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Yad Vashem’s top historian says ‘we can live with’ joint Israel-Poland Holocaust declaration
Published 21 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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ad Vashem’s chief historian said Tuesday, July 10 that “we can live with” much of the joint Holocaust declaration by Israel and Poland that has come in for criticism, including from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dina Porat in an interview with Israel’s Kan national broadcaster said the declaration should be changed but not canceled. The declaration made earlier this month by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz
collaboration by some Poles during the Holocaust and the rescue of Jews by others. It also states that during the Holocaust, “unfortunately, the sad fact is that some people—regardless of their origin, religion or worldview—revealed their darkest side.” Porat told Kan that she consulted privately with both sides working on the declaration, though on a “voluntary, personal, and confidential basis,” and not as a representative of Yad Vashem. She said she thinks she was able to “minimize the damage.” Porat said she offered to resign from her position at Yad Vashem after her involvement in the declaration came to
Contents Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Synagogues and American flags. . . . . . 6 Egalitarian prayer section at Western Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 New U.S.-Israel alliance on energy and water. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Prince William at the Western Wall . . 9 Election 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Justice Kennedy’s Jewish legacy. . . . . 13 Sandler Family Golf Tournament . . . . 14 Legal Matters in the Jewish community. . . . . . . . 15
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light, but that Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev rejected her offer. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in its criticism said the declaration “does not secure a future for Holocaust education, scholarship, and remembrance.” The declaration was designed to end the diplomatic spat between Poland and Israel over a law passed in Poland’s parliament in February that criminalized blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. Israel protested the law and Poland’s government subsequently softened it, adding an amendment that scraps the three-year prison sentence prescribed in the original legislation. Newspapers
and the United Kingdom published the declaration, leading to criticism from opposition leaders and historians in Israel and elsewhere. The museum acknowledged in a state-
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in its criticism said the declaration “does not secure a future for Holocaust education,
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discussions with the Polish government. “We appreciate the dialogue and hope that it will continue. But the recent amendment does not address our primary
rather than a shared belief in the need for
concern, which is the potential for intimi-
an ongoing, honest engagement with the
dation, self-censorship, and politicization,
past,” the museum said in the statement.
About the cover: Photograph of Ohef Sholom Temple’s bimah by Steve Budman.
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briefs American-Israeli man convicted for JCC bomb threats A 19-year-old American-Israeli man was convicted of making hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and Jewish schools in the United States, as well as airlines. Michael Kadar, who holds dual U.S.Israeli citizenship and whose name is barred from publication in Israel, was convicted last month in Tel Aviv District Court on several counts including extortion, conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering, and assaulting a police officer. Reuters reported that the conviction was based partly on Kadar’s confession. The judge said Kadar was competent to stand trial and understood that his actions were improper, despite the claims by defense psychologists that he is autistic and incompetent. The hoax threats to the JCCs and other Jewish institutions in the first three months of 2017 forced widespread evacuations and raised fears of a resurgence in anti-Semitism. Kadar’s parents and lawyer have not disputed his involvement in the bomb threats but asserted in his defense that he has a brain tumor and a low IQ. Kadar also managed to make another 100 hoax bomb threats to schools in Israel from prison. Kadar was charged in Israel in April 2017 with thousands of counts on offenses that include publishing false information, causing panic, computer hacking, and money laundering. He was arrested in Israel in a joint operation with the FBI. In March, the U.S. Justice Department indicted Kadar on federal hate crimes charges. (JTA)
Twitter blocks Hamas, Hezbollah accounts in Israel Twitter has blocked two accounts belonging to Hamas and closed or blocked some 35 Hamas and Hezbollah accounts in Israel. The action comes about two weeks after Israel’s public security and strategic affairs minister, Gilad Erdan, sent a letter to the social media network’s CEO and executive chairman saying that Twitter has been “largely irresponsive to requests by the Israeli authorities to remove terrorist content and shut down terrorist accounts.” Erdan said in the letter that “enabling terrorist organizations to operate freely and spread their messages via your platform may be a violation of existing Israeli law regarding providing support to terrorist organizations.” The letter supplied a partial list of Twitter accounts affiliated with terror organizations and threatened legal action if they are not removed. A visit to the Twitter page of @hamasinfo from an Israeli computer account read “@hamasinfo’s account has been withheld in Israel in response to a legal demand.” It can be accessed outside of Israel, however, where it contains a warning reading “Caution: This profile may include potentially sensitive content.” (JTA)
Israel’s military graduates first female tank commanders The Israeli army has its first female tank commanders. Four women completed the tank commanders course last month, the Israel Defense Forces announced. “We can say after a year and four months that an armored combat team can carry out operational duties in the Border Defense Array under the command of a female tank commander,” said Brig.-Gen. Guy Hasson, head of the Armored Corps.
Filmmaker pardoned by Trump retweets post with hashtag #burnthejews A conservative filmmaker pardoned by President Donald Trump retweeted a Twitter post with the hashtag #burnthejews. Dinesh D’Souza, who is promoting a new film that compares Trump to Abraham Lincoln, retweeted a post that praised his movie and included a link to the trailer, which ended with the hashtag #burnthejews.
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The Armored Corps’ pilot program began last July to determine whether or not women could be integrated as tank combat soldiers into the Border Defense Array. Women had been prohibited from serving in tanks in the belief that they could not handle it physically. (JTA)
While the post has been removed, at least one Twitter user took a screenshot of the tweet and circulated it. D’Souza later tweeted: “I did not see the hashtag. Just trying to share the trailer on social media.” D’Souza later retweeted a second tweet that included a link to his movie, this one with the hashtag #bringbackslavery. Twitter users mocked D’Souza’s semi-apology. One wrote: “Don’t worry, Dinesh. Everyone accidentally tweets #burnthejews from their abhorrently racist fans. Could happen to anyone. I’m sure it says nothing about who you attract with your messaging.” Trump pardoned D’Souza, who served as an adviser in the Reagan administration, in May for a 2014 conviction of a campaign violation after he admitted to illegally reimbursing two “straw donors” for $10,000 each to a New York Senate campaign in 2012. He was sentenced to five years’ probation, eight months in a halfway house and a $30,000 fine. (JTA)
Gal Gadot visits Virginia children’s hospital in full Wonder Woman costume Israeli actress Gal Gadot took a break from filming the sequel to the 2017 movie Wonder Woman to visit a Virginia children’s hospital in full costume. On Friday, July 6, Gadot posed for photos with patients and staff at Inova Children’s Hospital in Annandale. The hospital posted photos of the visit on Twitter. Several Gadot and Wonder Woman fan pages also posted the photos. Gadot has been spotted in Virginia and the Washington, D.C., area, where she is filming Wonder Woman 1984, which is scheduled for release in November 2019. (JTA) South Carolina is first state to adopt uniform definition of anti-Semitism South Carolina became the first state to adopt a uniform definition of anti-Semitism, but it is only on the books for the next year. The definition is contained in a proviso to the annual state budget bill, which was signed into law on July 6. Under the measure, universities must
take the definition into account when reviewing charges of discrimination or bias. Efforts earlier this year to pass a permanent version of the law were frustrated when concerns about an impingement on free speech hindered its advance in the Senate. The proviso uses as its template the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which includes as anti-Semitic calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial. It does not target speech, only unprotected conduct such as harassment, assault and vandalism, according to StandWithUs, an Israel education organization that operates on college campuses. (JTA)
Israel to launch moon mission from Florida in December Israel will launch a rocket from Florida in a bid to become the fourth country to reach the moon. Israel Aerospace Industries and the nonprofit SpaceIL announced that they plan a December launch from Cape Canaveral to land on the moon on Feb. 13. The landing would culminate eight years of collaboration on the $88 million project. Private donations mostly paid for the project, including from the American businessman and Jewish philanthropist Sheldon Adelson. SpaceIL’s president, Morris Kahn, has provided about $27 million. The United States, Russia, and China are the only nations to have landed on the moon. The spacecraft’s journey to the moon will last about two months. The Israeli craft will be the smallest to land on the moon, weighing only 1,322 pounds or 600 kilograms. Upon its landing, the spacecraft plans to take photos and video of the landing site while also measuring the moon’s magnetic field as part of a Weizmann Institute scientific experiment. “After eight challenging years, I am filled with pride that the first Israeli spacecraft…will soon be making its way to the moon,” Kahn said. (JTA)
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Why synagogues started putting American flags in the sanctuary Josefin Dolsten
( JTA)—Jewish tourists from North America are likely to notice one big difference when visiting synagogues around the world. Though a plethora of symbols, such as stars of David and menorahs, may be displayed, national flags are rare inside the sanctuary. Meanwhile, in the United States and Canada, an American or Canadian flag (and sometimes both) are commonly displayed on the bimah, or ritual stage, often alongside an Israeli flag. When did this uniquely North American Jewish custom originate and why? According to historian Gary Zola, it’s due to a patriotic wave during World War I and, later, the birth of Israel. About a decade ago, a student asked Zola about the history of flags in American synagogues. So Zola, the executive director of the Jacob Rader Center of the American Jewish Archives and a professor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, set out to find the answer. That led to a study of the history of the American flag and how it was viewed at different periods in time. He is currently working on an article summarizing his research. Though the American flag was officially adopted in 1777, when it featured only 13 stars representing the original colonies, it grew in significance in 1814, the year Francis Scott Key wrote what became the national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. He composed the song after seeing the American flag flying defiantly above Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. The creation of the anthem ignited “the birth of flag culture,” Zola says. “The flag then becomes much more than just a banner for identifying things,” he says. “We all are familiar with
American eagle, but the American eagle doesn’t resonate with the same kind of deep, deep patriotic feelings that the flag does, and that helps you understand the transformation that takes place as a result of the poem, and the idea that the banner becomes the embodiment of the American people and nation.” In the following decades, the flag began to be used by politicians as part of their political campaigns and was flown over public buildings, banks, and churches. Zola found evidence of some synagogues at the time being decorated with American flags, though it does not seem to have been ubiquitous. The Civil War was the flag’s “big transformational moment,” Zola says. At the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Confederate forces bombed the fort, causing its main flagpole to fall down. The Fort Sumter Flag becomes “the martyr symbol of America,” and was shown all around the North and used to raise money for Union war efforts. “It becomes the tangible symbol of why they were fighting this war,” Zola says. The Stars and Stripes were carried into the battle by the Union troops. Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, flags abounded as he was mourned and his body was transported from Washington to his burial place in Springfield, Illinois. Zola found evidence that some synagogues displayed American flags inside the sanctuary as rabbis eulogized the president. Still, flags were not a permanent fixture in American synagogues until World War I, with the popularization of the service flag, a banner that used stars to symbolize family members who were fighting or killed in the war. “These service flags, while they were not literally the American flag, they had a familiarity, they had stars on them and they were American colors, and churches
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American and Israeli flags on the bimah at Ohef Sholom Temple.
and synagogues began to fly those service flags inside the sanctuaries as a tribute to the soldiers and as a patriotic symbol,” Zola says. This opened the gates to American flags being displayed as a permanent fixture inside synagogues, he says, usually flanking the bimah, the sanctuary’s main stage. Photos from Jewish confirmation ceremonies in the 1920s and 1930s show American flags in the background, and by World War II, the practice of displaying flags next to the bimah was “almost ubiquitous,” according to Zola. Still, for some synagogues the decision to add an American flag was triggered by quite a different event: the emergence of Zionism and creation of the state of Israel. After both the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, synagogues wanted to fly the Zionist or Israeli flags. But many members felt that flying a Jewish nationalist flag without an American flag wasn’t right, so they added both. In most cases, however, the flying of the American flag was not a way for Jews to prove their patriotism, but rather to participate in a defining cultural practice, Zola says. “American Jews, like in everything else, want to do what Americans are doing. And just as the flag becomes a part of American culture and begins to
take on the emotional effect that it has over a period of time, American Jews want to participate,” he says. Many synagogues didn’t come lightly to the decision to fly a flag. In 1954, Reform Rabbi Israel Bettan declared that Old Glory may hang in an American synagogue on the grounds that devotion to the welfare of one’s country “has long assumed the character of a religious duty.” In 1957, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the famed Orthodox authority, said secular symbols like flags had no place in the sanctuary; however, since the display of flags does not violate halacha, or Jewish law, a congregation is not required to remove them. Synagogues tend to follow the etiquette in the U.S. Flag Code, which says the Stars and Stripes should be placed on the leftmost pole, and the other flag to the right (from the audience’s perspective). North American Jews are so used to the practice today that they may not realize that to most Jews around the world, a flag seems out of place in a house of worship. “We are so familiar with this in America, it’s so common whether it’s a Reform synagogue, Conservative, and even some Orthodox [synagogues] that we take it for granted, it’s almost unnoticed, but when you travel the world you begin to realize, ‘Gee, this isn’t the way it is everywhere.’”
