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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 58 No. 14 | 3 Iyar 5780 | April 29, 2020

3 Emergency Relief Fund assists local agencies and families

Israel Fest 2020 Tidewater Celebrates Israel @ 72 (from HOME!)

6 Grassroots Giver: Pam Blais

— page 8 10 Rabbi Jennifer Krause Dr. Jordan Kassalow Thursday, May 14

Jewish Family Service: Tidewater’s caretakers — page 12 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 Address Service Requested

Non-Profit Org. US POSTAGE Paid Suburban MD Permit 6543

18 Jewish Tidewater Volunteers


The TJF team (clockwise): Randy Parrish, Ann Swindell, Craig Bailey, and Kaitlyn Oelsner. Not pictured, Thomas Mills.

AS WE SETTLE INTO NEW ROUTINES AND A CHANGED WORLD, A FEW THINGS REMAIN THE SAME: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU As your partners in giving, we at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation are more committed than ever to our mission – to ensure our Jewish community has the resources it needs to thrive today and plan for the future. We have transitioned to remote work, are utilizing technology to stay connected to our donors, and remain at full operational capacity. OUR COMMUNITY IS RISING TO THE CHALLENGE In just a few weeks, our Tidewater Jewish community has come together to raise thousands of dollars and has rapidly mobilized to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Donations to this fund are ensuring agencies like Beth Sholom Village and Jewish Family Service have crucial medical supplies, the Food Pantry remains stocked, and those experiencing economic hardship have access to local resources. GENEROSITY IS A SIGN OF HOPE We have received calls and messages from donors that want to know how they can help and which organizations need their support. We are working with new Life & Legacy® donors, many of whom may not have the resources to give today but are making bequests for cherished, Jewish organizations in their estate plans. Through these acts of generosity, and by honoring the values of tikkun olam and tzedakah, our community is helping bring about a better, safer future.

To learn how you can support the Tidewater Jewish community through this crisis with a gift to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund or a Life & Legacy® commitment that may cost you nothing today, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner, Director of Philanthropy at Tidewater Jewish Foundation, at koelsner@ujft.org or 757-965-6103.

2 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org


upfront

Jewish news jewishnewsva.org

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

Kol Yisroel Aravim Zeh b’zeh. All Jews are responsible for one another.

Jewish Tidewater Responds to urgent COVID-19 need with Emergency Relief Fund joining #GivingTuesdayNow in Global Day of Giving and Unity Tuesday, May 5, 2020 communities and nonprofits around the world. At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on. It’s a day for everyone around the world to stand together and give back in all ways, no matter who or where we are.  Donations can help protect the elderly residents and staff of Beth Sholom Village, as well as the patients, clients, and staff of Jewish Family Service and Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care by providing critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment. Support can help feed newly hungry families and children now seeking assistance from Jewish Family Service’s Food pantry. Contributions can help pay electric, water, and gas bills for those who are newly unemployed or underemployed.  We are asking for your assistance to enable us to provide that help. On #GivingTuesdayNow, your dollars will be matched. Please go to JewishVa.org and give.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community opened earlier this month in response to growing anticipated needs of the community—for local agencies and institutions, as well as for individuals. The current COVID-19 pandemic makes our responsibility to take care of one another more urgent and more vital than ever. United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, and constituent agencies and affiliates are dedicated to helping the most vulnerable community members and protecting the area’s vital institutions during these unprecedented times. All money raised through this fund will stay in Jewish Tidewater. #GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020—in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday—as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for

Upfront . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Grassroots Giver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ISRAEL FEST 2020. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 A different Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut in Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Dare to Matter, an interactive Zoom experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

YAD celebrates Yom Haatzmaut with cooking class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Jewish Family Service, ready in the worst of times and best of times. . . 12 BBYO International Convention and new officers for Virginia Council. . 14 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Jewish Tidewater Volunteers: Volunteers are priceless . . . . . . . . . 18

Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Lisa Richmon, Staff Writer Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Ronnie Jacobs Cohen, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Amy Levy, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Betty Ann Levin, Executive Vice-President jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2020 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 per year

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BRIEFS Global population of Jews short of pre-World War II The worldwide population of Jews stands at 14.7 million, still short of the pre-World War II numbers, according to a report by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. The figures, which are similar to the population of world Jewry in 1925, were released earlier this month. The numbers are current to the end of 2018. World Jewry reached a population of 16.6 million right before the start of World War II in 1939. Israel’s 6.7 million Jews make up 45 percent of the world total. The United States has the second-largest Jewish population with 5.7 million, followed by France at about 450,000 and Canada at some 392,000. Next is the United Kingdom (292,000), Argentina (180,000), Russia (165,000), Germany (118,000) and Australia (116,000). In 1948, on the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel, the number of Jews in the world was 5.11 million, including 650,000 in pre-state Palestine. Also on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Ministry of Finance reported that there are about 189,500 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, with some 31,000 over the age of 90 and more than 800 over 100 years old. In the past year, some 15,170 survivors have died. (JTA) Israeli donates $1 million to mitigate US suspension of WHO funding Israeli author and historian Yuval Noah Harari has pledged $1 million to the World Health Organization, or WHO, to mitigate the suspension of U.S. funding. “Unfortunately, the US president has chosen this moment to halt funding to the WHO,” Harari and Itzik Yahav, his husband, wrote in a statement bearing the letterhead of Sapienship, the nonprofit they established in 2019. “Luckily, there are more than 7 billion other humans on this earth, and we can do better. “Our biggest enemy is not coronavirus, but the inner demons of humankind: hatred and greed.” Earlier this month, President Donald Trump suspended funding to WHO,

reportedly for at least 60 days, saying the organization “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” The United States has an outstanding balance of $99 million in fees and contributions to WHO. Some Trump critics said he was deflecting blame for the damage that COVID-19, which has killed more than 40,000 people in the U.S., is causing to the country’s society and economy. Other world leaders have accused WHO of bowing to China, where authorities initially concealed the outbreak that grew into the pandemic. “Early on, if the WHO had not insisted to the world that China had no pneumonia epidemic, then everybody would’ve taken precautions,” Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro said last month. In mid-January, Chinese officials said there was no evidence the virus could be transmitted between humans on a broad scale. WHO endorsed the claims. (JTA)

Violent anti-Semitic crimes worldwide reached 5-year record in 2019 The number of anti-Semitic violent crimes documented worldwide last year rose to 456 cases, an 18% increase over 2018 and the highest tally since 2014, the European Jewish Congress said. EJC and the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry presented the data this month in the Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2019. More than a quarter of the cases that are classified in the report as violent were threats. The rest involved actual physical violence, including 242 cases of vandalism, 21 cases of arson and 62 assaults on people, with about a quarter of them involving a weapon. The data were not aggregated according to country, though the report does include many Western countries and countries with large Jewish populations. “Not only have the numbers increased substantially but the worst types of attacks grew, which should be extremely disturbing for leaders and authorities around the world,” EJC President Moshe Kantor wrote. He added that the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way in which anti-Semitism is being expressed.

