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2 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Op-Ed: N.Y.’s Jewish community report can apply elsewhere in U.S. by Ira M. Sheskin
(JTA)—The 2011 Jewish Community Study of New York was released with some fanfare earlier this month. Some of the UJA-Federation of New York’s survey results came as somewhat of a surprise. After a decrease from about 2 million Jews in 1970 to 1.4 million in both 1991 and 2002, the region’s Jewish population increased to 1.54 million in 2011, refle cting higher numbers of both children and elderly. Even more surprising was that nearly 500,000 Jews now live in Orthodox households, making the eight-county area (New York City’s five boroughs, plus Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties) almost one-third Orthodox. At the same time, the number of people who are “Just Jewish” and have much weaker ties to the Jewish community also is increasing. Thus, the two extremes are growing at the expense of the middle (Conservative and Reform Jews). The study also found significant diversity (Russians, Israelis, Syrians and others), a significantly increased percentage of Jews living in poverty (about 20 percent) and modest decreases in philanthropic giving as needs are increasing. The report contains more than 250 pages of interesting and instructive information on this most important American Jewish community. With the New York area’s 1.54 million Jews representing as much as 25 percent of America’s Jews, changes in its demography and Jewish engagement affect the overall profile of America’s Jewish population. So can a Houston, a Tucson, Ariz., or a Springfield, Mass., learn anything from a reading of the New York results that will assist them in their own community planning?
Yes—and no. To answer the question, I used the Comparison of Jewish Communities: A Compendium of Tables and Bar Charts recently posted by this author, which provides comparisons of 55 American Jewish communities on hundreds of measures. New York is like other Jewish communities in some ways. For example, among the comparison Jewish communities, the percentage of persons in Jewish households in New York age 17 and younger (23 percent), age 65 and older (20 percent) and age 75 and older (12 percent) as well as average household size (2.55 persons per household) are all about average. Synagogue membership (44 percent) and Jewish community center participation (32 percent) are both about average, too. The percentage of households who donated to any Jewish charity in the past year (59 percent) is a bit below average. On the other hand, New York really differs from the rest of the country on many measures. For example, among the comparison communities, the percentage of those in the local community who are Jewish (13 percent) is the third highest after Florida’s South Palm Beach and Broward County. The percentage locally born (56 percent) is the highest and the percentage foreign born (29 percent) is topped only by Miami. Among the 55 comparison Jewish communities, the percentage of Orthodox households (20 percent) is the second highest (just below Baltimore), Conservative (19 percent) is the fourth lowest and Reform (23 percent) is the second lowest. The percentage Just Jewish (37 percent) is the fifth highest. The percentage of households who keep a kosher home (32 percent) is the highest. The 22 percent of married couples in
contents Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Farmers Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Nurses learn about Judaism . . . . . . . . . 7 Temple Israel Sunday School . . . . . . . . 8 Board of Rabbis and Cantors . . . . . . . . 8 Beth Chaverim at 30. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Melton graduation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 YAK honors Jordan Slone. . . . . . . . . . 11 Simon Family JCC meets . . . . . . . . . . 12 ORT students in Tidewater . . . . . . . . . . HAT graduates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Israeli film screened . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Internet safety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 JCC Summer camp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 JCC Golf Tournament. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 HAT first graders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Mazel Tov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Young Leadership in D.C.. . . . . . . . . . 26 Legal Matters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
the Jewish community who are intermarried is well below average. The percentage of households who donated to the local Jewish federation in the past year (24 percent) is the sixth lowest. Thus, New York also differs greatly. No other Jewish community is as large, as diverse or as poor. Its Orthodox Jewish community alone is larger than any other American Jewish community, except perhaps for Los Angeles. In no other community do we see the growth in Orthodox identification that we see in New York (although we do see increases elsewhere). Still, some trends and relationships found in the New York report almost certainly apply in many other Jewish communities. For example, the trend toward greater bifurcation, with some becoming more Jewishly engaged (although not Orthodox) while others become less Jewishly engaged, is seen in most Jewish communities today. And the relationships shown in New York between Jewish engagement and such experiences as Israel trips and Jewish overnight camps almost certainly suggest that further emphasis on such informal Jewish educational efforts throughout the nation is warranted. I have completed more than 40 similar studies throughout the country (including in Tidewater) and believe that the real lesson is that conducting similar studies in the Houstons, Tucsons and Springfields will result in similar benefits for those communities. Jewish communities do differ. —Ira M. Sheskin is a professor in the department of geography and regional studies and the director of the Jewish Demography Project of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami.
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briefs Adelson says he’ll pay ‘whatever it takes’ to oust Obama Sheldon Adelson reportedly has said he will donate “whatever it takes” to defeat President Obama. Forbes Magazine reported Thursday, June 14 that a source close to the casino magnate said that Adelson is willing to donate more than the $10 million he gave this week to Restore Our Future, a proMitt Romney political action committee. Such PACs generally run negative attacks on a candidate’s opponent. The source told Forbes that Adelson believes “no price is too high” to defeat Obama. Adelson had said previously that he was ready to spend as much as $100 million to help Newt Gingrich, his old friend and the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, win the Republican nomination. After Gingrich withdrew, Adelson said he would switch allegiances to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and the presumptive nominee. Romney and Adelson met late last month. Adelson, a major donor to Jewish and right-wing pro-Israel causes, says Israel is a critical element in how he determines political support. (JTA) Day school catcher Max Ungar, drafted by Nationals, to play college ball Max Ungar, the Maryland day school catcher drafted by the Washington Nationals, will forego the pros to play at Denison University in Ohio. The Washington Jewish Week reported that Ungar, 17, who recently graduated from the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, will fulfill his commitment to enroll at Denison. He was picked in the 36th round of the Major League Baseball draft. “The Nationals will offer me a contract, and I will decline the offer,” Unger told the paper. “I was recruited by Denison and plan to go there to study and play baseball. I really like the academic challenges of the school and know that if I play well the Nationals or another team can draft me again after my junior year of college.” (JTA) Peres calls for renewed peace talks in medal ceremony Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres called for a renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians. “Israel and the Palestinians are ripe today to restart” peace talks, Peres said at the White House ceremony “A firm
basis already exists. A solution of two national states: A Jewish state—Israel. An Arab state—Palestine. The Palestinians are our closest neighbors. I believe they may become our closest friends.” Peace talks have been stalled since 2010, with the Palestinians demanding a freeze of settlement building in the West Bank, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisting on no preconditions for their restart. Peres, addressing about 140 dignitaries in the White House East Room, also thanked Obama for pressuring Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program. “Mr. President, you worked hard to build a world coalition to meet this immediate threat,” Peres said. “You started, rightly, with economic sanctions. You made it clear, rightly again, that all options are on the table.” Obama also emphasized peacemaking in his remarks. “Shimon knows that a nation’s security depends, not just on the strength of its arms, but upon the righteousness of its deeds—its moral compass,” he said. “He knows, as Scripture teaches, that we must not only seek peace, we must pursue it. And so it has been the cause of his life—peace, security and dignity, for Israelis and Palestinians and all Israel’s Arab neighbors.” (JTA)
judgment until they had a chance to review the medical records. “We appreciate the Cuban government today finally releasing Alan’s medical records and test results to us,” the family said in a statement released through their lawyer, Peter Kahn. ”It is unfortunate that it took more than a month for them to do so, despite repeated requests. We will reserve any further comment until after Alan’s U.S. doctors have an opportunity to review and analyze the medical documentation the Cubans are providing. Suffice it to say, however, anyone who has seen the recent stark photos of Alan understands the family’s legitimate concern for his physical and mental well-being.” Gross continues to be held at a military hospital, the Cuban government statement said, “to ensure him the best conditions for his recovery,” instead of returning him to prison. Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was arrested in 2009 for allegedly bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community. He was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison. He is being held in a medical facility and has been visited by family, friends and Jewish leaders. Gross is allowed weekly calls to the United States. (JTA)
Alan Gross in ‘normal’ health, Cuban officials say Jailed Jewish American contractor Alan Gross is in “normal” health and is being treated for his chronic conditions, the Cuban government said in a statement. The Cuban government on Saturday, June 16 released Gross’ medical records in response to accusations by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that he could no longer walk on his own even in his small cell. “The Government of the United States and Mr. Gross’ family have been regularly receiving a complete medical report about his health,” the statement said. “Cuban authorities have periodically been meeting with U.S. officials and with Mr. Gross’ family in order to share all information about his health. The statement said the Cuban government “regrets the distortions that are being spread on the subject of Mr. Gross’ health and respects his right to the privacy of doctor-patient information. Cuba demands that this campaign of fabrications ceases; and should it continue, there will be no other alternative than to publish abundant information on the subject.” Gross’ family said they would reserve
German neo-Nazi helped in Munich 11 murders German neo-Nazis helped the Palestinian Black September group kill 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, according to German documents. The connection between neo-Nazi activist Willi Pohl and Palestinian terrorist Abu Daoud was published Sunday, June 17 in the German weekly Der Spiegel. The report was based on a 2,000-page file compiled by Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The neo-Nazi activist helped Abu Daoud procure fake identification, including passports and other documents, according to Der Spiegel. He reportedly also helped them obtain weapons. Dortmund police reportedly were aware of the connection between Daoud and Pohl seven weeks before the attack, but did not intervene. Eleven Israeli athletes and coaches were killed at the 1972 Games in Germany by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. The International Olympic Committee has officially rejected a request by the athletes’ families to hold a moment of silence for the Munich 11 at the London Olympics
