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Bringing Israel Home INSIDE
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2 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Presbyterian Church’s narrow rejection of divestment unlikely to slow anti-Israel push by Ron Kampeas and Neil Rubin
WASHINGTON (JTA)—Proponents of using economic pressure to force Israel out of the West Bank may have lost a key battle —by a hair’s breadth—but they have no intention of giving up. That’s the message from backers of a divestment motion at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which late Thursday, July 5, rejected a proposal to divest from companies selling equipment to the Israeli military in the West Bank. The 333–331 vote, with two abstentions, at the church’s Pittsburgh gathering was the closest that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement—aimed at undermining Israel’s occupation of the West Bank—has come to a victory in a major American religious denomination. The next morning also saw the defeat, by a substantial margin—403–175—of a resolution that would have likened Israel’s West Bank presence to apartheid. But a boycott resolution targeting only products manufactured in the West Bank did pass, 457-180. Delegates also approved by a 70-vote margin a resolution supporting investment in companies that help build the West Bank economy. “We are concerned, but think it’s unproductive,” Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs says of the vote to boycott West Bank products. However, the main focus of the proceedings and their aftermath was on the divestment issue. Its Presbyterian and Jewish advocates vowed to press on. “It appears that church commission-
ers were swayed by a fear that divestment would cause irreparable harm to JewishChristian relations,” says the Rev. Katherine Cunningham, the vice-moderator of the church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IMPN), which recommended divestment. “In reality, the divestment motion was supported by a broad alliance of Jews, Christians and others who believe that nonviolent means such as divestment are an effective way to pressure the Israeli government into abiding by international law and respecting Palestinian human rights.” The IPNM “will continue its efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians and to help bring peace and justice to Israelis and Palestinians alike,” she says. A 2011 church report found that Caterpillar supplies bulldozers for the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israel Defense Forces, Motorola provides cell phone technology to West Bank settlements and Hewlett-Packard manages information technology for the Israeli Navy. The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in 2004 to approach corporations they said were aiding Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, asking them to reconsider business with the Jewish state. The effort, which held back initial calls for divestment, was reaffirmed in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Felson calls the vote against divestment a victory even though it was closer than previous votes in other religious movements. Most recently, in May, the Methodist Church defeated similar divestment proposals by a 2-to-1 margin. “This is a major milestone that despite the full-court press from the denomination’s
contents Up Front. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Jews groups and health care ruling. . . . 6 Israel and the Olympics . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 In Israel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Tips on Jewish Trips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Melton plans new classes. . . . . . . . . . 12 Election 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 TJF’s new board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Jewish Hero Award. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 First Person: NFTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Infant full care at JCC. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
JFS installs board, honors staff. . . . . . 20 JFS appreciates volunteers . . . . . . . . . 21 Stein Scholarship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 BSV annual meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Jews and pickles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Mazel Tov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Face to Face: Bill Nusbaum . . . . . . . . 34 About the cover: Photograph by Laine Mednick
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main institutions, when presented to the rank and file, divestment doesn’t fly,” says Felson, who was at the convention lobbying church leaders to tone down the resolution. While divestment is now off the table for the church, more efforts targeting Israel should be expected, says the Rev. John Wimberly, co-moderator of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. “The fact is there was an overwhelming consensus that the Palestinians are in a very bad place and we want to help them,” he says. “The anger from the pro-divestment crowd towards Israel is not over,” adds Wimberly, who opposes divestment. “As long as there are Israeli troops on the West Bank, there are going to be different ways in which that’s tackled. We don’t know what this will be, but we know it’s not going to be divestment moving forward.” A number of Jewish groups pushed hard against the divestment resolution, and more than 22,000 Jews signed a letter organized by the JCPA and the Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Action Network urging the Presbyterian delegates to reject the divestment resolution. The letter followed an earlier one signed by 1,300 rabbis and sent to the church that called on Presbyterians to deepen their “understandings of the multiple narratives in the region” and “focus on positive steps including economic development, Palestinian state building, and a return to negotiations.” Americans for Peace Now and J Street each called on the church to reject the divestment resolution, even though both groups oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Relief funds assisting Colorado fire victims As residents of Colorado Springs return to their homes following widespread wild fires, U.S. Jewish communities are raising money for relief funds. The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, in conjunction with local synagogues, community organizations and national partners, has launched the Colorado Fire Relief Fund (https://secure.ujcfederations.org/ft2/form. html?__id=25347) to help victims, firefighters, first responders and others affected by the fires. Jewish Federations have been directing donors to the Colorado Fire Relief Fund online or to send checks with the notation “Colorado Fire Relief Fund” to Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, 300 S. Dahlia, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80246. All the donations to the Colorado Fire Relief Fund will go to directly combat the fire and help victims. There will be no administrative fees taken out of these funds, according to a Jewish Federations of North America statement. Chabad-Lubavitch of Colorado Springs also has set up a relief fund at www.thejewishflame. com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1895116/ jewish/Fire-Relief-Fund.htm. (JTA) Senate affirms commitment to Israeli military’s qualitative edge The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that reaffirms U.S. security commitments to Israel. More specifically, the measure says that the U.S. will provide Israel with the capabilities to preserve its military’s qualitative edge, expand military and civilian cooperation, and encourage Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the state of the Jewish people. The Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent last month. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) authored the legislation, which had 69 co-sponsors. In a joint news release, the bill’s authors praised the bipartisanship of the Senate to expeditiously pass the legislation. Boxer said that the bill “reaffirms the important bond between the United States and Israel, and helps ensure that Israel has the necessary tools to defend itself in this time of dynamic change in the Middle East.” Isakson added that the quick and unanimous passage of the bill demonstrates the “strong, unwavering commitment to Israel and its security and self-defense” by the United States. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed companion legislation that was spon-
sored by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) by a bipartisan vote of 411-2. The bill will now be reconciled by both houses of Congress in a conference committee before moving to President Obama for his signature. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbied for both pieces of legislation during its annual policy conference in March and praised the Senate bill’s passage. “As the United States faces an increasingly dangerous environment in the Middle East—the mounting threat posed by Iran, instability in Syria and the strengthening of the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, whose reach stretches into the Western Hemisphere—now is the time to enhance our strategic cooperation with our stable, democratic ally Israel,” AIPAC said in a news statement. (JTA)
1,800 rally in South Africa for Israel Nearly 2,000 people rallied in support of Israel in two South African cities. Demonstrators in Pretoria on June 28 and Cape Town the next day protested against the government’s announcement that products originating from Palestiniancontrolled areas of the West Bank will be labeled as such, and not as Israeli products. The gatherings included large numbers of South African Jews and Christians. A thousand people, including Zulu leaders, marched in Pretoria, while 800 gathered in front of the South African Parliament in Cape Town. (JTA) Peter Madoff pleads guilty in brother’s Ponzi scheme Peter Madoff pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the Ponzi scheme operated by his older brother Bernard Madoff. Peter Madoff, 66, chief compliance officer for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities firm, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and falsifying records. He accepted a 10-year prison term and agreed to forfeit all of his assets. He surrendered himself at his lawyer’s office in Manhattan. Madoff’’s voice broke at times as he offered an apology in court. “I want to apologize to anyone who was harmed and to my family,” Madoff said, who offered that he was “shocked” when his brother revealed that the securities firm had been a massive hoax. Peter Madoff is the eighth person to plead guilty to criminal charges in the government’s investigation into the collapse of the securities firm since December 2008.
4 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Numerous Jewish foundations and individuals had invested with the firm. Among the victims were Hadassah, the American Jewish Congress and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in a North Carolina federal prison for crimes associated with the Ponzi scheme. Also last month, former Madoff money manager J. Ezra Merkin agreed to turn over $405 million to duped investors in the scheme; the first settlement resulting from government action against Merkin. (JTA)
Hitler ordered protection for his Jewish army commander, newspaper reports Adolf Hitler ordered that the Jewish commander of his army unit during World War I not be persecuted or deported, a German-Jewish publication reported. Susanne Mauss, editor of the Jewish Voice from Germany, found an August 1940 note of the Gestapo ordering that Ernst Hess, a former judge, not be persecuted or deported following an order from the Reich Chancellery. The letter was written by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazis’ feared secret police. “Hess had the luck of being personally ‘pardoned’ by the mass killer Hitler, whose officials fulfilled his order with the same efficiency they executed their master’s mass murder decisions,” Mauss wrote. “Hess’ exemption only lasted until 1942, when at the Wannsee Conference the murder of the European Jews was codified. Hess survived thanks to his ‘mixed marriage’ with his gentile wife. His sister was murdered by the Nazis, as were millions of others.” Mauss interviewed Hess’ 86-year-old daughter, Ursula, who lives in Germany. The letter was found in official archives containing files the Gestapo kept on Jewish lawyers and judges. Mauss said its authenticity is corroborated by other documents, including one by Ursula Hess. Hess had been a highly decorated soldier during World War I, but by 1936 had lost his job as a judge and been assaulted by Nazi soldiers. In June of that year Hess wrote to Hitler and asked that he and his daughter be exempt from the anti-Jewish laws, citing that he had been brought up Protestant and served his country. “For us, it is a kind of spiritual death to now be branded as Jews and exposed to general contempt,” he wrote. The family moved to Italy but was forced to return in 1939. Hess later was deported to Milbertshofen, a Nazi labor camp for Jews near Munich. In 1946, Hess became an executive with
the Reichsbahn national railways. He died in Frankfurt in 1983 at the age of 93. (JTA)
Instant Heart Attack sandwich can stay on N.Y. deli’s menu Warm up the defibrillator, the Instant Heart Attack Sandwich has life at New York’s 2nd Avenue Deli. A U.S. District Court Judge in Manhattan ruled that the sandwich cannot be confused with the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas and thus the deli can keep the sandwich—two latkes stuffed with corned beef, pastrami, salami or turkey—on the menu. Judge Paul Engelmayer also said the deli can introduce the Triple Bypass sandwich— three stuffed latkes—noting it would not be confused with one from the Heart Attack Grill, which sells giant cheeseburgers. The deli is limited to using the names only in Manhattan. In May 2011, the Heart Attack Grill warned the 2nd Avenue Deli to cease serving its Instant Heart Attack Sandwich or be hauled into court for trademark violation. (JTA) Virginia Holocaust Museum ousts chief Jay Ipson The Virginia Holocaust Museum ousted its executive director and president, Jay Ipson. Ipson, 77, a co-founder of the Richmond museum in 2003, said he believes that he was ousted for criticizing insurance companies for denying claims sought by Holocaust survivors, according to multiple news reports. Ipson is a Holocaust survivor. He was succeeded by Simon Sibelman, the museum’s assistant executive director. Ipson said he apologized in April for “errors in research and judgment” in a newsletter piece about survivors’ efforts to seek restitution from the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Ipson wrote that he feared he had created the impression that Randolph Bell, a museum board member and a former special envoy for Holocaust issues for the U.S. State Department, was possibly responsible for impeding restitution. He did not name Bell in the piece. Museum board chairman Marcus Weinstein did not comment on Ipson’s allegations, WTVR-TV in Richmond reported. “I was hoping to retire on my own, when I could no longer carry myself,” Ipson said, according to WTVR. A Facebook page, Jay Must Stay, “Dedicated to stop the forced exit of Jay Ipson, one of three founders of Richmond’s own Virginia Holocaust Museum,” has more than 1,200 “likes.” (JTA)
The Ninth of Av and American cultural llinders
e are now in a period of time known as “the three weeks” ( the Yiddish expression, drei vochen, may be familiar to some readers). This refers to the three weeks between the 17th day of the month of Tammuz and the ninth day of the following month, ‘Av. It is a sad time, commemorating the final three weeks of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. The Romans breached the walls of the city on the first of those dates, and three weeks later, they overcame the last, desperate Jewish resistance in the city and the Temple precincts, burning down the Jerusalem Temple. What kind of narrative is this history? The answer is obvious, but inconvenient. The Temple was destroyed and has not since been rebuilt, not even in the past 45 years, with Jews finally in control of the Temple Mount, for the first time since the year 70. Therefore, this is either a story with a sad ending, or at least, a story whose future, Messianic ending has not yet been written—but it is not a story with a happy ending yet. As such, it runs against a very strong American cultural prejudice. We like happy endings. Consider the following stock plots from our popular culture: Harry weds Sally, after two and a half acts of mishaps, misunderstandings and misanthropic opponents. The hero successfully lands the stricken aircraft, or rescues the passengers at the last moment before it crashes. Doctor House diagnoses the mysterious malady at the 54 minute mark of the television hour. Now, that is an American taste in fiction, and certainly, part of cultural diversity is differing tastes in how to end a story. (Chinese and Russian stories have sad endings far more often.) But our generation is losing its sense of the difference between fiction and fact. We are so overtaken with virtual reality in our entertainment, and so addicted to entertainment even in the
serious moments of life, that we know the fictional take on history better than history itself; and certainly we respond to it more energetically. History—the real doings, of real people—does not always give us happy endings. People suffer losses and do not always recover fully. Communities flourish for a time, but also fade. Nations pass from moments of greatness to long stretches of mediocrity. The glories of the Pharaohs, of the Classical Greeks, of the world-bestriding Romans, of the Chinese emperors, rulers of a quarter of the earth’s population; the more modern fame of the British empire, on which the sun never set, of the “Workers’ Paradise” set up in the Soviet Union—all these are gone, like the various adversaries of the little goat in the Passover “chad gadya” song. Judaism teaches us that the best days are not the “good old days.” Yes, we yearn for the time when “every man sat under his vine, and under his fig tree,” but we know that the past has seen much oppression, as well as the satisfactions of tradition. The true golden age for Judaism is in the future, “when the knowledge of the LORD shall be universal, as the waters cover the seabed.” To work seriously for a better tomorrow means, initially, to be honest about the past and the present. We need to mourn the real losses commemorated by the “Three Weeks.” It does no good to put them before the “but” in the sentences we construct about our history. The Holocaust is not somehow “made all right” when we end the sentence, “but after three more years, the State of Israel came into existence.” The loss of Jewish independence in the year 70 was not the hidden blessing of God sowing us throughout the nations to teach them ethical monotheism. It is true that we can react to losses in such a way as to bring forth blessing, but that does not somehow “make it all better.” After the 9th of Av, we begin counting the “Seven Weeks of Consolation,” leading to the New Year, Rosh Hashanah—which is, itself, a precursor to the Day of Final Judgment. The way to move forward from destruction and loss is neither to forget, nor to romanticize, the harshness of our experience, but rather, to live by the timeless values of Judaism, so that tomorrow will see a world somewhat more perfected, by virtue of our efforts of tikkun ha-olam. —Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 5
Jewish groups largely applaud health care ruling by Zach Silberman
WASHINGTON (JTA)—American Jewish groups—with the notable exception of the Republican Jewish Coalition—were largely satisfied with the U.S. Supreme Court’s vote to uphold President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act in a 5–4 vote. Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council for Jewish Women, is “thrilled” with the decision. “As a Jewish woman who believes strongly that comprehensive, quality affordable health care is essential to women’s well-being and their health and their economic security, this is a terrific outcome,” Kaufman says. However, Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, emphasizes that the law’s “negative effects…on the economy, on jobs, on medical research and development, and on the quality of health care in America are very troubling.” He adds, “The American people will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the wisdom of Obamacare in this election year.”
