Jewish News: March 18, 2024 Issue

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INSIDE Naomi Limor Sedek reflects on visit to Israel 14 Attorney General’s letter to UVA calls for moral clarity 26 Camps gear up for summer sessions 34 Purim: Thinking outside of the triangle 8 COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA Office of the Attorney Genera l Friday 2024 Dear UVA Board, I write to you today with grave concern about the recent student-led Virginia. On October 7 , we bore witness to the most devastating terrorist compounded by the tragic reality that it also stands as the deadliest terrorist attack resulting in the loss of 32 innocent American lives. This was a slaughter of innocent the elderly, some of whom were Holocaust survivors. Non-Profit Org. US POSTAGE PAID Suburban MD Permit 6543 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 Address Service Requested Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 62 No. 11 | 8 Adar II, 5784 | March 18, 2024 Holocaust Torah returns to USS Harry S. Truman – Page 6

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Knowledge is key

Israel’s war with Hamas has infl amed vocal and aggressive antisemitism and anti-Zionism that has not been witnessed in the United States for many generations. Heated discussions have ensued, often with discrepancies about the facts.

Helping to equip readers with basic facts about Israel, Jewish News presents a few in this column, as knowledge can transform to confidence in conversation.

• Israel borders Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west. (

• The 1967 Six Day War left Israel in control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and most of the Syrian Golan Heights – effectively tripling the size of territory under Israel’s control. Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem – claiming the entire city as its capital –- and the Golan Heights (

• Israel evacuated its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and withdrew its forces, ending almost four decades of military presence inside Gaza. (

• As a result of the Israel Defense Forces’ conscription program, the IDF maintains approximately 169,500 active troops and 465,000 reservists (as of 2022), giving Israel one of the world’s highest percentage of citizens with military training. (

• The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises:

1. The Jewish people settled and developed the land.

2. The international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people.

3. The territory was captured in defensive wars.

4. God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.

(Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Mitchell G. Bard)

• Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to Jews, but non-Jews are also eligible to become citizens under naturalization procedures similar to those in other countries. Israel’s policy is not unique: many other countries, including Germany, Greece, Ireland, and Finland have special categories of people who are entitled to citizenship. (Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Mitchell G. Bard)


Appreciation for Sandlers’ work in Tidewater and Romania

Dear Editor,

As the mother-in-law of a Romanian, Elena, I am very appreciative of the Sandlers’ work in Romania.

I’m a member of Ohef Sholom Temple and a relative newcomer to Hampton Roads (2011). We moved here after retiring to help care for our grand babies while Elena received her Ph.D. in math from ODU and our son was deployed on a Coast Guard cutter. They have moved on to other bases, but we love Norfolk and stayed on here.

In the years we’ve been here, we’ve learned about the great contributions the Sandlers make to the entire community, and I’m delighted that you (Annie Sandler) have also been active in helping Romanian Jews. I’ve been there a few times; my daughter-in-law’s family lives in Transylvania.

So, thank you, Annie, for all you do, and thank you, Terri, for all you do, too.

Published 20 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

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Issue Deadline April 8 Passover March 22

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“In an ironic twist of fate, that Torah is sailing on the most powerful ship in the world, within the most powerful Navy in the world, for freedom, friendship, and peace around the world.

– page 7 | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 3
Up Front 3 Briefs 4 Ad during Academy Awards depicts synagogue bomb threat 5 Torah returned to USS Harry S. Truman 6 The story of the Truman Torah 7 Reflections from Israel: TJF’s Naomi Sedek 8 Barr Torah Pointers gifted to UVA museum 10 Opinion: The crisis of antisemitism 13 AG Miyares calls for moral clarity from UVA Board of Visitors 14 Winning movie director’s controversial remarks 15 Estate Planning 17 Time to think about camp 26 Wonka-themed Saturday Night Celebration of film 30 2024 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film 31 Coffee, conversation, and current events 32 Humusiya: Savory hamentaschen for Purim 34 Purim Torah Thought 34 Calendar 35 Obituaries 36 Rabbi Jonathan Sachs Community book club 38 JewishNewsVA CONTENTS
About the cover: Rabbi Yonatan M. Warren, LCDR CHC USN at the Torah Re-dedication onboard the USS Harry S. Truman. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy. Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising


Israel will participate in Eurovision after its latest song submission is approved

After its first two song entries were denied, Israel has officially been approved to compete in this year’s Eurovision music competition.

The European Broadcasting Union, which runs the annual contest, approved Israel’s most recent submission, titled Hurricane, which had been revised after its first-choice song, October Rain, was rejected because of the competition’s rules against political messaging. That song had been submitted along with another option, Dance Forever, which was also denied. Both songs’ lyrics alluded to Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel and its massacre at an outdoor music festival.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, announced that Eden Golan, who had been chosen last month to represent Israel in the contest, would perform Hurricane at the competition in Malmo, Sweden, in May. The approved song has the same melody as October Rain but with new lyrics.

The English lyrics of October Rain, which were reported by the newspaper Israel Hayom, had included the lines: “Who told you boys don’t cry / Hours and hours / and flowers / Life is not a game for the cowards.” (“Flowers” is Israeli military jargon for fallen soldiers.)

Israel has won Eurovision four times, most recently in 2018.

“This year it is more important than ever that we stand on that stage and represent our country with respect,” Golan said in Hebrew in a video message posted to her Instagram account. “I intend to do everything to represent our country with pride and to give it my all so we can get the maximal result.”

Israel’s presence in this year’s Eurovision has drawn calls for boycotts from artists in several countries —including Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden — who have called on the European Broadcasting Union to ban Israel from the competition over the war in Gaza or threatened not to participate if Israel does enter. Two Belgian ministers called for Israel to be banned — including by comparing Israel to Russia, which had been barred in 2022 over its invasion of Ukraine and has not participated since. (JTA)

For 3rd time, Matisyahu concert canceled amid threat of pro-Palestinian protests

Athird Matisyahu concert was canceled in response to the threat of pro-Palestinian protests, the American Jewish reggae musician shared on his Instagram Friday, March 8.

The show had been scheduled at House of Blues Chicago.

“While my fans and I are deeply hurt by this, please know we will not cower to these bullies and the pressure they exert,” Matisyahu wrote.

The cancellation comes three weeks after the artist had concerts canceled in Tucson, Arizona, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Both venues for those shows cited staffing shortages and safety concerns after having been targeted by protesters, who said Matisyahu’s history of performing for Israeli soldiers and pro-Israel groups in the United States should

disqualify him from performing. Matisyahu is known for his peace anthem One Day, which he performed at the massive pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C. in November.

“While the true details surrounding this decision remain opaque, and while the responsible parties all point fingers at one another over the decision; I can assure you there have been no threats of violence received by our security team who have been vigilant in knowing what is happening in each city,” Matisyahu wrote on his Instagram about the Chicago show.

Matisyahu said the venue had paid him for the cancellation and that he would donate the proceeds to the Hostage and Missing Families Forum “to help the families of the hostages and in honor of International Women’s Day to acknowledge the women and girls still held captive by Hamas” and to the emergency medical service United Hatzalah Israel.

“The ramifications of such tactics go beyond me and the Jewish people,” Matisyahu wrote. “These individuals and the organizations that break under their pressure threaten the bedrock of artistic expression, intellectual honesty, and empathy between people with different views and concerns. We will continue to play shows. And we will always stand tall against hate and march towards the true goal of a longterm peace for all.”

Matisyahu has faced protests even in places where his shows have gone on as planned. (JTA)

Itay Chen, American-Israeli soldier missing since Oct. 7, is confirmed dead by IDF Israel’s military announced the death of an AmericanIsraeli soldier who had been missing since Oct. 7, ending months of uncertainty during which his parents emerged as two of the most visible advocates for the more than 100 people still being held hostage by Hamas.

Itay Chen, 19, from Netanya, was killed and his body abducted following a battle with terrorists during the Hamas onslaught, the Israel Defense Forces announced Tuesday, March 12, basing its conclusion on new intelligence information. Chen was a sergeant with the 7th Armored Brigade’s 75th Battalion, stationed on the Gaza border.

His mother, Hagit Chen, was a guest of Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

Days after the Oct. 7 attacks, his father, Ruby Chen, an American-Israeli venture capitalist, and the relatives of 13 other Americans who were missing after the invasion, joined a video call with Biden. The native New Yorker has also lobbied lawmakers in Washington and New York, and diplomats at the United Nations, to urge pressure on Hamas for the release of hostages and information about their condition and whereabouts.

Itay Chen was one of six U.S. citizens still believed to be alive in Gaza more than five months after the attack.

Shortly after Oct. 7, Chen’s younger brother, Alon, celebrated his bar mitzvah in Netanya. Thousands of neighborhood residents came out to support the family.

Chen’s family will not hold a funeral or sit shiva, until

his body is returned from the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reported. (JTA)

Feds investigate Yonkers school district where basketball players yelled antisemitic slurs

Apublic school district in suburban New York is being investigated for discrimination by the U.S. Department of Education, months after female basketball players from one of its schools directed antisemitic slurs at their opponents from a Jewish day school.

Yonkers Public Schools has already taken several measures to rectify the January incident, in which a high school basketball player reportedly called a member of the Leffell School, a nearby Jewish day school, a “f–king Jew” while also employing pro-Palestinian rhetoric.

The school fired the team’s coach and disciplined at least one player, and the district together with the mayor of Yonkers issued a public apology calling the comments “abhorrent, inappropriate, and not in line with the values we set forth for our young people.”

But in the eyes of the complainant, a screenwriter and conservative activist named Justin Samuels, the incident was still egregious enough to merit federal investigation. He filed a Title VI complaint alleging discrimination.

“High school athletes were targeted for a war thousands of miles away that [they] did not start nor have any control over. That is the definition of racism. There should have been no mention of the war at this game,” Samuels told JTA. “I’m happy that OCR agreed that was illegal discrimination and is investigating.”

Samuels is based in New York City but has no connection to either Yonkers or the Leffell School; he is one of a number of actors who have filed antisemitism-related Title VI investigations against schools nationwide, based on media reports, since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. This is at least the fourth investigation prompted by one of his complaints since Oct. 7. The Office of Civil Rights has promised to open every Title VI complaint it receives for an investigation, regardless of merit or origin, and does not comment on ongoing investigations.

The Yonkers investigation appears to be the 80th “shared ancestry” civil rights investigation launched since Oct. 7; at least half of those cases involve Israel- or antisemitism-related matters. The department also opened two other new investigations surrounding alleged discrimination around shared ancestry last week, at Eastern Washington University and Seekonk Public Schools in Massachusetts.

The investigation will focus on whether the school responded appropriately to reports of discriminatory behavior, rather than on whether the behavior occurred in the first place.

A recent Title VI resolution, at a K-12 school district in Delaware, ended with the district agreeing to financially compensate the family of a Jewish victim of antisemitic bullying.

A spokesperson for the Yonkers district told JTA it would cooperate fully with the investigation. (JTA)

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A synagogue bomb threat is dramatized in an Oscars ad by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism

Jacob Gurvis

(JTA) — A real-life synagogue bomb threat of the type that plagued Jewish congregations for much of last year, was dramatized in an ad during the Academy Awards, the most-watched non-football television broadcast in the United States.

The spot was placed by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, which also ran an ad during last month’s Super Bowl. Both ads depict relations between Jews and other groups, in keeping with the foundation’s mission of raising awareness of antisemitism among non-Jewish audiences.

The 60-second Oscars ad depicts what happened in Attleboro, Massachusetts last fall when Congregation Agudas Achim, a Reconstructionist synagogue, was evacuated because of a bomb threat. A nearby church took the congregation in, allowing a bat mitzvah service to continue after an interruption.

The ad, titled Neighbors, begins with a bar mitzvah being called to the Torah by two rabbis, played by real-life rabbis Michael Dolgin and Aviva Rajsky. The opening words of the Torah blessing are chanted as police sirens fade in, and the sanctuary fills with flashing lights. The rabbi instructs everyone to evacuate and police officers storm the building, a bomb-sniffing dog in tow.

It is nighttime. A newscaster’s voice can be heard explaining: “The threat says, ‘Bombs will blow up tonight. Jews will die. They deserve to die.” The congregants gather outside, carrying the Torah scrolls from the service, until the pastor from the church across the street tells the rabbi, “Just come to our church.”

Once inside, the bar mitzvah boy, whose name is Elliott, appears dispirited until a boy about his age from the church community sits down beside him

in a show of solidarity. The ad concludes with Elliot preparing to resume his bar mitzvah under the shadow of a stainedglass window with a cross at its center. A message appears on the screen: “Hate loses when we stand together.”

The spot alters some elements of the real-life incident it depicts, including by setting it at night, when the Torah is not traditionally read in synagogues. But it borrows heavily from what really happened in Attleboro, when the Evangelical Covenant Church located across Main Street from Agudas Achim welcomed in Jews displaced by a bomb threat at the synagogue. The town is located just 10 miles from the southern Massachusetts town where Kraft’s New England Patriots compete.

Agudas Achim was one of several synagogues to receive emailed threats that Saturday and among hundreds to have received the threats last year. The ad, relying on data compiled by the Jewish nonprofit Secure Community Network, says that 895 synagogues received bomb threats in 2023.

Indeed, the kind of disruption depicted in the ad played out recently in a wide range of Jewish communities, including during the High Holidays last fall.

The real-life incident took place Oct. 14, 2023, one week after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. But even as reports of antisemitic incidents were spiking at the time in the wake of the attack and the new war, the incident was likely unrelated. The string of bomb threats began well before the war and continued throughout the fall, despite multiple arrests of people the FBI said had contributed.

An estimated 19.5 million people watched this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 5
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Bill’s Legacy Lives Forever

Norfolk business owner

Bill Goldback valued good health and great arts performances.

Before he died in 2007, Bill arranged for a Hampton Roads Community Foundation bequest to provide grants for performing arts and medicine in Hampton Roads.

Goldback grants are helping Chesapeake Care, Hampton Roads Community Health Center, Todd Rosenlieb Dance and Young Audiences of Virginia do excellent work. anks to Bill’s generosity he will forever help people in his home region.

Connect your passions to the future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gi for charity.

Torah returned to USS Harry S. Truman JEWISH

Terri Denison

The Truman Holocaust Torah was returned to its home aboard the USS Harry S. Truman on Sunday, March 3 after being safeguarded at Temple Israel for the past year while the ship underwent repairs.

many others for their commitment to our community, country, and the Jewish people. They enabled the Federation to provide the funds so that this rescued Torah could find a safe home on the USS Truman and an ultimate home in our Jewish community,” she said.

