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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 57 No. 17 | 22 Iyar 5779 | May 27, 2019

10 Community remembers on Yom Hashoah

Community meets local and global needs —Annual Campaign exceeds $4.8-million—

27 Armed Forces Shabbat celebrates service members

—page 6

28 Passing the gavel at Women’s Lunch

Healthcare 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 Address Service Requested

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30 in the Jewish community Supplement to Jewish News May 27, 2019 jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 15

Federation hosts JDC’s CEO


20 19 BIENNIAL MEETING The Community is Invited to Attend the

of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reception 6 pm | Program 6:45 pm Reba & Sam Sandler Family Campus 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach

Nomination & Election of New UJFT President — Amy Moss Levy Recognition of Outgoing President — John Strelitz Presentation of Awards to Outgoing Leadership • Annual Campaign Chair, 2017-2019 Laura Gross • Israel & Overseas Committee Chair 2017–2019, Barbara Dudley • Holocaust Commission Chair 2017–2019, Lisa Bertini • Women’s Campaign Chair, 2017–2019 Janet Mercadante • Super Sunday Committee Chair, 2015 2016, 2018 & 2019, Jeremy Krupnick • Young Adult Division Cabinet Chair 2017–2019, Eliot Weinstein

Presentation of Special Community Awards • Leonard R. Strelitz Young Leadership Award Danny Rubin • Joseph H. Strelitz Memorial Award for Distinguished Community Service Linda Spindel • Harry Graber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Communal Service Robin Mancoll

Acknowledgment of Outgoing Board Members

Kosher Hors d’Oeuvres—Cocktail Reception RSVP Required, Tammy Mujica at tmujica@ujft.org or 757-965-6124 2 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org


Jewish news

letters

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Help needed to send kids to Jewish overnight camp

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n the last two years, Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) has helped send 37 kids to Jewish overnight camp! Your help is needed to ensure that kids from the Tidewater area continue to benefit from these transformative Jewish experiences. Research shows that adults who went to Jewish camp as kids are: • 37% more likely to light candles for Shabbat. • 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel. • 45% more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month. In order to replenish our local matching funds, we need community support from donors. Each $1,000 grant will help send another local child to camp. Please consider sponsoring one or more kids this summer! Your support can directly impact the Jewish future of a child in the Tidewater area. For more information, contact me directly at 757-965-6109 or Kaitlyn Oelsner, 757-965-6103.

Powerful evening

Published 21 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

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read about Ambassador Ido Aharoni’s visit in the Jewish News. My husband and I invited two of our friends to come with us to hear him speak, not really knowing anything about him. None of us are Jewish, but we have all been to Israel and have a love and admiration for Jewish culture. What a powerful evening! Ambassador Aharoni is not only a captivating speaker, he gave an amazing overview of the history of Israel and the importance and rationale of these two commemorations in such a succinct manner. Every sentence was pregnant with meaning and he presented so much material in such a brief amount of time. Thank you so much for making this available to the public without any charge. His words will remain with us! Am Yisrael Chai! Elizabeth Harris Portsmouth

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Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757-965-6100 • fax 757-965-6102 email news@ujft.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Ronnie Jacobs Cohen, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus United Jewish Federation of Tidewater John Strelitz, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Betty Ann Levin, Executive Vice-President www.jewishVA.org The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2019 Jewish News. All rights reserved.

Thank You,

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Scott Kaplan President & CEO Tidewater Jewish Foundation

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For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email mcerase@ujft.org.

Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising June 10 June 24 July 15 Aug. 12 Sept. 2 Sept. 16 Sept. 30

Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Community Campaign tops $4.8-million. . 6 Eric Fingerhut to head JFNA. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2019 Yom Hashoah: Community remembers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 City of Virginia Beach’s Proclamation for Holocaust Remembrance Week. . . . 12 Shenkman Jewish Center opens at W&M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Amy Weinstein new director of philanthropy at Beth Sholom Village . . 14 Special Section: Healthcare. . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Armed Forces Shabbat at Ohef Sholom. . . 27 First Women’s Seder at Temple Israel. . . . 27 UJFT Women induct new Cabinet and Exec Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 JDC’s CEO visits Tidewater. . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Ambassador Aharoni speaks in Tidewater.31 What’s happening?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Aaron Tessler records a lost song in tribute. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Simon Fink on March of the Living . . . . . 38

May 24 June 7 June 28 July 26 Aug. 16 Aug. 30 Sept. 13

Candle Lighting

Quotable

Contents

Father’s Day Seniors Legal Guide to Jewish Living Home Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur

Friday, May 31/26 Iyar Light candles at 8:00 pm

“If you need us,

Friday, June 7/4 Sivan Light candles at 8:04 pm

we will find you;

Friday, June 14/11 Sivan Light candles at 8:07 pm

and we will help.”

Friday, June 21/18 Sivan Light candles at 8:10 pm

—page 30

Friday, June 28/25 Sivan Light candles at 8:10 pm Friday, July 5/2 Tammuz Light candles at 8:10 pm

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 3


BRIEFS Haredi Orthodox mother from Jerusalem wins Riga half-marathon A haredi Orthodox mother of five from Jerusalem won a half-marathon race in Latvia. Beatie Deutsch, 29, was the top woman finisher in Sunday, May 19’s 13-mile race in Riga in a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds, reportedly becoming the first haredi woman to win an international athletics competition. She has a coach and is receiving partial funding by the state to train for the 2020 Olympics. “So many of you shared stories of your families that had perished in Riga and it felt truly incredible to be running through the streets as a proud Jewish woman,” Deutsch, who uses the moniker “Marathon Mother,” wrote in a post on Facebook after the race. Deutsch won the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon and the Tiberias Marathon in January. She ran the Tel Aviv Marathon in 2017 while seven months pregnant. Deutsch, who made aliyah from New Jersey in 2009, is known for running in modest clothing including a skirt, shirt sleeves below her elbow, and headscarf. (JTA) Jewish actor sworn in as president of Ukraine says nation must defend land like Israelis Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish actor and comedian, was sworn in this month as president of Ukraine and said his nation must defend their land like Israelis. Zelensky took the oath of office reportedly on a copy of the country’s constitution and a 16th-century manuscript of the New Testament. “We must become Icelanders in football, Israelis in defending our native land, Japanese in technology,” he said at the swearing-in, the BBC reported. Zelensky announced at the inauguration that he would dissolve the parliament and call early elections, which had been scheduled for October. In turn, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who is Jewish, announced that he would resign.

Zelensky, who on his primetime television show plays a teacher thrust into the presidency through an unlikely chain of events, was elected last month with 73 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who had been in power since 2014. Born in Kryvyi Rih, near Dnipro, to a Jewish family of scientists, Zelensky rarely speaks of his Jewish ancestry in interviews. But unlike some Ukrainian politicians widely believed to have Jewish roots, Zelensky during his campaign neither disputed his Jewish ancestry nor attempted to camouflage it. (JTA)

Trump grants full pardon to former Jerusalem Post owner President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, the former owner and publisher of the Jerusalem Post who had spent three years in prison for stealing $60 million from his own company, Hollinger International. Black was found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007. Along with the Jerusalem Post, Hollinger’s company included the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Telegraph in London, as well as hundreds of small community papers. Black is a personal friend of the president and wrote a flattering book about him titled Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. “When my assistant said there was a call from the White House, I picked up, said ‘hello’ and started to ask if this was a prank (suspecting my friends in the British tabloid media),” Black wrote in an essay in the Toronto-based National Post. Black said Trump told him that he would “Expunge the bad rap you got.” (JTA) Ilhan Omar and Jewish colleague Jan Schakowsky co-write op-ed Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., joined in an appeal to confront a rise in deadly expressions of white nationalism. “As a Muslim American and a Jewish American elected to the United States Congress, we can no longer sit silently as

4 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

terror strikes our communities,” the lawmakers wrote in an op-ed appearing on CNN’s website. “We cannot allow those who seek to divide and intimidate us to succeed. Whatever our differences, our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, must come together to confront the twin evils of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence.” They referred to two deadly shootings at U.S. synagogues, last year in Pittsburgh and last month in Poway, California, a rash of mosque arsons, and the mass killing earlier this year at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. They faulted the Trump administration for downplaying the threat, noting President Donald Trump’s equivocation in 2017 at condemning a deadly neoNazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his cutting of funds for a number of federal programs tracking right-wing extremists. “Addressing this hate should not be a partisan issue in the United States,” the congresswomen said. “Yet the current administration has manifestly failed to address its rise.” Omar has come under fire for a number of statements that Republicans and some Democrats have said invoked anti-Semitic slanders. She has apologized for some, but not all, of them. (JTA)

Israeli group distributing relief to Venezuelan refugees in Colombia The Israeli NGO IsraAID is distributing relief materials in Colombia to thousands of Venezuelans escaping harsh conditions in their country. An IsraAID emergency response team is on the ground in Cucuta, on the Colombian border with Venezuela, where thousands of Venezuelans are crossing daily seeking relief from the economic and political crisis in their country, according to the organization. There are already 1.2 million Venezuelans in Columbia. IsraAid said it has committed to remain in Colombia long-term. Working with the local community and Venezuelan refugee organizations in Colombia, the IsraAID team has

distributed relief materials and conducted hygiene promotion activities in partnership with Fundacion Venezolanos en Cúcuta, an organization of locally based Venezuelans who provide support to new arrivals as they enter Colombia. IsraAID’s response plan also includes child protection and back-to-school activities, community resilience-building and psychological support. The NGO’s Colombia efforts are supported by the American Jewish Committee and individual donors. Donations to the Venezuelan refugee crisis response can be made through the IsraAID Emergency Response Fund. (JTA)

Millions of documents from Nazi concentration camps posted online The International Tracing Service in Germany has published online more than 13 million documents from Nazi concentration camps with information on more than 2.2 million people. The effort to put the archive online was undertaken in partnership with the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. The tracing service, based in Bad Arolsen, Germany, has also changed its name to the Arolsen ArchivesInternational Center on Nazi Persecution. The millions of documents, including prisoner cards and death notices, featuring information on Holocaust victims and others persecuted by the Nazi regime, are part of UNESCO’s World Documentary Heritage and are a key focus of the collection of the Arolsen Archives. This database is the first of several large collections scheduled to go online in the future. “Our archive bears testimony to the atrocities perpetrated by the National Socialists,” Floriane Azoulay, director of the Arolsen Archives, said. “Soon there won’t be any survivors left to tell us about them. That is why it is so important that the original documents can speak to coming generations in their place.” Azoulay said the archive is working with outside groups to improve its searchability. (JTA)


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Bernard’s Legacy Lives Forever

Campaign

Jewish community

Norfolk architect Bernard Spigel died in 1968 leaving an enduring legacy of homes, schools, theaters and commercial buildings he designed. In 1983 Lucy Spigel Herman honored her dad by creating a scholarship for future architects administered by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. Dozens of past Spigel Scholars are busy today designing buildings for us to enjoy while the scholarship continues to help future architects pay for their education. Design your own view of a better future by ordering the free Leave Your Mark guide. Learn how easy it is to honor a family member or create your own lasting legacy. Leave You r Mark

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meets local and global needs Community Campaign tops $4.8-million and looks to finish strong! Amy Zelenka

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he 2019 Annual Campaign is winding down and what a year it’s been. Starting in June 2018, 38 community members participated in the Journey Home Mission to Israel. Co-chaired by John Strelitz, UJFT president, the mission, which honored the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern-day state of Israel, was an unforgettable trip. Participants were deeply moved by their experiences and came home with a renewed sense of gratitude and commitment for the land and people of Israel. They ignited what became a record-setting Campaign. Community leadership and Betty Ann Levin, UJFT’s new CEO, presented a vision for what the 2019 Campaign might look like. They wanted to accelerate the Campaign calendar, starting and completing earlier than in prior years’ Campaigns, in order to be able to focus on community planning and strategic issues for the Jewish community’s future. Professional staff and lay leaders established a Campaign timeline with strategies and opportunities to help achieve that goal. As a result, the Annual Campaign Kick-off became a celebration of building and sustaining Jewish communities both locally and globally. “With a new level of energy and excitement in the air, community members attending the kick-off responded by making commitments to the Campaign and, thus, our community,” says Levin. Super Sunday, another community event, which traditionally had been held in late-January, to mark the closing of

the Campaign, was moved to October. This enabled volunteer callers to reach additional donor prospects, once again building further upon an already accelerated pace.