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this summer, the 40th anniversary of the assassinations. Israel has regularly requested a moment of silence at the Olympics; the IOC has consistently turned down that proposal. The Israel National Olympic Committee will hold its own memorial ceremony during the Games, as it has at every Olympics. (JTA)
Billboard warns Jewish commuters against Manhattan’s ills A bright red billboard posted on a New York highway is warning Jewish commuters of the perils of Manhattan. The sign on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway reads in Hebrew: “Dear Jew: You are entering a dangerous place. Shield your eyes.” The words “Shield your eyes” are repeated in English. The billboard says it is sponsored by the Congregation of Yad Moshe, which according to reports is associated with Dov Hikind, an Orthodox state assemblyman whose district is in Brooklyn. Reportedly the billboard has been up for several weeks. (JTA) Romney says he will do the ‘opposite’ of Obama on Israel Mitt Romney told an audience of Christian conservatives that he would do the “opposite” of what President Obama has done when it comes to Israel. “I think, by and large, you can just look at the things the president has done and do the opposite,” Romney said Saturday, June 16 in an address by video to a conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and the all but certain Republican presidential nominee, was campaigning in Pennsylvania when the conference took place in Washington. Romney faulted Obama for asking Israel to hold back while the West exhausts possibilities short of war to get Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program. “He’s almost sounded like he’s more frightened that Israel might take military action than he’s concerned that Iran might become nuclear,” Romney said of Obama. “I would make it very clear that for us, as well as for them, it is unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation and that we’re prepared to take any and all action to keep that from happening.” The Romney campaign has said that Obama should do more to make clear that a military option is available should Iran forge ahead with its nuclear enrichment, which the Islamic Republic insists is for peaceful purposes.(JTA)
Hukkat: Highly illogical, or, what I did for love
ometimes I just don’t understand the reason I’m being asked to do something. My initial reaction is to refuse, at least internally. Why should I do it, if I don’t see the value in its doing? God gave me a discerning mind and free will, so it should be my inalienable right to have some idea of why this thing is being asked of me. Where is the logic that would convince me to exert effort toward this when I’d much rather be doing that? And usually, I find myself doing the task anyway. Have I given up my rights to think for myself? Have I decided that doing this might actually be better than doing that? Or is it who’s doing the asking? On the one hand, if your friends asked you to jump off a bridge, would you do it? If your instinct tells you ‘don’t,’ give your gut feeling a chance to be heard. Some things are just not logical. On the other hand, if you love God, and God asked you to take an extremely rare, perfect red cow, slaughter it, burn it to ashes, mix it with other ingredients, and use it in a cleansing ritual… would you? The parah adumah (red heifer or red cow) was a sacrifice in the Torah, the ashes of which are used for the ritual cleansing of an Israelite in Biblical times who had come into contact with a corpse. In Numbers 19:2, we read: “Instruct the Israelite people to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid.” All the hairs must be red, the animal has to be perfectly healthy and cannot have been a beast of burden. This cow will then be slaughtered appropriately, some of the blood will be sprinkled seven times toward the tent of meeting, and it will be burned to ashes outside the camp. Cedar wood, hyssop, and “crimson stuff” are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing pure water. A person who has touched a corpse and has therefore become ritually impure goes to the priest, who sprinkles him or her with
water from the vessel, using the hyssop, on days three and seven of the purification period. The case of the Red Heifer has been held up as a perfect example of a chok, a Biblical law which defies any obvious logic, so it must have been given by God. Those who love God will follow the commandment because of who’s the One asking. A certain non-believer asked R. Yohanan ben Zakkai: The rites you perform in connection with the Red Heifer smell of witchcraft! You bring a heifer, burn it, grind it and take its ashes. You sprinkle two or three drops on one of you who is contaminated with corpse defilement and say to him, You are clean. Said R. Yohanan b. Zakkai to him: Have you never seen a man possessed by a demon? He answered: Yes. - And what do you do for him? - We bring herbs and make them smoke beneath him, and throw water on him and the demon is exorcised. He answered: Let your ears hear what your mouth has spoken. The spirit of defilement is the same as your demon. We sprinkle on it the waters of purification and it is exorcised. After the non-believer had left, R. Yohanan’s disciples said to him: Him you have put off with a straw, but what answer will you give us? He replied to them. By your life, neither does the dead defile nor the water purify, but the Holy One blessed be He said: It is a statute I have laid down, a decree that I have decreed and you are not authorized to violate my decree. To paraphrase scholar Nehama Leibowitz, the non-believer needed a rational explanation, one that would fit in with his common-sense way of thinking. But Rav Yohanan could tell his disciples, who believed in the mitzvot and the One who gave them, that the heifer’s ashes have no magical properties themselves. The idea that God said “do this and you become impure; do that and you become pure again” is reason enough. Performing mitzvot out of love for the One who gave them refines the human soul. The value in the doing is just that: When the one I love asks me to do something and I do, she rewards me with “You listened! You did it like I asked! Mission accomplished.” Truth is, I may never understand how doing what I did made her happy…it may be tedious and irrelevant to explain… but when she’s happy, that’s a great reward. —Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin, Cantor, Ohef Sholom Temple.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 5
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Farmers Market returns to the Simon Family JCC. Fresh, locally grown produce and baked goods. The best place to shop produce this summer is right outside the JCC. 9amâ€“1 pm
6 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Jewish organizations praise Obama on deportation deferment WASHINGTON (JTA)—A number of Jewish organizations praised President Obama for deferring the deportation of young illegal immigrants. The new requirements are for people younger than 30 who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military. These immigrants are now able to apply for two-year deferrals of deportation. If approved, those that meet the requirements would be able to apply for work permits in the U.S. “This is a major success for advocates around the country, including many from the Jewish community, who have been pressuring the Administration and Congress to take action on this issue for over a decade,” said Mark Hetfield, Interim president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has spoken out publicly in support of the DREAM Act, a similar measure defeated in Congress in 2010. Rabbi David Saperstein, president of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, emphasized in a separate statement that “the law-abiding young women and men who were brought to the United States by undocumented parents will now have the opportunity to thrive in the country they know as home without the looming specter
of possible deportation.” Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, said in a news release that the administration’s “new policy will end the inhumane and mindless practice of deporting young people who came to the U.S. as children, have grown up and been educated here, and who are already or soon will be productive members of our society.” The Anti-Defamation League called the decision “an appropriate exercise of prosecutorial discretion” and “a responsible and important step in the right direction toward comprehensive immigration reform. “It means that as many as 800,000 young immigrants who have grown up in our communities and led exemplary lives will no longer live in fear of arrest or deportation because of their citizenship status,” the ADL said. National Jewish Democratic Council president and CEO David Harris and chair Marc Stanley cast the decision as one having special Jewish resonance. “American Jews—as descendants of immigrants, if not immigrants ourselves— understand profoundly what it means to have a shot at success in America,” said Harris and Stanley in a statement. “The provisions announced by the President today provide that opportunity.” (JTA)
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Nurses learn about Judaism by Abbey Pachter
tudent nurses at South University Virginia Beach begin their first clinical rotation at Beth Sholom Terrace in July. To prepare for this new cultural experience, while fulfilling a course requirement to investigate a religion unfamiliar to them, they decided to research Judaism and speak to someone who could help them understand what they may see on the job. Rabbi Gershon Litt, executive director of the Norfolk Kollel came to the school’s campus and discussed, with his well-known humor and in his most approachable way, 11 topics that could concern Jewish people, while advising the curious students that, “We all have different and unique needs and the best way to know what’s needed is to ask.” While explaining some common practices of Orthodox and traditional Jews, he pointed out that sometimes people who haven’t been observant previously may
decide to reject non-kosher foods. This was just one of many examples that Rabbi Litt suggested the new nurses may encounter at Beth Sholom Terrace or at any health care facility. Rabbi Litt focused on what nurses can do to support patients’/residents’ religious needs concerning health care issues. He discussed food and medication issues, Sabbath and fast days. He made sure students knew that health comes first, but that health care professionals should try their best to consider the religious and cultural needs whenever possible. In addition to dealing with issue that new nurses may encounter at Beth Sholom, Rabbi Litt also focused on what nurses may encounter in normal hospital settings. Of particular interest were issues regarding birthing, baby naming in hospitals and pressure to have a bris in a hospital setting. He explained that it is hard to find a mohel, an expert in ritual circumcision, and that
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calling the mohel is an important piece of the puzzle post birth. Rabbi Litt briefly discussed environmental concerns, end of life issues, and post-mortem care. For example, he explained that if a Jewish person is in a Christian hospital, the nurse should understand that the covering or removal of non-Jewish religious items is not a personal attack on Christianity, it’s just uncomfortable for some Jewish people to have these items in their immediate environment. With HIPAA laws precluding clergy from knowing of congregants’ illness, it can be
helpful to see if a family member would like to contact their personal clergy. The nursing students were appreciative of the rabbi’s visit. One even applied what she learned right away. Her husband, stationed in Israel, complained how the Jewish soldiers failed to work on Saturday. With evident joy at her new understanding, she told him he just didn’t understand…they were “Shomer Shabbos.” —Abbey Pachter PhD, RN, PMP is program director at South University Virginia Beach Nursing Programs.
jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 7
HOICE FOR OPTIMAL OUTCOMES.
