Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 55 No. 01 | 2 Elul 5776 | September 5, 2016
16 Kiryat Yam young adults to visit Tidewater
Tuesday, September 20 UJFT Campaign Kickoff, 5:45 pm Israel Today, 7:30 pm
—pages 29, 31, 32
17 Tidewater Jewish Foundation selected for national program
19 Rabbi Zoberman’s annual visit to Israel HOME
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letter Continued Impact of Holocaust Commission’s Educator’s Conference
so very much enjoyed the seminar for educators hosted by the Holocaust Commission that I attended last July. In fact, it had a great impact on me. This year my students read the novel, In my Hands, about the Holocaust rescuer, Irene Gut Opdyke. It was a roaring success! They were all so moved by Irene—her strength, courage and conviction. My students were also horrified by the mass murder that was the Holocaust. We had many discussions in class about evil, what drives humans to hate and kill, racism and ignorance. The students drew some parallels to the hate rhetoric they hear today. They understood the importance of studying the Holocaust so that it never happens again. I am a bilingual special education teacher. My students are doubly special. They are specific learning disabled and English is not their first language. Many of them have just recently arrived in the country. Two of my students are undocumented. It was so humbling for me to see just how touched they were by Irene’s story. They were engaged every step of the way—and the novel was not easy for them to understand because of the level of English. Nevertheless, they persisted and passed all the assessments with flying colors!
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As a final project, I wanted them to reach out to survivors. So I had them read the stories of Kitty Sacks and Dana Cohen. They really wish they lived in Virginia so they could meet them personally. Enclosed you will find the letters the students wrote to them…in English. Please give them to Kitty and Dana and let them know how much Ms. Bertini’s students at Vineland High School admire them. This last week of school the students will watch the short documentary given out at the conference at the conference about The White Rose. They have asked me countless times why no one tried to stop Hitler. I think it is so important that they know there were some good, brave Germans who did recognize the monster posing as a man. So, thank you Commission for your extremely important work. I sincerely hope I am able to attend another seminar at some point. Please tell Kitty and Dana that Lisa’s big sister sends her kindest regards! All the best, Sonya Bertini Bilingual Resource Room Teacher Vineland High School South Campus Vineland, New Jersey
Beth Sholom Village continues to receive top award
eth Sholom Village receives daily phone calls asking about bed availability for long-term care and severe Alzheimer’s and Dementia needs. When family members and loved ones call, they may have heard about BSV by word of mouth or a friend who utilized the facility’s services. In some instances, people conduct research before they make that first call. When perusing the Internet for information, aside from reading through specific websites of facilities, one option is to go to Medicare. Gov/Nursing Home Compare. (The website is: https://www.medicare. gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html.) There, information is readily available for any nursing facility. Rating categories are: overall ratings, health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. On this site, Beth Sholom Village is a Five–Star rated facility. BSV is the only stand-alone skilled nursing facility within a 50-mile radius of Beth Sholom’s zip code of 23464 that has the top rating. This accomplishment does not come easily, and is made possible only by Beth Sholom Village’s committed and hardworking team of professionals.
This letter was sent to the Holocaust Commission with letters for Kitty Sacks and Dana Cohen this sumer.
Contents Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 BSV receives top recognition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Hal Sacks Jewish News Archives. . . . . . . . . . . 6 Israel and Turkey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Op-Ed: Why Tim Kaine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Op-Ed- Why Mike Pence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Kiryat Yam and Tidewater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 TJF a Life and Legacy program partner . . . . 17 Musings of a mom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Brith Sholom’s Club 50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Rabbi Zoberman in Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Teen Summers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Quotable Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diamonds Direct’s grand opening. . . . . . . . . Back to school with BINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Changes for Beth El’s religious education program. . . . . . . . . . . New professor of Jewish Studies at ODU . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Memoriam: Gene Wilder. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
29 29 30 30 30 31 34 35 35 36 38 39
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“You are my children, you are
Friday, September 9/6 Elul Light candles at 7:02 pm
all my children, I lost everyone
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I loved, but now I have you
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and your friends.”
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Briefs Philly artist paints over swastikas with flowers, has neighbors do the same A Jewish artist in suburban Philadelphia turned swastikas painted on her trash can into a neighborhood demonstration of love and caring. Esther Cohen-Eskin of Havertown discovered the Nazi symbol painted on her trash can on August 19, The Associated Press reported. She and her husband have lived there for 20 years. “The swastika is such a deep-rooted sign of hatred for everyone, especially Judaism, that I felt so targeted,” she told the AP. Cohen-Eskin decided to paint over the swastikas with flowers. Then she wrote a letter to her neighbors asking them to paint a swastika on their trash bin and paint over it as she had. Garbage cans in the neighborhood have been painted with flowers and other symbols of love and caring. People as far away as Canada, Germany and Ireland called to offer their support. Some sent photos of their own decorated trash containers, according to the AP. “It gave me a whole new reassurance in humanity,” said Cohen-Eskin. “I feel invigorated by all the love. It’s exciting. It makes you feel there’s so much good.” (JTA) Apple issues security fix to Israeli firm’s iPhone snoop hack The discovery of an Israeli firm’s secret method of hacking into iPhones and iPads prompted Apple Inc. to issue a patch to fix a security flaw in its products. The iPhone hack by the NSO Group, an Israeli company that makes software for governments that can secretly target mobile phones and gather information, was discovered after a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident flagged a suspicious internet link sent to his phone, Reuters reported. The human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, forwarded the message to researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. They discovered the first known case of software that can remotely take over a fully up-to-date iPhone 6. Experts at Citizen Lab worked with the security company Lookout and determined that the link would have installed a program taking advantage of three flaws that Apple and others were not aware of.
“Once infected, Mansoor’s phone would have become a digital spy in his pocket, capable of employing his iPhone’s camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording his WhatsApp and Viber calls, logging messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements,” Citizen Lab wrote in a report. The researchers said they had alerted Apple, and the company developed a fix and distributed it as an automatic update to iPhone 6 owners. Apple spokesman Fred Sainz confirmed that the company had issued the patch after being contacted by researchers. Tools such as the one used by NSO to remotely exploit a current iPhone cost as much as $1 million, according to Reuters. NSO Chief Executive Shalev Hulio referred questions to spokesman Zamir Dahbash, who said the company “cannot confirm the specific cases” covered in the Citizen Lab and Lookout reports. Dahbash said NSO abides by export laws in selling to government agencies, which then operate the software. “The agreements signed with the company’s customers require that the company’s products only be used in a lawful manner,” he added. “Specifically, the products may only be used for the prevention and investigation of crimes.” Dahbash did not answer follow-up questions, including whether the exposure of the tool’s use against Mansoor in the UAE and a Mexican journalist would end any sales to those countries. NSO has kept a low profile in the security world, despite its 2014 sale of a majority stake for $120 million to the California private equity firm Francisco Partners. Last November, Reuters reported that NSO had begun calling itself Q and was looking for a buyer for close to $1 billion. (JTA)
Report that Soviets were delivering nukes to Egypt sent US on highest alert during ’73’ war The United States went on high alert in October 1973 because of intelligence indicating that the Soviet Union was delivering nuclear weapons to Egypt at the height of the Yom Kippur War, newly declassified CIA papers show.
4 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
It has long been known that the National Security Council under President Richard Nixon ordered a Def Con III (or Defense Condition III) alert, the highest available in peacetime, because of a possible nuclear threat against Israel. What was not known until the CIA declassified its briefings for Nixon, was what triggered the concern. Tim Naftali, a presidential historian who has directed the Nixon presidential library, reviewed the documents in a post on CNN’s website. “American intelligence had detected a Soviet ship headed for Egypt that it believed was carrying nuclear weapons,” Naftali wrote. “In addition, the United States detected two Soviet amphibious ships nearing Egypt.” Previous reporting showed that the Soviets were alarmed by the Def Con III alert and sought to quickly defuse the situation, reassuring the Americans that no nuclear action was planned. The Def Con III alert put in place on Oct. 24, 1973 was removed the next day. The Soviet ships near Egypt dispersed. However, it is not known what happened to the ship that reached Egypt, which intelligence officials believed carried nuclear weapons. (JTA)
California State Legislature passes anti-BDS bill The California State Assembly voted 60-0 on Tuesday, August 30 to send an anti-BDS bill to the governor for approval, a week after the Senate passed it. The bill, which the Senate passed in a 34-1 vote on August 24, differed from its original version introduced in April by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat, The Jewish Journal reported. The earlier version banned the state from making contracts worth over $100,000 with companies boycotting Israel. In order to satisfy critics, who said it violated the constitutional right to boycott, the bill was modified to remove references to the Jewish state. The version that was passed does not prohibit companies working with the state from boycotting Israel. Rather, companies have to certify that they do not violate California civil rights laws in boycotting
a foreign country, according to The Jewish Journal. “The bottom line is that the state should not subsidize discrimination in any form,” Bloom said in the State Assembly. Gov. Jerry Brown has 12 days to approve or veto the measure. Dean Schramm, the American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles chairman, said his group is “very confident” that Brown will sign the bill into law. “This bill sends the clear and unmistakable message that the state of California wants no part of the goals and tactics of this pernicious movement,” Janna Weinstein Smith, director of the AJC’s Los Angeles Region, said in a statement. (JTA)
Last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor donates $1M to US Holocaust museum The last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg war crimes trials has donated $1 million to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington D.C. Benjamin Ferencz will donate the sum on an annual renewable basis, up to $10 million, to the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, according to a statement by the museum. “I have witnessed holocausts and I cannot stop trying to deter future genocides,” Ferencz said. “You cannot kill an entrenched ideology with a gun. Compassion, tolerance and compromise must be taught at all levels.” Ferencz, 96, served as chief prosecutor for the U.S.-conducted Einsatzgruppen trial of former Nazi leaders in 1947-1948. In what was his first criminal trial ever, he successfully prosecuted 22 SS death squad members for their involvement in murdering over one million Jews and other minorities. After the trial, Ferencz worked to secure restitution for Holocaust survivors. Ferencz is a long-time supporter of the museum, which in 2015 bestowed him with its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award. The new donation is being given as part of his initiative, the Planethood Foundation, which promotes international law as an alternative to war. Ferencz was born in Romania, but moved to the U.S. as a baby with his family to avoid anti-Semitic persecution. (JTA)
Torah Thought A time to take stock of our lives and our world
he 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on America is almost upon us. Let us stop and reflect on this moment. As Jews, let us also see this moment through the lens of Torah. The 9/11 attacks were proof that there are people who hate us and the freedoms we stand for, who want us dead, and whose jihadist ideology motivates them to kill themselves in order to kill more of us. This is not about socio-economic inequalities or echoes of colonialism, although those factors are secondary aids in jihadist recruitment. The most important cause of jihadism is the mentality that the entire world must be brought violently into submission to the One God, as conceptualized by a subset of one faith community. What does the Torah say we ought to do about that? The Torah teaches us to seek peace and pursue it, but it does not counsel us to allow enemies simply to slaughter us. “When you take the field against your enemies…” begins the 20th chapter of Deuteronomy, which we will be reading on the Shabbat just before Sept. 11. Some wars are just. Defending ourselves against jihadists—ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah—is just, even as defending ourselves against Hitler was just. Being prepared for war does not preclude ongoing efforts to cultivate new ground for understanding with people who are prepared to coexist. Just as there is a time for war, so is there a time for peace; uprooting is sometimes necessary, but so is planting. 9/11 was the work of people who substitute bloodthirsty zeal for the pacifying work of ethically-administered justice. This week’s Torah portion, “Shofetim,” “judges,” contains immortal teachings on
the goal of judging: “Govern the people with due justice. You shall not judge unfairly; you shall show no partiality. Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive.” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). On this 15th anniversary of 9/11, we should also reflect on the diversity of its victims: Americans and foreigners living and working productively in our country; Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Jews and Gentiles. The fratricidal identity politics and the stereotyping nativism of our contemporary politics dishonor the memories of the victims. People who hate murdered them. We ought not to respond in ways that feed hatred. We know what the Torah says about that: “Do not hate your neighbor in your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:17-18). Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19). The dance of the Jewish calendar and the solar, secular one is such that this year, Sept. 11 falls during the month of Elul. This is the final month before Rosh Hashanah, when we believe that God judges all of humanity. We believe in the One God, and jihadists also believe in One God. But the difference between our monotheism and theirs is that our conception of God allows people to be different, even in holding to different faiths. “When you look up to the sky and behold the sun and the moon…These, the LORD your God allotted to other peoples…” (Deuteronomy 4:19) We Jews cherish the covenant given to us at Sinai, but we are part of the family of nations. All people, Jews and Gentiles alike, are to observe the covenant given to Noah’s children— that is to say, to all humanity—after the Flood. Our neighbors stand justified before Heaven if they are good and ethical people. We do not seek to force them to abjure their faith. As we approach the anniversary of the worst attack on American soil of the past three quarters of a century, let us remember and honor the victims; let us recommit to the values that distinguish us from the murderers; and let us each do our part to repair the world. —Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel
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jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 5
from the hal Sacks Jewish News Archives
September 8, 2006 A developer of real estate, Marvin Simon was best known in the Jewish community for developing ideas, synagogues, Jewish Community Centers and Jewish agencies. He died August 30 at home, surrounded by his family. On Sunday, September 3, Ohef Sholom Temple’s sanctuary was filled as the community gathered to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of this man who meant so much to so many.
WITHOUT A PLAN is just a wish.
September 6, 1996 Headlining the Tidewater Jewish Forum’s 1996–1997 season was versatile showman Joel Grey. Through story and song, Grey reflects on his life, the Yiddish theater, and his father, the late comedian Mickey Katz.
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Under the leadership of Mrs. Ben Paul Snyder, chairman, and Mrs. William Koehler, co-chairman, the Norfolk JCC-JWV, Armed Services Committee, started to intensify its program for service personnel in the area for the fall. Mrs. Ralph Schneider accepted the chairmanship of the “Home Hospitality Committee,’ which arranged for “our boys” to be taken care of in local homes during the High Holidays.
