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upfront United Nations to recognize Yom Kippur as official holiday NEW YORK (JTA)—The United Nations will for the first time recognize Yom Kippur as an official holiday. Starting in 2016, no official meetings will take place on the Jewish day of atonement at the international body’s New York headquarters, and Jewish employees there will be able to miss work without using vacation hours, the Times of Israel reported. Other religious holidays that enjoy the same status are Christmas, Good Friday, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. In a statement, B’nai B’rith International, which in a 2014 Op-Ed for The New York Times pushed for the international body to recognize Yom Kippur, said it “welcomes” the news. In 2014, ambassadors from 32 countries signed a letter in support of recognizing Yom Kippur. “This is a modest, common-sense step toward fairness for personnel at the United Nations and respect for Judaism as a major world religion,” the B’nai B’rith statement said. “It should be emulated at the U.N.’s offices across the world, and built upon across an international system in which politics often supplant mutual respect and equality.” “We strongly commend the diplomats of the United States, Israel and many other nations who made possible the progress seen yesterday,” the statement added.
Jewish groups back Obama on gun control initiatives WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Jewish groups praised new executive actions by President Barack Obama to reduce gun violence. On Tuesday, Jan. 5, in an emotional White House address accompanied by victims of gun violence, Obama announced a series of measures that include broadening the definition of a business under existing gun control laws, addressing loopholes that allow some gun sellers to skirt background check requirements; making gun sellers more accountable for guns that are lost or stolen while in their possession; increasing support for the development of gun safety technology, and increasing funds for mental health. “Today, background checks are required at gun stores—if a father wants to teach his daughter how to hunt, he can walk into a gun store, get a background check, purchase his weapon safely and responsibly,” Obama said. “The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.” Representatives of the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, were present at the announcement of the initiatives. They were among an array of groups including the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and its Central Conference of American Rabbis that praised the actions. With his executive actions, Obama is
Contents Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Jewish issues in 2016. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Jewish groups spied on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2015 News Quiz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Reciprocity for JCC and Town Center Fitness .12 OUHR re-launches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 HAT students learn coding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 UJFT Honor Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HR1 Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
directing federal agencies to take the steps he proposed. “These proposals are a step forward,” said Jared Feldman, the JCPA’s Washington director. “They are clearly insufficient to the magnitude of the problem. We’re going to need Congress to engage—and engage substantively—on these issues.” Obama has failed to advance gun-control legislation through the Republican-led Congress. Republican leaders suggested in statements that his actions were unconstitutional, and several of the party’s presidential candidates said they would roll back the actions as soon as they were elected. The president wiped away tears as he recalled the 2012 massacre of first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, by a lone gunman. “Every time I think about those kids it gets me madder,” Obama said. Among those on hand for the announcement was Gabrielle Giffords, the former Jewish Arizona congresswoman who survived a shooting attack in a Tucson suburb in 2011. Since then, the Jewish lawmaker has led advocacy for gun control. The National Council of Jewish Women, which has been advocating for gun control since 1969, would continue to work on the state level, said its CEO, Nancy Kaufman. “We still hold out hope the Congress will understand they need to do something,” she said, but added that the most effective route now seemed to be to advance background checks and gun trafficking on the state level. (JTA)
Quotable Super Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Film Festival committee members recap 23 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 JFS Chanukah Gift Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Temple Emanuel’s blood drive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 BSV honors Bryan Mesh and Pam Guthrie. . . . 29 Stravitz Gallery supports Simon Family JCC. . 29 Hanukkah at Executive Mansion . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Beth El clergy visit students at UVa . . . . . . . . . 30 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
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Briefs Elton John to headline Life Festival in Auschwitz town Elton John will headline the next Life Festival Oswiecim, the Polish town where the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was located. John will perform there in June, the festival announced last month. “Like everyone, I am shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere. In June, in Oswiecim, we’ll be celebrating life, peace and music,” John said on the festival’s website. In May, John reportedly will perform in Tel Aviv. It will be his fourth visit to Israel. Life Festival Oswiecim was organized in 2010. It was the idea of Polish journalist Darek Maciborek, who was born in Oswiecim and wanted to “break the spell” of the town commonly associated solely with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camp, which is now a museum and memorial site. The festival says it stands for building peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders, and protesting against anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of xenophobia. Pop stars who have performed at the festival include James Blunt, Matisyahu, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Soundgarden, Eric Clapton and Chris de Burgh. (JTA) France is Israel’s largest source of aliyah for 2nd straight year For the second consecutive year, France was the largest provider of Jewish immigrants to Israel with a record total of 7,328 newcomers in 2015. The number of French citizens who immigrated to Israel under its law of return for Jews, or made aliyah, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1 constituted a 10 percent increase over the 6,661 French olim who came during the corresponding period last year, according to Jewish Agency for Israel figures. 2014’s total, which was the highest since the State of Israel’s establishment in 1948, was surpassed in Nov. 2015 with the arrival of 468 French Jews. According to the Jewish Agency, French aliyah has increased because of a mix of factors, including the community’s fear of anti-Semitic attacks, economic stagnation in France and its members’ attachment to Israel. The most dramatic increase in aliyah
last year came from Russia, which provided more than 6,000 olim in the first 11 months of 2015—some 44 percent over the 4,458 who came in the corresponding period in 2014. In total, slightly more than 5,000 came from Russia in 2014. Russian aliyah increased following a financial crisis last year that halved the ruble’s value against the dollar and amid lingering concerns among Russian Jews over rising nationalism and undemocratic practices, according to Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. Aliyah from Ukraine, which is also suffering from a financial recession following a bloody revolution and the secession of two pro-Russian eastern enclaves, increased to 6,848 people in 2015 compared to the 6,149 who came in all of 2014. The United States provided Israel with 2,730 olim last year compared to 2,940 in the corresponding period in 2014. (JTA)
Record number visit Anne Frank House The Anne Frank House had a record number of visitors for the sixth consecutive year. In 2015, some 1,268,095 people visited the Anne Frank House, located at the site in Amsterdam where the young diarist hid from the Nazis with her family. That is 40,633 more than the previous record of 1,227,462 set the previous year. “It’s impressive that so many people from all parts of the world visit this place and learn about this chapter of history,” Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House, said. The Anne Frank house also organizes educational projects worldwide, exposing millions more people, most of them young, to the life story of the teenage diarist. “The life story of Anne Frank encourages young people to reflect on the social developments of then and now, and inspires them to combat prejudice and discrimination in their own surroundings,” Leopold said. On Friday, Jan. 1, a French lawmaker and a French scholar each published the Diary of Anne Frank online in a challenge to the Swiss foundation established by the teen’s father, Otto, to allocate the book’s
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royalties to charity. European copyrights generally expire 70 years after an author’s death, thus the copyright was expected to expire at the end of 2015. The diary, which chronicles two years of hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic, may be the most famous Holocaust-era document and has inspired several play and film adaptations. Anne died in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen extermination camp. (JTA)
B’nai B’rith provides funds for STORM victims B’nai B’rith International will make disaster relief funds available for victims of storms in the southern United States that have killed 40 people. The tornadoes and torrential rains throughout Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas started last month. Some 14 tornadoes hit Mississippi on Dec. 23 and continued through Tennessee, Texas and Arkansas. Nine tornadoes in North Texas left more than 1,450 homes destroyed and 11 dead. Heavy rains and floods in the Midwest also left 13 dead. B’nai B’rith said it would work with other agencies to provide emergency support relief efforts and long-term rebuilding plans through its Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund. “B’nai B’rith will, without fail, always offer help, to anyone, anywhere in need,” said Daniel Mariaschin, the group’s international executive vice president. “We will continue to monitor the type of supplies and assistance needed.” (JTA) Repair the World launches racial justice campaign for King commemoration Repair the World has launched a national campaign to “Act for Racial Justice on MLK Weekend.” The nonprofit organization, which engages young Jewish adults as volunteers, will provide volunteer opportunities throughout the weekend remembering Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to address racial injustice. The campaign will also offer the opportunity for volunteers to host a “Turn the Tables Shabbat Dinner,” to discuss the difficult issues of the day, on Jan. 15.
The federal holiday for the late civil rights leader is Jan. 18. “Around the country, thousands of young Jewish adults will mobilize on MLK Weekend to address the serious gaps that still exist in this country because of race,” David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World, said. “Jewish teachings and values drive many to engage and help others. Repair is committed to offering paths to meaningful social action based on these rich traditions.” (JTA)
Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution is to build an AI assistant Zuckerberg has made his 2016 New Year’s resolution public on Facebook: to code his own simple AI to run his home and help him with his work. He said in a post Sunday, Jan. 3 that he will teach his “simple AI” to control everything in his home using voice controls, to let friends in by identifying their faces when they ring the doorbell and to keep him updated on what is going on in his baby daughter Max’s room when he is not there. He also said he would use his creation for work to help him “build better services and lead my organizations more effectively.” “[I]t’s a different kind of rewarding to build things yourself, so this year my personal challenge is to do that,” Zuckerberg said. “This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself.” He promised to share what he learns over the course of the year. In response to a comment on the post, Zuckerberg asked for suggestions for a name for his AI. In response to another comments, he said he does not envision inventing something that would usher in a doomsday scenario. “I think we can build AI so it works for us and helps us. Some people fear-monger about how AI is a huge danger, but that seems far-fetched to me and much less likely than disasters due to widespread disease, violence, etc.,” he said. Previous “personal challenges” have included reading two books every month, learning Mandarin and meeting a new person every day. (JTA)
Bernard is doing good works forever.
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 privileged 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 be 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 our reluctant hero 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 will persist 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 Dr. Israel Zoberman, Congregation Beth Chaverim
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Will 2016 be the year of the female Orthodox rabbi? by Uriel Heilman
(JTA)—Forget 2015—that’s so last year. It’s time to think about the future. What will the new year bring on issues of concern to Jews? Here are a few storylines to keep an eye on in 2016. Will the wave of violence in Israel become the new normal? For nearly four months, Israelis have been subjected to a steady stream of Palestinian attacks that so far have killed 27, injured 279 and stoked a climate of tension in Israel not unlike that of the intifada era. A poll in November by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 67 percent of Israelis fear that they or someone close to them will be harmed in the current wave of terrorism. Unlike previous outbreaks of violence, this one has been characterized mainly by lone-wolf attacks: Palestinian assailants, inspired by terrorist leaders, but apparently not guided by them, have perpetrated 99 stabbings, 37 shootings and 22 car rammings since mid-September. The mostly spontaneous nature of these attacks and the ubiquity of low-tech weapons like knives and cars have frustrated counterterrorism efforts. Simply put, how do you stop a 16-year-old Palestinian who grabs a kitchen knife and takes to the street with lethal intentions? In most cases, quick-acting armed citizens or police have ended the attacks using their weapons. Despite ebbs and flows, the attacks persist. Israeli officials say they are confident it’s just a matter of time before the attacks fizzle. But without an effective strategy to stop them, it’s also possible these attacks will become the new normal, leading to more casualties and worsening relations between Jews and Arabs. And it’s also conceivable that some mass-casualty attack will spark a harsh Israeli response that is followed by deadlier Palestinian attacks and the eruption of a full-blown intifada. Will 2016 be the year of the female Orthodox rabbi? Since the first ordination of an American woman as Orthodox clergy in 2009, Orthodox women studying to become clergy and the institutions that ordain
who oppose female clergywomen appear them have been lightning rods. Just two months ago, for example, out of touch with the realities of a modern America’s main modern Orthodox rabbin- Orthodox world increasingly inclined to ical association, the Rabbinical Council of offer women equal opportunities. America, formally voted to ban the hiring of women who carry even a clergy-like Iran deal implementation or implosion? title by Orthodox synagogues or schools. The Iran nuclear deal championed by the The RCA already had condemned the Obama administration and achieved last summer will face its first real tests idea of female rabbis twice before. this year. The haredi Orthodox Agudath Iran already is far along Israel of America has taken an Surely the path of dismantling its ever harsher line, declaring nuclear infrastructure, that institutions that train most European according to U.S. officials, women rabbis “reject the with more than a quarter basic tenets of our faith.” of its centrifuges dismanBut for all the conJews would like tled, the heavy water demnations, Orthodox clergy women have nothing more than reactor at Arak nearly reconfigured to make it shied away from direct impossible to produce confrontation with the for 2016 to be a a nuclear weapon, and Orthodox establishment nearly all of the country’s and tread lightly when it stockpile of low-enriched came to title. fresh start. uranium shipped overseas. “We recognize that the In fact, Iran’s implementation path toward female leadership of the agreement’s requirements is slow and is an evolution,” Sara has taken place faster than expected, Hurwitz, the first American Orthodox female ordainee and the dean of Yeshivat meaning that anti-Iran sanctions are likely Maharat, a New York City-based yeshiva to be eased in a matter of weeks rather than that ordains Orthodox women clergy, says. months. (Hurwitz goes by the title “rabba,” a feminized version of rabbi.) “We’re not trying to But many questions remain upend halachah [Jewish law]. We’re trying Will Iran use the billions of dollars set to to work within the system of the Orthodox unfreeze to promote terrorism or advance regional unrest? Will Iranian anger over a community.” But late last month, Lila Kagedan new U.S. law that curtails visa-free travel became the first woman ordained by for those who have visited Iran, which Yeshivat Maharat to announce she would Tehran has charged violates the nuclear call herself rabbi rather than “rabba” or agreement, prompt it to renege on its com“maharat.” Kagedan, who says she has mitments to nuclear disassembly? And will new tensions between Iran been hired by an American Orthodox synagogue but did not identify the institu- and Saudi Arabia—the latter just said tion, is following the model of two women it was cutting diplomatic ties with Iran ordained last summer as Orthodox rabbis following the torching this month of the by the Har’el Beit Midrash in Israel, which Saudi Embassy in Tehran by protesters describes itself as a “rabbinic studies pro- angry over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric—erupt into a fullgram for men and women.” blown crisis America cannot avoid? Still facing strong domestic headwinds, Will this be the year Orthodox clergyproponents of the deal in both Washington women define themselves as rabbis? The strategy carries potential risks and and Tehran will have to work hard to make rewards. The risks? It would galvanize sure it doesn’t fall apart in 2016. opponents and might make it more difficult for the women to find jobs at mainstream The U.S. presidential campaign Orthodox institutions. But it could also Jewish issues haven’t been front and galvanize supporters, as well as make those center this campaign season. But given the
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unpredictability of this convention-defying presidential campaign, anything can happen. A flare-up in the Middle East or a comment from Donald Trump could change things in an instant. And once the country’s biggest Republican donor, conservative pro-Israel stalwart Sheldon Adelson, picks a favorite, Israel may become a more prominent campaign issue. The big question is whether Republicans can make a deeper dent in the American Jewish tendency to vote overwhelmingly Democrat. The Republican presidential candidate received 22 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 and 31 percent in 2012. And that was against a Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, whom the Republicans frequently portrayed as bad for Israel. It will be harder to tar Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, as weak on Israel, making it more likely that the Republicans lose ground with Jewish voters come November. Of course, if Bernie Sanders, the Brooklyn-accented Jewish senator from Vermont—an avowed Democratic socialist—somehow manages to win the Democratic nomination, all bets are off. Europe’s threats and challenges Surely most European Jews would like nothing more than for 2016 to be a fresh start after a year that saw a rash of deadly terrorist attacks and a surge in Muslim migration to the Middle East. But with Europe still struggling to mount an effective cross-country counterterrorism strategy, and desperate refugees still willing to chance the risks of crossing the choppy waters of the Aegean Sea to escape war and violence in their home countries, Europe’s challenges are likely to stretch into 2016 and beyond. Until now, the consequences for Europe’s Jews have been felt most sharply in France, which experienced two major terror waves in 2015 and sent a record number of immigrants to Israel. But Jews elsewhere are worried, too. In Germany, which took in a record 1 million asylum seekers last year, Jews are worried about what a massive influx of Arabs could mean for local Jews and Germany’s relationship with Israel. continued on page 7
How Jewish groups got spied on by Obama by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—At first blush, it appears like a bombshell: The United States listened in on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s phone calls. But on closer examination, the revelations reported Dec. 29 by The Wall Street Journal might not be so far reaching. Spying on allies is both routine and legal in the United States, though perhaps not very politic. Here’s what the controversy is all about and what may happen next. What exactly happened? According to the Journal, the National Security Agency eavesdropped on Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, in part to assess whether Israel planned to strike Iran and to track the prime minister’s efforts to scuttle the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. In the process, conversations between Israelis and American lawmakers and Jewish organizations were swept up by NSA surveillance. The Obama administration did not directly order those conversations be monitored, but neither did it prevent the listening-in. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’” a senior U.S. official told the Journal. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’” Isn’t spying on foreign leaders routine? Yes and no. The Journal reported that the NSA asks presidents whether they want information on foreign leaders, allied or not. Obama, apparently like virtually all his predecessors, gave the nod. But after documents released in 2013 by Edward Snowden showed the NSA had been eavesdropping on the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama suspended the practice for much of the NATO alliance. Kept on the list: Netanyahu
and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. Netanyahu stayed in part because of concerns he would strike against Iran without warning the Americans—a move that would have had far-reaching consequences for U.S. interests—and because he was actively rallying Congress, Jewish community leaders and others against the emerging Iran nuclear deal. How did Jewish groups wind up getting snooped on? The NSA is prohibited by law from monitoring Americans without a warrant. But when U.S. citizens in contact with foreigners are spied on incidentally, the information doesn’t have to be trashed as long as their identities are obscured—a process known as minimization. That’s how the Obama administration wound up with reports on meetings between Israeli officials and members of Congress and Jewish organizational leaders. Several Jewish groups—including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the Zionist Organization of America—were troubled by the revelation, even if they weren’t entirely surprised by it. “It’s obviously deeply disturbing and highly problematic, but frankly not entirely surprising,” says David Harris, the American Jewish Committee’s executive director. “We have always assumed it’s what various governments, for a variety of reasons, tend to do.” Jewish groups weren’t likely to be shocked because they’ve been caught up in government surveillance before: The case against two former staffers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, launched in 2004 and scrapped in 2009, arose because the staffers were swept up in U.S. government tracking of Israeli
Will 2016 be… continued from page 6
European countries already are taking steps to make it more difficult for migrants to enter or settle in Europe, and law-enforcement agencies are stepping up their counterterrorism measures. But nobody expects a quick or easy salve to either of these challenges.