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Students give good reviews to Sunday School by Kathrine Morton
part of the year and what were the students most glad to have learned? Here was the surprise. There was no duplication. One of the very young was most happy to have learned that the Hebrew word for “camel” is “gamal.” One remembered best
hat kind of child wants Sunday school to last longer? A child who attends classes at Temple Israel. In their anonymous year-end evaluations, students in grades two through seven looked back over their 90 hours of class time this year and A. Midis, MD, FAAOS • Jordan, Kevin Bonner, FAAOS Louis C. Jordan, Nicholas (L-R) A. Midis,Nicholas MD, FAAOS • Kevin F. Bonner, MD, FAAOS • Louis C. MD,F.FAAOS • Jack L. MD, Siegel, MD, FAAOS •• James E. Dowd, MD, FAAOS •MD, SamuelFAAOS P. Robinson, MD, FAAOSrated their Temple Israel Jack L. Siegel, MD, FAAOS • James E. Dowd, MD, FAAOS • Samuel P. Robinson, MD, FAAOS teachers most frequently as “cool” or “awesome.” Other descriptions of the Kevin F. Bonner, MD, FAAOS • Louis C. Jordan, MD, FAAOS • Jack L. Siegel, MD, FAAOS • James E. Dowd, MD, FAAOS roster of state certified 5716 Cleveland Street, Suite 200 • Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462 • (757) 490-4802 • www.jordan-younginstitute.com educators classed them as “AMAZING!”, “Funny” and “The Best.” The lowest rating was “Nice.” Classmates were viewed as “interesting,” 5716 Cleveland Street, Suite 200 • Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462 16 Cleveland Street, Suite 200 • Virginia 23462 • (757) 490-4802 • www.jordan-younginstitute.com “smart,” “cool,” “awe(757)Beach, 490-4802Virginia • www.jordan-younginstitute.com some” and “friendly” and Students at Temple Israel. in one case as “both fun and annoying.” the hamantashen the class made, another What do students hope for next year? remembered the rainbow cake in as many “It should be just like this year,” said two colors as Joseph’s coat. For others it was the youngsters in different classes. Another seder, the field trip to other synagogues, suggested the school “change nothing!” Not the whole-school activity days, or just all reports were as favorable: one asked for “having fun.” Among the older students, “more food.” One soulful youngster, when one liked best the discussions, another asked what s/he would change, thought the Questions-Only improv, another being not of the school but of the world she had with friends, and another delighted in the learned about and wrote wishing that s/he chance to lounge with the rabbi in his study 80% could change how many people had died watching movies. 50% in wars. Despite the request for more of the 30% 03% 50% 45% Finally, what was the most memorable same, next year promises new adventures. 0%
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Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, incoming president of the Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors, is congratulated by outgoing president Rabbi Israel Zoberman and her colleagues. From left, Cantor Elihu Flax, Cantor Gordon Piltch, Rabbi Susan Tendler, Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, Rabbi Michael Panitz, Rabbi Israel Zoberman, Rabbi David Barnett, and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin.
Congregation Beth Chaverim’s 30th anniversary To life for a great past and even a greater future as we continue to go and grow from strength to strength. My beloved wife Jennifer, soul-mate and helpmate, founding rebbitzen, founding president Dr. Jerry Levy and wife Paula, president Nate Rubin and wife Janet, immediate past-president
Chris Ohlstein and husband Dr. Jim, along with past-president Dr. Marty Snyder and wife Judi, join me in offering heartfelt gratitude on truly a grand Simcha celebration of a very special “baby.” —Dr. Israel Zoberman is the founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim.
by Rabbi Israel Zoberman
grateful founding rabbi, I shall always remember and cherish the transforming birth of what we affectionately called, “the baby.” Much love and tenderness has been bestowed upon the fast-growing “baby,” remaining the newest synagogue in Hampton Roads and the only Reform Jewish temple in Virginia Beach. The congregation’s name, “Beth Chaverim,” was deliberately chosen to reflect the very essence of what we wanted our temple to be, an embracing “House of Friends,” whose birth would always be justified by trying harder than others to create a loving and accepting Jewish home for those choosing to enter our gates and hearts. Admittedly, we have also learned that we are only human and that the perfect vision of our innocent youth was bound to be challenged by a complex and, at times, trying reality. It is though beyond doubt that our beloved Beth Chaverim has generated multiple blessings onto its immediate congregational family, the larger Jewish community and the general one with interfaith bonds of historical significance. For our first three years we were hosted by the now Heritage United Methodist Church, followed for 10 years (1985–1995) at the Catholic Church of the Ascension, at that time the only such Jewish-Catholic relationship in the world! While at the church I invited in 1993 Muslims to join in the first Jewish-Muslim joint prayer in Hampton Roads, celebrating the beginning
of the peace process in the Middle East. Beth Chaverim is currently home to two African American churches, New Jerusalem Ministries led by Dr. Veronica Coleman and Emmanuel Way of the Cross Church led by Bishop Fred E. Hill. Another giant breakthrough! Peace by Piece by Edmarc Hospice For Children and Jewish Family Service of Tidewater also meets here, along with Boy Scouts Troop #488 that we sponsor. I profoundly thank you, founding president Dr. Jerry and Paula Levy, and all members of our founding generation, for being such an indispensable part of our noble endeavors and dreams, making possible our sacred work in progress. Your faithful participation has nourished and sustained the miracle called Beth Chaverim, a caring, courageous and creative congregation! Our remarkable Bingo Bunch has made a critical contribution. Our inspiring additions in 2006 of the Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family Sanctuary and the Religious School wing have made a significant difference, allowing us to host the notable Yom Ha’Shoah gathering sponsored by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. How appropriate and symbolic that our first “home-grown” rabbi, Sam Rose, Lora’s son, was ordained on June 4, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at my alma mater, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, from which I was ordained 38 years ago. We are proud of him, his wife Andrea, Lora and the entire family. Rabbi Rose will serve at Temple Beth Israel in Austin, Texas. A heartfelt Mazel Tov and L’Chaim—
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Florence Melton Adult MiniSchool has 10th graduation
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Top row: Dr. Stanley Smith, Dr. Martin Snyder, Diane Carrone, Dr. Roberto Luna; Middle row: Shana Prohofsky, Helene Smith, Beth Dorsk, Mickey Glick, Janet Kass; Front Row: Anne Weimar, Rita Frank, Sara Jo Rubin, Cindy Krell.
he 10th graduation of adults from the Simon Family JCC’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School took place on June 4. Thirteen adults completed the “core” program which involves two years of classes for 30 weeks each year. After these two years, students celebrate their graduation. In Tidewater, the Mini-School has completed its 11th year, with 156 people in the community who have graduated or completed two years of the Mini-School curriculum. At the forefront of adult Jewish learning, the Florence Melton Adult MiniSchool’s international headquarters is at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The North American office is in Chicago. The Mini-School offers adults the opportunity to attain a level of Jewish literacy through the study of Jewish texts in an interactive, pluralistic and non-denominational environment. After two years, a student receives a certificate from the Hebrew University and has the option to continue learning in classes offered to Melton Graduates. This year’s graduating class was very diverse and included three medical doctors. During the evening’s program in which each graduate participated, the class announced they were donating funds to enable other adults to become students in the Mini-School. Recognition was also given to the school’s faculty including Rabbi
The “3 docs”: Dr. Roberto Luna, Dr. Marty Snyder, Dr. Stanley Smith.
Graduate Beth Dorsk celebrates with three generations of her family
Roz Mandelberg, Rabbi Michael Panitz, Sheila Panitz, Cantor Gordon Piltch, Rabbi Arthur Ruberg, Miriam Brunn Ruberg, and Rabbi Susie Tendler. Plans are underway to start a new first year class in the fall. For information, contact Miriam Brunn Ruberg at the JCC.