The high court upheld the most controversial portion of the law, ruling that the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty was constitutional. It also indicated that the individual mandate of requiring Americans to buy insurance was constitutional as a tax. That mandate does not go into effect until 2014. However, the court ruled that the provision forcing states to expand eligibility in their Medicaid programs was unconstitutional. It said the federal government cannot threaten to remove Medicaid funding from states that do not participate in expanding Medicaid eligibility. Many observers were surprised that Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, joined the court’s liberal wing, voting with Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in upholding the law. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voted in the minority. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, says he is “elated” with the ruling.
6 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Reform congregations, he says, have been “at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of health insurance reform in their states and at the national level.” He cited Maimonides, noting that the medieval scholar “placed health care first on his list of the 10 most important communal services that a city should offer its residents.” Rabbis Julie Schonfeld and Gerry Skolnik, the executive vice president and president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, said in a statement that the decision puts the country “significantly forward on a moral path, and the members of the Rabbinical Assembly will continue to promote a system of health care that is inclusive, affordable, accessible and accountable.” Rabbis for Human Rights-North America also applaud the decision, saying in a statement that “it is our moral duty to provide health care for all.”
Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, offers a personal remembrance of when he was a child and his father lost his job, “and my family was afraid we might not be able to afford health insurance.” “Today’s ruling means that millions of families will never again have to endure this kind of fear,” van Capelle says. Some Jewish organizations focused on what they said was genderbased discrimination by health insurance companies. They claim that some companies charged higher rates for women. With that in mind, NCJW supported the Affordable Care Act provisions that assisted women with affordable preventive services and ended gender-based discrimination by health insurance plans. The law also allows for preventive services for women such as mammograms and prenatal screenings without co-pays. Marcie Natan, the national president of Hadassah, says that her organization “recognizes that lack of coverage compromises the health and economic well-being of millions of uninsured individuals, as well as our nation as a whole.” Likewise, Mark Olshan, associate executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, says, “We have long supported a comprehensive health care reform and we were obviously quite pleased that it came out this way.” Going forward, various Jewish organizations will focus their advocacy efforts on implementation issues. Kaufman says that NCJW will continue to ensure that the government implements the law. “Obviously we’re going to be monitoring this very closely and ensuring that the law of the land is upheld,” Kaufman says. David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, emphasizes that the decision will play well with American Jews for President Obama in the 2012 presidential election. “The American Jewish community is clearly supportive of so much of Obamacare, just as a broad majority of Jews support President Obama’s domestic agenda,” Harris says. He sats the court’s decision “will remind Americans and American Jews why they’ve supported the president all along.”
comprehensive health care reform
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Israel’s Olympians heading to London thinking medals, remembering slain countrymen by Ben Sales
TEL AVIV (JTA) – Israelis and their Summer Olympics athletes are eyeing the upcoming London Games with excitement and disappointment. The athletes are hoping that for the sixth straight summer Games, at least one of them will come home with a medal. Yet they are well aware that the International Olympics Committee has again spurned the campaign to have a moment of silence for their counterparts slain 40 years ago at the Munich Games. The London Games, which begin July 27, will have 38 Israeli Olympians participating in 18 events. Their top medal hopefuls are in judo, sailing and gymnastics. This year’s delegation features two bronze medalists—windsurfer Shahar Tzuberi, from Beijing in 2008, and judoka Ariel Ze’evi, from Athens in 2004. “I’m very calm, but there’s still time” before the Olympics, says Ze’evi, who at 35 is the team’s oldest member. “We don’t prepare for failure.” The Israeli squad, which is scheduled to arrive at the Olympics complex on July 10, also is preparing for some somber moments in London. Team members will participate in a public memorial ceremony on Aug. 6 for the 11 Israelis killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The IOC has resisted calls for a minute of silence for the victims despite an online petition with nearly 90,000 signatures and the urging of the U.S. Senate, as well as
Australian, Canadian, British and German lawmakers. Israeli delegation head Efraim Zinger says the IOC is “obligated” to remember the Munich 11 as “athletes and Olympians.” Other than the day after the murders, the IOC has never held a formal moment of silence for the slain Israelis. IOC officials have participated in Jewish community events surrounding various Olympic Games since the tragedy. The London Games also mark the 60th year since Israel’s first Olympic appearance, in Helsinki, Finland. It took another 40 years for an Israeli to win a medal, but since 1992 the delegation has taken home at least one medal, including three each in judo and windsurfing, and one in kayaking. This year, the team hopes to add a fourth sport to the list. Zinger also would like to see an Israeli woman stand on the podium for the first time since the country’s first-ever medal in ‘92, when judoka Yael Arad took the silver. Nearly half of this year’s delegation is female. “Because of the work we did in the past few years, all of our athletes are better,” Zinger says, noting particularly the gymnastics team as a potential medal winner. He says he is hopeful for at least one more medal in judo or sailing. Leading the gymnastics efforts will be all-around gymnast Alex Shatilov, who finished eighth in the last Olympics in the floor exercise and won the silver at the 2011 world championships. Also last year, the six-member women’s rhythmic gym-
Financing as low as
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nastics team took bronze in the world championships. All of the rhythmic team’s members are under 22. Another hope for Israel’s first female medalist in 20 years comes in what may be Israel’s best Olympic sport—judo. Alice Schlesinger, 24, did not medal in Beijing but has since won three bronzes—in the 2009 world championships, and in the 2009 and 2012 European championships. Schlesinger says she hopes to “go home in peace” from London. “Like everyone else I want a medal, but I want to enjoy it.” Typically, the Israeli team has a strong international flavor. Several of the athletes were born in the Soviet Union, and two
were born and raised in the United States— pole vaulter Jillian Schwartz and 400-meter sprinter Donald Sanford. Schwartz connected with Israel after competing in Israel in 2009, while Sanford, who is not Jewish, married an Israeli and lives part of the year on her family’s kibbutz. Both are now Israeli citizens. For his part, Sanford seems to have settled in well with his new Israeli family. “Her ima, her abba and her savta live 400 meters from where we live,” says Sanford, using the Hebrew words for his wife’s mother, father and grandmother. “We see them every day.”
jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 7
New biking trail in northern Israel
eren Kayemeth LeIsrael KKL-JNF and the Misgav Regional Council recently held an inauguration ceremony for a new hiking and biking trail near the KKL-JNF Australia Park at the Segev Forest. The trail is part of a biking trail project developed by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael KKL-JNF.
The circular bicycle path is 13 km long and 735 meters high with a moderate
level of difficulty for bikers. Parts of the track were built with volunteer groups from the Misgav communities, while most of it was constructed by an outside contractor. Segev Forest is an example of a community forest; the public was very involved in the process after characterizing their needs, from bicycle trails to jogging and walking paths. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael KKL-JNF is playing a leading role in encouraging and facilitating cycling in Israel. It has developed bicycle trails in the KKL-JNF forests and open spaces as part of its policy to promote a sustainable and mutu-
ally-beneficial bond between humans and nature. KKL-JNFâ€™s bicycle trails meet the needs of all sections of the public.
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Photographs byRonen Golan
Israeli nature reserve designated as UNESCO site TEL AVIV (JTA)—UNESCO voted to designate a nature reserve in northern Israel as a World Heritage Site. The culture and science arm of the United Nations gave the Nahal Me’arot and Carmel Caves Nature Reserve the distinction last month. Located near the northern port city of Haifa, the nature reserve is the site of a group of prehistoric caves where early humans lived for millennia. Israel has seven other World Heritage Sites, including Jerusalem’s Old City and Masada. Also, UNESCO named the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem a World Heritage Site and listed it in Palestine, a decision that drew criticism from the United States.
Romney to visit Israel WASHINGTON (JTA)—Mitt Romney will visit Israel during the presidential campaign. A campaign official confirmed a New York Times report that the all-but-certain Republican presidential candidate will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other top officials later this summer. The Times quoted Ron Dermer, a top adviser to Netanyahu, as saying that Romney is a “strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him.” Romney has said that his first foreign visit as president would be to Israel. Barack Obama visited Israel as a candidate in 2008, but has not visited as president. The former Massachusetts governor has faulted Obama for not making more clear to Iran that it could face military consequences if it does not stand down from its suspected nuclear program and for calling on Israel to negotiate based on the 1967 lines. Obama’s support among Jewish voters remains in the low 60s, about 15 percentage points ahead of the general population, but below the sky-high approval ratings at the outset of his presidency. Pollsters attribute the drop mostly to the economy, which dogs Obama among the general population as well. Obama’s campaign has been emphasizing the closeness of the U.S.-Israel military relationship, noting that in October, Israel and the United States will stage the largestever joint anti-missile exercise.
Steel-strength and green plastics Tel Aviv University researcher develops durable plastic that may replace metals Tel Aviv—As landfills overflow with discarded plastics, scientists have been working to produce a biodegradable alternative to reduce pollution. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher is giving the quest for environmentally friendly plastics an entirely new dimension—by making them tougher than ever before. Prof. Moshe Kol of TAU’s School of Chemistry is developing a super-strength polypropylene—one of the world’s most commonly used plastics—that has the potential to replace steel and other materials used in everyday products. This could have a long-term impact on many industries, including car manufacturing, in which plastic parts could replace metallic car parts. Durable plastics consume less energy during the production process, explains Kol. If polypropylene car parts replaced traditional steel, cars would be lighter overall and consume less fuel. Since the material is cheap, plastic could provide a much more affordable manufacturing alternative. His research has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Better building blocks Although a promising field of research, biodegradable plastics have not yet been able to mimic the durability and resilience of common, non-biodegradable plastics like polypropylene. Kol believes that the answer could lie in the catalysts, the chemicals that enable their production. Kol and his team of researchers have succeeded in developing a new catalyst for the polypropylene production process, ultimately producing the strongest version of the plastic that has been created to date. Using resources more efficiently By 2020, the consumption of plastics is estimated to reach 200 million tons a year. Kol says that because traditional plastics aren’t considered green, it’s important to think creatively to develop this material, which has become a staple of daily life, with the least amount of harm to the environment. Cheaper and more efficient to produce in terms of energy consumption, as well as non-toxic, Kol’s polypropylene
is good news for green manufacturing and could revolutionize the industry. The durability of the plastic results in products that require less maintenance—and a much longer life for parts made from the plastic. Beyond car parts, Prof. Kol envisions a number of uses for this and related plastics, including water pipes, which he says could ultimately conserve water use. Drinking water for the home is traditionally carried by steel and cement pipes. Susceptible to leakage, these pipes lead to waste and therefore higher water bills. They are also very heavy, so replacing them can be a major, expensive operation. “Plastic pipes require far fewer raw materials, weighing 10 times less than steel and 100 times less than cement. Reduced leaking means more efficient water use and better water quality,” Kol says. Replacing steel water pipes by those made of plastic is becoming more common, and the production of plastics with even greater strength and durability will make this transition even more environmentally-friendly.
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Dead Sea Scrolls a trip back in time at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute
Outside the Franklin Institute. by Terri Denison
n our way to take our daughter to camp, my family stopped in Philadelphia to visit relatives. As a bonus, we went to the Franklin Institute to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. In 1947, a young Bedouin boy came across a hidden cave along the shore of the Dead Sea. Inside were ancient scrolls not seen for some 2,000 years. After years of excavations, archeologists found 972 preserved scrolls, including the earliest Biblical texts ever discovered. These are the Dead Sea Scrolls, called the most significant archaeological find of the last century. The Franklin Institute’s Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times features 20 scrolls, displayed 10 at a time, including the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible and four never-before-seen scrolls, as
Urns from 1,200 BCE.
well as more than 600 items…objects from everyday life, more than 2,000 years ago. “Everything in the exhibit is Real, Real, Real,” our guide told our group. “There are no replicas.” The tour, really a multi-media experience, begins every 30 minutes in a dimly lit room. A guide explains how the exhibit is set-up, what to expect, what to do and not do. When the guide stops her explanations, a woman chants Hebrew, as if calling the visitors to the time and place of the writing of the scrolls. Next, we were directed through a series of halls, where a time-line took us back through the centuries to our second destination: a rather large room, where we were surrounded by sand and large screens on which videos of the Qumran Caves, where the scrolls were found, the sun rising and setting over the Dead Sea and archeolgists working are shown. A live actor tells the story of the discovery, moving between the screens and describing the huge urns in the room. We were then free to wander through the other halls and rooms to view these fascinating artifacts, some grouped as in a home, others displayed museumstyle. Included in
10 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Actor/Guide in front of video.