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Israel Key government minister drops support for egalitarian prayer section at Western Wall in a manner that would upset the status quo. The Reform Movement’s demand to turn the Wall into a place where men and women pray together is unacceptable to me or to Jewish tradition. “I have decided to be faithful to my conscience and therefore I informed the prime minister that I do not intend to approve the Western Wall plan as chair of the Committee for the Holy Places. Plans to renovate the site, with a budget of more than $7 million, have continued, despite the suspension of a comprehensive plan approved in 2016. Regev had voted to approve the comprehensive plan. Natan Sharansky, the outgoing chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel and a key architect of the plan, criticized Regev for her change of heart. “Minister Regev’s conscience is her own matter, but her public about-face
JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Israeli government minister whose approval is needed to advance the plan for the Western Wall’s egalitarian section has dropped her support for the proposal. Regev, the culture and sport minister, announced in a Facebook post that she would not approve the plan in her position as chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for Holy Places. The chair’s permission is necessary to advance the plan. In an interview with Army Radio, Regev said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would replace her as committee chair. The other committee members are Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Religious Services Minister David Azoulay. Regev wrote in her Facebook post: “In the past months I have been torn. My conscience would not let me rest. I could not approve the Western Wall plan
regarding the need to set established prayer practices at the site is most regrettable,” he said in a statement. “I hope the Prime Minister brings about the completion of the expanded prayer area known as Ezrat Yisrael, as he has repeatedly promised the Jewish people in Israel and abroad that he would.” Lesley Sachs, director of the Women of the Wall, in an open letter to Regev said that the Women of the Wall are harassed by Western Wall officials every month when they hold their morning service for the new month in the women’s section of the Western Wall. “While state-sanctioned hate—in the form of organized harassment and violence against Women of the Wall, as well as the indifference shown by those appointed to protect our freedoms—is tolerated, even encouraged, words of prayer ‘degrade’ the holy site, in your view,” Sachs wrote. “So offensive is a
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woman wrapped in a tallit that the sight has induced in you a crisis of ‘conscience.’ “I am disappointed and frustrated by your willingness to trample on women to achieve your political ambitions. I am horrified at the extent of your pandering to a loud minority of Ultra-Orthodox bullies, while ignoring your commitments to the whole of your People, and in particular, to Jewish women.”
I hope the Prime Minister brings about the completion of the expanded prayer area…as he has repeatedly promised.
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In June 2017, the Cabinet suspended the deal as a result of negotiations between the Reform and Conservative movements, the Women of the Wall, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government. The suspension came after the government’s haredi Orthodox coalition partners pressured Netanyahu to scrap the agreement, including threatening to bring down the government. The plan would have included a common entrance to the Western Wall plaza for all three sections and a public board to oversee the egalitarian prayer space and would include representatives of the non-Orthodox movements and Women of the Wall.
Israel New U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy and Water Technologies joins nations’ expertise
n important milestone for actualizing the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (SPA) took place when U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz signed an agreement to create the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy and Water Technologies (Center) on June 25. The Center will bring together U.S. and Israeli experts to research and develop new energy, water, and cyber security technologies. It will engage the private sector to move promising technologies from lab to market, working to overcome market and bureaucratic barriers. Israel’s nascent natural gas sector—which still needs technical assistance—could benefit, and the U.S. could benefit from shared solutions to water shortages and infrastructure security challenges. Part of a long-term AIPAC effort, the organization lobbied for passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which revitalized the then moribund U.S.-Israel Memorandum of
Understanding Concerning Energy Cooperation and authorized funding for the BIRD-Energy program, which provides grants to U.S. and Israeli companies partnering in the development of energy technologies—several of which have significantly altered the energy landscape in the U.S. and Israel. In 2014, AIPAC saw the opportunity to expand U.S.-Israel cooperation and played an active role in developing all elements of the SPA legislation, as well as lobbying for co-sponsorship and passage. Since enactment of SPA, AIPAC has worked with Congress and successive administrations to implement its provisions. For example, in March 2018, Congress appropriated funding for the Center, which will be matched by Israel and leveraged by the private sector, marking the first new appropriation in a decade for a U.S.-Israel non-defense program and laying the groundwork for today’s agreement.
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Prince William places note in and prays at Western Wall during Jerusalem visit JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Britain’s Prince William placed a note between the stones of the Western Wall and spent several moments there in prayer as part of a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem. The prince wore a blue kippah to the site on Thursday, June 28, the last day of his three-day visit to Israel. “May the God of peace bless this region and all the world with peace,” he wrote in the Western Wall guestbook at the end of his visit, which was livestreamed on the Western Wall’s official Facebook page. He was accompanied by British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. The prince also visited the Temple Mount and was permitted to enter the Dome of the Rock shrine, which is usually not permitted for non-Muslims. He also visited the Al-Aksa mosque there. William also received an overview of
the area at a site overlooking the Mount of Olives and visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The prince also paid his respects at the grave of his great-grandmother Princess Alice of Battenberg, who rescued a Jewish family during the Holocaust and was buried in Jerusalem at her request. News reports said William declined a request to meet with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in the city. Barkat was invited instead to meet the prince at a reception at the British ambassador’s residence near Tel Aviv, which Barkat declined. William and his entourage stayed at the historic King David Hotel in Jerusalem while visiting Israel. The itinerary released by Kensington Palace said that during his visit to the Old City of Jerusalem he would be in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
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Israeli sprinter breaks country’s record set at 1972 Munich Olympics JERUSALEM (JTA)—An Israeli sprinter broke her country’s women’s record in the 100 meters set at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Diana Vaisman, who will be 20 at the end of the month, ran the race in 11.38 seconds earlier this month at the Israel Athletic Championship in Tel Aviv to beat the time of 11.45 by Esther Roth-Shahamorov. On Facebook, Vaisman wrote: “New national record! After 46 years, it was my turn, my opportunity and finally I did it. It’s hard to express all the feelings and to show how excited I am, but now I’m just looking forward and getting ready for my next challenge.”
Roth-Shahamorov said after the race that “A burden has been lifted off my shoulders,” the Jerusalem Post reported. She told Vaisman at the finish line: “You chose to do it here. Based on what I see, you can still improve. You have the legs to do it. Now give it everything you have in competition.” Vaisman, of Ashkelon, is serving in the Israeli army. The world record for women in the 100 meters is 10.40 set by American sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988. At the ’72 Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian terrorists in what has come to be called the Munich Massacre.
Plans for Eurovision 2019 in Israel continue despite plagarism accusations
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JERUSALEM ( JTA)—The European Broadcasting Union is continuing plans to host the 2019 edition of Eurovision in Israel despite accusations of plagiarism against the song that won this year’s edition. The EBU told the Jerusalem Post that it considers accusations against Israel’s song Toy as “baseless rumors.” Songwriters Doron Medalie and Stav Beger received a letter from the Universal Music Group claiming that Toy was plagiarized from the White Stripes’ signature song, Seven Nation Army, released in 2003. The letter requests clarification
stemming from the similarity of the harmonic progression in the chorus of Toy. No lawsuit has been filed. Among the possible solutions would be for Medalie and Beger to turn over the Eurovision-winning song’s rights to Universal, which would make the company the song’s publisher and distributor, the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported. Israel won the right to host the 2019 Eurovision after singer Netta Barzilai won the competition in May. Four Israeli cities are said to meet the criteria to host Eurovision and submit bids: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat.
Israeli Navy stops Gaza boat attempting to break blockade JERUSALEM ( JTA)—Israel’s Navy stopped a fishing boat carrying eight Palestinians that was trying to break the maritime blockade on Gaza. It is the second time in two months that a fishing vessel from Gaza was used to try to break the blockade. Several of those on board had been injured in border clashes with Israel. The vessel, which had a stated destination of Cyprus, was seized without
incident, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. It was taken to the port in Ashdod in southern Israel. Military medics treated the injured on board. “This is the second time in the last two months that the terror organization Hamas has initiated an attempt at provocation on sea, taking advantage of injured and handicapped people and paying residents of Gaza to take part in this type of activity,” the IDF said in its statement.
