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Exploring our Jewish future
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JEWISH NEWS jewishnewsva.org Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Update on Virginia Beach Public Schools’ Saturday classes
wo weeks ago, we informed you that we were sending a letter to the Virginia Beach Public School Superintendent, Dr. Sheila S. Magula, and the chairman of the School Board, Mr. Daniel D. Edwards. Our letter was favorably received and our meeting request with Dr. Magula was accepted. I am pleased to report that Robin Mancoll, Rabbi Israel Zoberman, and I had a very productive meeting with Dr. Magula and key members of her administration on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Dr. Magula began the meeting by informing us that when it came to setting snow make-up days, she was only permitted to choose from the five days (two Fridays and three Saturdays) previously decided and voted upon, and approved by the calendar committee and subsequently the Virginia Beach School Board for the 2013-2014 school year. All make up days were made public at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year online, in print,
and anywhere else the school calendar is distributed. Because schools were closed five full days for inclement weather, all five designated days were needed. While we appreciated hearing that she did not unilaterally decide to impose on our First Amendment rights to religious freedom by issuing school days on Shabbat, we reiterated that using Saturdays remains insensitive and unjust. The executive director of School Administration, sitting at the table with us, immediately asked a member of our community to serve on the calendar committee. We were happy with the appointment, ensuring that a member of our Jewish community will be able to offer his/her voice to combat future occurrences imposing on our religious freedoms, and we thus responded that Brad Lerner, current CRC media co-chair, would serve in this important position. In addition, we raised the inequity issue faced by Jewish teachers not being exempt from the three Saturdays if their
consensus was that
the voice of the Jewish community members is both needed
and very much appreciated.”
CONTENTS Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Jews in the Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Jewish awareness of disabilities. . . . . . 6 Anti-Semitism in America . . . . . . . . . . 7 Purim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Tidewater Together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Tips on Jewish Trips: Jewish Upper East Side . . . . . . . . . 14 Focus on Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Jewish Studies at VWC. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 JFS celebrates National Social Work Month. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
About the cover: Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson in Uganda. JELF applications now available . . . . It’s a wrap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Israeli Soldiers’ Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appreciation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meet the Presidents . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
three allowable excused days were used for the 2013 High Holidays. Dr. Magula stated that she would issue a letter to her human resource administrator to be distributed to all school administrators allowing the Saturdays to be excused absences for Jewish teachers as well as Jewish students. Another issue raised was that of excused absences for both Jewish students and non-Jewish students attending B’nai Mitzvahs on those Saturdays. Prior to the meeting, Dr. Magula worked with Robin Mancoll collecting the names of those students affected by the first make-up Saturday, so that they would be excused. Dr. Magula assured us the students affected by the future two Saturdays would receive the same allowances. The general consensus stated by both Dr. Magula and her administrators in the room was that the voice of the Jewish community members is both needed and very much appreciated. Dr. Magula specifically stated that with the Jewish community voice she benefits from “fresh eyes and fresh ideas.” The three of us left the meeting feeling that we started a constructive dialogue and formed relationships that will serve to benefit the Jewish community in the future. Megan Zuckerman Chair, Community Relations Council United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
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BRIEFS NAZI SYMBOLS SELLER ORDERED TO PERFORM COMMUNITY SERVICE A Buenos Aires city court is requiring a vendor of Nazi souvenirs and symbols to perform community service and take a course about the Holocaust. City prosecutor Gustavo Galante collected evidence in the case with the help of the Anti-Discriminatory Division of the Federal Police. The seller, who has not been publicly named, sold Nazi souvenirs and symbols in Argentina and abroad. They were offered in Argentinean currency as well as in dollars and euros. Judge Fernanda Botana made his ruling following a plea agreement struck with the sellers’ lawyers. The seller must perform 40 hours of community service through a charitable organization, take a course about the Holocaust at the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and take a course about tolerance at the National Institute Against Discrimination. The prosecutor told local media that the unnamed seller acted alone and is not a member of the Nazi party or another neo-Nazi organization. Argentina has had an anti-discriminatory law on the books since 1988. (JTA) ADELSON CASINO COMPANY’S WEBSITE ONLINE AFTER HACK The websites of the casino operation owned by Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson went back online, a week after they were hacked by unidentified vandals who criticized his support for Israel. The hackers on Feb. 11 took over the home page of websites run by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest casino operator, which is owned by Adelson. In addition to criticizing Adelson over comments he made in October about Iran and its nuclear program, the hackers also posted personal information about employees, including email addresses and Social Security numbers, according to reports. The company email system also was not working, but was restored on Feb. 14, and the Sands’ corporate website and the sites of its resorts in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore did not function. During the hacking incident, the homepage of the website of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., showed a photo
of Adelson standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dialogue saying “Damn A, don’t let your tongue cut your throat. Encouraging the use of weapons of mass destruction, under any condition, is a crime.” It was signed by the Anti-WMD team, according to The Morning Call. The page also showed a map of the world with flames where Sands has casinos in the United States. (JTA)
OBAMA PLANS TO TAP SECOND GENERATION FOR PRAGUE ENVOY, AGAIN President Barack Obama reportedly plans to tap the son of one Czech Holocaust survivor to replace another as ambassador to the Czech Republic. The Washington Post, citing Czech media, reported Feb. 14 that Obama plans to name Andrew Schapiro, a corporate lawyer and a Harvard Law School classmate, as envoy to Prague this summer. Schapiro would replace Norm Eisen, who has served since January 2011 and whose mother is a Czech survivor of Auschwitz. Schapiro’s mother is also a Holocaust survivor. Ambassadorial terms generally run three to four years. (JTA) U.S. JEWISH GROUPS WORK TO SIGN PEOPLE UP FOR HEALTH CARE Several U.S. Jewish organizations used social media to reach as many people as possible in an effort to convince them to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. During Jewish Community Day on Tuesday, Feb. 18, led by the National Council of Jewish Women, or NCJW, Jewish activists reached out to educate people about the health insurance marketplace. “Access to affordable and comprehensive health care is fundamental for living a long and healthy life, which is why NCJW worked for the passage of the Affordable Care Act and has been focused on its full implementation ever since,” said Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Our goal for community education is non-partisan and apolitical. Our aim is to make sure that as many people as
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possible have the opportunity to enroll in affordable health care that best suits their individual needs and budget ahead of March 31,” said Kaufman. “I am encouraged by the array of participants in this Day of Action, spanning local and national groups across the country.” Those participating in the action day were encouraged to host a special Shabbat focused on health care, hold a text study, write about the issue in their newsletters and speak to individuals in an effort to encourage more people to enroll. Other participating groups included the Religion Action Center for Reform Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, Keshet, the Jewish Labor Committee and Uri L’Tzedek. (JTA)
LAWMAKERS ASK HOUSE LEADERSHIP TO INVITE NETANYAHU TO SPEAK Close to 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked the leadership to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak when he visits this month. “Due to widespread instability and turmoil in the Middle East, it is critically important to foster and enhance the U.S.-Israel relationship at this time,” said the letter sent Feb. 12 to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and released by its initiators, Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). “Given the importance of our relationship with Israel, we ask you to invite Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress,” it says. “Doing so would send a clear message of U.S. support to Israel.” There were 96 signatories—79 Republicans and 17 Democrats. The last time Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress, in May 2011, it was seen as a bid to bolster U.S. support for his positions during a period of tensions with President Barack Obama over peace talks with the Palestinians. Such tensions are resurfacing now over plans by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to introduce in the next few weeks a framework agreement for a final-status Israeli-Palestinian deal and over U.S. involvement in a sanctions-for-nuclear-rollback deal with Iran.
Netanyahu is due in Washington the first week of March to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference and to meet with Obama. (JTA)
JORDANIAN YITZHAK RABIN TO ENLIST IN IDF A Jordanian man named Yitzhak Rabin won his battle to join the Israel Defense Forces. After a 16-year battle, Yitzhak Rabin Namsy, 18, last month was granted Israeli citizenship and is eligible to enlist in the Israeli army. The boy was named by his Jordanian parents in honor of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 and was assassinated in 1995. But the family suffered harassment in Jordan due to the name and were forced when Yitzhak was a baby to flee to Israel, where they continue to live in exile. Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar personally traveled to Eilat to present the 18-year-old with his Israeli identification card, according to the Israeli newspaper Maariv. (JTA) APPROVAL RATINGS FOR ISRAEL REMAIN HIGH, GALLUP FINDS Americans’ favorability ratings for Israel continue to climb and it remains by far the most positively reviewed Middle Eastern country, according to a Gallup poll. In polling between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 of Americans 18 and older, Israel got a 72 percent favorability rating, up from 66 percent last year, according to results released on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The next highest favorability ratings went to Egypt, with 45 percent and then Saudi Arabia, at 35 percent. The Palestinian Authority tied for fifth place with Libya, at 19 percent. Lowest rated was Iran at 12 percent, up from 10 percent last year, a rise that was within the 4 percentage point margin of error. The polling showed that older Americans are more likely to score Israel high: For respondents aged 18-34, Israel scored 64 percent; for those aged 35-54, Israel scored 72 percent and for those above age 55, Israel came in at 81 percent. Gallup polled a random sample of 1,023 Americans 18 and older by phone. (JTA)
Ukraine Jews hunkering down amid turmoil by Talia Lavin and Cnaan Liphshiz
(JTA)—The turmoil in Ukraine has left one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities on edge. After an outbreak of violence in Kiev last week that left dozens of protesters and policemen dead, President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital and parliament installed an interim leader to take the still-contested reins of power. Like their compatriots, Ukraine’s Jews are waiting to see what the future holds for their country, but with the added fear that they could become targets amid the chaos. There have been a few isolated anti-Semitic incidents over the past few months of civil strife. Last month, in the eastern city of Zaporizhia, a synagogue was firebombed with Molotov cocktails, causing minor damage. While Kiev has been relatively calm since Yanukovych fled the capital, the situation in the country’s eastern and southern regions, where he has his base of support, is more volatile. Tensions between the local governments and revolutionaries continue to rise in the eastern city of Kharkiv, which has a relatively sizable Jewish community. “It’s still a very fluid situation,” says Mark Levin, chairman of the NCSJ, an American organization that advocates for Jews in the former Soviet Union. “The big concern, I think, is ensuring that there’s adequate security for Jewish institutions throughout the country, but particularly in the large cities. And I think that’s where much of the focus within the American Jewish community and Israel lies -- that and making sure the flow of services continues.” Levin also expresses concern that with elections slated for May 25, a future government could result in ultranationalists gaining power in Ukraine. Svoboda, a right-wing nationalist party, was prominent in the protest movement, and party officials have expressed virulently anti-Semitic sentiments. Thus far, though, the conflict has not been marked by incitement against Ukraine’s multiple national minorities, Oksana Galkevich, a representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, says. “The overall situation in relation to the Jewish community in Ukraine is tolerant and peaceful,” says Vadim Rabinovich, president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, in a statement. “There have
been no mass outbursts or exacerbation of anti-Semitism in Ukraine.” Rabinovich rejects as untrue foreign press reports of mass anti-Semitism in the country and calls them “not conducive to a peaceful life of the Jewish community.” He vows that the Jewish community would participate “in building a democratic state and promoting the revival and prosperity of the country.” Estimates of the size of Ukraine’s Jewish community vary widely. Some commonly cited statistics suggest the country has only 70,000 Jews, while the European Jewish Congress and the JDC say there are as many as 400,000. Over the past few months, many Jewish institutions have simply gone into hibernation, suspending activity during the turmoil. But others have carried on their work under heavy security. The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, which runs the Orach Chaim day school in Kiev and several other institutions, has been paying $1,000 a day for round-theclock security by teams from two private firms, one of which also provides security for the Israeli embassy in Kiev. Together, staff guard nine buildings, including four school buildings, a community center, a synagogue and a religious seminary, according to Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, the confederation’s president and a Ukrainian chief rabbi. “Nobody goes alone at night, so we have three people doing escorts from the synagogue and back,” he says. Meanwhile, security on the “Jewish campus”—the area around Kiev’s Podol Synagogue—is maintained by a team of nine people. The guards have chased off a few trespassers but encountered no serious threats in Kiev. But the cost—10 times what the community used to pay for security before the violence erupted—means the community cannot afford this level of security for much longer. The Joint Distribution Committee also has promoted security measures to protect staff and volunteers. After the firebombing of the Zaporizhia synagogue, JDC reinforced security measures for its charity organization in the city. The JDC has been continuing to provide assistance to elderly and homebound Jews living in areas of Ukraine that have been affected by the unrest.