To browse or search the Jewish News Archives, go to www.jewishnewsva.org and click on archives. 6 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Hamas, natural gas and other good reasons Israel and Turkey should stick together Andrew Tobin
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israel and Turkey ought to be friends, geopolitically speaking. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put it in January: “Israel needs a country like Turkey in this region. We, too, should admit that we need a country like Israel.” But the regional powers often can’t seem to make it work. In 2010, Turkey cut ties with Israel over its deadly military raid of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara flotilla. And last month, days after the Turkish parliament ratified a reconciliation agreement to restore bilateral relations with Israel, the states traded recriminations over Israel’s bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza. Yet if Israel and Turkey can keep from quarreling, they each have much to gain. “The situation for the past six years wasn’t good for either of us, Turkey or Israel, and eventually everyone realized we should repair the damage. So that’s what happened,” David Kushner, professor emeritus of Middle Eastern history at the University of Haifa, says. “I think most people actually welcome this new phase. It may not bring back the intimacy of the past, but both countries realize their interests are common, and that’s what counts in international relations.” Israel and Turkey are to exchange ambassadors, as per the reconciliation deal. Here are three good reasons they shouldn’t bring them home and return to their standoff anytime soon.
Gaza needs rebuilding The main source of tension between Israel and Turkey is also perhaps their best opportunity for collaboration: Gaza. Under the reconciliation deal, Israel didn’t lift its naval blockade of the territory, as Turkey had demanded, but it did promise Turkey would be allowed to provide overland support to the coastal strip. Israel met Turkey’s two other longstanding demands as well. The state paid
$20 million to compensate the families of the nine Turks killed by Israeli soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdogan in 2013, under pressure from President Barack Obama. In return, Turkey pledged under the deal not to allow Hamas to conduct terrorist attacks from its territory, to do what it can toward the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilians held by the Islamist terrorist group, and to pass a law ensuring Israeli soldiers are not sued for their role in the Mavi Marmara raid. Erdogan has long been a prominent champion of Hamas and critic of Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. He was to visit Gaza in 2013 until Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s seizure of power derailed the plan. Hamas, which vows Israel’s destruction, has headquarters in Istanbul and receives funding from Turkey. Erdogan called Israel a “terror state” in a 2009 CNN interview. “The Turkish public’s empathy for the Palestinians, Erdogan’s Muslim identity, the fact that he sees Hamas as legitimate, the almost inevitably harming of civilians in conflicts in Gaza: All these are puzzle pieces that come together to make it hard for Erdogan to resist criticizing Israel on this issue,” Gallia Lindenstrauss, a Turkey researcher at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies think tank, says. With Israel on guard against Hamas— not to mention its control of the West Bank—there wouldn’t seem to be much basis for Israeli-Turkish cooperation on the Palestinian issue. But Israel apparently has determined not to seek Hamas’ overthrow, fearing its government would be replaced by something worse. Instead, Israel has fought to blunt the military threat from Hamas while trying to provide the group with enough incentives to stave off the next conflict. Even hawkish Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman voiced support for rebuilding Gaza’s economy and infrastructure. Both sides have an interest, then, in
provisions of the reconciliation deal that allow Turkey to provide humanitarian aid, as long as it goes through Israel’s Ashdod port, and to help build infrastructure in Gaza—including water and desalination plants and a hospital. “Last year, war broke out partly because Hamas had nothing to lose,” Dror Zeevi, professor of Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says. “It’s believed that’s why Hamas opened hostilities against Israel or allowed things to deteriorate. Turkey might be a solution to that problem.” At the same time, Gaza remains a potential flashpoint between Israel and Turkey. Another major incident like the Mavi Marmara raid could blow up rapprochement.
Gas, naturally Israel is sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of natural gas reserves, according to officials. And Turkey is in the market for the fossil fuel. Although the reconciliation deal did not deal with gas, it was in the air during negotiations. Netanyahu has said restoring relations with Ankara is key to unlocking his country’s recently discovered gas bounty, and bolstering its political and economic position. A pipeline through Turkey could open up an export market for Israel there as well as in Europe. “This is a strategic matter for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in announcing the signing of the reconciliation deal last month. “This matter could not have been continued on page 8
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Israel continued from page 7
advanced without this agreement, and now we will take action to advance it.” Turkey has been more circumspect. “Firstly, let normalization begin, and after that, the level to which we cooperate on whatever subject will be tied to the efforts of the two countries,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in July. “There is no point in talking about these details now.” But Turkey has long sought to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, from which it gets most of its natural gas. Turkey and Russia’s falling-out over the Turkish downing of a Russian warplane in November likely provided additional motivation. Russia retaliated to that incident by canceling plans to build a gas pipeline through Turkey, though relations between the countries quickly improved. “Both leaderships [Israel and Turkey] have put the gas as an important issue on the agenda. Turkey doesn’t like that it’s so dependent on Russia,” Lindenstrauss says. “There is an interest [in the pipeline for Israeli gas], but will it translate into reality? This I’m less certain of.” Even without a pipeline, reconciliation should help promote trade between Israel and Turkey, which despite tensions more than doubled in the past six years to $5.6 billion.
Cooperation against the chaos The Arab Spring of several years ago upended the Middle East and North Africa, leaving Turkey with few friends and Israel with ever-more unpredictable enemies. The states are better off confronting the myriad challenges of the region in collaboration than at cross purposes. Awareness of this fact likely helped drive reconciliation. “There isn’t much reason to be optimistic about a settlement in Syria anytime soon,” the University of Haifa’s Kushner says. “In the meantime, Turkey does what she thinks is right for her, and we in Israel do what we think is right for us. But there is a common interest between Turkey and Israel to be able to coordinate things when
we need to, which I think was a reason we got reconciled.” Israel has seen some benefits from the Arab Spring. The threat from the Syrian army was eliminated, and Sunni Muslims proved more open to cooperation against the rise of the Islamic State and Iran. But new potential threats have emerged, too. Hezbollah fighters, busy propping up Syrian President Bashar Assad for now, have become battle hardened, and the Shiite terrorist group has stockpiled some 120,000 missiles, compared to 7,000 some 10 years ago, according to Israel. No one knows what could emerge from the free-for-alls in Syria and the Sinai. After initially seeming to benefit from the Arab Spring, Turkey soon began sustaining loss after loss. Former Turkish allies Assad and ex-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi lost control of their respective countries. At least 2.7 million refugees are estimated to have poured into Turkey since the start of the Syrian civil war. And waves of Islamic State members and Kurdish terrorists have launched devastating attacks on Turkish soil. Perhaps Turkey’s biggest worry is the growing power of Kurdish militias in Syria, which appears to have helped motivate Erdogan last month to send tanks, warplanes and special forces across the border. A potential shared concern for Israel and Turkey is Iran’s growing regional clout, particularly in Syria, though Israel is focused on the south and Turkey the north. “Israel doesn’t want Iran to have as much influence in Syria as it did before the civil war. Turkey doesn’t want Iran to dominate Syria and Iraq. This looks like basis for cooperation,” says Lindenstrauss. Short of military collaboration—a hallmark of the Israel-Turkey relationship prior to the last decade—the two countries’ restored diplomatic relations should at least help them avoid miscalculations, which both sides have learned can quickly turn deadly and contentious in the Middle East.
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Election 2016 Poll: Clinton crushing Trump among Florida Jews; Orthodox for Trump 2–1 NEW YORK (JTA)—The vast majority of Florida Jews will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the presidential election, according to a new poll. Orthodox Jews were the only Florida Jewish demographic to support Trump.The poll, conducted by GBA Strategies, found Clinton was beating Trump among Florida Jews, 66 percent to 23 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein earned 6 and 2 percent of the state’s Jewish vote, respectively. Jews make up 4 to 5 percent of the overall Florida electorate. Clinton is leading Trump by a few points in Florida polls. Clinton beat Trump in almost every Florida Jewish demographic. Reform, unaffiliated and Conservative Jews all favored the Democrat, as did Jews of every age group. Among the Orthodox, however, Trump was the choice, 66 to 22 percent. Forty-two percent of Florida Jews identify as Reform, while 24 percent identify as Conservative, 19 percent as unaffiliated and 6 percent as Orthodox. “The only problem Hillary Clinton has with Jewish voters is the same problem Barack Obama had with
Jewish voters, and that is there are not more of them,” said Jim Gerstein, a founding partner of GBA Strategies. The poll was commissioned by the Schlep Labs PAC, which grew out of efforts to boost Jewish votes for Obama in 2008 and 2012. The findings were released in Washington, D.C., at a briefing conducted by Alex Soros, who chairs the liberal Jewish social action group Bend the Arc; its chief executive officer, Stosh Cotler, and Jeremy Ben Ami, head of J Street, the dovish Israel lobby. Gerstein is a founder of J Street. In 2012, Obama won the Florida Jewish vote, 68 to 31 percent. The poll, which was conducted August 4-8 among 500 likely Jewish voters and had a 4.4 percent margin of error, also found that Israel is a low priority for Jewish voters. Only 8 percent of Jewish Florida voters said Israel was one of their top two election issues, compared to 35 percent who chose the economy and 29 percent who indicated terrorism. “Israel is not the defining issue for the American Jewish voter,” Ben-Ami said. “The Jewish electorate is
not going to be moved or swayed by hawkish, uncritical rhetoric related to Israel.” The poll found that most Florida Jews supported last year’s agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions. Fiftyone percent of Florida Jews supported the deal, while 39 percent opposed it. In addition, only 2 percent said they were casting their vote in the November election based on policy toward Iran. Jewish voters in Florida have drawn attention ever since the 2000 election, where a confusing ballot led a large number of voters in heavily Jewish Palm Beach County to vote for Pat Buchanan, the Reform Party candidate often accused of anti-Semitism. George W. Bush carried the state by 537 votes, which won him the election. He won the state again in 2004. In 2008, comedian Sarah Silverman led “The Great Schlep” initiative, which urged young Jews to travel to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012.
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Election 2016 Donald Trump again disavows David Duke following ex-KKK leader’s robocall endorsement WASHINGTON (JTA)—Donald Trump once again disavowed David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who is urging Louisiana voters to send him to the Senate and Trump to the White House. “Mr. Trump has continued to denounce David Duke and any group or individual
associated with a message of hate,” his campaign told Politico after it emerged that Duke mentioned Trump in a campaign robocall. The robocall cites what Duke, who is seeking the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, depicts as the threats
of immigration, gun control and black advocacy. “It’s time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate,” he says in the call, which was first reported by BuzzFeed.
Trump has disavowed Duke multiple times since declining to do so in February, when the white supremacist expressed his support for the Republican’s candidacy.
jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 11
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Why Tim Kaine, Clinton’s VP pick, is good for Israel and Jewish values Ben Cardin
(JTA)—American Jewish voters have naturally voted for Democratic candidates because it has meant voting to support strong social justice and a strong U.S.Israel relationship. Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential choice, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will continue Democratic action on economic and educational opportunities, retirement security and quality, affordable health care, and especially Israel’s security and Middle East peace. The Clinton-Kaine ticket promises to build upon a strong tradition of Democratic leadership, while the Republicans’ ticket of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence offers a reckless and dangerous blend of empty rhetoric and inconsistent positions that should alarm all Americans, particularly American Jews. Clinton has deep knowledge of the history of the Middle East and a proven record of engaging with the leaders and peoples of this complex region. She also has a record advocating for U.S.-Israel ties in the Senate and hands-on experience managing the relationship as secretary of state. In contrast, Trump’s shocking inexperience and wild pronouncements, including suggestions that he would abandon commitments to key U.S. allies, has earned unprecedented repudiation by foreign policy experts across the political spectrum. The distinction between the two parties’ vice presidential nominees is just as stark. Take social justice issues. Pence’s long-held positions on issues such as reproductive freedom, fair and balanced immigration reform, environmental protection, civil rights and LGBT rights place him far to the right of the American Jewish mainstream—and to Kaine, a lifelong progressive who has fought for equality and justice throughout his career in public service. On Israel, Pence is quick to profess his
support for the Jewish state. But stated support alone is not sufficient. What matters in these dangerous times is a mature, deep understanding of the challenges facing Israel as it seeks avenues for peace with security. And what matters are ongoing, real-world ties to the Jewish community in this country and the leadership in Jerusalem. Kaine, who proudly identifies as a “strongly pro-Israel Democrat,” has demonstrated both throughout his career. Kaine serves on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, its subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian affairs, and the Armed Services Committee, positions that give him a leadership role and a comprehensive understanding of fast-changing conditions across the region. As the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I have a front row seat to Kaine’s thoughtfulness, inquisitiveness and mastery of the complex issues facing the United States, Israel and our allies and partners. He has had meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, traveled to Israel and visited an Iron Dome battery on the border with Gaza. He has stood up time and again for Israel in Congress,
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Election 2016 from emergency funding for its successful anti-rocket system to the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2015. Kaine was vocal in condemning the United Nations Human Rights Council for its decision to launch a one-sided investigation into Israel’s actions during the 2014 conflict in Gaza while ignoring the unprovoked rocket attacks against Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists that touched off the conflict. Kaine knows that protecting Israel’s security also means ensuring that Israel has a healthy economy. As governor of Virginia, he worked closely with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States at the time, Sallai Meridor, resulting in a 2008 agreement to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Virginia and Israel on private sector industrial research and development. For Israel, the agreement was only the second it had ever entered into with a state government, and both parties have seen tangible benefits. A nuclear-armed Iran would represent an existential threat to Israel, and Kaine has been a key leader in bipartisan efforts to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon. He negotiated the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that ensured Congress could review the nuclear accord and advocated for a resilient and fully resourced U.S. military so that “all options are on the table.” Kaine knows that the threats emanating from Iran are about more than its nuclear program. Iran’s continued ballistic missile testing and state sponsorship
of terrorism are equally troubling and threatening to Israel. He worked on a bill with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to extend sanctions on Iran until President Barack Obama and the IAEA can guarantee that Iran’s nuclear material is for peaceful purposes. Finally, Kaine understands that support for a safe, secure Jewish state goes far beyond easy slogans and reflexive criticism of its many foes. Farsighted U.S. diplomacy is critical in helping Israel reach its goal of a sustainable, secure peace. Like a strong majority of American Jews, Kaine remains committed to a twostate solution that has been the stated policy of Prime Minister Netanyahu and every recent Israeli government before his, and which is the critical prerequisite to the kind of peace that Israel’s citizens deserve and want. Kaine understands that tough talk about Israel’s security is just that—talk —if not built on a foundation of active support for U.S. peacemaking efforts in the troubled region. Close to home, it was Kaine who held the first Passover seder in the Virginia governor’s mansion. He has a long record of working closely with Virginia’s small, but active Jewish community. For the record, there are two synagogues in Pence’s former congressional district. Surely he would have benefited from knowing them better. —U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, is the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 13
Election 2016 OP-ED
How Mike Pence, Trump’s VP pick, supports traditional Jewish values Elliot Bartky and Allon Friedman
(JTA)—With the presidential race heating up, a number of progressive Jewish commentators have portrayed the Republicans’ vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, as a conservative extremist opposed to Jewish beliefs and values. As officers of the only statewide, grassroots Jewish and Israel advocacy organization in Indiana—who also have had the privilege of working closely with Pence and other Indiana legislators of both political parties to pass important pro-Jewish, pro-Israel legislation—we dispute this inaccurate portrayal. In fact, there is strong reason to believe that such opposition to Pence is much less a reflection of his positions than an indication of how far many Jewish Americans have strayed over recent years from core Jewish beliefs. Take for example Pence’s demonstrable attachment to the Jewish state of Israel, which he has called “America’s most cherished ally.” In sharp contrast to many of his critics, Pence is a vocal supporter of Israel’s right to defend itself against sworn enemies like Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. While some of Pence’s opponents support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which opposes the existence of a Jewish state in any form, he recently signed into Indiana law what Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, called “the toughest anti-BDS legislation in the nation.” Why don’t Pence’s undeniably pro-Israel positions help win over his Jewish critics? Douglas Bloomfield in a recent antiPence piece argued that “for most Jewish voters, support for Israel is not a determinative issue but is often around fourth of fifth on their priority list.” Bloomfield is correct when he observes that for far too many American Jews, the security of Israel is of little importance. Pence’s support for Israel doesn’t resonate because much of American Jewry has chosen to distance 14 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
itself from the Jewish state. Another example involves social issues related to marriage and family. As it turns out, Pence’s positions on these issues are largely in accord with traditional Jewish beliefs. An important aspect of traditional Judaism involves discriminating or distinguishing between one thing and others. Of course, the type of discrimination we are referring to is not like the historical prejudice of whites toward blacks. But Judaism involves discrimination nonetheless. Kodesh, the Hebrew word for holy, implies separating or making something distinct. For practicing Jews this concept applies to dietary practices, clothing, family and marital relations, and keeping the Sabbath. Making distinctions also requires making value judgments. Pence’s religious perspective, which shapes his positions on marriage and family, is also dependent on making distinctions. This type of thinking is disdained by liberal Jews, who have redefined Judaism as rejecting distinctions within the Jewish tradition and in their relations to non-Jews. Another example involves religious liberty, a concept that has allowed American Jews historically unprecedented space and freedom to pursue their lives as Jews.