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“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant rise in accusations that Jews, as individuals and as a collective, are behind the spread of the virus or are directly profiting from it,” Kantor said. “The language and imagery used clearly identifies a revival of the medieval ‘blood libels’ when Jews were accused of spreading disease, poisoning wells or controlling economies.” (JTA)

Netanyahu in power even though he will go on trial next month on corruption charges in three different cases. They believe the deal gives Netanyahu too much control over judicial appointments. Protest organizer Shikma Schwartzman accused Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for “trampling over Israel’s Basic Laws” in joining Netanyahu in what protesters see as a lopsided deal. (JTA)

Israel’s population nearly 9.2 million Israel’s population stands at nearly 9.2 million, growing by some 171,000 people, or 1.9 percent according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Some 74 percent of the population is Jewish and 21 percent is Arab, according to the report. The population of Israel was 806,000 at the time of the establishment of the state in 1948. Since last year, some 180,000 babies were born and 44,000 people died. In addition, 32,000 immigrants have arrived in the country. By 2040, Israel’s population is estimated to reach 13.2 million, and by Israel’s 100th Independence Day in 2048, it is estimated at 15.2 million. According to the data, there are nearly 950,000 children under the age of 4 living in Israel and 50,000 people aged 90 and over. Children up to age 14 make up 28 percent of the population. (Jta)

Jewish groups launch $10 million interest-free loan fund Three Jewish groups have teamed to launch a $10 million fund to provide no-interest loans to Jewish communities around the world that are struggling due to the coronavirus crisis. Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Hayesod (United Israel Appeal) started the COVID-19 Loan Fund for Communities in Crisis after Jewish communities and communal organizations in several countries sought assistance to ensure survival. The communities and organizations— including in Italy, Spain, South Africa, and countries in South America—were financially stable before the onslaught of the pandemic but are now unable to finance basic communal services, according to the Jewish Agency. Essential welfare services are in danger of being closed, the group said. The fund will provide immediate working capital loans to communities in danger outside of North America. In its initial phase, the fund will provide loans of up to $350,000 to each community or organization to help them continue functioning throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The loans will be provided for up to four years. The fund also will include an advisory committee comprised of financial experts from across Europe and South America, along with professionals from the various communities to help assess needs and design the appropriate response. “We are dealing with an unprecedented crisis that is impacting every aspect of life, including the Jewish world,” Isaac Herzog, Jewish Agency chairman of the executive said. (JTA)

Dramatic protests against Israel’s government deal continue At least 2,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv for a socially distanced demonstration Saturday, April 25 to protest the coalition deal to form an emergency unity government. The so-called “black flag” demonstration in Rabin Square adhered to social distancing regulations, with the demonstrators standing in orderly lines some 6 feet apart. Aerial photos from a similar demonstration the previous week generated international coverage. Waving black flags alongside Israeli flags, demonstrators protested the agreement that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin


Israel at 72 Israel’s Independence Day gets first celebration at the Dutch royal concert hall—without a crowd Cnaan Liphshiz

AMSTERDAM (JTA)—This year was supposed to be the first time that Israel’s Independence Day was celebrated in a public concert at the main royal concert hall in the Netherlands. Planned for April 28 at the main hall of the 134-year-old Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the concert was to feature well-known artists including Shuly Nathan playing her iconic Jerusalem of Gold before an expected sellout crowd of 2,000 spectators. The event was canceled because of the coronavirus, yet Israel’s 72nd birthday was still celebrated at the Concertgebouw thanks to the determination of the concert’s producer, Barry Mehler, who also produces the annual Hanukkah concert at the hall. Mehler, a U.S.-born professional singer and cantor who has been living in Amsterdam since 1989, in recent days

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recorded five tracks in Israel’s honor with a group of musicians from the Jewish Amsterdam Chamber Ensemble. They played in an empty hall while observing social distancing protocols. The setup used the empty hall as background to haunting effect: The musicians are facing the camera with their backs to the red velvet-upholstered seats. The tracks, which Mehler has shared online, include an instrumental rendition of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, and the melancholic song Mishehu, or Someone, written by Matti Caspi, for Israel’s Memorial Day, which symbolically precedes the nation’s Independence Day. “Performing in the main hall of the Concertgebouw is an honor reserved to few professional musicians, and more so, that they have allowed us to record parts of our canceled concert,” Mehler, 54, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Coronavirus Pandemic

Grassroots Giver: Former emergency department nurse leads a community-wide movement to feed ‘her people’ Lisa Richmon

T

he distressing effect of COVID-19 on overworked health care professionals at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital (SPAH) roused more than sympathy. It led to an outbreak of grassroot organizers like Pam Moss Blais. Blais, a former Emergency Department (ED) nurse didn’t realize how much she missed bedside nursing, and her fellow workers, until COVID-19 put them in extreme danger. “I’ve been a nurse for 27 years. Eighteen years in emergency nursing, two years in pediatric intensive care. Here I am with all that direct patient experience just sitting in my office talking to Medicaid patients on the phone, while my people are in crisis. It’s like I’m in a cocoon,” says Blais. “It was tugging at my heart. I wanted to go back in, but when I mentioned it to my family, they expressed their concerns over the lack of personal protective equipment.” Aware of Blais’ extensive nursing background, Ilene Lipton contacted her in March to brainstorm ways they could help frontline responders whose tight and taxing schedules left them depleted. Their plan was to help the restaurant community, which was adversely affected by the virus, by purchasing food and coffee, and delivering it to the nurses in need. Blais approached Coastal Café owner Barrie Engel. She asked for a quote for meals for 30 people, split the cost with Lipton and delivered turkey wraps and chips with handwritten notes of gratitude to workers at SPAH ED. Their overwhelming gratitude was so rewarding that Blais got hooked on moving forward with a win-win for local businesses and hospital warriors. Around the same time, a local “Meal Train” delivering meals to ED workers at SPA grabbed Blais’s attention. The Meal Train was initiated by Christina Caro, who put her moxie in motion when she saw the need for help through her neighbor, an ED nurse.