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Jewish communal awareness of disabilities is growing, but advocates say not enough by Julie Wiener
NEW YORK ( JTA)—In the coming months, six young Jews with disabilities will start paid internships at major Jewish federations through a pilot program. If successful, the program will expand to communities throughout North America. In the fall, Manhattan’s first Jewish day school for children with special needs will open. Meanwhile, the Foundation for Jewish Camp is seeking to raise $31 million for a multi-pronged effort to more than double the number of children with disabilities attending Jewish overnight camps. As the sixth annual Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month drew to a close last month—events nationwide included an advocacy day in Washington—the issue of disabilities is enjoying greater prominence than ever in the Jewish communal world. “I feel like we’re really riding a wave of care and interest on this issue,” says Ilana Ruskay-Kidd, founder and head of Manhattan’s Shefa School, which will serve children with speech and language delays when it opens in September. William Daroff, vice president for public policy of the Jewish Federations of North America, a sponsor of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month and co-chair of the Jewish Disabilities Advocacy Network, says, “Within the Jewish community, recognizing that every part of our community should be included in our communal activities has become more apparent and is being fulfilled more and more. To not include individuals with disabilities and their family members in an open Jewish community is really seen as being treif [not kosher].” Nonetheless, advocates say the Jewish community still has a long way to go when it comes to opening doors for Jews with disabilities, a diverse group estimated to make up 15-20 percent of the total Jewish population. It’s a group that encompasses everyone from those with language and developmental delays to the autistic, to people with physical and psychiatric disabilities. In part, advocates say, the process of
change has been slowed because American Jewish communal institutions—like all religious organizations—are exempt from the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. In particular, many synagogue schools and Jewish day schools turn away children with disabilities whom they feel unable to serve. Physical accessibility also is limited in many Jewish institutional buildings. “At the moment, we [the Jewish community] hold ourselves to a lower standard than the broader public is held to,” says Ari Ne’eman, founder and president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, a nonprofit run by and for autistic people. “There is unfortunately a perception that in some ways this is justified or that because the law does not require religious institutions to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, that all that’s necessary is a certain standard of good will,” Ne’eman says. “But the purpose of the ADA is that this is not a matter of charity but a matter of rights. “It’s not a matter of doing this if it’s convenient or accepting people with disabilities if it represents a funder priority or any number of other things. It should be the bare minimum necessary to conduct a program. Doing something in an accessible way should be part of the cost of doing anything at all.” Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, CEO and president of RespectAbility USA, a group that focuses on disability issues in the faith-based sector, says the inclusion of people with disabilities is not just a moral or civil rights issue but “important for Jewish survival.” Laszlo Mizrahi, who was the founder and longtime director of The Israel Project, a group shaping public perceptions of Israel, says that certain genetic risks and the tendency of American Jews to have children later in life means Jews likely have more disabilities per capita than the American population at large. By not doing more to include and welcome this segment of the Jewish population, the Jewish community risks driving away not only individuals with disabilities but also their families and friends, says
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Laszlo Mizrahi, herself the mother of two children with disabilities. A RespectAbility USA poll of 3,800 Americans in the disability community last fall found that Jews with disabilities are “far less engaged in their faith” than their counterparts who are Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical. However, Laszlo Mizrahi says Jews with disabilities are “far more alienated” from Jewish life than Jews in general because many have been turned away from, or not had their needs met by, Jewish institutions. “If you have a disability and, say, want to attend a day school or camp, you’re frequently told no,” she says, adding that many Jewish day schools “counsel you to leave if they don’t think you’re successful enough.” Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, echoes Laszlo Mizrahi’s assessment that greater inclusion is good for Jewish continuity— and that far more work needs to be done. “Jewish organizations run after people who are well educated, upwardly mobile and not engaged, but at the same time they are really bad at connecting all these parts of the Jewish community that want in,” Ruderman says. “At the end of the day, it’s really about a discriminatory attitude that the future of our community looks a certain way,” he says, adding that if American Jewish institutions do not become more inclusive, “We’re going to become a community that’s unattractive to the very young people we’re trying to attract because they are used to living in a pluralistic, inclusive society and will think the Jewish community looks like a country club.” Ruderman’s foundation has arguably become the leading advocate for Jews with disabilities, in the United States and Israel. Since 2002, the foundation has focused most of its efforts on promoting inclusion in the Jewish community. Initially it concentrated on Boston, where it partnered with the local federation to help area day schools better serve children with disabilities and helped launch a job-training program for Jews with disabilities. In recent years it
has sought to have a more national impact by partnering with or convening other funders and national Jewish groups. For example, in December the foundation launched a partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism to improve attitudes about inclusion and disabilities among Reform community leaders and clergy, Jewish professionals, organizational leaders and congregants, and to ensure full inclusion and participation of people with disabilities and their families in Reform Jewish life. The foundation is now in discussions with Chabad about developing a joint effort, Ruderman says. The foundation also is working with the Jewish Federations of North America to create federation-based internships for individuals with disabilities. JFNA’s Daroff says the project is “about individuals getting training and experience, but it’s also to help expand the horizons of the federations themselves and give federation employees experience working with people with disabilities.” Dori Frumin Kirshner, executive director of Matan, an organization that advocates for Jewish students with special needs, says the federation internships are significant because “federations are the umbrella for many other organizations in a community, so if this is something they are deeming important, then it’s going to impact many other agencies as well.” While she is pleased by the rising profile of disability issues, Kirshner says it leads to another challenge: the need to train more professionals “who are capable of helping Jewish communities support all kinds of learners.” “The demand is going to outweigh the supply of well-trained educators unless there’s real push to plan for it,” she says. The Director of Israel Unlimited spoke about helping Israelis with disabilities when she visited Tidewater last May. Watch the video here: www.tinyurl.com/UJFT-disabilities.
Anti-Semitism in America today: Down, but not out by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK ( JTA)—When Abraham Foxman steps down next summer from his longtime post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League, he’ll be leaving his successor with a much brighter picture on anti-Semitism in America than when Foxman joined the organization in 1965. In an age when anti-Semitic incidents appear to be on the upswing in many parts of the world, America tops the list of countries where Jews suffer least from anti-Semitism, Foxman says. Jews can live, study and work anywhere they want in America. Yes, there’s Mel Gibson, Louis Farrakhan and the occasional swastika scrawled on a synagogue wall, but Jews in America for the most part live free of discrimination or the threat of violence. “Statistically, yes, the picture is pretty good,” Foxman says. “We’ve made an awful lot of progress in this country in terms of social anti-Semitism. “Socially, Jews in America have ‘made it.’ But it hasn’t eliminated some of the vestiges of anti-Semitism,” he says. “America is not immune to anti-Semitism. We’re not immune to racism and bigotry and prejudice.” In Europe, the wellsprings of anti-Semitism are relatively well-known: the far right, which is the traditional bastion of neo-Nazism; the far left, where Israel-bashing sometimes translates into anti-Semitism; and Muslim extremists. But where is the anti-Semitism in America? Partly what makes it so difficult to find is that it’s hard to agree on what constitutes anti-Semitism. Most of what we talk about when we talk about anti-Semitism today fits in one of three categories. The most obvious and easiest to define is classic anti-Semitism: Jew-baiting, swastika scrawling, physical violence. A recent example cropped up last fall in the Pine Bush school district in upstate New York, when The New York Times ran a front-page story describing how Jewish students there were being bullied, beaten, taunted and harassed while authorities looked the other way. Last month, three
Jewish families from the district filed a lawsuit claiming that their children were forced to endure “rampant anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment.” Then there’s Israel-related anti-Semitism, where there is wide disagreement even among Jews over what constitutes anti-Semitism. When does anti-Zionism become anti-Jewish? Is the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement anti-Semitic? College campuses from California to Florida have become the flashpoint for these battles. Finally, there is attitudinal anti-Semitism. Approximately 12 percent of Americans hold deeply entrenched anti-Semitic views, according to ADL polling, which uses an 11-question index to measure anti-Semitic opinions. Respondents are asked if they agree with such statements as Jews have too much power in America, Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States, and Jews have a lot of irritating faults. (Some critics have noted that some of these statements, such as one about Jews sticking together more than other Americans, also could be answered in the affirmative by respondents who admire Jewish cohesiveness and success rather than harbor genuine anti-Jewish attitudes.) The proportion of Americans who hold these viewpoints has held relatively study in recent years, at 12 to 14 percent. In 1964, by contrast, roughly 30 percent of Americans held such views. Among those with anti-Semitic attitudes today, African-Americans and Latinos have disproportionately high numbers—above 30 percent. Foxman attributes the persistence of anti-Semitism among African-Americans to denial of the problem and a dearth of black leaders speaking out against anti-Semitism. Among Latinos, the attitudes are seen as a holdover from Latin America, where traditional Catholic anti-Semitism persists and anti-Semitic attitudes are higher than in America. Once they acculturate to the United States, Latino anti-Semitism declines: Among first-generation immigrants, about 40 percent hold anti-Semitic attitudes; among those born here, the number falls to 20 percent.
There are two ways to look at these numbers. On the one hand, as ADL officials often note, some 35 million Americans hold anti-Semitic views. On the other, what are the practical consequence of these attitudes? “In America, the nature or extent of anti-Semitism has nothing to do with the security of Jews in the United States,” says Jerome Chanes, a fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. “There are still crazies out there—2 percent of people who virulently hate Jews—but who cares? It has nothing to do with the ability of Jews to live normal lives in America or participate in the political process,” Chanes says. “I’m sure there’s anti-Semitism out there, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know where it is. It’s on the Internet, it’s on Farrakhan, but it has no impact on the ability of Jews to participate in society.” Of the 5,790 bias incidents in 2012 recorded by the FBI, 19 percent were motivated by religious bias, compared to 48 percent by racial bias and 20 percent by sexual-orientation bias, according to the bureau. Of the 1,166 religious bias incidents, 60 percent were anti-Jewish, while the next highest number was anti-Muslim incidents at 13 percent. The approximately 700 incidents of bias against Jews ranged from vandalism to physical assault. “It’s distressing that Jews are still the No. 1 religious target of bigotry,” Foxman says. “Pine Bush is a wake-up call to say to me that you know what, you have to be careful that these statistics don’t lull you.” That’s partly why, Foxman says, he’s so quick to speak out when a celebrity says something he considers anti-Semitic. “If you let the celebrities get away with
it, how can you come to a seventh-grader and say you need to stand up and say no?” he says. “You use celebrities to set a certain standard or message. Therefore, when they engage in what I consider anti-Semitic expressions, it’s not like the average Joe or Sam or Chaim. Because they have this status that our society has given them, and therefore it does reverberate,” Foxman says. “The gas chambers in Auschwitz did not begin with bricks; they began with words, with ugly words. Because there was no one who stood up and said, ‘Don’t say that!’ I will not be silent.” By the same token, the ADL takes seriously the spread of anti-Semitism on the Internet, though the organization has not quite figured out how to solve the myriad problems it faces there. Foxman describes the Internet as a “tsunami” of hate speech. To its critics, the ADL is in the business of selling anti-Semitism, ratcheting up Jewish anxiety for the purposes of fundraising. The organization’s annual budget in 2011 was $54 million, and it has 30 regional offices across the country along with one in Israel. But at the ADL, its educational and training programs, anti-Semitism monitoring, and legislative and legal efforts are seen as key to “keeping a lids on the sewers” of prejudice, as Foxman puts it. “There’s a lot of extremism in this country,” Foxman says. “We still have prejudice—against Hispanics, AfricanAmericans, gays and lesbians, Mormons, Asians. The battle for a civil, respectful, tolerant society continues. We haven’t won that battle. We have not found an antidote, a vaccine. Until we find that vaccine, it’s going to be with us.”
“If you let the
celebrities get away
with it, how can you come to a seventh-
grader and say you need to stand up and say no?” —Abraham Foxman
jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | JEWISH NEWS | 7
Purim — Sunday, March 16
A Purim directive: Laugh it up! by Dasee Berkowitz
NEW YORK (JTA)—Little kids will laugh at anything. The simplest knock-knock joke or a tickle fest—even the threat of one—can so easily end in hysterics. They laugh because they are surprised by something unexpected in a world they are constantly discovering. If only that kind of laughter came as easily as we got older. While the laughter of childhood is characterized by the element of surprise, the laughter in adulthood becomes a way of managing stress (filmmakers know this well and skillfully employ any element of comic relief during an action thriller to release some of the tension). Laughter becomes a coping mechanism to get us through difficult times. Paradoxically, many of us are so loaded down with responsibility and worry that we don’t
indulge often enough in this emotional and physical release. It’s a good thing Purim is nearly here. Purim is a holiday that isn’t ripe with laws and ritual obligations save for reading the Megillah, giving mishloach manot (gift packages) to friends, matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) and having a festive meal. However, there is one directive for observance that is very clear: “they (The Jews) should make [Adar 14 and 15] days of feasting and joy….” (Scroll of Esther 9:22). We each might experience this commandment on a different level. For five-year-olds, putting on funny costumes, enjoying bobbing for candied apples at the synagogue carnival and seeing the rabbi dressed as a superhero evokes one kind of joy. For most grown-ups, joy and laughter may be an expression of a different kind. While we appreciate the dark comedy of the Megillah, our laughter also is a collec-
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tive sigh of relief in having averted near reasons, the text indicates that “many of the people of the land became Jews; for the annihilation unscathed. The storyline of Purim, which this year fear of the Jews fell upon them.” Averted falls on the evening of March 15, is a dra- disaster becomes an unusual catalyst for matic comedy of errors and grand gestures conversion. While grand gestures, plot reversals with over-the-top reactions. It is so differand a storyline that doesn’t mesh ent in content and style than nearly quite right are elements that are every other book of the Bible While employed by comedy writthat scholars speculate about ers and will evoke laughter, the veracity of the story altowe appreciate our general state of revgether. Drunken parties, erie on Purim is born political posturing and the dark comedy from what the philossexual innuendos weave their way throughout of the Megillah, our opher John Morreall the narrative. observes about the laughter also is a The Megillah evolution of laughter. begins with a rauMorreall believes that cous party hosted by collective sigh of relief human laughter became King Achashveros, who a gesture of shared relief in having averted demands that his wife, that a dangerous situaVashti, appears (only! as near annihilation tion had passed. Laughter commentators point out) puts us into a state of relaxin her crown. After refusing ation and can build bonds unscathed. to appear naked, she is told between us. to never appear before the king As the cultural anthropoloagain. After his “wise” counselors offer gist Mahadev Apte observes further, advice, an edict is sent out across the prov- “Laughter occurs when people are comfortinces demanding that all wives respect able with one another, when they feel open their husbands’ every demand. Not sure and free. And the more laughter [there what all the wives had to say about that! is], the more bonding [occurs] within the It is a story about reversals. The group.” Megillah has Mordechai, the Jewish hero Jews have always used humor as a copwho refuses to bow down to Haman. ing mechanism for Jewish survival and as The act of disobedience ignites the ire of a common reference point to connect to Haman, the recently promoted chief advis- other Jews. Jewish comedians knew this er to the king. Haman, in turn, calls for the well. As a people who have been oppressed destruction of all Jewish people. for so long, we have always appreciated Esther, who until this point has hidden laughing at our situation before others her identity, then reveals that she also could. is a member of the doomed people and So this Purim, hold the childlike calls on Achashveros to punish Haman. laughter of discovering new things (maybe Achashveros does so by bestowing all the someone you didn’t expect will give you raiments and honors that were reserved mishloach manot; maybe you will surprise for Haman to Mordechai. Further, the very yourself at your generosity when you give gallows that Haman had ordered to be built a gift to the poor) and appreciate the narfor the hanging of Mordechai are the ones rative of the Purim story itself. But most on which Haman meets his end. important, experience the joy that comes Purim is a story of incongruencies. A from release, knowing that the Jewish people once despised and on the verge of people not only survives, but continues to destruction are told that they can defend thrive. themselves thanks to Esther’s petitions As you raise your glass at Purim, toast to the king and suddenly become a force “l’chaim”—to life—and to a life filled with with which to be reckoned. For pragmatic deep laughter.
