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A resolution over Iran splits a tight group of moderate Jewish lawmakers
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WASHINGTON (JTA)—Max Rose, Elissa Slotkin and Elaine Luria are the Jewish third of the “Gang of Nine,” moderate Democrats in the House with national security backgrounds from swing districts. It’s a tight group, as described by Politico last year: The nine Democrats sought offices close to one another, exchange frequent texts and hang out over Chinese food. In September, after changing their minds about supporting impeachment, giving Speaker Nancy Pelosi the votes she needed to push ahead with the inquiry, the five women in the gang adopted another sobriquet: the “badass caucus.” All nine members were eventually on board with impeachment, despite threats by Trump and other Republicans to use their votes to target them next year in districts that were Trump-friendly in 2016. But now there’s a sign of division among the Jewish members of the gang over a big national security issue: Iran. Slotkin, a Navy veteran from Michigan, led the charge this month on pushing a resolution that would limit Trump’s power to wage war with Iran. Luria and Rose were among just eight Democrats who voted against the measure, which passed 224– 194, mostly along party lines. (Along with the eight dissenters on the Democratic side, three Republicans voted for Slotkin’s bill.) Rose says Slotkin’s resolution “plays
politics” with war. The bill, backed by Pelosi, was triggered by what Democrats and a few Republicans have said was Trump’s failure to adequately notify Congress of the assassination this month of a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, or to explain the action afterward. Iran hit at two U.S. bases in Iraq in the aftermath, and while tensions seem to be dying down now, they could flare again. A companion bill is under consideration in the Senate. A third Jewish Democrat among the eight dissenters is Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, who co-chairs the Problem Solver’s Caucus, a grouping of 45 or so Democrats and Republicans who seek bipartisan solutions. Luria, Slotkin, and Rose are also members of the caucus. Gottheimer, elected in 2016, does not have a national security background, but he is similarly moderate. All four face similar pressures: They are in districts that Trump won in 2016. In the cases of Rose, Slotkin, and Luria, their districts are heavy with veterans who might look closely at anything that seems like criticism of a military action. Rose and Slotkin each cited their national security background in explaining their opposing votes; Luria did not. “As a former Shia militia CIA analyst who has served multiple times in Iraq, I have lived Iran’s destabilizing activity in Iraq up close and personal,” Slotkin said. “But [Soleimani’s] behavior does not mean that the administration can disregard the
Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Jewish groups call for Stephen Miller to quit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Eileen Filler-Corn, Virginia’s first female, first Jewish Speaker. . . . . . . 7 Soleimani killing does not change Jewish security worldwide. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 PJ Library’s annual Latkepalooza and Camp Extravaganza . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Sarah Hurwitz talks about her book, Here All Along. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
BINA on the go!!!! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Special section: Investing and Giving. . . . 13 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Arts and Entertainment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
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Constitution by engaging in a wider war, without consulting first with Congress.” “I know all too well the real costs of war and sending troops into harm’s way is the most consequential decision I could make,” Rose said. Rose, Gottheimer, and Luria all argued that Slotkin’s resolution was inadequate and preferred to revisit the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, which was originally meant to allow then-President George W. Bush to wage war in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, the group that carried out the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 of that year. Bush, Obama, and now Trump have used the AUMF to wage war in the region, and lawmakers from both parties have said the presidents have been promiscuous in how they used it, arguing that it should be revised or replaced. Each of the dissenters addressed Slotkin’s resolution differently. Luria was the most circumspect, simply saying that she preferred revisiting the AUMF. Gottheimer offered a trenchant critique of the resolution itself, arguing that it mirrors existing law (which in itself is hardly unusual in Congress) and that it sends a mixed signal to Iran. Rose’s statement made the same arguments, but he got somewhat personal, saying he refused to “play politics with questions of war and peace.” He also praised Trump. Maybe Slotkin and Rose can work this through over dim sum.
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BRIEFS Upgraded Iron Dome passes new tests An upgraded Iron Dome missile defense system underwent new interception tests. Israel’s Defense Ministry announced that the tests had been successfully completed, 10 years after Iron Dome had its first real-world interception test on Jan. 6, 2010. The latest tests “simulated the future threats that the system may face during a confrontation,” the ministry said in a statement. Pini Yungman, a vice president of Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., a manufacturer of Iron Dome, told the Times of Israel that the tests had a 100 percent success rate. Since its deployment in 2011, Iron Dome has intercepted over 2,400 projectiles, the majority fired from Gaza. The system is estimated to have a success rate of over 85 percent. (JTA)
Jeopardy can’t decide if Bethlehem is in Palestine or Israel Is Jesus’ birthplace in Israel or Palestine? According to the popular prime time game show Jeopardy!, the answer just may be both. At the end of the first round of the show on Friday, January 10, part of its popular Greatest Of All Time tournament, one question remained in the $200 slot under the heading “Where’s that Church?” The answer: “Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.” (Remember: In Jeopardy! the game board provides the answer, and the contestant gives the question.) Returning champion Katie Needle of Brooklyn, N.Y., buzzed in with the question: “What is Palestine?” Host Alex Trebek informed her that her answer was incorrect. Last-place contestant Jack McGuire, from San Antonio, Texas, who was then in last place, then buzzed in with, “What is Israel?” This answer got the nod and $200 for McGuire. Even before the commercial break was over, social media went into overdrive, with many insisting Needle was right and others doubling down on Israel as the correct answer. When the show came back from the
commercial break, Needle’s score, not McGuire’s, was 200 higher. This means the judges decided that her answer was, after all, correct. But Trebek did not provide an explanation for the viewing public. The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem, which sits in the West Bank. Bethlehem is in what is designated as Area A of the West Bank, which falls under both Palestinian civil and military control since the signing of the Oslo II accords in 1995. The United Nations lists the Church of the Nativity, which is a World Heritage Site, as being in Palestine. (JTA)
NYC to install 100 security cameras in Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods New York City will install 100 new security cameras in neighborhoods in Brooklyn with large haredi Orthodox Jewish populations. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new security measure on Friday, January 10. The neighborhoods slated to get the cameras are Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park. The first 30 cameras are scheduled to be installed by March, and the remaining 70 will be installed with input about where to locate them from community representatives, the Brooklyn Paper reported. “An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said in a statement. “These new security cameras will increase the NYPD’s visibility into these neighborhoods, and help our officers on the ground keep New Yorkers safe.” The three neighborhoods have been the sites of numerous anti-Semitic incidents ranging from verbal assault to physical attacks, including sucker punches and the ripping off of kippahs and women’s head coverings. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in applications filed by Orthodox residents of Rockland County for gun permits, the New York Post reported. In the week following the Dec. 28 stabbing attack at the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, there were 65 new applications filed county-wide, with 23 from Monsey. All but five of the new applications came from within the heavily haredi town of Ramapo, which includes
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Monsey and other heavily Jewish areas, according to the Post. In the two months prior to the attack, an average of six applications a week were filed throughout the county, with only two from Monsey.
Spotify to remove playlists about Jews and the Holocaust The music streaming service Spotify said it would remove playlist titles deemed to contain anti-Semitic hate speech. A spokesperson for Spotify said in a statement to the New York Post that the content in question violates company policy. The statement followed a report by the Times of Israel that found that users interested in circumventing Spotify’s ban on hateful lyrics introduce them in the titles of playlists they generate. One such playlist was titled “Gas the Jews music.” Another was named “The Holocaust was exaggerated game of hide and seek.” Several playlists contained titles that justified Hitler’s actions, such as “Hitler did nothing wrong,” the report said. After the Times of Israel story was published, Spotify vowed to remove the content flagged in the article, the Post reported. “The user-generated content in question violates our policy and is in the process of being removed. Spotify prohibits any user content that is offensive, abusive, defamatory, pornographic, threatening, or obscene,” a spokesperson said. (JTA) Record 2.32 million people visited Auschwitz in 2019 A record 2.32 million people from around the world visited the sites of the former Nazi camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in 2019. The total is about 170,000 more than in 2018, which also had broken previous records, the Auschwitz memorial reported earlier this month. Eighty-one percent of the visitors availed themselves of one of 340 guides who conduct educational tours in 21 languages. According to the memorial’s online reservation system, some 396,000 visitors were from Poland, 200,000 from Great Britain, 120,000 from the United States, 104,000 from Italy, 73,000 from Germany, 70,000 from Spain, 67,000 from France,
59,000 from Israel, 42,000 from Ireland and 40,000 from Sweden. In addition, over 900,000 follow the Auschwitz Museum’s Twitter account, more than 300,000 use its Facebook page, and 80,000 follow it on Instagram. (JTA)
Brooklyn Nets warm up in shirts with ADL logo The Brooklyn Nets warmed up in shirts that read “No Place For Hate” and bore the logo of the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday, January 12 before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “No Place for Hate” is the ADL’s education program for combating bias, bullying and hatred in public schools. The campaign was started as the number of anti-Semitic attacks has risen recently across the New York area, particularly in the borough of Brooklyn. The team tweeted photos of players warming up in the shirts, writing: “Tonight, we’re warming up in #NoPlaceForHate shirts in collaboration with the @ADL to show that #WeGoHard against hate.” The Nets defeated the Hawks 108–86. (JTA) South Dakota governor signs executive order prohibiting Israel boycotts South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Tuesday, January 13 prohibiting state offices from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. South Dakota is the 28th state to have enacted an anti-Israel boycott executive order or legislation. Its measure requires vendors who want to contract with South Dakota agencies, authorities, commissions, departments or institutions not to work with companies that participate in boycotts of Israel. It applies to companies or contractors with more than five employees and on contracts of $100,000 or more. Noem signed the order in the capitol Rotunda in Pierre an hour before her State of the State address, which marked the beginning of the state Legislature’s 2020 session. She visited Israel in 2013 while serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. (JTA)
Jewish groups again call for Stephen Miller to quit because of white nationalist ties
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WASHINGTON ( JTA)—For the third time in two months, an array of Jewish groups has joined in a call for the resignation of Stephen Miller, a top adviser to President Donald Trump. The latest call, released Tuesday, January 14, is from 25 faith groups. Among the 15 Jewish groups that signed are the Anti-Defamation League, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Some of the groups have joined more than one of the statements calling for Miller’s removal. Like the previous statements, this one cites emails published by the Southern Poverty Law Center linking Miller to white supremacist groups and views. It links his apparent sympathy for white nationalist views to Trump administration immigration policies. Miller is Trump’s lead adviser on immigration. “We firmly oppose the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee,
liberties groups in seeking and anti-asylee policies enacted Miller’s removal. In a separate by this administration, including letter the same month, three (but not limited to) the Muslim Jewish religious streams— ban, efforts to end the Deferred the Reform, Conservative and Action for Childhood Arrivals Reconstructionist movements— (DACA) program and terminate times in 2 months Jewish groups have made the same call. In December, Temporary Protected Status joined in the call for Stephen Miller’s 25 Jewish Democrats in the U.S. (TPS) wherever possible, onerous resignation House of Representatives called barriers for family reunification, for his removal, and a number of the increased criminalization of Jewish Democrats in the Senate immigrants, family separation, have joined similar calls. decimating of the nation’s refuThe latest SPLC email dump, gee resettlement program, and posted January 14, shows Miller repeated attacks on asylum,” the making far-right arguments statement says. “As organizations against the DACA program, of many faiths, who feel love and which allows undocumented migrants who arrived in respect where Miller advances disdain and hate, we call the United States as children to stay. President Barack for his resignation immediately.” Obama instituted the program. In November, Jewish groups joined civil
jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Jewish News | 5
Jewish Tidewater Survey to begin in February Community ready to learn about area Jewish residents in 2020
Lisa Richmon and Terri Denison
With the responses, synagogues, schools, and Jewish agencies will be able to refresh and recharge their reach— creating a strategic framework for the organized Jewish community’s future. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and every Jewish person age 18 and over is eligible, and in fact, requested to participate. The survey is designed to give a voice to ANYONE who identifies as Jewish, regardless of affiliation or belief. It is anonymous. This is a chance to let the organized community know what types of services and activities are desired, how one wants to be connected and contacted…or not. Take the survey. Tell friends about it and that their voice will be heard. Go to JewishTidewater.org next month and help Jewish write Tidewater’s Jewish story.