Yeshiva Aish Kodesh’s tribute dinner honors Jordan Slone
Dr. Earl Pollock, Rabbi Yosef Lowenbraun, Jordan Slone, and Rabbi Chaim Nate Segal
ore than 250 friends, family and supporters of Yeshiva Aish Kodesh, the Talmudical Academy of Norfolk, enjoyed a warm celebration of the area’s first and only Jewish Boy’s high school on May 20 at the school’s Tribute Dinner honoring Jordan Slone, founding president of the Yeshiva. Held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, the event recognized Slone for his commitment to Jewish education in Hampton Roads and also honored members of the Class of 2006, the first graduating class of YAK. Bentzion Dicker, Uri Feldman and Avrohom Hirtz came from New York and Maryland to Norfolk to receive a Torah high school education. The graduates took the opportunities provided by YAK to pursue careers and higher level secular and Torah education. The evening honored Slone for his vision in 2003 to have a Jewish boys’ high school that would provide excellent Torah education and outstanding secular studies. For eight years, Slone worked tirelessly to turn this dream into a reality. Today, Yeshiva Aish Kodesh provides quality education to local and out-of-town boys and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Slone accomplished this laudable goal while running a successful international business. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Harbor Group International, a company that provides real estate investment opportunities to accredited individual and institutional investors. Harbor Group International controls more than $3.5 billion in real estate investment properties in three different countries. He
also serves on the board of directors of USA Discounters, a national furniture retailer, and is a current member of the international board of directors of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Guest speaker Malcolm Hoenlein discussed Israel and Middle East affairs, terrorism, the American Jewish community, and intergroup relations. Hoenlein related that the key to survival as a people is a commitment to Jewish education. He is executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the coordinating body on international and national concerns for 52 national Jewish organizations. Hoenlein taught international relations and served as a Middle East specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. President George W. Bush asked Hoenlein to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008. As part of the evening’s festivities, a video about the school was shown. The video portrayed the daily life of the Yeshiva and the lives of the students it has touched. In addition, a track from an upcoming fundraising music CD was played and copies distributed to a grateful audience. Given the success of the Yeshiva in educating Jewish minds, those in attendance left with the glimmer of a warm and bright future for the Jewish people. For more information, contact YAK at 623-6070 or visit http://www.yeshivasaishkodesh.com. Yeshivas Aish Kodesh is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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Meeting recognizes accomplishments and sets goals for Simon Family JCC
by Leslie Shroyer
he 2012 Biennial Meeting of the Simon Family JCC took place on Wednesday, June 13. At the meeting, outstanding accomplishments for the Center were recognized, a president bid her farewell, and another was installed for a two-year-term. Sandra Porter Leon, outgoing JCC president, gave a state of the Center address following Cantor Wally Schachet-Brisken’s melodic D’var Torah. Porter Leon welcomed past presidents of the JCC, saying she was humbled to join their ranks. After thanking her executive committee, Porter Leon spoke about the JCC’s accomplishments over the past several years: “We are excellent when it comes to Jewish and cultural programming, illustrated by Israelfest, an event which more than 1,000 people attended.” She also acknowledged a host of other successful JCC programs including the Florence Melton Mini School, which now boasts 156 graduates. In Harry Graber’s address as executive vice president, he noted that the JCC, after its benchmark study last year, has emerged in need of some major changes. “Change must come, and our consumers, staff, and leaders have told us so.” Noting that change can be “frightening and uncomfortable,” Graber spun the direction the JCC needs to head into a positive light. “We are at the crossroads of opportunity and must take the organizational path that contains change and risk. We must be bold and not afraid because we are not alone in our journey, but are accompanied by a cadre of like minded people who understand the lessons of our people and know what it means to build a wonderful agency and community.” The awards presentation at the 2012 Biennial included the Ruach Award, a new award bestowed on Normie Sher for his “passionate and continuous spirit’ as an
New Board Members 2012-2013 • Patricia Ashkenazi • Traci Corcoran • Jay Klebanoff • Anne Kramer • Stephanie Peck • Shana Prohofsky • Lawrence Steingold
exemplary board member; The David and Sylvia Krug Award for Outstanding Service to the Simon Family JCC, presented to Gloria Siegel; The JCC Center Service Award presented to the staff of the Israel Festival; the Jewish Programming Award, presented to the 2011 Book Festival; the Thomas L. Hofheimer Humanitarian Award presented to Dr. Alan Bartel; The Joseph “Buddy” Strelitz Community Service Award presented to the Virginia Arts Festival; The JCC Center Youth Award presented to Jake Levy; and the Mary and Avalon S. Krukin Award for Senior Adults presented to Harriett Eluto. Harry Graber gave Sandra Porter Leon a light hearted farewell, ending on a more serious note, stating that Porter Leon has left Terri Sarfan, incoming president, with “…a legacy of dedication, brave and collaborative decision making, and a vow to continue working with Terri in whatever way possible to make sure that the Simon Family JCC is indeed a critical and successful part of a thriving Jewish community.” After Gene Ross, speaking on behalf of the nominating committee, announced members who are remaining, leaving the board, and new members, Laura Gross, past president, installed her good friend, Terri Sarfan. As Graber predicted earlier in the evening, Sarfan spoke about a host of new and positive directions in which the JCC will head over the next two years. “Collaboration and partnerships between departments, members, users and other community organizations are the keys to our successful future,” said Sarfan. “We all need to actively spread the word about every program the J has to offer, because there is indeed something for everyone, from the very old to the very young,” she said. “It is the responsibility of each of our board members to familiarize themselves with the many programs we run, and the staff running the programs. “Children can progress from infant care to Beginnings programs, to mommy-and-me classes. Bringing young families into the J and retaining those families is our goal. “These are just some of the ideas I have,” she concluded. “I know that, with the help of the board, its seven dynamic new members, and our committed staff, we can continue to bring great programming to this community center, sharing the passion to keep the Simon Family JCC thriving and prospering as we move forward.”
2012 Biennial Meeting Two new board members Patricia Ashkenazi “I’m at the point in my life where my family doesn’t need me as much,” says Patricia Ashkenazi, a grandmother of four and active community member. “The JCC seems like a good fit—a place where I can apply some energy.” Ashkenazi works with her husband Avraham Ashkenazi running IAT International, a company that sells railroad equipment worldwide, but also finds time to be a part of many cultural arts events in the community, including the JCC’s film festival. A Norfolk native, she married her husband in 1989 and converted to Judaism. “Something about the Jewish community really appealed to me,” says Ashkenazi. “I have always felt it fully embraced me and took me in.” This year, the Ashkenazis are sponsoring the opening night party for the 20th Anniversary of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg. They have been regulars at the festival for years. Ashkenazi also looks forward to being an active board member of the Simon Family JCC. “I want to see the JCC grow as a place that embraces everyone, the way I was welcomed as a Christian coming into a Jewish world. The JCC is a nurturing place, a good place for everyone to be spiritually, mentally and physically, no matter where you come from or what you believe in.”
Lawrence Steingold The JCC has been part of Lawrence Steingold’s life since his teenage days in Norfolk. An active member of BBYO, Steingold moved back to the area in 1977 and served on the JCC board in the 1980s. He enjoyed working on numerous committees while at the JCC’s Newport Avenue location. Steingold’s commitment to the Jewish community takes up most of his free time. His recent civic volunteer work includes the positions of vice president of Jewish Family Service, treasurer of Ohef Sholom Temple, chair of the audit and finance committee of Tidewater Jewish Foundation, board member of the Sandler Family Campus, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater finance committee member, and vice chair of the new hospice agency formed as a joint venture between Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom. Why add the JCC to his extracurricular list? “I couldn’t say no to my good friend Terri Sarfan,” he jokes. “But seriously, I see this as a great opportunity to work with a close friend who is extremely devoted to carrying on the great work the JCC has already accomplished, and I see an opportunity to accomplish many great things for the center in the next few years.”
Excerpts from Sandra Porter Leon’s remarks on her two years serving as president of the Simon Family JCC: “During these past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with an accomplished array of lay leaders and professionals whose common goal has been to make our Simon Family JCC the best that it can be… “How gratifying it has been to participate in every aspect of “J-life.” I have been fortunate to meet internationally-renowned musicians like Itzhak Perlman, view fascinating films, watch my nieces Hayden, Emily, and Isabella flourish in Beginnings and Strelitz, buy fresh flowers and challah on Fridays at the Farmers Market, watch Ilana Tall shoot a mean lay-up at the very competitive Larry Ward basketball league, sing Shabbat songs with the Israeli Scouts at camp, swim laps, and watch sociallyconscious teens come together on Recycling Day. “During these past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with an accomplished array of lay leaders and professionals whose common goal has been to make our Simon Family JCC the best that it can be.”
Excerpts from Terri Sarfan’s speech as incoming president
Laura Gross, Lynn Sher Cohen and Terri Sarfan. Hugh Cohen, Sandy Sher, Lynn Sher Cohen, Normie Sher and Sadie Cohen.
Alex Pomerantz presents the staff of the Israel Festival with the JCC Center Service Award.
The American Theatre
Gloria and Mel Siegel, Alan and Delores Bartel.
“While loyal Jewish members, donors and patrons, along with generous corporate sponsors support our cultural art and Jewish education programs….this support alone does not and cannot, pay all of the bills…. “The Simon Family JCC is the central address of the Jewish community…yet the J is so much more than just a center for Jewish culture. A recent benchmarking study has highlighted some of our current weaknesses, and we will implement changes over the next two years designed to make the J more robust, financially sound, and customer service oriented. “The programs offered at the J can be profitable. Our fitness center and pools are state-of-the-art. The trick has always been, and will continue to be, how to generate new members and program users, both Jewish and non-Jewish.”
