Jewish News June 17th 2024 Issue

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INSIDE David Leon’s visit to Israel 29 SIA’s Mitzvah Club cleans the beach 30 Simon Family Legacy Society celebrates 32 JFS hosts a colorful run 14 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. 16 | 11 Sivan 5784 | June 17, 2024 Rocket and drone attacks cause raging fires in Israel – Page 12



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Gratitude for To Life: The Past is Present

Elka Mednick, director The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater:

Thank you for the donation of To Life: The Past is Present. This book will be a useful addition to the Reference collection in Dinwiddie High School (DHS) Library.

At DHS, every student is required to write a research paper on a Holocaust or World War II topic during his/her English 10 class in conjunction with the study of Elie Wiesel's Night. The brief, anecdotal stories in your book will bring to life the foundation information that our students find in more traditional reference resources.

While perusing the index to identify entries that are relevant for our students’ research topics, I made two observations. First, whoever compiled the index did a masterful job. It is one of the most detailed and useful content guides that I have seen. Second, your publication aligns perfectly with the topics our students are studying.

Again, your contribution to DHS Library is most appreciated.

Best regards,

Jeanne Minetree

Dinwiddie High School Dinwiddie, VA


• In the third quarter of 2023, roughly 150,000 Palestinians from the West Bank were working in the Israeli economy. In Quarter 4, that went down to 17,000. (

• The blue ribbon symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists in Israel. It symbolizes solidarity with the hostages, their families, and all who care about their safety.

Wearing a ribbon publicly unites people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time. (

Report an antisemitic incident at www.Federation.JewishVA. org/IncidentReporting

In an emergency, always call 9-1-1 first.

If online reporting is not practical, contact local law enforcement and/or the relevant suspicious activity reporting authority. Also contact Mike Goldsmith, Tidewater’s SCN Regional Security Advisor, at or by calling 844-SCN-DESK.

Published 18 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

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15 Seniors June 28July | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 3 “ ”
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15 Up Front 3 Briefs 4 Jewish groups protest Biden’s immigration policies 5 Four hostages rescued by Israeli military operation 6 LA’s Academy Museum revises exhibit on Jewish founders 7 Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House 8 Support education through TJF 11 Fires in Israel: Liz Dovorat reflects 12 David Leon’s Israel visit, 50 years after Yom Kippur War 14 Health Care in the Jewish Community 15 Aviva Pembroke: New ways to provide for seniors 27 PJ Library’s Military Parent Connector Program 28 SIA’s Mitzvah Club’s beach cleanup 29 Simon Family Legacy Society’s memorable evening 30 SIA alumni celebrate high school graduation 31 Local arts leaders unite to combat antisemitism 31 JFS’s Run, Roll or Stroll gets messy 32 Mazel Tov and What’s Happening 33 Calendar 35 Obituaries 36 JewishNewsVA CONTENTS QUOTABLE The fires raised a reoccurring parenting issue for us –how much to tell the kids. – page 12 Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising JEWISH NEWS LETTER
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Benny Gantz quits war cabinet as Israeli government’s unified front crumbles

Former Defense Minister Benny Gantz quit Israel’s three-person war Cabinet, repositioning himself as a potential replacement for his longtime rival Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the unity that defined Israel’s initial response to the war against Hamas is crumbling.

Gantz’s departure from the coalition Sunday, June 9 along with that of Gadi Eisenkot, a minister without portfolio in the broader cabinet, and another six Knesset members, came just a day after an Israeli operation freed four hostages held by Hamas. Gantz, who joined the government and war cabinet shortly after Hamas’ invasion of Israel on Oct. 7, had planned his resignation for Saturday, but delayed his announcement while Israel celebrated the return of the hostages to their homes.

He had previously set an ultimatum of June 8 for Netanyahu to present a substantive plan for governance of Gaza after the war.

“To my sorrow, Netanyahu is keeping us from advancing to true victory which is the justification for the painful and ongoing price,” Gantz said in a televised address. “Therefore, we are leaving the unity government with a heavy but whole heart.”

Netanyahu’s original coalition, formed in December 2022, still commands 64 out of 120 seats in the Knesset and appears to be stable, so Gantz’s announcement does not put the prime minister in danger of soon being forced to elections. Gantz, nonetheless, continues to outpace Netanyahu in election polls and is the likeliest rival to face him should Netanyahu call elections before his term ends in 2026.

But the failure to roust Hamas from the enclave after it launched the war, the failure to recover all the hostages — more than 100 remain captive, living and dead — and the erosion of international support for Israel as the war claims a mounting civilian death toll has gutted the unity that coalesced after Oct. 7.

The departure of Gantz and Eisenkot comes just weeks after another faction, led by Gideon Saar, another Netanyahu rival, left the government.

The main criticism of Netanyahu, among those resigning and in the streets, where tens of thousands of protesters continue to convene, is that he has not presented a plan to decisively end the war, or to explain what happens the day after.

“Despite the strenuous efforts of myself and my colleagues, the Cabinet under your leadership has for some time avoided the determinative decisions required to end the war,” Eisenkot said in his resignation letter. Eisenkot lost a son to battle earlier in the war.

The Biden administration, increasingly at odds with Netanyahu over the war’s conduct, had found an ally in Gantz, who infuriated Netanyahu by consulting separately with U.S. government officials. Netanyahu is

scheduled next month to address Congress, where he hopes to rally support for how he is conducting the war. (JTA)

New president of Mexico breaks barriers as woman and Jew

Claudia Sheinbaum swept to victory in Mexico’s presidential election Sunday, June 2 giving the country of more than 120 million a woman leader and a Jewish leader for the first time.

Sheinbaum’s election makes Mexico by far the biggest country to have a Jewish head of state. Only Israel (9.5 million) and Ukraine (38 million) currently have Jewish leaders.

Sheinbaum’s Jewish ties are centered mostly on her family story — her grandparents came to Mexico after fleeing persecution in Europe — and local Jews say she is not involved in Mexico’s Jewish community today. Still, her election marks a departure in a country where the overwhelming majority of people identify as Catholic. She faced some antisemitism on the campaign trail when her detractors characterized her as not fully Mexican.

A climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, Sheinbaum, 61, campaigned on a promise to continue the liberal policies of her political mentor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s popular outgoing president. The preliminary vote total showed her winning nearly 60% of votes, more than twice as much as the first runner-up, who conceded.

“For the first time in 200 years of the republic, I will become the first female president of Mexico,” Sheinbaum said in a speech delivered early June 3 in Mexico City. “And as I have said on other occasions, I do not arrive alone. We all arrived, with our heroines who gave us our homeland, with our ancestors, our mothers, our daughters and our granddaughters.” (JTA)

Israel to require American visitors to apply in advance for

electronic travel authorization

Israel is joining the Western nations requiring an advance online application and a fee for citizens from visa-exempt countries, including the United States.

Until now, Americans who want to travel to Israel haven’t needed to do anything other than purchase a plane ticket and pack their bags.

But starting Aug. 1, electronic travel authorization through a designated website will be required, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism announced late last month. A pilot program, with the NIS 25 ($7) fee waived, launched Saturday, June 1 for travelers from the United States and Germany and will extend to all visa-exempt countries on July 1.

Travelers are advised to apply 72 hours before booking flights and lodging. Travelers without the authorization will not be permitted to board planes headed to Israel, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The ETA-IL program is similar to others that have been put in place in recent years in Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Their goal is to screen out travelers suspected of posing a security threat or of potentially violating tourist visa restrictions through work or overstaying before they land at ports of entry.

Most countries that have launched similar programs advise a 72-hour heads-up, although the authorization frequently arrives via email within hours. The United States warns that people who do not apply in advance for travel authorization can face delays boarding flights or be turned away at the border, even if they come from countries that participate in the U.S. visa-waiver program. (Israel was added to the program only last September.)

Citizens of visa-exempt countries who are citizens or permanent residents of Israel are not required to request authorization. Citizens of nonexempt countries will still need to complete a more arduous visa application process. The authorization will last for two years and will allow multiple entries of up to 90 days. (JTA)

Thousands protest Biden’s Israel policies outside White House

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied outside the White House, accusing President Joe Biden of not enforcing a “red line” to keep Israel from harming civilians in Gaza, a harbinger of continued anger on the left with U.S. policy toward Israel in a general election year.

Protesters unveiled a massive red banner on Saturday, June 8 and wore red to symbolize the red line they say Israel is breaching as it continues its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Protesters also defaced monuments in the area with pro-Palestinian graffiti.

The day of the protest, Israel conducted a special operation that freed four hostages still held by Hamas in which dozens of Palestinians were killed.

“Biden, Biden you can’t hide, we are your red line,” the protesters chanted, according to NBC.

Biden last month suspended the delivery of some large bombs to Israel as it prepared to enter the city of Rafah, an operation Biden had opposed, and said he would consider further suspensions in defense assistance as the operation proceeded.

The president had said previously he would suspend weapons deliveries if Israel crossed a “red line,” but what that would constitute has never been clear. His officials have since said that Israel’s conduct did not breach standards to the degree that would require further U.S. action.

The Biden campaign has struggled to walk a line between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian Democrats as the elections gear up, with both sides saying that he stands to lose votes in a close rematch with former President Donald Trump if constituents are disaffected. Biden sought a middle ground as protests engulfed university campuses in recent months. (JTA)

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(JTA) — When President Joe Biden announced a new executive order this month effectively closing the U.S.-Mexico border to asylum seekers, the timing of the act sounded the alarm for Jewish immigration advocates.

The order comes following a months-long surge of border crossings from Mexico, and as Biden faces low poll numbers on the issue. But some Jewish activists noted that it also came 85 years to the week after the United States denied entry to the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. And Biden signed it almost exactly 100 years after the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act all but shut the country’s doors to immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe, keeping out many Jews and others.

“We don’t have to look too far back in our own family histories to know what it is like to come to this country seeking safety,” Naomi Steinberg, vice president of U.S. policy and advocacy at HIAS, says. “We do not need to look too far back into our history to see what has happened when this country has turned its back on people, on Jewish people attempting to flee from persecution and danger.”

The executive order would close the border when the weekly average of illegal crossings surpasses 2,500, which happens regularly, and remain closed until the average drops to 1,500 and stays at that level for two weeks. “I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refused to do,” Biden said regarding the order.

HIAS was one of several largely liberal groups to criticize the executive order, marking a partial return of Jewish organizational focus to an issue that energized groups in the Jewish left and center throughout the Trump administration. Now, in an election year when many voters want to see a decrease in immigration, the issue has not been top of mind for many American Jewish groups — who may be more hesitant to criticize Biden and whose attention has been focused on the Israel-Hamas war and rising antisemitism.

Jewish groups including the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Jewish Women and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights condemned Biden’s executive order, citing Jewish values.

“As Jews, we are commanded by our texts and tradition to remember our own time as strangers in a strange land, and to welcome those seeking refuge,” NCJW’s statement says.

“America should be a place where everyone is welcome. We are deeply disappointed with today’s executive order as it undermines this obligation and jeopardizes the lives of women, children and families suffering at our border.”

During the presidency of Donald Trump and beyond, those groups were joined with other Jewish organizations, including the organizations representing America’s major Jewish religious streams, that spoke out about his immigration crackdowns by citing Jewish values. A 2018 poll by the American Jewish Committee found that 46% of American Jews wanted immigration to increase, while another 34% wanted it to stay level.

But many of those groups, which routinely weigh in on U.S. domestic policy, including on immigration legislation, have declined to enter the fray this month.

The ADL declined to comment, as did the Orthodox Union, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the Jewish Federations of North America. The AJC did not respond to a JTA inquiry.