Jews love to feed people and this calling had Jewish values written all over it. It played a pivotal role in Blais’s next moves. “As a former ED nurse, who knows what it means to be too busy to eat or use the bathroom, I felt a call to action,” says Blais. Coincidentally, a former ICU colleague mentioned the ICU workers’ need for food and coffee. Blais got crafty and created her own page on the platform she named, Meal Train Plus. She set up a Go Fund Me component (which Caro advised her to do) and filled in a void by focusing her food-foraging efforts on ICU workers. Blais went on to the Meal Train platform and plugged in how many nurses and nursing assistants worked per shift and came up with a plan. She sent Meal Train Plus/Go Fund Me as a message to FB friends. Her platform allowed people to view the Meal Train Plus schedule and pick a delivery date for a specific outlet, or they could just donate $2 and up for general use. Donations flowed. “There is nothing more important to a healthcare professional than coffee,” says Blais. “I knew about Roast Rider because my kids loved it and got me hooked.” Blais used funds collected to deliver bottles of cold brew, hot coffee and pastries several times a week to SPAH ICU. For an independent shop like Roast Rider, impacted nearly 100% by the virus, that micro spike in sales can mean the difference between a really bad day and a terrible day. What started as a gift to local restaurants and coffee shops like Coastal Café and Roast Rider, evolved into a gift from restaurants. Blais continued and called Avi Eli, the owner of Mr. Shawarma, seeking a quote for 30 meals. “Avi said to me, ‘I’ve been waiting for someone to call me.’ He insisted on feeding as many people as possible. So, we decided to feed two emergency departments, the intensive care unit and 5B at Sentara Princess Anne. “On delivery day, he came through

6 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org

CREW of the SPAH ED with Carrie Buck, RN, MSN ED Unit Manager receiving Pantry Project donation.

Courtney Kollarick, BSN, RN Clinical Nurse Manager, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, 5B, designated covid–19 unit; Myleen Rosales, BSN, RN ICU Unit Coordinator, Interim Nurse Manager; and Pam Blais, RN, CEN, CM, Pantry Project and volunteer manager of SPAH Mealtrain ICU/5B.

with flying colors. It was such a high to know we are bringing food to people that really need it, and it was extra special to do it as a family,” says Blais. “This experience has been amazing for me,” says Blais. “I had kids late in life. I have to work, and it can be hard to find your place in this community with a

hectic schedule. This puts me out there in a good way. The really amazing thing is my parents told their friends via e-mail. Not social media. Then their friends got involved and everyone’s response was ‘what can I do?’ Blais found many more food fairies and they found her. Jonathan Friedman


Coronavirus Pandemic co-owns three local IHOPs with his father-in-law Amos Berkovich and brother-in-law Danny Berkovich. “Again, I asked for a quote for 30 meals. Jonathan’s response was, ‘No. We want to donate.’” IHOP donated pancakes weekly to SPAH. Then, he came back and committed to extending their short stack pancake outreach to Sentara Leigh and Sentara Norfolk General throughout April. The list keeps growing. Recent additions include Bubbas, Tropical Smoothie, Mission BBQ, Duck Doughnuts, MOM’S Kitchen, Crackers, and Baby Izakaya. Outlets for delivery coverage have also expanded. Turns out, food and rest weren’t the only basic survival needs the ICU was lacking. One nurse was completely distraught over the shortage in proper personal protective equipment, particularly masks to wear when treating her patients. Her text to Blais triggered more

than concern. Blais put a new plea for help on Facebook. She got a response from Jean Wadill Cummings, mother of Cabell Cummings, formerly of the Simon Family JCC. Barbara and Juan Gelpi, two retired physicians who live in Virginia Beach and have been making and refining masks and button headbands for professionals working in area hospitals, also responded. Tehilla Mostofsky, travel and event coordinator for Harbor Group International in Norfolk, responded to Blais’s request with an offer of 100 N95 masks. Prior to that, Harbor Group donated masks to Sentara, CHKD, and hospitals in New York. Blais gave 60 to the ICU at SPAH and 40 to Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center, when Blais learned of their urgent need for N95 masks. In keeping with reports that Tidewater was poised to become a COVID-19 hotspot mid-April, Blais began to redirect

GoFundMe dollars from personal deliveries to stocking a sustainable healthy snack pantry. A call by Sentara’s director of Patient Care Services to Hall Automotive on behalf of Meal Train Plus, put the Pantry Program on track and resulted in its first delivery to SPAH/ICU/5B/ED. “Often times, nurses, techs, doctors, and other ancillary support staff are just too

busy to eat a meal. These are individually wrapped snacks designed to stave off hunger and replenish energy on those really tough days,” says Blais. Blais hopes her colleagues in the trenches get the message. “This could be just the beginning, but no matter how long this goes on, I’m on board to help as long as you need me.”

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israelfest

Israel Fest 2020

Tidewater Celebrates Israel @ 72 (from HOME!) Sunday, May 3, 11 am

T

he festivities will be different this year, but not having a larger gathering won’t keep Jewish Tidewater from celebrating Israel’s 72 years!   Join the community for a day of celebration with virtual activities for Yom Ha’Atzmaut—Israel’s 72nd Independence Day. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Israel supporters from every background and corner of the globe to unite—digitally—and celebrate Israel. 11 am Celebrate Israel with PJ Library in Tidewater and Ohef Sholom Temple’s Wiggles & Giggles “Bring” your children, from birth to age 4. 11:30 am Tidewater’s Israel Kahoot Competition  Kindergartners through 7th graders (and families) will have some trivia fun with this popular game-based platform. An entertaining challenge for the entire family! 12 pm Israel Today expert and founder of Artists 4 Israel, Craig Dershowitz Join in the conversation about Artists 4 Israel’s Healing Ink project and its impact in Virginia Beach during the group’s December 2019 visit as they helped first responders and victims of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center shooting heal.

