part of his Israeli Bonds appeal, would begin by bemoaning what a bad year it had been. Each year things were worse than before. The problem? They weren’t. The rabbi, however, may have Jewish tradition on his side. In 1948 Professor Simon Rawidowicz argued in his seminal essay, “Israel: The Ever Dying People,” that, while the world has many views of the Jewish people, Jews have but one view of themselves, “that of a being constantly on the verge of ceasing to be, of disappearing.” Rawidowicz argued that for millennia Jews have been pessimistic about the future. “Each generation grieved, not only for itself, but [for]…. the future.” Abraham, writers of the Mishnah, Talmudic sages, and Maimonides all thought themselves the last link in the tradition. Secularists felt similarly. The poet laureates of the Jewish Enlightenment Y. L. Gordon and Hayim Nachman Bialik both feared that in the future no one would be left to read their poetry and share their love for the Jewish people. This may well be the Jewish default position. We worry about the worst. And
by so doing we are always prepared for any disaster that might confront us. Yet this year the pessimism may be justified. We have seen a precipitous rise in anti-Semitism, particularly—but not only—in Europe. I recently met with Jews from an array of European countries. Young, educated, multi-lingual, and well put together, they exuded an air of success and security. They all—to a person —expressed a common theme. They no longer felt as comfortable as they once had. Whether it was Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany or any other country, they all spoke of feeling less “at home.” What scared these young people most were the doubts they harbored as to whether they could depend on the police and other authorities to protect them. If there was a major crime —such as the murders at the Brussels Jewish Museum — they knew then the police would take it seriously and react. It was the small daily indignities— getting screamed at in the street, pushed off the sidewalk, or assaulted in some fashion as they walk to a synagogue— which were beginning to take their toll. But there were other little stabs as well. The well educated colleague who made an anti-Semitic crack without even recognizing it as such. They all knew the European campus scene well and, to a person, they reported
the same thing. Students were choosing not to join Jewish student organizations. Affiliating Jewishly was increasingly becoming a burden. It meant, as one young woman observed, “defending Israel and being subjected to anti-Semitism.” For her and her friends, it’s not “the way they want to experience their years at university. It’s all about defending. There is nothing positive about it.” Admittedly, most of these conversations took place as part of the Berlin meeting on anti-Semitism organized by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The topic of the gathering was anti-Semitism. I stress that because it would be too easy to ignore the continued resiliency of many European Jewish communities. There are exciting things happening in these communities and it would be terribly wrong to write them off. These communities are not going away. What then about the United States? Here there has been no upsurge in the open anti-Semitism we see in Europe. Jewish schools have not had to caution their students against wearing kippot. The one place where things are unsettling is the university campus. I do not subscribe to the notion that the campus is a “hotbed of anti-Semitism.” That is hyperbolic and simply incorrect. Campus
Paris-area synagogue set ablaze Unidentified individuals started a fire inside a synagogue near Paris and drew a swastika on its wall. The signs of the fire were found in the main hall of the synagogue in the Garges suburb on Jan. 1, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. Little damage was reported. Police were looking into the case, the report said. In Garges last month, several assailants attacked a young Jewish man at a public park while he was walking his dog. During the Dec. 16 attack, one of the three assailants said they would kill him like Ilan Halimi was killed after being beaten. Halimi, a 26-year-old phone salesman from the Paris area, was abducted and tortured to death for over three weeks by a gang of criminals who targeted him because he was Jewish. Police arrested one of the suspected assailants in the Dec. 16 assault, Le Parisien reported. (JTA)
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communities openly decry overt anti-Semitic acts and unite to condemn them. However, campus coalitions of those supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement are multiplying. BDS masquerades as being critical of Israel’s political position but it is, at its heart, calling for Israel’s destruction. (Many of the well-meaning adherents to BDS have naively blinded themselves to this reality.) BDS is not the only problem. The default position on campus is “Israel is wrong.” The variable is how wrong. We won’t witness a rash of anti-Semitic acts on campus. That’s not how campuses operate. But I do worry that new students will simply opt out of joining Hillel or affiliating with other Jewish organizations because, like their European brethern, it will increasingly mean being on the defensive. I may be unduly pessimistic but, if so, I will be adhering at least to a venerable Jewish tradition. Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She chairs the US Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Anti-Semitism and State Sponsored Holocaust Denial. This article originally appeared in the Forward, December 26, 2014 and is reproduced with permission.
Vandals shot out the windows of a Florida synagogue
he attack on Dec. 25 damaged several windows of Temple B’nai Darom in Ocala, Fla. A police investigation is underway. The windows were shot out with a BB gun, according to reports. The building’s security alarm sounded, calling police to the site. “I think it’s a hate crime,” Robert Levenson, the temple’s president, told the Ocala Star Banner. “And when things like this happen, it’s hard to keep going.” It is not the first time that the synagogue has been vandalized, according to the newspaper. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has classified the incident as criminal mischief. “We are investigating this as we would other crime,” Laurel Lettilier of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told the local Channel 13 news. “If we find anything that would delineate it a hate crime, we will find it and track down any motives that might be involved.” The sheriff’s office has increased patrols in the area, according to the report. (JTA)
Global surges of anti-Semitism
Founder of French anti-Semitism watchdog moving to Israel
ammy Ghozlan, founder of France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, said he is immigrating to Israel. Ghozlan, a former police commissioner whose organization is one of France’s leading watchdog groups on anti-Semitism, announced his departure on Monday, Jan. 5—shortly after the annual roundup of the Jewish Agency showed that 2014 was the first year ever that the most immigrants to Israel came from France. “The departure, it’s a message,” Ghozlan said in an interview about his decision that was published on JSSnews.com. “Leaving is better than running away. We do not know how things will play out tomorrow.” France’s growing anti-Semitism problem is believed to be driving the influx of over 7,000 newcomers to Israel from France last year, more than double the figure for 2013. Ghozlan has warned that while most of the hundreds of violent attacks recorded in 2014 were the work of Muslims, the French far right also is adding to the problem with incitement and attempts to limit freedom of worship. In an interview published with the
French daily newspaper Le Figaro, Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish organizations, said the emigration of Jews “represents a failure for France, where one population group suffers persecution because of its origins.” In his interview, Ghozlan said that in addition to his growing discomfort in his native France because of anti-Semitism, he is also leaving because most of his children and grandchildren live in Israel, along with other relatives and former members of his community. His organization, BNVCA, will continue working with French and Israeli staff, said Ghozlan, who added that he intends to settle in Netanya. His attitude to France changed last year, he said, when French Jews came under unprecedented attack by their countrymen over Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza. He cited violent and hateful protests in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles in July. “After the protests in Sarcelles and Paris, where they shouted ‘death to the Jews’ in the presence of public officials, I carry in me a lot of bitterness,” Ghozlan said. (JTA)
Paris suburb honors jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti
Paris suburb made Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader serving multiple life sentences in Israel for acts of terrorism, an honorary citizen. Barghouti was recognized by Aubervilliers on Dec. 22—shortly before a French court ordered another Parisian suburb, Bezons, to nullify an honor conferred on Majdi Irhima al-Rimawi, a Palestinian who assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi more than a decade earlier. CRIF, the umbrella of France’s Jewish communities, protested the Barghouti honor in a letter Dec. 24 to Aubervilliers Mayor Pascal Beaudet, a member of the Communist Party of France. In a statement, the municipality described the honor to Barghouti, who belongs to a faction of Fatah, as part of its commitment to support what it described
as political prisoners. The statement named Barghouti and the late president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. “Nelson Mandela, whom you have the audacity of referencing, was indeed a political activist sentenced to prison, but for his opinions—not his actions,” CRIF President Roger Cukierman wrote. In September, another Communist mayor of a municipality near Paris also honored Barghouti by naming a street for him. Valenton Mayor Françoise Baud also named a square after Mandela on the same day. The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, is in a legal fight with Valenton over the dedication of Barghouti Alley, which BNVCA says constitutes incitement to violence at a time when the prevalence of anti-Semitic crimes is increasing. (JTA)
Jewish man beaten in Berlin train station BERLIN (JTA)—A Jewish man was badly beaten by several men in Berlin after he asked them to stop singing anti-Semitic songs. Shahak Shapira, 26, suffered bruises and a head laceration in the assault early Jan. 1 in the center of the German capital. Shapira said the assailants were “southern European” in appearance and spoke German and Arabic. Police said that cellphone videos he took during the attack should be helpful in finding the perpetrators. The incident took place on an underground city train in the Kreuzberg section, according to German news reports. Police said Shapira, whose national identity has not been released, witnessed seven men singing anti-Semitic songs and saying “f*** Israel” and “f*** Juden” on
the train. He reportedly asked them to stop and recorded the scene on his cellphone. Reaching a central station, the alleged assailants exited with Shapira and demanded that he erase the recording. When he refused, they allegedly spit on him, kicked him and punched him in the head. The attackers fled the scene when security staff of the Berlin transit authority approached. Police denied earlier reports that the assailants appeared to be right-wing extremists. There have been several violent anti-Semitic attacks registered in Berlin in recent months. In November, an Israeli tourist was punched and kicked by four attackers in the Charlottenburg district of former West Berlin. In July, a Jewish man wearing a cap with a Jewish star was beaten.
Chicago synagogue, garages defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti
Kosher restaurant window fired on in Paris
Chicago synagogue and more than 10 nearby residential garages were vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. Congregation Atereth Yehoshua and the garages in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of West Rogers Park were defaced last month with slurs that included a Star of David accompanied by the words “F**k U,” according to Fox 32, a Fox News affiliate. Police are investigating and have labeled the incidents as criminal damage to property. Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation painted over the graffiti. (JTA)
ullet holes were discovered in the window of a kosher restaurant in Paris. The attack on the Grill House in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement, or district, follows three similar attacks that occurred in December. The latest incident is believed to have been perpetrated by the same person using an air gun, JSS News reported. Police have launched an investigation. The December incidents affected a Jewish-owned printing shop, a kosher restaurant and a synagogue. (JTA)
Suburban Philly home targeted with ‘Move Jew’ graffiti
eligious leaders, political officials and community members gathered in a Philadelphia suburb to denounce anti-Semitic vandalism at a Jewish family’s home. The rally in Yardley, Pa., was held last month, several days after the words “Move Jew” were spray-painted on the township home’s garage door, according to Philly.com. Local police are investigating. “It was shocking,” Samantha Raker, who lives at the home with her father, Michael, said at the rally, which featured several speakers. Raker said she and her father had not felt discriminated against in the neighborhood, where they have lived for about four years. State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, who organized the rally, said its purpose was “to say in a loud voice that there is no place for hate in this community.” (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | January 12, 2015 | Jewish News | 7
For Cuban Jews in U.S., rapprochement with Castro regime cause for concern by Uriel Heilman
(JTA)—For many Cuban Jews—the majority of whom now live in the United States —it was a bittersweet December. Like countless Jews around the world, they cheered the release of Alan Gross, the American Jewish telecommunications contractor who had been held in a Cuban prison for the last five years. But then there’s the matter of reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana. For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, the idea of rapprochement with a country still ruled by the Castro family (Fidel’s brother, Raul, is now president) is more cause for concern than celebration. And while there’s some acknowledgment that ending the embargo may bring some benefits for the Cuban people, it is surpassed by abiding concern that the deal President Obama announced last month will extend the life of a brutal dictatorship whose crimes can be neither forgotten nor forgiven.