Levin also spoke about the partnership and friendship Tidewater’s Jewish community has forged with the Navy over the years, particularly with the USS Truman. “We are grateful for our continuing relationship with the Navy as we have brought numerous groups to the Truman and other carriers over the years and have collaborated on many programs and commemorations in our community, including welcoming military families at our Jewish Community Center in Virginia Beach.”

The ceremony for the Torah’s return, which took place onboard the ship at Naval Station Norfolk, was attended by nearly 100 members of Tidewater’s Jewish community.

Betty Ann Levin, executive vice president/CEO, UJFT, spoke about the day the Torah was first presented: “In June 2007, over 600 members of our Jewish and broader communities gathered, thanks to VADM Shelanksi’s leadership. I was here that day, as were so many of us.

“As the USS Truman prepares to sail again, this Torah will be with them,” said Levin. “There has perhaps never been a more important time, since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, for the American Jewish community to be more grateful for the strength of our US Navy. From our Jewish community, thank you for safeguarding our freedom, protecting us, our allies, democracy, and helping to secure peace around the world.”

Following the ceremony, Rabbi Warren unrolled the Truman Torah to its full length within the hangar bay and read from it.

LCDR (Rabbi) Yonatan Warren, a senior USN chaplain assigned to Truman, led the service.

Following a welcome from CAPT Dave Snowden, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman, Cantor Elihu Flax led in the singing of the National Anthem.

Former Captain of the Truman, VADM Herm Shelanski (retired), was the ship’s commanding officer when the Torah was presented to the ship on June 24, 2007 by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. His story of securing the Torah is on page 7.

“I was reading the article written in our Jewish News and the president at that time of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was someone we miss dearly, Dr. Abbey Horwitz (of blessed memory), who presented the Torah to then Captain Shelanski, commanding officer of the Truman. It was a testament to our Jewish community, and the generosity of our leaders like Abbey, Tavia Gordon (of blessed memory), Daniel Gordon, Sam Werbel, Jerry Miller, and VADM Shelanski, in collaboration with the Talisman family, that this Torah is on the Truman, in the Hoffberger Ark from the United States Naval Academy Commodore Levy Jewish Chapel in Annapolis.”

Levin thanked these leaders and “so

6 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
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USS Harry S. Truman. LCDR (rabbi) Yonatan Warren carries the Truman Torah. VADM Herm Shelanski (retired) shakes hands with Susan and Dr. Mayer Levy, former Lieutenant, USN carrier pilot. Dennis Noonan-Sloan



VADM Herman Shelanski (retired) and Captain USS Harry S Truman 2016-2019

It was President Truman who, despite contrary advice from his cabinet and closest advisors, was the first head of state in the world to recognize Israel on May 14, 1948. For this boldness, Hyman Weitzman, announced as the first president of Israel, presented the President with a Torah a few weeks later. It was a small family Torah from Lithuania that Rabbi Louis Finkelstein had commissioned for his son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Upon receiving it, Truman jokingly said, “I always wanted one of these.” That Torah is on display at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.

As part of my Jewish heritage, Truman’s role in recognizing Israel and that our ship didn’t have a Torah on board inspired us to seek a permanent Torah for the ship. And we wanted one somewhat grander than the small Torahs that were typically available through the military. In particular, we wanted to find a Holocaust Torah.

to make arrangements. He relayed to me that artifacts from the library are rarely, if ever, released for public display. I convinced him that out of all exhibits, this was historical and was in honor of President Truman. I also guaranteed him that we would place a 24-hour military guard to safeguard the Torah and send a Navy aircraft to personally transport him and the Torah so he could ensure all the arrangements were satisfactory for the dedication.

and led to the understanding of our citizens on the unique and essential role our Sailors play in history. At the end of the ceremony, we carried the Torah to the ship’s small chapel, where we opened the Torah for the fi rst time and read from it, giving an Aliyah to our distinguished guests.

We were lucky to get in contact with Mr. Mark Talisman, founder of the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Mr. Talisman and his wife organized a foundation to identify and preserve relics of hundreds of years of Jewish history from pre-Holocaust Europe residing in a warehouse at the Jewish Museum in Prague. These Jewish artifacts became known to the world only after the fall of the Soviet Union and eventually came to be known as the “The Precious Legacy.” It included thousands of Jewish artifacts from synagogues and personal homes, such as Sabbath wine cups, Torahs, etc. These were stolen throughout Europe as the Nazis eradicated the Jewish communities to whom it belonged. The purpose of the collection was to be for a Nazi museum, which was going to be named “The Extinct Race of the Jews.” Mr. Talisman picked a Torah from this collection that was going through repair and Koshering in England. It was a large, uniquely beautiful Torah from Lithuania that honored the heritage of the Truman Torah and my personal history of my grandparents emigrating from Lithuania. We shared the plan with the Jewish community and elicited excitement and promises for participation. The Torah was purchased by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, with the generosity of many members to be on loan to the ship for the 40-year remaining life of the ship.

We thought having the original Truman Torah sit alongside the new Torah for the ceremony would be historical. Having been to the Truman Library during my official function as Captain, I knew the curator and contacted him

On June 24, 2007, we opened the ship to the community at large in the Tidewater area, with over 600 Jews and non-Jews alike coming aboard to help us celebrate and sanctify the history and the Torah. Because of the tremendous response to our RSVPs, we held the ceremony in the hangar bays, each the size of a football field. With ceremonial fl ags draped on the overhead and hundreds of sailors in formation to the tunes of our local cantor from Beth El Norfolk, we proudly marched the Torah into the hangar to sit on the stage next to the Truman Torah. Senator Carl Levin (D-Minn), Mark Talisman, and I gave speeches as to the significance of this event.

We used this occasion to educate the crew on the Holocaust and tell the story of the role of the US Armed Forces, including the US Navy, in ending World War II and the Holocaust. It helped strengthen the bonds with the community

Later that year, we made the fi rst wartime deployment with the Holocaust Torah on board. At the end of that deployment, in May 2018, on the way back from Operation Iraqi Freedom on the 60th anniversary of Israel, the USS Harry S Truman was ordered off the coast of Israel for a diplomatic mission. We flew several members of the Knesset, Hebrew University professors, and Holocaust survivors on board for a two-day visit. It was another excellent learning experience for our Sailors to hear from survivors, professors, and government officials about the Jewish people and Israel’s past, present, and future. It was a fitting tribute to that history, in which President Truman played such a decisive role, that we could share with them our special Torah.

Today, once again, the USS Harry S Truman is preparing to sail in harm’s way wherever our nation needs it, with dedicated and patriotic Americans of our Nation.

On board, ready to sail with them, is this Holocaust Torah from Lithuania. A Torah that was supposed to be in a Nazi museum of the “Extinct Race of Jews,” an exhibit that would represent the victory of destruction, death, and hatred as the new world order, but now in an ironic twist of fate, that Torah is sailing on the most powerful ship in the world, within the most powerful Navy in the world, for freedom, friendship, and peace around the world.

Temple Israel and the Truman Holocaust Torah

While the USS Truman was undergoing repairs, Temple Israel safeguarded the Truman Holocaust Torah, reading from it on a weekly basis for the past three months. The scroll was returned to active duty on Sunday, March 3. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 7
Torah Dedication on the USS Harry S. Truman in 2007. Capt. Herm Shelanski, second from left. The Truman Holocaust Torah is read by Rabbi Michael Panitz during Temple Israel’s morning minyan Zoom services on Thursday, Feb. 29. Temple Israel president Richard Yanku joins Rabbi Michael Panitz in taking the Truman scroll to Congregation Beth El’s executive staff. Congregation Beth El completed the transfer back to the carrier USS Truman on Sunday, March 3.


Reflections from Israel and my 50th birthday

My family’s winter visit to Israel was a gift for my 50th birthday. This trip held special significance as my mother, born to Holocaust survivors, accompanied me, along with one of my brothers who hadn’t set foot in Israel for 31 years. Our journey was not a typical vacation but a poignant trip, joining a small group to witness the aftermath of October 7th and engage in volunteer work.

I find myself still grappling with the profound experiences that unfolded before me. Navigating through the emotional landscape, we visited families connected to my grandmother’s survival story, explored the Nova Festival massacre site, spent time in the ICU with soldiers injured in Gaza, toured kibbutzim destroyed on October 7th, and contributed through tasks such as picking grapefruit and cleaning kohlrabi. The hotels where we stayed were still housing internally displaced families from the south and north, unable to return home due to safety concerns for what is now five months. It was evident that this was not a typical tourist experience but a necessary journey for diaspora Jews in the current challenging climate.

This was my most meaningful experience of my lifetime in Israel and it will be a visit that I won’t forget and will haunt my memories.

An experience in Israel usually charges my Jewish communal battery and my soul. This was not that trip. This time I needed to travel to Israel with a fully charged battery ready to give more of myself than ever. This was like no other visit to Israel – it was a mission to help, volunteer, and provide strength and solidarity. Immersed in the emotional tapestry of this resilient nation, the heart of my journey lay in absorbing the impactful stories of individuals dating back to October 7th and its aftermath. I will share just a few of those accounts here.

Venturing into the realm of personal narratives, I visited families in the ICU, sharing in the struggles of soldiers who were critically injured. Some had faced near-death situations in January but now exhibited progress, able to perform daily tasks independently, such as showering. It became apparent that the soldiers of the Tik Tok generation, often underestimated, surprised everyone with their resilience and exceptional response to the challenges of war. I will continue to pray for refuah

shelma for Eran Ben Elka, Oded Ben Chaya, Raphael ben Elana, and Ori Yehuda Ben Tziporah Esther. May their families continue to feel the love of all the people of Israel from around the globe.

One poignant stop included the site of the Nova Festival massacre, where the fields were carpeted with my mother’s favorite flower, the Calaniot, anemones, and wildflowers of white and yellow. It was the time of Darom Adom, the Scarlett South. This bloom happens every year naturally, but this year they have sprung up from the blood and ashes of the 365 mostly young concert goers, murdered, tortured, mutilated, and raped. While walking through the makeshift memorial, the sounds of war could be heard from over the border in Gaza. It was so close. I could understand how the concert goers were trapped in the space surrounded by hundreds of terrorists. Survivors hid in ravines, garbage bins, and clumps of trees, they pretended to be dead scattered among the bodies of their friends. These images from the videos shot by Hamas terrorists themselves and those visuals from the testimony will never leave my memory. The memorial is now a makeshift pilgrimage site for all

Israelis: secular, religious, army recruits, the friends and families paying respects at the last known location of their loved ones, and for those coming to Israel from around the world to bear witness. This experience underscored the unsettling reality that such tragedies were never supposed to occur within the Jewish state. A modern-day pogrom was not supposed to happen when we had an Israel Defense Forces, let alone inside Israel. The rawness of these emotions lingers within me, and I am still processing it all, emphasizing the importance of being present in the moment.

In Kfar Azza, we met with Zohar, a survivor, who shared with us the efforts of Israelis on the kibbutzim surrounding Gaza, particularly those who were peace activists. These individuals worked tirelessly towards peace, organizing programs to support Palestinians, employing Gazans, and promoting coexistence. However, the shocking revelation on October 7th changed everything. Those whom they were helping, seemingly innocent Gazans, played a role in planning the attack, gathering information, and aiding terrorists. The harsh reality has shattered the dream for many, revealing a truth that

8 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
Tidewater Shinshinim Alma Ben Chorin with Naomi Limor Sedek. The site of the Nova Musical Festival. New section of Har Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery, for soldiers killed since Oct. 7.


challenges the values believed to be shared among all humans. Until the world wakes up from its fairy tale, true peace remains an elusive goal. The actions on October 7th and the treatment of hostages by those on the other side provide a stark reminder to open our eyes to the reality before us.

After our visit to Kibbutz Kfar Azza, we met up with my friend, Elisa. Our friendship was forged through Israeli folk dancing, road trips to NYC, and surviving Sylvia Barak Fishman’s American Jewish Literature class together at Brandeis. This time, my visit was not just about catching up but delving into the profound experiences that Israel offers. We strolled through familiar streets of Jerusalem, seeking Magen David necklaces and Kiddush cups as souvenirs. Our dinner in a bustling restaurant accompanied by live music, provided a welcome sense of normalcy amid the profound experiences of the trip.

For Elisa, our visit acted as a countermeasure to the unsettling messages she had received while sick in bed the previous week. Battling bronchitis, fever, and vomiting, she found solace in the normalcy we brought. The messages detailing antisemitism, reluctance to stand with fellow Jews, and the constant qualifying of statements about Israel were overwhelming for her as an American Israeli. Elisa said that our visit was the medicine she needed – a dose of people standing on the right side of history. As we recounted our experiences at dinner, it became clear how crucial it is for people worldwide to hear these stories and meet individuals on both sides of the border. The citizens of the world need to understand the reality, not just rely on memes and social media posts.

Even while in Israel, students’ experiences of being harassed on college campuses since October 7th were at the

surface. In fact, parents of one of the students on our trip had to meet with the college president while we were in Israel to discuss plans for the student’s safe return to campus. Against this backstory, we prayed and spent time together at the Kotel bringing in Shabbat. The singing and dancing at the Kotel on Shabbat night on both the women’s and men’s side brought the college students on our trip to tears because unlike being ostracized on their campus since October 7th, they belonged and once again felt at home. The power of Israel continues to unite our people.

Reflecting on the sentiments of the people I encountered, I found myself fielding questions about their reactions to the unfolding events. Our dialogue delved deeper, resonating with the gravity of the situation. I believe that a new normal in supporting Israel is emerging, a need to invest in the rebuilding of both country

and infusion of support in the healing of trauma and loss. It is a necessary endeavor and will require that each of us digs deep for this effort. The overwhelming reaction from Israelis, so thankful to see people coming to Israel, underscored the reality that they feel they are fighting alone. They see what we in America are now struggling with on college campuses and the rise of antisemitism around the world and appreciate that in this moment of global challenges, Jews from the diaspora are coming to lend a helping hand in Israel.

I encourage others to partake in a meaningful Israel journey, either through the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Solidarity Mission in June or any other experience now. Personally bearing witness can help our Jewish family in Israel usher in the initial steps of healing.