Our vision, goals and successes will be shared at the UJFT Biennial Meeting Thursday, June 13.

The Men’s and Women’s Major Gifts events were also held earlier in the Campaign and contributed to a fast-rising Campaign total. With direct mail appeals, phone-a-thons, and, of course, one-onone personal solicitations with donors, the 2019 Campaign by December 31, 2018, had matched the 2018 Campaign total of June 30 of 2018! “The many successes of the 2019 campaign can be traced directly back to the volunteer Campaign ambassadors who worked tirelessly – asking and encouraging their friends, neighbors, and fellow-community members to support the amazing work that our Federation does in raising funds to meet Jewish needs at home and around the world,” notes Strelitz. As this issue goes to press, the 2019 Campaign total stands at $4,817,150. This

is an increase of more than $183,000 from last year’s Campaign. An incredibly impressive total by any measure. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to give—there is still time. With the potential to add another $90,000 from past donors to the current Campaign, Laura Gross, Campaign chair says, “Just imagine what the community could do with an additional $90,000 to give away to the organizations that meet Jewish needs in so many ways. If ever there was a year to capitalize on the excitement of a successful annual Campaign, this is it!” “If you have never made a gift to the Annual Community Campaign, this is the time!” says Levin. “Never has there been a more important time to address security needs in our community, provide Jewish education to children, youth and adults of all ages, engage more Jewish teens in BBYO, educate and engage our community in regard to combating anti-Israel rhetoric, anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel—and so much more. Every community member can play a role in this by stepping forward and making a gift to our Annual Community Campaign.” “Our vision, goals and successes will be shared with the community during the Federation’s Biennial Meeting on Thursday, June 13 at 6 pm at the Sandler Family Campus,” says Strelitz. The event is open to all members of the Jewish community, and will celebrate the community, the Campaign, and all those whose hard work and dedication helped make it such a success. Campaign staff has begun


campaign compiling names for the 2019 Honor Roll of Donors—to thank and recognize them for their generosity and commitment. Those who have not yet made a 2019 Annual Campaign gift, and would like to be included in the Honor Roll, can go online to UJFT’s secure website at www. jewishva.org; call the Federation offices at 757-965-6115; or send a check made out

to the UJFT to: UJFT Annual Campaign 2019, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. For information on how to become an Annual Campaign ambassador for the 2020 Campaign, and help continue to build Jewish community, please contact the Federation at 757-965-6115.

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nation

Eric Fingerhut leaves top post at Hillel to head Jewish Federations of North America Ed Carroll

CLEVELAND (Cleveland Jewish News via JTA)—Eric Fingerhut is leaving his position as president and CEO of Hillel International to take the same posts at the Jewish Federations of North America, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s umbrella organization. Fingerhut, who served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Ohio in 1993 and 1994, will succeed Jerry Silverman. The Times of Israel reported in April 2018 that Silverman, who assumed the JFNA leadership in 2009, planned to step down at the end of his contract this September. Jared Isaacson, executive director of the Cleveland Hillel Foundation, confirmed Fingerhut was leaving Hillel for JFNA. “He has significantly helped raise

the profile of Hillel, making it possible for so many campuses and individual and local Hillel organizations to increase Jewish education, leadership, and engagement opportunities for so many students and professionals,” Isaacson said in a statement. JFNA represents 147 Jewish federations and over 300 “network communities,” who collectively distribute more than $2 billion annually through annual fundraising campaigns, planned giving, and endowment programs, according to JFNA. The money supports local social services and Jewish educational needs, as well as social service and immigration needs in Israel and other Jewish communities around the world. “For more than half a decade, the Jewish world has watched as Eric spearheaded transformational change at Hillel,”

said the chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees, Mark Wilf, in a statement. “With a clear vision for the future of Jewish life on college campuses and universities, he took a 90-year-old organization and made it new again. We believe he can bring the same energy and imagination to Federation. He’s the right leader at the right time.” Fingerhut’s start date is Aug. 6, 2019. Fingerhut had been president and CEO of the umbrella group of campus Jewish organizations since August 2013. He replaced Wayne Firestone, who left Hillel in April 2013. From 2011 until he joined Hillel, Fingerhut worked as vice president of education and STEM learning at Battelle, a Columbus, Ohio-based independent research and development organization. Fingerhut served as an Ohio state

senator in 1991 and 1992, and again from 1997 to 2006. In a statement provided by JFNA, Fingerhut spoke of growing up in Cleveland and noted his mother was a receptionist at the Cleveland Jewish News for 30 years. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but my early life was shaped by Federation,” he said. “I went to preschool at the JCC. I vividly remember carrying signs in the walkathons standing up for Israel during the 1967 and 1973 wars. Never did I imagine that nearly a half century later, I would have the opportunity to lead a movement that has impacted my life and so many others. It has a rich history, and I believe it can have an even more impactful future. I am excited to take on that challenge.”

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8 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org


israel

‘Birthright for Moms’ marks 10 years and more than 17,000 participants Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA)—A program bringing adult Jewish women to Israel celebrated its 10th anniversary here at an event that included 500 participants from nine countries. Momentum, formerly known as the

Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, has brought more than 17,000 Jewish women as well as men on its heavily subsidized eight-day trip to Israel. The trips are part of a yearlong program designed to connect Jewish families to Jewish tradition and Israel. Participants also commit to becoming involved in

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Israel-centric programs when they return from the country. The rebranding of the organization, once nicknamed “Birthright for Moms,” includes a new multimedia website. “When we launched the movement 10 years ago, our goal was to inspire greater pride and identity among Jewish

mothers based on timeless values,” says Lori Palatnik of Washington, D.C., who founded Momentum and was formerly an educator with the Orthodox outreach group Aish Hatorah. “While the Israel experience will remain central to that concept, with Momentum, we’re thrilled to embrace a far broader vision.”

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jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 9


it’s a Wrap

On Yom Hashoah, the community remembered Elena Barr Baum and Ciara Whitty

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his year’s Yom Hashoah Commemoration, which honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust as well as liberators and righteous gentiles, brought the community together to move forward with tolerance and remember those who have fought for justice and fallen to injustice. Temple Israel hosted this year’s event. After Cantor Elihu Flax of Beth Sholom Home stirringly sang the American and Israeli national anthems, Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel challenged those assembled with his D’Var Torah. He reflected on the concept of ancient Hebrews fleeing Pharaoh while having “enemies on the left and enemies on the right.” Rabbi Panitz challenged those assembled to realize that, in the 21st century, anti-Semitism exists on both the political right and political left. He cautioned the need to be aware that danger can come from those with whom one is usually aligned—an interesting springboard to an evening of remembrance. Lisa Bertini, Holocaust Commission chair, greeted the more than 430 attendees, solemnly referencing the Tree of Life and Poway Chabad synagogue shootings and other violent attacks against Jews, African Americans, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and Roman Catholics. She cited “the historic 60 percent rise in ant-Semitic

Reina Rodriguez, Oscar Smith High School, 1st Place, Senior Poetry.

incidents from 2016 to 2017, the biggest single-year increase in reported anti-Jewish hate since the tracking of such data began almost 40 years ago. These statistics do not even include the horrors of 2018 and the recent 2019 heartbreak of the Easter Sunday massacre of innocents in Sri Lanka and the latest synagogue assault in California…on the last day of Passover.” Bertini asserted that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wisely stated that we must “seek a society that can live with its conscience.” Through Yom Hashoah and the other Holocaust Commission programs, she said, “we try to fulfill this call through collaborative and poignant Holocaust education.” The Commission honored the 2019 Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions winners, who will become the compassionate and courageous future leaders of America. More than 1,300 entrants came from 41 schools from 11 states this year. Winners came from 18 different schools, and senior poetry winner, Reina Rodriguez, from Oscar Smith High School read her winning poem, In Mine, Yours, Theirs, and Hers, inspired by the life of local rescuer, Dame Mary Barraco. Two recipients of the Commission’s Awards for Excellence in Holocaust Education were recognized for their years of dedication to helping students understand the relevance and critical lessons of the Holocaust. Lauren Goldman Barkan,

co-chair of the Educator Awards, presented this year’s honors. The Esther Goldman Award, in memory of Barkan’s beloved grandmother, went to Dr. Carroll Starling. The Ruthi Sherman Kroskin Award, named for the dedicated late Commission member who embodied the spirit of the Holocaust Commission, went to Heather Ely of Deep Creek High School. The evening’s guest speaker, Dr. Roger Loria, shared his remarkable story of growing up and surviving the Holocaust. Because Loria’s father was a Polish national, he knew that he was in grave danger, even where they lived in Belgium. Before being deported to Birkenau, Loria’s father hollowed a toothbrush handle, filled it with diamonds, and gave it to his wife, Dina. Upon learning that her sister’s

family had been deported to Auschwitz, Dina fled on foot with only a suitcase, Roger, and that toothbrush. They had many narrow escapes, and eventually reached Switzerland, where a Swiss guard “lifted the barbed wire for them.” Loria not only spoke about the harsh reality of the Holocaust, and the effects it had on survivors and the world, but also about the importance of educating others about the Holocaust, tolerance, and moral courage. The lighting of memorial candles followed Loria’s poignant talk. Six candles were lit to represent the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust as well as several other groups. Dr. Ludwig Sternlicht and Dana Cohen lit the candle for the 1.5 million Jewish children who

Lauren Goldman Barkan.

John Strelitz, UJFT president.

Roger Loria, Lou Sherman, Win Loria, and Carol Sherman.

10 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Cantor Elihu Flax, Rabbi Michael Panitz, Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Cantor Jen Reuben, and Rabbi Marc Kraus.


it’s a Wrap

Esther Goldman Award Winner: Dr. Ira Carroll Starling.

Ruthi Sherman Kroskin Award Winner: Heather Ely.

Rabbi Marc Kraus and Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz.

Bobby Friedman.

Elena Barr Baum, Jeff Jucksch, and Terry Jucksch.

perished in the Holocaust, and Liberator Bill Jucksch’s son, Jeff Jucksch and his widow Terry Jucksch, lit the candle for the brave and compassionate liberators. Bobby Friedman, son of former Commission Speakers’ Bureau member Anne Friedman, lit the candle for the courageous rescuers who risked their lives to shelter and protect Jews and non-Jews, and Frieda Igdal lit the candle for the survivors who fled Europe and made their homes in Tidewater. After the names of the community’s survivors were scrolled across the screen, Dr. Roger Loria lit the candle for the beloved survivors whom the community is so grateful to still have. Finally, teacher award winners, Dr. Carroll Starling and Heather Ely lit the candle to honor those who educate about

Elena Barr Baum, Dana Cohen, and Dr. Ludwig Sternlicht.

the Holocaust, so that future generations will never forget. Throughout the ceremony, like the time leading up to the start of the commemoration, beautiful music played by Lei Lei Berz on cello, held the contemplative mood of the sanctuary. Cantor Wendy Fried of Congregation Beth El sang the K’El Malei Rachamim memorial prayer, and Rabbis Marc Kraus of Temple Emanuel and Jeffrey Arnowitz of Beth El led the Kaddish for Shoah victims, infused with the names of some of the Nazis’ most notorious concentration camps. After the Kaddish, John Strelitz, UJFT president, closed the evening with a prayer for Yom Hashoah by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs of Great Britain. As attendees exited, they were offered special Yom Hashoah yahrzeit Candles from

the Association of Men’s Clubs, to light at home in memory of the six million. The six candles on the bima continued to burn in honor and memory, urging to never forget. Yom Hashoah co-chair Elka Mednick says, “We come together as a community each year on this night not only to honor the memory of the victims and honor the survivors, liberators, and righteous gentiles, but also to look to a better future with bright lights of students and educators dedicated to stand up for human dignity in the face of anti-Semitism, injustice, and hatred.” Visit and like the Holocaust Commission Facebook page to see additional photos from Yom Hashoah: www.fb.com/holcommission.