Jewish extremism in Israel With the new year bringing news of the arrests of two Jewish suspects in the case of the deadly firebombing of a Palestinian home last July in the West Bank village of Duma, it seems the problem of Jewish extremism is not being swept under the rug. For years, critics have lamented the lax
diplomats. For this article, AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations declined to comment.
8200, the Israeli military’s eavesdropping unit, gave the NSA hacking software that the agency later discovered allowed 8200 to “poke around U.S. networks.”
What about lawmakers caught up in the sweep? Reactions among members of Congress, predictably, divided along partisan lines. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, called for an investigation, saying the Journal report suggested “laws were broken.” House Republican leaders wrote the NSA demanding paperwork that would show the rules of minimization were observed. GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ben Carson all said the matter deserved greater scrutiny. “Instead of focusing on deterring the Iran nuclear threat and fighting against the mullahs who chant ‘Death to America,’ President Obama has treated Israel, our staunch, democratic ally in the Middle East, as his real enemy,” Carson said. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told the Journal that in general “we haven’t had a problem with how incidental collection has been handled concerning lawmakers.” Schiff, who like others on the committee would likely have seen some form of the NSA reports, could not be reached for comment.
Will there be political fallout? On Capitol Hill, not likely. For all the Republican calls for an investigation, curbing spying—even on an ally—runs the risk of being cast as soft on national security in an election season now increasingly focused on the threat of terrorism. As CNN has noted, the GOP congressional leadership has been muted about the affair. But the revelations are certain to complicate recent efforts by Obama and Netanyahu to smooth over their differences exacerbated by the Iran deal fight and the failed bid by Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Doesn’t Israel also spy on the United States? Israel ostensibly swore off spying on the U.S. in the wake of the arrest of Navy civilian analyst Jonathan Pollard. Yisrael Katz, Israel’s intelligence minister, says that Israel does not spy on the U.S. and expects the same from Washington. But if the Journal report is accurate, that isn’t quite true. According to the Journal, soon after Obama assumed office, Unit
response by Israeli authorities to Jewish extremism, with fewer than 2 percent of Palestinian complaints submitted to the Israel Police leading to an effective investigation, arrest and conviction, according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din. But with these new arrests—the first since 2008 despite at least 15 incidents of Jews firebombing Palestinian homes in
So who gets to say ‘I told you so’? AIPAC. For years, the prominent pro-Israel lobby’s leaders have repeatedly advised the Israelis to allow the group to lead advocacy on the Iran issue. The fact that the Israelis were aggressively advocating on their own appears to have handed the U.S. security apparatus a legal path to monitor efforts to derail the deal—and perhaps to preempt them. Had AIPAC led the effort, that wouldn’t have been possible, since the deliberations would have been legally out of bounds for U.S. eavesdroppers. “I would bet that AIPAC’s leaders recognize, consciously or unconsciously, that Israel’s engagement in this way was inappropriate,” says Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists project on government secrecy. “And because it was inappropriate, it was likely to be counterproductive.”
the West Bank, according to Israeli media reports—Israel is signaling that it is taking a harsher approach toward Jewish extremists. After the Duma attack, Israel began applying the controversial practice of using administrative detention—a practice that allows the holding of terrorism suspects without charges or trial—toward Jewish suspects, not just Arab ones.
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 7
Ted Cruz aims to liberate GOP from ‘crazy’ neoconservatives by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Ted Cruz wants to make sure you understand: “Republican” and “neoconservative” are no longer synonymous. The Texas senator, inching up to second place behind front-runner Donald Trump in the polls just weeks before the Iowa caucuses, has launched a broadside against the “crazy” movement that not so long ago was inextricable from establishment GOP foreign policy. Cruz has long advocated against regime change, but in a Nov. 30 interview with Bloomberg News, he named neoconservatives as the villains of a policy that mires Americans overseas. “If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neocons, they have consistently misperceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists,” Cruz said. The interview earned immediate rebukes from neoconservatives and brought into the open a long-simmering struggle within the party over how to move on from the Iraq war, widely seen as George W. Bush’s signature fiasco. The dispute has lurked beneath the surface since the Bush administration, whose foreign policy was shaped in the first term to a great degree by neoconservatives, many of them Jewish, who urged the promotion of democracy in the Middle East. Bush cited former Soviet refusenik and Israeli government minister Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy as a major influence on his thinking. In fact, so many of the movement theorists were Jewish that the term neoconservative, when used disparagingly, was seen in some quarters as a borderline anti-Semitic slur. “I’m not sure where the neocons wish us to invade (left my decoder ring at the last Elders of Zion meeting), but what exactly does this would-be Commander in Chief wish us to do?” Daniel Pletka, the vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote on the conservative think tank’s
website just days after the Bloomberg story. “Not approach Syria. Ignore Libya. Stop collecting intelligence. Love the dictators.” Victoria Coates, Cruz’s national security adviser, says that Cruz is seeking to recalibrate the party’s foreign policy to what it was during the Reagan administration, when Jeane Kirkpatrick—then the ambassador to the United Nations and herself a neoconservative—distinguished between dictators who needed toppling and those who could be encouraged toward reform. Since then, Coates says, neoconservatism has come to represent “a foreign policy that prioritizes democracy promotion as an absolute.” According to Bloomberg, Cruz told a rally in Iowa that he is as opposed to the isolationist tendency in the party as he is to the “crazy neocon invade-every-countryon-earth and send our kids to die in the Middle East.” Cruz’s posturing appears opportunistic to some conservatives, a bid by the senator to distinguish himself in a crowded field— particularly against Rubio, with whom he shares many qualities. Both are youthful sons of Cuban immigrants who bucked the party establishment on their way up. And both are leading contenders for the backing of Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who is willing to spend tens of millions to elect a Republican. “His use of the term ‘neocon’ was bizarre and obviously derogatory,” says Seth Mandel, the opinion editor at the New York Post. “We don’t know what it means aside from tying Rubio to Bush’s foreign policy to get ahead of the pack.” Gary Schmitt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has advised the struggling campaign of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, says Cruz is misreading the lessons of the Reagan-Kirkpatrick era, citing that administration’s involvement in bringing about reform in the Philippines, South Korea and Indonesia. “As much as I admire Jeane Kirkpatrick, the Reagan administration moved away from ‘Dictatorships and Double Standards’ in his second term,” Schmitt says, referring to the 1982 book in which Kirkpatrick defended propping up some dictators
8 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
while confronting others. Cruz’s foreign policy in some ways is unapologetically aggressive. He has vowed, like some of the others in the GOP field, including Rubio, to tear up the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in office and to “carpet-bomb” the Islamic State. “If you vote for Hillary Clinton, you are voting for the Ayatollah Khamenei to have nuclear weapons,” Cruz said at a Republican Jewish Coalition for presidential candidates last month, referring to the supreme leader of Iran. But advocating for an aggressive military posture overseas while rejecting regime change out of hand does not make sense, according to Joshua Muravchik, a historian of the neoconservative movement, who identifies two “immense” problems with Cruz’s intention to crush the Islamic State with air power. “One is that all military experts agree that you can’t defeat ISIS like that,” Muravchik says. “Second of all, it doesn’t address the question of Iran’s machinations in the area.” However much Cruz’s attacks may rile
conservatives here, his critiques won’t necessarily undercut enthusiasm among the pro-Israel right, which has been sharply critical of recent pro-democracy efforts. In 2006, there was an open split between American neoconservatives, who favored Palestinian elections, and Israeli conservatives who correctly predicted they would empower Hamas. In 2011, much of the Israeli leadership favored doing whatever it took to keep Hosni Mubarak in power in Egypt, while many neoconservatives hailed the Arab Spring that unseated him as a herald of democratic reform. Likewise, Adelson is also unlikely to be troubled by Cruz’s critiques, as the billionaire’s emphasis has traditionally been on keeping Israel secure, detached from the particulars of any ideology. “One of the great gifts to the United States over the last 70 years has been Israel —how fantastic to have a functioning, vibrant democracy in the Middle East,” Coates says. “That’s something we should be fiercely protective of and understand its rarity and significance.”
Rep. Steve Israel, a senior Jewish lawmaker, won’t run again WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Steve Israel, one of the most senior Jewish lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives, is retiring. Israel, a Democrat from New York’s Long Island suburbs, said in a statement Tuesday, Jan. 5 that he will not run in 2016 in order to work on his second novel. His first, The Global War on Morris, a satire about a Jewish pharmaceutical salesman who is ensnared in the government’s surveillance machine, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. “I hope to continue to be involved in public service, but it is time for me to pursue new passions and develop new interests, mainly spend more time writing my second novel,” he said. Israel has been a hawk on issues concerning the State of Israel and was among the minority of Democrats who voted this summer against the nuclear deal with Iran. First elected in 2000, Israel rose to become a senior member of the Democratic caucus, heading the party’s reelection campaign the last two cycles. Israel is among a handful of Jewish Democratic lawmakers who has worked in the Jewish community, including a position with the American Jewish Congress. He was arrested at least once in the 1980s protesting the treatment of Jews by the Soviet Union. His district, covering Nassau and Suffolk counties, is relatively conservative and for a time he was one of only two Jewish members of the “Blue Dog” Democrats, the party’s mostly rural conservative caucus.
Election 2016 Trump would ‘leave open possibility of spying’ on allies like Israel
epublican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would “leave open the possibility of spying” on allies like Israel if he were president. On Sunday, Jan. 3, Trump was asked on the CBS news show Face the Nation for his reaction to The Wall Street Journal story from late last month reporting that the National Security Agency spied on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. The White House planned to use the intercepted information to counter Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill, according to the Journal. “I would certainly not want to do it,” Trump said of spying on Israel. He added: “But I have to say this. We’re being spied on by everybody. And it’s terrible what is going on in that whole thing. We find out that we’re being spied on by them. And they’re being spied—everything is out.” Trump told host John Dickerson that he would not rule out spying on allies.
“I would say that I would leave open possibilities of doing whatever it takes to make our country very, very strong and to make our country great again,” he said. Trump doubled down on his call for preventing Muslims from entering the United States. “Look, there is a problem. I bring it up,” he said. “Other people have called me. And they say, you have guts to bring it up because, frankly, it’s true. But nobody wants to get involved. “Now people are getting involved. People that are on different persuasions than me right now, John, are saying, you know, maybe Trump isn’t wrong. We want to examine it. There’s a lot of bad stuff going on.” Trump said he would be a “much different person” as president. “I would be very enthusiastic, like I am right now, toward the country. We need spirit. We need a cheerleader,” he said. (JTA)
Stat whiz Nate Silver: Donald Trump more likely nominee than Bernie Sanders
espected statistician Nate Silver says the chance of Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination are close to zero. Silver, the Jewish editor of the FiveThirtyEight blog who correctly predicted the election results of all 50 states in 2012, told Adweek on Monday, Jan. 4 that Hillary Clinton should win the Democratic nomination barring “some type of renewed scandal or health problem.” “I could see Bernie Sanders winning a few states,” Silver says of the Vermont independent. “New Hampshire is still very close. But [Clinton’s] chances have to be in the range of 90 to 95 percent. Trump has more of a chance than Bernie.” Silver also says that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s chances of winning his party’s nomination are extremely low despite the amount of media coverage he has received. “I don’t think his chances are zero. You have to be very careful about saying they’re
zero, but I think they’re lower than 20 or 25 percent,” Silver says. “Maybe they’re 10 percent. Maybe they’re 8 percent. I’m not sure, somewhere in that range. You’ve never had a candidate like Donald Trump win a nomination before, at least not in the modern era, which is 1972 or so onward, which is when people started voting in primaries and caucuses.” Silver also says his blog may not start making statistical predictions until sometime in March or April, after the first few primaries are decided. “The thing people don’t realize is that the reason why I get to look smart is because we wait until we are pretty confident,” Silver says. Recent Quinnipiac polls have Clinton leading Sanders by 31 points in the Democratic race. In the crowded Republican field, Trump was ahead of Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, by 4 points making the race a dead heat considering the GOP poll’s margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. (JTA)
After talking Israel with Trump, Adelson calls GOP front-runner ‘charming’
he casino magnate and Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson praised Donald Trump’s charm following a meeting, in which the two men discussed Israel, among other subjects. Adelson met Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the presidential elections, last month in Las Vegas, Reuters reported. Adelson spoke about the meeting in Macau, China, saying he had not decided which candidate to back in the presidential race. “It was very nice,” Adelson, who is Jewish and an outspoken supporter of Israel, told Reuters when asked about the meeting. “He was very charming.” Adelson added that the pair had discussed Israel. The 82-year-old chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the world’s biggest gambling company by market value, hosted the latest debate among Republican
Y E A R S
Party presidential candidates at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, where he is based. “He [Trump] had talked about potentially dividing Jerusalem and Israel, so I talked about Israel because with our newspaper, my wife being Israeli, we are the few who know more about Israel than people who don’t,” Adelson said. Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, Trump wavered in answering a question about whether he would consider Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, drawing boos from the crowd. Courted by most of the Republican candidates and widely expected to be the party’s top donor in the November 2016 presidential election, Adelson said during a news conference that he may wait until February’s primaries to decide who to back. He described the field of Republican candidates as “all very good.” (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 9
2015 news quiz
The ultimate test of Jewish and Israeli knowledge by Uriel Heilman
(JTA)—Bernie Sanders, Jenna Jameson, criminal rabbis: How much do you know about the Jews and their goings-on in 2015? 1. Which U.S. Jewish religious denomination made which landmark decision this year? a. T he Reconstructionist movement allowed intermarried Jews to be ordained as rabbis. b. T he Renewal movement said it would rename itself in the wake of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s 2014 death. c. The Conservative movement allowed so-called patrilineal Jews to read from the Torah. d. T he Satmar rebbe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said followers should not sport hipster-style beards. 2. Which celebrity-in-Israel news did NOT happen this year? a. R eality TV star Kim Kardashian and husband rapper Kanye West baptized their daughter in Jerusalem’s Old City. b. W hile atop a camel during his Israel visit, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said, “Riding these horses here in Israel is a little different.” c. On a visit to Tel Aviv, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters said, “You know, this place isn’t actually that bad.” d. S inger Mariah Carey visited her boyfriend’s Israeli spiritual adviser to get his blessing to marry. 3. Which statement did Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., make during the presidential campaign? a. “ Last week I bought my second pair of underwear.” b. “ It’s true, Hillary probably uses more conditioner than I do.” c. “I spent a year on an Israeli kibbutz in the Galilee, but I’m not sure that particular community still exists.”
d. “ What do I think of Donald Trump? Do I have to talk about his hair?” 4. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on the case of Menachem Zivotofsky. What was at issue? a. W hether Orthodox Jews in the U.S. Navy had the right to keep their beards. b. W hether U.S. citizens injured in terrorist attacks in the West Bank could sue the Palestinian Authority. c. Whether U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem could list Israel as their country of birth. d. W hether Jews in solitary confinement in federal prisons are entitled to glatt kosher food. 5. This summer, an iconic kosher brand ran a provocative ad campaign that was later pulled. Was it? a. A Manischewitz campaign featuring scantily clad women pouring the sweet libation over their glistening bodies that ran with the tagline: “Yes, it’s sweet.” b. A n Osem campaign showing terrorists making the company’s famed soup nuts by assembling a huge yellow “nut” and then blowing it up. c. A Hebrew National campaign suggesting consumers grill up their hot dogs alongside bacon and clams. d. A Ben’s Deli billboard campaign suggesting the company’s signature pastrami sandwich was certified gluten-free. 6. Why was American Jewish reggae star Matisyahu disinvited from a Spanish music festival? a. F or rebuffing a request that he not wear a yarmulke while onstage.