In addition, since Oct. 7, those and other Jewish groups have been focused on responding to Hamas’ attack on Israel, the ensuing and ongoing war in Gaza, and a rise in antisemitism at home. Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which condemned the executive order, says Jewish organizations have been “all-hands-on-deck in responding to the crisis in Israel and the ripple effects here at home.”

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Israeli military operation rescues 4 hostages from Gaza

Ron Kampeas

(JTA) — Israeli forces rescued four hostages held since Oct. 7 in the central Gaza Strip, including Noa Argamani, the festival-goer who was filmed screaming as she was carried away by terrorists on a motorcycle.

In addition to Argamani, 26, the army said in a statement that Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were rescued Saturday, June 8 in the raid. All four were attending the Nova music festival on Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists killed approximately 1,200 people and abducted some 250, launching the war.

The army said special forces carried out the operation in Nuseirat in the center of the coastal territory. Arnon Zamora, a commander of the operation, was killed in the battle.

Hamas initially said “dozens” of Palestinians were killed in the operation. Media later quoted the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry as saying the number was more than 200. It did not report what proportion were civilians and what proportion were combatants.

A Hamas spokesman later said that Israeli captives were among the dead, but did not offer any evidence. The spokesman, posting on Telegram, said the attack would “pose a great danger” to the remaining captives. About 120 people are thought to remain captive, including dozens who have been killed.

Israeli forces have now rescued a total of seven hostages from Gaza in three separate operations. More than 100 others were freed as part of a ceasefire deal in November. Israeli forces have mistakenly killed three hostages, and others are known to have been killed since Oct. 7. Israel has recovered a number of bodies of hostages who have died.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the released hostages. Images of the hostages reuniting with family proliferated on Israeli media.

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Argamani in particular became a symbol of Oct. 7, and especially of the massacre at the Nova festival where terrorists killed 364 people, after footage of her abduction emerged that day. The fate of her boyfriend, Avinatan Or, also seen in the video being led away by terrorists, is not known.

Photos of Argamani enjoying herself before her abduction featured prominently on posters, fliers, and social media advocating for the release of the hostages, and Hamas released at least two videos of her in captivity since Oct. 7.

Her plight gained additional note as her mother Liora, who has terminal brain cancer, pled for her release. Argamani was reportedly able to see her mother on Saturday; the father of another rescued hostage, Jan, was found dead on Saturday, the victim, his sister said, of a broken heart.

In a statement, Netanyahu congratulated the commanders of the operation. “The entire nation salutes you and the courageous fighters who today risked their lives in order to save lives,” he said. “Yet again you have proven that Israel does not surrender to terrorism and acts with boundless valor and resourcefulness to return home our hostages.”

The Biden administration also praised the action. “We commend the work of the Israeli security services that conducted this daring operation,” Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said in a statement.

The operation came as Hamas is weighing a ceasefire proposal from Israel and the United States that would see more hostages go free. Netanyahu has faced pressure from protesters to reach a deal, though his allies on the far right oppose the one that is on the table.

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e g a c y
Noa Argamni is embraced by her father.


Jacob Gurvis (JTA) — An exhibit about Jews in Hollywood that launched at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles following an outcry from Jewish critics is now getting a revision — following another outcry from Jewish critics.

The museum opened its first-ever permanent exhibit, a deep-dive on the Jewish pioneers that laid the groundwork for Hollywood, on May 19. “Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital” launched two and a half years after the museum opened without the history of the industry’s Jewish beginnings.

Designed as a response to critics who complained about Jewish exclusion from the museum, the exhibit highlights the Warner brothers, Louis B. Mayer, Adolph Zukor, and other Jewish film giants. And now, it has drawn fire for portraying some of those figures in a negative light.

“We wish to express our extreme disappointment in, and frustration with, The Academy Museum’s Jewish Founders exhibit,” said an open letter signed by more than 300 industry professionals. “Using the words ‘tyrant,’ ‘oppressive,’ ‘womanizer,’ ‘predator,’ ‘offensive,’ ‘racial oppression,’ ‘nepotism,’ and ‘prejudices,’ it is the only section of the museum that vilifies those it purports to celebrate.”

The statement acknowledges “the value in confronting Hollywood’s problematic past,” but goes on to accuse the museum of creating a “despicable double standard.”

“Blaming only the Jews for that problematic past, is unacceptable and, whether intentional or not, antisemitic,’ the letter says, before calling on the museum to “thoroughly redo this exhibit.”

The letter was organized by United Jewish Writers, a coalition that formed shortly after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel as the Hollywood unions were divided over whether and how to issue statements condemning the attack and supporting Israel. The group previously organized an open letter rebutting The Zone of Interest director Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech that criticized Israel.

The letter asked signatories not to post publicly on social media and does not display who signed. But according to The New York Times, signatories include executive Casey Wasserman, actor David Schwimmer, and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino.

“This is not unconscious bias, this is conscious bias,” producer Lawrence Bender, who signed the letter, told the Times. “It feels like a hatchet job on the Jews.”

The letter followed mounting criticism since the exhibit’s launch, including from Israeli-American director Alma Ha’rel, who resigned from the museum’s inclusivity committee after touring.

On Monday, June 10, the museum announced that it was making changes in response to the feedback.

“We have heard the concerns from

members of the Jewish community regarding some components of our exhibition,” said the statement, released before the United Jewish Writers letter arrived. “We take these concerns seriously and are committed to making changes to the exhibition to address them.”

A first set of unspecified changes would be made “immediately,” the statement said, adding that the changes “will allow us to tell these important stories without using phrasing that may unintentionally reinforce stereotypes.”

The museum also said it would convene an advisory group composed of “experts from leading museums focused on the Jewish community, civil rights, and the history of other marginalized groups to advise us on complex questions about context and any necessary additions to the

exhibition’s narrative.”

Ahead of the opening of the “Hollywoodland” exhibit, Jacqueline Stewart who until last month served as the museum’s director and president, had told the JTA that community feedback played a role in the construction of the exhibit. (Her departure was planned prior to the exhibit’s opening.)

The new exhibit initially drew plaudits, including from some who had previously criticized it for excluding Jewish stories. But the new critiques, made at a time of extreme anxiety about Jewish inclusion, started soon after.

“The exhibit is a lazy and insidious condemnation of Hollywood’s founders,” writer Patrick Moss told LA Magazine. “The focus is not on the founder’s achievements — but on their sins.” | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 7
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Jewish American Heritage Month celebrated at the White House Biden affirms commitment to Israel and fighting antisemitism

The White House’s Rose Garden provided the festive backdrop for the celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month on Monday, May 20.

Approximately 250 – 300 people attended the event at the invitation of President and Dr. Biden. Among the attendees was Tidewater’s Jody Wagner.

“I really don’t know why I was invited,” she muses.

“I met people from all over the country – Seattle, New England, Florida,” says Wagner. The only apparent common thread was that everyone was Jewish. Otherwise, the guests came from different backgrounds and professions and “were involved in a wide variety of activities – one was a longterm teacher at a Jewish school in New Hampshire, one was a Congresswoman from North Carolina, one was a housing policy consultant in New York City, and one was a U.S. patent examiner working remotely.

and our places of worship.”

“Other people attending included the mother of a freed child hostage, a student activist fighting antisemitism on campus, the owner of a Miami professional sports team, and a female comedian,” she says.

Once through security, the tone of the afternoon was celebratory with a military band playing Klezmer music and waiters passing wine, sparkling water, and appetizers. “It was lovely,” says Wagner.

The atmosphere was upbeat, she says, but became serious when President Joe Biden spoke of the hostages and his commitment to Israel and antisemitism.

In his remarks introducing President Biden, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff said, “We’ve come together to celebrate our heritage and honor our culture, to reflect on the invaluable contributions of our ancestors and the Jewish leaders of today.

“But it is also a challenging time for our community. It’s been a dark and difficult seven months. I know a lot of us are feeling alone, afraid, and in pain.”

Emhoff spoke of an epidemic of hate, “including a crisis of antisemitism in our country and around the world. We see it on our streets, our college campuses,

Acknowledging the difficulty of having hope and feeling optimistic, he said, “But we keep fighting because we have no choice but to fight.”

When speaking with Jewish leaders, he said his “message is always the same: We still need to find and embrace that Jewish joy.

“I want everyone to experience joy, especially our young people, because we cannot live in fear. We cannot be afraid. We must always raise our voices and live openly and proudly as Jews.”

Emhoff recounted that last year prior to travelling to Poland and Germany to recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Biden pulled him into the Oval Office. “He shared with me his memories

of visiting the Dachau concentration camp with his children and grandchildren — and how angry his father was that the Allies had not bombed the train tracks leading to the concentration camps.”

Emhoff also reminded the audience that immediately after October 7, that President Biden condemned the evil Hamas unleashed into the world and staunchly proclaimed his support for the Jewish people and Israel.

“He reaffirmed America’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, and that hasn’t changed,” said Emhoff.

In his remarks, President Biden said, “The story of the Jewish people is a story of resilience — absolute resilience from pain and persecution, to hope and delight even in the darkest times.

“Throughout our history, Jewish people helped define and expand the singular idea that binds us together as Americans.” Jews, he said, have been in “the forefront of helping realize the promise of America for all Americans.”

The president also spoke about Jewish suffragettes and advocates fighting for women’s rights, voting rights, and “every right we have.

“My whole career, every — every fight to increase civil rights and civil liberties has been led by the Jewish community. The Jewish faith leaders and citizens marched, petitioned, boarded a bus, demanded civil rights for all.”

While praising Jewish authors, poets, engineers, doctors, military personnel, etc., Biden said that he understood that “the trauma of October 7th and its aftermath of the deadliest day the Jewish people have undergone since the Holocaust is still fresh and ongoing.

8 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 | NATION
Jody Wagner, Adam Zuckerman, and Eileen Filler-Corn. Invitation to the event.


“Twelve hundred innocents (were) slaughtered in their kibbutz; massacred at a music festival; brutally raped, mutilated, sexually assaulted. Hundreds taken hostage and thousands more wounded, carrying the scars and the memory of what they endured. You all know someone, directly or indirectly — family, friends — who were stolen from you or are in a harm’s way now.

“And my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad.”

Biden said his administration is working around the clock to free the remaining hostages.

“And, folks, let me [be] clear. I’ll always ensure that

Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Hamas and all other enemies, just as I did with Iran’s unprecedented attack.

“We stand with Israel to take out Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas. We want Hamas defeated. We’ll work with Israel to make that happen.”

Biden referenced Jewish values of “compassion, kindness, dignity, and human life,” when speaking about providing humanitarian assistance to help innocent Palestinian civilians who are suffe-

ring because of the war Hamas started.

Regarding his position on the ICC, President Biden said, “We reject the ICC’s application for arrest warrants

against Israeli leaders. Whatever these warrants may imply, there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. And it’s clear Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection.

“But let me be clear. Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that. And we’ll always stand with Israel.”

Biden then referenced the “vicious surge of antisemitism around the world, here in America as well, in our streets, our social media, and college campuses. It’s wrong, and it must stop.”

The Department of Education, he said, has put colleges on notice that antisemitism is discrimination prohibited under Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act.

“To the Jewish community, I want you to know: I see your fear, your hurt, and your pain. And let me assure you, as your President: You are not alone. You belong.

“In moments like this, we do well to remember that this ancient story of Jewish resilience endures because of its people. That’s what today is all about: feeling the joy and pride of community; honoring the beauty of your unshakeable faith; and celebrating heritage and legacy of Jewish Americans, who continue to enrich every single part of our life.” | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 9
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President Joe Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.


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Jody & David Laibstain Helen Laibstain Jay Legum Debbie & Barry Mandell

Tina & Doug Moses Stacy & Marc Moss Diane & Ken Muhlendorf Linda & Stanley Samuels Paul Schellhammer Miriam Seeherman Philanthropic Fund Charles W. Snader, P.C.