Frieda Igdal.

Heather Ely and Dr. Ira Carroll Starling.

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 11


YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD THE NEW HINENI EXPERIENCE: DEVELOPING LEADERS TO HELP GROW AND STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY. STARTING JUNE 1 ST, an exclusive nomination process will begin to help us identify the best and brightest of our next generation of leaders. Hineni Fellows will benefit from leadership development, workshops and senior lay leader mentorship. A subsidized trip to Israel is included, giving Fellows a chance to connect lessons to reality. Nominate a future leader, ages 22-39, or apply at JewishVA.ORG/HINENI

12 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Tidewater

Holocaust victims and survivors remembered by City of Virginia Beach mayor Ciara Whitty and Elena Baum

E

lie Wiesel poignantly stated, “to forget the Holocaust is to kill twice.” Thus, “we must bear witness [for] the living and the dead.” As Lisa Bertini, Holocaust Commission chair, said at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration on May 1 at Temple Israel, “…for the Commission, EVERY day is Holocaust Remembrance Day.” Yom Hashoah is an internationally recognized holiday on the Jewish calendar. In recognition of Yom Hashoah, the City of Virginia Beach issued a proclamation of remembrance, signed by Mayor Dyer, naming April 28 through May 5, 2019, Holocaust Remembrance Week. The proclamation says, “in Virginia Beach, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors as well as the rescuers and liberators, I call upon all citizens to work to promote human dignity and to confront and reject hate.” It is with the help of Hampton Roads cities and leadership that the Holocaust Commission can fulfill this calling and its critical mission of educating others about the Holocaust. For many years, along with the Community Relations Council, the Commission has sponsored the Virginia Beach Police Departments’ “rookie” training class trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. During this trip, new police officer learn of the importance of the police keeping the rights of the people in mind, and not just the rights of the city or state, as they learn what happened in Germany when the police lost sight of whom they were meant to serve and protect. This can only help improve our city services. The Commission and its programs encourage people of all ages to stand up for moral courage and justice, and to speak out against hatred and indifference. People who do not remain silent in the face of injustice and indifference to the plight of others, will shape the future for good. Bertini says, “The Commission thanks Mayor Dyer and the City of Virginia Beach, for recognizing the importance of remembering history, and learning from its lessons.”


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Jewish “Home Away from Home” at William and Mary

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I have been active in international volunteer medical services for 35 years. Right now, I am very involved with the Richmond-based, International Hospital for Children and the World Pediatric Project. Our mission is building a better life for children in the Caribbean and Central America by providing surgical care for patients with both congenital deformity and trauma victims. I am senior surgeon for a group which travels to Honduras every January.”

Jonathan Jacobs,

The Shenkman Jewish Center ribbon cutting ceremony with Rabbi Gershon Litt, student leaders, and Mark and Rosalind Shenkman.

Rabbi Gershon Litt

T

he College of William and Mary was chartered in 1693. Since then, Jewish life on campus has been difficult, if not scarce, at times. Students got together, met on occasion, tried to find rooms to gather in for holidays, and held occasional social events. Over the past few years that infrastructure grew into a stable and well-organized student organization. This year, Hillel at William and Mary began to actualize its potential in a substantial way. With the completion of the Shenkman Jewish Center in November, Jewish student life at William and Mary has been completely transformed. Students are studying day and night at the center.

Shenkman Jewish Center

Educational programs are happening weekly. Programs on anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Israel, philosophy, and history are occurring at a level never seen before on the campus. Social programs are able to take place as never before. Hanukkah, Purim, and Passover were celebrated as a student community, and every Friday night, students are enjoying a professionally prepared kosher Shabbos dinner. Israel education and trip recruitment were also significant components of this year’s programming. This summer, more students are returning to Israel for educational trips and I will be leading my 41st Israel trip, taking 40 students to Israel on Birthright Israel. The commonality of all of these programs and recruitment events is that everything happened at the Shenkman Jewish Center. One of this year’s many highlights was an ongoing program called “Challah for Hunger.” This national program was impossible for W&M students until now. The fully functional kosher kitchen allows students to work with the newly hired kosher chef and program associate, Meredith Mills, to make challah, hamantashen, Shabbos dinners, and

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many other programs related to food. Students always participate when food is included and now there is kosher food all the time at the SJC. This past year, on an average Friday night, 40 students participated in the Shabbos meal and 70 students partook in the Pesach Seder at the SJC. Witnessing three to four rooms in the SJC being used almost nightly, including students just hanging out, playing PS4, studying, cooking, or watching a sporting event is reflective of the feeling that the Shenkman Jewish Center is every Jewish student’s home away from home.

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The SJC is the result of a very generous gift from Mark and Rosalind Shenkman and amazing cooperation from William and Mary’s administration, whose help and support allowed this project to happen. Over the next year, plans call for the program to expand on campus in a significant way, as well as for additional staff to be hired, including Israel and engagement interns. Rabbi Gershon Litt is the director of Hillel at William and Mary. He may be contacted at rabbilitt@wmhillel.org.

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 13


14th Biennial Educators’ Conference

Tidewater

July 30– August 1, 2019

T

For All Educators, Administrators, and Student Advocates

Teaching Difficult History How Our Past Informs Our Present Presented by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

REGISTRATION INFORMATION Full Conference $100 Including Evening with the Arts Early Bird Special – $75 until June 30

Special Pricing Tuesday Night $25

Evening with the Arts only

Student Rate $50 Full Conference

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE Norfolk, Virginia

Workshops include hands-on activities and PBL based activities

Tuesday, July 30

5:30–7 pm An Evening with the Arts Norfolk Academy • Johnson Theater 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA

Wednesday, July 31 7:30 am–4 pm

holocaust commission.org/ educatorsconference

he new director of philanthropy at Beth Sholom Village is familiar to many people in the Hampton Roads Jewish community. Amy Weinstein spent six years at United Jewish Federation of Tidewater as director of the Young Adult Division, then two years as director of development at Tidewater Jewish Foundation, before moving on to Eggleston Services in Norfolk where she was their development director for two years. “While I greatly enjoyed my time working outside of the Jewish community, I always knew I’d come back someday,” says Weinstein, a Philadelphia area native and Bucknell University graduate, who earned her master’s degree of social work from the University of Pennsylvania. “I am so excited to be part of the Beth Sholom Village family, and at such an exciting time—having just finished the Honor Campaign, with beautiful renovations taking place all around and with the opportunity for expansion on the horizon.” Weinstein, who was a recent 40 under 40 honoree from Inside Business, is certified in both fundraising and as a Multigenerational Philanthropy Advisor. With UJFT, she created and implemented four signature leadership development

Amy Weinstein.

programs that continue to provide a pipeline of high achieving and well-trained lay leaders for the local Jewish community. “We are thrilled to have Amy directing our philanthropy program,” says David Abraham, CEO of Beth Sholom Village. “Not only is she experienced and has many important relationships in the community, but she is a real people person who loves sharing our story with potential donors. I think she’s a great fit for us as we continue to serve and grow.”

Norfolk Academy • Batten Library 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA

Thursday, August 1 7:30 am–5 pm

Register Online

Amy Weinstein is new director of philanthropy at Beth Sholom Village

Trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum 2000 E. Cary Street, Richmond, VA Transportation provided

Community Members Welcome! • SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Sponsored by With special thanks to the Sam & Reba Sandler Foundation and Weinstein Properties.

14 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Shalom Tidewater welcomes new and old to Jewish community

N

ew to Tidewater? Lived here all your life, but are looking to get more involved? The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater would like to offer a special welcome. Through Shalom Tidewater, Carly Glikman, outreach manager, personally delivers welcome information and gift baskets to all new Jewish members of the community. The Federation offers this service to anyone who has recently moved to Tidewater

or who plans to move into the area. Each welcome bag is filled with information and brochures from Jewish organizations and synagogues, as well as information about local arts, leisure, and entertainment venues in the general community. It also comes with some extra special goodies. Have questions? Want a tour of the Simon Family JCC? Contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org or 757-965-6127.


Healthcare

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each year. Our first article on page 18 introduces three young Israeli medical students who are participating in an exchange with EVMS. From their smiles and enthusiasm, it seems medical school is treating them well! Perhaps you’ll see them around town. Among our other articles is one on a TJF grant to enable JFS to better digitize patient records (page 19) and another by Moe Mernick on stuttering. He’ll be in town next



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Health Care

Three Israeli medical students in Tidewater Exchange program between Eastern Virginia Medical School and Bar-Ilan University Medical School Terri Denison

P

roviding high quality community healthcare services to patients at risk both in America and northern Israel is among the major learning insights of medical students participating in an exchange program between Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Va., and the Bar-Ilan University Medical School (BIUMS) in Safed, Israel. Steven Warsof, MD, EVMS professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, helped bridge the relationship between the two schools. Since the Israeli school opened in 2011, Warsof has taught on numerous occasions at BIUMS.

In an interview with Jewish News in 2015, Warsof noted, “Teaching in Safed combines my three passions—getting closer to my family in Israel, teaching obstetrics, and helping Israel in the best way I know how.” “With partnerships such as this, the future looks bright for these two institutions,” says Warsof. The three Israeli medical students, due to arrive in Tidewater soon. say they are excited to participate in the exchange to learn and to compare healthcare systems.

three years and I am now completing my final years of medical school in Israel. The opportunity to study in both countries comes with many advantages. Being able to compare medical systems, to see Donna Gal, May Weinberg, and Shelly Cohn in Israel. how healthcare providers from perspectives to me. I believe that being different backgrounds work in their own exposed to different cultures and systems way and experiencing different people will help me become a better caregiver and cultures, has revealed many different and doctor. Through this exchange program, I am looking forward to learning and expanding my knowledge even more. I am eager to see how U.S. physicians work in a place so far and different from my own. 

May Weinberg I come from Haifa, Israel. I have studied in the Czech Republic for

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Donna Gal Originally from Jerusalem, I am currently living in Nahariya, in northern Israel. I started my studies in the University of Pavia, Italy and later transferred to graduate in my home country, Israel, at Biums in the Galilee. I chose to apply to the EVMS exchange program in Norfolk in order to experience the medical life in the U.S. and to deepen my studies in the field of OB-GYN. I am looking forward to my time in Virginia very much. Shelly Cohn I’m from Kochav Yair, and a fifth-year medical student in Biums. I chose to participate in the EVMS exchange because I’m very interested in OB-GYN, as well as seeing different health care systems around the world.


LIVE your life.

