Jewish news march 14, 2016

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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 54 No. 13 | 4 Adar II 5776 | March 14, 2016

8 Tidewater women hear two emissaries

14 UJFT Societies find time for wine


Begins March 23

—page 27

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32 YAD Purim Party Saturday, March 19

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LETTER Where was everyone?


Jewish news

upfront UJFT maintains vigilant support for Israel

n Sunday, February 21, 2016, I had an experience that was both wonderful and disappointing. How can that be, you might ask? I will tell you. I took my grandchildren to the second of three programs in the Simon Family JCC’s Children’s Cultural Series, a modern dance presentation of Horse of Many Colors. Outside of the multi-purpose room, where the dance program took place, many community families were having fun at a Purim carnival. Well, what’s the problem? Inside the multi-purpose room, Todd Rosenlieb told the story of the Horse of Many Colors in English and Spanish, after which his dancers performed the story in a modern dance. It was thoroughly fascinating and beautiful. All of us were mesmerized. Yes, all 10 families!!!! So, now you know why I was disappointed. How can it be that in a community our size, we cannot fill that room with families? The Children’s Cultural Arts Series at the JCC is a wonderful opportunity to introduce young people to the thrill of music, dance, and theater. In this intimate setting, children are drawn into the performance and interact in a way that is not possible in a large venue such as Chrysler Hall. We find time for our children’s basketball and soccer. I know we can find one hour three times a year on Sunday afternoons to expose our kids and grandkids to the joys of the performing arts—an appreciation that will last them a lifetime. Please join Ed and me and our grandchildren for the next performance on April 10 at the JCC. I promise you will love it!

The wave of violent terror attacks continues in Israel, leaving death, injury, frustration and fear in its wake. On March 9, news came from the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and the port area of Jaffa: attackers in three separate incidents injured at least 10 Israelis and killed an American tourist. Taylor Force, a Vanderbilt University graduate student and a U.S. Army veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan died after being stabbed. Force was visiting Israel to study global entrepreneurship. “The thoughts and prayers of our community are with the friends and families of Taylor Force, and all of the victims who sustained injuries in these latest, senseless terror attacks,” says Jay Klebanoff, president of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. “We have children, parents, friends—Jews and non-Jews alike—who live in Israel, or who are planning to travel there. To think they could be randomly targeted, or feel threatened, or may choose not to visit is upsetting. At all times, and especially at times such as these, we must remain vigilant in our support of Israel, and continue to stand strong as a community and as a people.” The attacks coincided with a visit to Israel and the Middle East from U.S. VicePresident Joe Biden. Biden responded strongly to news of the attacks. “Let me say in no uncertain terms: The U.S. condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn them,” Biden said. “This cannot become an accepted modus operandi. “This cannot be viewed by civilized people as an appropriate way to behave. It is just not tolerable in the 21st century…There can be no justification for this hateful violence, and the United States stands firmly behind Israel when it defends itself as we are defending ourselves at this moment as well.” The Jewish Federations of North America spoke out quickly as well, releasing a media comment from board chairman Richard Sandler, which mirrored the sentiments expressed by Klebanoff and other UJFT leaders. “We are both heartbroken and deeply troubled by the latest wave of terror in Israel today. We remain horrified by and condemn in the strongest terms these barbarous acts of violence and the incitement that encourages them. “There is no possible justification for the shedding of innocent blood, and we continue to stand in solidarity with the people of the State of Israel who continue to live under the constant threat of terror.”

Betsy Karotkin

Contents Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 UpFront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Election 2016: Trump poses dilemma for Jews . . . . 6 Jewish women meet two emissaries. . . 8 UJFT Societies’ wine tasting event. . . 14 Summer Camp: A special section. . . . 15 Celebrating Purim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 It’s a Wrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Quotable Virginia Bus on Birthright Israel. . . . 30 Tu B’Shevat Seder at Beth El. . . . . . . . 30 Bingo at Beth El . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Children’s Cultural Arts at JCC. . . . . 32 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Operation Hamantashen sends 1,000 cookies to troops . . . . 38 Special Section: Camp

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Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising Issue Date Topic March 28 Home April 11 Passover April 25 Mothers’ Day May 9 May 23 Health Care

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Candle lighting Friday, March 18/8 Adar II Light candles at 6:56 pm

“It only seems fitting to attend YAD’s annual Purim party with two or 300 of your closest friends!”

Friday, March 25/15 Adar II Light candles at 7:03 pm Friday, April 1/22 Adar II Light candles at 7:09 pm Friday, April 8/29 Adar II Light candles at 7:15 pm

—page 32

Friday, April15/7 Nissan Light candles at 7:21 pm Friday, April 22/14 Nissan Light candles at 7:27 pm | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 3

Briefs $10 million gift to endow Georgetown U Holocaust study fund Georgetown University will create a permanent program on the forensic study of the Holocaust using a new $10 million gift. The donation to the Washington, D.C., school is from Norman and Irma Braman, a Florida couple who have made large gifts to other universities and hospitals. Norman Braman is founding chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, and the couple is active with Yad Vashem in Israel and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The Braman Endowed Program Fund will support teaching, research and field study for Georgetown faculty and students and fund the development of a new public outreach program with the aim of preventing future Holocausts. The money will fund an endowed professorship as well as research and public service programs on the Holocaust. “This gift will ensure that the study of the Holocaust remains an integral area of study and scholarship at Georgetown,” the Jesuit and Catholic university’s president, John DeGioia, said in a statement. The Rev. Patrick Desbois, a historian, was named the first holder of the Braman Endowed Professorship of the Practice of the Forensic Study of the Holocaust. A Roman Catholic priest from France, Desbois was instrumental in bringing the Bramans’ gift to Georgetown. Georgetown also announced that as of Feb. 29, its Program for Jewish Civilization will be renamed the Center for Jewish Civilization. The center will teach many aspects of the Holocaust, including its causes and consequences, its role in the establishment of the modern State of Israel, its continuing impact on modern Judaism, anti-Semitism and questions of Israel’s legitimacy. The Program for Jewish Civilization, which opened in 2003, has received gifts totaling $10 million from more than 500 alumni and friends to ensure it would be permanently endowed. (JTA)

40 Columbia profs sign BDS petition Forty Columbia University faculty members have signed a petition urging the New York school to divest from companies that “supply, perpetuate, and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.” The petition was released Monday, Feb. 29 to mark the first day of Israel Apartheid Week, the Columbia Spectator reported. According to the petition, the signatories “stand with Columbia University Apartheid Divest, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine as well as with Jewish Voice for Peace in calling upon the University to take a moral stance against Israel’s violence in all its forms.” They include Rashid Khalidi, a history and Middle Eastern studies professor who has been a longtime critic of Israel and supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; Joseph Massad, a critic of Israel who has been accused of being anti-Semitic, and Nadia Abu El-Haj, an anthropology professor who received tenure in 2007 following a heated battle over the merits of her work, particularly a book that accuses Israel of manipulating archaeological findings to legitimize its existence. The most heavily represented departments among the signers are Middle Eastern South Asian and Africa studies, or MESAAS, English and comparative literature, and anthropology. Partha Chatterjee, an anthropology and MESAAS professor at the Ivy League school who signed, told the Spectator that he wanted to protest Israel’s security regime, which “virtually amounts to apartheid.” “I fully support every effort to put pressure on the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands,” he said. Dirk Salomons, a senior lecturer at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and signatory, told the Spectator, “I’ve always had a feeling as a Jew that a Jewish state should rise slightly above the lack of morality of its neighbors.

4 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

It pains me to see how a country which I love and which I have visited many times can be so blind to the needs of its neighbors.” (JTA)

Actor Rob Lowe accuses California official of slurring Jews Actor Rob Lowe alleged that an elected member of a California state board made a slur against Jews during a private meeting over a tax issue. Lowe made the allegation last month over comments made last year by Board of Equalization member Jerome Horton following the board’s decision to lower the income tax Lowe owed on a $25 million home sale in 2005, the Sacramento Bee reported. The board backed Lowe, 3–2, with Horton voting in the minority. In a Feb. 24 email to Board of Equalization members obtained by the Sacramento Bee, the actor alleged that Horton had asked him and his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, if she “jewed down” contractors who built their house. Berkoff is Jewish. “Appalled, we asked him to explain his comment,” Lowe said, according to the email. “He doubled down, saying ‘C’mon. You know what I’m saying. Did you Jew them down? You must have.’” The allegations were first reported by Bloomberg BNA. “Theirs is a misrepresentation of the facts, I am a lifetime supporter of Israel and related issues, this is only about my vote against them,” Horton said in an email to the Bee. Lowe also wrote that he would inform the Anti-Defamation League of Horton’s alleged comments while “weighing other options to combat this virulent and unapologetic anti-Semitism in the people of California’s Board of Equalization.” Lowe’s attorney also sent a letter to a board official warning that the Lowes might sue Horton for his comments, as well as disparaging remarks he made in a news release following the vote. The release criticized the board for making a “gift of public funds to one of our most affluent citizens.”

“I love Rob Lowe’s movies, but not enough to gift him $514,000 of California’s taxpayer dollars,” Horton wrote. (JTA)

Americans’ support for Israel over Palestinians still strong, poll finds Americans remain overwhelmingly sympathetic to Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a new Gallup poll shows, with those over 50 and Republicans the most supportive. Some 62 percent of Americans surveyed said they are more sympathetic to the Israelis, while 15 percent favored the Palestinians. Another 23 percent said they are sympathetic to neither, both or no opinion. The results of the poll were released Monday, Feb. 29. Those over age 50 were the most sympathetic to Israel, at 72 percent. Some 54 percent of Americans aged 18–29 and 30–49 said their sympathies lie with Israel. In addition, 79 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Independents said they were sympathetic to Israel. While Americans have been consistent in showing more support to Israel over the last 15 years, the numbers have held steady for the past decade. The survey also asked respondents whether they favor or oppose “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” Some 43 percent of respondents said they favor such a state, with 37 opposing it, and 19 percent having no opinion. The numbers have remained similar for the past four years. Some 58 percent of Democrats back the establishment of a Palestinian state, compared with 26 percent of Republicans. Results of the poll are based on telephone interviews Feb. 3–7 of 1,021 American adults living in all 50 states and Washington D.C., with some 60 percent cellphone respondents and 40 percent landline respondents. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. (JTA)

Torah Thought

Bill’s will said a lot about him.

Living in Norfolk, living in Shushan


know when Purim time comes around that it is a time for joy and silliness —and I enjoy it as much as anybody. However, I also regret that our silliness celebration often masks (pun intended) the fact that Purim is our holiday. What do I mean by that? Purim is the only Biblical holiday that is not centered around the Land of Israel. It takes place in Shushan at a time when it was the capital city of the Persian Empire. Purim is a Diaspora holiday. And not just any Diaspora. Persia was the America of its day and its Jews sound a lot like us. They appear to be an assimilated population. Even the most righteous and committed Jews, like Mordechai, seem to function just fine in public life— he is welcomed in the palace, accepted as a loyal subject by the king and rewarded for loyalty to the crown like anyone else. A Jew could even rise to the exalted position of queen. But there’s a catch. Esther becomes queen, but does she let anyone know she is Jewish? No, in her secular life she hides her Judaism. She and Mordechai presume that hiding her Jewish identity will benefit her chances of getting ahead, and perhaps they are right. They even have secular names and Jewish names. Thousands of years ago, Esther and Mordechai, now classic Jewish names, were obviously Persian. And not just Persian, but they probably derive from the Ancient near Eastern Gods Ashtara and Marduk! This all sounds very familiar to me—Rabbi Jeffrey, whose Hebrew name is Moshe Tzvi. So what are we Jews of modern-day Shushan to learn from our forebears in ancient Shushan? Well, the story seems

to validate our Diaspora existence. It seems to tell us that not only is living in America okay, but it is even okay to make compromises in our Jewish identities for our secular lives. However, when push comes to shove, when the community is threatened, when the need is great, we must be Jews first. Though Queen Esther hides her Jewish identity to become queen, when she realizes the danger to the Jewish community, she is willing to risk it all to use her influence to save them. And Mordechai, too, is not afraid to use his high regard with the king to influence what is best for the Jewish community when it is in need. The message appears to be one of balance. I believe the question of how to balance our Jewish selves and our secular selves remains a challenge to each of us. How “Jewish” will I be, will my activities be, will I look? How much will I wear my Judaism outwardly (a necklace, a kippah, a black hat) or how much do I cover up? Will I take Jewish holidays off from work? Which ones? The Purim story doesn’t really answer these questions for us, but it challenges us to be mindful about how we are making these decisions. It challenges us to be mindful about our identities as Jews and Americans. Most importantly, this holiday challenges us to remember that however we answer these questions, there are times when it is incumbent upon us to stand up and be counted as Jews, just as Esther and Mordechai did in Shushan so long ago. As we celebrate Purim with costumes, parties, reading Megilat Esther and who knows what other general silliness, I hope you will take a serious moment or two to reflect on the Purim story, our story. When we are conscious about our definitions, our lines and our masks and why they are where they are, we can experience both our Jewish identity and our American identity with more joy, purpose and meaning. —Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Congregation Beth El

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Election 2016 Prospect of Trump nomination poses dilemma for Jewish Republicans by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—Donald Trump’s surging candidacy has sent shivers through the ranks of the Republican elite and created deep anxiety among Jewish Republicans, some of whom are so unnerved they are prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton if Trump wins the nomination. Yet others say that despite Trump’s promise to be “neutral” on Israel and his support from white supremacists, conservative principles demand deference to the eventual nominee. “As boorish as he is, as occasionally foolish as he is, and how vituperative he can be, I would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton any day,” says Ari Fleischer, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush and a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Fleischer says he is speaking only for himself, not the RJC, which declined JTA’s request for comment. For other Jewish conservatives, Trump is too unpalatable to support, and for

obvious reasons. Trump has refused to side unequivocally with Israel, declining at a recent campaign event to pin blame for the Middle East conflict on either Israel or the Palestinians, saying instead that he wished to remain “neutral.” His conservative credentials are shaky, having previously favored abortion rights and argued for the imposition of tariffs, which is anathema to the business community. And Trump’s rhetoric has won support for the billionaire real-estate magnate from quarters not known for their deference to Jewish sensitivities, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and National of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan. In an editorial, William Kristol, the neoconservative scion who runs The Weekly Standard, said the party must be saved from “a charlatan and a demagogue.” The Emergency Committee for Israel, which Kristol founded, also released an ad featuring clips of Trump speaking favorably of Syrian President Bashar Assad, former Libyan strongman Moammar Ghadafi and

Saddam Hussein. “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton,” Robert Kagan, a veteran of the Reagan State Department and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in a widely shared Washington Post Op-Ed. “The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.” Jonathan Tobin, the online editor at Commentary, a conservative magazine that does not take positions on candidates, says he is doubtful Trump would garner much support from Jewish Republicans. “There are the Jewish Republicans who are focused on foreign policy, on economic policy—the sense among that group is that Trump doesn’t speak for them,” Tobin says. “And the question is, if he is the nominee— and right now it looks like it—will they vote for him. And I suspect a lot won’t.” A Jewish Republican operative who spoke on condition of anonymity says more than one Republican would secretly cast a vote for Clinton should Trump secure the

nomination. “We would prefer we have mainstream candidates who don’t devolve into demagoguery, ethnocentrism and racism,” says the operative, referring to Trump’s recent equivocation over the Duke endorsement. Trump brusquely disavowed Duke at a news conference. But in an interview Sunday, Feb. 28 on CNN, he professed not to know who the former KKK leader was. Then Trump again disavowed Duke on Twitter after the interview aired, chalking up the discrepancy to a faulty earpiece. The following day, the Anti-Defamation League issued a list of extremists that candidates were advised to steer clear of, with Duke’s name at the top of the list. Some Republicans have floated the idea that a Trump candidacy could help rally votes for congressional Republicans, the logic being that Trump is so unappealing, he practically guarantees a Clinton presidency—and that in turn strengthens the case for GOP control of the legislative branch as a means to rein her in. Tobin is skeptical.