Am Yisrael Chai – the nation of Israel lives. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 9
Naomi Limor Sedek and Tidewater Shinshinim Aya Sever visit at the airport. Packing non-perishables at Jaffa Institute with American college students. Picking grapefruit. Naomi Limor Sedek with her mother, Susan Limor, among trees planted on Tu B’Shevat as a memorial to victims of Oct 7. Naomi Limor Sedek’s volunteer travel group at Soroka Medical Center. Naomi Limor Sedek, her mother, Susan Limor, and brother, Josef Limor, picking kohlrabi.
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Barr Foundation’s Torah Pointers gifted to The Fralin Museum of Art

First major gift of Judaica in the University of Virginia’s history

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will expand its holdings with a promised gift of more than 150 Torah pointers, or yads, from Clay H. Barr and the Barr Foundation.

Pointers are tools exclusively used to follow the Hebrew in the Torah’s scrolls and assist in protecting the integrity of the quilled letters and the delicate vellum.

This marks the first major gift of Judaica in the University of Virginia’s history. Accompanying the bequest is The Clay H. Barr Endowment for Torah Pointers in Memory of Jay D. A. Barr that will enable The Fralin to preserve the collection and support related staff as well as educational programming and touring of the objects. Barr is making the contribution in honor of her late husband who earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

“My thanks go to Clay Barr for her generosity and thoughtfulness in honoring her late husband, the double Hoo Jay Barr,” says James E. Ryan, University of Virginia president, referencing Jay Barr’s two degrees from the University of Virginia. “I look forward to an exciting initial exhibit in 2025.”

A Torah pointer is often called a yad, the Hebrew word for hand, because a pointing finger was characteristically a prominent feature of early examples.

“This extensive compilation of Torah pointers is singular for its robust catalogue of both antique and commissioned works, and The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia is fortunate to receive such a notable gift. Fralin curators will expand the narratives presented in the galleries and offer enriching experiences for both UVA students and Museum visitors,” says M. Jordan Love, The Fralin’s Carol R. Angle academic curator.

Barr’s yads range in length from a few inches to nearly two feet. While some are made from traditional materials such as wood, silver, gold, or ivory and date to the 18th century, Barr has reached beyond Jewish artisans to commission Torah pointers from artists who fashioned them from Lucite, glass, beading, concrete, and even a skateboard among other unconventional materials. Among the array of artists, jewelers, and designers featured in the collection is Hester Bateman, the most renowned female English silversmith, who may well have produced only one Torah pointer. The Bateman yad is hallmarked 1781.

Barr began acquiring Torah pointers nearly 30 years ago to honor her late husband. Because yads have no design restrictions, commissioning the ritual artworks combines her faith with her interest in art. “When a loved one has passed, it is Jewish tradition to keep them alive by speaking their name,” says Barr. “By making this donation to The Fralin,

Local Relationships Matter

“MEET: Karen Joyner

As the Chief Executive Officer at the Peninsula Foodbank, she believes the Foodbank not only distributes food but is also the spokesperson for those who otherwise don’t have a voice.

“There are so many low income individuals who haven’t received any benefit from the recovering economy and those who because of their life circumstances need help every now and then. We are there to help ensure their voices are heard.”

“Since 2004, when I started with the Foodbank and got to know Payday Payroll, I have always felt that Payday has been involved and helped to build it’s business through positive support for others in the community, both non-profits and start up businesses. I particularly appreciate the generosity that Payday has shown to the nonprofits in our community.”

I am ensuring that my husband’s name and legacy are kept alive and spoken in perpetuity. Additionally, I hope this gift inspires others to further enhance Judaica at The Fralin.”

Select yads will soon be on view in the Museum’s Joanne B. Robinson Object Study Gallery. Several UVA professors will incorporate them into their curricula. The Fralin will produce an academic publication about the collection and mount a comprehensive exhibition in 2025 that will subsequently travel to other museums, synagogues, and venues.

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia

Established in 1935, the University of Virginia Art Museum became The Fralin Museum of Art in 2012 in honor of a bequest of American art and service to the University by Cynthia and W. Heywood Fralin. Housed in the historic Bayly Building near the Rotunda on the landmark UVA campus, The Fralin maintains a collection of more than 13,000 works of art, including American and European painting, works on paper and sculpture from the 15th through the 20th centuries; art from the ancient Mediterranean; Asian art; and Native and ancient American art. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 11
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“ Our client relationships are anything but transactional. We are long-term partners, dedicated to the success of our clients, and most importantly, their people. 757-523-0605
PD-ad-three-eighths-V-color-Jewish News-111320.indd 6 11/13/20
Spencer Tinkham (American, b. 1992), ”Torah Pointer” (2021). Rabbit made from skateboard.

Antisemitism: A far deeper problem than can be imagined

America is experiencing a strong uptick in antisemitism, especially on our college campuses. Jewish students feel unsafe and numerous attacks have been registered. University presidents have struggled to admit that advocating for the genocide of Jews is against school policy. Pro-Palestinian student demonstrations against Israel have bordered on outright antisemitism by calling for the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East. The government is now demanding records of antisemitic incidents on campus and how schools have dealt with them.

This problem is far deeper than can be imagined. It is not enough to simply supply “safe spaces” for Jewish students or to discourage anti-Israel and antisemitic demonstrations. It is an endemic problem with education. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which receives foreign funding, has been promoting misleading depictions on campuses for decades with die-ins, false accusations of apartheid, regular “disinformation” displays, and calling for “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS). Many foreign students are fed antisemitism in their home country from the cradle and fail to check their baseless hatred at the border when they enter the US.

Numerous videos reveal students falsely believing that Israel is an apartheid state, that Arabs are oppressed and enjoy no human rights in Israel, cannot vote or purchase property, that a Palestinian nation existed before “European Jews colonized and appropriated” their land, that October 7


never happened, that Islam forbids rape, that Israel targets Gazans and babies for genocide, and that the Holocaust was a Jewish fabrication to gain world support to establish the state of Israel. This is a massive failure of our education system.

Almost all of the signs and placards displayed by the protesting students are professionally produced on a mass scale. The students did not draw them up in their dorm rooms. Obviously, they are supplied and funded by outside sources. We have an entire generation growing up with misplaced hate and skewed concepts. They will be our future leaders. Where are our educators?

The pro-Hamas line is pushed by American-born professors with biases that they learned in college, and many professors from the Middle East who came hating Jews and Israel from birth. If schools actually desire to address these purveyors of hate, granting them tenure has tied their hands.

So how do we combat antisemitism? Much of it originates in the home, a locale over which we have no control. But in grade school? It is bad enough that universities have become hotbeds of hatred. Unfortunately, now we are seeing examples of this perfidious indoctrination, starting children early in visualizing Jews and Israel with double standards and half-truths. Critical Race Theory depicts Jews not as a protected minority but as “privileged” and “colonialist” despite the vast majority of Israelis living uninterrupted in the Middle East for millennia.

Washington state is considering a Holocaust Education Bill that now has an amendment that requires the study of

“genocide” by Israelis, termed the “Hamas Amendment” by critics. Two New York elementary teachers proudly admit to this indoctrination, claiming they were training children to be “social warriors.” How pervasive has this become?

To solve this immoral situation, states such as California need to rewrite their ethnic studies curriculum to actually teach the horrors of the Holocaust, regard Jews as an American minority, not “privileged,” depict Israel fairly without using double standards and Hamas talking points, and crack down on teachers who carry an agenda.

Currently, the Berkeley, Calif. school district is under fire for unchecked antisemitism and hatred of Israel. Students are rewarded for staging walkouts and demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinians, Jewish students are intimidated by teachers who ask about their “Holocaust” tattoos, Jewish parents who complain are threatened by teachers, students are recruited to assist anti-Zionist teachers cheering Hamas atrocities as “liberation,” and Jewish students are shuffled from class to class instead of facing the problem. These “indoctrinations” are even happening in elementary school.

Yes, we have a major crisis within institutions of higher learning. But the problem starts well before that.

Sheldon Fineman, MD is a retired physician residing in Virginia Beach. He may be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Jewish News.

US religious freedom commission leaves Saudi Arabia after rabbi told to remove his kippah

(JTA) — A U.S. government delegation tasked with monitoring religious freedom around the world cut a visit to Saudi Arabia short after Saudi officials demanded that a prominent rabbi on the trip remove his kippah.

Saudi officials told Rabbi Abraham Cooper, co-chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, to remove his kippah while in public, the commission said in a statement Monday, March 11.

Cooper, an Orthodox rabbi and the director of global social action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center advocacy group, “politely” refused the request with the backing of U.S. embassy staff.

Saudi officials then escorted the government delegation from the premises of Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The

delegation decided to end its visit to Saudi Arabia prematurely following the incident.

The delegation arrived in Saudi Arabia on March 3 and was invited to visit Diriyah, the original home of the Saudi royal family. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had approved the visit.

Saudi officials demanded Cooper remove his kippah while at Diriyah and “any time he was to be in public,” the commission said.

“No one should be denied access to a heritage site, especially one intended to highlight unity and progress, simply for existing as a Jew,” Cooper said. “Especially in a time of raging antisemitism, being asked to remove my kippah made it impossible for us from USCIRF to continue our visit.”

Another leader of the trip, Reverend Frederick A. Davie, a vice chair of the commission, called the incident “stunning and

painful,” adding that it indicated that Saudi Arabia stands outside of international norms. The commission has designated Saudi Arabia as a “country of particular concern” due to its “egregious religious freedom violations” every year since 2000.

“This unfortunate incident starkly illustrates that much more work remains to be done for Saudi Arabia to align with international legal protections guaranteeing this fundamental right,” Davie said.

The delegation had met with officials from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, and human rights commissioners during the trip.

Cooper has worked extensively with Arab leaders in the Gulf.

Several Arab states have recently normalized relations with Israel and, in the process, sought to demonstrate their openness to Jewish observance within their borders.

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Virginia’s Attorney General’s letter to UVA board calls for moral clarity

On Friday, March 1, Attorney General Jason Miyares wrote the UVA Board of Visitors about a student led BDS referendum at the school. The complete text of the letter follows:

I write to you today with grave concern about the recent student-led referendum at the University of Virginia.

On October 7th, we bore witness to the most devastating terrorist attack in Israeli history, further compounded by the tragic reality that it also stands as the deadliest terrorist attack against Americans since 9/11, resulting in the loss of 32 innocent American lives. This was a slaughter of innocent infants, children, women, and the elderly, some of whom were Holocaust survivors.

That is why it was stunning that during a time when the terrorist organization

Hamas continues to hold over 130 innocent men, women, and children hostage, the students at the University of Virginia decided to hold a referendum directly attacking the nation of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League has reported a 388% increase in antisemitic incidents. With rampant anti-Jewish bigotry being displayed on college campuses throughout our nation, it is disappointing to see UVA students put forth and then push a referendum that attacks the world’s only Jewish state.


It is concerning that many young Americans’ perspectives on Israel and the October 7th terrorist attacks could fuel

Dear UVA Board,

support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and other radical groups and serve as a source of encouragement for these reprehensible actions. A December 17, 2023 Harvard-Harris poll of Americans aged 18-24 revealed alarming trends. While 58% of these young Americans surveyed acknowledged the threat of Hamas aiming for genocide against the Jews in Israel, nonetheless, 60% of this demographic group deemed Hamas’ October 7th terrorist attack justified.

Friday, March 1, 2024

The fact that a majority of young Americans surveyed feel that terrorism might be “justified” indicates a moral compass veering dangerously towards the rocky shoals of antisemitism.

we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” In addition, BDS fundamentally opposes the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination in any inch of Israel, rejecting a two-state solution, while using antisemitic language and tropes.

Time and time again, the BDS movement disguises its malicious intentions under the banner of “human rights,” yet inexplicably ignores the human rights abuses elsewhere around the world. It is telling, that of all the conflicts and territories across the globe, from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine to the People’s Republic of China’s illegal occupation of Tibet and oppression of Uyghur Muslims, to conflicts in Syria and Yemen, students at UVA have only chosen to target the conflict involving the world’s only Jewish state.

I write to you today with grave concern about the recent student-led referendum at the University of Virginia.

Terrorism and kidnapping of the innocent must never be justified.

On October 7th, we bore witness to the most devastating terrorist attack in Israeli history, further compounded by the tragic reality that it also stands as the deadliest terrorist attack against Americans since 9/11, resulting in the loss of 32 innocent American lives. This was a slaughter of innocent infants, children, women, and the elderly, some of whom were Holocaust survivors.

That is why it was stunning that during a time when the terrorist organization Hamas continues to hold over 130 innocent men, women, and children hostage, the students at the University of Virginia decided to hold a referendum directly attacking the nation of Israel. The Anti -Defamation League has reported a 388% increase in antisemitic incidents. With rampant anti-Jewish bigotry being displayed on college campuses throughout our nation, it is disappointing to see UVA students put forth and then push a referendum that attacks the world’s only Jewish state.

It is concerning that many young Americans’ perspectives on Israel and the October 7 th terrorist attacks could fuel support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and other radical groups and serve as a source of encouragement for these reprehensible actions. A December 17, 2023 Harvard-Harris poll of Americans aged 1824 revealed alarming trends. While 58% of these young Americans surveyed acknowledged the threat of Hamas aiming for genocide against the Jews in Israel, nonetheless, 60% of this demographic grou p deemed Hamas’ October 7th terrorist attack justified.

The fact that a majority of young Americans surveyed feel that terrorism might be “justified” indicates a moral compass veering dangerously towards the rocky shoals of antisemitism.

Terrorism and kidnapping of the innocent must never be justified.

The Board should be aware that the Commonwealth of Virginia recently codified into law the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including the contemporary examples of antisemitism set forth therein. This defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” IHRA includes as an example of antisemitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

The UVA referendum in question urges the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Investment Management Company to participate in the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. It is well-documented that the leaders and founders of the international BDS campaign believe in the destruction of Israel. Omar Barghouti, BDS Co-Founder, stated, “Most definitely,

I await the same organizers at UVA who pushed the BDS referendum to place as much effort to condemn the rape, sexual assault of innocent Jewish women, and the murder of the innocent.

Israel is a nation with a small size and an economy heavily reliant on exports. Proponents of BDS know that their actions could suffocate Israel’s economic viability and weaken its ability to defend itself and its citizens. Just like direct attacks from Hamas, BDS poses an existential threat to the Jewish state.

I hope that during a period marked by widespread moral confusion among the student body, the Board of Visitors at UVA will rise up and offer essential moral clarity. While this student vote is non-binding and non-actionable, my earnest desire is for the Board of Visitors to explicitly reject and definitively repudiate the misguided attempt by the UVA student body to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.