Health Care

TJF Community Impact Grants support tech upgrades at JFS Kaitlyn Oelsner

I

n 2017, Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) awarded a Community Impact Grant to Jewish Family Service (JFS) to help purchase tablets to make it easier for patients in JFS’ home health programs to receive timely and efficient care. Nurses use the devices to smooth the transition for patients from the hospital or other settings to home. The tablets also ease the burden of coordinating paperwork among providers. With electronic medical records, nurses are able to access patient information to ensure the most accurate and timely medical information available. For JFS, these types of technology upgrades translate to a higher quality of care for a greater number of people. However, over time and with the rapidly changing healthcare industry, these important technology investments can become a cost burden. That’s where TJF is often able to step in. TJF’s Community Impact Grants are funded through the use of a portion of its Unrestricted Funds. “Thanks to the generosity of donors throughout the Tidewater Jewish community, our pool of unrestricted funds

G ui de 2018

Li v i n g wis h a t o Je ter in tidew

has grown significantly,” says Scott Kaplan, TJF president and CEO. “This has enabled us to distribute more funds each year through our Community Impact Grants program. Our work with JFS is just one example out of dozens of grants that TJF is able to provide to our local community on an annual basis.” TJF grants are supplemental to allocations made through the Annual Campaign of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, according to Kaplan. TJF grants, he says, “help fund new and innovative programs, capital projects, and other needs that are important, but outside of an organization’s normal operating budget.” Kelly Burroughs, JFS chief executive officer, says, “Prior to the use of an electronic system, nurses were required to chart everything on paper, which is not the most effective system for collaborating with hospitals and doctors’ offices. The use of an electronic system has helped JFS stay up to date with current health care practices.” For more information about how to support Community Impact Grants, call Scott Kaplan at 757-965-6109 or Kaitlyn Oelsner, 757-965-6103.

Coming Soon! Guide to Jewish Living in Tidewater August 12 issue To advertise, call 757.965.6100 or email news@ujft.org

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jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 19


Health Care First Person

How stuttering helped me accept and embrace my adversities Moe Mernick

G

rowing up in Toronto, I could have seemed like an ordinary kid. But there was something that made me sharply stand out. I stuttered. A lot. It began when I was three years old. My parents were told to ignore it—as “merely a stage in a child’s speech development,” speech experts would say and cite the statistics that most children grow out of it. But I didn’t grow out of it. In fact, it only got worse. Not only was it daunting for me to speak up in class or introduce myself to new friends, but I would often get laughed at when I could not even say my own name or the simple word “hello.” My mom tried to give me positive encouragement. “Moe,” she would tell me, “you have so much going for you…” But invariably, I would respond that it was all worthless if I couldn’t speak. I was miserable. I constantly wondered to myself: What would life have in store for me? How would I ever pass a job interview? What girl would want to marry me? What will I sound like when reading bedtime stories to my kids?

Moe Mernik in Tidewater for Ann Zukerman Scholar-in-Residence Friday, June 14–Saturday, June 15 B’nai Israel Moe Mernik will visit Tidewater as the 3rd Annual Ann Zukerman Scholar-in-Residence at B’nai Israel Congregation. For more information, visit bnaiisrael. org/scholar or contact Rabbi Gavriel Rudin at 757-386-3274 or gavriel. rudin@bnaiisarel.org.

20 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Moe Mernik

After numerous failed attempts to find a speech therapist who fit my needs, a match was finally made. A dozen years of therapy helped, enabling me to function on a daily basis—some days more, some days less. My therapy often consisted of fabricating real-life circumstances while in the stutter-friendly comfort zone of my therapist’s office. We made phone calls and visited stores together, practicing words with which I had difficulty. It gave me hope of normalcy, and I felt accepted, regardless of how my words were expressed. But I never embraced or fully accepted my stutter. I worried it might be my companion forever. I could not come to terms with the fact that my awkward, embarrassing, and inhibiting speech habits might accompany me through life. Fast forward to today. I have been flown around across Canada, the United States, central Europe, and Australia to lecture to Jewish education programs. I received an MBA from Tel Aviv University, worked at Deloitte as a strategy consultant and trained seniorlevel executives on their presentation skills. These days, I work at a cool start-up and mentor entrepreneurs at a technology


Health Care accelerator. I live in Israel, with my wife and children. Indeed, I am living my dream. But what happened? Therapy helped. My supportive family helped, too. But the ultimate turning point happened when I began to accept my stutter. No longer did I have to reject it or hide from it—it was simply a part of who I was. We all have our challenges— stuttering was mine. It was finally time to live. Thus, began my journey to discover my inner voice. Years later, I met a married couple who had just discovered their three-yearold daughter had developed a stutter. I advised them as follows: As young as your daughter may be, she can pick up on the fact that her parents are extremely worried about her newly developed speech pattern. As such, she will probably

become hesitant to speak up because she won’t want to scare you. It is easier for her to keep her mouth closed than to watch your panicked facial expressions when she can’t seem to get her words out. The more she chooses not to speak, the more anxiety she will build around speaking. Each time she decides that it is safer to not risk the stutter, she, in effect, is subconsciously developing a mental block against expressing those words. You must create a “safe” environment for her. She must feel that you unconditionally love her and will not be upset or judge her if she begins to stutter. You and your husband must become comfortable with the fact that your daughter may stutter for the rest of her life. And it is OK. The ball is in your court. The more accepting you become, the less your daughter will feel as though you are trying to change her. Ironically, by becoming comfortable with

the fact that your daughter may stutter permanently, you are providing her with the best chance to overcome it. The safe haven of your home will hopefully help her develop a strong self-confidence. You will thereby significantly increase the probability that your daughter’s stutter will be but a blip on her early-childhood radar screen. Please note, though, that you cannot expect her to overcome it. That is, in effect, the opposite of true acceptance of her stutter. She will sniff out your insincerity. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you and your husband have an important conversation, whereby you recognize the limit of control you hold over every aspect of your daughter’s stutter. I am confident that you will see results. Because even if she does not stop stuttering, your relationship with your daughter will no longer be one of deflated hopes and frustration, but rather one of idyllic parental love and unwavering support. This can only be

beneficial for all three of you. I was excited to hear that this little girl’s stutter faded away the following year. But it was even more powerful to receive the feedback that my advice was both novel and refreshing. I was lauded for my unique approach to stuttering and praised for having such a healthy attitude. That was meaningful to me, especially after years of frustration and anger over my own stuttering. But it also irked me. Why had this family not heard this advice from others? Was my approach that unique? And then I realized that what I was saying didn’t only apply to stuttering. We all face our own unique adversity and choose our response. It is not about conquering our challenges, but rather about embracing them, improving our self-esteem, and leading happier, more meaningful lives as a result.

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Health Care

Hundreds of haredi Orthodox attend symposium with leaders of anti-vaccine movement Marcy Oster

( JTA)—Jews are being persecuted as disease carriers amid the outbreak of measles, a New York haredi Orthodox rabbi said at a symposium with leaders of

the anti-vaccination movement attended by hundreds of haredim. “We Hasidim have been chosen as the target,” said Rabbi Hillel Handler, a Holocaust survivor from Monsey, a Rockland County town with a large

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22 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

haredi population, according to the New York Times. “The campaign against us has been successful.” The Centers for Disease Control has reported a total of 839 cases of measles in 23 states as of Monday, May 13, the highest number since 2000, when measles was considered eradicated. The outbreak has been centered in New York City and state: The city alone has seen 498 confirmed cases since September, with a large number in Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In the rest of New York state there have been 274 confirmed cases, according to official figures, with about 80 percent located in Rockland County. The CDC pinned the resurgence on the unvaccinated and those who brought back measles from other countries. The outbreaks in Orthodox Jewish communities have been associated with travelers who carried the disease back from Israel and Ukraine, according to the CDC. Among the speakers at the Monsey event were Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British physician whose study linking measles vaccines with autism has been condemned, appearing via Skype; and pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, who is regularly cited in pamphlets circulated in New York City that urge women not to get their children vaccinated, the Times reported. Palevsky said failed vaccines are being given in the haredi communities. “Is it possible that the measlesmumps-rubella vaccine that is somehow being given in this lot to communities in Williamsburg and Lakewood and Monsey, maybe in Borough Park, is it possible that these lots are bad?” he asked, referring to areas in New York and New Jersey with large haredi communities, the Times reported. “It’s fascinating because we’re told how contagious the disease is, but somehow it’s centered in the Jewish community.” The meeting, which featured separate seating to accommodate the religious observance of the haredi community, was denounced by local elected officials, health authorities, and some haredi

rabbis, according to the newspaper. Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak in Brooklyn’s haredi Orthodox community. De Blasio ordered unvaccinated people living in four ZIP codes in the Williamsburg neighborhood to get the vaccine or be required to pay fines of up to $1,000. Despite institutional pressure, a strain of opposition to vaccines has persisted in haredi communities based on false claims that vaccines are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Large families, closeknit communities and the complexity of timing immunizations for a family’s many young children also have contributed to the outbreak. The majority of Orthodox Jewish children are vaccinated, according to statistics issued by the New York state and New York City health departments. There is no religious reason not to be vaccinated. Prominent rabbis in New York have called on their followers to vaccinate their children. Meanwhile, on Monday, May 13, the Yeshiva of Central Queens was ordered closed after failing to comply with a Health Department order to prevent unvaccinated students from coming to school. It is the ninth Orthodox Jewish school to be ordered closed over the measles epidemic, but the first outside of Brooklyn. The following day, hundreds of New York parents against vaccinations rallied outside the state capitol in Albany calling on lawmakers to protect a state law that permits people not to vaccinate their children for religious reasons, The Associated Press reported. Some lawmakers have proposed eliminating the religious exemption in light of the current measles outbreak. Also on Tuesday, May 14, de Blasio’s office released a video calling on the Orthodox Jewish community to vaccinate their children featuring a prominent member of the Hasidic community— Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia soup kitchen network.


Health Care

US turns to Israeli know-how for medical cannabis research Maya Mirsky

SAN FRANCISCO (J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA)—When Israeli plant scientist Nirit Bernstein got a call five years ago from a research institute asking if she’d be interested in working on the cultivation of medical cannabis, she said yes. But then a thought quickly crossed her mind. “Oh my god,” she thought. “What’s my mother going to say?” Bernstein studies whole-plant cannabis at Israel’s state-run Volcani Institute and was one of several experts in various fields, including science, medicine and business, who met in San Francisco May 1–2 for the inaugural CannaMed/ Tech Summit, produced by the California Israel Chamber of Commerce. “I hope from Israel your science gets over here quicker rather than later, because we need it,” said investor Matthew Nordgren, CEO of Arcadian Fund and one of the keynote speakers. “We need it. We need to understand this plant.” While there is much hope and optimism about medical cannabis, there are also many questions—and businesses and investors in California and the U.S. are relying on Israel for some of the answers. It’s easier to learn about the multifaceted plant in Israel, which not only allows research but also funds it, unlike in the U.S., where strict federal laws are an impediment to clinical studies. (Recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Israel.) Hebrew University’s Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoids Research, for example, is studying possible applications for drugs targeting cancer, migraines, inflamed tissue, stress, pain, and renal disease. At Volcani, Bernstein is working on how to use light, heat, fertilizer, and growing conditions to standardize the compounds in cannabis. (The best-known are THC and CBD, both first isolated by Israeli pharmacologist Raphael Mechoulam in the mid-1960s.) She said growing cannabis on a large scale is much more difficult than raising a conventional farm crop.

