Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 55 No. 03 | 1 Tishrei 5776 | October 3, 2016
August 2, 1923–September 28, 2016
31 Joyce Strelitz honored at International Women’s conference
34 Society of Jewish Professionals launches
36 Dennis Ross in Tidewater
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32 Kiryat Yam comes to Tidewater Supplement to Jewish News October 3, 2016
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U.S., Jewish security officials urge business as usual for the High Holidays WASHINGTON (JTA)—In a pre-Rosh Hashanah briefing, Jewish community and U.S. security officials urged Jewish institutions to be resilient and keep up morale in the face of terrorist threats. Hundreds of officials from more than 100 institutions across the country participated in the conference call last month. Speakers included Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Network, the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America, and a top Department of Homeland Security official whose identity SCN declined to reveal to the media. The speakers briefed listeners on recent terrorist attacks, including last month’s series of bombings in the New York-New Jersey area believed to have been carried out by an Afghani-American man. . In addition to reviewing security procedures, including training staff on how to deal with active shooters, and establishing relationships with local police, Goldenberg emphasized that U.S. Jewish institutions should continue business as usual and keep security unobtrusive, so it does not hinder High Holidays worship. “We have come to learn that the goal of terrorists is to wear down our citizens’ spirits and endurance, destroying national morale,” he said. Goldenberg said that the barricades placed around Jewish worship in Europe have created a psychology of being under siege. “According to a recent poll, nearly 70 percent of European Jews may decide not to attend High Holy Days services this year,” he said. One key, Goldenberg said, was for the public not to panic or demand drastic changes in national policies. Terrorists “recognize that if their attacks cause large-scale mobilization of the public to put pressure on their governments to change policies or positions, they could indeed enjoy agenda-setting powers over a democratic society,” he told the call.
IFCJ, JDC to distribute $52 million in humanitarian aid to Jews in former Soviet Union
he International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has pledged $52 million to provide food and medicine to elderly Jews living in the former Soviet Union through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The Food and Medicine Lifeline, a four-year, $13 million per year commitment, was announced by the IFCJ. Many of the tens of thousands of recipients of the aid are elderly and impoverished Holocaust survivors, according to the IFCJ. The assistance will be delivered through the JDC’s local network of humanitarian services throughout the states of the former Soviet Union. “There are countless hungry and sick elderly Jews across the FSU, including over 100,000 needy elderly and Holocaust survivors, who depend on our help,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ founder and president, said in a statement. “Too many Jews around the world, but especially in the former Soviet Union, struggle to meet their most basic needs, including securing the food and medicine they need simply to survive.” IFCJ raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding more than 30 years ago, the organization said it has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to assisting poor and elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union. JDC works in more than 70 countries, including Israel, to assist Jews in areas ranging from alleviating hunger to providing disaster relief. (JTA)
Cover: President Shimon Peres, 30 March 2011, Chatham House
Upfront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Hal Sacks Jewish News Archives. . . . . . . 6 In Memoriam: Shimon Peres. . . . . . . . . . 8 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Jewish votes in key states. . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Israel and ethnic profiling. . . . . . . . . . . 13 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Holocaust Commission receives statewide recognition. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 TJF’s new Life and Legacy initiative . . . 18 Joyce Strelitz wins prestigious award . . 31 Kiryat Yam visits Tidewater. . . . . . . . . . 32
Society of Professionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . Hazak event at Beth El. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Campaign Kickoff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Israel Today with Ambassador Dennis Ross . . . . . . . . . HAT Golf Tournament. . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deborah Lipstadt and Denial. . . . . . . . . Special Section—High Holidays
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Briefs ADL hires technology director to combat cyber anti-Semitism The Anti-Defamation League has created a position dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry on the internet. The hiring of Brittan Heller, a lawyer who has prosecuted cyber crime at the U.S. Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, follows the ADL’s formation of a task force earlier this year to combat online harassment of Jewish journalists. Heller will be the group’s first director of technology and society, the ADL announced Monday. From her base in Northern California’s Silicon Valley, Heller will work to reduce hateful rhetoric on the internet in collaboration with technology companies and law enforcement. Heller, a graduate of Yale Law School, has herself been a victim of cyber harassment. In 2009, she and a fellow Yale alumna settled a high-profile lawsuit against a group of online commenters who posted sexually explicit comments about them on an internet forum. The ADL created the task force to deal with anti-Semitic and racist harassment of journalists on social media platforms. This election season has seen a number of high-profile cases of Jewish journalists being harassed by supporters of Donald Trump, notably in May, when reporter Julia Ioffe was flooded with anti-Semitic death threats after she wrote a critical profile of the Republican nominee’s wife, Melania. (JTA) Colin Powell in leaked email: Israel has 200 nukes Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a private email exchange that Israel has 200 nuclear warheads. The exchange last year from Powell’s private gmail account was leaked last month by hackers, The Associated Press reported. Powell told the AP through a spokeswoman that he was referring to public estimates of Israel’s nukes. Powell is a retired Army general who has served as White House national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is not known whether
he still retains a national security clearance. He resigned as Secretary of State in November 2004, the last time he served in public office. “Iranians can’t use one if they finally make one,” Powell, discussing nuclear weapons, wrote to Democratic donor Jeffrey Leeds, a hedge-fund founder who serves on the board of the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York. “The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands,” read the email, one of thousands of his messages posted earlier this week to the website DCLeaks.com. A statement issued by his spokeswoman, according to the AP, said: “Gen. Powell has not been briefed or had any knowledge from U.S. sources on the existence and or size of an Israeli nuclear capability. He like many people believe that there may be a capability and the number 200 has been speculated upon in open sources.” (JTA)
HIAS chief responds to Trump’s son‘s “Skittles” reference: Politicizing refugees is “shameful” Dehumanizing and politicizing refugees is “shameful” and our leaders must know it is unacceptable, the head of a refugee advocacy group said a day after the son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump compared Syrian refugees to the fruit-flavored candy Skittles. “Persecution always starts with dehumanization. Often times this is done in jest, making people objects of derision while taking away their human qualities. Likening refugees to diseases or to junk food, like candy, is a particularly egregious example of how refugees could be dehumanized,” Mark Hetfield, the president of HIAS, said in a statement. Donald Trump Jr. made the candy reference, tweeting “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” The Hetfield statement went on to say: “Minimizing the human cost of the most severe refugee crisis in history is shameful in any context. When
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refugees—people who leave their entire lives behind simply in search of safety —are politicized and used to fan the toxic flames of xenophobia, we have an obligation to let our leaders know it is unacceptable.” HIAS, formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, was founded in 1881 to help Jewish immigrants fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. Hetfield said the current refugee crisis and world reaction to it should “resonate deeply” in the Jewish community, “which remembers the plight of Jewish refugees who were turned away during World War II when they had nowhere else to go.” “Then, as now, refugees were falsely cast as a threat, rather than sheltered from the threats they were fleeing. We cannot allow ourselves to make the same mistakes for the same reasons.” (JTA)
U.S. Holocaust museum urges world leaders to press Iran on Holocaust denial The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum urged world leaders to press Iran’s leadership on its Holocaust denial during the U.N. General Assembly. “We want to make sure that the upcoming discussion at the United Nations is informed by facts about official Iranian efforts to promote racism and extremism in the form of Holocaust denial,” Tad Stahnke, the director of the museum’s initiative against Holocaust denial, said in a conference call with reporters as the General Assembly formally launched in New York. Stahnke and Maziar Bahari, an Iranian filmmaker, cautioned against believing claims by reputed moderates like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that the government of Iran repudiates Holocaust denial. They noted that the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, questioned the veracity of the Holocaust as recently as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January. They also noted the most recent Holocaust cartoon contest in May, and said Zarif and others played word games when they said there was no
“government” involvement. There are two “governments” in Iran, they said, and while the formal government may avoid Holocaust denial, the “system” of semi- and quasi-governmental authorities, including the Revolutionary Guard, is steeped in it. The Holocaust museum’s website includes pages exposing Iranian Holocaust denial and pages in Persian explaining the Holocaust. Also featured on the website is a short film about Abdolhossein Sardari, an Iranian diplomat in Paris who rescued Jews during the Holocaust by issuing them passports. (JTA)
University of Georgia Jewish students riled by homecoming concert set for Yom Kippur Jewish students at the University of Georgia have objected to a homecoming concert because it was scheduled for Yom Kippur eve and the band is known for its Christian rock music. The concert featuring Needtobreathe was set for October 11. Two years ago, hundreds of students petitioned the university to change the annual homecoming football game from Yom Kippur. Stan Jackson, director of student affairs communications and marketing initiatives, said in a statement emailed to the student newspaper, The Red and Black, that the date chosen for the concert was the only day that the Stegeman Coliseum, the event venue, was available. “Some students who observe Yom Kippur may be disappointed with the date chosen,” Jackson said in the statement. “Representatives from University Union and UGA Homecoming are in correspondence with Jewish student organizations such as Hillel at UGA and Chabad at UGA to explain the logistics that required that date to be selected.” Needtobreathe was selected for its popularity, not its religious affiliation, according to Jackson. Homecoming activities will take place during the entire week. (JTA)
’Tis the Season…
e are approaching the Jewish “holiday season.” As we get closer, all of us are busy making arrangements and making sure that everything is set just right for our meals, our guests and our holiday experiences. We teach our children that this is an important time of year. We pledge our year’s dues to our synagogues, ensure our seats for the services, and spend time looking up new recipes for old dishes. Children going to Jewish schools or Hebrew schools are coming home with paper or clay shofars, excited to show them to their parents and stores stock up on apples and honey to be sure that their Jewish customers will be stocked up for their meals. Each and every year we go through this beautiful, pre-holiday routine. What about a post-holiday routine? After the holidays are over, after we have cooked for Rosh Hashanah, gathered together for Yom Kippur break-fast, sat in the succah with friends and family, what is the routine then? What has changed after the holidays as a result of putting in all that effort? We are all very busy people. We spend hours at work, diligently doing our jobs and when we complete a task something has been improved, the world is a
slightly better place because of that effort. What changes in our lives after all the work put into this time of year? Really, this question is not unique to this time of year and it is not unique to Judaism. We should be asking this question after everything we do. When I spend time doing something I should be able to see how that project has had an impact on someone, some place or some thing. If I cannot, then perhaps, I should evaluate how significant that action is in my life. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are days that should transform us. These days should impact us in a very tangible way. If they do not, then we have to ask ourselves how to make them more meaningful and more significant before we go through another year without a meaningful holiday season. In today’s world there are many ways to gain knowledge of the deeper meaning behind the holidays. Go online to a Torah website, listen to an audio class, read an article or a book or ask a teacher to help you. Anybody can go through the motions of a holiday. It takes a really brave person to admit that assistance is needed in spiritual pursuits as they are in physical pursuits. We say multiple times throughout the year in the Hallel prayer, “How can I repay G-d for all His kindness to me?” (Psalms 116) Making G-d’s commandments more meaningful and transformative in our lives is one very powerful way. May all of us be blessed with a year of goodness, health, prosperity, and spiritual growth. —Rabbi Gershon Litt, Norfolk Kollel, Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, Commodore Levy Chapel at Naval Station Norfolk and Hillels at William and Mary, Christopher Newport University and Old Dominion University.
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jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 5
from the hal Sacks Jewish News Archives
October 6, 2006 Tidewater
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October 4, 1996 Rabbi Aaron Margolin set up a shofar shop at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and helped students make their own shofar. The students learned why the shofar is blown and which animals are kosher and therefore have appropriate horns for use in shofarot. Dressed in goggles and safety gloves, the children drilled, sanded and sawed their own horns to create a shofar.
October 3, 1986 Alan Dershowitz was slated to open the 1986-87 Tidewater Jewish Forum Series and Annual Jewish Book Fair. The event at the Jewish
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The Norfolk Jewish Community Council was selected by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds as the winner of its annual award, The W. J. Shroder Memorial Award, for superior initiative in the advancement of social welfare. The award was presented annually to communities with a Jewish population of less than 40,000.
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October 1, 1956 Throughout the summer months, members of a special Jewish War Veterans and Auxiliary Committee, under the chairmanship of Eli Chertoff and Mrs. Irving Krukin, endeavored to gain a 100 percent record for their organization by having every eligible member pay his poll tax and register to vote on November 6, 1956. This was part of a pilot program initiated by the Community Relations Committee of the Norfolk Jewish Community Council, of which the Jewish War Veterans and Auxiliary were a part.
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Shimon Peres, last of Israel’s founders, dies family to Tel Aviv in 1934. At 20, he Following the signing of the Oslo became the head of a Labor Zionist youth Accords, Peres emerged as Israel’s global group, through which he met David Benambassador for peace, predicting the emerTEL AVIV (JTA)—Shimon Peres, the Gurion, who would become Israel’s first gence of a “new Middle East” in which former defense hawk turned Nobel Peace prime minister. In 1945, Peres married conflict was supplanted by shared prosPrize winner and the last of Israel’s foundSonya Gelman, who had just returned perity. Elected to the largely ceremonial ers, has died. from World War II service in the role of president in 2007, talk of peace Peres died before dawn Wednesday, British Army. pervaded nearly every speech he September 28 at 93. The former president The couple was margave. Well into his 90s, Peres still suffered a massive stroke earlier last month “A ried for 67 years, though insisted he would live to see the and was reported initially to be in stable they separated after Peres day when peace would come. but critical condition. His condition was light has gone became a presidential Peace, however, doomed reported to have deteriorated dramatically candidate. Sonya Peres his political career. After on Tuesday, September 27. Israel Radio out, but the hope had long refused to middling political success in quoted his family, who were at his side, as play the part of politithe 1980s, the Oslo Accords saying he was “fighting until the end.” he gave us will cal wife, and after Peres debilitated Peres’ Labor The phoenix of Israeli politics, Peres moved to the president’s Party, which fell from power continually reinvented himself as the counburn forever.” residence in Jerusalem, she in 2001 with the outbreak of try changed. He began his career in the changed the name on her Tel the second intifada and has yet Defense Ministry and was the architect Aviv mailbox to Sonya Gal, a to win another election. When of Israel’s nuclear program, but in his Hebraicized version of her maiden Peres won the presidency in 2007, later years Peres was more closely idenname. Sonya Peres died in 2011 at 87. he was a member of Kadima, a short-lived tified with the quest for peace with the In 1947, Peres joined the Haganah, mancentrist party. Palestinians. He was instrumental in negoaging arms purchases and personnel. After As president, Peres rose again, this tiating the Oslo Accords, the landmark Israel gained independence the following time as Israel’s wise old man. Free to rise Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and year, he continued working in the Defense above the political fray, Peres trumpeted was present on the White House lawn for Ministry, becoming its youngest-ever direcIsrael’s technological achievements and its signing in 1993. tor-general in 1952 at 29. In that capacity articulated its hopes for a brighter future. Though he served as prime minister he expanded Israeli arms purchases from More than anything, he became a symbol three times without ever winning an elecFrance and later helped manage the 1956 of the country’s resilience—able to survive, tion outright, and shared the 1994 Nobel Sinai Campaign. He also founded Israel’s thrive and remain optimistic—no matter Peace Prize for a peace that has yet to matearms production industry and led efforts to the challenges. rialize, Peres emerged late in life as Israel’s develop a nuclear weapon. Born Szymon Perski in Wiszniewo, beloved elder statesmen and a rare figure Peres was first elected to the Knesset Poland, in 1923, Peres moved with his capable of uniting a fractious society. in 1959 with Ben-Gurion’s ruling Mapai party, becoming deputy defense minister. He would serve in the Knesset for an as-yet unmatched total of 48 years. Peres remained a close Ben-Gurion ally, splitting from Mapai with him in 1965 to form a rival party and then rejoining Mapai when it became the Alignment in 1968. After serving in several minor ministerial positions, Peres became defense minister in 1974 under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Peres was a territorial hawk, opposing early proposals for West Bank withdrawal and supporting settlement expansion. When Rabin resigned amid scandal in 1977, Peres briefly became acting prime minister, then Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, following the Oslo Accords. Ben Sales
8 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
lost the post when the Alignment was defeated in the 1977 election by Menachem Begin’s Likud party. Peres headed the Alignment—the precursor to today’s Labor Party—for the next 15 years, contesting three more close elections with Likud. The two parties formed a unity government following the 1984 elections—Peres was prime minister from 1984 to 1986, then foreign minister under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir from 1986 to 1988. As foreign minister in 1987, Peres conducted secret negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank as part of an IsraeliJordanian peace treaty. But Shamir rejected the proposed agreement, and the following year Jordan unilaterally relinquished its claim to the West Bank. After the Alignment lost the 1988 elections, Peres again joined a Likud-led government as finance minister, but tried to overthrow the government two years later. In what became known as the Dirty Trick, Peres assembled an Alignment-led coalition with leftist and haredi Orthodox parties, only to see it fall apart after he received a mandate to form a governing coalition. He lost his party’s chairmanship to Rabin in 1992, and again became foreign minister when the party, now renamed Labor, won elections that year. Under Rabin, Peres was the architect of the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians autonomy in parts of the West Bank and Gaza. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. “Israel’s role in the Middle East should be to contribute to a great, sustained regional revival,” Peres said upon accepting the prize. “A Middle East without wars, without enemies, without ballistic missiles, without nuclear warheads.” After Rabin was assassinated in 1995,
Netanyahu, Israeli leaders mourn the loss of Shimon Peres JTA Staff Shimon Peres meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, May 5, 2009.