The Spindel Agency Louis Silverman Sandra Tabachnick Rebecca & Jeff Tall

Virginia Beach Premier Medical Marshall Weissberger Alice & Eric Werner Amy Zelenka


Getting creative: Three ways to support education

TJF staff

In addition to the celebrations of graduation season, education tends to get a lot of attention. Tidewater Jewish Foundation can help donors make a difference in the lives of young people by funding education. While establishing a scholarship fund at TJF is one way to accomplish this goal, it’s not the only way. Here are three ideas to consider to make an impact through education.

Establish a Designated Fund for educational institutions

A designated fund provides support for specific organizations of the donor’s choice. For example, someone who wants to ensure that a particular Jewish day school recei ves funding each year, can set up a designated fund, or a family that has supported the same local college or day school for generations, may want that support to continue. At the same time, donors may want to be certain that their funds are used effectively. This includes protecting their monetary support from the school’s creditors if the school gets in financial trouble. A designated fund at TJF could be the solution.

Establish a Field-of-Interest Fund to support specific aspects of education

Through a Field-of-Interest fund at TJF, parameters for grant making can be established according to the donor’s wishes. If education is a priority with the donor supporting a variety of local organizations over the years that provide students with courses, tutoring, mentorship, and social services, establishing a Field-of-Interest Fund activates TJF’s expertise and research by delegating grant-making decisions to TJF’s team. This helps donors ensure their dollars will have the greatest impact.

Seek TJF’s advice for Donor-Advised Fund grant making

Many who have established Donor-Advised funds at TJF have likely used them to support an alma mater, children’s school, and other educational institutions. TJF would welcome the opportunity to explore education more broadly, beyond four-year institu tions. TJF can also help identify charities that support teachers, classrooms, and school districts – all of which need resources to deliver the best possible education to students.

Support education through tax credits

In addition to these strategies, education can be supported through the Virginia Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit (EISTC) Program. TJF is an approved scholarship foundation under this program, which helps qualifying students from lower- and middle-income families attend local Jewish day schools. By participating in this program, donors can receive a 65% credit against their Virginia income tax. For example, a $10,000 gift can support local Jewish education and may have a net after-tax cost of less than 25 cents on the dollar. This is a powerful way to make a significant impact on education while also benefiting from tax incentives.

Donations are urgently needed to fully fund scholarships before local schools close for the end of the school year. Tax credit-eligible donations require preauthorization. Forms must be submitted as soon as possible to complete all donations in early June.

To better understand the benefits of donating to TJF for the EISTC Program, consider this simple illustration:



Israel: Reflections on the Past Week

When my mom asked my husband and me to write about our feelings and reactions to the events in the past week (June 3 – 9) in Israel (increased rocket and drone attacks by Hezbollah, raging fires across the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights ignited by these attacks), our first reaction was “What’s the purpose? Our feelings haven’t changed since October 7th – we are still worried, angry, frustrated, and sad.”

Despite this initial reaction, I realized that writing these updates is our tiny contribution to explaining the reality we live in as internal refugees (my heart still sinks each time I say this out loud) during this war.

The fires last week came dangerously close to our kibbutz, Yiftah. Our Kita Konenot, a group of mostly 30- to 50-year-old men from the kibbutz with combat experience who are the first line of defense for the kibbutz (most Jewish cities and villages have these), firefighters from the Galilee Elyion municipality, and a few soldiers were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the houses in the kibbutz. Yet our orchard and vineyard were burnt – some of our family’s most beloved places in the kibbutz. It is where I run, where we bike, where the grandparents take the kids to spend an afternoon, where we go and pick fruit right off the trees. Several houses in Kiryat Shmona were not as lucky – the fires near the city destroyed several houses. Numerous more have been damaged by rockets, drones, and shrapnel. These pictures – blacken hills, damaged houses, cause my heart to break a little bit more each time.

The fires raised a reoccurring parenting issue for us – how much to tell the kids? At first, we were planning not to mention the fires at all – there was no damage, we (unfortunately) are not going back soon – why worry the kids? But slowly we realized that their friends may ask them about the fires. Even though the fires near Yiftah did not make it into the traditional news media, the images spread on social media. I had mothers from the Hod Hasharon community where we live ask how we are. If the moms were asking, the chances of children in my twins’ second-grade class knowing seemed likely. So, we decided to tell them, emphasizing that no houses were damaged

thanks to the hard work of the Kita Konenot. My fiveyear-old son’s reaction was “what about the trailers for the tractors? Are they ok?” My twins asked about the orchard.

Another feeling that my husband and I experience constantly is the heaviness of the situation through our work. It is the end of the school year, so schools and teachers are making decisions about next year. For most of Israel, the war doesn’t affect these decisions – you just continue as if it is a normal year. But for teachers and schools in the north, how can you do this if you don’t know where you will be or how many students will register or where these students will be? Many evacuated teachers, including my husband, have had to make difficult decisions to leave their school up north to provide stability for their families. Every single person from the north is faced with impossible decisions – if they are evacuated, where should they work or register their children in the fall? If they weren’t evacuated, should they leave anyway because of all the sirens and rocket fire?

And don’t forget the many parents and significant others worried about their loved ones fighting in Gaza.

For me, I feel this heaviness, but also hope when speaking with the faculty of my college, Tel Hai. Again,

12 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 |
Fires in the orchards of Yiftah. Orchards of Yiftah.


each person is facing their own difficulties – those evacuated like myself but who have moved multiple times or who lack childcare, those with multiple children serving in Gaza, one who lost her son in Gaza last month, those who live in kibbutzim that weren’t evacuated but deal with sirens on a daily basis and worry about their children when they are at school. However, my colleagues want to provide our students with the best learning experience despite these challenges. And looking towards next year, with no return to our beloved campus on the horizon, my college is determined to locate and run an alternative campus a few times a week to provide students and lecturers the chance to meet face to face. But how can you plan a course schedule when you don’t know where you will teach or how many days will be face-to-face and much of your evacuated administrative staff is burnt out and facing a summer of no childcare in hotel rooms? These are the wicked

problems facing not just our college. I hope I can muster and maintain the perspective of my dean and other colleagues who recognize the challenges but see the opportunity to build something new that will benefit the college and the region in the future.

To end, I’ll paint a picture of the juxtaposition of our current life. In the center, life continues as normal, with the war breaking into the consciousness only through news and social media. This weekend we took the children to a waterpark where we all had a blast. In the early afternoon, the release of the four hostages was announced over the loudspeaker, causing the crowd to cheer and clap. And then everyone continued playing in the water.

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Elizabeth Dovrat is the daughter of Barbara Dudley, Jewish Community Relations Council chair. She occasionally writes for Jewish News on life in Israel with her family. | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 13 Have you considered investing in commercial real estate?
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The Dovrat children used to play in the orchard of Yiftah. Lior and Liz Dovrat with their children at Pesach.


David Leon’s visit to Israel conjures up memories from 1974


David Leon, president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, first travelled to Israel 50 years ago on the first commercial flight from the United States after the Yom Kippur War. This past March, he was on United Airline’s first flight to Israel following the October 7 terrorist attack. Five months after the attacks, United was the only airline in addition to El Al, to resume flights to Israel.

“The similarities are eerie but also much different,” Leon says. “Unfortunately, my United flight stopped in Munich to get a new crew, as the current crew refused to spend the night in Israel.”

Visiting family in Israel, Leon began his journey with dinner in Tel Aviv. “Everyone has been touched by the war,” he says. “My cousin’s son, who was called up to the reserves, lost a very close friend in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.”

On the second day of his five-day trip, Leon visited the site of the Sderot police station that was overrun and destroyed by Hamas. He met and thanked Corporal Mali Shoshana, who on October 7, defended the police station by herself on a rooftop and acted as if dead for seven hours.

From the site of the Supernova music festival massacre, Leon could hear Israeli mortar shells in the near distance. From Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, he could see Israeli camera cranes on the Gaza border and Gazan buildings in the distance (there were far fewer buildings than he remembered from a previous trip).

Picking clementines on the third day of his trip with his Israeli cousin and her friends, Leon noted that many of those living at Kibbutz Be’eri had not yet returned. Most every farm in Israel needed help harvesting and planting.

A kibbutznik offered to show them the devastation from the attacks. About 10 % of the kibbutz members were killed or kidnapped, and only a few who could leave had returned. The images were incredibly hard to see, but Leon says he knew the importance of being a witness to the aftermath of the massacre.

He later visited an exhibit at the National Library featuring photos of each hostage with their favorite book, and then Hostage Square, where families sat, talked, and prayed

Local Relationships Matter


“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.”

among the many art displays.

John Strelitz, a past UJFT president, was also in Israel in March, and Leon visited with him and his family. Leon recalls how, 50 years ago, Leonard Strelitz was the UJFT president, and Buddy Strelitz and Tommy Hofheimer helped lead the community’s last major emergency campaign, that one for the Yom Kippur War.

Reflecting on the previous generation of Tidewater leadership, Leon says, “Their shoes are much too big to fill, but I feel honored to follow all those before me.”

14 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 |
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MEET: Karen Joyner "Waiting for you” at Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Picking clementines. Exhibit at the National Library.

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Good health is one of those things that should never be taken for granted – no matter a person’s age – and something that should take priority in our lives. Fortunately, across Tidewater and the Jewish world, there are plenty of professionals working to provide the tools, tests, procedures, and programs to allow us to maintain the best possible physical and mental conditions.

Jody Alperin, PsyD, for example, has assisted with Higher Ground, a non-profit organization which offers therapeutic recreational trips for those in need. Her story is on page 23.

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, author of Body & Soul: The Torah Path to Food, Fitness and a Healthy Life, shares how the Torah and Talmud view healthy eating, food challenges, and more. It’s an interesting and helpful assessment. Page 19.

Steven Warsof, MD, started an exchange program with medical students between Tidewater’s EVMS and Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel about 12 years ago. Two Israeli students are now learning in Norfolk. The article about the program, including a brief interview with one of the students, is on page 24.

Other articles in this section feature Jewish activism in healthcare, programs that assist patients and their families, medical research being conducted in Israel, and more.

We hope you find some of these articles to be inspiring enough to perhaps change an unhealthy habit and start a new, healthy one and that some of the research and programs are beneficial to your good health now and in the future.

Stay Healthy!



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Tel Aviv University study reveals mechanism linking heart disease to cancer development

Study sheds light on the potential connection between extracellular bubbles released after a heart attack and an increased risk of cancer

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Leviev Cardiothoracic and Vascular Center at the Sheba Medical Center have found a mechanism responsible for increasing the risk of developing cancer among patients with heart disease. They say that small extracellular bubbles, or vesicles (sEVs), that

are secreted from the sick heart to heal itself are released into the bloodstream and promote the growth of cancer cells throughout the body.

The discovery may improve the protocols for treating heart disease so that clinicians also consider the increased risk of cancer.

The research was conducted under the leadership of Professor Jonathan Leor from the Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute of TAU’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the Taman Institute at Sheba’s Leviev Center, and his student Tal Caller, a medical and research student at TAU’s School of Medicine. The research was published on March 15, 2024, in Circulation

“In 2013, the Israeli cardiologist Tal Hasin showed for the first time that there is a connection between heart failure and cancer,” Caller explains.

“Patients with heart disease are at a higher risk of developing cancer, and since heart disease is already a leading cause of death, many people are at risk.

“Our research revealed that the diseased heart secretes a cancer-promoting factor. These are tiny particles wrapped in a simple membrane, which all cells secrete, but because of heart damage, these vesicles are released in greater quantities and contain factors related to inflammation, healing, growth, creation of new blood vessels, and changes in the immune system. These vesicles move through the circulatory system and eventually reach the tumor or the pre-cancerous tissue.”