(ages and number of people) and many other such details. The Jewish Tidewater Community Survey that will take place online beginning next month, will ask a different array of questions. The aim of this survey is to learn what people want in a Jewish community, what they think it should feel like, what is missing, even what is perceived to be fantastic. Conducted by the Melior Group from Philadelphia on behalf of Tidewater’s Jewish agencies, schools, and synagogues —all of which have had the opportunity to help develop the survey’s content—the information will make it possible to better serve all of Jewish Tidewater.
fter 19 years, the Jewish community has decided it is time to conduct a survey to learn just what is important to Tidewater’s Jewish members. With the responses, synagogues, schools, and The last survey, which took place in agencies will be able to refresh and recharge their 2001, was a demographic study. It revealed where Jewish people lived, how old they were, who comprised what households
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Virginia Virginia’s first female, first Jewish Speaker: Eileen Filler-Corn Diversity across the Commonwealth. Diversity in the House. Lisa Richmon
ileen Filler-Corn’s historical new role as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first woman and first Jewish Speaker of the House of Delegates is big news, locally, nationally, and even in Israel. Since November, Filler-Corn has been on the cover of Hadassah Magazine, Virginia Business, featured on NPR, in the Times of Israel, and in many other Virginia publications, including on the front page of the Virginian-Pilot.
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Eileen Filler-Corn on the cover of Hadassah Magazine’s November/December 2019 issue.
become a cause of women’s rights activists, and supporters thronged outside the statehouse to cheer on Democratic lawmakers and urge them to pass it. Among the top issues for this session are universal background checks and other gun legislation, ratification of the ERA, setting redistricting policy ahead of the 2020 U.S. Census, and examining Virginia’s minimum wage and right to work laws.
“It’s exciting because we have the most diverse caucuses we’ve ever had, the most diverse body we’ve ever had. It’s about time that (legislators) actually reflect the Commonwealth and that we look like the Commonwealth. That means all kinds of diversity,” Eileen Filler-Corn, said in a Virginia Business magazine interview. Filler-Corn, a mother of two grown children says she brings her Jewish values and experience to her office. The many volunteer positions she’s held in the Jewish community include serving as a board member of the Jewish Community Relations
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Council of Greater Washington and on the board of her synagogue, Congregation Adat Reyim in Springfield, Va. Filler-Corn is a life member of Hadassah, and currently serves on the boards of the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. One of Filler-Corn’s personal favorite achievements that came with her new position: giving an interview to an Israeli newspaper in Hebrew. Another first for Virginia’s Speaker.
jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Jewish News | 7
Ruth’s Life Said a Lot About Her As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman volunteered more hours than anyone else at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors for years.
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international Iran has retaliated against Jewish targets before. But the Soleimani killing isn’t changing Jewish security around the world. Sam Sokol
JERUSALEM (JTA)—On March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber drove a truck into the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring hundreds of others. Two years later, in the same city, on July 18, 1994, another bomber drove a truck into the AMIA Jewish center, killing 85 and injuring hundreds. It remains Argentina’s worst-ever domestic attack. Analysts believe that Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group that is funded by Iran, were behind the two attacks, and that the bombings were responses to Israeli acts—the 1992 murder of Abbas Moussawi, a Hezbollah co-founder, and the 1994 capture of Mustapha Dirani, a Hezbollah ally and Lebanese security official. The Argentine bombings are just two examples of bloody retaliation by groups tied to the Iranian military, which has a reputation for responding violently—and sometimes years later—to attacks on themselves or their allies. Jewish and Israeli sites have often been the Iranians’ targets. After the U.S. assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which enraged Tehran and prompted Iran’s president to promise revenge, Jewish communities around the world aren’t likely to change their security plans much. According to conversations that the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has held with representatives of a number of Jewish organizations, many Jewish communities have already significantly increased their security in response to years of rising anti-Semitism. “For the moment, we don’t think that Iran will, in the short term, take revenge like what they did in AMIA and the embassy,” Ophir Revach, the CEO of the European Jewish Congress’ Security and Crisis Center, says. “We think it’s more between Iran and America and less about the Jewish community in the world.” “Anyway [security is already] very high because of all what we have been seeing around the world with anti-Semitic
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attacks, so you don’t see any change in Jewish communities around the world,” he continues. Rabbi Avi Shafran, the spokesman for the ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel movement in the United States, agrees. “I haven’t heard of any uptick in concern, beyond the already ‘high alert’ that Orthodox communities, whose members are most identifiable as Jews, are already on,” he says, referring to the recent surge in attacks against Orthodox Jews in the New York area. “That isn’t to say that any such concern would be unwarranted. Many are the threats to visibly Jewish Jews—from the far right, the far left, idiotic hoodlums and Islamist actors, both individuals and state sponsored.” Michael Masters, who heads the Secure Community Network, a security organization affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, does not sound the alarm either. But he says that a main concern right now is cyber retaliation. “It’s fair to say that [Iran] is part of the [cyber] calculus,” he says. A co-founder of the Community Security Service, which trains thousands of volunteers to protect Jewish institutions across the U.S., was more vague in describing his organization’s response. “Protecting the Jewish community from active shooter or knife attacks— such as what happened in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and recently in Monsey—are rightly top of mind for CSS and the community,” says Adam Sager. “However, the reality is that the American Jewish community has to respond to the entire threat spectrum that it faces, including the extremes of an AMIA style attack. Fortunately, our methodology, based on professional security best practices, is flexible and robust enough to cope with different contingencies.” The Orthodox Chabad Lubavitch movement, however, took a different tack, warning its emissaries around the
world to be on “high alert” in the wake of the assassination. “Soleimani’s death will likely mark a major escalation in a simmering conflict between the U.S. and Iran and there is a strong likelihood that Iran will retaliate whether directly or indirectly,” the Chabad-Lubavitch Security Commission warned earlier this month. “Although there is no information at this time to suggest a direct threat to Chabad centers as a result of this escalation, as in past conflicts, there exists a concern that the current situation and tensions could contribute to a heightened risk and threat environment for Jewish facilities and Chabad centers.” In South Africa, Jewish Board of Deputies national director Wendy Kahn indicates that while members of her community, like others around the world, “are concerned about Iran’s threat of revenge attacks” and recognize that Jewish institutions “are considered as targets,” there was “no specific information regarding this country being of particular concern.” Stating that the “despotic, anti-Semitic regime in Iran has always posed a threat to the Jewish world,” Alex Ryvchin, a co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, describes the loss of Soleimani as a move that would “hurt Iran in an operational sense and has levied a cost on their leadership for seeking to sow destruction and carnage throughout the region and beyond.” South America has long been a key base for Iran and its military proxies, especially Hezbollah. But besides noting that “alert levels were raised” and “security procedures were strengthened in view of the recent events” by the Argentine government, current AMIA President Ariel Eichbaum does not signal that his organization was significantly changing its security protocol. “We join the voices that hope the escalation of tension and violence will cease,” he says, “and that calm and prudence will return to the region, through a pacific solution achieved with a political and diplomatic negotiation.”
Book festival Wrap PJ Library’s annual Latkepalooza and Camp Extravaganza: Hanukkah fun at the JCC Gina, joined the fun. Mika, a local therapy pup belonging to Dorianne Villani, allowed children to pet her. Latkepalooza concluded with visiting author Leslèa Newman’s book Gittel’s Journey, a story about a young girl coming to the U.S. on her own, with only a relative’s name and address on a piece of paper that she held tightly in her hand. Gittel’s brave story is the true story of Newman’s great aunt, and the read-a-loud ended with a short video of Newman interviewing her aunt, the daughter of the real Gittel. Mark Robbins Photography.
Young attendees sing Sheryl Haft’s song, filled with Yiddish words and their definitions.
ore than 150 people came through the doors of the Simon Family JCC for PJ Library’s 7th Annual Latkepalooza & Camp Extravaganza, as part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival on Sunday, December 15. Children’s author Sheryl Haft kicked off the event with an interactive reading of her new book Goodnight Bubbala. Local musician David Cardon and Haft taught a song about Yiddish words to go along with the lively parody of Goodnight Moon that is filled with Yiddish vocabulary. Props, a photo booth, the music, crafts, and the story telling made the book come alive for children and adults alike. Between author presentations, families ate a lunch of latkes, chicken nuggets, fruit, and sufganiyot and then explored other activities. The six visiting overnight camps for families to meet included: Perlman Camp, Camp Zeke, Sababa Beachaway, Capital Camps, Camps Airy and Louise, and Camp Ramah. Camp JCC joined the fun and raffled off a free week of camp for one new family. In the gym, kids played games of cornhole and tried to master the climbing rope and rock wall. Beth El’s Cantor Wendi Fried lead Hanukkah songs, the blessings, and lighting of the Hanukkiah before the
Rinoa Lautman meets author Jane Bernstein, from her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa.
day’s second author, Jane Bernstein, read her story Gina From Siberia, based off of a true story of a dog that was smuggled
into the United States by her family. After Bernstein’s reading, Tidewater’s own version of the four-legged main character,
To learn more about PJ Library and other opportunities for children and family programming, contact Sierra Lautman, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s director of Jewish Innovation, at 757-965-6107 or email@example.com.