Purim — Sunday, March 16
Purim in Tidewater But wait! There’s more! Visit www.ShalomTidewater.org for a complete listing of 2014 Purim events in the “How-to Live Jewishly in Tidewater” blog or call Rebecca J. Bickford at 757-452-3180. CHABAD Annual Purim Party Sunday, March 16, 4:30 pm The Norfolk Plaza Hotel • N Y Style deli • Juggler, caricaturists, yo-yo artist and more • Lively Jewish music and dancing • Megillah reading • Prizes for all kids in costume •L ’chaims! $18 with paid reservation by March 12, $25 at the door, $360 sponsorship. RSVP: www. chabadoftidewater.com, or 757‑616‑0770.
dessert reception. $10 suggested donation. Highlights will be presented Sunday, March 16, at 11 am.
KEMPSVILLE CONSERVATIVE SYNAGOGUE Saturday, March 15, 8 pm Also known as Kehillat Bet Hamidrash (KBH), the congregation conducts Purim services. Located at 952 Indian Lakes Blvd. in Virginia Beach. Whether you come in a costume, jeans, or a suit, you will enjoy the festivities of one of the most joyous and well-attended events of the year. As always, doors are open to the public on holidays and on Shabbat. For questions, visit www.kbhsynagogue.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEMPLE EMANUEL AND BETH EL HOLD JOINT RELIGIOUS SCHOOL PURIM CARNIVAL Sunday, March 16, 9:45 am–12 noon The religious schools of Temple Emanuel and Beth El are joining together for a Purim Carnival and making it open to the community. The carnival takes place at Temple Emanuel. The fun begins at 9 am for a “T’fillah Tip Toe through the Megillah” with Sharon Wasserberg. There will be a Best Costume Contest for an adult/couple and for the children, a costume parade, a giant inflatable, games and prizes, and homemade pizza, popcorn, and ice cream for sale. Hamantaschen will also be for sale. Temple Emanuel is located at 424 25th St. in Virginia Beach. Call 757-428-2591 for more information. See more events on page 10.
OHEF SHOLOM TEMPLE 2014 Purimshpiel Saturday, March 15, 7 pm Ohef Sholom Temple presents “That ’70’s Shpiel,” featuring temple members telling the groovy Purim story followed by a
OSTY Purim Carnival Sunday, March 16, 11:30 am The community is invited to Ohef Sholom Temple Youth’s (OSTY’s) Purim Carnival with fun games, great prizes, and delicious food by OST Men’s Club. There will also be a Sisterhood Bake Sale. Game and food tickets are five for $1 in advance or four for $1 at the door. Call 625-4295 for more information or to purchase discounted tickets.
HAMANTASCHEN FOR PURIM at the Cardo Café
ASSORTED FLAVORS chocolate, poppy seed, prune, apricot, strawberry $6.50—1 dozen; $12—2 dozen (includes tax) Each box contains an assortment of flavors. Sorry, no substitutions. Limited supply—pre-ordering recommended. Order at the Cardo Café at the Sandler Family Campus or call 965-6123.
jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | JEWISH NEWS | 9
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Purim — Sunday, March 16
6th Annual Latke-Hamantaschen Debate promises the usual fun Thursday, March 13, 7 pm, Simon Family JCC
Purim tradition in numerous Jewish communities across the nation, The 6th Annual All-Tidewater Invitational Latke-Hamantaschen asks debaters to ponder “Which is superior: the latke or the hamantaschen?” “What better way to celebrate the joy that is Purim than to argue about something so futile? With a nosh! And for a good cause!” says Virginia Wesleyan College Professor Eric Mazur who, with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, is organizing the event. A veteran debater, Rabbi Arnowitz will serve this year as the debate’s emcee or “Makher of Ceremonies,” says Mazur. Last year’s debate, held at Virginia Wesleyan College, pitted Harry Graber, Rabbi Gershon Litt and Burle Stromberg against Rabbi Arnowitz, Betty Ann Levin and Mazur. “‘Longhorn’ Litt was a big hit” jokes
Mazur, “and ‘One Shot’ Arnowitz, ‘Spuds’ Stromberg, and ‘Un’ Levin were very convincing, but ‘Grebinis’ Graber was probably the star of the evening.” An audience of more than 40 members of the local Jewish community, Virginia Wesleyan students, faculty, and administrators enjoyed the debate and the kosher treats that had been donated by Belkov Brothers, the Carolina Cupcakery, and Yorgo’s Bageldashery. The All-Tidewater Invitational Debate is held annually to raise hunger awareness. Admission is free, but all who attend are urged to bring donations of canned or dried goods or to make a contribution to Jewish Family Service or the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. For more information, or to volunteer to help, contact Professor Eric Mazur at Virginia Wesleyan College at 757-274-2320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skip Israeli soldier costume for Purim, rabbi urges haredi boys JERUSALEM (JTA)—The head of a haredi Orthodox group called on parents to prevent their children from dressing up as Israeli soldiers for Purim. Rabbi Mordechai Blau, head of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, cited tension over the drafting of yeshiva students in offering the warning on Feb. 12. Israeli army costumes are popular among young Orthodox boys at Purim time. “We are at a time of evil decrees, and dressing up as a soldier in this period does not increase happiness, rather it increases sadness,” Blau said, according to the Israel Hayom Hebrew-language daily newspaper. “There are children for whom soldiers are likely to take on a frightening meaning, like taking their older brother away” to the army. Rather, the rabbi suggested, boys
should dress in U.S. Army costumes for next month’s holiday. Last week haredi Orthodox demonstrators throughout Israel protested against millions of dollars in cuts to yeshiva funding ordered by Finance Minister Yair Lapid in response to a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court over the haredi Orthodox yeshiva students’ draft deferrals. A government committee headed by lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party is working to finish revising a universal draft law that already has passed its first reading in the Knesset. The final bill is expected to be brought for its second and third reading in mid-March. The leaders of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta in previous years have urged their followers not to dress up on Purim as soldiers, policemen or rescue workers.
Purim — Sunday, March 16
From N.Y. to S.F., foodies across the country are altering the native hamantaschen by Chavie Lieber
NEW YORK (JTA)—Just because they’re the same shape doesn’t mean they have the same soul. Hamantaschen, the Purim season’s traditional triangle-shaped cookie, are conventionally filled with jam, but the pastry has come a long way since its namesake ruled in ancient Persia. From New Orleans, where hamantaschen centers are filled with pecans and honey, to Texas, where the cookies are stuffed with onions and chili, Jews across the country have revised, redacted and reworked the holiday treat to create a new core. “The greatest thing about hamantaschen is that you can fill them with anything and they’ll taste great,” Gabi Moskowitz, a food blogger in San Francisco and author of the cookbook Brokeass Gourmet, says. “You can really stick anything in there and they’ll still keep the tradition of the Jewish holiday. Even something as simple as Nutella is good.” Moskowitz’s latest creation is a pomegranate ricotta hamantaschen, which she says makes the perfect dessert. The cookie dough is made with cream cheese, giving the pastry a creamy consistency that is light and flaky, Moskowitz says. Liz Alpern, a baking artisan from New York’s suburban Long Island and co-founder of the Jewish foodie site Gefilteria, has created savory hamantaschen that are more side dish than dessert. These days she is filling her cookies with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheese. The Gefilteria also makes a roasted beet and goat cheese hamantaschen. “It’s something I’ve been playing with over the last few years because hamantaschen are a blank canvas you can just play with,” Alpern says. “My version is a savory sort of hamantaschen, and I’ve incorporated them in the last few parties we’ve catered as part of the meal.” The variations on hamantaschen go beyond cheese and vegetables. Alison Barnett, a food blogger from Ohio, came
up with an alcoholic version, fashioning a mojito hamantaschen after contemplating the different ways she could expand Purim’s drinking tradition. “One of the focuses of Purim is to drink—responsibly, of course—so I thought this adult version could bring out the kid in all of us,” Barnett says. Barnett’s cookie features mint leaves and a rum curd filling with fresh lime and a raw sugar coating. She said her cookies taste more like a sugar-rimmed mojito with a crunch. Nechama Fiddle, a food blogger from Detroit who writes the Can’t Stop Baking blog, decided to incorporate an old dessert of apple pie into her cookie’s core. “I find that many food blogs nowadays are more about twists on old recipes than creating brand new recipes,” Fiddle says. “Someone had asked me for a homemade filling recipe, so I figured this is a great time to bring a fresh take on an old recipe of apple pie.” Fiddle notes that she never really liked to bake hamantaschen because she wasn’t a fan of the traditional recipes, but after playing with some batches, she created her apple pie version.
Gabi Moskowitz’s Ricotta Pomegranate Cream Cheese Hamantaschen INGREDIENTS 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature 3 tablespoons sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon orange or Meyer lemon zest 11 ⁄3 cups plus 4 teaspoons flour (plus more for rolling) ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cups ricotta cheese 1 egg yolk ¼ cup superfine sugar 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 level tablespoon cornstarch ½ cup dried golden raisins
PREPARATION Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar and mix for 1 minute. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, zest and salt. Add the flour, mixing until a sticky dough forms. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (up to 3 hours). While the dough chills, make the filling: Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl. Beat in egg yolk, sugar, pomegranate molasses, vanilla, and cornstarch. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the raisins. Chill until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour (or line with parchment) 2 baking
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Purim — Sunday, March 16 sheets. Lightly flour a work surface, then roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a floured 3-inch cookie cutter (or a wine glass) to cut circles of dough. Gather scraps and re-roll the dough until you have cut all of it into 3-inch circles. To assemble the hamantaschen, spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling in center of a dough circle and fold the dough in from three sides. Gently crimp the corners and twist to ensure they stay closed while baking. Arrange on the prepared cookie sheets and bake until golden-brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Alison Barnett’s Mojito Hamantaschen Ingredients Dough 2 cups flour 3/4 1 ⁄8 teaspoon baking powder 1 ⁄8 teaspoon salt ½ cup Earth Balance or butter, softened 2/3 cup sugar 1 egg 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for assembling the cookie) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1-1½ teaspoons peppermint oil 1 tablespoon Fresh Mint Leaves, minced Raw sugar (optional) Lime-Rum Curd Filling 1 cup sugar ¼ cup Earth Balance or butter 1 ⁄8 cup corn starch 3 ⁄4 cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon lime zest 2 eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons rum Preparation Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolk, vanilla, peppermint oil and mint leaves. Beat in flour mixture until combined. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out refrigerated dough on a lightly floured surface, about 1 ⁄8 -inch thick. Cut rounds until dough is finished. Fill the rounds with the lime-rum curd filling and with 12 | Jewish News | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
your pinky, dip in egg white and lightly wet the edges around the hamantaschen. Make the hamantaschen triangle shape by folding the bottom to make two corners and folding the top to make the third (requires both hands). Brush the outer part of the hamantaschen with egg white and sprinkle on the raw sugar. Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned. Filling: Place the sugar, Earth Balance, corn starch, lime juice, lime zest and rum in a saucepan. Heat the mixture till the butter melts. Pour some of the lime mixture into the eggs and stir together to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and whisk constantly till mixture starts to boil and thicken. Whisk for about a minute, take off heat and strain into a bowl (this will separate any egg that may have curdled from the curd itself). Refrigerate the curd till ready to use.