Peres became acting prime minister, but lost the post again in a close race with Likud’s Netanyahu. Following his defeat in ‘96, he founded the Peres Center for Peace, which runs programs aimed at regional reconciliation. Peres remained in the Labor Party through 2005, twice regaining the chairmanship and serving another stint as foreign minister under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In 2006, following the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, Peres joined Sharon’s new centrist Kadima party. The next year he won a race for Israel’s largely ceremonial presidency. As president, Peres stayed largely above the political fray, though he conducted secret negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2011, culminating in a peace deal that Netanyahu’s government rejected. After leaving the presidency, Peres remained largely silent on politics. Peres frequently traveled internationally as president, focusing his speeches and activism on encouraging Middle East peace and touting Israel’s technological achievements. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. Peres’ annual Presidential Conference brought together leaders in politics, science and culture. He finished his presidential term in 2014. He is survived by three children, Tsvia Walden, Yoni Peres and Chemi Peres, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. “A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever,” Obama said in a statement. “Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves—to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others.”
JERUSALEM (JTA)—At a special session to mourn and honor Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet that the late president “did so much to protect our people.” “This is the first day in Israel without Shimon Peres,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the meeting on Wednesday, September 28, followed by a moment of silence. “In the name of the entire Jewish people, in the name of the citizens and government of the State of Israel, I also send deep condolences to Shimon’s family,” he said at the meeting in which he enumerated Peres’ accomplishments on behalf of Israel. Netanyahu earlier released a statement in which he noted that Peres, who died that morning two weeks after suffering a massive stroke, “devoted his life to our nation and to the pursuit of peace.” The prime minister wrote: “He set his gaze on the future. He did so much to protect our people. “He worked to his last days for peace and a better future for all. As Israel’s President, Shimon did so much to unite the nation. And the nation loved him for it. “His name will be forever engraved in the story of the rebirth of the Jewish people, as one of our great leaders, as one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel.” Peres’ family announced his death at 7 am Wednesday in Israel, several hours after his passing. Chemi Peres, one of the late statesman’s two sons, thanked the nation and people around the world for their support and prayers on behalf of his father. “You enveloped our father in love, and we know how much he loved you,” he said. “Our father’s legacy has always been the future. Look to tomorrow, he taught us, build Israel’s future with courage and with wisdom and always continue to strive for peace. We were privileged to have
been part of his private family. But today, we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community mourn this great loss. We share this pain, together.” The family thanked the staff of Sheba Medical Center for its devoted care and sent a message to the other families sitting with loved ones in the Intensive Care Unit wishing for full recoveries. Rafi Walden, Peres’ personal physician and his son-in-law, said Peres died with dignity and did not experience pain. “We all believed that so much more still awaited him, and that Israel and the world would continue to benefit from his contributions,” Walden said. “His life ended abruptly, while he was still working on his great passion—strengthening the state and striving for peace. His legacy will remain with us all.” Peres’ successor as president, Reuven Rivlin, issued a statement from Ukraine, where he attended ceremonies marking the anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre. Rivlin noted that he was located a short distance from the birthplace of Peres, who was born Szymon Perski and later immigrated to Israel. “There is not a chapter in the history of the State of Israel in which Shimon did not write or play a part,” Rivlin said. “As one man he carried a whole nation on the wings of imagination, on the wings of vision. A man who was a symbol for the great spirit of this people. Shimon made us look far into the future, and we loved him. We loved him because he made us dare to imagine not what was once here, nor what is now, but what could be.” Israeli schools dedicated the first hour of classes Wednesday morning to the memory of Peres by instruction of Education Minister Naftali Bennett. “Shimon Peres was my education minister, and I will miss him very much. He didn’t watch history—he wrote it,” Bennett said in a statement. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called Peres “a true friend of Jerusalem,” and said he had “the honor of experiencing
countless unique Jerusalem moments with President Peres.” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said the Israeli parliament “bows its head and agonizes over the passing” of Peres, Israel’s ninth president and a former prime minister. “The State of Israel bids farewell to the head of its family; a man who had seen everything, was involved in everything and shaped everything,” Edelstein said. Israeli author Amos Oz told The Associated Press that Peres radically changed his political views as he aged. “My friend Shimon had a very rare human quality: He had the ability to change,” Oz said. “When I met Peres in the early ’70s, he was in my eyes a banal hawk. Supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man, the more land the better, the more power the better. He changed before my eyes…into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli-Arab peace.” Tzipi Livni, a joint leader of the Zionist Union and a former foreign minister, wrote in The New York Times: “There are very few people in the world whose lives align so effortlessly with the birth and being of their homeland.” Peres, she said, “left an indelible mark on Israel—fighting for its independence, its security, and then, for its peace. It is difficult to imagine Israel’s past without him; it will be even harder to imagine its future.” Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog called Peres “a teacher, a friend and a remarkable statesman who will be forever remembered as an icon of Israel’s history, and who’s legacy will continue to play a profound role in Israel’s future.” Herzog said he has known Peres since he was a child, and was proud to have been able to serve him first as an assistant and later as an adviser. “The State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora were united in our love of this great leader, and we are united in pain at his passing,” he said.
jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 9
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(JTA)—It was 9 o’clock on a weekday evening and I was lounging around my Brooklyn apartment in pajamas when the call came summoning me to a midtown Manhattan hotel. Shimon Peres needed a speechwriter; I was a speechwriter at the time for Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. It was the fall of 2001, and Peres was in town for the annual traffic nightmare known as the U.N. General Assembly, when heads of state travel to New York City for a multi-day exercise in marathon speechmaking. Israel’s participation in this ritual was a study in inefficiency, confusion, loose planning, and the expected jostling for proximity and access. When I arrived, the entire entourage was attending the Broadway hit Mamma Mia! and for the better part of an hour I sat around smoking cigarettes with a handful of secretaries and security men. Eventually a member of Peres’ security detail—blue suit, buzz cut, ear piece— walked in and asked which of us was Ben Harris. I identified myself and followed the man down the hall, where he opened a door, pushed me inside and closed it behind me. That’s how I came face to face with Peres, who was clad in a sleeveless white T-shirt and in bare feet. “Mi atah?” he asked me—“Who are you?”—in that rich baritone I had heard on TV so many times. In my meek Hebrew, I stammered that I was the speechwriter, and we spent what felt like an interminable awkward minute sizing up one another. Eventually, Alon Pinkus, then Israel’s consul general in New York, walked in and got the show on the road. For the next hour, Peres dictated his speech to me. Though already pushing 80, Peres was
an old hand at this stuff, and the florid metaphors flowed effortlessly. I struggled to keep up. When it was over, Peres retired for the night and I spent the wee hours polishing and pruning. Sometime before dawn, I submitted the final text and stumbled back to Brooklyn to bed. In the General Assembly hall later that morning, I sat in the gallery seats with the rest of the Israeli delegation, who applauded mightily when Peres finished and yielded the stage to the foreign minister of Cambodia. Afterward, we trailed him through the hallways as he made small talk with other government officials in multiple languages. At some point, someone thrust the two of us together for a photo op—me in my rumpled suit, giddy and still buzzing from the all-nighter, Peres looking slightly bored after what must have been his thousandth handshake and smile that day. Weeks later, as my tenure at Israel’s U.N. mission was winding down and grad school applications littered my desk, I worked up the chutzpah to see if my service to Israel’s foreign minister might merit me a recommendation. The administrative people in New York told me to dream on, but miraculously some months later the letter arrived. It was all of four sentences long and included two typos, and I had to make a special request to the London School of Economics to add it to my file months after the deadline. Still, it did the trick. I got in. —In more than a decade with JTA, Ben Harris has reported from more than 15 countries. His writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and New York magazine, among other publications.
NYC election board makes voting registration forms available in Yiddish NEW YORK (JTA)—The New York City Board of Elections has made voting registration forms available in Yiddish. The forms were available starting Monday, September 19, according to a statement by state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat.
Hikind, who is Jewish, said he requested in December that the Board of Elections provide the forms in Yiddish. “There are thousands of Yiddish speakers in my district and New York State,” Hikind said in the statement. “Everyone deserves the right to have their voice
heard and be able to vote. Now Yiddishspeaking constituents can now register with ease.” The Board of Elections is required to provide the document, which city residents must fill out in order to vote, in English, Bengali, Mandarin, Korean
and Spanish, according to its website. It also provides forms in 11 additional languages, now including Yiddish. In July, the city made voter registration forms available in five new languages in order to expand access to voting.
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jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 11
Said a Lot About Her.
What Does Your Will Say About You? As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995,Ruth arranged for a Hampton Roads Community Foundation bequest to forever give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 15 students are studying to become physicians, physical therapists, nurses and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year. Write your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity.
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Study shows how Jewish vote could play crucial role in key states Penny Schwartz
BOSTON (JTA)—A new study, touted as the first-ever state-by-state, county-bycounty Jewish population estimate, shows how the Jewish vote could play a crucial role in key battleground states. The study, released Thursday, September 21 and conducted by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University in suburban Boston, found that in Bucks County, Pennsylvania—one of the areas closely watched this election cycle—Jewish adults make up more than 6 percent of the population. “That’s three times more than the national numbers” of Jews, says research associate Daniel Parmer. Jewish voters have a record of higher-than-average turnout. “If it’s a tight race,” Parmer says, “Jewish voters could swing the election” in that county. The study also shows how the Jewish vote could have significant impact in Florida’s Palm Beach area, where the 209,400 Jews there comprise nearly 15 percent of the adult population, according to the study. That number is significant in a state where President Barack Obama won by less than 1 percent in 2012, or 74,309 votes. The study also looked at American Jews’ party identification, finding that 54 percent of American Jews identify as Democrats, while 14 percent identify as Republicans. But only 43 percent of American Jews call themselves liberal, a lower percentage than those who say they are Democrats. “We see a higher proportion of Jews who identify as Democrats but a lower proportion have liberal political views,” Parmer says. “Conversely, there are more Jews who identify as conservative [21 percent] than Jewish Republicans.” The results also show that 36 percent of American Jews consider themselves
12 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
swells to nearly 30 percent. He says this neither liberals nor conservatives, and that has implications for the political issues 32 percent identify as neither Democrats they care about, like social justice and nor Republicans. racial inequality. The American Jewish Population Overall, the study estimates that 4.2 Project’s latest report, which is based on million adults identify as Jewish “by relipopulation figures from 2015, includes gion.” Adding Jewish adults who identify new data on gender and race, as well as in some other way, plus an estimate for population profiles for major metropolitan the number of Jewish children, results in areas on the East Coast, West Coast and an overall population estimate of 7.16 milChicago. lion. Leonard Saxe, Steinhardt Institute’s The study and updated map is based d irector, on nearly notes the 250 indechallenges of pendent estimating samples of the Jewish the U.S. population: adult popnumber of millennial Jews the small u l at ion sample size, collected the absence from 2008 of religion to 2015. This data in the includes U.S. Census and disagreement about crimore than 280,000 respondents, of whom teria for determining who is a Jew. nearly 6,000 are Jewish. The population of Jews who identify Among the most notable findings is by religion is consistent with the 2013 the diversity among Jewish millennials Pew Research Center’s Portrait of Jewish —young adults aged 18 to 34. The study Americans, whose results were factored puts the number of millennial Jews at 1.4 into the study. million. “The population is continuing to grow,” The study shows a decline in party Saxe says. If you read media reports, “you identification among millennials, with 37 might think the sky is falling and that we percent saying they identify with neither are continuing to see declines in the Jewish Democrats nor Republicans. Among those population, and that’s not the case.” who do identify, 51 percent of millennials Other highlights of the study include: say they are Democrats, compared to 56 • 57 percent of Jewish adults are colpercent of Jewish adults aged 65 or older lege graduates. who identified as such. Only 12 percent • More than 1 in 10 Jewish adults of millennials say they are Republicans. identify as a person of color. The study also finds perhaps surpris• More than one-quarter of Jewish ing diversity among the younger Jews, adults are 65 years of age or older. with 19 percent identifying as non-white. • Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. adult That’s more than double the figure for Jewish population lives in one of Generation X, the previous cohort. three states: New York (23 percent), The information is relevant at the local California (13 percent) or Florida level, where most Jewish community sur(13 percent). veys do not include the racial breakdown, The researchers say that the study’s says Parmer, who noted the diversity in state-by-state analysis could be useful in two New York City boroughs: Nearly 12 understanding the Jewish dynamics of percent of Manhattan’s Jews identify as November’s presidential election. non-white, while in the Bronx, the figure
Even Israel doesn’t do ethnic profiling the way Donald Trump thinks it does Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Donald Trump wants to profile likely terrorists the way Israel does it. The problem is, Israel and the United States already profile in similar ways—and neither in the way Trump prefers. The Republican presidential nominee’s proposal to blanket-profile entire communities would be unwieldy and pose thorny ethical problems, according to professionals who are familiar with law enforcement in both countries. His formula reverses how law enforcement in the U.S. and Israel tackle terrorism prevention. Both first identify suspicious behavior patterns, then narrow the range of suspects by considering a number of demographic factors, including ethnicity or religion. Trump, however, would start with a blanket profile of a huge religious or ethnic group, and then use the hammer of the state to intimidate the community and extract suspects from within. Law officials say that method risks tarring—and alienating—entire communities and is far slower and less practical than focusing first on behavior. In the aftermath of a bomb attack in New York City and several other aborted attacks in the vicinity, Trump proposed that U.S. law enforcement adopt what he believes is Israel’s system of profiling. And it wasn’t the first time. “You know, our police are amazing,” he said, speaking to the Fox News Channel as law enforcement closed in on the alleged perpetrator of the New York attack. “Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They’re afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of profiling, and they don’t want to be accused of all sorts of things. “You know, in Israel, they profile. They’ve done an unbelievable job, as good as you can do.” Trump did not mention “Muslims” in the interview, but he acknowledged it’s
who he meant the last time he cited Israel as a positive example: in June, following the massacre at an LGBT club in Orlando. In that instance, CBS interviewer John Dickerson asked the candidate directly about whether, when Trump said “profiling,” he meant Muslims in America. Trump agreed and drew the Israel comparison. “Well, I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” he said, describing a security check he witnessed in which he said it would have made more sense to scrutinize those who “looked like” a perpetrator. “Other countries do it, you look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully,” Trump said. But they don’t do it by scrutinizing every member of an ethnic religious group, say experts. “They will tell you they do not do that,” says Steve Pomerantz, the counterterrorism expert at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and a retired FBI agent, referring to Israel’s security establishment. Instead, he said, they look for behavioral patterns, or what some call “predictive profiling.” In both his professional capacities, Pomerantz has worked with Israeli law enforcement. (JINSA brings together Israeli and American police for brainstorming.) Focusing on an entire community instead of individuals gets it backwards, he said. “If I was looking at gathering intelligence on the threat of terrorism, would I be looking at that community more than others? You bet,” Pomerantz says, referring to Muslims. “But treating an individual based solely on their ethnicity is another issue altogether.” Gathering intelligence on ethnic communities where terrorists might proliferate means cultivating sources within that community, according to U.S. law enforcement officials who have tracked terrorism in recent years. That means establishing trust with community and religious leaders. Identifying an entire community
as suspect, Trump’s preferred method, would likely crush any inclination toward cooperation. After a Muslim couple carried out a massacre in San Bernardino, California, in December, Trump charged that members of the area’s Muslim community knew the pair were radicals but failed to notify authorities. “When you look at, when you look at people within the Muslim community and where people are living and they don’t report, and a good example of that would be San Bernardino,” he told CBS in June. BuzzFeed has debunked the claim that the Muslim community in San Bernardino was aware of what the couple were planning. Speaking later the same month on conservative talk radio, Trump said he would pressure entire communities to hand over those they believed to be planning nefarious acts. “We have a real problem, and it has [to] start, and it has to stop with the Muslim community, turning in the bad seeds, turning in the bad apples,” he said on The Wayne Dupree Show, captured by BuzzFeed. “And if they don’t do that, then we’re gonna have to do something because we can’t live like this.” Including ethnicity or religion as a factor makes sense, says Daniel Wagner, a consultant on risk management who has praised Israel’s practice of training airport security personnel to identify suspects through anomalous behavior. He said that law enforcement, as soon as the bomb went off in Manhattan, likely focused on white supremacists as well as Muslim radicals. Singling out radicals within ethnic or religious communities makes sense, but generalizing about broad communities does not, Wagner says. “The issue here is when people are scared and fearful, they start to contemplate things they wouldn’t otherwise contemplate,” he says of support for broad ethnic profiling. “Trump is playing on people’s deepest darkest fears.”