Display of some of the 600 artifacts.
the collection are artifacts such as the limestone capitals used in the architecture of the administrative centers during the first temple period (1006-586 BCE); artifacts from Jerusalem’s City of David, limestone Ossuaries from the early Roman period, a bathtub, and an ancient signature preserved for millennia on the Archer Seal. Created by the IAA, from the collections of the Israel National Treasures, the exhibit at The Franklin Institute runs through Oct. 14, 2012.
The experience is definitely worth the time, worth the drive (just over five hours from Tidewater) and the cost of admission. Plus, the rest of the museum, while primarily geared for children, is fun, interactive, and offers plenty to learn. Admission is $31.50 for adults; $25 for children 3–11 and includes admission to the museum. Go to http://www.fi.edu/scrolls/ for more information. Photographs by Steve Budman
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George Washington letter to American Jews goes on display
he 1790 letter written by President George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I., is going on display at Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History. The letter, which has been out of the public eye for a decade, is part of the museum’s new exhibit, No Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom, which opened last month. Regarded as Washington’s most eloquent statement on religious liberty, the letter has America’s first president pledge to uphold the Constitution’s offer of “invaluable rights of free citizens.” It also affirmed rights and privileges generally unknown to Jews elsewhere at the time. “It is artifacts such as these which enable us to broaden our reach as an institution beyond the Jewish community—to be a destination for showcasing pieces of history both profoundly relevant and fascinating to all Americans and all visitors to Philadelphia,” says Ivy Barsky, the museum’s
director and incoming CEO. An array of documents, publications and portraits are also part of the exhibit, which highlights the establishment of religious freedom in the United States. The privately owned Washington letter was on view for many years at the Klutznick Museum at B’nai B’rith International’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. When B’nai Brith relocated in 2002, the letter was put into storage. The letter is on a three-year loan from its owner, the Morris Morgenstern Foundation. Several institutions, including the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Library of Congress, have tried for years to pry the letter away, according to the Forward. B’nai B’rith claimed that its hands were tied by the Morgenstern Foundation, which would not allow the letter to be moved, the Forward reported. Forward reporter Paul Berger and editor Jane Eisner were part of the campaign to return the letter to public view. (JTA)
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Jewish brothers in remote places by Andy Rabiner
recently visited Mumbai, India for business. I had never been to India and was not quite sure what to expect. During some down time, I took an organized tour of the city to see what Mumbai was all about. As we started, the guide reviewed the tour itinerary while showing me a city map. I noticed a synagogue listed on the map. Slightly hesitant, not knowing the climate towards Jews in India, I asked if we might be able to work the synagogue into the tour. The guide asked if I was Jewish, which I acknowledged, and he became very excited and proceeded to tell me that there was not just one, but two synagogues in town, the Ben Israeli (originally from Israel) and the Ben Baghdadi (from Baghdad, Iraq) congregations. Interestingly, I learned that Indian Jews use biblical first and middle names and a traditional Indian last name (e.g. Abraham Benjamin Mendrekar). The guide also informed me of Jews’ long history in India, dating to when they fled the persecution of the Inquisition. We went to both synagogues, but could only go inside the Ben Israeli synagogue.
To my amazement, some Indian congregants (wearing kippot) walked by me and said “Ma nishma?” Luckily I knew a few basics and responded “Kol b’seder.” That interaction really blew my mind. Being literally halfway around the world in a remote city, I felt a strong sense of connection to my heritage. The synagogue was more than 126 years old, and the sanctuary was beautiful. It had a typical Sephardic setup, with the pulpit in the center of the room and a separate section for women. The handcrafted woodwork around the ark was exquisite, and the old Torah scrolls and their cases were a sight to be seen. The main prayer book sitting on the pulpit looked like an antique and was probably more than 100 years old, but was still being used. Overall, this was an unexpected surprise and a very enlightening experience for me. I look forward to exploring additional information and learning more about the Jews of India. (To see photos, go to Temple Israel’s Facebook page.) —Andy Rabiner is vice president of administration at Temple Israel.
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First Year Class Wednesdays for 30 weeks, begins Oct. 17, 6:30-8:45 pm Rhythms of Jewish Living This course studies the patterns of Jewish observances concentrating on holidays and life cycle events. Purposes of Jewish Living This course teaches essential Jewish concepts as they unfold in the Bible, Talmud and other sacred texts. SECOND YEAR CLASS Tuesdays for 30 weeks, begins Oct. 16, 9:30 am–12:00 noon Ethics of Jewish Living This course studies issues of ethics and morality involving business ethics, interpersonal relationships and relationships to God through a close study of classical Jewish literature and discussion. Dramas of Jewish Living Highlights of Jewish history are studied through texts which help the student better understand the broad issues of Jewish history.
Graduate Melton Tuesdays, 10:30 am—12:00 noon American Jewish History Through Film 10 weeks, begins Oct. 16 Tuesdays with Morey Dates to be determined A satellite course with Rabbi Morey Schwartz (Curriculum Coordinator for the International Mini-School) who will teach from Israel as students are in a classroom at the Sandler Family Campus. Course on Jewish Women Dates to be determined Graduate Melton Wednesdays, 6:30-8 pm Jewish Denominations: Addressing the Challenges of Modernity 10-15 weeks, begins Oct. 17 Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israel Conflict 10-12 weeks, dates to be determined For questions and further information, contact Miriam Brunn Ruberg email@example.com or 321-2328.
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Kantor’s, says Melton “was an eye opening experience. You think you know about your religion, but realize how much history there is to learn about our people. I really enjoyed learning through the teachers, the texts, and the discussions with other classmates.” “The curriculum is comprehensive, and nondenominational, and helped fill in the many gaps in my Jewish education,” says Tabakin. “The class was structured in a participatory, nonthreatening learning environment where students learned from each other’s experiences, as well as from the instructor. The best part of the Melton experience was the bonds that I formed with my classmates. A Friends of Melton/ Alumni Association is planned to launch soon. A group of Melton alumni and students are currently discussing how to ensure the future vitality of the school including raising funds for scholarships and other needs. For more information about scholarships and classes, contact Miriam Brunn Ruberg at the JCC 321-2328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Melton Mini School was a wonderful educational experience for me,” says Kevin Tabakin, a 2006 graduate of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. Sponsored by the Jewish Life and Learning Department of the Simon Family JCC, a new first year class of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School is planned for this fall. The class will begin on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 17 for 30 weeks through May for each of two years. Limited scholarships are available. The Melton MiniSchool’s 10th class graduated in June. Open to adults of all Jewish religious affiliations and all levels of Jewish knowledge, the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School provides an opportunity for participants to increase their Jewish literacy by studying various Jewish texts in a classroom geared to interactive discussion. Since it is non-denominational, it does not promote one “movement “or Jewish perspective over another. Jerry Kantor, a 2010 graduate, particularly enjoyed the open and frank discussions in the class. “Melton helped me to learn how much I didn’t know and still don’t know,” he says. “It truly motivated me to keep learning. When I think back on my twoyear experience, it’s the class discussions which, led carefully by our excellent instructors, were tremendously enriching.” Jody Laibstain, a classmate of Rabbi Michael Panitz with students.
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A Melton graduate reflects Excerpts from Anne Weimar’s speech for Melton graduation, Year Two, June, 2012 When my family moved to America five years ago, I heard someone say: “All good things must come to an end.” And I frowned…and felt terribly sad. Well, anyway, Melton has—at least to me— come to an end. Not because I don’t want to study here anymore, but because we are moving back to Copenhagen in Denmark this fall. I am therefore truly no longer just the wondering Jew; I am also a wandering Jew. But boy—what a ride Melton has been! Honestly I had no idea it would so much fun. Nor would I have expected to enjoy the teachings as much as I have enjoyed the discussions in the classes. But I have a confession to make. I did not only take the Melton classes to gain more insights about Jewish life through time. I was also there, as a cultural spy trying to figure out, what it would mean to live a Jewish life in America today? And I have not been disappointed. For those of you who are not entirely familiar with the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School in Virginia Beach, I can tell you that we are a group of curious, VERY talkative, enthusiastic people, men and women, within the age range of 30-something up to 70 who have been studying Jewish life from all possible angles. We have gone through a rather comprehensive curriculum, but with the luxury of being “served huge dishes of well-prepared lectures” that we didn’t have to prepare for. Our teachers, always loaded with information and questions that sometimes almost knocked our shoes off, like when one rabbi asked us “did God create us or did we create God?” We could have been dragged though endless boring lectures
—but instead we were guided though a landscape of vibrant, sad, happy, complex, inspiring ways of looking at Jewish life from historical, ethical and dramatic perspectives. And as a student once commented —“It is as if the questions are sometimes more interesting and important than the answers.” There is a saying—you ask two Jews about their opinion, you get three answers. You ask our class—and you get 2,000 answers. To me that is Judaism in a nutshell. Melton has more than anything proved to me, that keeping Judaism alive is hard work, a lot of love, a lot of studying, and a strong commitment. But as long as we strive to develop, to adjust, to stay loyal to the core of Judaism, even if that is a very debatable issue, I think every study group, discussion, reflection on Judaism is what keeps our faith and our culture relevant even today. You might wonder ”Why even bother to go into such depth about Judaism, that it would occupy a good chunk of your Wednesday evenings for two years?” Well, in fact I think we have all experienced more than one epiphany during this course. And that is not necessarily meant in a strictly religious way. We have laughed, been sorrowful, reflected, discussed passionately, sighed, shared thoughts, ideas, agreed to disagree in a friendly way. Some of us have become more observant Jews, but I think we can all say that Melton has been a privilege to be a part of —an intellectual and spiritual journey that we hope will continue for years to come. I am truly grateful. I feel rich knowing that this good thing might have come to end for me here in the States. But as a Jew, it has been a new beginning.
Polish orchestra named for Israel Philharmonic founder
Polish orchestra is being named for Bronislaw Huberman, founder of The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The Czestochowa City Council said the Philharmonic Orchestra in the southern Poland city will be named for the renowned violionist, who was born there. An official ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 3, when the orchestra’s refurbished concert hall will be rededicated. Huberman, a child prodigy, founded the Palestine Orchestra, the forerunner of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in 1936. In doing so, he reportedly saved 75 Jewish musicians from the Nazis, supplying them with immigration documents and the money to move to what was then Palestine. Huberman died in 1947.(JTA)
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Jewish Dems’ call on GOP to cut off Adelson’s giving revives civility talk by Ron Kampeas
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WASHINGTON (JTA)—Sheldon Adelson, whose cash and rhetoric has hit candidates hard this election cycle, just got swiped himself. The National Jewish Democratic Council wants Republicans, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, to stop taking “dirty money” from Adelson because of allegations surrounding his lucrative casino properties in Macau, China. The “dirty money” jibe, in turn, has seen the NJDC slammed with charges of “dirty politics,” and not just from Republicans. Prominent civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz and the Anti-
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Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman also have called on the Jewish Democratic group to stand down. Adelson, who was a major backer of Newt Gingrich’s failed GOP presidential campaign, has given tens of millions of dollars this year to conservative SuperPACs, political action committees permitted by law to raise limitless amounts of money but which may not work directly with a candidate. The NJDC call followed revelations earlier this month of allegations in a lawsuit filed by Steven Jacobs, a casino executive who was fired by Adelson in 2010, claiming that Adelson approved of allowing prostitutes to operate in his Macau casinos. In a petition drive sent to its supporters, the NJDC suggested that the prostitution allegation was part of a pattern of bad behavior by Adelson. The NJDC will not release the number of signatures, but the petition likely will be sent to the Republican Party and the Romney campaign, according to David Harris, the Democratic group’s president and CEO. “It’s well known that Adelson makes tremendous sums of money through his casinos in China which—according to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (AZ)—means that Chinese ‘foreign money’ (to quote McCain) is flooding our political system,” the petition says. “But this week, reports surfaced that in addition to his anti-union and allegedly corrupt business practices, Adelson ‘personally approved’ of prostitution in his Macau casinos.” Adelson’s spokesman did not return a request for comment for this article. Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, says the NJDC’s call was “disgusting” because it was based on allegations in a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled ex-employee. “Setting aside their partisan agenda, the NJDC should be ashamed of itself for attacking someone who has done more for the Jewish community and Jewish philanthropy than anyone in recent history,” Brooks says, citing Adelson’s major con-
ELECTION 2012 tributions to the Birthright Israel program that brings Jewish youth to Israel, and to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum. Adelson is a multimillion-dollar donor to both efforts, and also is a major backer of the RJC. “If this is proven to be nothing more than rantings of an employee in legal battle, NJDC is going to have a lot of egg on its face,” Brooks adds. “If they were truly mensches about it, they would wait until it is adjudicated.” Dershowitz, who points out in his column that he is a Democrat, and Foxman, also weighed in. “Harris has apparently credited this claim even though no evidence has been submitted to support it and no finding has been made by any court,” Dershowitz wrote in a column cross-posted on the Huffington Post and The Jerusalem Post. “Has he never heard of ‘due process’ or the ‘presumption of innocence?’ ” Foxman likened the attack to those in 2010 on a major Democratic funder, George Soros, who is Jewish and had been falsely accused of being a “collaborator” during the Holocaust against evidence that he had endured it as a youngster forced into a false identity. “I was flabbergasted,” says Foxman, who reached out to news outlets, including JTA, after reading of the NJDC petition. “We knew that this campaign would get somewhat extreme, but for the Jewish element in the Democratic Party to resort to character assassination I think is pretty sad.” Adelson is not a stranger to being on both sides of tough attacks that border on the personal. His money helped to keep alive for several months Gingrich’s recent presidential campaign and funded attack ads that depicted Romney as out of touch with the needs of working people. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have pledged to do the same for Romney in his battle against President Obama. In March, in an impromptu address to
a session at TribeFest, a Jewish Federations of North America event for Jewish youth held in Las Vegas at the Adelson-owned Venetian, Adelson shocked some attendees by mocking Obama and likening the president to a baby, according to several of those present. Harris says the charges in the NJDC petition were fair because he says they were based on a “pattern” of allegations, although none have yet to be proven. Adelson is under federal investigation for bribing Chinese officials. Harris acknowledges Adelson’s good works. “One can do something good and bad; this shouldn’t be incomprehensible,” he says. He dismisses charges of character assassination, noting efforts by the RJC and others to depict Obama as implacably hostile to Israel, as opposed to delineating differences on policy between two candidates who otherwise favor a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. “None of this is couched in terms of disagreement on policy,” Harris says. “It is couched in personally the most hateful ways towards these people.” He notes that Brooks in a blog post last year wrote that “members of the President’s inner circle seethe with antagonism toward Israel’s democratically elected leader.” At the time, Brooks’ attack was the kind of broadside that prompted the ADL and the American Jewish Committee in a joint appeal to call on parties “to put Israel ahead of politics” and not to sow division. Brooks and other conservatives condemned the ADL-AJC call as an attempt to silence their criticism of Obama. The Jewish Council of Public Affairs made civility a theme of its most recent colloquium in May. Its director, Rabbi Steve Gutow, declined to comment to JTA on the latest fracas involving Adelson. Asked if he would consider reissuing the joint ADL-AJC appeal, Foxman laughs and says, “Maybe we should send it out again and get clobbered like we did last time.”