Election 2016 Pence’s statesmanship has been grounded in the American constitutional tradition of individual rights and limited government, which are required for religious liberty to flourish. Pence’s opponents, however, are opposed to these classic liberal ideals and support the use of government power to compel people to abandon their religious convictions in the public square. For traditional Jews, this in effect means being forced to adhere to whatever happens to be the prevailing social norms. This type of behavior is akin to classical anti-Semitism, which demanded that Jews abandon their discriminating religious beliefs. This issue arose with Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which Pence signed into law in 2015. Though Indiana’s RFRA is one of 21 state RFRA laws, Democrats have built an entire campaign against Pence by claiming that his RFRA was designed to deny LGBT civil liberties. At the 2016 Democratic convention, Nevada State Sen. Pat Spearman claimed that Pence “used religion as a weapon to discriminate.” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts argued that Trump “picked a vice president famous for trying to make it legal to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign characterized Pence as the “most extreme VP pick in a generation,” claiming that “Pence personally spearheaded an anti-LGBT law that legalized discrimination against the LGBT community.” These claims have been echoed by some Jews. Rabbi Dennis Sasso, whose Indianapolis congregation is affiliated with the Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, asserted that Pence’s failure as governor is most evident in his support of RFRA, since it “allows a private business the right to restrict or limit services to LGBTQ persons on religious grounds.” The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council testified before the state legislature that if RFRA were adopted, “people could use their religion to justify almost any discriminatory action they choose to take in their public lives.” In his article, Bloomfield wrote that Indiana’s RFRA law permits “Indiana businesses (to) refuse to serve gays, lesbians and others by citing religious objections.”
In reality RFRA is nothing like what its critics claim. Indiana University law professor David Orentlicher observed that it was “designed to protect religious practice from discrimination by government.” Orentlicher, a Democrat, is himself a former Indiana state representative and currently a candidate for Congress. Law professor Douglas Laycock, who helped write the federal RFRA law, notes that religious freedom laws are mostly used for a wide range of reasons including “churches feeding the homeless” and “Muslim women wearing scarves or veils.” “They’re about Amish buggies. They’re about Sabbath observers,” he said. RFRA neither intends to nor enables the wholesale denial of LGBT rights and does nothing to permit or promote discrimination against LGBT individuals as individuals in the marketplace. In fact, its critics are using it as a smokescreen to conceal their own wholesale rejection of fundamental constitutional and religious principles, including religious liberty. The real, underlying issue that prompted such fury against Pence is that the RFRA may, depending on how the courts rule, permit individuals and businesses to adhere to their religious beliefs on how to define marriage. Supporters of RFRA believe in the classic liberal idea that government should not compel citizens to abandon the free exercise of their religious beliefs in the public square. It is ironic that an evangelical Christian politician who has demonstrated tenacious support for the Jewish state of Israel, who advocates aggressively for religious liberty, and who supports the practice of traditional Jewish values has been so demonized by individuals and groups claiming to represent Judaism. As American Jewry drifts further from its traditional religious moorings, we should expect to see more of such rhetoric. —Elliot Bartky, PhD, and Allon Friedman, MD, are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana. Bartkey is associate professor of political science at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. Friedman is associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Report: Sheldon Adelson meets with Donald Trump, suggests he demonstrate humility
epublican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson told Donald Trump in a private meeting that the Republican presidential candidate must demonstrate a measure of humility, The New York Times reported. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, also told Trump in the meeting last month in Adelson’s suite at the St. Regis Hotel in New York that he was committed to his presidential campaign. The newspaper cited five unnamed Republicans briefed on the meeting who were not authorized to publicly disclose information about the get-together. Adelson’s wife, Miriam, also a large donor to the Republican Party, reportedly was at the meeting with Trump on Aug. 24. Neither Adelson has contributed to Trump’s campaign, to groups supporting him or to the Republican National Committee since they pledged to support him during a private meeting in May at the same hotel, the Times reported. Trump’s campaign would not comment to the Times on the meeting. Many of the Republican Party’s most generous contributors have refused to give to Trump’s campaign, according to the newspaper. (JTA)
Trump campaign CEO reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks, his ex-wife says
onald Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks over a private school in Los Angeles that accepted his twin daughters, his ex-wife charged during a court battle over post-divorce financial issues. Bannon’s second wife, Mary Louise Piccard, said in a sworn court declaration that Bannon said he did not want to send his daughters to The Archer School for Girls for the 2007–08 school year because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” The Associated Press reported. The AP obtained and reviewed the court papers, which were part of a request for Bannon to pay $25,000 in legal fees and cover the $64,000 in tuition. “He said he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats,’” Piccard said in a 2007 court filing. Bannon took over as the head of Trump’s presidential campaign last month. He previously served as executive chairman of the conservative website Breitbart News, which the Hillary Clinton campaign has charged as being anti-Semitic. Bannon spokeswoman Alexandra Preate denied that Bannon made anti-Semitic comments about the school. The AP also cited remarks that his ex-wife said Bannon made while visiting private schools in 2000. At one school, Bannon reportedly asked the director why there were so many books about Hanukkah in the library. At another school, Piccard said Bannon asked her if it bothered her that the school building was formerly a synagogue. Piccard filed for divorce in 1997 after accusing Bannon of beating her up in an altercation over money. The Trump campaign has come under fire for anti-Semitism, notably in July, when the Republican candidate’s website showed a Star of David shape and dollar bills superimposed over an image of Clinton and the words “most corrupt candidate ever.” (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 15
The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater invites you to its
Kiryat Yam: Tidewater’s Sister City in Israel
2017 Annual Campaign Kickoff
Young adult Kiryat Yam residents to visit Tidewater this month
Featuring Special Guest, Dennis Ross
Former U.S. Peace Negotiator, Diplomatic Adviser, and Ambassador
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 | 5:45pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts 201 Market Street • Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Free and open to all members of the Jewish Community Kosher cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres backstage
Usher in the start of the 2017 Annual Campaign with your community! Celebrate the Annual Campaign and its donors, who enable us to meet today’s challenges and secure our Jewish future, at home and around the world. Enjoy an “insider’s briefing” with Ambassador Ross. This behindthe-scenes exclusive event will enlighten, inform, and inspire you. Campaign Kickoff will take place immediately prior to the 7:30pm appearance of Ambassador Ross on the same stage. This later event kicks off the
Community Relations Council (CRC) of the United Jewish Federation of
Tidewater, the Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ 6th annual Israel Today series, in collaboration with the Virginia Beach Forum.
Complimentary tickets for this Israel Today/Virginia Beach Forum event are available to the first 100 individuals who RSVP for Campaign Kickoff (and they are going fast!) The tickets will be available at the sign-in table at Campaign Kickoff.
RSVP by Thursday, Sept. 15 to Patty Malone at 757-965-6115 or email@example.com.
Must attend kickoff reception to pick up tickets.
16 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
seaside town with beautiful beaches. A vibrant arts and music culture. A diverse and pluralistic Jewish community comprised of people from all backgrounds. Rumors of mermaid sightings in the water. No, this is not a description of Tidewater; rather, it’s Kiryat Yam, a remarkably similar city on the Mediterranean Sea in Israel. With all of these similarities, a partnership and exchange program between the Center for Young Adults in Kiryat Yam and YAD in Tidewater makes perfect sense. Founded in 1939, Kiryat Yam is a suburb of Haifa, with a population of approximately 45,000. The seaside city is home to one of the largest concentrations of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, and half of its residents are from the former Soviet Union. This large immigrant population is due to the city’s immigration absorption center, located right on the beach. Additionally, around 2,000 Holocaust survivors currently reside in Kiryat Yam. “Tidewater is a community that cares a lot about Israel, and Kiryat Yam is a place that needs a lot of support and care,” says Leah Abrams, YAD director, in reference to Kiryat Yam’s vital absorption center and survivor community. “It is important for Tidewater to have a partnership in Israel, for both young adults and children, to establish a relationship to last l’dor v’dor, or for generations.” While YAD has financially supported projects in Kiryat Yam, such as the Center for Young Adults and an early childhood center, this is the first year that the two cities are rolling out an exchange program.
Kiryat Yam residents will visit Tidewater this month, and YAD members will take a trip to Israel in December. Abrams explains the importance of this upcoming exchange: “To have partnerships, we need to first build relationships. The best way to build these relationships is to see the community in person.” In addition to visiting the respective cities to learn from each other and see the results of funding, one goal of the exchange is to help educate Tidewater residents about Kiryat Yam so that they will become more invested in a partnership. When five people from the Center for Young Adults in Kiryat Yam visit Tidewater, they will tour each of the Jewish agencies that United Jewish Federation of Tidewater partners with, attend the annual Campaign Kickoff event, lead cultural programs for adults and children alike, and attend Shabbat services at area synagogues. Not only will the Kiryat Yam exchange members experience a vibrant oceanfront like the one that they hope to develop on their own beaches, they will also connect with the Tidewater Jewish community and hopefully initiate long-lasting relationships. Shawn Lemke, a member of the Kiryat Yam committee, is excited about the prospect of this partnership. “We get to participate in community building from the inside out,” he says. “The adults from Kiryat Yam get to come here and experience our community first hand, learn from our leadership, and develop friendships with us, and then go home to fulfill their goal of establishing a truly vibrant community that can be self sustainable.”
Tidewater Jewish Foundation and community selected by Harold Grinspoon Foundation as a Life and Legacy program partner
The program will grant the Tidewater ne of only eight Jewish commuJewish Foundation with matchnities from across North ing funds from the Harold America selected to particiGrinspoon Foundation of up to pate in the Harold Grinspoon $100,000 per year to provide Foundation’s Life and Legacy participating local organizaprogram, the Tidewater Jewish tions the opportunity to receive Foundation is part of the prounrestricted incentive grants based on gram’s fifth cohort. Life and Legacy now meeting legacy commitment benchmarks. includes a total of 37 Jewish communities. Life and Legacy program’s success has “The Harold Grinspoon Foundation been unprecedented in generating exciteis very excited to be partnering with the ment and engagement around securing Tidewater Jewish Foundation to establish endowments, in order to ensure the future a culture of legacy giving in Tidewater,” of the Jewish comsays Arlene D. Schiff, munity. As of March national director of 31, 2016, in just the Life and Legacy three and one-half program. “The time years, 29 commuis right. This legacy potential matching funds nities representing program will make per year for 303 organizations the most of the genTidewater Jewish Foundation have secured more erational transfer of than 9,360 legacy wealth, change the commitments with an estimated $376.7 language and landscape of giving and million in future gifts to the Jewish provide generous and forward thinking community. members of the Tidewater Jewish commu“This is a wonderful opportunity for nity with the opportunity to express their our community to work in partnership passion, purpose and commitment to to build a stronger future together,” says their most valued Jewish organizations.” Scott Kaplan, president and CEO of the Life and Legacy is a four-year proTidewater Jewish Foundation. “I am gram that assists communities through excited to work with our local organizapartnerships with Jewish Federations tions providing everyone the opportunity and Foundations, to promote after-lifeto shape our future and create our Jewish time giving to benefit local Jewish day legacy.” schools, synagogues, social service orgaLife and Legacy is the newest initiative nizations and other Jewish entities. Life of HGF, which is investing $30 million to and Legacy’s goals are to: engage communities in legacy building • E ducate, train, motivate and efforts to secure the future of vibrant empower Jewish organizations to Jewish communities. engage their loyal stakeholders in For more information about the Life conversations to establish legacy and Legacy program at Tidewater Jewish gifts. Foundation, contact Amy Weinstein, TJF • Increase community awareness of director of development, at 757-965-6105 or the power of bequests, other legacy firstname.lastname@example.org. vehicles and endowments. • Integrate legacy giving into the philanthropic culture of the Tidewater Jewish community.