“Many theories have been proposed to explain the increased risk of cancer in heart patients,” says Professor Leor.

“They started with shared risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and obesity and ended with a single protein or molecule. We showed for the first time that the diseased heart secretes sEVs that contain thousands of different growth factors. These bubbles directly promote the growth of certain tumors and also modulate the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to tumor growth.

“We treated the animals with spironolactone at a very early stage of the disease and found that the heart secreted 30% fewer sEVs and the cancerous tumors grew more slowly. Our experiment shows that it is possible to intervene in heart disease in a way that reduces the risk of cancer among heart patients.”

“It may be necessary to adjust the existing treatments for the heart so that they also consider the risk of cancer,” Caller concludes. “In addition, it is possible to find biomarkers among heart patients that will indicate an increased risk of cancer, since not all patients are at an increased risk. This is basic research, and much work is still required to unravel the connection between the two.”

The study was funded by the Israel Cancer Association and the Israel Science Foundation.

18 | JEWISH NEWS | JUNE 17, 2024 |
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Body, Soul and Summertime HEALTHCARE

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld

Food is always a Jewish topic, and every Shabbat and Jewish holiday are new opportunities to overindulge.

Maimonides famously says (Deot 4:15) that overeating is unhealthy and everyone knows that keeping healthy makes good sense. But to what extent is a healthy body, per se, a Torah issue?

Anyone who suspects that health and fitness is only a modern concern might consider the Talmud’s opinion: Rav Huna said to his son, Rabah, “Why aren’t you a disciple of Rav Chisda, whose teachings are sharp?” He said, “Why should I – whenever I go, he lectures me on mundane matters. For example, he gave me instructions on how to relieve myself safely.” He said, “He’s immersed in matters of health and you call them mundane? All the more so should you go to him!” Shabbos 82a

This Talmudic ethic echoes a midrashic warning that the vast majority of people die prematurely due to neglecting their health and well-being:

Ninety-nine percent die before their time due to neglecting their health. - Midrash Raba

When I first learned about the mitzvah of guarding your health, many questions came to mind: What are the parameters of the mitzvah? Is it possible that the ultimate guide to ethics and holiness includes guidance on food, exercise, and other specific health topics? Might the Torah’s

approach to health provide guidance in addressing major public health challenges such as obesity and COVID-19?

Years of researching these questions in the Torah literature has culminated in a collection of more than 60 major teachings, some of which have never before been translated. The health topics covered by the Torah include:

• Holy eating

• Healthy eating

• Sugar, obesity, and healthy weight

• Special Jewish food challenges

• Exercise

• Sleep

• How to raise children with healthy habits

The first step on this journey is to develop a Torah-guided relationship to the body. Mastering this framework is the key to longterm changes. Changing a habit temporarily is relatively easy, but long-term sustained change in even a single habit is one of the hardest challenges in life. Motivation is key, and learning a Torah body-framework will hopefully lead to an increase in overall well-being for all who make a modicum of effort. In the long term, a healthier

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body-relationship should lead to a longer life that is more thoughtful, disciplined, spiritual, and elevated.

Yet even someone immersed in Torah wisdom can sometimes lack motivation to consistently pursue healthy daily living. At such times, I personally try to recall the words of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch:

A person can only reach his fullest spiritual potential if he is physically strong, per the Talmud, Shabbat 92a. As much as summertime and Shabbat and Jewish holidays are food challenges, they are also an opportunity. Every time you consciously make something even slightly healthier – by reducing the sugar or increasing the vegetables – you’re fulfilling a mitzvah. When you encourage healthy habits in children, you’re giving them a lifelong gift.

Adapted from the book, Body & Soul: The Torah Path to Food, Fitness and a Healthy Life. To contact the author, visit or follow the Body & Soul class on

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Sylvie Slotkin was already struggling with her mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic when, before her sophomore year of high school, she learned that her mother, Lisa, had breast cancer.

Slotkin, now a freshman at Northwestern University, recalls thinking, “Things really don’t need to be worse right now than they already are — and then they got worse.”

While her mother was able to speak with women who underwent chemotherapy and mastectomies to learn more about her condition and what to expect, Slotkin did not know any peers whose mothers had breast cancer and might have been able to offer reassurance.

“If I had someone validate how I was feeling, I would have been much better off,” Slotkin says.

After her mother was treated and her cancer went into remission, Slotkin, now 18, decided she wanted to help ensure that other Jewish young adults in her situation had more support. She’s currently helping Sharsheret, the national Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer organization, build up its network of adults ages 18 to 25 with experiences similar to hers so they can support peers with a parent undergoing cancer care.

YAD: The Young ADult Caring Corner at Sharsheret, dedicated by Joy and Michael Goldsmith and family, helps young adults understand their loved ones’ cancer diagnoses, manages a website about cancer for young adults, and provides peer support through a buddy system that pairs mentors whose loved ones have also had a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis with other young adults in similar situations.

Creating peer networks is one of many services Sharsheret provides to women with cancer and their families. The organization also connects cancer patients with mental health professionals, financial aid, and a range of other services.

Sharsheret is trying to promote the YAD resources through social media and word of mouth so that more young adults can access and utilize the buddy system and digital offering, and by Sharsheret providing information about the program to medical professionals who can refer patients’ families to YAD.

When a young adult reaches out to Sharsheret, a social worker conducts an intake interview to learn about that person’s experience.

“We look to figure out, based on their story, who is the best buddy or mentor for us to connect them to,” says Ellen Kleinhaus, Sharsheret’s director of national programs.

The organization also provides training for mentors, including instructions on what to say and not say, conversation starters, sample role plays, and the importance

of maintaining confidentiality.

“We try to give them that comfort level so that when they are speaking to someone who’s reaching out to them for support, they know how to respond,” Kleinhaus says.

Maya Charak’s mother, Meredith, learned in the summer of 2023 that she had the BRCA genetic mutation, which carries an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA mutations are much more common among Ashkenazi Jewish women than among the general population. Two weeks later, Meredith Charak was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sharsheret representatives connected her with other women who had survived breast cancer, provided print and digital resources with tips on how to make her treatment easier, and sent care packages that included a robe to wear after her surgery.

“Sharsheret made her feel there was someone that cared for her at all times,” says her daughter, Maya, now a senior at Washington University in St. Louis.

These days Maya and a friend, Sophie Warsetsky, whose mother is also a breast cancer survivor, are training to become YAD mentors.

great-aunt also had cancer.

“We all know someone that’s impacted by cancer, and we have a hard enough time as adults going through that,” says Lisa Slotkin, Sylvie’s mother. “I can’t even fathom what it’s like for teenagers, for young adults.”

Especially during the pandemic, she notes, “Sylvie was totally isolated and having to deal with this.”

Had Sharsheret’s buddy system existed then, Lisa says, “it would have been amazing for her.”

We all know someone that’s impacted by cancer, and we have a hard enough time as adults going through that.

“I wanted to be able to help support other students who may be going through something similar, and just let them know that they are not alone — because it can feel really isolating,” Warsetsky says.

The two students also helped organize Sharsheret Pink Day, an annual global awareness and unity movement where thousands of people share information about Sharsheret’s vital programs and services to raise awareness about breast cancer, cancer genetics, and generate life-saving conversations.

The Chabad on Campus Washington University in St. Louis’ program was among more than 200 Pink Day initiatives nationally at colleges, Jewish day schools, organizational partners and businesses in February. That was a significant increase from 2023, when there were 140 such events.

Volunteers baked pink challah and collected items to donate to healthcare providers for women undergoing cancer treatment or surgery.

Slotkin helped organize the Pink Day celebration at Northwestern, and talked about her personal experience at a mandala therapeutic art workshop webinar that drew over 300 registrants. These days her mother is healthy and Slotkin is no longer depressed, but she is nervous about her own chances of being diagnosed with cancer one day. Both her grandfathers, a grandmother and her

The impetus for the creation of YAD came from Amanda Goldsmith, the daughter of Joy and Michael Goldsmith. When Joy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, she used Sharsheret’s peer-to-peer network to connect with a cancer survivor. But Amanda, then a college student at New York University, had no such opportunity. Once her mother was cancer free, Amanda launched an initiative to recruit college students in New York City to become involved with Sharsheret. She established a local student board for the organization and students began reaching out to her for advice.

Amanda recalled meeting one young woman at a loss for what to do after her mother’s diagnosis.

“I am so sorry for what you’re going through,” she told her. “I would love to support you in any way.” Thus was born the idea for the YAD buddy system.

“There is always comfort to anyone at any age in knowing that someone has experienced and persevered through the hurdles that they are now facing,” says Joy Goldsmith. Explaining her family’s decision to underwrite YAD’s development, she adds, “We have been often taught to pay it forward. This led us to partnering with Sharsheret and developing YAD.”

Slotkin says she is glad that with YAD she has a way to channel something positive out of the painful and challenging experience of her mother’s cancer diagnosis.

“If I can make something beautiful out of something that’s not beautiful, I want to do that,” Slotkin says.

To learn more about Sharsheret, YAD: Young ADult Caring Corner or Sharsheret Pink Day, click here or contact

This article was sponsored by and produced in partnership with Sharsheret, the national Jewish breast cancer and ovarian cancer organization. This article was produced by JTA’s native content team.

20 | JEWISH NEWS | JUNE 17, 2024 |
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JScreen for healthy futures

In association with Emory University, JScreen offers comprehensive genetic screening with at-home testing on saliva. This screening tool can be used for both reproductive purposes and for determining genetic changes that may increase the risk of certain cancers. The non-profit also provides a robust education program.

For reproductive testing, a drop-down menu on JScreen’s website allows the user to choose from 10 different ethnicity or genetic risk assessments. An Ashkenazi Jewish individual, for example, would be screened for 19 different diseases and syndromes – such as Gaucher disease – to determine if they might be a carrier. This information helps in ascertaining the risk of a child inheriting a genetic disease. For reproductive purposes, this screening is recommended for people ages 18 - 45.

The JScreen cancer screening works similarly, with a drop-down menu offering screening for genetic changes that may impact the lifetime risk of breast, ovarian, prostate, uterine, colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. This screening is recommended for individuals 21 years and older.

To participate, a user completes an online, secure kit request through the registration process. JScreen then obtains a test order from an ordering physician and mails the saliva collection kit to the user; a pre-paid envelope is included to then forward the sample to the lab. In about three weeks, the results are complete, and a 15-20-minute phone consultation with a genetic counselor follows to explain the findings. When the entire process is complete, a copy of the results is securely shared with the participant.

Prices for the screening range from $149 to $599, depending on the type of screening and insurance benefits. Financial assistance is available thanks to the generosity of donors.

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Jewish fertility group is helping Alabama clients undergo IVF elsewhere after state’s explosive ‘fetal personhood’ ruling

Jackie Hajdenberg

(JTA) — A Jewish organization that helps families have children says its clients now face a “worst-case scenario” after the Alabama Supreme Court classified frozen embryos as unborn children.

The Jewish Fertility Foundation is funding out-of-state treatments for some Alabama clients after the ruling earlier this year largely halted in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatments in the state, as clinics could face prosecution should embryos be destroyed or otherwise become unviable over the course of the procedure.

often turn to IVF, which creates embryos outside the womb and allows them to be screened for genetic diseases before they are transferred to the uterus. That has made the process an attractive option for Jewish couples who have a higher propensity to carry genetic diseases or genes that increase the risk of cancer, in addition to Jewish couples with other fertility challenges.

as it did,” Elana Frank, CEO and founder of the foundation, says. In 2022, the group did say it feared that IVF treatments could be endangered by the Dobbs decision.

The ruling is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which removed federal abortion protections and allowed states to define when life legally begins. The Alabama ruling has caused national controversy, as well as criticism from advocates of abortion rights.