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American Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors Blood and platelet donors of all types needed Norfolk, VA—The American Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year. The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative to meet patient demand this summer. Many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets and many sponsors, especially businesses, are unable to host drives because employees are taking extended vacations. Unfortunately, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood products. The need is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. “Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospi-
tals and transfusion centers across the country. Of that, the Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region must collect approximately 500–600 pints per day,” says Page Gambill, CEO of the American Red Cross MidAtlantic Blood Services Region, serving central Virginia through Hampton Roads and Eastern North Carolina. “We need donors to make appointments to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.” Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800‑733‑2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
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Tidewater Jewish Foundation board elects new chairpersons and officers
t the June 6, 2012 meeting, Ron Kramer was elected chairperson of the board of directors of Tidewater Jewish Foundation Kramer is a life-long resident of Tidewater and a member of a multi-generational philanthropic family. Following in the footsteps of his parents Mickey and June (of blessed memory), Kramer is a leader in many areas of the community. His wife Cindy is also a leader in the Women’s division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Kramer is a past president and campaign chairman of UJFT, past president of the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community, and an active member of Congregation Beth El. Kramer recently sold Kramer Tire, his family-owned business of 57 years. In addition to his roles within the Jewish community, Kramer serves as a trustee at Cape Henry Collegiate School and as president of Bayville Golf Club. TJF’s board of directors also elected: Jerry Miller, chairperson-elect of the board and chairperson of the grants committee; Jody Wagner, secretary; Stan Dickman, treasurer; Jason Hoffman, investment committee chairperson, Michael Barney, gift acceptance committee chairperson; Lawrence Steingold, audit and finance committee chairperson; and Joel Jason, professional advisory
committee chairperson. The newly elected chairpersons and officers are devoting time and energy to leading the Create a Jewish Legacy initiative and carrying out TJF’s Ron Kramer mission to create permanent resources to meet the challenges and needs of the Jewish community. In its first year, the Create a Jewish Legacy initiative raised just under 50 percent of its twoyear goal of $50 million. These planned gifts and endowments will provide a strong future for the Jewish organizations in Tidewater. TJF’s eight affiliate partners (Beth Sholom Village, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel, Temple Sinai, the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula and UJFT) have made a commitment to achieving their respective Create a Jewish Legacy goal that will benefit not only their organization, but the entire Jewish community. For additional information, contact the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, 965-6111 or visit www.jewishva.org/create-a-jewish-legacy.
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the call for nominations that was announced in June to the voting which begins at the end of July and goes on through Aug. 31. The person with the most votes will be named the Hampton Roads Jewish Community Hero, and he or she will be announced at the UJFT’s 2013 Annual Campaign Kick-Off event on Sept. 27. In addition to the title, the winner will also receive a $500 check for a non-profit organization of their choosing. Nominees for the UJFT 2012 Hampton Roads Jewish Community Hero award will be listed on www.jewishva.org. Their achievements and community involvement will be highlighted to allow voters insight into the commitment and diversity these individuals possess. Visit www.jewishva.org to find out more about the Jewish Community Hero contest, and—in a few weeks—community members can vote and choose their favorite hero.
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NFTY— The gift that keeps on giving by Ellen Wagner
I Passover Celebrations, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and more! Whether your function is a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, charity benefit, corporate luncheon, or something personal, the Chesapeake Conference Center is the place to be! www.chesapeakeconference.com 900 Greenbrier Circle | Chesapeake, VA 23320 Tel: 757.382.2500
18 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
magine you are a 20-something newlywed with a full time job, busy making a life in a new city. A local Reform synagogue approaches you and your spouse with a plea for help. “Please help! The Temple Youth Group is in desperate need of adult supervision. We’ve heard you’ve got some experi- Eliot and Amy Weinstein and Ellen Wagner ence in this department. Won’t you consider giving up your Sunday them in the door, but made them valuable mornings, several long weekends and even members of the congregation. Again, how a few weeknights a month for our teens?!” could I argue with this? I try to do this in The average young couple might smile, my role as Women of Reform Judaism’s first offer a remorseful excuse about not want- vice president of the Mid-Atlantic District, ing to make such a big commitment, and and advising other Sisterhood leaders to do promise to consider it in a few years. Or, the same. My daughter always tells people you might get lucky. One half of this young that WRJ is “part of who she is,” because Jewish couple might have attended a Union she has grown up with it. However, at this of Reform Judaism camp as a child or may moment, that’s not where she wants to conhave participated in National Federation tribute. She wants to contribute by staffing of Temple Youth as a teenager. Perhaps shul-ins, running youth services, and even they worked summers together at a URJ hosting NFTY-MAR’s Fall Kallah with the Camp, or maybe one spent time working Ohef Sholom Temple Youth (OSTY) group. as a synagogue youth program director At the end of the day, I didn’t argue with between college and graduate school. If you my kids about their choice at all—and after get lucky, you might find a couple who had their first school year as OSTY’s advisors, their own remarkable experiences with the I’m glad I chose to support their decision. URJ youth movement—remarkable enough As busy as they might be, they are making to think about forgoing their personal time a meaningful contribution to their congrefor a Temple Youth Group. gation, and enjoying every minute. I am You might get lucky enough to meet immensely proud that both Amy and Eliot young Jewish adults like my daughter and have the Jewish foundation and educason-in-law, Amy and Eliot Weinstein. When tion to recognize the importance of what Ohef Sholom Temple approached them to they are doing with their Sunday mornfill the roles of TYG Advisors for their grow- ings and weekends. They are using their ing youth group, my daughter immediately positive Reform Jewish experience to shape called home. “Mom, they’ve already got 10 the experience of the teens in their youth kids signed up for a regional NFTY-MAR group, the future leadership of the URJ. So event! How can we not do this? Besides, that when another Reform congregation is it’s what we do.” Who was I to argue with looking for a young 20-something to fill the them, and with that statement? Who was I important role of TYG advisor, there is a to tell her this might be a big commitment large cadre of young, engaged Jewish adults to take on at this point in their lives? They ready and willing to fill that role. were so excited at the prospect of getting —Ellen Wagner serves as first vice presiinvolved with TYG and NFTY events again. dent of the Mid-Atlantic District and as a Ultimately, the staff and lay leadership member of the board of directors for the of Ohef Sholom Temple saw leadership Women of Reform Judaism. potential in Amy and Eliot—and they —Amy Weinstein is the Young Adult chased it. Temple leaders were able to Division director for UJFT. appeal to their interests and not only got
Babes in JCC-land
ome of the youngest members of the community are now spending five days a week at the Simon Family JCC. The JCC’s Beginnings program has added infant full care to its popular toddler full care and Beginnings Day Out program. All but two of the projected spaces for infant care are already filled, and Becky Feld, Beginnings director, says that she would consider expanding the number of available slots to keep up with demand. “We get new inquiries nearly every day,” she says, “it’s great to be able to provide this service to the community.” The new program has been a boon to employees on the Sandler Family Campus (where the JCC is located), including Feld, herself, whose three-month-old son is in the program. Tracie Guy-Decker, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s marketing director, has also enrolled her three-month-old. She says “it’s such a comfort to have her at the JCC. I trust the staff here, I trust the security here, and I’m delighted to have her here on Campus.” Infant full care provides a warm and safe environment with nurturing teachers and caregivers who spend lots of time cuddling and talking to children. Babies are exposed to language and cognitive development using stories, songs, finger play, and floor time. A limited number of spaces are avalable for infants six weeks to 15 months old, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6 pm, in the Strelitz Early Childhood Center. For details or to tour the facility, contact Becky Feld, at 321-2332 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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JFS installs board
by Amy Cobb
t Jewish Family Service of Tidewater’s Annual Meeting on June 12, Elena Barr Baum, outgoing president, handed over the reins to Dr. Marcia Samuels, who will serve as president for the 2012–2014 term. Renee Strelitz, past president, installed Samuels and the other members of the executive committee: Lawrence Steingold, vice president/treasurer Jeff Cooper, vice president Beth Jaffe, secretary Elena Barr Baum, immediate past president Renee Strelitz, past president Lynn Sher Cohen, member-at-large
JFS honors staff at Employee Appreciation Dinner
JFS vice president, Lawrence Steingold, presents the 2012 Distinguished Service award to Anne Fleder.
JFS also thanked outgoing board members Anne Fleder, Seth Fleishman and Carol Jason, and welcomed incoming board members Randi Chernitzer, Lisa Finkel Leon and Nathan Jaffe. Lawrence Steingold presented the 2012 Distinguished Service Award to Anne Fleder, in recognition of her 10 years of service on Outgoing board president Elena Barr Baum the board and to JFS. with Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director. Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director, remarked, “Our community should be proud that such a dedicated group of lay leaders are guiding our agency. It continues to be a pleasure to work with our entire board of directors and we look forward to the next two years under Marcia’s leadership.” Olivia Kamer, Stanley Samuels (past JFS president), Dr. Marcia Samuels (incoming JFS president), Leo Kamer, David Kamer and Linda Samuels.
by Amy Cobb
edicated. Unusually patient. Devoted. Knowledgeable. Gentle. Caring. Attentive. These are just a few of the words patients have used to describe Curlean Fentress, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. For these and other reasons, Fentress was honored as the 2012 Home Health Care Worker of the Year at JFS’ annual Employee Appreciation Dinner on June 12. Jan Ganderson, RN, director of nursing for JFS, presented the award and remarked about Fentress’ dedication to the Home Health department and JFS. Fentress has worked for JFS for more than 18 years, and although she’s cared for dozens of patients over the years, she has cared for the same patient since October 2008. “I try to stay in the moment with my patients. I focus on the patients and make them feel like they are the most important part of my day,” says Fentress. JFS honors longevity Employees were recognized for five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service. Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director, commented on the many talents that JFS employees have. “We are so fortunate to have such talented and dedicated employees at JFS. We appreciate all you do for our clients and for the agency. ” Recognized for five years of service Duane Aikman, Older Adult Services Eva Caine, Older Adult Services Heidi Field, Clinical Department Linda Glickman, Personal Affairs Management Maury Handel, Older Adult Services Jamie Hayes, Personal Affairs Management Carolyn Hofler, Personal Affairs Management Patricia Parker, RN, Home Health Linda Troy, Personal Affairs Management
Curlean Fentress, CNA, received the JFS Home Health Care Worker of the Year award.
Gale Garner, RN, was honored for 15 years of service at JFS by Jan Ganderson, RN, director of nursing.
Lucy Cardon, RN, was recognized for 20 years of service at Jewish Family Service.
Recognized for 10 years of service Lynn Earle, RD, Home Health Dennis Patterson, LCSW, Clinical Department Recognized for 15 years of service: Michelle Fenley, LCSW, Clinical Gale Garner, RN, Home Health Recognized for 20 years of service: Lucy Cardon, RN, Home Health Linda Levy, RN, Home Health Beth Jaffe, Lynn Sher Cohen, Renee Strelitz, Anne Fleder, Dr. Marcia Samuels and Lawrence Steingold. 20 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Debbie Mayer, LCSW, director of clinical and adoption services recognized Michelle Fenley, LCSW, for 15 years of service at JFS.
Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
JFS honors volunteers with appreciation brunch
ith more than 6,000 collective hours of volunteer service in 2011 under their caps, one would think they’d look tired. But this was not the case for the Jewish Family Service volunteers attending the agency’s Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on June 27. They were energetic, lively and enthusiastic. In keeping with the theme “Planting Seeds of Kindness,” Rabbi Susan Tendler of Congregation Beth El gave opening remarks by reading the book Butterflies Under Our Hats by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, a book about hope. Rabbi Tendler remarked that JFS volunteers give hope through their acts of love and kindness to those the agency serves. The volunteers and JFS staff enjoyed a buffet lunch and were serenaded by accordion player Sid Sward. Alla Gean, case manager for New Americans, recognized the New American volunteers and thanked them for their service to the agency. Patty Shelanski, volunteer coordinator, said, “Volunteers assist in countless ways at JFS—Meals on Wheels delivery, telephone assurance, grocery shopping, holiday outreach, friendly visits, keeping our two JFS food pantries stocked, knitting items for our clients, transporting clients on errands, helping with the Baskets of Hope program, and working in the Personal Affairs Management office. Every job is important, and JFS couldn’t provide these services without your help.” Shelanski lauded the volunteers for all they do for the agency. Last year, the JFS Knitters Club completed 140 lap blankets, and more than 100 hats, scarves and mittens. JFS generally delivers more than 75 gift bags to Jewish residents in non-Jewish facilities for each major holiday. And for Rosh Hashanah and Passover, JFS delivers an additional 60 to 70 meals to home bound Jews. JFS Friendly Visitors develop relationships with the clients they visit and talk to—and these relationships become very special over time. To the client, JFS volunteers may be the only visitor they have, and often times these volunteers add to their quality of life. The Personal Affairs Management office benefits from the dedicated service of the volunteers who write checks, file, prepare income tax returns, and offer their professional accounting services. The Baskets of Hope program offers a
creative outlet for volunteers who gather to make beautiful center pieces for bar and bat mitzvahs and other special events. Shelanski concluded, “Our volunteers exemplify the ideals of Jewish Family Service. They are the backbone of the agency.” Shelanski then recognized the Max Japha Volunteer of the Year in honor of outstanding volunteer commitment to JFS. This year’s award winner was Norene Spencer. “JFS is so lucky to have Norene among its ranks of volunteers,” said Shelanski. After years of working in a law firm, and for USAA, Spencer was thrilled to able to take early retirement. Shortly after, she joined JFS as one of the agency’s most dedicated volunteers. “She was one of the first knitters to kick off the Knitting Club,” said Shelanski, “and she shares her smile, and handiwork, every Wednesday.” Spencer also works in the JFS Personal Affairs Management office as a filing clerk, check writer, and income tax organizer. She is drawn to Jewish charities and volunteered for Beth Sholom Village for more
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than 15 years. Now she enjoys volunteering for JFS, and giving back to the Jewish community that is a part of her heritage. Spencer is also active with the Baskets of Hope program. Sue Graves, who coordinates the Baskets of Hope program, said, “Norene has been a valuable asset to the program. I can always count on her to help out with whatever needs to be done.”