“Castro is being saved today by Obama!” bemoans Joseph Perelis, who came to the United States in 1961, two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. “In the terms I see, this will allow Castro to maintain his grip on power.” The deal with Washington, he says, likely would enable Cuba to adopt the Chinese model: a Communist regime where the army and the party are enriched by capitalist enterprise while the cheap labor of the people is exploited for the benefit of the regime and its trading partners.“The old 1959 political refugees want a democratic regime change: free press, free elections, free Internet, a real improvement for the Cuban people,” Perelis says. Nancy Brook, who left Cuba in 1961 when she was 12, expressed similar concerns, even as she acknowledges the failure of America’s Cuba policy to dislodge the Cuban regime. “It is obvious that the so-called embargo has not worked,” she says. “But will these new measures bring benefits and freedom to the Cuban people or just benefit the Cuban
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government and their bunch of thugs?” Brook has not been back to Cuba since she left. Her parents came to the United States three years later, after the two stores and eight-story building they owned were confiscated by Castro’s Communist regime. There is something of a generational divide among Cuban Americans when it comes to the question of the embargo. Many younger Cuban Americans say ending the long U.S. embargo may provide new opportunities to change life in Cuba for the better. But those who witnessed the regime’s crimes firsthand generally believe there can be no rapprochement with a Castro-led government. “The older Cubans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are mostly against because they suffered: They had to abandon Cuba, they saw a lot of injustices,” says Sergio Grobler, a past president of the Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Temple Beth Shmuel. “The younger Cubans mostly are for an easing of the relationships between Cuba and the U.S., because the most horrifying things happened before they were born. When you don’t see it
with your own flesh, it’s different. But I think it would be immoral to accept what has been happening.” That generational divide is evident within Grobler’s own family. Grobler says his son has talked to him about wanting to visit Cuba; visits by Americans have been permitted to the island nation for some time, so long as they take place under certain conditions, such as under religious or journalistic auspices. Grobler says he has no problem with his son going to see the place his father grew up and visiting the local Jewish community, but he himself won’t go until the Communist dictatorship has been removed. “I refuse to go to Cuba,” Grobler says. “I refuse to do business with them. I will go the day prior to the day there will elections in Cuba.” In the Perelis family, too, the generational divide is evident. “In general, younger Cuban-Americans (myself included) see the embargo as a stupid policy which only gives the Castro regime an enemy to blame and excuses for their incompetence and absence of human rights,” says Joseph Perelis’ son, Ronnie Perelis, who is a professor of Sephardic studies at Yeshiva University and was born in the United States. “Nixon went to China. We have had diplomatic and military relationships with dastardly regimes from the Saudis to [the late Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet.” Yet Ronnie Perelis acknowledges some ambivalence about the announced changes. “Clearly the embargo has been a failure and perhaps openness can open a new way forward,” he says. “The chance of person-to-person contact changing things in small ways in the island is not insignificant.” But, he adds, the change may also “simply leave the regime in a stronger position to continue their control of the population without any democratic change.” Marcos Kerbel, a past president and now chair of the finance committee at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation in Miami, says the community is taking a wait-andsee attitude for now. “We’re all extremely happy about the release of the Alan Gross,” Kerbel says. “I don’t take political sides. We see in Congress there are some debates about the new policy. My attitude right now is wait and see what’s going to happen.”
Near major oil spill, a solar field grows in Israel by Ben Sales
TEL AVIV (JTA)—In the sun-parched fields near where the largest oil spill in Israeli history poured millions of liters of crude oil into the desert on Dec. 4, an ambitious effort is underway to help reduce global dependency on petroleum for energy. Known as the Eilot Belt, the area is the site of Israel’s largest solar energy field. It’s the locus of an effort to provide by next year the daytime energy needs for the area’s 55,000 residents and all their energy needs by 2020. The area’s eight commercial solar fields are part of a wider initiative that aims to reduce the world’s reliance on the black liquid that befouled a 3.5-mile stretch of Israeli desert. The plan also includes a model village subsisting entirely on renewable energy sources and an incubator for clean energy high-tech start-ups. “We have a lot of sunlight and a lot of open space, so this is the most appropriate for us,” says Dorit Banet, CEO of the EilatEilot Renewable Energy Initiative, a local government body that aims to transform
the region into a global hub of renewable energy research and development. The spill, Banet says, “strengthens the fact that we don’t want to stop with oil, that we want to do clean energy.” Banet’s organization hopes to make renewable energy an economic growth engine for the Eilot Belt, a region around the southern resort town of Eilat that has traditionally supported itself with date and dairy farming. Along with fostering the growth of solar power plants, the Renewable Energy Initiative designed an educational curriculum around renewable energy for local schools, runs international renewable energy conferences and offers tours of the area’s clean energy attractions. The initiative, which has brought 80 jobs to the area, also hopes to export Israeli expertise abroad. Entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, who spearheaded the construction of the area’s first solar field in 2011, is now marketing renewable energy solutions in Africa based on his success in Israel. “We were supposed to use the success of Eilat-Eilot as a region to say to places
in Africa, this region is going 100 percent solar during the day, so can you,” says Abramowitz, the CEO of Energiya Global Capital, which recently built a solar field in Rwanda. “The idea was to show the State of Israel that it’s possible, and then we wanted Israel to be able to demonstrate that for the rest of the world.” To help develop alternative energy solutions for the developing world, the Renewable Energy Initiative has built a life-size model of an off-the-grid village, where they test new technologies like biodiesel cooking or solar-powered lights. The village doubles as a tourist attraction and destination for school field trips, providing visitors an opportunity to experience alternative energy firsthand. “We want to raise awareness about renewable energy, to show the activity in the desert plains,” says Avital Nusinow, the initiative’s training and education coordinator. “For tourists, it’s interesting to see how that works. We’re the only place with so many renewable energy facilities in one place.” Clean energy entrepreneurship is noth-
ing new for the region. Lotan, a kibbutz founded by Reform Jewish immigrants in 1983, hosts a village of geodesic domes made largely of earth and straw bales. The domes, which house 20 students, need no heating, and all other power needs come from solar panels on the top of the kibbutz recycling center. Lotan resident Alex Cicelsky, who designed the domes, says the goal is “a building that uses very little energy and has a small carbon footprint.” The initiative is also encouraging the spread of renewable energy through its startup incubator, which currently houses six early-stage companies working on new energy technologies. One is working to make solar panels more efficient; another is integrating a solar panel with a wind turbine. The Renewable Energy Initiative hopes such technologies spread across Israel and worldwide. But in the meantime, Nusinow says, solar power is something to get excited about in a previously struggling—and now polluted—region. “This is the agriculture of the future for us,” she says. “We’re harvesting the sun.”
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Jewish cartoonist Georges Wolinski among 12 dead in Paris shooting by Cnaan Liphshiz
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(JTA)—An attack on the Paris headquarters of a French satirical magazine has left at least 12 people dead, including the Jewish caricaturist Georges Wolinski. Two of the reported fatalities in the Wednesday, Jan. 7 attack were police officers, according to the French daily newspaper Le Monde. One of the officers was Muslim. Ten others were wounded, five of them seriously. Details of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices were still sketchy at press time, but witnesses said the three assailants knew exactly whom to target at the magazine, which has published a series of satirical cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The gunmen, who wore masks, cried out “Allah is the greatest” in Arabic and announced that the attack was to “avenge the prophet,” Le Monde reports. They fled the scene; a massive manhunt was underway to find them. They were later identified as two brothers—French nationals of Algerian descent—and an 18-year-old whose nationality was unclear and was said to be homeless. Stephane Charbonnier, the magazine’s editor in chief and one of those killed, had been under police protection for years because of death threats resulting from his caricatures of Mohammed, including one showing him being decapitated by Muslim fanatics for being an infidel. Wolinski, 80, a Tunisia native who moved to France as a teenager, also was a cartoonist at the magazine and was known for his cynical and at times vulgar style. After entering journalism in the 1960s, he went on to work at leading French publications such as L’Humanite, Le Nouvel Observateur and Paris Match. One of Wolinski’s cartoons, published in a 2002 compilation of his works, shows a Muslim girl walking with her mother down a war-ravaged street in the Middle East. The daughter asks what it means to
be a free woman. The mother replies by presenting her daughter with a copy of a book titled Hello Sadness. “It’s clear that this was a planned attack against Wolinski and the other cartoon artists,” says Richard Kenigsman, a wellknown Jewish caricaturist and painter from Brussels. He cites an attack and multiple threats against Charlie Hebdo since 2006 for publishing caricatures deemed offensive to Islam. Corinne Rey, a designer at the magazine, was forced under death threats to let two gunmen into the offices after she returned from bringing her daughter to kindergarten. The assailants made her punch in the security code and proceeded to shoot four caricaturists—Wolinski, Charbonnier, Jean Cabut and Bernard Verlhac—along with eight others in a gunfire spree that lasted five minutes. According to L’Humanite, the assailants also killed two of Charbonnier’s police-assigned bodyguards along with two other officers, one of whom was executed on the street outside the magazine’s offices while begging for his life. The killers were native French speakers who said they were affiliated with al-Qaeda, Rey says. Footage from the scene posted on the website JSSnews shows the heavily armed men exiting a black car and shooting a rifle at a police officer near the building. One of the assailants then approached the officer and shot him in the head. Police had guarded Charlie Hebdo regularly since 2011, when the offices were firebombed. The fire consumed the paper’s archive and caused massive damage, according to Michel Kischka, a Belgian cartoonist who knew three of the four cartoonists killed. “Perhaps they failed to understand how well trained and adept at killing their enemies are,” Kischka says. “But after the 2011 fire, I know that they understood their determination to kill.” To several observers, the attack on Charlie Hebdo—the bloodiest in France
since 1835, according to Le Monde—was part of a wider fight against free expression. Kenigsman says the assault was “an open act of war and an import of the conflict in the Middle East to France which focuses on satire because it’s the one thing that fanaticism cannot contain.” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, says the shooting was an attack on “the European way of life which has already seen Jewish children gunned down at school and people murdered in cold blood while visiting a museum in Brussels.” French President Francois Hollande, speaking live near the scene of the shooting, called it a terrorist attack. Hollande, who notes that the magazine was threatened several times in the past, added
that “we need to show we are a united country.” French authorities “will punish the attackers,” he said. “We will look for the people responsible.” Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, says, “France must wake up to the danger of Islamism and the terror it brings all over the world: In Paris, Toulouse, Sarcelles, Brussels, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, jihadists are acting on the same radical Islamist ideology that is used to manipulate them.” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent his condolences to the French people and said that Israel sympathizes with France’s pain, The Jerusalem Post reports.
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Penn group nixes Chris Hedges as speaker following Israel-ISIS comparison
ormer New York Times Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges said he was disinvited to speak at a University of Pennsylvania conference following a column comparing Israel to ISIS. Hedges, now a columnist for the Truthdig.com website, was to speak at an April forum on prospects for peace in the Middle East sponsored by the university’s International Affairs Association. Zachary Michael Belnavis, a student leader of the association, wrote to the lecture agency that his group didn’t see Hedges as a “suitable fit” for the conference. “We’re saying this in light of a recent article he’s written in which he compares the organization ISIS to Israel (here’s the article in question),” Belnavis wrote. “In light of this comparison, we don’t believe he would be suitable to a co-existence speaker based on this stance he’s taken.” Hedges responded in a Dec. 21 column on Truthdig titled “Banning dissent in the name of civility.” “Being banned from speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially at universities, is familiar to anyone who attempts to challenge the narrative of the Israel lobby,” he wrote. “This
is not the first time one of my speaking offers has been revoked and it will not be the last.” Hedges had written in a column titled “ISIS—the new Israel” that “ISIS, ironically, is perhaps the only example of successful nation-building in the contemporary Middle East, despite the billions of dollars we have squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel.” Hedges said he objects to the charge that he does not believe in coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel. He said he opposes violence on both sides and has condemned Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel as war crimes. He also said he supports Israel’s right to exist within the pre-1967 war borders, which is required by international law and United Nations resolutions. (JTA)
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Take JTA’s 2014 news quiz by JTA Staff
(JTA)—What made headlines (in Israel, the U.S. and around the world) in 2014? Test your knowledge with JTA’s annual news quiz: 1. Palestinian officials apologized to Czech authorities after the Palestinian envoy to Prague, Jamal Al-Jamal, was killed in an explosion in his home because: a) a cache of illegal weapons was discovered there. b) t he explosion damaged a historic Czech cemetery. c) the ambassador’s residence was being used by Palestinian militants as a safe house. d) Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, blamed the explosion on the Czech government.
4. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported what about Israeli eating habits this year?
2. SAR, an Orthodox Jewish high school in New York, stirred controversy in January with a new policy that: a) r equired boys’ yarmulkes to be at least four inches in diameter. b) o mitted some of the racier parts of the Bible from Torah classes. c) permitted girls to wear tefillin during morning prayer services. d) required girls’ dance performances to take place in the dark, under ultraviolet light.
5. Which of the following did NOT occur in 2014? a) A Jordanian teen named Yitzhak Rabin was granted Israeli citizenship and became eligible to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces. b) T he Yesha Council, the umbrella body for the West Bank settlement movement, launched a website satirizing attempts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. c) A flight carrying 20 Israeli passengers made an emergency landing in Tehran. d) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, after being convicted of criminal charges and sentenced to prison, was caught trying to flee Israel for New York.
3. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, speaking in November at the IsraeliAmerican Council Conference in Washington, surprised audience members when he: a) c alled his wife, Miriam, to the stage to wish her a happy anniversary. b) s uggested that Israel need not be a democracy. c) detailed a recent 30-minute call with President Obama. d) admitted to coloring his hair.
a) S hwarma had overtaken falafel as the nation’s most popular fast food. b) P er capita annual hummus consumption had reached a record 19.3 kilograms – more than 42 pounds. c) The number of vegetarians and vegans had more than doubled over the previous four years. d) The average Israeli daily caloric intake had grown by a startling 7 percent over the previous decade.
6. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow set the Internet abuzz in December when she: a) s hared her recipes for pistachio macaroons on her popular lifestyle website, Goop. b) s howed up at the White House Hanukkah party. c) took her daughter, Apple, to a public candle-lighting ceremony in London’s Trafalgar Square.
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d) Told ABC News that she was studying Hebrew with a private tutor. 7. California’s Rialto Unified School District came under fire this spring when it asked eighth-graders studying Anne Frank’s diary to write an essay arguing: a) w hether or not the diary actually was written by Anne or her father, Otto. b) w hether illness or Nazi brutality ultimately was responsible for Anne’s death. c) whether the Holocaust was an actual historical event or merely a political scheme created to influence public opinion and gain wealth. d) whether or not Americans should shelter Mexican immigrants in America. 8. In May, Urban Adamah’s planned workshop on Jewish ritual slaughter in Berkeley, Calif., involving 15 hens was canceled because: a) a planned protest from animal rights groups would have caused undue stress to the chickens and program participants. b) a planned anti-Israel protest had booked the space Urban Adamah had been planning to use. c) no farm in the area was willing to sell the hens to Urban Adamah. d) turkeys were mistakenly delivered. 9. The late Cardinal John O’Connor, who died in 2000, made news this year when it turned out that: a) h e technically was Jewish according to halachah. b) h e served a stint in the Hitler Youth. c) he told President Clinton, in 1993, that Yasser Arafat could not be trusted.
d) he urged the Catholic Church to sell off its property in the Galilee. 10. Which of the following was NOT among the findings of the AntiDefamation League’s first global anti-Semitism survey, released in May? a) T he least anti-Semitic country overall is Laos. b) T he least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East is Iran. c) One of the ADL’s measures of anti-Semitism was if respondents agreed that Jews talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust. d) Britain is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. 11. Rabbi Brant Rosen made news this summer when he announced that he would be leaving his pulpit position at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill., after 17 years because: a) h e wanted to focus on nonsectarian work helping the poor. b) h is outspoken criticism of Israel had become too divisive for his congregation. c) his support for interfaith marriage had become problematic. d) he was offered a job at Google. 12. Rabbi Marc Schneier of The Hampton Synagogue announced an initiative challenging U.S. Jews to increase their commitment to Israel by: a) m aking Israel their next vacation destination. b) a ttending the synagogue’s annual white-tie gala, proceeds from which benefit medical equipment in Israel. c) buying a luxury condo in a Tel Aviv suburb. d) subscribing to an Israeli newspaper.
13. Rabbi Jeffrey Fox, the head of Yeshivat Maharat, an Orthodox yeshiva for women in New York, made headlines this fall when he argued that: a) w omen should be able to read from the Torah at the Western Wall. b) m ale rabbis shouldn’t be in the mikvah room for female converts’ ritual immersions. c) Israel should recognize conversions performed by Conservative rabbis. d) mechitzah barriers need only be chest high. 14. In his speech in September to the U.N. General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “To say that Iran doesn’t practice terrorism is like saying …” a) Jay Leno has a small chin. b) B eyonce doesn’t know how to sing. c) K im Kardashian is shy in front of a camera. d) Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees. 15. Radu Mazare, mayor of the Romanian resort town of Constanta, was sued in November by a Jewish group for: a) s aying that Israel is worse than the Nazis. b) inciting hatred by celebrating his Hitler-style hairdo. c) prohibiting Jewish ritual circumcision in the town. d) allowing copies of “Mein Kampf” to be sold at the town’s summer book fair. 16. Two Israeli Air Force combat pilots were sentenced to jail and 12 others were disciplined in February for using their smartphones to: a) p ost selfies from the cockpit of their F-16s. b) c heck their email during flight missions. c) use their phones to store classified information. d) check Google Earth to make sure they weren’t straying into enemy territory.
17. New York’s Sen. Charles Schumer wants Israel to lower its tariffs on: a) hummus b) Bamba c) grape juice d) Chevrolets 18. Which of the following statements about David Schwezoff, the newly elected CEO of Budapest’s Jewish community, is true? a) H e filed a police complaint alleging that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been embezzled from Budapest’s historic Dohany Street Synagogue. b) H e used to be a cross-dresser who performed at nightclubs under the stage name Carol Hore Mohn. c) He is a convert to Judaism. d) All of the above 19. Which of the following pejoratives were NOT reportedly exchanged between Obama and Netanyahu government officials in 2014? a) chickenshit b) goyishe kopf c) messianic d) terrorist 20. Lee Zeldin, the only Jewish Republican in the incoming Congress, defeated incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop in part by hammering away at an ethics charge. What did Bishop, whose district covers eastern Long Island, allegedly do? a) u sed his clout to pay off-peak fares during peak hours on the Long Island Rail Road. b) u nder the synonym Charlie Golightly, was a paid consultant to Showtime’s Hamptons-set adultery sizzler “The Affair.” c) helped close Entenmanns’ Long Island factory with constant demands for batches of original recipe chocolate chip cookies. d) brokered a permit for a fireworks display at a constituent’s bar mitzvah in exchange for a $5,000 donation to his campaign.
Ready for the answers? 1-A, 2-C, 3-B, 4-C, 5-D, 6-B, 7-C, 8-A, 9-A, 10-D, 11-B, 12-C, 13-B, 14-D, 15-B, 16-C, 17-C, 18-D, 19-B, 20-D.
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Local mom, author, psychotherapist, Israeli advocate and non-observant Jew becomes surprising ambassador to International Orthodox Jewish Movement by Danielle Leibovici
o one is more surprised that this happened, than I am. Several weeks ago, a speaker came to the B’nai Israel Congregation for a United Jewish Federation of Tidewater-funded Scholar in Residence program. Allison Josephs is the founder of Jewinthecity.com, a far-reaching campaign centering on Orthodox Jews. My husband and I are active members of many local congregations and Jewish organizations. We support all Jews in our community and find inspiration with many different avenues. Therefore, I was not particularly interested in a specific Orthodox Jewish Movement talk. I had no plans to attend any of the events that weekend, including a community one held at the Simon Family JCC.
However, out of courtesy to Chamie Haber, the rabbi’s wife, I attended Josephs’ Friday talk after the Shabbat meal. After I heard her message, I ended up attending every event that weekend. Ignited in me after listening to her, was a newfound passion for the common ground we share. Josephs focused on the frequent deliberate misconception of Observant Jews in the media. During the recent events in Gaza, I spent much of my time on social media trying to combat the unjustified and grossly disproportionate criticism of Israel, not just for the improperly informed non-Jewish individuals, but for other Jewish people across the country and around the world. Limited perceptions on Israel are contributing to the rise in anti-Semitism everywhere. Josephs and I really connected per-
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828 Healthy Way Suite 300 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-965-6165
14 | Jewish News | January 12, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
sonally, on the belief that an increase in world-wide Jewish solidarity is better for every Jew and the future of Israel. When any Jew is portrayed badly in the media, all Jews hurt. Josephs listened to my points of view and agreed there must be an increase in open-mindedness and tolerance by many Orthodox Jewish people, as well. A bond was instantly formed. Incredibly, as a result of this bond, I was invited to New York where I stood side by side with my new friend, Allison, during her annual Jew in the City All Stars Gala. This beautiful formal fundraiser and awareness event took place at The Jewish Heritage Museum in Battery Park. It brought together 10 of the most accomplished observant Jews of the year including among others, Yael Federbush, a four-time Emmy producer for the Today Show, Forbes-ranked hedge fund manager and philanthropist Henry Swieca, and Mindy Pollak, a Montreal Councilwoman who made history last fall as the first Hasidic woman to be elected to public office. I was also invited to be the very first guest blogger on the JewInTheCity site. This was a huge honor for me, considering how big Josephs’ audience is, as well as the highly accomplished influencers that support her such as Senator Joe Lieberman, BCBGeneration creative director Joyce Azria, of the Max Azria empire, and popular actress, Mayim Bialik (who became traditionally observant based on Josephs’ direct mentorship). Here is an excerpt of the original post I wrote on Dec. 16, which captures this unfolding story. The post continues to gain momentum. “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh” from the Talmud means, ”all Jews are responsible for one another.” The miracle of the Jews; such a tiny disproportionally small population on this planet, who have survived persecution and attempted annihilation over and over, are still here today. Why? Perhaps because we have consistently “loved each other into strength.” We come together in celebration and also in need, we support and take care of our weakest links. We therefore, are responsible for each
Danielle Leibovici and Allison Josephs (Rachel Renov Photography)
other all the way up the range from ultra orthodox to unaffiliated. Sure, like I mentioned to Allison, there are some orthodox people out there (some of whom I have met personally,) who give off a sense of superiority thinking they are the “real Jews.” Sure equally, there are some extreme liberal Jews (some of whom I have also met personally) who are biting off their noses despite their faces by taking for granted their jewish heritage and the existence of a Jewish State. But, there are many more jewish people who believe in this passage from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) “Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place.” This is my big take away; we need to stop stepping on each other’s toes, here. We are all Jews with our own divinely deemed paths. We don’t need to come together only when there is a real threat to our existence. It is written that the Jews are, “the light unto many nations.” We are the teachers, “The Chosen,” not because we are any better than our divinely created Non Jewish brothers and sisters, but, because we have a different responsibility. Ask any teacher you know, and I am sure they will tell you; they teach better when they are standing on a foundation of solidarity and support from their contemporaries. So let’s stand together in strength and tolerance, by seeing the “light” in each other instead of looking for the “right.” For the complete blog, visit: h t t p : / / j e w i n t h e c i t y. c o m / 2 014 / 1 2 / why-i-became-the-non-orthodox-ambassador-for-jew-in-the-city/
Presented by Alma* & Howard Laderberg
January 17 – 25, 2015 With Major Support from Above and Beyond
Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi
*of blessed memory
Opening Night Film & Reception
Saturday, January 17 | 7:30pm
Doors Open at 6:45pm
Tuesday, January 20 | 7:00pm
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 201 Market Street, Virginia Beach
Beach Movie Bistro | 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach
Above and Beyond
Directed by Roberta Grossman, Produced by Nancy Spielberg 2014 | USA | 89 min. | English & Hebrew w/ English subtitle Brief discussion post film by Director Roberta Grossman Sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi • Special thanks to Leslie Siegel for reception décor • Hors d’oeuvres and desserts elegantly catered by Village Caterers
Directed by Talya Lavie 2014 | Israel |100 min. | Hebrew w/ English subtitles To guarantee seating, please arrive by 6:30pm. Dinner and drinks available for purchase. Kosher meals available upon request by contacting email@example.com.