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“Jewish Republicans, like other Republicans, will say that,” he says. “But in a presidential election year, if you don’t like the guy at the top of the ticket, it depresses the turnout. I suspect a lot of Jewish Republicans will sit it out.” As much as Trump repels some Jewish Republicans, he could still command their support, if only because expectations of party loyalty run so deep. Fred Zeidman, a Houston businessman who supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, says propriety demanded deference to the winner. “I won’t say anything negative about Donald Trump any more than other [Republican]

candidates,” Zeidman says. “I wish he had a different approach, but in America you get to vote, and if most Republicans want to get Donald Trump, that’s what it is. And the fact of the matter is we have to go on to defeat the Democratic candidate.” Some Jewish Republicans remain reluctant to declare. Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who is said to be wavering between Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, took care to cover his ballot sheet when he attended the Nevada caucus last month. But a Wall Street Journal reporter was able to see him check a box on the ballot’s lower third, which included

the names of Rubio, Trump and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has quit the race. Still, Trump is a shock to the system for a Jewish constituency that has prided itself on shaping the party in recent years as unassailably correct on Israel and open to diversity. Fleischer co-wrote a report after the last election on how to reach out to minorities. “He’s given a lot of people a lot of reason to pause and question whether he is a supporter of Israel,” Fleischer says. “The word neutrality is fingernails across a chalk board in the Jewish community. It

screams at you, and it sends up all kinds of warning flags about who he is and what he believes.” Norm Coleman, a former Republican senator from Minnesota who backs Rubio, says the fight was not over. “I won’t speak about the unspeakable and I still believe that my party is not going to nominate Donald Trump,” Coleman says. “The prospect of Trump leading our party is deeply troubling. It would be destructive of the party and would harm the nation, and give us four more years of Clinton-Obama foreign policy, which has gravely weakened us in the world and undermined our allies.” | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 7

Tidewater women have the world at their Doorstep February brought the Jewish women of Tidewater together to hear from two different, but equally fascinating emissaries. by Amy Zelenka, Women’s Campaign director


he Women’s Cabinet Outreach and Engagement Committee welcomed Zoya Schvartzman to its second in a series of three “PLUS ONE” events on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Held at the home of Kim Fink, a member of the Cabinet, the group heard about the current work of the American Jewish Join Distribution Committee in Central and Eastern Europe. So many of the messages on television and websites paint a picture of doom and gloom for Jews across Europe. “Not so,” says Schvartzman. “While it’s true that the Jews of France are feeling particularly vulnerable, and with good reason,” she says, “The Jews of Poland and Hungary and other former Soviet Bloc nations, are experiencing a resurgence of cultural pride.” Strangely enough, the renewed interest in Jewish history, culture, and art is taking place among Jews and non-Jews alike in these countries. This is illustrated by the popularity of such programs as “Jude Fest”—a Jewish Cultural Festival held each year in Budapest (there is also one in Krakow). In speaking of the Jewish communities of Europe, Schvartzman hearkens back to her own childhood. Growing up in the former Soviet Union, the daughter

Zoya Schvartzman

of a single mom, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Schvartzman’s family struggled to make ends meet. While she and her family did not practice Judaism (they were not permitted under the Communist government), she always knew they were Jewish. Part of why she knew it was the stereotypical lives they led. Jews in Russia were musicians and artists and scholars. They worked harder than the non-Jews around them, and pushed their children to stand-out and excel, in direct contradiction to the collective nature of Communism. When Schvartzman and her mother moved from Russia to Canada, they “met” for the very first time a Jewish community. This community saw to their needs —helping them in ways they had never thought possible—with financial assistance, JCC summer camp scholarships, and other basic services. Living in Canada they realized the power of a benevolent Jewish community—one that helped “strangers” for no reason other than that they were Jews and needed help. Today, Schvartzman “pays it forward” each and every day through her work at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee ( JDC). In her professional capacity, Schvartzman strives to build spirited communal life in the post-Communist era, from alternative Jewish cafés in Budapest to Jewish youth clubs in Warsaw. She speaks to American communities to tell the stories of where their campaign dollars go to work—building Jewish lives, Jewish leaders, and a Jewish future in countries where Jews were nearly wiped out—by the Holocaust and then Communism. “Challenges abound,” Schvartzman affirms. “There are right wing nationalist members of European governments who spout anti-Semitic rhetoric. And the world is watching thousands of Arab immigrants arrive in Europe each month. But Jewish life remains. Jewish young people are curious and seeking a connection to their Jewish heritage.” JDC is putting programs in place to encourage and assist those who wish to

8 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

Leora Drory, Stephanie Calliott, Mona Flax, Speaker Olga Meshoe, Shelley Slone, Vivian Turok and Linda Samuels.

rekindle their Jewish flame. JDC does this on behalf of the Jewish Federations (like Tidewater) that support them through the allocation of funds from their Annual Campaigns. Along life’s journey from receiving assistance to providing it, Schvartzman’s experiences have instilled in her the belief that “Every act of kindness has a ripple effect.” And those ripples can be seen and felt and experienced around the Jewish world.


oving south along the 20th longitudinal parallel—as far as possible before hitting the Indian Ocean—one will find himself just east of Capetown, South Africa. Speaker Olga Meshoe made the journey from South Africa to Tidewater for the third in the three-part series of Women’s Cabinet PLUS ONE events. On Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Sandler Family Campus, Meshoe addressed a group of inquiring minds on the subject of countering the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott—Divest —Sanctions) movement. A Black African Christian, Meshoe brought a unique perspective with her as she described her own background— growing up in the shadow of the Apartheid movement, with memories of her parents’ struggle to make a change. Meshoe is the

daughter of a well-known and influential Pastor, Rev. Kenneth Raselabe Joseph Meshoe, founder of the African Christian Democratic Party. Her parents were dedicated to the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. It is understandable that they were shocked and outraged to see the BDS movement show up in Africa and begin referring to Israel as an Aparteid State. Meshoe explains that to Black Africans who struggled against the scourge of Apartheid, calling Israel an Apartheid State is like a kick to the gut. “As a Christian,” Meshoe says, “Of course I love Israel. It’s not a perfect country,” she admits, “But what country is perfect?” Putting the democratic government of Israel alongside Apartheid South Africa is a travesty. “We know what real Apartheid is,” she emphasizes. “Our parents lived through it, fought against it, and have the mental and physical scars to show for it.” Inspired by the faith, hope, and strength of her parents, and believing that tomorrow can and will be better than today, Meshoe remains hopeful, optimistic, and determined to make it so. With that determination, she set out to create an organization to fight the BDS movement (whose roots are deeply embedded

in African soil). Her organization, Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel, a.k.a. DEISI (pronounced Daisy) is diametrically opposed to BDS, and Meshoe’s aim is to show South Africans (particularly young South Africans) why BDS is no friend to them. Among the questions that DEISI asks young BDS “supporters” to answer are: How does the BDS movement benefit you or Africa? “If you don’t know it,” she tells those young people, “the BDS movement is using you as a puppet! They entice you to a rally, give you a free t-shirt and encourage you to yell and scream and chant slogans which are entirely false! “By contrast,” she continues, “The nation of Israel is the Start Up Nation of the world. Israel can bring the entrepreneurial spirit and techniques to Africa and help Africans start their own small businesses and grow them. This can help reduce what is now an outrageously high level of unemployment. “By contrast, Israel can bring its water technology to some of Africa’s poorest and most drought-prone nations, enabling those countries to grow crops where none could grow before and virtually eliminating future famines. “By contrast, Israel—through its medical research—may soon be able to bring to Africa cures for diseases like HIV-Aides. “Will the BDS Movement improve your lives?” she asks these young people. “Open your eyes and your minds,” she encourages them. “Ask questions and don’t just accept the answers you receive. Google research,” she suggests. Dig deeper. And I am certain that you will find for yourselves that the answers you received were misleading and shallow. The truth is

buried further down, and once you find it, you will not be able to support BDS.” DEISI is taking young South African Christians to Israel in small groups to experience the land and the people. The groups travel throughout the country with their main responsibility to talk to people. They are tasked with asking questions. “Ask the Jews, the Druze, the Palestinians, the Bedoins,” Meshoe tells her young participants. “Ask them how they feel about the government and about how they are treated. And when you get your answers, ask more questions.” Her message to the young South Africans was essentially to dig as far below the surface as they could, knowing that at the bottom, they would never find Apartheid. DEISI wants to partner with a variety of organi zation s. Currently they are mainly African organizations and Israeli organizations, but Meshoe has not ruled out partner ing w ith American, European, or other organizations. The group discussed the kinds of BDS that some of their children are dealing with on college campuses, including a sort of “brain washing” by anti-Israel professors, who mold the opinions of many unwitting students. The suggestion was also made to try a sort of Birthright program for the young people that Meshoe is targeting. Still in its early stages, the program has had an incredibly positive impact on the young people who have participated. Meshoe states unequivocally that since BDS was “born” in South Africa, so too must it meet its ultimate demise. She is making it her life’s work to see that her goal is reached.


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Statewide Jewish community praises the General Assembly for forceful condemnation of the anti-Israel bds movement

RICHMOND, VA—(March 9, 2016) The Jewish Communities across the Commonwealth jointly thanked the General Assembly for its bipartisan support • PERSONAL & BUSINESS INCOME TAX RETURNS of House Joint Resolution 177, a force• FULL CHARGE BOOKKEEPING ful condemnation of the discriminatory and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and • PAYROLL SERVICES Sanctions movement (BDS). • NOTARY SERVICES The Virginia General Assembly denounced BDS as “inherently antithetical The level of detail and responsibility that is required for managing personal and and deeply damaging to the cause of corporate bookkeeping, taxes, and accounting can oftentimes be overwhelming. By peace, justice, equality, democpartnering with Westbrook Bookkeeping and Tax Services, there’s no need to worry. racy, and human rights for all Our team has over 21 years of experience in taxes and accounting. peoples in the Middle East.” A serious domesCall Us Today! tic policy matter, BDS impacts the citizens of the Commonwealth by spreading anti-Se4819 Portsmouth Blvd. | Portsmouth, VA 23701 mitic hatred and | creating an intimidating and hostile environment for retirement communities | beach area condos | country clubs those who support strong US-Israel ties or engage in retirement communities | beach area condos | country clubs retirement communities | beach area condos | country clubs retirement communities | beach area condos | country clubs economic, cultural, academic, or scientific activities with the retirement communities | beach CONNECTION area condos | country clubsFLORIDA REAL ESTATE YOUR NORFOLK TO SOUTH people of Israel. Moreover, by seeking YOUR NORFOLK CONNECTION TO SOUTH FLORIDA REAL ESTATE YOUR NORFOLK TO SOUTHREAL FLORIDA REAL ESTATE to shut down the mutually YOUR NORFOLK CONNECTION TOCONNECTION SOUTH FLORIDA ESTATE beneficial and longstanding ties Virginia has with Israel, | beach condos | country clubs YOUR NORFOLK retirement CONNECTIONcommunities TO SOUTH FLORIDA REALarea ESTATE BDS promotes severe damage to the Buyers forfor AllAll Buyers Commonwealth and its economy. By promoting boycott rather than constructive dialogue, BDS prevents forfor AllAll Customers Customers negotiation and progress. “The statewide organized Jewish community appreciates UPUP TO TO the General Assembly’s continuing support of the State of Israel and thanks our legisRegistration & Details at lators for rejecting BDS and standing up for reconciliation, hope, and a peaceful future UP TO in the Middle East,” according to a release Must Register Now/Good Towards Any Purchase Made in 2016 Must Register Now/Good Towards Any Purchase Made in 2016 from Virginia Jewish Communities Must Register Now/Good Towards Any Purchase Made in 2016 The statewide organized Jewish community has engaged in efforts to educate Broker/Owner Virginians and the General Assembly about Must Register Now/Good Towards Any Purchase Made in 2016 Must Register Now/Good Towards Any Purchase Made in 2016 Broker/Owner the dangers of BDS to Israel and Virginia. In recent months, that effort culminated in the united promotion of HJ177 by the

following organizations: • Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond • Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington • Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater • Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula



Those organizations were supported by pro-Israel groups including Hadassah, the AJC Washington Region and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Delegate Jason Miyares, chief patron of HJ177 said, “The BDS movement is a misguided and dangerous attempt to isolate Israel from the community of nations at a time where the threats to the Jewish state are the highest in decades. I was proud to carry the legislation and am extremely proud that the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest democracy in the Western Hemisphere, has publicly stood with America’s strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel.” “Israel and the United States and Commonwealth of Virginia have long shared a common bond rooted in the values of freedom and democracy. I signed on as a co-patron to HJ177 to acknowledge this history of friendship between our two countries as close allies,” says Senator Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. By passing HJ177, Virginia joins the US federal government, Canada, the UK, France and over 10 states in taking a firm, anti-BDS stance.

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dangerous attempt to isolate Israel”

—Delegate Jason Miyares

Election 2016 Bernie Sanders: ‘Level playing field’ needed in Israeli-Arab peace brokering


Y E A R S Robert W. Cross


Perry Artistic Director

WASHINGTON (JTA)—Bernie Sanders, speaking in an Arab-American stronghold, said he would aim for a “level playing field” in U.S. Middle East policy. Sanders said at a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, on March 7 that brokering Israeli-Arab peace is daunting. “For decades now there has been hatred and warfare in the Middle East, everybody knows it,” he said. “We’ve had some presidents—Carter, Clinton others—who have tried to their best to resolve it. “All I can tell you is I will make every single effort to bring rational people on both sides together so that hopefully we can have a level playing field, the United States treating everybody in that region equally.” The crowd erupted in applause. Arab-American groups have long complained that U.S. policy in the Middle East tilts too much toward Israel.