Thank you for all you do in service of the Commonwealth,


14 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
Jason S. Miyares Attorney General COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
of the Attorney General 202 North Ninth Street Richmond, Virginia 23219 804-786-2071 Fax 804-786-1991
Board of Visitors Northwest
PO Box 400222
University of Virginia
VA 22904-4222


In Oscars speech, Zone of Interest director Jonathan Glazer denounces ‘occupation’ and ‘dehumanization’ in Israel and Gaza


Andrew Lapin

(JTA) – As widely predicted, Oppenheimer nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, swept a number of categories at the Oscars on Sunday, March 11, including best picture, in a year unusually heavy with Jewish nominees.

But the most talked-about Jewish moment of the night came courtesy of Jonathan Glazer, writer-director of the cerebral Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest, who used his acceptance speech to comment on the Israel-Hamas war.

, the biopic of Jewish and

Standing alongside producers James Wilson and Len Blavatnik during his acceptance speech for best international feature, Glazer denounced Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, which he said had led to “dehumanization” that had affected both Israelis and Palestinians.

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present,” Glazer said.

“Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to confl ict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza,” he added. “All the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?”

In a previous award acceptance speech last month, Wilson criticized “innocent people being killed in Gaza” as something people should face head on, rather than from behind “the walls we construct in our lives which we choose not to look behind,” in an allusion to the fi lm’s depiction of Nazis and their families as willfully ignorant of the murder of Jews just beyond their gardens. Blavatnik, meanwhile, is one of several major donors to suspend their support for Harvard University over its response to Oct. 7.

we construct in our lives which we choose not to look behind,” in an allusion to the fi lm’s depiction of Nazis and their families as

Glazer’s comments elicited a range of reaction, including kudos from critics of Israel who mistakenly thought he had called Israel’s actions in Gaza “a holocaust” and castigation from prominent Jewish voices who misinterpreted his comments as saying that he was rejecting his own Jewish identity, rather than rejecting the use of the Holocaust to justify the “occupation.”

was rejecting his own Jewish identity, rather than rejecting the use of the Holocaust to justify the “occupation.”

A founder of IfNotNow, a Jewish progressive group that has accused Israel of “genocide” and called for a ceasefire, said Glazer’s speech offered evidence of growing dissent against Israel among Jews. “More and more Jews are making clear that their Jewish values lead them to speak out against Israel,” Yonah Liberman tweeted.

Glazer, who was the fi rst person to mention the confl ict on

stage, concluded by dedicating his Oscar to a real-life Polish resistance fighter whose story was featured in the film. He did not specifically call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

resistance fighter whose story was featured in the film. He did not specifically call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

musician Billie Eilish; director Ava DuVernay; and actors Mark

But a range of celebrities at the awards show — including musician Billie Eilish; director Ava DuVernay; and actors Mark Ruffalo, Mahershala Ali and Ramy Youssef — wore red pins supporting a ceasefire, in a show of support for Palestinians.

“It’s really inspiring that so many artists here have been down for the cause and are wearing these pins,” said Youssef, who is Arab-American and a leader of the Artists for Ceasefire movement, on the red carpet before the show. (Youssef traveled to Israel to film his recent autobiographical show.)

Meanwhile, a commercial funded by Robert Kraft to raise awareness of antisemitism also aired during the ceremony. (See page 5)

for the cause and are wearing these pins,” said Youssef, who is Arab-American and a leader of the Artists for Ceasefire movement, on the red carpet before the show. (Youssef traveled to Israel to film his recent autobiographical show.) commercial of the atomic bomb,” that took home eight

The winningest film of the night was Oppenheimer, based on the life of the “father of the atomic bomb,” that took home eight awards in total, including for Christopher Nolan for best director. Also scoring wins for the film were lead actor Cillian Murphy and supporting actor Robert Downey Jr., the latter for playing Oppenheimer’s real-life Jewish political rival, Lewis Strauss. The film features a great deal of discussion about its subject’s Judaism, including his efforts to recruit Jewish scientists exiled from Nazi-occupied Europe.

The Zone of Interest were two of an unusually large crop of Jewish nominees this year. Also competing in the best picture category were Barbie, the megahit musical comedy that incorporates the real-life doll’s Jewish inventor Ruth Handler (it won one Oscar, for best song), and Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s biopic of Jewish conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein (which stirred controversy with its makeup but went home empty-handed).

Oppenheimer and The Zone of Interest ally large crop of Jewish nominees this year. Also competing in the best picture category were Barbie, the megahit musical comedy that incorporates the real-life doll’s Jewish inventor home empty-handed).

ing approach to sound design spliced the noise of the unseen Auschwitz death camps onto the soundtrack while foregrounding the lives of the Nazi family whose patriarch was charged

In addition to best international feature, The Zone of Interest also won the Oscar for best sound. The fi lm’s unnerving approach to sound design spliced the noise of the unseen Auschwitz death camps onto the soundtrack while foregrounding the lives of the Nazi family whose patriarch was charged with overseeing it.

Anatomy of a Fall, who won for best original screenhas Mizrahi ancestry. Members of that film’s creative team wore Palestinian flag pins to the show.

A handful of Jewish winners emerged from the evening as well. One was Arthur Harari, the co-writer of French best-picture nominee who won for best original screenplay alongside his life and writing partner, Justine Triet. Harari has Mizrahi ancestry. Members of that film’s creative team wore Palestinian flag pins to the show. | May 1, 2023 | Israel @ 75 | JEWISH NEWS | 15 | March 18, 2024
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Estate Planning | May 1, 2023 | Israel @ 75 | JEWISH NEWS | 17 | March 18, 2024

Simple tips for estate planning in 2024

Estate planning may sound like something that only wealthy people with multiple homes and millions of dollars in the bank consider. The truth is, however, that estate planning, or some version of it, should be on everyone’s radar. And, in addition to including designations about money and property, other important provisions should make their way into a plan such as guardians for under-age children, end-of-life care, and funerals.

No matter how large or small one’s net worth, estate planning is a process that ensures that assets are handed down how, and if possible, when desired.

While some people’s estates require a complicated plan, others might just necessitate one that is simple and straight-forward. In fact, one common mistake made by way too many people, according to the National Council on Aging, is failing to have a plan at all. A simple will is better than none, according to the agency. Other common

mistakes, it says, are not properly executing estate planning documents, not providing for future care of dependents, and not expressing wishes for end-of-life care.

Jody Balaban of The Spindel Agency offers, “One piece of advice I have is to establish an experienced team of professionals to assist with your planning. This would include a financial advisor, a tax professional, and an estate planning attorney to help you with a customized plan.”

That tax professional is especially important in preventing an inheritance from getting eaten away by taxes; as even someone with modest savings will want to ensure their property and assets go to their heirs and not to the government.

And, to make certain your estate doesn’t go to the wrong person, Balaban reminds to “make sure your beneficiaries are up to date.”

Janet Mercadante of Davenport & Company goes one step further. While IRAs and retirement accounts have beneficiary requirements, taxable accounts and bank accounts do not. She suggests adding a POD (payable on

death) to these accounts. Not only will a beneficiary be designated, but these accounts will also bypass probate.

Probate is the analysis and transfer administration of estate assets previously owned by a deceased person. When a property owner dies, their assets are commonly reviewed by a probate court. The process can be long, tiresome, and in some cases, costly.

For those who desire to pass money to heirs tax-free, that may be accomplished by converting traditional retirement accounts to Roth accounts, according to US News. The converted amount is subject to regular income taxes, but withdrawals – either by the owner or the heirs – are tax-free.

Complex strategies and the ever-evolving tax code might make estate planning feel cumbersome and even intimidating. Ignoring the task, however, can be a costly mistake for heirs, even if there’s not a lot of money in the bank. In fact, not making the plan will assure there’s even less in the end.


And how can you make it last for future generations?

At Kaufman & Canoles, we’re here to help you pay your wealth forward, so you can protect your family, your business and your values for years to come. Our dedicated Estate, Trust & Wealth Transfer team will listen to you and transform your goals into a unique long-term plan, one that merges excellent proactive advice with smart tax strategies. Because whether you need a single will or a complex trust, your legacy should never be in doubt. We can. And we will.®

18 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
Estate Planning

How to build a healthy money mindset for a stable financial future

(StatePoint) Building and managing your wealth is a lifelong process that can have major implications for you, your children, and other beneficiaries. While your path to building wealth should be tailored to sepecific circumstances, this three-pronged approach from Freddie Mac can help you plan for a stable financial future.

1. Understand your money mindset

Understanding your relationship with money can help you identify opportunities to create healthier spending and saving habits. A positive outlook toward money can provide you with a strong base on which to build wealth and achieve goals. Conversely, a negative outlook can make you reluctant to take the steps you need to establish a strong fi nancial history. For example, being overly focused on displaying wealth can lead to overusing credit. Likewise, becoming preoccupied with fi nancial success to the point of anxiety can prevent you from spending the wealth you do have on items you need

and want to live comfortably.

By recognizing the factors that influence how you spend and save, you can make new choices that better support your financial goals.

2. Set and manage goals

Establishing and maintaining a set of defined financial goals is the next step when building wealth. Think about what you would like to accomplish over the short-, medium- and long-term, and make a savings plan to help you get there. It’s also important to take actions to safeguard your accumulated savings. This includes being mindful of inflation, guarding your information from scammers, and planning for unforeseen circumstances and emergencies.

3. Be prepared

Building an emergency fund can help you maintain financial stability by putting you in a better position to weather unexpected financial circumstances, such as a loss of income,

unplanned medical bills, or property damage from a storm. Creating an emergency budget can help you gauge how much you need to save, but in general, you should save up enough money to cover three to six months of your typical monthly expenses. Keep this money separate from your other savings, and don’t touch it until it’s needed. Additionally, having adequate homeowners or renters insurance will help ensure that your wealth is protected in certain unexpected circumstances. Familiarize yourself with your coverage so you understand what is and isn’t covered by your policy.

Want to know more about managing money and establishing wealth? Whether you’re renting or owning a home, or saving for the future, Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart offers free personalized financial educational resources. Visit to learn more.

By adopting a healthy money mindset and setting tangible financial goals, you’ll be well on your way to a stable financial future for you and your loved ones.

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Estate Planning


Today, we honor and thank our Legacy donors, whose unwavering commitment will help ensure a vibrant future for the Tidewater Jewish community. Your generous contributions will address the evolving challenges and aspirations of our community for generations to come.

Names displayed in BLUE signify those who have formalized a Life & Legacy gift through the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, thereby empowering our cherished organizations to pursue their missions with renewed vigor. Thank you for your dedication to shaping Jewish futures in Tidewater and beyond.

Bertram* Aaron

Laurent Abitbol

Rachel & David Abraham

Rachel & Marc Abrams

Adelle & Herman* Adler

Helen & Warren Aleck

Janice Aleck

Bobby & Jack Barr*

Helen Jayne & Melvin Barr*

Dolores & Alan Bartel*

Gary Bartel

Marlene Bass*

Susan & Jon Becker

Linda & Calvin Belkov*

Kimberley & C. Earl Allsbrook

Benjamin Altschul

Sylva B. Altschul*

Jasmine Amitay

Tamar & Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz

Karen Ashkenazi

Patricia* & Avraham Ashkenazi

Leslie M. Auerbach

Rosalyn Levy August

Gail & Thomas* Bachman

Jody Balaban

Linda & Leigh Baltuch

Babbi & Brad Bangel

Bessie Banks*

Roslyn & Michael Barney

Elena & Gary Baum

Lisa Benjamin

Gail & Bill Berger

Marcia & Amos Berkovich

Beth Hirsch Berman

Carole & William Bernstein*

Helene Bernstein

Richard Beskin

Roy Beskin

Frances Levy Birshtein*

Paula & Michael Blachman

Leyba & Herman Blumenthal*

Moira Wright Bodner

Bonnie & David Brand

Rashi & Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky

Isabel & Louis Brenner*

Bernice & Percy Brill*

Elyssa Brinn

Joan Brock

Edmund Brodie*

Wendy Jo Einhorn Brodsky & Ronald Brodsky

Eleanor & Leonard Brooke

Marjorie & Robert Brotman

Beryl & Steven Brown

Carol & Allan Brum

Larry Bublick

Norbert Bublick

Kelly Burroughs

Aaron Busch*

Alice E. Buxbaum

Marilyn & Stuart* Buxbaum

Stephanie Calliott

Elyse & David Cardon

Rose & Armond Caplan*

Deborah Mancoll Casey

Marsha L. Chenman in Memory of Sol & Bertha Chenman

Jeffrey Chernitzer

Rita Cogan*

Charlene & David Cohen

Leo Cohen

Ronnie Lynn Jacobs Cohen

Ruth & Aaron Cohen

Sol W. Cohen*

Barbara & Harvey Coleman

Barry Comess*

Jean* & Allan Comess

Raizy & Rabbi Velvel Cook

Allison & Jeff Cooper

Minette & Charles Cooper

Monica & John Cooper

Ann & Robert Copeland

Robin & Todd Copeland

Edward Cross*

Stuart Davis*

Lisa & Mark Delevie

Renee & Arthur Diamonstein*

Esther & Glenn Diskin

Judy & Larry Dobrinsky

Susan & Allan Donn

Ronald Dozoretz*

Abby & Mark Draluck

Leora & Nathan Drory

Bronia Drucker*

Barbara Dudley

Ingrid & David Edery

Susan & James Eilberg

Lois & Barry Einhorn

Susan & Martin* Einhorn

Devorah & Morris Elstein

Dianne Epplein

Adrienne Lehman-Winkleman

Epstein & Edwin S. Epstein

Shayne R. Evans

Thelma Fantuch*

Jeffrey Feld

Mary & William Feldman

Freda & Jules Feuer*

Barbara & Andrew Fine

Jan & Morris Fine

Karen & Matthew Fine

Hyman Fine*

Minnie S. Fine*

Nancy & Sheldon Fineman

Kim & Andrew Fink

20 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 | Mandi Gail Mona Anne Esther Gail Joseph Nataly Barbara Kristy Sandra Colleen Helen Rita Edwin Barbara Harry Cantor Kathleen Claire Beverly Jodie Rosa Alicia Robert Celia Debbie Jerome Leslie Shari Ann Fannie Margaret Penny Sidney Karen Helen Amy Pam Martha Rose Hara Pearl Carly Gail William Farideh Charles Elaine Jane Beatrice June Bootsie Lawrence Steven Laura Ann Martha Victor Barbara Janet*
Freda Joyce Helene
William Carol Helen Laura Louis Sharon Rose Carla Fay & Jeri Jo