8 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org

12:30 pm Cook with Meat Carneval’s Gili Ben Shahar and Ohad Kvity Former Dad Bloggers turned Culinary Renegades bring their live-fire Israeli cooking skills to your kitchen LIVE from Israel. Cook along with Gili and Ohad—prep list included when you register. To register for Israel Fest events, go to jewishva.org/arts-ideas/israel-fest

Meat Carneval.


israel

Sirens wail throughout Israel at start of Memorial Day — then there was a Western Wall ceremony with no audience Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — As they do each year, Israelis stood at attention Monday, April 27 for one minute as sirens wailed throughout the country to usher in Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day. What happened afterward was unlike other years, however: The official state ceremony at the Western Wall was held without an audience. That was because of the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi participated in the ceremony wearing facemasks. A small honor guard standing appropriately socially distanced accompanied the ceremony, all wearing facemasks. “This year, you are alone in your rooms, listening to the echoes of their voices. We cannot come to your homes, we cannot stand alongside you at the military cemeteries. We cannot embrace you,” Rivlin said, addressing the bereaved families. “This year, we can’t cry together. This

year, we can’t look into your eyes.” The ceremony’s host called on Israelis to stand on their balconies and sing their national anthem, Hatikvah, at the conclusion of the ceremony. The ceremony remembered the 23,816 soldiers and security officers who have died while serving in the Israel Defense Forces and its forerunners. Forty-two names were added this year, as well as the names of 33 veterans who died of wounds sustained during their service. The list dates from 1860, the year in which the first Jewish neighborhood was established outside the Old City of Jerusalem, known as the Yishuv. Memorial Day also remembers the 3,153 Israelis killed in terror attacks since the founding of the state. This year, one name was added—Rina Shnerb, 17, who

was killed while hiking with her father and brother in a West Bank nature preserve. On Tuesday, a two-minute siren wailed at 11 am, which typically kicks off memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries throughout the country. This year, however, Israel’s 53 military cemeteries were closed and locked to prevent crowds. Bereaved families had been encouraged to visit the graves of their loved ones in the cemeteries in the days leading up to Memorial Day. The national memorial ceremony was held after the siren in the military section of Mount Herzl cemetery, but without an audience because of the coronavirus. On Tuesday night, the country transitioned from sadness to joy as its citizens begin celebrations for Yom Haatzmaut, or Independence Day.

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what’s happening Dare to matter: your path to making a difference now An Interactive Zoom Experience with Jennifer Krause, one of N.Y.’s hippest rabbis and Jordan Kassalow, visionary optometrist Thursday, May 14, 7:30 pm Pre-registration required Visit JewishVA.org/TidewaterTogether to secure your spot in the webinar.

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IS OUR LEGACY HILARY & TATYANA TRUMAN MOTHER & DAUGHTER | BEST FRIENDS | PHILANTHROPISTS

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WHAT’S YOUR LEGACY? For more information, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner koelsner@ujft.org | 757-965-6103 foundation.jewishva.org

10 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org

ost everyone wants visit to Tidewater is presented to make the world a by the Milton “Mickey” better place, but with busy, Kramer Scholar-in-Residence demanding lives, people Fund of the Congregation struggle with the where, Beth El Foundation’s when, and how. Now, many Tidewater Together series, find themselves at home, an annual collaboration possibly with time to dig between the United Jewish deep and discover personal Federation of Tidewater and strengths and interests, area synagogues including resources, core beliefs, and B’nai Israel Congregation, cherished values. Dr. Jordan Congregation Beth Chaverim, Kassalow and Rabbi Jennifer Congregation Beth El, Kehillat Krause can help create paths Bet Hamidrash, Ohef Sholom of purpose for today and the future. Temple, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel, Founder of VisionSpring, the groundand Tidewater Chavurah, which provides breaking venture that has restored eyesight opportunities to connect Jewishly on a and hope to millions of people across the variety of topics, offering something for globe, Kassalow has the answers: here, everyone. now, and in your own way. Sharing his personal story of integrating real-world The event is also part of United Jewish responsibilities with his desire to make a Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family difference, Kassalow offers a practical way JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish forward, custom-made for each person’s Book Festival through membership in unique talents and circumstances, to move the Jewish Book Council and in partnerfrom thought to action. ship with UJFT’s Society of Professionals. Rabbi Jennifer Krause is the author For more information on this event or of The Answer: Making Sense of Life, to get involved in future events, contact One Question at a Time. Her writing Sierra Lautman, UJFT’s director of Jewish and commentary have been featured in Innovation at SLautman@ujft.org. Newsweek, The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Time.com, and O Magazine. Dubbed “one of NYC’s Hippest Rabbis” and “the Jewish Katie Couric” by WNET’s MetroFocus, Krause served as the High Holidays rabbi at Manhattan’s 92Y, the first woman to hold that post in 92Y’s 145-year history. Dr. Jordan Kassalow and Rabbi Jennifer Krause Rabbi Jennifer Krause’s virtual Dr. Jordan Kassalow


what’s happening Israeli Cooking Class with YAD Sunday, May 3, 3 pm, via Zoom

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oin United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut from your own kitchen as Tal and Phil Sifen share the secret to perfecting a favorite Israeli breakfast, SHAKSHUKA! Shakshuka, originally form North Africa, is poached eggs in tomato sauce with an abundance of flavors. For ingredient list and zoom information, visit the YAD facebook page at YAD UJFT. Instacart a few simple ingredients: Portions for 1 person 1 tomato ½ onion  2 garlic cloves 1 spoon tomato paste  1 teaspoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon spicy paprika ½ teaspoon turmeric  ½ teaspoon cumin 2 eggs  Olive oil Salt Pepper Bread for dipping For more information, Contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org