Muslim Democratic congressional candidate calls Israel ‘apartheid regime’
Somali-American congressional candidate running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota called Israel “the apartheid Israeli regime.” Ilhan Omar’s tweet came in response to accusations that a tweet she wrote in 2012, accusing Israel of “evil doings,” amounts to anti-Semitism. In an interview with ABC News for a segment titled “Progressive Democrats increasingly criticize Israel, and could reap political rewards,” Omar rejected accusations of anti-Semitism by conservative critics. “These accusations are without merit,” the Minnesota state representative said. “They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.” Earlier she had tweeted a response to a critic who had accused her of
anti-Semitism: “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness.” She added, sarcastically: “Well you know, if a Muslim says something negative about Israeli government, they must hate Jews. Didn’t you get that memo.” Minnesota’s primary election is Aug. 14. Omar, who is among several Muslim women in the U.S. running for Congress, wrote in a tweet in November 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel” The tweet came two days after the Israeli army began an operation in Gaza triggered by the launching of 100 rockets at Israel from the strip over a 24-hour
period. Omar has neither apologized for nor retracted the tweet. She is running to succeed Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to the Congress. Ellison is running for attorney general in Minnesota and is not seeking re-election. Omar has received some pushback on social media in recent weeks. A tweet from a Twitter user with the handle @shabbosgoy called her a “proud Jew hater” after she made a brief appearance in the music video of the pop group Maroon 5’s song Girls Like You. The ABC News segment noted the recent upset primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, calling her one of several progressives whose willingness to criticize Israel’s actions have paid off politically. (JTA)
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Illinois governor: ‘Vote for anybody’ but neo-Nazi congressional candidate ( JTA)—The governor of Illinois, who called on a neo-Nazi candidate for a Chicago-area congressional seat to drop out of the race, has called on voters to “vote for anybody” else. This month, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner denounced Arthur Jones, also a Republican and a former leader of the American Nazi Party, but declined to endorse the opposing Democratic candidate or recommend a write-in candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat. His response differed from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a former presidential candidate, who in a tweet had called on Illinois voters to “write in another candidate, or vote for the Democrat” running against Jones. (JTA)
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Nation Retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Jewish legacy Charles Dunst
NEW YORK (JTA)—Not an hour after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement as associate justice on the Supreme Court, the National Council of Jewish Women tweeted its dismay. “Justice Kennedy’s retirement could drastically shift the balance of the Supreme Court, and threaten the very rights and liberties we’ve fought so hard to protect,” NCJW tweeted. “We need a justice who will stand up for all of our rights—not just the wealthy and powerful.” NCJW’s is a voice of the Jewish liberal majority, which tends to support abortion rights, a strong divide between church and state, an extensive social welfare safety net, and a liberal approach to immigration. For that majority Kennedy was, at least since 2005, the essential and persuadable swing vote on an ideologically partitioned court. He was responsible for the 5–4 rulings that legalized same-sex marriage and preserved Roe v. Wade. Although prone to disappoint liberal and centrist groups— upholding President Barack Obama’s policy of warrantless wiretapping, voting to limit campaign finance restrictions in Citizens United and removing key provisions of the Voting Rights Act—he was nevertheless seen as the last check on what is likely to become a deeply conservative court. “In the last few years, Justice Kennedy has loomed large at the Supreme Court because he so often cast a deciding swing vote, often in historic ways, as in [samesex marriage] or Citizens United,” Marc Stern, general counsel at the American Jewish Committee, says. “While he was not the liberal justice many Jews would no doubt have preferred, he served as a reminder that constitutional law and the Supreme Court can be something other than pure predictable partisan politics.” And as a swing vote, Kennedy’s rulings on religious liberty also won him support from conservative Jewish groups. His vote proved decisive in the Hobby Lobby case, which found that family-owned corporations need not pay for employee contraception insurance if doing so
12 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
violates their religious values, and earned praise from Orthodox groups like the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America. “The Court’s ruling stands for the proposition that—even when the government seeks to implement valuable policy goals—it must do so without trampling upon the conscientious beliefs of American citizens,” the Orthodox Union said following Hobby Lobby decision, adding that “there are many other ways to meet the policy goals without infringing on religious liberty.” Kennedy, who will be 82 when he retires effective July 31 and is the 14th longest-serving justice, decided countless cases regarding religious liberty, many of which were important to—and divided— American Jews on all sides. They include the decisions to legalize same-sex marriage, preserve Roe v. Wade and deregulate campaign finance, as well as prevent public schools from requiring student prayer, and bar the government from endorsing a particular religion, among others. “On church and state he was persuadable,” Stern says, but adds, “He was more or less on the conservative side of Establishment [Clause] issues.” Kennedy, as reflected in his invention of the famed “coercion test,” believed that religious liberty, based upon the First Amendment, while expansive, did not mean the government could make certain religious behavior mandatory. Throughout his three-decade tenure, Kennedy was a fierce defender of religious liberty for those of all faiths. Even in his same-sex marriage opinion, which was lauded by liberals, Kennedy extended a rhetorical olive branch to social conservatives. He wrote that people opposed to same-sex marriage, including Agudath Israel, which filed a brief to the Supreme Court in opposition, “reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” Kennedy’s most notable liberal votes —on same-sex marriage and abortion —were in line with left-wing and centrist
Jewish organizations. Thirteen Jewish groups, among them organizations representing the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative streams, joined an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage. Several national Jewish organizations applauded the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision striking down a Texas law that restricted abortion access. In 2015, Kennedy wrote the majority
He’ll be missed. opinion in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which ruled that a boy born to American parents in Jerusalem did not have the right to have his birth nation listed as Israel on his passport. Kennedy’s opinion declared that the executive branch, at the time headed by Obama, maintained the exclusive right to decide the sovereignty of any territory, including Jerusalem. Kennedy’s thinking, although focused on executive power, not Jerusalem’s status as the Israeli capital (“This case is confined solely to the exclusive power of the President to control recognition determinations,” he wrote), provoked anger from diverse swaths of the American Jewry. “Many Jews, not all, did not welcome the Jerusalem decision,” Stern says, carefully refusing to speak for the panoply of American Jews. The Anti-Defamation League, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and NCJW, among others, signed a brief expressing displeasure with the decision. “Whether he was good or bad for the Jews depends on where you think the Jews ought to be,” Stern says, also noting, however, that “he’ll be missed.” On both sides of the political divide, activists increasingly value judicial partisanship over Kennedy’s ability to cross ideological lines. When the next justice is appointed, Stern says, “demands in ideological partisanship will be very strong.”
Election 2018 NC Republicans withdraw support for candidate who wrote Jews are ‘the children of Satan’
he North Carolina Republican Party withdrew its support for a candidate for the state’s General Assembly over his racist and anti-Semitic statements. Russell Walker, 75, won the Republican primary in May for the General Assembly seat in District 48. “The North Carolina Republican House Caucus and our members will not support Mr. Walker’s campaign given his comments and actions,” Rep. John Szoka, the conference chairman of the caucus said in a statement. “While Mr. Walker won the Republican primary, his rhetoric and actions have no place in the Republican Party, and he should strongly consider withdrawing his candidacy.” A website that Walker has claimed to own includes essays that say God is a racist white supremacist and Jews are descended from Satan. Walker has authored multiple essays and other articles on the site and has said it belongs to him, the Raleigh-based News & Observer reported. An article on the site written by Walker also says that “all jews are the children of Satan. Cain being the first jew as a result of Satan raping Eve in the Garden of Eden and Cain being the first seed of Satan,” and that “the I.R.S. and most other ‘taxing’ systems of the world are controlled by and are just an appendage
of jewish institutions. In the case of the United States it is the Federal Reserve Bank, one of many Rothschild controlled central banks. The Federal Reserve Bank is owned by 9 European jewish banks, all ultimately being Rothschild controlled.” The Rothschilds, a historically wealthy Jewish family, have been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories since the mid-1800s. In 2017, Walker filed a lawsuit in South Carolina to have Confederate flags and portraits of Confederate generals remain in the main courtroom of the York County Courthouse. A judge threw out the case, saying Walker had no standing to bring the lawsuit because he was a North Carolina resident and that the suit was without merit because there had been no action by a court beforehand. The home page for Walker’s campaign website features a photo of him with a white mule titled “My little white ass and me.” What he terms his “Populist Platform” includes calls to “End Compulsory Fascist Auto and Moped Insurance,” “End rigged for conviction Criminal trials,” “End compulsory vaccinations” and to “Make English the official State language.” In November, Walker will challenge state Rep. Garland Pierce, a Democrat who has served in the state House for 14 years. (JTA)
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Trump derides Jewish Democratic Senate candidate in Nevada as ‘Wacky Jacky’
resident Donald Trump has a new nickname for Jacky Rosen, the Jewish Democratic congresswoman challenging Nevada’s incumbent Republican senator: It’s “Wacky Jacky.” Trump derided Rosen, a former president of her suburban Las Vegas Reform synagogue, in a speech to the Nevada state GOP convention. The freshman congresswoman is challenging Dean Heller. “I have a great nickname for her,” Trump said referring to Rosen. “Wacky Jacky. You don’t want her as your senator.” Nevada is considered one of the few
likely Senate pickups for Democrats in November. Heller is the only Republican incumbent whose state voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Trump also attacked Rosen for campaigning with Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who he referred to as “Pocahontas” over her claims of having some Native American ancestry. “Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas, you believe this? In your state!” he said. Trump said he would be in Nevada “a lot” to campaign for Heller.
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Sandler Family Golf Tournament raises funds for three area organizations Terri Denison
Steve Sandler addresses the crowd after the tournament’s reception.
Harry Gaber thanks the tournament participants.
Pam Clendenen and a camper from Camp Gonnawannagoagin.
14 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
hilanthropy was so intricately woven into the fabric of Reba and Sam Sandler’s family, that it should be no surprise that their children continue on their parents’ path. Perhaps one might suggest however, that equally important to their own generous gifts is that Steve and Art Sandler and their families have found ways to help others be philanthropic, too. Doing so, they say, is a tribute to their parents’ memory. One such example is the Sam and Reba Sandler Family Foundation Golf Tournament, which for 22 years has quietly raised funds to support United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission and FACT— Families of Autistic Children in Tidewater. In recent years, UJFT’s Community Relations Council and the Samaritan House have also been added as beneficiaries. The tournament has evolved over the years, with a committee diligently working for months on the event, securing commitments from area businesses to sponsor various aspects, such as advertisements, signs, entry fees, etc. On Tuesday, June 12, 250 golfers, 40 volunteers, and others gathered at Herron’s Ridge and the Signature courses in Virginia Beach for a rainy, misty day of golf. The precipitation didn’t begin to dampen the mood, however, as the tournament grossed more than $200,000. A high-end tournament, the golfers’ experience is exceptional, according to Lynn T. Easton, 2018 Tournament director. In addition to lunch and the opportunity to win plenty of prizes, when play is complete, golfers are treated to a cocktail reception followed by dinner. Just after the reception, representatives from each of the recipient organizations have an opportunity to tell their story and thank the Sandler families, as well as the golfers and sponsors for the financial assistance. This year, Harry Graber, then executive vice president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, was the first to speak. In addition to thanking the crowd, he spoke of the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust and of the need for the Holocaust Commission to educate and stand up against intolerance. Graber also cited the good works of divisions of the CRC such as the Be a Reader program. Next, Pam Clendenen, executive director of FACT spoke. FACT hosts Camp Gonnawannagoagin, a summer
camp for Autistic children. For most of these children, this is their only opportunity to have a camp experience. One of the campers accompanied Clendenen and drew rousing applause. Robin Gauthier, executive director of the Samaritan House, which last year used the tournament’s donation to purchase an additional home to provide another residence for domestic abuse victims and their families, also spoke of the importance of their work and expressed their appreciation to the participants. Steve Sandler wrapped up the brief presentation by imploring those attending to help strangers, those in need. “If you see someone with a problem on the road, would you make a U-turn to offer assistance?” he asked. Sandler said he hoped that everyone at the tournament would make giving and taking care of others part of their lives. He also said he looked forward to seeing everyone at the tournament next year. Photographs by Eva Fuze.
Player takes a swing during the Sandler Family Golf Tournament.
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How Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could affect issues that matter to Jews Josefin Dolsten
( JTA)—President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a Republican establishment favorite who has worked in the George W. Bush administration, has triggered reactions from Jewish groups ranging from furious to relieved. Progressive groups raised flags about the pick, saying Kavanaugh’s record
shows he would be a threat to reproductive rights and separation of church and state, while an Orthodox group said it was happy about his record on religious liberty. Trump announced on Monday, July 9 that he was nominating Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge in Washington, D.C., to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy upon his retirement at the end of July. Within an hour of the announcement, the National Council of Jewish Women released a statement saying it was “incensed” by the choice and helped organize an opposition rally in front of the Supreme Court.