Nechama Fiddle’s Apple Pie Hamantaschen Ingredients Dough 1½ cups butter or margarine, softened 2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 tablespoon lemon juice 5 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt Filling 2 apples, shredded (about 2 cups packed) ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon cornstarch Preparation Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, scraping sides occasionally. Reduce mixer speed to low and stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour (don’t skip this step!) or overnight. Combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out dough to the same thickness as sugar cookies or slightly thicker. Place a very small spoonful of apple filling in the center of the circle. Arrange on a lined cookie sheet, bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Tidewater Together: Exploring our Jewish Future
Tidewater Together schedule
Thursday–Sunday, March 20–23 by Laine Mednick Rutherford
t takes a confident rabbi to make promises to a community he’s never met before. But Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, who will be the visiting scholar-in-residence March 20-23 for Tidewater Together: Exploring our Jewish Future, has made a handful of promises he’s certain will be fulfilled as he leads six diverse discussions over the course of four days. “Here’s what I promise,” says Artson, dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and vice-president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. “Each of the talks will be entertaining. Each of them will be illuminating. I promise that I say things that other rabbis don’t say in public—I am often unscripted—and that I will never lie to you. “I will talk about important, significant things in ways that often people don’t get to hear in public, and all of the talks are stand-alone,” says Artson. “But all of them together feed in and out of this sense of an expansive identity that’s not insular. We’ll be using and mustering Jewish resources to be a better human being and to live a better life.” Among his chosen topics, Artson will discuss Preparing Today for the Judaism of Tomorrow: Dreaming and Working Together (Sat., 9:30 am, Beth El), Why be Jewish, What’s in it for Me (Fri., 7:30 pm, Ohef Sholom), and the Thursday night kickoff conversation, How I Ordained the First African Rabbi of Uganda, Presided Over the Installation, and then Sailed Up the Nile River to Learn Life’s Lessons (6:30 pm, Sandler Family Campus).“I think people have to speak from their passion, because if the speaker gets bored, then for sure the listeners will be bored,” Artson says. “So you have to speak about what moves you. I am a person with a lot of interests, and want to share pieces ...of those interests which I think are helpful to the community.” Artson says that his Thursday night theme is a case in point. As he discusses
Visiting scholar promises illuminating, honest talks to bring Tidewater together. Four days, six locations. Conversations are free and open to the community. www.TidewaterTogether.org. the experiences he shared in East Africa with a Ugandan Rabbi, 300 converts, and his 15-year-old daughter, the important lesson of Jewish identity will be explored. So too, will be this eye-opening, entertaining story about a very different Jewish community in which he discovered both differences and surprising similarities. Artson calls himself the “Dorothy” of rabbis, referring to the main character in the classic Wizard of Oz story. He believes that his job is to tell people, in a nonpreachy way, that the next time they need to look for wisdom they don’t necessarily have to travel as far as Uganda for it. It’s in their community, in their local shuls, and on their local shelves, and it’s in their Jewish hearts, already. Bringing Artson to the area to lead the weekend of inspiration through community collaboration seemed like a natural fit for Tidewater Together’s presenters: the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Synagogue-Federation Partnership of the Tidewater Jewish Community, and the Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-inResidence Fund. “We wanted to make sure that the person we chose to help the community explore our Jewish future was someone who was relatable, someone who was a great speaker and educator, and someone who could make every Jew in Tidewater feel comfortable and welcome at all six of the events,” says Alex Pomerantz, UJFT development associate and leader of a multi-member committee that reflected the
area’s population of diverse Jewish practices, affiliations and residences. “Brad is all of that and more—his reputation is outstanding, he’s universally praised as a speaker, and everyone here who has heard him raves about him,” Pomerantz says. “We are very fortunate to have him come and help us talk about both interesting and challenging issues, and to have him here for such an extended period of time.” Artson is looking forward to the visit, and to helping bring Jews and community members of many affiliations--or no affiliations--together to create dialogue, to find commonalities, and to be mutually supportive. “There will be something for everyone and everyone is welcome,” Artson says. “I’m really a come-as-you-are rabbi, so everyone will get something out of it... these talks are for anyone who has a pulse and a heart.” No prior knowledge is needed, and Artson says he translates Hebrew words that he may interlace in the discussions. If community members would like to do some preparatory exploration, Artson suggests picking up a copy of his latest book, God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology. Read the last two chapters, he says. One is a summary of Judaism from his perspective, and the second is a letter he wrote to his autistic son. An abundance of additional information about and by Artson, including many free downloads, can be found on his website: www.bradartson.com.
Thursday, March 20, 6:30 pm cocktail reception and discussion, Sandler Family Campus. Friday, March 21, 12 pm lunch and learn (lunch included), Beth Sholom Village. Friday, March 21, 6:30 pm Shabbat dinner ($10, 12 yrs+, Under 12, free; Kosher option, $14) Ohef Sholom Temple Friday, March 21, 7:30 pm Shabbat Service and Oneg Shabbat (refreshments), Ohef Sholom Temple Saturday, March 22, 9:30 am Service and Kiddush lunch, Congregation Beth El Saturday, March 22, 8:30 pm dessert reception and discussion, Congregation Beth Chaverim Sunday, March 23, 10 am brunch and discussion, Temple Israel
idewater Together is designed to benefit the community and inspire discussion about its Jewish future, with all of its members invited to attend regardless of age, gender, class or degree of religious observance. Admission to all discussions is free; there is a charge for the Shabbat dinner prior to Friday night’s Service and discussion. To see the full schedule of events, Rabbi Artson’s diverse topics, hosts of each discussion, and to RSVP, visit www. TidewaterTogether.org, call 757-961-6136, or email email@example.com.
jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | Jewish News | 13
TIPS ON JEWISH TRIPS
The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy Presents Jewish Upper East Side Sunday, April 6, 10:45 am
he Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy will present Jewish Upper East Side, a walking tour of the “Gold Coast” of Manhattan. Led by urban historian Barry Feldman, the tour features a glimpse of Gilded Age mansions, landmark town houses and the art palaces of 5th Avenue’s Museum Mile. ewish families including the Loebs, Schiffs, Lehmans, Warburgs, Sterns and Levis lived on the Upper East Side beginning in the 1870s and transformed the district with the many temples and synagogues they established. The group will tour Congregation Ohr Zarua, and view several others, includ-
ing Yorkville Synagogue, ShaarayTefilah, KehilatJeshurun and Park Avenue Synagogue. Jewish Upper East Side is $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors over age 65. The tour is approximately three hours long. Pre-registration is recommended at www.lesjc.org/ calendar.htm#040614 or by calling 212-374-4100 x1. An additional $2 will be charged for tickets purchased on the day of the tour. The tour meets at the Southeast corner of Lexington Avenue and East 67th Street. Comfortable shoes are advised. The Lower East Side Jewish
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Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, sharing and celebrating the Jewish heritage of the Lower East Side. The Conservancy aims to raise public awareness of the Lower East Side’s distinct cultural identity through innovative public walking tours and other programs, while supporting the neighborhood’s community of living synagogues and other historic structures. Private customized tours are available by appointment. For more information about the LESJC, visit www. nycjewishtours.org.
Dry Eye? 14 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Ancient mikvah discovered in Spain MADRID (JTA)— A 15th-century mikvah was discovered in Catalonia, Spain. A recent archaeological dig uncovered the Jewish ritual bath at the site of the last synagogue in the old Jewish quarter of Girona. The find further highlights the importance of the town’s rich Jewish heritage. On Monday, Feb. 24, the Israeli ambassador to Spain, Alon Bar, attended the public presentation of the finding along with Catalonia’s culture minister, Ferran Mascarell, and Girona Mayor Carles Puigdemont. “I commend the discovery of more evidence of a Jewish presence and want to encourage this cultural treasure in order to maintain links between our peoples,” Bar said. Girona, near Barcelona, was known for its thriving Jewish community before the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in 1492, the year the synagogue was abandoned. The synagogue, founded in 1435, now houses the Museum of Jewish History in Girona.
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Focus on Women
For one mother, is decision to ‘opt out’ a cop-out? by Devorah Blachor
JERUSALEM (JTA)—At a recent kids-included party in Jerusalem, I spent much of the time either on the floor with
biggest project lost funding midway through production,
had. Nonetheless, perhaps this intense connection I feel with
though I managed to finish it. I also wrote fiction in my
my daughter is unhealthy in the same way a co-dependent
romantic relationship is.
Journalism, documentaries and fiction: I give
my daughter Mari or trailing her around to make sure she
you the trifecta of hopeless endeavors in these
didn’t eat anything toxic. A successful American journalist
declining days of old media.
living here chatted with me for a few minutes, and as I left
thought of returning to work was
she told me, “Don’t worry. They get older. You get your
depressing. What would I have been
going back to? Submissions and
Funny, I didn’t even have any spit-up on my clothes. But her words tapped into the part of me that feels inadequate. It occurred to me that being a stay-at-home mom was
for websites without being paid. Yet the judgments of others still whispered in my ear. Even
half-day preschool program, I started to wonder how I came
now, when I tell people that Mari
to “opt out”?
started school, many say things
Beyond the “lean-in” versus “opt out” debate are a
like, “You must be so happy.
million women with an infinite number of nuanced variables
You’ll have your life back! You’ll
that contribute to the big decision.
have so much time now.” The
If I were following the trend of those around me, I’d
subtext is that a woman at
have gone back to work. In Israel, women receive 14 weeks
home with a baby must be
of maternity leave and are entitled to take off another 12
unhappy and unfulfilled.
without pay. At my neighborhood park in Jerusalem, I was
Which brings me back to my
one of just two mothers who came every day with her baby.
insecurity. I wonder if the stay-
The other babies and toddlers were with full-time nannies
ing at home option was just an
or their saftas—some had taken early retirement to care for
escape hatch. Maybe not return-
ing to work was a convenient way of surrendering to my fears and
ronment, I was raised in a different one within a Jewish
not facing the world. Was my opt
community on Long Island, where the women in the 1970s
out a cop-out?
and ‘80s opted out long before the phrase ever evoked
myself, one that requires maintaining that connection with what I truly want, while separating my self-regard from the opinion of others. I work at it every day. And now it’s over. Mari’s in school coloring in apple cutouts for Rosh Hashanah and I’m adrift without anyone to make errands seem like an exciting adventure. As I apply for jobs, I still wonder which came first: Did I love my baby so much
surrendering to my
that my career failed, or did my career fail so I loved my baby? Then I think, who cares? Love
fears and not facing
Even the degree to which I opted
women did, with some, including my mother, returning to
my first child, when I hired a baby sitter
work when the youngest child started a full day of school.
and worked a few hours a day, with Mari
I let go of most things that had been part
have influenced me and my decision, even if I’ve left behind
of the fabric of my life—writing, social life
most of the other values.
and what I’ll call physical maintenance, a list that
workplace was the state of the work to which I’d be return-
with her. It’s been a process to accept
convenient way of
out implies submissiveness. Unlike with
Another consideration that guided me away from the
of myself. When I did, I wanted to be
to work was a
the hot-button issue of work-family balance. It’s just what
Sometimes I wonder if the social mores of my childhood
tried to get in touch with the deepest part
rejections and being asked to write
now that Mari, who recently turned two, had just started a
path. I only know that after Mari was born, I
perhaps not the best strategy for an insecure woman. And
But even though I’m living in this “working gal” envi-
for me—or any woman navigating her own
When my daughter was born, the
her to intercept my daughter before she reached a stairwell,
I don’t believe there is an absolute truth here
includes pedicures and buying new clothes. Happily for those around me, I still showered.
comes in all kinds of different ways, but whenever and however it comes along, let it in. It’s love, and John Lennon had it right—it is the answer. At least for me. These last two years have been beautiful. There is one thing I have been doing outside of mothering. During
Mari’s nap times, I spent my “free” hours trying to sell my novels. As much as I tried to be cheerful about it, the task of marketing my work, particularly as I lack the marketing
gene, was one huge dignity-suck. That’s what I might have told the woman at the party: Following my crawling baby around was an absolute pleasure.
ing (a topic that’s often not mentioned in the debate). I was
I was still a parent to my oldest, I still did yoga, and my
—Devorah Blachor writes a mystery series under the pen
a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker whose
partner and I built a stronger connection than we’ve ever
name Jasmine Schwartz. Her novels include Farbissen and Fakakt. jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | Jewish News | 15
Focus on Women
Israeli breast cancer survivor filling a niche with nipples by Ben Sales
KFAR SABA, Israel (JTA)—Michelle Kolath-Arbel squeezes a nipple, rolling it in her fingers with a look of mild disgust. This model, which Kolath-Arbel ordered from China two years ago for $50, is thick and crude and took three months to arrive in the mail. “It was hard, rubbery,” she says. “It looked like a doll’s. My husband said, ‘Don’t put that on your body.’ ” Kolath-Arbel, 37, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. A year later she underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. While fighting the disease, Kolath-Arbel says she remained relatively calm, keeping a tight schedule of treatments while holding down a full-time job as production director for an
advertising firm. But finding out that her nipple would be
ples are surrounded by a semitransparent circle that blends
removed during breast reconstruction, she broke down.
with the skin on which it sits. For women who have undergone
“When the doctor told me I’d have to lose the nipple, I
single mastectomies, she creates custom prosthetics from a sili-
cried more than when they told me I had cancer,” she says.
cone mold of the remaining nipple, matching its shade and that
“It’s so small, but every day I’d get dressed, I’d see the scar.
of the surrounding skin by mixing pigments with silicone gel.