The speech, the day before the Michigan primary, appealed to an important constituency in the state, Arab- and Muslim-Americans, and may have helped propel him to his primary win the next day. Sanders, who is Jewish, staked out a position on the issue closer to Donald Trump, the front-runner among Republicans, than the other Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton, or any of the Republicans. Trump has taken hits from his Republican rivals and from Clinton for insisting he would remain neutral in brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace. “I know, I know there are people of good will in Israel and the Arab communities, this is not an easy task, but it is a task that we must pursue,” Sanders said. “We cannot continue to have for another 60 years with the kind of hatred and conflict that exists in the Middle East.”

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Rabbi Aron Margolin with Ellie Debb, Liora Kaplan, Shalom Brashevitzky, Cooper Poorman, Ofek Newman, and Elijah Arnowitz.

Scholar in Residence program connects students to the Jewish community by Rabbi Yitzchak Menda, Hebrew Academy Judaic Studies director


ast fall, Hebrew Academy instituted a Local Scholar in Residence program to enhance the Jewish education experience by connecting students to the broader Jewish community. Fifth graders enjoyed visits from local clergy who opened up these young minds with various thought-provoking Judaic lessons, broadening their perspectives and showed the diversity of the Tidewater Jewish community. Rabbi Gershon Litt, Norfolk’s Kollel rabbi, used the movie Star Wars as a teachable moment to discuss the power of choice. Students analyzed the character Luke’s choice of using the force and not being afraid of the dark side. Then students discussed their daily choices as Jews to make the world a better place by improving themselves and their communities. Cantor Elihu Flax of Beth Sholom Home spoke about cantorial life and how prayer tunes change between Shabbat and regular days. Flax showcased various cantorial

styles and students listened and learned the different tunes. Fifth graders enjoyed a visit from Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill of Tidewater Chavurah, who spoke about the splitting of the Red Sea and how accounts of miracles from the Torah can inspire. Rabbi Aron Margolin of Norfolk Chabad, met with students about the story of Hanukkah, comparing and discussing the miracles of the battles and the miracles of the oil. Beth El’s Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz met with students about Tu B’Shvat, teaching them about the various agricultural laws and how Tu B’Shvat has evolved over the years. Hebrew Academy plans to continue the Scholar in Residence program, lending new opportunities for Jewish growth, learning and interaction by partnering with communal leaders. Hebrew Academy is a constituent agency of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact admissions director Carin Simon at 424-4327 or

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Wine tasting event fills to capacity, garners praise by Samantha Golden


he UJFT Business & Legal Society and the Maimonides Society kicked off the new year on Sunday, Feb. 21 with one of their most successful events since the professional societies began in 2011. More than 80 Jewish professionals gathered at the Holiday Inn North Beach for an exquisite Passover kosher wine tasting. The event was sold out, filling the room to capacity with many new faces, as well as good friends from both Societies. Wine and conversation flowed as guests enjoyed a beautiful, panoramic view of the oceanfront and learned from professional sommelier, Crystal Cameron, of Crystal Palate. Seven kosher wines from Israel and around the world were served and paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres, some of which were Passover-themed. Sue Gitlin of the Maimonides Society says, “Having a combined Maimonides Society and Business & Legal event was a great idea since both groups want to network and have social interests in the community. The wine tasting was excellent and has inspired me to have our own tasting and pairings during my family’s Seder —4 cups, 4 wines!” This was exactly the idea behind planning the event prior to Passover: to educate the community about the wide assortment and exceptional quality of kosher wines that could be enjoyed at the Passover Seder, as well as year-round.

Many Jewish families default to sweet Manischewitz wine at the Seder, not realizing that there is a plethora of fine kosher wine options that could be enjoyed instead. However, these wines can be difficult to find at local distributors. There is clearly interest in these wines, and the local market is just beginning to be tapped. Connecting and supporting Jewish businesses and professions is a key role of the Business & Legal Society. Therefore, this event also aimed to create new channels for the Jewish community and local businesses to mutually support each other. All wines served at the event were available for order, and a percentage of the proceeds were donated to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign. “I got to pour a few of the better Kosher wine selections—which was so cool because I visited with a lot of old friends and made a few as I walked around the full room. There was lots of good energy from a broad group of people in the community. The UJFT staff did a great job of creating a really fun program in a chill beach front atmosphere. We should do that again soon,” says Kevin Lefcoe. The event’s exceptional turn out also reflects the growth that the Maimonides and Business & Legal Societies have experienced over the past year. The upward trend is expected to continue throughout 2016 and beyond. In fact, Wines from Around the World was a highly anticipated second installment of a successful wine tasting hosted last summer by the Societies. Byron Harrell of

Maimonides Society co-chair Julius Miller, Crystal Cameron of Crystal Palate, and Greg Zittrain, Business & Legal co-chair. 14 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

Cassondra Clapper, Logan Jackson, Samuel and Danielle Leibovici.

Sharon and Bill Nusbaum.

Rick and Janet Mercadante.

the Business & Legal Society says, “The wine tasting was a great event! We had a nice opportunity to network with fellow business people and to hear about delicious kosher wines from an expert. My wife and I learned a lot about kosher wines and hope to do this event again next year.”

“Sharon and I thoroughly enjoyed the wine tasting. We really liked the kosher New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, we enjoyed the Passover food pairings, and there was great mix of interesting people, including lots of friends,” says Bill Nusbaum. The Business & Legal Society and Maimonides Society present an array of events throughout the year attracting a diverse range of interests, ages and professions from the business, legal and medical fields. The Societies offer networking, social, and philanthropic opportunities for Jewish professionals. To get involved, visit, or contact Alex Pomerantz at Also visit and ‘LIKE’ the Business & Legal Society and the Maimonides Society on Facebook!

Wine is poured for Mark Lipton and Stacey Neuman.

Getting ready for summer camp

Supplement to Jewish News March 14, 2016 | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 15


This Summer, Change Your Child’s Future.

Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Dear Readers,

Experiencing these struggles? Focus • Academics • Making Friends • Impulsivity • Meltdowns


ith so much to say about, reminisce about and learn about summer

camp, there never seems to be a shortage of articles and topics for the Jewish News annual camp section. We begin this year with a fun piece about famous people and their Jewish overnight camp experiences. Yes, it’s fun to know that Sheryl Sandberg attended camp where my daughter worked last year!

Drug-Free • Whole-Child Approach • Lasting Results

Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader

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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. © 2016 Jewish News. All rights reserved.

Camp JCC’s Shadow Program highlights its inclusivity and the importance of making camp memories possible for all children. Today’s camps come in so many options

Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email

that there’s bound to be a place for every single child. For those who want to get away, there are overnight camps near and far. And for those who want to stay at home, there have never been more possibil-

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ities. From learning to sail to mastering the stage to improving study skills to exploring the outdoors—there absolutely is something that is bound to appeal to every child and to every budget. If you are in the market, we hope this section offers some tips. If not, we hope it

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suggests fond memories of your own camp days.

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Upcoming Special Features Issue Date


March 28


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Mothers’ Day

May 9 May 23

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Camp Nine famous Jews who attended a Jewish summer camp by Gabe Friedman

(JTA)—Overnight Jewish camp has been credited with doing a lot of good—from fostering Jewish identity to teaching young Jews how to dominate Color War. But is it a proving ground for future stardom? Perhaps. Below, we offer nine of the most famous Jews, cultivated from a long list, who spent their childhood summers at a Jewish camp. 3. Ralph Lauren Before he became a billionaire fashion designer, Ralph Lauren (nee Lifshitz) spent time at Camp Massad in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. His fellow Camp Massad alumni include Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and political activist Noam Chomsky.

4. Seth Rogen Neil Diamond.

1. Neil Diamond Jewish camp was a formative experience for the legendary songwriter, who attended Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, N.Y. “I fell in love with folk music at Surprise Lake Camp. It was the songs of Woody Guthrie and the Weavers. I learned them by taking guitar lessons at 15. I started taking piano at 16,” he told The Wall Street Journal last year. Other famous Jewish alumni of the same camp include Eddie Cantor, Larry King, Gene Simmons, Jerry Stiller, Joseph Heller, Neil Simon and Walter Matthau.

2. Sheryl Sandberg The Facebook COO and inf luential Lean In author spent summers at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Ga. She had a blast there, Sheryl Sandberg, at Facebook’s London HQ, she said in a video April 2013. last year. “Camp was really important for me in understanding what it meant to be Jewish, what Jewish values were, why it mattered to have a Jewish identity,” Sandberg said.

The comedic actor and noted m a r i j u a n a enthusiast, whose parents met on an Israeli kibbutz, enjoyed his time at the Habonim Dror Zionist youth movement’s Seth Rogen at the 2011 Toronto International Camp Miriam in Film Festival. Vancouver so much that he appeared in a promotional video for the Canadian camp in 2009. “Shalom. Go to Machane [Hebrew for ‘camp’] Miriam because I did,” Rogen said. “And for many other reasons.”

Sarah Silverman.

5. Sarah Silverman Silverman may have famously said that summer camp is “the second-worst camp for Jews”— but as the provocative comedian wrote in her memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories

of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, she did attend Jewish camps. However, she wet her bed until she was 15 and called sleepaway camp a “recipe for disaster” for her.

6. Matisyahu The formerly Hasidic reggae rapper went to Kutsher’s Camp Anawana in Monticello, N.Y., before it closed in the early 1990s. Since then, he has performed at Matisyahu performing at multiple Jewish red stage at Summerjam Festival 2013, Cologne, camps. Germany. “Jewish camp is a comfortable and accepting place for all children to explore their Jewish identity,” Matisyahu said in 2012.

“No,” replied one of the Coens. “It was a Zionist summer camp, and you sang Zionist songs in Hebrew.”

8. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman at the premiere of Black Swan at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Israeli-born Academy Award-winning actress once attended the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, which was formed by and now partially funded by UJAFederation of New York.

7. The Coen brothers

9. Ben Bernanke

The acclaimed film directors went to Herzl Camp in northwestern Wisconsin, which is noted for hosting several musicians, such as Bob Dylan, Debbie Friedman and the guy who wrote Funkytown (Steven Greenberg). In 2014, NPR’s Terry Ethan and Joel Coen at Gross asked the the Cannes film festival, May 2015. Coens about their camp experience and got a candid response. “Is this the kind of summer camp where you sing songs with lyrics about how great the camp is, and then there’s team songs with how great the team is?” Gross asked.

The former Federal Reserve chairman has said his summer at Camp Ramah in Glen Spey, N. Y.—which relocated over time and evolved Ben Bernanke. into today’s Camp Ramah in New England—gave him a chance to practice his Hebrew. “It was a good experience for me, as there were relatively few Jewish young people in the town (Dillon, S.C.) where I grew up, and the summer gave me a chance to be immersed in a Jewish, Hebrew-speaking environment (although my modern Hebrew wasn’t that good— I had learned biblical Hebrew from my grandfather),” he said in 2010. | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 17

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Camp UJFT donors strengthen Jewish identity 5,000 miles away

by Laine Mednick Rutherford


his year, nearly 15,000 children and adults will participate in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) camp programs. The most well known of JDC’s camps is Szarvas, in Hungary, which attracts 1,500 campers from 20 different countries. Not all Jews in Europe and the Former Soviet Union have the means, access to transportation, or desire to travel so far away from their homes, however. The ever-resourceful, consistently present JDC, a United Jewish Federation of Tidewater partner, realized this, and began establishing camps in other locations and regions of the continent. One of those camps is about 5,000 miles to the east, and slightly north, of Virginia Beach. Camp Cristian is located in a small village in Brasov County, Romania.

The JCC in Bucharest, Romania runs it with the JDC, and receives significant financial support from UJFT. This support is entirely contingent on the generosity of donors who make gifts to the UJFT’s Annual Campaign. Zoya Schvartzman, director of strategic partnerships, JDC-Europe, visited Tidewater at the end of February. Among other areas of impact she noted that can be directly attributed to Tidewater’s financial contributions, are the changes in people’s lives because they can attend camps, like Cristian. Speaking to a group over breakfast, Shvartzman showed a video and explained its significance: “As a result of summer camps, that have been very, very successful…many parents were coming to us and saying, ‘My kid is coming home and she’s learning all of these Jewish songs and Jewish prayers and customs, and I have no idea what they’re talking about. I have no idea what is Modeh Ani, I don’t know what is Oseh Shalom. I’ve never heard these songs, so can we do something about it?’ “We said, ‘Sure. Let’s create a camp for families, and we’ll bring the whole family and not just the children.’ Now we’re doing family camps in the summer, and throughout the year. “What we’re seeing as a result are more families are now bringing Judaism into their homes. And the shift we’re seeing,

is that in more and more families, their Jewish identities are becoming stronger.” Sandy Katz, JDC’s director of strategic relations, emphasizes the support from UJFT’s donors provides more than just a few days of fun for thousands. “The generosity of the Tidewater Jewish community continues to ensure the key position of the Jewish camp at Cristian as the center of Jewish renewal in Romania,” Katz says. “Multi-day programs at the camp enable Jews of all ages to experience the atmosphere of Jewish living, learning and togetherness that makes Jewish camping so special. “Throughout the year, week-long camps bring together children, teenagers, students, young families and adults of different ages, giving them a rare opportunity to socialize with their Jewish peers from locations across Romania and enjoy being part of a close community.” Community leader Karen Lombart visited the camp in Cristian with a small group of women in the summer of 2014,


and shared some of her insights in the Jewish News. (September 19, 2014) “Often times, as donors, we struggle with the concept of giving to the invisible. We feel like we are giving to a bottomless well,” Lombart wrote. “And yet, the seven of us saw, with our own eyes that the invisible is not invisible at all. It is very real to those who live in Romania. The series of 14 week-long camps [at Cristian] has become the lifeline for those who come year after year to explore their heritage; it is the starting point for many Christians who discover that their grandparents were once Jewish, and it is a place to “feel” the intimate connection with the Jewish people.” Watch a video featuring campers at a Cristian Mahane Mishpahot—family camp— with a special thank you to Tidewater, at www. To read Karen Lombart’s full article, visit www. To make a gift to the UJFT Annual Campaign, visit, or call 757-965-6100.