Mandi & Ross Firoved

Gail & Joel Flax

Mona & Jeffrey Flax

Anne Fleder

Esther & Alan Fleder*

Gail Fleder

Joseph Fleischmann*

Nataly & Seth Fleishman

Barbara Fletcher*

Kristy & Adam Foleck

Sandra & Pete Forte-Nickenig

Colleen & Andy Fox

Helen Frank

Rita Frank

Edwin Franklin

Barbara Fried

Harry Fried

Cantor Wendi & Gigi Fried

Kathleen & Walter Fried*

Claire & Marvin Friedberg

Beverly & Alan Frieden

Jodie & Jack Frieden

Rosa Frieden*

Alicia London Friedman & Robert Friedman

Celia & Jay Friedman

Debbie & Mark Friedman

Jerome Friedman

Leslie Friedman

Shari Dozoretz Friedman

Ann & Louis Friedman*

Fannie & Milton Friedman*

Margaret & Leonard* Frierman

Penny & David* Gallo

Sidney Gates*

Karen Gershman

Helen G. Gifford*

Amy Ginsburg

Pam & Arty* Gladstone

Martha Mednick Glasser

Rose Frances Glasser*

Hara Glasser-Frei

Pearl Glassman*

Carly Glikman

Gail L. & Donald Gogan

William Goldback*

Farideh & Norman Goldin

Charles Goldman

Elaine Goldman

Jane Klein Goldman

Beatrice & Harry Goldman*

June & Joseph Goldman*

Bootsie & Morty* Goldmeier

Lawrence Goldrich*

Steven A. Goldstein

Laura & Keith Goldstein

Ann Goodman*

Martha & Robert Goodman

Victor Goodman*

Barbara S. Gordon

Janet* & Daniel Gordon

Paula & James Gordon

Freda & Tavia Gordon*

Joyce &













Phyllis & Arthur Kaplan*

Sue Ellen Kaplan

Roberta Joy Kaps

Mimi & Warren Karesh*

Betsy & Ed Karotkin

Florence Karp*

Melissa & Aaron Kass

Juliet A. Katz*

Ellen & Larry* Katz

Alene & Ron Kaufman

Linda Kaufman

Ted G. Kaufman

Marilyn & Steven Kayer

Debra Keeling

Reva & Lee Kelberg*

Marissa & Benjay Kempner

Arlene & Isidoro Kessel

Arlene* & Howard Kesser

Kay & Barry* Kesser

Janna & Arnold Kestenbaum

Jodi & Jay Klebanoff

Hanna & William Klebanoff*

Esther & Andrew Kline

Sofia* & David Konikoff

Wendy & Albert Konikoff

Melanie & Alex Kordis

Joyce & Jay Kossman

R. Mark & Brenda O. Kozak

Anne & Edward Kramer

Cindy & Ron Kramer

Milton Kramer*

Rabbi Marc Kraus

Celia Krichman*

JoAnn Kroll

Irwin Kroskin*

Sylvia & David Krug*

Adel & David Kruger*

Sue & Jeff Kurtz

Nichole & David Kushner

Alma & Howard Laderberg*

Jody & David Laibstain

Phyllis* & David Lannik

Robert Lansing

Selma & Leon Leach*

Sharon Leach

Mavolyn B. & Sanford L. Lefcoe*

Edward Legum

Leslie* & Jay Legum

Lorna & Steven Legum

Ina & Martin Leiderman

Corrie Lentz

David Leon

Lisa Leon

Sandra & Miles Leon

Telsa & Arnold Leon*

Betty Ann & Scott Levin

Natalie Levinson*

Amy & Kirk Levy

Paula Levy

Gail & Joel Lewis

Mark Lipton*

Sara & Rabbi Gershon Litt

Elayne & Jeffrey Littman

Robert Liverman*

Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Loiterman

Karen & Richard Lombart

Joan Kaplan London

Becca Lovitz

Jason Lovitz

Marcia Lovitz

Bernard Lubschutz*

Joseph Lust

Herman Mallick*

Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg

B. Thomas Mansbach

Raizel & Rabbi Shmuel


Rychel & Rabbi Aron Margolin

Martin Marin

Brandy Martire

Paola & Noah Matilsky

Jordan Asher & Jody Mattison

Debra & Bernard Mayer

Andrea McGuinness

Thomas McGuinness

Deborah & Jerry Meltsner

Shaina Ettel & Rabbi Menda

Janet W. Mercadante

Ellen & Bryan Mesh

David Metzger & Alicia WillsonMetzger

George Metzger

Laura & Jerry Miller

Hallie Miller*

Tanya Miller

Heather & Doug Moore

Betty Moritz

Melvin Morrison*

Marcia & Burton Moss

Alyssa & Jonathan Muhlendorf

Evelyn Munden

Rena & Michael Myers

Judith & Stuart Nachman

Sara & Norbert Newfield

Mimi & Frederic* Nicholson

Alan Nordlinger

Rosalind & Harry Norkin*

Joan Nusbaum*

Lois & Bertram Nusbaum*

Robert Nusbaum*

Marlene Nusbaum

Nancy & Charlie Nusbaum

Sharon & Bill Nusbaum

Carolyn & Charles Osman*

Kelli Anne & Bryan Pace

Abbey Pachter

Barbara & Joseph Patish*

John Patton

Pincus Paul* Charitable Trust

Linda R. Peck

Nancy & Stanley Peck

Stephanie & Paul Peck

Alex Pomerantz

Erinn & Felix Portnoy

Rona & David Proser

Eleanor & Julian Rashkind*

Ann & Allen Richter*

Zelma & Bernard Rivin*

Mark Roesen*

Gina & Neil Rose

Joan Rose & Peter Sharpe

Rose & Kurt Rosenbach*

Diane & Malcolm* Rosenberg

Estate of Carol Rosenberg*

Carol Rosenblatt

Judith Rosenblatt

Barbara Rosenblum*

Ellen Rosenblum

Sharon & Gene Ross

Beverly & Louis Rostov*

Joanne & Philip Rovner

Miriam & Arthur Ruberg

Judy & Robert Rubin

Abraham Rubin*

Sara Jo & Joel R. Rubin

Malka & Rabbi Gavriel Rudin

Paula Russel

Sarita & Bert Sachs*

Karen & Warren Sachs

Annabel & Hal* Sacks

Ada S. Salsbury

Linda & Stanley Samuels

Annie & Art Sandler

Toni Sandler

Reba & Sam Sandler*

Judy Saperstein

Terri & Lonny Sarfan

Laure & Richard Saunders

Natalie & Larry Saunders*

Margaret & William Sawyer

Marge & Steve Schechner

Edie & Louis Schlain

Lynn Schoenbaum

Rachel Schoenbaum

Joanna & Craig Schranz

Elaine & Joash Schulman

Peter Schulman

Helen & Buzzy Schulwolf*

Ruby & William Schwarzschild

Ruth Schwetz*

Naomi Limor Sedek

Miriam & Bob* Seeherman

Patti & Paul Seeman

Deborah & Peter Segaloff

Lynn & Robert Seltzer

Sandy & Norman Sher

Carol & Louis Sherman

Annette Shore*

Laurie Goldsticker & Gary Siegel

Leslie & Lawrence Siegel

Marilyn & Kenneth Siegel

Barry Simon

Carin & Mike Simon

Marilyn & Marvin* Simon

Shelly & Britt Simon

Simon Family Foundation

Cheryl & Harris* Sloane

Jill & Larry Smith

Pamela & Louis Snyder

Harry Snyder*

Helen & Daniel Sonenshine

Spigel Family

Linda & Ron Spindel

Dorothy and Ron Spitalney

Deborah E. Stadlin

Alan Stein

Herbert & Ronda Stein*

Jane Stein

Michal & Rabbi Yisroel Stein

Robert Stein

Stuart Stein

Jean & Ira Steingold

Joseph Steingold

Lawrence Steingold

Neal Stern

Robert Stern*

Randi Strelitz

Renee & John Strelitz

Joyce & Leonard Strelitz*

Burle Stromberg

Steven Suskin

Sandra Tabachnick

Kevin & Gary Tabakin

Marcy & Paul Terkeltaub

Marian Bear Ticatch*

Linda & Alan Troy

Hilary Truman

Nancy Tucker

Jody & Alan Wagner

Patti Wainger

Nancy & Alvin Wall

Doris Waranch

Trudy & Martin Waranch

Carol & Stanley Waranch*

June & Oscar Warner*

David Warsof

Joel Warsof

Lisa & Steven Warsof

Herbert L. Weinberg*

Amy & Eliot Weinstein

Barb Gelb & Kenny Weinstein

Carol Downing & Lawrence


Matthew Weinstein

Miriam & Harry Weisberg*

Diane & Sam Werbel

Adam White

Eric White

Matthew White

Harriet & Samuel White*

Matthew & Valeria Williamson

Dorothy & Manuel Wyron*

Syvia Yavner*

Steven Yetiv*

Tina Yomtob

Amy Zelenka

Harold Zedd

Betty & Henry Zetlin*

Dorothy Zimmerman

Ashley & Greg Zittrain

Ann* Zukerman

Herbert Zukerman

*of blessed memory

As of 2/26/24

Denotes formalization of Life & Legacy gift(s) from FY17—FY24.

If you have already formalized and your name appears in black, contact us to ensure we have the formalized documents. To formalize your commitment or discuss donor opportunities, please contact Naomi Limor

Sedek at | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 21
Bernie Grablowsky
M. Graves
& Ralph Greenhut
& Yehudah Griffin
& Fred Gross
& Michael Grossman
Ann Grossman*
O. Grune
& Norris Halpern*
Jo & William Halprin Amie & Byron Harrell Ellen & Jonathan Harris Susan C. Alper & Steven J. Harwood Mickey & Stuart Held Zena Herod Denise & Jason Hoffman Marcia & Thomas Hofheimer* Marilyn & Stanley I.* Holzsweig Brenda & Abbey* Horwitz Susan & Howard Horwitz Ellen Rostov Hundley Shyrlee Hurwitz
& Marc* Jacobson Nancy Sacks Jacobson & Edwin* Jacobson Beth & Nathan Jaffe Michael Jaffe Lee & Bernard Jaffe* Rose & Joseph Jaffe* Carol & Joel Jason Gabriele Jiannas & Dr. Fred Pugh Paul & Barbara Johnson Sheila & Robert Josephberg Dorothy & Howard Kahn* Eileen & Stewart Kahn Marcia Samuels & David Kamer H. Lee Kanter* Kathy & Jerry Kantor Reatha & Barry* Kantor Bruce Kaplan Erica & Scott Kaplan Bernice & Milton Kaplan* Libbie & Albert Kaplan*
Einhorn Lehman-Winkleman Epstein Fineman

Warm Spring Wishes from

Estate Planning: One of the best ways to demonstrate caring

Tidewater Jewish Foundation staff

ALooking forward to greeting you soon.

ddressing the sensitive topics of money, mortality, and family relationships can be challenging, especially when it involves estate planning. The hesitation to have the discussion often stems from the perceived complexity and emotional weight of making decisions regarding the distribution of assets.

a legacy that not only supports the Jewish community today, but also lays the foundation for its prosperity in the future. Our role is vital in educating and facilitating meaningful contributions that echo the values of tzedakah across generations.”

making planned gifts, individuals signal their dedication to the future of

Proactively organizing one’s estate is a gift to heirs, alleviating the stress and uncertainty that can accompany the loss of a loved one. It also provides an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to cherished causes within the Jewish community and beyond. By including charities such as Tidewater Jewish Foundation in estate plans through beneficiary designations, individuals can establish a philanthropic legacy that is both tax-efficient and impactful.

Estate planning represents a profound act of caring from generation to generation, embodying the principle of l'dor v'dor— ensuring the continuity of Jewish traditions and commitments to tzedakah (charity) and community support. By making planned gifts, individuals signal their dedication to the future of Jewish life and values, encouraging the next generation to uphold these ideals.

TJF can play a pivotal role in facilitating this process – guiding individuals on how their legacy can sustain the institutions, programs, and services they are passionate about.

Charlie Nusbaum, TJF's board chair, says, “Through TJF, individuals can craft

Many choose to support their favorite charities in an estate plan through a beneficiary designation. While working with attorneys and other advisors, be sure to review the beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement plans. Perhaps naming a charity such as a Tidewater Jewish Foundation fund is the most tax-efficient, streamlined way to make gifts to favorite causes upon death and establish a philanthropic legacy. A bequest like this avoids estate tax and income tax on the retirement plan distributions.

Stories abound about the sad consequences of someone not having an estate plan or even having out-of-date beneficiary designations. TJF can work with donors to update the terms of donor-advised funds to assure that wishes are carried out following death, whether naming specific charities to receive distributions or naming children as successor advisors to a fund.

An estate plan allows you to demonstrate how much you care about the people in your life and your charitable passions.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Ready for a legacy conversation? Contact Naomi Limor Sedek, Tidewater Jewish Foundation president & CEO, at nsedek@ or 757-965-6109.

22 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
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Sylvan Adams, philanthropist known for boosting cycling in Israel, gives $100M to help Ben-Gurion U after Oct. 7

Deborah Danan

(JTA) — Canadian-Israeli businessman Sylvan Adams has donated $100 million to Ben-Gurion University as part of an effort to rebuild the south following the devastating Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, university officials announced at a benefit gala in Toronto in December.

“If we want the south to flourish after the October 7th pogrom, we must invest in the south, beginning in its capital of Beersheba,” Adams says.

Adams, a real estate magnate who moved to Israel in 2015, is perhaps best known for his support of cycling in Israel. He established the country’s first cycling institute and velodrome, created an eponymous commuter bike path in Tel Aviv and brought the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia competition to Israel in 2018 — at a personal cost of more than $20 million. He also owns the Israel-Premier Tech Cycling Team and won the world championship in cycling for his age group last year.

giving. The $100 million donation is the largest ever to an Israeli university and on par with some of the largest made to any university, matching splashy gifts that have been announced recently at Harvard and Duke universities in the United States.

(The largest-ever gift to an American university was $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University in 2018, by Michael Bloomberg, the Jewish businessman and philanthropist who has also donated prolifically in Israel.)

“One of our responses to the terrible October 7th attack and the rise of lies about Israel and antisemitism around the world must be to dedicate ourselves to Jewish values as a force for good.”

It will go to boost a university that lost 82 members of its community on Oct. 7, including students, staff, faculty, and their family members, according to a statement released by the university. The university has 20,000 students enrolled and employs 6,700 staff members, most of whom reside in the southern region.