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Israeli teens thank Tidewater on behalf of thousands for learning opportunities by Laine Mednick Rutherford
given us a lot. They’ve shown us what tikkun olam means, and it is one of the things that causes students to stay in school and graduate,” he said. The young men traveled to the United States from Rogozin High School in KiryatAta with their general principal, Bruria Haspel. “We have much diversity in our student population, and this program has allowed us to help promote our excellent students and to provide special instruction for students who have much difficulty,” Haspel said. “World ORT gives students with economic difficulties, which are most of our students, a chance to succeed.” As the young men and Haspel concluded their presentation, Harry Nadler, World
he Tidewater community has long been able to watch videos and read reports of how local gifts are making a difference to students in Israel who are the beneficiaries of World ORT programs. On June 5, members of the community heard first-hand from a pair of Israeli teens and the general principal of their school just how great of an impact those gifts make. Ariel Berko and Yoav Levi, both 16, spoke with guests at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Israel and Overseas Committee and ORT informational luncheon. The students presented a slide show depicting some of the ways money contributed through UJFT to the World ORT program Kadima Mada, or Science Journey, has taken their learning to new, exciting levels. The boys’ school is one of a growing number of Israeli institutions where World ORT, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, installs Community members meet Israeli students and their teacher; beneficiaries of contributions to World ORT. Linda Spindel, Yoav Levi, Ariel Berko, Harry smart classrooms, Tidewater’s Nadler, Bruria Haspel, Marcia Hofheimer, and Sara Trub. bringing state-ofthe-art teaching tools and ongoing teacher training to areas ORT’s representative in North America that were chronically in need of educational updated the lunch guests on the many funds and resources. ways and diverse places the organization “It is such a unique thing that we can helps make life better for people around walk outdoors with our laptops and con- the world. duct research, and then bring it back to “By participating and supporting our the classroom and later return to the sites programs,” Nadler said, “we have countries to continue our research,” Berko said. “We and other organizations coming to us and presented the results of the projects we did seeking out our participation. So, you see with this technology to some very impor- what you all have done? Because of the tant people, and they were very interested reputation we have and everything we’ve in our work, and are even using some of it done and are doing, all of our programs in their own, future projects.” are highly leveraged, and we are creating Levi expressed heartfelt gratitude for the phenomenal relationships.” opportunities he and his 3,000 schoolmates World ORT receives funding through gifts have received through the World ORT made to the United Jewish Federation of program. Tidewater’s Annual Campaign. “We live on the periphery and we don’t have much resources, but World ORT has 14 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Congratulations to the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s Class of 2012
by Dee Dee Becker
s any parent knows, blink and they will grow…and just like that, they are gone. Another set of graduates flew the coop on June 7 at a very meaningful Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning commencement ceremony for the Class of 2012. The multi-purpose room on the Sandler Family campus was filled with faculty, administration, trustees, family, friends, students, and alumni who enthusiastically cheered on each graduate as they received their awards and long awaited diplomas. Zena Herod, head of school, sent the graduating class off with parting words of wisdom that were beautiful and bittersweet on many levels—she, too, is “graduating” (retiring) from HAT as of June 30, making this her last commencement exercise to be shared in her role as headmaster: “As Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University once said, ‘In day school I learned that I lived in two worlds—American and Jewish—and needed to reconcile them. I also learned to value time. Others my age killed time. I learned never to waste it.’ So, no matter where you go next year, we are sure that you will continue to make us proud and that you will carry on the moral, ethical, and academic standards learned as part of your years at the Hebrew Academy. After all, you did everything your peers did, but in two languages and with a lot less time in which to do it!” To quote another favorite source for children of all ages—and one which she shared at her first graduation speech at HAT—Herod concluded with a passage from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go, which talks about life’s ups and downs, taking the right path, and sometimes not, and the right balancing act.: “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So…get on your way!”
HAT Class of 2012 Mariah Berkovich I. James London Memorial Athlete of the Year “Being a student at HAT has been very special to me especially learning Hebrew. I can now speak to my Israeli relatives in Hebrew. Someday, I would like to join the Israeli army. Through the advanced education, I feel very prepared for middle school.”
Shelby Brown Hyman I. Stromberg Award for Overall Excellence Shirley Helfant and Ruth Josephberg Award for Visual Arts Nine-Year Award “I have been here since I was two, so being a HAT student means a lot to me. Over the years, I have made life-long friends and created many memories. I have learned many things in both Judaic and General Studies. I am now a more responsible and a better person.” Hilit Elbilia 100%-er Award (For the student who gives their 100% best) “I was born in Israel and when I came here I had to learn English. At HAT I learned my alphabet in both English and Hebrew. Each year I learned more and more and have now become a good student because of my HAT education.” Maiya Foleck Rabbi Charles J. Mantel Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies “Being a student at Hebrew Academy has given me the chance to learn about my heritage in an environment of all Jewish students. I have learned about my identity and who I am. I have made amazing friends whom I will always remember. I am so happy about the education I have received and feel prepared for middle school.” Meg Lederman Rabbi Philip Pincus Memorial Award for Improvement in Hebrew Language “HAT has been very important to me. I have loved going to school here because I am able to learn General Studies, Judaic Studies, and Hebrew in one school.” Sharon Rahimzadeh: Most Improved Communications Award “Being a student at HAT has proved to be a great choice for me. HAT is awesome! I learned many things in an enjoyable way. The teachers care about our learning and make sure that everyone understands. I was three when I started here and it has been a learning wonderland for me.” Sam Zelenka Israel Awareness Award Nine-Year Award “Being a student at HAT has allowed me to excel in general studies and thrive in my Judaic studies. Learning to read and write Hebrew has helped me to connect to my Jewish roots.”
Hebrew Academy of Tidewaterâ€™s Class of 2012: Front row: Mariah Berkovich, Shelby Brown, Hilit Elbilia, and Megan Lederman. Back row: Sheila Panitz, Judaic Studies teacher, Sharon Rahiimzadeh, Linda Fulcher, general studies teacher, Sam Zelenka, Maiya Foleck, and Tonya Conley, science teacher.
Hebrew Academy alumni enjoy continued successes
ebrew Academy of Tidewater recognizes former middle, upper school and college students who have received awards or were selected to participate in specialized programs.
Cape Henry Collegiate School Andrew Rosenblum Karl Tewes Award (for the student who is outstanding in multiple areas, including academics, athletics, fine arts, student support and citizenship)
Mason Smith Jordan Award (for the student who has shown the greatest deepening of character) Evan Gordon Excellence in sixth grade English and the Middle School Diligence Award Mattie Lefcoe Honorable Mention in sixtth grade English Jack Rosenblum Excellence in sixth grade band; member of the sixth grade Forensics Team Brianna DeLarge Excellence in seventh grade English and Excellence in seventh grade Pre Algebra 1 Austin Kramer Geography Bee Champion
Julia Laibstain, rising senior, was selected to attend eight weeks in Israel through the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program. AMHSI is designed to help students gain a broader view of the world and develop a deep appreciation of history, international relations, geography and literature. Students develop valuable new learning skills and perspectives that will help throughout high school and collegelevel academic demands. She was also elected Virginia Council president for BBG.
Norfolk Academy Ben Klebanoff Ninth grade English Award Emma Segaloff Bronze Award for the National Latin Exam (eighth grade) Sabine Segaloff National French Speaking Competition Award (10th grade)
James Madison University Staci Eichelbaum, rising senior at JMU, was recently selected to participate in a nine-week internship with the mid-Atlantic region of AIPAC in Baltimore.
Kempsville Middle School Roy Einhorn Sixth grade Excellency in Computer Class.
Hunter College Dr. Katie Becker, DPT, recently received her doctorate of physical therapy from Hunter College in New York.
Norfolk Collegiate School Hannah Sacks, 11th grade, won awards for highest grades in Algebra 3 Trig and Anatomy and an award for working on the nationally recognized yearbook.
jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 15
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June screening kicks off 20th anniversary of Jewish film festival by Leslie Shroyer
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screening to celebrate next January’s Simon Family JCC’s 20th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg took place on June 10 at the NARO Cinema in Norfolk. An anonymous sponsor enabled the NARO to show Footnote, Rabbi Michael Panitz, Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz, Rabbi Israel Zoberman and William Laderberg. a Cannes Ophir award winning 2011 Israeli film, which tells the 20th Anniversary line-up, with up-to-date story of Israeli Talmudic scholars, father information about movies the screening and son, each vying for a coveted academic committee is viewing, what they have prize. selected, the latest trailers and more. The festival’s screening co-chair, William After the movie, Rabbis Michael Panitz, Laderberg, welcomed a theater filled mostly Jeff Arnowitz and Israel Zoberman hosted a with festival regulars, as well as some new discussion about the movie. faces. Laderberg was followed by Gloria For more information about the Simon Siegel, vice president, JCC cultural arts, Family JCC’s 20th Annual Virginia Festival who announced the newly created Friends of Jewish Film presented by Alma* and of the Festival as a way to support films Howard Laderberg, call 321-2304 or email and be “in the know” about the upcoming firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirk Douglas launches book, prepping for third bar mitzvah
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t 95, Kirk Douglas has just released his 10th book and is prepping for his third bar mitzvah. The iconic actor appeared at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on June 12 to launch the book and to reset his hand, foot and dimpled chin print in cement at the same spot he performed the ritual exactly 50 years ago. Launching at the same time I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist, Douglas described his latest opus as “the most important book I have ever written.” Douglas produced and starred in the title role of the 1960 movie Spartacus. By publicly crediting Dalton Trumbo, a former communist, as the screenwriter, he effectively broke the studios’ blacklist against professionals with communist ties. “I was making a film about freedom at a time when freedom in America was in jeopardy,” Douglas said. “There are parallels to today’s political climate, and I thought it was timely to set down my recollections.” The theater, celebrating its 85th anniversa-
ry, marked the occasion by screening Spartacus at the original ticket price of 25 cents. Douglas jokingly grumbled that the original entry fee was only a dime and that Grauman’s was overcharging. He told the crowd, “If you don’t have a quarter, I’ll help you out,” and then tossed fistfuls of the coin to a mass of outstretched hands. Douglas, born the son of an illiterate Russian-Jewish rag picker and junkman, found his way back to Judaism after a helicopter crash in 1991 that killed two younger companions but spared him. At 83, he celebrated his second bar mitzvah, 13 years after the traditional allotted lifespan of 70, telling well-wishers at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, “Today I am a man.” Douglas will be 96 when he repeats the ceremony in December. “I am still looking forward,” he recently told ABC-TV. I Am Spartacus! is being published in print, eBook and audiobook formats, the last narrated by Kirk’s son, actor Michael Douglas, with a foreword by George Clooney. (JTA)
Parents and teens learn about Internet safety by Leslie Shroyer
ill Brown, founder of Generation Text Online, spoke at the Simon Family JCC about the dangers of unsupervised texting and postings to parents of school aged children on Sunday, June 10. Brown’s presentation was sponsored by the JCC’s before and after school program, Kids Connection, which serves area elementary schools with before and after school care. According to Brown, kids as young as eight or nine own cell phones and often unintentionally share personal information with friends, which can backfire on them. Brown’s website, GenerationTextOnline, provides parents with real life examples and solutions to many issues facing children and teens. “This generation is different from ours,” Brown told the audience of mostly parents. “Kids’ brains are wired so that everything happens instantaneously.” The instant spreading of news and gossip, coupled with the many reality shows that this age group watches, where contestants are judged and ridiculed, leads a whole generation to criticize without necessarily processing
information. This can in turn lead to negative and hurtful behavior. “Cyber bullying” occurs when someone posts or sends negative information about another on facebook or by any other means whereby hundreds can see it almost instantaneously. Embarrassing and compromising photos can be texted to friends and family, and can ruin the reputation of young people for years to come. Parents need to be involved in their children’s Internet and texting behavior by setting limits and parameters from the onset, says Brown. “If we want our kids to be upstanding citizens, we need to get involved so that they neither bully nor get bullied.” GenerationTextOnline has programs for teachers from elementary school through high school, as well as programs for parents. Kids Connection, the Simon Family JCC’s Before and After School Program, offers services throughout the school year. It also runs an extended camp program, Kids Connection Plus, August 13–31. For more information, contact agregory@ simonfamilyj.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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ummer Camp at the Simon Family JCC began June 18, with eight funfilled weeks for campers. With the theme, It’s a Jungle Out There kicking off the summer, the remaining six weeks of camp promise more fun and adventure with the themes of Raiders of the Lost
Artifacts; Diamonds in the Rough; Mystical Magical Me: Mastering the Magic Within; and JCC General: The Camp with Heart. Download a brochure at simonfamilyj. org, call 321-2306 or come by the JCC for more information. Camp runs through August 10.
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Simon Family JCC’s Golf Tournament raises money for many
he 2nd Annual Simon Family JCC Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament was a success with nearly 100 golfers playing under sunny skies at Heron Ridge Golf Club in Virginia Beach. Through the generous support of sponsors, $60,000 was raised at the event on Monday, June 11. The dollars raised through the Presidents’ Cup Tournament support pro-
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grams that help improve the lives of thousands of people in the Tidewater community. The JCC provides special services through before and after school care, summer day camp, the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST), youth sports and swim classes, John Strelitz, Stuart Sim, Lee Shearin, and Adam White. exercise classes to women recovering from breast cancer and older adults. Membership scholarships are made available to individuals and families in need. Although there was no winner of the Charles Barker Lexus hole-in-one car, there were a few “close calls.” The Payday Payroll Services Vegas hole was a lot of fun and raised additional money. At the reception and awards ceremony, awards were presented to the top three flights. The winAndy Kline, Jeff Kramer, David Abraham ,and Max Schankerman. ning foursome was Miles Leon, Ben Leon, Wes Bourdon, and Nathan Jaffe. The putting contest winner Sandra Porter Leon, outgoing JCC presiwas Ken Johnson. The closest to the pin dent, the tournament’s sponsors, and JCC winner was Joby Foley. The longest drive staff made sure the Tournament enjoyed winner was Roy Beskin. another successful year.
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Hebrew Academy first graders receive their first siddurim
t was a proud moment for Hebrew Academy of Tidewaterâ€™s first graders who received their siddurim on May 24. The Siddur presentation was beautiful, celebrated with many meaningful moments and ruach (spirit). This year, two area rabbis participated both in their roles as rabbis and as parents: Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky, Chabad, and Rabbi Jeffery Arnowitz, Congregation Beth El. Shuly Einhorn, first grade Judaic Studies teacher.
Caleb Peck (holding siddur) and family with Rabbi Jeffery Arnowitz.
Ellie Debb (holding siddur) and family with Zena Herod, Head of School.
Elijah Arnowitz (holding siddur) with his father Rabbi Jeffery Arnowitz, mother Tamar, and brother Simeon.
First grader Aytana Anthony (holding siddur) and family with Cantor David Proser.
First grader Claire Toner (holding siddur) with family and Rabbi Brashevitzky. 20 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
First grader Aiden Kempner (holding siddur) with his family and Rabbi Silver.
Erin Feldman (holding siddur) and family with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin.
Sam Glaser in Concert Sunday, Sept. 23, 2:30pm
any people in Tidewater already know Sam Glaser and his music, since he performed in concert last year at Temple Emanuel to an audience of more than 300 people. This year, the Beach temple is bringing Glaser back to Tidewater, but to a new venue. Congregation Beth El will host the musician’s expanding fan base, reaching out to the entire community. Glaser brings an energy to his performances that electrifies audiences. His music is soulful and catchy, wise and witty, seasoned and youthful. His storytelling style captures the imagination. The gifted musician and performer makes an extraordinary effort to connect with his audience. Before the concert is over, participants feel like they are “Sam’s personal friend.” Often, he will do a duet with someone from the community or sing
with a local choir. Universal in his appeal, Glaser’s devoted fans range from members in Sam Glasser the Reform and Conservative movements to the Modern Orthodox and Chassidim. He has appeared in many synagogues, JCCs and at national conventions, as well as at Dodger Stadium, on Broadway and in the White House. Glaser travels the world in concert, having performed in Sydney, London, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. An informed and committed Jew, the entertainer sings and speaks from the heart and leads by example. His passion and music ignite the human spirit. Tickets will go on sale in July. Call Temple Emanuel to start the Jewish New Year in song.
The Faiths of Good Neighbors
n “interfaith academy” with Jewish, Christian and Muslim congregations, co-sponsored by Temple Israel. The series is entitled The Sacred Space of Word, Time and Journey with topics designed to help each person gain an appreciation of the emotional quality of the other’s religious life. One or two clergy make opening presentations, and the bulk of each evening is spent in small-group discussion, with selected clergy and religious leaders helping to facilitate these conversations. Before concluding, the group reconvenes and dis-
cusses as a whole the most interesting points that have emerged from each of the more intimate conversations. Conversations are free and open to the public. Refreshments are served. 7:30– 9pm. Monday, June 25 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Sabbath, Lord’s Day, Jumuah
Dora Marshall Mullins Wednesday, July 18, 7:30pm Locally acclaimed artist and native Virginian, violinist Dora Marshall Mullins recently celebrated 60 years as a performer and teacher. She will be accompanied by pianist Stephan Dulcie. The Sensational Silver Screen Wednesday, Aug. 15, 7:30pm Soprano Rachel Holland, tenor Brian Nedvin, baritone Steve Kelly, and pianist Charles Woodward perform much loved music from the Silver Screen. This entertaining program will be hosted by Mark Keuthan, adjunct professor at Regent University’s School of Communications and Arts.
The Alborada Piano Trio Wednesday, Aug. 29, 7:30pm The Alborada Piano Trio, one of Hampton Roads’ finest chamber ensembles, presents a program of exciting chamber music. The members of the Trio—Lee JordanAnders (piano), Jorge Aguirre (violin), and Jeffrey Phelps (cello), have been performing together for four years. Tickets are $20 each performance. Mail Checks to: Jewish Museum & Cultural Center, P.O. Box 7962, Portsmouth, VA 23707. Charge by phone or for more information: 391-9266.