10 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
b. F or rebuffing a demand that he endorse Palestinian statehood. c. Because organizers learned he had performed in the West Bank. d. B ecause Chabad in Spain declared him persona non grata for quitting the movement. 7. Which of the following was NOT among the findings about Jews in the Pew Research Center’s November survey on American religion? a. E ighteen percent of Jews don’t drive on the Sabbath. b. E leven percent of Jews believe the Torah is the literal word of God. c. Fifty-seven percent of Jews eat pork. d. T hirty-nine percent of Jews experience deep feelings of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week. 8. Which of the following statements was NOT made by a presidential candidate at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s forum in December? a. “ The definition [of kishka] is: ‘a beef or fowl intestine stuffed into a mixture as of flour, fat, onions and seasonings and roasted…’ and I thought, that’s the Republican campaign for the nomination!” b. “ Last night I was watching Schindler’s List. Everybody here has seen Schindler’s List.” c. “ You want to control your own politician.” d. “And the rabbi said: Who said big noses are a bad thing? A keen sense of smell is something to be celebrated. [laughter]”
9. Two Orthodox rabbis and eight others pleaded guilty in federal court this year to kidnapping and torturing men in an effort to coerce them to do what? a. Donate money to a Brooklyn yeshiva. b. D rop a lawsuit against a prominent Orthodox rabbi accused of sexual abuse. c. Grant their estranged wives a get, or religious divorce. d. U se their cash-only kosher restaurant as a front to launder money. 10. This year, a Spanish town was renamed from the offensive-sounding former name: a. Elders of Zion b. Kill Jews Town c. Hitler’s Retreat d. Jew Lake 11. What Jewish paraphernalia did Golden State Warriors guard and NBA champion Steph Curry reveal this year that he has? a. A menorah b. A mezuzah c. A Hebrew tattoo d. An Israeli-made Uzi 12. How did the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum offend some Jews this summer? a. W ith an art installation featuring a video of naked men and women playing tag in a gas chamber. b. B y being closed on Israeli Independence Day. c. By using cooling misting showers during a summertime heat wave that some visitors said reminded them of the death camp’s poison gas “showers.” d. B y featuring photos so graphic that some said they actually dehumanized Nazi victims.
TCHAIKOVSKY’S 13. Which of the following did Israeli haredi Orthodox politicians say about Reform Jews this year? a. They “portray Israel as Iran.” b. They “stab Torah in the back.” c. They’re “tearing apart the Jewish people.” d. All of the above. 14. How did porn star Jenna Jameson NOT make Jewish news this year? a. She converted to Judaism. b. S he got into a kosher food fight on a reality TV show. c. She announced she’ll be a doing a reality TV show in Israel. d. S he was detained while trying to bring a Torah into the women’s section at the Western Wall. 15. Under a Law of Return-style bill passed in June by the Spanish legislature, what must Jews of Sephardic descent do to get Spanish citizenship? a. S ign a notarized document forgiving King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for expelling the Jews in 1492. b. P ass tests on the Spanish language and history. c. Travel to Spain and apply in person with pre-1492 residency documents. d. T ake an oath of allegiance to the Spanish king. 16. Which Jewish-themed film with a short title won an Oscar this year? a. Ida b. Aya c. Ima d. Zuz! 17. Which remark did Prime Minister Netanyahu NOT make around the time of Israeli elections? a. “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls.” b. “ I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state and to evacuate territory is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel.”
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1
c. “Isaac Herzog is as suited to be prime minister of Israel as Tzipi Livni is to be queen of England.” d. “ I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that circumstances have to change.” 18. What did J Street do this year? a. E lected a Muslim as president of its college arm. b. S aid Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should use his speech to Congress in March to announce his resignation. c. Reserved the Washington Convention Center for the weekend next March that AIPAC had planned to hold its conference there. d. W elcomed Israeli Arab Knesset member Ayman Odeh to its national conference by seating him alongside a Palestinian flag. 19. Which of the following things did Donald Trump NOT cite in praise of his daughter, Ivanka? a. She’s Jewish. b. She’s a great businesswoman. c. She makes the best matzah balls. d. S he’s so good looking, he can imagine dating her.
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20. Which of the following is NOT a real explanation a Jewish member of Congress gave for supporting the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal? a. R ep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida cited her status as a Jewish mother. b. R ep. Alan Grayson of Florida cited a Yiddish proverb, in Yiddish. c. Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky cited a midrash about a chicken. d. Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan cited. memories of President Truman’s recognition of Israel.
Ready for the answers?
1-a, 2-c, 3-a, 4-c, 5-c, 6-b, 7-a, 8-d, 9-c, 10-b, 11-c, 12-c, 13-d, 14-d, 15-b, 16-a, 17-c, 18-a, 19-c, 20-c
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jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 11
One membership, two locations Simon Family JCC and Town Center Fitness offer reciprocity
wo local gyms are joining forces to create a fitness membership that offers access 365 days a year and 85 group fitness classes each week. Town Center Fitness, formed by Tom Purcell in 2004 as a convenient place for
Town Center residents and employees to work out, now has a reciprocity agreement with the Simon Family JCC. The facilities are less than three miles from another and just off I-264, providing two vastly different fitness options
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for members in the heart of Virginia Beach. “The JCC has a few things we don’t at Town Center Fitness —pools, drop-in childcare, steam room and sauna,” says Purcell. “But we both have stateof-the-art workout facilities, decades of training expertise and different group exercise classes, so we’re able to provide all our members with a variety of options to meet their individual fitness goals.” The agreement is just in time for the New Year, when many resolve to lose weight, get fit and commit to a healthier 2016. Current members of the Simon Family JCC simply have to show their fobs when entering Town Center Fitness. Town Center Fitness members are invited to try
the JCC and convert their membership to a dual membership. The reciprocity agreement includes both businesses keeping their existing locations—Town Center Fitness at 205 Town Center Drive, and the Simon Family JCC at 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, both in Virginia Beach. For more information, explore SimonFamilyJCC.org or TownCenterFitness. com. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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12 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
Egyptian ambassador takes up post in Israel for first time in 3 years
new Egyptian ambassador has taken up his post in Israel, after three years in which there was no diplomat leading the embassy. “This past weekend a new Egyptian ambassador arrived to Israel, Hazem Khairat. I welcome his arrival; I welcome the re-stationing of an Egyptian ambassador in Israel, which will enable us to further strengthen relations with this important and key Arab country,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, Jan. 3 at the weekly cabinet meeting. It is not known when Khairat, whose appointment was announced in June, will present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Egypt’s last ambassador to Israel, Atef
Salem, arrived in Israel and presented his credentials to then-president Shimon Peres in October 2012. He was recalled to Cairo a month later, days after Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, following continuous rocket fire on civilians in southern Israel from Gaza. Israel named Haim Koren as its new ambassador to Egypt in September 2014. The Israeli Embassy was closed in September 2011 after rioting anti-Israel protesters broke down the 8-foot-high security wall surrounding the embassy compound and entered the building. Embassy employees had to be evacuated for their safety. Israel reopened the embassy this September. (JTA)
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The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and The Tidewater Synagogue Leadership Council present
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FEBRUARY 4–7 with Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Eric Yoffie is an internationallyknown religious leader, author, and speaker. President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, Yoffie is an expert on Israel and a pioneer in interfaith relations. His passionate approach to American religious life is bold and respectful, engaging and inspirational.
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Operation Understanding Hampton Roads program re-launches
Transformational experience for African American and Jewish teenagers to be coordinated by five community organizations
year long leadership development program for 40 African American and Jewish high school students in Tidewater, Operation Understanding Hampton Roads (OUHR), will re-launch this year, according to the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. Over the course of the OUHR year, high school student participants will build understanding, respect, and friendship through monthly workshops and a fourday summer Civil Rights trip to sites in the Farmville and Richmond areas. OUHR participants will develop their personal strengths, share one another’s cultures and religions, and enhance their leadership abilities. Sophomores and juniors may submit applications to participate in this prestigious program. Applications will be accepted through February 1. “Operation Understanding Hampton Roads will play a critical role in preparing students to be inclusive leaders in their schools and community,” says Jonathan Zur, president & CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. “At a time when hurtful rhetoric, bullying, and prejudice create divisions and barriers in our society, OUHR invests in students who will develop life-long skills in communication and leadership across lines of difference.” OUHR was active from 1998 through 2006. In 2016, it is being led by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, along with coalition partners the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Urban League of Hampton Roads, and the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. For more information about Operation Understanding Hampton Roads or to obtain an application form, visit www.inclusiveva.org/ ouhr or email Robin Mancoll, director, CRC at email@example.com.
A few reflections from the past:
erhaps the most meaningful and memorable events of the nine year history of Operation Understanding Hampton Roads
(OUHR) for us were the times we crossed the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Crossing that bridge, which was the site of a massacre of activists on Bloody Sunday in 1964, while walking arm in arm and singing “We Shall Overcome,” with nine classes of teenagers was both emotional and energizing. Just recently, while attending a “Dialogue on Race in Norfolk,” we touched base with Ariel Stein, who is a graduate of OUHR. He told us that crossing “The Bridge” was the signature event in his life. That experience was more than 10 years ago, yet, he described it and his feelings accurately and in detail. He said that his year in OUHR provided him with the incentive to “give back to the community” and to speak out against racial injustice. He has stayed in contact with almost all the members of his class, Jewish and AfricanAmerican. Ariel says that all his classmates have the same attitudes as he, and they have done many things in their lives to combat racial prejudice. The hope of the founders of OUHR in 1998 was to create a cadre of “Ambassadors for Diversity;” a core of young leaders, who could call on each other when necessary, to work together to make this a more equal society. How exciting it is for us to see our dream come true. And how exciting it is to know that the community is committed to re-establishing OUHR. As we say in Shul, “May you go from Strength to Strength.” —Lois and Barry Einhorn, OUHR founders and facilitators
pon graduating Old Dominion University, I had a desire to become more involved with my local community. I found a posting on Old Dominion’s website about a local opportunity with the JCC to be a facilitator/mentor for Operation Understanding Hampton Roads. From the start, I have never been a part of a more rewarding and fulfilling program in my entire life. I was looking for community service hours, instead, I received an impression that would follow me all of my life. From the compassion and drive
OUHR Class of 2002 in New York.
of the Einhorns to bridge the diversity gap between the African American and Jewish communities to the unforgettable trips, and the once in a life time guests that we met, it radically impacted my life. To watch students start a year with their own preconceived notions and then watch them transform into someone different toward the end of the program is breathtaking. As a facilitator, over the course of four years, OUHR challenged me with my own perceptions and strengthened me in my heritage as an African American male. This isn’t a program, it’s an experience. —Alton Jamison, OUHR facilitator
y OUHR experience 15 years ago made a significant impact on my life as a teenager and continues to influence the way I see the world and interact with others. In college, I spent all four years as a member of Sustained Dialogue, a race relations dialogue group that fosters honest conversations among students. “S.D.,” as it’s called, continued to show me the importance of listening with an open mind and giving everyone the respect they deserve. After graduation, I worked as a TV news reporter, which often placed me in tough neighborhoods to cover crime. As a young white guy (23 years old) engaging with
black people in low-income communities, I always remembered to look everyone square in the eye, shake hands firmly and treat them as I would want to be treated. I believe that’s an important lesson every OUHR participant learns and internalizes. Now as a 31-year-old public relations professional, the nature of my work has changed, but my principles have not. Through a personal blog, I teach young professionals effective writing skills. I love to discuss writing and editing because, among other reasons, I believe a well-written email or document has no bias with respect to race, gender or sexual orientation. If it’s good, then it’s good. End of story. Polished writing skills put everyone on equal footing. Truly, where else in our society can we present ourselves free of stereotype and discrimination? The written word is a beautiful thing. No matter where my career takes me, the values I gained in OUHR remain a central part of what I do and who I am. I’m glad to hear OUHR is coming back and wish the program well. —Danny Rubin, OUHR Class of 2002
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 15
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Five reasons why children should learn coding by Dee Dee Becker
earning to code is child’s play. Don’t believe it? Ask Rabbi Menda, who will say it’s true. As Hebrew Academy’s savvy Coding Club advisor (and Judaic Studies director), Rabbi Menda teaches students in grades three through five to code—and they’re having a blast learning and solving problems. Coding is important to them. What is coding? Think of coding as a language that computer programmers “speak” to create software programs. These programs make it possible to build websites or develop the apps for phones—or in planes, trains and automobiles, too— pretty much everything that makes the world go ‘round today. While not every kid
HAT student Nate Simon surpassed the teacher in learning to code. He is stumping the rabbi.
who learns computer coding will become the next Mark Zuckerberg, there are many reasons why learning this discipline is important.
Five reasons to learn coding • “Everyone should learn how to code. It teaches you how to think.” —Steve Jobs T he 21st century is a digital world, and kids need critical thinking skills to succeed. Coding gives them that edge, as they learn, create and then organize the logical steps that will get them from point A to Z. • Coding teaches problem solving. “At Hebrew Academy, students are immersed in learning to code through the use of games, puzzles and other challenges from the website code.org,” says Menda. “For example, they could be tasked with ‘Code how to draw a circle.’ The student then needs to determine the algorithms to make that happen on the computer. Step 1, do this. Step 2, do that, and so on. Learning the different skills required in coding allows the students to direct what happens next. It’s empowering,” adds Menda.
“There is a lot of trial and error, of course— but that is what makes it all the more satisfying when they arrive at the right solution.” • We are hard-wired to learn languages at early ages. Start them young. Teaching kids coding will serve them well in becoming “fluent” with it as they mature.
Graduates of the first course receive their diplomas: top row: Adam Alper, Ofek Newman, Jonah Zuckerman, Sam Stromberg, Jack Jenkins, Ilan Rivera; bottom row: Arianna Dail, Kate Auerbach, Sylvie Cardon, Izzy Seeman, Rebecca Auerbach, and Ellie Debb.