“The assumption based on his record and his ruling is that he would further push the court in the direction of using religion as an excuse to discriminate, not to mention the incredible horrors that could be, should he end up on the court, around reproductive health rights and justice,” Rabhan says. Many on the left are concerned that a Trump appointee could join a conservative majority in taking away abortion rights and overturn Roe v. Wade, which Trump made a campaign promise. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin has said that there is “just no doubt” that abortion
Other progressive groups, such as the Workmen’s Circle, a Jewish organization with roots in the labor movement, denounced Trump’s pick, while the centrist Anti-Defamation League said it was wary that the nominee’s judicial record “does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.” Jody Rabhan, who directs NCJW’s Washington operations, says that Kavanaugh, like the other candidates considered by Trump, was “terrible on the issues that we care about.”
continued on page 18
The centrist AntiDefamation League said it was wary that the nominee’s judicial record “does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.
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LEGAL MATTERS continued from page 17
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would be illegal in a significant part of the United States within a year-and-ahalf of the confirmation of whomever Trump picked to fill Kennedy’s seat. In 2006, Kavanaugh said he would respect Roe v. Wade, but Rabhan says that did not assuage her concern. “Trump has said that overturning Roe v. Wade is a litmus test for anybody on his shortlist for the Supreme Court, and he has made anti-abortion [views] a litmus test for folks he’s nominated to lower courts,” she says. “We’ve seen it, so we believe him.” Rabhan and others cited a case, Garza v. Hagan, in which Kavanaugh opposed a detained undocumented immigrant minor’s right to obtain an abortion. In that 2017 case, the government had mandated that the teen could leave her detention center to have an abortion. Kavanaugh vacated the order, postponing the abortion for another week-and-a-half, until a court ultimately ruled in her favor. Kavanaugh dissented, writing that the government had betrayed its “interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.” Marc Stern, the general counsel of the American Jewish Committee, says most of Kavanaugh’s legal record was “unremarkable,” but that his opinion in the Garza case was “disturbing” and raised questions. “It’s not clear to us what that means exactly,” Stern says. “Does he believe that immigrants have lesser constitutional rights than everybody else? Does he think that teenagers don’t have a right [to an abortion]?…Does he mean only that the government has a right not to participate and you’re sort of on your own?” The AJC has not taken a position on the nomination, and Stern says it was studying Kavanaugh’s record, specifically with regard to issues of immigration law, religious liberty, separation of church and state, and reproductive freedom. He says that Kavanaugh’s opinion in Newdow v. Roberts, a case presenting a challenge to prayers at the presidential inauguration and the phrase “so help me God” in the presidential oath, offered “some glimmer
LEGAL MATTERS of hope” for those supporting separation of church and state. Though the challenge by the plaintiff, an atheist opposing the prayers, was dismissed, Kavanaugh said he did have standing to sue. Stern does not think Kavanaugh would radically shift the court. Although Kennedy was a swing vote on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, he often was reliably conservative. “On separation [of church and state] issues, he will read the principle more narrowly than AJC would like,” Stern says. “But from what little he’s written, it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be writing in a whole different vein than where the court as a whole has been—but that’s a guess.” Agudath Israel of America, a haredi Orthodox organization, has not yet taken an official position on the nomination, but its Washington director, Rabbi Abba Cohen, called Kavanaugh “ a very impressive candidate.” Cohen was
happy about Kavanaugh’s rulings related to religious freedom based on an initial overview of the judge’s record. Agudah and other Orthodox groups favor rulings that would exempt religious groups and individuals from generally applicable laws that clash with their beliefs. “We’re gratified that he’s given due deference to religious liberty and that he has been supportive of a greater involvement of religious organizations and institutions in society,” Cohen says. Cohen cited Kavanaugh’s opinion in a case relating to contraceptive care exemptions for religious groups, Priests for Life v. HHS. The appeals court agreed that religious employers did not have to provide contraceptives, but had to file a form telling the government they were not doing so. Kavanaugh in his dissent argued that the filing requirement violated the plaintiffs’ religious freedom. “We support that position, we think that’s giving proper deference to religious
rights, and we don’t think that’s in any way a retreat from the rights of others, so that’s one area where we are pleased about,” Cohen says. During his time in private practice, Kavanaugh took on pro bono cases, including that of a Reconstructionist synagogue, Adat Shalom in Bethesda, Maryland, which was facing challenges from its neighbors in constructing a building. In 2000, a U.S. District Court sided with the synagogue, saying a permit issued to the congregation was consistent with the Establishment Clause. The synagogue confirmed to JTA that it was represented by Kavanaugh but did not return a request for further comment in time for publication. The Reform movement and the Orthodox Union both say that they were studying Kavanaugh’s record before deciding whether to take a position on his nomination.
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An all-female Orthodox ambulance corps gets a film of their own Attorney is behind the plan Curt Schleier
(JTA)—Like many heavily Orthodox sections of Brooklyn, Borough Park has been served for decades by an all-male volunteer ambulance corps called Hatzalah. The corps caters to a religious Jewish community with particular needs and customs—including one custom that can increase the tension for patients in already stressful emergency situations. The strict boundaries between men and women are familiar to anyone who has attended an Orthodox synagogue or has read the stories of airplane flights being delayed because haredi Orthodox men refuse to sit next to women.
In the event of a medical emergency, the male Hatzalah volunteers may touch women—if, for example, a woman needs to be moved to a stretcher or requires assistance while giving birth. But while Jewish law has its exemptions, women concerned about the rules of modesty have plenty of reasons to prefer treatment by a female EMT. 93Queen, Orthodox filmmaker Paula Eiselt’s big-screen debut, documents one woman’s attempt to create an all-female version of Hatzalah with only strictly observant Orthodox members. In a statement, Eiselt explains that over four years of filming, she essentially operates as a one-woman crew.
20 | Jewish News | Legal | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
The film opens July 25 in theaters in New York City and Aug. 14 in Los Angeles, with a wider release to follow. The woman behind the female corps is Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a lawyer and Borough Park native. She assembles a group of volunteers who are tentative at the start. And, not surprisingly, her plan sets up a clash with the establishment Hatzalah and its supporters. Opponents threaten to boycott the hospital that is training the women and the companies that sell them medical supplies. They also post nasty comments on Twitter, such as “God have mercy if you wait for them to get their make-up and the right dress on.” But Freier’s leadership and inner
strength help the members of what they call Ezras Nashim (“helping women”) persevere. “The worst thing you can tell me is that I can’t do something because I‘m a woman, a religious woman,” she says. Part of Freier’s fortitude manifests itself in a my-way-or-the-highway manner. When she insists that only married women can join the team, some members object—including an experienced EMT who recently became religious —and others resign. “There’s a whole host of issues that come up in a marriage that will give you that level of maturity,” she says. Though the film is gripping, the viewer
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LEGAL MATTERS is never entirely sure how it all works. The women on call respond from wherever they are to the scene of the emergency. However, it does not appear that Ezras Nashim owns its own ambulance. It contracts with a private company to provide patient transport. Who staffs that ambulance? Men? Do the women EMTs accompany patients in the ambulance?
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In 2016 Freier was elected as a judge in New York City’s 5th Civil Court District, becoming what is believed to be the first Hasidic women elected to public office in the United States
There are other questions. At one point Freier says she refuses to let the project fail because that might blemish her image and hurt her plans to run for a judgeship. Was the ambulance fight just a way to build a political base, to get her name out there? Does it matter? In the end, Freier must be doing something right: Last year, Ezras Nashim won the New York Basic Life Support Agency of the Year award, a high honor. And in 2016 Freier was elected as a judge in New York City’s 5th Civil Court District, becoming what is believed to be the first Hasidic women elected to public office in the United States. Eiselt calls her film a story of “proud Hasidic women challenging the status quo of their own community and refusing to take no for an answer from the all-powerful patriarchy.” Regardless of your background—religious or atheist, feminist or nonpolitical—93Queen is a film that will get your juices boiling.
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22 | Jewish News | Legal | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
Michael Cohen cites ‘wrenching’ Trump child separation policy and Holocaust survivor parent in quitting RNC WASHINGTON (JTA) Michael Cohen, the lawyer for President Donald Trump who has become a focus of a federal investigation into improprieties in Trump’s campaign and presidency, quit a senior position in the Republican Party, citing his opposition to Trump’s immigration policies and invoking the experience of his Holocaust survivor father. “As the son of a Polish Holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching,” Cohen wrote in a letter to the Republican National Committee, ABC News reported. “While I strongly support measures that will secure our porous borders, children should never be used as bargaining chips.” Cohen was deputy chairman of the RNC’s finance committee. Trump has separated migrant children from their parents as part of a broader policy of deterring illegal migration, spurring outrage from
Democrats and also some Republicans. Cohen reportedly feels betrayed by Trump, who has not reached out to him while federal authorities have raided his properties for information related to allegations that he paid off at least one woman to keep silent about her alleged affair with Trump ahead of his 2016 election, as well as other business Cohen conducted on his own behalf and for Trump. Reports have suggested that Cohen is ready to cooperate with the federal investigation. He is the third high-ranking Jewish RNC official to resign this year because of scandals. The body’s chairman, Steve Wynn, a casino magnate, quit because of allegations of sexual impropriety, and Elliott Broidy resigned as deputy finance chairman after revelations that he used Cohen to pay an alleged mistress to keep silent.