Sunday, January 18 | 2:00pm
Thursday, January 22 | 7:00pm
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Naro Expanded Cinema | 1507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk
50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mission of Mr. & Mrs. Kraus
Directed by Steven Pressman 2013 | USA | 64 min. | English
Directed by Alexandre Arcady 2014 | France | 109 min. | French w/ English subtitles
Director Steven Pressman will lead a post film discussion will be facilitated by Elena Baum, Director of the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT.
Discussion after the film with area Rabbis.
Sunday, January 18 | 2:00pm
Saturday, January 24 | 7:00pm
Beth Sholom Village | 6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
The Lady in Number 6
Directed by Malcolm Clarke 2014 | Poland | 37 min. | English
Directed by Eytan Fox 2013 | Israel | 92 min. | Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Cupcakes generously donated by Carolina Cupcakery.
Monday, January 19 | 10:30am
Sunday, January 25 | 5:30pm
Simon Family JCC | 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
An American Tail
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Directed by Don Bluth 1986 | USA | 80 min. | Animated film
Directed by Ted Kotcheff 1974 | USA | 120 min. | English
Free Festival Extra!
Mal Vincent, esteemed local film critic, will lead a discussion before the film. • Enjoy the reception which precedes the film, elegantly catered by TCC Culinary Arts Students.
Get Your Tickets NOW! Stop by the customer service desk or purchase online at a SimonFamilyJCC.org Full Festival Pass: $80 Includes 7 days of films & receptions
Opening Night Film & Reception: $35
Closing Night Film & Reception $18
Individual Films: $10 each Excludes opening or closing night films
| January 12,Arts 2015 |tab. Jewish News | 15 Get more information & the trailer for each of this year’s films on www.SimonFamilyJCC.orgjewishnewsva.org under the Cultural
What’s Your Story? Super Sunday, January 25 exhibit the belief in and support of these most shared and cherished Jewish values. New young leaders of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater—some native, others new to the community—conduct Super Sunday on behalf of Jewish Tidewater. They grow and flourish Jewishly as they prepare the Tidewater Jewish community to do what it does best. The committee wants to make certain that no Jew is starving in the recesses of the Former Soviet Union, or risks their lives as they seek a Jewish education at an ORT school in the Eastern Ukraine, or fails to receive a Jewish education because Jeremy of a lack of funds, or cannot live out their days in Krupnick their Tidewater home with dignity and surrounded by their community and loved ones. I have always felt like a Eliot Weinstein and Jeremy Krupnick, chairs welcomed member of this comof the 2015 Super Sunday Cabinet, are like premunity ever since my family moved vious chairs, exceptional young people who are passionate about their Judaism, love their to Virginia in the summer of 1988. community and simply want to create a day where Mitzvot are performed. That made such an impression on YAD Super Sunday 2015 Steering Committee Brandon Terkeltaub, Morgan Bober, Eliot Weinstein, Joash Shulman, Callah Davis, Eric Miller, Jeremy Krupnick, “Share Your Story,” this year’s theme, David Calliott, Jade Rouzeau, Samantha Golden, Benyamin Yaffe and Joshua Mallenbaum. me as a young child coming here focuses on personal Judaic journeys; where Missing: Meryl Mulligan and Sean Mulligan. each person has come from, and what values from Los Angeles, and I’ve always each want to express, nurture, develop and ispersed, threatened, hidden and reunited, but always a Jew. Reform, felt the need to repay our community. pass onto other generations. Conservative, Reconstructionist, modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox, My involvement in YAD and Super To be a volunteer on Sunday, Jan. 25, visit but always a Jew. Zionist, Secularist, Yiddishist and www.jewishva.org/supersunday. Culturalist, but always a Jew. A people that Sunday is just one small way I am “In many communities people find it difhave withstood much and traveled many Eliot able to give back to a community ficult to raise money to do good deeds, but in journeys, have many stories to tell. Many of those stories Weinstein our community it is not so hard because first we are about the common bonds and values of being a Jew. that has given me Growing up in Northern N.J., have raised Jews to know what it means While the stories might start out differently, so much. to be a Jew,” says Miles Leon, UJFT most end the same—especially when the story-tellit was always easy to be Jewish. As Samantha president. er is asked about their most cherished Jewish Golden my life took me further South—eventuvalues. Regardless of the spoken language, the response is often Tzedakkah—charity, Tikkun Olam has always been ally into Tidewater—it became more and justice and righteousness or Tikkun Olam— one of my strongest values and, in recent more important to me to maintain the feeling repairing the world. This i s years, I have increasingly recognized the what means so much of Jewish community. Moving here a little more to Erik Miller Erik Miller than five years ago was a welcoming experience importance of having a cohesive and supportand Samantha Tzedakkah is the ive Jewish community. As a new resident of Golden, both and one I hope every member of our commumembers of Jewish value that means nity gets to feel. Being able to espouse a sense Tidewater, it has been a privilege serving on the 2015 the most to me. I want to the Super Sunday Cabinet. The experience has of warmth is important for me and the Super Sunday Cabinet. ease the burden of those allowed me to become more involved in the driving force behind my commitment Every year in need and to give back incredible Jewish community here while to YAD and to lead this year’s the Tidewater to the community Jewish commualso giving back and encouraging Super Sunday Steering nity gathers on I live in. others to do the same. Committee. Super Sunday to
16 | Jewish News | January 12, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Super Sunday 9 am–1 pm
Share your personal story with the Tidewater community on social media. Visit the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/UJFTidewater#shareyourstory757.
Take the call, make a gift, volunteer your time Volunteers needed Two shifts: 9–11 am, and 11 am–1 pm. Babysitting provided. The Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community, Virginia Beach
Frequently asked questions What exactly is Super Sunday? Super Sunday is the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual phone-a-thon. The event is a grassroots, community-driven and community-building effort. On this one Sunday, Tidewater’s extraordinary Jewish community comes together in spirit and action to raise funds, ensuring that Jews in Tidewater, in Israel and around the globe receive quality programming, have a variety of resources to enrich their lives, and get help when it is desperately needed. Why should I make a pledge? Funds raised on Super Sunday, and throughout the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign, are allocated locally to support children, senior citizens, the community’s health and well-being, a variety of educational and cultural activities, area synagogues and community-building initiatives that promote Jewish values. In Israel, donations help provide services for those most vulnerable. Around the world, gifts support Jews in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere, and provide much needed aid following natural disasters. Visit JewishVA.org for a complete list. I’m not very active in the Jewish community. Will I be welcome as a volunteer? There are never restrictions for who can help on this vitally important day. Volunteers come from every corner of the community—from different congregations and denominations, from teens to seniors, and from all socio-economic levels. This is truly a community event. Whether a volunteer or a donor, Super Sunday gives everyone the chance to celebrate Jewish life today and ensure a vibrant future for everyone. How many volunteers does it take for Super Sunday to be a success? At least 100 volunteers are needed to help call members of the community. Sign up online at JewishVa.org/SuperSunday, or call 757-965-6100. I don’t like answering calls like this, but I’m convinced the Federation does great work. What are my options? Pledge online at any time by visiting JewishVa. org/SuperSunday, or call in a pledge during business hours, M–F, to 757-965-6100. I can’t afford to give a lot. Will my gift really make a difference? Every gift makes a difference, whether it’s $18 or $18 million. The Tidewater Jewish community’s positive impact on the world is not dependent on the size of each individual gift, but, as Judaism teaches, is most significant in the combined power of all our donations. To be a part of the 2015 “What’s Your Story?” post your own story on the UJFTidewater facebook page.
2015 UJFT Mission to the
Jewish Community of Argentina October 14 - 21, 2015 Mark your calendars. Space is limited! Itinerary in final stages of construction. $5,250* per person (From Norfolk) * Based on double occupancy and coach class air. Covers all lodging, most meals, all air and ground transportation in Argentina, tour bus, guides, speakers, admissions, and all other program costs. A MINIMUM OF 25 PARTICIPANTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE MISSION A “GO!” Email or call Amy Zelenka at firstname.lastname@example.org or 965-6139 to add your name to the list of 2015 UJFT Argentina mission participants!
jewishnewsva.org | January 12, 2015 | Jewish News | 17
investments and giving
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater launches The Corporate Partners Circle “Doing good is good business”
place where philanthropy, volunteerism and shared commitment come together to make a differ-
ence in the community and around the world, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater launched a new initiative, The Corporate Partners Circle, in the summer of 2014. Its mission is to offer a unique opportunity to market companies’ products and
Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater 260 Grayson Road Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Contact: Jessica Willingham, RN, BSN, CHPCA, Administrator 757-321-2242, JWillingham@hpctidewater.com
services to the local Jewish community who support the Federation’s ongoing mission to provide important and life-saving human services. Some of the benefits Corporate Partners receive include: • A partnership to make a difference in the community. • Multiple recognitions in conjunction with each sponsored program or event. • Opportunity to showcase the company to thousands of well-qualified prospects and patrons. • Year-round exposure through the Federation website, annual report and
About Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater HPCT Provides compassionate hospice care through a specialized team of caregivers who support patient and family goals by addressing the medical, spiritual and emotional needs of the patients and equally important, the family. HPCT works to manage pain and control symptoms so patients can embrace life and live as fully and comfortably as possible. Why did Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater become a UJFT corporate partner? As an organization jointly owned by Beth Sholom Village and Jewish Family Service, it’s natural to become a corporate partner with UJFT as we can help provide the Jewish community with additional resources to meet healthcare needs.
corporate partnership display board. • Partnership recognition reaches all of Tidewater.
y bringing together Jewish values of service and community, UJFT has
secured nine companies who share the same mission. The nine corporate partners for the 2014-2015 year are:
Why did FHGH decide to partner with UJFT’s Maimonides Society? The Maimonides Society provides a unique opportunity of collegial socializing and networking and integrates medical and Jewish concerns to demonstrate the unique contributions the health professionals can make to support the Jewish community. HPCT is proud to be a corporate partner with UJFT and looks forward to being a continued resource in the Jewish community.