• Do the math: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than one million open computing jobs by 2022. These are jobs in every industry, every state. Opportunity is knocking! • Again, Do the math: A computer science major can earn 40% more than the college average.
Want to introduce a child to coding? Go to code.org. It’s free and it’s fun. Or, enroll a student for preschool through fifth grade at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Contact Carin Simon, admissions director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 424-4327. Hebrew Academy is a constituent agency of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
HAT student Emily Leon solves a coding problem by manipulating blocks.
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 17
Book Review Comprehensive, mouth watering and heart breaking Pastrami on Rye An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli Ted Merwin New York University Press, 2015 189pp. plus notes ISBN 978-0-8147-6031-4 “I’ll have what she’s having!” Who doesn’t remember that line from Rob Reiner’s 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally? No current book about delicatessens Hal Sacks would be complete without that famous scene with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in Katz’s Delicatessen (on Houston Street in New York City). Ted Merwin’s scholarly, but entertaining work is no exception (see also Autobiography of a Delicatessen—Jewish News 2013). However, Pastrami on Rye is so much more. Ted Merwin is associate professor of
Religion and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and writes about Jewish theater, dance, and food for the New York Jewish Week, among other newspapers and magazines. Merwin reminds us that it was a rabbi who (purportedly) invented the first sandwich and every Passover we combine symbolic food with matzo to make a “Hillel sandwich.” In Pastrami on Rye, the reader is taken back through the centuries to the creation in medieval France of delicat, morphing into delicatesse, delicatezza in Italian, and delicatesse in Germany. The phenomenon was the democratization of gourmet eating in Europe. We are further reminded that the first generation of immigrants from Eastern Europe couldn’t afford to “eat out” or purchase meats from the delis that were springing up. But the next generation, though of modest means, took advantage
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18 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
Finally, barely mentioned by the author of the opportunity to enjoy the delicious smoked and pickled meats—and the deli, were, what in retrospect, could be termed soon to be found in every neighborhood, milchig delis. These were the appetizing became a place of socialization. Several stores, selling the dairy products a kosher chapters detail the growth in popularity deli selling meat could not carry. Russ and of kosher delis in particular, followed by Daughters (The House that Herring Built, their decline as subsequent generations Jewish News 2013) is no longer kosher (it abandoned the immigrant commitment to sells non-kosher caviar), but is one of the kashrut. But “kosher style” delis prospered, survivors, run by fifth generation family members. Appetizing attracting non-Jewish stores were not designed Americans of all heritages to eat in—they had barand faiths. rels outside with three The deli’s name, and kinds of pickles (new, the food it offered became half-sour and sour), two more important than its approximate number kinds of sauerkraut, and physical location. In the of kosher delis pickled sweet peppers past, the menu and qualremaining in NYC and tomatoes. For a dime ity of the food were fairly of the more than 1,000 the proprietor would fill standard. What mattered that once thrived a “Chinese take-out conmore was the neighbortainer” with sauerkraut, hood it nurtured. Today, perhaps a pickled tomato the diversity of later immiand pepper, topped off grant groups brought a with sauerkraut juice. variety of foods, including Inside, an appetizing store were at least Kosher Thai and Kosher Sushi and Kosheryou-name-it. There are, perhaps, a dozen six kinds of herring, cheeses, and a dozen kosher delis left in the five boroughs of varieties of smoked fish. During the depresNew York where once there were more sion it wasn’t unusual to hear a woman order “half a qvarter (pound) lox from than 1,000. What remains are mainly for tour- the belly.” The kosher dairy restaurants ists; think Katz’s, the Carnegie; Ben’s, the (like Ratners), having basically disappeared, are experiencing a renaissance in Second Avenue. Outside of New York, there are very few Manhattan—but names like Va Bene, La kosher deli’s and except for major cities, Volla, and Blossom Vegan are more likely many advertise themselves as “New York” to be found—all kosher. Merwin’s comprehensive history of the delis. The delis of my youth in my Bronx deli is a celebration and at the same time neighborhood were small “no name” places has its elegiac component. It makes one’s with only a few tables; but they all had a mouth water and one’s heart break as the grill in the window showing off the hot rise and fall of the deli symbolizes and dogs (5 cents) and knishes. Krinkle cut parallels the passing of time and lifestyles fries, redolent of well-used peanut oil, of Jewish communities. The survivors have could be “taken out” in a little waxed paper become ancient monuments as “lieu de bag and eaten on the way to or from school memoire”—sites of memory. And who actually spoke that line, “I’ll or the movies. One deli on my block had a sign in the window, “a nickel a shtickle.” have what she’s having”? None other than I asked the owner, “What’s a nickel a Carl Reiner’s mother, Estelle Reiner. If shtickle?” He said, “Do you have a nickel?” you’re too young to remember this, try “Yes,” I replied. So he shmeared good deli Netflix—it’s a classic! —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal mustard (that usually came in a conical twist of wax paper) on the “heel” of a loaf of worker who has reviewed books for Jewish rye bread and placed on it the heel (the end News for more than 30 years. piece) of a salami. It was wonderful!
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Time to make “philanthropic” resolutions by Scott Kaplan
s we turn our calendars to 2016, it is easy to think about the age old New Year’s resolutions, such as: • Exercise more • Lose weight • Eat healthier • Save more (get out of debt) • Spend more time with family (worklife balance) • Quit smoking But, have you thought about making “philanthropic” resolutions this year? Have you considered what you want your giving to look like in the year ahead? How can you give more effectively with a bigger impact? Here are a few resolutions to consider, and an offer to think about your philanthropy more strategically:
education and welfare of my family. I cannot support all causes. Sometimes it is okay to say “no” in order to be more effective and impactful with my giving. Scott Kaplan.
Make charitable giving an integral part of my estate plan to “Create a Jewish Legacy” to leave this community in a better place than I found it. I will consult my professional advisors (accountant, estate planning attorney, financial advisor) for help. Please call me to set up a confidential conversation about your philanthropy and how the Tidewater Jewish Foundation can work with you and your family (mult iple-gener at ion s) to develop a philanthropic plan and a Legacy Plan to meet your needs for now and the future. I’m happy to help you explore and create strategies to become more effective and feel more fulfilled with your philanthropy in 2016. I can be reached at 757-965-6109 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. May the year ahead be one filled with health, happiness and prosperity for you, your family and our community! Note: Consider opening a Donor Advised Fund (philanthropic fund) to manage your philanthropy in 2016. For a limited time, for those who create a new Donor Advised Fund with at least $7,500, TJF will match the gift with an additional $2,500 to give away. Discover how to be more effective in your philanthropy.
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Give, without being asked, to causes ( Jewish and non-Jewish) within my community. • Consider my relationships with people, experiences and influences in my life when deciding where to give. • Encourage others to give to causes which I feel passionate about. I will discuss my giving with family and friends for the benefit of my community. • Examine my giving habits. I will examine where I have given in the past year to evaluate if it is or continues to be consistent with my values. What do I want to accomplish, what are my priorities for giving and what inspires me to give? How much will I give? To what will I give? How will I decide how to give? • Think about how my giving relates to my financial responsibility to the health,
Our goal as your financial advisors is to help you formulate and implement your family’s wealth management strategy. Whether it’s retirement planning, family philanthropy or the transfer of your wealth to your next generation, your future is our priority and job number one. Please call us to set an appointment to learn more about how we can help you and your family.
resolutions this year?
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jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 21
Make retirement planning easier
Survey finds workers seek more help changing oil than planning retirement
or most employees, addressing retirement issues is a costly, abstract and deeply psychological matter, which is apparent from a survey by Schwab Retirement Plan Services. While most survey participants find their 401(k)—a workplace savings plan that lets employees invest a portion of their paycheck before taxes are taken out—a crucial benefit, with nine in 10 calling it a “must have,” most do not seek professional help to improve the plan’s performance. In fact, while 87 percent said they would seek professional help changing their car’s oil, just 24 percent would seek advice about their retirement plan’s investments. “As a professional and rational human being, the survey’s findings do not seem to make sense, but human nature is often this way,” says Reid Abedeen, a partner at Safeguard Investment Advisory Group, LLC. “Health-wise, for example, we know what’s good for us, yet we often choose an option that is unhealthy. Luckily, many of us come to a point in our lives where we finally follow the wisdom of following our own advice, and I would encourage more individuals who are approaching retirement to tend to their financial plans sooner than later.” Abedeen discusses ways in which individuals can more easily develop a relationship with their retirement finances.
• “Procrastination is the thief of time” and “Time is money.” Two simple but profound quotes—the first from Charles Dickens and the second from Benjamin Franklin—sum up the problem of neglecting retirement planning. There are issues that many of us would like to ignore and put off, both because it’s hard and complicated, and because we can. Retirement is always something that’s “down the road” —that is, of course, until it’s on your doorstep. Don’t let your future well-being, the ability to afford and enjoy the good life in your golden years, suffer. Admit to yourself that retirement planning needs your attention, Abedeen says. Find a professional you trust and take action. You’ll feel better. • Develop a relationship with your money; find someone to talk to. Over time, adults get into a pattern with money. Direct deposit from work, direct withdrawals for bills, groceries, gas, etc. Between habit and automated banking, it’s easy to see why we might be disengaged. Find ways to engage with your finances. There are apps out there that can better connect you with one of life’s most important resources. You might think of it as a game, and it can even be fun. Also, treat your future well-being at least as well as your car. Find a trustworthy professional, who can help you get started with increased financial engagement and
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guide you over time. If you have an aversion to money matters, finding a likeable professional will be important. If you don’t like talking to your financial advisor, you may find yourself maintaining an unhealthy distance. • Contribute as much as you can to your 401(k). Sadly, only about half of American workers have access to a 401(k), so take advantage if and while you can. While many live paycheck-to-paycheck, try contributing at least a small percentage—perhaps 5 percent of your income, and see how much you miss that money. If this means that you have to take on additional debt via credit, then the interest rate may not be worth contribution. However, retirement funding is nothing to put off, so seriously consider finding financially sound methods for maximizing this important personal investment. • Engage yourself with knowledge; understand your 401(k). There are
multiple 401(k) plans offering different options. However, when you have a 401(k) plan from a previous employer, your investment choices are usually limited. One option to consider is comparing the investment choices you have within your current plan with the investment choices you have in the previous plan or plans. You may find that the number of investment options between the plans gives you enough diversification to simply keep the money where it is and not change a thing. Another option is to take the old 401(k) from your previous employer and roll it over to an IRA or Individual Retirement Account, with a different financial institution. In most cases this will open up many more investment options to you, and more options mean more opportunity for true diversification. As with any financial changes there are some things you need to consider before rolling over your 401k to an IRA.
Weinberg Foundation hires new program director
he Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, has hired a new program director to deal with Jewish and Israel issues. Rafi Rone will manage grants to help low-income and vulnerable adults in Israel, in addition to grants supporting Jewish communal causes, the Baltimore-based foundation announced Wednesday, Dec. 9. The foundation distributed about $200 million to an array of Jewish and Israeli causes over the past three years (including grants to JTA). Before joining the Weinberg Foundation, Rone was vice president of Jewish and Israel initiatives at the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds in Baltimore. Rone also served a volunteer term on the Governor’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs, and has extensive experience working in the Jewish philanthropic world. “Rafi brings more than 20 years of experience in community relations and community development to this new position at the foundation,” Rachel Garbow Monroe, the Weinberg Foundation’s president and CEO, said. “He is a highly regarded professional who has worked with dozens of Jewish organizations and managed millions of dollars in grants to the Jewish community locally and in Israel.” (JTA)
Itzhak Perlman named winner of 2016 Genesis Prize
by Ben Harris
(JTA)—Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-born violin virtuoso, was named the third winner of the Genesis Prize. Perlman was named the winner on Monday, Jan. 4 of the annual $1 million prize that has been dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.” He joins former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the actor-director Michael Douglas as recipients. “I was totally dumbfounded,” Perlman says about learning he had been selected as this year’s winner. “I’m a musician. I play the fiddle. So I was so totally taken aback and I was obviously so incredibly honored they would even consider me. It was very exciting.” Perlman, 70, says he was mostly unfamiliar with the prize when he first learned he was being considered. Established in 2012 by a consortium of Russian Jewish philanthropists, the prize is presented annually to someone who has achieved international renown in their professional field and serves as a role model through their commitment to Jewish values. “I just know who I am,” Perlman says. “In other words, in our family, we are traditional Jews. My entire family is involved in one way or another, whether we go to shul,
celebrate Shabbos or whatever it is. We are always in touch…. That’s one of the things this prize will bring forth. I don’t have a problem with who I am. I live it. And my family lives it.” Past winners have taken an ecumenical approach to disbursing the prize money. Douglas, the son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, pledged to use the funds to promote outreach to the intermarried. Bloomberg initially said he wanted to promote Israeli-Palestinian business cooperation, but later backed away from that at the urging of the prize committee, instead funding nine projects “guided by Jewish values to address the world’s pressing issues.” More than half the recipients were nonprofit organizations based outside the United States and Israel. Perlman says he is unsure how he plans to use the funds, though he indicated it would likely have some connection to music and helping those with disabilities. Perlman was diagnosed with polio at age four and gets around with a motorized cart. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s what this prize is all about—the opportunity to do good in the world, to do good as a Jew, to do as they say tikkun olam—to make things better for people,” Perlman says. “My involvement obviously, first, is as a musician, and second, or even first, as a person who has a disability. So these two aspects of what I’m interested in is something that I’m thinking about.” Born in Tel Aviv in 1945, Perlman has achieved a level of celebrity rarely seen in the classical music world. Identified as a musical prodigy from a young age, he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show as a teenager in 1958, and went on to study at New York’s Juilliard School. He has won 16 Grammy Awards, played for multiple heads of state and appeared in commercials and
television shows. Perlman also performed the haunting violin solo on the Schindler’s List soundtrack, which won both a Grammy and an Oscar. Less heralded is his violin solo in the Billy Joel hit Downeaster Alexa which went uncredited on the 1989 album Storm Front and only came to light earlier this year. The two performed the song together at Madison Square Garden in March after Perlman wheeled himself onstage and was greeted with a kiss from Joel. In November, Perlman received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. In addition to maintaining a global performance schedule, Perlman teaches young musicians through the Perlman Music Program, an initiative founded by his wife, Toby, to provide instruction and community for players of rare talent. The Perlmans have five children. “Itzhak Perlman is the embodiment of
everything an ideal Genesis Prize Laureate should be,” said Stan Polovets, the chairman and co-founder of the Genesis Prize, in a statement. “Itzhak has achieved unparalleled professional success, and through his music brings joy to millions of people around the world. He has been an incredible source of inspiration for individuals with special needs by overcoming tremendous personal challenges after having been severely disabled by polio at age four. And he has given back to society by dedicating virtually all of his free time and significant resources to teaching young talented musicians and to serving as an advocate for individuals with disabilities.” Perlman will received the prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem in June. The prize is endowed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which endeavors to build Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.
I play the fiddle.
So I was so totally taken aback and I so incredibly honored.