I’d get undressed, I’d see the scar. I’d shower, I’d see the scar. It’s in your face.” Searching for solutions, Kolath-Arbel came up empty.
attached to the breast with a medical adhesive.
Reconstructive surgery would have rendered an unrealistic
Kolath-Arbel says her nipples have become progressively
lump whose color would fade, she says, and the prosthetic
more accurate. She now anticipates the shade changing as
nipples she ordered from the United States and China looked
the mold dries and knows to make the prosthetic a touch
fake and rough.
shallower than the real nipple to compensate for the stiff-
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” she says, quoting the Talmudic sage Hillel. She decided to design a nipple herself.
ness of the fake. “She essentially completes our breast reconstruction operation,” says plastic surgeon Yoav Barnea, who directs breast
After a year studying with
reconstruction at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. “What
a silicone artist who specializ-
Michelle is doing is she provided a solution to build a nipple that
es in prosthetics, Kolath-Arbel
looks like the other one in shape and color, and avoids surgery.”
made her first nipple. Now
For double mastectomies, Kolath-Arbel offers nipple
she’s doing the same for
models made from plastic molds. The models, which are
hundreds of breast cancer
named, vary in size, shade and texture. The most popular
survivors in Israel and abroad
is Bold, a light option with a medium, shallow protrusion.
through the company she
Other offerings include Peach, Caramel and Sandy Brown.
founded, Pink Perfect, which
Kolath-Arbel says women often seek what they consider
she runs from her home in
an upgrade from their natural nipples, for example choosing
Kfar Saba, a central Israeli city
a shade they always wished they had.
not far from Tel Aviv. Some
“I chose something nicer,” says Ayelet Itiel, 49, who women
underwent a double mastectomy in 2012. “I might as well,
a year are diagnosed with
as long as you can choose what you want. You have identi-
cal, beautiful nipples. People don’t believe they’re not mine
according to the Israel Cancer Association.
when I show my friends.” Kolath-Arbel has expanded her services beyond mastec-
“For the first pair I made,
tomy patients. Her most challenging client, she says, was a
I found friends who had also
five-year-old girl born without a nipple who likely will be a
been sick,” she says, sitting
repeat customer as she grows.
next to a binder bulging with
Kolath-Arbel also has provided her services to three men
nipple types she crafted.
who survived breast cancer. As men are bare-chested at
“One put it on and started
the pool or beach, Kolath-Arbel says, a prosthetic nipple is
crying. All the doctors said,
especially important. But she says they are also less particular
‘We were waiting for some-
about how the nipple looks.
one to do this.’ ” Delicate and realistically textured, Kolath-Arbel’s nip-
16 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
To get the texture right, she uses a hard plastic tool she invented attached to a wooden stick. The finished nipple is
“They’re much more easygoing,” she says. “They don’t care if it’s the right shade or height. It just matters if there’s something. In any case, the hair hides it.”
Focus on Women Women’s Division of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater impacts global and local communities
he Women’s Division of the United
outreach committees with the goal to reach
Jewish Federation of Tidewater is
out to the women of the Tidewater Jewish
the women’s fundraising arm of the
community and assume the role of ambas-
Federation’s Annual Campaign, providing
sadors for the Federation—inviting new
area women with opportunities for volun-
people in and working with the new donors
teerism and philanthropy.
to ensure that they understand the power
At the helm of the Women’s Division is the Women’s Cabinet, a leadership com-
of their philanthropy in fulfilling “tikkun olam”— repairing the world.
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The Cabinet, which features several sub-
at work in communities throughout Israel
committees, including education; outreach;
as well Jewish communities like Krakow
and community liaison; provides members
and Warsaw, Poland (during the 2010 Adult
with solicitation training, leadership devel-
March of the Living Mission) and Havana,
opment and other unique opportunities for
Cuba (during the 2012 All Women’s Mission
skill-building, which can bring significant
value to the Jewish community. Cabinet
Look for future travel and learning oppor-
members are invited to exclusive events
tunities led by the Women’s Division of the
featuring high-level speakers as well as to
UJFT. For more info on getting involved,
informal, social gatherings.
contact Women’s Campaign Director Amy
In recent years, emphasis has been placed on the roles of the education and
Zelenka at 965-6169 or email azelenka@ ujft.org.
Ophthalmology Center in Norfolk in 1997. She is currently chief of Ophthalmology at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. She works closely with the Eastern Virginia Medical School Resident Clinic at the Lions Eye Clinic at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Dr. Kerner’s pre-medical education took place at Columbia University and she earned her medical degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, both in New York City.
jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | JEWISH NEWS | 17
New Jewish Studies Minor at Virginia Wesleyan College
his past year, the faculty of Virginia fill up on “kosher-style” foods at the Rt. Wesleyan College approved a minor 58 Deli, and get treated to occasional in Jewish studies, one of only seven class-time “snacks” (including gefilte fish) such programs in the Commonwealth, and while they learn about the history, culture, the only one of the seven at a liberal arts insti- life-cycle, rituals, and beliefs of Judaism. Last year, the class was treated to the 5th tution dedicated solely to undergraduates. Annual All-Tidewater Invitational LatkeUnder the direction of Professor Eric Hamantashan Debate, which was Mazur, the Gloria & David Furman held on the VWC campus. “The Professor of Judaic Studies and “One class,” Mazur volunteers, “has unofficial “shammes” of the become surprisingly popuJewish studies minor, parmight not think lar.” ticipating students take In conjunction with three traditional coursof Jewish studies at a the new minor, Mazur es (an introduction to small Methodist school has initiated an effort to Judaism and two coursexpand the Henry Clay es of related content) like Virginia Wesleyan, Hofheimer II Library and one directed collection of Judaica reading course in a but it is a natural fit, and at Virginia Wesleyan, Jewish studies topic of and is seeking donathe student’s choosit reflects the College’s tions of books and ing. But unlike most minors in Jewish dedication to spiritual growth other learning materials (including music studies, participatand cultural awareness to CDs and films/docuing students are also mentaries on DVD) required to spend a compliment intellectual from local Jewish semester earning colindividuals and organilege credit interning and personal zations. with a local Jewish orgaAlready the home of a nization—in a synagogue development.” significant library donated or with any of the many by the family of Rabbi Michael Jewish civic and philanthropPanitz, Virginia Wesleyan has ic organizations in Tidewater. recently received materials from the “One might not think of Jewish studies at a small Methodist school like Congregation Beth El synagogue library, as Virginia Wesleyan,” notes Mazur, “but it well as local contributors. “Members of the local Jewish commuis a natural fit, and it reflects the College’s dedication to spiritual growth and cultural nity have been very generous to the College awareness to compliment intellectual and over its comparatively young life,” Mazur says, pointing to the gracious gifts given to personal development.” Mazur also identifies the College’s endow his own position, as well as other interests in “real world” experience. “The programs around campus. “But I’m sure minor’s required internship reminds par- that there are books, music CDs, and films ticipating students that Judaism is a lived sitting around unused that would find a experience, and not just something that safe home here while they benefit young minds pursuing a deeper understanding of can be read about in texts.” Mazur notes that the introductory Judaism in its many manifestations.” Anyone wishing to contribute to the Judaism course, titled “Judaism through Food,” is very “hands on,” exposing stu- library’s collection, or who represents an dents to traditional and religious foods organization interested in working with while they study. Over the course of the VWC Jewish studies minors, may consemester, students enjoy a kiddish lunch tact Professor Mazur at 757-455-3250 or (after Shabbat morning services) at a local firstname.lastname@example.org or become a Facebook synagogue, participate in a Passover seder, “friend” of “Jewish Studies at VWC.”
18 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Jewish Family Service celebrates National Social Work Month in March
ach year in March, Jewish Family Service recognizes its social workers and case managers during National Social Work Month. The month is designed to help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone. This year’s theme is “All People Matter,” because JFS social workers and case managers, along with social workers across the globe, believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect. Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director, says, “Our highly trained social workers
and case managers know how daunting and immobilizing life’s tragedies and obstacles can be. But they also witness the sheer determination of countless individuals and families to achieve different—and better —lives.” Sometimes, all it takes to help people get on the right path is guidance toward what is possible. Other times, social workers are an immediate lifeline in crisis—providing access to resources and new life options. “We salute our social workers and case managers for their caring commitment to our clients every day,” says Levin. Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Jewish Educational Loan Fund 2014 applications now available March 1–April 30
pplications for interest-free loans for post-secondary education (college, graduate school and vocational programs) are now available for the 20142015 school year from the Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF). The application is open to Jewish students in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia (excluding metro D.C.) on JELF’s website at www.jelf.org until April 30. JELF loans are need-based and offer “last-dollar” financing, meaning that JELF provides the final dollars that bridge the gap between a student’s total financial resources and the cost of attending school. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a program leading to a degree or certificate at an accredited institution located in the United States, be a U.S. citizen or have lawful immigration status in the U.S., and be able to demonstrate financial need (FAFSA application required).
The Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) awarded more than $852,000 in interest-free loans to Jewish students for the 2013–2014 school year, including $24,920 to Tidewater area students. A record number of applicants came to JELF seeking to fill the gap between the resources they assembled through grants, loans and scholarships and the real cost of their education. While JELF currently administers more than $4 million in outstanding loans, it has maintained its impressive 99 percent repayment rate. As students repay their loans, JELF uses those payments to make new loans, creating a circle of tzedakah. As a loan recipient recently expressed to JELF, “Thank you so much for your kindness in helping make it possible for me to work towards achieving the career goals to which I’ve long aspired.” For additional information, contact JELF at email@example.com, 770-396‑3080 or visit www.jelf.org.
ABOUT THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION • The American social work profession was established in the late 19th century to ensure that immigrants and other vulnerable people gained tools and skills to escape economic and social poverty. • The social work profession helps people in their personal and interpersonal lives in order to achieve social improvement, and pursues social change to benefit a wide variety of individuals, families and communities. • Social workers believe that everyone has the right and potential to lead a productive and fulfilling life. Social workers believe in the importance of human relationships in civil society, and that each person has dignity and worth. • The policies and programs created by social workers throughout U.S. history seek to give more people—regardless of life circumstances—the opportunity to cope with and overcome obstacles.
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IT’S A WRAP East meets Middle East at Temple Israel by Kathryn Morton
ast month, the Jewish new moon ceremony coincided with the Chinese New Year. So, Temple Israel and the United Hebrew School celebrated. Rabbi Michael Panitz says that by pairing Rosh Chodesh and the Chinese holiday, “Our members came away with a better understanding of the building blocks of the Jewish calendar. Living in our multi-cultural society, Jews can find that celebrating with others does not dilute our own culture. It can actually raise our consciousness of our own contribution to the many-colored quilt of Lei Lei and Lily Berz. modern life.” And many-colored it was, with performers and visitors in bright Chinese dresses, with oriental streamers and decorations hanging from the ceiling and with a spread of eggrolls, latkes and auspiciously bright tangerines. The program featured the two cultures of symphony cellist Lei Lei Berz, who is originally from Xi’an Province, China. A member of Congregation Beth El, Lei Lei is a frequent contributor to the musical world of Temple Israel—she performed Kol Nidrei on her cello on Yom Kippur and held a fundraiser there in the autumn to help the public schools’ music program. On Feb. 1, she returned to join Rabbi Panitz making music of delight and thanksgiving. “I enjoy the beautiful traditions of both my Jewish and Chinese cultures,” she says. “It’s wonderful that they share the Lunar Calendar.” With daughter Lily, she performed the Friedman melody for the havdallah brachot, while children of the United Hebrew School led the prayers. Rabbi Panitz also tickled the ivories on Jewish songs trading off with Lei Lei when she played Chinese folk tunes on the Mongolian horsehead fiddle and the Ehru. The middle of the program also drew on the skills of younger daughter Amelia, as the versatile Berz family fascinated the gathering of 100 adults and students with a shadow puppet presentation of Chinese folk tales. Finishing the evening, a string of five children became a Chinese dragon, wending their sinuous way through the crowd to the rhythms of a hand gong. Party-goers were slow to leave at the end of the evening, wanting to know more. Like the Jews who have lived in China for many centuries, they wished one another “Mazel Tov in this Year of the Horse.” Party coordinator and UHS principal Becky Winstead says, “We are very lucky to have community members and leaders who see the enormous value in bringing together people of different cultures to learn and celebrate.”