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Bob & Augusta Live Forever As philanthropists and volunteers, this Virginia Beach couple supported important causes in Hampton Roads. Although Bob Goodman passed away in 2006 and Augusta Goodman in 2017, they help others today because of the charitable bequest they entrusted to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Today, their four children carry on Bob and Augusta’s legacy through donor-advised funds that let them recommend grants to help nonprofits do their best work. Thanks to their generosity, Bob and Augusta will forever make life better in their home region. Learn how easy it is to leave your mark on the future by ordering a free bequest guide. Adding Charity to Your W or IRA ill

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At 75, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater proves that its core mission remains disaster-proof Lisa Richmon

M

ake no mistake. At times like this, when record numbers of jobs are lost, restaurants are closed, hospitals are beyond capacity, social isolation is the ‘safe’ choice, and no live fundraising events can be scheduled for the foreseeable future, Jewish Family Service must steady itself and carry on at full capacity as the community’s rock-steady resource for emotional, physical, and financial survival. The ultimate caretakers, JFS is at the ready in the worst of times and best of times. Since 1948, when a group of Jewish women, known as the Hebrew Ladies Charity, went around town collecting nickels for bread and milk to feed hungry families, the dye was cast for JFS to emerge in service of vulnerable people of all religions and backgrounds, suffering from any kind of trauma or hardship. The Hebrew Ladies Charity model resonates with Kelly Burroughs, who joined JFS as CEO in September 2018. Steering JFS through the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond, she refers back to its simple, yet sustainable spirit, “In 1948, dues for The Hebrew Ladies Charity were 25 cents. Today, that same organization has risen to funding in the $9 million range. JFS has seen it all and been through so many upheavals—from World War II, Vietnam, resettlement of Russian Jews and Holocaust survivors, and economic downturns. We know what we have to do and we’re not going anywhere.” On a wet, cold day in April, nearly two months into an unprecedented worldwide quarantine, Burroughs reports to her

Inspiring Philanthro py. Chan ging Lives .

www.leaveabequest.org (757) 622-7951 12 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org

office at the Sandler Family Campus. A power outage prompts her to send staff home, leading to a serendipitous exchange with a client. “This woman was dripping wet, not even knowing what to do. She walked to JFS, just standing there outside the building, in power-blowing wind gusts, because she knew we would help her. And we did. I got her a ride home, gathered enough food to last for days,” says Burroughs. “We’re not the first social services agency our clients reach out to, but we are the only one they can count on,” she says. Clients often have many failed relationships. JFS doesn’t say ‘no,’ but puts limits on what it can do. That said, JFS has a holistic approach. “This isn’t a oneoff transactional encounter. People are multi-dimensional, and we need to see all parts of them. If they come to us for a counseling appointment, they might also leave with a food box. Our whole-person approach to anyone who seeks our help is built on trust and respect. A firefighter knows he’s going in to put out a fire; that’s why he is there. He doesn’t get mad when the alarm sounds,” says Burroughs. “We work in social services. We don’t get upset because people are needy.” As a certified clinical trauma counselor, Burroughs is proud to build on socially conscious ‘firsts’ that past board presidents and executive leadership launched. Elinore “Ellie” Porter was

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Community Jewish Family Service is coordinating financial assistance for individual members of the Jewish community in need. Go to JewishTidewater.org to donate to the Emergency Relief Fund or to request assistance or call JFS at 757-321-2222.

president when the JFS Adoption program was initiated. During Porter’s 1976-1978 term, 26 families were welcomed and re-settled, and the Home Helper program was expanded. Years later, the Personal Affairs Management program grew from a bill-pay and check writing service for seniors to the agency of choice for people in need of a guardian or conservator. Such new milestones were among highlights for past presidents Jody Wagner and Nathan Jaffee. Past president Jay Klebanoff recalls the agency’s move to the current campus on Grayson Road, and leadership transition from Harry Graber to Betty Ann Levin. “Betty Ann and successive boards led the creation and promotion of the Week of Healthy Living, including the Run, Roll and Stroll, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, while increasing our positive publicity within Hampton Roads,” Klebanoff says. Personal growth comes from daunting challenges. “With no JFS head, I assumed the role, while the board searched for a new director,” says Porter. “Being JFS president at that time was quite an education. I learned about the agency from a volunteer and professional perspective.” Collaboration, empathy, and big-picture thinking has defined the JFS board experience. Years ago, while at a conference in Colorado, Jody Wagner recalls other JFS presidents complaining about how the various Jewish agencies competed and didn’t work together. “I remember feeling so proud that our community didn’t struggle with those issues,” she says. Even today in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, JFS continues its


Coronavirus Pandemic traditional role as a premier home-health agency providing skilled care, nursing, and counseling, as well as adoption, guardianship, case management, plus ‘wraparound services’—and basics, such as food and toiletries. “I have almost 179 staff people out there still working, going to facilities and providing counseling and guardianship services,” says Burroughs. “People are hungrier and more isolated than ever. They need guardianship services. The demand for our resources is way up while our own resources are very limited.” JFS is grounded in the credo: there is no shame in asking for help. “We need help,” says Burroughs. “Fundraising counts for 42% of our annual budget which takes place in the space of two months, April and May. Because of the pandemic, we don’t have that funding. We will still put on events like Why Art Matters/ Healing Ink, and Run, Roll and Stroll—but that won’t help us this fiscal year. We lost $150,000 almost overnight, however, we need to keep Meals on Wheels going. We can’t lose our food pantry. Now more than ever, we’re delivering kosher meals.” Before COVID-19, people knew trauma. Burroughs is on the steering committee of Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Community Network. JFS collaborates with other providers such as the United Way of South Hampton Roads, the City of Chesapeake, 55+ program, and others to identify and learn from the effects of toxic stress and trauma throughout one’s lifespan. Research shows that people with unresolved trauma histories are at higher risk for illness and premature death. JFS is part of the Hampton Roads Trauma Informed Network Steering Committee, and together with the Amy Markman Goldberg and Marilyn Simon Weinberg Trauma Informed initiative, JFS works with other agencies to build a Trauma Informed Community. The goals are to build awareness and reduce the rates of trauma by presenting educational opportunities, such as the screening of the films Angst and Resilience, and through the Persons Centered Trauma Informed Care for Older Adults grant recently awarded to

We’re building our name and reputation as a trauma informed agency by teaching people how to tell their story with pride rather than shame, and ways they can learn from their trauma history.