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jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 23
Super Sunday XXXV: Get in the game! Sunday, Jan. 31, 9 am – 1 pm
by Laine Mednick Rutherford
eveloping a theme for Super Sunday, The Tidewater Jewish community’s single largest fundraising event, has been a coming-of-age responsibility for hundreds of young adults since the inaugural event was held in 1981. This year is no different for the 11 members of the 2016 Super Sunday Steering Committee who are planning and organizing the annual event at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. The group of volunteers spent an evening in mid-November cogitating,
2016 Super Sunday Steering Committee Ethan Heben Catherine Heben Elka Mednick Bern Glasser Sam Sacks Nina Kruger Allison Handler Matt Kantro Nicole Smith Jeremy Krupnick, chair Brandon Terkeltaub, vice chair Steve Zuckerman, YAD Cabinet chair Leah Abrams, YAD director Jasmine Amitay, YAD associate
collaborating, and creating, before agreeing on an idea they thought could resonate with every Jewish person in Tidewater. Sam Sacks, a third generation Super Sunday volunteer, says the group determined they didn’t want anything cute or kitschy as a theme. Rather, they wanted to inspire volunteers and donors by demonstrating the vast impact that is made when everyone participates. “We wanted something that was fun, but that showed why Super Sunday is important, and why people should volunteer and donate that day, and that also lets them know about all of the people they help when they support the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign,” says Sacko. The group settled on a takeoff of the Monopoly game board. The 2016 Edition Super Sunday game replaces the board’s familiar properties, such as Atlantic Avenue and Park Place, with many of the organizations and agencies that rely on gifts made on Super Sunday and raised through the Annual Campaign, which ends on June 30. David Brand, a longtime Jewish community activist, volunteer and leader, was a guest speaker at the group’s third meeting in December. “This is absolutely brilliant,” Brand said as he looked at a sample of the game board, marveling at the “properties” listed, such as Toras Chaim in Portsmouth, Pardes Katz in Israel, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, and World ORT. “We never would have thought of this, not in a million years.” Brand was referring to the young adult community leaders who led Super Sunday
24 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
at its inception. He was the phone-a-thon’s first chair in 1981, along with Phyllis Katz, working with dozens of other committed volunteers. Until the Sandler Family Campus opened, the phone-a-thon was held at the “old” JCC on Newport Avenue. Every year (most often on the date of Super Bowl Sunday, thus the event’s name), 40 corded, touch tone phones were brought into the building, plugged in, and used by hundreds of volunteers who called families, friends, neighbors, and other community members, asking for donations to help Jews locally, nationally, in Israel, and around the world. While the location of Super Sunday and the style of phones may have changed over the years, the involvement of Tidewater’s next generation of Jewish leaders has not. The Young Adult Division of the UJFT, which has a series of leadership training opportunities, is in charge of Super Sunday and takes it’s responsibility—and the day’s success—very seriously. “The impact that you have, the money that you raise on Super Sunday, helps not only this community, and not only Israeli society, and not only Jewish global society, but the world itself,” Brand said. Congratulating those at the meeting for the thought that went into creating this year’s theme and for their decision to get involved in a leadership role, Brand said he hoped their involvement would continue. “You are fortunate to come to a community that wants you, and needs you, and appreciates you. You bring so much more to the community than you know,” he said.
Volunteer Volunteers are needed for Super Sunday’s two shifts: 9–11 am or 11 am–1 pm Training is provided and babysitting is available, as are bagels, fruit and other noshes. Go to www.JewishVA.org/SuperSunday, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 965-6127 to sign up or for more information. Share a Jewish inspirational place, person, or memory on www.fb.com/UJFTidewater, or on Twitter @UJFTidewater. Use #ItsYourMove757 and tag the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and friends. For a fun and nostalgic look at Jewish News articles of past Super Sundays, visit www.JewishNewsVA.org and click on the Archives button in the top bar. Search for “Super Sunday”—add a year (beginning in 1980 when the event was planned) and/or a person.
SUPER SUNDAY M
Super Sunday Committee
embers of the 2016 Super Sunday steering committee are initiating an It’s Your Move! social media campaign on the UJFTidewater Facebook and Twitter pages to spur conversation and raise awareness about Super Sunday and the Federation. They are sharing images and thoughts about some of the places and people inspirational to their Jewish identity, values, and community involvement, and they are asking others to share, too.
Thinking of ideas for shareable posts wasn’t hard for committee members. Their responses, some included here, vary as widely as the locales and images on the 2016 Super
Sunday game board. Ethan and Catherine Heben, Jeremy Krupnick: Super Sunday co-chair For me, being involved in Super Sunday was a way to find out exactly what the Jewish community does both locally and abroad. At first it seemed like such a daunting task, but when I see what support and dedication is behind this day, it was a no brainer to get involved. Now not only am I the YAD Super
Take The Call Answer the phone on Sunday, Jan. 31
Be a Big Winner!
Super Sunday steering committee members We were attending a work function when Ethan was transitioning out of the military. We shared with Evan Kalfus (a partner in Catherine’s office) that we were considering making Virginia Beach our permanent home, and he suggested that we attend Super Sunday. We went, and felt very welcomed. We were
Sunday chair, but also the corporate sponsor for Super Sunday.
impressed with the camaraderie of the community as well as the
I had such a positive and wonderful Jewish upbringing in this
charitable attitude, which led us to where we are today.
community. Most of my best friends are guys I met in 2nd grade at JCC summer camp. I want my boys to have the same fun and amazing opportunities that I had growing up as a Jewish kid in Hampton Roads. Brandon Terkeltaub, Super Sunday co-chair:
Make a Gift Donate when called or go directly online to contribute
Bern Glasser, Super Sunday steering committee member Attending Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., there were few Jewish peers and virtually no Jewish life and culture on campus. I was asked to join our small, but committed Hillel organization,
I’ve grown up in this community, beginning with JCC pre-
and became involved in promoting involvement in Jewish holi-
school and summer camp, to Hebrew Academy day school. I
days—for Jews and non-Jews alike.
never really understood the importance of what our commu-
We Jews have to support ourselves. I realized that I had to
nity provides until my initial trip to Israel on the Birthright
be involved in sustaining the Jewish community and keeping it
program. The trip prompted me to get involved in the Young
Adult Division of the UJFT and the JCC board, both experiences
Sign up for 1 of 2 shifts
which have truly opened my eyes to the needs of our community. As an adult, I realize all of the services and programs I enjoyed so much growing up didn’t just “happen.” People
9am–11am • 11am–1pm Training provided Free babysitting!
engaging. Nicole Smith, Super Sunday steering committee member Beginning my career in education and childcare in a Jewish
worked hard, volunteered their time, and donated the funds to
atmosphere at Ohef Sholom Temple as a Pre-K Religious School
create and sustain all of these programs both in our community
teacher has solidified and stimulated my Jewish identity and
and abroad. My wife and I hope to someday start a family in the
commitment to the Tidewater community. It is a rewarding and
area, and being part of the Super Sunday committee helps fur-
gratifying feeling to teach young children to live Jewish lives,
ther the goal of ensuring these facilities and programs survive
and to contribute an important role to the start of their Jewish
well into the future.
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 25
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Film Festival committee members recap 23 years by Leslie Shroyer
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ince the inception of the film festival, three committee members haven’t missed a single movie. The Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg is now in its 23rd year, and Lois and Barry Einhorn, along with Ellie Lipkin, have been dedicated committee members from the onset. The screening committee, now chaired by William Laderberg and Mark Robbins, finds Jewish films from all over the world and narrows selections to not more than 10 films for the festival. “When we started years, ago, the number of films Ellie Lipkin at the 2015 festival. out there was limited,” says Barry Einhorn. “Now we struggle to cut the number of films shown to six or seven.” Just two decades ago, most Jewish films dealt with the Holocaust. “They were all mostly dark and gloomy, and tended to leave people feeling the same way,” he adds. The festival still annually screens one Holocaust-related film, but today, the choices abound. The breadth of films has also expanded. “So many films are coming out of Israel alone,” says Lois Einhorn, “and a large number of other countries are making relevant films, from comedy to drama, and more.” The screening committee begins its work in late spring of each year. The group researches films and shares links with other committee members so they can watch in their own homes. At group screenings, the committee meets to view and review. “The advantage to the group screenings is the immediate feedback and response,” says Barry Einhorn, “and we can usually come to a group vote about the film quickly.” Like the films themselves, the committee is comprised of more diverse members than it was in past years. “We have all different adult age groups represented, we have Israelis, and we have a lot more perspective,” says Ellie Lipkin. The three agree that Opening Night has become a sensation. “It’s become more extravagant, and an evening not to be missed.” Mentioning Gloria Siegel, Lipkin credits her as “the inspiration for bringing it to the next level with dedication, perseverance, extravagance and style.” “When I think back to the first Opening Night at the Naro 23 years ago, with just several dozen people coming back to the old JCC for a little reception, I just marvel,” says Lipkin. See articles on page 32 about the 2016 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. *of blessed memory
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Open the Gates includes special needs students at Ohef Sholom In the Image of God—B’Tzelem Elohim by Christopher E. Kraus, JD, MTS, director of Family Learning at Ohef Sholom Temple
Goals of Open the Gates • Integrate special needs learners into communal learning experiences; • Teach progressively increased independence, a.k.a. “ENDependence”; • Enrich the community with all who are created in the image of God, and; • Deepen a personal understanding of self and God.
t Ohef Sholom Temple (OST), Big Ideas are taught on Sunday mornings— ideas that enrich and move toward action throughout the week. One Big Jewish Idea from the Torah is B’tzelem Elohim—the idea that God created humanity “in the image of God.” (Gen. 1:27) This idea from the creation story guides how OST How JIEPs work approaches learners with special needs. The creatures of this world are a tes- A recent JIEP meeting of five stakeholdtament to the diversity of God’s creation. ers in the Jewish education of one child illustrates the impact of community Like snowflakes, each are unique. education. Sitting at the 9 am That is one reason Ohef Sholom’s In Sunday morning table are the founders engraved above its parent of the student, his entrance, “a House of Prayer 2012, through Sunday teacher, his individfor all Peoples.” (Isaiah the generous support ual aide, the OST specialist, 56:7) Everyone has special of a grant from the and the OST director of needs, with different praying and learning styles. United Jewish Federation Family Learning. The purpose of the meeting is Some have learning needs of Tidewater, OST to resolve an apparent that demand a greater conflict between a classdegree of individualized began a special room learning objective attention than others. In needs learning about appreciating language Monday through Friday program. in context and the student’s schools in the U.S., such Monday-through-Friday school learners are entitled to federally IEP objectives on language, as well mandated Individualized Education as a five-page psychological assessment Plans (IEPs). In 2012, through the generous sup- about his cognitive capacity. All speak and listen with respect and port of a grant from the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, OST began a spe- trust. There is an explicit understanding cial needs learning program called Open that all have common interests: the spirithe Gates. Today, the Sunday learning tual and intellectual growth of the student, community offers individualized services openness to the undiscovered cognitive so that everyone can learn about torah capacity of the young learner, and commitment to try mutually agreeable instructional together. strategies. At the end of Sunday morning, Features of Open the Gates • Jewish Individualized Education Plans (JIEPs) which is developed with families and staff. • Heather Keller, Virginia-certified special education teacher, and Karen Owens, special education assistant. • Teacher training, adaptive equipment, and materials to assist special learners. • A discrete, safe classroom for students who temporarily need to be in their own setting, called the Sababa Center. This is Hebrew for “It’s cool.” • Employment opportunities for older teens with special needs as Sunday Madrichim (Guides).
it becomes apparent that the modified instructional strategy inspired the student to articulate his understanding of language context in such a way that the other students in class learned from him. For another example of Jewish inclusion, see the Eli Talks video, “I am Here, Hear me Bark,” and the role of a Reform Jewish summer camp in creating a life-changing Jewish community. htt p: // blogs.r j.org / blog / 2015/0 8 /0 6 / comedy-disability-and-the-inclusive-synagogue-an-eli-talk/. From a Jewish perspective, special education is not only about how a community accommodates an individual, but
also how an individual inspires a community. Special education partnerships take months and years to develop the trust needed for crafting mutually agreeable and effective instructional modifications. Jews have an inspiring blueprint for these partnerships: B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God each one is created.
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 27
it’s a wrap Jewish Family Service Chanukah Gift Program 2015
Hebrew Academy Student Government Association officers pose with donated gifts from Hebrew Academy and Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center.
by Debbie Mayer, LCSW, JFS clinical director
ewish Family Service of Tidewater’s 23rd Annual Chanukah Gift Program was a huge success. Each year, JFS provides local Jewish families in financial need with gifts and gift cards for their children and teens, as well as money for those without children. In 2015 JFS received donations from individuals, families, groups, companies, organizations, congregations, area religious schools, and schools. Boxes filled with new clothing, winter coats, boots, shoes, books, games, toys, bicycles, school supplies, and Hanukkah wrapping paper/decorations lined the hallways of JFS. Many of the families who seek help from JFS’s annual Chanukah Gift and Financial Assistance program are active members of the local community who attend schools and temples with everyone else. Although gifts are collected during the Hanukkah holiday, many are used throughout the year by these families. Maryann Kettyle, JFS special needs case manager, says, “We request gifts that are needed by our families, like clothing, shoes, underwear, and winter coats. The children can then use these items all year long, not just during Hanukkah. We request gifts of toys, games,
and books and these are the fun items that children and teens want for playtime. We request gift cards so that pre-teens and teens can have the joy of shopping for themselves and pick out exactly what they want. All of this is possible because of the many donors who support us year after year.” Consistently, one of the largest groups of donors—the students, parents, and teachers from Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater—donated several hundred gifts of toys and clothing this year. This year, a total of 120 different families, consisting of 278 people, benefited at Hanukkah time due to the kindness of local donors. Specific “wish list” gifts and gift cards were provided to 37 local Jewish families with children/teens, consisting of 70 different children and teens. Throughout 2016, these same families will continue to benefit from these donations as JFS provides gift cards towards medication, food, gas, clothing, and school supplies. Some of the thank-you notes JFS has received this year include: • “Thank you so much for the Chanukah gift. I certainly was overwhelmed and very
28 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
grateful. When lighting my menorah last night, the light and strength it represents to me that all is possible with Hashem.” • “Thank you for your generosity this time of year. You are the ones who helped my mom bring me happiness in her situation. There is not much else to say, just thank you for your kindness and gift giving nature…yours truly, a 13-year-old boy.” • “All three of us are so thankful to be able to receive these gifts. We enjoy them so much every year.” • “I want to express my thanks to you for making this one of the best Chanukah’s ever for me and my children…. I was able to pay some overdue bills knowing that JFS and donors would be helping out with Chanukah gifts…what a wonderful Chanukah it was for us...the gifts we received truly will last us—from clothes to games to necessities (like toothpaste, bath gel, and floss)…we felt blessed by the kindness of others…so thank you, thank you, and eight nights’ worth of thank yous!” To assist JFS help local Jewish families in need year-round: • Donate food, gas, and grocery store gift cards, or cash. • Support the JFS Special Needs Group activities. • Donate items such as grocery bags; toiletries, cosmetics, bath and body products; Judaic/Jewish items; school supplies; baby supplies; paper goods; and cleaning/ household supplies. • Purchase Baskets of Hope centerpieces. • Volunteer. All donations to JFS are tax deductible. For more information, contact Maryann Kettyle, JFS special needs case manager, at 757-4594640 or MKettyle@jfshamptonroads.org. A complete list of donors is available at www.jfshamptonroads.org. If anyone is left off this list, JFS thanks you and apologizes in advance. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Annual blood drive a success at Temple Emanuel
he month of December is traditionally known as the “season of gift-giving.” In this spirit, on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, blood donors arrived at Temple Emanuel to give patients the “gift of life.” Temple Emanuel’s Blood Drive is annually hosted by Dr. Morris and Devorah Elstein. For the past four years, the synagogue’s social hall has served as a temporary donating center with the help of the American Red Cross and other dedicated volunteers. Thanks to growing community-wide support, the blood drive is now among the largest in Tidewater. “We exceeded our goal of 45 units of blood,” says Elstein, who has a private medical practice at Coastal Gynecology. “Blood is an organ, so giving blood is one of the easiest ways to become an organ donor.” The Elstein’s thank all blood donors by treating them to a hearty breakfast at the temple. Among the menu’s favorites are fluffy egg omelets (cooked on-site by Elstein) real fruit muffins, multi-grain bagels and traditional smoked salmon. “People donate blood for a variety of reasons and all are from the heart,” says Devorah Elstein. “Donating a unit of blood is one way of making a difference in the lives of people who are in imminent danger of losing their lives.” The 2016 blood drive will be held next December, providing donors another opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.