There are differences between how the U.S. and Israel pursue terrorists. Law enforcement agencies in Israel have means available, including broader eavesdropping capabilities, that Americans would reject, says Shoshana Bryen, an analyst at the conservative Jewish Policy Center. “I suspect that wouldn’t be highly thought of here,” she says. In both countries, however, the willingness to consider ethnicity and faith among a range of factors in identifying threats has led to allegations of excess and abuse. The U.S. State Department has decried the “unequal treatment” of Arab and Muslim Americans traveling to Israel, and Israel’s civil rights community continues to track employment and housing discrimination afflicting Israeli minorities. Civil liberties groups have said that the New York Police Department’s monitoring of Muslim activities is overly intrusive. But there is no equivalent to Trump’s proposal that the state presume an entire community guilty until proven otherwise. Israel facilitates visits by Muslims from overseas to holy sites and for treatment in its hospitals, often in the absence of diplomatic relations. Muslims serve in Israel’s parliament, on its judicial benches and in its diplomatic corps. Similarly, Muslims enjoy a thriving public profile throughout New York’s civil society and law enforcement. If Muslims are to be singled out in the United States, it should be for welcome and accommodation, says Rabbi Jill Jacobs, who directs T’ruah, a human rights group. In the current season’s textual readings, “We’re deep in a section of the Torah on what we’re supposed to do when we’re in our own land,” Jacobs says. “We’re not supposed to hate the Egyptians or Edomites, although it might be tempting because of our history with them,” she says. “We are responsible for those who are vulnerable by virtue of ethnic affiliation even if they look like a group we have some bad history with.”
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14 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Clinton and Trump, meeting with Netanyahu, share commitment to US-Israel alliance
illary Clinton said she opposed any U.N. Security Council bid to impose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just hours after a summit between the Israeli leader and Donald Trump. Netanyahu’s meetings with the Democratic nominee and with her Republican rival were a study in similarities – principally in pledging close defense cooperation with Israel—and differences, especially in Clinton’s holding up Israel as a model for pluralism and Trump lauding its erection of a separation wall from the Palestinians. “The secretary reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” said a statement from the presidential campaign of the former Secretary of State. “Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council,” the statement said. Netanyahu, who was in New York to attend the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, met with the nominees on the eve of their first debate. He met with Trump at the real estate developer’s headquarters in Manhattan, Trump Tower, and Clinton at the W Hotel in the same borough. Her headquarters are across the river, in Brooklyn. The prime minister sought assurances that neither nominee would join international efforts to preempt the direct talks with the Palestinians that Israel wants. Palestinian officials prefer international mediation until Israel freezes settlement expansion. Netanyahu also reportedly fears that President Barack Obama in his final months in office will allow a Security Council resolution outlining a final status for a two-state solution to go through.
Obama has taken pains to keep that from happening in his nearly eight years in office and has not indicated any plans to reverse course. Unlike Clinton, Trump in his statement did not explicitly commit to opposing outside attempts to impose a solution, but he did check off other boxes on Netanyahu’s list of expectations from U.S. nominees, including the expectation that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and his pledge to recognize Jerusalem as its capital. Clinton did not mention Jerusalem in her statement, but she affirmed Israel’s status as a “democratic Jewish state.” She said she would enforce last year’s deal between Iran and six major world powers to exchange sanctions relief for a rollback of nuclear development. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the deal. Trump’s statement said only that the two men discussed the agreement at length; Trump in the past has said he would renegotiate the deal. Clinton in her statement committed to combating the boycott Israel movement; Trump did not mention it. Both nominees swore to uphold defense assistance for and cooperation with Israel. Clinton affirmed “the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.” Trump’s statement said he “recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism” and discussed with Netanyahu Israel’s security wall in the West Bank. One of the keenest differences in this election has been over diversity. Clinton embraces it, while Trump has delivered broadsides against Muslims and Mexicans and has pledged to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Both meetings were noted with photos on twitter. The handshake with Trump was set against the opulent gold leaf background of the nominee’s office. The one with Clinton was set against Israeli and American flags. (JTA)
Election 2016 Holocaust survivor, 100, takes US citizenship oath to vote in November
100-year-old Holocaust survivor has officially become a U.S. citizen in order to vote in the November presidential election. Menia Perelman of South Florida, who arrived in the United States at 84, told the local media that she wanted to become a citizen so she could vote in the contest. She took the oath of citizenship in Florida on Friday, September 23 with more than 100 other new U.S. citizens. “I am Jewish, my name is Perelman and I went through many difficult times for so many years,” Perelman said after the ceremony. Perelman was born in Romania and survived the Holocaust, including four years in a concentration camp. After World War II she was not able to enter the United
States due to restrictions on the number of refugees, and instead moved to Panama, then Peru and later Venezuela. Following the death of her husband, Perelman came to the United States in 1993 to be closer to her daughter. At the swearing-in, Perelman was joined by four generations of her family: her two daughters and their husbands, her granddaughter and her husband, and her six-month-old great-granddaughter. Asked by the CBS local affiliate whom she would be voting for, Perelman replied that she preferred the Democratic nominee. “You know, it’s a personal secret, she said. (JTA)
Netanyahu, following debate, tells Cabinet it does not matter who is elected US president JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet following the first U.S. presidential debate that as far as Israel is concerned, it does not matter who is elected. “They both spoke of their support for Israel and the importance of bilateral relations between our two countries,” he said at the start of a Cabinet meeting, hours after the debate Monday, September 23 in New York between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Netanyahu had met separately on Sunday with both candidates. (see page 14) “It doesn’t matter which of them is elected—American support for Israel will
remain strong. This alliance will stay strong and will even strengthen in the coming years,” he said. Trump cited his meeting with Netanyahu during the debate when criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, which exchanged sanctions relief for limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities. Netanyahu was vehemently opposed to the deal, saying it harms Israel’s security. “I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day, believe me, he is not a happy camper,” Trump said. The debate was aired live in Israel on one of the country’s major television channels with simultaneous Hebrew translation.
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Statewide recognition for the Holocaust Commission
he Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater has been named the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Council for the Social Studies Friend of Education Award. Awarded annually to “a non-profit organization that exemplifies a commitment to teachers and an advocacy of social studies,” the award will be presented at the National Conference for the Social Studies in Washington, DC in December. “Both teachers and students rave about the resources you provide, and your ability to reach teachers throughout the state and beyond is commendable,” the committee noted in announcing the award. Previous winners have included Encyclopedia Virginia, the MacArthur Memorial, and the Virginia Historical Society.
Representatives of the Holocaust Commission will accept the award at the President’s Breakfast at the National Conference, where they will also present their groundbreaking What We Carry program for educators from across the nation. “The Holocaust Commission has worked hard for a long time on behalf of teachers and students, because it’s the right thing to do,” says Elena Barr Baum, director, UJFT Holocaust Commission. “We are always so gratified when we have educators, students and sometimes parents tell us we are providing something of value. To be recognized by the VCSS in this way is remarkable and will make our all-volunteer corps even more proud of what we do,” says Wendy Juren Auerbach, Holocaust Commission chair.
16 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
ATID training continues to empower community leaders Anna B. Goldenberg
ifteen Tidewater Jewish leaders came together this past year for the second offering of community leadership development through United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s ATID program. Representing a wide cross section of Jewish organizations, participants committed to honing their leadership knowledge and skills during eight monthly sessions on the Sandler Family Campus. ATID, which means “future” in Hebrew, was developed as part of the UJFT’s strategic plan initiative to unify and strengthen the Tidewater Jewish community. The purpose of ATID is to cultivate an informed, committed and resonant Jewish leadership in order to move the community forward with shared values, and in the spirit of trust and collaboration. “UJFT is grateful for the support and partnership provided by the Simon Family Foundation and Tidewater Jewish Foundation for the development and success of ATID,” says Harry Graber, executive vice president, UJFT. “Anna Goldenberg helped develop and directed ATID. In the early fall of 2015, she worked with the leadership of UJFT and synagogues, temples and agencies to identify and nominate participants for this year’s ATID,” says Alex Pomerantz, director of development, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. “Sessions began in November and continued through May with graduation in June. Participants bonded quickly and worked together beautifully,” he says. With the shared value of “community” identified by class members during the first session, ensuing session discussions were lively and frank, positive and future focused. Nationally recognized leadership trainers facilitated programs that focused on strengthening personal leadership awareness and skills, how to’s for nonprofit operations, and identifying and discussing options for successfully addressing current and possible future Jewish community issues.
The ATID program evolved this year from the evaluations received from the 2014 graduates and will continue to evolve according to the needs expressed by leaders. The unifying sentiment from all this year’s graduates was that going forward they want their leadership to help the community work better together through stronger communication and coordination. This year’s ATID graduates not only bring their strengthened leadership back to their organizations, but also to the Jewish community as a whole, most immediately by spearheading the upcoming Jewish community’s Mitzvah Day on Sunday, October 30. (see page 42) Chairs Eve Goldberg and Jenefer Snyder worked with their committee of ATID grads and organization representatives throughout the summer to bring Tidewater Jews together for a day of acts of loving kindness that will affect hundreds of people in the community. In June, the leadership of their sponsoring organizations joined participants for their graduation celebration. The 2016 ATID program graduates are: abbi Baruch Danziger, R Toras Chaim/Kollel Becky Feld, Temple Emanuel Barbara Fernandez, Ohef Sholom Eve Goldberg, B’nai Israel Debbie Hibberd, Beth Chaverim Shira Itzhak, UJFT Lisa Finkel Leon, Jewish Family Service Brad Lerner, UJFT Andrew Nusbaum, Simon Family JCC Andie Pollack, Yeshivas Aish Kodesh Felix Portnoy, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Melissa Rose, Temple Israel Jenefer Snyder, Beth El Todd Waldman, Ohef Sholom Debbie Wilson, BINA High School —Anna Goldenberg, principal of TrueImpact Coaching, is an executive coach and leadership trainer specializing in nonprofit industry.
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he Jewish experience is nothing if not diverse. Some might only celebrate the High Holy Days, or others might attend shul for Shabbat services every week. Perhaps it is that perfected challah recipe, or just a good bowl of matzah ball soup. From Hebrew school to Purim parties to JCC youth basketball, the activities and opportunities to participate in the Tidewater Jewish community are endless. At the core of the Jewish experience is the shared value of communal living, and of tikkun olam, making the world a better place—not just for today, but for the future. The concept of assuring Jewish tomorrows is inherently woven into the activities that comprise the collective Jewish experience. Tidewater Jewish Foundation is dedicated to securing the future of the Jewish community through the new Life and Legacy initiative, in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The four-year program provides participating Jewish organizations with training, mentorship, marketing and incentive grants to support legacy gift development. The program supplements ongoing TJF services for individuals and family philanthropy, partner organizations and the professional investment of philanthropic funds.
All Tidewater Jewish agencies and synagogues are eligible to apply to partner with TJF for the Life and Legacy program. The Tidewater Jewish community is fortunate to have strong, successful agencies and synagogues that are supported by committed members, lay leaders, students, families and donors. These institutions—beyond the buildings themselves—comprise the essence of what is important in Tidewater’s Jewish community. The continued presence of area synagogues and Jewish agencies is necessary for the community to continue to thrive. The purpose of the Life and Legacy program is to encourage and create conversation about legacy gifts that will sustain the Jewish community for future generations. That legacy will provide funds to educate children, strengthen Jewish identity, preserve culture and heritage, support synagogues, protect and strengthen the State of Israel, feed the hungry, ensure the safety and well-being of elders and make a difference in the lives of future generations. To learn more about the Life and Legacy initiative, visit jewishva.org/tjf-lifeandlegacy. To discuss how to create a Jewish legacy to assure Jewish tomorrows, contact Amy Weinstein, TJF director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 965-6105.
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High Holidays 5777
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High Holidays 5777
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hile the holidays remain the same, ways to observe and celebrate continue to evolve—in some cases, bringing forth more tradition, as well as new festive and fun customs. Consider Sukkot, for example. As a child, the only sukkah I experienced was the one at my temple. I have vivid memories of the structure on the bema with plastic food hanging from its small frame. During our Sukkot Religious School service, while the music teacher played upbeat melodies on the piano, we paraded one class at a time to place canned goods brought from home around the sukkah. It was so exciting to be on the bema! Today, however, is another story all together. Families regularly build their own outdoor sukkahs where they celebrate with friends. In fact, Sukkot has become a favorite holiday for many. Children love dining alfresco in structures they’ve helped put together and adults are generally proud of their annual handiwork. Who can blame them? And so, this year we asked some families to tell us about the sukkahs. Their stories are scattered throughout this section. We hope you enjoy…and maybe even get inspired to build your own! Jasmine Amitay of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Shalom Tidewater collected holiday service times from area congregations. The list begins on page 23. Clearly there are ample places to worship here. We caution you, however, to call in advance to determine ticket policies. We have plenty of other articles in this special section, including one that highlights some good news out of Israel in 5776. Imagine that! From all of us at Jewish News, we wish you a sweet New Year with good health and peace.
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Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. 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 email@example.com Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader Jay Klebanoff, President Alvin Wall, Treasurer Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, 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. © 2016 Jewish News. All rights reserved. Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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High Holidays 5777
Five feel-good stories from Israel that will echo into the High Holiday season Andrew Tobin
TEL AVIV (JTA)—The Jewish state has nearly made it through another Jewish year and, as always, there was plenty to kvetch about in 5776. But Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to take stock and celebrate. Before the shofar blowing begins and throughout this season, here are five Israeli stories from the past year worth trumpeting. Expect them to echo into 5777 and beyond. The Olympics gave Israelis reason to hope.
or Israel, the margin between Olympic disappointment and glory can be a single medal. The country came up empty in 2012, but two Israeli judokas grappled and leg-swept their way to bronze at the Rio games in August. Their fellow citizens rejoiced: Waving flags and singing patriotic songs, hundreds thronged Ben Gurion Airport to give Yarden Gerbi and Or Sasson a hero’s welcome. The athletes were showered with flowers and hugs, and were immortalized by countless selfies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later met with the judo team. The Olympics have special meaning in Israel, where everyone remembers the 1972 Munich massacre of 11 athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists. The Rio games kicked off with Lebanese athletes refusing to share a bus to the opening ceremony with the Israeli delegation. And days before Sasson won his medal, a defeated Egyptian adversary pointedly refused to shake his hand. Israelis booed along with the crowd at the stadium. Israel’s new medals brought the country’s total to nine since 1952. Hoped-for windsurfing and rhythmic gymnastics successes proved elusive—and, as usual, some Israelis bemoaned inadequate national investment in the Olympics.