Aside from cycling, Adams and his family foundation have also supported the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; SpaceIL, Israel’s nonprofit space organization; and multiple medical centers in Israel. He also played a role in bringing pop star Madonna to the Eurovision song competition in Israel in 2019. He has given widely in his native Canada, as well.

The latest donation dwarfs any of that

The funds will focus on six key areas, including the future of the Negev and Israel, technological advancements, climate change, sustainability, and global health, BGU President Daniel Chamovitz told guests at the Negev Strong gala, which was hosted by the university’s Canadian fundraising arm, according to the statement.

Describing BGU as Israel’s “most important university,” Adams cites its research in several sustainability arenas, including water management, solar energy, desert ecology, and climate change solutions – especially through its campus at Sde Boker, the desert kibbutz that was

the retirement home of the country’s first prime minister and the university’s namesake.

Adams points to David Ben-Gurion as someone who “understood that the Negev is the beating heart of Israel.”

“One of our responses to the terrible October 7th attack and the rise of lies about Israel and antisemitism around the world must be to dedicate ourselves to Jewish values as a force for good,” Adams says. “We build, while Hamas destroys. We teach our children to love, while they teach theirs hatred.”

The donation marks a significant

investment in the future of Israel’s southern region and is seen as a beacon of hope and renewal after Oct. 7, according to Mitchell Oelbaum, president of Ben-Gurion University Canada. It comes as the country has a strengthened attachment to the region and as the mounting costs of war leave open questions about how prepared the Israeli government can be to make unrelated new investments in the near future.

“Our students, staff, and faculty persevered in the face of one of our country’s darkest moments,” Oelbaum says. “This gift comes at the perfect time for renewal.” | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 23 Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 2/5/24. At the end of term, the CD will renew at the normal CD rate and APY in effect at that time. All money deposited at opening must be new money to the bank. Penalty may be imposed for early withdrawal. Not available to municipalities and other financial institutions. Fees could reduce earnings. Member FDIC * $500 minimum deposit and $500 minimum balance required each day to obtain the disclosed APY. ** $1,000 minimum deposit and $1,000 minimum balance required each day to obtain the disclosed APY. I 757.728.1200 Visit a branch or to view all our CD specials! APY*5.00% APY**4.50% 6-Month CD 10-Month CD $1,000 minimum balance $500 minimum balance Let Your Savings Soar
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is Lyon

Four things Millennials and Gen Zers should know about life insurance

(StatePoint) For a Millennial or Gen Zer who is young and healthy, life insurance may be the last thing on their mind.

However, life is unpredictable and having coverage is important in the event of unforeseen circumstances. According to Bankers Life, a national life and health insurance brand, these are four reasons why Millennials and Gen Zers should consider life insurance coverage.

1. People rely on you.

Life insurance promises to pay your loved ones a sum of money in the event you pass away. If you’re in a committed relationship, engaged, married, or have children, having life insurance is key to protecting those people who matter most to you. If you’re gone, your life insurance benefits can help your loved ones replace your income and maintain their home and lifestyle.

And even if you’re single and don’t have children, chances are there are still people who would be financially impacted if you were to pass away. For example, life insurance can help protect parents, siblings, and loved ones from your burial expenses. And if someone has ever co-signed a loan or credit card for you, life insurance can help protect them from your debts.

2. Life insurance tends to cost less when you’re younger.

Life insurance premiums, what you pay in exchange for coverage, are calculated based on many factors, beginning with how much coverage you’re purchasing and the type of policy. Then, your personal information and risk level are considered. Your age, health, and life expectancy are all factored in when determining the premium amount.

That said, the younger and healthier you are, the less your life

insurance will likely cost. When you lock in low, long-term rates in your 20s or 30s, you can enjoy them for decades to come. Further, if you develop an illness later in life, your coverage cannot be revoked if you keep paying your premiums.

3. Your employer policy may not be enough.

Does your employer provide free or low-cost life insurance?

Employer-sponsored life insurance is a great benefit, but it may not be enough, especially if you own a home, are married, or have children. This is because workplace policies often only provide a basic minimum amount of coverage, and you probably can’t keep the coverage if you change jobs. That’s why many people decide to purchase their own individual policies outside of work.

4. Choosing the right policy can help you meet other financial goals.

Life insurance coverage falls into two main categories: term and permanent. Term life insurance covers you for a certain number of years before coverage ends.

Permanent life insurance covers you for your lifetime, plus can also feature a money savings component that enables you to build cash value. There are several distinct types of permanent policies, including whole life and universal life. Depending on the type of policy, cash value grows from your deposits; interest earned; and/or growth based on the stock market, an index or investments. Typically, you can withdraw or borrow from your policy’s cash value as needed.

For more information on life insurance, reach out to a Bankers Life agent or visit

Obtaining life insurance when you’re young and healthy may not be top of mind, but it’s an important part of a holistic financial plan and can protect the people you love.

“For Judaism to survive, the needs increase with each passing year. While we see the act of giving as a mitzvah, it is during this time of renewed worldwide Antisemitism, a critical necessity as well. The survival of Israel has never been more crucial to our own survival as American Jews. We feel so fortunate to live in our country and to be in a position to make an endowment. For us, it is a sense of comfort that we have contributed to our own generation and that we will have an impact on the continuity of Jewish life for future generations.”

Create YOUR legacy today with a gift to endow the Jewish community, ensuring future generations have the opportunity to embrace our shared heritage and your cherished values.

757-965-6111 | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 25
Estate Planning

Camp JCC is the place to be: Don’t miss out camps

Dave Flagler

Registration for Camp JCC

Summer 2024 is off to a very promising start – after all, it is “the place to be” this summer.

In fact, enrollment is significantly higher compared to this point last year, with many of the families who have registered new to camp. Based on this early excitement, Camp JCC anticipates being completely full – with waiting lists for summer 2024.

Camp JCC serves campers entering kindergarten through teens. With weekly camp sessions, families can choose any single week, any combination of weeks that fit their schedules, or all eight weeks of Camp JCC.

Discounts and financial assistance at Camp JCC

• Early Bird pricing through March 31. Campers who register for 5 or more weeks of Camp JCC are eligible for a $20 discount per week. Note: Last Blast weeks do not qualify towards and are not eligible for Early Bird pricing.

• Financial Assistance for Camp JCC is available. The application for Financial Assistance is due on April 15. Register for Camp JCC prior to March 31 to not miss out on special pricing, available spaces, and a fun filled summer and for a summer.

To learn more about Camp JCC, or to hear about year-round opportunities for teens, contact Dave Flagler, director of camp and teen engagement, at or 757-452-3182.

Summer is coming!

Register now and secure your space.

Capital Camps is a place where you can try everything, take calculated risks, and explore your personal and Jewish identity in an environment steeped in nature, adventure, and tradition

There’s a session for every camper age 7-17, including 5- and 7-day first-timer experiences!

Visit to view dates, availability, and to register.

Questions? Contact Melissa Grossman, Family + Community Engagemment Director,

26 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
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Celebrating decades week with tie-dye on 70’s day: Jordan Cubitt and Andrew Konikoff. Enjoying a moment by the pool: Lena Aftel, Quinn Schulz, Shyane Reyes, and Kate-Lynn Cipolla.

Reflections on overnight camp camps

For day campers, camp instills lessons, skills, and experiences that are not found in most classrooms . . . including learning new games, spending days with new friends, perfecting the bestlooking roasted marshmallow, and just plain having lots of fun.

Overnight camp offers all of that, plus living among bugs, exploring varied athletic and creative interests, cohabitating with peers (all day, in any weather, for an extended period), and learning to navigate social interactions.

the offerings and decide what they want to try, what will light them up, and how much they can achieve over the course of the summer.

In this environment, I excelled not only on the swim team, but also in archery and riflery, activities I never would have tried at home. I learned lessons about creating and maintaining healthy relationships: living with peers, sharing victories, and working out issues on our own first, as counselors do not live with campers. The sense of personal potential and power, self-esteem, and team spirit engendered at BLC have followed its campers, particularly graduates of its junior counselor program, into their adult lives.

All these experiences and situations can create life-long bonds and enhance personal growth . . . skills that may come in handy for the future. . .whether for college, employment, or relationships.

Three “campers” share how their weeks (sometimes months) spent at overnight summer camp continue to shape their adult lives.

Elena Barr Baum

Nestled around a rocky cove near Burlington, Vermont, Brown Ledge Camp has shaped the lives of thousands of girls with its “Freedom Plan,” a radical philosophy when introduced by camp founder Harry E. Brown in 1926. He believed that, by age 10, girls were mature enough to live together with minimal adult supervision and decide what activities they want to pursue throughout their summer days. Apart from riding lessons and rehearsals for weekly theater performances, their schedules are their own. Campers look at

sink or swim based on your own choices; it is like a practice round before college.

Being put in a situation where I was out of my comfort zone was a huge benefit to me looking back on it, as it allowed me to be comfortable in a lot of different

Pa. It was, simply put, the best three summers of my life!

David Calliott

I attended Camp Tall Timbers the summers after sixth and seventh grades, where I did not know anyone (at least the first summer) and was forced out of my comfort zone for two weeks.

The personal freedom one experiences at summer camp is unlike anything that can be replicated at home, because there are no parents watching over you, and you

social situations.

Camp also helped me to develop my individuality and learn how to manage my time better. Camp is full of activities, new friends and romances, staying up late, and maximum fun; however, it is also a chance to grow and develop as a person. Whether you realize it at the time, overnight camp changes you as a person for the better, and I am glad I got to experience it those two summers.

Sam Zelenka

From 2011 through 2014, in the summers, I attended Capital Camps in Waynesboro,

While I had a blast partaking in all the great activities, trips, and meals the camp planned out for us, what I enjoyed most did not become clear to me until many years after I had left –the lessons I was learning along the way. From basic knowledge concerning nature (what to eat and what NOT to eat), to rope skills, practicing my Hebrew, and getting concerningly skilled in Gaga Ball, there are too many to count.

If I had to choose just one which still resonates through my life today, it would be how to work well with others and as a team. From conversations and games with bunkmates came valuable communication and teamwork skills which I can confidently say I use every single day.

Without the foundation of learning to work well and problem solve with others, I am not quite sure if I would be able to work in group settings cohesively and effectively. I cannot thank the folks at Capital Camps Retreat Center enough for all they have taught me and for the wonderful memories I will cherish a lifetime. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 27
David Calliott (right) and a friend joke around at overnight camp. Alumna Elena Barr Baum canoes with friends while visiting Brown Ledge Camp. Sam Zelenka (first row on the right) and campers at Capital Camps in 2014.

Work at summer camp is inspiring camps

During the fi nal days of staff training, camp directors across the country ask their teams to close their eyes and think about who their favorite camp counselors were and what was it about that person that made them special. What were their qualities? What interests did they share? How did this person make them feel? And then as eyes open, an

unspoken truth is shared through glances alone, that everyone has been impacted meaningfully by a role model, and everyone has the chance to be THAT role model who is remembered fondly as having an impact on someone else.

Beyond the meaningful impact on the youth, camp counselors have the opportunity to refine and practice interpersonal and leadership skills, gain professional

The best part of working at Camp JCC is being able to build bonds with the campers and knowing that you are someone that they look up to and are excited to see every day. It makes my heart happy.”

– Madysen, fourth year working at Camp JCC

The best part of being a Camp JCC counselor is meeting new people. I have met some of my best friends by being on staff together. I look forward to coming back each summer and spending time with familiar and new faces. In addition to the staff, I love meeting new campers each week! Some of our campers sign up for a week to see if they like it and end up

Summer Enrichment Camps

experience, and connect to a network for future career opportunities. Employers seek employees with 21st century skills. At camp, counselors are able to develop communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, collaboration experience, and utilize and foster creativity. All of this happens in an environment that supports the practice and development of these skills.

Returning Camp JCC staff members say:

registering for the rest of the summer. It is such a great feeling knowing they love Camp JCC just as much as I do. Camp is my happy place. I am already counting down the days until summer!”

–Kate-Lynn, fifth year working at Camp JCC

My favorite part of Camp JCC has been forming new relationships each summer as well as strengthening the old ones. I have loved returning summer after summer, getting to see the kids grow and hearing about their school years and new interests. During the year, I am not surrounded by many Jewish people. Camp JCC gives me an opportunity to connect with Judaism through these meaningful relationships with campers and staff.”

– Rachael, third year working at Camp JCC.

The best part about being a camp counselor is forming a deep and meaningful connection with the kids and seeing their faces light up every day.”

– Reagan, third year working at Camp JCC

The best part about being a camp counselor is the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of children and give them something to look forward to.”

– Nathan, second year working at Camp JCC

Whether they are brand new to camp or have been coming for years, making the connections with the campers always puts a smile on my face and I love when I get spotted by campers away from the JCC. It makes me happy to see that they can look up to their counselors and grow up to be amazing children with the camp program that the JCC provides.”

– Maria, third year working at Camp JCC

To learn more about Camp JCC, or to hear about year-round opportunities for teens, contact Dave Flagler, director of camp and teen engagement, at or 757-452-3182.

28 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
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Help your child improve skills and build confidence! On-Campus Group & Virtual Individual Options Intensive Reading, Summer Learning, & Academic Therapy Half & Full Day Offerings Grades 1 – 8 Register online: | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 29

Amy Zelenka

In what may be the “sweetest” gala ever presented in its 31-year run, the 2024 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film celebrated the life and work of the late actor Gene Wilder during its “Wonka-themed” Saturday Night Celebration on Feb. 24. Remembering Gene Wilder was well-received by a packed house of theater goers at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. An interactive discussion with audience members following the screening featured director Ron Frank.

The audience was welcomed by Anne Fleder, festival co-chair, whose first thanks went to the festival’s generous sponsor for the evening, Bank of America. Representing Bank of America and its investment and wealth management division was Greg Zittrain, senior vice president and wealth management advisor with Merrill.

Speaking on behalf of his 500 plus Bank of America colleagues in Hampton Roads, Zittrain thanked the crowd of more than 300 for coming. He described the film as a touching documentary which showcased the full measure of Wilder’s gifts as a comedic actor, screenwriter, director, and mensch.

“Bank of America,” said Zittrain, “believes that the arts strengthen human connections and contribute to a greater cultural understanding. They uplift our communities by providing space for diverse expression and a greater understanding of history, which helps deepen connections and makes inclusion

possible for everyone. In turn,” he added, “the arts have a positive impact on the lives of our clients, our employees, and the community we serve. We are grateful to be partnering with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater to bring this evening to all of you.”