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it’s a wrap Bryan Mesh and Pam Guthrie honored at Beth Sholom Village Dick Porter’s Golf’s Longest Day. He forged
Bryan Mesh, David Abraham and Pam Guthrie.
t was a bittersweet celebration. More than 80 staff members, friends and family gathered on Thursday, Dec. 10 to say farewell to Bryan Mesh, development director and former CEO of Beth Sholom Village, and to Pam Guthrie, administrator of The Terrace and former BSV director of social work. Mesh worked for BSV for 20 years and Guthrie for more than 24 years. As director of development, Mesh secured gifts that assisted with capital improvements and superior care and comfort for those who entered the doors of their new home at BSV. Mesh led the Village’s fundraising events such as the annual Janet Gordon Mahjong Tournament and
relationships that have helped sustain The Village today and beyond. He joined the organization in 1998 as administrator of the Berger-Goldrich Home and became CEO of BSV when the Terrace was built. In 2008 Mesh assumed the position of development director. In her 24 years at BSV, Guthrie was often the first person new residents met. She became close with family members and as such, celebrated life cycle events and grieved with many over losses. Guthrie has also been recognized nationally for leadership that led The Terrace to receive outstanding accolades. Heartfelt speeches about Mesh and Guthrie were delivered by Bill Berger and
Miriam Seehrman, past presidents of The Home; Allison Whiteman, activities director at BSV; and David Abraham, CEO of BSV. They all talked about the wonderful attributes and characteristics of the two retirees. Josh Mesh, Bryan’s son, also spoke. Guests reflected on cherished memories, and yet, they were saying goodbye to dear friends. When asked to honor Mesh and Guthrie, the community responded by donating more than $7,000 to Beth Sholom Village, making sure their legacy continues. To contribute in honor of Bryan Mesh and Pam Guthrie, go to www.bethsholomvillage. com and push the “Donate Now” button on any web page. Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Jack Young and Neal Stern.
Calvin Belkov and Laura Gadsby.
Stravitz Gallery supports cultural arts at Simon Family JCC
hen Holly Markhoff planned her art show at the Richard Stravitz Sculpture and Fine Art Gallery in Virginia Beach, she was asked if she would like to donate a portion of the proceeds to any particular organization. “The Stravitz gallery does such generous community outreach and support,” says Markhoff, a Richmond native. “The JCC is very dear to me in Richmond, and so I asked if I Holly Markhoff. could give some proceeds to the Simon Family JCC in Virginia Beach.” After Markhoff’s successful opening on October 10, Stravitz sent a check to the JCC for nearly $600 to support cultural arts programming. “Richard Stravitz and the Stravitz Fine Art Gallery at the Beach was honored to present Holly Markhoff’s vibrant contemporary mixed media paintings to the Hampton Roads Community,” says the team at Stravitz Sculpture and Fine Art Gallery. “Stravitz Gallery regularly supports charities in conjunction with art shows as a way to bring two passions together and were happy to partner with an organization dear to Holly’s heart and in our community.” Stravitz Gallery is located at 1217 Laskin Road.
Jeff Tall, Rachel Abraham and Brenda Kozak.
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it’s a wrap Governor McAuliffe hosts Hanukkah party at Executive Mansion
Beth El clergy delivers donuts to UVa by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz
Darcy Hirsch, Virginia director, JCRC of Greater Washington; Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Doni Fogel, director, JCRC of Jewish Community Federation of Richmond; Robin Mancoll, CRC director, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater; and Hannah Mancoll.
fter a warm welcome to more than 100 members of the Jewish community from throughout the Commonwealth by Governor Terry McAuliffe, remarks by the Interfaith Alliance’s Rabbi Jack Moline, and the menorah lighting by Richmond’s Rabbis Michael Knopf and Dovid Asher, brisket, latkes, and sufganyot were served. Reflecting on the Wednesday, Dec. 9 event, Bill Nusbaum says, “It was wonderful to be invited to the second ever Hanukkah celebration at the Executive Mansion, but it was extra special to watch our Governor pay tribute to both the historic themes of Hanukkah and the importance of the Jewish community to the Commonwealth.” The five Jewish members of Virginia’s legislature, Senate Minority Leader, Dick Saslaw, Senator Adam Ebban, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, Delegate Marcus Simon, and newly elected Delegate Mark Levine, all attended the party. Each guest received an official copy of the Proclamation released on Sunday, Dec. 6, recognizing Hanukkah and calling “this observance to the attention of all our citizens.”
Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz of Congregation Beth El and Rabbi Roz Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom Temple in front of the menorah at the Governor’s Executive Mansion.
n Monday, Dec. 7, Cantor Wendi Fried and I rekindled an old Beth El tradition of bringing donuts to Beth El college students. By custom the clergy travels to the school where the most Beth El students are attending—this year it was the University of Virginia. On the Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Cantor Wendi Fried, Jordan Simon, way we stopped at Natalie Simon, and Jenna Alperin. the kosher Krispy Kreme in Richmond to pick up a couple of Jenna Alperin, said, “It was really nice to dozen donuts. The donuts are a reminder see everyone from the temple because this for the students that it is Hanukkah, the was my first Hanukkah without my family Festival of Lights (and oil). Donuts (or suf- and it was a little sad. But seeing the rabbi and meeting the cantor was a nice surprise, ganiyot) are a traditional Hanukkah food. The visit, though, is about more than plus they brought doughnuts!” Along with Jenna Alperin, Josh Gordon, donuts. It is about letting Beth El’s students know that though they are far away, we Natalie and Jordan Simon and Rachel are thinking of them—especially during Goretsky were able to get together with us. Cantor Wendi and I are looking forthe holidays and as finals are approaching. And it works too. One of the students, ward to continuing this custom next year.
Shabbat of Hanukkah services led by BERS by Sharon Wasserberg
Scott Kaplan introduces daughter Liora to Gov. McAuliffe.
30 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org
ongregation Beth El celebrated the Shabbat of Hanukkah 5776 in a really big way. Beth El youth—from kindergarten through high school—led the Kabbalat Shabbat service. The BERS (Beth El Religious School) students spent their tefillah time every Sunday morning after Rosh Hashanah learning the parts of the service they would lead and Beth El HAT students learned their parts during music at school. While singing Mah Tovu, the children were led into the sanctuary and onto the Bima by the religious school’s teen student
aides. Cantor Wendi Fried directed all aspects of the service that the students led including Shalom Aleichem, Or Zarua, and L’cha Dodi. Classes took center Bima for other parts including Ashrei, the Barchu, Sh’ma v’Ahavtah, and Kaddish Shalem. The Beth El Adult Choir added to the spirituality of the service with a beautiful rendition of Shalom Rav. Everyone was clearly very well prepared, which made for a particularly special welcome for Shabbat. The service concluded with the children processing back up the aisle and into Myers Hall for a Shabbat dinner.
what’s happening The Hampton Years by Jacqueline Lawton at Virginia Stage Company Community discussion following Sunday, Jan. 31, 2 pm performance by Dorothy Zimmerman
he Hampton Years by Jacqueline Lawton, examines the relationship between a German-Jewish, World War II refugee professor and John Biggers, his art student who ultimately achieves great renown due to his work as a part of the African American Playwright Jacqueline Lawton. Photograph by Jason Hornick art movement. The play is set at an historically Black Communities (VCIC). At the conclusion of the play, Jonathan university, Hampton, which joined other like institutions to offer teaching posts to Zur, president and CEO of the Virginia refugees who had been refused positions at Center for Inclusive Communities, will lead an audience discussion. other schools of higher learning. For more information about the play, or to Partnering on this special performance at Virginia Stage Company are the reserve tickets (use code SAVE20 to save 20% United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s off tickets) for this performance and discussion, Community Relations Council and visit www.VirginiaStage.org or contact Gaby Holocaust Commission, Congregation Beth Grune, CRC program associate, at 965-6107 El’s HAZAK, the Urban League Guild, or GGrune@ujft.org. and the Virginia Center for Inclusive
Good Ink for The Hampton Years (from www.JacquelineLawton.com)
“A poignant and somewhat turbulent drama about self-discovery and artistic freedom during World War II…this exciting new work challenges the audience to view not only the characters’ stories from a different social viewpoint – but to look closely at their own lives and artistic creations as well. Well-composed, and well-executed, this is a significantly impressive production. “Lawton’s work is a unique exploration that confronts the audience with not only the challenges of Negro oppression, but she subtly touches on the inequality of gender in this play. The dialogue is compelling, someone is always pushing someone to do something, driven heavily by words and honest convictions laced into that text. “In many ways, The Hampton Years is a play about race, but what Jacqueline E. Lawton’s new work has to say about art can be just as compelling.” —Missy Frederick, Washingtonian “The drama, based on real people…shows off the impressive research Lawton has done in constructing her account of a time of awakening for African American artists. “The Hampton Years is necessary.” —Peter Marks, The Washington Post “Lawton shines a light on this captivating and challenging struggle for self-expression and truthful reflection of experience. “The Hampton Years touches on many, many intriguing concepts and questions. “The Hampton Years is smart and ambitious, a script full of promise. —Amy Berlin, ShowBizRadio “The Hampton Years skillfully mines issues of race, religion and gender during World War II.” —Megan Kuhn, Baltimore Post Examiner
Standing Together Hampton Roads
Shabbos dinner with BINA
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2–3:30 pm, Slover Library, Norfolk
Friday, Jan. 22, B’nai Israel
n response to increasing Islamophobia, xenophobia and divisive rhetoric, Standing Together is an initiative to bring diverse groups in Tidewater together to speak out and stand with the Muslim community and others who are marginalized. Led by the Virginia Center for Inclusive communities, the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and other community leaders are part of the coalition promoting and supporting the effort. The program will feature a clergy media conference and an interfaith panel discussion. For more information, visit www.inclusiveva.org/standing-together-hr. Other organizers and participants include representatives from the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College, Chrysler Museum of Art, Congregation Beth Chaverim, Crescent Community Center, First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach, Hampton Mosque and Islamic Center, Hampton Roads Pride, Masjid William Salaam, Multicultural Alliance of Virginia, Muslim Community of Tidewater, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, Virginia Organizing, and others. A similar effort is underway in Richmond.
t’s time for BINA Girls High School’s Annual Shabbos Dinner fundraiser. An evening that has become known for its delicious food, good conversation and the feeling of “bubbe’s house.” Dinner is $25 per person; children ages 5–11 are $15. RSVP by January 15 by phone, 627‑BINA(2462) or by email email@example.com. Event sponsorships are available starting at $136. BINA suggests sponsorships in honor of a special woman in the donor’s life. Contact Amy Lefcoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tu b’Shvat seder to be held by Tidewater Chavurah Sunday, Jan. 24, 4 pm
he Tu b’Shvat seder, which celebrates the “new year of the trees,” features blessings, readings, and songs on the theme of the bounty that is received from trees: everything from apples to almonds to avocados (and that’s just the A’s!). Tidewater Chavurah’s Tu b’Shvat seder will take place at the home of Rabbi Ellen JaffeGill at 4661 Priscilla Lane in Virginia Beach. As with most Jewish celebrations, noshing will accompany a bit of text study and lots of fun. Everyone in the community is welcome. For information or directions, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 468-2675 or 499-3660. Go to www.tidewaterchavurah.org for more information.
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what’s happening Community prepares for annual Jewish Advocacy Day Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7 am–4 pm
The 23rd Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg
Saturday, Jan. 16–Sunday, Jan. 24
pening Night and Reception at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 pm. The Opening night reception is generously sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi. Business casual attire preferred. Tickets: Full Festival Passes, opening and closing night tickets, and individual tickets are available. Purchase tickets and passes online at SimonFamilyJCC.org, at the JCC customer service desk, or by calling the JCC at 757-321-2338.
Senior historian of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to speak after The Eichmann Show at Film Festival
Samantha Golden, Leslie Siegel, Alyssa Muhlendorf, Megan Zuckerman, Delegate Ron Villanueva, Andy Fox, Eileen Colton, and Louis Miller during Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day 2015.
he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is busy preparing for the annual Jewish Advocacy Day, otherwise known as Date With the State. The annual event brings more than 150 Jews from around the Commonwealth to the capital to lobby legislators on issues important to the statewide Jewish community. Expected to be on the agenda this year are church-state issues, anti-bias concerns, appreciation for the Education Tax Credit program that benefits Toras Chaim and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, support for Jewish Family Service, which serves clients around the state, and more. A change in the schedule this year, with hopes of meeting with more state legislators directly versus their legislative aides, means an earlier departure and return. The bus for Richmond will leave the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus at 7 am on February 2 and is expected to return by 4 pm. In order to encourage more participation two accommodations are being offered, one for those who attend morning Minyan and one for HAT parents. “In conjunction with this years’ Date with the State, there will be a Minyan for morning prayers held at 6:30 am at the Simon Family JCC,” says Rabbi Sender Haber of B’nai Israel, who will lead the services. The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater is
offering an early drop off option to parents wishing to attend Date With the State. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, and the president of the Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors, will deliver the invocation at the start of the session in the House that day. A cantor from Northern Virginia will deliver the invocation in the Senate. For the first time in recent history, the delegations from around the Commonwealth will be able to watch the invocations from the gallery and be recognized as participants of Jewish Advocacy Day from the House floor. As in years past, the Tidewater delegation will join the other delegations from around the state to hear from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and Att. General Mark Herring, as they’ve all been invited to speak to the gathering over lunch. The community is encouraged to participate, as a strong turnout from Tidewater is needed to demonstrate support of Jewish communal positions and remind the legislators that many voters are engaged in the conversation. The cost is $36 to participate and includes a seat on the bus, helps to defray the cost of transportation, and a kosher lunch. For more information, or to RSVP (required by Jan. 28) for Date With the State, visit www. JewishVA.org/CRCDateWithTheState or call 965-6107.
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Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 pm, TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
he Eichmann Show is the Holocaustthemed selection at this year’s annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. The film is based on the true story of groundbreaking producer Milton Fruchtman and blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz, who, overcoming enormous obstacles, set out to capture the testimony of one of the war’s most notorious Nazi. After being brought back from South America to face trial in Israel for war crimes during the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann was accused of executing the Final Solution and organizing the murder of six million Jews. The challenges Fruchtman and Hurwitz faced to broadcast the trial as an unprecedented television event to a worldwide audience have rarely been considered before the making of this film, starring award winning actors Anthony Lapaglia and Martin Freeman. Before taking his post at the USHMM, Dr. Peter Black served as senior historian at the US Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which handled the investigations of Nazi war criminals living in America. His understanding of the prosecutions of Nazi war criminals, which all have their roots in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, is vast. Enjoy this documentary and the
discussion lead by Black and facilitated by Elena Baum, director of the Holocaust Commission of the UJFT. For film festival tickets and information, visit www.SimonFamilyJCC.org or call 321-2338. Tickets can also be purchased at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St., Norfolk, on the day of the event. *of blessed memory.
what’s happening Prominent rabbi brings insight, wisdom and experience to community for 3rd Annual Tidewater Together Feb. 4–7, Thursday–Sunday, six locations
abbi Eric Yoffie joins an elite group of rabbis who have visited Tidewater over the past two years to lead the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Annual Tidewater Together: a four day weekend of Jewish exploration, learning and growth. An internationally esteemed religious leader, speaker, and author, Yoffie was chosen as this year’s scholar-in-residence by the members of the Tidewater Synagogue Leadership Council. Comprised of area rabbis, cantors and religious organization presidents, the Council looked at the community’s response to Yoffie’s predecessors, Rabbis Brad Artson and Sharon Brous. The group determined Yoffie could bring inspirational thought to Tidewater and could spur discussion and cohesion, across all denominations of area Jews, just as Brous and Artson had. Unlike Brous and Artson, who are ordained within the Conservative movement, Yoffie’s involvement in North American Jewry is in Reform Judaism. He
is currently president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism after having led this country’s largest Jewish denomination from 1996 through 2012. Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie The choice of Yoffie to lead the 3rd Annual Tidewater Together is symbolic of one of the major goals of this unique and ambitious four-day weekend: to bring together all members of the Jewish community, regardless of age, gender, background, or degree of observance, in an environment of collaboration and respect. For topics, a schedule, and locations of the 3rd Annual Tidewater Together discussions, visit www.TidewaterTogether. org, or call 757-965-6136. Easy, online registration is requested for hosts’ planning purposes. Also see ad on page 14.