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jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 17
first person Musings of a parent saying goodbye…again
Time to run free Lisa Bertini
told you that you reminded me of someone. That day on the beach at Quidnet. I couldn’t help thinking I had seen that same face before. Your strong forehead and broad cheeks. Your delicate curves and Roman nose. The puffy pout and little mouth. The mystery in your eyes. Who was that girl? It’s not that I want you to leave of course. It’s that you can’t stay. You don’t belong here anymore. It’s that part that nicks my soul. It’s that part that takes my breath away. You’ve grown up. Yes you are still vulnerable. In some ways so much
more so. But you know who you are now. I can smell your strength. It’s different than when you lived here. You aren’t restless or anxious. But you are so ready to start your life up again. And away from here. It’s what we did. It’s how we worked it. It’s why I let you walk way in front of me at the park so you could feel free. It felt so wonderful to you. You would turn around to spy. Then the walk would turn to a run. You would keep running and then turn to check again from further away until I scolded you to wait. You would just twirl or jump until I caught up. Always fluid. Always motion. Always ready to put distance between us once I finally arrived
allowing you to run off again. Today you run. Fast and furious. Full of wonder and beauty. Full of what’s to come. Knowing that the truth is what actually happens. All else is fiction. You prefer truth and run in its direction. I’m happy to have you when I do. My heart is full to know you will always visit and know we are here. But still you will run way out in front of me. Now it is dusk and I can’t see you anymore and my scolding is stuck in my throat. My voice won’t utter a sound. The moon, your favorite light, is soothing. Your shadows are long gone but somehow linger. I am not afraid for you anymore.
You remind me of someone. On the beach that day at Quidnet. You remind me of a little girl I knew who loved to be running free.
Brith Sholom’s “Club 50 Dinner & Dance” celebrates longevity
Standing: Dave and Renee Lesser, David and Rona Proser, Alene and Ron Kaufman, and Rick and Cookie Miles. Seated: Jim and Paula Gordon, Sue and Mike Zimel.
celebration of long-lasting marriage, Brith Sholom held its annual Club 50 Dinner & Dance on Sunday, August 21 at Beth Sholom Village. Deemed “a real success,” 135 people attended, including 37 couples married who are 50 years or more. The evening began with taking photographs of all the couples, that became party favors to take home at the end of the evening. Calvin and Carole Alperin.
18 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Harvey and Joan Pizor.
Bruce and Lyla Longman.
Bernard is doing
Report from Israel Rabbi Israel Zoberman
had another rewarding pilgrimage this past July to Israel—the land of my upbringing—spent with my Israeli family led by my mother Chasia (“God spares”), a 94-year-young Polish Holocaust survivor from Sarny, Ukraine who is a remarkable symbol of Jewish endurance and triumph. She is a close relative on her mother’s side to Presidents Chaim and Ezer Weizmann. We have lived in the same condo where I was happily raised since 1955 on Mount Carmel, Haifa, following our immigration in 1949 from Germany via France. My early childhood was spent in displaced persons camps in Austria and Germany. September 16 marks my 50th anniversary of arrival, after service in the IDF, to study in Chicago where some of my family members settled following WW II. The great city of Chicago will always be special to me for there I met and married my Jennifer 47 years ago. Impressive indeed is Israel’s progress from those early pioneering years to its present prominent stature as a high-tech power with a robust economy creating an impressive consumer-oriented society able to offer all that the Israelis materially desire, along with an abundance of cultural life. Still, festering internal problematic and complex issues exist. For example, a report was recently released of a committee headed by poet Erez Bitton, winner of the prestigious Israel Prize, and charged by the Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Education, Naftali Bennett, to examine grievances by Israel’s Oriental Jews. The sensitive report points at the need to better acknowledge the full history and accomplishments of Oriental and Sephardic Jewry which has been lacking in comparison to the dominant emphasis on Ashkenazi contributions to Zionism and the Jewish people in general. Among the constructive suggestions are students’ visits to Spain and other places where non-Ashkenazi Jews flourished, and not only to the Holocaust’s sites in Poland.
Another sensitive report concerning the state of the Ethiopian community recommends the need for better integration of the Ethiopian Jews, eliminating discrimination against them in some of the schools as well as society at large. The still young state of Israel at 68, a true Jewish miracle on the Mediterranean, continues to be saddled by major security concerns that few if any countries face. Cruel Palestinian terrorism infecting even its youth and women claims innocent lives, and the unabated danger from Hamas-ruled Gaza, which is a ticking bomb, threatens to erupt in violence again with an uncompromising enemy rebuilding its offensive capabilities aided by surprising attack tunnels, following its last defeat. While the most tragic events in Syria, for far too long, have weakened murderous Assad’s regime’s ability to endanger Israel, Syria’s power vacuum is being filled by the likes of ISIS so close to Israel’s border. Russia and Iran are the power brokers in this tumultuous region of failed states. Though the capable Hezbollah forces are preoccupied with fighting on Assad’s behalf and have suffered heavy losses, they possess more than 100,000 rockets aimed at Israel. I took leave of my loving mom and two sisters to unwind for eight days
How will you help shape the future? Norfolk architect Bernard Spigel
in Portugal, travelling with a group of enthusiastic Israelis. An increased interest to visit Portugal is taking place since the recently established five-hour direct flights from the Ben-Gurion International Airport to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital. It was a fascinating trip to a beautiful country that once was an empire with a rich Jewish history of promise and pain. I am related to Portuguese Jews through my paternal great–grandmother, Dena Menzis Zoberman, a direct descendant of Portuguese and Spanish Jews who settled in Zamosch, Poland. She along with her husband Rabbi Jacob Zoberman, her twin sister Esther, and other members of my family perished in the Belzech death camp. —Dr. Israel Zoberman is the founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim.
died in 1968 leaving an enduring legacy of homes, schools, theaters and commercial buildings he designed. In 1983 Lucy Spigel Herman honored her dad by creating at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation a scholarship for future architects. Today Bernard is helping a Virginia architecture student while dozens of past Spigel Scholars are busy designing buildings for us to enjoy. Spigel Scholarships will forever help architecture students pay for their education. Design your own view of the future by ordering the Leave Your Mark free Leave Your Mark guide. Learn how easy it is to honor a family member or create your own lasting legacy. See how we can help
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TEEN SUMMERS Area high school and college students share how they spent their ‘Jewish Summers.’ Hannah Cooper Birthright Israel afting down the Jordan River. Hiking up Masada. Floating in the Dead Sea. Praying at the Western Wall. Riding a camel. This summer I had the privilege to travel to Israel through Taglit Birthright, an organization that provides thousands of trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. It was an incredible opportunity to travel all over the country, as we worked our way from the Northern Border, to the old city of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, a Hannah Cooper in Israel. desert trip to the Negev, and ending our trip in Israel’s modern city of Tel Aviv. Between all of our activities and hikes, we also had the chance to learn about Jewish mysticism, discuss the political situation in the Middle East and celebrate Shabbat in Jerusalem. In the middle of the trip, we were joined by seven young Israelis who became part of our group. They helped us understand everyday life in Israel and what it is like to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, as they shared their experiences and stories. It was the trip of a lifetime and one of the most amazing traveling experiences I’ve had so far. I cannot wait to return to the lovely country of Israel.
Deni Budman North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) Communications Vice President Kutz Camp, Warwick, New York n a perfect June evening at my favorite place at Kutz Camp, the Teyatron (a covered outdoor space that overlooks and overhangs a lake), in a ceremony interwoven with Havdalah, I was installed as communications vice president for the North American board Deni Budman (right) being installed. of NFTY. Surrounded by leaders of the Union for Reform Judaism, rabbis, NFTY regional board members from across the nation, as well as family and friends, the event was emotional, spiritual, serious, and at times, humorous. The next five weeks were spent planning for the upcoming year—including our travel schedule—with the board and our advisors, as well as developing and leading programs and services for first the regional board members Deni Budman (far right) with NFTY board. and then, one week later, the campers at Kutz. My time at Kutz was exhausting, and yet exhilarating—probably a prediction of the year to come—and I’m really looking forward to it!
20 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
Julia Laibstain Social Action Programmer, Capital Camps his summer I had the opportunity to spend yet another eight weeks at a place that has been my second home for the past 10 years. At Capital Camps in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, I served as the Jewish and Social Action Programmer, a position which Julia Laibstain (left) at Capital Camps. allowed me to grow professionally. As a rising senior in college, I experienced a lot of social pressure to find an internship after my junior year. In my role at Capital Camps, I worked with many partner organizations such as Educating for Excellence—an integrated Arab and Jewish education center in Israel, IsraelStory—an Israeli podcast organization, Mazon—the Jewish response to hunger—and many others. I was able draw upon my studies of Nonprofit Management and Jewish Studies and apply those skills in a place that means so much to me.
Grant Campion BBYO’s International Leadership Seminar in Israel his past July, I visited Israel for three weeks with my youth group, B’nai Brith Youth Organization, more commonly known as “BBYO.” The trip is called BBYO’s International Leadership Seminar in Israel. During these three weeks we traveled to eight cities, saw Israel’s borders, swam in the Dead Sea, visited the Golan, prayed at the Kotel, and saw and did so much more. I gained a wealth of knowledge and information during these many unique experiences, as if Israel was Grant Campion. a classroom in itself. One day during the trip, I stumbled upon an elderly woman, Herta Goldman, struggling to order her drink in the hotel lobby, and in return for my helping her, she decided to tell me a story. This story, which would take her more than four hours to tell, was the story of her survival of the Holocaust. I wrote the following shortly after talking with her: “Today I had the amazing experience of speaking with Herta Goldman, an 88-yearold Holocaust survivor. We discussed the eight days she went without food and water after escaping from Auschwitz, her learning upon returning to her home in Poland that most of her family died, and most important, her successful acclimation to life in Israel after the Holocaust. Hearing her stories of perseverance in the face of catastrophe reassure us that we can find hope and peace in the midst of any tragedy, something extremely relevant in today’s world.” I spent another three days at the same hotel as Herta, and I met with her in the hotel lobby at the same time each night to talk about whatever came to our minds. Although it was only she and I on the first night, by the fourth night together, we had gathered a crowd of more than 40 kids who wanted to meet her, tell her their own stories, or simply listen to the wisdom she was imparting. When it came time to leave, Herta and I exchanged our goodbyes, and she began to cry. She said to me “You are my children, you are all my children, I lost everyone I loved, but now I have you and your friends. It is your duty to carry on my word and to live in our homeland and ensure that it is ours forever. Thank you for taking the time to make an old woman very happy, I wish you and your loved ones the best in life.” Never again. Never forget.
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With those words as a guide, establishing a Jewish home in Tidewater sounds like a sure bet. There’s no doubt that support systems—synagogues, schools, service and social organizations—abound within our Jewish community to make Tidewater a comfortable and engaging place to live Jewishly. In addition to the Jewish backing, Tidewater offers a host of dedicated land-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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DESIGN | ENHANCEMENTS | LIGHTING | OUTDOOR LIVING
healthy at home, persevering to secure a home mortgage, maintaining an organized kitchen and, of course, a few delicious sounding recipes to cook up in your home kitchen. The staff of Jewish News hopes you enjoy these last few weeks of summer (Fall officially starts on Thursday, September 22), and no matter the weather, that you always enjoy your home!
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For some people, homeownership really is a dream come true Shikma Rubin
e often hear the real estate industry use the expression, “the dream of homeownership.” The phrase has become so common that now it’s more of a marketing cliché than statement of fact. For many people, homeownership is less of a “dream” and more of an accomplishment; a milestone etched along life’s journey much like new cars, marriage and children. Then there are people who never believed, for one reason or another, they would own a home in their lifetime. That’s the story of Sharon White, a recent mortgage client of mine, who today is a proud homeowner in Norfolk. Sharon had rented all her life. Now in her 50s, she was determined to buy a home and improve the living situation for herself, her husband and five children. To do so, we had to establish Sharon’s credit history, make sure the application met new industry guidelines and be certain she could handle the monthly payment. It took four months to qualify Sharon for the loan and two additional months for her to find the right home. All the while, I could tell how much it would mean for Sharon to own a house. Whenever I needed a document or further explanation on her finances, she took care of it right away. She also came to me for updates and stayed engaged during the entire six-month process. At the closing table, Sharon cried tears of joy. For her, it was more than “buying a house.” It was a moment she never thought possible. The “dream” of homeownership also eludes a large percentage of people in my generation, the millennials. In May, Pew Research Center released a study and the headline sums it up: “For First Time in
Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18-to 34-Year-Olds.” Did you catch the key phrase? “First Time in Shikma Rubin Modern Era” It is historically difficult for young adults to buy homes. Student debt, credit history, work history, a hefty down payment—these factors and others combine to keep millennials at their parents’ houses or stroking rent checks month after month. And now many young adults feel the same way Sharon did; that homeownership is for other people and an experience they will never have. That’s why, when I attend the closings for my clients and watch them receive the house keys, I understand how they feel. It’s not easy to buy a house today. Not by a long shot. It takes discipline, financial accountability and the willingness to believe that, yes, you can one day have a place to call your own. Today, Sharon’s dream is now a reality, and it’s encouraging news for other potential homebuyers in Hampton Roads. To own a home, here’s the blueprint: pay your bills on time, have cash in reserve and don’t spend more than you can afford. And most importantly, always believe you can one day buy a home. The dream might be closer than you think. —Shikma Rubin is a loan officer at Tidewater Home Funding in Chesapeake (NMLS #1114873). She’s an active member of the Jewish community and a member of Temple Israel. She can be reached at srubin@ tidewaterhomefunding.com.