Yet there were reasons to be buoyant. Seven Israelis made it to the finals in Rio, and the country competed in 17 sports, up from 10 in London, including three newer ones: golf, triathlon and mountain biking. Israel Olympic Committee CEO Gili Lustig has promised to do “some thinking” about improving Israel’s showing at Tokyo in 2020.
Israel made new friends in a hostile world.
s the Olympics reminded Israelis, their country is unlikely to win any international popularity contests. But in the past year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government managed to find some new friends and potential allies. Israel and Turkey officially reconciled recently following a six-year falling-out over the Mavi Marmara affair. While the deal, signed in June, may not make the countries BFFs again, it should help them cooperate amid the chaos of the Middle East. Exporting Israel’s natural gas bounty and rebuilding the Gaza Strip are potential joint projects. Meanwhile, the shared threats of Islamic extremism and Iran have brought Israel closer to the region’s Sunni Muslim states, even if those states are loath to admit it. Weeks after a telling handshake with Israel’s Foreign Ministry director-general, Dore Gold, Saudi government
adviser Anwar Eshki publicly led a Saudi delegation to Jerusalem. And Gold flew to Cairo to reopen the Israeli Embassy there—four years after protesters stormed the building and forced its closure. In an update of former Prime Minister Golda Meir’s Africa policy, Netanyahu toured the continent for four days in July. Offering Israeli high-tech and security know-how and seeking diplomatic support, he was received in country after country like the leader of a world power. Looking east, Gold has said Israel is building new relations with Asia, and Chinese investment in Israeli companies and venture capital funds has reached record highs. Spurred by the civil war in Syria, Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin are in regular contact, and the Russian president may be plotting an Israeli-Palestinian peace push of his own. Who isn’t?
Haredi Orthodox men in Israel rolled up their sleeves.
majority of haredi Orthodox men in Israel have jobs. That may not seem worth blowing the shofar about, but it’s a first. Since officials started keeping track, most of the demographic has been
out of work. In 2015, the workforce participation rate for haredi men was 52 percent, part of a 12-year rise since the figure was 36 percent in 2003, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported in February. Haredi men in Israel have long preferred Torah study to work or army service, living off yeshiva stipends, state benefits and perhaps their wives’ salaries. Haredi women are even better represented in the workforce at a rate of 73 percent, according to the government— more or less the same as among secular Israeli women. Israel’s overall workforce participation rate is 80 percent. Many observers see a larger trend of haredi society opening up to the outside world due in part to public and private investment—despite successful haredi reversal of political reforms aimed at integrating the community. Today, an estimated 11,000 haredi Jews are studying at institutes of higher education, 5,000 are in the army and most are said to have internet access. On a seemingly related note, haredi birth rates have fallen. A surge in the continued on page 22
jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | High Holidays | Jewish News | 21
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High Holidays 5777 Despite the ideological diversity, the women relative size of haredi prelawmakers someschool enrollment during times come together to the first decade of the miltackle issues related to lennium provoked much number of three-day women, including in the handwringing about the weekends a year in Knesset’s Committee on growing economic and Israel starting in 2017 the Status of Women social burden. But the and Gender Equality. trend has quietly reversed, Given lawmakers’ perwith haredi schools sonal experience, sexual accounting for less than 23 harassment may well percent of preschoolers be on the agenda when in 2015, down from more the Knesset starts its winter session in than 25 percent in 2008, according to the October. Taub Center for Policy Studies in Israel. The share of preschoolers in ArabIsraeli schools has fallen even further. The government backed adding But the government has some work to Sunday to the Israeli weekend. do to reach its goal of putting more Arab t’s not often that something happens women to work. with the potential to redefine how an entire country understands the relationship between time and space. More women than ever were But that something happened in Israel making Israel’s laws. in June, when ministers approved a bill he 28 women elected to Israel’s parthat would give Israelis six three-day liament in 2015 set a record. Since weekends a year starting in 2017 as a step then, political reshuffling has seen the toward making Sunday a day off. The number move a little higher. legislation is to be reworked in committee When Avigdor Liberman became before going to the full Knesset for voting. defense minister in June, his Knesset seat Israeli weekends now run from Friday went to Yulia Malinovsky, a member of his afternoon through Saturday to accomhawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party—sending modate the Jewish Sabbath and Muslim the number of female lawmakers to 33. Friday prayers. Many Israelis don’t work That’s right, more than a quarter of the on Friday. But for religiously observant 120 legislative seats are now occupied by Jews, Shabbat rules prevent them from women. driving or visiting most entertainment These lawmakers span the political venues from Friday night until Saturday spectrum. From left to right, there is night, allowing precious little time for fun. the anti-Zionist firebrand Haneen Zoabi Economists are divided on the merits of the Arab Joint List; peacenik Zehava of adding Sunday to the weekend. Galon, the chairwoman of Meretz, and Supporters argue the plan would boost self-described “religious right-winger” the economy by syncing Israel with the Tzipi Hotovely of the ruling Likud. rest of the world and promoting conNotably absent are any haredi Orthodox sumption by a wider swath of Israeli women, whose parties prohibit them from society. Opponents worry it would reduce running. productivity, with observant Jews and Four of the 21 government ministers Muslims getting less done on Fridays, and are also women: Justice Minister Ayelet everyone potentially struggling through Shaked of Jewish Home; Culture and longer days to compensate for the long Sport Minister Miri Regev and Minister weekend. for Social Equality Gila Gamliel, both But c’mon: Sunday Funday! of Likud, and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver of Yisrael Beiteinu. continued from page 21
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High Holidays 5777
High Holiday Services 5777 Compiled by Shalom Tidewater Contact specific congregations for ticket information and policies. For information on Shemini Atzeret and Smichat Torah services, go to www.shalomtidewater.org or www.jewishnewsva.org.
B’nai Israel Congregation 627-7358 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Minchah 6:30 pm Candle Lighting 6:28 pm Rosh Hashanah Monday, October 3 Shachris 8 am HaMelech 8:45 am Torah Reading 10:25 am Sermon and Shofar 10:45 am Community Tashlich 5 pm Minchah 6:15 pm Class with Rabbi Katz Maariv 7:15 pm
Tuesday, October 4 Shachris 8 am HaMelech 8:45 am Torah Reading 10:25 am Sermon and Shofar 10:45 am Minchah 6:15 pm Class with Rabbi Rudin Maariv/Havdala: 7:22 pm Erev Yom Kippur–Kol Nidre Tuesday, October 11 Slichos: 6:30 am Shacharis: 7 am Mincha 2:45 pm Kol Nidre 6:15 pm Candle Lighting before Kol Nidre
Yom Kippur Wednesday, October 12 Shachris 8 am HaMelech 9:30 am Torah reading 11:20 am Sermon 11:50 AM Yizkor (Approximately) 12:10 pm Minchah 4:45 pm Neilah 5:45 pm Havdalah 7:11 pm
Chabad of Tidewater 757-616-0770 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Evening Services: 6:40 pm Community Dinner: 8 pm
Monday, October 3 Morning Services: 10 am Shofar Sounding: 11:45 am Kiddush Luncheon after services Mincha and Tashlich Service: 5 pm Evening Services: 7:30 pm Community Dinner: 8 pm Tuesday, October 4 Morning Services: 10 am Shofar Sounding: 11:45 am Kiddush Luncheon after services Mincha and Evening Services: 6:15 pm Holiday Ends at 7:22 pm Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Kaparot Morning Services: 8 am continued on page 24
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High Holidays 5777 continued from page 23
Afternoon Service: 3:30 pm Fast Begins at 6:29 pm Kol Nidrei Services: 6:20 pm Wednesday, October 12 Morning Services: 10 am Yizkor Memorial Service: 12 pm Mincha and Neilah Closing Service: 4:50 pm Fast Ends at 7:10 pm Followed by light dinner
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24 | Jewish News | High Holidays | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Mincha and Evening Services: 6 pm Holiday Ends at 7:03 pm
Congregation Beth Chaverim 757-463-3226 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Eve of Rosh Hashanah Service, 8 pm Monday, October 3 Rosh Hashanah worship, 10:30 am Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Kol Nidre Service, 8 pm Wednesday, October 12 Yom Kippur Morning Service, 10:30 am Youth Services, 10:30 am Discussion with guest Rabbi Dan Roberts, 2 pm Afternoon Service, 3 pm Yiskor & Concluding Service, 4 pm Break-the-fast to follow in Social Hall
Congregation Beth El 757-627-4905 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Erev Rosh Hashanah Congregational Service 5:45 pm Family Service 5:45 pm Monday, October 3 Shacharit 8:15 am Babysitting 9:30 am Children’s programming 10:30 am Tashlikh (at The Hague) 5 pm Mincha-Maariv (at Beth El) 6:45 pm Tuesday, October 4 Shacharit 8:15 am Babysitting 9:30 am Children’s programming 10:30 am Mincha-maariv 6:45 pm Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Erev Yom Kippur Kol Nidre 6 pm Babysitting 6 pm Wednesday, October 12 Shacharit 9 am Babysitting 10 am Children’s programming 10:30 am Yizkor 12:45 pm
Study session 3:15 pm Mincha 4:15 pm Neilah 5:30 pm Maariv 7 pm Blowing of Shofar/Havdalah 7:10 pm Light Processional 7:10 pm Erev Sukkot Sunday, October 16 Mincha-maariv 5:45 pm Sukkot Monday, October 17 Festival service 9:15 am Children’s program 11 am Mincha-maariv 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 18 Festival service 9:15 am Children’s program 11 am Mincha-maariv 6:30 pm
Kempsville Conservative Synagogue Kehillat Bet Hamidrash 757-495-8510 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2, 6:30 pm Monday, October 3 Services, 9:30 am Meet at KBH to walk to Tashlich 6:30 pm Tashlich services followed by Mincha and Ma’ariv at KBH, 6:45 pm Tuesday, October 4 Services, 9:30 am Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Candle Lighting, 6:14 pm Kol Nidre, 6:15 pm Wednesday, October 12 Services, 9:30 am Yizkor, approximately 12 Noon Mincha and Neilah, 5:30 pm Sukkot Sunday, October 16 Sukkah construction, 10 am Ma’ariv at KBH, 6:15 pm Monday, October 17 Shacharit at KBH, 9 am Mincha and Ma’ariv at Temple Israel, 5:30 pm Tuesday, October 18 Shacharit at Temple Israel, 9 am
High HOLIDAY reflections
High Holidays 5777 Ohef Shlolom Temple 757-625-4295 Erev Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Early Service Family-Friendly Worship and Child Care 6:15 pm Late Service 8:15 pm Rosh Hashanah Monday, October 3 Early Service, Family-Friendly Worship and Child Care 9 am Late Service 11:30 am Tashlich at the Beach 4:30 pm Kol Nidre Tuesday, October 11 Early Service, Family-Friendly Worship and Child Care 6:15 pm Late Service 8:15 pm Yom Kippur Wednesday, October 12 Early Service, Family-Friendly Worship and Child Care 9 am Late Service 11:30 am Yom Kippur Afternoon Services Study Session (in Chapel) 1:30 pm Afternoon Service (in Chapel) 2:45 pm Interlude 4 pm Memorial and Concluding Services 4:15 pm
Temple Emanuel 757-428-2591 Eve of Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2, 6 pm Rosh Hashanah Monday, October 3, 9 am Babysitting 10 am Family Service 10:30 am Tuesday, October 4, 9 am Family Service 10:30 am Tashlich with Religious School Sunday, October 9 Family Beach Picnic 12:15–1:15 pm Kol Nidre Tuesday, October 11, 7 pm Yom Kippur Wednesday, October 12, 9 am Babysitting 10 am Family Service 10:30 am Torah Service and Yizkor 11:30 am Mincha and Neilah 5 pm Community Break the Fast 7:20 pm
Carin and Mike Simon
Temple Israel (757) 489-4550 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Evening Services: 6:30 pm Monday, October 3 Morning Services: 8:30 am Tashlich Service: 5:45 pm Minchah Services: 6:30 pm Children Ages 3-6 Education Wing: 10:30 am Ages 7-12 Sandler Hall: 10:30 am Arts & Crafts 12 pm Tuesday, October 4 Morning Services: 8:30 am Minch Services: 6:30 pm Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Minchah Services: 6:15 pm Lei Lei Berz – Cello Solo 6:25 pm Kol Nidrei Services: 6:30 pm Wednesday, October 12 Morning Services: 8:30 am Mincha Service: 5 pm Ne’ilah 5:45 pm Shofar and Break Fast 7 pm Children Ages 3-6 Education Wing: 10:30 am Ages 7-12 Sandler Hall: 10:30 am Arts & Crafts 12 pm
Home “ready-made” for a sukkah Mike and I have always loved Sukkot, but neither of us grew up with our own sukkah. When we bought our first home as a newly married couple, the deck had these wooden poles that made it easy to put up a makeshift sukkah. The first year, we constructed one ourselves with materials from Home Depot. The following year, we found out how easy it is to order a sukkah kit online. Mike, being a builder, enjoys putting up our sukkah with our kids each year and has even added an extension so that we can fit more people in it. Sukkot has become our family’s favorite holiday. We love to invite our family and friends over for various meals and playdates in the sukkah!
Seniors paint pomegranates, celebrate 5777
eniors celebrated Rosh Hashanah at the Simon Family JCC at bit early this year—on Tuesday, September 27
Temple Sinai (757) 596-8352 Rosh Hashanah Sunday, October 2 Eve Service, 8 pm, childcare available Monday, October 3 Morning Service (Yamin Noraim Sheli, Educational childcare available) 10 am Yom Kippur Tuesday, October 11 Eve Service, 8 pm (childcare available) Wednesday, October 12 Morning Service (Yamin Noraim Sheli, Educational childcare available) 10 am Afternoon Service, 2 pm Yizkor Service (childcare available) 3:45 pm Ne’lah Service followed by Break-the-Fast, 4:45 pm
Carin and Mike Simon’s sukkah.
to be exact. Artist and teacher Michele Barnes led the group as they painted pomegranates during the mid-morning event, and Rabbi Israel Zoberman facilitated a New Year ceremony. After completing their canvases, the group sipped coffee and tea while sampling honey cake and apples dipped in honey, two traditional New Year’s customs. This free program, especially for seniors, was made possible by the Joseph Flesichmann Memorial Fund and the Tidewater Jewish Foundation.
jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | High Holidays | Jewish News | 25
High HOLIDAY reflections Mark Lipton
Brackets and screws I have had Sukkot for over 15 years since I bought a kit from The Sukkot Project. It was a kit of brackets and screws with an instruction book that even a Jewish boy with only a hammer and drill could follow. My children, Seth and Maya and their mother, Ilene started the tradition and it followed me to my current home. I have entertained the kids’ HAT classes over many years, but since they left HAT more than seven years ago, it has been a place of many fall weather parties with great food and great friends of mine and Seth and Maya’s. It is such a beautiful tradition that enables us to enjoy fall days here in Virginia Beach and at the same time, identify with our Jewish traditions. It is a memory that I share with my family, friends and I hope that my children with carry with them.