Sail Nauticus

hildren can spend an exciting week learning to sail on the Downtown Norfolk waterfront. These popular summer camps offer kids an exciting opportunity to get out on the water. Camps are geared to varying age groups and experience levels, providing a focused, educational, and fun week. These hands-camps include water-based activities with experienced instructors, and land-based activities using the abundant resources at Nauticus. Whether a child is a beginning sailor or has spent time on the water, they’re sure to have an amazing summer experience at Sail Nautilus. 757-823-4242 or | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 19

Camp New and improved Jewish camps for our Gilded Age by Victor Wishna

(JTA)—At the oldest Jewish summer camp in New England, you can hike, swim, sail—and now fly through the air with the greatest of ease. The Camp Modin “trapeze center” is the first of its kind in North America, a “revolutionary” design with a “state-of-the-art inflatable landing pad.” The center is just part of a $350,000 expansion the camp completed last year, which also added a 10,000-square-foot, multi-purpose outdoor sports arena. The upgrades are the latest in the $12 million or so Modin has spent on new infrastructure over the past 20 some years, according to Howard Salzberg, who owns and directs the 95-year-old camp in Belgrade, Maine, with his wife, Lisa W. Sulkan. “I don’t like to say ‘facilities’—it’s really about opportunities,” Salzberg tells JTA. “Kids want opportunities and parents want to know that you’re reinvesting in your camp.” Its unique trapeze aside, Modin is not an exception: Jewish summer camps across the country are soaring to new heights, outlaying huge sums for upgraded amenities, specialty programming and even big-name talent. The “luxification” of Jewish camps is not so much a trend as an accepted necessity that cuts across regions and movements. “The market has changed,” says Len Robinson, CEO of NJY Camps, which serves 6,000 kids each summer in seven camps at two Pennsylvania sites. “Today’s family doesn’t look at camp the same way they did even 10 years ago. What was luxury is now below par.” At many camps, “sports” doesn’t just mean kickball and soccer—it’s rock climbing, weight training and figure skating. In addition to archery and arts and crafts, electives now include culinary arts, ocean exploration, even robotics and high-tech entrepreneurship. Climate-controlled cabins are common; private baths have replaced shower houses; security, from cameras to armed guards, is a given. And whereas excursions used to mean backpacks and canoe paddles, campers now sometimes need passports.

“Any quality Jewish camp has to pay attention to improving its physical plant and its program constantly—otherwise, you fall behind,” says Jordan Dale, who has served three decades as executive director of Surprise Lake Camp, a nonprofit camp in Cold Spring, N. Y., that opened in 1902 as a summer escape for Lower East Side tenement kids. Surprise Lake has “rebuilt or renovated virtually every building on the site” during his tenure, says Dale, adding a million-dollar gymnasium and, in time for this summer, a million-dollar pool. “We work very hard to let people who have a historic impression of Surprise Lake understand that it’s light years ahead of where it was when they or their parents went to camp,” he says. The board of directors has already approved another $240,000 worth of improvements for the next two years. Irv Bader, owner/director of Camp Seneca Lake, the upscale modern Orthodox camp in Honesdale, Pa. he founded 42 years ago, says it’s always been his policy to upgrade every year, whether that means new bunks or basketball courts. “Everybody knows,” he says, “and they always ask, ‘What are you doing this year?’” “The bar is completely different,” says Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which provides guidance and grants to more than 150 nonprofit camps in the U.S. and Canada. Families, he says, are looking for excellence in three areas: facilities, programming and professional leadership. “Those camps that are investing in those are going to continue to win in the marketplace.” The “momentum” has been transformative—Modin’s Salzberg admitted people are surprised to learn his upscale oasis was the inspiration for the rowdy, ramshackle camp depicted in the cult film Wet Hot American Summer. “That is an absolutely true depiction of many summer camps in the ’80s, especially Jewish ones—Modin was the dumpiest camp in the world, and I loved every minute of it,” says Salzberg, who took over as director in 1991. “But the days of the

20 | Jewish News | Camp | March 14, 2016 |

frumpy, falling-apart camps were coming to an end. We knew that if we didn’t improve the quality, we would not survive.” Rather than shrink and die, the Jewish camps diversified and found their niche. Perhaps the most notable development, he says, is the rise in specialty programming. FJC’s Specialty Camp Incubator has helped launch nine new camps since 2010. Two more will open this summer: Ramah Northern California, with a focus on oceanography, performing arts and adventure sports, plus a Los Angeles branch of the popular URJ 6 Points Sports Academy in Greensboro, N. C. Longstanding institutions have also seized the specialty trend. NJY Camps launched its Total Specialty programming with some recognizable names: Israeli legend Shlomo Glickstein teaches tennis; former major leaguer Ron Blomberg heads the baseball program; Herb Brown, once coach of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, runs the basketball camp; Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg handles swimming. Robinson also runs science programs in partnership with Ben-Gurion University in Israel, recruited world-class artists from Israel’s Bezalel Institute to oversee the art program and is investing $100,000 to revamp the kitchens this year for a new culinary institute led by Kosher by Design cookbook author Susie Fishbein. Even overnights away from camp have become something more special, and some push the idea of an excursion to the max. Last year, the 10th-graders at Seneca Lake went to California and Hawaii. He hopes to renew another popular past trip—to China and Thailand. Some camps are starting to see long-developing strategic plans bear fruit. For example, in Santa Rosa, Calif., URJ Camp Newman is in the later stages of a $30 million overhaul that has replaced a majority of the housing and added additional conference and reception space, as well as a new health center. The final phase calls for a multipurpose dining hall and performing arts center. The enhancements, according to executive director Ruben Arquilevich, were “essential”—not just to satisfy summer-camp parents, “who basically said, ‘you

need to upgrade your facilities or we’re not sending our kids,’” but to bolster the camp’s mission to provide an immersive Jewish experience for as much of the community as possible. (Off-summer retreats currently serve some 4,000 to 5,000 people; the goal is to reach 13,000 annually.) In Georgia, Ramah Darom is in the midst of a capital campaign that will eventually add a new media arts studio, expanded trails and a black-box theater, as well as the leasing of adjacent agricultural fields as part of a vision to become a farm-to-table camp. Wisconsin’s Camp Herzl just capped off its own $8 million fundraising drive that, among many other improvements, will make the entire facility accessible under the Americans With Disabilities Act. All of the sprucing up comes at a price for parents: Modin starts at $11,900 for a full seven-week session, with extra options available; Seneca Lake charges $10,175. Nonprofits are only marginally less for campers paying full fees: Six weeks at health-and-wellness-focused Camp Zeke runs $7,900, about the same cost for eight weeks at Surprise Lake, which awards $1 million in scholarships each year. Of course, it isn’t just about the facilities; a camp is only as good as the quality of its staff and the cohesiveness of its experience. As Bader says, “It still boils down to the chemistry inside the bunk.” Yet every director interviewed was more concerned about upgrading the bunks rather than filling them. For-profits and nonprofits alike say they are always looking at the next capital improvement. Salzberg, for example, anticipates reinvesting at least a half-million dollars every year, whether it’s for new sailboats, an upgraded infirmary or any of a thousand unexpected expenses, such as a recent power outage in the middle of one summer. “Now there’s a $90,000 campus-wide generator system to make sure that the brisket is always ready on time for Shabbat,” he says. “In my day, we just had flashlights.” “It’s like the line from Pirkei Avot,” Arquilevich laughs. “The work is never complete, but neither can we stop pursuing it.”

summer camp



Brain Balance offers hope


ope. That’s the word parents use most often to describe Brain Balance— hope for a brighter future for their child. Brain Balance Virginia Beach has been dramatically improving the lives of local students (ages 4–17) for more than two years. This specialized achievement center addresses the root causes of emotional, behavioral, social, and academic challenges, not just symptoms…challenges like ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger’s, dyslexia, OCD, processing disorders, and more. Students participate in customized movement, sensory, and cognitive activities that stimulate immature areas of the brain. As weak areas mature, communication across the brain improves, reducing symptoms and unlocking the students’ ultimate potential. “It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever been part of,” says Tom Shenk, owner, center director and 2012 Hampton Roads Teacher of the Year. “Brain Balance truly gives students and their families Hope for a whole new life.” 757-644-6460,


WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. NEW! Intensive Reading Program SUMMER LEARNING - Your Summer “Brain Drain” Solution MAKE CBA - Entrepreneurship Camp & Makerspace BASKETBALL CAMP VOLLEYBALL CAMP Learn more and register online today! ∙ 757.497.6200 B”H

Gan Izzy 2016

Camp JCC


amp JCC starts June 20 and goes through August 12, plus three weeks of post camp. Campers—16 weeks through 11th grade—can join for one week or the entire summer. Camp JCC provides children with a rich and unique day camp experience. A dynamic program allows every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Campers play sports, take swimming lessons, practice music, go fishing, create art, garden, and enjoy field trips. Each week boasts a different theme. Engaging and supportive staff members encourage campers to have fun, develop skills, and form meaningful relationships. The camp also offers a variety of support for children with physical, emotional, intellectual, and/or developmental needs.Learn more at

SMILES! GUARANTEED! JULY 5 - JULY 22 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM AGES 3-12* $270 per week Register & pay in full by March 15 and save 5-15%!

Visit to reserve your smiles today! *Must be toilet trained. *Special programming and pricing for girls entering grades 5-7. | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 21

Camp Camp JCC welcomes children with special needs to enjoy the summer with their peers by Laine M. Rutherford


his summer, as it has for the past 18, Camp JCC will welcome children with special needs to participate in all of the activities, fun, and camaraderie that camp has to offer. The camp’s Shadow Program is fully inclusive, making it unique among the majority of area day camps where children with disabilities can attend. Campers with special needs are included in the day’s schedule with their peers: when the bunk goes swimming, everyone goes swimming; when it’s time for music and drama, everyone joins in. The program gets its name from specially trained counselors, “shadows,” who can provide extra support if needed. Jewish Family Service of Tidewater facilitates the program in cooperation with the JCC. Michelle Fenley, a JFS special needs team member, consults, participates, and provides training for shadows and Camp JCC staff members. “Our shadow counselors usually have hands-on experience professionally or in college, and many of them have had personal experience, growing up with a sibling with special needs—and are very aware of both the situations that may arise, and how amazing this camp is for everyone,” Fenley says. “I always tell my camp counselors—and I train the whole camp, not just the ones who work directly as counselors—I don’t expect anyone to be an expert, or to even know exactly what to do, but to ask questions, don’t be afraid. Be welcoming. It’s part of our camp spirit!” An integral part of the program since it first began, Fenley says she’s seen a lot of camp staff who have never interacted with this population. By the end of the summer at the JCC, she says they’ll approach her and ask, “What do I have to do to be a shadow next year?” Lisa Best, Simon Family JCC programming associate, started working as a counselor for the shadow program in the summer of 2012. She is now the

lead counselor, and finds the experience valuable, on many levels—for the families of the campers, the counselors, and all of the campers. “It is so rewarding to see the children interacting and accepting each other for who they are,” says Best. “Watching all of the kids playing together, and helping each other out—the campers sometimes even “fighting” to be a buddy (best friend for the day)—makes this program so special.” “You can see what a great time the camper with special needs is having, and you can see the other kids opening up,” she says. “They realize that just because someone has Down syndrome or isn’t quite the same as some of them, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to play and have fun, too.” Throughout the summer, about 25 campers with special needs are expected to attend the various sessions. Most find out about the program through word of mouth, Fenley says, and children and families do not have to be Jewish to attend. At the 2014 Simon Family JCC Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament, where funds are raised in part for the shadow camp program, Roy Zaletski spoke about what Camp JCC meant to his family. At the time, his son Gus was 10 and was excited to be returning to camp for his sixth summer. Gus has Down syndrome. “As you might imagine, finding fulfilling activities for Gus outside of school and over the summer can take some research. We were referred to the JCC Summer Camp program by an educational advocate,

22 | Jewish News | Camp | March 14, 2016 |

Camp Silver Beach


ocated on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, YMCA Camp Silver

Beach is 151 acres of beautiful forest and 1,200 feet of pristine Chesapeake Bay shoreline. CSB is the ultimate all-inclusive overnight camp for children 8 to 16. Building character and confidence through a wide variety of land and water activities, air-conditioned

specifically for the one-to-one shadows which the JCC provides…at no additional cost to the family,” Zaletski said. “Whether it’s during swimming lessons or singing and dancing each morning at Boker Tov, the degree to which Gus is supported and included at the JCC Summer Camp is incredibly unique and appreciated,” he said. “We are so very thankful to the JCC staff and all those whose generosity makes a camp experience possible for our son.” For more information about Camp JCC’s shadow program, visit or call 757-321-2306, or call JFS at 757459-4640 and ask for the Special Needs Case Manager. The Simon Family JCC and Jewish Family Service of Tidewater are affiliate agencies of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. They receive funding for programs, such as this one, through generous donations made to the 2016 Annual Campaign. Make a gift today, at



full bathrooms and a four to one camper counselor ratio ensure a comfortable, safe experience for all campers. Memorial and Labor Day Family Camp is a weekend jam packed with fun and exciting activities, just like summer camp, for the whole family. YMCA Camp Silver Beach Conference and Retreats is the ideal venue for any occasion. Stay for customized overnight and day meetings, trainings, or seminars. Weekly Overnight Camps— Teen Leadership Programs—Family Camp &





Camp CIT experience offers learning opportunity for teens


amp JCC isn’t just about the campers and counselors. It’s also about the CITs or, Counselors in Training. The CIT program provides meaningful experiences for rising 9th through 11th graders who seek a challenging, enriching summer with campers that will prepare them for future counselor positions. The opportunity to bridge the gap between being a camper and working as a counselor is one reason teens participate in the CIT program. “The CIT program allows participants to learn and grow,” says Erika Eskenazi, Camp JCC director. “This year we will allow rising 11th graders to continue their education so that participants can spend up to three years in the program before transitioning into staff. We are excited about everything that our CIT program offers in the balance of fun and development.” Designed as learning experiences for teens, CITs work closely with counselors and develop important lifelong skills. The

program provides a unique opportunity for teens to develop their own leadership style and enhance communications and problem-solving skills in a fun and energetic environment. Ilana Tall says she “learned a lot about what it means to be a good role model” during her summer at Camp JCC. Caleb Tall says he “really liked being with the younger kids and realized being a counselor is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.” The camp provides CITs with an environment that is positive, dynamic and fun; one in which teens can grow, succeed, and take the responsibility to positively influence others. For a nominal cost, CITs can choose to participate for two or more weeks of camp and work with children three to 12 years old. For more information about the CIT program, contact Alicia Cohen Kraus at or 321-2323.