“Cannabis is not a tomato!” she says. In cannabis grown by small farmers, the active compounds are not always consistent—they can be stronger at the top of the plant, or vary from plant to plant. Bernstein says it would be like giving a patient different amounts of aspirin and never telling the person the dosage. “If you want to treat [cannabis] as a drug, you have to standardize it to an acceptable level,” she says. Further complicating the issue of dosage is drug delivery, or how the active elements of cannabis get into the body, whether taken intravenously, orally, or through smoking, says Professor Simon Benita from the School of Pharmacy at Hebrew University. “How much drug will reach the blood?” he asks. “Because everything else is wasted.” A host of factors makes it especially difficult to study these issues in the U.S. While the use of recreational and medical cannabis is legal in California, researchers who want to conduct clinical trials still have to deal with restrictive federal rules, says Donald Abrams, an oncologist at UCSF Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital. So far, the FDA has approved only one drug using cannabis compounds: Epidiolex, which treats epilepsy. The rest of the products sold in California and other states where medical marijuana is legal are handled more like vitamins or supplements, subject to fewer regulations. What manufacturers and sellers promise may be heavy on the marketing and light on the science. But patients and doctors alike are still turning to the plant for its reported healing properties. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t recommend cannabis to my patients,” Abrams says. The demand for medical cannabis makes Israel an important partner for businesses wanting to join the green boom, one of the goals of CICC’s executive director Sharon Vanek, who initiated the conference. Attendee Boris Shcharansky, chief operating officer for wellness company Papa

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& Barkley, says his company had turned to Israel to conduct product research without all the red tape of the U.S. “Israel doesn’t have any of that,” he says. “That’s amazing.” Michael Mendez of Renew Biopharma says that a stigma persists in the U.S. around cannabis, which is classified as a Schedule 1 drug along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. “I definitely don’t see that stigma in Israel,” he says. “So they are way ahead of us.” Until U.S. regulations and attitudes change, businesses and health

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professionals will continue to seek Israeli expertise on the green plant, partnerships that the California Israel Chamber of Commerce is encouraging. Already, many see Israel as the place to go for advanced information on medical marijuana. “It is fast becoming the land of milk, honey—and cannabis,” Israel’s S.F.-based Consul General Shlomi Kofman says with a laugh, after opening the conference. “There are lots of versions of this, but this is the latest one.”

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Healthcare | Jewish News | 23


Community Update

Health Care

More than pain, this book is also about lifestyle

Jewish Family Service of Tidewater invites the community to its

64th Biennial Meeting

Thursday, June 6, 2019 6:00 PM: Reception 7:00 – 8:00 PM: Meeting Fleder Multi-Purpose Room Sandler Family Campus LIsa Barr, MD.

Please join us so we may update you on the growth of our services and the needs we are meeting in the community. The biennial meeting will also include: • Installation of Ellen Rosenblum as president • Recognition of outgoing board members • Welcoming of new board members • Presentation of special board and community awards

RSVP to 757–321–2235 by May 31st.

Coming Soon!

Legal Matters Legal Matters in the Jewish community

July 15 issue

To advertise, call 757.965.6100 or email news@ujft.org

24 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Outsmart Your Pain! The Essential Guide to Overcoming Pain and Transforming Your Life Lisa Barr, MD Illustrations by Tim Sovine Synergy Health Quest, LLC, 2018 ISBN 13: 978-1-7320011-0-7 reviwed by Terri Denison

I

n the opening pages of Outsmart Your Pain!, Lisa Barr, MD, says, “The science of pain is always changing.” Two pages later, she notes, “The purpose of this book, and my mission in life, is to help you gain a better perspective of what pain is, what it isn’t, and what you can do about it.” In fact, Outsmart Your Pain! is an easy-to-read book that not just helps, but encourages readers to learn to help themselves lead a healthier, more balanced, and ultimately, pain-free life. But readers don’t have to be in pain to benefit from the read. While Barr explains how stress causes pain, for example, her suggestions on reducing and controlling stress are valuable lessons whether you are in pain or not. The same goes for the section on sleep. And, for the pages on nutrition. Likewise, when Barr discusses

perfectionism, which, she says in many ways is perfectly paired with pain. In other words, the book offers myriad ways to enhance the reader’s lifestyle and improve daily practices—even if already pain-free. Of course, for those who do suffer from chronic pain, Barr addresses topics such as drugs, emotions, inflammation, and pain triggers, among many other causes and results of pain. Barr suggests ways to “kick the pain habit and master your pain” in order to lead a productive and satisfying life. She also discusses preventative measures. Barr’s writing style is conversational, making the book an easy read. Written from the perspective of her experience as a board-certified pain physician, Barr writes as if she’s speaking to her patients, creating an instant connection between author and reader. One section of the book that I wish had been included is an index. Perhaps in the next edition. A Norfolk native, Lisa Binder Barr is a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is a board-certified physiatrist with a practice in Virginia Beach. Terri Denison is editor of Jewish News.


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Health Care

Pushing forward a vision for women’s health Ellen Hershkin

“S

elf-care” is the buzzword of the moment for women, but what does it really mean when women’s health disparities in America have elicited a growing alarm among the public and policymakers? Women need real tools to help navigate their own health, from education, to apps to community resources. But the burden and responsibility shouldn’t fall only on them. “Self-care” isn’t a trend, but a proven combination of patient and clinician-driven practices. Health is not just about treating disease, but about living life optimally. There are so many ways we can improve and uplift women’s health as a society: from turning around the dismal American maternal mortality rates (the worst in the developed world), to spreading the message that heart attack symptoms in women are often overlooked compared

to those in men. We must embrace a comprehensive vision for moving forward on a personal and structural level. What is needed is a combination of solutions: the time and ability to exercise and eat healthier combined with ongoing education about women’s unique health issues. In addition, a holistic approach from the medical establishment that goes beyond regular well-woman visits, preventative testing, and counseling is also required. To achieve this vision, we must address how presumed gender roles impact our everyday lives. According to the US Department of Labor, “women in the United States make approximately 80% of the health care decisions for their families.” Women are often the CEO’s of their families’ health, keeping track of appointments, medication, and the general well-being of spouses, children, and elderly or infirm relatives. These responsibilities often don’t leave women enough

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26 | Jewish News | Healthcare | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

time for genuine self-care and self-monitoring. Women may also be conditioned to grit their teeth through discomfort rather than getting help early or prioritizing visits to the doctor. In clinical settings, perceptions of gender can also affect women negatively. When research subjects are overwhelmingly male, women’s experiences may not be as familiar to practitioners. As one writer for the Harvard health blog noted, “70% of the people [chronic pain] impacts are women. And yet, 80% of pain studies are conducted on male mice or human men.” This reality also means that women’s pain may not register as severe—even though doctors have acknowledged that menstrual cramps can be as painful as a heart attack! All of these factors arise from ideas subtly ingrained in our social structures. As economist Carolina Crialdo-Perez writes in her new book Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men a “male norm” persists in everything from seatbelts to cancer studies. Women walk through a world that’s simply not engineered for them. Many patients of all genders go through a siloed medical system focusing on individual symptoms rather than holistic care. Women are more likely than men to see multiple providers regularly. This is particularly problematic for women whose present-day health issues may, for instance, be traced back to a previous pregnancy or another reproductive or hormonal issue Hadassah is committed to making that totality of care a reality for as many women as possible, by demonstrating quality practices in our own health centers in Israel in addition to spreading the word in our education campaigns and advocating for policy changes here in the US. Women’s health care should be integrated, especially since women’s primary point of contact may not be limited to a single provider. The Hadassah Medical Organization offers treatment at every age and stage, based on best practices and data, with a focus on understanding when certain women are at greater risk. For example, the Fleischman Center for Women’s Health at Hadassah Hospital Ein

Ellen Hershkin

Kerem pioneered the concept of a “one and only” clinic, which provides women with an entire slate of tests and visits from which to choose, such as: mammograms, dietician consultations, bone density tests, and pap smears. Patients leave with a road map for holistic health. Across our facilities, our computerized system linking patients and their doctors, “My Hadassah” allows doctors to understand the breadth of a patient’s history, and offer tailored, personalized care. Hadassah founded the Coalition for Women’s Health Equity in 2016 to address inequities in prevention, research, access and quality of care, funding, and support. Our 28 coalition members are all working in their own ways to further this vision. Together, we are committed to improving women’s health outcomes—through stakeholder collaboration, public education, and legislative advocacy. This year, we applaud advancements made by policymakers and the medical system to address health disparities and improve women’s health safety. But far more can be done. We urge policymakers to keep a comprehensive vision in mind and work to promote wellness, integrated care, and a commitment to rigorous research, data collection, and innovation. We encourage members of the medical community—researchers, clinicians, and administrators—to join us in breaking down silos, to collaborate across disciplines, and to continue finding new ways to optimize patient care. Finally, we must all be our own and our sisters’ keepers. Together, women and men, we can advocate for ourselves and the women around us—a daily reminder that our health is too important to ignore. Ellen Hershkin is national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA).


it’s a Wrap Armed Forces Shabbat at Ohef Sholom

C

ongresswoman Elaine Luria was Ohef Sholom Temple’s guest speaker for Armed Forces Shabbat on Friday, May 17. She spoke of her experience commanding combatant ships in the Navy, and how this, along with her strong Jewish upbringing, led her to her current position representing Virginia’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives.  Following the service, OST’s congregants who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces who were in attendance, along with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Jen Reuben, gathered for this photograph.

Steve Budman

Temple Israel holds first Women’s Seder Bobbie Fisher

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fter a great deal of thought, discussion, planning, negotiating, shopping, cooking, and implementing— not to mention the counting, hard boiling and peeling of no fewer than 96 eggs— Temple Israel held its first Women’s Seder on April 24, 2019. TI member Shirley Cofino-Rehder had long wanted a Women’s Seder at the synagogue. She’d done several before at other temples, and felt the time was right to bring the tradition to Temple Israel. A committee was formed, and Rabbi Ellen Jaffe Gill offered to write a Haggadah. The idea was so popular that before long, the men of the congregation also wanted in on the Seder, and the women were happy to accommodate them. Eventually, men and women from across the community, including from area churches, attended, with more than 90 reservations received (hence all those eggs…). The Haggadah, which featured a lovely cover illustration by Confino-Rehder, included a welcome that embraced

inclusion of everyone, while focusing on honoring both Biblical and contemporary women and their contributions to Judaism and the Jewish people. Rabbi Jaffe Gill and Rabbi Michael Panitz shared the task of leading the Seder. Blessings over the wine included a dedication to the schechinah, the feminine aspect of God as manifested on Earth. The items on the Seder plate were described as usual, with the notable addition of an orange—a tradition begun by Susannah Heschel, daughter of Rabbi A.J. Heschel, to serve as a symbol of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Another addition to the Seder plate, and one of the highlights of the evening, was a kos Miriam, a Miriam’s cup designed and hand painted by Emily Panitz, with help from Bobbie Fisher. As timbrels and tambourines were distributed, Rabbi Jaffe Gill led the guests in the singing of Miriam’s Song. Gad Brousch accompanied on the piano. When the four questions were asked, they focused on questions about the roles of women in both Jewish and secular life.

Kaln, while honoring Virginia’s And the four sons became own Elaine Luria. They rejoiced the four daughters, beginning at Rabbi Sally Preisand and Rabbi with the committed daughAmy Eilberg—but looked forter, who wanted to deepen ward to a time when women her understanding. The rabbis and cantors are paid and angry, alienated daughter was respected equally with their male one who had turned away counterparts. from Judaism; the superfiThe second cup of wine was cially identified daughter’s dedicated to Shifrah and Puah, the Jewishness was marginal; midwives who defied Pharaoh’s and the daughter without Miriam’s Cup by edict to kill newborn Hebrew Jewish experience did not Emily Panitz and Bobbie Fisher. boys, while the third cup was dedeven know where to begin. icated to Yocheved and Tziporah, One of the evening’s most the mother and wife of Moses. poignant moments was the singing of The fourth cup was dedicated to the Dayeinu! In addition to acknowledging 111 women whose names are included in their gratitude to G-d in the traditional the Torah, noting that throughout Jewish verses, the Haggadah expressed thanks history, women have done great things and admiration for the many Jewish and remained nameless, forced to let their women—Betty Friedan, Vivian Gornick, contributions speak for them. The Seder et al, who were leaders in the early wave concluded with the words of Rabbi Sue of feminism. They celebrated Civil Rights Levi Elwell—“In the cities of Judah and activists Gertrude Weil, Justine Wise wherever our people gather, the voices of Polier, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, daughters join the voices of sons in songs who took women past suffrage to real of freedom and celebration.” protections. They acknowledged the first L’shanah ha-ba’ah b’Yerushalayim! Jewish congresswoman, Florence Prag

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 27


it’s a Wrap

UJFT Women usher in new Cabinet and Executive Committee at annual Spring Lunch Amy Zelenka

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n May 7, in the rainbow glow of a giant Chihuly sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, the Women’s Cabinet of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, held its annual Spring Lunch and Installation. Janet Mercadante, outgoing chair, completing her term, welcomed everyone and expressed her honor at having been afforded the opportunity to lead UJFT’s Women’s Campaign for the past two years. In thanking the members of her executive committee, Mercadante reminded all in the room that “successful fundraising, which we have been fortunate to realize,

New Cabinet member Betsy Karotkin with Kim Simon Fink.

year after year, is not accomplished by the chair alone, but by the entire team.” She then extended that thanks to the other members of the cabinet, the women in the room, and the women not in the room— all of whom brought their support to the campaign to make it the success that it has been. Mercadante then installed the new executive committee: Mona Flax—Chair Barbara Dudley—Vice chair (and chair-elect) Janet Mercadante—Immediate past chair Robin Mancoll—Education committee chair Shira Itzhak—Outreach and Engagement committee chair Stephanie Calliott—Leadership and Nominating committee chair Kim Fink, Amy Lefcoe, and Deb Casey—At-large members Immediate past Leadership chair, Jodi Klebanoff, was installed on the Women’s Cabinet Honorary board, where she will now serve alongside other past cabinet chairs. Mona Flax then installed the new cabinet, recognizing those whose terms of service were ending and welcoming back those who have agreed to continue serving.