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Book festival Wrap Spiritual late bloomer goes digging to discover what was ‘here all along’ Lisa Richmon
ormer Obama White House speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz came to Temple Emanuel to sign books and share what she learned on her post-White House Jewish journey on Sunday, December 8. The Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival and the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together series brought Hurwitz to town. Her book is called, Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life In Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There). At the pre-event book signing, the affable new author answered questions about the candidates she wrote speeches for while expressing delight with Virginia Beach’s relaxed coastal vibe. “This is such a nice contrast to D.C.,” says Hurwitz. Hurwitz answered questions and received high praise for making Judaism accessible to more people. “I used parts of your book in my High Holiday service,” Ohef Sholom Temple’s Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg said to Hurwitz. “Is Hillary Clinton as demanding as
they say? How about Michelle Obama?” a community member asked. “Yes,” said Hurwitz, traversing nimbly from institutions of Judaism to First Lady speak. “Anybody who cares about what they do is going to be demanding.” In the social hall where brunch was served, Janet Mercadante introduced the Harvard Law School graduate and fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, before leading a conversation about her transition from White House speechwriter to an architect of Judaism re-imagined. In addition to thanking everyone for coming out on a Sunday, Hurwitz referred to herself as a ‘big fan’ of Congresswoman Elaine Luria, whose presence she graciously acknowledged. One of Mercadante’s first questions was about the author’s jump from speech writer to writing a book about Judaism. Hurwitz acknowledged that the move from Michelle Obama’s speech writer to penning a book about Judaism wasn’t what one would expect. White House colleagues’ thinly veiled responses were, “Ok, wow, well that’s not what I thought.”
Janet Mercadante and Sarah Hurwitz.
10 | Jewish News | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
It took the perfect spiritual storm. “I grew up kind of like maybe a lot of you. For me, Judaism was too dull. Incomprehensible. High Holidays, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and a boring seder. Three holidays, that was Judaism,” said Hurwitz. “I thought this is boring and I don’t get it and it seems oppressive and stale. So, I had my Bat Mitzvah and that was it. I was done. I kind of walked away from Judaism. I thought if I want to find meaning or spiritual connection I’ll have to look elsewhere because clearly, it’s not in Judaism. “Then, when I was 36, I had just broken up with a guy I was dating, and I had all this time on my hands. I was anxious and bored. I happened to get this e-mail for an introduction to Judaism class. I signed up just on a whim. I was not in a spiritual crisis. I was not on an existential journey…just looking to fill my time, it could have been a karate class. I figured I’ll learn something about Judaism and get out of my apartment. Fine. “Well, I was blown away by so much profound wisdom and insight on how to be a good person and how to lead a worthy life. I thought, ‘where has this been all my life?’” She read books, studied with rabbis. “American Judaism doesn’t expose us to the amazing parts and then wonder why people walk away. I could not believe what I was finding Learning about Judaism was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” said Hurwitz. “Sarah’s background and perspective about the meaning of Jewish life was very poignant to me,” says Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “I’m looking forward to reading the book…I’ve even thought about sharing it with a cousin of mine. We’ve had this conversation. We sent our children to Hebrew school and Sunday school, we carry on the same traditions that we grew up in, but it’s hard for me to answer the questions behind ‘why.’ After hearing about her research for her book and all the things she brought together, it looks like this is going to be a great read.” Here All Along addresses the spiritual late bloomer’s vision for something
Elaine Luria and Sarah Hurwitz.
missing in Jewish literacy. She wanted to write the ‘why to,’ not just another ‘how to.’ There was no shortage of books from esoteric scholars or “How to do Shabbat.” “No wonder,” mused Hurwitz, “that young people run off to Burning Man.” Here All Along is the book they want, and she needs. Her hope was to unearth all that Judaism had to offer and satisfy young people with legitimate emotional, moral, and spiritual yearnings. Things like bringing light to what Judaism offered about God, death (afterlife) and mourning. The deeper truths that Judaism has to offer. “I always knew I was a good person,” said Hurwitz. But I wasn’t a great person.” “I’m more careful about my speech and how I show up for people,” she says. “Gossip is a real thing…Judaism demands the ministry of presence. When someone is in need, you actually fly to that person and show up for them.” To learn more about the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar in Residence Fund of the Congregation Beth El Foundation’s Tidewater Together series, including more upcoming events, visit JewishVa.org/ TidewaterTogether.
Book festival Wrap First Person
Treat your Valentine to these remarkable performances!
My Interview with Yaakov Katz, the Jerusalem Post’s editor-In-chief Herman Shelanski Vice Admiral, Retired
aakov Katz, editor-In-chief of the Jerusalem Post, educated and enlightened our community as part of the 2019–2020 Israel Today series. Katz is author of Shadow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power. He shared his message over several days throughout the community including with the U.S. Naval Warfare Development, Cape Henry Collegiate Nexus Global Scholars Program, an interview with CBN News, an appearance on CBN’s The 700 Club, and with the Global Studies and World Language Academy at Tallwood High School. Katz concluded his visit with an evening interview with me at the Sandler Family Campus. The event was sponsored by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ Israel Today series, as part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, in coordination with the Jewish Book Council. At the Sandler Family Campus, Katz spoke to a full house, reflecting the
Yaakov Katz with Retired Vice Admiral Herm Shelanski.
community’s sharp interest in such an important and interesting topic. It was insightful to hear from the author, an incredible story-teller, how the events of the September 2007 strike on the almost active, Syrian nuclear facility unfolded. It is one thing to retell a story from reports and reviews, and another to have personally interviewed the main characters that determined the course of the eventual attack and therefore world events. Katz gained access to figures such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Mossad, the IDF aviators that flew the mission, and the IDF military staff that planned the mission—providing nuggets of inside information and intricate shades of decision-making not readily available. Katz explained that Israel had a red line on weapons of mass destruction in the hands of its enemies. The decision, therefore, was made to destroy the facility, but to first let the United States have the opportunity to do so. In 2007 in Israel, he noted, “…it was after a bad war (Lebanon 2006).” It was pre-civil war Syria, and Syria had a larger and formidable army, that Israel did not want to antagonize and risk going to war against. “If America were to attack and carry out the operation, the chance of retaliation against Israel while still possible, would dramatically drop.” If America did it, Katz said, it would be another ball game, and would deter Iran, and maybe even Korea from going forward with nuclear develolment. In September of 2007, however, President George W. Bush was ordering a surge of troops to Iraq, and refused to do more in the Middle East. Bush told Israel he wouldn’t interfere and would keep the operation classified. Prime Minister Olmert launched the strike, a complete success, and then made the remarkable decision to say nothing to Israel or the world. This unbelievable strategy depended on the guess that Assad told very few people in his government about
the nuclear plant, and that he might lose his grip and power and therefore also not say anything. As predicted, there was no response from Syria, and the public knew nothing for over a decade. Katz concluded with the thesis about how serious it could have been if Israel had not taken action. “The area where they were building this reactor, in 2014… was taken over by…ISIS. Think if they had gotten a hold of it and made a dirty bomb or radioactive material.” After a momentary pause to let this sink in, he said, “Israel saved Israel, but Israel saved the world in that sense.” For the full story, read Shadow Strike and watch the interview on the CRC’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ CRCUJFT/. Spearheaded by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC, Israel Today is a year-long offering of scholarly and cultural events and is made possible through the support of numerous community partners including all area synagogues, Jewish agencies, and organizations. To learn more about upcoming visiting experts, go to jewishva.org/ IsraelToday or contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director, at MZuckerman@ujft.org.
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jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Jewish News | 11
S I M O N FA M I LY PA S S P O R T T O I S R A E L
It’s a Wrap
Are you a Jewish teen who wants to go to Israel?
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Apply at foundation.jewishva.org through March 15 Tidewater Jewish Foundation can help fund the trip through the Simon Family Passport to Israel Fund! - Grants are available for students age 13 to 18, traveling to Israel on an organized and staffed peer trip. - Trips will be funded up to 50% of the eligible expenses.
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Stein Family College Scholarship
ake Kosher Chinese food, and they will come…; In New York City or even in Tidewater, scoring a reservation at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day, is well, like a miracle. No miracles needed for reservations at the Chinese Community Dinner at Beth Sholom Village. For the second consecutive year, Beth Sholom Village was the place to be for residents, family, and friends of the community on December 25. The nearly 100
people who attended included those of all faiths—some celebrated Hanukkah, and others celebrated Christmas. It did not matter. When a loved one is in long-term care, it is easy to visit BSV with the outof-town family members and have a meal together. No cooking or cleaning—just enjoying good company and good food. The fare was typical Chinese food— egg rolls, General Tso’s chicken, and beef and broccoli, to name a few of the options. And, of course, chopsticks were included.
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BINA on the go!!!! Marcy Mostofsky
The Stein Family College Scholarship is dedicated in loving memory of Arlene Shea Stein who was unable to finish college due to financial hardship.
This annual scholarship of up to $10,000 per year is awarded to area Jewish students entering college. Applicants are evaluated on financial need, Jewish/community engagement, and academic potential. For more information and to apply, visit www.jewishva.org/TJF-stein
12 | Jewish News | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
ecember was a very busy month for BINA High School students. While many students are enrolled in dual curriculum college courses with Virginia Wesleyan University and were occupied with their heavy course load, this did not stop them from enjoying additional extra-curricular activities. Several BINA students volunteer on Shabbos afternoon with a national program known as Bnos. The Bnos program allows elementary girls to interact with high school students and enjoy valuable time with these role models. BINA students are teaching the younger students the proper use of speech through games,
stories, songs, and lessons. Bnos leaders joined up with 400 Jewish high school girls from across the country in Chicago for an exciting three-day convention. These students returned inspired and ready to volunteer more of their time with the younger girls. The students also had a wonderful time celebrating Hanukkah. They listened to uplifting lectures from their teachers and a community rabbi. Plus, the students had a beautiful Hanukkah Chagiga (party) at the Ghent Village Clubhouse. What makes BINA High School so special is the respect the students have for their teachers. In fact, the teachers who encourage the students on a daily basis are always included in school parties.