JFS by the United Way. Trauma isn’t limited to a public shooting or global health crisis. It can be very personal and private. “We help people understand something happened to you and how it impacted you. He’s not just a grouchy old man. His trauma history is a coping mechanism, not who he is,” says Burroughs. “We help people see themselves and their clients from a different perspective. Your interpretation will guide your intervention. We’re building our name and reputation as a trauma informed agency by teaching people how to tell their story with pride rather than shame, and ways they can learn from their trauma history. Healing the world through acts of loving kindness is the core mission at JFS. This compassionate path to healing is timeless and grounded by best-practices intervention to help people truly be well. This is the second in a series of articles spotlighting local and overseas partner agencies who are beneficiaries of the United Jewish Federation Tidewater’s annual Community Campaign.

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Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. To learn more about JFS, go to jfshamptonroads.org. jewishnewsva.org | April 27, 2020 | Jewish News | 13


It’s a Wrap

Tidewater teens attend BBYO International Convention

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t BBYO International Convention 2020 in Dallas, Texas, more than 3,000 teen leaders from 45 countries joined together for five days of leadership development, community building, and celebration. From incredible learning and service opportunities to spectacular

speakers and performances, IC 2020 brought teens together from every corner of the globe to declare “Tomorrow Happens Here.” Thirteen Tidewater BBYO teens were part of this experience. At the convention, BBYO teen

Virginia Council BBYO elects new officers AZA and BBG presidents are both from Tidewater.

Danial Watts— AZA Godol

Emily Kesser— BBG N’siah

Blake Brown— AZA Moreh

Yael Schranz— BBG Mazkirah

leadership unanimously passed legislation affirming that mental health and wellness are priorities. Leveraging BBYO’s unique global platform, teens will work together to foster inclusion, raise awareness, and combat stigmas at chapter and regional programs while building partnerships with trained health professionals in their regions. Following a plenary attended by global leaders, industry pioneers, community advocates, and exemplars of Jewish life, delegates dispersed to more than 50 service sites across the Dallas Metroplex for the M.B. and Edna Zale Family Foundation LEADS Day. Alephs and BBGs explored issues such as civic engagement, anti-Semitism, and immigration. Teen leaders honored three World War II liberators in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. As hundreds of teens who are

IC 2020 By the Numbers • 3,000+ Jewish teen leaders • 713 communities worldwide •4  89 North American and global chapters •4  5 countries (including the U.S. and Canada)

the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of Holocaust survivors raised the flashlights on their cell phones, the reaction of the veterans moved the entire room. Throughout IC, delegates participated in dozens of different worship experiences and learning opportunities. On Saturday night, teens wrapped arm in arm for Havdalah as graphics illuminated seven massive screens and beautiful prayer melodies were sung by thousands.

Got a 2020 Graduate? The Class of 2020 may be without a traditional graduation ceremony, but they shouldn’t be without recognition. Jewish News wants to honor Jewish Tidewater’s 2020 graduates so that they get at least some of the acknowledgment they have earned and deserve. High School, College, Graduate School… Help us honor these students by submitting their: Name School Degree Honors Special Notes (Activities) Plans (Next-step education or job) Parents Please submit with a photograph by Friday, May 15 to news@ujft.org.

14 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org


who knew? Shel Silverstein lived in a houseboat for almost 10 years. You can now own it.

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amed Jewish writer Shel Silverstein is best known for iconic children’s books such as The Giving Tree and poetry collections like Where the Sidewalk Ends. Less-known about the famous children’s author? He lived on a houseboat named Evil Eye in Sausalito, California, from around 1967 to 1975. And you can now buy that houseboat. Silverstein died in 1999 of a heart attack at age 68, and he owned the 1,200-square-foot houseboat until his death. After he died, artist Larry Moyer—a friend of Silverstein’s—took over as owner, until Moyer’s death in 2016. The boat is a decommissioned World War II balloon barge that Silverstein converted in 1967. It’s stylish, whimsical, and zany—there are two bedrooms, one of which has a hanging bed. The boat is listed for $783,000. Silverstein, who was born in a Jewish family in Chicago in 1930, was drafted into the U.S. Army. While serving in Japan and Korea, he drew cartoons (eventually published in his first book, Take Ten, in 1955). After leaving the army, he drew illustrations for Playboy magazine. He never “planned to write or draw for kids,” until a friend convinced him to give it a try. In the years he lived there, the boat served as Silverstein’s workspace. According to his biographer Lisa Rogak, writing in A Boy Named Shel, the boat “was a place that made Shel’s imagination run wild.” Yet, ironically, wrote Rogak, Silverstein became seasick “at the drop of a hat.” (JTA)

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Obituaries Irwin “Jerry” Epstein Norfolk—Jerry Epstein, 94, passed away on April 8, 2020. He was born on November 29, 1925 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Nathan and Sadie Epstein. Jerry met the love of his life, Geraldine Epstein after leaving the Navy. Together they had a lifelong relationship working together and a marriage of 66 years. Their marriage brought forth two loving children, Lance and Ronnie Epstein. Jerry and Geraldine founded Toppers Menswear, where they served the Norfolk community for 35 years, before founding Marc Lance Menswear in Virginia Beach. He had a full life, centered around his family, friends, customers and relatives. Left to cherish his memory are his children; grandchildren, Nathan and Natalie Epstein; nieces, Meril Hearst (Joe) and Loren Nelson (Edward); and many lifelong relatives and friends. A private graveside was held at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. Irvin “Buddy” Holzsweig Newport News—Irvin “Buddy” Holzsweig, 93, of Newport News passed away peacefully April 15, 2020, at his home. Born in Portsmouth, Va. to Fannie Banks and Philip Holzsweig, Buddy grew up in Newport News within a close community of family and friends. From his first job at age 14 as a Paramount Theatre usher until his last as a product sampler at Costco at age 87, Buddy valued work. He attended Newport News High School during World War II and entered the Army at age 18. As an entertainment specialist, he served in General MacArthur’s music corps in