18 | Jewish News | January 12, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Duct Testing Electrical Repair Installation Maintenance
R. S. Andrews of Tidewater 620 Lincoln Street Portsmouth, VA 23707 757-488-9611 Contact: Nathan Bolton, general manager, 757 488-9611; Chuck Berk, owner, president, 404 379-8463 Services provided by RS Andrews: HVAC Replacement Repair MaintainDuct cleaning IAQ–indoor air quality Home Performance Energy Audits Weatherization Insulation Crawl space encapsulation
Why did RS Andrews become a UJFT corporate partner? We are a company that tries to live its core values of focusing on our customers, our employees and building strong relationships in our market area. Similar to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and as a Jewish-owned company, we want to do the right thing and make a difference in the community. Why did RS Andrews decide to partner with UJFT’s Israel Today series? The Israel Today series seemed in line with a personal belief that our Jewish community needs more and better education to be advocates for Israel and issues of Jewish importance. The topics and International experts brought in to speak provide the insight and facts necessary for our community to learn and be prepared to speak out on these issues.
investments and giving
The West Hoffman Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors 208 Golden Oak Court, Suite 300, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 Contact: Jason S. Hoffman, Vice President–Investments, (757) 498-6250, Jason.email@example.com
Tidewater Home Funding 1108 Eden Way North Chesapeake, VA 23320 Contact: 757-366-8690, jkrupnick@ tidewaterhomefunding.com, firstname.lastname@example.org About Tidewater Home Funding: A local residential mortgage company, we assist new and/or current homeowners with the purchase or refinance of their homes. Why did Tidewater Home Funding become a UJFT corporate partner? Tidewater Home Funding saw a great opportunity to gain a new strategic partner in the UJFT. As a company, we are very aware and supportive of the great services that UJFT offers to the entire Hampton Roads community. We are proud to contribute to a small part of that. Why did Tidewater Home Funding decide to partner with UJFT’s Young Adult Division? The Young Adult Division is an impressive group of individuals who are doing great things in the community. Both Shikma Rubin and I are honored to be personally involved in the Young Adult Division. YAD members are the future leaders of the UJFT, and as we continue to try and grow our business, it makes us proud to be the UJFT’s YAD corporate sponsor.
About The West Hoffman Investment Group: Brought together by a commitment to client-focused investment management, The West-Hoffman Investment Group offers a dedicated staff that together brings specialized skills to the development and implementation of strategies for our clients. We encompass such disciplines as retirement planning and asset management. Our team manages investment assets for institutions and high net worth individuals and families. Why did The West Hoffman Investment Group become a UJFT corporate partner? When we were approached by Alex Pomerantz to sponsor the Women’s Philanthropy division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, it made sense given our clientele. In our business, we often find ourselves working with families to create and develop their legacies and often those legacies include philanthropy. We have many women clients, and only expect that number to grow given the statistics of life expectancy. We realize that women have been a historically underserviced population when it comes to investment advice and financial planning. Frankly, we find it surprising considering the amount of wealth that women control and the positive impact that they make through their philanthropy.
The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center 4535 Commerce Street Virginia Brach, VA 23462 Contact: (757) 557-0550, http://www. starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/ overview/index.html?propertyID=1568
Jones Zittrain Wealth Management Group of Merrill Lynch
Janet W. Mercadante, PRP
208 Golden Oak Court Virginia Beach, VA 23452 Contact: Greg S. Zittrain, Wealth Management Advisor, (757) 631-5530, Gregory.email@example.com; Laurie Zittrain Jones, CFP, CRPC, Wealth Management Advisor, First Vice President–Investments, (757) 631-5515, Laurie_jones@ml.com About Jones Zittrain Wealth Management: Clients who can benefit from Jones Zittrain’s devoted measure of attention include retirees and those approaching retirement, along with a growing number of physicians, attorneys, CPAs and business owners. For all clients, the team prides itself on helping clients through major and minor transitions. As Greg Zittrain explains, “Clients in peak earning years face a series of financial challenges. While enjoying their lifestyles, they’re raising families, saving for retirement and their children’s educations. We help clients hit key milestones, prepare for what’s ahead, and consider ‘life issues’ that span generations. We also help business owners diversify risk because significant wealth is tied up in their enterprise.” Why did Jones Zittrain become a UJFT corporate partner? We are a family business. Our core values are reflected in who we are and everything we do. It was a very natural decision to use our business resources to support a cause and community that has meant so much to us. Why did Jones Zittrain decide to partner with UJFT’s Israel Today series? This is our second year as supporters of the Israel Today series, and we continue to be amazed at the quality of the speakers and the engagement of the community at these events. We are proud to foster education and advocacy; it brings our community together.
Vice President–Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC/Member SIPC Contact: 999 Waterside Drive, Suite 1800, Norfolk, VA 23510, (757) 640-5909, 800-6284444, firstname.lastname@example.org About Janet W. Mercadante: I have been helping investors define and achieve their financial goals for the past 24 years. I believe that the advisor-client relationship goes beyond money; it’s about communication, trust and confidence. In addition to my individual clients, I assist corporate clients with their retirement plans. I am a member of Wells Fargo Advisors’ premier Retirement Plan Advisors Program (RPAP), as well as the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). Responsiveness and client service define my practice. Why did you choose to become a UJFT corporate partner? As a member of UJFT’s Women’s Cabinet, I am surrounded by women who inspire me. Their generosity and sense of Tikkun Olam is infectious. When offered the opportunity to be a corporate sponsor, partnering with Women’s Philanthropy was the obvious choice. I have witnessed firsthand what a community of energetic and dedicated women can achieve, and am honored to participate with them on a personal, and now corporate, level.
Beach Ford, Inc. Contact: www.beachford.com, Tom Barton, email@example.com About Beach Ford: Ford Dealership Why did Beach Ford become a corporate partner? UJFT represents the same values as Beach Ford. Striving to be a community asset, the importance of family and giving back. continued on page 20
jewishnewsva.org | January 12, 2015 | Jewish News | 19
CALLING ALL HIGH School Seniors!
Announcing the 2015 Stein Family College Scholarship
The application is now available online at: www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein Applications deadline is April 1, 2015 Questions? Contact Shelby Tudor at: 757.965.6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
January 30 | CNU’s Ferguson Center January 31 | Chrysler Hall February 1 | Sandler Center
Beethoven’s ecstatic Ninth Symphony celebrates life through the thrilling combination of orchestra and human voice. JoAnn Falletta leads the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists in this magnificent masterpiece. IT WILL LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS!
Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the VSO Chorus!
Photo: Cheryl Gorski
investments and giving
continued from page 19
Insco Insurance Group 5511 Princess Anne Road Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Contact: 757-490-1631, email@example.com About Insco Insurance Group: We are an Independent Insurance Agency offering business and personal insurance products for all Property & Casualty and Life & Health lines of coverage. Why did Insco Insurance Group become a UJFT corporate partner? As we enter our 55th year as an insurance agency in Tidewater, we feel that a UFJT sponsorship is a wonderful tribute to our founder, Seeman Waranch, who recently retired. We are thrilled to continue his legacy of supporting the Jewish community. As a professional services company, we believe that partnering with the Business and Legal Society is a perfect match.
Our new president, Lisa Waranch Gilbert, expresses her excitement for the agency’s future, “My father is proud of the continuation of the agency and the direction it has taken over the past year. We intend to continue the same values he instilled from day one—outstanding expertise, service and the utmost respect for our clients. We are encouraged by what the future holds for the agency.”
he United Jewish Federation of Tidewater sincerely thanks its 20142015 Corporate Partners for their loyal support and collaboration. The quality products and services they provide their customers are a valuable resource and greatly appreciated by the Tidewater Jewish community. The UJFT looks forward to continuing these strong partnerships and growing further support through the Corporate Partners Circle. For more information and to learn how to become a Corporate Partner, contact Alex Pomerantz, senior development officer, at 757-965-6136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: David A. Beloff
DON’T MISS At the Movies with the MUSIC of February 6 | CNU’s Ferguson Center February 7 | Chrysler Hall
Tickets start at only $25
Virgini a Sym phony.org | 7 5 7 .892.6 3 6 6
Groups of 10+ 757.466.3047
20 | Jewish News | January 12, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Greg Zittrain, Jeremy Krupnick, Jason Huffman and Janet Mercadante, at a UJFT Business and Legal Society lunch at Zim’s local headquarter.
investments and giving
Israel Bonds surpasses $1 billion in U.S. sales for second consecutive year NEW YORK—Following 2013’s record U.S. sales, Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds surpassed the $1 billion mark in U.S. sales for the second consecutive year. Eighty-four percent of total sales were investments of $25,000 and under, and 54 percent of total sales were $1,000 or less, demonstrating the instrumental contribution of individual investors in the sales of Israel bonds. Worldwide sales have now surpassed $37 billion since bonds were first issued in 1951. In 2013, U.S. sales exceeded $1.12 billion. “Today’s milestone shows that last year’s record sales were not an outlier, but an attainable goal the organization will target each year,” says Israel Bonds president and CEO Izzy Tapoohi. “Israel Bonds serves as a strategic resource for Israel. We continue to draw an increasingly diverse array of individual and institutional investors, even in times of conflict, who are eager to
become shareholders in one of the most resilient economies in the world.” Tapoohi’s work to grow the Israel Bonds organization’s sales was the subject of a November 2014 profile in Bloomberg News. The article touched upon new marketing strategies, internal technology upgrades and a reorganization of the global operations responsible for Israel bonds sales, as well as interest from institutional investors. Tapoohi told Bloomberg News, “We run a brokerage firm with a Jewish heart.” In the same article, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli—who has invested millions of dollars in Israel bonds for the state’s portfolio—said, “New York feels a strong connection to the state of Israel, so an investment like this has a double bottom line.” This summer, Israel Bonds displayed its strategic value to Israel during Operation Protective Edge, rapidly mobilizing the
from market fluctuations. Capital provided through the sale of Israel bonds has helped strengthen every aspect of Israel’s economy, enabling the development of key national infrastructure. Today, expanded ports and transportation networks help facilitate the shipment of “Made in Israel” technology around the world, enhancing national export growth. Capital accrued through the sale of Israel bonds has enabled cutting-edge innovation that saves lives and changes the world on a daily basis.
securement of funds for Israel’s economy. In November 2014, Fitch Ratings, a global credit ratings agency, issued a report in the wake of the Gaza conflict citing “an active diaspora bonds program” as one of the key indicators of Israel’s financing flexibility. (Israel bonds themselves are not rated.) Israel bonds are debt securities issued by the government of Israel. The bonds can help preserve capital, diversify personal or corporate investment portfolios, and provide protection
Capital provided through the sale of Israel bonds has helped strengthen every aspect of Israel’s economy, enabling the development of key national infrastructure.
Serving our community An industry veteran, Janet believes that the Advisor-Client relationship goes beyond money; it’s about communication, trust, and confidence. After all, it’s your future. And she’s fully invested in helping you get there.