Investing & Giving
Supplement to Jewish News January 20, 2020 jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Education | Jewish News | 13
Investing & Giving
Stein Family College Scholarship recipient meets TJF and Stein family member
aith Rose White, 2019 Stein Family Scholarship recipient (center) meets Lawrence Steingold, Tidewater Jewish Foundation board chair (left) and Lisa Stein Delevie, daughter of Arlene Stein, of Stein Family Scholarship, earlier this month. This was the first meeting between White and Delevie â€“ an opportunity to say thank you and share their mutual love of art and fashion. The scholarship is dedicated in memory of Arlene Shea Stein who was unable to finish college due to financial hardship. This annual scholarship of up to $10,000 per year is awarded to area Jewish students entering college. For more information and to apply, visit www.jewishva.org/TJF-stein.
14 | Jewish News | Education | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
Investing & Giving
Why I give… To help maintain a spiritual home Hilary Truman Life & Legacy Donor Temple Emanuel became a home I didn’t know I was looking for. The first time I came, I came to support my best friend. My daughter enjoyed the atmosphere and the people, so I came with my friend a few more times. Everyone was so friendly, I ended up staying. I have accidentally volunteered a few times, and purposefully volunteered a few times. My Why, is my daughter. She enjoys it so Hilary Truman and daughter much at Temple Emanuel, I want it to be around Tatyana Calloway. for many years. She has become an active volunteer herself. I want her to always have a spiritual home to come back to no matter how far she travels. Hilary Truman was born and raised in Virginia Beach. She is a teacher’s assistant working on her master’s degree in special education. She serves as chair of Temple Emanuel’s celebration committee.
Valerie Brodsky White
To support education on anti-Semitism Valerie Brodsky White Holocaust Commission member The Commission’s work is as relevant now as it has ever been. Their education program, What We Carry, builds awareness of the root causes of anti-Semitism and the insidious nature of discrimination generally. Thousands of students, military, and religious organizations have benefited from this vital program. Valerie White is an attorney, artist, and entrepreneur who loves to learn, laugh, and paint. She has two children and lives with her husband, Matthew, in Norfolk.
To honor past generations and to have the community continue for future generations. Lawrence Steingold I volunteer my time and donate funds because of the pride I feel as an active member of the Tidewater Jewish community. I love honoring past generations and work to have it continue for future generations, as the world evolves. At Ohef Sholom, I am inspired by religious services and informed by educational and social programs. I attend United Jewish Federation of Tidewater programs Lawrence Steingold Prof Advisor because they give me the opportunity to interact and learn with people of different ages and backgrounds. The Simon Family JCC Book and Film festivals enrich my Jewish life, which is why I choose to use my financial resources for current gifts and future estate bequests to ensure the continuation of programs of all types for future generations. I feel my work with Jewish Family Service
assists a great organization help others. At Tidewater Jewish Foundation, I volunteer to help keep our community’s financial health strong. With the Governor’s School for the Arts and the Vibe Arts District in Virginia Beach, I’m working to improve and support our greater Tidewater community. I have so much to be grateful for and my way of expressing that gratitude is to be an involved participant in as many ways as possible. Lawrence Steingold grew up in Norfolk and works with his brothers in their family commercial real estate investment business. He is the board chair of Tidewater Jewish Foundation.
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jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Education | Jewish News | 15
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Community Campaign looks to finish strong…and early! Amy Zelenka
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he United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2020 Community Campaign—came out of the gate strong once again this year. As this article goes to print, the campaign total stands at $4.43 million from more than 1,000 individual donors—well on its way to a successful finish. Federation leadership made the strategic decision last year to compress the traditional year-long campaign into four or five months. This would free-up staff and volunteers to work together and plan for an even more efficient campaign in the following year. The fruits of this effort can be seen in this year’s unprecedented partnership programming, which has provided the community with opportunities to hear from, learn from, and interact with a diverse group of speakers and to engage in fantastic Jewish programming on a larger scale than in prior years. Working together across departments, the Federation has been able to make great use of guest speakers, traveling exhibits, and other value-adds in large and small groups, benefiting the entire community. Last year’s compressed campaign also enabled UJFT staff and volunteers to reach out to donors for reasons “other than” campaign. With a majority of gifts closing early in the first four months of campaign, the campaign team was able to invite donors and prospective donors to attend some of the amazing programs being offered, giving many of them an opportunity to follow their campaign dollars to the kinds of programs and services that the Community Campaign
helps fund. Building upon last year’s successes, the 2020 campaign is likewise looking to close early and engage donors and donor prospects in the kinds of activities and programs they help make possible through their generous philanthropy. The 2020 Vision is about build-
As we support the Community Campaign, we invest in the future of our community with the goal of making sure that our children and grandchildren can benefit from those investments. ing community, and the Community Campaign is a vital component to ensuring a strong and vibrant Tidewater Jewish Community and to ensuring that Jewish life can be improved around the globe. That old Federation slogan remains true today: No gift touches more lives. And as we support the Community Campaign, we invest in the future of our community with the goal of making sure that our children and grandchildren can benefit from those investments. If you’ve not yet made your 2020 Jewish “investment,” now is a great time to do it. You can call the Federation office at 965-6115 or make your gift online at www.jewishva.org. Once on the website, go to the UJFT tab, then click on the GIVE NOW button. Thank you in advance for all you will be doing to enhance and improve Jewish lives and to secure the Jewish community at home and around the world.
Investing & Giving
Don’t let Social Security check go on vacation
ost people on Social Security have found a use every month for that check. For some, that check is essentially bonus money, totally unnecessary for dayto-day survival. “That situation is not as unusual as many may think,” says Jeffrey Eglow, chief investment officer for Guardian Wealth Advisory. “Some people may have inherited an income, won a lottery, or had investments that did really well. “But just because they don’t need that Social Security money to live on, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make the most of it. There are some specific things they should do to make sure they are getting the maximum benefit.” Eglow says that many Baby Boomers see their investments and retirement income differently than they did before the 2008 recession. They are looking for sources of guaranteed income instead of more risky investments. While Social Security is guaranteed income, if they are wise about how they leverage it, they can have even more guaranteed income, he says. Eglow says strategies for people who are in this situation include: Don’t take Social Security until age 70. This is the best strategy since there are few investments that offer a similar low risk, guaranteed 8 percent annual
growth. By waiting until age 70 to receive benefits, monthly payments may increase by as much as 32%, not including any cost of living increases that may be added to this amount. For example, someone who could get $2,000 a month at the “full retirement age” of 66 would get $2,640 if they postponed taking Social Security until they were 70. Spend the Social Security check instead of 401(k) or IRA funds. Most people are taxed on only 50 percent to 85 percent of their Social Security benefit. But they are taxed on 100 percent of any withdrawals from traditional IRAs or 401(k) accounts. Give it to the kids. Use the Social Security checks to pay premiums on life insurance policies so heirs will receive a larger inheritance. Heirs will receive this death benefit tax free. Don’t delay getting Social Security past 70. Since the benefit stops growing at 8 percent once the beneficiary reaches 70, it makes no sense to delay the start of getting the checks past that age. Eglow says even if some people don’t need their Social Security check for day to day living, it is still foolish to not maximize its value so it can benefit them and their families.
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his past year, Jewish Education Loan Fund assisted 296 students with $1,278,000 in interest-free loans. This is a savings of hundreds of thousands for those students. Still, JELF has more dollars to distribute. The organization’s goal is to help as many Jewish undergraduate, graduate, and vocational students avoid as much interest-bearing debt as possible.
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jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Education | Jewish News | 17
Investing & Giving
Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s LIFE & LEGACY continues growth Kaitlyn Oelsner
n three years of the LIFE & LEGACY program, spearheaded by Tidewater Jewish Foundation, 530 new commitments have been made for a total of $20,208,740 in endowed gifts to support the Jewish community’s future. Consider: • More than $4 million in endowed gifts to UJFT/JCC • Nearly $1.5 million for Strelitz International Academy • $1.25 million for Chabad • Nearly $1 million for Temple Emanuel • $3.25 million for Ohef Sholom Temple • $2.75 million for Jewish Family Service
• $1.85 million for Congregation Beth El • Nearly $1 million for Beth Sholom Village The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, sponsor and creator of the LIFE & LEGACY program, includes the Tidewater community as part of a nationwide wave of Jewish giving that totals nearly a $1 billion that will endow cherished Jewish organizations and support Jewish communities for generations. Community team leaders have played a huge role in getting to this point. Betsy and Dr. Ed Karotkin, for example, along with the support of Pam Gladstone, can be credited for the $1.85 million in new endowment funding for their synagogue,
Congregation Beth EL. Jason Lovitz, incoming Temple Emanuel president, has somehow managed to find time between family life and his work as a firefighter to connect with nearly every member of his congregation. In fact, he’s helped dozens of families make greater gifts than they ever thought possible to support their synagogue. Patti Seeman was a champion for Strelitz Academy and helped people make some significant commitments for the future of the school. Karen and Matt Fine might as well be professional volunteers—they are the Ohef Sholom dream team. There are so many such wonderful people in this community, that this paragraph could easily turn into pages. Founded on the principle that anyone, regardless of age, wealth, or affiliation,
can make an enduring financial impact, the LIFE & LEGACY program’s goal is to “make a difference in the lives of future generations.” To learn about giving options, including match programs, go to foundation.jewishva.org. Kaitlyn Oelsner is Tidewater Jewish Foundation director of Philanthropy. She may be reached at email@example.com or 757-965-6103.
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Investing & Giving
Beth Sholom Village’s 2019 Mah Jongg Raffle Sponsors
he annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg Day of Play, Tournament, and Luncheon took place in November at Beth Sholom Village. More than 100 guests and ‘Mah Jongg mavens’ attended. A wide array of prizes were offered by generous donors.