Newly Installed Cabinet Chair Mona Flax with Vivian Turok, Ilana Benson, Annie Sandler, Charlene Cohen and Joan Joffe.

28 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

New to cabinet for a three-year term are: Betsy Karotkin, Ellen Rostov Hundley, Ellen Wagner, and Amy Weinstein. On installing this year’s cabinet members, Flax stated, “There is not a doubt in my mind that you will all take-to-heart your roles as Federation ambassadors in the community, and that you will represent the Federation and the Women’s Cabinet with great distinction.… Thank you for agreeing to serve, she finished, “in this incredibly vital volunteer role.” Flax recounted the terrific success that the Women’s Division saw under the leadership of her predecessor Janet Mercadante, citing several noteworthy statistics. Calling on the symbolism of light—found throughout Judiasm’s teachings, Flax thanked Mercadante for her service and for sharing the light of her example with the rest of the cabinet. She then went on to present Mercadante with a gift illustrative of that light—a handmade menorah from Israel—with the thanks of the cabinet. In laying out her vision for the next two years, Flax shared her personal “Federation journey,” which was not always a smooth one. She talked about growing up in the heart of the Jewish community of Memphis, Tenn.; going to college at the University of Florida (where she was again surround by Jewish friends

Jenny Sachs, Amy Levy, Kristy Foleck, and Stephanie Steerman.

and classmates); and finally landing in Virginia Beach (after graduating from William & Mary Law School). Flax and her husband Jeff made raising a Jewish family a priority, but for various reasons she never felt particularly drawn to the Federation. “Perhaps it was bad timing [on the part of a Federation solicitor]; maybe it was because she didn’t really know much about Federation,” she said. So, years went by; her children grew up; her practice was thriving. And she began hearing from some of her friends about a trip to Cuba—to the Jewish community of Cuba, in fact. “And it sounded interesting,” said Flax. “Yup,” she continued, “It was a game changer.” “Traveling to Cuba with 30 Jewish women and having the opportunity to see and experience the kinds of life-changing programs that the Federation funds… witnessing how the Jewish community of Havana has to work so hard to remain a Jewish community… watching the Jewish teens in Havana lead Shabbat services… I came back from Cuba incredibly proud of the work we do—the Federation and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee—to ensure and enrich Jewish life around the world.” Two years later, Flax brought her husband on another Federation mission—this time to Israel. “So, while Cuba opened the

Stephanie Calliott with Lynn Schoenbaum.


it’s a Wrap

Passing the torch for the Women’s Cabinet: Barbara Dudley, chair elect; Mona Flax, chair; and Janet Mercadante, immediate past chair.

door,” said Flax, “Israel sealed the deal.” And she hasn’t looked back. “And here I am, a few years later,” she said, “taking the chairmanship of the UJFT women’s cabinet.” Guest speaker Alison Goldstein Lebovitz, from Chattanooga, Tenn., is an author, speaker, talk show host, and podcaster. She also serves as co-founder and president of One Clip at a Time, a nonprofit inspired by the Paper Clips Project started in Whitwell, Tenn. A former JFNA National Young Leadership Cabinet chair, Lebovitz has visited Jewish communities across the country. But where she feels most welcome, and best understood, are in the Jewish communities of the South. She was therefore, very pleased to come back to Tidewater to share her southern, Jewish, personal stories. With intelligence, humor, and sensitivity, Lebovitz shared stories of her family—some joyful and funny; others poignant and full of meaning. In a particular story involving her youngest son Levi, Lebovitz talked about his taking on every southern Jewish boy’s “rite of passage”— not Bar Mitzvah or Confirmation…but rather (at age 15) being allowed to fly without a parent on Delta Airlines! In Levi’s case, it was to a USY convention in Florida. As his carry-on bag went through the x-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, a guard studying the image asked if Levi was carrying a magic wand, and if so, why. Unable to recall packing a magic wand, Levi simply shook his head. A crowd of security personnel began

Annie Sandler with Thelma Oser.

Miriam Seeherman with Rabbi Roz Mandelberg.

Connie Jacobson, Marcia Moss, and Jodi Klebanoff.

Joan London with Alicia London Friedman.

Rachel Feigenbaum with Betty Ann Levin, UJFT executive director.

Shelly Simon, Betty Berklee, and Shari Friedman.

New cabinet member Ellen Rostov Hundley with Judy Rosenblatt.

Laura Miller getting her book signed by the author.

husband, Noel (of blessed memory), Dudley shared that her grandson had not only been named for Noel, but had been wrapped in Noel’s own tallit during his brit just a few days earlier. Dudley closed the event with thanks to the speaker, the volunteers who comprise the women’s cabinet, and the Federation

professionals who help support them.

to grow around the screen, conferring on what else it might be than a magic wand. They finally opened the bag and pulled out the object. Alison’s son had included his tallit and yad for the convention. He then went on to explain to the security personnel at Chattanooga Airport what the items were and why he was carrying them. The women in the room were charmed not just by Lebovitz’s story-telling, but also by the pride we all felt in this 15-year-old boy, from a Jewish community of 1,500, in a small southern town. Not only did he know and understand the significance of these ritual objects, but he was able to teach others about it as well—confidently and unapologetically. Perhaps there was a bit of magic in that yad, after all. Barbara Dudley, just back from Israel after welcoming the arrival of her new grandson, added her own beautiful story, picking-up on the significance of the tallit and yad. Having recently lost her

For more information about UJFT’s Women’s cabinet or how to get involved in volunteer fundraising for the Federation, contact Amy Zelenka at the Jewish Federation at azelenka@ujft.org. Marc Robbins Photography

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 29


it’s a Wrap

Federation hosts JDC’s CEO at photo gallery gala Sallie Williams

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early 100 community members cycled through the Leon Family Gallery on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus on April 30 to tour the exhibit, Home: Lens on Israel, with David Schizer, CEO of the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Home showcases JDC’s impact

David Schizer.

around the world through the images of various photographers—amateur and professional. While touring the gallery, guests spent time with Schizer, who shared the unique stories behind two of the exhibit’s photographs—both taken by Annie Sandler, national JDC board member. Following the gallery tour, guests moved into the Fleder Multi-Purpose Room for a broader conversation with Shchizer on the current state of the Jewish world, and how JDC is prepared to address emerging needs. In her introductory remarks, Annie Sandler highlighted some of the changes which have taken place during the two and a half years of Schizer’s leadership. She also pointed out that Tidewater’s Federation was “a pioneering community” in terms of its JDC funding structure, and she thanked the community for having made JDC’s work of “‘Jewish Peoplehood’ sacred and important.” Sandler outlined the JDC mission, explaining that the organization was founded on the pillars of rescue, relief, and reconstruction of Jewish communities, and that JDC’s mission for 105 years has been a beacon call to vulnerable Jews around the globe: “If you need us, we will

David Schizer and Annie Sandler.

30 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

find you; and we will help.” Sandler described how UJFT has consistently invested in this vision through its Annual Campaign, partnering with JDC in some of their most successful initiatives—including helping revive a “dying community in Romania.” UJFT continues to invest in a thriving Jewish tomorrow by supporting programs such as Camp Szarvas, which “raises” Jewish communal leaders for Front; Laura Miller, Annie Sandler, Karen Lombart, and Jane Stein. today and the next Back: Betty Ann Levin and David Schizer. generation. currently address. Once identified, the When David Schizer took the stage, he program’s cost is split between JDC, the echoed Sandler’s gratitude for the strong municipality, and often a third funder. and storied partnership between UJFT Finally, Schizer fielded questions, and JDC. He then gave a briefing about addressing concerns about the difficulties how JDC is investing in the right stratefaced by Venezuelan Jews and what JDC gies to support the emerging needs of Jews is doing to ensure that safety, food, and around the world. Schizer said that while preparations for extrication are in place. “JDC’s mission hasn’t changed in 105 Schizer was also asked about the ongoyears…the world is changing.” He shared ing work in Arab countries to ensure the that the JDC is at its best when doing safety and welfare of the few elderly Jews what others can’t or won’t do. He then disstill living there. He closed with a detailed cussed the three questions that JDC uses response when asked about the looming to measure the effectiveness of all initialoss of Reparations Funding in Eastern tives: How important is the problem we’re Europe (right now approximately $120 targeting? How effective will our response million a year from the German governbe? Are we the right organization to do it? ment to cover the needs of a dwindling JDC’s recent move into Western community of Holocaust survivors). In Europe is an example. This decision was preparation for this loss of critical fundmade after the three-question evaluation ing, JDC has already begun streamlining process. It was an operational change operations to reduce expenses and taken driven by the increase of anti-Semitism necessary steps to continue whittling and anti-Israel terrorism there. away at this concern. Schizer also highlighted JDC’s unique Schizer closed with another thank you programmatic partnerships with Israeli to the Tidewater Jewish community. municipalities. JDC invests resources in an idea or solution the government doesn’t


it’s a Wrap

Ambassador casts a new light on Israel Rachel Gross

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mbassador Ido Aharoni spoke at Ohef Sholom Temple as part of the Community Relations Council of the United Federation of Tidewater and community partners’ 8th annual Israel Today series on Wednesday, May 8. As a member of Israel’s Foreign Service

for 25 years, and as the founder of the Brand Israel Group, Ambassador Aharoni is no stranger to the often heavy critique and condemnation that Israel receives from the international community. But why Israel? Ambassador Aharoni explained during his talk that, “It is a terrible injustice to know a place just for its negative issues

Ambassador Aharoni speaks at the Israel Today program at Ohef Sholom Temple.

Ambassador Ido Aharoni in Tidewater With 14 events or meetings over the course of two days, Ambassador Aharoni left an impact in Tidewater. In addition to speaking about the transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’Atzmaut that takes place in Israel at Ohef Sholom Temple, as part of the Israel Today series, he spoke with students at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s Yom Hazkiaron service, students at the Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School and Cape Henry Collegiate, to private and public school educators, faith and civic leaders, CBN News, and lead a session in the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach.

and this is what happened to Israel. So, how can Israel’s Jeff Werby, Greg Zittrain, Lawrence Land, Scott Konikoff, public image be and Joash Schulman. improved? Not by Ambassador shares branding expertise changing Israel, but by changing the Members of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society conversation,” he of Professionals enjoyed a dynamic talk by Israeli branding says. expert Ambassador Ido Aharoni. Israel is more The Ambassador shared his expertise on increasing placethan the conflict, it brand image. Explaining that one should “never allow your is a place of innoproblems to determine who you are.” He stressed that “pervation, education, formance comes first and brand is more than a logo. It does culture, and divernot begin and end with visuals.” sity, said Aharoni. UJFT’s Society of Professionals is a cohort of business, medAs a leader in water ical and legal professional leaders of the Jewish community management and dedicated to educational, social, and philanthropic activities. desalinization, for For more information contact Barb Gelb, director of developexample, Israel proment at bgelb@ujft.org. vides clean water to the refugees in Syria. Of Israel’s nine universities, six “Through the power of knowledge, the face are ranked in the top 500 globally, four of Israel can change,” he said, “empowerof those six are ranked in the top 200, ing its diverse and vibrant community to and two of those four are ranked in the thrive even more.” top 50. Additionally, Israel is a leader in technological and scientific innovaTo learn more about the Israel Today series, tion, publishing the highest number of visit JewishVA.org/IsraelToday or contact scientific papers per capita. RGross@ujft.org.