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Avi Malkin awarded Stein College Scholarship
idewater Jewish Foundation recently announced Avi Malkin as the 2012 recipient of the Stein Family College Scholarship. A native of Newport News, Malkin is a Menchville High School graduate, ranking 10th in a class of 390. After tossing around school ideas, he visited the College of William and Mary in April and it “stuck.” Malkin says that his AP Statistics teacher, Mr. Traner, really opened his eyes to numbers, got him excited about applying statistics in his everyday life, and ultimately gave him the push to pursue his interest in finance. Malkin is interested in the stock market and hopes to become an investment banker. In addition to his academic record, Malkin spends much of his time volunteering and working at the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula. “The UJC is like my second family, my second home.” He began attending summer camp at the UJC JCC when he was in kindergarten, and attended every year. “Camp has had a great impact on my life. It has helped to shape me into the person I am today,” he says. Now, Malkin works for the summer camp and helps to educate the younger Jewish generation. It was also through camp and his work at the UJC that got Malkin interested in basketball, both playing on teams and coaching young children. Time permitting, he plans to continue playing basketball and volunteering his time when he’s at William & Mary. “Thank you so much to the Stein family for your trust in me. I appreciate everything you have done and for making my college dreams a reality,” says Malkin. The Stein Family College Scholarship annually awards $10,000 to a Jewish student from Hampton Roads who demonstrates a strong academic record, provides service to the Jewish community and demonstrates financial need.
The Scholarship is dedicated in loving memory to Arlene Shea Stein, wife of Gerald Stein and mother of Steve, Lisa, Craig and Debbie. Arlene had a deep love of learning and a strong belief that higher education should be accessible to all. Both Arlene and Jerry were unable to complete their college educations due to financial difficulties. The Stein children and grandchildren set up this scholarship as a testament to Arlene Stein and to honor the values she held dear. Prior recipients of the Stein Family College Scholarship include Morgan Conley, 2009 (Brandeis University), Eric White, 2010 (University of Virginia), and Marissa Arager, 2011 (George Mason University). For more information about the Stein Family College Scholarship, contact Shelby Tudor, donor services manager at TJF at 965-6104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Thank you so much to the Stein family for your trust in me.”
Beth Sholom Village holds annual meeting
eth Sholom Village held its annual meeting on Thursday, June 14. Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the meeting was held in the Religious—Cultural Center. Rabbi Michael Panitz delivered the invocation and Neil Friedman, president, presented his remarks. David Abraham, executive vice president, gave his State of The Village report. “Despite numerous challenges at The Home and The Terrace, such as a resident population with increased cognitive and physical impairments, recent decreases in government and insurance reimbursements, and an economic climate that has had profound effect on our fundraising efforts, The Village continues to shine as a leader of elder care services in our community,” said Abraham. “This past year has seen many changes. One of the more significant ones was the sale of The Sands last December to Senior Housing Group in Chicago. This company specializes in rehabbing affordable senior housing. They have a very impressive track record and we were able to work out a satisfactory sale of the property,” said Abraham. “They are adding new bathrooms and kitchens and generally upgrading the facility. We are happy to say this is being done without displacing any of the residents who are our neighbors and, in some cases, our volunteers.” Abraham noted that the Berger-Goldrich Home will admit and discharge approximately 375 short-term residents/patients over the course of a year; serve and prepare approximately 5,500 meals for Jewish Familly Service’s Meals on Wheels program, in addition to the 126,000 meals that are prepared and served annually to the residents at The Berger-Goldrich Home and the 82,125 meals served to the residents at The Terrace Assisted Living. The Village’s most recent venture in integrated healthcare is the first Jewish Hospice in Hampton Roads—The Freda H. Gordon Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater—a joint venture with JFS. Licensed by the State of Virginia to begin operations, patients have been admitted to provide compassionate end of life care to those in need. In addition to his report, Abraham made a special presentation to Alex Stern, son of Lisa Stern and board member, Neal Stern. Abraham thanked Stern for his generous contribution to The Village as part of his Bar Mitzvah celebration and presented him with a plaque. Marian Ticatch, immediate past resi-
dent, presented the nominating committee report and installed the officers: PresidentNeil Friedman; 1st VP-Ellyn Saren; 2nd VP-Larry Siegel; 3rd VP-Neal Stern; Secretary-Stuart Nachman; and TreasurerMoss Friedman; New directors are Norman Goldin, MD, William Halprin and Paul Peck. Jerry Kantor was elected an honorary board member. Beth Sholom Village a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Ina and Moss Friedman and Marian Ticatch.
Claire Roth, Abby Friedman, Neil Friedman and Cantor Elihu Flax.
Frances Levy Birshtein and Stan Weigen.
Lisa, Tessa, Neal and Alex Stern.
jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 23
Chicago White Sox pick up Jewish all-timer in Youkilis (but can he still shame Mel?) by Ami Eden
NEW YORK (JTA)—Some Jewish baseball fans went extra bonkers during the 2005 World Series when Geoff Blum smacked a game-winning 14th-inning home run for the Chicago White Sox. Oops, false alarm—the journeyman infielder wasn’t a Yid. But assuming the White Sox return to the Fall Classic soon instead of waiting another half century—it took them from 1959 to 2005 the last time—it may just be an actual Jewish slugger coming through in the clutch. That’s because Chicago’s second most popular baseball team pulled off a trade for Boston Red Sox first basemanthird baseman Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis’ Jewish bona fides are well established. In fact, one fan poll selected the hulking Hebrew hammer as the Jewish player of the decade for the 2000s—a decade in which he helped the Red Sox shake their decades-long curse with World Series championships in 2004 and 2007. Along the way Youkilis became an All-
Star and emerged as the poster child for a growing movement of baseball writers, executives and stat geeks who place a greater emphasis on drawing walks—i.e. discipline at the plate—over more traditional measures of hits, home runs and runs batted in. Youkilis has been hampered by injuries in the past three seasons, and the emergence of third baseman Will Middlebrooks made him expendable in Boston. Manager Bobby Valentine and Youkilis have had some public disagreements in Valentine’s first season with the team. Despite the bumps, Youkilis remained a favorite among Red Sox fans. He received a long standing ovation at Fenway Park after leaving a game against Atlanta for a pinch runner after tripling in the seventh inning. In Chicago, the highest-ranking White Sox fan in the Windy City’s Jewish community—Steve Nasatir—is giving a thumbs-up to the trade. The president of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Nasatir attended his first Chisox game in 1948 and still
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remembers their pennant winning-season of 1959. And he was in the stands for the World Series in 2005. Now he has something else to be cheer. “My friends in Boston are sitting shiva,” Nasatir says, “and we in Chicago are thrilled to have an MOT playing third base for us.” That’s Member of the Tribe—as in a Jew (not a Cleveland Indian). Already a favorite among fans longing for modern-day Hank Greenbergs and Sandy Koufaxes to root for, Youkilis’ status as Jewish sports icon reached new heights in 2006 thanks to three perfectly timed fielding plays. It was a run-of-the-mill, dead-of-August regular season game—except that comics Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke were in the broadcast booth to promote a fundraiser for
firemen. Leary inquired about Youkilis’ background and seemed pleased to find out that the Red Sox slugger was actually one of at least two Jewish players on the team, Gabe Kapler being the other). And with each successive play by Youkilis—he had a hand in all three outs—Leary and Clarke became increasingly excited, punctuating their escalating enthusiasm with a string of putdowns aimed at Mel Gibson, who had recently made headlines with a drunken, anti-Semitic rant against a police officer. YouTube videos of the broadcast quickly went viral, as did a Youkilis-inspired sense of take-that-Mel Jewish pride. Looking ahead, the question is whether Youkilis still has enough left in the tank to follow in Blum’s footsteps—and put Mel in his place.
virginiazoo.org • 757-441-2374 6/22/12 11:48 AM
Popularized in America by Jews, pickles pack a punch by Josh Lipowsky
TEANECK, N.J. (JTA)—Walk into a kosher deli and a big bowl of pickles is typically waiting at the table. Ever wondered why? “Pickles are vital to the deli experience,” says Rabbi Gil Marks, author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Deli mavens know that the tastiest cuts of pastrami and corned beef are also the fattiest, but after a few mouthfuls the fat covers the palate and masks the flavor of the meat, Marks explains. Just as wine does with chicken or meat dishes, he says, a pickle cleanses the palate between bites, so the flavor of the hot pastrami on rye continues to shine, while also interacting with the sandwich, creating new flavors. July marks National Pickle Month, which “originated as a way for people to honor and appreciate all types of pickles,” says Brian Bursiek, executive vice president of Pickle Packers International, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents the worldwide pickled vegetable industry. Americans put away more than 2.5 billion pounds of pickles each year, and the North American pickle industry is valued at about $1.5 billion annually, according to Pickle Packers. Folks have been chomping on pickles, which take their name from the German “pokel”—meaning salt and brine—for some 4,000 years in one form or another. (Disclaimer: The writer is the 2011 Teaneck Pickle-Eating Champion.) Sours and half-sours are the most popular flavors in the New York area, but not so much with out-of-towners, says Stephen Leibowitz, chief pickle maven (the title on his business card) of United Pickle in the Bronx, N.Y., the largest Jewish-owned pickle plant in the country and also one of the oldest. In the Southwest, for example, spicier pickles tend to tempt palates more, according to Pickle Packers, and Leibowitz says that hot and spicy pickle chips are gaining popularity nationwide. If there’s a consensus choice, it’s the dill pickle, followed by sweet pickles, according to Bursiek. Among the most popular dill pickles is the kosher dill. “It’s what you call a universal American pickle,” Leibowitz says. Universal indeed: From France to Israel to Dubai, the most popular product shipped overseas by United Pickle is the kosher dill. In addition to its flavor, Leibowitz credits the kosher dill’s longer shelf life for its attractiveness abroad. Despite its name, the kosher dill has
nothing to do with did what they knew the pickle’s adherhow to do: They ence to kosher laws. made pickles. It’s an “The name inexpensive item to ‘kosher’ was likely make; it’s an inexcarried forward by pensive item to buy. generations who And when people remember popubuy it, it tastes like lar TV advertising home.” during the ’70s,” Kosher dills Bursiek says, likemay be an homage ly referring to the to the glory days of Vlasik commercials. Jewish pickling, but “It brought a lot of the days when Essex attention to their Street was known brand, but also to for its assortment the pickle category of pickle purveyors in general. are long gone, and “Typically it is a Kaufman doesn’t see pickle made in the them returning. traditional manner After the terrorJuly is National Pickle Month of Jewish New York ist attacks of 9/11, City pickle makers, when travel over with a generous addition of garlic to the New York’s bridges was severely curtailed, brine.” Guss’ Pickles, one of the oldest and most Unlike the sours and half-sours, the dill famous Lower East Side pickle establishpickles also get a dose of dill seasoning in ments, lost the majority of its foot traffic the brine. and closed its doors. United Pickle, which As with many other types of food, Jews had been supplying Guss’ with its pickles did not invent the pickle or the pickling for decades, bought the name and now process, but they did popularize it, which is the label can be found in stores across why the Jewish style of preparation became America—a far cry from the Lower East a standard. Side pickle storefronts of yore. Sours and half-sours—prepared in “You can’t pay the rent just standing in salted water brines—don’t include dill, the store selling pickles,” Leibowitz says. but the common denominator among Kaufman, a former employee of the all three types, and what separates the Guss’ store, disagrees. He opened his shop kosher dill from other dills, is garlic. Its shortly after Guss’ closed and has more than addition, which is credited with why the 30 pickled concoctions, including pickled kosher moniker stuck even after kosher pineapple, pickled garlic, pickled tomatoes dills became the pickle of choice for mass and, of course, the kosher dill—all pickled production, is purely Jewish. in house. His customers include a number “We adapt foods to our taste,” Marks of regulars, as well as tourists nostalgic for says. “One of the things Jews, particularly the old Lower East Side experience. Ashkenazic Jews, love is putting garlic in Earlier this year, his store was featured things.” on Food Network’s “Next Food Network Some 100,000 to 250,000 acres in Star” as part of a culinary tour of the neighmore than 30 states are devoted to growing borhood. pickling cucumbers, according to Bursiek. “Pickles are timeless,” Kaufman says. Despite the geographic diversity of pickle “The neighborhood is not always going production, when talking about the kosher to be the same, but pickles will always be dill, the focus always comes back to New here.” York City, the gateway to the United States While Jews may have popularized pickfor the Eastern European Jewish immi- les in Europe and the U.S., it was the grants who brought their pickling prowess Chinese who more than 2,400 years ago with them in the late 19th and early 20th created the modern form of pickling. They centuries. used a process called lacto-fermentation, “When [Jewish immigrants] came in Marks explains, that didn’t reach Eastern 1910, they came here with no skills,” says Europe until the 1500s. In this version, Alan Kaufman, owner of The Pickle Guys, only a little salt is added to water to create the last remaining pickle store on the the brine, which then produces forms of Lower East Side’s famed Essex Street. “They acid and healthy bacteria—Lactobacillus.