Safari Camp

oin the adventure and explore the Virginia Zoo Safari Camps will inspire and educate all learners. Activities include crafts and games, learning labs, animal encounters, zoo hikes, behind the scenes adventures, keeper chats and much more. Camps begin the first week of July. For more information on Zoo Camp or to reserve a spot for a happy camper, email the education department or call 757-441-2374, extension 229.

ACT UP with Hurrah S u m m e r T h e a t r e C a m p


Ages 5 and up A high-energy, hands-on opportunity Choose a session: to learn all about Musical Theatre. J ULY 5-15 Campers act, sing, dance and JULY 18-29 perform in a One Act show!

A UGUST 1-12




his is the program dubbed by The Virginian-Pilot, a Traveling Road Show and recently featured on WAVY TV-10’s Reck On the Road. For 20 years, it has provided exciting, educational and fun outdoor adventures for kids including: Kayaking, fishing, crabbing, swimming and more. A professionally trained staff closely supervises each activity. These weekly adventures continue all summer, every Monday through Friday, beginning the last week in June and continuing until the first week in September. Each day is packed with a new, exciting and fun adventure. The kids come home tired and happy!! Visit for all the information, detailed itinerary and registration, or call 721-9668. | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 23

Summer Camp at Chesapeake Bay Academy


ith something for everyone, Chesapeake Bay Academy offers a variety of programs. Intensive Reading Program, Grades: 1–5 This intensive, three-hour per day, course is designed for students struggling with decoding and/ or comprehension. Using manipulatives, memory strategies and language-based instruction to reinforce concepts, students have fun as they learn. Summer Learning, Grades: K–8 Opportunity for students to practice and cement concepts learned during the school year and keep skills fresh for the fall. Students are given screenings to assess their individual strengths and areas of need to better personalize their academic program. MAKE CBA. Grades: 2–12 Innovative hands-on learning in science and technology that is fun, challenging and rewarding. Perfect for those with career interests in game design, electronics and robotics. Basketball, Grades: 6–12 Focus on developing individual and team basketball fundamentals while building confidence and social skills. Volleyball, Ages: 8–13 Build confidence while having fun learning and perfecting the basics of passing, setting, serving and hitting. Team play opportunities and final tournament on the beach. Visit for more information and to register.

Act Up With Hurrah Players!


urrah Theatre Camp is an opportunity for young people to learn all about theatre with hands on activities and workshop style instruction. No previous experience required…a desire to have fun is! In the mornings, campers participate in classes in Musical Theatre, Acting, Broadway Dance, Jazz, Tap, and more. In the afternoons, campers rehearse a One-Act Show. The final day of camp is Performance Day. Following a Pizza Party Picnic, campers showcase their hard work and talents for families and friends. Campers also receive a free ticket to attend Hurrah’s main-stage production of All Shook Up. July 5–5; July 18–29; August 1–12. 757-627-5437 or

24 | Jewish News | Camp | March 14, 2016 |

Camp In Europe, a summer camp creates the next generation of Jewish leaders—and babies by Cnaan Liphshiz

SZARVAS, Hungary (JTA)—Escaping a sudden downpour in the summer of 2012, Andras Paszternak and Barbi Szendy ran to find cover inside an empty cabin at their Jewish summer camp, Szarvas, 100 miles east of Budapest. The two senior counselors, then 31 and 36, respectively, chatted as rain drenched the sprawling compound, where they had passed every summer since their early teens. “I suddenly noticed I was holding Barbi’s hand,” Paszternak, an ethnically Hungarian Jew from Slovakia, says in recalling the day when he began his romantic relationship with his Hungarian Jewish wife. The couple married in 2013 at Szarvas— the oldest and largest institution of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe—as a tribute to the camp’s centrality to their lives. Since its establishment in 1990 by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, dozens—if not hundreds— of Jewish couples have met at Szarvas, according to participants. In addition to its matchmaking capacity, the camp is also a major regional hatchery for Jewish leadership, awareness and global interaction for communities small and large. “We generally stay out of the boymeets-girl part of things because our help is not required in this department,” says Sasha Friedman, the camp’s director. “It happens on its own, on the margins of our core activities — which is to offer Jewish culture to these children, often for the first time in their lives.” JDC opened Szarvas in 1990 on a 17-acre plot in Bekes County, a rural area in southeastern Hungary known for its springs and sunflower fields. The camp began by serving groups of 200 children and has grown to its current capacity of 1,700 Jewish campers aged 8–18. Szarvas has over 20,000 alumni from more than 30 countries. Some of the couples who met at Szarvas immigrated to Israel. They include

Anna and Naftali (Grego) Deutsch from Hungary, who got together as counselors and are now raising seven children in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Yericho, where they moved in 2005. Others, like Gabor and Tunde Gordon, who met as campers and married in 1996, stayed in Hungary. Four of their five children are attending the camp. Szarvas now has four annual sessions, each 12 days long. Every Szarvas summer has a different theme—last year’s was “relationships in Judaism,” this year’s is “the Jewish home”—with its own unique activities, including the production of plays and song contests. That’s in addition to the regular repertoire of sports, costume parties, Hebrew-language games and Biblethemed treasure hunts. Spiritual life at the camp, which has a kosher kitchen and dozens of non-Jewish employees, revolves around Beit David—a synagogue that since its construction in 1998 is Hungary’s newest functioning shul. On Friday nights it is packed with children and teenagers, some visiting a synagogue for the first time. Many are amazed to see resident rabbi Szolt Balla—himself a Szarvas graduate—play guitar during singalongs, an uncommon sight in Europe, where Orthodox synagogues dominate religious life. Most campers, who are usually at least one-quarter Jewish, pay $250 or less for their attendance at Szarvas—25 percent of the true cost—with JDC subsidizing the rest. But for Szarvas teenagers, the official program is only part of the allure. Summer romance at Szarvas occurs in the camp’s orchards, where the silhouettes of young couples can be seen until late in the evening, or on the edges of the camp’s large swimming pool—a luxury built by an Israeli firm back when such amenities were rare in post-communist Hungary. “Yeah, it’s part of life here,” Friedman says. While boys and girls sleep separately at

Szarvas, counselors have a live-and-letlive policy when it comes to summer romance, he said. “Counselors keep an eye out for potential complications, sometimes reminding couples to act responsibly and not spin out of control or anything, but that’s pretty much it,” the camp director adds. In addition to couples, Szarvas specializes in producing Jewish community leaders. Among its graduates are a former vice president of the Jewish Community of Sofia in Bulgaria, the director of Warsaw’s main Jewish community center and a founder of one of Romania’s few Jewish kindergartens. “You take the knowledge, the contacts, the toolbox that you get at Szarvas and you apply them later inside the community,” says Szendy, who works at Budapest’s Balint Jewish Community Center. Friedman, 33, is himself a Szarvas graduate who rose through the ranks to become director in 2007. He calls Szarvas a “greenhouse for Jewish leadership.” But before he has a chance to explain, he is interrupted by a gaggle of Hungarian 8-year-olds who surround him, chirping “Shushi—their nickname for him—so they can tell him about their daily adventures. Last year, JDC incorporated Szarvas into its array of solutions for handling the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands of Jews, fled their homes because of fighting that erupted in 2014 between government troops and Eastern separatists backed by Russia. Additionally, of the approximately 120 Ukrainian campers in attendance last

summer, 26 were from internally displaced families living with relatives or in facilities provided by Jewish institutions. “In these harsh times, we prioritized these children because they need a sense of belonging and warmth now more than ever,” says Michal Frank, JDC’s director for former Soviet countries. At Szarvas, participants largely remain with members of their own country delegation, with whom they sleep, dine and undergo activities. But each nation group is paired with another group during daily “mifgashim” (Hebrew for “encounters”) sessions, when they get a taste of what Judaism means in the other country. On a continent with many small, isolated Jewish communities with high intermarriage rates, the international dimension at Szarvas means that for some campers, Szarvas is their best bet for finding a Jewish partner, according to Paszternak, who grew up in a town with 30,000 residents and a Jewish community of just a few dozen people. “No one enrolled me into Szarvas as a boy of 10 thinking I’d find a Jewish wife there,” he said. But, in retrospect, “for Jews from small communities especially, it’s often the only game in town where this sort of thing happens.” | March 14, 2016 | Camp | Jewish News | 25

Camp Vaccines and Jewish camps: What parents need to know by Gabe Friedman

(JTA)—“All of a sudden, bottles of hand sanitizer appeared all over,” says Rabbi Jason Miller, looking back at 2009, when the swine flu craze reached Camp Maas, a Jewish summer camp in Ortonville, Michigan. “Staff members would stand outside the dining hall with bottles,” he says. Aside from constant reminders about handwashing, the swine flu didn’t leave much of a mark on the camp. And now, similar worries about contagious diseases may soon be a distant memory. Seven years later—in a time that has seen a reinvigorated debate over the validity and efficacy of vaccines—Tamarack Camps, one of the largest and oldest Jewish camp systems in the country (of which Camp Maas, Miller’s former employer, is a part), now has a formalized vaccine policy. “Given the overriding value of Pikuach Nefesh (saving a life)…we are requiring that all campers, staff, artists-in-residence, volunteers, doctors, nurses and their families planning to attend/participate in any Tamarack Camps programs be immunized as outlined,” according to an email sent Dec. 30 and signed by multiple Tamarack program directors. The announcement stipulated that the camp’s attendees must receive the standard list of vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control, which includes shots for chicken pox, meningitis and several others. The policy will be phased in over two years beginning this summer. Through the email, Tamarack Camps— comprised of a main campus and Camp Maas, along with a few “outpost” camps and travel programs—joined other Jewish camps across the country that have formalized vaccine policies requiring staff and campers to be immunized according to state requirements. The policies only allow campers to forego the vaccines for medical reasons (such as an allergy). Other Jewish camps with such policies include all those under the auspices of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Conservative movement’s Ramah umbrella,

as well as many independent and specialized camps. Some Jewish camps, however, stick to state vaccination laws, many allowing for personal or religious exemptions. California, which experienced a widely publicized measles outbreak at Disneyland in early 2015, joined West Virginia and Mississippi as one of only three states that outlaw personal or religious vaccine exemptions after passing a contested bill last summer. The vaccination rate among children in California has already risen even though the new law does not go into effect until July. Vaccines are generally accepted as a common-sense medical practice across most of the spectrum of religious affiliation in the Jewish community. However, some Orthodox communities have experienced outbreaks of preventable diseases, such as the whooping cough, in recent years. In 2014, the prominent Orthodox Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky called vaccines a “hoax.” JTA found last year that a range of private Jewish day schools had low student vaccination rates due to the personal or religious exemption loopholes. Cliff Nerwen, chair of the National Ramah Medical Committee, estimates that at least one family each year tries to send an unvaccinated camper to each of Ramah’s nine sleepaway camps. “I graciously tell them I respect their opinions, but in the light of the larger public health community, it’s a risk we’re not willing to take,” Nerwen says. In a sign of the times, Tamarack Camps’ announcement immediately started an online dispute. Dr. David Brownstein, the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan— the upscale heart of Detroit’s Jewish community—called the policy “draconian” in a blog post the next day. “Perhaps Camp Tamarack is unaware that over $3 billion has been awarded by the Federal Government to children and adults injured by vaccines,” Brownstein wrote. “I would like to see where Jewish law says it is safe to inject a neurotoxin into a baby or any living being.” Two days later, Dr. Peter Lipson, an

26 | Jewish News | Camp | March 14, 2016 |

internal medicine specialist who also practices in the West Bloomfield area, called Brownstein’s post “dangerous” in a Forbes article. “Dr. Brownstein is wrong on the facts. That’s not my opinion,” Lipson wrote. “What is my opinion is that doctors like him are a threat to public health.” Tamarack Camps’ decision also caused a bit of a stir in and around the metro Detroit Jewish community. Dr. Kathy Erlich, a Jewish pediatrician against strict vaccine laws who worked in the camp’s medical clinic, resigned. And Miller, who wrote about Tamarack’s decision for Time, says at least one family left the camp over the policy. “Of course there are parents out there that have chosen not to vaccinate their children, and I think they always assume that either their personal or their religious reasons for not vaccinating will be accepted,” says Paul Reichenbach, the Union of Reform Judaism’s director of camp and Israel programs. The URJ camp system issued a formalized vaccine policy in 2008. “It came as a surprise to some people,” Reichenbach says. Still, Lipson, who covers science and medicine for Forbes, says that parents of


prospective campers should not lose sleep over the medical exemption rule. Some children have legitimate medical reasons to skip a certain vaccine—and they depend on the immunity of the other campers around them even more. As to whether or not parents should scrutinize camps that allow non-medical exemptions, Lipson says the issue is worth talking about. “Because this is such a new question, I’m just starting to ask [it] myself,” he says. “Personal belief exemptions are a nightmare.” Lipson points out that it can be tough for camps to hold their ground against parents on the vaccine issue because, while everyone has to go to school, they’re not required to attend summer camp. That’s partly why he was impressed with Tamarack Camps’ decision to publicly state a formal position. At Camp Tamakwa in Ontario, where Lipson volunteers, campers must hand in immunization forms, but he isn’t aware of a formal written camp policy. “I was actually kind of surprised that [Tamarack] did it,” Lipson says. “You put a bunch of Jews in a room, and what are the odds you’re going to get a consensus?”

Gan Izzy

amp Gan Izzy has been providing Jewish children in Hampton Roads with a fun and engaging summer program for 19 years. Gan Izzy campers partake in exciting and creative activities which are all infused with a love for their Jewish heritage. Gan Izzy campers enjoy field trips, gymnastics instruction, swimming, water activities, baking, games and arts and crafts. Each day at Gan Izzy includes a Jewish lesson and multiple opportunities to perform Mitzvot. The staff at Gan Izzy is kind and caring and willing to go the extra mile to guarantee smiles on the faces of all campers.