Ambassador Ido Aharoni sharing details of what it’s like to be an Ambassador with Henry Scolnick and his fourth grade class at Cape Henry Collegiate.

Ambassador Aharoni and George Thomas, CBN News.

jewishnewsva.org | May 27, 2019 | Jewish News | 31


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what’s happening Barr Foundation’s yad collection on display at Temple Emanu-El Through August 11 Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street, New York City Museum hours: Sunday–Thursday, 10 am–4 pm

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raveling to New York City during the next couple of months? If so, try to include a visit to Temple Emanu-El’s Bernard Museum of Judaica to view the Barr Foundation’s yad—pointer—collection. Twenty-five years ago, Clay H. Barr began collecting yads. “I was inspired by Jay’s gift of two yads to Congregation Beth El just six months before he died,” she says of her husband, Jay D. A. Barr, of blessed memory. “I wanted to inspire artists and craftsmen to create new Judaica,” says Barr. And, she has done so with her vast collection. For thousands of years, Jews used simple tapered wooden sticks to point the way through the text of the Torah without

Lily of the Valley Torah Pointer of carved jade, gold and carved pearls. By Tom Herman of Seven Fingers, 2015

touching the fragile parchment. Over the millennia, the yad  has developed into a unique art form. Some are still carved out of wood, but others are now shaped from silver or graphite, from porcelain or glass, and even ornamented with gold, ivory, and jewels. The  yad  has become an artistic chronicle of how Jews read and relate to the Torah, a story that may be explored in a wide-ranging exhibition of more than 200

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2019

pointers of all styles and national origins, some up to 400 years old. “This exhibit is splendidly displayed,” says Barr. The display draws from the Barr Foundation, as well as Torah ornaments belonging to the Bernard Museum of Judaica at Temple Emanu-El. The exhibit opened in February and has been so well received that it is now extended through August. For information, go to https://www.emanuelnyc.org/2018/12/04/the-guiding-hand/.

Silver and stained walnut; Hand: signfoam and acrylic paint, Table: rosewood, maple wood. By Wendell Castle, 2004


what’s happening JCC Seniors Club to tour Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond Wednesday, June 19, 9 am—5 pm

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olocaust education is vital to ensuring that people today know the warning signs that led to the attempted destruction of the Jewish people in Nazi Germany. “Understanding the lessons of the Holocaust makes people better citizens, indeed, better human beings. A trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum will bring those lessons home to anyone who visits,” says Elena Baum, director of the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The Commission promotes tolerance, justice, and moral courage. The Museum is not just for Jews to remember their history, it is for all visitors

to be reminded of the importance of speaking against any form of racism. The Holocaust did not end in 1945, its methods were observed and have been successfully implemented by many fundamentalist groups through the end of the 20th century and into the 21st. All members of the Tidewater senior community are invited. Bus transportation leaves the Sandler Family Campus at 9 am, returning around 5 pm. Transportation, museum docent, and lunch is $30. To register by Wednesday, June 12, stop by the Simon JCC Front Desk, call 321-2338 or visit jewishva.org/seniors.

Leon Family Gallery, Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus

Artists 4 Israel May 2019

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raig Dershowitz, executive director of Artists 4 Israel, manages this group of artists from across the world who use the power of art to beautify the land, uplift people, and enhance Israel’s image. They do this through creative humanitarian projects and dynamic advocacy initiatives, benefiting all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or political beliefs. Working with avant-garde artists in art forms such as graffiti, street art, tattooing, street-wear, and toy design, Artists 4 Israel create social change through real quality of life advancements. The images in the Leon Family Gallery are just some of the more than 800 murals painted across the world and the stories they represent.

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Simon Family JCC Day Camp Employment Looking for an amazingly fun summer job that makes a difference? Do you remember how great it was to be at Summer Camp? At Simon Family JCC J Camp, energetic and passionate staff provide a safe and positive learning environment for campers. Previous summer day camp work experience and/or experience working with children helpful. Staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. Complete background check is required and Counselors must participate in an orientation program.

Now Hiring… for the following positions:

Upper Camp Unit Director* Teen Program Lead Counselor** Counselors (High School Graduates; minimum requirement) Junior Counselors (HS rising Junior; minimum requirement) Specialist (Activities: Sports, Music, Arts, etc.) Lead Counselor- Special Needs Shadow Program Special Needs Shadow Counselors Camp Nurse (RN certification required) *Requires proven camp leadership/management experience & must be 21+ years old ** Must be 21+ years old

Applications available at the Simon Family JCC 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 or www.simonfamilyjcc.org Camp Sessions: June 17 -August 9; Post Camp: August 12 -23

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WHo Knew?

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Scarlett Johannson and Colin Jost announce their engagement

s the third time the charm for Scarlett Johannson? The Jewish actress and Colin Jost, the co-head writer of Saturday Night Live, are engaged. Johannson, 34, has been married twice previously. It would be the first marriage for Jost, 36, a co-anchor of the popular Weekend Update segment on SNL. Johansson’s publicist Marcel Pariseau confirmed to The Associated Press that the couple, who have been dating for about two years, are officially engaged. The couple made their relationship official last year when they walked the red carpet together at the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War. They were seen on the red carpet together again last month at the premiere of Avengers: Endgame. Johansson portrays Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, in both films. They reportedly met on the set of SNL and were set up by one of the show’s stars, Kate McKinnon. Johansson has been married to actor Ryan Reynolds and journalist Romain Dauriac. She and Dauriac have a 5-year-old daughter named Rose. (JTA)

Visit us on the web jewishnewsva.org Follow us on Facebook JewishNewsVA

Employment Oppor tunity

Career Opportunities

Executive Administrative Assistant

The CRC educates the community on issues impacting the rights of Jews locally, in the U. S., in Israel and around the world. Candidate should have managerial leadership and experience implementing its mission and programmatic direction. Position requires knowledge of current topics of interest to the Jewish community; knowledge and understanding of Jewish life, practices, customs, history, perspective and community infrastructure; involvement in Jewish communal life.

Community Relations Council Director

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC seeks an Executive Administrative Assistant who is a master multi-tasker with excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) to support the Executive Vice President (EVP) in the execution of the organization’s development and operational goals. This Full-Time position requires an upbeat attitude, and the ideal candidate should be resourceful and organized. The position supports the EVP’s work with the Senior Management Team, the UJFT Board of Directors and committees. An important responsibility is to ensure that operational information is communicated in a timely, accurate and appropriate manner. The qualified candidate must have two or more years of related office experience and proven proficiency using Windows and MS Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).

Jewish Innovation Director

JI director works with all departments to infuse Judaism into what takes place daily at the Sandler Family Campus. Candidate will bring a spirit of creativity to experiencing Judaism on campus and in the community by creating a culture of innovation and forward thinking through events, experiences, and study. Bachelor’s Degree in related field, Master’s Degree preferred; Knowledge of Jewish values and traditions; 5+ years’ experience developing innovative programing including implementation and growth and demonstrated success as a Jewish educator for different demographics.

Arts + Ideas Manager

Responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of Jewish and Israeli cultural arts programs, events, exhibits and celebrations of the Simon Family Jewish Community Center and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. This includes direct responsibility for assigned program support personnel for all programs within Arts + Ideas. Complete job description at federation.jewishva.org/job-opportunities Submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: resumes@ujft.org Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position filled. EOE

34 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

Complete job descriptions at federation.jewishva.org/job-opportunities Submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: resumes@ujft.org

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arts and culture

A lost song and a grandson’s tribute In Vilden Vald—Aaron Tessler ft. Zemiros Choir

Aaron Tessler, “Savta” Rachel Tessler, of blessed memory, David Tessler, Jacob Tessler (standing), 2016

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he Holocaust’s devastation brought about not only the decimation of the Jewish people in body, but also immeasurable losses to Jewish culture. Countless and precious pieces of memory, history, and tradition disappeared with the people who guarded them. But one simple song

from the alter heim (“old country”) has been given new life in a new generation. The Yiddish song, In Vilden Vald (In the Wild Woods), performed by Aaron Tessler, 27, is a tribute to his own family’s legacy and the eternal continuity of the Jewish spirit. “My grandmother, Rachel Tessler, was one of few family members to survive the horrors of Auschwitz and the Nazi Death Marches, to return to Viseu de Sus (Visheve), Romania, to marry and start a family,” says Tessler. “Yet, she endured more persecution under the Romanian Communist regime, and in 1964—after giving up any claim to their property and belongings—she and her husband, Baruch, and their children, emigrated to Israel. She lived there until her passing in March 2017.”

In her later years, Rachel Tessler spoke of her childhood in the small Romanian village of Romuli, and among the many stories retold was a song, a piece of Jewish folk culture dating back to a world now lost. In Vilden Vald tells the story of a lost lamb in the harsh wilderness, searching for its mother and home. The song’s verses equate the lamb with the Jewish people and their enduring quest for tranquility in the Land of Israel, illustrating the constant hope and faith that have been characteristic of so many generations of Jews, in Europe, and around the globe. Tessler was unable to find this song documented elsewhere; a simple recording from his grandmother was all that remained. The song danced with death at Auschwitz, and has survived, and is now reinvigorated by the ultimate sign of

Jewish perseverance: the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. While most of the song’s original listeners perished thinking they were experiencing the end of Jewish history, the remastering of In Vilden Vald is a testament to the everlasting faith, strength, and resolve that have carried the Jewish people through time. Originally from Norfolk, Aaron Tessler lives and works in Washington D.C. He studied classical voice at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md., as well as the Corcoran School of Music of The George Washington University. Tessler has served as cantor at multiple congregations on the East Coast, as well as at synagogues and events around the country. To hear the song, go to https://youtu. be/-_n15a4Q4Y8.

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Obituaries Patricia Leffew Ashkenazi Virginia Beach—Patricia Leffew Ashkenazi, 70, passed away May 9, 2019 in Virginia Beach, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her husband, Avraham Ashkenazi of Virginia Beach; children Pam Zettervall, husband Chris and children Laura and Olivia; Elizabeth Dorroh and children Reese and Riley; Yaron and Orly Ashkenazi and children Yuval, Danielle, and Jonathan; and Dafna and Boaz Shapira and children Adva and Maya; her brother Robert Cook and wife Dorothy; as well as extended family and many others who she loved as family. A native of Norfolk, she was the daughter of the late Edwin and Dorothy Cook. She was a graduate of Norview High School and attended Longwood College. In her early professional life she worked for the University of Virginia, Harvey Lindsey in property management, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Partners in life and business, she and her husband developed IAT International, Inc. with offices in Norfolk, Israel, and the Czech Republic. She was an active, generous member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk and she and her husband were devoted philanthropists for Jewish communities in both the United States and Israel. Charities she was passionate about include The Technion Haifa Institute of Technology endowing three Ph.Ds; Friends of the IDF, supporting the higher education of six veteran soldiers; Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind; and was a committed patron of the arts. Patricia was actively involved in all of her grandchildren’s lives and educations and donated to both Norfolk Academy and Cape Henry Collegiate. Patricia and Avraham founded the Ashkenazi Nexus Endowment Fund at Cape Henry Collegiate. Funeral services were held at Congregation Beth El. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be offered to the family at hdoliver.com. Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El, Chabad of Tidewater, and Sentara Virginia Beach Department of Oncology.