High Holidays 5777
Commit to good health this holiday season Tom Purcell
he Jewish New Year is as good time as January 1 to make a commitment take care of our health. With each “New Year” people often try to cleanse themselves from bad habits. After all, how we take care of ourselves should be a top priority. There’s no magic pill or surgery that can make people healthy other than good exercise habits and sound nutrition. Try these three simple strategies for better health this year:
Move. Take at least 30 minutes a day to move your body, which, by the way, was designed to move. Watch portions. We need food and water to survive, however we tend to consume more than that’s required. There’s nothing wrong with a good variety of
foods, however it’s the amount we take in that can lead to overweight issues and other health problems. Strengthen. Adding weight resistance training and flexibility exercises during the week will provide you with a strong foundation to support daily functions. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be broken. This is the time of year we can work hard to actualize real change. And if there is ever a time we can change, it is now. Up to half of all premature or early deaths in the United States are due to behavioral and other preventable factors—including modifiable habits such as tobacco use, poor diet, and lack of exercise, according to studies reviewed in a new National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report.
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High Holidays 5777
Letters to God delivered to Western Wall JERUSALEM (JTA)—Hundreds of letters addressed to “God,” Our Heavenly Father” and other monikers, as well as to the Kotel, were delivered to the Western Wall. Israel Post Director General Danny Goldstein handed the letters over to the rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Shmuel Rabinowitz, on Monday, September 19. Rabinowitz placed them in the cracks of the stones of the Western Wall, according to an Israel Post spokesman. The letters, which usually arrive without a return address, are sent to the Israel Post Lost and Found Department. They are delivered before the Jewish High Holidays. Written in many languages, the letters have come from countries around the world, including Russia, China, France, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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Love, hope, success, family, security.
The kids absolutely love helping us build, decorate, paint and set up our little house under the stars. In fact, our son’s birthday fell on Sukkot one year when he was about four or so, and we had his party outside at our home. Because we sang and served the cake inside the sukkah, every year thereafter he thought the sukkah meant it was his birthday! We generally just have to mention pumpkin black bean soup being served in the sukkah, and our friends come running. Personally, I love Sukkot. The symbolism of celebrating our people’s everlasting will to survive, remembering how we used to be on-the-move and now we have a homeland, the connection to nature and something greater than ourselves, fills my heart with hope and gratitude.
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Religious Holidays 5777 Leil Selichot September 24, 2016 Rosh Hashanah October 3–4, 2016 Yom Kippur October 12, 2016 Sukkot October 17-18, 2016 Shmini Atzeret October 24, 2016 Simchat Torah October 25, 2016 Hanukkah December 25, 2106– January 1, 2017 Tu BiShvat February 11, 2017 Purim March 12, 2017 Pesach April 11–12, 2017 Lag BaOmer May 14, 2017 Shavuot May 31–June 1, 2017 Tish’a B’Av August 1, 2017 Tu B’Av August 7, 2017
Modern Holidays 5777 Yom HaShoah April 24, 2017 Yom HaZikaron May 1, 2017 Yom HaAtzma’ut, May 2, 2017
High Holidays 5777
Yom Kippur lessons from my quirky Jewish mother Diana Bletter
(Kveller via JTA)—My mother died on the morning right before Yom Kippur two years ago, and my sister and I were not at all surprised. Irreverent, quirky and eccentric, my mother always kvetched about Yom Kippur and would have done anything to miss it. Dying right before the fast day, the holiest day of the Jewish year, meant my mother was up to her old tricks until the very end. It wasn’t because she was anti-Jewish; she was fiercely Jewish, but she’d made up her own brand of Judaism. She always said that Jews should never apologize to God: God should apologize to the Jews. On Yom Kippur, instead of following a traditional fast, she sat at the kitchen table all day as if on guard, manning the telephone, reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV in case something bad happened, primarily to her people. A first-generation American, she rebelled against her Polish-born mother’s traditions because she viewed them as a blend of superstitions and limitations. Yet she was still my best teacher when it came to understanding what being a Jew was all about. To my sister, Cynthia, and me, she passed on an enormous sense of pride. Freud was Jewish! Ralph Lauren was Jewish! All the really talented people on Saturday Night Live were Jewish! On Sunday mornings, armed with a cup of her strong, black coffee from her Corning Ware percolator that seemed about as ancient as the Dead Sea Scrolls, a sesame bagel with the insides pulled out and a cigarette burning, she’d comb the Style section of The New York Times, studying the names and faces in every wedding announcement, making her own calculations. She counted how many Jews she thought were lost (if the couple was married by an officiating minister), who was gained (if there was only a rabbi) or if it was a tie (both a minister and a rabbi or a judge). When Yom Kippur rolled around each autumn, her anger at God was reignited. On a macro scale, God let Hitler get away
28 | Jewish News | High Holidays | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
with the Holocaust. On a micro level, God caused her father to die of a heart attack when she was five, forcing my grandmother to raise five children on her own in the Bronx. Despite her outrage, my mother still trooped into the kitchen and followed my grandmother’s recipes for brisket, stuffed cabbage, matzah ball soup with matzah balls so light they defied gravity, and kasha varnishkes. But she cooked while doing a dozen other things, so Cynthia and I held contests each holiday about who found the oddest item in her dishes: Besides the usual stray hairs, we discovered cigarette ashes, a fake fingernail and a rubber band. My mother claimed her belonging to a people who had lost so much to the world and who, despite it all, gave so much back. She was convinced that a Jew’s inheritance was the task of setting things right, and took Cynthia and me out of school to attend demonstrations and marches for civil rights and liberal causes. There’s a Jewish saying, “If you save one life, you save the world,” and my mother taught me that with just your own life, you can try to at least improve something. With her pulse on Jewish American culture, she offered her scathing critiques to anyone who happened to be within the circumference of her cigarette smoke. She railed against the stereotypes of the Jewish mother and the Jewish American Princess because she sensed, far earlier than most social commentators, that these caricatures of Jewish women would push Jewish men away from Jewish women. Intermarriage statistics proved her right. That Jewish men laughed at Jewish women, distancing themselves, outraged her. She taught me that words have power. She wasn’t too thrilled, to put it mildly, when I picked up and moved from New York to Israel, leaving her behind, even though she was the one who sent me to Israel when I was 16 in the first place. She ranted each time she called me, but she still paid for my four kids and me to fly back to visit her each summer. What was the lesson? You can—you must— rail against what is bashert, or fated for
you, and then you have to do whatever you can to make things better.The last conversation I had with her was right before she slipped into unconsciousness, the night before I flew back to New York to be with her. Cynthia—who took care of her better than the best of caretakers in her house— had set up Skype for her and I got to see her in her favorite armchair, the whirl of her oxygen machine stopping only so that she could smoke another cigarette. “I love you and I’ll always love you,” she told me into the camera. Then she shouted, “Cynthia! How do I shut this damn thing off?” Rain pounded the roof, lightning flashed and the thunder was louder than fireworks the night she died. It was the perfect theatrical exit for my subversive mother. In the morning, after her soul left for who knows where, after the rains moved on, and the sky went back to empty and blue, a rabbi came to the house to make funeral arrangements. He stood at the foot of her bed, talking quietly to Cynthia and me. I said politely to the rabbi, “I don’t think my mother would have wanted you seeing her when she’s dead.” And then I heard my mother’s voice, and I could have sworn I heard her grumbling I didn’t want to see him when I was alive. So, nu, as she would have said, she didn’t instill in me how to be a Jew in the conventional way. She didn’t teach me how to believe, but she taught me how to question. And is there anything more Jewish than that? —Diana Bletter is the author of the novel A Remarkable Kindness (HarperCollins), the intertwined stories of four American women who are friends and members of a burial circle in a small beach village in Israel. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Forward and other publications. Diana lives with her husband and children in a real beach village in Israel, where she is a member of a burial circle. She can be found at www.dianabletter.com. Follow her @dianabletter.
High HOLIDAY reflections Lisa and David Leon
Taking advantage of mild weather 8903 Three Chopt Road, Richmond, VA 23229 • 804-285-0962 Mon – Fri 7am – 10pm • Sat 7am – 7pm • Sun 7am – 5pm
We have been putting up a sukkah since our girls have been going to Strelitz Early
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Emily, Isabella and Daphne in their sukkah.
and winds last year made for a shortened, but memorable season as we needed to
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dismantle our sukkah for safety reasons. But it certainly was a lesson in the challenges
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Growth rate steady as Israel’s population reaches 8.58 million Israel will have a population of 8.585 million citizens this Rosh Hashanah. The growth rate, 2 percent, was similar to previous years, according to an annual report released Tuesday, September 27 by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. The country’s Jewish population, which makes up nearly three quarters of the country at 6.419 million, grew at a rate of 1.9 percent, while the Arab population, which makes up just over a fifth of the country at 1.786 million, grew at a rate of 2.2 percent. Other groups, including non-Arab Christians and those identifying with other religions, which make up 4.4 percent of the population at 380,000, grew at a rate of 3.8 percent. The birth rate surpassed the death rate, with 189,000 births and 46,000 deaths. In the past Jewish year, 30,000 people moved to Israel, including 25,000 new immigrants. (JTA)
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May the New Year bring you and your family good health and happiness.
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Joyce Strelitz wins prestigious award at International Women’s Conference
oyce Strelitz, a longtime Tidewater leader and philanthropist, was honored by The Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy with its prestigious KipnisWilson/Friedland Award on Tuesday, September 13. The award was announced at the 2016 International Lion of Judah Conference, held in Washington D.C. The Lions of Judah are women donors of all ages, united in their devotion to work as global advocates who care deeply about the Jewish future. The internationally recognized Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award is given Joyce Strelitz to Lions of Judah who have demonstrated the highest ideals of leadership and involvement. Winners are chosen by their communities as “women of valor” with a lifetime of commitment to the Jewish world. Joyce Strelitz’ dedication to strengthening and providing resources to the Tidewater and worldwide Jewish communities spans 50 years. From the very beginning of her involvement and continuing today, she has improved the lives of an infinite number of people. Strelitz was among the first members of the UJFT Women’s Campaign division in the late 1960s, where her influence and presence is still valued. She was considered a fearless groundbreaker in 1982, leading a mission of Jewish and Christian
women to Israel, and again in 1988, when she led a women’s mission to Russia and visited “Refuseniks” before bringing news to their families in Israel. Her effective leadership style, participation in community events, and positions on the boards of a variety of organizations serve as a model for emerging and established leaders. With her sister-in-law Marcia Hofheimer, Strelitz heads up Tidewater’s biennial Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission, named for her late brother. The trip takes 20 young adults from Tidewater to Israel as the culmination of a two-year leadership program. Many who have attended the mission are current Jewish community leaders. An advocate of inclusivity and building bridges between faith groups, Strelitz has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors outside the Jewish community, forging strong, lasting ties between the Federation and leading local Christian organizations. Strelitz is one of 75 women to receive this year’s award. A group of Tidewater Lion of Judah leaders were at the conference to offer immediate congratulations, along with more than 1,300 other Jewish women philanthropists from the United States, Canada, Israel, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
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It’s a wrap
Kiryat Yam visits Tidewater Sherri Wisoff
ive Israeli delegates from Kiryat Yam, Tidewater’s Jewish community’s sister city in Israel, spent a whirlwind, and often rain-soaked week in Tidewater last month. During the week of September 18, these young adults visited most of Tidewater’s Jewish agencies, Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish health care facilities. They networked, shared dinners and schmoozed with community leaders to gain an understanding of the richness and diversity of the Jewish community and to get a glimpse of what could be. They also toured some of Tidewater’s cultural and recreational resources—and had fun, too! The group was comprised of two staff members and three volunteers of the Center for Young Adults in Kiryat Yam (a facility receiving financial aid from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and local donors). Sima Buhbut, Gal Yanoshevitz, Meital Solomon Raz, David Namer and Asher Itah visited Tidewater in a tour spearheaded by the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater as part of a joint initiative with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), World ORT and JAFI. The goal of the program is to establish deeper ties, partnerships and economic support for the struggling Jewish communities within Kiryat Yam. The current mission includes a two-part exchange—this trip by the Israelis, followed by a small group from Tidewater visiting Kiryat Yam in December. Kiryat Yam Surfers and sea gulls sweep along the quiet, underdeveloped beachfront of Kiryat Yam, a small town of 45,000, which is a short ride from Haifa in northern Israel In a presentation to UJFT’s Israel and Overseas committee and Kiryat Yam Young Adult committee, the five Israeli delegates shared some of the social and economic challenges they face in their city
32 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Top row: Sima Buhbut, David Namer, Shawn Lemke, Asher Itah, Ashley Lemke and Meital Solomon Raz. Bottom row: Gal Yanoshevitz and MJ Lemke.
YAD says goodbye at the Botanical Gardens.
and their dream that one day, Kiryat Yam would have a thriving boardwalk beach community like Tidewater. After listening to detailed plans for a future Kiryat Yam, David Brand, community member and part of the Israel & Overseas committee said, “You are right, it is all about the beach.” But as the committee members asked more questions about the cities’ surrounding infrastructures, Bonnie Brand hit on the most revealing question of the evening, “What about restaurants, how many restaurants are in Kiryat Yam?” The answer was one. “One restaurant for 45,000 people—one restaurant and it’s kosher, so it’s closed on Shabbos? Well, that has to change!”
Kiryat Yam’s challenges Founded in 1940 by 132 immigrants from displaced persons camps in Germany and Cyprus, Kiryat Yam, is a melting pot of diversity, due in part to its housing one of the country’s largest Absorption Centers. The city has the largest concentration of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, with 35 percent of its residents and their descendants formerly from the Sub-Saharan country. Adding to this mix is a large number of Aliyot (immigrants to Israel) and their extended families, who settled in the area following the collapse of the Former Soviet Union. Lacking major industries found in larger cities, Kiryat Yam is on the front line coping with the social challenge of
It’s a wrap integrating people with diverse cultural backgrounds and varying degrees of education and occupational training. Few immigrants are initially prepared to step into the high-tech industries of modern Israel and have little hope of completing matriculation exams necessary for entry to college or university without outside support and guidance. With its restless youth often seeking larger cities after their service in the Israeli Army, keeping talent within its own city is a constant challenge, say the visitors from Kiryat Yam. Today, 20 percent of the town is comprised of senior citizens, including 2,000 Holocaust survivors. Thirty percent require social service support, taxing a city budget squeezed by the need to supplement merger pensions. American Jewish partnerships Seeing obstacles as opportunities, World ORT, another UJFT overseas partner, and JDC identified Kiryat Yam as a city at risk. The organizations initiated ambitious plans for partnerships, actively working with the UJFT, government agencies, local officials and generous donors to bring resources, education and relief to the city. In only a few short years, 2010 saw the opening of the Lipson Ethiopian Heritage Center, part of the Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Science, Educational, Cultural and Sports Campus, aimed at preserving and protecting the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian Jews. The larger Schoenbaum campus, also part of the ORT initiative in Kiryat Yam, boasts a science lab, a planetarium, an aquarium, library and an athletics stadium. Kiryat Yam’s Youth Orchestra adds yet another cultural dimension to the changing city landscape. Kiryat Yam Center for Young Adults (CYA) Young, passionate and dedicated people such as the five visitors from Kiryat Yam
Asher Itah, Eric Miller, Gal Yanoshevitz and Ethan Heben at Green Flash Brewing Co.
are impacting the mindset of hundreds of their peers and families through the many social services offered at the CYA. Skillful at adapting to the changing needs in Kiryat Yam, Meital Raz says, “Everything is built from the voice of our community.” David Namer adds, “If we see a problem, we just fix it.” Their center has been completely renovated thanks to Tidewater donors and UJFT, which has also funded an Early Childhood Center addressing the needs of the younger children. When asked about the most memorable part of his earlier visit to Kiryat Yam CYA, Eric Miller, a member of the Kiryat Yam Young Adult committee says, “ It’s the people, it is very cool to see how they (CYA) help the students with their resumes and help them find professions.” Miller will be part of the YAD mission to Kiryat Yam in December to get insights on what else can be done to improve the well-being and prosperity of the residents there. The missions to and from Kiryat Yam inspire dialogue, offer insights and new tools for its leadership, ensuring that the social and economic tides will soon be rising for Tidewater’s sister city in Israel.