Financial guidance with a personal touch. Asset Management • Retirement Plans • Wealth Distribution
Janet W. Mercadante, PRP Vice President - Investments
Investment and Insurance Products:
999 Waterside Drive, Suite 1800, Norfolk, VA 23510 757.640.5909 direct | 800.628.4444 toll free | 757.640.8429 fax
▶ NOT FDIC Insured ▶ NO Bank Guarantee ▶ MAY Lose Value
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2014 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All Rights reserved. CAR#1214-03529
jewishnewsva.org | January 12, 2015 | Jewish News | 21
Book Review The Jewish adaptation to America Politics, Faith, and the Making of American Judaism Peter Adams University of Michigan Press, 2014 207pp, $27.95 ISBN 978-0-472-05205-9
onathan Sarna’s popular book, When General Grant Expelled the Jews, (reviewed in the Jewish News in 2013) examined the infamous General Hal Sacks Order 11 of Dec. 17, 1862 in the context of the chaos of the Civil War, the virulent anti-Semitism of the time, and an American Jewish community poorly organized to deal with political matters. In point of fact, a large segment of that community believed it was improper for Jews to involve themselves in politics at all. At roughly the same time another schol-
ar, Peter Adams, currently teaching at Old Dominion University, was working on Politics, Faith, and the Making of American Judaism. Necessarily, Adams covers much of the same ground illuminating the efforts of many of the same players. But while Sarna’s provocative work concentrates on telling the story of Grant’s outburst, brought on by smuggling on the part of Jews as well as others and the ramifications leading up to and including Grant’s electoral struggles, Adams carries the reader further along in the progress of Jewish adaptation to America into the early 20th century. General Order 11 indicted “The Jews, as a class,” sounding a clarion (shofar) call for Jewish unity at a time when Reform and Orthodox Jewry were at complete loggerheads, remaining so for decades. The response was mixed and although the order was squashed with the support of President Lincoln himself, Jews were overtly despised, much to the chagrin of
22 | Jewish News | January 12, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
the more successfully assimilated Reform Jewry (dubbed the yahudim), who were largely of German extraction. The dramatic backdrop to the growing progress of American Jews, despite the sometimes virulent anti-Semitism, was the growing success of the Reform movement which sought to build on the spirit of haskalah (reason) begun in Hamburg in 1818. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise led the fight to establish a Reform counterpart to the Orthodox Board of Delegates and set up homogenous agricultural communithe Union of Hebrew Congregations was ties. One in Galveston, Texas ended up created in 1873, followed shortly after by a spectacular failure. (One is reminded the opening of Hebrew Union College in of efforts in the mid-20th Century to move Puerto Rican immigrants from New Cincinnati. Ironically, the opening of the floodgates York City to agricultural communities in to the immigration of hundreds of thou- up-state New York.) Ellis Island was prosands of impoverished Jews from Russia, cessing as many at 5-10,000 immigrants Poland, Latvia and Romania, created huge daily, and in 1910 alone, almost half a million Jews successfully passed through resettlement problems. By further its portals to enter America. exacerbating anti-Semitism, As the 20th century opened, the late19th Century exodus under the leadership of of eastern European Jews Establishment Solomon Schechter, supforced the organization of Jewry were ported by Reform leaders American Jewry, albeembarrassed by these Mayer Sulzberger, and it in separate camps, Jacob Schiff, the Jewish into an economic and “lower caste” ostyuden Theological Seminary political force to be and were greatly concerned (created in 1887) develreckoned with. Establishment lest Gentiles failed to draw oped the theological underpinnings of the Jewry were embarthe proper distinction Conservative moverassed by these ment, a compromise “lower caste” ostyubetween the acculturated between Reform and den and were German Jews and the Orthodoxy. This unique greatly concerned lest Gentiles failed to draw unassimilated Jews from brand of Judaism, “was a way to reunite a fracthe proper distinction Eastern Europe. tured community and between the acculturated revitalize the faith among German Jews and the unasyoung Americanizing Jews, the similated Jews from Eastern sons and daughters of the Russian Europe. Despite their discomfort, migration.” Never fully in agreement, aloofness and at times hostility, the German Jews, both Reform and Orthodox, the three denominations nevertheless resigned themselves to care for and do embraced a mutuality of interest, allowing their best to help the newcomers succeed the increasingly successful Jewish commuin America. Your reviewer was personally nity to take its place in America. Peter Adams’ informative work goes touched when he learned during a visit to Ellis Island, that the Jews of New York saw a long way in explaining the path our to it that the immigrants, upon landing, grandparents and great grandparents took, were provided with Kosher food at the a path that lead to the political prominence enjoyed by their fortunate descendants. famous port of debarkation. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal There were wild schemes cooked up to avoid urban concentration of poor Jews, worker who has reviewed books for Jewish such as attempting to move Jews en masse to News for more than 30 years.
it’s a wrap Congregation Beth El’s From Bimah to Broadway was an afternoon of song
Chanukah Hebrew Happy Hour by Benyamin M. Yaffe
JFT’s Young Adult Division’s Hebrew Happy Hours occur every month, usually on a Thursday evening. Young Jewish professionals from around Tidewater come together, have some drinks and relax to the news that the weekend is only a day away. The final 2014 Hebrew Happy Hour took place on Thursday, Dec. 18 at Luna Maya. This was a particulary special one, because in addition to being the last Hebrew Happy Hour of the year, it also was the only Happy Hour to fall on Chanukah. With more than 25 people attending, Jacob Mart, YAD Business Network Series
Jacob Mart lights the menorah.
co-chair, lit the menorah and welcomed in the third night of the holiday. To become active in YAD, contact Benyamin Yaffe at email@example.com.
Linda Drucker, Joan Joffee, Meryl Mulligan, Jody Laibstain, Alex Pomerantz, Marlene Rossen and Linda Samuels, committe members for From Bimah to Broadway.
by Mark Kozak
hree cantors and a rabbi walk onto the bimah…. No, it is not the start of a bad Yiddish joke. But there were a few of those quips when Congregation Beth El hosted its largest fundraiser on Dec. 14 since its 150th anniversary celebration in 2000. Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz introduced the special guest cantors: Randy Herman of Bet Torah in Kisco, N.Y.; Alisa Pomerantz-Boro of Congregation Beth El in Vorhees, N.J.; and Zachary Mondrow of Temple Torah of West Boynton Beach, Fla. Then the hazzans ran away with the 1½-hour show titled, From Bimah to Broadway. Thrilling an audience of some 400, the much-traveled trio performed everything from Hebrew liturgy and original Jewish songs to vaudeville shtick and Broadway blockbusters. “It’s one thing to have a casino night or a golf tournament—and we might do those again in the future—but it’s even better when we can combine a fundraiser with our mission of sharing Judaism with the community,” said Rabbi Arnowitz in his opening remarks. He thanked co-chairs Alex Pomerantz (no relation to the cantor) and Marlene Rossen, plus a host of other volunteers, sponsors and staff, for their hard work and contributions to the concert. The event
took place in the midst of a months-long exploration of cantorial music styles during the synagogue’s search for a new cantor. Accompanied by the keyboard magic of Cantor Herman, the threesome performed songs together, in mix-and-match duos, and in solo. Judaic selections included Pomerantz-Boro’s moving personal rendition of Modim Anachnu Lach, Herman’s amusing recording of Yofi Tofi Mucho Beseder (think Randy Newman) and Mondrow’s big, baritone voice in Boneh Yerushalayim. In the evening’s final half hour, they added a touch of showbiz with PomerantzBoro singing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, Mondrow belting out Proud of Your Boy from Aladdin the Musical and Herman involving the crowd in Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher. Together they finished with rousing sing-alongs for Lo Yisa Goy and Aleinu. “I didn’t want it to end,” Betty Lou Legum said as she exited the sanctuary. “What a treat; I couldn’t get enough,” said Dr. Herbert Brewer during a post-concert reception. Rabbi Arthur Ruberg, who oversaw the congregation’s packed house with Elie Wiesel in 2000, called the concert “one of the great days in the history of the synagogue.” And beyond the entertainment value, co-chair Alex Pomerantz says the afternoon “exceeded fundraising expectations.”
Chanukah with the Homeless at Ohef Sholom
he miracle of Chanukah burned brightly in Ohef Sholom Temple as the congregation celebrated Chanukah with 90 newly found friends. Dec. 17 through Dec. 24, OST, in partnership with Ghent United Methodist Church, housed and fed the homeless during its NEST week. NEST, which stands for Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team, consists of a group of churches and temples that share housing the homeless from November through March. OST volunteered to do this week when no other church was available. Usually there are two NEST sites for each week, but this week OST was the only site—a significant challenge as this almost doubled the usual number of NEST guests. Instead of turning people away, volunteers moved the mats closer together, ordered more supplies and then did what any Jewish mother knows to do…cooked a lot more food. The temple was able to do this because of its volunteers and donors. People like Barbara Fernandez brought her young sons Samuel, 11, and Jonathan, 9, who eagerly helped cook and serve dinner for two nights; Megan Brown bought and donated 90 pairs of gloves as a Christmas present for her dad; Laura Gilbert made more than 120 scarves that she delivered to the
guests; Carol Rosenblatt donated socks and hoodies that came in handy on an especially wet day. Linda Fox-Jarvis, OST president, purchased 90 ponchos that were given out the morning of that wet day. Temple Administrator Gail Bachman, as usual, gave 110% to support this NEST undertaking, including making a late afternoon trip to Costco for more supplies. Julius Miller, who came along with his wife Jeanne and children Robert and Bessie says, “It makes me feel good to help, but more important is giving back to people who need it now. Anyone could be in their situation at any time—any one of us—and it’s just the right thing to help.” All in all, the week went smoothly— OST’s guests were very appreciative and tolerated the cramped spaces so all could get out of the cold. All the volunteers gained a new appreciation for their warm and soft beds and did not mind sacrificing their Chanukah celebration in order to perform this incredible mitzvah. NEST is one of the many community outreach activities of the OST Caring Committee, which is committed to performing acts of tikkun olam in the local community.
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What more can you do? Date with the State Wednesday, Feb. 4, Richmond
by Brad Lerner
he annual Community Relations Council’s delegation to Richmond for Jewish Advocacy Day is always a great event, and this year, it is more imperative than ever to have a good community turnout. Between the conflict with Hamas last summer and the global resurgence of anti-Semitism, this has been quite a challenging year for the Jewish world and for Tidewater’s Jewish community. It was incredibly meaningful to see the Jewish community come together in the summer to show solidarity for Israel. But many were left afterwards with a “What more can I do?” feeling.
One of the great strengths of our community is that so many people reading this article speak up against issues that negatively impact Israel or Jews locally and abroad. As such, you may want to consider this year joining the CRC to meet with local Senators and Delegates in Richmond at Jewish Advocacy Day. While we may be speaking up against legislation that would be bad for our community, Date with the State allows us to be pro-active by building relationships with legislators so that we will have the friendships needed to counter the issues later. Although the particular legislation that will be discussed on Jewish Advocacy Day
CRC Legislative Action co-chair, Brad Lerner with Lt. Governor Ralph Northam at Date With the State 2014. Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline President
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is still being decided, some past issues will surely be worth raising again with state Delegates and Senators. For example, given the amount of anti-Semitic outbursts across the globe, the issue of prayer on the public stage (in schools and public meetings) will likely need to be explained. Jewish Americans need to be vocal about our constitutional right to have our public schools free from unnecessary laws that blur the separation of church and state. Support for our local agencies is always on the agenda and we expect this year will be no different. We will also likely discuss the importance of the continued need for support for the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB). Given the events unfolding in Israel and certain negative international/media responses, we need to ensure that VIAB does not lose funding in the future and continues to do the great work of bringing Israeli businesses to Virginia, therefore creating jobs and tax revenue for the state. I have enjoyed attending past Date with
the States. It is a great occasion to help make Virginia a more tolerant, healthy and prosperous place—not just for Jews, but for everyone. I would love to see the biggest Tidewater delegation ever attend the Richmond event this year. We need your support. $36 helps defray the cost of bus transportation, kosher lunch and materials. A check mailed to UJFT, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462, att: CRC—Date With the State, confirms a seat on the bus. For more information, or to reserve a seat by Jan. 28, visit www.JewishVA.org/ CRCDateWithTheState. The CRC’s Insiders’ Briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 28, will provide all registered attendees with detailed talking points and lobbying tips.. It takes place at the Sandler Family Campus at 6:30 pm. This pre-meeting is strongly suggested for anyone planning to attend Date With the State. To RSVP for this dinner meeting, email CRC@ujft.org.