“Pickling was something even the poorest of people could do. All you needed was salt and a little water and a barrel,” Marks says. Many of the brands on store shelves today labeled “kosher dills” aren’t true kosher dills, Marks says. Historically, kosher dills were prepared in a salted water brine with garlic and dill, but many mass manufacturers began using vinegar-based brines decades ago to save time. Vinegar, he says, throws off the flavor, so to get that authentic kosher dill flavor, it’s best to find a pickler using natural brines. “If you have a great sandwich and a rotten pickle, you’re going to say the whole meal stinks,” Kaufman asserts. “But if you have a great sandwich and a great pickle, you’ve got a great meal.” Kaufman says everyone should try pickling. “Like making beer or wine, pickling’s a great thing,” he says. “It’s not too hard; it just takes a lot of practice.” How does the process differ for halfsours, full-sours and the kosher dill? It’s all about the amount of time the cucumber stays in the brine. At United Pickle, for example, fresh cucumbers will sit in saltwater brine with garlic and spices for at least 45 days to become full-sour pickles. The Pickle Guys keep half-sours in the brine for two weeks, while the full sours soak for at least three months. Kosher dills, meanwhile, include dill and sit in the brine for a minimum of 10 days.
Pi ckels at h om e Want to make pickles at home? Here are a few guidelines, courtesy of http://www.howtopickle.com: • Pick the firmest cucumbers possible and thoroughly clean them. • T ightly pack cukes into canning jars. • Mix brine ingredients together and bring them to a boil, then pour the brine into the jars. Depending on the type of pickle desired, pickles will be ready the next day (new or half-sours) or a few months later (full-sours). The longer the pickle stays in the brine, the sourer it will become.
jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 25
book reviews Taking the bitter with the better The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen Glorious Meals Pure & Simple Levana Kirschenbaum Levana Cooks, 2011 399 pages, $39.95 ISBN 978-1-4675-0704-2 Levana Kirschenbaum has been associated with upscale Kosher dining through her restaurant, her library of successful cook- Hal Sacks books and her online blog. She refers to this book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, as the “culmination of my life work.” This reviewer’s curiosity was piqued by the words “Whole Foods” in its title now that the famous food emporium Whole Foods is coming to town. I was certain there was some connection, but, alas, it was not meant to be. However, in perusing the book, some intriguing recipes were noted that I really looked forward to trying
(intriguing enough to overcome everything that annoyed me about the book). First, let’s get all the annoyances out of the way: 1. The book weighs about three pounds and promises to be a huge pain-inthe-kitchen to maneuver. 2. On the back cover is the notation that this is the “gift edition.” I asked the publicist about the “non-gift edition,” hoping that there was a simple ring-bound version that a serious cook could lay out flat on a kitchen counter (and minus the “gorgeous” but totally unreal looking photos of finished dishes). He replied that the non-gift edition had been withdrawn by the author as not of sufficient quality. 3. Granting Kirschenbaum her point of view that “whole foods” and efforts to cook from “whole ingredients” are better for us, it is understandable that not every home freezer has the capacity to store gallons of soups, stock or other items made in bulk for future use. 4. The author’s textual sermons have a
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26 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
kind of harping tone, and she is sometimes just mistaken. For example, the cook is enjoined from heating large containers of soup in the microwave lest the outside get scorched before the inside gets hot. Kirschenbaum should know that microwave ovens heat food from the inside out. 5. It is okay to have strong opinions, but to dismiss iceberg lettuce, that wonderful, crunchy, never bitter salad green without which we would never have a wedge salad, smacks of outright snobbism. 6. So the author wanted “gorgeous” and gorgeous she got: A heavy, super glossy, deluxe, 40 buck coffee table book with photos of dishes that don’t look real and that serious cooks may never use. Now that all of that is off our chest, let’s look inside: Fully agreeing that no bottled salad dressing comes anywhere close in quality and flavor to homemade dressings, I love Kirschenbaum’s use of anchovies (which she calls “a blessing if disguised”), Dashi (Hondashi) powder, capers and ginger. There are a dozen and a half excellent recipes. Ever true to her Moroccan roots, Kirschenbaum’s wonderful soups also pay homage to Asian influences using a Japanese miso base and Thai touches, Ashkenazi (Unstuffed Cabbage [not listed under soup] and Quick Borscht) and Indian recipes. We tend to avoid using frozen fish. However, our love of sashimi, which we understand requires the use of frozen fish due to health regulations, has led us to wonder why good frozen fish would not be satisfactory. Kirschenbaum, while insisting that fresh is best, believes that frozen, vacuum packed fish is excellent, and much less expensive as well. Similarly, one senses that she is correct on using frozen, unprocessed fruits and vegetables in dishes where appearance doesn’t matter—purees; soups; sauces; coulis. She offers two great lists of food groups: One that lists foods that Need to Be Organic and foods that Need Not Be Organic. Her overarching emphasis is on unprocessed or minimally processed food The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen is so strong on the use of whole grains in salads, vegetable and other dishes that one expects to find a recipe for whole wheat water! Therefore, it is understandable if the author is a bit weak in the “Meat” section; perhaps she has covered meat dishes more thoroughly in her other books. In keeping with the Kirschenbaum’s stated purpose, offering upscale kosher recipes
that eschew such no-no’s as schmaltz, organ meats, and well-larded steaks, every dish is conceived with an eye toward healthy eating. As stated, lots of grains are used, and cross referenced are Passover-friendly recipes and gluten-free adaptations. The author’s passion for wholesome foods may indeed inspire the reader to change cooking and eating habits in an effort to eat one’s way to good health without sacrificing enjoyment. I love her attitude about eating out. You can’t lose weight eating out. Eat home more. And never give up something you love. Finally, the book came with a wonderful DVD in which Kirschenbaum demonstrates the preparation of simple, healthy and delicious Shabbos and Passover feasts. —Hal Sacks is a retired Jewish communal worker who has reviewed books for Jewish News for more than 27 years.
Complicated and compelling Dove on a Barbed Wire Deborah Steiner van-Rooyen Devorah Publishing Company, 2010 145 pages, plus 34 photos, records and family tree Published in Israel in Hebrew by Yad Vashem in 2007, and now in an attractive and improved English format, this compelling account is bound to Rabbi Zoberman acquire an honored place in the vast literature of Holocaust memoirs. The story is a family drama of the author Deborah Steiner van-Rooyen and the book’s heroic protagonist, Yonah Steiner. Born in America in 1951, as van-Rooyen was about to embark on a global travel venture in 1969 while postponing her college education, she was approached by her grandpa Solomon Steiner with a special request. The first family member to leave Poland for the U.S. in 1912, Steiner wanted to reconnect to his Israeli nephew, Yonah Steiner, son of his martyred brother Simon, who along with brother Paul were the sole Holocaust survivors of the large Steiner family. All that Steiner had was an old envelope with Yonah’s name at kibbutz Ginosar in Israel. Steiner visited Polish Gromnik, near Krakow in 1932, but his attempts to persuade his family to join him in America fell on deaf ears, as Yonah’s patriarchal grandpa
book reviews Aharon, Steiner’s father, would not listen and later on Simon, Yonah’s father, nixed the idea in spite of his wife Rachel’s urging to sell their property and leave before it was too late. Yonah and his three older brothers, the twins Willi and Rudi, and Paul, grew up happily and often unruly on the very large family farm. Yonah did not enjoy school and when attending he would stand up to the Polish bullies. At the age of 13 years old, Yonah was on the way home from school on a September afternoon in 1939 when he was apprehended by the German SS and thrown into a truck without communicating with his parents who were murdered soon afterwards, along with the rest of Gromnik’s Jews. This abrupt and tragic interruption to all that young Yonah knew, ironically saved his life, even as “the nightmare began” and lasted the war’s five years with Yonah’s unimaginable survival. From Pustkow to Danzig to Mielec to Tarnow to Flossenburg to Auschwitz to Mauthausen, Yonah survived a hellish journey for a Jewish boy from a loving family through a world of inhumanity with its own death and life rules. Yonah wisely learned from older and experienced inmates with whom he aligned, but knew how to keep to himself. On his unsuccessful first escape attempt from Pustkow in Poland’s southeast where he spent four months, he killed a German Shepherd dog with his bare hands. The second escape from Danzig in East Prussia where he worked in a submarine factory was facilitated with the help of “The Boss,” a seasoned fellow inmate with whom he bonded and who led him into the Tarnow Ghetto. In the Tarnow Ghetto with its 150,000 residents, Yonah could not get any support from the terrified Jews. Caught again, he ended up in Mielec, in Poland’s west, and lying about being a steel cutter he was assigned to the Henklewerks factory of the Messerschmidts’ planes. His talents were recognized, though he had no prior training, studying with SS officers. Transferred to Germany’s Flossenburg for nine months, he tried to sabotage the planes he worked on so that they would explode in the air. He even hit back his kapo-like block master, gaining his respect. He witnessed the arrival of well-groomed Czech, Hungarian, German and French women who became prey to the wild soldiers and were tortured to death in horrific ways when deemed useless. There he learned from a German prisoner and friend never to drink unboiled water and to eat every morsel of the meager food. It would safe his life.
His brother Willi died in Flossenburg in 1944. The next torturous station was Austria’s Mauthausen, assigned to its largest camp with 200,000 inmates. Yonah learned for the first time that the Jews were targeted to die and not only to work. He toiled on the quarry’s infamous 186 “Stairs of Death,” when told of brother Rudi’s presence and resourcefully risked his life to find him already dead. With the Germans losing, their plot to blow up the camp was thwarted by inmates with electrical skills. Though many lives were saved, many were lost in the ensuing flight toward the electrified fences. Others, including Yonah, rushed to dig for potatoes. I’ll always recall my visit to Mauthausen with my wife Jennifer on a July 2002 day, and the contrast between the pastoral environment and what transpired at the camp. Following liberation by American troops on May 5, 1945, Yonah shares the revenge of he and other freed inmates exacted on captured SS on a bridge in nearby Linz with bayonets supplied by the black American soldiers. In the same town in 1946, my family and I spent six weeks in a refugee facility upon our escape from Poland via Czechoslovakia. A period of reckless conduct, of which Yonah is not proud of, ensued, expressing the survivors’ outrage and pain. In Rome, Italy, with Yonah working for the Americans as a truck driver, an officer informed him that an arrived Jeep was donated by a Solomon Steiner of New Jersey. It was Yonah’s uncle! Consequently Solomon sent him a ticket to join him, which Yonah didn’t use, creating a long estrangement lasting till Solomon and Rose Steiner made Aliyah in 1973. Yonah’s focus became finding his brother Paul who, was also in Mauthausen. Following arduous efforts, a book in itself, the two were reunited in Czechoslovakia’s Bratislava where ambitious Paul was operating a textile factory. Paul reluctantly joined irresistible Yonah, but ended up to the family’s chagrin with a French Catholic wife in France. In Hamburg, Germany, Yonah met Rivkah, her Ukranian family’s sole survivor, and like many survivors, quickly married. Yonah followed Rivkah to Kibbutz Ein
Gev, but caught by the British, he was interred in Cyprus not before daring sea missions of bringing refugees to Palestine. He finally made it to Ein Gev with seven buddies in January 1947, escaping by boat from Cyprus. Yonah helped protect the kibbutz for the forthcoming war and when leaving for kibbutz Ginosar in 1951, he put to practice the skills gained as a slave laborer for the Germans whom he both hated and admired. In September 1999, on the 60th anniversary of WW II, the author’s uncle, David Steiner, took 21 family members on an emotional roots journey to Gromnik where Yonah was finally able to cry, admitting to years of psychological detachment that also protected him. David Steiner, who has become the family’s generous patron, owns New York’s Steiner’s Studios and Steiner Equities, and
to Grandpa Solomon,
she found Yonah.
is an AIPAC past chairman. The author fulfilled her pledge to Grandpa Solomon, she found Yonah. Moreover, she discovered and recovered through much love, devotion and ingenuity, her family’s history. Van-Rooyen is a true and courageous adventurer whom I had the pleasure to listen to at the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival in Virginia Beach in 2010. She’s also an international investigator of missing persons and parentally abducted children, as well as the reunification of dislocated families. Her website is: www.doveonabarbedwire.com. Yonah died of cancer on May 26, 2009, five days after his family gathered to celebrate his 83rd birthday, and is buried in his beloved kibbutz where Deborah first met him in 1969. The dove in the book’s title stands for the Hebrew, Yonah. —Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim, is the son of Polish Holocaust survivors from Zamosc, Sarnay and Pinsk. From 1947–1949 he and his family were at Germany’s Wetzlar Displaced Persons Camp. He grew up in Haifa, Israel.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 27
what’s happening Wonderful Wednesdays at Jewish Museum & Cultural Center
Dora Marshall Mullins with Stephan Dulcie
Wednesday, July 18, 7:30 pm
ocally acclaimed artist, Mullins served on the Dora Marshall Mullins faculties of Julliard School; recently celebrated 60 University of Maine; Alfred years as a performer and teachUniversity; The College of er of the violin. Accompanied William & Mary and Old by Stefan Dulcie on the Dominion University. She has Dora Marshall Mullins piano, they plan an enterperformed extensively in New taining performance for the York City, New York State, Wonderful Wednesdays at National Gallery D.C., and Jewish Museum & Cultural as a member of the Feldman Center series. Chamber Music Society. Mullins, a Tidewater Stephen Dulcie gradunative, began her violin studated summa cum laude from ies with her mother at age Julliard School of Music in five. She studied with string 1982 and earned his Master renowned teacher and found- Stefan Dulcie of Music degree in 1985. er of the Feldman Quartet, Dulcie is both a teacher I.E. Feldman in Norfolk, for 21 years, and a performer. He is the director of music including extended studies in the disci- at ESO Arts Center on the Eastern Shore, plines of the chamber music and orchestra. where he teaches piano, cello, and violin. When the Feldman Chamber Music Tickets are $20. Call 391-9266 or email Society of Norfolk was founded in 1946, firstname.lastname@example.org. The perforshe was appointed first violinist, a position mance takes place at 607 Effingham St., she would hold for 40 years. Portsmouth.