20 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
States of Matter by Lorna Orleans, Strelitz Early Childhood Center preschool teacher
t the Strelitz Early Childhood Center, four-year-old preschool students are learning about the scientific method of study, a process for theorizing how or why things work. Strelitz preschooler Connor Drohobyczer takes his Some of this winter’s turn shaking a rain stick during a science lesson below freezing tem- involving the scientific method of study. peratures set the perfect stage for an informative lesson about solids, liquids and gases. Early one morning, students filled a vase with ice, learning that this is the solid form of water. When melted, students understood that it would be liquid. They hypothesized how long it would take to melt and how high the water would be in the vase. Four-yearold Henry Scolnick predicted that by the end of the day the ice would only melt half way; others predicted it would be completely melted. Music was incorporated into the study as a fun way to help students better understand and retain the lesson. They learned a song by Tom Chapin called Wheel on the Water, which tells a story about the water cycle: rain comes down, flows into the rivers and seas and then evaporates into water vapor to form clouds. While singing, everyone took turns flipping over a rain stick to hear the soothing sounds of the rain. Ultimately, Henry was right about how much ice would melt by the end of the day. After enjoying a few snow days, the students returned to find only water in the vase which led to the final steps of the science experiment - monitoring how long the water takes to evaporate and then recording the findings in journals. (At the time of publication, the water has not yet fully evaporated.) At the Strelitz Early Childhood Center preschool, whether the lesson involves science experiments; learning to read through the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® (LiPS®) Program for reading, spelling, and speech; singing music, or learning a second language, children learn in a fun, warm, nurturing, and caring environment. To learn more or to schedule a private tour, contact Carin Simon, admissions director, at 757-424-4327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Strelitz Early Childhood Center is an educational partnership of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning and the Simon Family Jewish Community Center. The preschool is open to students of all faiths. It is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
IT’S A WRAP Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year
ore than 175 people filled Broudy Hall at Temple Israel for the annual Seaboard Region Federation of Jewish Men’s Club’s Blue Yarmulke Man of the Year breakfast on Sunday morning, Jan. 19. A delicious buffet breakfast was provided and served by the members of the Temple Israel Men’s Club and Sisterhood. This is a time when the conservative clubs in Hampton Roads honor one man from each club who has gone over and beyond the call of duty to serve it’s club, congregation and community. A dinner was held on Sunday, Feb. 9, honoring the men from the Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Baltimore area Jewish Men’s Clubs. This year, the local honorees were Ron Gladstone of the Men’s Club of Congregation Beth El; Stan Glasofer of Rodef Sholom Temple in Hampton and Andrew Rabiner of Temple Israel. Bob
Andrew Rabiner, Stan Galsofer and Ron Gladstone.
Seltzer of Temple Israel was the host and Rabbi Michael Panitz delivered a moving D’var Torah. Hal Freed, president of the Seaboard Region made welcoming remarks and spoke on the upcoming events and programs within the region. Each honoree was presented a beautiful plaque after introductions by various members of their respective clubs.
Temple Israel’s homework club helps Granby Elementary
hirteen members of Temple Israel volunteer each week to help approximately 60 Granby Elementary School students in third through fifth grades get their homework done. Lois and Barry Einhorn were instrumental in creating this current version of The Homework Club, a program that makes a difference in children’s educational accomplishments. School principal Rohan Cumberbatch-Smith (aka Mr. C) says that his school has the only such volunteer homework club operating in Norfolk. Many of the volunteers have participated in earlier versions of the program as well as in the BEAR program to help struggling second graders become better readers. In the Homework Club, the volunteers help older students keep on task. They
Lois Einhorn helps students at Granby Elementary.
call out spelling words, discuss the story the child just read, suggest the student re-check instructions, and, most of all, give praise and encouragement. In addition to the Einhorns, Temple Israel Homework Club volunteers are Miriam Blake, Ethel Goldman, Hal and Jeanette Juren, Ted Kruger, Roz Landres, Ellie Lipkin, Kathryn Morton, Bernice Moses, Kareem Shaw and Beverlee Tiger.
jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | JEWISH NEWS | 21
BOOK REVIEW A remarkable memoir Jewish Luck A True Story of Friendship, Deception, and Risky Business Leslie Levine Adler and Meryll Levine Page Salt Mine Books, 2013, 380 pages ISBN: 978-0-9897356-5-0
isclosures first: Leslie Levine Adler is our own Sally Adler’s daughterin-law, and Meryll Levine Page is her sister. The whole mishpocha is involved— Hal Sacks Sally’s granddaughter, Maya Adler, provided the photographic input. In Sally’s own words, Jewish Luck “is the true story of Leslie, a Russian studies major, and her trip to Leningrad . It is there that she meets…two young women. The story is about their lasting friendship and the paths they take to freedom.”
Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Operation Exodus was launched in 1990 to fund and manage the emigration of more than a million Jews. An article was published in the Jewish News entitled, “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” Inasmuch as The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was mounting a community-wide program to receive, resettle and absorb many Russian families, it was considered only fair to warn the community that our new Jewish immigrants might not always be easy to deal with. We were roundly criticized—but events partially vindicated us. Yes, Jews who had struggled for seven decades under a brutal regime that treated even its non-Jewish citizens like dirt, had learned to ‘game the system’ in every way possible. Every potential advantage was grasped, mainly out of desperation— including furnishing private services to someone in a position to help with food, housing, medical care, or even military sta-
tus. For 70 years Jews in the Soviet Union had survived by seeking out and taking advantage of every weakness in the state system. And, as was anticipated, when they arrived in Tidewater they initially felt compelled to do the same. But they succeeded; they managed; they prevailed. With the aid of an excellent resettlement program not one of our immigrant families had to seek public welfare. All this is by way of explaining just what Leslie Adler and Meryll Page have accomplished in their remarkable memoir: For seven decades of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union followed the path mapped out by Lenin. It became a military superpower feared by the rest of the world, and it built a mighty technological industrial military and scientific economy. But it failed to make its people either happy or free. Dimitri Volkogonov In the authors’ own words, “this is the story of two women who were determined to be both.” Somehow Vera (names have been
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changed to shield the families and individuals involved), an English speaking 20-year-old, found the courage to speak to a pair of American college students touring Leningrad in 1976. Thus began a friendship that continues to the present. But there is an older friendship that is the heart of Jewish Luck. That is the friendship of Vera and Alisa (Alla), two Jewish girls, born in Leningrad in the mid 1950’s. Their grandparents, born at the turn of the 20th century, left the province of Vitebsk in the Pale of Settlement to create what was then the largest enclave of Jewish life outside the Pale. The efforts of their parents to ‘make it’ in the Soviet environment particularly resonated with this reviewer as Vera and Alla are about the same age as my own children. Their parents sacrificed everything to make it possible for the two girls to go to a university—but, of course, Jews were ‘restricted’ as to which degree programs they were permitted to pursue. We follow their struggles to create a life,
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22 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
CALL FOR PERSONALIZED SERVICE
BOOK REVIEW to achieve financial security, build a family life, and claim victory of sorts over the sordid reality of Soviet and post-Soviet existence. Alla made her way to Sweden and from cosmetician and floor cleaner worked her way to executive status in business. Vera remained in Leningrad (now once again St. Petersburg) and emerges as a true survivor, after being victimized by the system and
Ruth’s will said a lot about her. the Russian mafia. But it is in their capture of the details of the journey of these young women that authors Adler and Page deserve the most credit. The story of Leslie, Meryll, Vera, and Alla (Alisa) continues in real time. There may be many chapters to come. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 30 years.
Israeli Soldiers’ Stories
What does your will say about you? As a “pink lady” Ruth Goodman accumulated more hours than any other volunteer at the Norfolk hospital where she greeted visitors. Before she died in 1995, Ruth
arranged for a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to give good health to the community she and her husband Victor loved. This year 21 students are studying to become physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals thanks to scholarships generated by Ruth’s generosity. Many more Goodman Scholars will follow every year forever. Write your prescription for a better future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Call 757-622-7951 or visit leaveabequest.org.
www.leaveabequest.org. (757) 622-7951
Green Run High School principal C. Todd Tarkenton with StandWithUs soldiers Hen and Shay and Green Run High School students. by Elli Friedman, StandWithUs MZ Teen Fellow
idewater was fortunate to be included in the StandWithUs Israeli Soldiers’ Stories tour on Thursday, Feb. 22. This innovative program which features reserve duty Israeli college students who talk about the Israeli-Arab conflict, give a human face to the Israel Defense Forces. In addition to IDF service, the two visiting soldiers—Shay and Hen—are graduates of the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship, a unique public diplomacy program that selects and trains 150 student leaders each year from six Israeli universities. The soldiers speak in a number of cities across North America, in venues including university campuses, schools, synagogues, and churches. These soldiers shared their personal experiences in Tidewater as they
did with thousands of students and community members across the southeast. Forty teens from BBYO, NFTY, USY and the Jewish Teen Leadership program of the Simon Family JCC and their parents came out to hear the soldiers at Bite restaurant in Norfolk in an event organized by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Engaging speakers, the young men shared stories of their years in the IDF. While American teens grow up in relative comfort and safety, Shay and Hen shared their first-hand experiences of growing up amidst terrorism and serving in the IDF at a young age. The crowd was captivated by their stories. Becca Schwartzman says, “It was really interesting to hear from a combat point of view and a non-combat point of view of serving in the IDF. Both protected Israel in different, yet important, ways.”
Earlier that day, Shay and Hen vis- of Political Science, the Norfolk State ited Green Run High School and spoke University Honors College, the Black to more than 100 AP Government and History Month Committee, the Department – ROTC Jewish News: 4.875” x 5.375” of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor History studentsGoodman along withAdtheir students. They spoke to ODU Hillel stu- Sharon Hoggard of the Department of Mass dents over lunch, to Tallwood High School Communications. The soldiers were well received at all students in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy and at Norfolk State venues. To learn more about StandWithUs University. The Norfolk State University visit www.StandWithUs.com. Learn more about the CRC and local initiaevent was hosted by Professor Carol Pretlow of the Consortium for Strategic and tives, visit www.JewishVa.org/CRC. Global Studies, along with the Department
Becca Schwartzman, Elli Friedman, Sydney Bernstein, Dana Cohen, Hen, Ben Casey, Hannah Mancoll, Emily Casey, Kaitlyn Kalfus, and Carly Roesen.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING The Israel Philharmonic to perform at the Sandler Center
Ohef Sholom Temple Rummage Sale
Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 pm, pre-concert conversation, 6:30 pm
Sunday, March 9, 8:30 am–2 pm
ook for bargains when Ohef Sholom Temple’s Sisterhood sells furniture, toys, household items, books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, children’s clothing, and more. Donations for the Rummage Sale are welcomed and appreciated. Donations must be in good, clean condition; adult clothing, hats, and shoes will not be accepted. For more information, contact Sheryl Makela at email@example.com or 471-1838 or Marsha Moody at vamoody1@verizon. net or 495‑6573. by Leslie Shroyer
he Simon Family JCC in partnership with Virginia Arts Festival is bringing the acclaimed Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to the Sandler Center as part of the JCC’s Celebrate Israel series presented by Charles Barker Automotive. The great Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman created what was then called the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in 1935, saving many German and Eastern European Jewish musicians and their families — and a good part of Jewish musical culture in the process. When Israel achieved statehood in 1948, the orchestra was renamed The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The musicians developed a reputation for delivering stunning accounts of symphonies under renowned conductors like Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta and, more recently, guest conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel. The strings form the core of any orchestra, producing its distinctive sound, and that’s especially true of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. New York Times music critic Bernard Holland commented on the IPO’s tonal beauty: “From top to bottom, the strings made sounds different from any orchestra I can think of. You hear it even as players tune their instruments.” Gianandrea Noseda is the orchestra’s principal guest conductor for the current tour, conducting seven performances in the U.S. in Naples, Fla., Houston, Texas, Newark, N.J., Washington, D.C., Louisville, Ky., Chapel Hill, N.C. and Virginia Beach. The program consists of Faure’s Pelléas et
Mélisande: Suite, Op. 80, Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite, Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No. 2 and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14. As guest conductor, Noseda regularly conducts the most celebrated orchestras in the world, such as the Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Cleveland orchestras in the U.S., the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Wiener Symphoniker in Europe and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan. Recent engagements included his debut at Vienna State Opera and at the Musikverein in Vienna. “The Simon Family JCC has a great reputation for providing the community with excellent cultural arts programing,” says Scott Katz, JCC Center director. “Partnering with the Virginia Arts Festival on this event seems natural. We hope to continue this partnership to bring other great Israeli performances to Hampton Roads as part of the Celebrate Israel series.” For a complete list of Celebrate Israel events and the generous sponsors, visit the Simon Family JCC homepage at SimonFamilyJCC.org. Tickets $127 gold Circle, no discounts; $92, $77. Purchase tickets through the Virginia Arts Festival at 440 Bank Street, Norfolk or Sandler Center Box Office, Virginia Beach. Call 757-282-2822 or online at vafest.org. Purchase tickets through the JCC at 5000 Corporate Woods Dr. in Virginia Beach. Call 757-321-2338 or online at SimonFamilyJCC.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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Camp JCC preview Sunday, March 23, 1–3 pm, Simon Family JCC
earn about Camp JCC at this free camp preview. Meet some counselors, create crafts and have a ton of fun! Enjoy Gaga, Just Dance, spirit cheer sessions, as well as face painting, inflatables, balloon animals and other family activities including making kid IDs and learning bike safety tips Get heart rates up with Camp JCC mascot Simon and ‘minute to win it’ challenges. Call 321-2342 for more information.
Best Chopped Liver in Tidewater A contest sponsored by Beth Sholom Village/58 Deli Collaboration Sunday April 13, 4 pm, 58 Deli, Loehmann’s Plaza, Virginia Beach
he first 25 people from Tidewater to register with an essay and recipe will be the contestants. To register: • Submit an essay (20–50 words) on the recipe’s origin • Submit the recipe • Supply two ¼ pound samples of the Chopped Liver. Two identical containers will be supplied for contestants. • C all Bryan Mesh or Claire Roth at Beth Sholom Village 757-420-2512.