PURIM — Wednesday, March 23–Thursday March 24

Purim forever celebrated From Persia to Iran—the plot remains the same


urim’s extraordinary fun masks and matches the extraordinary seriousness of the life and death issues behind it, while allowing for the healthy release of pent-up tension and emotion. After all, a threat of genocide hanging over a vulnerable people such as the Jews with a plot in place to terminate its existence in the vast Persian empire of antiquity was not to be taken lightly. The salvation found through interestingly and provokingly—an intermarried Jewish queen who happened to be placed in a pivotal position to help her kin while in dire straits—adds an intriguing dimension to a drama whose historical veracity remains uncertain. However, the challenges and lessons contained in the fascinating Scroll of Esther have remained applicable throughout the Jewish saga, which does not lack all that the human imagination, creatively and destructively, can conjure up. The rabbis have taught that in the messianic era yet to come, of all the Jewish holidays, only Purim will continue to be celebrated. Is it perhaps because we should never take Jewish survival for granted and need to always be on guard? Is that why God’s name is not mentioned, even once in the scroll, a notable exception to all the other books in the Bible? David BenGurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, stated that when the lion and the lamb will dwell together, he still would like to be the lion just in case…. That is ample testimony to what our people have learned the tragic way. We are thus invited to ponder those unique features of a mesmerizing account in which Jews are called upon to act in God’s name. Of course, the absence of the divine name does not necessarily imply God’s silence, nor indifference to such matters of supreme importance. Curiously, the leaders of the present Islamic Republic of Iran (once Persia), seeking hegemony in the Middle East and the Muslim world, have not given up in spite of the “deal” of “wiping Israel off the

map.” This time with the aid of nuclear power, well aware of Israel’s mortal vulnerability given its very limited and limiting geography, to conclude what Haman and Hitler began. Has not the Haman-like, and even the more dangerous leaders of Iran, read the Scroll of Esther and taken to heart the fate of those who seek to destroy us? Denying the Holocaust, they seek to deny Israel’s existence, and if necessary to hasten its demise through a “real Holocaust.” Queen Esther was forced to hide her Jewish identity—otherwise she could not get into the palace. The beautiful and heroic Esther had to be prodded by wise and courageous Mordechai—after all, she was only human and young—to risk her life by appearing uninvited before King Ahsheverus. However, she did perform, and well at that, forever earning an honored place in the pantheon of Jewish heroines and heroes. Esther’s people are not yet fully safe, but are finally capable of defending their lives in a way that was not possible before. Remember, experienced Uncle Mordechai engaged in successful counter plots. Selfdefense is a top Jewish and human Mitzvah, particularly in our post-Holocaust era. We have already paid a very high price, and thus “Never Again!” is more than a slogan. It is a sacred imperative beyond blotting out Haman’s name at the raucous Megillah reading. A sovereign Jewish state and an influential American Jewish community make a critical difference. May we act and pray so that the contemporary Iranian plot will meet the fate of oblivion of the early prototype, of biblical Amalek’s descendants, while we are ever vigilant. Our ultimate goal, so elusive for so long, remains a peaceful world of Shalom through the sacred task of Tikkun Olam’s healing, hope and harmony for all of God’s children. Rabbi Israel Zoberman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim.

Ugly fruit is no laughing matter— Leket Israel combines celebrating Purim with feeding Israel’s needy RA’ANANA, Israel—Purim is coming and in addition to reading the Book of Esther, dressing in costumes, and eating a sumptuous meal, Purim wouldn’t be Purim without sending greetings, gifts and giving charity to the poor. Leket Israel, the country’s largest food bank and leading food rescue network, offers a way to fulfil these obligations— by buying Leket greetings cards—with all proceeds donated to Leket Israel’s Purim campaign: “Funny looking fruit is no laughing matter…it’s nutritious and should be rescued for those in need.” “This Purim, we urge you to help Leket feed Israel’s most vulnerable while fulfilling the mitzvah of giving to the needy. Leket Israel’s greetings card are a great way to prevent food waste and say Happy Purim to

your friends and family. Every $1 donated = 10 lbs. of rescued food. Our goal this year is to feed 250,000 needy people in Israel over the holidays” says Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel founder and chairman. Leket Israel-The National Food Bank is the leading food rescue non-profit organization that rescues fresh, perishable food, which would otherwise be considered waste, from farms, hotels, military bases and catering halls to aid the quarter of the country’s population that lives below the poverty line. The organization works with 195 non-profits throughout the country to distribute nutritious food to more than 175,000 Israelis weekly. Last year alone, Leket collected and distributed more than 30 million pounds of food for the needy. For information, visit


Camp JCC is a wonde rf ul place to wor k! SUMMER 2016

Staff Orientation: June 13 - 17 Camp JCC: June 20 - August 12 Post Camp: August 15 - September 2

NOW HIRING….. Fun and Creative Staff for:

• Counselors (HS grads, min.) • Junior Counselors (Rising HS junior, min.) • Specialists (full & part-time): Sports, Music, and Arts • Special Needs Counselors • Lead Counselors • Camp Nurse

Summer camp JCC offers a rich and unique day camp experience, allowing every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills and form meaningful relationships. Staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. Positions available for experienced counselors, unit head lead counselors, part time and first time counselors. All camp personnel have a background check and participate in an extensive mandatory orientation program. EOE For more information, contact:

Erika Eskanazi, Children, Family and Camp Assistant Director (757) 321-2342 Taffy Hunter, Human Resource Director (757) 965-6117

Submit completed application to: Applications available at:

Simon Family JCC

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Don't wait! Applications accepted TODAY! | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 27


PURIM — Wednesday, March 23–Thursday March 24

Milk and Cereal Hamantaschen recipe for Purim by Shannon Sarna

(The Nosher via JTA)—It’s that time of year, when bloggers and crazy Jewish women everywhere scramble to come up with unique variations of hamantaschen. And I am nothing if not a crazy Jewish woman. As I mulled over what kind of Purim treats to whip up this year, I wanted to create some vibrant cookies that tasted as delicious as they looked. I don’t know what it is about a bowl of cereal that is somehow comforting and indulgent, but that was my

starting point for these milk and cereal hamantaschen: a long way from the story of Haman and Esther, but fun and celebratory nevertheless. Kids will love making and eating these colorful treats using their favorite cereals. Try using any cereal they like, as long as it’s a bit sugary (hey, it’s a holiday!). And if you like handing out gifts in your community as part of the festivities, these hamantaschen would inspire an adorable breakfast-themed mishloach manot. —Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher.

Milk and Cereal Hamantaschen Ingred i ent s


For the dough ½ cup butter (or margarine) ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 tablespoon milk (or almond milk) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1¼ cups all purpose flour   plus more for rolling ¼ cup crushed Fruity Pebbles cereal (or other cereal of your choosing) ¼ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling 8 ounces cream cheese,   room temperature ¼ cup milk (preferably whole milk,   but not skim) ¼ cup Fruity Pebbles cereal   (or other cereal) pinch salt 3 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla Additional cereal for topping

D i rect i o n s


28 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

Start by prepping the filling: In a small bowl combine the milk and Fruity Pebbles. Set aside. To make the dough, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt baking powder and crushed cereal. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture in batches until dough forms. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Flatten into disc and place in fridge for at least 1 hour. While dough is chilling, finish making the filling. Combine the milk-cereal mixture with softened cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take half dough and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut rounds using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Add about ½ teaspoon filling into the middle of each round. Fold corners into triangles, pinching carefully on each end. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Place in fridge for 10 minutes. Bake for 9–11 minutes. Allow to cool.

Book Review A mature perspective Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile Farideh Goldin Athabasca University Press, 2016 291pp., $22.95(paper) ISBN 978-1-77199-137-7(pbk) 1-177199-138-4 (pdf) 1-177199-1-137-1(epub)


eaving Iran, 13 years after Wedding Song, reminds one of a reunion Hal Sacks with a college roommate a decade after graduation. Within a few moments it feels as though we had never been apart. To use the term “love-hate” relationship to describe Farideh Goldin’s bond with her father, her Baba, would just be wrong. Love, yes! Resentment, yes! Guilt, plenty! But a decade does bring change to all concerned. And so it is that, while we recognize many of the people introduced in Wedding Song, we realize they were mostly lightly sketched, while this new memoir rewards the reader with a richly detailed portrait of an entire family. We get to know the mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers—the whole “fameli.” But most of all we get to know the father, Baba, and we are further privy to the struggles of a dutiful “child,” caught between the desire to be a good daughter while maintaining the life she risked everything for to create in America. Self-described as a work of creative non-fiction, Leaving Iran draws heavily from the memoirs of Esghel Dayanim (Baba), the author’s father, translated from the Persian and very tastefully molded into a factually accurate narrative. Indeed, most of the book alternates between chapters labeled “Farideh” and “Baba.” The arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini following the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran prompted Baba to move his family to Israel in 1979—an Israel that didn’t exactly greet his Persian family with open

arms. They were forced to live in what was basically a slum and eke out a precarious existence on the fringe of Israeli society. Baba, then, began his odyssey, driven by intense pride: He felt a great longing for the very conservative culture of religious Jews in Iran; he was determined not to be committed to a penurious existence in Israel; he fiercely needed to recapture some of the wealth he had created in Shiraz. For more than a decade he struggled with the Jew-hating Iranian bureaucracy, suffered humiliation, privation and beatings, pouring his energies and remaining resources into a hopeless quest to regain his property in Iran. Despite the crumbling of his hopes, Baba never really accepted the western ways of the only child who could, and would, really help him, Farideh. And what of Farideh, known in our very own community as an attractive, educated, accomplished woman in a wonderful marriage with three exceptional daughters? Quite bravely and candidly, the reader will discover, she has opened her life for observation and inspection through the “Farideh” chapters interspersed with “Baba.” We see at first hand her growth as a person, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. On balance, Leaving Iran, both physically and psychically, is a gripping work. Supplementing Wedding Song, there is additional catharsis. However, the more mature perspective is reflective of the 13 years between books. In 2003, Farideh Goldin was revealed as a rare talent. We looked forward then to more from her. That hope and expectation is not diminished. One might have wished for the somewhat more elegant production, even in paperback, the book deserves; more and clearer photographs, too. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.

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it’s a wrap First person

The Virginia bus to Israel keeps on rolling by Rabbi Gershon Litt

by Helene Rosenfeld and Helene Smith, Sister co-presidents


hat makes each trip unique for you?” After returning from leading my 27th Birthright Israel trip, this question continues to be asked. This past winter season was somewhat unique because of the security situation in the Holy Land. Birthright Israel mandated that every trip have two armed guards versus the one that had accompanied us on previous trips. The other uniqueness of this trip was that it was very cold and rainy. The itinerary, therefore, was altered to reflect these realities and we needed to be more creative than usual in order to get the most out of our time in Israel. Instead of going to the Western Wall on Shabbat, for example, we had to stay in the hotel. At first I was not happy about this, but in the end, I was surprised. At our hotel was a special needs Birthright Israel group named Yachad. When this group sat down next to us for Shabbos dinner, there was an awkward feeling in the air. My students did not know what to do, how to act or what to say to them. Within a few minutes, however, all of that changed. Students from my trip started to sing and dance with the Yachad trip. Within a short amount of time, the groups were together, celebrating Shabbos as Jews, not as two trips. While this is typically the feeling that we get at the Western Wall, this trip was different. We turned the hotel into the Kotel. Students on my trip came from many colleges and universities around Virginia, including Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Washington & Lee, and others. The “Virginia Bus” as it has come to be known, takes 40 students twice a year and goes all over Israel, exploring the country and learning about Jewish heritage. It is completely free and run by an organization called Israel Free Spirit, a project of the

Tu B’Shevat Sedar at Congregation Beth El


In front of the Western Wall.

Virginia Beach residents and siblings, Blake and Raven Laibstain.

William and Mary student, Maddy Naide with an Israeli soldier participant.

Orthodox Union. Students of all denominations and backgrounds are welcome. This summer, trip number 28 for me, the Virginia bus will depart on May 23 and return June 3. Those who are interested should contact me to get on the “Virginia Bus.” On the way to the airport in Israel, a recent participant from Virginia Beach, Edo Mor, said, “This was an amazing 10-day experience. It changed my life

forever.” As long as there are students to bring to Israel, the “Virginia Bus” will keep rolling. —Rabbi Gershon Litt is the executive director at the Norfolk Kollel, rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, director of the Hillels at William and Mary and CNU, and rabbi of the Commodore Levy Chapel at Naval Station Norfolk.

30 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

hen Beth El Sisterhood celebrated its annual Tu B’Shevat Sedar on January 25, participants were actively engaged as a sacred community built on the strength of relationships. Beth El’s Sisterhood hosted “our sisters in the hood” from Temple Israel and the consensus of many, including Barbara Abraham, Nancy Schrier, Joan Lederman, Barbara Rossen, Ina Leiderman, Harriet Dickman was that it was wonderful to share this holiday. Tables were centered with a symbolic tree surrounded by sedar plates of the fruits and nuts of Israel to remind everyone of their roles of stewards of the earth. One of the stories from the Talmud repeated in the sedar illustrates this. The story is about an old man who plants a carob tree. A passerby asks why a carob tree, which takes 70 years to bear fruit, which he will not live long enough to enjoy. The old man answers that his grandparents planted for him and he is planting for his grandchildren. Another symbol on the table was the wine. As was the custom of the Kabbalists of the 16th century, participants drank four cups of wine, mixing the red and white to reflect the changing colors of Israel’s natural landscape and the changing seasons. Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel and Cantor Wendy Fried of Beth El were the guides in reading a special Hagadah. After blessing the fruits and wine, a light luncheon followed with Cantor Wendi leading the group in song while Rabbi Panitz accompanied her at the piano. In honor of the joint sedar, enough tzedakah was contributed to plant nine trees in Israel.

Beth El’s Ben Gordon Family Bingo Night

Performance enthralls children at Simon Family JCC

by Mark Kozak



it’s a wrap

he annual Ben Gordon Family Bingo Night took place on Feb. 20 at Congregation Beth El. Thanks to the generosity of 55 donors, a record amount of sponsorship money was raised by the Beth El Men’s Club to be donated to Sunday School needs and summer camp odd Rosenlieb dancers pose with a family after the dance perscholarships. And formance on Sunday, Feb. 21 at the Simon Family JCC. The thanks to 53 different businesses and individuals, some 120 final Children’s Cultural Arts program for the season will feature prizes were handed out to bingo-game and door prize winners. Atumpan, an African storytelling and drumming duo withaudiPrizes included large, flat-screen TVs, hotel packages, symphony ence participation on Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 pm. Call 321-2338 and sports tickets, restaurant coupons, and jewelry and Judaica. or Among the big winners were Joyce Arns of Norfolk, who won $532.50 in the evening’s 50/50 drawing, and Barbara Kahn of Virginia Beach, who won the final $500 blackout game. DVERTISING Officially a sell-out in the 300-plus seat Myers Hall, actual attendance was around CCOUNT 250. For $20 ($15 for kids), players received XECUTIVE bingo cards, raffle tickets and a hot-dog Position Available dominated dinner, which included veggie burgers, fruits and veggies, baked beans, • Sales experience a must chips, brownies, and popcorn. • Media sales, a plus “Besides Yom Kippur, this may be the • Flexible hours most popular night of the year at Beth El,” • Great earning potential quipped Craig Schranz, Men’s Club president, while hawking 50/50 tickets. The all-volunteer effort was led by Mark Kozak, Norman Soroko and Alex Pomerantz, with major assistance from emcee Gary Kell, If you are an ambitious, high-energy, self-starter with caller Neil Rose, kitchen-crew chief Michael good people skills, this might be the job for you! Efland, check-in chief Ron Gladstone, brownie maker Carol Smith and a host of Men’s Club board members. This was the 17th annual bingo fundraiser, which for the last four years has been named Interested? Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, in memory of Ben Gordon, a loyal contributor or submit resume to to the Men’s Club, the synagogue—and to fun Jewish News in general. Gordon’s extended family continAttention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive ues to be a big supporter of the bingo effort.