Raffle Prizes Baker’s Crust—Gift Certificate and Artisan Mug Beach Hardware (Sharon and Mark Goldner)—Gift Certificates Beth Sholom Auxiliary Gift Shop—Purse and Scarf Beth Sholom Village— Mah Jongg Gift Package Fresh Baked Cookie Basket Catering Package Holiday Pie Package 3 Glass Mezuzot Salon Hair & Skincare Set Changes Salon & Spa—Hair and Skincare Gift Bag Cowboy Neil’s Cantina—$75 Gift Certificate Creative Wedge—Shabbat Shalom hand towel Diamonds Direct—Diamond Pendant Necklace Edible Arrangements—$50 Gift Certificate (kosher location) Gilbert Eyecare—Sunglasses Great Wolf Lodge—Overnight stay & waterpark passes for 6 Jody’s Popcorn—Gift Basket Leon Family Gallery— Art print by Yoni Alter Art print by Erez Kaganovitz Main Stream Boutique—Scarf & Certificate for Private Shopping Party No Frill Grill—$30 Gift Certificate Nothing Bundt Cakes—$25 Gift Certificate Ohef Sholom Gift Shop—Jerusalem Hamsa Art by Tzuki Paparazzi (Marcella Bazemore)—2 Costume Jewelry Sets Please & Thank You—Gourmet Kosher Foods Gift Basket Pure Barre—5 Class Package
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jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Education | Jewish News | 19
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Germany gives $4.4 million to Dutch Holocaust museum Cnaan Liphshiz
IS OUR LEGACY HILARY & TATYANA TRUMAN MOTHER & DAUGHTER | BEST FRIENDS | PHILANTHROPISTS
AMSTERDAM ( JTA)—Germany has pledged nearly $4.5 million toward renovating the Dutch national Holocaust museum. Emile Schrijver, director of Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural Quarter, an organization comprising five museums and institutions in the Dutch capital, announced the funding this month. “We expected a donation of half a million or a million euros,” Schrijver told Het Parool. The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands opened in 2017 in a former religious seminary that was used to smuggle hundreds of Jewish children to safety from an adjacent building in which they were held. Their parents
EU gives $1.1 million toward preserving Jewish burial sites Cnaan Liphshiz
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20 | Jewish News | Education | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
were interred across the street at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a theater that the Nazis converted into a detention facility. In February, the museum will close down for two years for renovations meant to turn the theater and seminary into a single museum with a larger capacity and state-of-the-art displays. The renovations will cost about $30 million. The Dutch government has allocated at least $6 million toward the project. Nazi Germany and its Dutch collaborators murdered about 75 percent of the Netherlands’ prewar Jewish population of approximately 140,000 Jews. It was the highest death rate in Nazi-Occupied Western Europe. Dutch Jewry’s numbers have remained at around 40,000 people since the Holocaust.
(JTA)—The European Union has allocated $1.1 million toward mapping and preserving Jewish burial grounds. The European Commission, the executive branch of the union, announced earlier this month its decision to extend the funding to the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, or ESJF. The group uses innovative tools, ranging from mapping drones to Nazi aerial photography archives, to preserve what the Council of Europe said in 2012 were “vulnerable” sites. Since the group’s establishment in 2015 with a German government grant, it has helped protect dozens of Jewish
cemeteries in seven Central and Eastern European countries. ESJF also surveyed 1,500 cemeteries and mass graves in Greece, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Slovakia during 2019. The new funding will allow it to survey and demarcate a further 1,500 such sites in Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, and Poland, among other countries over the coming 18 months. The project will be carried out with help from two Jewish groups, Centropa and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, helping to “enhance local engagement in our collective goal to protect this vital heritage,” ESJF Chief Executive Officer Philip Carmel said in a statement.
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what’s happening Restoring Tomorrow Sunday, February 23, 2 pm, Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Virginia Wesleyan University, $10 Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.
ne of the longest running Jewish film festivals in the nation, the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film is presented by Patricia and Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma and Howard Laderberg.
Strange Fruit In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 20, 6 pm Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center Virginia Wesleyan University FREE and open to the community with RSVP required. Limited seating.
controversial song about the shameful lynching of blacks in the United States, Strange Fruit was written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish teacher from the Bronx, and made famous by Billie Holiday. Director Joel Katz’s documentary traces the song’s history and explores jazz genealogy and the history of lynching.
In partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council, Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB), and Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University
Love in Suspenders Thursday, February 20, 7:15 pm Cinema Café Kemps River, $10
hen Tami, the absent-minded widow, runs into a charming widower with her car, sparks fly and adult kids react. A charming comedy about an unexpected romantic ‘awakening’ after the age of 63.
Picture of His Life The big Saturday night celebration of Jewish film and champagne reception In memory of Patricia Ashkenazi Saturday, February 22, 8 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Tickets $35, under 21 FREE
fter barely escaping the first time, revered and daring underwater photographer Amos Nachoum gives the elusive and fascinating polar bear one last shot. Join him on his journey to the end of the world.
As part of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ 9th annual Israel Today series.
estoring Tomorrow tells the tale of a national treasure, the opulent Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, built in 1929 by the legendary movie moguls and showbiz congregants of the time. By the 21st century, it had fallen into such disrepair that the structure was on the verge of collapse. Amid a Jewish exodus from East LA, the Rabbi undertakes an epic $150 million renovation, seeking not only to restore the building’s physical majesty but to create a center for Jewish life and social services for an ethnically diverse neighborhood. The fundraising campaign and renovation are documented by LA-based filmmaker Aaron Wolf, who, f finds himself restored as he reconnects to his synagogue and his community. As part of Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together series.
The Frisco Kid Mal Vincent’s pick Monday, February 24, 7:15 pm, Naro Expanded Cinema, $10
big-hearted folktale peppered with ethnic humor and religious sensitivity. An unusual pairing with Gene Wilder as a clueless Torah-taxi-ing Polish Rabbi who gets conned, and Harrison Ford as the gun-slinging outlaw who takes pity on the poor schliemel.
Those Who Remained Wednesday, February 26, 7:15 pm, Beach Cinema Ale House, $10
ased on the 2004 novel by Zsuzsa F. Varkonyi, Those Who Remained explores the relationship of two survivors trying to live their lives in Hungary after the Holocaust. Dr. Aládar “Aldó” Körner meets 16-year old Klára during a medical exam, but she immediately latches onto him. The rest of the film navigates their delicate bond and explores how people navigate a dark world and choppy waters through the stability and equilibrium of others. In partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission.
Ticket Pricing Film Festival Ticket Pricing: Full Festival Pass $70 The BIG Saturday Night Film & Celebration: $35 and Under 21: FREE Individual Film Tickets for All Other Films: $10 Special group pricing available, contact Patty Shelanski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kids Night Out Babysitting at the Simon Family JCC open for JCC members for the BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and Champagne Reception. (Registration required at the JCC Front Desk, limited availability.) For tickets or more information: 757-321-2338 or JewishVA.org/FilmFestival
22 | Jewish News | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
what’s happening Ariel Burger’s lessons: From the rabbi, who as a young student, declined an offer from Elie Wiesel Monday, January 27, 7:30 pm, Congregation Beth El, Free, with RSVP to JewishVa.org/TidewaterTogether Lisa Richmon
Ariel Burger was interviewed by Sarah Hurwitz at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC. As a Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival author, Hurwitz came to Virginia Beach in December. Portions of this article are excerpted from that conversation, which was posted on YouTube.
riel Burger first met Elie Wiesel at age 15. Burger attended a lecture in New York given by the Holocaust survivor, professor, philosopher, and journalist. After the lecture, Burger’s soon-to-be stepfather introduced them. “Elie Wiesel held out his hand and said his name to me,” says Burger. “He just addressed 2,000 people. I saw that modesty then and continued to see it over the years.” After the lecture and over the next 10 years, Burger and Wiesel met sporadically. Bonding took place. Burger presented Wiesel questions about his religious life, about faith and doubt, and questions about different career paths. “He was very generous with his time,” says Burger. “I was really confused about a lot of things and starting to ask a lot of important questions about my life, particularly about the deeply religious community I was brought up in, and the role of art and creativity. I identified as an artist from a young age, my father was a composer, and I was looking for people who could bridge those worlds. I saw Elie Wiesel as someone who could do that.” In 1996, Burger enrolled in Wiesel’s class at Boston University. “I was very, very, shy,” says Burger. “I sat in the corner hoping not to be noticed. I said one word the entire semester and that was only because he asked a
question and he looked at me. He waited and waited. I said the word in my head, authenticity. Elie Wiesel nodded, ‘Exactly,’ he said. “A few weeks later he asked me to become his TA. I was on my way to study in Israel and deepen my knowledge. I didn’t think I had enough to offer yet. “‘He wrote me back and said ‘I read your letter and I understand. I will wait for you. When you’re finished with your studies, come back.’ “Wiesel saw teaching as the center and source of hope in the world,” says Burger. “He felt students could become activated moral creatures and he invested in that. He was a teacher first and foremost. His love for teaching was contagious.” Deni Budman, a senior majoring in Film & TV and minoring in Jewish Studies at Boston University, works at the school’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies. As a member of the Union for Reform Judaism’s College Leadership team, she heard Burger speak at the URJ Biennial last month. “Ariel Burger is a phenomenal speaker and shares Elie Wiesel’s wisdom in a really unique and approachable way. He talks about him like he’s in the next room, which is also how he’s treated at the Elie Wiesel Center—which I love,” says Budman. Burger’s book Witness, Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, is filled with lessons learned for dealing with hate and anti-Semitism, a primary mission of
Presented by Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund of the Congregation Beth el Foundation’s Tidewater Together series in partnership with B’nai Israel Congregation, Congregation Beth Chaverim, Congregation Beth El, Kehillat Bet Hamidrash, Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Emanuel and Temple Israel and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Eight Lessons from Elie Wiesel on Responding to Hate Crimes 1. When you see the signs of hate, don’t wait—fight it. What begins with words (slogans, articles, social media posts) becomes gestures (graffiti, toppled headstones), and eventually devolves into physical violence. 2. Believe the enemies’ words. They mean what they say.
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission. This year, the Holocaust Commission presents the 23rd annual Elie Wiesel Student Writing Competition and the 18th annual Elie Wiesel Student Visual Arts Competition. The competitions create the bridge that Burger was seeking between the world of the arts and the connection to religion. Named after the Nobel Laureate, teacher, philosopher, and survivor, these competitions inspire students to see Wiesel as a model of thinking about humanity. He was pleased to be so honored, and when he was in Norfolk for Congregation Beth El 150th anniversary celebration, he signed books for all of that year’s student winners. The competition often takes quotes from Wiesel and uses them to prompt students to address issues of historical significance, as well as current events. Wiesel’s gift was to make sure that the Holocaust, while it may be “the past,” seem relevant in the present, and make it clear that its lessons are vital for the future. To learn about future events go to JewishVa.org/TidewaterTogether.