what’s happening Film Festival’s closing night features Mal Vincent and reception The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Sunday, Jan. 25, 5:30 pm, TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
by Benyamin M. Yaffe
Friday, January 16, 5:45 pm
by Leslie Shroyer
or his seventh “Mal’s Pick” night at the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg, veteran movie and entertainment critic Mal Vincent. has chosen a mainstream Hollywood movie with a Jewish subject. Vincent’s selection, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, is the film that launched Richard Dreyfuss’ career. Vincent will add a personal touch to the evening with a few stories about his encounters with Dreyfus, and why he chose this film for the festival. Made in 1974, the film earned an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the movie is about the younger son of a working-class Jewish family in Montreal, Duddy Kravitz, played by Dreyfuss, who yearns to make a name for himself. The film explores the themes of anti-Semitism and the responsibilities Duddy faces as a young adult. Vincent knew the still largely unrecognized actor, who appeared in, but did not star in American Graffiti in 1973. Dreyfuss was also in a movie made around the same time in Oklahoma called Dillinger. Vincent,
who covered a review on Dillinger, will tell a story about how he thought he was a goner when the simulated gunfire erupted on this set. According to Vincent, it took years for Dreyfuss to shake off the abrasive persona of Duddy, but he did blossom into other starring roles, such as in The Goodbye Girl, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1978 for The Goodbye Girl (1977), and was nominated in 1995 for Mr. Holland’s Opus. Even though Duddy is driven by ambition and greed, his desire to be a success is easy to understand, which makes this potentially unlikable character forgivable. Based on the novel by Mordechai Richler, it’s a classic, shot in Montreal, and a great ending to the 22nd year of the Jewish film festival. The closing night reception at 5:30 pm, with appetizers and desserts prepared by TCC culinary arts students, precedes Vincent’s introduction of the final film of this year’s Virginia Festival of Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. * of blessed memory
Family Friendly Fridays at Ohef Sholom
Sunday, Feb. 15 9 am–12 pm, or 12–3 pm
ith the New Year in full swing, some events from last year are back with a new twist. Operation Hamantaschen, a popular collaborative event between the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC department of Children and Families, is now gearing up. Last year, more than 100 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds attended this event to bake Hamantaschen cookies for Jewish U.S. military members, as well as for Jewish Family Service clients. This year’s twist is that on top of making cookies, participants will write and send personalized letters to Lone Soldiers serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, half way across the world. The personalized letters mean so much to those brave men and women who have no family in Israel, but serve that country with valor and grace. A community-wide event, it is open to people of all ages. Volunteers are now being accepted for either of the two time-slots. To participate, go to http://jewishva.org/ Op-Hamantaschen and sign up for a shift by Feb. 11.
child-friendly Shabbat evening service with songs and stories led by Rabbi Roz, Cantor Wally and Rabbi Steinberg are the buzz at Ohef Sholom Temple. These abbreviated monthly services, specifically designed for families with infants through middle schoolers, provide a new style of Shabbat for families at OST. With lively singing accompanied by the new OST Youth Choir, an entertaining story, boundless joy, laughter and dancing in the aisles, this 40-minute service allows families to worship together comfortably on Shabbat. These popular services are held prior to Ohef Sholom’s monthly Family Shabbat Dinner, which begins at 6:30 pm and offers a delicious adult meal for only $10. Childfriendly meals for those under 12 years of age are free. Traditional Friday night services take place following the dinner. It is not necessary to be a member to attend either the service or the Shabbat dinner. Call the Temple at 625-4295 to make a reservation.
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jewishnewsva.org | January 12, 2015 | Jewish News | 25
Argentina’s president adopts Jewish godson to counteract werewolf legend BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ( JTA)— Argentina’s president adopted a Jewish godson under a law intended to counteract an old legend about werewolves. President Christina Fernandez described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. Tawil was adopted under a law passed in the 1920s to counteract a legend that a seventh son born after six boys with no girls in between becomes a werewolf whose bite can turn others into a werewolf. Belief in the legend was once so widespread that families were abandoning, giving up for adoption and even killing their own sons. Under the law, the boys receive presidential protection, a gold medal and a scholarship for all studies until their 21st birthday. Until 2009, the law only applied to Catholic boys. Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, parents of
seven boys, in 1993 wrote a letter to the president asking for the honor and were denied. But this year, Yair wrote a letter to the president citing the 2009 decree and asking for the designation of godson. Last month, he became the first Jewish godson of a president in Argentina’s history. Fernandez received Yair, his parents and three of his brothers in her office, where they lit Chanukah candles together. The president in her tweets and photos described to her 3.4 million Twitter followers a “magical moment” with a “marvelous family.” She described Yair as “a total sweety,” and his mother a “Queen Esther.” She tweeted that the Tawils “are a very special family. They have a sort of peace, happiness and a lot of love that is not common.” The tweet included a link to the presidential blog, which includes more photos from the meeting.
Kindertransport documentary selected for permanent preservation LOS ANGELES (JTA)—The Oscar Awardwinning film Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport was selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry. The film, released in 2000, documents the rescue of some 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi-dominated Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the months leading up to World War II. All of them found refuge in Great Britain, but many were scarred by separation from their parents, most of who subsequently perished in the Holocaust. Deborah Oppenheimer, producer of the documentary and herself the daughter of a Kindertransport, or Children’s Transport, survivor, said: “With the passing of so many eyewitnesses to that tumultuous period, the preservation of the film will recognize for all time the tremendous resilience of the children, the courage of their
parents who were willing to entrust them to strangers, and the compassion of the British families who took them in at a time when so few would help.” Mark Jonathan Harris, the film’s director, noted, “This recognition is a tribute to the character of our subjects as much as it is to our film. I know that those [survivors] who are still alive will be gratified that their wrenching stories will be preserved for generations to come and that others may be inspired by the courage and resilience they displayed in the face of harrowing circumstances.” Each year, the National Film Registry adds 25 feature films, documentaries and even home movies judged to be historically, culturally and aesthetically important enough to preserve for future generations. Among the films joining Kindertransport as new additions this year are Saving Private Ryan, Rosemary’s Baby and The Big Lebowski.
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January 16, Friday Family Friendly Fridays at Ohef Sholom. 5:45 pm. A child-friendly Shabbat evening service with songs and stories. 625-4295. See page 24. January 17, Saturday—January 25, Sunday Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. For all information, including films, locations, costs and show times, go to www.SimonFamilyJCC.org or call 757-321-2338. January 21, Wednesday The JCC Seniors Club meeting’s guest entertainer is Marsha Wallace. Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, she will sing traditional American folk songs and play the guitar, hammered dulcimer and lap dulcimer. She will also share some stories and entertain questions along with her music. Board meeting begins at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 noon, general meeting follows. For further information, call 757-497-0229. January 25, Sunday Super Sunday. Volunteers are needed! Two shifts: 9 am–11 am or 11 am–1 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. Be part of the next chapter in the continuing story of the Tidewater Jewish community by participating in this annual phone-a-thon. Babysitting is available, training is provided and all community members are welcome. Share your Jewish story, and look at others’ on www.Facebook.com/UJFTidewater #shareyourstory757. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate now, visit www.JewishVA.org/SuperSunday, or call 757-965-6136. See page 16. PJ Play date at the Simon Family JCC. Story time and a play date. Enjoy this month’s PJ book along with a fun activity. Those who haven’t yet joined PJ Library, come see what it’s all about. Playdate is best for children five years old and under. 10:30-11:30 am. RSVP to eeskenazi@ simonfamilyjcc.org February 26, Thursday Celebrate Israel series. Simon Family JCC welcomes Gidi Grinstein, president and founder of Israel’s Reut Institute. Grinstein will discuss his groundbreaking book, Flexigidity. In his talk, he will explore how the Jews have utilized Flexigidity to adapt and stay relevant. He will also assesses the future in light of trends that are pulling Jewish communities apart. Free and open to the community. 7 pm. Simon Family JCC. 757-321-2338. February 7, SATURDAY Hoedown Havdallah. Celebrate Shabbat with Simon Family JCC friends and family. Visit with animals, pet and play with creatures great and small, and have Shabbat dinner with candle lighting and prayers. Plus, there will be time to learn some square dancing moves after the meal. 6-7:30 pm. $10 adults/$6 children; call 321-2338 to register. February 4, Wednesday Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater travels to Richmond for the annual Jewish Advocacy Day. 8:45 am–6 pm; leaving from the Sandler Family Campus. $36 includes kosher lunch and helps defray transportation. For more information about how to join this year’s Date with the State delegation, or to RSVP (required) by Wednesday, Jan. 28 visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCDateWiththeState. An Insiders’ Briefing, providing all attendees with detailed talking points on the issues and lobbying tips, takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. See page 24. February 15, Sunday Operation Hamantaschen. Two shifts: 9 am–noon or noon–3 pm. Free and open to the community. At the Simon Family JCC. Do a mitzvah—or a baker’s dozen! Bakers of all ages are needed to help make cookies to send to Jewish U.S. troops for Purim, and to donate to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Volunteers are also needed to decorate and pack boxes. More of an artist than a baker? Create handmade notes of thanks that will be sent to support U.S. and IDF troops. All materials provided. Babysitting available. Sign up: www.JewishVA. org/OperationH or call 757-965-6138. See page 24. MARCH 7, SATURDAY Purimpalooza. 8 pm, ages 21 and up. $20 early bird tickets; $25 at the door, at the Sandler Family Campus. Join hundreds of young Jewish adults and friends for the Young Adult Division of the UJFT’s 2015 Purim costume carnivale—a party like no other. Live music, costume contest, open bar, desserts and many, many photo ops. Get tickets today: visit www.JewishVA. org/Purimpalooza or call 757-965-6138. More information at www.fb.com/YAD.UJFT. Send submissions for calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Mazel Tov to
Celebrating 100 Years!
Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach and his daughter Rachel Zoberman Azoff at the White House Chanukah Reception, hosted by President and Mrs. Obama on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
A Jewish social/philanthropic club for men and women meeting at the Beth Sholom Village in Hampton Roads. For membership information call Gail at 757-461-1150 Joe Goldberg at 757-467-0688 or email Brith.Sholom1@gmail.com
Administrator gains national certification
essica Willingham, RN, BSN, administrator at the Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater, achieved certification as a Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator last month from the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN®). Willingham is a 2007 graduate from Arkansas State University, where she obtained her bachelor of science in nursing. She is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) and the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals (NCHPP). In February 2012, she joined Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater as the administrator and has developed the joint venture between Beth Sholom Home and Jewish Family Service into a successful agency caring for those at end of life. “As a hospice nurse, I have always enjoyed the one-on-one care with patients and families,” says Willingham. “Not many people get to be a part of something from the ground up. We have touched the lives of over 300 individuals and their families while successfully carrying out our mission to provide the comprehensive physical, emotional and spiritual care, promoting the highest quality of living for those suffering from a life-limiting illness.” NBCHPN® is the only organization that offers specialty certification for all levels of hospice and palliative nursing care, administrators and perinatal loss care professionals. Each certification is valid for four years. In 2007, NBCHPN® initiated the development of a hospice and palliative certification exam for administrators. There are currently more than 250 administrators who hold the CHPCA® credential.
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Willingham is one of five people in the state of Virginia and the only individual in Tidewater to achieve this certification. “Obtaining this certification was important to me because it shows not only my professional commitment to safe, ethical and evidence-based care, but it also reflects the high standards of our agency,” says Willingham. To learn more about care at end of life or more about Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater call 757-321-2242 or visit www.hpctidewater.com.