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mazel tov to Achievement Aaron Michael Barham on his graduation from St. Johns University School of Law in Queens, N. Y. on June 3. Aaron is also a 2007 graduate of University of Virginia. He is the son of proud parents, Ron and Marsha Barham (Norfolk), brother of Rebecca Barham (Carlsbad, Calif.), grandson of Mrs. Nell Barham (Currituck, N.C.) and of Robert and Rebecca Rosenbaum, both of blessed memory. Aaron plans to practice law in New York. Jason Marks, WAVY TV 10, who received three regional Emmy’s at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2012. The winning entries may be viewed on wavy.com. Jason, also known as Jason Hechtkopf, is the son of Marilyn and Paul Hechtkopf, and brother to Allison Whiteman and Jenny Hechtkopf, and grandson of Hattie Hechtkopf. Dr. Sharon Weinstein for her awards in the SENIOR ARTFEST 2012. She won first place for her mixed media painting, “The Elephant in the Room,” and third place for her drawing, “Emerging.” Both are in the amateur division. The exhibit is open until June 22, 2012 at the Prime Plus Norfolk Senior Center on Newport Avenue. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
calendar The teens recently elected to serve on the executive board and cabinet for the Ohef Sholom Temple Youth (OSTY) group for the 2012–2013 school year: OSTY Executive Board: President: Franklin Kramer Programming Vice President: Madeline Budman Social Action Vice President: Hannah Galbraith Religious and Cultural Vice President: Benjamin Laderberg Communications Vice President: Skylar Arias Membership Vice President: Rachel Bensink Secretary: Deni Budman OSTY Cabinet: Historian: Channa Schachet-Briskin Songleader: Tatum Arias Junior Class Representative: Hannah Cooper Marriage Sharon Weinstein and Harvey Jernegan on their June wedding at the Cypress Point Country Club with Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg officiating. Attendants included Sharon’s daughter and son-in-law Victoria and Eric Cash, and their two children Ethan and Jordan Cash. Harvey’s sister Mae Quirk; brother and nephew Michael and Gregory Jernegan from Fairfax, Va. were also part of the group. Sharon’s sisters Barbara Kopitz from W. Bloomfield, Mich. and Linda Rosenbaum from Toronto, Canada traveled with other relatives to attend. Sharon’s poems and paintings were part of the unique celebration.
Grants available The Southern Jewish Historical Society offers grants for scholarly work that advances understanding of the southern American Jewish experience.
July 8, S und ay, Brith Sholom Picnic 2012 at Red Wing Park Pavillion . 12 p m. 5 p e r p e r s o n, G u e s t $ 7.5 0. C h e c k is a r e c e ip t . B i n g o w ill b e p la y e d a f t e r l u n c h w i t h p r i z e s. B r i n g la w n c h a i r s. C a ll t h e o f f i c e f o r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n. 4 61-115 0. JULY 18, WED NESDAY The JCC Seniors Club w ill m e e t a t t h e S i m o n F a m il y J C C. B o a r d m e e t i n g, 10 : 3 0 a m. C a t e r e d l u n c h a t 12 p m w i t h t h e g e n e r a l m e e t i n g a t 12 : 4 5 p m. G u e s t e n t e r t a i n e r w ill b e K a t h r y n S i n c la i r, w h o w ill si n g B r o a d w a y a n d p o p u la r m u si c. S h e si n g s i n B e t h C h a v e r i m’s c h o r u s a n d a ls o f ills i n a s a s o l o is t f o r F r i d a y n ig h t s e r v i c e s. The Jewish Museum & Conference Center Summer Music Series . D o r a M a r s h a ll M u lli n s, 7: 3 0 p m, $ 2 0. S e e p a g e 21.
Au gu s t 15, W ed ne s d ay The Sensational Silver Screen , J e w is h M u s e u m & C o n f e r e n c e C e n t e r S u m m e r M u si c S e r i e s 7: 3 0 p m, $ 2 0. S e e p a g e 21. Au gu s t 29, W ed ne s d ay The Alborada Piano Trio , 7: 3 0 p m. $ 2 0. S e e p a g e 21. Send submissions for calendar to news @ ujf t.org. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
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When Is It Time to Call Hospice?
you’re thinking about hospice, don’t wait. Call. The staff of Freda H. Gordon Hospice & Palliative Care of Tidewater is here to answer all the questions racing through your mind. The earlier you call, the sooner you will discover all the advantages hospice has to offer you or your loved one. Let us answer your questions, provide support and comfort you in this time of uncertainty. We’re ready to listen and to help.
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A partnership of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and Beth Sholom Village
Contract Clinical Social Workers - JFS Jewish Family Service of Tidewater needs Contract Clinical Social Workers to provide outpatient counseling services in its Virginia Beach office. Professionals must have previous experience working with any of the following: elderly, hospice, eating disorders, and/or substance abuse. Must have LCSW and be eligible for managed care networks. Requires previous outpatient counseling work experience and computer literacy. EOE.
Email letter and resume to DMayer@jfshamptonroads.org at Jewish Family Service of Tidewater.
Part-time Care Manager - JFS Part-time Care Manager to work in the Older Adult Services department at Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Tidewater. The Care Manager will work in collaboration with JFS home health care, clinical services, other Jewish agencies and synagogues, as well as agencies throughout our community, to ensure that individuals and families have access to the healthcare, nutrition and social services he/she may need. This position reports to the Executive Director. Qualified candidates will have a bachelor’s degree in social work or related healthcare profession, master’s degree preferred, and have excellent communication and organizational skills. Care management experience with adults is preferred. Marketing and/or program development experience is a plus. EOE. Please submit resumes to Nancy Engel at NEngel@jfshamptonroads.org.
24 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Rose Armstrong Chesapeake—Rose Armstrong, 80, passed away May 4, 2012 at Sentara Leigh Hospital. She was predeceased by her husband Robert Armstrong. Left to cherish her memory is one daughter Ruth A. Bigio, and one son Ronald Armstrong. She also has one granddaughter Beth and her husband Kevin (Middleton), one grandson Ralph Bigio, and one loving great-grandson Max Middleton. Rose had a tremendous collection of cookbooks that she adored over the years, she was a captain of the USS Powhatan Star Trek Women Auxiliary. She was also a member of Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association, and retired from AT&T. A graveside service was held in King David Memorial Park, Falls Church, Va. Selma Cardon Bennett Virginia Beach—Selma Cardon Bennett, age 94, passed away Wednesday, June 13, 2012 surrounded by her family. She was born in 1917 in Brooklyn, N.Y. and in 1947 moved to Portsmouth, Va. with her late husband Leon Cardon, of blessed memory, to expand their business, Star Band Company. Selma was also preceded in death by her parents, Rose and Louis Goldberg, her sister Shirley Kovit and brother Bernard Goldberg, as well as her beloved son, Wayne Cardon. Selma leaves behind her devoted husband Joseph Bennett of 23 years, her loving children Larry and Lucy Cardon, Richard Cardon of Virginia Beach, Reid and Cheri Cardon of Richmond, JoAnn Cardon-Glass of Atlanta. Selma’s grandchildren: Rebecca, David and his wife, Elyse, Jennifer, Brett, Lauren, Caroline and her husband, Casey Nolan and six great grandchildren: Bella, Sylvie, Avi, Flora, Aiden, and Carden. Selma was a proud supporter of many organizations and causes, including Eggleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and the United Jewish Federation. She was a lifetime member of Hadassah, a Lion of Judah, and a huge supporter of the State of Israel. She was instrumental in establishing the building of Gomley-Chesed Synagogue in Portsmouth. She was a founding member of the Suburban Country Club in Portsmouth. Selma, with her sparkling eyes and warm smile, was a friend to everyone who had the honor of knowing her. She always said confidently that she had a good life, even when in her later years she had difficulty remembering the details. She wanted everyone to find true love and wanted nothing more than to be near her
family. She loved to play Mah-jong with her friends, sing in the synagogue’s choir, and above all else, she loved to dance. A funeral was held in Sturtevant Funeral Home in Portsmouth, followed by burial at Gomley Chesed Cemetery. The family requests donations to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Eggleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, or a charity of choice. Gary A. Drucker Virginia Beach—Gary Drucker, 77, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2012, son of Max and Rose Drucker, of blessed memory. Gary was a loving husband to Rosalind for 52 years, a proud father and grandfather. He is survived by wife Rosalind, children Stephen Drucker (Diane) and Robin Stromberg (Burle), and four grandchildren. Gary enjoyed free time with his family, took pride in his yard, enjoyed fishing, was a member of the Lion’s Club of Wards Corner, and retired as manager of Hofheimer’s Shoes after 42 years. A graveside funeral was held at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home with Rabbi Israel Zoberman officiating with the participation of Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz and Cantor Gordon Piltch. Memorial donations can be made to Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Frances Friedland Virginia Beach—Frances Friedland, 97, of Virginia Beach, formerly of Hollywood, Fla. and a former longtime resident of Wurtsboro, N.Y. died Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. She was born in Manhattan on Jan. 24, 1915 to Ida and Morris Zegerman and had a sister, Elsie Menkes, who preceded her in death in 2010. Frances went on vacation with her grandmother to Haven, N. Y. where she met her husband Sol Friedland. They married and moved to Wurtsboro, N.Y. in 1940. In 1976, they relocated to Hollywood, Fla. where she lived until Sol’s passing in 2004 and then moved to Virginia Beach in March 2005 where she resided until her passing. Mrs. Friedland is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Herbert and Jane Friedland of Chesapeake, Va., and Robert and Betty Friedland of Monticello, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Marc Friedland, David Friedland and Laurie Friedland-Klena. The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Beth Sholom for the outstanding compassion, love and care given during her residence.