Chuck Schumer asked Trump to nominate Merrick Garland to Supreme Court, Washington Post reports
Serving Tidewater for
NEW YORK ( JTA)—Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer urged President Donald Trump to nominate Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, according to a report in the Washington Post. Schumer, a Jewish Democrat from New York, made the request in a phone call, the Post reported. Garland, who also is Jewish, was President Barack Obama’s nominee in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans, however, would not consider the nomination in March, saying it had to wait until after the presidential election in November. Trump chose Neal Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s position, and Gorsuch was confirmed. With Justice Anthony Kennedy
announcing last month that he is retiring, Trump gets to pick another justice to serve on the court. Schumer knew that getting Trump to even consider putting Garland on the court was highly unlikely. The conversation “seemed more like a check the box call than meaningful conversation” because Trump already had a shortlist of conservative nominees, a source told The Hill. Many Jewish groups, such as the National Council of Jewish Women, along with Democrats are concerned that his pick will shift the court deeply to the right and potentially undo abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
LEGAL MATTERS In Jerusalem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrates her commitment to tikkun olam Sam Sokol
JERUSALEM (JTA)— Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described how grateful she was for her Jewish heritage during a screening of a new Ruth Bader Ginsburg. documentary film about her life and career at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. “The demand for justice, peace and enlightenment runs through Jewish history and tradition,” she said Thursday, July 5, describing how she is reminded of this fact every day when she enters her judicial chambers and is confronted with a poster proclaiming the biblical verse “Justice, justice thou shalt pursue.” “My room has the only mezuzah in the U.S. Supreme Court,” she said, noting that “growing up Jewish, the concept of tikkun olam, repairing tears in the community and making things better for people less fortunate, was part of my heritage. The Jews are the people of the book and learning is prized above all else. I am lucky to have that heritage.” In Jerusalem to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Genesis Prize Foundation, Ginsburg—who is equally well known for her scathing dissenting opinions as for her lifetime commitment to gender equality—was feted by the Jewish state’s political and judicial elites. In a speech honoring her American coreligionist at the award ceremony on Wednesday, July 4, Israeli Supreme Court President Esther Hayut praised Ginsburg as a spokeswoman for the marginalized and ignored. “Law is about justice, and the experience of injustice gives one profound insight as to what justice should look like,” Hayut said, The Jerusalem Post reported. “Through her decisions, Justice Bader Ginsburg upholds the values without which democracy would be an empty vessel.” Former Israeli Supreme Court
President Aharon Barak made a similar statement, calling Ginsburg “one of the great legal minds of our time; an outstanding Jewish jurist whose fearless pursuit of human rights, equality and justice for all stems from her Jewish values.” Speaking at the ceremony, Ginsburg evoked the memory of Anne Frank, who questioned common gender roles in her famous diary. “When I became active in the movement to open doors to women, enabling them to enter occupations once closed to them—lawyering and judging, bartending, policing and, firefighting, for example—I was heartened by the words of a girl of my generation,” said Ginsburg, 85. “I am a judge, born, raised, and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice, for peace and for enlightenment runs through the entirety of Jewish history and Jewish tradition. I hope, in all the years I have the good fortune to continue serving on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will have the strength and courage to remain steadfast in the service of that demand.” Initially offered the Genesis Foundation’s annual Genesis Prize, which comes with a cash grant, Ginsburg said she demurred, worried that the presence of Israeli politicians on the selection committee would run afoul of the Constitution’s emoluments clause prohibiting government officials from receiving gifts from foreign powers. She said it was only after the foundation agreed to create a new lifetime achievement award whose selection committee was apolitical that she relented and agreed to be honored. The award later went to actress Natalie Portman, who declined to attend the award ceremony because of her political differences with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Addressing the crowded theater after the screening of RBG, Ginsburg made two pleas. The first was a call for renewed bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., specifically when it comes to confirming federal judges—a process that has become deeply politicized in the
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years since her ascension to the Supreme Court. The announcement that Anthony Kennedy will be retiring as the high court’s frequent swing vote, and the nomination battle ahead, did not come up in her onstage interview with Benjamin Freidenberg, an Israeli filmmaker. Ginsburg also reiterated her longstanding support for the adoption of an equal rights amendment to the Constitution. Holding up a pocket copy of American’s foundational legal text, the justice said that she would like to be able to show it
to her great-granddaughter and tell her “your equality is a fundamental tenet of the United States.” Asked what she would do if she weren’t a judge, Ginsburg, who is well known for her love of opera, replied that if she could choose any other career, she would be “a great diva.” “But, sadly for me I’m a monotone,” she said, “so I can be [a diva] only in my dreams and occasionally in the shower when I sing.”
jewishnewsva.org | July 16, 2018 | Legal | Jewish News | 23
LEGAL MATTERS Reduce your taxes with an IRA Gift in 2018 Scott Kaplan
tarting this year, the standard deduction has doubled, which will significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize their deductions. If you are 70½ or older (or know someone who is), here is an easy way to help the Jewish community. Rather than simply take your withdrawal this year, you can direct your IRA administrator to distribute a gift from your IRA to benefit the Jewish community. Any transferred amount counts against your required minimum distribution (RMD), and you can direct up to $100,000 to your favorite causes this year. There is no charitable deduction for the IRA distribution; however, not paying tax on otherwise taxable income is the equivalent of a charitable deduction. Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from IRAs satisfy the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) and can be made tax-free.
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Here are the simple steps toward making an IRA Rollover Gift: 1. Contact your IRA administrator. Because of the popularity of the rollover, most administrators provide forms and a procedure to help you make an IRA rollover gift. 2. Direct a transfer of up to $100,000 from your IRA to the Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF). This gift can be designated to benefit any charitable organization or to establish a permanent fund for the benefit of one or more organizations (such as pre-funding your legacy gift). 3. You will pay no income taxes on the amount transferred. Note: Because you are not claiming the transferred amount as income, you will not receive an income tax deduction for your gift. 4. Contact Scott Kaplan at 965-6109 or email email@example.com to let TJF know how you would like your gift designated. Caution: The check from your IRA must be made out to a charity (such as TJF), not to you. Call the financial institution that holds your IRA and ask about its charitable rollover procedures. You will likely need to fill out a simple distribution form, naming
TJF or a preferred charity as the recip- Scott Kaplan ient and specifying the dollar amount. Tax-free distributions may only be made from traditional and Roth IRAs. Distributions from employer-sponsored retirement plans, including SIMPLE IRAS, Keoghs, 403(b), 401(k), or profit sharing plans do not qualify. You may roll over a non-qualified pension plan into a qualified IRA (generally tax free to do so) and then the qualified IRA can make a distribution directly to TJF or the designated charity. Note: IRA distributions cannot go into a donor advised fund, but may go into an endowment or permanent fund for the benefit of one or more agencies. Advantages of IRA/Charitable Distributions for those 70½ or older: • Distributions from your IRA directly to charity may count as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) and toward your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) of up to $100,000 each year. • Married spouses can combine their gifts and can contribute up to $200,00 per year. • Your gift will NOT be counted as income and the IRS will consider your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) fulfilled, which may save thousands of dollars in taxes. • Many more taxpayers will take the new higher standard deduction and therefore can’t deduct their charitable gifts. By making gifts directly from their IRAs to qualified charities, the donor can get the equivalent of a deduction by not being taxed on the income. • For those who still itemize, donors can use distributions from IRAs to make additional gifts because they won’t be taxed on the distributions (equivalent additional charitable deduction). This information is not intended as tax, legal, or financial advice. Gift results may vary. Consult your personal financial advisor for information specific to your situation. Scott Kaplan is the president & CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation.
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jewishnewsva.org | July 16, 2018 | Legal | Jewish News | 25
S E N TA R A H E A LT H C A R E CO M M U N I T Y I N V O LV E M E N T
IT IS OUR PROMISE TO SUPPORT AND CARE FOR OUR COMMUNITIES. Sentara’s mission of “improving health every day” isn’t exclusive to just the care we provide within our walls. We believe that investing our time, talent, and treasure in each of these communities isn’t just our obligation, it’s our responsibility and our privilege. Proudly offering Virginia and North Carolina communities with many free programs and initiatives including: • Free Breast Screening
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Last year Sentara contributed $364,956,000 to the communities we serve.
Learn more about Sentara’s community involvement at: sentara.com/community 26 | Jewish News | Legal | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
Teens and seniors bond through Better Together at Beth Sholom Village Leslie Shroyer and Robyn Weiner
hen Alisa Kosovsky got to Beth Sholom Village, she immediately walked over to sit with Lillian Kozak. The two are decades apart in age, but as close as ever. One is on the precipice of starting her life independent of her family—in college. The other is looking back at all she’s accomplished and cherished over her lifetime. The two were connected through Better Together, a program that brings teens from Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Israel, and Temple Beth El into the lives of seniors at Beth Sholom Village. The cohort gets together once each month for lunch and learning. The lessons span from how to use social media to how to chase career dreams. What most participants have in common is their Jewish heritage and culture. On June 10, Kosovsky, Kozak, and the other teens and seniors and their families gathered for an end-of-the-year banquet to celebrate all they accomplished over the past year. They noshed on lunch and cake, watched a video that compiled the teens’ interviews with their senior friends, and talked about how they planned to spend their summers. Kosovsky, 18, has partnered with Kozak for both years of the program. The two share a bond that even distance won’t break. Although Kosovsky is going to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall and Kozak will likely have a new partner when the program resumes, there’s no doubt the two will remain close. Kosovsky described their bond in an essay she wrote that won her not only the local essay contest (judged by area judges), but also third place in a national contest with dozens of other Better Together teens from around the country. “As a senior in high school embarking on the next chapter, I find myself constantly searching for some ultimate truth, maybe some half hearted cliché to help
guide me through life. Maybe I would find the secret to leading the life that we all envision for ourselves as children. As it turns out, the key was hiding in plain sight. It’s simple. I aspire to be like Lillian, no matter my age. I aspire to approach my life with the same fervor and excitement, the same quirkiness and mischief. Lillian has shown me the value of hard work and perseverance, the importance of a good laugh with friends.” “Better Together has widened my perspective on the world and given me the opportunity to collaborate with someone I now call a friend,” says Lizzy Goldstein, a rising eighth grader. “It doesn’t even feel like community service, but rather sitting down for lunch, getting to know someone. Better Together should be an internationally known program, I love it.” Goldstein has already promised to return next year. Her partner was senior Joe Harowitz, who easily makes friends with the teens. The teens weren’t alone in being impacted by their experiences—their families, were, too. Alyson Morrissey, whose daughter Leia participated, says it was a valuable experience. “Not only is she filling a mitzvah by providing company to the residents of Beth Sholom Village, she is engaging in meaningful conversations,” Morrissey says. “These conversations allow her to learn about the world around her in a perspective she is not as used to. Through her visits she has heard first hand accounts of how the world has changed over the last several decades, which has opened her heart and mind to seeing things from different points of view.” The program is expected to continue for a third year in the fall. It will no longer be funded by a national Jewish grantor, but instead through local support. Teens will again return to BSV on Sundays. “Better Together has brought enrichment to the lives of our seniors through an intergenerational approach,” says David
Abraham, chief executive officer of Beth Sholom Village. “The program has created bonds between the students and seniors that otherwise may not have happened. The knowledge shared from each of the Better Together members young and old will have a lasting impact on everyone involved.” For information on participating or supporting Better Together, contact Leslie Shroyer at lmshroyer@cox. net.
Lillian Kozak with Alisa Kosovsky.
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Why is LIFE & LEGACY™ important to you? Amie and Byron Harrell chose to create a legacy because they are grateful for all the wonderful programming the Jewish community provides.
“Tzedakah starts with us as role models for our family. By showing our children that we care about our community, those values will be intrinsic to them. Our commitment to LIFE & LEGACY™ will bear its fruit as we grow older and play a bigger role in their lives after we pass.” – Amie and Byron Harrell
Interest-free loans available for higher education for Jewish students JELF (Jewish Educational Loan Fund) has assisted the Jewish community since 1889 when the doors of the Hebrew Orphans’ Home first opened in Atlanta, Georgia. Since its inception, JELF has served the five-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia (excluding metro-DC). JELF assists students with ‘last dollar’ loans. In 2017, nine Jewish students from Tidewater applied to JELF with a total need of $44,632. Of this, JELF funded $38,210 in ‘last dollars’ for these students’ higher education. Without JELF’s loans, these students would have needed to take out high interest-bearing loans—creating a cycle of bad debt for years. Elli Friedman, a local JELF recipient, says, “I graduated from James Madison University in May with a BBA in accounting and am now going back to get a Masters in tax. After having such a hard time finding scholarships and loans for graduate school, JELF made it so easy. I just wish I knew about it sooner!” In each community that JELF serves, the organization partners with a local agency who meets with local applicants. In Tidewater, JELF partners with Jewish Family Service. Jodi Mandel Hirschfield, a Richmond native, recently visited Tidewater in her
new role as JELF a s s i st a nt director of development and was struck by the closeness of the community and JELF’s ties. “For me, being able to Elli Friedman. share the mission of JELF to this community feels like coming home. Being from Richmond, I spent a lot of time growing up in Tidewater and am so proud of what JELF is doing to aid the Jewish community’s students here.” JELF has two application periods: March 1–April 30 for the full upcoming school year (fall, spring, and summer); and September 1–30 for the following spring and/or summer terms. For more information about applying or to make a donation, visit jelf.org or email info@ jelf.org.