The screening, which featured clips and highlights from many of Widler’s most popular films, also included testimonials from some of his dearest friends, including the great Mel Brooks, Alan Zweibel (co-creator of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show), and Rain Pryor (daughter of Wilder’s Stir Crazy co-star, the late-Richard Pryor). Some of the most touching parts of the film were those illustrating Wilder’s personal relationships with his parents, his first wife, the late Gilda Radner, and his second wife, Karen Boyer.

It was fascinating to learn about the many facets of a man most only knew from the big screen, and even more interesting to learn about the behind-the-scenes methods and dynamics which led to his great on-screen successes.

The director’s discussion was followed by a wonderful champaign and dessert reception in MOCA’s beautiful atrium, where chocolate fountains, candy centerpieces, and treats of every stripe left the crowd wondering: “Could we even eat the dishes?”

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater is grateful to Bank of America for supporting many of its program areas and looks forward to continuing and deepening that partnership.

Coffee and Conversation at the JCC

Mia Klein

The Coffee and Conversation event at the Simon Family JCC drew people from all walks of life who were keen on sharing their “two cents” about what’s happening in the world. Everyone spoke from the heart, pouring out their thoughts in a safe space where judgment was left at the door.

From politics to personal anecdotes, discussions fl owed freely, and it was clear that people were really listening to one

These conversations will continue, with future dates being announced soon.

30 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
You could (almost) eat the dishes!
Tidewater Jewish Foundation is proud to partner with the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s One Happy Camper program. If you are considering a Jewish overnight camp for the first time for your child, you may be eligible for a needs-blind grant of up to $1,000 this summer! With 150+ programs, this is a can’t-miss opportunity! OFF YOUR FIRST SUMMER! $1,000 UP TO APPLY NOW FOR SUMMER 2024 Visit foundation.jewishva. org/one-happy-camper to learn more and apply. IT’S A WRAP
Hunter Thomas and Greg Zittrain.
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For more
contact Mia Klein at


It’s a Wrap: 2024 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film

Hunter Thomas

The Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg wrapped up on Wednesday, Feb. 28. This year’s festival, which included five feature films in addition to a special event showcasing four Israeli short films, was attended by more than 600 community members, with two sold-out films.

Highlights of the 31st annual festival were the films featured on Saturday, Feb. 24 and Sunday, Feb. 25.

The annual Big Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film, sponsored by Bank of America, began with the local premiere of Remembering Gene Wilder on Saturday, Feb. 24. The film opens in theaters this spring. Following a conversation with the film’s director, Ron Frank, a “Willy Wonka”

themed dessert reception took place in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s atrium. Five lucky guests found a golden ticket which awarded them a special prize. In addition to desserts, champagne flowed. A candy bar and chocolate fountain rounded out the offerings. As one filmgoer remarked, “The decor was great. The candy even better. Our dentist may not like that, but sugar makes the world better!”

The fun continued the next day with a screening of the documentary The Catskills, a love letter to the magical resorts and bungalow colonies in the Catskill mountains that were a mainstay of so many Jewish summers. As featured speaker Steve Gold regaled the audience with tales of the region’s allure, many community members shared their own stories of vacations, celebrity sightings, great meals, and even long-lost loves, ala Dirty Dancing.

Other featured films took on heavier topics –from the modern Israeli drama Home to the Holocaust stories portrayed in SHTTL and The Story of Annette Zelman. Home and Zelman each had two screenings, a first

in the festival’s three-plus decades, to accommodate those who would prefer to see a matinee versus an evening film.

The Festival Screening Committee will reconvene this summer to begin screening films for next year’s festival.

For information on how to get involved, email Hunter Thomas, director of Arts + Ideas at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, at

The Virginia Festival of Jewish Film was presented by the Alma & Howard Laderberg Restricted Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 31
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The crowd at Norfolk Academy for The Catskills. Miles Leon, David Leon, and Scott Levin. Nancy Bangel, Gail and Joel Flax, guest speaker Steve Gold, Rosie Neumann, Francois Holder, and Helene Gold. Elijah Morrisey, Alyson Morrisey, Nancy Millstein, and Jacob Morrisey. Tyler and Lois Weinblatt show off their golden ticket.


Welcome to Kiddish, a Jewish News column celebrating little people – their first introductions, milestones, simchas, and accomplishments. Sharing these special moments and achievements with Jewish Tidewater creates a collective kvell!

Mila Rose Friedman

Born January 8, 2024

Daughter of Sophia and Craig Friedman of Los Angeles, California.

Granddaughter of Shari Friedman of Virginia Beach, Bruce Friedman of Toledo, Ohio, and Stacy and Alberto Valner of Los Angeles.

Great granddaughter of Marilyn Buxbaum of Norfolk, Beth Dozoretz of New York, and Mary and Steve Meadow of Los Angeles.

Graham Edwards Klebanoff

Born March 24, 2023

Son of Natalie and Noah Klebanoff of Reston, Virginia.

Grandson of Jodi and Jay Klebanoff and Michele and Barry Edwards, both of Virginia Beach.

Great grandson of Ann and Bobby Copeland of Virginia Beach.

Bea Amelia and Bella Ronnie Steinway

Born October 3, 2023

Daughters of Julia and Matthew Steinway of Bethesda, Maryland.

Granddaughters of Renée and John Strelitz of Virginia Beach and Gina Steinway and Dan Steinway of Bethesda, Maryland.

Great granddaughters of Marilyn Buxbaum of Norfolk, Arlene Strelitz of Tel Aviv, and Beth Dozoretz of New York.

Sunnie Lu Orlansky

June 16, 2023

Daughter of Arielle and Alex Orlansky of Atlanta, Georgia. Granddaughter of Jodi and Jay Klebanoff of Virginia Beach and Cheryl and Herb Orlansky of Atlanta.

Great granddaughter of Ann and Bobby Copeland of Virginia Beach.

Harding Parkes Nusbaum

Born February 7, 2024

Son of Rachael and Michael Nusbaum of Norfolk. Grandson of Mary Eleanor and Wade McKenzie of Nashville, Tenn. and Nancy and Charlie Nusbaum of Norfolk.

32 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
Send Jewish News news of the births of your babies, grands, and great grands for future issues. Email or

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A “RAMADAN TRUCE” by Robert Satloff, The Hill, March 12, 2024


by Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, February 28, 2024

WHAT DID TOP ISRAELI WAR OFFICIALS REALLY SAY ABOUT GAZA? by Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic, January 21, 2024

FIND OUT ON TUESDAY, MARCH 26 AT 7:30 PM | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 33 FREE and open to the community. Pre-registration required. 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach T H E I S R A E L - H A M A S W A R B r i e f i n g F e a t u r i n g T i d e w a t e r C o m m u n i t y A M B A S S A D O R B R A D G O R D O N Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus Israel today J e w i s h C o m m u n i t y R e l a t i o n s C o u n c i l o f t h e U n i t e d J e w i s h F e d e r a t i o n o f T i d e w a t e r , S i m o n F a m i l y J C C , C o m m u n i t y P a r t n e r s & A I P A C P r e s e n t :

THE HUMUSIYA Thinking outside the triangle this Purim

Eitan Altshuler

I’ll be honest with you. I have never been a big fan of mass produced hamentaschen. I am generally not a sweets guy, but what I always found particularly underwhelming was the thick crust.

When I worked in a bakery in Israel, we would start selling “oznei haman” (Hebrew for haman ears), a month before the holiday. There, halva, caramel, Nutella, poppyseed, and nuts are generally more popular varieties – but most still have that same crust.

One time I came by a bakery (Lachamim on HaHashmonaim Street) with the most visually impressive hamantaschen I had ever seen. Not only did they have the standard sweet varieties, but they also sold savory hamantaschen. But most incredibly, the crusts were so much more delicate and tastier looking. I bought every kind they had, and I couldn’t wait to eat them all.

Jews took cookies called “mohntaschen” and rebranded them “ha-mohn-taschen” for the holiday. I don’t know what her evidence for that is, but what did they eat before? What most people don’t know is that there is a Levantine dish, which is very similar to hamantaschen except they are savory, called fatayeh. Makes me wonder…

Nevertheless, you might be busy and with limited time to cook, especially for a dessert. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a main dish version. In that case, you could use some wonton/egg roll wrappers as a shell for a savory hamantaschen (search detailed instructions online). The options for fi llings are practically endless.

Earlier this month, I filled mine with a seven-spiced hamburger. I dipped them in some hummus and felt nourished both nutritionally and spiritually.

different cultures we have experienced in the diaspora, and it is this diversity which not only makes Israel at the cutting edge of cultural and economic innovation but also enhances our understanding of our own beliefs.

One of the messages of Purim it is that Jews can have a mixed background and a complicated identity. Our Jewish heritage is a part of us just as is the culture of our host nation, and they are not necessarily in conflict.

Managing the balance can be stressful, so that is one reason we celebrate Purim with some silliness and relief –along with some good food.

Chag Sameach!

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Eitan Altshuler operates the Humusyia at the Sandler Family Campus. Its daily menu can be found at the Cardo Cafe.

Looking for what’s happening in Tidewater for Purim?

So, how did hamantaschen become the official food of Purim? According to Stephanie Butnick, deputy editor of Tablet magazine and co-host of the Unorthodox podcast, hamantaschen come from 16th century Germany where

Purim is the only Jewish holiday where the people in Jerusalem add an extra day instead of those living outside the land. Usually, it’s the reverse.

While Israel represents the Jewish people’s cultural home, the country is also a special Jewish blend of all the

Go to for a list of Purimspiels, carnivals, readings of the Megillah, and more.

Purim has fun with a serious situation

Rabbi Israel Zoberman

The Purim festival is an extraordinary fun-making of costumes and masks, which in a pandemic, save lives threatening all. The holiday masks and matches the extraordinary seriousness of the life and death issues behind it, allowing for the healthy release of pent-up tension and emotion. After all, a threat of genocide hanging over a vulnerable people such as the Jews, with a plot in place to terminate its existence in the vast Persian empire of antiquity, was not to be taken lightly. Salvation was found through an intermarried Jewish queen who was placed in a pivotal position to help her kin. It is an intriguing dimension to a drama whose historical veracity remains uncertain. Still, the challenges and lessons contained in the fascinating Scroll of Esther have remained applicable throughout the Jewish saga.

Rabbis have taught that in the Messianic era to come,

of all the Jewish holidays, only Purim will continue to be celebrated. Is it because we should never take Jewish survival for granted and need to always be on guard? Is that why God’s name is not mentioned, even once in the scroll, a notable exception to all the other books in the Bible? Rabbis even regarded Purim as equal to the very opposite Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish Day of bodily deprivation.

Curiously, the terrorizing dictatorial leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran (once Persia), now celebrating the 45th anniversary of their theocratic revolution, continue to seek hegemony in the Middle East and the Muslim world. Their bloody involvement in the ghastly barbaric attack on Israelis along the Gaza border, reminiscent of Nazi atrocities, is ample testimony that they have not given up on “wiping Israel off the map” and to conclude what Pharaoh, Haman, and Hitler attempted.

Queen Esther was forced to hide her Jewish identity,

otherwise, she could not get into the palace to fulfill her mission of saving her people. Our beautiful and heroic Esther had to be prodded nonetheless by experienced Mordechai. After all, she was young to risk her life by appearing uninvited before King Ahsheverus. However, she did perform, and well at that, forever earning an honored place in the pantheon of Jewish heroines and heroes. It seems that our remarkable duo of Mordechai and Esther created the prototype of the Israeli Mossad operation!

The Jewish people are not yet fully safe but are finally capable of defending their lives. “Never Again!” is a sacred commandment. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman is the founder of Temple Lev Tikvah and Honorary Senior Rabbi Scholar at Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, both in Virginia Beach.

34 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |



Seniors Club is for adults ages 55+ who seek to add education, culture, and connections to others and the Jewish community. Meets the third Wednesday of each month. 12 pm. Simon Family JCC. Membership $15 per year. $6 charge for lunch. Contact Mia Klein at

Intro to Talmud. Four-part series offered by UJFT’s Konikoff Center for Learning and taught by Rabbi Shlomo Eisenberg. 1 pm. Sandler Family Campus. $18. Information and registration: or contact Sierra Lautman at or 757-965-6107.


Moon Circle Gathering. UJFT’s Konikoff Center for Learning breathes new life into one of Judaism’s best-kept secrets: a monthly holiday known as Rosh Chodesh, meaning “head of the month.” 6:45 pm. Simon Family JCC. Information and registration: or contact Sierra Lautman at


The Israel - Hamas War. A Tidewater community briefing featuring Ambassador Brad Gordon. Presented by UJFT’s Jewish Community Relations Council and community partners’ Israel Today and AIPAC. 7:30 pm. Sandler Family Campus. Free. Information and registration: IsraelToday or contact Nofar Trem at


Luminous: An Artist’s Story as a Guide to Radical Creativity with artist Linda Dayan Frimer. A conversation about the artwork featured in Frimer’s book. Selections from the book are on exhibit in the Leon Family Gallery through April. 12 pm. Online. Information and registration: or contact Hunter Thomas at


Brith Sholom board meeting features Naomi Sedek, president and CEO of Tidewater Jewish Foundation. Board meeting at 10 am, general Limor meeting at 11 am. Brunch follows. $5 in advance, $10 at the door, guests $10. Simon Family JCC. Information and registration:


Camp JCC Winter 2024 Early Registration Special. Last chance to save on Camp JCC 2024 registration. Register for 5 or more weeks of Camp JCC Summer Camp before March 31 and receive $20 off per week (Camp JCC Weeks 1-8 only). Information: contact Dave Flagler, Camp JCC director, at or 757- 452-3182.


Camp JCC School Days Out: Spring Break Camp. Campers currently in kindergarten through 5th grade can expect fun crafts, sports, games, gaga, and free swim. Register for any single day, or join for the entire week. Spaces are limited. Information and registration:, or contact Dave Flagler, Camp JCC director, at or 757-452-3182.


Beyond Borders: Post 1967 into the 21st Century, a Melton class taught by Dr. Amy K. Milligan. Delve into the complexities of the past half-century of the Arab-Israeli conflict, from the War of Attrition that began post-1967, to present tensions. 6:45 pm. Online. $295. Scholarships available. Information and registration: or contact Sierra Lautman at SLautman@ or 757-965-6107.


Temple Israel’s 70th Anniversary Gala. Catered brunch celebration includes music from Bagels and Fraylox. 12 pm. $36. Temple Israel. Information and registration: or 757-489-4550.