3. There is no escape from history, and we must not become complacent. We have always had to fight against hatred, and there are lessons in memory. Be alert. 4. Use words carefully, with precision, to unmask, and name evil. What is worse than evil? Evil wearing a mask, presenting itself as good, or a joke, or an innocent mistake. 5. Don’t fight alone. Build unity within your community. For example, all Jews must put aside differences and see essential oneness. 6. Build unity across communities, too. Our friendship with others is a powerful weapon against the forces that try to divide us. 7. Don’t be defined by the hate you fight. Tragedy doesn’t define us; our response to tragedy does. As you fight hate, don’t fall into hate. 8. Remember to celebrate the things worth celebrating. With the grief, pain, and anger, there will also be moments of joy. Celebration is an act of rebellion, subversion, and revolution.
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what’s happening Leon Family Gallery Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
Renegade Women in Film & TV January and February
Author Elizabeth Weitzman to lead gallery tour Thursday, February 6, noon, free
l i z a b e t h Weitzman, author of Renegade Women in Film & TV, will visit the Simon Family JCC for a community luncheon and gal- Elizabeth Weitzman lery tour as part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, through the Jewish Book Council. Her book, Renegade Women in Film & TV blends stunning illustrations, fascinating biographical profiles, and exclusive interviews with icons such as Barbra Streisand, Rita Moreno, and Sigourney Weaver to celebrate the accomplishments of 50 extraordinary women throughout the history of entertainment. As part of Weitzman’s visit, a selection of illustrations from her book are on exhibit in the Simon Family JCC’s Leon Family Gallery, leading up to the 27th annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. The luncheon and gallery tour with Elizabeth Weitzman are free with RSVP required. Renegade Women in Film & TV is for sale at the JCC front desk. For more information, or to make reservations, go to JewishVA.org/bookfest or call 965-6137. About the Exhibit There have been so many game-changing women in film and television that it would take volumes to cover them all. In fact, women have been involved in every aspect of moviemaking since the 19th century, when director Alice Guy-Blaché helped
invent the art form itself.* As it happens, the early years of cinema were among the most open to women. Silent film director Lois Weber was as celebrated in her day as Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins are today. Screenwriters Frances Marion and June Mathis were the top earners in all of Hollywood. And, one of the highest-paid actors was the revered Alla Nazimova, a bisexual feminist immigrant. But, who knew? The answer, of course, is that too few people have even heard of these pioneers. As movies hardened into a big-money industry, women found themselves increasingly pushed aside. Their courageous struggles against systemic inequality and prejudice often went unnoticed—or worse, were flatly discounted. Eventually their names faded from memory, as did their accomplishments. But culture shifts, and Hollywood has been experiencing a seismic evolution over the last few years with women claiming their space. The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements have brought horror stories out of the shadows, and have also revealed tremendously impactful examples of bravery and strength. At the same time, box office smashes like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Crazy Rich Asians are evidence that audiences are done waiting for diversity and representation in entertainment. So are the actors, writers, and directors. And, then, there’s television. It turns out that women in entertainment do the same thing women everywhere have always done: create new
opportunities out of imposed limitations. In 1953, Ida Lupino was the only high-profile woman directing in Hollywood. By 1956, she’d turned to TV. In the decades since Lupino and movie starlet Lucille Ball forged this path, it’s gotten a lot wider. More women working means more women working. More women supporting one another, so that more women’s stories are told. And nowhere has this been more evident than on TV. The immovable object that is Hollywood faces the unstoppable force of filmmakers like DuVernay and Jenkins—or showrunners like Mara Brock Akil and Shonda Rhimes— and others follow. A few people are brave enough to speak out about sexual harassment, and others follow. An award winner uses an acceptance speech to demand equality, and others follow. Many of the trailblazers didn’t have the benefit of movements. They kicked open doors while carrying heavy burdens, and paid an oppressive price. The stories in the first half of the exhibit (book) are often bittersweet at best; you’ll wish the renegades who worked so hard could have seen the changes they wrought. The insights that several were generous enough to share are fascinating. All of these extraordinary icons are as hopeful about the future as they are honest about the past. *Guy-Blaché was French, but there are so many incredible women throughout the history of global cinema that this book has focused on those, like her, who’ve worked primarily in the U.S.
BINA High School’s Annual Shabbos Dinner Friday, January 31, 6 pm, B’nai Israel
n elegant Shabbos dinner in support of BINA High School will take place on Friday, January 31. The fundraiser for the girls’ high school still has sponsorship opportunities available. For reservations, sponsorships, or more information, call or text 757-502-9129.
24 | Jewish News | January 20, 2020 | jewishnewsva.org
what’s happening Everyone’s voice matters: Join CRC in Richmond for a Very Important Date (with the State) Wednesday, February 5, 7 am–4 pm Megan Zuckerman
ver wonder if a vote mattered in an election? Consider the latest Virginia state delegate election recount of Nancy Guy and Chris Stolle. Guy was officially declared the winner of the 83rd House of Delegates race with 40 votes over the incumbent Chris Stolle. Forty votes, 40 people showing up to the polls decided this election. In American democracy, the people’s voice matters. But rights must be exercised and voices expressed. United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council offers that opportunity at the annual Jewish Advocacy Day, when community members spend a day with fellow Jewish Virginians, making an impact by educating delegates and senators advocating on the issues currently affecting the Jewish community. In one day, participants sit in their state delegates’ and senators’ offices and tell them why they care about issues of importance to Virginia’s Jewish community—issues the representatives will vote on during the legislative session. Following the lobbying efforts, more than 200 Jewish Virginians from delegations across the Commonwealth hear from the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General over lunch. Past issues have included social service programs to care for Virginians, support
Tidewater delegation at Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day 2019.
for agencies including Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board, combating anti-Semitism and bias legislation, and more. Date with the State offers the Jewish community an opportunity to be pro-active. These face-to-face meetings send strong signals to lawmakers about the Jewish community being unified and engaged. Additionally, Date with the
State allows participants the opportunity to develop personal relationships with elected officials, thus better serving the Jewish community in the future.
the cost of transportation. To reserve a seat on the bus (required by January 29), register and pay online at www.jewishva.org/CRCDateWithTheState.
Early drop-off is available for parents of students at the Strelitz International Academy. Pre-registration required with RSVP. The cost of the day is $36, which includes a kosher lunch and helps defray
For more information on CRC, e-mail Megan Zuckerman, director, UJFT Community Relations Council, at mzuckerman@ ujft.org, or call 757-965-6112.
Tidewater community members voice why Date with the State is important Brad Lerner
Rabbi Gershon Litt
“With the global resurgence of anti-Semitism, this has
“Date with the State is the one day a year where the
“I enjoy seeing my state government in action, and
been quite a challenging year for the Jewish world
Jewish community can have a powerful voice through
I feel the mood in the State Capitol this year will be
and our Jewish community in Tidewater. DWTS is a
numbers, and let our elected officials know what is
productive and positive.”
great occasion to help make Virginia a more tolerant,
important to us. It is also empowering for our commu-
healthy, and prosperous place—not just for Jews, but
nity to know that we can have access to these leaders.
This program is truly one of the most valuable things that we can participate in each year.”
“Date With the State is important to build bridges among all facets of our Jewish community to insure that our united voice is heard by our elected representatives.
jewishnewsva.org | January 20, 2020 | Jewish News | 25
what’s happening 4,000 people have summited Mount Everest, 12 people have walked on the moon, 5 people have ever dived with polar bears, and one of them will be in Virginia Beach
Virginia Festival of Jewish Film’s BIG Saturday Night: Focus on Israeli photographer Amos Nachoum Saturday, February 22, 8 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Tickets $35 or under 21, FREE
he BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and Champagne Reception features a screening of the award-winning documentary, Picture of His Life, followed by a discussion with director Dani Menkin and environmental activist and world-renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum. It concludes with a champagne toast. The annual Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma & Howard Laderberg Virginia Festival of Jewish Film will celebrate its 27th year with a fantastic lineup of films, offering something for everyone. As in years past, the BIG Saturday Night event will focus on an Israeli story. This year, the story is about of one of the greatest underwater photographers of all time, Amos Nachoum. The film follows Nachoum’s journey as he contemplates the series of unspoken events that drove him to the end of the world in search of fulfilling his goal of being only one of a handful of people in the world who have (fewer than five) swam with and photographed polar bears. More people have landed on the moon. It was a long and painful journey for Nachoum, as the film shares, after serving in an Elite Israeli Commando unit and witnessing the horrors of war, but where others find fear, Nachoum finds redemption. An internationally-awarded marine and wildlife photographer, dedicated conservationist, and champion of the Earth’s last remaining wild places and species, Nachoum has led numerous National Geographic expeditions. His work, including his underwater photography and films, has been seen in more than 500 publications and on TV in North America, Europe, Israel, Japan, and elsewhere. Nachoum is
Ask the Cantor: a popular event at Beth Sholom Village Next session: Wednesday, February 12, 3 pm
lihu Flax first studied to be a rabbi before becoming a Conservativetrained cantor. For the past 16 years, he has served in both roles as director of Religious Services at Beth Sholom Village. Now, four times a year, residents of all faiths from both the Berger-Goldrich Health Care and Rehabilitation Center and Terrace Assisted Living, gather in the chapel to Ask the Cantor about Jewish rituals and customs. On a recent weekday afternoon, Cantor Flax was peppered with questions about
the Jewish holidays (no, Hanukkah is not a major “holy” festival – but it’s nonetheless important, and yes, Passover is like Fourth of July because it celebrates freedom for the ancient Israelites), as well as other topics. For instance, “does God hear our prayers when we’re alone?” “Absolutely,” said Cantor Flax. If any attendee wondered whether it’s too late to learn Hebrew, Flax reminded them that Rabbi Akiba didn’t do so until age 40.
KBH Synagogue to hold 19th Annual Gala Art Auction the founder and president of BigAnimals Global Expeditions, taking small groups of four to six clients to observe, photograph, and responsibly interact with whales, Polar bears, sharks, dolphins and more. He believes that interaction builds understanding and respect for the fragile environment—and that is the secret to its preservation. With Picture of His Life winning audience awards at four festivals (Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival, and Gold Coast International Film Festival) to date, it’s certain to also be a winner with Tidewater’s audience. The evening is presented in partnership with Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ ninth annual Israel Today. To see a full list of partners and additional visiting experts as part of Israel Today, visit JewishVA.org/ IsraelToday or contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director, at MZuckerman@ujft.org. To purchase tickets or learn more about the 27th annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, for the full lineup of films, visit JewishVA.org/FilmFestival or contact Patty Shelanski, Arts + Ideas manager, at PShelanski@ujft.org.