Join Our Team! A


Virginia Beach, 23462

John McCutcheon

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757-722-2787 | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 31

what’s happening Heart 411: Getting to the Heart of the Matter — Wednesday, April 13, 7 pm, Chrysler Museum Renowned physician from the Cleveland Clinic to speak in Norfolk during Spring into Healthy Living program


ore than 82 million Americans are currently diagnosed with cardiovascular disease—and millions more think they are healthy, but are actually at risk. Join Jewish Dr. Steven Nissen Family Service of Tidewater to hear from renowned physician, Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiologist from the Cleveland Clinic and co-author of the book Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need. The program will be held in the George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Theatre at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. “We are so honored that Dr. Nissen will be speaking in our community,” says Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director.

“Over the past 12 years, our goal has been to bring individuals from around the country to Hampton Roads with expertise in medical, social, spiritual and emotional aspects of health to help promote wellness in our community. We are pleased to partner with so many organizations and individuals over the years throughout the community who have helped us achieve this goal and this year is no different.” Nissen will address common questions such as: Can the stress of my job really lead to a heart attack? How does exercise help my heart, and what is the right amount and type of exercise? What are the most important tests for my heart, and when do I need them? How do symptoms and treatments differ among men and women? Whether the goal is to get the best treatment or to stay out of the cardiologist’s office, heart health depends

upon accurate information and the right answers to the right questions. This educational, yet lively presentation will cut through the confusion to provide the knowledge and tools to live a long and heart-healthy life. The program is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Call 757-321-2222 to register. Nissen is the chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate, and researcher and is currently the editor of Current Cardiology Report. In 2007, he was listed as Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World—Scientists and Thinkers.” This program is presented as part of

JFS’s annual major fundraiser, the 12th Annual Spring Into Healthy Living. Top sponsorships include presenting sponsor, TowneBank, lead sponsor, the Lee & Bernard Jaffe* Family Fund of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation and diamond sponsor, the Copeland & Klebanoff Families. JFS is continuing to add sponsors at all giving levels. Visit the event website at to view other sponsors and sponsorship opportunities. Interested individuals and businesses may also contact Betty Ann Levin or Sue Graves at 757-321-2222 to discuss these opportunities which allow JFS to continue to meet the ever-increasing community needs. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. *Of blessed memory

Odds are good for big turnout at YAD Purim Party —Saturday, March 19, 8 pm, Sandler Family Campus by Laine M. Rutherford


hey call her Lady Luck, and chances are good she may show up with Frank Sinatra, Liberace, or a beautiful blonde bombshell at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus for the “party of the year.” The Young Adult Division (YAD) of the United Jewish Federation is throwing its second Purim party in as many years. Tidewater Home Funding is again sponsoring the extravaganza, which is open to all in the community, ages 22 and up. “We’re happy to support YAD and its annual Purim party for the second straight year,” says Shikma Rubin, a licensed mortgage consultant with Tidewater Home Funding and a YAD board member. “We believe in supporting our community, and the Purim party is an event that brings all of Tidewater’s Jewish young adults together for a really great evening.” Rubin tries not to miss the large holiday parties YAD hosts for holidays such as Hannukah and Purim. She’s been to the last three, and came dressed as a “speed bump” to last year’s Purimpalooza, a costume which wittily acknowledged her

undisguisable pregnancy. Purimpalooza had a decidedly rock ‘n roll, carnival theme atmosphere. Shikma, her husband Danny, and several hundred fellow revelers—almost all in costume— danced, drank, and noshed the night away. This year, even more guests are expected to attend based on the buzz generated from last year’s party and advance ticket sales. Fred Rose bought his tickets well ahead of time, as did his brothers. “The YAD Purim party is the premier event for our community,” says Rose. “I’m looking forward to meet new people and mingle with my friends in a fun, energetic, yet casual environment.” Organizers riffed on a popular ad slogan to come up with the theme for this year’s party: What Happens at Purim, Stays at Purim. Purim party co-chairs Callah Terkeltaub and Ashley Zittrain have worked with their committee for months to create plans that will turn the Cardo lobby into a swanky Las Vegas nightclub. While it may not have all

32 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

of the amenities of, say, Vegas’ XS or Marquee, the scene will be vibrant and utterly transformed. The fun begins as soon as guests step through the doors. In their best club clothes, or costumes (it is a Purim party, after all), the first stop for partyers will be a photo op on the red carpet. From there, choices abound. The event features an open bar with top shelf alcoholic selections, as well as other drinks. Cheap Thrills, one of the area’s most popular bands, will perform throughout the evening. The music is ideal for dancing, and those who work up an appetite from all the movin’ and groovin’ have munchies waiting: gourmet sliders and hamantaschen. A Vegas style party wouldn’t be complete without some games of chance. Tables will be set up in the VIP area for guests to play craps, roulette and blackjack. Money—the funny kind, not the real deal—will be distributed to guests to use at the tables. Special guests will also come to the party—at least two Elvis Presleys will leave guests “all shook up” and shouting,

“Viva Las Vegas.” “Purim is such a fun holiday to celebrate, and with there being an emphasis on friendship and community, it only seems fitting to attend YAD’s annual Purim party with two or 300 of your closest friends!” says Callah Terkeltaub. “I am especially excited this year with our larger-than-life Vegas theme which is sure to provide ample entertainment—with the band, the game tables, and—surprise!—its own “little white chuppah,” Terkeltaub says. Both Terkeltaub and Zittrain want to reassure all, that “What Happens at Purim, Stays at Purim.” As for the hundreds of fantastic party photos, which could end up going viral, their lips are sealed—with a smile. Tickets for What Happens at Purim Stays at Purim are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door; i.d. required. Costumes encouraged, or wear cocktail attire. Visit to reserve tickets, get more information, and get an idea of the fun in store by looking at more photos from last year’s party.

what’s happening The Holocaust Commission plans premiere for three new films in May

12th Annual Grieving Children’s Art Show now accepting work

Sunday, May 22, 2 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Show: Friday, April 1–Friday, May 13, Simon Family JCC



he world is rapidly losing the voices of those who witnessed the Holocaust. In its effort to keep those voices alive, the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater will add three new stories to its What We Carry program. The premiere is free and open to the public. Because of the intense subject matter, parental guidance is suggested for those who would like to bring children younger than 16. Since What We Carry’s debut in 2011, close to 20,000 people will have seen a presentation by the time of the May 22 premiere. Students, military personnel, and community group members have heard the stories of David Katz and Hanns Loewenbach, both of blessed memory, Kitty Saks, and Dana Cohen, the last four survivors of the Holocaust Commission’s Speakers’ Bureau. They’ll be able to hear three more distinct voices in the years to come. Like the first four in the series, each of the stories premiering in May is profound and very different from the others. The new films include first-hand accounts of survival, heroism, and courage from Alfred Dreyfus, Dame Mary Barraco, and Bill Jucksch. Dreyfus, founder of ECPI University and a respected member of the Jewish, business, and higher education communities, is a Holocaust survivor. As a schoolboy and throughout his teen years, he repeatedly defied the odds and, with his family, eluded capture by the Nazis for years. Dreyfus’ story includes intense recollections of determination, desperation, daring, and luck. Barraco is a righteous gentile who saved countless Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Although American, she had lived in Belgium for 10 years when the Nazis invaded. At 17, Barraco joined the Belgian and French undergrounds. Two years later, she was arrested, tortured, and subjected

Mary Barraco

to horrific experiments as a POW. When released, she rejoined the resistance and continued to fight the Nazis and save Jews and others until the war ended. In 2004, the King of Belgium knighted Barraco for her bravery and heroism. Bill Jucksch is a liberator of the Gunskirchen death camp in Austria. As a member of the U.S. Army’s 71st Infantry Division, Jucksch and his fellow soldiers were involved in some of the most important battles of World War II. But nothing could have prepared him for what he found at Gunskirchen. It was a scene he never could have imagined, and one he has never forgotten. Through the varied and inspirational What We Carry presentations, firsthand experiences of the Holocaust will be seen and heard for years to come, reminding audiences of the potential of man’s inhumanity to man, and conveying the vital responsibility for moral courage and justice in today’s world, and in the future. To learn more about What We Carry, visit and click on the What We Carry link. Sign up for email notifications about the Premiere on the What We Carry page.

icture this scenario. A young boy comes to a new school in a new city after moving in with his grandparents. When the boy was five, his father died from a rare form of lung cancer. And just last year, the boy’s mother died from a sudden heart attack. Who will understand what he’s going through? Who can he talk to about these losses? Although family and friends of all ages are impacted when a loved one dies, it is often more difficult to reach out to children and teens. Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s counseling staff—through the Dozoretz Center for Healing and Jessica Glasser Therapeutic Pavilion—specializes in helping individuals of all ages cope with loss and grieving. One component of this program is Peace by Piece, a free support group for children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Peace by Piece is operated by Edmarc Hospice for Children in collaboration with JFS. JFS and Edmarc co-sponsor an annual art

show that displays the creative drawings and words of local grieving children and teens. The Grieving Children’s Art Show, now in its 12th year, is open to any school-aged youth in Tidewater who has experienced the death of a loved one. This is an opportunity for children and teens to share their feelings with others and to see that they are not alone. Over the past 12 years, JFS has received more than 350 drawings. This year’s Grieving Children’s Art Show artwork will be displayed in the Leon Family Art Gallery at the Simon Family JCC April 1–May 13. They will also be on display for one night only at Peace by Piece on May 26, 2016. School-aged children or teens who have experienced the death of a loved one and would like to contribute artwork for the show, should contact Debbie Mayer at JFS. For more information about helping grieving children and teens or about the free Peace by Piece support program, call JFS at 757-459-4640 or email

Ghent Your Game On Saturday, April 30, 7–11 pm, O’Connor Brewing Company


aking Ohef Sholom Temple into the larger community, this year’s fundraiser will be held at the popular Ghent venue O’Connor Brewing Company. Ghent Your Game On will feature live music by area favorite Cheap Thrills, creative cuisine by area food trucks such as Bros Fish Tacos and Bodacious pizza, among others. O’Connor

winning craft brews, wine and games for fun and for cash prizes, and a live auction with unique experiential packages will all be part of the fun and different evening. Tickets are $55 in advance, $75 at the door. For information, call 757-625-4295 or go to Click on GAME ON Quicklink.

Beth Chaverim Sisterhood hosts annual Purim Masquerade Party Saturday, March 26, 7pm, Beth Chaverim Synagogue Queen Esther…Haman…Batman?!? One never knows whom they will meet at Beth Chaverim Sisterhood’s annual Purim Masquerade Party. The evening will feature DJ Ron with Israeli and American dancing, delicious food, mixers, a silent auction, raffles, a costume contest, hamantashen (of course), and more fun and games. The social highlight of the year for Beth Chaverim, the Purim Party has been such a success that the Sisterhood decided to invite

the community and share the fun. Open to adults of all ages, this is one party not to be missed. Tickets can be purchased at the temple for $25 or online for $27.50. For more information or online tickets, email Robin Herbol, at or Judy Gill at, subject: Purim Party. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $35. Beth Chaverim is located at 3820 Stoneshore Road in Virginia Beach. | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 33

What’s Happening Alvin Wall to be honored by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Linda S. Spindel to receive the 2016 Henry B. Kaufmann Award

Thursday, April 7, reception 5:45 pm, program and dinner 6:30 pm

Sunday, April 10, 10:30 am brunch; 11 am presentation


he Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Humanitarian Awards Dinner honors individuals who have identified a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Alvin Wall, a 2016 honoree of the prestigious award, has been involved with many non-profits, including a term as past president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The event will take place at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Tidewater Jewish Foundation are organizing tables for the event. To attend, and sit at a UJFT-TJF table, call or e-mail Samantha Golden at 965-6124 or


Alvin Wall

Employment Oppor tunity ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Part-Time (variable 30 hours/week)

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation has an immediate opening for a part-time Administrative Assistant to perform various administrative functions in providing support to the TJF team; consisting of the Director of Development, CEO/President, CFO and Controller. The ideal candidate is ambitious, energetic, self-directed and has proven Administrative Assistant experience; a high level of professionalism and proficiency in the execution of duties is required. Primary responsibilities include processing information, producing reports, preparing daily deposit information, maintaining the organization’s databases, preparing correspondence and other forms of communications to/from staff, donors professionals, and vendors as required. Event planning/meeting logistics experience is helpful. Associate degree or Bachelor’s degree, preferred. Ideal candidate has1-3 years’ experience. Proficient use of Windows and MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) We offer an exciting, fun, and rewarding work environment.

Contact Taffy Hunter, Human Resources director, at 757-965-6117, or submit resume to: Tidewater Jewish Foundation Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, Virginia The Tidewater Jewish Foundation is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability, genetic information or military status.

Great Career Opportunity……. APPLY TODAY! 34 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

or more than 30 years, Ohef Sholom Temple Men’s Club has bestowed the Henry B. Kaufmann Award upon a congregant for extraordinary service to the temple and the Community at large. Henry B. Kaufmann, an accountant by trade, was extremely active in Men’s Club and the temple and was a devoted volunteer for civic clubs throughout the city, as well as an active fundraiser for the Heart Association, Cancer and Arthritis Foundations. The Men’s Club established this memorial to him to honor his exemplary service to the community, his devotion to Ohef Sholom Temple and his love for Judaism. This year, the Men’s Club will honor Linda S. Spindel as the 2016 Henry B. Kaufmann Award recipient. She and her husband Ron Spindel, who is an extraordinary volunteer in his own right, are the parents of Jeff Spindel, of blessed memory, and Kevin and wife Jennifer Spindel, and the very proud grandparents of Jordan Brooke and Jacob Tyler Spindel. Spindel’s love for and life-long dedication to Ohef Sholom Temple continues a four-generational tradition of service and commitment. She began her formal Jewish education there through Confirmation with many students who remain close friends to this day. Spindel notes how inspired she was by the teachings of Rabbi Malcolm Stern. She is a past president of the temple and currently serves as a member of the education committee, in addition to numerous advisory roles. The list of committees, fundraisers and events she has either chaired or participated on are too numerous to mention.