Employment Opportunity

Director of Human Resources

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC seeks a proven experienced candidate for the position of Director of Human Resources.

The Director of Human Resources serves as an integral member of the professional leadership team, under the direction of the Executive Vice President/CEO, and is responsible for the development and implementation of human resource policies for the agency covering areas such as recruitment and hiring, employee relations, compensation, performance management, and compliance with applicable employment laws and regulations.

Additionally, the Director of Human Resources is responsible for all HR functional areas for the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the UJFT Community Campus, LLC., (aka, Sandler Family Campus).

A bachelor’s degree in human resource management, business administration or related field required from an accredited university or college with a minimum of 7 years demonstrated progressive leadership experience in all HR functional areas. Master’s degree preferred. SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential strongly desired.

Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. The successful candidate will possess strong interpersonal and listening skills and understand the mission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Position start date: April 1, 2024.

Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience.

Complete job descriptions at and

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to:

Attention: Taftaleen T. Hunter, Director of Human Resources – Confidential 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

Equal Opportunity Employment

Employment Opportunity

Development Manager

The Development Manager is responsible for developing an overall strategy of donor engagement and guiding opportunities for United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC’s departments, programs, and initiatives, including (but not limited to) affinity groups, giving circles, outreach events, grants, individual and corporate sponsorships, planned giving, and other related engagement and fundraising opportunities.

The position’s goal is to maximize financial resources while broadening the donor base. Manager works closely with development department members to strategize how to connect donors with their philanthropic interests and the organization’s priorities. Development Manager will also solicit, cultivate, and steward a portfolio of mid-level donors and prospects.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and 13 years of experience with donor engagement and solicitations.

Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience.

Complete job description at

Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to:

Attention: Taftaleen T. Hunter, Director of Human Resources – Confidential

Equal Employment Opportunity | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 35


Ronald J. Hurwitz

NORFOLK - Ronald J Hurwitz, aka Cap’n Ron, suddenly passed away on the afternoon of March 4.

Ron was a long-time resident and local legend of Ocean View. Many remember him as the owner of Cap’n Ron’s Bar and Grill, formerly Harry’s Lounge, on Chesapeake Blvd. in the “View.”

Ron was predeceased by his father, Harry Hurwitz, in 1987 and, just recently, his mother, Shyrlee Belle Hurwitz. Ron is survived by his sister, Leslie (Mark) Rosenstock, nephew Jason Rosenstock, niece Carrie Rose, and great niece and nephew, Lilly and Hunter Overstreet.

Ron enjoyed the closeness of family and friends. He was fiercely devoted to his mother and enjoyed sitting and watching Star Trek with her from the time he was a little boy up until her recent passing. Ron grew into the man we all knew in the Suburban Acres neighborhood of Norfolk, where he liked to play

rough with the local kids and gallivant with his fiercely loyal dog, Panda.

Ron developed a love for the water at a young age and could be found many a day in his little water craft on one of the

Ron was a graduate of Granby High School and Virginia Tech. He studied pharmacology while at school but decided to carry on the legacy of the family business after the untimely passing of his

nephews Cory Kronick and Glenn Kronick (Jennie). His memory will also be treasured by his great-niece Rachel Hahn (Luis), and great-nephew Allan (AJ) Aebig and stepdaughter Anne Michele Eisenstein.

May the Source of Peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

neighborhood waterways. He enjoyed both water skiing and skiing down the slopes at Snowshoe where he had a cabin for many years.

father, rather than pursue a career in his field of study.

Ron lived his life on the Chesapeake Bay and spent many days sailing off into the smooth waters from his beachside haven.

Ron, you will be deeply missed by your family, friends, and colleagues and live forever in our hearts and memories. Leslie will always cherish your great bear hugs and think back fondly on that last year of sleepovers at Mom’s before she left us.

A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family asks that memorial donations be made in honor of Ron to the charity of your choosing.

Keep on sailing, Cap’n Ron. Altmeyer Funeral Home.

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Lowell Steven Kronick

VIRGINIA BEACH - Lowell Steven Kronick, age 78, passed away on Saturday, February 24.

He was born in New York City, N.Y.

Rabbi Kronick was a pillar of strength and compassion in our community. Lowell left behind a legacy of love, service, and wisdom that will be cherished by all who knew him.

Lowell was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Faye (Mintz), and his parents, Esther and Julius. Lowell is survived by his beloved brother, Herman (Hank) Kronick, and sister-in-law, Jill. He was a cherished uncle to nieces Ellen Aebig (Joseph) and Colette Alderson (Norton), as well as

Lowell led a long, distinguished, and brilliant career, marked by an unwavering dedication to his faith and service to others. As a founding member and past president of the NAJC (National Association of Jewish Chaplains), he exemplified leadership and commitment to the spiritual well-being of his community. His role as a chaplain for the VA brought comfort and solace to countless individuals, a testament to his compassionate nature and empathetic spirit.

For many years, Lowell served as the director of Pastoral Services at Parker Jewish, where he touched the lives of the elderly with warmth and kindness. His dedication to teaching and mentorship earned him respect and admiration throughout the community, as he tirelessly worked to support those in need.

Above all, Lowell will be remembered for his unwavering devotion to providing spiritual guidance and support to all who sought his counsel. His profound impact on the lives of others will be deeply missed, but his legacy of compassion and service will continue to inspire us all.

In honoring Lowell's memory, let us cherish the moments shared, the lessons learned, and the love that he bestowed upon us. May his soul find eternal peace, and may his memory be a blessing to us all.

Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home.

36 | JEWISH NEWS | March 18, 2024 |
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Singer Steve Lawrence, son of a cantor and half of ‘Steve and Eydie’

Andrew Silow-Carroll

(JTA) — Steve Lawrence, the Brooklynborn son of a cantor who with his wife Eydie Gormé formed one of the most enduring popular singing duos during the golden age of the Las Vegas lounge act and television variety show, died Thursday, March 7 in Los Angeles. He was 88.

a Tony for his starring role in What Makes Sammy Run?, playing a ruthless Jewish Hollywood mogul in a Broadway musical based on Budd Schulberg’s classic novel.

In addition to their popular lounge act, Lawrence and Gormé appeared together in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow, which ran from February 1968 to January 1969 and featured the Walter Marks song, I’ve Gotta Be Me. Although Lawrence’s version hit #6 on Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening chart, it was Sammy Davis, Jr.’s version that became a Top 25 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1969.

In countless night club and TV appearances, Steve and Eydie offered smooth versions of American standards well into the rock and roll era — while modeling a happy marriage that proved a balm in an increasingly spiky cultural landscape. Their comfortably romantic banter helped sell classic duets like Side by Side, We Got Us, This Could Be the Start of Something and We Can Make it Together.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Lawrence had a solo career that included the hits Go Away Little Girl, which sold over one million copies, Pretty Blue Eyes, Footsteps, Portrait of My Love, and Party Doll. He was also an actor, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s, including turns as Morty Fine, father of Fran Drescher’s title character in episodes of The Nanny.

In 1964, Lawrence was nominated for

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Lawrence had shared the song with Davis, a Black convert to Judaism. “I sent him my record live and I said, ‘You’re going to do this your own way and better, because it’s much more lyrically correct coming from you than it is for me,” Lawrence told PBS in 2015.

Lawrence, born Sidney Liebowitz in Brooklyn, was the son of Max, a cantor and house painter, and Helen. He started singing in the synagogue choir. After dropping out of Thomas Jefferson High School, he won a spot on Arthur Godfrey’s morning radio show and recorded what became a string of solo hits in his smooth baritone.

He met Eydie (born Edith Gormezano, the daughter of Sephardic Jewish parents Nessim Hasdai Gormezano and Fortuna Gormezano, in the Bronx) when both were regular singers on The Steve Allen Show (later retitled The Tonight Show). They married in 1957. The pair won a Grammy Award in 1960 for their fi rst complete duet album, We Got Us.

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In 2010, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency nominated their version of the duet, Baby It’s Cold Outside as one of the best Jewish Christmas songs. Written by the Jewish composer and lyricist Frank Loesser, the song is about a man trying to convince a woman to stay in his apartment on a wintry night. While the sexual politics of the song have been criticized in recent years, Ron Kampeas writes of Steve and Eydie that “No other couple sings as closely together, or as knowingly.”

As tastes changed in the 1960s and ’70s, the pair continued performing before audiences of their generation. “Eydie and

I have been fortunate in that the audiences where we have performed or done concerts all over the world, the audiences have been supportive, they really showed up,” he told an interviewer in 1995. “I can’t translate that into the record business. The Top 40 has driven myself and all of my colleagues to a different kind of niche.”

The couple sang together well into the early 2000s, before Eydie retired in 2009. She died in 2013.

Lawrence is survived by a son, David, a composer of movie soundtracks, and a granddaughter. Another son, Michael, predeceased him. | March 18, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 37
Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme (right) and Carol Burnett during a tribute to Irving Berlin on The Carol Burnett Show, August 1978. (Wikimedia Commons)

Rabbi Sacks Tidewater Community Book Club delves into Future Tense

The inaugural session of the Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Community Book Club took place on Sunday, Feb. 25 at Congregation Beth El. Participants included congregants of area synagogues as well as those without affi liation. As part of the series, sponsored by the Simon Family JCC and Konikoff Center for Learning, each event is followed with an article to inform those unable to attend.

Jewish.” Staying Jewish requires a level of connection beyond ethnic or culture identification. Maintaining an identity requires duty, commitment, and loyalty.

The fi rst book in the six-event series was Future Tense: Jews, Judaism and Israel in the 21st Century Written in 2009 and referencing past armed confl ict in Gaza, it was a particularly appropriate beginning to the series considering the recent violence in Israel. A lively interactive discussion ensued ,touching on the main themes of the book and its central premise calling for a Judaism engaged in the world. As Rabbi Sacks states, “We are in danger of forgetting who Jews are and why, why there is such a thing as the Jewish people, and what its place is within the global project of humankind.”

Highlighting both the unique and universal aspects of Judaism, Sacks writes “If the God of Israel is the God of all humanity, then you do not have to be a member of the religion of Israel to be in the image of God or blessed by God.” The tolerance of religious diversity is at the center of Judaism that values the “dignity of difference.” It also highlights Judaism’s focus on being the “voice of the other throughout history.” As he remarks, “The whole of Judaism is about making space for the other, about God making space for us, us making space for God, and about human beings making space for one another.”

What is the right response to antisemitism? It is to live a life not of what “you are against, but what you are living for” – to lean into Judaism and not be afraid to be different. While antisemites may be the loudest voice, they are not the most numerous.

Despite the rise in hate, Jews are not alone. There continues to be significant public support for Jews and Israel in America, Arab countries want relations with the Jewish state, and a renaissance in Jewish-Christian relations has taken place over the last few decades. As the book explains, the fear that Jews are destined to dwell alone comes from the failure of three universalist dreams: European emancipation, Russian communism, and Secular Zionism.

Sacks explains why Israel is necessary and what a new vision of Zionism can be. The connection of the Jewish people and the land are inseparable and the foundation of numerous commandments. “Israel has taken a barren land and made it bloom again. It has taken an ancient language, the Hebrew of the Bible, and made it speak again. It has taken the West’s oldest faith and made it young again. It has taken a shattered nation and made it live again.”

its place is within the global project of humankind.” an antireligious view of Judaism from early Christian

Future Tense challenges the narrative that Jews are destined to be hated and a people that forever shall dwell alone. For Sacks, this isn’t the Jewish story. If one believes they are alone, they will be. This attitude is inconsistent with Jewish self-understanding and turns Jews into victims. Ultimately it demoralizes and leads Jews to leave Judaism.

The book argues that without a positive vision, Jews will split apart. This unity requires a shared religious commitment, “Without the covenant of faith, there is no covenant of fate. Without religion, there is no global nation.” Sacks notes the paradox of Jewish continuity, “when it was hard to stay a Jew, people stayed Jewish, when it became easy to be a Jew, people stopped being

The global rise of antisemitism makes it seem that there is little space for the Jewish people. Sacks discusses the mutating virus that is antisemitism. It started initially as an antireligious view of Judaism from early Christian leaders who embraced secessionism and considered themselves the new “chosen people.” In the Middle Ages, antisemitism morphed to target specific Jewish practice which was often characterized as demonic. This is best exemplified by the blood libel in which Jews were falsely accused of using the blood of murdered Christian children to make their Passover matzah. Following the enlightenment in the late 1800s, antisemitism assumed an anti-racial approach, culminating in the Holocaust. Today’s antisemitism has mutated once more as anti-Zionism, where Jews don’t deserve their own state, claiming that the existence of Israel is the source of all evil. Thus, every Jew is a legitimate target no matter where in the world they reside.

The founding fathers of America were well versed in the Bible and looked to it as a source of inspiration to promote a society based on covenant. A contract is an exchange based on mutual benefit. A covenant is more like a marriage. “In a covenant, two or more individuals, each respecting the dignity and integrity of the other, come together in a bond of love and trust to share their interests, sometimes their lives, by pledging their faithfulness to one another, to do together what neither can achieve alone. The relationship between the Jewish people and God is a covenant and Sacks elaborates on this model as the key to an effective Jewish society in the Jewish State.

The book concludes with a call for the Jewish people to engage in the world and unite Torah with chochma (wisdom). It is a call to action, to understand the world and bring the light of Torah out to improve it. As noted in the title, Future Tense, Judaism is a forward-thinking religion. The golden age of the Jewish people is yet to come.

The next book club is Sunday, April 28 at Temple Emanuel with The Great Partnership: Science, Religion and the Search for Meaning.

Craig Schranz is a physician and Norfolk resident with an interest in sharing the teachings of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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IT’S A WRAP | May 1, 2023 | Israel @ 75 | JEWISH NEWS | 39 | March 18, 2024 B e c o m i n g S t r e s s R e s i s t a n t b y K e l l y B u r r o u g h s , M A , C C T P A i l 2 n d a t 1 3 0 Jewish Family Service of Tidewater Upcoming Events F o r g i v e n e s s a n d G r a t i t u d e : S e c r e t s t o a M o r e M e a n i n g f u l & F u l f i l l e d L i f e b y R a b b i C h a i m T u r e f f t i f & u l d y h m T f M a y 9 t h a t N o o n ( l i g h t l u n c h w i l l b e p r o v i d e d ) 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, Fleder Auditorium FREE TO THE PUBLIC RSVP to by April 26th 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus Fleder Auditorium

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