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he newly implemented Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center garden at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus grew more than fresh fruits and veggies this summer. Near the end of this season’s harvest, Strelitz grew a stronger bond with their nextdoor neighbors at Jewish Family Service. A surplus of crops from the garden yielded the opportunity to practice a fundamental Jewish principal: Tikkun Olam. This Jewish concept is defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. Michelle Fenley, a counselor at Camp JCC and Jewish Family Service knew the garden’s abundant produce could be put to use at JFS. Jewish Family Service has a food pantry where people can donate food to those in need in the Tidewater com mu n it y. R a r e l y, however, if ever, d o e s JFS receive fresh produce donations. Fenley had watched Diana Smith, the Strelitz garden co-ordinator, work all summer in the garden. Fenely knew Smith would be setting up a “Sale Day” by the Cardo Café on the Sandler Family
Campus and decided to take action. Smith’s Sale Day consisted of fresh produce from the garden sold in the JCC lobby by donation. Passersby were free to take what they want and leave what they want. This venture was very successful for Fenely and Smith. Fenley brought some of the food from the Strelitz Sale Day over to the JFS food pantry, which ended up providing fresh food to those in need. Smith’s sale by donation raised $150 for the Strelitz garden project enabling the garden to become more self-funded. The garden allowed Strelitz to create an extended classroom for the children during the school year, while extending a helping hand to those needing healthy food options during the summer. Strelitz intends to continue to donate the surplus of produce from their garden to JFS. Strelitz also plans to expand their garden curriculum, improve the horticultural protocols, as well as become more self-sustaining and selffunded year after year. To help Strelitz further their garden project, go to https://www. hebrewacademy.net/ donate and select the “SECEC Garden Project” tab under donation information.
HOME Berry Spinach Quinoa Salad Shannon Sarna
(The Nosher via JTA)—Quinoa and I have not always been friends. I much prefer rice and pasta over the hyped-up grain, even though I know people love it. And what’s not to love: It’s gluten-free, packed with fiber and protein, and it’s even Passover-friendly. So since it’s that time of year when everyone is eating lighter, and colorful vegetables and fruits still abound, I decided to give it another chance and added some hearty red quinoa to a salad recently. Lo and behold, I became a quinoa convert, adding it to salad after salad. I served a spinach and quinoa salad with fresh local strawberries earlier this summer for a Shabbat dinner with friends, and it was devoured. Then again, when I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I made this salad with figs instead of berries, and it was equally delicious. Try it with plums, peaches or any seasonal fruit that you love. You can even serve it with some grilled salmon, tofu or cannellini beans for a hearty and healthy entrée salad. Ingredients 1 bag pre-washed fresh spinach ¾ cup cooked red quinoa ½ seedless English cucumber 1 pint strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or a mix 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
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For the dressing juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey ½ cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste Directions Place spinach in a large bowl or on a platter. Top with quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries (or other fruit), sunflower seeds and feta cheese, if desired. Whisk together lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard and honey. Slowly whisk olive oil until dressing comes together. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. —Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher. The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.
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HOME First Person
Home is where the healthy heart is Tom Purcell
One great way to find time to do your exercise is to do it at home. I’m not suggesting you purchase fitness equipment. In fact, you can use your own body weight. In a landmark study conducted at the University of Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser, PhD, asked men and women to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years
uring my more than 20 years in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, the number one excuse I hear for why people don’t exercise is: Time. ‘I don’t have it.’ Your biggest asset is your health. The only way to stay healthy is to maintain a regular exercise routine. First of all, exercise can take place anytime and anyplace. While I would love for you to join our wonderful facility at the Simon Family JCC, which is here to help with health and wellness needs, the main goal is to be mindful of implementing exercise during your week.
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their junior. “It would be useful for people to get out of the all-or-nothing mind-set that unless they exercise for 30 minutes, they’re wasting their time,” says Gaesser. Mixing up exercise into small segments on your overscheduled days can keep you consistent, which is more important than skipping it altogether. The more you sit and don’t move, your body will grow weary and weak over time. Here are a few suggestions for exercising at home:
Healthy house • Take a five-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other. • While watching TV, try abdominal crunches, push-ups, squats, lunges and other body weight exercises during commercials. • Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders. Just don’t do this on a stove. • G o outside and play with your kids and their friends. • Just before bedtime, try some Yoga, Pilates or stretching exercises to relax and mediate. • Walk, jog or run with friends to motivate you and build relationships. • While waiting for appointments,
• • • •
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walk. If you have to wait for a long appointment, walk around the building. If your children play sports, walk around while they’re playing, instead of sitting in the lounge chair. Take short, three to five-minutes walks and stretch while traveling. Park at the far end of the parking lot to get more steps in. Take stairs instead of elevators. Tighten your core with ab exercises. Stand with your feet parallel and your knees relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly. You can do this all day. Take your hands and grab behind you to stretch your shoulders for good posture. P ut on music and just dance. Do leg exercises and lifts while sitting in a chair. Pack your sneakers and fitness clothes wherever you go, just in case you can workout.
Half the battle of finding time to exercise is being mindful of your health on a daily basis. You don’t need to change your lifestyle, just implement movement within it. Don’t worry about what type of shape you are in now. Take it slow over time and let your body be your guide. If you put the time in to improve your health, your body will gradually get stronger and healthier.
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HOME Organize your way to a clutter-free kitchen
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(Family Feature) A kitchen must be many things for the average family: a cooking center, social hub, a place to bring in Shabbat, and, most importantly, a central command station for the entire household. Unfortunately, organization sometimes takes a backseat in the chaos of daily life, which means kitchens and pantries aren’t living up to their full potential as spaces that make lives easier to manage. Make your kitchen and pantry meet your family’s needs with these tips:
Get everyone on board Any effort to get organized will only be effective if the approach works for the entire family. Get the little ones involved with the kitchen’s daily organization by giving them a specific place to find their favorite snacks. Keep shelving at a height kids can reach so they can take charge of packing their own school lunches. Organize groceries by relevance. For example, store the most commonly used items at eye level.
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Move the pantry elsewhere Kitchen pantries often become a catchall for more than just groceries and kitchen accessories. If your home’s layout permits, relocate your pantry to a larger space to stow less frequently used items (think all of those menorahs and Hannukah candles and gelt from last year) and day-to-day things that tend to accumulate. Keep counters clutter-free Kitchen counters typically suffer the most daily overflow. After all, the kitchen is usually the first stop after school (books and keys), where the mail gets opened (or laid to rest), the newspaper gets read, and new purchases (from groceries to accessories) are dropped off. Redirecting some of that excess elsewhere can give your kitchen a less cluttered appearance. Stop the clutter before it starts by assigning each family member a container for miscellaneous odds and ends. Visually pleasing Clutter doesn’t always come in the form of piles. Check the door of your refrigerator, for instance. Do you really need all of those magnets? Is it necessary to post the Bar Mitzvah invitations and notices there? Are those pictures a little old? Consider a small bulletin board out of sight of guests. The cleaner look is calming. A kitchen and pantry makeover might be just what you need to freshen up the organization in your home. Whether you simply want to spruce up your kitchen space or give your pantry an overhaul, your finished project will inspire and streamline organization throughout the entire house.
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Roasted Chicken with Fresh Pineapple Ronnie Fein
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(The Nosher via JTA)—I make chicken so often that my kids once told me we were all going to grow feathers and start clucking. But they never complained that it was the same old chicken because it never was. There are few foods as versatile as this worthy bird, so it was always easy for me to prepare it in a multitude of ways. Over the years I learned that chicken dinner never has to be boring. Chicken meat is so mild—certainly not as distinctive as, say, lamb or duck—that you can pair it with all sorts of seasonings, condiments, fruits and vegetables, and it will be flavorful and delicious. Spice it up with curry powder or ras el hanout or lemon juice and dried oregano. Fresh herbs, tomato sauce, Ponzu, jarred duck sauce, teriyaki, black truffle oil—they’re all fine. Baste chicken with wine, orange juice or stock—couldn’t be better. One of the ways I try to make the “chicken-again?” dinner interesting is to cook the meat with fruit. I’ve used all kinds—from apples to grapes to prunes—and found that pineapple and other acidic fruits are particularly well suited because they add a refreshing tang. In addition, the fruit caramelizes gorgeously in the pot, creating a dish that’s mild plus piquant and sugary. You can stop there, but I add just a hint of heat for the back of the tongue (I used Sriracha, but you can also sprinkle the chicken with cayenne power), which makes the entire dish come together in beautiful and delicious harmony. Ingredients 3 cups cut up fresh pineapple 1 cut up broiler-fryer chicken (or 4–6 whole legs or 2 large whole breasts) 2 tablespoons olive oil salt to taste 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon Sriracha pinch of ground cinnamon ½ cup pineapple juice Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pineapple in a roasting pan. Place the chicken pieces in the pan, partly on top of the fruit. Mix the olive oil, ginger, garlic, Sriracha and cinnamon in a small bowl and brush the chicken with the mixture. Season to taste with salt. Roast for 10 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350. Pour the pineapple juice over the chicken and fruit. Roast for about 25–30 minutes or until cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat will register 160 degrees), basting once or twice with the pan juices. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving. —Ronnie Fein has written for the food sections of daily newspapers including Newsday, The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time.) The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.
Definitive appraisal Doomed to Succeed The U.S.-Israeli Relationship from Truman to Obama Dennis Ross Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2015 474pp., $30 ISBN 978-0-374-14146-2
ennis Ross must be doing something right. He has been criticized by both Israelis and Palestinians, by Republicans, as well as Democrats. He was once described as being more pro-Israel than the Israelis; others have praised his meticulous balance. Doomed to Succeed, published in 2015, is conceivably the definitive appraisal and explication of the relationships between our Presidents and Israel from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Dennis Ross, a Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, has been an “inside” player more than four decades. He was the director of policy planning in the State Department under George H.W. Bush, was Bill Clinton’s Middle East peace envoy and served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama. Not an easy summer read, by any means, Doomed to Succeed is arguably the best one-volume history of the frequently frenetic relationships among White House staffs,
accompanying State Department and security leadership, and the presidents themselves, with the Israeli government, including its political and security advisors, as well as her prime ministers. Giving all due credit to President Harry Truman for his courageous decision to recognize the State of Israel despite the objections of Arabists in the state department and the vehement opposition of Secretary of State General George Marshall, Ross faults Truman for growing cool to Israel and blocking much needed assistance during the 1948 War for Independence. The Eisenhower/Foster/Dulles administration never quite got the message that the Arab states were prepared to overlook our relationship with Israel as long as we “had their backs” against aggression. However, Ross says, “Eisenhower failed on most of the objectives he set for himself in the Middle East. He was unable to keep the Soviets out of the area. Instead of being strengthened, U.S. and Western influence was weakened.” Eisenhower’s decision to intervene in the Suez War severely damaged our relationships with our allies and left the Arab states convinced we would not come to their aid if needed. The first president to recognize that the U.S. had a special relationship with Israel was John F. Kennedy, who demonstrated our ability to arm Israel without losing our rapport with the Arab Middle East. Thus, Israel took on the position of being the major confronter of the Soviets in that region. As subsequent administrations struggled with Vietnam and Cold War issues, Israel’s key role emerged. The U.S. confronted the Soviets in three areas, Europe, Asia and
Dennis Ross Tuesday, September 20 Sandler Center See pages 31 and 32 for details. the Middle East. In Europe and Asia we spent 44 and 22 billion dollars each year, respectively, and stationed 70,000 troops overseas. In the Middle East, we gave Israel two billion dollars, mostly in military hardware, and stationed no troops there. Ross acknowledges the achievement of the Carter administration in the Camp David Accord, establishing peace between Israel and Egypt, but avers that in the final analysis, the President, too much concerned with the Palestinians, created significant tensions with Israel while being unprepared for the growing anti-American Iranian sentiment and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Younger readers will find the early chapters an excellent historical grounding, right through the Reagan, Clinton and Bush years. It is expected that Ross, when he visits in September, will speak of President Obama’s early belief that Israel could have done more toward peace. But he will, in fairness, recognize Obama’s concern for Israel’s security as well. Clearly, the President’s concern for the Palestinians is rooted in his uncertainties about Israel’s demographic problem, and his conclusion that if there is a price to be paid for Israel’s policies, so be it. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Diamonds Direct Grand Opening in Virginia Beach features placement of mezuzot Joel Rubin
n Israeli-run jewelry store is now open in Virginia Beach, complete with mezuzot adjacent to the front and inside doors. Diamonds Direct is the eighth in a fast growing chain that started in Charlotte in 1995 and has spread across the southeast United States. President and CEO Itay Berger, who resides in Herziliyah, came to the showroom near Town Center on August 25 for a party to celebrate the launch. With him was Barak Henis, senior vice president, also a native Israeli, who lives in Raleigh.
As the evening wound down, one of the last guests to arrive was Chabad Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky who came bearing two mezuzot. Moments later, with Berger and Henis sporting napkins on their heads for makeshift Kippot, the trio recited blessings and affixed the Judaica to the doorposts. “I was going to stop by anyway, so I thought I would bring something along,” says Rabbi Levi, who earned the eternal thanks of his hosts. “We have mezuzot in all of our stores, but we had not put them up here yet,” says Berger. “It was such a nice gift from the Chabad to welcome us to Virginia Beach, a city that we already love.” A host of business and civic leaders
Itay Berger and Barak Henis donned napkins for kippot and said a blessing for the mezuzot with Rabbi Levi Brashevitzy.
attended the opening event, including Mayor Will Sessoms and Warren Harris, Virginia Beach Economic Development director, who joined in a ribbon cutting. “We look forward to serving customers from throughout the region,” says Henis, “but obviously we are very eager to get to know and become involved in
the Jewish community.” Located at 4452 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Diamonds Direct features a 6,000-square-foot showroom with top-quality jewelry and a large selection of mounted and loose diamonds, varying in size, carat weight, shape and certification.