Clara Zimm performs at The Main July 19 and 23, 6–10 pm July 20 and 21, 7–11 pm
orfolk native Clara Zimm is performing this summer at Downtown Norfolk’s The Main’s Varia with jazz pianist Liz Barnes. A rising junior at Montclair State in New Jersey, Zimm is majoring in musical theater, working toward a BFA. Zimm performs live jazz, R&B, and blues selections. August dates are to be announced.
Find out how to create your legacy plan by contacting Barb Gelb, firstname.lastname@example.org, 965.6105; or Scott Kaplan, email@example.com, 965.6109. Clara Zimm.
28 | Jewish News | Legal | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
Simon Family Passport to Israel Program grant recipient learns the importance of Israel Sophie Waldman
hen I first walked off the plane into the BenGurion Airport, I stepped straight onto a large bus that took me to my home for, what I believed, was just the next four months. I first noticed that Israel was not just a large desert, but it was more of a wonderland filled with hatikva, hope. While in Israel, I kept up with my classes from my school in Virginia, along with Hebrew and Jewish history. Learning Hebrew allowed me to dive deeply into my religion because I finally could truly understand- Sophhie Waldman and friend. nthe stories in the Tanach, as I was learning them in the original language. I did not just learn Jewish history, I saw it with my own eyes. In my program, URJ Heller High, we took tiyulim trips to visit what we were taught. Learning only gives facts, seeing gives knowledge to form your own perspective. Through the program I grasped a deeper understanding of Israeli culture. After traveling in Israel for two months, our program took us on an eight-day expedition to Poland. I did not realize the importance of a Jewish state until I reached a market outside of an old Jewish town with churches and neo-Nazi merchandise. I went from Israel—a life with so much joy—to a place filled with nothing but suffering. Without this generous scholarship from Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel Program, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see the ruach, spirit, that fills everyday life in a place where Judaism is found in every aspect of everyday society. I will use my experiences from the past amazing four months to strengthen Judaism Year of the Dog 2018 in our community to benefit our Jewish home, Eretz Yisrael.
Sophie Waldman with her group in Israel.
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it’s a wrap Supporting Kiryat Yam The Kiryat Yam committee has created a series of four fundraisers to help build the Theater Arts and Therapy Program for Kiryat Yam. • Monday, July 17: Mr. Shawarma in Norfolk will donate 10% of sales when mentioning UJFT. • Thursday, August 16: YAD’s Happy Hour will have a 50/50 raffle with proceeds donated. • October: Kids mini golf tournament. • December: Latkapaloza will include a Hanukkah Donut Run to raise money.
YAD connects with Israeli Sister City, Kiryat Yam
he United Jewish Federation of Tidewater has a special bond with its Israeli sister city, Kiryat Yam. The coastal city is just 12km north of Haifa, and like Norfolk, is also known for its mermaids. After a mission trip to Israel in 2016, UJFT’s Young Adult Division’s Kiryat Yam committee saw the community’s needs and helped create a Theater Arts and Therapy Program for the Levinson Religious Junior High School. Joe Ruthenberg, a committee member, says, “It’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to describe one’s experience after visiting Israel for the first time—the food, the history, the feeling of being a place that is unabashedly Jewish—all these things make it a truly special place. I thought my most lasting memories of Israel would be the burnt sienna colored
Sima Buhbut, Meital Raz, Joe Ruthenberg, Gal Yanoshevitz, Ethan Heben, Shawn Lemke, and David Namev at the young adult center in Kiryat Yam.
ATTENTION STUDENTS Do you want to go to Israel? TJF has funds ready to help you get there. Apply at www.jewishva.org by October 8.
For more information, contact Barb Gelb at email@example.com or 965.6105.
Simon Family Passport to Israel 30 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
A teen performance group in Israel.
landscapes that engulf you while hiking up to Masada, the cobalt blue waters of the Mediterranean, or the unrivalled gravity and history of Jerusalem. “While all of those sites where wonderful and moving, my most lasting memories were of the people, and more specifically the people of Kiryat Yam,” says Ruthenberg. “From a rousing Shabbat dinner filled with dancing, singing, a ‘few’ drinks, and enough food to feed an army, we were all immediately welcomed in as family. We toured the preschool, early childhood center, absorption center and both high schools, all places our community has assisted, and saw the progress that was being made, as well as the challenges they were facing. “The most telling moments where when I had one-on-one interactions with
the people of the city, more specifically the children,” notes Ruthenberg. “They shared their hopes and dreams and a desire to make themselves and their country a better place. It was in these moments when I saw the true impact that could be made in the city, not in an abstract way, but in a deeply personal and affecting way. That is what I think our committee and our community as a whole are all about, giving the children of Israel a small boost in achieving their dreams, and in turn helping the city and the country as a whole.” This program will help benefit underprivileged students who must overcome many barriers to success—poverty, violence, language, and cultural differences—but can thrive with the support of their community and Tidewater’s.
it’s a wrap Beth Sholom thanks Honor Campaign donors with reception and uplifting message Joel Rubin
t is not immediately evident when walking into the Auburn Drive lobby, but all around the Berger-Goldrich Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach, a major renovation of patient rooms, corridors, and other spaces is underway. Financial gifts have come from the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Beth Sholom Endowment Fund, as well as from dozens of companies,
families, and individuals—in both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities—who appreciate what the campus, which also David Abraham, Sara Jo Rubin, Marcia Brodie, and Judy Nachman. features assisted living, hospice, home health, and rehabilWant to be part of the Kahbaid itation, has done for seniors over the past or Honor Campaign, chaired by 40 years, and to prepare it for the next 40. Stewart Kahn and Larry Siegel, To thank them and Legacy Society and pay tribute, as in the Torah, donors, the Village hosted a reception for to the commandment to Honor more than 100 people on June 27. Your Father and Mother? Contact In addition to plenty to eat and drink, David Abraham, Beth Sholom the evening included an uplifting mesVillage CEO, at 420-2512 or dabsage from Daniel Cohen, senior rabbi firstname.lastname@example.org. of Congregation Agudath Sholom in Valuable naming opportunities Stamford, Conn. The author of What are still available. Will They Say About You After You’re Gone? Cohen says that living life in the moment and focusing on the “days” left, which can be controlled, and not the “years,” which cannot be controlled, is one secret.
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it’s a wrap Brith Sholom’s move to Beth Sholom has been a win-win
Local rabbi represents community at Pride event
Energetic president Joe Goldberg has led a 300% rise in membership Joel Rubin
o heat, no bugs, no rain.” That’s how Joe Goldberg described the wise decision to move a July 1 pre-holiday cookout into the Pincus Paul Community Room at Beth Sholom Village. There were no complaints from the nearly 150 in attendance, all members of the Brith Sholom Center, which was about to fold its tent in 2013 when Goldberg approached Beth Sholom CEO David Abraham with a novel idea. “If we sell our building off Raby Road in Norfolk, can we move all our events into yours?” Goldberg asked. “You can have the room for free, just pay for the food,” answered Abraham. Five years later, Brith Sholom membership, which had shrunk to 70, is up to 250, and Beth Sholom has a steady stream of monthly income and guests—some of whom have already become rehab, assisted living, or long-term care patients. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished,” says Goldberg, who moved to Hampton Roads from New York where he had been a shoe buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. He opened his own women’s shoe store, Pappagallo’s, in Lynnhaven Mall in 1981, and then two more in Richmond before retiring in 1996. Fortunately for Brith Sholom, which began in downtown Norfolk in 1915 as a men’s only fraternal organization helping
To Join Brith Sholom •C all 757-467-1150 or email email@example.com • $25 Annual Dues •C ouples (one partner must be Jewish) and singles welcome • No minimum age requirement •N ext Event: August 12, Honoring couples married 50 years or more
Jewish immigrants, Goldberg did not slow down. He was part of the leadership that decided to part with the Norfolk structure, which had lost its luster as primarily a for-rent bingo hall. Brith Sholom invested the $1-million from the sale, Plenty of picnic fare without the pests at Brith Sholom’s indoor picnic. earning interest that has enabled the group to charge its members just $25 in annual dues, $3 for a lavish monthly Sunday brunch and $10 for occasional dinner and entertainment events—all at Beth Sholom. “I am able to be with friends that I don’t always get to see,” says Ernestine (Ernie) Goldstein, who was enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs, wings, and sides with her husband Steve and other buddies including Harvey Eluto, whose great uncle was a charter member. “The camaraderie here is Barbara Stein and Ruth Rothman. wonderful, and it’s such a great deal.” The low prices and upgraded setting have made a difference, but the real accomplishment was overcoming Brith Sholom’s brand as an old people’s club. “I didn’t want to join either at first,” says Goldberg, now 85. “We had to recruit younger people.” So today, his daughter Marilyn Johns and husband Bob are in the fold. So is Barbara Stein, as is her mother Ruth Rothman who is thrilled that Brith Sholom has become a reliable supporter of local Jewish education. “We give to all of the schools, includRuth and Joe Goldberg and Bob and Marilyn Johns. ing BINA, HAT and the synagogues,” says Sholom’s secretary and administrator. “We Rothman, at home at Beth Sholom where have some in their 50s, but we also had a she once worked. 101-year-old join the other day.” Jewish Indeed Brith Sholom is also a generous singles, not just couples, are welcome. donor to Beth Sholom, pledging $50,000 “I love it,” says widow Annette Mand. over five years to the Honor Campaign to “It gives us a good place to go and feel renovate the Berger-Goldrich Healthcare accepted.” and Rehabilitation Center. “This is our When Joe Goldberg’s term ends in home,” says Goldberg. “We have to take March, VP Joe Weintraub will become care of our home.” president. “People love coming here,” says The average age of members is now the next Joe. “We have a good future now.” about 70, says LeeAnne Mallory, Brith
32 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill and Rev. Mark Byrd, pastor of New Life MCC and host of the event.
uring the week in which the LGBTQAI community celebrates its local presence, Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, spiritual leader of Tidewater Chavurah, represented the Jewish community at Hampton Roads Pride’s interfaith event on June 26 at New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk. “One of the fundamental precepts of Judaism is that every human being was created b’tzelem Elohim, in God’s image—and there are no exceptions,” Rabbi Jaffe-Gill told the capacity audience before offering a memorial reading. The rabbi has long been an LGBT ally. She and her husband, Spencer Gill, were longtime members of an LGBT synagogue during their years in Los Angeles, celebrating their wedding, Spencer’s conversion to Judaism, and Spencer’s bar mitzvah there. Rabbi Jaffe-Gill’s first exposure to the interfaith program during Pride Week was in 2016, when Ohef Sholom Temple hosted the celebration. “I hope the Tidewater Jewish community will continue to be a presence at this joyous and spirit-filled event,” she says.