Erica Kaplan, Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky and Rashi Brashevitzky, Monique Werby and Sharon Debb at YAD Chabad Havdallah.
Kiryat Yam delegation touring Beth Sholom Village: Gal Yanoshevitz, Leah Abrams, Laura Gadsby, Sima Buhbut, Meital Solomon Raz, David Namer, David Abraham and Asher Itah.
David Namer, Asher Itah, Scott Kaplan, Gal Yanoshevitz and Shawn Lemk.
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It’s a wrap
Society of Professionals holds first networking event
new business in the newly created ViBe district of Virginia Beach proved to be the perfect setting for the inaugural event of the newest Jewish group in Hampton Roads. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals held its launch party on Tuesday, September 13 at 1701, a collaborative work and office space on Baltic Ave. More than 70 community members—from all age groups and business affiliations—gathered in one of 1701’s open areas to mingle, network and learn more about each other, the Society and the Federation. The after-work cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception was the culmination of months of planning. Members of the longstanding UJFT Maimonides Society—an organization of medical professionals who gave $1,000 or more to the Federation, found they often attended events held by a newer affinity group, the UJFT Business and Legal Society, and vice versa. In their brief welcome remarks, Society co-chairs Stacey Neuman and Greg Zittrain explained that the most logical, helpful and forward thinking thing to do was form a new group, combining not just doctors and lawyers and business execs, but all Jewish professionals—whether just starting out or well-established. “We started realizing there’s a lot of commonalities [among us], and we decided anybody who wants to be here, we’re interested in having,” says Zittrain. “I think we have a real opportunity…to create something here, to build community. “We’re going to have a real emphasis on getting to know each other,” he says. “This organization is going to be something we own, and so we’re going to define the events, we’re going to figure out how we’re going to get people to come, and frankly, having the party here tonight is also what it’s about—this is a business that’s all about bringing people together, which is what we want to support, and what we do as a Federation.” Standing near Neumann and Zittrain was Jeff Werby, co-owner of 1701 with
Shawn Lemke, Matthew Sachs, Jonathon Muhlendorf and Sam Steerman.
Steve Harwood, Susan Alper and Joel Rubin.
Shikma Rubin and Robyn Weiner.
business partner Lisa DeNoia, who also attended. Werby is active in the Young Adult Division of the UJFT and says he looks forward to the new group. The entrepreneur and technology expert didn’t fit in with the defined labels of membership outlined by the former affinity groups, but that’s not the case with the Society, where all Jewish professionals are accepted. Werby was pleased to host the launch party—for the opportunity to network with Jewish professionals, to showcase the Beach’s first coworking space, to possibly gain new clients, and, certainly, to help promote the importance of supporting UJFT. Neumann noted there were a number of people she hadn’t seen at Federation events before. Introducing herself, she found some are new to Tidewater, some came at the suggestion of friends and others expressed interest in expanding
34 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Lawrence Steingold and Cathi Laderberg.
Co-chairs Greg Zittrain and Stacey Neuman.
their professional circles. Amy Kurfist was one of the evening’s bright, new faces. Kurfist moved to Tidewater four months ago to attend a Ph.D. program at Old Dominion University after years spent living and working in Manhattan. “I moved here not knowing a single person, but I’m looking to build a life here and knew an immediate place for me to start was the Jewish community,” Kurfist says. “Coming to the launch party was an opportunity to meet people and grow my personal and professional network.” Seth White was involved with the Jewish community as a child and teen. Now in his 20s, White is receptive to
becoming involved again, and when asked by a colleague if he wanted to attend the event, he thought, “why not?” “I go to a lot of meet ups like this, but they’re mostly with people who work in real estate,” says Seth White, an agent with Chantel Ray Real Estate. “It’s been great meeting people who work in other professions, and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in 10 or 15 years.” For more information about the United Jewish Federation Society of Professionals and to sign up for notices of upcoming networking or social opportunities, contact Jasmine Amitay at 757-965-6138, or become a friend of the Society on Facebook: www.fb.com/ ujftsocietyofprofessionals.
It’s a wrap First Person Hazak event at Beth El highlights Ron Lauder and the JDC: Bringing Judaism back to the youth of Eastern Europe Betsy O. Karotkin
eth El’s Hazak event on Sunday, September 11, where Annie Sandler was the guest speaker, made me wonder whether the blessings of living in America can become curses. What I mean by that is we have so much freedom that we begin to take everything for granted. And somehow, what was once so prized by American Jews—the freedom to worship and explore our Jewish identity, for example—have lost their shine. One place the freedom to be a Jew is not taken for granted is Eastern Europe. For many years under communism, Jewish children did not have opportunities to be together outside of their own small communities. And when it finally became safe to practice Judaism, people had lost their knowledge of it, their identity and traditions like Shabbat that have sustained Jews throughout the centuries. They needed help from outside their own communities if they were to survive. Thanks to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)— and gifts to United Jewish Federation of Tidewater—and the very charitable Ron Lauder, a camp was born. Since 1990, Jewish youth in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Albania, Czech Republic and
many other countries have had an opportunity to attend Szarvas, a camp in Hungary where young Jewish Beth El’s Hazak event attracted more than 30 members. people can meet one another, explore for all of them. Most importantly, the their Jewish identity, and create lasting future leaders of the European Jewish friendships. To be a friend and supporter of Szarvas, community are being raised in Szarvas. Each summer, about 1,500 Jewish write to the camp cirector, email@example.com. After Sandler’s excellent presentachildren—from six to 18 years of age— To learn more about the camp and the tion, the Estee Lauder cosmeticians from representing approximately 25 countries, impact it has made on the lives of those Nordstrom demonstrated their newest attend Szarvas. Every year, the staff chooses who attended, go to https//www.youtube.com/ products, giving makeovers to some lucky a theme that is woven through the camp’s watch?v=5DwpKwAFKXk. participants. Everyone went home with a diverse activities. This summer the theme Photographs by Sharon Schloss. free Estee lauder gift. encouraged campers to think about what it means to have a “Jewish Home.” Many of the young people receive scholarships, enabling them to attend. Employment Oppor tunity Our own Federation provides several of those scholarships, making it possible Director of Jewish Life and Learning for Jewish children from Romania to be campers. The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC seeks an organized, creative self-starter with proven organizational skills and strateAnnie Sandler told of her own expegic thinking abilities, with a passion for Judaism and Israel for the position rience bringing her children with her to of Director, Jewish Life and Learning. This position requires strong values of Szarvas about 20 years ago when there pluralism and nurturing a community with diverse and varied expressions was just the beginnings of a camp. While of Jewish life, and who can connect deeply with students from a wide the Sandler children at first wondered range of Jewish backgrounds. why their mother had brought them there, The Director of Jewish Life and Learning works collaboratively with staff/teams in multiple areas of the UJFT to bolster opportunities for by the end of the two-week period, they Jewish education and experience in our various communities. Working had a hard time parting from their new closely with the CEO, COO and Director of Hillel, the Director of JL&L profriends. It was a life-changing experience motes the advancement of the UJFT’s Jewish education vision with meaningful programming and training throughout the community. Part time position: 20 hours per week
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Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Human Resources at (757) 965-6117. Submit by mail to: Simon Family JCC / United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
Annie Sandler and Joan Joffe.
Ray Keller and Shirley Stein.
The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability, genetic information or military status.
Equal Employment Opportunity jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 35
It’s a wrap
Setting the stage for a successful Campaign year Laine Mednick Rutherford
on Monday from the Hillel at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia, intending to stay only a day to present a review Ambassador Dennis Ross and Jay Klebanoff, UJFT president, with Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High of their programs to School advisor Greg Falls and students. Photograph by Ramon Permel. various UJFT groups. After finding out about excitement for the Annual Campaign. The the Kickoff, Sue Kurtz, executive director event begins the 10-month community of the VT Hillel, chose to extend their stay fund raising effort, which allocates milanother day in order to attend. lions of dollars to organizations locally “The Federation supports the Hillel and abroad, to improve the lives of Jews at Tech, and we thought it was importand the communities in which they live. ant to stay to share our support for the Laura Geringer Gross, 2017 Annual Federation’s goals,” says Shocket, a Virginia Campaign chair, welcomed Kickoff Beach native and special assistant to Kurtz. guests. Other speakers included Young “We wanted to hear about the community, Leadership Campaign’s Jeremy Krupnick thank people in person and meet new and Women Division’s Stephanie Calliott. friends on this very special evening.” With every seat on the stage taken, The goal of Kickoff is to generate the event was standing room only for Ambassador Ross’ discussion. Laura Geringer Gross, 2017 Annual Campaign chair. Ross has worked in the field of U.S. Rather than spending his limited time foreign relations for three decades, was a speaking about what he thought the audinegotiator in the Middle East peace proWendy Weissman ence wanted to hear, Ross turned to cess for 12 years, has been a confidant and he Community Relations Council of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon his preferred method of conversation— advisor to five of the last six Presidents, Family JCC and community partners, in collaboration with the Virginia Beach asking those present for their questions, and is the author of several books. His Forum, kicked off the 6th annual Israel Today series with Ambassador Dennis Ross and then sharing his experience and anallatest, Doomed to Succeed: the U.S.-Israel following the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual Campaign Kickoff. ysis in well-considered answers. Relationship from Truman to Obama was Ambassador Ross has played a leading role in shaping American policy in the Ross’s responses illustrated the breadth awarded the 2015 National Book Award Middle East for more than 30 years, and has documented the U.S.-Israeli relationof his knowledge, the depth of his experifor history. ship since the beginning of Israel’s statehood to the present time in his latest book, ence and the honesty of his insights. He is well versed on subjects such as Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. The Ambassador spoke about the slow, the military and Russian politics, and is Ross discussed the importance of Israel as America’s Middle Eastern ally and as but noticeably improved changes in atticonsidered one of America’s top experts tude toward Israel by other Middle Eastern on Middle East issues. At the Kickoff, the “one country that reflects all the characteristics that define us (America).” The countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. he directed his comments to the mostly audience had the opportunity to ask questions and Ross signed books after his talk. He described the changes as straws in the Jewish audience. The 2016-2017 Israel Today series continues with a visit from Israeli mixed-media wind, but stressed they are better than no Ross first spent a few minutes congratcollage artist, Neta Levi on Wednesday, October 19 (see page 40), followed by analyst, straws at all. ulating the Tidewater Jewish community educator and author, Avi Melamed on November 15. The series continues through Ross also discussed his analysis of the and the Federation for their continued May. Learn more about the 2016-2017 Israel Today series at www.JewishVA.org/ changing public sentiment in the Middle support of Israel over the years. He also IsraelToday. East regarding a two-state solution in spoke briefly about the U.S., Israel and the Israel and Palestine. Optimism is quickly Middle East.
he 275 people who spilled off the stage, into the wings, and out into the theatre at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, September 20 weren’t there to dance or sing or act. They had braved pouring rain and flooded streets to attend the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2017 Annual Campaign Kickoff. The event featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a presentation from featured speaker, Ambassador Dennis Ross. Attending the event were community leaders, clergy, executives and board members of various UJFT recipient agencies, donors of all ages, friends of the UJFT and interested community members. Isabel Shocket, along with Sue and Jeff Kurtz, had arrived in Virginia Beach
Ambassador Dennis Ross kicks off Israel Today Series with Virginia Beach Forum
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It’s a wrap diminishing, he said frankly. While he is not a fan of Israel’s continued building of settlements in the West Bank, Ross doesn’t believe that is the main problem. “I’ll tell you what does prevent potentially a two state outcome—disbelief. Both Israelis and Palestinians alike today no longer believe that it’s going to happen,” he said. “Where there’s loss of faith…the cynicism and the disbelief become so deeply embedded that you can’t turn it around. So it isn’t what exists on the ground that raises questions about it, it’s the psychology and the lack of a sense of possibility.” Ross closed his Kickoff presentation with a response to a question about the civil war in Syria. “Syria is a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said. “It should stain the international conscience. It should motivate. And it doesn’t. We’ll wring our hands over it. We’ll condemn it. But we won’t do anything about it. And for me, it’s a shame.” Throughout his presentation, Ross used statistics and stories to illustrate his points: 70 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population is under the age of 30 and it has the highest per capita usage of the social media platform Twitter in the world, which—surprisingly—worked in Israel’s favor, recently. Ross described barrel bombs, weapons used by warring factions in Syria. The devices are filled with nails and other shrapnel, dropped from aircraft and designed to maximize not only deaths,
Annie Sandler, Leora Drory, Stephanie Calliott and Amy Levy.
but injuries as well. He revealed a fact usually not publicized—that Israeli hospitals have treated close to 10,000 Syrian patients. Ross’ discussion lasted about 15 minutes, after which Kickoff guests moved to seats in the theater. They were eager to hear more, and did, as Ross returned to the stage as the first speaker for the 20162017 Israel Today/Virginia Beach Forum. The format of his discussion was similar, yet geared toward a more general audience, with an emphasis on the role of U.S. Presidents in Middle East relations— from Truman to Obama to whoever is elected to the position in November. “Our Kickoffs always serve the purpose of energizing the Annual Campaign, and I think this year’s event has done just that,” said Jay Klebanoff, president of the UJFT. “Having Dennis Ross as our guest speaker and a change in venue attracted a lot of people who contribute to the campaign, but who don’t always come out. I was very happy to see the usual faces and new faces, too.” The large turnout—despite the weather—made Klebanoff optimistic in the UJFT’s goal for the 2017 Campaign. “We raised nearly $4.8 million last year, and it would be wonderful
Jodi Klebanoff, Shelby Davis of Capitol One Bank, and Jay Klebanoff, UJFT president.
Warren and Mimi Karesh.
Stan and Harriet Dickman.
to get to $5 million this year,” Klebanoff said. “We have such a great community—it’s small enough that people feel connected and our goal is to reach out and touch everybody, personally, and let them know how much their involvement and support matters. It’s a challenge. People are hesitant to talk to others, to ask for donations, and are turning to technology. It’s less personal, and less effective.” To address that challenge, as they have done for the past several years, community volunteers will act as ambassadors for the Federation, meeting with friends, neighbors, newcomers and colleagues. They’re committed to raising funds and awareness for the Annual Campaign, which in turn funds dozens of partner agencies locally, nationally and globally to help vulnerable populations, strengthen Jewish communities and empower Jewish identity.
Marc and Stacie Moss.
To learn more about setting up a faceto-face conversation with a volunteer or staff member about the work the Federation does, call 757-965-6110. For more about the UJFT, visit www.JewishVA.org. Photographs by Sharon Schloss.
Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Steve Zuckerman, Jason Hoffman and Jeremy Krupnick.
jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 37
It’s a wrap
HAT Golf Tournament—Swinging for the students O
n a gorgeous, sunny Tuesday, August 30, despite a tropical storm brewing off the coast of North Carolina, crowds came out enthusiastically swinging at Bayville Golf Club. They came for more than just a golf tournament, however. The golf devotees were playing for a higher purpose— they were raising money to benefit HAT students and families during the 28th Annual Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning Golf Tournament, known to many as The Bob Josephberg Classic. “This tournament is our school’s biggest fundraiser, and we truly cannot thank the donors enough for coming out and supporting our school. As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and our donors and supporters are a very important part of our ‘Village,’” says Heather Moore, head of school. “We are honored and fortunate to have the continued support of our longtime champions Bob Josephberg, Angela Jenkins, and tournament co-chairs Nathan and Ilana Benson,” Moore says. “Proceeds from the tournament help fund need-based scholarships for students and are an investment in the education of future leaders,” says Patti Seeman, HAT director of development.
Ilana and Nathan Benson.
Jenna Aiken-Ritzmann, Robyn Bailey, Monique Werby and Erica Kaplan.
Aaron Peck, Marvin Friedberg, Chuck Goldman and Bob Josephberg.