Welcoming Rabbi Eric Yoffie for Tidewater Together by Rabbi Jeffrey M. Arnowitz
e are so thrilled to be hosting a rabbi of the caliber of Rabbi Eric Yoffie as this year’s Tidewater Together Scholar-in-Residence. The whole concept of Tidewater Together is to help us understand what the future of our Jewish community might look like and to encourage us to move forward together and successfully. Like our past visiting scholars, Rabbi Yoffie is a leader in that march to the future. As the leader of the Union for Reform Judaism from 1996 to 2012, he has been highly influential not only in creating a vision for what the future of all Judaism may look like in this country, but also in leading the way to making that a reality. Through his leadership, Rabbi Yoffie has changed the way we look at being Jewish in America. Particularly, he has emphasized that without spirituality and religion, there is no Judaism—culture or secularism are not enough. Due to that view, he has led a major revolution in Reform Judaism, pulling the entire denomination towards traditional Judaism, incorporating more
learning and reading traditional texts in ritual and prayers and emphasizing that the animating values of Tikkun Olam and Social Justice come from the Torah. He also led a movement to encourage more Shabbat observance among Reform Jews. In forcing this emphasis on tradition among Reform Jews, even the ones who were mostly unengaged in their Judaism, Rabbi Yoffie has shown us all a way forward. I believe that the model he espouses (and maybe even created)—meeting Jews where they are at, showing how the tradition is relevant to them and finding ways for Jews who are fully engaged in secular life to make their lives more meaningful through Jewish practice—is one of the keys to the future success of the Jewish people in Tidewater and in this country. Of course as a Conservative rabbi, Rabbi Yoffie and I may draw our lines in different places. However, our philosophies are very much in agreement. There is no question that we all have a lot to learn from his wisdom and experience and I hope you will join me in attendance at as many of his talks as possible. We are all very lucky to have the opportunity.
CRC announces 4th annual Israel Poster Contest First–12th graders — Deadline: Monday, Feb. 29, 4 pm
he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites local first through 12th graders to participate in their fourth annual Israel Poster Contest. A list of ‘cool facts’ about Israel is available at www.JewishVA.org / CRCIsraelPosterContest. Contest rules are: • Each student should choose one fact from the list to serve as his or her poster’s theme. • The fact should be clearly stated on the FRONT of the poster. • Poster should be submitted on an 8.5" × 11" paper and be hand drawn (not computer generated) using pencil, crayon, marker, or 2-D art. • Names should not be visible on the front of the poster, but must be included along with age, grade, school, email address and phone number on the back. Posters will be displayed in the Simon
Family JCC Cardo during March when the community will vote in person for their favorite. Finalists will be posted online and the community will be asked to vote electronically during April for their favorite poster. During viewing and voting, the artists’ names will be hidden. The poster with the most votes will be announced in early May 2016. The winning poster will be professionally framed and permanently hang in the Sandler Family Campus. In addition, attendees at the Israel Festival on Sunday, June 5 will receive a copy of the winning poster. Submissions may be dropped off at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater office located on the second floor of the Sandler Family Campus, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach by Monday, Feb. 29 at 4 pm. For more information, visit www.JewishVA.org/ CRCIsraelPosterContest or email CRC@ujft.org.
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Mal Vincent to discuss Avalon at Film Festival Sunday, Jan. 24, 5:30 pm, Roper Performing Arts Center
al Vincent, who celebrated his 50th anniversary as a local and syndicated theater, movie and arts critic this year, is host for a rare screening of the comedy Avalon as the closing night feature of the 23rd Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. For more than a decade Vincent has participated in the festival. Each year he chooses a mainstream Hollywood film with Jewish imagery—a film that represents the popular, commercial counterpart to the festival’s usual imports of films from around the world. The assignment is not always an easy one. Vincent’s past choices have included Rod Steiger’s memorable performance in The Pawnbroker, the Academy Awardwinning Gentleman’s Agreement, Simone Signoret in an adaptation of Katharine Anne Porter’s novel Ship of Fools, and Barbra Steisand in Yentl. Barry Levinson’s hilarious treatise on his own family’s early years in America, the film is called Avalon after the street where they lived in Baltimore. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Screenplay; Costume Design, Music (composed by Randy Newman) and Cinematography. It won the Writer’s Guild Award as Best Original Screenplay of 1990 and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Picture. “At last, a comedy,” Vincent says as he explains the challenges of finding the right movie for the slot in the festival’s schedule. “The idea is to find a counter to the foreign imports that make up most of the festival’s schedule and, for my part, also a film that contains actors or creators I have personally met or interviewed. In order to make it a special evening, it had to feature personal people I had met. I had no interest in merely introducing a film with notes from its history. I had met Rod Steiger and Barbra Streisand and Gregory Peck from the other films. From the cast of Avalon, I know Joan
Plowright who was Lady Olivier, the wife of legendary actor Laurence Olivier, and one of the movies’ funniest comediennes as well as the stages’ classical actresses. Perfect. Plus, I know Barry Levinson, the director and writer who is dealing here with his own family history. He is one of the funniest men I have ever met. I never tire of hearing his stories about his mother.” But Avalon came only after several other options were rejected: Next Stop, Greenwich Village (too vulgar), Portnoy’s Complaint (maybe, too satirical?) and hundreds of other comedies that maybe weren’t ethnical enough for a Jewish Film Festival. “I have interviewed Woody Allen numerous times, but couldn’t settle on which one. Neil Simon’s entire work is a candidate, but later. Avalon is perfect,” he says. The cast includes, in addition to Joan Plowright, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elizabeth Perkins (Big) Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall), young Elijah Wood (famous from Lord of the Rings) and veteran character actors Lou Jacobi and Kevin Pollak. The film, delightfully, captures the eccentricities of a Polish Jewish family in Baltimore in the early years of the 1900s as they emerge, and grow, with the television industry and their television store. There are mishaps aplenty and laughs galore as Vincent finally finds his comedy. The evening will begin with a reception catered by Tidewater Community College’s culinary department at 5:30 pm followed by Vincent’s comments on the film, the director Barry Levinson and the actress Joan Plowright. Tickets for the reception, presentation and film are $20 with discounts for groups and can be purchased on line or at the Roper box office at 340 Granby Street in downtown Norfolk. For further information, contact the Simon Family Jewish Community Center at 757-321-2341. * of blessed memory
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January 16, Saturday Opening Night of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. Enjoy the movie Dough at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts at 7 pm, followed by an elegantly catered reception. www.Simonfamilyjcc.org for tickets. January 16–24, Saturday–Sunday The 23rd Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg brings varied, eclectic rarely seen films to theaters in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Visit www. simonfamilyjcc for more information. Tickets are available online or by calling 321-2338. January 17, Sunday Annual Holocaust film at the Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk, as part of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. See The Eichmann Show, a docudrama of the 1961 trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for war crimes, and hear Dr. Peter Black, senior historian of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum lead a live discussion after the movie. 2 pm. Visit www.simonfamilyjcc.org/culture-enrichment for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets also available at the Roper, at the JCC, or by calling 321-2338. See page 32. JANUARY 20, WEDNESDAY JCC Seniors Club board meeting at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 noon, general meeting 12:45 pm. Guest speaker is William Shackleford from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. He will speak on fraud and identity theft and how it is related to seniors and others. January 24, Sunday Standing Together Hampton Roads. An initiative to bring diverse groups together to speak out and stand with the Muslim community and others who are marginalized. 2–3:30 pm. Slover Library. See page 39. Tu b’Shvat seder with Tidewater Chavurah. 4 pm. 768-2675 or 499.3660. See page 40. January 22, Friday Bina Girls High School Annual Shabbos Dinner Fundraiser at B’nai Israel. Dinner starts at 6 pm; services at 5 pm. $25 per person, $15 children, ages 5-11. Contact Bina @ 627-2462 or email@example.com for information and reservations. Sponsorship opportunities are available for this special evening starting at $136. See page 40. January 31, Sunday Super Sunday, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s largest fundraising day of the year. 9:30 am–1 pm. Sandler Family Campus. Visit www.JewishVA.org/SuperSunday, email firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 757-965-6127. See page 31. The Community Relations Council of the UJFT, in partnership with Congregation Beth El’s Hazak, the UJFT’s Holocaust Commission, and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) invite the community to The Hampton Years presented by Virginia Stage Company, followed by discussion led by VCIC. For more information or to reserve tickets for the 2 pm show and discussion, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. See page 32. February 2, Tuesday The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater travels to Richmond for the annual Jewish Advocacy Day. 7 am–4 pm; leaving from the Sandler Family Campus. $36 includes kosher lunch and helps defray the cost of transportation. For more information about how to join this year’s Date with the State delegation, or to RSVP (REQUIRED) by Jan. 28, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRCDateWiththeState. An Insiders’ Briefing, providing participants with detailed talking points on the issues and lobbying tips, takes place on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. To RSVP or for more details, contact Gaby Grune, CRC program associate at 965-6107 or GGrune@ujft.org. See page 32. February 4, Thursday–February 7, Sunday Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s 3rd Annual Tidewater Together featuring Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie. See page 41. *of blessed memory Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
who knew? Jerry Seinfeld performs to sold-out audiences in Tel Aviv JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performed to sold-out audiences in Tel Aviv. Seinfeld performed four shows last month. The performances are Seinfeld’s first in Israel. “Oh my god, I’m in Israel!” he said at the beginning of his first one-hour show. During his encore, Seinfeld took questions from the audience. He did not discuss the security situation or talk specifically about Israel during his routine. The comedian, who starred in the eponymous hit TV show in the 1990s, last visited Israel in 2007 when he was promoting The Bee Movie. In 1971, he volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz.
“I wish to thank the citizens of Israel for the support, concern and interest, and wish to clarify that the rumors are false,” Peres said in a Facebook post. “I’m continuing with my daily schedule as usual to do whatever I can to assist The State of Israel and its citizens.” Peres retired as president of Israel in 2014 after more than half a century in public life. It is believed the death of someone else named Shimon Peres may have sparked the rumors.
Abigail Breslin to star in Dirty Dancing TV musical
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reportedly will baptize their son in Jerusalem. Saint West was born last month to the celebrity couple. The announcement of the baptism, scheduled for the spring, was first reported in the London-based Daily Mail. “She will focus on spending time with Saint and not take on work commitments for the first three months,” the source said. The couple baptized their daughter North West at the St. James Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem in April. Kardashian is half Armenian. The celebrities and their entourage had originally planned to stay at the new Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, but reportedly switched to another hotel after their plans were leaked to the public. An Israeli security firm that specializes in protecting VIPs reportedly was hired for the visit.
Dirty Dancing, the hit 1987 film about a Jewish college student on vacation at a heavily Jewish Catskills resort, will be adapted into a TV musical. Abigail Breslin will start in the taped musical, which will air on ABC and be written by Jessica Sharzer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Allison Shearmur Productions and Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the film’s screenplay, will produce the three-hour show. Sharzer and Bergstein are Jewish; Breslin has one Jewish parent. The movie starred Jennifer Grey as the student and chronicled her romance with one of the resort’s non-Jewish employees, played by the late Patrick Swayze. Also starring was Jerry Orbach as Grey’s father. Like the film’s protagonist, Bergstein was the daughter of a doctor and frequently vacationed with her family in the Catskills. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dirty Dancing has grossed more than $213 million globally since its release. It also inspired a 2004 remake titled Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and a Lionsgate remake project that was abandoned in 2012. (JTA)
Shimon Peres on Facebook: I’m not quite dead yet
First kosher-certified pot to go on market next month
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Amid rumors of his death, Shimon Peres took to social media to reassure the public he was very much alive. Rumors flew around social media Monday, Dec. 28 that the 92-year-old Peres had died, starting on Whatsapp groups and snowballing from there.
NEW YORK (JTA)— A New York company is preparing to market what it says is the world’s first kosher-certified marijuana. The Orthodox Union has certified Vireo Health of New York’s non-smokable medical marijuana products, Vireo announced. Vireo is one of five medical marijuana
Kim and Kanye to baptize newborn son in Israel
providers selected to participate in a New York state medical marijuana program that goes into affect this month; none of the others will be certified kosher. “Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” Vireo CEO Ari Hoffnung said in a statement. “Today’s announcement sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot’ culture.” Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the O.U.’s kashrut department, said that Vireo’s medical cannabis products “were developed to alleviate pain and suffering in accordance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act.” The statement adds, “Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a ‘chet,’
a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.” Vireo operates a facility in the upstate town of Perth and will open four retail dispensaries in January, including two in the New York City area.
Bar Refaeli announces pregnancy on Instagram JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli announced in an Instagram post that she is expecting her first child. Refaeli, 30, posted a photo of a positive pregnancy test on her Instagram account on Dec. 31. “2016 is going to be like…” she wrote, followed by an icon of a baby bottle and one of a baby. The post received over 75,000 likes in just a few hours. In September, Refaeli married businessman Adi Ezra, whose family owns the Israeli food importing company Neto ME Holdings. The wedding was preceded by a conflict over whether it was permissible to impose a no-fly zone over it.