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what’s happening Registration open for Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s Bob Josephberg Classic Golf Tournament
Leon Family Gallery Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus
Tuesday, August 28, 10:30 am, Tee-off, 12 pm Cypress Point Country Club, Virginia Beach
Photography by Eitan Stern
his exhibit of Eitan Stern’s photographs provides an unexpected look at the people and places of Israel. Using a camera to capture ordinary people in an empathetic light, Stern’s love for humanity is expressed through his focus on street photography, portraits, and compositions questioning social issues. Stern was born in Israel. In 2004, he moved to the United States with his wife and two children, relocating to Norfolk seven years ago. Seeing his photography as more than just an art form, Stern chooses to sensitively highlight everyday life. Stern’s photography has received several awards and been featured in exhibits in Israel and the United States. One of his photos is currently on exhibition in the City of Norfolk’s Drive Through Gallery at Five Points.
he 30th Annual Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s Bob Josephberg Classic, which raises money for Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center, will include a continental breakfast, on course lunch, beverages, snacks, and a post-tournament awards reception and dinner. To register online, go to https://www. hebrewacademy.net /support-us /golf. Registration is also possible at the event. Sponsors will be acknowledged on golf course sponsor signs, in the tournament brochure, and the Jewish News. For more information and to become a sponsor, contact Patti Seeman, HAT director of development, at 757-424-4327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the sales of Eitan Stern’s work will go to the cultural arts department of the Simon Family JCC.
Tzofim Friendship Caravan: a spirited afternoon of Israeli entertainment Sunday, July 29, 4 pm Simon Family JCC, free
troupe of talented Israeli Scouts, the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, will return this month to the Simon Family JCC for an afternoon performance. These young Israelis travel across North America sharing their message of peace and hope through Israeli song and dance. Always a fun afternoon of family-entertainment, attending a Tzofim Friendship Caravan performance is a unique opportunity to connect with Israel. Kosher BBQ follows the performance. RSVP to this free event by July 23 to RSVP@Ujft.org.
jewishnewsva.org | July 16, 2018 | Jewish News | 33
Calendar July 24, Tuesday YAD Happy Hour. Join UJFT’s Young Adult Division at Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro in Town Center for a summer happy hour. Appetizers on YAD, drinks on you. Bring friends! 5:30 pm. Contact Carly at email@example.com or 757-965-6127 for more information. July 29, Sunday YAD Beach Day. YAD Tidewater is teaming up with YAD Richmond for a SUNday FUNday BEACH day at 2800 Shore Drive, behind the Virginia Beach Resort and Conference hotel. This event is free and for adults only. 12 pm. Contact Carly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-965-6127 for more information. August 12, Sunday Brith Sholom Annual Club 50 Banquet at Beth Sholom Village at 5:30 pm. Club 50 Banquet honors couples married 50 years or more. Couples married 50 years or more may attend free of charge. All others are welcome for $10 per person and $20 for per guest. Entertainment coordinated by Comedienne Susan Sussman and her sidekicks. Contact LeeAnne Mallory at 757-461-1150 or email Brith.Sholom1@hrcoxmail.com for information. 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.
Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Konikoff Center of Learning
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For sponsorship opportunities or to register, visit HebrewAcademy.net/golf or call Patti Seeman at 757.424.4327
34 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
Schedule your tour of our state-of-the-art facility TODAY! Call 757.424.4327 or visit strelitzearlychildhood.org 5000 Corporate Woods Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23462
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mazel tov to Wedding Jody and Erin Balaban on their marriage, June 23, 2018 at Ohef Sholom Temple.
Erin is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McGrattan, Jr. and Jody is the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Balaban.
Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
WHO KNEW? Einstein letter on rise of Nazis sells for $30,250 at auction
letter written by Albert Einstein on the day he renounced his German citizenship, after realizing he could not return due to the rise of the Nazis, was sold at auction for $30,250. The letter written on board the S.S. Belgenland and dated March 28, 1933, sold at the Nate D. Sanders Auction House in Los Angeles. Bidding started at $25,000. A second letter from Einstein written in 1938 in which he discusses helping Jewish refugees escape Nazi Germany sold for $31,250. The 1933 letter was written with his wife, Elsa, to his sister Maja WintelerEinstein about the dire situation in Germany, just minutes before they docked in Antwerp, Belgium, where Einstein renounced his German citizenship. Later that day, Einstein handed in his passport at the German consulate in Antwerp. After the Nazis seized power in January 1933, they raided Einstein’s home when he and his wife were traveling to the United States. They also reportedly put a bounty on his head. The day the letter was written, the Einsteins were traveling back to Germany, intending to live at their summer home in Caputh, before discovering that the home also had been raided. This led Einstein to decide to renounce his citizenship. “We will now look for a hiding place for the summer,” Albert Einstein wrote in concluding the letter. In the 1938 letter, also to his sister, Albert Einstein discusses helping Jews and other persecuted people flee Germanheld countries in Europe, including using his own funds to do so. He asks his sister
to leave Switzerland and visit him in the United States. (JTA)
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green visits Israel JERUSALEM (JTA)—Draymond Green, an All-Star forward for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, met in Jerusalem with Israel’s president. Green presented Reuven Rivlin with a Warriors jersey during their meeting Wednesday, July 4. The basketball player was in Israel as part of a visit organized by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Hadashot News reported. “It’s not every day that I meet an AllStar,” Rivlin told Green. He also tweeted a welcome to Green. Rivlin said that like many Israelis, he watched the NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers live, which is very early in the morning in Israel. The Warriors swept the Cavs to win their second consecutive title and third in four seasons, all at the expense of the LeBron James-led Cleveland squad. “You did not have a simple task, defending LeBron James,” the president told Green. “You’re an amazing team, and it was a true pleasure to watch you play. I hope this will only be the first of many visits.” During a visit with the Border Police’s counterterrorism unit, he played basketball with members of the unit on a court donated by American donors through Friends of the IDF. In posts on Reddit, some criticized Green for meeting with the president of Israel while he and his Warriors’ teammates declined to meet with President Donald Trump, as is traditional for NBA championship teams.
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obituaries Elisa Snyder Banks Virginia Beach—Elisa Snyder Banks, born May 25, 1936 in Norfolk, a longtime resident of Lagomar in Virginia Beach, passed away unexpectedly Monday, June 25, 2018 in Virginia Beach General Hospital. Elisa was the youngest offspring and only daughter of Bertha and Ben Paul Snyder (of blessed memory), and sister to two brothers; Harry L. Snyder (deceased) and Edward B. Snyder. Elisa is survived by her only son, Harry L. Banks, and his wife, Lynn, their two daughters, Heidi Banks Cook, her husband Dale, and their son J.W.; and Danielle Banks Norford, and her husband Aaron, and their two daughters, Ashby and Vera. Elisa attended Granby High School in Norfolk. For decades she worked with her two brothers at United States Sales and Checkered Flag, until she retired. Elisa will be remembered for her love and devotion to her family, and the many friendships that she cherished with both family and close friends. Her positive attitude and infectious and giving spirit graced all who came to know her. Elisa will be sorely missed. A funeral service was held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Interment was private. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com. Contributions to the United Way for the Bertha Snyder Children’s Care Fund. Richard J. Bass NORFOLK—Richard Jay Bass, 59, passed away on June 27, 2018. Richard was born to Marlene and the
late Melvin Bass, of blessed memory, on May 19 1959 in Buffalo, New York and was a resident of Hampton Roads since 1972. He was preceded in death by his sister Deborah Bass Sadoff. He was a member of Chabad of Tidewater. He graduated from Virginia Tech. He received his DDS at VCU/ Medical College of Virginia, College of Dentistry with a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1985. Richard did a General Practice Residency from Yale. He moved to Portsmouth and married Dr. Patricia Lee Speer and started practicing dentistry while raising their family. Rick was a ‘Dentist’s Dentist.’ He was extremely kind and gentle. He would go out of his way to assist most anyone with a task—hosting a meeting or delivering a prescription to a patient on his way home. He loved his yard, flowers, wine, and most of all, his sons. He is survived by his sons Philip Asher Bass and Benjamin Jacob Bass, his mother Marlene Herer Bass of Norfolk, his Aunt Marilyn Bass Buxbaum, numerous cousins, and his dog, Talia. A funeral service was conducted at H. D. Oliver’s Funeral Apartments. Burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky, Rabbi Aron Margolin, and Rabbi Jeffery Arnowitz officiated. Memorial donations to The Mel Bass, Debbie Bass Sadoff memorial restricted fund of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach or Chabad of Tidewater, 1920 Colley Avenue of Norfolk, or Congregation Beth El, 422 Shirley Avenue Norfolk, Virginia, 23517.