About the Contest: • There will be five tables of five samples • Each table will have one judge selecting the sample to move to final table
• The final table will be judged by three judges • The winner will receive major recognition as “Best Chopped Liver in Tidewater Virginia.” Runner-ups will receive minor recognition as “Almost Best Chopped Liver in Tidewater, Virginia.” The judges will include five members of the community (United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Beth Sholom Village, 58 Deli) and three from local media. All results are final and can be protested to a higher authority, but will do no good!!! Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Tallwood High School students to present their Israel experience
Thursday, March 6, 7 pm, Sandler Family Campus
oin the students from Tallwood High School’s Global Studies and World Languages Academy as they share details of their experience in the American Israel
Friendship League Exchange Program this past November. For more details or to RSVP contact LHenderson@ujft.org or 965-6107.
WHAT’S HAPPENING JMC presents Bagels and Bluegrass
You know him, you love him, and he’s coming back: Larry Ferber
Saturday, April 12, 7 pm
Saturday, March 8, 8 pm, JCC
arry Ferber, the cultural arts director at the Simon Family JCC before moving into semi-retirement in Florida, is aiming to entertain Tidewater audiences as the second of the Performing Arts at the J Series. Enjoy stories about Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Bette Midler–just a few of the stars you will meet backstage and onstage in Larry’s “COULD THEY TALK!” lecture peppered with video clips and anecdotes that give an inside look at the TV industry. Ferber, a three-time Emmy nominee, is a 30-year television veteran who has produced, executive produced, and consulted in all forms of broadcast media, including network TV, syndication, cable, webcasting, and home shopping. Early in his career, Ferber worked with Regis Philbin in local Los Angeles television. Dividing his time between Los
Angeles and New York, he worked on the top-rated day- Larry Ferber time television talk shows of the 1970s–2000s including Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Joan Rivers. He has been profiled in USA TODAY, and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and TV Guide. The show is recommended for ages 21 and older. Cash bar is available, 7–8pm, and a dessert reception follows the presentation. Tickets are available for purchase online, by calling 321-2338 or at the JCC Front Desk. Parents who are JCC members: There’s a Kids Night Out on March 8, 6-10 pm. Drop little ones off and enjoy the show. Call 321-2338 to sign up.
Temple Israel to celebrate 60th anniversary with music Sunday, March 30, 6pm
ne of the area’s most accomplished troupes of teenage entertainers will bring a show they have performed worldwide to Temple Israel to celebrate the synagogue’s 60th anniversary. Voices of Virginia, an elite group of students from the musical theatre department of the Governor’s School for the Arts, will sing and dance to a variety of music, from Gershwin to Sister Sledge to Adele as pare of their revue, I Believe in Music. “You will love the performance and the performers,” says Susan Eilberg, vice president of fundraising for Temple Israel. “The show is appropriate for all ages, and you will have the opportunity to meet the performers up close and personal after the show. You really don’t want to miss this one!” The show will probably feature some future professional performers. The Governor’s School’s graduates include Grant Gustin, of Glee and Arrow fame
East Tennessee State University, who will speak about the Jews of Appalachia. Klezmer music will be performed by the popular Simcha Klezmorim of Tidewater. Another highlight of the evening will be Bob Zentz, accompanied by Jeanne McDougall, who will entertain with music and stories. Refreshments will be provided by Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center. For more information, call 757-391-9266 or visit the website at jewishmuseumportsmouth.org. Jean Haskell, Ph.D.
n evening of “Bagels and Bluegrass” will coincide with the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s focus on Appalachia from April through July. Included in the program will be Jean Haskell, Ph.D., retired director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services of
Bob Zentz and Jeanne McDougall.
Find treasures at Ohef Sholom’s Rummage Sale Sunday, March 9, 8:30 am–2 pm
on the CW network. Chip Gallagher, the chairman of the musical theatre department at the school, says former students have performed in 26 Broadway shows, including Rent, Hairspray and Wicked, and countless touring companies over the past 10 years. In addition to the performance, the evening will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and dinner. Tickets are $50 each. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact the synagogue’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 489-4550.
Furniture, toys, household items, books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, children’s clothing, and more will be available at Ohef Sholom Temple Sisterhood’s Rummage Sale. Make sure to stop by to rummage through all the great items and find some treasures at bargain prices. Donations for the Rummage Sale are
also welcome and appreciated. Donations must be in good, clean condition; adult clothing, hats, and shoes will not be accepted. Bring donations to Ohef Sholom Temple starting Feb. 23. For more information, contact Sheryl Makela at sherylmakela@ yahoo.com or 471-1838 or Marsha Moody at email@example.com or 495-6573.
Gala Matinee Art Auction at KBH Sunday, March 9, 2 pm (preview) 3 pm (auction) The Kempsville Conservative Synagogue will host its 14th Gala Matinee Art Auction Fundraiser with Rick Brandwein returning as ‘auctioneer extraordinaire,’ bringing his vast knowledge of the artworks and his entertaining wit to make the event a fun time. A Silent Auction filled with some interesting and exiting items is also planned. As
always, complimentary wine and refreshments will be offered, as well as babysitting for families who bring their children. Door prizes and a raffle of artwork donated by Marlinart will add to the excitement. To place a personal or business ad in the art journal, contact KBH at 757-287-3887. The temple is located at 952 Indian Lakes Blvd. in Virginia Beach.
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Camp JCC is a wonde rf ul place to wor k! SUMMER 2014 Camp JCC: June 16 - August 8 • Post Camp: August 11 - 29
NOW HIRING…..STAFF FOR ALL POSITIONS Counselors (High School Graduates; minimum requirement) Junior Counselors (High School rising Junior; minimum requirement) Specialist (Activities: Sports, Music, Arts, etc.) Special needs Supervisor • Special needs Assistant • Nurse
Camp JCC provides children with a rich and unique day camp experience. A dynamic program allows every child to explore their own interests and try new activities within a safe camp atmosphere. Engaging and supportive staff encourages campers to have fun, develop skills, and form meaningful relationships. All staff members are hired for their ability to facilitate memorable experiences for our campers. All camp personnel have a background check and participate in an extensive orientation program.
MARCH 7, FRIDAY Shabbat Across America/Canada 2014. Join the congregation of the Levy Chapel for its Annual Shabbat Across America Pot Luck Dinner- Worship Service. Every year the Commodore Levy Chapel joins with the National Jewish Outreach Program to host a “teaching Sabbath.” All Jewish personnel on Active Duty, from all branches of the military are invited to join for a traditional Sabbath meal and worship service. Reserve Status, retired, dependents welcome. Participants asked to contribute a kosher side dish (PAREVE). Base Access required to attend all events. 6:30 pm.
MARCH 9, SUNDAY 14th Gala Matinee Art Auction at KBH. 2 pm preview; 3 pm auction. Complimentary wine and refreshments. Great Door prizes and raffles. 757-287-3887.
Applications available at: www.simonfamilyjcc.org (757) 321-2342 (757) 965-6117
Submit completed application to:
Simon Family JCC
Attention: Human Resources 5000 Corporate Woods Drive Virginia Beach, 23462
MARCH 10, MONDAY Join the Business & Legal Society of the UJFT at the Sandler Family Campus, 6 pm, for a free presentation and open discussion on the current state of U.S. National Security. Hear from guest speaker, Stephen Pomerantz, Director for Counter Terrorism Programs of the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA) and a former FBI Assistant Director. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; RSVP by March 6 to Risa Levitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 965-6124. MARCH 12, WEDNESDAY 10-session class at Simon JCC taught by Rabbi Arthur Ruberg. Provides opportunity to consider the challenges of Jewish acculturation to American life, and the sacrifices, as well as the contributions that have been made over the past 200 years. Topics will cover education, the Three Generation Hypothesis, anti-Semitism, the changing place of Zionism and the State of Israel, the Civil Rights Movement and other issues that address American and Jewish culture and identity. Open to Melton and non-Melton graduates. 7–8:30 pm. Register online at SimonFamilyJCC.org on call 321-2338.
Eric Kline Business Development Danny Kline Vice President
MARCH 6, THURSDAY Tallwood High School students present their Israel experience at Sandler Family Campus. 7 pm. 965-6107. See page 24.
MARCH 8, SATURDAY Larry Ferber entertains at the Simon Family JCC as one of the two Performing Arts at the J, presented by Leah Wohl* programs. 8 pm. Call 321-2338 or simonfamilyjcc.org for tickets. See page 25.
Don’t wait! Applications accepted TODAY!
For more information, contact: Erika Eskanazi, Children, Family and Camp Assistant Director Taffy Hunter, Human Resource Director
Andy Kline President
MARCH 16, SUNDAY Brith Sholom will hold a Pre-Spring Super Salad Bar luncheon at Beth Sholom Home at 12 noon. Entertainment provided by the “Fond Memories Singers.” $7.50 members/$15 guest. RSVP by March 11 to Gail at 461-1150. MARCH 19, WEDNESDAY The JCC Senior’s Club at the Simon Family JCC. Guest speaker, Master Gardener Karen Renda, will give gardening tips and answer questions. Board meeting 10:30 am, lunch at 12 pm. General meeting follows. For information call 338-2676. MARCH 20–23, THURSDAY–SUNDAY Tidewater Together: Exploring our Jewish Future. The entire community is invited to attend this free collaborative, conversation-filled weekend of events. Multiple times and locations. Visit TidewaterTogether.org for more information. See page 13.
Payroll, Taxes and W-2s • Web Based Time and Attendance NCS Background Checks • Employee Loans • Pay As You Go Workers Comp Insurance HR Answerlink H.R. Legal Resources • Employee Self Service Online Cobra Administration • VISA Debit Payday Cards Call us today to see how we can help, 757-523-0605 or visit us at www.paydaypayroll.com.
MARCH 23, SUNDAY Come and learn more about the fun times to be had this summer at Camp JCC. Meet some counselors, create crafts and have a ton of fun. 1-3 pm. 321-2342 for more information. APRIL 2, WEDNESDAY Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Simon Family JCC partners with Virginia Arts Festival for this Celebrate Israel event. 7:30 pm. Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach. 757-282-2822; vafest.org. See page 24. 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.
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WHO KNEW? GAGA PLAYING TEL AVIV
he upcoming Lady Gaga concert has an official date and location: Sept. 13 in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. The news was announced last week on the Israeli show “Good Evening with Guy Pines.” Other acts set to perform in the Holy Land over the next few months include the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber and the Pixies, among others. (JTA)
LENA DUNHAM ON PHOTOS OF BOYFRIEND WITH SCARJO: “MY MIND IS GOING TO EXPLODE”
ena Dunham was trolling the Internet when she stumbled upon a shot of her boyfriend with his ex-girlfriend. Relatable, right? Well, yeah, except the boyfriend, rock guitarist Jack Antonoff, used to date Scarlett Johansson. It seems Dunham was perusing a little obsession of hers, a Tumblr blog called “Old Loves,” when she came across a photo of her beau (a Solomon Schechter alum-
THE ONLY REAL MEN’S SALON nus) with the Sexiest Woman Alive and SodaStream spokeswoman. “The craziest thing that ever happened to me, was like, Old Loves is my passion, I check it, like, once a week. It’s how I kick back on a Friday night to see what Old Loves has done,” the “Girls” creator told Grantland Channel, according to The Daily Mail. “I saw my boyfriend and his girlfriend from high school. Scarlett Johansson.” The two, it turns out, were together for a year when they were both 17 and attending the Professional Children’s School in New York City. “She’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, but it was just so surreal to be looking through this blog that gives me so much pleasure and then there’s my boyfriend,” Dunham said. “And I was like, ‘My mind is going to explode.’ ” Good thing she’s not the jealous type, but even if she were, Dunham has nothing to worry about. Johansson is engaged to French journalist Romain Dauriac. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | March 3, 2014 | JEWISH NEWS | 27
OBITUARIES Chicago Jewish filmmaker Harold Ramis dies at 69 by Cindy Sher
CHICAGO (JUF News)—Actor, director and writer Harold Ramis died Monday, Feb. 24 at his Glencoe, Ill., home. Ramis, 69, died from complications from Vasculitis, an autoimmune disorder that leads to inflammation and damage to blood vessels. Ramis’ filmography reads like an encyclopedia of great comic movies of the last 30 years. He was the brains—either writer, director or both—behind some of the most often quoted and referred-to film comedies of recent decades like Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Analyze This. A Chicago native and a Chicago’s “Second City” alum, Ramis had returned to Chicago from Hollywood many years ago to be closer to his parents. In the spring of 2009, JUF News interviewed Ramis, in advance of an appearance for the Chicago Jewish community. Here are excerpts from the interview: JUF News: Your movies are constant pop culture references. How does it make you feel to know that so many of your films have made it into the cultural fabric of society? Harold Ramis: Everyone starts out with big dreams, particularly people who want to be artists or have careers in entertainment. Then, when it happens, you dream about it, you picture it, you imagine what it’s going to be like, and then it’s so weird when it actually happens. You learn that it’s great on so many levels and in such a big way, it doesn’t change anything. You’re still who you are, you still have the same problems and issues and same insecurities, and the same responsibilities. I’m really glad people like these films and that a couple of them have lasted so long and I love doing what I’m doing, but I try not to be grandiose about it or be even more narcissistic than I already am. Q. You don’t sound too narcissistic to me. Why did you choose a life in Chicago instead of Hollywood? A. My wife grew up in L.A. and her father was a film director. We liked it out there.