Tokyo, Japan, playing the drums for dignitaries and military events. Upon returning home, Buddy continued drumming in numerous bands at local clubs and venues, including the Saturday night “Dime a Dance” events at Buckroe Beach, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp. As vice-president of Golden Foods, Buddy’s professional career consisted of more than 40 years in the snack food business. He served as president of the Tidewater Food Dealers Association (Man of the Year 1987) and the GMRA of Tidewater. Buddy was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason with Warwick Lodge 336 and a member of the Shrine Club and Oriental Band (president, 1981). Buddy was a member of Temple Sinai for more than 50 years and named Man of the Year in 1975. Buddy enjoyed playing golf and keeping up with news in his hometown. He said he read the obituaries every day to make sure he wasn’t in them. Though quiet in demeanor, Buddy’s love for his family was evident in all that he was. Always kind, patient and selfless, he was everybody’s “buddy.” Having lived such a long life, Buddy said goodbye to many of his dear relatives and friends. Buddy is survived by his loving family: Lorraine, his wife of 58 years; daughters Elisa Finneran (Pat) and Linda Grovenburg (Virgil); son Gary Klatz (Ruth); grandchildren Alex Finneran, Carly Finneran, Paul Berger and Sara Berger Meloni; great-grandchildren Brooke, Micah, Gabi and Ryan; sister, Regina Weinstock; and nieces, nephews and cousins.

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Due to current conditions, a private graveside service was held at the Jewish Cemetery of The Virginia Peninsula and a Celebration of Life gathering will be announced at a later date. The family requests donations to Temple Sinai (Newport News) or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Peninsula Funeral Home.

Jack Burt Jacobson BOCA RATON, FLA—Jack Burt Jacobson, 90, of Virginia Beach passed away peacefully at home on April 18, 2020. Jack is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 64 years, Suzanne Snyder Jacobson, four daughters, Maryann Jacobson (Angela), Carol Diamonstein (Jamie), Janie Craig (Jim), Betty Jacobson, and two granddaughters, Claire and Alyson Diamonstein, along with several nieces and nephews. Jack was born September 19, 1929, in Portsmouth, Virginia, to the late Ben and Rose Jacobson. He was the youngest of four siblings, all of blessed memory: Buddy Jacobson, Evelyn Salasky, and Fred Jacobson. Jack graduated from Augusta Military Academy and served in the Coast Guard. He then joined his brothers in the family business, Portsmouth Salvage Company. Together, the three brothers enlarged the business, which later became Jacobson Metal, located at Money Point in South Norfolk, one of the largest scrap yards in the Southeast. Jack retired from the scrap yard to form his own real estate company, Jacobson Construction. He developed, among other things, The Virginia Village on General Booth Blvd. in Virginia Beach as well as investing in apartments and shopping centers. Jack was a true Renaissance man passionate about golf, reading and collecting Handel and Tiffany lamps, pottery, and art. To the end, the game of golf remained a great obsession. He was a champion golfer at both the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club as well as the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Known to many as Jackie, he could light up a room with his good looks, ready smile and funny jokes. He was warm and loving to his only two granddaughters, whom he happily spoiled. He could never stop talking about his four daughters,

whom he referred to as his four billy goats who liked to eat up all his “green.” He was devoted to the State of Israel, a place he visited many times, and supported Jewish causes by giving generously to the United Jewish Federation. Jack was blessed to have the devotion of his wife Suzanne, who, for 64 years, put her husband first. Her love for him was especially evident in his last years when illness had weakened him and she never left his side. It was a beautiful and common sight to see Suzanne feeding and fussing over Jack at their favorite restaurants around town. All in all, Jack was a lucky man in almost every aspect of his life. He was blessed with a devoted wife, four loving daughters and their loyal spouses, two loving granddaughters, a successful business life and lifelong friends such as Marty Brehne, Marvin Resnick, Charles Goldman, Norman Olitsky, and Billy Beard. A private service for the family will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Suzanne and Jack Jacobson Family Fund at the Tidewater Jewish Federation. Those who wish to share their condolences or a story about Jack with the family can do so online at www.altmeyerfh.com.

Arlene Berman Kesser Norfolk—Arlene Berman Kesser, 84, passed away on Thursday, April 23, 2020 in a local hospital. Arlene was a native of Norfolk, Virginia and was the daughter of the late Leonard Berman and Frieda Cohen Berman Amelson. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Laura Kesser and her sisters, Phyllis Kaplan and Suzanne Goldberg. Arlene graduated from Maury High School, studied art at George Washington University and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 at Old Dominion University. She was a warm and loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend, an artist, and homemaker. Arlene was beautiful—inside and out. She was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple, its Sisterhood, as well as Temple Israel. She was also a member of Hadassah, ORT, the Hebrew Ladies Charity Society, the Tidewater


Obituaries Artists Association, the Virginia Beach Artists Association, the Chrysler Museum, the Virginia Museum and others. She is survived by her loving husband, Howard L. Kesser, DDS of Norfolk, her daughter, Sharon Laderberg of Norfolk, and three grandchildren, Jodi, Danny and his wife Melissa, and Kevin and his wife, Sarah. A private graveside service was held in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Rabbi Michael Panitz officiated. Memorial donations may be made to Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Israel, or your favorite charity. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com.