“This year, we were privileged to have 110 golfers on the roster, and we were generously sponsored by 111 local and national Steve Kayer, David Abraham, Christine Mabe and Tom Cannone. businesses, professionals, families and individual donors in the Jewish community,” adds Seeman. Together, they helped surpass the fund raising goal by 20 percent, making the 2016 charity a roaring success. Dale Jacobs, Randy Caplan, Ellie Brooke “Each year, the and Patty Frankos. golf committee puts in hours of work Tom Atherton, Trent Dudley, Leigh Keogh and Taylor Harrell. Bayville Golf Club, planning every detail for the golf event,” and Cardo Café says Babbi Bangel, HAT board president, For more information, contact Patti Seeman, shined, making this year’s tournament including “obtaining sponsorships and HAT director of development, at 757-424-4327, one of the best and most memorable.” raffle prizes, and organizing the 35 touror email email@example.com. Mark calendars for Tuesday, nament volunteers needed on the day of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater is a conSeptember 19, 2017, to share in the fun the tournament to make it run smoothly. stituent agency of United Jewish Federation again at Bayville. Once again, the teamwork of the HAT and of Tidewater. Campus staff, HAT trustees and parents,
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SPONSORS ($5,000) Alan and Susan Nordlinger Arnold Leon and Family in honor of Bob and Sheila Josephberg Celia K. Krichman Charitable Trust Copeland - Klebanoff Family Deb and Peter Segaloff Dr. Albert and Wendy Konikoff Dr. David and Sofia Konikoff Dr. Stephen and Ronnie Jane Konikoff Fairlead Integrated JLL Capital Markets The Josephberg Family L.M. Sandler and Sons Randi and Steven Gordon Southern Bank TowneBank Will, June, Alex, Austin, Cindy and Ron Kramer
HOSTS ($3,000) Boston Capital Claire and Marvin Friedberg Jeff Kunitz and Robert Sheppard John and Renee Strelitz and Family S.L. Nusbaum Realty Company Wall, Einhorn and Chernitzer
UNDERWRITERS ($2,000) Brad Moses/Towne Insurance Ilana and Nathan Benson Miles and Sandra Leon Monster Tool Company Nathan Drory/ Charles Barker Automotive Virginia Wealth Management Group
EAGLE SPONSORS ($1,000) Barbara and Allen Gordon Beth Sholom Home Brenda and Abbey Horwitz Cape Construction, David and Charlene Cohen Daniel Gordon and Family Gold Key/PHR Harbor Group International Hercules Fence / Property Management Group Jennifer and Jim Nocito Jewish Family Service KPMG MiRoMa Fund National Disaster Solutions Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi Roberta and Randy Sherman Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
The Armond and Rose Caplan Foundation The Nusbaum Family (Ann Nusbaum) Williams Mullen
BIRDIE SPONSORS ($500) Arielle, Noah, and Ben Klebanoff Babbi and Brad Bangel Bay Disposal Beth and Nathan Jaffe Equity Title Company Eric Joffe Construction Corp. —Mike Simon/Eric Joffe EverClear Eyes, P.C. Faggert and Frieden, P.C. Givens Group Jormandy, LLC Kaplan-Rosenblum Plastic Surgery Karen and Matt Fine Lisa and David Leon Lombart Instruments Monarch Properties Palms Associates Partners in Construction, LLC Rabbi and Mrs. Yitzchak Menda Randy Shapiro Stein Investment Group Sunsations Towne Benefits
HOLE SPONSORS ($300) Ashley and Greg Zittrain Beach Eye Care, Mark A. Lipton, OD Beach Groundworks Inc Betsy and Ed Karotkin CB Richard Ellis CTMI LLC Dottie and Chuck Goldman Dr. Lonnie Slone (Slone Chiropractic Clinic) Drs. Shivar, Peluso and Andersen, P.C. Orthodontics for Children and Adults Eileen, Stewart, Andrew, Steven and Laura Kahn Ellen and Scott Rosenblum Ellyn and Bob Salter Elyse and David Cardon Frankie Edmondson, Portsmouth Commissioner of the Revenue Thank you Bob Josephberg! From Farideh and Norman Goldin H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Inc. Jennifer Rush and Jason Alper KMG Prestige, Inc. Larrymore Foundation Laura and Fred Gross
Lynn Schoenbaum Lynnhaven Fish House Mid-Atlantic Dermatology Center, P.C. —Michael L. Gross, MD No Frill Bar and Grill PAYDAY Payroll Services Poole Brooke Plumlee PC Rabbi Arnowitz on behalf of Congregation Beth El Rad and Lindsay Davenport Rashkind Family Remedy Intelligent Staffing S.L. Nusbaum Insurance Company Siska Aurand Landscape Architects Stephaine Calliott and Don London Susan and Jon Becker Terri and Lonny Sarfan The Abrams Family The Jason Family The Jenkins Family in honor of HAT Teachers The Moore Family in honor of the faculty and staff The Seeman Family The Spindel Agency, Insurance and Employee Benefits Zena Herod
RAFFLE PRIZE DONORS 17th Street Surf Shop Aldo’s Ristorante All About Nails Anonymous Anthony and Company Hair Design Back Bay Pest and Mosquito Babbi and Brad Bangel Be-Jeweled Broad Bay Country Club Busch Gardens Cardo Café Commodore Theatre CopyFax and Toshiba CP Shuckers Cure Coffeehouse Decorum Diamonds Direct Either Ore Jewelers Fink’s Jewelers Fleet Feet Sports Frances Kahn Freemason Abbey Restaurant Gary Allen Hair and Skin Care Golf Galaxy Hi-Ho Silver Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Holman’s Photography Studio Hot House Yoga Il Giardino Inlet Fitness Jake’s Place Janet Molofsky Jody G. Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn Jungle Golf Long Jewelers Mary’s Nail-tique Gail and Norman Miller Wine Mizuno Mr. Shawarma Nauticus No Frill Bar and Grill Norfolk Tides NYFO Ocean Breeze Princess Anne Country Club Quality Shop Jenna Aiken-Ritzmann and Jason Ritzmann Rock-A-Bye Baby OBX Roger Brown’s Restaurant and Bar Ruth’s Chris Steak House S. Ray Barrett Dry Cleaner Salad Works Sandfiddler Cafe Deb Segaloff Studio Bamboo The Custom Cake Shoppe The French Twist The Full Cup The Globe The Norfolk Admirals The Precious Gem The Royal Chocolate The Sandler Center The Skin Ranch and Trade Company Todd Rosenlieb Dance Trader Joe’s Trish Boutique Valiant Crossfit Virginia Aquarium Virginia Zoo Windsor Antiques Ynot Italian Yorgo’s Yotinis
VOLUNTEERS Rachel Abrams Heather Alexander Laura Allegood Leslie Marcus Auerbach Robyn Bailey Matt Baldwin Babbi Bangel Ilana Benson Nathan Benson Billy Bernstein Lenny Brooke David Cardon Elyse Cardon Sharon Debb Leora Drory Nathan Drory Randi Gordon Zena Herod Shira Itzhak Angela Jenkins Joan Joffe Bob Josephberg Erica Kaplan Jodi Klebanoff Sofia Konikoff Cindy Kramer Rachel Krupnick Ashley Lemke Shawn Lemke David Leon Laura Miller Nancy Oliver Felix Portnoy Jenna Aiken-Ritzmann Deb Segaloff Burle Stromberg Neil Waranch Monique Werby Ashley Zittrain Greg Zittrain Megan Zuckerman
SPECIAL THANKS Bob Josephberg Angela Jenkins Bayville Golf Club Cardo Café Cars and Hole in One Insurance provided by Nathan Drory/ Charles Barker Automotive Hole in One Insurance provided by Brad Moses/Towne Insurance Edible Arrangements (Janaf)/ Tammy and Anthony Rivera Signs by Tomorrow Signs, Plaques and More
Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters and volunteers who helped HAT exceed our tournament fund raising goal. Your sense of community makes a substantial difference for our students. We could not do it without you. jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 39
what’s happening The Shabbat Project comes to Tidewater Friday, November 11–Saturday, November 12 Yisroel Stein
he Tidewater community has many programs and functions to bring together various groups of Jews, including organizations for young adults, older adults, teens, college students and various synagogues. What if one event could bring together Jews from various backgrounds and ages under the auspices of Shabbat? This question was asked in South Africa a few years ago and the answer was to create the Shabbat Project. The idea was to get as many Jewish people together as possible to observe one Shabbat as a community. Over the past few years, hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world followed South Africa’s lead and joined in this phenomena. Last October, the first ever Shabbat Project took place in Norfolk. It was a smashing success with members from
across the Jewish community joining together for an unforgettable Shabbat experience. The event began at B’nai Israel, with a song filled Friday night service followed by a meal attended by more than 200 people. The following day there were programs for all ages, including games for kids and adults, as well as interactive classes. The day ended with an inspiring third meal, followed by singing and stories. When Shabbat was over, everyone made their way outside for an uplifting, “Under the stars,” Havdalah service with more singing and dancing. The Shabbat Project is planned again for next month. Visit www.theshabbosproject.org to register and call 757-627-7358 or email office@bnaiisrael. org to make reservations for the community Friday night dinner.
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Family Art Workshop with Israeli mixed media artist, Neta Levi Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 pm Sherri Wisoff
hands on collage exploration, Family Art Workshop: Drawing, Cutting, Tearing, Gluing, taught by Neta Levi, an Israeli mixed media collage artist, is designed for families and individuals of all ages. During this family workshop, Levi will first inspire participants with a guided tour of her work on display in the Leon Family Art Gallery (September 21– October 23). Then, kids and adults will work together constructing collages assembled from their own memories. These bits and Neta Levi pieces of life experience will be translated into cut shapes, richly tactile paints, fabrics, paper, drawings, text, photos or even string. Once glued and pasted to a canvas—the original mixed media collage will celebrate a unique glimpse into one’s creative existence. Levi will share her expertise in guiding the participants to explore their own capacities to create unique artwork. She will encourage the mind-set that everyone is capable of finding artistic expression and the medium of mixed media collage offers a very accessible avenue to do so. All art supplies are provided at the workshop and since the creative process needs fuel, dinner is included in this after work/school event. This visiting artist, her exhibit in the
Leon Family Art Gallery and her workshop are presented by the Simon Family JCC, Community Relations Council of UJFT, and community partners as part of the 6th annual Israel Today series, sponsored by Charles Barker Automotive. Neta Levi is the second guest in the nine part series, which offers refreshing and thought provoking insights into the many facets of cultural and intellectual life that comprise Israel. For more information about Israel Today’s line up, visit www.JewishVa.org/ IsraelToday or call 757-965-6107. Tickets for collage workshop are $20 or $15 for JCC members. Family Tickets are $36 or $25 for JCC members. Dinner included. Space limited. For more information, call 757-321-2338.
Big Bake Challah Bake in Tidewater Jodi Schwartz
Miriam Seeherman at Challah Bake 2015.
he 2nd annual Big Bake Challah Bake in Tidewater is slated for next month. Last year, close to 150 women from across the community came together and participated in the beautiful mitzvah of making challah. Organizers hope women will participate again (or for the first time!) to mix, knead and braid. Each participant will leave with two challahs ready to be baked for their Shabbat dinner. The event takes place at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. Ingredients and equipment will be provided. A donation of $5 per person is suggested to help cover costs. For more information or to register, visit www.JewishVA.org/challah-bake or call 757-965-6138.
Torah Study for Skeptics R
Sundays, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20 December 4 and 18, 6 pm
abbi Ellen JaffeGill of Tidewater Chavurah facilitates reading and discussion of texts from Hebrew Scripture with an eye toward meaning beyond the literal, in service of alternative interpretations. All discussion is in English, Bibles are provided, and everyone is welcome.
Torah Study for Skeptics will meet in the Parish Hall of Old Donation Episcopal Church, 4449 N. Witchduck Rd., just east of Independence Blvd. For more information, email rabbicantorejg@ gmail.com or call 464-1950.
Friday, December 9–Saturday, December 10
o one wanted her to go. After all, Leah Mostofsky and her family were integral in the revitalization of the B’nai community. As a result, the Mostofsky kids were the community’s kids and when it was time for Leah to leave Norfolk so she could attend a Jewish girls’ high school in Richmond, many had pangs as if they were sending their own kids away. When it was time for the next group of girls to leave the following year, it was too much for their parents to stand. So they took on the near impossible—creating a Jewish girls’ high school in Norfolk. This was a monumental task for a small, inexperienced community, but when it is personal, parents develop superhuman strength and drive. After an enormous fundraising campaign, endless effort with plans and details, heroic recruiting of students and staff and countless hours of guidance, BINA Girls High School opened its doors at Ohef Sholom Temple in September 2006. Amy Brooke, one of the founding parents and member of the board of directors, is being honored for the endless amount of passionate energy she has devoted to the school. It is not uncommon for the entire community to associate Brooke with her greatest project of the decade. The 10 years since BINA’s inception have seen a lot of activity. Eight years ago the school moved into the education wing at B’nai Israel when Yeshivas Aish Kodesh moved to its own building on
Wednesday, November 2, 7–9 pm
Celebration of BINA’s 10th anniversary will honor Amy Brooke
Colonial Avenue. In the past decade, BINA has provided a dual curriculum education consisting of Judaic and General studies for both local and out-of-town girls. Through the efforts of Linda Peck and Andie Pollock, the school received its original accreditation from Advanced Ed and was reaccredited last year. The students, who are affectionately dubbed “The BINA Girls,” participate in and work at community events. The community is invited to celebrate this great milestone, beginning with BINA’s Annual Shabbos Dinner and culminating with a cocktail and dinner reception Motzei Shabbos, Saturday evening at B’nai Israel. Watch for further information or contact Amy Lefcoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 15 & SUNDAY OCTOBER 16 WORKS FROM MORE THAN 135 ARTISTS • LIVE MUSIC • DELICIOUS FOOD • FUN CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES
For information, visit StockleyGardens.com. All proceeds benefit the Hope House Foundation. www.Hope-House.org
jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 41
Virginia Festival of Jewish Film promotes A Tale of Love and Darkness Through Thursday, October 6, NARO Expanded Cinema
mos Oz’s international bestseller and winner of the National Jewish Book Award, A Tale of Love and Darkness has been lovingly adapted into a new film by first-time director and screenwriter Natalie Portman. Portman worked on the adaptation of the book for the 10 years. Encouraged by Oz, Portman says, “[Amos] was very encouraging to me. He said, ‘Please make your own film. The book exists. You don’t need to just film the book.’ “ Portman moved her family to Israel for five months to complete the project. To keep the story as authentic as possible, she filmed entirely in Hebrew. The book, as well as the film, tells the story of Oz’s youth in the 1940s and 50s, the birth of the State of Israel and the suicide of his mother (played by Portman). The film has opened to favorable reviews from both critics and audiences.
A Triple Mitzvah Day to remember Sunday, October 30, 1:30–4:30 pm Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, all ages, free Laine Mednick Rutherford
he Tidewater Jewish community is diverse in thought and religious practice, but strongly unified in its commitment to core Jewish values such as tikkun olam, repairing the world, tzedakah, charity, and gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness. Acting on those values and doing mitzvot (commandments or good deeds) are at the heart of the community’s 3rd Annual Mitzvah Day, which is free and open to the public. Mitzvah Day volunteers can choose to work on one project, or on all three. The projects are: creating flower bouquets and handmade cards for patients in area hospitals and residents at Beth Sholom Village; donating cans for a food drive benefiting Jewish Family Service’s Food Closets and supporting teams competing in a teen can sculpture contest; and learning about the mitzvah of observing Shabbat, the day of rest, and making a Shabbat box to take home. Collections have already started for canned goods (Tzedakah project), and for new stuffed animals (Bikkur Cholim
project—caring for the sick). Organizers decided to focus on three projects this year, determined to make them meaningful and fun for participants of all ages, and beneficial to those who would benefit from them. Chava Goldberg and Jenefer Snyder are co-chairs of this year’s event and are excited to greet the hundreds of people expected to attend. “I came last year and liked the concept that everybody was welcome and felt comfortable to come,” Goldberg says. The multigenerational aspect of the event draws many to attend, and offers opportunities for octogenarians to work alongside toddlers—doing good deeds. “Each person has a role and each person’s contributions are important on Mitzvah Day,” says Snyder. Goldberg and Snyder head up a committee of volunteers who participated in the UJFT’s ATID leadership training program. (See page 17) Register for a project at www.JewishVa. org/mitzvah-day and learn more, including drop off locations for canned good and stuffed animal donations, by calling 757-965-6138 or emailing email@example.com.