Norfolk Summer Play Fest brings taste of Old Norfolk with Jean Klein’s Refraction of Light by Shari Graber
he second annual Norfolk Summer Play Festival showcases local talent, and at times, local history. Playwright Jean Klein’s Refraction of Light is about the Berkley neighborhood 1938 to 1978, where, according to Klein, Berkley was a mix of African American, Jewish, and Southern whites where race and ethnicity was never an issue. Instead, it was all about community. Growing up in and working in a mental health clinic as the director of outpatient services in Berkley, Klein witnessed the widespread eviction of mental health patients and their challenge to transition into the community. One of her clients, a very strong African American woman whom she rescued in the middle of the night, is the prototype for the character of Nettie. Harry, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, is inspired by an actual incident in which a boat filled with Jewish refugees was turned away from New York and many other ports until Eleanor Roosevelt intervened. The story revolves around the “character” of a stained glass window, which has meaning and memories for each character who lives and workes in the house as it transitions from being owned by a Southern White woman with her African American housekeeper and confidant, to a Jewish
T he D e ta i ls
Dates and Time August 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 Friday and Saturday at 8 pm Sunday at 2:30 pm Location The Venue on 35th 631 35th Street Contact 469-0335 for reservations or www.venue-35.com Tickets $10
Holocaust survivor. The deep friendship of Southern White and African American are strained when the question of selling the house in an all white neighborhood arises. Although their children are raised together, old traditions are hard to overcome. Klein, who jokes that her husband and his family could never remember she was a “Shiksa,” always felt great acceptance in the Jewish community and even learned to speak Yiddish. A resident of Virginia Beach and an award-winning playwright, Klein is a founding member of Virginia Playwrights Forum and currently teaches in the MA/ MFA programs in Creative Writing at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania.
Off the Shelf Story Time at Temple Emanuel with Donna Grant Friday, July 20, 1 pm Monday, August 20, 10 am Temple Emanuel continues its monthly story times for children age three to eight. Does warm, fresh challah for Shabbat dinner sound great? Then attend the 2nd Annual Challah Making story time on Friday, July 20. While the challah bakes, a funny story about making too much challah dough will be read. The poem book Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight by Debbie Levy will be read
on Monday, August 20, followed by time for participants to try writing funny poems and making bathtub beds. Both story times will be held at Temple Emanuel. Registration is required and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Call Beth Gross at 428-2591 to reserve a spot by July 16 for the July story time and August 17 for the August story time. Free and open to the community.
Club 50 — August 5, 12pm Brith Sholom luncheon honors those married 50 years and more. No charge for celebrants. If not married 50 years, $15 per person. Reserve by July 30. A check is a receipt. Entertainment follows lunch. 461-1150.
28 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Bringing Israel Home — An event just for college students Sunday, August 5, 6 pm equipped with facts, resources, and a strong support base. Be a part of this interactive program that demonstrates how Israel affects students’ daily lives at college and teaches how to stand up for Israel in a world of increasing anti-Israel sentiment. The event takes places at Bite Restaurant,
440 Monticello Avenue in Norfolk. Contact Staci Eichelbaum and Mason Leon through Robin Mancoll, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council director, at RMancoll@ujft.org for more information about the event or to RSVP.
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To join, call 757 627-1234 or visit VASTAGE.com
Marissa Simon, Mason Lean, Hannah Moss, Jake Glasser, Melissa Eichelbaum, Josh Leibowitz, Jennifer Woldholtz.
by Staci Eichelbaum and Mason Leon
leven Jewish college students from Tidewater gathered on Thursday, June 14 to embark on their next adventure of pro-Israel advocacy. After sharing personal stories of antiIsrael sentiment on their campuses, as well as on a national level, the group decided “to step up the education” for students from Tidewater before they return to school this fall. As a result of a brainstorming session, the group realized that the best way to equip local students with tools to combat anti-Israel movements was to give them a deeper understanding of the challenges Israel faces today and how it affects college students. To achieve this goal, Avi Jorisch will be a part of this year’s Bringing Israel Home event. Jorisch is the founder of the Red Cell Intelligence Group, a consulting and training firm that specializes in national security issues relating to terrorism, illicit finance and radical Islam. He has held prominent positions at the American Foreign Policy Council, the Treasure Department’s office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. He also serves on the advisory board of United Against a Nuclear Iran, as well as an Arab media and terrorism consultant for the Department of Defense.
Jorisch is an expert on the topic of financial support for terrorist entities, particularly Iran and Hezbollah. He has written numerous books on the topic, including: Iran’s Dirty Banking: How the Islamic Republic Skirts International Financial Sanctions (2010), On the Trail of Terror Finance: What Law Enforcement and Intelligence Officials Need to Know (2010), and Tainted Money: Are We Losing the War on Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance? (2009) At the Bringing Israel Home event, Jorisch will lead a crash course on understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict to offer a better understanding of the factors that have influenced Israel through his topic: “Israel: Sixty Years in Sixty Minutes.” While reconnecting with old friends, students will also have a chance to get updates on Iran, discuss the impact of this year’s election on U.S.-Israel relations, and learn about AIPAC and how they can become advocates for the State of Israel. Now is the time to bring Israel home. Now is the time for college students to realize that these threats Israel faces also affects them personally—as students, as Jews, and as citizens of the United States. Now is the time to have a deeper understanding of the U.S.-Israel relationship and how it is possible to help strengthen this relationship. All local college students are invited to learn how important this issue is and understand that now is the time to get
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jewishnewsva.org | June 25, 2012 | Jewish News | 29
mazel tov to ACHIEVEMENT Peter Mark, artistic director and conductor, Lyric Opera Virginia and founding general and artistic director of Virginia Opera, for being named artistic director emeritus of Virginia Opera.
Dr. Sharon Weinstein for winning a People�s Choice Award. Her mixed media painting, �The Elephant in the Room,� won a place in the People’s Choice Exhibit which is open until July 23, as part of the Senior ArtFest 2012 at the Primeplus Norfolk Senior Center.
Joan Miller for being conferred the title of director emeritus of the Virginia Opera. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to email@example.com 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.
A double-header Simcha by Larry Stein
Sarita Sachs fondly remembers visiting her parents, Sam and Ida Rebe, at the Beth Sholom Home and listening to Joel Rubin lead services while his young children, Molly and Danny, ran up and down the aisles to the delight of her parents. The Sachs and Rubin families were reunited at Temple Israel during Shabbat services on May 26 for a double simcha spanning the generations—Danny Rubin’s aufruf in honor of his engagement to Shikma Gurvitz and Sachs’ celebration of her 80th birthday.
The special occasion brought visitors from as far as Boston and Austin, Texas. Illustrating the significant involvement of both families in Judaism, the celebrants didn’t just sit back during the service. Sachs gave the d’var Torah, and Danny Rubin sang the Haftarah. Other members of the Rubin and Sachs families took roles during the service, from reading Torah to leading Shacharit. In one of the final prayers, Danny and his sister, Molly, sang Anim Zmirot, a family favorite. Shikma Gurvitz was hired by the Simon Family JCC after graduating college, which led her to Virginia Beach and the introduction to Danny by family friend Dana Rosen.
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Shamir remembered for saying little, standing strong by Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON (JTA)—When Yitzhak Shamir was Israel’s prime minister, he liked to point American visitors to a gift he received when he retired as director of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. It was a depiction of the famed three monkeys: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. “He didn’t say anything,” recalls Dov Zakheim, then a deputy undersecretary of defense in the Reagan administration. “He just smiled broadly.” Shamir, who died Saturday, June 30 at 96, had the reputation of a man who said the most when he said nothing at all, his American interlocutors recall. He used that reticence to resist pressure from the George H.W. Bush administration to enter into talks with the Palestinians and other Arab nations. “He was the most underrated politician of our time,” Zakheim says. “He sat on the fence on issues until the fence hurt.” Shamir’s willfulness was borne of the conviction that his Likud Party’s skepticism of a permanent peace with the Arabs represented the majority view in Israel, and that the world had to reconcile itself to this outlook, says Steve Rosen, who dealt with Shamir as the foreign policy chief for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “He would argue that the world will never prefer us—the Likud—over Labor, but when the world sees that we are the Israeli majority, they will have to deal with us,” Rosen says. “We will not succeed in being more popular than the others, but we are right.” There was inevitably a personal element to his clashes with the elder President George Bush, says Zakheim. “He had his difficulties with the United States in part because he came from such a different place than George H.W. Bush,” he says. “One was a product of old-time Jewish Lithuania whose father was shot in the face by the neighbor when he was looking for protection from the Nazis, the other was an aristocrat. Since most relations at that level are personal, that always complicated matters.” His detractors, while praising Shamir’s patriotism, also fretted that his steadfastness cost Israel during his terms as prime minister. Shamir’s most lasting legacy might be his scuttling in 1987 of the London
agreement after he assumed the prime ministership from Shimon Peres in a power-sharing agreement following the deadlocked 1984 elections. The agreement, which Peres worked out—mostly in secrecy—with Jordan’s King Hussein would have restored a degree of Jordanian authority to the West Bank and may have spared Israel the first intifada that broke out soon after. The intifada bore the failed Oslo peace process, which bore the much bloodier second intifada, culminating in today’s impasse. “His shooting down of Shimon Peres’ ‘London Agreement’ with King Hussein of Jordan was arguably the most disastrous decision an Israeli leader ever took,” David Landau wrote in an appreciation in Haaretz. Yet Shamir was not incapable of pragmatism. He defied Israeli public opinion—and young bucks in his own party, including then deputy foreign minister Benjamin Netanyahu—and acceded to Bush’s request to keep out of the first Iraq War, even if Saddam Hussein provoked Israel, which Hussein did with a barrage of Scud missiles. Marshall Breger, a former Reagan administration official who at the time still functioned as an unofficial liaison between Bush and the Jewish community, says Shamir earned kudos with that decision. “From the U.S. perspective that was very important and got a lot of good will because we could not have gotten the coalition that we got if Israel had acted in a proactive or reactive way, if Israel had acted,” he says. Shamir, notably, earned affectionate references in the memoirs of U.S. figures who were among his most frustrated interlocutors when they faced each other as leaders, among them the elder Bush, national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell, who under Bush was the chief of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff. Shamir was not a comfortable campaigner. In the 1992 elections he lost to Yitzhak Rabin, advisers told him to exude more warmth. Appearing at a late-in-thegame rally in Maaleh Adumim—a West Bank settlement and city, and what should have been a natural constituency—he stood at the podium, his diminutive figure nearly swallowed by the stage, threw open his arms and shouted “I love you!” The crowd murmured nervously. Yet one on one, he exuded warmth and determination. Shamir would take
32 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
constitutional walks around the prime minister’s residence in Rehavia, followed by a single security guard, and stop to chat with everyone, giving extra time to recent immigrants and congratulating them on their decision to move to Israel. His mantra was land. After Oslo, still serving as a backbencher after Netanyahu had succeeded him as party leader, Shamir decried in a Knesset speech the ceding of the Gaza Strip, citing biblical injunctions about preserving the land of Israel. A Labor backbencher shouted that Gaza is not part of biblical Israel. Shamir shrugged. “We were taught that territory is sacrosanct,” he said. “He stood for a set of core principles that are still the bedrock of the right wing but I would argue have influenced the center, too,” Breger says. “Skepticism of the seriousness of the Arabs on permanent peace, a reliance on self-defense and not on agreements that rely on the will of others, skepticism of great power guarantees.” Shamir the “hard-liner” paved the way for “hard bargainers,” Rosen says.
Writer, director Nora Ephron Nora Ephron, a film director, author and essayist who wrote the screenplays for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, has died. Ephron died Tuesday, June 27 in a New York hospital of leukemia at 71. Only close friends and family knew of the illness, which was diagnosed in 2006. Her last movie was the 2008 hit Julie and Julia, starring Meryl Streep. She had started out as a journalist before becoming an author and essayist, and later a screenwriter and director. Her 2006 book of essays titled I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman became a New York Times best-seller. Ephron told Daily Forward writer and author Abigail Pogrebin in a 2003 interview for her book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish that she thought of herself “as a Jew, but not Jewish.” Ephron was married three times and divorced twice, the second time from Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. Her book Heartburn was a recounting of their marriage. A graduate of Wellesley College, she was an intern in the Kennedy White House and then worked as a mail girl at Newsweek.