In the Jewish community, Spindel is the national vice president of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies; a board member of the Jewish Museum and Cultural Linda S. Spindel Center; serves on the Advisory Committee and volunteers weekly at the Personal Affairs Management of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater; is a board member of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation; a past president of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater; and a board and finance committee member of the Simon Family JCC. In the community at large, Spindel has served on many civic organizations and other associations and committees. She is a board member of the Portsmouth Museum Foundation and particularly loves being involved in special projects all year long for the Children’s Museum. She is an active fundraiser and recent honoree of the Arthritis Foundation; serves on the executive committee for the Seton Youth Shelters; is a recipient along with her husband, Ron, of a Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities; and, a long-time fundraising powerhouse in the community. Spindel says “Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.” Tickets are $10. RSVP to reservations@

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Calendar MARCH 16, WEDNESDAY J.C.C. Seniors Club board meeting at 10:30 am, lunch at 12 pm, general meeting, 12:45 pm. Kerry Daugherty, columnist from The Virginian-Pilot will be the guest speaker. She has covered courts, been a feature writer, and a member of the editorial board and since 2000, a metro columnist. March 18, Friday The Sonenshine Lecture Series features Michael Brenner, the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C., 12 pm, ODU library. Shabbat Dinner at 6 pm; services and speaker to follow at Congregation Beth El. $18 adults; $10 children age 3–12. March 19, Saturday The Sonenshine Lecture Series features Michael Brenner, the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. 11:30 am, lunch; 12:30 pm, speaker at Ohef Sholom Temple. Lunch is free. RSVP to linda @ or YAD Purim party—Vegas style. The Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites 22–45-year-olds to: What happens at Purim Stays at Purim. 8 pm–12 am. Sandler Family Campus. Live music. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information: or email See page 32. MARCH 20, SUNDAY Brith Sholom will meet at Teppanyaki Chinese Buffet (Southern Shopping Center, 7525 Tidewater Drive Norfolk). 5:30 pm. Entertainment will be provided by Billy and Cindi Mitchell. Cost (which includes tip, tax and drinks) is $8 for members, $16 for guests. Reservations and payment must be received by Tuesday, March 15. April 3, Sunday Ohef Sholom Temple Rummage Sale. 8:30 am–2 pm. 757-625-4295 or information @ April 10, Sunday Ohef Sholom Temple’s Men’s Club honors Linda Spindel with Kaufman Award. 10:30 am. Call 757-625-4295 for reservations. Pink Tea. Honor women cancer survivors at the 5th Annual Pink Tea at Temple Emanuel. Minimum contribution is $7.50. Speakers are Dr. Anne Daigle and Dr. Richard Heyman. RSVP before April 7, 2 pm. Call Temple Emanuel at 757-428-2591 or Renee Heyman at 757-8532145 for more information. Atumpan, a drumming and storytelling group presented by Young Audiences of Virginia at the Simon Family JCC as part of the Children’s Cultural Arts series of the Simon Family JCC. 2:30 pm. To purchase tickets, visit, call 757-321-2338, or visit the customer service desk. April 33, wednesday JFS presents Getting to the Heart of the Matter with Dr. Steven Nissen. 7 pm. Chrysler Museum. 757-321-2222 See page 32. April 30, Saturday Ghent Your Game On! An evening of live music by Cheap Thrills with craft beers, wine tastings, food, games, fun, prizes and a live auction. Presented by Ohef Sholom Temple. 7–11 pm at O’Connor Brewing Co. , 211 W. 24th St., Norfolk. Tickets $55 in advance, $75 at the door. Go to for tickets and additional information. See page 33. June 5, Sunday Annual Israel Fest at Simon Family JCC. A Celebrate Israel Series event sponsored by Charles Barker Automotive. 11 am–4 pm. Interested vendors contact Naty Horev at nhorev@ or 321-2304. *of blessed memory Send submissions for calendar to Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.

Birth Rabbi Arthur Ruberg and Miriam Brunn Ruberg on the birth of their second grandchild, Noah Lev on February 2. Parents are Adina (Ruberg) and Ben Kozberg of Columbus, Ohio. Engagement Sherry and Irving Frank on the engagement of their son Matthew Frank of Arlington, Va. to Melissa Doman of

Rockville, Md. Matthew is the brother of Marc and Kara, and the grandson of Ray Salken, Lucille Frank and Joe Frank (of blessed memory). Melissa is the daughter of Dr. David and Penny Doman of Rockville, Md. and the granddaughter of Alfred Fabrikant, Rachael Fabrikant (of blessed memory), and Helen and Henry Doman (both of blessed memory). No wedding date has been set.

Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.

Ohef Sholom Temple names Linda Peck as executive director


t a meeting last month, the board of directors of Ohef Sholom Temple unanimously approved the immediate hiring of Linda Peck as the first executive director the temple. In 2012, Peck joined Ohef Sholom as director of Congregational Life. Prior to accepting that position, she devoted 20 years to Jewish education in Tidewater, first as a middle school teacher at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and then as the principal of BINA High School for Girls. Born and raised in Portsmouth, Peck previously worked in the Philadelphia and New York City corporate scenes, and indulged her passion for cooking by studying at Cordon Bleu School in London and pastries at the Ritz Escoffier in Paris.

All are welcome to celebrate... Save the Dates:

With degrees in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, Peck brings to OST her diverse background Linda Peck ranging from corporate and foundation fundraising at the Philadelphia Orchestra to LBO financing at GE Capital. Peck returned to Tidewater in 1990, married Barry Friedman and together they have two children, Elli and Ethan.


March 18, 2016 April 8, 2016

Family Friendly Friday Service 5:45 pm

530 Raleigh Ave, Norfolk, VA 23507 P: (757)-625-4295 •

Community Shabbat Dinner 6:30 pm *Dinner is free for children under 12. Ages 13 and older, $10 per person.

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Made possible by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation and Simon Family Foundation. Please RSVP to (757) 625-4295 or | March 14, 2016 | Jewish News | 35

obituaries Harold Irving Geringer NEW YORK—Harold Irving Geringer, a remarkable father and grandfather, devoted husband, wonderful friend, loving brother, and dedicated lawyer passed away peacefully on February 23, 2016, at the age of 84. Harold was preceded by his beloved wife of 53 years Eleanore, his parents, Nathan and Betty, and his brother Martin. Left to cherish his memory and celebrate the life he led are his children Geoffrey Geringer, Laura Gross and her husband Fredric, Elizabeth Lieberman and her husband Gary, and four devoted grandchildren, Benjamin, Alyson, and Rachel Gross, and Spencer Lieberman. Harold is also survived by his sister Ann Lieberman and husband Leo, his brother Saul Geringer and wife Martha, his in-laws Harold and Sylvia Nissen, his special friend Phyllis Gershon and a host of nieces and nephews with whom he was very close. Also surviving are a group of lifelong and devoted friends who supported Harold until the end. A founding partner of the law firm Geringer, McNamara, & Horowitz, LLP, originally Lian & Geringer, Harold graduated from the City College of New York and the Brooklyn Law School. Harold almost fulfilled the prediction that he would need to be carried out of his office before he would retire, as he continued to practice until two weeks prior to his death. Despite the demands of his practice, and his love of the law, Harold was a caring and involved husband and parent and loved being with his family, especially when it involved being out on the bay on one of his many

boats, all named We II. Boating became a passion, with Eleanore as his First Mate, and the kids as the Crew. Harold was also devoted to serving his community, originally in Merrick, and later in New York City. Always devoted to helping those in need, Harold would never say no to a charitable request—leading to a vast collection of “give aways” from various groups. He was also devoted to his Judaism and to the State of Israel, serving as president of his Synagogue, Temple Israel of South Merrick and participating with many organizations committed to the support of Israel. A graveside service was held at the New Montefiore Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Harold Geringer to the Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital, for MDS/ AML Research/Dr. Navada Fund or a charity of your choice. Martin “Skip” Goode Norfolk—Cmdr. Martin “Skip” Goode passed away on February 14, 2016 at home surrounded by family. Skip was born in Trenton, N.J. on November 25, 1928, but grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. His parents, Maurice and Rebecca Goode, brother Leon Goode, and sister Sylvia Katzenberg predeceased him. Skip leaves behind his loving wife of 48 years, Paula; daughter Nelegene Bringsjord (Norman) of Edinburg, Va., her children Carmen Green, Gabriel Green, Daniel Green (Candace) and his children Kylee and Taylor; daughter Cheryl Goode of Hendersonville, N.C., her child Kelly

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Goode and her child Oliver; daughter Francheska Yeskolski (Stanley) of Virginia Beach, and her children Sean MacElwee and Alex Yeskolski; niece Jill Katzenberg of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Skip enlisted in the Navy at 17 and became a flying midshipman. He earned his wings and became a F4U Corsair fighter pilot as a member of the squadron Fighting 32. He flew 40 missions during the Korean War. Some of his Korean War adventures are recorded in a recently published book, Devotion by Adam Makos. Skip served on two carriers including being department head aboard the USS Boxer, was a helicopter test pilot at Sikorsky Aircraft for the Navy, and the rest of his tours were in financial management. He retired in 1972 after 27 years of service. Following retirement from the Navy, Skip worked for several accounting firms including L K H &H and Goodman & Company, as well as holding other executive positions. He held the position of administrator under Walter Chrysler at the Chrysler Museum and served as comptroller simultaneously for Paramount Industries and CODI Associates. Skip retired from the work force again, but took on a consulting position at Old Dominion University and subsequently started his own financial consulting business, Goode Executive Enterprises. Skip loved to learn and his education was ongoing. He earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech; MA in Administration from George Washington University; Certified Public Accounting Review from La Salle University;

Professional Financial Planner certificate from ODU College of Business & Public Administration; and many other certificates from various colleges. Skip was a member of Toastmasters Club #3267 for over 25 years and made many friends there. He was also a member of the Association of Management Accountants and served as president from 1977 to 1980. After retiring, yet again, Skip enjoyed spending time playing tennis, and lunching with friends. He enjoyed volunteering at Ohef Sholom Temple, where his expertise was needed. Skip and Paula belonged to many social and investment groups throughout the years and in the last several years they took up Argentine Tango where they had great fun and made many new friends. Skip will be sorely missed by friends and loved ones. Special thanks to Freda H. Gordon Hospice & Palliative Care of Tidewater and Jewish Family Service. A memorial service to celebrate the life of Martin Goode was held at at Ohef Sholom Temple. Altmeyer Funeral Home. Condolences can be made at Bernard Miller Virginia Beach—Bernard Miller, 79, died peacefully on February 18, 2016. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on December 15, 1936. He was a U.S. Navy Aviator aboard the USS Intrepid. He received an Honorable Discharge, and went on to earn a law degree from New York University. He moved his family to Hampton Roads, where he led

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obituaries a successful career as a trial attorney. He eventually became Preferred Counsel for the United Transportation Union. He is survived by his wife, Caroline; his sons, Joseph and Daniel; his daughter, Rachel; grandchildren: Anna, Meredith, Dalya, Hayden, Max and Emmy; his sister, Rosalie. Helene E. Shipowitz Virginia Beach—Helene E. Shipowitz, 74, passed away February 29, 2016 in Virginia Beach. Helene is survived by her sons Jay and his wife, Daphne Shipowitz and Steven and his wife Lisa Shipowitz; dear friend Norman Prince; brother Stuart Engel and his wife Nancy; grandchildren, Jennifer, Ben, Jordan and Gregory Shipowitz and her two nephews Martin and Lee Engel. She is predeceased by her husband Stanley and her son Louis. A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to the Stanley and Louis Shipowitz Counseling Fund, Congregation Beth El.

Christianity, and was taken to the Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1942, when he was 19 years old. At the advice of an acquaintance, Willenberg told Nazi guards when he entered Treblinka that he was a bricklayer, which saved his life; the rest of his transport was killed in the gas chambers. Willenberg was a leader of the August 1943 revolt at the camp, in which 300 prisoners escaped. About 100 of the escaped inmates survived, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.

Over 800,000 Jews from Poland and Greece were killed at Treblinka. Willenberg later joined the Polish partisans and took part in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. He moved to Israel in 1950 and spent the rest of his life teaching about the Holocaust, including visiting Poland and Treblinka with high school students. Willenberg wrote a memoir about his experiences called Revolt in Treblinka. He had hoped to establish a museum at Treblinka, which had mostly been leveled by the Nazis at the end of the war.

Last survivor of Treblinka revolt, Samuel Willenberg, dies at 93 JERUSALEM (JTA)—Samuel Willenberg, the last survivor of the Treblinka camp revolt, has died. Willenberg, who escaped the Nazi death camp in 1943, died last month at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 93. He was born in 1923 in Częstochowa, Poland, to a Jewish father and a mother who converted to Judaism from Orthodox

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“Samuel Willenberg was a hero who defied the odds and risked his life during the darkest time in modern history,” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said in a statement. “He dedicated his life’s work to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and to honoring the Jewish people. “As the number of living Holocaust survivors dwindles, it is our duty to continue their legacy and ensure that future generations remember their sacrifices and never forget the horrors that the Jewish people were forced to endure.”

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1,000 cookies made in Tidewater will be sent to U.S. troops in time for Purim Article and photos by Laine Mednick Rutherford


he 130 Operation Hamantaschen volunteers did everything they were asked, and more, at the March 6 communitywide “make and bake” program held at the Simon Family JCC. Including the tasting. Quality control wasn’t part of the volunteer description publicized by presenters of the annual event: the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Simon Family JCC Children and Family Department. But it was important to many who helped make the traditional cookies eaten during the Jewish festival of Purim.

The event’s purpose, after all, was to send boxes of the goodies to Jewish U.S. members of the military deployed abroad or stationed away from their homes to let them know they are thought of and appreciated. So tasting became one of the jobs for volunteers, along with rolling out cookie dough, dropping fruit filling in the center, shaping the cookies into triangles, decorating small boxes, writing notes of thanks, and finally packaging the sweets. The consensus of those who were committed to sampling the product: outstanding exterior and a sweet interior. A perfect way to let the troops know the Tidewater Jewish community and its friends are supportive and grateful for the sacrifices made to protect America’s freedoms. “We made enough dough for more than 1,000 hamantaschen, and we’re going to make sure that every service member who has requested some gets a box from us,” says Stephanie Steerman, event chair. If all goes as planned, the Operation Hamantaschen packages should be received in time for the holiday. To see more photos from the event, visit

Operation Hamantaschen committee member, Jessica Ruthenberg.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Alexander helps make hamantaschen for his colleagues in the military.

Minna Haber and Pasha Shereshevsky

Stacy and A.J. Sedory pack and stack boxes of cookies for shipping. Joan Rose and Orli Adut make hamantaschen.

Cookies, decorated boxes, and cards will be sent to U.S. Jewish military men and women deployed or stationed away from home. 38 | Jewish News | March 14, 2016 |

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Leah, Stephanie and Alexa Steerman.

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