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Saturday, March 7 Doors open: 6:45 pm; Auction begins: 7:45 pm
ave the date! Kempsville Conservative Synagogue’s popular 19th Annual Gala Art Auction is slated for March. Featuring art in all media and price ranges, the event will be presented by Arrin Ross Auctions, in participation with Marlin Art, Inc. Admission is $7.50, which includes door prizes, food, and wine. For more information, call Judy Saperstein at 757-287-3887 or contact the synagogue at email@example.com. KBH is located at 952 Indian Lakes Blvd. in Virginia Beach.
Jewish Faces in Jewish Spaces: Jewish Authenticity Saturday, February 1, 9:30 am Congregation Beth El Claudia Mazur, director of Diversity and Inclusion
s attacks against Jews increase across the country, varied reactions of fear, sadness, and anger rarely consider the way that Jewishness and events affecting Jews are experienced by Jews of Color. With this in mind, Congregation Beth El invited Rabbi Sandra Lawson, associate chaplain for Jewish Life at Elon University, to speak about the issues facing Jews of Color in America during Rabbi Sandra Lawson. Shabbat services. Rabbi Lawson became the first openly gay, female, black rabbi in the world in 2018, ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is also a veteran, vegan, sociologist, personal trainer, food activist, weightlifter, writer, and musician. The program is open to the public.
Calendar JANUARY 20, MONDAY 27th Virginia Festival of Jewish Film presents Strange Fruit, In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 6 pm, FREE and open to the community with RSVP required (limited seating), at the Susan B. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Virginia Wesleyan University. Presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB), and Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan University. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit jewishva.org/ filmfestival. JANUARY 27, MONDAY Author Ariel Burger discusses his book, Witness, Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, and takes readers and audiences into Elie Wiesel’s classroom, where the art of listening and storytelling conspire to keep memory alive. 7:30 pm. Congregation Beth El. FREE and open to the community. Presented by the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund’s Tidewater Together Series in partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. For more information or to RSVP (required), visit jewishva.org/bookfestival. See page 23. February 2, Sunday Brith Sholom general membership meeting at 11 am at Beth Sholom Village. Lauren “The Frugal Chick” will speak about saving money with coupons. Brunch follows. $5 per member; $7 at the door; $10 per guest; and free to anyone exploring membership. For more information, contact LeeAnne Mallory at 757-461-1150 or Brith.Sholom1@gmail.com. FEBRUARY 5, WEDNESDAY Date with the State. The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater travels to Richmond for the annual Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day. 7 am–4 pm. $36 includes kosher lunch and helps defray the cost of transportation. RSVP (REQUIRED) at jewishva.org/crcdatewiththestate. For more information, contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-965-6112. See page 25. FEBRUARY 6, THURSDAY Celebrate the accomplishments of 50 extraordinary women throughout the history of entertainment with Elizabeth Weitzman, author of Renegade Women in Film & TV through a gallery tour and discussion. Lunch provided. 12 pm. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus. FREE with RSVP (required). For more information or to RSVP visit jewishva.org/bookfestival. FEBRUARY 20, THURSDAY Love in Suspenders tracks two people in an unlikely relationship, from their first encounter, until they unite at the altar. 27th Virginia Festival of Jewish Film presented by Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma & Howard Laderberg. Tickets, $10. Limited seating, pre-purchase suggested. 7:15 pm, Cinema Café Kemps River. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva.org/filmfestival. See page 22. FEBRUARY 22, SATURDAY THE BIG SATURDAY NIGHT celebration of Jewish Film and Champagne Reception. Picture of His Life, with special guests Amos Nachoum, one of the greatest underwater photographers of all time, and Dani Menkin, director. Tickets: $35, under 21: FREE. 7:15 pm, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva. org/filmfestival. FEBRUARY 23, SUNDAY 27th Virginia Festival of Jewish Film presents Restoring Tomorrow. 2 pm, Susan B. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center at Virginia Wesleyan University. Tickets, $10. Limited seating. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva.org/filmfestival. FEBRUARY 24, MONDAY The Frisco Kid, Naro Expanded Cinema. Tickets, $10. Limited seating available. 7:15 pm. Famed Virginian-Pilot film critic Mal Vincent’s pick! Pre-purchase strongly suggested. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva.org/filmfestival. FEBRUARY 26, WEDNESDAY Those Who Remained explores the relationship of two survivors trying to live their lives in Hungary after the Holocaust. 27th Virginia Festival of Jewish Film in partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission. Tickets, $10. Limited seating available. 7:15 pm. Beach Cinema and Ale House. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit jewishva.org/filmfestival. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Arts and entertainment
Oscars 2020 nominations: Scarlett Johansson enters elite company, Adam Sandler snubbed Gabe Friedman
(JTA)—The 2020 Oscar nominations are out, and unsurprisingly, they’re already causing a firestorm on social media. The list, announced Monday, January 13, didn’t do much to quell longstanding concerns that the awards have issues with race and gender equality. Only one actor of color was nominated—Cyntha Erivo, for her role in Harriet—and the best director category is once again all male, despite the fact that Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women was a massive critical and commercial success. The Jewish snub of the year goes to Uncut Gems—the Diamond District thriller by the Jewish Safdie brothers, starring Adam Sandler, which earned rave reviews. The film, one of the most Jewish mainstream flicks in years, earned no nominations, not even for Sandler, who some critics had picked to win the best actor award. The full nominations list does include other Jewish names who have a decent chance of bringing home some hardware. Scarlett Johansson is the first actress in over a decade to be nominated in two different categories, and only the 11th ever. Sam Mendes, who already won big at the Golden Globes, is a strong contender in the director category for 1917 which garnered several other nominations as well. Here are the rest of the Jewish nominees: Sam Mendes Best Director, 1917 The renowned director’s latest is set in World War I and has been lauded for its cinematography.
Sam Mendes, London, June 25, 2013.
Joaquin Phoenix, Berlin, Feb. 20, 2018.
Scarlett Johansson, Berlin, Feb. 4, 2012.
Joaquin Phoenix Best Actor, Joker The acclaimed actor, born to a Jewish mother, is likely a favorite to win for his gritty, dark performance. Scarlett Johansson Best Actress, Marriage Story Best Supporting Actress, Jojo Rabbit In Taika Waititi’s anti-Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, Johansson plays a German mother who hides a Jewish child in her home.
Taika Waititi, San Diego, July 20, 2019.
Taika Waititi Best Adapted Screenplay, Jojo Rabbit Waititi, a Maori Jew from New Zealand, said in the film’s production notes that he experienced prejudice growing up for his dual identity. Noah Baumbach Best Original Screenplay, Marriage Story Baumbach partly based the film on his real-life divorce from Jewish actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Noah Baumbach, Cannes, May 21, 2017.
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Obituaries Marlene Bass Norfolk—Marlene Herer Bass died on December 24, 2019. She was born in Brooklyn New York, Sept. 21, 1934 to the late parents, Regina Herer and Irving Herer of Buffalo, N.Y. and step-father, the late Jack Cisenfeld of Miami Beach, Fla. Marlene was the mother to the late Deborah Bass Sadoff of Buffalo, N.Y. and the late Richard J. Bass, DDS. of Norfolk. At age five, her family moved to Buffalo where she grew up and met the love of her life, the late Mel Bass. They were married for 49 years. Marlene and her family moved to Tidewater in 1972. She is survived by her grandsons Philip Bass (Stephanie) and Benjamin Bass both of Norfolk; sister-in- law Marilyn Bass Buxbaum (Stuart) of Norfolk; and nieces Jodi Herer Levine (Mitchell), of Buffalo and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Amy Beth Herer Morris (Miles) of Weston, Conn., Shari Dozoretz of Virginia Beach, Renee Dozoretz Strelitz (John) of Virginia Beach; and nephews David Herer (Ava) of Buffalo, Daniel (Dana) Herer and Barry Herer of Los Angeles, Calif, and Mark Herer of Portland, Or. Marlene worked at several jobs throughout her life, but the one she was most proud of was being a Standardized Patient at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Marlene was a Life Member of Hadassah and served on the board of the Women’s Cabinet of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Jewish Family Service of Norfolk, and Beth Sholom Home of Eastern Virginia. Marlene was a member of Congregation
Beth El of Norfolk. Contributions may be made to Bass Memorial Restricted Fund of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Foundation, Congregation Beth El, Chabad of Tidewater, or the charity of your choice. Funeral Services were held in the Norfolk chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Burial was in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com. Richard B. Emanuel Delray Beach, Fla.—Richard B. Emanuel of Norfolk, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2019 in Delray Beach, Fla. Richard was born May 6, 1923, the son of Ethel and Isaac Emanuel. Dick, as he was known by his family and friends, was a graduate of Maury High School and attended New York University and Syracuse University. In 1942, Dick enlisted in the Army Air Corp and graduated cadet school as a navigator with the rank of Second Lt. He served with the 8th Air Force and flew 25 combat missions over Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and promoted to 1st Lt. In 1949 Dick joined the family business, Ullman & Emanuel Inc. which operated The Spot Clothiers and Altschuls. He sold the business in 1996, but remained active until 2008. Dick served as president of the Downtown Norfolk Association and was a founding member of the Downtown Development Corp. He also served on the
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board of the D’Art Center and numerous city committees. Dick was an Eagle Scout and was Scoutmaster of Troop 24 for eight years. Mr. Emanuel was predeceased by his first wife, Carly, son Richard L. Emanuel, sister Elise Rubin, and grandson Jarrett Emanuel. He is survived by his loving wife, Sheila; sons Lawrence and Evan and Michael Silverstein; Daughter Sheryl Traub; Daughters-in-law Suzi and Bobbi Silverstein; Son-in-law Harry Traub; grandchildren Nicole Piette and Stacy Peterson and husband John; Brittany and Stephanie Wengel; Morgan, Aaron, Brooke, and Elana Silverstein; as well as great grandchildren Lucas Piette and Penn, Gage, and Greer Peterson. Mr. Emanuel was a member of Ohef Sholom Temple. Sharon C. Feldman Virginia Beach—Sharon C. Feldman, 66, passed away on January 6, 2020. She is survived by her loving husband of 33 years, Robert J. Feldman; her daughter, Danielle DeLashmutt and her husband Brad; two sons, Michael Feldman and his wife Liz and Sam Feldman; three grandsons, Carson, Vance and Wyatt; along with extended family and friends. Sharon retired from Sentara after many years as a director of Medical Systems. A funeral service was held at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Great Neck Chapel. Burial followed at Princess Anne Memorial Park. Donations may be made to Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater (ccfot.org) in her memory. A full obituary and condolences can be found at www.hollomon-brown.com. Viola Marie Green Yellow Springs, Ohio—It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Viola Marie Green, who passed away on January 4, 2020, at the age of 98, leaving to mourn family and friends. Leave a sympathy message to the family on the memorial page of Viola Marie Green to pay them a last tribute. She was predeceased by her husband Norbert John Green. She is survived by her children, Norbert Green Jr. (Donna), Eugene Green (Mary), Bernard Green
(Lily), Patty Weaver (Mike), Firman Green (Lynn Aunspaw), Ruth Schroeder (Ron) and Mary Ann Walzer (Philip). She is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. A mass of Christian burial was held at the St. Anthony Catholic Church. A burial was held at the Calvary Cemetery. Donations may be made to Foundation Fighting Blindness or Ohio Hospice. Moises Levin Virginia Beach—Moises Levin, 83, passed away on January 3, 2020. He was born in Havana, Cuba to the late Isaac and Sara Levin on March 17, 1936. Moises has been predeceased by his parents, Isaac and Sara Levin; brother, Solomon Levin and sister in-law Ilia Levin, and brother in-law K. Harold Bolton. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Raquel Levin; daughters, Ida Rebecca “Becky” Levin and Corinne Levin- Wozniewski (Kurt); brotherin-law, Isaac Alboukrek (Graciela); sister-in-law, Matilde Bolton; nieces and nephews, Judy Bolton-Fasman (Ken), Carol Bolton-Kappel ( Jonathan), John Bolton, Jack Alboukrek (Niva), Karen Alboukrek-Benson (Christopher); grandson, Joshua Sailey (Sheri) and their daughter, Sophia; seven great nieces and nephews. After leaving Havana, Moises moved to Connecticut where he spent 53 years before moving to Virginia Beach. Moises was an avid reader and had a particular passion for discussions that surrounded history, philosophy, politics, and current events. Most of all, Moises was a family man. He loved his wife and children more than anything. A funeral Service was held at Altmeyer Funeral Home Southside Chapel. Following the chapel service, a graveside service took place at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with a meal of consolation at Altmeyer Funeral Home. Louis M. Mendelson Bloomfield, Conn.—Dr. Louis Mendelson, 79, of Bloomfield, Connecticut passed away on December 26, 2019.