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October 9, Sunday Brith Sholom members meeting and brunch at Beth Sholom Village. Speaker is Cathy Lewis from WHRV. 11 am. For information about meetings or joining Brith Sholom, contact LeeAnne Mallory at 757-461-1150 or Brith.Sholom1@gmail.com. October 19, Wednesday Israel Today with Neta Levi for Family Art Workshop. Israeli mixed media artist will offer collage workshop for the entire family, all ages. Tickets include dinner followed by a creative fabric, cut, glue, glitter, paste and paint session with the artist. Space limited. 5:30 7 pm. Tickets: Individual-$20/$15 JCC members; Family-$36/$25 JCC members. Simon Family JCC. Visit www.JewishVA.org/IsraelToday. See page 40. October 30, Sunday 3rd Annual Mitzvah Day–Help others thrive—do good deeds at the Tidewater Jewish community’s annual Mitzvah Day. Volunteer for one, or all three projects: give comfort to the sick, provide food for the hungry, share the joy of Shabbat. Free, open to all ages and all who want to help. At the Simon Family JCC, 1:30–4:30 pm. To sign up, email jamitay@ujft. org or call 757-965-6138. November 6, Sunday Brith Sholom members meeting and brunch at Beth Sholom Village. Jody Laibstain and Betty Anne Levin from Jewish Family Service will speak about JFS’ Food Pantry. Nonperishable foods will be collected at the meeting for the Food Pantry. For information about meetings or joining Brith Sholom, contact LeeAnne Mallory at 757-461-1150 or email Brith. Sholom1@gmail.com. November 11, Friday Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s 7th Annual Veteran’s Day Service at the Sandler Family Campus. Join TJF for this community event to honor those who have served the USA, and continue to serve. Service and brunch to be held in the Fleder Multipurpose Room. 9:30 am. Free and open to the community. Honor a veteran with a paver in the Jewish War Monument. Contact Ann Swindell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-965-6106 to RSVP or for more information on the Jewish War Monument. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Strelitz two-year-old classes learn about Rosh Hashanah
Micah Kass points out the shofar in the picture.
Pointing to the apples on the calendar as the students count the days of September.
WHO Knew? Jill Soloway of Transparent wins Emmy for directing, compares Trump to Hitler LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Transparent, the comedy series about a Jewish family whose father comes out as transgender, won Emmy Awards for director Jill Soloway and lead actor Jeffrey Tambor. The Emmys took a shine to Jewish talent on Sunday, September 18 in Los Angeles Other Jewish winners included the Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, the descendent of an old Prussian Jewish family on his father’s side, who garnered the prize for supporting actor in a drama for his role in Bloodlines. Hank Azaria won for guest actor in the drama series Ray Donovan. David Benioff and Daniel B. Weiss were honored for outstanding writing for the Game of Thrones episode Battle of the Bastards. Susanne Bier took top spot as director of The Night Manager in the limited series, movie or dramatic special category. Among the evening’s disappointments was a strikeout for Amy Schumer, who had been nominated for four acting and writing awards, and the slighting of Larry David’s impression of Bernie Sanders in Saturday Night Live.
Swimmer earns Israel its third medal at Rio Paralympics RIO DE JANEIRO ( JTA)—Swimmer Inbal Pezaro earned Israel’s third medal at the Rio Paralympic Games. Pezaro, 29, of Kibbutz Yizrael won a bronze medal on September 14, finishing third in the 200-meter freestyle. She reached the finals in all five of her
mazel tov to individual events in Rio. The Kibbutz Yizrael athlete became paralyzed in her lower torso in childhood. She began swimming when she was five. Pezaro won three medals in each of the previous two Paralympics, taking three bronzes in 2012 and three silvers four years earlier, while also claiming a silver and a bronze in Athens 2004. Shooter Doron Shaziri, competing in his sixth Paralympics, and rower Moran Samuel also took home bronze medals for Israel. Some 4,300 Paralympians competed in Rio, Brazil’s second largest city. Three weeks ago, Israeli judokas Yarden Gerbi and Or Sasson each won a bronze medal at the Summer Olympics there.
Engagement Linda and Leigh Baltuch, on the engagement of their daughter, Rachel, to Brian Dombroski. Brian is the son of Carole Dombroski of Old Forge, Pennsylvania. Rachel is the granddaughter of Alma Laderberg (of blessed memory) and Howard Laderberg. The wedding will take place in the fall of 2017. WEDDING Matthew Frank and Melissa Doman on their marriage. Matthew is the son of Sherry and Irving Frank of Virginia Beach. Melissa is the daughter of Dr.
David and Penny Doman of Rockville, Maryland. Matthew is the grandson of Ray Salken, Lucille Frank and Bernard “Joe” Frank (of blessed mMemory). Melissa is the granddaughter of Alfred Fabrikant, Rachel Fabrikant (of blessed memory) and Helen and Henry Doman (both of blessed memory). The wedding was officiated by Rabbi Geoff Huntting, cousin of the groom, on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington, DC. The couple resides and work in Arlington.
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
Apple reportedly developing iPhone 8 in Israel Apple reportedly is using an office in Herzliya, Israel, to develop what one anonymous employee termed the iPhone 8. The employee also told Business Insider that Apple employees in Israel work on all the company’s new products. The Herzliya office has approximately 800 employees, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has said it is the company’s second-largest research and development office in the world. There is another Apple headquarters in Haifa, which has about 200 employees, according to Business Insider. The anonymous Apple staffer intimated that the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 8, skipping the name iPhone 7s. The worker added that it will be significantly different from the last few previous iPhone models—Business Insider noted they have been criticized for their similarities. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 43
Obama delivers passionate farewell to Peres: “Todah rabah, Shimon” WASHINGTON (JTA)—President Barack Obama posted an impassioned paean to the legacy of Shimon Peres. “There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves,” said the unusually lengthy statement coming out
late Tuesday, September 27, an hour or so after the death of Israel’s elder statesman at 93 was announced. “My friend Shimon was one of those people,” Obama said. The statement, issued also in the name of the first lady, Michelle Obama,
Gail Carol Berger Norfolk—Gail Carol Berger of Palm Beach, Florida peacefully passed away on September 22, 2016 with her loving family by her side. She was born in Far Rockaway, New York on April 25, 1943 to the late Leslie and Maxine Berger. Left to cherish her memory are her brother, Bill Berger and his wife Gail of Virginia Beach; two nieces, Danielle Pariser and her husband Seth of Rye Brook, New York; Allison Weinger and her husband, Ben of New York City, all of whom she loved as her very own children; a much admired uncle, Lawrence Goldrich and his wife Jan of Virginia Beach, her dearest friend, Carol Silverstein as well as five nieces and nephews, Jacob and Matthew Pariser, Farin, Quinn and Mason Weinger. A graveside service and interment was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Wally
Schachet-Briskin officiating. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apartments. Memorial donations to the Berger Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village, Virginia Beach. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.hdoliver.com. Frank Phillip Friedland Willi amsburg —Frank Phillip Friedland, 74, was born on August 5, 1942 to Raye and Sidney Friedland in Newport News, Virginia. He passed away on September 7, 2016 at home. A service celebrating Frank’s life was held at Temple Sinai with Rabbi Severine Sokol officiating. Contributions to Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center (to support pancreatic cancer research in memory of Frank Phillip Friedland). Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.nelsencares.com.
recounted Obama’s meetings with Peres in Israel and in Washington, D.C., including in 2012, when Obama awarded Peres the Presidential Medal of Honor. Obama’s characterizations of Peres were suffused with an appreciation of what the American president has acknowledged is his preferred vision of Israel—that of a nation peopled by pioneers ready to defend their country but also committed to pursuing peace. “Shimon was the essence of Israel itself—the courage of Israel’s fight for
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“Perhaps because he had seen Israel surmount overwhelming odds, Shimon never gave up on the possibility of peace between Israelis, Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors—not even after the heartbreak of the night in Tel Aviv that took Yitzhak Rabin,” referring to the 1995 assassination of Israel’s prime minister by a Jewish extremist. “A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever,” Obama said in the concluding paragraph. “Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves —to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others. For the gift of his friendship and the example of his leadership, todah rabah, Shimon.”
44 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
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obituaries Shirley L. Harris Norfolk—Shirley L. Harris, of Norfolk, died on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at the age of 91 years. She was born on December 4, 1924 in Norfolk to Louis Levine and Sarah Bloom Levine. Shirley was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and spent much of her life being involved with her family’s activities. In addition to her parents, Shirley is preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Leon M. Harris. Shirley is survived by her daughter Marsha Woodman (Jay) of Virginia Beach; son Eric W. Harris of Norfolk; daughter Lori Beim (Michael) of Longwood, Florida.; her grandchildren, Jennifer Stern (Dani), Shana Prohofsky (Joel), Sydney and Riley Beim; her great-grandchildren, Hayley and Daphne Stern, Eli and Leo Prohofsky; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. A graveside service was held at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Norfolk. Altmeyer Funeral Home-Southside Chapel, Virginia Beach. Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting www.altmeyerfh.com. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Berger-Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village or The Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater or a charity of your choice. To make a contribution to either fund, visit www.tmcfunding.com. Renee Heyman Virginia Beach—Services for Renee Heyman, who passed away at her home on June 28, 2016, will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 11 am at Temple Emanuel, 424 25th Street, Virginia Beach. Carl Hurwitz Portsmouth—Carl Hurwitz, 91, a longtime resident of Portsmouth, died Sunday, September 18, 2016 at the Beth Sholom home in Richmond. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 63 years, Shirley Levin Hurwitz. They owned Carl’s Market and Old Town Market for many years. He was a member of Gomley Chesed Synagogue and served honorably in the US Army.
He is survived by his children, Steven Hurwitz, Barbara Mandel (Michael) and Robert Hurwitz (Arlene); five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Graveside services were held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz officiating. Sturtevent Funeral Home, Portsmouth. Contributions to Beth Sholom Home, 1600 John Rolfe Parkway, Richmond, VA 23233.
Joseph Sitruk, former chief rabbi of France Joseph Sitruk, chief rabbi of France for more than two decades, has died. Sitruk died Sunday, September 25 after being hospitalized for several days following a stroke, The Times of Israel reported. He was 71. French President Francois Hollande called the Orthodox religious leader a “defender of secularism” in a statement announcing his death, according to The Associated Press. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised him as “a tireless fighter against racism and anti-Semitism.” Sitruk, a Tunisia native, served as head of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, from 1987 to 2008. His efforts as chief rabbi included promoting synagogue attendance and Jewish identity, according to AP. He also served 12 years as head of the Conference for European Rabbis. Sitruk was buried in Jerusalem.
Harmatz, who was born in Lithuania, was one of the last surviving group members who poisoned Nazi SS officers in an American prisoner of war camp in 1946. Over 2,200 Nazis fell sick, but no one is known to have died from the poisoning. When Harmatz proposed to Jewish leaders in prestate Israel a plan to kill as many Germans as Jews who died in the Holocaust, figures like David Ben-Gurion were said to be appalled. “We didn’t understand why it shouldn’t be paid back,” he told the AP last month about the group’s motivation. Harmatz, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, added that his goal had been to kill “as many [Germans] as possible.” After World War II, Harmatz immigrated to Israel, where he worked for the Jewish Agency for Israel and served as director general of World ORT, the network of Jewish-sponsored vocational institutions. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | October 3, 2016 | Jewish News | 45
Deborah Lipstadt provides free speech lessons to Rachel Weisz for Denial role
NEW YORK (JTA)—Before the most dramatic episode of her professional life became a movie, Deborah Lipstadt had some work to do. No, she didn’t have to make some last-minute changes to the script or take a crash course in acting. Her job: To teach Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz how to talk like a Jewish woman from Queens. Weisz, who grew up in London, portrays Lipstadt, a Holocaust historian, in the film Denial, which hit select theaters on September 30. The film tells the story of Lipstadt’s dramatic win in British court against a prominent Holocaust denier, David Irving. It was a high-profile case that made the Holocaust front-page news in 2000, and unequivocally refuted Holocaust denial at a time when the tragedy was fading from living memory. But before Weisz donned a red wig and delivered striking defenses of the Holocaust and free speech, she had to learn to sound just like Lipstadt. “She would call me and say, ‘Record for me how you say ‘I’ll call you.’ Record for me how you say ‘goodnight,’” Lipstadt recalls.
Weisz’s attention to detail paid off. “She got my accent,” Lipstadt says. Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University, had criticized Irving’s falsification of Holocaust history in her 1993 book Denying the Holocaust. In 1996, Irving sued her for libel in British court, where the burden of proof lies with the defendant. The movie depicts how Lipstadt won the case, exposing Irving as an intentional falsifier of Holocaust history. Lipstadt acknowledges that she had thought about the trial’s cinematic potential. Still, when producers first approached her about Denial in 2008, she laughed— the same reaction, she recalls, that she had when she found out Irving was suing her. “When you sign over a book, you are essentially giving them control over your story,” she says. “You’re not going to be able to say, ‘No, that’s not right, I don’t like that, don’t include this.’ So what I kept querying them about is, this is a movie about truth. Do you understand you have to stick to the truth?” The finished product, Lipstadt says, hews closely to the truth. The story heightens her tension with her lawyers and combines a string of meetings with Holocaust survivors into one encounter. But the courtroom scenes are taken verbatim from the record, and dramatic scenes—from Irving ambushing Lipstadt at a lecture to a tense Shabbat dinner with
46 | Jewish News | October 3, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
British Jewish leaders—happened more or less as they play out on screen. Decades ago, Lipstadt says she playfully imagined Meryl Streep portraying her in a movie. But she was very happy with how Weisz captured her character and interactions—from her forthright confidence to the culture clash with her lawyers. The orange scarf Weisz wears in the film’s promotional poster is the same one Lipstadt wore on a recent Friday in New York. As a child of Holocaust refugees, Weisz had a personal connection to the movie. And because she is Jewish, Lipstadt says, it was easier for Weisz to slip into Hebrew when the script called for it. “She was unbelievable,” Lipstadt says of Weisz. “She’s a professional’s professional. I think she would have brought to this the same professional quality even if she hadn’t been the child of two refugees because she’s such a great actress.” The movie’s title, Lipstadt says, refers both to Holocaust denial and to the self-denial she had to practice when she refrained from testifying. Standing on the side of a set of a movie about your life, she says, didn’t feel that different. “Everybody has a job—big, little, it’s all important,” she says. “I didn’t have a job. It was my story. It’s similar in the trial. Everybody had a job. I didn’t have a job. It was learning how to be to the side,
learning to let others speak for you in the trial and act for you.” The movie keeps the drama alive by focusing much of the plot on Lipstadt’s conflict with her lawyers. Throughout much of the film, Lipstadt attempts to coax her reserved British legal team to allow her and Holocaust survivors to take the stand. “There were moments that I wish had gotten more play in the movie,” she says. “The movie I would have made would have been 3½ hours, maybe four hours.” At times, filming felt almost too spot-on for Lipstadt. A central scene takes place at Auschwitz, where Lipstadt and one of her lawyers meet to gather evidence. The filming caused Lipstadt to relive some of the experiences, which felt “very strange, and I tried to stay as far out of sight lines as possible.” But the movie’s central message, she says, is about the need to affirm historical truth, uncomfortable as it may be. And in an age where Lipstadt says anti-Semitism is again rising, she is grateful to have played a role in preserving Holocaust memory. “I got a chance to be out there on the front lines,” she says. “I got a chance to fight the good fight, and I know so many people—Jews, African-Americans, gays, people who have faced prejudice, but certainly Jews—who would want the chance to fight the good fight. And I feel very lucky.”
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