Women and couples who face difficulty conceiving

Best wishes for another

Now, the Jewish Fertility Foundation, which provides infertility education, grants, and emotional support to families dealing with infertility, says some of its Alabama clients are facing wrenching dilemmas. The foundation has about 50 clients in Birmingham in any given year, and they now must overcome additional hurdles to have children, such as traveling out of state for their treatments, which adds extra expenses.

“This was kind of the worst-case scenario post-Dobbs. And the truth is, is that we didn’t see it coming as quickly

Frank told JTA after the February court ruling that she hoped to see Alabama’s legislature quickly address the issue in favor of her clients. The state now appears poised to enact legislation shielding patients and providers from prosecution — but there’s a risk that courts could strike the new law down, adding to a roller coaster ride for families that can interrupt the IVF process, which must be carried out according to a precise timeline.

Still, Frank says she was hopeful, noting, “There’s a potential that the clinics will reopen.”

In the meantime, the foundation is funding IVF treatment in Atlanta for at least one woman who had been receiving treatment at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and whose treatments are not covered out of state, says Sarah Shah, the foundation’s director of operations.

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Reaching an emotional higher ground

Stephanie Peck

A psychotherapist in Norfolk since 1995, Jody Alperin has assisted on two trips with Higher Ground, a non-profit organization which offers therapeutic recreational trips to veterans, first-responders, and children and adults with developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities. These trips “combine outdoor recreation activities with therapeutic processes to help all participants confront current struggles and develop skills to find success in daily life,” according to Higher Ground’s website.

Raised in South Florida and a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Alperin moved to Norfolk to earn her Doctor of Psychology at the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology. After graduating, she joined Churchland

Psychological Center where she has been in private practice counseling patients, including active-duty and retired military personnel and their families.

Alperin learned about Higher Ground through colleagues and has accompanied these trips as a mental health professional, helping groups of eight - 12 veterans (and their partners or supporters) who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, polytrauma, traumatic brain injuries, and mental health challenges. “I don’t do therapy,” she says. “I provide support.”

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Higher Ground trips are offered throughout the United States and expenses are fully covered by the organization (Alperin receives a stipend for her participation).

Among the recreational options are kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, and photography. Alperin’s trips have taken her to Abilene, Texas, where she went bass fishing for six days last November, and to Laguna Beach, Calif. in April, for a week of water sports. Each day is structured with a theme that permeates the activities, beginning with mindful movement, followed by the recreational therapy activity, and ending with a processing group.

Participants are vetted, since the activities can be challenging. “Some of the activities can also be triggering,” she adds.

“Some people are stuck because of mental health issues,” Alperin says. These trips offer a supportive environment, especially for veterans who are not connected within their veteran communities back home. “Higher Ground gives them community,” she says.

Alperin says she would like to join another Higher Ground trip in the future. She also promotes the organization to her veteran patients when she thinks an individual may benefit from this experience. As the website says, “It’s the power of human nature, activated by the wonders of Mother Nature.” | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 23
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Give an everlasting G i f t

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endowed a scholarship at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation His goal? To give future students opportunities he never had Today, years after his passing, Green’s gift continues to support students Your gift can live forever, too Visit to learn more


Student exchange between EVMS and Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in Israel resumes post-COVID

Stephanie Peck

In early June, two Israeli medical students arrived in Norfolk to study at Eastern Virginia Medical School. As part of an exchange program, two EVMS students will travel to study at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel.

Dr. Steven Warsof, EVMS professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, conceived of this exchange about 12 years ago after reading of the new medical school in Israel. He emailed, asking if he could help, and soon found himself travelling to Safed to meet faculty and give lectures.

The student exchange continued each year until it was paused due to COVID. After the pandemic, Warsof returned to Safed to continue teaching.

The initial exchange was formalized by a five-year contract between EVMS and its Israeli counterpart; the two parties renewed for an additional five years. While the contract expired during COVID, Warsof received an email this April asking if

Israeli students could again return to EVMS.

A female Israeli Druze student and a male Israeli student were selected for the opportunity. Two Jewish families in Ghent, walking distance to EVMS, offered to host the students. Each Israeli medical student receives a $2,500 stipend from the Tidewater Jewish community, and EVMS donors provide the funds for their medical students travelling to Israel.

“Students go to Israel to see a different healthcare system, along with the cultural experience,” says Warsof, explaining the appeal of studying in Israel.

Warsof credits three colleagues for their roles in re-introducing the medical student exchange. In Norfolk, EVMS President, Provost and Dean Dr. Alfred Abuhamad and Dr. George Saade, chair of EVMS Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Women’s Health, approved the students’ travel and studies in the United States.

Inbar Ben Shacher, M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology Chair, Ziv Medical Center, head of Internal Audit Committee, Bar-Ilan University, worked on behalf of his Israeli students to travel to Norfolk.

Meet Israeli med school student Nimrod Truzman

Stephanie Peck

Hend Hino and Nimrod Truzman are the two Israeli medical students studying at Eastern Virginia Medical School as part of a one-month exchange program with Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University.

As they finish their sixth year of medical school in Israel (the equivalent to the fourth year in the United States), Truzman and Hino will return to Israel and start their internship year – 12 months of rotation through various departments, before committing to a residency program in their fields of interest.

“I wish I could stay in the United States longer, but I have finals in August to attend,” shares Truzman, a native of Ra’anana near Tel Aviv.

When asked how the atrocities of October 7 impacted his studies, Truzman explains that medical school did not restart until a month or two later. During this time, he volunteered in a hospital, caring for injured civilians and soldiers in neurosurgery and orthopedics. He describes it as a “unique experience.

“Everyone just wanted to help, even to change the trash. It was a great honor to help,” he says. Truzman is not certain which medical specialty he’ll pursue, although he’s leaning towards Obstetrics and Gynecology. “That’s why I wanted to take part in this exchange program,” he says.

24 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 |
Nimrod Truzman. Dr. Steven Warsof with Madrichot in the Israeli army. Hend Hino.

Restrained women eaters can still enjoy high-calorie foods with less anxiety through flexibility training according to new Hebrew University study

Women who are restrained eaters to control their weight can still appreciate high-calorie foods with training to respond more flexibly to food cues, according to a new study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers published in the Journal of Food Disorders.

Restrained eaters are individuals who chronically avoid eating to reduce their weight and hold negative attitudes toward food. Previous attempts to disrupt this pattern by encouraging the complete elimination of inhibitory food responses resulted in increased food consumption but also elevated food-related anxiety. The current study tested whether training restrained eaters to respond more flexibly to food would increase positive attitudes toward food.

The researchers, Ph.D. student Shir Berebbi and a team supervised by Prof. Eyal Kalanthroff in the Hebrew University Psychology Department recruited 78 females who restricted their eating into three groups. One, in which participants were asked to either respond or inhibit their response to images of food in a computerized task, another where participants were asked to respond to all food images, and a third in which participants were asked to inhibit their response to all food images.

“We found that only the flexible group showed more positive attitudes toward food as there were no noticeable changes in the other two groups’ attitudes,” the researchers say. “These findings suggest that encouraging flexible responses/ inhibition to food enhances positive attitudes toward food in individuals who restrict their eating.”

The study involved 78 female participants identified through the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire for their restrained eating patterns, characterized by chronic dieting and food intake control. Researchers used psychological evaluations such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and Food Stop-Signal Task (F-SST) to assess

subconscious food attitudes and impulse control. A bogus taste test measured actual food consumption. The study also introduced a flexible food response task, to which participants had to either respond to or inhibit their response to different food stimuli a new approach to understanding eating behaviors.

“Our findings are pivotal as they suggest a new therapeutic avenue that could potentially aid individuals with disordered eating patterns to redefine their attitudes towards food,” says Shir Berebbi. “By advocating for flexibility rather than rigid response or inhibition, we can support more sustainable and healthy eating behaviors.” | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 25 HEALTHCARE Award-Winning Senior Care for the Hampton Roads Community Each Visiting Angels agency is independently owned and operated. ®2024 Visiting Angels is a registered trademark of Living Assistance Services, Inc. PROVIDING: Bathing & Dressing Assistance • Assistance with Walking • Medication Reminders • Errands & Shopping • Light Housekeeping • Meal Preparation • Companion Care • Flexible Hourly Care • End-of-Life Care • Chronic Disease Care • Alzheimer's Care • Dementia Care Virginia Beach 757.216.1934 Princess Anne 757.970.3111 Norfolk 757.525.2525 Newport News 757.599.4145

National Senior Health and Fitness Day 2024

Adults over the age of 55 visited the Simon Family JCC to celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day on Wednesday, May 29. The day was filled with fun, laughter, health, and fitness – deeming it a huge success.

Vendors from all over Tidewater offered information and gave away little tchotchkes and trinkets for all to enjoy. Tom Purcell’s fitness class danced through the halls giving beads to all– acting as JCC’s own personal Mardi Gras!

During lunch, Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, author of Honest Aging an Insider’s Guide to the Second Half of Life, shared her story and discussed what to do with aging bodies. Everyone left smiling.

After a brief rest and reset, several members returned and ‘danced the night away’ at the Senior Prom. It was a day to remember.

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Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, author of Honest Aging. Rona Proser, Sherry Barron, Lynn Bell and Alene Kaufman. Harold Smith and Galina Lifshitz. Harold Smith, Harold Smith’s aide, Andrew Wilenbrink, Julie Kievit, Galina Lifshitz, Rhoda Ehrlich, and Joe Goldberg. Barbara Dudley and Dr. Rosanne Leipzig.

Aviva Pembroke: Finding new ways to provide more care, to more seniors, over more years

As several major construction phases are wrapping up, much excitement is in the air regarding the completion of Aviva Pembroke. With an anticipated opening date of early October, prospective residents and neighbors within the Pembroke area are preparing for the long-anticipated addition to the community and local skyline.

On March 23 and 24, Beth Sholom Village staff facilitated hard hat tours for deposit holders so they could get a sneak preview at where they have been patiently waiting to spend their golden years. Maureen Hook, a future resident, indicated that what appealed to her and her husband Andrew, was the “urban location, the size and personalized feel of the community, and most significantly, the reputation of service and care” after having her in-laws as residents of the former Beth Sholom Village at College Park.

After the first round of tours, David Abraham, president & CEO of Beth Sholom Village, said, “we are truly

pleased with the level of participation and investment from our future residents. It is our great pleasure to embark on this opportunity, to provide more care, to more seniors, over more years, and in different ways, through our partnership with Pembroke Square Associates.

Upcoming tours are tentatively being scheduled for most Thursdays and Fridays beginning in mid-June.

For more information about Avia Pembroke, and to schedule a visit, contact Allison Hechtkopf, executive director, at 757-961-3046 or | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 27
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PJ Library’s Military Parent Connector Program is busy building bonds

Proud to support Jewish military families, PJ Library is piloting a new Military Parent Connector program in partnership with the JWB – Jewish Chaplains Council and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Although Parent Connectors have been in PJ Library communities for years to help make meaningful connections and create fulfilling programing for parents and children, Military Parent Connectors specialize in creating a Jewish home for military families in just three areas throughout the U.S. Tidewater is one of those areas.

Acting as a concierge for

families new to the area or those ready to establish connections with the local Jewish community, the program strives to connect families with established Jewish institutions, plan military-friendly events, and help families develop relationships with other PJ Library families stationed alongside them.

With more than 100 Jewish military families in Tidewater, programming with the local community has included monthly Jewish-themed story time at Van Wyck Library in Ghent, a Havdalah experience, Baby & Me on select Fridays, an afternoon at Surge Adventure Park, women's workout class at Ascend Bungee Fitness, a Jewish Family Brunch and Shooting Range

with the men’s group, Nadiv, watercolor painting class, and a women's class led by Amy Lefcoe.