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New professor of Jewish Studies at ODU
my Milligan recently joined Old Dominion University as the Batten Endowed Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies. Milligan earned a PhD in American Studies, with concentrations in Jewish Studies and Gender Studies from Penn State University, and is a former Fulbrighter to Marburg, Germany. Most recently, she taught at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. With research centering on gendered roles and expressions of Judaism, in particular the ways in which people literally embody intersecting identities (fashion, hair, tattoos, head covering, etc.), she recently published Hair, Headwear, and Orthodox Jewish Women: Kallah’s Choice with Lexington Books. She has also written extensively about LGBTQ Jews and their experiences within the Jewish community. Milligan is currently working on two projects. The first investigates Holocaustthemed tattoos in contemporary youth culture, and the other considers Jewish homemaking guidebooks, from 1920 through 1945. “As I join ODU and the greater local community, I am excited to meet my new students, to forge relationships through the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, and to become involved in the local Jewish community,” says Milligan.
Back to School with BINA
his month, BINA High School begins its 10th year of educating high school girls from near and far, including those from Tidewater. Constantly seeking new ways to enhance the students’ quality of education, BINA’s staff remains flexible while maintaining the mission to educate Jewish girls in Judaic Studies and General Studies, instilling Torah values and good Middos to each individual. In this 10th anniversary year, BINA looks forward to implementing a variety of positive changes. The first major change is the return of Aviva Harpaz as the Menaheles of BINA. Students, teachers and parents all say they are excited for the positive energy and caring nature that Harpaz brings to the school, as she is known for always looking for the best ways to reach the young women to help them succeed. Another change to the faculty is the addition of Frances Dukes, General Studies principal. She is known for her quiet, demure style of finding solutions to enhance education and raise the bar for students. Many new courses have been added to the curriculum, such as graphic design, an SAT prep class, personal finance and Holocaust studies. These additions have the faculty excited to explore new opportunities with students, as well as ways to include the community for enrichment. The board of directors, led by Tehilla Mostofsky, has mapped out a year filled with fundraising and programming activities that
will have the girls busy and out in the community. A 10th Anniversar y special celebration is being planned and many are already working on the event. When not Frances Dukes and Aviva Harpaz. in school, the students will be busy taking advantage of Chesed opportunities in the community such as Mitzvah Day, the Great Big Challah Bake, Shabbat Experience and a Purim Carnival at the Simon Family JCC. In addition to volunteering at Mitzvah Day, BINA will have a team participating in the “Canstruction” program. For BINA, a 10-year anniversary means, “let’s celebrate and keep working as hard as day one to grow and improve, and let’s make this the best year ever!” For more information about BINA High School, email info@ binahighschool.com. BINA High School is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Changes underway in Beth El’s religious education program
ongregation Beth El is transitioning its religious education program for students in third through 12th grades into Beit Sefer Shalom. Partnering with Temple Israel and KBH, along with a new name, comes new curriculums. For third through seventh grade students, Beth El is introducing Shalom Learning! The curriculum will focus on seven core values: Teshuva (taking responsibility for your actions), B’Tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of God in ourselves), Gevurah (using one’s inner and outer strength), Achrayut (doing what you can to leave the world a better place), HaKarat HaTov (seeking joy and being grateful), Koach HaDibbur (understanding the power of words), and Shalom (helping to create a calmer, more peaceful world). Each grade level will approach the value being explored in a particular way so there will not be repetition from one year to the
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next. Hebrew will be taught one-on-one during the week by a team of experienced teachers, as well as on Sunday mornings in tefillot (prayer) workshops. With this individualized model, each student can learn at his or her own pace and at a time that meets their scheduling needs. A new Community Midrashah program for eighth through 12th grade students is designed to engage students during the post-bar/bat mitzvah years, which are critical for the creation of a strong Jewish identity. Both cognitively and socially, the young adult is developing beyond pre-teen levels. In these years, Jewish teens should receive excellent Jewish education, delivered by the most able and Jewishly best-educated teachers, with due regard for the teens’ peer group relationships, as well as their home environments. Community Midrashah is open to any
member of the community. The term “midrashah” connotes a serious engagement with the core texts of the Jewish tradition informing ethical and spiritual choices in life. Classes will be divided by grade, with one level for eighth- 10 grade students and one for 11-12th graders. Enrollment permitting, each level will also offer two class options, allowing the students to choose the course in which they are most interested. Mindful of the other claims on high school students’ time, the Community Midrashah will be organized as a series of mini-mesters, with typically three weeks of classes, with a month or so in between. In addition to group discussions and classroom activities, the Community Midrashah will sponsor off-campus learning, such as field trips and retreats.
what’s happening Israel Today
Brian Bress to debut work at Chrysler Museum Ambassador Dennis Ross
The history and the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship from the White House
Tuesday, September 20, 7:30 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Wendy Weissman, assistant director, Community Relations Council
he 6th annual Israel Today forum kicks off with former U.S. peace negotiator, adviser and ambassador, Dennis Ross. oss will speak about Dennis Ross the U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama and the potential impact of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on foreign policy. The event is presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, community partners, and is in collaboration with the Virginia Beach Forum. Ross has served in five administrations, both Democrat and Republican, and for nearly 30 years has been influential in shaping American policy in the Middle East. Ross has devoted his professional life to bringing peace to the Middle East, and has chronicled the evolution of IsraeliAmerican diplomatic relations in his new book Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in history. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together. Ross has been awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service, and he is currently the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “The CRC has consistently brought high quality, thought-provoking speakers to Tidewater,” says Joel Nied, CRC chairperson. “This year is no different with
Dennis Ross as the kickoff to the Israel Today series.” During his visit, Ambassador Ross will speak on his new book Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. While U.S.-Israeli relations have been historically very close, each change in administration brings about new relationships between the President and Prime Minister, as well as changes in attitudes toward the conflict in the Middle East. In a recent televised interview from the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Ross noted, “Israel should not become a partisan issue…it’s an American issue.” With the presidential election just around the corner, Ross’ visit to Tidewater is that much more relevant. The next administration should understand that a contentious relationship with Israel will only exacerbate the other ongoing issues in the Middle East. While there may have been criticisms of the Obama administration, under which the ambassador advised, Ross contends that the next president will need to improve ties with Israel. “The United States is going to need someone it can rely upon in the Middle East, someone who it can count on in terms of its basic stability. And that will be Israel,” concluded Ross in the interview. To purchase tickets for the September 20 event ($40*, $10 for students), visit www. VABeachForum.com or call 757-385-2787. For more information on the Israel Today series, including details on other upcoming events, visit www.JewishVa.org/ IsraelToday or call 757-965-6107. Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, will be available for purchase and signing after the program. *Note that a convenience fee applies to all online ticket purchases. Tickets can also be purchased at the Sandler Center without any additional charge.
Thursday, September 15–Sunday, February 19, 2017 Meet the Artist /NEON Festival lecture: Thursday, September 15, 6:30 pm
new installation at the Chrysler Museum of Art invites visitors into the whimsical world of Norfolk-born artist Brian Bress. Opening to the public during Third Brian Bress Thursday on Sept. 15, In The Box: Brian Bress will mark the world premiere of Man with a Cigarette (2016), the artist’s first work to present a full-scale human figure using a video wall. Over the last decade, Bress has won critical acclaim for innovative video-based works featuring an array of eccentric, humanoid characters the artist handcrafts from foam and found objects. Born and raised in Norfolk, and a member of the family that has operated Bress Pawn and Jewelry for 75 years, Bress nurtured an early interest in art with classes at the Governor’s School for the Arts, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (now the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art), and the d’Art Center, as well as with visits to the Chrysler Museum of Art. Drawn to diverse media, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design to study illustration, concentrated on video and animation, and then focused on painting when he began his M.F.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles. Now based in Los Angeles, Bress creates works that defy
easy categorization: sculptural forms come to life through performance; costumes are composed from collage and drawings; videos hang on walls like paintings. Bress’s new piece, Man with a Cigarette, originated when he found a pen-and-ink drawing in a thrift store that depicted a man wearing a fedora-like hat, a broad tie and a jacket with wide lapels. The unknown artist used an array of techniques—from hatch marks and ragged shading to pointillistic dots and checkerboard patterning—which to Bress made it seem as if “the drawing was an artist’s love letter to drawing.” The thrift store wouldn’t sell the drawing, so Bress decided to recreate it as a life-sized sculptural costume: “From head to toe I replicated in pen and ink the mysterious man from the not-for-sale drawing.” In the video piece, presented on a life-sized video wall, Bress wears this costume as he tries to reproduce the look and pose of the drawing. Bress’s work is disarmingly lighthearted but deeply insightful, says Seth Feman, curator of exhibitions and acting curator of photography. “He addresses complex questions about representation, perception, and cognition, but he does so in a totally accessible way. It’s a little bit like watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse or Saturday-morning cartoons,” says Feman. “The work is endlessly engaging because it’s always unexpected.” Admission is free at the Chrysler Museum of Art.
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what’s happening Gain Insights and Inspiration from a diplomatic “insider” at UJFT’s Annual Campaign Kickoff celebration Dennis Ross Tuesday, September 20, 5:45-6:45 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Free and open to all members of the Jewish community, RSVP information below In addition to Ross’ conversation,
Laine M. Rutherford
Campaign leaders including Gross will opportunity
to hear firsthand
what the result of the presidential election may mean for
Jews in Tidewater, in Israel, and in comDennis Ross
world presents itself—for free, from an internationally renowned, bi-partisan veteran diplomat at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign Kickoff. Among other highlights, the event features a special briefing with Ambassador Dennis Ross who has been a confidant and advisor to five U.S. presidents, a prize-winning author, and a “peace process junkie” who spent the past 30 years trying to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian issue. Ross’ analysis and insights at Campaign Kickoff will be tailored specifically for the Jewish community during a catered cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception held on stage at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts, prior to his appearance there before a general audience at the Israel Today/ Virginia Beach Forum (For more details, see ad on page 16, and related article on page 31). “Ambassador Ross has spent much of his career working with both Republican and Democratic administrations on matters affecting Israel and the Middle East peace process,” says Laura Geringer Gross, chair of this year’s Annual Federation Campaign. “I look forward to hearing [him] discuss his long time service in the field, and with the
speak briefly. They’ll share details of some of the most pressing challenges facing Jews today, and outline the Federation’s plans to address those issues through support for the Annual Campaign. “Campaign Kickoff is held during or near the beginning of the Jewish New Year, a period of true introspection, commitment to cause, and positive growth,” says UJFT president Jay Klebanoff. This year, event organizers changed the presenter, the format, and the venue— from the stage at Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus to the stage at Virginia Beach’s Sandler Center for Performing Arts, 201 Market St. “No matter where it’s held, or who the featured guest may be,” community leader Karen Jaffe says, “showing up to this event and others is important. Attendance and participation are key ingredients in ensuring challenges are met, and fellow Jews are not forgotten—because the problems never go away.” “Coming to the Kickoff is one of the best ways to learn about the impact you make when you give to the Federation,” Jaffe says, “and you can get involved right away. Come to Kickoff for a fresh start to our Jewish New Year.” RSVP for the Annual Campaign Kickoff by Sept. 15—the first 100 people to RSVP will receive complimentary tickets to hear Ambassador Ross’ Forum presentation. (Regularly $40) For more information, visit www. JewishVA.org; to RSVP, email pmalone@ ujft.org or call 757-965-6115.
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Open House at Ohef Sholom Temple Sunday, September 11 10 am–12 pm
hef Sholom Temple will host an open house for prospective members to learn about the congregation. Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, who brings warmth, vitality and wisdom to her spiritual leadership; Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin, who inspires worship with his beautiful voice and music; and Interim Associate Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen, noted children’s author who heads up OST’s interfaith efforts, will all be there. Tours of Ohef Sholom’s building, including its Greek Revival sanctuary, which will soon celebrate its 100th birthday, will take place. The Children’s Service led by the clergy, will be open to attend, as well as a mini-Torah Study session led by Dr. David Metzger of OST’s Adult Ed Committee. Committees will also be explained. For example, for those who consider themselves a “Jew of the Heart” who finds inspiration in the Services and spirituality of Judaism, the Worship Committee or Mussar program might be of interest. Those who consider themselves a “Jew of the Mind,” who are motivated by the philosophy and heritage of American Reform Judaism, might want to consider the Adult Ed Committee. And those who are a “Jew of the Hand,” inspired by Tikkun Olam (healing of the world), who might want to
hear about the Caring Committee. These and numerous other Committees will have representatives on hand to talk about their mission and upcoming programs. OST’s director of Family Learning, Chris Kraus, will talk about the exciting changes he has been instituting at the Religious School, the area’s largest. OST students explore Judaism not only in the classroom but also via cooking, dance, yoga and other exploratory experiences. The Judaica Shop, which offers one of the largest collections of Judaica in Tidewater, will also be open. For more than 170 years, Ohef Sholom has served as one of the leading congregations in Tidewater. “A House of Prayer for All Peoples,” the inscription above its famed columned sanctuary entrance, reinforces the congregation’s mission to accept, foster and nurture Judaism in all its dynamic variations. Ohef Sholom is located at 530 Raleigh Avenue in Norfolk. For more information, call the office at 625-4295.