Obituaries He was the beloved husband of Margie and father of David and Andrew. He also leaves behind his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, whom he thought of as his brothers and sisters, his loving nieces and nephews, and his many wonderful friends. He was the son of Abraham and Jeanette Mendelson, and pre-deceased by his sister Elaine Levin. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Louis attended Vanderbilt University and the Medical College of Virginia. He served his pediatric internship and residency at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. After serving two years in the United States Air Force, he completed his fellowship in Allergy and Immunology at UC San Diego. He began clinical practice in Hartford in 1972. Louis’s life was committed to caring for his patients and teaching his students and colleagues, many of whom regard him as family. His passion for patient care and public health matters led him to the heights of his profession. He was widely considered a national expert on penicillin allergy. In addition to his 47 years as a practicing pediatric allergist, Louis was a dedicated teacher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Hartford Hospital, and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where he was the former Head of the Allergy Division and Co-Director of the Food Allergy Clinic. Toward the end of his career, Louis helped establish the New England Food Allergy Treatment Center. Furthermore, his lifelong efforts to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment of penicillin allergy culminated in the establishment of AllerQuest, a company formed by a group of experts in the field to fulfill this goal. His skills and accomplishments have been recognized by the Connecticut Allergy Society, where he served as president, and the New England Society of Allergy, where he was president and an original organizer and Governor. Throughout his career, Louis received many awards of which he was proud and grateful. Among the most meaningful
to him was the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s Distinguished Clinician Award. Funeral services were held at Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut. Following interment at Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery, the family returned to Emanuel Synagogue. Of all his interests, few things were dearer to him than the work he did as the first chairman of the AAAAI Allergy Research Trust, which is dedicated to the support of clinical research and ongoing educational programs for clinicians and patients. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Louis Mendelson ARTrust Lectureship c/o the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, 555 E. Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823 or at www.aaaaifoundation.org (Mendelson Lectureship), or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Evelyn Gup Newman PORTSMOUTH— Evelyn Roesen Gup Newman, 92, passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at Beth Sholom Village. She was born in Portsmouth on March 10, 1927 to the late Maxwell and Ida Roesen, and was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and ODU with a Master’s Degree. Evelyn retired as
a guidance counselor for the Portsmouth Public School system after 25 years of service. She was a lifetime member of the Gomley Chesed congregation and Sisterhood; also one of the last Gomley Girls. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, continued on page 30
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Obituaries continued from page 29
Jerome Gup; her second husband, Dr. Frank Newman; a sister, Ella Jean Richmon; and two brothers, Burnley and Lawrence Roesen. She is survived by her daughter, Marcia G. Klioze; sons, Gary Gup and wife Debbie, and Dr. Ronald Gup and wife Susan; son-in-law, Larry Klioze; sisterin-law, Linda Roesen; grandchildren, Daniel Klioze and Lauren, Brian Klioze and Jen, Julianna Klioze, Jennifer Holmes and Heather, Michael Gup, Mason Gup, Emily Gup; great grandchildren, Cheney, Nick, Emma, Kendra and Lucas; and a devoted niece, Ilene Richmon. The family would like to thank the staff of Beth Sholom Village. Memorial donations may be made to United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. A graveside service was held in Gomley Chesed Cemetery. Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel. Condolences may be made to the family at www.SturtevantFuneralHome. com. Irene Rose Becker Ullman Virginia Beach—Irene Rose Becker Ullman, 82, passed away peacefully on December 30, 2019 at the Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach. She was born on July 4, 1937 in Portsmouth, Va. and preceded in death by her parents, Alexander Becker and Zelda Goldman Becker and her brother, Milton Jarl Becker. Mrs. Ullman graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth in 1955 and completed her teaching degree at Mary Washington College and a Master in Education from Old Dominion University. She was a retired educator who taught at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, Ryan Academy, and the
Norfolk Public Libraries where she was well-known for her educational children’s puppet shows. She attended Temple Israel for many years, then later B’nai Israel Congregation and the Chabad Lubavitch of Tidewater. Mrs. Ullman was an active volunteer in the Norfolk Jewish community throughout her life including many years helping at the Beth Sholom gift shop before becoming a resident of The Terrace. She was beloved by many family and friends throughout the Tidewater area. She is survived by her daughter, Wendy Ullman Goldman and her husband Charles of Norfolk; her sons, Eric Ullman and his wife Helen of Chicago, Illinois and her grandchildren, Stephanie, Caroline and Vanessa; and Michael Ullman and his wife Chanida of Thailand. She is survived by her ex-husband Henry Ullman of Coconut Creek, Fla . Graveside services were held in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Sender Haber officiated. Memorial donations may be sent to B’nai Israel Congregation. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com.
Buck Henry, screenwriter of The Graduate and Get Smart
uck Henry, the screenwriter and director who earned an Oscarnomination for his script for the 1967 film The Graduate, has died at 89. Henry, born Henry Zuckerman in 1930, died Wednesday, January 8 in Los Angeles, according to reports. The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Mike Nichols, won Nichols an Oscar for best director and became an icon of American film. Henry was nominated for an Oscar again in 1979 for co-directing Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty.
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Prior to his work in film, Henry worked on a number of television shows in the 1960s, including co-creating the parody series Get Smart with Mel Brooks. Henry also hosted Saturday Night Live several times in the late 1970s. Henry was born to a Jewish family in New York. His mother Ruth was a silent film star and his father an Air Force officer. Henry attended Dartmouth College and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He changed his name to Buck Henry in the 1970s. (JTA)
Gladys Bourdain, who helped launch her chef son’s celebrated career
ladys Bourdain, who convinced an editor to publish the first article written by her chef son Anthony, has died. Bourdain died in hospice on Friday, January 10 in the Bronx, New York. She was 85. She worked for nearly 25 years as a copy editor at the New York Times beginning in 1984, “developing a reputation as a strict grammarian on the culture and metropolitan desks,” according to an obituary in that newspaper. Anthony Bourdain wrote an expose on life in the restaurant business but had trouble getting it published. His mom tried to help. According to former Times reporter Esther Fein, Bourdain gave his mother a copy of the article and asked her to pass it on to her husband, David Remnick, then the new editor of the New Yorker. In doing so, she called herself a “pushy mom.” Remnick published the article, which led to a book deal shortly after. Anthony Bourdain, who hosted popular food and travel shows on CNN, committed suicide in 2018. His mother memorialized him with a tattoo of his name on her wrist.
Gladys Bourdain worked for TV Guide, The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, and Agence France-Presse before joining the Times. She is survived by a son, Christopher, and three grandchildren (JTA)
Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of‘ Prozac Nation, dies of breast cancer
uthor Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known for her memoir Prozac Nation, died at age 52 after a five-year fight with breast cancer. Wurtzel’s blockbuster memoir, Prozac Nation, which came out in 1994 when she was only 27 years old, detailed her struggles with anti-depressants. Wurtzel was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2015. The same year, she underwent a double mastectomy. Wurtzel later became an advocate for testing for the BRCA gene mutation and pushed for insurance companies to cover BRCA testing for all Ashkenazi Jewish women, regardless of whether or not they present cancer symptoms. “I caught it fast and I acted fast, but I must have looked away: By the time of my double mastectomy, the cancer had spread to five lymph nodes,” she wrote in The New York Times in 2015. Wurtzel was born and raised in New York City in a Jewish family. She attended the Ramaz School, a Modern Orthodox day school in New York, before attending Harvard as an undergraduate and Yale Law School. In December 2018, she wrote about how the man she thought was her father, Donald Wurtzel, was not. Her biological father was Bob Adelman, a photographer, with whom her mother had an affair. (JTA)
Edu cat ion
… if we t a Wh
Jewish in Tidewater?
Lend your voice…help write our story. JewishTidewater.org #JewishTidewater A research endeavor on behalf of our Jewish community, its agencies, synagogues, schools, and Jewish News, #JewishTidewater aims to learn what YOU want Jewishly in Tidewater. Your anonymous responses will help generate ways to better serve you and the entire Jewish community.
This survey offers a chance for you to tell the community what you think Jewish Tidewater should be. . . what it should offer, what you need, what you find meaningful, what you want.
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