Ongoing experiences include select Friday Baby & Me’s at the Simon Family JCC with special guest speakers, weekly Parsha class on Tuesdays with Amy Lefcoe, and monthly Jewish themed story times at Van Wyck Norfolk Library.

Next year, plans include building off of Ohef Sholom Temple’s Wiggles and Giggles program for children up to four years old on a rotating monthly Sunday at various venues, as well as considering a Jewish-themed book club for middle schoolers, among other potential programs.

Jewish Military families who are interested in connecting should email Arielle Ross at and join the local Facebook group.

Arielle Ross serves as the Tidewater Military Parent Connector.

28 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 |
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Strelitz International Academy Mitzvah Club shines at beach cleanup

The sun shone brightly on Sunday, June 2 as students and their families from the Strelitz International Academy Mitzvah Club gathered at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for a beach cleanup event that blended service with fun.

The day began with laughter as children played with bubbles and created colorful chalk art on the boardwalk, setting the tone for the community effort ahead.

Armed with gloves, trash bags, and a strong sense of purpose, the volunteers spread out across the beach to pick up litter. The initiative was not only about cleaning up the environment but also about embodying the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam” — the concept of repairing the world.

of relaxation on the now pristine beach. The event ended with participants feeling a deep sense of accomplishment and community spirit.

This beach cleanup is just one of the many activities organized by the SIA Mitzvah Club. Highlights of the past year include:

Participants collected bags full of trash, including plastic bottles, food packaging, and other debris – turning the beach into a cleaner, more inviting space for everyone to enjoy.

After the cleanup, the group took a well-deserved break, enjoying a moment

• Donating 24 honey jars and heartfelt cards to homebound seniors for Rosh Hashanah, bringing sweetness and joy to those who might otherwise feel isolated during the holiday.

• Contributing approximately 500 bottles of water to the JudeoChristian Outreach Center, helping to provide essential hydration to those in need.

• Collecting and donating 100 winter coats, ensuring that many could stay warm during the colder months.

• Gathering and distributing 300 books to REACH, promoting literacy and the love of reading among children.

• Raising and donating $268 to the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation, supporting important causes and research.

The SIA Mitzvah Club’s commitment to service and community reflects the core Jewish value of “Gemilut Chasadim” — acts of loving-kindness. Through their various projects, club members demonstrate that even small acts of kindness can have a big impact.

In addition to making the oceanfront a cleaner place, the beach cleanup reinforced the importance of community service and the power of collective action. The Mitzvah Club’s

efforts remind all that when people come together with a shared purpose, the world can be made a better place for everyone.

Strelitz International Academy is Tidewater’s Community Jewish Day School serving infants through grade 5. To learn more about the school, go to

Ally St. Pierre is admissions and marketing manager for Strelitz International Academy. | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 29
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Quinn, Calanit and Grayce pose with their chalk art before the beach cleanup. Strelitz International Academy families gather after a successful day of cleaning at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Lillian Mae before the beach cleanup with her drawing representing the SIA Mitzvah Club.


Laughter, camaraderie, and the unmistakable spirit of Tidewater’s Jewish community filled the Sandler Family Campus’ Fleder Multipurpose Room on the evening of May 15. The occasion was the Simon Family Legacy Society’s celebration event dedicated to honoring those who have made lasting contributions to the Jewish future through their generosity and commitment.

Hosted by Tidewater Jewish Foundation, the event brought together a cross-section of the Tidewater Jewish community. The celebration started with a lively cocktail hour and mix-and-mingle session, setting the tone for an evening filled with meaningful connections and joyful reunions. Kim Simon Fink warmly welcomed the guests, underscoring her family’s longstanding commitment to philanthropy and community building.

The program featured a presentation of the new Life & Legacy inspirational video and the future of the Life & Legacy program across the community. TJF was recently awarded a grant by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a significant milestone that paves

the way for participation in the newly invigorated Life & Legacy Plus Program. Launching this fall, the program promises to strengthen current legacy building endeavors and provide enhanced resources and support for participating individuals, organizations, and agencies. The Life & Legacy Plus initiative will mark a new era of community growth and development.

Charlie Nusbaum, TJF’s board chairman, introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Joel Chasnoff. An acclaimed author and stand-up comedian, Chasnoff brought the house down with his unique brand of relevant, uplifting Jewish comedy. His performance entertained as well as reinforced the evening’s themes of legacy, community, and Jewish continuity.

In her closing remarks, Naomi Limor Sedek, TJF’s CEO, reflected on the event’s significance. “As we gather to celebrate and honor the timeless tradition of legacy giving, we are reminded of the power of our community and the importance of pre-

serving our rich heritage for future generations. Together, we can secure a future filled with hope, compassion, and endless possibilities.”

30 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 |
Amy Weinstein
Joel Nied (center) laughs at Joel Chasnoff’s comedy. Kim Simon Fink. Rabbi Michael Panitz, Richard Saunders, and Herm Shelanski. Amy Weinstein, speaker Joel Chasnoff, Sara Litt, and Paul Peck. Dan Snyder and Kim Fink. Joel Chasnoff. Joel Chasnoff greets Gina Rose and Randall Nied. Naomi Sedek and Todd Copeland. Ina Leiderman, Jay Kossman, and Joan Rose.


Strelitz International Academy alumni celebrate high school graduation with heartwarming reunion

Time flies! While it feels like just yesterday the Strelitz International Academy’s Class of 2017 graduated, seven years have passed and these students are graduating from high school.

Last month, these alumni and their parents returned to SIA for a special Senior Sendoff reunion – revisiting their preschool and elementary school days.

The students were thrilled to reconnect with each other, picking up right where they left off. Although many had visited the Sandler Family Campus since graduation, most had not been in the school wing for seven years. The excitement was palpable as

they observed the changes in the school, shared memories, and enthusiastically greeted former teachers while exploring their old classrooms. The teens were astonished at how small everything seemed compared to their elementary school days.

The current fifth-grade students enjoyed interacting with the visiting alumni, asking questions about their experiences in middle and high school. The alumni, now recent graduates from Cape Henry Collegiate, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Collegiate, Tidewater Collegiate Academy, and First Colonial High School, shared their insights and stories.

“We are immensely proud to have provided these students with

a strong Jewish and academic foundation,” says Heather Moore, SIA head of school. “They have grown into accomplished high school graduates, ready to embark on their next journeys in higher education.”

The students are headed to:

Baylor University

College of Charleston

Young Judaea Year Course in Israel


Hollins University


University of Central Florida

University of South Carolina

University of Virginia

William & Mary

HAT/Strelitz alumni are requested to send updated contact information to Carin Simon, director of advancement, at in order to keep in touch.


In a time of unprecedented antisemitism, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater organized a workshop on combatting antisemitism in the arts. The event, held on Wednesday, May 15 at the Chrysler Museum of Art, focused on creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for Tidewater Jewish community members and artists. More than 50 local arts leaders representing more than 30 area arts organizations attended the day of learning and discussion.

The workshop was hosted by UJFT’s Arts + Ideas and the Jewish Community Relations Council; Erik Neil, the Macon and Joan Brock director of the Chrysler Museum; and Rob Cross, executive director and Perry Artistic Director of Virginia Arts Festival.

“I appreciated the invitation to gather Hampton Roads arts leaders to address antisemitism in the arts,” says Cross. “It’s important that our organizations have the tools to recognize and combat antisemitism when we witness it and know that we have a network of partners that will be with us when we need their support.”

The event featured presentations from the AntiDefamation League and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and focused on the historical foundations of

antisemitism, its modern-day manifestations, and strategies for arts organizations to combat hate through thoughtful programming. A panel discussion followed the presentations, featuring representatives from the ADL and VCIC, Cross, and Neil. The group answered audience questions and discussed practical steps that arts organizations can take to create more inclusive environments.

One of the workshop’s key messages was the significant role arts institutions play in shaping public perceptions and fostering community. By creating inclusive programming and highlighting Jewish contributions to the arts, these institutions can help combat antisemitism and all hate and promote broader cultural understanding in the community.

Jeff Ryder, managing director at Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, says, “Virginia Stage Company is grateful to UJFT for convening the arts community around this important topic. It is imperative that we examine our organizational practices and the ways we interact with our community to stand up against discrimination and hate of all kinds. This training was an important first step in making Norfolk’s arts institutions stronger advocates for our Jewish community.”

Following the formal program, a docent-led tour of the

Chrysler Museum was offered to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. This tour served as an example of the types of programming discussed during the workshop and showcased the rich contributions of Jewish artists, reinforcing the themes discussed throughout the workshop.

Participants left with a renewed commitment to promoting inclusivity and combating antisemitism in their respective organizations. “The workshop was extremely valuable and informative,” says Nikki Thorpe, director of Diversity and Engagement with Virginia Symphony Orchestra. “I am excited to use what we’ve learned to make the VSO an even more inclusive organization.”

UJFT Arts + Ideas created an online toolkit to assist arts organizations in educating their staff and audiences, accommodating the needs of their Jewish constituents, celebrating Jewish art and artists, advocating for the Jewish community, and standing up against antisemitism and all forms of hate. That toolkit can be found at www.JewishVA. org/Antisemitism-Arts-Toolkit.

Hunter Thomas is director of Arts + Ideas at United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. He can be reached at | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 31
Hunter Thomas
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Recreating their graduation: Jonah Zuckerman, Skyel Nidam, Talia Chapel, Sam Stromberg, Leila Abrams, Sylvie Cardon, Izzie Seeman, and Isabella Leon.

20th Annual Run, Roll, or Stroll Blue and White Fun Run a big (and messy!) success

Jewish Family Service’s 20th Annual Run, Roll, or Stroll was held on Sunday, May 19 on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. In conjunction with Yom Ha’Atzmaut activities, the campus welcomed thousands of visitors.

This was the first year that the JFS Run was held on the Sandler Family Campus, as JFS traditionally held its race at the Oceanfront or at the Botanical Garden. This year, however, was special. As the Campus celebrates its 20th year as a community center, JFS marks its 20th Annual Run. What better than to celebrate together?

Before the Fun Run, participants, families, and friends enjoyed family-friendly activities and snacks. For adults, JFS partnered with United Jewish Federation of


considering having a color run again next year.

Tidewater to sell Bloody Mary’s with ingredients from An Israeli Chef’s Table Experience’s Chef Yaniv Cohen, who was in town for Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

As the Run began, people gathered under the blue and white balloon arches, ready for the challenge. When the runners, walkers, and strollers passed through the course, people at various “color stations” doused them with blue- and white-powdered chalk. Some participants had fun trying to dodge the flying powder, while others fully embraced the experience by laying on the ground and making “chalk angels” with the dust.

Feedback for the event was mostly positive, and JFS is

“We learned some lessons this year,” says Brooke Rush, director of the event. “Next time, we will definitely have wash stations and hoses to rinse off afterwards!”

Despite the colorful mess, the event showcased the tremendous community support of Jewish Family Service’s programs.

“This event is not just a fundraiser,” says Anne Kramer, former JFS board president. “It is an annual tradition for the community to come together in friendship and fun, and to show support for the work being done at JFS.”

Kelly Burroughs is the CEO for Jewish Family Service.

32 | JEWISH NEWS | June 17, 2024 | IT’S A WRAP
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Photos Dmitty Gotkis.


Two new rabbis have Tidewater roots

Rabbi Madeline Torop Budman and Rabbi Aaron David Torop Budman were ordained at Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion on Saturday, June 1. The ordination took place at the historic Plum Street Temple, a 158-yearold landmark in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A Norfolk native, Rabbi Madeline Budman was a Bat Mitzvah, Confirmed, and married at Ohef Sholom Temple, where she is a fourthgeneration member and served as president of OSTY – Ohef Sholom Temple Youth.