Nexus Interfaith Dialogue: Faith and Election 2016
omplementing the What’s at Stake?: Election 2016 series—the Nexus Interfaith Dialogues,” will also focus on the election. Since 1998, this hallmark Center for the Study of Religious Freedom program at Virginia Wesleyan College, sponsored in partnership with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, has served as a point of connection to foster open and respectful dialogue among people of differing faiths or of no faith. The fall 2016 Nexus programs will focus on how different faith perspectives shape attitudes towards key issues, political parties and individuals. Participants will discuss how their faith informs and influences how they make decisions. The first program in the series is:
Jewish and Muslim Perspectives on Election 2016 Monday, September 26, 7–8:30 pm Moderator: Cathy Lewis, Host of HearSay with Cathy Lewis, WHRV 89.5 FM Panelists: Dr. Mohamed Abdous (Muslim); Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz (Jewish Conservative); Rabbi Alexander Haber (Jewish Orthodox); Dr. Ahmed Noor (Muslim); Blocker Hall Auditorium, Virginia Wesleyan College
For more information call 757-455-3129 or go to vwc.edu/elction2106.
what’s happening Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium to hold quarterly meeting
JCC to host local NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition for third year
Thursday, September 15, 9–11 am Sandler Family Campus, free with RSVP
Sunday, September 18, 1-3 pm
he Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater will host the next Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium quarterly meeting. The HRDIC provides organizations with opportunities to share ideas and resources to embrace diversity and build inclusive workplaces. Founded in 2011, HRDIC facilitates quarterly meetings that are free and open to the public, with a particular focus on representatives from businesses, higher education, nonprofit organizations and government. HRDIC programming is conducted in partnership with the Virginia
Center for Inclusive Communities, an 81-year-old nonprofit organization that works with schools, businesses and communities to achieve success through inclusion. VCIC will facilitate the Sept. 15 HRDIC meeting. Learn more about the Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium at www.hrdic.com and about the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities at www.inclusiveva.org. Pre-registration is required for the meeting. Email Hrdic2014@gmail.com.
The many faces of Diabetes with Dr. Aaron Vinik Wednesday, September 14, 7 pm Sandler Family Campus
r. Aaron Vinik, director of Research and the Neuroendocrine Unit and Murray Waitzer Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research at Eastern Virginia Medical School, will discuss Diabetes and Aging at a free and open to the community event. Presented by Hadassah and Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, light refreshments will be served following the program.
Dr. Aaron Vinik.
Israel Today with Neta Levi, mixed-media artist Through October 23, Leon Family Art Gallery Family Art Workshop: Drawing, Cutting, Tearing, Gluing Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 pm
sraeli mixed-media collage artist, Neta Levi will present a Family Art Workshop: Drawing, Cutting, Tearing, Gluing, as well as display her work in the Leon Family Art Gallery. The event and the art show are presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC and community partners. Explore Levi’s work and then use
it as inspiration for creating a unique mixed-media collage with the entire family on October 19. Kids and adults participate together and dinner is included. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.JewishVA.org/IsraelToday or call 757-321-2304. Tickets are $20 or $15 for JCC members. Family tickets are $36 or $25 for JCC members.
he NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition is a free opportunity to build confidence and it returns to the Simon Family JCC this month. Boys and girls, ages 6–15 compete in the first round, which is the initial step to advancing sectionally, regionally, and perhaps all the way to an NFL stadium for a national competition. In the past, the JCC has boasted several winners that advanced to regionals and had the opportunity to compete on Redskins field. This year, the JCC will offer other athletes similar opportunities to move forward in the competition. Punt, Pass & Kick is a nationwide football skills competition sponsored annually by the National Football League. It is designed to provide America’s youth athletes an opportunity to compete against their peers in five age brackets. Established in 1961, PPK is the oldest NFL youth football program. More than three million boys and girls take part in PPK competitions from May through January, making it one of the largest youth sports participation programs in the nation. Boys and girls compete separately in one of five age divisions by punting, passing, and kicking. All participants launch one punt, one pass, and one kick, with scores based on distance and accuracy, in the hopes of winning a chance to advance to sectionals.
Distance scores are determined from where a contestant’s ball first makes contact with the ground, while accuracy is measured by the distance the ball deviates from the centerline down the field. Yardage off the centerline is then subtracted from the distance yardage to establish the final result. Participants start out in free local competitions. To participate, athletes only need a birth certificate to verify their age for the proper age division. Players can only participate in one local competition a year. Sneakers are required; cleats are not allowed. The top finisher in each age group at each local competition will qualify for the sectional competition. At sectionals, each participant starts over and tallies new scores. The top four competitors in each age group at the sectional competition advance to the team championship in their NFL market. The winners are named that NFL market’s Punt, Pass & Kick champion. From there, the top four scores nationally in each age group come together for the national competition. The finals generally take place in January at an NFL stadium that is host to a playoff game. To sign up for the FREE PPK event at the JCC, visit the NFL’s Punt Pass and Kick website, NFLPPK.com. For more information, email email@example.com, or call 757-321-2308.
Friday Shabbat Service with Tidewater Chavurah Friday, September 9, 7 pm
idewater Chavurah will hold its second Friday of the month Shabbat service with Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill leading the service at the home of Hal and Elaine in the Great Neck Meadows area of Virginia Beach. An Oneg will follow to give time to relax with friends. Everyone is invited. For event information and location address, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 499-3660 or 468-2675. Check out www.tidewaterchavurah.org or Tidewater Chavurah Facebook page for upcoming events.
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Employment Oppor tunity Director of Jewish Life and Learning The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC seeks an organized, creative self-starter with proven organizational skills and strategic thinking abilities, with a passion for Judaism and Israel for the position of Director, Jewish Life and Learning. This position requires strong values of pluralism and nurturing a community with diverse and varied expressions of Jewish life, and who can connect deeply with students from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds. The Director of Jewish Life and Learning works collaboratively with staff/teams in multiple areas of the UJFT to bolster opportunities for Jewish education and experience in our various communities. Working closely with the CEO, COO and Director of Hillel, the Director of JL&L promotes the advancement of the UJFT’s Jewish education vision with meaningful programming and training throughout the community. Part time position: 20 hours per week For detail job description, visit www.jewishva.org or www.simonfamilyjcc.org
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 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
Calendar September 14, Wednesday Norfolk–Virginia Beach Chapter Hadassah and Jewish Family Service open meeting with Dr. Aaron Vinik. Reba and Sam Family Campus, 7 pm. A national leader in basic and clinical Neuropathy, he will speak on diabetes and aging. For more information, 757-499-4711. September 15, Thursday The Community Relations Council of UJFT hosts Hampton Roads Diversity and Inclusion Consortium, 9–11 am, at the Sandler Family Campus. Free with RSVP. See page 33. September 18, Sunday NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Competition at the Simon Family JCC. 1–3 pm. For boys and girls ages 6–15, this competition is the first step to advancing sectionally, regionally and perhaps all the way to an NFL stadium for a national competition. Free. Sign up at www.NFLPPK.com. For information, email email@example.com, or call 757-321-2308. See page 33. September 20, Tuesday UJFT’s Annual Campaign Kickoff Celebration with Dennis Ross on the stage at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts. 5:45–6:45 pm. Cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception. Free and open to all members of the Jewish community. See page 32. September 20, Tuesday Israel Today with Ambassador Dennis Ross, 7:30 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. Presented by the CRC of the UJFT, Simon Family JCC, and community partners, in collaboration with the Virginia Beach Forum. Tickets $40, $10 for students, at www.VABeachForum.com or 757-385-2787 or visit www.JewishVA.org/IsraelToday. See pages 29 and 31. September 21 - October 23 Israel Today hosts Israeli mixed-media collage artist Neta Levi. Her colorful and internationally renowned work displayed in the Leon Family Art Gallery. See page 33.
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September 27, Tuesday ODU Literary Festival hosts Etgar Keret, Israeli author and 2016 Bronfman Prize winner. 8 pm in the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries at ODU. Open and free to the public.
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WHO Knew? ‘Dr. Drew’ show canceled after remarks about Hillary Clinton’s health CNN canceled Dr. Drew On Call eight days after the Jewish celebrity physician said he was “gravely concerned” about Hillary Clinton’s health and medical treatment. “Dr. Drew and I have mutually agreed to air the final episode of his show on Sept. 22,” said Ken Jautz, CNN executive vice president, according to CNN Money. The changes, which were announced August 25, came shortly after Drew Pinsky expressed his worries about Clinton’s health in a radio interview, during which he diagnosed her with brain damage and said she was receiving “sort-of 1950-level care.” Pinsky said he and a fellow physician had studied the Democratic presidential
candidate’s medical records and “were gravely concerned not just about her health but her health care.” “What is going on with her health care? It’s bizarre,” he said, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Republican candidate Donald Trump has raised questions about Clinton’s health in recent attacks. Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS, and all the many adversaries we face,” Trump said last month. Although Clinton, like Trump, has not released a full medical record, she did release a two-page health care statement from her physician in July 2015 saying she is in “excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.” Dr. Arthur Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, criticized
medical professionals who offer diagnoses of patients not under their care. “[U]nless you believe in psychic diagnosis, it is completely irresponsible and unprofessional to do it,” he told the liberal watchdog group Media Matters.(JTA)
Barbra Streisand says she will move to Australia or Canada if Trump wins Barbra Streisand told Australian TV that she will move to Australia or Canada if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States. Streisand, 74, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is a well-known Democratic Party supporter, made the threat to move during an interview aired on an Australian version of the 60 Minutes news magazine. “He has no facts. I don’t know, I can’t
believe it. I’m either coming to your country, if you’ll let me in, or Canada,” Streisand told Sydney journalist Michael Usher. Usher told the iconic Jewish singer that she was “very welcome” to live in Australia. Streisand called on Trump’s American supporters to “come back to sanity.” On the Tonight Show on August 25, Streisand sang a duet with host Jimmy Fallon impersonating Trump. The pair sang a comedic rendition of Anything You Can Do that skewered many of Trump’s statements from the campaign trail, including his intention to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border. Streisand is in the middle of a tour in support of her 35th album, a compendium of duets titled Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. She mocked Trump repeatedly during the tour’s first concert. (JTA)
mazel tov to Engagement Tova and Jay Warren on the engagement of their daughter, Shulamit Warren to Isaac Puder, son of Isaac Puder and Shulamit Warren. Nili and Zeev Puder of Queens, New York. Warren is a 1994 graduate of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, a 1998 Graduate of Bethel High School, and a 2002 graduate of the University of Virginia. She is the director of Policy and Special Projects with the Manhattan (NY) Borough president. Puder received his B.A. from Queens College in 2001 and is a vice president in the Compliance Surveillance Technology Department of Citigroup in Manhattan, New York. Last September, they met at the 20s + 30s at JCC Manhattan’s Sukkah Rooftop Party. On August 2, they returned to that same rooftop where Tzachie proposed and Shula happily accepted.
Wedding Noam Itzhak and Shayna Schwarzberg on their marriage. Noam is the son of Shira and Shmuel Itzhak of Norfolk. Noam is the grandson of Honey and Robert Low of Virginia Beach and Esther and Itzhak Yitzhak of Moshav Sde Terumot, Israel. Shayna is the daughter of Rabbi Ronnie and Judy Schwarzberg of Highland Park, New Jersey and granddaughter of Sandra Frankl of Highland Park, New Jersey. The wedding was officiated by Rabbi Ronnie Schwarzberg at Keter Torah Synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey, on August 22, 2016. Noam attended the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Toras Chaim and Fasman Yeshiva High School in Skokie, Illinois. Both Noam and Shayna graduated in May from the Yeshiva University Sy Syms School of Business. Noam will join the firm Ernst and Young. The couple will reside in New York City.
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obituaries Inge G. Freedman Norfolk—It is with regret that I announce the passing of my beloved wife Inge G. Freedman. She died peacefully in her sleep after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. A victim of the Holocaust, she arrived in the country with her parents in 1938. She was a wonderful wife, mother and friend. Left behind are her loving husband Leonard, her daughter Barbara, son Gordon (Mary) and two grandchildren, Alexis and Stephen. Donations to the Alzheimer’s Association will be greatly appreciated. Bernard H. Miller, M.D. Virginia Beach—Bernard H. Miller, MD, 88, passed away peacefully August 25, 2016. He was born December 27, 1927 to Bessie and Horace Miller, in Norfolk. A graduate from Maury High School,
he earned his Bachelor’s of Science from Lenoir-Rhyne, Hickory, N.C. He earned his MD from the Medical College of Virginia. Bernard worked a year at Mt. Sinai in N. Y., and completed his residency at Michael Reese in Chicago, where he met the love of his life and future wife Fern Lorber. He moved to Norfolk in 1957, opening his internal medicine practice and was the founder of Chesapeake Internists. His many honors included serving as president of Virginia Diabetes Association, serving as an attending physician, including training residents. He became the first president of the medical staff for Chesapeake General Hospital, retiring at age 75. He enjoyed international travel; was a voracious reader; and was an unparalleled historian. Dr. Miller was a member of the Torch Club. The joy of his life was fine dining with his 10 grandchildren. Dr. Miller was a US Army veteran, having served in Germany. He is preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Fern Miller. He is survived by his brother, Claude Miller and wife Marlene, of Norfolk; his four children Julius Miller and wife Jeanne; Bobbi Rudin and husband Mark; Horace Miller and wife Linda; Anna Avital and husband Erik; 10 grandchildren, Jordan, Lisa, Robert, Roni, Bessie, Whitley, Adi, Doron, Lorber and Barr. A memorial service took place at Ohef Sholom Temple. Contributions in his memory to WHRO, Public Media, P.O. Box 6206, Norfolk, Virginia 23508; or the American College of Physicians Foundation. Friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.omanfh.com. Steven Reznick Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C.—Dr. J. Steven Reznick passed away after living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for three years. He faced this adversity with grace, courage and generosity and worked diligently on ALS research and fundraising/advocacy endeavors. He was born in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1951, the son of Joseph and Jeanne Tavss Reznick.