Mark Steven Holzsweig Virginia Beach—Mark Steven Holzsweig, 60, died on July 7, 2012. Born in Norfolk on Feb. 28, 1952, he was the son of Stanley I. Holzsweig and Gershon Armistead, the brother of Deborah S. Holzsweig, Stepmother, Marilyn Swersky Holzsweig, stepbrothers, Gary, Lowell and Brian Galumbeck. He was preceded in death by his loving and devoted grandparents, Sol and Ethel Holzsweig and nephew, Jonathan Shane Edelblute. Mark attended Fork Union, was a graduate of Maury High School and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mark loved to travel, and one summer worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. His love for the arts was all consuming, and most of his adult life he bought and sold fine arts. After leaving Norfolk, he moved to Boca Raton, Fla. A graveside service was conducted at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Mark will be remembered and missed by all who loved him. Memorial donations to a charity of choice . H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences at hdoliver.com. Naomi K. Laderberg Norfolk—Naomi Karlin Laderberg, 91, passed away June 19, 2012. She was born in the Berkeley section of Norfolk on Nov. 14, 1920. She was a graduate of Maury High School, where she was known as “the life of the party.” Daughter of Jacob and Molly Karlin, Naomi was preceded in death by husband, Paul Laderberg and brother Harris Karlin. She is survived by Sisters Elaine Land and Sylvia Gould. Loving mother to children: Joan (Steven) Held, Wayne Laderberg, Reid (Joan) Laderberg, Nancy (Art) Fine; seven grandchildren: Rachel Held, Beka Pruitt, Scott Strasburg, Jeffrey Fine, Paul Fine, Ben Laderberg, Lauren Morgan; and six great grandchildren: Noah Hurm, Jackson Fine, Grayson Fine, Lindsy Strasburg, Anika Pruitt, and Issac Pruitt. Naomi owned and operated with husband Paul, The Economy Shoppe in Downtown Suffolk for more than 40 years. She was a member of Gomley Chesed Sisterhood for many years. Naomi was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She had a great love for her family and will be greatly missed. A graveside service was held at Gomley Chesed by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences at hdoliver.com.
obituaries Susan Cohen MacMillan Norfolk—Susan Cohen MacMillan, 54, passed away unexpectedly at her home in Blacksburg, Va. on June 27, 2012. Born in Norfolk, she is survived by her husband, David T. MacMillan. Susan is also survived by her three children, Gordon David MacMillan of Virginia Beach, Sarah Jane MacMillan of Crocetta del Montello, Italy, and Laurel Marie MacMillan of Charlottesville, Va. She is survived by her parents, Ramon and Rita Cohen of Norfolk, and her brother Bruce Cohen of Norfolk. Susan is survived by many uncles, aunts, and cousins, as well as nieces and nephews. Susan was raised in Norfolk and graduated from Granby High School in 1975. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston in 1980, Susan met David MacMillan, who had attended Granby High School, just seven years prior to her. They were married in Norfolk on Oct. 1, 1983. Susan and David moved to McAlester, Oklahoma where their three children were born. In 1994, the MacMillan family moved to Blacksburg, where Susan worked as a registered nurse. Susan always found great joy in her children, as well as traveling with her husband. Susan’s ability to make conversation with anyone she met, her easy laughter and sense of humor, and her wonderful smile were some of her many gifts to the world. A funeral service was held at H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., followed by a burial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family requests that memorial donations be made to New River Valley Community Services, c/o New Life Recovery Center, 700 University City Blvd, Blacksburg, VA 24060. Online condolences at hdoliver.com. Frances L. Popkin Norfolk—Frances Lubschutz Popkin, age 93, passed away at home, on Saturday, July 7, surrounded by family and loved ones. Born in Norfolk, and a lifelong resident, Mrs. Popkin was a graduate of Maury High School. She was the daughter of the late Edward Benjamin and Gussie Heller Lubschutz. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Sidney Popkin. She was also predeceased by three sisters, Sadie Ornoff (Irving), Ida Goldman (Sam), and Margaret Hodor (Max) and is survived by her sister Rebecca Kahn (Leonard). Survivors include her son, Richard
Popkin (Jane), of Norfolk; her daughter, Margaret (Bunni) Popkin Latkin (Dr. Peter), of Falls Church, Va.; her grandchildren Donna Popkin Hanson (Wil), Melinda Popkin, Carly Popkin, Daniel Latkin (Priscilla), and Shannon Latkin Anderson (Doug); her great grandchildren, Billy Latkin, Ben Anderson, Sydney Anderson, and Sasha Hanson; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was primarily a homemaker and loving mother, but worked intermittently in the family business, where she was an active participant. She was a former member of B’nai Israel Congregation, the B’nai Israel Sisterhood, Hadassah, and the Jewish Community Center. Services were held at the Norfolk chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., with interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations to Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters, Beth Sholom Home, or the charity of choice. Online condolences at hdoliver.com. James M. Schiavo Virginia Beach—James Michael Schiavo, 83, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died on June 28, 2012. He was born in Stamford, Conn., the son of James and Theresa Schiavo, of blessed memory. Jim retired as a Lt. Colonel from an exemplary Army career in 1971. He spent the next 20 years working for Chesterfield County, Richmond, Va. In 1995 he moved to Virginia Beach to be near family. Jim enjoyed playing baseball and tennis and tending to his beautifully landscaped yard. He was active in community and neighborhood organizations and was a dedicated volunteer teacher for local literacy programs working in both educational environments and the prison system. Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 60 wonderful years Dolores; daughter and son-in-law Debbie and Don Keeling, grandson Matthew Mervis; daughter Lynn Riley and granddaughters Roxanne and Rachel Riley, all of Knoxville, Tenn.; sister Connie DeAngelis and sisterin-law Jo-Ann Tamburri, both of Stamford, Conn.; nephew Nicholas DeAngelis and nieces Carol Gill, Jamie Pinto and Ruth Ridgeway. Jim’s love for his family, his courage throughout debilitating illnesses and his tremendous spirit for life have been an inspiration to all who knew him. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Church of the Holy Family. Burial followed at Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery, where
Jim was laid to rest beside his former sonin-law, Robert Mervis. Donations to Disabled American Veterans of Hampton Roads or Sentara Health Foundation, 6015 Poplar Hall Drive, Suite 308, Norfolk, VA 23502. Condolences at www.hdoliver.com. George B. Topolcic Virginia Beach—George Branko Topolcic, 90, passed away peacefully after a long illness on June 29, 2012. He was born in Croatia, and during World War II was mobilized into the Croatian Navy. Subsequently, he joined the French Army and was a cryptographer. Later, he became a color separator for the graphic arts and printer. He was preceded in death by his brother Kazimir. His memory is cherished by his loving wife of 45 years Irene, and by nieces and nephews. Memorial donations to the Virginia Beach SPCA, 3040 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23453 or the charity of choice. Cremation Society of Virginia. Online condolences at www.cremate.org.
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face to face
William “Bill” Nusbaum: Tikkun Olam in Hampton Roads
by Karen Lombart
ill Nusbaum, 56, has a painting in his home of the village of Positano which he bought at an art auction at Ohef Sholom Temple in 2008. The landscape of the picturesque village nestled into a cove, precariously perched on the mountainside of Italy’s Amalfi Coastline, represents a convergence of lifetime experiences. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1980, Nusbaum backpacked through Europe. When his tour bus passed briefly through Positano, he promised himself he would return. Twentyseven years later, he did with his family. Magnificent scenery continues to fuel Nusbaum’s sense of spirituality. He treasures his visits to Denver where his mother, Louise, of blessed memory, was raised. Viewing “her mountains,” he says, from the Genesee Park overlook remains a “pilgrimage” for him, his wife Sharon and daughter Leigh. His father’s family traces its Norfolk roots back to before the Civil War. In 1844, two of his ancestors, Aaron Goldsmith and Lewis Nusbaum, were founding members of Ohef Sholom, and since then, six Nusbaum men have been presidents of the congregation. In the 1970’s, Rabbi Lawrence Forman began encouraging families to embrace the ritual of Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Nusbaum recalls, “When I was confirmed in 1971, only one of my classmates had a Bar Mitzvah.” In 2002, he celebrated his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah on Simchat Torah. The ceremony fell on his grandmother, Justine Nusbaum’s, birth date, just two years after she passed away at the age of 99½. A great influence in his life, Nusbaum describes her as a “one woman social service department” for the work she did for Jewish refugees after the Holocaust and later for Soviet Jewry. Nusbaum celebrated his own adult Bar Mitzvah, three years later, reading the same parsha after being tutored by Leigh. When the Reform movement relaxed its rules on interfaith marriage in the early 1980s, Rabbi Forman followed suit at Ohef Sholom. On August 28, 1983, Nusbaum married Sharon in the congregation’s first public interfaith wedding ceremony in the main sanctuary. Having agreed beforehand to raise Jewish children, Sharon looked for opportunities to understand Judaism. While Leigh attended the Newport Avenue JCC
preschool, Sharon worked in the school library, becoming one of the first to be recognized as “Volunteer of the Month.” As Leigh studied at Ohef Sholom’s Religious and Hebrew schools, Sharon’s involvement in synagogue life steadily increased. Her journey lead her to participate in the JCC’s Florence Melton Mini School program. In 2010, after her mother’s death and just one month after she was elected copresident of Ohef Sholom’s Sisterhood, Sharon converted to Judaism. Nusbaum maintains, “The entire process, including the mikvah visit, was heartwarming and embracing.” His involvement with the synagogue began in 1985 as a board member. For many years, Nusbaum represented Ohef Sholom on the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council. Then, mindful of his own interfaith marriage, he joined the Council’s Interfaith Commission. Through his association, he met Cindy Creede, the founding executive director of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Impressed with the organization’s extraordinary efficiency, in 1990, Nusbaum agreed to join its board of directors. Soon after, he and fellow Foodbank board member Peter Huber organized the local “Legal Food Frenzy,” an idea originated in Seattle, Wash. Their fundraising endeavor has grown into a statewide phenomenon, sponsored annually by the Attorney General. Raising more than 1.6 million meals this past year, the campaign has also expanded to eight other states’ bar associations. Governor Bob McDonnell has just launched a similar endeavor in the business sector through the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Nusbaum feels a great sense of fulfillment knowing his efforts have impacted so many people. Committed to the Foodbank’s mission and development, Nusbaum served as its president, 1997-1999. During this time, he negotiated the purchase contract for its location on Tidewater Drive, while arranging and drafting its tax-exempt bond financing. This past May, Nusbaum returned to Cambridge for his 35th college reunion from Harvard University, where he studied government. He is still convinced he learned as much from his fellow students as he did from his professors. As a member of the Southeastern Virginia Harvard Schools Committee for 30 years, Nusbaum has interviewed local high school seniors applying to his Alma mater. Seven of those years,
34 | Jewish News | June 25, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
he chaired the process. In his fourth year at Harvard, Nusbaum was given the opportunity to turn his academic interest into an internship as a legislative assistant for a Norfolk member of the House of Delegates. That experience launched his involvement in Norfolk and state Democratic politics for two decades, culminating in his two-term chairmanship of the Norfolk City Bill Nusbaum. Democratic Committee, 1995–1999. “My success in politics, in large part, was attributable to one of the better political organizers in Hampton Roads - my wife,” Nusbaum smiles. In 2000, Sharon was a leading delegate recruiter for the Gore campaign in Hampton Roads, and was named the “whip” of the Virginia Gore delegation when they both attended the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles as delegates. Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine appointed and then reappointed Nusbaum to chair the Virginia College Building Authority, 2002 - 2010. While the Authority issues bonds to enhance and expand facilities available for Virginia collegians, his interests in higher education and politics, along with his background as a municipal bond lawyer for Williams Mullen, made Nusbaum the perfect choice. Working closely during his first term with State Treasurer Jody Wagner, he enjoyed the position. “When one door closes, another one opens,” Nusbaum says. In 2010 when the administration changed to Republican, he was not reappointed. Yet, within one day of learning of his replacement, he was appointed to the board of the Norfolk Airport Authority by the Norfolk City Council. Nusbaum finds the Airport Authority “fascinating,” and uses his knowledge of commercial real estate and municipal bonds to help the airport prosper. In 2010, he was also appointed to the board of directors of Opportunity Inc., the Hampton Roads Workforce Development board. No matter his life venture, Nusbaum’s actions exemplify the Jewish philosophy for repairing the world-Tikkun Olam. After
serving 18 years on the Ohef Sholom board as a general member, he was elected second vice president in 2003, beginning his ascent through its leadership positions. One of his first tasks was to chair the search committee for the synagogue’s new rabbi. “The ruach quickly spread with Rabbi Roz Mandelberg’s arrival in July, 2005,” according to Nusbaum. “We had a wonderful clergy partnership between Rabbi Mandelberg and Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel. They were soul mates on the bima,” he says. “Together they created a culture of inclusivity at Ohef Sholom.” “That energy only grew with the arrival of Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin. His great musical talent and songwriting ability, combined with Rabbi Roz’s spirituality and erudite sermons, fostered a fabulous environment for worship. Our congregational participation for Shabbat services has greatly increased,” he says. “Working with the two of them while synagogue president (2007-2009) was truly a pleasure.” With the recent merger of Ohef Sholom and Portsmouth’s Temple Sinai, the Norfolk synagogue’s chapel is now called, “The Sinai Chapel,” and Temple Sinai’s beloved rabbi, Arthur Steinberg, is now Ohef Sholom’s “Sinai Rabbi Emeritus.” Responsible for drafting the congregations’ Plan of Merger, Nusbaum refers to it as a “labor of love,” bringing the two religious institutions together. “It was really fascinating for me to go through the process of crafting documents that reflected the human component of merging two distinct congregations. It was absolutely essential that the final instrument be sensitive, welcoming and supportive,” he says. With that goal in mind, the ceremony on June 3 was upbeat as the two communities became one. Effecting change, Nusbaum has brought his professional skills to his volunteer world and altered the “landscape” of Hampton Roads in so many ways. With his clarity, steadfastness and sense of purpose, he has turned his time and expertise into action, truly embodying the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam.
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G37 CONVERTIBLE: $5700 TOTAL AMOUNT DUE AT DELIVERY FOR ALL LEASE OFFERS WHICH INCLUDES FIRST MONTHS PAYMENT, $700 ACQUISITION FEE, $499.99 PROCESSING FEE, TAX,TITLE AND TAGS. G25X: $5000 TOTAL AMOUNT DUE AT DELIVERY FOR ALL LEASE OFFERS WHICH INCLUDES FIRST MONTHS PAYMENT, $700 ACQUISITION FEE, $499.99 PROCESSING FEE, TAX,TITLE AND
36 | Jewish TAGS. News June 25,SUBJECT 2012 TO | jewishnewsva.org ALL| VEHICLES PRIOR SALE. PAYMENT BASED ON 39 MONTHS WITH 10K MILES/YEAR AND IS AVAILABLE TO WELL QUALIFIED BUYERS. SALE ENDS JULY 31, 2012.
Jewish News July 16th 2012