Rabbinical Intern at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati; and a Nachshon Project Graduate Fellow.

She will serve as Rabbi Educator at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, Calif.

Among her positions while in rabbinic school, Rabbi Budman was the student rabbi at Temple Israel in Marion, Ohio; an education fellow at Shelanu: Cincinnati Jewish Community High School; chair of the Student Ministrations Committee; a

Ayden Cohn

Virginia Tech

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and a Master of Science in Business Administration (Business Analytics).

Ayden was awarded the Virginia Tech Engineering Outstanding Master’s Student award.

Next: Ayden will work as an engineer for General Electric Nuclear in Wilmington, N.C. as a member of their Edison Engineering Development Program.

Ayden is the son of Lisa and Joel Cohn

Rabbi Aaron Torop, a native of Australia, calls the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. area home, but since he, too, was married at Ohef Sholom, he’s grown connected to Tidewater.

During his time at HUC-JIR, he served as the student rabbi at Temple Shalom in Lafayette, La.; as a Rabbinical Intern at Wise Temple in Cincinnati; and as president of Cincinnati’s Rabbinical Student Association. Rabbi Torop is also a Nachshon Project Graduate Fellow. He will serve as an Assistant Rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, Calif.

Got a Jewish graduate?

Please submit the graduate’s information by June 28 for the July 15, 2024 issue. Include: Graduate’s name, school, achievements, what’s next, and parents’ names. Email to: Be sure to put GRADUATE in the subject line.

From History to Action:

Equipping teachers to combat hate at “Who Should Tell Our Story” Educators’ Conference

Wednesday, July 24, 8:30 am - 3 pm Salem Middle School

2380 Lynnhaven Pkwy., Virginia Beach

Thursday, July 25, 7:30 am – 5 pm Virginia Holocaust Museum, Richmond (transportation provided)

Registration Open

As antisemitism rises globally, educators become increasingly crucial to addressing and combating hatred in classrooms. The 16th Biennial Educators’ Conference, hosted by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission and Jewish Community Relations Council, aims to help educators apply lessons of the Holocaust to modern issues. This year, with the theme of “Who Should Tell Our Story,” the conference will empower teachers with the knowledge and tools to tackle the challenges of rising antisemitism.

In partnership with Virginia Beach Public Schools and Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the two-day event offers an opportunity for professional development and includes a visit to the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. Through expert panels and interactive workshops, participants will delve into the deep roots of antisemitism, bigotry, and prejudice, and gain effective strategies for combating these issues.

Wednesday’s sessions include the panel discussion, “Who Should Tell Our Story,” an interactive presentation on identifying disinformation, as well as breakout sessions on fostering cultural competency to create empathetic classroom environments. On Thursday, attendees will have a docent-led tour of the newly renovated Virginia Holocaust Museum, an exploration of the museum’s hologram program, and a review of the “Stars Among Us” lesson plans.

The conference underscores the significance of Holocaust education today, highlighting its role in preventing prejudice. By engaging with historical truths and confronting harsh realities, educators can inspire students to become upstanders in their communities. This transformative event honors the past while it confronts present-day antisemitism.

The registration fee of $90 includes all materials, meals, transportation, and 15 Continuing Education hours. Scholarships are also available. Pre-service teachers can access a discount code by contacting Elka Mednick at

For more information or to register, visit or contact Elka Mednick at | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 33 MAZEL TOV
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Save the date for the Golf Tournament of the Year!
The 36th Annual

Strelitz International Golf Tournament, “Bob Josephberg Classic” Wednesday, August 28 Virginia Beach National Golf Club

Co-chaired by David Leon and Babbi Bangel, the 36th Annual Strelitz International Golf Tournament, proudly known as the “Bob Josephberg Classic” is set to be the highlight of the season.

This isn't just another golf tournament; it’s the cornerstone of SIA’s fundraising efforts and a cherished tradition embraced by the entire Tidewater community. Each year, the event draws more than 100 players and 100 sponsors, raising $150,000 to support the students and families of Strelitz International Academy.

This past school year, Strelitz International Academy celebrated remarkable achievements. As a result of the school’s exceptional Jewish education and International Baccalaureate curriculum, enrollment has soared to record levels since its move to the Sandler Family Campus.

Serving students from infancy through fifth grade, SIA lays a solid foundation for future leaders, deeply rooted in the values and support of the Tidewater Jewish community.

The annual golf tournament presents an opportunity for businesses and individuals to make a significant impact. Sponsorship opportunities range from $400 to $10,500, catering to a variety of giving levels. The event is open to all golf enthusiasts and volunteers, promising a day packed with excitement, including a silent auction and an awards reception featuring a delectable kosher dinner.

Participation is more than just a game; it’s an investment in the future of local Jewish children and the strength of the community.

For more information on how to sponsor or participate in the tournament, contact Carin Simon, director of advancement, at 757-424-4327 or or visit the tournament site:

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DIRECTED BY: KOBIE SMITH JULY 19, 2024 - AUGUST 11, 2024 LTVB.COM 757-428-9233
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Babbi Bangel and David Leon. John Strelitz.



Camp JCC. Choose from one to eight weekly sessions or any combination. Extended care option available for additional cost. $335 for JCC members and $415 for JCC guests. Financial assistance available. Sandler Family Campus. Information and registration: contact Dave Flagler, director of Camp and Teen Engagement, at or 757-452-3182.


End-of-Year Celebration of Lifelong Learning. This program acknowledges the contributions of teachers and students involved in the Konikoff Center for Learning’s ongoing courses and series. Entire community welcome. 5:30 pm. Marty Einhorn Pavilion on the Sandler Family. Information: Sierra Lautman at or 757-965-6107.

PJ Library’s Jewish-themed story time. Songs and crafts. 4 - 5:30 pm. Norfolk Public Library’s Van Wyck Branch. Information: Arielle Ross at 757-452-3182 or


Young Adult Division summer happy hour. 6 – 8 pm. Quemar. Information: Elana McGovern at 757-965-6136 or


Kehillat Bet Hamidrash (KBH) annual meeting. 10 am. KBH social hall.



Now hiring fun and creative staff.

Great opportunity to earn extra $$ for the summer.

Excellent Career Experience for College Students: Special Ed , Education or Early Childhood majors, High School students (rising Juniors, Seniors) or graduates

All positions will serve as role models for campers and each other:

Sr. Counselors

Minimum requirement 18 years old or high school graduate

Jr. Counselors

Minimum requirement 16 years old entering junior year of high school

Activity Specialists


CAMP SESSIONS: June 17 – August 9

YAD Kosher Wine Tasting. Explore a world of flavors while sampling kosher wine from | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 35
J U M P I N T O T H E J C C ! Month-to-month membership makes it easy. Become a member of the Simon Family JCC today! Questions? Contact Leigh Ellard, Membership Director at 757-321-2326


William Alperin

NORFOLK – William Alperin was born in Norfolk, Virginia on July 30, 1933 and transitioned peacefully on June 5, 2024.

Some of his nicknames were Will, Bill, Mr. Bill, Mr. Will, Willie, and Little Willie. He was the middle son of Sam and Jean Alperin (both deceased) and had two siblings Ervin (deceased) and Calvin.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years Roberta Land Alperin and three children Lori (Evan) Altman, Teri Stiebel, and Steve (Jody) Alperin. He was the grandfather of seven grandchildren: Sam (Reilly) of Atlanta, Juliana Altman of Puerto Rico, Hannah Altman of Atlanta, Josh and Zach Stiebel of West Bloomfield, Michigan, Genna Alperin of Miami, and Jamie Alperin of Washington, DC. He had one great-grandson, Brooks Stanley Altman in Atlanta.

He attended JEB Stuart Elementary and Maury High School. While at Maury, he played the saxophone in the Maury marching band and then in a local dance band. William attended RPI in Richmond for a few

years majoring in business. William worked as an insurance agent for 30 years and retired in 1983.

William was always a joker who loved to play with his grandchildren. He would chase them around the house with the energy of a young man. He played golf for many years, was a good dancer, and loved music. He appreciated the simple things in life and cherished being with his family.

The funeral was graveside at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk.

In remembrance of William, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Norma Janet Flax

NORFOLK - Norma Janet Flax passed away on May 22 at age 95.

Born in New York City on August 15, 1928 to Esther Sherris Ginsburg and Hyman Ginsburg, she was proud to have lived in all five boroughs before meeting her husband, Jack Flax, on a Norfolk tennis court.

Norma’s husband, parents, brother

Ira Ginsburg, and daughter Patricia FlaxJankosky predeceased her. Surviving family members include daughter Judith Flax-Rosenberg (Jerome Minskoff), son-inlaw Michael Jankosky, grandsons Gregory Rosenberg, Bradley Rosenberg (Jennifer), Tucker Jankosky (Francessa), great-grandsons Cole, Luke, Jonah, and Otis, as well as several nieces who feel blessed to have had this loving and supportive woman in their lives for so long. Extended family and close friends will miss her greatly.

Norma attended Hunter High School in New York, Maury High School in Norfolk, and pursued higher education at New York University, William & Mary, and the University of Virginia. She obtained her master’s degree from Old Dominion University. Norma then applied her expertise in education and speech pathology across various settings, including Norfolk Public Schools, Crawford Day School, private practice, and volunteering with the BeAR program.

Norma’s parents instilled in her a love of music and the arts. She sang and performed with the Norfolk Civic Chorus and the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoyards for many years. She regularly attended the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Symphony, theatre performances, and art shows.

She volunteered as a reader for the blind at WHRO Public Radio, was an ardent supporter of equal rights for all people and was a lover of cats.

The family wishes to thank the caring staff of Beth Sholom Village, especially nurse “son” Jimmy Rocket, and Maimonides Healthcare.

Norma often told her children that “people will judge you by the company you keep” and she chose friends throughout her life who had strong values, were intelligent, caring, and compassionate.

A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Please make a donation to Ohef Sholom Temple, MS Foundation, or a charity of your choice

Sally Marx Hyman

BOYNTON BEACH, FLA. – Sally Marx Hyman died peacefully on May 19 at Brookdale Senior Living. She was 91.

The daughter of Edward Marx and Augusta Ehrlich Marx, Sally was born and grew up in Norfolk. As a student at

Maury High School, she was editor-inchief of the student newspaper, Maury News, and president of the Quill and Scroll interscholastic honor society of high school journalists. For a school sorority dance, Sally was set up on a blind date with Ronald Hyman, who would become her loving husband of 42 years. Sally and Ronald were charter members of Temple Israel.

After having four children within five years by the time she was 27, Sally felt the need to be among adults while contributing to her community and began what was to become a life of service and leadership in organizations. She joined the Temple Israel Sisterhood, where she held her first elected office and then served on the temple’s board of education. Sally also served as financial secretary of the Auxiliary of Beth Sholom Home and as secretary of the Hebrew Ladies Charity Society. She and Ronald moved the family to Virginia Beach in 1963, where she joined the board of the PTA of her children’s school and served as the leader of her daughters’ Brownie troops and her son’s Cub Scout den.

When her mother-in-law, Minnie Hyman, became copresident of a chapter of B’nai B’rith Women, Sally joined and became active in that chapter, soon serving as president—as well as president of two other chapters and of the Tidewater Council of B’nai B’rith Women. In 1984, she received the B’nai B’rith Women’s Mollie Robbins Community Service Award in recognition of her contributions. Outside of the Jewish community, Sally volunteered with the Tidewater Rehabilitation Center, Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters, Tidewater Psychiatric Institute, and public television station WHRO. She credited her volunteerism to the example set by her mother, who was actively involved in her community.