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He is survived by his devoted wife Donna Kaye, his wonderful daughter Leah Tyner and son-in law Jon Tyner of Knightdale, N.C., his father Joseph Reznick of Virginia Beach, his stepson Aaron Kaye of Washington D.C., sisters and brothers-in-law Celia and Larry Brown of White Plains, N.Y., and Barbara and Keith Bernstein of Birmingham, Ala., as well as his many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. Since 1998, he was a professor in the Department of Psychology at University of North Carolina and he spent almost two decades as an exemplary citizen of the Carolina academic community. His primary scientific contributions were in the domain of infant cognitive development. He was the author or co-author of seven books (one which will be published posthumously), founded the Cognitive Development Society and held governance positions in the International Society for Infant Studies and the Society for Research in Child Development. In order to honor Steve’s lifelong commitment to education, research and Carolina, the family requests that donations be made to the J. Steven Reznick Diversity and Psychological Research Fund. This Fund will encourage and honor undergraduate students who conduct exemplary research on topics of concern to diverse groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in psychological research. Wendy Altschul Rolland Rye, New York—Wendy Altschul Rolland, 85, died peacefully in her sleep on August 9, 2016, after a brave battle with cancer. Born in Norfolk to Sylvan and Ethel Altschul, Wendy was a student of Miss Turnbull’s School, a graduate of Wellesley College in Mathematics and of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Architecture. She practiced architecture with prominent firms in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco, before entering private practice in Rye in 1962. Wendy served as member and chair of the Rye Board of Architectural Review for 11 years, was an active member and volunteer of the class of 1952 at Wellesley, and
a lifelong champion of good design. Wendy loved photography and was featured in numerous group shows over the last 30 years. She loved sailing, tennis, crew, traveling, sun bathing and chocolate. Most of all she loved family and friends. Wendy will be deeply missed as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She will be remembered for her intelligence, strength and resourcefulness, creativity and keen eye, opinions, determination, kindness and caring. Wendy is survived by her husband of 60 years, Peter Rolland; children David (Mika), Seth (Me’l) and Janna (Phil); grandchildren Ben, Milo and Cole; her brother Benjamin Altschul (Candace); and brother-in-law John Rolland (Froma). Donations may be directed to Wellesley College. Dr. Fred Harris Rosenblum Virginia Beach—The son of the late Sam and Ruth Rosenblum, of blessed memory, died peacefully surrounded by family on August 11, 2016. He attended Norfolk’s Taylor, Blair and Maury schools and graduated with honors from University of Virginia and the college of dentistry at the Medical College of Virginia. He received a post-graduate degree in pediatric dentistry from Medical College of Virginia and was the first board certified pediatric dentist in Virginia Beach. Fred was also the first dentist to travel with Operation Smile in the early 80s and continued to volunteer his time and talents for years after. Throughout his life, he loved skiing, golf and never gave up his passion for traveling, especially with his family. He is survived by his wife Barbara and his children Dr. Richard Rosenblum and Gabrielle, Suzanne Guardia and Luis, the Honorable Michael Rosenblum and Nicole, Harry Hjardemaal and Mattia Botturi, and his brother Jordan Rosenblum and Eilene, and seven grandchildren. A graveside funeral took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Congregation Beth El, Operation Smile or a favorite charity.
obituaries Ethelyn Smith Smith nee Norfolk—Ethelyn Weinberger, 85. Beloved wife of the late Julius Smith. Loving mother of Pamela (Sam Hochberg) Smith, David (Lori) Smith and Marla (Bobby) Rehbock. Cherished grandmother of Kimberly (Aaron), Marisa (Michael), Michael, Daniel, Carly, Susan, Ryan and Hannah and great-grandmother of Olivia and Autumn. Dear sister of Esther (the late Maury) Andes. A private graveside service was held. Memorials to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077 www. ilholocaustmuseum.org and Seasons Hospice Foundation, 8537 Solution Center, Chicago, IL 60677 www.seasonsfoundation.org would be appreciated. Chicago Jewish Funerals Buffalo Grove Chapel.
Arthur Hiller, Jewish director of Love Story
rthur Hiller, the Canadian-born Jewish director most famous for the hit movie Love Story, has died. Hiller, had been in failing health for some time, died August 17. He was 92. “We are deeply saddened by the
passing of our beloved friend Arthur Hiller,” the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement. Hiller had served as the academy’s president from 1993 to 1997 and of the Directors Guild of America from 1989 to 1993. The Directors Guild in a statement called Hiller “a tireless crusader in the fight for creative rights and a passionate film preservation advocate.” The academy presented him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards ceremony in 2002. During a career that spanned more than half a century, Hiller directed numerous television episodes and more than 30 feature films. Love Story, released in 1970 and based on an Erich Segal novel about a doomed romance, was his biggest hit. He was nominated for an Academy Award as best director and won a Golden Globe. Other films included Silver Streak, The Americanization of Emily, Tobruk and The Hospital. A native of Edmonton, Hiller was the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland. As a child, he recalled in the book Matzo Balls for Breakfast and Other Stories of Growing Up Jewish, that he helped out building
sets and acting “with the long beard and the payes” at a Yiddish theater run by his parents. They were not, he wrote, “professionals in theater, they wanted to do a play once or twice a year for the community of 450 to keep in touch with their heritage.” Hiller tried to volunteer to fight for Israel after the outbreak of the 1948 War of Independence but was rejected because he had recently married his childhood sweetheart, Gwen Pechet. Their marriage lasted 68 years, until his wife died in June. (JTA)
Sonia Rykiel, ‘Queen of Knitwear’ fashion designer, dies at 86
rominent French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel, who was known for her knitwear designs, died August 25 at 86. Rykiel, dubbed the “Queen of Knitwear,” had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease since the late 1990s. She was known for celebrating women’s
bodies with knitted striped clothes that clung to the body. Rykiel often broke unspoken fashion rules, such as by designing clothes for women of all ages rather than catering to a younger audience. The Paris native was the daughter of a Jewish Polish mother and Romanian father. She married Paris boutique owner Sam Rykiel in 1953. The couple had two children, Jean-Philippe and Nathalie, but divorced in 1968. Nathalie currently serves as the managing and artistic director of her mother’s fashion label. “It is a sad day but Sonia Rykiel leaves behind her an extraordinary legacy,” said Jean-Marc Loubier, chairman and chief executive of First Heritage Brands, the parent company of Rykiel’s label. The office of French President Francois Hollande said: “She had invented not only a style but an attitude, a way of life, and gave women freedom of movement.” (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 37
Beth Sholom Village Receives National Five-Star Rating
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The Virginia Chorale opens 33rd season with Radiant Voices: music of Jewish composers through the ages with renowned mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon Saturday, September 17, 8 pm First Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach Sunday, September 18, 4 pm Ohef Sholom Temple, Norfolk
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38 | Jewish News | September 5, 2016 | jewishnewsva.org
he Virginia Chorale, the Commonwealth’s premier professional choral ensemble, opens its 33rd season with Radiant Voices: music of Jewish composers through the ages. Charles Woodward, artistic director of the Chorale, describes Radiant Voices as “a unique opportunity to hear music drawn from sacred and secular musical traditions of the past four centuries and from communities throughout the diaspora. “Audiences will hear an Italian Renaissance madrigal, folk songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino, a classic from the Broadway stage, and a grand 19th-century synagogue masterwork, all sung in the Chorale’s signature a cappella style,” says Woodward. “The Chorale singers and I are pleased to bring this concert celebrating music of Jewish composers to audiences in Hampton Roads,” he says. Internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon joins the Chorale in the concert’s major work, Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning, a setting of the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis that was composed in 1947 for soloist and chorus.
Radiant Voices Presented by The Virginia Chorale
Saturday, September 17, 8 pm First Presbyterian Church 300 36th Street, Virginia Beach Sunday, September 18, 4 pm Ohef Sholom Temple 530 Raleigh Avenue, Norfolk
Redmon, a Chesapeake native, has graced the world’s greatest stages including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsopera, Santa Fe Opera, and New York City Opera, and has performed with the Israel Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and Virginia Symphony, among others. Founded 33 years ago, The Virginia Chorale has grown from a community-based early music chorus to today’s dynamic group of 22 professional singers, performing repertoire ranging from the Middle Ages to music of today. The Chorale has performed hundreds of concerts throughout Hampton Roads, recorded three compact discs, appeared on local and national radio broadcasts, launched a pre-professional education program for young singers, and performed internationally. Prior to the concert at Ohef Sholom Temple, the temple’s Adult Education committee will present “Judaism and the tradition of sacred choral music.” Panelists Dr. Sandra Billy of Center for Sacred Music; Virginia Wesleyan College; Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel; and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin, Ohef Sholom Temple, will explore how music kindles a desire for the sacred, and has shaped the diverse modes of Jewish identity found throughout the world and across history. The panel will begin at 3 pm in the temple’s Sinai Chapel and is free and open to the public. Tickets to Radiant Voices are available through the Virginia Chorale, 757-627-8375, online at vachorale.org, or at the door.
In Blazing Saddles, Gene Wilder helped recall a fading black-Jewish alliance Andrew Silow-Carroll
ast year I joined some 3,000 people at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for a wide-screen showing of Mel Brooks’ 1974 Western parody, Blazing Saddles. In the onstage interview that followed, Brooks, then 89, was beside himself in his delight at sharing his 42-year-old comedy with a real live audience. There was only one awkward moment in a joyous and hilarious evening, and it came when Brooks asked if anyone in the audience actually lived in Newark. One person, in the balcony, said yes. Brooks couldn’t know it, but it was a reminder of the sad history of Newark and the white ethnic populations, including a vibrant Jewish community, that fled the city for the suburbs—an exodus that culminated with the riots that scarred its downtown in 1967. The Performing Arts Center is an attempt to woo back suburbanites, although few linger after the concerts and performances end. Brooks’ inadvertent reminder of the yawning divide between mostly black Newark and its mostly white suburbs was particularly poignant considering the themes of racial bigotry and reconciliation that he doesn’t just sneak into Blazing Saddles, but are in fact its comic engine. Co-written in part with the black comic genius Richard Pryor, Blazing Saddles is about a lily-white town in the desolate West that is in the way of a railroad being built by the villainous Hedley Lamarr, played by Harvey Korman. To rile the people of Rock Ridge and make it easier for his henchmen to drive them away, Korman appoints a black railroad worker, played by a dashing Cleavon Little, as their new sheriff, inevitably named Black Bart. The townspeople are appalled, and much of the plot, such as it is, involves Little trying to win over
the bigots and unite the town against Korman’s robber baron. That’s where Gene Wilder comes in. The orange-haired, blue-eyed master of the comedic pause and the slow burn, who died Sunday, August 28 at 83, plays Jim, aka the Waco Kid, a washed-up gunslinger who Little finds sleeping it off in the town jail. The chemistry between the characters—and the actors—is apparent from their first encounter. “Are we awake?” Bart asks of the drunk cowboy hanging upside down from his bunk. “We’re not sure. Are we…black?” Jim replies. “Yes, we are,” Bart says. “Then we’re awake,” Jim says, “but we’re very puzzled.” The “we” there is telling, as is Wilder’s stating the obvious from the get-go. His character isn’t racist—he understands in an instant that black men do not become sheriffs in the mythical American West. From this brief encounter grows one of the cinema’s greatest onscreen friendships, as well as a brief reminder of an off-screen black-Jewish alliance that was already fading, if not dead, by the time the movie came out. Jews and blacks had made common cause in the early years of the civil rights movement—out of mutual self-interest, it’s true, but also a sense of idealism represented by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s frequent invocations of the Old Testament and the Jewish kids who traveled south to agitate for black voters’ rights. Jews were overrepresented in the NAACP, especially among its legal teams, and the big Jewish organizations often adopted the civil rights cause as their own. By the late ’60s, however, identity politics, the rejection by black militants of “colonialist” Zionism, and riots that hollowed out Newark and dozens of other cities drove a wedge between blacks and Jews.
And yet something in the friendship of Black Bart and the Waco Kid echoes what once was. Wilder’s character is never identified as a Jew, but Wilder, with a frizzy Jewfro that he can barely contain under his ten-gallon hat, is the furthest thing possible from the central casting idea of the movie gunfighter. (One can only imagine what the film would have been had Brooks’ first choice for the role, the typically handsome actor Gig Young, not shown up too drunk to handle the movie shoot. “If you want an alcoholic, don’t cast an alcoholic,” Brooks once said.) Like the slickly urban Little in his tailored buckskin outfits, Wilder lands in the movie like a visitor from the multi-ethnic, post-civil rights era future, as if the two met at a jazz club in the West Village, not a one-horse town in the Badlands. Wilder also plays a role that recalls the black-Jewish dynamic of the civil rights movement—the Jewish consigliere. The Waco Kid is Black Bart’s only ally against the racist townspeople, and while Bart faces most of the real physical dangers, Jim provides some muscle and moral support. When Bart is upset that he’s been rejected by the citizens of Rock Ridge, Wilder consoles him with a gentle monologue: “What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny’? ‘Make yourself at home’? ‘Marry my daughter’? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know…morons.” (Why does that speech sound particularly apropos in 2016?) Later, the two will rally Rock Ridge against a mercenary army of bad guys that includes—in addition to your standard Western lineup of “hustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters [and] desperadoes”—robed members of the Ku Klux Klan, helmeted Nazis and camel-riding Arabs. Talk about your common cause. The amity between his black and white
Gene Wilder, May 2007.
protagonists grew out of the writing room itself, Brooks recalled after the Newark screening, explaining that “Pryor wrote the Jewish jokes, the Jews wrote the black jokes.” In an essay for NPR, Nadya Faulx once noted that the interracial relationship between Bart and Jim wasn’t unprecedented in film, but “it was one of the first in which race wasn’t treated as an obstacle.” Blazing Saddles came after The Defiant Ones, in which Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier are literally shackled together as a white and black (and Jewish and black) odd couple. Blazing Saddles also anticipated a string of black-white buddy movies to come, include Wilder’s own collaborations with Pryor on Stir Crazy and other comedies, as well as Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours. The black-Jewish alliance was never as solid as some survivors of the ‘60s like to claim. Philip Roth, the bard of lost Jewish Newark, once recalled that when he was growing up in the city in the ’30s and ’40s, “we were all—Irish, Italians, Slavs, blacks, Jews—settled and secure in different neighborhoods. There was barely any social overlap.” Blazing Saddles is, perhaps, a movie about what could have been and what might still be: a better world in which Jews and African-Americans win out over racism, xenophobia, ignorance and a rapacious tycoon through the power of friendship, cunning, some bloodless gun play—and the occasional fart joke. (JTA)
jewishnewsva.org | September 5, 2016 | Jewish News | 39
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