Irene Mandel Blum Virginia Beach—Irene Mandel Blum, 95, passed away on May 10, 2019 at Beth Sholom Village. Irene was born in Baltimore, Md., on July 12, 1923 to Joseph and Rachel (Solomon) Mandel. The family moved to Norfolk where Irene attended Maury High School. She was a life member of B’nai Brith Women, Hadassah, Beth Sholom Home, Brith Sholom, and was a member of Temple Israel and its sisterhood for many years. Irene and her late husband Cecil moved to Florida in 1986. Irene continued to live there until 2003 when she returned home to be near her family. Irene was a wonderful mother who loved her family, playing Mah Jongg for over 65 years, and spending time with her friends. Irene was predeceased by her husband, Cecil Blum; daughter, Judi Hathaway; parents, Joseph and Rachel Mandel; sister, Sara Comess; brothers, Maurice, Abe, and Benny Mandel. Irene is survived by her daughters, Sherry Lieberman (Steve) and Linda Green (Ernie); grandchildren, Brian Lieberman, Lisa Lieberman Thatch (John), Jennifer Green Kebble (Jim) and Tamara Hathaway Galloway (Zander); great grandchildren, Ashlynn, Evan, Tyler, Hunter, Tara, Jimmy, Charlie, Bobby, Michael, Lucy, Dalton, and Graham. As well, Irene is remembered by a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Make memorial contributions to Beth Sholom Village, CHKD, Sentara Hospice House, or a charity of choice. Irene’s family is very grateful for the care and compassion she received while living at Beth Sholom Village. Altmeyer Funeral Home. Altmeyerfh.com. Larry Melvin Saunders Norfolk—Larry Melvin Saunders passed away at the age of 84 on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Harbor’s Edge. Born in 1935 in Norfolk, Virginia, he was the son of Bertha and Edward Saunders, of blessed memory. He spent most of his life living in the Tidewater area,

36 | Jewish News | May 27, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org

except for his four years as a University of Chapel Hill Tar Heel, where he graduated with a degree in Communications. From the age of 13, Larry was involved in some capacity with broadcasting and journalism and was still going to Max Media every Tuesday up until the week before he passed. Besides being a devoted family man and supporting causes close to his heart, Larry spent much of his time working. Among his greatest accomplishments were starting 2WD with Dick Lamb, later going in with Gene Loving and John Trinder to form Max Media, being the president of The Virginia Association of Broadcasters, and being inducted into The Virginia Communication Hall of Fame. His death was preceded by that of his wife of 58 years, Natalie, of blessed memory. Larry is survived by his daughter Debbi and her husband Barry; his son Jeff and his wife Stephanie; and four grandchildren: Jamie, Nicole, Carleigh, and Benjamin. A graveside service took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations to the EVMS Diabetes Institute and Congregation Beth El.

Herman Wouk, legendary author who brought Judaism into the mainstream Rachel Gordan

BOSTON ( JTA)—Herman Wouk, the bestselling Orthodox Jewish author whose literary career spanned nearly seven decades and who helped usher Judaism into the American mainstream, died Friday, May 17 at the age of 103. Wouk was the author of two dozen novels and works of nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Caine Mutiny from 1951, which was a fixture on bestseller lists for two years, and the best-selling Marjorie Morningstar from 1955. Both books were later adapted for the screen. His novels, The Winds of War and War and Remembrance both became successful television miniseries. By the mid-1950s, Wouk’s popular and financial success as an American Jewish novelist was unmatched. Even more unusual for a writer of

Wouk’s celebrity was his Orthodox observance and treatment of Jewish religious practice in his writing. Wouk embodied the new postwar possibilities for American Jews and his writing was both cause and effect of the normalization of Judaism within the larger American Judeo-Christian tradition. When he appeared on the cover of Time in 1955, the magazine described Wouk’s blend of worldly success and Jewish religious observance as paradoxical. “He is a devout Orthodox Jew who had achieved worldly success in worldly-wise Manhattan while adhering to dietary prohibitions and traditional rituals which many of his fellow Jews find embarrassing,” the article said. At the time, Wouk’s fame seemed like an incredible feat for an Orthodox Jew. Unlike other Jewish novelists, who had focused on Jewish immigrant culture and tended to portray religious Judaism as foreign and exotic, Wouk made Jewish religious observance appear mainstream in his books. Scenes of a Passover Seder and a bar mitzvah service became scenes of middle-class American life in Marjorie Morningstar. None of this escaped criticism. With the exception of The Caine Mutiny, reviews of Wouk’s works were typically mixed. Both Jewish and mainstream reviewers expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of his writing, his conservative outlook on politics and sex, and his treatment of Judaism. Some rabbis even criticized Wouk for mocking Jewish observance—though in the coming decade, Philip Roth’s fiction would radically change their perspective on what counted as literary denigration of Judaism. Meanwhile, fellow Jewish novelists like Roth, Saul Bellow, and Norman Mailer viewed Wouk as conforming to middle-class American values that prioritized marriage, family, religion, and service to country. Not only did he stay married to the same woman for more than six decades, but Wouk expressed pride in his military service, for which he received a U.S. Navy Lone Sailor Award. Wouk in turn saw the others as bowing to fashionable literary trends of rebellion and shocking readers. From his debut novel, Aurora Dawn, in 1947, to his last book, Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author—published in 2015 when he had reached a


Obituaries century—Wouk wove themes central to the American Jewish experience throughout his work. Even The Caine Mutiny, a less Jewish novel than later works, included Lt. Barney Greenwald, who gives a moving speech in defense of a lieutenant who helped keep Greenwald’s Jewish mother from being “melted down into a bar of soap” by the Nazis. Set in the 1930s and ’40s, Wouk’s fourth book, Marjorie Morningstar, heralded a new era for American Jews. The novel followed the journey of a New York Jewish protagonist no different from any other bright and beautiful young woman of the era, an image further cemented by Natalie Wood’s portrayal of Marjorie in the 1958 film version. Not since the 1927 film The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, had a movie shown Jewish religious scenes. But unlike The Jazz Singer, Marjorie and her religion were not exoticized—Jewishness was portrayed as middle class and American. With Marjorie, Wouk had succeeded in making a story about Jews into an American story. Marjorie also marked a turning point in his writing career. With confidence that he had readers who would follow him to less popular subjects, Wouk’s fourth book, his first work of nonfiction, took on the subject of Orthodox Judaism. Published in 1959, This Is My God was a primer about the Jewish religion intended for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. As other American celebrities would do, Wouk used his fame to draw attention to his little-understood religion. Serialized in the Los Angeles Times, This Is My God introduced readers to such Jewish particulars as the laws of kashrut and family purity and the holidays of Sukkot and Shavuot. The book showed, through anecdotes from Wouk’s glamorous Manhattan life, that it was possible to be both a modern American and Orthodox. At a time when Jews still encountered quotas at universities and discrimination in hiring and housing, Wouk’s example provided inspiration. This Is My God became a popular bar mitzvah and confirmation gift for young Jews of all movements. Born in the Bronx borough of New York City on May 27, 1915, Wouk was the second of three children of Esther and Abraham Wouk, both immigrants from Belarus. Abraham Wouk began work as a

laundry laborer and found financial success in the laundry business. Herman spent his early years in the Bronx receiving basic Hebrew training from his grandfather. His childhood included the teasing and bullying that was common for bookish boys in rough neighborhoods. From an early age, Wouk found a haven in reading, family, and Judaism. After graduating from the public Townsend Harris High School, Wouk entered Columbia University, where he served as editor of its humor magazine. He also took courses at Yeshiva University. Upon graduating, Wouk briefly abandoned his religious lifestyle when he became a radio dramatist, writing for the comedian Fred Allen. Although the work was lucrative, Wouk felt a void in a life without Jewish learning and religion, and he eventually returned to his previous level of observance. In the coming years he would reside in the Virgin Islands, New York’s Fire Island, Washington, D.C., Manhattan, and Palm Springs, California—and in all those locales

he was involved in setting up Jewish study and prayer groups. Following Pearl Harbor, Wouk joined the Navy and served in the Pacific, where he was an officer aboard two destroyers, participated in eight invasions and won several battle stars. Wouk also started to write Aurora Dawn while aboard ship. While his ship was being repaired in California, Wouk met Betty Sarah Brown,

a graduate of the University of Southern California and a civilian Navy employee. After her conversion to Judaism, the couple married in 1945 and had three sons. Betty, who died in 2011, would eventually become her husband’s literary agent. Wouk is survived by two sons, Nathaniel and Joseph, and three grandchildren. His oldest son, Abraham, died in a 1951 swimming pool accident.

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LE AR N WH Y A D O N O R ADVI S E D F U N D I S R I G HT FO R YO U AN D YO U R FAM I LY

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M E ET TH E LEONS Lisa and David Leon are proud supporters of our community and give to a variety of local organizations. Their daughters, Isabella and Emily, are 5th generation Tidewater residents and the 2nd generation to attend Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. To ensure they benefit from a Jewish tomorrow, Lisa and David established a Donor Advised Fund with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) – a team they know and trust.

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March of the Living affirms and questions planet. Then, slowly we came down to earth. As our guide, Avi, told us about the busihis trip will leave you with more quesness of the Nazis, the bureaucracy, the tions than answers.  city planning, the bids for which company That’s what our guide, Avi Marcovitz, would build and maintain the ovens. As told our group as we gathered in Warsaw’s we watched our group members, slowly airport. By we, I mean the 23 young adults becoming friends, comb through the giant from across the U.S. and two from South book of names in Auschwitz finding their Africa, who had come to Poland to parown last names inside. As we sang Oseh ticipate in the International March of the Shalom and danced with survivors in the Living—an annual education program that Warsaw ghetto, bringing them to tears to brings groups from all over the world “to see young Jews celebrating hope. As all of study the history of the Holocaust and this happened, the impossibility of death examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance connected with life. It became real.  and hatred.” Temples, JCCs, and schools Strangely, I think organize groups, but I can sum it all up in ours came together as one word: affirming. strangers, The Young It’s strange because Adult Delegation. Some I did leave with of us had grandparent more questions than survivors. Some were answers. Our final observant, some not. night we sat together All of us, though, had bonded by an intense the same question as shared whirlwind and we got on the bus— asked what do we do how will we react when now? If two-thirds of we enter the concentramillennials don’t know tion camp? Witold Lisowski, recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations, and Simon Fink. what Auschwitz is, I remember a childhow should we teach hood trip to the Grand them? Should we teach them? As witnesses Canyon. Standing at the edge, my parents now ourselves, what do we do with what gasped in awe. I didn’t. I asked, how come? we have seen? How come my younger siblings and I didn’t This trip affirmed the need to pursue have that visceral wonder (I probably didn’t these questions. I hope I’ve sparked some use the word visceral). It wasn’t exactly surhere. prising. It looked just like it does on Google If you have any interest, I encourage Images. going while there are still survivors and Would that be the first reaction I would righteous gentiles alive to experience it with. have to Majdanek, a 667-acre camp that If you have questions regarding the March killed approximately 360,000, includnext April, contact their office at motl@ ing 78,000 Jews? Or, how I’d respond to motlmail.org. Auschwitz and its more than 1,000,000 victims?  Well, yes. I didn’t cry. For the same reason that those numbers fail to evoke tears, it is unimaginable. Even surrounded by barbed wire, standing in the shadow of the watchtowers, smelling the wood, these sensations were untethered to anything I knew. It was like being on another Simon Fink

T

Singing and dancing with survivors, Warsaw Memorial.

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