The accomplishment Sally was most proud of was cofounding and promoting the Block Mothers program in the mid1960s, when child molestation was an issue in Tidewater. Women who volunteered to be Block Mothers put a sign in their window, signaling to children that the house was a safe place to go to if they needed help. In a little more than two years, there were 8,000 women in the Tidewater Council of Block Mothers.

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After her youngest child finished school, Sally got her first “real job,” as an administrative assistant in real estate finance at what was then Virginia National Bank. She stayed with the bank through several mergers, retiring after a 20-year career there.

Shortly after her husband’s death in 1994, Sally joined the Norfolk/Virginia Beach chapter of the Brandeis University National Women’s Committee, through which she tutored schoolchildren in reading. Following the untimely death of her daughter, Kathy, in 1997, Sally moved to Delray Beach, Fla. Desiring to help others who had lost loved ones, she became a certified peer grief counselor and facilitated a weekly bereavement support group for many years. She joined the Delray chapter of Brandeis, where she, of course, served as president twice and was an active member of its Florida Region board.

Over her lifetime, Sally developed a strong interest in women’s studies, American and Jewish social and cultural history, and the Southern Jewish experience. She spent many enjoyable years developing and delivering lectures on these topics to various women’s groups. She credited her time on her high school paper and the public speaking class she took at Maury for her comfort in taking on leadership roles and speaking in front of audiences.

In her downtime, Sally enjoyed reading, traveling, and discussing politics. She was a strong believer in the importance of education and a supporter of Jewish causes and was admired as a mentor by many other women.

Sally is survived by her children, Sheryl Sieracki (Fred), of Annapolis, Md.; Lori Glasser (Michael), of Virginia Beach; and Richard Hyman (Patty Cartwright), of Roslindale, Mass.; grandchildren Erin Stockburger (Greg), Katie Sieracki, Bern Glasser, Jamie Dingenthal (Dustin), Helen Sieracki (Scott Reichert), Jacob Glasser (Jessica), Ross Glasser, Sophie Cahill (Calan), and Joshua Hyman; great-granddaughter Kendall Dingenthal; and son-in-law, Murray Rosenbach. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Augusta Ehrlich Marx; her sisters, Ruth Cass and Dorothy Bennett; her husband, Ronald Hyman; and her daughter

Kathy Rosenbach.

A private memorial service will be held on a later date.

Zipora Katz

VIRGINIA BEACH - Zipora Katz, 96, died on June 7.

She was born in Łódž, Poland on March 4, 1928, and survived the horrors of the Holocaust. She immigrated to Israel in 1950 where she later met and married Herbert Katz, who brought her to the Tidewater area in 1960.

She was a devoted wife and mother who focused on caring for her family and friends. She was a member of Temple Israel in Norfolk.

She was preceded in death by her husband. Survivors include David (Karlene) Katz and Aliza (Matt) Melkin; much adored grandchildren Eleni, Gil, Coby, and Aiden, and sister-in-law, Judy Katz.

A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations may be made to Magen David Adom.

Toby T. Newman

VIRGINIA BEACH – Toby Newman (nee Tasgal), born on May 26, 1931, peacefully passed away on May 31, at the age of 93.

Toby was born in the Lower East Side of New York City to Pauline and Jacob (Jack) Tasgal. She is preceded in death by husband Raymond C. Newman and is survived by her daughters, Deborah Dobkin of Long Beach, Calif., Rachelle and George Ingram of Virginia Beach, and Melissa McDonald and Rob Heitkamp of Seattle, Wash.

She was a doting grandmother to Jason Dobkin of Los Angeles, Calif., Ashley Ashe of Hudson, N.Y., Brittany Ingram Boucher of San Francisco, Calif., Brianna Ingram of Charlotte, N.C., Julianna Miller of Norfolk, Va., and Aaron Miller of Leipzig, Germany.

A graveside service was held at B’nai Israel Cemetery. Donations to Temple Emanuel ( in her name. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Richard “Rick” Phillips

CHESAPEAKE – Richard “Rick” Phillips passed away unexpectedly at the age of 70 on June 4 at his home.

Born on May 31, 1954, in Paterson, N.J.,

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to parents William Phillips Jr. and Kathryn Vanderstad, Rick grew up in Norfolk, where he attended Lake Taylor High School.

On July 27, 1979, he married the love of his life, Sherry Phillips. Rick dedicated his career to the automotive industry, working as a mechanic, service writer, and tool and parts salesman. He also owned and ran two successful automotive repair shops. He was a well-known figure in the Hampton Roads automotive community, along with his brothers.

Rick had a passion for NASCAR racing, fishing, and golfing.

He is survived by his loving wife,

Sherry Phillips; his daughter, Melissa Best (Christopher); his son, Chad Phillips (Benjamin); and three grandchildren, Parker, Abigail, and Ethan Best. He also leaves behind his brothers Bill Phillips (Marilyn), Barry Phillips, and Mike Phillips (Lori), as well as many nieces and nephews. Rick loved his family fiercely and was immensely proud of his children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments.

Dr. Ronald Jay Portman

EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Dr. Ronald Jay Portman passed away peacefully on May 30, surrounded by his loving family. | June 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 37
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Ronald is survived by the love of his life for more than 50 years, Joan (Joni) Portman. Together they had three children, Wendi Portman Fried, Shayna Portman, and Zack Portman, whose spouses, his sons and daughter in-love, Gigi Fried, Martin Chacon 3rd, and Carli Portman, added to the joy in his life. He was also the very best Sabah (grandfather) to Nadav, Rafi and Yoni Fried, and Benji Portman.

Ron was the devoted brother of Bonnie Silver and her husband, Richard Silver, and the doting uncle of Adam and Andrew Silver. He is remembered with love by his chosen brother, Steven Wienick.

Ron was a compassionate and generous man who dedicated his life to his family and his work. He was an incredible doctor, known for his mission of developing medications specifically for children, for treating his patients and their families with a gentle but firm touch, and for mentoring the next generation of pediatric nephrologists.

Born in Portsmouth, N.H., on June 8, 1950, Ron pursued higher education at Northeastern University and Dartmouth Medical School. After school, he proudly served in the U.S. Army as an active-duty member from 1976 to 1986 and continued his service in the Reserves as a Major until 1988.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Portman held various roles, including Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, and executive director of Pediatric Therapeutic Area at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He was recognized as one of The Best Doctors in America and Best Pediatricians in America for several years running and was in the Who’s Who in Medicine & Health Care for 10 years straight (1996-2006).

Ronald “Sabah” Portman’s Judaism was an important part of his identity. Throughout his life, he celebrated

significant milestones at Temple Israel in Portsmouth, N.H., Rodef Shalom in Denver, Colo., and Brith Shalom in Houston, Tex. He expressed his love for his religion through music and celebrating the holidays with his family and community.

From his unwavering loyalty to every New England sports team to his love of music, especially the golden oldies and Jewish choral music, from playing games of all kinds including golf, tennis, frisbee on the beach, cribbage, and cards to traveling all over the world for his work with his honey, it is clear that Ron was a man of many avid and lifelong interests and hobbies that gave him such joy.

The funeral and burial were held at Temple Israel Cemetery in Portsmouth, N.H. Contributions in Ronald’s memory can be made to the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology https://aspneph. and Sharim v’Sharot http://

Dr. Ronald Jay Portman will be dearly missed by all who knew him, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, dedication, and love.

Arthur Harvey Rosenfeld

NORFOLK – Arthur Harvey Rosenfeld, born in The Bronx, N.Y., on June 11, 1936, to Murray and Sophia Rosenfeld, left a profound legacy of intellectual curiosity, professional achievement, and compassionate leadership. He passed away on May 27, surrounded by his family, leaving behind a tapestry of memories cherished by family, friends, and colleagues.

Arthur’s journey through life was marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and a commitment to service.

Graduating from the Bronx High School of Science in 1953, he went on to earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1957, followed by an MBA from Wharton in 1960. Throughout his life, Arthur

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remained a voracious reader and an enthusiastic learner, a trait that shaped his diverse career and myriad interests. His dedication to education extended beyond personal enrichment. Arthur served as an advisor for Junior Achievement, imparted business wisdom at Maury High School, and held the esteemed position of the first president of the Jewish Community Center lecture series in the 1970s. Even after retirement, he continued to expand his horizons, auditing classes at Old Dominion University and engaging in years of intellectual discourse with Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel, as well as his numerous published letters to the editor in the Virginian-Pilot.

Arthur was more than just a participant; he was a driving force in numerous industry trade groups and civic organizations. From helming the National Association of Maritime Suppliers to his presidency at the Hampton Roads Foreign Commerce Club, his leadership

left an indelible mark. Within government circles, he was appointed a member of the National Defense Executive Reserve by the Secretary of Commerce in 1979 before joining the White House Conference on Small Business in 1980; he served an advisory role with the Small Business Administration from 1980 to 1984. He was also very proud of being an honorary member of the Beth El sisterhood as the chief bagel slicer and heavy-pot-of-water mover.

Arthur’s professional journey was as multifaceted as his interests. From his tenure as president of Peltz Brothers from 1970 to 1985, where he opened new markets beyond ship chandlery and into industrial distribution, to his role as vice president of Intermaritime Bank in Geneva, Switzerland, Arthur left an indelible mark on the maritime industry. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish a marketing consulting company and, eventually, join Amplexus Corporation, where he endeavored to empower

businesses with innovative software solutions.

Beyond the boardroom, Arthur embraced life with a sense of adventure and camaraderie. He reveled in the company of dear friends from around the globe, exploring far-flung destinations like Bali to the outer Greek Isles and savoring adventurous culinary delights wherever he went. An avid skier and swimmer in his younger years, he was proud to be one of the oldest pickleball players as late as March. Arthur’s zest for life knew no bounds. His generosity extended to unexpected encounters, such as the swimming lessons he once imparted to a young Liza Minelli, a chance meeting on his way home from witnessing the test firing of the Atlas rocket, which he worked on during a summer job in college.

Arthur's greatest source of pride and joy was his family. He shared over 64 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Helene, and leaves behind a legacy of

“Deciding to execute the Jewish Future Promise was an easy decision. We both believe deeply in the need to assure continuity of our Jewish religion, culture and community. The Promise memorialized our plans to give generously to organizations that will assure continuity and gives us an opportunity to engage with our adult children in meaningful conversations around the transmission of our Jewish values.” —Jody and Alan Wagner

Make your promise today at

love and devotion to his daughters Rachel (Alesa) and Alizah, son Edward (Kimery), three grandchildren, Willo Wolfe, Jessica Wolfe, and August Rosenfeld, a sister Sue Rosenfeld Bender, as well as brothersin-law Alan (Harriet) and Jack (Emily) Peltz, and sister-in-law Carole Peltz (Tom) Koetzle, nephews Michael and David Bender, Harry and Josh Peltz, and John Koetzle, as well as nieces Karen Young Levi, Sharon Peltz, and Laura Koetzle.

In honoring Arthur Harvey Rosenfeld’s memory, let us celebrate his remarkable journey—a life richly lived, a legacy enduring in the hearts of all who knew him. His spirit of inquiry, compassion, and adventure inspired us to embrace each day with boundless enthusiasm and unwavering integrity. May his memory forever be a blessing.

A funeral service was held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel. Interment followed at the Jewish Cemetery of the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton, Va.


Tidewater Jewish Foundation is proud to partner with Jewish Future Promise to preserve and enrich Jewish heritage for generations to come. The Promise asks Jews and allies to make a moral, non-binding commitment that if any charitable contributions are made upon passing, at least 50% will support Jewish causes or Israel. Help us secure a vibrant Jewish future by making the promise today!

For more information, contact Amy Weinstein | 757-965-6114 | JUNE 17, 2024 | JEWISH NEWS | 39

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