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Sonya L. Fine Virginia Beach—Sonya L. Fine passed away peacefully on June 30, 2018. Sonya was predeceased by her parents, Mildred and Edward P. Levine, her beloved husband Barry, her son Nolan, and her sister Hermoine Busko, all of blessed memory Lifelong residents of Tidewater, Sonya and Barry later moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. for 16 years where they made numerous Carolina friends and could follow their Tar Heels. Sonya organized many trips with Barry, as they loved to travel all over the world. Sonya was known for her elegant taste in decorating and always put her family first on the priority list of her life. Sonya is survived by a son, Mitchell (Peggy), her grandchildren, Stacie Wilson (fiancée Gary), Morgan Zell (Ryan), Jennifer Shaw (Ryan), and Blair Fine (fiancée Ian). She is also survived by great grandchildren, Micah Zell, Gabrielle Shaw, and Madeline Shaw. May Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma always be watched over and surrounded by those beautiful angels and butterflies she loved so much. The family would like to thank the staff of First Colonial Inn and Beth Sholom Terrace where she resided over the past seven years. A private funeral service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery. H.D. Oliver. Donations to a charity of choice. Online condolences may be offered at www. hdoliver.com. Vicki Kalfus Virginia Beach—Vicki Roslyn Kalfus died July 5 in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida surrounded by family after a long battle with metastatic melanoma. Vicki was born September 23, 1943 in Childress, Texas and raised in Norfolk. She was the daughter of Jerome and Raye Cohen. She followed in her mother’s footsteps to study nursing at Mt. Sinai in Baltimore and practiced as an RN in California and Tennessee, and with Jewish Family Service in Virginia Beach. She married her husband, Abe Kalfus, 54 years ago on November 17, 1963. After time in California and Tennessee, they
moved back to Virginia Beach in 1968. Abe and Vicki raised three children and were active in the community. Vicki was an avid reader and Mah Jongg player. In recent years, Vicki enjoyed her time with her nine grandchildren during their frequent visits to Florida. Vicki is survived by her husband Abe, daughter Ingrid Edery (David) of Ft. Lauderdale, son Evan (Lori) of Virginia Beach, and son Mason (Susan) of Washington, DC. She is survived by her grandchildren Moshe, Josh, Eliana (Merric), Malka, Kaitlyn, Jack, Jeremy, Ryan, and Sadie. She also leaves behind two sisters, a brother and many nieces, nephews, and friends. A graveside service took place at Beth David Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Florida. Donations to Jewish Family Service of Tidewater or the Melanoma Research Foundation. James W. Legum Norfolk—James William “Jimmy” Legum 72, of the 600 block of W. Princess Anne Road, died June 30, 2018. Born in Norfolk, he was the son of the late Sol S. Legum and Sylvia Siegel Legum. Jimmy attended Norfolk Public Schools and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. He retired from Shoney’s Restaurant on 21st Street after 29 years. Jimmy was a member of Congregation Beth El. He was an avid sports fan; he knew all the teams and their records, and most of all, baseball. Survivors include his brother, Bertrum N. Legum and his wife, Joyce of Norfolk, and a nephew, Ross E. Legum and his wife, Anne and their children of Virginia Beach, and his many friends throughout Ghent. A graveside funeral service was conducted at B’Nai Israel Cemetery in Norfolk with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz officiating. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments. Online condolences may be sent to the family through www.hdoliver.com. Leslie Jay Levin Palm Springs, Calif— Leslie Jay Levin passed away peacefully on June 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, Calif. Jay was born on February 26, 1953 in Portsmouth, to the late Millie and Irvin
obituaries Levin. He was preceded in death by his brother, Marc F. Levin. Jay was a graduate of Churchland High School and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Jay made Norfolk his home, successfully operating his interior design business, Atlantic Coast Design. In 2013 Jay relocated to Palm Springs, where he continued to showcase his concepts of integrating art and function into his designs. Jay is survived by his loyal four-legged companion, Happy, who will be well taken care of by his partner, Chad Sain. Jay is also survived by his aunt, Ruth Ellen Myers Gans, his niece, his nephew, and many cousins. No services we held, per Jay’s request. Donations in Jay’s honor to the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, where he volunteered his time and services. Joel Mazel Columbus, OH—Joel M. Mazel of Columbus Ohio, age 54, passed away on July 1, 2018. He was preceded in death by his father, William Mazel. He is survived by his mother, Irene Mazel, his brothers, Mark (Hindi) Mazel and David (Jodi) Mazel; his wife, Alyson Leeman; daughter, Gila Mazel; step-children, Mitch and Caroline McGuire; Aunts and Uncle Trudy and Dr. Behrooz Dayanim, Adel (David) Kruger and many family members and beloved friends. Joel was an inspiration to many people, sharing his humor and wisdom with everyone he met. He was a graduate of Old Dominion University and University of Dayton Law School. He was the mashgiach for Vad HaKashrus of Tidewater and worked with the Jewish Burial Society. His generous nature and kindness provided a bright example for his community. Burial took place in Jerusalem. Contributions to Congregation B’nai Israel, 420 Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk, VA, 23517. Richard Irwin Miller Virginia Beach—Richard Irwin Miller, 87, passed away peacefully on June 24, 2018. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he lived
most of his life in Norfolk and established deep roots in our community. Dad graduated from Maury High School in 1948, and attended the University of Virginia, 1948–1954, where he participated in the ROTC program as a Jefferson Sabre. He was president of his fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, for many years. He served our country in the Army as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed in the North Pole as a Platoon Leader for a truck unit re-supplying the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line), among other duty stations. Dad was the general manager of the family-owned business Ocean View Amusement Park in Norfolk and general manager and owner of Seaside Amusement Park in Virginia Beach. He was also the owner of Delmar Propane Gas for many years and a family partner in several trailer parks. He owned and operated Cleveland Street Bingo and others and appreciated the invaluable help from Charlene Bell. Dad loved going to local sporting events. He supported many of the arts organizations in Hampton Roads, such as Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Pops, Virginia Stage Company, and Virginia International Tattoo, and he served on the statewide board of directors for the Virginia Opera. He proudly performed in three Opera performances as a Supernumerary (group scenes), including this past March with his daughter, Dorianne, in Lucia di Lammermoor. His favorite night of the week was Tuesdays, when he gathered with longtime friends for the past 40 years to play poker. He loved to travel, go to the movies, have breakfast on Sundays at Pocahontas, and you’d better not talk to him while he was watching Fox News! A born leader, Dad enjoyed his life to the fullest. He never saw an obstacle in his way; he just figured out how to fix the problem and move forward. He was the tower of strength to his extended family, always counted on for his loyalty and passion for his family. He welcomed everyone to our proverbial family table. His sense of humor constantly surprised us and made us laugh. He was the source of all knowledge and blessed all of us with his wisdom and advice. The only subject that could not be discussed peacefully was politics; in fact, he said in the hospital that it could not
be his time to go because President Trump was counting on him for his vote. Dad loved his family and friends with his whole heart. He was a loving father to his three children and their heart-broken families: Dorianne and Dan Villani, Sandi and Jack Levi, and Hank Miller; grandchildren Matthew, Katelyn, Benjamin, Kari Anne, Samantha (Kevin), Cady and Nathan; great-granddaughter Felisa. He is survived as well by his sister, Joan Greta Miller, his ladyfriend (as he called her), Thelma Oser, Wanda Shehe, who he thought of as a daughter, his dear first cousins and many friends, and his treasured grand-dog Mika. Dad was pre-deceased by his first wife and mother of his children, Hallie Cohen Miller and his second wife, Joan Barbara Miller. He was also pre-deceased by his parents, Anne and Ulysses Sam Miller. Burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery, the memorial service and continued on page 38
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obituaries continued from page 37
reception followed at Ohef Sholom Temple. Memorial donations to Virginia Opera or The Buddy Brigade Therapy Dog Program at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. Online condolences through www.hdoliver.com. Dad was doing two of the things he loved most before his last minutes: eating ice cream and spending precious time with family. We are all thankful and comforted to be left with the memory of him smiling and joking, with final hand squeezes and hugs, and exchanges of “I love you, sleep tight.” Leonard Schlain Sarasota, Fla.—Leonard Schlain, age 77, passed away after suffering a long illness on Friday, June 29 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted on June 24. Born in Norfolk, the son of Max and Fanny Schlain, he had been a resident of Sarasota, Florida for almost 20 years. A graduate of Old Dominion College, he had a career as a business executive with Monsanto, LaZ Boy, and most recently in
Sarasota with Sleep King. He was a kind, generous, and friendly man, and will be missed by everyone who knew him. He is survived by his beloved partner, Barbara Kupferberg, his brother Louis Schlain (Eydie), nephew Adam Max Schlain, devoted cousin Joyce Blumberg, and several other cousins. He will be greatly missed. Seeman Waranch Virginia Beach—Seeman Waranch, 85, passed away peacefully on July 3, 2018 in his home surrounded by his family. He was born August 11, 1932 in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Eldridge and Nellie Waranch. Seeman grew up in Richmond, Virginia and after graduating from the University of Richmond, he served in the U.S. Army on the military police force. Seeman married Doris Epstein on August 14, 1960 and shortly thereafter, started Insurance Agency of Norfolk, now known as Insco Insurance Group. Seeman was a pioneer in the insurance
industry on both local and national levels, serving as the national president of CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters) from 1981 to 1982. As an accomplished author, he co-wrote insurance textbooks for CPCU courses, and his love for insurance led him to teach college courses at Old Dominion University. In the 1980’s, Seeman’s passion for music led to his work on the weekends as a disc jockey for WTAR under the radio name Bob Warren. He loved the Dallas Cowboys and Duke basketball, but his greatest passion was his family and he is survived by his wife of 58 years, Doris, his children Lisa, Michael (Nisha) and Neil (Elizabeth), grandchildren Matthew, Blake, Lyle, Sloan, Zack and Harper, his sister, Shirley, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Seeman was predeceased by his daughter, Michele, and son in-law, Mark. The family wishes to thank Dr. Barbara Parks for her dedicated medical care. Funeral services were officiated by Cantor Jennifer Rueben graveside at
Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Ohef Sholom Temple, 530 Raleigh Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23507. Online condolences at hdoliver.com. Nancy Weissman Yacavone Virginia Beach—Nancy Weissman Yacavone, left this life at 11:55 am, July 8, 2018. She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1943 to the late Bernard and Virginia Weissman. She was a successful model, nurse, business owner, wife, and mother. Survivors include her husband of 39 years David Yacavone, her daughters, Nancy Christine, Rebecca Noel, and Briana Shestack (nee Yacavone) and her husband Adam, a stepson Jason David and three grandchildren. A service was conducted at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Laskin Road Chapel by Rabbi, Dr. Michael Panitz. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Temple Israel (Norfolk), the Memory Center of Virginia Beach or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Eliyahu Edward Rubin, brother of Rebecca Danker Rabbi Israel Zoberman
s we have celebrated the momentous 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem’s reunification during the Eliyahu Edward Rubin 1967 Six Day War), the following account is of the life and death of Eliyahu Edward Rubin, one of the fallen heroes of the 1948 War of Independence, whose ultimate sacrifice made possible Israel’s miraculous creation. Eliyahu was the brother of Tidewater’s own gifted artist Rebecca Danker, the wife of the late and much beloved Cantor Isaac Danker who served Temple Israel in Norfolk for many years. Eliyahu was two years old when he and his family immigrated from Bagdad, Iraq to then Palestine
in 1927. The family left Iraq following the killing of the paternal grandfather and his brother by home intruders. They lived in Tel Aviv before moving to nearby Ramat Gan. He studied at the renowned agricultural school Mikve Yisrael. Eliyahu chose to go there for he planned to develop the family’s parcel of orchards of 70 Dunams, which was later vandalized by Arabs. Father Solomon, scared, sold the valued land to the Kern Kaymet (JNF). Rebecca fondly recalls dancing the waltz with her beloved and lively brother who was a good dancer, as well as riding on Eliyahu’s Norton motorcycle to parties in Tel Aviv. He proudly traveled on his motorcycle throughout the country he was so attached to, telling his worried mother Victoria, “don’t worry mom, I drive between the bullets.” While Eliyahu was gone fighting, the motorcycle was parked at his home. It disappeared the day after his death since he had told a
38 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org
friend to take it in case he died, wanting to avoid his family even greater grief. An avid soccer fan of the Maccabi Tel Aviv team, he was not fortunate to witness his favorite team win the state’s cup because of military training with the Palmach. A ticket to the final match was found in his wallet upon his death. Eliyahu was an active member of the Palmach’s (the Haganah’s pre-state Special Forces) legendary Harel division under the command of no other than young Yitzhak Rabin. This group cleared the road to Jerusalem blocked by the Arabs. He distinguished himself as a bunker’s commander in Bab El Wade (Shaar Hagay) for two weeks under fire until support arrived. Eliyahu was shot on April 28, 1948 while heroically participating as a demolition expert in Jerusalem’s critical Battle of San Simon Monastery Katamon. He was killed a day short of his 22nd birthday.
His mother never fully recovered from his untimely death. Following the family’s great efforts, she was allowed to be buried upon her death in the same cemetery at Kibbutz Kiriat Anaviem near Jerusalem. The cemetery where Eliyahu and his fellow Harel soldiers are interred are honored with a special lion-shaped monument containing the photos and life histories of the fallen heroes. Six thousand young men and women including Holocaust survivors, who were Israel’s promising flowers, comprising one percent of Israel’s population in 1948, were killed in the War of Independence. Because of their bravery, the war was won against great odds. Eliyahu and all of them will never be forgotten. Their memory is an abiding blessing. Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim, served in Israel’s IDF in the early 1960’s.
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Checkered Flag Porsche 2865 Virginia Beach Blvd Virginia Beach, VA 23452 757.490.1111 checkeredflagporsche.com ÂŠ2018 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times. European model shown. Some options may not be available in the U.S.
jewishnewsva.org | July 16, 2018 | Jewish News | 39
40 | Jewish News | July 16, 2018 | jewishnewsva.org