We weren’t really refugees to Chicago from there. I came back to Chicago to be near my parents, who were getting too old to travel. My mother passed away and my father is still around. He lives in Northbrook and is 94 years old. I wanted them to know my second family. I’d been married before and had been away all those years and thought this was a chance to reunite my family. Q. Groundhog Day is probably referred to in conversation by my peers about once a week. I read that you said that that was the movie that got you to make “comedies that meant something.” Did you go on to follow that path? A. I was always looking for meaning in the things I was doing, no matter how broad or silly or gross or crude they seem. To me, the [movies] meant something. Groundhog Day was the first film that was overtly about life and how we live it, and the response was so great. It was such a satisfying thing to invest a comedy with your real feelings about the most important issues in life. It made me want to do that again. Q. How does your Jewish identity influence your work? A. I use Passover as the central story of Judaism because, for me, it results in two concepts driving it. One is the concept of freedom, personal liberation, and political liberation. The other is the concept of justice—Moses receiving the law. For me, this fits perfectly with my own political liberalism and my yearning for social justice in the world. That’s where my Judaism connects with all my work and with this film in particular. I also wanted to say in this film that regardless of what anyone believes—creation, myths, or what God is or isn’t—the burden is still on us to act responsibly in the world. Q. Do you feel a responsibility as a Jewish role model? A. Yes, I feel that every Jew represents all Jews in the world—I have associations in Winnetka and Wilmette, not traditional Jewish territory. Sometimes I find myself in country clubs that were restricted or in settings where very few Jews are or have been. In places like that, I get even more Jewish
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than I am. I start speaking Yiddish and I just feel the need to represent. As an example to Jewish kids, I don’t push religion but I push integrity. I have incorporated a lot of Buddhism into my Jewish thinking too, which a lot of Jews have done. That kind of works for me because the [two religions] are similar. As a Jew and a Buddhist, I try to express a creed that is inclusive and focuses on personal responsibility. Q. Is life as funny as your movies portray it to be or are your movies an escape from a world that isn’t really funny? A. Someone once said that when we recognize that the world is insane, we have choices—we can see it as tragedy or we can see it as comedy. Everything can be funny, but not everything is funny. There are horrors and tragedies in life that I would not want to joke about or hear anyone else joke about it. Yet, conceptually, everything seems like fair game. I mourn any person’s death, but death as a concept is valid territory for comedy. Q. What’s the secret to writing good comedy? A. It’s all point of view. What fails in most comedy is not that the writers aren’t smart, but that [a lot of comedy] is like other things we’ve seen. To be funny, you need to be original. It’s like the kid who wants to play peek-a-boo. The first couple times it’s funny; the 400th time it’s not that funny…the kind of comedy that really scores is where you reveal or expose something that is deeply embarrassing or deeply shocking or deeply offensive in some way and put it out there in a clever, original way and allow people to process something that they haven’t been able to deal with or express in another way. Q. I know you have been asked this a thousand times, but what’s your favorite film and why? A. I never answer that question because I just love making films and every film I’ve made has been a great experience and I find it almost impossible to separate the results from the process…I love them all. Harold Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica Ramos; sons Julian and Daniel; daughter, Violet, and two grandchildren.
IRA ABRAMS SARASOTA, FLA—Ira Abrams, 80, died Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. He is survived by his loving family. Palms-Robarts Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Sarasota, Fla. ￼ BETTY H. KAPLAN PORTSMOUTH—Betty Holloman Kaplan, 81, died February 6, 2014. A native of Norfolk, she was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Myer Kaplan; a daughter, Sandra L. Kaplan; and a sister, Faye M. Schorb. Betty retired from Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. She was a member of Gomley Chesed Synagogue, the synagogue board of directors for many years, and past president of The Sisterhood and Hadassah. Survivors include two daughters, Debra Ellen Kaplan of Norfolk and Barbara K. Lind of Havertown, Pa.; six grandchildren, Joanna, Jason and Jenny Lind, Benjaminand Samuel Eberhardt, and Elizabeth Stallings; and two great-grandchildren,Lauren and Lillie. A graveside service was held in Gomley Chesed Cemetery by Rabbi ArthurSteinberg and Rabbi David Goldstein.Sturtevant Funeral Home. Contributions toGomley Chesed Synagogue or Ohef SholomTemple. ARNOLD LEE SALASKY VIRGINIA BEACH—Arnold Lee Salasky of Virginia Beach, passed away unexpectedly in an accident on Feb. 18, 2014. A native of Norfolk, Arnold was the son of the late Dr. Milton and Shirley Greenberg Salasky. He was a lifetime member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk. He was a real estate developer in Hampton Roads, and was passionate about promoting his OV Lifestyles brand. Arnold is survived by his daughter Arielle Salasky, and his son Stephen Salasky, of Virginia Beach. He is also survived by his brother Michael Salasky and wife Prue, of Norfolk; his brother Franklin Salasky and partner Billy Gallo, of New York; and his beloved girlfriend Karen Bangel of Portsmouth. He also leaves behind his loving companion and “grand-doggy” Jett. Arnold devoted his life to his children
OBITUARIES —he was the most amazing father—and to his large extended family. He will be greatly missed. Funeral services were held in the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and Cantor Gordon Piltch officiating. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations to Beth El Temple or a charity of choice. Online condolences may be offered at hdoliver.com. JULES ADRIAN STERN VIRGINIA BEACH—Jules Adrian Stern, 57, of the 4000 block of Edinburgh Drive, died February 18, 2014, in Virginia Beach. Jules was born in Germany, where his father served in the U.S. Army. He was the son of Felice Abram Saks and the late Harold M. Stern. He was a 1974 graduate of Princess Anne High School and a 1979 graduate of Randolph Macon College in Ashland. Later, he also earned an accounting degree from Tidewater Community College. Jules loved the Baltimore Ravens, Family Guy, the Big Bang Theory, and hot sauce—the hotter, the better. After a brief marriage that ended in divorce, he moved to Baltimore, where he managed restaurants. He returned to Virginia Beach several years ago to assist in the care of his mother and stepfather. Jules is survived by his mother, Felice Abram Saks of Norfolk; his sister Alison Stern-Dunyak and brother-in-law Jim Dunyak, of Lexington, Mass.; his nephew Alex Dunyak; and many cousins, extended family, and dear friends.
Like his father, Jules had a true gift for friendship. Like his mother, he had a true gift for love. A funeral service was conducted at the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Canter Wally Schachet-Briskin. Burial was at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in Norfolk. Memorial donations to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore or to the American Lung Association. The family would like to request that if you are currently a smoker, please consider the health risks and make every effort to quit. Online condolences may be shared at www.hdoliver.com.
Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry King remember Sid Caesar Sid Caesar, the Jewish comedian who helped pave the way for American comedy as we know it today, died Feb. 12 at his Beverly Hills home after a brief illness, Variety reports. Caesar, born in Yonkers, N.Y., to immigrant parents from Poland and Russia, began his career playing the saxophone and doing some comedy work in the Catskills. His breakout gig was the weekly live comedy program “Your Show of Shows.” Writers for the 1950s sketch show included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner. “Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had,” Reiner told The Hollywood Reporter. “Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all. Render onto Caesar what is his
due. He deserves real applause from the American people.” From Brooks: “Sid Caesar was a giant— maybe the best comedian who ever practiced the trade. And I was privileged to be one of his writers and one of his friends.” Allen said, “He was one of the truly great comedians of my time.” Among the first to pay respects via Twitter was Larry King. “Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar—a dear friend, a comic genius & an American classic—there will never be another one like him,” King wrote. To hear King speak about Caesar in person, check out this video <http:// www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XBLM16fQ1es> from the 2010 Chabad telethon. In the clip, King introduces a highlight reel of Caesar’s famous double talk act in which he babbles in foreign accents so convincingly, it sounds as if he’s actually speaking French, Italian and of course, Yiddish. (JTA)
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Meet the Presidents Ron Kramer Chairman Tidewater Jewish Foundation
Profession Former owner, Kramer Tire Company
Education Bachelor of Science, University of Richmond Family Wife, Cindy; Children: Will, June, Alex, and Austin; and new Labradoodle puppy, Bella. Jewish organizations United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Past president, Past General Campaign chair Past Major Gifts chair, Past Allocations chair Sandler Family Campus, Past chairman
Favorite Jewish holiday My favorite Jewish holiday is Passover. I love the Seder. I have a favorite Seder memory of a time that my folks were out of the country. I was maybe 18 – a senior in High School. My sister Joyce was away at college. And so I had Seder with my two grandmothers and my great cousin. They were all probably in their 70s. It was Mickey’s mother, Bertha; June’s mother, Hanna; and Mickey’s cousin Ida. We all sat down together at an old card table with a nylon top. It was really special, and I’ve never forgotten it.
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Most memorable personal Jewish milestone The events that stand out most to me are my children’s Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. It was so meaningful for Cindy and me to be surrounded by our family and friends—members of the Jewish community that we love so much—as we welcomed our children one by one into the ranks of Jewish adulthood. But more than that was the time leading up to the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, as we watched our kids study and work hard to become proficient in their Torah and Haftorah readings, to consider that it would mean to be adults in the Jewish community, and to carefully decide their mitzvah projects. The entire experience (weather cancellation and rescheduling notwithstanding on the last one) is something that I will always reflect on with great satisfaction. Ties to the Tidewater Jewish community I often say how grateful I am to have grown up in this wonderful Jewish community with my parents Mickey and June (of blessed memory) and my sister Joyce. My parents taught us by word and by action the importance of community involvement, leadership, and unwavering commitment to Israel and to our Jewish faith. Today, Cindy and I try to teach those same lessons to our children. If it truly “takes a village” to raise a child, than we can all be proud. With our Jewish schools, community center, family service, nursing home and synagogues, this “village” meets our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, every day. The Federation, through its network of partnerships, insures that none of us are ever alone in the world. It addresses the needs of vulnerable Jews at home and abroad with compassion and honor. And our Foundation gives us a way to invest today, so that our children and grandchildren inherit a thriving Jewish community tomorrow. These are my connections to the past, present and future of the community. Most admired Jewish leader Nothing could be easier for me to answer. Without a doubt, the Jewish leaders I admire most are my father Mickey (of blessed memory) and his cohorts. This group of Jewish community leaders was devoted to each other, devoted to Israel, and devoted to securing the health and future of our Tidewater Jewish community. They didn’t just “talk the talk.” They “walked the walk.” These were men of action, who took inspiration from one another, and in so doing inspired their own sons and daughters – many of today’s current Tidewater Jewish community leaders. What other positions have you held with Tidewater Jewish Foundation? Chair-elect, Nominating Committee chair, Finance Committee member, Investment Committee member, Grants Committee member
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30 | JEWISH NEWS | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org
Why have you chosen to devote so much time to TJF? I truly believe that it is our job (the present generation of community leaders) to build on the hard work and successes of previous generations to help ensure the community for the generation who follows us. What would you like people to know about TJF? TJF benefits all parts of our Jewish community at home as well as overseas, through family and community philanthropic funds. For those of us lucky enough to have participated in Federation missions, we’ve seen examples of TJF dollars at work— providing programs for young and old at the Jaffe Family JFS in Budapest; bringing a “first Jewish experience” to campers at the JDC summer camp in Cristian, Romania; helping students at the Tel Aviv Dental School; and dozens and dozens of other important and valuable programs for Jews in need. At home, TJF funds span the gamut to meet the various needs of our diverse Jewish community—benefitting local agencies and synagogues, as well as other programs designed to improve Jewish life in Tidewater. What are your goals as chairman? My number one goal as chairman of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation is to encourage folks to endow all or a part of their Jewish giving. With the future of our Jewish community in mind, I will encourage every member of this community to create a philanthropic fund whose dollars benefit the Jewish community. If we agree that we should do all that we can to ensure the future of our Jewish community (just as previous generations did before us), then it only makes sense to invest today. If we believe in the vital importance of our local Jewish agencies and synagogues, and in our responsibility to assist fellow Jews where ever they reside, then we must create endowments whose benefits will outlive us and whose message will resonate with our children and our children’s children.
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3D Mammography finds 35% more cancer.
Seeing is believing.
A whole new dimension in breast cancer screening.
hen you switch to a 3D mammogram for your next screening appointment, you’ll hardly notice a difference – but our highly skilled radiologists will see things very differently than ever before. The advanced technology of 3D mammography is revolutionizing the fight against breast
cancer. This groundbreaking new diagnostic tool has been shown to increase the early detection of cancer by 35%.* And it has also been proven to reduce the need to have women called back by 38%.* That means fewer follow-up exams, fewer biopsies and less worry for you. In Hampton Roads, 3D mammography is
available only from the Sentara Cancer Network. Our physicians follow the American Cancer Society recommendations for all women to have screening mammograms annually, starting at age 40. To schedule your screening appointment, please go to www.sentara.com/3Dmammogram or call 1-800-SENTARA.
Another first from the Sentara Cancer Network *June 2013 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology
Your community, not-for-profit health partner
32 | Jewish News | March 3, 2014 | jewishnewsva.org sen-8138 3D mammo ad3ƒJN.indd 1
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