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obituaries Hanna R. Konikoff Norfolk—Hanna Lillian Robbins Konikoff, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away January 2, 2016 at the age of 95. She was lovingly surrounded by all of her children Albert (Wendy), Stephen (Ronnie-Jane), David (Sofia) Konikoff and Sharon (Richard) Berger and grandchildren. The eldest daughter of Abe and Rose Robbins, she was preceded by her loving husband of 54 years, Arthur Konikoff, brother, Manuel Robbins and sister, Marlene Robbins to whom she was very devoted. Truly the family matriarch with her kind, caring, generous and loving way, she was adored, admired and deeply loved by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all of whom she treasured. As a lifelong member of Congregation Beth-El, she instilled a strong sense of family and tradition in her children and grandchildren. She had an incredible bond
with her family and friends, including her first cousins and her group of friends fondly called “the girls.” A funeral service was held at H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. with Rabbi Jeffrey Aronowitz officiating. Burial followed in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth-El to a fund that had been set up in her name. Online condolences may be made at www. hdoliver.com. Eliot Alan Landau Chicago—Eliot Alan Landau, 73, passed away on January 4, 2016 after a long illness. A native of Chicago, he was predeceased by his parents Bernard and Sarah Goltz Landau. He is survived by his wife, Eileen Bell Landau, his daughters Debra (Jeff), Elizabeth (Seth), Susan (Scott Van Dyke) and three grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Gary (Marsha), sister Phyllis Lannik (Dr. David) and their children and grandchildren. The funeral took place in Chicago with burial in Jewish Waldheim in Chicago. Donations can be made to the Landau/ Lannik Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Family Service Foundation or the charity of one’s choice. Edna R. Levin Virginia Beach—Edna Rubin Levin, 93, passed away December 20, 2015. She was born in Newport News, Va. and was the daughter of the late Jack Rubin and Gertrude Frost. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Aaron Levin and a grandson Justin Bangel. She was a
member of Congregation Beth El. Survivors include her brother Harvey Rubin (Sheila), her children; Claire Friedberg (Marvin), Dale Bangel (Keith), Dr. Mark Levin (Janet), grandchildren; Lori Kalfus, Brian Friedberg, Lindsay Bangel, Emily Levin and Jillian Levin. She is also survived by her great grandchildren; Kaitlyn and Jack Kalfus and Rush and Dean Friedberg. A graveside service was conducted at The Jewish Cemetery of the Peninsula by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.hdoliver.com. Bertram Nusbaum, Jr. NORFOLK—Bertram Spagat Nusbaum, Jr., 91, played his final round of life on January 2, 2016, with his loving family in the gallery. Born in Norfolk, Va., May 11, 1924, Bert was the son of the late Bertram Spagat and Cilla Guggenheimer Nusbaum. He graduated from Maury High School and The University of Virginia, where he was a member of the ZBT fraternity, of which he later served as a chapter trustee. He served his country with distinction as a radio operator aboard the USS Intrepid during World War II. He married the late Lois Silberman in September 1951. For more than 58 years, they forged a great team in life and business. They established S. L. Nusbaum Insurance Agency, a leading independent agency still flourishing after over 60 years. Bert served the insurance industry with distinction on many local and national
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advisory boards. He was one of the original founders of the CPCU Society chapter in Tidewater and a co-founder of the ODU Insurance and Financial Services Advisory Board. He helped create and write the first errors and omissions policy endorsed by the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia. He served as an expert witness for over 20 years. He was a name and member of Lloyd’s of London. He was a strong proponent of meticulous professionalism and lifelong self-improvement; his word was his bond. He learned the meaning and value of community at an early age, earning Eagle Scout status and later serving as Boy Scout Troop 11 Leader for many who became his lifelong friends. His athletic prowess and passion were reflected in his participation in many sports, his presidency of the Norfolk Sports Club, his tireless support of area and regional professional and school teams and countless hours invested as a volunteer youth coach. He demonstrated the patience of Job as a teacher, coach, and mentor, providing counsel about life, sports, and business and had the ability to carve and completely reassemble a holiday turkey. A quiet Southern gentleman, he had unflappable inner strength and poise. His ability to listen and analyze was cherished by his family, peers, and community. He had three passions: dancing, golf, and the beach. He and Lois were Master Square Dancers. His love of all forms of dance is his legacy that has been passed on to his next three generations. He loved the game of golf. He was a tenacious competitor and student of the game. He enjoyed its intrinsic challenge and camaraderie. He took particular pride in having shot three holes in one and his age numerous times. At the beach especially at the family’s 87th St. home, he could be found fishing, surf casting, pitching horse shoes, body surfing, or playing ping pong with his lifelong friend of over 85 years, Harry Pincus. He leaves his daughter Beth Curtiss (Rand) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, his son Charles S. Nusbaum (Nancy) of Norfolk, five grandchildren, Laura Curtiss Feder
obituaries (Kevin) of New York City, Cathy Curtiss (fiancé Ben Volin) of Boston, Michael (fiancée Rachael McKenzie) and Stephen Nusbaum of Nashville, Amy Nusbaum of New Orleans, two great-grandchildren, Jonathan and Lilah Feder, his brother Charles G. Nusbaum (Blanche) of Virginia Beach, his brother in-law, William J. Silberman of Jupiter, Fla. and many caring cousins and dear friends. He was a lifelong member of Ohef Sholom Temple, of which his family is in its seventh generation of membership, serving as president and in many other leadership capacities. Burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery followed by a memorial service at Ohef Sholom Temple with Rabbi Roz Mandelberg and Cantor Wally ShachetBriskin officiating. Memorial donations to Ohef Sholom Temple, InMotion, a nonprofit center devoted to the health and well-being of those affected by Parkinson’s disease www.beinmotion.org/, or charities of donors’ choices. H. D. Oliver. There was no quit in Bert in anything, down to his last breath.
Andreja Preger, noted concert pianist, anti-Nazi partisan Andreja Preger, a noted concert pianist who survived the Holocaust as part of Yugoslavia’s anti-Nazi partisans, has died. Preger died on December 18 in Belgrade at the age of 104. Preger was born in Pecs, Hungary, but grew up in Zagreb, where he attended the local Jewish school. In addition to music, he studied law.
In a wide-ranging interview with Centropa.org, he recalled that as a teen, he was active in the leftist Zionist youth group Hashomer Hatzair. Preger was mobilized as a Yugoslav army reservist after Axis forces occupied Yugoslavia in April 1941. After the establishment of Independent Croatia, a Nazi puppet state run by the local fascists Ustasha, on April 10, 1941, he hid out in Zagreb, where the fascist authorities “were looking for members of Hashomer Hatzair, lawyers and law clerks, so that they could deprive the community of its leaders.” He also spent time in Split, on the coast, which was occupied by more lenient Italian forces. His father and uncle were killed at the notorious Jasecovac camp, run by the Ustasha. In 1943, Preger joined the anti-fascist partisans led by Josip Broz Tito at Tito’s headquarters in Jajce, in Bosnia, where he was a member of the National Liberation Theatre. Preger settled in Belgrade after the war. He taught piano at music academies, performed widely and founded the Belgrade Trio, which performed concerts all over Europe as well as in the United States and the Soviet Union. He remained involved in the Jewish community, particularly in its cultural activities, throughout his life. He long headed the cultural department of the Federation of Jewish Communities and was active in the programs of Jewish summer camps that drew participants from all over former Yugoslavia. Last year, at the age of 103, he was
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described as the oldest member of the Jewish Baruch Brothers choir. “I am always torn between Jewish public work and music,” he told Centropa. A YouTube video shows him performing on his 99th birthday. (JTA)
Howard Leibowitz, key aide to two Boston mayors and a Jewish leader BOSTON (JTA)—Howard Leibowitz, an influential behind-the-scenes aide to two Boston mayors and a leader in Jewish causes, has died. Leibowitz died suddenly of a heart attack on Sunday, Dec. 27. He was 63. Leibowitz, a Brandeis University graduate, was recalled as a passionate strategist and advocate for the homeless, fair housing and racial justice. He brought a tireless and innovative advocacy to Jewish and universal causes. He was a board member of the Jewish Alliance for Social Justice, which had
planned to honor him on Jan. 24 for a lifetime of service. “Although he wasn’t religious, he devoted his life to tikkun olam,” or repairing the world, his lifelong friend Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College, wrote in the Huffington Post. “There are millions of Americans—around the country and in Boston—whose lives were improved by Howard’s work, even though they didn’t know him or don’t even know his name.” Sheila Decter, executive director of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, told the Boston Globe that Leibowitz “was a wonderful enabler and facilitator and didn’t need any credit” for his work. Leibowitz started out at Boston City Hall in 1987 as a housing adviser in the then-new administration of Mayor Ray Flynn. Noted for his political acumen, imaginative strategies and ability to connect with people from all walks of life, Leibowitz was tapped as Flynn’s director of intergovernmental relations. (JTA)
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Riverside Chapel 7415 River Road Newport News 757 245-1525
jewishnewsva.org | January 11, 2016 | Jewish News | 37
Inspiring Jews we lost in 2015 by Gabe Friedman
(JTA)—As 2016 begins, we’d like to take honor the memories of those who we lost over the past 12 months. From remembering lives cut short by senseless, dark tragedies to tributes to revered icons who lived life to the fullest, here are some Jews whose deaths left their legacy on the year that was. Theodore Bikel, 91 Bikel, who died on July 21 of natural causes, was best known for playing Tevye in the stage production of Fiddler on the Roof more often than any other actor. He was also the first to play Capt. Georg von Trapp in the original Broadway cast of The Sound of Music. Bikel was also a prolific folk singer who recorded 27 albums in Hebrew and Yiddish—languages in which he was fluent. Bikel championed various causes during his life—including the Soviet Jewry movement and the progressive Zionist movement—and linked his activism to his experience living through the Nazi invasion of his native Austria in the late 1930s. He planned for his tombstone to read “He Was the Singer of His People” in Yiddish. Dave Goldberg, 47 Goldberg, a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, died on May 1 after falling on a treadmill and sustaining a brain trauma while vacationing in Mexico with family and friends. The CEO of Survey Monkey, Goldberg had worked previously at Capitol Records and founded his own media company. Sandberg immortalized her husband through two heartfelt Facebook posts— one immediately after his death and the other after sloshim, the 30-day Jewish mourning period following the burial of a close relative—that were shared over 400,000 times. “I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice,” the Lean In author wrote. “You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning.” Rachel Jacobs, 39, and Justin Zemser, 20 On May 12, an Amtrak train heading from Washington, D.C., to New York City
derailed and crashed in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia, killing eight and injuring most of the 230 surviving passengers. Two of those killed in the horrific crash— Rachel Jacobs, CEO of the online education start-up ApprenNet, and Justin Zemser, a sophomore at the U.S. Naval Academy who aspired to be a Navy SEAL—were Jewish. Jacobs, the daughter of Michigan State Sen. Gilda Jacobs, had worked at McGraw Hill and launched an entrepreneurship nonprofit called Detroit Nation encouraging ex-Detroiters to support their hometown. The Washington Post described her career as “moving from one big job to the next.” She lived in New York with her husband and two-year-old son. Zemser was the valedictorian and student government president at his high school in Rockaway, N. Y., in the borough of Queens. He was also the co-captain of his high school football team and played on the Naval Academy’s sprint football team, a varsity sport for players weighing 172 pounds or less. Faigy Mayer, 30, and Sara Mayer, 31 To the outside world, Faigy Mayer did not show many distressing signs—she happily worked as a coder and her Twitter feed said she loved life. However, she had struggled with mental illness and a variety of issues since leaving her Hasidic community six years ago. On July 20, she jumped from a rooftop bar in Manhattan to her death. Her death led to a new level of public interest in the closed world of Hasidic Jews and the potential consequences associated with going “off the derech,” or off the path of Hasidic Orthodoxy. Four months later, Faigy Mayer’s sister Sara, who still lived in the family’s Belz Hasidic community, hanged herself. She also struggled with depression, although it was revealed that her condition worsened after being subjected to physical and mental abuse from relatives and being forced to marry her first cousin. Leonard Nimoy, 83 “Live long and prosper,” Nimoy’s Star Trek character Spock used to say. The Jewish actor followed his character’s advice. Nimoy portrayed the half-Vulcan alien—who became one of the most popular television characters of the second half of the 20th century—for four decades.
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He also sustained a successful Broadway career and directed two Star Trek films. Nimoy was born to Yiddish-speaking Orthodox parents in Boston’s West End and rediscovered his Jewish roots in the late stages of his career. He starred in Never Forget, a TV movie about a Holocaust survivor who sues a group of Holocaust deniers, and hosted an NPR radio series in which Jewish celebrities read Jewish short stories. He also employed a Jewish symbol for his entire Star Trek career: He based Spock’s iconic split-finger salute on a Kohanic blessing that manually approximates the Hebrew letter “shin.” Nimoy died Feb. 27 from end-stage pulmonary disease. Alberto Nisman, 51 The demise of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who at the time of his shooting death was guiding the investigation of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, remains a mystery with enough plot twists to fill multiple Hollywood screenplays. Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment in the early morning on Jan. 19, the day he was scheduled to reveal the details behind his allegations that then-Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and its Jewish foreign minister, Hector Timerman, had covered up Iran’s role in the AMIA attack. The gun in Nisman’s apartment led police to think his death was a suicide, but subsequent forensic tests appear to have negated the possibility. His death, which is still being investigated, reignited the media’s interest in the AMIA case and highlighted the rifts opened by the case between Argentina’s government and its Jewish community. The attack killed 85 and injured hundreds. Oliver Sacks, 82 The British-born Sacks, a neurologist and an author of books such as The Mind’s Eye and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, was among the best-selling science writers of the past half-century. The New York Times called him the “poet laureate of contemporary medicine,” and his 1973 book Awakenings was turned into a 1990 film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. Sacks was raised in an Orthodox family in London. His homosexuality was not
received well by his parents, however, and he moved away from religion. After writing about his terminal cancer in The New York Times in February (a recurrence of a cancer he lived through nine years earlier), Sacks revealed a newfound appreciation for Jewish traditions in some of his last essays. He published an ode to gefilte fish in The New Yorker and a meditation on the end of life in The New York Times titled “Sabbath.” Sacks passed away in NYC on Aug. 30. The seven Sassoon children, ages 5 to 16 Gabriel Sassoon was away from his Brooklyn home at a religious retreat in Manhattan on the morning of March 22 when police officers located him at a synagogue to bestow horrifying news: seven of his eight children had died the night before in a fire likely started by a malfunctioning Shabbat hot plate. The fire—which spared his wife, Gayle, and 15-year-old daughter, Tziporah (she jumped from a window to save herself)— was the deadliest in New York City since 2007. The young victims—girls Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11, and Sara, 6; and boys David, 12; Yeshua, 10; Moshe, 8, and Yaakob, 5— were flown to Jerusalem, where the family had previously lived, to be buried. Rochelle Shoretz, 42 Shoretz was the founder of Sharsheret, a nonprofit that provides educational and support services to Jewish women with breast and ovarian cancer. The organization, which Shoretz founded in 2001 while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, now runs programs nationwide and has an operating budget of over $2 million. “When I was diagnosed, there were a lot of offers to help with meals and transport my kids, but I really wanted to speak to another young mom who was going to have to explain to her kids that she was going to lose her hair to chemo,” Shoretz said. Shoretz, an Orthodox Jewish lawyer who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died May 31 from complications of her cancer. She was remembered by colleagues and friends as being “superhuman” and “compassionate,” and participated in triathlons even after her cancer came back.
Presented by Alma* & Howard Laderberg
January 16 – 24, 2016 With Major Support from
Above and Beyond
PATRICIA & AVRAHAM ASHKENAZI
*of blessed memory
With Additional Support from
Opening Night Film & Reception
Saturday, January 16 | 7:30pm
Doors Open at 6:45pm
Tuesday, January 19 | 7:00pm
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts | 201 Market Street, Virginia Beach
Naro Expanded Cinema | 1507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk
The Art Dealer Directed by John Goldschmid 2015 | USA | 94min. Sponsored by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi (business causal attire requested) • Special thanks to Leslie Siegel for reception décor • Dining delight with heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts elegantly catered by Village Caterers
Directed by François Margolin 2015 | USA |96 min.
Sunday, January 17 | 2:00pm
Thursday, January 21 | 7:00pm
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Beach Movie Bistro | 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach
The Eichmann Show
Rock in the Red Zone
Directed by Paul Andrew Williams 2015 | United Kingdom | 90 min. Dr. Peter Black, Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will lead a live discussion after the film. The post film discussion will be facilitated by Elena Baum, Director, Holocaust Commission of the UJFT.
Directed by Laura Bialis 2015 | USA | 90 min. 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 17 | 2:00pm
Saturday, January 23 | 7:00pm
Beth Sholom Village | 6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Closer to the Moon Directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou 2014 | USA | 92 min.
Directed by Nae Caranfil 2014 | USA | 112 min.
Monday, January 18 | 10:00am
Sunday, January 24 | 5:30pm
Simon Family JCC | 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center | 340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Avalon Directed by Andrew Stanton 2008 | USA | 98 min. | Animated film
Directed by Barry Levinson 1990 | USA | 96 min.
Free Festival Extra!
Mal Vincent Pick • Reception prior to the film catered by TCC Culinary Students
Get Your Tickets NOW! Stop by the customer service desk or purchase online at a SimonFamilyJCC.org Full Festival Pass $95 | $70 JCC Members Includes 7 days of films & receptions
Opening Night Film & Reception $45 | $35 JCC Members
Closing Night Film & Reception $20 | $15 JCC Members
Individual Films $11 | $8 JCC Members Excludes opening or closing night films
| January 11,Arts 2016 |tab. Jewish News | 39 Get more information & the trailer for each of this year’s films on www.SimonFamilyJCC.orgjewishnewsva.org under the Cultural
SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 1:00 P.M.
ACADEMIC MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Applications Now Available Deadline for submission is February 3, 2016. Awards announced March 3. Winners will still be eligible to receive need-based financial aid.
PERFORMANCE RECOGNIZED EARLY
REWARDED FOR LIFE At Cape Henry Collegiate, core values of community, opportunity, scholarship, and integrity drive students to reach their highest potential. Each year, the school recognizes a group of highly motivated students entering Grades 6 and 9 with Academic Merit Scholarships. Recent recipients have gone on to such elite colleges and universities as Harvard, Brown, William and Mary, Notre Dame, Duke, and the University of Virginia. To learn more, contact our Admissions office at (757) 481-2446. PKâ€“12 | 1320 Mill Dam Rd. | Virginia Beach, Va. | 757.481.2446 | CapeHenryCollegiate.org
40 | Jewish News | January 11, 2016| jewishnewsva.org