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obituaries Florence B. Karp Portsmouth—Florence Bress Karp, 96, died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 in her home. A Norfolk native, lifelong educator and philanthropist, Florence Bress Karp was born on Feb 26, 1918. Florence earned her bachelor’s degree from Longwood College in secondary education and began teaching at Woodrow Wilson High School. Shortly thereafter she met her husband of 44 years, Leonard G. Karp. She was an active member of Temple Sinai and most recently Ohef Sholom Temple and was a life member of Hadassah. She was also very active in the community and volunteered at numerous organizations such as the Beth Sholom Home, Portsmouth General Hospital, as well as many community outreach programs where she was able to continue her passion for enriching students’ lives whether it be teaching illiterate children to read or assisting students in her solving various math problems. She is survived by her son David L. Karp of Hummelstown, Pa. and two grandchildren, Rachelle Karp of Miami, Fla. and Michael Karp of Harrisburg, Pa., along with her brother Allyn Bress of Madison, Wisc. Graveside funeral services were held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery. Rabbi Arthur Steinberg officiated. Memorial donations may be made to Ohef Sholom or the charity of the donor’s choice. Gerald Forman Kahan Portsmouth—Gerald Forman Kahan, age 85 of Tampa, Fla., died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Mr. Kahan was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., but resided in Portsmouth for most of his life. He was the former owner of Mr.Tux and Goldberg’s Clothing Store and was a member of the Lions Club. Survivors include his former spouse, Reva Boster, sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Michael and Antoinette Kahan of Virginia Beach, and Dr. Bruce and Claudia Kahan of Wesley Chapel, Fla., brother, Stephen Kahan of New York and four grandchildren. Graveside services were held at the Gomley Chesed Cemetery in Portsmouth. Memorial contributions may be made to USF Health, Byrd Alzheimers Institute,
4001 E. Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, FL. 33613. Condolences may be expressed online at segalfuneralhome.com. Ethel A. Katz Norfolk—Ethel A. Katz, 97, passed away Thursday, Jan.1, 2015. She was the daughter of the late Robert and Dora Aframe. She was born in Norfolk and was the beloved widow of Simon Katz. Mrs. Katz graduated from Maury High School and attended the Norfolk Division of William & Mary. She was a member of Temple Israel, Sisterhood of Temple Israel, Hadassah and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law Mildred and Bennie Zedd and by a grandson Ross Friedman. Survivors include her daughters Elaine Edlin Spanier and her husband Sidney of New York City, Sandra Friedman and her husband Jerome, grandsons Richard Edlin (Janine) of Tenafly, N.J., and Douglas Edlin (Nancy) of Carlisle, Pa., four great grandsons and her sister Ida Shames (Eddie) and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank all the staff of Beth Sholom Terrace for their exceptional and compassionate care of their mother. Memorial donations may be made to the Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia, Temple Israel or to one’s charity of choice. A service was conducted at H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Norfolk Chapel by Cantor Elihu Flax of Beth Sholom Village. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Alan J. Mand Norfolk—Alan J. Mand, 77, passed away on Friday, Jan. 2, 2014. He was a Norfolk native, Maury High School graduate, lifelong member of Congregation Beth El and its Men’s Club. He was a member of Brith Sholom and Masonic Lodge Norfolk #1. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Annette Mand and his children Aileen Schaked (Edgar) of Orlando, Fla. and Lori Machesky (Joe) of Marietta, Ga. and three grandchildren Noah, Max and Sophie. He was pre-deceased by his parents Lillie and Louis Mand. A funeral service was held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk, followed by burial
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in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations may be made to Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia, Beth El Temple, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be made to the family through hdoliver.com.
Bess Myerson, only Jewish Miss America Bess Myerson, the only Jewish woman to be crowned Miss America, has died. Myerson, who also was a spokeswoman for the Anti-Defamation League and donated $1.1 million to help found the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, died on Dec. 14 at her home in Santa Monica, Calif., The New York Times reported. She was 90. Her death had not been publicly reported. After being crowned Miss America in September 1945, days after the close of World War II, Myerson went on to have a career in public affairs. She led two New York City departments—consumer affairs and cultural affairs—before becoming a spokeswoman and national commissioner for the ADL. Myerson also served on various boards and commissions under presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Throughout the late 1970s, Myerson became one of the faces of Ed Koch’s mayoral campaign. She appeared on his posters and was often seen holding hands with him in public. In the late 1980s, Myerson became romantically linked to wealthy sewer contractor Carl Capasso and subsequently was involved in a series of legal controversies, or what was known as the “Bess Mess.” In 1989 she was acquitted in the bribery of a New York judge. A year earlier she had been caught shoplifting. Following the bribery acquittal, Myerson stayed out of the public eye for the rest of her life. Myerson was born in the Bronx in 1924 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. She lived in the Shalom Aleichem Co-operative with a few hundred other Jewish families and attended the High School of Music & Art. As a talented piano player and performer, she went on to play at Carnegie Hall and appear on television shows such as “I’ve Got A Secret.” (JTA)
Mario Cuomo married strident liberalism and sensitivity to the Orthodox by Ron Kampeas
(JTA)—Mario Cuomo, a three-term New York governor, was the rare politician who appealed to the Jewish tent’s opposite poles. A strident liberal with a nuanced understanding of the sense of vulnerability among the deeply religious in a secular society, Cuomo died of heart failure on Thursday, Jan. 1, just hours after his son Andrew was sworn in for his second term as governor. He was 82. Lopsided Jewish support helped propel Cuomo into the governor’s office in 1982, 1986 and 1990. The state’s large Jewish community joined other liberal constituencies in celebrating the man who emerged in the 1980s as the most prominent vanguard against President Ronald Reagan. Cuomo, addressing a gathering of Holocaust survivors in 1985, faulted Reagan for all-too-blithely ignoring Germany’s past when the president agreed to mark the 40th anniversary of D-Day at a cemetery containing the graves of SS officers. “The truth is, even those who are free of anti-Semitism—even those who are almost certainly sincere in their revulsion at the Holocaust—are tempted to forget, to declare this ugly chapter of human history closed, done with, over,” Cuomo said. The jibe was of a piece with rhetoric that helped vault Cuomo to national prominence the previous year, when he keynoted the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Reagan’s sunny conservatism was appealing, Cuomo acknowledged, but ignored harsh realities. “A ‘shining city’ is perhaps all the president sees from the portico of the White House and the veranda of his ranch, where everyone seems to be doing well,” Cuomo said. “But there’s another city, another part to the shining city, the part where some people can’t pay their mortgages and most young people can’t afford one, where students can’t afford the education they need and middle-class parents watch the dreams they hold for their children evaporate.” Cuomo credited his sensitivity to the needs of the Orthodox to his childhood in Queens, where he served as a “Shabbos goy” for a synagogue up the street from the
obituaries grocery owned by his Sicilian immigrant parents. The job clearly left an impression. He recalled sharing the experience with Branch Rickey, the baseball executive who integrated the sport when he hired Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers. “When I told him that I had been an altar boy and a ‘Shabbos goy,’ he wanted to know all about it,” Cuomo told a Rickey biographer. Cuomo created an office of assistant to the governor for Jewish affairs and broke with his party’s liberal wing on a number of church-state issues. He helped Kiryas Joel, a haredi Orthodox enclave in Orange County, maintain a separate school district despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. The website for his unsuccessful 1994 bid to win a fourth term noted that he established the Kosher Food Advisory Council.
“He has consistently pushed for stronger enforcement of kosher regulations,” it said. Cuomo also backed a bill that allowed the haredi Orthodox ambulance corps Hatzolah to expand its service. During his 1990 election campaign, Cuomo beamed when he earned the blessing of the Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who handed him two of the dollars he traditionally gave out to supplicants for good luck – one each for the election and his third term. “This is more than I expected, rabbi, and this will require me to give back more, which I will,” Cuomo said, sporting a silver-bordered black kipah. Cuomo’s sensitivity to Jewish issues extended beyond the delicate church-state balance that the observant must navigate. He was an unstinting Israel supporter, visiting the country in 1992. “Until you come here, you know the words but don’t understand the music,”
he said. Cuomo banned the state from doing business with anyone who complied with the Arab boycott and expanded business relations with Israel. Cuomo criticized New York Mayor David Dinkins’ handling of the 1991 riots in Crown heights, which pitted blacks against Orthodox Jews and resulted in the death of Yankel Rosenbaum. Cuomo appointed an investigative committee, which eviscerated the city’s handling of the riots. “Mario Cuomo was someone who understood both the needs of the Jewish community on a practical level but also on an emotional one,” said Ezra Friedlander, an Orthodox lobbyist. “Mario Cuomo was a man of faith who understood with every fiber of his body the accommodations that government has to provide to communities of faith to flourish, including the Jewish community.”
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Collaborative Divorce: A no-court, no drama choice
hen it comes to a traditional, litigated divorce, Danny DeVito’s divorce lawyer character Gavin D’Amato summed it up well in The War of the Roses: “There is no winning! Only degrees of losing!” SuAnne Bryant, a collaboratively trained attorney in Chesapeake says “everyone has heard about, and many have been in, marriages that ended in nightmare divorces—years in court; astronomical bills for lawyers, private investigators, parenting capacity evaluations and accountants. These divorce ‘wars’ often result in college savings gone and/or retirement funds spent, emotional trauma and often, dissatisfaction with the decisions of the judge. The family’s ‘dirty laundry’ is on display in front of their friends. In the end, no one wins— especially not the children.” But does it have to be this way? “There is a growing movement called Collaborative Divorce that involves a team of professionals who help the couple craft agreements that serve their specific needs and goals and are in the best interest of the co-parenting family,” says Page Kistler, an attorney at the Collaborative Divorce
Center of Coastal Virginia. Collaborative divorce uses specially-trained lawyers, divorce coaches, child development experts and financial specialists who meet with the clients as needed to advise and help them come to a satisfactory resolution in all aspects of divorce—legal, financial, emotional/communication issues and co-parenting planning. While no divorce is cheap, even though Collaborative Divorce utilizes a team of experts to support and guide, the cost usually ends up being significantly less expensive than litigated cases with the same issues, according to studies conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Financial professional Lonnie Broussard, who is an IACP trainer and a member of the Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia, describes the process as a “safe container” in which the family’s integrity is protected as they undergo the many changes inherent in a divorce. “It is a private and confidential process that fosters creativity in reaching solutions that are tailor-made for each family.” First, both husband and wife hire IACP-approved trained lawyers. Second, the lawyers often help their clients choose other professionals who streamline the divorce process and ensure that it
Howard Miller, Esq.
Gary Zaugg, CFP.
Linda Shin, Esq.
Page Kistler, Esq.
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Lonnie Broussard, CFP
moves forward smoothly, with a minimum of trauma for themselves and their children. Such professionals may be financial specialists, divorce coaches (who aid with communication and emotional issues inherent in divorce) and/or a child specialist who helps the couple develop an effective, durable co-parenting plan that will be best for them and for their children. The child specialist may also meet with the children to learn their needs and feelings so that the parents can consider the children’s concerns in their planning process. Linda Shin, a Collaborative attorney in Virginia Beach, says, “The value in the process comes from having the right professionals helping the family each in their areas of expertise.” For instance, instead of lawyers advising parents about whether a parenting plan is developmentally appropriate or trying to run projected earnings on divided retirement assets, child specialists and financial professionals can be more effective in these areas. According to Howard Miller, a collaboratively-trained attorney in Virginia Beach, “The best part is that the financial professionals and child development experts are neutral, so there isn’t the expense of ‘dueling experts’ trying to make each person look bad in court. The neutral professionals are only concerned with giving both clients the information and advice they need to make sound decisions for their situation.” According to the IACP statistics, more than 86% of the cases that begin as collaborative, successfully reach a collaborative agreement. A financial specialist helps the clients organize their financial information and
Lawrence Ross, PhD.
define various ways to divide assets and debts to draft the best plan. Gary Zaugg, a collaboratively trained financial professional, says, “this process works in all different situations, from helping with basic budget planning and forecasting to helping determine the best way to divide shares in a family-owned business or professional practice.” Families who are under significant financial stress have found that working with the collaborative team s helps avoid what they thought was unavoidable bankruptcy because of the transparent sharing of information and the creative ideas introduced by the financial professional. In Tidewater, there are about 20 professionals who practice Collaborative Divorce. L awrence Ross, PhD, a divorce coach and child specialist who is the current president of the Coastal Virginia group, describes Collaborative Divorce as “a compassionate ending and a healthy new beginning” for the families who choose this method. Even in difficult cases where there is deep hurt and bitterness between family members, the Collaborative method works because the couple receives the support they need to move past these difficult feelings to an agreement that will work toward the best future for all involved. “Ultimately,” Ross says, “the satisfaction rate is higher in a collaborative divorce because people craft the agreement themselves instead of having a judge, who knows little or nothing about the needs, goals and interests of a specific family, make decisions that will affect the couple and the lives of their children for many years to come.”
SuAnne Bryant, Esq.
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