Bertrum Norman Legum Norfolk—Bertrum N. Legum passed away peacefully on April 23, 2020. He was born in Norfolk on June 18, 1934 to the late Sol and Sylvia Legum. Bert attended Maury High School and the University of Virginia. After serving in the Army, he worked for, and retired from the family business, Nesson & Rapoport. Bert was a lifelong and active member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. He supported many local and University of Virginia based charities. Other than his parents, Bert was preceded in death by his brother, James W. Legum. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Joyce Nesson Legum; son, Ross Legum and wife Anne, and his three beloved grandchildren. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family including many cousins and his lifelong friends. Please consider a gift for Congregation Beth El, Hope House, or a charity of one’s choice. A private graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Alex Klein, 70, kosher caterer whose prayers stormed the heavens Yom Kippur had just ended and the members of his synagogue were preparing to go home to eat after a long day of fasting when Alex Klein walked up to the Holy Ark, placed his hand on it, and began speaking directly to God. He stood that

way for the better part of an hour. “It was descriptive of his belief that you speak to God and God listens,” his daughter, Devora Klein-Freeman, says. Her father, she says, was “a man of tremendous faith” who went to synagogue three times a day without fail and taught his children to create a personal relationship with God. Klein died in New York of COVID-19 on March 28. He was 70. Born in 1949 to Holocaust survivors in what is today the Ukrainian city of Mukachevo, Klein spent his early years living a life of deprivation in the Soviet Union. Soon after his college graduation, Klein fled to Israel to avoid being drafted into the Red Army and ended up working in the hotel industry for several years. He moved to the United States in 1975, where he built a large Brooklyn-based kosher catering business and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, the youngest of whom was born just two months ago.

“He called his kids three or four times a day, so not to be able to speak to him anymore is very difficult,” another daughter, Ronit Rubinoff, recalls. “He would spend an hour every Friday on the phone with my daughter. It was very special for her.” Klein’s children weren’t the only one he made time for regularly. Rubinoff says Klein would ask the doorman in his building about his family and wind up

talking to him for half an hour. “He had so much patience and curiosity to learn about people’s lives,” Rubinoff says. “I really admired him for what he accomplished. I would go places and give my name and people would go ‘Alex Klein is your dad?’ I was in such awe of him.” Klein is survived by his wife, Miriam Gutwein-Klein, three children and four grandchildren. (JTA)

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Coronavirus Pandemic

Jewish Tidewater Volunteers: Your value as a volunteer is priceless Lisa Richmon

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ooking to stay safely connected to real human beings while quarantined? Helping others is a good way to survive and add new meaning to your life. United Jewish Federation of Tidewater recently launched an initiative to meet urgent needs imposed by COVID-19’s disruptive impact on daily life. Jewish Tidewater Volunteers seeks caring volunteers to reach out to people who are lonely, alone, and hungry, but don’t know what steps to take to make that connection. Worry about things out of your control can be reduced by activities such as cooking, tinkering, meditating, biking, or connecting with someone who craves human contact. Knowing you flipped a switch and brought light back into someone’s life, even for one minute, can

Silverman Furs lent their sewing team to help the cause.

produce the same kind of feeling you get from a great workout at the gym. Ronnie Jacobs Cohen gets up every day before 6 am to walk on the boardwalk before going to work at UJFT. Due to current conditions, she misses interacting with her co-workers at the Federation and taking a break during the workday to meet her sister Babbi Bangel at the JCC gym for a treadmill workout. With extra time on her hands, Cohen joined the recently founded COVID-19 Sewing Taskforce of Hampton Roads. Distribution centers are located on porches and in garages of host homes throughout Tidewater. The diverse group of volunteers led by C. J. Robison has donated 9,300 masks to area hospitals and medical settings including Beth Sholom Village. With the help of recruitment rock star Stephanie Calliott, the number of

Stephanie Adler Calliott with some mask kits ready for the sewing team.

volunteers went from 30 to 1,200, including 25 from the Jewish community. Cohen joined the group as a cutter. She picks up Halyard material donated by area hospitals to make masks that can be sterilized and re-used. She took on an active role working at the site close to her home, cutting masks, wire, and yarns, and delivers to area healthcare and physical therapy facilities. “Making a real difference in the safety of our front-line workers has inspired me and hundreds of other volunteers to be a part of something greater than ourselves,” says Cohen. “The timing couldn’t have been better for me personally. This is such an inclusive group of selfless people, appreciative of every effort who graciously recognize your important work.” Anna Walsh, LPN, is assistant director of Nursing for the Berger-Goldrich Health Care and Rehabilitation Center of Beth Sholom Village. “Every one of our employees must wear a mask per CDC and Virginia Department of Health Guidelines. We feel strongly about protecting our residents—that’s our primary focus,” says Walsh. “We are so grateful to receive the masks made by the volunteers and our staff loves the colorful patterns. You can tell someone put a lot of effort into this and that means a lot.” Jewish Tidewater Volunteers augments UJFT’s effort to raise money to help agencies like Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, and individuals through the Emergency Relief Fund.

Rebecca Rennert Tall sews masks. Dana Unger Patish with her mask pattern pieces.

Dr Ricky Hoffman cutting materials for masks.

18 | Jewish News | April 27, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org

“You don’t have to spearhead a new program or commit a lot of time to answer our plea. We just need a lot of people who are willing to do a little. There are so many opportunities for people to get on board, even from their own homes,” says Barb Gelb, director of development for UJFT/Simon Family JCC, and coordinator of the program. “For example, people can make friendly phone calls to people who are isolated, or those with special needs whose daily routines who have been completely disrupted,” says Gelb. “We need help delivering meals and other necessities to people who can’t leave their home. Those who want to help can sign up on a simple form on the website and we will match preferences and availability with the agencies’ needs.” Layoffs, furloughs, and more children at home put an extra weight on the shoulders of families. The food pantry at Jewish Family Service is in dire need of everything. Food insecurity is a very real issue today. Initiatives such as Jewish Tidewater Volunteers and the COVID-19 Sewing Taskforce of Hampton Roads provide an outlet for people who want to do something and are willing to explore new ways to step up. “These dining rooms have never seen so much activity,” says Calliott, referring to the massive amounts of raw materials strewn on dining room tables belonging to volunteers from every background who have become overnight skilled workers. “These people are incredible. I always liked them, but after working with them on this, I love them.” Additional ways to volunteer include frontline staffing (and childcare) at BSV, helping with prescription deliveries, and video and telephone chats with those who are isolated. Jewish Tidewater Volunteers will show you how to do it, where to go, or what is needed to make the difference you can make now. To learn more about urgent needs and paid opportunities, as well as ways to help, or be helped, contact Ronnie Jacobs Cohen at 757-321-2341 or rcohen@ujft.org or go to JewishVa.org and click on Jewish Tidewater Volunteers.


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