obituaries Services and burial were held at Beth David Cemetery in Hollywood, Fla. Memorial contributions may be made to Beth Sholom Village, 6401 Auburn Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464 or Freda H. Gordon Hospice & Palliative Care of Tidewater, 260 Grayson Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Selma W. Friedman Norfolk—Selma Weise Friedman, 92, died peacefully on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Born in Baltimore, MD, she moved to Portsmouth, Va. in 1940. She was preceded in death by her husband Myer “Mike” Friedman of 37 years and her companion and best friend, Richard “Dick” Messenger. She was the final remaining family member from her generation of nine other siblings. She is survived by her daughters, Carol Cooperman and husband Lew, Bonnie Friedman and significant other Dennard Calloway and Jolene Weisblat and husband Harv; granddaughter, Micah Weisblat; grandsons, Mitch Cooperman and wife Helen Keilty, Kenny Cooperman and wife Eva, Doug Cooperman and wife, Kathlene; great granddaughters, Alexandra Cooperman, Anna Cooperman, Erika Cooperman and Lara Cooperman. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and her closest friend, Nancy Bell. She was a longstanding member of Gomley Chesed Synagogue. She adored her family and lived her life with love and concern for others. All those close to her knew her as “Ga-Ga”. A graveside service was held at Gomley Chesed Cemetery by Rabbi David Goldstein. Donations may be made to Gomley Chesed Synagogue Cemetery Fund, 3110 Sterling Point Dr., Portsmouth, VA 23703. Marshall Alan Permutt M.D. St. Louis, Mo.—M. Alan Permutt, MD, passed away Monday, June 11, 2012 at the age of 72 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Once asked why he had so many books documenting the trials and tribulations of people attempting to reach the peaks of some of the world’s tallest mountains, Dr. Permutt replied that he enjoyed reading true stories about people overcoming great adversity. While he never scaled a mountain himself, Dr. Permutt knew a thing or two about adversity. Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a teen, Dr. Permutt spent a lifetime managing a disease while becoming one of the nation’s leading diabetes researchers. Dr. Permutt was a professor of medicine and
of cell biology and physiology, and the former director of the Diabetes Research and Training Center, at Washington University School of Medicine. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Permutt was known for his enveloping warmth, outgoing personality, a laser-like scientific mind and dedication to his research. He was as comfortable discussing the minutia of cell biology as he was explaining his preferred method for grilling barbecue ribs. He enjoyed taking in the St. Louis Symphony as much as watching a football game over a corned beef sandwich at Lester’s Sports Bar. His love for his children and grandchildren knew no bounds. He was a respected teacher and mentor to medical residents and lab partners. Many colleagues without family in St. Louis were welcomed into his home to celebrate holidays and enjoy his popular dinner parties. Dr. Permutt was an avid cyclist and work-out devotee—aerobics and Spinning classes were his favorites—who rarely missed a day of exercise prior to his illness. In 2009 he received the Active Living Award from Trailnet for his “indomitable spirit” and passionate promotion of physical activity as a primary treatment for diabetes. Dr. Permutt was an investigator or author for more than 200 publications on the genetic and physiological bases of diabetes, according to the medical database PubMed. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator, and twice received the MERIT Status Award from the National Institute of Health, as well as several other distinguished awards relating to diabetes research. Last February, he received the prestigious Daniel P. Schuster Award for Distinguished Work in Clinical and Translational Science from the Washington University School of Medicine, among the highest honors the School of Medicine bestows on faculty. One particularly significant contribution to medical science as the result of Dr. Permutt’s research team was the discovery of the Wolfram Syndrome gene in 1998. A rare genetic disorder that typically starts as Type 1 diabetes, the disease later deteriorates nerve cells in the eyes, ears and brain, usually resulting in death by age 30. Years of lab work on Wolfram culminated in perhaps Dr. Permutt’s proudest professional achievement: two years into his cancer diagnosis, he was still able to bring together Wolfram Syndrome patients and their families for the first-ever multidisciplinary testing and assessment clinic
in August 2010 in St. Louis. The inaugural, and subsequent, groups of patients provided researchers with a significant amount of data to better understand the disease in the hopes of one day creating a treatment therapy. Because the disorder is so rare, it was the first time that Dr. Permutt and his researchers had actually met Wolfram patients. Dr. Permutt was preceded in death by his son, Alex; his mother Marguerite and father James Permutt, his stepmother Alva Shevin Permutt and his brother Stuart Shevin. Survivors include his daughters Joelle Permutt (Christopher Mumford) and Robin Winer (Todd), dear friend Rhea Oelbaum, grandchildren Abe, Eli, Benny and Alexi, sisters Patti (Jules) Wainger and Jan Shevin, and brother Maury Shevin. A memorial service was held at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman Boulevard, St. Louis. Donations can be made in Dr. Permutt’s memory to The Jack and J.T. Snow Scientific Research Foundation, 17703 Gardenview Place Court, Glencoe, MO, 63038, or via www.snowmanfund.com.
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Young Leadership Mission to Washington, D.C. a Huge Success!
by Amy Weinstein
right and early on Wednesday, May 16, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s young leadership program participants boarded a bus bound for Washington, D.C. The group was comprised of Tidewater Couples Project participants, Young Adult Division Cabinet members, alumni of the Hineni! Institute for Leadership Development program, and select mentors from the Making Leadership Meaningful Mentorship Program. Both the Hineni! program and the Making Leadership Meaningful program are made possible by the Simon Family Foundation. This mini-mission provides participants in the YAD leadership programs with an opportunity to get to know leaders of the Jewish community. The itinerary allows for these emerging leaders to sit down with top national Jewish leaders to discuss macro political and social issues facing Jewish people in America and Israel. This is the third time the UJFT has provided this trip to young leadership and each trip proves more exciting. The bus arrived at the Jewish Federations of North
America’s Washington, D.C. office where the group ate lunch with William Daroff, JFNA vice president of public policy and Josh Protas, vice president and Washington director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The group got to know the process through which these organizations enact policy changes on behalf of the Jewish community, and how Daroff and Protas work together to effect change on Capitol Hill. The next stop was Capitol Hill where the group met with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The delegation had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with Congressman Cantor, and gained a well-rounded perspective on many critical issues. Mission participants spoke with Congressman Cantor about leadership and domestic issues including protecting Medicaid, as well as foreign policy issues including military defense funding for Israel and stopping Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Congressman Cantor also spoke candidly about being active and involved in his Jewish community, and thanked mission participants for their engagement in Jewish communal activities. At the offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the del-
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egation met with Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director, and Ambassador Brad Gordon, director of policy and government affairs. This discussion included an indepth explanation of what AIPAC does in Washington, D.C. and around the United States, how they do it, and why it should matter to the future leadership of the Jewish community. This was the first introduction to AIPAC for many of the mission participants, and the bi-partisan work that is being done to promote the U.S.-Israel relationship. Next, was a meeting with Alan Elsner, The Israel Project’s executive director for the Americas. Elsner spoke at length about the work that The Israel Project does to be the one-stop source for detailed and accurate information about Israel and the Middle East. The Israel Project works as a non-partisan educational organization providing factual information to the press, policy-makers and the public. Participants in the exhilarating leadership mission to D.C. were both overwhelmed and empowered when they boarded the bus for the return trip to the Sandler Family Campus. Jennifer Groves, a YAD Cabinet member, says, “For me, the best part of the D.C. mission was learning about the various groups that advocate on behalf of Jewish interests and Israel. We had the opportunity to meet the top movers and shakers in the global Jewish community! I feel even stronger about supporting people and organizations that support our Jewish community and our quality of life.”
While this was not their first mission experience or exposure to many of these organizations, the senior lay leadership also had a rewarding day, especially seeing these discussions through the perspective of the Jewish community’s emerging leaders. Karen Lombart says, “As a seasoned leader, I was so excited to share the day with the YAD members. Their enthusiasm for being a part of the Jewish community was and is inspirational to those of us who care so much about our community’s survival. I loved the questions asked when we met with the representatives from JFNA, JCPA, AIPAC, the Israel Project and Eric Cantor. Although I went in the capacity of a mentor, I learned so much from the trip’s participants. Many thanks to the United Federation of Tidewater for making this well orchestrated experience possible. I am confident that we will hear and see much more from my companions who all took the time to stretch beyond our local resources. I look forward to sharing new opportunities with them!” This trip was one small, but important part of a meaningful leadership journey for those participants in YAD leadership programs. The group looks forward to maintaining the relationships developed with the offices at JFNA, JCPA, AIPAC, The Israel Project and Congressman Eric Cantor’s office. As this current cadre of YAD leadership progresses and takes on larger roles within the Tidewater community, a new class will return to D.C. in 2014.
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